Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Butterfly Challenge

I love challenges and dares, you tell me I can't do something and I will go out and do it, I dare you.
The Butterfly Challenge - Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern (from The Tartan Kiwi blog).
I accept the Challenge!
When I first started sewing 2 years ago, there was a Paper Pieced Challenge, and I couldn't understand how people were getting those tiny little pieces of fabric wrapped around the odd shaped small pieces of paper.
5 Pence, the size of a dime, larger than that little triangle of fabric.
So I give you my English Paper Pieced and my Foundation Paper Pieced Butterfly an ode to my fist days sewing and not understanding the difference between the two.  First I made my lovely hexagons the English Paper Pieced way, I love this kind of sewing it allows me to be outside while the kids play and is easy to put down and pick up again.
The flowery hexies are Liberty of London, then I surrounded them with "Indelible" by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics, I didn't want to cut my Liberty hexies to much.  This is for the top two wings, the bottom wings were done the Foundation paper pieced method of sewing through paper, for the bottom wings I used some Kona solids mixed with the "Indelible" collection.
To make the project unique, I turned the butterfly into a dress for my daughter (hoping to get bonus points from Juliet's 5 year old daughter Rascal, maybe she will be like, hey mom make me one of those)
Everyone in the family likes it.
Yes, that is my son wearing the dress, hey, he wanted too :)
Creating this, I had many first.
  1. Mixing EPP with FPP (need help with those terms, write me;)
  2. Designing my own dress pattern
  3. Using French seams to finish the whole dress.
  4. Sewing with Voile (will be buying more of this, it is lovely!)
This project has kept me busy the last weeks, so happy it is finished, P.S. you might notice the bottom is not hemmed, I used the selvage for the hems, to help with that, but also my daughter won't let me turn them up, in fact she doesn't want to take it off.  I had to take it off of her last night so she wouldn't go outside to play in it, at lunch she came back with mud all over her shorts, so there was no way I was letting her out of the house in this brand new made dress.  So then she decided to play inside.
Yes, I was cringing as she rolled around the floor, after she was done twirling.
Linking to the Butterfly Challenge
 and New to Me in August
don't forget to enter my Giveaway.
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:
Show me your interpretation of the block. Make it as unique as you can.You can alter the pattern - See more at:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Printing On Fabric, A Tutorial and Giveaway!

I recently sent a fabric post card to Nesta of "Ella and Nesta's Little Room", she wrote a whole blog post about it :), and I am so glad she enjoyed it.  She was especially excited about how I made the "stamp" for the card.  Now I didn't tell her, but I was actually doing a little "Purging", you see I made this stamp way back in January 2013 for the "In Your Words" blog hop. You can click on any of my links and they will take you to a new page, so that way you can click away and still continue to read this blog post. you have to get to the end for the giveaway!
This is super easy,
  1. Find your stamp on line, I just looked up Greek Stamps, make sure you aren't breaking any copyright laws.  I found a new one here.
  2. Copy your image and then go to Pic Monkey, (It's a free photo correction site), if you want the faded background, go to the wand Effects, and scroll down to Dark Edges and mess around with it to get the effect you want.
  3. This time around, I went to Collage, picked my picture,
    Layout, Cards, 4x8, the last one with 3 small boxes on top and one long box on the bottom, placed my stamp picture in the right hand corner.
  4. I adjusted the Background (4th icon down), I made the spacing larger (67), and the background transparent.
  5. Save your Postcard Image, then go back to the the beginning of PicMonkey,
  6.  Now you will Edit the Picture. Grab the Layout card you just created, mine looks like this
  7. I'm going to write Greece over the top of the picture, Tt (text), I like Eraser Dust or Downcome for this, this time I used Downcome, faded it by 23% and I also adjusted the color to make it not so black.  While in Text I decided this time to type in my name and address as well (hope you don't mind if I don't show you that, but I put it in the left hand corner, again not so close to the edges).
    Now it looks blank because I have done that "transparent background", I want this so I don't have my printer printing out white ink ;0 on white fabric, lol.
  8. Now to get your fabric ready, you can purchase a Bottle of Bubble Jet Set 2000, I don't have any on hand so I cut my fabric to the size of the paper that will go through the printer, Iron your fabric real nice and tape it to the paper, you can also iron it onto freezer paper (they have sheets that can go through a printer, again I don't have any of these on hand) 
  9. Here is one of the important parts, how to tape the fabric to the paper (if you don't use freezer paper)
    Go out and buy double sided tape if you don't have any.

