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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Howdy from Texas

I guess I failed in keeping up with this blog more as I had hoped. So much has happened between my last blog post and now.

Last year right before Christmas, we packed up the condo in Virginia and moved to Texas. We officially moved to Austin on January 9th. Then we lost my sister-in-law Penny to cancer soon after. It was a rough beginning of the year.

The rest of the year has been great. Atom loves his job (that did not take long to find, he actually was hired before we moved), and the boys and I are loving our moms group that I just happened to stumble upon. I have many woman-crushes in this awesome group of ladies. Lucky for me, quite a few are crafty ladies such as myself. It's really nice to be around like-minded ladies.

We are currently renting a home while we wait out our 3-year short-sale punishment. Yeah, we were not going to wait a decade for our property value on the condo to finally get to where it needed to be in order to move out of Virginia. We decided it would totally be worth it to just get the heck out of that condo. We left some great people behind, but the walls on that place were starting to close in on us. We have already been here a year, so in 2 more years we will start looking for our forever home.

One of the benefits to being in a bigger home (we have 1K more square feet here than we did in the condo, plus an extra bedroom) is that I get to have a dedicated craft room. Well, it's also a guest room too since we have a futon in there, but it's more craft than guest room.

I am buying my sister-in-law's Bernina from my brother for a steal. She had also acquired my mom's sewing table when she passed away years ago, which I am happy to say is now in my craft room. I remember sitting next to my mom for countless hours watching her sew. That is pretty much how I learned how to sew.

Now that I have the sewing table, our little IKEA desk is an open workspace. I put my Silhouette machine there, so now it doesn't have to live on the floor under my serger table. Atom uses this room from time to time, when he works from home or is doing general home office work, so now he can use the desk without a big sewing machine in his face. I do have to say it was nice having the roll out keyboard shelf while sewing. If I needed to mark my fabric or measure, it was handy to have that right in front of me. If I can keep my sewing table clear (ha, ha, ha) I can use the space there I guess.

However, I do lose my awesome supply shelves being in front of me while working. Those are our old CD shelves that Atom wanted to get rid of. I said, "HECK NO!" and repurposed those babies. All I need is a giant work table and it would be my dream craft room. I am about to make four 18foot curtains for a friend and I could use the workspace. I guess the dining room table will have to do.

So there it is! A dedicated space for creating. Now to find the time :) I picked up my knitting needles again and have been burning through yarn. That only requires a space on the couch though. I have to start using free time for building my resume and portfolio, because I am heading back into the workforce next school year (hopefully). So, who knows when my next blog post will be. Until then, I hope your new year is a great one. Happy New Year! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sorry for the disappearance!

Hello! I know, I know...why do I even have a blog if I'm just going to up and disappear on you? Well I had baby, so cut me some slack. You can read all about it on the family blog, where you can get all the details and see all the baby pics. If that is too much work for you, here is a picture of Wyatt in the bath, you lazy-pants!

It has taken a little time to adjust to having another tiny baby. I forgot about that lack of sleep thing that comes along with new baby smell. I had closed the Etsy shop for a little while, but it has recently been reopened. I don't expect a flood of orders, so I think I'm safe re-opening. I am considering making a bunch of smartphone sleeves from my scraps and adding those to the shop. Getting motivated will be the determining factor for that! I need motivation for a lot of things actually, so if anyone knows where to find some, please shoot me an email!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Little Something for Mama

I was on the hunt for fabric for Fletch's Easter pants when I came across some $2 fabric that was too cute not to buy. I grabbed a yard and brought it home wondering what I would do with it. I have been wanting a cuter apron for cooking with, but just hadn't committed to a fabric or design. I realized that the one I was using was designed just fine, so I just copied that same apron.

I had an olive green serving apron from my days of working in a restaurant hanging up in the kitchen. It had two big pockets and super long ties. When I held up the new fabric to the olive colored one, I knew I'd found a good match. I decided to repurpose that old ugly apron with my new pretty fabric. I took to the old apron with my seam ripper and took off the pockets, undid the hems and removed the ties. I then ironed it all out to get as much surface area as possible.

