I woke up today and it was cloudy. The windows and streets were wet from rain and the cold weather seemed to sneak into our apartment. There was the unrelenting sound of hammers driving nails into dry wall. Whacks! Thud, thud thud! and whirrs! from all the construction below us. [The apartment below us is currently being remodeled.]
And yet I couldn't be happier.
Because shortly after my rude awakening, I grabbed my computer and checked my daily blogs, emails and websites. And boy was I happy to find that when I clicked on Burda Style, there I was!
On the front page.
Viewed by all to see!
I had been grouped together with some of the most creative sewers throughout the interwebs as one of Burda Style's: Best of May.
Without making this into an overly long Academy of Awards Speech, where they awkwardly cut you off with the cue of some cheesy music, I really do want to thank Burda Style, all of their sewing community, my followers, my friends and my family for watching and supporting me in my sewing adventures. I think it's amazing that there is such a large community of sewers, all around the world, that reach out and help one another. And I've been completely inspired and amazed by all that they do!
I used to think that sewing was old timey and outdated. Trust me, my mother had made me some questionable clothing when I was younger. (Matching pinafore dresses for my sister and I. Ankle length flannel nightgowns. Any one remember those acid washed jeans??? Yeah, I BEGGED her to make me a pair of black and white acid washed jeans.) And looking in retrospect, I had thought that you could only make unflattering and old fashioned clothing articles that involved complicated instructions and intimidating sewing machines with scary looking needles. Boy, was I wrong...
So you see, it's creative and supportive people like those at Burda Style and founding and nurturing people like my mom, that helped me realize that sewing can be more than what is shown to you. Sewing can be whatever you want it to be and more.
Put all my cheese aside, I truly am blessed and thankful to have overcome such negative thoughts and moved on to creating pieces that I now love to show others and wear.
To view my spot in this month's feature, head on over to Burda Style and click through their slideshow.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
The Purl Bee on a herringbone stitch and so I tried it out, using this iridescent shimmering blue yarn that I bought at Artfibers. The tutorial asked for circular needles and seemed quite difficult at first, so I thought I wouldn't be able to do the stitch with regular needles. Thankfully, a helpful follower left a comment on the post on how to knit with separate needles, involving the use of a doubled up knit and purl stitch. I am a fan of simple and mindless stitches that involve NO pattern.
Finally, I received my quilt back from New Pieces Quilt Store. I'm very happy that I made the decision to get my queen-sized quilt machine quilted by a service. I choose I simple meandering line that added a subtle touch to the quilt without overpowering the nice patterns and fabrics. While I was there, the ladies had suggested that I choose a yellow thread that complemented and tied in the mustard yellow color scheme. It's such a small detail that I absolutely love and makes my first quilt that much special. I am currently hand sewing the binding on and cannot wait to have it finished on my bed! So many thank-you's go out to the helpful ladies at New Pieces for being completely supportive and helpful while I was there choosing a pattern. They really know their stuff and the store has such a wide variety of fabrics. It's probably a good thing that they're located in far away Berkeley or else I'd be buying fabric everyday!
I hope your projects are going along well and that you all have a wonderful Memorial Day!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Okay, starting today and for the next week or so, Thom's brothers will be visiting all the way from Rochester, New York. So, to welcome our new guests, I tried the recipe on the Jiff Peanut Butter Jar. I know, random. But I promise that there's a reason for such randomness. You'll see...
The thing is, Thom and I lost our premium cable services from Comcast. Why might you ask? Oh, well that's a long and drawn out story on how they just pulled a bait-and-switch on us half way through our contract. ANYWAY. Because of Comcast, we lost HBO, HGTV and other important channels and now we're forced to watch local news channels each morning as we drink our coffee and check our emails.
So, sometimes local news isn't real news.
It's "fluff" news.
It's where you find out secret recipes from neighbors, when to find the next town hall meeting and how to vaccinate your dog. Today, a random woman came on the local news show and talked about chocolate and how it helps your heart. She kept emphasizing the importance of special dark chocolate, made from...CACAO! Honestly, if it weren't 8am in the morning, her mentioning Cacao would have ended up to be a drinking game.
So, with Cacao on the brain, I made cookies. I made the cookies just so I could use my Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips that I randomly bought the other day.
You see how it all makes sense now?
I just wanted to further emphasize the fact that I'm using Cacao...it's such a fun word.
Monday, May 23, 2011
To begin where I left off, I had just finished piecing together the top piece of the dress and finished the edge of the ruffle. My next step was to sew a bound seam on all unfinished arm hole seams and unfinished collar seam. In order to do that, I had to make my own biased tape. A good portion of this post will be a quick tutorial on how to sew your own biased tape/binding.
You can find and buy biased tape at any sewing/craft store and it comes in handy when you can match colors correctly and want to finish off a project quickly. My pattern called for standard 1/2" biased tape and I suppose they assumed that I would either (1)find black biased tape or (2)somehow procure the exact same patterned biased tape as my dress. But if you have ever quilted or just looked at packaged biased tape, you'd find that it's actually very easy to make.
Quick Tutorial on DIY Biased Tape
This is very simple to make on your own and creates refined looking garments when used for bound seams!
Friday, May 20, 2011
The best thing about patterns is being able to create sizes that fit your body. For example, I have a small chest, wide waist and a long torso. Not exactly a perfect size that fit within the pattern size chart. So I was able to mix and match to find a perfect "me" fit. [Note on picture: You should always fold your fabric wrong side out and then pin on your pattern pieces. That way you can easily draw any markers from the pattern onto your fabric. I only worked with it right side out to show the fabric pattern.]
These next few weeks will be getting a bit crazy, since our apartment will be known as "Hotel ThomandErin". I have one of my oldest friends coming to visit this weekend and then next week BOTH of Thom's brothers will be staying with us for a while. So for now, I had to break this post up. I'll be posting the next few steps when I can get a break from playing hostess. I hope everyone has a great Friday!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
These are the images for a final project that I had completed this [now officially over!] spring semester at the Academy of Arts University. This series is inspired by the story Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen and the idea of a small girl living in a very large world. All humans photographed are of myself and special thanks to Connor for the cat modeling. [ha ha] Costume was also sewn by yours truly and a special cat modeling tip: Laser pointer.
It was a great experience working with some new contemporary artists that I've met. And I am impressed by the school's large amount of resources and support that they have for their students. I look forward to this summer's classes and continuing my journey towards a MFA in photography. I'll be looking over my past semester's work and will post a few later.
Friday, May 13, 2011
this recipe...so easy, I guess a four year old can make it.
Waffle recipe for waffle iron:
(Double batch measurements)
-2 C. Regular Flour
-2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
-1/2 tsp. Salt
-8 tsp. Baking Powder
-3 Tbsp. White Sugar (or opt for brown sugar)
-2 tsp. Cinnamon
-3 1/2 C. Milk
-1 C. Oil
-1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat the waffle iron and spray each waffle plate generously with non-stick spray.
2. Add all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together until well mixed.
3. Crack the eggs and beat them until well frothy. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and add the rest of the wet ingredients to the bowl.
4. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Lumps are normal in the batter. Do not overmix.
5. Add the batter by the half cup onto the pre-heated waffle iron until batter is spread evenly.
6. Cook each waffle for 4 minutes.
7. Use a fork to remove the waffle, eat and enjoy!
Like I said, a very eventful week. I hope yours went well too and that you all have exciting plans for this weekend!