Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the Dyson Animal!

Okay, so it is rather expensive. I needed it. I have mentioned my enormous shedding dog, right? Well I had a really crappy vacuum cleaner to go along with her. On Friday it refused to turn off without unplugging it. It fixed itself the next day, but it was too late to save itself. I had already logged on to Amazon and ordered the Dyson Animal Ball for an incredibly low price. Because I am a sucker for Amazon Prime, it came two day delivery. After vacuuming half of my 10 x 14 rug the canister was full of crud. Why is that so satisfying? In addition to the joy I get from seeing all the crap that has been sucked out of my rug, it is also super easy to roll around and no big deal to switch from carpet to hard floor. The rest of my house may look like hell, but my floors will always be vacuumed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gift Making

I have been trying to make some homemade gifts for the holidays this year. I got a jump start in July when I made a set of the Wee Wonderfuls Sleepover Pals for a friend's daughter. But then I gave them to another friend's daughter for her fourth birthday in September. So, back to square one. I finally made a new set for the intended recipient. I probably would have scrapped the whole idea except that I had started making her older sister the Margot topsy turvy doll. It turned out to be pretty quick to whip up another set of Sleepover Pals. As for Margot, I just finished her this week. Monday they will be off in the mail.

For teacher's gifts, I made the Sew Liberated apron for my daughter's second grade teacher. She is the awesome rule-breaking teacher. She cooks with the kids in class. The Emmeline apron is perfectly sassy and goes together pretty easily. So then for my other daughter's kindergarten teacher I made the Hobby Apron from the last issue of Stitch. The pattern is by Erin Harris of House on Hill Road.

My big distraction was this: I made myself a Mischevious Gnome Messenger Bag, also by Sew Liberated. And I used suede! My husband was giving an old suede jacket to Goodwill and I decided to snatch it and cut it up. I was hesitant because if I wasn't able to sew with it I would be ruining a perfectly good jacket that someone might have loved. Instead I have an awesome bag. So then I made another one as a gift for my friend, Anne. I loved hers too, and was really tempted to keep it for myself. Now I want to make them for everyone I know.

One of my points, or maybe my only point, in this post, is that I'm amazed at how well all of these patterns were written and how great they looked finished. I have sewed using patterns and books by big name designers and had loads of trouble. I won't name names, but the errata on some patterns is longer than the patterns themselves. So, in case anyone is wondering, Sew Liberated makes really great patterns and the Wee Wonderfuls book is incredible!