Changes ahead!

There’s a blog I have added to my google reader called My Simpler Life that is all about simplicity.  If I remember right, I first found it via Pinterest, and someone linking to the downloadable decluttering calendar (which I attempted to use, but eh, just didn’t work for me).  At the same time I snooped around the rest of the blog, and liked what I saw, so I added it to my google reader.  Ever since I get a weekly post with little prompts about how to live a simpler life. I don’t always agree with them, nor do they always apply, but often they contain nice little ideas that do apply.  The ongoing theme is “What do you want” and “How are you going to attain it?”.  We all that need that reminder from time to time.  It’s also nice to be reminded that life isn’t final.  It isn’t “I’m going to do this one thing and then I’m going to be set!”, it’s a series about small ongoing actions.

Anyhow, all that to say that one of the things I’ve thought about it why I blog. And it comes down to the fact that I like to document what I make, and share it with others.  But see I have another blog, one Dave and I started as a sort of journal of what goes on in our home. And then I started this one, because for some reason I thought that my home stuff couldn’t mix with my crafty stuff.  Dave tried to convince me otherwise, but I wouldn’t have it.  I used to like keeping things separated: my work life from my home life, my online life from my in person life, etc.  But with social media becoming more and more invasive, and with the realization that guess what?  I’m the same person at home and at work, whether I’m crafting or cooking or adventuring!  The division just doesn’t seem necessary.

So at some point in the near future I’m going to be merging the two blogs.  All my existing crafty posts are going to be heading over into Blog du Mont-Royal.  And that will be that.  Things will be a little simpler, which maybe will mean I’ll post more?  Perhaps!

That baby quilt, it’s finished!

Another baby quilt!

And just in the nick of time as well, the shower was on Saturday!  I had just enough time to finish sewing on the binding Friday evening, wash and dry it Saturday morning, and sew up a matching bag to package it all up before heading over to the shower.

This was my first time trying rounded corners, and I loved it!  I make my own binding (cut on the bias), so it curved nicely around the corners.  NO MITERING!  I know, mitering isn’t THAT bad, but still, this was so easy.  And it looks cute (or at least I think so).

It was well received too.  Which is just the icing on the cake 🙂

Next up: I found out another family member is expecting a girl soon!  Exciting!  It seems in the last couple of years everyone has been having boys, and while I’m not one to push pink (I love pink, but don’t feel the need to push gender stereotypes on anyone), I think I may have to give in and go with some traditionally girly colours, just because *I* love them.  Let me go put on my thinking cap to see what I can come up with.

A little something I whipped up: ereader case for Dave

Kobo case for Dave

A little while ago Dave bought himself a Kobo ereader.  So far he loves it!  But he found that leaving it around the apartment it would get covered in cat hair (we’ve got two furry black cats, and their fur shows up EVERYWHERE).  So he mentioned he was thinking of getting himself a case, and I mentioned I could make him one, and well, the rest is history.

Or not.  I actually researched and researched and researched.  I looked at cases for sale on Etsy.  Read through multiple tutorials on blogs.  Fished through my stash to see what inspired me.  I finally settled on something along the lines of the tutorial posted over on Little Birdie Secrets, which basically amounts to an ereader shaped zipper pouch.  I thought to myself: “Great!  I already know how to make one of those!” and didn’t really read through the tutorial, instead getting inspired by the finished product pictures.

I probably should have read the tutorial, because the finished product, while cute, didn’t work too well.  The ereader had a tough time slipping through the zippered opening, because I made it too narrow.  And I used a chunky metal zipper, which proved to be a bit sharp on the fingers.  So back to the drawing board I went.

Dave insisted though that he liked the design of the ill fitting case.  I had embroidered his initials and done a patchwork mix of a few fabrics.  So I got to work ripping out the zipper (easier said than done!), made up a flap and sewed in some velcro, and tada! The kobo now slides in and out really easily, and the velcro keeps it firmly shut and protected.  Best of all, it didn’t cost me anything other than my time, as it was all materials I had on hand.

Inside of Kobo case for Dave

Advent Calendar

advent calendar One of the work in progresses I was working on for awhile was an advent calendar, a little countdown to Christmas that I filled with treats.  I made it with a selection of green quilting cottons I had leftover from making a baby quilt this summer, so I went with a green + brown theme, and used a red trim.  I really like it.  It isn’t perfect, but that wasn’t really the point, the point was to make something for fun that I would use.  I think I succeeded.

Playing around: learning to use a DSLR

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One of the things I’ve been meaning to get around to doing is learning how to use my partner Dave’s digital SLR.  I am no stranger to SLRs, in high school I proudly toted around my mom’s film SLR and developed many rolls of black and white.  I saved up and bought myself a nice shiny new SLR . . . a few years before digital made it’s breakthrough. Now I get by using a point and shoot digital camera, and occasionally my cell phone (which if I didn’t need to pry out a memory chip the size of my pinky finger’s nail each time I wanted to upload pictures might actually get more use).

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It really was not that bad, trying out a new camera.  Dave has a Nikon D40, which is a bit different than my trusty Minolta, but it is the same science, so not too big of a deal.  Actually, it was a lot of fun, being able to play around with aperture and speed and depth of field.  I still have a lot to learn and refine, but I’m hoping to make good use of this camera to take pictures of listings my Etsy shop.  Speaking of my Etsy shop, I finally got around to listing a few new old to me but perhaps new to you items, so go take a peak!

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Lola thought it was a lot of fun too.  She normally detests having her picture taken.  Usually, if I so much as show her the point and shoot, she scurries away and out of the picture, or does her best to not look at the camera.  This time instead, she was all “me me me!!!”

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A little bit of background

Way back when I started an Etsy shop (Etsy tells me June 23, 2005).  Etsy was brand new and I figured “Why not?”.  I was already crafting up a storm, why not get other people to buy my stuff?  So I started listing items, and got some sales.  It was fun.  But then I stopped.

I stopped mostly because I realized I wasn’t having fun anymore.  What started off as fun, selling some of the extras of items I was making anyways, turned into a full time “Can this sell?” every time I got the urge to make something.  That quickly became no fun.  I stopped making things just because I felt like it, and creating became a chore.  I also started buying too many supplies.  I had oodles and oodles of fabric and notions and ink, but I wasn’t really using it.  That too had to stop.  I moved out of my parents’ home and into an apartment, and in the process stopped having easy access to a large area in which to craft, and a big laundry sink to use to wash my screens.

But now I’m starting again.  Why?  Because there’s only so much I can create for myself and for my friends and family.  And because time has passed, and I think I can give this another shot.  Another shot at having fun.  I rearranged my apartment so I now have a crafting space, ready to go whenever the mood strikes (err, when its not covered in random junk).  I found a bag of old items, and some of them are really amazing.  I will be listing them in my Etsy shop in the coming days.

In the years that have passed I discovered something new that I love to do: quilt!  I have made quite a few baby quilts for expecting mothers in the past year or so, and I love that it combines activities I already knew how to do (sew, cut, etc), and puts them together into a neat little package.  So I look forward to incorporating new ideas into my craft.

A few of the quilts I’ve made lately:
Baby quilt for Kevin and Laura (the still shot)

Baby Quilt for Julie

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