Online Quilting Class
I’m a member of the MQG!

Found This Week

FoundThisWeek

We love watching movies but since living overseas, I think we’ve been to the movies once in a year. And yeah, going to the movies can be expensive so we also wait until something is released before we watch it. Oh, I take that back, we went to the movies twice – if one of the two times was our daughter going with her friends. The other time was us going when we were on vacation – what does one do in Dublin – take in a movie in English! :) But we saw Guardians of the Galaxy and like so many others, we loved it. I can’t wait to get this – and you can pre-order Guardians of the Galaxy now on iTunes.

If you have any of the 18″ dolls and you make clothes for them, you have to head over to Imagine Gnats to make the Chloe cardi and tee (free sewing tutorial!). I had dolls when I was a little girl and I am sure my Mom, Grandma, and/or Auntie made them clothes. I know that Barbie clothes were made, and those are so tiny!

I know the basics of taking a good picture – natural light, but not direct light, pay attention to where the subjects in the frame, natural pics vs pose – but here are seven photography tricks that are so cool! I love the glass in the water one, and using your headphones to click to take a picture. I knew that trick but always forget about it (and I lose my headphones – I’ve lost two pairs recently!). I also like the panodash. Watch the video below.

YouTube Preview Image

(Disclosure: The links above may be affiliate links, this means I may profit when you take action on my recommendations!)

 

Wallflowers Quilt Along

For the past few weeks I have been participating in a quilt along put on by Bloomerie Fabrics. The QA started in October and this is the last week for it. I quickly picked out my Botanica fabrics for this quilt!

2014-10-16 14.25.35 2014-10-21 18.53.25

I did a really good job of keeping up with the schedule and I am so excited I was able to do that! In the past I have found quilt alongs when they were already finished or maybe I wasn’t going to be home when they were happening, so participating in real time was so fun. 2014-10-22 12.00.11 2014-10-30 13.37.54

I like quilt alongs because seeing what other people are doing can be great motivation for you to work on your quilt, and it’s fun to sew along with others.

2014-10-30 13.57.31

This serves as a big reminder to not assume that you know what you are doing! So often we read a quilt pattern and think, “awesome, I got this!” and get to sewing. But if you are like me, and you end up having multiple projects going on at once, you can forget what the next step is or what you should sew. 2014-11-02 10.27.06

I only needed one print on each of the larger white squares but instead I have all four. I only did these two white squares before I realized my mistake. I am SO glad I only did two!

2014-11-02 15.21.012014-11-06 11.12.20

This is the Wallflowers pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew and for the quilt along we were to make nine blocks. These are large blocks and the quilt ends up being a lap size quilt.

2014-11-14 11.31.56

After I finished I sent a picture to a friend of mine and she loved it. I decided to give it to her for Christmas, but I want it to be a larger quilt. I had to add borders and this is when stashing half yards of fabric isn’t the best because a half yard just isn’t enough to give you a bigger border. I did the first border in two separate colors (but from the same fabric line) and the second border in the same fabric (also from the same line). I like to buy half yard bundles of fabric collections sometimes, then I’ll buy yardage of my favorites later (but before it’s gone!).

2014-11-20 12.43.24

The quilt ended up with two and a half borders because I only did the final border on the top and bottom so it would be long and not square. I used one of the Chicopee fabrics for that final border. This made the quilt 73 X 81 – which is not really a “normal” size for a quilt, but it works for me. It is nearest to a twin size quilt I think.

I haven’t decided how to quilt this, and I don’t have a backing fabric yet! I am working on the backing over the weekend and next week though because I do want to finish this soon. Oh and I’m calling it Tic Tac Toe, for obvious to me reasons which are usually not that obvious to anyone else. :)

007: Rebecca Roach

Head over to iTunes and subscribe to Me Being Crafty so you don’t miss an episode! You can also subscribe on stitcher.

