Sunday, July 25, 2010
So off to bed, but I'm going to try to share some pictures with you tomorrow, I promise. I want to show you my new apron! :) And I have a pattern review (okay, TWO pattern reviews) to share with you as well!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
There is this blog that hosts cute pictures. And I just had to get in on it. So here are some black and whites I’ve made of the twins. Most are old, but I’m betting you guys will enjoy them any way!
Here’s ---Eeep! We’re Busted!
Or maybe “Yeah, I’m cool AND I read”
The Toilet Surfer
And I have the meaning of life in here too:
You CAN’T be serious, Mom.
You know I’m cute!
What do you think? Darn cute, I say!
First, I’m STILL hand-quilting on the Victorian Table Runner. Granted, the boys don’t let me get much done on it as they think bouncing things off the big backboard Mommy has is FUN! And wouldn’t you know, Mommy conveniently made them fabric balls to do this with (not intentionally…). Thankfully, they have only thrown those so far.
Second, Momma Swallow has moved back in to her nest outside my studio window. She’s being cantankerous as I write. Apparently she isn’t happy about the thunder. Well, neither am I. It seems to think that rain comes from a clear blue sky. Hah. But then, with the heat, I’ll take anything to make it cooler.
I’ve been hard at work putting things in my Etsy store. Check out my new things, like a magic wallet from car tags.
Yep. This brain child came from getting in trouble on family trips to tacky tourist shops. Living in Gatlinburg, there were plenty of said tourist shops, stuffed with “Hillbilly” memorabilia. One was always the Hillbilly wallet, otherwise known as a Magic Wallet. No matter how you put your stuff in it, it always manages to hold it and you can get your stuff out from either the right or the left. Imagine opening a book from either side and the pages stayed in the right order. Boggled my mind as a kid. I always had to play with these in shops, which usually meant picking one up, wandering the store with it until I found an acceptable item to insert in it (usually a pile of brochures or magnets), and then doing so. After which, I would thoughtfully leave it stocked for the next person to play with. I’m betting the store owners didn’t find it thoughtful, though.
And I’ve gotten my bags in. I ordered them Tuesday afternoon. I’m impressed. And the Fedex delivery guy didn’t stink of cigarettes… nor did my package! What a HAPPY change!
Off to have some lunch and finish an apron. All I have to do is appliqué on some hearts and pockets. Really, not so much. Why am I putting it off?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
It has already been a good week, so I want to start with that. That being both the statement of “It IS GOOD!” and the cutest tater ever. Yes, I made the hat…for his dad. And yes, it is a wool toboggan cap that he is CHOSING to wear in July. Who’s counting? But, in other news, I’m:
--I now have shows booked for three straight weekends
--I’ve still got to order a tent and bags
--The state is giving me the run around, trying to say my business name and my legal name are not the same thing. The IRS says they are. But Georgia, in their infinite wisdom, has decided they are not. So they want another $157 so I can get a stamp on a piece of paper saying that they are. Fat chance of that. But without paying said “we’re stupid” tax, I can’t open accounts with the other institutions I would LIKE to. Instead, I have to do things the old fashioned way and just wait it out. GRRRRRRR.
--Math isn’t my thing, so Bookkeeping and Taxes really aren’t. But since they were due today, I dutifully sat down and blew my morning completing my state tax forms. Now I can sit and be totally confused by the “actual” and “projected” earnings statements and other documents I can’t even begin to describe filled with accountant jargon that I need to make sure stay correct between now and NEXT month. Jeeze, like I have NOTHING else to do.
--I’ve already done several sales this week (on Etsy, not in the state of Georgia, so NENNEER tax office!!!) and I’ve accomplished a lot towards this Susan G Koman Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser I’ve got coming up on the 31st. But there is still a lot to do.
So back at it. I’ll post you some pictures of what I have been up to later. Though I do have several more listings in my Etsy store if you want to zip over there and see what I’ve been up to! :)
----Laters… I gotsa Scatter ZOOOM!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
A few of you might have noticed my rather full schedule in my left hand column. Yep. That’s right. 5 shows between now and the end of the year, and that’s only my CONFIRMED solid dates. I’m feeling pretty good about it, as this is my first “touring” season as a crafty person. And my first show went well and my Etsy sales have been consistently improving (two customs right now!!!). So why am I still so STRESSED and WORRIED???? :) Oh yeah, that’s what I do.
