Sunday, January 30, 2011

Three weeks and counting:

Oh my, it’s the end of January and I feel like I am behind already. I should have at least thee things completed and a start on finishing my fourth. OK here’s my second item. From the before photo you might be wondering what’s to finish since they are already packaged but if you look at the one in the middle you’ll see the difference.
Needle Nabbers Photo

I have these little flowers for sale in my online shop and also at a local quilt store, Kilauea Kreations, that is popular with the tourists. Well the owner of the store mentioned to me that people were finding them to be a little on the tipsy side. Now we don’t want that to happen, do we! She showed me how she had glued a piece of round cardboard to my sample and it was stabilized.

Completed needle nabbers photo
Well I couldn’t settle for a piece of raw cardboard so I had to put my thinking cap on. I found some wood circles, painted them to match the flowerpot but that still wasn’t good enough for me. So I decided to crochet some little doilies to top the wood circles. That solved the stability problem. Now however I ran out of the paint I was using and found that none of the local stores were going to carry that brand of spray paint so I was back to thinking again. I did find some of the paint while on vacation in Texas on clearance so I purchased what the store had left and stored it with my son. I knew I wasn’t suppose to carry it on the plane back home. So I still needed a temporary solution. I considered sending the wood circles to my son, have him paint them and then send them back to me. But I really didn’t want to wait and they were earmark as a need to complete project. So then I decided to try painting them to match the doilies and flower colors. That worked! So these are ready and will be going out as gifts soon.

Unfinished white button bracelet photo
Finished white button bracelet photo
Next I decided to finish one of my crocheted cuffs with buttons. That went quick although I did have to “scrounge” through my buttons to find some more creamy white ones that would work. Going through my buttons is always a tempting process that often gets me sidetracked onto another project. I resisted this time though and was able to finish the cuff.

Now on to my next project. I received a phone call from the same quilt store requesting that I send them some more of my Needle Candies as they had sold out of them and all they had left was the sample. Wow! Then I realized that I had some already started from 2010 so they would work in perfectly. However as I was working on them (I need to make a dozen) I attempted to make a change to the little holders that I made from fabric. The stiffener I used dulled the fabric somewhat and I wanted to try and brighten them up a bit. I also wanted to add a little protection to them so I brushed them with some gloss medium and shellac. But I put too much on and they became cloudy instead of bright and shiny. So now I had to make some more from scratch. This time I’ll use a smaller brush and just do one as a test. Yes, I did all twelve the first time! I’m still working on these but hope to have them finished and in the mail to the store by Tuesday at the latest.
Needle Candies started photo

You’ll notice I’ve added a slide show to show some of the UFO projects I’ve located while trying to clean and organize my crafting space. Not up to 52 yet but getting close. And actually I could list some that are now grouped together as individual projects. I decided to group some of them because I was stumped on how to do the next step so as I work on those I’ll let you know what had me stumped and hopefully how I solved the problem and moved on.

Happy stitching!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 A Year of Finishing, A Year of New Beginnings

recycling with glade freshener bottles This is really nothing new for me but a friend on Etsy who blogs as Fabric Fascinations issued a challenge to all of us starters who don’t always finish. The challenge - each week finish something we’ve already started. She encourages us to photo it in progress and then completed. Posting to our blog or flickr account or facebook will help up with accountability and encouragement.

I’m going to give it a go. I’ve tried this on my own before and had mild success for awhile. I thought maybe putting myself out there with others might be the trick. If it works I’ll have at least 52 completed projects. They can be anything that has a beginning and an end. Most of mine I think will be items either for my shop, myself, or for others. Some will take longer than others to accomplish but I hope to post at least once a week. Some weeks may only be in progress items and some weeks my have multiple finishes. But the goal is to finish the year with 52 items that were started prior to 2011 and completed in 2011.

Do I have 52 uncompleted items you ask? Oh yeah and then some! I’m not sure if I can round up all 52 projects immediately but I know they are there. It would be kind of interesting though to post all 52 in the state they are at now and then move them to a completed section as they get finished. We’ll see. Hmmmmmm - could that be a project?

One added bonus to this is I will need to post at least once a week to my blog and keep it active. Not like 2010 where it wilted in July! And yes I still have more hints and tips to post.

One final note for today it might be interesting to see how the 1st half of the year compares to the second half as I plan to retire from my full time job the 1st of July.

And I do know that I’m getting a late start on this. The above was actually written out on our way back from a nice vacation in Texas. One item I thought I would complete was stuck in my suitcase that was delayed. Another item I considered I remembered that I needed to find the scraps of fabric I was going to use as the binding and even if I did find them my sewing machine was still in the shop for servicing. And on it goes. I know excuses, excuses! But I did remember these sweet vases I had started and never finished so they are my first item (three of them, can that count for three items?). They were hand crocheted around the empty glade bottles. I just needed to finish the ends, starch the ruffles at the top and make the flowers. They will be listed in my Etsy shop soon. I love to recycle items. These bottles have been in my stash for awhile but it was just recently that I got the idea to crochet around them. crochet mini vases with yoyo button flowers

And so we begin 2011 the year of finishings and of new beginnings!

Happy stitching!