No Shortcuts, Darn It

I created a label for my Halloween quilt to hide a mistake I made in the binding. I love how it turned out. The fold over binding did not work for me on the fidget quilt since I accidentally snipped into it when cutting off the extra batting. I spent about an hour this morning hiding and snipping threads, then threw them in the wash since I photographed them on the floor.

I am also considering how to finish off the stitching project, the dark grey background would cause the cream to pop. If I decide to add that in then I’ll use stitching to go across both pieces.

That’s it for current projects. I’m going to see the hand surgeon tomorrow to see what’s up with my broken wrist. I’m hoping that I can do more crafting after that, but only time will tell. Until next time, remember to live life a little more abstract.

Progress Not Perfection

I have made some progress in warping up my loom. The threads are all through the front reed, I know that the weave is unbalanced because I did not measure it to begin with. At present I am working on getting all of the threads through the heddles in a twill pattern, straight 1-16 then 1-16 again. At the time of writing this I think I have the first 50 threads through heddles, wish me luck getting the rest set up.

This is not the only craft I have going on, is it ever just one craft? I have also been taking part of the Stitch Camp through TextileArtist.org. This is quite a bit of fun, and since it only takes about 30 minutes a day, lasting just 5 days, I find it to be a reasonable goal to maintain. The first step is to use a limited palette of 3 colors and make marks on your lightest fabric, then cut them apart, reassemble in a way that you like, and now on the third day I added in some stitching. I am not certain if I am finished stitching or if I will give it a little more jazz.

You didn’t think I was done did you? Two projects, pfft. I am also working on a pair of quilts. One was discovered when a friend of mine wanted me to make them rice packs was looking for the skull fabric I had mentioned. The other quilt I am working on turning into a tactile quilt or fidget quilt for the father of a friend of mine, he is having trouble with ‘Sundowner’s’ in the facility he is currently living. For the Halloween Quilt I need to add a label, since I was unable to catch one border in the binding of my quilt. For the Fidget Quilt I need to redo a couple of small sections of quilting, I had caught the side of the backing in the quilting, so I had to pick out the quilting. Once I have the quilting done I need to carefully trim the batting, and turn the backing over to bind the quilt. If I can get away with not having to trim the edges of the quilt and make a traditional binding I am going to take that and run with it.

For the fidget quilt I have added on a rough ribbon, soft fleece, and a changeable sequin patch. The sequin patch, much to my shock, was easy enough to sew on and did not break a needle.

Okay, that is it for today. I hope to have an actual update ready for you on Sunday, but until then Live Life a Little More Abstract

One Week In

Okay, so I am one week into 2023 and my resolution has (mostly) held. This year I am going to be teaching 3-4 classes outside of my normal work. One of those is going to be a needle tatting class. I decided to purchase supplies for 10 people to be able to take the class, I wanted to make the purchase before prices to up. It will be about $10 per person to take the class and this just covers the supplies. Given that I hope to be given a speaker’s fee which I can then put toward some future classes I would like to take. Other than those supplies and a case to put them it I have bought the supplies I need to finish my holiday plans and some fabric I was missing for a couple of cousin quilts, as well as the batting for a donation quilt.

Every day I have managed to do something to make progress on my various crafting plans. The 16 shaft loom has the warp through the front beater bar, it is just waiting for me to thread it through the heddles next. I have spun a couple more puffs from my Unicorns in the Library fiber ( split it into hand length puffs to give me smaller achievable goals). I have half of the fabric I purchased torn into the right size for my embroidery project (for the family), and I stitched up 4 pieces this morning with another 2 designed and ready for me to hit the button when I get home. I have also signed up for three different ‘summits’ that will happen this week. One is Stitch Camp scheduled to begin next week, then the Knitting Summit the week of the 23rd, and finally selling your crafts for a profit the 26th- 28th of January. I am not sure how much I am going to get out of these classes, however since they are free I am going to give them a good shot.

The last thing I have been doing recently is going through my Amazon e-magazines, and taking screenshots of the projects and instructions that I want to keep for now. That way if I decide I want to get rid of Kindle Unlimited I will not lose access to those projects. Okay, that is all for this week (I will try to add photos later if I remember).

Until next time remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

New Start to the Year

Over the past four days I have taken the time to sew together 2 charm packs, one white one colored. The next day I ironed them flat. Yesterday I sewed them into 4 patches and began the square them into 8.5″ blocks. Today I planned the layout and sewed them into a completed top taking care to match the points as best as I could. I love the result. Nothing too complex, only about a throw size, but completed in less than a week. This is the motivation that I hope to take into the new year.

