Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Passing on the Tradition

Now I grew up with a mom that was always sewing. As a matter of fact, the story goes - and I can't confirm nor deny the truth of the story - that when my father bought my mother an engagement ring, she took it back got a cheaper one and a new sewing machine. It sounds just like something my mom would do so...

Everytime we would go somewhere, it was always, well I could make that much cheaper, but since she sewed for other people to help make ends meet - I never ended up getting that "new outfit".

My grandmother might have been a sewer, but I never saw that side of her. My grandmother was always crocheting. She made every child and grandchild an aphgan. Each one had a special pattern and color scheme - mine was a block shape in shades of blue - my favorite color. Being the first grandaughter (four boys born before me), I have to admit I was her favorite. I fell in love with the art of yarn. She taught me to crochet and I wish I could remember that day/moment of her teaching, but sadly I don't. My son was the last great-grandchild she made an blanket for before she passed away. It was very sad to know the tradition was over. I refused to let it die and when my sister became pregnant after Grandma died I carried on the tradition and made a beautiful aphgan for little baby Ethan. I even used a pattern I found in my grandma's stash. It makes me sad to remember how much love she put into every stitch and how that hard work is lost of so many of my family members who still snuggle up with their blankets on cold nights. Mine is packaged up because I'm so afraid of something happening to it. I know she would want me to use it, but I just can't.

My mother's oldest sister taught me another yarn art - knitting. No one else in my family knew this skill. She taught me what knitters call the old way of throwing the yarn and casting on. I have to say this is my favorite "old craft". I've started my own tradition of creating a blanket for everyone I know. I almost always create my projects using varigated yarns in whimsical colors. I have made my son many. My best friend Becky had twins a year ago and I made them each a BEAUTIFUL set of blankets and matching hats. I have pics of them in the hats, but will have to dig up the blanket pics. I'll post pictures of them later. I have made one for each of my in-laws, my best friend for Christmas, my other best friend for her wedding, my neice for her wedding, and on and on the list goes. It brings me joy and them too I hope.

Passing on this art from the generations before me will end with me I think. I have one child - a son and he's not too interested yet! He's only six. It's not only an art to behold but these are practical skills. Let me tell you, it can be cheap or expensive to create a blanket - but the time and heart and soul you put in it is worth it and it lasts a lifetime.

I call on everyone to find time to pass on a tradition/skill/art/craft to someone you know and love - or maybe a stranger at church. Let's not let it be lost.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Created Two Wonderful Children's Outfits

So I was wrong about which designer's fabric I was using - although I love Anna Marie Horner also, I was using Tina Givens - click here to visit her website - this link goes directly to the collection I used. As soon as I'm given the okay, I'll post a picture of the cute little outfits I made. These will be shown at either Tina Given's booth at the International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh or at any number of other distributors - maybe Creative Smocking who deals in mostly children's clothing. This is my first attempt at creating children's clothing. I love them!

On a personal weather note, it did snow and ice up on Saturday, but then melted Sunday - it's like 60 here today. I just love it!

Be sure to sign up as a follower if you are a reader. Once we hit twenty official followers, I have lots of prizes to have drawings for including sample fabrics, patterns, scraps bags, etc. You never know what I might have up my sleeve. I just love to give and get. I was thinking maybe a fun purse swap might be in order over the summer.

Keep checking in for more pictures of the new children's clothing soon to come.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Working on the Weekend - Sew, Mama, Sew

So my big plans for making some more purses won't be happening this weekend. Instead I will still be sewing just not for myself. My boss asked me to test some of our newest patterns - some cute children's clothing - so I'll be making those this weekend. I get to use some really great fabrics that won't be out until this summer by Anna Marie Horner - click here to visit her blog. It's fab!! So no pictures of what I'll be working on, but I will post after they debut if I can.

It's supposed to go back to winter this weekend in KC - just after my flowers in the front of my house started to bud. It was 72 on Sunday, tornado watches on Monday, and now it's supposed to snow tomorrow morning - some saying up to 12 inches. Again, I say in Kansas City, if you don't like the weather wait until tomorrow. It's hopefully going to melt fast. It's the perfect day to stay in my fleece jammies and sew my little heart out.

I'll have to take some photos tomorrow of all the new fallen snow. I learned yesterday that my camera actually has a snow setting - huh, what will they think of next. I got this digital camera for my birthday this year from - you guessed it, my mother. It's been so super easy to use and plugs right into the computer. It's a Kodak easy share with a big screen and lots of those mega-pixels.

Anyway, more pictures to come tomorrow if I can find the time to post between the sewing and the snowing!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting Ready for some Weekend Sewing

So I want to make a few more purses for possible sale on Etsy. I'm working on a green version of my Serged Satchel purse and another Skull fabric purse. I have another one I'm working on called the Shopper which I've made before. It's a great one to take shopping for groceries because it's huge!! Here's a picture of the one I made that was pictured in the Keepsake Quilting cataglogue. Yes, that's right...my sewing project in an actual magazine, sort of. It was also shown at the United Notions/Moda Fabric booth at the 2008 Fall International Quilt Market in Houston. I want to make more of these. Off to get my taxes done now! See ya' later.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Etsy Adds

So I did get one potholder finally made. Here's a pic.

