Sunday, November 27, 2011

Box Tops For Education

I have saved my share of "Box Tops for Education" in my tenure as a school mom. It seemed we were always saving some kind of label or clipping a coupon for the kids to take to school. I'm not even sure what all those things were used for!

So I thought I was finished with all that when my kids graduated from school.

Not so!

With DaughterStitches teaching elementary school, I once again find myself cutting these little squares from my food packages. Now I'm even mailing them away to her!

Not that I mind of course. Glad to help, DaughterStitches.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Card Making

I've been making cards for the last two days. Once I get everything spread out all over the dining room table, I want to make more than just a couple cards! So I go into card-making-factory mode.

I made some more Christmas cards with little triangles of fabric for trees. I did this two years ago. You can see the original post here.

And a few more of this "circle tree" design.

I made a couple other styles of Christmas cards, too, but I'm not going to show them, because I know that SisterStitches will say, "OK now I've seen them, and the surprise is out, so you have to make me a different card!"

Then I made some "every day" cards just to have on hand.

A few different varieties. . .

These blue ones just have different sized squares glued down in a random, overlapping pattern. Makes for very sticky fingers!

Believe it or not, this cool paper was a paper bag that I received at a store. I wadded it up in a ball, then straightened it out again and glued it down. I like the rustic look.

And a couple more of these flower cards, made with silk flowers.

I used up the last of this cool trim that I've had for quite a while. I like that it is so colorful and festive.

All in all, I made 14 every day cards, and 32 Christmas cards. Not bad for two days of work. And we're not talking 8-hour days, you know!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Walking Across The Golden Gate Bridge

Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is something I've been wanting to do for a while now. I chose a nice sunny October day with minimal wind. On the bridge it is always windy, so I wanted to start out with the best possible weather I could!

It looks like an awful long way to go when you first start out. I felt like I had gone a very long way when I got to the first tower, and that's not even half-way! I hadn't realized that there was such an uphill curve on the bridge. It really is uphill both ways!

It is 1.7 miles across the bridge, and I walked the round trip. It was fun, and challenging, too.

I suppose it's inevitable that some red paint gets spilled on the concrete. I've been told that workmen are continually painting the bridge. By the time they finish, it's time to start over again.

I looked back and saw this big ship heading out of the bay to the Pacific Ocean. You can see what a nice, clear day it was.

Several places along the way were phone call boxes for emergencies and also to call for personal crises. The smaller sign assures the reader that the consequences are very drastic for anyone who falls from the bridge.

There's only the short railing on the side, and also minimal railing between me and the six lanes of traffic zooming by. It was very noisy, with all those cars going by.

This is near the Marin County side of the bridge. I like how the bridge's shadow shows up down on the water. It really is a long way down.

And it's a long way up, too!

Here's a picture of a tired, windblown, but happy MissesStitches at the end of my walk.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Simple Potholder

Several months ago I made this little heart piece as a sample for paper piecing in a class I was teaching. The class was Intermediate Quilting, taught by myself and my friend Kalynn. One day was spent learning paper piecing, and I have to say that the students did quite well with the challenge.

As you can see, this is a real simple design, easy to accomplish. So I had it lying around my studio, and decided to do something with it. I'm low on hotpads in my kitchen, and the rest, as they say, is history! Added some of that Insul Bright batting, found a scrap for the back and basted it together.

I outlined the red heart, then used a heart-like free motion quilting variation to do a little quilting around the outsides of the heart itself.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Embroidery Thread Organization

I've been doing a little bit of organizing lately. Now, this is just a very small drop in a rather large bucket, but at least it's a start!

I've been using and collecting embroidery floss for several years now, and have never had a consistent place to keep it. As a result, I have little caches of thread all over the place. There will be a baggie with some threads in a drawer, some more in with my crazy quilting supplies, some more in a tote bag with a project, etc. That makes it hard to find a particular color of thread when I'm looking for it.

So these little floss bobbins came to my rescue. The bobbins and the box into which they fit so nicely. I've gotten quite a few of my thread skeins wrapped and "filed," as you can see. I'm separating them into sections of reds, purples, blues, greens, etc. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the box in the top photo. Those are all black thread. All. Black. Because I couldn't find the floss I needed, I was constantly having to buy more black thread. There doesn't seem to be any variation in the black hues, either.

At first I was a little leery of letting go of those little labels with the color numbers on the skeins. But I've never been one to follow those numbers anyway. If a pattern calls for "DMC 346 pink," I just find a pink in my thread stash that I think will look good in the pattern. So I let go of that worry. I think the advantage of having all my thread organized, and all in one place, easy to see and easy to choose will win out over not having their DMC numbers available.