Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jargon of the Week - Yo Yo defines Yo Yo as:
yo-yo  [yoh-yoh]

1. a spoollike toy consisting of two thick wooden, plastic, or metal disks connected by a dowel pin in the center to which a string is attached, one end being looped around the player's finger so that the toy can be spun out and reeled in by wrist motion.
2. something that fluctuates or moves up and down, esp. suddenly or repeatedly.
3. Slang. a stupid, foolish, or incompetent person.

4. Informal. moving up and down or back and forth; fluctuating; vacillating: yo-yo prices; a yo-yo foreign policy.

–verb (used without object)
5. Informal. to move up and down or back and forth; fluctuate or vacillate: Mortgage rates are still yo-yoing.

–verb (used with object)
6. Informal. to cause to yo-yo.

earlier, a U.S. trademark for such a toy (1932); recorded in 1915 as the name of a Philippine toy; of undetermined orig.

A yo yo in sewing and quilting, is defined in Your Guide to Quilting as:
"Three-dimensional gathered fabric circles that may be sewn into quilt tops or used for decorative embellishments."

Want to learn how to make yo yos? Click here for a how-to by Heather Bailey.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I went and I loved it.

The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild is what I'm referring to. It was awesome. It was fantastic. Purely fantastic.

So, here's the scoop. Saturday was the first meeting. We talked about dues, goals, activities, and meeting times.
  • Dues will probably be $50 for a year or $5 per meeting. I think this could change depending on how things work, but that's the numbers that were thrown out on Saturday.
  • Most of the goals that were listed had to do with inspiration and connecting with other quilters.
  • There were some really cool activity ideas tossed out. Things like field trips, classes, and swaps of various items like potholders, pincushions, etc.
  • So, currently I think the plan is to have two meetings a month; one in the evening on a weeknight and one on the weekend.

So, it was pretty cool. I'm excited. I'm a guild member (well, probably technically once we pay our dues, but I'm still excited)! Anyway... if you live in the Kansas City area (or close enough that you'd like to drive to come) there should be another meeting next month sometime. Everyone is welcome to join our ning site regardless of location. Check it out! I'm sure you'll love it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Come Out & Play!

Live in the Kansas City area? Come check out the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild today at:

Urban Arts + Crafts in Briarcliff Village
from 10 am to 12 pm.

RSVP here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild

I can't wait. I've been invited to join in the fun! Here's the scoop...

A few ladies in the area got together and are starting a quilt guild for non-traditional quilters. Our little online web group thing says this "The Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild was created to offer a place for the more non-traditional Modern Quilters to connect and create."

I'm totally excited to attend the first meeting and see what this is all about. Want to join me? Here's the deal:

We're meeting on Saturday, January 23rd from 10am - 2pm at Urban Arts + Crafts in Briarcliff Village. I

If you're going to attend, please RSVP here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Need Camera Straps?

There's a giveaway going on at Make It and Love It right now. Made by Meegz makes these awesome camera straps for both point and shoot cameras and DSLR/SLRs. I love 'em! Go here to enter.

Jargon of the Week - Kaleidoscope

This week, we'll look at the difference between's kaleidoscope and the quilting term, kaleidoscope. defines kaleidoscope as:
ka⋅lei⋅do⋅scope [kuh-lahy-duh-skohp]

1. an optical instrument in which bits of glass, held loosely at the end of a rotating tube, are shown in continually changing symmetrical forms by reflection in two or more mirrors set at angles to each other.
2. a continually changing pattern of shapes and colors.
3. a continually shifting pattern, scene, or the like: The 1920s were a kaleidoscope of fads and fashions.

1817; <>

In quilting, kaleidoscope refers to a specific type of pattern.
A kaleidoscope quilt is made by identifying specific points in a repeating fabric pattern, layering them, and cutting them exactly the same way. It's a really fun process to do.

The image below is a quilt I made a year and a half ago for my nephew, Lucas. It is a kaleidoscope pattern from the book Learn to Be a Wacky-Pinwheel Quilting Wizard. This book was really easy to understand and I recommend it if you want to try a kaleidoscope quilt.

