SEW I SEE!

quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Primarily Paper Crafting

There’s be no new progress on the quilt—not even cutting the background fabric for the next phase of that project.  I haven’t actually been spending much time crafting since last time.  

We’ve had a couple of “life things” happening in the background, taking up time, energy, mental bandwidth, etc., lately.  It’s getting a bit closer to normal again, now, so maybe by the weekend I’ll be working on more fun stuff.  I’m ready for a day or two of guilt-free relaxation!

Meanwhile, we’ve been having summer-like weather this week, as well—afternoon thunderstorms nearly daily and hot weather.  I’m a bit sad that it’s already essentially summertime, but oh well!  That’s life in the South.  It could be worse, and it’ll eventually cool down again.  At least we have ways to stay comfortable indoors.  Not so long ago, that wasn’t an option.  (I don’t know how they survived steamy Alabama summers without A/C…)

Okay, enough of that!  

The real purpose of this blog post is to share a few photos of the mostly paper crafting I’ve been doing over the past week.  

A short time ago, I bought myself a Silhouette Cameo 4 to use for paper crafting.  Until recently, I didn’t even know the difference between die-cutting and digital paper cutters (or whatever they should be called).  I thought the Cricut was a die-cut machine, but apparently not! 

I spent some time researching and came to the conclusion that a paper-cutting machine made more sense for me, even though in some ways I think I prefer the relative simplicity of a die-cutting machine, the ability to emboss, etc. 

The main advantage of a digital machine is that you can immediately cut whatever you can design (or digital files you purchase), whereas with die-cutters, you’re limited to whatever physical dies you own.  The cost of the dies adds up, you have to store and keep track of them, and the machine you use them in isn’t cheap, either! 

With the promise of “if you can design it (or find clip art of it), it can cut it”, I went for the Silhouette Cameo.  I’m fairly tech savvy (or at least can find my way around the necessary software, with the help of the Internet)—and am married to someone who will probably be able to help, if I’m ever stumped. 

There’s a lot this machine can do, and I’m barely scratching the surface of even the craft applications that I intend to take advantage of.  You can cut paper and cardstock… You can cut vinyl… You can cut stencils… You can even cut fabric!  (Note:  Some of these uses require special blades that are sold separately, unless you purchase a bundle.)  The software takes a little time to learn, and I’m just getting started, so it may be a while before I get around to the fabric or vinyl…

A free trial of the brand’s online shop offered $25 in credits, so I was able to purchase several patterns to try before branching out on my own.  That’s mostly what I’ve cut so far.

One of the first things I tried was some “roll-up flowers” that looked like fun.  Donald made me a tool to use, based on one we saw online.  The flower comes out of the machine in a big spiral.  Roll it up, then glue the roll to a tab at the end of the spiral, and there you have it—a paper flower!  These were cut from lightweight cardstock.

My first attempts weren’t perfect, but not bad!  I have several more of these to try, and you can resize them to get more variety, too.  (That’s what I did here.  The flowers above are all from two patterns scaled down to a few different sizes.)

I made this for Mom’s Mother’s Day card.  (The pattern in the Silhouette Design Store is called “Deer Scene”, designed by Erin Doran.)

Again, there’s room for improvement, but I think it turned out pretty well.  (I was a bit limited by the colors of cardstock I had on hand.  One day soon I’d like to try cutting with some different types of paper, including gel prints.)

I made a different card and envelope for Kimberly, but didn’t take a picture before it was sealed up.  The last paper crafting things I took photos of are a couple of types of sheltie silhouettes (for Mom and Kimberly).  These are based on some clip art available for free online.  

The cutting on the jagged fur of the second type is a bit messy, but it could be cleaned up with scissors.  There may be different settings I could use to achieve better results, too.  Again, learning curve…  

But just for fun?  They’re fine!

I also crocheted a quick doily to stick in with Mom’s Mother’s Day gift.  This ball of size 3 thread has been hanging around for a while.  I like how speedily thick thread works up!  (And it’s easier on your eyes, too.)

The pattern is one I’ve done several times before in size 10 thread:  “Summer Splendor”, by Denise Augostine Owens.

Because I was using thicker thread (which comes with less yardage) and needed to stop before I could complete the pattern, I added a different edging to give it a finished edge.  It’s something from Edie Eckman’s Every Which Way Crochet Borders book, but I’m not sure which one…

It’s not the best blocking job I’ve ever done, but once it’s under something, on a horizontal surface, it won’t be noticeable.  (I’ve never been great at blocking!)

Well, that’s nearly it for this time… 

Just one more thing to share—a photo of Mister Frodo.  

There’s some sort of weed in part of our yard that has seed pods this time of year.  The seeds are little green spheres that stick very easily to Eskie fur.  Frodo’s been bringing them in for a few weeks, now.  We’ve decided to call them “greenies” and have been picking and combing them out (much to his disgust).  

The other day, he came to the door grinning with joy and bearing gifts of many greenies.  😄

Silly boy!

While watching gel print videos recently, I came across one with a little clip of royalty-free/no-copyright music.  I loved it and found that someone had made a looped version of “Icelandic Arpeggios” by DivKid, so I’ve been listening to that while I do mindless work at the computer.  

…Maybe I should make a playlist of music with a chilly vibe to help get through the next few months… ❄️😆❄️

Welcome!

I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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