Jan 31, 2011

No big deal

Maybe it's not that big a deal to overcome your fears.

Maybe it's more important to be terrified and do it anyway.

Go. Do it.

Jan 26, 2011

Shop sneaks

Some sneak peeks at what's on the way...

These girls are almost ready to make their debut.
I've been working on this for some time now.
And mustering up the motivation and courage to get these out to the world.
Very very soon.
I can hardly stand it! 

Click here to see where they will be living on Etsy,
until they find a new home.

Jan 22, 2011

How to: Fake dreads

Ok, there is a reason for this, I promise! 
Nope, that's not my hair, but you already knew that.
Those are my faux-dreads. Fake dreadlocks. Whatevs. I originally made them a few years ago for a dance performance with my troupe where we danced
American Tribal Style (click here to learn more)
...sort of bellydance fusion. *More on that later.*

(In the pic below, I'm wearing some colored dreads on top too
...same idea, just made of felted wool yarn)

Marcaedijan '08

When you're wearing that much costume, the last thing you want
is to wear your hair down!
And since a regular ol' ponytail just won't look good, I made the dreads instead. Now I had an excuse to wear my hair tied up!

 Aaaaaaand since Gasparilla is right around the corner, it's the perfect excuse reason to wear my dreads pirate costume.

I used some fabulous information found here to make the original set.

You'll need:
  • cheap-o Synthetic hair (Kanekelon, about $2/bag)
  • fine toothed comb
  • source of heat/steam
  • old hanger (or just tie directly to the lace)
  • lace ribbon (could use other things, but lace is super grippy & perfect for this)
1--Take out enough hair for a medium-sized dreadlocks, about the thickness of a pen. Of course, more/less hair means thicker/thinner dreads. Your pref. I chose two different colors, use what makes you happy. Mix and match (or don't) to your heart's content.
2--Secure to the hanger or lace ribbon using a lark's head knot. I did like the girl in the tutorial...loop the hair to the hook end of the hanger and put your leg through the middle to hold the hanger in place. You'll eventually tie it to the lace, but I made each new one on the hanger so I wouldn't have the finished ones in my way.

3--Backcomb the heck out of the hair! Seriously. Do it. Take out your frustrations. Remember back in 7th grade when you'd tease your bangs to six-inches high? Yeah, do that. It should look like a rat's nest (the dreads, not your bangs).

4--Once you've had enough (you want the hair to be all poofed-up and ratty, but not in impossible knots), start to smooth down the hair and twist it.

5--Seal the hair while it's twisted. The site suggests either boiling it (tricky to hold the shape though), or steaming it.

My method: cover with a wet cloth and press with a very HOT iron.

Works quickly and mess free. I just put a bowl of water on the table next to me and dipped the cloth each time. Trim the end or let it end taper off naturally.

 6--Use another lark's head knot to attach it to the lace, if you went the hanger route in step #2.

7--You'll need to make enough dreads so that when the loops are tied next to each other on the lace, they all the way around the thickness of your ponytail, but not overlap each other.
Mine has 23 dreads...yours may be more or less depending on how much hair you have to start with (on your head, I mean) and how thick you make the dreads.
(You'll wanna let them dry completely first. No one likes musty hair.)

To attach,

Put your own hair in a ponytail or bun. I make mine in a little partial-pony/mini-bun, with the rest of my hair hanging out of the bottom. I usually wrap my head in something, so the natural hair at the bottom will be covered up anyway.

Flip your head forward and tie the lace around the pony/bun so the dreads are on top

Flip your head back (that part's critical...you'll look crazy if you keep your head upside down)

Decorate. And decorate some more.

Remember, the one with the most crap in her head wins!

I hope you find yourself someday with a reason to wear these! Sometimes it's nice to play pretend.

This week I joined the par-tay over at A Girl and a Glue Gun:

Jan 21, 2011

What do your dirty dishes say about you?

Finshed washing some dishes. They piled up for a few days.

