Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And now for the reveal...

Now since all of my gifts have been given, I can now post some pictures of some the goodies I made.

First is a crochet hook case I made for my craft buddy Jennifer.

Here is a personalized drum stick case for my best friend's favorite, Paige... Though I forgot to take a picture of the personalized make-up bag I made for my bestie, which came complete with a pint sized llama that she's wanted for years. Now I really wish I had snapped a picture of that!

Here is a nice lap quilt I made for my sister. It's my first attempt at free motion quilting on a large project. I think it turned out wonderful!!! I alternated big flowers and swirls in each of the blocks (not that you can tell from the photos), rather a simple design and I love the way it looks. I'll have to get going on another project to get more practice.

And finally this wonderful copycat of an owl toy for my niece, Lauren. It was my backup plan for my failed attempt at printing on fabric. I still plan on using those photos in a family tree wall hanging for her. Oh and I have to add that my niece just loved her owl - she really perked up and made all sorts of noises. Makes you feel pretty special to have some even as little as she get so excited over something you worked so hard on.

I had such a wonderful holiday with all my family and really enjoyed seeing the joy in everyone's face as they opened their gift. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Christmas Already!

I can't believe there is only three days left until Christmas.... I've almost finished up all my gifts. Why is it that every year I wait until the last possible moment to finish up all my projects? I swear, every year I tell myself that "next year I will not procrastinate", yet always end up doing just that. I did pretty good with most of the gifts I hand made this year, with the exception of the gift for my niece. I planned on making a fabric family photo book, and I'm not sure if anyone has tried to use the printable fabric, but even the so called "colorfast" product was not colorfast! Ugh! Well for now I had to put that project on the back burner and completely switched my focus. For now that has to be kept a secret in case my sister happens to read this... so for now this will have to do.

Merry Almost Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fixing things....

Well we finally got the 4Runner back on the road. It ended up being a blown head gasket, which was our first assumption even though we were hoping it was something else. Once we had the head off, it became apparent to us that the blown head gasket wasn't our only problem as half of the timing chain guide was missing.

Here's a shot of the engine pre-disassembly. It's pretty dirty...

This is what we found when we finally got the head off, and some close ups too. If you notice the piston furthest back (Number 4) you can see the edges looking rather clean. This is evidence that coolant was leaking into this cylinder and basically steam cleaning it. Next is a close up of the timing chain guide. You can even see where the chain started wearing into the timing cover. Seems the blown head gasket was a blessing in disguise because had that chain snapped we would have definitely had far more work on our hands!

Here's a shot of me all bundled up installing new piston rings. You can see my awesome diesel engine on the right side of the photo... and yes, our garage is a mess! One day will have a nicer shop, good things come to those who wait.

And now here's the finished new engine! It looks a lot cleaner, too bad we were in such a hurry (and the cold weather) it would have been nice to paint at least the valve cover. I also kind of got too wrapped up in helping to build it that I forgot the snap more photo of the progress. I'm sure this won't be my last engine rebuild tho.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When it rains...

Well it's been awhile since I've had to post a car related blog, but unfortunately I'll have to today. At least it's not my car I'm ranting about this time. It's the 4Runner this time having the problems. For almost a week now it's been having a weird problem with the coolant systems and it also happens to be intermittent (ooohh ya fun!). It seems like the system either over pressurizes or has a blockage somewhere, because the coolant keeps ending up overflowing out the overflow. Not quite sure if there is something blocking the flow of coolant or there is a leak in the headgasket allowing exhaust gasses to end up in the cooling system... just now to find the time to do all the diagnostic work to figure out this one...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So much for that....

Well once again I've completely neglected my blog... whoops. To make up for it, here are some pictures of stuff I've been working on for the last two weeks... minus all the X-mas gifts, because I don't want to spoil any surprises!

This is a plastic bag stasher and lavender trivet I made for my mom's birthday.
Next is a baby quilt I whipped up in a day for a friend... I wish I could just keep it, first quilt I've made with flannels and I made up the pattern too!

Finally here are some coasters I made this evening. My favorite is the one with the little yellow bird in the middle. I can foresee plenty more of these in my future.

Now to some food porn, I've been practicing up for the upcoming holidays. I must admit that I cheated on the pie using a store bought refrigerated pie crust. I'm just no good at rolling out crust, probably just means I need more practice. I hadn't cooked a whole bird in a while, so when I came across whole chickens on sale I figured I might as well try.

