Friday, July 30, 2010

Well, it's official!!!

I'm on Etsy!!! My goal was to get it fully up & running & have stuff listed by the end of the month. I know one item isn't exactly "stuff," but it's a start. Right?

I'm thankful to all of you who kept telling me over & over, "well, you really should check out Etsy." I needed the gentle prodding (well, outright nagging from some of you!), and probably wouldn't have gotten to this point without it. A huge thank you to you all - you know who you are!

I'm going to try my hardest to get some more items up & listed yet this week. I'm getting swamped with so many requests for the LOP purse that I haven't even had a chance to make anything different for people to choose from. Ha! Of course it has to be on what is probably the most time consuming pattern I work on! But it's okay because I absolutely love the purse & love to make people happy.

So keep checking back (and of course I'll keep sharing here) for new items to be listed & let me know what you'd like to see!

Thanks a million, again, to everyone. :)

Until next time...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

TWT - Lilly on Water

I'm not entirely sure what kind of lilly this is or what kind of plant is on the water (it might look scummy from a distance, but it's actually little tiny plants), but I just love how this one had fallen into the water.

Taken at the "pot holes" at Taylors Falls recently.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Progress: Week 2

Other than being a day late posting this, I did well last week!

Five projects for the week: I haven't posted pictures of anything yet, but I went back to the hook & crocheted two hats, made a cute little coin purse, KeykaLou box wallet, and embroidered a hand towel. I'll put up pictures of projects later.

New pattern this week was the box wallet. I did work on all small projects this week, but that doesn't necessarily make them quicker or easier! Sometimes the small projects are harder, just to try to get into all the little places decent. Of course I went off & gave away the wallet before I took pictures, but it's definitely on my list of projects to do again, so I'll get a picture next time. :)

Still doing well with no finished projects posted on FB! It's been kind of hard because I do want to share with people, but it's getting easier.

No more work yet on the Etsy shop, so hopefully I'll get some major sewing done this week. I really need to get at least a few things listed before the first of August for reasons I can't share just yet. You'll just have to wait to find out! :)

I haven't started actually working on Christmas presents yet, but I've got ideas swirling around in my head like crazy. I just need to settle on something!

I'm working on the Origami Imposter head a lot - in my head. Nothing down on paper or fabric yet, but the more I work out in my head ahead of time (how's that for an awkward phrase?), the easier I think it will be. I hope.

Not a bad week! What did you get done?

Until next time...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

TWT - Visions in Plaid

This is Nick & I at a wedding about three years ago. Yes, we are at a baseball diamond. Yes, this was the wedding. It was pretty cool, they got married on the pitchers mound. They both played softball/baseball & sports are a very big part of their life, so it just made perfect sense.

This dress needs to come out of my closet a little more often - I love it! I just don't wear dresses on a regular basis, and don't really get a lot of good excuses to wear it. Maybe it's time to just make one!

Until next time...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Progress: Week 1

More like week 0.5, since I just set the goals on Thursday, but all the same I'm pretty happy to have met my three weekly goals.

First - five projects per week. Just finished up number five!

I did the first LOP purse earlier this week, and finished up the second today. Each time through a pattern is a little easier than the last, and this time was no different. Definitely much happier with the overall project this time. And it turned out super cute!

I actually managed to get the flap sewn on the right direction & everything! I like how the interfacing is stiff enough that the purse actually stands up & doesn't slouch & spill everything all over the place.

My "tag." :) Handstitched.

Other projects this week:

Wallet. Mostly happy with how this turned out. Still not sure what I think of the VELCRO, and think I'll make the next with magnetic snaps.

Cell phone pouch. It fits my phone & skinny tube of chapstick/lipstick perfectly, as well as a couple cards & some cash in the back pocket. Also did the brand tag on this one, but it ended up too low & hard to see.

Probably my favorite thing this week was this simple little guy, whipped up in about 10 minutes, tops. Find the instructions here, found on this week's We Did it Wednesday at Sew Much Ado. Seriously, this little guy is absolutely perfect for me. I'm forever leaving my pin cushion on the ironing board or back of the couch (don't ask - remember, the house is a disaster).

