Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas everyone!

I just wanted to provide an update on those four projects I started a couple of posts ago. I finished the crocheted scarf, but a friend of mine fell in love with it and wanted to give it to his sister for Christmas. I gave it to him but didn't take a photo beforehand. I will make myself another. It went quickly. The blue hat is coming along. I learned a new technique: picking up stitches. I finally can finish that hooded sweatshirt I have been working on for six years! (I was stuck on the hooded part when it said to pick up stitches.) The other hat is in a holding pattern because I ran out of yarn and was having a hard time finding another skein. A big shout out to Fiberworks on Glendale. I located it there and now just have to pick it up. I have been plugging away on the to-be-felted bag and hope to have it finished before I die.

I have been working on a muslin version of the Prada bag. The practice bag is much smaller than the original tote. I have a photo of a model holding the original tote and it is as long as her upper thigh. Mine won't be as big. I have been investigating buying leather by the hide and it is a bit pricey. I will post a photo of the practice muslin next week. I am on vacation and hopefully will be working on my crafty stuff.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I went to John King Books yesterday and found several of the Art of Sewing titles. I have to pace myself, however, and only bought two: Basic Tailoring and The Classic Look. I also bought a Better Homes and Garden sewing book. Alas, there were virtually no knitting books and certainly not any Elizabeth Zimmerman. Also, while driving down Woodward in Royal Oak, I found a new fabric store that I will definitely have to visit at a later date.

I would like to catch you up on another project that I mentioned in previous posts: my Prada bag. I have the material, lining, and buckram, but have been stumped on the leather trim. Here is a refresher photo:

There is a whole craft world of leather working and stamping. You'd think that I would be able to just buy straps for the purse, right? Well I can, but not the ones that I want. I am gong to have to create them from scratch with big pieces of cowhide which is incredibly distasteful to me. Not only that, I am going to need special cutting tools to work with the leather. I am just not sure I am that dedicated to having this bag. I do have 10 days off coming up during the holidays and this sounds like a good project for winter break. I will have to think about it.

As you can see, for those who pay attention to these sorts of things, I have added a new link to my link list at right: I recently bought the book, "DomiKNITrix," by Jennifer Stafford who maintains the website. I really enjoyed this book. The projects are fantastic and the book is written in a way that makes it easy to understand. I highly recommend it.

Another publication that I have recently taken to is Blueprint, from Martha Stewart's formidable publishing house. I don't have the first issue (if anyone knows where I can score a copy, that would be great) but the second issue totally rocks. I know that people have a problem with Martha, but I just love her. She has taken crafty pursuits to the mainstream and although I probably won't get around to making my own Christmas cards, I love her for showing me how easy it is. I also subscribe to Living, which has celebrated its 15 years of publishing this year with a look back at all of the projects and tips over the years.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

OK. Here are some more photos.

I am making a hat out of this really great yarn by Colinette called Point Five. The color is Summer Berries.

I have totally jumped on the Mission Falls bandwagon late, but I just bought this yesterday to make a hat. The two hats in this post are going to be made in the round and, like everything, is a skill I will have to master. I cast on the top yarn last night several times and screwed it all up. I will try, try again! And, of course, keep you posted.

I am going up to Detroit this weekend and am going to stop at John King books. I have my eyes peeled for anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman and the Time-Life Sewing Series from the 70s. I found a good looking used copy of "Separates That Travel" at the John King in Ferndale. This time we will be going to the five-story store in downtown Detroit.

That being said, I recently picked up several great crafting titles: Sew U; Vogue Stitchionary, Vol. 2; Knitting Beyond the Edge; Bead Fantasies I, II, and III; and Sew What Skirts. I am a member of crafting book club which, depending on how you look at it, can get you into a lot of trouble. I now have too many books and not enough book shelves and limited space in which to put one. I am trying to avoid clutter, so the shelf itself will have to fit into a pre-determined space which is taller than it is wide.

