Thursday, January 26, 2012

Smash Books

I LOVE this concept.  I bought one for my other daughter on Tuesday and the three of us have been adding pages.  I went to Michael's and came back with all these fun stickers/sets.  I knew as soon as I saw the ruffled rhinestones and laces that was going to be my front cover page.

This one is mine:

This is my oldest daughter's :

And my youngest:

You can tell we each have our own unique ways of decorating the front covers.  No rules, no reasons, just do what you want.  I've never scrapbooked because of needing every page to be perfect.   My youngest is still doing her front cover in sections.  

Here's a page from mine:

It's not finished, but was playing with the idea of a bike page.  I wanted to put all the trails I've been on and how far I've gone over the year.  I couldn't find the other two maps right now, but will when I find them.  I found a tattoo site that had bike chain rings all over them, imported into SCAL3, printed it out and used my marker to scribble in the design.

What I want to do is use my Cougar cutter to cut out several different designs of them, ink them up and glue them in.

My youngest has had the most fun:

This is her superhero page:  I found the stickers and she fell in love immediately.

A glue gun is still not my friend.  At least I haven't burned my fingers yet; just made a gooey mess all over myself and the table.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I sold my bike on Monday.  A lady from Omaha purchased it and I hope she loves it.  I had no idea how heartbroken I would be until later that evening.  I just burst into tears and sobbed my heart out.  I know she's got a better home where she's not in the garage wistfully waiting for a ride.  I paid the necessary bill and don't have to worry about that any more.

I did take my Salsa Fargo out for a ride the other day.  You take advantage of every warm day now.  I took my son with and went to the local trail.  Since it had snowed, the trail was wet and muddy.  Perfect for testing out my bike.  You can see from the picture that it got all nice and muddy.  She goes through mud really well so maybe I'm good for not having a fat bike.  I actually beat him back to the car for the first time ever on the bike.  His Rockhopper slid all over the place so I had quite the advantage.   My Fargo is the green bike.

I haven't done any quilting.  For some reason I'm just not in the mood.  I just stare at the pile of projects and walk away.  It seems like too much effort to pull it all out.

For the Mukluk, I'm wondering if it would be best if I just buy the bike in pieces.  It would be more expensive, but I could buy parts as I can.  The nice part about bikes is that you can upgrade and buy parts at a time completely customizing your bike.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I did the unthinkable.  I'm sure anyone who has been through this, knows the agony of making a difficult decision.   I've debated for a couple of months about selling my Madone 4.7 (bike in my profile pic) but after my ER visit, I need to sell her.  She also needs a better home with nice clean streets and paved bike trails and I can't give her that.

I put her up for sale on Craigslist yesterday.  I have no way of shipping her out of the area or I'd put her up on a bike forum.  If no one responds I guess she's meant to stay at my house.

My main reason to sell her was to get a Pugsley or a Mukluk until the ER bill came.  They are "fat bikes" because they have 4 inch wide tires and are meant for going across snow, mud, grass, gravel and sand.  I wanted one for the rural gravel roads out where I live.  Even with my Fargo, I still slide around.

The other thought was to sell my Sapphire 870 since I do have the original box, packaging and everything else.  I don't know if it would ship in the standard Viking box though.  I don't think Viking makes the 870 any longer and have replaced it with the 875.  I always get paranoid about the shipping.  I have fears of someone paying for something I sold and the box falls apart on the way to their house.

For some crazy reason, I've kept the Go! Cutter and you'd think that would be the first thing I'd want to sell.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Smash Book

My Smash Book came today!  It took me some time to decide how badly I wanted one.  I'd gone through several stores including Barnes & Noble looking at books and realized I didn't like any of them.

These are worth every penny.  I love the hardback, the small binding, the papers and the pen/glue stick works really well.

Here's my first page:

I used my Cricut to cut out the swan and the swan corners with one of the cartridges I own.  My daughter suggested adding sequins on the feathers/wing and in the centers of the corners.  Not sure I like it, but for a first time ever doing something paper creative, it works.  I plan on adding around it with words/sayings about being beautiful.

I just wonder if the swan needs more decoration.  The page needs more "bling" to it.

I plan on doing a page about my bikes.  I wish they made stickers of bikes that weren't cartoony or childlike.  Maybe I need to steal a bike catalogue from my LBS and cut out pics of my bikes.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

SMASH Books And Organizing

I just wanted to say thanks to a couple of ladies who emailed me to explain about the "Glacier Star" pattern and how the program works as they are certified teachers.  I wish there was a trained teacher in my area for that class and that I could afford to take it.  The pattern is indeed 60 dollars.  I know my LQS isn't certified in anything except in annoying me and probably had to pay retail for the pattern.  I really only visit her store when I have too.  Again, thanks for explaining how everything works.  It's a truly beautiful pattern and well worth the money.