I also did a little coin purse trying out a new pattern, but used scrap felt & one of the zippers I took out of the pillow cover bags, so I'll save it for another day, and another prettier try. :)

Goal two: at least one new pattern. Well, everything was new this week, except the second LOP purse, but the first time was new! :)

I did cave & put pictures of the wallet up on FB, but only because it was specifically for someone & wanted to share the pictures with her. So it doesn't count! :)

I'm still working on the Etsy shop, Christmas gifts, and Origami Imposter bag. All in all, not a bad week!

Until next time...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blog Roll: Sew a Straight Line

First of all, big thanks to Sabra at Sew a Straight Line for including me in her compilation of Domesticated Skirts. It's so fun to see what others have come up with for the same pattern.

I found Sabra through Sew Much Ado a month or so ago when she shared the domesticated skirt on the We Did it Wednesday. I've had a lot of fun going back through her old projects & look forward to her sewing lessons as she works her way through an old sewing textbook. I think it's a fantastic idea & know her blog is a great resource for new ideas & instructions.

Be sure to check her out!

Until next time...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Goals

I’m failing miserably at my original goals for the summer, but in my own defense, I think I needed a break from crochet so it’s quite alright. And really, looking back, I haven't done half-bad. The only things I haven't gotten around to are the crochet motifs & more items for MCK. Not as bad as I thought!

Today I’ve come up with a few new goals for the next month & a half!

--Create at least 5 items per week.
--Try at least one new pattern per week.
--Don’t post any finished projects on FB. One of my big roadblocks to the Etsy shop is items keep getting snapped up from friends on FB. I will continue to blog new projects though, so no worries here! This will also be helped by the fact that I will no longer be showing off items at work after next week.
--Have the Etsy shop fully up, running, and partially “stocked” by the end of August.
--Start planning Christmas presents. :)
--Get everything ironed out with the Origami Imposter bag, and maybe (maybe!) post a tutorial.

So…let’s see how this goes! :)

Until next time…

TWT - Raven Baby

This is one of my favorite pictures of Raven when we first got her – 4 years ago in August! It’s hard to believe she’s been with us that long, and yet I can hardly remember life without her.

She has always loved to sleep with her head up on something – anything. I don’t see how this could have been comfortable, but it wasn’t the only time we found her sleeping like this. Even now, she’s most happy when she can lay with her head up on a pillow, a blanket, or even a different floor surface than the rest of her body.

Until next time…

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

LOTS of pockets!

Finally got the Keyka Lou Lots of Pockets purse finished up around 11:00 last night. I was wa-a-ay too tired to actually write about it then, but very happy to have it finished up.

Side note - also happy to have gotten smart & thought to use the coat rack to hang purses on to photograph instead of the pantry door. :)

You can't really see the flap from here (more on that in a bit), but it attaches to the inside of the purse with a magnetic snap. Oh boy do I love these magnetic snaps. The flap is the polka dot print that matches the lining & "pant style" pockets. These pockets are great for keeping phone, sunglasses, & keys nice & handy.

Here is is where the flap is supposed to sit - on the outside of the purse. Somehow I managed to sew it in backwards though, and of course didn't realize it until it was all sewn together & I was getting ready to put the other half of the snap on. Thankfully, it actually works out pretty well attaching to the inside, I just happen to like the way it looks better this way, but at least it's still functional. Can't beat that kind of mistake. :)

Two simple flat pockets on the inside & a nice flat bottom. I forgot to take a picture of it sitting on the counter, but because of the nice heavy interfacing I used it actually sits up nicely & doesn't slouch. I didn't intend for it to be quite that sturdy, but again, a happy thing (I won't call this one a mistake!).

I'm thinking I could make the bag reversible, but then the cool pockets would be on the inside. It doesn't really work with this one because the interfacing is so rigid, so it sits funny, but it's another option.

Hey look! It's snaps correctly this way! ;) Although, it's pretty much impossible to see because those polka dots are so dizzying.

Quite possibly the worst picture of me - ever! BUT - personally I hate seeing a bag photographed solely on its own & not knowing it's proportions compared to a person. How big is it really? How long are the straps? Where is it going to sit on me when I carry it? Now you can tell for yourself. Oh, the sacrifices I make for you guys. :)

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Or the messy countertop.)