This is not the only project that I have been working on, as I find it very difficult to stick to just one project. I am still working on threading my 16 shaft table loom for the towels I warped up earlier this autumn. I have brought out my sock that I am working on loom knitting, I have finished three rounds in two days. There are always work projects, however I find myself very interested quilt tops right now, the actual quilting might take a backseat for a while.

I await the fabric to finish my holiday crafting, hopefully it will be here this week and I can make some progress this weekend. My wrist, I don’t know what to think about my wrist so I am making a conscious effort not to think about it. I wrap it when it gets a bit sore, I use heat when the wrapping is downstairs and I am upstairs. Other than that I will wait until my appointment with the hand surgeon and get their professional opinion.

New Year’s Resolutions. I am not making any. There are things that I will work on, creating and sticking with a budget, eating somewhat healthier within that budget, and the like. For crafting, I hope to finish more projects than I purchase supplies for this upcoming year. Other than that, I hope to live life to its fullest in a way that is A Little More Abstract!

Happy 2023!

Life a Little More Abstract

Sometimes it takes an event to remember that there is a bigger plan that what I want to do. I had to cancel a weaving retreat and I am trying to plan when I can get back to crafting. Thinking about this has caused me to realize I need to re think my next year. There are two major conferences, MAFA and EGLFC that I was hoping to get scholarships for and attend. While one is July and the other October I am not certain that I will be up to 2-3 full days of crafting. Given that, I think I am going to have to wait for 2025 to attend. Living Life a Little More Abstract involves pivoting, so this is me trying to figure out what I am pivoting toward in 2023.

I am certain that this is going to be for the best, I will have 3 years to get my house, life, and credit card debt under control as well as saving toward these conferences. Perhaps they will have something I am passionate about rather than something I would not mind taking. Each step in life is toward something, sometimes we do not know what we are heading toward.

I hope that everyone has a Happy Holiday Season no matter what you celebrate! Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.

Ice is no joke

I have only just begun to post more often and get back into crafting. Now I slipped and fell on the ice breaking a bone in my hand. It is all but impossible to do many crafts while in a hand cast, so this blog is either going on hiatus or being focused on organization for a while. I will probably decide after the holidays. Until next time, remember to live life a little more abstract.

Missed a Week

Sorry, I didn’t mean to miss a week. I cannot even think about what happened that I did not get around to posting last week. This has been a week of completion and experimentation. Starting with experimentation, one of my colleagues mentioned venison a couple of weeks ago, I think it was Halloween actually, and I decided that I wanted to experiment with some different meats. This is good for my diet since I am supposed to be eating relatively low carb and high protein. One of the products I ordered was a stew sampler pack. Last week I made antelope stew and right now on my stove is a bison stew. Since cabbage is supposed to be very good for digestion, and I’m half Hungarian, I added half a head of cabbage to each batch of stew. I just finished listening to “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and decided to add some vinegar to my stew as well as making sure that I have added enough salt to actually flavor my stew. I’m excited to see the end result. On to Crafting Content!

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I had been storing a guild loom for a couple of years, and yesterday I took it to a guild meeting so that someone else can store or use it for a while. This has freed up enough floor space for me to put up two of my flat topped bookcases so that I can put my swift on top and have it freely spin. This is going to make it much easier to turn hanks into center pull balls. This has also given me somewhere to put my craft sets for crafts that I either do not use much or intend to get to in the near future (leather painting and paper making specifically).

This past Thursday’s craft class went fairly well. I had several people learn how to English Paper Piece (everyone that came and was physically capable learned) but a couple of problems popped up. Since I have use it or lose it vacation time that I am working to finish I was not at the craft class last week. While I was gone a new person came and saw the pouch one of my patrons was working on and a colleague, innocently, gave the new patron a pouch so that they could work on it. So last week while I was trying to teach English Paper Piecing I had another patron wondering why I wasn’t taking time out to haul out the wool and teach them embroidery stitching. Fortunately I was able to get the patron to work on an English Paper Piecing Project and I sent them home with wool and a book on Embroidery Stitches. There was also enough of a problem with a child hanging around that my supervisor has decided that there will be a simple craft or Makerspace activity in the Children’s area while the adult crafting is just for Adults starting in December. Fortunately, I had several people completely finish their projects so I look forward to seeing what will become of them in the future, I hate to feel mean about this but I teach a craft in the Makerspace for the young children on Mondays, Teens on Tuesday, so Thursdays are for Adults, and sometimes like with these sharp hand sewing needles it is dangerous for the children to be underfoot. As it is I am frankly surprised that no one stabbed themselves, especially since I said that someone would.

