Sunday, January 25, 2015

grow your blog 2015

hello everyone, and welcome to my humble blog abode.
i'm very excited to have stumbled across the grow your blog link up by viki at 2 bags full, and i cannot wait to see and follow some more fabulous people.  perhaps even you!
to start off, here's a little sample of "about me" information:
my name is emily, and i live in the good ol' state of california.
in the everyday world, i'm a college student (again), a teacher's aide for a pre-k program, a dance instructor, and a wedding & portrait photographer.  i'm the 2nd oldest of 4 siblings, i have a grumpy cat named elroy, and i often consider mexican food for every meal.
when i'm not running around like a crazy person, i enjoy spending time with friends & the boyfriend, debating signing up for the gym, day dreaming about being in disneyland, and what you'll see here most of all, sewing.  i come from a crafty family, with both of my parents sewing & making things as hobbies as well as grandparents, aunts & uncles being creative in various ways as well.  most of my crafty lingo is spent with my cousin lisa, who you'll often see referenced every now and again.  we still hold our childhood dreams of a mall kiosk, but right now they remain as an etsy shop that might need a little tlc one of these days.
when i was trying to think about what to post to share with all of you blog hoppers, i thought i would pick a collection of projects that really reflected how i spent my last year of blogging.
if you didn't guess by now, it is safe to say that i am indeed primarily a quilter!  i currently have no kidlets of my own to make adorable outfits for, so i spend my time sewing quilts for various things.  if you asked me 10 years ago if i would be spending time quilting, i probably would have laughed at you.  my step back in to making quilts (since my first quilt) was my senior project in 2006.  they were simple 12" blocks, 3x3 for shriners hospital.  the quilts were sandwiched, sewn around the edges, flipped right side out, top stitched and tied.  that's it.  now i'm sewing with tiny pieces, paper piecing, and crazy log cabins.  my, have the times changed!  i love being able to combine my free time joy of getting crafty and use my photography skills to create blog posts that (i feel) are visually appealing and help document all the fun.
of course, you're likely to see more than just quilts on this blog, hence the name "toothpaste and orange cat."  weird name, i know.  this blog has been through quite the name process, but i think i've finally found one that sticks.  backstory is that i remember hearing a character on a disney channel show once tell his sister that they were so completely opposite, they went together like toothpaste and orange juice.  in 2009, my sister got a flame point siamese cat for her birthday, and he has become the resident mascot of the house that everybody wants to see when they visit.  well, orange juice turned to orange cat, and i was able to get my older brother to draw me a cartoon-y version of this fat orange siamese cat to represent my collection of randomness on this blog.  sometimes you'll see works in progress, others you'll see photos from a weekend trip i may have gone on.  perhaps some days i'll just throw on a post with a favorite song or something.  which i might as well throw on right now, just for kicks.  here's american beauty/american psycho by my all time favorite band, fall out boy.
things get a little random around here. i'm absolutely not a professional writer in any means.  so i'll jump back on track and give you a little peek about what's being worked on now :)
i've powered through my 2015 catvent quilt, and i'm currently approaching the FINAL STAGES.  as of yesterday, the entire front is pieced together and ready to be pinned to the batting & backing to be quilted.  shoot, i'll just show you.
so THAT is what 100 black and white cat blocks look like.  hard to believe that about a year ago, my first catvent was finished, and i have gone on to make this beast.  one side is a little wonky, but i think my cat elroy did that intentionally out of spite that i made a quilt of his posse.  now is on to the real question of where to go from here, and maybe you'll be able to help.
HOW should i quilt this beast?  i have a hot pink backing for it, and variegated black & white thread.  my initial and probable plan is to do a 1" cross hatching like i did the last one, but now i'm second guessing and thinking perhaps i should have it free motion quilted with a sort of yarn ball effect.  the gray fabric isn't solid, but instead has a small swirly pattern to it.  though, that would involve letting go of control and paying someone else to do the quilting for me.  decisions, decisions.  what do you think?
thanks so much for stopping by, and i hope you're here to stay for awhile.  i've got some other projects on the way that are hopefully going to be just as fun to do and share with you all.  if you're on instagram, you'll see LOADS of behind the scenes pictures of projects and life.  my user name there is @wereradletshug
happy blog growing day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

sew your stash 2015 - at the starting line

there has been a fantastic idea of a hashtag floating around instagram as well as the "support group" that i'm in that is really going to help me get the ball rolling.  last year, my fabric stash project was all about organization, primarily to see what the heck i even had enough to use of to make anything.  well, given i never blogged that process like i said/thought i would, here's a peek at it.  my fabric storage went from this:
to this:
it's quite the sight when the before and after are right by each other.  given the space that i have in my room (or lack thereof) i moved what used to store my t-shirts & dvds in it across my room and in to my closet.  the fabric went from being in tubs to rolled on comic book boards and made everything SO much easier to see what i had.  the top two rows are all cotton prints, the gray bins hold smaller pieces that couldn't quite roll on to a board, and the bottom shelf is primarily flannel,  now that i can better see my stash, i have a better idea of how i want to turn it in to finished projects.
as of right now, i only have three projects envisioned thus far for my fabric stash.  the first one involving all my buzz lightyear/toy story fabric prints.  i think when i counted, there were 13 different fabrics that i have collected over the years, and since i made the triangle music quilt last summer, i am 99.9% certain that is what i'm going to do with all these prints.  the second project has been in the making since at least 2011, if not before... those dang squares i have been cutting year after year have finally come to a pause.  i made it through everything my mom destashed and cut my squares from it, and then caught up on fabric from various recent projects of mine.  when i say recent, i mean as far back as sewvivor stuff... oops.
the third one i had to think about, because i simply did not put the fabric in my cabinet.  instead, it is in my desk drawer.  when i bought my new bed last july, i knew i would need a bigger quilt to go on it.  i found a collection of moda fabric i loved, and a paper pieced pattern to make it in.  i really need to get on making that at some point as well...  i don't know how much longer i can take having a twin sized quilt (or three) on my queen sized bed.
i know i have an entire collection of fabric i bought back in 2009 or so that is awaiting a baby girl to be born at some point...  but as of right now it seems like the pregnancy/wedding bug has not struck any of my friends just yet.  i will gladly be sharing the process of this "sew your stash" process, especially if it means i have some finished projects in the end :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

