Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
While sister is totally on the ball with her tree up, place decorated, and even gingerbread house frosted and nibbled, I haven't been so hip to the holiday. On the one had, this should be my last Christmas in my house--an old Victorian with high ceilings and different colored walls in each room. It's made to be decorated for Christmas. On the other hand, I won't be home on Christmas and have been so busy with work that I just couldn't make up my mind about big-time decorating or having a party or any of it!
Finally, yesterday, I had breathing room. I decided that instead of getting all crazy and preparing for a party, I'll see my "girls" for lunches. In fact, we had a craft day earlier this week, and I got to exchange gifts with the girl I've known the longest here in Ohio. I also decided to decorate my mantle. But I gave myself one rule: no unpacking any of the boxes of decorations in the basement.
Second, Kathy at Vintage Snaps and Scraps added us to a meme list; we've both been in the bunny hole and will add our meme soon (most likely this weekend during the storm!).
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
How long have you been designing bags?
The first bag I ever designed and made was out of paper and cello-tape with a length of string for a handle. I was trying to imitate my mum’s handbag. I remember making lots of these and they always looked the same—like an envelope on a rope!
I've been *making* bags for a few years, ever since I did them as a textiles project at school. I have always been interested in fashion and clothing, and it is through accessories that I think you can make accessible much of what is often considered inaccessible. It is only recently that I’ve begun to design my patterns from scratch. I was so often frustrated by having the same thing as everyone else; I wanted to be able to afford something unique, and part of my desire to make things comes from a selfish frustration and a desire to have things "just so," which is why I call my shop abibansaldesign. It is MY design and my style you are getting. In terms of ideas they usually arise from frustration at existing products—I carry a notebook everywhere and when an idea comes, I sketch it!
Who taught you to sew? How old were you?
I have my late mother to thank for that. From a really early age I always remember her making costumes, decorations, and gifts throughout my childhood, and I inherited her old singer, which I didn’t have a clue how to use! A lot of the actual skills were learned from books and trial-and-error, and I also took textiles at school, which helped a lot. I think I was about 12 when I first got a little mini machine and attempted to put a skirt together.
A surprise in my later life was to discover that my dad is actually fantastic at sewing. His mother taught him as an important life skill when he was younger, and, when I was completing my final projects at high school, he was able to take to the machine and piece together some garments for me. I am still learning—if there is a method I’m unfamiliar with, I figure it out eventually.
What is the first purse you remember having? What was your favorite purse?
It wasn’t really a purse but a small red circular vanity case I used to carry about with me. It was fantastic, and I used to fill it with all kinds of small toys and bits of wool. I think on some subconscious level I have always tried to replace that particular bag. Sadly it was stolen along with some other luggage when our car was broken into in about 1989! I love bags. I have so many!
THE SEAM RIPPER!!! Where would I be without it? And a pincushion!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I also made her one of those new-fangled scarfettes (close to smurfette). Not the best, but it will be keeping neck warm, so is more useful than cutesy. It all just makes me want to go be more creative, just so I can post them here!!
So...what is everyone else making for the holidays??
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
So we got our first (real) snow today! About 4 inches or so, and it's still coming down. It looks just fabulous--well, it looks fabulous outside. I'm so glad I don't have to drive to work in it! :)
Having grown up where it doesn't snow, I still get a thrill when I wake up and the light is of that "just snowed" quality--everything is brighter but muffled. It's still amazing how silent a snowstorm is; all of this business going on right outside and you can't hear it like, say, thunder.
Weather like this makes me want to light every candle in the house, make cookies, and watch Little Women. That's my "snow movie." But with so much work to do, it'll have to wait a few days.
Now if only I had time to do some serious Chrismtas decorating! I know that some of you early birds have already decorated, but growing up we didn't put our tree up until one week before Christmas. It felt more special that way. Now that I have a fake tree (yeah, I gave in on that one finally) I suppose I could put it up whenever...
The lavender one with the girl in the hood is the most holiday-ish of the bunch. But there's something of the sad Christmas in this soldier's face.
And the lady above looks like she's decorating! Plus, the frame is robin's egg blue--one of my favorites!
And this pink one makes me happy because I got engaged on Christmas day (14 years ago!).
