Friday, August 31, 2007

My Pile O' Bags

This is what I've been doing. I'm only 3/4 of the way done. The other 3 bags are different and not needed this weekend.
These 8 bags are for a luncheon my mother-in-law is hosting. They are destined to be filled with goodies, so they are relatively plain.

I took a closeup of the stripe pattern; it has a slight shine to it, very pretty. The inside is a soft yellow linen, very prone to fraying.
I also hemmed a tablecloth for her. It's a fuzzy herringbone, very soft.
Not bad for 8 hours work, huh?

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

'Tis the season for gentle breezes and blooming flowers.

I've been cruising the blogs, checking them out, and I have to say, "Gag me with a spoon!" I promise, promise, promise that everything I write will be my own words and not some flowery language that people use for whatever reason.
That's all I have to say about that...

For more fancy prints go here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

How many more to go???

I'm working on a big order. I've got 8 small bags, 3 clutches, and a tablecloth to hem. It's for my Mother-in-law, so it's not like she's breathing down my neck, but I do want it perfect. I'm just that sort of person.
I am getting kind of tired of looking at the fabric. The small bags are all the same.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ahh, that new laptop smell!

Woo-hoo! I gots myself a new laptop. Actually, my Hubby gots myself a new laptop. He got it for me a few days ago, but I've been busy as he's been traveling. I'm contemplating covering the top in rhinestones. Any thoughts? He needn't know. He never looks at my laptop anyway. Of course, this time, he'll say that this one was only temporary and he has to take it back. I'm sure one of the ladies in his office would enjoy a rhinestone-encrusted laptop. Who knows, maybe it will start a new side business! I can start calling myself the "Rhinestone Cowgirl." Yee-haw!
If you want to get a Rhinestone Cowgirl t-shirt go here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Flounder, flounder, flounder

Nothing, he got nothing! I am floundering around with nada. Fortunately I (not really me, but Hubby) backed up my files in June when I heard suspicious noises coming from my laptop, but I (Hubby) haven't backed up since then. I lost an entire month of kiddie pictures! (I have an extremely large memory card in my camera.) This bums me out because I took a really cute picture of the princess that is gone forever... snif.
Hubby seams to think that I should back up more often (ya think?), but he doesn't realize that I do not have the knowledge or the extra box thing (the extent of my computer knowledge is showing now, huh!?!) in order to do these backups myself. This is why I married a computer man! Why would I marry someone who knows how to do something I already know? So next time I feel the need to backup (once a month perhaps?), I will not feel guilty at all about bugging him for more computer help although he has been bugged all day at work! He does not feel guilty about asking for help with the kids after I've spent all day dealing with mine and other people's, so there.
In case you can't figure it out, that picture is a flounder. Learn how to cook them here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Here lies my baby, may she rest in peace...

I'm dying here... My laptop is sick. It's very sick. So, I'm using my Hubby's laptop, and I really don't like it. The touchpad is screwy. It's really good for his big fingers, but I have tiny fingers. It's just not really working. Hopefully, my genius Hubby will be able to recover as much as possible from my baby, and then we can lay it to rest. Just another reason why laptops and toddlers don't get along.
One really good thing is he's got spider solitare on his laptop. Mine just has regular solitare. Oh well, maybe I'll get a better one; I just hope the touchpad isn't screwy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Working in the coal mines...

I've been cranking out the totes. I finished four more, and I've got one more order to complete this weekend. School hasn't even started yet! My boys wanted camouflage (which is harder to find than you would think), and the Spiderman and Shrek bags are for another set of brothers that I used to watch during the summer. Their grandma ordered them; I think I've already mentioned this. I'm losing my mind!
Anywho, I've included a shot of the Shrek fabric, just because I thought it was adorable! I love it. It's too bad that I couldn't find more, because then I would have some Shrek Jammie pants!
Agh! I still have to get the stuff ready for the church bulliten board! I already know what I'm doing; I just have to do it.
Oh, and that's sanitizer in the pocket of the camouflage tote. I know what you were thinking!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Here we go again.

Okay, so I'm making up for lost time.
I found this in a box of stuff, and I forgot how much I liked this belt. I did this years and years ago (sizes and sizes ago). I am determined to fit into it again.
Oh, it's done with silk ribbon and a strip of leather I swiped from an old leather riding jacket that was muy tiny!

(((It's Parenthesis Day!!!)))

