Saturday, January 26, 2013

FNSI: January 2013 Results!

Good Afternoon Saturday!
I was happy that I got some sewing done for the January 2013 "Friday Night Sew-In".  While I wasn't able to get a quilt top done, which would have helped me out with my New Year's Resolution, I did get a jelly-roll sewn up into 24 squares.  Last weekend I made the first 24, and for FNSI, I did the other 24. Yay!  Now I can decide how to piece them together for quilt I do three, 16-block square tops?  Or do I do one of each in blocks of 3x4, 4x4, and 5x4?  I will put together one 4x4 since that would be for each set....and decide then.

I also got two new tote bags almost done!  I had all good intentions of finishing these last weekend, but I didn't get to them.  So last night I stitched up, reversed, and ironed - ready for top-stitching!  After getting the quilt blocks done, I didn't think I would have the time or energy to work on the totes!

Can't wait to check out other FNSI I'm off to do just that and make some "comments".

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Friday Night Sew In: January 25, 2013

Great news! Friday Night Sew In is back and I'm going to try and do as many as I can in 2013.  Tomorrow is FNSI #1. Stay tuned for the results posting on Saturday afternoon.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1-21-13: MLK Day

What a weekend!  I'm happy that my current full-time job honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by giving us this day as a holiday.  I reflected on his legacy and also read through Little Olive's first-grade view on him and caught up on what she is learning in the classroom.  I love that the kids get insight into all the holidays, big and small.  She had a great little "book" she put together on him.

With regard to my resolutions, I did take a teensy step backward.  I had to go up to Joann's Fabric to get brown strapping to complete two tote bags I started last summer.  Of course, after a 45 minute drive, I had to look and see what else was available and on sale.  I was also manned with three, 50% off coupons on non-sale items (namely, the strapping because it is never on sale).  I came home with this:
Fabrics for more new totes and for four new baby gift sets.  I also bought more of the owl-on-branch and woodland fabric because I think the sets will quickly sell.  Plus, SIL Olive #2, just had Nephew Olive #3 and she wanted the Owl I was already down to three. 

I did get a quilt top completed.  I used two charm packs of Tula Pink's fabric line "The Birds and the Bees", but that numbered only 60, six-inch squares.  I could make a 10x6 top, but that is too long....8x7 is more-balanced, but then I'd have four squares leftover.  I decided to use three squares of extra fabric in my stash that had birds on it so I would have enough for 63 squares for a 9x7 layout.  It will be a great lap quilt size once Mother Olive finishes it up:

I did make 24 squares to make a "Rail Fence" quilt, but haven't figured how best to construct.  I have another jelly-roll of the same fabric, so I may make another 24 squares and make three, 16-square tops, or one each of a 3x4, 4x4, and 5x4 tops. Decisions.....decisions.....
 As far as the de-cluttering goes, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  This is our dining room before.....

....and here it is after.............

All the stuff was either TOSSED or PUT AWAY in its proper place.  Most wound up in the trash.

Happy Monday Night!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

1-13-13: Quilt Top and Completed Projects

The status of my "quilt top a weekend" for my New Years resolution? I got one done!  Plus some....I finished four new beach bags, two each of a fabric set, six cell phone cases, and a woodland fabric girls baby blanket, which will be part of a set.  I made 4 blankets, but only top-stitched one.  The other three will be top-stitched next weekend.  But, first things first, the quilt top.  It is a fantastic "beachy" fabric called "Lucy's Crab Shack" by Moda fabrics; it is designed by Sweetwater.  I originally planned this as a baby / crib quilt, but since I had two charm packs, I thought on this would be a perfect fabric line for an adult lap quilt.  So the re-working skills came out.  I did the layout with my original pieced parts and completed the now-larger adult lap quilt / toddler quilt.  Since the weekend has been all-rain, I took the picture on our queen-size bed.  Once it gets to my mom for borders and backing, it will be a great size.  The colors include, navy, pink, lime-green, orange, and teal:

"Lucy's Crab Shack" fabric quilt top:

I had these tote bags in pieces, but completed the bottom seam, put the bag together, and top-stitched.  I make my beach totes reversible - so yes, two bags in one!  The first is a beautiful serene mint-green and pastel pink floral with a "bubble dot" liner.  The second is a brighter graphic animal design in brown, lime green, bright green, pink, and a bright coral.  The liner is a bright stripe that includes yellow and teal, minus the brown.

