Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lair Dwellers a.k.a. My First Podcast


     About a week ago, I drove North and showed up at an old high school friend's house to be on a podcast he takes part in. I had a seriously fantastic funny time with three guys.  I actually hadn't seen Noah in over 20 years, and only in recent weeks had either of us realized that we lived in the same state, let alone within 20 miles of one another.
    It was painless and since they plied me with beer and bad jokes, this isn't within the realm of PG-13 but it's wicked funny and apparently the first of three.
     You can find it here!  Check out the rest of the, tell your friends, Hell, tell total strangers and lastly give them 5 stars in iTunes so they can quit their day jobs and do nothing but talk about geek stuff and drink beer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dragons and Skulls equal happy crafters

     While I'm crafty there are skills that I just can't seem to master. Crochet is a big one of those. I want to learn, I've tried to learn, it's just a skill that doesn't stick in my brain apparently.

     However it really stinks when I see things that I'd love to create and
know that not only can I not make it, but that if I attempted to, it would be a huge, lumpy pile of yarn with eyes.
      When I saw the free pattern on Facebook for a Night Fury, I threw out an offer to my entire friends list that I'd be more then willing to barter a purse of their choice for the little guy.
     I was really pleasantly surprised when in minutes someone took me up on my offer.
     The wife of a high school friend is a crochet artist. Anna of Custom Crochet By Anna and in a few emails we had a deal!

     When asked what she wanted in return, she wanted something with a flap, in black and purple with skulls.
     I had all those colors and patterns in my stash, however I didn't have a pattern for a purse with a front flap. I adapted my tee-shirt purse pattern to add a flap and ran up a prototype in a muslin. I really wasn't sure that the flap would work correctly at all.
   Construction went well after the prototype, well with a bit of a hiccup (get it Toothless/Hiccup How to Train Your Dragon).
     I had an idea of stripes when I was in the planning stages. So I cut and stitched 3 inch strips the purple and the black and sliver together, about 6 of them. Perfect,...until I went to press the seems flat. There was melting and smoke, gunk to clean off the iron, and finally a new iron, so not defeat but a minor set back. *the old iron was OLD and on it's last legs. Once it was turned on it went straight to nuclear, even though it was set on the lowest setting and then wouldn't turn off and had to be unplugged and set outside for saftey,*

     I finally came up with something that I really liked  that had a stripe. It had an interior of skulls and great pockets.
     It also had an adjustable strap.

     I love how this came out, it's a seriously good thing that Anna mailed out Toothless and the hubby feel in love with him so quick, cause I was all about keeping this baby.

     So after all this, I ended up with a
 a present for the hubby that I couldn't do myself, and a great new pattern to put into my rotation.

     I'm working on a color
    combo right now that I'm not sure of but in this style just is really working for me.

I'm also deep into my revamp of my workroom. I'm loving it. It's already seeming lighter and brighter and I'm feeling very good about how it's all coming together.

     *Rory & Amy Auction update*
My auction for the One Fund Boston (found here) went well, the stuffies sold for $31.01 and the lovely winner asked that I round things up to $50.00
The lovely winner, who has asked to remain nameless, then contacted me and asked me to donate the pair to a "good cause", so we haven't seen the last of Rory & Amy.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Doctor Who Auction

Bad Girls Go Everywhere: Doctor Who Auction
So, after showing everyone my envy of beautiful serene craft spaces I got obsessive about finishing a project I'm auction for the One Fund Boston. It was really hard to stay focused on getting Amy done cause I figured out a way to brighten up my own area a color palette and was ready to start working right away. I do not stay focused easily I've found. However they're both done and up for auction today!

     You can find the auction here: 

     It's been up for 24 minutes as I write this and it's already at $15, I'd love to see it go for at least $100 but I'm truly happy for any amount.

     I have a fantastic group of friends who are helping spread the word about the auction and I can not thank them enough. 