Has anyone heard of SMASH books?  While I'm not into the scrapbooking thing, there's a huge buzz about it over on a forum and it being the newest addiction.  I looked it up and they are hardback notebooks that you can do whatever you want with.  They aren't crappy ones with wire binding that will fall apart on you and already have pretty paper in them.  Yeah, anyone can buy a notebook, make a scrapbook out of it, and enjoy their work, but this idea seemed really cool.  However; I'd have to order one online.  They're pretty cheap, and they come with a pen with built-in glue stick, I just haven't convinced myself of it.  Mostly because I'm not artsy, cute, have tons of stickers, ribbons, and other stuff for making it totally my own.  I'm just boring and what would I do with it anyway?  My daughters would die for one though.

This is what I have for collecting quilt stuff:  Binders

I just hate looking over at ugly, bulky 3-ring binders full of stuff and wish I could make them look presentable.  Those are just a small sample of the binders I have.  It seems kind of silly to put lace, stickers, and other stuff on them for decoration.  Obviously none of this stuff would fit in a SMASH Book either.  I also hate that they don't lay flat.

So, how do you organize your patterns, classes, embroidery designs, and all the other items we quilters have?    


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

BOM Prices?

I was at my LQS getting red fabric and she mentioned a paper piecing class.  I wander over and if I remember right it's the "Glacier Star" pattern from Judy Niemeyer.  Pretty pattern until I looked at the price for the pattern set and realized it was 120 dollars discounted.  When I questioned it she proudly exclaimed that it was an exclusive pattern and only available for stores this year as a BOM.  Yeah..cause no one else outside a store will pay that price.  When I asked about fabrics, she said the background alone was 9 yards.  I had really hoped to take a class, but not like this and at such a high price.  

Out of curiosity I checked online for the pattern.  According to Judy's site, it's an exclusive pattern just for the stores but I found the pattern on other sites for around 60 dollars and a kit made up for another price.  Too bad I can't wander in with my 60 dollar pattern set when the class starts in a couple of weeks.  

Then I found another site that wanted 181 dollars up front to take this class and then get charged 33 dollars a month until the class is over.  No refunds.  It didn't say whether or not part of that was price was fabric.  I'm hoping this was paying for a teacher's time.

Just to be clear, I have no problem paying a teacher good money for her time in a class.  It's hard work and I know that.  What I don't like is being charged a fortune JUST for the pattern.

For other suspicious quilters out there, is there some of quilt Mafia for paid BOM's setting these outrageous pattern prices?   There are dozens of BOM beautiful quilts as I did some Google searching but I'm not about to pay double or triple for a what it should really cost for me to make it myself or even what I think a class should cost.

I just want to say thank you for those designers that make their BOM patterns reasonably priced, fun and entertaining.  There are so many talented ladies out there and you are truly loved and appreciated.  Don't stop doing what you love.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Years Resolution

I don't make resolutions or serious goals, but I do have this one:  I hereby plan to stay out of the ER forever.  Just bury me in the back yard.  It's cheaper.

I know the US has terrible health care problems even with insurance but the last straw was charging me 3000 dollars for a 5 minute CT scan and another 1000 dollars worth of charges for the bill totaling 4000 dollars.  I'm still responsible for 800 dollars of with insurance.  All for a burst ovarian cyst.

How to help the cost of health care?  Reduce the prices of tests, scans, and every single part that got suck in me that night.  It costs me 525 dollars just for showing up.  I don't know how much I've spent last year between a concussion, (I didn't bother with the second one) my left side going completely numb to the point of slurring and being confused, going to the ER for smoke inhalation and finally this.

Now to happier things:

I've been working on my "Red Christmas" appliqué some more.  It's looking better and better as I'm more skilled and it's been easier.  The pattern is emerging and will be truly beautiful.  Maybe I can get it done within my lifetime.

I'll do the circles between the flowers later.  It's been nice to sit next to DH while he watches TV at night.  We watched Russell Crowe's version of Robin Hood the other night.  It bombed at the theaters, but I really enjoyed it.  It's a prequel to the Robin Hood story we all know and that's probably why it bombed.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Ugghh.  Nothing is working right for a layout for "My Tweets".  EQ7 is useless.  I wonder if I should put white sashing around everything to make the blocks "float" with a blue border, the appliquéd border and blue binding.

Or put a blue border around the center panel, sew the blocks, add a blue border around the blocks, add the appliquéd border and bind with blue.

If I could lay it out visually via EQ7 for the math and how it looks, it be so much more helpful.

I just hate to cut down the blocks only to have them be to small.  My biggest problem is the 26 inch center block.  would it look bad if I sewed strips 2 inches on each side to make it what the pattern is, would it look "off" and be out of proportion?  If it was done in blue would it be out of proportion?

I wonder if I have graph paper somewhere in that organized chaos of bins and bags.  I thought I did and it was actually done by 4's to the inch making it that much more useful.