Well, that is all for now. I will keep you posted, especially on the projects and what great books I find this weekend.
I haven't been ignoring you my blogging community. It's just that I have been very busy.

It is almost Christmas, and once again, I haven't created any hand knit gifts to give. I don't really like to knit during the summer months and my sewing isn't that perfect to make things for other people. I am fine with mistakes but maybe others aren't?

Right now I have four projects going: a crocheted scarf, two knit hats, and my long-suffering tote bad that I have been working on forever. I also have a half-finished crocheted afghan and a hooded sweatshirt that I started about six years ago. I was perusing my knitting books and I think I am going to redo the sleeves on this thing and add skulls. That's right, skulls! Of course I will post a photo when it is finished.

As promised in so many blog posts, here are some photos.

Here is my Halloween costume. It seems like such a long time ago! I went as a gypsy and felt very gypsy-ish. Next year I am going as a pixie, complete with wings that flutter.

Here is a scarf I recently made. It is out of Cascade Venezia which is a wool/silk blend. I knit it in Farrow rib which is K2, P1. I love the way it turned out. It is very warm.

This is the kniting bag I have been working on. I am using KnitPicks wool and am going to felt it. It is straight knitting and purling and taking forever, but it is a good thing to work on when you are watching t.v.

This is the beginnings of the crocheted scarf. The pattern is from Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker and it is called "One Skein Scarf." The pattern is by Denise Cozzitorto and the yarn is Patons Classic Merino Wool in Winter White.

It looks like I will have to post the other photos in another blog posting. There must be a limit?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Well, it has been more than a month since I last posted and I have been busy! I finished my Halloween costume the day of the party on the 14th and it looked great! I was supposed to wear it to a party tonight, but it was cancelled due to bad weather. Bummer. Next year.

I went on my business trip and also finished the two skirts that I wanted to make. They turned out great. I also finished a pleated skirt I made out of leftover material tonight. I used the serger to finish the ends off. It turned out cute as well.

Before I started all of my projects, I cut out several patterns. I have three left to do and then I will start working on the pants patterns I recently bought. I have been trying to reign in my spending, so I am going to watch the sales papers and get fabric that is on sale.

I will post photos of my finished projects soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hi everyone-
I thought I would check in with an update of what is going on. I have the Prada knock-off dress almost finished: it just needs a zipper. I am finished with the dress part of my Halloween costume. I have to make the vest and the overskirt. I will work on it this week.

I went to one of the Toledo SnB meetings tonight at Barnes & Noble. It was a lot of fun to sit with other knitters and knit. I found out that I have been knitting in the back of the stitch instead of the front of the stitch. I will definitely attend more in the future.

I have been switching off my sewing with knitting and crochet. I am working on a felted knitted bag, that if it works, could be a really great Christmas gift. I could totally whip them out on my knitting machine. As for crochet, I have been working on an afghan I started for Tim last year. I am almost finished.

I am still sewing strong. My mom sold me an extra serger she had, so I am going to be experimenting on it. I also took a book out the library that describes how to make a pattern from an article of clothing you already have. I am going to try it on a pair of pants I would like to duplicate.

I have more than enough projects to keep my busy throughout the fall and winter. I know that posts are more interesting with photos, so next time I will post some.

Till then!

Monday, September 11, 2006

I was playing around with my camera and figured out how to take up close and in-focus photos. I guess I could have read the manual, but what fun is that? Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that I bought a couple of anklets and visited a bead store during my trip out west. Here is what I bought.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I bought this in Taos. I just love the green.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I bought this at Four Corners. I mentioned that it was a great shopping opportunity as vendors had set up in the stalls that circled the area.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I also bought this necklace starter, but I am unsure what to put on it. Maybe some charms or something.

I also bought some pink leather straps to make a bracelet and two bead strands, but I didn't take a photo of them.

Now that I have figured out the camera, I have high hopes for future photos! Yippee!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day! Vacation was nice. You can view the photos at The album is titled, “Out West 2006.” You can also view photos of my pets in the album titled, “Pets.”

