Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wantables Accessory Box - August 2014

This is random.  I subscribed to a subscription box several months ago at,  They have an intimates box, an accessory box, and a makeup box.  For all boxes you tell them what you love like and dislike.  I'd chosen the intimates box and they send you stuff like panties and camis and socks for those of us who can't be bothered to go to the store and don't mind having random crap sent to us that we might hate.   I'm actually really really particular about this stuff so it seems an odd choice. I've gotten four boxes, one I sent back.  Of the others, there were some things I like, some things I don't like and wont ever wear.  I got more black panties than I could shake a stick at!  One month I got two sexy babydolls even though my profile's geared towards comfy loungewear.  I gave away a pair of neon pink knee socks - so I've had enough of that one.  The brands they have are quality brands though.

My August Intimates box profile

Despite my having a hit or miss experience (more miss) I wanted to try their accessories box at least once.  This was even riskier for me because I'm even more picky about accessories.   I've seen a lot of reviews where people get things in their boxes and say stuff like "I didn't think I'd wear something like this but...."  so I hoped to be one of them. Also all my sunglasses are cheap scratched pieces of junk so I was hoping to get some new ones :p

I'm throwing this up here because they sent me stuff I am not unhappy with.  I'm even going to post bad pictures of myself in them cause I don't care.  The same things would look different on you anyway.  The boxes are $40 or $36 if if you do a monthly subscription.  You can skip any boxes you want too.  I got one unflattering but comfy pair of huge sunglasses, some green ones I dig even if they aren't the most flattering, earrings I actually love, and an adjustable ring that I decided is more practical on my pinkie than anywhere else. The face value of the items is $75.  I can say I'd spend $40 for the items I will use and that's all I really care about.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making the Cold Process Soap!

I've wanted to make soap for 20 years, I mean the using lye and making sure you don't go blind sorta soap. I had books about it over the years, but whenever I had strong desire I usually lived in a place it wasn't practical to do it in.  Recently I had some motivation in the form of needing to entertain my sister by making things with her when shes over next weekend, and *boom* plans were made.

freshly poured soap
I wont mention the book I own to reference, it's a first edition of a book that says to put the water in the lye instead of the other way around, which can cause a volcano of fumes and splashing.  I don't think much of an error that can result in chemical burns, so luckily the internet saved me, there are some amazing resources out there.

The smart thing to do was to make a sample batch so I know what I'm doing and can make it look easy when my sister makes soap with me. 

Let's just say it was a good idea, since it didn't run as smoothly as I wanted.  I made it outside due to the lye fumes and three kitties running around, and kept forgetting things inside.    This sample batch is citrus scented with loofah and poppyseed for exfoliation, and tumeric for color.

Supplies: Mostly bought online at Bramble Berry, which is a few hours north in Bellingham, WA.  Their prices were comparable to a number of places I looked at (I'd say the only area lacking is a variety of soap molds).  They also have a soap blog with lots of recipes and techniques called Soap Queen.  I really appreciate the well written articles and information on the site. 

I wont use the soap until it's cured for at least 4 weeks, so I can't give a review on how it turned out yet, but I learned a lot and will apply it for the future, hopefully resulting in better looking bars.  I haven't done a price breakdown so I'm not sure if this is efficient or just a fun hobby.  My recipe after the break.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ahhh..fabricking and soaping

My mysterious fabric for my sisters quilt was found, it was  PURE - STOF of Denmark - Burst Stripe in Purple and Grey.  It was found because Julie of The Intrepid Thread is awesome and when she couldn't ID it she put up a post about it, where it was recognized, and some total stranger named Anita in California happened to have some that she just up and mailed to me because *sniffle* people who sew are awesome.

This is where I tell anybody who ever wanders across this post that my ongoing review of her store is like.. BUY FROM HER.  Anita sent a total stranger some fabric because she thinks Julie is awesome and is also presumably really nice.  Julie is giving Anita some fabric because Anita was nice to me.  I am going to win the lottery so I can buy more fabric, and hopefully come up with something nice to do back for Anita.

This gave me an excuse to buy more fabric from her, and I have been excited about Indelible and I'm always short on green and low volume so there ya go.  As always shipping was fast, customer service was excellent, and FYI, they enclose a couple charm squares with each order, usually fabrics I haven't considered, and I love adding them to my stack of charm squares and pulling them out as needed for patchwork. 

I also started making soap this last weekend because I really do want to learn a new skill or two a year.  This is getting wordy enough that I'll put most of it in a new post.  I just realized this might be hereditary from my mother.   I remember her making macrame, embroidery, sewing clothes and quilts, making candles, canning, making jewelry...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Random Fabric ID Post & Soap

I'm 89% done with my sister's Tangelo quilt top (pattern by Carolyn Friedlander).  Ran out of a print that was from my stash, need a bit more cause ya know, I don't math so good apparently! OK, I ran out of two fabrics, but at least I know one is Kona in Cactus.  It's horrible to need less than 1/4 yard and be clueless about what I need to get, or face starting a row all over.  It is a couple of years old, and probably in stock nowhere once I figure this out..

