How to Use Bulk Serger Thread in a Normal Sewing Machine

•January 16, 2011 • 4 Comments

Your a hard core hobby or business seamstress but you don’t have a serger yet.  You walk into the sewing store looking the best quality, largest quantity, rolls of thread you can find that will fit into your normal quilting machines bobbin holder.  You are disappointed to find that the most you can get on a single bobbin for your machine is 1000 yards of thread,… and it costs $7-$8 freaking dollars!  You shift around the thread aisle hoping to find a better deal and find some nice bulk serger thread  (3000 yards for 1/3 the price =D ) , but wait it won’t fit in your machine and you don’t own one of those fancy serger thread stands.

No worries, there is a super universal and easy fix for your dilemma.

1.  Find a nice smooth coffee mug.

2.  Place your bulk serger thread in the coffee mug with the narrower side facing up. (like a normal serger thread position)

3. Place the cup with the thread behind your machine and to the right side (might be different if you have a left hand specific machine).

4.  Pull the thread up over a spot on the top of your machine where it is unlikely to move from (you may have to get creative, see pictures below)

5.  Thread your machine like normal, the bobbin should stay in place for you while you work.

Notes:  I found that this technique didn’t work as well with button holing, a stronger bobbin thread should be required, as this method put a little extra strain on the thread.  Also this becomes difficult if you are working on larger sewing projects like cloaks or larger dresses as the coffee mug can get moved around by larger piles of fabric.

how to use bulk serger thread in a normal quilting machine

Thread in cup, behind machine on right side

sewing tutorial

Thread lacing over an indented space on the top of my machine

sewing machine tutorial quilting machine

And there you go! Just about every thread company makes a bulk serger option. If you are new to sewing and aren't sure which companies make good thread, I use "gutermann thread" when ever I can, yes it is more expensive than other brands on the racks,.. but seriously trust me, nothing is worse than working with shitty thread.

Portland Art Sale (Come See Me!)

•November 14, 2010 • 2 Comments

My current residence and a dozen other artists are putting on a house art sale in north Portland this coming weekend!  If you live in the area and you have a chance you should come on by and check it out.  I will be there  most of the time so this is a good chance to meet me in person if you like.  I will be selling my clothing and jewelry at the sale.  There is quite an array of arts being sold, (pottery, clothing, accessories, photography prints, paintings, abstract clocks, jewelry, and art supplies).  If you are in the Portland area I would love to see you there!

Here is the flier with driving directions, if you know anyone in the area feel free to invite them!  And don’t hesitate if you have any questions I would love to answer them.

Portland Oregon art sale

As you can see we have snacks available.  If you need a larger file of this map let me know and leave me your email address in the comments below, I will send you the file.

You can view my art here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SageOfTheTrades  but know that a lot of the stuff I will have on my table isn’t on my site, so there are guaranteed surprises!

I hope to see you there.

-Harmony

Corset Project Continued

•October 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After three days of wearing the corset I have decided to make a couple of adjustments to my wearing schedule.

Before I started this project I measured at 5’8″ tall and I had a natural waist size of 30″.  I started noticing right away that each morning when I laced up, the corset was lacing tighter everyday.  By day three my waist was around five inches pulled and it didn’t feel any different than the days before.  There was two things I could noticeably feel in my body, and that was the slow shifting of my ribs changing to accommodate the shape of the corset and my posture significantly strengthening with the forced repositioning from the corset.

So everything so far is working as planned though maybe a lot faster than I had anticipated.  I have decided to start an every other day schedule for the corset so that I do not experience to much change to quickly in my body.  I will update on the progress again soon!

Purple black white plaid corset corsets boned waist tightening steel cute

Click this image to see this and other corsets available in my store.

-Harmony

Cold Care Tea Recipe

•October 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It is late fall and everyone I know has been getting ill or fighting off illness.  At least two illnesses have swept through Portland this fall already but no one in my house hold has succumbed to the illnesses yet.  I have a tea recipe that I started using last year from garden gathered herbs.  I found that when taking it when I felt that I was coming down with something I would either kick the cold or have mild symptoms for 4 days.

As a science respecting individual I will not promise that this recipe will work, I do not even know why it works all that I can promise you is that every individual I have introduced this recipe to has successfully fought off their cold or had very mild symptoms.  I know that some of the ingredients are know to have a calming effect which may help the body relax and more successfully fight things off.

Sharmony Tea:

1 part dried and shredded sage leaf

1 part dried borage flowers

1 part dried and shredded sweet basil leaf

1 part dried chamomile flowers

1 part dried calendula petals and stamens (strands that make up the flowers dark center)

1/2 part dried and shredded spearmint leaf

Directions:

Once all of these ingredients have dried thoroughly mix them together and jar them for later use.  When you make this tea, give it ten minutes to infuse with the water and then add a little honey if you would like to though it is not necessary for the taste of this tea. (Honey is extremely good for the throat though so if you are fighting a cold this could be a very good decision.)

I usually have a metal tea ball that I pack and use for making this tea, if you don’t know what I am talking about here is a picture:

Tea Strainer ball cold care fever helper

Tea Ball

Finished and Jarred Tea:

soothing cold care tea healthy remedie remedy warm sweet home made recipe

Finished Tea

You may not need to know or be a gardener to make this tea, many Co-op grocery stores have thorough herb sections that should hold most if not all of these ingredients, I have not tried making this tea with store bought ingredients though, so you would be trying something new.

Have an uneventful flu season, folks! 😉

-Harmony

Practice what you preach, or… something like that (Corsets)

•October 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have now been making corsets of different kinds for about 6 years and having finished creating my first corset design this year (and putting them in my shop) I realize that I haven’t worn any of these corsets for more than an hour.  Well thats not good!, I have to know what some one should expect from wearing my corsets for long spans of time.  So I have decided it is time to practice what I preach,.. or at least what I sell.   I am going to start the experiment of wearing my corset design from morning to dusk everyday and I will likely be blogging about how it feels along the way.

