Thursday, December 27, 2012

More of the insanity quilt (no pics yet)

I'm happy to say that I got to work on the insanity quilt a bit over the xmas holiday. This happened because Mark wanted to have a James-Bond-A-Thon (which hey, I'm all for watching a young Sean Connery roaming around being sexy, but not so much so for watching Roger Moore-on on screen. Bleh.)

So while the Moore-on movies were on I sat and stitched together lots of little hexes. I've counted and each hex "flower" = 7 hexes. I'm doing them in groups of 3 (of the same color ranges) so each of those = 21 hexes. it doesn't sound like a lot until you think that all those sides have to be hand stitched to another...and another. You get the idea.

I'm also getting some ideas on how I want to piece it all together. Which is good because when it comes to quilting I am so commitment-phobic it's not even funny. In fact, it's right up there with me picking and sticking with the color for a roomset / diorama that _isn't_ white. LOL I'm going to be putting together a simple black fabric backer that I can position the hexes against so I can decide which ones to put next to each other for the best eye-pleasing (or popping) effect.

Bummer is that I'm short on colors and unlike the UK I don't have a handy quilting shop nearby that sells their tiny offcuts and scraps for cheap. I'm really kicking myself hard for giving away my scraps thinking I'd be able to replace them here. Grrrrrr! (man, there is just so much stuff I left behind or rehomed that I reeally wish I had now!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gearing up to do some 1:6 scale quilting!

Yep, that's right! I'm getting my ducks in a row with regards to starting up some quilting projects! I've still got the insanity quilt going (its going waaaaaay slowly so I'm looking for some more immediate satisfaction (aka string quilting or perhaps making a ticker tape quilt) for some of my dolls.

I was really pretty bummed when I realized that I left all the quilts that I'd made in 1/6 back in the UK when we moved. Big bummer. :( but I am going to look at the bright side of it and say Ah ah! This is a good excuse for me to make new blankets / comforters for everyone! (well the students anyway, right?)

Remember these?: patchwork-experiment-quilt-1 nerissa's quilt set Eff with her Ticker tape quilt and I'd made others that I didn't bother to photograph. D'oh! I'll save making blankets and bedding for the 1/6 "grown ups" for a time when I actually have their beds and stuff. Good thing I packed the 1/6 dorm room furniture and beds, huh???

Ok, so I got a little bit of batting off the evil feebay and am trying to sort through the fabrics I do have. Some of them are bound to work with the personalities of some of the characters....I hope! I'm a little bummed about how much of my fabric stash didn't get to go with me and got gifted to other people. Now when I could use it I haven't got it. Bummer. But oh well. That's how it goes! Down the line I'll hopefully be able to get some various cottons and stuff. THat is the nice thing about 1/6 is you don't need yards and yards (or metres and metres if you're doingt eh uk thing!)

I'll post an update when I have something to show! Right now I'm in the mulling over / planning stages!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The insanity Quilt is not gone...or forgotten!

I know it's been months & months since you've seen or heard any sign of the Insanity Quilt. And I know, I mentioned in the previous post that I made the stupid mistake of leaving behind all my 1/6 quilts and blankets for my dolls (and dioramas). But Rest assured that the Insanity Quilt was not one of those! (I posit the idea that it managed to come with me because it was UN-finished and something in my brain said that wasn't ok to get it at a later date....)

I've got a couple of different projects on at the moment but I'm going to pick up a packet of needles today and get back to working on the IQ. I know that since I have to hand sew all the hexes it's still going to take forever! But....I've been thinking a little bit about how I might want to arrange the hexes and we'll have to hope for the best! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things to make & Do

I know it's been awful quiet here. You've all probably heard the tumbleweeds rolling around the blog. But let me reassure you that there are no tumbleweeds in my head! I have lots of stuff that I want to start making and designing! It's been driving me pretty well bonkers not to be able to make stuff what with the moving and stuff.

So where should I start?
I want to make furniture (I have to since I left most of my 1/6 living room stuff behind), i need to make 1/6 bedding since I left all the quilts behind (yea, bummer I know!) and of course props and stuff.

And oh, yea I need to make stuff to sell, because if I don't then I can't afford the supplies to make anything (dioramas, furniture or whatever!).

