Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ok sewing machine, you win!

I have wanted a new sewing machine for a long time, but had mostly accepted its shortcomings as quirks and was a little too stubborn to get a new one.

I got my sewing machine when I was living in LA attending FIDM... that would be about 8 years ago now. It was a gift from my dad, and a very necessary one. How ever would I have been able to pull off so many sewing all-nighters without my sewing machine? The sewing rooms had a pretty wide range of hours, but I assure you they were not open 24 hours. More importantly, the Cafe was only open until about 6:00 if my memory serves me correctly and as a student I was fueled by caffeine and nicotine, so I am sure I would have died.

Random tangent: one of my instructors told me once that drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes were what she missed most about quitting smoking. Now that I don't smoke any more I understand, completely.

there are a few visible reasons to purchase a new sewing machine.

I have to use a pony tail holder to keep my thread on the machine.

That thing comes off, and pretty much never stays on.

There is something wrong with the bobbin threader and it will not stay in the position it needs to to be wound by the machine so it has to be at least partially manually wound.

It has also been through enough moves that it is missing some very important parts, like its zipper foot.

I have been able to deal with all of these things, as long as the machine still worked but clearly it is time to retire this old machine. More and more frequently it does not stitch properly, it usually does not stitch fast enough and ocasionally it does not stitch at all! I was going to wait until Christmas, but I don't think I can do that.

A friend once told me "When want turns to need, you will do it." How true was that. Of course he was referring to an ab workout, but whatever. (by the way, with all of the ab workouts I have been willing to do, a have never felt the need to punish myself with this particular workout-but I digress-)

So, machine old friend, I thank you for many years of excellent service, but I am afraid I will have to let you go. I am sorry, but in today's economy a severance package is unrealistic.


But now I have to decide what I want, and how much I can spend. Which brand? most people swear by Brother sewing machines. I am not sure I care as long as it meets my basic needs. I also have not decided if I will buy a brand new one, or if I will look for a better new one.

Oh... I have a great new how-to to share with you all! Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Well, first of all, Acrylic and Steel has an item in a gift guide! That, by the way, is awesome and has nothing to do with the title of this post.

Please Visit Jewels of Saraswati! Her Blog is and she is featuring my skull light switch plate cover. Her store is

This is my favorite item from her store :

If you click on the picture it will take you to the listing in her store.

So what is the oops about???? Well I did some printing last night. I make linoleum blocks sometimes along with my fifteen thousand other hobbies.

I decided to reprint this block to make invitations for Autumns first birthday.

That turned out pretty well. I think I printed about 20 of these, ant that is likely more than we need since most people will probably get an email invite.

I also did a first print of our Christmas card for this year.

I LOVE how the cardinal turned out. Too Bad the N is backwards in "seasons".

Anyway, I will probably just remove the words and keep the block as just the cardinal. I am a little bummed, because one little line is all it took to ruin the block.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Husband is Awesome.

As many of my followers know, my husband and I run an etsy store together called Acrylic and Steel.

Adam posts on here occasionally. Not important. What is important, at least to me, is that Adam is amazing.

I am already lucky enough to spend everyday with this wonderful man and then for no reason he surprises me by making an amazing dinner and getting me flowers. He said the cashier asked him if he was in trouble :)

Adam cooking. :) He is an EXCELLENT chef!

Drinking wine and lauguing at me for having to take these pictures. Those are the flowers. Fall mums.

Dinner was delicious! Steak sauteed with portabello mushrooms and onions, REAL mashed potatoes and fire roasted veggies. The veggies are an excellent mix from Trader Joes. Gotta love that place.

Last but not least, I had an epiphany last night! My laundry room is the PERFECT place to take pictures for my etsy store. It gets ton of natural light, AND The top of the dryier is a great place to get those stark white backgrounds that are so popular and seem to be favord by etsy admin.

Monday, October 26, 2009

And now I am addicted..

I bought some make-up on etsy from PoshWashSoap... and I think I'm Addicted. I bought
pale Bronze, Sparkling Merlot, and Black Diamond eye shadow and I love them all. they are all great basics to have in your make-up box. The Light bronze is a peachy color that just adds some light shimmer for days that I dont want to look too made up. The Black diamond creats some super hot smokey eyes and the Sparkling Merlot looks great with brown shades.

I recieved a coupon in my package and now I am trying to put together a christmas order.

These items are packaged beautifully and look SO professional. It is also an incredible value! An eyeshadow is only $2.95 a pot and she is usually running sale.

I tried to get you all some good pictures of how it looks on, but it is hard to capture the Luxe shimmer of these lovely shadows.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TUTUtorial! No Sewing required!

As I promised, I will be sharing my tutu making experience. I made a white TUTU for Duke City Derby's good VS evil bout. Our team won, by the way.

