FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE……….I’M A WINNER!!!

AND, THAT’S NO LIE.  (well, almost)

Hello friends,

That’s right.  I can honestly say that I’ve never one a single thing in my life.  The exception is a plastic soap dish from a home party that one can get at the dollar store for .29 cents and that win was about 45 years ago!!!  So, I can truthfully say that I haven’t won a single thing…………………….UNTIL NOW.

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Yep, here’s what arrived at my home on Monday.  Can you guess what it is????

I’ll fill you in with the details.  So you know all those newsletters you sign up for and get bombarded with each day in your Inbox?  Well, I’ve been subscribed to a newsletter called “CraftGossip”  http://craftgossip.com/craftgossip-newsletters/ for quite a few  years and they always have such a great newsletter, full of ideas and links.  I always find something interesting to search further and have also saved and used lots of the ideas they post about.

So along with all the great info and eye candy, they also have sponsored contests from many suppliers/manufacturers.  Now mind you, I absolutely NEVER participate in any of these drawing, EVER, on any site.  I just know that the only luck I have is NO LUCK! However, for some strange, unexplained reason, I did enter this give-away sponsored by Spellbinders, the prize, a Spellbinders Platinum Die Cut Machine.  Don’t know why, wasn’t looking at or in the market for a new machine but I just left my comment which entered me into the drawing.  About a week later, I received an email announcing that I had won the drawing.  At first, I thought that someone else had the same name as me but then I use a variation of my real name so how could it be someone else.  I read and re-read the email, cleaned off my glasses, made another cup of coffee, and yet the email was still on the screen screaming my name.  Then, with hands trembling and a faintish feeling, it began to sink in………I DID WIN, THAT IS REALLY ME, MY NAME!  But how could this be, it must be a mistake or some sort of joke or maybe even a scam. Being 2:30 in the morning, I had to refrain from screaming and dancing about, people sleeping just wouldn’t understand my overwhelming excitement.  I responded to that email and sure enough, I got a response, from a real person and YES, I did win.  Needless to say, that made my day, no, made my LIFE!  Within one week my prize arrived.

How exciting not only to win a contest but actually win something as great as this Spellbinders Platinum Die Cut Machine. Check this out.  What a fantastic looking machine.  I’m thrilled to the moon and back.

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And, on top of being a winner, this machine cuts just about anything, including all my large steel dies for the Sizzix and the Sizzix Sidekick. (Of course, I will still keep my Sizzix machines, we have a special bond.)  So now this one machine replaces the 2 older ones I’ve been using since 2002.  I think with this new die cutting machine will open new doors for me.

Thank you CraftGossip and Spellbinders for making my the happiest gal ever!  I love, love, love my new die cutting machine and will certainly make great use of it.

Just another quick note: I do have an older Spellbinders Grand Calibur and it is one fantastic machine, too.  I have been using it for a number of years and it always serves me well. Now armed with 2 great  Spellbinder machines, the sky is the limit!

I leave you with one last thought.  Remember the Pointer Sister’s song from 1982

“I’M SO EXCITED”?

Well that’s my new theme song!!!!

Off to play,

Linda

 

 

Posted in Cards, Die Cut, greeting cards, Handmade cards, Handmade Crafts, Spellbinder Dies | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New Fabric Haul, New Sewing Project

Hi friends,

What happened to this week?  I’m two days late in posting.  Writing this post was on my Thursday ‘To Do’ list but somehow I totally forgot to even check my list.  Hmmmmm, I must have been very busy.  Here’s why….LAC Fabric haul 8-2016I’ve got lots of new friends in my sewing room.  With a great sale at the fabric store, lots of coupons and a need for a new project, I went a bit overboard, ya think?

So what is all the fabric?  Home decor fabric meaning I’m making …………..PILLOWS! Not sure why but I just got a hankering to make pillows.  I’m not even sure what I will do with them all, gifts, keepers, we’ll have to see.  At any rate, fabric is flying, scissors are snipping and the sewing machine is going a mile a minute.  The most fun is the challenge of coming up with different designs.  I may have a vague idea of what I want but I’m not using any patterns, just my imagination and designing as I go.  Lots of the fabrics have a definite or directional design so I have to put my thinking cap on and do some figuring and fussy cutting to make the best use of the fabric’s print. Not sure how many pillows I will get but I’m thinking somewhere around 20.

One interesting surprise is that I’m using my serger (which I always seem to forget about), my sewing machine, trying different speciality machine feet and different techniques, some of which are new to me, other’s I do often but all is a great learning experience.  And, I’m way out of my comfort zone as far as colors and prints.  But hey, why not…..gotta live it up every now and then.

