Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Hardest Grown-Up Decision I Have EVER Made

Since the beginning of my social media adventure, I have shared photographs of my family; both the two-legged and four-legged version. I had two wonderful little cats until yesterday when I had to make a decision that I had hoped I wouldn't have to make for a very long time.

On Friday my hubby took our 8-year old cat, Marcus, to the vet. We had noticed he was more lethergic than normal and had lost weight. He is normally a very lazy cat in the summer since we live in Louisiana and he is a long-haired cat. They determined he was dehydrated and needed to stay the weekend to recuperate. After not seeing the results they wanted more tests were run.
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Marcus' last photo before he passed


I could go on and on about what happened but basically his organs were failing, cause unknown. Yes, I could have spent hundreds of dollars finding out exactly what happened. However, Marcus hates car rides and we would have had to travel an hour away to run an evasive test. At the end of the day, he was a very sick kitty and was in a good bit of pain.

Harvey and I decided to tell our little guy good bye. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made and I am crying right now thinking of my little naughty guy.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Check-In

Wow I haven't been good about posing, have I?? I have some pretty good excuses; namely two: Yard Sale and Folk Festival.

At the end of June my sister and I decided to have a yard sale.... on the 11th of July. Yeah, we totally did a yard sale after coming up with two weeks before! Not the best idea we've ever had! It was HOT!! Plus slow. Didn't make nearly the money we had hoped for. BUT both of our houses have been decluttered. Hers much more than mine.

I'm glad we went ahead and did just because now the stuff isn't in our houses! That being said I still haven't finished cleaning up from the yard sale! Still got stuff in random places plus two cases of bottled water in my kitchen!

Every year my university host a Folk Festival in the third weekend of July. For the past few years I have helped out in the consignment store and basically run it for the two day festival. It is a LONG but fun two days. The store is in the main part of the festival so I am able to list to the bands on the main stage plus visit with guests and the vendors! I did post a few pictures (below) to Instagram but had too much fun to post a bunch!
A photo posted by CraftyAshleyB (@craftyashleyb) on

Friday, July 10, 2015

No Friday Finishes for This Girl -- Yard Sale

For the last two weeks have been filled with a lot of craziness! I decided two weekend ago that I should host a yard sale this weekend! YIKES!

I have NEVER hosted a yard sale and I can't believe that I'm doing this! Thankfully my sister and also one of my best friends are pitching in to create a GIANT yard sale! There is no telling how much STUFF will be on my front lawn this Saturday!

Right now I have over a dozen boxes ready to go for tomorrow. All priced and ready to go! Probably 6 of those boxes are just books! My husband and I spent a good bit of life collecting books for both leisure and for school. My philosophy is to basically get rid of it all! If I haven't opened the book or looked at the item in the last 6 months then it is gone!

Another side effect of this is my storage unit is nearly empty! Hopefully if I can get it completely emptied by the beginning of next week, then I can cancel my contract on the unit and save that money!

I mention all this because my hubby and I are focused on getting out of credit card and student loan debt in the next couple of years. Reducing our payments out (storage unit) and getting rid of excess items (yard sale) is just one of the steps to becoming debt-free! We currently rent and would both very much like to move and purchase a (nicer) home.

I'll share some pictures soon of our yard sale and let you know how much first time went!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WIP Wednesday -- Current Projects

I'm involved in a few swap groups on Facebook. I spent some time on Friday (June 26) working on swap blocks: 

(c) Crafty Ashley B
12" Double Monkey Wrench - requested red, white and blue

(c) Crafty Ashley B
12 " Log Cabin block -- requested polka dots

(c) Crafty Ashley B
Two 6" blocks to be sent out for Tatty Swap!
Interested in small swaps without a lot of pressure?? Come join us!
These blocks have already been put in the mail to their new homes! For once I'm a bit ahead on my swap obligations! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blog Hop Week 2!

Welcome to Week 2 of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!!!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

This is week 2 of the Blog Hop being hosted by Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl; Stephanie at Late Night Quilter; Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination; and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.


New Bees Hive Page

Please "buzz" over and check out this week's posts from my new friends: 

Christy at Love You Sew
 Sarah at Sarah Goer Quilts


Thanks for visiting me and my friends too! 

