Monday, September 15, 2014

four square feet, forty pictures

oonaballoona sewing studio

Actually, as it turns out, I have 25 square feet of space. I thought a 4 by 4 square measurement meant 4 square feet. Doubly wrong; my footprint is a 5 by 5 square. Math. I haz it. Also, there is no way in hell this feels like 25 square feet of space. Disbelief. I haz it.

During the Project Sewn hullabaloo, when I was frantically sewing in every spare minute I could find, I promised a peek into my tiny New York apartment sized "studio", which lives in the corner of our living room. The absence of a door means I keep it pretty neat--though to be honest, if I had doors, it would still stay fairly controlled. I can't work in mess, it's like the clutter seeps into my head and laughs at my puny efforts to ignore it.

oonaballoona sewing studio

The grandaddy of my setup is my standing drafting desk. I found these old school (literally, old high school) guys years ago at the online site of an LA vintage store. The proprietor liked my New York vibe, and sent me two desks, completely disassembled, for a thousand bucks. Including shipping. That's kind of bananas. He taped numbers to each part and I hammered and screwed them back together like a jigsaw, all by myself. There were 50 parts for each desk. GO ME.

Ruggy & I stand side by side at our identical desks, him typing away, me sewing away. Though the contents of my drawers are considerably more colorful. What can I say, it's in the genes. 

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

One must always have a good selection of neutral toned serger cones.

Ziploc bags keep my trim neat inside my drawers. For real, the traffic from that sentence alone.

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

And now, for the stash. Get ready to have your Mind. Buh-LOWN.

oonaballoona sewing studio

BEHOLD! BEHOLD MY GREAT AND POWERFUL STASH! SURELY MY STASH BEATS YOURS! I WIN AT EVERYTHING!

I'm well aware of the laughable state of my stash. Having seen some truly magnificent collections in person, I'm not sure you can call this a stash. Or perhaps, this is a stash, akin to some furtive junkie's little habit hidden away in a corner, the precious, and those of you with shelves of yardage and freshly peeled grapes, well, you've got a BOUNTY. And my neverending jealousy.

To the side of this magnificent stack lives patterns I'm currently working on, pressing roll, swedish tracing paper (which is glorious), my ironing board, my wolfie dress form (also glorious, she rolls out when I'm working) and a By Hand London tote stuffed with pieces of PIPs. Handy for when I'm working on eighteen things at once and need to find a missing part...

oonaballoona sewing studio

Up top are technicolor writing instruments in questionable cans. 

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

And serious ceramics. My favorite jar! All the way from Italy, and brattily secured from Mommaballoona, it survived my childhood and hopes to survive my adult years. I snag ceramics from my travels, the little white jar with my most used tools is from Dallas, the floral coaster (which usually holds a fancy libation) hails from LA.

The high ceiling helps with the small space, though I'm not using it for much else than a lofty feeling. The walls are decked with photography from Mama Ruggy, embroidery from Mommaballoona, and fingerpainting from my nephew, the next Picasso (sans the ear stuff). [ETA: VAN GOGH! What. I was just making sure y'all were actually reading the copy. WELL DONE.]

oonaballoona sewing studio


oonaballoona sewing studio

Kai. Pride of place.

oonaballoona sewing studio

Apparently there is a decent amount of disbelief surrounding the continued existence of these chocolate bars. Yes, we are just that disciplined. Also, I have restocked the Mint, Brown Butter, and Sea Sat bars an undetermined number of times.

oonaballoona sewing studio

You know what's awesome? Ruggy, are you listening? You'd better be, I switched to Proper Capitalization for you... IKEA. IKEA IS AWESOME. My other half frowns upon that Swedish Giant. But IKEA been berryberry good to me. Stash shelf, desk shelf, orange magnetized doodad holder (guarded by Toulouse, thankya Lisette!) and desk lamp were all acquired at the Orange n Blue Beast.  My zippers are arranged on the three knobs by invisible, separating, and short.  Little tins hold ball point and silk pins.

oonaballoona sewing studio pfaff

And finally, the Crowning Achievement and Undying Disaster... like Yin and Yang, like Cain and Abel, like Whiskey n Coke (people, don't sully good alcohol with soda).... the machines. In the left corner!  Weighing in at 15 pounds! The Elna Pro 5 DC! Ready to horribly maim me at any moment! Seriously guys. Thing One never really worked in the first place, and when she does work, it's because she thinks today will be the day she gets to kill me.

