the big move

it’s been a long time coming, but i have officially launched a brand new website!!  same address, www.snapdragonstudios.net but a whole new look….and mobile friendly!!  my blog will now be a part of my website and i hope you’ll follow along there.  i will slowly be moving some of my favorite old posts from this blog to the new site…probably very slowly, so bear with me.  eventually you’ll be able to access all my tutorials and free patterns….and until then they will still be available here.

as always, you can follow me on facebook and istagram @ohsnapdragonstudios.

see you all at my new home!

kim

something old, something new

no, it’s not what you think.  i know i promised pictures of kyle and amy’s wedding….and i will share, but it’s HARD picking just a few of my absolute favorite pictures!!  i go through them and say “that’s one of my favorites”…and repeat…for ALL of them!

no, this is about two new additions to the studio.  and to be honest, one’s not really all that old…it just made titling this post easier!  a few weeks ago jeff and i spent a sunday afternoon wandering around the antique mall, which in reality is part antiques/part flea market, but a great way to spend the afternoon.  i’ve gotten pretty picky selective about what i will actually drag home purchase…the house suddenly feels overflowing and i’m ready to begin letting go, NOT bring more in.  but back in the corner of one particularly cluttered booth a wee small sewing machine caught my eye…maybe because i’m always looking for sewing related finds, but most likely because it was bright purple!!dscn7099

i love that they printed right on the box “serious machine”…but they really just about HAD to since, again…bright purple!  no one was around, so i picked it up and took a look.  kinda cute…and then my fingers moved to that little white toggle switch at the lower right and the thing actually worked!!  2 speeds, 8 stitches (in reality 4 of them are straight stitches), a foot pedal, the adaptor, batteries  AND the box.  the price tag said $15. and i seriously thought about it, but set it back gently and after exclaiming to jeff “how adorable”, i began to move on.  it was then that i heard the voice…”you like?  you buy?”  since i hadn’t seen anyone nearby i almost assumed it was the voice of some sewing god, but it was male and heavily accented…not what i expected my sewing god to sound like!  the booth owner had seen me playing and came to make a deal.  without hesitation he lowered the price to $10, and without hesitation i packed it in the box and brought it home.

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i’ve done nothing with it except wipe it with a damp cloth, so i’ve yet to see how it actually operates.  my hope is that one of the great nieces may show an interest in sewing some day and this will be a great machine for them to start out on.  for one girl i see baby doll blankets, for the other maybe a supergirl cape…doesn’t matter, that purple beast will be here at the ready!

my second “old” addition truly is old.  a christmas gift from my eldest son and his girlfriend (i know exactly which one searched for it, drove to retrieve it and wrapped it..but he helped deliver it to the house, so he gets some credit!)dscn7105

it’s a “sew tidy” sewing cabinet for threads.  manufactured by the “sew tidy/edmilton corp” in milwaukee during the 20’s and 30’s.dscn7113

complete with label!!  there’s no way that all my thread will fit in this cabinet, so i’ve been thinking that i may use it to hold the old wooden spools that i’ve inherited from grandmothers.  i think that’s a unique way to display them.  when closed it only measures a couple of inches deep.  some of these came with a small drawer-like compartment at the bottom and some had a hanging pocket….all you needed to sew in style!

looking at this cabinet made me think about all the notions, accessories and tools that we all feel we ‘need’ in our studios….but look back at what the average sewist accomplished on a treadle machine and with only a few tools.  i’m sure that whoever owned this originally felt that it was quite the luxury…and i think it’s a perfect “old” addition to my studio.

what about your sewing space?  is it filled with more modern tools/accessories?  or is it a mix, like mine?

