A new Machine, A new Inspiration

I am so excited. This week I received a brand new sewing machine. My old machine was a very cheap one, I bought it several years ago, 4 about, the cheapest one I could find, ( it was all the money I had) to buy a machine. I didn’t really know what I was doing, I inherited my mothers fabric collection. Anyway, a few weeks ago it was acting bad, it was something with the bobbin. I learned to fix it, but my fix didn’t work for long and I got so frustrated that I couldn’t get anything done. I didn’t sew for weeks. Last week my favorite sweater had a ripped seam, so, I took it over the machine and attempted to fix it. The dang thing wouldn’t budge. Well, it budged, but all it managed to do was make a tangled nest a bird would not want. I screamed in frustration, I NEED A NEW ONE!

Well, I did it. I ordered it, and it came! Its nothing fancy, but it is double the price of what I paid for the first one ( after all I am more familiar with sewing than I was then) and it has a few more bells and whistles that I just can not wait to try! Sadly, I have had a horrible week. During the last week all three of my poor babies came down with a stomach bug. I have had kids home all week, some days one, some days, 2 and one day all three. Sigh, I spent the week looking at my new machine all clean and brand new , all set up and ready to go, while I cleaned up things that are not fit to talk about on a decent blog. I finally turned it on last night, just to see it light up and to hear to what noise it made, but then I turned it off and went and cleaned a toilet. 

Today, only 1 kid is sick and he is on the road to recovery, my housework is getting caught up and the sun is shinning! After I give the bathrooms a good disinfecting cleaning, I will sit down and start designing my new creature. I can’t wait!

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When bad things happen to experiments

I have recently started playing around with my yarn collection again. Though I am now in Texas and have no need for things that are soft and fuzzy and warm, I still enjoy making the occasional scarf or hat on the Knifty Knitter Loom set. Since I really don’t need to make hat’s for my kids for the winter this year, I decided to experiment and see what else I can do with my loom set. Oh sure, look down on me for using a loom instead of needles, if that is what they are called lol, don’t look too far down you’re nose at me. I have tried to learn to knit but I have one little drawback, I am left handed and everyone I know that can knit the traditional way has tried to teach me, the cross hand south paw seems to confuse everyone and frustrate them. I tried learning from books, it’s just incredibly difficult to learn that way for this south paw, however I have accepted that and found The Loom, which I love! Though I enjoy making hats and scarves, my true love is making weird creatures so I decided to experiment. 

I started on a round loom and I successfully made a ball. Woo hoo ! It needed something else however so as I was making a brown ball,  I took a break and my daughter took the first blue ball and put it inside the loom with the  half  of the brown ball finished, and out of the mouths of babes she replied  ” mom, this looks like a nest with a egg in it”. She was right! So, that’s what I made. I finished off the “nest and attached the “egg” inside it. Looking great so far!

Usually I use buttons for eyes, however those are not safe for babies (or cats) so I decided to attempt to stitch with yarn a face and since I decided to turn it into a cat toy (no cat can walk away from yarn, right?} I wanted to add some dangling yarn was feathers and this is what came out. 

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Wow! Ugly as heck! When I first gave it to my cat to see if he would play with it, he just laid down with it and started “cleaning it”. Well, it did smell funny, my yarn has been sitting in the garage for 2 years, so I threw it in the washer and dryer. When it was finished, and still intact ( I always like to test the convenient washing method on anything I make) and smelled like my favorite blanket, I gave it to him again. 

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Simba played with it for about a minute, got bored and it’s been laying on the floor every since. So much for a cat toy. 

Every once in a while my kids will pick it up an throw it at each other but that’s about it. For my next yarn experiment, WHITE YARN SNOW BALLS!!! We are from Idaho and we really miss the snow, so tomorrow, I will experiment and see if I can make some “snowballs” that my kids can safely throw at each other this winter! I hope our dog doesn’t decide to make them yellow snowballs!

Just remember, even things that turn out bad can be the start of something better and even if it’s not perfect in you’re eyes, doesn’t mean it won’t be perfect for someone else’s. 

Keep experimenting!

 

 

Adventures in Felting

For a while now I have been seeing books on Felted creations. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try to learn this interesting technique. I bought a book, felting and needles and I excitedly got home and got to work. I watched you tube videos and read the book I bought and it looked so easy!

It’s not so easy! Fun, oh yes! I love the feel of the felt roving, love the colors and I love being able to puncture it with sharp little needles. It takes a long time and patience to do it though. It’s a time consuming hobby and I love it! I only wish I could do it! It is so hard! The people on the YouTube videos and the books, they make it look so easy, but it really is not, at least for me. I have trouble making perfect ball shapes and I know it’s my own completely uncoordinated fault.  

I must keep practicing and I know that I will eventually “figure it out”. I really want to but it’s so easy to get discouraged. However I have used the felting to make a mustache for one of my creations and today, I finished my bat by adding a felted tail onto the back of him. They did turn out cute but I just don’t know how long they will be able to stay attatached since it is so easy for them to pull apart. 

I decided to make a simply cupcake that was in the book I bought and it turned out pretty good, only looks like some type of tart. I am not sure what kind due to the color choices I made, I suppose it is a lime tart with a chocolate drop on top. How I made it was putting the yellow felting inside a mini cupcake tart and felting it inside as a kind of mold. Then I added a dab of green felt to give it some color and to practice attaching another color. I thought it needed a little something else so I added a tiny brown ball as a chocolate drop. Then, I took it out, of the metal tin and using hot glue to add the mini cupcake liner. It turned out pretty cute. 

Here are some lessons I have learned the hard way…

1. When felting into a metal tin…the needles WILL break if push it all the way to the bottom. The bottoms of the needles will make a snapping sound and then you must remove the broken needles from the creation because they have tiny barb’s on them and they WILL hurt someone. 

2. It takes a long time to felt the shape, be patient and eventually it will work. 

3. It takes practice! I wish I could go take a class somewhere and have someone personally help me, but YouTube videos are a great help. 

4. Do not pull on the felting to soon to see if it’s attached all the way, because it will come off and you will have to start again. 

I have a feeling it is well with the practice and hopefully, in time I will start to “get it”. 

Good luck! If you have any tips for me, I would greatly appreciate it!Image