Do English teachers like local hardware store employees?

Everyone that is creative minded is always looking to expand on what they do, know, and understand. If you want to create, you want to create more, and more that is better. This is why I am glad I am a child of the information age. For a long time I wondered how did garden water fountains work before electricity was harnessed. I had come up with several logical possibilities but I wanted to know what people actually did. Instead of having to find this small piece of information in a random book in the library after hours of searching, I Google-ed it and found the answer in about 60 seconds. This example, of course, has nothing to do with enhancing my craft, but it always sticks out in my mind when I think of how accessible knowledge is today (good or bad.) Thankfully, a lot of "craft" knowledge has been fairly accessible. Most people had a master seamstress in their family, or a few great employees at their local material or craft supply store that were more than happy to pass over all of their knowledge if you just ask. It is the same with local hardware stores ( a personal favorite of mine.) The seem to cram more varied inventory, and knowledge, in their little stores than a Lowe's and a Home Depot combined. And get this... the are friendly and helpful!!!

What is that? Oh, you want to know how garden fountains were powered. Do you think I would just give that knowledge up to you freely? No! Google has made it too easy for us all. As every good high school English teacher would say, "Go look it up!" Which brings me to my first question: do English teachers like local hardware store employees for their loose lips with tips and tricks?


Resorting to Fisticuffs

As you can read from my last post, I have been thrust into a seasonal mood by my husband, Jesse. Along with that thrust, I have made some seasonal Baron Von Bacon Dog Toys. After many stressful sewing machine malfunctions, and going through two machines, I have completed my third Halloween dog toy, Count Baconula. But lets get to that later, and focus right now on the nature of the sewing machine.

If glitter is the herpes of craft supplies (you speak the truth Demetri Martin), then the sewing machine is the pull-start lawn mower of craft tools. Every time I have to re-tighten that dumb little foot, or re-thread the thing for the 400th time, I think of everyone I have ever seen having to pull that string on their lawn mower every 10 minutes. Why do we put up with the construction of these two machines?! I need help sometimes, okay... often. Due to this need, I decided to compile a few helpful websites for us that sew for love, but don't love to sew.

For all of you that own a Singer http://www.singermachines.co.uk/FAQ/index.ph

This website sells sewing machine manuals for several companies Shoppers Rule

Gives a step by step checklist of things to try when your sewing machine being temperamental http://www.fabrics.net/SarahMachineRepair.asp

This site even breaks down all the parts to your beloved sewing machine so you can actually understand what you are doing.

This is a small list, but I will grow it as time goes on, probably each time my sewing machine makes me want to resort to fisticuffs.

I know you are wondering, "what was the problem, how did she fix it?" Well, probably you weren't but I am going to tell you! I don't know. My stitches just stopped forming correctly. I tried all suggested fixes, and nothing. I called my mom while she was on vacation even, the only thing she knew to tell me was to take it in to be services. Ugg. So I decided to borrow my mom's old sewing machine that she had retired. I LOVE IT!!!! It may not have 50 stitch choices, and it may have caused and an irreversible back injury due to it weight, but it is sturdy and consistent. Check this baby out! Sexy isn't it?!?

I have been sewing on a friends, nice, but very modern sewing machine. It is great, and I have no complaints. But when a sewing machine throws a hissy fit, we all know that we have to just give in and let it take a break. Then, I tried Mom's old faithful brown machine. It is quiet, sturdy, smooth, and dependable. I have always considered myself and old soul, and now I have one more piece of evidence. I would much rather use this simple, basic machine, that has stood the test of time. If you are sewing on a not-so-new machine send in a picture, spread your love for your old faithful.


Prelude to Christmas

I have a husband that LOVES Christmas. I don't think you understand what I mean by love. He just turned 28 and when he sees something Christmassy, his eyes light up with that same glow that a 5 year old gets when he sees all the presents under the tree. I am still not explaining it well. His face actually looks like a little boy... I can see exactly what his mother saw when he was a little kid. I love this about him and I hope he never loses it. I want to be 65 years old watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and still see that 5 year old when I look at him. It is a big part of why we work so well together. I would have to have a husband that can still see things through his 5 year old eyes to put up with me drawing cartoon veggies and meats all the time and getting excited about making them into toys. One more example: he has a tattoo of Charlie Brown holding his Christmas tree on his bicep. The face Charlie is making expresses exactly how Jesse feels at Christmas. He got it in September, not a winter month. I told him he needed to wait at least a year, and then do it in a hotter month to see if he wanted a Christmas tattoo out of season.