But my darling hubby is dong his best to alleviate some of my stress. He even volunteered to do some photography for me to get some stuff ready to be listed on Etsy. As anyone who as seen my booth at the show or my inventory space can tell you, I have FAR too many things that aren’t listed. And since I usually do one of a kind items, each has to be photographed individually, measured, written up, priced, and then posted to Etsy. Not an easy task with two toddlers helping you.
Most of his photography was so awesome that you can already see it in my Etsy shop itself. So make sure you check it out to see his best work. But we all need a laugh once in a while, so he decided to put a few “gems” in with the other shots, to check that I was paying attention while cropping and posting them. Here’s the newest Vogue model… Te D Beare
And just when you’d given up hope of a good laugh, there is this series.
Yeah, Monsieur Beare doesn’t look as pleased in this outfit. Maybe it’s the July heat in thermal fleece… I bet that’s it.
And then they say that an item will ALWAYS sell better on a model. You be the judge:
Item alone (by the way, it’s an infant diaper cover/fleece soaker):
Diaper Cover/Fleece Soaker with model:
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I own LOTS of patterns. I don’t cut out and sew from many patterns, but I use them. I use them to get ideas, to look at how they suggest to do things, to snag slopes for shoulders, tucks for bodices, even fun ideas for embellishment from. You can easily use patterns as part of upcycling, however. And I have recently come into quite a stash of vintage patterns (thanks to my wonderful Grandmommy and Mother In Law, as well as some thrifting). And the vintage patterns are just so wonderfully detailed, with step by step tailors instructions that modern patterns rarely have. There’s just so much to learn there!
But back to the tutorial. I need to store all these crazy quantities of patterns somehow, and in my sewing studio just wasn’t going to work. But I have a fabulous double depth four drawer hanging file cabinet in my basement. Perfect. And it is conveniently right at the bottom of the stairs from my sewing studio. But if I put all the patterns down there, then I’ll never know what I have or where to find what I want. So here’s my system for keeping my patterns in my studio, but SMALL!
Then label the manila folder’s tab with the pattern number (in this case S8364) and a short description of the pattern (in this case, table cloth, napkins, placemats, coasters). This can then go in a hanging file with JUST the pattern number on it (or you can skip this step entirely, that’s a personal choice).
Then take your envelope and put it in a clear sheet protector like this:
See on the left side? I add a sheet of paper that says when, why, and for whom I made the pattern. And then my thoughts on the pattern and any changes I made or think SHOULD be made. I also tend to note if I cut any of the pieces to a specific size (so I know if I need to get a NEW pattern to use the same design again) or if I used specific pieces for one of my franken-patterns and so it isn’t in the file any more.
Then these clear sheet protectors go in here:
I’ve currently got two binders, a 1 inch and a 4 inch, for my patterns, though I’m getting ready to split the 4 as it is stuffed and a monster to use. Anyway, my current divisions are:
Home Decor (curtains, table clothes, quilts, etc.)
Crafts (stuffed animals, boxes, etc.)
Fashion Accessories (hats, gloves, sashes, bags, etc.)
Children (anything baby, items specifically sized for anyone under 12)
Fashion Patterns (anything that goes on the body of an adult, including costumes
This really manages to cover the majority of the patterns out there, in these 5 categories. But as you can see, Fashion Patterns requires further division. So I have it organized by pattern company alphabetically, then by pattern number. This works really well.
Now my filing cabinet has all of the patterns organized alphabetically by pattern company and then by pattern number. I can put my hands on pretty much any pattern in about 2 minutes total, between the binder and the cabinet. I love it. And I can carry the binder all over the house or even to meetings with clients so they can get ideas too! I highly suggest this method.
Please let me know if any of this isn’t clear enough. I’ll gladly add more pictures or description!
