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Oh Camera, Why Do You Forsake Me?

I finished twelve wallets, taking pics along the way to show how they are constructed. Nice pictures, taken outside in the two days of sun we had here in Portland. And then when Monday afternoon came around, it was time to upload those pictures and list the wallets on Etsy, write a post about the new wallets. But do you see those new bright red, burnt orange, or black wallets? No.

My camera is refusing to connect with my computer. The same computer/camera combo I’ve used for the past year has decided they aren’t talking to each other and there isn’t a thing I can do about it.

So now I’m trying to decide… buy a card reader or buy a new camera? It certainly won’t take the same quality pictures as my son’s hefty photographer’s camera, but anything is better than the pictures that come off the iPhone.

I think I’ll have my son re-take photos on this cloudy day, instead of in the warm sun, and then debate a little longer. Camera or card reader?

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Party! Party! Party!

Of one kind or another, it’s all I’ve been thinking about. My son graduates high school on Saturday and I feel faint at the thought of it, but the party afterward–can’t wait! I am hoping to get the time to make these adorable grad caps out of chocolate that I found on Craft. They originally came from Bakerella and she’s got a spiffy little tutorial on how to make them, both in brown and blue. Sweet!

I’m going to be making up other undecided-as-of-yet foods, as well and I’m sure all of Friday will be spent prepping for the whole mix of family and friends. But the chaos of the day will be worth it; he will be on his way to adulthood. Yay for him!

And a week later, it’s the PDX Etsy party!

With a day filled with crafty fun (freestyle embroidery! Japanese papercutting! Mighty Ugly!?) and quilting, then the evening filled with prizes and food and even more crafts… There’s just too much enjoyment potential. It’s gonna be great, really. I’ve had the opportunity to help out a bit on the planning and I’m stoked. If you’re in Portland, come on down.

If you’re elsewhere, how are you celebrating Etsy day?

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And we have a winner! Plus the quilt!

Thankyou thankyou thankyou to everyone who took the time to visit my blog and enter the giveaway. I had 230 entries on the blog and another dozen who liked the Facebook page, as well. Out of all of those comments, the lucky winner is… –drumroll, please–

Congratulations to Rachel! You’ll be receiving the bright and cheery wallet I made. I know I said I’d send it on Monday, but that was before I realized it is a holiday. Whoops! Instead, it will go out bright and early Tuesday morning. Thanks again everyone.

In other news, I finished the Strawberry Patch baby quilt and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Take a look at more pics on the Etsy page.

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It’s a Giveaway!

I’ve participated in plenty of blogger giveaways, but always as the one hoping to win (which, in fact, I have been lucky enough to do twice!). Now it’s my turn to give back as part of the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day. There are a five hundred-odd blogs participating, and just for the price of leaving a comment, you’ll be entered to win. I’m offering up a brand-spanking new wallet that I made just for this giveaway. It’s made from both re-used and new fabric. The outside is remnants of a linen blouse with pintucks that I used as inspiration for the padded quilting that runs in the opposite direction. Inside are two pieces from the new Spring Street line by Carolyn Gavin and a colorific polka dot that I used for the trim, too.
You can win this totally one-of-a-kind wallet by leaving a comment. Tell me what you like about it, or what you’d like in another version. Or tell me what you think about the new Strawberry Patch quilt I’m working on:

The Strawberry Patch quilt is coming together slowly thanks to all that patchwork.

You have until Friday to leave a comment. Like Crinkle Dreams on Facebook for an additional entry. I’ll be choosing a winner on Saturday, shipping on Monday. I’ll ship it anywhere in the world, too. The U.K., Malaysia, Easter Island… it doesn’t matter where you live. (I’m probably jealous, anyway, if it’s outside the U.S. and warm.)

Not loving this one? Check out the others in the Etsy shop.

