Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beltin' 'Em Out

While my mom was here this past week, I had the chance to go into some shops and boutiques that I don't often frequent (I have a phobia about going into little boutiques by myself. I'm working on this with my counselor.) And I was able to see The Latest in Belt Fashions. Inspired, I made this reversible number from a batik fabric.

Here are some buckles where I was trying to do something a little different with the glaze. Glazing is tricky, as you never know what you are going to get. Kind of like when I cook but without the fire alarm going off.

Still a lot of sewing to do. I'm so glad that now I have the time to do it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Apron for Mom

My mom is visiting this week from Indiana. We've got no big plans, just a little shopping, eating and spending time together. Not exactly the stuff Lifetime movies are made of but that's not our style. We're more "Terms of Endearment" that quickly becomes "Throw Mama From the Train" after a couple of days.

A while ago mom asked me to make her an apron. I finally finished this one for her as a belated Mother's Day prez. It looks very Snow White to me with the little embroidered birds (a vintage tea towel). No need to worry about this getting dirty in the kitchen.
We don't really cook in our fam. This could explain why my meals involve A Box, A Pound of Meat and A Pan. Add some No Bake Cookies for dessert and I'm in heaven. Thanks, Ma!

Since the Scorpion Incident, I've had this band on my mind. Did you know they were from Germany? Here I am...Rock You Like a Hurricane!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Skinks, Skanks and Scorpions, OH MY!

Oh, man. Where to begin. This weekend, Mitch and I went backpacking at Alum Gap which is about an hour and a half drive from our home. The weather was mild, the toe held up, all went well in camping-land. And then we returned home...

As soon as I walked into the house, Asha (aka Jaba the Kitty) came running for me as she always does begging for dinner. Except this time she was playing with what appeared to be a black rubber band. Um, it wasn't. It was a black lizard. A skink, actually. These little guys are poisonous to kitties so I Freaked Out. I hollered "ASHA!" and clapped my hands so hard to get her to drop the thing that they stung for an hour afterward. Mitch caught the little guy and released him back outside...sans tail. Seems Asha had managed to break it off. Did you know their tails still wiggle after they break off? Ugh, it was enough to make me pass out.

Then came The Scorpion. Whoa. Did you even know they lived in Tenneessee? Me neither! I thought they inhabited crazy places like Texas and the folk there just pull out their sawed-off shot guns and take 'em out. So I was unpacking MY backpack (that's right, I said MY) when I took out our trash bag and saw what looked like a dead scropion. I casually showed it to Mitch thinking 1.) it was dead and 2.) it couldn't be a scorpion! when it MOVED. I've never screamed louder or ran faster. Mitch managed to capture it under my never-to-be-used-again mixing bowl (like I ever used it in the first place!) and snapped a couple pics before taking the guy out. My hands are sweaty just looking at these pictures!

P.S. There were no Skanks in this story. It just made my title better. Nite-Nite! Don't let the Bed Scorpions Bite!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

So on Monday I was feeling kind of nostalgic about the last week of school (turns out the "feeling" was only gas) and snapped these photos of my drive to school. I love my drive. It's short and sweet. I love the same houses and buses and kids-waiting-for-buses that I pass at the same time everyday. So here's a look at what I see:

Winding road through my 'hood.

Some defunct buildings in Franklin.

Love the name of this barber shop. Only in the South, yo.

My favorite junk yard ever that my photo does not do justice. The sign reads: NO FURNATURE. Who knew Nature had Fur?

Old cemetery. Franklin is an old town dating back to the Civil War. Not sure if there are any gravestones dating from the war in that particular cemetery.

As much as I love my drive to school, I plan to really enjoy the next couple of months not driving it. I'm sure I'll be cruising these streets...hopefully it won't be before 7am!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

School's Out for the Summer Dress

Tomorrow is my last day of school. It's actually a 2 hour day so it doesn't really count. I'm already on vacation in my mind. Under the shade of a palm tree...soothing sounds of the ocean...wind in my leg hairs...ahh, it's a beautiful place.

To help celebrate, I made another Nightmare-of-a-
Dress this weekend. Well, I started it this weekend, threw it on the floor of the sewing room in dismay, stomped on it in anger a couple of times and tried to pretend it wasn't there until today. I sewed and seam ripped and sewed some more and now it's done-ish. What my hair is hiding is the fact that it's strapless. I'll have to throw a sweater over this bad boy tomorrow.
Here are the shoes I'd love to wear with my dress tomorrow. I know, amazingly cute. And here are the only shoes my toe will allow me to force it into. Ugh! Butt-Ugly Birks! ....oh well...
On a completely unrelated note, Nashville Clothing called me today to ask for more belts for their Cool Springs store -- they've sold 6 of them! Yippie! And now they also want a display of belts for their Nashville location. They took 12 belts off my hands today. I can't say enough about the awesomeness of that store and their employees!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Glamour Shots

