Sunday, September 30, 2012

Something Sunday 39: Project Life Update

I fiiiinally feel like I have a sort of theme, or flow between my Project Life pages. And now that I'm happy with how they are looking, I'm enjoying it more and more each week! I still have a goal to use more washi tape in the layouts, but other than that, I really feel like I've improved! I added one journalling page to each layout, which I've pixelated away because its just embarrassing life details the world at large doesn't need to read :) So here they are...

Weeks 32 and 33 (August 6th - 9th)

Week 34 (August 20th - 26th)
This week I had an "event" that I wanted to highlight, so I added a 4x12 insert into the layout. I didn't buy this one special or anything, I simple cut the Project Life Page A down the first row (being careful to make sure I still had edges sealed, so the pictures didn't fall out). I'm really quite happy how this extra page looks popped into the week of pictures!

 Week 35 (August 27th - September 2nd)

Week 36 (September 3rd - 9th)

They way I sept up my Project Life is, I pick out all my pictures, edit them to the sizes I want, and then journal for that week, and add any decoration cards I want. I try to make sure I do this on the last day of the week, or at least within a few days of it so that I can remember all the details I want to write down. Then I wait to order my pictures (because I don't have a home printer). I generally wait two or three weeks to order the pictures because they are cheaper when bought in bulk. Then when the pictures come, I just round the corners and pop them into there spot! I add some details and notes to the pictures sometimes, but those are simple and not much work. This does make the process a bit dis-jointed, but I like it better because this way I'm not forgetting the details of the week that I want to remember.

Speaking of rounded corners... I caved and bought a We R Memory Keepers corner rounder, and I am in LOVE! It is sooo much nicer than the little one I was using, and it has two options which is a really nice touch. The PL corners are a bit smaller than the 1/4 size, but I prefer this look, so I don't mind that it's a bit different. I highly recommend getting one if you've been thinking about it!

To find out what the 'Something' project is all about click here
To see the first 38 'Something's' click here

Friday, September 28, 2012

Carly's Thankful for...

This week I'm thankful for:

- getting the top deck, front seat on the bus I took to Philly (amazing view)
- being able to visit Toronto so much
- Toronto being so awesome
- podcasts

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


To find out about the start of this series click here.
To see past wordless posts click here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Greenwood Quiltery

I thought I would finally share a little bit about the amazing shop that I buy almost all of my quilt fabric from, The Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph, Ontario. I looooove this shop. It is hands down my favourite quilt store and lucky me, it's only a 10 minute walk from my house!

Aside from it just being a great store, the staff are awesome. They are so helpful, and actually take the time to get to know you. I think it was only my third time shopping there and some of the staff already knew my name. It's great. I don't know if I've experienced such good customer service anywhere else.

The store has four parts to it; the main floor with all the quilt fabric, a back room on the main floor with lots of yarn, a gallery on the upper floor, and teaching space in the basement. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the gallery because photography is not aloud, but it always has great stuff on display, and I didn't take pictures of the teaching space.

Although I have never bought yarn from here, I have looked through there yarn selection many times, and they have an amazing variety of high quality yarn. Plus, it's just a pretty space.

My favourite part of the store is, of course, the actual fabric. They have a great selection, and get new fabric in all the time. They often have the exact line of fabric I'm looking to get. They carry many of the big quilting names (Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Kaffe Fassett, etc.) and often have fabric lines I haven't discovered online yet. They have lots of fat quarters, but they have everything on the bolt as well.

A bonus for me is that the quilts that hang around the store are always a great source of inspiration. They change semi-frequently and are always beautiful. If you can't see the details in the quilt on the left hand side of the picture below, click on it to make it bigger. It is one of my favourites!

They sell lots of patters and books as well, and they have a small selection of notions and thread at the front of the store which comes in handy.  

If you haven't figured it out yet, I love this store! If you are ever in the Guelph area I highly suggest stopping in to pick up a few fat quarters, or more! They are located on 275 Woolwich Street (Guelph, Ontario), and they are open Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 5:00 (Closed Sunday). If Christine is working, you can tell her Carly says hi! Check out their website for more info:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Something Sunday 38: Give-Away!

