Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pen Fetish

Yep, it's kind of a sickness. The hubs would probably like me to hunt down a 12 step program for my addiction.

A new batch just showed up yesterday and today. I haven't opened the bottled ink yet, let's hope that doesn't get out of hand too. LOL Poppy, Sunset and Peacock...they are going to be soooooo pretty.


My fountain pens
The only really new one is the Lamy Safari in the limited edition of dark lilac.
I have several of the Pilot Penmanship, all filled with different colors.


The brand spankin' new gel pens

I gave one away to another aficionado before I got a picture, but a writing sample is on the left. (Hi-Tec-C .3 in green)

One of my goals for 2016 was to improve my penmanship. Is it legible? Yes. I write clearly but not as consistently as I would like. My "s" are three different shapes, two kind of "z", my slant is allllll over the place. I practiced a lot earlier this year, but I let it slip as the weather got better.

I have been on the hunt for pen nirvana, these are fun and the signo .28 and the hi-tec-c .4 are dang close. I wouldn't mind trying an italic nib for the fountain pens; I do like to write a little smaller than a wide nib would allow, but I do think writing like a monk could be fun. LOL

Got this for my birthday......really haven't cracked it open yet. The thought of specific practice exercises is not thrilling me, but I do know it's the only way to really get better.


Still sewing, or at least trying to fit it into my schedule. My sewing room has been a kitty hospital for a month now so I pulled out a machine and plopped  it on the dining room table. I have two projects that really need my attention.

The Grand has been over a lot lately and I loves me some gram gram time. Wouldn't mind a second grand showing up. Yep, that could be tiring, but fun.

Up next, finish losing the holiday weight, a few summer dresses for me and a skirt or two for the MIL, and, sssshhhhhhh, don't tell the hubs, trying some high end paper. I hear claire fountaine and rhodia are really great for fountain pens.

I bought all my pens and inks at these two sites. I did try to find them locally first, but there just aren't any good stationary stores close to me. 


What's got your wallet???

Monday, May 16, 2016

A little something

For the DIL who is just learning to sew. She has my little janome and I bought her some good scissors and needles and I made her a pincushion...all for mother's day.


It's the pattern that came in my Sweetwater box. Denim and a scrap of one of my favorite fabrics and the last of the twill tape. I am pretty sure I like hers better than I do mine. LOL

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Place for everything

And everything in it's place.

Juki update. All the goodies came in a zip top baggy. I just couldn't handle that at all.

I hunted for a container that would hold everything. I finally found one at Michael's in the jewelry area.

  • Smallish...check
  • adjustable...check
  • sturdy...check
  • under $5.00 bucks...check


It all fit, but not comfortably. That darn screwdriver was giving me a little trouble.

Sooooooooo, I got a beater screwdriver from the garage, heated it up and melted a little spot for it


Now it fits perfectly.

And closes nicely.

Ahhhhhhhh....

I still need a table for the big girl, but her stuff in all in order and ready to go.

How do you keep your machine accessories organised?
Are you a zip top bag person or do you need a bit more separation?


Monday, April 25, 2016

Island Living

It's not what you think. I wish I was on a semi tropical island in a home with a large sewing room with an ocean view. My little room has a nice view, but no ocean breezes. LOL

Nope, the last piece of the kitchen redo is finally in place. The Island. We've been using an old book shelf with a piece of old laminate flooring as the top for several months. Hmmm, do I have a pic?
Anyhoooo, the hubs and I couldn't find a ready-made one that fit our needs and didn't cost a big chunk of change - so, he built one.

The wood is 100 years old from an old garage door in Berkeley. It's was already reddish, but I really wanted barn red. We watered down some Benjamin Moore 'burnt peanut red' and it's perfect.

The top, that was a pain in the rear. I wanted stainless steel (first choice) or butcher block..the hubs, more wood planks. that would've been picture perfect, but not very sanitary...ew.
We finally found someone who wasn't going to charge us $450.00 for a top. We are talking 20" by 54"....not big at all. Some left over steel from a job, a friend that does steel work, and a long wait until he could fit it into his schedule...the top is finally done.

It is, for me, perfection. We already have our first scratches so I can now be all carefree when I use it. LOL


A few pics........


I am so glad he left all the history intact.

Both side views. Complete with a custom area for the garbage can. 
Yes, I now need a red garbage can.



The hubs just had to make it more elegant. I wanted it all blocky and rustic.
It grew on me, but I was not happy with the executive decision at the time, trust me.


 At work. 

It fits our space and our needs perfectly. The hubs is definitely a keeper.
Yep, pinterest worthy.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Project Sweetwater Volume II

Sweetwater Fabric  has a new thing. Project boxes. It is replacing their monthly label crew. Looks like these will be a quarterly thing, but this is only box number 2, so who knows.

This one uses 'Mama Said Sew Volume II'. Love this color palette.

Here's a peek and what you get, plus the link above will give you more info.


First glance. There is laffy taffy in that little baggy.
It comes with MORE than enough fabric for the 6 projects (color patterns on card stock included), the trims and little extras too. No batting, but we all have scraps of that stuff layin' around, am I right?



