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06/24/10

  09:41:00 pm, by Airycat   , 693 words  
Categories: Uncategorized

Cleaning

My son's Facebook update said it all. The sheer amount of ridiculous crap my family can fit in a garage is magical. "Harry Potter & the Boxes of Broken Tiles" We forgot to take before photos, but I have a few blurry ones from last year.

This was before the laundry room was walled in at the back of the garage. We did some cleaning out then, but the last photo here probably looks better than it was on Monday. The biggest problem is that the shelves were supposed to roll out so we could see and put things away. In reality, they were always getting stuck on each other and in cold weather no one wanted to take the time in the unheated garage to bother. Things were getting piled up in no particular order and when we went to look for something, they would get even more out of order. It had reached the point where we couldn't find anything. So Alex, when he couldn't find something he wanted, agreed to help. He emptied almost everything out of the garage. Then, between the two of us, we figured out how to arrange the shelves so that each one was accessible from the front -- no pulling out necessary. We moved the old kitchen cupboards to the back of the laundry room wall where we can actually use it. That freed up space in the far front corner for four of the shelves. The Christmas stuff is finally all together on two of them. We also got rid of a car load of Goodwill donations and at least two garbage bags of trash. All the lumber is piled outside under the balcony. I will use what I need of that to put shelves in my fabric cupboard and probably add the rest to the wood pile. (At least two of the 2x4's from there will be used to get the wood pile off the ground, too.) We put the tiles mentioned in the quote above, along with many more unbroken tiles, under the balcony, too. We need to think hard about whether we will actually use them when we redo the kitchen and baths. If so, we'll put them in storage. If not, they will go to Freecycle. So, now the garage looks like this:


These are books and videos. The corner cupboard and box of hangers sitting on it will be going out to the family room and laundry, respectively. I'm hoping to pare down the extra linens in the boxes at the right, too. They are blocking the window light.

 


This is the front corner with all the Christmas stuff on the right.

 


We actually have enough floor space to set up three pieces of exercise equipment. (We can use it in here when it's not too hot or too cold.)

 


This is the kitchen extras corner. All the seasonal and occasional use stuff is here in the cupboard and on the shelving. The big box behind the mini tramp is my craft paper -- leftover moving paper.

 


The kitchen shelving and beyond from the other side of the garage. Notice the kitty boxes. They are finally out of the laundry room!! That's traditional "garage stuff" above them.

One day it would be nice to turn this into a room. I'd put patio doors where the garage door is. I'd like to do that anyway. Tomorrow, I will get my fabric cupboard.

They didn't have an internal photo, but it's a sort of free standing closet. I don't need the side to hang items, so I'm putting in extra shelves. It will be more functional for me that way. I will get the laundry room, where this will be, reorganized this weekend. Then, if things keep going this well, I will be able to get back to my sewing. Except... I may rearrange my sewing tables, first. I have to wait for Alex to get back, because my one table is a nine foot counter and is way too heavy to move by myself. He should be back sometime Monday, though. Tonight I'm going to work a bit on my Blessings sampler.

06/19/10

  05:27:00 pm, by Airycat   , 213 words  
Categories: Chitchat

Finally Finished!

That's the gift project I've been working on. They will get mailed out on Monday and once the recipients get them, I will have some pictures. I'm finally happy with them, though. I will give them as promised, but I wouldn't mind keeping them, either. :&amp;#58;&amp;#80;

I think I will work some more on the blessings project. If I can plan enough of them in advance, perhaps I can work on them part time and still get to work on the fairy quilt. Alas, I have other sewing projects that need to be done, but aren't as much fun as these two. I think I'd accomplish much more if the daily routine things didn't interrupt my flow of concentration.

I will not be keeping up with every blog I read, either. I currently have over 700 unread posts! That's in needlework blogs alone. Plus I have the blessings blogs listed separately. My Google reader says over 1000 to read. I can read or I can work. So reading will be hit or miss. I think I'm going to have to start a "Must read" file in my reader just to keep up with specific blogs that I have found helpful and inspiring... although anyone who does any needlework is inspiring, so how's that gonna work?

06/16/10

  06:32:00 pm, by Airycat   , 282 words  
Categories: Chitchat

Blinded by the Light!

 

Well, not really, but there was the very, very bright ball of heat up in the sky on Saturday. It was there a bit on Sunday, too, but seems to have diminished since then.
I have been working on my gift project. I hope to have them done this week.
On Sunday and Monday I was helping my granddaughter's mother remove wallpaper. Yesterday I helped my son figure out his school budget. Today I took my mom shopping. I haven't gotten back to any sewing of any kind. Maybe tonight.
I have over 600 blog entries to read, too!  How do I get so behind. That's just the needlework. My personal blog over at Xanga hasn't seen me in a while.
Anyway, rather than wishing I had gotten something done, I'm going down to my sewing corner and actually get something done.

Well, not really, but there was the very, very bright ball of heat up in the sky on Saturday. It was there a bit on Sunday, too, but seems to have diminished since then.

I have been working on my gift project. I hope to have them done this week.

On Sunday and Monday I was helping my granddaughter's mother remove wallpaper. Yesterday I helped my son figure out his school budget. Today I took my mom shopping. I haven't gotten back to any sewing of any kind. Maybe tonight.

