Friday, December 30, 2011

My iPad arrived

My iPad arrived Thursday morning and I've spent quite a bit of time since playing around with it.  It took quite awhile just putting in usernames and passwords to the various applications.  The touch screen is a little tricky but I bought a stylus this morning and that's made a huge difference.  Typing without a keyboard is slow but my daughter has a keyboard I can try out.  I think I'm really going to love the iPad this summer at the camp.  With the 3G option and the 'pay-as-you-go' plan, I'll have internet access.

the removable cover

iPad and cover

iPad w/cover and zippered bag

in the bag

Looking at it's not exactly color coordinated, is it?!  The wallpaper and the bag just don't go with the cover.  Maybe I'll make another bag and choose a different wallpaper.  I chose the pink cover because it's not something I'd normally choose.  What I really wanted was purple.  No luck.  I just didn't want to choose black or gray as I normally do.  Amazing how the simplest decisions can be the most difficult for me.

I made another block for the 501 Project.  I think this brings the count to 245.  I think that's 123 blocks in 2011.  At this rate, I should finish the project sometime in 2014.

Building Blocks II

Hope you had a good day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

15 Minute Challenge

I had to put my sewing machine away in preparation for Christmas Dinner so I spent quite a bit of time this past week crocheting.   But I hauled it back out yesterday and finished the ipad zippered bag.  I made a cardboard template the size of the ipad and created a bag a little larger than that.  If I'm not happy with the fit when I receive my ipad, I can always make another.  And...I can never have too many zippered bags.  Here's how the week worked out:

To see how others did on their challenge this week, visit Kate at Life in Pieces.  The 15 Minute Challenge is going to continue in 2012 but will include any art/craft project that brings joy and sanity to our lives.  Hope you'll join in.  It's amazing how consistent I am when I'm committed to reporting on my activity.

Hope you had a good day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Foto Finish - Colorful

This week, Barbara at Cat Patches has chosen 'Colorful' for the Foto Finish theme.  As usual, I didn't know what I was going to use.  Then I looked out the window this morning and there was the most beautiful sunrise.  It lasted about five minutes but I got a picture of it.  Yay me!

Starting next week, Foto Finish will become 'Photographer's Choice'.  I think I'll like that much better since it's difficult for me to find photos for the theme.  Thank you Barbara.  Be sure to visit her blog to see other entries.

Hope you have a good day and a Merry Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twas the night before the night before...

I've been very busy today cleaning and getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner.  But even with all that, I was able to piece some made fabric and quilt it to become a zippered case for the IPad that I've ordered.  I know what the measurements are but I'm not confident enough to continue until I have it in hand.  I also crocheted a few more snowflakes.

And I tangled another mandala.

How was your day?

Adding Color

I use a Sakura Micron Pigma 01 black pen to draw my zentangles/zia.  I tried to buy one at Michael's but couldn't find one.  I chose a similar pen but after I got it home, realized that it was blue.  I checked online for the Sakura pen and found what I needed but the shipping was just CRAZY.  After some frustration, I thought I remembered that JoAnn's carried them.  I checked and bought the last two.  And with coupons, they were an amazing price.

I downloaded another mandala pattern from to use for my tangling.  I started out with the black pen but the patterns got so dense, that I used the blue to spice it up a bit and then added some shading with blue pencil.  It kinda took on a life of its own.  The whole thing reminds me of bristle hair curlers, barrettes and rubber bands.  Or maybe those Chinese finger puzzle things.  Any other ideas?

Hope you have a good day.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

In my haste...

I was hoping to cut and sew another block on the 501 Project before I had to leave to babysit on Tuesday.  And I did.  But in my haste, I didn't pay attention to the cutting instructions and ended up with 2 blocks.  The block was originally supposed to be a two fabric block but I ran out of fabric, so I used the third fabric that I used in the other blocks.  It's a rather interesting block on its own but when I put the two close together, it shows that it would make a very cool quilt - flip the blocks, other fabrics, more fabrics - imagine the possibilities.

Chain and Hourglass

My mother is coming for Christmas Eve dinner and I didn't have any placemats so I made a couple and some napkins.  The placemats are reversible.

Hope you have a good day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

15 Minute Challenge

I managed to sew or crochet six out of seven days again this week.  And I played with My Memories Suite Scrapbooking Software (for more hours than I'll admit) creating this report, calendar pages, cards, blog headers and.......

I really love playing with the software.  It's like playing paper dolls, doll house, coloring books and home decorating all in one place.  It's fun to see what all I can do with it.  Who says you have to use it for scrapbooking?!

To see how others did on their 15 Minute Challenge, visit Kate at Life in Pieces.

I also finished a few zentangle pieces.

approx. 3x3 inch

I drew this zendala myself.  It's not perfect.  It's been awhile since I've used a compass.

Zendala  approx. 8 x 8 inch

I got this next one from the website  They're mandalas and most are only good for coloring but some can be used for tangling.

Zendala  approx. 4 x 4 inches

Hope you have a good day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New project

As I was sitting around reading blogs yesterday, I was trying to decide what project to work on...501 Project, zentangle, crochet, wrap presents, cook.....  What did I decide on?  None of the above.  I've been wanting a new apron made similar to an apron, decorated by my grandchildren, given to me years ago.  But I wanted this to be a 'winter' apron.

