Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Smaller handbags - there was a very funny article on how one woman was asked to give up her large satchel for a more modest sized shoulder bag. The magazine sent over several samples for her to try out. The first one she tried was by Louis Vuitton of bronze leather that was covered with logos and brass hardware. There was a flap closure with a very heavy duty lock. The problem was that neither the author not a friend of hers could get it open. Such is life in the fast lane... incredibly expensive handbags that do not open! The author finally chose a lovely green crocidile leather YSL bag. It looked great on her but the long list of things it would not hold made me wonder how long it would actually be used.
Bigger Jewellry - Some of the jewellry would look large even on Mr. T. There were a pair of copper bangles, highly polished that would lovely on anyone except that they were about six inches wide ... I wonder how people use their wrists when they are encased in such large hardware. There was even a sidebar article about the 'new' necklaces, that stated that if you were not reminded that you were wearing them every minute or two then your necklace was too light. I know many fashionable shoes can make your feet ache but sacrificing our neck to fashion is going a bit too far in my mind. I do think its interesting that many crafty folk out there have been making large fabric based cuffs and chokers for quite a while that can mimic these heavy duty accessories but much, much lighter. Fashion following craft or visa versa?
That Handmade Dorky Look - It always amazes me the amount of raw edges seen in current fashionable sportswear when I work so hard to clean finish every seam. In fact, the amount of raggedy edges completely hides the wearer's shape and resemble my scrap bag... except that my scrap bag has some wonderful colors in it while many of the raggy looks have just dull, muddy colors.
That Handmade Couture Look - I did see a lot of hand applied embellishments that were perfectly gorgeous. Crystals, embroideries, ribbons and feathers were very evident. The patience and skill it would take to do this work is way beyond my imagining.
Knitting is BIG - when I say big, I mean gigantic. There was a knitted scarf and coat by someone named Giles ( I am not familiar with that name) where the yarn looked like wool roving , densely wound to a bulky wieght about the size of my wrist. The gauge must have been about a quarter of a stitch to the inch. Heaven knows who actually knitted these garments but I'd love to see a picture. Another knitting fashion I saw was something called galzed mohair. What the heck is that? And why would someone wear toeless socks? Another sidebar article was about a Vogue staffer knitting a cool looking grey tunic as her first knitting project. They showed her wearing it with pants and a shirt and it looked great. Maybe there is hope for my navy blue Tee Shirt/tunic.
Quilting - Chanel still has a love of quilting. Not only her classic quilted handbags and jackets but handbags made out of vintage looking quilts have all apeared previously. This year Chanel has taken it to a whole new level. I saw a lovely shirt style jacket with the body and cuffs constructed of traditional four inch red churn dash quilt blocks on a white ground. It looked to me like it was hand quilted in various feather variations. At a zillion dollars I think I can pass on it for now.
Stupid Idea - In past years I have seen a lot of bustiers primarily for evening wear but sometimes in sportswear. Their main purpose seemed to be to look sexy and not to restrict anyone's movements. Dolce and Gambino have taken it to a whole new level with metal corsets to wear on the outside of your clothes. Completely impractical, inflexible and they've got to hurt ... a lot! Other designers were showing corsets with a zillion buckles and clasps but again.. they look completely uncomfortable. I hope this is an idea that fades away very, very quickly or our emergency rooms will be over flowing with teenage girls with broken ribs.
Now all I need is for the high temperatures to dip below 90 degreees and I might actually begin to think about shopping for the low priced knock-offs of what I've been looking at in Vogue:-)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
It went relatively well. Alex didn't seem to want to play while he was on the leash but he did not rebuff Sofia and his nose got a good work out smelling all the new smells. I hope we wil be able to meet up again... maybe at a dog park.
BTW doesn't Kelis look cute!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
In an effort to protect my pillows and cushions I decided to try my hand at making toys for him. I think I have been a little successful. I took some scraps from the kitchen projects , serged them together and stuffed them with crunchy plastic bags. I got the idea from a toy that Kemora used to carry around for hours. It was an elongated dog shape and used to make a crunchy sound when she chewed it. It eventually bit the dust but seemed to last for months. Anyway, I've made Alex a few of these and here is a picture of him carrying around one of them.
About 10 seconds after I got this shot Alex made for the doggy door and proceeded to bury this toy in the side garden. I went out a little while later and dug it back up and brought it inside as I thought it was not the best place for fabric wrapped plastic bags. Darn if he didn't head right back out to the garden and re-bury it in exactly the same spot. I think I'll wait until he's asleep in his kennel and see if I can find it again.
Weather Update: My area has had no rain for almost 48 hours now. Yahoo! It also looks like Dean will be hitting Mexico rather than the Texas Gulf coast so my area may see only a litle rain from this hurricane. Let's hope Dean loses some of its force before it hits the Yucatan.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Lotta's projects are simpler to sew with clean lines and wonderful fabrics. Amy's patterns are much more complex and the instructions can go on forever. Both books seem to have had the instructions written by the same people and use similar terms and layouts. Both also have full size patterns in a pocket at the front of the books. Neither of these books are for someone who has never sewn before but there are quite a few descriptions of basic techniques. Amy does give credit to a whole cadre of pattern writers and testers as she is much more of a designer.. which is probably why her patterns are so complex. Lotta appears to be much closer to the actual sewing of her designs.
