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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: How to search for this ring blank? on: January 14, 2008 03:58:41 PM
Sorry, I should've mentioned that I'm looking for ones that don't have any sort of border around the pad area--which is why the ones on Etsy that I found won't work. I want more flexibility than a bezel would allow.

Those are nice, I found a couple similar ones on Etsy, too. I think I like the wider band that has the opening in the back better, though.
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / How to search for this ring blank? on: January 14, 2008 02:18:12 PM
I don't know much about jewelry findings so it's been difficult for me to try to find what I want because I'm not sure of the terms for it. What I'm looking for is the kind of ring blanks used in Amy Burhoe's rings:

The item description says it's made out of sterling silver and it's adjustable by a gap in the back, not by those sliding pieces in cheap ring findings like these

The closest thing that I've been able to find online are on Etsy:

Any pointers that you might have would be welcome! Just the name or how I should search for them would be great, or maybe is it that these are only sold in wholesale catalogs by mail?

The full story is that I met Amy Burhoe at the South End Open Market in Boston a couple months ago and LOVED her rings, but had already run out of cash by that point. Sigh. Anyway, she agreed to sell me a couple of her extra ring blanks, which she gets wholesale, since I assured her it would only be for personal use. The thing is, my school's got an arts fair coming up this semester and I'd like to try my hand at selling some stuff, and if that goes well, maybe trying to start selling on Etsy. I wouldn't be make fused glass cabochons at all, nothing like Amy's gorgeous stuff. Mine would be much more low-tech Grin Anyway, I don't want to impinge on her own source, so I'd like to find my own. Thanks in advance for any help!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Re: Faulty hoop in Stitch-It kit? on: December 29, 2007 01:00:47 PM
Ah, okay, I guess I was just unlucky. I'm currently using a rubber band to hold the outer loop tight, but I also just sent an email to both Sublime Stitching and Chronicle about the problem. If the rubber band hack gets too annoying I'll see if I can find another hoop, but it's hard to get to the local craft store. Thanks for the responses!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Faulty hoop in Stitch-It kit? on: December 28, 2007 01:10:23 PM
Here's the problem: the screw on the hoop that I got in my Stitch-It Kit, recently purchased from Borders in the post-Christmas gift card spending frenzy (OMGz I have never seen the mall that crowded, ever!), slides on and off without any turning--which means that I can't tighten the hoop over the tea towel!  Cry

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Maybe I was just unlucky and got a faulty hoop? Any suggestions for how to fix this? Sigh, I was so excited to get started too!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: I love GIANT Michael's shirts! 1 shirt and 2 dresses + 2 Tutorials on p2 on: August 25, 2007 06:48:04 PM
I made this dress last night (the one with the gathers in the front) and I LOVE it, it makes me feel so sexy! Mine's strapless because I didn't have enough material leftover--I used an XL t-shirt and I'm 5'2", 34C, if that's helpful at all to anyone else. I do wish my t-shirt had been a softer jersey, it was the cheap kind because I got it free at this retreat, but so it goes. It may require wearing some Spanx underneath to smooth out the lines because it's a bit tighter than I would like, so next time I'll be using an XXL t-shirt with more drape.

Anyway, I thought I'd make a suggestion to other people who try to make this. I had a hard time making the sides match up, so I was thinking it might be better to sew a top bodice piece to its corresponding skirt part, before sewing the front and back together. Also, do the gathers after attaching the bodice to the skirt, because the gathers make the bottom edge uneven. I did the gathers on the machine, sewing two lines with really large, loose stitches, pulling on this to create the gathers, and then sewing one line down the middle to hold them in place. I pulled on the gathers a bit tighter than I wanted them to end up because as I sewed down the middle, the gathers spread out.

Thanks for the idea and tutorial!
6  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Are there cheap sewing machines that aren't going to die on me? on: July 20, 2007 09:13:23 AM
I've been using a Kenmore Mini-Ultra, which I got for a total of $50 off of eBay ($30 for the machine and $20 for shipping). It works fine for what I need it to, which is just some hemming here and there, simple cotton clothes, etc. The tension is weird, I'm thinking about going to go get it looked at, but I don't know how much of the machine's "quirks" are due to me not knowing enough about sewing versus the machine not being very good quality.

