Monday, January 27, 2014

Baking Cookies With Hello Kitty and The Great Ethan Allen

DSC_2927It has been a while since I have posted anything on the blog so I thought I should start to post anything just DSC_2932 to keep things current.  Much has happened!  We went to IKEA, went to Michigan during a snow storm, ( again!) someone crunched  our car,  Andy Fixed our car, and We have begun the stocking production while trickling in a few origami along the way.      


DSC_2935Unfortunately,  I only have pictures of Cheryl and I baking cookies together…so I will go with that.  I guess this was the first time since Christmas that Cheryl and I have had a chance to bake anything.  DSC_2936 Cheryl mostly wanted to show of her cool Hello Kitty apron while I get to show off my Chef Coat.   I mean:   You can’t get much  better than having my own name sewn onto the front.  

As usual, I was the stir master or this baking adventure.  Cheryl does not trust me with measuring, baking, or portion control. Nope….I get the job that any Kitchen Aid machine can do.  But Don’t I look cool in the Chef Coat?  I guess it was all worth it…

weather-kylerosbrook-highway%206%20south%20of%20REgina%20-%20whiteout-%20jan%208%202012-1As for other things,  Iowa is undergoing it’s ground breaking, record setting cold weather this year.  It is VERY cold outside today, with a very strong wind.   We still managed to go out for a walk in it.   indianamapCheryl says we have to start our exercise regiment to keep in shape and lose the Christmas Cheer we both gained.  ( I more than her!….Much more.)     So back to Origami and Sewing stockings.   The car runs great now with new brakes, ball joints, stabilizer bars and oil.  It also managed to make it home during the white out conditions around the “HORN OF LAKE MICHIGAN”

  And that is about it.   Nothing really happens from day to day here in Iowa.   I guess we should count our lucky stars and continue to work on the stocking business.  We shall see.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Origami Scorpion with Glassine

What a cool paper!   Glassine!   I’ve read about it from other origami Enthusiasts.   I never knew what type of paper it was until I found some at the local Blicks store.   Then I found out it can be wet folded! DSC_2858   DSC_2857






Well,  this called for an experiment.   I thought I would fold up a complicated model to see how far I can push the paper before it tears or breaks.DSC_2859    DSC_2871







I was happy to see that it is quite durable and holds a crease very well!   Next,  I would try to see how it would behave when wet folded.   Again I was impressed.  I may have fallen in love!  DSC_2872 DSC_2873



It still lacked one element….Color!   I experimented again with spray paint on a finished model. 


DSC_2875 DSC_2876 

The results are pretty cool.   Now I just have to dust off the Origami Insects book and see what I can do.   Paper has always been the limiting factor for me.   The thick cardstock simply does not allow for thin legs or antennae to be folded so they look passable.   Especially with Molecule folding. DSC_2884DSC_2909




Anyway,  just thought I would post a quick post on the blog as I seem to be neglecting it lately.    Cheryl and I have been fighting boredom as we wait for new felt colors and a game plan to get the stocking production under way.   We have had some good luck with the Embroidery machine putting names on the new stocking designs.   I can hardly wait for this next Christmas Season.   Kind of makes me sound like one of Santa’s Elves. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

More Embroidery Machine…with Origami Dragons on the side….

DSC_2848 DSC_2849  So yesterday I continued my familiarization of the Brother 770 Embroidery Machine and tried a few things out.   DSC_2850Simple things like fonts,  sizes,  positioning,  etc. I think I have settled on the script font and the darker thread seems to show up the best.  As far as size, I discovered I can vary the sizes slightly from large to small and then adjust accordingly.   IT was actually so simple to use,  I have not really had anything else to experiment on.  Like preparing for a math problem only to discover it only took a fraction of the time to finish it.  ( pun intended)

Anyway,  with my new found time, we have been making a few additional stockings and folding some origami.   Nothing too special,  just more dragons really.  A request from a frequent customer to the shop.  I’ll have to continue as many of the items in the shop have expired over the past few days.  Time to add a few new things! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Embroidery with the Brother 770

DSC_2761Finally!   I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this device.    I feel like a kid on Christmas….which…if you think about it,  I guess that is really what I am.   This Item is more than just a new toy ( although it feels like it is one to me!) It is a tool we will be using in the upcoming Stocking Season for names.   I’m imagining that there will be a learning curve somewhere,   But this thing is quite amazing.   In about 15 minutes,  I was able to open the box, plug it in and stitch my name on a random piece of felt.   ( most of that time was spent unwrapping it actually.)  DSC_2765

The instructions are pretty easy to follow…But I didn’t even fully read them.  I simply looked at the pictures and followed the diagrams   EASY!   To be totally honest, I HAVE nbeen watching YouTube videos about the Brother 770 ( And several other embroidery machines) so I had a little bit of a jump start on the average person.   Mostly on the simple things: Threading the needle, using the fold selector,  adjusting the hoop…things like that.DSC_2762 DSC_2763  

