Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Water goblet

Water goblet
Originally uploaded by j.hoferdesigns
I finished a set of these yesterday and am loving them. They'll have to keep drying for another day or two before they're really ready to be used. Feedback? Likes, dislikes? Any comments are welcome!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Custom Order Update

Check out the custom order link - I have updated this afternoon to include glassware and silver serving pieces.

The New Toy

Ah, the difference between my hobbies and Kirk's are really kinda funny sometimes. For me - just point me in the direction of a craft store, give me a credit card, and the urge to make stuff lasts a long, long time. But him? Make sure it has a remote control, and rechargeable batteries, and oh - even better if it flies. Like this helicopter. I now know we never really get over the things that made us happy when we were kids. You wouldn't believe how noisy this little sucker is, too ...the other night I was in the shower (with the water running, and the fan going) and I was thinking, man! What in the world is he shredding right now? Do we really have that many documents we need to get rid of at 10:00 at night? But oh no, he was only playing with his helicopter, practicing take-offs and landings without crashing into the bed or the dog or the tv. Trust me, it crashes a lot. Luckily it isn't (usually) very seriously damaged. Oh yeah - and that rechargeable thing? It lasts about 5 minutes. Too short of a time to go on seek and destroy missions.
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Update on glassware

A few notes about the glassware. Firstly, they came through the dishwasher with flying colors! Yippee! Sometimes I think I'm a bit silly to get so excited about things like that. At least Kirk humors me and was mildly interested when he learned that fact as well. However...I will probably hand wash my glasses and any silverware I make...there is really no reason to put them through the dishwasher on a regular basis, maybe only if they get gross!

And yes, I plan to add them to my orders page. I have not yet figured prices on everything, but when I do (which will be soon) I will post it.

Oh, and the glue used was Amazing Goop. Probably anything that is designed for plumbing adhesive would work...we've also tried Loctite Houseware Repair...but my stones fell off with that one.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


A new craft venture for me - wire and glass bead-embellished glassware! We have been planning on doing a similar craft for our MOPS group, though with sterling silver serving spoons (say that 10 times fast) instead of glasses. I have several spoons I have made and they look terrific - why I didn't take a photo of them, I don't know. Anyway, these little babies were done last week, when after making the silverware, I decided I needed more things decorated in the same manner. Really, I just needed something fun and crafty! But seriously, who can resist a set of 4 glasses for $1.97? They're really a bit smaller than I would ideally like (something for, say, a vodka tonic?), but for practice with the technique I am more than pleased with how they turned out. I've been letting them cure all week and plan to run them in the dishwasher tonight to test the glue. Supposedly the glue can withstand water and heat...we'll see about that. If they do hold up, I will post something about what I used to make them.
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Another bag, and sewing frustration

Another day, another pleated bag from Bend the Rules Sewing! After making one for a friend, she ordered 2 more for Christmas presents. I congratulate myself on completing the first before Halloween! If only I could be so good about my own presents for family. Sigh...in a perfect world, right? I have another one (same design) about half-way done. Just waiting to go back to the fabric store for more thread and stiff interfacing for the bottom. The kids have been home from school this week so errands haven't been the easiest! I love my kids, but a week off for "fall break" is a bit much.

This bag gave me a lot of trouble towards the finishing touches. When I sewed the lining to the outside, I was left with lots of extra pleats in the corduroy. Out came the seam ripper and I had to do-over, with several side-seam adjustments to take up a bit of the slack. I really, really hate do-overs. I am a speedy crafter and if I'm making something for myself, I tend to live with the mistakes. However, the people-pleaser in me hates to have imperfections show to anyone, much less a friend who is actually paying me money to do this! I know it's good for me. It teaches me patience (of which I have had little this week, thanks to the fall break) and good workmanship. I just hope my friend (or her sister, for whom this is intended) doesn't notice the wee extra pleat that happened at the top on the second try! Oops! It will just give it a little character, right???
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Willing Model

Alas, how lucky am I that my favorite preschooler (aka Grace) not only likes to wear what I make for her, but also likes to pose for photos? When the camera comes out and I say, "Can I take a picture of you in that/wearing that/whatever" she smiles and says "yes Mommy!" Then out comes the cheesy squinty-eyed grin and the shoulders shrugged up to her ears, and with each photo snapped are the words "can I see it too?" The digital camera age is all about instant gratification for the photographer as well as the pint-sized subject! Of course, photos such as these frustrate her immensely when viewed, because I have purposefully NOT included her face in the photo! Usually I have to get a couple of silly-grinned shots to satisfy her "I wanna see myself" attitude.

