Monday, July 13, 2015

52 Quilters

Hey guys,

This week I'll be blogging over at 52Quilters!

I will be sharing my applique piece pattern for my Succulent Garden quilt and working through my process over the week. Follow along with me. If you create the quilt, tag pictures to IG or Twitter with #52Qsucculentgarden.

I hope to see you on all the 52Q media pages: IG @52quilters, Twitter @52Quilters, Blogger:

With quilty love,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Quilt Story: PM Lip Pop

I've been meaning to write up the stories behind of some of my favorite quilts. So often my quilt pictures only get published to Instagram and the story behind them gets lost or I forget to share what inspired me in the first place. Since this is one of my very favorite quilts and hasn't already been featured, I thought I start with my PM Lip Pop mini.

PM Lip Pop by Raeann McIntosh
January 2015

This quilt was created for round two of the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap hosted by Kristi over at Schnitzel and Boo. My partner was Raquel, @raquelsews. She's a bad ass LA fashion photographer and designer. She screen prints her photos onto fabric and creates home decor and fashion accessories for her brand Olivo

 I knew I was going to have to bring my A game to create something that represented her aesthetic and would fit into her fashionable lifestyle. I love pop art and really felt like that was the right direction for this project. After spending hours drawing doodles and Pinterest-ing ideas I stumbled upon the work of Patrice Murciano. Patrice is a visual artist from the south of France. His work is incredibly colorful and graphic and his style of portraiture is striking. Seriously, his Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorites; you should definitely go check it out. I found his work to be incredibly inspiring. 

Just a Kiss by Patrice Murciano

As soon as I saw Just a Kiss I knew I wanted to try to recreate it in fabric. I created a low-volume, improve pieced base. I then dove into my scrap bag and pulled out various shades and patterns of pink, purple, orange and splashes of black, white, and yellow. I free form cut pieces and layered them on top of the base until I was happy with the basic layout. 

Applique pieces laid out on improv base
Once I was happy with the results of my fabric architecture, I laid down the thread work. I used pink, purple, white, yellow, orange, and back thread to secure the applique pieces and give definition to the design. I then added random straight line quilting to the base to finish out the piece. 

close up of the thread work
My version isn't as graphic and didn't achieve the depth of the original inspiration piece. The lips aren't as full and some of the sense of movement has been lost in translation. Regardless, I'm still crazy pleased with the result. I feel like it's a great quilty interpretation of a ridiculously cool art piece and showcases all of the things I love about quilting. I keep thinking about revisiting this design and creating a large, usable quilt. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

100 Days of Creating Rae

Man, I suck at blogging. Instagram gets all my quilty updates for the most part. One thing I am excited to give a little more detail about is the #100daysproject that's been popping up on IG over the past week.

The basic idea is to pick a creative activity and work on it for 100 days. After mulling over all the possibilities (do I paint?, do I quilt?, do I hand stitch?, do I play piano?, etc) I decided to take a different route.

As some of you know, I've been struggling with neck and shoulder pain for almost a month. The muscles in my right shoulder have been in constant spasm and have caused me tremendous pain for some time.  My chiropractor thinks it's 100% stress induced. I think she's probably right. I've been incredibly unhappy in my work, I'm tired all the time, I have little patience for my family, and I've become increasingly cynical in my dealings with others. Dr. D  has recommended that I find ways to intentionally relax and reduce my stress.

To that end, I have decided to spend my time with the #100daysproject creating a better, happier, and more connected version of myself. My IG hashtag for this project is #100DaysofCreatingRae. I know that historically my happiness stems from a sense of creativity, compassion, feeling interconnected with others, active learning, and living out goodwill. Therefore, I resolve to spend these 100 days creating art, reading, praying, doing yoga, playing with my children, doing community service, reconnecting with my husband, cooking, simplifying, and cultivating a greater compassion for others.

I anticipate that this is going to be extremely hard work. The thing about hard work though is that it tends to yield fulfilling results.  Follow along with me on this journey (@jrshules on Instagram). I invite you to start a journey of your own. We can support and encourage each other. Let's see what we can create in 100 days.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nerds Craft it Better Swap

The Make a Dalek, Make a Friend swap is almost all wrapped up and by and large it was a success. There were a few hiccups along the way; lost packages, traveling partners, and life getting difficult the way it tends to do. However, I really think that most people had a good experience. The participants made some really amazing things ranging from clay Cybermen and mini quilts with LED lights, to original TARDIS paintings and bow tie jewelry. The level of talent and creativity that came out of this swap surpassed what I had expected and I'm proud of everything that we created. If you get a chance, run through the #MakeADalekMakeAFriend feed on IG. You won't be disappointed.

Throughout the course of #MakeADalekMakeAFriend I received many requests for a nerdy swap that wasn't limited to one fandom or theme. That's when I started thinking seriously about a #NerdsCraftItBetter swap. I wanted a swap where the IG craft-o-sphere would to be able to celebrate all of the things that make us nerdy in all the ways that we like to create things. For me, this swap isn't just about making cool geek stuffs. It's about celebrating who we are and the things we really love to do.

Now, even the most inclusive of swaps need to have some rules. Please read carefully before clicking the link at the bottom.

1. You must have an active and public Instagram account to participate. An active and open feed makes it easier for your partner to find out info about you and your tastes so that they can create with you specifically in mind. Also, posts from private accounts will not show up in the hashtag feed for people who are not following you. This is non-negotiable. I apologize to those of you who are unwilling or unable to be public (understandably for many good reasons) but I just can't handle that particular headache right now.