1 pan
2 plates
5 mugs
8 spoons
2 forks

That means most of my "meals" the last few days were either
coffee or ice cream.

I'm o.k. with that.

Jan 20, 2011

A new 'girl' is born

...in the form of a messenger bag!

This girl is all done! 
She turned out so much nicer than I expected.
And will be on her way to a new home very soon.

Soon, a few of her sisters (and cousins) will join the shop.

Very excited about that.

Jan 19, 2011

How to: Prepare for Pirate Invasion


Step 1:

Secure the perimeter.
One must do everything possible to prevent the invaders from entering port.
If it should happen, at least be sure they pay hefty impound fines.
Step 2:

Gather provisions.
You will be outnumbered. And the invasion will last long into the night
(the clean-up, twice as long).
Thirst-quenching citrusy goodness will give you the power to
stay upright  for 10 hours on end, and find your way back to your car. 
Which is two miles inland.
And for which you paid $25.00. 

Step 3:

Create a safe haven.
(and know your "exit strategy")
The pirate krewes are relentless and will only stop pillaging when faced with sheer exhaustion. Or when the port-a-pottys fill up.
These little blue gems will provide much-needed refuge from the crowds 
and loosely-brassiered women, but find them early in the day
before they become... ...uuuhhh...
....well, just use 'em early! 

"Oh, no, Carla!! What happens if I can't do these things??"

Glad you asked.
Best thing you can do is...
...declare your alliance...

...and find yourself a seat with a view.

They're coming. And you can't stop them.

They officially take over on the 29th,
but far as I can tell, the invasion has already begun.

Safe pirating!

Jan 18, 2011

Full disclosure: Secret Crush

 Alright, I have to admit it... I've got a crush!

Well, several really. And they're nothing new, but a conversation this weekend encouraged me to blurt them out the world. Maybe it's not healthy to keep 'em all bottled up inside. Or at least, that's what my friend V would have me believe. (Eh. What does he know, right?! :-)

So, in no particular order, and even if I'm a little ashamed of most of them, I present, my secret crushes.

 Common, the hip hop artist & actor.  I mean, really! The man's sooo adorably handsome!
How could you NOT like him?

Bumblebee, the transformer.
And no, not the car. I mean the "guy" version of Bumblebee.
*hangs head in shame*
I can't explain it. I won't even try.


 Cops who direct traffic.
Well, maybe not that first guy,

 but definitely this guy! (How dapper!)

War Machine. Actually, that one is equal parts:
 War Machine (ooohh the suit! And the attitute!),
Don Cheadle (the human),
and Rhody* (the character).

*and not the Terrance Howard version of Rhody. 
Dean & Deluca, the store. All of it.
Special love for the cookie section.
No explanation needed.

I'm not always proud of it folks, but there they are! Well, truth be told, there are a few other crushes lying around too, but those will stay secret.

Jan 14, 2011

I'll probably never get around to this, but...

... I need to read this book!

I read the review today by Unclutterer (great site!) and this particular part spoke out to me:

[The author] identifies motivation as the opposite of procrastination,
and that a lack of motivation is a result of troubles with expectancy
 (such as you expect to fail at the task, so you don’t do it),
value (such as you don’t value the work you’re supposed to do,
 so you don’t do it), or impulsiveness.

I'd heard a similar concept before, though I don't remember where I read 
(heard? saw?) it,  but it was something along the lines of 
"Trying is the first step to sucking."

Okay, so not the most eloquent line ever to be spoken, but that's how I've been feeling lately.
If I don't do it, I can't suck at it.
Makes perfect sense, right? Pessimistic and hugely irrational yes, but it's pretty sound logic really. Besides heights, reptiles, and Chucky (the doll), it's what I fear*. That I won't be good at it.
Whatever it is.

Except here's the thing: I will fail.

Waiting around sitting on my hands might be the worst thing I can (not) do. No one ever looked at the bored-silly paper-pusher 40 years into her job and thought,
"Good for her! Sticking to a miserable job that she knows she's good at."

