Prepare to be Astounded

No, really… this post is going to blow your mind for multiple reasons.  First of all, prepare to be blown away by my terrible photography skills!  If anyone knows of a way to photograph a blanket that doesn’t make it look like a giant lump of fabric, let me know.  My space is limited, so this is what you get.  Sorry.

Secondly, I shall amaze you with my follow through.  Yes, folks, I have managed to keep my January goal!  Granted, I gave myself a ridiculously easy one, but I followed through nonetheless.  Here’s the proof!

D’awwww!

Innit cute?  Little pirate boy and his swashbuckling whale friend!  And a little octopus that you can just barely see in the photo!  What could be better?

Funny you should mention it… That brings us to astoundingness number three.  THE MOST PERFECT FABRIC IN THE WORLD.

I am known for hyperbole, yes, but in this instance I am not kidding.  There are a few things I’m obsessed with, and this fabric brings them all into one perfect little bundle.

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Let’s get a close up on that, shall we?  And also ignore how freaking blurry it is.  No matter what I did, every picture of this side came out blurry.  That’s life.

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It’s a monkey.  It’s a monkey pirate.  And this fabric completes the hat trick with a monkey pirate pun.  Puns are quite possibly my favorite form of humor in the history of ever.  But folks, while this fabric is completely made of win, it also tells me one very terrifying thing.  There is another person out there that thinks exactly like I do.  I’m not really sure the world needs that.

My only regret about this blanket is that it’s only 2 yards long.  Despite my short stature, I prefer 2.5 yards for my blankets.  But the first pirate fabric had been something that someone got cut and decided they didn’t want.  I figured I’d take it off the store’s hands.  Since I had that fabric first, when the MOST PERFECT FABRIC IN THE WORLD came along, I knew I needed to cut it to match.  But at least I have my new favorite blanket.  I won’t even tell you how long I’ve been holding on to the fabric (at least two years….).

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Mystery Bag

I haven’t started my mystery bag yet, but I intend to be through Day 1 by the end of today.  I do, however, have my fabrics picked out.  I’m doing two bags, because I’m worried about liking the first one I picked.

Here’s the back up:

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Yellow linen and a printed shirting fabric.  Yes, I will iron, but I have to be somewhere in a half an hour, hehe.

Now, the “first pick”:

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A ridiculously ugly manufacturer remnant that caught my eye and a pumpkin orange suede.  I had to adjust the color on the photo to even do it justice, but everything is far more pumpkiny than the picture would suggest.

More to come 🙂

Fabric from Heaven

One of the perks of my job is that I get to see pretty much every single bolt of fabric that comes in AS it comes in.  The downside is I often have to stress about where this fabric is going to go.  Right now, I’m stressing.  I hollered at my boss to tell him I didn’t need any more fabric, we were well stocked.  He said he’d put the rest at my house.  Nice!

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Okay, he was joking, of course.  But I started to think about what I would do if a truck load of fabric showed up at my door, free of charge.

1. I’d quit my job with the hopes that I could supplement my living by selling the things I’d made.  I would certainly never have the time to use a truck load of fabric if I were working full time.

2. I’d become fearless in my sewing.  No doubt there would be fabric in there I didn’t like.  With that, I could practice all the things I’m not sure would work.

3. I’d make more clothes.  I’d work on more upholstry projects.  I wouldn’t have to make little things just because little things are all I could afford.  (Much like Kraft Dinner, I’d keep making little things…)

4. I’d cover the walls of my craft area with fabric so it wasn’t so depressing down there.  And change it often.

5. I’d redecorate my house.

6. I’d make a ton of things to sell, and then I’d buy another truckload of fabric with the earnings.  Because free trucks of fabric don’t show up at your door everyday…

7. I’d use the rest of my earnings to buy a ticket for Ships and Dip and get the hell out of the frozen tundra for a week.

Will Power

My first day back at work was incredibly painful.  I really enjoyed not working.  Or, rather, not working “for the man.”  Trust me, my vacation was filled with lots of hard work.