You might be asking - why I didn't have my fantastic hubby take the picture for me? Well, he looked pretty similar to this, only sans the moose. :)

My original plan after finishing this up was to not make one again any time soon! But of course I had to go & show it off at work & now have a couple orders for more. Oh, the trouble I get myself into sometimes! :) But really, I think most of my troubles were due to the fact that it was my first run through the pattern and most of the work was done when I was dog-tired & late at night. Some daytime sewing should move things along at a better pace next time.

Changes in mind for next time: wider straps - these ones are just a bit too narrow for me (about 3/4"); going to try a single strap from the sides instead of the double straps; thinking about sizing it up; thinking about chopping it shorter, but keeping the same basic shape/size otherwise; maybe adding a divider on the inside. Ummm...I know there were more I thought of as I was going to sleep last night, but they're long gone by now. I think I'm lucky to have remembered this much. :)

Until next time...

Work in Progress

I started they Keyka Lou Lots of Pockets pattern Monday night. Got all the pattern pieces cut out & interfacing ironed on. Last night I started sewing everything together, hoping to get it finished up. Unfortunately "lots of pockets" translates to LOTS of pattern pieces with lots of little details. I think it'll be worth it in the end, but the process is slow. So far I really like how everything is coming together.

This is the bag lining, with the pocket made from the main body fabric.

Until next time...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Keyka Lou Envelope Clutches

First off, you'll have to forgive me. These are all in complete reverse order & I'm both too tired & too lazy to bother with it. So tired, in fact, when I went to grab a fresh DDP to put in the fridge & open a cold one, I got the warm one from the case, walked back into the kitchen (I keep the case in one of the bedrooms - don't ask, I don't even know why), and promptly opened the warm one to pour in my glass. Ugh... I should be skipping the drink & going straight to bed, but I've got a little blogging to catch up on, so here goes.

I love these Keyka Lou envelope clutch patterns & have had a lot of fun making them. I picked up some more of her patterns as well & can't wait to try them out. Her instructions are fantastic & come with lots of good pictures. Definitely check them out if you're interested - or just order the finished product from me! :)

If you want to see my progression from where I started to where I am now, go from the bottom up. If you don't care & just want me to get on with it already & see what I've made, then be lazy like I am right now & just read top down like a normal person. :)

Here's the clutch I just finished up, and being the last, it's by far the best of the group. I'm getting the round corners worked out & am really happy with how the button & loop worked out. As you'll see eventually, my first attempt ended up with way too big of a loop of elastic, the button not quite centered with the loop, and the flap coming way too far down on the clutch. I'm happy to be improving.

My first attempt at embroidering a project (I'm not exactly counting the brand the other night). Just some simple stitching around the polka dots on the outside. I'm pretty happy with it. My stitches aren't perfect (it is my first try, after all!), and I kind of wish I had gone with a lighter pink instead of picking one to match exactly. Either way I love the effect though & look forward to more embellishing with embroidery. The top of the flap is still pretty wonky here where I had to slip stitch it closed. The last one (see above) was much better.

The first mini envelope clutch. I just used some of the scraps I had sitting around from the pillow cover bags & the failed cutting for the Origami Imposter bag (which I swear I haven't forgotten about! It's just so much easier to work from actual patterns & instructions instead of just making sense of what's in my head!). The sewing on the flap of this one isn't too terrible, but not great either. I also need to find something other than these little snaps to use as closures, I'm not happy with how they look once they're sewn on & they feel like they're going to pull off the clutch every time I try to unsnap them.

Size comparison between the regular & mini envelope clutches. I'm considering trying to resize the pattern a little to get a mid-size & maybe a bigger one, but that's WAY down on the to-do list.

This one uses the same fabric as I used for my domesticated skirt (speaking of which, I really need to take some new pictures since I got it all hemmed up!). I used some of the fabric to make another skirt for a lady at work who liked mine & thought she might like a matching clutch as well (turned out I was right!). This was the second large clutch I made & it came together much quicker & easier than the first since I had an idea of what I was doing. Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention when I cut the lining fabric & of course all the butterflies ended up on the inside where they can't be seen. Go figure.