The image below is a close-up of a block from the quilt shown above.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Posting Flickr Images on Blogspot

I had been having a heck of a time trying to upload my photographs or images into my Flickr account and using the URL to insert them into my blogspot blog posts. I had been trying and trying to find a way around this problem that started occurring a few weeks or so ago. Finally, I broke down and asked the nice people at Flickr for some help.

Here's what they sent me back in response.

Hello Jessica,
Thank you for contacting Flickr Customer Care.

We are sorry to hear about this problem you are experiencing...

Though you can no longer right click on an image to get the URL, there are
still a few ways to get the URL.

Go to the photo page, and click the "All Sizes" button above the photo.
Then choose the size you want and scroll down to see the html.

Alternatively, you can click on "Share this" and then click on the "Grab the
HTML" link on the upper right side of your photo pages to readily access the
medium size code for your images. You can even do this on other people's photos,
depending on their settings.

Keep in mind that Flickr's rules require you to link back to the photo page
if you post the photo to another site.

Hope this information helps you :).

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reply to this

Thank you again for contacting us.



Flickr Customer Care

Isn't that a nice response? After all the pain and suffering (okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration) I've been going through to get my photos on both Flickr and blogspot, all I had to do was ask for help. Why they don't let me just use the URL like I had been doing I don't know.

I thought I'd share this with you for a few reasons:
  1. Using Flickr to store your photos cuts down tremendously on the amount of space you use on your blog. Flickr is a pretty cheap route if you upload a lot of photos.
  2. Somebody else has to be having the same problems.
  3. I think it's a good reminder for everyone to make sure you link back to the Flickr photo page when you use an image that you store there on another site. It gives a little bit of credit back to Flickr for giving us such a nice and easy program to use.

Hope you found this useful. I know it's been a problem for me for a while now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas Bookends

I made these bookends for my dad for Christmas. How did I do it?
  1. I took a Ziploc sandwich bag and cut two rectangles of fabric 1/2" bigger on each side.
  2. I stitch them with right sides together, on three sides using a 1/4" seam allowance.
  3. I turned them the right side out and pressed.
  4. I folded the fabric in about 1/2" on the side that was left un-stitched and pressed it.
  5. I filled the Ziploc bag with rice. Zipped it closed. Put the Ziploc bag into the bag I've created for the bookend.
  6. I folded the extra part from the zipper down so it wouldn't get in my way.
  7. I pinned across the folded edge.
  8. I've got this really awesome foot on my sewing machine that's supposed to be used for the overlocking stitches. I like to use it when I edge-stitch things because it has this nice little built in guide thingie that just makes my life easier. So using my awesome overlocking stitch foot, I edge-stitched around all four sides.
  9. Ta-da! You've got yourself a nice little rice-filled bookend. Now make another for the other side and you are ready to roll.
Easy, eh?

Also, a side note.... happy birthday to my now 3 year old neice, Ella.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17, 2009 - Favorite Things

I scanned it while I was at my parents' house one of the last times. I'm 17 months old in this photo, which would date this to around the new year of 1986. Love it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

simple sewing

For Christmas, I received Lotta Jansdotter's book simple sewing and I LOVE it!

I've already completed one project in it. I made a bag for my yoga mat (I'm taking a TurboKicking class that requires a mat) and it's adorable. The fabric I used is from a tablecloth Jason picked up at Target for me on clearance a while ago.
I had checked this book out from the library in the past and that's where I got the idea for the car place mats.

The projects are very clear and easy. They're also really super cute things. I love this book and totally recommend it. If you can get your hands on it, do.
Also, my parents gave Jason and I Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin, another fantastic book. We haven't tried anything out of it yet, but I've definitely got some ideas.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gingerbread House Contest: The Winner

The winner for the second time in three years was..... my mom.

We of course have a trophy. The one for this year is this little gingerbread house ornament. We "engrave" it with her name and the year.

Since she won this year, she gets to pick out the ornament for next year's winner.

So, the contest is over, what do you do with the houses?

We make them into a little village in the snow. The last few years it's been in the garden just off the alley, but with this year's snow, it's kind of hard to get back there. Instead we put them in the front yard. They're right along the driveway for the little boy who lives next door to see when he gets out of his car.





Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gingerbread House Contest: Mom's House

gingerbread house contest 2009

This is her forming her pieces.

Fresh out of the oven!

I love this pair of pictures. We go from, this is a piece of cake and I've got this structure building thing down to the "Oh no! It's not sticking" face. Love it!
Mom's Structure

While she may have some issues with her buildings leaning, she rocks at the decorating part. Here's a few detail shots of some of the individual parts of her house.

The camp fire.

The snack the kids who live in this trailer left for Santa.
Mom_Santa's Snack

How about the license plate?
Mom_License Plate

  • Gingerbread for the structure.
  • Donut tires.
  • Campfire is out of pretzels & fruit roll-ups.
  • The fire ring is out of gingerbread.
  • Gumball for a Beachball.
  • License plate is out of a fruit roll-up and alphabet soup.
  • Fruit roll-ups for the doors and windows.
  • I think the sand is corn meal, but I'm not for sure.
  • The grass is coconut dyed green (if I remember right.)
  • Fishing pole is from one of those pirolette things, liquorish, and gummy fish.
  • Picnic table from gingerbread.
  • I'm not sure what the snack is from.
  • Tree is from ice cream cone, sprinkles, and liquorish.
  • There are also candy canes surrounding the door.


Mom_Front Profile

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gingerbread House Contest: My House

gingerbread house contest 2009
This is the house I built this year. It started out as a victorian farmhouse and quickly flopped from there to a contemporary model. Oh well.

This rolling pin is awesome. It weighs a lot more than my silicone one!

I like to make sure things will line up. It's the secret to my mostly square structures.

The gingerbread recipe we used this year wasn't quite as good as the one we've used in the past. Our past recipe was out of a library book, but unfortunately nobody could find it to check it out this year.

  • Structure from gingerbread.
  • Roof is from Necco Wafers.
  • Wreath is a green gummy thing with red M&Ms.
  • Pathway is from gum made to look like coal.
  • Path edging from gummy things with little sprinkles.
  • Jumping fish from fish gummy.
  • The grass sort of stuff is chow mein.
  • Tree from icing covered ice cream cone.
  • My windows are of gingerbread covered with frosting.




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gingerbread House Contest: Jason's House

gingerbread house contest 2009

Jason made an igloo this year for his entry into the contest.

He tried to bake a dome over a pyrex dish, but it wouldn't unstick itself. Instead, He took the pieces from that pyrex attempt and frosted them all together.
Jason_Pre Baked


This little snowman started melting. Do you think it could be some sort of chemical reaction between the taffy and the cotton candy?

  • Gingerbread for structure.
  • White rock candy for ice crystals on igloo.
  • Peach flavored gummy penguins.
  • Cotton Candy for snow.
  • Taffy for the snowman.
  • His face and the sidewalk are out of gum in the shape of coal.
  • The door to his igloo is a necco wafer.

Jason_Front with Snowman



Jason_Front Door


Monday, January 11, 2010

Gingerbread House Contest: Dad's House

gingerbread house contest 2009
You may or may not remember that my family has done a gingerbread house building contest the last few years. Well, we kept this tradition alive this year as well, even though we had to do it a little late due to work schedules and winter weather.

This year we stuck to the same rules and scoring system as last year. These rules and scores are outlined in my post from last year. Click here to see it.

I think each of our houses warrant an individual post, so I'm going to drag this out throughout the week. Check back on Friday to see the winner.

To kick off our week of Gingerbread Houses, here's the house my dad built.

My dad's house has a bit of a story to it. There's a young guy that lives down the street from my parents. He has a nice house and also owns a big empty lot next to it. Well, apparently my dad and Nick (the young guy) have been chatting about Nick putting in a garage. So, this year, my dad made his gingerbread house as a representation of what Nick's place would look like with a garage built into the hilly lot. Here it is:


I love his cars!

  • Cake for the topography.
  • Gingerbread for all the structures.
  • Wafer cookies for the driveway.
  • Chocolate for the garage doors.

Dad & Chloe

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10, 2009 - Favorite Things

My favorite thing this week is this pin cushion I received as a Christmas gift this year. It's from Jason's sister, Elle and her husband, Kevin. Kevin went to Thailand a few months ago and found it for me there. How cool?

