Archive for November, 2007

And I missed it. A lot.

For weeks straight, I sewed and pinned and cut and measured and ironed and sewed some more and cursed my sewing machine and stabbed my finger with my scissors and ripped out an insane amount of stitches and contemplated throwing various crafty items across the room in moments of overwhelming frustration.

Why was I doing all this again?

 

Then I took off for Thanksgiving. And I went to my parents’ house. And I didn’t sew a single stitch for almost a week. And I missed it. A lot.

Missed choosing the perfect fabric and then watching its wrinkles disappear beneath the heat of the iron. Missed choosing the right shade of off-white thread. (Ivory. With a touch of pink. But not too peach.) Missed the cozy feeling of my craft corner. The piles of fabric. The cats falling asleep on my cutting table.

 

The sound the rotary cutter makes when it slices through fabric. Wearing my measuring tape around my neck like a scarf with my pin cushion strapped to my wrist like a bracelet.

It might not make sense to people who don’t sew. Or maybe it can be compared to other things — like running or writing or playing guitar or gardening. Something that you have such a passion for that it’s become a part of who you are and you feel a little off kilter when it’s missing.

So after taking a vacation from sewing, and selling my final apron from my Boutique (thank you, Ellie at Littlewanda!), I had a sudden and inexplainable urge to make an apron last night.

One side is powder blue with random white polka dots and a stripe of red polka-dot trim at the bottom. The other side is a graphic black and white print.

I’ve posted the apron in my Boutique here. Hope you like it!

November 28, 2007 at 6:58 pm 2 comments

Thanksgiving vacation

Five whole days without sewing. Without fabric. Without thread. Without cardstock. Without corduroy bags or reversible aprons or Etsy shops or blogs.

Instead, I spent a wonderful long Thanksgiving weekend at my parents’ house in Fernandina. And because there were no stashes of fabric or rotary cutters anywhere to be seen, I filled my days with family time, relaxation and other lovely events.

I took long walks on the beach with my mom, sister and this guy:

 

And this guy:

I went to my favorite Fernandina restaurant for lunch with Alex and my family, and we visited this great antique store downtown, which the owners had expanded considerably since last time I was there.

My sister and mom made pumpkin whoopie pies from scratch. I wish I could say I helped, but all I did was sample them to make sure they were as delicious as they looked. (They were.)

About six years ago, I made my parents a quilt for their anniversary.

My mom keeps it draped over a rocking chair in the family room. I’m glad she displays it, but I really wish they would get more use out of it. Mom, if you’re reading this, it’s okay to get dog hair on the quilt!

It’s so interesting to see what my style was six years ago. I created this quilt based on what I thought they would like and what I thought would match their home, but even with that criteria, it’s so different than anything I would make now.

For those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your families!

November 26, 2007 at 6:31 pm 6 comments

Boutique update

I finished a new Luna Satchel and posted it in The Boutique today.

I’m really happy with how this bag turned out. I got to use my brand spankin’ new Fat Orange Cat labels for the first time.

The bag is lined in this great cowboy fabric that I just fell in love with when I saw it at the fabric store. It’s called “Way Out West” (LOVE!), and it reminds me of a little boy’s pajamas from the 1950s.

The new bag is found here. Happy shopping!

Update: Thank you for your wonderful, lovely comments! The bag has been sold!!!

November 18, 2007 at 6:23 pm 3 comments

Sweatshirts and coffee mugs

Alex and I walked a block to the bay this morning to enjoy our coffee on the water.

The weather has been so beautiful lately that we take advantage of it every chance we get. We turned our heat on last night for the first time, but when we awoke this morning, the air was just cool enough to make us have to put on sweatshirts before heading outside.

Three Gertrude aprons are tagged, boxed and ready to be mailed along with the Luna Satchel from yesterday’s post to my cousin in New York.

I went to the craft store yesterday to buy safety pins (just safety pins) for my tags and ended up also purchasing wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue paper, metal D-rings for a purse I’m working on, metallic silver craft paint and shoes. Well, the shoe store was next to the craft store. But still. Stupid craft store. I should have known better than to think I could get out of there with a $1.29 receipt.

I’m feeling very official today because the labels I ordered from Lucky Label arrived yesterday. I can’t wait to sew one into something! Anything! Hopefully I’ll be able to get some sewing done today.

November 17, 2007 at 2:00 pm 2 comments

One of these things is not like the others

What doesn’t belong in this picture?

Let’s see….fabric? Rotary cutter? Cutting mat? Furry tail?

I completed and mailed out my first custom order earlier this week. What a great feeling! It included the brown Fiona messenger bag from my last post, and two sets of note cards.

Last night, I finished the final item of my second custom order.

This order is going to my cousin in Long Island, New York. It includes three Gertrude aprons (similar to this one) and the above Luna Satchel, which is brown corduroy with a lavender lining. That was actually my cousin’s idea, and I think it’s such a beautiful color combination.

I love intertwining my design with someone else’s vision. The result is something I may not have come up with on my own. I appreciate being stretched like that.

