birdy bags

I needed a project for the left over fabric from my bird print dress, so decided to make a tote bag and yet another wristlet purse. I thought it would be fun to use a contrasting print fabric for the inner pocket of the tote. I also finally got around to using magnetic purse snaps. They’re such a cinch to use, I have no idea why I was ever afraid of them. I’m quite happy with how these turned out.

I’m addicted to these wristlet purses at the moment!


green things growing

Yes, growing…as opposed to withering!

Miraculously, the herbs I planted a while back are actually flourishing, which I can’t say about many of their unfortunate predecessors — so today I’ve decided to reap the benefits of my newly green thumbs. There’s nothing like fresh, homegrown basil and oregano sprinkled atop a pizza. Well, my stomach is gurgling, so please excuse me now as I’m off to enjoy my dinner…

a painting and a meme

I decided to blow the dust off the easel and do a little bit of painting, which certainly isn’t my strong suit, but oh how I enjoy messing about with paint!

Itย turned out a tad more somber than I’d initially envisioned — especially given the nature of Oona’s “Happy” challenge. Still, I had fun creating it — which, I believe, is the whole point.

Finally, I’d like to get to a meme that Geri at Sewable tagged me with. It’s sort of a “slam book” (remember those?) style questionnaire. I won’t tag anyone with it afterward — not because I’m a no-fun meme killer, but because I’m a hermit with a ridiculously small social circle. So if you happen to surf in and haven’t been hit with this meme yet, consider yourself tagged. ๐Ÿ™‚

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was 25, married to my first husband, living in San Jose, and working, unhappily, as a writer of computer software manuals.

5 things on my to do list
For today:
Bake a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread

Get the a/c in my car fixed

Read The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins
Organize my sewing area
I haven’t thought of a fifth yet!

Snacks I enjoy
I enjoy fruits and veggies, but unfortunately I always end up reaching for potato chips and pastries

Things I will do if I were billionaire
Go back to university and get about 20 more degrees. Fund the arts. Travel ’round the globe.

Places I have lived
Los Angeles, CA
San Jose, CA
Cambridge, England

Jobs I have had
Market researcher
Lingerie saleswoman
Technical writer
Church pianist

And I’m sure that’s a whole lot more than you ever needed to know about me.

empire maxi-dress

Just finished up the first dress I’ve ever made without the use of a pattern! Needless to say, I’m very excited and am wearing it with pride, despite the fact that the back looks a bit wonky and makes my bottom look two sizes larger. Hence, I’ve only given you front and (obscured) side view photos. ๐Ÿ™‚ I made it out of a thrift store fitted bedsheet and based it on a sleeveless empire waist minidress from my closet, but decided to take it floor length for a dramatic maxi. I think it looks rather Jane Austen-esque with a touch of va-va-voom.

I spiced up the top edge with some crocheted trim I got from ebay.

I’m a bit late with my first creative endeavor for Oona’s “Week of Happy” — but I’ll see if I can rise to her challenge of creating something every single day for a week. Hmmmm. We’ll see how I fare…

playing with paint

After seeing this gorgeous stenciled blouse on Kasia’s blog, I was dying to try out fabric stenciling myself. So I went to Michaels and picked up some acrylic fabric paints, stencils and got to work. I have piles and piles of boring, solid color fabric that I got cheaply from thrift stores (various bed linens, curtains, etc) so I thought that this would be the perfect way to jazz them up. It took a bit of practice, as I foolishly chose to pay little attention to the warnings of experienced stencilers to not overload the brush with too much paint. Not a good idea, and as a result, my first attempt ended up in the waste bin. Too much paint will cause the color to bleed underneath the borders of the stencils. You really have to make sure that your brush is almost dry when you’re dabbing your paint on. Yes, dabbing (in an up and down, perpendicular motion) — as opposed to brushing. It takes a few coats (which can be a bit wearing on the wrist muscles) in order to achieve an opaque finish — but the outcome is quite beautiful, I think!

Here’s some stenciling I did on a wristlet pouch and basic tote that I made out of a couple of thriftstore bedsheets. I used Tulip brand Soft fabric paint.

lazy…so lazy….

I haven’t written a post for a while. No good excuses, really — I’ve just been rather lazy these days when it comes to crafting. To be honest, I just did a big house clean and I’m afraid of making a mess! So, these days, I’ve just been spending most of my time lounging around with a book.

Anyway, I did make a dress a couple weeks back that I posted on Burdastyle, but not here, so I thought I’d finally get around to it. It’s the Burdastyle Sadie dress that I made with some knit polyester that I got on sale for $1.99/yd. Of course I bought loads of it because I can’t resist a bargain. It was meant to be just a “test,” as I wasn’t quite sure whether I’d like the outcome or not — but as it turns out, I love it! So much so that I made one out of some jersey knit fabric as well (sorry, no pic). As you can see, I’ve not finished the edges since this fabric doesn’t fray, and I sort of like that casual, unfinished look like you find on a lot of American Apparel clothing. Alright, alright — so it also appeals to my lazy sensibilities, but hey, it works! I wore it out the same day I made it and got loads of compliments. ๐Ÿ™‚