Check in all this next week for the scoop on the annual gingerbread contest.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.

So, the weather outside has been a little frightful. I don't have a fire, but that would be so delightful. Since I don't have a lot of places to go, let it snow; let it snow; let it snow.
Just kidding (a little bit; I really do love the snow). It's snowing again and it's terribly cold. All this snow is getting a little old. We got stuck twice yesterday on our commute to and from work. How fun!
So, I thought I share a few photos of how the snow at my parents' house has been. These were a few days after Christmas and there's been more snow since then.
My parents live across the street from a small university. There's a big empty lot across the street where the school tore down several houses years ago and has yet to do anything with the land. Well, other than pile snow. The snow piles in that lot are about 15 - 20 feet tall. They've had a front end loader just dumping snow there. Unfortunately, you're going to have to take my word for it; we didn't take any pictures of that.
One of the worst things about the storms lately have been the drifts. The image below is of my dad's 1959 Chevy Suburban. This thing is a very big vehicle. I'm five feet tall (which isn't anything to write home about, but we're going to use me for a scale) and to see anything under the hood, I have to stand on something the size of a five gallon bucket. Can't imagine the size using me? Well take a look at this picture. See that little car in the background (top right)? That's my mom's Honda CRV. It's sitting about 15 - 20 feet behind the suburban. No joke, this thing is enormous. Sadly, you can't see the flames painted on the front end. It rocks!
Have I ever mentioned that I love Jeeps? This one is why. It was my first car. My parents still own it and it's been a life saver the last few weeks for them. It's been the only car that has been able to get out and about after the last few storms have hit.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where do you find craft shows?

I was looking online to find a few craft shows to sign up for this year, but I couldn't find much. Is there some secret website I don't know about that lists shows? How do you find the shows you sign up for? Do you have any tips on finding shows to participate in?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jargon of the Week - Easing

Today's "Jargon of the Week" term is easing. defines easing as:
ease [eez]

1. freedom from labor, pain, or physical annoyance; tranquil rest; comfort: to enjoy one's ease.
2. freedom from concern, anxiety, or solicitude; a quiet state of mind: to be at ease about one's health.
3. freedom from difficulty or great effort; facility: It can be done with ease.
4. freedom from financial need; plenty: a life of ease on a moderate income.
5. freedom from stiffness, constraint, or formality; unaffectedness: ease of manner; the ease and elegance of her poetry.

–verb (used with object)
6. to free from anxiety or care: to ease one's mind.
7. to mitigate, lighten, or lessen: to ease pain.
8. to release from pressure, tension, or the like.
9. to move or shift with great care: to ease a car into a narrow parking space.
10. to render less difficult; facilitate: I'll help if it will ease your job.
11. to provide (an architectural member) with an easement.
12. Shipbuilding. to trim (a timber of a wooden hull) so as to fair its surface into the desired form of the hull.
13. Nautical.
a. to bring (the helm or rudder of a vessel) slowly amidships.
b. to bring the head of (a vessel) into the wind.
c. to slacken or lessen the hold upon (a rope).
d. to lessen the hold of (the brake of a windlass).

–verb (used without object)
14. to abate in severity, pressure, tension, etc. (often fol. by off or up).
15. to become less painful, burdensome, etc.
16. to move, shift, or be moved or be shifted with great care.

—Verb phrase
17. ease out, to remove from a position of authority, a job, or the like, esp. by methods intended to be tactful: He was eased out as division head to make way for the boss's nephew.

18. at ease. Military. a position of rest in which soldiers may relax but may not leave their places or talk.

1175–1225; (n.) ME ese, eise < AF ese, OF aise, eise comfort, convenience < VL *adjace(m), acc. of *adjacēs vicinity (cf. ML in aiace in (the) vicinity), the regular outcome of L adjacēns adjacent, taken in VL as a n. of the type nūbēs, acc. nūbem cloud; (v.) ME esen < AF e(i)ser, OF aisier, deriv. of the n.

According to Your Guide to Quilting, easing is:
"Working in extra fabric where two pieces do not align precisely, especially when sewing curves."