Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Motivation

I'm lacking in motivation. I think because the only real time I get to myself is nap time. Once both girls are quiet and resting it leaves me with a small window of time which I 'have' to use for crafting else I go a little crazy with a feeling of not having achieved anything for myself. I'm beginning to resent that pressure to sit down and be creative at that very moment - sometimes I'm just not in the mood and sometimes I'm just bit mentally exhausted from having battled with two gorgeous - but sometimes unreasonable - bunny's all morning and I just want an hour of mindless anything ... so I've be rebelling by filling nap times with other delightful activities such as laundry, cleaning, emptying and refilling the dishwasher ...

This is not a productive mindset ... I have projects I want to make/do/achieve falling out my ears.

But I have been doing some sewing. I've finished the top of my Valentine Quilt. I'm not convinced by the quilts size - so I sewed all the scrappy strips left over together in hopes to make a border for the quilt ... ... it all looked a little odd when I laid everything together so I made one of these long strips into this little baby mat/quilt (still to be quilted.) It has cute scrappy corners.
My other idea is to turn the Valentine Quilt into a picnic blanket by using some laminated cotton or a poly-laminate on the back ... I like this idea ... and I think it would be something we might use a lot.

Every evening I try and tackle a little bit of my paper pieced quilt. It is coming along - I don't want to paper piece the entire quilt - but use hand quilting to emboss unpatched areas of the quilt and maybe have scattered paper pieced blocks throughout the quilt top too ... ... I haven't quite decided on exactly how it is all going to come together ... but I have a vague vision at least ... somewhere over the top of that never ending laundry basket!!

I'm also making some more art smocks - birthday presents for little people. I beginning to like mixing up bright colors for these smocks - the color splashes seem adapt for little budding artists. I'm often much to shy with color - something I'm really trying to get better with.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Zoku Recipes

We were recently given a Zoku. We really enjoy playing with it and Bunny #1 loves to make 'ice cream' or 'ice pops' before dinner. By the time she has finished her dinner the ice lollys have frozen and are ready for eating.

I have found that 1 cup of liquid makes approx 3 lollys.

Here is our stripey ice lolly.
This was made using 3/4 cup of orange juice and 1/4 cup of water. Put 2 tbsp of the mixture in the bottom - add the stick and allow to freeze (approx 3-4 mins.) Meanwhile add 2 drops of red food coloring to the remaining mixture. Add another 2 tbsp of orange juice to the molds. Allow to freeze (allowing things to freeze between layers does test Bunny #1's patience.) Add another 2 drops of red food coloring to the remaining mixture and then top off the molds. So easy and so pretty!

Another favorite is the 'chocolate ice cream'.
I slowly melt 1/4 of semi sweet chocolate in 1/4 of milk. Then add 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt. Mix thoroughly and pour into the molds. Apparently this recipe is so good it is enough to get her to eat all her green beans - maybe I should reduce the chocolate content ;-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pocket or no pocket?

I've been making more art smocks - trying to tweak and adjust the pattern until I'm happy with it. For this art smock I used a satin ribbon at the back rather than bias tape. I rather like the contrasting color - which is also picked up in the bias tape on the smock. Big question - do the smocks really need a pocket/pockets?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIP: Quilt update

I've been making progress on my scrappy Valentine Quilt (Elizabeth Hartman.) I'm really pleased how it is looking. Here it is all laid out - ready to be sewn together. You make the blocks by sewing strips onto a piece of square paper - trim the block - remove the backing paper and then sew all the blocks together. Elizabeth H. warns you that as the edges of the blocks have been cut on the bias they will be prone to stretching when you sew them together - so I kept the paper backing on while sewing the blocks together. It has been working really well - no stretching - my blocks are still squares.

I found this wonderful pillow from Little Blue House on a Hill - which seems like a great idea for a smaller project using this technique/pattern.
This is a peek at the first half that has been sewn all together. I used up so many scraps - greatly pleased with finally using some up. But I'm just terrified of the prospect of quilting the beast ... I will let you know when it is finished.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tutorial: Valentine Lollypop Flowers

I have been dying to make these Heart and Lollypop Flowers every since I purchased Martha Stewarts Homemade Holiday Crafts. Well Valentine's Day is nearly here and I thought they would be very cute for Bunny #1 to give to her class mates. Of course - I can never tackle a project without making some 'improvements' of my own. Here is my version of this project. I didn't know whether this post should be a 'pillaged but much improved idea from Martha Stewart' post or an honest tutorial. I'll let you be the judge! But here is what you will need:
- lollypop
- 5 paper hearts (mine measure a little over 2")
- 16 tissue paper hearts
- 2 leaf shapes
- paper punch or scissors
- hole punch

After cutting out/punching out your paper and tissue paper hearts put a hole punch in the base of each shape. Scrunch up the tissue paper hearts to give the tissue paper more body and carefully thread each heart onto the lolly pop stick - rotating the position of the hearts as you go until you have threaded all 16 tissue paper hearts. Fold your paper hearts in half and then fold the sides down again - to make little arrow/airplane hearts.Thread these onto your lollypop stick - rotating their position as you go.Cut out your leaf shapes and score a line down the middle of each leaf. This line does not need to be straight. Put a hole punch in the end of each leaf and thread onto the lollypop stick. A field of valentine lollypop flowers.I learnt my lesson with little fingers tugging apart the Candy Cane Mice and this time I have wrapped each lollypop flower in some cellophane, with some pink ribbon and a little heart gift tag.

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