But that wasn’t the problem.  Being away from work meant being away from fabric.  And sales.  And what the hell everythingisonsaleandIwanttobuyitall.  *breathe*  Quilting cottons are 50% off and that never happens.  Clearance is also 50% off.

And I can’t buy anything.  Meh!  My sewing rooms makes me want to cry.  I’m not exaggerating.  I actually get teary-eyed when I think about tackling that mess.  The Hippy actually said to me, “If you start crying again, you’re fired.”  Seeing me so pathetic, a friendly coworker offered to bring her gay friend (her words) to whip my craft room into shape.  And I need it.

Good news: We have pants clothes hangers coming into work.  Which will be nice, because it will make more room in my drawers for all the skirts I’m going to make 😀

We haven’t had a good poll in awhile:

52 Stash Clean-Up

Starting next week I will begin my New Year’s Resolution.  If I get things set up sooner, I will try to start before Sunday, but I’m not holding my breath.  My goal is this:  To make one item (at least) a week using only fabric from my stash.  Notions, of course, are fair game, but the fabric must be old.  I have many anticipated effects from this resolution.  I will hopefully save money since I won’t feel the need to buy more–it would go against the very nature of the resolution.  I will clean up my stash, and therefore simplify my life.  I will have a quaranteed blog post once a week.

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To keep me on track, I really think I’m going to need a list.  I’ve started, briefly, thanks to my trusty notebook and lucky pen (stole it from The Hippy because it’s awesome… he got another one).  There will be repeats of items–I have a lot of fabrics for skirts, for example, and I have my new bag line planned which is perfect for this resolution.  I almost think I need a calendar–one of those giant desk calendars would be perfect.  I think it’s the only way I won’t let a week pass by without my noticing.  Having a set day to specifically work on the 52 Stash Clean-Up will help too.

I’m pretty sure if I accidentally miss a week I will need to make two the next.  Which means I need to make sure I don’t miss more than one week at a time!  Since I’m not cool enough to take true vacations, I’m pretty sure this won’t be too much of a problem.  During craft show time, it just means that I make products using my stash.  Perhaps gifts will also have to come from the stash, but I’m not sure if that’s tacky.

I think I might also keep track of how long I go without buying fabric.  It could be interesting to see if I make it more than a month.  Like dieting, I’d really like the output to be far greater than the input.  So… If anyone would like something made, feel free to dig through my stash.  I’ve got a lot of weeks to fill!

Attack of the Returns

It’s not often I agree with Mary Hunt.  I read her mostly to learn tips on how to save money and also for the occasional recipe.  But The Return Right entry in her blog really struck a chord with me.

The jist of the entry is that returning things to retailers is getting harder.  Boo-hoo.  Frankly, at my store, returning is still far too easy.  People get upset because we won’t take something back from three years ago.  We have a 90 day return policy, which is, in my opinion, 60 days too many.  If you don’t have a reciept, you don’t get full price back.  Typically it’s only 50%, but it’s based on the most recent sale price.  Thankfully, we don’t have to think anymore; our computer automatically knows what the return price will be.  Nice.  However, our management is easily pushed over, and there are very, very few instances in which you will not be able to return something.

Stupid things we also take back:

1. Cut fabric.  Not just fabric we’ve cut, which either ends up as a remnant that we lose money on, or we waste time trying to find it’s home back out on the floor, but fabric that someone has cut a chunk off of and used.  We will not, however, take back fabric that has had shapes cut out of it.  Yes, people try.

2. Things without packaging.  Who would buy something without a package?  Oh yeah, no one.  Except maybe employees.  Maybe.

3a. (apparently) Cupcake holders that “just didn’t work out for me.  The cupcakes fell over.”  There was still chocolate all over the carrier.  Here’s a hint: Don’t turn anything with wobbly food products on its side.  Let me guess… You can only use sippy cups because regular cups just don’t keep those pesky liquids upright and off the floor when you tip them over… *eyeroll with facepalm*

3b. Fabric with wood stain and splinters in it.  Clearly used at an outdoor wedding, only to be returned after all was said and done.  Nothing says “I Do” like not even being able to commit to a wedding decoration.

