Notes to self regarding sewing

One night last year I was doing some midnight-madness crafting, and apparently wrote myself a “lesson learned” note about sewing.  While searching for stashed Christmas presents recently, I found this note and so I’m including it here for my reference (and perhaps your amusement) — my updated comments/explanation are in itals.

To remember while sewing:

  1. Think about which direction you’re sewing in before you put the pins in (elsewise, as you’re sewing merrily along the little pinses will sneak up and pokify your fingers1)
  2. Figure out the size of the buckles you’re using *before* cutting the straps
  3. Line everything
  4. Don’t panic
  5. Use more pins — always
  6. Put all the the things (like straps) on before the final joining of lining to outside (yes, it’s the world of frustrating to turn your finished bag rightside out only to find you’ve neglected to add the straps in)
  7. Like riding a motorcycle, sew *ahead* of where you are (don’t watch the tips of your fingers — watch 5-6″ ahead of the foot)
  8. Stop with needle in down position (otherwise the fabric will sneak away when you turn your head)
  9. Leave lots of thread when you cut the thread at the end of a stitch line (otherwise, the thread will creep out of the needle and you’ll have to rethread)
  10. Making the iron hotter will *not* make things go faster
  11. Topstich everything
  12. If something has an inside and an outside, iron both pieces before proceeding
  13. STOP *before* the stupid starts (that one I’d do well to remember across the board)

1 Yes, I anthropomorphize a little…

Either boyishly girly or girlishly boy-y

So last night I had to pull out the LAVA (for those that are unfamiliar, LAVA is pumice-containing soap made by WD-40 that seems to be most often found in garages) to clean my hands, which I’d thoroughly dirtied.  While making new lipstick blends.

(Great tip from Carmindy, of What Not to Wear fame:  if you have little stublets of great lipstick colors that you don’t want to throw away, you can use a day-by-day pill keeper to put them into, making your own custom palette.)

A bit I’m proud of…

My family are photographers (verb agreement seems odd there, but…).  Both my Grandpa and my Dad (dtnorman) were (/are) amazing with a camera and I’ve always hoped that one day I’d be able to shoot at the level they did (/do).

It was, therefore, incredibly thrilling to me to be able to shoot an event, CrownBeat, with my Dad, as an actual “accomplice” team member.

CrownBeat is one of the major competitions of the the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps Competition — incredibly intense 14-18 year olds marching around in complex patterns while playing instruments (needless to say, as someone who has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, this is pretty amazing to me).

I have to say I’m actually proud of my pictures.  Here’s a few in particular I liked — mostly unretouched at this point, and watermarked, of course (click to embiggen)

(The whole shebang are at Dad’s Quality Impressions Photography site, here.

Are you behind on your holiday shopping?

If so, I can help!

The Holiday Shoppe (note again the extra ‘e’ — still makes it special  ;-) will be at Cary Academy again this year, and they’ve been kind enough to invite me back!  I am fervently hoping that I’ll manage to get through this one without busting my knee (or any other part of me, for that matter.  Knock on laminate.)

(If you’d like to know more)

Well there you go…

I’d been stressing recently about not having said much for a while, and then I was stressing about the stupidness of stressing while trying to remember why I was doing this (not out of any need to “journal” in the commonly used sense, but because sometimes I have things that are worth saying), when finally this morning it occurred to me that I hadn’t been journaling because I haven’t had that rare combo of grandly excited and three free seconds to breathe.

What’s been going on of late

Slightly overwhelmed at the moment.

Anyone know anything about shooting “still lifes” (still lives?) and want to help me with a photo shoot?  I have a super-wonderful idea for a Christmas card design, but it’s going to require some photography techniques that I’ve never tried before.

Basically I need to take a miniature model of a scene and make it look HUGE.  I have a macro lens (and that is seeming like the right answer from a gut perspective), but I’m not sure.  Any ideas?

I also need to start crafting in earnest (SERIOUS CRAFTING!!!!  ;-)  for the show this year.  Like last year, I’ll be doing the Holiday Shoppe (again, the extra “e” makes it classs-ay) at Cary Academy.  I’ll have jewelry, polarfleece hats, knitted and polarfleece scarves, bags and a wide assortment of “etcetera.”

I’m considering selling some of my photography, though I have reservations about whether any of them are the sort of thing that people would actually pay money for.  I was considering making notecards (which, because they’re useful, at least gives the photography a purpose…less pressure than hanging on the wall).  Good idea?

Finally, I *have* to get a better system for putting my crafts online.  Right now I’m manually adding them to HTML tables, which, as you can imagine, is making updating so onerous that I don’t do it very often.  I need to have a wee db, into which I can add simple info like product name, image, description, price and then have it display in a web page (preferably with little “buy” buttons).  This is completely beyond my skillset though… anyone want to trade jewelry (or hats or scarves or…) for db/web geekery? (Think Christmas gifts!!  ;-)