Here is the adorable woodland blanket - can't wait to see the completed set when mom makes the matching onesie and bib:

And last but not least, my new cell phone cases:
I didn't do a great job on the de-cluttering a pile, but I did get the Christmas tree down and the decorations put away.  Also went to church with Little Olive as Mr. Olive has that sore-throat starting.  I made chicken cordon bleu last night for dinner and tonight?  Old school pork chops - Shake n Bake style!!

Happy Sunday night - I'm rooting for Houston.....

Friday, January 11, 2013

Addendum to my 2013 New Year's Resolutions....

I had the nagging feeling I was forgetting to include something and you know how that feeling always turns out to be right? It was again.

During Christmas vacation while I was sick, I happened upon a show called "Hoarders".  I think it has been on for a couple years, but this was the first time I saw it - and it was purely by chance as the station was tuned when I turned on the set.  So I watched.  And watched for another hour given the back-to-back episodes.  What I saw was CRAZY.  While I can no way relate to the lady who hoarded cats, those both living and dead (which weren't buried, but socked away in her refrigerator and freezer), when they showed the artsy-craftsy lady who could no longer BE artsy or craftsy because she had no space due to the magnitude of STUFF she'd accumulated, part of me related to her plight.  My first resolution is to sew-down my fabric stash.  And I will have pictures on Sunday to show what I completed.  But other snippets of these women's lives (all four story lines were female hoarders) showed piles of newspapers, magazines, bottles, books, supplies for any need - and some never bothered to wash a dish or clean their remaining living space at all.  NOW, I'm not anywhere near that level, but I do have piles of stuff around the house that I reason I will go through before throwing out, or will put away into the place it belongs.  I also have a supple of beauty products since I love lotions and potions.  Which brings me to the addendum....

#6) Go through the piles of "stuff" and make a decision - KEEP or TOSS.  What is kept needs to go where it needs to be, which it likely not on my dining room table.  I'm keeping this resolution manageable for "area" a weekend.  If I bite off more than I can chew, it won't work. I need to feel like I've accomplished and closed.  New Years weekend, I did the first pile and tossed 97% of it.  The remaining KEEP was readily put away.  Last weekend I tacked the two drawers under my sewing machine on the sewing table.  The stuff that stayed in the drawers was fine, but I also threw alot out - and organized an email list for periodic mailings for Olive Street Studio when we have new items or a sale. :-)

#7) Use up my products before buying new ones.  I am a complete sucker for Bath & Body Works clearance sales because they have delicious scents.  And because I'm not a make-up girl, but rather a soaps and lotions, I cannot pass up a good scent, so I buy it.  In 2013, like I had in a prior year's resolution list, I am also going to use up the soaps and lotions I have and not buy more until needed.  I've accumulated many little sample bottles from hotel stays because I can't bear the thought of using two days of shampoo and conditioner and housekeeping tossing the remainder into the can.  I'm going to keep a running total of the number I've used up with the empties hitting the recycling bin.  I decided to use the hotel samples first since I can clear out faster.

Running total: 2 hotel samples; 1 medium size lotion.

Whew!  Now THAT is my complete resolution list.  I'm encouraged by my two weeks progress.  Let's see if by Sunday, I've made more....

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's 2013!!

