Sunday, September 6, 2009

Teriyaki chug

My son goofing off at the flea market with my nephew filming. I love teriyaki sauce myself : )


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

More than a Featherweight Sewing Machine

I purchased this machine today from a lovely woman in NY who after 11
years got up the courage to clean out her storage and part with her
deceased sister's belongings. I feel blessed to have her sister's
sewing machine for my quilting class. I've missed mine since I sold it
months ago.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's all about sewing machines baby!

I LOVE sewing machines! I can't pass up a good vintage or antique machine to save my life. I love the simplicity, the complexities, the history, the strength and the restorative aspects of these old machines. I can't think of one machine today that is made with the same quality and durability of these old machines. Several of the machines in my collection are 70+ years old and still going strong! Some are over 100 years old! Ever since the introduction of plastics manufacturing has changed: cheaper prices = lower quality. The days of making an heirloom machine that will last several lifetimes is over. A machine today requires professional maintainance and service. I maintain my vintage and antique machines myself, armed with basically a screwdriver, toothbrush and a bottle of oil.

Someone has to save these machines from landfills and scrap metal yards. I believe that someone is me. Its not obsession, its history preservation :)

My Italian 1950s Necchi BU in a Singer
treadle cabinet. Strong smooth and silent.
So many useful attributes: bearings in the oil
points to keep out dirt; 3 position presser foot
so you can raise the foot and maintain the
tension, or not; calibrated adjustment for
the pressure foot bar and the thread tension...
A true workhorse! My favorite machine.
My 1940s (?) Singer 201-2 machine. A solid
machine with drop in bobbin, metal gears,
potted motor and beltless operation. Strong,
but can sew silk to light leather.

Ah, the Pfaff 130. This semi-industrial machine
is Pfaff's first consumer model. It's chain-belted
inside for added strength to sew through anything
in its way! I'm still cleaning up this new addition
to the family but I'm so happy to have
snatched it up for cheap this week. I've been
coveting this model for a long time.

My beautiful New Home/Janome Japanese
machine. 10 built in stitches in a solid all metal
machine. Made in Japan in 1960, its a Centennial
machine which celebrates the 100 years of
New Home. I got this machine down the Jersey
Shore for next to nothing, made some minor repairs
and now she sews like a dream.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Willcox & Gibbs Noiseless Automatic Sewing machine

My latest flea market find. A late 1800s Willcox & Gibbs sewing machine in great condition. However, I do need to replace the cord coming from the motor. It comes in its original box complete with a presser foot and a tucker and ruffler in their original boxes with original instructions. I have the machine's manual as well but the cover is tattered. Its an amazing little machine! No bobbin needed - its a chain stitcher. It uses a single spool of thread to sew. Another interesting tid bit: it has a direct drive motor - no belt! I've seen a few YouTube videos showing how fast this baby can go. It practically flies.

More pics to come - I'm hunting for a treadle base or hand crank for it - I like options :)


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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sweet stuff

Here's a peace offering - a bowl of Rainier cherries. Sorry for not posting much anymore. The ease of social networking apps and sites have made blogging seem more like a chore in comparison. I can express myself and share pics and links immediately via phone no matter where I am (ok, so I posted this via my BlackBerry). But since more people are following me on Twitter or are friends with me on facebook I get more interaction and activity using them over blogging. I'll continue to check in and post on my blog, but the daily grind and meat & potatoes of my life will live on social networks. Hit me up: "beingv" on Twitter or facebook.


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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Here's looking at you kid...

Here's looking at you kid
Originally uploaded by beingv

My Blythe doll "Nik" has a new custom face up. I sand matted her face *again*, and gave her a nice cpat of MSC ("Mr. Super Clear" flat acrylic). After a light sanding to even things out I gave her a little blush and lip stick with pastel and a clear coat of gloss for the lips. She's ready for the weekend in her new shorts and tights too!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nik and the shuttle 3

Nik and the shuttle8
Originally uploaded by beingv

Are we done yet?

Nik and the shuttle 2

Nik and the shuttle
Originally uploaded by beingv

Nik's eyeing that shuttle... is it empty again already!?!