Once all the design tops are finished I’ll serge them together all at one time. I’m making the pillows with an envelope back so you can remove the pillow insert if cleaning is needed.  Once all are completed  I will then decide on their destiny.  I also will wait for the fabric store to have a sale on pillow forms since I need quite a few.  When they are all completed, I will post pics.

Also, I’d like to mention that if you look to the right, you will notice I’ve added 2 more blogs to my favorites:  Fran’s Spot and  Scallops and Swirls, both worth checking out. My friend Fran makes great cards and is a terrific sewer.  Both blogs are Fran’s and both loaded with some great eye candy so be sure to check them out.

I’ll end with a quick note that yesterday, I spent the entire day painting.  No, nothing artistic, I’m talking walls.  I spent 6 hours at my granddaughter’s new preschool volunteering my time to help clean and spruce up.  Most of my time was spent painting the lower half of the walls purple.  Boy, what a difference a gallon of paint can make.  In the end, all looks beautiful, clean and very colorful.  I bet the kids will love it.  Demi can’t wait to start her new adventure at ‘That’s My School’ as she refers to it!  Of course, we will have to see how the first day goes and that separation thing that kids do so well……  Now off to take something for my aching muscles.  One forgets that one is not as young as one once was!!!!

Until next week, (on time I hope)

Linda

Posted in Home, Home Dec, Sewing | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Sewing Projects in the Making

Good Morning,

This week has been very productive.  Since it has been so hot here in Boston, I rarely go outside so I’ve been keeping busy sewing.  And today is to be a scorcher here, the hottest this summer so you know where I’ll be, in the house keeping a bit cooler with the a/c. This will give me more time to work on some projects.

I’m trying my hand at designing my own patterns.  Now don’t laugh at me….I an traveling a new path.  I first wanted to make a reversible apron and scoured the internet for ideas. Most of what I saw required a purchase of the pattern for way too much money.   So I thought, why not take their design, alter it to my liking, draft the pattern, make a muslin sample and go for it!  Easier said than done.  Many sheets of paper, miles of tape, try, adjust, tape, try, adjust, tape…….After many attempts, I finally was able to make up a prototype apron.  I still need to tweak some steps and a few minor adjustments, but this is what I came up with.  I used fabric and buttons from my stash and ponytail holders for the buttons instead of making button holes.

Side A GreenLAC Apron front color aSide B WineLAC Apron front color bBack viewLAC Apron back color aWaist closure buttonLAC Waist buttonNeck closure buttonLAC Neck buttonAs you can see, it’s not perfect yet but I plan to make another after making adjustments. I’m also working on another reversible,  crisscross style apron where I got inspiration from Martha Stewart’s apron on her website.   This was a complete failure so back to the drawing board LOL!

The other project I completed this week were several ballet skirts for my granddaughter, Annabelle who is an avid dancer.  She loves wearing little ballet skirts over her leotard but they are super expensive at the dance wear store.  I happened to find some lace on clearance at Hobby Lobby and a simple circle skirt pattern from the internet.  Away I went, sewing one after the other.  I made 2 black, 1 mint and 1 peach and they all look great and allow for all sorts of high kicks, splits and twirls.  A simple zigzag stitch around the hem and a bit of elastic for the waist was so simple and quick.

Lace mint ballet skirtLAC Ballet Skirt mint 3Black sparkle ballet skirtLAC Ballet skirt black sparkleLace peach ballet skirtLAC Ballet skirt peachBlack lace with scallop border ballet skirt.  This skirt I did a bit differently since it had such a pretty scallop border that I wanted to incorporate.  Instead of a circle, I cut the width of the lace fabric, overlapped the ends to create the split and added elastic at the waist. Works perfectly!LAC Ballet skirt black laceAnd finally, while snapping the pics, little Miss Demi had to get into the action with her ballet pose.  Demi has lots of tutu’s and enjoys  learning all the moves from Annabelle. Another ballerina in the making!IMG_3304

Hey, I’m also working on designing a pattern for a hoodie infinity scarf.  I’d like to make some up in wool with faux fur lining or, if the fabrics are too expensive, maybe in fleece. Let’s see if I can get this to work!!!

Le me know what you think.  See you all again next week.

Linda

Posted in Kids, Sewing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Baby Blankets with Matching Softee toys

Hi All,

I worked my little fingers like crazy this week so that I could get everything done to post. Marathon week, for sure!  I managed to complete 8 plus 1 baby blankets.  Of course, they were easy enough but when making 8 of the same thing, it did take time and became tedious.  One or two would have be fun but 8, well that’s just plain monotonous.  Anyway, they’re all done and will go into my stash of ‘gifts on hand’.

