Monday, June 29, 2009

Abbey Bags!!

We had a ball Friday night! Our fearless leader, Janet, inspired and assisted us along the way. We made Abbey Bags, which are a combination of a cute pin cushion and a thread catcher. (Michael would be very appreciative if I actually stopped throwing my threads on the floor. Our hero, Mr. Vacuum, has mentioned that he'd be in favor of that also!)

She had us moving right along! Here, Karene is carefully stitching the pincushion portion of her Abbey Bag.

We were all successful in making huge progress on our Abbey Bags! Plus, we laughed a lot!

Here, Janet whips out her handy glue gun to put the finishing touches (a non-slip pad) on the bottom of Nancy's Abbey Bag.

Below, Karene gives her bag the patented Ramsay pressure technique to make SURE it sticks! Her bag turned out Sew Cute!!

Here are several of the bags, all in a row!

And two more I almost missed..... I think this is Candy's bag.

I don't remember whose bag this was, I just remember I loved the soft colors!

And today, I brought up the rear by finishing my bag. (As Janet says, it isn't a race in her classes.) I tend to be slow and methodical, and that's okay too!

I loved making this bag, and I plan to make at least two more! Can we say....

Ho Ho Ho..... Merry Christmas gift ideas??!! :)

P.S. Janet's thinking about having some sort of a Crazy Bag Lady Night one Friday night in the near future.... I have several bags to make.... Pattern and fabric already in hand... And I certainly have the Crazy part nailed down. Sign me up, Janet!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


As I said, I had way too much fun last night. Got the second pot sprayed with top coat! Planted the cactus this morning... Crossing fingers.

I "copied" the idea for this frog from a picture on the web.... his eyes were crossed, he was not smiling...there was no dragonfly... I use these web pictures as a starting point... they kick-start my imagination a bit...

I used a spray can of satin gloss to seal the pots. For my paint......

I used my 15 year old acrylic craft paints (any of the brands at Michael's or Joann's are like what I'm using). If I had unlimited expendible cash right now, I'd consider some new paint pens.... they sound like fun!

I used fine markers (sharpies or permanent laundry pens that come in colors!) for the fine details.... and hope that since they are covered with a final coat of the gloss.... that they will stay put!

I'm flying blind on these. I looked at lots of other people's blogs about painting clay pots, sort of derived a rough game plan from them, and I'm experimenting....

I figure cacti don't need much water, so if moisture is an issue, maybe only watering once a week will prolong the eventual destruction of the "artwork"? If moisture is not an issue because of the gloss clear coat that I used to seal, then there is nothing to worry about.

Most of what I do is an experiment.... :) Just looking for frugal ways to perk up our living space!

Now what to paint on the next four pots? I'm thinking maybe a bunny (even though they are Public Enemy #1 right now, devouring my garden. They are still cute!) or maybe a fish, with seaweed and a hook hanging down with a worm? Will go searching the "internets" for more imagination!! Any suggestions from my vast array (!) of readers? (yes, I kid...)


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another one of those random catch up posts...

Not much is happening at Chez Bury right now. We just wound up week-long sits for two sets of dogs, one of which included this handsome fellow:

Too cute!

Karen and I visited the Farmer's Market in Fullerton last Thursday.

The strawberries lasted only three days. Way too yummy! We're still working on the rest.

I've gotten several batches of green beans and yellow squash from my garden. And just for giggles, since Michael won't eat anything green, I made him up the better part of a 20 pound bag of potatoes, into Twice Baked Potatoes, and froze them for him to use at will. The remainder of the bag I think I'll make into two scalloped potato casseroles to freeze.

See this is exciting stuff, right? I'm sure you are riveted to your chairs.

However, if you came for Quilting content.... here's a bit! I snagged these fat quarters with a gift certificate I'd been saving!

Karene and I are taking a class Friday night that will use them... I was delighted to get them home and find that the fat quarters (triangles) matched two yards of fabric she had given me some time ago that I had been saving for the perfect project. With any luck at all, I'll have an oh-sew-cute accessory completed at the end of class, so will try to blog it this weekend. (The class is being taught by our Teacher Extraordinairre, Janet at the Orange Quilt Bee. Janet has a new nickname in our family, coined by Karen when she was asking her advice on a quilting project recently.... she is now Janet Sensai!!)

Since I work a lot on weekends now, I try to take a little time mid week to do something I enjoy. I have been collecting some cactus and other succulent plants to put in my kitchen window. (Cacti and succulents don't need much attention other than weekly watering and lots of light - there is the outside chance I will not kill them!) While trying to decide what sort of pots to use, I decided to make my own. I got some basic terra cotta pots at WallyWorld for $1.25 (and the matching coasters for another $1.25).

First I sealed one. Then I base coated it in light blue....

and then painted a design on it that I copied from a quilt design. Hopefully, since I don't plan to sell it, this is not a "no no"!

I have another one coated and painted with a different design, but its too dark and breezy tonight to spray it with the final clear coat outside, so will do that tomorrow and post it then!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cos We're Cool That Way

We rock scout hard, so you don't have to!!!

Someone I know is looking for jewel tones for a possible rendition of a certain Ode quilt that she wants to do in jewels instead of 30's reproductions.... So.....

First things first....We went to the Joann Superstore in Buena Park today..... to register for a Wilton Cake Decorating Class.... Michael can hardly wait. He is REALLY looking forward to eating the homework assignments and class projects.

