Monday, May 30, 2011

Amigurumi Progress & B-day Weekend

   I'm so happy to be back with good news. I'm finally making progress with the manatees. YAY!. I've been trying to sneak some sewing in the middle of this journey; then I feel guilty for wasting time I should be using for crochet. So no sewn items for you, only these 8 manatees praying for their unborn sibling to come to life.

   I also wanted to share with you some pictures of how I spent my weekend celebrating someone else's birthday. I was as happy as if it was mine, but instead it was my partner who was turning 27. There were movies, sushi, flowers, candies, the best Mexican food ever, cheesecake and a cute balloon. Wouldn't this make you happy?

   She sure was!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway Winner

   I LOVED the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway. It was a lot of fun to read through all of the comments and commenting in other blogs to get the chance to win. I also wanted to welcome those new followers. I picked the winner using the RANDOM.ORG widget. There were 109 entries and the winner is comment #9:

   This is the winning comment:

   So congratulations Robie, you just won a handmade clutch and I just sent you an e-mail to let you know. ;)

   To the other participants, please don't despair, I'll be here running more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Comments Closed

   I just closed the comments on the giveaway post. I really enjoyed reading through your comments. It's very interesting what you guys can come up with when doors are left open. Tomorrow I will be choosing and announcing the winner. Stay tuned and cross your fingers!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Welcome :D

If you are here for Giveaway Day, you have to go here to read about it and participate.

Good luck to all the participants. I'm off to participate in all the blogs. :D :D :D

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sewing Machine Meme

   This is a post that I wrote for my other blog a few months ago, since I don't use that blog anymore I wanted to save this post as I find it very cool. I updated the information to match the current status of my sewing machine and my sewing life.

My Sewing Machine
This is my sewing machine, I must love you guys a lot because I searched all the move boxes for it so I could take a picture.

   Browsing around Sew, Mama, Sew! I stumbled upon what they call the Sewing Machine Master List. It seems that it all started as a fun survey during June 1 , 2009 (Sewing Machine Month) and soon became a widespread Internet meme. Since I liked it so much, I decided to answer the questions for my sewing machine.

What brand and model do you have?
Brother CE-5500PRW
Yes, I'm talking about the Project Runway Limited Edition. No, I didn't know anything about the show until after I bought my machine. It was a great machine, for the perfect price.

How long have you had it?
Around 7 months, I bought it on 10/16/2010. That's exactly when I started to sew. :D

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
It cost me $174.28 (including 7% tax)

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I'm always learning, but I've used it mostly to make purses, accessories and cloth dolls.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I used to sew more, but for now I'm trying to finish other (non-sewing) projects that I have in queue (those manatees...). I normally sew at least once a week for a few hours.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I *LOVE* my machine, she doesn't have a name but I'm open to suggestions. Any ideas?

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I <3 its drop-in bobbin!

I also like that it has good illumination and all the presser feet that it includes. It has a wide variety of stitches which is a big plus. I used to love the automatic threader also, but it broke and I don't know how to fix it.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Nothing at all.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

I never wanted to learn how to sew, I can't recall the specifics but I just wasn't interested in the subject. I don't know how, but a few months ago I got the itch to learn. All I had on hand was my Singer Pixie, but since that is best suited for Crafts it was very frustrating trying to use it for anything else. I was determined to get a decent machine, did my research and saved to buy it. I considered buying it from an authorized dealer, but my jaw dropped when the sales assistant showed me a lesser machine for $400. Later that day I drove to a nearby retailer and bought mine for less than half the price.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Of course! It's very functional and easy to use, even for beginners. Since it's computerized, the machine will tell you (through its LCD screen) if you're doing anything terribly wrong. Also, it comes with enough accessories to keep you from having to run to buy extra stuff every time you want to try something new. If you are a more experienced sewer you'll find that this machine works perfectly for pretty much anything, the only time I ever had issues was while trying to sew vinyl. It is a very reliable machine.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I see a sewing machine as an investment and I believe that its important to buy the best quality product that can be afforded. With that in mind, it is important to do research and know what features are needed for the things you want to do with your machine. Try to buy one that fits your budget and has as many of those features as possible.

Do you have a dream machine?
Yes, one of those computerized sewing/embroidery machines that can be connected to the computer in order to embroider digital designs into the fabric. Since all such machines are out of my budget for the moment, I don't have a favorite model yet.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My 1st Giveaway - Finally!

As part of Sew, Mama, Sew!'s May Giveaway Day and as a gift for my loyal followers I'll be giving away this lovely pocket clutch.

   I made it using a Keyka Lou pattern. The outside is made with a lovely Michael Miller print, the inside is orange solid cotton,  the flap is made with faux leather and it closes with a pearlized button. It is very pretty in real life, even if I say so myself.

   So what do you need to do to win? It's easy! Just write a brief comment on this post telling me a bit about yourself. What you disclose is up to you; anything goes. I'd like to know more about my readers.

The winner of this giveaway will be chosen using the True Random Number Generator from RANDOM.ORG.

