Saturday, 31 January 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - WIP

I cut all the bits and got to a point at which I knew the original design would make me crazy - it all looked like fried eggs - So I cut them circular and then realised that I wouldn't be able to do the units first then assemble the blocks because of getting a good mix and the limited amount of time and fabric - so I made the ground then played with the circles.....

Ironically one of these looks just like the chart you get in the Optician's office - the rest remind me that I have a mammogram very soon..... maybe it's on my mind....
It was a good day - we are now past the halfway mark of the holidays and a 3 hour stint in one of the big malls with a couple of friends and their children - culminating in 7 children and 6 adults eating lunch in surprising peace made it a good day.
Back to the FME before it turns midnight.

Friday, 30 January 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - Jan

I succumbed to the BQL Calender Challenge, I've resisted this new challenge for this year - until now - just tomorrow left to make the 12 inch piece - it's fused and pieced, a quickie if you don't count the quilting.
I have however resolved to use up a pack of KF shot plains I got many moons ago from my most disliked quilt shop, but the only shop that I could find that did this kind of pack. I will need some minor yardage - and am loathed to go to them or by KF anything - but may have to..... I pulled out some Oakshott fabrics for the ground of this quiltlet - which is similar to the ALQS piece - vaguely - it's got 'circles'. The Oakshott is a nicer weave - I may try and find a supplier for that, but let's see if I get it made for tomorrow night's deadline.....

Thursday, 29 January 2009


Every mom thinks she knows her kids.... we made pizza for Wednesday lunch - they asked for mushrooms, sucuk and olives. I 'made' these pizza bases by using soft tortillas on a baking sheet, then the general 'red sauce' that I make up in massive batches now and then. I cooked off the mushrooms and they assembled it all. Just a few minutes in the oven to melt the cheese. I was really quite surprised about how they made the pizzas.
We'd spent time doing their homework from school - these kids are 4.5 years - there is a whole book of colouring and other stuff to do -as well as some suggested activities and a 10 book suggested reading list (which they failed to give to any of the books stores - I've struggled to get hold of 3 books) they are on holiday for 2 weeks.
Back to the pizza....

T2's pizza - this is the boy who can't colour in the lines - I was knocked out by how 'pizza hut' he made the pizza......

Of course little Miss Neat - colours in the lines and randomly throws olives over her pizza - there was a mountain of cheese in the middle... I thought it would be the other way around -surprises....
Things are not always what they seem....

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Incoming mail

Snowmen from Sharon Z -

Europe Trade - Fish & Chips from Liz in ID, very neat, very unlike British f&c but great idea.

Europe Trade - French poodle from Karen in WI - very cute.
My postbox is empty now - I need to do something - it reached a glorious 20 degrees today and a couple of hours at the park with the littles and their friends. 4 days down, 12 to go....

Monday, 26 January 2009

Incoming mail

These 2 cards came on Saturday - Snowmen from Leah, and I loved that from Sharon - the fabric was once a scarf, that got washed in the washing machine and is deliciously softly felted. Day 3 of the littles' holiday - no one killed or sick today - made pasta necklaces and had a play date - only another 13 days to go......

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Constructing the continents

I joined a trade for 7 sets cards reflecting the continents - I wanted continuity through them all - so used the same blue and green fabrics, they feature the continents fabric on the reverse of the continent - except Antarctica.... that has lashings of net. I spent time today stitching the seas - lots of sea...... l to r - Africa, Australia and North America..... maybe they are too subtle - I like the idea of being a blue planet - or blue and green.... I hope they work together, it's all theoretical at the moment.
I found mail from yesterday in the postbox too - so something to post tomorrow if the littles consume me entirely. We're making pizza in the afternoon - I have promised - lets hope I survive....

Saturday, 24 January 2009


I finally finished off all of the Mingle cards for 2008 - this is November, and went to Heidi, fireworks for 2 reasons, Guy Fawkes / Bonfire night - and my birthday month.
I now have the continent series outstanding before I can say I have caught up, but they are cut and partially done.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Paris Aksesuar

I've spied this 'shop' many times on the way to the American Hospital in Nisantasi - This week I've been in the area twice and managed to figure out where the entrance is. This ribbon/trimmings shop is a whole floor of a big building, perhaps originally 2 or 4 small apartments, they have swathes of fur trims, boas, ribbons, glittery stuff - oh my - should I ever need a fancy collar or 'what-not' I know where to go. Hard to imagine this but I was so overwhelmed by the choices that I got NOTHING - I did need some white velvet ribbon, but completely forgot. The place is set out in small rooms, with shelves floor to ceiling, in front of each set of shelves is a metal frame on a sliding track with samples on it - some shelves have several frames - it's a great system as you can see all the stock, but way too much choice (this takes best haberdashers award off K Trimmings on Broadway in NY - better lighting and easier to see the stock....) Amazing - now I need to figure out what I 'need'.

