Video Games are Cool!

For those of you who don’t know what I a do for a living, you may be surprised to find out that I make videogames.  I’ve been working in the industry since 1996 and have worked on all kinds of titles for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, DS, and many more.  Every year, there is a huge convention called E3 where all the game companies show off their gaming line up for the coming year.  I’ve been to almost every E3 since I started working in the game industry and always have a ton of fun!

E3 Convention - Los Angeles - 2011

Since my day job directly impacts how often I can blog on Keep It Thimble, I thought it would be fun to show you a few pictures from this year’s convention.  I was in Los Angeles all last week and was pretty much in meetings or on the show floor for three days straight.  Needless to say, I’ve had my fill of games for awhile.

E3 2011 - Skyrim Billboard

Here is a pretty amazing billboard for a game that will be coming out this fall.  I can’t even imagine how long it took to install this billboard, or how they even figured out how to get it this large in the first place.

Another fun part of E3 is seeing all the people walking around in costumes. For example, here I am with two of my Star Wars buddies.  I also saw Cooking Mama, and some other game characters, and zombies!    In addition, this is a great place to spot celebrities.  While there I saw Hulk Hogan, Verne Troyer (Mini-me from the Austin Powers movies), Gene Simmons, and Hiro (from Heroes).

E3 2011 - Rage (yes, those are zombies)

However, no matter how much fun I had seeing what new games are coming out, I couldn’t wait to get home to my sewing room.  I have some exciting projects planned for this summer, including a few video tutorials.  Let me know if there is something specific you’d like a tutorial on.

Keep it Thimble!

Caramel Apple!

You know how you can get those sinfully delicious caramel apples at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? Well, you can make these at home too!  Over the holidays I purchased a package of caramel wraps for apples – the kind that contain a flattened circle of caramel that you can wrap around an apple.

While you are melting the caramel apple in the oven, melt a 1/4 cup of candy coating pieces (your choice of color) and 3 tbps. of chocolate chips in separate dishes.  Scoop the melted candy coating over the apple and then drizzle with the melted chocolate chips.  Place in fridge for about 10 minutes until apple has cooled.  Or you can do what my son did, and use the chocolate chips for embellishment.


Caramel Chocolate Apple

You could also make a totally decadent chocolate caramel apple by melting Brach’s caramels, dipping the apple, letting it cool, and then dipping into melted chocolate.  For the piece de resistance you could roll in crumbled Oreos and then drizzle with chocolate.  Wow, I am hungry now!

I’ll have more sewing information this week.  Check back on Monday for my first book review of the year!

Porch Sale – Part 2

First, a big thank you to Sharon of Liberty Rose for hosting the first annual Fall Porch sale at her house.  I can’t even tell you how much work Sharon and Evette did to get everything arranged and set-up for Saturday.  Everything was perfect, down to the last detail!!  I am very honored that Sharon asked me to be a part of this show and I look forward to doing it again next year (yes, we are already planning another one!).

Porch Sale

This is what Sharon’s back porch looked like before the sale.  All the tables are loaded down with goodies and the tree is full of ornaments.  By the end of the day, everything was bare (I wish I had some after pictures).


Hootie Owl Display

Ladies started lining up well before 10am, eager to look at all the beautiful items that were for sale.  This display features a wool Hootie owl I made and some pot holders and candle mats made by Laura.


Heather's Corner

Here is the main corner where my wares were displayed.  The stand is my grandmother’s spool tree – it’s perfect for hanging purses and other small things.  The doll was made by Jennifer :).



Here is the Halloween corner.  You can see Bartleby the Pumpkin with his sly grin, hanging out with the other witches and ghosts.  Evette had some beautiful wool Halloween ornaments, Jennifer made some witches boots, and Sharon had a cute little embroidered witch.

Thank you to all the ladies (and gentlemen – I saw at least two) who came to the sale.  It was wonderful meeting everyone and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Bartleby the Pumpkin

I really love Halloween crafts and I finished my first one this year – Bartleby the Pumpkin!   The pattern was in the recent issue of Create and Decorate and I couldn’t resist his grinchy grin.  The pattern had more of a party hat on him (made out of paper), so I opted to make a witch’s hat instead with a spider and spiderweb.


Of course, his name makes me think of that Herman Mellville story you read in school – Bartleby the Scrivener.   Remember that one?  It was about poor old Bartleby and all he ever said when asked a question was “I would prefer not to.”  He drives his boss crazy, but instead of firing ol’ Bartleby the boss moves to a different building and leaves Bartleby behind!  Such a strange story, and one I remember very vividly.

UPDATE:  Just finished this one as well.   This one is larger (if you can’t tell from the picture – it is probably twice as big).  Not sure where they both will go yet….

Bartleby the Second

Fabric Covered Boxes

I took a class on making fabric covered boxes from Lisa Kilgore, owner of Lone Star Mercantile.  The process is pretty simple and fast, and there is so much you can do with these.  We covered an 8″ round box in class, but she showed us several examples of different shapes, sizes, and fabrics.

Fabric Covered Box

There are a good deal of ways to embellish them as well.  She had punch needles glued on some boxes, others had wool applique.  Some even had pincushions and other trims.  I really enjoyed the class and went straight home to make a Halloween box (with my son’s help).  He painted the inside black and helped me put the glue on.  Later, we are going to cut a Jack-o-latern out of wool and applique it to the lid.

Halloween Box

I can just envision a set of three stacking boxes done in complementary fabrics, embellished, and then artfully stacked in a corner of a perfectly decorated room!