Checked off the List

I checked TWO off the list this week!!! First was a haircut in terms of a BIG haircut. It’s been way too long (and not since moving) that I have found anyone that cuts my hair without giving me the “She has Gray Hair SO She needs a Church Lady Bubble Head Big Hair Cut” cut. Not that there is anything wrong with church ladies or big hair but not at the same time on ME thank you very much! Met a stylist recently who’s hair led me to the knowledge that she’d be fearless and that she ‘gets’ it totally.

The photos I’d been saving were all kind of like Pink, without the pink of course—- but I didn’t want to look like Pink’s grandmother. The resulting haircut is buzzed in the back with very short sides— and a super textured top. I’m pretty crazy about it!

Second on the list was that I’ve always wanted a nose ring. Like ALWAYS. Forever and then some. But I’ve been afraid or my significant other at the time said no. What is UP with that anyway? That’s not respect, it’s control or something like it. Recently I’ve noticed how many women I respect and admire rock the nose ring and Jeanne Oliver put me over the edge when I read her recent post! Did you read it? She titled it “When Life Wakes You Up {Uncovering Spontaneity} and it made every bell ring, every hair stand on edge and was THE wake up call. I let her words percolate and the next day, knowing I’d be in Savannah for biz, made an appointment to be pierced.

I adore Savannah and am there all the time for biz and pleasure as well. Knowing that there are so many SCAD college students, the mecca for artsy types, where better to find a piercer? All inquiries led me to Mason at Planet3. I was expecting a simple process with a piercing gun and wham bam but instead found the procedure to be surgical.

It was far more interesting than painful to be pierced by a man covered by intricate tatts and a pretty radical gauge! I found Mason to be so charming and warm that I wished I had more piercings on the list. (I don’t!)

I absolutely LOVE the nose ring—- love love love, and am thrilled I did it! The stone is a small very pale pink sparkly and I’ll exchange it in 6 weeks or so for a silver hoop that just barely circles my nostril. I think.

I wrapped the day at Back in the Day Bakery—- such a great Savannah eatery! If you don’t have their first cookbook it’s a MUST!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be busy but mostly trying not to pick the giant steel booger in my nose, that’s definitely the hardest part!!!! :)  Next week I’ll have actual Knitting Content!

 

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Betz Strap Hack

I’m really excited about making Betz White’s “Metro Hipster Bag“. As I mentioned earlier it’s going to be faux leather with a fun coral and white home dec weight lining.

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But I haven’t had much time to work on it— or much, really. Sewing time has been puny. I knew that working on thread color, stitch length (and type), as well as hardware were going to play a pivotal role in the construction of this bag. After all, faux leather can go from vegan chic to a giant crap sandwich pretty quickly!!

Hardware was first. I knew that I did not want to use off the shelf silver swivel clasps or rings. I shopped and shopped and shopped. There are a lot of choices and I had quite a few recommendations. After the search I settled on Pacific Trimming in NYC and ordered from their Etsy shop. Their service was very good, the shipping lightning fast– and I love the hardware!  Note the two silver rings— they’re for a clutch pattern, not this one. Great quality and weight and they look about a zillion times better than off the shelf IF you can find them in the first place!

The finish of everything I purchased (enough for another couple bags and a few pieces to keep in stash) was Antique Brass. I love it and think it looks great with the faux leather. No sandwich here!

What a step up from my local fabric store’s shelves! Isn’t that a gorgeous swivel hook? The pricing at Pacific Trimming was outstanding as well. All told I spent only a bit over $20 for all of my hardware pieces!

Playing with stitches was next, after a couple hours messing around I have learned:

a large needle is best—- if I had a leather needle, I’d use it. Recalling college physics that needle and the thread get HOT going through the synthetic leather. What happens? The thread breaks down. The best fix then is a nice fat needle to make a nice tunnel for the needle to pass through with least resistance AND great thread.

I chose a matte black Mettler thread— it’s a great quality and it looks good.

I messed with stitches quite a bit for stitching that would SHOW, such as topstitching and on the strap.

