Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Knowing that there would be some serious movie watching going on here I decided it was about time to finish a pair of socks that have been on my to-do list for a couple of months now.
What do you think....
There really is another one I just couldn't figure out how to get both of them on the chair without Alex and the Girls jumping on me.
The yarn is wool with aloe in it. I think the aloe is to make the wool softer to wear.
These were knit from the toe up and include a bunch of cables. Fortunately the yarn's colors hide any mistakes I made in the knitting. I've worn them all day and have now realized that they do not go with any of the shoes I own so I guess they will be house socks for now.
Another UFO done.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I remember thinking many years ago that there was no way I could ever make it to the year 2000 as 48, my age in 2000, was so ancient.
Now I was sitting in a room of bright, beautiful, creative women and they were all over that ancient age of 48.
How my feelings about age have changed!
But enough about age.
We're talking about Sewing Holiday Parties and, for them, its about the location, the food and the loot.
Most of the parties have been held in private homes and the hostesses seem to go all out to decorate to the hilt. Today's home was a prime example. There were towers of glittery ornaments and lots and lots of green wired ribbon bows everywhere. This home was so decorated that the wire mesh waste basket holding a standard green garbage bag had lots of the same green ribbon looped and draped all around the upper edge.
Now that's decorating.
The food for these parties ranges from packages of exotic cookies from the grocery store to dishes that have been in people's families for generations. I brought food from Sweet Sadies to a few (beans or brisket) and salads made from kits to others. I am so going to miss sampling all the fine eating of this season . Going back to lunches of peanut butter sandwiches will be a real let down.
The loot is the icing on the proverbial cake. Each of these sewing related parties has included a gift exchange of some sort. In general, those that participate collect some sewing related items and wrap them up. The participants choose one of the secret gifts or can steal a previously opened gift. The number of times a gift can be stolen is usually limited and its fun watching people trying to figure out out if their targeted gift will still be in play when their turn comes around to pick.
The party today had an unusual twist to it in that gifts were not swapped but each of us was challenged to create an apron using only stuff that we had on hand in our resource centers.
I created a reversible apron using a pattern in Lotta Jansdotter's 'simple sewing' book. The fabric was from Clothworks retired fabrics called 'Well Done'. One fabric had lots of cooking words on it like baste, saute and grill while the other fabric was full of cartoonish restaurant staff.
I received an origami apron done in a lovely peach and cream linen blend fabric. Here's a link to a similar creation.
With a week to go before Christmas, and two weeks before New Year's Eve I am partied out. I still have a couple of small gatherings I plan to attend but there are no obligations attached to any of them.
Little did I know when I started to get more active is various sewing related groups that my hoiday schedule get so interesting.
I wonder what it will be like next year?
I better start dieting now so I can enjoy the wonderful food even more that I have this year.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Not pretty but there are bits that are quite pleasing like the Japanese lady and the fish motifs.
Not letting it go into the trash bin after the huge investment in time to had spent, I decided to use the bits I liked in several little projects.
From one 16"x 20" ugly fabric collage I came up with a holder for my iPod Nano Touch:
Attached to my purse
A cover for my address book,
And, a box to hold paper and pens near my sewing machine.
Not bad for an ugly piece of collage.
I hope your weekend is going well and that the typical pre-holiday cleaning is not getting you down. I have set a small goal for myself... getting all the laundry done AND put away in the right drawers and closets. Somehow laundry gets done here with great regularity but not everything gets put away correctly. Tea towels end up piled on the counter, socks to be folded languish on a dresser top and towels get re-used before even seeing the inside of the linen closet. For just one day I would like to see it all done and put away.
And while I am working towards laundry nirvana I will be on the look out for more UFOs that I can complete before year-end.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Not that a gift certificate would not be appreciated but there are other places to find great gifts and stocking stuffers for sewers.
