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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Anna's Two Year Embroidered Child's Clothing

More birthday gifts for Anna Banana! Nothing like customized outfits! How fun-o!
Like the nerdy touch on this little balloon robot from Urban Threads? Love their designs.



 Gotta have another Pi design to satisfy the geeky-ness in our family.




Since she's swimming now, this is perfect.

 I just had to use one of the new Janome 15000 built-in designer designs embellished with one of my fav Japanese words which translates into cute or adorable.  I think it turned out Kawaii!




Now that she's old enough to get into characters, this is one of her favs right now. Recognize it?


Another year of fun gifts! I can't wait to grab my scissors and snip those jump threads next year.

xox
mxm

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Adobe Photoshop Elements & Mod Podge Picture Collage

Another year has flown by and Anna Maxine is already 2! After last year's shadowbox I was ready for another challenge. The picture collages I have investigated involve pictures printed, cut and assembled on a base template with Mod Podge. The base is usually a flat template and I would guess the multiple layers of Mod Podge may still result in an uneven finish due to the spliced and pieced pics. In creating Anna's collage, I decided to use a 3-D base (paper mache initial) with the goal of a smooth (no piecing) finish. I combined technology -  Tera (my supersized computer) and manual crafting - Mod Podge for the best of both worlds. Oh yeah babee!


Of course, a flat template would have been  much easier, but this Jedi is up for the challenge of all those extra sides, bottoms and top. Hmmm, do or do not -  there is no try!


The long sides and top were the easiest to assemble.




Added a simple "quilt" label on the back to finish it off.



Want the scoop on creating your own?

1. For the front, I scanned in a basic traced "A" template into  Adobe Photoshop Elements and used it as the initial layer.
2. I modified each pic to a gradient hue of black/gray and cropped as necessary. I also
removed the gradient hue from the "Anna" text in the hat pic exposing the original pink color.
3. Then added all the pics in separate layers onto the base "A" template to ensure adequate coverage.
4. For the sides, tops and bottoms I created new files with canvas sizes equivalent to the   measurements of each. Then followed steps 2 and 3 above.

I had read many articles about Mod Podge bleeding images from inkjet printers. And I tried different mediums for printing. I really wanted a canvas look, but found canvas and matted paper resulted in poor quality images. So plain old copier paper worked best, and I experienced no issues with ink bleeding when applying the layers of Mod Podge. I printed 11" x 17" pages on my trusty Epson Photo R2000 to get a nice flat surface with no piecing required. The front required several tries of prints and cuts to complete, and was the most difficult part.

Just remember - Mod Podge each section and let it dry completely before starting another. And always start with clean hands. I found out the hard way that any trace of sticky Mod Podge on your fingers touching another wet portion will result in pulling up finger sized holes of your print - uff da!
 
My method reduces all that cutting and piecing until the final assembly. Time to grab your own scissors and trim your template pieces for that perfect collage!

xox
mxm










Monday, June 16, 2014

Child's Hooded Bath Towel

Yep, Anna is no longer a baby. Since she's outgrown her baby towels I thought I'd have some fun-o with this project. It only requires 2 bath towels, a hand towel and some ribbon. I found these great Ralph Lauren towels that are big, fluffy and the perfect beach color!


 Of course mwah had to kick it up a notch and personalize the hood for my darling Anna.




Here's the link for the tutorial from icandy.

icandy hooded towel tutorial

No problems with any of the steps and they turned out just mahvelous babee. Love the built-in script lettering and icons on Calypso (Janome 15000). What a dream machine.

Time's a wastin' -  drop that rubber ducky and snip those handtowels in half for this quick project!

xox
mxm

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hemming Jeans and Pants

For those of you who are also vertically challenged, this is one chore that seems to pile up on me. I have found an easy smeasy method of quickly hemming up any type of pants, shirts, sleeves, etc. so I thought I'd share the link 'cause these gals are great. Also remember when hemming jeans to use a denim needle. And let me tell 'ya - Calypso (my Janome 15000) sews through jean layers like butta!

Do It Yourself Divas Hem Up Jeans Fast and Easy


After marking with the pin and rolling up the hem, I usually just measure the first hem and then use the same measurement for the second. And they show a few options to finish off the extra fabric that you cut off. Once again, Sergio (my 1200D Janome Serger) performs flawlessly.

So hey girl, no excuses! It's time to get caught up on your clothing alternations and strut your stuff.

xox
mxm

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Morse Code Quilts

First quilts designed by mwah - yeah you heard it babee! Benjamin, Sarah and Anna (Last Name) morse code in beach teal themes (their fav). Quilt measures 54"x68".


