Friday, July 29, 2011

A Little Blossom

I am in the land of summer and blue sky right now, and it is lovely.  I found this giant dandi-head on a hike yesterday and fell in love with the whispery feathers of its seed pods, just getting ready to fly away.  This shape and color brought to mind a project that I worked on just recently for a customer.  She chose these fabrics specifically, and I thought she did a great job; it's a good combination, don't you think? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Confessional

I've "discovered" a new site on the internet that is both handy and fun.  The site is called Pinterest, and it's quickly gaining popularity.  Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can organize and save all of the recipes, tutorials, photos, and other fabulous things that you find on the internets.  So, for example, I am about to embark on my first quilt, and I have only a clue as to how to go about starting.  So if I do a search for "quilting tutorials" on the web at midnight, I get a lot of hits back that look interesting.  But it's midnight and I don't want to read them all right now.  So I can pin them to a board that I've named "Quilting" on Pinterest.  This is my board and I can organize it, name it, and use it however I like.  But here's the other cool thing: other people can see my boards, and I can see theirs.  So I can also do a search on Pinterest for Quilting Tutorials and see what comes up there.  Trust me, there is A LOT of cool stuff on Pinterest, and I've had to limit my time there (because I could easily spend all day looking at other peoples collections).  I personally have 35 different boards, and I love it that I can come back to them, click on the photo, and it brings me right back to the original location where I found it.  Recently, I found a crochet tutorial for making bowls.  I printed out the pattern and promptly made four nesting bowls; aren't they pretty? 

Now I know that the internet is vast, and our time and attention are limited.  Pinterest isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I love it so much that I thought I'd better share, just in case it is yours.  You can follow my boards on Pinterest, if you decide to sign up; see you in the ether!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quilt Progress

Okay, so I was hoping to be finished with my quilt by today.  Alas, the quilting bit has got me a little intimidated.  Here's what I have so far: the back (which I think came out well) and the front.  Plus the batting in between.  It's all pinned together, and I've also basted it, but I think it needs more basting.  I'm planning to bring it with me on my trip to Montana, where there are abundant, experienced quilters there who can help me.  My goal is not to do a lot of dense quilting.  I want the finished product to feel soft and fluffy, but I also don't want it to shift around.  So "Stitch-in-the-Ditch?"  Also, I'm thinking about hand-quilting; will it take too long?  I didn't end up finding the stripey binding that I was hoping for, but I found a lovely little freckle-dot (white dots on an espresso brown background) that I think will look great.  I'll be sure to post pictures of the final product!

 I left a little blank panel to the right of the owl and pussycat print where I can dedicate a blessing to Bria Rose, who is the little sweetie that will be getting this quilt.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Project

Remember my last post when I said that I was going to make a quilt for my cousin's new baby?  Well I actually did it!  Okay, so I just did the top part, but I think that was my major hurdle. 
I've never made a quilt before, and I felt totally intimidated.  I did a little bit of questing online for different quilts that I thought were attractive and not too complicated (I needed to have it finished by this Wednesday).  I chose a strip quilt because I thought that I couldn't really mess it up too badly. 

Step one was digging out my favorite kid themed fabric prints.  Step two was deciding on a color pallette and then selecting prints within that pallete.  I chose Heather Ross' Swimming mermaids first, and I had a LOT of other prints by her, but I didn't think it made a cohesive theme to pair swimming mermaids with VW vans and bikes, so I nixed the overly terrestrial prints. 

I put in some fish, some sea horses, and some prints that reminded me of seaweed and beach blossoms.  The one print that might be a digression is the linen strip that depicts the main characters from the fairy tale, The Owl and the Pussycat.  But they're in a boat, and I love it, so there.I'm pretty happy with the way it came out.  Now I have to work on the back and put it all together.  I would love to bind it in a bold, high contrast stripe, (espresso brown and white?) but I don't have anything like that.  We'll see what I come up with; wish me luck!  Please excuse my photos for this post; the light is pretty bad right now because of all of the overcast. But you get the idea!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Fabric Love

I just got my order of two of Heather Ross' new prints from her Far Far Away III line.  I chose her pink guitars and the blue tangleweed prints because they are more condusive to smaller projects.  Here I have made Tomboy wallets out of each, and I really like the way they came out.  Strangely, the two fabrics are different weights: the guitars are a heavier (and more what I'm used to) linen/cotton blend.  The wildflowers are a very light (almost quilting weight) linen/cotton.  I love both, but I was suprised that they would be different weaves.  In any case, I am very much enjoying working with them.

