Thursday, December 24, 2009

I need a kick in the butt.

dec24 2009 003
Originally uploaded by smileypomegranate

I just have not been able to finish this project, even though I know I'll love it and I am pretty sure that it will take less than an hour to finish, maybe even like five minutes. I don't know. I've never made a tassel before, but that's all it needs. And a few ends woven in, but I already did like 80% of those. It's like when I see what it's going to look like in the end, I don't feel compelled to finish it. I definately knit more for the process than the product. When I was pregnant I think I knitted my little guy about a dozen pairs of pants, but I don't think I put a single one on him. Of course, it didn't help that my friend, Lindsay, made me a ton of really gorgeous wool interlock pants and covers. But anyhow, I sure would like to see my big guy wearing this hat!

It's the Hudson Hat, btw, without the earflaps, knitted up in lovely worsted (heavy worsted, imo) malabrigo. The hat is HEAVY. Would be perfect for a New England winter. We complain bitterly when it gets down to 50* here, though.  (As you can see I did not use the yarn that my darling son chose for the hat.  Turned out it was just too darned mature for me.)

So, I've been so busy since we got home from our trip east for Thanksgiving, mostly with shop stuff.  I've done a ton of customs and even sold some of the instock stuff from my shop.  The customs really stress me out.  It's funny because they push me to make stuff that I probably wouldn't have otherwise, and I am always really pleased with the results.  My favorite custom item from this season was a 50x60 inch blanket.  I did two for the same person and they were the first blankets of this size I've sold.  And the last time I made one was about three years ago.  So I was kind of worried, not sure how they would turn out. 

Anyhow, for this blanket that I just love, I didn't have enough natural colored obv to do the whole order.  I had enough to do one layer for each blanket, so I dyed the backs for these but the fronts were all out of my already dyed fabric bin.  Some of the pieces were pretty small.  It was so gratifying to put them together!  And I so did not want to send this blanket off!

And last but not least, I got a new fabric!  A whole awsome roll of organic cotton bamboo double-sided terry, and I'm in love!  I just want to roll in it!  And I wish that I had had it when my little guy was a newborn because it is making scrumptious swaddle blankets.  I am dreaming of the day when I have six or eight different organic rolls in my sewing room (my sewing room will be bigger then!).  Some people dream of fame and fortune, but I'd be pretty pleased by a nice selection of organics. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wanna free lovey?

Come sign up here for a lovey giveaway.  You can choose any lovey you see in my shop, your choice of colors and if you're feeling experimental, we can do a whole new applique, or none at all.  Patchwork if you want.  Totally custom!  I'm looking to add new designs to the shop, so I may use your great ideas for future lovies.  And by the way, the holiday season is kicking my butt -- in a good way! -- so I won't be starting your lovey until after Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I've been looking for somewhere to hang out and I may have found it...

It's always exciting to find an etsy shop I like, whether they're already a great success or not, but somehow it's more fun to find an up and coming shop that doesn't have a bazillion sales already.  I'm always a little disappointed when I click on a thumbnail and find that it's one of those shops that has already made it.  I want to find that unnoticed diamond in the rough and watch them, uh, blossom or get polished or something, and support them and feel like we're in it together.  Somehow it's more satisfying that feeling like the shy new kid in the corner singing the praises of the popular kids. 

So, today I found one such shop.  It's Bags by Claire and I'm drooling over her stuff, especially this bag:

I may have to ask for this for xmas!

And, on a related note...  of course it would be fun to get to know and talk to other etsians just starting out, compare notes, vent, etc., and I think I found the place.  It's the Etsy D List.  The blog looks like a great resource and there is a team and a forum, I think.  I have to do some more poking around over there.  A few weeks ago, I was starting to feel really frustrated and down about my shop (happy to report I can't even remember why now!) and it sure would've been nice to have some people who understood to talk to.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My little guy's eye: a totally off topic PSA

On the day he was born, his eyelid, like the rest of him, was just perfect and beautiful.  But by day three or so, we noticed what looked like a bright red scratch right above and running parallel to his eyelashes.  By about ten days it was clearly growing like mad.  And at seven weeks it looked like this:

It was a hemangioma, sometimes called a strawberry birthmark, which is normally not any reason for great concern.  Apparently something like 10% of caucasian babies have one or more of them.  They normally grow for six months to a year -- to various sizes, some never getting big at all, but some getting pretty large -- and then begin to receed and eventually, usually by age five, disappear.  They don't usually require any medical treatment.  But because his was on his eyelid there was a chance that it could get so big as to block his vision, which would leave him blind in that eye even after the hemangioma was gone.  Also, hemangiomas can distort the underlying flesh, and can be especially disfiguring if on an eyelid or at the corners of the nose or mouth.  I'm not sure if this is always the case, but my little guy's hemangioma seemed to involve the entire thickness of his lid, so the underside was also beet red. 

