Sunday, December 2, 2012

See and Sew: A Sewing Book For Children, By Tina Davis Book Review

Wow, it's been a while since I've been here. I just haven't been motivated as of late, but now that I will be making Christmas presents this year, I decided there's no better time to jump back in to craft blogging.

So last year I started working on a doll wardrobe for two people and their two dolls. I got halfway through the list of clothes I wanted to make before time ran out and then I stopped working on it completely. :-( So I've decided to work on the wardrobes again, and now I have four more dolls added to the madness. Fun! I'm also adding in some extras as well. So I want to document my work here as well as on my doll blog.

Now I want to try to do some hand-sewing with these doll clothes because I could get more control and details in the clothes, but I wanted to get a book on hand-sewing, and when I found See and Sew by Tina Davis I jumped at it after reading the reviews of adults finding this book helpful in hand-sewing as well as kids. I got it about two days ago and finally read through it today. Here's what I thought.

The one thing that caught my attention was the bright colors on the cover and the cute vintage art. I loved that the book was hardback as well, it added to that vintage feel, but I kind of wish that I had gotten the spiral-bound book. In fact I believe I bought the last hardback book on When I first got the book and saw how big it was, I loved it and wanted to get the other two books by Tina Davis, one for cooking and one for gardening. But now I'm not so sure if I will do that, even for the cute vintage pictures.

The book has 7 chapters on actual sewing, the dos and don'ts, the techniques, etc. This is all for hand-sewing, by the way. In the first couple of chapters it teaches how to get ready for sewing by setting up a sewing basket or box, how to sew safely with techniques and when to get an adult involved if the person reading the book is a child, and how to begin with how long of thread to use and how to knot the thread. There are detailed illustrations to show how to do all of this.

The next two chapters talk about basic sewing and embroidery stitches. You will learn how to baste, sew  basic stitches, and hemming stitches, and decorative stitches. There are illustrations showing how to do each stitch with detailed explanations on how to do each as well as showing some alternatives for the stitches.

The next chapter is about how to sew on a button. I found this chapter pretty helpful as it taught how to sew on a shank button and how to sew on a non-shank button. It also teaches how to sew on snaps and hook and eyes, though this part is not really that detailed, but the pictures give you an idea of it.

After all the project pages, there is a chapter on finishes and trims. You will learn how to make pom-poms, tassels, and monograms on your finished projects. The pom-poms and tassels have a little more detail and description about them than the monogram section.

There are ten sewing projects in the book and one project on sewing on cards. Most of the projects are more for fun, at least in my opinion. Most are functional, but a lot made from felt and fleece because this a beginning sewing book and those two fabrics don't ravel. So for a child or beginner, this projects are perfect for them, but for someone a little more advanced or someone who wants to use different fabric, these projects may not be for you and you will want to try another book.

So what did I find wrong about this book? Well first of all, a lot of the information you can find in this book you can find either online or in a more detailed sewing book. So while the book is charming, if you are just looking for techniques to teach your child or you are learning on your own, then I would suggest just looking elsewhere.

The book keeps suggesting to have the patterns printed out on a copier. The thing about this that bothers me is that if you have the hardback like I do, you will have to force the book open to get it copied, possibly ruining the spine of the book.  Another thing is that in order to do the projects you have to go get the pattern copied and you have to size it up as well. I would have preferred if the book would have taught how to design your own patterns with measurements and using pictures as guide. I guess technically you could still do that, but this just kind of irritated me. Another thing that irritated me was that some of the stitches she says do for the projects she didn't teach in the book, so you'd have to look them up anyway. Again, a little irritating.

So what are my final thoughts on the book? A very cute book with tons of cute graphics, but the information is easily found elsewhere and for free. If you are just looking for techniques, go that route. However, if you like vintage and craft books, then this book would be a cute addition to your collection.  The projects aren't all that great either, that is if you are looking for something a little more fun or functional to make. However using felt or fleece is a great fabric to start with so if you just want sewing practice, then these projects are perfect for you.

I don't know if I will get the other books by Davis. I do like the look of them, but I have read they are really about the same, basic projects you can't really use and not really the information you'd need for the subject matter. I love craft books, but I think this will be the last one I get in the series, still thinking about it. If I do get the others I will of course come and do a review on it.

And on that note I am off to start planning out the doll clothes I will be making. I will be updating here again soon about what I'm doing. Take care until then, bye for now.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Don’t worry. Be crafty.


Hello my lovelies, I am back. My computer situation has not been sorted, but I am making do with it for now. Looking to upgrade later on this year so I can deal for now.  Now on to today’s crafty post.

