fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Hello friends! Today is the big day! The book is officially released.

On that note, we are working on a few things to make your experience with Sewing Clothes Kids Love and our sewing patterns and notions more rewarding and, hopefully, even more fun. We are building a forum in both German and English. We hope the forum will be a place to exchange ideas and tips and tricks (I already see the threads that will be popping up concerning a certain new pattern "Manhattan"...not for the faint of heart, but it will melt your heart once complete...). We hope the members of the forum will make friends, share experiences and help one another. (Please help one another--my carpal tunnel is so bad, it hurts so bad to answer emails...).

I've also set up a flickr group, "Sewing Clothes Kids Love". And I'm working on a new Web site. But realize, please, that the book and all the hoopla is just a small part of the party that's already going on. Sabine has shared with me some of the things she has coming up. It is so hard to keep a secret. Because these new things will knock yo' socks off, sister.

In other news...

I went to the Craft and Hobby Association trade fair in Anaheim recently. It was the first time I'd been to a trade fair. I know, I know, I probably have to make a habit of showing my fine craftinista self at trade shows. It's just not my vibe. All that artificial light, brochure overload and perky sales people ("You really can't be that excited about interfacing. I mean, I get really excited about good interfacing. But you, young man? C'mon. You need to get out more."). I didn't take any photographs, because, well grown-ups scare me.

What was just great for me was to meet the faces behind the emails of the folks at Creative Publishing International. They rock. So professional, dedicated and supportive. I'm so happy they found us. The book, it seems, has been very positively received by booksellers and craft stores, so that's a good thing. Ultimately, though, it matters just what Y-O-U you think. But Creative Publishing International has a number of terrific books coming out, some I like better than my own. Creative Publishing International's craft books are real "get 'er done" kinds of books that get you through the nuts and bolts of doing-it-your-darn-self. For example, I'm saving my pennies for this one: Making Trousers.

In other-other news...

I took the kids skiing this weekend.

Gloves and poles and hats and helmets and boards and skis and Chapstick and wet socks and cold feet and chapped lips and crowded shuttles and lift line performance pressure and ski pants that don't fit anymore and the long drive and, God help me, ski boots (weren't they abandoned with iron maidens and other medieval torture devices?) ...I remembered suddenly why I don't ski.

But, then, blue sky and brisk sunshine and white snow and deep green needles peaking out and smooth sliding across the crystals and the kids smiling from ear to ear and laughing all the way down and an occassional "woohoo" and and and... and I suddenly forget why I don't ski...

It was the first time I'd been on skis in twenty years. I did okay. Kept my feet and knees together and managed the swishy-swishy kind of skiing again. I only fell twice. I remembered the basics and it turned out beautiful. And that's my metaphor for sewing: Machines and equipment and notions and interfacing and bias tape and seam gauges and measuring and pins and ballpoint needles and where's-my-seam-ripper? and I-need-to-drive-across-town-for-a-zipper and there are reasons not to sew. But just give it a go. Just remember the basics and it will turn out beautiful.

Please join the Sewing Clothes Kids Love flickr group now, if you like. I'm not going to be really strict and say that the images need to be related to Sewing Clothes Kids Love, just that they be of sewing, clothes, kids and love.

We'll give you the heads up when the forum is ready and hope you join in there, as well.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yeah, about that tax return...

...I'll get to it later.

I mean, c'mon, after looking at all those ribbons...just sitting there...doing nothing...

What's a girl to do? Just one little shirt...maybe a skirt...some leggings, because it's cool out...

FYI: Laguna & Antonia, velours and embroidery by Nic Hildebrant/Luziapimpinella and the hat is purchased and fancied up a bit. The bag is an eBook available at Farbenmix, designed by Frieda Mayr.

Bändersalat? Bänderparfait!

"...vom Ninja überwacht!"

"Ribbon salad? Ribbon parfait!" Okay, okay, it looses something in translation...

