First sewing project in the new room

I whipped up a purse organizer last night using these instructions (pdf), though I started with fabric that was 12" x 30": purse organizer The inside: Inside I forgot to take a picture of the outside, but the Eiffel towers are right side up on that side. :) I realized I was going to have a directional fabric problem, but I wanted to use the Eiffel towers, so there you go. The idea is less fumbling in my purse for a particular item, and easier purse changes from day to day (I have three in heavy rotation). I'm not delinquent in the knitting either: Fronts Not bad, huh? :)

Craft Room Makeover

I spent a lot of time during the staycation week whipping the craft room into shape. Before we even moved in: pink bedroom Then we took down the painted pink wallpaper (seriously, PAINTED), but didn't get much further than repainting - these are before pics from July 2008: craft room before 1 craft room before 2 craft room before 3 I'm being charitable when I say it got a lot worse. Anyway, but now I've got "after" pics: From the door, then counter-clockwise around the room: door The cut table with my super ball-winder (jumbo, drill powered), and a plastic storage thing that I eventually want to get rid of: cut table Sewing desk, with a pullout piece for extra surface area, topped with Brother sewing machine and serger: sewing desk "Priority yarn" and all of my craft books and magazines. You can also see a little bit of my mom's sewing table in the lower left corner (now a TV stand): bookcases Next to the bookcase, which has from left to right a cross-stitch I made for my grandmother (and got back when she passed), one of the largest cross-stitches I ever made (the violin), and on the right is a piece inherited from my grandmother - I don't know if she stitched it, or if a non-relative made it for her. Also visible is the new 22" LCD (since the TV in the "before" pics is my treadmill TV), and the lap loom with floor stand that I haven't used yet. TV And finally, the closet: closet So the rug that I originally got for this room (and pictured in the before pics) was just too large considering that everything is on casters (the extension to the sewing desk, the desk chair, the cut table). We were thinking of getting the original cut down, as it was just a carpet remnant anyway from Building 19, but then my sister sent me the link to digital design boards as well as a potential rug. I made my own rudimentary board with two rug options: design board After seeing it all together, and also the fact that I had ruled out the rug on the left in blue for my bedroom, I went with the rug on the left. :) Also pictured is the ceiling fan that will be necessary for comfort in the summer, and will provide nice overhead lighting (I never go with dome lights in rooms that I craft in). When that's purchased and installed (my husband is an expert at that, thankfully), the lamp in the room will either be removed, or put by the sewing machines. TV placement might also change after I use the room for a little bit. First up for usage of this room is a pincushion/threadcatcher for my sewing area and a purse organizer. :) Right now, though, I'm returning to my Central Park Hoodie, which got neglected over the weekend in favor of trips to Ikea, Target, Circuit City, and massive organizing.

