Thursday, June 30, 2011

TiLT - Comfest Weekend Edition

1. Comfest. It is a yearly Community Festival in Columbus, Ohio.  The things I know it for are topless saggy titties with body paint, fair food, music, beer booths with tokens, booths selling craft and handmade wares amongst other weird paraphernalia and running into random friends around the park.  What is really is I'm not sure but here's a link.

2 .Steak and most importantly Cheese on a Stick.  These are Comfest staples.  To me there is no Comfest until I have consumed both these things, the rest of the time is just details.  I love having fair type food and not being at a normal fair.  Also the Fish boats from Queens table are Amazing......

3. Community. Just connecting with friends at the booths and catching up.  I love being a part of a rich and talented community.  There are so many different people and so many wonderful things going on, being at one of these events is a good way to catch up and see what new things are happening.  I am also able to let a lot of other people know personally what events I am involved in and how they can help our or particpate (cough Independent's day cough)

4.  Out and about.  It warms my heart to see handicapped (or handi-capable) people out and about at such a hugely crowded festival.  Even better when I see people helping them out and around.  Total stranger's being considerate and respectful, it makes such a crowed cluster a good experience for everyone.

5.  People Watching. Also spotting oddities that people do.  It's one of my favorite past times and what better place to do it then at a huge festival event.  So this Statue has a shirt on it every year, this was just the first year that I noticed it.  I found it charming.  Usually there is a little pond that we can sit by but this year it was drained and they are working on putting a new fountain in it.  Every year some idiot decides to swim in the pond full of grossness and carp.  Yes I said Carp not crap but I'm sure that was in the pond as well.

Have you been to any great festivals lately?  And what are your favorite things about them?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Art of Couture Sewing - Book Review

To tell the truth I have avoided this book for a long time.  After the last book with "couture" in the title it made me shudder with shame at the misuse of the this word.  This book however was a happy turn around.  Although it did not give me any new information or great detail on actual couture sewing it did explain it very well and go into examples, details and the History proper which made me feel much less angry about the title.

For the Introduction to Couture it had several different designers spotlighted with a brief history of them.  I really appreciated that and found it informative. 

The pictures throughout the book were great and modern.  The illustrations however were a bit generic.  I would of preferred a more plain mannequin type figure then these California sassy girls.  The how-to illustrations however were spot on and gave good details.  Sometimes I prefer the illustrations on how-to's then pictures.  You can exaggerate and add more detail in a drawing that can help further explain the process. 

This is on my list of books I must get.  It has such a wealth in instructions and tips.  It covers pattern drafting, draping and even illustration.  If I were a full time teacher I would even consider to make this a required text book for my students.  It is that good to me.  I think aside from the scary title it is a great book through and through.  I mean it does into great detail in Bias draping in the photo above, better then I have seen in any other book so far.  I will say that this is no book for beginner's you need to already know basic/intermediate sewing skills and might have to brush up on your fashion terminology before taking on this hunk of a book.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Light Sewing

Last week I was asked by fellow Seamstress Trina aka Batsy on Etsy, to test out a pattern of hers.  I love doing this for people.  It is somewhat like my love for editing English papers or translating for my best friends from Korean to English.  I find it good practice for me also because when I look at what other people are doing pattern wise I get a concept of what does and does not work when I re-write directions for my classes.  Like recently I looked at my pants block/sloper directions and they are kind of a mess.  I'm not sure how no one pointed this out to me previously but I am looking to correct it soon. Granted I did take an 8 page instructional handout from my college days and attempt to condense it down into 2 pages.  I hope sometime in the near future I can test a pattern or two for Amy Butler which I think would be fun especially since she is local-ish to me.

This was for 3 different types of Coffee mug Cozies but I only tested the last one because it was a bit more complex then the rest since you had to sew into an infinity loop so that when you turned the fabric right sides out it was normal looking and not some stuffed up mess. Everything worked out just fine.  I thought I was clever by using a thicker felt and oilcloth instead of fabric so I could skip the interfacing but that just made it this thick pain to turn out.  Hey kids!  Sewing instructions are much like Cooking instructions, replacing any materials/ingredients will get you a different result then intended.

The pattern can be found on her Blog here!