(c) Crafty Ashley B

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Hexy Update #5 and Mystery Quilt

Hexy Update

I have made more progress on my Hexie Project!

The last I posted I was in the middle of Hexy #3. Here it is in its final state!
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Hexy #3
 You can see my other progress posts in these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. I'm really like how all these pieces are coming together. I still have the grey/black fabric to add as the row that pulls them all together but I'm waiting for all seven hexies to be completed before I do that!

I have already started on Hexy #4. The first few rows of the large hexy is quite easy compared to the final rows. Here's some in-progress shots of Hexy #4.

(c) Crafty Ashley B

Monday, June 15, 2015

Blog Hop Time!

Welcome to the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!!!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I am participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Hop! This is Week 1 of the Blog Hop and I am happy to be one of the first 20 participants! We have been grouped into four hives each being headed by each of the hosts: Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl; Stephanie at Late Night Quilter;Terri Ann at Childlike Fascination; and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

My group, New Bees, is being headed up by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. One of our members, Sarah, designed this fabulous button for us! Isn't it fabulous?!

New Bees Hive Page

A little about me! 

I live a small town in northern Louisiana, with my husband of five years and my two sweet kitties. My sister and her three kids live in town also; I spend a bunch of time with them. If you follow me on Instagram, then you will see lots of photos of the kids as well as my quilting. I work full time at a local university as an administrator in graduate studies. I also teach one course in the fall and spring term for a community college. In my free time I spend it sewing and blogging!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Finish - Tote Bags

Technically I finished these bags last weekend but it still counts if I don't post until today, right!?!?

My mom asked me to make her a tote bag for a friend who had recently retired. Her directions were bright fabrics, needed a top zipper and an outside pocket, and pockets on the inside.
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Bag designed specifically for my mom!
I think I fulfilled her requirements!! This is a pretty large bag with starting dimensions of 18" by 20"; I then boxed the bottom at 2.5". I did do padded straps but didn't add batting or any interfacing to the bag itself. I'm not sure why other than I didn't want to add to the bulk of the bag itself or its weight. I do think next go around I will add some light weight interfacing to give the bag more substance and power to stand on its own.

I pointedly used grey as the bag's bottom to hide dirt plus reserve the pretty center fabric to work into future projects. I also wanted to reserve it as I actually made two of these bags! They have different closures though.
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Twin Tote Bags!!! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday

On Thursdays, I will post a few of things that I have been thinking about. This includes projects that I thinking of creating, thoughts about life and family and just general get-it-out-there-and-out-of-my-head ramblings.

I am....

 ...excited that I am posting again!!! 

.... super-duper excited about the Mystery Quilt being hosted by Meadow Mist Designs. I have to pick out four fabrics this month. So far I have two picked: Kona Cotton White (you can't go wrong!) and Pocketful of Daisies below. Unfortunately it's an awful photo and I can't link you back to it as I bought the final 2.5 yards at $4.30 a yard! Plus I bought a very sweet mini-charm pack!
Pocketful of Daisies Orchid Pavestones Yardage <br/>SKU# 2003-21
Bad photo I know but it's missing from the Fat Quarter Shop website since I bought the last bit!

Best part about this purchase is that it cost me less than $3! Yep! How, you ask? Easy! I still had the $15 gift card that I won from Sew Like My Mom in March of 2014!!! Yeah... never found anything I had to have. I am so glad I held onto it! This fabric is so pretty! I can't wait for it to get here.
** Secret: The five yards that I won at the same time? Yep, still sitting in my fabric shelves! **

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday

On Thursdays, I will post a few of things that I have been thinking about. This includes projects that I thinking of creating, thoughts about life and family and just general get-it-out-there-and-out-of-my-head ramblings.

I am....

 ...proud of myself for posting twice in one week! What!?!?! Yeah, let's not look at my track record on that! 

... have added a couple of new buttons to my side bar which leads me to: 

... happy to say that I have stepped out of my comfort zone not once but three times this week! 
  
FIRST -- I have joined in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers!