Welcome to episode 007 of the Me Being Crafty podcast, where we explore creativity in your life.

mbc 300x300

In this episode I talk to Rebecca Roach, a quilter and quilt designer living in Austin, Texas. She and I had a great conversation about the first thing she sewed as a young girl and how that was just not fun and she wasn’t interested in sewing again for years. We talk about the tv show she watched that inspired her to take up quilting again and her journey into becoming a quilt designer and what she has coming up. Rebecca is thinking of more quilt designs and fabric designs. Living in Austin, she has access to resources that will allow her to create a small fabric collection and I am excited for what she has to come!

Rebecca and I visit about symbols used in Hawaiian quilting and how she didn’t feel comfortable using the same symbols, since being Hawaiian isn’t part of her culture. I feel the same as Rebecca and I am very aware of my culture and belief system when I am designing something because of that awareness. I would love to have fabric with Native American symbols not be pan-Indian in nature. Scratch that, I would love to have fabric designed by Native Americans. It’s an important topic for us to talk about in terms of the what is out there and is representative of who we are as a people.

Rebecca Roach

Rebecca

I am a member of the Modern Quilt Guild and one of the perks of being a member is that we receive quilt patterns that were designed by fellow guild members. Rebecca’s Broken Bars pattern was the first one we all received in January 2014 and I started following her then. I loved visiting with Rebecca and hope you enjoy our conversation. Thanks again for being on the show Rebecca!

Where you can find Rebecca - Frybread Quilts on facebookRebecca on instagramRebecca’s shopRebecca on flickr

Links for what we talked about – Aunt Debbie quilting, she is no longer here with us and her granddaughter teaches Hawaiian quilting although according to the website, she isn’t teaching currently; Austin Modern Quilt Guild; Fresh Modern Quilts on flickr; Abby Glassenberg: An Inside Look at What Fabric Designers Earn; Nike N7

Listen to episode 007 and let me know if you once really didn’t like the creative thing you do now. It can be a common occurrence – if we have a bad experience with something, it will take some work to bring us back to trying it out again.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you were creative today. Me, I’m designing a few baby quilts!

Free December Marketing Plan

craftyquickieread

That needs to say – to read and to implement.

The holidays are a big time for those that are running small craft and handmade businesses and Crissy at Indie Biz Chicks as you covered! She has a free marketing plan for December that includes social media updates, blog post ideas, and a pre-written newsletter. Get started now planning your December, and don’t wait because the marketing plan is only free until the end of the month! Don’t wait until the last minute and try to catch up, get ready now.

Free December Marketing Plan

006: Andrea Rennick: Quilti

Head over to iTunes and subscribe to Me Being Crafty so you don’t miss an episode! You can also subscribe on stitcher.

Welcome to episode 006 of the Me Being Crafty podcast, where we explore creativity in your life.

mbc 300x300

In this episode I talk to Andrea Rennick, of Quilti.com. She is making amazing quilts, selling on etsy, drafting clothing patterns, and planning free motion quilting video tutorials. You need to go to her site and check out the Mariner’s Compass quilt that she recently made. It is stunning. And even more impressive – she does all of her free motion quilting on her domestic machine!

Andrea and I talk about her creative journey from learning how to sew from her Grandmother, to refashioning clothing as a teenager, and making clothes for her own children. She still has a few of the things she made, and she’s coming back to working on clothing patterns now. She was struck by the work Angela Walters has done, and really related to her as well since Andrea also learned to sew from a grandparent, and says that the modern quilt movement was like, “a breath of fresh air, like a stuffy old door suddenly opened and the windows flew up into sunshine, rainbows, butterflies, puppies.” Close your eyes and picture the modern quilt movement – what do you see?

For many of us, taking the time to be creative is something that we need to schedule into our day. Andrea schedules time in to quilt and sew, and her husband Ron also recognizes that she needs this creative outlet so he will tell her, “go sew for 20 minutes.” I appreciate when our partners recognize this about us! Being creative gives us so much – it makes us happy, it brings joy to our lives, it helps us be calm, it encourages us to share our gift of creativity with others – and we need to take the time for ourselves. There should be no guilt about taking time for yourself. Mom’s often have a hard time being individuals and doing something creative can help us find who we are after we have our babies. Do not be afraid to take time for yourself, schedule that into your day, we all use calendars so block out some time to do something creative.

