Friday, December 31, 2010

A break from our regularly scheduled programming...

My plan is to mostly stick to sewing/crafting topics with a little bit about my family.  Today, however, I'm going to air my dirty laundry a little bit - literally.  I’m going to share one of my quirks, eccentricities, whatever you want to call it.

Toe seams in socks are the bane of my existence!  There!  I said it!  It’s out in the open!  Whew….

I detest them.   It never fails that if there is a seam in a sock, it will hit my foot in the wrong place.  Then it will rub and make foot hurt.  The little knot at the end of the seam that hits your little toe is the worst offender.  Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I mention this problem I have with socks.  Chief Blessings tries unsuccessfully to hide it when laughs at me.

This quirk of mine makes me dread shopping for socks.  I’ll find a brand I like and then they stop making it.  I’ve found some great ones for running, but they are a little pricey for my cheap frugal side.

The other day, I desperately needed some more socks.  But, lo and behold, I found a package that said “SMOOTH TOE SEAMS”.  Not only that, but they had a handy dandy hole in the package for you to feel the seam yourself.  It’s like the company could read my mind.  I’ve been wearing them the last couple of days and have to say they are probably the most comfortable socks I have worn in a long time.  I think I might have to go get some more just in case they quit selling them.  I wonder if I could get some money for the company for advertising.

So, how about y’all?  Do toe seams drive you crazy?  Have you even ever noticed the seams?  Do you have other “dirty laundry” you would like to air for the viewing audience? 

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…..

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Conquering My Pattern Phobia

Hi.  My name is Dawn and I am recovering pattern phobic.  I mentioned in a previous post that patterns intimidated me.  What I failed to mention was how I have gotten around that since I started seriously sewing.  My dear friend, Sara, introduced me to the world of internet tutorials.  If there is anything you want to try in the realm of crafting, I am almost positive there is a tutorial out there in internet land.  Can I just say I am in love with these tutorials?  They show you step by step how to make cute stuff and they even have pictures!!!!!

I knew I couldn’t put off patterns forever.  It just greatly limited my options.  Plus, I just felt plain silly for being anxious about them.  I knew I had to conquer my fears.  My kiddos need warm hats.  It doesn’t get all that cold very often where we live, but there are occasions a warm, fleece hat is a necessity.  But I couldn’t find one I thought was cute enough for the price I wanted.  So I found a pattern for each child.  And today, my mom showed me how to read them.  It really wasn’t that hard.  I think I picked great patterns with which to get my feet wet.  We only got as far as cutting and piecing one of the hats.  Alas, I did not get to play with my new toy either.  Brother Blessing was very needy today and only Mommy would do.    So here’s a preview of what I hope to get to work on later this week….

Pattern for Sister Blessing ( I hope to add a little flower to it):

Pattern for Brother Blessing:

Fabric for both (Sister Blessing’s favorite color is red and she is obsessed with doggies):

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Calling My Name

I received an amazing Christmas present from my parents – A new sewing machine!  I’ve been sewing on my mom’s old machine.  It’s almost as old as I am.  After playing Just Dance Kids with Sister Blessing last night that seems even older than it really is…but I digress…

My machine has served me well, but there have been some frustrations because of its age.  And these frustrations always seem to occur right at the least convenient time.  Since I was making presents and trying to create an inventory for my future Etsy shop…I was sometimes a little frustrated.  And my mom received many a call requesting advice on how to coax my stubborn machine to do its job.

Fast forward to Christmas morning and this is what I opened:

(Trying to decide which is a more accurate description of my reaction - Handel’s Messiah chorus or Ralphie’s reaction to his Red Ryder BB gun)

This machine is really, really, really COOL!  It has too many stitches to count; it does button holes, and buttons!!!!  And it will feed my personalization addiction.  I love to put names on items and since I broke my promise to myself to never give a child a name you couldn’t find on pencils, etc (I hated not being able to find my name as a kid)…I have to do the names myself or pay for special personalization.  Appliqu├ęs are slightly time consuming and I’m too cheap to pay for it…so many items are left unlabeled – How sad is that?!?!?!?  But now I can do it myself, because this awesome machine embroiders, too!

But, alas, this marvelous piece of machinery remains in the box, calling my name.  We are taking advantage of the time Chief Blessing has off from work to spend some quality time with extended family.  We are having a lot of fun and the kiddos are being spoiled tremendously.  Chief Blessing and I are even going to be able to go on a much needed, much anticipated date night.  However, I’m itching to get my hands on this machine and give it a test drive.  So while I’m enjoying all the activities, conversation, etc…I’m obsessing over  occasionally thinking about trying this out in the back of my mind.  Once I get a chance to play with my new toy, I will share my experience with all of you – since I’m sure y’all are just dying to hear about it…

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seamstress in Training

My mom struggled to teach me to sew when I was a teenager…but I didn’t have the patience for the patterns.  I couldn’t figure them out and they gave me a headache.  Now, I graduated third in my high school class and earned a computer science degree – but I was intimidated by sewing patterns.   So the perfectionist in me just decided I couldn’t sew.
Over the years, I would dabble a bit, but would get frustrated. I could do basic sewing, but couldn’t figure out how to really make useful things with my pitifully limited knowledge.  I would so rarely use my  hand me down machine  and the part of my brain that knew how to work it, they both would gather dust.
This past summer, I had my second child.  I went to a baby shower when he was just a couple of months old.  I “oohed” and “aahed” over several handmade items – breaking the tenth commandment the whole time – you know, the one about coveting and wanting what someone else has.  Then I realized they were only straight stitches.  I started having a conversation with myself in my brain (Does anyone else do that? Or is that something that by admitting it I could have the men in white coats sent my way?) “I think I could do that…it doesn’t look that hard…but I don’t really know how to sew…wonder if I can remember how to thread my machine…do I have any material I could use?...”  Like a demon-possessed, I went straight home, gathered materials and made a burp cloth!  And now I’ve been bitten by the sewing bug.
I then became a sewing fiend…made gifts for friends, Christmas gifts for Sister Blessing and Brother Blessing.  I’ve even sold a few burp cloths and Trick-or-Treat bags.  Whenever my two children give me an opportunity, I’ve been sewing on my machine that is almost as old as me.  People ask how do I have time…well, let’s just say I’ve never been a great housekeeper,  and sewing gives me even more reason to procrastinate….
I’m getting more confident in my abilities and am getting brave enough to try to start a side business sewing items for sale.  Now that the holidays are slowing down, I’m fixin’ to get serious about it.  Who knew?  A year ago I considered myself sewing impaired and now I am a seamstress in training.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

¡Bienvenidos y'all!

For the non-Spanish speakers, that means "Welcome Y'all" and for those of you not from the South that means "Welcome You All".  I'm not fluent in Spanish, but functional enough to teach it to preschoolers.  However, I'm definitely fluent in Texan.  So let me to tell you what I'm fixin' to do with this blog...

My name is Dawn and I've been thinking about creating a blog forever, but I'm a procastinator and chicken.  This is a bad combination for putting my thoughts, etc out for the public to see. But I've recently been inspired enough by a friend of mine to bite the bullet.

My hope is to share the blessings I've been granted.  My greatest blessings being my husband (AKA Chief Blessing), my daughter (AKA Sister Blessing), and my son (AKA Brother Blessing).  I also hope to bless others by sharing my love of making things - mostly sewing, but other crafts will be tried as my ADD self gets a hankering (Texas translation:  desire to do something).  Hope y'all will stay tuned!