Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taking a Break...

In paper crafting that is.  This year, I've completed an unknown amount of scrapbooking pages, cards and other assorted projects.  And before the year's up, I've got more to complete.  I've simply burned myself out.  I've kept this an open ended blog; not so much exclusively scrapbooking and papercrafting, but I had the foresight when I created this blog back in July of 2008 to keep the possibilites open for showcasing some of my other talents.

In addition to papercrafting -something I only started back in 2003- I have interests in other crafting mediums.  For my 9th birthday WAAAY back in 1994 -I do realize some of my readers are chuckling at that statement- I was given my first sewing machine for my birthday.  I don't remember the model number (I do believe the numbers involve just zeros and ones, and the letters H, I or J) but I do remember that it was a Babylock.  I was quite fond of that Babylock, and is currently with my dad in Virginia.  Then in 2005 when I was pregnant with Zoe, I had the fanatical desire to purchase another sewing machine, and I got a Brother sewing machine on eBay.  It wasn't in the greatest of shapes; honestly it was worth every bit of the $15 dollars I paid for it, and not a penny more.  Eventually though, it ended up on it's last leg, and I replaced it with my current machine back in October of 2007.  Because I had such fond memories of my Babylock, I went back to the brand and purchased another one.. this time buying a Babylock Xscape.  It's portable and is actually a little smaller than most machines -it advertised as being 2/3 the size of a standard machine- and only weighs about 13 lbs.. even came with a bag to carry it in!  I was also lucky enough to get it during a good sale, and ended up saving myself roughly $299.  I won't tell you how much I paid for it, and how much the original price was.

Around the time that I got my first sewing machine, I also gained an interest in yarn crafting, something I got from my Aunt Mary.  She's one of my dad's younger sisters and was probably one of my biggest influences into creativity and crafting.  I remember watching her crochet, and being absolutely fascinated with how quickly and nimbly her fingers worked the yarns and crochet hooks.  I wanted to learn.  Unfortunately, I'm left handed and she's right handed -like 90% of the world's population- and all I managed to learn how to do was a chain stitch.  Years later, when I was a sophomore in High School, during my lunch break I discovered a book in the school library.  I don't remember the title of the book; I just recall it being very light and small and was excited to discover it had crocheting patterns in it!  And even more so, I was finally able to make sense of what my aunt was trying to show me 6 years earlier.  And just for good measure I grabbed the book next to it or nearby and taught myself how to knit.  I had difficulty casting my stitches onto the knitting needles, however; I met a very nice lady at a crafting fair not too long after that and learned how to cast stitches properly.

So there you have it.  For the next while, I will be focusing on going back to these crafts.  I will occasionally do cards and whatnot; but my main focus will be sewing, knitting and possibly crocheting.  I do hope that my followers that enjoy seeing my paper crafts will come back and follow my blog still as I journey back into knitting and sewing.  Of course, I will occasionally do some paper crafting, but that will become the exception, rather than expected.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cabbage Roses

A while back, I was planning on making myself a sash belt with cabbage roses on it to wear with a dress I purchased but ended up having to return because it was too big.  That happened after I had already bought a sash, something I no longer really need, but that still did not put a damper on my interest in creating cabbage roses.

So today while conversing with my friend about sewing, I had the urge to sew one, and ended up making two.  I used some fabric I had bought over 4 years ago when I made Zoe's baby bedding, and because of how careful I ration my fabric, I ended up with a respectable amount of fabric left.  Some time ago, my friend had found me this link, which I bookmarked and I pulled it up today to figure out how to sew these flowers.  It's a great tutorial; however if you're left handed like me, it's got a bit of a learning curve, because I tend to work clockwise, while right handed people tend to work counterclockwise.  I ended up having to save the files and then reversing them so I could follow the directions, however my flower didn't come out quite as well as I'd like, however for a first timer attempting to work in reverse, it came out alright.

The center stabilizer is actually a pearl.  As you can see the flower is worked around clockwise, which for some reason I find aesthetically pleasing.

Then I of course decided to try again, and this time without the stabilizer bead and I added a second piece of fabric between the folds and sewed that together to give it a different look.

This one is done without a center stabilizer, and it's also got another piece of fabric.. and it's quite a bit larger as a result of using longer length of fabric. And it also goes counter-clockwise.

I'm not sure which one I honestly like more, since they are both pretty and unique in their own ways.  However, I cant wait to experiment with different fabrics as well as different finishes.. the instructions suggest to hide the raw cut edges of the fabric, but I think I want to try this with the raw edges showing... there's just so many possibilites with this one set of instructions!  You can also do this with ribbon and other types of fabric.. satin, organza.. as long as it's not too thick it should work!