learning new things

Remember that video I posted Monday? Well, I’m taking it’s advice. I shot video of myself practicing today, and wow is it weird seeing yourself do stuff! I already have been able to see why some moves feel so weird, and a couple things I need to really focus on. It’s such a great learning tool! Plus, someday when I’m better, I can look back at what I shot today and see improvement and maybe not be so discouraged.

I’ll just stick a couple stills here for posterity:

Bring Back Home-Ec?

So after a half-joking remark left on Facebook, and then a somewhat more serious discussion with my mother this weekend, I’m seriously contemplating teaching a series of home-ec type classes. Little basic things… replacing a zipper, hemming a skirt, cooking basic meals from scratch, how to make a birthday cake, how to make a budget, how to can tomatoes… basic stuff that no one these days ever really teaches.
Except the modern way, you know: Online.

salsa!

I don’t really have any details worked out, and I’m still in contemplation/research mode, but I’m putting it out here anyway, because that’s how the universe works. So, ok, Universe, is this a good idea? What do you have to tell me about this?

Tutorial – Stashbuster Potholders

Y’all may recall the big Michigan House-clean-out project from last spring after my Uncle passed away? Well, one of the things I was most excited to find was my great-grandmother’s sewing machine and several big boxes of fabric scraps, trims, notions and a humongous pile of cotton quilt squares. Every single one of these squares is a remnant of a sewing project, or a piece of clothing she could no longer wear sliced up. This woman was a genius at re-use and I am learning as much as I can from what she left behind.
Anyway, I’ve been sitting on these quilt blocks for a while, knowing I would never turn them into an actual quilt but still wanting to do something cool with them. Finally I decided they would make really cute kitchen accessories. I’m starting with the hotpads, because I remembered my mom having some like these when I was a kid. It took making a couple before I figured out the easiest way, and since I know I’m not the only one with a million tiny fabric scraps, I thought I’d make a tutorial.

First, gather your supplies. You’ll need whatever you’re going to use for the top. Any natural fabric will do, it can be sewn into a mini-quilt, or just left in one big sheet. These are about 8″ square. You’ll also need a backing fabric, and this should be a little heavier-duty. I’m using the legs of some jeans that are no longer wearable.
Next, you’ll want something to pad it with. You could use quilt batting, but since I’m in recycle mode, I chose a couple layers of scrap felt.
Finally, you’ll want some trim. I chose ric-rac because that’s what was on my mom’s. You could use ribbon, cotton lace, piping, or you could just leave it off.

Ready to sew? Ok! Iron your top square and then use it as a template to cut out your backing square.

Then, with right sides together, pin the squares together. If you are using trim, sandwich it inbetween the squares, with about half of it inside where your stitch line is going to be.
Sew three sides together. (my trim here is orange ric-rac, you can barely see it poking out between the squares)

On the open end, stitch just the trim to the top square, following your previous line. This will make it easier when you go to close it up. Next, turn the piece right-side out and give it a good iron. On the open side, iron to the inside about 1/4 of an inch on the bottom, and right along your stitch line on the top.
Now, take whatever you’re using to stuff the pad, and insert it.

Pin closed along your fold line and topstitch closed. Continue your topstitch around the entire square. (note: I broke my topstitch needle. I’m using a regular one and if you don’t have one, it will look like these do, which is fine. A topstitch needle will simply give the stitch more definition)

And there ya go! You just made a hotpad!

Stay tuned for some coordinating tea towels, cast iron pan sleeves, and hostess aprons. Maybe even a few coasters if I can find my glass cutter…

hello shop!

Between a crashed computer, a broken camera, and a new studio space with totally different lighting, I’ve got to admit I’ve been sort of struggling with finding the best way to photograph items for my shop. I’ve been determined to fix this problem and have been experimenting with different setups, finally landing on one that I think is working for me, at least for small items like jewelry. Next up, have to tackle the larger items like clothing, especially the sizes that are larger than my mannekin.
Anyway, small shop updates will be coming all week as I get these pictures uploaded. There’s some progress anyway! I think I’ll do a little picture-taking tutorial next week as well, even if it’s just so I can remember what works and what doesn’t…

All at lorigami.etsy.com

Anyone up for a slumber party???

I finally broke down and started using the stash of vintage floral cotton I’d been saving. It was hard, but so worth it. I kept a couple of pairs for myself already, lol.

Pajama PartyPajama Party

They’ve got elastic and a drawstring to fit a wider range of people. These two pairs are med/large.
Pajama Party

Not much sewing for you guys this week, I’m off to a burn this weekend and have been stitching up costumes and accessories for that. I can’t wait, 4 days in the mountains with 2 lakes, an apple orchard, music, friends and campfire food!

Ps, I love summer. I was hungry and lunch was waiting for me in the backyard! mmmmmmmmm
lunch

Lori in Wanderland…

I’ve had my head in the clouds for a bit now, dreaming away at what is possible, then digging away at bits at a time, trying not to get in over my head too quickly. Despite that, there are so many balls in the air I am honestly quite relieved to have been told I have to chill out for the rest of the day so I don’t rip out the stitches the Dr just put into my cheek.