Anyway, my precious ribbons are guarded by an evil ninja, so watch out!

Anyway, I'm showing off my ribbons, too. And ribbon storage ideas. Show off your ribbons and your storage (or ribbon spaghetti). Like this...or this...or this...or this...or yours...?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Danger: Love Potion Mushrooms"

So, that was the maiden voyage for the new Studio Tantrum workspace. Full-fledged, so to speak.

FYI: Solana, Quiara

New digs

I don't know; maybe you're curious. This is where the magic happens (read "accounting, filing, sorting").

It's a small office in a post-War Modernist building that I am truly crushing on: Windows right up to the ceiling; concrete block walls in and out, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors; a row of giant globe light fixtures right outside my window, which are bright enough to light up the office in the evening... The office itself is slightly smaller than I need and slightly more expensive than I can afford, so I think it's probably the right compromise. Plus, I can walk here from home and to both of the kids' schools. All good.

Nothing beats metro shelves. That's about half of the pattern stock.
It all happens here: Production, warehousing, administration. The actual magic happens--the magic when a good idea comes along--that can happen anywhere at anytime. More likely in places where the Sales and Use Tax Return is not looming a mere five feet away.

From all this, maybe steal this idea: The workbench is from a big box home improvement store and cost less than $200. The pegboard is handy for all the surgical sewing equipment we need, when a scrub nurse isn't handy ("seam ripper", "thread snipper", "Thank you Nurse Sven" (in my fantasy, my scrub nurse is male, Swedish and works in this operating room between modeling gigs...)). There is a light and electrical outlet strip. I can post inspiration with magnets right in front of me, like this note from Anna: "You make my life enjoyibl." (Back atcha, babe). Anyway, for small space sewing, this workbench sure is handy. The work surface is a bit higher than a regular table. I'm waiting for this stool to arrive (practically new on Ebay in the U.S.!). I'm anxious to try it out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."

"We must use time creatively."

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Less means more and more means less

In the beginning, filling 144 pages of a book seemed a daunting task. As it turned out, editing down was the daunting part. There were a few things here and there that I thought would have been handy. Hedgewig, the wristlet pincushion, was one thing. A fabric conversion chart was another. Luckily for me, a blog doesn't have any page limits.

I once received a blank-eyed stare at my local fabric shop when I asked them to convert my required yardage from 54 inches. A fabric conversion chart is just one of those things that a fabric shop should have, don't you think? Well, if the shop doesn't know how to convert, I suppose that responsibility is up to me.

If you don't know what a fabric conversion chart is for, well, have you ever purchased the indicated yardage for a Farbenmix or studioTANTRUM/Fledge pattern from 45 inch quilting fabric? And come up short? That's because we generally calculate for 54-inch garment fabric. If your fabric is only 45 inches wide, you'll need more than the indicated yardage. As you know, fabric comes in many different widths. The fabric requirements for sewing patterns will most often use just one fabric width in its calculations. But what if the fabric you love is wider or narrower than what is indicated on the pattern? Or what if you want to order in metric? That's when you use this chart.

Remember also, that unidirectional prints, plaids and large-scale prints require more than the indicated yardage.

Anyway, I've got a handy chart for you here. In full size and in pocket size for you to cut out and take in your wallet. Hope this might be of help.

Weniger heißt mehr und mehr heißt weniger

Anfangs schien die Idee 144 Seiten eines Buches voll zu kreigen recht gewaltig. Wie es doch geschehen ist, war die Editierung - sprich Heruntereditierung - doch entmütigend. Einiges, die ich nutzvoll fand, fiel also weg. El Porto, Hedgewig und auch eine Stoffverbrauchumrechnungstabelle. Zum Glück hat ein Blog ja keine Seitenanzahlbegrenzungen.

