Sunday, October 10, 2010

just a bit of a mish-mash.

i've been working on some rather random stuff lately, but i don't have finished shots of anything yet, so i thought i'd post some teasers...

it might seem like i haven't been doing any needlework, what with the quilt mania goin on around here lately, but that's just because i've been working on one particular project that has taken me soooooo much longer than anticipated!

i'm doing a cross stitch design using waste canvas -
xstitch pansies

and i also stitched up a cute little sheet to donate to a silent auction for a friend's immigration costs -
silent auction

back to the quilty stuff, today i finished a project in shades that are SOOO not my usual palette!

and i spent some time making hexagons... so fun!
the backs of my hexies

the other night i did a puzzle with a bunch of friends at one of my favourite places in the world, rhizome cafe. it was supposed to be board game night, but i <3 puzzles more! i've had this puzzle for a while, and it is so PERFECTLY me, but i hadn't actually put it together before. it was totally fun, though it would've been easier with more light - i thought about bringing a lamp, but that felt kind of cheeky!
you know that you're a huge crafty geek when you say things like "no, i need a puzzle piece with a red machine formed glass button, that one's not glass, and it's hand carved" or, "does anyone see more of the molded plastic 40s floral buttons?"!!!

i've been doing some machine embroidery projects as well, and fighting with my machine a lot! i've decided that i need to upgrade to a machine with a larger stitch size capability (5"x7"!! so exciting!!), and i'm torn between sticking with brother, most likely getting the PE-780D or switching over to janome/elna and getting the Elna 8300.

i'm irritated as hell with brother, because this machine has been so frustrating, and honestly, my previous non-embroidery machine was a brother as well, and it had some issues. mostly the problem is that i sew random crap, and put my machines through a lot of stress. since brothers are usually plastic interiors, they don't hold up well to rigorous sewing. in addition, i'm not super fond of the brother dealers in my area - one's in vancouver, and has always been rather snotty, and is a pain in the ass to take machines in to, as they have no designated parking and they're on a super busy street, and the other is about half an hour away from me, and some days they're extremely friendly, but other days they're not, and half the time they don't seem to have any idea what i'm talking about anyway. plus, all of the brother machines come with disney/pixar designs, and i HATE disney, for a multitude of reasons. i don't spend money on any item that will support disney, so why would i spend a large amount of money on something affiliated with the company?

the elna looks fabulous, and i went in today to a dealer who i've gone to in the past for servicing and repair. he's incredibly knowledgeable, almost to the point of information overload! i really like the idea of having a separate embroidery machine, because then i don't have to worry about ruining the embroidery functionality by sewing other projects out of heavy stuff. it has a lot of features that i really like, include the ease of portability compared to the brothers, the estimated time remaining to complete the design, a fancier lcd screen than i have now, etc. and it's metal interior, so it's going to hold up for longer. and i like elna, i've always had good experiences with them, and they have a great reputation. i feel like they're a better company than brother....

elna 8300

the problem is that i've already bought the basic brother design software, and it doesn't work with any other formats. however, it isn't that great of software anyway, and i would need to spend about $1000 to upgrade to the software that does what i actually want to do. i could get the janome digitizer MB, which is pricey as well, but actually does the stuff i want, and does lots of other fun stuff too.

so i'm waffling. but i'm leaving towards the elna.... another perspective is that every single time i go in to tom's sewing machines (the elna dealer) with problems or questions, someone is always available to help me, whether it's tom himself or one of the women who work there. and almost every time i've gone into the Laura's (the brother dealer) with an issue, they've been too busy to help me and have asked me to come back, or there's no one there who knows enough to help.

i'm super excited to have the capability to do larger designs though!! one of the very first things i'm going to make is this lace witch hat from urban threads. and then the lace top hat...

and speaking of witches, and therefore halloween, is doing a halloween blog carnival! so awesome. i have multiple halloween projects that i need to get a move on to post!

in addition to the projects i was already planning on, i spent hours today googling xmas ideas for a guild project, and lots of them could be adapted to be for halloween instead... remember my halloween wreaths a few years ago? i think i need to make a couple of new ones...

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