So, one of the most important things I have learned in life is that ALMOST everything is easier than it looks. The same is true with tutus.

You will need a few things. Ribbon or string, and Tulle. For ease I purchased rolls of Tulle that were not very wide. They sold it in many different colors at Micheal's in the wedding favor department. If you purchase it by the yard you can cut it so that it is 2"-12" wide. The narrower the strips the more ethereal and whimsical the outcome will be (see the tutu I made for Autumn) I used 12" strips for my tutu.

Measure your waist and add enough to the ribbon to tie the ends. I then folded the ribbon to make sure my tutu was centered and marked the waist measurement so I knew how many "knots" to make.

Decide how long you want the tutu to be and double that. Add about two inches (it will be dissolved in knotting and fluff) cut several strips of tulle that are that long.

I then tied the ribbon taught between two sturdy objects ( a bed and a playpen in my case) because I thought it made it easier.

This is the meat of making a tutu. this knot right here. To make it fold a strip of tulle in half and hold the loop up to the ribbon. Then bring the tails of the tulle around the ribbon and through the loop.

And repeat.

....and repeat

.... and repeat until you have filled the waist measurement. Then untie it from the objects that are holding the ribbon taught and tie it around your waist! Voila! An easy no sew tutu!

And just in time to make that fairy or princess costume for Halloween!

AND I used scraps (I trimmed the bottom of the tutu to make it more even) to make a tutu for Autumn.

If you like to sew you can make a variation where the string that you tie the knots around is just longer than the waist measurement and then sew the ribbon on top for a more finished looking waist.

Also, notice that in Autumns Tutu there are other colors, you can do this by alternating colors of tulle.

Planning a first....

Autumns first birthday is in about a month! I am planning a party but I have never done this before! I would love suggestions!

Also, I am interested in buying gifts and party supplies but just searching on etsy is like an abyss, so any suggestions there would be highly apreciated!

Also, she is a very big, TALL baby.

Oh! last night was exciting! She WALKED! She has taken a few steps here and there many times, but last night she walked about 12 feet! She was trying to chase a cat!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I wonder why I have an art room.

My supplies make thier way so frequently in to the rest of my home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Snippets of Life

This is an exchange my husband and I had this weekend, it is a little corny, but funny.

Erica: (to Adam and Autumn) I sure love my family! Autumn you are the sweetest baby(Autumn nods yes) and Adam, you are the most wonderful husband! I wouldn't trade you guys for the whole world!

Adam: well you know you can have the world too...

Erica: (makes inquisitive look)

Adam: The world is your oyster. (points finger to sky)

Erica: (groan) ha ha... too bad I don't like oysters.

Adam: yeah, me either.

Erica: So can the world be my bacon instead???....

Also, I made a Treasury last night of recycled and upcycled etsy finds! Check it out here while it lasts:

And I did make a Tutu this weekend as planned. It was fun and easy and I intent to post a TUtuTorial (snicker) some time this week.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yay for Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!

We have a fun weekend coming up!

Duke City Derby will be playing a pick up bout at the convention center this weekend, FOR FREE! There is a tattoo convention this weekend and they invited us to play there! It is really exciting.

They are also letting us have a table to talk derby and sell merch. all weekend!

If the convention center like us and we attract a lot of people they may give us a reasonable rate for bouts this year... which would mean WE WOULD NOT BE HOMELESS ANY MORE!

Duke City Derby needs a venue!

The bout is good vs evil. Our team is good :( and we have to wear all white! How unflattering!

I have been thinking about learning how to make a tutu for a while and I think this is a great opportunity, since we get to wear costumes. I was going to buy one once, and then cocked my head and saw that I could make that myself. I do that more than I should, I think. I do want to support other people that make handcrafted items, but when it comes to wearables it is hard for a fashion designer not to make it herself if it is easy enough... and for Tutu's you one does not even have to sew.

Also, I am making home made mac'n'cheese tonight... cant beat that. Should be good pre-rock climbing food. I haven't decided what to make with it yet.

Finally, we will be offering layaway soon at more on that, later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Old knife made anew...

Hi, Adam here.....

A couple of weeks ago, my 5th cousin 17 times removed (or something like that) asked me if I could fix up an old boyscout knife that he had been given, when it was new, in 1942, when he was a boyscout. He wanted to give it to my 7th cousin 19 times removed (or something like that). So I said, "Sure, I'll see what I can do." Of course I forgot to take pictures first, so you can't really tell how much better it looks now, but take my word for it. There is a bit of an improvement.
The whole blade was rusty, the aluminum pommel was dull and oxidized, and the sheath was falling apart.
I was going to just restitch the sheath, but the leather and stitching really were falling apart, and I found out that there had been fringe along one side, so I made a new one, using the old as a pattern, and layering the tooled front on top. I think it turned out pretty well.

