Sunday, April 27, 2008

He's Got His Own

That's my boy!
side note: no he's not wearing man-pris. I had them rolled up because it was too warm for jeans but he insisted he wanted to wear them outside.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Random FO's...the good, the bad, and the ugly

The boys are out to breakfast, the dog is under my chair attacking a rawhide chew like its her last morsel of food. And belching, because homegirl has no manners and just wolfed down her breakfast at breakneck speed. The sad part: I keep saying "excuse you!" like the dog is somehow going to catch on and start muffling them or something.

Just thought we'd do a few of the FINISHED objects stashed in the pile of goods I call a craft room. (I also call it an office, and mommy's room, and the computer room, and the "crap, people are coming over, throw it all in there and shut the doors" room) *shrug* It works.
So first the good:

These were ATC's (artist trading cards, which makes me laugh to call them ARTIST trading cards when I made them. Now I have to start calling my craft/office/crap room my "studio". Fancy eh?) They're baseball card sized, and I'm completely blanking on the actual dimensions.

These were for a swap on 2peas.

They were a lot of fun to make, and I think I'll be making a lot more of them. For what I don't know, but they're a good way for me to sit down and play with colors/styles that I might not commit to on a larger project. And they're a good way to work through my embarrassingly ENORMOUS scrap pile. Seriously. Bad.

And a card made from the leftovers from the ATC's. I think this is going into my cards for heroes box that's been building for a few months now. (That makes it sound huge, its not, I'm just very slowly adding to it!) ;)

And now the bad...and kind of ugly...but will improve.

Ta-daaa! I've spent the last week teaching myself to spin on a spindle. "Teaching myself" equates to "knowing just enough to be doing it wrong" I'm sure of it.

Why spinning? Uh...well...ehm...because? Apparently if you put any kind of crafty-do-it-yourself idea in front of me (extra points for anything that can be categorized as yarn, string, thread, or a combination) I feel compelled to conquer it. It adds to my dork status, and I've gone up in rank now! There will be a ceremony later today. I'll be serving coffee and nature's valley granola bars. the first 4 of you anyway. The rest can have a peanut butter sandwich.
Don't say I never gave you anything.

So this was my very first attempt, I have 2 of these 'skeins'. (uh...all of 7 yards between the two?) They're pretty pathetic. But I love them in all their pathetic glory. The pictures are pretty pathetic too, but it was nearly impossible to photograph this roving/yarn. Its a REALLY deep dark chocolate brown/black, but is hard to get a picture of. At any rate, I spun & plied the rest, and actually 'washed' it and its hanging now drying, so we'll see how that turns out. I don't have high expectations, but hoping maybe the washing hides a few flaws.
A few.
A lot.
A great many.
Now I've run into a major problem. You see my lovely Aunty loaned me the spindle and roving....and now I'm out of roving. Its kinda like running out of heroin. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but definitely like running out of coffee. So I'm off to browse the internets...

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Painting Pots

This is what we did last week. Its actually been ...I almost don't want to say it too loudly.... WARM. So we took a trip to True Value to buy terra cotta pots. (on a side note: either terra cotta pots have gone up in cost, or the name "true value" is a joke. cuz these suckers weren't cheap. Ok, not insanely expensive, but more than I remember clay pots being. rant over)
So we picked out his 4 pots, came home, and gave him a few good globs of acrylic paint.
And let him go nuts.
...and go nuts he did!
He'll have his own gallery next summer, I'm sure of it.
Dude, that's A LOT of green paint.
And a lot of orange....going for texture eh?

He was very into this.


But there was no convincing him that he could, ya know, paint the WHOLE pot. Pretty much just into painting the upper right 1/4 of the pot. Its cool. Artistic process and all.

Ok, Ok, I may have painted the purple one. ...and another one. I had to. Don't judge me.

Hum. This would be where my demonstration of "look, you can use your fingers to make fingerprints on the pot to look like circles" kind of backfires. A little.