Before about a year ago the only treatments for hemangiomas were steroids (either shot into the hemangioma or given systemically) and surgery.  The steroids caused side effects, like growth retardation, thinning of the bones, and adrenal suppression, which obviously would be very scary in a newborn, especially since it would be given for several months.  From what I could gather, surgery on a hemangioma doesn't always lead to great outcomes and is more difficult than other similar surgeries because a hemangioma is a vascular tumor and thus is prone to serious bleeding. 

So, I feel so lucky that he was born when he was!  It was hard being one of the first to use a new treatment, but because the old treatments were so bad, I feel like we really dodged a bullet.  About a year before he was born a pediatric cardiologist in France was using propranolol (a drug that had been used on pediatric heart patients since the 80's, and on adults for much longer) on several patients, and a couple of them had hemangiomas.  Over the course of their treatment, the doctor realized that the hemangiomas didn't grow and may have receeded earlier than what would have been expected.  After that, there was a trial involving 12 babies that had good results, and then my little guy was born.  Very few babies had been treated with propanolol before him and I believe that he was one of the first if not the very first in San Diego. 

Even though propranolol seemed like such a godsend, it was also scary to make the decision to use it.  Side effects included a possible lowering of blood pressure and blood sugar.  And can you imagine looking at your two month old and trying to figure out if his blood pressure might be low?  The most likely symptom would be sleepiness.  So, we had to have blood pressure checks three times a week.  And if you've ever had to have your newborn's blood pressure checked, you know that it doesn't seem like an exact science.  They would take it on each limb (if he was calm enough) and often the results would be all over the map. 

So I wanted to put our story out there for other parents considering propranolol.  When I was googling it eight months ago, there was next to nothing on the web as far first hand experience with it.  And there were a lot of people saying it shouldn't be used for this purpose at all.

If I had it to do again, I would definately do propranolol!  It was scary at first, but after a few weeks of bp checks and with my little guy getting older, it did start to get pretty tolerable.  We saw a noticeable improvement within the first 48 hours, mostly a decrease in intensity of the color.  It went from a deep glaring beet red to a grey/pink.  (This was the day before we started and this was what it looked like 48 hours in.)

From what I was able to find online, it seemed like most or all of the improvement would be seen in the first 48 hours or so, but that wasn't true for us.  His hemangioma was almost completely gone by six months, after being on propranolol for a little more than four months.  This pic was taken about a month before he stopped taking propranolol, and as you can see the lid is still a little misshapen, but not nearly as big and puffy or red.

After he stopped the medication at a week shy of six months, the hemangioma came back a bit, not so much in color, but it is a little puffy.  But it hasn't bounced back enough that it seems like it could be a threat to his vision.  And yesterday, at 9 1/2 months, his dermatologist saw it and thought he was completely out of the woods and would not have to go back on the meds.  He may need some reconstructive surgery, which would happen just before kindergarten, but he probably won't.  I'm really thrilled by how it all turned out!  Phew!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ramping Up!

It feels like things are starting to happen in my shop!  For a while it was seemed kinda hopeless, and then almost without realising it things have picked up a bit.  I had a sale and two custom orders last week and then three sales today.  That's really not too bad.  If I could count on averaging three sales a week, I would feel like this was paying off a bit.  Of course six sales in two weeks is not quite the same as averaging three a week.  For all I know, I won't have another for two months.  Or maybe I'll keep up this pace till Christmas and then slow down.  At any rate, it's fun getting sales! 

I'm almost feeling busy.  Today I finished and listed two new products and I'd love to show them off.  I took these pics at about 4:30 this afternoon, which was really too late.  I could've used a bit more light, I think.  But these are still better than my older pics. 

Another elephant lovey -- the deepest of purples on mauve.  I don't think I've thought of the color or the word "mauve" for 20 years at least.  But this pink is so mauve.  And I'm loving the appliqued loveys!  I've got five more appliques cut out and sitting on my cutting table!

And another scarf...  I guess I didn't mention the first two here.  One of my customs last week was for a scarf in lavender and robins egg blue, so I dyed up a bunch of fabric and when I looked at it all I thought it would look so sweet with some deeper purples in there, too.  So I made two different scarves, one with and one without the purples, so the customer can pick one and I'll list the other... or possibly wear it.  This is the lighter version.

And here is the newest one:

I've got another sprouting on the back of my cutting table out of the same deep black/purple as this one, but I'm going to put a solid piece sweet light pink on the other side, no patchwork.  I can't wait to see what it looks like! 

Oh, and check this out, I am OUT of OBV!  Or at least natural undyed obv.  I've gone through two rolls now.  That's 110 yards!  Wow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm so thrilled with these photos!

