Posts tagged ‘makin' stuff’

perchance to sleep

My mind is quite the fertile place. I’m not bragging – not everything that comes outta there is worth sharing, but my brain meats love to chew on a notion or a problem until a fully formed idea or solution pops out. Unfortunately, sometimes I forget that I’ve already solved said problem or solidified said idea, and that’s when I start to obsess. I thought I’d help myself by carrying little notebooks, writing down thoughts about potential projects so that I wouldn’t forget that I’d already thunk them once. I think. Except I didn’t realize I’d have such a difficult time deciphering my own spazzy notes. One note reads, bnd lng edg, bnd shrt edg, sw ins o, bnd w lng sd o, more contrast? !!! nd to mk intrfc sm than fab

Seriously. What the hell, Kat?

The only part of that note that means a thing to me is the three exclamation points – I was obviously *quite* excited about this innovation. The rest is suspect. Something about edges, interfacing, fabric, blah blah blah. Who knows? Another note reads, rvrs appliqué!!! Again, quite excited, and just as useless, because I have no idea what project warranted reverse appliqué. Sigh.

I try to make my notes a little more clear these days; I try to give them titles; I try to give them drawings. And that’s been working out well, because I make these notes during waking hours. But sometimes inspiration strikes me in the middle of the night (or, as was the case last night, several times) and when I wake up with the PERFECT idea there’s no reason to write anything down. Why? Because the “ideas” that spring from sleep are usually completely jacked up and impossible to create.

Like this owl pillow I’ve been asked to make (woo, custom request! woo!) I’ve been arranging and rearranging felt and roving and fabric and floss in my head for DAYS. I’ll need to engineer the layers of the owl properly, and there is no do-over – I don’t have enough felt! I went to bed ruminating on the problem, and woke up a few times with the silliest of ideas, none of which I’ll share here (all because I once thought I’d dreamed up the perfect movie plot – it involved two kids, a dinosaur, and time travel and made no sense the next morning.) Foggy and grumpy, I went to work and hoped for an epiphany. Because my drab cubicle is where creativity goes to die, I had no such epiphany. I did, however, realize that my design and aesthetic will very likely result in a cute little pillow, regardless of which particular combination of elements I use.

Why can’t everything be this easy?


August 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm 1 comment

el updato del kato

It’s a real indication of how busy I am when the ol’ blog doesn’t get updated. Lots of things going on lately: needlefelting demos at Paste , etsy sales, designing new items, and preparing for my upcoming needlefelting class (also at Paste, on 8/4.) It’s been awhile since I’ve taught anything, and I’ve never taught needlefelting but I think it should be fun – just need to get some people signed up!
In the meantime, the labs are an absolute disaster – it’s like a Hobby Lobby vomited in there, but somehow I’ve been managing to work around the scraps of fabric and felt, stray threads, and escapee seed beads. I know that I really should take a few hours and get everything straightened up but it’s more fun to just keep making messes. What bothers me more about the labs are the stark white walls that surround me. I can’t tolerate a white wall very well; I just don’t see the point when there are so many colors in the world that I’d rather look at. As much as I’d love to paint, the thought of emptying that room is absolutely unbearable. And when I think about how many things I could get made during the time I’d spend painting, it just seems silly.
Speaking of, the next project I’m going to attempt is a coin purse with a kiss-lock frame. I love kiss-lock frames; they remind me of the coin purses my mom used to carry when I was younger. She didn’t carry any cash in hers though – her coin purses existed solely for the purpose of transporting her cigarettes, lighter, and various shopping lists in style. I found a vintage wool plaid skirt in a Goodwill that I’m going to use for the outer fabric, and I’ll probably add some needlefelting for embellishment. I’ll post pictures – WIN or FAIL – when I’m done!

July 24, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

FAIL! iPhone sleeve

Let’s get this straight: I hate drafting patterns, and I hate making prototypes. Drafting patterns feels like I’m reinventing the wheel (which is actually probably easier) and making prototypes feels like an enormous waste of time. I’ve an idea for an iPhone sleeve ever since my pal Amy showed me what she was using for hers, and I finally had time tonight to sit down and try to figure it out.

