That's right my very own, latest version, Illustrator. Now I just need a new computer to keep up with it. And, of course, to learn how to use it. My poor sister is getting a lot of "how do you do this?" phone calls.
I also got this cutie:
I believe it was purchased at JoAnn's of all places. Love it.
What a fun day I had yesterday. You'll all be jealous.
I spent the day over at the soon-to-be-full-but-already-fabulous Yummy Goods on Cape Cod. Melissa and I spent the afternoon being sewing buddies and it was just what I needed. Sometimes I feel so isolated working alone in my studio. Our house is on a hill and my window looks down over the neighborhood. It can feel a bit like sitting up in my ivory tower.
But not today. The space was perfect (bright, beautiful light, the smell of incense, groovin' tunes, and a gentle late summer breeze) and the company was better.
How yummy indeed.
Melissa is off to tape her TV segment (what a rock star) tomorrow and wanted a little moral support getting all her goods together. Of course I was more than happy to oblige. And guess what that meant? I got to be one of the first people to sew with Sugar Snap! So sweet. (I have to say how hard it was for me resist typing "sew" there and making the obvious pun...)
She also gave me a little of her precious first yardage. Thanx Melissa! (I warned you all you'd be jealous...)
We chatted the time away while managing to get some actual "work" done. Can I just say: I LOVE blogging. If I had know that a whole other world was going to open up to me and I was going to make some cool connections and even a really good friend or two, I would have tried this a lot sooner. It's amazing to hang with someone that I already know a lot about and just feel immediately comfortable. Sadly, so many of you amazing people live in far off places and I'll never see your faces, but I know what I read on your blogs will impact my life.
That's a little weird too, huh?
Can you imagine trying to explain this all to someone in the past (before the internet was invented). It would sound like such a crazy mixed-up world. But that's the way (uh huh, uh huh) we like it.
Melissa has promised I'll get to teach some kind of crafty class in her cozy new studio space. I'm going to pretend you'll all want to fly in from across the country just for that, like when Heather Bailey gives a workshop. But if not, and you just happen to be visiting Cape Cod...you've got to check out the store.
I have to say this was much more fun than I anticipated. I really enjoyed reading all the entries, and did want to just keep picking more and more names. You've all been so supportive and in my mind you're all winners!
I think they might be my favorite part of planning a party (notice I said favorite part of planning, not of the party…that’s supposed to be enjoying my guests, although sometimes I’m too exhausted to do so ☺ )
I had my own wedding planning business (I still miss it and think I might go back to it sometime soon) and I always made sure they weren’t an overlooked element. These were little bottles of olive oil with rosemary (a Martha Stewart idea) that I did for one.
But other than big weddings or goody bags at kid’s birthdays I find they are sadly overlooked. I think mostly people don’t want to spend money on something their guests won’t really appreciate. Not me. I want to spend money on them. Lots of money. In fact I’ve been known to limit my guest lists, just so I can do more.
I really love the way they all look lined up. Or even at each plate.
I did these little boxes for a girlfriend’s bridal shower. She has lived in paris so I wanted a French theme. They had hand milled French soaps inside...mmm…they smelled so yummy.
These are the goody bags from my daughter’s pink and brown teddy bear picnic birthday party. They had homemade teddy bear cookies with bear stickers etc. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to buy everyone a copy of the Teddy Bear Picnic book, but I had to admit that was a bit much.
And, for her monster themed party this year I found these at Michaels.
So far I only have 11.
Guess how many kids she’ll be inviting to the party?
If anyone was wondering...I finished Theo's quilt in time for his first birthday. In fact I was nearly 3 weeks early.
And I did a bit of fancy quilting on it. Well, sort of fancy...
First over the main fish part I did a sort of horizontal meander that's supposed to resemble water.
I wasn't confident enough to just do it, so I drew it all out on paper-piecing paper and then sewed over it. It looked like this as I drew it.
If I did it again I wouldn't bother with that step, but I didn't want to "ruin" it after all my hard work.
Then on the first border I did some cute whales. No I didn't draw them myself. They came from the "book" Follow-the-Line Quilting Designs, Volume 2 by Mary M. Covey.
And finally I did two rows of waves. This I did do freeform and for the most part I'm pleased with how it came out.
Now all I need to do is label it (I try to always put a title block on the back). I'm thinking of learning embroidery just for that. I don't want to write it with a marker again. Anyone want to tell me how you typically transfer an embroidery design to fabric? I basically want to print the words on my computer and then stitch over them. I know there is that iron on transfer stuff you can print on, but I didn't know if there was another way. I'm worried that will change the whole background of the fabric too.