By the way, I’ve decided I LIKE doing pattern reviews. So I’m going to start trying to actually sew up more patterns. I’m going to start with Simplicity 8364. So stay tuned for pattern reviews!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Apparently we are in the middle of a thunderstorm streak. Every day it seems my weather alarms start going off and the twins go nuts. The pressure change is no good for ANY of us. But today, I’m using it as motivation to CLEAN! Well, that, and the fact that I have a show in just over 2 weeks.
Honestly, I didn’t think I would actually make a dent in my pit of a workspace, so I didn’t bother to take before pictures. Now I wish I had. But here’s the after. Forgive the lighting, as the storms are making it IMPOSSIBLE to enjoy my windows for the purposes of lighting… though the lightning is pretty.
Notice all the labels? Now I know where everything is! If you are interested, the labels read
Short Left : Elastic & Velcro, Embroidery Stabilizer, Batting, Packaging Supplies
Short Right: Bags, Works in Progress 1, 2, & 3
Tall Left: Fabric Smaller than 6”x6” 1 & 2, Findings, Notions, Scrapbooking
Tall Right: Interfacing, Stabilizer Pieces, Embroidery Blanks, Thread, Felt & Fleece
Does anyone else save little bits of fabric and stabilizer? How do you deal with it? These wire drawers work really well, but I have put shelf liner in the drawers where things might fall through, like findings and small fabric. I’d love to hear what others do with these bits of fabric that really are too small to fold!
Monday, July 12, 2010
My first pattern review! I’m starting with Southwind Designs’ Victorian Table Runner, not because it is a beginner pattern, but because I actually want to share this pattern with the world.
First, I should tell you that I am making this pattern as a request for the owner of my local quilt shop. I received both the pattern and the fabric for it as compensation for making it, and I wanted to be honest with you, my dear reader. But I have received NO compensation of any type from Southwind Designs. So there is my full disclosure.
Tracy chose the pattern and the colors, which are quite lovely. I’m really into the leaf pattern and the blue blender. Both of those are quite yummy.
Now “dimensional quilt patterns for creative people” is the slogan of Southwind Designs, and while I would definitely fall into the creative category, I was a little scared by the dimensional part. Tracy assured me that with my experience doing Cathedral Windows, I could handle this no problem. And she was TOTALLY right! This pattern is so clearly written and graphed that there was NO pain in the piecing. None. Not a bit!
Annette’s cutting instructions were dead on, with minimal waste. And her piecing is broken into little steps and each part is clearly illustrated. I was completely comfortable and never had to “figure out” how to do ANY step. It was great! I highly suggest Annette’s patterns and will be purchasing them in the future. My only problem becomes which one to do next! :)
Also, if you check out the Southwind Designs website, they even have quilts that are completed from their patterns for sale. So if you aren’t up to the dimensional aspect of the quilting, then you can still own it!
I’m not sorry that the pictures are dark, as most of them were taken between 5pm and 10pm Sunday night. Yep. That’s right. All this in 5 hours, which also included cooking and feeding the twins dinner, eating, cleaning up the dinner mess, putting the twins to bed, and some diapering. So it is not only beautiful, but quick!
Now I’ve just got to get the backing and binding choices from Tracy and start quilting. Part of me really wants to quilt this by hand, just to give it a really Victorian feel. What do you think?
Saturday, July 10, 2010
You can now see my Calendar of Show Dates. Always up to date and ready to be enjoyed, I can't wait for all of you to come and meet me!
Also, you can see live screen shots from Etsy now! No more wondering if I have something listed, you can easily jump right over there and grab your favorites.
And yes, I'm already booked for 4 shows covering 5 days (not including set up) between now and Christmas. And, because I LOVE it, I've applied for several more. And I plan to unveil NEW items at each show, so you'll have to visit each show to see what I've dreamed up SPECIAL for that event. And all of this new information for you BEFORE I've had my breakfast. Laters!
I’m not a girly girl, in case you haven’t noticed. Previous to yesterday, I owned (no joke) 7 total fabrics that had a main color of PINK. This is less than 1% by A LOT. Nope, it’s too early to do the math, so neener. :)
Then the post woman gave me the most amazing box yesterday. I was so excited, I ripped it open and immediately started cutting into it. Hence why there are no pictures of it all stacked together. Too excited.
