Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

For the past couple of years Christmas has been a bit different than our 15 year usual. This year it was even more different. Even though Stephanie came home for Thanksgiving and we bought a Christmas Tree and decorated it - it didn't feel like Christmas all month.

Probably because it was just me and Randy walking around the house doing our normal day to day activities, not really going out much - so we didn't see the decorations and the couple of Christmas parties we were invited to we couldn't attend because of other things going on in life.

At some point during the night of Tuesday the 22nd I got in my truck and started driving to Vallejo CA to pick up Stephanie - she changed her major so she had to empty out of the dorm room she was in - she's getting assigned to living space on board the Training Ship next semester. So I had to bring all her stuff back with her. I drove all night got there and packed up and turned around and drove back - the drive there was 7 hours and the drive back was horrible because of all the LA traffic it was 10 hours. Got home and straight to bed.

I wake up on Thursday Dec 24th feeling the spirit of Christmas - at that point I felt like Scourge - and Overwhelmed. So I made lists Gift list, Food list, Normal list, and off we went I dropped Stephanie and Randy off at one store with one list I went to another store with my other list - picked them up and then all conquered the 3rd list. And by 6 PM on Dec 24th we had a place we were going to wait till Midnight they had made Tamales I had made Posole and there were gifts for when we made our rounds on Christmas Day.

I sigh a sigh of relief I didn't ruin Christmas! It was actually a really good one considering all the other stuff going on in our lives right now.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My New Christmas Stockings

You can pattern draft just about any shape in Garment Designer, so every time I need to do something new I open up my Garment Designer first.

Luckily Cochenille has a Holiday collection so the starting points were a lot better than if I would have had to try and manipulate a top into a sock, but I'm sure I could have done it if I needed to. I've drafted some really out of the ordinary shapes in Garment Designer.

So I sketched the shape that I wanted to end up with on a piece of paper so that I would have a visual reference as to where I was moving my points, and came up with this a stocking shape that I could live with. I also changed the cuff of the original design to a Pocket from my inspiration picture.

Click here for a PDF pattern, AND click here for instructions on how to print the pattern pieces in actual size and tape the pages together. if you would like the PDF pattern pieces. They are just the pattern pieces. You will have to refer to this Blog post as the sewing instructions.

Supplies: 3/4 yrd of Fabric, 3/4 yrd of Lining

Stocking Pattern: Cut 2 of Fabric and Cut 2 of Lining Fabric
Pocket Pattern: Cut 2 of Fabric
Tab pattern: Cut 1 of Fabric

When I lived in San Diego I worked at a Home Fabrics store so I have a small stash of Upholstery fabric. I loved the look of linen in the inspiration picture and I knew I had some in one of my boxes somewhere - so I looked and looked and emptied every container I own but it didn't show up - but then I ran across this fabric and liked the idea of the stockings in this fabric so I stopped looking and started cutting.

Sew Pocket:

If you are going to do embroidery you need to do that first.

Then with Right sides together sew the pocket leaving a 3 inch opening along the top. Clip the corners.

Turn Right side out. Iron. Stitch along the top to close the opening. Stitch the pocket to the front stocking piece.

Sew Stockings:

With Right Sides together sew the 2 lining pieces together leaving the top open. Do the same for the 2 fabric pieces. So you end up with to separate stockings. Clip the curves. Turn Right side out. Iron.

Sew Tab:
Iron tab in half lengthwise - Right side out. Iron in Seam Allowance on both sides. Iron flat with seam allowance to the inside. Stitch Lengthwise seam.

Bring the 3 pieces together:

Pin tab to the side of the stocking. I stager the tab putting on end on one side of the seam and the other end on the other side of the seam.

With right sides together slide outer stocking into the lining stocking.

Stitch top seam leaving a 3 inch opening.

Turn right side out. Iron. Top stitch along the top edge to close the opening.

And these are my last minute stockings - and they are last minute considering I still have tons of Christmas presents to finish sewing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

DVD Inspirations CD

Cochenille Design Studio has new product. Susan Lazear has created released a set of Inspiration DVD's.

Susan is a great photographer and she's been able to travel to do Fashion centered Destinations. She has compiled images from different trips that she has used in powerpoint presentations at different classes and lectures at Tradeshows all over the country and it was suggested and she decided to put them together as a product - and Voila - The best Inspiration DVD's I've seen.

The Europe Fall/Winter Windows 2008/2009 is collection of over 300 images of fashion windows from Verona and Venice Italy, and The Swarovski Museum in Austria. Sure to get your creative juices flowing!

This DVD contains two folders, one with graphic JPG images (large and small versions of the files) and one with slideshows. To view the slideshows you will need Quicktime 7 - which can be downloaded for free at Apple's website.
The images and slideshows are divided into three main areas:
VERONA: which includes images broken down into three categories; knit & crochet, sewn, and mixed media.
VENICE: which includes images together of garments, both sewn, knit and crochet.
SWAROVSKI: which features garments and related shot at the Swarovski Museum in Wattens, Triol, Austria.

