Monday, August 28, 2006

Vintage body parts

I had a super Saturday by

  1. Getting up early-ish

  2. Looking at the internet

  3. Getting iced coffee and doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts

  4. Taking Beebs to garage sales in Champaign in the rain

  5. Finally buying the moisturizer I had been out of for a week

  6. Working my extra hours so I could have a guilt-free Sunday
  1. watching movies until too late and knitting

Sunday was guilt-free as intended. I enjoyed the day at home. I usually enjoy Sundays at home because I really like having one day where I don't drive 20 miles to do something. So I hang around the house and my small town and purposely go nowhere.

The above is a fun garage sale treat--felt board children and labels for their various appendages and articles of clothing. Two boys, two girls. Two white, two black. Exploring not only parts of the body, but race and gender. Beebs has had a wonderful time doing things like putting the white boy in a dress and giving him brown arms. It's funny. As are the exclusive Flanofoam backing grips. I have seen these grips and they are nothing special. In the photo is other garage sale junk.

This fabric is a gift from my friend Sarah, who brought it back all the way from Alaska. I am most fond of the ones with forget me nots, Alaska's state flower. I especially like the one that folded up in the picture because it has rolling hills full of blue flowers and I think that I maybe secretly live there.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Traditional Pinafore

This was the first week of school for Beebs, and I think we're off to a good school year. Wonderful!

I had been wanting to make Beebs a pinafore for quite some time (along with everyday pantaloons, which I have yet to make), so I was so excited to see the pinafore come up as this month's tie one on. I think angry chicken was hoping to see some nifty adult version of the pinafore to wear out, and I would still like to try to make myself one of these hipster pinafores, but I had really been waiting on making one of these traditional ones for the Beebs. I love how the pinafore acknowledges the messy children of the past, and I like the idea of throwing on another layer to keep what's underneath tidy.
This pinafore I made was totally for me, just something I wanted to dress my living dolly in. So, when she asked if she could wear it on the first day of school, I said, you bet! When Elie saw her all ready he pulled me aside, insisting that I couldn't do this to her, that it was as bad as the linebacker shoulder pads my mother sent me to school in way back when. But here's the thing: I liked the shoulder pads and Beebs likes the pinafore.

The material is a ripped dot like swiss dot, and I made the binding from a little pale blue and white floral pattern. I really do like making binding with those clover tools. I used a pattern, Simplicity 8916.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Whiplash prize! Copyright questions?

I received my whiplash prize package today. Isn't it pretty? Don't be surprised if my quilt block partner for this month ends up with some of these fabrics--she has a green/brown/pink theme. Thanks whipup!

Ooops! Almost forgot to thank the prize donators. Thanks to Tall Poppy for the leather handles (for a felted bag, maybe?). Thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for the fabric. Probably bad form to thank a company in the same breath that you question its design process, but thank you Amy Butler for the pattern. All of these companies are supporting whipup, which is great. It's probably about time I clicked on that "donate now" button, especially given that they've sent me two packages from Australia.

My prize also includes the Amy Butler chelsea bag pattern, and It reminded me that I wanted to post again about this tablecloth. I hadn't realized, when I posted it, that the Amy Butler fabrics, at least the newer ones, have use restrictions on them. It makes it extra odd then, that a company that is very protective of its own patents and rights would make something so similar to another's work. Oodles of crafters and artists are inspired by vintage pattern, but how close is too close? True, choosing colors to match current sensebilities is a skill and takes a trained eye, and Amy Butler's colors are wonderful, but does that make it yours? What does make it yours?

I tried to find some answers about copyright and fabric and use, but my findings are fairly inconclusive. There was a recent thread on Etsy where I think they conclude that it's OK for small crafters to use AB fabric and sell on Etsy. (The company has different rules for different volumes.) There was also this in dioramarama almost a year ago.

For me, it's a reminder that I can use real vintage fabric when I want that kind of look. When I lived it DC it was way overpriced, but I live in central Illinois now, for goodness sakes! Good old stuff is not hard to find. I'd also like to try making my own fabric print a la Kristen Doran via this link at whipup. That would be really fun.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Why people who poo-poo wildflowers are just wrong

Here is my cute family in the garden. This is the wildflower border that my neighbor got all bent out of shape about back in May because he thought it looked unsightly coming up next to his putting green lawn. I love it, and the birds do too! We have seen so many new and beautiful birds in our yard this year because of the flowers. I should add that the flowers are all Elie's work. He is the house gardener and he loves it very much, kind of the way some people love making little things out of fabric.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

August Whiplash: Jumpah

The Mini Boden catalog arrived at our door filled with all sorts of cute, easily craftable kids clothing. I got the idea for this reverse applique jumper (Aussie word--that way I don't have to say "sweatshirt" or "fleece". I think.) from this Mini Boden top. I know I'm not the only one out there admiring the Boden either. See wise and ask the sky for other inspired applique.

