Friday, March 8, 2013

Sewing Urge

I had a big urge to go to a sewing store yesterday and start researching sewing machines. So, I went to the local sewing machine and vacuum store and I got overwhelmed very quickly. Seriously, there were so many sewing machines in one room that I started thinking of the haunted electrical equipment horror stories that I remember reading when I was a little kid. And those sewing machines aren't simple either. They have computerized sewing machines now that can sew you a skirt with flower embroidery while making you a five course French dinner and a steaming cup of tea on the side. It was a little ridiculous.

I did learn a lot about sewing machines though. I found out that little sewing machines designed for little kids are nothing more than toys and do not sew well at all. I also learned that sewing machines have evolved to the point that instead of oiling parts in the machine, you can take the machine apart periodically and clean it out to keep it running smoothly.

I also learned that sewers love having a bazillion options on their sewing machines and that I might or might not use them depending on what I sew. I am interested in hand quilting and free motion quilting, but all of the free motion quilting I have seen is done with a simple straight stitch and not any of those fancy stitches that I found on the sewing machines.

Because I walked out of the store without a sewing machine, I bought a small 4x4 inch square that I thought would be perfect for making little crumb blocks and a fat quarter of very handsome stripes. I would really love to use that fat quarter for some binding, but I would have to dig through mom's limited (so she claims) fabric stash to find colors that would go well with it.

Since I am still taking medicine for my sickness, I accidentally stayed up much too late last night sewing together a little crumb block made out of "scraps" of fabric that I cut apart. I hand sewed that block and this morning I got out my mom's sewing machine and sewed two more blocks until I ran out of the scrap fabric that I made. I was working on a fourth block when I ran out of my scraps of fabric, so I am going to have to get my fabric that I was cutting apart to make more scraps. These little crumb blocks are perfect for me to practice sewing in a straight line and there is no pattern to follow so there is no way that I can mess up. That combination sounds like a perfect thing for a beginning sewer.

I am planning on making enough of these blocks to make a little lap quilt. I want to make a nine patch made out of these crumb blocks and then some solid color blocks that I will cut out of different fabric. I have no idea how big it will be so this is more of a "wing it" project than an actual plan. But I am very excited to be sewing and to enjoy using a sewing machine.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Post Where My Body Hates Me

In my last post, I got an exciting new job. Well, that job comes with more than occasional paychecks, rude customers, and the ability to make your feet feel like they got stomped on by an elephant by the end of the day. It also comes with a fun round of new job sickness!

I had to call in yesterday so I could see the doctor and get myself medicated so that I could go in to work again on Saturday. (Yep, part time job.) Fortunately, I got to include my fiance in this lovely round of disease as well. Sorry about that honey!

A good thing did come around yesterday so it wasn't an entire day of doom, gloom, and doctor's appointments. It was also the release of the series re-boot of Tomb Raider and I was lucky enough to decide to get everything I could with this reboot of one of my favorite series of games in all time.

I have spent most of my recovery time today playing it, drinking tea, sleeping, and discovering the perfect way to soft-boil an egg. As far as the game goes, it is exciting, inspiring, beautiful, immersive, and adrenaline rushing. (and I'm not just saying that because I'm a devoted fan.) The best thing about this game is that it feels like you are really a part of the world that the young Lara Croft is in. And yes, there are still damned wolves running about but after facing a half dozen human baddies, you aren't really that intimidated by the wolves anymore.

I managed to get my hands on the Collector's Edition of the game which comes with a special tin, a few badges, a short version sountrack, a map, a lithogram, and a figure of Lara Croft with interchangeable hands and weapons. Everything in the pack is highly detailed and feels solid. The only hard thing is learning how to pose the figure, but after a curious cat helps, you can figure out how to do that quickly.

I also got a limited edition Tomb Raider strategy guide that came with a replica necklace that Lara wears during the game (just need to get a better and longer lanyard). And to top the whole thing off, I also got the special edition Tomb Raider controller that looks as torn up and ragged as the sickness is making me feel right now.

So while I am recovering from sickness, I will be adventuring through the woods and learning how to become a Tomb Raider worthy of the origin story that is unfolding in the game. Thankfully I won't have to really do any of this in real life or else I would be dead several times over by now.

Hopefully in a few days I'll be able to finish off my Lolita Hobbies and talk about what has been on my needles during my first few weeks of work. Until then, happy knitting!