Give away now closed! Thanks to all who entered!

I am so excited to hold my first give-away here at A Sewcial Life! It is a celebration marking both my 200th  post (which was actually 2 weeks ago, here) and reaching over 15,000 views! I am so excited to be able to share something I've made with someone who reads my blabing on about crafts!

I am giving away a tote bag. It has 4 pockets if you can't tell from the pictures, and is completely reversible! Also, it has dinosaurs on it, and I just think that's fun!

How to enter (2 ways):
1. Leave a comment in the comments section below
2. Tweet about this give-away with a link to the post, and then come back and leave another comment saying you tweeted about it (I will be checking these, so please also leave your twitter name!)
** 3. Please leave your email or a way to contact you if you do not have an email posted in your blogger profile! Thanks **

And if you want to follow me on twitter, my name is CarlyMFriesen. (That won't get you an extra entry, but you might get to find out odd and useless facts about me, such as when I eat lunch, and if it was good. haha)

I will announce who won next Sunday! Good-luck! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Carly's Thankful For...

In general I try to be aware of how much I have to be thankful for. I think it is an important thing to stay aware of. There is always so much good around us, and sometimes it goes unnoticed for far too long. In an effort to increase the frequency with which I notice the good, I started a “gratitude journal” in early June. Tons of people have done this, and if you can believe it, I got the idea from an interview with Oprah and Lady Gaga (two of my absolute faves!) I have unfortunately not kept up with it very well. The way I wanted to use it was to jot down at least 3 things I’m thankful for each morning. It takes all of 2 minutes, and I really enjoyed it.

My new idea to keep this going is to share what I’m thankful for once a week here at A Sewcial Life. I’ve been surprisingly committed to my Something Sunday, and Wordless Wednesday posts this year, and I think I could keep up the same commitment to a Thankfulness themed Friday post! 

So from here on out, you can get ready for a weekly instalment, of “Carly’s Thankful For...”, which I will post every Friday.

Hopefully, I will be pulling my favorites from my journal that I have been filling out, but for today, you just get what is on the top of my head. Sometimes they might be silly, or serious, or plane old weird, but they will always be real! I’m not going to force something deep and cheesy if I’m not feeling it that day, I think it spoils the whole point of this idea. Anyway, onto the thankfulness!

I'm Thankful For...

-Being able to live in Guelph
-Having Coffee in the morning
-Having so many people who are willing to help me find an engineering job!
-Fall weather

As always, thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


*Taken with the Lomo Camera App

To find out about the start of this series click here.
To see past wordless posts click here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Fabric

I went to the quilt store this past weekend to get some thread (to finish my latest quilt! yay!), and some how I ended up buying fabric.... But, I only bought one fat quarter. I'd say that's pretty good self control!

I love looove the fabric, but I don't really know what to make out of it. Any ideas?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Something Sunday 37: Another Camera Case

I made another camera case this week! After I made my friend one a few weeks ago (and altered the pattern to fit the camera better) I wanted to make myself a better one! The first one I made did the job, but it was really bulky, and not very snug to the camera.

This time I used thinner, 1/2 inch foam for the side walls, but I still used the 1.5 inch thick foam for the base. If I end up making another one, I think I will stick with the 1.5 inch thick foam because I think the extra protection is worth it. (I used 1.5 inch think foam on this one, and I think it's the best version so far)

To show you how much better I have made the size, above is a picture of the old and new cases side by side. It is significantly smaller, and it still fits my DSLR fine. I think the smaller one is actually safer for the camera too because it fits snug around the camera, and doesn't let it move around. 

I'm glad I have my new little case, because I think it will help encourage me to bring my camera out. And it fits it to more of my purses!

Next week I will be doing a give-away here as a celebration of my 200th post and over 15,000 views! YAY!

To find out what the 'Something' project is all about click here
To see the first 36 'Something's' click here

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Favourite Sewing Tools

Can you believe I've been sewing consistently for 3 years now? I can't! Previously I dabbled in sewing on and off , both when I was a kid and in high school, but I wouldn't have called myself a sewer (and quilter) until 2009. Anyway, all this is just to say, I've learned some things along the way. I shared some tips on cutting tools recently, and it made me think of the other great things I've learned along the way. So today, I'm going to share my favourite sewing tools that I use.