I am currently working on a tutorial how to make a stuffie and will have that up soon. As well as my craft room upgrade, the current Iron Craft challenge using notions, and a birthday present for my BFF that I'm not going to be sharing publicly until the big day!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crafting Space envy

     I have been massively obsessed as of late, not with panatone's color of the year Emerald, not with Anthony Bourdain who is the original asshole chef, and not even with Kevin Bacon  in the creepy-as-hell watch-with-the-lights-on "The Following".
     Nope, I have become addicted at checking out other people's craft rooms.Seeing these beautifully put together rooms, with islands to craft on, beautiful cabinets for storage, fabric storage that is color-coded and wonderful, and generally feeling like I need to completely revamp my work space.

     Check out Beckie's from Infarrantly Creative new space. All that light is just amazing. Not to mention she built it all herself. That's right she built the cabinets!
 All the storage you could dream of, custom for what she needed.

           This is seriously something that I could get behind, I could spend hours figuring out the right way to fit everything in. 

     Then we have this lovely, and peaceful looking spot from JDS Designs. As my dogs are barking their heads off trying to get to the squirrel that's teasing them on the other side of the slider door, all I can think about is trying to crawl into this space.
     I love the peg board and the glass topped workspace, don't get me started on the light.

I do really love this room, but I'm not sure that I could ever be comfortable in it. I am the uber-klutz, hence my Jinxy nickname, and can stain just about everything. I would live in fear about painting or dying or dropping a chocolate cupcake, or anytime it rains and the dogs get muddy.

       Then we have Vicki Boutin's Creative Spaces I just love the table and the chandler. I am a recovering goth, but honestly even if I was all about the pastels, those two pieces would catch my eye.

     So there you have it, beautiful rooms that inspire me to get my act together. Soon (after I clean the hell out of it) I'll show you the space I'm working in and the plans I have for pulling it together.  Unfortunately at the moment this is what I should be doing instead of blogging.

     I'll have a post about my current crafting space up soon, along with my inspiration and plans for what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Iron Craft Toy Challenge

     I was thrilled that this challenge was a toy challenge, mostly because I'm about 12 at heart.  I knew  right off the bat it was going to be a stuffie, but not sure what to make. Then I looked at the date the challenge was due and realized that it was The Day of the Tally Marks. So it had to be Doctor Who.

      This is Rory Williams, he's been dead,...a lot, and no longer dead,...a lot. I really like him and thought that he needed to be made into a stuffie.

     I watch Doctor Who, I have since I was 11 when my Dad showed it to me. It was on a PBS station out of Boston and Tom Baker (#4) was my first Doctor. So Boston and Doctor Who are tied together in my mind.
     About halfway into making Rory, I thought about making him an Amy and auctioning off both for the The One Fund Boston.

     So instead of a long tute on how to make a Rory stuffie, I'm going to draw it out a bit until I finish Amy and get the auction set up.

     I am torn on what outfit to do for Amy, her Kiss-o-gram one, or maybe what she wore in in The Wedding of River Song.

I do know what's next, I'm going to do The Doctor, River, Rory and Amy from The Impossible Astronaut.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Boogieman

