Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wish Me Luck

As Marilyn Monroe would say, "Hold a good thought for me."

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is coming to Hampton Roads! I've signed up with the contracting company to be one of their "unskilled" volunteers. I'm hoping to hear something from them soon.

"This weekend one deserving South Hampton Roads family will learn if it will get a new home with the help of 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.'

"The ABC TV program will come to town, surprise the family before sending it away on a vacation while volunteers demolish and rebuild their home in less than a week.

"Organizers are still mum on exactly where and on what day the special door knock will take place, but organizers are busy this week still enlisting volunteers for next week's build."

How cool would this be? I will schlep furniture around if that's what they need. It doesn't matter to me!

When the Crochet Ego Gets A Little Too Big

I decided I wanted to take a crack at crocheting the Ninth Doctor from Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston. I thought he might be a fun little plushie for Nicole, seeing how she really started my Doctor Who addiction. He ended up being harder to make than I thought.

Snuffykin does have a Ninth Doctor pattern for free, but I really preferred her Tenth Doctor pattern. I thought I could combine them somehow, change the hair and have something really pretty cool.

Yeah, not so much.

Do you know how hard it is to crochet a somewhat receding hairline? Especially when the hair is cut as closely as his was in his Doctor Who days? I tried a couple different things, and even tried using a picot stitch as the front of his hair.

Snuffykins has two really cute ami patterns for the doctors, but I was going for something different than her Ninth pattern. Her pattern had a straight hairline for Nine, but a lot of the pictures I looked at had some "movement" in Christopher's real hair that the ami didn't have. And because I'm a pain in the ass, I wanted to go as real as I could.

And I'll be honest with you on two points: 1--I shouldn't have gone with black yarn. Something lighter would have been better. And 2-my tries of his hair looked like the start of an afro.

So, since I can't get the Doctor's hair to look good, I'm going to have to cross this project off my mental to-do list. And it's kind of a shame I couldn't get his hair right, because I was looking forward to this project. I thought his ears and nose would be great little challenges to work out. He has some very distinct features and I enjoyed that.

Sorry Nicole, I guess you'll just have to find something else to surprise you with for your birthday. :)


American Brittany Rescue (ABR) is pleased to announce they will be joined by Bill McFarlin and his Brittany, Star, at the 10th Annual 2011 World of Pets Expo at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, MD. The Expo will take place January 28-30, 2011.

“Since ‘Greatest American Dog’ aired on CBS for one season in 2008, Bill and Star have become a part of the ABR family and we are so pleased to have them joining us at the ABR booth for the World of Pets Expo,” Andrea Bock, ABR Maryland State Coordinator, said. “Bill is a wonderful, patient dog owner and trainer, and we’ve enjoyed having he and Star join ABR.”

At the Expo, Bill will be a part of the ABR team, talking to attendees about the benefits and needs for breed-specific rescues, as well as training techniques that Bill will demonstrate with Star and the Brittany breed in general. Since “Greatest American Dog” ended, Bill continues to teach agility, works with his herding dogs and teaches street obedience at the local college near his home in Texas. Star entertains thousands each year with her many tricks, plus making visits to hospitals, retirement homes, schools, and prisons.

“At 10 years old, Star is considered a senior aged Brit. It’s wonderful to have her there with us, to show that just because a dog is senior in age, they still lead active, viable lives. The kind of life Star has with Bill and his family showcases the senior aged Brit programs ABR has had in place for several years now,” Andrea said.

Bill and Star were eliminated in Episode 8, “My Dog Can Fly,” of “Greatest American Dog.” In Episode 5, Teresa Hanula and her dog, Leroy, won the Dog Bone Challenge, but presented it to Bill and Star. In Episode 6, Bill and Star won, but returned the favor, giving it to Teresa and Leroy.

2011 also marks the fourth anniversary of the partnership between ABR and Annie’s Pooch Pops. As the largest, handmade dog treat company, Annie’s produces the highest quality, best looking, gourmet dog treat on the market, and their product line continually evolves as it expands to include cats and horses. Annie’s is active with ABR and the company provides specially branded “Happy Dog Meals” each year for the rescue’s holiday catalog, as well as sponsoring the ABR booth at the World Expo of Pets.