The Europe Summer/Fall Windows 2008 DVD is a collection of over 350 images of fashion windows from Paris, Verona, Venice, Florence and parts of Tuscany, Italy.

This DVD contains two folders, one with graphic JPG images (large and small versions of the files) and one with slideshows. To view the slideshows you will need Quicktime 7 - which can be downloaded for free at Apple's website.
The images and slideshows are divided into areas as follows:
PARIS: which includes images broken down into three categories; knit & crochet, sewn, and the city.
VERONA: which includes images broken down into three categories; knit & crochet, sewn, and the city.
VENICE: which includes images broken down into three categories; knit & crochet, sewn, and the city.
FLORENCE: which focuses more on garments by designer.
TUSCANY: which features clothing from smaller cities and countryside markets.

They are $25 each but there is currently a special promo code on the website and you can buy them 2 for $40.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Stockings

I totally love Etsy. It has been such a source of inspiration. This year I've been on the look out for new Christmas stockings. I wanted something simple, The one's we have now are huge. I made them about 18 years ago, the family loved them as just about anything could fit in them.

Actually the first year I made them I put Stephanie in one of the Stockings. I wish I had taken a picture.

Any who - I think I just found the inspiration for our new family Christmas Stockings. From Pilosale on Etsy - I love everything in her shop - absolutely everything!

So this is the inspiration for our new family Christmas Stockings - so I guess I better get working on them - since my family keeps asking me when I'm going to put the stockings on the wall - at least now I have an answer - 'When I'm done sewing them!'

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Printsource has a Blog!!!

I have come to the conclusion that my life will always be crazy. If I don't stop waiting until I have more time to do stuff then I'm never going to get stuff done. So today I'm going to follow the advise that my Dove chocolate gave me

"Bring your life to life: stop planning, start doing."

So I'm not planning this post - I'm just posting!

Printsource has a Blog!! I can't believe it I love this company they put out some of the greatest fabric and then are great for inspiration.

I don't know who does there illustrations and Photographs but I love them, makes me want to take a drawing class.

I hope you guys enjoy there Blog as much as I have.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shoulder Bags

In my crazy life I have managed to find a few hours here and a few hours there. One day I cut fabric, another day I do some sewing, and then I finish up the sewing, And then in order to post them on Etsy for sale I have to photograph the bags.

So all in all it has taken me 3 months to make the three bags below. So needless to say having an etsy shop is not for the person with a crazy life such as mine - If it's not one thing it's another. The last two months it's been illness first my husband in the hospital and then my mom with a herniated disk - she can't walk in order to care for herself.

But at least now we are all back under one roof so I don't have to drive back and forth and try to take care of two sick people in two different houses. That has given me some time back. So I was finally able to finish the process.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Crazy Life

My life has been so crazy for months now. I really thought that when Stephanie went off to college I would have so much time to do other stuff - actually hoping to sew more than I had.

There is so much craziness in the world - on our way to drop Stephanie off at college we had to drive through LA - well it was on fire. The smell reminded me of the San Diego fires, not a happy memory. I do remember firefighters from all over the near by cities and states that came to help, I choke up every time I think about all those men and women that risk there lives to same our lives and material possessions. I just had to try to capture the moment.

I love to drive and see the country. I remember my first drive to San Francisco in 1999. My family and I drove up for a state fashion competition, I actually brought home a ribbon that year, But what I remember the most is the wonderful green rolling hills. I driven out there several times since but it has always been at night. I was actually excited that I was going to be driving during the day. So I drove and drove and it was brown and dry. I then run into this:

Why? How? Who? I don't know the story behind this sign but I sure didn't enjoy my drive like I had in the past. Crazy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Steph's at CMA

On Tuesday Sept 1st we woke up at 2 AM loaded up the pick up with all of Stephanie's stuff and headed to San Francisco. It was a long drive. We spent the night at my Brother's place (he wasn't home he was working) Then woke up early again on Wednesday to head over the Bay bridge to Vallejo CA.

It was a very busy day - we checked in with financial aid, we checkin with the Records Office, we bought books, and finish paying for the uniforms. She bowed out of a swim test and decided to just take the swim class. Then they finally let us into the dorms - by this time it was already 3 PM and we still had to drive home.

So we took all her boxes put them on her side of the room and said our good-bye's.

Don't get me wrong I'm a little sad she is gone - but what the rest of the world doesn't know is that she was having a really bad time in High School her freshman and Sophmore year she got nothing but F's. She was ditching school and making all kinds of bad choices.

So I pulled her out of school and homeschooled her - she redid everything she did four years of High school in two years (with the very big help of Dehesa Charter School).

So you see she and I have been attached at the Hip - 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the past 2 and a half years. It was time for her to move on.