I sew with a Bernina if the screen above doesn’t look familiar. I chose a triple stitch lengthened slightly to about a 3.1.

Again, what I learned—- the fauxness causes some kind of voodoo with the way it feeds through the machine. It doesn’t want to glide along so there is a dance with how you hold it/push it/feed it/”don’t” it!!!

Because the strap is self fabric, or the faux leather in this case, you cannot cut it double, fold to the right side and turn. No way that would happen. Basically the strap would have to have each ‘raw’ side folded to the center and stitched to secure. So I ran a line of stitches down the center front of the strap and folded each side to the center and worked through two layers, from the wrong side. Not as easy as it sounds, sort of like stitching 1000 pound jello!

The blessing of the faux is that the back of the ‘fabric’ has the woven lining. That does add some stability and frankly keeps stitches from making perforations that would tear.

The first experiment yielded a strap that had ‘galumpy’ spots. Where the strap did not feed through evenly. The galumpy-ness is what led to my final method of more finesse as the strap was fed through the machine. No, I do not have a foot especially made for leather/vinyl— it might have helped I can’t be sure. The galumpy spots are the first pass as the first ‘raw’ edge was folded to the center. The second line of stitching is far more even without hiccups.

I have a love hate relationship with those lumps. Part of me kind of likes them. The realist in me says, what are you kidding? RE SEW on the other cut strap. And I will.

I’ll leave you at the ends of my experimentation with the knowledge that all pattern pieces are cut along with the batting and interfacing. The hardware is purchased and waiting. Hopefully I’ll get back to it soon armed with my lessons! I already see a couple more small hacks that will be necessary since I’m not using fabric in anything other than the lining.

Little Girl dog loves to hang out in the studio. Today, the trash can was full of scraps and a couple of pieces hung over the sides. Silly Hana is known as The Stealer, she will snitch anything to play with and her hiding place is normally full of everything you thought was lost forever.

She was a whirling dervish! Funny dog…

 

 

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Hip & hipper- Sort of!

After the sheets have been changed and the house cleaned, a run to the grocery to replenish I find myself puttering. Deciding what new projects are calling, organizing my space, even catching up on some ironing. In the middle of the putter I pull out a length of faux leather—- not because I’m vegan but because I liked it and liked the challenge of creating a bag of faux-ness that looked great and was fun to get to that point!

Starting with a faux leather piece in a cognac like tone—- a brown not too dark and not too light, with some interesting grain texture, I assembled paints and brushes to experiment. You can see the “normal” faux leather around the edges of the paint experiment above.

I’m intrigued and fascinated by the handpainted bags from Burberry— they’re great! In need of a new bag for fall and not carrying a bag at all like I used to I can fiddle and play with something fun that meets my needs. After all, I don’t travel to an office anymore and arrive most places by bicycle. When I do venture out it’s someplace decidedly casual but I do want to exercise a little personal style!

   Whatcha Think?

I am not kidding you when I tell you that these bags range from $2.200 to over 30K. Not likely to happen in my life for any number of reasons! But I like the thought of it– a handmade bag…. handpainted, not to mention priced well. Like under $25.00.

I selected a range of paints, regular acrylics in a mustard gold, a deep eggplant, black in gloss and matte, cardinal red and a more subdued ‘barn’ red. I painted swatches, let the paint sit and rubbed it off in varying degrees. Let the paint sit and just dry.

The first photo in the post shows rubbed pieces—- this photo above are how the paints look dried. I like the rubbed with paint and wiped look, it takes away the fauxness to a degree and makes the texture pop. In the barn red wash I like the color of the faux, red but not too red, definitely seasonal. The next experiment is how they look with and without a clearcoat. The bag won’t get hard use but I don’t want the paint to rub off on clothing when worn, especially cross body!

FUN!

I’m currently deciding on bag patterns having whittled the list down to my current bag favorite shape, last made (and in use) from a teal polka dotted burlap.

