James Cameron Jr ????

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I do have Sam' permission to post this here;

It's a school assignment in the "picture and form" class (Swedish "Bild och Form") where they was divided into teams and was to make a 3-4 minutes long video - whatever topic they choosed. Sam's team chose a soccer inspired theme, but after thinking long and hard, Sam it wasn't his thing and decided to jump ship and do his very own movie - Top Gun on a M1800 motorcycle.

Since Sam is such a stickler for details, it took a while for him to get to the start-to-shoot point and the weeks that followed was enough to drive any parent up the wall and in the end, he was not finished when school was out. But we made one thing very clear to him - before the start of the fall term, that #€€%%&&& film had to be finished. One thing I learned from this - never threat a teenager into doing anything - bribe him instead ;-o

Tomorrow school starts and - today the whole movie is finished in all of it's glory. Let me tell you this - I'm so frigging proud of my darling son - he did deliver on time on money LOL, but not only that - the film is great!

So - here it is: M1800 riders, hopefully you'll like it ;-)

The girl is our neighbors sons (Viktor) girlfriend Petrina and it's Viktor who shot that scene. The M1800 rider is of course The DH, Sam is a bit too young to handle that machine ;-)

 "SLUT" has nothing to do about loose women;-P. It's simply the Swedish word for "The End".

And the grave side sequence is not filmed at a real grave, but something we put together on our property with a piece of slate and some flowers. I find that scene well put together and quite touching.

Even John, aged 12.5 yrs think that Sam has done a terrific job. If that isn't high praise, I don't what is ;-9

Whats not to like???

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone in this world who starts a project, work on it until almost the end and then - fall out of love with it. Happily it hasn't happened very often, but it's so unsatisfying when it does.

During the winter I worked on a new cover for the headboard of our bed and since The DH likes all sorts of mariners compasses, I decided to use that pattern, but in a more easy way - with wedges. I worked and worked and.....got all the way beyond quilting and adding the front piece that goes beneath the mattresses and was just about to add the side and back coverings and kaboom - out of nowhere comes the unlove!!

So I packed it away and tried to figure out what else to decorated the cover with?? Nothing - absolutely nothing spoke to me. Until........

I tried the wedge work for a seat cover using only 16 "spikes" instead of the 32 I used before. Holy Mahoney, I can't remember when I used Mr Grim Ripper as often as I had today....what was so clear to me the first time I used this method has been totally befuddled today and I know I ought to rip it all apart again. Or start over or...something.
But I just had to bring out the headboard cover and check what and how I did it then. And know what??
I like it again! I mean what's not to like about it?????? Me thinks it's pretty great :-D
The picture looks kind of wobbly cause I draped it over the porch swing ;-)

So now I have to take new measurements and get that backside added, cross my fingers and hope it fits in the end.

Now onwards to the kitchen where dinner waits to get cooked.

Auto love

When we got home from the vacation my oldest fell on his knees in the hallway, kissed the floor and said "home, I'm home!". Yesterday I did something similar; getting my biiiiiig car back from service (having to drive one small and one even smaller car for 1.5 day :-o), I kissed the steering wheel and said "my car, oh my car!" Sillly me ROFLMFAO!!

Not knowing what to sew next, I've started on a mariners compass (one block only) to make a test seat cover. Not in blues, but in several hues of pinks.

It rains so no Mälaren Runt for the DH :-(

Change of plans

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Forget what I wrote below -  after auditioning all kinds of blue fusion fabrics I came to the conclusion that I really don't like that top. I think it's the third project ever that I have abandoned fully, but never mind - it's just bits of fabrics ;-9

To little

I'm sure this happens to all of you, but nevertheless it's danged annoying when it occurs - you are almost out of fabric! No, not that the stash is running low, but when you finally find the perfect fabric for your project and you realize that there is too little of it to go last.