I'd feel a little presumptious calling this a tutorial, given that the technique is so simple, but in case you're wondering exactly how I did it, here is a "Discussion of Methods Used".
  1. Get 2 shirts that look good together. They should be made of a stretchy material like cotton knits or fleece. The "primary" shirt will be the one that remains mostly uncut, and the secondary shirt will be the one used for embellishment.
  2. Find a motif. I chose a star because it's a cool, simple graphic and it's easy to maneuver through the sewing machine. I have another kids' sweatshirt I want to do this with, and I'm planning on using a deer motif. Challenging. You can choose anything you want. Print the motif on paper to the desired size.
  3. Turn the primary shirt inside out. Cut off the front of the secondary shirt and lay it on top of the primary shirt's front with the right side of the secondary shirt touching the wrong side of the primary shirt.
  4. Place your paper motif just where you'd like it on top of the secondary shirt and securely pin through all three layers (primary, secondary, and paper motif). Be careful not to catch the back of the primary shirt!
  5. Set your sewing machine to a small stitch. Stitch all around the border of your motif.
  6. After sewing, you will find that the paper has been nicely perforated, and it will tear away easily from the stitching. If it sticks in a few places, you can gently loosen it but running a seam ripper along the stitch line. Snip off extra secondary fabric around motif on wrong side of shirt leaving about a half inch.
  7. Now for the fun part. Turn the shirt right side out. In the center of your motif, pull the primary afbric away from the secondary fabric. Carefully cut into the center of just the top fabric. Cut a quarter-inch away from the stitch line all the way around your motif. You will be cutting away the primary fabric to reveal the secondary fabric underneath. Amazing!
  8. Embellish with decorative stitching or whatever.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Screen door

Perhaps not as poetic as "cellar door", but wonderful none the less.

Weekend before last, we hung the much-anticipated screen door. Oh, how wonderful it was to have the fresh morning breeze slip through the door while I sipped my morning coffee. The screen door was very long in coming because we have a slightly unusually sized door and we really wanted an old-fashioned wooden door and not an aluminum one. That meant, of course, that it was another do-it-yourself project. Elie assesmbled and painted the frame very quickly, but it sat as a UFO for a few weeks because the screens were a pain in the but to get in and then after the first one was in, there was some reminaing moulding needed that was always failing to come home from Lowes. So I finally just stapled the screening to the door. Pretty? No. Highly functional? Yes.

Now, Saturday night some spry young kitty boy, probably the neighborhood's new cat in town, decided that he wanted to visit my porch. And after seeing Edgar at the screen, he decided that our house looked like a good place for cats, and he pushed through the screen. Oh, the horror! (As the little beast weaseled his way in, I scooped him up and said, "Sorry, Charlie," so Beebs has taken to calling him Charlie.) So I had to close the door, and it's still closed. Bummer.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Belle Chrysanthemum

As you have very possibly seen, Amy Butler has a new fabric line out. It is just as lovely as her previous lines, and maybe slightly more funky. Anyway, I was checking them out and noticed that the "Chrysanthemum" print looks almost just exactly like this tablecloth I picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents. Here's the Amy Butler print at repro depot in the mustard colorway. Neat, huh? I think I have found Amy's inspiration.What will happen to this tablecloth? Not sure. It has a couple of grease stains I couldn't get out. Maybe I will be ambitious and make a grown up pinafore apron for tie one on. Maybe.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What Up, Comments Setting?

Oh extreme aggravation! I was wondering why no one was dropping me any comments, and it turns out I had somehow clumsily, and without knowing it, turned off commenting abilities for folks not registered with blogger. Yuck! I really do want to hear from everyone and not just folks going the Blogger route. Sorry to send that bad message.

Major thanks to Kristin at Kleas for emailing me and bringing the whole comments thing to my attention! Kristin also is the maker of my favorite pincusion in the "flower" round of the pincushion challenge. See hers here. It is blue on blue, which I love, and reminds me very much of the large hydrangeas in my father's yard.

And yes, the photo of the cute girl doing her embroidery has nothing to do with this post. But I do love that her feet are tense, so you can see how much she's concentrating.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

How cute?

These booties came out so cute I almost cried. Really. I had one of those "oh my goodness this is so cute and Beebs never got to wear it and now she's way too big and has ratty toenails" moments. Then I got over it because I realized that I could figure out how to adjust the pattern to big girl sizes (heck, grownup sizes if I wanted to) and they would still be cute. Cute, cute, cute, cute, cute.

The booties are from the wonderful free pattern over at Hello my name is Heather. There's also a Bitty Booties flickr group going, to which I added this photo. The pattern was actually easier than I thought it would be. (I was worried about the toe ease.) I made them from a thrifted wool/angora sweater that I felted, excuse me, fulled (thank you craftsanity) and then cut to fit the pattern. And I added yo-yos to the toes. I think I really love yo-yos.

These are going off to Elie's cousin's new baby right after I show them off to Elie's mom, who arrives tomorrow! There will be much tour-giving of our house.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Look who escaped the lawnmower

While Elie was doing his least favorite chore, he found this little toad on a freshly mowed strip of lawn. Beebs is bravely holding it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Birfday

I had a birthday yesterday. Whoo! I really wanted to do a birthday giveaway like Mo and some others, but I just couldn't figure out what I could give away. I hadn't made anything cute, and my scraps just seemed like scraps. I guess in some ways I feel good about this---I buy what I need and make good use of it---but I think I'll make a point of having something to share next year.

Ah, so, the birthday had many good wishes from people I love who don't live so close to here. So nice to talk to everyone. Beebs made me a matching set of jewelery: necklace, earrings, and bracelet and Elie made me a cake--a really good chocolate from scratch with whipped cream icing cake. They love me.