 

 

 

introducing…the villager blouse & tunic

november is probably one of my favorite months.  it holds so much for me to be thankful for.  it’s the month of my wedding anniversary, my husbands birthday and thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year.  so i’m introducing my newest pattern and if you read through to the end you’ll find a ‘thankful’ sale!!!

it’s been “in the works” and “almost ready” for quite some time now, but the villager blouse & tunic is ready to make it’s debut!

what began as a collaboration with elizabeth last fall before i took over sole ownership of snapdragon studios is finally complete.  after several neckline changes, sleeve changes, length changes…there just wasn’t anything left that needed to be changed!

raglan sleeves, 2 collar options, 2 lengths, full button back…it’s a super simple sew and can easily be completed in a short afternoon.  so far I’ve made it in voile, cotton, chambray, knit and rayon and i’ve loved each and every one.  and even though the pattern is fresh off the press, i’m already planning my sleeve hack so i can enjoy it this winter….maybe flannel??  i’ll keep you posted.

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the full button back may look daunting to those of us who hate dislike making buttonholes…BUT…lucky us, the buttonholes are optional!  the top slips easily overhead without them, so we can simply stitch those buttons in place and it looks like we’ve spent hours.  i think this is the one and only sample i made that i actually stitched buttonholes in.

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the sleeves offer a great little pleat detail along with a 1/4″ bias binding, giving it a vintage feel.

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the split collar may be my favorite.  the split can go on either side and offers up a great spot for those vintage brooches.  i love collecting old pins, but rarely find the right place to use them.  problem solved…this collar was made for this starburst beauty.

my sister reluctantly exuberantly agreed to don both versions and allow amy to photograph her…and michele and christine both joined in, changing in a public foyer while college students passed by.  thanks guys!!  you all look stupendous!

the villager is available now in my etsy store in both print and pdf versions.  please note that print patterns will begin shipping on 12/1/16.

and here comes the good part!!!  the SALE!!  all patterns are on sale…25% off all purchases, including the villager until 12/10/16.  just use the coupon code THANKFUL.  my way of saying thank you for your amazing support this year.

i am truly thankful.

my name is kim, and i’m a craftsy class hoarder

everyone say “hi kim”!

do you craftsy?  if you don’t know what craftsy is, click on the link and be prepared to spend considerable time.  online classes, patterns, fabric, kits, yarn…it’s all there.  i’m here to publicly admit that i have accumulated an extensive craftsy class library and haven’t completed a single one.  i am a craftsy class hoarder.

i have used bits and pieces of nearly all the 150 classes in my class library (yep, 150!), but i’ve never followed a class from beginning to end.  it all began several years ago, when craftsy was brand new.  meg, of sew liberated, signed me up for 2 classes as a gift.  i think they were the sassy librarian blouse and a tailored blazer.  i took a look and was a bit dismayed to see that one of them required an 80 page print out for the pattern and quite an extensive list of materials.  i watched a bit of the video and decided i’d do that “some day”.

“some day” hasn’t happened…yet.  over time i’ve added to my classes whenever there was a “free class weekend”, and somehow ended up with 150 classes in that library.  i believe i’ve only fully paid for 2.   that 150 doesn’t include the “pattern library” which i have also been rapidly filling with free patterns (there are lots of free patterns to be had).  i HAVE made several of the free patterns…does that redeem me a bit or am i just making excuses?

i have a class for everything, from photography to knife skills….sewing, knitting, bread baking, a guide to shears, a guide to zipper installation….quite a range of knowledge at my fingertips.

the beauty of the online class is it’s there whenever you need it.  serger trouble?  click on your serger class and troubleshoot.  bread not rising properly?  the answer is waiting in your bread class.

i may never view every single class in it’s entirety, but having those resources at my fingertips is awesome.  go check it out…and don’t blame me if I’ve enabled you to be a class hoarder too!!

if there’s a 12 step program available, keep it to yourself.  i’m having too much fun!

ps-new pattern release date is 11/20…keep an eye here on the blog or on instagram for news, pictures and a sale (just in time for holiday making)!!

happily ever after

i want to share some more non-sewing news.  i’ve been wanting to share since january, but at first it wasn’t really my news to share….and then february happened (or didn’t).  the world now knows and plans are  falling into place…it’s time to announce.  (drum roll)  my son kyle, and my photographer amy are engaged!!! (kermit arms and emoticons!!!)

