Friday, August 28, 2009

Sewing Tool Article

I tested the Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide. It is a useful little sewing tool. Read about it at Craft Critique HERE.

Envelope Pouches

I used THIS tutorial from maya*made to make some very easy envelope pouches.

Envelope Pouches with Covered Buttons

Cute, Huh? That black and white fabric is a home dec weight from Ikea. I bought it to use my fabric markers to color in areas here and there, but I never got around to that.

These adorable pouches look great with fabric covered buttons. It may be hard to believe, but I have never covered fabric buttons before. I heard that it is easy. I think it is the prices on the notions wall that kept me away for so long. Dritz charges half these prices under their Prim brand at WalMart. Say what you want about Wal Mart, but at least they still sell sewing notions.. Seriously, that one large covered button is $3.49?!?!

It's all about Dritz in the Notions Department

Well, anyway, this could be super thrifty project if the covered buttons weren't about 75 cents apiece... So all my parts are lined up:

Fabric covered buttons

Get all that fabric straight and tucked in:

Button Covering tool

Push it all together with the little tool. Push hard until it snaps in place:

Button Covering tool
Voila! Nice right? I want to make about 50, just to have a big pretty pile to use for whatever strikes my fancy. Anyone got any bulk suppliers to recommend?

Fabric Covered Buttons

I was going to review this little product for Craft Critique, but Kim Fox beat me to it! She used hers for papercrafting. She also didn't say anything about the price. I would be much happier to have gotten about 10 or 12 buttons in the package for the price instead of just 5.

Fabric Covered Buton

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Craft Social

Felt Flower

Last Friday I went to Craft Social in Chicago. (Actually, it was in Evanston, but nevermind...) There were many crafts to choose from including Embellished Dinner Napkins, Advanced Paper Airplanes, Fabric Coil Bowls, Paper Greeting Cards, and many more. The cost was only $5 and it was really fun!

Felt Flower Bouquet

Since I haven't been stitching, I chose a craft that was familiar to me: Felt and Button Flowers. These are really funky and our teacher had a box of lovely vintage glittery things to use as embellishments.


We noted that the felt was sort of floppy and flimsey, so I stitched together two layers for stability.

Felt Flower Side view

I don't like to make a big thing about men crafting because I think that men are just as creative as women, but here is a man spotted next to me learning to stitch. His creation has a superhero medallion look to it.


The stitcher next to me used velvet ribbon as one of her layers. It looked very sophisticated, but I didn't get a picture!

Funky Felt Flowers

It was fun! I hope they have another Craft Social really soon! I could teach embroidered felt mascots!

Felt Flowers

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

RIP John Hughes

News of his death gave me a bit of a pang.. He filmed his movies in the north suburban Chicagoland of my youth. They just don't make teenage movies like they used to.

I recall that some of my friends and I loved that song "Don't You Forget About Me" and Maria, who was moving back to Houston after graduation, asked us not to forget about her while the song was playing. Done, Maria! 25 years later, every time I hear this song I think of you!

I used to sometimes fake illnesses to get a Day Off. Instead of running around downtown Chicago, usually on my bonus days, I slept in and watched Happy Days when it came on at 10 am. I used talcum powder to look pale and I held the thermometer up to the lamp to get it to register a fever. I think my mom knew about the faking.

Minus Long Duk Dong, Sixteen Candles is a sweet movie. My high school friend, Sarah looked eerily similar to Molly Ringwald, only prettier and without red hair.

His films provide some of the soundtrack of my youth too. My roommate in college and I played our Pretty In Pink cassettes on our boom boxes until they wore out. HERE is the Amazon listing, scroll down for the music clips.

My hometown, Winnetka, also claims the Home Alone house. These two guys visited and wrote about it HERE. My brother's best friend lived in a house diagonally behind it. We were all in college when they filmed there. For a few Christmases, the family used the extensive holiday lighting left by the movie company. It was the brightest house in a 2 mile radius. They also used to have a cardboard movie cutout of Kevin doing the scream in the front entryway window to alert visitors on pilgrimage that they indeed found the right house.

I think I'm going to try to get Planes Trains and Automobiles from Netflix. It's one of Roger Ebert's Great Movies.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Charlotte Vacation

I went on vacation with my family last week. We visited relatives in North Carolina and had a relaxing time. They live on a lake in Charlotte, so the kids loved tubing and swimming.

It surprised me how woodsy it is there. Here in Chicagoland, Midwest, our rural areas are all farmland or grasslands with a few trees here and there. Out east in the hills and mountains, the rural areas are all woods. It was kind of striking.

We drove a bit on the Blue Ridge Parkway contemplating the difference between the Appalachians, The Smokies, The Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Piedmont Region.

We spent a full day visiting The Biltmore House and Gardens. For years people have told me that I would LOVE it there. I thought much of the house was extremely fussy and overly ornamented, but certainly of it's time. Many of the rooms were lovely, especially the newly restored ones. The mountain location is spectacular and the forested grounds designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead are beautiful.

There is so much to see in that region. I hope we can return in a less steamy time of year. Some time I want to do an artists retreat and learn a bunch of the traditional handcrafts of the region. One friend of mine has done this several times. Next time I want to do more history and nature hiking. My husband and I love that sort of thing, although he grew up in lakes country in Minnesota and likes to look out on sparkling waters too. The kids go along with anything, but they do really like playing in the water.

I read three novels while we were gone including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Funny!), Life of Pi (Wonderful, thoughtful, and fun), and New Moon (Uh... really a glorified romance novel, but the plot compels me forward.)

The kids at home have taken hold of my crafting mojo and will not release it. They go back to school in a few weeks. Until then we are working on building up our vitamin D outside in the sunshine!