Sewing

A Sewing Do-Over

Sewing and I have a love/hate relationship.  I’ve always been fascinated by it in theory.  But it’s always fallen apart in practice.  As a kid, my mom put in a good faith effort to teach me to sew.  The poor woman finished every item I ever started.  Unfailingly, the projects were miserable experiences.  The detail…The jargon…The need for constant focus…all of it worked to my weaknesses.  Even then, I was a big picture girl-conceptual and broad in my focus.  Attention to detail has always been an “opportunity” for me.

After I began crocheting, however, my craft blog obsession led me to all that sewing can produce.  The adorable, the beautiful, the intricate, the awesome projects on the web beckoned….and I began to covet.  I began to covet the ability to sew.  Per my usual mode of operation, I made the decision to learn and immediately began collecting all the accoutrements needed.  Especially fabric….stacks of it.  That’s what I do-I collect…

Over the last three years, I’ve completed the following:

  • One apron
  • A handful of cup cozies
  • One skirt
  • Approximately 25 pair of pajama pants
  • Curtains
  • Monday’s  pillowcase

I enjoyed the curtains and the monkey pillowcase.  The others? Not so much.  I make so many stupid mistakes!  So I’m regrouping.  I can do this!

I’m starting over….that’s right, a sewing do-over.  First, the basics….pillows! I’m more than tired of the throw pillows in the living room.  I’m going to use some of this freaking fabric if it’s the last thing I do!

I’m thinking some combination of these…They make me happy.

I’m also going to look for a class.  I won’t let my past define me.  That’s right, I call “do over”.

 

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Sewing

A little monkey business…

I spent a little quality time with my number one girl yesterday.  She’s developed a new obsession with stuffed monkeys.  She’s apparently in the middle of some kind of tween self re-branding and the monkey seems to be symbolic and key to her metamorphosis.  Anyway, the long and short of it is that she’s proclaimed herself to be a monkey collector and now she’s doing the Vulcan mind-meld on me and lobbying for new and more fabulous monkeys in her life.  I’m standing firm.  Her room is already a fall-out shelter for stuffed animals.  No new monkeys!

So, ever the rock, I asked her, “how about we find a pattern for a monkey?  Maybe we can make it?”  (Be advised, I carry much mother-guilt over how little time I spend with my craftiest child doing anything that could be characterized as crafting.) So I’m thinking, two birds-one stone.  I assuage the mother-guilt aka-the “monkey” on my back .  She gets a monkey.  She was lukewarm to the idea. None of the free patterns we found on-line really floated her boat.  I rejected the amigurumi patterns she liked.  I didn’t want to present her with a monkey.  I wanted her to participate in making a monkey.  Then she presented the solution, “Mom-how about we make a pillowcase like I did with Memaw (her grandmother) that time?  Then I can like, draw a monkey on it!”  Great idea, angel, but maybe we try doing the monkey in applique?  So here is the compromise.

Behold our first applique ever! He’s a cheeky rascal…

He’s just lightly fused with some iron-on strips pending stitching. I think he’s cute.  My crafty little diva did a great job picking fabrics, cutting and even doing some of the stitching.  She’s awesome!  We’ll finish him next weekend and place him in a position of honor and prestige in her sanctum, which is of course, a hot pink, black and zebra striped zone fit for a tween!

 

 

Gardening

Miscellany… of the Horticultural Variety

Today, I’m missing my mom because I want to know what this is. So I’m in the market for a surrogate mom.  Can anybody tell me what this is?  They’re in my front garden beds and they’re beautiful and I love them and I want to know what to call them!

Most of the year, they just provide beautiful variegated foliage.  Then in late spring, they put out these beautiful clusters in all shades from lavender to almost white.  Again, I love them.

While on the subject of plants that I love-I LOVE HYDRANGEAS!  My Hydrangeas are so beautiful right now.

They’re fascinating to me.  The litmus paper of the horticultural world.  I’m always amazed at the different shades from yard to yard and plant to plant.  In fact, this year I’m amazed at the variation of shade I’m seeing in one plant.

The pristine clear blue.

The softest lavender.

The blush of dusky pink.

And finally, a cacophony of all the shades available to this beauty’s soft palette.  What’s blooming in your garden today?

Crochet

Three Color Tunisian

So the Craftsy journey continues, and I have to say, I liked the three color Tunisian soooo much better than the single color work.  I chose Catania Cotton (yes, shocking I know).

I love these colors!

The three color is easier because each different color strand highlights and accents the architecture of the stitches.  You don’t have to figure out where your “vertical bar” is because it’s color coded.  Very cool!

So I’m into my next Tunisian project.  Titled the “Multigarment”,  it’s a two-panel wrap that can be worn as a shawl, sweater, or poncho (love the peekaboo shoulders).  Not to be redundant, but also very cool.

Also very ambitious.  I’m branching waaayyyy out on this one.  I’m using Paton’s Grace-another mercerized cotton (practically identical to Catania-the waaayyy was sarcasm). I’m not sure that the photos do my palette justice.  I think it’s going to be pretty….if it ever gets completed.  Did I mention it’s very ambitious?

The blue is my “color pop”.  Hmmm…still thinking about it…love it in theory, though.

I’m off to stitch!

 

Chicken Mission

A Chicken Named Katniss

I had been growing increasingly concerned about Bella.  Something was off about her.  She was erratic and aggressive, and something just seemed off.  Then one day I noticed that she had tremendously large feet…In comparison I mean.

You see, Bella lives with Buffy and they’re about a month apart in age.  But Bella was growing fast.  Faster than any of the other pullets.  And her comb…it was so full and red comparatively.  (I know you guys know where this is going.)  So Saturday I googled pictures of four-month old gold-laced Wyandotte.  Sunday, I texted the breeder pics of my little friend….and Bella  officially became Bill.

Sunday afternoon, we took Bella, I mean Bill back from whence she, I mean he came.  Unfortunately the breeder had sold all of her Wyandotte and Partridge Rocks.  In fact the breeder had nothing in the same age bracket.  So I became the proud owner of a roughly 4 week old Rhode Island Red. You’ve got to roll with the punches, right?

Luckily, we just finished an expansion to our coop.  In fact Buffy and Bella..I mean Bill, had just moved in. Enter, the guinea pig cage.

Our new Rhode Island Red is now Buffy’s new roommate, but she’s still too little to roam within the coop.  She’ll be relegated to the guinea pig cage for a  week or two until everyone’s acclimated.

So of our six little darlings, five of them were named after Harry Potter characters. Bella was in fact Bellatrix LaStrange-the whacked out psychotic witch (which actually kind of worked for him).  So what did we name our new little Red?  Well, here’s a hint.  My girl has moved on from the Harry Potter series over the last few months.  We’ve moved on to The Hunger Games…