Needlework

Needlepoint Ornament Template

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Needlepoint Ornament Template teaser

As I travel down the rabbit hole that is needlepoint, I grow more acquainted with the designs one can purchase on ready-made canvases. One common type of needlepoint canvas is Christmas ornament designs. Since I want to make a geeky one as a gift and canvas painters avoid others’ IP, I had to make up my own. I’m not ready to show off that full design yet; I want to avoid spoiling the surprise. However, as an intermediate step I built a needlepoint ornament template, which I am happy to share.

The final size is 59 (W) x 69 (H) intersections. Approximate finished dimensions are:

  • 18-count canvas: 3.2″ x 3.8″
  • 16-count canvas: 3.7″ x 4.3″
  • 14-count canvas: 4.2″ x 4.9″
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Crafts

Overlap Between Buying Experiences and Material Goods

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I’m taking a Coursera/Yale class on happiness called The Science of Well-Being. It covers the lies our brains tell us about what will make us happy and how to get around it. It’s loaded with good information. The major focus of the first video in week four is spending money on experiences will make you (and everyone around you) happier than purchasing material goods. I think there’s overlap between buying experiences and material goods in sense that some of the things you can purchase enable experiences.

The course discusses buying material goods such as cars, homes, fancy new tech toys, and the like. These are goods which are exciting to purchase but quickly become a regular part of everyday life. Experiences are things like vacations, concerts, etc, which last for a limited period of time. They’re too short for novelty to wear into boredom. We can’t just grow accustomed to the latter. They’re also more fun to talk about with friends, so they provide more happiness for longer.

However, some things enable new experiences by being owned. I’m gonna look at two examples here: needlework supplies and games.

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Crafts

Coloring <3

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I love coloring. I always have. I recently decided that I wanted to color, gosh darnit, and so I would get some coloring books and colored pencils.

Since I live in a rural area, I can’t get coloring books at local stores. When I looked on Amazon, everything I found was $10-$15 bucks (in yen… I was buying from JP Amazon, but whatever). I balked a bit at that, but the desire to color was strong and I bit the bullet. Thankfully, it turns out that all of these books are well worth the price. (more…)

Alaska

Changing Tides Fiber Art Shop

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Changing Tides in Juneau isn’t technically a hole-in-the-wall shop, since it’s on the second floor of a building full of shops. I found it via a street-level window display.

Changing Tides Street-Level Window Display

It’s also a little bigger than what I consider hole-in-the-wall. But as it caters to cross stitching and needlepoint as well as quilting, it’s plenty cramped for one.

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Alaska

RainTree Quilting

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While I was in Juneau for Kyle’s wedding, I visited two quilt shops. I wanted to visit at least one, so Ash pulled up the GPS app on his iPhone. The first one on the list was RainTree Quilting.

RainTree Quilting

RainTree Quilting is located off of Mendenhall Loop Road. A few trees separate it from the street, but the store itself has enough front windows to give the place a light, airy feel. They have a show room and a class room, with completed quilts hanging in each. The fabric selection reminds me of what Quilt Tree carries here in Anchorage, in terms of color values and the types of patterns they carry, though there were fewer oriental fabrics.

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Crafts

Work in Progress: My First Quilt (Top)

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I have completed my first patchwork quilt top! It’s actually been completed for a couple of weeks, but I didn’t get around to taking pictures of it quickly.

Ta da!

I cut three 2.5″ squares from each of 40 different fabrics, which I put in a bag. After shaking the bag until they were thoroughly mixed, I pulled them out, stacked them, and made rows of ten squares each by pulling them off the stack. I didn’t count how many fabrics I used; I’m lucky it came out in a number divisible by ten — I had no squares left over. Once it was all sewn together, I took my mish-mash to The Quilt Tree and picked out the border fabric. (Thank you, Shannon, for advice about the color).

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Crafts

The Birth of a Quilt Log

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I went to the Loussac Library fall book sale last weekend. I was hoping to find good Japanese reading material, but they were pretty much cleaned out on that. I did find some quilt books, though. I only ended up with one because this one lady snapped up every quilt book but the one I was holding while I was flipping through it to decide if I actually wanted it or not. I’m very happy with my one book, though.

The New Quilting & Patchwork Dictionary by Rhoda Ochser Goldberg
The copyright on this book is over twenty years old, and there doesn’t seem to be a newer edition. What would you call it, anyway — The New New Quilting and Patchwork Dictionary?
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Alaska

First Visit to Quilt Tree

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I finally got off my duff and walked over to Quilt Tree this evening. Up ’til today I had gone exclusively to Seams Like Home due to its extremely close proximity to my place of work. (Well, except for one after-hours fail attempt to hit the quilt shop in Eagle River with my sister.)

I didn’t realize before going there that Quilt Tree is a combined quilting and yarn crafts shop. And they don’t waste any space. They have bolts of cloth on top of shelves and leaning against shelves on the floor, leaving just enough space to peruse. I didn’t wander into the yarn section — though I probably should have, since I need some supplies for my Halloween costume — but it looked just as crammed as the cloth half of the store.

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