Motivation

2016 Sewing for Children Contest
And I downloaded a Brindille and Twig Romper pattern, have got snaps and a snap setter on the way and have had the Mickey Mouse fabric on hand for some time, should be enough to make the romper for Ryan and a Tee for Logan. In order to comply with the rules of the contest I can’t start actually sewing on this project until August 1st which is still a week away, but I’ve got plenty to keep me busy until then. My current goal is to finish the white jacket my wardrobe so desperately needs and which has been in progress for 2 months before I begin sewing for the boys.

What have I been doing for 2 months when I should be able to finish this in under a week you ask? Finishing up another project with an actual deadline, that drawing of Lemon Boy Cucumbers.

Serger Thread Storage


You can buy these Closet Maid over-the-door organizers at Target as of 7-2016. Aisle C-41 in my Tarhet. Are the aisle numbers consistent from one Target to the next? 

Serger cones fit perfectly in this pitifully easy to assemble and install rack. Lots of them. And who has a serger and doesn’t have lots of cones of thread? This is not my original idea. I found it on the forums of Patternreview.com while desperately searching for ways to organize my sewing room. I am merely passing it on. Paying it forward if you will. It’s a great idea, so thanks to the original poster, whoever you are.

Easy Orchid Centerpiece

  • Just buy Orchids in small pots. 
  • Buy some cloth napkins that coordinate with your event theme or color scheme or make your own out of quilting cotton. You want napkins with a little body. Batiks are a nice complement to orchids.
  •  These I made with a rolled hem using bulky nylon on my serger. They are small for napkins, only 14″ square. I think I was trying to get 3 napkins across the selvedge-to-selvedge width of my fabric. For these small pots they are perfect. 
  • Use rubber bands like they use on broccoli bunches at the grocery store. Start saving now if you’re having a big event. Hope you like broccoli!
  • Place a pot on the center of a napkin, gather the fabric up and around the base of the orchid, stretch the rubber band up and over the pot until it settles around the base of the orchid.
  • Find the corners of the napkin and gently pull and shape them to your satisfaction.

So quick and easy yet festive and fun!

Artist’s Bridge DIY Hack


You can buy a manufactured artist’s bridge from Blick, or you can stop by your nearest hardware or home improvement store and get a paint stirring stick. Attach some erasers with rubber bands. Please use new rubber bands and unused erasers. Alternately, get 2 sticks and cut one down to make 2″ long risers to glue in place on the underside of your stick. Stick felts or other surface protectors on the bottom.

Lemon Boy Cucumber

Here is a photo essay showing the progress of my latest Botanical Illustration:



Things I learned on this drawing:

  • Polychromos pencils smear like mad, leaving a green haze over the white areas of the drawing. This necessitates new strategies to protect the paper, including wiping newly sharpened pencils with a cloth, using an artist bridge and blowing fine particles off the drawing rather than brushing.
  • It’s probably best to do a few small studies after a long dry spell before jumping in to a complex composition with a deadline.
  • Using Prismacolor Black Grape in shadows on botanicals is not for the faint of heart. Best to stay with the Polychromos Indigo.  Changing mid-drawing is a really bad idea.
  • Irojiten Mulberry has potential as a replacement for Black Grape, needs further investigation and sampling. Save this for a few of the deepest darks. Nasco sells Irojitens open stock.
  • The adult coloring book craze has decimated the colored pencil market and replacements from open stock are going to be hard to get until the fad runs its course.