Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to Katheryn!

My dear daughter celebrates 27 orbits!

Happy Birthday Honey!

Of course, that makes this my 'giving birth' day!


Pam Hoffman

Katheryn, Jeff and I waiting to hear Laurel K. Hamilton talk about her books!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My How Time Gets Away From You!

Well, at least for me it has. I've been doing a lot of cool stuff and having a lot of fun!

I was in Las Vegas for 10 days at a business forum last month. Got home & had to recuperate a bit, then had a virus for a couple of days and then..

My Daughter was in town for a week!

And had to sample all the local cuisine she couldn't get in Sicily...

This, boys and girls, we call a Foodgasm!

We actually made charm bracelets from these 'Keys of Life' I found at the hotel gift store. They are charms shaped like keys with words etched into them. I got two sets of each word I found there.

While we used them for the base, they turned out very differently.

My daughter added a bunch of cool charms we found at the local Michael's, beads I had around and some other odds & ends and I'm not quite finished with mine I don't think.

I started an infinity dress from scratch for my Wardrobe Refashion work and got really frustrated with the sewing machine so I'll look at that again later.

Oh and there were some other things, like the Solstice Fair.

Actually, the week my daughter was here was way busier than usual for me! Maybe I'll write up a couple of those events for you in future posts, yeah, that sounds good. ;)

I just wanted to catch up a bit and get back into this process we call 'blogging' before my new one died before it really got started!

Thanks for visiting,

Pam Hoffman

Jeff and I celebrating Katheryn's Birthday with her while she was here!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do I Need a "Get Out of Jail" Card?

The other day, I noticed that I was down to 2 pair of pants I could wear out in public (ok, and that fit) since I did a number on one pair recently and I've put on a little weight lately.

I have NO CONFIDENCE whatsoever in my ability to make a new pair of pants at this time so...

I bought 2 pair & got one free from Catherine's the other day. They had to drop ship the exact pairs though since they didn't have my size & color in the store.

They said no charge for the shipping and it was a pretty good deal so I got them.

Now, I'm not totally dismayed because of a recent find at a used book store (they had a buy one, get one free sale too!). I bought something called "Pants for Any Body" and it looks dy-no-mite!

Cover of the book

Check out what they write in the introduction...
Our first edition of Pants for Any Body emphasized measuring as a way to achieve perfect fit. Then we found that the only measurements people could accurately take on themselves were length and width -- crotch measurements were virtually impossible. Since then in our nationwide seminars we've fitted over 50,000 people in pants made from a commercial pattern in 1/4" gingham checked fabric. Gingham takes away all the guesswork! So, in our revised Pants for Any Body, we strongly emphasized this easier, more accurate gingham method and practically no measuring!

[my note: why not find your favorite fit in the inseam, take the pants off and use a tape measure to find the length - mine is 29"?]

They go on:
Our pant fitting philosophy is different than most:
1. We use commercial patterns rather than teaching you to draft your own. After all, patterns are one of the least expensive ingredients in sewing pants, and the most time consuming to create yourself. All the major pattern companies use a "sloper" or master pattern to develop their designs and all are similar in shape. We'll teach you how to find out where your body varies from commercial patterns and how to make alterations to compensate for those differences. You will then have to make those alterations on ANY PATTERN YOU SEW. Your full tummy doesn't go away just because you switched from a Butterick to a McCalls' pattern!
2. We don't promise you a perfect pattern that you can cut, sew and wear without ever trying on. That's impossible unless you never fluctuate one ounce in weight, never make a cutting error (1/8" error times 8 seam allowances around a pant can make each pair 1" different in size), and always use exactly the same fabric (every fabric fits differently). You can, however, alter a pattern to be close to your size and shape and then use our Fit-As-You-SewTM system to create PERFECT PANTS.
3. You can use ANY fabric with ANY pattern. You don't need a special pattern for knits and another for woven fabrics. Using our same Fit-As-You-SewTM system, you can get good fit with any fabric.
4. A great looking pant goes beyond good fit! It is also selecting the best style for your figure, the best fabric for that style, and sewing beautiful pant details. Pockets that gap, zippers that pucker, and pleats that pooch all detract from good fit. We think choosing the right pattern, fabric, and sewing techniques together form the "great pants package deal." We'll even share some of our favorite tips for fast pant sewing -- how about "Great Pants in 3 Hours"!!
After fitting 50,000 bodies, we know we can fit pants to ANY body -- even yours!

Doesn't that sound divine?

Besides, I can't WEAR the new pants until I launder them... and laundry day is Wednesday!


