Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Clara dress

The card that I posted yesterday accompanied this dress as a gift to our godson and his wife who are expecting their first child soon.

And the back, closed with one pearl button

These photos show the dress immediately after weaving in loose ends and adding the button. I didn't think to photograph again before packaging it for gift giving.
The dress pattern is called Clara dress and is only available from the designer as a kit. Here is that link.  Many of us in a knitting group have made it from other yarns purchased locally that do not require hand washing or are more hypoallergenic than alpaca yarn.
The yarn I used is Pediboo by Frog Tree. It is 80% washable Merino, 20% bamboo. This is a sock weight yarn. The color number is 1123. I will definitely make this again, and I am not one who often wants to knit the same item with the same type of yarn. Pediboo is great to work with and I love the way the yarn looks and feels.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tri-shutter card

If you have a scoring tool and a paper cutter, this project goes really fast. The card could still be made without them. A great tutorial and list of sizes to cut the various papers is here on Our Daily Bread Designs blog. I'm already planning to make this again using photos of the card's recipient and their hobbies or loved ones in place of the printed paper. Wouldn't a photo of the bride and her flowers be pretty on an anniversary card? Or sport photos and movie characters be cute on a young boy's birthday card?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Showering a bride with cash

I am going to a bridal shower this afternoon that is a little unusual for me. The invitation stated that this is a Gift Card Shower. The couple has an established home with all the usual items a bride often places on her registry. These two people are much loved and the host of the shower wanted to do something special for them and knew the guests would feel the same way.

Having said all that, the idea of the shower didn't bother me but how would I present the gift card creatively? Presentation means a lot to me. Two other guests and I pooled our resources and discussed which gift cards we should purchase. None of the usual gift cards were exciting us and we began thinking that cash is always good since it can obviously be used for anything from a utility bill to groceries or maybe an evening out.

With the decision of cash as a gift, we were back to presentation. A check in a card? No. Cash in a card? Nope, not that either. Well....it is a shower....why not an umbrella? Not an ordinary one, a special umbrella that opens up to rain cash!

I broke up the total amount into denominations of bills from ones to twenties. I tied ribbons to the spokes of the umbrella and experimented to find a length that would have the bills exposed when the umbrella was closed. Even with short ribbons, I had to tuck the money inside, but that was ok.

On the first bill I used a glue dot (scrapbookers and card makers will know what these are) but that was very sticky and I thought peeling the cash off might be a problem. Next I tried removable tape. Opening and closing the umbrella a few times showed that wasn't sticky enough. Just like Goldilocks, the third attempt was just right. I used Scotch tape.

Here is the finished umbrella, raining cash:

And closed, with a hang tag that says "Open Me!"

On the inside of a card, I used an old Sizzix umbrella die.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A quilt shop hop adventure

Are you old enough to remember the original Dragnet TV series? Episodes began with announcer George Fenneman telling us "The story you are about to hear is true; only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."
This is my shop hop story, told Dragnet style. Following Sgt Joe Friday's directive of "just the facts, ma'am" I will begin.
It was a sunny August day in Michigan. My sewing buddy and I joined 40 other women on a bus to visit 6 quilt shops on a round trip that should have totaled 260 miles over 12 hours. Two hundred more women were doing the same thing on 5 other buses, one from each of the participating shops following the same circuit. All meals and snacks were included in the cost of this adventure on chartered buses with bathroom facilities. We were supposed to look like this:
This was the first time for this particular shop hop. My sewing partner and I have been on others before, but never by bus. Statistically, buses probably do not break down any more frequently than cars, but if one car had transmission trouble and another had a flat tire, only two carloads of women on this adventure would have experienced delays, not all 240 of us. Yes, you read that correctly. All of us had to delay our arrivals at scheduled shops for the two buses with problems.
Each store had a drawing for each bus load of women. You've probably seen game show contestants behave so exuberantly, you wondered if they were coached to act that way. Perhaps not, based on some of the reactions I witnessed.
Seems a bit much for a pattern, doesn't it? Or for a book about canning. And just what does canning have to do with quilting?
Our bus driver was very nice as were the two women assigned to our bus representing our store of origin and the whole shop hop event. Before returning to our "home" store, we were asked to fill out a questionnaire about this experience so they could improve for next year. Here is a photo of Joe Friday and Bill Gannon discussing the questions. Or maybe Joe is rubbing his temples and asking Bill for extra strength headache medication.
An hour per shop proved to be too much time. All of the stores were very nice, but a certain portion of goods carried in any store dedicated to a hobby are going to be the same. Most of us lapped the stores at least twice, made our purchases and still had time to kill before getting on the bus again. Here is Joe calling home to tell his spouse how much later he was going to be because of the bus snafu.
The food that we were served on the buses was provided by the shops we had just left. We had breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and after our last store, dessert. My only complaint about quality was the cold breakfast dish of eggs and sausage as we left the first store. The complaint that most of us shared was over our eating utensil throughout the day. This photo might look like Joe Friday is examining a knife, but what you don't see is the clear plastic fork we shop hoppers had to use for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He isn't using a magnifying glass because the fork is clear, he is using it because it was so small.
What? You don't believe me? Allow me to present Exhibit A, the fork used on the shop hop photographed next to one of my forks at home.
By the time we reached our last shop, most of us had backaches from seats that didn't sit up straight enough and swollen feet from sitting in one position too long all day. I will visit the last store again some time when my eyes aren't glazed over and my head isn't throbbing from a lame video that played the last two hours of the trip. A screen and speaker were right over our seats. The store could have had a pot of gold free for the taking or a pile of dead bodies and I don't know that I would have noticed either. Walking around inside was more about flexing knees and hips and using the rest room for most of the bus, including the driver who didn't use her bus' rest room because the light didn't work.
Did I say it was a long day? It was over 14 hours from leaving my home to returning.
Would Joe Friday, Bill Gannon, my sewing buddy and I do this again?  Sure, if we could take our own wheels and leave a store when we were ready.
And if we came upon this, we'd pick it up for our dining pleasure!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Giraffe #2 and a lion

These over-the-fence peepers are for our grandson. I was excited to get them over to him and didn't think to take my camera so we made do by using our phones. It was starting to rain so we rushed placement. They would look better without a distracting background.
Then again, would a real giraffe and lion pose for us patiently? I wooden think so.... (bad pun?)
The pattern was from The Winfield Collection. Paints used were Patio Paints by DecoArt.