Nik and the shuttle

Nik and the shuttle3
Originally uploaded by beingv

Nik has arrived from Istanbul, Turkey! Nik is my Blythe doll that I purchased online from Cagla (a collector of beautiful dolls). Nik is actually short for Nikita - the name Cagla gave her. I prefer Nik though.

Here's Nik helping me wind bobbins for my weaving shuttle. She's such a doll :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hujoo Sisters Unite

Hujoo Sisters Unite
Originally uploaded by beingv

Foe (now sporting a blonde wig) gets to meet her new twin sisters, Suki and Yaya. The twins arrived today all the way from Portugal. Thanks Ana!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why'd you comb my hair?

Why'd you comb my hair?
Originally uploaded by beingv

Poor Foe! I forgot to hide the comb after styling her hair. She's upset about how much hair was left on the comb.

Foe Hujoo2

Foe Hujoo2
Originally uploaded by beingv

Here's Foe again, but this time looking much like the little spunky girl she is. No sissy stuff for Foe (unless I beg her to pose in feathers for a photo shoot). I can already tell she hates the frilly stuff but she's trying to be nice - afterall, it is her first day here in her new home.

Foe Hujoo is here!

Originally uploaded by beingv

My beautiful "Foe" is here. She arrived today from Ebay by way of California. I love her... she's beautiful and full of expression.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

V of the dolls

I just wouldn't be "V" without a new and interesting obsession. Everyone knows that, even you. So, what's my new obsession? Dolls. No, not like doll babies in stroller dolls - I'm talking dolls that are fashionable, trendy, hip, expressive... and expensive. I'm talking Blythe and Hujoo.

I gained an interest in these dolls after visiting several Etsy shops and seeing the dolls photographed alongside their seller's products. At first, thsese big-eyed, big head (in Blythe's case) dolls were rather scary. I saw this reference to them somewhere online, "they look like they'd stab you in the middle of the night" but it didn't put me off. No sir! The creepier they looked, the more I had to have one. Oh, did I say one? I meant four...

My first two Hujoos were Etsy purchases from the same seller. The first is Yaya (blue hair). She's an open eye cocoa skin Hujoo. Yaya's twin sister (they're products of an interracial relationship) is Suki (white hair). I love them and really dig what they represent. (Did I just say, "dig"? Dayum that 70's Blythe doll commercial!) Finally, for Hujoos, there's Foe. She's the red-headed stepchild of the bunch, purchased on Ebay. I think she and Blythe will get along well. They're both "different". Foe is more of an angry slightly closed eye Hujoo, while Blythe is a wide-eyed wonder who is quite solemn and always watching. (Maybe planning a late night stabbing?)

This Is Blythe...
Her name is Nik. Its short for Nikita. No, its not the name I chose for her, its the one she received from her previous owner and the person who did her face up. A face up is a customization of the face, changing eyes/eye chips, sanding, matting, applying paint - which in the doll world is equivalent to makeup. Nik received a complete wig re-root, all hand done with mohair. New lashes, painted eye lids, gaze correction, boggled eyes... Phew! that's a lot of plastic surgery for such a young girl. I haven't decided what to do with her hair yet but I assure you, it will be fabulous when its all said and done. Nik is traveling all the way from Istanbul to get here.

Check out these great pics of Hujoos and Blythes on Flickr.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Majacraft's Mate

Welcome to the family little Pioneer. This latest Majacraft wheel, the Pioneer, is a terrific budget wheel that is truly a Majacraft in every way. You put it together in minutes, it spins beautifully and accepts nearly every Majacraft accessory. Mine came from a lovely woman in Australia. It has some wonderful modifications too! A built in handle with a storage slot when not in use. A heavier custom Suzie Pro flywheel, modified axle, and a slot for securing the upright/ flyer when not in use. The heavier flywheel and larger treadles make this Pioneer spin even better than my Suzie Pro Alpaca wheel. I am in love all over again. No more traveling with my Rose, she's staying put. I can now grab my little modded Pioneer and go. I'm so psyched!

