Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Outer Space Baby Quilt

So one of my favorite events of the year, the SAIL auction and dinner is just around the corner. Every year I go and bid on amazing things and think to myself, I should make something to donate. However, every year it sneaks up on me and I don't get anything but a dessert made. This year I finally made a quilt to donate in addition to my dessert (which will be a Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie)!! I am really excited to donate this quilt to SAIL and fervently hope that it will raise them some funds.

It was a fairly easy quilt to make and as usual my favorite part of making it was the quilting. As soon as I decided to applique on a rocket ship in the corner I knew I had to actually quilt the fabric together using a star template. This was made a bit more challenging by the fact that I don't yet have a free motion quilting foot for my machine, but I figured out a way around it. I also threw in some lines for fun and I love the way it turned out!! Sorry for the poor picture quality but I wanted you to be able to see the quilting work on the quilt and the only way to accomplish that was to enhance the picture.

If you too are a fan of the quilt, simply buy your tickets to the auction dinner here and you can make a bid on it. And as usual here are a few more photos of this masterpiece:

Monday, June 4, 2012


Yay!! This month marks the first time I will have some of my work on display here in Juneau. As many of you know I work at an Assisted Living Home in Juneau providing services for adults with developmental delays. The house I work at is owned by Reach, who provides many different services throughout Juneau (as well as some in Haines) for people of all ages who have developmental delays. One of the more awesome departments at Reach is The Canvas. The Canvas is a gallery and day habilitation center located on the bottom floor of Reach. They provide art therapy for our clients, offer community art classes, have a pottery studio and operate a gallery which displays different artwork every month. It's a pretty cool place...

  This month the gallery is showing an exhibit (for lack of a better word) entitled Collaboration. Collaboration will be showcasing collaborative artwork created by Reach Clients and Staff. My coworker Reid and I have been hard at work this month working in tandem with each of our clients to create some artwork for the show. It has been both fun and challenging working with my clients to make some artwork together. As many of you know, I prefer to work in the fiber arts category, so naturally I chose to work with my clients to sew something awesome together.

   The idea for our pieces came from some place mats we also made this month.  We all were invited to an old coworkers wedding this past weekend and while thinking about what we could possibly get her for a gift, I came up with a much better idea - why not make a gift?? So I headed to the fabric store with my clients to pick up a few supplies...

      We decided to use the leftover scraps we had from Brooke's wedding gift to make some coaster's together. We had just enough scraps leftover for each client to make three coasters. I was really fun to work with my clients to put them together. They provided the art work for one side, and chose which scraps they wanted sewn together for the other side. I sewed them all up, turned them inside out and quilted them together for the final project...

One of my clients checking out some of her artwork at First Friday this last week.

 I then decided to hang all the coasters from a dowel rod so that both sides of the coasters could be displayed throughout the month. I am pretty happy with the final project and even more happy to have worked so hard to make something beautiful and useful with my clients. The exhibit will be up all this month so you should swing by and check it out because there really is some awesome artwork to be seen!! There is also some amazing artwork to be bought (I was very tempted to purchase a few pieces but resisted the temptation as all my excess money went to a new sewing machine). My clients and I decided to sell our coasters for $20. Whomever wants to buy them (there are three separate packs of four with each of my clients artwork on the back) can do so, all the proceeds will go to The Canvas and my clients.

The place mats we made for Brooke's Wedding gift to give you an idea of what the coasters look like because, like a champ, I neglected to take a photos of the coasters...

New Machine

    Sorry I've been absent for awhile, I have been super busy with job interviews, applications and trying to buy a new sewing machine as my old one broke. It was a sad day when my old machine broke because it had taken me so far, taught me so many things and completed so many projects for me. Yet I was pretty excited because I had really outgrown that machine and now I had the perfect reason to get a new machine. I spent a lot of time researching different machines and trying to figure out what I wanted because I don't live in a place where I can test drive a machine and I knew I would have to buy one sight unseen. Also, I knew I couldn't live without a machine until August or September which is likely the next time I will be down south. Eventually I made a decision and bought a new machine that I was hoping would better suit my needs. And guess what?!? Today my new machine arrived!!!
   I must admit I was pretty excited to get it from the post office this morning, but it spent most of the day sitting in my room while I was out hiking and enjoying the hot summer day (as I write this I am sitting on my front deck in sweatpants and a tank top with bare feet and it's 9pm).

