Allow myself to introduce... myself


Monday, March 30, 2009

A Project!

It's fun to sew with ninjas!

I've been wanting to post a project for quite some time, but as these things seem to go with me, stuff just kept getting in the way. But I do believe that a leopard can change its spots eventually, so here I am, finally posting a project.

What project do I choose? Towels.

The downstairs bathroom in our house has been decorated in a way that definitely suits our personalities.

The coolest bathroom EVER, if I do say so myself

When it was time to find towels for guests to dry their hands on, we had trouble finding something that would fit in. So of course the next questions is always, what can I make that would work?

I know that not everyone's tastes lean toward decorating with ninjas, but trust me when I say you could use this technique to create spiffy new towels with anything you want.


Steam-A-Seam 2
Sewing Machine
Computer and printer
Scissors or X-Acto knife and cutting mat

1. I started by finding an image to use. Since I was making this project only for personal use, I wasn't too concerned about infringing on any copyrights and just did a Google image search. If you ever decide to make a buck by making snazzy towels with these directions, make sure you don't use a picture that could get you in trouble.

Ninjas Rock.

2. Print your picture out on to the paper backing of a sheet of double sided fusible web. I made sure my picture would fit onto a 9" x 12" sheet of Steam-A-Seam 2, but you can cut a longer piece out of a roll of Steam-A-Seam 2 if you have a bigger picture. If your picture is directional, you will want to print a reversed image.

3. Remove the paper backing from the Steam-A-Seam side that was NOT printed on and place it on the wrong side of the material you plan to use. Place the piece of paper you removed on top of the printed side of the Steam-A-Seam, and lightly iron on a low setting. Be careful not to smear the printed image.

4. Use the printed image on the paper as your guide for cutting the picture out of the material. If your image is relatively simple, you can use scissors. Because my ninja had a lot if small ins-and-outs, I used an X-Acto knife and cutting mat.

5. If my directions weren't too complicated, after the cutting is completed you should have a lovely little applique with material on one side and paper on the other. When you peel away the paper, the backside of your applique will show the shininess of the fusible web that is going to adhere the applique to your towel.

6. Following the directions on your fusible web packaging, place your applique where you'd like on your towel and iron it on. Make sure the applique is thoroughly adhered, with no edges unattached to the towel.

Appliques can be unruly if not tamed properly - like sewing down the edges.

7. Sew around all of the edges using what is called an applique stitch. On my machine I choose a zig zag stitch and then shorten the length quite a bit so the stitches are basically running parallel to each other. Make sure to test it out before starting on your towel, as stitches do not rip out of the towel easily. if possible, use a clear foot for your machine so you can see the edges of your applique, and sew with the needle in the down position so pivoting is easier. Your stitching needs to fully cover the edges of your design, and overlapping stitches whenever changing direction will insure that you don't have any nasty unravels.

Flowers and lace just wouldn't have gone right in our bathroom

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Might Be Too Short to Rock

This weekend found Scoochie and I taking a five hour road trip to Spokane to see Black Label Society in concert (for which tickets were purchased back on Scoochie's birthday).

Back at the very beginning of our getting-to-know-you conversations, Scoochie mentioned liking Black Label Society. I decided that the time would be right to impress him with my knowledge of useless trivia, which almost never comes in handy. "Black Label Society... isn't that Zakk Wylde's band?", I asked pseudo-knowledgeably. "Yeah! Do you know who else Zakk has played with?", Scoochie quizzed me to see if I knew my stuff. "Ummmm.... Ozzy Osbourne, I think", said I. And I was RIGHT, thereby earning METRIC TONS of RESPECT from my new not-yet-boyfriend at the time, Scottie Doo. So when Scoochie's birfday rolled around and I spent HOURS searching for something monumental to do, the best I could come up with were tickets to see BLS, three months away.

Should I mention now that I didn't know ANY of their music? The fact that I knew anything at all can be attributed to the fact that I will read anything put in front of me, and often retain the knowledge for no useful purpose. This time it paid off though, and for that I feel eternally grateful to Zakk Wylde.

I have to say, despite trying to cram at least some song knowledge in during the road trip (we forgot to bring along any of Scoochie's BLS CDs, and so needed to make an "emergency" stop along the way), I still arrived knowing no songs at all, and didn't even know who the opening bands were going to be until they actually came onstage. In spite of that, I have to say this was one of the best concerts musically that I have ever been to. I have been to quite a few concerts in my day, though preparations for this particular concert caused me to realize that somehow I haven't been to a music concert in ten years. Me! The girl who has seen over the years Kiss, The Beastie Boys, George Strait, Sarah McLachland (2x), Marilyn Manson, The Violent Femmes, Ani Difranco, Dar Williams, Dan Bern, Jewel (2x), Indigo Girls (3x), U2, Depeche Mode, Reba McEntire.... well, I think you get the picture. So I thought I knew what I was doing when we finally got into the concert and I said I wanted to stand up front.