What caused this excitement? Tula Pink’s Plume for Moda. My jelly roll and yardage arrived with coordinating solids. So I immediately got started, as I have promised a baby quilt for wonderful friends. And she’s due Halloween. So my pursuit of mint, pink, and chocolate led to Plume.
First, I’m working with a Moda Bake Shop Recipe. You can find it here. It has ruffles. What is more girly than ruffles? Of course, I can’t bear do something EXACTLY like the plans call for, so I’m changing it up a bit. I’m adding some lace and other fun things. But I’m out of batting, so you’ll have to wait until later for the completed quilt. But I have some in process shots I thought I would share.
Here is all my jelly strips cut into smaller segments (5”, 7”, 10”) and then pieced back into 42” strips.
Then we have it all pieced together. Yes, it hangs off the edges of the table. :)
Then we have it, it’s backing, the ruffle fabric, and the binding all hanging, nicely pressed, together. Now it’s just waiting for its batting like a prom date by the door of my studio.
But since I finished the piecing on this before dinner, I had to have something to do. So I started a ribbon fascinator for the crib rail to match it.
It will have the bird from Plume cut out on the right side, the roses from Plume cut out on the left side, a fleur de lis cut out of the brown colorway top center and then a feather from the pink swans under that. And yes, it will have ribbon tags of coordinate colors all the way around all four pieces, except that the feather is getting full marabou all the way around. :) I’m probably going to do a binding out of the dark pink colorway (you can see it at the top of this shot), and the back out of the fleur de lis in the pale green colorway. And it will get the same baby pink lace trim, which you can see on the right hand side of the shot.
What do you think? Have I gone too far into girly land? Can I come back? And what to do with the rest of this jelly roll?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I am currently baffled and peeved. I’m hoping one of you, my wonderful readers, can explain this to me. How can someone “own” the rights to a t-shirt pattern? Or a log cabin quilt square? These things have been produced for a while now and I would think, would be common knowledge. And yet, I see pattern designers that put their name on it and that lovely “for private use only” tag. Like they OWN the magnificent discovery of fabric. Grrrr. I’m sure, to some extent, they are just covering their bums. But it still peeves me, as I love to read blogs, magazines, books, etc about sewing. And I glean ideas from all of them. And I want to see artists credited for their work. But give me a break. You did NOT invent the idea of a WREATH. You are NOT the first person to ever make a stuffed bear. And PLEASE, do not try to convince the world that the zipper pouch sprouted from your head. Next thing you know, they are going to claim to have invented the internet. :)
Okay, my grip for Wednesday morning is over. Resume your regularly scheduled hump day while I put away my soap box.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Many of you may know my husband, or at least have stopped by his blog over at The Chipped Hammer. He’s a welder by trade and an artist and mechanic by skill, so he can be REALLY rough on clothes. A lot of it I can’t do anything about, but every once in a while he does something that I say “HA! I CAN fix this one!”. I mend his rips, patch his holes, and generally try to keep his work clothes presentable. And when they are too far gone, I use them for something else. The t-shirts make fabulous rags. The socks with holes are great turned inside out on the swiffer or to dust the ceiling fans. But the jeans had stumped me.
Then we found a cache of jeans at a thrift store in his size. He’s hard to fit, so we bought them, not caring about the brand as they were a buck a piece! One pair was a nice pair of GAP original relaxed fit that looked great on him, except for a paint stripe across the leg. So he declared them work pants and wore them the next day. And guess what? They got a GAP in them the next day! A grinder managed to get away from someone welding next to him and ripped a big hole in the side of his jeans at his thigh. Grrrrrrr. Too big to patch. He hadn’t gotten the $1 out of them yet! Grrrr. So I decided to put them to use!
Here’s the bag made from the good leg:
I call it “Brain-washed Denim”! Hehe
Then here is the mini-skirt!!!
It’s the “Now I’m Pretty” skirt! And it cam out really cute! You’d never know it was eaten by a grinder, huh? :) Of course, you do now that I told you. But you STILL want to zip over to my Etsy store and snap it up, don’t ya!