Oops! Apparently I've accidentally deleted all of my images. I'll see about fixing that soon.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Socks and Things

Once we settled in to our new location, I really had planned to get back to sewing blogging more, but that just hasn't happened.  I'm not going to stop blogging altogether but it will likely be less frequent.

I'll still post mostly sewing here, but also other things. I've found another place on the internet to showcase my miniature painting for the time being. 

And it's not like I haven't been doing things. I have! :) Lots of things! Some of them even sewing things! But there has been a lot of work to do, some busy fun times to be had, and I've found myself spending extra bits of my free time making small videos for my YouTube channel.

Today I'm hoping to put together my fall/ winter 2013 sewing schedule (more of a list of thing's i'd like to get done than a rigid schedule). And I do have one small thing to share:

a sock!
I've been knitting for about 25 years, but I don't knit often. I thought I just didn't enjoy it.  But last fall some sock-weight yarn went on deep discount at my cloth store so I bought enough to make a pair of socks each for my husband and I.  

I cast on my husband's first sock in January and knit a couple of rows then. Then there was the move.  I picked it back up about a month ago and have one of the socks completed :) I found that I really enjoy knitting and that working with good yarn (read: not that cheap-o acrylic) makes all the difference in the world. <3

I've cast on and started the second sock of the pair, which I hope to have finished before the weather turns cold.

On another note, a wonderful person I know, who happens to also be an Olympic weightlifter (and blogger, read here), posted yesterday: "Try learning something new today." Now, I'm always up for learning, but sometimes I get so busy with the things that have to get done (job, dishes, garden, family obligations) that I forget to enjoy a few moments of learning something completely fresh & new.

Then there was this morning. Someone I had been following posted something that made me angry, put me into a bit of a funk about how sexist some people can be, especially some women!! And I was letting it get me down.  Then I ran across this (again, thanks to Sarah): it's a pin-up from the 1950's called Hilda. 

I'm not usually one for pin-ups. I understand the appeal, but I always feel so much like they go against any female empowerment I try to hold onto. They so often feel to me like the pin-up girl is less a person and more a 'thing' and is no more than the sex her body parts can offer. Hilda does not feel that way to me. She is joyful, she makes me feel very body-positive, and she looks like she is living her own life to the fullest. I loved it!

Dance like no one's watching

So I started searching for the author's name and ended up by accident on a Wikipedia article about another Hilda: Hilda Bernstein, a women's rights and anti-apartheid activist. I found her story interesting and ended up searching from that to the Women's March to Pretoria in 1956 of which she was a part.  Reading the story of what the women in South Africa did that day to demand their own rights was really moving. National Women’s Day is now an annual Public Holiday in South Africa on August 9.

Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo! "Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock."

And while sometimes I feel like no matter how hard people work against racism, against sexism there it will remain forever, I am also reminded of the strong women who have risen up together to say, "NO."  It has not yet been even 100 years in this country (USA) that women have had the right to vote. In my own lifetime I have seen the ending of apartheid. I have seen the implementation and fruitfulness of Title IX, without which I am sure we wouldn't have the WNBA. And even recently, we see women the world over stepping up and saying, "enough," demanding to be treated humanely, not as less than men. It gives me hope, and that hope gives me patience.

The world has a long way to go equality-wise, and it's easy to feel depressed over how many awful, cruel, and systemic discrepancies exist. I encourage you today to take something that upset you or angered you or made you feel low & use it to find out something new, something that can bring you hope. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Since my recent sewing is completely unbloggable please instead enjoy watching our local 4th of July Parade (it's only about 4 min long).
Have a great week!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Rice and Doughnuts

This week, rather than sewing pictures, here are a couple of new (short) vids I posted this week:

Have a great first week of summer!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Herb Garden: Mint & Parsley

One of the reasons that we wanted to own our own home was to be able to have a garden.  Growing up we always had both a vegetable garden and an herb garden. And while the big vegetable garden for our backyard is still in the planning stages, we've been able to get the first part of the herb garden started.

