Monday, March 31, 2008

I am SO procrastinating.....

Poking around my sewing room, rather than anything else I am supposed to be doing, I found the first stamps I ever carved. :p

The leaf was the very first one, and is actually all smooth and curvy lines, not choppy like it looks. The ink is messing up the pic, lol, but I like the red contrast, so I am not removing it. The beetle was the second, and it def is choppy, but still fun.

I made them with the scrap that my friend gave me to kick start my carving career. :p

Off to find new ways to avoid doing anything constructive. :D

Woven Lotus..

Woven Lotus was started by my friend (of the hot hubby here)...I'll let her speak for herself:

Welcome to The Woven Lotus, this website was created to bring together people affected by sexual assault and abuse. Inspired by Threads of Compassion to create a Georgia chapter. We work with local rape crisis centers, hospitals, behavioral health facilities, and counseling centers to supply scarves and shawls to give to victims of sexual violence.

If you can knit, crochet, or sew a shawl or scarf we need you! The victims need you. If you have any supplies you would like to donate (yarn, fabrics) we would love to receive them.

I intend to make a few shawls ( knitting and crocheting are still too dubious, lol)...wanna join me?? All the info is on her site...have a look!

Well, hmmm....

Apparently, my wire wrapping skills need a bit more practice. *ahem* Probably shouldn't have used the sterling wire for my practice, either. :D

A scrap of vintage kimono silk, backed with more kimono silk in a matching red, with a honeycomb pattern woven in.

Oh, well, I'll hang it on my Tree of Useless Things. :p

Sunday, March 30, 2008

So close....

This is what happens when you run out of the ribbon with *1* inch to go. One measly inch. That bow was NOT planned.

I think it works, though. It's a brighter green in real life, and works well with the deep turquoise.

Same as the ones before. This is the third? time I have made this set, and for some reason, I forgot EVERYTHING. I was sitting there at every step, trying to remember what the heck I did last for that step. I messed a couple things up because I did them wrong, cause I couldn't remember what was the right way!! I am so bummed, cause this one was actually my favorite combination! :wah: It looks cute enough, but I can see sooo many flaws in it. :( Luckily, it still passes the galloping horse test. Or maybe that was galloping toddler test. Whatever...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Old sheets....

I have never really jumped on the vintage sheets as yardage bandwagon, cause I hate the smell, I've never really been impressed with any of the prints I ever come across, and don't really like the worn look of them in the ones I have found.

But today as I was rummaging through three bins of new home dec offcuts at Vinnie's, there was this box of old sheets there, and I got carried away (two twin flat sheets of each style, $3 each!), and came home with a buttload of offcuts, plus six sheets, visions of projects dancing in my head.

They were just perfectly worn to perfection, the prints were nice, and well...does anyone know any tips for getting that vintage smell out?? :p

Opinions, please.....

Okay, I never had a chance to use a sling, since I was bone-broke when the kiddos were little, and I just couldn't bring myself to trust the oldfashioned sarong sling my friend swore by, so I am pretty much totally clueless when it comes to them! But I am promised for one sling for my sister and her hubby, and am consequently completely befuddled when I head on out into the virtual world to look for a good pattern!

I have always loved the concept of the Mei-tei, but I think it is more for an older baby, which won't be needed immediately.

The ring sling seems to be the most recommended one out of the informal poll I pinned my friends down with, but that giant piece of hippie cloth hanging down kind of clouds my judgment, lol. I KNOW it's nothing to do with hippies, but the first ring slings I saw with any regularity were made with vibrant, psychedelic tie-dye fabrics, and now they are indelibly linked in my brain, and there is nothing I can do about it, lol. Soooo......

...does anyone out there have any opinions one THEIR favorite sling for baby to grow with??

