Monday, September 29, 2008

Craft Contest

Voting has started at the Instructables Craft Skills Contest. I would really appreciate your vote if you are a member or don't mind signing up (free and fun!). Make your own yo-yo table runner!

Here is my entry:
Quilt with yo-yos

Simply click the vote button if you like it. And for any other entries you like, because there are lots of prizes!

Home again, Home again, Jiggity-jog.


We're back home and we had a fun time! Sully earned a second place in his only class. First place went to Sully's foster mom and her lovely little boy, Carl. This being Sully's third leg of his Rally Advanced title, he put a new abbreviation after his name. He is now:

(That means he has his Companion Dog, Rally Advanced, Rally Level 2 (APDT) and Canine Good Citizen titles.)
After the show, we visited family in Wisconsin. Here we are in front of a cow, of course.

Before we left for our trip, I had the brilliant idea that it would be fun to go to garage sales in a different state! So on Saturday morning, we checked the paper and headed out! I got some neat stuff like vintage beaded fruit:

And these three aprons for cheap! I never find aprons so this was a super find!

The one on the left is commercially made and has a tag that says "WISCONSIN HOME CRAFTERS" so it's also a souvenir!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Off to the show


You may not hear anything from me for the next few days because this weekend, we will be at the Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club Annual Specialty Show. This is a regional show just for Corgis that we go to every year! This year we will only be competing in one class, Rally Advanced B, but it's worth the trip to see all of our Corgi friends like Sully's foster mom and the wonderful woman who drove him from WI to his foster home.

And then after the show, we're driving up to see Mike's family! I love Wisconsin, everyone is so friendly and it's such a laid-back pace up there. I hope to get some yard sales and thrifting in and I also want to get some serious knitting and crocheting done in my downtime this weekend. I have a doll dress for a swap and as many hats as I can whip up for Warm-a-Kid!

Wish us luck! And when I get back, Halloween preparations begin in earnest! I am so excited, I have signed up for several Halloween blog events! First up, a wreath for Hallo-Wreath Challenge!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yummy giveaway!


Lisa's having a yummy giveaway over at her blog! Go check it out!

Tagged and Awarded

Quirky was nice enough to tag me over at SwapDex and I hope she doesn't mind me posting my response here. (I like to keep the SwapDex mainly "business" if you can call swaps business.) I chose my random things by choosing 5 random photos!

1-In the past, I was quite involved in the model horse hobby. What's the model horse hobby? It's making tiny tack and props for model horses like Breyers. It's an extension of my interest in miniatures and isn't every girl obsessed with horses? I actually competed and won at the national level and the best part is, I made EVERYthing mysels, unlike most competitors at that level who buy $1000 saddle sets and invest in several of each model so they can pick the one with the best paint job. My horses are now in boxes in my closet.

2- I need a haircut! This is a picture of me when my hair looked nice, about 3 haircuts ago, before my wonderful stylist left town forever. I just can't find another that agrees with me!! I will not be showing you a picture of my hair now, we'll just say it's in a ponytail. This picture also serves as my contribution to Randi's suggestion for blogger to show themselves. I'm usually not terribly shy about posting photos so you only get one in this post. I'll have a couple more after the dog show this weekend!

3- I dress Sully in crazy outfits but only because his grandma makes them! This is one of his birthday outfits from last year. If I had a girl dog, I would probably dress her up WAY more often.

4- Before the dog and the cat, we had guinea pigs. And I still find myself wishing we could get another one or two. I love the noises they make and their little soft lips! This is Skippy, our second guinea pig, who was always VERY spastic and a bit of a nipper.

5- Wow, I'm at 5 already? I guess I had more than 5 pictures picked out. Oh well. My grandma's family lived in Canada. This is a picture of her riding a hog on their farm in Canada.


And Wendi of The Freebie Blogger awarded me the Brillante Weblog Award. They're like Emmys, right? I can just pretend I'm Tina Fey and line them up on my blog mantel? Ok! Thanks to both ladies for validating my blogging!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Laundry day diversion

Saturday is laundry day around here and I'm at the computer, occupying myself. This week, I made a peach pie! Can you see the corgi decoration?

Sadly, the sugar ants got to it over night (I thought the plastic wrap was tight enough!). Darn ants. I am in the process of getting rid of them by poisoning them (I know, I feel bad but I can't have ants in everything!) and then I will caulk up the window sill where they are getting in. Gross! Enough of that topic!

