22 October 2013

Paper Quilt Creation

Back in June of this year I created, along with the help of some generous friends, a Box of Sunshine to give to a friend and colleague who was much in need of hugs and happiness.  Whilst we all can do with an ongoing supply of these, I am happy to report that her life has had a dramatic turn around for the better.

Accompanying the Box of Sunshine was a card that I created especially for her using the techniques taught to me by Michaela Laurie and her husband of Paper Quilt Creations at a craft show earlier this year.  Given that our friend is an avid quilter and patchworker, it was only natural that a card in this style was made for her.

Following on from this point I have given a recount of the steps taken to produce the end result.  As in previous posts of this nature, feel free to turn away; this is as much for my record keeping purposes as anything else.

Print off a sheet of grid lines, 3/4" square.  This must be done on a piece of papier/card that has a weight of 180-200gsm.

Using Word, draw and cut out a heart shape.

Transfer this cut-out onto the grid sheet, centering it across the squares/diamonds.  At this stage, choose whether the grid lines are going to be diagonally represented inside the shape or perpendicular.  Some designs lend themselves to a particular direction.

Count out how many squares are going to be used in the final design.

I found it helpful to actually write them down on the template, so that none were left out.  Even squares that only have a smidgen of the design inside them, must be counted.  Overall this design will use 28 squares.

Punch out your squares.  In this instance they all had common "yellow" theme about them, to match the Box of Sunshine.  It's a good idea to punch out more than you actually need, so that you can play around with the final design and placement.

Once you're happy with the final design, glue down each piece individually.

The squares are held down using a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine, setting both the length and width of the stitch to "2".  Each machine varies in the tension required.  I still need to tweak mine, but for starters, 2 and 2.5 are needed here.  The stitching must commence for each row and column a couple of stitches outside the glued down squares, continuing to the end and past for another couple of stitches.

Once all the rows and columns have been stitched down, retrace the shape on top of the squares and cut it out.  You can just faintly see the outline of the heart in the above photograph.

This is the finished shape all cut out.

Place a couple of pieces of doubled-sided tape onto the back of the shape and glue it down onto a piece of backing card; I used white.

Stitch around the shape, using the same settings as before.

Cut out the final heart shape leaving a small border.  I then inked around the edges and glued it down onto another piece of yellow-patterned card before finally placing it onto the folded white card you see in the photograph above.  It too, was inked around the edges.

Project completed.

03 October 2013

A Cup of Thanks

How much thanks is enough?  A mug, a jug or a bottomless cup?

Is it like one of those "bottomless" cups of coffee offered on some menus that, at first glance, seems like an enticing and very generous notion, but then you realise after starting to consume the beverage, "one" is actually sufficient?

To give more thanks, or to drink more coffee, is actually overdoing things.

I suppose that every situation is different, and you have to judge each one individually, seeing where things takes you.

29 September 2013

A Portal into the Past

Do you have a smell, sound, vision or taste that instantly transports to you to a time and place where life was simpler? Where you were a younger version of yourself?  I definitely have many of these catalysts.
The smell of stale, warm, weak, cordial in plastic bottles is a very distinctive one for starters.  One ungratifying whiff and I am immediately five years old, standing under the giant radiata pine tree at St John the Baptist Primary School, Grade 1; trying to escape the withering, hot sun that only appears in Australia.  Dust in my mouth, flies (it's never to hot for them) buzzing relentlessly around every orifice in my head and the rowdy boys squirting each other, using the drink taps as their drenching weaponry.

Another such ingress is gingham, that checkered fabric synonymous with all things "olde" and babylike.  Fast forward several years to high school now, where we were all destined to participate in subjects prosaically known for what they entailed.  That is, working with wood was known as Woodwork.  Now, for mercy's sake, is it known as Product and Design (Resistant Materials) - what? But, I digress . . . .
Each student, regardless of gender, was to complete in "Sewing" (not ahem, Product and Design Technology (Fabric)) a baby's dress, made out of gingham fabric and adorned in our very best smocking handiwork, the checks definitely helped here.  An uncomplicated cross stitch design was then  embroidered over the top of this smock-work.  Just looking at baby blue (in particular) gingham sends me back more years that I care to admit.
What's your portal into the past?