I also got a couple new items added to my Etsy store. Take a look. Click here to visit my store! I take requests too!

Later!!! Off to hang out with the family on this nice day!

My Etsy Store is up and Running...but to where

I finally have better pictures of my first item in the Etsy Store. My Serged Ruffled purse in the cutest sherbert like colors. I hope to have more coming soon - like the dreaded potholders and more purses and possibly clothing.

I will soon be having some skull/roses themed products as I have had several requests for them. I have a great Grommeted purse with barbed wire and skull print. It's so cute. I made one for my friend's 12 year old daughter and she LOVES it. I do love the goth-style (or if you're under 30 it's called emo now)!!

Anyway, comments with any requests. I do requests!!!

Death to the person who invented the threading of a serger

Okay so this morning I thought I'd get up and make up some easy serged potholders that I want to sell in my Etsy Store - Just Like Mom Crafts. Well two hours later and I hate my serger! The stupid thing ran out of thread on one of the spools - it has four. I've been told a million times by lots of people - don't let it run out - tie it off to thread it. Well who pays attention to that while sewing. So I thread that one and then another one runs out. ARG!!!!!

Okay I get that done, and try again to finish the stupid potholder that is supposed to take 10 minutes including cutting it out. Well it's a disaster. The threads kept messing up so I had to continually re-do the damn thing. I couldn't get all of the edges to catch and finally I'd cut off too much off the corners trying to make it work - in the trash it goes. Okay. I am going to give it a break and then try again. It took me forever to get the machine working properly and apparently it took me some time to figure out three layers of batting - too much!!!

I'll post some pictures of my failure and success (if that every happens). I guess when developing your own patterns it take trial and error. Who knew? I expected it to be perfect the first time. I mean I have been sewing for almost a year. Did I mention that my first sewing machine was given to me by..you guessed it...my mom on Mother's Day. It was supposed to be a loaner that turned into a gift.

I thought this was going to be my stress releaver not a stressor!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring - Where's the warm weather?

Yeah for Spring! Today is the first day of spring, but the warm weather isn't here to stay yet. You know what they say about Kansas City - if you don't like the weather, wait a day. This city is great, but the weather can be a roller coaster. One day is 40's, the next is 70's. It snowed on Saturday - then was 80 the next Thursday.

I thought I'd post a few springy photos for everyone to see. The flowers are from my wonderful boss for my birthday. The other two are from my tiny little townhouse back patio. The green is coming and the buds are budding. Spring is coming.

I also wanted to post a picture of one of my first purse patterns done. It was my second purse every made. It's made off of the pattern by Indygo Junction called Serged Satchel. Mom gave me a serger for Christmas so I had to try it out. I love the colors in this bag. I have to say that fabric is really what caught my interest in sewing - Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, Tina Givens have all really designed fabrics that are fresh yet retro. Perfect for today's women who isn't into "traditional" quilting fabrics. I mean I want to sew like my mother not dress like her. Sorry mom!

Okay my last picture is one of my mom and son. They have both given me so much more than I ever could thank them for. They are my past and my future - both are my reasons for living and what made me the person that I am. Thanks guys!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting Ready for Easter

So the next holiday to "craft" for is Easter. I'm going to try working on some special egg decorating - what eggs have to do with Easter is beyond me, but until my son is too big for dyeing eggs we'll go for it.

I'm thinking of trying to adhere rub-onz to my eggs this year. I'll let Nathan dye the eggs and then after they dry I'll add the rub-onz - something vintage Easter probably. Since I've starting working for The Vintage Workshop (a must visit website for all things sewing and vintage - it's wonderful) I've become a vintage art lover. Another case of what's old is new again.

When I was younger, my mother's step-father passed away and I got a big box full of old papers, ledgers, coins and photos. I played with them and then they were all thrown away. I could just kick myself for it now. That was prime collage material, man. Now I have to pay for that kind of stuff.

So back to the eggs - I'll have to do a test run before Easter gets too close so I'll post my progress with photos on here. It should be fun and hopefully look good too.

More to come!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How I Became My Mother...and how I'm getting over it!!

So here is the deal. I grew up with a mom who sewed for a living. Every trip to the mall or local store ended with.."I can make that" and nothing was ever bought. I hated it. The only part I loved was that I got to design all my own prom/formals in high school! Okay so it wasn't as bad as I thought.

My little sister, who isn't really crafty - although I think she has it in her - used to love to tease me by saying, "You are just like MOM!" That always got the desired reaction of "NO WAY!!"

Well, now I'm older, wiser and lo and behold I'm working in the pattern/fashion industry. Yes, it's true - I'm sewing and quilting and crafting, oh my! I've done what I swore I'd never do. I've become my mother! Well, this journal is to help me not have to pay for the therapy it would take to work through all those mom issues.

So this is my journey of How I Became My Mother and How I Got Over It. I'm hoping to make this into a book. I think a lot of us out there go through this around our mid-30's like me. It's not as bad as we think. Mom did lots of great stuff. So did grandma. Kids these days (did that sound like mom or what) are losing so much by not getting into the ART of sewing and working with fabrics and textiles.

I hope to inspire young people to pick up the needle and thread and start sewing! Learn from mom and grandma before it's too late! You'll learn so much - much more than a book will teach you! Well, til later! Bye!!