Apparently, I've never been to a HEAVY metal concert. A Beastie Boys mosh pit pales in comparison. Violent Femmes? Nope. Marilyn Manson?? A rough one, but not even close. For some reason, heavy metal fans are much taller than other fans. So when I stood up at the very front with only two strangers between me and a metal fence, I was towered over from all sides. And once the music started, that became a dangerous scenario to be in, since everyone started slamming into each other and jumping up and down. Luckily for me, I'm a slammer and jumper too, but my lack of height definitely put me at a disadvantage. Poor Scoochie had to spend the entire show with his arms wrapped around me to form a protective cage so I wouldn't get knocked over.

Did I mention we had a blast?

We have no pictures to speak of for the concert, due to the fact that I was trying mostly to stay alive, and didn't need the added worry of protecting any electronics. I have decided that I will definitely need to rethink my strategy for our next planned concert outing; Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction at the Sasquatch Festival in May. Maybe steel-toed platform boots?

Hop on over to my sister's blog to see the photos she took while watching the kids and pets during our absence. They didn't miss us at all!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Art of Sharing

In a renewed frenzy of dedication to my blog, I've been busy snapping photos today that I plan to use in future posts. I haven't had this kind of proactive plan-aheadedness since the very beginning of my blog almost two years ago. So instead of randomly blathering on about nothing, I hope to (at least for a few posts anyway), have something specific to talk about. And so I offer today's post about SHARING.

Since the very first days of Hear Me Roar! (lest anyone forget, these blog musings had their start in the fact that I have a very fledgeling business that I'm supposed to be writing about), I declared selfishly that I would not be a spread-out-on-the-kitchen-table sewer as my mother was, but I would have My Very Own SPACE. It has been different things over the years - an odd corner in an awkward living room in Alaska, the dining room in a small apartment in Redmond, a full sized room in a house in Everett; a landing here, a cast off computer room there. With so many incarnations, one thing has remained constant; the space was entirely mine. I didn't share with anyone, not a single soul. I controlled every aspect of what was included in the space, right down to the actual smell (PartyLite brand Winter Solstice scented candles, bought on Ebay due to the discontinuation of the scent).

And now, I share.

In some ways I'm better at it than I thought I would be, although there are times when I feel cramped in my corner of the room, hyper aware that Scoochie most likely feels that my disorder is EVERYWHERE. It took me longer to unpack this room than it has ever taken me to claim my sewing space, and there have been some tense moments when I try to make more pouty declarations, which are met mostly with Scoochie's hysterical laughter. "I can't bear to look at this wallpaper when I'm trying to create!" I once said at my most diva best. "Are you kidding me?" asked Scott, who's excited and appreciative about sharing this space with me. In the end I realized that if he can handle the floral grandma wallpaper, I probably should too. Happily.

Sharing has turned out to be more productive than I dreamed. Because we share the space and aim to use it quite a bit, I don't feel as guilty splurging on a new tv or containers for organizing. Scoochie has a tireless work ethic that keeps him drawing into the wee hours most nights, so in order to be with him I need to be in there sewing. He doesn't talk much, but most of the time I don't either unless I'm starting to peter out. I trust his eye for detail, and can ask him questions about how something looks and trust his honest answer. He's encouraged me to make more jackets, something I was giving up because of how time consuming they are even though I love making them.

So that's where we're at. Sharing a space and trying to get the most out of it all, with our trademark kookie senses of humor still showing up every once in awhile. How do you think we're doing?


Here's the preview of Scoochie's new comic, starring ME as a superhero! Click on the comic to see the rest of this installment on his Stolen Cheese blog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another blog you HAVE to check out!

Everyone you know is doin' it
Doin' it
Writin' a blog
and chewin' it
Chewin' it.

My sister has finally visited blogland and decided to stay awhile. She's set up her own blog all about her new business, her thoughts, musings, and whatnot. Check it out, and leave her a comment saying you got to her blog from my SUPER COOL blog!

And just in case you forgot to look, Scoochie's blog... which will soon have a new comic starring us as the superheroes we are. The amazing adventures of Super Scooch and The Tash, coming soon! Don't forget to LEAVE COMMENTS! That's all we ask, us bloggers. No payment, just a little adulation once in awhile. So PLEASE, leave Scoochie some comments. He works super hard on this stuff!