26 September 2013

Sister Seamstress

For the one who loves to knit and sew, happy birthday to you.

21 September 2013

Butterflies Cut Away

A die cutting frame is very useful for reaching places that a punch just cannot access.  The top and bottom butterflies were hollowed out after the card had been embossed.

One of Stampin' Up's new colours for this season is Crisp Canteloupe, again following on from their obsession to alliterate all colour titles.

21 August 2013

Nicholas Nephew

Perfectionism definitely has its drawbacks.

I am something of a "joke" in my extended-family when it comes to giving presents.  They have been known to come in a bit late (just a tad).  My record, she says all puffed up like a proud peacock, is over two years late!  But that can't be!  What about the birthdays in between?  Yes, they rolled past with much celebrating and gift-giving, but the present ungiven was still being constructed.  You know who you are, unfortunate recipient.
Shoddy replica of the original.
Camera was still travelling home from Milan.
Sometimes, I want things to be so perfect before I go ahead, that the project gets put on a backburner that is not even in my house and subsequently gets forgotten about altogether.
Nicholas turned 18 last October.  At least I can pat myself on the back that his present was given to him before his 19th has arrived.  Small consolation really.  As turning 18 is something of a rite of passage here in Australia, we gave him a showbag of paraphernalia that represents this austere age:
  • a toy car (because he is old enough to drive now);
  • a few "scratchies" because he can gamble (and apparently we're not responsible for his moral fibre);
  • some alcohol (legal age for drinking down under);
  • shaving cream (when you turn 18, hair automatically begins sprouting on your face);
  • a pencil (to mark off the voting form); and
  • some chocolate (at 18 you can eat as much as you like, without regard for set mealtimes - so I'm told).
Happy Belated Birthday Nick.

18 August 2013

My Home

I look upon my home with a combined contradiction of affection and antipathy.

Without exaggeration, the place manufactures its very own dust.  I can dust a table in the main living area and within an hour, I kid you not, the surface is covered with a light sprinkling of dust.  Leave this for a couple of days and visitors would be forgiven for thinking that they had stumbled onto the set of Great Expectations - enter Miss Havisham.
I am charming but sometimes I drive Mrs Papier crazy.
It's all very well to like the Shabby Chic effect that is seen in magazines and online until you are forced to live it.  I for one am a great fan of this style, ahem, check out my Pinterest Boards.  However, when actually living the Shabby Chic dream it somehow morphs into something more like Grubby Grot.  Speaking from experience.

There, I just had to get that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.

11 August 2013

A Jar of Feeling Good

If the contents of this jar I could really bottle and use, I would.

 As a balm to heal all that grieves you.




To soothe away the pain.


 To make things right, just like they used to be.
To sit with you at night when things seem at their worst.

To be able to tell you that this will all soon be over.

To be able to help you right when you need it most.

 Get well soon. 

30 July 2013

We Give Thanks

It's a funny custom we have to save our "thanks" when a relationship draws to an end.  Better late than never I suppose.

Tom Papier has just finished another enjoyable and successful season of school hockey.  The coaching staff are incredibly patient and supportive making for a very cohesive team, one that is a pleasure to watch - or so I'm told - enter the absentee parent (moi).  There are some tasks I feel that Mr Cakes is more proficient at doing.  Namely getting up on freezing cold mornings and ferrying said son to games that can take place far across town.  My duties extend to orange cutting and the delicate task of purchasing legal performance enhancing drugs, aka Snakes.
Luckily my apathetic approach does not extend to the team's coaching staff.  So . . . . for all the sideline advice, whistle blowing, missed opportunities left uncommented on, unconditional faith, cheering and general good-naturedness . . . . I thankyou!!