Another thing I hope to play with soon is some freehand embroidery on the machine.  It fits my drawing style so I think it will be right up my alley to play with.  I saw this video again and it instantly made me wish I had the flexibility to be at my sewing machine whenever I wanted to do these things.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A clutch of Eggs

With all this crazy wind and rain my fiancee felt our hanging ferns out front were going to get knocked down.  Being the proactive guy that he is with things pertaining to the house he went to bring them down before the weather alert started.  We knew we had a nest in one of them but didn't realize both of them had nests.

 The nests are so tiny and delicate.  The eggs look so small and dainty as well, almost like they aren't real but porcelain.  I loved the way the nests are woven and shaped together.  It gives me some ideas for prints or manipulations I'd like to try in fabric.  It's a very cool concept of having something so drastic and opposite looking nestled inside something else.

The Second Nest is below which also contained an egg that did not belong.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hello Garden!

 We have been having an unexpected amount of heavy rains and flash storms here in Columbus, Ohio but I took the chance for some small dry moments to head out into the backyard for some OTD photos.  Small snag with where I wanted to shoot at but I'll address that at the end.  Time to look pretty!

 Express one piece Tank Dress with draping bead & chain trim
Converse Grey Pinstripe Blouse from Target
Christian Dior Bow Earrings from Best Friend 
(no really my best friend gave them to me there is no link)
Baby G- Pink Square Watch
Cream Coach Purse from Coach Outlet in Jeffersonville
White Rabbit key chain from Coach at Easton
Michael Kors Silver Sandals

I love this picture, I feel like it could very well be an advertisement for Coach or a website promo image.

As much as I love my Michael Kors silver heels there is no way I can get through my entire work day walking around in them, so the practicality comes in of substituting them at work with my trusty ole Silver Dr Scholl's slides. My little Girl Rambo loves to be in pictures.  Sometimes I think I should just give up and incorporate her then she will probably hate being in the photos.  This is a theory I need to explore.

Below is the reason why I had a little snag in taking my photos.  I was setting up and taking test shots when I noticed past our lovely daisies were my neighbor's granny panties drying in their glory for all to see.  This does not a pretty picture make.  A funny one it does make!  I was fortunate that the leopard prints were not out in full effect.  It really is not charming to come home from work to see across your little neighborhood fence rows of granny panties blowing in the breeze.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Appreciate the little things

I finally got in my order from Denver Fabrics for some Swatches and wow, not exactly what I was expecting.  but I know one of them will work and it will be wonderful.  I'm just happy they came in and were fairly cheap.  I did half yard amounts so I can hopefully get the bodice for one or both dresses done.  These two dresses I am working on are for the singers in the Band at our wedding.  My friends Cover Band "My Kid Sister" was kind enough to let us be their first wedding!  As a Thank you to them I wanted to make them all a coordinating look.

 So here is my quick sketch just to give an idea of what the dresses will look like.  it's a 50's style bodice that is halter since it will but HOT in August or at least I expect it to be.  The first singer doesn't like things as tight fitting so I am giving her a full skirt.  The other singer says the tighter the better so she is getting a more Mad Men office girl look with a pencil type skirt and kick pleat in the back so she can still move and walk.  The men in the group will get coordinating bowties and I ask they wear suspenders and short sleeved white shirts.  I don't mind if they wear Dark denim jeans or dress pants.

 These are the swatches that I've gotten in the Pale green is out.  It's just too similar to my bridal colors and doesn't look good on the skin color of the ladies.  Dark Green and Blue are the options now.   I finished the draping over a month ago I just needed to wait some things out and get the measurements from the Ladies.  Now that I have it all I can start again.  The wedding dress is on a little bit of a stall as I wait for some more materials to be mailed to me from best friend which she got from our other best friend in Korea.  Just some authentic Korean Hanbok elements to add into my dress.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh the stress!

This orangutan perfectly encompasses how I feel right now.  

I am stressed and done and don't feel quite like dealing with anything right now.  The wedding is taking it's toll on my creativity and when things are out of my hands I am not a happy camper. Yesterday was a bit tumultuous in regards to wedding stuff BUT good things happen as well. I'm happy to say that I have my organist that I wanted and many friends are super supportive.  I know nothing goes perfectly for any wedding that is just the nature of them.