So there are my many excuses I've been neglecting my blog....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I just love the way my new Halloween kitchen towels look in my orange kitchen!!! What luck to find owl Halloween fabric too. It's just too bad I'll have to wait another year to enjoy them again. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

So here are the pumpkins Adam and I carved this year... Five in total. I'm very pleased with they way they turned out! Enjoy!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lovely Linen

Today I made this awesome plastic bag holder. I was amazed how easily this project came together, I was able to finish it in a rainy northwest afternoon. I got the pattern out of Quilting Arts Spring 2010 "Stitch" magazine. I was especially surprised by how many bags I was able to stuff in holder... I definitely think everyone should have one of these, in fact I think there might be a few on my X-mas to do list! I really like the contrast between the fun cotton prints and the more subdued linen fabric. Plus I finally found a project to show off some of my favorite owl fabrics. Here's a close up of how it was constructed. I also made this cute lavender filled trivet the other day. I also found the pattern for this in "Stitch" magazine. I must say it smells so nice once I set my hot tea kettle on it in the morning.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ruffles have Ridges.

So today I learned a new technique and made this cute ruffle pillow. After a bit of searching on the web I found that if you use the longest stitch length and tighten your tension it makes it quite easy to make ruffles. I used strips of plaid fabric, serged the edges, sewed down the center of the strip to make my ruffles, and then attached it to my base fabric. All in all the project took just about an hour, which included making my own pillow form out of an old bed pillow. I've also been working on some Halloween placemats. I wasn't quite paying attention to the colors I got in a fat-quarter pack, because the red and green fabric kind of makes them look X-massy at first glance. I think I may applique some pumpkins on them to more Halloween - less X-mass. I've been much better lately about making myself finish a project even if I'm not 100% about how it's turning out. Sometimes you get a pleasant surprise in the end if you just finish what you start.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's been awhile...

I'm so bad at blogging regularly... I'm going to try to be better tho. Oh man I've been busy lately! I've got quite a few projects in the works! Today I made this cute turtle on my forced day off (internet was not working this morning). It's actually a pin cushion, but I just don't feel right about sticking pins in him!
I've also been working on a hand pieced quilt out of 1930's reproduction prints. We'll just see how long it takes to make a lap quilt using this technique.
Last but not least I've started my first quilt out of flannel. These are scraps left over from a quilt my mom made. I've just been busy, busy, busy....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another one bites the dust...

So remember that quilt I was working on about 2 months ago... well I've just about finished it! All in all I've got 10 hours alone in the quilting and I estimate another 20 hours for cutting and sewing the top. I totally think it's worth it... though I'm not sure I'd quilt another quilt in that fashion as straight lines get so boring!!! I do really like the plaid effect the different widths of lines create, so maybe - just maybe - I'll try it again. Now I just have to figure out when I'll have time to hand stitch down the binding. I'm so glad to get another project finished... One down - thousands to go!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oregon State Fair

So Monday Adam and I headed out to the fair for what must have been the first time in 10 years for the both of us. It was fun to get to see all the animals... Chickens, sheep, pigs and such. There was also a really neat reptile exhibit with snakes, crocodiles, iguanas, frogs and of course TURTLES!
We also looked around through the art exhibits and of course the quilts. Looking through them I thought to myself, "You could totally enter a submission next year!" So maybe I'll see if can finish my "Patchwork Vomit" quilt or start and finish another one and submit it next year!

Oh and the mini Tillamook bus was awesome too!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not much time for sewing.

I've been far too busy with work, side jobs, house work and of course helping to maintain our own vehicles. We had thoughts to head to Idaho this weekend for a wedding however, the 4-Runner decided not to cooperate with us this weekend for the trip. It's been having an issue (man, I'm tired of all these "issues" we have)with a high idle. After some tinkering and a bit of brain picking, we traced it back to the idle screw... funny since it was a problem with the idle and there happened to be an idle screw on the throttle body. I find that is often the way it is with working on cars... when it's all said and done the solution always seems so obvious (tho trust me it wasn't at the time!). With that problem fixed the stereo then decided to stop working!!! We traced that back to a faulty ground and were able to fix the clock as well. So that's how I spent my weekend... hunched over a computer and over a car. Hope yours went better!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lilly Ponds...