Have you ever had it when you are overwhelmed with the supplies you own, the ways you could go with a project, or the many ideas floating around in your head?  Or perhaps you are sabotaging yourself with the ever popular “its no good” or “I don’t know what to make”. Well, don’t feel alone, many an artist have gone through these exact same feelings. I myself have suffered with these feelings and thought perhaps I was a weird one.  That is until I found this interesting article about this exact same topic.

Alison Lee of Craftcast broke down typical worries of artists and explained why you shouldn’t take things so seriously and to enjoy and have fun with your art.  I know, easier said than done, but the tips Alison listed really clearify things and make sense out of the garbled mess that can be the artistic mind.  Head on over to Craftcast and read Alison’s article “5 Things The Artisit In You Can Stop Worrying About Right Now!” and finally release those fears, push past your barriers, and get crafty!  I’ll do the same.  Smile

And on that note, I will talk to you lovelies later. Be good until then.  Bye for now. Smile

Looking around at her big stash of stuff,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I give up for now guys…

I’ve been trying to get back into blogging but if its not one thing its another. As you may know my computer has been unusable because it overheated and needed a cleaning. I finally got it back a couple of days ago and was trying to sort things out on it so that it would work faster and blah blah. Well I kept noticing something weird about it. It gets hot on the completely other side of the keyboard now and there’s a constant humming. For days I thought it was just me, but no, I’ve used this thing enough to know that Best Buy Geek Squad has messed up my computer!!!  They put it back together wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am beyond pissed because its going to take an act of some higher power for me to get it fixed back around and those dillweeds better NOT expect payment for it!!!  I’m livid, if you can’t tell.  I haven’t been able to use my computer much because its slow and sluggish, probably from all the heat that is barely escaping because all the vents are ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COMPUTER and so the air is not getting out and my computer is just staying hot. Sorry, just frustrated by this on top of other things. And to make it more frustrating it’s Script Frenzy this month and I haven’t worked on it yet because I am reading through what I wrote last year to see where I left off.  Loving the story I wrote last year, btw. But now I may have to put it off for a few more days while the dillweeds that insist they know what they are doing fix my computer, AGAIN. Sad smile Once again, sorry, just frustrated and this is just the tug that broke the doll’s neck. Ha, did you see what I did there…oh nevermind.

So basically, if I owe you an email, its coming, but probably not until hopefully this weekend but don’t count on it until next week. My email is muy backed up again and I was all set for a big cleanout when I finally got my computer back since my sister’s is kind of slow to do it and I thought my computer I’d whiz right through it. Yeah, not so much. So yeah, if you sent me something you will get a response next week at the latest. Sorry, but it is what it is. Sad smileI’ll see what I can do from my sister’s computer, but honestly its only really good for watching things and not much else. So yeah, odds are I’ll be silent for a while, but I’ll be back as soon as those jokers get things fixed. Ugh! Dillweeds.

And so on that note, I’m off. I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter if you celebrate. If not, I hope you have an awesome weekend. I will talk to you lovely people later. Be good until then. Bye for now.

Wishing she knew how to fix her own computer,
A rather pissed off Michelle

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Secret Lives By Terry Border

A creative guy by the name of Terry Border took a concept, what would happen if regular everyday things took on a life of their, and decided to make that happen through art. In his gallery, pictures like the one above takes regular items like a raisin and puts them into a "real life" situation.  Poor elderly "grape" up there surrounded by the youngsters.  Even me at my age, and I'm not that old people, I can relate to that feeling.  LOL!  The gallery is full of other fun and cute pictures.  One of my favorite is a nibbled and kissed on chocolate bar locking himself into a room trying to save his life.  You have to see it to get it, but trust me, its awesome.  In searching for more from Terry, I found a picture not in his gallery on the page from article that I just had to share with you.

Too cute and funny right?  Of course now this makes me crave a powdered doughnut, and I'm trying to change my lifestyle and diet. *sigh* Someone out there have one for me, ok.  Thanks.  :-)  Oh and in doing a little search I found where you can see more of his art from this set of objects he calls "Bent Objects", I was in luck and found his blog where he shares them.  Awesome.  There's also a main website, but it doesn't look like its recently been updated.  I'd stick with the blog and his Twitter to keep up with him.

But I just had to share his neat work with you all today.  I love how creative he is and I can't wait to go through his blog and see all that he's done.  Yes, I'm excited. :-)  And on that note I will say good bye to you lovely people.  I shall be back soon with another fun crafty find from the net.  Until then, be good and I will talk to you soon.  Bye for now.