I will be making the sling gender neutral...not because I don't believe in gender typing innocent lil babies(since having both a boy AND a girl, the whole nature versus nurture theory has been tossed RIGHT out the window, lol!), but because dads can rock a sling just as much as a mama can! (Pun COMPLETELY intended! :p)

Mum and Bubs
and the credit for the hot daddy one goes to Madhouse Mauly, cause it's her dh, and she let me pinch the picture for my own nefarious use. :p

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Okay, if I had *known*...

If I had *known* how freaking cute this was going to turn out, I would have made something else to finish out my swap package, and kept this little thing to MYSELF!!!!!

It's the FINAL addition to my 1920's swap...I KNOW I said the stamp was the final installation, but I still didn't feel right, so I came up with this ADORABLE, even if I do say so MYSELF, little purse, just big enough to stash some money, your keys, and your cell. And maybe a little lipstick. :p

I made it with this vinyl or something lined cotton, I think it's curtain material, that had been some kind of test pattern for a friend, which she passed off to me in a huge bag of fabrics and failed WIPS, that I have been picking off of for awhile now. :p The white is the color of the fabric, a kind of creamy off-white, and the red and black are fabric inks for screenprinting, that I LOVE. The saturation and coverage of them kick ass over fabric paints or acrylics mixed with mediums.

The piping and the strap are made with a microfibre fabric (check it out...I've been living over here so long, I am spelling things wrong, aka the other way!! :p), that, while they looked perfect, were just a pain in the bum to work with. All slippery and stuff. From one side of the strap to the other, on the top, there is a red zipper inset. Under the strap, around the bottom, is the original white. It's about 3/4" deep. The back is the same white stuff, painted completely, since I couldn't find a single matching red in my whole stash. And then I attempted polka dots, to match the hat. Let's just say, after about the first inch, I got really over polka dots, and they got reaaallly sloppy. :p

For the lining, I happened to find the perfect print, that looked like something you would find in a parlor in the '20's or '30's, with red and black on a creamy white background! I was thrilled, cause this particular print has been worrying me, since I haven't been able to match it with a single idea or or other fabric in my stash, and I wasn't sure if it was going to end up one of those ones you keep for 20 years, and never quite find a use for (yeah, okay, so I was premature...I only bought it a couple months ago. :P )

I admit, I had had this button in my mind when I drew the picture for the little purse. If you are the designer for this little sweetie, come out come out for your credit!

I already have another idea for another similar purse, and my dd has ordered 2 of them, lol, so I hope I'll have those up soon, too!

One thing I would change, though, I would remember to line them with a stiff interfacing. The original fabric was quite firm, but it still could have used a little more body, ykwim??

This package for my partner has FINALLY been mailed off, and it is SUCH a weight off my shoulders!!! The crushing feeling of undone obligations is KILLING!! :D

Oh, and note to all future potential swap you can see, I have never actually COMPLETELY flaked on a swap yet! rofl. No seriously, up until this one time, I have participated in quite a few swaps, and done just fine...I promise you will be fine, too! :insert big cheesy grin:

Eek!! I've been blogged!!!

Okay, I don't know if I have ever mentioned her, but I LOVE to read Corine over at Hidden In France. I am not exactly sure why, since I am not all that girly and pretty, and it's never been Someday, France.....

Though these pics are sure tempting me...

I've always been more Someday, China...

or Someday, India...

Anyway...I got a little distracted looking at all these lovely travel pictures in google. :p

Point WAS....I am not sure how I ended up addicted to her blog, but I did, and I read it faithfully. :p And then I discovered SHE reads ME, and even more, SHE BLOGGED ABOUT ME!!! I feel all giddy and starstruck, and quite loony, lol! I have to give a shout out, and say THANK YOU, Corine!! And don't forget to answer my little mini questionnaire, aka, tell me a few specifics, babe! :D

Spirit of Paris
National Geographic
National Geographic

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pay it forward...

Paying it forward is one of my favorite concepts of all time, and now it seems to have hit the blog world!! I heard about it over at Plumtickled, and of course had to join in!!

