Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Day of 2013

I realized I haven't written in a long time here.  I haven't done a lot of quilting/piecing because it hurts my back so much.  Paper stuff doesn't hurt so I've been doing more of that.  I was planning on finishing up this quilt top today but now I can't find it.  I took apart my closet, rummaged through the basement stash and nothing.  Even this hurt to cut out strips and sew so I'm not sure what to do.

This is a Kathy Orta mini album project.  This was a PITA to put together and I'll never do it again.  It's still not done.  My Cameo cut out the skeleton/spiderweb beautifully and fits perfectly with the box decor.  Kathy used Tim Holtz's stuff but I found most of it gaudy and did  my own thing.

It opens up like a desk with two panels.  This one is the bottom with two mini albums:

How the box folds out:

I happened to look at my cycling goal of 50 miles.  Didn't happen.  30 is the most I can do on a bike at the moment.  However; I didn't have to go to the hospital for any of the cycling accidents I did have.

According to Strava I have ridden 779 miles this year so even though I never made a 50 mile trip I've put in a lot of mileage.  Part of me wishes I could do the "Gravel Grinder" ride but that's 150 miles and given my speed would be at least a 15 hour day.  Three hours is the max I've been able to do.

I figure 2014's goal is to do 40 miles.  That's four hours on a bike..LOL.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tim Holtz "Lost and Found" Mini Book

I did this album from Kathy Orta's tutorial on YouTube.  It was working great until I went to bind the book.  She had put holes in her covers and bound the book with chain.  I don't have a fancy thingy that does holes so I figured I'd do it the old fashioned way.  Well, her way of putting the bags together wasn't meant for it and I messed up.  Of course I've used Scor-Tape and there's no fixing it now.

It's not a huge thing, but the last page doesn't attach to the book very well, and it's off center.  Just like in quilting, make it a happy mistake right?

Speaking of quilting, I asked Graphic 45 if they would do a paper line with quilting themes.  I got a response back and she had said the idea was great and had forwarded it on to the design department.  Fingers crossed they do it.

Here's the cover:

One of the pages:

Flip wallet that still needs finishing:

I still need to finish up all the extras as she had more stuff to put in but it looks great!  While in JoAnns my youngest went nuts over Tim Holtz's stuff.  She was pulling out everything to match with these papers.  I'm still not sure I'm into the grunge stuff and my only complaint is all his papers look alike.  As a quilter, color is everything and having a mixture of darks and lights sets off a quilt and the paper.  If you were to take a grayscale picture of his paper, it would all look the same.

Now to put covers on my other books and hope they work out.  It's like binding a quilt and I suck at binding..LOL.

Only thing I really need are magnets and those are hard to find.  I need the 1/4 inch really thin ones and Amazon and a lot of stores are out.  They need to hold down paper so Wally World and the craft world ones don't work.  Great for refrigerators, not for paper.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Graphic 45 "French Country"..LOVE IT

My Graphic 45 "French Country" paper came yesterday!  What gorgeous paper and I'd love to see this in fabric.  I've got two projects I want to make with the paper and hoping I can do both with the 12x12, 8x8 and the 6x6.

Will put some pictures up soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Graphic 45 "Place in Time" Mini Album

I thought I'd ordered "Ladies Diary" from Amazon.com but "Place in Time" came in the box.  This is my first Graphic 45 paper pad and my first thought was, "Ewwww, what ugly paper" and then to my horror realized that there was only one page of each design instead of two.  How in the world do you do a mini album with this?  In fact, I emailed Graphic 45 and expressed my displeasure in this paper and that I probably wouldn't purchase anything from like this again.

I received a very sweet response a few minutes later explaining how the "Place in Time" paper worked and that there is no way they could have done 2 sheets of each paper without making it very expensive.  and that hopefully I would find another paper pad that I'd like at some point in time.

Hubby said to keep the paper instead of sending it back to Amazon.com saying that I'd find something to do with it.

I did a search of "Place in Time" via YouTube and found a couple of ladies that had a challenge to only use the 8x8 pad of this paper and watched them.  This album is based off of those ladies with some of my own ideas.  While it's not my favorite pad, the album is turning out far more fabulous than I could ever dream of.  In fact I have "French Country" paper coming on Tuesday and can't wait to get it.  The paper is high quality, cuts beautifully and the tags make any project so much more interesting.

