Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Less than two months away?!

I was reminded yesterday that I have to get started if I'm going to make holiday gifts this year. Yes, it will be a Handmade Holiday this year!

Luckily, I have been storing away project ideas and tutorials for possible gifts this whole year. So, I'm not going to start stressing about them right now. Here are some that I am contemplating. Perhaps some of these will inspire you too.


Tutti Fruiti's 5 min tissue holders

Lara Cameron's reversible journal cover

Amy Karol's (aka Angry Chicken) dog collar (for Fiona!)
featured in her book Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew


Machen/machen's Wasp bag tutorial

Belle Epoque Bias Tape Tote

Jocelyn Worrall's Metallic Tote
from her book Simple Gifts to Stitch: 30 Elegant and Easy Projects

Here are some additional books that are full of great ideas and instructions. I love this Last-minute series and want the whole bunch. I wonder what will be next?

Last-Minute Fabric Gifts by Cynthia Treen
Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

NOTE: These instructions are for personal use and gifts ONLY. Do not attempt to sell ANY of these commercially. These are proprietary designs of the listed artists.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Church Hill, Richmond, VA


My Historic Preservation class took a walking tour of Church Hill this past weekend, ending with iced Halloween cookies and hot apple cider.

Ann Carrington house
2306 E Grace Street

A porch detail

The Bellevue School
2301 E Grace Street

A city street view

Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria
2209 E Grace Street

Views from the Grace Street overlook

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fitting It All Together

I can't believe I didn't post this a while ago. Since I had those fitting problems with my favorite pattern, I decided to try out the suggestions I received about pattern fitting*. So after doing some Web research, I went out and bought Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina!

Hopefully this will be the answer to my prayers, with this book...

1) I am going to learn flat pattern measuring and...
2) actually create a fitting shell garment.

Some pattern companies have delegated these old standbys to the last page in their catalogs, so watch out, they may be phasing them out. It sounds like an idea they should keep, they were probably popular in their day. If you choose to look into them, here are the online links and pattern numbers for the major companies:

McCall's M2718 Sizes 6-22 (developed by Palmer/Pletsch The Fit Experts, authors of Fit for Real People)
Pattern Review for this pattern here.

Butterick B5746 Misses sizes 6-22 and Butterick B6092 for Women's sizes 16W-32W
Pattern Review for this pattern here.

Vogue V1004 dress shell Sizes 6-22 and the Vogue V1003 pants shell Sizes 6-22
Pattern Review for this pattern here.

It would probably be a great idea to get the one manufactured by the company whose patterns' fit you like the best, though be aware that some may not have updated the fitting garment to the way they construct their patterns today.

I suggest that before you buy any pattern check to see if there is a Pattern Review for it first. It gives you a heads-up on possible problems in the instructions.

*Thanks Cherie!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Must Not Should Myself...

I must not should myself...

I must not should myself...

" "

I realized a few weeks ago that every thing on my To-Do list is a should instead of a want.

Sometimes I'm so involved in thinking of all the things I need to get done that I overburden my mind before I can even start and end up paralyzing myself.

No wonder I feel exhausted and overwhelmed even though nothing seems to be getting done.

Just a few highlights of the never ending list:

  • Get a job to sustain myself after 9 months of loan-supported freedom.
  • Get great grades in this semester's Grad school-level class.
  • Learn HTML and CSS in order to update my blogs and to add those skills to my resume.
  • Volunteer for more organizations. (finally made a Habitat for Humanity orientation meeting!)
  • Put up ten birch shelves in the living room.
  • Put up 20 or more pictures on my walls.
  • Make two shirts, 3 dresses, and hem 3 pairs of pants.
  • Paint a table, one armoire, and one bedroom dresser.
  • De-clutter all of my closets and get rid of unneeded items.

The sad thing is a lot of the home items on the list are from last year's list. Every time I remove something from last year's list, I don't feel that it is an accomplishment, it is more often accompanied by a ‘Whew, that’s done, check it off the list, on to the next one!’ I can't seem to enjoy it as something that I actually wanted to do instead of something I HAD to do.

So what is it that I actually WANT?

  1. Make more friends in town.
  2. Obtain a job that challenges me and that I enjoy.
  3. Find time for a man I like and that likes me.
  4. ...oh yeah, finish up my degree. You know, the whole reason I moved back to this city in the first place.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What am I thankful for?

A week ago, GoGoAbigail tagged me along with 3 other blogs; to list things we are thankful for. Unfortunately, she caught me at very low point and I was finding that list extremely hard to come up with. I had no problem being thankful for my friends, especially being thankful that the three friends who were pregnant have now all delivered healthy full-term babies. In fact, extremely thankful for that!

But to find things in MY life to be thankful for, I didn't want to acknowledge those things or even try to think about them.

I wanted to keep feeling sorry for myself and think about what I DON'T have instead. Isn't that horrible how sometimes when you are low, it's hard to let go of the feeling, and it seems easier to wallow in your own pity. You avoid your friends and do not tell the ones you do see that anything is wrong. Hey, they might try to cheer you up and you do not want that! So you find yourself one night watching some movie and crying more than when you saw the movie the first time. So, today I'm starting to get over myself and I think I might take a stab at that list right now.

I am thankful for...

  • my friends, some here in Richmond, others all over the US, and one entire family in Italy.
  • my health (unfortunately, I need to take much, much better care of myself)
  • the continued health of my family members
  • my education and inherited intelligence
  • my vast imagination, which usually helps me through the really bad stuff
  • my access to the Internet, an easily accessible way to experience what is out there in the world that I would not know otherwise. Sad but true.
  • my diminished but still continuing belief that Things Will Work Out.
Hopefully, I will continue to come up with more...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Unleash the artist in you...

Found this cool fun site via Brilliant Asylum, who found it on the Kate Spade website.

Once you get to the site, just start moving your mouse. Enjoy!

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Girl in the Red Petticoat!

Ta Da!!!! Ordered on the 26th and arrived on the 29th, now that's service! It arrived a bit scrunched but after a dunking in water and a little drying time (thanks for the heads-up Petula Darling!) it's good as new.

soaking wet!