Wednesday, June 30, 2010

look what i found!

If you are the kind of person, as I am, who likes to think they like to be organized, then the free printables at Organizing Your Way are for you! My favorites are the daily and weekly action planners and the weekly menu planner/shopping list. There is also a nifty babysitter info sheet and a bunch of holiday organization stuff over there. The layouts look user friendly, and I especially enjoy the crisp visual aesthetic of the pages.

Monday, June 28, 2010

we're back!

Well, we've been back for over a week now, and 
I'm just getting back into the swing of things. It's 
funny how vacations can take so much recovery.

This picture perfectly captures the essence of our trip
to San Diego. We had a wonderful time; there was  cool,
breezy weather, plenty of beach play and a wide assortment 
of relaxing and relational activities. When I start painting again, 
 I'll post a fishy series from our aquarium visit.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

mccall's 9137 test run

My friend Andrea was looking for a sewing pattern to
work with during her vacation that was easy enough to
follow w/o help after not having sewn for a number of years.
I told her I had this pattern for a small case that should
work. But I decided to give it a try, since I'd never actually
used the pattern. So here it is! Turns out the instructions
aren't great, but with a few tweaks the whole thing works.
AND, it's possible to make it with a cute contrasting liner
(which Andrea wanted to do) without veering too far from 
the design. This one has brown fabric inside, like Layne's 
bag. You just have to cut a piece of transfer web and liner 
the same size as the main fabric, then iron it all together 
before sewing. McCall's 9137, Zippered Case G, circa 1997). 
Wait, when did this turn into a sewing blog?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

sometimes i draw birdies

I'd never noticed before, but sometimes I 
draw birdies. I find them in various places 
and sketchbooks from over the years.

I'm heading out to beautiful San Diego this week
but am pre-arranging a selection of birdy sketches
 to arrive each day for your viewing pleasure.

Have a great week! I know I will. And I hope to return
with some fun beachy vacation sketches to share.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

contour sketch

This is a contour sketch (pen on paper without lifting the point)
of Jesse, who no longer has long hair. His features are
distorted, as often happens w/ contour drawing (often
done while looking at the subject instead of the paper),
but I think it still captures his personality somehow.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


From late 2007. Painted with a Sailor brush pen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

summer journal #1

I have tried a variety of ways to visually capture the stuff of life over the years, 
and lately have enjoyed perusing the daily drawing work of Teesha Moore and
So this summer, I have my version of the daily planner/calendar
to record some of what's happening in our lives. Here's the first page spread!

(Click on the image to see a LARGER version)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

gearing up

I'm starting an etsy shop!!
For those of you who haven't yet discovered this
wonderful world, it's an online marketplace for handmade goods. 
This move is inspired by several requests that items I have
created be made available for sale. To that, I say "Thank you!"
I intend to start by making bags to sell and then perhaps 
expand to other sewn items as well as prints or originals 
of my paintings and collage work.

I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row before I kick things off.  
So I will let you know more as opening day approaches!

In preparation, I'm soaking up all things entrepreneurial.
I have checked out all sorts of things from the local library
about starting and running a small business
(speaking of which, if you have any favorite books along these 
lines, drop me a post -- I'd love any suggestions!), including:
Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin
The Savvy Crafter's Guide to Success by Sandra McCall
Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco.

As I have considered the prospect and the possibilities,
I am encouraged by the realization of how many entrepreneurial 
people I know, many of whom are small business owners.
Those who readily come to mind include a handyman (who
used to run businesses as beekeeper, knife/scissor sharpener,
and a few other things), a candymaker, a massage therapist,
a jewelry maker, a house painter, a realtor, a real estate investor, 
a photographer, a mechanic, a couple of church planters, 
a few sales reps, and a handful of counselors. I say "encouraged" 
because I've seen all these people experience success at what 
they do and have also seen them not make horrible, 
life-shattering mistakes. If they can do it, maybe I can too. 
And if I have questions, maybe they can help me find answers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

cape tutorial

Here's a tutorial for how to sew a costume cape. 
It can be adjusted to fit children or adults of any size 
and features a velcro neck closure for safety.   

Step 1: Select Fabric
If you're going for the superhero look,
you'll want something shiny like satin.
Anything else would do, though!
Measure from shoulder to floor to 
determine length of cape fabric.
Round up to the nearest 1/4 yard
and add 1/3 yard for cutting yardage.
This will allow enough fabric for squaring
the edges and creating a neck band.

Step 2: Measure Neck
Add 5 inches for seam allowances
and closure attachments.
This will be the length of the neck band.

Step 3: Cut Cape Rectangle
Use the selvedges as the side edges of the cape.
Cut a strip the length of the measurement (step 1) from 
neck to floor. For this example, I used 34 inches.

Step 4: Cut Neck Band
Cut a strip of fabric 3 inches wide by the number
of inches calculated in step 2.

Step 5: Cut Interfacing
Cut a strip of interfacing roughly the same size
as the neck band.

Step 6: Iron Interfacing to Neck Band
Make sure to iron the interfacing to the 
Wrong Side of the neck band. 
On satins, this will be the less shiny side.
Set neck band aside.

Step 7: Iron Sides (selvedges) Under 1/4"
Take care when ironing. The iron should be 
set to "synthetics" if satin is in use so as not
to scorch the material. Mine, however, changed color
when hot and then returned to normal on cooling.

Step 8: Roll and Sew
Turn the ironed edge under once more
and hold in place while sewing down this
hem. Use a scant 1/4" seam.

Step 9: Sew Under Bottom Hem
Follow steps 7 & 8 to iron and sew
the hem at the bottom of the cape.
Fold the ends under at an angle 
for mitered corners.
Step 10: Gather Top Edge 
Choosing a long stitch, baste across the raw
fabric along the top, about 3/8" from edge.
Leave threads long on both ends.

Grasp the front thread on one end and 
gently pull on it while pushing fabric 
toward the center of the cape. This will 
gather fabric to fit the neck band. Repeat
with the front thread on the other end.

Step 11: Arrange Gathered Edge
Spread gather evenly across top edge. 
Adjust to fit across center of neck band.

Step 12: Pin Cape to Neck Band
Align top edge of cape with a long edge
of the neck band, Right Sides Together.
Gathered edge of cape should be 3-4 inches
in from ends of neck band and roughly centered.

Step 13: Sew Cape to Neck Band 
Baste cape to neck band with 1/4" seam allowance.
Reduce stitch length and sew through gathered
edge and neck band again at a 1/2" seam allowance.

Step 14: Fold Down Top Edge of Neck Band
Iron down at 3/8" to crease, then unfold.
Now fold in the opposite direction so that 
right sides are together and the long top and
bottom edges are aligned.

Step 15: Sew Short Ends of Neck Band
Sew a 1/4" seam along the short ends of neck
band. Turn the corner and sew toward the 
gathered cape, stopping about an inch away.

Step 16: Turn Neck Band Right Side Out
Push corners square by pressing 
scissors, bone folder, or other sharpish
object into the corners.

Step 17: Top Stitch Neck Band 
Sew a 1/8" top stitch to close the neck band
over the gathered cape. Continue this top stitch
all the way around the four edges of the neck band.

Step 18: Attach Velcro
Cut 2-3 inches of 1" wide hook and eye tape.
Sew the soft tape on the front side of 
one end of the neck band and the rough tape on
the back side of the other end of the neck band
so that they attach when overlapped. 
Sew with a 1/8" seam allowance all the way
around the four edges of the velcro.

Step 19: Trim Loose Threads
Look over cape and trim any remaining threads.

Step 20: Put On Cape
It's time to rule the world!!!