The cat was being silly the other night, doesn't his belly look cute enough to tickle?

But don't try it! Red is honestly the meanest cat I've ever known. We've had feral barn cats, scaredy cats, aloof cats that weren't terribly friendly. But he's not just touchy or unfriendly, he is downright mean at times, going after your ankles and arms when he can get to them and biting down HARD. He'll sit on your lap when he wants, but don't move your leg or pet him the wrong way or he'll give you what-for! All that being said, I do love him, he's got great character and he's actually very gentle with the dog, who wants nothing more in the world that to curl up with him and be best pals. Poor Sully.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What a pigsty!


This is the messy state I have left my work table in tonight. I'm not done and it would just be a pain to clean it all up and then drag it all out again. Plus, what good is having my own studio/crafting space if I don't just let things sit once in a while? I do tend to like to clean up after myself but I'm just too busy and I have TOO MUCH stuff out! I've been working on these:

I'm calling them yo-settes. They're genuine rosette ribbons from my 4-H days, embellished with a yo-yo, all sorts of new and vintage trims and made into wearable brooch, albeit a little ostentatious. I will be adding them to the shop along with Christmas-themed and customizable monogrammed ones.

You might see some polymer clay on that table too. That's for a big secret and not one I'm sharing right now. It's for my project for Club Little House. I am attempting to create something to win one of the 12 jurried slots. I'm a little nervous but I am so, SO excited about finally realizing my idea! I've had this idea since the last round of Club Little House, but couldn't decide between this one and the chairs I showed you a couple weeks ago. I chose chairs because it was summer and the chairs are just so beachy and fun! But this time, I'm letting loose on this idea that has been in my head for over a YEAR! And I already had the supplies stored away!

Dot-to-Dot Stitch Cards


In honor of National Sewing Month, I have a project for you! Is it a sewing project? Of course! But it's also a paper crafts project! When I think fall, I think grade school and what's more grade school than a good old dot-to-dot?

There are two sets of two cards each to print out and stitch with your sewing machine. One set includes two popular designs, a cupcake and mushroom, the other is just right for fall and includes a pumpkin and a leaf.

Download card template here.

Fall cards PDF

Trendy cards PDF

Print the PDF on your choice of colored cardstock. Cut the cardstock in half so that you have two cards. (It's much easier to sew if you cut the cards first, then sew.) Don't print this following diagram, it's only for your reference.

Using your sewing machine and thread in your choice of color, sew from dot to dot following the numbers! The numbers are placed so that each is right side up when you are sewing towards it. Stitch with an average stitch length (too long and the detail will be lost, too short and you'll tear the paper) and if your machine has the "needle down" option, turn it on so that you can stop stitching on each dot and rotate the paper to find the next number.

Using a pin, pull your thread ends to the back and tie them loosely to secure.

If you don't like seeing the stitches on the back, cut a piece of matching paper to 5.5" x 4.25" and adhere inside to cover up back of the stitches.

For variety, I've made one card from each set a little more elaborate by sewing the motif, cutting it out and adding other paper and embellishments. Try it out, have fun! And I'd love to see your cards when they're finished!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Etsy news

On a whim, I visited the Treasury today and I happened to see that there were going to be open spots in just a few minutes and what do you know, I got one! (For those who don't Etsy, treasuries are like themed favorites lists but they only allow so many to exist at one time so it's kind of hard to get a spot to create one.) Mine is all aprons!

Check it out here.

And here's a screenshot for posterity since it expires in 2 days.

I added some new things to the shop, including a few Christmas items (Vintage window flocking stencils, fabulous eighties Shirt Tales fabric!) and here's a sneak peak at what will be there in just a few days, my new fall pattern!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wee Oui Oui


Chef's outfit
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
How cute is this? Does that sound conceited? Well, I don't mean it to because it wasn't my idea. If a customer hadn't ordered this chef's outfit, I never would have thought of it but it's just so darling!

I got my invite to Spoonflower and now I feel this pressure to not only order some custom fabric but to produce something really stupendous! I've gotta get my brain working on this, I'm thinking something with corgis of course!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quilting

Here is a Project Linus quilt top I am just finishing up. Thanks to the awesome free-motion quilting tutorial on Anyone Can Quilt, I hope this will be my first squiggly-quilted quilt with the help of my new sewing machine!