2. We will use #NerdsCraftItBetter to tag our work and keep up with our swap community. You must post to the hashtag at least 3 times (essentially once a month) during the course of the swap. Being active makes it more exciting for us all. If the swap grows large enough to need swap group overlords you will also be required to tag your group and your swap mama/papa. Posting a shot of your finished creation and the package you receive is mandatory. 

3. You must create and post a mosaic of the geek stuff you love and types of crafts you would like made for you. Include a broad range of  items in many craft styles and varying difficulty levels. Please also have examples of your work and the kinds of crafts you enjoy in your feed. You may also direct swappers to other sites such as Pinterest and Flickr for ideas on your taste and aesthetic. 

4. Be aware that this is a general crafting swap. It is open to all kinds of crafters. I will attempt to match up partners based on crafting style and requests, but I'm not making any promises. You need to be OK with the possibility of receiving any kind of craft (sewn, quilting, knit, crochet, painting, sculpture, mixed media, etc).

5. You must complete the Google Docs form with your info. Remember, this is what your partner uses to create for you so be clear and specific.

6. This is a blind swap. You will create something for your partner in secret and not reveal your identity until your package is received. You will not know who is creating for you.

7. You must create one medium-sized  handmade project that pertains to at least one of your partner's expressed interests and include one small extra item (handmade or purchased). Anything additional is left to your discretion.

8. Quality matters. Intentionally think on your partner's likes and tastes when designing your project. Create using quality crafting supplies and take your time. We all want to receive something that is meaningful and well done. Do not expect to half-ass something together and not get some serious public shade from me and be blocked from further swaps that I coordinate.

9. Communication matters. It is mandatory to respond to DMs/emails from me and any swap overlord in a timely manner.  I don't mean you have to respond immediately, but if it's been three or four days and I haven't had an email back I will assume that you are flaking. Swappers who do not communicate will be eliminated from the swap and their maker will be instructed to forward their creation to the swapper's partner.

10. Sign-ups will close January 15th. My goal is to have partner assignments and  form responses out no later than February 1st. I will be keeping a close eye on the numbers. If I do not have enough group overlord volunteers to accommodate the number of swappers, I will close sign ups early.

11. The deadline for posting packages will be May 1st for international swappers and May 14th for local swappers. This will give you a full three months to create for your partner. Carefully consider your current schedule and the time needed to create at your pace and still meet the deadline prior to signing up. You must send tracking info (or customs info for international swappers, as tracking is cost-prohibitive) to me and any swap overlord when you post your package.

12. Say thank you. Your partner spent time, energy, and money to create something just for you. Acknowledge that gift and be sincere.  We are a community and should treat one another with friendship, love and respect.

13. Please, please, please resist the urge to sign up if you can not complete the swap. Speaking from experience, it is no fun to have a partner who disappears and doesn't acknowledge gifts received or send creations to others.  It's also hurtful to your partner and stressful for me for swappers to be tardy in creating and mailing packages. That being said, I understand that life can sometimes be a total bee-otch. Please communicate with me ASAP if something happens and you can no longer participate so that I can recruit an angel swapper to take your place. Again, swappers who flake without cause or without prompt and effective communication will be banned from my future swaps. 

14. Have lots of nerdy fun. If your partner is into something you are unfamiliar with, take the time to delve into a new geeky interest. Learn a little about each other and don't apologize for what you love. 

Sign Ups are Now Closed

Thanks for sharing my love of all things nerdy and crafty and playing along with me. May the Force be with you!


I've Been Down With the Sickness

Have you been wondering why I haven't been posting? Of course you have. For the past three weeks at least one person in the clan has been ill of one sort or another. EB ended up with bilateral ear infections and pink eye, which she promptly gave to me.

pink eye can suck it
As you can see, it was nothing but glamour on New Year's Eve over here. I actually had to call into work. No one wants a red-eyed ogre standing over their bed when they're lying sick or hurt in the ER.  Since then, with the help of some lovely antibiotic drops, my eyes have cleared up. The hubs and I are still fighting with some sinus yuckage and my left ear intermittently hurts like a mutha, but over all things are looking up. Miraculously, Ro didn't get sick at all. Thank God, because I may have completely lost it if she was unable to return to school yesterday!

In other news, EB finally moved up to a big girl bed. She's been sleeping in Ro's hand-me-down toddler bed for about 8 or 9 months. Over the past 5 weeks or so she has gotten up multiple times a night saying that she can't sleep or is too uncomfortable to stay in her bed. Lately, we can only get her to sleep if she is in Big Sister's bed or in bed with us. The hubs and I decided that we really wanted to be able to sleep through the night again, so after dinner yesterday we went and bought a mattress. Much to our surprise, the store had the mattress in stock and we were able to shove it into the back of my Edge. We made a quick Target run for sheets and bed quilts while Grandmommy and Pawpaw brought over a family heirloom bed frame.  This is the result.

She's a happy little girl. The quilt I made her last year isn't big enough to fit the twin bed, but it looks super cute there folded at the foot. I'm happy to report that she slept though the night and didn't get out of bed until 6:45 this morning! MAJOR SUCCESS!!!

Because the girls share a room and Ro has been feeling a tad left out lately with Little Sis being sick and getting lots of attention (and I still haven't finished her special quilt), we went ahead and bought her a new bed quilt and sheets as well.

Ro felt special and remembered and also slept through the night in comfort.

My big projects for the day are:
 1. Finally put away all the Christmas decorations
 2. Move the old toddler bed out of the play room
 3. Move the ginormous doll house to the play room
 4. Finish the #NerdsCraftItBetter Swap blog post
 5. Learn how to switch skeins while knitting.
 6. Work on my One Little Word project and post

I'll be flabbergasted if I get even half of that done.  See you soon guys.