Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warning: This post is painfully honest, read at your own risk


I’m sitting here in my craft room, absolutely overwhelmed (I could say just “whelmed” and it would mean the same thing, but you might think I was half asleep as well as overwhelmed if I wrote whelmed unless you, too, are a dictionary freak) with all of the fabric and other crafting supplies I’ve accumulated in the 22 months since I’ve lived in this house. Before moving here, I purged and purged, taking many, many loads of stuff to DI, selling some on Craigslist, and giving away a lot more. It felt good, cleansing, refreshing. Now I’m back at the point where my possessions are weighing me down, making me feel sluggish and depressed, shameful. At my worst moment, I wonder what is wrong with me that I keep buying fabric and various other craft things, always on sale of course (arghhhhhhh), far beyond what I’ve got the time to use; somewhere in my mind I live in a fantasy land where someday I will have all of the time and energy in the world to make all of the projects I have in mind, not to mention numerous duplicates of each project since I nearly always buy enough to make MANY iterations of the same thing. Today the excuse is that I can sell it on etsy; who knows what it will be tomorrow. The bottom line: I buy too much stuff.

I’m pretty sure the reason I buy too much stuff is fear that the day will come when I can’t buy what I want, so I’d better get it now while I can. The fear comes from a long period in my life where I didn’t have enough, where what I wanted or needed or even thought mattered little and where I felt I had no control, or very little, over the direction and circumstances of my life. Maybe in buying too much stuff, I’m thumbing my nose at that time in my life, saying, in essence, “I can have anything I want, so just back off.”  I think that also implies a measure of selfishness or self-will and self-pity also, of wanting to indulge myself since, poor me, I’ve had such a rough time.

Well, I’m here today to say, enough is enough!!! I’ve had it with the past directing my today and my future. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself. I don’t want to live in fear of scarcity. I don’t want my possessions to drag me down, rather to enrich my life and the lives of others I love. So with that in mind, right now I’m going to get rid of fully half, if not more, of my fabric stash. And I pray to God that I can live in joy rather than fear and not rely on purchases of fabric and craft supplies for a temporary lift. Here’s to purging—hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

PS: Let me know if you want any of the fabric I’m purging, free of course; the rest will go to DI.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Home. Sweet, sweet home.

After a wonderful and inspiring trip to CHA in Anaheim, I'm glad to be back home. As soon as I got to the house today, Erin, Nate, and Levi took me over to their new house for a tour: they signed the papers yesterday and got the keys today which means I will soon be rattling around here in my house alone.

Their home is simply beautiful. I'll post pictures this weekend for all to enjoy. I think I'm probably making Erin crazy by telling her over and over how lucky she is. And I'm incredibly lucky to have them a mere .17 miles away (as in about 1/8 of a mile). Wahoo!!
During the tour, Levi flushed every toilet MANY times while saying his newest word: potty. He's enamored of the new toilets and had a hard time dragging himself away to show me his new bedroom, the linen closet, and the pantry. I wonder how long his fascination with the potty will last . . . maybe long enough to get him potty trained???

Here's a pic of the bald guy just before I left for CA. He got away from me during a diaper change . . . and headed straight for the sword.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Bald Guy Models Headbands

At dinner tonight Levi took the headband out of my hair and put it in his--or more accurately he put it in his stubble. Anyway, I said to Erin, "I hope Levi doesn't grow up mad at us for letting him wear headbands." She doesn't think it will be an issue, especially since Levi tends to wear them more like a helmet or a sweatband than a hairband. So with that intro, here's the bald guy modeling some headbands. Pretty sharp looking, huh!

Sadly for me, he flat refused to put on the one with big white flowers. Party pooper.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ribbon Headband Tutorial

This morning I wanted to try making a headband with a row of gathered ribbon glued to it, so I cut a couple of yards of a wide ribbon and ran it through the sewing machine with a long basting stitch. When I pulled up the thread to gather the ribbon, it started curling and swirling in such a pretty way, I glued it down just as it was rather than straightening out the gathers as I had planned to do. It was such a happy accident.