Home again

I guess I neglected to mention that I'd be gone, huh? Brad and I left on Monday to go to Michigan to see his family. Before we left, I finished up the tree skirt - not having more than one glue stick, and no fabric glue in the house, I did the stupid thing and stitched on all 9 yards of sequin string on by hand: FinishedTreeSkirt I also blocked a bunch of stuff: Apricot Jacket Pattern: Apricot Jacket from Rebecca 25 Modifications: None Needles: US 9 Addi Turbos (7s for tubular cast on) Yarn: 4.5 skeins of Cotton Ease in Strawberry Cream Date Started: September 1, 2008 Date Completed: November 30, 2008 Time: 3.75 hours for the first sleeve, 3.5 hours for the second sleeve, 5 hours for the back, 3.5 hours for the left front, 3 hours for the right front, 4.5 hours for finishing for a total of 23.25 hours. I also blocked the Boteh scarf: Boteh scarf Pattern: Boteh Scarf Modifications: None Crochet Hook: 4.25 mm Yarn: 1.5 skeins of Claudia Hand Painted Fingering in Blueberry Toast Date Started: December 1, 2008 Date Completed: December 12, 2008 Time: 10.75 hours Also blocked, the Noro striped scarf and a hat: Noro scarf Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood Modifications: Tubular cast on and cast off Needles: Addi Turbo US 7 Yarn: 1.5 skeins each of Noro Silk Garden in 224 and 272 Date Started: November 16, 2008 Date Completed: November 30, 2008 Time: 8.25 hours Noro Hat Pattern: Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood Modifications: Kept the 2 row color switch-off to match the scarf. Also knit 1x1 rib for the edge instead of 2x2. Meant to knit the ribbing with the US 6 and the body of the hat with US 7, but accidentally got those switched. Needles: Addi Turbo US 7 and US 6 Yarn: .5 skeins each of Noro Silk Garden in 224 and 272 Date Started: November 29, 2008 Date Completed: November 30, 2008 Time: 4.25 hours I still have two more knits to block and post pictures of. Anyway, so I got all that done and then we left for Michigan. We had a lovely dinner with Brad's high school friend, Erin, then spent a day visiting with Grandpa M and Florence. Brad and I decided to pay for the "I can destroy the rental car and walk away" insurance, and I got in a lot of practice snow driving. Specifically, snow driving in the country in Michigan, where all streets are not plowed. And then there was an active snow storm, and I made it. :) I now feel Boston snow ready, though I'll still work from home when possible. :) Anyway, then it was Christmas Eve, and I woke up with stomach flu at around 5 am. After an extraordinarily rough and disgusting morning, Brad took me to the ER at 2 pm, where they gave me 3 liters of saline and some meds to stop the disgusting stuff. So I missed Christmas Eve dinner (which was the good one :( ). I was on clear fluids later on that night. Christmas day was pretty rough too, with only bland, soft, food. We were supposed to drive down to Indianapolis that night, but we decided to put it off until the morning. I did feel well enough to see a movie that night, and we took a family picture when we got back, with Brad's mom, sister, and brother: Family Next day, I remembered to get one with us: Brad and Kris Then we went off for the three hour drive to see Brad's cousin, which ended up being over 6 hours, with some time spent at a complete stop. We only got to see Amanda and Collin (and their two new baby girls, Ava and Zoe) for only a few hours as a result. :( Amanda Collin Ava Zoe Then we rushed off to the airport, which ended up being a total waste, as there was heavy fog, delaying our flight for hours. After the originating plane was diverted to Cincinnati, then finally arrived, they told us all to rush on the plane so we could beat the fog. We did, and the doors were closed, then they told us that all but one crew member had maxed out on hours, and weren't legal to fly. So, we all got off again. Thankfully, because the official reason for cancellation was crew, we got a free hotel and breakfast vouchers, which after comparing horror stories with people the next day, I am even more thankful for. Still, this is the third time I've been stranded overnight, the second time this year, and I'm sick of it. Better to be stranded with Brad, though. Anyway, so we finally got back yesterday. It was a great trip as far as the people went (we only saw people we really, really wanted to), but otherwise, worst vacation ever. Thankfully, we have another week off of work. We did Christmas last night, and shockingly enough, Brad's socks fit! :) Yay! modeled I had meant to go to Knitsmiths today, but I've been on the couch all day. Still recovering - I'm hoping to be back on the treadmill on Tuesday.

Tons of pictures

I finally wore Salina yesterday, so here's a modeled shot of it: finished salina Project details here. Brad took me for a snow driving lesson this morning. We found a parking lot with snow banks and no poles to run in to: Snow driving After about 20 minutes, a plow driver told us to leave since he didn't want us "to make a mess". I am still confused as to what kind of mess he thought we were making (we weren't driving through stuff already plowed), but whatever. I got in enough time to be at least a little more comfortable. We got back home and gave Lani a walk: yummy snowflakes Cuteness Back inside, I finished the annual ornament: 2008 Ornament Ornament back While looking in my craft room closet for some stuffing for the ornament, I found Christmas stockings that were almost entirely done. I had already hand-sewn the lettering on, I just had to finish assembling the stockings. So, I knocked those out (only four years later!): stockings I also got ambitious and thought I'd finally make the tree skirt I had planned a while ago. I tried to explain to Lani that sewing pins aren't comfortable, but after shooing her away twice, I figured she'd just deal with it if she got stuck: skirt snuggling After serging together the two layers (white felt and snowflake covered organza), I started sewing on sequins. Skirt sequins I'm thinking that hot glue might be smarter.

