Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Its a good day when you get something done!

I can't even believe how productive I was today! Rowan and Cael were dream children all day long! I made a couple of pairs of soft soled baby shoes this morning, and I was able to follow through with photographing and listing all in one day. Every pair of these I make are one of a kind, and are a lot of fun for me to do. I absolutely adore children in bright colors, and I think it is safe to say these little puppies are colorful!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pumpkinhaus Prims Art Dolls

A couple of weeks ago, I made my niece a pair of semi-traditional Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls for her 2nd birthday (coming up). I used to love to play with my raggedies that my grandmother made for me when I was 2, so I thought this would be a wonderful gift for my little Emma as well!
So, of course, this spurred me to start making a whole family of ragdolls. My absolute favorite medium for dollmaking is fabric, and I have been working so diligently on my soft sculpture Earthlies series, I needed to simplify for a bit. Thus, the Pumpkinhaus Prims were born!

Sally is the younger of the two sisters. She has distant brown eyes, and a very tightly coiffed head of yellow hair. The bold, black embroidered basket on her chest and belly is a not-so-subtle reminder of her youth, and the days she spent in that gawd awful street gang. Sally still has a tendency to trip on flat surfaces, a bad habit since forever it seems. Mable has let herself go recently. She seems to have lost that spark of life... that joie de vivre. She reads People Magazine all too often (she says its for the crossword puzzles, but you and I can see right through that!) and, of course, Mable loves to tell Sally where it is exactly she has gone wrong in her life.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Lovely Machine

So this is my Domestic Rotary Electric Sewing Machine model no. 151. Just about everything in my shop was sewn with this machine, save for the bloomers and skirts which were put together at my moms house.
I aquired this machine last summer, when I was about 6 months pregnant with my son Cael (pictured just above the machine) at the Eagle Lake garage sales in Edwardsburg, MI. I saw a sewing cabinet and went to check it out, and realized the machine was still in it. The machine was spotless, and everything in the bench was lovingly folded and cared for. I took a deep breath and asked how much they wanted for it (expecting the worst). The lady said "mmmm... $30, it belonged to my mother-in-law.". Sold! I felt so giddy, I paid for it and told her I would be back in a while to pick it up since it wouldn't fit in my car. I had always wanted a vintage machine, and thought this would be cool to have. I didn't particularly care if it worked, I would just fix it up one day for fun.
When I went back later to pick it up, her husband was there. I walked up and immediately recognized him! At the time I worked at a very small pharmacy in a neighboring town, and I filled prescriptions for his mother daily. I let him know who I was and he was so glad! His wife had told him that a really nice, young pregnant lady had bought his mother's machine. He said he was so glad it was me! He let me know that they had recently put his mother in an assisted living home because she was starting to lose her eyesight. He said that she sewed on that machine right up until the day she moved, and the last thing she did was hemmed a pair of pants for him. I could see that it really meant a lot to him, and I assured him that I would keep the machine going.
I got the machine home, and opened up the bench. To my surprise, it was loaded with so many goodies! There was a buttonhole attatchment, a couple of manuals, needles, pins, various patching supplies, and a box with every foot imaginable! As excited as I was about the machine, I had no room for it, so I set it by my washer, and sadly, it became a big catch-all.
Flash forward..... 6 months later. I was in the process of really starting to make things for my etsy shop. I had cut out about 20 pairs of bloomer, and about the same amount of little skirts. I sat down at my machine, a Pfaff Hobby 301 (I have had that machine since I turned 21), all ready to sew up a storm! About 2 inches into the first skirt, my Pfaff jammed up on me! It would not budge! I freaked out! I took everything over to my moms house and finished up there. I was so sad, my visions of sewing all day at my own house were dashed!
One day while doing my laundry, I thought to myself, "I wonder what it would take to get this machine going? It is just catching dust sitting here." And, I was getting really tired of lugging all of my projects back and forth, along with my kids! So, I pulled it over to my living room, made a space for it in my sewing area, sat down and read the manual from cover to cover. I plugged it in, oiled it, threaded it up and pulled out some fabric scraps. I swear, the moment I sewed a straight line on that scrap of fabric, I could hear music! I was hooked! This was and is, by far, the nicest sewing machine I've ever used! It has no computers, it doesn't zig-zag, no bells and whistles. My friends, this machine does what it is supposed to do. Sew things together! It is strong, has a beautiful stitch, and sews anything I throw at it. It even has a knee bar! Yes, I will probably own a $2000 plus sewing machine someday, but you had better believe, I will set it right up next to my 85 year old workhorse.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Rowan is 5 years old

So my baby girl turned 5 yesterday, and everyone turned out for her party! The whole clan Davis, Papa Mike, Teetah with Richard and Nana, Mia and Davie, Bekah and Rowen, as well as Jason with Ellie, Devin, and Keeghan. We took her to The Mikado in South Bend for sushi (yes.. she asked for sushi!), and came back home for strawberry cupcones with a side of mint chocolate chip ice cream. My child has good taste!

Its funny how fast the time goes and her little body stretches out and her little feet get bigger, and yet, still, she is the same little baby who likes to wake up slowly on the couch with a blanket to keep her cozy and a pillow for her head, just like when she was 1.

Of course, she wanted a Hannah Montana wig... and truthfully... she thinks it looks kinda funny.
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