Have YOU had any clothing adventures lately? How about great finds? Why not share?

Pam Hoffman

"Pants for Any Body" is by Pati Palmer & Susan Pletsch Revised expanded edition copyright 1982 I can provide more information from the book if you would like, just leave your request in the comments!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well a lot has happened since Easter...

I got a haircut
The crop in Orange
Running errands galore!
Getting the car ready for a road trip next month
A little bit of shopping


A friend sent this & I couldn't resist sharing! ;)

Have YOU seen any funny craft related cartoons lately? Would you mind sharing them?


Pam Hoffman

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Finished a Refashion!

My Goodness...

As a simple, starter project, the ruffled scarf seemed like a good first 'refashion' for me.

Yeah, Right!

My boyfriend has been so good to me, he's on the local freecycle and scored a bunch of second hand clothes which I'm putting to use in my refashions.

The thrift stores around here seem to have price tags like the retail stores to me. Of course, I'm originally from Ohio and I scored 20 shirts for $5 once (some of which i'm still wearing and that was oh, 15-20 years ago?!?). So maybe it's me...

Here's what I started with:

way small, knit, workout pants, slight stain, soft white color, soft to the touch, obtained Jan'10

The ruffled scarf jumped to mind. Not many of these have given me what they want to be yet, this most definitely did!

I read everything I could get my mouse on from Nikki's Wardrobe Refashion site and I started cutting. I'm pretty good at cutting. And that is the best part of this story.

I actually got 4 lengths total out of the pants, trimmed into long rectangles...

So Far, So Good!

Next comes, you guessed it, sewing these lengths together to form one long, Long, LONG rectangle!

Only one problem, I don't have a sewing machine.

Enter Laura who loans me a machine and I'm in business, right? Riiiight!

This machine is very reminiscent of mine and perhaps you remember me talking about how moody it is? Well, Laura's machine isn't quite as moody, not quite...

So I basically stitch these 4 lengths together...

Which actually didn't go too badly.

I used white thread on the white fabric and did the pieces 'back to back' (i use "" marks because by now, i couldn't tell!) then I opened up the length and sewed the seam down to the length, all this was with a straight stitch.

So Far, So Good STILL!

THEN, I get to try out this edging business which should make the edge do some nice lettuce leaf look... um, not so much with this fabric:

This took a LOT of thread too.

And I had to use some Navy thread to finish... it's kind of hard to tell so not to worry overly...

Big, not very lettuc-y

And something happened to the tension after awhile. And it didn't go away until I sewed on some paper of all things!

Actually, none of this was all that hard, just little frustrating and a lot of work to keep the tension on the edges to get what I did even with the lettuce edge attempt. It just didn't work out the way I thought it would.

And the final step, to thread some ribbon thru the center. Sounds simple, right?

Ice Cream ALWAYS helps, you know! :)

First off, I couldn't get my ribbon threaded needle thru the darn fabric. The weave was very tight. I actually DID get it thru the ends as I wanted the knot to work. Oh, I even bypassed that idea by putting a decorative bead on the ends.

Needle being stubborn!

Ha! Fixed that!!

Actually, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Oh, I did all that. Only I didn't like how it bunched up with the weight of the cloth which left some of it spread quite thin, unless it's REALLY bunched up.

So I pulled the ribbon out...

And tried looping the ribbon around a couple of places to help distribution a little better.

Still not happy with it. It sure is warm! Just in time for our dip back into winter weather.

Did anyone else have this problem? Perhaps the fabric is heavier or something. I might just bunch it up more tightly all around.

bunchier... looks a little better...

Got any tips? Leave me a note!

Pam Hoffman

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Royalty Over the Rainbow

What an amazing adventure participating in Scrapbook Royalty's "Royalty Over the Rainbow" last weekend!

I'm especially grateful to Elena & Nanci for enabling me to be there:

Nanci & Elena

I got to try out new techniques I never tried before...

Like altering pages in a book by painting on them and sewing on them, right in the book!

...and creating ribbon layered hearts of felt (in Rainbow colors!)

Thanks to Cheryl, pounding into damp chipboard with special tools!

The food, by Zele, was wonderful and rejuvenating, all catered. It's Royalty alright!

I stayed up all night and enjoyed the peace and quiet and productivity without distractions.

Lots of people were there and art for sale, a silent auction and craft supplies galore!

Almost forgot, the goody bag, bucket w/tools, the Fairy Flybys!!! So wonderful. It's too much to put into a blog post. You gotta join us some day!

Have you been on a crafts retreat? Has it been awhile? Check out Scrapbook Royalty for ways to get away AND do good at the same time!

Pam Hoffman

I got a LOT done at this retreat!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Use What You Have!

I read a blog post by Wanda Eash recently and it got me all excited. You see, she made a confession - she has a lot of craft stuff! You know, I do too!

So I followed her very nice explanation and took a bunch of stuff I have now...

And created this:

It's almost done!

"This is a great way to use up some of those crafting leftovers." ~Wanda Eash

I just LOVE this concept as I've had some of the pieces on this hanging around for YEARS! And now I have a beautiful charm bracelet I love and I love wearing it.

What do YOU have around that you could put to use? Have you done that before? What did you create?

Post a link in the comments and I may just do a blog post centered around YOUR work of art and link back to you from here.

Pam Hoffman

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First Official 'Refashions'

Earlier this month, I told you that I made a commitment to 'refashion' rather than purchase from new. Ok, not a huge stretch since I haven't bought anything new in quite some time. Still, challenging for me since I'm not much of a 'thread and needle' person...

According to Nikki Shell, on her Wardrobe Refashion blog, this is taking something else and making it into your wearable clothes. It could be yarn, fabric, you could have something handmade for you (or buy from another person who makes things from these materials say from etsy...) so there is some room to work with, even for someone like me.

Freecycle item, way smaller than we are!

I started cutting some freecycled items and old t-shirts at the monthly Crop in Orange, in preparation for my first, official refashions, and figured I'd be somewhat stuck there for want of a sewing machine.

T-Shirt that fits

Well, some friends and I worked up a crafting session last Sunday and I borrowed a sewing machine from one of them, who let me keep it around for a bit to continue working with.

Now this thing isn't brand new yet it performed WAY BETTER than mine ever did!

So I have a couple of things that are just about ready to be worn. I've taken bunches of photos so I'll do some detailed posts about them as soon as they are finished!

Have you transformed something that no longer fit or that you loved yet it was too worn, into something you CAN use again? Have you SEEN all the cool things people have made at the Wardrobe Refashion site?

Pam Hoffman

March 13th, at the Crop in Orange!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Magazine Swap

I have acquired several magazines, which are duplicates of some I already have.

I scanned the covers here [in no particular order]:

If you have extra or duplicate magazines (or something ELSE you'd like to swap!) and you would like to arrange a swap with me, leave a comment or email me directly; my contact information is located on a new 'page' on the blog.

I got these from a 'freebie' table at a crop so I don't know if they are in perfect condition, they do look quite good and I could take a look, upon request.

Have you had a blog swap? What did you offer to your visitors? How did it work out?

Pam Hoffman

Monday, March 8, 2010

Volunteering at the UCI Arboretum

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I spent the day volunteering for Laura over at the UCI Arboretum.


Everything was so 'bright' & 'full' from the rain we’ve been getting here in southern California!

We helped with getting the tables & chairs set up again, replenished the potted plants on the wire shelves and then we did check ins and sales.

Aeonium "Sunburst"

It probably wasn’t a super busy day for the arboretum; it WAS just wonderful to be around all the plants and all the really nice folks who came to look at plants and/or to buy plants.

I took bunches of pictures of plants that I found interesting. I carefully captured the information tags with the plants to get the info Laura put with the plants to think about what might be good where in our own garden.

Arctotis "Burgandy"

Aloe Plicantilis aka Fan or Candelabra Aloe

An Amazing specimen of Aloe Plicantilis in the Arboretum!

Laura was very kind and allowed us to pick a plant when we were done to take home. What a departure from sitting in front of my computer all day most every day!

need to find out what these are!

The rain stayed away and we got a mixture of clouds, sun & blue sky. It was nice to be out in the sun and soak up some 'filtered' rays.

General overview of the sale area

If you are ANYWHERE near the UCI (University of California Irvine) campus, I urge you to check out the UCI Arboretum. Hours, map & other info are on their website, just click on the link!

Most open days are no cost and this is just a pleasant way to spend some time with nature, learning new things with visually exciting plants, some quite rare, and be outdoors!

The Next Events at UCI Arboretum...

Mar 20 2010 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturday Plant Sale
Apr 10 2010 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM April Showers of Flowers
May 1 2010 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Spring Perennial Sale
May 2 2010 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM Spring Perennial Sale

Details on these and future events on the Event Calendar

Pam Hoffman

Playing around at Crafty Chica's booth, CHA Jan'10 in Anaheim, CA