I know many of you think that it doesn't get hot up here but we do have our days. May was rainy and chilly and after a full month of that a day like today is appreciated by everyone in town. I was not the only person getting out to hike in this amazing weather....

When I did finally come home around 6:30 pm I thought I would break out my new machine and see how well it operates. I must say that so far I am pretty happy, it's much quieter than my old machine and and still really easy to operate. I decided that this hot summer day required an appropriate summer dress and made one real quick to test out the capabilities of my machine. I was quite happy with how the machine handled the task.

The dress does not look so great on the hanger but it looks much better when I am actually wearing it. Hopefully we will have some more wonderful summer weather in June and I will get to wear it!! I also made a matching head band from the scraps...

I am looking forward to making a baby quilt for my friends Justin and Gwen the next time we've got crappy weather!! Hopefully my new machine will handle that task with as much ease...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ali's Teacher Bag

       My wonderful cousin Ali is graduating college this year with an Elementary Education Degree. Sadly I cannot be there for her actual graduation but I am excited to see her a week or two before it (she lives in California and I in Alaska). As a fellow teacher I wanted to make her an awesome graduation gift that she could use in her future life as a teacher and what is one thing every teacher needs? A bag! You need to have a way to lug all your paperwork and whatnot back and forth everyday. Of course knowing Ali as I do I knew that the bag had to be two things: functional and cute, which can be a bit hard.
       Off to pinterest I went in search of some cute big bags that Ali could use. My first stop was spying on all her boards to get an idea of what her taste was, second was calling my sister Sarah to ask for advice. Then I spent a few hours perusing pinterest to get an idea of what I would like to do. Luckily after some time I came across this bag from Sweet Verbena:

Cute, big and functional all the necessities covered!! So I decided to create a bag for Ali inspired by this bag. After spying on Ali's boards on pinterest and looking at the fabric choices at Joann's I came up with my fabric choices and bit of a plan: I would use three different fabrics a regular light colored canvas, a dark brown for the handles and bows and a leopard print for the lining because she seems to like leopard print and has many leopard print things pinned on her boards.

    I set to work and eventually came up with a bag that I am sure Ali will like. It may not be my preference and is a bit different from the inspiration bag, but that is fun because it makes it all a bit more unique...

I also added a small zipperd pocket to the inside for added storage...
     After a bit of work and consultation with my wonderful roommate Ariel I finally finished the bag. I decided to use a brown scarf to tie it together and incorporate a bow, it also has the added bonus of being removed and worn if needed. I worked on the edges to allow a bit of the leopard print to be seen from the outside making the bag a bit more stylish and feminine. Furthermore, I put two small pockets on the front outside of the bag to use as storage for a phone or pens (and to break-up the monotony of the canvas). Hopefully this bag will be the perfect blend of style and function for Ali as she begins her teaching career. I wish her all the best of luck and am excited to give her the bag when I fly down to California tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!!

     Happy Birthday to my Dad, who is one of my favorite people in the world. He is always there to listen to me and tell me to shut up and stop whining. So much of who I am is directly because of things I learned from my father, and I would like to take a minute to acknowledge the great person that he is.

    Yes my father is an engineer and can at times be exasperating (does it really matter if the lights are exactly in the center of the table and do you really need to leave death threat messages in the closets to make sure the right towels are put in that closet?) but he is also one of the most patient and caring people I have ever met. I am convinced that he and my Uncle John are two of the worlds most patient people to live with my mother and my Aunt Boni. Mom and Boni are equally amazing people but they don't tend to think things out before acting and as such can end up in some comical situations (Really Mom, I mean who else goes to sleep while making eggs and then has to scrape them off the ceiling?). People often remark upon my patience at work and every time I hear this I can't help to think but I learned that patience from John and Dad. Thanks to both of you for that!!!

