Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I can't seriously be the only one....

Could I?? I have been reading my faithful list of blogs all day, and nobody has mentioned Torchwood on BBC America. Am I the only one geeking out????

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I heart my sewing machine.

It is true. Every time I use my sewing machine, I just love it more.... I know that it wears me out. I know that I neglect it, leaving it in its case for shameful periods of time. Heck, if the American Craft Council ever heard the way I treat the poor thing, they would probably send around the Serge Protectors to take it away to a better home.... All for its own good. But today, I remember how I love the silly beast, and I vow to do better! I will use the 200 tutorials and patterns that I have collected in the past few weeks. I will keep the machine lovingly covered, protected from all manner of foreign matter. I will make beautiful things! I promise this time.... I will be worthy of you, sweet machine!
On that note:
I found a great Tutorial by Oh, Fransson! that showed how to neatly and systematically piece a random-seeming quilt block using freezer paper. I love that tutorial! It was clear and systematic... and worked like a charm!
See? Here is the block for the bag sides for my moms Pieced Patchwork Bag by Amy Butler. The first picture is the blocks all cut up, waiting for my sewing machine to do its magic! I finished piecing and ironing today, but that was all I could handle.
When I went to the store for my supplies yesterday, I was seduced by a bolt of olive green linen. I was powerless to resist its' lure. Since my Socialite Dress pattern hasn't come yet, I was also forced to buy a Very Easy, Very Vogue pattern to go along with the three yards of loveliness that came home with me.... The first weekend in August, that pattern and I have a date!
I have been plugging away at the Nanner sock, number two. Since the fit is so bad, I am having trouble maintaining any enthusiasm for the job. Only the promise of getting to start another pair has kept me going. I have a black-ish skein of Dream in Color Smooshy that I think would make a lovely, squishy, well-fitted pair of Nanners.... I am using it like the carrot at the end of the stick!
My mother and I have gotten completely obsessed with the first season of Heroes. We were the only two people who watched Studio 60, which came on opposite the first season, so we hadn't been able to get into it until now. My brother bought the first season yesterday, and we are currently in the middle of episode number 7.
Other than that I have only a bit of gratuitous fun to offer:
1. Maggie and the new (empty) dog food bag from today's groceries.
and 2. A pale imitation of the scene that was outside my back door the other morning.
I just couldn't capture the incredible sparkle of the light on the dew before the light was gone.... It would have made a GREAT picture, but this one will remind me....

Friday, July 17, 2009

How have I developed another obsession?

So, I promised a post about the fantasy sewing I have been doing in my free time.... I started out by rushing out to Barnes and Noble to get Sew Everything Workshop on my lunch break before vacation so that I would have the resources that I needed to make the Amy Butler quilted bags I was planning. (Great resource, by the way!) It has a bag in it that I just love, a shoulder bag that she made in a kimono print that looks cute and simple. I think it was all down hill from there....

Now I am obsessed by bags. I have bought patterns:
This is the Lickety Split Bag by Made by Rae, which she just yesterday urged me to get before she goes on maternity leave and I would have to wait.

I bought Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross so that I could make an Everything Tote after seeing about a hundred pictures on Flickr. I am LOVING that bag....

I have downloaded patterns:
This is the Margaret Bag by Oh! Fransson. Isn't that adorable?

I have ordered patterns:
The Multi Tasker Tote by Anna Maria Horner is on its way to me now. I am thinking this one will be cute in the polka-dot fabric that I bought for the Amy Butler Market Bag that ended up not being polka-dotted.

All that is not to mention the Socialite Dress that I ordered and the full-sized shirt dress pattern that I downloaded from Stitch, a special edition of Interweave!! And don't tell anyone, but I MUST MUST MUST make the Yard Sale Wrap Skirt by Heather Ross, too.... Good thing I have the pattern now, huh?

This weekend I am going to go home and make the second quilted bag. For that purpose, I printed out two tutorials on how to piece quilt tops that I thought would be helpful for the sides of the bag. Now I have been giving quilt tops the eyeball. Stop me before I download again!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Almost finished objects....

I had a terrible first day back at work. Wage garnishment, spilled coffee, pseudo ephedrine.... Need I say more? Instead of talking about the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day from HELL, I shall show some happy nearly finished objects. Sounds reasonable, right?

First is Ishbel. I love Ishbel. It is a happy rainbow of a project, at a time when that was very welcome knitting! I made the small size for the stockinette section and the large for the lace, the opposite of what everyone on Ravelry seems to be doing.... I am such a rebel! But the lace is the pretty part, so I wanted more. This turned out to be a slight tactical mistake, since I ran out of yarn three rows before the end of the last pattern section. Damn. I ordered what I considered to be the closest colorway from Webs (cause, like a ding dong, I didn't record the number from the colorway ANYWHERE....) and set it aside to wait. Have we talked about my lack of patience?
Long story short, when it came, it was WAY off from the colors. Thank goodness for the not-quite-local yarn store, because they had the same colorway when we stopped by there post-zoo. Pshew! Now I have an extra skein of untouched Silk Garden Sock, with nothing to do with it.... I was thinking maybe if I stick to BOTH sections in the small measurement, I could get an Ishbel Christmas present out of it. Especially since I am poor now.... Sigh.