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

I can't wait to get to know other quilt bloggers and get inspiration from all of them! A Facebook page has been set up just for us new bloggers so it's been quite entertaining for me to hear little digs from my phone all day at work from people posting on the page! I created a new group in Bloglovin feed just for this group of bloggers! I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing anything from my regular reads but still keeping up with the requirements for the group!
*I would love it if you would follow me there! You can find me here or through the link in the sidebar.*

Monday, June 1, 2015

WIP - Hexies Update - Part 4

I've shared the progress of my hexies quilt a few times: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. I've made quite a bit of progress in the last few months. My plan continues to be to create a total of 7 large hexies. These hexies will be composed of a total of nine rounds with the final (tenth) round being common to them all in the black/grey round.

I am really enjoying how I am progressing at this point though it is a bit slow going. Of course handwork generally is a bit slow. I have ready decided that this quilt will of course be hand quilted. I expect to be working on this project off and on for the next couple of years. Maybe less but we shall see!

Here are pictures of my current large hexies:

(c) Crafty Ashley B
Hexy 1: Only one at this point with the final grey/black round

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday

On Thursdays, I will post a few of things that I have been thinking about. This includes projects that I thinking of creating, thoughts about life and family and just general get-it-out-there-and-out-of-my-head ramblings.

Wow... I write a post about making this blog a priority and immediately stop posting again! Obviously I have some time management issues! I can make a ton of excuses why I haven't posted but that's not fair to those who have kept coming back! And judging by the fact that people are still coming by from the visitor log I know some of you have been looking for me! 

So I promise to make an effort now that summer is here and I'm done teaching until fall term. I have lots of things to show off as I have been quite busy with a number of Facebook swaps! Plus I am making a small dent in my hexie project! (See my last progress report here!) I'll have to make another progress report post soon! 

You can see a lot of what I've been busy with at home and in sewing over on my Instagram account. One of my most fun things I've done recently was help my dear friend Cat at a craft show in town. She is the owner of Coffee Cat Creations and makes some fabulous pieces. You can view her Facebook page here.  Most of my recent pictures are promoting her business! You know, because I'm an awesome friend! ;)

 I'll be back soon to share some of my sewing adventures! 


(c) Crafty Ashley B


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday

On Thursdays, I will post a few of things that I have been thinking about. This includes projects that I thinking of creating, thoughts about life and family and just general get-it-out-there-and-out-of-my-head ramblings.

I am....

 ... determined to make this blog more of a priority. That being said.... 

I am a bit disappointed in myself in not posting! It's been over a month since I last posted! I genuinely believed I could keep up with a twice a week post. However, I am finding that I am doing more and more hexie sewing and not actually finishing up things. The only "finishes" I can boast are actually blocks that I am mailing off for the swaps that I am in.

On a positive note I do have a mug rug and two tote bags that I need to finish within the next month. Thus at least I'm assured of at least three finishes!!

I have also set a new goal for myself for the year! I plan to piece, quilt and bind THREE twin quilts. Yes, people! I said THREE!!! Here's a secret.... one of those quilts is already pieced! It's been pieced for over three years now!! My poor niece knows that she has a fairy quilt at my house that I haven't finished! So I'm going to finish hers and also two more, one for each of her brothers. Those boys love superheros so I'm going to make a mash up of a bunch of different superhero fabrics. I'm thinking I'll pick a couple of simple blocks that can show off the hero fabrics. Luckily both boys have different favorite colors so I'll work with that and also compliment them. I think it'll be fun!

I want them all done in time for Christmas! I have bought most of the fabric I need for the boys' quilts. Now I need to decide patterns and dimensions.

I'm making great strides in my hexie project. I hope to give an update by next Wednesday on where it stands. Basically I'm going to end up sewing 7 large hexies and then sewing those together and filling in the blank space to make it square/rectangular. I'm interested in seeing how big it eventually ends up.

So what are you doing these days??

(c) Crafty Ashley B
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hexie Quilt Addition

I am still working on exactly what my final design will be for the project that I shared here.

