Thursday, October 11, 2007


Since pumpkins rot so fast after you carve them in Southern California I usually wait until just before Halloween before I carve them. This year Nate and I are going to be in Uruguay over Halloween but I didn't want that to stop me from carving a pumpkin. I decided I should carve it early so that I could throw it away before we left and not feel bad about waisting it.

I was trying to think of something interesting to carve. As to be expected I wanted it to be some kind of animal or plant. I was trying to think of round sea creatures but the only thing I could think of was a sea urchin test and I wasn't too sure that would be recognisable. I decided to instead play up the lantern part of the jack-o-lantern and carved a lantern fish (or angler fish). It is kind of like the scene in Finding Nemo. Just part of the fish is illuminated by it's lure and the little fish are transfixed by the light.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chickadee Purse and Matching Skirt

These two projects I think may be some of my favorite that I have ever made. Sewing is still really frustrating sometimes and I still pull out a lot of stitches because I sew things backwards or other dumb things but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. I can imagine something in my head and translate it to fabric pretty faithfully.

I had been looking at the bags on homegrown skinny's etsy page thinking about buying one when I decided that I should just try to make a similar bag myself. I think that is a problem with selling handcrafted stuff at either crafts shows or online. A lot of the people who look at your work and really like it are far more likely to get inspiration from it or outright copy it than to buy it. If I want people to buy things from my etsy shop I should really start patronizing other peoples more often.

Anyway, I had last Friday off work so I made this bag. I actually started the embroidery earlier but I finished the rest all that day.

The main fabric and the wool that the bird is embroidered on came from a church thrift store in Glendale. The trees are fabric I bought from superbuzzy a long time ago and for some reason hadn't used yet and the birds are of course from Marukai 98 cents. Oh, the hedgehogs are also from superbuzzy. I made the bias tape from canvas I got in the "as is" section at Ikea. It was the first time I made my own bias tape from something other than ribbon. It worked out pretty well.

So I also had Monday off because it was Columbus day. I had a pretty unexciting four day weekend. On Monday I made this skirt from corduroy I got at the same church thrift store and more of the superbuzzy tree fabric. I absolutely love how it turned out. It seems very fally to me. Actually perfect for fall in LA that isn't actually much cooler than the summer.

Sorry the pictures aren't better. I tried to take pictures of myself with the timer because I don't think Nate will come home from work before dark ever and I didn't want to wait until the weekend.

This was my first attempt at doing French seams. I wanted to avoid all the strings that come with raw edges. It sort of worked. I didn't attempt it with the zipper. I didn't want to do anything that might hinder the zipper's ability to zip. I keep using these cheep Marukai 98 cent store zippers that keep breaking and pissing me off. That is one thing that that store isn't so good for.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Repotting Cacti

I've been replanting lots of my cacti and succulents in cute super cheep pots that I got from the Marukai 98cent store. I swear 90% or maybe 98% or the non food purchases I make come from that store. They all cost about $1.50. Compared to nice glazed pots anywhere else that is really cheep.

This one is a cactus I bought at the California Cactus Center. I couldn't remember what it's called but Kristin our botanist at work just looked it up. It is a pink lace cactus (Echinocereus sp.). I love the pink spines that are arranged kind of like eye lashes.

Here are some litops that I got at a cactus and succulent show in Golden Gate Park when Nate and I went to San Francisco.

These were cheep cacti that Nate bought at Ikea a long time ago and had in his room in his old house and never repotted. For some reason they weren't planted in soil. Instead the pots were filled with this weird hard white stuff. I don't know how the plant's survived it that. The roots couldn't grow out into it.

Here they are all replanted in one of the Marukai pots. Don't they look so much more happy.

These are some of my old cacti from Ikea. The other weekend when it was pouring down rain I decided that Nate and I needed to go to the beach in Palos Verdes to get cool flat rocks for my plant pots. By the time we got there it had stopped raining and was gorgeous out. I probably shouldn't have made Nate hike up and down a really steep hill since it was Yom Kippur and Nate was fasting and couldn't drink any water. He was fine though.