I just thought I would let you know what's been keeping me busy (because obviously, I haven't been on here fixing my mess of tutorial photos! Oh no, I haven't forgotten; I'm just not looking at them, so they don't exist.)
The tote is actually the second one like it I've done, but the first said Isabella not Stephanie. I'm making them for little girls that go to the school my kids go to (and I work at). The elementary aged kids aren't allowed to carry backpacks (due to space and safety), so Isabella's mom wanted me to use an old uniform to make a tote with. This is what I had to start, and this is what I came up with. I probably could have used more plaid, but I was afraid that I would botch it up and end up with nothing (which I do quite often). Then my boss (also the Office Manager) asked me to make another one for Stephanie (whose dad works at the school, too). Well, the name took me 2 hours by itself because it was done by hand (as I do not have $500 laying around to buy an embroidery machine). I think I may put a limit on name length for future bags. All my kids have 5 or 6 letter names- what's wrong with these people?
I will be working on totes for my boys (Monkey starts kindergarten- sniff!), but the boys don't wear plaid jumpers (obviously!). They wanted camouflage (which is harder to find than you'd think- thanks a lot, JoAnn's!). I'll post pictures of those when I finish (which needs to be soon- school starts the 15th!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

One day, I'll be organized...

Here's some more random pics of the coffee dye/paint. I'm trying to get a tutorial together for Craftster, so I'm disorganized over here. Sorry.
I'll have to post about my weekend later, I guess it turned out good... it's hard to say still.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tutorial for Coffee Dye/Paint

Coffee Stained Fabric

This process was done on 100% unbleached muslin. I have not tried it on any other fabrics, but I imagine any blend of cotton would work. As far as the rest of the materials, you’ll need coffee and some sort of thickener such as cornstarch or arrowroot. I do not recommend flour for this process. If you can get organic, I strongly recommend that you use it so it adds to the earth friendliness. Fairly traded coffee is also a great idea.

This first thing you need to do is brew a strong, strong pot of coffee. For those of you that have a French Press, this would be the time to use it. While it is still piping hot, you can dunk the fabric into it to get a tea stained look. I stained the lining of my bag, but I only left it in for a minute because I didn’t want it too dark. Rinse the fabric well in a vinegar-water mixture (one part vinegar to three parts water). Once the excess coffee stain is rinsed out, rinse the fabric in plain water, ring out well, hang to dry or iron the fabric with an iron set on cotton until it’s dry.

With the leftover coffee, put it into a pan and boil it over medium heat until it has evaporated into a syrup about the consistency of milk, this may take an hour; be patient and stir every 10 to 15 minutes so the bottom doesn’t burn. The smell of coffee reducing is strong and lingering, so you may want to turn on your exhaust fans or open a window. Once it has reduced stir in about a tablespoon of thickener according to your package directions; most will tell you to dissolve the thickener first in a small amount of cold water. Using a whisk, whip the mixture to remove all lumps, and if necessary add water in small amounts until the stain is the consistency of poster paint or the fabric paints in squeeze bottles. Once it’s cooled, you may want to put it in a squeeze bottle, the thinner the nozzle the better.

Apply the stain in whatever way is easiest for you, either the squeeze bottle or a paintbrush. Do not put the stain on too thickly, or it will bleed. Leave it to dry completely, preferably overnight. Once it has dried, heat set the design with an iron set on cotton setting with a press cloth for about a minute keeping the iron moving so you don’t burn anything.9

After you have heat set it, rinse the fabric in the same way as described above with the vinegar-water scrubbing to remove any thick blobs of paint sitting on the fabric. Rinse again in plain water, and either hang to dry or dry with the iron (I recommend drying the design with an iron, there is less bleeding of the design.)

You can wash the fabric with a mild detergent in the washing machine, and your design should stay intact. Of course, do not bleach or use stain remover, this is a stain you want to stay. Store any leftover stain in the refrigerator.

I have also made dye/paint with other spices. Curry powder turns things a yellowish brown, and turmeric turns things a bright yellow. I have several others that I would like to try but haven’t had the time!

-I'll add pics when I have the time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's time!!!! Part 2

These pics are all pretty much self explanatory. Oh, the monkey in the action shot is my second. He starts kindergarten in the fall- sniff!

It's time!!!

It's finally time to post my entry in the contest on Craftster! I'm including the pictures that I'm posting, but if you want to see the whole thing, you'll have to go to Craftster's website. I may put a tutorial up here later.
Picture 1 is the cutting process. Do you like my Christmas wrapping paper pattern?
2) The lining drying on my stove.
3) Painting the whale image.
4) Painting the shell image on the pocket
5) Making the organic coffee dye.

This is a vacation?

I'll be going to Ft. Lauderdale this weekend. Wait, it gets better... with a bunch of teenage boys. And, I won't be sleeping in the same room as my Hubby. It'll be all right though, I'm going with the church youth group. It's going to be a beach retreat. There's going to be a speaker, activities, games, etc. As far as I know, there's going to be one teenage girl, three adult female youth leaders, four adult male youth leaders, and 10 teenage boys. Yeah, that's gonna be fun, but it's not about what's fun for me. This is the teen's retreat and I'm just there to supervise. I just hope I get to drive my mom's convertible down there. Top down and blaring Mighty Little Man!