I probably would not have purchased either of these books if they weren't so beautiful. There's something about a book that feels good to hold and use that always speaks to me. There are Flickr groups out there that is sewing all of the patterns from both books. The posters are very frank in their critiques of the patterns. For instance, the Simple Sewing hat project caused several of those who made it to comment on the fact that they couldn't see out from under the rim while those making the In Stitches bathroom caddy were bemoaning the overly complex 19 step process.
I think my flurry of sewing related book purchasing will stop for a while. If you are looking for sewing books for others, I would recommend Amy Karol's bend-the-rules Sewing for those who haven't sewn a lot; Simple Sewing for someone who knows how to sew and likes clean design lines; and In Stitches is definitely for those who are fans of Amy Butler's complex fabrics and patterns.
Weather Update: It turns out that Houston is on the 'dirty' side of Tropical storm Erin so it has been raining a lot around here. As the rain has been coming in bands, my area has not seen any flooding however those who live more to the south and west of me have been having a much harder time of it. If Hurricane Dean comes along the middle of the projected track we will again be on the 'dirty' side. I hope we get a few dry days between these storms so I will have a chance to clean up after muddy puppes before I need to do it again.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
A better explanation that I copied from someone else:
- be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post and you win. What, you ask? The winners get something home-made and crafty from me within the next year, but you have to promise to post the same on your blog and follow suit for 3 new people. If you think this sounds like fun, just leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you.
Please comment on this posting if you would like to participate. In my case, you don't have to be a blogger as I know many of you aren't but I believe this concept works for other forums as well. If you don't have a web presence then I will take your word for it that you have paid it forward to three others for them to pay it forward to three others....
This could be fun! Let me know if you would like to participate.
Weather Update for Houston - Its now decided to start raining again after about 10 days of hot, humid and dry weather ... since this morning my gauge has measured two inches of rain with another few inches anticipated over the next couple of days - anyone like some of the huge nasty mushrooms groing in my side yard?
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The quilted fabric was printed with patterns pieces in the black paisley on a cream background. The instructions mentioned that there were cutting lines... did that mean to cut the pieces out along the edge of the black paisley or cut the peieces out with a half inch seam allowance width from the black paisley? I compromised and serged the edges with a quarter inch wide stitch just outside the black paisley and sewed the pieces up with a half inch seam allowance.
The ends each had a pocket so I then proceeded to make one end from two end pieces rather than one end piece and one pocket piece. Not being one to rip out, I then reconstructed one of the pocket pieces into an end piece and attached a real pocket piece to it. I tried to make the straps using a tube turner that I couldn't find (later I realized it was stolen by Alex and hidden under a blanket) so I re-did the straps by folding in the raw edges to the center of the wrong side then folding the straps lengthwise again and sewing down the edges. That was a big mistake as I ended up with extra layers when sewing up the bottom of the bag and broke a needle.
In the end it looks pretty good. What do you think? If your Wal-Mart still has a fabric section, check out the sale bins and you too can have the fun I had yesterday. One last note - the decorative zipper pull that was a major incentive to buying this kit is now missing. Wanna take any bets that Alex has hidden it somewhere?
What did this sewing experience tell me? In the end, the lessons were:
- I can't read and follow instructions
- I don't know the difference between an end piece and a pocket piece.
- My supplies are not puppy proof.
- I can salvage a project.
Pretty good lessons from a $13.00 kit from Wal-Mart.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
I bought Six Fat Quarters in a beautiful pattern designed by Anna Griffin and I couldn't find any space in my fabric drawers to stuff them for later use. That made me consider that I really needed to get some use of my fat quarters which then led to the previous post on Five Fat Quarters and the making of the grocery bags.
Thus the cheat.. this post is about using up six fat quarters rather than five.
The next day, after the grocery bag frenzy, I was trying to find size 5 double pointed needles and realized that my search would have been swifter if I had my double pointed needles organized. That led to the creation of organizers for both my double pointed and circular knitting needles. The first photo below shows the cases all tied up while the second shows the interiors. I did use the embroidery machine to do the labels on the outside. The ties for the circular needle case were made from scraps while the ties for the double pointed needles were made from the ribbon that the fat quarters were wrapped in when I bought them.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Fifteen fat quarters used (5 per bag), 47 trillion left!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I loved reading the answers each of the crafters came up with for the questions. For example, one of them lives in a studio apartment where she does all her work... heck I couldn't even fit my fabric stash into a studio apartment ... but she makes beautiful art. I also liked the fact that the crafters live all over the world so the reader gets an international view. I think I am a little bit of voyeur because I was disappointed that only one or two of the crafters had their pictures in their sections. As the articles included blog names or websites, I guess I will need to go look up these people to satisfy my curiosity.
This is a book for those of us who are curious about the crafters represented and it is a pretty good value. I would not recommend it for anyone looking for a how-to book or for in-depth instruction in the crafters' signature styles.