Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another tote and some shopping

I just finished sewing a tote that I have had cut out for about a week now. I was watching the DIY Network and they demonstrated sewing tote kind of like you would sew a zippered pouch. The technique involves sewing the top seam (where the handles get sandwiched between the outer fabric and lining) first and then sewing the sides. Brilliant! So I thought. I always hate sewing that last seam together when making a bag or tote. It wasn't until I was actually sewing the sides that I realized that this was NOT GOING TO WORK! Sewing the seams in that order resulted in the lining getting caught in the outer fabric where the seams meet. I always have issues with this when making a zippered pouch too.

Another failed project....AHHHH!!! he he he

Anyhoo, I have been doing a little bit of online shopping at Superbuzzy.

I haven't even had a chance to flip through the magazine. I'm hoping that I can find a student at school who speaks Japanese to help me make sense of some of the instructions.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Good-bye Joanne!

I'm a little bit sad today because a good friend of mine from work is moving on. I'm very happy for her because she's leaving us for a school that is right around the corner from her house.

I gave her a good-bye gift a few weeks ago when I found out she was leaving. Today she gave me the greatest mug and coaster as well as a cute little figurine and a bottle of yummy wine.

I went to VV at lunch today and bought an apron. I'm not big into aprons but I really like the fabric of this one and I plan to recycle it. Into what I'm not sure yet. (It's the fabric that the mug and coaster are sitting on).

Anyways, Joanne I'm sure you'll be very happy at your new school and I'll miss you very much!!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm a copy-cat

I was doing a little blog surfing this morning when I should have been working (what else is new) and I found this awesome post at Kirsten's blog.
I started to think about all the t-shirts/tops hanging in my closet that I can't wear because I slopped on them and now they are stained.

I dashed home after work and did this:

It's hardly perfect, but at least I can wear that t-shirt again!!! Thanks Kirsten!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

I have the Monday blues...

I fell in love with this blouse at Nikki-Shell's blog. I bought the pattern (Simplicity 4589) and some fabric from Value Village I got to work.

Please keep in mind that the only experience I have sewing clothing was a bridesmaid's dress in 1995 and the PJ bottoms I've been making recently. I really have no experience following patterns or deciphering the instructions. I cut out all the pieces and started sewing. At one point I think you need to hand stitch the lining of the neck down. Not me, I thought I could use the sewing machine. Uh, no. When the pattern says hand stitch (I think it was blind stitch actually) I think it's for a reason.

My biggest blunder had to do with the sleeves. There are little dots to line up the sleeve with the blouse that you need to put on your pattern pieces. Ok, I'll use my fading quilting marker. Well, the circles faded, go figure, and then I started guessing where they went. You can't do that!!!!!!!!!!!!

So...the first time I sewed on the sleeve it was wrong, I ripped it out and tried it again. The second time I sewed the sleeve on inside out. This is the third attempt after the little circles faded and it is NOT right either. It will either be ripped out OR I'll start all over again from the beginning. I can't really wear this one anyways because of the stitching around the neck when I was supposed to use a blind stitch. *sigh*


I can't crochet either. That lovely afghan I posted about last week?? Well, the stitch used is not double crochet, it's not half double crochet, I don't know what it is. I think it's some made up mystery stitch.

Here's what happened:

I used to crochet years ago (didn't we all??) and I just needed a refresher before I started on the afghan. I'm left-handed so I searched on google "left-handed double crochet" (or something like that). I found a site that had diagrams I could understand and off I went. I kept thinking that this isn't exactly how I remember doing it, but I followed the diagrams exactly, so this must be right.

I was still haunted by the fact that it wasn't looking exactly right. I started looking at all the other wonderful afghans online and realized mine didn't look like those ones, but that's because I'm left-handed, right???? WRONG.

I looked up instructions on how to double crochet on other sites when I realized that I HAVE BEEN DOING IT WRONG.

I am not ripping it out.

I look forward to having something successful to blog about soon :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Value Village Treasures

Again, I was lucky at Value Village.

