Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sewing Meme I stole off Leigha's Blog

What brand and model do you have?
Bernina 910 Domestic, Bernina 950 Industrial and some others.
How long have you had it?
The 910, for about 10-12 years, the 950, 6 years.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
A lot. A new 950 is around $2000, a 910? I don't know, I don't think they make them anymore. I didn't pay for either. The 910 I inherited from my mom, it is around 25 years old. The 950 I ended up with.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.
Everything from bear rugs, to wedding gowns to quilts.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
A whole lot, as I do it for a living.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
LOVE THEM with all my heart. They are both stellar machines. Can't live without the industrial. And I can fix them, most of the time. I have sewn on this brand for so long that I can tell when it needs oil just by the sound of the bobbin.
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
Speed, baby. The industrial hauls. The domestic is also very fast for a domestic. Also, I can wind bobbins while I sew. And they both have several stitch choices.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
The domestic has a power source issue. In fact, it is currently out of commission because the power source broke again. This is the fourth time.
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 got my domestic because my mom was using my machine and damaged the power cord and caught the machine on fire. She was buying a new one for herself anyway, so she asked if I wanted her old Bernina or if I wanted her to fix or purchase mine. I told her I wanted the Bernina.
The industrial came to me by way of a costume shop, prop shop, costume shop. I was working on a show for the 2002 Olympics and we didn't have much of an equipment budget, so we had to beg, borrow and steal machines. This one was an old one from a shop I worked in that had been given to the prop shop. They broke it and bought a new one. They lent it to the Olympic cause, but we didn't have the money to get it fixed, so it just sat there. After the Olympics, I tried to return it to the prop shop, but the foreman told me to drop it off a cliff. I asked him if I could have it and he said yes. It sat in my storage for a few years because I didn't have space for it. When I finally pulled it out, my brother looked it over, oiled it, tuned it and discovered it had one small broken part. Got it replaced for about $75 and it has worked like a champ ever since!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Oh, absolutely. They are all metal and are very hard to permanently break. And they are FAST.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Speed, durability, all metal parts and does it do what you need.
Do you have a dream machine?
I have several. I own one of them. I wouldn't mind a leather machine. And a ruffler. And a blind hemmer. And possibly an embroidery machine.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dampness Abounds

It rained today. And rained and rained. And then, just for the sake of variety, it rained some more.

My little nephews were with me today and as a treat, because I love them so, we went to McD's for lunch. They care little for the food (or any food, for that matter. The Small One's apathy towards it comes naturally) it is the playplace they are concerned about. Much fun was had by all until some rambunctious bigger boys came in and ran over The Small One too many times. I told them to quit squishing small people and then made The Small One and the nephews come out of said play place. It was okay, shortly afterwards their mother came to get them. Anyhow, in the transfer of carseats and children, all and sundry got a bit damp. From the rain I mentioned previously. After all children were installed in proper seats in proper cars, The Small One and I came home for naptime. Hers. I wish mine as well, but alas, that is not in the cards for me.

As we came in the house, the rain had eased up, so we didn't get too wet moving from car to house. I brought The Small One into the bedroom and took her shoes and socks off, beginning to get her ready for nap. I opened the outside door for a minute and put her in bed. And then, the deluge. The rain came down in torrents! I thought it pretty awesome and The Small One concurred. There would be no sleeping during that!

Out she flew from the bed to the door to watch. The wind picked up a bit and blew some stray rain into her face as she laughed with delight. The dogs came running to see what was going on and she looked at me with her Please? look. I nodded and she bolted from the house into the storm. I stayed in the doorway and watched her cavort in the wind and rain with her dogs, while she shrieked with laughter. Each gust of wind brought with it another excited peal from The Small One, accompanied by happy barks from the dogs. They love it when she comes out to play.