For the knife, i mostly just polished it up, and made it mostly pretty again, although a little bit of the rust was too deep to take out all the way. And of course, I sharpened it up nicely >:)


Well, I went to the DR today.

I have had a myriad of very vague symptoms since Autumn was born. It took a really long time for me to realize that everything I am enduring is not normal postpartum healing.

I have mentioned problems to friends and family and most people didn't seem to take my concerns seriously, which is probably why it took almost a year to get in to see a doctor. A few people thought it may be a hormone problem, and more specifically a thyroid problem. I was very worried the doctor would ignore my concerns but he was very attentive.

He said "Well, lets hope it is a thyroid problem, because it is easy to detect and treat. If it is something else it will take longer to straighten out"

So, I am happy an relieved to be on my way to feeling better. I still have a cold, but that is nothing in comparison. I can live.

In a few minutes Adam and I are headed off to scrimmage. No jamming for me tonight please :)

This is my Beautiful baby modeling an item I will be listing in a few days.

Oh... in case I have never mentioned it before, I HATE visiting the DR.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

yicky colds... and more

I have a little cold. How convenient that I am going to go to the DR tomorrow.

We uploaded a few baby movies to YouTube last night. only 4 of the 10 attempted made it on to YouTube, but I don't feel like uploading them more now.

I have been reading a lot of other blogs lately, and some have been useful while others can be very inspiring.

I thought 42 Purple Elephants had an inspiring post: Branching Out it really makes you realize that you can make some amazing things when you step outside of your comfort zone. She has an etsy store that you should check out too! 42 Purple Elephants

This Pretty Sweetheart Necklace is from her store.

Something I forgot to mention was that I was on the front page last week! It was really exciting! I got a ton of views on that one item and lots of hearts too!

It was a Halloween themed collection. This is the item they put up:

Spinning Spider Switch plate Cover

Monday, October 12, 2009

Has it been a whole week already!?!

I missed a few posts last week.

I'm sorry... I was a little distracted.

I had another interesting weekend. I felt sick again for most of it, but it would seem that this weekend it was because I am coming down with a cold or something.

On friday I can't remember what I did. Saturday we were lucky! My dad and his wife babysat Autumn almost all day! Adam got to work in his forge, and I got to get crafty with some arm warmers. We also enjoyed a hike together, and were glad not to have the baby because it ment we could climb on rocks that we couldn't climb on if we were pushing a stroller around. Dinner together at Gardunios was fun and yummy. We came back home and worked in our respective" shops" a little more. A friend of mine was having an awesome Science themed party, that I wanted to go to, but was not feeling up to. By the end of Saturday I missed autumn terribly!

On Sunday the Munecas Muertas (roller derby travel team) had a team meeting to pick a new captain. I was not even planning to run, but I have some great ideas and skater Killer Queen encouraged me to run with her. Our ideas are in line so I thought we would be a great pair. Now Killer Queen and I ( my skate name is Doom Dee DOom) are the new travel team captains. I was planning on voting for Amanda Jammitinya, the other person who ran. I think she would have also been a great captain, and I really hope she is very involved with helping run this team this season. I especially hope she helps with off-skates drills... and she can body block like a madwoman, so I hope she can teach us all that too.

I have also been making lots of arm warmers. I put two pairs up last thursday and they had both sold before saturday, making it a pretty good etsy week. I am considering also selling blank arm warmers, what do you think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Long Weekend

This weekend was WFTDA western regionals and it was a painfully long weekend. Duke city derby's Munecas Muertas went in to the tournament 6th and left 6th.

It was really difficult to be away from Autumn and Adam, and I was very emotional. I was disappointed that even though I go to almost every practice I had not improved more. It is really annoying when you work harder than you have ever worked and are not seeing the improvement you expect, and then to top it off you are overly emotional. It is all related to some kind of health issue that should be a hormonal imbalance and I THINK is hypothyroid. I am suffering from a meriad of symptoms including extreme difficulty concentrating, fatigue, moodiness and irritability as well as being much too sensitive, and that is only a few. The thing that is really hard for me is that I feel like no one believes me. Maybe because before I experienced it I would not have believed someone that said they were working hard and not seeing any fruits of thier labor. I have been waiting about three months for an appointment because we had to wait for our new insurance to kick in and then we had to wait almost 2 months for an appointment.

I am glad to be home.

Sorry for the downer, here are some cute baby pictures to make up for it :)
This is why Grandpa Howard (my dad) calls Autumn "The Tornado"

Yes, that actually is a mini burrito that Autumn is eating :)