I bought a couple of nice anklets while out West. One I bought on the Navajo reservation, and the other I bought in Taos. I will post photos of them later. I also visited a really great bead store in Trinidad, CO. Unfortunately, I didn't write the name down, and can't find it online. It is however, on the main drag in town. Very nice! I bought some glass beads, a necklace starter, and some pink leather straps I am going to make a bracelet out of.

Back to crafting:
I have been secretly multitasking. I have one more bracelet to finish before I can throw myself into sewing, but while I was working on the loop de loop bracelet, I started sewing. I confess! I have a big pile of projects I would like to get done in record time and the only way to do that was to do two things at once. So, while I will start and finish the ribbon bracelet, I will also continue sewing.
I have been obsessed with all things Prada. As mentioned previously, I have a ton of magazine subscriptions, and I decided to cull them for fashion ideas, ripping out pages, and discarding the rest. The designer whose dresses I ripped out more often was Prada. I love it! Right now, I am making a dress that is inspired by her 2006 spring/summer collection (left),

The pattern I am using is Butterick 4849 (top). I also bought Simplicity 4072 (bottom). I am making both in different fabrics. 4849 is being made out of a taupe linen with embroidered designs. 4072 is out of a crème linen. I don’t know if I am going to add beading yet. I have to see how they turn out. I am not the most proficient sewer, so I may have to use beading to cover up my mistakes! Ha!

I am also inspired by the Prada handbag collection. Namely, the Heritage bag. Ahhh. So beautiful, except for the fox collar. I am really against fur. I decided that I am going to make my own bags.

To that end, I bought three purse patterns (Simplicity Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting4646, Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting4668, and Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting8331) that encompass the handbag-shape oeuvre. There is no reason that I shouldn’t be able to recreate what I want at a fraction of the cost.

I have learned two valuable lessons from sewing:
1. Don’t equate the size pattern you are buying with your actual clothing size. Clothing manufacturers re-sized all of their clothing about a decade ago to make women feel better about themselves. Keep telling yourself that those Gap jeans in size 10 mean you really are a size 10!
2. You must look beyond the hideous fabric used on the front of the pattern to discern the real shape of the garment/accessory in question. Some of these fabrics are so horrible, they almost hide the design! Where do they get them? Old curtains?

On another sewing-related note, I have to begin my Halloween costume next week (Butterick #Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting3906). I just found out that one of the parties I am going to is on Oct. 14. I don’t want to be sewing right up to the day like I did a couple of years ago. In all fairness, I was in the hospital, but still! I am going as a gypsy and am making Butterick 3906. The dress is white muslin, the vest is gold and the over-skirt is red, much like the photo. Don’t get me started on that vest fabric in the photo! Eeek! I found the vest and skirt fabric at Wal-Mart of all places. I know, I don’t usually shop there but found myself inside the new store on Airport Hwy on an unrelated matter. The fabric was only $1 a yard! Who could beat that? I am going to add gypsy-related touches like a red scarf tied around my head, coin bracelets, hoop earrings, and a crystal ball to carry to tell people’s fortunes. Note to self: must find crystal ball.

I will post photos of everything as I make it. The purses/totes will be an ongoing project throughout the fall and winter.

The next three weeks comprise Spring 2007 Fashion Week. The first week is New York, then Milan, then Paris. I will be keeping up on the collections and posting my favorite looks from the shows over the next couple of months. It would be really great to get on fashion-designer time, meaning to be able to work a season in advance. Unfortunately, I am still working on summer 2006 clothes, and the days of summer are numbered! One day, I have high hopes that I will get my act together. Until then, I will keep playing catch-up.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I finished the Ondori ring and matching loop de loop bracelet.

They turned out really nice. I am leaving on vacation tomorrow and won't be back until September 5, so there will be no updates. When I get back, I have the ribbon bracelet to do before I dive headfirst into my late summer sewing projects. I spent all last Sunday cutting out all my patterns.

