Monthly Archives: March 2007

Slacking lately…

I haven’t been in the mood to write this week, on either of my blogs.  But here are a few things that have been making me happy this week:

A package from Ambika.  She chose perfect yarn and fabrics for me, I loved everything in the package! There were beautiful skeins of Cascade Wool, great turquoise fabrics, candy, and a cute heart keychain.  Thanks Ambika!

A purchase from Greenleaf & Owl, a beautiful leaf pendant.  I will definitely be ordering from Eva again.  Check out her Etsy shop.

My birch bark tube vase from Small Stump.  After checking their website religiously for weeks because this vase was sold out I finally got one.  Now I just need some beautiful flowers peeking out of the top.

Because I wasn’t perfectly happy (thanks a lot OCD) with my first Amy Butler Clutch from the March In Stitches Sew Along I made another.  I switched the fabrics from the first one, polka dots on the inside and fun flowers on the outside.  I omitted the divider, a purse this size doesn’t need a divider in my opinion but now I can see that AB added it to make the purse more structured and stiff.  I thought it was much better until I realized I had sewn the flap closure on backwards so the velcro was on the wrong side of the flap.  Instead of ripping seams which I hate with a passion I cleverly covered them up with some cute little embellishments I found at Dongdaemun.

A closeup of the fabric embellishment, hiding the mistake velcro.  Now, I have two bags for Hawaii!

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Sleepy = short post…

A fun, cheery cover I made for my bible the other day with scraps left over from my Amy Butler Clutch purse.  Ieven added two ribbon bookmarks.

Two log cabin blocks I made for the Scrappy Cabin Challenge hosted by Melly & Me.

A closeup of the blocks.  They are a little time consuming but I think I could get addicted to these and I love the challenge, make one a month for a year and have a bunch for a quilt at the end.  What a great way to use your scraps and remember the fabrics you touched over the course of a year.

Dongdaemun

It’s been a while since my last post and I have a lot to report. I finally quit my job and after a week of drama from the school director, I am finally free from his immoral business practices. He chocked it up to cultural differences but all my other Korean friends disagree. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say I don’t wake up every morning with a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach.

Next order of business, my brother arrived in Korea the other day. Alex will be teaching at a school in Suwon, a larger city 30 min. north of Songtan. I went to see him on Thursday night and check to see how he was doing. Jet lag and hunger mixed with an overwhelming amount of information being thrown at him obviously increased his exhaustion level but he’ll get into the swing of things in no time. He’ll head down to Songtan Saturday or Sunday to visit me and see my town.

So since I no longer have a job and have some free time on my hands I decided to go on a day trip with some girlfriends from base today. We headed to Dongdaemun Fabric Market in Seoul.

Me, Stephanie and Tami outside the fabric market.

This is the enormous fabric and trimmings market in Seoul. 9 floors spanning an entire avenue block filled with fabric, yarn, trimmings, buttons, ribbons, upholstery, and beads. Every piece of clothing or jewelry you wear that says “Made in Korea” originates from this place. Most of the vendors did not seem happy selling 1 – 2 yards of fabric to American women who were obviously not there for wholesale purchases. We didn’t care and came home with yards and yards of amazingly cheap fabrics.

I got all this fabric (17 yards), some yarn and felt for about $65. I have no idea what I’m going to make with it all.

I also shipped off my tote for the International Tote Exchange III.

I stuffed it full of goodies and sent it on it’s way.  I hope my partner likes it all.

I also finished my March Amy Butler In Stitches Sew Along Project, the clutch.  I am very happy with the way the outside looks but the lining is all funky, it was too large somehow and gathers a bit where the lining is sewn into the exterior.

IT’S FINISHED (followed by maniacal laughter)

I can’t believe it but I actually finished the Amy Butler Ultimate Arts & Crafts Tote for my International Tote Exchange III partner tonight.  The bag probably took a total of 15 or so hours with all the cutting and piecing but it was SOOO worth it.  If I had another 15 hours of free time I would definitely make myself one of these.  It is the Ferrari of arts & crafts totes.

I have a miniscule selection of fabrics here in Korea as I have yet to get to this “mystical” fabric market in Seoul people keep telling me about, maybe this weekend.  My choices are limited to what can fit on a mall kiosk-size cart in the Base Exchange Mall.  I was so lucky to stumble upon these coordinating fabrics because the pattern called for 5 different fabrics and these coordinated perfectly and my partner said she loves jewel tones.

This is a pic of the front of the bag, it is very roomy and would hold a week’s worth of crafting supplies, great for car trips, it’s even big enough for magazines and projects.

This is the inside of the front flap pocket, knitting needle holders and three separate compartments for crochet needles, paint brushes, whatever you want to slide in there.

The tote back also has many pockets, the bottom pockets are compartments for circular needles, glue bottles, scissors, etc.

This is my favorite part – a built in needle case attached, by a ribbon, to the top pocket on the back.  How clever is that, that Amy Butler, she’s a crafty girl!

There are also long pockets on either side of the bag which can hold a water bottle, wallet, cell phone, whatever else you can stuff in this puppy!

Amy’s patterns are very lengthy yet pretty simple but I must say the diagrams on this pattern were not up to her usual standards, In Stitches‘ diagrams are much better.  I had difficulty with a few pictures because the piece shapes and sizes were skewed making it difficult to know which side was a top and which was a side.  I also do not like how she instructs you to put the lining in, she uses the same technique for the CD holder in her In Stitches book.  Instead I hemmed a 1/2″ edge on the lining and on the exterior of the bag and then matched them up and topstitched them together.  It seemed a lot easier with a project this size.  I would have to say that if you have 15 hours of time on your hands and are in need of a new project, make one of these, I give it 2 thumbs up!

Made For China

I finally finished the barrettes for Carol’s Made For China donations.  I love these and they were so worth the time it took to sew them all together.

I hope the little Chinese girls who receive them like them.  There are 38 barrettes and as you can tell I went heavy on the cute little strawberries.  I reinforced the thread with some clear lacquer so they’ll be extra durable.

I had a rough day, so the only cure was some baking and sewing.  Here are my WIPs:

Church Supper Spaghetti – a big yummy casserole for my hubby to eat at work this week, he’s working nights and who knows what he’d grab from the vending machine if I didn’t give him something better to eat.  I made mine with ground turkey, whole wheat spaghetti and reduced fat cheddar cheese.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes (thanks for the recipe Kelli) for Joe’s co-workers, they have been so helpful and friendly to me since our arrival in Korea.

My tote for the Tote Exchange III, the Amy Butler Ultimate Arts & Crafts Tote.  This has got to be the most intense and involved Amy Butler pattern I have worked with, any pattern for that matter.  I cut out over 30 pieces and after 6 hours I am on step 6 of 15.  It better be “ultimate.”  I hope my secret (hehe) partner likes it.

Rainy Day = Happy Things

I feel lazy today despite my venture through the rain to the supermarket. But there are lots of things making me happy today:

Homemade Banana Pancakes

A little backpack I made my friend’s son using this pattern.

A smocket and taggie combo I made for a friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday.

Artwork at Ssamzie Market in Insadong, Seoul.