Monday, April 24, 2017

Goofin' Off With Ziplocs...and Project Updates 4/24/2017

You know that commercial that asks “What’s in your wallet?”  I’m not sure why, but this morning as I was grabbing yet another Ziploc bag out of the kitchen, I thought, “What’s in your Ziploc?”  I was thinking about how many Ziplocs we use and the variety of ways that we use them.  Please don’t start to sweat thinking I am trying to sell you Ziplocs, nor am I participating in any sort of MLM scheme involving Ziplocs.  It’s just one of those odd thoughts that creeps into your mind on an early Monday morning.  Before we get too deeply into Ziplocs, I’ll give you some updates on my projects. 

The first update is for my Tinkerbell quilt.  This past weekend I bit the bullet and finally decided to try my hand at machine quilting using my Brother sewing machine.  I had fun with it and tried stitch-in-the-ditch, echo quilting, and even using a decorative stitches for quilting.  For the record:  I HAD FUN!  Seriously, the finished product is kind of a mish-mash of designs, but I had so much fun in the process.  I learned some things my machine did well, and other things that it (or I) didn’t do so well.  I’ve posted a picture below of my favorite corner of the quilt with the quilting.  

Because this project wound up being more of “learning experience” for me, I’ve decided to keep this little lap quilt for myself when it’s done rather than donate to charity.  My family will tell you I like to stay warm.  I almost always have a quilt or blanket on my lap when I’m working or cross stitching.  As an added bonus, having Tink in my room will brighten things up quite a bit.  

Next update is my Tinkerbell cross stitch.  I can’t believe I only have one more tiny section to go before this is done.  My hubby asked me the other night what I would be doing for my blog once all my Tink projects were done.  Um, you’ll have to keep an eye on my blog go find out, sweetie (wink, wink). 

Now back to my Ziploc obsession discussion.  I went to pull a Ziploc this morning so I could put my thread and bobbin together for the quilting I had done this weekend.  I kept thinking of all the Ziplocs of varying sizes I have in my sewing room/office.  I use them for so many things.  I took a peek in the refrigerator, and can you believe there was only one Ziploc in there…which was helping to keep some Colby Jack cheese from drying out.  

Here are some of the ways I am using Ziplocs in my sewing room/office: 

My techie (and I use the term techie loosely) Ziploc full of thumb drives and all the cords I use to recharge the few electronics I have…my laptop, my camera, my .mp3 player...and my never charged so don't try to call me cell phone.  

My supply of birthday cards and my list of family birthdays month-by-month.

Keeping threads together for a particular cross stitching project. 

Kits I have made up for charity quilts.  I have about a dozen patterns that call for three different fabrics and uses one yard of each fabric.  These are the perfect size for charity quilts, so when I find fabric that I think goes together well, I stash them together for the future in these Ziploc bags.  

I probably have more Ziplocs than I choose to admit in my room.  On the sort of eco-friendly side, I do re-use them when I'm finished with a project.  

So I ask you today:  What's in your Ziploc?  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Goofin' Off Around the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and Weekly Updates

How does one, who has a brown thumb, manage to create lovely Disney-inspired topiaries?  One doesn't.  One simply heads to Florida during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  We have been able to attend this festival to celebrate my birthday for the past five years or so. Thankfully, our timeshare makes it all possible and affordable for us.  And, of course, how could I not snap a picture of this little pixie for my blog when all my projects right now are inspired by her?  

Before I get too ahead of myself with all the flowers and stuff, I'll go ahead and post a few updates on my projects.  The projects have been slow going as of late since my dad was in the hospital for two weeks and is just starting his second week at a rehab center.  The long visits to the hospital have tapered off, and we are just visiting every other day or so for now.  I'm starting to feel like things are getting back to "normal" [knocking on wood].  

Here are a couple of pictures of the Tinkerbell quilt.  The top is completed.  The pictures show what it looks like with both the first border and then the second border added.  It's nice to be done with this one.  

And just in case you didn't think this post was heavy enough with Tink, here is where I am at with the cross stitch piece.  Only two more sections to go before it's finished, too.  I am so excited.  

