Friday, March 24, 2006

More Kimono Jackets and Missing Buttons

I sold another jacket on Etsy. I am so pleased how well they have been doing. Here's a picture of the next lot:

I was going to show pictures of the little buttons I embroidered for a top I am sewing for Ivy. One has Chu-Toto from Totoro, one is a makuro kurosuke and one has an acorn. Unfortunately, I think Ivy took them to play with, as I had sat them next to the sewing machine and they are now gone. I am hoping she will be able to tell me what she did with them, but since she has taken to saying "not me! Me sister did it!" I am not that hopeful. It's not that bad, I am already thinking of ways to improve the embroidery, should I have to do them again.

I really like how there seems to be an illustrative affect in a lot of Japanese crafts. I don't know if that's the best way to explain it, I mean that things don't have to be perfect, they can look like a sketch. This has helped a lot with my embroidery, something I previously thought I wasn't very good at because I was trying to duplicate something that was printed on cloth. It's sort of like going out of the lines in a coloring book. Some people might think it looks messy, but it can also look original. Some of the Japanese embroidery I see in my books almost looks as though someone colored outside of the lines, but it still looks great. Does that make sense?

Most people reading this blog won't fully understand what a drastic haircut I have finally given myself. Since December I have slowly been cutting off my halfway down my back hair. It was only long because I never could find time for a haircut, and I wanted a change. After three months of standing in the bathroom with various cutting implements, I ended up with this:

So at least now you know what I look like>

Saturday, March 11, 2006

New Books!

This one is my favorite

ISNB 4579110544
It's filled with wonderful yet simple dresses, tops and pants. I think I might be able to put together a whole summer wardrobe for Ivy, I can't wait to get started. If I start them now, they might actually be finished by May or so. It includes full size patterns, but they overlap on the paper so you need to copy them onto something else rather than just cutting them out.

These are some of my favorites:

I think the buttons down the front would be great using the technique shown in the embroidery book

Unfortunately they don't include a pattern for the kitty, but it looks as though it would be easy to figure out, especially using Hillary's Pointy Kitty tutorial at Wee Wonderfuls

ISBN 4277311482
Many different embroidery patterns that seem to work well with my rather slapdash technique. I've already worked a few as patches for the kimono jackets for my Etsy shop.

ISBN 4087803651
This one is okay. Lots of different projects, some for kids, some for adults and some to be done together.

I already have my next wish list lined up. I need to stop perusing Crafting Japanese

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hamster Dress and a hedgehog

I finished this dress and bloomers for Ivy, although it's still a little too cold for her to wear it.

I had some problems with attaching the bodice to the skirt and I am not sure why it baffled me so much, as I have made many dresses before. I was able to resolve the problem, but it doesn't hang quite right. I am much less concerned with the fit of kids clothes-- as long as they aren't way too big, or too tight I pretty much am satisfied. Which is why it would probably be hard to actually sell clothing I make--I get lazy and take shortcuts and figure it will just look artistic.

I am very pleased with how this little hedgehog turned out. I saw a picture in one of my Kuri Kuri books, it looked to be a simple pattern but often simple things can be a bit difficult to execute. It needs a bit of tweaking--I put the back paws up a little high and fake fur part should have been more like 3/4 of the body instead of 1/2. Still, he's pretty cute and it would be easy to make more.

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Room of One's Own

I really had kind of forgotten about A Month of Softies but as I was perusing crafting blogs, I was reminded how fun it was to participate. So my submission has to do with the one room in my house that I can actually have to myself from time to time

I used this Japanese book for the idea

The one in the book is actually a whole bathroom made of felt, so the toilet sits against the wall. The one I made won't stand upright unless it's leaning against something. And I don't like how the seat and lid won't lie flat. I put cardboard in both of them, but I think maybe I should have put a piece of cardboard under the top of the toilet bowl as well. Still, Miranda is delighted with it--she'd wanted me to make one ever since she saw the picture and Ivy wants me to make her one as well.