4. Books, patterns, and other copy-ables.  Nuff said.

At any rate, I’ve always been a firm believer in owning what you purchase.  I also believe in paying for what you use and buying only what you can afford. If you can’t afford a video camera (or flowers, or fabrics, or candle holders), don’t have such an extravagent wedding or family reunion.  If you can’t afford tape or pens, don’t scrapbook; can’t afford clasps, don’t bead; can’t afford needles, don’t sew.

Wait… now I’m getting into shoplifting territory.

I don’t have much to write about except for work because that’s all I do.  I start my vacation in a couple of days, during which time I will be moving into my new house.  It’s utterly depressing having to pack.  Not because I’m moving, but because I don’t know where to begin.  I started throwing out garbage tonight, only to get depressed over how much of it is not garbage.  I also have a severe lack of boxes.  Luckily, tomorrow is a truck day, so we’ll have plenty of extra boxes laying around.

Do I really have to organize, or can I just throw stuff into boxes and hope for the best?  *grumble*

The Christmas Before the Resolution

I had every intention of taking pictures of everything I made for Christmas. Some things didn’t translate well into photograph form (but I’ve been assured I’m getting a photo area at the new house! weeee!), but I also just plain forgot to take pictures before wrapping some. Namely, The Hippy’s.

Let’s start with the ill-fated BILOSORD jacket so that it isn’t the last thing you see….

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I’m reasonably certain it isn’t actually that lop-sided.  The good news is, I have to take the zipper out anyway.  Why?  Because I put it in backward, that’s why.  Because this jacket was the jacket from hell, despite it being the third one I’ve made.  I understood the first one being a pain, but the third?  I’m happy to report the fourth went off without so much as a hitch, but that is one I wrapped before shooting.  It did end up a little short in the back, but that has more to do with the fact that it’s too fat for The Hippy than anything else.  I should have made the small, since that’s what I wear and he’s smaller than me….  But I know his penchant for drowning in his clothes.  Still, he refuses to let me take it in,  all the better, because I don’t feel like it. ; )

Jacket Number Two (in this post AND in real life):

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You only get to see half because blaze orange is a bitch to photograph.  I’m pretty sure my camera started crying.  But this jacket is fully reversible so my dad can wear the camo out on the town (okay, in his recliner like he’s doing right now…), and the blaze orange while sitting in his deer stand.  Two layers of fleece.  Yum.  So warm.

More fleece!  Yay!

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I am all about the reversible, natch.  My dad is three things: A Submarine Vet, “a bit of an eagle nut”*, and always cold.  These two panels lept out at me and demanded to be made one.  I believe his exact words were, “Wow!”

Not fleece:

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Pants for my mom.  Pant-sies.  Heh.  Heh.  No?  I’d wax poetic further on these, but, well they’re just pants.  They were easy to make.  They’re cute.  What more can I say?

I’ll just show more pictures…  Of pants.

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Rocketdog and I are like twins that had some weird almost-eight-year separation.  We like a lot of the same things, so I felt pretty certain she’d like these.  I thought the photo turned out better, but those are cows.  Both pants are made from Debbie Mumm fabrics.  I’m not typically a fan of hers, but I liked these prints well enough.

I also made a space blanket and fleece jacket for The Hippy and a boppy cover and softbook for Rocket Puppy.  Though I’m pretty sure the gift that went over the best was a bag of Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys.  C’est la vie.

Next up: New Year’s Resolution.

*This is an approximate quote from the Minneapolis Star Tribune about my dad.  My parents had an eagle on a liberty bell carved out a tree that had to come down (damn dutch elm!).  Eagles are a common sight in their home decor these days.  Now I gave him seven more 🙂