Thursday, August 18, 2011

come on over!

Given the ranting of my last post, who am I kidding? I figured out how to import all my posts over to my website, so come on over! 
the blog part works (in preview, the pictures look broken, but if you click the actual post, they're all there. not sure how much time I want to invest in moving all the pictures and fixing all the links)
if you're a subscriber to THIS blog, please switch over to instead...
THANKS so much!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Warning: feel free to skip the words and look at the pictures. Just prepare to be disappointed by my pictures.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I started this blog just to keep track (albeit in a public way) of my crafty adventures. I do not strive to earn money by blogging, nor do I try to entice random subscribers to read. This is a selfish blog. For me to track my own progress, and perhaps to allow me to connect with other crafters out in the world. I am not a professional photographer. I am not a professional writer. I am not a professional crafter. I am a mom. I need to make something, to accomplish something tangible on a daily basis, because being a stay-at-home mom is very hard.

Occasionally I get caught up in the lure of professional blogging, and therefore edit my projects, or refrain from sharing something because it is imperfect, or imperfectly photographed. But then when I try to refer back, I realize I never showed that, or worse, because it was finished last minute, and I didn't have the "nice" camera, I never recorded it.

Tonight I made a backpack. I want one for me. A light but comfy one (ie, no laptop compartment, but yes wide padded straps), for packing a picnic lunch in, or snacks, etc when we hike about the hill. I used today's junk mail to draw out what I wanted (after looking at pinterest and google images for inspiration first). I raided the garage for some of Grandma's old fabric (I wound up with some kind of weird polyester/wool blend, maybe? Strong and SUPER itchy!), didn't bother ironing it, or checking grain, (even though it's plaid). I had 2 kids "helping" me throughout the drafting, cutting, sewing process, and it's JUST a test. For size, for construction; A TEST.

I finished it. D won't pose in it (even though it fits him perfectly), because it is (VERY) itchy (what can I say, I knew I would NEVER use this fabric for anything other than a tester). 

So I tried it on the bean. But she's too tiny:

Indietute's Toddler Backpack would be PERFECT for her. but she doesn't actually need  a backpack
Then I took pics on the floor:

At night, with artificial light, with an iPhone.
I tried to improve things by posing the backpack on a toddler chair:
But I haven't ironed the fabric (for the record, the lack of ironing is not ONLY laziness, but also a general fear that this gross fabric might melt and ruin my new Miracle Board ironing cover (which I love) and make me sad).
So it isn't showing up well. Here's the dilemma. Do I hold off posting it, waiting for that perfect day/weather/time/model/setting/cameraso that I can stage it and stuff it and make it catalog worthy? Or do I accept that that time might never come, seize the moment, and just post it as is, knowing that, as it was a success, pattern wise, I will make more, prettier, soon?
Obviously I have decided to post now, unedited. I hope you, dear random reader, will not think less of me for my realistic posts, but rather be inspired to play around, make mistakes, enjoy the process, and share your unedited moments.

I think this is especially affecting me right now because my wonderful hubs, knowing that I want to sell patterns, eventually, has built me a fancy, reasonably professional website. Once I figure out how to do all the fancy things (and import this blogger site over) I'll switch over to that one exclusively... The thing is, while I want to present myself professionally, I also want to show my imperfections... I CAN make a perfect quilt/backpack/dress/mens-shirt, but it takes practice and testing etc, and even when things are made perfectly, they don't always photograph well... So here's my promise (or my threat, depending on your point of view)... I will "feature" my best work, but always post the random/off/mistakes/tests that are so much a part of creating. 

Am I overthinking? probably. Sorry. But professional craft blogging is so prevalent, I feel that I need to shout : THIS IS MY CRAFT JOURNAL, NOT A CRAFT BLOG or something so that I don't get judged for the poor photography, lack of freebies, etc, and so people realize that I am just a mom, trying to make something personal, record it, and perhaps inspire others to do the same.

