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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Make it! Take it! Unique L.A.

So, yep, I was at Unique L.A. yesterday. Very, very fun. It's like Etsy in 3D!

I did a little Make It! Take It! (See previous post). Oh, lordy, I learned a lot. A lot of what not to do at a Make It! Take It! Next time, K.I.S.S. ...

But fun and so much fun to be with my fellow authors and such a fun crowd. (I said "fellow authors"... kinda stuck up, eh? I'll say, "fellow other gals who also happen to have a book with their name on it...")

Craft fairs, it should be learned, need not be relegated to the realm of ancient school gymnasiums and fluorescent-lighted and acoustic-tiled community centers. Baby, a craft fair belongs in the penthouse. The venue for Unique L.A. is just that, the 13th floor of the California Market Center, exactly where the grooviest creations west of the Mississippi belong. Grogeous views, lots of natural light...

A little "I love L.A." Lunada skirty pants revival, just for the show. I could have sold these silly pants 20 times over. But my girl likes 'em, so they are priceless, ya' hear? I'll get her to show off for my camera later for the complete 411.

I'm throwing down: West Coast crafters are the cutest! Oh, yeah, I said that! Big windows all around the venue with views across sunny L.A.--how's them apples?

This is the face of enthusiasm. Really, it is.

Stefanie Girard of "Sweater Surgery" fame. She also hosts Craftside and is a joie de vivre force to be reckoned with. I highly recommend her book: You will never look at those sweaters relegated to the very bottom of the dresser drawer the same again. That *cough* lovely *cough* cardi your mother-in-law gave you three years ago for Christmas? Girl, enough time has passed: Tell Mother that your favorite sweater got a hole in the sleeve from just so. much. wear. *fingers-crossed-behind-back* and slice up that sucker to make a purse, a shrug, a hat, a better sweater, a vase...in Stephanie's capable hands, I'm sure she could turn an old sweater into a bicycle or a...a time machine!

And this is Barbe St. John of "Steampunk Style Jewelry". What is "Steampunk," you ask? I'm not certain, but I think it has its origins in a highly technological parallel universe, which, however, does not have the benefit of semiconductors. Occasionally, some of their fascinating technology lands within our realm and because we are not sure how to use it, often, we wear it as jewelry. Lovely jewelry at that. (I have my suspicions, that Barbe is able to travel between to the other side of the wormhole, and shows trendsetters there how to make cool earmuffs out of calculators...).

These snickerdoodles are magic: They contain the magic element of patience. I fed one to each of my children and they behaved marvelously the whole day. Not to self: Must get the recipe.

Amoeba Music spun the tunes. At my age, I really shouldn't be dancing outside of my own living room with the curtains tightly drawn, but dang it, the dude was spinning my kinda music.

Um, like, YEAH, we need these socks, Mom! (Pronounced: "MAH-ah-AH-ah-AH-MMMmmmm! Whining works). A pair of "evil" socks and a pair of "nerd" socks and a pair of "genius" socks to mix and match in different combinations. (He also got his "I'M A NINJA t-shirt", to make "Evil Ninja Nerd" a possibility. Make that "probability").

Unique L.A. is still going strong today, so get on down there! I won't be there today...snickerdoodle magic doesn't last for two days...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be Unique, L.A.! Fabric Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

This Saturday, April 24th from 1-3 pm, I will be appearing *poof!* at Unique L.A. Yea, I hope that I will appear in a pink cloud of smoke--just like that. Wouldn't that be cool? I hope that's how appearances work, I really do. *poof!*

Magical pink cloud or no, I will be leading a little make-'n-take, wherein you make something and then take that something home. I'm bringing all the supplies: You just need to bring a bit of patience and a friendly face, because I'm nervous and afraid of grown ups. Although, it looks like this Unique L.A. bunch is younger than me. I'm also afraid of people younger than me. And hipper. And skinnier...

So, what if you can't come to L.A. and witness my petrifying self-doubt in person? No fear, I've got the tutorial for this great little fabric-scrap-eating fabric flower uploaded here. It's a super-duper quick, super-duper easy little project. Since this is all hand-stitched, I recommend having the supplies in a bag in the car or in your purse for those times you need to wait for ballet class or soccer practice to end. It's something for the crochet-impaired among us to do.

Klick hier für die deutsche Anleitung für dieses Blümchens. Etwas für die Fahrt nach Wilhelmshaven zum Farbenmix-Lagerverkauf, nicht wahr? Aber kein Nähen beim Fahren, gelle? Das ist gleich Punkte abgezogen, nö?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Liber-T! Egalité! Couturé!

"Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand...A mighty woman with a torch"

Lady Liberty, of course, as interpreted by Anja Brinkmann of My Maki.

About time, right? That's what you are thinking: Farbenmix needs to make fabrics. If I've learned anything from my time working with the gals at Farbenmix, they never do anything half-baked. Only the best quality with the most reliable sources is good enough. This fabric is that 200 thread count European cotton percale that you love. So, New Yorkers and any lovers of liberty, this is your fabric!

Here, Miss Liber-T in Recycle Style:

So... Give me your thread, your patterns, your huddled fabrics, yearning to be sewn!

Miss Liber-T woven ribbon will be available this Thursday through the Farbenmix.de site. Fabric at a later date.

And it has been a while (grade school, I think) since I read the whole poem by Emma Lazarus, so here it is:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

And while I'm on topic, don't miss Nic of Luzia Pimpinella's new fabric. Oh. Em. Gee. Right?

FYI: Shirt- "Antonia" by Farbenmix. Skirt- Just winging it. Fabrics, other than Miss Liberty, a mash-up of recycled fabrics from old clothes, Michael Miller's globetrotting gnomes and some vintage 70s stuff. Except that awesome purple elephant knit (thanks, Chris!).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I have a lot of this fabric, so...


This is a dress I just had to get out of my system. I wanted to try a full circle skirt with a bubble hem. Empire waist. And a big Audrey-Hepburn-might-have-worn-a-big-bow-like-that bow. Nothing that makes the clouds part and angels sing, but, hey, the girl likes it, so we're happy!

And it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing! Right? So how's that for swing?

I will be at Unique L.A. April 24th. And I'll show you how to make a fabric flower hair clip just like this. I'm bringing all the supplies, so come on down and say howdy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Liquid sunshine

Vitamin C straight from our tree!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Done whining! (Whinging)

Ready to see what treasures today holds!

Thank you, friends, for your thoughtful, thoughtful comments. I am immensely grateful. You are true treasures.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm ready to come out and play again

I recently received a telephone call from a sewing friend. From Germany, no less, just to ask how I'm doing. She was under the impression that I'd hidden myself away. Hidden? Who me? No... Well, she wasn't totally wrong. Since the book was released, I kind of feel like part of me has to be hidden away. The silly, sarcastic, opinionated me, which, face it, is 95% of me. I figured I should only swim to the surface when I'm the happy and fluffy and Betty Crocker me (if I were the "United States of Tara," only when "Alice" shows up). My atelier is nothing but half-started half-attempts, because I sort of feel like every garment that exits that place now should have the ability to part the clouds and make the angels sing. I haven't been walking on clouds since having a bestseller, believe it or not: I've been more weighed down in a sense of responsibility. I'll spend an hour online searching for a fabric that I know has been sold out for over two years for a reader. Things like that. So, yeah, I've laid a bit low.

But know what? Betty Crocker is a made up person. An invention, an amalgam of everything homey and housewifey and cheery and nothing else. Betty Crocker doesn't exist! And neither do I. Well, not the Betty Crocker version, anyway. Some gals pull off the Betty Crocker thing so awesome and I am in awe. But me? If I only swim to the surface as Betty Crocker, I'll suffocate.

Plus, I took the admittedly very, very, very few and far between negative criticism a little too close to heart. It's not a rational thing, of course. But, hey, I'm not a rock, so when I read "I had high hopes for this book, but right after I bought it, I got a fifty-dollar parking ticket! Fifty dollars seems like a lot of money for a book. Plus, my kid got a D on his spelling test! I've never had this problem before. He's seen the word "abysmal" on flash cards since he was in the womb! How could he have misspelled "abysmal"? When I was sewing the first project, I found my prized Affenpinscher, Prince Jedi Pop Tart Pierre, whom I've shown for over 5 years, rummaging through my lingerie! Prince Jedi is now a cross-dresser! Then, when I opened up the patterns, evil gnomes popped out and ate my eyebrows! I have a fifty-dollar parking ticket, no chance at Stanford Medical School for Junior, a transvestite dog, a house full of evil gnomes and no eyebrows, all because of you, Nancy Langdon! This book ruined my life! I hate you, Nancy Langdon!"...I take that stuff to heart (what? You didn't read a critique like that? That's how it read to me).

