TIL you ask? Today I Learned.

While looking through photos to put this post together I saw a burst photo series that I thought would make a cool animation…the only problem was that I had no clue how to make that happen. With a quick search I found a great tutorial that walked me through the process step by step.

Not too shabby for less than 5 minutes worth of work.

I did finish my quilt…you can see the full post about it here.

And created an art journal page for AJJ…full post here.

Today consists of some taxi driving….J to school as the roads are pretty slippery from a glaze of ice and Mini-me has an appointment this morning. Nothing like having to drive on the ice. YUCK!

What are you doing today?

I seem to be drawn to this color combo lately. The Bordeaux wines, creams, and Spring greens. Perhaps it’s from looking outside and only seeing bleak tones of white, grey and brown for the past few months.  I need something fresh yet a bit moody.
Dear Diary art journal page | Halle's Hobbies

Adding stitching and layers also seems to be right up my alley as well.  I can’t get enough texture!Dear Diary art journal page | Halle's Hobbies

I continue to challenge my machine to see how far I can push it. I used to be afraid to stitch on paper thinking I’d need a whole separate machine for my mixed media pursuits. I realized long ago that I was so very wrong.Dear Diary art journal page | Halle's Hobbies

I’m linking up with Art Journal Journey today with my Dear Diary journal page for the current theme of Every journal page tells a story.

Since a diary is very personal there are no actual words shown…they are all hidden. I know what is under the layers and that’s all that matters.

Art Journal Journey
Dear Diary art journal page | Halle's Hobbies
This page ended up in my scrapbook journal. I can’t say enough how much I love working in loose sheets.  It provides so much flexibility in mediums.

Don’t you just love that feeling of satisfaction when you’ve completed a big project!?! I know I do. Not only do I have the finished product in front of me but I get to put a check mark in the box on my perpetual list. Yes it’s an actual paper list. It’s never ending which really is a good thing. What would I do with myself if I didn’t have a project?

quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

Do want to know a secret? If I complete a task, chore or project that failed to make it on the list…I write down, draw a little box and proceed to “X” through it. So satisfying!!!quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

This quilt started as a stash busting project. Just a loose idea of what I wanted or hoped it would look like in the end. Over the course of sewing my idea evolved a bit which I personally think is a good thing. We need to be able to be flexible and learn from our mistakes. Or even just adapt when the moment presents itself instead of being so set on one path that we can’t change. This is true in life as well. Adapt or be flexible when needed as long as your end goal remains it’s ok to change little things along the way.quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

One of the changes I made as I neared completion was the type of binding I wanted to use. I was originally going to do a sort of “cheater” binding where you wrap the backing around to the front and stitch down. I’ve used this method before with Mini-me’s quilt. I decided I wanted to do a scrappy binding as well continuing to use up my stash. The quilt really needed a quiet place in between the busy central pattern and a scrappy binding so I added a white sashing all the way around.

quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

The scrappy binding went together quicker than I thought it would. Of course I didn’t follow the “rules” and cut everything on the bias. I’m not much a rule follower. quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

Isn’t it pretty a rolled up like that? Like a colorful flower.

quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

After much agonizing about how to label my quilt (for the very first time) I decided I’d use wing it and hand embroider the info. Let me first say that I suck at embroidery. I think embroidery was the first craft I ever learned…and I never liked it. I’m always sticking myself with the needle, its tedious and boring.  I know there are plenty of people who enjoy it and find it relaxing…have at it. It’s a means to an end for me. I do have a decent size stash of embroidery thread though in the same tin my mom used half a century ago or more ago.

quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

After a few pin pricks I finished the job and was able to stitch it onto the quilt back. I am glad I took the time now that it’s finished. I can never remember when I made most of the other quilts except for the two I made while J was napping as an infant. Those I do remember.

quilt time snuggle time | Halle's Hobbies

This turned out to be more than a stash busting quilt. It became a labor of love with a bit of frustration mixed in. But what love doesn’t have some frustrating times.

I had originally planned to heavily quilt in a funky random pattern but as I began I realized it would end up a bit stiff. I went back and pulled out every stitch…hence the frustration. I ultimately ended up stitching random wavy lines only along the white sashing. My thought is that I can always go back and do some more quilting if I feel it needs it.

I’ve been snuggling under it every free moment I have. It definitely helps with the extreme cold we’ve been having. I did hear we have a warm up in store….hooray! I’ve about had it with below zero temps.

Last week I worked on a piece for possible publication and sent it off to meet a deadline. I wish I could show the whole piece because I was so happy with the way it turned out.

This is just a piece of a corner.

