Monday, 5 April 2010

Introducing Firefly

Making blog debuts today are the babies. Here are a couple pics of the newest addition at the stable. She is our border's new filly.

What a little cutie.

And she is so tall! I couldn't get over how big she is, but then again when we had our first filly last year she was this size. That's our little Cookie, aka Cooka-Butt or if she's being bad then she's just plain Butt hehe. Her name came about because she had black spots on either side and white in the middle so from the back she looked like an Oreo cookie.

For scale here is a pic while she is giving her famous kisses....before she had any teeth.

She is a miniature horse. I think I want more minis. They just have a different demeanor than regular size horses. So sweet, almost like dogs. But sometimes she looks like a water buffalo.

Anyway, there are some of the animals at the stable. I'll be posting more. Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


It must be Spring! We got a batch of chickens a couple days ago from a friend. He said they hadn't started laying yet, but I had hopes we'd be getting some fresh eggs sooner rather than later. We got more roosters than we had hoped, but we don't live at the stable so the neighbours get to live with the cockadoodle-doing. hehe

Anyway, we went down to the stable this morning and we found this:

Isn't it amazing? Our first home grown egg. And it's green-ish. The camera couldn't pick up the colour very well.

I went running from the chicken coop babbling about how the chickens must like us better and cradling the egg so I didn't drop it to show our baby Cookie-butt who is always interested in the goings-on in the stable. As I rounded the first stall I came to a dead stop. There at the end of the alley was a new foal who was born in the early morning from a mare we didn't even think was carrying! So that kinda trumped my one measly egg. But I didn't have the camera with me at the stable this morning so I couldn't get any pics of the new foal. So the green egg will have to do for now. After all the excitement this morning I had one hell of an appetite so I came back and had a breakfast of our first home grown egg. It was delicious.

Friday, 12 March 2010

A Modification for Jill

In the comments today someone said:

"I LOVE this tutorial, great job! I was wondering what the finished size of the bag is? I'm trying to find a tutorial/bag that is at least 14" tall x 18" wide x 4" deep. I'm sure I could alter the measurements to match that, but wanted to get an idea of how much to alter...Thanks!!"

Now before I get into that let me say. Hi All! I have been busy and I miss you all. I'm alive and kicking, just very quiet in the blogland. I'll have to show you all the Hallowe'en costumes I made for last year. They were great especially if you are a Tim Burton fan....some Nightmare Before Christmas characters made special appearances that night!!

Anyway, before I get distracted and start writing a post I didn't intend to let me answer Miss Jill's questions.

The finished bag measurements are 10X14X4. So if you wanted to change the dimensions it wouldn't be too hard. I used 1/2 inch seam allowances because it's just easier to work with and leaves a little extra inside the bag so it'll wear better.

You should come up with something like this for your measurements:

Exterior Material
  • Front & Back 15x19 inches
  • 2 Sides 5x15
  • 1 Bottom 5x19
  • 2 Pockets 5x8** I made the pockets a little taller for you so they wouldn't look too short on the taller bag.
Lining Material
  • Front & Back 15x 19 inches
  • 2 Sides 5 1/2 x15
  • 1 Bottom 5x19
  • 2 Pockets 5x8
  • 2 Divider Pocket 13x19

For the top where the handles meet the bag I would make the interfacing pattern the same way cutting 4 - 22x4 inch pieces and drafting the handle onto the interfacing.

I think drafting the Top Trim at the handles might need to be done backwards since I don't have all the measurements. I would fold the interfacing in half so the piece measures 11X4. On the cut edges (not the fold) measure in 2 inches from the edge and 1 1/2 inches from the top edge and mark. Along the top edge measure in 3 inches and mark. Draw the curve connecting these two marks. Cut the piece out and re-use as a template for the rest of the curves.

From "Now measure over 1 3/4 inches" you should be able to follow the rest of the instructions for drafting the Top Trim. Hopefully those measurements won't put the handles too far apart and the bag won't bow out in the middle.

I hope this helps you out a little. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask and send me along some pics when you get it done!


I'll be back soon I promise, now that some new post ideas are a-brewing. Hey Hallowe'en isn't that far away now!!

Monday, 25 August 2008

I haven't blogged since April?!?

What? That can't be right! How is that even possible?? Well, I have been a very bad blogger lately completely ignoring my group of loyal readers. You have needs too, I shouldn't be so selfish with my time. I understand and I apologize. Are we still good? I hope so.

Well now that I've gotten that out of the way. What have I been up to? I'm sorry to say but there has been very little crafting on this end. I have been sooo freakin' busy! I've been working 2 jobs and doing some classes. The classes are over now, so hopefully I'll be finding more time to craft and then blog about my crafting as is only fair to all you lovely people. hmm...well I need to eat some lasagna before heading to I won't take pictures, you wierdos. Actually I totally would if I had some more time.

Oh yeah! And I was touched by craft blog royalty a couple days ago when the most awesome Amy of Angry Chicken fame linked to my teensy, completely unworthy blog. I was in shock. I'm sure she doesn't wear a crown but I've always imagined her wearing one, we wouldn't judge her if she did....not that I spend much time fantasizing about all you bloggers out there or anything...cuz that would just be wierd. So for any new readers to my little corner of the blogging world I welcome you. Take a peek around and I hope I can amuse, entertain, and maybe even teach you something new. And if you're looking for me I'm easy to spot, I'm the one in the jester hat. The next post will have pictures and not just random babbling. There will still be random babbling, I can't help myself.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Sling Bag, Done!