    Tape all the way across the bottom of the paper page and the top, also place tape like a large X in the middle of the paper, then place your ironed fabric on top.  Stick in the paper tray of your printer and Print. 
     I love how this stamp turned out, it looks so old school
    Now when I get ready to mail my fabric postcard for the birthday girls I will just need to embroider a circle, some wavy lines and write in their birthday.  Like I did for Nesta's birthday present.
    ohh almost forgot, you should iron it, I put a paper towel over the image and give it a good DRY Iron, to kind of set the ink.  
    I also printed this like a million years ago and just sent it to a new home after re-doing the binding, it was one of the first things I did binding on and I didn't know that you fold the binding, so I had an inch of binding in the back, I couldn't understand how people did it.
     The embroidered hand prints are my sons, he has grown so much in the over a year since I made this., the reverse applique says Hope and Love.
     You can see where I previously stitched the binding down,
    But the back looks fantastic!  I did hand stitch the binding down, definitely will not be doing that with a quilt, took forever.  The sentence on the back says, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
    This went to my step mom who is a Professor at William Jessup University.

    Now for the giveaway!!
    It's my first ever SPONSORED Giveaway!  So Excited to Introduce you to my friend Elita, she is an American living in Switzerland (see so much in common already) she is my crack Aurifil and Batting supplier it is so nice to have a European seller and definitely saves on the shipping cost.  She carries all of the colors of Aurifil and at a really good price!  The next time I need to pick up some Aurifil I am also going to get a Bottle of Jet Set 2000, this will make printing on fabric better.  Today she is giving away a Bottle to one of you, my dear readers.  You wash the fabric you want to use for printing in this solution and let it dry and then print as I wrote on my tutorial above.

    Since this is a sponsored giveaway, I thought I would let you check out her shop, tell me your favorite thing that she carries in the Rafflecopter prompt.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elita is on vacation at this time, but she will be back when this giveaway ends and can fill any orders placed when she gets back, just in case you decide to go shopping.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Around The World-In Greece

And Welcome to Around the World Blog Hop, today you will be visiting Greece, with me, Mara at Secretly Stitching!  Thanks to the lovely Sarah of Berry Barn Designs, I am so excited and honored that she picked me!  Her post was last week and she lives in Maine USA, she also invited, Heidi from Fabric Mutt and Heather from QA Creations to chat today, so be sure to head over there too after seeing what I am up too!

First let me tell you about myself, I am an American who on vacation to Greece met my Greek husband who was born in Australia, I have 2 children my son is 6 1/2 and my daughter is 4, yes they are bi-lingual and no I am not :)  I struggle with languages, but I am so happy to see that my children have their father's ears for tongues. (haha, that sounds funny)  We live in Kalampaka Greece, smack dab in the middle of Mainland Greece, check my previous post to this one to see a map of Greece.  You can also see other photos and blog post about Greece on my Travel Thru Greece blog.  
A Secret Monastery built into the rocks in my backyard
 I love to travel, I have been to 30 of the 50 States, I have been to Canada and Mexico and I have been to 16 of the 28 EU Countries, so there are a whole lot more places I need to go and see!

Now lets answer some questions:
     1. What am I working on?
Top secret!  I love swaps and challenges, in fact if you come across one, let me know, I would love it.  I just finished my Strawberry Swap items.
More pictures here.
I would also really love to win a new sewing machine or a serger, so I am in these 2 contest, both are still open if you are addicted to contest and challenges and you want to join me.
     2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well that's a hard one, since I don't really consider my work, work, I just want to have fun and learn, especially learn.  It's not very often you will see me do the same thing twice, unless I do it wrong the first time and want to perfect it.  Like my recent embroidered feather, I will be doing another one of these since I wasn't to happy about how the last one tuned out.
Book Review and more pictures.