Oh. Oh Boy.

Ohhhh lordy. This is the point where I put down the camera and start doing statistical analysis on the probability of getting the child TO the sink WITHOUT leaving a trail of paint on the walls. Or myself for that matter.

I'll have you know we did it. There was a good deal of kicking and crying. (no not me, I said we DIDN'T get paint all over the walls) But the promise of planting seeds calmed the chaos.

And now the pots are proudly displayed on our front steps, and even sprouting some marigolds. (I gotta say I'm shocked, I thought for sure we'd have to sneak to the garden center in about a week and plant some full grown marigolds at nap time. Who knew I can actually grow something?)

Friday, April 18, 2008

A post of special interest to my father...

First of the season, just acquired a couple of days ago.

Thought you'd enjoy...

And just because...

Betsy seems to like them too.

And why wouldn't she, what isn't there to love about flip flops?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Blogger vs. Sarah

Blogger wins.

Blogger is messing with my spacing again, I can't seem to fix it, and I give up :)

So forgive the jumbled appearance of the previous post. It was all nicely aligned, and spaced, and then posted weird. I don't know WHY it does this periodically, but I'm off to google "html code for BREAK" and see what turns up! :)

The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Sewing Machine: Part 1

I figured I'd use this time, to give you all a lesson in proper machine maintenance. Go ahead and thank me later. Gift cards are best. (KIDDING! ...kidding...)

Let's start with....oh let's say...needles! Completely off the top of my head.

So I googled "how often should I change my sewing machine needle" and came across this lovely site of FAQ's:

and their suggestion reads as follows:

Q2: How often should I change my needle?
A: Sharp needles make better looking stitches so needles should be changed fairly often to keep your stitch quality consistent. When doing machine embroidery, change needles every 10,000 stitches. This means if you are doing large embroideries, you'll need to change needles after every design to get the best possible stitch quality. In garment construction, you'll need to change needles about every third garment. In quilting, change needles after every third bobbin.

Hmm...ok! Good to know!
In the interest of education, let me show you what may happen if you don't follow this esteemed advice.

Now, admittedly, I'm no pro, but I'm thinking this is....wrong?

It shouldn't look like that right?

Well, let's compare.

Hmm...nope, that new one DEFINITELY looks less 'captain-hook-esque'.

I think we can say with some certainty, that the above is NOT correct needle form.

...So needless to say, the new one went in today. How long have I been sewing with the grotesquely bent previous needle? No idea. I just happened to notice it was that bent a few days ago by chance.

Ya know when you're sewing along, come to a large seam, and your machine goes "KA-CHUNK!!" as it hits it? No? Hm...well anyway. I have a tendency to just uh...keep pluggin' along. And that might have been what caused it. maybe. perhaps.

Oh and the above recommendation? I can't keep track of 10,000 stitches, which is what landed me here, with a bent needle. I do, however, hereby swear to be more diligent about changing my needles more frequently. least every 3 months or so.

...ok ok...more often. I might even remember to do it every project. MIGHT.

Their second bit of advice?

Q3: How often should I oil my sewing machine/serger?
A: With constant use, you should oil your sewing machine or
serger about every 10-12 hours of use. A rule of thumb for a machine that is used less often, or used quite a bit and then left to sit for extended periods of time, is to oil it after you are through with your project, and then remember to run it every so often so that the oil is kept distributed through the machine. Of course, you never oil a computerized machine.

Hmm...last time I oiled my machine. Let's think. Ok, I know I got it
in 2003. So it would have been...the summer after....never.

Yup, never oiled it. Not once. Report me to the department of sewing machine neglect. Its not that I'm malicious in my lack of machine care. I'm just the victim of "self-taught" crafts, and can't teach yourself what you don't know. So it never really occurred to me to grease the thing up. But! I got a can of Pam and I'm going to do it now! (KIDDING....all you machine maintenance purists take a deep breath.)

I promise, I'll try to be better.

Especially if I get a serger for my birthday.