But the crazy lady who decides to sell all her possessions to pay for
culinary school only to work as a low-wage line cook?? Oh yes! She's genius
Good for HER!
She's going after what she wants!
(She's labeled the crazy lady, but no one cares about that. Especially the crazy lady.)

So, here's to the first step to sucking! Or not sucking. Either way, I'm a-steppin'.


*Oh, we can add to the "fear" list:
  • seeds (of lemons, oranges, watermelons, etc)
  • that icky hard stuff on the ketchup lid
  • the unnatural strength of goldfish

Jan 7, 2011

Change of plans

I spent all day yesterday thinking about my next project. It will be cute. 
Oh, yes. Terribly cute!
Except that there was an "incident."
So instead of sewing, I spent the better part of my evening
shake shake shake
 pat pat pat
rub rub rub

That was me doing my darndest to save my cell phone from a watery grave. I tried to shake pat  and rub some of the water out the best I could.

Since it still didn't work (and the "experts" suggest you don't try to turn it back on right away like I did) , it spent the night resting (comfortably?) in a bed of rice, and was fully functional by this morning. Hooray!

If this hasn't happened to you (yet... because ooooohhh it will!), look here to find out what you should do.

Crisis averted. Have a great weekend, folks!

Jan 6, 2011

Things I like about my job #1

In early December I went to Ikea and for just a few bucks, bought myself
what I thought would be a perfect cutting table
One of these beauties right here.
Except that I'm six feet tall, and the table is barely 2 and a half feet high.
This makes for a sore back and a very cranky fabric-cutting Carla.

Fast foward a few weeks to some last minute Christmas shopping and I come across these babies, on clearance! Yup, bought 'em!

(Ever buy something not because you actually need it, but because it's on sale and you tell yourself "I'm sure I'll use it for something!"? Yeah, me neither. Hehehe)

So this past Tuesday (!), I told my boss about my cutting table woes, and four hours later I had....

...some really sexy new rolly shoes for my table! And now it's the perfect height!!! He even stained them to match the floor.  That's right, my engineer/machinist boss can build robot arms, dancing wheelchairs... and sewing table extensions!

 (Side Note: He also made me the reeeeally awesome 1/2 inch thick plexiglass ruler you see in the first pic, with holes every two inches to mark both 1/4in.
AND 1/2 inch seam allowance!
Of course, I had to explain what a seam allowance is first.)

One more thing I like about my job.

Jan 3, 2011

Why Tuesdays?

Tuesdays,  oh Tuesdays. You're the blah of the week. By Tuesday,  I've only been at work for a day so I haven't reeeeally gotten much work done, 
no projects have been finished.

Monday is a fresh start.
Wednesday marks the middle.
Friday is FUN day!
Saturday is for beach and shopping,
Sunday for church, family and hammocks.


Nothing exciting ever happens on a Tuesday. (Well, alright, except for elections, Mardi Gras, and new album releases.)

In 2009, all my days seemed to be Tuesdays. I was newly unemployed, the boyfriend left, the condo I was renting foreclosed, and I had given away most of my furniture and clothes.
Every day dragged on, with no direction, no purpose, and
nothing to look forward to (or so it seemed).

I moved in with my family and found a temporary job,
but I knew there just had to be more for me!

One year passed, I found a temporary place of my own
(not without it's own drama, but we'll skip over that part)
and set about figuring out how to put myself back together. 

I had one frying pan and one pot, no plates or utensils,
no clothes dresser, no couch, no TV. 
But I had a bed, a table rescued from the dumpster, and my sewing machine.
So I got to sewing.

And it made me happy.

And so, still without much direction or purpose now,
and without much of a plan,
 I sew.
I've made bags and skirts and clutches. And I know this is something I have to continue doing because it brings me joy. I do it for it's own sake.

Because not knowing where I should be working, or living, or what I should be doing with my life, I need to be in the "here and now," working on something I can see and touch and feel good about.

Here's to Tuesdays!


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