A few weeks back I kinda gave up on my pics because I was hoping that I would be able to set up a space in my new sewing room where I could take them with artificial light and not be limited to doing my pictures at certain times of day.  But that required, or so I thought, that I purchase lighting of some sort and I've been patiently waiting for a time that I felt like there was enough money to go buy fancy lighting.  Then today I turned on one of my little cheapy Ikea halogen lamps and ding ding ding!  It just seemed right.  So I arranged my two little lamps in a way that seemed appropriate, though of course I know nothing about this stuff, turned on my overhead light which is kinda lame and probably didn't add anything to the mix, and took some pics.  I am very pleased with how they came out!  (And I'm also pleased to have a blanket that matches my rotary cutters so perfectly!)

I think these turned out better than any of my previous pics.  Now I'm wondering if I should redo all of the pics in my shop.  I will mull that over for a while and hope that I become very popular with the pregnant ladies before I get to it.  But I'm so tickled, I have to show you just one more:

And if anyone in the know happens upon this post and sees some obvious flaw in these that I don't, let me know, but not for a couple of days.  I want to enjoy them for a while first.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I just love making stuff!

Originally uploaded by smileypomegranate

I've had a few productive days and it feels so good! I'm just itching to get back into my sewing room now. It started with the sunny day lovey and the ball I made to go with it. Then yesterday I made this intensely lwi'd lap tee and dipe for the little guy and I finished the yellow tee with the celestial embroideries. Of course he's got no pants at all. lol He's got these tees and then several footie sleepers. Pants will be next.

And check out the back, too!

But that's not all!!! We had a birthday party to go to today so I made the big guy's friend a number tee. And since they are the same age, I considered keeping it, but it will be really fun to see Tai wearing it.

And I also made a patchwork topped blanket in pinks and orange that is to die for, if I may say so myself. I still have to get a pic of that, but the light has been terrible lately. I would love to be able to put it in the store tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This one was apparently meant to be!

The "suggested" mail date for the etsy baby shower was two days ago, but I was just not feeling motivated until today.  That's really not like me.  I normally crumble under a deadline, so I tend to get things done ahead of time.  I was not one to stay up all night the night before college papers were due.  I liked to have them printed and ready to go the day before.  But I just wasn't feeling it until baby fell asleep this morning and then it hit me!  I settled immediately on the first two pieces of velour I picked up, decided to do a quick applique (which is odd as appliques scare me), and boom, I'm standing there looking at my finished product which I am feeling pretty proud of, btw, and I hear baby babble!  He's up!  (I'm dying to run it by him because it's my first "lovey," but I can't because if he likes it I'll have to keep it.)  Its the first thing I've done start to finish in one sitting in about as long as I can remember.  Now I'm gonna raid the scrap bin and put a ball together for her. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Beginning of a New Obsession

There are several tutorials for these online.  I used this one because her method seemed like the easiest way to make a template, but I'm sure you could find one with a printable template, too.  My little guy loves balls and I thought it would be sweet to make him something fun.  And he loves it!

Here was my first try:

I wouldn't say it was difficult but it is a little fussy, and maybe moreso because I'm using slightly stretchy piley fabric.  Still, I really love the results.  Even when the corners don't meet up so nicely.  For the first ball I sewed the first three pieces together and then the second three pieces, and then the two halves together.  It worked out okay, but on my second try I thought I'd sew each new piece to the ball, rather than doing it in halves.  The benefit of doing it that way is that the corners pretty much have to meet.  Sadly, you've got to do a little more sewing by hand to tuck them all in and it's not particularly easy hand-sewing.  I'm not sure which way will be my default.

I stuffed these with polyfill and put a little sewn up sandbag in the middle so they wouldn't float away.  I'm curious to see if they can survive the washing machine.  If they survive the washer and a few weeks of play, you may see some of them in my shop.

Here's my second try:

You can see that my hand-sewing is a little wonky.  I was surprised how nice my seams tuned out where I stuffed though.  I used some advise from Keyka Lou to stitch them closed.  Some of it didn't really apply to obv, but her method worked nicely anyway.  I'll definately be using it the next time I'm working with wovens.

I hope I get around to trying this one, too!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And the scarf goes to...!


Mars' number came up via  I'm going to bed now, but I'll notify in the morning.  Congratulations!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun with sleeping baby in arms...

I really have a thing for elephants.  So here I am elephant hunting while my little sweet boy snoozes in my lap.  I have really been trying to relax about spending an hour or two this way here and there because it is so sweet.  With my older son, this was an every day thing, but with number two it is just so much harder to justifying sitting on the couch for so much of the day.  Today I was really in a groove working on organizing my fabric and sewing room when nap time came around.  But it'll come back around, right?

I just love this Elephant Rider from Green Man Studio.  I love the rider's outfit.  I want this! 