 What I can do is keep on trucking along and get the other things in my life taken care of. Classes are in full swing for me at CCAD.  Another Summer of Draping into Pattern and Pattern Drafting and Construction.  I was a little slumped at the beginning of last semester but this semester feels so much better.  It has been a little over 3 years of me teaching Pattern Drafting and Construction for the Continuing Education and the longer I do it the more I feel like I have gained great experience.  I have found what does and does not work, learned to changed things up depending on the overall skill level of the class, where and when to take the extra time with a student or even if it is necessary.  
Teaching has helped me a great deal to read people and the way they act, I only have a limited time so I need to know where and how to spend that.  Most of my people are fantastic but sometimes there are people who just don't want to listen and can't be helped, in those cases I have learned to gracefully point out they need to sort themselves out a bit before taking up my class time.  
The other important thing is how to keep this curriculum refreshing to me even though it is basically the same lesson repeated every semester.  Little things like choosing different fabrics to do my demo on or switching up the order of the demos, making conversation and connecting with the students.  Another great thing is asking them to participate during the demo, for example I would sew up one side of the invisible zipper and let someone else try to sew in the second part.
I can with confidence still say that teaching is one of my favorite jobs.  I am dedicated to not becoming a broken or bitter teacher.  If for some reason teaching is no longer fun then you should not be doing it, it is a horrible thing to see someone's negativity crush an aspiring mind.

My Advice to other teachers is to not be afraid to voice your unhappiness.  Do not dwell in it.  Perhaps evaluate what you like and don't like about your class or what you are teaching.  Most importantly do not be afraid to make changes. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Over the Weekend

My Social Suicide has officially commenced.  I had to decline going to more events then I could shake a stick at this weekend for the sole purpose of getting a chunk of my wedding dress figured out.  I spent about 12 hours on the dress this weekend.  Most of that time was spent at the ironing board getting the final pleats done.  I re-evaluated my previous measurements while breaking in my reception shoes. The difficult thing with this is I know what I want the exterior to look like but before that I need to figure out how the interior is going to work.  With the dress being strapless I need to make sure it will stay up.  Also since it is empire waist that leaves not room for any supportive boning so I need to make sure that everything is tight and stays in place without it looking like the fabric is pulling or strained.  I also do not want it to be all the way to the floor since I have some fabulous shoes that need to see the daylight.

 My main work station this weekend, netflix on the laptop, connected to the speaker, bottle of water, sewing machine (Brother Innovis 80) and Serger on hand.  My narrow hem foot has been my best friend in finishing all my hems for this silk organza extravaganza.

The one night I went out was to a friend's 30th Birthday Party which was just a house party with a bonfire & pinata.   I wore mostly casual but most importantly I got to break out my new Dr. Scholl's (yes I will wear old lady shoes) flat wooden sandal and you can see my natural hair color. 
Allison Rose "Love your Librarian" T-shirt
Gold hoop and Gold Panther Choker from Express
Pink skirt from TJ Maxx
Baby Blue Swatch
Silver Metallic Dr. Scholl's Sandals

Finally my hair color as it was Saturday.  I plan to put some baby blue into it and get more of that blondish yellow out of it.but overall keeping to a green/turquoise coloring.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just a little Craft

I took some photos of my newest little creations for Craft shows.  I try to get in a little here and there to make some new things since I don't want to be bum-rushed after the wedding to make new stock for the fall shows.  This year I decided I might try and apply for some shows outside of Columbus just to see if I can cut it or not.  Also the extra cash would be great.

Needle felted Pin Cushion Rings

 Fabric Hair Kazanshi Clips

The hardest thing for me is trying to keep true to my Identity fashion wise as Torn Angel and be selling my crafts under that same name.  I've teetered back and forth with using my side teaching name to sell my crafts but I've been under the name Torn Angel for the past 3 years at craft shows I don't want to rock the boat with changing names.  Also since I started out primarily as clothing and knitwear I've had to change my craft a bit to accommodate for the other seasons or just to have items that are year round friendly.  That has been my biggest challenge in trying to stay true to my aesthetic under Torn Angel.  I find there are so many things I could make that would probably sell well but they don't fit in the overall identity of what I am heading towards for Torn Angel.  It's a slippery slope my friends trying to be in the art/fashion game while still enjoying and trucking it through the craft circuits.  Just this year is the first time I felt comfortable putting my craft out in other stores as consignment.

I will be at Independents day (you know, since I am the organizer for Craft Alley and all) and I am applying once again for Craftin' Outlaws.  Hope to see you at one of those events!