So, uh… Hi.

Just popping in to tell y’all that I’ve not started my new blog yet and left you all in the dark.  I started to panic before the release date of the blog that I wasn’t going to be able to commit to it the way I wanted.  So I didn’t do it.  However, I’ve started to come to terms with the fact that the blog will still be there if I can’t write in it for a couple days, so I’m still contemplating going for it.  Basically I’ll just be going back to one blog for everything, whenever I do decide to start writing again.  I’ve had a lot of stuff to write about in the last few months, but I’ve lost all recollection of what those things may be.  So hopefully I’ll get back on course soon like.  Just as soon as I stop being busier than… something that’s really busy.

June 2, 2010. announcements. Leave a comment.

Hold Me…

Accountable, that is. In the very, very near future, I plan to embark on three endeavors that are going to require me to have more drive and determination than I’ve ever had in the past. I have a history of saying “It’s too haaaaaaard!” (yeah, yeah, that’s what she said….) and running home to mommy. But enough of that. I need to do things that I can get excited about, or at least that make me feel a little better about being a silly retail slave because I will be MORE than a silly retail slave (and before you tell me I already AM more than a silly retail slave, understand that I am aware of this, but society often really only looks at your job as to what makes you who you are).

I really don’t feel like I can do this alone. And I know I’m not. I have an amazing network of friends and family that continues to grow and to support me and to support me in my growing. In some ways, they have all had a hand in helping me decide my next three steps. I’d actually like to take a moment right now to thank AE for help brainstorming help recently and over the last three years.  Without her I wouldn’t have been doing craft shows and I wouldn’t have nearly as many ideas bouncing around my head as I do right now.  So what are my plans?

1. Continue to build and push Danger Kitty Designs.  It’s not going to be easy.  I fell into a rut and I’ve also falling into an inferiority complex what with rejections and really great competition out there.  But I decided not to let it get me down.  I’ve come up with a couple designs, and I’m going to push forward.

2. Start up a new blog that will render my current two blogs useless.  It will be a combination of the two, and I will be making a very strong effort to post Monday through Friday.  The new blog will launch April 1, which should give me plenty of time to come up with my writing schedule, layout, domain, hosting, etc.  In the meantime, I will probably ramble here with the same frequency (or lack there of) as I always have.

3. Once finances start mellowing out, I would like to start reupholstering stuff and turning it around to sell it.  This is my most tentative of plans for a number of reasons.  For starters, it requires me to spend money.  The other two I can do practically for free given the fact that I have a ton of fabric and a boyfriend who can host my website and help me with the technical stuff.  Secondly, it requires me to take up space in my teensy weensy house.  If I can’t offload the furniture easily, it will quickly become a burden, and in turn so will I.  But it’s still an aspiration I have, and it’s still something I would like to be help accountable for.

So there is it.  My plans for the future.  What do I need from my readers?  Encouragement.  Support.  Ideas.  Promotion.  Love.  Adoration….  You know, the usual.

February 16, 2010. Tags: , , , . announcements. 2 comments.

Look at me! I made something!

Something that isn’t clothes and is for a business-type venture. I made myself get out from under the covers and make a bag I’ve been dying to make for at least a year. And since it’s been equally as long since I’ve really made something with the mindset of tying to make money, I figured this would be a good way to start.

Double layers of wool/nylon blend felt with seams exposed.  In red and grey.  The applique is cotton prints.  There’s a magnet snap to keep your stuff from spilling out.

This is the prototype bag that I will either keep for myself or give to a loved-one.  There are some imperfections that I’m not comfortable having on an item I’m selling.  Namely I have to work out sewing the bottom on.  I’m terrible with boxes.  Suggestions?

February 1, 2010. Tags: , , , . handmade, pictures. 3 comments.

