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Archive for the ‘Making Stuff’ Category

Birthday

My sister’s is the first of a few coming up quickly.  Last night was dinner with her, her partner and the Banana, as well as me and my two monkeys. Much sushi was eaten and we all left quite happily stuffed.

I decided that Amy Karol’s Charming Handbag was perfect for my sister who is equally as sassy as this bag.  I love that it works up in a snap but is really classy and sharp.  Of course, I didn’t have a gift bag, so between work and dinner, I hammered one out in similar fashion to the Artsy Clutch.

(pretend you don’t see the wrinkles, the iron didn’t even cross my mind)

.

No peeking…

How charming!

Happy Birthday little sister… I hope this coming year brings you all the joy and happiness that you so deserve.

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Peasant Girl

I actually did some sewing this week, though my inspiration/model/recipient is a bit anti-camera these days

I did catch her sitting still long enough to snap this

But she really wasn’t having any of this ‘picture taking’ nonsense

Tutorials for the shirt and the skirt found on this fantastic blog; fabric is a vintage sheet.

The sheet was very thin in some spots so my intention was to use it as the ‘test run’ before I sunk my scissors into the Heather Ross, but it all worked out just dandy.  Of course, I’ll still make her a set (or 6) out of  the Far Far Away I have coming.   And the most important part – she not only tried it on, she kept in on all day.  Progress people… progress.

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One Day At A Time

Over the last two years, I’ve thought a lot about my creative process and how it sustains me, yet how little energy I give it.  In the year or two prior to my last relationship, my creative self was fully alive.  I was drawing, writing tons, making art wherever and whenever, thinking critically about everything that came across my synapses, questioning everything I thought I knew and really living.  Circumstances of that relationship and its unfolding led me away from my creativity in such a slow, consuming way that I hardly realized what was missing.  Until I felt lost. And when I tried to swim to the surface, to write and create, the algae sitting atop the stagnant water blocked the sun.  My fears were realized, my inner critic fed ravenously on my failures and I all but stopped writing for almost 10 years.  That part of me that needs to create, to make, was not supported by that partner either.  In fact what kept me most alive was often looked down upon, shunted aside, mocked even.  Those were some dark times people, no joke.  It was a hole that I wasn’t going to get out of as long as all of the cards in my hand stayed the same.

Two years ago, when that relationship was unraveling, I started to see some light.  I moved into my own space, I reclaimed walls, corners, tables, time.  I could do what I wanted.  I didn’t have to worry about the looks, the negative energy, the criticism.  I started to uncover bits of myself covered in ash from the volcanic explosion that had been my life.  I began settling back into myself, who I truly am, rather than what I’d told myself I was content with.

Yet still, there is a struggle to really juice my brain and squeeze out the creative flow.  Life offers too many distractions… children, work, the internet, etc.  Filtering it all into the places it needs to be in order to have the energy to devote to creating feels like the greatest challenge of this life.  I am a work in progress, just like everyone else.  So I continue to try to not only create, but create a life for myself in which making and creating are a part of every day and become woven so thickly into my life that it is who I am.

A few weeks ago I stumbled on a blog post here or there, I can’t remember where, that inadvertently inspired an idea that that I hope will get me back on the track I want to be on.

Doodling.  Daily.  One page.  That’s it.  No more.  No less.

I used to doodle constantly, there is not a notebook for folder from my schooling days that isn’t littered with doodles.  I designed my prom dress while doodling in history class (and eventually got a seamstress to bring it to fruition).  Mostly it was an exercise in keeping me awake, but I remember times when I really got into what I was doodling and really created something that had energy to it.

About a week ago I pulled my journal onto my lap right before bed and put my pen to a blank page.  I felt a bit of the inner critic creeping up at times, but mostly I just swooped and swirled and twirled lines of beautiful nothingness.  It’s not a regular practice yet, but it’s getting there.  I have indifference about whether or not I’ll share them on this blog; my lack of a scanner answers that dilemma for the moment.   But it’s really not about the product, it’s about the process and where I need to be is in it.  And so I start, but dipping a toe in, every day.  Dip, dip, doodle.

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Finally.  So here’s the deal… I had my fabric all cut out but I wasn’t convinced it was the ‘right’ fabric for my receiver.  Sometimes (okay often) I get stuck on details like these when I’m making stuff.  I’m getting better with going with the flow and just making, but sometimes the details make all the difference.  This is one of those times.  I also tend to ramble.

Well, mid last week, I got invited to go down to IKEA.  My receiver mentioned liking IKEA fabrics so even though I knew it would very well make my bag late, I figured it was worth a shot to see what I could find at IKEA.  And there I found the perfect fabric.  I hope she thinks so too!

About the project itself… I thought there would be more swearing but there wasn’t!  This bag went together lickety split and I hard hardly a hiccup (just one little one with the handle, but I worked it out on the second try and I only stabbed myself 3 or 4 times with pins).

In the end, I really wanted to keep it, but the Bean actually tried to run off with it.  “Oh, peetty bag, you make dis for me momma?” – okay kid, you’re killing me… you hardly ever like what I made for you and if so you don’t like it until 6 mos later and it’s too small.  Ahem. I explained the situation to her and she took it well… “You make me peetty bag yike dis?”  Sure Bean (guess I know what she’s getting in her Spring basket next week!).

And this to go inside…

My first lined and zippered pouch.  It’s lined with the same fabric as the bag (the orange one with blue flowers in this picture).  Not perfect, not too shabby.

I had a really good time making this bag and am looking forward to making a few more.  I will try to refrain from making skirts with matching handbags for the summer.  It doesn’t look promising.

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Got my bag the other day – I waited to open it and post about it until I got mine done and sent, which happened today.  Thank you Jennifer… the bag is just lovely and another thank you for your kind words on your blog.  I’m really in love with the mushrooms!

She made hers with a longer strap… as much as I like the sauciness of the short straps, it will be nice to be able to pop this up on my shoulder, especially when I’m slugging groceries, work junk or kid paraphernalia.

Thank you again, Jennifer, for this in particular… really sweet… and I hold your intention for putting it here very close to my heart.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/balance412/3412812741/

This wee little pouch is full of contraband (a Snickers – oh how I would love to be able to eat this without dire consequences!)… but undeniably cute and the future home of the wayward pens in my purse.  As I writer, I’ve always had an affinity for the ‘right’ writing utensils… I have my preferences and I cherish them.  This little pouch is the perfect special spot for my special pens.

And my maker also made me a little book that I did not take a picture of but she did on her blog.  It is covered with the lining fabric  so it’s all matchy matchy.  I know it seems a little Memere-ish, but I have a soft spot for matchy matchy. (eta: me and my affinity for matchy matchy is a little Memere-ish, NOT the bag!!).

Thanks again Jennifer!

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still in jammies at 10

yellow silk bought for Bub yet hardly played with until the Bean

thinking about what next

learning to cut

wielding glue sticks

placing them just so

down

down

across

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Swaps are back!  I’ve been wanting to make the Charming Handbag for my mom and sister (ssshhh, don’t tell them) and this is the little kick in the pants I needed.  I don’t know if I’m more excited about making three of these or getting a new surprise bag myself!

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