buddah buzz & quilter in training - shirts for kidlets

well, now that these belated christmas gifts were recieved on saturday, i can post away!
i had purchased these shirts well before my august trek to colorado, along with a onsie to make a matched set for all three of lisa's minions.  well, that plan didn't pan out, and since two of the three kidlets didn't grow out of the sizes i bought, i could still make use of them (sorry mark.  hope there are no hard feelings).
i had to screen print another buddah buzz cat for a t-shirt quilt my mom was making for my dad for christmas, and so i decided to put one on a shirt for kenty since it is a guy's kind of cat.  once that one was done, it was on to decide what to put on a shirt for lorelai.  since she has gotten in to sewing recently, i decided to go with that for the theme of her shirt.  lisa and i both loved patchwork thread's quilter in training shirt to the point of trying to win a gift card for it, but since it was in short time, i decided to use that phrase for lorelai's shirt.  she's already made one little quilt of her own and currently working on building her fabric stash one fat quarter at a time.  smart girl.  i used the letter stamps i originally bought in 2009 for my "marry me, buzz lightyear" tank top that i wore to disneyland, and dipped then in the speedball screenprint ink i've had for a few years now.  the letters are just so fun!  both of these were quick little projects that turned out just like i had hoped :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

365.2014 - week 52

i suppose i can't just leave this post without anything said, given that it is the FINAL post for my 365 project of 2014.  throughout the entire project, i think i only missed two days, which is quite impressive.  i'm super glad i chose the instagram route for this, because it made it SO much more accessible, sharable and less awkward to not have to pull out my gigantor camera (case and point, day 364 at leatherby's where kenny asks me what i'm doing.  all i had to say was, "instagramming."  ha)
i have already compiled my blurb book to have this physically printed up like my last one and just need to figure out what the heck i'm going to put on the cover... perhaps i'll skim through some of the instagrams that didn't make the 365 cut.  anyways, i'm excited to be back to "normal" posting and not feel like i have to be sure to do something before midnight, though i am certain i'll still have the urge to post daily.  let's see how 2015 goes, shall we?
here is a small handful that didn't quite make the 365 cut, but were still some of my favorite moments (and also proof that i didn't just take pictures all year, but was even in some of them)
hoorah for 2014, and hip hip hooray for 2015 :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

hello, 2015

well here we are in 2015... can you believe it?
i took a look back at last year's "goals" and after not looking at them for an entire year, it is quite impressive to see how many i actually made happen.  or at least close to it.
i DID travel.  while i didn't make it to new york or new mexico, i did make it to colorado and spent a week there escaping reality.
i FEEL like i have done better with money saving.  i've been pretty consistent on my car payment, so that's a plus.  and besides a few expenses here and there (aka more car parts... ugh) my spending has been pretty minimal.  except when it comes to fabric store shopping for projects.  ha.
i THINK i've found a pretty groovy guy to call mine.  he even came with me to update my shot record.  two goals, one stone.
i was SUCCESSFUL in blogging more.  a total of 114 posts in 2014... not too shabby.  and that wasn't even the year that i did that 30 day blog posting goal.  though i can attribute about 50 of the posts to my 365 project...  so that's half of it right there.  oh, and that 365 project is officially complete!  the final post will go up tomorrow, but in the meantime, it is lovely to not have to panic when i miss a day or two or ten.
totally didn't meet the goal of reading more... but i started to read "the fault in our stars" the other night and knocked it out after a few days, so that's at least one to count on the finished list.  and a whole stack of others on my bookshelf that i've been collecting to read for months now.
still working on that "clean sweep" ever since 2013 started...  and again since i got my new bed this past july.  it's rough, let me tell you.  BUT i got my floor pretty much clean, and now it is down to the little things like one of my desks and the middle "entertainment center" which has a cd player i rarely use and a whole bunch of crafty books stuff.
in 2015, i think i want to:
keep doing what i'm doing.
all in all, i have ZERO complaints about 2014
i'm pretty excited to see what 2015 has in store for me, and i plan to make the best of it.
also, i may just make one of these, just to remember all the good times and can look back on it.
welcome to the new year, party people.
and on a hey, here's a super exciting update note...
ALL my catvent blocks are now DONE... as of 2am this morning.  i did exactly what i did not want to do and sewed about 20 cats in one night.  go figure.  i'm sure they'll show up on instagram sometime later today once i get them all stacked.  now it will be on to figuring out a layout and keeping these kitties in order.  seriously... herding cats.