Monday, August 13, 2007

enough about me. let's talk about you....

....What do you think of me?

Blogs are nothing if not a me-a-thon. This is a fact I happen to enjoy immensely. People writing about their lives. Sharing pictures of things they've created, things they love, things they covet.

When you write certain posts, though, don't you feel particularly you-centric? I do.

There's no fighting it. Here goes.

And so I whipped through last week in a frenzy of gift making and job application. The application was for a job I'd really love to get, so I won't say anything more about it unless I get it. I will say, though, that my entire life would change if I got this job, and in a good way. If you've got a second, please send me some good energy (do voodoo if you know it) so that I can get an interview.

The gift making? Fun, but definitely harried in the face of the job hunt and the daily grind. I usually reserve bigger projects for weekends but last week I had to make up for the time my machine was in the shop. I got it back a week ago Saturday and it's been humming ever since. We're like teenagers, me and my machine, teenagers in love.

I used it to finish these tea towels/napkins I embroidered for Valecia:

I love Black Americana and so does V. The project was fun to make and even more fun to give. I read somewhere that it's classy to present a store bought item along with a handmade gift and nobody's ever had to tell me twice. I went to Whole Foods for something kitcheny to go with V's gift and found this handy and cute Mrs. Meyers four pack. I'm not a fan of icky embroidered backs so I used some of my schmancy Japanese duck cloth to beautify them.

A lovely combo, yes?

The day after I finished and gave V her gift I finished Ellen's gift in time to give it to her at SnB. This is what I was working on for her when Brother went on the fritz:

Another tote (no point in tiring of them, you'll be seeing many more). This one is reversible. Ever since I saw the rumba dancer in Sublime Stitching I knew I had to make her. I was just waiting for that special someone to stitch her for and who better than Ellen? I didn't get a picture of the other side of the bag, but Ellen did. Check out her blog to see (and to read a fun post on her tote collection). I figured she can flip the bag inside out when she isn't in the mood to sport a dancing girl around town.

Now that I've finished presents for these two dear friends, I'm officially declaring August and September no gift months. I'm only making things for myself and my shop. I have to lay down the law and get tough with myself or I'll forever stay dreaming of learning how to design and fit my own clothes. Under this new decree, I finally made me a tote bag. Here I am dorkily displaying it while Ellen graces:

I was on someone's blog, saw the image of Angela Davis, and remembered I'd downloaded it a while ago. I love its aesthetic, its powerful iconography. It think its graphic nature works well on this bag. Plus, I love me some Angela Davis.

Although I've been carrying it everywhere, I made the bag to take books to and from the library. My neighborhood branch is about a 20 minute walk from my apartment. Perfect for exercise and clearing the mind. I needed the right tote for my haul and this one fits the bill exactly. Because I intended it for the library, I embroidered "Words Never Fail Me" on the back. I think, though, that these words will prove to have more meaning in my life than I currently know.

Since this is a me-a-thon (and possibly the world's longest post), I'll go on.

Look who arrived over the weekend:

Man, it is no wonder people were smarter 50 years ago. (I'm kidding. A little.) Threading Brother is a two second whip-up. Rosie, however, takes thought. I know, I'll get used to it. Yesterday I did a bit of sewing on her. I couldn't be a normal person and make a sachet or another tea towel. I had to go for the gusto and try to make a skirt. Mind you, I've only made one skirt and that was in sewing class (Natalie says I should count my jeans-to-skirt recon but I think that's cheating). I've already mentioned my inability to read instructions so you can imagine what a black hole I propelled myself into with a 50 year old machine (for which I only had a blurry download as a manual) and a sewing pattern with detailed directions I didn't have the patience to read. The biggest thing I learned was to put a time limit on how long I'll stay in the black hole before jumping out and doing something else. Like knitting, something I know how to do.

I also learned that gorgeous Rosie needs a tune-up, which was to be expected. I'll take her to the same shop that fixed Brother this Friday. (Don't you just love it when people personify machines? In my defense, Brother is not only my first sewing machine's brand, it's also my uncle's nickname. Rosie is my maternal grandmother. I name nearly everything after her. Both my uncle and my grandmother died years ago and it feels good to remember them this way. I don't know why I'm telling you this. Oh yeah -- ME-A-THON.)

I am lucky Rosie wasn't damaged. I can't say the seller packed her very well. (Newspaper?) He didn't do the basic thing that any thinking person would do and unscrew the spool pin before setting the machine in the case. The result was this:

Damage to an otherwise pristine case. I hate to see something so old, something that survived intact so long, jacked up for no good reason. To his credit, the seller has agreed to pay for repair. This is provided I can find someone to do it. I'm thinking I'll take it to a shoe repair shop. Anyone know any good ones in the LA area?

That's no fun. Let's end on a brighter note:

Finally. The end of this me-fest. I'm going to bed. I can't take any more me tonight.


Adrienne said...

Love the Me-A-Thon! ANd make something for yourself!!!!

AllyB said...

I really enjoyed all the Me-ness of this post. A little insight into the author...and I love your embroidery! It is so too bad about your Featherweight case being damaged good luck on the repair. As my husband says, "old is good". Have a great day :-)

Steven said...

I vant a tote from you! and I want my face on it because i really like me. make haste. send me an invoice. we'll discuss elements (fabric, color, etc.) i vant it, i vant it, i vant it! i vant to carry my "word" in it...get it, get it?

negronius suite

Laurie Ann said...

Rosie is beautiful. My mom had a Rosie when I was growing up and we ended up doing a lot of mending by hand because the hauling out the case, setting up the machine, threading the bobbin, etc, was so time consuming. Then, she got a pretty new machine in it's own table (it folds away and I thought that was genius) so I did a lot more sewing in my teens. I never quite learned the directions part either.

Ellen Bloom said...

Excellent post! I love the "Mimi Show."
I am soooo enjoying my embroidered, personalized totebag. I've been getting non-stop compliments on Salsa Babe! Carumba!
Your new/old machine looks awesome. My Grandma Ethel had one that looked just like that with a foot treadle! She used to sew me Barbie dresses with leftover hem fabric from her fancy bridge tournament dresses!

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh yeah, if you want the best, go to Pasquale for purse/case/shoe repair. He's on San Vicente just west of Hauser. He's expensive, but does a really good job.

Anna said...

I adore your book bag, did you use a pattern for it or make it up yourself?

afrowalking said...

LOVE MY NINNIES!!! :-) Big smooch! xoxov

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

1. LOVE your Salsa gurl for Elleblo. LOVED it on her blog, LOVE IT MORE in context on your blog. Simply stunning.

2. LOVE, LOVE your V. tea towels. Seriously. Are those from Sub Stitching as well? Because I MUST make them (even tho I can't embroider).

3. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your Angela Davis bag. Seriously, when you do another AD-inspired thing? Let me know. B/c I would TOTALLY purchase it from your shop.

And Rosie is beautiful, and yes, you look dorky in the pic with Ellen. I wouldn't have thought it was possible...

sappmama said...

Thanky, thanky, one and all. Ally B, you're on the money. Old IS good. I appreciate that more now than I ever have, ahem.

Ellen and V, y'all know how I feel 'bout cha. :)

Monkey, shut up! I know I'm dorky. Not just in the picture, either, lol. The 'ninny pattern are all yours. I'll hook you up. You're on for an Angela project.

Anna, hi, basic pattern here:

laurie said...

Those tea towels are unbelievable!

And I happen to prefer when people write me-posts. Loved this one :)

That bag for Ellen is so so so adorable.

Aimee said...

That machine is so pretty- I love the design. Thanks for your post on my blog about your pencil skirt adventure. I am glad it worked out!

sahara said...

Hey there, I haven't been around for a while (this magazine I work for is killing me), and boy, have you been on the move! I'm LOVING your embroidery! The rhumba dancer looks so wonderfully retro, and the little girls are just adorable! Your hands are made of gold!

If you like black Americana, you know you gotta have the raised fist, right? I have a pic of one I can email you. Holla!

Carol said...

Some of my favorite things... embroidery, tote bags and Mrs. Meyers!

Anonymous said...

I love the totes and so want one for my knitting. Please let me know if you have a online shop.

Roz said...

Rosie is bee-you-ti-ful!