So here's what I've been up to. Working on this cute play mat for my friend's little daughter who's turning 1 in a couple weeks. I saw something similar to this a while ago and thought it was the cutest, but needed to find a way that I could adapt it to my own style. I used polar fleece, as it is a nice forgiving fabric and I wouldn't have to worry about the edges unraveling either. Now I just can't wait to give it away! I even made some pockets to hide some treasures.... I have some more ideas for more play mats with different themes too. Who would have thought I'd enjoy designing kid stuff???

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feeling Owl-lee...

Aren't they just the cutest??? Still have eyes to put on most of them and yes, they're for my niece. My sister is working on finishing up her owl themed nursery and as you can guess these are for the nursery as well. I love owls too, so it's nice to have a reason to make up some of the owl patterns I've found. I also made up another baby skirt. I just love how this one turned out... pink and orange look so good together. I've been having so much fun using elastic thread to smock. I think it's about time to try to make a little shirt using this technique.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Temporary Fix Installed!

Well today was suppose to be a fun day with my sister, although most of the day she sat and watched me work on my car. I do think I've got a decent fix going on. I traced out the fuel level circuit and ran a new temporary wire in from the sending unit to the gauge. Seems to be working for now... my sis and I were even able to make it out to Walmart and back to pick up some sewing supplies. I'm making some new owls for my sister after I gave her an owl for her baby shower. Here is the second owl I made (which I wanted to hang on to, but I'm pretty sure I'll end up giving this one to her as well)and some fabric we picked up for more owls, as well as some fabric for baby skirts. I'm still working on my tutorial for the baby skirts.... maybe tomorrow I'll actually have time to work on that.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Problem Halfway Solved.

So I got my new radiator in today! It's so nice and shiny, and the flow seems much better. I also narrowed down my electrical problem too. There is a short to ground somewhere in the fuel gauge circuit. I didn't get a chance to check it out today because I was too busy helping replace the rear brakes in my boyfriend's Runner. Man were they bad!!! All four shoes were either cracked or had metal embedded in them. (I'll have to add some pictures of them tomorrow) We still have the front brake to finish tomorrow and bleeding the system.... then hopefully that horrible squeak will be gone! Oh, so much to do so little time to do it in. Maybe tomorrow I'll get sometime to sew....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Upon Further Investigation...

So after a bit of diagnosis this morning, I'm pretty sure I've got 2 separate problems going on... First, there is a cooling system issue, of course I could not duplicate it this morning. Last night the upper radiator hose was way over pressurized, while the lower hose felt normal, so I'm still leaning towards the radiator on that. Second is an electrical issue that I've concluded is somewhere between the front and rear bumpers. I did not have time for further testing on that and need to check out my electrical diagrams first before digging in to that! I did work some more on cute baby things and start work on a fabulous tutorial.... hope to get it finished by next week. Now off to sleep for me, tomorrow I venture up north to visit my folks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Well, I got my wish....

The intermittent overheating issue is back. So glad I have AAA and got a nice tow truck driver that didn't charge me to get over the bridge. You know, it really feels rather humiliating to be towed home - I'm jut saying. Ugh!! And she drove great for a week. I was even able to take my friend all the way across town to Joann's on Saturday with no problems. So tonight my boyfriend and I decided to take my car out to get groceries and on the way there she drove great. Then just about 4 blocks from the store I look down and notice the fuel and temp gauges are pegging again! I'm still thinking it's the radiator, so tomorrow I'll have to test out my new pyrometer and see if I can't find the problem spot(tho knowing my luck the problem will have disappeared). For now - time to sleep!

Friday, July 23, 2010

No pictures today....

Sorry, but I just can't spoil the surprise. I've been working on some items for my sister's upcoming baby shower, but I promise to post some after next Saturday. I kind of wanted to make a tutorial for one of the items - I guess we'll see. I did spend some other time moving my beads from one cabinet to another. I inherited this awesome vintage sewing pattern cabinet from my mom. I spent quite a bit of time sanding and repainting (honestly I could have done a better, but halfway through I changed my mind about the color since it was pretty much the same as it started). OH, and I lied.... here are some before and after shots of the cabinet (Please do not mind the mess - I like organized clutter in my creative space). It is perfect to house all my crafty supplies. Of course, I do have 4 of the 5 drawers filled already, but in my defense I did clear out a few bins and another cabinet into it. Anyways, here is some proof I transferred my beads into a drawer (soon to be reorganized) and lastly a picture of one of the fabric drawers that I think looks fabulous! Enjoy!