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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


Feeling Ambitious

Okay! Today is the day! I'm going to go and do a quick tidy of the craft room, and then start the Walkaway Dress! I'm both excited AND scared, but what the heck - the worst that can happen is that I do a poor job.

Well, that's not true - the worst that can happen is that I cut off my fingertips with my rotary cutter, then sew my hands to the fabric, and drop my 40 lb. sewing machine onto my feet. But I've always believed that if I take a few minutes to go over "the worst that could happen", it lessens the chances of it actually happening. It takes some of the cosmos' fun out ruining my day - the cosmos likes nothing better than to surprise me horribly - if I'm not going to be suitably surprised, why bother with me?

Damn you, ebay!

It's really not ebay's fault. It's obviously mine. What on earth am I going to use SIX AND A HALF POUNDS OF BUTTONS for? Seriously!



Poor Smooshy!

Well, yesterday, Smooshy was both very hyper and very lethargic, in waves. Finally, last night at about 5:00, I picked her up and put her in her bed in the cat tree, and at 6:30, she woke up and started rubbing her eye. I went and picked her up, and found a lump under her eyelid the size of a small grape.

Obviously, I called the vet and rushed her to the university veterinary hospital, which is the only place in town to get after-hours pet care, and this is what she looked like four hours later;

I'll spare you the details, but the vet said she's "experiencing discomfort", but that she's not in any pain. No, the pain is for me to feel, both in my heart (gah, mushy!), and all over my arms, every eight hours, as I get to hold her down and administer antibacterial goo to both her eyes.

On a positive note, all the other cats quite like the fact that her little kitten teeth are penned in, and that it's harder for her to steal their food. Although, judging by these pictures, she's found a way around the problem.



A Quasi-Crinoline

I know myself pretty well. I know that I will put off going to the hospital unless some part of me is spurting blood, but that I will rush one of my cats to the vet if they cough twice in one day. I know that when I slip on a patch of ice, my first instinct, even before I've taken a second to see if I'm hurt, is to look around and see if anyone saw me go down. I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I should never, under any circumstances, wear white.

Wearing white is like begging the cosmos to poke fun at me. I end up covered in condiments, or ink, or baby vomit, or, on one memorable occasion, just plain old water. Cotton t-shirt + water = wet t-shirt. Cotton t-shirt + water - a bra = embarrasing day at the office. Suffice it to say, there is no way on earth that I'm wearing white at my wedding.

And that, my friends, was the long way of saying that I started to make my non-white crinoline tonight, and this is how far I've gotten;

It stands up on it's own, which I guess is a good thing. The top ribbon sits right at my hips, so I still need to make the top part and the waistband, and attach the ruffle at the bottom to give the bottom layer a bit more body, but honestly, I'm feeling pretty good about this so far.

It was simple to make, though I'm a bit ashamed to say that I didn't actually measure anything - I laid a length of ribbon in a circle on the floor in the approximate circumference that I thought I needed, and a smaller circle in the middle to accomodate my hips, then trimmed and started stitching. When it's all finished, I'll post more, and show some close-ups of the method I used to attach everything - I made it up as I went along, so no doubt I've done it all wrong, but que sera sera!



They're fugly, but I bought 'em anyway!

Okay, so this is very bad. Last weekend, I bought some vintage patterns that weren't my size, this week, I bought some patterns I actually think are hideous. Why would I do such a thing?

Seriously - there are few redeeming qualities to either of these patterns - judge for yourself!

See, I wasn't kidding! That bib collar thing on the one on the left is...blech! And it seems to me that the only person who could do the one on the right any justice at all is a very lanky stick-figure type, which I most assuredly am not.

I can't think of a single good reason for me to have bought these patterns, except that...well...I coveted them. I am covered in sin. And shame. And secret glee!

On the other hand, I also picked this up;

Again, it's the wrong size, but so very cute, outside of the horrible yellowness.

You know, I've never been one of those diety girls - I've gone beyond making peace with my curviness- I actually like it, and think I'm kinda hot. It probably helps that I can still see my feet, and I still have an actual waist, but still, my recent love of vintage patterns has me rethinking my priorities a bit. It seems that all the best vintage patterns only come in a small range of sizes, and those that come in a plus size are...well, they're often of the muu-muu variety. Since, as I mentioned, I think I'm fairly attractive, and I still have a waistline, I really prefer to wear clothing that doesn't look like a gunny sack with a hole for my head.

Would it be weird to drop a few dress sizes because I really want to be able to make and fit into this dress?

(dress can be found at oldpatterns.com).