I don't know who created this, if you do please let me know so I can give proper credit.
     The Boogieman to some has been someone that doesn’t look like them. If you weren’t what they saw when they looked in the mirror, you were The Boogieman. Male or female, or black or white, it didn’t matter, different = bad.
After 9/11, The Boogieman had a new face for some; he was a terrorist, Middle Eastern looking and wanted to kill all Americans.
Neither example is 100% correct for the vast majority of people I know, however most of the people I know have experienced something similar.
We expect The Boogieman to look evil, we expect him to be frightening and scary, we don't expect him to look like he's a baby face child, we don't expect them to be clean cut people that we would see at the grocery store, and we don't expect him to look normal.
Jason wore a mask, Freddy Kruger had a scarred face, The KKK wore hoods, Jim Jones, Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, the guy who shot up the movie theater in Colorado,  we want our crazy to look frightening and scary when we finally see them.
We don't want to believe that our neighbors, our friends, people we pass on the street could be evil. We don't want the face of evil to be the face of the boy next door or the girl next door or your teacher or your nurse or your doctor.
That is the comforting thought that gets us through the days and the nights, that we would know that we could see who the bad person was. We would know if somebody was crazy.
This is how we rationalize events like this.
Watching horrible events unfold in real-time brings this to the forefront of conversations. There is no normal, everyone is different and no one can tell who is crazy, damaged, out to get them, or harmless.
I have said crazy is crazy, way too many times in the past year. We have collectively watched a series of events unfold that have left children dead, families torn apart and all of it played out on tv.  These things do not happen because of movies, or bad parenting, or tv shows, or video games, or gun laws, or music. These things happen because The Boogieman has something not right in their brain. There is a damage somewhere that leaves The Boogieman without compassion, or a sense of right and wrong, or a sense of entitlement that they are the only person that matters on the planet.  The Boogieman is a broken person, a selfish asshole, a deluded zealot, or an arrogant fuck that wants attention.
I not only mourn for the people that have lost their lives, I mourn for the loss of our hard earned sense of security.
But I will not fear The Boogieman

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Ides of March kicked my butt!

     It's been to long since I sat down to type anything but it's been a really hard month. When last I left off I was all excited about the next Iron Craft Challenge. It was a "green" challenge and I had the perfect idea.
 I'm a huge up cycle girl and an even bigger purse girl so I combined the two and made a sweater bag.

      I took a sweater that I never wore but was reluctant to donate and up-cycled it into something that I would not only use but love so much more.
 This was one of the first things that my Hubby ever bought for me and it's just not really appropriate for living below the Mason-Dixon line. It becomes hot and itchy in a heartbeat.
    Now it's a great size and perfect for the season that just ended with a vengeance down here. However it'll be perfect when the cooler months return. I'll have a how-to up later this afternoon.
     So this was the first Iron Craft Challenge that I was done within the first 2 days and I was so excited to be on time! Then my nickname came into play once again. I have a medical thing that reared it's ugly head
and I was knocked off my feet for a week or two. Perfect time to blog you'd think, but the last thing I want to do when I feel awful is to post it for the entire world to see.
So after I dug my house out of the piles of housework that had occurred when I'm ill, I was taking laundry down to the laundry room and did something to my ankle that resulted in tendon damage.

     So March pretty much kicked my butt, and I've been digging out of the hole since.
I missed the Iron Craft Easter craft, working with Peeps and that'll be one of my two "free passes" that I've given myself. I did manage to pull something out for the Ethnic Challenge with Swedish Hearts that I used to make with my Dad at Christmas time. I whipped up a mobile that helps cover my ugly slider door in my workroom. I used the other hearts for some more coverage and it's nice an spring-like now. Not to mention, it's a great distraction from the pollen drifts that are accumulating outside of the door.

     The next challenge is due on 4/23 and it's the Playtime Challenge. "Let’s embrace the child in all of us. Make a toy, something using toys, or something inspired by a toy" I'm so into this one, mostly because I'm nothing but a 10 year old at heart.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Iron Craft Challenge 4 or How Monty Python holds my heart

     I couldn't tell you when I started to love Monty Python, it's always been on my radar. I spent several rainy weekends watching Monty Python's Flying Circus on Boston PBS WGBH, struggling to get through endless fundraisers and wondering why anyone would pay $50 for a tote bag.
     They introduced me to Silly Walks, and that "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" They earnestly sang about cross-dressing in "The Lumberjack Song" and taught all about Dead Parrots but the Galaxy Song has got to be my all-time favorite. 
     When I saw that the 4th Iron Craft Challenge was to create something inspired by a movie or tv show or something to wear on the red carpet, I knew right then what I was going to make.

