Sunday, August 21, 2011

Costa Rica Baby!

My trip to Costa Rica is rapidly approaching, but I'm nowhere near ready to go yet.  I haven't even packed yet, and my flight is on Thursday morning! 

This is an organized tour, associated with the local community college.  The advantages of this are that I have already paid for my lodging, ground transportation and many of my meals, and since the activities are already planned all I need to do is show up.  The disadvantage is that I will be limited to just those areas on the tour, I won't be doing much exploring on my own.  It's a fair trade off.

We'll start in San Jose, stay in a small town in the middle of the country, then head east to Puerto Viejo on the coast.  Activities included on the tour are a white water rafting trip, a tour of the rain forest, Spanish classes, and a home-stay with a local family.  We'll also be spending a good bit of time on a Caribbean beach, so that will be fun!

I will be sure to take lots and lots of pictures and regale you with adventurous tales when I return. =)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mug Rugs

I almost forgot about these!  Back in December or January I'd decided to make a couple mug rugs from assorted scraps.  I'd finished up one pretty quickly and took it to work where it dutifully keeps my tea or ice water from dripping on my desk.  But I thought I'd make a few more for home too.

I started with all my red, pink and white scraps, chain pieced them into bigger and bigger pieces, then cut them all down to a mug-rug size (5x7 ish)

Then when I had them all quilted I put them away and figured I'd bind them later.  I hate doing binding. 

Yesterday (eight months later!) I was trying to reorganize my stash when I found them and decided I may as well finish them up.

Nothing special, just cute & fun.  You can take your pick as to which side is the front and which is the back. 

And here's the action shot:

I guess the idea of a mug rug (as opposed to a coaster) is that there's room for both your mug and a cookie or pastry.  I have to say, having used picture coasters, knitted coasters and now quilted mug rugs, the quilted mug rug wins for actually soaking up condensation and keeping the table surface unharmed.  w00t - practicality for the win!

Monday, August 8, 2011

WIP round up

We're about halfway through what passes for summer here in Oregon, and what do I have to show for it?  Lots of starts and not too many finishes.

I've started Shedir, a cabled hat from Knitty.  It's beautiful and it's not really difficult, but it does take full concentration so it's not something I can do easily on the bus.  And there's something like 130 stitches in a row so if I can get one or two rows done in an evening I call it good.

Needlework is something that I've been wanting to get back into.  Cross-stitch was one of my first crafts and while it has it's limitations, I did enjoy it.  I'm branching out a bit and trying to learn new stitches.  I started out with the sampler page from Sublime Stitching, but then picked up Doodle Stitching and have sketched out a little design, but have only managed to finish the chain stitch border.  w00t chain stitch!

Even though I'm financially solvent, I've been feeling thrifty lately and have actually done a bit of good old fashioned mending.  I replaced all the buttons on two of my sweaters (I'd lost about 3 off one and 2 off the other), and re-attached a loose button on another sweater.  I also re-hemmed a pair of pants that had ripped cuffs, unfortunately I hemmed them a bit short, so I'm going to have to work a bit on my hemming skills before I try that again.

I've done exactly nothing with my Halloween costume.

Evergreen is still in pieces on my table.... someday, someday!!

While living in Thailand I decided to make a quilt to commemorate the experience.  Originally it was going to be a lap-sized quilt, and I have a laundry list of things I want to include on it... but in an effort to actually get it *done* I've decided to scale it down.  It'll be a wall hanging, a little bigger than a

The embroidery in the corner says "Gor - gai" which isn't the first thing I learned to read in Thai, but it's roughly equivalent to our "A - apple" (or literally "C - chicken"). This is really just the background... much to be done still. I'm excited though, to finally be getting those ideas down in quilt form. 

But most of my crafting time & effort has been going into this one.  It's a gift, and I'm actually coming to terms with constantly making gift quilts.  As much as I want to spend time on quilts for me, I do like getting to try out different ideas without adding to my ever growing stash of quilts.

I can't show off the top because I haven't mailed it off yet.  Last night I attached the binding and was 15 minutes from finishing when I discovered that I didn't have any dark brown thread.  Gah!  So today I took a 45 minute detour to the fabric shop to pick up some thread on my way home, only to learn that they are CLOSED on Mondays.  GAH!!!  Isn't it always like that? 

So that's what I've been working on, and hope to have at least a few things finished up before I go off to Costa Rica. We'll see.  I seem to keep finding new projects to start!