Here's the design scoop:
1. Laid it out in Excel first. Dots are small squares, dashes are large squares. (Yeah, Dr. T and I both  have ham radio licenses KA9ZQL, KA9WNE - Nyuk nyuk).
2. Input the design and uploaded the fabrics into EQ7 so I could manipulate color placement.
3. Pieced and stippled it on Calypso (Janome 15000). 90 hoopings it took. But patient I was - the force was strong. (Yoda Cincess)
4. Used batiks for the piecing and King Tut varigated blue threads for the stippling.



And to kick it up a notch, I used the leftover fabrics to make Anna Maxine her very own Morse Code Quilt. A nerdette in the making!


I was running on fumes with the light fabric, so the quilt labels are small, but sufficient.


Ms. Diva Coco is giving her paw of approval in the first pic so I knew they were a hit!

So remember to snip away your fears and design your own quilts. Originals are never boring!

xox
mxm

Monday, November 18, 2013

Goodbye Janome 12000 - Hello Janome 15000!!!

Yep, you heard it - Goodbye Mercury - Hello Calypso! Dr. T surprised me with an early birthday present. Uffda! Shocked and excited I was (thanks Yoda). 




The neat-o aqua stripe below the screen (yep, biggest embroidery sewing machine screen on the market) inspired her theme.



If you recall - Calypso was a nymph in Greek methodology who lived on an island. Calypso enchants Odysseus with her singing as she strolls to and fro across her weaving loom, with a golden shuttle. Had to name my new baby after a craftin' nymph - yah babee! One of the fun features is the ability to change the colored light setting.  Love the ocean blue!


I had a busy couple of days, but got the screensaver updated (Anna Banana was first to go on), downloaded the new version update from Janome and tested her out. Let me tell 'ya - I didn't believe it when I heard sewing a straight line was hugely improved, but it really is! There are also new built-in designs from designers and new stitches. And the new Horizon Link Suite is a huge upgrade. And last but not least - it's all connected to my mini ipad so I can view, edit and monitor designs from anywhere in the house. Coolie Moolie! Yep that's Dr. T with hair on Calypso's screensaver!




 
There's a reason my nickname in college for Dr. T was "Mr. Perfect" - yep, you heard me. Lucky gal I am. He and the ladies from my fav hangout Edwards Sewing Center yukked it up while keeping this big secret. It sure worked because I had no idea. Time to ride this wave of happiness and see where it takes me!


Anyhoo - gotta get my scissors sharpened so Calypso and I can dive into those Xmas gifts - and how!

xox
mxm


Friday, October 25, 2013

Anna Banana's Halloween Bag



I cackled with delight when I spotted this Banana Sock Monkey on one of my fav embroidery design sites - Urban Threads. So I zoomed on my broom over to the computer to download it.  Digitized the text in a "Thriller" font, and completed the design with some rustling leaves from one of my standby design packs by Stitchitize.

 

Next,  I added her monogram on the back 'cause just couldn't have a plain bag for my darling Anna. -  only the best for our little fashionista.


And last - created an embellishment with my first try at Perler beads. Tedious, but what funn-o!

 

So, cast your own spell on your scissors and remember...

"When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween!"


xox
mxm


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Spirits

I trimmed my hydrangeas and saved a few to pair with my fav outdoor plant - lavender. What do you think?


We recently visited a new winery close by and I picked up this coolie moolie skull wine holder. Love the LEDs - nerd alert!


The wine label says it all!  Hope it has a good "kick" to it - nyuk nyuk.


Pulled out my fantastic fiber optic skull and as soon as I set it up, Diva Coco jumped up to prove she's the ultimate Kung Fu Feline.


So, get your outdoor shears ready, trim away, and don't forget to relax afterwards with your own "spirits."

xox
mxm


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy First Birthday Anna Maxine!

Another set of customized gifts for my darling Anna Banana! Everything a geek fashionista could want! It's a little late for bottles, but hopefully this will work on her sippee cups! This is a great Anita Goodesign "Keep your Cool!"




Time to rev up Digit (Janome Digitizer MBX). Gotta have those Pi items for little Mine-Me (cloned from the nerds in her life). Lucky for us she can't pick out her own outfits yet - woot woot!

Retro is my fav. Atari - wanna play?

Nerd alert - space invaders are invading!


Just love my Elnapress Opal Swiss iron press for transfers, rhinestones and any heavy lifting iron projects. This shirt is my son's fav of the bunch. The iron really works great, the ripple is from Diva Coco who insisted on laying on the shirt right before the photo. She who must be obeyed always dictates her own throne.


What would be better than plain ol' Sudoku? Pi Sudoku Okee Doku!