Hope everyone has a really great Labor Day and I will see you next month!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hi everyone-
I just wanted to thank a couple of people for commenting on my blog and off my blog (they have sent me e-mails): Matt, Mom, Jan, and Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by!

Virtual Googie

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Eeek! I just wrote a lengthy blog entry and lost it! My new mantra is "Must Save As Draft," "Must Save As Draft."

Anyhow, I wanted to share with you my in-progress photos of the bracelet I am making.

As you can see, the bracelet is being worked on a simple bead loom in beige, off-white, and gold E beads make the base layer.

The next layer consists of seed beads and one E bead woven into every other base E bead in a loop effect. I am going to use either a lobster or toggle clasp to finish it. I also mentioned earlier that I have a matching ring, however, the camera I use doesn't pick up detail and the ring is small. I will see if I can borrow a camera and get a nice clean shot of it. I think that bracelets are the easiest and quickest type of jewelry to make.

And, as promised, here are the jump rings I mentioned.

Let's talk books. I was driving through my hometown yesterday and noticed that the library was having a book sale. Of course I had to stop. I loaded up on really great knitting and crocheting books for $1. A really great find was John Allen's Treasury of Machine Knitting Stitches. I have a Bond knitting machine and my mom has a Singer knitting machine, and we are always looking for good stitching books. I am sure I will be talking more about my knitting machine projects once the cold weather hits. Another really great find was Kaffee Fassett's Glorious Knits.

The library will be having another sale in Sept or Oct, so I will make sure I go. I am trying to find Time-Life's The Art of Sewing, a 14-volume set that was recommended by the sewers on If you haven't visited, I urge you to. The forums are very active and you can find people working on every sort of crafty project out there (including making your own shoes). There are also craftalongs where a group of people work on the same pattern and share the results.

Well, I have posted this pretty early. It isn't even midnight yet! I have plenty of time to begin my next bracelet before I embark on a frenzy of sewing.

Hello everyone. I know that I promised to post a photo of a jump ring, but I have been extremely busy as of late. I finished the Ondori ring and am almost finished with the matching bracelet. I have in-progress photos so you can see how it is being put together. I will post these tomorrow. I promise.

It is already August 15 and I am running out of summer. I have several dresses I want to make along with the photos that inspired them to post. After the bracelet, I have another ribbon bracelet I want to make, then I am going to turn my attention to sewing. The wood nymph necklace is going to have to wait. I don't have the materials for it anyway and I don't want to spend the money right now.

So, until tomorrow.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I have another photo to post. This is an anklet I made.
Again, the photo quality is poor, but you get the idea. I whipped this up in 10 minutes. I love it.

I am almost finished with my ring from The Beader's Palette by Ondori. It's pretty cool. Next I will weave a matching bracelet on my bead loom.

Tomorrow, I will post a photo of a jump ring for Matt who asked me about them. I think we are talking about the same thing, but you know a picture is worth a thousand words!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I wanted to sign in and give everyone an update. I am working on the bead ring, but have been distracted by trips to the library for sewing books. I would like to learn how to make my own patterns to make my own clothes and have been looking for books with this info. I have also been checking out online schools to take patternmaking classes. I know! I have too much to do now. Why do I need another obsession?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hey everybody! I finally have some photos to post.

The first photo is the bracelet that inspired me to get back into beading.

As you can see, it is beautiful. It is 10K gold and leather and it was designed by Me & Roe (

Did you ever look something and say, "I have to have it?" That is how I felt about this bracelet. If you have ever had that feeling, you know that it is irrational and strong and can only be dealt with two ways: 1) ignoring it; and 2) obtaining the object or reasonable facsimile thereof. I did the latter.

To weave the leather, I used a square knot sinnet, which is basically one square knot after another (thanks to my mom for lending me her vintage macrame books for the technique). I substituted the hammered gold coins in the original for shell coins. I also made a masculine version (sans coins) for my husband. He wears it all the time. I just love it.

