A beginning… and an ending…

Wow! September was such a crazy month! So much happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to post about it.

Greg and I were married September 7. The wedding was wonderful with balloons and family and laughter!
The happy couple!

We took off for our honeymoon the next day and had a wonderful week traveling through Portland, Seattle, and Victoria, BC. In Victoria, when they heard it was our honeymoon, they upgraded our room. We were on the very top floor of the Fairmont Empress Victoria, nestled under the eaves. We had a split level room with a couch and TV and three steps leading up to the king size bed and bathroom with whirlpool tub. It was my first time to stay in a hotel that provided bathrobes! We also had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. It was a very special experience and one we will always remember.

Totally exhausted at the end of our week, we headed home. Just a few days after we arrived home, my mother took a turn for the worse. She lingered for a week while the family gathered around her, and then she quietly slipped away on October 3. I cannot express how much I will miss her — my mom, my best friend.

So, in September, most of the things I created were intangible — laughter, memories, hugs, and tears…

But here it is October and I’ve begun to lift my head again. The CFIDS has got me down, but not out! And I will continue to create!

So here’s a tutorial on ribbon barrettes. I don’t remember where I learned the technique, it seems I’ve been making them forever…

You start with a spring clip and 1 yard of 1/8″ to 1/4″ ribbon or braid. Use something flat or the spring clip won’t close when you’re finished. The spring clips can be purchased in the hair accessories department of the drug store or in craft stores. Sometimes, even quilting stores carry them for holding binding on a quilt. They also make great hem markers! Buy lots — you’ll use them for everything!

Open the spring clip and place the center of the ribbon between the two sections:

From here, it’s much like lacing a shoe. Take one end of the ribbon, bring it up and over and down through the center of the clip, being careful not to twist the ribbon:

Repeat on the other side:

It helps if you hold one end of the spring clip between thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand. That keeps the ribbon from slipping.

Keep alternating sides, weaving the ribbon back and forth until the gap in the spring clip is full. Always do the same number of wraps on each side. When you finish, the loose ends of the ribbon will be under the top of the spring clip, one on each side.

Bring the two ends together and tie a square knot on the top of the clip.


This is what the underside of the clip should look like:

At this point, you can glue on a silk flower, cut the ends of the ribbon short, or leave them long and dangling. If you want to cut them short, add a drop of fray check or glue to the knot before you trim the ribbons.

This same technique can be used with two ribbons, alternating colors. This gives a striped effect. It’s better to use 1/8″ ribbon if you’re using two colors so that you have plenty of room for the stripes to show.

Send me your pictures if you give this a try!

Now go, hug your loved ones, celebrate life’s joys, and LET’S CREATE SOMETHING!

Crisis averted!

Yesterday was a day almost as important as the actual wedding day! It was the day I finished the dress and finally got to try it on! And guess what?!?!? It doesn’t fit. And not in an “oh, no one will notice” or a “you can make a quick adjustment” kind of way. Rather, in an “O.M.G. I cannot be seen in public in this dress and there’s no way to fix it” kind of way. One week till the wedding and nothing to wear. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. I immediately down-graded my expectations to a nice cotton sundress. I hit the fabric store and the thrift store and got nothing. I went to the quilt store. Nothing. In despair (and fighting an incipient panic attack) I went to Target, thinking it was the one place I hadn’t already looked. I know. A wedding dress at Target? But believe it or not, I found a purple sundress at Target that is very flattering and now the dress issue is finally resolved. I’m exhausted – emotionally, mentally, physically. But I will have a dress for the wedding.

The wedding is September 7, and we’ll be heading out for our honeymoon after that, so I’ll be absent a few weeks. But there will be pictures when I get back! In the meantime,

GO CREATE SOMETHING! (I’ll be creating memories)

I can hear the bells!

So on Monday we went and got our wedding license. SQUEE! I am getting so excited! The wedding is just over 3 weeks away! I better get that dress done, hadn’t I?

