Sunday, August 29, 2010

yes, I have insomnia

I like these hours, to be honest. But they don't serve me well at 6 or 7 or 8 or even 9 am when I need to be a fully functional human.

So, let's see what I can post of interest. Which brings me to the point of this: no one actually knows I have a blog so what is of interest is really not very meaningful.. I guess I should link to FB or something to generate traffic...  anyway, that's not the point. The point is when you can't sleep you should try and sleep or else do something non-sleep that won't make you feel like you should be obsessing about not sleeping. Hopefully blogging falls into the former category.

Today I did something new. Actually I had a great day and did several interesting things. BUT. The thing relevant for this blog is that I made a quilt top recently, then pieced a back, and decided that I didn't want to try and (lamely) quilt a large quilt on my little regular machine so I will use a quilting service. Then at least 3-4 weeks went by while we camped and did ?? and then went to the Lair before I did anything and then TODAY I took the quilt and back to our local quilt fabric store (Quilt Fans) and left it for a professional quilting service to quilt. IT WAS A LITTLE SCARY!.  I know that sounds silly, but I left the top and back there with some backing and my name and address...and that was about it. About 3 weeks from now I'll get it back for binding and then it'll be a real quilt.

Quilt top - pattern from "Quilts and More Fall 2009), fabrics are various from my stash including Joel Dewberry, Valori Wells, and others...
The back is pieced too (not very complex) - so hopefully it will turn out really cool - I guess it will be a little small for our bed (intended use), but for summer use should suffice. Guess I'll need to make more quilts. darn.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

more on Serger obsession...

Well, I asked for a serger for my birthday. But not a fancy Husqvarna one, because that is not in our budget. I asked DH for a Brother 1034D  because it gets great reviews all over the web, it IS in a reasonable budget range, and I have been obsessed with having a serger lately. 

I guess if some miracle occurs and I win a fancy serger in a contest I can always return the gift, but I figured I'd hedge my bets. I have projects to do!!
  1. wrap dress with knit fabric I've had for about 2 years, and the pattern I bought a month ago in anticipation that I would have a serger at long last.
  2. T-shirt quilt for Teen Wonder - I think a serger would make it possible to piece without having to fuse stabilizer to all the t-shirt fragments...but I could be wrong about this. It will be an EXPERIMENT! yay!
  3. napkins and/or tablecloth. I hate and refuse to buy paper napkins for everyday use - we have cloth ones but they do get nasty stained after awhile and it would be so fun to make some out of fabric that I love. A patchwork tablecloth could be fun too...but even being able to make some out of inexpensive broadcloth to match cool napkins would be great.  *It should be noted that no one else in my house notices the color coordinated sets that we already have and that our table never is set in a matchy-matchy way unless I'm doing the setting...which isn't my chore anymore thanks to Teen Wonder.
  4. 5 minute skirt from Angry Chicken which only takes 5 minutes if you have a serger (and if you are sober and have all supplies on hand...but never mind those other requirements if you don't have the serger!)
  5. Christmas handmade gifts that have yet to be identified but which will obviously be easier to whip out with a serger. duh.

The Transformative Power of a Serger


"I'm skilled enough, I'm motivated enough, and doggone it my regular sewing machine loves me"

"i think i can, i think i can, i think i can, i think i can..."

yeah, no matter how hard I try, no amount of , motivational meditation or courage boosting self-talk can help me overcome my fear of this:

Looks easy, right? Kwik Sew 3489

What's the deal? Well, I have a great dress that I wanted to copy, and this is virtually the same pattern. I have a big piece of knit fabric I bought in a clearance bin a couple of years ago because I really liked it and thought "hey I could make a great skirt or wrap dress like that one in my closet out of this".  But all the fabric edges and hems are done with a serger and I couldn't wrap my head around a wrap dress out of knit that required me to do rolled hems (something I've never done) or some other work-around to achieve a reasonably attractive results (i.e. something I'd wear).

I haven't been able to justify spending money on a serger yet and keep racking up projects that really require one (or at least are meant to be done with one). So, imagine my delight when I saw the giveaway at Sew, Mama, Sew! for a fancy Husqvarna Viking Serger! 

The more I think about it, the more ideas pop into my head of things I could do with a serger - napkins, pieced silk scarves, easy knit PJ pants for Wild Thing and Teen Wonder...not to mention all the things I don't know about yet because I've never had a serger!

This serger will surely transform my crafty life!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Craft Porn

Nothing like impulsive shopping to take the edge off your lack of control.  Seems ironic, doesn't it?  You have anxiety from the crazy out-of-control life you lead, so you compulsively buy (insert favorite indulgence here) to exert control over said life.  For me, it's become craft magazines and books. And blogs too, but there's nothing like holding a new compilation of patterns and articles and flipping through the pages. I for one forget everything else for a few minutes and daydream of all the things I could make.

If I'd just stop browsing and start working!!

Okay, I do have a few FOs, and WIPs I snapped photos of - they are posted on my flickr account (link over there --->  but since that requires an extra click, I'll post them here.

Sasha's Sherwood - pattern from, knit in Brown Sheep cotton fleece

The Market Shawl - in Noro Cash Iroha (mmmm...). I knit this on our vacation because it was a good mindless knit. The "ladders" come at the end when you drop stitches and unravel them to the other end. That was pretty cool.
close up of the ladders...
this is a WIP - Grace's Heather Hoodie - the back is done and I'm working on the fronts.

So...I'll post something about my new craft porn next time - I did this crazy thing a while back and joined "Crafter's ???Club" or something like that. It's like the old record clubs we had when I was a teen, but it's much easier to get out of, they don't automatically send you something you don't want every month, and then once in awhile I go on their site and there are books on sale! What can a girl do?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Kitchen explosions!

Lot of cooking going here in the past 24 hours!  Last night an old friend from graduate school visited, and I invited several other friends and family who know him to come for a dinner party. I am hooked on and made a recipe I'd already tried for Scallop Ceviche, then a new one for a Grilled Tri-tip (with Tequila Marinade) and a Tomato Relish.  YUM!

I would make the marinade again and maybe the relish too (easy and tasty, but not essential for the meal).  The good thing about having friends like these over is that they couldn't care less that your kitchen looks like a bomb hit it and you didn't vacuum and the bathroom is sort of grungy looking... as long as the food is good, you are all set!

A "mini-reunion" of some grad school friends. (sorry for tiny picture - I'll get better at the logistics of bloggin)

Today is all about making a blueberry pie for my dear Megan - we're going over for a visit this afternoon and what is more healing than a fresh blueberry pie?  So the kitchen is a mess again, but it sure smells good in here!

Still in the oven...


Friday, August 6, 2010

Inaugural Post: The LEGO Cake!

After years of following blogs, drooling over photos of knitting/quilts/baked goods/craft tutorials - I've set up a blog. What pushed me over the edge?
the LEGO cake.
When you spend a lot of time on a project, Facebook and Flickr just aren't enough to fulfill the urge to share (boast?). Anyway, I spend an inordinate amount of time planning birthday parties for the kids. It is a long-standing tradition by now and includes esoteric themes (Chinese Wizard Dragon Party, anyone?) with all accompanying accoutrement such as custom cakes, decorations, games, and even costume items. This year was "Bionicle/Lego" theme. Among our many special preparations, the best were: 1) invitations crafted from downloaded images including a special lego boy wearing a batman T-shirt; 2) the ingenious idea to haul the old train table into the backyard (party site) and dump a 6 pound box of LEGOs from ebay onto it; and 3) the LEGO cake!

yes - it turned out pretty well! This was a time consuming project though...