I laid my old kitchen apron on top of the olive apron fabric and traced, allowing enough for the seam allowances. Once I had the main part cut out from the olive fabric, I cut out an identical piece from the cute fabric. I sewed them together and top stitched and apron. I used scraps to make the neck strap. For the ties, I opened up the thin ties from the apron with my seam ripper and ironed them flat, which made them the perfect width for my new apron. The last finishing touch was re-using one of the pockets and adding some trim to the top and some cut-out designs I appliqued onto the pocket. Pretty cute right? I love it!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Mission Accomplished

I finally received my diploma! 

And looky-here! I graduated with honors :)

It only took me 15 years! Hopefully now I can stop having those dreams about having to go back to high school to finish that last class that I didn't take so I can graduate; Or searching for my locker on the first day of school and then not having the combination; Or the one where I don't know what classes I'm supposed to be in or where to go. Do you see a theme here? I definitely feel a lot of relief about finally having a degree! 

The best part is that I know how proud my Mom would be that I finally finished. She always reminded me that I had the potential and I know she was probably frustrated with me for not taking college very serious when I was younger.  I don't regret all the fun and work experience I had over the years, but the one thing I do regret is that my Mom was not alive to see me finish. She was definitely one of my huge motivators for finishing and also for finally figuring out what I wanted to major in. 

So what's next? Well I am not 100% sure I will be walking the stage, which kind of bums me out. At least it is because of a joyous reason! I'm hoping this baby boy will be early like Fletch. I have no problem wobbling my way across the stage, with or without a baby in my belly though. 

I don't plan to teach right away because I plan to stay home with baby boy, like I did with Fletch. I am also considering getting my Masters in Learning Disabilities.  When I took Psychology of Individuals with Disabilities, I really felt a connection to my Mom and knowing I can use art as a method of reaching students with learning disabilities. We will have to see how my schedule with baby and our finances can handle that idea. I'm not quite ready to get started right away anyway. I just want to bask in the glory of reaching the finish line. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Last of the Onesie Madness

OK...the last two onesies have been modified! I think I've gotten it out of my system, because right now, I don't think I ever want to sew on another onesie again. That might change, I am pregnant ya know.

I pulled out the freezer paper to do some stenciling today. I have yet to perfect this technique. Somehow I still end up getting little areas that pull up from the fabric and paint gets underneath, making my design imperfect and me very angry. I did baby boy's first initial inside a circle with this cool green/blue iridescent fabric paint I had on hand. It still looks okay and I deem it wearable. I can't let you see it though. You see, we're not letting anyone know the baby's name till he is born. I know...we are cruel cruel people, but we don't like to hear opinions or see scrunched up faces. We know what we like and we're sticking to it! Therefore, no peek at the onesie. I know it's just his initial, but I can't give it away this time.

The last onesie I can show you!

I LOVE the way it came out! But holy-hell it was a pain in the butt! First thing I did was use some tracing paper to trace out the onesie and my design. This time I took a picture :)

Once I had my design drawn out, I laid some interfacing on top and traced the pattern. I cut out the interfacing pieces and ironed them to the fabric I wanted to use for the vest. I added some yellow bias tape to give it a pop of color and to cover the raw edges of the vest. Then I pinned them to the onesie and sewed them on using a zig-zag stitch.  I was going to sew button holes so you could open the vest, but then I realized, what the heck would I need to do that for? So I just sewed the vest together with the two buttons instead. Viola!

I am officially out of plain white onesies to mess around with, the nursery is all set up (we still need a crib mattress, but there's time for that), and Fletch has been successfully moved upstairs. Technically I don't have much else to do, but why don't I feel like that? I feel like there is still so much to do. We have less than three months till baby boy arrives!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some Sewing for Baby-to-Be

I found a random pack of white Gerber Onesies in Fletch's closet when we were clearing things out. I think I bought it for various projects. What better time to start some Onesie projects than right now, when I'll have another bambino to model them!