So, this new skirt is something that came together very quickly (oh, my favorite thing! more instant gratification!). Black stretch cord with striped cotton on the bottom. Grace's favorite thing is the "rainbow" fabric which she chose herself. It really has a lot of give to it yet holds it's shape nicely, considering all of the wiggling around that goes on at preschool. I made the same style for Lauren in brown cord and pink/brown swirl (see the inner lining of my purse, posted below). It too is cute. But man! How hard was it to find a shirt to match the pink swirl? I know my inner craftista could make or embellish something with either the brown cord or the pink swirl, but Lauren (even at the tender age of 5) is not so into being matchy-matchy these days. I settled for a pink shirt that sort-of matched. Oh well, the other kindergarteners won't care!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Handbag, and Sewing Insanity

I whipped this up this afternoon (well, technically, the pieces were cut this morning). All in all it was a nice project, one that gave me a little taste for successfully completing a sewing project with curved edges. Really, I'm not so good at those. I like the end result but would modify a few things...longer handles and skip the bow next time. Maybe a funky line of buttons instead? Now, as for the Sewing Insanity...why is it that I get so enmeshed in my creative flow that it starts to interfere with my sleep? I suppose having a 3 year-old in the midst of nighttime potty-training doesn't exactly help the sleep factor either, but still...I dream about fabric. I am working on projects in my sleep, then wake up and can't wait to find some time to play around some more. Nights like last night, for example, included not only the waking-up-changing-pants-changing-sheets thing, but then a good 20 minutes of wakefulness before going back to sleep, followed by dreams of fabric combinations. I woke up tired because it felt like my mind had been going all night. Let's just say that by the time this afternoon rolled around, I was ready for a wee bit of a nap. I did doze off for 20 minutes (with the drool spot to show for it), then awoke and immediately started thinking about getting to work on this handbag. Ugh! I mean, I love the creative flow/mojo thing I've had lately, however it's like I'm ready for a break but my mojo is not! Weird!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rain and Comfort Food

This has been such a rainy, chilly weekend. No playing outside, for sure. Of course, by Sunday night that just creates a mutinous, surly bunch, especially in the age 7 and under category! Still, I love it. I love being inside a cozy house with plenty of crafty projects to keep me occupied while the thunder rumbles and the rain pit-pats on the bathroom skylights. What is it about this weather that makes me want Campbell's soup and grilled cheese? Maybe all of the rainy Sunday nights as a kid with the same thing on the menu. The only difference between now and then (other than the obvious ones of being 20 years older, being married, having 3 kids of my own, etc) was that my mom and dad always had the little kitchen tv tuned in to 60 Minutes during dinner. No other night of the week would we watch tv while eating, just on Sunday's so they wouldn't miss that show. So, tonight, I'm remembering rainy Sunday nights of yore that involved canned tomato soup, lots of Velveeta, and the crabby rantings of Andy Rooney.

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Bits for a friend

Don't you love it when a friend just loves something you made? Loves it so much, in fact, that she wants one for herself and wants to know how much you'll charge? Such was the case with the pleated tote. I just finished these new ones this weekend, ready to be delivered later this week. I think I like them better than my own!

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My sewing machine needles have been clicking away recently, working on a few projects from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. I love the tote. It keeps it's shape and has a firm bottom (unlike my own, alas) - it's been great to bring into stores to avoid the gazillion plastic bags at the checkout line. And the little zip case is my new stashing-ground for the stack of plastic cards (discount cards, gift cards, you know, you have tons of them too). Now they are out of my wallet and in a little stylish home of their own. I'm already envisioning spring versions of these...maybe linen? That's what's pictured in the book and me likey!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Skirts for Fall

Lauren and Grace got some new fall skirts - ruffled, tiered numbers made just for twirling about. Both have fabrics from the Chocolate Lollipop line by Anna Maria Horner...I love love love these fabrics! I've never done anything with ruffles before I made these, so I was pleased that they actually turned out well. No real pattern, just followed an online tutorial. It's amazing how many things you can actually sew without a formal pattern - just measure and cut, none of that tissue paper madness that comes out of pattern envelopes!


Today, I was a "good" mom. I fought the urge to do the errand thing, and instead took Grace to the zoo. This was probably the least encumbered I have ever been at the zoo, keeping in mind I did not need a stroller or a huge backpack of stuff to lug around. Oh, the joys of having a 3 year-old while older brother and sister are in school! We were miraculously able to walk in, stroll around, and go home. I swear, the world is starting to open up for me again! It was a gloriously beautiful morning, chilly and 50's but sunny with no wind. The kind of fall day where leaves scuttle across the ground, it feels good to wear jeans and long sleeves, and the light from the sky has that fall-ish quality. Just beautiful. So, we ventured around our awesome zoo (have you been to the zoo in Omaha? It's amazing. Like, "we're-supposedly-getting-a-Panda-amazing"). I did not even take pictures. Mostly I did not want to lug around my camera, but I also just wanted to be at the zoo. Experience it, not go snap-snap-snap to get the really good shots. I just want to remember it as it was - a nice walk, lots of animals, and best of all, "good mommy" time with Grace. But if you ask her, she mostly liked the jellyfish.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The thing that made me laugh last night was...

...The Office. Seriously. I could go on and on, but how about Garbage the Feral Cat, Kelly scores a date by being "pregnant," and Pam and Jim being outed by the Pam-loving Toby. Oh, and don't get me started on last week's episode - Andy and his nipple-chafing and the Save the Rabid race had me laughing so hard I cried. Did you know you can actually buy these? So tempting, but imagine the looks you'd get in the checkout line!


So, I attempt to blog...again. Not so much family stuff this time...if you know me, then you probably know what's going on with us. Rather, I'd like to use this as a place to get into the stuff I'm into, like the craft project du jour or the thing that made me laugh (or want to tear my hair out) today. So here it is and come back if you enjoy! -J