The Expo will have the following schedule:
·         Friday, January 28
o   The Main Arena: 2:30 PM-7 PM
o   The North Hall Stage and Clinician Demo Area: 4-6 PM
·         Saturday, January 29
o   The Main Arena: 10:30 AM-6 PM
o   The Maryland Pet Gazette Seminar Hall: 11 AM-5 PM
o   Seminar Hall 2: 11 AM-5 PM
o   Workshops (pre-registration is required): 11 AM-4 PM
·         Sunday, January 30
o   The Main Arena: 10:30 AM-5 PM
o   The Maryland Pet Gazette Seminar Hall: 11 AM-4 PM
o   Seminar Hall 2: 11 AM-2 PM
o   The North Hall Stage and Clinician Demo Area: 12-5 PM
o   Workshops (pre-registration is required): 11 AM-4 PM

About American Brittany Rescue
Founded in 1991, American Brittany Rescue (ABR), headquartered in Earlville, IL, is a nationwide cooperative effort of Brittany owners, breeders and fanciers who believe we have an obligation not only to our own dogs and the dogs we produce, but to all dogs of our breed. Since its founding, ABR has rescued and placed in either permanent homes or foster homes, nearly 1,000 Brittanys per year; dogs who have been mistreated, abused, abandoned or given up by their families. ABR works cooperatively with vets, shelters and other rescue groups to save as many Brittanys we can, as soon as we find out about them. In addition to providing veterinary treatment to the rescued Brittanys, ABR has volunteers across the country, working with prospective adoptive families, doing fund-raisers and working to spread awareness about the Brittany breed.

About World of Pets Expo
The World of Pets Expo is not just another pet expo; this is truly a unique event. Education and entertainment are important annual aspects of the expo and seminars will be presented covering many topics related to dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, ferrets and fish. Seminars will be conducted by local, regional and national experts. Also, exciting animal entertainment will be presented non-stop by a variety of organizations including dog, reptile, bird and a large cat related event. For more information about the Expo, please call 410-374-5964 or 800-882-9894, or visit their website at www.worldofpets.org.

About Annie’s Pooch Pops
Annie’s set out 10 years ago to provide the pet industry with a super premium gourmet treat that was healthy and aesthetically appealing to both pet and owner. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, as many of her friends didn’t really accept the idea of cooking for pets (little did they know she was way ahead of her time). The public did, however, embrace the extra special treats and purchased as much as she could bake in a week every week. Over the next couple of years, Annie developed more fantastic treats and a solid client base to go along with them. For more information about Annie’s Pooch Pops, please visit their website.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why Do I Try to Sew For Myself?

I just get pissed off at myself when I sew.

I have my computer playing my MP3's in the background. While I'm getting pissed off, I realized I'm listening to "Up In Here" by DMX ("Y'all gonna make me lose my mind."), "How Bizarre" by OMC ("Ohh baby, it's making me crazy.") and "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine (more like rage against the SEWING machine).

I bought a nice plaid H&M skirt at a local consignment shop last month, My Best Friend's Closet. I tried it on at the store and it fit, but I didn't sit down to try it for length that way. I wore it for the first time last week to work and all day long, I felt like I was tugging it down because it just felt too short. I asked my husband if he thought it was too short and he didn't think so. Even the people I work with didn't say anything about it, so it might have just been in my head.

After reading all about various clothing reconstruction projects on blogs and on Craftster, I thought I could modify my skirt so I could keep it. Because, I couldn't bring myself to waste the $3 I spent on that skirt. :)

I went to Wal-Mart and picked up some interfacing (which I probably didn't need) and a yard of brown faux suede material. I know I didn't need a full yard, but I wanted enough in case I needed extra. After getting home, I think I had a little bit of buyer's remorse on the fabric. I had been in a hurry and realized my suede wasn't as dark as I would have liked. But I realized that when I turned the fabric over, I liked that shade of brown better so I actually used the wrong side as the right side.

I dropped the hem on the skirt, which gave me an extra 1" to work with, measured out the width of the skirt's front and back and cut the suede and interfacing to match.

Actually, I measured wrong the first time and short myself by two inches in width and do it over again. Swearing ensued.

And by the way, I think my interfacing packaging was wrong. It said to place a damp cloth over the interfacing and iron over that. When I tried that, I couldn't get the interfacing to take to the fabric. All I made was a bunch of steam from the iron.

I recut the fabric and interfacing again and got it to fit this time. I used two pieces of the suede, folded over in half with interfacing in between. I sewed them together for width and then sewed along the folded bottom edge to give it a straight edge (ironed first, of course). I pinned the new bottom edge to the undone hem of the skirt and realized that yep, it was going to fit this time.

I spent about $8 and some change and added about 4" in length to my skirt, so now I'll be able to wear it and be comfortable. I probably made the bottom band of brown heavier in weight that necessary. It's definitely heavier than the upper plaid fabric, but there is also a shorter brown satin "slip" inside there as well.

I am pretty proud of how it turned out so if I have something else that I want to modify, then I'll probably take another crack at it.