I <3 YouTube

No, really.  Not only is it a great way to find music–let’s say I hear a song, if I can figure out the title, I can find a video and then video of other songs by same band.  WIN!  Not only can I see humorous clips of comedians I love.  Not only are there a million cute and/or funny kitty videos…

But when I can’t figure out how to do something in my crafting, YouTube always comes to my rescue.  Let’s go back in time to when I was working on that shirred shirt.  I had a rough start of getting the shirring to work.  So I went to YouTube. This video, plus a little more troubleshooting, and I was on my way.

Today, I ran my head into a wall over a knitting technique. I was to increase the stitches, and the text in the book wasn’t making sense at all. Popped over to YouTube, typed “k1fb” (which wasn’t the abbreviation in the book, I found that after a little Googling), and came up with this–a video that practically saved my life.  Sadly, embedding is disabled for this video.  It’s probably fine, though, because I feel like the only knitter in the world who didn’t know how to do that.  Of course, I’m obviously not, or this video wouldn’t exist.

Lastly, the other night The Hippy and I were baking a new bread.  Neither of us had ever seen or had Fougasse, but the recipe sounded good (garlic and cheese, how can one go wrong?).  Looked at a couple pictures of baked Fougasse loaves; I told the Hippy it looked like they cut the dough; he told me it looked like they joined pieces together.  YouTube to the rescue!

In short, if you’re even the slightest bit creative, YouTube is an amazing resource for learning new techniques. Huge props to everyone who has ever posted a tutorial on YouTube! I love you all! And, also, to the people who post kitty videos (it’s worth dealing with the darkness at the beginning).

January 25, 2010. Tags: , , , . crafting life. 1 comment.

Hitting the slopes

I don’t ski, but if I did, I’d be ready!  Sat down today and whipped up a pair of snow pants.

I decided to make these because I love to ice skate and I love to go sledding.  They are warm, warm, warm!  The outer layer is waterproof windbreaker type fabric.  The lining is sweatshirt fabric.  In between those is a layer of Thermolam.  I’m prepared!  And look how great they look with my dirty winter coat:

I used a trusted PJ pant pattern and basically made two pairs of pants: one was the windbreaker/thermolam, the other was the sweatpants.  Stuck the sweatpants inside the windpants, wrong sides together and serged around all openings.  Folded edges over and added elastic.

I actually need to open up the waistband again at some point and shorten the elastic.  I’m not sure where on my body I measured, but it apparently wasn’t my waist.  I also left the cuffs open on the legs in case I wanted to add elastic later.  Not sure that will happen since the elastic was a bitch kitty to get in the waist.  All those layers made it slow going…

I had thought about making these pants reversible.  Once I decided to put the thermolam inside, however, I decided that I would probably never wear them with the sweatpant side out.  Which is a shame, because it’s pretty darn cute!

Let’s just hope that if I fall while skating, I’m the only one seeing stars…..

January 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , . handmade, pictures. 6 comments.

Sharing the Awesome!

I’ve got quite a few blogs on my RSS feed, and I’ll be honest, I’ve grown tired of some of them. What an awesome thing, then, to have something pop out at me and make me excited about blogs again.

Foooor Instance…..

Magazine Bow from How About Orange

If you click on that picture up there, you’ll be taken to How About Orange‘s instructions for Magazine Bows.  I’m honestly not sure how I missed them the first time around, but the topic came up again today when she posted pictures of bows someone else had made with her instructions.

I haven’t made any yet, and–unless I’m super lucky and don’t forget–I may never get around to them, but I would sure love to have these on the presents I have to wrap in the future.  They might even detract from the fact that I do a really crappy job when it comes to wrapping presents.

January 12, 2010. Tags: , , , . blogging, handmade. Leave a comment.

As promised

So, I made a costume, and it is fab, although a little restrictive…

The shirt is a too-small, very see-through button-up top found at Value Village (when I tried it on, I said “Well, if I’m wearing a corset anyway……).  The corset is Simplicity 2966.  The skirt is from the amazing learningtofly whose blog is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs of all time.  The hat is from Humble Bumble B‘s tutorial on Threadbangers.  Jewelry is original.

