some pillows bleed red

I haven’t posted in a long while, which I could blame on increased homework and studying for the GRE, but in reality I was just lazy. I had some fabric remnants from freshman year (that’s three years!) and I finally got fed up with it laying around and cut the red into pieces and sewed them together with some white cottony/plushy fabric and gray fleece. The result was a passable but boring pillow about 12″ square.

100303 01 pillow

Then, because I’m a perfectionist, I thought: That just won’t cut it. So I sewed on piece of black ribbon to make a bow. Yay. But then, because I’m also an idiot, I decided to wash it … forgetting that RED dyes tend to bleed RED, especially on WHITE. Oops.

100303 02 tiedye

The white pieces are now more of a coral/pink tie-dye. Kind of ruins the effect I was going for, but it’s not that big of a deal. All in all, I’ll live. The pillow was meant as a floor cushion for myself because I tend to do all my work (like typing this post) while sitting on the floor.

100303 03 detail

What I am annoyed about is that I washed that pillow WITH my comforter. I’ve had that comforter since I was really little and now there’s large red smears on it. Any solutions?

Happy March, everyone. Don’t be stupid like me.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

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my creative space

My creative space is a mess. My crafting table is generally pretty clear with everything pushed into a corner, but that has been completely empty for a while. Organized chaos is the name of the game for the rest of my room. Everything has its place, but within that place it’s an anything goes kind of system. My embroidery floss is all neatly arranged according to number, with remaining spaces crammed with scraps of ribbon and string, other boxes holding magnets, bottle caps, and buttons.

091008 01 floss

All my fabric lives in a cardboard box … well, except for the fleece, cheap green stuff, and some pink print because not all of it would fit. Aye. I have all this fabric and every time I go to make something I think to myself that what I have simply will not do. Once upon a time it was organized, with everything neatly folded and arranged by color, but then life happened, and now it’s more of stuffing and stacking things so they stay within the general confines of the box.

091008 02 fabric

When I’m having a bad day, I’ll just pull out one of the boxes (embroidery floss box, craft things box, or fabric box) and rifle through ’em. Because even though I’m generally not big on colors (a fair percentage of my wardrobe is black), I do like colors in most things. So that’s my kind of pick me up.

Oh, and this is linked over to kootoyoo’s blog where there’s a whole list of people’s creative spaces. So much fun to browse.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

cookie tags

090830 01 three

I make a lot of cookies. Most of my friends are in architecture studio, slaving away until the wee hours of the night. Since I don’t have studio and I get lonely, I like making them cookies or doing menial tasks for them (like gluing together a pile of cylinders). Since I make a lot of cookies and I feel bad throwing away all those plastic bags, I have decided to make reusable, washable fabric bags for cookies. Well, I haven’t gotten around to that part yet, but I’ve made the fabric tags to identify the cookie types. I’ll get around to making the actual bags later … eventually … sometime. I’m busy!

First comes the template. I would’ve just cut out a chunk of fabric and started sewing, but I have finally learned that I am not good at cutting a straight line. I drew a rectangle 2.5″ by 6″ in the corner of a manila envelope with my trusty metal L ruler. Cut out a chunk from the corner of the template and then went about tracing shapes from the fabric. I have a lot of this cheap fabric because I originally used it to cover the wall partition in my studio. It’s the same fabric I used for these.

Cut out all those shapes, and then fold them in half with the wrong sides out. The fabric I used was the same on both sides so it really didn’t matter. Sew the two long edges and the short side closed while leaving open the wedge. Then flip it right-side out through the opening that was left. I ironed it at this point to make it easier to work with. I’m not good at drawing a straight line, cutting a straight line, or sewing a straight line. Oh well. Wonky edges make it seem more homemade, right?

090830 06 stuff

Then comes the stuffing. I just added a bit of stuffing into each tag to give them some thickness and make them a bit more substantial. Batting probably would’ve worked easier, but I don’t have any of that. While embroidering I would have to keep pressing the stuffing to where I wanted it because it moves a bit. Once the letters are embroidered, however, it’s pretty much stuck.

To make it easier to attach the tags onto the bags (which I intend to have some sort of drawstring or handle), I decided to sew on some loops. I used a random shoestring that I had and cut it into three-inch strips. By the way, this was a new, clean, completely unused shoestring. Since it was going to be used near food and was meant to be washable, I avoided my usual twine and ribbon. Tucking it into the wedge, which had been folded in, I secured it with a pin, and then took it to the sewing machine. I stitched around the edge of the entire thing, and when it got to the area of the wedge, I stitched that opening closed, making sure to get the ends of the cord as I went.

090830 09 embroider

Then came the final step: embroidering! This was the most fun but also the most time-consuming part. I didn’t really plan much before starting the letters, so in some cases I had to go back and redo a letter or two to fix the spacing. This is where a disappearing-ink pen would’ve come in handy … if only I had one. Make sure to sew all the way through the tag to cinch in the stuffing. I think it’s cute because the reverse side of the tag spells out “oatmeal” but backwards.