I've used really heavy paper (110?) as the base pages.  Right now everything is just taped and not glued in place so I can change my mind.  I've used most of the cut outs.  Each page has a calendar accordion/fold out that has been tied with a bow, a magnetic page with the month and tag (upper right corner), two tags that fit in the pocket along the band and a postcard that sits under the month tag.  The post cards and the calendar fold out keeps sliding out and I'm not sure how to fix it.  The belly band in the center isn't enough and creating a stopper isn't working either.  It's still a work in progress and I have no clue how to bind it because it's so thick and worry that paper binding won't hold up.


February and March:

April and May:

June and July

August and September

October and November


Tag between the pages for more photos:

"Black Currant" DCWV Paper Mini Album

I've also been working on this album.  It's from a tutorial from Annes Paper Creations and done off of her Graphic 45 "Olde Curiosity Shoppe" book.  She's amazing at creating details, fussy cutting and creating little surprise openings.  I've had to do some serious creativity to make mine as dynamic.  It's not even close, but I'm learning.

These are the front pages.  Each page opens up to create more pages.  I'd almost have to do a YouTube video to show it all.  First page at the top left has a magnetic opening.

This is the open page with a booklet, a photo mat and a photo booklet w/magnet closure.
This is the back of page 1.  You can pull the flower tab at the top of the frame and get another frame underneath.

Then the side flips out like this:

Another page with a booklet and a photo mat

Another page where the frame's flowers pull out for journaling

Another booklet that comes out of another page.

I didn't get pictures of everything and still am working on it.  I've cut the flowers, tags and the frame out with my Cameo.  The hardest part is getting the black paper to cut.  Some brands are "softer" than others and rip apart when the blade cuts.  

Large Gatefold "Mini" Album with Bella Bohemia Paper

After finding out that a lady in town sells Stampin' Up products, I asked if I could see what papers they had.  I've been searching for weeks for paper to make the long tags on the sides and nothing matches.  I was so excited when she had paper that matched perfectly.  I have no clue how to bind and do the chipboard though.  I don't have a fancy tool to create holes for the front and since the album is 12x12, I'm not even sure how to cover it.

This is the first page.  You can see the yellow tags that match so well and the inside red tags.

Another page is like this:  The top squares flip up.

Another page:

Another page:

I have one 12x12 piece of chipboard for the back and two 6x12 pieces for the front.  The pages are done with 6x12 pieces.  I just don't know how to do it and make it look nice.  LOVE this paper though.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Butterfly Get Well Card

I made my first card..wait it was my second because I made on for hubby on Valentine's Day and it came out stunning.  I used an idea from DarleneDesign.com and used my Cameo and digital paper to make it.  She used glitter for the butterflies, but given that inkjet printer isn't water proof, I think I would have ended up with a mess.  I'd have to use glitter paper and I don't have any.

I haven't ridden a bike in a week or so.  I hurt my back doing dishes and have been out of commission since then.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hills and More Hills

One of my friends who has a fat bike just finished Gravel Worlds, a 150 mile bike race and had a great time.  I was really envious that she could do 150 miles so easily..if you call winds of 30mph and 100 degree heat easy.  I've always struggled with cycling speed and distance.  Some of it is I can't/don't get out as often as I should and my back always gives out about 2 hours in.  I love riding, but maybe I'm just not cut out for miles and hours in the saddle.  Add in asthma/breathing issues, my anxiety of being left stranded out in the middle of nowhere and it gets hard.

Another guy had a blog post about his 150 trip.  Sounds like he had a great time as well.  Even he has me wondering if I should try for next year.  Even if I don't make it the 150 miles, at least I tried.

Strava had a challenge of finding new areas of exploring while riding last month or the month before and then an elevation challenge.  I've been taking more of the back areas of the gravel rural roads and am finding the views spectacular and the hills more challenging but but totally worth it once you get to the top.   I know this part of Nebraska is truly beautiful and exploring has been far more fun than just simply riding and the elevation challenge has helped get up the hills.  

I finally made it up a hill thinking I was going to die and looked around.  It was a nice surprise to see horses grazing in the field and spent a couple of minutes resting before heading home.

I've also been taking out my Ridley on the back roads.  LOVE my Ridley cross bike and even hit 30 mph going down a hill while sliding through the gravel.  Talk about a total adrenaline rush; however getting back up that same hill had me exhausted.

Blogger is throwing fits about posting any pictures, so I'm done with this post.  



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Paper Instead of Fabric

It's been a while.  Just been doing other stuff with my Cameo.  I'm not done quilting, I just have been feeling "off" with it.