Both of these wallets are available now in my Shops. And don't forget: I'm crafting for a cause right now!  I'm working towards an $800.00 goal to be able to build a new bathroom for LilyAnne so that she can experience greater independance in her every day life.  Read more about the full project here.

In other news, my beloved cousin just had a baby, and I'm going to go and visit them soon.  I have decided (deep breath here) that I'm going to make a baby quilt for her.  I'm going to try and keep this first one super simple, since I've never quilted before, and also because I have to finish it by mid week next week!  Maybe a strip quilt?  In any case, I'm looking forward to incorperating these two prints into my first quilt for her.  Welcome to the world, Bria Rose!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Making a Goal

Today I want to tell you about a very special project being supported by our local community as a way to remember Bronwyn.  Our project is called "Bronwyn's Wheelhouse," and the purpose is to help children with special needs and their families through home renovation.  To read the full story behind Bronwyn's Wheelhouse project, and to get updates on our current project, visit our website:  Click on the tab "Bronwyn's Story" for the background information. 

Our current project is a bathroom re-do for a little girl, LilyAnne.  LilyAnne is mobile with a walker, or with the aid of grab bars.  She's 11 years old, and would like to be more independent!  After we remodel LilyAnne's bathroom, she will be able to get in and out of the bathroom by herself (currently the doorway is too narrow to allow her walker in, and there are no grab bars), she'll be able to use the sink, toilet and shower independently, too!  And here's what's really exciting: we're $800.00 away from making this a reality for her!! 

So here's what I'm going to do: From now until the money is raised, I'm going to donate 50% of the proceeds from my BCharmer shop to this cause.  If you've been waiting for a time to get a special accessory, now is a great time to shop!  Visit my shops online here or here.

You can also donate directly to the foundation.  Your donations are completely tax deductable, as our local chapter of the Kiwanis Club has kindly adopted our program, and thus has given us non-profit status.  To donate, you can make a check out to: "Tumwater Kiwanis Youth Foundation" and write "Bronwyn's Wheelhouse" in the subject line.  Mail the check to:
Tumwater Kiwanis Club
5201 Capitol Blvd SE
PMB 182
Tumwater WA 98501

I have added this little thermometer to the blog to track our progress on the fundraising; I'm so excited that we can make this happen! 

P.S. Some of you have already given to this cause, Thank-You so much!!  Please don't feel that you need to give again; the point is that a small (and manageable) gift from many can make a significant impact.  That way, nobody feels pinched. 

Okay, friends; let's make this happen!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Catching Up

Finding my new rhythm has proven more tricky than I had thought it would.  Nevertheless, I have been productive and am starting to find some structure in my day; it's a good thing.

And I have some fun news! I was contacted recently by Nancy, who has a blog called, "A Little Etsy Love." On this blog, Nancy features Etsy items that she covets, and she asked me if she could feature my work. Of course I agreed, and I decided that I also would share the love and offer one of my custom small card wallets to give away! So if you want to win one of my small cowgirl wallets, visit Nancy's blog and leave a comment (as directed) for your chance.

In other news, I have a fun selling venue coming up: As a benefit for our local high school's debate team, there is a women's moonlight run, followed by an evening of chocolate and gourmet shopping. I thought the combination of running, chocolate and shopping sounded ideal, and luckily I got in. So this week I'm working in the studio to get ready. Right now, having a tangible goal to work towards is very helpful! Pictured here is a clutch that I just made, which I think came out great! I love these little clutches!