Thursday, December 1

The NEW sliced bread!!!

I have discovered "the best thing since sliced bread" for those of us that have a lot on our plate, may be forgetting stuff because we have so much on our plate or because we just want to be more organized.

It is called  (https://www.evernote.com/).  IT'S FREE! Of course there is a paid version that gives you more options but I find that their prices do not offend me ($5/month or $45/yr), especially now that I've been using for a few days.  But seriously, I don't mind the little ads that I see, I have even clicked on a few because they were actually pertinent to me!  I've decided to see how much I would use it before paying and I will more than likely pay for the premium once my financial life is back in order (I was laid off back in June 2011).  needless to say, I am using it - a lot!

Evernote  allows you to put all your to do lists, notes to yourself in one place and you can share notebooks with others if you choose, it will grabs stuff from email, web pages, almost anything you can highlight were you have it installed and of course, you can create notes and notebooks in the app. It doesn't have pop up or email reminders, but there are some workarounds, but I can live with that and I am finding myself just putting in reminders to check Evernote (I have a appointment notebook that I refer to in my Google Calendar reminder they also mention using gadgets that haven't tried, yet).

I don't know about you but, I have lots of emails at home and at work (before I was laid off) that I saved as "notes" just because I wanted to hang on the part of the info.  Well I started going through those and (found out that I didn't need to hang on to most of it but,) started adding them to Evernote, the whole email with attachments. Now my email is finally clean! This is great!

Oh, I can't believe I forgot to mention a very awesome feature...you can send emails to add notes and if you decide to hook in to you twitter account you can tweet yourself a note.  That is so cool.  You can add pictures, web addresses, just about anything! You can even opt to search it when searching with Google if you install/use the Chrome extension.

I am sure I am forgetting other stuff but you have to try it out!

Well, I just wanted folks to know (even though no one is really reading my blog, yet, but when you do...)

Thursday, November 24

I hate following directions!

I like to sew, knit and crochet.  i just like to create things!

By trade I am a computer IT support person. I am one of those folks that just does whatever needs to be done and if I don't know it, I Google it and figure it out. Before being laid off back at the end of June 2011 I was a Helpdesk manager but I really enjoyed doing the work, better yet: making it work!  You know, like Tim Gunn (Project Runway) always tells the designers? That's kind of hard to demonstrate on a résumé, by the way.     Even in that job I loved coming up with the answer, especially when others couldn't.  Sometimes the answer was a work around due to time constraints.  But whatever i was doing, I just wasn't going to let those computers beat me and I will make it work!

Now that I am back into sewing and able to create all day, I find myself doing exactly that.  I read the instructions (a little bit) because let's face it, sometimes reading ahead actually does make things easier. But by the time I am finish with a garment I have changed it in some way to make it work for me.  I find that creative people see the world a little different than most, in parts.  What I mean is when I look at a completed garment, I start to look for the seams and mentally take it apart.  I do that with computers and once I started working on bigger projects in my house, I see those things the same way.  It doesn't have to be things that I have created, just things that I am familiar with and have seen the parts, even a little bit.  I have found that the more I do it the more it happens and the easier it is to see in my mind.  This also allows me to see things in parts that I may not have worked on before.  I have also found that being able to do that allows me to make things work even when they appear to have gone awry.  I can visualize the parts and manipulate them in my head so then I can make what may have been a mistake work out.  And then I found that more times than not, I like the new garment that was unexpected.

The point I am trying to make is this;  no one but you knows what your intentions were when you started, they don't know that the instructions said go right and you went left so if there is a mistake, put down the project and think about what comes next and how to make it work for you.  

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 29

Measuring for garments/apparel...not an exact science

Just so you know, I learned the fundamentals of sewing back in the 8th grade.  For those of you doing the math that was sometime in the 80's.  Any-who, I found that I liked sewing, well creating, but I just didn't have the patience to do it right.  Well, I am sure you know what the lead to...collecting fabric for many years!  

So I didn't even think about it after class was over and I made my first knit jumpsuit.  I don't remember the grade I got but I was surprised by it.  Then I got out of college and wasn't playing sports like used to while in school.  So now I am kind of bored.  Then I remember that I enjoyed sewing so I went to the local store and the fire was lit, again. And I began collecting fabric and patterns, sewing every once in a while.

As I got older, I started to better understand how my brain works and how I can teach myself things, especially as the internet grew.  On another note, I learned how to knit and crochet via many sites on line...so now I collect yarn and knit and crochet patterns!!  

All that said, in recent years I realized, no, finally excepted that if I wanted the result intended, I NEEDED to take my time and do it right.  I also realized that my fashion design education needed a great deal more information.  So after work, sometimes during, I would research fashion design, pattern making programs, anything.  I realized that to make the garment after you have this wonderful idea or pattern for it, I have to have a good set of measurements.  

So, there I am searching for the exact instructions on what measurements to take, how to take measurements and so-on.  There are so many different ideas and measurements to take or not, I ended up so confused. Then after reading something in Don McCunn's Yahoo group (his blog) I am now realizing that this is NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE.  The relief I felt because I thought I was missing something (you're thinking "yeah, a teacher!"...me too). So I read more from different pages and did as I normally do when trying to teach myself.  I let the info marinate and I would process some, try a few of my own techniques out (because I am a visual learner) and worked out for me.  So now I am not as frustrated as I used to be when  I have to make changes to patterns or create patterns (mostly basic for now) and they fit better.  I understand better why the patterns would still feel funny when I tried them on, I was relying on the measurements alone.  I know now that I must fit my slopers in muslin if I really want a good fit.  I now understand WHY the professionals would say to use muslin.  See, I am hard headed and couldn't just take their word no matter how many times I might have seen it on a number of pages.  Until Mr. McCunn actually say that he's realized he should rely on measurements alone (paraphrasing) in his Yahoo group, I figured "i Have all of these measurements--they should work fine."
NOT!

Also, Mr. McCunn has a great book "How to make sewing patterns"  This book helped me understand pattern making which in turn help me how to better make pattern changes.  Check it out!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 18

Take care

So the credit cards have been doing it for a while and now a car insurance company is doing it...so why can't health insurance companies do it?  If I am fairly healthy and have only had to get the basic check ups for the past year or two, why can't they send me a cash back bonus or reduce my monthly premiums?  I only think it's fair.  If I am sick then I just pay what I normally pay.  If not, then we should be rewarded for taking care of ourselves and getting preventive maintenance work done. Right?  I can't be the only one that thinks this.

Tuesday, October 11

We have to focus on focusing

So, I was talking to my 17 yr old son tonight and he brings up the things that bombed at McDonald's.  I asked "How on earth did you get to that?"  
He says, with a shrug, "Well, you know, when you're surfing the internet - one thing leads to another."


So we then talk about how easy it is to get distracted from the one thing you were looking for and not because your search engine lead you astray but because there are so many things to know and so many links to those things.  I used to think that clicking a link with the scroll wheel on a mouse to get a new tab to open was the best thing ever! Now, it's like a curse and I can't help but click all these links and next thing you know I have so many tabs open and they are so small that I can't even see the icons much less the text on the tab.  Then it takes me an hour, usually more, to figure out and get back to the original thought.


Don't get me wrong I love having so much info at the tip of my fingers or in the palm of my hand (smart phones) but I am finding that I have to actively focus on focusing on the original task.  Hence, starting and stooping several Blogs before this one.  


So I'm putting into practice to finish my thoughts first then going back through to click on extra links.  It has also helped me around the house, to finish a task before starting new one.  It's slow going on the internet part but I am getting some of those long standing chores done.


'Til next time!