Monthly Archives: September 2014

Craft tools and gadgets

September 30th 2014

My dad has a tool shed. Well, he has three now. His favorite store is the Home Depot. He has everything ever made to do anything and he can tell you where it is, how many he’s got, who borrowed it and what projects he used it for. Heck! He probably even has the receipt, really.

Well, as I look at my craft corner and sort and reorganize, I too have accumulated many tools of the trade that I could not live without. Because as my dad says, “you never know when you are going to need it!” So this post is dedicated just to showing you some of the gadgets I have and use often. (Like father, like daughter)

If you are a hot glue gun user, this is one of the most useful investments you can make. It’s called a Hot Glue Gun Helper’s kit  it comes with these set of tools to avoid glue gun burns, you can get it on amazon on that link above. It comes with tweezers, a heat safety mat, finger protectors (like rubber thimbles) and pressing tools to save your finger ends. It’s all made from silicon and is heat resistant! For more glue gun safety tips you can  visit Pretty Handy Girl‘s blog.
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Is this little kit below familiar? This great kit is a companion to the Cricut. You Scrapbookers will know what I’m talking about. It has these great “dentist” type tools to pry and press small pieces of papers, scissors, rulers, extra blades, a folder and a smoother/scraper (?) I still haven’t quite used everything in there yet.

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I can’t live without these below. The air gun is for quick clean-ups of thread and lint in the sewing machine. The basting sprays is for smaller projects too cumbersome to pin and the lighter is for those ribbon ends that like to unravel.

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Below are my hand tools, labeled for your convenience.

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Some of my most recent acquisitions are for quilting. The binding clips help keep the binding in place while hand stitching it to the quilt and the larger clips I just started using when prepping a quilt for quilting.

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I use the binder clips to attach all layers to the craft table, then I pin or spray and I didn’t have to get on my knees. See a video of that here.

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This is one of my oldest tools. For years, I have always felt the need to keep sheet or pillow case bags they come complete with zippers, why would I throw these out?  I use these for scrappy ribbons, loose spools, batting strips, just about anything that you can imagine.

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As I was taking pictures for this post, I realized that all my glue guns have been given to me by great people who thought I would get much more use out of them than they would. Thank you!  And I have put them to good use indeed. But I think it’s time, that I should buy my own, I am thinking about a cordless variety or a designer style that’s decorated and that would mean that I could also get a cute glue gun stand. That’s the next gadget on my list. This one below has a tutorial so you can make your own.

hot-glue-gun-stand

or maybe you prefer this style, below tutorial here.

gluegun

Or  if you are not wood handy, like me, you may prefer to buy a similar one on Ebay over here.

Decisions, decisions…

 

Pretty and Practical Storage

September 17th 2014

Look what I got yesterday!  Look again, compare to the business cards. These are “mini” storage cubes that can collapse and be totally flat. What’s the perk about that?  Let me explain. I am a VISIONARY: adj. 1. characterized by vision or foresight. 2. Having the nature of fantasies or dreams; illusory. So as I get ready and think ahead to Quilt Market in the Fall and then possibly having my own booth in the Spring (God willing) I thought these caddies are perfect and compact to set up in my booth with patterns or whatever else I want to use them for.  Since they collapse they’ll fit perfectly in my suitcase!

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I got them at Target.com and they come in various colors not to mention how absolutely cute they are because they only measure 7 x 7 inches.  I thought this color goes best with the “Summercrafter” theme.  You can see there so many ways to use them!

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Then I thought about sorting my scrap disorder

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by doing it this way…

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or

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or

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It was just the motivation I needed to “weed” through my earliest collection samples in the fabric stash and get rid of all my  non-cotton, non-designer, inventive/inexperienced quilter baby fabrics and discount store selections.

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Look how adorable these cubes look on my shelf. I can double them front and back too.

One bin can hold BOM patterns for the whole year! (See on the right below)

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And I labeled them easily with those adorable clips my friend gave me. Thanks Amy!

I even have one filled with fabric for my next quilt, so they are really practical.

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I think I can keep up with this type of organization.

Showcase your vacation memories

September 12th 2014
Since Summer has ended and we are ready to usher in the Fall, maybe you’d like to highlight your summer pics in a shadow box and remember those glorious days of Summer?
Here is a post from the past in which I did just that. I highlighted that Summer’s vacation (2011) in a shadow box. You can see the materials I used here in the “part 1” post. I still have it hanging in our recreation room. Great trip!
“First of all, let me just say that even after seeing and handling the box almost everyday, moving it here and there around my Craft Corner area, I overestimated how much I could actually put inside it.
Secondly, in case you did not know, Sanibel is the Sea Shelling Capital of the world, not Cape Hatteras, so there goes the “shelled” paper idea (part 1). Since the box has a really nice “linen” type base through which you insert pins to hold the photos, ephemera etc.., I left the background as is. It serves as a nice contrast with the grey frame and other “cool colored” pics I added. As art would have it, omission is sometimes necessary. Some of the pictures never made it on there, partly because I didn’t want to cut them, I rather overlap.
The Big Picture

The inaugural item for the shadow box was a doodle I worked on while I planned the vacation. Then I fiddles with the layout of the photos and figured out how to integrate a map of the area. I thought this was important  because we did quite a bit of traveling up and down the Outer Banks; then a Hurricane (Albert) hit later that summer, and  sliced through that, now familiar, strip of road.
After much trial and rearranging, I finally had the layout how I wanted it, but I had to cut out the map. Apparently, I subconsciously arramged the pictures in order from North to South to show a glimpse of each area we visited. When I super imposed the map over the photos, it fell right into place, I was pleased. Being a stickler for details, I like for the documentation of a trip, such as this, to be as authentic and accurate as possible, it’s the librarian in me. : )

A doodle, of the forthcoming vacation rendered that Spring at a faculty meeting.

Wild horses on the beach in Corolla (pronounced Curulla, not like the car): DO NOT DISTURB or you’ll be fined!

Cape Hatteras light house, view of Pamlico Sound from the house balcony.
Here is the map that runs through it, pretty much aligns with the location of the photos except the horses, I had to hand write that town as it was on the very northern tip of the island.

These are the infamous wooden fences, their purpose is to trap the constantly shifting sand to preserve the dunes and prevent beach erosion.

One of the mamy boardwalks along the highway for beach goers, and kite boarders. Swim at your own risk: no life guards, lots of wind and wild surf. Brrrr, that water is cold!

An amazing ocean view from an empty lot on Ocracoke Island, which we explored by golf cart. This island was home to BlackBeard the Pirate.
Once that was finished, I added some color with “beachy” embellishments and a thought reading from top to bottom, can you read it? It says “we are blessed,” and we are. My favorite part is the mounted illustration at the bottom by Mary Engelbreit, and the quote “Sounds of the wind, and sounds of the sea, make me happy just to be.” By June Polus. That really should be my motto, mantra and motivation in life!”

 

High Seas Samples

September 3rd 2014

Hi there,  this is just a quick post to show you what my friend Amanda from The Patchsmith made!!

Anchors

She used my High Seas Pattern (below)  and totally “patchworked”  the anchor using a variety of blues. I love that option and she jazzed it up with cord and a button. Isn’t that cute? Love it!

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You can even make a separate block of each to decorate a swashbuckling boy’s room.

This quilt was made by  Abi from Scraps of Life blog, thanks for testing Abi!

Abi's pirate

This one is from Susie over at Susie’s Sunroom. Thanks Susie!

Susie's version 1

This pattern is so fun. I just love to see how everyone’s turned out. You can purchase it over on Craftsy. The special price runs until the first day of Fall.