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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Fourth of July "popsicles" on: July 02, 2011 05:35:04 PM
This weekend we reworked one of our favorite "treats" to have a 4th of July theme. We LOVE making popsicles with the following ingredients: fruit, plain yogurt, vanilla yogurt. They are a healthy, cool snack for the summertime. Sometimes we call them ice cream. Smiley

For these we started out with strawberry, poured a layer and froze it. Then peach, poured a layer and then froze it. Then blueberry, poured a layer and froze it. Although the colors are not exactly red, white, and blue we are enjoying them anyways!

2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Best machine for free motion quilting? on: May 14, 2011 04:14:52 PM
What else is there to say?  I am looking for a new (or used) machine for free motion quilting.  Sure, it would be great if I could do other things with it - but I've never used a lot of fancy stitches and I'm tired of fighting with tension on my Juki TL 98E.  I would say the price, at this point, is wide open.  Is it worth it to spend $2000 or more?  Or can you get a really high quality older machine for around $500?  I sew almost every day but only for pleasure, not for profit.  I make quilts and occasional clothes for my daughter. 

I would really love to know what others think.  I've looked around a bit online and there is just SO much out there.  I'm getting a little overwhelmed.   
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Review of Juki TL-98E on: May 14, 2011 03:55:02 PM



Huh I don't know when this one was made but the model was first sold in 1998

$500 for the machine, a SuperQuilter acrylic frame, and HandiHandles on Craigslist

How long have you had the machine?
2 1/2 years

Is it a basic sewing machine, serger, or embroidery machine?
Basic, semi-industrial straight stitch only machine. 

What are your favorite features?
It is fast (1500 stitches a minute at top speed) and incredibly strong.  It will sew through anything.  It is made of metal and is heavy and sturdy. 

What are some of the unique features it has?
Thread cutting foot pedal (I love this) and button, knee lifter, needle down position (the needle stays down when you stop sewing). 

How well does it run?
Pretty well - the only issue I have with it is that the tension is VERY finicky.  I feel like I am always adjusting both the top needle tension and the bobbin tension.  At least I've learned a lot about tension from this machine.

Has it ever broken or needed maintenance you couldn't do yourself?
No - knock on wood!

What are your least favorite features?
There has been a huge learning curve for me - but I think that's probably true of just about any machine.  At least any of the more complicated ones.  I've learned so much about tension and how to figure out if it's right, how to adjust it, and when to stop sewing and say goodnight!

Would you recommend this machine to a friend?
Probably...Huh  I'm not sure everyone wants a machine that is really just for straight stitching and quilting. 
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Little red riding hood on: February 17, 2011 07:50:22 PM
I made these a while ago - one for my daughter who LOVES red riding hood and one for her child care provider as a thank you gift (and to remember my daughter by!)

The tutorial AND pattern are available here:
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Owl Needlebook on: January 19, 2011 01:13:25 PM
So I participated in the needlebook swap and I had so many fun ideas I feel like there are still more I want to make!  Now I'm not a huge owl fan - in fact I am not a bird fan at all.  I can appreciate the cuteness of some of the fabrics out there - but in person I would prefer not to be too close to birds.  (My husband thinks I had some traumatic avian incident the memory of which I have blocked from my childhood)  At any rate this really caught my eye while I was seeking inspiration:

So I made one based on it - very similar.  I figure you need a needlebook for quilting and sewing and then a different one for embroidery, right?  And possibly some more for...pins?  and...other stuff??  

And closed:
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Needlebook on: January 15, 2011 06:18:37 PM
This was made for a swap and it looks like she liked it!  I am loving this needlebook swap, so much creativity!  So here is the needlebook I made for my partner:

My first attempt at embroidery.  I've been messing around lately trying some stitches but this would be my first project from pattern to product!

And these are the little clay pins I made to keep the inside cheery!

Forgot to take a pic of the pieced back - it was a slightly wonky log cabin sort of thing.  I was hoping for very wonky but I cut too straight!  Smiley
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / QR Barcode generator! (free) on: January 14, 2011 12:47:09 PM

I don't sell anything but just for fun saw this and decided to try it.  You can VERY easily make one of those smart phone bar codes that links to your website (this one goes to my quiet little blog)!  I thought that would be great for Craftsters who DO sell things.  Smiley

For the website and all of their information (like what QR stands for) go here:

I hope someone finds that useful!
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / present purse/messenger bag on: January 09, 2011 06:20:14 PM
I made this for my husband's stepfather's daughter.  (Step-sister in law?) for Christmas.  She loved it and wore it the whole evening! Smiley  I used this great tutorial http://mmmcrafts.blogspot.com/2009/06/basic-messenger-bag.html.

Inside pocket:

Front of bag:

Back of bag and pocket:

It was my first purse and I pretty much made it out of desperation that she wouldn't like the cowl and wrist-warmers I had crocheted (but she did!)

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Photo coasters as gifts on: January 05, 2011 04:08:49 PM
Our daughter is the first grandchild on both sides.  Both my husband and I have parents who are divorced and remarried.  Thus my daughter has four SETS of grandparents and two sets of great-grandparents, and three aunts.

So for Christmas every year I have made ornaments with her photo on them in one way or another.  This year I was hoping for something different but still easy enough to be mass produced!  We decided to make photo coasters since it seemed relatively simple and would make a great gift.  It also met the most important criteria - CHEAP!  Smiley 

There are loads of tutorials out there for this but it's pretty self explanatory once you have the materials.  We bought a box of 100 white 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 bathroom tiles from home depot for $16 (we only used 60 and could return the rest if we were so motivated), some Satin finish polyurethane (the small container was more than enough) $6, 60 photos (10 sets of 6) from King Soopers @ $.10 a print $6.  We had Mod Podge, paint brushes, a paper cutter, and plastic for the table.  I bought baskets from the dollar store for each set ($10).  The cost of the tiles was $.47 each so for a set of six with a $1 basket it was under $4.00 each set.  The look on their faces when they opened it?  Priceless. 

Enough talk - on to the pics!

You've got to love a craft that a three year old can help with!

Husband asked, "This stuff dries clear, right?"


And ready for wrapping:

10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Free owl calendar! on: November 24, 2010 09:57:13 PM
Super cute - make your own owl calendar.  I tried it and it was free. 

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