Tuesday, April 22, 2008

deja vu all over again

Melissa (a different Melissa than the one from this post) emailed me awhile ago and asked if I could make her a smaller version of the big birdie tote I made for myself awhile ago.

The original plan for this was to make it pretty much exactly the same as my bag, but you know, smaller. Unfortunately, the birds on the fabric are a little too big to use for a cut out on the smaller bag, so I cut out a smaller bird.

I like the red and pink together on the fabric, and I liked the idea of using red vinyl to bring out the red on the fabric. So that's what I did.

The innards are the same as my bag (minus my overly floppy pocket).

I have to say, while I love the color of this vinyl, I absolutely hate working with it. It's the same brand and weight as a few of the other colors I use, and yet all the other colors are much easier to work with. This one is just a pain in the butt. It sticks when I try to sew it, it sticks when Dr. Lorney turns the straps right-side-out (have I mentioned that Lorne turns all my straps for me? Lorne rules), and my pins get stuck in it. I've injured myself working on it multiple times, I break sewing needles on it...it's just bad news. This bag (and another I finished tonight) signifies the end of my supply of this vinyl. I found another brand in a similar color, and I'm hoping it doesn't give me nearly as much trouble. Fare thee well evil vinyl. You are pretty, but cursed - much like Jean Grey in X-Men 3.

Monday, April 21, 2008

brown and orange bird tote

It's been a little while since I've made a blog post - things have been really busy, starting the second to last weekend in March we've left San Diego every single weekend. First to Phoenix, then to Seattle, then to L.A., then to Denver. We'd planned on staying home last weekend, but we ended up driving up to Anaheim yesterday to watch the Mariners beat the Angels. So four trips of two or three days, followed by a day-long outing, on top of work and pregnancy, means no posts. But I have been working.

This tote bag is for Susan. She was looking for something to carry her laptop around in and decided on this fabric with birds and I think cherry blossoms (even though they're orange). The brown vinyl is the same I used in Flann's tote bag (though these terrible pictures make it look darker).

Susan's only request for the innards was that I use a fabric that was "not too orange." Seeing as how I have made multiple mentions of my love of using orange fabric and yarn on this blog, it was probably wise of her to mention. I avoided orange entirely, and went with a rosey pink/gold/brown/cream striped fabric. There's one big pocket and one smaller one; the big one probably isn't big enough for her laptop (unless she has one of those tiny little Macbook Air thingies), but she bought a cute laptop sleeve to put it in, so it will be nice and protected in the main bag area.

Aside from Susan's tote, I've got a bunch of things cut out that I just need to sew up. I think I got kind of excited about the beginning of baseball season, so I spent a lot of my work time cutting things out and getting them ready while watching the Mariners, Dodgers, and Twins. Now I just have to sew them all up, which takes a lot less time than cutting. I need to get over my fear of using my rotary cutter. It would probably save me a lot of time. I've also been having some lovely hand cramps when cutting and sewing, and that's slowed me up some. My right hand likes to curl into a cramped up claw sometimes. Apparently pregnancy can give you temporary carpal tunnel syndrome! Vomiting and heartburn and gall stones...oh pregnancy, is there anything you can't do?!

Susan is also the winner of the giveaway tote bag. She was kind and told me to just ship them together, so that's what I shall do.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

cupcake time

My brother and my niece visited us for a week and a half. I thought it would be fun to bake something with my niece, so I asked her if she'd like to make cookies or cupcakes. She chose cupcakes. I asked her what kind of cupcake and frosting, and she chose chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. We used this cupcake recipe, but left out the filling and left the mint out of the frosting (and also halved it). I also used vanilla paste instead of mint extract in the frosting, and made it purple.

Putting the melted chocolate under the mixer

Emma adds the sugar

Emma cracks her first egg

I showed her how to crack the first one, then helped her crack the second egg. After she cracked the egg, she freaked out a little - she got some on her hand, it was cold and slimy, and she didn't really know what to do. She asked to not crack anymore eggs, so I did the others and we washed our hands.

"Just turn it off, okay?"

Even though she was okay with the mixer when we added the sugar, after the trauma of the egg cracking, she decided she didn't really like it anymore. Also, I look kind of evil. Maybe that was traumatizing too.

The best part of baking

Mmm, beater

Emma was very serious about adding sprinkles

I frosted the cupcakes (it was late, I just used a knife...no pretty swirls this time), then Emma decorated them.

Emma licked all the frosting off first, then ate the cake.

She did the same thing with this cupcake the next day. I think she inherited her sweet tooth from her aunt.