I am not only doing this experiment for the benefit of knowing my corsets better.  I have long had issues with my posture do to mild scoliosis and I have always considered getting a corset for medical purposes.

Many women and men have used corsets from more than just fashionable wear in history and present time, the most general uses are these forms of body modification.

-Back and posture support.  Often corsets have been used to better train back posture (as they naturally enforce it) and they have also been used for back support (especially for those who have had back injuries)

-Waist Training and Thinning: Corsets while making the waist thin while worn, can also train permanent (or semi-permanent) thinning around the waist to create more shape.

I am not personally interested in thinning my waist more though in might end up being a slight side effect to my experiment, I am most interested in the back posturing that it will provide me.

—————————————————————————–

First Evening

______

I started last night on the corset and it was very comfortable while I was up and walking around I could visibly see a lift in my posture and I could feel that lift as well.  It was not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be to have it on for several hours.  Being a corset it was a little harder to do bending motions and I also found it uncomfortable to sit on the bed with my back propped up by pillows and my legs out.  The best positions seemed to be sitting in a chair or up and walking around.  This is interesting to me because these are likely the best positions to encourage better posture.  It is like the corset is blowing a whistle at me every time I try and do something that requires more slouching.

I decided to try and wear it at night too and found this to be extremely uncomfortable after several hours.  I woke up in the middle of the night and asked Sean to remove it.  Lets face you have to relax at some point, so I will be getting good sleep without a corset on at night.

Overall this corset thing seems like it will work out, it is comfortable to wear in most activities I do and after only a few hours of wear I can already notice how it is helping!

Body Modification Corset Plaid Black Purple

Click the Image to go to my store where you can see my other corsets. I am keeping this one.

I will keep you guys and gals posted on the progress.

-Harmony

Remain

•September 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I wrote this poem a long time ago.  Today I thought it would be fun to try and outfit the intermissions with images I have taken over the years.  So between every section is a picture I took of the landscapes I have seen (Though the last picture was taken of me by someone else).

Remain:

Water trickles in,
among the weathered rocks,
and I cannot stop its coming…

I woke up from silent slumber,
the oceans ebbing lullaby of grinding earth.
Getting louder, stronger

silence of the mind,

remain silent.


And so I did until the waters crept in,
to softly remind me of life.
And life was realized,
remain alive.

Hands, arms, shoulders, back,
hips, knees, legs, feet,
Head.

Learn to crawl in sand.

Learning to walk on stones,
like glass.
With out protection,
you learn to tread carefully.


Safe, sharp, unsure,
how much risk?

A young girl falls in love,
with anything she wants.
Flowers, birds, trees,
a beautiful ocean.

A young girl loves a man,
he hurts her regularly,
and she treads on heavy stones,
like bare feet upon the rocky shores.

Tread carefully,
silence,
danger,
don’t speak.

A finger slides against the dam
grazing it softly
picking softly at its edges
but enough to peel it free,
and the blood rushes forward once again.

A scar forms
with the ebb and the flow
like stones ground smooth
the body remembers the grinding
the body chooses to scar.

Remember something
sand, stones ground smooth, wet,

salt,
oceans like blood.

hands, face, eyes

salt,
tears like blood.

Remember something
salty winds, a bird, a drop of rain
and stones, water, sand
a breath exhaled,

somewhere in between.

Silence

———–

A girl was born
and she asked for nothing more
than any other child.

Remain

———–

A woman found herself by the ocean,
trying to hold on to something.
Trying to find a place
between the water, earth, and sky.

-Harmony

Forever Split

•May 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I never knew a world without art.  My mother was a crafter and my grandmothers were both accomplished painters.  I would spend hours and weeks at my grandmothers house, drawing in her studio.  I learned sewing, crocheting, painting, drawing, sculpting, carving, and photography.  I fantasized about becoming a well known artist 18 years ago and I still fantasize about it now.

I never knew a world without science.  I studied the social lives of birds, became familiar with the workings of plants, created jar sized ecosystems from the life in the river behind my house.  I started tracking and documenting the animal movements through my yard, by the time I left home, I had gathered over 300 different species of birds feathers from the muddied shores and wooded paths that I roamed.

By the time I left home, I felt thoroughly confused about who I was, what I wanted, and where I was trying to go.  I had a love for both the sciences and the arts.  A love that was tearing me apart.

I made a decision when I got to college and I ultimately feel that I made the wrong decision.  I decided to drop my art in exchange for more science because I felt that science was a far safer profession to pursue.  I spent the next 4 years studying climate change, ecology, and botany (with just a touch of art).  In my free time though I noticed myself drawing, photographing and sewing more.  (I should have taken the hint)  By my sophomore year in college I was starting to make some serious head way in sewing and light painting photography, but by my senior year I felt I was finally getting very focused on my sewing skills, I started to sell at fairs, take commissions and I created my shop at etsy.com.

The summer came and I graduated.  I started to look for work, sent in dozens of resumes, and never heard a word back from anyone.  When I finally got a whim chance for an interview, I waited 2 1/2 weeks in jobless limbo waiting to hear that they had decided to pick someone else.  I have made more money this summer through my arts than my 4 year college degree in science and it looks like things may continue in that fashion for a while to come.  I think it is time for me to throw in the towel and embrace it.  I spent 4 years trying to avoid the arts that I loved and in the end they are saving my neck from the hole in my safety net.

Now I am looking at a new split in my life, should I trust the artist path and take it or should I continue to look for the tradition path.  I know what I want but I don’t know if it is feasible.  I want security, but more than that I want happiness and fulfillment.

-Harmony