I have been wanting to make the sling bag from the Life with Nature Girl blog since I first saw it. It is my ideal bag, worn across the chest and just big enough for the necessities. Simply put, it's perfect! I didn't use interfacing, because I find this Ginger Blossom fabric to be study enough on it's own.

I sewed up mine in just over an hour. To use up the small leftovers of fabric, I made a couple of extra pockets for the inside. One for the handy Chapstick, and the other for pens. They went together the same way as the original interior pocket.

Yes, my pics really suck tonight. Ah well, the bag rocks. I'll see if I can get some better pics tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, Jill!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Chicken Scratch Bookmarks Tutorial

Chicken scratch is such a pretty type of embroidery. It is quick and a great way to decorate up that stash of gingham you have tucked away. It is known by many other names such as Snowflaking, Depression Lace and Gingham Embroidery.

I'm completely addicted to chicken scratch now. The only items I have really seen it made into is larger pieces such as aprons, and pillows. I tried to come up with other objects where chicken scratch could be applied. They can't get too much wear because the stitches would get pulled or damaged. I decided a bookmark would be a nice small item that doesn't get too much wear, and would be quick to stitch up. So I made up a couple of small repetitive patterns. You can really go wild with these little stitches, and every little change has a noticeable impact on the finished piece. Test it out. I'd love to see what you come up with!

As usual, this tutorial is provided for personal use. Make up for yourself, gifts and charity. Please do not make to sell. If you are unsure feel free to email me. If you use this tutorial give credit with a link back to this page. And if you can give me a heads-up if you are making chicken scratch that would be great. I am thinking of starting a flickr chicken scratch group so everyone can see and share their creations, tell me what you think. Thanks!

For one bookmark you will need:
  • 1/4" check gingham (you could probably get 4 out of a fat quarter)
  • white embroidery floss (sewn with 3 strands held together)
  • embroidery hoop
  • needle
  • 6" ribbon

The final measurements are 7 1/2"x2" for the bookmark and 2x2" for the tab.

Here are a couple of quick pictures to familiarize yourself with the stitches. If you would like something more descriptive go here and come back.

Those are all the stitches used in the flower bookmark. They are Cross-Stitch, Double Cross-Stitch, Running Stitch and Woven Oval Stitch. The Woven Oval is made by passing the needle under the leg of the Cross-Stitches twice to make it thicker.

The same stitches are used in the second bookmark, only the Oval is substituted with Woven Circle Stitch. The Woven Cirle is made by passing the needle under the Running Stitches two times to make the stitch thicker.

Since this is such a small object leave your material whole for stitching and cut it out afterwards.

Here are the two patterns. Just a little 5x5 block.

The tab is made by stitching one repeat of the pattern. The bookmark is made by stitching 5 repeats. Follow the shading in the pattern. You want to start your cross-stitches on the darkest check in your gingham. I used 3 strands of floss, but you can try more or less to see what the result is. I knotted the ends because the back of the piece is covered and small stitches might be noticeable.

Once all your stitching is done. Cut the bookmark and a backing piece to measure 8X2 1/2". For the small tab cut out the stitching and backing into a 2 1/2" square.

Pin the bookmark pieces with right sides together with the ribbon in between. Let 1/4" of the ribbon peek out from one short side between the two layers. Leave a small gap open on the other end of the bookmark for turning. Sew 1/4" seam around the edge with the wrong side of the stitching facing up. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press.

Pin the tab pieces right sides together and sew 1/4" seam around the edge leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press.

Slip the free end of the ribbon into the opening left in the tab and pin. Topstitch around the tab to secure the ribbon. Topstitch around the bookmark and you're done!

Monday, 21 April 2008

I was up way too late

Last night I sucked it up and pulled out the purple gingham. I got out the embroidery floss and went looking for patterns online. The lack of available patterns was disheartening, but I soldiered on with the plan that if I could at least find basic directions I could draw up my own patterns. What am I talking about, you ask?

Well, it's this.

Why, yes. That is Chicken Scratch, aka Depression Lace, Snowflaking etc.

Online there is a great little instructional .pdf from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. I read through the instructions and plotted out the pattern (there is a large star pattern on the last page). I like stars. I sat back on my desk chair and started stitching, then I moved to another chair, and soon I was propped up in bed still stitching. It was nearly 3 a.m. when I finally put this little piece of gingham down.

I love the simplicity of the stitches partnered with the effects the shaded checks have on those simple little stitches. For a very long time it just looked like stitches and I worried that I was doing it wrong, where is the 3 dimensional-ness? Where is the lacey overlay? Why doesn't mine look like the image in my head? I was feeling cheated. Instead of throwing it into a drawer I just kept stitching.

You work the stitches in order: double cross, then running stitches, and finally woven circles. The double cross-stitches are alot of stitching and they take by far the longest. Once all these were stitched I sat back and was not impressed. So I went on to the running stitches, which were quick and satisfying. It was as I was repositioning my hoop that the stitches finally came to life.

Those running stitches lightened up the background just enough to make it look like I had sewn down a nearly sheer applique! It was so exciting, almost magical to watch how your stitches and the fabric affect one another.

Once the woven circles were added it was love. The only thing I might have done differently is used 1 more strand of embroidery floss for the woven circles. If you have ever thought about trying chicken scratch I highly recommend it. It is relatively fast, and the end product is totally worth the loss of sleep!

As I was browsing online some more I came across this site. It is french but the images are great. All the same stitches, different placement, and completely different results. Just thought it was interesting plus there are also a couple of free patterns as well.

Now I want gingham everything just so I can Chicken Scratch it.