hems? or hmmms?? 

I may have mentioned this before but I'm tall - six feet tall. I dread buying pants, not because I don't love shopping but, because of the lacking selection of long length pants.

I have a way around it... a secret(ish) thing I will share!

1) Buy cuffed regular length pants and pick out the stitching in cuff
2) Use that extra fabric to hem them at a better length

Today, I bought these pants at Target. I unpicked the cuff and hem and then re-sewed it. I consulted Mary Jo over at trust your style before finishing up, but now I have a fashionably long pair of pants that I only paid 25 bucks for! yeah!

According to Mary Jo - the hem should fall between the middle and top of your high heels. :)
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VejaCeclia - pattern making tutorial 

of course I have failed to remember HOW I found this site but you should check out the pattern design at vejaceclia. She has a couple of tutorials on her site.

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2

I found the first one more interesting, but she has a couple more linked to in those posts. lots of fun!

I managed to stay away from any stores yesterday - how about you?
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digital textile set up tutorial 

Interesting tute from Lounge Kat on how to set up digital files for textile printing from Vector Tuts +.


*image snaked from the tute - all rights to the original folks :)*
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smart.fm and learning to read 

As you may or may not know - I am trying (although slowly) to learn Japanese using Rosetta Stone. It's going well, but I was having a tough time remembering letters to read the words that are shown in the software.

Well, turns out there is an e-learning site run by a friend of a friend - where I can just learn to read hiragana and katakana.

Enter SMART.FM - awesome name for an e-learning site, huh? Their iknow software is pretty sweet and gives you specific items to study.

In 2 weeks, I've 100% learned 8 pieces of hiragana and am familiar with the 96 pieces.

my one gripe with the site - is that they should dump all the social networking features - they make for a REALLY wonky and confusing User Interface. Just because you are a good instructional designer does not make you a good interface designer.

and this would be the friend that recommended the site:

Photo courtesy of my husband - the amazing photographer

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Camera Strap Cover 

Holiday preparation also includes making my camera more comfortable to keep hanging around my neck. My last few trips I left my camera sitting in my bag more often than I should have and missed some great shots because the strap I have is just damned uncomfortable.

Step in Design Sponge's DIY Wednesday camera strap cover tutorial!

Here's how mine came out:

I've had this fabric for about 4 years & I got it in a swap on craftster ages ago. I love it - I use my dwindling supply only for special things. I made a chop stick holder and furoshiki for Mar's wedding gift. Wish I had photos from her wedding. :( no digi cam at the time.

Have fun - the tutorial only took me about 45 minutes to do, including my crazy amount of ironing.
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Tutorial - beaded embellishment 

I am going to show you a simple way to evenly embellish something you've sewn. I use this technique on wrist cuffs primarily, but you could use it on any cloth item.

What you need:

* A finished piece of fabric sewn on a sewing machine
* Beads
* Thread
* sewing needle

What to do:

- Thread your needle and knot the end.

- Look at line of stitches you made with your sewing machine (at the hem or at the finishing seam.

- Pick up your piece and decide how far apart your want your beads. This will most likely depend on your stitch length, but I usually space mine fairly close together, about 3 stitches apart.

- You will be working on the front (visible portion) of your piece.

- Start at the underside and push the needle up through the fabric at the beginning of a stitch

- Put a bead on your needle and push the needle back through the fabric at the end of the stitch you started in

- Count down the number of stitches you previously determined and repeat until you have finished that seam line.

- Decide if more of the seams need the same treatment until you feel you are done!

Here is how the beading ends up looking on a wrist cuff:

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cool new tools 

Heather Bailey did her March of the Tools series again this year - my favorite one mentioned is the Color Munki. really really want one of these.

True Up has an article on using Pantone swatch books to match colors in fabrics[/url]. They mention at least one site that lists Pantone colors in conjunction with fabrics.

oddly enough, Boing Boing Gadgets has a tutorial for creating your own letter press. Not sure how viable it is, but could be cool.

Make your own crocheted bike seat cover with the translated pattern from Carina's Crafty Blog.

Anyone in LA want 2 TV's and 2 monitors for free? email me via the "contact me" link at the top. TV's are completely functional. large CRT monitor has a gun going out and I have no idea what's wrong with the other one except that it is showing signs of going completely dark. Could be used for art projects maybe?

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workie work work 

I am swamped at the office - so much so that I am completely left without the time or desire to do anything but veg. It's good - I have a really really big project I'm working on. (yeah)

PLUS - I had a wisdom tooth pulled on Friday and it's KILLING me still (on Wednesday). I swear I would be billionaire if I got paid to complain.

Here are a few cool things I've found in what little surfing I've done in the past few days:

TrueUp.net has a cool article about repeat patterns in illustrator. most of it I had already learned but they had a few cool tricks :)

Lovely cherry Blossom pics from Please Sir

Treasuring's article on personal art style

Vintage Button Desktop Wallpaper

My favorite author's executor is ill - go here to find out more. Philip K Dick is one of my all time favorite authors.
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vintage inspired jewelry 

a few weekends ago I got inspired to make some more jewelry. I ended up with a nice lariat necklace and a ring.

Originally I planned to make the necklace with a spool of thread in the middle, inspired by a project I saw on craftster.org.

I pulled all the original thread off the spool.

I couldn't decided if I wanted the spool to be covered with yarn or with embroidery thread.

I went with embroidery thread.

It was much too large for the thread and I could find no way to get the spool work. so came up with another solution.

I joined the 2 chains with a single small jump ring.

I then put a small silver bead over the jump ring to sort of hide it.

I then set about picking beads for the ends of the lariat. Here is what I ended up with.

I stacked the beads together on a head pin and closed the pin with a ring.

Here is the final necklace:

I then gathered some buttons a ring back and started fiddling around until I found a combo that I like. Here is the result...



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Painting Shadows in Adobe Illustrator 

I learned this the hard way with lots of fussing and studying of the help files, along with help from my hubby. This should help some of you skip those steps....

1. Create your drawing in illustrator with basic shapes and no stroke, but filled with a solid color

2. Chose a stroke color that will work with your drawing for the shadow color
3. Make sure the color you want is in the stroke color selection box and that no fill color is indicated

4. Pick your paint brush from the tools menu

5. Draw a line overlapping your object

6. Select the original object to see how the stroke you painted will look on the object

7. If you like it, copy the main object (ctrl+c) and paste the object in front (ctrl+f)
8. This will not place our object above the stroke, only in front of the original object.
9. Right click and chose arrange -> move to front

10. Your object should still be selected.
11. Hold the shift key and select your stroke (or strokes) - you must select the object first THEN the strokes

12. Right click and select “make clipping mask”

13. You should see your original object with the stroke placed over it, but no stroke overlapping the edge of your object.

14. Repeat for each object in your drawing until items you want shaded are complete.

I have had issues with the stroke being changed to “no stroke” after making the clipping mask. Before you proceed to the next object, make sure your stroke is the correct color and there is no fill.

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