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Up too late. May 16, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, sewing.
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I’m bad. I was so jonesing to sew today that I literally daydreamed about it, all day long. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I got my fabric prewashed and ready to go and was obsessing over it.

We didn’t play D&D tonight (since I wasn’t able to sew last night) but I still wanted to see people so we ended up with everyone over here. It was a bit of a fiasco getting the kids to bed and then I couldn’t zone out and concentrate just on my project because we had company. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see everyone, I was just so distracted. At one point Michael suggested we all play a game and the top of my head nearly blew off. I held it together but he sensed something was wrong and asked me in the kitchen, “Is everything all right?” to which I answered, “Do you really want to discuss this here, now?” I think he got the point as he then arranged for the guys to play a game while the girls hung out in the living room and did crafty things while watching a movie.

Still, I ended up doing more movie-watching than working on stuff as I couldn’t give it my full attention. And Mim woke up halfway through and didn’t want to go back to sleep so I held her in my lap for a while.

Once everyone left and Michael went to bed I just dove right in and now it’s 3:43am and he is going to kill me in the morning because I am going to be wiped. I’m so stupid. But still, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep thinking that I had wasted another night, so really, what was the most sane option?

Anyway here it is – the jumper I made for Mim. All it needs are buttons and buttonholes and it’s done, I want to go to the LYS tomorrow to see what they have for buttons. I’ve just got it pinned for now.

Mim's jumper

I wanted to use a different fabric to line the yoke but I couldn’t find a coordinating stripe, so I went with this batik instead. I like the way they go together but are very different.

Mim's jumper

The thing looks huge – I made Large, which was 21-25 pounds, I think, which is bigger than Mim but only looked slightly bigger than a Gymboree 6-12 month jumper she’s just about to grow out of. We’ll see when she tries it on. At the worst she wears it toward the end of the Summer and then I can put it over pants in the Autumn.

I do want to make a pair of matching panties to go with this, I need to make sure I have elastic for them first. I’m sure I do in the bin full of ill-fated diaper supplies that yielded one half-sewn diaper.

I also made this today – I found a free gif animator called UnFREEz and was testing it out so I used these cute pictures of my darling (ebil) girl.


Ok, to bed. Well, after I clean up my sewing machine and stuff.


A little Friday fabric pr0n May 15, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, sewing.
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I don’t have a lot to say – want to be sewing, working instead.

I did find one of these yesterday and had a coupon so I got it:

Wrights SideWinder Portable Bobbin Winder

It’s gotten mixed reviews online so I hope I like it. I’ve been wanting one for a while, actually, because I hate having to unthread my sewing machine just to wind a bobbin. That and I can’t help thinking that running it that fast, that long, just to fill bobbins will only wear out the motor that much faster.

What I wanted to do last night but didn’t get to was make a jumper for Mim. Just one of those simple over-the-shoulder types that you wear a shirt or onesie beneath. Here’s the fabric I have prewashed and ready to go:

Stash Fabric

Next in line are these fabrics, I’m thinking bags but we’ll see what I decide at the last minute:

Stash Fabric

Sigh. Back to work.

Sleepy. May 14, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, sewing.
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It’s late, but I accomplished something!

Bag - first attempt

Bag - first attempt

This was my first attempt and once I figured out how to do the voodoo to get the seams going the right way after turning one tube inside the other and forming the corners, it was pretty easy. The next one I make will take even less time. I have some pretty batiks for that one.

It was fun! I need to prescribe myself fun stuff at least once a day.

Fiber. It stares at me. January 26, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in dyeing, Etsy.
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I bought a bunch of plastic bins (oh Rubbermaid how I love thee) because the great purge needs to happen. Maybe not purge so much as “Oh my GOD I need to go through all the crap I’ve been stacking up in this room and organize it before I go crazy.” It’s gotten really bad here in my craft room, or studio if you want to sound all pretentious about it. Fact of the matter is I can’t find a damned thing in here. I keep my back to it all day while I work so I’m able to block it out, but lately I’ve been able to feel it all staring at me. I’m hoping that I just need to take everything out and organize it, get rid of boxes and useless papers and things like that and miraculously there will be enough room for it all. Here’s hoping.

So I told myself I needed bins to start this task. I’m going to try and do it in logical steps, such as

Step 1: Take out all the yarn.
Step 2: Take out all the roving.
Step 3: Take out all the fabric.

Because logically the bulk of my craft supplies in here is yarn, roving, and fabric, so if I remove that what’s left is the chaff that can be mostly gotten rid of. Right? Oh, I hope so. I know I have other things in here that will need to be dealt with – books and leaflets and patterns I printed off the internet, one box of beading stuff, another of clay stuff, but that should all be manageable when separated out. But here I am, 11:20pm on a Sunday night and I still haven’t started. I’m afraid to start and then not be able to finish and have it all spread out over the parts of the house that ARE cleaned up and organized.

