Friday, March 23, 2012

Snowball and Brussels Lace and London

Hello dear friends. This is a catch-up, catch-all post.

First, let me share with you the lovely Snowball that Connie made for me.  We traded, and you may remember my cream, gold and bronze Snowball for her from previous posts.  I had asked for a Snowball in bright colors. “Think Kaffe Fasset”,  I said. Well, Connie did an awesome job, don’t you think?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!  Thank you so much, Connie! It is perfect.

I plan to mount it in a hoop and hang it on my white studio walls around my thread storage pictured here.

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We are in the process of constructing blocks at Crazy Quilting International in colors and themes that represent the flags and countries of our members. Those blocks, in turn, will be assembled into a traveling international wall hanging.  Pam in Seattle is working on the Belguim block, and it has been a gorgeous work-in-process that has just come together amazingly.  Go see it on her blog and read how she chose the various symbols. When she first added all the lace, it sparked quite a discussion on CQI. And that very same day I happened to see the following framed lace on Etsy, and bought it on the spot.

My picture-taking skills do not do it justice, but it is just gorgeous. It, too, will hang in my studio.  Thank you, Pam, for inspiring me and sparking me to go on a quest to learn more about the beautiful laces produced in Belguim.  By the way, here is a great resource that I have bookmarked and would like to share with you.  It is The Lace Fairy’s Lace Identification website.

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I got to play with London again on Wednesday afternoon, which was a warm and sunny day here in the Salt Lake Valley.  Once I resigned myself to the fact that a nap was NOT going to happen, we went outside and played.  First, she rode (and I taught her how to steer) a little motorized pink car.  It is a good thing she has 14 more year to practice driving before getting a license! And then we discovered all the joys of the Back Yard. The first thing she asked me, and I have no idea how she remembered this, is “where are the grapes?” referring to our barren grape arbor. I had to explain that as it gets warmer and the vines start growing, it will go from this (picture from last year)

to this:
2009 or so
So, we played with her shovel and pail out in the garden, explored the rock pile and wood pile, climbed the hill of garden mulch waiting to be added, and generally got very dirty.  It was a blast!

Grammy, you need to paint the rails this year!
Until next time!
Cathy maroon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Time to Announce a Winner

To me, this has been the perfect giveaway.  The participants are my regular blog readers, not just those who swing by to enter a contest.  That is why I never put it in the blog title.   That means fewer entries, of course, but that is good for the participants (better chances of winning). And since the purpose was not to build blog followers but to thank you all for your friendship and support, it was just great by me, too.

Well, let’s get on with it!  There were 43 entries, all of whom I had a means of contacting, so all 43 were valid. Using the Random Number Generator (instead of the Random Picking Husband), the number that came up was 5, and that is


Congratulations, Juli!  Let’s get together and select your winnings!

Thank you to everyone else for entering.  You are all loved and appreciated!  We will do this again later this year to celebrate other milestones, I am sure.

Speaking of milestones, I have finally reached 300 followers, and my Etsy sales rocketed up to over 1110 this month, approaching 1200.  I have got to stop watching that number now that I have made my goal of 1,000.  LOL.  That is the right brain part of me struggling to be recognized.

Later today or tomorrow I will have some CQ-related things to post. They are stacking up so we will get to them.

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) or Autumn (in the Southern Hemisphere). We have daffodils here in Utah, and popcorn is popping on the apricot tree. But they were all covered with snow last night. *Sigh*.

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fractured St. Patrick’s Day Cards

You know I love to share vintage images with you. There are plenty today for your enjoyment and copying. And I also love to find the humor in things, and these cards, to me, are ripe for the jesting!!

…but the rest of me looks like Mr. Potato Head.

March 18: Bleary-eyed, Pat and Sam share another toast to celebrate whatever it was they agreed to the night before.
How surprised the villagers were when, upon landing, they learned they had been flying a cucumber

Hazing ritual for the KISS (Kappa Iota Sigma Sigma) Fraternity at Dublin University

Erin Go Overboard: Another good reason not to Drink and Row

Inspired by a guest at the New Years Eve Party, Brendan created a Shamrock Hat to impress Fiona.

Their feud momentarily forgotten, George and Declan share a toke of some funny weed that George had named after his mother,  Mary Jane.
Secret meeting of the Irish Teetotaling Society

Kathy:  Can you come over for a drink?
Tommy: OK, but no shamrock juice in the lemonade this time.
The Good Ship Shamrock: design forerunner to her more well-known sister, The Good Ship Lollipop.
They vowed their love.
They vowed their devotion.
They vowed never to let Billy’s younger brother take the reins again.
Their love was forbidden, but Betsy knew they would run away together to some faraway farm.
Or pork factory.
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Don’t forget to enter my giveaway (see two posts ago) for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to my Etsy shop, Cathy’s Crazy by Design.  The complete rules are in that post. and March 19 is the deadline.

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TAST and Snowball. Again.

I got my new sewing machine last week (more about that in another post). So, the first thing I did was read the instructions, then I threaded the bobbin and machine with white thread to practice sewing.  A couple practice runs, and I was ready to tackle my first project; a Snowball (exchange of friendship fabric circles) for Kerry.  And what colors did she request?  A black pieced Snowball with bright stitching.

Well, I was too excited to wait to re-thread in black, so I pieced her snowball with white threads.  Aren`t those stitches (the machine stitches, not mine, LOL) cool?  Nice, even tension. Perfect zig zags.  What a dream it is to stitch on my new Brother Project Runway model!