It is so hard for me to believe that we are already a week into 2013.  I think 2012 just skipped right on by it went so fast.  Although, alot did go on....from Craft Fairs, to new designer fabric quilts, to the annual cousin visit out on Fire Island, to Hurricane Sandy / Frakenstorm, to a family Caribbean Cruise (which was absolutely fabulous!), to round-out the year with a beautiful Christmas and New Years.  Besides the fact that I felt a cold coming on Christmas night and it is JUST leaving me, I feel really happy with what I've done and how I've spent my time.  I have Little Olive who is still a happy, great girl doing well in 1st grade....and a Mr. Olive who is attempting to kick his tobacco habit - third time is a charm, right?  Although the Giants won the Superbowl earlier in the year, the 2012 season end came about too soon, but I did my best ever in the fantasy football league I'm part of with Mr. Olive and Father Olive!  Luck has alot to do with that.....

So as I look to 2013, I realized I never wrote up my resolutions for 2012.  In my mind I had them, although nothing lofty - save money, save money, sew more, drink more water, and read at least 12 books.  I was able to sew more, drink more water (does the ice in white wine count? ha ha), and I read 15 books.  I'm quite proud of the reading part because I hadn't been reading on the train, just sleeping and "smart-phoning".  I'll post another about all the books because part of this year's resolutions is to blog more!  I was a lame-poster in 2012, but realized that I cannot always fit in and I didn't want to beat myself up, so what I posted, I posted.  This year, I'm going to use my posts to keep my #1 resolution in check.  What is that you may wonder?  Here ya go.....

2013 Resolutions

1) Sew down all the fabric I've accumulated!  My sewing room is small and I have been buying lots of designer fabrics to make crib quilts.  This past summer, I thought we should expand our offerings with making lap quilts for people who want to buy for themselves or hostess gifts or friend birthday gifts.  So I'm going to try to sew a quilt top each weekend until my fabric stash is sewn down.  This will also give us great stock going into the summer craft season.  I also have to make tote bags and have the fabric sitting on my floor.  I'm planning to post my results each weekend.  I'm hoping that keeps me on-point.  I'm going to send all my tops to my lovely Mother Olive who will find border and back fabric, line with batting, and finish up the quilt.

Here is the first top in the "Kaleidescope" fabric line by Free Spirit:

 I also managed a new beach tote and matching handbag:

I also finished up 4 blankets for baby gift sets in this fantastic owl fabric (I used a cream minky dot on the back so it is super soft):

 #2) Read 13 books in 2013:  Last year my resolution was for 12 books since it was 2012, and I eeked out 15 finishing one up on New Year's Eve.  One was "The Fountainhead", which should be like 3 books!  I also finished the Hunger Games trilogy in a month's time, which for me is lightening fast, and prompted Mr. Olive to remark that he'd never seen me go through books that fast - this from the avid reader who finished the trilogy at a 2-days-a-book pace.

I have already finished one, but it was barely 100 pages and by a local NYC writer.  It took me 3 train rides to finish it.  I may count that as a "half" book, unless New Year's Eve rolls around and I've only read 12, then it will be a full book. ha!

#3) Budget Better: Mr. Olive is still unemployed, *sigh*, so I will try yet again to budget better.  I know I'll never achieve this resolution, but feel like I have to give myself a chance with the clean-slate 2013.

#4) Go to Church: Little Olive needs to go to Sunday school.  Mr. Olive is still bitter, 23 years later, at the Father who didn't allow him to take his confirmation test early because he had an away game for some sport.  He has agreed to go and show her a united front.  I'm thinking a new folding table and chair set may be a good donation to the Church from us.

Today we all went - there wasn't Sunday school because the church lost all its tables and folding chairs to Hurricane Sandy.  And there were no hymns because the organist is relocated due to the storm.  Little Olive said it went by fast!  Mr. Olive remarked about the "different version of the Lord's Prayer" that was part of the service.  That too threw me for a loop.  We all walked home holding hands and for the better.  I'm hoping next weekend is just as good.....and May weekends are better.....and hoping we make it through the summer....dare I dream?

Whew!  That is my little start to 2013!!  More to come......

Happy Sunday!