Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Daydreaming about a dress

I've been dreaming of a dress - floaty, romantic, softly rippling in a summer breeze. Of course, I would look like something from a Bronte novel - soft light, reclining beneath a giant oak, reading, nibbling on the contents of a picnic basket.

That aside, I actually found a dress pattern for something that fit my mental image - its the pink dress in the upper right frame that I'm looking for. The man is going fishing this weekend so I'm hoping I have some time to spend plotting out my newest project. Simplicity 5189

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Following the directions at u-handbag, I began the IBC project. I would recommend that instead of adding an additional 2 inches to the outline of the top of the IBC cover, I would add maybe 2 - 3 inches instead.

A finished IBC:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Inspiration Board

I had this great idea. Yes, I did. It was a wonderful idea until it began to fall apart.

First, I thought: wouldn't it be cool to find an old frame, distress it, and make it into an inspiration board? I began the hunt and actually, it went very quickly. I found a perfect (empty) black frame at A Little of This & That in McHenry. check

I distressed the frame, painted it blue, then white. Sanded it down in parts and then the creme de la creme - I added silver paint to it. Oh, it's so wonderful. check

Then I started the very long hunt for a bulletin board to go "inside" of my frame. Ahh, this was the hitch in my plan. Custom made bulletin boards are "very" expensive. After two weeks of searching a helpful hardware person pointed me to Hobby Lobby where I purchased a "roll" of cork. check, check.

This morning, I began to put everything together. I pulled out my handy-dandy utility knife (isn't this one great? I bought it at Papersource last year.)

I trimmed the corkboard and sprayed the adhesive.

One thing to note: The corkboard shreds a little bit so my edges are not perfect. (This is not a "perfect" crafting blog - rather, learn from these mistakes.) A friend suggested cutting it with my rotary cutter which probably would have worked much better. Point for future consideration, check.

The first piece went fine but alas, the second met a terrible accident and now I have to go back to Hobby Lobby and buy another roll of corkboard. No biggie. Doesn't it look good though?

BTW - using a rotary cutter to trim the corkboard worked really well.

The Blind Side

T -

Watched the Blind Side last night and cried through the entire movie - hormones?

What an inspiring story, the life of Michael Ohre and how his life was changed by a school and family. Here's a youtube clip you may want to watch.

I haven't read the book yet, put in a request at the library. But, Michael Lewis the author has a new one coming out - The Big Short which focuses on recent events within the U.S. economy.
Not sure if you're up to reading about vampires but it goes with the theme of the blog - Dad read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and really liked it. Check - added to the library list as well!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

International Quilt Show

T - Went to the quilt show with Mom, Sue and Nicki yesterday - totally wiped out by the time we were done. I couldn't believe how crowded it was! The "talk" was - this is the last show in Chicago I guess its gotten too expensive and the show is moving to Ohio next year.

I've gone to this show before but I thought it was more "artsy" this year - very fun. Boiled wool was everywhere, lots of felted projects. My biggest temptations were the Moda A La Home booths (they were two!), the French company selling needles and scissors (I wanted so much but bought nothing there), and the embroidery/quilt shop based in Arlington Heights - look for the witch's hat picture below.

Enjoy the eye candy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ironing Boards

T- I've been looking for a new ironing board cover, do you know how hard they are to find? The key piece of equipment in my sewing room apart from the machine and it looks so dowdy. Since the rest of the room looks pretty good now (now that the tool box I bought Chris for Christmas has moved out to the garage) I have room to iron and press to my heart's content.

Certainly, I looked at all the regular places but none seemed to have much character. Then, I thought about searching Etsy and yes, there were many that I liked but none that I loved.

I stumbled upon this pattern to make my own, so I think I'm going to try it out of the fabric above. Michael Miller - Paris ville. I just found another pattern at u*handbags. Going to go off and mull this over.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What did I do on Sunday?

In anticipation of future gardening projects, I spent today putting the finishing touches on the back for this quilt. This one was our latest project from the quilt group at the college mentioned here.

I'm going to back it in a bleached muslin. Muslin is just my favorite to work with, crisp, clean, so summery. The quilt group used a pattern, available free at Crazy Mom quilts. Sadly, she's not blogging anymore but the pattern is on her website.