I picked out two coordinating fabrics; I laminated one of them with iron-on vinyl (totally badass, and I can’t wait to use it again, except next time in a WIN! situation), and fused them together with double-sided interfacing, so the thing would have a bit of substance. I measured, I cut, I fused, and then I was kind of stumped. And it’s embarrassing, because this shouldn’t be this difficult – I’m basically making a pillowcase for a phone, and a pillowcase is often a first project for beginning sewists (ooh, do I like that word? Sewists? Not sure, but “sewers” looks like the stinky underground things, and “seamsters” makes me think I’m gonna break your kneecaps.)

In short, I had too many variables packed into such a tiny project and was too excited to sew to really allow myself time to think it through. So, this is what I ended up with. The vinyl laminate got completely distressed because I had to turn the thing inside out, but actually, that’s kind of cool (win!) But I mis-measured, so, this actually turned out to be a nice little case for my old RAZR (also useless.)

Vinyl Laminate iPhone Sleeve

The only really positive thing here is that instead of being discouraged, like I usually am after a hefty fail, I feel challenged and kind of excited to try it again. And maybe next time I’ll measure for my laptop, and it’ll actually be the right size for the iPhone. Maybe.

June 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm 1 comment

not fair…

Today was shaping up to be a perfect Sunday. My crafty mojo was buzzy, I had no obligations, and there was a Golden Girls marathon on TV. I headed into the lab and started making some super cute little barrettes (for kiddos, methinks.) Was feeling pretty good about those, but couldn’t shake the achy feeling creeping over me. Undaunted, I trekked to the fabric store to pickup some zippers for a new pattern I want to try out, but by the time I got home I realized that I felt too crappy to start any new projects. And I’m irritated!! I’ve been struggling with not feeling creative for too many weeks…and now that I’ve got some inspiration, I can’t seem to pry myself off the couch.

What would a Golden Girl do? Probably pop some Aleve (which I’m gonna do), suck it up, and get back to work. And then bust out a cheesecake. If only I had a cheesecake…

May 31, 2009 at 11:03 pm 2 comments

work is so much…work

So much to do, so much to do! I’m guessing this is kinda what an elf might feel like, if an elf made freakin’ adorable stuff!

I”m aiming to get the etsy store up and running by this weekend…’cause you know that girls all over are just dying to buy fuzzy woolen things at the precipice of summer. Of course they are!

Here’s a glimpse into my workspace on any given night…I can count at least 4 different projects in progress here…which is about a third of the total projects going on at any given time. Viva la chaos!work(s) in progress

May 27, 2009 at 4:13 am Leave a comment

the self-proclaimed queen of work-avoidance…

I first became aware of this particular trait when I was in high school. If I had an assignment due, you could bet that I’d be cleaning my room, or something else sorta productive.  These days, at work, if there’s a task that really must be finished, I’ll be arranging my file folders by color (probably rainbow order.) Or testing all of my pens to see if they still write. Or counting how many actual work days might be in the month, for no damn good reason.

Yeah – I said “sorta” productive.

I am behind schedule making all the stuff I want to be making, and instead of manipulating wool and attaching buttons, I’m social-networking. Blogging. Researching. The thing is, this might actually work in my favor…’cause all of this is necessary work, and logic dictates that I should avoid it. What better way to avoid it than by being creative and making stuff?

Hey! It’s a win-win, methinks…unless I attempt to avoid both things by spending time trying to, oh, learn to play guitar.

 Stay tuned.

May 25, 2009 at 4:20 am Leave a comment


i have a strong appreciation for handmade things, and an unhealthy obsession with textiles. ice cream is a necessity. i have a little bit of blue hair and a lot of t-shirts. grammar and linguistics are of equal and opposite importance to me. i love a spontaneous dance party. i think lolcats are super, and target is where i go when i need a quick happy.

what am i reading this week?

leafing through the latest "bust" (the one with diablo cody on the cover) when i have time...which is rarely!

what am i listening to this week?

booker t and the mg's keeps popping up...

what am i doing this week?

tuesday: needlefelting class at paste! friday: b&e at both vintage vinyl AND the tap room! saturday: last left arm show at the fox hole...i can't even exclaim this statement, it's so sad. sniff.


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