Here's the "Maple Manor" from SVGcuts that I made with my cameo and digital paper.  Absolutely adore the skull paper that I purchased.  Digital paper is great because you can just print it out and then the machine cuts around it.  No waste of paper and you can find what you want, not what the paper manufacturers think you want.  I used white ink to go around the edges to make it look spookier.  Love this file and it was easy to make.  All those shutters were a pain to glue down though.  Totally worth the hard work!

SVGcuts also had a shoe contest and gave us a free download to make a high heeled shoe.  There's something sexy about red heels and have always wanted a pair.  High heels and I don't work well so having one of my own in paper is good enough.  This was a PITA to put together especially the heel part.  I made it work though and it come out really nice.

Last project was working the sketch portion of the Designer Edition Software for the Cameo.  This is a cool feature where you can draw out stuff with their pens if they happen to work that day.  I'm saving up for a pen holder that uses different pens.  This was done with the silver pen doing cross hatches through out the design.  Way cool.

I went to JoAnn's last night and picked up a rotary blade that makes curves for a quilting kit so I haven't given up on quilting.  Good thing it was 40% off because 15 dollars for one stupid blade is stupid ridiculous.

Still cycling but nothing fancy to talk about.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

YES! 20 Miles in 1.5 Hours!!

I did it!  20 miles in 1.5 hours!  YES!  I've been poking along for a couple of years dragging around at 10-12 mph.

After going on a my first group "no drop casual ride" on Monday that turned out to be roadies w/5000 dollar bikes and going 17-20 mph and having to turn back after a few miles, I was so disappointed I headed back to the car going top speed.  When I checked my Strava results I'd been going pretty fast and wondered if I could do it again.

Yesterday I was determined to to it again and wasn't stopping for anything.  I told myself I wasn't doing anything less than 12mph and no more than 15mph and came out with this:  

Screw roadies..LOL.  My bike is a cross bike and I have no desire to look anorexic and live off of supplements to race.  Don't get me wrong.  After Monday's ride and seeing what these guys can do, I'm impressed.  There is an art form to watching 15 guys gracefully go down the road at high speed.  I just can't live that way.  Give me my Muk and my cross bike, some open roads or a mountain bike trail and I'm good to go.

If you want to ride a bike, go ride one.  You don't have to be a professional or even race if don't want too.  Find some local trails, get a bike and ride.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Cabin Paws" Pattern by MH Designs

I fell in love with paper piecing pattern a few years ago but never got around to doing it.  The one thing I hate about this pattern after I opened it is that she has you cut different fabric widths but doesn't tell you which width goes with what block pieces.  Ughh.  I'm really sick of badly written directions on patterns as this the 3rd purchased pattern in a row I've had to deal with this problem.

Anyway, here's the first block done out of the four.  It measures under 6 inches and I need 4 of them plus the half square pieced border.  I hope I have enough fabric for this as I'll never find it again.

Daughter's Minecraft Pillow

As I was perusing through quilterblogs.com, I came across a Minecraft Creeper pillow that someone had made for her son.  My daughter who LOVES Minecraft, happened to see it and wanted one as well.  I can't find the lady's post, but I can't claim credit for the pattern since I copied hers from the picture she had.

My daughter made this all by herself.  She cut and pieced the block and I may have a quilter in the family.  She loved using the sewing machine and towards the end was confidently sewing a 1/4 inch seam.  I started out by using a hera marker and ruler to make a guide for the needle to follow.  

She still needs to stuff it and my understanding is that Creepers make some "Ssssss" noise before they get you so the label on the back will have that.  I'm really proud of her and hope she loves the pillow once it's done.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Quarter Century Bike Ride

Did my first sponsored bike ride on Saturday.  We all got tags for our bikes and headed out for the 25 mile ride.   Truthfully the ride pretty much killed me emotionally and physically.  I thought I'd have a great time and I was so exhausted and frustrated afterwards it hurt.  It was 90 degrees with head winds up to 30mph and I was nearly dead when we reached the halfway point.  I almost wanted to dump my bike in the back of the truck, start crying, and have them drag me back to the starting point in shame.

My friend convinced me to head back as now we'd have a tailwind but by mile 15 my left arm was killing me and had to keep stopping to rest.  Everyone was passing us and even though it wasn't a race, I just felt like a failure.  My mountain bike shorts were digging into my waist around mile 17 adding to the discomfort as well.  We finally made it back to the beginning and headed into the bar for the food being provided.