The class is only $27.00 for four nights of instruction, one night a week. $9.00 a class is not bad! The beginner stuff we were told we would need was a bit pricey, but...... I had a 50% off coupon for one item which saved me $12.50 and a 40% off coupon for another item which saved me $5.60!!

The other items, mostly small and inexpensive, we will never the less acquire with coupons between now and July 8, the first night of class. Why pay full price?!

After we got class handled.... then we scouted the fabric section for jewel blender fabrics!

Here's the fat quarters! There are definitely some jewel tones in there!

And here's a shot of the quilting fabrics on the wall.... Also some jewel tones mixed in there, I think.

Oops! Karen slipped and ended up with a cool new pattern book. Yes, 60% off, thank you very much!

And we found a whole section of Quilters' Only Solids!

I have hereby completed my Enabling Practice Session for the day!

P.S. Karene, let me know if you decide to go check it out! I could be persuaded to clip a few coupons and keep you company!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One less UFO

Got one finished! This is for Michael's boss, Cathy. She's expecting and due next month. She's having a boy. I had some cute green/frog squares I had scored on ebay, so I made one of my quick charm square quilts.

I tried a binding that was new to me. It's just a simple set of strips cut on the bias, which creates a sort of spiral look to the binding. I had not done one of those before, and it was fun to try. In retrospect, I think I needed greater contrast in order for the binding to be more obvious.

But still, its done, and ready for little Baby Mitchell!

I made a card to go with it, and Michael will be taking it to her tomorrow, because she's really not sure she's going to be at work much longer! I remember those days, when being pregnant went past having a "cute belly bump" and suddenly became just plain uncomfortable! We're hoping she has a smooth delivery and a healthy baby boy!!

A new project

I really need a new project, don't you think? I only have about 30 UFOs in my sewing room. But hey, every now and then something comes along (just like all 30 of those UFOs did!) and you just HAVE TO.

It's all Yvette's fault anyway. She's the one that sent me the link to a picture of this quilt.....

It's called "Ode to the 30's." Sigh. Yvette and I decided to do it Block(s) of the month style.... working on it slowly, from our 30's stashes. Karene is contemplating joining us, but last I heard, she is torn between doing it in 30's or picking entirely different fabrics... We'll work on her.... I bet she'll make one too!

Anyway, I looked at my 30's stash, which wasn't really huge. Then I made the mistake of looking on ebay to see if anyone had any good 30's bundles for sale.

At one point, I found a set I really liked.... and then, we must have had one of those earthquakes we are so famous for. I swear, I fell right out of my chair at my desk and when I pulled myself up off the floor, I found I was clutching the mouse and my fingers must have just happened to click the "Buy-it-now" key...... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

This box came in the mail three days later.

Eighty gorgeous 1930's reproduction fat quarters. I will get several quilts out of this stack!! Yvette picked up some solids and she has some 30's stash too, so we're going to pool resources and we are Sew Ready!!

Come on, Karene, you know you want to!!

My favorite trees.....

Those who live here are familiar with them. The purple trees. The Jacaranda_Mimosifolia.

I will have one of these one day!

(I also want one of its first cousins, a Mimosa.) Here's a picture of a Jacaranda-lined street, where they are in full bloom.

I just love them. I don't care what anybody says about how they hate to sweep up the purple blossoms.

I still want one!

Nope, I didn't fall off the edge of the earth

I know. Don't faint. I'm sure it's a shock and all... but I'm actually posting something(s)...

I've been insanely busy, working too much, and tired. I think there's a connection there somewhere, but anyway...

I work weekends now. (I work during the week, also, but the real grind is on the weekend). So my time off falls on Tuesdays and Thursdays, sort of... sometimes a bit on Wednesday... Mondays are still H-E-DoubleHockeyStick days... Fridays are weird. The pace changes, and instead of being able to crash, I'm gearing up to staple my pants to the floor and type, type, type Saturday and Sunday.

But I'll stop whining now, and focus on being grateful that I have that weekend opportunity. It infuses a nice chunk of change into the Commonwealth of Bury.... Just brings me a little closer to what life was like, financially, before some of my accounts headed south, in this crappy economy.

And speaking of economy and frugality - Here's my idea of a light box. I'm sure someone else probably thought of this a long time ago, but I am kind of tickled with it. It was time to make this month's tracings for our Home Is Where The Heart Is block... and my elderly eyes appreciated this.

First, stick a lamp with a flexible neck (have I mentioned I Love Ikea?) under my dining room table.

Crank the neck up and point the light straight up.

Yank open the table and take out a leaf. Lay a piece of plexi-glass over the leafless portion of the table. This is a piece of plexi-glass that used to protect a daughter's dresser surface in a former life. More recently, it serves as a cover on our island for Michael to roll out Christmas cookies. We have that horrid white tile that used to have white grout and that isn't conducive to rolling out cookie dough unless you want it to wear the imprint of the tiles.... So it's his cookie sheet in December. Works like a charm!

But it makes a $weet $uper-frugal light box for me!

And here is my fused, but not yet blanket-stitched, block for June!

Must finish my bells, put border on block, and put band of bells on top.... I'm giving some thought to making these blocks into pillow covers. I could have one pillow, that I change the cover on each month? Seems like a good idea to me.... Will ponder that some more.