The littles have 2 weeks of holiday starting today....

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Scrap Mosaic - finished

This is how it joins back together- there are also 2 cards made from all the ends - 27 cards - they went mainly to the Art2Mail G54.

Above and below from the main body of the mosaic.

This one was made from all the trimmings - it's SO thick and textural.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I took these Saturday on our jaunt out - this building is crumbling and facing the sea will no doubt fall down into a pile of dust at some point - isn't the detail lovely. I love this street, it has some great (shabby and not so shabby) buildings, too much traffic though to get people-less pictures at this time of year. Once upon a time this was the 'countryside' where folks would escape the heat of the city in summer and decamp to the seashores. Now it's just the outer reaches of the city.
No sewing today - chores and a trip to the PO to post a big pile of cards.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Japanese folded patchwork chair

I saw this chair earlier today in Nisantasi - it was made of heavy felt and a metal base - very neat.

No idea of the price!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Shaker Snowman

These cards were remarkably easy to make - once I had figured them out. Tutorial following this post. They'll got to the Artsnthemail group and my December mingle partner. It's a great method, I will use it again. Don't you love snow globes? Kitsch yes, but curiously addictive for some. A devil to photograph...

Shaker / Snowglobe Snowman Tutorial

This is how I made the cards, please feel free to use this technique - post a link back or a comment in the comments section if you make a card this way!

Find a suitable fabric for the background. Iron heavy weight stiffener to the back

Find suitable vinyl/plastic, I used the wrapper from a set of sheets, it needs to be flexible yet thick and stable. Mark a circle using indelible pen, that is a different colour to your background. I used a 3.5 inch circle. Then cut the piece of vinyl down, leaving a good inch around each side.

Find a object to put inside your snow globe, Iron on a fusible (I used bond-a-web) and cut it out.

Then use the cut out circle of vinyl to position the object on the background, remove the vinyl - iron on the object onto the background.

Pin the vinyl to the base, keeping away from the circle.

Using the drawn line as a guide for the edge of your presser foot, use a walking foot or Teflon coated foot and sew a line inside the circle using a long stitch length. Leave a good inch opening at the bottom - Essential!

Use a sharp pair of scissors to trim sewn the vinyl to 1/16th of an inch away from the stitching line. Leave the un-stitched base wider.

Using a wide satin stitch, center your foot on the straight stitching line and zig-zag over the raw vinyl edge, take care to set the stitch length to one that does not perforate the vinyl too much and cause it to fall off, I set my machine just over 1, which is slightly open, but solid enough to create a graphic line. The first line of stitching will keep everything 'in' so this is a decorative stitch. Do not close the bottom opening.

Now the fun bit, fill the pocket with shaky things. I used sequins, beads and some micro-beads. The only suggestion I have is that you add 2 or 3 items that have height. They will ensure that the pocket is not squished too much and all the other items will have space to shake about.
Shake all the contents to the top of the globe - away from the opening and stitch a straight line of stitching across the opening.

Cut out a base, this is 1 1/4inches wide, I just snipped it to fit. Use a glue stick to position it into place, taking care that you cover the opening fully and that you don't move the shaky bits into the base area. Use a satin stitch to sew this into place, again, this should not be a tight satin stitch as you don't want to totally perforate the vinyl.

Trim the final piece and finish as desired!


Saturday, 17 January 2009

Incoming mail

The Koala came from Karen B and the surfboards from Liz - both for the Australia swap.

This one is from Cynthia - it's a mingle card, I guess one of the summer ones - It must have come by the slow boat - I saw that she had posted it a long time ago - unfortunately with a 42c stamp. I didn't have to pay charges - though I am sure this one has really come by snail mail.