There I was, having done something with my trial run of hexagons...... that is I followed Melody's suggestion and used black as a contrast and put them all together in a row with the intent of making a table runner out of it.
For that to happen I needed something to applique this row of flowers onto. I swear, I went through almost my entire stash to find something that worked. I even went as far as to cut up some red Kaufman Flourish fabric and hand stitched it halfway when I realized that it wasn't it. Finally I gave up and asked The DH for advice, he took one look and said "darkish blue" and at once I knew what fabric to use - Robert Kaufman Fusions 5574-80 Evening. The pic is very unfocused, but you get the grip - it works!
And whatdayaknow? As you can see there isn't enough of it! I bought it from Sewthankful, but of course it was on clearance and they have no more of it in stock. Googled but found only the usual Fusions fabrics, not this one - see me pout here :-( If there is anyone out there who has any idea on where to get some or - have a piece to sell me, please send me a message.

Dark clouds are sailing up and not only in my mind LOL, dark charcoal grey ones, a strong wind and I'll bet it's gonna rain pretty soon. You sometimes it's the little things in life that puts a smile on you face, like getting a new tea mug:
It's painted with different herbs and it comes with a small tray to put your sandwich on and a little lid/saucer:
Think I'm going to make me a nice cup of jasmine tea :-)

Latest purchases and thoughts about prices

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I still consider myself to build my stash, so I buy fabrics I fancy, rather more than with any specific use in mind. Yesterday found my postbox with two USPS flatrate envelopes, stuffed with my latest purchase from Thousands of Bolts, one of my two favorite fabric online stores.
12 yards for just a bit over 500SEK including postage :-) That my friends is round 43 SEK per yard! Can anyone residing in Sweden explain to me why anyone shops at their Swedish LQS (or Swedish online stores) where fabrics are at 150-160 SEK per meter??? The only reason I can think of is if you want to view and match fabrics IRL, but that goes for the LQS only.... but in both cases you are ripped of. OK ToB is an outlet, but I find their range and quality as good as anyone.
The other online store I favour is Fat Quarter World where I occasionally get my Jelly Rolls, Charm packs and an FQ bundles. OK they are not as cheap as ToB, but they have excellent customer services and ships in flatrate envlopes. Every now and then I splurge on a 0.5yrd of some new fabrics, compared to Swedish prices they are still very low, round 65 USD/yard or something like that.

Sam and I went to the vets and had the girls nails fixed, the drive home was a race against the dark clouds and right now we have heavy rains, thunder and lightnings. Poor Fiona hates this and wines constantly, even with fatty cotton plugged in her ears and the radio on.....being gun shy ain't easy. I think I'm going to go out and open up the RV, she feels so much safer out there.

Almost a miracle

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You know how this work with putting the hexagon flowers together have stumped me artistically. It went so far that I laid in bed at night wrestling with hexies thoughts ......round and round.

Then Melody came up with the most genius sugestion - putting solid color hexagons round the colored ones, so of to IKEA I went and bought 7.5 meters of solid black and solid of-white fabrics at sale - SEK 19.00/meter (less than USD 3.00)!!! Since the fabrics at IKEA is far from a good quality, I washed them both separately, dried and ironed them just to be sure of evenness in cutting. Then cut and cut and baste and baste....a lot of little black hexagons, stitched some to two of the flowers and know what? The colors just popped out!!
Look here:
From being an undistinguished jumble of mishmash (se earlier post) bits, the flowers became distinct - miraculous huh? So last night in front of Navy CIS and The Stepford Wifes I basted even more black hexagons, almost holding my breath with the possibilities and having a small creative fit. Ok, the pic above isn't the best one, the camera in the cell phone is great, but not so great that it can take these hard contrasts. But it's going to be very interesting to see how the different colored flowers will hold up to a black border.... Soon very soon I will bring these back small thingees and some flowers out and start stitchin. But first I'm going to copy Stevie Nicks latest solo album that I borrowed from the music club at work. You pay just under 20USD per year and have access to a huge variety of new and old albums. Sweet deal LOL.