I currently have three made: oatmeal, choc chip, and sugar. I plan on making a few more, but I have no idea how I’m going to embroider “peanut butter” onto one of these things. I’ll probably also have to make another “choc chip” in case I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip (which would require both an “oatmeal” and “choc chip” tag). I’m running out of the purple embroidery floss I was using, so that is yet another thing to add to my list. On the other hand, my August total is so tiny!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

gifting pillows

I’m back in Austin! Actually, I’ve been in Austin for a while but I didn’t have Internet. But now that I do (after wrestling with Time Warner for forever), I’m going to be better about posting and being productive. I seem to say that a lot.

While I was away one of my friends had a birthday so I wasn’t able to make it to her little birthday shindig. So I made her a pair of pillows for her new place. Well, it was partially making her a gift, and partially me teaching myself to use my sewing machine. I’m still not very good at it and none of my lines come out very straight. All in all, I still really like sewing by hand (even though it’s time consuming as heck).

090821 01 pieces

I was planning on making pillows with a nice quilt-y pattern, but I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough control to manage that. So I just pieced together some fabric. I sewed it all together, then thought they seemed a bit … bland. So I added some color around the border.

090821 02 stuffed

Then sewed the edge, flipped it inside out, stuffed, blind stitched some of the funky areas, then blind stitched the openings closed. Eh. These took me quite a long time to make, probably just because I’m so darn lazy.

090821 03 ribboned

They’re not that great, but I’m still learning. Tied a ribbon around them and despite my measuring, they’re not exactly the same size. Close, but no. Argh. Well hopefully she’ll at least appreciate the thought. School starts in a week, so I’m off to celebrate the last remaining days of summer.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

the corner’s new layout

I finally have a new layout! Woohoo! The black text on a gray background in the previous layout was annoying me. I whipped up the layout pretty quick in Photoshop, but then it took me forever to figure out all the little CSS quirks. It’s been a few years since I did any HTML-ing, and back in the day I stuck with simple HTML and frames. This look is much more me (and less standard template) so I’m pretty happy with how it came out. I’ll probably be working on some quirks for a while, but all in all it’s pretty much good.

090804 01 fabric

A few days ago I bought some fabric at the Wal-Mart here because I simply cannot resist cheap fabric. Besides, I needed fabric to craft some pillows. I bought a total of a little under five yards (four yards and one remnant piece). Each yard was either $1.50 or $2.00 so the total was $8.54. Not too bad. Anyway, that marks my last purchase for the month of July, bringing my total for the month to $38.43.

Hm … what else? Has anyone ever changed a tire before? It is RIDICULOUSLY DIFFICULT! My mother and I were out shopping and when we got back in the car (an SUV), we realized we had a flat, so there we were in the parking lot, trying to change a tire. Ugh. Some guy driving by helped us put the spare on, which was seriously a godsend because neither me nor my mother could lift the tire. So now I know how to change a tire.

About two more weeks at home and then I’m off to my new apartment! I have a new layout and now I’m starting a new tally for the month of August … yay!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

spending money

Since I don’t have a job and there’s no money coming in, I really should not be spending money. But since I don’t have a job, I have a lot of free time to go shopping (my class is also over). It’s really a vicious cycle. So off on the sidebar, I decided to start tallying up how much I spend on these little shopping expeditions. I’m only including the money spent on non-necessities, like for crafts and such. I was going to include money spent on eating out as well, but then I figured that would be too depressing.

First up, remember how I was so upset that Wal-Mart no longer carries fabric? Well my friend X mentioned to me the other day that there was still one in the Austin area that does! So I was all excited and decided to head down there to check it out. It’s at 9300 I-35 S, in the Southpark Meadows shopping center. The fabric selection was somewhat miserable, definitely nothing worth a special trip for. At least I now know it’s there, and since there was also a Hobby Lobby nearby, I stopped by there as well.

090710 01 shopping

When I go shopping, sometimes I just can’t help myself. I tell myself I’m there to browse, and then I keep picking things up. From the cheap fabric, I got one yard of checkered light pink and one yard of purple with white polka dots. I think I’m going to turn them into aprons … we’ll see. I also picked up some forks (four for a dollar). They’re really cheaply made (obviously) so they bend easily, an attribute which might come in handy for some projects – once I figure out what kind of project would use forks. Then there were just some more random supplies for in-the-works projects.

090710 02 cl free

Next up, CraigsList finds! Woohoo! I love CraigsList, and the free section is my friend. But things there go fast, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a positive reply to my e-mail. I picked up this paper shredder and trashcan (love that shape and color) from a girl who was moving out of her apartment and didn’t have room for them in her car. After the trashcan got a good cleaning, I decided it was too pretty to use as a trashcan, so it’s holding some fabric and rolls of cross-stitch fabric.

090710 03 cl frames

Another CraigsList find, this time in the household section, are some picture frames. Twelve of them for $5, not bad. They’re all the same, outer dimensions about 9.5″ square (square!). They’re a dark kind of wood, but I think I’m going to leave them that color instead of putting in the extra effort to paint them black like I was originally planning. These will also be for a project … eventually. Maybe something with frames and forks?

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

shopping trip

090608 01 dollar store

Who loves the Dollar Tree? Uh, that would be me and any other sane person in the world. It’s so much fun to just browse around there. All the stuff in the picture other than the magnets and ribbon were from there. So cheap! So wonderful!

