| May 9, 2012 | 10:42 am
I am so pleased to announce that I will be contributing some of my coffee bean bag purses and totes at the Portage Trail Barn Sale. My goal was to sew a bag a day for the past two weeks to prepare. That was insanity. There are so many moms who manage to juggle the work-at-home-mom gig. I don’t think that person is me.
I get distracted by my garden, my friends, my kids, my desire to learn how to build a drip irrigation system…. And another project that I am so excited to share, but I’m not quite ready yet.
Kid's Cape made by Portage Trail Barn
In any case. I have much less than 14 bags to offer at the sale, but the ones I do have are really great. You’ve seen the photos before. I’m also bringing some items which I made last year, some arm cuffs and headbands and stuff.
Mostly, I’m just glad to be a part of such a unique retail opportunity. My friend Mary Beth is such a creative and industrious person. She’s a real up-by-your-bootstraps kind of woman. And she has chickens, which is something I really want (anyone want an awesome house in west akron with fabulous neighors so I can move to a house with a yard big enough for chickens?).
There are many other vendors offering their wares at the sale, too. So you will need to check out the Portage Trail Barn blog to see her featured sellers to know what to look forward to. And even better, you can head over to the sale next weekend and feel all the hand crafted goodness with your own fingers. I am planning on restocking my supply of hand knit dish cloths. As well as finding some handmade gifts for my mom’s birthday!
- Spring Barn Sale- May 17-19
- Thursday 5p-8p
- Friday and Saturday 10a-3p
| August 27, 2011 | 9:26 pm
Amy asked me to share the inspiration photos and the pattern I started with for my friend’s wedding dress. She sent me this one first:
Then she sent this, which is where I got the idea for the full ruffled cap sleeves (which I haven’t shown yet, but will):
And this is the pattern we chose to work with, though in the end I ended up changing almost everything about it:
| August 27, 2011 | 12:16 pm
I’ve had legitimate reasons not to post lately. Beside the girls finishing up summer, and a week of vacation, I took on a project that really pushed me to take my professionalism to a new level. Not to mention the new level of creativity.
Inspired by my few friends who’ve taken their interest in photography and turned it into a wedding and portrait photography business, I took on my first commissioned wedding dress project. My friend Paula was wedding dress shopping, and her sister joking/half-jokingly suggested she ask me to do it. I’ve sewn many many baby slings and gifts for their family in the past. So I asked to see some inspiration photos, determined the project to be within my skill level, and said “you sure you’re just kidding, cause I can totally make that.”
And thus it began. We shopped for a pattern to alter. I altered that pattern to match Paula’s vision. Then I put in the hours, and hours. In the end, I couldn’t have been more proud of my work, and Paula really looks stunning. Here’s a sneak peak of the hemline, can’t show too much before the wedding!
And here is a shot of the fascinator which I threw into the deal, modeled by my sweet nearly five-year-old daughter. I have no idea what her hair style plans are, so I don’t know if it will be worn or not, but I loved her color choices for the flowers and I wanted to throw something together with more color.
After the wedding next weekend I’ll be sure to share some better shots. And just in case anyone was wondering what the fee was, I charge $25 a hour for sewing, and Paula purchased the fabric.
| July 14, 2011 | 11:12 pm
I’ve been composting for the garden for years, but I was using this make-shift system of tossing everything compostable into one of two trash cans and kinda rolling them around every so often to get them turned. As you can imagine, this system was a major fail. I never had compost at the beginning of the season, and by the end of the season the cans got so heavy it was really hard to access the compost I finally had. Something needed to be done!
So I got three untreated (as far as I can tell) oak pallets from someone who didn’t need them anymore and put them to work. I cut them with my hand saw into three 4′ x 4′ squares and nailed them together like this:
Then with the 1 1/2′ x 4′ pieces left over I nailed one to the bottom half of the open front, and just stacked the second piece on top of the bottom piece. It’s held on by a bungie so that I can easily get in and out of the composter to turn it and shovel compost out. Already my compost is breaking down more quickly, and it just looks so much better! Yesterday I found Olivia pulling dandelions on her own and tossing them into the bin, so it’s basically a win-win-win-win situation now. Plus, the whole project cost me a whopping $2 for nails and 2 hours time! Unbeatable!
| May 6, 2011 | 10:28 pm
Sub-titled: Much Belated.
But we went right from Easter to Crafty Mart around here and I had a hard time keeping up. I think I missed a week’s post. Sorry about that. Those of you who follow us on facebook (link over there ——->) know that I have decided to scale back my posts to once a week. Therefore you’ll probably find more info in each post and I’ll be able to spend a bit more time with my kiddos.
I tried my darnedest to get some good pictures of the girls in their Easter Dresses. But, goodness, it is really hard to get three children to stand still. It’s even harder to get three girls who love their spinny dresses to hold still. And yet even harder to get them to hold still in their spinny dresses long enough for a clear shot in indoor lighting because it was about 40 degrees and raining. Blah! But this will have to do!
Olivia’s is my favorite. I spent the most time playing fabric against each other for her dress and I gathered the under skirt to make it much fuller and princessy. Since hers is the biggest each girl will get the chance to wear that dress, so it got the most attention to detail.