For my personal crafting I forgot my thread and needles so I could not make any progress on my Nova Quilt EPP by Tula Pink EPP Project during the class nor when I brought it to my guild meeting yesterday. I’ll take that as a sign that I need to get my stuff organized better. I did finish the piece I had on my 32″ rigid heddle loom. I decided to use up the Cascade 220 yarn I had lying around from my experiments in knitting two sides at once to create a picture (cannot remember what that is called). I thought that it was super wash so I just threw it in the washer, the fringe felted a bit but most of it looks great. It is not as wide as I though it would be so it is now a shawl. I love the length and it is quite warm without being heavy at all.

I am working on pulling out my embroidery machine so that I can make up some Christmas Presents for the family. I hope to remember to take pictures of each piece as I finish them. I still haven’t finished my halloween quilt and I have to face the fact that my idea of making my Aunt a quilt isn’t going to happen in time for Christmas. I’m probably not going to get my sister’s done in time either but I do plan on working toward that over the holidays.

Until Next time I hope that you remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

*Update: This was supposed to be posted Sunday but I didn’t get a picture of the blanket in time, so instead I’m going to update this with new information and photos to post Tuesday.

So the shawl turned out very nice. I have also been working on a couple of my other projects. I managed to get another piece added to my English Paper Piecing Project. I find that if I have all of the supplies readily at hand it is much easier to work on the project.

Speaking of Sewing I have been trying to figure out embroidery on bags, it turns out that the bags I purchased are too small for me to hoop one side and push the rest of the second side out of the way. This means that I get to learn how to create embroidered patches. The instructions I found state that you use a satin stitched outline on wash away stabilizer, then cut out a piece of cloth to fit that outline (the outside of it so that the cloth gets caught by the outline, spray stabilize the fabric, satin stitch over that then complete the design. It turns out that the spray stabilizer is very important, and that it is pretty easy to take apart the throat plate of an embroidery machine to get the knotted thread cleaned up.

Though getting things cleaned up does involve sharp, tiny scissors and a lot of snipping., The spray stabilizer should be here on Saturday.

Finally I have been working some on my peg loom sock. I love the yarn and hope that this type of ‘sock knitting’ will help me to get these actually knit!

I think that this is enough for a cold, late fall day. Stay warm and remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Never Make Plans

I swear this should be my motto. I do not have any real craft related content this week, unless you count lack of progress. Remember how I was talking about blisters last week and walking gingerly? Well if you think you have blisters do NOT walk gingerly. When I got out of the shower and bent down to get a towel my back decided ‘nope’. I hobbled into work on Monday, right after the issue, thinking that I could walk it out. The pain was so bad I couldn’t keep it out of my voice and I had to admit I wasn’t going to make it. Thanks to door dash I was able to get icy hot pads and rub delivered to the house and those combined with the hot pad I purchased at a fiber festival I was able to feel better by Tuesday. I then tried to go to work again, I made it an hour, but that was about it. Fortunately my supervisors were very understanding, and by Wednesday I was able to make it a full day, mostly due to working at my desk for the most part and re-heating my pad whenever I needed to. Due to my working Saturday I had Friday off, so I managed Thursday as well, using a roller chair to keep an eye on my crafters.

It worked out really well, while everyone did wind up using the bird pattern at least one person also drew their own owl to add onto their pouches. I used this opportunity to expound on the other crafts we will be having, encouraging them to sign up for the desk organizer and reminding them that we would be having an Evergreen swag workshop on a Saturday in December. Everyone seems very interested in these projects, so I am very pleased with these responses!

Saturday did not work how I would have liked, I planned on going to the zoo with a friend after work. I went to work and spent 4 hours working at a front desk, it turns out that stretching and walking every hour was not enough to keep my back from seizing up again. During my lunch break I had to use my heating pad and even then I was still very stiff and sore by time work was done. I ended up going to dinner and a quick shopping trip with my friend. We then spent some time chatting on my front porch and having a tea tasting event. It was a pleasant evening.

With most of my energy going toward getting my back to loosen up and taking care of daily activities I have not had much energy to work on other projects, though I did manage to get the cat smelling carpet out of one of my closets. Imaging my chagrin when I went in with gloves expecting to have to yank this carpet out and then drag the pad out before figuring out how to get the nails out of the floor near to the walls, only to discover that this carpet had just been laid down and I simply had to roll it up. *Head Desk*. I then managed to bleach the floor and use my vinegar natural oil mixture to get some of the smell out. I plan on putting my photographs in there so I don’t keep tripping over them, but that is going to wait until the charcoal dehumidifiers arrive. Since the closet is deep, the photos will be stored in the back with a bookcase, the same plastic wood contraption is on sale from their already low price, in the front for storage. I plan on keeping the door open, as well as the doors for all of my closets, so that I will remember that there are items in those closets. Two of which I might have to consider taking the doors off altogether so that they do not block the only window in one room and a door to a balcony on the other.