At least the workspace isn't an issue, but there's a lack of light (I have one small desk lamp at the minute) and the fact that at some point we'll be pulling down the walls and removing the lathe & plaster and replacing it (and stuff) which is bound to be a mess. Which of course makes me want to procrastinate and hold off making stuff since there's bound to be a mess! But no!
I must make stuff anyway!

So next  I want to have something to share on the blog. Something that I've made so that I can feel like I'm making some progress. (with our house renovations everything feels a bit overwhelming). If I can make or do some small thing (physical. Not writing or scripting) then I will feel like I am making progress!

See you by then! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Can you believe it? Almost a year since I posted?

I'm rather terrible, aren't I? ;)
It's been almost a year since I posted to this poor, neglected little blog!
I know I have a good reason (ok, moved from our house, to a rental, applied for my husband's greencard, moved internationally, moved the cats internationally, stayed with foster folks, found us a home...moved again!)

Well, I'm going to see what I can do to make it up to the little's not as fun as my regular ( blog, but it deserves some lovin' don't ya think? So with that in mind I figured I'd m,ake this one of hte places I can toss out some ideas of stuff I'm thinking of making or doing for etsy & ebay (and general doll sales stuff).  Not really sure if anyone will be interested but eh, why not do it anyway, right?

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's done! The house is SOLD!!!!

Ok, I know. We actually sold it at the end of October, but hey better me posting it late than never, right??
It's such a relief that it's gone. The rental we're in isn't that great but Mark & I keep reminding each other that it's just someplace to live for the time being while we sort out visa related and moving related nonsense!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

URG! The stress! The downsizing! The fabriiiiiiiiiiic!

So we're moving along with the selling the house process--means everything gotta be kept looking totally spic & span and neater than I think any human being could really live in!
We've had some viewings that so far have been positive.

Of course one of the major projects is that I need to thin out my fabric stash. Lot of fabric, but I don't feel like listing it all on ebay. it's too much hassle etc. So when I've taken some pics & measured the pieces I'll list them on my blogs & probably on a few forums. This is all fabric that I bought with the intention of making doll clothes out of it,. *sigh*

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stressing about the house *and my doll stuff*

Ok, first to explain (just in case you don't know the score here!) I'm Erica. I'm an American who's been living in the UK for the last ...oh goodness. Since 2006. My husband is British (and would you believe that while he once had a sexy english accent I can't hear it anymore?? I can hear other people's accents...weird huh?)

Anyway, after the first 2 years of giving it a real and concerted effort to blend in, and make a home here for me--It just wasn't working. Part of that is because of the city we live in. Like cities (and regions) everywhere, it has a character/personality. And we just rubbed along like lemon juice and a paper cut. Yeah.

I've been to other parts of the country (some, like yorkshire I totally fell in love with and would have moved if we'd had it as an option). It got to the point that I really couldn't deal with it. My physical & mental health were both suffering and going downhill. I offered Mark the option of having me as a long distance wife, divorcing or moving to the US. I figured being a LD wife would be ok--see each other every few months--it really wouldn't be all that different from when we were dating...But he didn't like that idea and ditto the divorce thing (which made me happy since it really was a last-option). I love the guy, you know? But I love my mental health too...)

So he said we'd move. So much easier said than done though. Especially when you have a house & a mortgage and all that jazz. So the last 2 years I've been hearing non-stop from him how great it'll be when we move, how fantastic it'll be to have space (we live in a tiny place), and to have some privacy and not have neighbors attached to your home. LOL. I've got to say I was ewxcited at the beginning. Then it dragged on, and on, and it was always "next week" when we'd work on the house, or doing things that had to be done before we could get it on the market.
All of that raised my stress levels & got me feeling very skeptical about EVER moving. But hallelujah! We got the most pressing things done (mostly cosmetic but they  needed to be done!) and I called around the local estate agents to see about getting the house valued and actually ON the market.

So I called 5 agents, and we got some very varied estimates. The ones who worked on a flat fee gave us lower prices (which were more in keeping with what is actually on the market now) and the 2 who were paid on percentage of the house sale gave higher amounts. (the reasonable prices were 89,950K--90K and the more iffy prices were the 99K--115K).

Sure, we'd have liked to list the house for more, but really Mark & I both agreed that while the house is excellent for what it is--it doesn't have enough to make it move up that kind of price bracket. (Of course he had to show me an article in today's paper stating that once more the cost of real estate & housing is going to be increasing 14% each year) but whatever.