And the last contender is the Metro Hipster Bag from talented Betz White:

Metro Hipster Bag

I love the shape of my traditional satchel… but the Metro Hipster Bag has a great place in that outer bellows pocket to rock some handpainting (plus it’s a GREAT bag!)

While I mull that, I’m still puttering/reading/baking/ napping. Soon it will be time to circle the wagons after a couple days ‘off’ and get back to the business of bride wrangling. Thanks again to Creativebug, I’m loving lesson 2 from Wilton and can’t wait to make those amazing cupcakes! Click the button up on the sidebar and make cake with me! I’m also enchanted this week with making my own repurposed journal from a cereal box and found paper and goodies!

Yes, I’m still knitting away on the afghan and am about halfway through on the next to last block. No knitting to speak of while my daughter was here will have me coming in late to the finish line for the last Creativebug class and joining the blocks then adding a border. It’s okay, I’ll have it done well in time to block and add to the gift bin!

The chair that needs a slip cover is still hollering at me……. and about a dozen other projects I’m anxious to take on. As always, I need more time!!! Until then I think maybe I’ll bake a Buttermilk Pie!

 

 

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Too Pooped

I’m TIRED. Loving having my youngest home for a long visit—– but dang. I’m tired. My Foundation for Friday is that I need to remember I need less miles and more naps! :)

There have been tears, and laughter….. smiles and jokes old and new. Miles (and miles) on the bike, trips to the beach and BBQ. And sunsets, after a week of sporadic rain the sunsets have been gorgeous!

 

Photo: Mother Nature offered up a fabbo pink sky tonight as a backdrop for the lighthouse!!  #goldenisles #stsimonsisland #georgiacoast #lighthouse #pinksunset Golden Isles St.Simons Island Lighthouse Love this time of year on the island!!!

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Chat

Fall Banner & Front Porch

As much as I loved the flag printed burlap banners for the front porch (and never got tired of them) it was time for something new when Labor Day was over. I chose the same style of banner and used burlap in a medium brown and a light natural. The brown banners were unadorned but the light burlap was painted using ordinary craft acrylic paint in bright school bus yellow and orange to give the look of candy corn. The paint dried quickly but for any spots that needed a bit of a nudge I used my heat gun.

Then the banners were doubled up with the paint side out on one side…. then the tops folded down together and zig zagged by machine to secure.

My porch has open sections that each require 6 banners, I added 1 ‘candy corn’ banner in random order across and strung using a bodkin onto thick jute twine from the craft store. Each section was swagged across.

The center section of the porch is not filled with 3 banners but a piece of fall leaf swag doubled onto itself to be somewhat full and secured at each side.

Love!

My porch and yard are very heavily treed with giant trees and Spanish moss so nothing very colorful blooms for long— if at all. To add a bit of color I added silk picks into pots of greenery to give a fall pop. I hope this does not move me into the category I said I’d never be— someone who uses silk flowers in the landscape!! :)

Temps around here are most un-fall like…… but I feel it in the air! Maybe!

Now, if I could just continue to resist the siren call of Pumpkin Spice everything!!!

Posted in Crafty Happy, Home Dec Tagged , |

Rain Rain Go Away

Photo: Last shot of the day... A fave location for wedding & families!! Good thing we all get along!! #jekylislandweddings #goldenisles  #georgiacoast

It’s tough to have family in town when we’re stuck in a rainy loop. There has been sun, enough to get out a bit, enough for a beach day, enough for bike rides here and there. AND…. when you go out in the crazy weather you’re often rewarded with a shot like this from Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island just as the storm starts to roll in.

Happy Monday!

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Foundation Friday (and every day) is For Family!

My daughter arrived on Thursday—– big fun happening here to include beaching, touring and hanging out. I hope to have some biscuit making lessons as I’ve made her a ‘biscuit makin’ kit’ like her sibs, and I would really like to have her hand in slipcovering a chair. I think that might just be way too much fun!  ;)

I know for a fact we’ll be making the chocolate cake with buttercream recipe from the Week 1 Wilton Method of Cake Decorating on Creativebug! I love love loved the first video, great advice for whatever stage of cake dec you’re at. Next week my personal favorite, cupcakes!! Go on, hit the button on the top of the sidebar—- let’s make cake together!