The other amazing thing we did this Easter was head over to Rob’s parents’ house to dye eggs the Martha Stewart way. We wrapped them in cut up silk ties. They turned out absolutely amazing. We had so much fun seeing them when we unwrapped them I think we dyed at least 3 dozen eggs. Maybe 4. It was a real shame to eat them.
| April 15, 2011 | 10:09 pm
I have written before about how handy and crafty my friends are. Seriously, I’m lucky to have such a creative bunch of friends. I feel like I am constantly receiving handmade goodness, either in the form of jewelry, gifts, or food. Like how my friend, Jennifer, gave me three jars she canned last fall- diced tomatoes, apple sauce, and peaches. Or the natural cleaning supplies my friend, Hilary, made. She even put them in labeled spray bottles.
But, this necklace here is my all time favorite handmade gift. My dear friend, Ellie, bought the nest pendant for me at a fair local to her in South Carolina (do you have the contact for the artist, Ellie?). She said she thought it was fitting, since it had the nest and all. And she was right. I wear this necklace all the time. I love the details like the tiny bird charm and the wire wrapped clasp with tiny turquoise beads (not pictured).
Then along came the three little stamped silver initials. My other friend, Megan (why don’t you have a website?!) made these for me for my birthday. Each disk has one of my children’s initials on it. I had to put them on my nest necklace. Now I have one necklace that is sort of symbolic of who I am. I’m a mom and a maker, these things are close to my heart.
| February 23, 2011 | 2:43 pm
I must say, the dress from Casey’s Sew Along is very wearable. I LOVE the sweep of the skirt, I love the fabric choice, I love the sleeves. I do not LOVE the bodice. I had to make sweeping changes to it, and I just couldn’t get the right mix of blouse-y and fit for my frame.
That’s OK though. I do LIKE the bodice and I wore the dress to church on Sunday. No one asked me if my dress was handmade, so that must mean it looks pretty good to the average person, right?
I want to make this dress again, but I’d like to change the bodice a lot. Maybe I’ll draft something up for an Easter dress for myself. I have to make the girl’s dresses soon too, so we’ll see how that goes. I am also about to cut and make a swing dress for my sister. That’s quite a bit of sewing… It’s good for me to keep busy.
Don’t forget to enter our give away, it closes tonight! 2 yards of vintage fabric in your choice of print!
| February 14, 2011 | 5:33 pm
I’ve had my muslin for the Swing Dress Sew Along finished for about a week now, and I’m just getting around to posting the pictures. Last week I had big productivity plans that involved pattern drafting, tutorial writing and dress sewing, but instead I dealt with a flu knocking my family over one by one. We are now 2 antibiotics into the thing, and looking like this week might prove less of an impediment to my accomplishing anything more than meager meals.
But anyways, back to the dress. I made some mistakes and had to rework the bodice three times. First time through it was WAY too long, so I measured and shortened the bodice and skirt. So the second draft the hem was great, but the bodice was an inch and a half too short, so that meant that the skirt was actually and inch and a half too long! Argh!
But I’ve been following the directions with Casey, and I’m ready to make my final dress out of my fashion fabric. In fact I started cutting out the pieces last night. But I’m taking my time with this step since I already have put so much time into it, and this fabric is a once in a lifetime fabric. It would be a real shame if I never wore the dress after I spent all this time! No mistakes! I am hoping to have it done before the end of our fabric give away so I can wear it for a birthday date of some kind.
By the way, did you enter the give away??? Please do! I really want to be able to pick two winners and we need fifty comments to do that…
| January 21, 2011 | 7:40 pm
This past Wednesday was the Anniversary party for our local Stitch N Bitch. Good ol’ group has been around for 7 years now. I got my second year pin, which is a tiny hand knit bear. I’ll have to photo him later, since I think he’s still attached to the sweater I wore to the party and that sweater is in the laundry chute.
Our group celebrates the event with a blind scarf swap. To participate you just need to knit or crochet a scarf and bring it wrapped up in non-descript wrapping paper. Then everyone just takes turns picking a scarf at random and everyone says, “OOOOoooooo, AAaaahhhhhhh!!” as they admire our talented group’s handi work.
I wanted to participate, mostly because I wanted to get a fantastic new scarf that was made with love, but I didn’t have time to commit to the knitting. I tried to wing it at the last minute and wet felt some hand died wool. Let me just say, it didn’t work and so I didn’t swap. I was going for a dark bluish green and I ended up with this bright spring green. Then when I felted it the scarf was too thin and it split down the middle. Craft fail.
Now I have this long piece of green felt. I think it might be salvageable if I cut it into leaf shapes and sew it together into a scarf. Maybe I will work on that this weekend… Or maybe I will just put it in the limbo of my closet in the studio…
| January 3, 2011 | 3:28 pm
I sewed my first tote bag! I love how it turned out, and I’m really pleased with the fabric (It takes me a painful amount of time to make fabric choices). I took the Intermediate Sewing Skills Tote Bag class from Martha at Craft Akron, and she was amazingly patient & encouraging. This is my first time doing a zipper, button hole, and using interfacing. Actually, this was my very first sewing class because I’ve been self-taught. This class revealed a few things I thought I was doing right but wasn’t.
Thank you Martha!
inside of tote