The idea is, for the first three comments left, I will make....something...and send it to you. I don't know what, yet. But if you throw me a few details, I will do my best to make it something you will like. :D In return, you "pay it forward". Post this idea on your blog, and carry it forward; make something for the first three commenters who will in it forward. :p

I am *pretty* sure I have enough readers to get three posts, lol!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I am still wildly excited. Less than five days!! :happy dance:


Holy Crap. One moment, I am waiting to hear that they finished the album, and the next, it's going to be out in ONE WEEK!!!!!!!!!! No promo, no lead-up, no singles released, NOTHING!!!

THEY being The Raconteurs.... aka Jack White's other band, with Brendan Benson, and Lil' Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of The Greenhornes. And we already know I am a White Stripes/Jack White freak, right? :lol: To say I am excited is an understatement...I am hyperventilating over here! :D

GO the BOYS!!!!! :dancedancedance: WOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pink is back...

Still going on the pink stuff....

Same pattern as Fairy dress, but with the ruffles done right. Did the button closure the same way, too. Next dress is the same pattern, too, but skip the ruffles, and extended the rest, to make it long enough.

The hem IS even...the pic is off. :p Same old linen fabric as before, with the same old stripey's still the only stuff I have that remotely matches it.

This is what these dresses STARTED as, before I morphed the pattern out of recognition. For once, I didn't do anything to this pattern, just made it as is. Only the front has the shirring, so it looks funny not on someone.

This dress, I made up from scratch.

DD suddenly decided she needed a new party dress two days before the party, so we pulled out the fabric, and got going on it. I just draped fabric on her, and marked where I wanted to cut, and then put in darts to fit. It's a little old, so it's a little tight; it's got a zip and then button straps, so we could still squeeze it on, lol. The bodice is fully lined, too, and curves on the top down to a lower depth in back. I was really proud of how nice it looked for no pattern, and only a couple hours work, since I worked for a few hours on the first day, left it for a day, and then finished the zip and hem the morning of the day of. I LOVE the fabric, and wished it was my colors, lol. It's a satin, and I was really surprised with how easy it was to work with. I swear this was some designer offcut, too, since it was really beautiful to work with, and the print was awesome. :p

And since I have crafter's ADD, and can't focus on one task at a time, I took a break from the pink, and made myself some warm pants for the coming winter, since my house is an ICEBOX, and I have thin blood from growing up in Hawaii. :P They are mega basic, and in fairly cheap fleece, since I was just seeing if it would work, since I have issues with sewing for myself, but I think they came out just fine, for lounging around the house. lol

I used the pattern sloper I created in patterndrafting class, and then laid a pair of pants that I knew I liked over them, to get dimensions I knew I wanted...I have gained weight since the pattern drafting class (UGH!), but since this was for stretch pants, I knew it would be fine. Even then, it still came out a little baggy around the waist. And they aren't hemmed, since I messed up and cut one side a little short during the drafting of the new pattern, and they were the perfect length just as is, without taking up any. Anyway, I was happy enough with them, and now I have a new pair of warm, snuggly pants to get me through the misery of winter! lol Too bad I forgot to suck in my two-babies-and-two-c secs tummy for the picture. :eyeroll: :p

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Final installation...

Okay, one last item for the 20's swap...I am already sooo late, that what's a little more, to make the package more appealing?? :eyeroll:

I have LOVED seeing other peoples' handcarved stamps, but was intimidated by it for sooo long. But then I discovered my friend, who happens to be the mom of my ds's best friend, is a ummm...I dunno what her official title would be, lol, but she does printmaking, of all sorts, the real kind, not little homemade stencils and stamps, lol. Anyway, she encouraged me to have a go at lino carving (she does BEAUTIFUL lino carving!), and gave me my first sample of lino to work with...would have lent me the carving set, too, but I had already screwed up the money and courage and bought myself one. So I had a try, and OMG, I LOVE doing it!! I am not an expert by a longshot, but the beauty of this stuff is it is BUILT for looking imperfect, and totally adds to the charm! Or so I tell myself, anyway, as I survey my latest creation. :p

The other reason I am so proud of it is that I totally freehanded the drawing out of memory, no referencing anything else, like I usually have to do, and it still came out exactly how I pictured in my head! (relatively, anyway :p ) Ignore the blotchy ink...apparently, my stamp pad is drying out...anyone know how to revive them? This one is practically shouldn't be that dead yet!

