Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project #23 - Tilt scale photography

Every now and then I look at my unfinished project list and sometimes I actually find the inspiration to tackle one of the items on it.

Today, I thought I might have a go at creating a tilt scale photograph using a photo I took when Matty and I went on a holiday to New Zealand in 2008.

While we were in New Zealand we took close to 2500 photos (and we all know how boring holiday snaps are!). As more and more months went by, we found ourselves struggling to remember why we actually took half the photos we did. We had good intentions of getting the photos printed off but, well, we never seemed to get around to it.

So I thought I'd like to at least print off and display my favourite photo from that trip: A picture of a cable car in Wellington:

I'm not really sure why I like it so much. Perhaps a combination of the colours in the photo and the fact that took us to a scenic lookout with panoramic views of the city below.

Lets face it though - it's not the most imaginative, awe inspiring shot. It is, indeed, just another holiday snap.

So a while back I trawled the net looking for some photoshop tutorials that would enable me to spice it up a tad and make it just a little more interesting. During my travels I came across this tutorial on Tilt Scale (or Tilt Shift) Photography and today I gave it a whirl.

After about 10 minutes of playing around (mainly trying to work out photoshop) I was done and the end result was the image below:

See how it now looks like a cable car that you would expect to see if you were visiting a miniature world! Kind of cool really.

Now it's just a question of whether l actually ever get around to printing this new, improved version of the photo off!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stripey Crocheted Blanket

Because I'm taking a few days off from the redwork quilt (just a few!), I decided that I needed another craft to do while sitting in front of the television of a night.

I have been toying with the idea of crocheting a blanket with stripes for a while now, so I figured I might as well make a start on that since wool is currently on sale everywhere at the moment.

In order to make the blanket the same size as Little Snicker's Pram Blanket, I will need to crochet 16 balls of wool. All up the blanket will cost me around $40 to make, which isn't too bad for a 100% wool blanket that will last (hopefully) a lifetime!

I am always surprised at how easy and therapeutic crocheting is. Up until now I have only ever crocheted granny squares, but using the same stitches in a different fashion is allowing me to create a nice, modern blanket.

If you've always wanted to crochet but didn't know where to start, I suggest you pick up a copy of 'The Art of Crochet'. The easy to follow instructions will have you crocheting like a pro in no time!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Redwork Christmas Quilt (Update #7) - All Redworked Out!

As you know I have been busying myself with the latest redwork quilt block. I am pleased to say that this block (which is EXTREMELY detailed) is almost finished!

I still need to satin stitch a few areas as well as the outer border, but then it will be all done - Hooray!

I think I will need a bit of a break from the redwork for a few days once this block is completed, so I might actually manage to show you all some other craft projects I have on the go at the moment.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ramblings of a crazy lady!

Since the majority of my time this week has been spent working on the Christmas Quilt, I have had a lot of time for thinking. I have thought about what the future holds for us, I have thought about the things I'd like to be doing and I have thought about the things I should be doing - like cleaning the house!

I would be surprised if I ever found anyone that 'truly' loved cleaning their house. I mean, surely there are better things that a person could be doing rather than spending time scrubbing, sweeping and dusting?

There is one particular household chore that I absolutely LOATHE doing and that is cleaning the microwave. I will avoid it at all cost. I would rather scrub the toilet with a toothbrush than clean the microwave.

When my lunch exploded inside the microwave the other day, I was less than impressed. Just so you know I'm not exaggerating when I say 'exploded', here is a picture of the inside of the microwave:

I did clean the microwave after this event, but it got me to thinking about possible solutions to my microwave cleaning hatred and I think I've come up with possibly the best invention of all time - The disposable microwave!

Now this idea I have doesn't necessarily mean that each time you use the microwave you have to discard it and get a new one (obviously the cost of doing that would just be plain ridiculous!). I am thinking that perhaps the inside of the microwave could have layers that you simply peel off and discard to enable easy cleaning.

I realise that there are many products out there that help to avoid splatter, which typically result in the covering of your food while heating and I acknowledge that these products would also help to reduce the amount of food spraying on the inside of your microwave. But what if you're like me and you really, REALLY like to see your food while it's revolving? Obviously covering isn't going to cut it, hence why I think the disposable microwave liners could be a really great idea.

It is possible though (and more likely) that I think this is such a great idea because I am so delieriously tired.... either that or there is some sort of chemical in my embroidery thread that is seeping into my skin and causing me to go crazy. Either way, I guess a simpler solution would just be to pay someone to come in and clean it on my behalf. Anyone want to do that for $5? lol

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Redwork Christmas Quilt (Update #6)

Well, I did it. I managed to finish off the next redwork panel and design all of the three remaining blocks. Here is a sneak peek of how the quilt will be placed when finished (the three long pieces of paper are the new block designs):

I also managed to trace the new designs and I've even started stitching one!