I used a fairly soft ribbon with a fairly loose weave and it is about 1-1/2" inches wide. I don't know how it would work with other types of ribbon. If you try it, I'd love to see the results! Since this was so fun to make, I wrote up a tutorial and I listed a DIY kit on etsy. Cool, huh.

The “I Could Make That” Curly Ribbon Headband Kit Tutorial

Kit Supplies:
2 yards of ribbon (I used 1-1/2" wide, striped ribbon)
 This clear and concise list of instructions

Additional Supplies:
Glue gun

  1. Seal the ends of the ribbon with a match by quickly passing the flame along the cut edges.

  1. By hand or by machine, do a gathering stitch in the center of the ribbon along the full length of the ribbon. On the machine, use the longest stitch length. By hand, keep the stitches about 1/8” long.

  1. Pull the gathering stitch until the length of ribbon measures 12 inches. Do NOT try to flatten out the ribbon as you pull the gathering stitch, rather let the ribbon naturally curl around and onto itself as it pleases. Knot the ends of your gathering thread.

  1. Arrange the gathered ribbon evenly.

  1. Starting at the top center of the headband and working about 1” at a time, apply hot glue to the top of the headband and gently press the curly, gathered ribbon into place. Continue to glue and press until all of the ribbon is attached.

  1. Trim any hanging threads.

  1. Put the headband in your hair and go admire your handiwork in the mirror. Aren’t you an amazing crafter! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm Back!

I'm happy to report that I just listed a headband on etsy--I want so badly to keep putting fresh items up as often as possible. It's a silky, lacy headband that would be perfect for a wedding. I kind of like the mix of sizes and blossom styles on this headband and want to try another one in something besides white.

I brought home some houndstooth fabric and some dark shiny stuff from a Phoenix garage-sale jacket that I think will make a cool headband. In fact, I brought home several men's shirts from a garage sale that I'm just itching to upcycle--I've got a girl's ruffled skirt in mind--we'll see what happens.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Heading to Phoenix tomorrow morning

I'll be gone for a full week, first with work stuff then the last two days with Kristine and family. I've never even been to their house before if you can believe that. Good thing work is taking me there since I'm not good at getting there on my own. I can't wait to see pictures and hear all about EB and Jackie's wedding and to meet Jackie in person.

Yesterday I hung up some of the new Valentine's banner I made--here's the view from where I sit at my computer in the craft room:

I really like holidays. :)

And Levi really likes sticky dimensionals (note the BIG chain Levi is wearing--he's REALLY attached to it these days, especially when worn with his highly favored Tigger costume). It is serious business placing dimensionals on yourself and on Grandma's pant leg; not a job to be taken lightly or without the aid of a heavy chain:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's Alive!

Here it is Saturday morning and I've got a load of things to do this morning, but I just can't get started without reporting on the serger: it works!

The color coded threading diagram was amazingly helpful, right up until I got to the "red" thread path. Blue: check. Green: check. Yellow: check. Red: arghhhhhh.

I turned to the included manual (the one for a Bernette 1200 rather than my machine, the 334 ds), where, lo and behold (what does "lo and behold" mean anyway? anyone know?) I found this little gem: press the easy threader lever, draw up thread, and release the lever. Easy threader lever?

A close look (is there still oil on my nose) revealed a minute little bit of metal than when pressed shot out a whole new gizmo in the machine! Mystery solved!

The easy threader is circled--tiny, huh.

And here's the gizmo that shoots out.

And true to its name, once found, the easy threader lever was indeed easy.

Next challenge: figure out the thread tension.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Old Serger

Since I just couldn't live another day without a serger, I bought one today, a used Bernette 334ds for a mere $105.00. According to the reviews, it's a real workhorse, the Cadillac of sergers. Wahoo!

She's a sweet machine, huh! Levi couldn't keep his busy little fingers off of it until Erin swept him off to bed.

Sadly, it came without a manual, so I'm going to see if I can figure out how to thread and sew on it on my own until the one I ordered arrives. Wish me luck!