Random Stuff

Creative Confidence

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Random Stuff | Comments Off on Creative Confidence

Creative Confidence

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post. I’ll be honest here, like many creatives, I look at what I create and am not happy with what I see. My Inner Critic comes calling even during the planning process, and it just gets louder until all the praise in the world can’t drown out the Inner Critic. I spent a year and a half teaching classes almost daily and the number one thing I heard over and over again was “I’m afraid of (insert rest of sentence here).” It saddened me greatly that so many wonderfully creative, talented people would be so intimidated by their own imagination and the process of making that vision into a reality. It’s a huge reason why I started this blog, as a way of backing up what I was trying to impart to my students. It’s why I posted mistakes and talked about what I learned during the creation process. It’s why I try to include why a specific technique works as it does or a what a foot does mechanically or any other of the many “whys” or “hows” that I included. My entire goal, my reason for all of this, has been to encourage people to try. To have faith in themselves. To boldly embrace that creativity and let the chips fall where they may. To just have fun with it. Every time a student spoke about wanting something to be perfect, I stopped them. Perfection should never be the goal – that’s boring. Every mistake became a learning opportunity or a creative challenge while every crooked stitch just added character to the final piece. Skill comes with practice, and nothing else. And practice means that sometimes it’s what exactly as you imagined it, but that’s ok too. Despite this mindset, the further I went with this blog the more my doubts began to surface. I’d think “who wants to see that?” or “someone else will just explain it better” or “everyone does this, what narcissism makes me think that anyone would care about my version of it?” The Inner Critic shut me down, succeeded in convincing me to stuff my creative light under a basket. I was about to remove this blog and walk away, but I started thinking about the reasons why I started it in the first place. Reasons that got lost as I began to compare myself to others, as my confidence faltered. Then I heard someone casually mention the term creative confidence. Creative confidence. Those words reached out to smack me upside the head. I don’t teach to be someone important, or get accolades, or be recognized, or have a giant fan base. I teach to give people a set of tools they can use to express their own uniqueness in a tangible way. I had forgotten that, and the Inner Critic replaced that soul objective with fears. Here is the definition of Confidence that I like best: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. Where in this sentence is there any reference to anyone other than the self? There isn’t. Confidence is internal, and because it’s internal until it can truly blossom it is easily crushed. So I’ll keep adding to this body of work, and if even just one person says “well heck, if this lady can do it, then so can I” then it will have been a success. The corset in the featured picture was made from a very expensive heavy white silk that I imported from China directly, with coutil material from France....

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Ready for the New Year??

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Random Stuff | Comments Off on Ready for the New Year??

Ready for the New Year??

I hope that everyone out there had a tremendously successful 2014 with a fun and meaningful Holiday Season to cap things off! As for me… My goodness was 2014 a busy year! Here’s a bit of Cute first. My trusty sidekick the Sewing Room Helper Wedge was, on Christmas Day, the official box weight. His hard work ensured that no boxes were lost after they were unwrapped. Thanks for the help, Wedge! Now on to the New Year! I just started a new job as a Graphic Artist at a local sign company. This not only pulls on many more  capabilities than I was using before, it also encourages the development and refinement of my artistic eye! That said, I’m still teaching sewing classes at The Sewing Cafe. I’m working to add more teaching venues in 2015, so stay tuned for those updates. The list of classes given has increased and continues to increase in the new year. I’m also working to turn the many classes I teach into something a bit more concrete. By that I mean actually turning the patterns and instructions I develop for each class into something which can be shared with everyone who can’t make it to class in person. My first offering on this avenue is for the Sew Start! Beginner class which is scheduled for Tuesday, January 13 and the project is the Pennant Banner. I hope you can join us, but if not get the pattern and share your results! I’ve got many more in the pipeline; it’s just a matter of using my time wisely enough to do everything! The embroidery arm of my business is doing well and I’m getting a small showroom *squeee!* and a stable place for orders to come in and go out from. Very excited about that!Oh yes, and I’m developing a new line of heraldic embroidery and piecing to make heraldic banners and other items. I’ll be attending both Petrero in May and Great Western in October (both SCA events). Alas, despite all the successes, I let a lot of stuff fall through the cracks. Like posts! *smacks hand* Bad Dravon! To correct this oversight, I’ve made a long list of posts to do as well as some with videos. I’m looking forward to getting cranking on all these! My goal is one post per week. *cracks the whip on myself* Maybe I should make that a Stretch Goal… Now to figure out scheduling… *scratches head* Do I really need to sleep?? Then there’s the stuff that my family has commissioned me to make for them. Again, another item which fell through the cracks. My poor family! For this year: a new 16th century German wardrobe for Koronaburg this spring (eep! in leather!! soooo excited!); embroidered items for next Christmas; several custom symbolic art embroidered quilts. You should see some fun Pipeline Update posts as these get underway. I’m getting intimidated just looking at my To Do List here…. Wish me luck and I’m really looking forward to seeing what YOU do with this new year. Share your successes with me! Happy Sewing! –...

