Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

In March I decided to cut my hair off. I hadhad short hair before and I felt like it was time to do it again. My hair is quite thick and it was getting really long and heavy and it was a huge pain to blow dry. So I went to Aveda and CHOP! All gone. Sigh.

At first I was going to go for a bob, but when I was there I just decided to bite the bullet. I loved it...at first. Now I am having some serious regret issues! I have been having dreams that it has grown back and I wake up happy, until I realize that I still have this wonky short hair! True, it can be pretty cute, but I just feel like I shouldn't have been so drastic.

Apparently I just cant help myself. Today I decided that what I need is a different color! That would pull me out of my short hair doldrums! So I purchased a box at Rite Aid (John Frieda Cool Espresso Brown) and some color conserve shampoo and conditioner. I think I like how it turned out, although it is a little ombre becuase the ends were more porous. I am thinking/hoping that it will fade to all the same color.

I still want to grow it out though. Any suggestions ? I have been Google-ing short vintage hair styles for inspiration but there really aren't many. Maybe some in the fifties and sixties, but the forties are void of short hair.

I suppose the question is why am I obsessing over this?
 Answer. Procrastination.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Procrastination and TGBSB!

This is the second to last week of class and I several very large projects that I just cant seem to get started on. There several culprits for my distraction, but The Great British Sewing Bee has certainly played a part.

First TGBSB. I know that the blog-o-sphere has been buzzing about this amazing show and I took my sweet time to finally watch it. Let me just say I adore it! The contestants are so genuine and seem really happy to be doing what they love...sewing! It is hard not to compare this show to project runway, of which I have watched a grand total of 1.5 seasons. I gotta say, I definitely prefer TGBSB. I know they are currently casting for the next season in Britain and I am excited to watch it when it comes out. Of course I wish there was an American version (just like all the other sewists out there) but I cant help wonder if it would do so well in the USA? I know that our wonderful sewing communities are just as nice and happy as the British ones, but would American TV be satisfied with that? Or is our reality TV blood lust just to strong. I would love to participate in this, but would I have the hutzpah to be on display in all my wacky glory? What about you out there in the internets? How many of you would want to be on this show if it had an American sister? Do you think it would be just as sweet or an abomination to the original?


Friday, May 10, 2013

Summer sewing bug

Why is it that when warm weather comes around I always get the itch to stitch? Does this happen to anybody else? 

This past spring I have been nose to the books because I went back to school. Despite taking only three classes I have been working pretty hard! It's all about getting back into the groove I guess. But now as the semester starts drawing to a close I am finding it harder and harder to stay away from my beautiful Bernina! 

My machines got a little attention though because I got the chance to participate in a fashion show at Queens College. It was a great experience although a little haphazard on my part.  I had no idea what I was going to do until I was actually doing it...but I think it tuned out pretty great. (For some reason this is the only photo I took! Isn't the model fabulously gorgeous?!)
Basically I took 2 yards of black tubular rib knit and cut it into a super long continuous 1 1/2" wide strip. I am talking super long- probably 100yards. Then I started at the "bottom" and serged in a circle (probably 3 yards around). As I sewed up the body of the dress I tightened or loosened the tension (with my hand not in the machine) to shape the skirt and bodice. This was similar to making a clothes line basket   After the dress body was finished I dunked it in some bleach to create that awesome fiery look. (Very Hunger Games , though that wasn't my intent). I might do a little how-to if I get to it. :)

Now I am turning to more projects for me. I made a dirndl skirt and most of a blouse. I am having a little putting the collar on it though so now it is waiting for a little more time and brain power. 

Do you have a list if must-makes for summer? Mine seems to grow larger daily! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rumination on Sewing and Poetry

Hello out there internet world!

I have started school, and it is pretty fabulous.  I am once again a student.  Sitting in those little desks again is great, but a little disconcerting. It takes me back to my early 20's, going to school in Minnesota, studying theatre, and life. Being in class makes me feel like I am 20 again but I am such a different person. It is also a little odd to be older than some of your professors. One of them is 24!!

I am taking a creative writing class, a literary theory class and an intro to poetry class, and so I have been reading a lot more and sewing a lot less. I have a blouse half finished waiting on my ironing board. Maybe I will get to it after I finish the paper that is due on Monday. Or maybe I will get to it after I finish the poem that is due Tuesday...