She won't even do knits anymore. YOU HAD ONE JOB. I'm in the market.

However, the sight of my Pfaff makes it all okay. Good lord I love that machine. I actually literally kiss her on the hood several times a week. Lean right over, and kiss her. Which reminds me, Lucille "Baller" Tiptronic is due for her three month review post...

Well! Did you think it possible to require SEVENTEEN PICTURES to get an idea of my tiny space? And I didn't even show you the windowsill! Obviously, my snap happy fingers betray me. Though I dream of a studio with big french doors and a cutting table, I still adore it. Et vous? Happy with your space?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

practicing preaching


The good (and also the Bad, and sometimes THE FUGLY) thing about making declarations on the internet is you're held accountable. 

In the early hours of yesterday morn, I cut out vintage Simplicity 2222. Today, I savored adding rayon seam binding to the guts, and coming up with interesting substitutions for interfacing, and working out the collar... seconds ago, I looked at it and went nuts. Couldn't take another heartbeat of it. Couldn't even throw an iron on it before posting a PIP shot. COULD HARDLY WAIT TO FOLD THE MONSTROSITY UP AND GET IT OUT OF MY SIGHT. The Good: I stopped working and turned to something else.

The Bad: I didn't turn to any of the last three PIPs posted. And the Fugly: Eventually, if I keep up with this accountability thing, you are really going to see just how addicted I am.  I'm diving into my seventh By Hand London Anna. Whaddayagonnado. Yo, I need Anna the Seventh for OWOP!!! I don't have a problem! I CAN QUIT ANYTIME I WANT! Hey, let's change the subject! Are you playing? Once again, I'm turning to instagram to avoid bombarding you, and will do a wrap up later. Today, for a few brief morning hours, Errand Anna, an unblogged red & purple striped raw silk job, pranced about town. She made a lot of new friends, especially in Whole Foods. WHOAH, I said to the butcher, who was giving me an appreciative and respectable gaze, but was nevertheless picking the oldest sausages he could lay hands on,  How 'bout giving me those nice pink guys up top? Ya think?!

He seemed surprised. I MEAN. I KNOW MY MEAT. I'm not sure I've even ever been to the fish counter.

Apparently someone out there thinks I know a little bit about sewing, too (though that belief at times is as questionable as shellfish in summer) because somebody nominated me for a bloggy award at BurdaStyle. Thank you, very much, to anyone out there who did that, it was a very pleasant end of the week surprise! There are a lot of new-to-me blogs on the list, and friends who inspire me daily, as well as a lot of blogs missing that are hugely inspiring... it just goes to show, there's so much out there.

Speaking of, I have some ~unnumbered~ pips to get back to. Ahem. Several hems, actually. Happy weekend y'all!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

pip : no. 1

oonaballoona PIP no. 1

oonaballoona PIP no. 1

oonaballoona PIP no. 1

 1. Vogue + Simplicity Embroidered Tea Length Dress   2. Draped Scalloped 50's Style Dress 
3. Vintage McCalls 5490

I have decided that I don't believe in UFOs. (Spaceships are another story.) The instant I label something Unfinished Object, there it stays. Thought equals matter, or reality, or something scientific like that. I don't even like WIPs! YEAH. This isn't Work, this is Play! (It is work. But it's not Work. Hush. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.) In a Kalkatroonaan world, everything is a project in progress, or rather, process. I am a giant Super Computer Of Fun processing programs made of fabric and thread. YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. 

Good thing I've sussed out my stance on these important matters, as I have at least three PIPs going on at any given time. That's a lot of opportunity for a UFO sighting. Some are much older than others: #1 was begun last month during my spray can Anna, #2 is two months old, started just before a draped maxi dress, and #3 was conceived this past Labor Day, right after finishing my thigh high slit wax print Charlotte. Multiple projects help with my attention span, or lack thereof. No, I lie! I think I have a pretty good attention span... just a low threshold for boredom. I can dive into a fabric for five hours straight and be blindingly happy until the last fifteen minutes, when I want to set apocalyptic fire to it. It is at that crucial moment that I either gingerly set the PIP aside and pounce on another delicacy, or keep hammering on the suddenly vilified material until I seriously F it up.  

And THEN it's Work. and THEN it's a UFO. For reals.

I thought I might pop in here every once in a while with a peek of 3 PIPs. Will they all get finished? Pip pip, let's see! How about you? One at a time sewist, or MUST SEW ALL THE THINGS?