     3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Writing on my blog is for verification that I am doing something cool, lol, my husband is not to impressed with my sewing, my MIL baw-humbugs it and my son is fairly disinterested in it now that I haven't created anything for him in a while (so sad, working on that right now, some pants for school).  The only person who ever really loves anything I make is my daughter, but then she doesn't get to keep any of it, so that is very sad also. 
So please leave a message if you love what you see, cause I will love to know!
I do create for others, there is only so much I can think that I need, but I love swaps, cause then I am making something for someone else and in return they make something for me!!!  Like the Big Stitch Swap, I made a mini quilt for a gal who wanted some wall art.  She loved it, and although it is not to my taste.  I really enjoyed creating it, stepping out of my comfort zone and making something fun.
Made BY ME for the Big Stitch Swap
My partner made me an Awesome fabric basket, I don't know how to make those yet (they are on my to do list), so that is SUPER DUPER Awesome, that she made this really lovely RAINBOW basket for me!
Made FOR ME! more pictures here.

     4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Read all of the above, I get excited and I create!  My head is constantly thinking about what I am making what I can do next, what can I learn etc. etc.  So that's me, if you want to hang out and see more, then you can hit the bloglovin' button below or what ever way you like to follow.
Follow on Bloglovin
I am also the swap mama of a Fabric Swap called 8², it is an International Fabric Swap,  We just finished a Text Swap and our Next one will probably be Low Volume.  The price is good, this last one was only $18 dollars for 1 1/4 yards of fabric including all shipping charges to and from Greece with me doing the cutting.  Not too bad.

I have invited 3 Great People (it was so hard just choosing 3 to join the hop next week on August 25th)  First we will start the tour in Texas, I lived the first 5 years of my life living in and out of that State, and Shirley has lived in many places herself, even in Germany (me too), that is Shirley of SimpleSew.  Then a place I learned how to swim and almost broke my ankle we hop on over to Italy to visit Nesta of Ella and Nesta's Little Room.  And 3rd Around the World Blog Hoper is Deborah of Sunshine Through the Rain, she lives in Indonesia, I have never been there, but would love to visit someday.  I think I have heard that it gets rainy there :)

Also be sure to hop on over to New Mexico, USA (I went to High School and College in NM) to visit THE ONLY quilter/blogger I have met in person!!! Isn't that so cool that we share today together and were asked by different people, this blog hop is HUGE, so be sure to go visit Daryl of Patchouli Moon, she was so kind to come and met me and shop with me for fabric in Albuquerque, NM, when we were in the States last November.
I'm the big girl on the left in red, with Daryl!  Hugs Daryl, thanks for Shopping with me!
Visit Daryl today!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our Vacation

And Re-Writing History!

Okay our Vacation wasn't history changing, but what we saw will change the way history books are written.
I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since we went on our very small trip of 2 nights away to the northern part of Greece.
The Heart is our Home and the Box is where we went.
  What I love about traveling is:
  • Seeing Historical Sights
  • Seeing Natural Sights
  • And Eating!
We had plenty of food to eat, first stopping for lunch at the mall in Thessaloniki for our bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (we eat this any time we are there).  Then we ate dinner in Asprovalta, calamari and tzatiziki (if you need a tzatziki recipe you can get it here).

 Enjoying Calamari
Yes, I get 2 Ice-Creams!

The shop owners offered the kids ice-cream and they of course said Yes, but it was a Mastika ( μαστίχα) flavored, which is pretty good in ice-cream form, not sure how to describe the taste, but this is something they only make in Greece, specifically Chios Island.
The next night we enjoyed Gyros in Nea Peramos
I don't have many pictures of the beaches, since I am always in the water.
This is near Nea Peramos, the beach is called Sand Dunes (but in Greek)
The 2 places we stayed at are starred and the little teardrop is where the find of the century has been discovered.
The signage at Amfipoli
The top sign says Macedonian Tomb, we wanted to see it, but when we crossed the road, there was nothing there, the nicely paved road turned into a dirt road.  We thought the Greeks must have gotten the signage wrong, but what it is is something that they didn't announce till this week.  They have discovered a new tomb to rival that of Vergina.  Here is an article in Greek(pictures are nice) and here is a smaller article in English(my husband and I have been arguing all week about who is buried there).

Amfipoli (amphipolis-Αμφίπολη)  is an Ancient City, if you have watched the Movie 300 with the Persian King Xerxes, this is where he was defeated.  And where Alexander the Great's wife and son were executed. (I believe they are the ones in the tomb)  My husband thinks that Alexander the Great is in it.  We can't wait to find out WHO is inside, I also believe that Alexander the Great's mother could possibly be inside.
Ancient Aqueduct.

Rolling Hills and the river meeting the Sea.
The most popular sight of Amfipoli right now is the Lion, it is right off of the old road from Asprovalta to Kavala.
The Lion Monument, was found in 1912 and rebuilt in the 30's.  I am using this as my color palette and the story behind it and the region Amfipoli to Design my Surface Pattern for my class that I took with Bonnie Christine at Creativelive.
I made this on Adobe Illustrator, aren't you proud.
The class was great, you can take it too, I watched it live, from 7pm to 2am for 3 days to see it for free.  But you can pay just $79 to watch it anytime.  I was a little scared when on Friday we didn't have any electricity all afternoon and then boom at exactly 7:05 the electricity was back on, phew.
Now I didn't know anything about Adobe Illustrator and it is a definite learning curve, but the I would have been really lost with out Bonnie's lessons.  The other cool thing is that you can use the Illustrator for FREE for 30 days.  Sign me up right, I have always wanted to make my own fabric line. (you will need to sign up for Adobe first and then the Creative Cloud and then you can download Illustrator for free)
You can find more info on the Design Surface Challenge from Bonnie's web site, Going Home to Roost.
Of course no trip is complete with out some fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fun Stuff

I had a Friday Finish, My Strawberry swap items, 2 bags, quilted kinda matchstick style.
 The Strawberry Daquiri pouch is lined with By Annies "Soft and Stable" and the inside fabric has Vilene Lamifix, ironed onto it, so if she wants to put a cold drink in it, the drinks should stay fairly cool and won't wick into the fabric when they defrost.
Lemonade Cup Pattern by Ellison Lane

Need a Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe:
  • 2 ounces Rum 
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup sliced Strawberries (adjust to taste) 
  • My tip for the Strawberries, during strawberry season, I wash my strawberries, grind them up, put them in a muffin tin, and freeze, after frozen I take them out of the muffin tin and place them in a freezer zip-lock bag.  I use 2 (muffin tin) sized strawberry batches to make my Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri and omit the ice.
Place everything in a blender, wet the top of your glass with water (or rum :) and dip in sugar,
Pour mixed Strawberry mixture into glass and  Enjoy!

The backs are quilted the same, just in case she doesn't like the fronts, she can have matching bags on the backside.

I sent my Big Stitch Swap last week and she got it today, she loved it!  Yippee!
I got mine in the mail this week and I love mine also!  Look at this awesome fabric basket.
I LOVE the sewing machine, and the tiny hexies!

 A rainbow of color, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink!  Interspersed with embroidered blocks, I really wish you could see it, the workmanship on the embroidery is amazing!
Jennie of Jennie's Threads is from the UK and she also sent a bundle of text and low volume fabric scraps.
 Kat patiently waiting for me to take the photos so she could nab the basket, she thinks it is for her.
Well I snagged it back and put some pre-cuts in it, down in my "fabric room", LOL, that is what I am calling it.
Sorry for the poor lighting it is pretty dark in the basement.
Other Swaps now taking sign ups:
The Fox Swap, all about Foxes.
The Christmas Brick Fabric Swap

The Cottage Mama Sewing Contest
The Pattern Design Challenge (this is what I have been busy doing)
Ultimate Button Lovers Sweepstakes (if you loved my button jar, maybe you want to make something with buttons)

Some Giveaways
Indygo Junction
Wacom Spoonflower Giveaway
$50 button giveaway
And I still have my giveaway going on, the Shorts on the Line Challenge finished, I didn't win, but you can still hit the button jar a few times.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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