Now I just have to figure out how to use Flickr so I can actually submit it

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Shrinky Dinks and More Fabric

This website explains how to make Shrinky Dinks from a Number 6 Recyclable plastic container, along with a brief science lesson.

I treated myself to some stationary at this place
under the guise that it's for the girls. I have started thinking phrases such as at my age, as in "it's silly to buy cute stationary at my age" which is stupid and who really cares. But it still enters my mind and it worries me. Not the fact that I am at my age but that I worry about it. Although the fact that I am even buying cute stationary is completely out of character for me anyway and something I would never have done back when I was twenty. For some reason I find Japanese cute much less vomit-inducing than American cute. Precious Moments--gag. Anthropomorphic rice balls spouting Japanese phrases--obsession.

crayons and a sketchbook. I was hoping the crayons would have the colors in Japanese--not sure why, since the girls don't even know kana yet. Still, they are nice crayons, with bright colors. The sketchbook is okay, I should have paid better attention to how many pages were in it, there aren't that many. But it's bigger than I thought, which was nice.

Kappa Maki, happy onigiri--these would make great stuffies-- and dancing vegetables

Nyan Nyanko, free bandaids and some stamp pens which Ivy rolled all over her face.

Lately the thrift store has been netting some nice fabric. They have some sort of arbitrary pricing system apparently based on the whims of whoever is workings, so I got the following pieces at 1.00, .50 and a quarter.

The green is lovely, but very sheer. I'd like to make a dress for Ivy, but I would need to line it with something. Or maybe a skirt for me, I haven't made myself any clothes in a while.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Stitching and Bitching with Children

I won't be going to meetings with my local Stitch N Bitch group anymore. When I first joined about a year and a half ago, they met at a bar, which I thought was great, but other members had a problem with the cigarette smoke--a legitimate complaint. So we moved down the street to a small coffeehouse, which for me had the added bonus of being very child-friendly, with a train set in the corner, small tables and chairs and a DVD player. Occasionally I would bring my daughters, as would another mom.

Now some of the members are complaining that it makes them uncomfortable to have the children there, that perhaps we should designate special children's nights. They say they feel they have to watch what they say and can't properly "bitch". My point is that it's a public coffeehouse, where are the comfort boundaries. You don't want the children at the table, can we sit at table next to the group? Can we order food at the counter? I am just baffled by the idea that so many people seem to think that table exists in some sort of bubble where they only need to worry about the people at the table. And I do think we owe the other patrons a little respect, the idea that the table is somehow a language and topic free-for-all is a bit odd. I watch my language at the coffeehouse simply because I am aware there are other people there who might not appreciate it.

And at what point does my responsibility for other people's comfort end? I can't bring my kids to the table, can I bring my grandmother? My brother? My teenage cousin? One woman told me, well, the coffeehouse is public, but the table is private so we can decide who sits there. Sooo, if we get someone really annoying who joins, we ask her to leave? I just feel that children deserve respect the same as adults. A child who is disruptive certainly is a disturbance. But feeling that children inconvenience you simply because they are children is infuriating.

And even though I only occasionally bring my children, what about someone who can't attend unless they bring their kids? We've had emails to the group from women who say they would like to attend, but would need to bring their child, is that okay. I always responded cheerfully, certainly! There are toys and a DVD player, I sometimes bring my kids as well. Now I realize that apparently I shouldn't have been spreading the word that kids are welcome.

It's really not that monumental of a decision to leave the group, I hadn't been going that often anyway. I've been doing a lot of sewing and going to the meetings sometimes made me feel as though I was wasting time, I could be home taking sewing while Brian occupied the girls. And really, I can always go back, I didn't make some huge dramatic production and swear I would never return to such a group of idiots. But I really don't feel I can condone the idea that we need to impose restrictions that would exclude certain people. As a friend pointed out, it doesn't seem a particular feminist thing to do, particularly when you consider the whole SNB movement was started by the editor of Bust Magazine. Or maybe only young single women are proper feminists and somehow our sons and daughters will magically transform once they hit that golden age, whatever it is.