Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Little Hitch in My Crafty Giddyap

Okay. I’ll admit it. I’m going to say it here for all to read: sometimes when I’m home alone, I get crafty.

And I’ve been taking pictures!

The past few months have been good for my general craftiness for three reasons.

1) I have several crafty friends who have been busy creating things and inspiring me to try things out in my own home. Miss Krafty and Miss Amazing – you know who you are. Props to you.

2) I have had a digital camera to record my productivity and increased skill levels. Somehow having a visual record of what I’ve been able to do has motivated me to keep going.

And 3) lots of people I know have had babies lately and babies are very good for inspiring craftiness. D’you know WHY babies are good for inspiring craftiness? Not because they’re all cute and adorable and such, although that’s usually true. Not because their arrival usually means gift-giving, although that’s also true. No. Babies are good for crafts because BABIES ARE SMALL!!! You can knit up something for a baby in no time flat. You can sew something for a baby that doesn’t have to have darts or a waistline (who on earth wants to emphasize a baby’s waistline?), so it can be completed super fast. Babies are, in fact, heaven-sent crafting opportunities (among other things).

Here are some of the things I have made for babies lately. (Photos of all things knitted are reserved for colder seasons. I do love the knitting. Just not at the same time I’m sweating.)

Please forgive my total lack of modesty here, but AREN’T THEY JUST ADORABLE?????? I’ve been so pleased, and I hope, so have the babies who’ve received these things.

These are so cute and easy – I made 3 of them, for friends who all had baby boys recently.

This little set was for the friends who had a baby girl recently. (Same pattern as above. Butterick 5439.) They love vintage 50s looking stuff so I found a retro fabric, some vintage buttons and HAD A BALL making these. I had to show you the way the little pinny crosses in the back - so cute! I added a drawstring to the partially-elastic waist because I wasn't sure how big Baby's tummy might be.

Here are some things I made for my nephews. It’s hard to tell from the pictures (because I folded them up so nice and tidy) but they’re pillow cases. Two different fabrics for each case. They don’t necessarily go with the kids’ rooms, but they definitely go with their personalities! I figure they can use them for laundry or hauling stuffed animals on safari around the dining room or whatever they want. If they don’t choose to use them on their pillows I will hardly be offended – I’m sure they’ll think of something.

And here’s something I made for my friend MKA. Two things you should know about MKA: she loves bats, dogs and Halloween, and her living room is QUITE ORANGE. Hence, a sofa pillow covered in bats and dogs with a Halloween-looking color scheme. Note the cunning effect of swapping the fabrics around on the two sides. I picked that innovation right out of a Pottery Barn catalogue – or maybe it was Crate & Barrel. You get the idea.

One reason I’m allowing myself to crow with such an utter lack of humility here is that really, these things were easy to make. So simple. It wasn’t like I conjured up some magic powers or latent artistic genius. Nope. Just me, your every-day non-artistic non-genius here. The only things that got me going were my friends (who were generous with inspiration and the occasional helpful bit of know-how and wisdom) and access to a sewing machine.

Here’s the hitch though: I am now somewhat stymied by a camera that didn’t take well to its mini-dunking in the ocean and a sewing machine that is experiencing tension. I am not making that up. The following sentences comprise the full extent of my knowledge of all things related to my sewing machine and its problems:

The machine has thread coming from a spool on top and a bobbin on bottom. The two sources of thread must be balanced as far as tension goes. On my machine, right now, that tension is not balanced. Even when I twiddle the thread-tension knob, the tension remains unbalanced.

So. We have scratched the surface of my craftiness and discovered it is a pretty shallow layer. I have no idea how my machine works, or exactly what I have to do to get it back in order, but I suspect it’s probably not that difficult. I will visit the Singer shop in my neighborhood and let the Wise Crafty Ones there educate me. I would so like to believe that my Inner Crafty Self is more than just a passing phase.

Has anyone else discovered any new crafty things they love doing this summer? I’d love to hear about it. Come on – share the craftiness!

(PS – Fridge Update. When I got home last night the fridge was open and warm, as it had been left. To be fair, as my friend MKA put it, since it’s not actually TRYING right now, we can’t be sure that it’s actually still broken. So. Landlord’s Son is going to plug it in sometime today and I hope to return home tonight to a fridge with proper refrigerating function intact. I do hope it has enjoyed its little sabbatical, and that it is ready to rejoin the workforce. I do miss my dairy, cold drinking water, and icy pajamas.)

1 comment:

Pumpkin said...

You are right, those wee sets for the children that you made are UTTERLY adorable....especially the wee retro set with matching hat (and I don't normally go gooey over kiddie clothes). They also didn't look like someone made them on their own either....nicely done!!!
Also, I have to say that I LOVE the pillow cases, very cool....made me want to go get some material and do something myself....only, I would be doing it the 'thread and needle' way as I don't own a sewing thought someone could inspire me to use one...I was wrong!
And finally....I've always loved painting, making collages etc etc (and I say with unabashed honesty...the paintings are generally...crap...but I love doing them and so far, a friend has taken 2 of them, my mum and this year so far, I've painted 7 canvases and made 3 collages....I've also taken TONS of photographs (scenic usually) with my digital camera (you could take a peek at them if you want, they're on my site under 'Pumpkin's Photographs') other than that, my craftiness is really under-developed.
I'm really glad you enjoyed making such gorgeous things for those that you makes a much nicer gift when you've created something with your own hands and ideas I think!!
Excellent post and photos!!!