A quick trip there at lunch time resulted in these ultra-amazing purchases:

The first photo is a unfinished quilt top. It's probably meant to be a wall hanging. It just needs batting, quilting and binding. I say that like I know how to do it, I really don't but I'm willing to learn. cost $2.99.

The second picture is of two amazing pot holders. The price tag of $1.99 was for BOTH. They appear to be unused. I hope I'm brave enough to use them and I don't just stick them in a drawer because they are "too pretty".

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bingo Bags

Again, I have to thank Lera for sending me the blank bingo cards that she found at the Swap Shop! I was playing around on the weekend with bingo bags.

I was playing around with the drawstring bag pattern in the most recent issue of "Quilts and More". Do you know how long it's been since I've had to calculate the circumference of a circle and use pi?????? WAY TOO LONG! Anyways, once I remembered my basic high school math skills the hardest part of making these bags was sewing the circular bottom on the bag. Not easy.

I have yet to put the buttons on the second bag. The bags are the perfect size to hold several bingo dabbers. The smaller one is my first attempt and the one waiting for buttons is a better size.

I am still thinking about making tote bags using the bingo card image too!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crochet and Cookies

I gave in. I started a crocheted rippley afghan. I started it late last week and this is what it looks like so far:

I'm loving it. What I'm not loving though is the cost. I am using up a ton of Patons Classic Merino that I had bought when I was right into knitted felted bags. I only had to buy three skeins of yarn to make the afghan. But when I added up the total cost of the yarn used for the afghan, it works out to about $100.00!!!!!! Now, I know that's not bad, but I'm a cheapo. I know I'm going to want to make another and I don't think I could use any other yarn so I'm just going to have to "suck it up".

As fun as it is to work on though, I'm finding it really tough on my left arm (I'm left-handed). It was only three years ago when I fell and shattered my elbow/broke my arm. I just don't have the strength or mobility in that arm that I used to and I'm finding that I NEED to take a break every now and then or my arm gets very sore and achy.

I also made some cookies today. I don't know why, but I felt the need to photograph the event. Perhaps it's because it's VERY RARE for me to make cookies, mostly because I could eat them all in a day! But look, I can bake.

I used my new oven mitt. It works just fine!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I can't believe what I found!

Ok, I had some running around to do this morning, boring things. I decided that the last place I would go would be Value Village.

I found these:

They cost me $1.99 for the bunch.

Now, what to do with them. I can think of embellishing pouches/wristlets/bags with them by sewing a button in the middle. But what else could I do???

I've started something I vowed I would never do and that's crochet an afghan. A ripple one at that. And I'm enjoying it. I don't think had I not taken up crocheting again recently that I would appreciate these little flowers quite as much as I do.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Oven Mitt

I made some cute cute curtains for the kitchen yesterday but I have no idea how to get a good picture of them. It's dark and grey here today I'll try on a sunny day.

I did get a picture of the oven mitt I made to match though.

I essentially followed the instructions from Denyse Schmidt's book. It was easy but I had my doubts sewing through 4 layers of batting AND 4 layers of fabric at the same time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another tote

During my little tote making spree I also made this one:

I am so in love with yo yos.

I had to take my sewing machine in this morning to the sewing machine doctor for an adjustment. The adjustment was necessary after a broken needle incident. My machine is all happy again.

I came home and made some new curtains for the kitchen. Today was very overcast so I'll try to take pictures tomorrow.

I can't believe how fast this week is going and how little I've done.

I've had several people inquire about the personalized stamp I had made. I'm sure there are places online that you can order them from but I actually had it made at a local rubber stamp store. I chose the font I wanted and printed out the text in the size that I wanted for the stamp. I took the printout and a disc with the font file on it to the rubber stamp store and 3 days later I had my stamp. I think that printing shops will make personalized rubber stamps too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Some March Break Sewing

After a whirlwind weekend with my Mother I finally got to spend some quality time with my sewing machine.

I made these:

I wanted a new Springy purse. I love the orange and blue together.

Off to start my next March Break project.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My new banner

A great big thank you to Jessica for making me a ton of new banners and avatars for my blog and my Etsy shop.

I was so afraid to ask Jessica for her help, but she came through, BIG TIME!!!!!!!