I’ve also been working on my scrappy quilt again. I decided to change how I am doing the binding so I needed a solid border around the whole quilt. I got that finished yesterday and started making the binding. I’ll share my quilt progress in another post.

I also had to share my traditional gift to my neighbor for his New Years eve birthday. They generally have a party with all the neighbors invited. It’s really great since it’s right across the street. No driving required.

Each year I give him some sort of beer but in recent years I’ve been trying to be clever about it. Last year was Rein-beers.

And this year I got him some Canadian beer…of course, it’s cold there so they needed some hats to keep them comfortable.

I’m still chuckling at the little hats although I am easily amused.

Today is more sewing, laundry and cleaning. And shoveling. It’s currently snowing and we are expecting 2-4 inches. Hopefully it will stop and the roads will get cleared before the teen has to drive home from school. It was bad enough that he took off for school as the mess was beginning. The grey hairs have started from worry with a kid driving. Glad I’m blonde…..I should be able to go gracefully into grey. HA!

What are you doing today?

T stands for Tuesday

I worked on a new journal page yesterday in the cold basement. UGH! The furnace struggles to keep the lower levels warm in these constantly below zero temps. Here’s a current weather screen shot.

Today is actually warmer than it has been the past few.  It took a bit of devotion to creativity to ignore the chill and create.

devoted art journal page

The word popped out at me from a dictionary page in my stash. I’m using my word of the year every day!  I am renewing myself.

devoted art journal page

I did a bit of journaling on the page with a few words and phrases that will continue to inspire me on my quest for renewal.

This maybe be the very last entry in my polka dot journal…it will be adhered to the inside back cover. I’ll have to see if there is possible room for one more page after this one is placed.

Speaking of devotion and renewal…I am happy to say I’ve been not only sticking with the goals I’ve set for myself but am enjoying it. Having a positive attitude about it and making strides in the right direction.I’m keeping on task with the help of my little notebook and therefore accomplishing more.

As well as trying to make every day look like this one…

This was my best day so far of the year but we are only 5 full days in and I’ve lost 4 lbs! Super excited! Let’s keep this momentum going!! My next goal is to hit all “greens” on the goals two days in a week. I figure if I set small goals I’ll have a better chance at success therefore not setting myself up for failure as I have so many times in the past.

Have a great day!

This year for Christmas we changed things up a bit.  In the past several years we’ve had a Christmas brunch and it worked out very well since the kiddos weren’t too great at waiting to open presents. In those days I think they would have preferred everyone spend the night and get up at 6am.  Since they are older now, we decided moving back to a more traditional time for our family was best. That meant we’d need a dessert.

I decided to make a rum cake. I’d made this one before and it was so yummy. The recipe comes from a cookbook called Booze Cakes that I checked out from the library.  The first time I made it I used a standard bundt pan in the classic bundt shape. This time I decided to get a little adventurous and use my fancy bundt pan since it looks a bit like Christmas trees.

rum cake

As it was baking, I was realizing that the tree pan was smaller than the classic pan…I kept watching it in fear that it would run over as it baked. I was lucky…

rum cake

Look how beautifully it came out of the pan! I took a lot of time preparing the pan in hopes that it would work.  So cute!

rum cake

Remember I mentioned this was from a cookbook called Booze Cakes…yeah…that bottle was full when I started and I wasn’t sampling. I don’t even like rum in drinks…but I sure do in cake!!!

Just before serving I dusted the entire cake with powdered sugar giving it the appearance of snow. I totally forgot to snap a photo though. You’ll just have to take my word for it. It was yummy and boozy.

The kids head back to school after winter break so I’ll be all by myself for a change…well I’ll still have Marvin to keep me company.


What are you doing today?

For this first edition of Second on the 2nd for 2017 I thought we’d take a second look at a post that highlights all the things I love about altered books and/or art journals. The altered book in this post is my Nature themed altered book I created following the AB 101 weekly lessons presented by our lovely hostess Elizabeth. Yes, I had created altered books previous to this but it was fun to follow along and be “forced” to try new techniques through the lessons along the way.

Take a look:


I love the slightly wavy pages from layers of paint, glue and 3D embellishments.

I love how the edges get all gunked up with various colors as I work through the book. Some could think this was a failure on my part to properly protect the other pages. To me it adds to the beauty.

Who could resist decorative edges?!? Not this girl.

I’m drawn to the way an altered book looks as it stands. It tends to pop open a bit so you get a little peek at what’s inside. Delicious.
This book permanently lays on a side table highlighting the decorated edge. It makes me happy to see it there all wavy and wonky with shiny bits and babbles just daring you to pick it up.

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