Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday's Accessory

Yet another accessory for a squid I won't be able to show you until much later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am sick.

Totally, totally sick.   I am spending my time cuddled up on the couch with this guy sewing a special squid and waiting for Fringe to become good.  I hear it takes half a season.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Best Thing I've Seen All Week

Through Scott I've seen quite a number of reels but this one really stuck out to me.  It's by Emma Rose-Dade who is a model maker and animator. I just adored how even in her reel she still had a mini story in there.  And that story was a tad bittersweet, but man, look at those amazing flower pots!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Work Space

Our new place is pretty much put together.  I'm still getting used to my new setup but so far, so good.  To make enough space for our couch I placed my desk onto the fireplace mantel.  Luckily the height was perfect for risers.  I was thinking of doing a standing desk anyway so I also set it up for the perfect standing position for me.

When not standing I bought a pretty sweet vintage draftschair on Ebay for super cheap.  I did have to get a cushion for it since my chair was still about 2 inches too short to reach.  I also remove the black tins under the green stand (which is actually the leaf for the kitchen table) while sitting.

I've surrounded my monitor with work books and my vintage book collection.  There's also some terrariums and family heirlooms thrown in there as well.

There are built-in shelves on either side of the desk.  An old pie safe holds printer paper, tags and my squid templates.
The other side is where the black tins reside along with boxes for mini squid accessories.  The old suitcase holds all of my embroidery bins and the regular sized accessories. 

It's nice being surrounded by all of the lovely old brick and not feeling so caged in by a massively sloping ceiling anymore.  Most of my supplies (felt, mailing supplies and also finished work) now reside in the bedroom but I actually kind of like having them out of the way.  I also enjoy being able to have more of an atheistically pleasing work space. Having the couch to chill out on upon occasion has been fantastic.One of the things we wanted most with a new place was a workspace and living space combo.  Our old living room was a glorified hallway since we basically just live at our desks. 
Obviously we knew we weren't using all of the space we had at the old (2-story) apartment but I don't think either of us realized how much we would love having our home and work space consolidated (i.e. that dreaded word of downsized).  I was amazed at how often the first question people would ask when I told them we were moving was if the new place was bigger.  I was also amazed at the reactions I got when I said it wasn't and that was ok.  I feel much more involved with everything in the apartment and the consolidation makes tasks much more streamlined.  Although we could use at least one extra closet I think the size of everything has worked for us, and heating this winter won't be such a nightmare.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inspiration Cat.

Insomnia has kicked in this week so this is all I could come up with today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jam. Really not much to say about it.

Sunday I went over to Megan's.  It was too hot to bake so we made some quick jam. 

You have to put the lid on immediately so the jam was in no way ready to try and I just picked my share up today. Hopefully the 10 minutes we worked to make this stuff is worth it. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Farmhouse

The Farmhouse is across the road from my Dad's.  Our home sits on the 49 acres that was originally the pastures and fields (we still rent out the fields today).  The house was built in 1846 and my great-grandparents and grandparents owned it until my gram died in the 90's.  The man who was born there wrote a small book about it that I have sitting on my bookshelf.  It was typed up in the 30's I believe and photocopied within an inch of its life.  The story goes into great detail about where the ice house, orchards and pond were and where the Methodist minister's cabin was in Kearn's Woods (you can still find the outline of the foundation in the winter.)  The man also adds how the village reacted to having a minister who was a Little Person in the area (side note: while looking up what the preferred term was for Little People nowadays I found this great exchange).  The family that bought the farmhouse after my family is selling it during a divorce so it's been on and off the market for awhile now.  Since it's empty I walked up and took some shots.  I'm amazed that I still have a very clear image of what the inside looks like although I did spend a good deal of time running around top to bottom of the house and the barn.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Best Thing I've Seen All Week

Watching the final space launch

I love that you can stream the entire process with various views of the launch.  We've come a long way from the first launch in so many ways.  Good luck, Astronauts and although NASA won't be sending people to space anytime soon I can't wait to see what other amazing things they do next.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Squid aprons. How do they work?

Right now in the shop all of my aprons for the year are available.  They also include free shipping until July 25th.  The code is APRONS4ALL (add during checkout).  Here's a little back story on the aprons.

A few years ago my mother-in-law gave me some adorable vintage aprons (along with some slips that I wear constantly under dresses).  A few of them I kept plain and use in the kitchen but there was a lovely orange full-length bib apron that seemed perfect to have a little squid mascot on the shoulder.  So I set to work.

I sold the rest that year at shows and since then I keep an eye out at thrift stores, yard sales and etsy to find suitable aprons.  I like to find ones that have solid colors or subtle prints, that way the squid can shine through in all its glory. I have all of my aprons purchased by the end of December so I can work on them in the winter months since they do take awhile to even prepare for hand sewing the squids onto.  I try to get ones that aren't too damaged or stained but all of them require a good soak, then wash.  After that is a copious amount of ironing.  It takes hours.  Then I repair any holes or tears I find or secure ties.  This year I replaced some of the gold thread that someone had sewn over ricrac.  That was actually pretty fun.

After this I spread out all of the aprons and decide on the color of the squid and what accessories they'll be holding.  This usually takes an evening or two of me sitting on the floor with felt samples and aprons and test squid seeing what I feel would look the best.  Every 20 minutes a certain cat is removed from the area.  Once I decide on everything I make a list of the squid color, accessories and placement on the apron that promptly gets tacked on the to-do board.

Next up is very carefully seam-ripping any pockets off that squid will be attached to and then marveling at the insane amount of hand-work women of yore did so perfectly.  This step is pretty tedious and afterwards requires more ironing.  After that I can begin sewing the squid and accessories.  Then I have piles of this on my desk and various shelves.

After the squid are embroidered on it's back to the ironing board. After this I machine sew all of the pockets back in place.  Then, more ironing.  After that, it's picture time. 

Normally the process is finished in April since I work on the aprons in between custom orders and more show squid.  Usually there's one apron I get attached to during this time.  This one below is so close to not being for sale but, I can't keep them all so I offer them up and hope they go to a good home. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Squid a Month Club (July)

One of the squid for the latest Squid a Month Club.

Table Top game lover.
The 12-sided die was one I put off for about 6 months because I was a little concerned with how to make something so small.  I only had to do one practice die before I got one that I liked.  I cut out all of the pieces, hand-embroidered that numbers and then went to sewing.  I also discovered that machine sewing was the way to go.  I really enjoyed making these so I'm certain I'll be making some more of these before the holidays.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Big Valley

My dad and I went out to Big Valley for eggs while I was home.  I love this valley and I gotta say I'm kind of tickled every time another English house is bought up by the Amish.  Although, as you can tell, there's still plenty of space for all.
(side note, I left these large so click on them to soak in all of the details).

I love when everyone hangs out their laundry.  It seems to take over the entire house.  The best is when they hook up a line from the house to the silo which is usually 10 feet long.  My dad mentioned that it used to be only Mondays (similar to the old Day of the week cleaning rhyme) for laundry but now it's "just any old day".

hay break
All of the farmers were out making hay because the sun was out which also led to my dad quoting old farmer sayings that pretty much no longer apply since seeds have been developed that germinate quicker.

"Make hay when the sun shines"

The corn will be knee high by the fourth of July"

"When the wind blows over the oat stubble, Fall is just around the corner"

My dad was also mentioning how the Amish schools move in some cows or sheep during the summer so they don't have to mow.  They also do this with their graveyards although someone did mow recently since I guess the sheep weren't really doing their job.