Monty Python's Galaxy Song Apron
    I needed an apron and am so in love with this universe fabric that it all came together about 10 minutes.  I read about the challenge, had the idea, and  and was off to the fabric store, coupons in hand.\

    Now I have added some personal rules for my Iron Craft Challenges in order to reduce my stash and in
  • I have to use something from my (vast) stash
  • I can not spend more then $10 if I have to buy something.
  • It has to be something that I can use or gift.
  • At least 1 project a month needs to be something new to me, a new pattern, material or technique.
  • I have to do things that scare me. (This is a rule that is across the board for me for 2013)

     I went to my local Hobby Lobby for the galaxy print fabric and found this really great teal-y blue. I had all the trim already in my stash and after checking out pinterest for some apron styles went to work.

     I started off by measuring my waist(A), and then how long I wanted the apron to hang(B). I then cut a rectangle using 1/2A for the width, and B for the length.
     I folded it in half width wise and rounded off the corners. In fact I rounded off the corners a few times until I go the shape I wanted.

Adding the ruffle
     I cut 2.5 inch strips for the ruffle, stitched them together, and then edged it with royal blue double fold bias tape from my stash.

Using my three fingers as a guide I pleated the fabric every 2-ish inches, pinning it as I went. I will admit to pleating a the first few inches at least 3 times, working out how big they should look.
 Once I had it adjusted to my liking, I stitched it, and then pressed it down.
I took the trim (also from the stash), and lined it up on the seam and top-stitched it all down together.

     The ties were surprisingly the easiest part, I took a very long 3 1/2 inch strip and folded it in half with the right sides together, stitched it down and using a safety pin flipped it inside out.
A quick press with the seam in the back and I had a very long tube.
I centered the tube with the middle of the apron, right sides together about an inch from the top, and stitched it down.
Another quick press and then I top stitched it all down and added a embellished 5x6 pocket.

     I loved this project, it came together really quickly. I think it took about 2 hours tops and that's with running herd on Oliver, the cutest monster puppy ever.
     As for my self-imposed rules,
I used up my stash, tried something new, and it's something that I needed but didn't have. While I did have to buy the fabric, using a coupon it cost under $5.00 for both half yards. So I made it under budget as well.
I have enough of that fantastic universe print to do something small, maybe a potholder?

     The only regret I have, (and it's very minor,) is that I wish when I'd attached the ties I'd put in a few pleats, just to give it a bit more shape. Other then that, I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
Of course I've had the Galaxy song stuck in my head since I finished last week, but it's a small price to pay.

Peace & Happy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Iron Craft & The Galaxy Song

     The upcoming Iron Craft Challenge (number 4 just in case you're keeping count) is "The Emmys, SAGs, Golden Globes and, of course, the Oscars, it is awards season for the entertainment industry. So, let’s make something inspired by a movie or television show OR you can make something you would wear on the red carpet."
     Since I'm a HUGE movie junkie I am all over this. Here's my first tease of what's to come.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I'd forget my head! a.k.a. (I just turned 40 and am already losing it)

     This is the week of my birthday, I'm 40. Things have been busy since my Darling Husband Mac wanted to throw me a big-ass (tm) party. Unfortunately he doesn't really know how to do that, so I've been in full-tilt mode getting things ready. So I'm days late posting about my Iron Craft Challenge

     This totally stinks because:
  1. I was ready early! 
  2. I wrote it down. I really really thought I wrote it down. 
  3. I couldn't even make it a month without forgetting. 

      I did a hearts and flowers with
 everything from my stash!
I had a dollar store wicker wreath, two well matched ribbons, that were bought at least 2 years apart (if I remember correctly), and these great felt heart cutouts that have been floating around my craft room for years.
     I was really struck by the pink ribbon when I first saw it, which was odd cause I'm not a pink fan. Normally my tastes run to deep reds and purples. 
 The pale blue was picked out for a project that ended up in the dumpster. When I saw them side by side on my ribbon holder, it just worked so well together that I was amazed.
     I sat down and played with it for an hour or two while I caught up with what was on my DVR. In fact, I think I wrapped it 7 or 8 times until I came up what I did.
     It's a super skinny wreath and I really wanted to showcase the ribbon and the varied color pallet in it.
 After I found a wrap that worked for me it looked scrawny and that's where the ribbon down the middle came from. My favorite part is the felt hearts.