I did find a tutorial on the Internet but it’s pretty much as I have done my blankets in the past. Here’s a pic and the link to the tutorial.  http://www.purlsoho.com/create/2012/03/04/lauras-loop-flannel-receiving-blankets/

Actually, these are pretty nice looking blankets so I may make up some of these another time if I can find similar fabric  I like the simplicity of the plain striped fabric.

So this is what I’ve come up with to make the process easier and quicker for me since I was doing so many at one time.

I first made up the simple blankets using my serger, print for the front and pinstripe for the back. Flip, press the seams and prep for crocheting the edging.  1The tutorial called for using a small crochet hook and pierce the fabric with the hook as you go. For me, I didn’t have the correct crochet hook and I was also going through 2 layers of fabric, not one, so I couldn’t just pierce the fabric. Hmmm, what to do????  Easy fix.  I made a template.  I cut a piece of card stock, measured 1/4″ apart, marked with a pencil and punched holes along the card stock making a perfectly spaced template.  I used a 1/16″ paper hole punch.3I then marked the fabric all around using the fine tip of a marker.5Don’t worry, the small dot will be punched out or hidden by the crochet.6Then, using the 1/16″ punch, I went along punching the holes in the fabric using the marks as a guide.7Using the 1/16″ punch made very small holes and really didn’t cause any problems with the fabric. 8This is the yarn I used with a size E crochet hook.9Insert hook through the first hole to begin your crochet edging.10Three simple single crochets through each hole.  Around the corners I added one single crochet between each hole to make the curve.  I made a slip stitch into the first 3 stitch cluster, ended off and wove the end in on the backside.12And here are the finished blankets.IMG_3262IMG_3259When finished, I decided to do an ‘add on’, a small, simple stuffed softee toy.  Again, I found  inspiration on the Internet and came up with these cute toys to match the blankets.

Basically, a very generic shape. Instead of hand embroidering the face, I marked the fabric, placed a piece of tearaway underneath and machine embroidered the nose and mouth with a small zigzag stitch. For the eyes, I made 3 Colonial knots by hand.  Instead of making ears and arms from fabric, turning and stuffing, I chose to fuse 2 pieces of flannel together with Wonder Under, cut out the shapes with pinking shears, stitch around close to the edge and attach before sewing up the toys.  Once the arms and ears were pinned in place, I sewed all around, leaving an opening for turning and stuffing.  I hand stitched the small opening closed. The pink toy in the middle was my original idea to use ribbon. I soon found that I didn’t have the right size or colors so I opted for the fabric ears and arms.LAC Softees for flannel blankets 7-29-2016Completed 8 blankets with softee toys.IMG_3246

This last blanket is only one using some fleece I had left over from another project. Simple sew and flip construction.  For the backing, I used some pink heart seersucker fabric also from my stash.  I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the hearts on grain so I tilted them a bit creating a diagonal check pattern.  I placed Wonder Under on the back side, pressed in place and did a triple stitch 1/4″ outlining the hearts. I will add something to each heart but haven’t made up my mind yet, perhaps a small bow.IMG_3265I closed  up the blanket with 2 rows of stitching, 1/4″ in and 1″ inside the first row again with the triple stitch.IMG_3267The completed blanket with matching softee toy.IMG_3264A very busy week but very productive. I now have 9 new baby blankets waiting for the next round of baby gift giving.

Onto my next project……….hand embroidery.  I have 2 pieces to make but can’t show any pictures until they’re received.  Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!!

Until next week, happy sewing.

Linda

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baby, Crocheting, Handmade Crafts, Kids, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A WEEK IN MY LIFE

Happy Thursday Morning,

What a week here in Boston. We’ve been in the midsts of a heatwave this entire week with temps in the 90’s.  Way too hot for me so I’ve stayed inside with the a/c’s running full blast which has made life a bit more bearable.  Given my self-imposed hibernation, I’ve managed to accomplish lots this week but first I’d like to show you a pic of our downpour rain burst with hail.  We occasionally get hail here in Boston but not often so this was a perfect opportunity to record the phenomenon.  The storm didn’t last long but enough to make a mess around the city with fallen trees and wind damage.  Look at the hail on my new artificial sod.  Not very big hail, about the size of peas, but enough to us to oooh and aaaah at!

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Next up are some of my Alien Tomatoes to go with my alien cucumbers.  Actually, this is bottom rot.  Seems the San Marzano tomato plants I selected are prone to this disease. Too bad I didn’t know that before hand, I would have made another choice. About 1/2 of my tomatoes have this problem which will decrease my yield by at least half. Won’t be putting up too many tomatoes this year.  I will rethink my process for next year.

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I’ve finished my holiday sewing that I sneak peeked last week (sorry, no peeking yet) and have moved onto baby blankets.  I’ve been experimenting with some soft stuffed toys to match the blankets.  After several failures, I finally found something I can work with, easy to make and too cute.  I’ll post all of this next week.