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Amazon and Etsy Storefronts

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Introduction, Random Stuff | Comments Off on Amazon and Etsy Storefronts

Amazon and Etsy Storefronts

Goodness it’s been far too long since my last post! I’ve been working really hard to get the classes filled up at The Sewing Café (see the Calendar page for a full listing), sewing a full set of 1520s German garb for my hubby, getting my daughter all prepped and moved for her FIRST YEAR AT BERKELEY! (*brag*brag*brag*) as well as doing a lot of behind-the-scenes things for DravonWorks. For example, this site has gotten an overall facelift but it still needs some nips and tucks. Mainly, I have to get the non-blog pages fleshed out again. But what I have done is get a couple of my storefronts up and online! First up, there’s the Amazon storefront under the name of DravonWorks. Primarily, it will feature all of my patterns and some of the other stuff which I can order but don’t need 2 dozen of! I also have an Etsy shop which includes not only the patterns, but also some fun other projects I’ve done which need homes. Obviously, only the handmade stuff will be found here. You’ll find many of these at the vendor events I travel to as well! Lastly, the PayPal account is also up and running now, so you’ll start seeing products being added here as well with PayPal handling the shopping cart checkout. You will definitely notice a price difference between listed directly here and on the various storefronts. That’s because I have to pay all sorts of fees to sell elsewhere, so for the budget conscious who are perfectly fine with buying things direct to save $1 or $2, be sure to look here as well. You might get lucky! In other news, I am BEYOND thrilled to report that the first print run of my 16th Century Renaissance Men’s Shirt Pattern has sold out and I’ve had get a second print run done. *squeeeee!* If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets this print run, it’s printed on this amazing poster paper which is super thick and will last you forever. Thank you to everyone who purchased one or referred a friend. I’m ever so grateful. 😀 I’m still working on that twin needle post. I haven’t forgotten! Until we meet again, Happy Sewing! –...

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Machine Woes

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Random Stuff | Comments Off on Machine Woes

Last December, my HV Diamond Deluxe did what could be dubbed “threw a belt”. In cars, this means when you hit the gas nothing much happens but the engine does rev. The same thing happens with a sewing machine – hit the gas, the engine spins but the needle doesn’t go anywhere. The “drive belt” that connects the motor to the needle arm slipped out of place. Took it in for repair then and it’s worked fine since then. This past weekend, it did the same thing again. GRRRR! Since I was on a deadline, I suddenly realized that one machine wasn’t actually enough. We had just gotten in this sweet Pfaff Creative Vision in as a trade-in, and I snagged it! *all happy* I’ve been eying Pfaff for over a year, completely drooling over the dual feed and the stitch creator features. So looking forward to putting them to the test!!! I’ve been embroidering like a mad woman all week, with both machines churning away almost solidly this weekend with plans to keep them busy for many more weeks in the future. Guess what happens? No, not the Diamond. The Vision!! The Vision threw a belt today. WTF??! I must be doing something. Two out of two machines are throwing belts and the repair guy asks me how I did it to the first machine because he doesn’t see it all that often. Ugh! Very frustrated and rather confused. All I do is use them. Nothing particularly hard either. It’s not like I’m embroidering on horse leather or anything. Just plain weave cotton. That’s it. Granted, for 12 hour stretches and maybe I left the Vision on all night… But really. Is that unreasonable use? I don’t think so. Maybe it’s because my sewing studio is in the garage and has no temperature control?? No idea, I’m grasping at straws. Anyone have issues like this with their embroidery machines? Until we meet again, Happy Sewing! –...

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Stage Presence – a real thing!!

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in Random Stuff | Comments Off on Stage Presence – a real thing!!

Today was a very busy day … just not at the sewing machine! I downloaded the video that I took at SewFest. Egad! I have never before been in front of camera, and it shows. Good to know. That is not something that I had thought of, obviously. Tonight, after experimenting with some more stitches, I set up the video camera and just practiced saying hello without getting all weird. By the end of just a couple of minutes, it was much better. The goal for tomorrow is to do some research and examine the stage presence of some of the instructors – sewing and otherwise – that I admire. See what I can learn about how they do it, then practice some more. I also spent time looking at possible venues for teaching. Found some that were very reasonable, and I have a list of others to call tomorrow to see what else I can learn. Also found some of the craft fairs in the area from May through August. I’m thinking of taking a couple of weekends and going to those to see what I can do there. The next major goal is actually revisit my business plan and update that to reflect the new goals and avenues. I’ve learned the hard way how exceedingly important it is to have a plan. My mom’s business had a plan, and we did well. My own first attempt did not, and it was terrible. My second attempt had a plan, but it failed because I didn’t follow it. Now, round three! Every time, I learn more and more. As for sewing, I did have time to get five more stitches explored. One of them, when miniaturized was adorable and would make a great border motif on a collar. Nothing really leapt out at me which was new. Bummer. Maybe tomorrow the creative juices will flow more! Until we meet again, Happy Sewing! –...

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Period Quote On the 1890’s Fit

Posted by on Jun 26, 2006 in LiveJournal, Random Stuff | 1 comment

YAY!!!  I was very happy to run across this quote regarding the extreme fashions of the 1890s, with the uber corsetting. “Except for the most small-waisted, naturally dumb-bell shaped females, the ladies never seemed at ease, or even if they were wearing their own clothes. For their dresses were always made too tight, and the bodices wrinkled laterally from the strain; and their stays showed in a sharp ledge across the middle of their backs. And in spite of whalebone they were apt to bulge below the waist in front; for, poor dears, they were but human after all, and they had to expand somewhere.” Gwen Raverat, Period Piece Why is it that I was happy to find this description?? Because I always thought I was making things incorrectly, due to the lateral wrinkles (tight bodice) or the clearly visible ledge in the middle of the back (corset top)… But no, it’s not just me. It’s the fashion of the days … highly unflattering and in need of modification if such clear indications of poor fit are advertised for all to see, but still. I was getting exceedingly frustrated with wanted to wear my corset under a nice dress, only to see that terrible line at the top of the back and thinking “did I sew it wrong? I never see that in the illustrations.”...

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