actually, she was his girlfriend long before she became my photographer.  they’ve been together for quite some time, and i must admit that she’s felt like a daughter from very early on.  we’ve laughed that we never quite know how to introduce each other…”my son’s girlfriend” seemed pretty lame after a few years…and “my boyfriend’s mother” made me feel like there was always “more to the story and i’ll tell you all about it later”.  problem solved!!

the call that announced the news was definitely unexpected, but quite happily received. she’s been with us long enough (and through just about every conceivable happiness and catastrophe) that she knows what she’s getting into as far as the “in-laws” go.  if she hasn’t run to the hills screaming by this time we’ve either grown on her or she’s learned how to turn a blind eye.

a june wedding is planned.  an extremely private outdoor ceremony at my parents home, followed by an evening reception at a rustic lodge on the university campus.  it’s going to be lovely (i’ve seen the dress and it’s perfection….if i had to name it i would name it amy!).  and as for my son?  he’s quite pleased with himself and i’m very happy for them both.  “he liked it and he’s gonna put a ring on it” (yes indeed, i just said that!!)

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this picture was taken several years ago, but since they never seem to age it’s still one of my favorites.  i’m officially a MOG!!

 

baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and chevrolet!

who among you is old enough to remember that chevrolet jingle?  aside from rain, it can pretty much describe my summer thus far.  early summer brought tee-ball….one of my favorites.  i love watching the wee ones out there on the diamond, some intent on the game…others playing in the dust or picking dandelions in the outfield.  this year my “bug” began her journey into baseball.  “bug” is my 5 year old great niece and for the past almost 4 years we have spent one day a week together.

DSCN5997she’s fierce!!  not afraid of anything and she’s going to be a tough competitor!

then there’s hot dogs….no one needs a picture of hot dogs, but my summer has already seen a few of them on the grill.  the 4th of july picnic was no exception.  my brother-in-law, tony, manned the grill and he always makes a few “special ones” just the way i like them…almost crispy!!

the apple pie hasn’t exactly happened yet…lots of raspberry swirl cheesecake, cheesecake stuffed strawberries and recently zucchini bread…but you never know, that apple pie may just make an appearance!!

as for the Chevrolet?  last night’s nascar race was under a rain delay for hours, and they finally started the race just about the time i was headed to bed.  i thought briefly about calling in sick today in order to say up and watch, but that’s never a good idea.   awoke to the news that dale jr. had won!!!!  we’re a chevy family (at least when it comes to American made) so his win was the icing to a great summer holiday weekend!

Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, July 6, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, July 6, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

i hope your summer has been relaxing so far, and filled with all the good things from an advertising jingle!!

kim

Summer doings

Happy Monday!

Let’s have a brain dump coffee date, shall we?

I’ve been busy in my studio because it’s  the only place I can catch up on Game of Thrones away from little eyes because I’ve been working on some new projects for Snapdragon (still secret, sorry!) and doing a few projects for friends. I am in another wedding and baby shower season of my life, which means handmade gifts and a busy calendar.  I shortened a bridesmaid dress for one friend (two layers of slippery lining topped with chiffon, ughhh) and sewed a sweet little linen bias slip dress for another friend to wear under a sheer beaded tunic for her sister’s wedding.

Still on my cutting table or in progress: a gift for my friend’s baby shower (she reads this, so no details for another couple of weeks!), a few projects for me that I’ve been daydreaming about (Thurlow trouser shorts, another Myla tank, a summer Weekend Rambler skirt, a maxi skirt and maybe a maxi dress since I’m dreaming big), and, of course, my sister’s wedding dress. We have the lace and I ordered the silk last week. We made the pattern a few weeks ago, so as soon as the silk arrives we’ll be in business and my studio will look like an atelier with lace and silk and tulle, oh my!

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Out of the studio we made some time for strawberry picking over the weekend.

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We should’ve weighed Jack going in and coming out because he ate more than he picked (perhaps you noticed that every strawberry in his box has a bite out of it? Yeah), but we still came home with a big crate. Some were frozen for strawberry rhubarb pies later this summer and for “strawberry cubes” for strawberry rhubarb lemonade for my friend’s baby shower. Many have been eaten fresh, and there are still a few in the fridge waiting to be enjoyed this week.