It CAME!!!

My beautiful, beautiful tote bag I won over on Rashida's blog arrived!! I looooooove it!!! And the perfect size for essentials tossed in when I go out! Woohoo!!

Thank you so much, Rashida!! (Isn't that button the cutest??) Your workmanship is IMPECCABLE! :D

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Green Dream

I am in love with this image. It just makes me feel creative...I feel like it would be what I would make, if I had the talent to pull what was in my head out onto paper..or Photoshop..or whatever.

I have no idea who made it, though. I saved it one night ages ago, during a random web crawl, and for some reason, forgot to save the name of the author. If anyone knows, would you mind awfully telling me?? Please with sugar?? :D ETA I found her!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Three things...

As I made this latest batch, I was thanking the Lord for three things:

1. Sergers. One of the BIGGEST reasons I am being so prolific right now is because how easy and awesome it is to use a serger, and get it all down in record time! And it all looks so...FINISHED! lol

2. Rolled hem foot. I would say 80 percent of everything I am making here I am using that foot for. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I've never had one before, and OMG is it easy and professional looking!

3. The Interwebs. Without it, and the kindness of strangers who post tutorials for techniques I haven't tried before, I would have been left in tears, and feeling like a total flop and failure, as I stared at my limp, floppy, retarded looking shirring for the first time. Because if I just went by the instructions on the pattern, that is all I would have had. LUCKILY, I had read up on it ahead of time, and already knew that STEAM STEAM STEAM is the key to making it work! Who knew?? Not the people writing the instructions for the pattern, apparently!!

On to the clothes. The pink saturation is slowing down.

Finally a new pattern! Woohoo! lol Ottobre 2/2005 #2, Changed very slightly, for once. Just dropped half the tiers and made it a top instead of a dress, and added the little contrast piping.

Nothing new here. Same patterns as the other ones. I'm still not totally sure about how the stripes look, but it was the only fabric I had that looked remotely right. I love this fabric. I got it at Spotlight, on clearance, for mega cheap, and I swear it is some designer end roll or something. It is a MEGA soft linen, with a BEAUTIFUL drape, and the print looks very well done, too. I don't know what it is from, but I am mourning the fact that I am reaching the bottom of it! :(

Apparently my oldest niece is a girl after my own heart..her favorite colors are greens, oranges, and browns. What a refreshing change from the usual pink! :p

I am not totally sure whether this is too much, though...I don't know her well enough to know how adventurous she is in her style, lol. I HOPE she is, and will wear this!! Made from Simplicity Lizzie McGuire 5396, but with the sleeves cut down. The green is a crinkly one, with lines of some sort woven in, and then silver threads shot through; then I put red and white polka dot bias binding around the neck. *I* would wear it, if I liked bright lime greens; now just to see if *she* will, rofl!

A word about the pattern here...I usually HATE HATE HATE Big Three patterns with a mad passion, but the Lizzie McGuire range is surprisingly good. The patterns are simple to put together, the sizing comes out well, and the fashions are trendy enough for an image conscious ten year old. I do highly recommend them, if you are looking for that kind of a pattern. Except for the deplorable lack of detail in getting perfect shirring. :p

Same pattern as above. Fabric has lines of umm...for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called, but the lines of open weaving where you can see through. How's that for technical? :p

Comfy Green

Okay, so this was supposed to be yesterday, but whatever. I fell asleep. Hmph.