The Fine Print:

  • International readers are welcome. I will ship anywhere.
  • I need to be able to contact the winner, so be sure that your email or other contact information is available through your profile/blog/shop.
  • The giveaway will remain open until May 25.
  • I will announce the winner on May 26.
  • I will ship the clutch no later than May 30.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Giveaway Poll Results

   There were a few options to vote for in the poll and a 100% of the voters chose the handbag or clutch option. So be it, I'll be revealing the giveaway item in the next few days.

Zipper top purse

My pocket clutches

   I'll choose any of the handbags or clutches that I have available and let you know what are going to be the steps to participate. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Amigurumi Procrastination

   As I told you in this post I'm making manatee amigurumis that are not optional. I need to have at least 15 of these manatees in one month:

   But I'm procrastinating so much that I don't even have one finished. I'm blaming the move, we have to leave this apartment in less than a week and it's crazy here. Plus, I must say I'm not in love with these manatees; they have very small flippers that you have to crochet attached to the body and it seems to take forever to do that. I'm trying to develop a flipper that I can crochet separately and attach to the body later on. Anyways, let me show you what I have:

   Yes, that's it, I need 15-20 manatees and all I have is a corpse, some flippers and the top of the head of an unborn manatee. Yes, I know it sounds creepy but only thinking about the task that awaits me makes me shake.

   If you want to help, you are welcome to do so. Just leave a comment in this post and I'll email you the information. I promise I'm not getting any money from this. This is for a non profit organization that protects manatees.

Remember to vote for the giveaway item. The poll is running until tomorrow night. ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inspiration: Craft Rooms

   As I told you in my last post, I've been wanting to write a whole post dedicated to craft room inspiration. I previously commented that I now live in a very tiny apartment. When I moved here, I came from an apartment that I shared with some roommates. I had one room so all of my crafty supplies were stuck in a corner. When I packed all of my possessions to come to live with my partner I stuffed everything in plastic storage boxes and containers, and since the space here is so limited I never took the time to take everything out of the boxes.

   The table I work at is the table I bought for my first craft fair, a 6' long white plastic table. I use it to cut, sew, iron, crochet and everything crafty that I can come up with.

And recently I bought a 3 drawer cart like this one to tide up my corner:

   These things sleep with us at night as my little corner is in our bedroom, right in front of our bed. :(

   This is functional, clean and practical, but its not pretty at all and its not inspiring. As every crafter in the world I was hoping and dreaming to someday have a room of my own that I could use to be inspired and create. The answers to my prayers came when some family problems got fixed. We will be able to move into a very comfortable apartment with enough space for us and all of our stuff. The best part of it, is that I'll get a room for all of my crafts (I already bought the paint ^-^), so I started to search for pretty pictures of inspiring craft rooms and here are some of my favorite:

Open doors

Studio shelves

Fabric Stash - Freshly Organized!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Issues & The Arrival of The Snail

   As most of you know by now, Blogger had issues. It was down for approximately 20 hours. Last night I was searching for pictures and inspiration for a post I was writing about craft rooms. I'll be moving soon from a one room (almost studio) apartment to a bigger apartment in which I'll have a craft room of my own. How cool is that? But Blogger had issues, so I decided to postpone that post until tomorrow and blog tonight to remind you of the Giveaway Poll. Among all the glitches that Blogger had, some comments, posts and applications were erased and with these the poll I was running. There were 3 votes, and if any of those were yours I beg you take a second to vote again. I decided to extend the poll until Monday, May 16 to make up for the time Blogger was down.


   In other news, I wanted to let you know that USPS decided to make me happy and the snail arrived with my packages. Here you have a picture of all the goodies I received in the mail this week. I even received some scraps that are making my eyes happy. ^-^

   Did you receive anything cool in the mail this week?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My 1st Giveaway - Poll

Fabric Flower Hair Clip
   When I started this blog, I expected to be talking to myself for a very long time before anyone started reading. Thankfully, it wasn't like that. I've gathered over a dozen active readers in just a couple of weeks.

   As I got more readers, I started thinking about organizing a giveaway. It was then that I discovered Sew, Mama, Sew!'s May Giveaway Day and I thought: Why not? I'll say thank you to my readers with a giveaway and participate in this fun event.

   I crated a poll to figure out what kind of item you would like to see in said giveaway. The poll is located on the top of the left column and will be available until May 15. Please, take a couple seconds to participate. Feel free to leave a comment on this post if you have any other ideas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

April/May Flickr Favorites

   I've seen this kind of posts in other blogs so I thought I would share mine. Here are some of my Flickr Favorites from the past month or so.

InnocenceKeyka Lou ditty bag-turtle versionLouise
YactakCute DollsWaiting in the Pastry Line, by Nicole
Whimsy Dorothy MaeWoodgrain Ditty BagKate

1) Innocence by Lvalizious 2) Keyka Lou Ditty Bag - Turtle Version by Parrishplatz 3) Louise by Appomovi 4) Yactak by Green Elevator 5) Cute Dolls by Wendilerías 6) Waiting in the Pastry Line by Nicole 7) Whimsy Dorothy Mae by DawnLewisImagery 8) Woodgrain Ditty Bag by Keyka Lou 9) Kate by rebeccabillington

Can you tell I'm into dollies?