These would be sweet for my little one, and especially sweet for the big guy and the baby to play together. 

Another nice one for baby from Lauren Smash Toys.  She's got some really cute little monsters, too.

And, this is completely irresistible to me.  I kind of wish it came in two sizes though.  Wouldn't it be fun to make several in mama and baby sizes and make it possible to connect the trunk to tail?  I doubt I will last too long before I purchase it.  And I can totally see it in some super snuggly gray/blue obv.

And another one...  I love them both.  How can I justify that?  This one from Funky Friends Factory might be more suitable for obv, but there's no chance of attaching trunks and tails for an elephant walk.  Yeah, I need both.  Look how chewable those tusks are!

The little guy's up!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A rare joy!

The little one and I both really digging doing our own thing side by side in my sewing room!  I was making a pattern for and cutting out a white long sleeve/long legged romper for him to wear under the R2D2 costume that Lindsay and Bonny are making for him (all of our six kids are going to be Star Wars characters, lol).  He was taking cones of thread out of my big thread bin, one by one, and then putting them back.  He was totally enthralled for nearly a half hour.  Woot!

For once I had a good reason for the pile of fabric on my sewing room floor.  I was hoping it would soften the blow when he threw himself backward, but he never did so I guess he's really gotten the hang of sitting up.  Another woot!  And, ummm, in my defense, I just moved into this room and have had no time to organize.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Always good to know when to let go.

Sometimes my ideas work out perfectly as planned, but more often they are abandoned midway or never get off the ground at all.  The snake outfit I was so excited about for my littler one is one of my abandoned projects that I think I will finally just put behind me, make it official.  But first I have to show you.  I think that'll lessen the sting. 

So this was the vision:  a summer outfit with pair of big flowy pants out of this awsome woven snake quilters' cotton that would be cool but still protect him from the sun and a turquoise cotton lycra onsie with a (way too elaborate) snake hand embroidered on the front.  Other than the snake, it was a fairly rational idea. 

Now that I see the picture I'm trying to think of ways to salvage it.  I could cut the snake out and applique it onto a shirt that would fit him next year, for instance.  But I think it may be better to let this sleeping dog lie.

So now I'm onto my next project, which, I'm happy to say, includes a simpler embroidery.  I just loved that celestial fabric I used for those navy Pomegranate Pants, so I thought I'd build an outfit around that.  (I have to say though that it's never a good sign when I'm thinking in oufits.  I much prefer to dress myself and my children in mix and match type stuff.  There is just something too goofy about tops and bottoms that match in theme.  But obviously, I find the pull of the outfit idea nearly irresistible, as far as my crafting goes.) 

I dyed a piece of the print and a piece of white cotton lycra a deep bright yellow.  I was hoping that the navy blue in the print would survive unchanged -- it matched the corduroy so perfectly, but of course it didn't.  Now it's a murkier looking navy that doesn't match the cord quite as well.  But it's close enough to make cute baby pants.  The c/l turned out very pretty and I think will make a nice background for some celestial embroideries.  I'm planning on a planet with ring a la saturn (which is also in the print) on the sleeve and a man in the moon (traced from the print) on the front and a shooting star somewhere.  Here's a pic of the iron on transfer I made. 

Alright, I'm off to embroider!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Here's the tute!

I'm so excited about having a little one to make my Pomegranate Pants for again!  I think the big guy was probably about 3 1/2 the last time I made him a pair.  And he's actually got a pair that has fit him for close to four years now!  He was in diapers when I made them as long pants, so they became board shorts when he potty-learned and now they are a bit above his knees.  I still love them!  I made him all sorts of fancy pairs, but this pair he still wears is just a solid deep chartreuse almost avocado twill that looks gorgeous with almost anything.  I wonder if they will be totally worn out before I can put them on the baby.  Actually I wouldn't be surprised if he was close to fitting them now.  So, whatever you do, don't fret too much about the sizing.  As long as your waist and length are close, you're good.

I recommend these from about 1T to 3T, and maybe a little larger for board shorts.  At some point, the child will be too tall for these pockets to be practical.  But I have been told that they make perfect light saber pockets for five and six-year-olds.  They work well on boys and girls.  Here's a pic of my favorite pair I made for a girl.  Her mom told me the other day that her sweet little sister is wearing these now.

I tried to write the tutorial to accommodate all levels of sewing experience.  Just click on "read more" to see it.  Let me know if anything is confusing. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Give-Away!

NOTE:  I'm so sorry my comments aren't working on this post.  To post a comment please click here.  Thanks!  And sorry this is a pita! 

It's a scarf made out of organic bamboo velour dyed in various shades of teal and camel and it's six inches wide and barely shy of sixty inches long. 

And here's my friend, Evie, modeling it.  Just in case it's not obvious (since the scarf is very slimming), Evie is pretty pregnant here. 

