Where I've been, or What Will I Make Next?

apron 2 When I'm not working or taking care of business (which sounds either a) more official or b) more dirty than I mean it to), I've been not blogging also. Instead, I've been either hunched over my sewing machine or spending hours upon hours browsing the forums at Craftster.org. If you haven't been and you're even remotely craftsy -- or remotely OCD -- be warned...it will suck you in. And pretty soon, it'll be one in the morning and you'll be scrolling through the new projects section and thinking, "I absolutely MUST start making my own coasters out of magazine clippings and resin."

For all those haters of knitting and sewing and all that, may I just tell you that while you were sniping, the cool chics of the world have been turning your XXL men's tees into adorable, sexy little dresses; stenciling amazing original designs on anything that doesn't move; re-painting, re-upholstering and re-imagining just about everything in their path; knitting hats, gloves and sweaters to warm their punk hairdos and tattoos; and sewing the most amazing outfits out of $2 thrift store finds.

Rock and roll chicks have taken over crafting and it's not for the dweebs anymore. Okay, well it's not just for us dweebs anymore. (Or should that be "we dweebs"?) It's uber-cool to get creative and to make things with your hands and literally hundreds of thousands of us are doing it. (There are also quite a few dudes on there too, but acknowledging that previously would have interrupted my rant...)

I've also finally sewn a skirt I might actually wear after wrestling unsuccessfully with a number of major name patterns. My saving grace came in the free-form DIY-style instructions in a terrific book called Sew What! Skirts. Really took some of the mystery out of it for me and helped me fit my generous curves.

Also, I bought and love Lotte Jansdotter's book, Simple Sewing. Her fabric designs are really gorgeous and earthy and I've already successfully produced her lovely apron (see above.) It's reversible. Which is funny, because the odds of my getting one side of an apron dirty let alone two are just so slim...

I also treated myself to a subscription to Craft Magazine, for the folks who make Make Magazine and there are some very cool artists and crafters doing some very funky stuff out there. (There are also some freaky folk doing some weird shit, but that's what makes the world spin, eh?)

Similary, the mag Adorn is a great pub for stepping beyond the comfort zone of your knitting mags -- there aren't always a whole lot of projects I'd try in there but I'm amazed at what people are up to crafts-wise and there's usually at least a couple of technical articles that are informative and easy-to-read.

And just as there are hip yarn designers whose wares have been known to send me ga-ga, I'm discovering the tempting and equally wallet-punishing world of fabric designers. At the top of my list (and everyone else's right now) is Amy Butler, whose designs manage to be both retro and contemporary at the same time. I'm also digging fun stuff from Heather Ross and Prints Charming, to name but a few.

If you want to check out some of the kitschy prints out there, mosey on over to j and o fabrics, repro depot or Fabric Depot. Yeah, you laugh now, but pretty soon you'll be sewing potholders out of sock monkey fabric and who'll be laughing then?

It hasn't left much time for blogging, I'm afraid -- which, considering the content of this post, is probably a good thing. And tomorrow we head off for four days on Bald Head Island, NC* with the Carey clan. It'll give me a chance to work on my deep, dark tropical tan. Think there's somewhere to plug in my sewing machine on the beach?

*Warning: following this link will take you to a site where a scary lady's voice tries to hypnotize you into relaxation while simultaneously convincing you that Bald Head is the greatest place on earth. Until I heard her voice, I thought the fact that there were no cars on the island was a cool eco-stance. Now I'm wondering if it's to stop people from escaping... If I'm not back in five days, come rescue me.