Sewing Machine Success & Learning What CSS Stands For

Last week I called it quits with the Singer beast. I gave it many chances to behave, but push came to shove and now it is out of my life. I ordered a new Brother sewing machine and it came in yesterday. I managed to successfully sew something: an iPhone cozy. I do love cozies for my technology. It was a fairly simple endeavor. The hardest part was trying to find the sweet spot on the pedal so that the fabric wouldn’t be feeding into the machine like lightning or moving in slow-mo. The sleeve is far from perfect, but it is functional and most importantly, cute. I’m excited about developing my sewing skills and exploring the endless possibilities the sewing machine has to offer. I am already envisioning Doctor Who and Star Trek items I can sew.

On the other side of my quasi-geekiness, I am learning about HTML and CSS. Very fancy stuff. My husband is a web developer and has been my patient and incredibly informative tutor. I’m not sure exactly what possessed me to fool around with this stuff, but I’ve always been intrigued by it. Lately, I’ve been hearing about the need for more females in the development world and I’m always watching my husband play around on his computer and it’s made me curious enough to tinker with code myself. The one thing I absolutely love about it is the instant gratification. I love that I can type in some code and then be able to see it come to life in a snap. A lot more patience for the final result is required when knitting or crocheting; but that’s its own kind of fun. Oh yeah, and CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets.

I’m excited to see how far I’ll go with both of my new hobbies. It looks like I’ll definitely be busy during the summer.

From T-Shirt to Turban(ish)

A month or so ago, I came across this hair turban tutorial from Alisa Burke. When I was going through my closet, I saved some t-shirts that had the potential to be a hair turban. I finally got to make one today. This morning the husband and I decided to spend some time outdoors in Downtown Chandler for their Beer & BBQ festival. I had to dress for warm weather (it’s already in the high 80s here in the Phoenix area) and I needed a quick fix for my bed head/trying-to-grow-my-hair-out-weird-length hair. I grabbed one of the shirts I saved, my scissors, and cut away! I think it turned out nicely. Alisa Burke’s tutorial has a few other variations I want to experiment with. It may be time to go thrifting and find some interesting shirts to transform!

Creative Block…

I find it funny that as soon as I open my Etsy shop and let the world know that I am here to craft my heart out, I reach a creative block. I first blamed it on my day job preventing me from dedicating time and energy to experimenting and developing new items for my shop. But then I think about how much knitting and crocheting I was doing before I was even seriously considering opening an Etsy shop. Perhaps it is the pressure to perform– I want so bad to do so well that I have psyched myself out. It could be that I just don’t like crafting anymore (yeah, right).

After a bit of reflection, I discovered what my overall problem is: clutter. Clutter in my craft space, clutter at work, clutter in the house, and probably biggest of all, clutter in my mind. You can ask my husband, parents, pretty much anyone that knows me, that I am not a neat person. On a good day, I am one of those people who is messy but knows where things are in the mess. So, on my trip to the library today to pick up my hold request copy of the first season of Community, I perused the shelves for books about organization. I ended up checking out “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” by Erin Rooney Doland. I started reading it today and the first step is to get rid of the clutter in the closet. I’ll be attempting that one tomorrow after work. My husband and I did go through the closet a couple weeks ago to go through clothes we weren’t wearing but I still feel like my side of the closet isn’t quite where it needs to be. Otherwise, it wouldn’t take me half an hour to pick out an outfit everyday…. t like that the book has a lot of baby steps to take instead of demanding drastic changes right this instant. Baby steps are my friend. I feel good about eliminating the clutter in my life. I’m especially excited about how it will help me as a crafty lady.

So many activities!

For the past few days we had friends from Ohio visit us and had a fun and exciting weekend! We saw Radiohead, ate at Elements (Iron Chef contestant Chef Beau MacMillan’s restaurant), and relaxed. Elements was incredibly delicious and had a beautiful mountain view. The one thing I learned this weekend– I need to take more pictures! I would have loved to post pictures of the food at Elements but they actually had a request on the menu to not use cell phones while in the restaurant. But here are some pictures from the Radiohead concert:

On deck this week, I’m planning to use this beast:

 

It is my mom’s old sewing machine from the 80s. I got it repaired and in good working condition (at least that’s what the repair shop said…). I started to tinker with it today only to realize that I have no idea how to use a sewing machine. Since I’ve kind of hit a dry spell with knitting and crocheting things, I’m going to work on a few sewing projects. One of the first projects is an iPhone case using fabric and felt. It is a tutorial by shanalives on Squidoo. Here’s the link for anyone that is interested. I’m excited to crossover to a new craft!

Long time no blog

My goodness, it has been way too long since I’ve updated this thing! A thousand apologies! They’re not great ones, but here are my excuses for slacking:

I got a bad cold.

Matthew got a bad cold.

I set up my Etsy shop.

I’m all better now and am finally able to go crazy and use up my energy instead of reserving it for recovery. Yay! And what better timing: I’m on spring break and can devote my time to crafting. Upon making my announcement on Facebook that my Etsy shop was up and running, I had a few requests (mostly from my dear sister) to make things for people. Right now, I’m working on two extra wide headbands for a friend. The first one is a simple ruched headband that is very cute. I’m going to try and make at least two of these to put up on Etsy by the end of the week. The second headband is an uber wide (5 inches) ear warmer/headband with a cable detail in it. My friend sent me a picture of a cable headband she saw on Pinterest, I identified stitches, learned how to do cables and I played around until I got what I wanted. This is the first time I’ve ever knitted cables and I’m quite satisfied with the outcome. I had to write a pattern for this one (I even broke out the graph paper while I was designing) and it took me a few tries, but I finally got it!

Note: The pictures below are the same uber wide cable headband. My iPhone did something funny with the closeup picture: the headband looks lighter and discolored…. but the cable looks good!😉

 

More to come in the next few days! I’ll be making up for the lack of posts this past month….

WIP: Baseball Newborn Hat

I’m still working on that baseball newborn hat… it is proving to be quite the endeavor. I had started out using Lion Brand’s Baby’s First Yarn. It was a chunkier yarn and as I knitted the hat, I really didn’t like how big the stitches looked. So I went over to one of the local yarn shops in my area, Jessica Knits, and bought some Rowan handknit cotton. I am much more satisfied with the smaller stitches. Now, I’m working on the red stitching (red ribbon) to make it look like a baseball. The hat was easy, this red stitching is testing my patience and skill. I find myself having to take breaks and return to it (at least) a few hours later; perhaps it is my complete inexperience with embellishing my work with ribbon, the lack of a pattern to follow, the ribbon itself or a combination of all three. All I know is that I will be so happy to have the red stitching done! If you have any advice on how to make the red stitching easier, please let me know. I’ve been eyeballing where to put the stitches so that it looks as even as possible. I’m trying to stay optimistic. I know the completed hat will be adorable– it’s just the journey getting there that I have to get through. Here’s the progress so far:

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Special Delivery!

Just wrapped up the headbands for the three girls. I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been reading the e-course “Dream Job” from Red Velvet and so with this customer, I wanted to make a nice impression and wrap the headbands nicely.  I’ve made a few things for other people already and I feel a little guilty that I didn’t take the time to wrap them nicely (then again, I wasn’t planning on trying to make a business out of it at the time). The card has my contact info on the back, with the hopes that she’ll keep the card and be able to refer me to other people and give them my contact info. I haven’t been able to think of a name for my business, so it’ll just have to be “Handmade by Christene” until I think of something better. I’ll be delivering this tomorrow– so excited!