Friday, March 30, 2012

Not much crafting happening here

What's going on Jo? You haven't blogged for 17 days!

I've never been a prolific blogger but I am a busy crafter, and I like to blog about my craft. What's going on, what have I been doing with my time?

Well last weekend I had a mini-getaway to Queensland to go to a friend's wedding. Three days off work - tick. A trip to Noosa - tick. Perfect weather - tick. Perfect perfect wedding - tick tick.

And why didn't I do any craft the weekend before? I blame that on Game of Thrones.

Have you heard about Game of Thrones? It's the Emmy-award winning TV series based on the Song of Fire and Ice by George R R Martin. I'm not a fantasy geek, and I've never even finished a chapter of Tolkien, but I'd heard great things about Season 1 so I wanted to see it.

I loved it, I wasn't disappointed. Well I was a little bit disappointed when I got to the end of the Episode 10 late on the Saturday night, so I started again at Episode 1 on the Sunday. Action-packed script, top-notch acting, filmed on location in Croatia and Northern Island, looks fantastic.

So that's what I did with the weekend before last.

Season 1 turned out to be the Book 1 of a series, so I picked up a copy at Sydney Airport on my way to Noosa. I bought the rest of the series on the way home, and am halfway through Book 2, The Clash of Kings.

Season 2 begins in the US on 1 April. I can't wait till it gets here.  (Warning - there's lots of explicit sex scenes and full-on swearing in Season 1, which are not in the original book. Lots of violence too, but that's in the book.)

That's why there hasn't been much crafting done around here lately.  I have a stockpile of brand new fabric just waiting to be hexagon-ised, triangle-ised and diamond-ised for my store, but it's just going to have to wait until the Easter break.

I might be tempted to do a little sewing tomorrow though. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Other things I make - websites

I love it when I can solve a problem for someone, especially when I find a solution that is easy for them to use and saves them time.

A friend mentioned to me last week that he needed a better way to process payments for his business. He was really just thinking out loud, but I had a few bright ideas on Saturday morning and by the end of the day I had set up a website, shopping cart and payment system for him. From scratch. Using software I had never used before.

(I don't mean to boast, but I really was pleased with my efforts, and that doesn't happen very often.)

The website template was cluttered and old-fashioned though, not his style at all and not suitable for his business, so on Sunday night I spent a few hours (ok, more than a few hours) redesigning it.

I came up with a clean, clear design using pomegranate-red and marine-blue graphics on a white background. (Yes I made them too. Sometimes I'm a stickler for getting things exactly the way I want them.) I'm sorry I can't show you the website here but maybe the colour-scheme will show up in a quilt soon!

The best part is that I've streamlined the website so that it only takes 4 mouse-clicks to select, order and checkout your item. And it's mobile phone friendly. (My very own app!) I can't wait to hear how it works for him. Fingers crossed!

Which reminds me ... a while ago I stumbled across a fantastic product, a perfectly simple solution ...

In my craft room, I have quite a few things plugged into a power board. That's not the problem, the power board is fine, the problem is that I don't like leaving items on stand-by, especially ones that I don't use very often.  (I don't count every penny, but there's no need to throw away money is there.)

And the only power socket in the room is hard to get to as it's behind a table. But I found this product a while ago and I absolutely love it.

It's just an ordinary power board ... but with a 'pod' attached. The pod is a footswitch so you can turn all your equipment on or off with just one tap. It's on the end of a metre-long extension cord so you can hide your power boards and messy cords but have the footswitch within easy reach. 

I got mine on eBay but a few electricity suppliers and green groups are selling them too. The brand name is "Efergy".

It's not a sexy item to blog about, but it turns me on. (Bad pun, baaaaad pun, but it's late and I'm tired.) I think it's cool in its simplicity. I love simple. I love easy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Stock - Hello Luscious and Domestic Bliss Hexagons - and a finished project

I've made something for me and something for you.

This is for me ...

You can't really tell from the picture but it ended up about 140 cm by 140 cm (because that's all the fabric I had in that range). The curves were surprisingly easy to machine-piece and of course I die-cut all the fabric so it was quick too. I've used a thin wool batting in the middle because I find it's just the right temperature for me.

And I've made these for you ...

Hexagon Charm Packs and Hexagon Multi Packs in the brand new Domestic Bliss and Hello Luscious ranges.

I've only made limited stock so far but if you need more packs just email me and I will make you more. And I definitely have to make LOTS more of the Hello Luscious Charm Packs because I'm tempted to make a queen-size quilt from it, now that I've got the hang of machine-piecing the hexagons.

I love the soft colours of my new apple-core quilt and I like the mid-weight colours in the Hello Luscious, much better than that stronger bolder colours I've been using lately, e.g. for my Rose Star Quilt.

The new Charm Packs and Multi Packs are now in my store. And don't forget the Free Offer is still on for a few more days - a free pack of paper or card 1" hexagons with each Hexagon Multi Pack purchased.