The Great Tripod Hunt of 2008

Like my attempt at photographing the eclipse? I’ll give you a tip: it’s much easier if you put your camera on a tripod. Nighttime shooting requires sloooooow shutter speeds, to slow to hold with your hand.

And I know this. So why I thought I could just step onto my deck and snap away is beyond me. Probably the same reason why I didn’t think to look for my tripod until the eclipse was at its zenith. Nope, no idea where it is. I did, however, find my knee brace which was nowhere to be found on Saturday, when I needed it.

Gotta work on that spring cleaning.

I cranked up the ISO on my camera to 800 (I think; I’m too lazy to get off the couch and look) and dropped the shutter speed on the above photo to five seconds. In a perfect world, I would have used the tripod and done a shutter speed of a minute to see if I needed to go longer or shorter. Since that was not the case and camera movement would be inevitable, I opted to “drag” the moon across the picture. I focused on the moon on one side of the camera, depressed the shutter and slowly panned the camera across the sky. I did a few and think this was the best of the lot (and I don’t think that’s saying much).

Oh well. There’s always the next one.

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Good Reads

Posted On August 27, 2007

Filed under Sewing, Tutorials

Comments Dropped 3 responses

My friend Katie has decided to join the blog world. She is an incredibly talented seamstress and is sharing some of her work through tutorials, so be sure to check her out. I may have to give those ribbon jeans a try when I get done with the stash game!

A Crafty Gift

Posted On April 29, 2007

Filed under Gifts, Sewing, Tutorials

Comments Dropped 6 responses

My husband’s brother and his wife just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. I had read in Robyn Spizman‘s book, The Giftionary, about giving a couple bottles of wine from significant years during their marriage and thought that would be perfect to mark the occasion.*

Of course, I can’t just buy some bottles of wine and send them to the happy couple. They need to be special. I decided to make individual wine bags and design custom fabric labels to include information about what that vintage signifies.

I’m also just the slightest bit OCD/hyper anal retentive, which meant I had to have the number of wine bottles make sense. Ten was tough — I didn’t really want to buy and ship 10 bottles of wine plus it felt like a stretch to basically buy a bottle for every year of marriage. Somewhere, I read that six bottles was a magnum. (If this is not true, please do not enlighten me — ignorance is bliss.)

Then I had to find the fabric. It had to be the right fabric, not too fancy, not too plain and not too expensive. That, I finally found Thursday when I stopped at some fabric clearance place** less than two miles from my house. I think it was 1.5 or maybe 2 yards and cost a whopping $3. Score! I feel like Katie at the thrift store! LOL!

Ready to see my handiwork?

And a close up:

These were so easy, it wasn’t funny. I made the bags by measuring the tallest bottle and around the widest bottle, then adding a little bit for the seam allowance. I cut six rectangles of fabric 12″ wide by 15″ tall. I serged the top edge, then turned it down and pressed it. Top stitched the edge. Serged the side seam closed, then the bottom seam closed. Clipped the threads and turned it right side out. To quote Emeril, “Bam!”  Honey timed me on one: 1 minute 56 seconds to sew and turn.

I designed the labels in Freehand, then printed them out on inkjet-compatible fabric paper. I actually did the printing before I started cutting and sewing so they would be dry by the time I needed them. You have to rinse the paper under running water and the ink did bleed a little bit. I was in a hurry (and almost out of ink) so I didn’t reprint them but I might have done that if I’d had more time.

Ironed some Heat n Bond to the reverse of the labels and then I trimmed pretty closely around each one. Lined up all the bags, lay my big ol’ ruler on top of them and used that to guide placement of the labels before I ironed those suckers on. I did not top stitch them and probably would do that in the future before sewing up the bags (I think they’re a little too tight to try to work with after sewing, at least for me).

Borrowed some tulle from my store stash and tied bows on the top of each. Voila! Anniversary gift extraordinaire!  And by the time it gets there, it will only be … two weeks late.

Cross your fingers that it makes it there intact. I had the shipping folks pack it for me (with shipping, that rang up to $64)  and I trust them more than my limited packing skills.

* In general, I’m not big on noting other people’s wedding anniversaries. To me, an anniversary is between you and the person you married, so that person better buy you a really great present every year but especially on big ones like 10, 20, 25, etc. Nudge, nudge, hint, hint.

** Seriously, this place was cool and I wish I’d had more time to explore. Stacks and stacks of fabric everywhere. Downside: You buy what they have — no cutting yardage. Oh, but super cheap!