Sorry for the crappy camera phone pic...

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Feeling Spinful

Lately I've been feeling rather spinful and have been spending a lot of time at my wheel. I guess its because I have another wheel on the way and I don't want to be in a spinning rut when it arrives. My new-to-me wheel is a Majacraft Pioneer that has been retro fitted to accept both a Suzie Pro wheel and my beautiful Rose wheel.

Until my new wheel's arrival I'll continue to pummel you with fiber eye candy :)


Monday, May 4, 2009

Rainy Monday Knitty Lunch

Happy Monday everyone. Its dreary and rainy outside, but the sun is always shining when there's knitting going on. I decide to venture out back to the parking lot for a knitty lunch break. Working on my lace project...


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bev's new wheel...

I recently sold my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel and all its accessories to a woman named Bev whom I met on Ravelry. I was so moved by her message to me about her interest in the wheel. Even though the wheel was upgraded to a double treadle, I had decided to include the single treadle set up. As it turns out, Bev needed the single treadle for medical reasons. She's a new spinner and the wheel is just a great match for her. I'm soooooo happy that its found a new owner who will love and appreciate it as much as I did. I've decided to limit myself to my Majacraft Rose wheel and a more portable Majacraft Pioneer wheel which I'm in the process of purchasing from another lovely woman who resides down under... Having two wheels from Majacraft means I can interchange all of their wonderful accessories! More on my Majacraft madness later... :)

Congrats on your first yarn Bev!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting my weight on...

Sorry, haven't been posting like I used to. Its getting hard to keep up with all the sites, communities and forums that I post to on the regular. With Facebook and Twitter I don't really need to do much else - seems like every site worth its weight in cyber salt now works with both these social networks.

What have I been up to? Well, I'm still spinning and in fact, I've been trying to devise a way to get the "umph" back into my lace spinning. I call it the "mojo"... its the added inertia that my Alpaca spinning wheel had due to its heavier flywheel. My Rose wheel more than makes up for the loss of inertia in that it has higher ratios and spins smoother, plus its just a prettier wheel, IMHO and I love meditativeness (is that a word?) of watching the beautiful spoked wheel spin... On the downside, my feet miss the inertia - My Alpaca wheel was like driving a car that idles too high and always wants to take off on you. I don't want that "take off" feeling all the time, but sometimes I feel like a jet and sometimes I feel like a kite. Sometimes I feel like spinning on a riceburner and other times I feel like spinning on a Harley (motorcycle references). I'd love to have a choice of both. What can I say, I want it all.

Armed with all these jet/kite/motorcyle thoughts in my mind I set out to find a way to make my Rose wheel heavier. I still think the Buckyballs would work well, but I question how much weight they'd actually add. They're pricey too and I don't want to spend $55 for some magnetic beads only to find out I need to spend $100 just to come close to the weight I need. That's when it came to me... I had something at home that would be thin enough, heavy enough and that I could attach to my wheel easily. My weighted braid! Its commonly used to add weight to the bottom of curtains and draperies. I have a roll of it from my days of making dance flags (looong story). So I figured, what the hay? I might as well try it out. The result was exactly what I was hoping for - I got my mojo back! That little "umph" is back - I can feel the force of the wheel and the inertia that keeps it spinning a second or so longer than normal. It may seem like a small thing, but it makes a big difference to me when I'm spinning lace. Now to find a better way to attach it to the wheel. Glue, staples...?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Amy's Naturally, Wonderful!

All I can say is, you shoulda been here! You'd need Smellivision to partake of the heavenly scents that are wafting through my living room right now! I received a lovely package from Amy of "Naturally Amy" - maker of fine handcrafted soaps, incense, candles, lip balms, scrubs... (Fiber? Yeah, she's got that too in her other shop). She admired my fiber batts so I offered to make some for her. After she told me about her soaps we decided to get a little swapish and send each other a care pacakage.

I sent Amy a box of little lavender batts. I dyed some merino roving. The white roving was speckled with purple dye and then carded to create a softer color. Then I blended in some violet kid mohair for more depth of color and softness. No big deal right? I little dyeing and carding, which I love and would do anyway...