The costume can be worn with this fab leather jacket, also found at Value Village…

My “purse” for the costume is an old Brownie camera that The Hippy found, probably at his place of employment.  He wasn’t too thrilled with me using it, since he didn’t remember me saying “I’m using a Brownie as part of my costume.”

It can also be worn with a short brown coat… ALSO… from a thrift store.

The short coat shows off the skirt better, though this picture doesn’t have the brown coat…

I have finally–I think–come up with my Steampunk persona.  She’s a writer, bumbling, obsessed with grammar, quirky tastes.  She is, perhaps, a slightly more successful version of myself.  In the future I plan to tweak my costume to reflect this.

The nice thing about this costume is that, sans corset, I can wear most of it for everyday life.  For example, going to a Christmas concert:

Mirror shot because I didn't feel like doing the tripod thing.

Instead of the corset/button-up, I wore a sweater.  Instead of plain black cabled tights, I wore Christmas tights in homage of the brave men we were going to see:

This video is from last year’s Tonic Sol Fa Christmas concert.  Most years Greg–the first dancing man–dances alone in tights.  Last year they had the audience choose between three pairs of tights: red stripes, green stripes, blue starry night type.  Then Greg came out wearing tights with one green-stripe leg and one red-stripe leg and explained that it had been a tie.  I probably need not explain more, since that is in the video.

With luck, I will do a post later on my jewelry with close-ups.

December 27, 2009. Tags: , , , . costumes, handmade. 1 comment.

Stuff I didn’t make…

…Thankfully.

I was pointed to a website today that features quilts that were judged to be the worst quilts in existence.  And it’s hilarious.  Take this, for example:

Titled: Keltic Sunrise

Here’s the text from the website:

Made of polyester double-knit, satin, brocade, corduroy, lace curtains, burlap, old diapers and four different kinds of fake fur, this masterpiece made most of the judges woozy.

Tied together visually with hand crocheted orange and yellow yarn as binding and with humongous 4-ply quilt stitches (and plenty of knots) throughout, this quilt is a tactile nightmare.

Yes, you read that right.  Fur.  I love it.

I slept with this amazing velvet quilt growing up that I hear was made from old theatre curtains.  The craftsmanship on that quilt was actually pretty good (though what would I know?  I made a quilt that probably could have won awards on this site), but I think the fact that it was once curtains would make many quilters cringe.  However, for me it was perfect, because the weight of the quilt (and it was hefty) translated into warmth for my little body.

I don’t quilt, but I do like to visit that world once in awhile.


December 7, 2009. Tags: , , , . crafting life, handmade. 2 comments.

Dipping my foot into Steampunk

And when I say, “Dipping my foot,” I, of course, mean jumping in at full speed a la the Polar Bear Plunge.  I know I mentioned a skirt in my last post, but I’m not ready for the world to see the skirt yet.  I do, however, have one of my steampunk shirts to share with y’all (yes, “one,” as in, I couldn’t decide on just one look, so I’m making at least two).

I started with much of my inspiration from this video from Threadbanger (at least, the lady-clothes section at the end).  If you haven’t heard of Threadbanger, and you’re of a crafty nature, then you’d better get with it.  So many great tutorials to drool over.  Not one to intentionally make my rear end look any bigger than it already is, I’ve decided to forgo the bustle, and stick with the shirt and hat from the video.  The hat will come later.  I make no promises as to the date, because I don’t have much time these days.

After a trip to Value Village, I had my shirt ready to mod.  I watched this video on shirring, and consulted a few blogs, and I was on my way.  The end result was thus:

I am a terrible model and a pain in the ass to work with...

Not too shabby… The majority will be covered with a corset that I will be making with Larue‘s help over the next two days.  The torso of the shirt isn’t terribly important, and neither is the fact that it’s a little sheer.  Let’s look at the details, shall we?