On Saturday I was all a-fluster. I drove all the way down to the Re-Store since I had heard some wonderful things about it, but nope – complete bust. I was looking for tiles, door numbers, and cabinet knobs, and couldn’t really find any that suited my needs. They do great work, but because their stuff is donated, their selection is limited. Their stock is always changing though, so I’ll have to stop by later. Well then I went to Wal-Mart to look for fabric to make pillowcases, and I was shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that Wal-Mart no longer sells fabric. In my opinion, this is a great loss to humanity. They always had such cheap fabric … I guess next weekend I’ll have to go to either Hancock Fabrics or Hobby Lobby.

Anyway, I was depressed and was already stuck on the highway, so I figured I’d might as well just drive up to Target and pick up the desperately-needed fourth pillow. The fabric’s a bit different, which aggravates me, but at least the shape and size are the same. Which brings me back to the Dollar Tree. I shopped at Target, and discovered to my amazement that there was this wonderful Dollar Tree in the same shopping center! I had only been to Target once before (to get the original three pillows) and had never noticed it. It was meant to be.

I’m working on a bunch of small projects and job-hunting-wise, I’ve decided to lower my standards so tomorrow I’m going to be applying to (THE HORROR!) food-service positions. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? And you know how technology hates me? My mouse won’t click anymore.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

crocheted trivets

090605 01 two

Ain’t they purty? Hey now, remember I’m new to this crocheting thing. Anyway, as a college student, I get a lot of t-shirts and the thing is … I’m not a big fan of wearing t-shirts. So, I found this website about crocheting with t-shirts and I thought I’d give it a try. But I didn’t have nearly enough for a rug, nor do I have need for a rug, so I decided to make hot plates (trivets) instead.

This one was made using the white material that was in a pouch I had made earlier. Using my 10 millimeter crochet hook, I sort of followed these directions to crochet a circle, but I apparently am no good at counting, so it’s a little wonky. If you’re wondering, those bits of purple in the white were from the image on the t-shirt. I found another t-shirt and decided to try making a simple rectangular one. But unfortunately that t-shirt was smaller so there was less fabric to work with, and thus it’s kind of small. I also had to add extra fabric in order to complete the row (I was double-stitching), so there are some not-so-pretty moments. Actually, there were quite a few wonky moments.It’s actually a really pretty purple that matches the bits of purple in the white one. I think it looks blue in the first picture because of the fluorescent lights in our kitchen.

Now if only I can scavenge up more t-shirts, I can have a whole collection of different shapes! Wouldn’t that be neat? My new roommate will probably think I’m crazy … but whatever, I’m a college student who can be found embroidering or crocheting at 4 AM. I think I’m already crazy.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

multiple firsts

Okay, so for some really odd reason, AFTER I go out and buy a new memory card reader, my old memory card reader begins to work again. Oh well. So at least I’ve been able to download those pictures. I ended up switching out the ribbon for twine because I was starting to run out of the rainbow ribbon … and I really like my rainbow ribbon! I now have four of the pouches, but I’m probably going to end up making two more before calling it quits.

At home for a week or two, so probably won’t be doing much in the way of projects. But … I did buy a new external hard drive and I’m going to try freezing my non-working hard drive, and we’ll see how much data I can get off of it. Then I’ll be able to sift through my old architecture files and work on my portfolio.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

first project: organization

090510 01 space

There are quite a few crafting blogs that I follow, and I find most of the projects really inspiring. however, I have one main complaint: These people do not seem real. They show photos of their workspaces, these huge tables with great lighting, cute organization, and swoon-worthy supplies. Who’s lucky enough to have all that? Not me, I’m a poor college student. Therefore, I present my workspace: the floor of my apartment, with my supplies all stuffed in a box, and books and paper everywhere.

So for my first project, I wanted to create something to organize my supplies and the scraps of my projects since I tend to begin a bunch of projects simultaneously.

Supplies:

  • cheap fabric rectangles: about 10″x17″
  • ribbon or cord: about 50 inches long

Process:

  • fold over (about .5″) and sew short ends of rectangle
  • fold over (about .5″) and sew long ends of rectangle
  • pull cord through long ends of rectangle
  • squinch the fabric around the cord
  • gather and voila

After a while I took a break. Got coffee with K at Spider House … for two hours. Mocha latte, yum. Anyway, it was fun, hadn’t had the chance to chat with her for almost a month. When I got back I finished it off (and watched the second Harry Potter movie as well).

I just used a piece of scrap fabric to tie around the cord so I can slide it up and down, keeping the pouch closed when not in use. It makes a keyhole where I can easily see what’s inside.

Pretty simple. All in all, completed at approximately four in the morning. I think it turned out pretty cool. But I think I need to make a few more and hang them all from a suspension rod or something for them to make a real impact.

Also, I don’t know if anyone’s noted it, but the reason why this took so ridiculously long was that I hand-sewed the fabric (back-stitched for strength, and because this fabric unravels pretty easily) and I braided the cord. With a sewing machine and any normal cord, this would’ve been simple as pie.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]