My husband, Jesse, sees Halloween and Thanksgiving as pre-Christmas. Warm up holidays to get you ready for the explosive overload of happiness that Christmas will inevitably entail. I think that if there weren't two holidays right before Christmas to exercise his holiday muscles, that the excitement overload might just cause Jesse to explode of happiness by Christmas Eve. My role in the holiday excitement is to cater to Jesse's holiday whims at an instant. This means random decorating, craft nights, and last minute (and sometime late night) seasonal baking. Last year our dining room table was covered with a giant Halloween paper mache head, and paper mache mess for at least 3 weeks. We ate in front of the T.V. for that time. My goal this year is cleaner projects. :) I love baking (I went to culinary school before all of this), crafting, and seeing my husband at his happiest, so this is a great time for me too.

Every time I go to Target or Walmart, I have to look at the pet stuff. I never had a dog or cat growing up. My mom was a farm girl and sees animals as outside only. I understand where she is coming from, but I got a hairless cat about 5 months after I moved out, and a dog about a year after moving out. I think I am using up years of pent pet stuff excitement. Even though I make toys, I somehow almost walk out with a seasonal toy every time they are available. I stop myself usually not because I could make one, but because I have a bazillion dog toys already in a playtime basket for my dog. Never had it occurred to me to make seasonal toys until a couple days ago! The doodle pad was busted out very quickly and the same night I had made two different Halloween toys.

First was a Frankenstein's monster style toy. What better for a green monster but spoiled bacon turned green?! I loved it so much. Baron Von Bacon is the original bacon dog toy. His story goes that he found his wife in bed with a cocktail weenie and has been seeking revenge ever since. Baron Von Bacon's Monster is the reason the Baroness strayed. The Baron was too consumed with his passion for creating life from the dead... the dead bacon that is. Jesse saw him and immediately went to work on a set design. While I sewed away on my next Halloween dog toy, he was building. When he showed me what he created, I was in love!! He now HAS to do this for all of my dog toys. I try to give all of my creations a story that gives them personality and another reason to love them. The set made my story that much more real.

Next was a mummy. I decided to do make them cohesive and make them all Baron Von Bacon based toys. Besides some major sewing machine malfunctions, it went just as planned. The name is too hard to say. King Tutenbacon shows the Baron's royal blood lines. I am trying to get Jesse to build me a set with the tomb and little jars with the mummies' organs preserved in them.

I have one more Halloween toy in the works. It is a vampire bacon. It is half completed as of now. I think it will fit in well with the other two. For now, my goal is to have 3 different seasonal toys per holiday. Baron Von Bacon, Baron Von Bacon's Monster, and King Tutenbacon are on sale on Lyonesque as of now (as well as others). The vampire bacon should be up soon.


Teddy Bear Tuesdays

I take on too many projects. Is that good or bad? I am not sure. I started Lyonesque on the idea that I wanted a purpose for my re-purposed projects. I girl can only make so many bears, or toys, or whatnot and still have room in her house to sit down and eat dinner. I never had a specific medium that I love to work with. I grew up not wanting for anything; yet, I have a mother, that grew up having to use creativity to get all that she needed for life. This inspired me, and was passed down to me, not by necessity but who says resourcefulness needs necessity to occur? So here I am, with boxes and boxes of raw materials just waiting for a hundred different types of projects. I can see it as a lack of focus for my business, or an overwhelming lack of creative block. I chose the latter.

When I decided to start selling the products of my resourceful creativity it started with my mother. I went and worked on my items at her house because she has always been my creative inspiration, and co-conspirator on such things. We called it Teddy Bear Tuesday because Lyonesque started with teddy bears only. To refocus myself, and my goals for Lyonesque, I am going to restart Teddy Bear Tuesday. Part of that will be updating here every Tuesday with the direction my shop will be taking and all that goes with it. I am new to the blogging world, so be easy on me! :)