My new cushion for my sewing chair. Bought it at St Vinnie's yesterday, and promptly put it where it would be properly appreciated, aka, far away from the kiddos, puppy, and dh. :p It's a nice Thai silk, too. My bum is sitting in style, yo.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Summer Green..

We have this huge tree in our backyard. I can't remember what it's called (I want to say plane tree, but I don't think that's right.) I love it so much, even though it drops a huge hit of leaves in fall, which just started over here a couple days ago. It gives us privacy from the neighbors, and from the street, helps keep the admittedly small amount of noise levels down, and keeps the yard cool, even during the summer. And it's beautiful. I stand under it every once in a while, and just feel happy it is there.

Cherries and Fairies..

A few more little girly dresses...

I made this first one at Christmas, and somehow completely forgot to post it here! I actually made three, but since they all look the same, I will spare you. :p

Ottobre 1/2005 #19. I dropped the zipper, and made a kind of button loop closure at the back, instead. This is just the back, the only really interesting part. The front is just basic round neck tunic, and I am pretty sure I did something awfully wrong on the bottom flounces, but it still came out okay. The fabric is this voile, with even finer weave in between the flowers, so it comes off so delicate, but it's still relatively sturdy. The wings were made from this stiff, sheer green stuff, that had these plastic silver and clear dewdrops scattered in waves all over, and silver holographic bits stuck on as well. Very cool. I didn't have to do anything to stiffen them, except hem the edges, which gave them a little body. Then I gathered the middle (started out kind of like a rounded rectangle), and sewed them down. I hope they keep working.

This top was made from the same pattern as the fairy dress, but I left off the flounces, cut it down a little, altered the front into a crossfront, left off the back closure, obviously, and closed the inside panel the same as the little top here. I think that was it. And changed the arm and neck linings, of course.

Okay, this is the closest I am getting to the original pattern in the Factory Sewing post. :p Dropped all the petals, obviously; changed the zipper into the lapped shoulder, closed with self covered buttons (I love self covered buttons...esp on little girl clothes! :D ), dropped the neck lining, and just bound in bias binding. And the little pants are the same, I think. I can't remember if I did anything different than the pattern said, since I never read the instructions. For either of them. Oh, yeah, I added that green striped piping thing, too...dd swears it looks wrong, but I think it's so cute, and went ahead with it, anyway. :P

Still more coming..the pile looms as large as ever!!

Emerald green

While I was growing up, emerald green was my favorite green. I would dream of sinking into it, and being surrounded by the cool peace. As I have gotten older, it has morphed into a more dusty, muted green, and more yellow-y greens, like celadon, peridot, etc. But emerald has always held a place in my heart.

Then when I married my dh, he got the idea in his head that he wanted to buy me an emerald, with no prompting at all from me. That was 15 years ago, and he never got over it. This year, for a combined birthday/anniversary present (it's in 2 days...yikes!), he bought me my first emerald. And being the wonderful hubby that he is, he didn't buy me one of those conventional, clear, gold-set, square, boring ones. Nope. He bought me a wonderfully, hugely flawed one, so amazingly flawed that you would never guess it was an emerald, until you peer into it's depths and see the fire deep inside. And set in silver. I don't think you can get more perfect than that.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


So, heard about Green Week via House On Hill Road, and naturally, had to join in. :p I'm a little late, but whatever. Green will be celebrated.

Green lorikeets...they hang out in our backyard, and come and screech on the porch til someone comes out and feeds them. Yes, that is straight sugar...the kids get right to the point.

There you have it, of the few things I really like about living in Australia. Usually I just want to go HOME...but watching the lorikeets, etc in the backyard is just magical. Except when they decide to do the screeching very first thing in the morning, and I want to throw a shoe at them.

I might as well throw in a few more gratuitous bird shots here. :p These guys are all regular visitors, too.

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