Wozu die Tabelle? Tja, verschiedene Stoffe, wie Ihr wißt, haben verschiedene Breiten. Der Stoffverbrauch unserer Schnittmuster sind meistens für 140 cm-Stoff berechnet. Was denn, wenn der Traumstoff doch schmaler bzw. breiter als 140 cm sein soll? Oder du willst doch etwas aus Amerika bestellen und diese Amis mit ihren Inches und Yards und weiß der Geier...die spinnen, die Amis... Wieviel dann bestellen? Da kommt die Tabelle zur Rettung.

Ich habe auch eine kleinere Tabelle dabei: Diese kannste ausschneiden und griffbereit in das Portemonnaie für den nächsten Stoffmarktbummel stecken.

Und, daran denken, beim Verarbeiten von einseitig gerichteten Stoffen, großen Mustern und Plaid-Stoffen benötigt Ihr ja etwas mehr Stoff.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lookie lookie!

Amazon has a "Look Inside" up.

So...Look inside!

Hella fresh? Right? You hate it, right? Or you hate it, 'cause it's so good? I can live with that.

And, yes: No, that is not my sewing. Of course, that is the contribution of the beautiful Mrs. Sarah Shorter of Willow & Moo. Thank you, dear Sarah, for allowing me to use your handiwork.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winky wink

(Eben eher eine frische Daisy als die besonders "erfrischende" Daisy für meine norddeutsche Freunde...)

Hey, thank you for your long and thoughtful responses to the question of "pink". You guys rock. So incredibly thoughtful. I can't say you'll rear children utterly unaware of the gender roles our culture and society present us, but if you put that much thought into it, surely, they'll have a fighting chance to look beyond them.

Anyway, I love you to bits.

I'm moving into the new digs tomorrow, so I might not be responding to emails as quickly. Bear with me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thinking about pink

SeoWoo and Her Pink
From JeongMee Yoon's "The Pink & Blue Project" (2005 - ongoing)

PinkStinks. What do you think? Is pink in marketing girls' products limiting their worldview? Are we sending a subjugating message to our girls? In this discussion, "pink" likely refers to that isle at Target. The one in which the toys are not only generally pink, but highlight role playing featuring dressing up, housework and childcare. In other words, no pink rocket kits or chemistry sets.

I'm no expert. I just have a very small sample size to judge from, that being my two kids. My girl, for the most part, entered the environment paved by her older brother. Not a lot of fluff and pink. None at all, really. As an infant, if a stranger asked, "Is that a boy or a girl?" I'd answer, "Yes." But that little, little child, less than a year old, if she saw something pink, sparkly and girly-girl, boy, stand back: She wanted it.

Similarly, because she is her brother's sister for life and I'd like those two to develop similar interests, I've exposed them to the same kinds of sports and classes and activities. Their preferences seem to fall right along gender lines. Who is making those preferences? They themselves? Or is there some gender-identity pressure? Nature? Or nurture? The only way I'm going to get Anna to surf is to get her a pink surfboard, that's been established. But she will get that surfboard.

There are physiological differences between boys and girls in addition to the obvious ones. Boys' and girls' brains are different. Girls have a larger copus callosum connecting the right and left brain halves. They also tend to have a larger hippocampus. There is a pretty big body of research suggesting that boys and girls learn differently. Maybe there is something in the hardwiring that makes a child "feminine" or "masculine".

Anecdotally, my girl will say, "That's not for girls!" for something that her brother does or has. My observation is that she and her little friends will say that as a way to differentiate themselves from the boys in their midst, because boys are yucky. Conversely, my son and his grommie friends are totally into hot pink. Maybe because the surfer brands they prefer are having a Flash Dance flashback and are featuring enough neon colors to do Rick Springfield proud. Or maybe they mean it ironically ("Hey guys, I'm wearing pink!" The sardonic undertone being pink is for girls and girls are silly).

When I think of my girl as a princess, I want her to know that as a princess, she is the future regent of her domain.

Frankly, I hope in the future, we'll take gender stereotypes seriously and ourselves less seriously. I think the future should look a bit more like this:

And not exactly on topic, but then, it's hard not to talk pink and not think k.p.