Now some might think that hand stitching is beyond tedious and boring, but I love it. Well not so much that I would hand quilt a bedspread LOL, but it's something about this EPP that is mind numbing and soul soothing at the same time. As my former (and the best doc ever) said - Wolfie, sewing is god for the soul! Nobody knows why, but there is something cerebral about it :-D

Thank you so much Melody for your suggestion, without it I would still be stumped. Hugs!

PS I don't know if my dogs love pancakes or lasagna the most, but the latter last longer:
After these two had a go at the dish, you could almost skip the washer ROFLMAO.

The challenge of EPP hexagons

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reading Mark Lepinski's blog about various aspects of creativity from his point of view, is actually kind of mind boggling and ofter very challenging. That is - in a good kind of way :-)

And that is how I find working with English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexagons. Well not to cut and cover them, not even to sew them together -  that is easy peasy - whip-stitch-whip-stitch - just like when Sid tried to teach Diego how to swim in Ice Age - paw-kick-paw-kick LOL.

So there you are with 500 fabric hexagons and you sort them after color and after the first experiment where I sewed them on to each other circle wise. Well it did turn out quite ok (see earlier post), but I was still left with umpteenth hexis. So this time I put them together the traditional way, one in the middle and six "petals" and ended up with this:
Kind of hard to try to mach these babies - huh? So the Virgo me and The Grim Ripper got to work and ended up with this:
A pile of hexagons.....Tried to match make 'em better this time, tried to keep to a color theme for each flower instead of going "the more the merrier", laid them out on the table and made little piles - one for each "flower". Found out that it was kind of hard to get these piles not to topple over and keep the hexis in the right assembly order. Then I came up with this so simple idea (in facts it's so simple that I'm pretty sure someone else already done it).
Take ordinary steel pins with flat tops:
stack your stack and push a pin right through the middle. I laid the center hex at top and pushed the needle from the bottom of the pile:
and the little pile "sits" on the flat top :-)

So you sew them all together one more time:
and you get a new nice little stack of flowers.

And it's here where it starts to get tricky for me. I have been quilting for 4 years now and enjoyed most of it and most of the stuff I'm quite proud of, either because I think they look good, or as with the assignment pieces - that I pulled them of instead of crying and giving up.
I am (in mine and others) opinion at my best when it comes to put colors and patterns together, the actual quilting is not my forte, specialty not FMQ....vojjne.

I've done a lot of stuff over the years and even if things hasn't looked good to start with, they in some mysterious way came together in the end. But now I am stumped, I have my pile of flowers and for the life of me can't come up with a working solution on how to marry them the best way. The problem might lay in the fact that I used four different fabrics in each flower, but using only two seemed so ....frugal?

I read somewhere that EPP is a year or more so project and I believe them. Oh yeah, I do believe them.
I put up the sorry excuse for a design wall that I have (The DH promised me he will do a more proper one for me) and started to play around.
This time I tried to pin them up in a sort of color order, otherwise it looked very very muddily.
I realize two things - I have no clue on the this project will be when it has grew up ;-9 or - I didn't plan any color scheme  before I started. I just cut through my stash of scraps and some jelly strips, using whatever stroke my fancy and in the end I had to cut into some of my FQs to get the colors even out.

Now the big question is - do I leave them as they are in the picture and try in some way to work on filling the gaps? In my mind I can't see myself making a large piece with 1 inch hexagons, but who knows? Is there a way to make each color to stand out better? Or do I just start over again?

The biggest issue for me with this kind of sewing is I simply can't figure out how you plan the color and audition the fabrics to start with due to the size and - the shape of the hexagons. And it really galls me, I use to be able to figure patterns out, I mean - I did a Double Wedding Ring quilt that came out rather nicely after all :-D so why can't I solve this???

I think I go downstairs and cut up the browny, fudgey cake I baked yesteray. And I even might splurge on a tiny bit or two LOL.