For making it 25 miles we all got our t-shirts that I can proudly say I earned and I love it:

Will I do a ride like this again?  I don't know.  But, if you have a chance to do a ride, do it.  I don't regret it and I learned a lot about myself.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Treasures and Pen Sketches

I'm still alive.  I finally said "screw it" to my mini album and put everything up.  I feel so much better.  I'll send it out to my mom next Wednesday.

I want to thank Judy from "Knit Quilt SpinWeave" for sending me a gorgeous woven bookmark that she made.  It's beautifully done and I'll treasure it forever.  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to put up a post about it.  There are so many talented women/men out in blogland and I love seeing what others do.

I pulled out my Cameo and figured I'd try something new instead of fighting a mini album.  I've always wanted to try the "Sketch" feature on Designer Studio and found a great tutorial on tricking Studio into doing small crosshatching.  I traced in the design, did the cross hatching and had the Cameo draw it out with their pen so the design looked filled in.  I killed the pen's ink supply with this design.  I need to find a pen holder from someone that uses regular pens.  I know Amy Chomas does so I may order one from her.  I still can't believe how intricate the design came out.  I love it!  If you don't look close enough you won't notice where pen decided not to work.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Paper Bag Mini Albums

While I haven't been quilting, I've been working on this project; a paper bag mini album.  I've discovered I'm a quilter, not a crafter.  I don't have punches, inks, paper, card stock, rhinestones, glitter and all the other stuff that goes with this and you really need it with this project.  It took me several days just to figure out which colors I wanted on each page.  Maybe I just need to make or buy a card for my mom.     

The plan was to make one for Mother's Day but I'm at a loss.  I don't take pictures.  I don't have ribbons and buttons, lace and flowers.  Here's what I have so far:  I've managed to stress ink the main pages and have them in the book.  The pages fold out for more space and in the paper bag you can add another page.  Arghhh...filling all these pages is going to be a nightmare.  If I had the money I know exactly what I'd do and have it done and over with.  I actually love the album.  It was super easy to do.  It's filling it up that's killing me.  

From my Cameo and a design from Lori Whitlock I made this:  I love it, but don't know how to fill it up either.

Now that the weather has warmed up some, I can get out and start riding.  Love my Ridley so far.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Paper Towels And Paper Roses

After wanting to toss my log cabin back into the closet I realized what my problem has been since I started; having to stop and lay out each block again once I'm done sewing one block.  Duh.  If I could stack a ton of blocks together and go through a pile at a time, it would be so much easier.

I took a paper towel, laid out all the pieces, put another towel on top of it, set up another block, and had a stack going.  It was SO much easier.  The paper towels were great as the fabric stuck to it and it was easy to pull the fabric off.  If you have a block with lots of itty bitty pieces, paper towels are totally awesome for keeping them in place.    

While going through the MTC forum a lady gave a link to an awesome blog that had gorgeous paper roses.  She had done PDFs of them for easy cutting.  The PDF includes the color backing so your rose is the same color on the bottom.  Here's the link "The Elli Blog"

Here's the one I made:  It was SO easy and they come out gorgeous.  You'd never know it was just printer paper.

The Silhouette Store is having a sale of their files for 50 cents.  I fell in love with the bird house and designed this one.  It still needs the perches.  I'll cut those out tomorrow.  It's just so bright and cheery.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

AD (After Death) Log Cabin Quilt

I pulled out my AD (after death) quilt and started working on it again.  I finally had to consider that if I want it done before I die (given my bike record that may be sooner than later) I need to make it a lap quilt.  I've started working on the pink border.  Then I need to never do a log cabin again.  I hate them.


After taking my bike to the LBS to get checked out, the guy told me she's just fine and no problems.  Got to hand it to Ridley for making this bike bombproof though.

I did 6 miles the other day with my X-BOW and worked on handling skills.  I've figured out that because I don't have vision on the top right corners of my eyes, that my brain has a hard time comprehending corners/turns.  I had to spend some time retraining my brain that it's okay and the turn/corner is safe.

I still ride like I'm drunk which is frustrating despite working on it.  You see people out there riding in a perfect line.  I don't plan on racing, but I'd like not look so drunk.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What's In Your Bucket List?

I take my brand new shiny bike out and end up 20 feet down a ravine after the tires got caught between the slats of a bridge and dumped me down the side.  Bike appears to be fine but I'm pretty beat up and sore.  At least I've crossed off the "drop off the side of a bridge on a bike and survive" on my bucket list.  Where's a helmet cam and a buddy behind you recording it when you need one? 

I swear I don't have a death wish and I'm not trying to be a stuntwoman.  I was just crossing the wooden bridge out the main road.  I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't be on a bike after this.  I've given it three years and maybe it's not for me.  Doing some serious soul searching now as this makes the third accident I probably shouldn't have been able to walk away from.  