After about five minutes of this, The Small One tired of the game and came back to the doorway and stepped inside. "Brrr, chilly, chilly. I take off clothes! I wet!" Indeed she was, very wet. But her eyes were bright and happy. She pulled off her little shirt, struggled out of her wet jeans and peeled off her damp skivvies. "Brrr, chilly! I need bed! Blankey!" I popped her back into bed, she crawled up to the pillows and grabbed her new fave cuddle, my heating pad. She flipped the switch on laid it on her spot, laid on top of it and demanded her blankey, which I provided, and cuddled up into a ball. A couple of minutes later I asked her how she was. "I cosy warms" was the answer. A couple of minutes later, I glanced down at her again, to find her fast asleep.

Shall I tell you the story of her discovery of the heating pad? She thinks it is a thing of beauty and wonder, you know.

A few years ago, I seriously injured my shoulder. Dislocated it, tore a tendon or two and generally messed it up. I was uninsured at the time and couldn't afford physical therapy. Since then, I have never been able to properly lay on my back with my head propped in my hands. My shoulder injury doesn't allow my arm to bend that way. Anyway, the other day, The Small One did not want to be held, although I was holding her. In retaliation for not getting her way, she threw herself backward. May I just mention that this and head butting are two things that seriously get my temper up, fast. So, she threw herself backward while I held her in the previously injured arm. To keep her from falling to the floor, I had to strain my arms and bend them oddly. In doing so, I re-injured my shoulder, though not seriously. The cool dampness of the air has been causing it to ache rather badly.

This morning, upon waking, I laid in bed with my laptop answering emails and what not. To combat the ache, I had my heating pad on my shoulder. The Small One awoke and joined me in my bed. (She likes to lay about in the mornings before actually getting up) She asked what was on my shoulder and I responded that it was a hot pad. She said Oh! I bowl (blow) on it! So she did, to cool it off, you know. So nice of her. She patted it and said That feel bettah my piggy puff? Yes, my love, it does. (In case you wonder, I call her my pixie puff or pixie dust. She gets a little confused and calls me Piggy puff. I do think pixie is much nicer, but what can you do?) She looked at the heating pad wonderingly, patted it again. That very warm. Yes, it is, it makes my shoulder better. She laid on it cautiously. Looked at me with a smile on her face, as though she had discovered something wonderful. That cozy warm! Yes, it is, isn't it?

She sat up, looked at me and smiled again, scooted herself into a comfortable position and then sprawled across me to get the full benefit of the cozy warmness of my heating pad. Are you comfortable? I asked her. Oh, yes! was the answer.

To Do or Not To Do...

That is the question. I am quitting my job. Did I mention that already? Since making the decision, I have been beset by anxiety. This is somewhat normal as I am often beset with anxiety. The issue at hand, however, has created an additional bit of anxiety. Why? Well, because, after losing his job last October, The Man of the House has been without a steady, guaranteed paycheck, whilst I have had both steady and guaranteed. This is not to say that he hasn't been earning a living, he has, doing various and sundry jobs here and there. But, it is neither guaranteed nor steady.

However, things being what they are at the workplace (see previous blog discussing some issues) I have come to the conclusion, with the full support of The Man of the House, that it is no longer in my best interest to work there. Hence the anxiety. Don't get me wrong, I am not worried about it being the right decision, I am quite sure it is. But I stress about money. Blame it on my childhood. I also dislike change. I like to get into my happy little rut and stay there. Well, except sometimes I stress about being in a rut. See? I can't win.

Anyway, so alternate plans for earning money are being explored. I think, even if I didn't need/want the extra cash, I would still feel impelled to do some work for a couple of reasons. One, it is ingrained in me that one should earn one's living. (Not that I wouldn't be doing so by being a SAHM). Two, there has to be more than one outlet for my creativity. I can't just knit, you know. I have to make wedding gowns. I simply cannot...not.

Here is the alternate plan, tell me what you think. I intend to open an internet shop (so very much less expensive than actual storefront) for wedding gowns. I will start out with just a few styles and as (or if?) they sell, then I will add to the line. Once I have enough money in the company, I will hire a manufacturer. Until then, I will be the manufacturer. But, here is the thing. I want to do clothing as well. I see all these cute, boutiquey websites with their cute clothing and I think, I could do that. In fact, I could probably do it better. Hubris? Perhaps. But no sense in hiding my talent under a bushel, right? I am good at what I do. Even if that makes me a prima donna.

