Sunday, December 30, 2007

Santa's Craft Lounge

After I finished my skirt-making class, it was time for some solo projects... and just in time for the holidays...

This was my first solo attempt. Placemats in two styles: some with a decorative border and others with a chopstick pocket. Initially they were going to be a gift, but I decided to keep them for myself since they did not come out as perfect as I would like.

And then I made gifts... Lavender sachets for my sisters and sisters-in-law.

Here they are, ready to be given:

Aromatherapy Eye pillows for Aunt Missy and Amy. And sleeping masks for Mandie and Han.

The sleep masks were my favorite project. They really looked beautiful when I finished them, which makes it all the more frustrating that one set met an unfortunate end, but that is another post entirely.

The Craft Lounge

So, the whole point of starting a blog is to keep track of my projects.

A few months ago, I realized that I didn't have any hobbies that had an end product or "something to show" for my efforts or give as gifts... or at least something that wasn't edible. Right around this same time, I was spending a small fortune having a new suit and some dresses altered. So, with my birthday approaching, I decided that my new endeavor should be to learn to sew.

Enter Fiona, my Brother 2600i sewing machine, a fantastic birthday gift from mom.

So, because I learn better when someone tells me what to do, I took an absolute beginners class at a local fabric store and made my very first project:

Now my tissues travel in style. But I needed more skills and experience before tackling my first solo project. So, I took a Sewing 101 class. We made a simple A-line elastic waist summer skirt. The day after the class ended, Phineas awoke to find me sitting in bed, seam ripper in hand, attacking the skirt I just finished. That day I ripped out all the seams and hems, altered the skirt to be a bit more fitted and put it back together using more sophisticated stiches. Here's the end product:

At this point MS decided that I should take pictures of all of my projects, especially the ones that are gifts. And when MS decides on something, well, there really is no point arguing. I didn't even own a camera, but guess what arrived from MS and Dr Kiang a week before Christmas?

OK. Enough for today. I will end this post with some "lessons learned". Here goes:

1 - I really like fabric. I think it is partially a tactile thing and partially a color thing. Maybe the combination of both. But, I have found myself taking out my fabrics just to feel and look at them and plan new projects. Creepy, I know. At least I haven't given them voices or personalities yet. (As far as I am concerned, as long as they don't scream when I cut them, it's all good.)

2 - I am more anal and exacting than I realized. I mean, I know I have a thing for details, but I have been really quite hard on myself. Surprisingly, this seems to be an asset for sewing.

3 - I am not a gifted photographer. MS and Dr Kiang - I need serious help in this department. Pointers, do's and don'ts, anything. I haven't owned a camera in so long that I had forgotten why. Now I've remembered.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Test Drive

This is my first post.
This is my first post.
This is my first post.
This is my first post.
This is my first post.

This is my first post.
This is my first post.
This is my first post.
This is my first post.
Sorry folks, just taking the new toy for a test drive...