Who says scrap booking is limited to 12x12 layouts?  My daughter-in-law loved this recap of Anna's first year. It's her fav present. (Last name has been deleted off any photos or tags). Love 7 Gypsies paper crafting items! I'll sure miss Archivers who closed in our mall this year.


The center pic won Best of Show in a photo contest. Coolie Moolie!

Here's one side, the other side has her last name (which took for-ever---thanks Dr. T--) for those who know.


So now I'm off working Christmas presents. Can't wait to see my little darlin' again. Time for everyone to polish and prep your scissors for the busy upcoming holiday season!

xox
mxm

Friday, September 13, 2013

First Date with Ricky the Ruger


"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again."

Nothing is more important than protecting myself and learning proper and safe gun use. Russ and Claudia have been wonderful gun mentors. So I jumped when they offered to take Ricardo (Ricky) and I out for a first shoot.  Of course, Dr. T wasn't left out, as he brought along his own 45 for some practice.

I had shot guns a few times before at their house, but never my own. After a brief but concise course from expert Russ, this fashionista got all dolled up in her pink headphones and safety glasses - ready for some action.




And I was off to prove "Size Matters Not"...




 I was shooting rounds from shells that Russ reloaded himself - coolie moolie! Claudia was there to cheer me on and offer her morale support. My first shots with Ricky are documented on the target below - not too shabby.  And who says you can't scrapbook everything?



Dr. T was up next and of course, he just had to show his ninja up. What a sharpshooter! I wouldn't want to mess around with this four eyes (nyuk, nyuk)...


We ended the session watching Russ shoot his military rifle preparing for a competition. Talk about a big bang - Bazinga !  Anyhoo, sipping beers and enjoying dinner with our good friends was a great way to cap off the evening.

So, be sure to take a siesta from your crafting once in awhile. You'll come back refreshed and ready to grab your scissors for another project. I bet these targets will trim up nicely for a unique page layout. And how!

xox
mxm

Monday, August 19, 2013

Five Generation Photo

The Wada Women certainly outnumber my son in this photo collaboration. This was inspired by my daughter-in-law after Anna's birth. Doesn't Baba Sako (Masako) look great for a woman in her 80's?


 And of course, mwah decided to kick-it-up-a-notch and add MY beloved obachan to the final product. She always wore a kimono and this was created from an old photo taken during my last visit to Japan over 30 years ago. Our son was a little two-year-old at that time.



Our creations are the legacies we leave behind for our future generations to cherish. "When this you see, remember me."

So, whether you're scrapping or sewing, don't let your scissors rest too long.

xox
mxm

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Custom Spice Cabinet


They say the Egyptians were buried with their spices. My spices were just buried in our pantry in disarray. So Dr. T and I decided to kick the kitchen up a notch and organize them. We researched all kinds of racks, cabinets and systems and decided to design our own. Oh yeah, babee! We ended up with a great system of adjustable shelves with clear plexiglass fronts mounted on the inside door of our appliance closet. Stained the shelves to match the door and picked up some extra spice containers at Penzey's - my FAV spice store. Well, what do you think? Pretty coolie moolie if you ask me. Now I can scan, locate and pull my spices in nanoseconds. 
So, grab your kitchen shears, snip through the cobwebs of your pantry, and re-discover your own spice treasures!
xox
mxm

Monday, May 27, 2013

2013 Garden Upgrades

Got a few? Browse some some new coolie moolie garden ideas for 'ya.


Created a pot-scape (yep, outdoor tablescape!) with one of my fav nerdo plants - fiber optic; source is Stuckey's local plant store - Stuckeys-Greenhouses.
 


Love my alliums.  Last fall Dr. T took out his super bulb bit and zip, planted several more!


Phee (my beekeeper friend) would be proud that I am doing my part to support pollination. See the little guy? Don't think he's a honeybee, but we welcome all visitors to our sanctuary.


Started my first down under pot from Kinsman Garden. They have unique European-themed items.



Dig my clematis parasol trellis.


Some new irises to show off this year.  Bought these as either garage sales or flea markets. Great finds!


These are darling miniatures. These are first year of blooms for both. You've heard the garden poem for the first 3 years of plant growth, haven't you?

"First they sleep,
 then they creep,
 then they leap!"

Oh yeah babee, and  I cannot wait for the leap year of my plants. Time to run like a crazy woman with my garden clippers!




Had some returning visitors this year. Not sure where their nest is, but I have also spotted them on my neighbor's roof. Quacked me up, heh heh. Sorry for the poor pic, but I was in a hurry and took it from the yellow room window before they waddled off.

It's time to put away the garden shears and pick up the crafting scissors once again. Yippee! Hope your scissors snip you through some interesting projects this summer.

xox
mxm


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