*note: I've linked most of the product names to thier website or a website selling it! But I'm far to small a blog to be sponsored, so don't worry, you're getting an un-biased opinion

1. Rotary Cutter, Cutting Mat, and Acrylic Ruler
I use all three of these on every single sewing project. I originally bought them when I started quilting because I had seen them suggested on many quilting blogs, but I now use them for cutting all of my fabric. It is simply the easiest and most enjoyable way for me to cut fabric! (If you're not sure how they work watch this video)

Okay, you may be thinking this is very lame, but let me explain! I find this especially useful when I'm sewing big projects like a quilt. At the very start of the project I will fill 4 or 5 bobbins with the thread I'm using and have them ready in the bobbin holder. That way when you run out of bobbin thread, you can just grab another and keep going. I find this helps me so that I don't lose momentum. (Mine is clearly empty right now, but with the start of my next project it will be full again!) Also, here is a link to make your own bobbin holder. 

3. Measuring Tape
This is just a given. I always need to measure things while I'm sewing, and although my cutting mat has measurements on it, nothing beats the measuring tape! (oops, I should have shown the metric side of the tape in the picture, I AM Canadian, I swear.)

4. Seam Ripper/Unpicker
If, like me, you make mistakes, then this is just a good tool to have on hand. I use it more then I would like, but it makes undoing seams so much easier. They are very sharp tools though, so you have to be careful not to get any fabric caught in it too, otherwise it will rip the fabric.

5. Two-Sided Zipper Foot
I sew lots of things with zippers in them, so for me a zipper foot is necessary. However, the two-sided zipper foot is just awesome. It allows you to sew the zipper on from either side of your machine (it should be clear how this works when you have it in front of your machine). It's just a  little extra versatility, but I find it so helpful!

6. My Sewing Trash Can/Pin Cushion/Thread Catcher 
I had had this on my "to sew" list for almost a year before I got around to it, and I wish I had got to it sooner. It is so handy to have hanging off my desk while I sew. not only do I have somewhere to put all my scraps and thread, I have an easy spot to grab pins from as I work. It really is handy, and I use it every time I sew!

All of the tools I've share are fairly simple things, but I find they are all so helpful to make sewing fun and not frustrating! (Okay, maybe the un-picker is frustrating! haha)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless - a good reminder

* Please feel free to use these but as always, please link back to me if you share!
To find out about the start of this series click here.
To see past wordless posts click here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Labelling your Cutting Tools

Just a small something I've learned along the way.

With all the sewing and crafting I do, I own tons of scissors and two rotary cutters. People had mentioned to me many times that you should reserve your scissors for fabric OR paper but not use them for both as they will dull much faster. I always wanted to follow this advice, but then I'd always forget which was for which, and I'd end up using all my scissors and cutters for both paper and fabric.

I finally noticed my good scissors getting dull, and wanted to make a point of keeping them separate. All it took for me was a label. Once I added a label to my fabric scissors and rotary cutter it was enough of a reminder that I stopped using them for paper as well! It took me all of 5 minutes to do, but it has helped a ton!

I don't have any "special" paper scissors, so all I had to do was label my best pair of scissors as fabric only and all the un-labelled ones can be for paper or whatever else I might be cutting or crafting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Something Sunday 36: Arm Guards for Ana

My cousin Ana is awesome. She is the cutest little girl that I know (okay, she is tied for cutest with my other cousins, but she is adorable!) As I've mentioned before (here) she has special needs and has a habit of biting her forearm. Unfortunately her habit of doing that can hurt her little arm. I've made her a few before, but being the busy little girl that she is, she has worn them out! I've sewn a few more arm guards to help protect her arm! 

I've model them just to give you an idea of what they are, but I image they will look much cuter (and appropriate) on her smaller arm!

I've been missing my family so much lately (they live a province over). It always helps me to feel more connected to them if I can sew projects for them. I also made my Aunt a little zippered case as a gift for completing her masters degree a few weeks ago too. (but I forgot to take a picture, oops!)