2019 One Little Word – recap!

I participated in Ali Edward’s “One Little Word” class last year, this was my fourth year choosing a word for the year (rather than resolutions which, lets face it…never happen). This year I felt like my word – FORWARD – manifested itself in many ways so I consider it a success!

I made a super casual (cue uproarious laughter) video of my completed album, and as I was editing it, I had the thought that this is not really a scrapbook but more of a visual journal. Click on the link below!

My word for 2020 is COMPLETE so I feel like I am getting off to a good start finishing up 2019!

Do you participate in OLW? What is your word for 2020??!

2020 Mini Quilt project – January

I have been thinking about crafting goals since last December. I have the habit of making lists of things to do that are so huge that there are literally not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Then I get frustrated that I can’t get 40 hours of work done in a 16 hour day (assuming 8 hrs for sleep … but not accounting for anything else like work, or dog walking or laundry… you get the idea). SO This year I decided to set ATTAINABLE goals for my creative endeavors. I am still working through the details on knitting and memory keeping (but enough to say that my goal is to use up both stashes of supplies) but I have narrowed down quilting and garment making.

Today…I present to you completed project #1 on the quilting list for 2020! My quilting goal this year is to complete at least one quilt block and a mini quilt each month following Alyce Blyths “Mini Master Pieces” book of 12 essential blocks and techniques. I love Alyce and several years participated in a Half Square Triangle quilt along with the result being a beautiful quilt for our home!

The first lesson is a basic 9-patch block, super simple so I wanted to play with dark backgrounds and using some fabrics from my stash that have been aging like fine wine under the piles ;-). I’m very happy with the result!

The block finished size will be 6″ square and I made up 7 to set aside and see what percolates after working on more blocks from the book.

I don’t have a design wall but fortunately, the mini quilt is about 24″ square so laying out the squares on the craft table totally works! Some blocks were fussy cut around motifs and I will admit to liberal use of the seam ripper when I sewed blocks together in the wrong order and upside down.

No photos of quilting, I used two layers of scrap cotton batting… I think by the end of this project I will have used up my bin of batting scraps in the attic – huzzah! I set my machine to it’s slowest setting and used my walking foot, remembering I had quilting gloves after about 1/3 of the way done. Definitely room for improvement as far as machine quilting. But that is the beauty in smaller projects, room for experimenting on a small scale.

I am very pleased with the finished product! This series will also be a good exercise in binding. My corners need a bit of work and there was a bit of hand stitching involved but still a success!!

Looking forward to Februarys block…I’ve got my fabric all pulled and set aside!

What projects are you working on in 2020?

(Also…am not a huge fan of this new “block” arrangement on WordPress, I feel like it’s getting in the way right now more than it’s helping…anyone else out there have feelings on this???)

Stash Bashing

One of the ways I engage with my hobby of memory keeping (and also prime the creative pump for my business and my other creative endeavors) is with a membership at Simple Scrapper which is a community of like minded memory keepers from all over the world (which is so totally cool) that offers classes, challenges, online crops, book clubs, a monthly magazine, templates and loads of fun and support. This past week has been their semi-annual “Stash Bash” week, a challenge for members to work on reducing or organizing their creative stash with an eye to making more projects and getting more stories told.

I’m currently working on my girls school albums with a completion date of June 7th (conveniently, their graduation date!) so I am making plenty of layouts and recording lots of memories right now. I do have one particular area of stash that needed a little love so I thought I’d share my Stash bash Project here with you (I’ve already shared it with the Simple Scrapper Community)

My lovingly acquired selection of Story Kits!

 I am the proud owner of many many Story Kits and Story Stamps from Ali Edwards.  I also amassed a years worth of Stories by the Month and, I’m embarrassed to say I have hardly used any of them.  When I thought about why (other than the usual reasons) I realized that they are all still in the original envelopes, so I can’t see or flip thru anything.  So how to get them out of envelopes and deal with different sorts of stuff:  cards, stamp sheet, sheets of cardstock and stickers and then loads of types of embellishments.  my first impetus was to go to Target and buy more plastic fridge bins to house the collection.  I really am not thrilled with the purple bin from the girls old toy room where they now reside.  Then I checked myself and thought a) too much plastic already and we are trying to make a conscious effort as a household to cut back and b) don’t feel like spending the $$.  I looked around the house and thought shoeboxes!  Totally can do that!  Except didn’t have quite the right size/shape etc….   I realized I can just keep them in the purple bin and get over it because it fits perfectly in the bookcase.  In taking apart a few kits and spreading them out… I hit up on the solution to the problem:  1-Take (almost) everything OUT OF THE PLASTIC stamp sets, chip board, everything except some tiny stars and other embellishments that must be contained.  2- All the loose embellishments go back in the big plastic envelope that the kit gets shipped in.  3-Envelope is labeled w kit name 4-  Envelope goes in back and stamp, chipboard, stickers, paper-ish kinds of things and finally the journal cards all stacked on top, then stood up in the bin.  It’s a little catty-wampus, it’s not perfect but quite frankly I was pretty giddy with how FUNCTIONAL it’s going to be for me!!  