I definitely like the magnetic closure on this one & had intended to use it on the one I made today (brown & pink paisley, above), but forgot to add the piece to the pocket & was forced to use the button & loop again (which actually worked about much better than expected).

The very first clutch! My friend's birthday was July 4 & we were meeting them to go out Saturday night. I knew I wanted to make something for her but didn't know exactly what yet & hadn't gotten a chance to actually do it. About 2:00 Saturday afternoon I finished up with another project I was working on & decided I would make her one of these (we were leaving the house at 5:30 & I still had to shower/get ready to go out). It took about 2 hours, including time to cut out the pattern pieces, so I was pretty darn happy with myself.

Like I said before, the elastic on this one got a little long & I made my seam allowances too small, so when closed, then button ended up being practically at the bottom of the bag. I also centered it on the bag, not on the loop closure, so it's a little wonky. Overall, it didn't turn out bad though & I was pretty darn happy for my very first try.

So that's my (reverse) progression through the envelope clutches. I'm in the process of getting fabric cut out for my next project & can't wait to share it!

Until next time...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cherry Lane Textiles

Here's the fantastic fabric I won from Katie at Notes From a Very Red Kitchen a couple weeks ago. It's from Cherry Lane Textiles, which I haven't ordered from before, but is definitely going on my list! I love how she tied them up with a piece of scrap fabric. It's a small detail, but really cute.

I think the umbrella one on the lower right is my favorite.

I'm not certain yet what I'm going to make with any of it yet, since I've got other plans for when I make the Ruby Lou doll, but I'm sure I'll find something.

Thanks again, Katie!

Until next time...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Take a stab at it...

My first attempt at embroidery. Not too shabby! I decided to just play around on a piece of scrap fabric & kind of wish I had used something a little bigger now so I could make some sort of patch out of it, but it's not too tiny (the design itself is about 1.5 inches across), so I may still try to do something with it. At the very least it's going up on the bulletin board.

Over lunch today I checked out a great embroidery book at Barnes & Noble, Embroidered Effects, which I'm pretty sure I first read about over at Notes From a Very Red Kitchen. I decided to check & see if the local library had the book so I could check it out more thoroughly before I buy it, but did some browsing while I was there. Unfortunately, the library doesn't have it, so after I check to see if they have anything better tomorrow (just checked online today), I'll probably go ahead & order it from Amazon. I would love to be able to add personalization to my finished projects, and love the look of the embroidering that accents the pattern in the fabrics.

My little French knots at the sides of my design were totally from memory from skimming the book today, so I know they aren't perfect. The first one actually worked up the very first time, though I'm not exactly sure how. The second one (actually on the left) took a few tries, and it's far from perfect, but it still looks cute.

And yes, if you're keeping tabs (or just paying very close attention!), this is the brand I came up with a couple weeks ago. :) I'm thinking about using this in place of a tag in my items, and just stitch it in by hand. I know it doesn't have to do with the MCC name, but I'm working on that too. MCC doesn't work up quite as cool as the NWB, and I'm thinking about doing everything as My Crafty Crap by NWB Designs, but I don't know yet. I can use a "logo" that doesn't have to do with my name, right?

As far as the overall embroidering experience for my first try? I loved it! It's going to be time consuming to learn, but I think it adds a certain touch that will set stuff apart. One part I really don't like though - stabbing myself, continually, with the needle. Thankfully, for some reason it didn't hurt nearly as badly as stabbing myself with my sewing pins. Figure that one out, will you... :)

Until next time...

Sometimes life gets in the way of…well, itself

(If you’re not interested in my boring personal life, just go ahead & skip right over this today, no crafting [crap or otherwise!] involved here, just a little explanation for the lack thereof)

After my marathon sewing session this past weekend (one pillow cover bag, two large Keyka Lou envelope clutches, one small envelope clutch, and a domesticated skirt) in the midst of our house projects, I haven’t touched the sewing machine all week. Tuesday night I did cut out fabric & iron on interfacing for another set of envelope clutches, but then I realized I cut the fabric pieces too small, decided I was too tired to bother with it, and haven’t gotten back to it yet. I have major plans for this weekend to finish up those clutches & try out some new patterns, but in the mean time, I’m just taking a break.

