Monthly Archives: July 2006

Craft blogging

Whipup has an entry about craft blogging, and I thought I would add my comment to my blog, as it says a little bit about my goals and some other thoughts on blogging. Besides, it didn’t post on Whipup (or at least it hasn’t yet), and it’s just babbling anyway. But I did want to remember a couple things I said, and add them to permanent parts of this blog. Whew! okay already, the comment:

I didn’t realize we were “supposed” to answer comments either. I have been, because mostly people have questions or comments that I want to respond to.
My blog seems to change it’s purpose on about a weekly basis!<lol> I started out with the idea of cataloging the local arts scene, but that was too intensive time-wise, so my blog has turned into an online journal, with the goal of tracking my projects, joys, and successes (craft and life related, but mostly crafts). I do talk a little about my life, but since i don’t enjoy reading entry after entry about the kids, the garden, taking Timmy for his first day of kindergarten, I do limit that. Which is not to say that kind of thing should be kept out of a blog! I would just rather have more crafty stuff than personal stuff.
I use WordPress, which I really like. I like the way it looks (plus you can change it to look your way), the comment process (I moderate my comments so i don’t get spam crap in there), and it’s easy to add photos and links, using the icons or via html.
I don’t really care if people leave comments; personally, I look through a ton of blogs in one session, and if I left comments in all of them, it would take me forever; plus I’d get keyboard cramp! And i wouldn’t get to look around as much, which is why I’m there.
I do feel strongly that if you see an idea, and you post about it in your blog or use the idea to springboard a project of your own, you should give credit to the blog &/or person you got the idea from, and link back to that entry.
Based on the comments here, I need to add more about myself in the “About” page. It is nice to know who you’re visiting!
More on goals: I love teaching crazy quilting, so another purpose of my blog is to educate and teach about that, as well as inspire people to try it, or any of the projects I post about. I think I’m going to try to do some swapping too; that never occurred to me! What a great idea, and a great way to connect in real life with other crafty types. And… if anyone should happen to visit Fairbanks, AK, it would be so awesome to meet. There’s a good arts community up here, but sometimes people here think my style/ideas are too “out there”, so it’d be nice to connect with others who have wacky ideas or stuff that isn’t quite the norm. I guess I have to add this to my “About” page!

Tanana Valley State Fair

It’s Tanana Valley State Fair time! The theme for this year’s fair is “Diamonds are Fair Ever”, to celebrate 75 fairs. It’s not the 75th anniversary, as there were a couple of years during WWII that the Fair wasn’t held, and I believe there is also one year the Fair wasn’t held due to funding issues.

I helped with entries to the quilt division yesterday (Saturday, 7/29), which was… interesting! It was either very busy, or else dead quiet, but I still didn’t get to see all the entries. Organized chaos describes entry day perfectly!

Today I helped judge the needlework entries. What a thrill to go “behind the scenes” and learn about that process! If you want to learn what makes a good entry, judge at the fair! I will be much more meticulous about my fair entries in the future.

small crazyquilted bag Flat Pennie white ball cap Key to My Heart embroidered magnet

I managed to enter six different items in the fair, in five divisions.

  1. Needlework Division, naturally (in a different class than I judged, of course!), with a small crazy quilted bag
  2. The bag was made as a class sample, for a crazy quilting class I taught at A Weaver’s Yarn. It’s tiny, about 4” x 6”, I think, with a zipper at the top. I sometimes use it to hold a selection of embroidery threads to take along to meetings or other sit-still opportunities. The bag placed first in its class, and I was also awarded the Bob Hage Award, given for the most unusual combination of stitching and materials.