More here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We're yellow and orange and you're not!

"We're the only yellow and orange ones!"


My kids have outgrown that lingual phase when their excited outbursts require quite a bit of deductive reasoning. My husband, however, is another story. He is not a native English speaker, for one, and, for another, well, generally not practiced in the rules of discourse in any language.

The above statement refers to the Wall Street Journal Online weather map (of course) and the yellow and orange refers to the temperature outside our door (duh). Anyway, we, and some folks in Arizona, Texas and Hawaii were the only yellow and orange ones, meaning that we were experiencing temperatures in the 70s/80s (@ 25ºC).

So, today, because we can, maybe to spite all the purples and blues...even the greens...we went to the beach.

If that isn't enough jealous-much for you, how about this? If you were wondering what happened to the a.dor.a.ble. patchwork bag that was featured on the Farbenmix home page over the holidays, wonder no more. I have sand between my toes and the bag now has sand between it's seams. A beautiful and happy tote for all my drawing and sketching falderal. Lucky me, lucky me! Thank you, Sabine.

Aw, I'm just goofin' on you. I hope you are warm and well and hope my same sun shines warm and loving on you.

We're good, right? I'm still feeling your stink-eye all through the Internet.

Here, Anna drew you a picture.

Some kind of squirrel bear with soul-devouring eyes. C'mon, we gotta be good now, right?


Friday, January 1, 2010

...in with the new!

01 01 10: A very binary date, wouldn't you say? It translates to "1 1 2", or "22" or "16"... Hmmm...cohesive chain of thought for what I want to say? No: Got nothing. Nada: Buckle your seatbelts for the non sequitor...

This worn and torn bit of felt and embroidery thread on my keys has been my constant companion for a few years now. It was a gift from a lovely lady, Susanne, whom I met through klickundblick.de. It has seen better days, much better days. I'm sort of a nervous sort, I suppose, and my keys are something with which I tend to mindlessly fiddle and fidget. The wristband has long since been ripped off and the felt is pilled and, by now, really kind of grody. No matter: Not only was this key ring a gift, but it is a reminder of how I came to the opportunities I enjoy today. Over the years, I've probably clicked on thousands of Web sites, all a blur of images occasionally broken up by the Macintosh Spinning Beachball of Death. On the other hand, I can recall exactly the moment I came across klickundblick. Susanne, once upon a time, was selling an adorable little hoodie on the German Ebay. She mentioned something in the listing about "Farbenmix". "Color mix". Whatever. On her Me Page, she had a link to klickundblick.de. And that was that. No turning back.

In with the new: Yesterday, I received a package from...Buchholz? From...Nic? Yippee! A beautiful little surprise of mazipan and Luzia-Pimpinella-ness, including--score!--a new wristlet key ring. Nic's included note mentions something about her having promised me this a long time ago...? I cannot recall Nic promising me or owing me anything. No matter: Our secret. I'm not going to mention that to Nic, because I'm keeping my marzipan and my key ring. Yes, indeed-y.

I'm keeping Susanne's key ring on there as well. When I was a teenager, we exchanged and wore Brazilian wishing ribbons. This is sort of the same idea for me: I'll keep Susanne's bit of felt and thread until it wears away.

Thank you, Nic. Thank you, Susanne.

I also received another package yesterday: An advance copy of the book. Have I mentioned I wrote a book? I wrote a book, together with Sabine. Covers, pages in between, pictures, words, patterns...a complete book. I wrote a book. A book you can have, too. A book that I wrote. Did I mention the book? The book I wrote?

The book (the book that I wrote) looks good to me. But you be the judge. We made this book for you. February 1st you can have yours, if you're sew inclined.

Happy New Year, friends. Much joy, creative times, friendship, love, fresh raspberries, sparkling crunchy snow, shining sun reflected from the sea, a hand to hold, a good book, a bird on your windowsill, champagne in a crystal flute and many other good things I wish for you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails