Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sewing for a Super Hero

Mitchell asked me to sew him something. I thought long and hard about what I could make for a boy. So, I whipped up a special cape. He offered his creative input (switching the flames fabric to be the lightning bolt and the oval to the yellow lightning bolt fabric). It took no time at all, and he's hardly taken it off since I finished.

Who Knew? Stridex and WD-40

I picked up some great tips the past few days!

The Stridex Pedicure
While at the MOPS planning retreat this weekend at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, Catherine mentioned a pedicure secret: Stridex.

Yep, Stridex. Apparently the same stuff that gets rid of teen boys' pimples also softens your feet. It has to do with the salicylic acid, I think.

Anyway, you clean your feet with Stridex then slather with Vaseline and put on a pair of socks. I must say, my feet haven't looked this good in a really long time. (BTW: I prepped mine with the PedEgg before the Stridex.)

WD-40 on my Stovetop
Monday night, I was making shrimp for supper and decided that orzo would be a nice side. When I was filling the pot at the sink, apparently one of those great brown scraper cleaning tool thingies from Pampered Chef stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Now, who checks the bottom of the pot before putting on your smooth-top range?! Obviously, not me. I kept hearing a popping noise and figured the bottom of the pot was wet, which happens all the time.

I went in to wiggle the pot a little and discovered the melted scraper ... all over my stovetop.

So much for the orzo!

I didn't know what to do so I Googled for some suggestions. The one I saw over and over again was to spray the plastic with WD-40 then let it sit for a minute and scrape it off.

Worked like a charm! I have a cleaning tool with a razor blade, which made it almost effortless to scrape off the gunk.

Unfortunately, my mind wasn't working when I decided to spray my cooktop with WD-40 before cooking super. That stuff is potently flammable, so I asked Paul to pick up supper. We had sushi. Yum!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet Bernie

This month is "Sewing Machine Month" on Sew, Mama, Sew. To kick off the month, they're asking us "regulars" to answer a few questions about our own machines.

What brand and model do you have? Bernina Virtuosa 160

How long have you had it? At least four years. It sat unused in the closet until this January!

How much does that machine cost (approximately)? I don't know what it cost when it was new, but I've seen them online from $750 to $1,200 used.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I'm still quite new to sewing, so I've tried a little of everything. I use it mostly for handbags and aprons.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I try to sew a few hours each week, if possible. It varies, based on what we've got going on and when Noah naps (and how tired I am at night!) Before it was mine, the machine was used a lot by my MIL.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? I love my machine! I love the ease of use (since I read the manual and learned!). I love all the decorative stitches.

Does he/she have a name? Bernie (it's a boy)

What features does your machine have that work well for you? I like that the outside of the presser foot is 1/4 inch from the needle - and that the inside is 1/8 inch. Little things like that make it easy for me to know what I'm doing!

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? Only when I wasn't confident using it did it drive me nuts - because I was doing stuff wrong!

Do you have a great story to share about your machine? We want to hear it! My MIL gave me my machine. She's an expert quilter and upgraded to a new machine (also a Bernina).

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Yes. It can do so much, and it's really easy to use (once you take the time to learn).

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Make sure it does what you want - and a little more. Once you start using it, you'll be amazed at how much you want to try new things!

Do you have a dream machine? I'd love to have an embroidery machine. I'd love to be able to add monograms and extra decorative special things to the aprons I sew.