Don't anyone look too closely at the piecing. I am not a precise quilter and none of my quilts would win any prizes but I hope they are loved by the children that receive them.

Usually we don't know who gets our quilts, they are donated to various hospitals and programs in the area and given out as the need arises. But this one is for a specific little boy who's mom is incarcerated and has signed up for our Here's a Hug program. We are making quilts for the mothers to give to their children for Christmas, a hug through the mail. This quilt is for a 7 year old boy who likes the color blue and vehicles of ANY kind especially cars, motorcycles, and trains.

And now for a VERY big, long overdue public thank you to Kate from Kate's Quilting. I won these blocks in her giveaway and that was a BIG help in getting this top done! I unstitched a few to insert cars and trains but the green and blue main fabric were just perfect for this project and she had done so much of the work already! Thank you, Kate!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Awarded!


I am so honored, Sharon of Creative Origins has awarded me the Brillante Weblog award as a blog she enjoys reading. Thanks so much! I know I say this frequently, but I am so glad to have people reading and getting something out of CorgiPants!

I have decided I just can't decide on 7 recipients. Too much of my brain power is going towards work during the day and new projects (like the new pattern in the works, the fall issue of the Make-Do Mail and some custom My Friend Doll outfits I'm working on for a customer) in the evening! So, I'm taking a cue from Fresh Blog Tips and saying "This is my blog, dangit!" and bucking the rules! If you feel in the mood to receive and/or give an award and would like this one, check out that list of links over at the lower left and if you're on it, great! You win! If not, leave a comment, I'd love the check out your blog and then ta-da, you win! It's like a really PC school in the 90's, everybody gets a trophy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

AP Article!

I have some exciting news about my other website, the SwapDex. About a month ago I got an email asking if I would like to be interviewed about the SwapDex an I said sure! The article is by Holly Ramer, who writes for the Associated Press so the story will hopefully be picked up by many newspapers and websites! Here it is:
WHICH CRAFT: Swapping handmade goods online

Thanks so much to Holly for writing a fantastic article and hopefully getting more people interested in swapping that may never have known about it before!

And now everyone knows my last name. And I bet none of you pronounce it correctly but I forgive you. :)

4-H 4-Ever


This has been a very 4-H few days! I found some great old 4-H manuals at a garage sale. They were on a table full of cookbooks with no price and I totally expected them to cost far more than the 10 cents each I was asked to pay! Bonus, one of them had 4-H meeting notes and a ribbon inside! Mary Ann, the books' owner, made steak kabobs from the outdoor meals handbook. My favorite is Teen-Time Food Fare, where we learn how to go on a date, take a quiz about "Vin, Vigor and Vitamins" and get the recipe for cheese crackers, choco-mint fluff and bacon and pickle spread!

Were you in 4-H? Did you know 4-H even existed? Or that it still exists? Well, I was in 4-H for most of my childhood (ages 9-18) and though we have no children, I am still involved in 4-H. This week I have been grading 4-H Record Books. A 4-Hers record book is like their yearly log of projects. What they accomplished, how much they spent and won, what they learned, what community service they participated in and more! At the end of the 4-H year, they turn their record books in to the county office and leaders like me grade them, award the top record keepers and encourage everyone to keep up the good work next year. Looking through my own record book, you learn that in 1992 I raised a lamb, sold her at auction at 80 pounds and lost exactly $31.50 in the process.

I also teach 4-H dog training classes for 4 months every spring. It's a tough thing for me, because the kids are so varied in age, experience and their dogs are varied as well. Small child + big dog = disaster for the first few classes and if they aren't persistent enough, sometimes it's sad to see them just stop coming to class. Sometimes parents are the problem, especially parents who compete in dog sports and are all about winning, even if it means training the dog themselves. (NOT what 4-H dog training is about! 4-H dog training is much more for the kids than the dogs.) And when July rolls around and we've sweated our way through another dog show, sometimes I am so glad it's over for another year. But inevitably, later in the year, I start thinking of ways I could improve the class, ideas to make it more fun and pack more skills into each lesson. That happened last week, so 4-H is on my brain. I hope each year to improve as an instructor so any tips are always appreciated!

