Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

creative spaces

Getting ready to quilt...
See other creative spaces here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Project Life 2012 | who's on board?

GASP! Could I be blogging about scrapbooking?? Believe it or not I just order some supplies for Project Life Core Kit - just the main kit, some extra journaling cards and page protectors for a AC 12x12 album that I already have. If you don't know what Project Life is check out the details here.

I have been following a few blogs [one in particular here, Ali is always inspiring] and trying to figure out how to keep it low key and make it through 52 weeks. I think it's going to be a balance of photos and journaling. I have been really struggling getting back into some kind of memory keeping and start printing my photos. Hoping this might be the kick in the butt I need.

Are you doing this now? Do you have any tips? Have you kept up? Who's in for 2012?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jesse & Amos | @ 20mm

Playing around with my 20mm lens - I don't use this lens nearly as much as I would like. Most dogs don't like how close you have to get up in their faces with a big black box...mine are forced too, with treats of course.


Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pantry Moths | 2011 Invasion

Yes, I consider what I had/have as an invasion. What are pantry moths? Check out this Wiki page - it even has photos of the little stinkers. When we first started seeing them, Kirk went to local hardware store to get some pantry moth traps. For two days we didn't catch a single one. They just flew around the traps! Come to find out they only attract male moths and apparently we were only infested with EGG laying females. Go figure.

Last Wednesday was D-day and I was armed with my house cleaner and bleach. Thank you Thank you for Melissa, I couldn't have done this without her.  We spent five hours emptying and throwing out boxes and bags of food. Some of it clearly had to go and the pantry was due for a total melt down clean. What I was not prepared for was the absolute grossness of the whole task and my constant need to itch. Then came the anger of finding out that even with throwing everything away, wiping down with bleach those little sh*ts can come back because of the EGGS!!!! The damn eggs.

To give you an insight on how bad they can be... they laid eggs in Kirk's stack of coffee filters that were in an opened plastic bag. Hopefully he didn't drink too many of the worms in his coffee! They are also sneaky bugs - I have adjustable shelving in my pantry, you know those little tiny holes that you put the dowel in so the shelf can sit on it....EGGs/larvae in those holes! In the folds of unopened plastic sealed boxes... when you shake it - wormds fell out. Spices - yes, in my spices. I told you - infested. Blah.

After spending all that time I decided we weren't going to put everything back until the big guns came in. Why waste all that time? Kirk called [because of course that was the least he could do since he was out of town for the entire ordeal] and we were scheduled for the next day.We have been using Alpha Ecological pest control because of the dogs for several years now and have been extremely happy with their thoroughness and understanding of safety.

Every day I go in and check - do an inspection and look for the tiniest larvae or moth flying around... I haven't seen a thing and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

There is some good in all of this - totally gutted pantry/laundry room and container shopping. I plan on going this weekend and have a few considerations.

First I am curious to see the Sistema line by Martha Stewart - I am not a big fan of the plastic but this looks nice and not a bad price point.

Then I will also go to Container store and IKEA to look at some of their options and if I am still at a loss I might need to find a Tupperware party!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

September 2011

September - finally summer arrived...

Kirk's birthday
Lot's of sewing - quilts and a tote
New fabric for the ever growing stash
Gorgeous outdoor wedding!
Boob check
First quilt show
crafting with paper

Monday, October 3, 2011

Janome Horizon 7700

For almost a year now i have been taking sewing pretty seriously - taking classes, reading, watching videos on YouTube [what did we do without this], talking to fellow sewers/quilters, asking questions, and more reading. Most of all just really pushing my level of confidence and the tools that I have currently to do all the things I wanted to do.

I approached sewing much like I did photography. I learned all the ins and out of the Canon Rebel - before EVER thinking of getting the big boy, 5D MII.

I have learned through this process that you can't push your tools to limits unless you practice - practice and practice. AND even more valuable: LISTEN. Listen to what your peers are saying, learn from them, don't take anything personally. This is how you can determine if improvements can be made by you or are your tools limiting your ability to do what you want or at the level you expect.

My Viking Platinum 750 had been with me for almost six years - I bought it brand new and I only started really using it two years ago. This machine has/was great for me! I had two issues: Tension [I had to change this every day] and the short arm length. Which made quilting at home an absolute nightmare. Even a baby quilt. I know some people can do it - I have watched several videos, I just couldn't make it work. After each quilting session I felt like I had been beat up and ran over by a bus.

[Viking Platinum 75
So for the last three months I have been researching multiple options - even considered for a while purchasing a long arm. Yes, CRAZY - not just the $$$$$ but the space. Not a viable solution for me.

During a recent tip to my LQS [River Quilts in Camas, WA]  I was admiring the quilting on Kathy's quilt [teacher] and I asked her how she did it and she told me that she had done it herself with the Janome Horizon 7700. I started to research this machine and found that there are several quilters I know that have this machine. The price tag was a little more than I wanted to spend though, $2999 MSRP.

I knew that there was a quilt show coming up [NW Quilt Expo] and Janome was going to be there with demos, so I waited patiently for last weekend. I ended up spending almost 45 minutes with the Janome rep - she was super helpful. I was sold. They were having a show special partnered with a LQS that is not very convenient to where I live. So I left the Quilt Expo and went directly to my favorite sewing machine store Montavilla Sewing Centers. They were having a special on the Janome Horizon 7700 - two years interest free financing and even better... I could trade in my old machine. Where do I sign??!!!

So here she is in all her glory and 11 inch arm...

[Janome Horizon 7700]
As of today I have only pieced and I can say NO tension issues. Doing the happy happy dance! Once I have more time on the machine I will give another report.

Here is a site that I found VERY valuable in my search for a good overall machine: The Free Motion Quilting Project - Leah's videos are really good and I just love her honest opinions.