Oh, and one last thing - Smooshy says hi!



They're the wrong size, but I bought 'em anyway!

Well, as I often do, I went out this weekend for one purpose, got sidetracked, and ended up doing something else altogether. What I MEANT to do was buy office supplies; what I DID was buy a bunch of vintage patterns, maybe from the '60's or early 70's - I don't know for sure, because I'm still kind of fashion-challenged. Do patterns from this period even qualify as vintage? Are they old enough? When I think vintage, I usually think 50's and earlier.

Oh well, terminology aside, what I DO know is that someone in my town had a cute little wardrobe!

I love the little ruffles on the skirt and sleeves of the 7626 - oh, how I wish these patterns were in my size, because it would give me an excuse to bust out my ruffler foot!

These two dresses are so simple and pretty, though I'm not really a fan of puffed sleeves.

My FAVORITE new pattern, though, without a doubt, is the Crazy Cat Lady Dress. Tell me this isn't the funniest thing you've ever seen! I didn't buy this pattern because I thought I'd ever want to make the dress, I bought it because the picture made me burst out laughing in the middle of Value Village.

Notice the cat that view B is gripping - maybe it's just my imagination, but doesn't the cat kind of look like he's wishing he were anywhere else? Kind of looking out of the corner of his eye, thinking "If I stay still long enough, maybe she'll put me down."



Holy Holiday Season, Batman!

Well, I've been the worst blogger ever!

I pretty much went offline for about a month - this holiday season has been particularly hectic, what with work, a sick cat, and general Christmas stress.

Smooshy developed a weird sneeze, and her eyes started to swell up, so I took her in to see the vet. It's just a little upper respiratory infection, common in kittens from barn cats, I'm told, and easy to clear up with a little medication. Plus, it was time for deworming anyway, so I was also given a pill to feed her - I should have taken a picture of the thing -it was as big as her head! Okay, not as big as her head, but it certainly wouldn't fit into her mouth - I had to break it into pieces and feed them to her a bit at a time.

Have you ever tried to feed a pill to a kitten? I liken the experience to cleaning a garberator with your bare hands. A garberator that really wishes you would just leave it alone. I'm scarred for life, but at least Smooshy isn't also Wormy.

She's also a cheap date - we bought our cats all sorts of fun and exciting cat toys, but the thing she liked best was this pink foam bag that my little boom-box came in;

As far as work goes, as I mentioned, I quit my job back in November, to start my own bookkeeping practice. The practice has been doing very well; between clients I picked up from my Dad and the ones I've picked up on my own, I'm working a little more than full time, and I love it! I won't bore you with accounting stories, because yesterday I related my harrowing experience with a bunch of bank reconciliations to a friend, and his eyes glazed over almost instantly, but I will say this; I enjoy working from home.

The best part of working from home, of course, is that my commute is pretty short (from bed to my desk is about 40 feet), and I get to come to work in my jammies. Now if only I could make myself jammies like these, I'd be laughing!

Besides gaining two hours a day of getting ready/commuting time, are other payoffs, too, financial ones - I don't spend money on coffee or lunch anymore, I only gas up my car once every two weeks or so, and I don't stop to go shopping at Fabricland on the way home from work, so my spending is WAY down. I have time to cook meals, rather than eating everything out of freezer bags, and my dishes and laundry get done way more often. There are some sad parts, too, though - I REALLY miss the great people I used to work with, and although we talk on the phone and get together for lunch, I miss out on all the day-to-day laughs that working with "The Mean Team" provided.

At the end of the day, I'm working more, commuting less, and am never more than 50 feet away from my sewing room, but all I seem to have time to do is stare into it longingly, and dream of cutting fabric. Soon, though - by next week, everything should have slowed down enough for me to put together a schedule that includes time in the sewing room!

I also got spoiled rotten for Christmas, and I have to admit, I'm really yearning to play with my new toys. Among other things, I got a new laptop (one of the HUGE ones with a 17" widescreen), a Cuttlebug (embossing machine/die cutter), and this thing, which I'm sure has a name, but all I've been calling it is "the hoop-holder". I got this fancy new beading tool on sale awhile back, but wasn't able to use because it requires two hands just to do the beading. I might try something tonight, because I've been aching to make something sparkly for no purpose.

Which reminds me! The pattern for the walkaway dress that I purchased back in December finally came two days ago - I love getting mail!

Three pattern pieces - I think I can do it! I wonder if I shouldn't try making a crinoline first - I have yards and yards of tulle that I picked up on sale...how hard can it be?