If you'd like it  (oooh, and wouldn't it make a wonderful holiday gift?), just visit my shop and tell me in a comment to this blog post what colors and/or combinations of colors you'd like to see in my shop and tell me how you found my blog.  Then, two weeks from today, on Oct 28th, I'll pick a commenter randomly and contact you for an address.

I'm working on a tutorial!

Finally...  I've been meaning to do this for a while.  Truth is that baby doesn't seem demanding at all until I decide I want to do something.  And then I am shocked!  He doesn't want to be out of my arms for a minute!

Anyhow, I have this vision for my blog.  I'd really like to do a bunch of boy-friendly tutorials.  (And since I don't think my boy clothes must scream "boy", they will all or nearly all be girl-friendly, too.  I probably won't be doing any dresses or ruffles, though.)  I hate it when I see (mostly online) moms compaining that there's nothing cute to sew for their boys.  It's just not true!  I have gotten great joy out of creating things for my boys and I'd like to encourage other boy-moms (and dads) to enjoy it, too.  I'd love to look up a couple of years from now and see a whole wardrobe's worth of boy tutes in my blog -- and fun, cute ones that parents will enjoy making and boys will enjoy wearing.

So, first up is a tutorial for my Pomegranate Pants.  I've started taking pics and I'm hoping to get the tutorial up within the next few days (though, like I said, a little certain somebody may not cooperate).  I'm really excited to share it!  And here's a little teaser, one of my favorite pairs:

I used to have a whole album of them but it's been dismantled.  There's a bunch in here, though.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday pics with a side of mama-made

So we had the big guy's birthday party on Saturday and it was not the best planned affair but the kids really had a blast.  I'm so happy with how everything turned out!  He said he wanted to have it at Harry Griffin Park, which was a little far from school, so I was worried that people might not come, and also that it would be hard to get a good spot with a table near the playground.  As it turned out, when we got there at 11:30, which I knew was pretty darned late to get a table, there were already like 15 parties set up.  We ended up having to take a table sort of back in the woods not all that close to the playground and pretty hard to find.  Ugh.  But, everyone did eventually find us and it turned out to be a wonderful spot because the kids didn't play on the playground at all, they stayed in the woodsy area and in the outdoor theater area near the tables and played tag and lots of pretend stuff and tons of interacting with each other, which I doubt would have been the case on the playground.  And most important, the big guy was really happy with it.  Phew!

The top pic is the big guy with two friends that he's loved since they were all babies.  We have known the little girl on the left since she was five months old (and she also turned six this month) and met the one in the middle very soon after.  Her mom has always taken the most beautiful pictures of my boys and she took these with her phone.  I can't believe she takes better pics on her phone than I do with my camera.  Sigh...

And of course I made his six shirt and it turned out just as I had envisioned!  The party was vaguely halloween themed -- halloween invites, cake, goodie bags -- and the shirt's got trick-or-treating skeletons on it.  I was afraid the "6" wouldn't pop if I put it right on the dark gray shirt-front, so I put a layer of chartreuse jersey behind it and sewed the six on with a straight stitch right on the edge of the skeleton print so the raw edges of  jersey underneath could roll.  You may see more of these in the future.  It wasn't actually that long ago that I realized how easy it is to applique onto a knit, and I'm still all jazzed up about it.  I'm also pleased that it has more of a big boy look than most of the shirts I've made with prints. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bought a couple of things for the boys!

We're all going to D.C. for Thanksgiving so they really need some cold weather stuff. No *really*, these purchases were totally justified! Plus, I've been drooling over this hat pattern for so long that I owed its author something. So, yesterday morning, I figured I'd take the plunge and buy it. And it was an instant download, so I could get started right away. Yay for instant gratification!  (And then, just my luck, about ten minutes later I broke a dish and cut BOTH hands badly enough that there was no way I was going to be able to start for a couple of days.  Wah!)

If you look here, you can see about 4,000 versions of the hat.  And here's the pattern.  My little guy's is going to be made with a really gorgeous raspberry and olive variegated wool and a matching solid olive that I bought for longies while I was pregnant, in stripes I think.  My older picked this awsome autumn leaves colorway from Evermore Studios, and I can't wait to play with it!

He's got very mature taste for a six year old.  Don't you think?

I also bought the older one a monster of his very own from Allyshells Craft Shack.  I bought one for myself when it started looking like the completion of my new sewing room was imminent.  Although I have all sorts of plans, he was my first, and so far only, stab at decorating my new room (which I am actually sewing in now!).His name is Zimbakren Mclayray and, if you can believe it, he is even more stunning in person:

I seriously adore this monster!  Sooooo, when my older told me that he wanted to bring him to school to share with the class for his "me week" I got a little melty (I also feel this way when he likes a song that I do) and told him I thought he needed a monster for his new room, too.  So this is who he picked out:

Alyshell had a portrait of him for sale and did the sculpture for us custom, which I am pretty sure made my older feel like it was even cooler. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

So I have some 'splainin' to do...