Next, I’ll be working on another custom order for a coworker. She too requested a color combination that I may not have attempted on my own, and I’m really excited to get started on it. I’ll post my progress on that as it comes along.

Happy weekend!

November 16, 2007 at 10:43 am 1 comment

Not-so-lazy Sunday

Alex and I were busy little bees today.

I finished a messenger bag that’s part of a special order for a friend of mine.

The bag is going to be a Christmas present for her 19-year-old sister. Making items for a specific person I’ve never met before makes me a little nervous.

If I make something for someone I know pretty well, I can pick out fabrics based on what I know she likes. If I’m making something for my Etsy shop, then I know someone will only purchase it if she likes it. But making something for a person I’ve never met before and know very little about can be tricky.

My friend helped me decide what fabrics to use, so I really hope she likes it.

I also made an apple green Luna Satchel for myself and started one for the Boutique, but it was too dark to take pictures. Maybe tomorrow.

Alex finally finished the bedside tables, and they look amazing. He painted them ivory, sanded the edges to age them and added new hardware.

The one on the left is his. It’s a little bit darker than mine because he put a layer of antiquing stain on it and then we decided we didn’t like it as much as the non-stained piece. So he sanded some of it off, but it’s still a bit darker. I love that the two pieces are just different enough to make them unique, but they are still obviously a pair. And even though they have a shabby chic look to them, his has a masculine vibe. I know that makes him happy.

Alex also included a secret message for me.

Do you see it? You have to look hard, because it’s very subtle.

Yesterday’s art show in St. Petersburg was a bust. We drove all the way to St. Pete only to find out that the website where I got the information was wrong — the art show wasn’t until today. I was really disappointed that we missed it by a day, but we ended up checking out the St. Pete Farmer’s Market and then heading home for a wonderful lunch at the Wine Exchange.

In the evening, I took a long walk and saw a manatee in the harbor about half a mile from our apartment. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! So….no art show, but I got to see a manatee. I’d say that’s a fair trade.

November 11, 2007 at 9:44 pm 5 comments

Cozy home

I got home early from work today and had enough time — and sunlight — to be able to take some pictures around the apartment. So here is a mini-tour of my home. Although I didn’t clean or set anything up before taking the photographs, I did conveniently manage to not aim my camera at parts of my home that I find particularly embarrassing. You don’t need to see the rows and rows of water bottles waiting to be taken out to the recycling bin, or the unmade bed, for example. Trust me.

But I will let you see a portion of my craft corner in the exact way I left it after sewing last night.

Sometimes I fold and organize and put stuff away. Sometimes I don’t.

It usually depends on when I plan to sew next. Why put everything away if you’re only going to take it all out again in 24 hours? Come on, crafters, you know what I’m talking about. The green surface in the above picture is a small bureau that my old landlord gave me. It was left in an apartment that I rented from him, and he let me repaint and keep it.

My “office”:

This is where I sit to play computer Scrabble, write blog posts, and any other fun computer stuff. Hell, I’m sitting here now. I love that framed print. I bought it when I lived alone, and a few months later, Alex and I moved in together. I’m glad he isn’t the type of guy who minds having feminine decor in the house, because I would have hated to get rid of it. (One of the many reasons I love him!)

Right now, the bedside tables that Alex is slowly refinishing are smack-dab in the middle of our living area. We don’t want to keep them outside overnight in case it rains, and we really don’t have any place to store them, since we live in a one-bedroom apartment. So here they are in the middle of the room, and, of course, Nola has decided to make them her new favorite resting place.

In the background of the above photo, you can see my poor dress form weighed down beneath two aprons (one hung like a super hero cape around her neck) and the black Fiona messenger bag. I know a lot of people name their dress forms, but I haven’t. I refer to her as a female, but I don’t call her by a proper name. Any suggestions?

The aqua blue ottoman Alex and I bought a few weeks ago has become a catch-all. It often holds a cell phone or a remote control or a glass of wine, but today, it holds Quinn.

The brown shag rug (from Target) was a house-warming gift from my mom when I moved to Tampa. Below, my chaise-side table holds my idea journal, pink cell phone and appliqued leaf coasters. We use the coasters every day. You probably can’t tell from the picture, but they’re a mess — mostly coffee stains.

I got the table years ago at Kmart. I typically don’t buy furniture from Kmart, but I loved the clean, curved lines and the light wood, and I got it for a great price. It was also the perfect size for the tiny apartment I was living in at the time, which didn’t have room for a full-size coffee table. It’s so versatile that it’s made the move with me to several apartments since then.

Alex and I are off to St. Petersburg tomorrow for an art show. I haven’t heard too much about it, so I don’t know what to expect, but hopefully I’ll come back with some good stories and tons of photos.

(Reminder — Fat Orange Cat: The Boutique is now open. Happy shopping!)

November 9, 2007 at 7:17 pm 1 comment

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Fat Orange Cat is a site about finding the beauty in all things homemade, appreciating the secret story of dusty vintage pieces, and realizing there is nothing cozier than curling up under an old quilt with a glass of wine. ::: If you feel inspired, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! ::: Email me at karynjeanne12(at)gmail(dot)com.

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