Someone told me how mother eagles show there children to fly - they put them on there backs the fly really high and then they drop them. If it looks like they don't get it they pick them up mid fall and fly high again and drop them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Steph's College Fund

Well Steph's College Fund is non-existant. I now wish that even though I believed there wasn't enough money to pay the bills for the past 18 years I would have set a little something aside, I now know that even $5 dollars here and a couple dollars there would really help right about now.

Stephanie has worked really had to get into one of the top Maritime Academy's in the Nation unfortunetly it's about $26,000 a year. She's almost there she has applied to every Grant, every Scholarship, every special Fund she knew about.

But here we sit 2 weeks away from dropping her off at College and she is still $2,000 shy of what she needs by Sept. 2nd.

So she takes some notes from Mom - when all else fails and the day job isn't paying the bills - you start your own business.

Here is what Stephanie is selling on Etsy:

If you don't see anything that you would like to purchase but would still like to help stephanie with a few dollars - you can click here and make a donation through Paypal. This is not a Tax deductible donation it goes straight into Stephanie's Checking account.

Thank you all for your support.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love Bags & luggage

I love quality bags and suitcases. I can admire there craftmanship and detail. I still can't seem to bring myself to pay that kind of money for them - But they are certianly eye candy.

I'm on a lot of mail lists - and one that I like to receive is the infomat - I like to see what is going on with the fasion industry. So every year last week in August is 'Magic' in Las Vegas - oh I would so love to go. For now I'll just drool at the pictures, and browse the manufactures websites.

Here is a really cool one:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another year Older

My life has been really stressful these last couple of months, and I haven't been doing all that I normally do, like blogging! I still can't manage to get the house organized and all the boxes emptied and out of the house. Clutter seems to cripple me.

Yet the move was a good one, because we were able to host my nephew's 2nd Birthday party at the pool - actually one of the many pools in this gated community.

It was great! He is such an adorable child, his mom calls him a holly terror, but isn't that what all 2 year old boys are?

And then on August 9th was my Birthday and a wonderful friend dropped by and gave me a cake. I'm sure I'll get back into the groove - I'm hoping soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shoulder Bag pattern

So I've been having a really hard time getting work done during this move, and it doesn't help that it's been 116 degrees for over a week now.

On Friday I logged into my facebook and a friend had posted this:

I knew she did catering but didn't know she had started baking onesies. It was just the motivation I needed I ordered some mini lemon and snickerdoodle cheesecakes and this wonderful black/white angel food cake.

I picked them up around 11 AM. Cake home and went straight to work. I had that fabric cut and ready to sew - meanwhile the computer was on and I was writing everystep and Illustrating from the snapshots I was taking of the steps. That made the writing of the pattern go quickly.

For my reward I stopped and had my choice of one of the 3 wonderful desserts laid out on the counter.

Needless to say by 7 PM I had a new bag and a fully written and illustrated pattern - Ready for Etsy. Well not ready yet, my proof reader (my sister) is on vacation. So it might be a week before it gets posted to Etsy - but It's done.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bias Tape Maker

There hasn't been much phone activity at Cochenille (Everyone is out enjoying there Summer I hope!) so I decided to take the day off, I got to play on the internet. I came across this nifty little gadjet a 'Bias Tape Maker'.

I haven't purchased it - the only reason that I might is that I hate making bias tape - I always burn myself with the iron. Or the metal bias tape maker gets hot and I burn myself with that.

My only concern with most things when they are new is - they don't usually work right. Sure the picture on the box shows the fabric being fed in correctly and the metal bias tape maker securely on the base and the outcome is crisp nicely ironed bias tape. But does it really work?

Does anyone have one of these yet? Any thoughts?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New place

It has been a long while since I posted. June continued to be overwhelming for me. On June 20th we received the keys to the townhouse we are renting. It is in a nice gated community, lots of greenery everywhere.

So we started moving first everything out of the trailer, then everything out of Steph's room in my Mom's house. That was the easy part. Then we decided that we should get rid of the storage unit that we had rented and put everything in when they forecloused on our home. I have now come to regret that idea. It might be saving me $120. a month but it has come at the price of my sanity.

I'm literally going insane with all the crap that is in the boxes. I must have really changed in the last 2 years because I do remember thinking 'i'm going to need that, I don't think i want to get rid of this, I'm going to use this some day' as I was putting a lot of crap in boxes.

And now I feel like an idiot for having paid all that money to store it, and now all I want to do is get rid of it. But guess what the pride is much stronger than that - so my pride is forcing me to find a place for all that crap in our new place.

So needless to say - I haven't sewn anything because this is my sewing desk:

and the rest of the apartment is piles high with stuff and boxes, and a whole lot of crap!

So today My first actual day off in a long time (ie. nothing must me done today) I'm going to ignore it all and I'm going to sew! I might even set up a knitting machine and knit!

Why? to regain my sanity!


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