Anyway, while we were getting our license, we also had a friend of ours sworn in as Deputy for a Day so that she can perform the ceremony for us. They made her promise to uphold and defend the constitution. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary during our wedding!

While we were talking to her, I realized that she would need a clipboard or something to hold the written service during the ceremony. We talked about it some, and went out and bought a purple binder. Yes, it was purple and it matched the rest of the wedding, but vinyl covered in clear plastic looks so cheap! I just didn’t want that at the wedding. I looked at wedding guest books (have you seen the prices in the bridal aisle at your local craft store???) and I even looked at some pretty scrapbooks (ditto the prices).

So, being the Chronic Creator (I think I’ll take that as my superhero name) I headed to the fabric store. I found fabric that was perfect to cover our binder, on sale for $3 a yard, and I only needed half a yard! Such a bargain! I also found scrapbook paper and stickers at 40% – 50% off. So, $24.95 later and a little bit of sewing, I have a custom binder to hold, not only our service, but our engagement and wedding photos! I hope to have some of the engagement pictures in it before the wedding so that people can look at the album during the reception.

Remember covering your school books with a brown paper bag? Well, this is the same concept, only in fabric. Turn in all the edges and hem them, then wrap it around your binder and pin it to measure. After it’s all folded around the binder, I stitch the edges together and it slips right on. I’ve used the same technique to cover Bibles and other books in the past. Sometimes I use a layer of low loft batting behind the fabric, but this time I just used the fabric.

I decorated mine with a ribbon and a rhinestone buckle (4 buckles for $2.00, I kid you not!) but you can use lace, contrasting fabric, leave it plain, or even hot glue a small picture frame to the front. My personal philosophy is that a girl can’t have too much sparkle!

If you decide to give this a try and open your book flat to measure the fabric, make sure you leave a little extra fabric in the width as it will need some ease when you close your book.

Have fun! Let’s go create something!

Playing catch up

I know I’ve promised a lot of pictures and I haven’t delivered. Well, today is the day!

First, an update. I spent three days crashed on the couch and then woke up today with energy! Not oodles of energy, but enough that I decided to tackle the wedding dress. I’ve already fit a muslin mock-up and let me say, you just haven’t lived till you’ve tried to pin fit a dress on yourself. Many puncture wounds later, I was ready to begin the lining! Here’s my progress:

lining

Yep, it’s lined, underlined, and boned. And I cannibalized a bra so I won’t have to worry about fitting the top quite as much. I even basted in a zipper and, glory be, it fits!

So I cut out the rest of the pieces… piles of purple chiffon everywhere!

purple chiffon

The first picture is closer to the actual color (YMMV) and so far, I am pleased!

I started basting the chiffon and suddenly realized I was beat, so I quit for the day. But I am happy with the progress I have made! The wedding is four weeks from yesterday, so I feel like I’m in good shape!

So, to catch up…

This is the doily I made for a lace swap on Ravelry:

It’s called Amusement

I’m rather proud of it. It was my first big tatting project and I think it turned out terrific! It’s so much easier to do than it looks!

I also made her a case for her crochet hooks and added a bunch of tiny crochet hooks in all different sizes so she can make more doilies! She said yellow was her favorite color, so yellow is what I used!

And one last picture of a work in progress… this is the waffle stitch I was telling you about!

That’s it for now. Tomorrow we go get our marriage license! SQUEE!!!

Let’s go create something!

Two steps forward…

Tuesday was THE DAY! My long-awaited wedding dress was finally delivered to the house! It was purple and ruffly and adorable and just what I wanted! I was so excited. I slipped it over my head and it fit perfectly. This was so cool!

Then, I turned to look in the mirror.

Oh. My. God. I looked like a big purple barn with ruffles. Now, I know I’m not exactly petite, and losing 20 pounds (30?) wouldn’t hurt me any. But I mean, this was terrible! It was awful! I could NOT get married in this!