I'm done pouting about my blog and I'm back. I got *really* frustrated because I couldn't leave replies to my own comments. And then, if that wasn't enough, I couldn't even leave comments on other people's blogger blogs. So I thought I'd install the widget I was so proud of in my previous post, thinking I could reply as a typepad alter-ego, and then the widget my blog started to gang up on me and I couldn't take it anymore. So, here I am back for more abuse! I haven't tried to comment yet. But I feel hopeful that my widget and my blog will be confused enough by the fact that I'm using a different computer now and all the time that's passed. Finger's crossed!

Anyhow, I wanted to start anew and introduce you, my huge blog following, to my new etsy shop (woot!) and share some of the awsome things I'm drolling over for my boys.


OK, I may be back to pouting again. And I'm feeling like I may have to run screaming from this blog again. I just spent about three hours, minus picking dh up at work and getting my older son in bed, trying to get an etsy mini into this post. It just seemed like the perfect way to show off my shop and to show off the other stuff I've found at etsy. And it didn't seem like it should be that freaking hard to put one in a post. Turns out it's damn near impossible to figure it out if you don't know a lot about html and god knows what else. I have found several threads on etsy where people are beating their heads against walls trying to get an etsy mini into a blogger post and then some angel from above, apparently, sends them a convo, privately, outside of the thread where the "how to's" are being discussed and then the problem is magically solved with no explanation and everyone is happy and congratulates and thanks each other. I'm half waiting for an angel to arrive on my thread, but I may just disappear for a few more weeks and ignore this issue.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I just installed a widget and I'm so proud...

If it really worked! So I need someone from typepad to leave me a comment... But I don't know anyone at typepad... Hmmmmmmm....

Will be back later with either pics of my granny square bag in progress or some cute little boy boxers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I finally took these blankets outside!

And they looked lovely in the sunlight. I love the close ups, especially. Here's a turquoise and red, and the colors look very true to life here. They are both just perfectly bold and deep. Some colors get so intense and gorgeous on bamboo. And, oddly, others don't. Another that just knocks my socks off is the marigold below, it's super intense and lovely in real life. Baby A has a blanket just like this one. I love it, but I have to say it makes me even more annoyed that amazon sent me the apple green stroller instead of the tangerine I ordered. Wah! This blanket would look so much better with the orange stroller.
turq and red

This one is marigold and wedgewood blue. I actually think it looks a lot better in person. I am posting it for the pose, though. This may end up a regular shot I do with my blankets. I love how it shows off the drapiness. And I think most of the colors I use will look beautiful against the leaves.
marigold and blue

And this one is the same better black and baby pink blanket I showed in a previous post.

pink and black

Sometime when husband has got M with him, I'm going to have to take all of my blankets over to the park for pics on the grass and then hang them on the fence for a pic and lay them out on the floor, too, so there're a good variety of views. It's so hard for me to give up that sewing time though. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A little embroidery

I just adore this little onsie! I dyed some cotton lycra fire red and turquoise (you can almost see the turquoise at the neckline) and put this little swan on the front and it turned out so cute. I cannot believe how easy it is to do a really nice looking embroidery. This one was from the Sublime Stitching book, but it's just as easy to do your own designs. Check him out here lounging on a matching blanket!

I'm planning on sewing up and embroidering a Dia de los Muertos themed tee for M to go with a camp shirt made from this Abacadabra pattern out of the white colorway of this fabric. I feel like I want to get started on it right away, though because it was on my list of things to do LAST September and I don't want to not do it again... Camp shirts somehow always get pushed to the bottom of the to do list.

I suppose it is time to sit down and figure out what I want to sew up for M's school clothes this year, since he's starting full days and I want to do all that fun back to school stuff with him. Until I got pregnant with A, I sewed everything he wore, except for a couple of handmade gifts. I even sewed all of his underwear. But I had NO energy during my pregnancy and I really dropped the ball. Now he's got only a few mama-made pieces in his wardrobe. So, I'm thinking that rather than trying to make every single piece for him, I'd rather make several special ones. He'll probably be wearing some store bought jeans and cargo shorts.

I asked him the other day, when I realized that it's been literally two years since I made that huge batch of boxers for him, whether he'd like to buy new underwear or have me make them. I was certain he'd say buy. I probably wouldn't have asked otherwise. And he said he wanted me to make them! I wonder what my sewing means to him. I can't believe that he wouldn't prefer some superhero underoos, and he knows they exist. I love the ones I made for him but they're mostly solid colors, not anything you'd think a five year old would like. I was shocked and, of course, pleased.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

So, I couldn't find the fisherman's yarn...