And now I shall leave you with a few cute one-year-old pictures, mostly for the grandparents' sake.
OK, never in a million years did I expect to get so many readers so quickly. It was just like 2 or 3 weeks ago I was hoping for 50 hits in one day.
So I have to say you guys are awesome. This crafty blogland is such a wonderful place to inhabit. Everyone is so nice, encouraging, and inspiring.
I try to be really good about replying to all the comments I get...but sorry...on this giveaway, I just can't do it.
And, I had notions of taking all the colors people submitted (or the version I see in my head anyway) and making some kind of mosaic or something for us all to share. Yeah, not going to happen. I was thinking like 40 or 50 comments max. But I did pull out my trusty Pantone guide and start playing around:
So here are my colors (or they look right on my screen... probably totally different on yours):
Here are a few other people's favs (I won't tell you who so you can't tell me how wrong I got them):
Everyone's so different, huh? And yet I love them all.
I didn't realize this would get me thinking about colors and combinations so much. Very interesting design exercise...
I just really loved some of the descriptions:
"The green of the maple leaves when they first open in the spring - when they are so new they are still droopy"
"basically any shade of blue that was painted in the hotel in Mamma Mia"
"the color of a late fall sky right before a storm"
"the same light blue as my little boy's eyes"
Now I really want to bust out the coloring books...
See, I'm hoping you'll think that at any given moment I could bust out with a wicked awesome giveaway like this.
And I could.
You'll have to keep reading and see.
Ha. Of course you might be thinking "It's not all that. What's she fussin' about?" Well, then fine. Don't enter. Leave more chances for someone else...they won't mind.
Anyway, let me tell you what we've got here:
1 scrappy summer belt as seen in my tutorial (or if you don't happen to be in my general size range, I'll make you a custom one)
2 zippered pouches (one is a good pencil case size, the other more of a change purse)
4 half-yard cut pairs (each is 2 coordinating prints, 1/2 yard each)
12 "little bits" of fabric (approx. 9"x11" pieces)
1 pair of barrettes and 1 pair of ponytail holder for girls or grownups...made with my new yo-yo makers.
And it all comes in a super-simple drawstring pouch...
Now for how to enter:
Leave a comment on this post and tell me your 3 favorite colors. And no, green, red, blue, etc...get more specific. Mine right now are chartreuse, chocolate brown, and a light greyish turquoise I'd call "mist".
If I get what I deem to be "a lot" of entries, I might even send out some runner-up prizes. So tell your friends. But you can only enter once...
You have until midnight friday Aug 22 to enter and I'll pick the winner shortly after that. Then you'll have to give me a little bit until I send it out because I'll be out of town for a few days.
Good luck everyone!
**EDIT - I should note I intend to pick the winner(s) from a hat randomly...
Theo is one. How can that be? I feel it's so cliche to say how fast the time flies...but really? A whole year already?
Anyway, I didn't put pressure on myself to plan an uber-party (I know...so unlike me...) We just a tiny family gathering to eat corn on the cob and CAKE. Yum.
I have no pix of the birthday boy yet, but as you can see I did manage to make him a little birthday crown. I really love how it came out. It's all 100% wool felt with a couple off vintage buttons. I didn't want to put a "1" on it since it should last him a lot longer than a year. It even fits on my head..though quite snuggly. I'm also quite proud that I didn't buy ANYTHING in the making of this crown.
Now I feel I should make one for Aurora, but, of course, hers will have to be color coordinated and will require the purchase of more felt.
Isn't it stinking cute? Now I don't actually embroider at all, so either I'm going to learn, or I'm going to passs this along at some point.
Next, I won an award! Paige at Funny Magic nominated me for this "pass around" award and I can't tell you how happy this made me. It was even given to me before Melissa's post about me when many of you discovered me... it's just makes me warm and fuzzy to think someone reads this AND likes what they read.
Anyway, I know it's not a super huge elite thing since I've seen it passed around quite a bit, but I don't care. I feel all accepted into this fun club in blogland.
So here are the rules...and they're clearly meant to be broken:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.
6. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking every body’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant!
Nominations are tough, because so many of my favorites have already been nominated. But I figure it might send a few of you to a new site, so why not.
1. So my first will be my rule breaker. I'm sending it right back to Paige. Too bad that it's not someone new. She totally would have been at the top of my list...