For my creative writing class, the first assignment was to write an ode poem. An ode is a poem in praise of something. Well what do I love? My Bernina 1008. She is such a beauty. I received her as a gift from my grandparents when I graduated High School and she has traveled from Arizona, to Minnesota, through all the states on the east coast, and now finally she is here in Astoria with me. I love her. I even got her a brother, another Bernina 1008, purchase on eBay for $350 (a steal).  But the funny thing was that when I started to write the ode to my sewing machine, I suddenly became very self conscious of my hobby/passion being very old fashioned and un-femisist-y. I know that there are so many of us who love sewing, who love spending time in our own little spaces, making beautiful things for ourselves or others. And I also know that is is not just the utilitarian aspect of sewing that we love, it is also the problem solving, the struggle to create something 3 dimensional out of something 2 dimensional.  My brain feels good when I have to figure out how to make a pattern work, or when I draft a pattern myself, or calculate the circumference of a circle or do fraction math to figure out seam allowances.
What is un-feminist-y about that?

Well, the ode didn't get very far. I am still going to try to hash it out and I will let you know my progress, if there ever is any. But in the mean time, I found this little poem about sewing.  Not super positive about sewing but lyrically it is beautiful.

The Lady With The Sewing-Machine by Dame Edith Sitwell

Across the fields as green as spinach,
Cropped as close as Time to Greenwich,

Stands a high house; if at all,
Spring comes like a Paisley Shawl-

Patternings meticulous 
And youthfully ridiculous.

In each room the yellow sun 
Shakes like a canary, run

On run, roulade, and watery trill -
Yellow, meaningless, and shrill.

Face as white as any clock's,
Cased in parsley-dark curled locks -

All day long you sit and sew,
Stitch life down for fear it grow,

Stitch life down for fear we guess
At the hidden ugliness.

Dusty voice that throbs with heat,
Hoping with your steel-thin beat

To put stitches in my mind,
Make it tidy, make it kind,

You shall not: I'll keep it free
Though you turn earth, sky and sea

To a patchwork quilt to keep
Your mind snug and warm in sleep!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ta-Da! I am back!

Hello everyone out there! Yes once again, I have taken forever to update my blog. I know, I know, its bad form to go a month(s) without writing anything. But a ton has been happening here in Darby land.

Darbalou Craft Fair Booth! 
1st...We had our first craft show, which I can proudly proclaim a success!

Lou was fabulous as my assistant.  It took place at a Greek community center in Astoria and it was bustling all day. As it was a kids oriented craft fair, most of the other booths were toys or kids clothes, but there were a few more grown-up booths too. It was neat to see how other people set up their tables and wares. I did a lot of research about this, and though I think our booth was a little crowded, it was good for a first time and looked very professional. The best piece of advice I read was that you should bring a box with everything you think you will need plus anything you might not.  I almost had the kitchen sink along.  Because I was so well supplied, I was able to share some card stock and pretty markers with Dana's Bakery and in turn they gave us a little mixed flavor pack of their amazing macaroons! My favorite was the Fruity Pebbles flavor. And even though we vowed not to spend money, we did end up buying a print from Hans My Hedgehog Illustrations. Beautiful! We also made friends with the vendors acroos the aisle from us, a cute little company called Maggie Boogie. They make sweet toys out of felt and fabric. The owner/creator (Lily) is really talented and I enjoyed talking to her about her creative process.

All in all I loved it. We definitely want to do this again.

2nd...This is a biggie. I am going back to school to become an English teacher!

I know this seems like a 180 but it feels right. I can't tell you how much happier I have been since I made this decision. Of course I know teaching is no cakewalk; I have many friends and family members who are (or have been) teachers and I know how difficult it can be. Especially in the first year. When I was speaking to an advisor he asked me why I wanted to teach and I started giving him an articulate and reasonable response but he stopped me and said "no, why do YOU want to be a teacher?" all I could say was "Because when I think about it, it feels as though I have butterflies in my heart." We are still going to work on Darbalou, and I still want to sew and write on this blog. But I am also going to be taking prerequisite classes and doing a ton of reading and writing. Classes start January 28th and I can't wait! I am such a nerd because I have been obsessed with which kind of planner to use which school bag I will carry. I have even made one using a free Burdastyle pattern! I just love the smell of new school supplies! The plan right now is to take undergraduate English courses to get into the Initial Certification Program in the fall (which eventually leads to a Masters) at Queens College in Flushing. QC is bigger than any school I have attended thus far, and it will be great to be a student again. This is all very exciting for me. 