I'd get so much more done if I didn't spend half an hour at the beginning of each project looking for the yarn or fabric or pattern I want. Ugh. I am really hoping that when I move into my new room I will get so organized that I won't lose all that time anymore. I'm definately going to be reading up on those lovely sewing room organizing blogs.

I know I said that I was going to clean up my sewing room the other day, and I really had the best of intentions, but then our contractors showed up and went to work which makes it hard to do almost anything in the house. The room is moving right along though. Woot!

So, when I realized I was only going to make myself miserable if I looked for that yarn anymore, I made the trip to Michael's to get another skein but decided at the last minute that I couldn't invest in one knowing that I had two more at home *somewhere*. So, I did something I thought I'd never do -- I bought four skeins of acrylic yarn!!! Yuck! But I thought acrylic might be nicer for a playgroup snack bag since it's likely to get food and such dribbled on it and I'd like to throw it in the washer without any fears. It doesn't actually feel so terrible. I wouldn't want to wear it or anything, but it feels okay. And the colors are very pretty -- deep purple, deep raspberry, deep navy, and deep green. Very deep, really! I've already made several squares.

And I have to share this gorgeous pic of M. Sigh... It makes me wish I had gone, but I know it would have been so hard to have Baby A there. And I really did have such a good time dying all that velour...

cropped for blog

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm excited again. Phew!

Ok, well, I was nervous that after buying that big roll of organic bamboo velour I was going to get totally sidetracked by crochet -- not even doing it myself, just looking at everyone else's -- and this obv would just be taking up space in my not so big house. But I'm excited again.

Today I finished up two identical blankets. One was intended as a gift and the other was going to go into the inventory bin (not sure how I'm going to be selling them yet, but I'm collecting an inventory just the same). But I am so pleased with them that they are both going to friends. (It does make me wonder what's gonna end up in that bin, though.)

Then I took some more indoor pictures. I really wanted to take the kids to the playground and take some quick shots while we were there in the natural light and on some pretty grass, but M wanted a "rest day" today. Usually "rest days" are exciting for me because he wants to be busy all the time and sometimes I am wracking my brain to figure out how to make every day funner than the last. The ones that really kill me are like yesterday, when I picked him up early from pre-school so that we could go to the 12:30 session at the water park with some friends, where they have this awsome playstructure sitting in a two foot pool of water. They closed at 3:30, we get in the car to head home and he says "so what are we doing now?" And he's CRUSHED that we're just going home. How do you teach your child that everyday is not a day at the beach? Anyway, on rest days I usually get to spend a little time in my sewing room.

Ok, got sidetracked there... So, we stayed home and I took some pics of the blankets, well one blanket because they are identical. I still think I've got to take pics outside, but I actually like some of these. Here are my favorites:

August First Day 210

August First Day 211

So, I've decided to use lionbrand fisherman's yarn for my granny square playgroup snack bag and dye the squares with kool aid. I know it would look better in the end if I dyed the yarn first and then crocheted it up, but I'm feeling too lazy and like I'd like to get started without waiting for it to dry, so I'm just going to dye the squares after crocheting them. Hopefully I'll have something to show off soon!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Do you think it's the blog?

For some reason I'm not feeling all that crafty lately. Maybe the blog's got me nervous. More likely, it's because my sewing area is such a mess right now that I don't really want to be in it. That was the case for much of my pregnancy and I deeply regret it, so I think I've got to just do what I have to do to make it fun to sew in here -- tomorrow. I will feel so much better if I do. But it feels like a bit of a waste because this is not my sewing room anymore, we're building a new one (turning the garage into a tiny sewing room for me and an office for the husband so that M can finally have his own room). And it will be glorious when it's done, but there's no telling when that'll be.

I did sew up two items in the last couple of days because I absolutely had to. The first was a diaper cover for A. I was testing the pattern and I was LATE. I tried the small one first and did it in a very timely manner. I was so proud of myself. But it didn't fit right, so then I said I'd like to test the medium and it took me like three weeks to make it. I'm kind of thrilled though because last night A did not leak at all! Yay! Here's a modeling shot:

August First Day 193

And one of his top half to go with it, he can't get enough of his sweet fingers:

August First Day 191

The other thing I made was a number tee for Makenzie's birthday. It was really fun making something so girly. I pride myself in making clothes for M and Baby A that are not overly gender concious. But then when I get to make something for a girl I realize that there is just so much you can't force your boys to wear. Of course A wouldn't know the difference but M is in school now. Sigh...

Anyhow, this is an ottobre pattern and my first capped sleeves, though you can't see them well in the pic. I have had the flowered aqua cotton lycra for years with no one to use it for.

August First Day 203

I had M make her a card and I just LOVE it. I can't believe how well he is writing now. He started at the Montissori school last september and he could barely hold a pencil. He just had no interest in drawing or writing and I didn't really push it but always worried that I should. I think he's really proud of himself now and it's so sweet.