More staycation

I'm not surprisingly not so good at operating without stress. I have zero deadline knitting, had filled out my timesheet yesterday to take today completely off (my father is here), and I only just now remembered to even look at my November goals (of which I've done precious few of - I totally forgot I even had started the Seascape stole - I think I'm four rows into it). Feeling a little aimless, though I'm now quite enamored with the Dainty Pinstripes Pullover from the current Interweave Knits, and I have yarn that I think will work for it, but I haven't gotten around to swatching it yet. Or finishing up the last hour of work on the Rebecca sweater, for that matter. My hold-up has been button placement, but I have a solution to that problem, which if I'm motivated, I will take blog pics for. :P So I do have one more thing of the deadline nature, the annual Christmas ornament. This year it took me all of three seconds to think of my theme - the most notable thing that happened this year (besides me finishing school FOREVER with my MS) was that we finally got to Europe. So I hunted around for a cross-stitch pattern of the Eiffel Tower that would be ornament size, and then I ordered Eiffel Tower fabric for the backing of the ornament, as well as some back-up in case the print was too big (which I think it is). I also got drawn in by some loud prints that I want to make into bags (Simplicity Pattern 9949, ordered online because I didn't want to set foot in JoAnns at this time of year). I just have to remember that I sew, and that I have a serger and a sewing machine that miss the love. fabrics Thanksgiving tomorrow is in Connecticut, with my sister's mother-in-law. I'm taking the Noro Striped Scarf with me, as it's great for talking and putting down to help cook, and if I have nothing else to knit, perhaps I'll be more excited about it... honestly, I was enamored for a minute, and now I'm wondering if Noro colors are enough to keep me excited about 1x1 rib. Noro Striped scarf Of course, the sweater I want to knit is 1x1 ribbing for the first 8" or so (without lovely Noro striping), so I either need to get over myself, or pick another sweater to knit now. :P

Back from Vegas

We went armed with our new camera (which Celina correctly guessed as the Canon SD 750 from the commercial). So the last picture with the old camera is me taking a picture of Brad with Lani in the huge giant LCD. (And yes, we chose it for other reasons besides the commercial, but it didn't hurt.) camera We got to Vegas on Thursday afternoon, where we immediately set off to speed shop at the Forum (I neglected my wifely responsibility to ask what Brad had packed for the rehearsal dinner until we had already left the house). Its a little bizarre shopping without leaving the hotel (we were staying at Caesars). We made such good time that we were able to spend an hour by the pool before getting ready for the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. My rehearsal dress (McCalls 5380) was a hit: rehearsal dress The bride was tired so I was asleep by midnight (after being awake for 23 hours). The boys were out a bit later. We actually ran into Rob the next morning which is amazing considering that Caesars is the size of a small city, so we got to have breakfast with him before he went to do wedding stuff. Brad and I went to the Mirage, where we saw the pretty awesome animals, including a 2 week old dolphin: dolphins And here's one of many beautiful white tigers (but the only one that was awake): tiger Then back to the pool for several hours and then to the Venetian for the ceremony, where I did the reading: reading Then back to Caesars where we were appointed official reception room checkers along with another couple we checked to make sure that all of the table settings and favors were done correctly. Luckily, it was an easy job (kind of surprising after the hotel lost the boxes with all of the decorations for hours). Brad cleans up rather nicely :) : wedding On Sunday, it was more pool time with Rob and Ann, and then we had lunch at the Paris buffet. The food was so amazingly good! We were super excited to get time with the newlyweds, which we weren't expecting but were so grateful for. After lunch we parted ways and we headed (wait for it) back to the pool. Then it was off to dinner at Michael Mina and O at the Bellagio. Hands down the best meal of my entire life. The show was incredible - I am amazed at the creativity of it. I wore the lavender dress (McCalls M5100): modeled I hand sewed the hem and tried to make it invisible, but clearly was not successful. That together with the slightly funky zipper made it not my favorite dress ever, but I do like the top. Anyway - we had a fabulous last evening and made our way home on Sunday. We were greeted by a very happy and healthy doggie. The dog sitting seems to work well for her, and my sister popped by a few times to supplement the time that Lani got (and to let me know how she was). All in all a great weekend - now to just get back on east coast time (more like a 6 hour change, since we go to bed a lot sooner here).

