Thursday, August 16, 2012

Closing Shop

My little boy is almost five months old!


I still have almost no time for anything but him. The other day, I realized that I had forgotten to check on my shop for a couple days - something that almost never happened before. I also had two journals that were ready to go into my inventory, but I hadn't found the time in the six or more months since I had completed them to even photograph them. Then, I was forced to the conclusion that I didn't have the time, nor the desire, to keep up with my shop.

Classic Inez Journals and Art Dolls is temporarily closed.

On a happier note: I've picked up my crochet hook again! I'm making a star-shaped blanket for Alex. It might just be done for Christmas at the rate I'm moving. =)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Personal Time

Holy cow! It's been a month since I posted!

I've realized that babies leave you very little time to do anything other than barely take care of yourself. But, looking into those big, beautiful eyes tends to erase thoughts of sleep, food, or personal hygiene.

I did take a little time for myself this week to fix a necklace that I made last year. The main focal bead (natural shell) was falling apart and needed replacing, and there were a couple beads that were in positions that I didn't like anymore. I added a few more pearls and crystals, too. I wish I had taken a 'before' picture, but, alas...

I have been intrigued by Gibbous Fashions for quite a while now, and I've been dreaming of my very own Gibbous dress for months. So, I took the plunge this week by bleaching and washing some ugly old dresses that my mother sent to me years ago. These were some seriously hideous, matronly, shapeless dresses...rayon prints, poor construction, ankle-length, and definitely not something appropriate for a fashion-conscious twenty-something. It's rather cathartic destroying them to make something that I might actually like. But, that's part of the Gibbous spirit... taking something that has become useless and giving it a new life as something that will be loved and cherished.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Baby! And An Important Life Lesson

Well, I didn't have to wait too long after finishing the quilt before I had a baby to wrap up in it. My son was born on March 18th!

He was more than a month early, and had to spend just over two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. But, now he's healthy and at home with us. I'm so grateful to the nurses and doctors who made this experience as good as it could be.

Tests were run to determine why he was born early...

They found problems that usually go hand-in-hand with high blood pressure. While my blood pressure was usually normal throughout my pregnancy, I have no doubt that some periods of extreme stress were responsible for the issues I experienced. 

So, here's the lesson:
Excise the toxic people from your life. Do it now. They bring you nothing but pain and misery in the long run. They adversely affect your life in ways that you never imagined they could. Even letting them take up space in your thoughts is giving them too much of your precious energy. And, it doesn't matter what their relationship is to you. If their presence adds nothing of value to your life, cut them out of it.

I wish that I had ended contact with my mother years ago when I had my first inkling of what she was. It would have saved me so much grief. If only I hadn't allowed her into my life, I could have possibly avoided the events that caused me so much stress. If only I had avoided that stress, I may have avoided the problems with my pregnancy, and my baby might have been born when he was ready to be. If only...

Don't make the same mistakes I made. Don't allow the toxic people you know to have any of your time or energy. No one can make a claim on your life unless you let them.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baby Quilt: Finished!

I finished off the binding on the quilt last night!

So, now... just waiting on the baby. =)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

WIP: Baby Quilt Quilted!

The quilting is done!

I was really nervous about doing the free-motion quilting on this project because I had so much time (and money) invested in the top. Even though the stitching isn't perfect - it got a little sloppy in a few places where it was difficult to move the quilt under my machine arm - I'm quite pleased with the results of my efforts.

I'm not exactly sure how long it took for me to do the quilting. I spread the work out over three afternoons because sitting for too long makes my feet swell up like balloons (thank you pregnancy). I ended up at the kitchen table because I can't hunch over my big ol' belly to sit on the floor and I plugged some movies into my laptop (I made it through DUNE, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the extended edition of The Two Towers while stitching).

After quilting, it measures 47.75"x62". Isn't that backing fabric pretty? *sigh* I love batiks. I'm thinking of making coordinating pillowcases and throw pillows with the fabric that's left.
BTW, if you're interested in learning more about free-motion quilting, I learned everything I know from Leah Day's blog: The Free Motion Quilting Project. She's awesome!

I'm currently hand-stitching the binding (no pictures, yet)... almost done!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Custom Doll

I've been keeping myself busy for the past three weeks making a custom doll. It's really exciting to have some one make a custom order!

