Monday, March 24, 2008

Now & Then: Google Alerts and My Past

A while back, I signed up for Google Alerts to find out when people were searching for my Etsy shop. I set up an alert for my maiden name as well, thinking it would be interesting to know if anyone from my pre-1992 life was thinking of me.
It turns out that I am sought every couple of weeks, so if you've reached my blog as a result of a Zutz search, please leave a comment to say hello.

Or not.

I know I've spent a night of insomnia anonymously Googling former classmates just to see what I could find out about where life has taken them.

Here's what you need to know: married since 1992, one child (born in 2005), high school English teacher, masters in English with a specialization in American literature, resident of the midwest, active, outdoorsy, sewist.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tree Hugger Applique Jacket

I embellished this great corduroy jacket with an applique block on the lapel, and a rockin' tree on the back.
This was one of those projects that had me squealing like a giddy child as I worked because it was turning out just as I imagined it would.
It took an hour and a half to draw the design and sew it on, during which time I became convinced of the need to raise my sewing table a few more inches. I have since stuck cans of tomato sauce under each leg of the table to prevent my posture from further stoop-damage.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Productivity, at long last

This is what I made today! I hope it sells, but I simultaneously hope it doesn't, so that it can live with me and be mine forever.
Inside is my first home-made tag. I used a custom stamp (designed by Jelene and produced by SweetPaperie) on fabric, then set the ink, cut it out, and stitched it in.
My little assembly line.
Procedural tools.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bread Baking

This winter, I have been baking bread more often. It's interesting how many recipe books have formulas which call for inaccurate temperatures, or instruct the yeast to be added at the wrong time. Thanks to the Panera Bread Cookbook, I have learned to spot bogus formulas, and my bread now predictably turns out in full-loaf size and shape.
I'm ready to take this endeavor further, though, and am looking for recommendations on the best bread-baking handbook out there. Comment, please, with any suggestions.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Zipper Insecurities

Many of my bag designs allow me to avoid installing zippers-- snaps, buttons, hook & loop, toggles, drawstrings--while still including a fastener. Recently, however, I've been trying to confront this weakness of mine, and to practice.This is a pre-school messenger bag I made for my son. I started with the zipper panel, just to get past it.What helped me to gain knowledge, and therefore confidence, were YouTube tutorials by Expert Village professionals and by ThreadHeads guests, but I have a long way to go.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Studio "Remodeling" on the Cheap

My basement "studio" space before & after re-arranging and adding more carpet remnnants, laundered thrift store fabric/sheets, and some shelving found on sale at Target. It feels like more of a room than a space now, and is much brighter as well.

Learning from Mistakes: Screen Printing Success

Last week I botched an attempt at screen-printing the thrifty way because I didn't buy the right ink (see February 21 entry) .

This weekend, I tried again, this time with Speedball ink, and ta-dah! Success! It's not without flaws, but I had fun with it. Out of insecurity, I printed onto the bottom of the old shirt, then cut it out and sewed it to a new shirt for a different look. (You won't find this style anywhere in the mighty and cool CafePress!)

I think I'm hooked. I'm always dreaming up crazy thoughts to put on shirts. My husband is already making requests. If only the screens didn't take so long to paint with ModPodge...