Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Shows!

Just to let you all know, I'm going to be participating in the I Heart Handmade summer virtual craft show! It starts June 19th (that's next Friday!) and runs through July 11th! The best part is it's a virtual show, so anyone can shop for my bags and items from across the country in the comfort of their own home. Make sure to check it out, there's sure to be a ton of great sellers participating!

For those of you who are local to the Cleveland area, I will also be vending (in person) at the Coventry Street Arts Fairs this summer. The first one is coming up on June 18th, which is next Thursday! The show runs from 6pm-9pm and the booths will be set up right out in the middle of Coventry Rd. between Mayfield Rd. and Euclid Heights Blvd. There will be bands, vendors, outdoor dining, sidewalk sales, street performers and more! I used to live right off of Coventry when I went to Case, and it's definitely a very cool area full of culture, great food, and entertainment. So whether this is your first time checking out everything the Coventry area has to offer or you're a regular visitor, make sure to stop by the london purple booth! I will be set up near the entrance to Hampshire Rd. and will be debuting some new summer styles!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mmm mmm mmm!

That's all I have to say is mmmmmmmmmmmm! Today I was feeling particularly domestic, so I decided to do some baking! I really really love to bake. I may not like to cook, but I can be housewife-ly in other ways!

I finally baked the oatmeal raisin cookies Tom has been asking for since like, Christmas. (By the way, for ease of typing I've decided to start calling the boyfriend Tom. This is not his name, although it's sort of a running joke because people often mistake his name for Tom, so he gets to keep some anonymity. Back to cookies.) I don't know why it took me so long to bake them, they're not particularly difficult and we've had the ingredients. He's already eaten like 3 of them in the past couple hours so they must be tasty!

I thought this might be a good opportunity to bake some bread too, since the oven was warm and that's the only place I can really put the dough to rise. This is something I've been dying to do for a couple weeks now. My great grandma used to bake bread all the time, so I got a couple of her recipes and made a loaf of white bread. Didn't it turn out great?!

I kind of took a chance on it turning out edible and didn't get any bread at the store, but it tastes delicious! The only thing is I didn't let it cool completely before slicing it so it's a bit crumbly, but no big deal! Next time I think I will knead it longer too, that makes it denser. Right now it reminds me of biscuits (which are delicious as well!) I can't wait to eat sandwiches this week now!

So it was really a great day for me, I woke up early to bake and while everything was in the oven I put some sewing time in. And the sewing will continue after dinner! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend as well!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sewing machine month!

It's Sewing Machine Month over at Sew, Mama, Sew! so I thought I'd answer their questions and show you all what equipment I use to create all my bags! This is my *awesome* machine!

Now for the questions...

What brand and model do you have?

A Kenmore Model 50, according to the manual. It even has a zigzag stitch! I also use a Singer Confidence 7463 sometimes, but I prefer my trusty old Kenmore.

How long have you had it?

It has been in my possession since June 2007. Before that it was my grandmother's and my great-grandmother's before that! I've had my Singer since January 2009.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

I have no idea...maybe $35 back in the day? Who knows. The Singer was $199.99 (on sale!)

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Mostly I sew handbags for london purple (duh). When I get a chance, I like to make clothes for myself, which often end up in the scrap bin, and little things for around the house. This summer I intend to make a lap quilt (eek! a quilt!) and some wedding gifts for a friend. I know this machine has created some beautiful heirloom quilts and clothing when it belonged to my grandmother, including some Princess Jasmine Halloween costumes for me and my sister!

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew just about every day. Sometimes my machine and I need a break! I am getting nervous, my tension has been wonky lately and I sincerely hope it's not about to wear out, I can't imagine using anything else! I try to keep it oiled and lint-free as often as I can.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

Hmm it doesn't have a name, maybe I'll ask my grandma if she ever named it! I love my machine more than words can express. I started crying one day when my needle got stuck in the bobbin and I couldn't move it either way, I thought it was done for! Sobbing, I called my grandma and she talked me through it...that was a day I hope to never repeat! It's so much more than a great sewing machine, it's like a family heirloom to me. Now the Singer, I hate. It does not sew well. I would be devastated if I had to use it as my #1 machine.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

It can sew through 80 billion layers of fabric with no problems! There is so much raw power there. It's also simple to use, and I know it so well I can work very quickly. I like that reverse is a lever instead of a button. I can drop my feed dogs and the presser foot tension adjuster is amazing. The one thing I like about the Singer is the automatic buttonholer. That's why I bought it, really. The stitch functions are nice but I never use them...and I guess the bobbin winder is pretty speedy. And it's purple...

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

I think most of my frustration is with a machine that's aging pretty quickly due to lots of use. Sometimes my thread pops out of the bobbin for no reason...which causes lots of unpicking because I don't notice when it happens! The Singer drives me nuts because it can't sew through more than a couple layers of fabric without freaking out!

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

My great story would be where it came from I guess! It's amazing that it has created so many wonderful things and it's still going strong.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I would definitely recommend it, but I doubt there are many around anymore!

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

I think you have to make sure it can handle the types of projects you do (i.e. they make special machines for quilters, industrial machines are great for heavy duty fabrics, etc.). Otherwise you won't be happy with it at all.

Do you have a dream machine?

This is my dream machine! Let's hope it lasts forever *crosses fingers*!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I can has kitteh?!

I've been a little absent from my sewing machine lately, mostly because we got a new kitteh! His name is Daniel Striped Tiger (any fans of Mr. Rogers out there???) and he is the cutest but whiniest kitten in the entire world. Who can sew when there's a teeny little fuzzball giving me those big sad eyes and mewing at me to play?

He's pretty small but he has extra big paws! That must be one of his tiger traits. But he's a tame tiger, just like his namesake. He just started getting along with the other cat (who is 3 years old and pretty mean in general) so I'm happy we don't need to separate them anymore!
I think we should put a caption on the picture below (icanhascheezburger style) that says "Escape". It does look like he's trying to hit the button, doesn't it?
And because I didn't want the baby to feel left out:

She did an awesome job helping me water my plants. And the rest of the patio. =D