My next project was a bracelet from a kit I mentioned in my last post.

Here it is:

I also made another version with different beads that I am iffy about:

Well, that is it for now. I will work on taking better photos. I am thinking of getting a tripod to keep the camera steady.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hi everyone-
I hope you all had a good week.

I have been pretty busy working on my beading. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Vintage Knits in Michigan to look around. I bought a bracelet kit from Candamar (, which consisted of wire, a piece of ribbon and some great glass beads. To put it together, you knit or crochet the wire to get a piece wide enough to fit the ribbon and long enough to go around your wrist. Then you threaded the beads onto the wire, then sewed the wire and beads to the ribbon.

The first one turned out great and I had some extra ribbon, so I decided to do another one. Now that I am finished with it (except for attaching the clasp) I am not wild about the beads. It is hard to find good glass beads (except for the ones in the kit and I didn't want to spend another $15 to get the beads when I had all the other materials).

I will take photos and post them, hopefully this weekend.

My next projects are as follows:
-First I am going to make a ring from The Beader's Palette by Ondori. This is an afternoon project.
-Next, I recently dug out my bead loom and am going to make a "loopy-loom" bracelet. This will take a little longer. This bracelet and the ring I make first are going to match.
-Then, I am going to make a choker, titled "Lovely Links" from the February 2006 issue of Simply Beads. This necklace is made of jump rings with beads inside them. It should be pretty cool. I am unsure how long it will take me, probably a couple of days.
-I also want to try my hand at making some earrings. I have an idea that needs to be fleshed out. This is an afternoon project.
-And, of course, I want to make something with my new jig. I had been wanting one and finally bought one. I have put a moratorium on bead spending for now. Really, any craft spending. I have so much that I need to use up my stash of beads and findings.
-I have one more project that I would like to do before I start working on my Halloween costume (I am going as a gypsy this year), and that is a necklace from the Fall 2005 issue of Stringing magazine titled "Vine." It is beautiful and looks like a nymph something a nymph would wear. Maybe I should go as a nymph for Halloween?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hi everyone! Happy August 1!

I wanted to post pictures of my recent projects, but am having trouble with the digital camera I am using. I am unable to get my PC to recognize the camera. I am not a big fan of the PC, I am more of a Mac person.

Anyhow, I hope to have photos up by the end of the week. I am also going to eventually
add my favorite links to the page. This blog is really a work in progress.

I mentioned in the last post how I am addicted to magazines. I just subscribed to one called ReadyMade, and it is filled with DIY instructions such as building your own bar, new ways to use tennis bags, that sort of thing. The editors of this mag even published a book in the same vein. Although I probably will never build a deck, I think it is important to know how. That is why I wanted to learn how to sew and knit. I just think it is important to have those kind of skills. At the very least, how to sew on a button. My sewing won't win awards, but I was able to make curtains so the neighbors couldn't see in my house! And one day, I am going to finish that sweater for the cat.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I decided to start a blog because I have so many different crafty interests, including sewing, beading, knitting, crocheting, etc. I would like to use this as a place to post pictures of my projects to get everyone's feedback.

Anyway, I am a big magazine junkie but have been working to keep the clutter to a minimum. I can never find anything anyway, so I decided to go through all my magazines and rip out anything that inspires me, then I file it in its proper place: sewing ideas, crochet ideas, knitting ideas, knitting machine ideas, and beading/jewelry. (I never used to be this organized. When I was in Catholic school, I used to roll up my school uniform and hide it under the bed because I hated to hang it up.)

So, I was going through my InStyle magazines, and I saw the coolest bracelet, which of course cost $1,640! I am not paying that much for a bracelet so I decided to make one in a similar style myself. I finished it and will take a photo of it tomorrow to post.

That is how I usually operate: I see something I like and recreate it. I am not much of an artist, but as a friend of mine once told me, "Good artists aspire. Great artists steal."