the new home for the smaller embellishments! Easy to see and access!
Everything out of the plastic, ready to be stacked up and filed! Easy flip through access now!

I then took all my story by the month sets, which I’m using to document 2018 monthly, found a binder and some page protectors and slotted all the cards, chipboard and stamps into the page protectors so NOW when I’m ready to work on January, I can just add more page protectors and the cards and stamps are all in one place.

Monthly themed cards and embellishments ready to use to document 2018!

All of this was accomplished while still in my pajamas yesterday afternoon!  I’m so excited how everything turned out!!  I’ll try and post more photos in the comments, I wanted to share here because I know many of us probably have piles of these kits and hopefully some idea will help you to work with your kits!!  

Happy Dance over here!!

How do you organize your materials to make your projects flow more efficiently and leave you more time for actually making things??!

Printing it out

I got a wonderful package to open BEFORE Christmas… yep, Christmas came early…

prints-close-up

57 layouts that I had printed through Persnickety Prints.  I love their quality and their customer service.  A few times a year, they sell print credits for different sizes so I can print a 12×12 layout for half price.  The credits are perfect because they never expire, they just sit in your account until you are ready to order so…In keeping with my “print it out” mantra, I went into my files and discovered that there were layouts from 2015 that were waiting to be printed (!) no time like the present so I uploaded everything and off they went to the printers.  A week or so later, back came a lovely stack of layouts…and of course there they sat in my studio for two weeks until I finally got a moment to open them…

decprintyourlayouts

Yay for printed out layouts!  I’m so happy with how they all came out.  Now, the next thing?  Getting them all in an album….The thing after that?  Re-organizing my albums by year…because they are all completely random…half a dozen+albums crammed full of randomly filed layouts.  Put it on the to-do list for 2017!

On to more post-Christmas fun!!  Happy Wednesday everyone!

 

 

In the Studio:: On tossing out and starting fresh

This past week I did an extensive studio clean-up and scrapbooking supply organization (don’t get too excited, still not quite done with that part but it’s coming along nicely).  I have a pile of sewing projects to start/finish and a list of layouts and albums both digi and paper to work on, oh and hello…December Daily will be upon us before we know it – ahem!

I have been vexed by a dress that I sewed in April, and it has been in the pile and on the list since then.

Enter McCalls M5890

mccall-s-patterns-m5890-misses-jackets-top-dresses-and-pants-in-2-lengths-size-ff-16-18-20-22_7353165

I had a lot of trouble with my sewing machine which resulted in not a great sewing outcome for this garment… the fit was OK and I wasn’t as wild about the fabric as a long dress, and the topstitching was horrible due to said machine problem (since having machine thoroughly cleaned this fall, the problems have all resolved themselves…magic!)  and I just wasn’t feeling it.  at.  all.   For months I’ve been going back and forth… can I fix the topstitching?  Should I just make a skirt out of it (I have about a yard extra to make waistbands etc…) and try and salvage something?  Do I even like the pattern anymore?  Do I like the fabric anymore?

Answers to above ?’s ??  No fixing the topstitching… No to the skirt, it’s just too contrived…No to salvage….No to the pattern, at least the top of the dress, don’t like how the neck/arm/capsleeve came together weirdly…No to the fabric, maybe for a t-shirt or shorts but not a dress, plus, it’s winter now ugh.

So here is my answer to the above conundrum:

freedomfromtiedye

Yep…86’d the whole thing… including the extra fabric…and I crossed it off my list.  I have to say, it was really hard to just toss it in the trash.  The save-every-scrap part of me was screaming but for the good of my sewing karma, it had to go.

I feel so much better now.

On to the next project!

Have you ever totally trashed a project?  Was it freeing or guilt inducing?