My customer gave me a bit of direction and pretty much let me run with it. I used my own doll pattern, and made patterns for the clothes after the doll was made.

The hair is handspun wool, dyed with coffee. I love the color of it!

She asked that the eyes be different colors, so I bought safety eyes, sanded off the previous color, and repainted them with nail polish. Nail polish comes in the greatest colors with a lot of depth and sparkle.

The clothes are Victorian-inspired. I used a gorgeous satin brocade for the bodice. It laces up the back with grosgrain ribbon. Those eyelets were so nerve wracking! I was afraid of distorting the fabric after spending so much time making the garment. But, I had used fusible interfacing, and that seemed to minimize any distortion caused by making the holes for the eyelets. The skirts are gold dupioni silk trimmed with vintage lace.

Overall, I'm so happy with how the doll turned out. It's been so long since I finished a new doll, and I was pleased that I was able to take it from start to finish in three weeks. Now, I just have to finish that quilt before my little one gets here!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More Tiny Books!

I just finished up these cuties today. I love how easy these are to open and close with the little wrap-around ties. The knotted linen thread is really secure when wrapped around the button. It's also a great way to utilize some of my awesome buttons! These keychains (minus the brown leather/red button one) are now available in my Etsy shop:

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm a Best of 2011 Winner

Craftster Best of 2011 Winner
I'm a Craftster Best of 2011 Winner!  

My octopus amigurumi was chosen as one of the most popular projects on for 2011! Thanks to all of the people who commented on and 'Rocked' my project!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP: More Baby Quilt

The top is finished! Yay!
I added the wide panels of blue to each side, then, the narrow purple border. It measures 64.25"x49.25". It should be perfect for snuggling and then for a toddler bed when our peanut gets a little older.

I need to get batting before I can start on the quilting. I plan on doing the free-motion quilting myself. I hope I don't screw it up...I have a lot of hours into this top. I've quilted large panels of fabric on my machine before, though. When I do large panels, I like to set my machine up on my living room floor. That way, the weight of the fabric doesn't pull it away from the needle (if I quilt at my desk, the fabric slips over the sides and can screw up my stitching).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

WIP: Quilt For Baby

When I found out that I was expecting, I decided I wanted to make something special for the baby. To me, a quilt says 'I Love You' better than almost anything else. It's warm, cuddly, and a butt-load of work. I went to the fabric store and picked out a bunch of fabrics that I thought would go well together - batiks, all. I love batiks, and I've wanted to make an all-batik quilt ever since I finished my mostly-batik quilt. Here are all of the fabrics:
I was chatting with the lady cutting my fabrics about my intended project, and I mentioned that I'd probably just be doing a simple layout as I'd never before done anything intricate for a quilt top. She said that she thought I'd manage just fine if I decided to do something elaborate. I thought to myself, 'maybe I could use a good challenge.' I went to the library and checked out a few books with quilting patterns. I decided to go with a less-than-traditional pattern by Karla Alexander (from this book: I fell in love with the quilt on the cover, and, luckily, Ms. Alexander shares my love of batiks. The pattern was a near-perfect fit for the fabrics that I had already purchased.

I learned a lot about cutting and piecing through making this pattern (mostly that I'm rubbish at cutting). I also found out how expensive acrylic rulers! But, they are almost indispensable.

After many, many hours of cutting, shuffling, cutting, sewing, did I mention cutting, and more sewing, I have the quilt top mostly finished. All it's missing is a border to make it a bit wider. I wanted a twin-size quilt...babies outgrow baby-size quilts so quickly, and I had a ton of fabric. Our nursery is blue, and I was going for a water theme for the quilt.
Bonus: I went to another fabric store to get batting and a backing fabric... Well, the store is moving, and while they didn't have any batting left on the shelves, they did have their (limited selection) batiks on sale for half-off! I scored a beautiful print for the back of the quilt at the price of a solid cotton! It's not the same color-way as the front, it's blue and brown and green...more 'river and lakes' than 'tropical beaches.' But, I think that's awesome as it'll be unique from each side. I'll be quilting in royal blue thread with a bubble motif...appropriate for both sides!