The Gumball Thief

I worry sometimes that I am losing my way around my camera. I’ve gone through a period lately where I have barely picked it up except for work — shooting static objects like crafts or food for the magazine — and I know that’s not good. I need to pick up my camera and use it, train my eye, improve my technical skills. Things that only happen with practice.

Today I spontaneously grabbed my camera and photographed my favorite subject, my daughter. She was amenable to it (a pleasant surprise!) and I was glad to play. My favorite, though, is this shot which shows virtually nothing of her. Or, rather, shows so much of her personality.

We have a gumball machine in our foyer. It doesn’t really “go” with anything and has spent more time in the corporate world in the past seven years, first at my office and then my husband’s. It’s been home since December and mostly ignored by the two year old until recently. She has discovered that the knob, when jiggled, yields the sweetest, most delicious treats she’s ever had. Now she makes her way down the stairs at least once a day to sneak a gumball or two — or three.

And here she is, caught in the act. My little gumball thief.

Plugging Along

I finally took my own advice and just did it.

I’ve spent most of this evening working on a top for my daughter, using the most beautiful Fresh Cut fabric. I had sketched an outfit for her months ago and when I saw the fabric, I knew it was a perfect match.

I sketched the pattern idea that I had after measuring L. Measure, draw, measure again, re-draw. I finally had something I thought would work, drew it onto some Pattern Ease and used it to create a bodice part from some leftover fabric. Tweaked the pattern and then used it to cut my real bodice pieces.

The realities of creating the outfit, however, are a little less fairytale-ish. I ripped out the seams — this one and that one — about six times, maybe more. Trying to figure out the best way to assemble it proved quite challenging for me. Accidentally yanking out the elastic did not help things.

Eventually, I figured it out and got it sewn up quite nicely. More or less. I ran out of the matching thread, so no topstitching until I make a thread run — and since I’m on deadline for the magazine, it likely won’t happen until this weekend.

Oh, well. I can occupy myself with making the coordinating pants until then.

Just Do It

I have a list of projects as long — or longer — than my arm, but I can’t seem to get going. After my big trace-and-cut fest the other day, I’ve done not much more than look at my stash and stack and think, “I really should do something about that.”

I did receive in the mail today two yards of a lovely Chez Ami polka dot to go with my chicken fabric. The only thing holding me back on that one is not being 100 percent certain what I’m going to do with all of this lovely stuff.

I really just need to decide and get started. Time’s a-wasting!

Wanting

I took this photo of DD back in February, when we were visiting her grandparents. It’s taken me until now to download it from my camera, edit it an upload it.

She was standing on a chair, staring out the window as her cousins — older, bigger — were playing outside. That look of wistful longing had to be saved. It was dark in the house and I was challenged to expose the shot without losing any detail. I think I did OK. The graininess is from my conversion; that needs to be fixed before I print (and this is definitely one to print).

I have been ignoring my camera for some time now. Life just gets in the way and I make excuses, blah blah blah. I miss it and need to get back in the routine of taking pictures at least weekly, if not more frequently.

It’s Expo-rific

 I bailed on hubby and the kids yesterday to hit up the Atlanta Sewing Expo. OK, “bailed” is probably the wrong word, since I took my oldest to his ham radio exam (he passed!) at 8:30 a.m., then went home and picked up child 2 of 3 to take him to Shabbat School and Temple by 10 before driving up to the civic center. A mom’s work is never done!

Anyway, I’ve never been to a sewing expo before but I figured it was pretty similar to the scrapbooking expos I’ve attended (it is). Sadly, I didn’t take any classes but really wish I had. I think that would have made the experience more better. ~_^ Still, I can’t complain. I had fun, saw lots of really cool quilts and even bought a few things.

I’m always impressed by how Sandi uses trims and embellishments on her outfits, so I made sure to cruise through the vendors who sold those types of items. Wow, so much stuff! I was, in fact, a little overwhelmed and ended up buying only a few vintage buttons and some cool geisha buttons. I really need some kind of embellishment tutorial to get me started/less intimdated. Oh, and I also bought a little bit of fabric (2 measely yards). I’d snap a few pics but that would involve hunting down my camera blah blah blah and I’m trying to cut pattern pieces while I’m working on this blog entry.