Three layers of shirring on the collar (can it be called a collar that low? Let’s go with head hole), as I was getting awfully close to the next button, and two layers of shirring on the sleeve.  My cutting was a whole lot of guessing and a little bit slap-dash, no measuring whatsoever.  But I’m pleased with the results.  The only thing I can’t tell if I’m pleased with is the collar…  It’s a little Playboy Bunny for me…

See what I mean?  I feel like I should be getting Heff a cigar….

The black thread was the result, honest to god, of not wanting to rethread my serger.   In my defense, it wouldn’t have just been one rethreading since I’ll need the black again to finish my skirt.  I like the black and think it might look intentional, though I probably shouldn’t have used it on the “head hole.”  It was a complete afterthought.  I had originally hemmed it, and my serger blade doesn’t care for thick layers, so there are a few sections that are not very well serged.  I also would recommend any serging or hemming pre-shirring.  Live and learn.

But, really, it’s a costume.  If people are going to snark on my bad serging, then they are petty losers who can’t find it in them to be nice about anything.  And they know who they are.  I’m in this to have fun, spend time with my awesome sauce friends, and have something new to sew.  I’m not in it to be perfect, so perfection can bite me.

ETA: After I took it off, I noticed that serging the “head hole” cut some of the top row of shirring.  Looks like I’ll be fixing that later, so they whole first row doesn’t come undone.

November 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . crafting life. 3 comments.

Apparently I make costumes

My dear friend Larue commented on facebook the other day, as I was working on a skirt (which I’ll feature very soon, promise), that when I first joined forces with the Wench Posse I said I’d wear the Mary Queen of Scots she’d planned for Project Tudor (didn’t end up happening, which is totally cool, because I have my awesome Elizabethan) but past that I don’t know how much costuming I’d really do.

Ah, good times.

Fast forward to Mid-September when I saw this pattern at work:

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I practically found myself in a puddle on the floor.  Holy stinking monkey that Bo Peep costume is ADORABLE!

Then a couple weeks later, Rocketdog was asking Rocketpuppy what she should be for halloween.  Since Rocketpuppy doesn’t really talk, I piped up that there were cute costumes at work.  “To buy or to make?” was the reply. “Well, there is this adorable Bo Peep pattern that I love,” I said.  “Rocketpuppy just got this stuffed sheep, and I actually though Bo Peep would be a good costume,” she said.  So it was decided.

Another couple of weeks past, and Rocketpuppy would need the costume by week’s end (a full week before Halloween, for another event).  I texted Rocketdog to see what she wanted to do about the fabric.  “I was thinking light pink or blue.  I trust your judgment,” was the reply I got.  I had been thinking light blue, so light blue it was.

I had about a day and a half to work.  The costume came together really quickly, with the only difficulty being the sleeves.  As I mentioned on facebook:

Dear babies of the world: You are constantly disregarding the needs of others; however, your freakishly small baby-sized arms and pain-in-the-ass-to-sew sleeves are the last straw. It’s an adult-sized world; I highly suggest you start conforming.

Despite that, I had a blast making this costume, so now I get to show it off, even if it’s almost a week after Halloween.

IMG_4962

ZOMG!!!!Eleventy-one!!!PONIES!!!!!

I’ll give you all a minute to recover.  I know she’s stinking cute and that the costume is awesome sauce.  Deep breaths.

IMG_4958

Check out those bloomers!

Hard to believe, but there’s about ten yards of trim on that baby.  Thankfully I had a coupon!  Trim is always, ALWAYS, the most expensive part of any sewing project.  Fabric goes on sale all the time.  Trim never goes on sale.  BUT, it’s the trim that takes the design from just another dress to an awesome little Bo Peep costume.

I honestly think Bo Peep was more fun than anything I’ve ever sewn.  I don’t know if anything can live up to it.

November 5, 2009. Tags: , , . crafting life, handmade, pictures. 4 comments.

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