Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have worked on a couple of things that haven't turned out for whatever reason. The first is a macrame necklace that uses square knots and double half hitches but it didn't work with the silk rattail I used. It is really purple but came out blue on the photo. The necklace uses one of the fused pendants I made a couple of months ago. I am still deciding on how to finish it, clasp-wise.

The next one is from the book Beading With Pearls and it is the "Lasso." Keep in mind that I usually don't have the correct materials to start with but use whatever I have on hand in my own interpretation. The directions called for white freshwater pearls in two sizes strung on "Greek-style leather cord." I had neither. I had white suede cord and purple "pearls."

Meh. I am not thrilled but now I know that I am not going to waste the money buying freshwater pearls and Greek-style leather, whatever that is!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I wanted to give a shout out to that anonymous commenter in that previous thread.

Earlier today, I was organizing my craft room/writing room after a month of novel writing and went through my UFOs, unidentified found objects also known as unfinished projects. I have bags of them. So many, in fact, that I probably don't have to go shopping for a while.

In fact, as I write this, I am looking over and my cat, 2%, is sitting on a pile of to-be-felted projects. I hate to take away his bed.

I started a hat for my husband and I just realized that I have been doing 2x2 rib wrong. No wonder it never turned out. I mean really! I have over 20 knitting books that provide instruction on how to do these things. You think I would have read it or something.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hi everyone! I didn't want to neglect you but I have been busy do other creative things.

Now, some photos:

These are fused glass pendants I made at a fusing class held at Prism Glassworks in Maumee. It was really fun! I first took a glass cutting class and then the fusion class. I can't remember how much it was, but they fused them for me. It isn't a good photo, but I am going to be making necklaces out of them and will take photos as I make them. I am also taking a stained glass window class early next year at Prism. I am pretty excited about it.

I mentioned that I made a PMC pendant to go along with my Burn Notice bracelet. Here it is.

Sorry, for the poor quality photo. I like to blame the camera! Ha! Anyway, I wanted the pendant to be imperfect, that is why it is misshapen a bit.

Above is a bag of zippers my mom is letting me borrow to make these:

A slipcover for the cushion on my couch.

I went to a powwow in October and bought these really great beads:

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I haven't been posting because I decided that I may make Christmas gifts this year and I already have a head start and I don't want to post anything in case the recipients look at my blog. I am not sure that I have to worry about it, but you never know.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I have finally gone back and posted some photos of work that I have done over the summer. The first bracelet is the Burn Notice bracelet, which was really a rip-off from a Me & Ro design. I took a class in metal clay and made the charms and then threaded the white leather through the holes. I am very pleased with it. I made four extra charms and a pendant that I haven't done anything with yet. But I have plans! Big plans!

The next bracelet is a macrame number I whipped up. The in-progress photo is first as it was staked out on the cool macrame board my mom gave me. And the second is the finished bracelet. This was from a pattern downloaded from I also made a similar bracelet in purple, but the photos didn't turn out. I need a new camera.

This next photo is a photo of the PMC3 that I used to make the bracelet in the first picture. Not thrilling, but interesting nonetheless. I believe this small package of silver was over $65. It is probably more now.

The last one is a photo of the light table my mom gave me. My dad had made it for my mom, who, in her career as a graphic arts photographer, would use one at work to cut negatives. When we were kids, we used to play on it, tracing stuff. This was a hotly wanted item at my house and my mom gave it to me! Thanks mom!

Fall begins tomorrow and I am gearing up for some fall projects. I have a bead loom bracelet I want to finish and I am going to make slipcovers for the couch. I was at Wal-Mart and I saw some really nice fabric for only $4.95 a yard. I hope they still have it. It was quite a while ago. Anyway, I want to recover the couch and the chair before the winter. All of these projects will be running concurrently with the kitchen remodel my husband and I started in August. The big stuff is out of the way and all we have to do is small trim stuff, replace the laminate counter top, and finish painting. Piece of cake! Yea, right.
I know that I have neglected you blog, and I feel terrible, so here is a little post. I am a member of the Crafter's Choice book club. I may have mentioned it before. I have been so busy that I haven't been able to do too much surfing around, much less refuse my monthly featured selection from the Club. Well yesterday, a package arrived containing, you guessed it! August's feature selection. Now I know the sensible readers out there will just tell me to send it back, but it's Nicky Epstein's Crocheting on the Edge! You can't just send that back! That would be so anti-crafty and just really the opposite of what I am all about. No, not racking up huge credit card debt (that's only part of it), but more about using all kinds of resources. I haven't looked at it yet but I am sure it is fantastic. I have all of her other "edge" books and I have room on my shelf. So it is staying.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I recently posted about getting back into beading and I wanted to share a couple of projects I am working on.

The first one, which is finished, is from Sherri Haab's book Beaded Macrame Jewelry. It is called the three-strand sampler bracelet. The directions called for Griffin silk to be used for the stringing, but I couldn't find any in any store in Toledo, so I opted for the C-Lon bead cord. It is not as drape-y, but I like it. I was
going to send away for the correct cord and different beads, but I think that I am going to just stick with what I have. It is finished and nice and I like it. That is all that matters, right?

The second bracelet is currently a work in progress. It is an adjustable knotted cuff designed by Dottie Hoeschen and I downloaded it off the Beading Daily website. I am not wild about the satin cord color. Nor am I wild about the beads. I bought both at a local bead shop and am not happy. I will probably stick with the cord color but buy some multicolored freshwater pearls from or Fire Mountain Gems.

The third project is a knitted necklace which will have beads strung through it. It came as a kit and there doesn't seem to be a photo of the finished project, so I guess I will have to wing it.

Two other bead projects I am going to work on is another bracelet from the Haab book and an interpretation of the macrame bracelet I made last year. I am not sure how I am going to do this last one, it is going to be a make-it-up-as-you-go kind of adventure. Which are always the best kind.

And some sewing news: My mom and I went to Vogue Fabrics on Tuesday, July 29. We went to the store in Lansing, IL, a little south of Gary, IN. My review of the store is that it had a lot of really great fabric but not a lot of notions. I was really looking for a clapper for pressing. It is impossible to find one in the city of Toledo because all we have here are JoAnn's and Hancock Fabrics. There are no other fabric stores. I found one online but it was cost prohibitive. Besides that, the store was well stocked. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to get out on the road for a little road trip. Gas prices weren't even that bad on the turnpike. After we visited the store, we headed back and stopped for dinner in South Bend, IN. I had a lot of fun. My mom and I are going to go up to the Evanston store in the fall and make a weekend out of it.

I bought three pieces of fabric. One was a green knit with white flowers. I am going to make into a shirt.

The next was a windowpane plaid wool that I am going to make into a skirt.

The third was a snazzy rayon that is begging to be made into a dress.

So, I have been to all three Vogue Fabrics in the Chicago area and I have to recommend them all. But if you are going to make a weekend of it, then definitely visit the flagship store in Evanston.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I wrote last night that I was getting back into beading. When I originally saw the bracelet on the Burn Notice website, I saw that it was made out of leather and gold. As a member of Crafter's Choice, I have a book titled Metal Clay and Mixed Media Jewelry by Sherri Haab. It is extremely informative but since the price of gold is through the roof, cost prohibitive at the moment.

Cue my trip to Meant to Bead, a local bead store. I was looking through their books and saw Beaded Macrame Jewelry by none other than Sherri Haab. This woman is very talented. Her website address is and while the website isn't the shopping powerhouse you may want, there is information about the classes she teaches and limited items to buy.

So, I am beading again. I have decided that I am going to let my whims dictate what kind of crafting I do. I have been writing and haven't had a lot of time to devote to any kind of crafting and besides, I haven't felt particularly inspired. But that has changed for the moment and I am going to strike while the iron is hot.

I will keep you posted on my progress. I bought some C-Lon thread and will be making some projects from the macrame book while working on my Burn Notice inspired bracelet.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I have become interested in beading again. I watch Burn Notice and on the show's website you can buy clothes from the show. One of the characters, Fiona, was wearing the macrame bracelet I made last year! I am so ahead of the curve! There is another bracelet from the same designer that I would like to recreate. This got me interested in beading again. I was looking into metal clay but it is very expensive because of the price of gold. I am going to reinterpret it in a different medium. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It has been forever since I wrote! I haven't been sewing much lately because I have been working on my writing, but I did whip up two skirts to wear to a work meeting. They ended up being too big, but I wore one of them anyway. I am away from work room at the moment, so I can't give up the pattern numbers, but the next time I post, I will. I am going to schedule more sewing in my future, to fit in with my writing.

Until then, happy crafting!

On edit: I know that I promised to post the pattern numbers on the skirts I made and I don't want to be a liar, so here they are: Butterick 4461 and Simplicity 9825. The Simplicity skirt was inspired by a skirt I saw at Banana Republic but was too expensive for me to even consider buying.