Completed dresses

I finished up the detail work on not only one but two dresses for me. The first one is the one I did show the fabric for a while back. I've been almost done with this dress for weeks but have been pokey about the last couple of details. Last night while watching Dreamgirls, I got the rest of it done. finished dresses On the left is another dress I made this past weekend. It's this pattern (I made the version pictured in blue): Pattern I love the top of this dress, but there is definitely some funkiness with the zipper that I'm not pleased with. I took it out and put it in at least five times (taking in excess fabric every time), and its a lot better, but I can't seem to get part of it to lay right. I'll be wearing the lavender dress to dinner at Michael Mina and then O, so there will be mostly sitting in this dress (and Brad knows to walk with his hand on the small of my back that night) so no huge deal, but I'm a bit disappointed. Anyway, the white and black dress is the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner/bachelorette party dress. I'll make sure to get modeled shots of both as they're worn. :) Our old Canon is dying a slow death (the LCD has been flickering for a while, and just this past weekend we found some streaks through some, but not all, pictures). We ordered a replacement on Monday, which should arrive today - a gold star if you can guess which one. :)

Definitely not knitting

Not that I haven't been busy. I finished up the blocks for the block a month quilt I started a couple of years ago: Month 9: month 9 Month 10: month 10 Month 11: month 11 Month 12: month 12 There were three of month 12, since I have two extra for coordinating pillows. Here's everything I knocked out today: days work Of course, I messed up month 12, since I was sewing three at once. It was one of those mistakes where you notice after you trim off dog ears, meaning its not as simple as ripping and resewing. Luckily, in my obsessive compulsiveness, when I bought these kits, I bought a full set of fat quarters in the same fabrics for mistakes (they're long gone from JoAnn shelves). Whew! On Saturday I finished up the stuff for the couch: pillows It will be a long time before I try to do any mitering. Lani was pleased with the results, though: Ostrich What's next for my machine? I am ready to piece together all of the blocks for Sunny Days (the quilt), but I'll probably switch to apparel sewing first. And get back to knitting, too. :) dress fabrics Lest you think I blew of Knitsmiths to sew, I also wrote three papers today. Well, drafted them. How? Brad actually typed while I "wrote" out loud - its amazing how much longer I could concentrate when I had something to work on with my hands other than typing. Yes, I know I owe him. Huge!

When you’re right, you’re right

And you guys definitely were. I went with the popular opinion and just went and bought the dress. In a happy surprise, it was 15% off. Not a huge amount, but when you've already committed to the full price in your mind, a very nice bonus. :) So that price, minus the cost of fabric and pattern, minus the frustration of trying to modify a pattern to duplicate something I loved, and I definitely won here. So instead, I sewed the the throw I had planned for the new couch: throw There are pillows to follow, but right now I need a break from trying to match up stripes for perfect miters.

Here I go again

My good friend Rob is getting married in June (in Vegas!), and I've started looking for something to wear. I tried on this dress yesterday, and I love love love it. BCBG dress It is, however, a wee bit more than I want to spend. Part of me is tempted to just go ahead and go for it, and then the craft part of me wants to take this: mccall and this (with WAY less pouf): simplicity dress and try to make a copy of it. I'd end up with a solid color, maybe something that matches my Handmaiden Sea Silk yarn (I have the pattern for the one skein shawl on it's way to me now). Which of course then means I'm sewing a dress that I don't have a real pattern for (just some basis to start from) and a shawl to knit by June 22nd. So maybe I should just buy the spendy dress and take a nap.