Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Simpsonize Me!

I love the Simpons, so I had to go Simpsonize myself. So here I am. I stuck my little buddy shot version in my profile.

And to be a little more sewing related, I'm working on a few things. One is a new bag pattern for my collection of sewing patterns. I'm tentatively calling it The Gyspy Bag. I'm going to have some sneak peek pictures up soon of it. I'm also working on updating my patterns webpage and I'm in the middle of turning my popular Diva Mommy Tote pattern into a downloadable PDF file. You will have to tape the pattern together when you print it off, but it's a lot quicker than waiting for the mail to arrive.

And to move to something completely unrelated, I finished Wicked over the weekend. Someone told me it was a difficult read, but I disagree. I couldn't put it down. It was so well written, I kept wondering what would happen next, and every time I crawled in bed to read it, I felt myself drawn back into the world of Oz and reluctant to leave. I also heard long ago it was "a little different" than the musical. Uh, no, it's completely different. The musical is like a paragraph of the book, and it goes in a completely different direction. They are hardly alike except they have the same characters. I love the musical and I think it's the best I have ever seen, but I really loved reading the book. You know when you read a book and you are just hungry to read more, but you don't want it to end? That was how I felt about Wicked (and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold). I've already started on Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and I have a hard time putting it down too. Gregory Maguire is just a wonderful writer. I wish I knew how to weave stories the way he does.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Part I Nursing Shirt Tutorial is Up!!

I disappeared for a few days, but I have returned! I had to finish the first module of my distance learning school before I could come back, and now I'm just waiting for my last test to be graded. It has three modules, but the first one is the longest.

Sorry this tutorial took so long, I swear whenever I plan something, life gets in the way...sigh.

So, if you want to learn how to turn a regular t-shirt pattern into a nursing shirt, here is part I. This part shows you how to create the extra pattern piece for the overlay. I have also included the text for part II and part III on sewing the shirt, but I am still working on those pictures, so they will be up very soon, but if you don't need a visual aide (which I require since I'm a visual learner), then you can easily finish on your own.

This particular pattern is how to do the "T-top" nursing shirt style. Basically, it is an overlay that is sewn down the middle of the shirt with one large nursing opening hidden underneath that you simply pull to one side or the other. This style is my favorite to sew and wear because people really can't tell it's a nursing shirt, especially if you use a print. Prints camouflage the overlay really well in this design.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Heaven is called Blue Bell

If you're from Texas, you know Blue Bell ice cream. That is the best stuff in the world. But they have a new flavor, Cake Batter. Oh. my. god. It's heavenly, it tastes just like you're eating cake batter. I just ate an entire pint all by myself. My kids ate it before I could try it, so I picked some up on the way home from a doctor's appointment today and hid one pint for myself. I just finished it. I feel really guilty, but boy was it good.

On another note, my doctor's appointment was to an ENT specialist. I get terrible sinus infections and I've finally had enough, so I found a local one who specializes in chronic sinus issues. I have to go get a fun-filled allergy test next Monday. 36 shots in my arms, won't that be fun. I haven't had an allergy test since I was a kid.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ouija boards, Pacman, Frogger and more...

I found the coolest website. My kids love it. Complete with a ouija board and tons more.

There are lots of fun 80s arcade games, Pacman, Centipede, even Pong, ton, more. My personal fave is Frogger because if you are hit by the 18 wheeler, the blood gets splattered all over the screen. And there's magic tricks and and Em and I sat here for over an hour doing the optical illusions. Have fun!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

a little bit of this and that

I haven't updated in a couple days. I'm working on a few things, and I'm working on updating the waldorf doll sewalong with a downloadable pattern to use and I need to fix the missing pix.

Anyway, other than that life is boring right now, lol. I need to head down to my storage unit and grab some more fabric to finish the last of the nursing tutorial.

And who wants to make boutique applique stuff? I'm going to work on a little tutorial for making professional appliques. Sometimes I just hate the way people applique. I guess you can call me an applique snob, lol. Long ago in a time before Mr. E, I was quite the popular eBayin' boutique overall maker.

ok, now, there was something else I was going to mention, but it's left my brain. Crappity crap crap, I can't remember what it was. Argh.

Oh I got the coolest idea for my little tag obsession. Ya know I'm obsessed about those too? Anyway, so I was looking in this neat British craft magazine I picked up at BN and they have these little family tree type garlands made from those tags into pockets. But my idea is more for kids and very very cute. I'm going to try to whip up a protoype very soon.

Oh, oh, oh!! I remembered my idea I forgot. Who wants to learn how to make clothes for dolls? It's soooo easy. I don't even use patterns. I think this is a great way to teach kids how to design their own patterns. This will be my next tutorial after the nursing stuff.

I think I'm going to post the nursing stuff in phases. Since it's taking longer than I thought, I'm going to do like part 1, part 2, etc. Look for the first part this weekend.

Okeydoke, off to vacuum and clean, I'm having one of my intuitive moments telling me I'm going to get a last minute phone call tomorrow for people coming to look at my house.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Fifth Ring of Hell...aka...Selling My House

I hate selling a house and this is the first one I've tried to sell. There's nothing like that early morning adrenaline rush when you've been awoken with a phone call from your realtor, "There's a realtor driving around your neighborhood and would like to look at your house RIGHT NOW!!!!!" WTH?? Um, hello, what happened to the - I need at least an hour's warning when you call - discussion we had when I first listed? This happened to be the time I skipped cleaning like a mad woman the night before. The one time I don't vacuum the floors and do the dishes before I got to bed.

So in hopes of finally getting out of here and moving closer to the kids' school (which is 35 miles away), we just lowered the price today by $5k. We have all new floors, ceramic tile, totally new bathrooms, we've painted the entire house, new roof, we've relandscaped, we live on huge a corner lot, I've dumped about 60% of the contents of our home in a storage unit. What more do you people freakin' want? just tell me, I'll do it.

Ok, I'll admit, I'm actually considering buying this. Am I crazy? I don't believe in superstitions, but I'm ready to try anything. Got any spells, chants, meditations, or magical amulets that sell houses, anybody?

Changing templates

I'm in the middle of changing templates, I need more space, lol. Anyway, just hang in there if things disappear, they will be coming back shortly while I quickly figure this out. Thanks!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm feeling....Wicked

I picked up Wicked by Gregory Maguire last night at Half Price Books and I can't put it down. I've seen the musical -- I loved the musical. Wait, didn't I say that in yesterday's post? I'm obsessed, well so is my daughter, she wears her "Popular" t-shirt from the musical all the time. I had to get my mom to buy a new one when she went to see it because Em stained this one with chocolate milk....but I digress.

So anyway, I was reading it in Barnes and Noble on Friday night when this guy came up and told me how wonderful the book was, and we started talking about the differences of the book and the musical. I've been meaning to read it forever, but just never got around to it. So I decided why spend $16 when I can spend $7.50 at Half Price Books, so I picked it up yesterday along with one of his other books, Mirror, Mirror - it's about Snow White and the 7 Dwarves.

I'm so tired of Chick lit crap now. I've been a bookworm my whole life, and I'd been out of the reading loop since Em's birth and when I finally felt I could get back into reading again, I wanted to start out easy and entertaining so I started with fun chick lit books, but after reading Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones (wonderful, wonderful book - go read it!) and then her autbiography, Lucky, I felt like Chick lit just didn't have the depth and meaningfulness I wanted to be reading. So I've found Wicked is right up my alley, I read until an ungodly time early this morning and then forced myself to put it down and sleep, lol.

So if anybody has some great fiction suggestions similar to The Lovely Bones and Amy Tan's Saving Fish from Drowning, please post in the comments. I love the whole "dead person telling the story" thing.

Ok, ok, I'm really leaving this time for a fun-filled hour of house cleaning. Ugh...can't you just read my enthusiasm.

More Examples of Altered Tags

I realized I forgot one of the most often ways I use my altered tags is for one of a kind items I design. I like making original tags for them too.

I just found my missing tags I made Em the other day. I had misplaced them in my closet o'sewing. And I wanted to show you how I make art for my kids' rooms with tags and some scrapbook paper, I coordinate them to their bedding and curtains. And if you wait around and check the ads, Michael's and Hobby Lobby put those scrapbook picture frams on sale all the time for $5.

So here they are:

These are some tags I made the other day with just embellishments. I was going for sort of a ballet theme-type of thing.

Here is Em's tag picture:

And here is Mr E.'s tag picture (sorry for the flash, this one would not photograph well without it:

Off to clean the house and then to the sprayground for some water fun for the kids and reading Wicked for me.

Altered Tags

The altered tag tutorial is up in the list of Freebies. It's a fun, creative project that you can even make with your kids. My kids love to make them. I make a ton of these for gift giving and I also make them for art to put on the walls, but I tend to forget to take pictures. I forgot to take pics before I posted, so they'll be up soon, but I have tags framed in my kids' rooms as well.

Below I've put some pictures of up a few I have currently on hand.

So have fun and be artsy!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sassy Skirts Part III

Use coupon code CHICK to get 10% off sewing patterns at TipToeFairy.com!!!

I live quite a ways away from the quilting store where they had the contest, so my mom went and got my prize and took a picture for me. I think they keep them up until the middle of the month, sheesh, I can't remember, lol.

So here's my skirt - the one on the top right, it's for my daughter:

I was so busy with work, I just kept putting it off and putting it off. I literally made this at 1 o'clock in the morning the night before and made it up as I went. I was going for a little bit of shabby chic. It's a triple layer skirt. The middle layer is a quadruple layer of tulle - heck, I could call it the 7-layer skirt, lol.

Honestly, I don't really like how it came out, I wished I had flip flopped the fabrics, but oh well. I got honorable mention, lol.

I do, however, really like the skirt design I came up...sorta twirly, skirt sorta boutique. I'm thinking about turning it into an actual pattern.

And after looking at the picture for awhile, can I just say what the heck is up with the skirt under mine, the red/white stripe thing just makes it look yucky.

P.S. I feel terrible, I am working on the nursing tutorial. It will be up at some point, hopefully soon. I have to do it in little spurts since the house is for sale. Somebody cast a spell to sell my house, pretty please with sugar on it? I'm desperate, the gas bill to school is killing me, lol.

P.P.S. The little tag tutorial will be coming soon too. I have somethings to catch up on, but I will post it soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Updating Apron Top Pattern

7/2008 - EDITED TO ADD - There is now a nursing apron top tutorial too, it is located on the left in the Freebie section.

The new apron top PDF is up. It's the same pattern, I just made it look a little nicer.

Also, if anybody is interested in the nursing/breastfeeding apron top version, post in the comments and if there is enough interest (and/or begging, lol) then I'll add that option to the pattern as well.

An apron top is a backless summer shirt, much like a halter style top, but it is backless. I discovered apron tops many years ago when my daughter was a toddler. I began offering them on my web site soon after, including nursing/breastfeeding ones. You can make them from just about any kind of woven fabric. I prefer 100% cotton quilting quality woven fabrics because they feel so nice against the skin. Hemp silk dupioni was the most popular choice with my customers.

This pattern is very easy for beginner seamstresses as it is basically a rectangle. It’s something fun, quick, and easy to make too! This apron top pattern is lined (or you can even make it reversible). It laces down the back and the straps tie at the bottom. There are some options throughout the pattern so read through the entire pattern before you begin. I like to make a coordinating strip skirt or bloomers for little girls to go with an apron top.

Attn: Dallasite Fabric Addicts

If you're from Dallas and you don't know about the fabric outlets off of Harry Hines Blvd, well....where the heck have you been?!? They have some of the best deals around. There are lots of hidden ones off on Perth St, right off of Harry Hines Blvd.

But my personal favorite is Golden D'or. And they are having a private sale, a Preinventory Sale, this Saturday. But you have to sign up for their email list and you have to bring the printed out email to get these prices. It's easy, and they send out an email maybe once every 3 months or so. So I'm going, maybe I'll see you there! I want to stock up on some dancewear fabrics for Em's solo costumes.

Here's what part of the email said - for the clearance room only:
Fabric up to $9/yd is 99 cents
$9-$12 yd is $1.99
$12-$15 - $2.99
$15-$18 - $3.99
over $18 - $4.99

And to completely change the subject, don't you just love those dinky quizzes that say things about you? Well I do, lol. This is my most recent one, and it's so true...sigh
You Belong in Rome

You're a big city soul with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian people - could life get any better?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Date Night!

Well woo to freakin' hoo! The hubby and I left the kidlets at my MIL's house and went down the local Choctaw casino for a little white trash date of our very own. Who doesn't love the orchestra of a thousand slot machines, walking through a giant plume of cigarette smoke, and the odor of people who haven't left a slot machine in days? I know I do!!

We agreed to each blow $20 bucks, and my dear husband apparently was smokin' hot on Saturday night. He won $106 on the second $5 he stuck in the machine, and then he won another $40 a couple minutes later. I, on the other hand, won $10 and proceeded to blow it all in a record 2 minutes. So we cashed out with $160 after about 20 minutes of being there and left with the stink of cigarettes permanently absorbed into our skin and $120 richer than when we arrived.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Pictures for the Apron Top Pattern!

So I am submitting these for a project, but I'm going to put them in with the apron top sew along.
Just thought I'd throw them up here if anybody wants to make it.

See ya, we're off to the MIL's to set up a new 'puter for her. And eat some yummy italian food from Krebs, OK. YUMMY!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Wow a Sewing Armoire!!!

I have never seen one of these and I found it at Walmart online of all places. It's so cool! You can hide your messy sewing stuff in an armoire and it has a pull out table. We got a computer desk armoire to hide the mess of bills and software, etc, and it's wonderful. But I am drooling over this this. The cheapest place I found it was online at Walmart for $314. Target has it online for $550 - eek! and other places have it for around $430. Hmm...I wonder how much fabric I can eBay to get this thing??

P.S. Working on the nursing tutorial, will have it up soon. I've got schoolwork to finish first, ugh. And....I have just designed a new bag pattern, it's so cute! Stayed tuned for sewing tester requests.