AndreaRennick

Andrea and I have known each other for years and years, we were thinking that we met back when my big kids were little and I was homeschooling. Andrea is also amazing with wordpress, her day job is in wordpress support, and her quilting is awesome. Thanks again for being on the show Andrea!

Where you can find Andrea - AndreaRennick.comEtsy ShopAndrea on twitterAndrea on instagram

Listen to episode 006 and let me know how you take time for yourself. Use your calendar to take 20 minutes every morning to do something just for you. I’ve mentioned that I like having multiple projects in various stages of completion and this is exactly why – if I only have 20 minutes on a busy day, I can still take the time to get something done.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you were creative today. Me, I finally figured out the design for my beadwork project!

Felt Snowflake Ornament

craftyquickiemake

It’s only November. It’s not that cold out. It doesn’t snow here. But I’m going to do it anyway.

Go make this felt ornament tutorial. Yes, I said ornament! I love Christmas and am excited for all that we have planned here – the Christmas market is starting to go up, the street decorations are up, the stores have ornaments and decorations out, and the schools sent home a reminder that they will be selling trees as a fundraiser. We’ve never had a live tree as a family, and I’m okay with that. I love the tree that we have. I am looking forward to a lot of handmade ornaments this year because we just don’t have a lot of ornaments. We are also going to be having a cookie decorating party, maybe an ornament making party, and we are going to make lots of cookies to give to our friends.

Choosing a School Overseas

When it came time to finding a school for the kids, we were lucky to turn to the same couple that helped us find a place to live. And this was after, once again, I couldn’t find much online. You can find the basics of what a French education is – kids can start school at 2 years old in some places! Two! As long as they are potty trained. And it’s not daycare with singing the alphabet song once in a while, it’s legit school with finger painting and singing and naps after lunch. Okay, is that legit school? :) And so we arrived not thinking that our youngest would actually attend, but not knowing where the older kids would go.

Our friend called two primary schools for us, as well as the secondary school for our oldest. One primary school was full and not accepting more students, but the other had openings. The other school is the one both of our sons attended last year, it is a private school that is for ages 2 up through the equivalent of fifth grade. After meeting with the director and filling out a bunch of paperwork, the kids started school about two months after school in the US started. No one other than a few teachers speak English at the primary school, but we figured after some time it would be easier for the kids. And it’s true, all three of the kids are – well, I consider them fluent. Sure their vocabulary can always be added to, but they are speaking very well.

The secondary school we were led to is also a private school, but it’s an international school. This means that a lot of students attending speak English, okay maybe not “a lot” but if they are in the international section at school then yeah, they do. This just means our oldest took a little longer to be able to speak the language as well as the youngest kids.

The school year schedule here is pretty awesome. There are two week breaks about every six weeks. This means school runs through June, to the very beginning of July actually, but we love it. It didn’t take long to get used to those breaks. The first school break last year had the kids staying up really late and sleeping in really late and it just threw everyone off for the first week, but after that they were fine. Some families go visit their relatives during the breaks, but we have yet to go anywhere.

I’m happy with the education the kids are getting here. Our youngest writes letters the way the French do so we work on that, and sometimes the older kids will come home and say they are studying something they learned at a different school, but we just keep plugging along. Oh, and despite the schools both being private schools they are no where near the cost that private schools are in the US. The primary school is only 225 euros a year (about $280, as of today). The school the older kids attend this year is around 1400 euros a year (about $1750), and only because they are in the international section. The regular school is around 500 a year (about $625), the international section an additional 900 (about $1125), with discounts for multiple kids. We also have to pay for various things such as the school trips, lockers, the school offers insurance, books they are reading for class, and of course school supplies (school supplies deserve their own post, they are long and complicated).

There will be a DODEA person you can talk to for the region you’ll be in, but if no one has been stationed in that town or if they didn’t have kids, you might not have help picking a school. They will recommend schools that others previously attended, which can be nice and make your decision easier.

One year down, one year to go!