Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

Stop Motion Experiment

No, I’m not crafting, I was just working on a little stop motion experiment that I think you might enjoy. It sort of happened by accident, or my inability to stay still, that I got this nice little natural blur so I decided to go for it and create motion within the stop motion.

June 27, 2011

Don’t Be Cruel

Once again, I am 0-???. I’m starting to lose count but I’m not winning. Friday evening, MadMaloney and I were discussing our next creative projects and one thing we both agreed upon was that it would be nice to have new potholders. Brilliant! It’s a square, it’s useful and that’s about it. I have tons of scraps sitting around and I could make at least 3-4 on Saturday afternoon. So I did some research and found a bunch of free potholder tutorials online. All I would need to buy? Some bias tape for the edging and some heat-resistant batting. I already had some really cool Elvis fabric that I purchased in Graceland.

Saturday morning I set out for Hobby Lobby feeling rejuvenated from previous failures and confident that today would be the day I begin to pull myself out of this sewing slump, this losing streak that I spend sleepless nights analyzing mistakes upon mistakes. And I was going to do it with potholders no less. As I stood waiting for my Insul-Brite heat resistant batting to be cut, the salesgirl asked me what I intended to make. I felt like a kid sharing my most precious secret, “I’m making potholders”. “Oh, what a great idea. And so simple”, she said. “I may buy some of this today and make some too”. The difference between me and the salesgirl? Hers probably came out okay.

Well, I measured and cut out squares really neatly with my rotary cutter and even decided to try out some quilting techniques with the layers and layers of fabric. Easy peasy! My sewing machine and I are finally becoming friendly. I wish I could say that these came out okay but they are a disaster and for once (okay not for once), but I don’t really know what happened. All I know is they are messy as sin! The pictures are forgiving, but the amount of mess and loopy threads hanging out all over the place is amazing. See for yourself:

Look at the details of mess!

What are these loops everywhere?

This bias tape is not easy to play with.

I can’t even sew a straight square. And I’m so bummed about this, that I’m taking a little break from crafting for awhile. It’s not too expensive of a hobby, but I don’t see any progress. MadMaloney seems to think I don’t like to follow directions and maybe there is a little truth to that, but I really do want to succeed at this. I just need a little time to reflect and regroup. That being said, I did just receive a vintage pattern set of Barbie clothes 🙂

June 20, 2011

It’s My Pajama Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not trying to fail, I just get confused sometimes. Today’s project is another fine example why this blog exists. I didn’t just fail at my first attempt at a wearable EASY pair of pajama pants, I lost control, hit rock bottom, flopped, missed the boat and the pajama party I was hoping to have wearing my new drawstring pants!

It all started because I got too excited with the success of my reversible bag. I figured I had the hang of this sewing thing and I want to keep pushing myself a little further with each new project. I found a great FREE pattern on the Simplicity website for drawstring pajama pants. I had flashbacks of the sewing class I took back in the summer of 1986 when I attempted to sew a similar pair of pants. I failed those with flying colors, but I was also 8! I’ve learned to follow directions since then and there’s no way I could fail again. I set out to my local Hancock fabrics with seersucker in mind and this is what I found:

It’s a bit more madras print then seersucker, but I thought it was cute and summery, plus anything will be an upgrade from MadMaloney’s flannel plaid pants that I’ve swiped. I also realized once I washed the fabric that it has quite a bit of stretch to it. That should have been my first sign to run, but I have been determined for the last few weeks to make these pants. Now for the pattern. The beauty of this pattern was that it was free, the ugly of this pattern was that I had to print out 25 pages from my printer and then piece the thing together, but I guess that’s what I get for being a cheapskate.

So I taped and I taped and pulled it apart and put it back together  and then I taped some more. And then I had a cocktail and I think that made the process a lot more enjoyable.

And yes, I couldn’t find regular scotch tape but I think the blue painters tape worked just fine. What do you expect? I’m a mess! I decided I had done enough for one evening so I put it to bed so I could be fresh and sober when I started cutting the pattern. In retrospect, sober is irrelevant when it comes to me and sewing crafting.

I spent all of Friday evening spread out across my bedroom floor cutting out the pattern. MadMaloney was out for the evening meeting with a client on a new skull ring. His jewelry skills are insane. I am coming to the realization that there may not be enough room for two talented folks in our household, but he wasn’t home so I figured I was queen of that throne for the evening! Honestly, the cutting went pretty well, even if I disregarded the fact that those notches they tell you to cut out should really line up.

Everything is sort of nicely cut, and then came the buttonhole. Figuring out how to attach the buttonhole foot wasn’t as painful as I thought but trying to sew the hole was a nightmare. I think I may have spent 2-3 hours practicing on scrap fabrics until I finally threw in the madras fabric and decided “MY PANTS ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE A DRAWSTRING” I am only sleeping in them, I don’t care! On to the sewing. I can sew a straight line. Whoo hoo, I’m home free. And then this happened:

I sewed the crotch right up to the waistline and learned that if you don’t line up the notches then you might be exposing yourself. Once again, F for failure, F for flop, F for EFF THIS! I am feeling a little defeated today but after some unsuccessful reflection on what went wrong, I’ve decided maybe a shirt would be easier!