You see, we’re going through some pretty big changes in our household. Not only are we in the middle of a not-entirely-voluntary-half-house-remodel (which has things in total chaos, the only plus being that I’m able to set up the sewing machine in the living room), but Nick just decided to change roles at work, and I just quit my job (as in, gave notice today!) to take one much, much closer to home. Thankfully, I’ve had some time to think over the decision & am at the point that I am very comfortable with it, and know it is the right choice to make. I’m not going into this wondering if I might be making a mistake, which is much more comforting, but didn’t make giving notice this morning any easier.

With the combined stress of the house stuff and both our job issues (though, thankfully, Nick’s was only a week or so process, instead of months-long), I haven’t been sleeping well and my crafting mojo has finally taken a hit. After the fabric cutting incident Tuesday night, I decided it was a good idea to hang up all things crafty, and take a break, even if only for a couple days. The relief of having today over with makes me feel ready to jump right back in though, and I’m excited about trying out some new stuff in the coming weeks.

The best part of all this job stuff is that I am gaining back quite a bit of time I was losing every day sitting in traffic & waiting for Nick after work, so I should have more time for stuff around the house and more crafty crap! And, as a treat to myself, I’m taking off a week between jobs! While I know I will have some house duties to take care of, and have been threatened with a growing honey-do list, I plan to take a majority of the free time to sew-sew-sew & get my Etsy shop fully up and running!

So that’s life in our little corner of the world right now, hope yours is going well!

(okay…so maybe there was a little more crafting talk than I expected…)

Until next time…

Thursday, July 8, 2010

TWT - Jamaican Sunset

We had the most amazing sunset on our last night in Jamaica last year, I took so many pictures of it while we were having our last dinner out on the patio. This one is by far my favorite.

Until next time...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blog Changes

Slowly but surely I'm getting things a little more personalized around here. Thoughts on the new banner? I know it doesn't have much to do with crafty crap, but it's from one of my favorites, so I couldn't help it! :)

Argh...just looked at the blog in IE & it doesn't look the same as in Google Chrome...back to the drawing board. :(

Until next time...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A word from the now wiser

A little tip, not that I learned this first-hand the hard way or anything. ;)

Um...don't cut fabric for a pattern that only exists in your head at 11:00 at night when you've been sick for a week & have hardly gotten any sleep and are having troubles just keeping your eyes open. Chances are if your eyes are burning like that, you're too tired to be thinking cleary, and are likely to cut half your pieces from the wrong side of the fabric.

Or so I've heard...ugh.

Until next time...


Big thanks to Bree over at B Sew Crafty for such kind words yesterday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

TWT - America

In celebration of the Fourth of July this weekend, I thought I'd share something a little patriotic this weekend.

I took these a few years ago when I was doing a mini photo shoot with a friend for her husband who was overseas in the Army at the time. I took some time to take some general shots while we were out because I just loved this statue. I keep meaning to get back out there (it's not far from me), but haven't had a chance.

These were both taken with my old 35mm Pentax K1000. I hope you enjoy, these are some of my favorite shots.

Oh, and I did share these in Pioneer Woman's photography assignment for this week as well. :)

Until next time...

Blog Roll: B Sew Crafty

Here’s how big of a dork I am: I saw this morning that I have my first follower, and I can’t tell you how excited I am! And it’s not even a family member, so she’s not even required to like me! :)

And she has the coolest name ever. Hi Bree! :)

I’m already a follower of her blog, B Sew Crafty, and was planning on featuring her first when I started my blog roll posts, so now seems like a perfect time to start! Quick, go visit her & then when she gets to be one of the super famous blogs, you can say you followed her way back when she started out.

I had planned on waiting to feature her until I got to try this great tutorial, but didn’t get to it last night like I had hoped, so I’ll have to update on that later.

Bree is just starting out on her crafting blog, similar to myself, and I can’t wait to see what she has to share. She also introduced me (though I’m sure she didn’t know until now) to Keyka Lou Patterns, which I’m really looking forward to trying out.

Until next time...