Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poopy Internet.......

Leads to no posting :( I have "sew" much I want to show off too! The tech is supposed to fix it Friday, so here's hoping. In the meantime, I'm going to draft up the posts I want to have up and take the necessary pictures.

Here's hoping it's something easy for the tech to fix!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A new wardrobe for the new me

Let's face it: life is about change. Mine has been changing, but my wardrobe hasn't. I'm 25, married to a great man, and have given birth to a beautiful son. Why am I still dressing like I'm in highschool? Really, my wardrobe is the same now as it was then: jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, the occasional dress or skirt.

While it might have been ok then, now it feels like I never look put together.....I don't look like I'm an adult. Most of my clothing doesn't go together, and a lot of it doesn't fit my "mom bod" if you will. I don't need a lot of fancy clothes, nor do I need corporate casual (hello, I work retail and have that dress code down pat). I just need nice, everyday casual. There's no reason that I can't look nice even if it's just around the house.

This means sewing time! Here's a look at the colors, fabric and patterns I'm going to use.

 Red grouping
 Teal group
 Blue 1
Blue 2
The idea is to have a few cardi/jackets that work with multiple tops, have multiple tops work with a few skirts, and all the tops work with jeans. I'm not going to bother making jeans mainly because I can thrift them cheaper than I can buy the fabric most times. I do have some denim stashed that I plan to turn into shorts (hopefully 2 pairs if I cut it right!).
Not sure on which fabric goes with what patterns yet, but I do have a couple fabric pattern pairs in mind already. Now to get sewing!
(Edited to fix first picture 5/27/12)

Week 21: Fruit

At first I was a bit stumped as to how to use fruit as a theme. I really didn't want to use stamping plate. I really only have grapes and strawberries for stamping, but on top of that it feels like cheating to do so much stamping. So I came up with an abstract way to do cherries.
I used Sally Hansen Rapid Red, my black nail art striper and black nail art pen. Quick, easy, effective!
Up next, another sewing post!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Week 20: Bows

This is a cute theme! I don't have a stamping plate with bows on it, so I had to free hand it. The only ideas other than the stamping plate bow I could find was a string type bow on the side, so I tried to mimic that. I did my ring finger to look more like one of those strings tied around your know to help you remember something. You know, that never worked for me....I was always left wondering why I had string on my finger lol.
This is Julep Mandy with bows done with a black Sally Hansen nail art pen. Gosh I wish that I would have tried one of these before! They are soo easy to use.....when your polish is DRY. If it's remotely wet/tacky the pen will drag or do some funky resist thing. If that happened, I just waited a little bit and went over it again.
Mandy is kind of a weird color, and hard to capture. This is the way that it looks most of the time, however in some lights it's more orange instead of coral-ish.

My nails are doing a bit better, and have actually grown. Still trying to resist the urge to pick and peel my polish off....Doing better with it. This mani actually has lasted since Saturday night.

Well, off to sew a bit before bed. Until next time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Me and My Pfaff 7570....a Journey in perseverance

Time for something sewing related instead of polish (so for all my polish gals, I'll have something for you next post). I'm putting this out on the internet as a resource for others that want to use this machine. I know when I was first getting stated, I had quite a few questions that nobody seemed to know the answer to.

Recently I inherited my Grandmother's Pfaff 7570 embroidery machine complete with the embroidery unit and standard hoops (I think that they might have been sold separately once upon a time), software, cable to connect the sewing machine to the computer, a few design cards, and a blank design card. While I have all of this now, I didn't get it all at once. Many of the components were hiding in my Grandma's house. My Mom and I found the machine, embroidery unit, hoops and cards first; enough to get started and play.
The machine didn't look this pretty to start with. The old girl had sat the 10 years Grandma's been gone, a critter had stored food there, and a score of spiders had built webs (ok I may be exaggerating, but there was quite a bit to be cleaned up). Once cleaned and oiled though, the old girl sews and embroiders very well (and the tension is great still!).

The first question: When the original software and cable was found, could I use just that to write to my blank card? Or did I NEED to buy a compatible reader/writer box?
Answer: With the original software (PC Designer) and cable, a reader/writer box is unnecessary. However, if you are missing either the software or the cable, you are better off buying a compatible reader/writer box instead of trying to hunt down one (or both) of those. Occasionally they come up for sale on Ebay, but not often anymore.
The original software comes on floppies, so you need to either need a floppy drive (internal or external) or use a friends floppy drive to burn the files onto a CD.
The original cable comes with a 25 pin serial plug on one end and a unique connection on the other (which goes to the machine). On mine I have an adapter to make the 25 pin into a 9 pin serial (a more common connection).
Second question I had: Since my computer didn't have any serial ports, how am I going to connect this to my computer?
Answer: A serial port on a pc-card.

My laptop came with one of these slots that takes a credit card sized card that can have all sorts of things on there (like ports that may not have been built into your laptop, wifi cards, etc). When slid into my computer and the drivers installed, it acts just like a serial port that was built into the computer. Not exactly sleek, but it works great!

There ARE serial to USB adapters out there, and that would have been a simpler solution. However the one I tried didn't come with any drivers. This meant the computer saw the machine as a USB "thingy", and the software is old enough (1997) that it doesn't recognize USB "thingies"....only COM ports. If you find a USB adapter that comes with a driver CD, give it a shot.

So a short recap of what I learned in this process....If you have the following:
-The original software
-Cable to connect the sewing machine to the computer
-Floppy drive (or access to one)
-9 pin serial port (either built in, or a way to adapt to what you do have)
You can skip getting a reader/writer box. The original software with read only the Pfaff .pcs files, so if you have a lot of designs in other formats you will need a newer program to convert your designs in the right format.

I'm glad that I'm able to use this machine finally. It's been a long journey to get everything working together. I hope that this knowledge helps someone else that wants to use this machine to it's full potential..
Until next time!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 19: Floral

My nails have gotten pretty weak lately, so I'll be sticking to the challenge manis for a little while and not doing a whole lot in between.I've got to break the bad habit of peeling off the polish instead of removing it properly!

This nail art turned out kinda pretty. I started with 2 coats of Sinful Colors Social Ladder, a fairly sheer pinky/pearl shade. I like to use this as my "natural but better" shade. Then I stamped with Sally Hansen Plum Burst, China Glaze Sweet Hook and Kinetic Candy. The only thing I don't really like is that Sweet Hook is nearly invisible.
Nice and Girly!

In other news, I recently inherited my Grandma's Pfaff 7570 embroidery machine. I love sewing with this machine, and I've wanted an embroidery machine for a looong time so my focus has shifted a bit more to sewing. Soon I'll have a post up about all I've learned about this machine so that the information is out there for others (I wish that someone had posted this info for me when I was starting with this machine).

Until next time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gray by Gray days

This is in honor of all the gray days we've been having here lately. However, things are supposed to be getting warmer and sunnier!
This is 2 coats of Sally Hansen Gray by Gray, stamped with Orly Rage.

This turned out really pretty! Very proud of these nails! I happen to be holding the piece of silk that will one day be a top. I thought it went pretty well with this mani.
Until next time!