I was kind of meh about a lot of the fabric there. Tons of FQ and not lots of yardage, which is kind of pointless for someone who needs at least a yard for most things. I ended up driving to my favorite quilt shop and dropping a few greenbacks on some of the Flea Market Fancy fabrics. (They’ve since been put to use — maybe pics tomorrow!)

I also snagged the Amy Butler Cabo Halter pattern plus more of the duckegg wallpaper fabric so I can making a top to match my daughter’s dress. I’m going to give it a whirl with some cheapy fabric first, though, especially since there are darts AND a zipper involved. Wish me luck!

 ETA: I found a pic of the fabric I bought at the Expo. Isn’t it just too cute?! Now if I can only figure out what to do with it!

How To

Katie stopped by my blog recently (be sure to check hers out!) and I spotted some too cute patchwork quilted purses she’s made. (She recently went to a taping of the Martha show — color me jealous!) The discovery led me to Google for tutorials and I found a bunch of great sites for making purses — just what I need, since I’ve been winging it with mine. Sure, they look cute but I know the construction could be better.

Actually, it’s kind of nice to see that even though I’ve been just guessing at the way to sew a bag, I’m actually on the right track.

I’m really excited about Creative Little Daisy’s zipper tutorial. Woohoo! As I’ve admitted before, zippers are  just a real challenge for me (although Angela has done a wonderful job of helping me). Between the two sets of instructions I know have, I may actually attempt a zipper again.

Busy Bee

I was a sewing fiend this weekend. I managed to sew a purse and three outfits for DD. Not too shabby!

First off, the purse. I used Heather Ross fabric, Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries, I think it’s called. I love the fabric and I’m pretty happy with how the purse turned out. It’s the biggest purse I’ve made — I usually do toddler-sized versions — and it took a little more math than anticipated. The button closure was a sort of last-minute decision; I’m glad I added it. (That’s my KRZR peeking out of the pocket!)

Next up is a fun halter dress-top and jeans outfit. I adore this Michael Miller fabric. I bought it off eBay without knowing what I was going to do with it. When I saw the dress pattern on YCMT, I knew I’d found the perfect fit. My older son helped me decide the fabric placement and is the one who suggested doing ruffled jeans instead of pants. My fashion consultant!

It’s not quite finished. I need to do the top stitching of the dress and I think I’m going to make a newsboy hat to match, as well as a purse. I only bought two yards, so I need to plan well because I don’t have much left to work with. As it is, I had to cut the skirt for the dress twice because of a grievous serger miscalculation on my part.

I’ve never embellished overalls before and thought I’d give it a whirl. You know how they say “never say never”? Well, I’m pretty sure I mean it when I say I’ll never again attempt to do this. I think they’re super cute but definitely more of a hassle than I expected. More Michael Miller fabric, this time the Dandy Damask. I think the stripe is a Kaufman fabric; I’d have to go digging to be sure. It’s not a perfect match but I think it works. The dot was sort of a last-minute addition; the fabric was left over from another project and I thought it made for a cute accent.

*

*

Now for my favorite! I found this gorgeous handkerchief fabric on SuperBuzzy and knew I wanted to make an apron something from it. I had no idea what fabric I’d put with it, what exactly I’d do with it or even which handkerchief I’d use. Three trips around the quilt shop before I stumbled on this ovals-on-pink fabric. I had thought I’d use another square for the apron but I thought the oval medallions were a perfect match. Another learning experience with this project, though: I measured my sweet daughter for the top but didn’t fit her during the sewing since she was sleeping. I ended up with a top that would fit her in maybe two years’ time! Out came the seam ripper and the rotary cutter. This one fits much better.

Hiccup

Right after I downloaded the pics of my latest sewing to my computer, the logic board failed. Again. That’s three times in 18 months and twice in the past six months — and the computer’s only two years old, IIRC.

I’m now the proud owner of a brand new MacBook, although I’m less excited about owning a new computer than I’ve ever been before since the circumstances are different. Now that I have my cable, I’ll attempt to move over the old stuff to the new ‘puter. Fingers crossed!