That is not to even mention the 98.9% of the original color that I have left from the mere three rows that I had to use it for!! Ah, the possibilities!
In the meantime, here is my "In Progress" shot of my Nanners, taken for the KAL on Ravelry. How did I survive before Ravelry?? Now that I look at it, doesn't it look like a giant yellow boomerang? This one came out pretty tight. I am not ripping out, however, since I can get the silly things on my feet.... Ripping is saved for totally-can't-use-this-for-anything-short-of-a-coaster size, not my-look-how-that-stretches-unattractively-over-my-ankle size! I am rocketing along on the second sock, loving the pattern because it is SO easy to memorize. I may make a pair of black Nanners just for fun when I am done, maybe in a slightly bigger size.... Sock love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Savoring the last moments of vacation.

And I mean the last moments. I go back tomorrow, and it is almost 10PM the night before. Sigh. Where are my lottery winnings? Why, oh why do I have to go back??

So, to recount the last two weeks. First, let me say that the only way to make the words "massive gum infection" sound good is to hear them instead of the words "root canal" and "that will be $1000, please." The antibiotic took care of the infection, and the tooth is fine. Thank goodness! I felt bad for a while, and the week left me feeling like I had been rolling boulders up hill all week, but it was survivable. And after Friday, vacation started!!
Right after work on Friday I had to go to the fabric store so that I could get the stuff to make two, count 'em, TWO Amy Butler Patchwork Bags from In Stitches. Vickie and my mom have birthdays that BOTH fell during my week of vacation. Of course, there is no way that I would want to start quilting by making my very first quilted piece, say, with a pattern, or something where the pieces all line up, or even with directions for piecing a quilt, like a rational person. No, I would like to start with instructions like "pieced randomly" with no information whatsoever on how you do anything but assemble straight lines.... I did some winging it, maybe the worst quilting ever in the history of machine quilting, and surprisingly seem to have pulled it off. Thank goodness that busy fabric hides a multitude of sins! Above, see the pieced and quilted side panels for the first bag. It is the one for Vickie.... I worked on this one for days, and honestly didn't have time to get more than hers done. She seems to love it, and Gavin helped me with the "needle machine," which was adorable! Mom's will be blue, and I PROMISE that I will work on it slowly while I am working!! Sewing is always harder work than I remember....
We went to the beach on Sunday, no pictures because I forgot my camera. Sand, sea and hot sun. My mom and I have decided that we are going to get one of those canopy/gazebo thingies that so many people had before we go back, delicate flowers that we are.... I got a wicked sunburn on my feet, 'cause they were sticking out from underneath the umbrella shade. Oh, and the joys of a hot, cranky seven-year-old an hour from home....
So, Friday, no bright yellow yarn in the mail.... I was impatiently awaiting the Jabbersocky from Liberty's Yarn for my Nanner Socks, and wanted it to come RIGHT NOW!! I have no patience whatsoever. Since Saturday was 4th of July, I knew it would be at least Monday before it came, so I started a sock with my pretty Silk Garden Sock that I got in Charlotte. On size zero needles. You may see where this is going. That's right, I started knitting a pair of socks so thick and dense that they would have held water. Could have stopped a bullet with that toe! It was going to be a sock sculpture!! FROG!
And immediately, I took that lovely sock yarn and turned it into a happy rainbow Ishbel! How could you not smile working on that?? I will tell the saga of finishing the Ishbel in the next post with a finished object picture....
Jabbersocky yarn came on Tuesday and I have gotten one sock almost done. Also more on that in a later post. Love the yarn, seriously!
Wednesday we took Gavin to see Up! It was fully awesome. Who am I kidding? We used Gavin as an excuse to go see a kid's movie matinee in the middle of the week.... :-)
Thursday was a trip to the zoo, yet another excuse for grown up fun in a kids venue. We got very, very lucky that the weather was mild, since an outdoor excursion in July can be a little iffy down here. We had great fun! We entered through the Botanical Gardens.
That part was a little lost on Gavin. I managed to find the flamingos RIGHT off. Had you any doubt?
And Mom and Gavin got to feed the giraffes by hand. I wish I had a better picture of that, because they were RIGHT there, it was completely incredible! You would have thought I was the seven-year-old! Or that I was the one feeding them.... (Spawned some mighty weird giraffe dreams later in the week, let me tell you.)
Started to feel a little icky on the way back from Columbia. Spent the rest of the vacation sick as a dog, (I don't understand that phrase, by the way. Just can't think of another way to convey that I have the summer cold from hell and have barely gotten dressed for the last four days of my precious, few and far between, vacation days. Blah.) I think there may be cerebra-spinal fluid leaking from my nose. How else could my nose be running at this rate? Could my head actually be producing snot at this rate?? Surely not! Oh, well. Survivable, but makes for a dull vacation post, huh??
Tomorrow, I will post about all the fun sewing-shopping I have done obsessively over the past couple of weeks! My love for sewing and toe-up socks no no bounds right now!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


One word for you: Abscess. Will blog again when I stop wanting to die.