Thanks Jessica!!!!!!

Now I just have to figure out how to change my banner again.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

As promised....

As promised here are two more totes, one has already been given away (the pink one) and the recipient was quite thrilled.

I've gotten a little carried away with making tags:

I think my favourites are the stripey ones.

And....I'm grumpy. I just finished a tote that I love and I sewed one of the handles on with a twist. I HATE ripping out stitches. Blah!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Thank You Lera

My birthday was last weekend and to my HUGE shock and surprise, Lera told me she had sent me a birthday present.

She was hoping it would arrive late last week (so was I) but it didn't come. I dashed home super-quick today at lunch, and, ta-da!!!! it was waiting for me. I was like a kid at Christmas, I quickly opened the package to find all these treats!!!

The package contained a super-awesome tote bag (my new work tote) made with the greatest Little Red Riding Hood fabric and a matching tissue holder. I LOVE THEM BOTH. It also contained some buttons (I almost fainted, I LOVE buttons) AND some of Lera's super-yummy home-made soap.

That woman has six kids. I have NO IDEA how she does it, but I am so appreciative.

Thank you Lera. Look out at your birthday (now that I know when it is).

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I'm so dumb

I have spent a TON Of money and time in the last few months trying to find the perfect tag for my bags/purses. I can't even begin to tell you how much energy I've put into this.

The very first tags I ever made were using this Craftster tutorial. The tutorial suggests ironing the transfers onto ribbon. I used these tags for a long time but I didn't like the satin ribbon. I also had it in my mind that the background of the iron-on transfers was white, limiting what I could iron it on.

I did a little surfing today (still trying to find the perfect tag) and I finally decided to check if the background of the transfers I was using was white or clear.

The background of the iron-on transfer is clear. I could iron the transfer onto anything. I feel dumb now. All my hunting for the perfect tag and I almost had it on my first try. What I was unhappy with in the first place was the ribbon I was using, NOT the transfer. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I love Saturdays

I woke up early this morning, had a cup of coffee and sewed a tote bag that I had cut out the other night. I used some embroidered denim I got on sale earlier this week along with a pillowcase that I thrifted a while back. I am thrilled with the way it turned out! I actually think it looks better in real life than in the photo and that doesn't happen often for me.

After the tote was done and I got Joe out the door (he went Geocaching) I headed out to run some errands. The first place I went was Value Village. I picked up three pillowcases to use for lining tote bags. I got two beigey ones and that crazy map print Chevrolet fabric one. I just thought it would make a good Geocaching tote for someone. could I forget, I also managed to find a little bag of buttons. Finding buttons at Value Village is like the Holy Grail to me. It just makes me happy.

My last stop was another little thrift store where I bought some cordoroy and some cotton fabric. There is three yards of the cotton print but it's not a continuous piece. It seems to be a bunch of little pieces pieced together. I'm sure I'll find some use for it, I love the colours.

I've spent the rest of the day doing laundry and working on some more tote bags. In true Karyn style, I can't make just one of something I like, I have to make 50. the next few days prepared to be bombarded with tote bag posts.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before that I have a small crush on Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24. For Valentine's Day Joe gave me Season 4. I'm almost half-way through it. I think I'm going to snuggle up on the couch now and watch a few more episodes before Joe comes home.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I can't wait until March Break!

It's been a crappy week. Right now it's freezing rain outside and it doesn't seem like Spring will ever come.

I've been making more note cards this week. I find I use a lot of them and I had just about run out (believe it or not).

I have also been going crazy trying to find affordable tags for my bags, etc. I had ordered some iron-on tags and I just wasn't happy with them. I have found a couple of places online that make woven tags at an affordable price (kind of) but I'm having trouble finding out if they deliver to Canada.

In the meantime I've had a new stamp made up, bought some fabric ink and made these:

And of course I had to see what they looked like on a change purse. I would put them on the inside next time, but I just wanted to get a feel for them.

After stamping the tape, I ironed the ink to set it and tried washing one. The ink is very stable, thank goodness. I think I'll try these for a while while I continue my search for the perfect tag.

Six school days until the March Break. Thank goodness!!!!