     It's not the colors I use a normally for my valentine's decorations. I tend to be a bigger fan (as you'll soon see) red, black, white, and a touch of silver. 
     That must be why I'm very surprised by how much I like how this turned out.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Orange ya glad it's furry

     I'm a day late on this posting, between back to back doctor visits, end of the year taxes for the business, google searches on fine hair and trying to figure out if my planning my own 40th birthday party is a bad or a good thing, things have been a little hectic around here.
     I'm normally all good on the crafting and a bit shit on the blogging but I'm attempting to change that. Hence calling myself out for slacking off, I need to find away to not get distracted and stay on track just a little better. It's already taken me longer then I care to admit to write 2 puny paragraphs and add a picture.

Iron Craft 2013 Orange Challenge
      I'm really enjoying the Iron Craft 2013, I like having a goal, I like that it's not weekly and with the few extra rules that I added to help me reduce my stash, revive my home and create things that I may not have thought about before.

     Challenge 2 was the color orange, not normally a color I have a lot of in my life. Well to be honest, color isn't anything I have to much of in my life. 
So being able to branch out a bit was interesting.

     I used my tee-shirt purse pattern with a few small alterations. I wanted to "frame" the orange a bit better. I also changed the shoulder strap that I tend to do on these bags to these clear acrylic hoops that I wound with strips of the same suede that I used for the bottom and sides.
 I am pleased with how it turned out, I got a ton of compliments on it at my visit to the Doctor's office today. I'm not sure that leather working is my calling. I have enough suede to work on the next fabric/material combo bag, but it can wait a bit.

handle detail

lining shot
      I did the lining in leapord honestly because it was the only thing in my stash that went in the slightest. It also matches the incredible awesome purse organizer that I got for Chrsitmas in 2012 and couldn't live without. I can change my entire purse in about 30 seconds now and I love it.
I think she has one in every color

 I do have enough of the orange furry to do something, or several somethings actually. I'm torn between making some monsters with it or a stole like the ones that Sophie wears in 2 Broke Girls. Right now I'm thinking monsters and a stole,...maybe?

The next Challenge is Hearts and Flowers, due on the 12th, the day before my 40th birthday. This could be a lot of fun, a total train wreck, or a totally fun train wreck. I'm up for it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Totoro and crafting

     I first saw "My Neighbor Totoro" in my early 20's and just feel in love. The art is just amazing, but the story about 2 sisters, and their adjustment to their mother being ill and away recovering spoke to me deeply.
The first version that I saw was a bootleg fandub, then I think I actually owned a "legit" copy but it's was lost to the soot sprites several moves ago.
I recently picked up the Disney version, the voices are different then what I'm used to, however, the story remains the same.

     When I got this notebook with a set of purse accessories, it hit me like lightening that it was Totoro grey and I knew what I had to do.
I went into my felt stash and using only scraps (and pretty small ones at that) came up with a quick and easy way to liven this up.

     I cut a circle out of white felt, then very carefully trimmed the 7 little crescent cuts. I recommend very sharp scissors and a lot of care. I still have a healing divot that I took out of my finger.

     My next step was the eyes and I went through a bit of trial and error with these. Luckily, after 3 or so tries, I figured that the reference page I was using was almost the same size as what I had in front of me. Everything was a piece of cake after that realization.
     I got everything else cut and laid out with very little drama. It was pretty late by the time I had gotten everything that way I wanted it, so I wrapped it up and headed to bed. I did have to take a few quick pictures just in case any of the cats thought that it was something I was making for them. Rotten things can get into just about anything they set their minds to. The latest being taking things off my work area and bringing them upstairs. Buttons, socks, my camera case, ribbons and the most recent, a snack size bag of bobbins.