I completed 3 of the projects.



Project number 4 is all cut out and ready to go. 
It's teeny. It's tiny. 
It's going to be a 16.5 x 16.5 spool quilt.


I wasn't kidding when I said teeny, tiny.

Lily was not helpful.

I already pre-ordered the next one.Project sweetwater solids. So far I love everything in this box and the sneak peek from the next one looks fab.

If you love little projects and a little gift giving (or keeping lol), this is a win win of a buy.

Now to sew those micro squares together. Wish me luck!!


Monday, April 18, 2016

'Juki TL-2200qvp Mini' Review


Happy Anniversary to me!!! 28 years and counting with the hubs. We don't usually exchange gifts, but this year we went nuts. He got some toys and I got some toys. This is my one of my new toys.

A brand, spankin' new Juki TL-2200qvp Mini.  It's pretty much the TL-2010, but with new colors and a few extras.



Here she is. New machine still in the box smell. Ahhhhh


First look. Yep, a knee lift


All kinds of notions. 9 feet in total
New....a guide for the walking foot


All the Free motion feet..New...the open toed one.
For those that turn their machine, you can get a sideways open toe foot optionally


There she is, sans extension table. Huge extension table


A little goofin. The light is bright, but it needs to be all the way around. 
Yes, I will be adding some light


More play to see the stitch quality and get a feel for this puppy



Also new, a real quarter inch foot, not just the 7mm compensating foot


Yep, a scant quarter

Walking foot with guide. It's not a quiet foot, just saying. 
My Bernina 440qe has a quieter walking foot.
This foot edge is a quarter inch....how awesome is that?


Guide time...pretty accurate


 I actually used it to bind a quilt. I used its cousin, a tl-2010 to quilt.
Like buttah


All in all, I am quite pleased with this machine.

Pros:
  •  a ton of feet
  • deep and tall harp space
  • quiet machine
  • good foot pedal response, no jaggy, jumpiness..smooth as can be
  • faster than spit
  • reasonably priced compared to other quilting machines, especially computerized, multi stitchers 
  • thread cutter....oh my! It is fab...really fab. How did I ever live without it?
  • thread cutter activated by foot pedal
  • pow er full
Cons:
  • cutter and walking foot loud
  • only stops with the needle down...I wish I could control that, but this is a mechanical machine
  • light has shadows on the wrong side
  • Thread cutter activated by foot pedal..yes, pro and con (thankfully, comes with a piece to stop that function)
  • more frequent oiling (so easy)
  • heavyish
  • I don't yet have a table for her

    The cons are, by no means, deal breakers. The only time I dislike the foot pedal thread cutter is when I am free motion quilting and I accidentally cut the threads when I don't mean too. Pain in the patootie. I suppose with time I could overcome this, but I just put the little rubber thingy on the foot pedal and no more booboos. Take it off for regular sewing and I can cut with my heel again.. Takes all of 30 seconds. :-)

    Is it an elegant machine? All little bit yes and a little bit no.. Is it my end all be all of a sewing machine? 
    Darn close, but not quite.

    All machines should have foot attaching like a Bernina and a builtin walking foot like the Pfaff, a tall, 12" harp space, great lighting, the power of the juki and not cost the same as a good used car....a girl can dream, right? LOL Oh, and a low bobbin warning...seriously.

    Will I get rid of my Bernina and my Janome Gem? (and my featherweight, my serger, my cover stitcher, my singer 185)?  Nope. The Juki is a straight stitch only machine and I do a lot of non quilterly sewing. And the little Janome Gem makes thee best stinkin' buttonholes. Yes, better than the Bernina. I know, right.

    What are your favorite machines? 
    Do you have more than one? 
    What features would your "dream machine" have?

    I am really liking this machine. I'll know if I love it after a few months of sewing. I am betting I will.

    Yes, Ratty.....save your pennies. 


    Friday, March 25, 2016

    I've lost that bloggin' feeling...oh that bloggin' feelin'


    Yep, it happens to the best of us...you keep your blog up for years and then the mojo wears out and life gets ├╝ber busy. Some fun busy, some not so fun busy. 

    Let's stick with the fun busy..

    Had a birthday. The DIL made be a borg cube cake....how awesome is that?!



    Made some icebox cookies from an old cookbook. They did not taste like what I remember.


    Funnest tomato ever


    It sure dressed up this quiche


    Spring sprung




    Had some fun granddot times



    Started a sashiko table runner..it's farther along than this pic shows, but not a lot. LOL


    Had a fun day at Polly's quilt camp


    I have started cutting out the pieces for an American Jane quilt called... Down by the Bay
    It looks like a camp blanket. Love it. I have to finish two colors of triangles and the background fabric, then I can start piecing. 

    I did a muslin for the Darling Ranges dress....it needs some tweaking in the boob area, but it isn't a bad dry run.

    The Eva dress muslin fits great, I just need to get the pieces cut out. It should be a quick sew. I plan to try my hand at shearing with elastic thread instead of a waist tie. Wish me luck....LOL

    I do have tons I want to accomplish, but life means I have to take my time instead of devoting all my time to creative pursuits....drat! At least I will never be bored, right?