The book cannot be all things to all people all the time. That's just common sense. But we can improve the things we can improve. We're listening. We read every comment and criticism we can find and we take them into consideration. Sewing Clothes Kids Love sold out of the first printing run after about one month after release. Ohmygod right? I'm totally freaking and totally talking like a Valley Girl, because ohmygod, right? First run sold out? Like, ohmygod, right? Totally? And the book has been number one for a few weeks and is still in the top ten for "Sewing," "Needlework" and, (get this) "Fashion" ("Fashion" that just makes me laugh) on Amazon. Ohmygod. Totally awesome. (Thank YOU, everyone *sniff*)

So, the book will be printed up again. And this time, the pattern sheets will be printed on paper that is somewhat more stabile, more suitable for tracing. Now, the thing about this paper is that it is somewhat smaller. Somewhat stabiler, but somewhat smaller. Different paper, different printers, 'kay? So, to fit the sewing patterns on this paper, we will need to fiddle with the pattern sheet layouts. And we will need to overlap some of the pieces. That's the compromise. That means that tracing will not be an option, but the only option for many of the designs. Now, for all of you that I know, this is not be as bad as a flock of evil gnomes, because you trace your patterns, anyway. But I grew up learning it the other way, the cut-the-pattern-pieces-out-directly way, so I hope those people won't be too upset.

What do you think? Think the new, smaller, you-must-trace-this paper is a good thing?

And to the many, many, many more of you that have taken the time and publicly said a nice thing or two about the book, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, most recently to CraftCritique.com for their comprehensive review.

And thank you, Ms. B., for the telephone call. I'm ready to come out and play again.

My delusions keep me sane. Sorry 'bout the evil eyebrow-eating gnomes. They happen.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Charmed life

Dingle-dangle. Twinkle-dinkle. Sparkle and shine.

Just look what the mail carrier brought me today!

This charm bracelet says "Sewing" and "Clothes" and "KIDS" and "Love". Get it? I got it! I have it. My charm bracelet dingle-dangles as I type this. It twinkle-dinkles as I drive around town. It clinky-winkies as I comb out Anna's tangled hair. It sparkles and shines when I grab my $50 parking ticket. My bracelet makes even that fun.

Oh, but then there's this key ring! "Studio Tantrum" on one side and "Sewing Clothes Kids Love" on the other.

And even something for my Anna-bug! The sweetest little locket with her name inside!

A charmed life: I think so. I think I've got one. Today, at any rate, for sure. Chris, you blow me away. What can I say? I'm blown away. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Stamped sterling silver: Is there anything better? So personal, so individual. So much work and so much love. Blown away.

Many times, I'll come across some beautiful work of a craftsperson. Then, when I have the opportunity to meet that person, I'm so very happy to see that the beautiful work of that person is more often than not an accurate reflection of the beautiful person, who created it. It's a cool dynamic of this whole handcrafted world. Haven't you found that to be true? And Chris is definitely a case in point. She is beautiful in so many ways.

Want to get blown away yourself? Want a charmed life? Talk to Chris. Artig!?! And she speaks great English.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter Bunny is a great guy and all, but...

So, what's all this? If you guessed that this was my first attempt at knitting in a very long time, I'll give you partial credit, because it would look very similar. Really, it is a visit from a magical Easter creature.

"Sorry, kids, I have some bad news. I just checked and the Easter Bunny didn't come."

*pregnant pause*

"But the Easter Spider did come!"


The Easter Spider is a great gal. See, the Easter Bunny's shtick is basically, "finders=keepers." And the other side of that equation, of course, is "losers=weepers." And since we've experienced some Easter morning egg-hunt induced weeping in the past, I thought the Easter Spider might be up to the job this year. Ms. Spider wove a mighty web,--well, two webs, a pink web and a green web--throughout the house and out the front door and all over the front yard and back through the house and all over the back yard...and along the way spinning a few Easter goodies into the Web. Because each kid must wind his or her way through his or her own web, finding his or her own goodies, we have even-steven keeping and no weeping. See?

I'm not sure where I heard about this idea. Must have been pre-blog. Maybe even pre-Internet (was there such a time?). I think I may have read about this in some old-school kind of thing like a magazine or newspaper (remember those?). Anyway, it certainly prevented some otherwise inevitable sibling sourpusses. Easter Spider: You rock! (Besides, spiders lay eggs...and bunnies don't!). A funny aside: Jack started singing Weezer's "Undone-The Sweater Song" as he wound up his yarn..."If you want to destroy my sweater...Woah-ah-woah-ah-woah.... Hold this thread as I walk away... As I walk away...Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked..." Silly kid.

And about the photos above: No photoshopping. The light is just that golden yellow in the morning: I love it.

Happy Easter all! Whatever you observe, I hope your day was a day of joy and renewal and I wish you grace and blessings.

Friday, April 2, 2010

That was fun. Easy, too.

We made these itty-bitty chocolate bird's nests. We found this via Whip Up and they found it via Mustard Seeds.

Now, back to that Easter dress...


Related Posts with Thumbnails