Does anyone else remember that cheesy picture-taking place at the mall...Glamour Shots? You could go in with your boyfriend-of-the-moment, wear his giant letter jacket and his class ring wound with yarn, gaze into his eyes and have a memory that unfortunately lasts a lifetime. No need to worry about that kind of photo coming back to haunt me. The closest I ever got to a letter jacket was the one my dad had in high school that he still treasures like it's the holy grail.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah, these new photos. I was in buckle production this weekend as I've almost ran out. With what buckles I did have left, I put together these belts. I wanted to deviate from the other photos I've posted on etsy and try something a little...different. So, here are my Glamour Shots. Sans the embarrassing moments years down the road (I hope).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zombie Chick Crossing

I forgot to mention that at the art show last week, I got one of the coolest presents on the planet. This here Caution Zombie Chick Crossing sign created by one of my students. His family recently purchased the supplies to do block letter printing. I'm so excited about the sign. I think it will make a great addition to the sewing room.

When I asked Nash (the artist) who "Zombie Chick" was he gave me a hard "well, duh" look. So I'm guessing that it's me. Not a moment later, I received the World's Biggest Coffee Mug from another student that informed me it was to hold all of my "crazy art teacher juice". Um, okay. When asked why I'm crazy he responded that I "do weird voices and have a snake". Great, now his parents think I talk in tongues and handle snakes during art class! (Note: I do not have a real snake, but Larry The Fake Snake who makes special appearances when the mood strikes).

Yes, I've lost all control and the kids have taken over. When they are not busy crushing pinkie toes (which is healing nicely, thanks for wondering) they are handing out frightening potion lotions. "Huh?" you think. Let me explain: This afternoon, a teacher friend walks into my room and looks as if she's been colored by a hot pink highlighter pen. "Did you go to the tanning bed during lunch?" says I. "No! I don't know what's wrong with me!" I tell her she's lying, that she's totally been sun bathing during recess which she vehemently denies. "I just put on some lotion and then this happened!" Upon further investigation, I find that she has put on lotion that a student gave her as a gift. For those of you that are not teachers, this is a bad idea. All kid gifts should be handled only when wearing a hazmat suit. The lotion came with many warning labels that said friend did not heed: 1.) It was called Bomb Shell and 2.) It claimed that it might "cause a tingling sensation". Yeah. I'll keep you posted on my friend, The Bomb Shell.
Here's a totally unrelated tidbit. Aren't these thrift store finds just the best thing ever? Almost as cool as my Zomie sign!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nightmare on Dressmaking Street

The following dress is brought to you by The Seam Ripper. More seams were ripped than sewn during the making of this dress. Thank you, Seam Ripper.

So last weekend I effortlessly put together a decent looking dress (says me). This lead me to believe I could sew! Without patterns! Just make it up and it'll turn out great! With that in mind, I decided to attempt another dress. This one was based off of a skirt pattern I found in a book. My thought was, just make the skirt, yank it up to cover my chest, put a belt on it and viola! a dress! Yeah, no.

Okay, so you're looking at the finished product and thinking "looks fine to me." What you don't see is the agony behind those eyes. I was up until 1am tearing out seams, resewing and tearing again. The deal with the layers on this dress is that it involves ruffles and Ruffles not only have Ridges (sorry, couldn't resist) but issues as well. It is safe to say that this is the last ruffled dress I will sew. Or rip.

On a separate note, Mitch and I cruised by Nashville Clothing the other night after seeing a movie (Star Trek...go see it) and were pleased to see my belts on their mannequins! Mitch hopped out of the car and snapped these pics (scroll down). No hopping for me as I am still with broken toe. Yeah, I'm still milking that one!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Snapshots of the JES Art Show

I know I often blah-blah-blog about my art. But I've not told you the secret to my inspiration: I work with 400 of the most imaginative artists all under the age of 10! Don't believe me? Check out their amazing masterpieces.

Self-Portrait by Kindergarten Jen.

Metal Snake by 3rd Grade Jess.

Landscape Collage by 2nd Grade Clyde.

Weavings by a 4th grade budding textile artist.

3rd Grade masterpieces.

2nd Grade Weavings and Masterpieces.

Clay projects galore and much much more.

It was a great night...albeit long. Thank goodness for the free ice cream and sugar rush! Seeing all of these young artists hard work on display really gives me the best of ideas. Especially for all of the great things we can create next year!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Place to Hang Your...Belt

I have a difficult time with organization. I really think that some people are born with an organizational gene and others are not. I fall under the living-in-a-constant-state-of-squalor category. I'm a slob. But I want to change. I have little faith that I can, but it's worth a shot.

In an effort to put things in their place, I made this belt/pin holder thing. Usually my pins are in a heap with their needle sharp points sticking out making getting a piece of jewelry akin to plucking a porcupine. So I bought this wooden 3-hook coat rack from Walmart. I cut about 4 layers of quilter's backing and then stretched and stapled the fabric over it. It was fast and simple and keeps me from constantly bandaging my bloodied fingers.

Totally unrelated photo of kitty Asha. Yes, I know my cat is fat. We've had her on a diet for months...but I'm pretty sure she's got a secret stash.

Asha's pirate impersonation. Argh! Where's me Twinkies?!