You would think I'd be pleased with that, right? Well I am.... but I'm also quite, um, overwhelmed maybe? There is SO much work in the remaining three blocks!!! *sigh*

I know I could make the blocks simpler, but I don't want to feel like I cheated both myself and Little Snicker by doing that. So I guess there won't be much time for blogging for a while and if I do have time, it's going to be all about the redwork! Sorry folks!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

I have been madly stitching away, trying to meet my goal of finishing another panel of the redwork quilt by this coming Thursday:

I am a little way off finishing and then I'll be working on the design of the remaining three panels. I must say that I am well and truly over stitching reindeers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Craft Space Revamp : New Craft Desk!

The first real day of sunshine and I am sick in bed with a tummy bug - isn't that always the way! It has enabled me though, to take some pictures of my new craft desk that Matty so lovingly altered for me.

You may remember that my old craft desk was white with spots painted on it:

I decided that I wanted the spots gone and some minor alterations to it, since it is also to replace my computer desk due to lack of space. It is VERY cool that my monitor is actually suspended from the side of the table now, to allow for maximum space for crafting!

Matty also cut out the side of my table and put in a sliding drawer for my mouse and keyboard:

But perhaps the coolest feature of the new craft desk is this light box for tracing:

Oh new craft desk, how I love you so!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Buninyong Makers Market

It's official! I am going to be a stall holder at the Buninyong Makers Market on the 24th of October. So, if you're in town on that day make sure you pop on past and say hello!

I am a little nervous about the whole market to say the least. I have never had a stall before so I don't really know what to expect.

There are so many talented people that are going to be there like Krystle from Villa Hunter, Rachel from Pictures Eat People and Jane from Janey and Kip, just to name a few.

Kind of feeling a bit out of my league here! lol

Friday, September 3, 2010

Redwork Christmas Quilt (Update #5)

Last week, while I was casually perusing the magnificent range of Christmas quilting fabric at Ballarat Patchwork, a fellow shopper asked me what sort of Christmas project I was working. I began telling her about the redwork quilt I have been working on for Little Snicker.

The conversation went along fine until she asked me how much more work I had left to go on the redwork blocks. When I told her I thought I was about a third of the way completed, she scoffed and said "Guess he won't be getting it for this Christmas then?!?" The rudeness of some people!

I came home in a huff, got the redwork out and started busying myself with finishing (well, actually starting) the last block I designed. I am pleased to tell you that I have managed to finish one of the biggest blocks in the quilt in just seven days! Here is a picture of it:

Complete with it's own little Ruldolph leading the troops:

I now have a very clear idea of what the quilt is going to look like and I am left with a mere 4 oversized blocks to stitch (3 of which are still to be designed).

I am setting myself a goal of 2 weeks to have the next block stitched (which is pretty much identical to the one I just completed) and the last 3 blocks designed and traced onto my calico. If I can get that done, I think I will be well on track to finish the quilt by THIS Christmas.
Suck on that lady, is all I have to say (I hope she doesn't read my blog lol!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Smartie Cereal

Have you seen the episode of the IT Crowd where Moss is eating a bowl of Smartie Cereal (Season 1 episode 6)? The dialogue goes like this:

Jen: OK. Moss, what did you have for breakfast this morning?
Moss: Smartie cereal.
Jen: Oh my God. I didn't even know Smarties made a cereal.
Moss: They don't. It's just Smarties in a bowl with milk.

We have been talking about how awesome it would be to have a bowl of Smartie Cereal ever since this episode aired, so we decided it was time to give it a whirl.

We figured that since we were going to be eating chocolate for breakfast we might as well really go to town, so we made chocolate bowls the night before to put our Smartie Cereal in!

To make the chocolate bowls, I melted up some chocolate. Then I spooned a little onto a piece of aluminium foil (this forms the base of the bowl):

Then I dipped a balloon into the chocolate:

And then sat the balloon on top of the chocolate on the aluminium foil:

Once the chocolate set, we popped the balloons and peeled them off the chocolate and even though they were a little rough around the edges, they served their purpose well:

With the chocolate bowls ready to go, we filled them up with Smarties and milk at around 8.30am on Sunday morning (keen, hey!). I heated my milk up, which made the middles of the Smarties and my chocolate bowl melt - it was divine!

My brother (who's bowl was made using a water bomb balloon) decided to have a moat of Smarties:

So what was the verdict? Was it at all as good as we'd hoped? HELL YES! Although it was very, very sickly lol!