Author: Mary

Just another crafty mom, trying to juggle family life with the desire to create.

Field Trip!

I was reading Anna Maria Horner‘s blog the other day, drooling over her upcoming Chocolate Lollipop line. Anyway, it somehow led to me looking for fabric sources and I ended up at the web site of a local quilting store.

I’ve known about this place for years. I used to drive past its previous location twice a day — on my way to and from work — and last year I cursed it for buying the building of the best comic store I’ve ever shopped. And yet it never crossed my mind to actually, you know, go there and shop for fabric. I guess part of it was the image I had of quilt shops (musty, dusty, full of old ladies and old lady fabrics). I stand corrected!

Were I not accompanied by the 2-year-old, I would have spent much longer in there. Like, the whole day. As it is, I spent about 30 minutes picking out two fabrics (and realized around minute 25 that I’d left at home the fabric I needed to match for another project). I’m looking forward to my return trip this weekend, although I’ll need to practice some restraint. OK, a lot of restraint! ha ha ha ha!

My big challenge remains finding the time to sew. Heck, I don’t even have time to clean my house. I’m determined to carve out some one-on-one time with my stash and machines this weekend, though.  I’m especially eager to work with some gorgeous Euro fabric I bought from Fabric Hound. There’s an outfit in a back issue of Ottobre that I think suits it perfectly.

Special Delivery from UPS

It has been a crazy week at work for me because we’re on deadline and had two magazines going out the door. On top of that, there was a rising-freshman parents meeting at the high school and I had a Junior League meeting last night. All together, it means I’ve had very little crafting time this week.

I guess that’s why I was extra excited to get home from work this afternoon and find the big brown box. Inside were three new-to-me books: Sewing 101, Amy Butler’s In Stitches and Simple Sewing with a French Twist. I haven’t had much time — OK, any time — to really look at them but I can tell from just a quick flip through that there are quite a few projects to add to me gargantuan to-do list.

In other news … I sold my first sewing work today. It really was inadvertent. I made my daughter a twirl skirt at Christmas and a friend asked if I’d make one for her daughter (who’s about the same size). I told her I planned to  make one in more Spring-y colors and would be happy to make two then. And I did. I also threw together a matching purse. She insisted on paying me, although I would have been happy to be reimbursed for just the fabric (of which I still have a ridiculous amount since I tend to overestimate the amount needed to clothe a 2-year-old!).

With any luck, I’ll get to hop on the machine tomorrow and finish up the latest dress for baby girl. I can’t wait to share the results!

Attack of the Fontaholic

I was reading Melissa’s Buzz Off yesterday and found these gorgeous alphabet blocks. I’m such a font junkie that it really took a lot to not order them, even at $100 for the set.

I love the color and the concept but mostly I love the letter forms. Just look at them: the taper of each spiral and curve, the graceful shape of each straight line — not too light or too heavy.

My love affair with type goes back decades, literally. I was obsessed with fonts when I as in high school and that only grew when I became a graphic designer. Between my two laptops, I have thousands of fonts — more than I can keep loaded on my computer. I just can’t help myself!

I’m a huge fan of serif faces. I probably use Hoefler more than just about anything but I also like Caslon, when it works with the project. Of course, I have a soft spot for scripts, too. Poetica with all of its ornamentals can keep me entertained for hours!

Be Mine

Happy Valentine’s Day! This year’s card was created with a free kit from The Shabby Princess. Isn’t it adorable? I love the papers; they have a great vintage feel. I used another digiscrapping product I bought in her store for the treat bags the kids gave out to their friends (and I have to admit that I made some for my coworkers, too).

I love Valentine’s Day. So many fun, cute crafts and all that pink and red!

Walking on Sunshine

It was a gorgeous sunny day today with a high in the 60s. I’d love to say I was outside, playing with my kids, and that’s why I did so little crafty stuff today. But no.