I am a member of the Crafter's Choice book club and recently received the new Nancy Ziemen book, Pattern Fitting With Confidence and Marie Clayton's Ultimate Sewing Bible. I didn't ask for these two and I must have missed the opt out e-mail, but I am going to keep them. I also received, in the mail, an RSVP for Clotilde's Sew Smart. I really enjoy the magazine and I feel you can't have enough sewing reference books.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I went to Hancock's yesterday and picked up a couple of patterns that were on sale for $.99. One is a shorts pattern and the other is a t-shirt pattern. I also learned the difference between ribbing and regular knit. Don't laugh. I had no idea. I also bought some clearance fabric for my shorts. If you remember from a previous post, that I wanted to perfect a shorts pattern and make them in a bunch of colors. The same goes with the t-shirt. As I said in my latest Wordful Googie post, there doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done. To that end, I am going to create a schedule to fit writing and sewing in to my day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I wanted to pop in and say hey! My Chanel jacket hadn't been going as well as I had hoped. I am working on the lining and it is a bit of a nightmare. I put it aside for now and have been working on non-related craft projects. I received the Hancock flier in the mail the other day and they are having fantastic pattern sales coming up at the end of June. I'm talking $0.88 patterns! Wheeee! I want to find a shorts pattern that I can make in a bunch of different colors. I hope I can find one.

Will check in later and hopefully have good news about my jacket.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I wanted to check in to let you know that I have been busy with other projects and haven't been working on my Chanel jacket. I will work on it this week and post an update, but I have kind of lost interest. The jacket is lined and it is not working out as well as I had hoped. I will finish it and post photos, though. Until then.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I wanted to add that I was on a sewing tear this weekend. I hemmed up my skinny pants, fixed the curtains that the cats shredded, and fixed my bra that needed the elastic re-worked. Everything, it seems, except for working on my jacket. I did, however, get more thread so I am all set for sewing tomorrow night.
Well, I didn't get my Chanel type jacket finished in time to wear it. I just got bogged down in other stuff during the week. I also ran out of thread, so I have to go get more this morning. I wore my purple velvet jacket out last night and my hemmed-up skinny jeans (which finally fit!). I hemmed them up 11th hour but I think they turned out great.

I will continue to work on the jacket, then the rest of my pile looks as follows:
Pants, another Burda jacket, a dress from, and two skirts. I am going to start looking for a quick and easy shorts pattern to whip out several pairs of shorts in all kinds of colors. Summer is coming and I want to be ready. I am going to work on my motivation and get going to get all of this done.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I have been busy multi-tasking. I have been working on my purse. I had to break out the Simplicity Classic to sew the leather. It isn't perfect, but I consider it to be a learning experience.

But I had to stop so I could start work on my Chanel jacket. I want to wear it next week for my birthday. Here it is in mid-sew. I didn't have enough fabric for the face, so I am using part of the lining. Thanks mom for the tip!

Spring has sprung here in Toledo, so I have been wearing the jackets I made this past winter. I am not pleased with the way the Burda jacket turned out. I have the pattern cut out and ready with fabric from Vogue fabrics. I think I will make it next. I am hoping that I have learned enough that this one turns out better.

I went back and was re-reading some of the posts and wanted to add another chapter in the skinny jeans saga. I tried them on and they are now too big in the butt. So, I give up with them. I tried on my store bought ones and they now fit. I will be hemming the bottoms because they are a bit too long, but are totally wearable. I want to wear them with my Chanel jacket I am making for my birthday next week.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hey everyone! I finished my jacket:

It went together very easy. Almost too easy. I was concerned about matching plaids, but I used tips from an article from Threads December 2007/January 2008 issue titled "Mad for Plaid." I probably mentioned it earlier. Anyway, it was helpful. I can't believe it turned out! I didn't include all of the buttons because I didn't have ones that matched and I wanted to avoid having to buy more. But besides that, I followed directions pretty easily, which is unusual for me. It is also fully lined. My next project is that purse and I have another jacket waiting in the wings which I am pretty excited about. I will tell you about it later.

I wanted to update this to add that I did end up buying the extra buttons. JoAnn's had buttons 50% off so how could I not? So I will be adding them and then taking a photo, of course.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I went back in the archives to see if I had posted a photo of the jacket that I am now working on and saw that I didn't. So here it is:

And here is the bag I am going to make. I know that I mentioned that it was on the cover of a Vogue Pattern magazine. I am going to make it in hot pink suede.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Finally I am finished with these jeans:

What a nightmare! Nothing was working. Not the zipper. Not the waistband. Not the buttonhole. I think my last post was me giving up, but I took them apart and recut and re-sewed them. I REALLY wanted skinny jeans! My obsession knows no bounds!

My next project is McCall's 5478 which I would like to complete by Easter. I think there is a photo on a previous blog entry. I will start it tomorrow. It is too late, today. Oh yeah, I will be making Vogue 8406 concurrently (it's a purse).

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Well, I decided to rip apart the jeans and re-cut them, but they were still too big in the waist. I added two darts and they were still too big. Then I added a waistband and had to put darts in it so the back wouldn't pucker. The result? A mess of bulky fabric that won't lay flat. I don't think my body is that unusual and I am definitely not that thin. I do want skinny jeans, but I am not sure what to do. Personally, I don't think darts have any place in a pair of jeans. I may go tomorrow or Saturday and buy more denim and try again. I think this time I will buy some muslin and fit that first. The jeans are really but cute but too bulky in the waist. One other problem I always have is that the waistband is never long enough to give me a flap on which to place a fastener. I always have to add a piece of material to do the job.

I am not going to give up but I am definitely frustrated. I have been working on these stupid things for a couple of weeks. Sometimes I feel like a novice sewer who has never made a thing in her life. I would think by this stage of the game that I would be able to make something that actually fit.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day! I, for one, am happy that February is over. It really is the longest month. Anyway, I tried on my skinny jeans tonight and they are too big. When I say too big, I mean like three inches too big on the waist. I am not sure what I did wrong. I followed Nancy's alteration directions, but to no avail. I would have to rip apart the seams and re-cut the pieces. I don't think I am going to do that. I may though. I really want skinny jeans! I tried on my store-bought skinny jeans and I am not quite able to wear them yet. I think another 5 pound loss should do it. I really want to perfect a pants pattern, so I am not going to stop trying. I may just buy more dark denim material and try again. It would be so great to be able to just make pants whenever I want. Really, any piece of clothing, because that is the reason I started to sew. I wanted to be able to reproduce the styles I saw on the runways because I can't afford to actually buy anything. I will get there. Hopefully before I am too old to see to thread the needle!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I finished my jacket and as promised, here is a photo. It was pretty easy, although I did have to re-do one of the sleeves. I used a hook and eye for a closure. Tomorrow I will start on the oft-mentioned skinny jeans!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hey! I have been working diligently on my short-sleeved jacket. Everything is finished, except for the sleeves. There is a band that is attached to the bottom of the sleeve that has to be slip-stitched to the rest of the sleeve and I am doing that by hand. I am not the fastest hand sewer. I should have it finished within the next day or so. I will post a picture when it is finished.

My next project will be the skinny jeans from Burdastyle (see my previous post). I was watching TV last Sunday afternoon and I stumbled upon Sewing With Nancy with Nancy Zieman and she was demonstrating an alteration technique called pivot and slide. I feel like such an idiot. I have been doing alterations all wrong! I really like her. She can explain something so quickly that I have spent hours reading in a book and still don't know. Anyway, my point is that the skinny jeans pattern needs to be altered to fit me and I will be using this method. I may take photos and post them as I alter, but I don't know. I like to multi-task when I sew: sew a little, watch some TV, surf the Web. It suits my short attention span. I am pretty excited about trying something new. Even if I don't post photos of the work in progress, I will post photos of the finished project.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Well! It's been a long time since I have posted. I really didn't think it was almost two months! That is too long! I ended up not making any Christmas gifts. I wanted to, but didn't have the time. I had to go to New York for work last month and I wanted to sew some clothes for my trip. Alas, I didn't do that either. I ended up buying pants at Old Navy and hemming them. So, so much for that! I work from home and don't go a lot of places. That doesn't stop me from making things for the life I wish I had. To that end, I finished the jacket made out of purple velvet. Here is a photo:

And here is a photo of the cool buttons I used. They are Route 66 buttons:

I was shopping at my mom's house last weekend and she let me snag all of her military-type buttons, which was incredibly cool. I have two more jackets to make. One is a short-sleeve number in light blue velvet which I am sure I mentioned, and the other is an off-the-shoulder style, McCall's #5478. The buttons will definitely come in handy.

I also downloaded a skinny jeans pattern from It is an open-source sewing website with free patterns. You download all of the pieces, tape them together, and then cut out the pattern. I am using clearanced stretch denim I found at JoAnn's when I was looking for the buttons. I do have a place to where these along with that off-the-shoulder jacket. It is good to have a deadline. Now if I can get the cat to stop laying on my material!

The Toledo Lucas County Public library had one of their really great book sales last weekend and of course I went. I snagged a bunch of really great sewing books, such as Fine Machine Sewing by Carol Ahles. I was actually going to buy this book on Amazon. Other titles include Fashion Sewing By The Bishop Method, Making Patterns From Finished Clothes, Vogue Fitting, Vogue Sewing For The Home, Good Housekeeping's Home Dressmaking, and Sew Much Better from the Editors of Sew News. Good stuff! There are several more book sales scheduled for this year and I will definitely attend. It seems every time I go, they have different books. If you recall, the last time I went I purchased the entire Time-Life set of The Art of Sewing for a song.

One more thing and I will call it a night. My mom and husband both volunteered at Fort Meigs, which is a local War of 1812-era fort. They have re-enactments in period costume. I am going to volunteer to and sew some costumes! It will be fun and I may even get to wear it around. I have attended Halloween events at the Fort at night and it is a pretty cool place. It was the site of a battle and it is on a bluff overlooking the Maumee River. It is a pretty spooky place and very cool. Google it and check it out.

P.S. I added a link to BurdaStyle to the right so you can go directly to the site. Happy downloading!