The drop bars slammed up into my chest on the way down and my upper body took the rest of the fall as I was bent over the bike going down.  At least today it doesn't hurt to breathe.  Hubby said not to sell anything or do anything rash until I get better and give it a couple of weeks to heal up.

Hopefully I'll be feeling better in a couple of more days.      




Friday, April 12, 2013

She's here!  She's here!  Just look at her!  Even if you don't get into bikes, it's okay..look anyway..

She's a 2013 Ridley X-BOW and light as a feather!  Okay..maybe not to a weight weenie, but it's a heck of a lot lighter than my fat bike.  I'd actually gone into a LBS to get a 29er set up for my Muk after selling my Fargo.  I knew it would cost 500-600 dollars and realized I couldn't do it.  What I wanted was a lighter bike to ride the roads.

First LBS had a 2012 Kona "Jake the Snake" in a 56 but it felt so big and stretched out but the components were Ultregra and the price was really hard to beat.  I didn't have enough money at the time and figured I could save up for it.  I sold several things and finally had enough to buy it yesterday.  

I went online and checked out the geometry of the "Jake the Snake".  It really was a large bike.  I had also looked at a Surly Cross Check but after my Fargo I have no desire to deal with bar end shifters.  It had better geometry and that's why it felt more comfortable.  

I knew I didn't want a Trek or a Specialized bike and Salsa pretty much starts out at 2000 when I looked at their bikes.  Surly bikes have crappy components for their high prices and most have bar end shifters.

When I did a search for bike shops in Lincoln a store I'd never heard of popped up so I figured I'd go check it out.  After some test rides and swallowing the over-priced Ridley bike with only Tiagra components I realized it fit the best out of all the bikes I've tried.  And yes, I just complained about high priced bikes in the paragraph above.       

It's been a couple of years since I've had a road style bike and after today's ride of only 5 miles I'm hobbling around in pain.  It's not a plush comfy fat bike for sure.  I had to go back home after three blocks to get my padded shorts. 

I'm still concerned about the fit and it's the drop bars/stem combo that are driving me nuts.  The drop bars just feel to far away from the bike via the stem, but the reach to get to the hoods even if the stem was shortened would still be hard.  I hope I didn't get the wrong size bike.  I felt if I went to a smaller frame, I'd be cramped and still not be able to reach the hoods/shifters with my knees into my chest.  I'm wondering if I have a long torso but short arms and my hands are small.  

Do they make WSD drop bars?  My Woodchipper bars were perfect and I may have to save up for another one but I don't know if they would change the handling of the bike.   

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Bikes, Machines, and Tiles

Better option for Google Reader since Google is being stupid?  Where is everyone heading?

Only sewing/quilting news is that I sold my Janome 350e on Saturday to a bike gang to make patches.  Huge bald guy shows up at my house, I give him a quick overview of the machine and he leaves with it.  Somehow the thought of these tough looking guys learning to work an embroidery machine had me falling over with laughter after he left.

I've done more messing around with my Cameo than with my sewing machine.  The MTC forum has been doing 3-D cards and while I didn't design the piano card, it was cool to cut it out with the Cameo.

I designed this with the Studio software and my hubby LOVES it.  It took a few days to get it right, but it was a lot of fun to make.  It looks a little bare, but hubby liked it that way.  I would love to sell tiles like this for others.  Or the monogram ones as well.  I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.


I went into my LBS on Saturday thinking about buying a 29er wheel set for my Muk after selling my Fargo and embroidery machine.  It would be great to have mountain bike tires for the summer and keep the stock set for the road.  For about 500-600 I could have a summer set.  Ouch..but I knew it would cost that much.

Since I'd sold the Fargo, I wondered if a new or "new to me" bike was really what I needed so I started looking around.   Over in the back corner one caught my eye, a "Jake the Snake" cyclocross bike.  Guy let me take it out and it was bike lust.  Despite what I'd made with both sales, the bike wasn't affordable and need 300 more to buy it.  I put my Cricut and Go! Cutter up for sale on CL and put posts on the local grocery store bulletin board.  I'd sell them via Ebay or even here, but I can't find boxes that work where I live.  If you live in Lincoln, Omaha or surrounding area, happy to sell it to you though.  Also selling my Topaz 30 machine on CL.  Again, I don't have the boxes and I'd need two boxes for the Topaz.  If that sold, I could get whatever bike I wanted..LOL.