Our goal is to sell the house as quickly as we can without taking a hit on the price. This is really, really important, since the $$ we get from selling the house is going to finance our move and our home in the US. So.... yea, more money is better, within reason.

Today we worked out the math: If we sell the house for 89,950

House (sold):           + 89,950
estate agent fees:         -4,000
Solicitor(lawyer)fees:   -2,000
And figure that whatever exchange rate we get when this is all done is at the crummy average:
83,950 x 1.45 (estimate for low ER) = 121,727.50 (that looks sort of good, right? We'd find a fix-er upper for least it sounds half-way decent--until you think about: cost to move our stuff from the UK to the US and of course we have to buy a vehicle (used) of some sort when we get there:

So: that makes it come out more like this:
                                           Balance forward:        121,727.50
        Moving fees (including airline tickets & cats):      -2,600.00
                              Some kind of 1/2 decent car (?):  -6,000.00

Yea, suddenly it's not looking as hot. Yea it's do-able, and we will do it. But it just underscores why we need to get every penny we can from the sale. I mean, we have some savings, but we need to have a cushion/buffer for when we move and we don't want to touch that. No matter how nice a place we see. It's got to stay in place.

Anyway, this is the stuff I'm worrying about. Well that, and how I'm going to downsize my fabric stash, and doll furniture & props to make the move less expensive ( I always find it easier to move if you have less crap! LOL)

Anyway, hope you all don't mind me griping and worrying here on the blog. I knwo it's supposed to be mostly about my quilting & soll stuff, but...well, I'm not using it otherwise, and I gotta get this stuff out. It's keeping me awake at night, and making me worry eat like there's no tomorrow!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The insanity quilt---is Not Forgotten!

I know, I know---you all think this blog has gone the way of the dinosaurs! And to be truthful, it probably has for the most part. But I am still working on the Insanity Quilt (for Shayna)and doing some other sewing related stuff. At the moment I'm sewing some clothes for my dolls (the ones who haven't got anything in my collection that fits them or their personalities). I'm also trying to make some "prop" clothing --you know, the stuff that doesn't really serve a purpose except to round out the characters. It's not going so well at the moment since my concentration levels are pretty darn low.
Doing any of this would be a lot easier if I weren't struggling with a particularly nasty depressive episode. I'm trying to keep myself going, and to keep it all together. It isn't easy, and I don't really want to bore anyone with the details. Suffice to say these days all I'm talking about is dolls, because truth of the matter is I feel gutted and they're a tiny light of hope for me. And, dolls are way more interesting than what's going on with me. So dolls, sewing and whatever.

Anyway, I'll post some insanity quilt photos as soon as I have another 12 "flowers" sewn together. Then at least you'll be able to see some of the visual feel I'm going for with them.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Behind on the quilting: but you can see PICS of what I DID get done!

Ok, so I've definitely fallen behind on my hexagon quilt, but I think I have a good excuse!
I'd been working like a mad-thing to try to get my 1st Dorm Room set done. You might recall from earlier posts that I was working on Karly's quilt and how I'd not really been all that thrilled with how Astrid's came out.
Karly's Tie Quilt (all completed, washed & with trim added. And Astrid's "comforter". I loved the fabric for Astrid's blanket but didn't quite have enough for what I I had to make it slightly smaller.

Also, I realized after I'd completed it, that the ends of it flared out like wings at the corners (and that was totally un -acceptable to me) so I had to fix them. Which sounds easy, but it wasn't since I'd sewn in weights to help it lie better.... talk about a real exercise in frustration!

It looks better now though, I think.
Anyway, that set took up most of my time (and actually, in case you're wondering, the Insanity Quilt (aka the Hex quilt or Shayna's Quilt) will be going into a similar roomset up (same room different stuff LOL) so this is I guess a kind of pre-view.....sort of...not really. LOL. Only stuff that'll be the same are the curtains (window and doors), the desks, dressers & the bed bases.

Anyway, this is just a quick post *and spam I guess* If you want to see more photos of what I did with the roomset just visit my regular blog, ok?

I'm currently working on getting teh finishing touches done for the student lounge, and then on-to the next batch of student dorm rooms (I'm planning on 4 sets right now).