Most of my Christmas deocrations are silver, white, and red, but making these ornaments makes me want to rethink that color scheme!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF (Pay it forward) exchange. I'm not sure what that gift will be. It will be a suprise! The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. So basically, if you’re one of the first 3 comments, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make! Once you sign up, I'll email you to let you know that you are one of the three. Then copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.
Oh, and don't be disappointed if you don't get your gift until after Christmas! As you other crafters know, this is a busy time of year! Us elves are working 'round the clock to keep up!
Crossing my fingers to see if this works! :)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
One new thing this year that's different from last: Etsy. We only just discovered Etsy maybe 6 months ago or so, and it was so cool to be able to buy handmade things to give as gifts that, well, we didn't have to make (or, more likely, that we didn't know how to make!). We shopped at several Etsy stores and are eagerly awaiting our packages--I can't decide if the shopping or the waiting/getting packages is more fun!
With all of the craziness, myhampsters won't shut up! (for those of you who don't know, my "hampsters" are those little voices in my head that scrabble around and don't. shut. up. ) I've come up with this amazing idea for a Christmas-themed thing to make...but I won't have time until January! And no, I'm not sharing my idea here...it's like telling someone about a story before you've written it: the thrill goes bye-bye.
But in the short-term, I'm hoping to finish a few little shabby-chic style Christmas ornament/gift toppers. Yanno, pink, robins egg blue, lavendar, yellow with LOTS of glitter! I hope to list them before too long...but if not, they'll be just as good for other things (Easter, Valentines, just plan ol' spring!). Oh, and the Sales Fairy "Competition" that starts this Sunday. Are YOU in on it?? (List a "sales fairy" that you've made in whatever medium you work in--list it between 7 and 10 a.m. Eastern US time and then visit the Promo forum and look for the titled thread and chat with the other Etsians--visit one antoher's shop to check out their sales fairies!)
Monday, November 12, 2007
And then there's just the dangerous mixture of fact and fiction, the legends that bloom out of tidbits and second-hand stories. Mary Reade and Anne Bonny, the most famous (infamous?) female pirates from the golden age of piracy. I imagine that they became the terrors they were because they were born in the wrong time--no simpering and taking abuse from any man, waiting at home for someone to own them. They did what they wanted, took what they needed, and when they were caught? well, they pleaded their bellies! These women? They inspire fantasy--looking the girl while kicking ass!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Sewing, scrapbooking, painting, making odds & ends, putting vintage things together in new ways--there is too much stuff going on in this room to hide it away from the world any longer!
There's the sewing desk on the right (was once upon a time the husband's school desk--it was necessary to make it purple) and the scrapbook table on the left. Notice the pile of "stuff to finish" on the chair? Yeah, there's a tree skirt in there for an xmas tree....uh, I've only been working on it for 3 years!
This is the table in the middle of the room. I tend to forget that it's only a few feet across and try to do 4 things on it at once! (oh, and are those projects oh-so-subtly hidden beneath? :)
Behind the table is the fabric dresser--I finally got rid of all the rubbermaid totes and have one place to keep all of the collection.
One thing I am tidy about, however, is the fabric dresser! A good friend gave me this antique dresser when she moved away--and now I get a thrill out of folding fabric and displaying it all nicely in the drawers (Hey, we all have to get our thrills somehow!)So, show us yours! C'mon, the world wants to know what dirty secrets you're hiding in your houses....closets full of boxes of fabric? baskets stashed beneath couches full of yarn? Let it all hang out! :)
Babyannequilts is an inspirational shop (hey, anyone who takes pics of a quilt with the Eiffel Tower in the background is my kinda girl!) Her quilts have a modern sensibility without losing the traditional emotional warmth that we love in the art. Go check her out!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I've been freelancing for a little over 3 months now, and so far it's going great. Except for the loneliness thing. I have lots of other freelance friends, but I don't have anymore close-by craft friends (or sister!). So I've been crafting solo these past months. It's been OK, but I've also felt myself sort of falling into it--it's my "buddy" when I need a break from work (and logging onto Etsy!). So having craft materials on the very next table is going to be an internal struggle. Perhaps I'll look at it that way: to path to inner peace is through the acceptance that not all crafts must be finished post hast.
That's just your moment of Zen for this evening.
p.s. I think the next to-do is to take a pic of my clean craft room. It doesn't get cleaned very often or stay like that for long.