3rd...We are buying our house. This process is difficult but exciting. It takes a lot of energy AND patience to go through all the necessary steps. Especially because I have NO idea what I am doing. So YAY!

4th...We  have been traveling a lot. Between Thanksgiving and Christmahas just flown by. But it has been wonderful to see my family in Arizona and Lou's family here in New York. We are so lucky to have all such wonderful and supportive people in our lives.

Well, thats my update. I hope to be doing much more posting before school starts!
Happy Holidays! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tool-of-the-week ... The Bone Folder!

One of my favorite things about sewing is all of the fabulous tools I get to collect (and hopefully use). I love discovering new additions for my sewing tool box. I am absolutely sure I am not the only one who spends 45 minutes in the notions aisle of the fabric store just to make sure there is not some fabulous new thing-a-ma-bob that will revolutionize my sewing world! Occasionally there is...

And so I would like to introduce a new segment called "tool-of-the week" (maybe I should come up with a catchier tittle..any ideas?)

This weeks tool-of-the week is... THE BONE FOLDER!

The bone folder is wonderful tool to have in your sewing arsenal.  I initially discovered it while taking a book binding and paper making class in college (yes I went to liberal arts school... did you expect anything less?) and it made its way from my craft box to my sewing box for the following reasons...

Point turner:
In my opinion a bone folder is much better than the ubiquitous point turner made of bamboo. Because a bone folder is made of a more dense material (i.e. bone or plastic) it doesn't splinter off into fabric (or fingers) or pierce or cut while turning points.

6th finger:
The bone folder can act as an extension of your finger/hand while ironing small pieces, tying bows, or even guiding fabric through a bias tape maker. It can stand in as a jean-a-ma-jig too when in need.  

Fabric Marker:
Another use for this little guy is to temporarily mark fabric with out damaging it. Use the rounded point to press an indentation into the fabrics surface, over time and after pressing the fibers lift and return to shape. (always test tools/techniques on a scrap piece of fabric first to see how it works)

Do you have more sewing/fabric uses for a Bone Folder that I haven't discovered yet? Please share them with me. I love learning new uses for old stuff!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday Kid's Bazaar - Darbalou's very first craft fair!

Isn't this the cutest postcard?
Amid all of the craziness that has been in the air, (elections, hurricanes, visiting grandma) I stumbled upon an add for a local craft fair! I applied to be a vendor and got in! Yay for me! The craft fair is called the Holiday Kids Bazaar and I am so excited to be a part of it. I spoke to one of the organizers yesterday at her wonderfully cute shop babyNOIR and got some postcards and a few more details.

The Holiday Kids’ Bazaar in Astoria will take place at on December 1st at 22-27 33rd St (bet. Ditmars Blvd & 23rd Ave), in Astoria. It looks like there are going to be some amazing local crafters there. I am definitely going to have to put myself on a strict budget so I dont spend all of the money I make on delicious treats and terrific toys!

Fortunately I have enough inventory that I dont need to go crazy making stuff (but I probably will anyway).  I have also been trolling pintrest boards for ideas for our booth. Some of my favorite so far are ...

OK I have admission to make... I started writing this post on Friday but  was sucked into the black hole of the internet. On the plus side I discovered the blog Stitched in Color (pintrest took me there and then I'm pretty sure I stayed for 3 hours at least).

Soooo, yeah, Rachel is my new hero. I simply cannot believe she learned to sew so recently! And the fact that she continuously creates is just so awe inspiring. And then it makes me jealous. And then sad. And then inspired again.

But to tie it all together... her series of posts about her experience at a craft fair really gave me some good advice. I learned that....

I really dont know anything yet!

I feel like I have so much to do before December 1st! Oh my god, what if I cant get it all done? What if I fail like a big floppy failure? I am totally psyched out!! And NOW MY LEG HAS FALLEN ASLEEP! (that last one might be unrelated)

Actually I feel OK.  I do have a lot to do but I am sure I will be fine. Right? RIGHT??

If you have any sage advice for me about this whole craft show thing, please share. I would love to hear it. Or maybe a story about your first experience?  Right now I have to go walk around because my leg really has fallen asleep.

See you soon I hope!