So, the TAST stitch was Couching, and after stitching some half-wheel buttonholes, I couched a variegated thread with long slubs and thin spots and a thin thread running with it.  Anyway, I let the slubs dangle (Dangling Slubs. Almost sounds vulgar).   Ok, the slubs swagged (not much better) and then I couched the thin connecting portions into little triangles. Or whatever.  The couching thread isn’t as noticeable in person.

I’ve laid a base of herringbone on the left and will further embellish that seam this week, not only to finish the snowball, but also to catch up on TAST.  Let’s see, there’s running stitch and Whipped Wheel (reverse spider web weave). Should be fun!

My old machine is still at the quilt store/repair shop (a place I will never patronize again if I ever get my old machine back).  It has been almost 4 weeks and they have not even called me.  So, I will call them tomorrow (officially 4 weeks) and ask, words dripping with sarcasm, if they have had a chance yet to look at my machine. Yes, I could have called them, but the point is they are the ones being paid to do a service. I think non-communication is poor customer service.

And while I am on this customer service rant, I went to the Xpedx store to buy more poly bags for the shop.  I got my bags and went into the checkout line.  The cashier (only one working, even though two others were standing at registers doing who-knows-what) had two speeds: slow and stop. Which would be OK if she were friendly and interacting, but this woman was not. She let the customer in front of me run out to her car to get her credit card, while the rest of us just waited.  Getting checked out was quick, but on the way home I looked in the bag and there was no receipt.  Grrrrr!  I would think a receipt would be automatic (it usually is). And even more so if the transaction is paid for with a Business Debit Card.

But enough of that!

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Don`t forget to enter my Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop.  Just visit my shop (link on sidebar) and tell me what your favorite item is.  Leave your comment on YESTERDAY`S post.  

Cathy maroon

Monday, March 12, 2012

Still Crazy after all these Orders!

I finished my week #whatever TAST stitch (couching) on a Snowball I pieced for Kerry. That was a week ago, and I have had barely a moment to rest, much less blog. Is spring in the air? My Etsy shop went CRAZY (and that’s good) with orders over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Remember I was hoping to reach 1,000 sales in March? Well, I was at 998 on Friday afternoon, and then things just cut loose. When the dust settled Sunday evening, I was at 1,060 or so.

All weekend I was pulling orders and packing and mailing and answering convos and doing special orders. Whew! Today I dyed laces and tomorrow I will colorwash some, plus iron them, photograph and get listing.  Why?
Because we are going to have a Giveaway!!!!

I am going to keep it simple. At first I thought it might be nice to promote my Facebook page for Crazy by Design, but I just don’t GET Facebook (maybe because I’m an old geezer).  They keep adding more bells and whistles and revising this and that. I do look at it once in awhile to see what some people are up to, but who has the time to hang out there?  But I digress….

So, here is the Giveaway information buried deep in the post; if you are faithful and have read this far, hurray! 
The prize will be a $25 credit in my Etsy shop, Cathy’s Crazy by Design (link in sidebar). Visit my shop and check it out. Then come back here and leave a comment on THIS POST telling me what your favorite item is. One entry per person.  I will pick the winner by Random Number Generator on, um…. how about March 20, which is a Tuesday. That is the Spring Equinox (first day of spring for the Northern Hemisphere).  So entries must be posted by Monday night, March 19.

Now, don`t worry if items come and go in my shop in the meantime. I have lots of goodies, and there is usually more where they came from. Others (like the kitty, above) have not been listed as I write and post this.  I will work with the winner to give her what she wants. One other thing. You MUST have a way for me to contact you in your comment.  If your name does not link back to a blog or a valid email address, type it in.

Now, what about that Snowball and TAST stitch?  I guess that will have to be next post, LOL!

Cathy maroon

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Snowballs and Snowfalls

Clever title, eh?  Sheesh - I sure get amused by the little things, don’t I?  hehehe

The snowfall the title refers to is the storm we had on Thursday-Friday which dumped more snow than we have had the whole winter so far.  But that’s OK; we need it.  And it is half gone now anyway, and the next several days will be relatively warm and clear. Shirt sleeve weather by mid-week.  Yesssss!

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I finished my Snowball (a friendship circle; rather like an ATC, only we chose round shapes) for Connie.  She finished hers for me last week, and when it arrives, I will show it to you; it is gorgeous!  In the meantime, Connie requested gold, cream, bronze and copper.  That, to me, says metallic and sparkly.

At first I thought I would just do seams and one large flower, and sort of echo what Manya did for Colleen, which you can see here.  But then I found a piece of antique lace with a circle of little tiny flowers around a sort of…. well, it looked to me like a web. Ding! Spiders are traditional on CQ’s (they represent good luck), so Connie, I hope you don’t mind a friendly little arachnid.  :-)

I outlined the flowers in copper metallic thread, then found the tiniest copper beads in my stash. My eyesight is not the best, so I had never used them.  But they were perfect for the leaves, so it was now or never. I donned my reading glasses and a magnifier, and voila!  I had to work an hour at a time on it because that’s all my eyes could do, but I did it!  And the beads and stitching are in the correct general area, LOL!!!  :-)

The spider is made from two vintage brass beads and more of the bronze metallic. Parts of the legs don’t show well against the lace, but they are all there.   I also made some small bead flowers from bronze beads.  And then I added some feather stitching in gold, plus chains in a white gold, yellow gold and copper.  (Ta da!  I believe that checks off TAST Week #8 as well).

It was fun, and I feel as though I stretched myself on this a bit. Working small forced me to focus more and use aids that I had been putting off (like magnifiers). And it taught me that I can be patient and even when the going is slow, I can persevere and finish.  It was very gratifying!

So, off it goes in Monday’s mail to Connie.  

Cathy maroon