Me and Roxie

This is Roxie:
I have a post, just for her, coming soon. 
last night, she and I worked for about 8 hours on a quilt top using Jay McCarroll's Habitat Fabric for an LAMQG challenge (sponsored by FreeSpirit, who makes the fabric)... Roxie is AWESOME (and powerful! and beautiful! and amazing, and EIGHTY YEARS OLD!)
ok, so she didn't do the blanket stitches, because she's just a straight-stitcher, but my Bernina (who still needs a name, and a cover, to be honest) is willing to pitch-hit.
I asked my friends on Facebook to help me name her, and Tess reminded me that Roxie is the perfect name for her (For some reason, the Chicago soundtrack had been in my head the whole time I was working on cleaning her, and I had mentioned that to Tess, and ... yeah, I'm an idiot not to have made the connection, but luckily, Tess is super smart.)
Anyway, I made these little travel sewing kits, (Tess chose the bottom one, lined with Kona Espresso)... 
Shall I do a giveaway for the top one, or sell it on Etsy... not sure... stay tuned, I have an idea....

Green baby pants

with cargo pockets!
ok, maybe they're fake cargo pockets, but they're SO cute!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Physical toll.

252 petals have been traced onto "steam-a-seam 2 lite." My hands are blue. I can't wash the Sharpie off. But then I look at my quilt, with the kids played with today, and C snuggled under tonight, and radiator is now attacking, and blue hands are SO not a big deal.

My most appreciated project EVER

please excuse the ketchup-y child
PapaDoll. He's sleeping because he's tired. He is oh so loved.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Crafting in a pet-full home.

Radiator, keeping me company while I stitch.

the poor thing only gets the teeniest edge of the quilt for a bed.

but watch out, he likes attacking the thread as it moves.

and here's Harper, in my scrap bin.

As he is the world's most patient and tolerant dog with my kiddos, I will be patient and tolerant about him being IN MY SCRAPS.

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Bath Ninjas!

I can't find any pictures of the original ninja (sad!), but this morning I made ninja #6...
For xmas last year, my sister suggested making her son a hooded bath towel that had ninja eyes, because my nephew was really into ninjas. So I bought some black towels, and whipped that out, but it seemed like a pretty meager gift. So I experimented a little, and used the scraps and some safety-eyes, and made a bath ninja to accompany the towel. And then D saw the testers, and fell in love, and then the bean needed one too. it's basically a stuffed toy mixed with a washcloth, and my kids are NUTS for theirs. 
So nuts that the Bean wore hers out. so today I had to make her a new one, and so here they are, playing with their bathninjas. (that's what they call them. bathninjas. one word.)

ninjas peeking over the tub

exploding attack
more peeking
close up of today's ninja
the original ninja
Let me know if you want the pattern/tutorial, and I'll try to get it done this week....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Shorts!

Step 1. find an old/stained tank top. (or t-shirt).
Turn it inside out, fold it in half so the side seams are together (on the left in the photo below)
Use the existing hem, and cut the tank parallel to the hem as long as you want the shorts to be (plus 1.5-2 inches)
Cut a J, about 1.5 inches wide, and 2/3 of the height (you can see I started with a small J, and kept making it longer and longer.
Open the tank flat, and sew the Js together.(yellow stitches. I used my serger, but if you don't have one, use a stretch/ball point needle, and a zigzag stitch. Or don't, just leave the edges raw.)
Cut off the remaining side-seams (the part left at the bottom of the J), and line them up, with the J seams straight. (hmmm. I think the picture above is WAY more clear than my words.)
Sew those raw edges together (if you have a serger, these are the threads to tuck in, so you don't get itchy edges).
Turn right side out. Fold over the top, to the inside, and use elastic thread to shir through the fold, gathering the waist. I went around 2.5 times, and then my bobbin was empty, and the Bean didn't want to wait for me to wind a new bobbin. So these aren't tooooo shirred, but they're shirred enough to stay up. 
Because I'm sewing for a 2 year old and the tank is an adult medium, they're going to be roomy, so perfection in size doesn't matter. You don't need a pattern for something this simple....