     I used my a toothpick and an old favorite, fabri-tac to glue everything down, let it dry for about an hour and popped it into my purse. It goes wonderful with one of my stocking stuffers this year.

     I have a pouch that's the perfect size to hold my tablet, and a business card holder from the same set that I'm going to trick out as well. Just waiting on the next idea to pop into my head.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The color Orange is haunting me

So the second Iron Craft challenge is the color orange. Which would be killer if I hadn't used almost every scrap of orange in the last craft.
You should know that I've made a few extra rules for myself for these

  •  The end product has to be something that I will wear, use, need for the house, or can gift/consume.
  •  I have to recycle, up-cycle or use something from my massive fabric stash in every challenge 
  • I can't spend more then $10 on anything I have to buy for a challenge
  • I can not make a purse or up-cycle a tee shirt every time.
So heading off to the fabric store to end all fabric stores was going to be hard. I can't help it, every time I've gone there I've spent a small fortune. It's amazing and I could happily live there. There is fabric everywhere you look and almost a wall of trim.

This is just a small taste of the place.

I swear I walked in and the only thing I could see was orange, it just wouldn't leave me alone.

 I was really into the dotted ribbon, mostly due to the purple in it.I just couldn't think of something great to do with it,  
 Then, I almost spent $25 a yard for the massively gorgeous raised print. I had to be talked out of it and regret it still.
 However, it's not practical, doesn't go with my plan for the re-vamped living room in progress thing I've got going on.. It wasn't meant to be alas, just a passing fancy, something to look back, and sigh about. 
  Apparently, I'm fickle. The moment I walked away from the 1st fantastic love of my life, I fell head over heels for another. 

I actually left with exactly what I went for, the orange for the challenge and a beautiful black for a full length skirt that I'm making. I think it's a first.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Iron Craft Cotton challenge 2013

For my very first Iron Craft Challenge, the theme is cotton. Since I remake, restyle and re-purpose tee shirts more then anything else I was thrilled when I read this. Especially since I found out about Iron Craft 2013 the day before I was going for minor surgery. I'd really wanted to do a weekly or a bi-monthly craft challenge this year so get back on top of blogging and crafting.
Since it was something that I truly felt I could do in my sleep,  I wasn't too concerned about the possibility of "biting off more then I could chew."

*I have never written a tute before & this may not make a lot of sense*

I knew exactly the shirt to do a little Hack and Slash to, I saw this a few months ago on Ript before I had to go cold turkey from tee shirt sites for the holidays.
 This was an "instabuy",not only am I all about Star Wars, but I love WWII nose cone art. I forget that men's shirts are just to boxy and for every kick-ass one I get, I have to alter. I tend to have a pile around cause "Instabuys" happen a lot.

I wanted to make the neckline from a crew to a boat neck, take in the sides to fix the fit, and have it look more flattering.
I measured out 5.5 inches from dead center, and about an inch below the existing neckline and connected the marks with a gentle curve and then cut it out and double checked on the soon to be infamous duct tape dress form.

I then laid out the sleeves and using the shoulder seam for a guide, cut out about 1/2 inch. I do this on a lot of my shirts to insert a contrasting fabric, lace, or too add a drawstring to gather up the sleeves.

I used a great leftover orange jersey and cut it into 2 inch strips. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and a jersey needle and put a panel in each arm.
I had to stuff the sleeves to get a decent shot of this, as the infamous duct tape dress form has kinda jacked-up shoulders. 
 At this stage I was really thinking that I was just going to use a twin needle and turn over the neckline.
However, the more I looked at the great contrast between the orange and the grey, the more I needed just a bit more.

 On the fly (hence no pictures), I took 3 of my 2 inch strips of orange and starting that the center of my new neckline I stitched them on, right side to right side,
 folded them to a v in the front and then in half and stitched it down.  I have to say that I love this look so much. I really love when a happy accident works out well.

I then flipped it inside out, took a shirt that fits me exactly the way I like, and used that as a guide to take in the sides.

My finished result is actually better then I had hoped going into the Cotton Challenge.