And now, a craft! If you were in 4-H (or Pony Club or FFA or competed in any kind of activity where ribbons were awarded) you no doubt have a surplus of ribbons. I know I did, boxes and boxes of them! I made this wreath and now I'm going to tell you how!

Supplies:
Wire or grapevine wreath form in the size you'd like your wreath to be
Rosette ribbons
paperclips
floral wire or other fine gauge wire

Prepare your rosettes:
No one wants to clip off those wonderful streamers from the ribbons they worked so hard to earn! No worries, you don't have to. To prepare each rosette for attaching to our wreath, we roll up the streamers and paperclip them in back to the cardboard backing. Should you ever want to remove them and display them on all their streamery glory, just remove the paperclips and iron on a low setting to remove the folds.

Plan your layout:
Once you have a bunch of rosettes, practice your layout on your wreath form. See how many rosettes you are likely to need, how many layers you can fit on and how full you like your wreath to look.

Attach rosettes to wreath:
When you have decided on placement, it's time to begin attaching. Secure your wire to your wreath form as an anchor, then choose your first rosette. There are two ways to attach rosettes. If they have a hole for hanging already, you can simply thread the wire through and twist the wire to secure it to your form. This will give your wreath a dangle-y look and it is harder to arrange and re-arrange your rosettes though since they hang where they like. The way I prefer to attach them is to secure your wire to the form as before, then wrap the wire UNDER the cardboard backing all the way around the rosette a couple of times and then securing your wire to your wreath form in a second location. This makes for a much sturdier construction and the flexibility to rearrange by twisting them a bit and snugging the wires. The wire is also completely hidden by this method! These pictures show some examples of how to fold and paperclip your streamers and how the rosettes are arranged on the wreath.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dog show weekend


This weekend was an APDT Rally Trial weekend for us. Sully and I compete in both APDT and AKC competitions but anyone who competes in both will tell you they enjoy APDT much more because of the friendly atmosphere and camaraderie. I won't bore the non-dog people will all the details but Sully was his usual star self, earning a third place in one trial and a qualifying score (but no placement) in the other. Later this month we will attend our regional Corgi specialty and compete in AKC rally's second level , which is called Advanced.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vintage Apron Swap arrived!

Another swap that I can check off as received by both my partner and I! Love it when the mail works like it's supposed to.

My partner, Apron Thrift Girl, got her package and loved it! Hooray! Here's her post about it.

And today mine came! This is such a unique apron! It's got pockets in front and back and can be closed up like a pouch with a drawstring! Perfect for gathering fruits and veggies, or for taking small items like clothespins or gardening gloves out to the backyard with you.

Along with the apron, she sent candy! And a cute little notebook and some lovely lace trim. Thanks so much for the lovely package!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mmmm, bread!


On Saturday, we made bread. I am NOT a bread baker, no matter how well I follow the directions or how many times I try, something always fails. Except with this recipe.

It is the Challah from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. This book has been talked about to no end online and it is really neat. Now, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. If you go to the amazon reader page for this book, and search for Challah, you can get the recipe for free! The same goes for any other recipe that you'd like, maybe the Blueberry Lemon Curd Ring or the Onion Rye. Find a recipe in the index that you'd like to try, look for it using the search function and there you have it! Now, you won't be able to copy and paste so having a laptop comes in handy so that you can read it online while you bake.

We made a whole recipe which makes several loaves. We made it into one loaf on Saturday and another loaf and a batch of cinnamon rolls later on.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crafty supplies for a cause!

Just wanted to quickly plug Joyful Abode's raffle. Emily took in a lost pup and is sheltering (and vetting) him until an owner can be located or a new family adopts him. How generous and kind and caring! Buy a raffle ticket, help with vet costs and maybe win some really nifty stuff!

Out of Doors

It was a very orange day in the garden today! A tomato, a pepper and a pumpkin!


And all my hostas are preparing to bloom. This is right outside the back door, in our courtyard area.
This is a recent project, my new compost pile! I had a compost pile at the rental house but having moved in here in February, it was hardly weather to make a new pile here. But everytime I threw away an apple peel or egg shell, I felt like I was throwing good nutrients and next year's compost out the window! What a waste of good soil amendments! So I finally got around to putting some poles in the ground and wrapping it with hardware cloth.