Now for a quick review and highlight photos for the 2017 Flower & Garden Festival.  What we loved:  
  • Free "Garden Rocks Concert Series".  While we were there, Jon Secada, Dennis DeYoung of STYX, and The Pointer Sisters all gave live concerts.  These concerts are included in the cost of your admission.  The only concert I could convince my hubby to attend was with Dennis DeYoung.  Yes, we were welcomed to the grand illusion.  This was one of hubby's favorite bands in his teen years.  
Dennis DeYoung:  The Music of Styx
  • The "Butterflies on the Go" walk through area.  Lots of beautiful butterflies flying around.  

  • The "Outdoor Kitchens" kiosks with lots of great food.  There were 15 kiosks this year, and I think we tried something at each one of them.  Hmm...maybe I'll have to a blog entry with all my foodie pictures.  

Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue
  • Beautiful Disney-inspired topiaries.  There were three new topiaries this year.  Here are some of my favorites this year...actually, they're all my favorites.  

Bambi, Thumper, and Flower
Andrea, Lance, and Figment
The Fab Five:  
Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy
Donald and Pluto
Goofy and His Bestie
Peter Pan Keeping an Eye On Things From Above
I've got so many more pictures to show.  But I'm thinking I'll save them for another time and post. Thanks for hanging in for as long as you have.  Until the next update...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Goofin’ Off Around the Let’s Bee Quilt’n Blog Hop

Today’s post is a special one.  I have been working along with some fellow quilters in a group called 2017 New Quilt Bloggers as I try to learn the ropes of being a new blogger.  I’ve been making new friends and learning lots of great things about blogging.  Today’s assignment is participating in a blog hop with my new friends.  For those of my friends who enjoy quilting, it’s a great opportunity to meet some other quilting bloggers.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy reading a few friendly quilting blogs linked below:  

As a quick introduction to any new readers, I’ll try to give you a little introduction to me and how I came to choose my blog name.  The “Goofin’ Off” part comes from my family always looking forward to spending time and having fun together.  Our family motto is:  The family that plays together, stays together.  It's not uncommon for us to take extended family vacations to Disney.  The picture on the left is from a cruise I took with my niece five or six years ago.  It was Pirates in the Caribbean night when this picture was taken.

Our family has such a special affinity towards Disney and often the times we spend to together is spent playing Disney games, going to see Disney movies (including the Marvel and Star Wars universe), and running off to play in the theme parks whenever time and money allow us.  We love Goofy.  We especially like to goof off with Goofy.  My hubby and Goofy even have a special handshake.  If you don't believe me, check it out below!  

Back in middle school, I had the opportunity to take a class where I learned all sorts of fun things such as knitting, crocheting, embroidery, cross stitching, and sewing.  I loved the class but definitely had picked out a few favorites by the end of the semester.  I found I really enjoyed counted cross stitch.  It provided a stress relieving outlet throughout my high school years and after.  Here is a picture of one of a series of a Bee alphabet.  I have completed the alphabet and hope to make each of these squares as the center of a quilt block and sew a queen-sized quilt for my bed.

Somewhere in my late 20s, I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a quilt.  This is where the “Around the Block” part of my blog name comes in.  I bought myself a magazine that included some quilt-making basics and just went at it.  I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time, so my first dozen quilts were 100 percent hand sewn and hand quilted.  I eventually bought an inexpensive sewing machine and the rest is history.  I believe the quilt on the left is the second quilt I completed.  It was from a Thimbleberries Quilt Club kit.

Around my mid-30s, I worked on my first charity quilts for Project Linus.  I enjoyed making these quilts and was always on the lookout for simple quilt patterns that went together quickly.  The quilt on the right is one of my favorite patterns.  It uses strip piecing and requires exactly one yard of each fabric.  When I'm shopping for fabric, I try to just look for three coordinating fabrics and purchase one yard each.  I hope that somehow each charity quilt can bring a little comfort to someone no matter what their circumstances.

As a huge Disney fan, I find myself drawn to Disney prints.  I also find myself drawn to fabrics that reminded me of the Disney parks and resorts.  I might find myself looking at a camping print that reminded me of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.  Or I might find a print of baked goods that reminded me of the smells of the Disney bakery.  I was drawn to the fabrics in the quilt on the right because it reminded me of the carousel at Disneyland.  Have I mentioned yet that we are a Disney-obsessed family?    

So tell me in the comments below, what inspires you in picking designs for whatever your project is…cross stitching, quilting, painting, or whatever floats your boat?