While my original inspiration just continued to spiral outwards I am beginning to lean toward a different idea. Basically I'll create an additional 6 large hexies like the one below. I'll connect them all together to create one large quilt. 
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Hexie One
This hexie has 10 rounds outside the center piece. So I would continue this fashion out to the ninth round and use the black/grey round as the separator. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snow Day Projects

Over the last week the university was closed three of the five days due to "inclement weather". Basically we (those in Louisiana and the South in general) don't handle snow and icy weather very well. I myself cancelled a doctor's appointment that I can't reschedule for another month to keep from driving on the interstate!!

Of course with the snow days came lots of fun sewing and lots of "netflixing"! We never lost power so I had a bunch of fun sewing and just hanging out with my husband. And of course lots of cuddling with my kitties! 
(c) Crafty Ashley B

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Wrap-Up and a Win!

This week has been a bit crazy with not as much sewing as I would like! I did have Monday off. One could say it was for President's Day but let's be honest here! I live in Louisiana; it was for Mardi Gras! The university students had Tuesday and part of Wednesday off but the staff was back on campus.

On Monday I did some scrap sorting as I shared on Instagram and Twitter. (Follow me! I'm craftyashleyb on both!) Of course while I was sorting I had some kitty help in the form of Sophie.
(c) Crafty Ashley B
#sophiekitty helping with sorting
I got a good bit sorted out but then immediately cut into three new pieces of fabric. I almost didn't create the Block of the Month over at SewCanShe.com: the Orange Peel. But at the last minute I decided to. This is what I ended up making:
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Orange Peel block using Caroline's technique from SewCanShe.com
Of course I have posted about this group before. Every month there is a random winner chosen from those who create the blocks. And guess who won this month!!!

ME! 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Finish: Journal Cover

Look at me! Posting twice in one week! Hopefully I can actually turn this into a habit!

I came across Jenny of Elefantz site quite on accident one day. Not even sure what I was looking for but I love all of her very sweet embroidery projects. While I enjoy cross stitching it has been quite some time since I've done embroidery project. I figured there was no time like the present!

I wanted to start with something relatively easy but could used in a secondary project. Jenny presented the perfect project: a journal cover! More to the point, a cover for a worship/scripture journal. Her design is absolutely beautiful!

Of course I had to put my own spin on it! So I created a scrappy cover as well as changing up the colors a bit. Here's my version:

(c) Crafty Ashley B
Front Cover
Embroidery patter from Jenny of Elefantz

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hexie Quilt and Hexie Count

Wow... it's been over a month since I last posted! I can definitely tell by my blogging history when a new term is starting at work. On-call week at my full time job started January 5 with my teaching job starting January 20. Thus I've been super busy trying to find my rhythm with it all.

I'm actually still having trouble balancing it all. I have found that I am doing a bunch of hand sewing of hexagons and cutting out of the paper pieces. I refuse to pay for the paper pieces thus I cut them all out by hand!

When I last posted I shared I was using this picture as my inspiration from this site.
http://www.laurassewingstudio.com/Embroidery_Collections/GMFG/LSSGMFG28300.jpg
Found on this site. 


Currently I am 331 hexies into my quilt and I'm quite happy with how it is going.
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Current progress!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Block Swapping! And Hexie Plans

After being involved in the Pincushion Swap hosted by Caroline over at SewCanShe, a couple of spin-off Facebook groups evolved. I've become involved with three different swap groups! I'm so excited to be joining with them!

It seems that since going to the November meeting of the NELA guild, I've been too busy to go to another! I can't make the January meeting due to a hand applique class at Cotton Candy Quilts in a Bossier City, LA! I'm quite excited about this class as I do not know how to applique!

The three groups that I am participating in are a bit different but have the same idea. In Tatty Swap we are creating 6.5" (unfinished) blocks with a bit of input from the recipient. For example, one of the ladies I'm swapping with wishes to build a black-and-white international quilt. I was happy to oblige! I'm not too sure how many I'll end up with in this group. For January I am mailing out four (below). Only one is an international mail out. Not sure how long that will take to reach the United Kingdom though!

I'm happy to note that these four blocks got in the mail today so that counts as a finish, right?
(c) Crafty Ashley B
Disappearing 9-Patch