My compost tips:
-My compost pile is about 3 feet square and is made from 4 metal T-posts and 1 roll of 1/4-inch mesh hardware cloth. Cheap and easy!
-I've seen a lot of plans for circular compost piles that are just hardware cloth made into a cylinder. My question for these is, how exactly do you stir the pile if's completely enclosed? I prefer an open pile that I can dig into with a stick or pitchfork each time I add something new. Stirring is important to compost to evenly break down all components.
-Make sure your compost pile is in a shady area. Sunshine will dry it out too fast and bake the organic matter to a crisp, not letting it decompose to a nice, rich compost.
-They (compost experts) say to water it frequently. I think this is a waste of water. A good pile, built in a shady spot, will keep a nice moist interior without your help. Yes, it may take a few more months for your pile to ripen but what do you have more of, time or money for a high water bill? I'll let you decide. (I don't water many things, besides seedlings right after their planted. I am stingy with the water.)
-If you have dogs, either make sure your pile is enclosed, add a gate to the front (hardware cloth panel or wooden pallet) or (if you have a dog like Sully who won't dig too much) make sure each time you add choice bits like melon rind or corn cobs that you bury them down in the leaves and grass clippings.
-Do not add meat, dairy products, sugary items or dog/cat poo. Plants like to eat other plants so keep it limited to veg. matter, and maybe some egg shells if you bury them well to keep the rodents out. If you have chickens or rabbits, their poo is just fine. Plant-eaters' poo=good, meat-eaters' poo=not good. Newspaper is ok if you shred it and don't add too much at one time. Large branches and wood chips will need to be sifted out for several cycles before they will decompose so I try not to add those.
-I keep an old Tupperware container on the counter (think Rachel Ray's garbage bowl) that I put scraps in and take out every day. I like something that is sealable just in case you have ants that crawl in the window screen like we do!

Another recent addition to our back porch is this bench, but it is not new to me. My parents have had this bench since before I was born. They found it at a garage sale, missing on spindle. My dad took the bark off a branch, whittled the ends and stuck it in there. When I mentioned to my mom that I wanted a storage bench for taking my shoes off and storing garden tools, she offered it to me but come to find out, years of being left on the back porch at their house had left it in disrepair. My dad was kind enough to rebuild it and paint it black, just for me! I love having something that has been a part of our family for so long. No, it's not an heirloom from hundreds of years ago, but the story behind it reminds me of what frugal, resourceful people my parents are.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I did it

So, labor day weekend got me in a painting mood so I did it! It's green! Very green! Asparagus to be exact. I love it and best of all, husband loves it!

Yes, my kitchen is always a mess. Hopefully the green draws your eyes up and away from the overflowing garbage and the dishes in the sink!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yo-yo tutorial


I have posted a new tutorial on Instructables for quilting with yo-yos. If you've ever wanted to make yo-yos but never quite understood how to make them or attach them to each other, check it out! I have entered it in the Craft Skills contest so if you're an Instructables member, I'd really appreciate your rating and, later on in the process, your vote.

Belated post


There were several great posts in celebration of the late Tasha Tudor's birthday last week including this wonderful one from Cathy of The Christmas Corgi Blog. I was introduced somewhat late in life (I'm only 27, so how late could it be? But I didn't know a thing about her until a few years ago so what do I say? Middle-off in life?) Having corgis predisposes you to Tasha Tudor exposure. Tasha items are quite popular for auctions that benefit corgi causes such as the yearly Corgi-Aid auction. Her drawings remind me of my mother's, untrained but with an unhesitatingly honest and gentle, and with a humble knowledge of the world behind them. And I admire and aspire to her work ethic and simple lifestyle. I think she would like this picture of Sully all dressed up in a fairy saddle and flower garland.

I never got a hand-drawn card from her like Cathy was lucky enough to get! But Sully got a letter from her corgis!

One of Sully's hobbies is writing to famous dogs (especially corgis) and waiting to see if he gets letters back! Tasha's corgis were one of the few dogs to ever write back. Do you know of any famous corgis or dogs that he could write to next? He has written to several politician's dogs, including Barney and Miss Beazley, those famous Scotties, and Jackson and Dave, the VP's labs. The queens corgis did not respond, sadly. And neither did Stephen King's corgi, Frodo. Martha Stewart's dogs' people wrote back a boring canned response, I bet they didn't even notice it was a dog writing to them despite his own stationary with paw prints on it!