I’ll leave you with this. It’s My Party and I’ll cry if I want to, you would cry too if it happened to you. Who needs pajama pants anyway?

June 17, 2011

Memphis Beat, Vol. 2

Hi there and Happy Friday! I thought I’d share some more Memphis trip photos and this time it’s all about the food! Once again, all taken with the Instagram!

Check out all the amazing dishes we had:

BBQ Ribs at Blues City Cafe

BYOB (Build Your Own Burger) At Sole in the Westin

Salmon Panini at Sole in the Westin

Gus’s Famous Spicy Fried Chicken

and of course, DYER’S! This is the Filthy Diablo!

June 14, 2011

Memphis Beat

Hi there friends! I just returned from my annual Memphis trip and had to share some of the amazing photos that I captured with my free iPhone app, Instagram. I have so many that I’ll share a few every couple of days, this way I don’t overload you, and hopefully, you’ll remain intrigued. And if you are an Instagram user, follow me at littlechrissie

Being from New Orleans, the idea of taking a carriage ride seems like a tourist trap. However, I have to say, this carriage was a great way to see downtown Memphis and look at this awesome carriage!

June 7, 2011

All You Got To Do Is Try…Try A Little Animation

Okay, i’m reaching for that title, but I’m heading to Stax Museum on Thursday and I love Otis Redding. In the meantime, check out some of my animation experiments created in After Effects

The Rules: No Effects, Limited Color Palette, 2-3 Hour Time Limit

June 6, 2011

A Woman Is A Woman (with a new bag!)

So it pains me to tell you that my latest sewing adventure definitely gets a passing grade. Sewing enthusiasts may think otherwise but then I’ll send them over to Burdastyle if they are interested in properly executed projects.

Saturday morning I set out to start my first real sewing project: the super cute reversible hobo bag from verypurpleperson, called the Charlie Bag. I decided to visit my local Hancock Fabrics to survey the goods. I love watching Project Runway and I thought it would be fun if I only gave myself 30 minutes to find my two fabric choices. That is so hard when you have no idea what you are looking for. I stared at the wall of cotton fabrics for a half hour before I even touched anything. I pulled out at least 10 different combinations before I finally decided on a red Hawaiian pattern and a flowery yellow pattern. It’s fair at best. The fabric cost a total of $12 so I figured when I mess up, it wouldn’t have cost me too much.

I printed out the pattern and instructions and got to work. One of my favorite French New Wave films, Une Femme est Une Femme (A Woman Is a Woman), played in the background as I began cutting the fabric.


I think I cut for what seemed like hours but alas I had all the pieces ready to be sewn. I had never sewn darts before and I sure am glad I took the time to find a video tutorial because darts meant something different to me than it does in the sewing world. Had I not, this project would have been sent straight to the mother of all fail blogs, Craft Fail. Needless to say, the darts were a small victory. I got through the sewing portion pretty easily but when I had completely finished sewing up the straps, I realized that I had sewn them wrong. Maybe it doesn’t look too bad but the seam is running down the middle. You’ll also notice that the straps are all different thicknesses but I never said I was perfect!

I did take the time to rip out the seams and resew the straps correctly and VOILA! I got a bag:


Yes it’s so cute! Yes it has plenty of problems. I had no idea how to hide the fraying fabric edges but I don’t care. Some people are perfectionists, I am not one of those people. I like to see, “the hand of the artist”, in my work and it shows all over! I”ll be walking in Memphis, walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale!

June 5, 2011

Crafting Sneak Peek Revealed!

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June 3, 2011

Crafting Sneak Peek

Working on a little something special

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June 2, 2011

Walking In Memphis

It’s Thursday, the week is winding down and I’m on a mad hunt for a weekend project. I really want to sew something but I think softies are a little complicated for me right now and I want something a little more useful than a pillow. I want something I can show off!

Mad Maloney and I are heading out on our annual trek to Graceland next week and we will be spending four fun-filled days walking around Memphis so a tote bag of some sort seems to be a good choice. That way I have something to store all my Elvis trinkets in. On a side note, I am almost finished reading Priscilla Presley’s book, Elvis & Me, and I am learning just how odd of a guy Elvis really was. One of the thing she notes is that when he was filming Harum Scarum, he liked the makeup and costume he was wearing so much that Elvis would normally eat dinner wearing his brown face makeup and turban. Weird, right?

Okay, on to the tote bag project. I have narrowed it down to two bags and I’m studying the instructions to see which will be the most painless. I love this Charlie Bag, it’s hip and oh so cute, but it has darts and I’ve never sewn them before, plus I need to figure out the math so I could buy the right fabric. I also really love this Market Bag. Also very cute, and I’d work with something called interfacing.

Regardless, both similar in style. I’ll decide based on what directions are clearest. I’m hoping I can find some fun fabric that is either music related or vacation. The tackier the better I think. I’ll be limited to what I find in Hancock or Hobby Lobby. Stay tuned. I’m sure you’ll see something Monday morning, Win or LOSE!