Some women would break down and cry. Frankly, I considered it. But, instead, I went into problem-solving mode! Out of the dress, into my jeans, grab the car keys and head to the bridal shop.

I didn’t want a traditional dress. I look awful in white and even worse in ivory. I wanted purple, rather casual, with sleeves, and no sparkle. Picking up on my sense of panic, the store owner shoved me into a dressing room with every purple dress they had that would come anywhere near fitting me. There were two that would do, although they were nothing like what I was looking for. Then I checked the price tags. URK! “Thanks, I’ll think about it!” and I was off to the next bridal store. Now, I live in a smallish town (pop. 30,000 or so) and formal wear is not exactly a popular thing around here, so those two stores were my only possibilities!

Another dressing room. More purple dresses. “No, I can’t wear a halter dress! Look at me. I have been abundantly blessed in the bust area! OK, OK, I’ll try it on.” It was terrific! Grecian chiffon floating to the floor. I had a waist! It was cute and young-looking and I felt great in it! Check the price tag. OY! This is not going to happen.

To the mall! I checked the discount store where I seriously considered being married in a jersey knit muumuu. I had them put it on hold and decided I would have to sleep on the decision. I was halfway home when the exhaustion and fatigue hit. KABLAM!

I should know better. I really should.

But knowing better didn’t stop me from spending all afternoon and late into the night searching for the perfect dress online. Nor did it stop me from going out the next day and spending time and money on fabric to make my own dress. I swore I would not make my own dress, but here I am, up to my elbows in purple chiffon, and wondering where I will ever find the energy.

Oh, and did I mention I am so wiped out that I couldn’t go to work today, slept till 11:00 and still feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train? Oh, CFIDS, you are a cruel taskmaster. Tricking me into thinking I can do more than I am able and then hitting me up the side of the head with a two by four.

All I can hope now is that I will be back to decent condition by the weekend. Because now I have a dress to make!

Let’s go create something. Even if it’s only a muslin mockup…

Oops…

Well, I think I overdid. I’m back to being fatigued, sore throat, upset stomach… But I had fun while the good times lasted! Maybe if I rest up this weekend, I will improve again.

In the meantime, it’s COUPON WEEK at the fabric store! We spent an hour getting fabric for two more shirts (one is for the wedding!), the ribbon for our table decor at the reception, and some fabric and lace for me to make pretty underthings for the wedding. For those who know Greg and me, it will come as no surprise to hear that everything is PURPLE! I’ll try to get pictures of the fabric posted soon so you can all see.

And here they are! This is the fabric Greg chose for his wedding shirt:

He also chose fabric for another shirt!

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He’s got great taste!

I also finished the gift for a friend! Yep, it just needs blocking and it will be done. I’ll post pictures as soon as she receives it. I hope to send it on its way early next week.

I have a weekend of sewing planned! More gifts, some wedding veils on commission, and a slipcover for the footstool (the dog ate the last one).

Must remember… sew a little, rest a little, sew a little, rest a little…

Let’s go create something!

Busy, busy!

Wow! What a week it has been!

First off, I still feel good! Oh sure, I’m tired, but not dizzy or sick to my stomach, so I feel much better! I hope this lasts a long time.

I felt so good that we went travelling for the weekend, and while we were away, my sweetheart proposed! Now I haz a fiance! We camped and shopped and ate too much and generally enjoyed ourselves. And I did no crafting whatsoever!

But at home I have been busy! I’m work on a top secret project for a friend, so I can’t post pictures of it yet. But, be assured, when the job is done and the gift presented, I will be posting pics! More tatting and some sewing this time (two different projects) so stay tuned!

I also received a call today from a store that buys my bridal headpieces. She’s running low and has placed an order with me for more! Off to dig through my bridal box and see what needs finishing before I bring them to her. And the added income will be terrific since I now have a wedding to pay for! SQUEE!

Let’s go create something!!