More organizing

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In my quest to tidy up my sewing supplies, I made a quick trip to our nearby IKEA store (appr 15-20 minutes drive from here) to get some storage boxes. I found a new line called "Kvarnvik"
quite nice I thought and got 5 of them in different sizes:
I borrowed the pic from IKEA's website, cause I can't get mine to photograph well:-(

Of course when it comes to IKEA you have to put all sorts of things yourself, even this and the descriptions  isn't always self-explanatory......but us long suffering Swedes are used to them LOL.
So two of these boxes (for papers) now hold my smallish stash of FQs, one (for CDs I think) hold Charm Packs (now that is a tiny collection) and one for rulers etc.

Moved a few more books around to get place for all that:
and look - I have even rolled up my jelly rolls :-D
The books BTW are half of my collections of cookbooks and books on gardening that I could't fit in anywhere else....Can't help but wonder what on earth I'm going to do the day the stash grows out of these shelves). Talking about that, I bought a few things from Fat Quarter World last week and here is what I got:

A Moda Jelly roll and 1/2 yrd each from Nancy Halvorsens new collection -  a quite modest purchase if you ask me;-9

The hexagons...... well I truly need to put my mind together to talk about them. Talk about a BIIIIIIIGGG challange!!

The last of the cathedrals

Friday, August 5, 2011

Decided to take the day of before all get back from vacation next week. Realized I forgot to post a pic of the last Cathedral Window pillow I made before the summer holidays, as with it's former siblings, I'm quite pleased with it:

But as usual with pastels (and blues) it's very hard to get the hues right, specially when using the cell phone one. The light pink background fabric is not as dominant IRL as it is in the picture.

Think I'm going to get ready and go to IKEA when they open at 10am, to buy some boxes and baskets.
Later my musings about hexagons and EPP.

Make over

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I used to have a very nice studio, well organized, neat and tidy....the change started when I fell into the grasp of the quilting bug. To get room for my fabrics I had to move several Rubber Maid bins with all kind of stuff for soap, candle and cream making down to the basement. Then The DH build a make shift "garage" for the RV right outside my window and poof - every single ray of daylight was omitted! And let me tell you, it ain't easy to audition fabrics in poor lamp light.

I have been frustrated ever since and last night it hit me - if I move the books from one of the Billy bookcases in the hallway into the Ivar shelves in the studio, I'll get full daylight and - can enjoy my ever growing stash each time I pass through the hallway.

So why wait when you can spend 3 hrs with +25C in the shadow outside and +25C inside? As usual I went full tilt ahead and did it all in one single go, with the exception of a quick cooling dip in the pool. I forgot to take a pic of the actual case I emptied, but it looked quite like this:
OMG, the stuff The DH clutter up my cases with ......

The interesting this with doing something like this is that you find books you didn't know you owned and/or completely forgotten. And - the same goes for the fabrics......I found some pretty ones I had no clue I owned.
So the books went inside the studio - I own so many that I have to stack them in two rows, so I put the old ones in the back and the newest, most readable ones in the front:
The Billy shelf in the hallway showed to hold more fabrics than the Ivar. I confess, when I look how neatly other people stack their fabrics, I realize I have no clue on how achieve that.... I am quite envious, cause deep down my Virgo neatness longs for such order. Until I figure it out, I am pleased with the outcome nevertheless:

Not the best picture in the world, will try later to take a better one, but lokkie lookie - there is one almost empty bottom shelf :-) Said that I remember that I haven't stacked the latest purchases and - I need some bins for Jelly Rolls, Charm packs etc.....

I probably need to more books in a not so faraway future ;-9

Time to fix dinner for my soccer playing oldest darling.

PS The DH who is at times a very understanding guy (when it comes to hobbies LOL) looked at the change when he came home from work and exclaimed "fabrics!!!". The he stroke my back and said "honey you got a lot of fabrics here". My reply was "compared to what? and of he went on his motorcycle with his biking friends. 

Before I came upstairs I turned on the lights and viewed this days work and know what? I am mighty pleased with myself :-D