I expected a few nice bars of soap in return... then this came:

Motherlode! This must be the most lopsided swap ever! I got fabulous handmade soaps: Cedarwood & Lavender, Goat Milk Oats & Honey, Spearmint, Seaside, Limon Citrus, Tea Tree & Bergamot, Mexican Lime & Black Pepper, Lavender & Anise, Citrus & Blue Cornmeal, Patchouli & Midseason Orange, Goat Milk.

Incense: Lemongrass & Sage, Apple Jack & Peel

Lipsmack: Choconut, Bubblegum and, a hand poured soy candle: Cedarwood & Vanilla

Please do visit Amy's site - her products are wonderful and are made with love and a commitment healthy & happy skin. If you'd like to know more about the benefits of handmade soap over store bought, Amy's got a great post on her blog. I learned enough to never go back to store bought again. There's a vicious game being played by soap manufacturers: removing oils from soap so they are more drying to the skin just so they can sell you lotions that add the moisture back. Read more.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Quilting progress

I haven't made any quilt posts in a long time. So here's some quilting eye candy for ya... A paper pieced flower and a log cabin block (neither trimmed to size yet).


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Saturday, April 4, 2009

SIP and spin!

With the weather warming up and a new wheel at my disposal I'd like to get outside more often with my wheel. My plan is to hit the parks this summer and "SIP" - Spin In Public. What better way to SIP than to sip while I'm doing it. Ah, but sipping requires a cup, and a cup requires a stable setting while spinning. Well, guess what I just got my hands on? - A spinning wheel cup holder from FBN Plastics! They make very cool and practical cup holders for a variety of spinning wheels. I put mine on my wheel today and I'm very impressed by its quality and light weight. It installed in about 40 seconds and I've already thought of a dozen uses for it. Besides holding drinks, I can place a bobbin in it, whorls, scissors - even a ball of yarn. I think I'm in love...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Biggs the chi-cat

Sharing a pic of Mr. Biggs, my chihuahua who thinks he's a cat. He curls up in a ball and sleeps in front of any available heat source (here he's in front of his small space heater). When he's not sleeping, he's climbing up, clawing at or jumping on the furniture. What a life.


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Friday, March 27, 2009

PVC Niddy Noddy for next to nothing

I've seen them around online, the DIY niddy noddys made out of PVC for under $10 and I thought, "um, yeeeeeah." That is, until my fellow Ravelry pal Lafemme got a cool looking PVC niddy noddy in her swap package. It was complete with caps and rubber "O" rings and just looked so professionally made that I became intrigued and set out on a quest to make a couple of my own. There are dozens of pages online with instructions on how to create your own PVC niddy noddy, but I found this site to be the most practical and complete - there's even a couple of instructional .PDFs that you can print out and take to the store with you!

I purchased a 10 foot piece of 1/2 inch PVC for $3.19, 10 - 1/2 inch couplings (I wanted to have extra on hand) @ $0.24 each = $2.40 and 4 - T connectors @ $0.28 each = $1.12. Oh, and since my sucky Home Depot wouldn't cut the PVC (other than in half so I could put it in the car), I purchased a cheap little wonky hacksaw for $6.94. All for a grand total of $14.13 (including $0.48 tax).

The result? Three niddy noddys for less than $15 plus a wonky hacksaw in case I need to make some more :) I measured and made a 4yd, 2yd and 1yd piece. The center shafts can be interchanged so there's no need to actually make more than one niddy noddy. I made two complete units, but kept a couple pieces of extra tubing for interchanging.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Love Sickness

Our Sheep Shed Studio Fiber group on Ravelry had a swap recently and I was the recipient of some very cool stuff: Koolaid dyed merino roving, beads, sequins, thread, chocolate and chocolate chip cookies! lotions and a beautiful set of stitch markers!

After receiving our swap packages we were required to spin up the yarn using something from the package. I spun up my fuschia fiber using sequins and thread. I love how it came out.
And I shall call it, "Love Sick". I think the name totally fits :)