People always say to invest now and save money in the long run, but when you're in college and you're young, you've got this whole transient living thing going on (which is so annoying, btw) and you may not be able to keep all the stuff that you acquire anyway! I don't know where I'll be after graduating, but I might move farther away and therefore not want to lug along a giant, really expensive machine that I invested money in or spent ages looking for. If you've got parents with lots of storage room, this isn't as much of an issue, but it might be something to consider.
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Dorms and Stuff on: July 20, 2007 09:06:34 AM
Nice topic, all. College living AND being frugal! Love it! I don't have any particular tips on stuff to make in order to save money, just general money saving tips.

Suss out all the thrift stores in the area that you can. There's a website called thriftshopper.com I think that's trying to put together a national directory of thrift stores. Just put in your zip code and it pops up a bunch.

Collect any Bed Bath and Beyond coupons you can find--there are always random things you need to get from there and it's silly to pay full price when they ALWAYS have those 20% off coupons floating around.

Make your own wall decorations rather than buying the same posters everyone else has from the poster sale. If your school's library or computer labs gives its students free printing, USE IT! I've never printed out a Rasterbation on my own printer. I feel a little guilty when I do it in the school's computer lab, but hey, the cost of that is in your tuition somewhere.

If you're into this, maybe make your own notebooks or notepads from paper that's only been printed on one side. Save any unused notebooks/binders/papers/stationary supplies. It's so annoying to have to buy new packs of those things. I am STILL using a box of envelopes I bought freshman year...and I'm now a senior!

These are just the ones that come to mind immediately. If I think of anything else, I'll make another post.
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Material and method for making handkerchiefs? on: July 20, 2007 08:51:20 AM
Haha, that's hilarious, I just picture you running around the store surreptitiously taking the edge of a piece of fabric and rubbing it on your nose! The women who sold me the hankies on Etsy also mentioned that they'll get a lot softer with use, which makes sense.

But the reason I wanted to update this topic again is that I just found out something else that will be useful! From this topic on crochet for pillows I found out about this thing called the EdgeryDoo (website) which also has lots of photos and a couple crochet edging patterns. There are topics on the Craftster board that discuss how to make a similar kit yourself, but this solves the mystery of how to attach the crochet edging to the fabric. Like a lot of things, this is all about knowing what terms to search for, I suppose, but I hope this helps! Whee, I'm pretty excited!  Smiley
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Material and method for making handkerchiefs? on: July 20, 2007 08:01:34 AM
Oh, thanks marypoppins! Right now I only have my tiny Kenmore Mini-Ultra with me, which doesn't come with a roller foot, but the nicer machine my mom has at home probably does. Definitely have to try that out sometime.

spareGus: so I did a little bit more internet searching and it seems like Irish linen is considered to be really good for handkerchiefs, but that's a little bit too high end for me so I suppose any sort of soft cotton will do. I also figure t-shirts might make good handkerchiefs.

I bought some from Etsy from Cascada Designs, which are really cute. It looks like she hemmed all sides of a square of cotton fabric, but the hem is mostly covered up by the crocheted edging. Note to self if I try to do it this way to use thread that matches the fabric! On this one you can see the rather large white stitches on blue fabric. Just a little detail. The edging on the one I have with me right now feels like it's done with cotton yarn/thread, which I like; one of the ones in my set looks like it was edged with some sort of acrylic yarn with a thread of shiny stuff through it, eck.

The fabric has cute patterns on it, though, and summer will probably be well over when I learn how to crochet edgings like that, so I'll probably keep them. I'll definitely update this post if I do make my own and I'll share any tips or other information about the process that I find out!
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Material and method for making handkerchiefs? on: July 13, 2007 08:06:42 PM
I used to always be a little grossed out by the idea of handkerchiefs to blow your nose. Still not sure how comfortable I am with that, but I'm trying to be more sustainable and I hate how the little packets of tissues always get messed up, and a quick browse of the internets shows that there are many pretty possibilities for handkerchiefs!

So, how exactly does one go about making a handkerchief? What material do you use? I have this thing of excessive sweating on my nose (it's inherited from my grandmother and kind of bizarre, haha Cheesy) so that's probably what I would mostly use it for. I currently dab at my nose with a cloth napkin I got in a tablecloth set from the thrift, but it's really rough and not particularly absorbent! And then, I don't have a serger, but the edges need to be finished somehow...and how do people crochet those pretty lace edgings onto the sides of fabric? I have very little experience with crochet, just enough to get by occasionally in knitting.
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