I had seen a few tutorials online for adding argyle to shirts, jackets and other pieces of clothing. I am a huge fan of argyle, which means I had to give this a try. The first thing I did was lay a piece of tracing paper over the onesie to determine how big I wanted my diamonds to be. I ended up making diamonds that are 3"tall and 1.5" wide in the middle. I used some scraps of corduroy because all my other scraps had prints and they were pretty girly. I also ironed on some interfacing to the back, just to make them a little more stable and less likely to fray. I cut 3 red and 3 khaki because I wanted to do a pattern on the chest and one on the butt too. I alternated the colors, 2 red and 1 khaki on the butt and 2 khaki and 1 red on the chest.

Sewing on onesies can be a little tricky, especially if they are on the smaller side. I got the three sewn on the butt, but when I tried to sew the three on the chest, it was a tad bit difficult. Here is when I decided to use my hand sewing skills! I just hand sewed them on using a backstitch. Once I had all my diamonds attached, I used brown embroidery thread to do the stitching on top, by hand of course. I am happy with the outcome, but I'd like to see what it looks like on baby, once it stretches.

I'm sure you have seen the onesies that have a sewn on tie. I think they are adorable and I have no idea why I never made one of them for Fletch. I rectified the situation and made one for baby-to-be. Again I got out the tracing paper to trace the neckline and just free-handed a tie. Going with the argyle theme, I used a scrap of argyle print fabric for the tie. I just did a small zig-zag around the entire tie and across the knot. This one was really easy!

I just came across a onesie with a sewn on vest and tie. I am debating on that one. What else can I do with plain white onesies? I have two left to play with :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nesting at the Sewing Machine

We recently moved Fletch upstairs, which meant moving a lot of stuff out of the room, including my tiny sewing nook.  I got rid of my little sewing table and traded up to the IKEA desk the hubby was using when he worked from  home. Now my sewing area is in the corner of our bedroom. The new space is actually working out a lot better. Now I can sew downstairs while Fletch is awake and playing in the living room. I can keep an ear and an eye on him as I work and that means I can do more sewing.

I guess I am in full-on nesting mode at 27 weeks, because I've made Fletch 3 pairs of pants and 1 pair of shorts in the past two days. I came across this tutorial on Made, a great blog for tutorials and she also did a series about sewing just for boys. After seeing how easy these pants were to make, I raided my fabric stash to see what I could use to make Fletch a pair.

I came across some old denim scraps I had been holding on to. It is a thin denim and is blue on one side and has a crazy white geometric/floral pattern on the other side. To keep my child from being taunted relentlessly I decided on the plain blue side :) This really was an easy pattern and it took me no more than a couple of hours to make. I even got Fletch to pose for a couple of pictures in his new pants.

Isn't he the cutest thing? I can't believe how much he looks more and more like a little boy every day. I still see his tiny baby face in there though!

I started looking at other tutorials on the same blog and decided to try some of those today. I made Fletch one pair of the flat front pants out of a dark blue broad cloth. They are just like the other pants I made, but there is no elastic in the front so the waist is flat in the front.

I then made a pair of the flat front pants with pockets using left over brown un-lined corduroy that I had used to make a pencil skirt. The inside of the pockets I used scraps of fabric with bugs all over it and used a contrasting lime green thread.

Last but not least, I also made a pair of shorts with pockets using some dark purple broad cloth left over from the diaper bag I made a while ago. I used contrasting thread in an aqua blue color. I should have reviewed the tutorial before getting started because it would have saved me some time. I don't know what I did the first time, but the bottoms of the shorts were crooked and mis-matched lengths. I had to pick the whole thing apart and start over. Luckily I got it right the second time and they came out great.

So I solved Fletch's lack of pants problem in a matter of a few hours work and zero dollars since all the fabric used was scraps! As long as he keeps growing up and not out, I can let the hem out and make them longer when he sprouts. I don't know what it is about sewing, but I just feel so empowered that I can make things. I'm so glad I spent all that time watching my mom at the sewing machine :)
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