Monday, May 9, 2011

USPS Makes Me Sad

   Remember when I posted about my Shopping Spree? Well, It's been approximately a week. I know its not much time for all the packages to arrive but I must admit that I'm not a good online customer. I am a happier person when I receive instant gratification. The funny part is that since last Friday all of my packages have been in transit from Cataño to San Juan.

   For non Puerto Rican readers: this is a super short distance that can be covered in around 30 minutes considering normal traffic. Now I know what Miss Lou from Elousions meant by Snail Mail since only a snail could take that long to deliver a package from such a short distance.

Non-Optional Amigurumis & New Button

   I really can't tell you why, but I need to make around 20 of these manatee amigurumis (pattern by NeedleNoodles). I have approximately one month and a half to complete this task. Even though I've made them before, it seems I'm not fast crocheting amigurumis. It takes me a few hours to complete each so I'll try to make one every day. If you wanna help, contact me and I'll send you info.

In other news, I made this cute little button for you to use if you'd like to link to this blog. Isn't it cute?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Ditty Bags - Done


   I just finished the Ditty Bags that I'm gonna give to my mother and grandmother for Mother's Day (they're still hot from the iron). :) :) :) This is the large size.

   It was a lot of work for so little time :S. There were too many pieces to cut but I found a helper on time ;). I couldn't do it during the week and since I'm not gonna be able to see my mom tomorrow I had to make the presents today. I didn't sleep at all, and won't sleep until I come back from my mom's so you can imagine the dark circles, but here is the result. I  told you in advance what the fabric combination would be for both and here they are live.

I hope they like them and I hope I don't fall asleep while driving. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Work Chair Update

   My back is so happy that I had to tell you, I finally got myself a new work chair. The chair I was using was from a tattoo artist friend that was moving, so she sold me her chair for $20. Bad news is that that chair was already worn from use when I got it more than 1 year ago. As you can imagine it was already falling apart, the cushioning was showing in some areas and it was wobbly as a result of something that broke in the lower area. It was almost impossible to seat straight and that is showing in the intense pain I'm feeling in my back recently.

   I started searching in the local office supplies shops a few days ago but no luck, a decent chair wouldn't go any lower than $100 which I didn't have at the moment. The answer for me was in an online service for personal ads, I found a "new" chair for $40. I say "new" because it was used but like new, no scratches, no odor, nothing, just plain delicious cushioning and lumbar support for my back. Here is the before and after:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Handmade vs. Mass Produced: Drawstring Purse

   Do you ever have the urge
to make something you saw in a store?

   I have to admit that one of my guilty pleasures is to go to places like Claire's, Icings and Exentrix and roam around to take a look at the pretty girly stuff. Sometimes what I see is so inspiring that I have to control the urge to buy something with mental images of Chinese sweatshops. A few weeks ago I saw this in the clearance area of Claire's.

   It yelled "buy me please", I LOVED it but as I said before I try not to shop in this kind of store. I had a mental trip through what I thought the construction of something like this would be like. Then said: "I can try to figure this out, but I'll need faux leather and eyelet grommets". To make this story short, I forgot about it until yesterday when I found Pixie Blossoms blog for the first time. I started to read the entries and stumbled upon this:

Pixie Blossoms publishes her awesome pictures in this Flickr

   In this entry she talked about how proud she was about this purse and how it turned out, and I must say I am too. She made this purse in 2008 (way before Claire's released its version), but never sold it and decided to keep it. It's just too pretty to be real! The nicest part is that it is handmade with love and looks professional. I must admit that the next thought in my head was: "I can try to figure this out, but I'll need faux leather and eyelet grommets".

   I only hope this time I don't forget about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Other things I do

   When I started this blog I told you that the main things I liked to do are sewing and crochet. I've talked about my sewing experiences a bit now, so it is time to tell you about crochet.

   I started in January of 2010 when I purchased a "teach yourself to crochet" kit. I learned to make chains, then swatches and when I got to flowers I found out that people loved them so I focused on that area. I started to research A LOT about crocheting materials, different kinds of fibers etc. I noticed that I liked materials that gave a little bit of shine to the crocheted items. I found ribbon, and it was an eye opener, I loved how it looked. That's how I decided that I would make ribbon crocheted accessories from then on, and that's how Too Cute Design was born.

   The story doesn't end there, because being the hippie tree-hugger that I am I wanted to use my craft to reduce a little bit of the waste that we produce. SO I researched again, used some "plarn" and stumbled upon VHS in a site that I would like to remember so I could link to it. This was the result:

   That's the story of my crochet beginnings and  my brand. I also wanted to tell you that I know how to make things like scarves and throws but in this tropical island people don't use such things; it's too hot :-(

   I'll continue with this story later on. Stay tuned!
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