Monday, October 27, 2014

Over the river and through the woods - Baby quilts

This week I'm in Minneapolis for work, and enjoying it quite a bit so far as it's giving me a nice taste of autumn. Chilly hoodie weather, colorful leaves - a nice change from the 70-80 degree weather we've been having in LA.

As I recently found out that a former colleague was pregnant... with twins... and the shower was coming up soon, I was under a tight deadline to finish up my gifts and bring them to Minneapolis with me for the handoff to another colleague. And amazingly I did it!

I didn't want to go with the standard blues for a boy and pinks for a girl, so instead I went with a woodsy vs. water theme. And for the stitching, did a spiral-y wave and a weaving ivy.

And to add more projects on my to-do list, I was randomly selected as the winner of last month's 'A Year of Finishes' and got a charm pack of my choice from Stitches n' Giggles in which I picked a patriotic one, just in time for.... Fourth of July? Well, I have enough time to prep I guess.

And before I left, I was able to squeeze in what will probably be my last Halloween creation for the year - Sam from the movie "Trick 'R Treat."

"Trick 'R Treat" features several short stories that are somehow intertwined. And a common character is Sam, who reminds the characters to respect the night of Halloween, and never to blow out your jack o'lantern too early or you'll face the consequences...

And carving our pumpkins will be the first thing I do when I'm back home on Friday.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Braaaaiinnn - Halloween on the braaaaiiinn

I cannot get enough of this Halloween stuff so far!


It's not even halfway through the month, and I've already watched these shows/movies:

  • Day of the Dead
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Zombieland
  • Corpse Bride
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Frankenweenie (the original)
  • Garfield's Halloween special
  • ParaNorman
  • Fun Size
  • Trick R Treat
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf
  • Oculus
  • Annabelle

    We've also hit two different local 'pumpkin patches' and got two really big pum'kins. Unfortunately, due to the warm weather lately, plus a work trip coming up, I won't be able to carve them until the day OF Halloween. I got a lot of work ahead of me!

    And while I was watching some of the movies listed above over the weekend, I got to work on some new cross stitch patterns! A black-and-white tribute to the Universal monsters of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Grids now available in my Etsy store.


    Plus, I also got around to finishing up my quilted covers for my throw pillows. Now I have a matching pillow-blanket set! Just a couple more Halloween items I need to knock out, and then I can get started on Thanksgiving and Christmas... Can I get a weekend from my weekend please?


    A Lovely Year of Finishes
  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Spooking up the place

    I'm not sure where I'm finding the time to work on these projects, but somehow they're getting done!
    Friday night, I decided to revamp my Zero plushie. Several years ago, I made a crochet Zero. But as my crochet skills have advanced since then, I was no longer happy with it. So I made a new one. I found this pattern from YarnyDoom.com for a smaller version. And now Zero is a better size for my Oogie Boogie and Jack plushies!

    I made a few alterations to the instructions though. I used black felt for the eyes and mouth, rather than crochet with black yarn. Then I used floral wire in the ears, mouth, and neck of the doll to make him a little more adjustable.

    Last week I finished my Halloween dresden quilt but had some leftover fabric. Time for a new wreath!

    My goal for this week is to finish the pillow covers to match the quilt. Then I can get started on some other Halloween sewing projects I have planned!

    We picked up our first pumpkin of the season. We always get a massive one, though it was a bit pricier than I was expecting. Bad year for pumpkins maybe? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't start to go bad, as it's been 80°+ in LA lately. Fall temps are welcome at any time, nature...

    A Lovely Year of Finishes




    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    A quilted Halloween

    Happy October, everybody!
    And look, I made my goal! The Halloween quilt is done, just in time.


    I used up most of my orange, purple, green, and black scrap pieces for the flowers. The centers are stitched with a pebbling motif, then zigzagged on b/c it looked like some of the fabric was loose. I then outlined each flower and stippled the rest of the negative space with matching thread.

    Monday, September 29, 2014

    Crazy about composting

    This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a composting workshop hosted for free by the City of LA. And whodathunk, I learned a little something...


  • Los Angeles has reduced its total waste production by 71% since 1989.
  • The benefits of composting include: saving money for the city; reduces water consumption in gardens/lawns; promotes soil fertility; and reduces the need for landfills.
  • Compost piles should be 50% green material, 50% brown material.
  • Compost should be moist like a damp sponge to prevent mildew growth.
  • Compost bins should be placed on dirt and not cement to help retain moisture and encourage worm activity.
  • Ingredients should be cut/shredded to the size of your pinky to ensure quick decomposition.
  • Compost can be used as mulch, soil conditioner, or potting mix.
  • Thursday, September 25, 2014

    A Wardrobe metaphor?

    I had the dream again last night.

    The circumstances of why I'm there is always different.

    The dream started with hanging out with friends at their house and staying too late. They invited me to stay the night because they knew I had to wake up early the next morning. By the time I was settled in, it was already 7am. 7am! I had to be at the zoo by 7:30! I jump out of bed and start searching my belongings for my zoo wear.

    And here's the familiar part. It's ended up being a recurring dream, so there must be meaning behind it, right?

    I'm suddenly in my bedroom from my teen years. I'm rummaging through my old dresser and closet when I find clothes I had forgotten about that I snatch up again. The end.

    The clothing items change each dream: sometimes it's t-shirts, like last night; sometimes it's work clothes or dresses. They aren't actually clothes I owned in real life. But when I see them, I get a Eureka moment like I just found gold.

    Interpretations welcome.

    But what does it mean?

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Surviving the heat with thoughts of Halloween

    Wow, what a hot weekend. Over 100° in some places. And though we're in a drought as well, I've had to soak my veggie garden as it's drying right up. Not sure if I'll have much of a summer crop for my first go-round unfortunately.
    But, even though it's blazing, it IS September, and just the thought of that puts me in the mood for fall. So this weekend I finished assembling the top of my Halloween quilt. Now it's time to pick up the backing fabric and batting. Who knows? Might even have it done earlier than I predicted!