In a mom-fail, I didn’t take a picture of Samuel on his first strawberry picking excursion, perhaps because I was too busy deterring him from eating the straw and digging into the box I was picking into. He was perfectly happy as long as I gave him one strawberry for every two I put in my crate.

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We finally had rain over the weekend, so my garden is happier (and so are the weeds… sigh).

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This picture is from a few weeks ago (back when it was cool enough for a sweater in the morning!), but this is what we’ve  been doing almost every day. It’s so good to be outside!

How is your summer going so far? What would you tell me over coffee this Monday morning?

-Elizabeth

Cooking eggs in a cast iron skillet

Well, yesterday flew by with preparations for a doTERRA  class I am hosting tonight and work on my sister’s  bridal shower gift (details next week on that) and I never got the post written that I meant to.

A number of years ago I won a cast iron skillet at a cooking demonstration. I remembered stories of my great-grandmother cooking in a huge cast iron skillet for her seven children (and apparently she had the strongest wrists ever, because, as the story goes, she could “flip that thing every which way even though she never broke 100 pounds even when she was pregnant”). I definitely didn’t get those genes, either the super strong wrists or the bird bones.

But I digress.

I knew the cardinal rule of cast iron is not to wash it with soap, but any time I cooked eggs they stuck horribly and it was a pain to clean until Paul taught me the secret. 

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Warm the eggs up before you cook them. I put mine in a bowl of hot water while the  skillet is heating up, but you could also leave the eggs out to come to room  temperature. It works like a charm.

Is this something everyone else in the world already knows? It was revolutionary in my little world.

(Side note: our boys are 2 and 10 months and we already go through 2 dozen eggs a week. I shudder to think of what it will cost to feed them when they’re  teenagers.)

-Elizabeth

Cooking eggs in a cast iron skillet

Well, yesterday flew by with preparations for a doTERRA  class I am hosting tonight and work on my sister’s  bridal shower gift (details next week on that) and I never got the post written that I meant to.

A number of years ago I won a cast iron skillet at a cooking demonstration. I remembered stories of my great-grandmother cooking in a huge cast iron skillet for her seven children (and apparently she had the strongest wrists ever, because, as the story goes, she could “flip that thing every which way even though she never broke 100 pounds even when she was pregnant”). I definitely didn’t get those genes, either the super strong wrists or the bird bones.

But I digress.

I knew the cardinal rule of cast iron is not to wash it with soap, but any time I cooked eggs they stuck horribly and it was a pain to clean until Paul taught me the secret. 

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Warm the eggs up before you cook them. I put mine in a bowl of hot water while the  skillet is heating up, but you could also leave the eggs out to come to room  temperature. It works like a charm.

Is this something everyone else in the world already knows? It was revolutionary in my little world.

(Side note: our boys are 2 and 10 months and we already go through 2 dozen eggs a week. I shudder to think of what it will cost to feed them when they’re  teenagers.)

-Elizabeth

in accordance

HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

  1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

    Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

  2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
  3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.By order ofJOHN A. LOGAN,
    Commander-in-Chief

    N.P. CHIPMAN,
    Adjutant General

    Official:
    WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

i spent this morning, a beautiful morning, enjoying the companionship of many in my community as we acted in accordance with general logan’s order.  if you’ve never read this order before, go back and read it through again.  i don’t remember when i first heard it read, but it has made a lasting impact.  it’s what memorial day is all about.  not picnics (though they are enjoyed), not a “deadline” for getting the lawn looking it’s best (though we tried), not the kickoff of summer (though it is)….it’s about honoring those who gave everything so that we can enjoy our picnics, our lawns, our summers.

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it was stated during the ceremony that in a gallup poll, only 28% of americans were able to give the correct definition, or reason for memorial day.  how sad for all of us.  next year, come join my small town…we’ll show you how it’s done.

**soapbox stored away**

i hope you all had a great weekend with lots of picnics, great looking lawns and the summer to look forward to!!

kim

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