Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bye bye bye July...

Summer's 2/3 over (or we have 1/3 left depending on how you look at it!) so a few fits and starts from the months so far and my last July post.
Got some flowers this week for a pink event tasting: roses, hydrangea, phalaenopsis orchid and calla lilies, aaahhh...we had cocktails with jasmine tea and rose nectar, and pink macaroons...
started this project with chiffon from Mood Fabrics and beads from Beads of Paradise.  I gave it to my sister to show her friend thinking about wedding headpieces, hmmm...
also from that bead store, these were for a project in the car on the way to vaca but I'm afraid to say it was a bit of a FAIL!  That's what I get for not trying it on along the way since we were on the road.  Will have to try arranging them differently...
The boyfriend brought this hand-dyed Artyarns hank from a trip to Portland (I think he pretty much wanted to move out there!), a gorgeous mix of silk and mohair with glass beads and sequins from Knit Knot Studio (now closed) along with a diagonal scarf pattern with a lace edge by Elizabeth Prusiewicz, so the crystals will be strewn throughout the finished piece.  Hopefully I'll finish it for fall! 
And started this hat for my Dad, but it was a bit too small (should have paid him a visit to measure first!), so another do-over.  I think Guinness enjoyed it here though.  Got a liiiitle more time until winter to finish this one, maybe for Christmas.  One summer month to go....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yes I Can!

Happy "Thread the Needle Day, dedicated not only to the act of sewing but also to overcoming something difficult.  My beautiful sewing machine has been threaded for a while, but today I finally used it to sew.  My Mom made all of my childhood Halloween costumes: a black cat, pink princess and of course, Wonder Woman. There was also Princess Leia (no, not gold bikini Leia) and Spider-Man for my brother.
I've been trying to learn for some time now, so here's how it went:
- August 2009 - January 2010: gifts!  Received Amy Butler's book, In Stitches from my Aunt Liz, a beautiful Singer machine from my parents and Anna Maria Horner's book, Seams to Me from my encouraging friend Gypsy who says I should just go for it!  Still the fear...
- March 2010: fabric!  Bought a beautiful packet of fabric from Purl Soho and considered its possibilities
- April 2010 - July 2010: party!  Attended Martha Stewart's sewing party to launch their new Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts, checked out Purl Soho's big move to a bright, new space, went to lots of craft fairs, then vacationed in DC:
and Philly.
- and today, July 25th, finally sewed some stitches! and a chart to test the different widths and lengths of my machine.
These stitches don't amount to much yet, but someday they'll all be straight and my fabric won't pucker.  Someday I'll be able to thread the machine without using a chart.  Someday when I step on the peddle it won't take off in a frantic whirl and I'll fall into an easy rhythm.  And someday...maybe someday I'll be able to sew like my Mom.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Martha's Fruity Button Embroidery Napkins

So many birthdays this month already: Justin, Jason, John, Tobey, Lexi, Miles, Maria, Sam, Ed, Alyssa, Mike, Michael, Mom!  She's always had a love for fruits: in her kitchen adorning the cabinets and walls, fashioned in clay, wood, porcelain and glass, so I used this Martha Stewart idea to make a gift for her: little hemstitch Irish linen cocktail napkins embellished with little button fruits.
I got the plain napkins from the extensively-stocked Boutross Imports in Brooklyn where they have "everything in linens since 1894"!  I love their amazing selection for table, bed, bath and baby from doilies to sheets to dresses and beyond.  I started in the car on the way to our DC/Philly vacation at the beginning of the month.
It took a little planning...
and for the dozen napkins I chose a dozen fruits and got going...
and then there were 12.
There were the citrus fruits: lemon, orange and lime.
The stone fruits: cherry, plum, peach and apricot.
One vegetable (peapod) and the "other" fruits: apple, blueberries, banana and grapes.
Then time for wrapping: one of my favorite parts!  I was very pleased to find a box I had saved from Manhattan Fruitier that came with a Christmas basket last year.
So, in they went with some sunny, yellow tissue.
Had to add a nice tag
and I had a little something for my sister, Emily, so why not wrap that too?  
P.S.: the other little box is Maple Walnut Fudge from the Reading Terminal Market  in Philly, fabulous foodie haven!, but more about that soon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Car Crafts

We're heading south for a little road trip this week, hurray! so let me know if you have any suggestions for where to eat, craft or shop in DC or Philly.  For now I'm figuring out what I can do in the car for hours and hours...
Here's my little caddy, it all snaps together.
There are compartments on the top for the little things
and I have some linen cocktail napkins, needles and plenty of buttons
plus the silk chiffon I used for my lavender sachet, bugle beads, seed beads and lots of thread....hmmm...I still have to pack and pick out a knitting project and then it'll be time to go!  Have a good week, I'll be back soon.
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