Craving fried and powdery baked goods,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Believe It Or Not, It’s Edible!


Look at this super cute cupcake.  Lolo (Lauren) of “Vegan Yum Yum” fame created some cute knit related cupcakes for her friend’s going away party.  How did she create such cute and detailed cupcake toppers?  With marzipan!  I have never worked, nor do I think have tasted marzipan, but I think it’s amazing how it can be formed into such detailed shapes.  And when I say detailed, I mean it.  Look at this next picture.


Look at this detail!  She made a sweater, two finished scarves with tassels, balls of yarn, a knitted work in progress, and my favorite, a frogged piece of work.  So freaking cute!!!  So I bet you are curious on how to make these cuties.  Never fear.  Lolo was on Martha Stewart and taught Martha and the audience how she makes her little treasures.  Have a look.

Can you believe how simple that is?!?  And how the makes it look like knitting, it was a facepalm moment for me.  Genius.  It’s just amazing how crafty people are and what they come up with.  I just had to share this little find with you all.  I know it’s a bit dated, but it’s new to me and I’m sure some of you are looking at it with fresh eyes too.

And that will be all for this post.  Trying to tidy up my computer so hopefully I won’t lose too many files when they take it apart.  *sigh*  I hope to be back posting soon.  Especially since OWOA is coming up soon.  So excited.  Smile  Ok talk to you guys soon.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.

Ready to warm up now,

Most Expensive Gingerbread House


Wow, I’ve forgotten how I blog.  I wanted to make this quick post to try to clean up some things I’d been meaning to do and never gotten to, since I have to take my computer in to be cleaned soon.  It’s been doing the annoying turn off thing because it’s been overheating and diving into my computer to do it myself really seems daunting when you see you have to take the WHOLE THING APART.  Disappointed smile  I’ve got it working ok as long as I have a fan blowing on it.  Let me fill you in on something, it’s 33 degrees outside, my room is the coldest room in the house in the winter, my fan is right next to me blowing, and I’m wearing my jacket with the hood up.  In short, I do this for you.  Smile

So around Christmas time I did a search for dollhouses because I was on the search for different ways to set up one, when I came across this interesting article about a gingerbread house made to look like a dollhouse basically.  It was located in Gothenburg, Sweden and basically instead of making your generic gingerbread house the person decided to show the inside of the house as well as the expansive grounds, and all of it, you guessed it, is edible.  Pretty neat right?  It’s 50 cm, a little over 19 and a half inches tall.  And why is it considered the most expensive gingerbread house?  In Sweden the house costs 35,000 SEK, or close to 3,000 Euro, if it were that price today it would cost us American peeps roughly $3963.90.  A bit pricey for a cookie house, for me at least.  Smile

But isn’t it pretty?  You can get some closer views of the inside here.  For food it is pretty detailed.  This all got me to thinking about how I would create a gingerbread dollhouse for actual dolls to reside in.  For one thing I think the house above is missing a gingerbread staple, candies.  I think it would have made it look more like a gingerbread house and not just a brown house covered in snow, kwim?

Then I started thinking, would I make it for 1/12th or 1/6th.  Now I would prefer 1/6th, but 1/12th seems like it would be easier to work with on a project like this, thinking size-wise and and all.  Maybe if I have a kid some day I will entertain this thought again and have them share in the fun of making it with me.  But I just had to show you guys this and try to bring some life back to the blog.  Still not back yet. I have a ton to do.  My emails are backed up again thanks to my computer, and so many other things are being pushed back. If you have emailed me I will get back to you.  Sorry about the super delay.

And that’s about it for this post. I will talk to you lovely people later.  Be good until then, by for now.

Wishing it wasn’t so cold in her room,

Friday, December 30, 2011

Coming back full force in 2012!

So I just wanted to pop on to say I have not abandoned the blog, just taking time for myself at the end of this year. Can you believe by the end of tomorrow we’ve all just gone through another 365 days?  Crazy right?  Here’s to another 365!  Humm, there isn’t a leap year next year is there?  Well if there is, add one more day to my cheerful wish.  Smile

But with that said, until I return I wanted to leave you with some entertainment.  The following video is an animated version of Wicked’s “Defying Gravity”.  The artist did it in an attempt to get the play done in animation instead of live action.  Seems it will be live action in the end, but I so wish I could see a full Wicked animation.  Oh and in case you were wondering, the artist who did this works for Disney.  It’s pretty awesome.  Take a look.

And on that note I will wish you all a Happy New Year, and I hope that this year ends on a good note for everyone.  See you in 2012!!!

Singing songs from famous Broadway plays,