  3. Handcraft Division, with a small embroidered magnet
    I purchased three bags of magnet makings from the local thrift store, and just had to make some magnets, which I took to the craft fair a few weeks ago. I think I got a first in the class.
  4. Doll Division, with a flat angel
    Couldn’t resist making another angel! I hope she gets to travel with a Fair award! Placed third in her class, against some very stiff competition! Two much larger, much more complicated dolls won first and second.
  5. Sewing Division, with a matching ball cap and bag, that went into seperate lots, made from a prom dress rescued from the transfer station
    The prom dress bag was supposed to be my Whipup entry in the bag contest, but I finished it an hour and a half after the contest closed, and I wasn’t perfectly happy with it at that point anyway. To make the bag, I took the bodice of the prom dress, removed the zipper and boning, lopped off the point in the front, and then embellished the bag with poetry dog tags and ID bracelet alphabet beads, listing qualities that are the keys to my heart. I used Peltex as an interfacing, but it didn’t quite make it all the way to the handles. The idea originated when the ex made the off-hand remark, responding to something I said about needing a key, that he needed the key to my heart. So there it is, spelled out for him! If he’d ever take the time to read it… yeah, right!
    The cap matches the bag, although I opted not to put the poetry tags on it. Figured they’d be too noisy, so close to my ears. The bag makes a lovely jingly noise though! The flowers and butterflies on both bag and cap were transferred with graphite paper, colored with crayons, and lightly embellished with simple embroidery stitches. Placed first in the class with the cap; the bag didn’t win anything.
  6. Quilting Division, with a quilt I made for my ex-boyfriend (yes, he gets it back!)
    The quilt was made several years ago, and I do have a photo of the unfinished quilt, but I never got around to the finished quilt picture. I made it as a class sample, for my very first teaching experience with the Community Schools program in Fairbanks. It grew and grew, and depicts the strong interest my boyfriend at the time and I both have in the outdoors. There’s a picture of him and his son (on my first moose hunting trip with them) at the top, and a very tiny photograph of me near the bottom. Lots and lots of fabrics, beads, and buttons that carry out the outdoor theme embellish the quilt. No fair ribbon for this one; I still don’t have a picture of this yet.

I will get pictures after the fair is over! Done-almost!
My next project is another hat, for the Fair. Every year the Fair staff provides the base for a theme-related project. Last year’s theme was “Feast or Salmon”, and they provided a salmon to decorate. I’ll have to take a picture of my theme entry, a styrofoam box, covered in fabric, embroidery, beads, buttons, and poetry tags. The inside has… well, I’ll get that photo and put that in a seperate blog entry!

So, this year’s theme is “Diamonds are Fair-Ever” and you’re supposed to “Redesign Fair Royalty”. In other words, take the baseball cap given to you and turn it into a crown. Mine is going to follow the theme via a “queen bee”. I’ll post the entire story and photos as soon as I get the hat finished! Fair colors are red, purple, and silver, and I am planning on making one awesome bee hat! Return soon to see the finished product… Here it is! I almost won, according to the woman I spoke with, when I picked up the hat. Darn! well, there’s always next year!

Queen Bee hat Queen Bee hat Queen Bee hat

Fun stuff to check out!

Well, it’s been awhile! I’ve been busy working around the yard, hiking with Gizmo, and yes, working on projects too! I haven’t taken the time to photograph stuff, so instead, here’s a few fun things I’ve found on the web over the last few weeks:

Crafting Japanese – this is a blog on Japanese craft books and magazines. I just love the patterns, and the magazines I’ve seen have wonderful illustrated instructions, so you don’t have to read Japanese.

My favorite knot – From Hello My Name is Heather, a tutorial on knotting your embroidery thread. I’ve used this one for years, and should have done this tutorial a long time ago-now I don’t have to!

The Nipple Project – It’s time to reclaim the nipple! A response to the overwhelming interest in the female breast, yet bras are advertised as providing maximum nipple coverage. I notice that they don’t a crazy quilt nipple…

Sublime Stitching – Hip embroidery projects for the new embroiderer. Some fun patterns even for “old hands”; or is that “old needles”?? Also has some instructions.

Dream-a-Seam Templates – From Sharon Boggan’s Inaminuteago, here is some information on Carole Samples templates. These are designed and produced by Carole Samples, author of The Treasury of Crazyquilt Stitches (via abeautifulcraft). The templates help you make nice even stitches.

InspireMeThursday – “A weekly dose of inspiration to be creative, try new techniques and explore new mediums.” I would love to interpret this challenge in a crazy quilt project!

Tiger Tape Tutorial – From Marty52, of Textiles in Time, another method for making nice even stitches.

Sewing Patterns . Com – Literally thousands of clothing patterns, from small companies as well as the big needles!

Hideko Ishida’s photos – Inspiring crazy quilting from a Japanese woman.

Wind from the East – Hideko’s blog, in Japanese and English.