It just occured to me that this entire quilt has a majority of white in it. What was I thinking? Well, this mom has a predominantly white house with five kids so one kid and two dogs shouldn't be a bother should it?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Here is the moongarden wrap, finally photographed in sunlight. I love how the cables come hither and fro.

Here is the moongarden wrap submerged in cold water (i.e. wool), a very, very scarey thing for a first time blocker.

I carefully squeezed (no wringing) out the water, laid it out on towels, and pinned the [heck] out of it. Just likes its supposed to - the yarn calmed down and found symmetry in its form. The suds are from this wonderful lavender soap, especially for knits, that you don't need to rinse out. It's called Eucalan.

Now, to wait for it to dry. You know, the waiting is the hardest part. hee hee

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New purchases

Chocolate and strawberry - what could be better for the new projects percolating in my head? Can't say much, possibility someone could see this. The yarn is from Prairie Arts & Fibers in Grayslake, Illinois. I ran over on my lunch break today and was so wonderfully surprised, the shop was hopping. My friend Jo and I visit there every once in a while, we want the shop to do well and boy-hooee, it was doing great today. Kudos to the owner for sure.

The yarn is Jil Eaton, merino from Classic Elite Yarns - washable, and so, so soft. Its just delectable like the real deal of chocolate and strawberries. I can't wait to share with you what this will become.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Current Obsession

Dear Theresa,

I have a confession. This quilt. It's called the Folk Dance quilt. I'm sorry to say, when I need to be doing laundry, focusing on my online classes, or merely interacting with people (my family), this current project draws me like a menopausal woman to dark chocolate.

The fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner (who has a little boy, maybe a year old now?) and who blogs beautifully here. I admit, the points were a little tricky at the beginning but I've got the hang for the most part, and I'm having so much fun with the fabrics, seeing how they all mesh together. The pattern is free if you're interested, click here.

For the most part, I was able to purchase a majority of the fabrics from etsy, from Afabricoutlet. Anna Maria has a new book coming out called Handmade Beginnings. Somewhere, I saw a snippet from the book and one of the projects she had made a lampshade and somehow adhered cut-outs to it, birds, flowers, leaves and such. Very interesting! Can't wait to see what we can do with that!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

MoonGarden Wrap

After 2, 3, or 4 months of knitting, (who's really counting), I'm finally finished with the MoonGarden Wrap. Here's the ravelry link. I really like it. Actually, I LOVE it, I want to roll around and wrap myself in it. I love the texture, and the color, and well, everything about it. Yarn: Blackberry Ridge, dk weight, Northern Lights Icy Blue. I've had this yarn in my stash for a few years so I'm not sure if its still around or not.

A friend from work lent me her blocking wires, they look like giant, pick-up-sticks. She assures me they're easy to do, so, on my to-do for next weekend, blocking 101 or in my case, 98.2.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


T - you may have wondered why its taken me so long to write....

It all started with my birthday, I have a fondness for creme brulee. All said and done, I had a wonderful birthday and ate my favorite dessert. Fast forward - next day, I get the last remaining CB and while sitting in front of my laptop, reading my fave craft blogs, I leaned forward, and my creme slid onto the keyboard. I gasped in horror - truly. And quickly wiped the brulee of the keys. Alas, the "u" would not work. Off to the store we went, warranty in hand. To make a long story, a little shorter, I now am the proud owner of a macbook. And, look what I can do with photos!

In the beginning....

It is the first official blog post of "Crafting with the Undead."

Recently, in a flurry of emails, Theresa and I longed to be vampires. Why might you ask? What is the attraction apart from sexy, ruggedly handsome male vampires? The attraction (ahem, apart from the sexy, aforementioned male vampires) is that we'd have endless amounts of time to finish our crafts, contemplate new ones, design crafts, live and breathe crafts, yes! Becoming vampires is our answer to our crafting problems which mainly involve time!

So, welcome dear readers. Our plan is this:

Much in the style of Mason-Dixon Knitting, Theresa and I will blog (she lives in another state) together, in this space. We'll share our daily lives, our crafting dilemmas and successes and whatever else pops up into our heads. And, every now and then, we'll give you a chapter of our endearing heroine who seeks a vampire to become one of the undead - so she can expand her alpaca farm!

[photo: Eric from True Blood]


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