After seeing that the embroidery does not require interfacing, I decided to proceed to step two and see what the difference in sizes where.  DSC_2766 The one on the bottom is a large script, the one on the top is a standard medium font.  There are six fonts to choose from,  I will be experimenting with these further.   As of the writing of this post, I figured out a way to adjust the size of the font a little more.   Making the medium slightly larger or smaller than the one shown here.  It’s actually quite easy. DSC_2767

Then there what the largest hurdle:  Embroidering on a finished stocking!   We had a couple of stockings that were returned and they already had names on them.   Thus, we can never resell them.   Destined for the garbage,  I thought I could experiment on them without risking a “good” stocking.   I had a plan on how I would deal with a stocking that is finished and required a name.  I would have to zip open the toe and hoop it up and adjust the name from there.  I did not know if the hoop would hold,  the buttons would interfere, or if the name would even match up where I wanted to put it.   I was ESTATIC that it SURPASSED my expectations.   The glitter name was taking up the normal space where the name goes, but I was able to adjust it up and down so the stitched name would fit…..And I think it looks AWESOME! 

DSC_2764 Well,   That is all for now.  There is much left to do and experiment on.   Cheryl is concerned about how we should approach this coming season with the stockings fully assembled or partially assembled to make the embroidery easy.   We will have to see how things turn out and how the size, font and thread color turn out in the end product.   I can’t wait to Fire it up again.   We shall see!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snowflakes, Cold Days, Warm Bed!

DSC_2736It was a Big Day yesterday!   It was one of those days where everythingDSC_2733 happens at once after a long dry spell of nothingness.  Like a torrential downpour of rain after a long drought.  But first…let start with the suspenseful lead up….     

After the Christmas Rush and New Year holidays were over,  Cheryl and I have been going through a “rest and recovery” phase.  DSC_2734We occasionally have to do a few stockings and have been planning our next DSC_2738move on where Allenbrite wants to take us.  You know:  Planning new designs, planning strategery, DSC_2737re-organizing the shop.    Things like that.  We managed to sort out all of the snowflake buttons!   No mean feat!  It took us several days to get the five sizes separated and organized so they can fit in the closet in a neatly manner.  The mountain pictured here on the table was only one of FOUR mountains.   There simply was not enough room on the table to dump them all out at once.  However, in the end,  we managed to get them to all fit in the closet.   Hurray!DSC_2741

And then there is the weather!     DSC_2743 The past several days have been ‘record setting’ in the temperature department.   I never thought I would see a day in Iowa where the temp dropped to the point where coffee would freeze before it hit the ground.  Well,  actually,  it was Not that cold, but CLOSE.   It managed to drop to –19 with a wind chill of –38. DSC_2742 Pretty cold!   However,   you could only throw up a small amount for the “disappearing coffee” trick to work properly.  Cheryl managed to catch a little of it with the camera. 

The temps are still pretty low here.   I plan on enjoying many warm beverages while wearing my new Christmas Sweaters.   Chicks dig sweaters I guess.   So Cheryl says, anyway. 

And then there was the UPS delivery!   Christmas comes two week after Christmas.   But it is all good.  We have been waiting for the mattress from Select comfort to come before setting up our new bed from IKEA. 3070_233   Our “Old” platform bed was small,  cheap, and falling apart after only three years.   It was only a temporary solution anyway to get us off the ground that first year.  The “OLD” select comfort mattress was a shadow of its former self as we had to disassemble it to fit in the car so we could make the move.   Long story short ( because you can always read the 2010 July-December logs on this blog) they were little more than air mattresses.   We slept of those things for three years…..( BACK ACHES! Punctures,  and numerous other issues)   It was time for a new Bed set up! 

lWe decided for a Queen sized bed this time.   The price difference was minimal and when you have to share the bed with two cats,  things begin to get crowded.  We knew this could be an issue as the ROOM was not very large to begin with.   But we still have about 8 inches of space between the foot of the bed and the dresser.  I guess I would rather have enough room ON  the bed instead of beside it,  so my feet won’t hang over the edge like before. 

DSC_2744With the Bed assembled,  we had to put the mattress together.   It was fairly easy to do, contrary to what the instructions suggested.  DSC_2748 Perhaps it is because Cheryl and I are Pros, ( having done this before) or perhaps it is because we are college educated.   Or perhaps it is because Cheryl and I are usually broke  and had to learn how to do things with out paid assistance.  Whatever the reason,   we had everything line up almost perfectly.DSC_2751  The bed is roomy,  tall, long and soft.   DSC_2752Even the cats give it their seal of approval as they now have a place to run under ( the bed is off the floor unlike the platform bed.     

DSC_2749And now it is on to the next big thing…..The embroidery Machine.   I don’t know if I will even open up the package today yet.  I want to have a clear afternoon where I can read over the manual and watch the videos before I try it out. I still have some origami I have to fold up and we still have the occasional stocking request.   Hopefully I will blog more about the Machine as I unlock the secrets and learn the ropes.   We shall see


Related Posts with Thumbnails