Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas before Halloween

I’ve been taking my time and putting a list of what to make for friends and family for the Christmas holidays. There’s only about two full months until it arrives and even less time for some friends and family we see before the holidays really begin. If I want to make anything it means starting well in advance and actually sticking to it and not playing video games. So Christmas has to start now, I can’t waste any more time. I might be picking up more hours if my job does cut my hours down. I can handle it for a little bit, but not for too long. I do have debts to pay off just like everyone else and with the prospect of school money and working as much as possible does weigh heavy on my mind.

As a result of this shock from work I’m trying to be as economical as possible, small gifts, with the exception of my sister who I purchased her gift well before I found out my hours are going to get hacked if it continues to be this slow.

Several months ago I purchased a new Jenome 200e embroidery machine on sale; it’s a basic machine with a hoop size of 140mm x 140mm (5.5” x 5.5”). I’ve tested it out only a few times for tiny little designs to get a feel for it but until now haven’t had a permanent location for it. It’s now sitting on a trunk in my room. It’s a semi-out-of-the way location behind my desk which makes for sitting in my room painting and working on a design more manageable.

For the vast majority of my family they will be getting bottles of homemade vanilla and some fabric ornaments. Pretty simple I think. As for the rest of the family, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. But the list appears as follows.

Mom: Embroidered tree skirt
Sister and Brother in law: Queen sized flannel quilt
Boyfriend: “Cowboy” shirts
Little cousins: Jumpers and jackets

That’s what I have planned so far. I doubt it will get more complicated than that or I would never finish on time. I have also ordered a ‘free’ embroidery program Stitch Era Universal. I say ‘free’ as I have to pay for shipping which is fine it’s much more affordable than many of the programs available for digitizing. I create vectors on a regular basis and this program should, as it is advertized to, convert vectors into an embroidery design with almost no hassle. The benefit to this is that my boyfriend would like some Calavera skulls for ‘cowboy’ shirts, but he’s very picky about the design meaning I have to create them myself. After creating in Corel Draw I really don’t have the patience to waste another million ours digitizing it in the same way I created it. It’s a personal frustration as I put hours of work into my vectors, I am hoping this will be an easy remedy to the problem and I can spend more time sewing than tinkering on the computer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just some thoughts and cold weather

It’s that wonderful time of year again; crisp autumn air, frost in the morning, the crunch of leaves under your feet. I love the whole feel of autumn and the approach of winter. I just HATE the cold. The onset of winter normally throws me downstairs and into my sewing lair. This year has been a little bit different. Here in Edmonton we went from 34 Celsius to 15-20 Celsius in a matter of 48 hours. Unfortunately that extreme drop in temperature has caused my poor body to seize up with extreme pain. This is why I hate the cold. No sewing for me until I adjust to the new cooler temperatures and the new pressure. In the mean time I’m trying to keep busy, I can’t sit for prolonged periods of time and my hands are too stiff for careful detailed work. So I’m cleaning and organizing my sewing space and art supplies. Fabrics are being organized a bit better. Right now there is no real system in place for how they’re organized; fabric is getting crammed into every corner available. It’s not fun, I would rather be sewing, but it needs to be done.

If done right I should be able to put out the embroidery machine on a semi-permanent basis for holiday sewing as well as my easel. Much of this will rely on getting the numerous baskets of UFO’s completed once and for all and unloaded onto the unfortunate souls who they were meant to be made for long ago; mainly my ‘little’ sister. I’ve got many pairs of pyjamas for her that only need elastic and hemming before I can hand them over to her and a few skirts that need to be hemmed as well. I just have this thing for not finishing items when their near completion.
In my organizational efforts the past few weeks I have pulled out the fabric for a few quilts that I need to make for the holidays. One is for my sister. She’s getting a lot this holiday season; I just noticed that, I have a tendency to spoil my little sister even though she is 21.

I’ll post my holiday sewing list in a few days once I finish organizing everything. The only real sewing I’ll be up to is practicing a front fly zipper for jeans and working on the wardrobe contest.