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Going Coastal Is More Fun Anyway

Going Coastal fabric
My mother loves beach-themed anything and while she already has a lighthouse-themed quilt that he made herself, I’m thinking I might have to make something for her from this fantastic new line of fabric from Michael Miller. It won’t be available until summer, so that’s a nice reprieve. I’ve got plenty to do before then!

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Strings and Things

I have a love/hate relationship with thread. I need the variety, really, because there is nothing more frustrating that having to drive to the store in the middle of a project just because I didn’t have enough thread. I want to have it when I need it, but that means I need a bunch on hand. And I need a way to keep them easily accessible and inventoried.

It’s always been a struggle. I used to just keep them in plastic boxes, but then that just gets out of control and it’s hard to tell what I have. Later I kept them in drawers. That system worked okay, divvied up by color and tucked away out of sight. But sometimes I wouldn’t notice that I’d used the last of the ecru or that I was dangerously low on the always-necessary black. Then one day I stumbled onto a new organization idea.

I’d had this little shelf sitting around for the longest time before realizing that it was totally usable! The thing had hung on my grandparents’ living room wall for years, but when my grandpa died, furnishings were weeded out and I snagged this shelf without a purpose in mind. I just liked the look of it, even when it was still wood-toned. But I had no idea what to do with it, so it sat there for (I’m ashamed to say) years. Until I realized it was good for piling thread into.

Leftover white enamel was used to paint it and I filled the diamonds with color. I love the way it brings something bright to the wall and makes it easy for me to keep track of which colors I have plenty of and which ones I need.

How do you organize your thread?

P.S. Someday I want my fabric organized like this.

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Exploring Ashland

I was asked late last week if I could chaperone my son’s high school when they went down to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (which is, btw, sort of a misnomer… there’s more than Shakespeare). I agreed and figured I could take the time to do some hand-sewing and explore Ashland for any fabric stores. I wasn’t even sure they’d have one, though in hindsight… of course, they do.

In fact, they had two shops downtown. Fabric of Vision (145 E. Main Street) is right on the, uh, main street of town and I stumbled onto it on my first full day there. Outside the shop, there’s a little sale rack that I sifted through until I was distracted by the phone call I’d been waiting for. So, the next day, I headed back and made it all the way inside. It’s a miracle I came out with any money left. They’ve managed to squeeze in more bolts of cloth than I would have expected in there, with a great range of books and ribbons and tools, to boot. Wonderful shop, really, and so much more than I expected. I managed to come out with just this adorable alphabet fat quarter, the latest issue of Stitch and a copy of Material Obsession, which I am totally obsessed by.

It wasn’t until the next day, when I finally pulled my nose out of Stitch that I found Quiltz (53 N. Second), just down the street and slightly behind Fabric of Vision. As you can imagine, the entire shop is focused on quilt-making with loads of designs and prints, and plenty of finished quilts to inspire new projects. I was so good in there, just looking and not buying. Until I hit that last rounder on my way out the door. But I saw this and just couldn’t stop myself.

Carolyn Gavin Spring Street fabric for P&B Textiles

Really, could you have resisted?! The whole line is absolutely adorable– with raindrop fabric, even. I managed to avoid the temptation of the other coordinating prints, but this one was too fantastic to leave behind. Just a bit of it had to be mine; it makes me smile every time I look at it.

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Quilting for a cause

I’d made this quilt a couple of weeks ago and was going to put it up on Etsy until I heard about the Quilts for Quake Survivors. My housemates were in Japan during the quake, so it hit a lot closer to home than expected. We have former exchange students in Japan, too, and maybe from all my time in Vietnam… I don’t know, but for some reason, this natural catastrophe has upset me more than most. I wanted to do something and even though a little quilt isn’t a whole lot, it’s something.

They are also putting on quilting bees to make more quilts that will be sold and raffled off to generate money that will go to Mercy Corps to help quake victims. I was able to participate last night and plan to finish the one I started to bring back next week and sew another one, too.

I know it’s the little things that matter in the end and this is one little thing I can do.