  So Dad, I hope you realize today that you really are an amazing person and many of the qualities that you love about me are things I learned directly from you. I would not be the person that I am today were it not for your influence and teachings. I hope you get to rock out to some Lady Gaga today and I truly wish I could dance around the kitchen with you today...

And because I could never forget, here is your birthday card:
-Just as long as I don't have to clean it up for you :) I will send your gift along when I get paid on Tuesday. I love you!!

Monday, April 23, 2012


    My allergies have been going crazy these last few summery nice weeks in Juneau. This means that generally no one wants to be around me because I have mucus pouring from every orifice and I am constantly making nasty sounds trying to scratch my throat. Anyway, to add to my general unsavory appearance my left eye decided to get some kind of infection this weekend. I am not sure what it is, it could be a sty or it could be a blocked tear duct or something else entirely. The only things I know for sure: it's pinkish, swollen and hurts like hell. Naturally I was exceptionally excited to find this when I woke up this morning knowing that I have an interview at 9am tomorrow morning. Oh what joy!

   Sadly today is Sunday which means no going to the doctor before my interview, so I decided that the next best thing to do was to take some pictures and send them to some nurse friends to see if they had any ideas of how to make it better. So I set about taking some close up pictures of my eye to send to my friend (thanks Therese!) to see what she thought. Her diagnoses: a sty, use a hot compress as much as possible to help throughout the day. Whew, the compresses did manage to help a bit but it took most of the day to get the swelling down to a point where I felt okay going out in public. Hopefully, I will not wake up tomorrow with an even worse issue just in time for my interview.

    Anyway after all the diagnosing was done I was looking through my pictures and I realized that close up shots of your eye are pretty creepy. Naturally the first thing that came to my mind was how can I make this even creepier? Solution: do some careful editing and send out mass text messages to family and friends that look like this:

    HAHAHAHAHA I am almost glad that I woke up with such an unsightly visage this morning just so I could do this. I am sorry but I find this incredibly funny, especially when I picture my family and friends reactions as they looked at this text message. Sorry for the creepy message, but when you have something like this to work with you just have to use it!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guest Blogger, Sam the Dog

Today instead of hearing from me, I have invited a guest blogger to make a post. Please welcome Sam the Dog!!! Yay Sam I am so happy to have you do a guest blog!!

    Oh well hello Tressa, thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest blogger. I think that Tressa invited me to be a guest blogger because my Mom is out of town so I have been feeling a little down in the dumps. I miss my Mom but I have been having some fun with Tressa anyway. Today she took me on a pretty cool adventure with my friend Lily who I haven’t seen in a long time. I had fun running around and playing with Lily. We went for an adventure out on the Dupont Trail. We walked all the way to the beach and back. There was a lot of fun things to smell and see on the trail but I think my favorite part was a really tasty bone that Lily found in the woods. Lily likes to run into the woods but I prefer to stay a little closer to Tressa, you never know what is in those woods…

    I was kind of sad after Lily found the bone because Tressa wouldn’t let me chew on it and bring it home. I don’t know why she wouldn’t let me bring it home, it was so tasty. I was also a little sad that Tressa and Nicole wouldn’t let us chase after this spiky animal that was crawling in the woods. It would have been fun to say hi but Tressa put me on a leash and didn’t let me chase it. Maybe next time I will find a way to distract her so I can go say hi to the spiky animal.

    Mom would be very proud of me after my adventure. I listened to Tressa and was very nice to all the other dogs on the trail. It was a lot of work running out to the beach and I was so hot that I even went up to my belly in the water. Lily tried to get me to go swimming but I think I prefer to keep my feet on the ground. Lily was the only one who went swimming, Nicole, Tressa and I just walked into the water a little bit to cool off.

        Overall it was a pretty fun adventure and I am glad that there was lots of cold water for me to drink along the way. But now I am really tired and I think I will just sleep the rest of the day on my Mom’s bed, maybe when I wake up she will be home again. Tressa, Nicole and Lily are going to go on an adventure to Herbert Glacier next weekend, maybe I’ll see if Mom wants to go too and then I can see Lily again. Well that’s all for now, I need to take a nap….