Lotta Jansdotter, half the print size of mystery fabric
But what  *it* is, I don't know.  I thought it was Lotta Jansdotter but it doesn't seem to be (or exhaustive searches tell me this) let me know its similar to some other fabric that I got at about the same time.  I reverse image searched from my photo, and nothing.  Posting so I can upload picture ;)

On a side note related to my sister, I'm about to delve into soap making.  It's actually something I've wanted to do for almost 20 years, with my ex-husband we always lived in places small enough I didn't want to attempt it with our three cats. In the interim between then and now I  had other things keeping me busy, but now my sister is bored and needs a new hobby and there's plenty of outdoor space to explode lye, so I got busy planning.

I love a new hobby - I have wood soap molds to make, oils ordered from a Bellingham store that I'll get to go visit in person next time I drive north.  I have winged my own recipes with the help of a lye calculator and a lot of web research, and have my safety goggles ready so I can make a test run before working on a batch with my sister. I'd really love the quilt top done before she comes over so we can work on that and the soap!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Westwood Acres Liberty Subscription

At the end of last year I joined Westwood Fabrics liberty tana lawn bundle of the month club.  They charge your credit card monthly and ship you a bundle of 10 fat sixteenth/eighth/quarters.  It was $26.30 a month with shipping for the 1/16ths, which was as much as I was willing to spend on such a luxury indulgence with the inclusion of randomness mixed in.

You see, I bought two yards of Liberty three years ago when had it on sale for $32 a yard *gulp* finding the whole notion romantic and all.  I put in in the wash and the medium blue ran and redeposited on the fabric in light blotches.

It sits in my garment stash unused until I can find the right pattern, so you can understand why I have mixed feelings on Liberty, and consider going into therapy anytime I wade through my garment fabric stash and see it :o

Christmas Liberty
My sister in law, who as far as I knew, had no idea I'm a bit of a Liberty junkie, sent me a little bundle of it she found somewhere (for the life of me I cant find this shop online) for a Christmas present so it was like..a sign from above that I made the right choice to sign up. Or I'll take any excuse I can to do what I feel like doing.

I hadn't seen reviews for this fabric club last time I searched, so I thought I'd throw up some pictures of what I've received in case anybody is wondering what some of the adorable shipments going out in it look like.

Pros - I have a lovely little stash of Liberty,  and I really like some of the prints.  They lend themselves well to paper piecing and little projects.  I get to act like I know what's up in the world.

Cons - different colors of the same print are sent on different months, so if you dont like something, you can pretty much assume you are going to have multiple colors of a print that you don't like.  Also, there was one of randomly sized zoo animals and  I'm not really sure what to do with that. ;) 
I also spent a lot of money and yardage wise, I still only have 1/3 of a small shoebox filled with it.

Verdict: if you have the money and you don't need to love every print of a club, this is fun.  I cancelled it a couple of months ago because I couldn't justify the expense any more, but I think it's a great way to try out the options if you're in the US.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Marcelle Medallion Quilt

Well well well.  I have finished the Marcelle Medallion Quilt finally, the one I started last September.

back of Marcelle
One thing I just realized today  about medallion quilts is they looks odd being off center on the bed if you don't pull them all the way up over the pillows.  TRAUMA!

So, it's done.  It's king sized in case I ever have a king bed again.  The bedroom in our rental house is blue so it matches, what more could one want?.  It only took this long to finish due to the green border.  One of my cats (yes, my fat one)  had ripped a few holes in it while trying to jump up on the bed when I was testing it for size a long way back, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to quilt it without doing some major work.

I chose a random kelp like design that involved a lot of bubbles over the rips.  I think I patched them pretty securely!  We will see though.  I'm a little sad this will soon be covered with cat hair, but we make sacrifices for our children.

I'm actually on a quilting roll this month.  I've made good progress on a few quilts, made some Noodlehead 241 totes that have made me happy to play with, made a lot of clothes.. strike that.. started a lot of clothes and haven't managed to finish any of them...  

This was a fun quilt to make, and although I'm starting another medallion quilt, I have a feeling I will be revisiting this pattern at some point in the future. If you randomly stumbled onto this post and are suddenly struck dumb by the need to make one too, there's a great flickr group with tons of inspiration, and wonderful QAL instructionS and advice at the Penny Poppleton blog.

Friday, June 6, 2014


This is not a "I am not breaking up with you" letter.  I am not a big traditional fan, and I'm big on modern quilting but something about all these small blocks seems meditative.

I had a vague plan of something, and then I came up with this to be my color scheme.  It's a Photoshopped picture - supposedly of the Farie pools of the Island of Skye, which was sort of um.. ganked from a photo in New Zealand from what I can tell via my pal Google.  But I'm working my way through my color scheme pins on Pinterest, and it seemed time for this one!  Just to be clear, I fell in love with this version of the quilt two years ago and am finally starting it.

Then I suddenly went with dark navy blues instead of turquoise water and now I'm randomly going along.  Admission - I hit save on the above color scheme, and save as, in my $50 EQ Dear Jane program, and it said "screw you" and didn't save anything.  I just got lucky and pasted this one into Paint so I had a copy of it and I'm going with it.  Seriously, I hate you EQ.  I am smart and computer savvy.  I have done things you haven't even imagined in your mind, but nevertheless I am rendered idiotic at your stupid quilt program. Boo. Boo.

So navy blue for the innards, printed out the rest of the first half or so of the rows patterns, I have to get my double wedding ring further along so there is room for this stuff to go up on my quilt wall, and to resist starting anything new for awhile...

3 blocks left on the blues, some of them have taken 2.5 hours, and I'm getting practice in applique.  Daytime pictures to follow!