In the last few weeks I’ve gotten two large beds planted, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, grapes, herbs… Boxes of lettuce and beds of potatoes will come next, but not until later in June. Also have been busily making the house next door liveable for the tenants who will be moving in this weekend. Plumbing, power tools and paint! oh my!
I’ve also been trying to tackle some big projects around our own house that we’ve been putting off as unnecessary until now, taming the landscaping, painting the exterior, punch list stuff in rooms that should have been done long ago.
And then there are the little crafty projects I’ve been working on, ideas I’ve been trying to expand on now that I know I will actually have a private room to work in, which can be closed away from curious kitten paws. So many delicate fabrics, vintage laces, feathers, gems that have sat in boxes, neglected for too long.

So yes, life is good. Even Wayne being gone during the week has turned into a positive. I get a lot done, and then on the weekends we can work on things together, or just relax and spend time together. (at least when I don’t have a festival)

Life is seeming more manageable, and more things are starting to seem possible as the dust from the past couple of years is settling. It’s becoming much easier to see where I’d like to go next. It’s a great feeling.

——–

Oh. Did I mention my dream of restoring an old VW bus? Well, not two days after I made that dream public (I want to turn it into an ice-cream-truck like rolling venue with better music, fresh veggies, eggs, herbs, baked goods and preserves!) one quite literally fell into my lap.
Meet Simon:

Simon

yes, he needs a lot of love, but the price was right, he comes from a good home, and the restoration (recycling?) was half the point of the project. Just wait! you’ll see!

hello blog, it’s been a while!

I had to take a wee bit of time off after the holidays. Things might have gotten a little crazy!
We spent 10 straight days working on the house, I thought I might collapse. Sadly, not enough got done, but isn’t that always the case?

Anyway, a few new designs popped themselves into my head over the past week. They all went into the Etsy shop, even the ones I wanted to keep for myself. Again… isn’t that always the case?? lol.
I signed up for a project called 52 Crafts with the goal of using that as a reason to make things I don’t give away or put up for sale. Let’s hope it works! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep a few of my things for myself, and to buy more stuff from other crafters I admire.

anyway… new stuff!

This is the Punk Roctopus. He makes me squee, even if punks don’t squee. There’s a tiny safety pin poked thru the metal on the open edge. Punk Roctopus!! (I know, but I couldn’t help it)
Punk Roctopus

I also started a Time Traveller’s series of necklaces and earrings.
So far I’ve done London, Morrocco and Paris. More coming I think. I’m sort of becoming obsessed with travel and places-gone-by.
the time traveller's necklace
Time traveller's necklace, Morroccan version
time traveller/paris

More stuff can be found either on Etsy, or in the gallery section at lorigami.com

vanished!

One of the things I wish I could change about Etsy is the ability to sell something locally but still have a record of it in your shop. Right now, when someone buys something, you can only delete it, and then it’s gone forever.
I guess I understand why they do it, but I’d love to have a record/gallery of some of the pieces.

So I’ll put the last few here until my web designer gets around to making me a gallery (lol).

pelepele 2

 light as a featherwhere have they gone?

sea serpentsscylla skull

Nurturing Mother Nature

When we first decided to buy and renovate this house, one of my top priorities was going to be making the renovation as green as possible. I had visions of solar roof tiles, rain barrels, greywater recovery systems, recycled glass kitchen and bathroom tiles…
And then I really looked around at how difficult it could be to find these things, and how out-of-reach many of them were pricewise for the average person. Thankfully, I found sites like The Victory Garden and NoImpact Man and the 90% Project for continued tips on how to make a difference, even if I couldn’t do the really big things just yet.

————-

On that note, my friend Becky and I were talking about clothing and sweatshops and other consequences of our material world. Becky pointed me to a PBS Documentary called China Blue about conditions in the factories that make our clothes. Almost in the same breath, we lamented how difficult it was to try and live in a world where one is expected to dress and makeup like a magazine page, and where the tempations of “fast fashion” like H&M and Forever21 are veryvery real.

Then, this morning I read the blog of a long-time online acquaintance to find she started up a new site called the GreenGirlGuide where she and her partners talk about these very problems of fashion and beauty products and showcase people trying to make a difference and give people a more socially-conscious alternative.

Green Girl Guide™ showcases companies that regularly make conscious choices in a realistic way. Just as we can’t eat organic all the time and love mineral makeup but won’t part with our waterproof (and probably mildly toxic) mascara, the Green Girls are about calling out companies that make socially and environmentally conscious choices and share the belief that small, individual actions can add up to big change.

Well now, what perfect timing! I hope lots of people regularly tune into the GreenGirl blog, as I know I will. Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to change your habits, but I think these girls are going to make it a teeny bit easier.