I need those folks from Clean Sweep or the staff that prepares the White House on Inauguration Day to come by, just for an afternoon.

Right, so anyway, that boring crap aside here’s some more boring crap.

With the new year I decided I need to start paying attention to my Etsy shop again. I’ve changed names for the third time but I think this one will stick, it’s the same name on my Ravelry account, my LiveJournal, my WordPress blog, so at least I’m being consistent now. My yarn just arrived home from its rollicking trip out West so I’ve been listing a few skeins at a time just to keep on top of things. Slow and steady wins the race as they say. I did decide, however, to keep my favorite and not sell it after all:

i make things hand-dyed yarn

i make things hand-dyed yarn

I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, yet, but I sure do love it.

The only photos I had of all that yarn were ones I took hurriedly on a rainy day in November so they kind of suck. I am far too obsessed with everything being perfect so I told myself, “Screw it, just use the damned pictures you have already” because if I wait to take NEW pictures and then edit THEM I’ll never post a damned thing. It’s hard for me to override this Virgo mentality. Nngh.

Fabric and cookie mold fun December 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, food, sewing.
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Oh, fabric. How I lurve thee. I’m going to start sewing some skirts for myself as the ones I own are quite tattered and I haven’t seen anything I like in the stores. I’ve become a big fan of Amy Butler fabric, it’s just all so damned happy. I’ve also got a couple of vintage repros in there too for good measure.

In other exciting crafty news!

Cookie mold project

This is a cookie mold. Traditionally used to make Springerle cookies, but can also be used with clay to make other fun things, in this case xmas ornaments I plan to paint and give as gifts. I can’t take credit for this one, it’s all Martha.

(Excuse my bad photos – I just slapped everything out on the dining room table which is why I’m using one of kidlet’s placemats as a backdrop.)

I decided to start simple and just got the one mold, though it has three motifs which appeals to the thrifty part of me. I got the mold from House on the Hill and it’s very nice. My only gripe with it is that it’s cast resin and has a brown finish applied to it, presumably to make it look like wood. Frankly it smells weird and I would have been just as happy if they hadn’t added the finish at all. I’d like to make actual cookies with it (they included a recipe booklet, yay!) but think I’ll have to wash it a number of times first.

The clay I used is called Paperclay and isn’t actually clay at all – it’s non-toxic and smells like Elmer’s white glue so I’m guessing it’s just glue and paper. You can find a number of recipes online to make your own. I bought a package at the craft store and then found the Creative Paperclay website where I got a variety of their products to try out for a lot cheaper. For my inaugural endeavor I used the Creative Paperclay.

I just grabbed a ball of it, mashed it a bit with my hands, then smooshed it into the mold. I covered the whole thing and made it a somewhat even thickness on the back. To flatten the back I turned the mold over and pressed the back into the placemat, though if I wanted to be even more of a perfectionist I could have used a rolling pin.

Then, I turned it over and carefully pried the clay off. You can use a mold release spray to make this process easier but I’d like to use the mold to make cookies so opted not to get it as it would render the mold unsuitable for food use. The paperclay itself is non-toxic.

Cookie mold project

I cut out my designs using a round fluted cookie cutter. The paperclay did a nice job picking up the small details in the mold.

Cookie mold project

If I had some eyelet screws on hand I could have screwed them into the shapes before setting them out to dry, but alas I didn’t have anything handy this time around. Maybe next time. I lay them out on a piece of parchment paper to dry overnight.

Cookie mold project

Once they’re dry I’ll sand down the crumblies at the edges and then paint them with acrylic paint. The molding portion of this project was so quick and easy – ten minutes, tops. I did notice that the second time the clay stuck a teensy little bit in the mold so I cleaned it with warm water and a toothbrush, then set it out to dry. Since I’m not using mold release I think two castings is the maximum between cleanings.

I was thinking of making the ornaments and also making cookies and packaging them both together as a gift. What do you think?

This would really be a fantastic project to do with kids – the clay is light, easy to use, and not at all messy (though I personally had a squicky moment when it dried on my hands, I have tactile issues with things like that), making the molds is fun, and painting them is something a kid would love to do. I looked on the Creative Paperclay website and found more project ideas – they even describe how to make your own simple molds using rubber stamps and foam sheets. Too cool!

Now I want to go around my house finding things to mold the paperclay onto! I also want to try out the other two varieties I got to see how they come out, and I picked up some good old Das (remember that from middle school art class?) at the craft store which is a lot heavier but would make a more substantial piece. I also saw 25# boxes of clay for fifteen bucks…tempting! I need to find some rubber gloves if I’m going to continue messing with clay, however. Eugh.