I have over 600 blog entries to read, too!  How do I get so behind. That's just the needlework. My personal blog over at Xanga hasn't seen me in a while.

Anyway, rather than wishing I had gotten something done, I'm going down to my sewing corner and actually get something done.

 

06/12/10

  02:51:00 am, by Airycat   , 720 words  
Categories: Tutorials

Braided Thread Tutorial

I was asked about how I keep my DMC floss in braids and thought I'd do this tutorial to show how I do it.

This is something I learned in a cross stitch class a long, long time ago. So long ago that I don't remember exactly when, where or who the teacher was. I prefer this to using the winding bobbins because a.) the thread is ready to use after you pull it out and b.) I think it looks pretty! &amp;#58;&amp;#68;&amp;#68;

  1. First it helps to know how long your thread is. Mine is 9 yards or 324 inches.


  2. Then you decide how long you want your threads to be. I chose 18" because it divided evenly, but it seems a bit short. Alternately you could simply decide how long you want your threads to be and see how it works into the total length. It may end up wasting less thread to have one shorter length of 6 strands. I think this is how I actually did most of mine.

  3. ('11/10/01) EDIT: Another way to measure is to hold the end of the thread between your thumb and finger and pull the thread to your elbow  (or measure from your thumb tip to your elbow).  This is about the length of thread you should use to stitich.  

  4. Measure out the lengths either along a ruler, as I did, or by wrapping it around a cardboard or other item of the right length. My threads didn't come out exactly the same length, but if I had wrapped it around something they probably would have.


  5. You need something to hold the thread. I prefer these little rings, but any sturdy, closed item would work.


  6. Put the thread through the ring halfway.


  7. Then snip all the loops at the ends.


  8. Don't forget to slide the wrapper with the color number back onto the thread! But only on one side.


  9. Divide the thread into three sections and braid.


  10. It will look like this (more or less).


  11. You can then slip the ring onto a binder ring.

    You can see here how the braids hold the color number papers in place at the top.


  12. Selecting thread to use: Use your needle to pick out a single strand of thread. With it under the thread, pull until one end (or both) are completely out of the braid. Because of the direction of the twist of the fibers, one end usually (but not always) will come out first. It's best to keep the fibers all in the same direction, so pay attention to that when you pull out more than one strand.


  13. Dont the braids look pretty hanging with my ribbons?


  14. I also will put the binder rings on another binder ring to keep them all together when I'm carrying them.
  15. (In my case, "carrying them" usually meant when I moved, but the idea is if you take them to a class or stitching group.)
    You can also take specific little rings off the binder rings (I try to keep them in numerical order) and put them on a separate binder ring for a specific project.

 

This is the first tutorial I have ever written. I have tried to be very clear, but if I haven't been clear enough, please let me know exactly what isn't clear and I will be more specific or do whatever I need to clarify.

NOTES:

My floss:
This skein of embroidery floss is very old! I went digging through some drawers to find it. You can tell by the price! (See pictures in steps 7 & 8.) Also, it's not DMC. I think it's American Thread Co.

Why we want to keep our fibers going in the same direction: If we have two threads in a needle and their fibers are going in opposite directions, it creates friction between them. This will cause one thread to become shorter as you stitch. I presume it's bunching up, however minutely, in each pass through the fabric. This can affect how the thread lies and the look of the project.

Ideally, DMC would make little rings with the numbers already on them, but since the bobbins seem to be the more popular method of keeping thread, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them. The papers do hold up pretty well at the top of the braid.

06/11/10

  02:21:00 am, by Airycat   , 373 words  
Categories: Needlework, Chitchat, Crafts

Gray, Gray, Gray!

Today was another gray day in Oregon. I wish summer would get here! At least I did discover that this is not just a SAD thing. It's been gray so long (with only tiny intervals of sunshine) that even people without SAD are really feeling it.

Last night (or this morning, really) I was dreaming about I-don't-know-what, but I remember seeing five or six of my fabric art hanging on a wall. I woke up then and was trying to remember the last one I saw (since I haven't even made these, yet), but Iqbal came in and told me my sister was here and I jumped up and promptly forgot the little I had been able to recall. All I have now is a vague recollection of red and of hands. This description sounds like albedoarlee's project, but it really was quite different. I just didn't have enough of a view of mine to be able to describe.

What I picture happening is me eventually sitting down with a bunch of fabric (which will have a lot of red) and working without thinking. Otherwise, I will be too left brained and, not knowing what the piece is, I will sit there not knowing what to do. Although... I find myself putting red ideas together in the back of my mind as I read through the too many needlework & fiber blogs in my reader.

It's still almost a month away, but I'm looking forward to Sharon Boggon's "GIMP for textile designers" starting July 7th. I signed up mainly to learn how to use the program (it is not intuitive for me), but I find myself wanting to know more and more about the textile designers aspect of it, too.

Awesome!

Cloth, Paper, Scissors has an article about making cloth from paper. I want to try that! That sounds like the ooey-gooey, messy thing I'm in the mood for. That would be great for some of the stuff I was fiddling with yesterday, too. Hmmmm...

I love both Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Quilting Arts magazines. Lots of inspirational eye candy and some practical advice, too.

It's after 2 a.m. and my brain has a gazillion ideas when it had none all day.

Oh, well...

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