Finally, a few cards I CASED.  Thanks to the original designers for your inspiration.

                                   YOURS                                                                       MINE78-5d8eb92216aac9e29c306e6abb8adc26    78-16 LAC Cactus50-Becca card     50-16 LAC Inlaid Butterflies46-483fbb081bed59102a19ba199a9a1c7f      46-16 LAC Asian ScreenMINE, INSIDE46-16 LAC Asian Screen openThere you have it, another week here at A BIT OF ME LAC.  Be sure to come back next week to see my baby blankets complete with step by step pics.

Linda

 

 

Posted in Cards, CASE, Garden, greeting cards, Handmade cards | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Alien Cucumbers and Cards

Good Morning,

I planned to post yesterday, which is my usual day to post, but somehow I totally lost the day.  I got involved in cleaning out my sewing cabinet, one thing lead to another and then it was time to start dinner.  It was pretty hot here in Boston but I was inside with the coolness of the a/c’s just doodling along doing my thing.  Totally productive day, though.  I have a clean and well organized sewing cabinet!!!

I did manage to make 2 birthday cards this week for my daughter’s upcoming 30th birthday.  We will celebrate a few days early because she’ll be in San Fran visiting her good friend, Lauren.

These two cards are CASE cards, one a request and one for me.

YOURS

My daughter saw this birthday saying and asked me to make a card using this sentiment.

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MINE

I immediately thought of a slider type card.  A little fudging on Word to make the year slider piece but not difficult at all.

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  YOURS                                                                         MINE  

I used my ScanNCut for the numbers.

33990f0b33d9dbe16e293367dca72588     IMG_3185

I’ve also been working on some flannel baby blankets with a crocheted edging. I’m making 8 total.  Serger problems held me up.  Guess you must oil your serger every so often. I don’t think I’ve ever oiled mine and I’ve had it for 10+ years.  After cursing, swearing and threatening, I put oil on every moving part inside the machine and left the machine alone overnight to ponder it’s future.  The next morning the sun was shining, glorious morning air and a miracle  rebirth.  My serger was revived overnight and began behaving perfectly.  It came inches from being tossed into the trash barrel so it must have had a change of heart.  Thankful for small favors!!!

So here’s an update on my first time container gardening.  Since I now have no garden area in my yard, I decided to try container gardening.  How easy would this be….NOT. First, finding a permanent place for the containers was challenging. After numerous trips around the house, the majority of the pots finally found their home at the end of my driveway where they get mostly morning sun. Three pots are on the front patio.  I actually needed to use a two-wheeler to move each pot because they are so heavy. And the watering is a real chore, at least twice a day. First for the back pots and then to the front pots.  What a PAIN!!!  Then I discovered I had bottom rot on the tomatoes.  The Internet said they were lacking calcium which I immediately responded to with a calcium additive.  They now look okay but not great.  I don’t think I’ll get as good of yield from the containers as I would from the plants being in ground.

Then there’s the issue of the solo cucumber plant.  Ever have a real mystery veggie?  Well, this is the one for me.  Take a look at my “ALIEN CUCUMBERS”.  What’s up with this? Are they of this earth or some alien planet from another galaxy?  Have you ever seen such crazy looking cucumbers? Not sure if they’re suppose to be like this or if they’re even edible!!!  Any volunteers to give them a try?  They seem to be a gift from an ET!!!

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I leave you with food for thought:  If there can be ALIEN CUCUMBERS, could there also be other ALIEN types here on Earth???

Nanu Nanu,

Linda

Posted in Birthday, Cards, CASE, Garden | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I HAVE GRASS!!!

Happy Thursday to all,

What a glorious day!  I HAVE GRASS.  After 6 weeks wait, I finally have my artificial turf.  This is truly HUGE for me.  What a fiasco between the manufacturer and the shipping company.  But, finally someone somewhere got it right and my order was received and installed within 2 days.  Check it out and LMK what you think.

Grass 7-13-16 5Grass 7-13-16 8Doesn’t this look amazing!  This is so soft to walk on it almost feels as if you are walking on air.  And so plush and green.  The perfect manicured lawn. Not a weed to be had nor one blade of grass out of place.  Best part, no mowing, no weeding, no raking!!!   I can almost imagine this is my  property in the Hamptons or Beverly Hills where all the homes are picture perfect with magnificent lawns.  Now I can finally close this chapter and move forward.

I’ll leave you today with one last thing.  I’ve been sewing for the holidays.  Yep, I’m already ahead for my holiday shopping.  It’s early but this is the best time to get some gifts made. I won’t tell you what I’m working on but here is a few sneak peak.IMG_3182Until next week,

Linda

Posted in Christmas, Garden, Handmade Crafts, Home | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment