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July 27, 2006

Hurgle-Burgle

Somehow J and I have gotten roped back into the World of Warcraft. Don't ask me how these things happen, they just do. In order for this to not be totally exempt from the world of craft, I made him this tshirt using the beloved freezerpaper stencil method. This is a murloc, an ocean dwelling, sentient creature and pest that is the object of numerous quests in the game. You can always tell their approach by the guttural gurgling that accompanies it. Hurgle-Burgle indeed!

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I also made J some pillows for the new apt and, today, got my sewing machine back! I want to make some cozies for them, but I might not actually have enough stash fabric... ?!?!? Whoa.


Posted by loyd0008 at 5:20 PM

July 25, 2006

Halter sans Circle

I have finished another retro dress! This time it is a Butterick reissue from 1957. I did not estimate quite enough fabric (or I might have done the layouts without actually consulting the guide...) but either way, this lack resulted in a very happy Villain: no circle skirt to hem! Yay! I just used the skirt from another halter dress (chocolate mint from oh so long ago) since I was cutting it out anyway for another version in black and yellow. I had to add some extra darts in the bust area due to gaping, but other than that, this was a pretty breezy sew.

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I had been dying to use this fabric for something and this dress is pretty perfect for it. It is a bit busier than I normally opt for and so J was skeptical at first. I managed, however, to win him over. When I wear it, I must remember to load up on the sunscreen due to the rather absent back. I had a photo of the back of the dress, but I didn't want anyone to go blind from seeing that much ghostly pallor struck with a flash, so I left it off.

I am reading, in pic #2, Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. It is a really amazing and engaging book, but I don't seem to be making and progress, no matter how much I read. It is a lot like my Picovoli in that way...

In other happy news, I got a call from the sewing machine repair person last night. Looks like it will cost a grand total of $10 to fix the bobbin spring thingie that was broken. He wanted to do a tune-up for the low low price (?) of $50, but I just opted for the broken bit. Now I will have two machines?? Whoa. I feel so... extravagant!

Off to change out of fancy-wear and back into my tank top and capri summer uniform.

Posted by loyd0008 at 1:00 PM

July 22, 2006

Mr. Glass and The Kenmore

Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately...) the two characters from the title are not related but are, instead, separate stories.

Some may recall tales of "Dr. Giggles" and his "BREAKFAST IS OVER" antics. Well, the last few nights have seen the addition of a new eccentric (read: crazy, drug addled, or psychotic) neighbor into the mix. After a night of mysterious 2AM buzzings of various apts in the building and repeated crashings that resulted in a bashed-in hallway wall, I knew something was up. Little did I know that it would be Mr. Glass. J and I had a very enjoyable dinner out and I was sewing (more on that later) until 2:30 AM. We finally went to bed and then were awoken in the 5AM range by broken glass and cries of "LET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!". Well, needless to say, the police were called by multiple neighbors. This did not prevent crashing and banging from ensuing, perhaps it precipiated it. Who needed to be let out of the apartment? Why could he not simply open the door? Was he under house arrest of some type? Undergoing paranoid hallucinations? Drunk? All of the above?? After a while, the newly christened Mr. Glass (anyone remember Unbreakable?) quieted down. This was until about 7AM, when the crashing began anew. Going to work this morning, I noticed that the door had been broken down and replaced with a piece of plywood bolted in by the police (case # on the door!). The bottom bolts had been damaged, as if the new "door" had been kicked repeatedly from the inside. When I passed, light jazz was playing and all seemed tranquil. The mysterious identity of Mr. Glass remains... a mystery. Oh and, I almost forgot, another registered sex offender moved into the neighborhood a few weeks ago. Coincidence? Probably.

Onto exciting news #2! I bought a new sewing machine. "New" is, of course, being used in the most figurative way possible. After realizing that my little Bernette is probably going to cost more to repair than it did to purchase, I thought about getting a used machine that would stand up to the test of time. I checked the Star Tribune online and lo and behold! An estate sale starting at 10AM the next morning. I trudged on over there and found my new little friend. Are all estate sales so grungy and depressing? I almost got weepy picking up a beautiful aqua glass, thinking that the owner was probably dead and her kids were selling off her stuff mercilessly. Then, the owner of the aforementioned glass came over and told me about her sewing machine. She had bought it in the 1950s to match her sister. Hers was a beautiful singer table-mounted model that was snatched by a seasoned garage-saler from right beneath my nose. So at least she wasn't dead, but she was moving into a tiny little apartment. She said her husband said they were going to a prison cell. So, not dead, but still a sad story. Her snotty daughter's machine is the one I ended up with. It is a lot like my mom's and had been serviced recently, so the $50 I spent was pretty good. She wouldn't budge on the price and was running that show with an iron fist. Anyway, I cleaned it up and it still looked pretty ancient. J suggested I make a cozy for it (isn't he the cutest?!?!?). The receipt for the Sears layaway was in the manual and it had the same house listed. The thing is even older than I am! I can't imagine living in one house for that long. I don't think they vacuumed the place the whole time...

I wish I could have afforded some of the lovely machines recommended to me on Ebay, but even as good deals, they were out of my range. This one sews really well and is SO QUIET!! It has its own quirks, but I think I should be able to work with them. I have not yet gotten over the fact that a machine doesn't have to be embarrassingly loud in order to work. I guess I just figured that was the downside to sewing. Ha! Well, now none of my crazy neighbors can complain that it is me making all that racket at 2AM...

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Posted by loyd0008 at 6:09 PM

July 19, 2006

Duro!

I have finally gotten around to making my Duro dress! I had been putting it off for a while and then yesterday I just went all out and did the whole thing. Here is the result:

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It is lovely and comfortable, except for being rather low in the bosoms. It seems that many of the patterns I have made have turned out this way. Luckily, they have mostly been plunging without being overly push-up oriented. I would rather fall on the attractive-yet-demure side of things than the Jessica Simpson side. Now to find a nice garden party to show this thing off...

In sad news, I think that I killed my sewing machine. I tried cleaning and oiling, but there remains a very loud clanking noise that sounds quite terrible. It has always been a noisy little beast, much to the chagrin of my neighbors, I'm sure, but this was just too much. I took it in to my local authorized Bernina dealer (mine is a tiny little Bernette 50, not one of the fancy ones!), but I am afraid that repairs will cost more than the machine did! I have been looking at ebay auctions, but what if I am just inheriting someone else's problem? I would love to get a heavy, sturdy thing that will never break and will be worth spending $70 a year on tuneups. My poor little beast just isn't worth that much, I'm afraid. It has been a trooper though! Let's hope it pulls through... I remember when my mom told me that they had bought me a sewing machine, I was like "You bought me a what?? I, however, have gotten more use out of it than of any other appliance. Well, maybe not any other...

Any advice on new (or used) sewing machines if this one bites the dust??

Posted by loyd0008 at 6:59 PM

July 15, 2006

working girl?

Yay! New items up on my Etsy site! I have been making cute little handbags and there they are in all their glory. If I manage to sell some things, perhaps I will finally get to quit my second job and quit complaining about it all the time. Its not that my job is so hard or bad, just that it sucks out my soul with its meaninglessness.

Well, on that note, here are some exemplars of cuteosity:

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Just what the world needs more of, right?

I hope to have some more things listed tomorrow, if I can finally take a decent picture of the gem necklaces. It is amazing what a difference there is between working and creating something that you have some kind of emotional/physical investment in and working as a wageslave for Someone Else. Even though these were more taxing on many levels, it was work that I enjoyed doing much more so than being perky and pretending to care that someone desperately needs a copy of an Alexander Calder mobile for their living room.

Well, time to gorge myself on sugar in true PMS fashion.

Posted by loyd0008 at 7:46 PM

July 10, 2006

Craftstravaganza and Curses

This Sunday, before work, J and I went to the Saint Paul Crafstravaganza. It was petite and nice and much less difficult to navigate than the No-Coast. J found a poster of the Minnesota Rollergirls for the new apt and I stumbled upon these lovelies from http://7two7glass:

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They hold amazingly well and are so beautiful! Also, very reasonably priced. One day when I am no longer wading through computer-induced poverty, I will certainly be investing in more.

Here is the circular needle roll that I made the other day. Saw some at the fair that left out the interfacing and I think that would make a world of difference. I mean, how much wear and tear does this thing have to take? Have I mentioned that I hate interfacing? I did learn a trick that may make my relationship with it a little less tenuous: preshrinking. Why didn't I think of that before?? Sheesh. I ruined a perfectly good bag the other day because it bubbled up and wrinkled just a little too much too look nice.

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Here is a my latest freezer paper stencil. It supposed to be an octupus, but seems to actually resemble a Cthuloid skull. Those are cute too, right? I was inspired by Susie Ghahremani of Boygirlparty. I love her work so much and while this little tshirt is no replacement for her crying octopus, it may let me hold out a little bit longer before spending funds that I don't actually have. I love the owl under the stars hoodie so much! One day it will be mine.


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Perhaps it will be so if I am able to sell any of these:

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I have decided that I am going to craft a bit more seriously. This is due to the fact that I really really want to quit my day job (which doesn't really make me much money anyhow). I have a very dusty Etsy account and I am planning on sprucing it up a bit and adding items such as the above. I want to make some kanzashi flower pins to embellish them as they all look a little boring to me. I should have about 10 posted by the end of the week. I might just be setting myself up for failure here, but damn I've gotta try!

In sad news, I was about 75% finished with a Picovoli sweater when I realized that I was actually getting 6 stitches per inch instead of 6.5. Thus, the sweater is far too big and I tossed it, cursing, from my sight. Curse you, incorrect gauge! After my fuming has dissipated a bit, I will restart. Curse you!

p.s. This is my first post from my NEW LAPTOP!! Yayayayayayaayay! I <3 it a lot. J even invested in a copy of WoW so we can play whilst he is in Boston. What a dreamboat!

Posted by loyd0008 at 5:43 PM

July 6, 2006

Battery Drain

The batteries in the camera died, so all I have to show for the past few days is this little pincushion. Little is, perhaps, misleading because it is actually the biggest pincushion I do believe I have ever seen. I went a little overboard with it, though it looks pretty good in the craft room... I mean the bedroom! I also covered a couple of shoebox lids with fancy paper from Paper Source and after a Mod Podge fiasco they look alright. I don't think decoupage is for me (though it worked well as normal glue...) The decoupage turned out looking like something I would have made in third grade. I had this very chic concept in my head of fancy-looking storage boxes. How do you do decoupage without it looking like a 13 year-old's Tiger-Beat-Meets-Craftster explosion??

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I also finished four more pairs of 1337 b0xx0rz (aka boxer shorts to the rest of the known universe) for J. I got the hang of the pattern pretty quickly and so they went fast (at least for four pairs). I like the idea of whipping him up some new ones to put in periodic care packages.

Last night's project was a circular needle roll. I saw so many cute ones on Etsy and thought I would give it a whirl. I am not extremely experienced in the intricacies of such sewing, but I think it came out passibly well. I used leftovers from a maroon geometric skirt and brown twill. Not perhaps as neat and tidy as the ones for sale, but it holds them well and they are organized. I can hardly believe it. I had been using one of those huge Altoids tins for so long and it is cute, but a mess to dig through. Now I can sort them by size. Very handy. The interfacing looks a little wonky to me, but I'm sure I won't notice after a while. I can never seem to get interfacing to go on without an overabundance of texture. Impatience, perhaps. Maybe my iron is too hot. I don't know, but my dislike of interfacing is second only to my dislike of zippers. That's saying something.

Posted by loyd0008 at 8:59 AM

July 1, 2006

Did Someone Say Baby Shower???

Well, no, they didn't but...

I bought this pattern the other day and thought it would work great for the Sew Retro sew-a-long starting now.
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I searched and searched and (several times) thought I had found fabric that would work. I really like Jennifer Paganelli's Girlfriends line, but I had a hard time finding three that went together particularly well. My favorite is a turquoise/garnet toile, but that shall have to wait for another day because I bought these. J thought they looked great and at various times I have too, but I am wavering. I mean, I already ordered them from the interweb and so it is a little late to be backing out now, however, I do have the distinct feeling that I am going to look like a baby shower favor...

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Posted by loyd0008 at 11:42 PM