Posted in Chat, Foundation Friday

Thinking Fall: Failing/HOT!

There for the span of a few days the evenings were cooler…….. you could just about feel a change in seasons. Just about. Then this week the weather is back to hot, hot and more hot. So it goes. And for the most part it really is okay—- I know when it’s February and the rest of the country is freezing and miserable I’ll be far less so.

I’m still thinking fall. Something about the passing of Labor Day, kids going back to school—- and seeing all of the Fall Dec postings on blogs and Instagram make me want to do something ‘fall-y’.

I’ve been working on the fall wreath and having such a good time playing with the gourds, pumpkins, vines, leaves and other elements housed in the tub marked “FALL” up in the attic.  Just getting the tub out of the attic was a chore, man it’s stinkin’ hot up there!

  • I started with an 18″ straw wreath
  • 3″ strips of dark natural burlap
  • assorted silk leaves, twigs, fall elements
  • hot glue
  • long pearl head pins in gold and natural color

First the wreath was wrapped  to cover the wreath form using pins and hot glue to secure. Then I used more of the 3″ strips of burlap to free form pleats and texture in a couple of places securing with pins and hot glue.

Next I separated the elements into individual flowers, leaves, twigs, berries, etc. and roughly laid them out and played with the design. I wanted to leave a little ‘negative space’ which is always the hardest part for me.

Finally it all came together with lots and lots of hot glue until it was hung on the front door to welcome fall. Which will be here soon someday!

Photo: All things Pumpkin coupons in the mail, Sec football flags flying & fall decor going up in time for this weeks guest. Temp is 100.. Yes its fall in the south!!!

Creativebug started the Wilton Cake Decorating Class this week—- with Emily Tatak.

4 weeks of classes, recipes— and need I say anything further than BUTTERCREAM????  Please! Hit the link up on top of the sidebar—- let them eat cake!  “In this 4-week foundation course, learn baking and cake decorating techniques straight from the pros at the Wilton Test Kitchen. The course begins with a class on how to bake the perfect chocolate cake as well as proper techniques for torting and icing layer cakes. After that, we move on to easy cake decorating techniques, such as making your own buttercream and applying it with a decorating bag, creating a beautiful two tiered fondant cake and making gorgeous drop flowers from royal icing. This information-rich course is perfect for both beginner and seasoned bakers, and by the end of the four weeks, you will have learned everything you need to know to bake and decorate professional-looking cakes with confidence.

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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

It’s the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day Weekend! How did that happen anyway?

Hope your weekend is long and happy

with plenty of time to enjoy family, friends & love!

Posted in Chat

Favorite Cable Blocks & Cinderella

I’m blocking away after taking time watching the Emmy’s weaving in all of the ends on the finished blocks of the cabled afghan. Feels GREAT that the most hated of tasks is done. Why is it hated? I mean, not like it’s hard or anything. Must be like ironing— you know how to do it you just don’t want to!

Two of my favorite blocks so far:

As planned I actually DID clean and organize the studio! That spurred on a trip to stock up on new ‘toys’, errrr, projects.

  • Two new pieces of knit for tops
  • A piece of super warm and fuzzy microfleece for a lap throw  (not that you need it this week!!!)
  • Three new patterns (3 for $5, how can you refuse?)
  • An eyelet kit and metal zips for that cute little wallet style organizer I shared with you a few weeks ago
  • and I’m plotting a new wreath for fall using burlap, rosettes, tulle and gourds, berries, mini pumpkins and other fall things

The wreath is in progress waiting the hot glue phase before the major embellishments, can’t wait to show it to you finished!!

What’s this about Cinderella? Last week I had the chance not to hang out with a bride getting ready to ride in a Cinderella Carriage but actually RIDE in one myself. It was glorious fun! No glass slippers were harmed in the outing!

Hot day, Big Fun—-

and I just fell in love with the sweet carriage horse Dixie!

 

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