For instance, at the electronics store, you can find an iPod phone or iPod Nano Touch. This gift would give the sewer not only a nice MP3 type musc player but a lot of applications are out there that would appreciated like a quilt block sampler or a set of videos on how to do several complex sewing related tasks.
While you are there you can also get the little vacuum attachments for sucking up dust from delicate computers. Great for getting all the thread lint out of the bobbin area of any sewing machine.
Over at the hardware store there are a lot magnetized gadgets that are a real boon to those of us who work with dangerous things like pins and needles. One that I use a lot is a pointer type thing with a magnet in the tip. They even make them wth an LED light in the tip as well. Just run it under the sewing table and pins and needles just leap onto the tip ready for re-use.
Another thing I have heard about, but not personally seen, is a magnetic bowl that mechanics use to corral nuts and bolts. I must get one of these as I have heard you only need to fling things in the direction of the bowl and the pins and needles just jump into it for re-use.
At the office supply store there are a lot of things that sewers need. Pick up some extra paper and printer cartridges. Not galmorous but they would save a lot of cursing when the sewer finds out that there is no paper or ink in the printer when they just have to print out 25 pages of how to sew a particular project. Files folders, plastc sheet protectors, newsprint sheets, colorful binders and file boxes are always in great demand when the urge to re-oganize somes upon the sewer.
And don't forget the grocery store as a source of stocking stuffers for sewers. Skip the flowers and pre-made dinners and find the freezer paper. My freezer paper has not made it back into the kitchen for months as I have been using it a lot to make applique templates. A not very galmorous gift but a great stocking stuffer would be washable glue in sticks or bottles. Don't forget to pick up some colored pencils, marking pens, Sharpies, lead pencils, art erasers or crayons. All are things that are needed by the sewer and just never seem to be on hand when needed.
If you must go into a sewing store, consider an expensive add-on for the sewer's current sewing machine, new embroidery disks, or, if you must, a new, top-of-the-line sewing machine. More modest needs are straight pins, size one safety pins, big spools of the sewer's favorite neutral sewing thread or pre-wound bobbins.
For as little as a $1.00 even a cash strapped little kid can make a sewer's life brighter.
Here's the lazy part... she made 50 based on my mention of this project. I, on the other hand, only made twelve.
Its nice to have inspired someone to contribute so much but I feel a lot of guilt that I made so few.
What's a 'one Yard Hug' you ask?
Basically you take one of yard of cute cotton flannel, hem or serge the edges, then donate them to a local hospital that gives them to new moms who may not have any receiving blankets for their new babies.
With cotton flannels on sale everywhere this time of year this is an inexpensive project and, if you serge the edges, it only takes about five minutes to get one done.
Please consider this project if you are ever looking to use up some stash flannels or searching for a group giving project.
The moms and babies will be greatful and your stash will thank you for the breathing room.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
3 "cupcake / sweets themed" fat quarters (fabric that measures 18"x20" at minimum)
1 yummy cupcake recipe
1 sewing notion min.
1 or more cupcake paraphernalia
I was lucky enough to draw a Home Ec. teacher as my swap buddy and here is what she sent:
She included a bunch of fun things including some cute fat quarters, a handmade cupcake-like pin cushion and a cupcake shaped placemat. The recipe is for Snickerdoodle Cupcakes (how good does that sound?).
I have only participated in this swap twice and have enjoyed evrything that I have sent and received, which can be a rarity in swaps. The problem with swaps is that I originally joined thinking I would be able to reduce some of my surplus resources but, in most cases, I have ended up with more than I actually sent!
I hope your weekend is going well. As most people know, Houston had about four inches of snow during the day yesterday. Snow is not a complete rarity here as Houston sits right below the Great Plains so storms can sometimes roll right down from the north without anything to stop it. Unfortunately I hear that there will be another chance for snow next week. Personally I don't mind the snow but the Girls hate it and have to be forced outside to go for walks. Alex, on the other hand, doesn't seem to notice and just loves to be anywhere I am... even if it is only twenty degress out.