A regular Saturday here - chores, a visit to the supermarket, the vegetable market and then down to our local town. When we came back we found the street in front of our house all dug up - finally someone had come to fix the slow leak that's been there for the last month at least. They dug up a lot of street hunting for that - a joint that was split. They also repaired part of my neighbours supply too. They did cover it all up and put a layer of cement on top (unlike the electric company who are yet to come and fill their hole - I did dump a bag of coarse sand in it so it's not that bad) Will see what it looks like in the morning - of course T1 and T2 thought it was great. Baby put on her wellies for the first time and had a stamp outside too..... good news it's fixed though as it was becoming dangerous - the mornings are really cold and the street was becoming a skating rink with a thick layer of ice running down it.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Incoming mail

These two arrived yesterday - From Mary Ann, the tree, and Joyce - the snowman - who is cuter in real life - they'll get added to my Christmas decorations for next year. They are both A2M G54 Cards. Mine are nearly all done and will go out next week for sure - yeah.

Thursday, 15 January 2009


The littles get through an alarming amount of clothing - These embroideries were on pyjamas that they've grown out of, but really were not suitable to hand on to anyone...
So I cut off the embroidery, fused it to a backing fabric, using heavyweight (Ultra) Heat and Bond, I then put some heat and Bond vinyl (the matt one) on both sides. They were then trimmed and satin-stitched around - not too tight, but solid edges were created. Then my Crop-a-Dile finally got used for eyelets (I got it for punching holes in CD's - I had a plan..... once)
Hey presto - tags..... not sure where they'll get used, but they will.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


I've spent the day doing chores, just bits of stuff that needed doing, but the type of chores that look like you've done nothing all day long - this evening I started stitching the mosaic type piece that I fused with T1. I chopped it down as I stitched it - as it was unwieldy, then I did some dense stitching, I have more to go - I have a lot of 'low-grade' thread, stuff that I wouldn't piece with but is great for decorative use - so I want to use some of that up on these, a couple of spools at least! there should be 24 cards from the panel, it looks a little flat at the moment - I hope it peps it's self up without having to do a lot of hand work - T1 & T2 somewhat better today - thank goodness, but in the spirit of 4 year olds they have been very generously sharing their bugs (or microbes - in Turkish)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Tidying again

T1 & T2 decided that they wanted to go to school - so off they went. I stayed home waiting for school to call and tell me to come collect them - they didn't. They came back bushed - will see how they are tomorrow. I did however get to straighten out this cupboard into my nice shiny Ikea boxes - 36 boxes down - more to go....

Sunday, 11 January 2009

More of the same

T1 & T2 are still full to the brim of lurgy - please hope for healing miracles in our house tonight - I need them to go to school tomorrow..... badly.
I got this flier - don't you love photo-shop.
Bad news on the MIT front - there is no 'Season 3' just 5 outstanding episodes, oh no... I will speak to my entertainment manager about this - and set him the task of locating the missing episodes - apparently they've been shown in New Zealand (don't you love the Internet?)
I did start watching series 1 of Jon & Kate + 8 - anyone seen that? - my moms of twins group was discussing it - what's the deal with the paper plates? I haven't seen crockery - or cutlery for that matter at their dinner table.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Stir Crazy

T2 is now sick - more of the same - T1 is recovering, I am hoping baby doesn't get it.
T1 and I spent time in the 'office' whilst T2 was crashed out in a fever induced snooze and baby was napping. Of course she nabbed the camera, and took this shot. I have a washing line to hang stuff on - house and cat cards at the moment, a super cool calender from my SIL with my name on each page's pictures, photos and other lovely bits. The postcards - I do change them about - every now and then. This system works well - it's low-tech, the flowers are felt and have little pegs attached to their backs. We have a similar system downstairs in the conservatory for the kids drawings/birthday cards. There it's fabulous to hang wet paintings on..... and is considerably larger.

Yep the desk is a mess - but I can find everything and there no one here to nag me about being tidy! Tomorrow will be spent at home - no way they can go anywhere, I just hope they are well enough for school on Monday. Sadly, I got to the end of series 2 of MIT, must ask my entertainment manager to get hold of series 3...... or watch it all again.
Oh yep - I'm also a bit off, Ayhan Sicimoğlu is playing here tonight - I would so like to go.....

Friday, 9 January 2009


It snowed last night - this was our road into town - the road clear but the snow balanced on the trees like some affront at Newtons laws. When we came back some 5 hours later, it was nearly all melted. It was magical - almost too perfect, pity we couldn't stop and enjoy it.
T1 spent the day at the Dr, then getting chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasounds and then the cherry on the cake, being persuaded to have blood pulled. She's not good, but figuring out why is a different kettle of fish - yes a 'heavy cold' but what else - Dr is expecting a rash or something like in the next 48 hours, at least we've ruled out pneumonia and appendicitis for the time being.

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