August First Day 204

And I just thought of one more culprit for my decline in craftiness. I've been obsessing over Attic24's crocheted stuff. I just want to copy it outright. Her stuff is just beautiful and perfect and I'd love to have her chair with the blanket, pillow, and cushion cover on it in my house. And I've been looking at the flickr granny square pool alot. I think I'd like to start with something small like this bag to use for playgroup snacks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I was so productive... for a couple of days.

So husband and M went out of town for the July 4th weekend to be at husband's brother's wedding. The thing I was really sad to miss was seeing M as ring bearer in his suit and tie and all. And it turned out that there was a second ring bearer who was only 2 years old and they walked down the isle holding hands. That had to be unbearably cute. I hope someone got good pics.

As soon as I got home from dropping them off at the airport, I started dyeing fabric and sewing up blankets and I had a really good time doing it for about 3 1/2 days. I did a few dyes that I just fell in love with, and the blankets turned out gorgeous. It seems that I do have a hard time actually finishing blankets, though. I think I've finished three, maybe. I have several more that need just a few minutes each and then lots of blankets at other stages in the making. I also have around 300 squares cut for the patchwork tops. So, I do feel like I'm getting stuff going, which is nice. Otoh, at 3 1/2 days I hit a wall. lol I was just ready for them to come home and didn't feel like being here alone, busy or not. So I took a day off and spent it watching dvds and eating chips and salsa. I picked them up at the airport yesterday and Baby A and I came back to life. :)

And then today I am still having a hard time motivating myself. I'm a little down because I got my period today. A's not quite five months old. It's no fair. I was hoping for a much longer run. So, I don't know if I'm down because of the hormonal stuff or if it's just because I feel like I'm moving onto another era. My tubes are tied, so there is no upside in this for me. And obviously, I know I'm not having another. And somehow getting my period feels like the official end to the whole pregnancy/birth/post-partum phase of life. So, blah. Not pushing myself too hard today.

I did, though, decide that I should at least shoot a few pics of my partly done blankets to see how far I have to go with that, and I do have far to go, as it turns out. A couple of my favorite dye jobs just didn't photograph well at all. One that I am not as fond of, though, turned out beautifully. Go figure. But I think I will have to finally finish some of them and lug them to a nice green grassy area next week and see if that goes better. I also think that they might look nice hung by the corner, maybe with a clothespin on something, or maybe hanging on a wrought iron fence post with a pointy top. It's also possible that my camera just sucks. So, we'll see...

But here are a few pics, just so I can say "look how far I've come" later. :)

I actually like this pic. It's the only close-up I took. Next time I'll have to do more. I really like how these two dyes compliment each other. The darker one has alot of purple in it but it's so dark that the purple is pretty mellow.

August First Day 183

This is one of my favorite blankets, but I don't think it comes across here very well. I may have to sell this one to someone who can see it up close and in real life. The lighter blue is looking very grey here, but it's not. And there's not really any pinkish natural in there, like it looks to be in the picture. You'll just have to believe me.

August First Day 186

Here's another try of the same blanket with the back dog-eared so you can see it:

And here's one of my patchwork topped blankets. And it's actually finished. Woot! I made this one thinking that it would be more "normal" than my usual taste, for my more normal customers, but I actually really love it. The colors are so refreshing somehow. I was definately thinking of pink lemonade alot while I sewed this up. The back is a deeper shade of orange.

August First Day 176

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Here I go!

I'm making a go of it! For a couple of years now, I've been having this fantasy about starting my own business. Specifically some sort of sewing business, so I can play with fabric and call it work. So, I'm jumping in. I do feel a little bit like a kid who was standing on the edge of the pool and didn't mean to jump in, though. I was pushed. But I'm just as happy for it.

I met a woman at a five year old's birthday party who said that she needed some sewing help and in return, she could get me, free of charge, a table at the Kids Expo in September. So, woot! I bought myself a roll of bamboo velour ASAP, because it would have been disasterous, of course, to have to wait out a coop for one. And now this phantom woman is no where to be found!!! I am starting to wonder if she was one of my other personalities or something. So, gameplan is this, if the Kids Expo table pans out for me I'll sew up as many blankets as humanly possible between now and September. If she doesn't re-materialize, I would like to start getting my blankets out there -- I'm thinking etsy and local shops and/or a farmer's market table -- by late August or early September. If the Kids Expo thing doesn't happen I won't need an inventory of blankets and that's good because it looks to me like I could put in an awful lot of time setting up an etsy shop, figuring out how to get good pictures with my not so great camera, getting cards and hang tags, promoting, etc. Either way I think it's going to be fun. I just hope that I'm not the only one who loves my blankets.