I think that is enough rambling for right now, and I hope to have more crafty related content to report next week. Until then remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.

Libraries & Seasons

Active Crafting Content will start after the ***********.

I still need to get my new flooring installed, however I did manage to create a mini-Library in my home. I adore how this has turned out. The plastic and wood bookshelves were a quarter of the price of a standard shelf from Amazon, so I bought four. They are not ‘amazing’ quality, one of the plastic pieces did shear off, however they are working for what I need them. This is a great way for me to get out of my living room, it gives me an excuse/routine for me to begin using the rest of my home. A couple of weird things have come up that are setting me back, however I will persevere.

Upon installing daylight lights in my half-bath on the first floor I then tried to run my dryer…and the lights dimmed…and haven’t come back properly since. The, amazing, person that does things for me around the house is going to try to look at this next week to see if it is something to panic about. Yay, something else to worry about. The second thing is that I was a guide for the haunted house in my library last night…and I discovered that stretching shoes is not a substitute for breaking the shoes in. I now have a blister on the balls of both of my feet as well as 3 scraped up toes. To fix this I’ve put neosporin and bandaids on the scrapes and I have ordered some blister pads from door dash, along with soft socks I am hoping that these feel better tomorrow.

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The lace knitting class went…about as well as I expected. Some patrons were interested however they had either not knit before or didn’t like the look of the lace, though one has continued looking into making the regular pattern without any of the lace flares. The Bengala Mud Dye class I taught went much better. Everyone enjoyed quite a bit, a few had even mentioned continuing to do this in the future and possibly use this in their business. I tried to use up the dyes on the scraps I had left over, then I took those scraps to turn them into a bit of a mini-quilt/mug rug type thing.

Despite spending time trying to square my blocks, this did not turn out correctly, however I am very pleased with how it looks. I will bring that along with my dyed squares to the quilt meeting tomorrow. I have also made significant progress on my halloween quilt/wall hanging thing, however with the blisters on both of my feet getting around is not easy. Since I cannot get around easily I find myself unwilling to mess around with pulling out the devices that I would need to properly finish the quilt. I am also re-thinking why I am quilting. Right now I like getting the finished project, however I also find myself rushing through the process to get an end project, which I not what I am hoping for from this craft. I also think that is why a couple of seams have broken on my first finished quilt, I do not want that to happen with my sister’s quilt, I am already a little embarrassed about how my first efforts turned out.

I think that is everything for right now, I will give more progress as things occur. I am teaching a crewel embroidery class this week, possibly getting my floors completed, and perhaps getting my leaves raked.

Until next time Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Getting My Groove Back

So, I have fallen behind on my Maiwa course, however I am not really worried about it. I will have some vacation days coming up to catch up on that. There have been some exceptional circumstances, which there always seems to be, as when the windows were installed I had to move all of my belongings around and well away from the windows. This, combined with trying to get some floors installed, means that any organization that I had created has gone to pot. I am trying to look at this as a way to improve my organization and the use of my rooms.

One of the steps that I have taken is to use plastic containers to box up my wool yarn to keep it safer. I also packed up my embroidery machine for right now, as well as having to clear out my quilting room since that is the last one that I needed to pull nails out of the floor and get new flooring put down. Since most of that equipment seems to fit in what used to be my computer room, I am contemplating changing that to my sewing room and the old sewing room into a mini library. I am keeping my computer but I’m using my laptop so there is no need for the PC to be plugged in all the time.

I do have some actual crafting content for this post. I cannot remember if I mentioned that I warped up my large rigid heddle loom with some Cascade 220 yarn to create a wool blanket. I have not gotten too far in actually weaving that off since last week was also Spin Together. The two fiber events I attended this fall were amazing and I had a ton of fun. I do not think I went too overboard in my purchasing and I love how the yarns I created turned out. While I did not spin as much as I would like, there were several long days at work, I did manage a decent amount of spinning.

I love how my art yarn turned out as well, though it is not as complicated as last years version where I added in locks and charms. My total is 1278 yards for credit, which includes the singles and then the plying. I was fortunate to get all of my spinning plied up by that Saturday Morning since I taught a needle felting class on 2-d felting with some mentions of 3-d felting. It went swimmingly since I invested in Living Felt supplies, and had the people purchase the kits from me so I was not too far out of. pocket. Someone from one of my earlier needle felting classes was there and mentioned the needles working better, I explained that the original were from Amazon, and so not bad, but these were from Living Felt and therefore fantastic.

Today I’m teaching a lace class, though I am going to have them create shawls using a formula rather than a pattern, and teaching them various increases and decreases to create patterns. Then on Saturday I will be teaching a Bengala Mud Dyeing class, also at work. This should be a busy couple of days and I look forward to seeing how everything turns out! Until next time, Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!