I found two winter prints in my stash and some red fabric to go with it.  I wanted the top portion of the apron to be of the print with the lower portion being red and I wanted it reversible.  Not a problem.  I pieced the fabric for both sides then laid the old apron on right side of one piece of fabric and cut out around it leaving a seam allowance.  Then I laid the cut apron right sides together with the other piece of fabric and cut to size.  Sheer luck at this point and I'll tell you why in a bit.  Then I created the ties for the neck and waist and set them in the seam between the front and back apron pieces.  Then I sewed around the apron leaving a space for turning.  Then I turned, pressed, closed seam and top stitched.  The old apron had a one piece pocket sewn down the middle making it into two pockets.  I've never used the pocket but I wanted something to balance the look of the apron.  So I cut a pocket sized piece of fabric and used Heat and Bond to attach it to the front and another for the back.  Then I did a blanket stitch around and sewed a seam down the middle so it'd look like a pocket.  Then I tried to find a way to take pictures.  At first I tied it around a pillow sitting on a chair.  I didn't like how it looked.  Here's what I came up with:

Then I folded it to put it away and discovered something.  The apron was wider from the center on one edge than the other. I never noticed this before because I always hang my old apron from the neck ties.  I'm not sure why it's made that way.  Maybe it's so there's some overlap in back.  Not a problem for doesn't have a chance in the world of meeting.  Now for the part where I lucked out.  Because I cut the pieces out right sides of the fabric together, the front and back matched perfectly..

Next time, I'll probably cut the front and back of the apron from a single fabric each.  I don't really care for the pieced look.  I'll cut center to edges the same width and I'll probably add two single pockets, in contrasting colors, to the front and back of the apron, even though I don't expect to use them.

There may be easier ways to make an apron but this worked okay for me.

Hope you have a good day.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #52 - "Give"

I am the diva has issued a challenge that's to last us for a few weeks while she takes some time off for the holidays.  The challenge is to create a Zentangle or Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA) then to give it away.  I'm not sure about the giving away part but I've tangled a star for the challenge.

It's great practice.  More to come.

Hope you have a great day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Foto Finish - Ribbon

Being as unorganized as I am, I really had to do some digging to come up with ribbon for this theme.  If I'd been thinking, I could have photographed some when I was out shopping the other day.  For the most part, I don't use ribbons and bows on my presents.  I don't like paying for something that's going to end up in the trash within minutes.  I'm pretty practical in that sense.  I'm not crazy about paying for wrapping paper either.  What can I say?  Cheap!  Cheap!  Cheap!  Anyway back to the theme - Ribbon.

I think this is a very pretty ribbon.  I notice in the photo that the edges are getting a little tattered.

I received this stuffed animal - Christmas Moose - from a friend on my first Christmas alone.  Something to cuddle with to keep me company.  Isn't he cute?

To see other entries in this Foto Finish theme, visit Cat Patches.

Yesterday, I scoured the Internet for free patterns to crochet snowflake ornaments for my tree.  I was reminded of them when a reader mentioned wanting to block a few that she had from years past.  My recommendation was to use full strength liquid starch and lay them out flat to dry.  Here's what mine look like drying.  I pinned them to a piece of plastic covered cardboard (actually a cereal box) on my ironing board.  I used straight pins but some bent.  If I'd used cardboard, I wouldn't have had that problem.  A friend of mine uses push pins that you use on bulletin boards.  I think those would work better.

A note from one set of instructions mentioned starch because the star could later be washed, if necessary, and re-starched.  Another set of instructions mentioned using white glue and water.  I'm sure that would be a more permanent solution.  I'm pleased how mine came out using the starch.

And on the tree:

I found the directions at and  I have to admit that I couldn't understand one set of directions so I just ended it where I got confused.  It doesn't look like any of the photos but I won't tell you which one it is.  I'm working on some other patterns that don't have photos to go by.  It's proving interesting, to say the least.  I'll let you know how that works out.

Hope you have a good day.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

15 Minute Challenge

I've already blogged about the quilt blocks that I've finished this week so I won't do that again.  But I haven't shown you the latest crochet doily.  I just finished it last night.

Four-Square Pineapple

It still needs to be washed and blocked but you get the idea.  This was an easier one than the last.

Here's what last week looked like:

Oh...and did you know we only have one more 15 Minute Challenge report before Christmas?  How are you coming along with your Christmas presents/projects?

To see how others did on their 15 Minute Challenge, visit Kate at Life in Pieces.

Hope you have a good day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season

In keeping with the Christmas season, I decided to piece the Christmas Star II block found in the book 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins that I'm using for the 501 Project.  I pieced the other Christmas block, Christmas Star in November 2010.  I ended up making that one into a wall hanging.  Who knows what this one will be?

Christmas Star II
Hope you had a good day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

O Christmas Tree

I ran across some instructions in a magazine recently for making a Christmas tree by folding the pages of a book.  There are quite a few unclaimed phone books in my building so I helped myself and folded the pages as instructed.  When my grandson Luke came to stay overnight, we spray painted it a bit and hot glued some metallic beads to it.


Luke really enjoyed decorating the tree and as you can see, it's great for his babies.  They're a family you know.

On another note:

I must be one of the last few in the world to try Sudoku.  I'd heard it was really hard to do so I never really had the interest in learning.  Mostly I do Search-A-Words because I can pick it up and set it down as necessary and it doesn't take much thought.  But yesterday my daughter showed me how to do Sudoku on her IPad.  It looked like so much fun.  I don't have an IPad but I do have a Kindle.  So I went to Amazon and found Sudoku Unbound #1 for Kindle and only paid 99 cents for it.

 It took me 2 hours to complete the first puzzle.  At one point I was so hopelessly confused.  I couldn't remember what was good and what wasn't.  But I discovered a feature - Remove all Mistakes.  Yay!  There are also hints and other options that I haven't tried out yet.  

My First Puzzle
The second puzzle took 40 minutes.  See, I'm improving.  But the third puzzle is taking awhile just to get started.  I have to go back to the instructions to see what other options are available to me.

If you get a chance, you should try it.  It's challenging and fun at the same time.  You know how much I enjoy new things.

Hope you're having a good day.