2. Next, I'm sure we all think of the "big name" blogs, but don't dare send them a silly little award...well, since I've officially met her and we're now BFFs, I'm nominating Melissa at Yummy Goods. I know you already read her blog, but it's too great to overlook.
3. Check out April at The Little Things. The pictures she finds (especially of party decor) are just awesome.
I'm back with another tutorial. Honestly don't get too used to this cause there's no way I can keep these coming on a regular basis. Just way too time consuming...
BUT, for now I have a fun way to use up some of those scraps...
Yup, scrappy belts! They seem like a summer thing to me, but of course you could wear them any season you'd like. They're equal opportunity belts.
- a bunch of fabric scraps or really any cuts of fabric in the colors you love
- belt buckle - the kind with the bar across the middle
- long skinny strip of heavy interfacing (approximately 2 1/2" x 50")
- a strip of the backing fabric of the same size
- a strip of muslin the same size
- coordinating thread
- sewing machine
1. Start by measuring the interior of your belt buckle (length of the little bar across it) and either your waist or a similar belt you like.
2. Cut a strip of interfacing. The width should be the buckle's interior dimension + 1 1/4 inch. The length should be the length you want the belt (at least 6-8 inches more than your waist, especially if you wear your pants low) + 3-4 inches (depending on the size of your buckle). (My strip was 2 3/4" x 47")
3. Cut your first fabric piece. Just roughly cut it larger than the interfacing...accuracy isn't important.
(NOTE: in the pictures I used muslin not interfacing, but a second attempt yielded better results :) )
4. Cut another fabric making sure it is wider than the interfacing strip.
5. Fold under one edge of the 2nd fabric 1/4" to 1/2" and press. Slanted edges in either direction are encouraged for a random look.
6. Lay the first fabric over the end of the interfacing right side up.
7. Layer the 2nd fabric over the first with the right side up and the pressed edge to the left.
8. Edgestich in place. Trim the seam allowance down to approximately 1/4" being careful not to cut the interfacing. (I always forget to do this...but it does help reduce the bulk)
9. Repeat steps 4, 5, 7, & 8 with as many different fabrics as desired until the entire interfacing strip is covered.
10. Trim the excess fabric away using the interfacing as a guide.
11. Cut a strip of your backing material the same size as the interfacing strip...it's OK to piece it if you need to. Baste the same size strip of muslin to the wrong side of this backing strip.
12. Sew the front and back of the belt together with right sides together with a 1/2" seam
14. Turn right side out and press.
15. Open up the belt again and on the 2 raw edges, turn in 1/2" and press down the length.
16. Fold it back, matching the pressed edges. Pin in place. (Don't do like I did and skip this step, because the interfaced side won't stretch, but the fabric will)
**EDIT** Just a note that at this point you could fold in both short edges before you edgestitch the length. Then to finish the ends you would only have to stitch across the end and there would be less bulk. This is particularly useful on the end with the buckle. Thanx Meagan!
17. Edgestitch down the length.
18. Edgestitch down the other side for an even finished look.
19. Trim each end just a little to make it a nice clean even edge.
20. On the tail end, fold it towards the back 1/4" twice. Press. Stitch in place.
21. Folding toward the back, make a "loop" for the belt buckle. This depends on the size of your buckle...I has to be bigger than 1/2 the diameter or your buckle so you will be able to sew next to the buckle. Mine was approximately 2" plus 1/4" more to tuck under and make a finished edge. Press flat. Insert the buckle in the loop. Sew down with the edge tucked under.
22. Trim all threads and press the whole belt, and...
I hope you find them as stress-free and fun as I do!
***EDIT - 8/7/08 - After actually wearing my belt, I made a few changes to the tutorial above...I found that the belt did't stay put as much as I'd have liked, so I added a muslin layer and made it 1/4" wider. If you come up with any helpful modifications, please let me know.
These beauties are my new hooks. (There are 2 of them)
Well, not so much new as new to my walls. They were a Christmas gift from my sister, but I finally hung them up. They’re from anthropologie. I couldn’t figure out what to do with them since they’re so pretty I didn’t want them in my closet, but I did want to actually hang stuff on them. I decided they were perfect for my studio to hang recent bag creations on.
You’ve stumbled across the bloggy home of Jessica Levitt. I’m a mom, sewer, crafter, and designer. Here’s where I write about making pretty stuff and all things creative…with a few details of my family life.
All original content on the this blog is copyright of Jessica Levitt. You may use photos of my original work and ideas on your own personal blog/website as long as you give me credit and a link. Please don't use photos of a personal nature (of my family etc.) without my permission.