Seeds planted the last week of May: Parsley & Spearmint

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Getting Curtains Started

It's been another busy week here at the house with lots of work to be done and jobs besides. 

We bought fabric for curtains a couple of weeks ago when it was convenient for my husband to meet me at the fabric store I work at to pick something out.  We ended up with:
  • plain, white broadcloth for sheers
  • purple & white chevron fabric for the bathroom (see previous post)
  • green/blue/etc fabric for the office (see previous post)
  • blackout fabric for the bedroom
  • fabric for the bedroom curtains (which you will have to wait to see)
  • and this for the main rooms:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Back to Blogging

To say that the last month has been busy, to say it has been physically exhausting would be a gross understatement. But it has also been one of the most wonderful months in a long time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Secret Project 2013

For most of you this will be a surprise. We've been trying to keep the lid on it just in case things didn't work out, and as such didn't tell everyone.

The posts here on Smoldering Wick Designs have been few and far-between since January, but there has been a good reason.  All of my energy has been going toward one thing...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I know this is not my normal stuff, but today I'm reblogging this straight from Thinksquad because it's just that important. (I actually found this through Moustaches Optional) I don't have a tumblr so I'm blogging it here. That makes me weird and 'old' internet-wise, but the idea is to get the word out there.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prom 2013

Amid the chaos this year we had the opportunity to go to an event with friends this weekend.  One of the local radio stations holds an adult prom every year.  

I didn't go to prom in highschool, and I didn't go to any formal dances in college. In fact, the only fancy events I ever go to are weddings. And while that's fun, I guess I always wished I had that experience, the prom experience.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blog List Updated

Just a quick post to let you know I've updated the list of blogs that I follow for those of you that find that interesting or helpful. I noticed that page was getting a lot of hits lately & that I hadn't updated it since last June so hopefully it is more helpful now.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Floral Embroidery: Part I

I know I haven't been posting much lately, and unfortunately that's going to continue a little while longer until things settle back down again.

In the mean time I haven't been completely without needle and thread.

Besides finally making a skirt for St Patrick's day out of that green fabric I bought last year (it wasn't great, so no pictures), I'm working on a little embroidery.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yoke Flip

Last time I promised I'd show you how I did the yoke on my latest blouse.  I don't remember where I learned this but I'd hazard a guess it was probably Gertie.  Anyhow, it's invaluable and has saved me countless hours and much cursing.

How to attach a 2-piece yoke to both the back and the front without any topstitching or hand-sewing:

Sandwich the back between the two yoke pieces so that the right sides are facing in. Stitch as usual (I serged here but that isn't necessary.)

Press. Press open.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brown Flowered Blouse

Most people who know me know I'm not prone to wearing floral prints. Ok, maybe no one has noticed, but it's true. There are very few things in my wardrobe that have flowers on them. I usually prefer a nice geometric print, but I saw this fabric on deep discount and it seemed perfect for another go at my new blouse pattern. 

And I actually remembered to take pictures this time. 

One of the goals I had developing this pattern was for it to be quick to put together. In fact, I wanted to see if I could do most of it on the serger and be able to whip out a shirt in an afternoon.  For a slow sewer like me that would be quite a feat.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Turquoise Blouse

A while back I showed you a small glimpse of a shirt I'd been working on:

Well, with some minor tweaks I've made another go at the pattern and I'm happy enough with it I traced all of the pattern pieces out onto something that would last a little longer through multiple uses:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love and Cinnamon

I've never really been a fan of Valentine's Day.  I could ramble on for pages about why but you didn't come here for that. And some of you have made it clear in the past that you don't respect my opinion on such things. Which means you probably won't like this post at all anyway. lol

Anyway, I know I've been bad about posting lately, but things have been really busy. Too busy even to sew! I know, that's just crazy!  But I've been thinking about you, my followers, wondering what wonderful and fun and amazing projects you have been working on, wondering if you are painting or sewing or generally making yourself into a better person (yeah, you know who you are). And I just wanted to let you know you're in my thoughts.