I am going to LA in a couple of weeks to buy fabric to make samples. I am nervous, what if they don't sell? What if no one likes my stuff? Do I really have what it takes to run a small business? Do I want to have what it takes to run a small business?

I think my employer would be unhappy to know just how much I learned about running a wedding dress business whilst working there. But, I have. Certainly, a great deal about what NOT to do, but also just being involved in the whole design, manufacture, sales process has been awesome. Which is why I am not remotely sorry I took the job to begin with. Yes, it was very hard to spend so much time away from The Small One, yes, my ego has taken a bit of a beating and yes, the job has caused me some undesirable stress, but overall, I feel that it has been invaluable in giving me a peek into the world of design/manufacturing, which I needed in order to be able to do this. Wow, that was a long sentence.

So, no, not sorry to have taken the job a year and a half ago. Also not sorry to be leaving it. Hopefully I can take what I learned and parlay that into success for myself and my family. Needless to say, The Man of the House is fully supportive. He is always fully supportive of my schemes. Isn't he great?

Here are a few pics that a lovely photog took of some of my dresses. I hope to use him (and the awesome makeup artist) for my own line. The photog is Isaac Rush of Krush Photography. The makeup artist is Denise Lyons.
Oh, look Kaytee, its your dress!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's about me

Things I love (in no particular order)
1-The Man of the House
2-The Small One
3-Fudge Bars
4-Zebra print rugs
5-Zebra print shoes
6-Shoes in general
7-The Small One's little clothes
8-Cloth diapers
10-My Dogs
14-The way The Small One says particle accelerator
15-Beautiful Fabric
16-My yard
18-Old quilts
19-Vintage clothing
20-Vintage shoes
21-Good cheese
22-Good Books
23-The LDS Church
25-Making Patterns
27-My family
28-Swing Dancing
29-My nephew Tristan
30-My House
31-The New Stroller
32-Deadliest Catch

Things I Do Not Love (In no particular order)
1-Unpleasant work environments
7-Messy house (although I have one)
9-Getting up early
10-A dirty bathtub
13-Achy hands
15-Slasher films
16-Stepping in a wet spot with socks on
17-Hurting my shoulder (again)
18-Dental work

I suppose it is a good thing that I can think of more things I do love than I don't, no? Off the top of my head, anyway.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Prima Donna

Today did not exactly turn out to be the best of days. It started out decently enough. The Small One went over to Memma's for the morning and 4 of her cousins were there. Always a good time. After lunch, The Small One went down quietly and willingly for her nap. After nap, we went down to the office part of my work to sign a time card, as I like to get paid.

Whilst there, I ran into The Boss, which I didn't really want to do as he has been a pain lately. Sadly, things devolved into a "meeting". I use the term loosely because really, it was just a plain, idiotic pointless discussion. Among other gems that he delivered, The Boss informed me that I was a total jerk, a primadonna and that he only "put up with me" because I was so good at my job. Oh, and that The Small One is only afraid of him because I have a bad attitude. So charming.

I was also informed that rather than doing the designing with the help of my lovely assistant, it would now be opened up to any all who may want to contribute and I will have the responsibility of doing tech notes on all of them and then we will have a big party where we will choose which designs go in the line. Ooooh! Fun for me!

I asked him if he really wanted me working for him. He said I was good at my job, so yes. He just wished he could find someone as good who wasn't such a pain. I told him he was doing a great job of shoving me out the door.

Then, just to add insult to injury, the office manager texted the store manager to ask if I was pregnant. There was something different about my face. Could it be that it is fat? Hmmm. I guess I need to get crackin on that diet and exercise...

And just in case you agree with The Boss, don't bother leaving a comment saying so. I don't need to hear it.