Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ugh

Wow, so if I could write a letter to the people who decided what gets to be packaged up with a serger as your accessories I would probably tell them this:

Dear serger packaging department (or whoever does this):

Whoever decided that the little threader thing should be optional has obviously NEVER used a serger in their entire life. It should be something that comes standard, or there should at the very least be a huge warning label on the side of the box screaming at you telling you that you will probably want to go pick up this threader thing before you leave the store.

Thank you,
Monica

Anyways!! Here is what happened to me- I go through every single page of the direction booklet. It has great illustrations of exactly how everything works. Cool! I pull my serger up and try out each little thing that it does. Then we get to the threading part. Wow, 4 threads is a lot, breathe. Wait, they already threaded the machine with tiny bits of thread so you can tie your thread onto it and pull it through.... but what happens when I need to change threads or use up a spool, then I'm not going to know how to do it without a leader thread. So I decide that I will take them out and learn it. I start and am threading one of the lower threads... then in the directions all it says is to use my threader (optional) to put the thread through this tiny hole that is like under the presser foot. It's so far under there that I physically cannot get to it with my fingers, it's ridiculous. By this time at night the fabric store is closed. Super. I go through all the stuff I have trying to find wire that is thin enough so when I double it over it can still fit through this teeny tiny hole. I have none. Then I realize that I have twist ties, and they have very very skinny wire (yes, I have a small collection of twist ties, they're very useful, don't judge lol). I manage to get the wire out with the help of 2 sets of pliers, fold it in half, YAY it fits through the thing I need it to! Then one more hole after that one and it's threaded! Then by comparison the rest of the thread is so easy to wind around how it needs to.

Done! It's threaded and ready to go! Then I fiddle with the 4 crazy tension knobs for about an hour testing and comparing to the pictures in the booklet and re-adjusting and so on. Time for bed.

The next day- Awesome! I am ready to use my serger for something real! I get out fabric and cut it and was going to attempt to make a purse and then all of a sudden it isn't working right anymore. I take a closer look and somehow the thread has magically made its way out of one of the teeny tiny holes I was talking about that's so hard to thread. There is no gap, there is no way for thread to get out of that hole without the thread breaking... but it didn't break... what?! So I give up trying to figure it out and just re-thread it. Then I find out that I have to also re-thread the other bottom thread... ok.... I start to sew again... and just like that it's out again! WTF I take the thread out and re-thread all 4 this time. It's out again! I could not figure it out and called it a night.

I have since then begun to figure it out a little, but it's so difficult to re-thread without this little threaded tool thing that I only do it once and then switch back to the regular machine. So the whole story here is that you will NEED this threader thing that they claim is optional. It is sooooo not optional. Whoever decided it was must have had crazy long skinny needle-like fingernails or something.

Hopefully I will be getting my threader soon and can start cranking out some cool stuff. I really want to, I just can't face threading that thing over and over again. I've got to figure this out first (and get a stupid threader!).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

YAY

So I got my serger finally last night from Hancock. I ordered it way back at the end of June (it feels like longer lol) when they had a sale on them but ran out of stock. For those that know what kinds are which, I got a Juno by Janome (3434D). I've used them before when I used to work at Hancock, and from the experience I've had with them, Janome is a really great brand, and as we all know brands can and do matter when it comes to sewing machines.

I went through the whole book and learned the names of the parts and how to change cutting knives and which needles do what and all that good stuff. Now if my sinuses would give me a break and stop making me sneeze 50 times a second I might get to sew something with it!

I'm sure there will be pics to come of things that I've made using it, I have a small list of projects that have been piling up waiting for it! lol

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Frustrated

Ok. So I was trying and getting into the crafty spirit again. I'm really trying to keep up with it, and it's not that I haven't been doing anything, but I had a craft-crash of sorts. First I need to vent a little and then I'll show the lame picture of something I made and what I'm working on.

I was going along full steam ahead and feeling quite crafty and creative and being productive. Then Tony got a call from a friend saying that this friends mom was renting out a small one bedroom house and we should go see it. Awesome! We don't even have to make calls or look up reviews to see if the people renting this are good or anything cos Tony knows them! We got excited and made an appointment to go see it.

We meet up at the house with this lady to see it, we're walking through and like it and tell her we'd like to go ahead with the background check and whatnot to start the process. So then we go outside and she's explaining that the other house that's on the property is rented by 2 college girls that are nice and usually the tenants take turns mowing the lawn. Then she turns straight to Tony and says "Maybe they'll make you cookies if you mow the whole yard though!" And there I am standing there like (Ummm hello? His fiance standing >right here<) I'm sure they're very nice girls, but seriously college girls are NOT going to be making cookies for my fiance. Then to top it off when Tony asks her if I should fill out a separate form for the background check and credit check and all that or just add my info next to his she says "Oh, well IF you two get married we'll work out the paperwork." Um... "IF?" I'm confused... very very confused at exactly who she thought I was or what my relationship is with Tony. Oh and when we give her the paper for just his background check she says "Ok, we'll get this started, but there is someone in line ahead of you." Wtf? She never said that when we were setting up an appointment to see it, so now we just spent one of Tony's few days off wasting our time to get all excited over getting our own place and you decided not to tell us that someone else already put in for the place? Just wow.

So now a week and a half later (I know for a fact that those background checks only take 2 days tops) she still hadn't called to tell us if we were getting the place. So I finally call today and no, she already gave it to the other person "Because I had to be fair since she saw it first." Then she got all nervous going on about how her son knows of some other place nearby or something. I ended the conversation with: "Well, thank you SO much for calling us back to let us know." She was just like "um, yeah... have a good day..." and I said "you too" back in that really awful obviously sarcastic way that you do to people that you don't really mean it but are being painfully polite so they'll know you don't really mean it.

I mean come on, who does that? Basically we were her "back up" in case this lady bailed and decided she didn't want it or just in case her background check didn't clear. You don't go getting people's hopes up that they can have a nice place at a great price when it's someone that you know personally. Then to top it off not even call them to tell them it's taken. Seriously, that was just plain awful of her and I hope that she knows it.


SOOO anyways. Here's a bunch of yarn that my mom sent me recently. Now I have so much yarn it's getting a little crazy lol. But in mom's defense I did say that she could send more (who is going to say "no I don't want more yarn?? pssh, you'd be crazy). I started trying out this: lengthwise knitted scarf which is what you see on the right. I know it does not look like a scarf right now. Actually, it may end up not being a scarf or it may end up being a stripey pieced scarf, I don't really know yet, I just wanted to try it.


The other thing you see in the picture is a pincushion that I made from here: star pincushion tutorial. The only thing I don't like about it is that for some reason it's like my needles are being sucked into it. Like I won't even use them for a day and they're jammed so far in I almost need tweezers or pliers to get them out, it's weird I don't know why it's doing this. Other than that I love it. It's big enough that I have free room so I can attempt to use it instead of putting a needle in my pants leg or in the bed (I am so bad about doing this and then jab myself or lose the needles and I'm trying really hard to break this habit) and I like how it's kind of sectioned so I can organize the needles by type.

There were a lot of people in the comments for that tutorial saying that it didn't come out right, and when I was putting mine together I see where they went wrong with theirs. It's when you put the top piece onto the bottom that you have to be careful of how you position it. If you line up the top and bottom shapes you will get the wrong shape, you want the top and bottom to be off centered of each other. I pinned mine first to make sure of how it was going to end up. Next time that I make one I'll be sure to take pictures of that step in particular and show what I mean better (I hope).

I've also been working on refinishing a wooden rocking chair. It was Tony's grandfather's chair and we picked it up a month or two ago. I've been working hard at getting the incredibly thick white paint off of it so we can stain it. Seriously I don't know who painted it last but omg this paint is like cement. First I tried to sand it off by hand, yeah took me all of 10 minutes to figure out this was not happening. Then his dad gave me the little electric sander... took me about 4 hours just to sand the arms of the chair. So then we battled and got paint stripper and used the power washer to get off as much paint as possible- WIN! lol. Now I'm doing some light sanding by hand to get the last tiny bits of paint off and prep it for stain. Its been quite a challenge but I think it's going to be really nice when it's done.

With that I think I'm done for this time. Trying to get myself back into creating, just kinda hit a wall with being so frustrated and disappointed with not getting this place and let myself fall into a rut. I'm hoping that this new yarn and the chair project finally wrapping up will get me going again.

Monday, August 02, 2010

crazy kitty and gardening

So this last weekend I worked on this crazy little pointy kitty guy:

This is where I found the pattern for him: pointy kitty pattern from this great site: wee wonderfuls site

I had a lot of fun poking around that site, there's lots of fun things to check out and great pics :)
I embroidered him a funny little mouth that I think fits him well, and had a couple great buttons for his eyes. Then after I attached the eyes I went over the thread with some green embroidery thread for that green cat eye effect, lol. And you can't really see it in the pictures, but I gave him little whiskers using some glittery thread that was 3-ply and seemed to fray exactly how cats' whiskers would look.

I also just finished those blue pillows that he's sitting on lol. Not that they're that much of a project but we needed them. King sized pillows do not work well on a futon bed :P

Other happenings this weekend included a couple quick garden pics. Here's the biggest watermelon!


I had to put a styrofoam plate behind it because it started growing so close to the fence that the fence was cutting into its skin. My mom gave me the idea to put something flat and sturdy to stop the fence from touching it and this is what I came up with. I just used some yarn to attach it to the fence. If I had to guess I would say it's probably a little over 5 pounds now. And for those wondering it is the Crimson Sweet variety. This is my first time growing watermelons and I'm getting quite excited for it to be ready!

And I had a surprise the other morning, one of the morning glories that I thought probably didn't make it produced a flower! :D yay! I'm hoping that it keeps going and makes a few more before the season is out.


That's it for now, I'm currently trying to scrounge up some more fabric for the zig zag quilt and probably going to be churning out a couple stuffed animals this week. I'm also trying to get some things stocked up to hopefully be selling on etsy soon!