In my real life, I’m a journalist. A magazine editor, to be exact. OK, editorial director of a magazine. Anyway. We have these pesky little things we call “deadlines” that perk up around the time we go to press. Usually, that requires me to do a little more of that work thang that I do.

Such was the case today. Boo. Hiss.

After dinner tonight, I did rework the bodice of the dress I’m making for my daughter. The dress is a nice cotton twill and is lined with a lighter weight cotton. Originally I thought I could use the twill for both the bodice and bodice lining but it’s just too heavy. As it is, I had to cut out and sew the bodice twice because I underestimated my child’s girth (she’s not that big; I just haven’t measured her since her latest growth spurt) and the first attempt resembled nothing so much as a sausage casing. Is it any wonder she kept screaming at me, “Offie!! Offie!!”?

I’m eager to take the next step with the dress but it may have to wait until this weekend because of that deadline thang. (Boo. Hiss.) I’m currently leaning toward pleats — of which I’ve done exactly two and on pockets, not a dress — but it remains to be seen whether or not I can pull it off.

My chilly Valentine

I took DD out to the Antebellum Plantation at Stone Mountain Park yesterday to shoot the pictures for her Valentines. I’ve been meaning to do this for about a month now and paid for it dearly with the weather: cold, cold and cold. Did I mention it was cold? I think it was about 27 degrees when I took these shots. Now, understand that we’ve had unseasonably warm weather here for the past two months. It’s been in the 60s until very recently. But I choose to wait until it’s FREEZING and take my toddler outside for a photo shoot.

So the photos are not exactly what I’d hoped for and I really have no one to blame by myself. Baby Girl was quite the champ, trying to smile even though her teeth were chattering.

About the outfit: The peasant top is a pattern from I made it before I bought my serger and I keep meaning to redo it and never have (likely never will). The purse is my own design and if I ever get the revisions to my ebook finished, the pattern may actually be available for someon, somewhere to buy. I made the headband myself, too, and have since found an online tutorial that is much, much easier than how I did it.

The jumper features a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from the Belle line. It is just stunning in person. The bodice is based on another YCMT pattern but the rest is all mine. The straps are elasticized and the overskirt has gathers near the side seams and ribbon embellishments. I love the peek-a-boo effect with the underskirt.

Now the backstory on this outfit is that I was sewing it over the holidays and *squeamish reader alert* sewed through my own finger while working on it. Understand that this has pretty much been a lifelong fear of mine and I have to admit that actually doing it hurts even more than I imagined. I spent two hours on New Year’s Eve in the ER — much of it watching an Ugly Betty marathon on ABC Family — and promptly returned to my sewing after dinner that night. Looking at the finished outfit, I have to admit that it was worth it.

My kingdom for a zipper

I spent most of this afternoon working on an outfit for my daughter. The top came together fairly easily, as did the skirt. Until that part where I’m supposed to sew in the zipper. Zipper?

Zipper, zipper, who’s got the zipper? Ummmmm … not me. I know I should have read those darned directions all the way through.

I now have a cute gingham peasant top and what looks it will be a skirt sooner or later. With any luck, I’ll get to swing by some random place that sells zippers tonight.

It’s a crafty mag

Craft coverI was cruising the magazine offerings at Borders today and stumbled across this delightful periodical. Probably the only thing I’m addicted to more than crafts is magazines, so finding a magazine — especially a cute, fun-sized magazine — all about crafts made me swoon.

Seriously, the felted fruits and veggies have me itching (ha ha, itching — felted wool, itching … ) to give it a whirl myself. Of course, I own absolutely no felting supplies. No needles, no yarn, no nothing. And I have about 100 sewing projects in various stages of design-cutting-sewing, so it’s not like I’m lacking for something crafty to do.

Right now the mag is only quarterly but there’s a blog and a podcast so I think that can tide me over. I can already see that I’ll be checking out the website regularly. You know, because I’m lacking craft projects.