And since it is a special occasion I wanted to post something over from another blog that seems important for today.

Sarai over at the Coletterie has generously offered to donate all of the procedes from today's sales of her beautiful Cinnamon pattern:

Cinnamon Pattern

to benefit the important civil rights issue of our time: marriage equality.  

If you're disappointed this isn't a post about me trying the cinnamon challenge, well, at least you have this pretty slip dress to look at: (isn't it lovely!)


So if you sew or know someone who sews this would be a great gift for yourself or someone else and the money goes for a good cause.

Hope your February is going great! 

PS: idk why some of the non-linked text is showing up underlined, but I'll try to get it fixed asap.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Solitary Hobbies

It's funny how some people are always drawn to crowds and some are not.  It's funny because I've found yet another hobby, another solitary hobby. 

I've been sewing (finished another shirt in a more photo-friendly color which I hope to post soon), and having fun minis-related activities, and now, additionally, I've been taking and editing short videos. 

We don't have a video camera but our camera takes decent video and I found some free editing software online that isn't too bad when it isn't crashing continuously for no reason.  But it seems to be enough. I can't help it; I've already found myself drawn in to the fun of it.

I think it's the same reason I like doing things like this blog - all of my hobbies are so solitary that I need somewhere to connect with people (without actually having to be around a big group of people which freaks me out). 

I guess I just said all that to say this: 

Hey, I'm doing stuff!


I appreciate you.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Superhero Hair Bows

This fall I kept seeing this pic floating around the internet and thought the idea was super cute.

So I decided to make superhero hair bows for one of my nieces for Christmas.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women in Wargaming: In My Shoes

I sadly feel compelled to preface this post with this: I don't usually post up my strong opinions on such subjects as the internet can be a harsh place full of haters and trolls. So I have generally kept to my sewing and painting and other non-feather-ruffling subjects. But this is my outlet, my place to say my piece, even if no one is listening. 
If you choose to comment, please be respectful of each others' viewpoints and opinions.

When I try to search for women in wargaming on the internet I usually end up with mostly two things: scantily-clad cosplayers/ "booth babes" and the female characters in various armies. Instead what I want are groups of women who love wargaming and gaming in general with which I and other women could find comraderie. But they are few, far between, and many seem to be alone in their areas.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Two of my favorite gifts that I gave for the holidays this year went to two of my closest friends.  Early on in the holiday-sewing season I had already decided I wanted to make purses.  Now, I've made a couple of purses for myself in the past but was never happy with them, and of late I have basically stopped carrying any purse at all.

Fortunately the internet is full of fun inspiration for bags and purses of all different shapes and sizes.

purse + inspiration =?= purspiration?? lol

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wine Glass Coasters

One of the fun gifts that we gave this year was for my mother-in-law: wine glass coasters. One of the perks of my job is that I am often surrounded by creative people happy to share their new project ideas, and I'm happy to say that I 'stole' this idea off one of them this summer. This fall my husband helped me to bring this to life in time to give the gifts.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This and That and Stuff and Things

Brilliant post title, don't you think? Yeah, my creativity sometimes fails me in that area. 

But really, I don't have one specific thing I wanted to post about today, I have a bunch of little things, none of which is big enough for its own post but each of which I want to share.  There's not really any one place that seems more logical to start than another, so I'm just going to jump right on in.

Recently one of the blogs I follow posted a link back to this xkcd article on colors and color naming and color theory.  This is fascinating in its own right but also something I've been trying to really delve into a bit in the last year or so partially because of my desire to make my miniature painting better and partially because of my desire to figure out what looks good in fashion.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stretch & Sew 1582

While my posts here may have been spotty at best over the last couple of months, I've certainly not been lax in my sewing. In fact we are just starting to reclaim the living room from what was beginning to look like a sweatshop from all of the giftmaking. With the holidays over and most of the gifts given I can start to show you some of what I made.  

One of the first was this Stretch & Sew pattern from the late 1970's.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Eve 2012-2013

So for the new year... I made a video... sort of.

Hope your 2013 starts out happily and safely.