I wanted to blog earlier, but I’ve worked a lot in the backyard the past days. We called some guys to give us price to build a nice veggie garden and make a simple patio and they simply charged us $6k. Yep, you read it right! Some people work 40+ hours per week and make much less than that  a month. Go figure. And when I see “mamarazzis” charging $500 or less for 12+ hours of work giving all the high resolution photo files to their clients I feel sad. Really!

We decided to do it ourselves, because we don’t feel like paying $6k for a veggie garden! It sounds moronic. It’s hard work though. My muscles are sore and my back hurts! We ordered some rocks, no creosote railroad wood ties and top soil. We need mulch and a compost bin.

Today I just wanted to stop by and talk about my plans for this sporadic online life of mine. I have a Photography portfolio that I put on hold to make modifications as soon as I can. I don’t know if I said it here, but I went through all the paperwork to get a State license to open for business. I was almost ready to launch when I got very angry at myself and cancelled everything! Yes, I am crazy like this! I don’t want to photograph families and babies. I enjoy Photography so much, but popular portraiture is not what I want to do and honestly I don’t feel like having a Photography business at all. I enjoy shooting photos as a hobby at the moment and I don’t even do a lot. Sometimes I question my “passion”. Is that really a passion?

I’d probably enjoy working with creatives, photographing studios, workspaces, documenting their stories,  but oh..my reality seems so distant from this glamorous life. I know it sounds so negative. It probably is. I like working with my hands as well, that’s why I sew. I find it soothing and relaxing. I enjoy being alone in my studio, I wish for less home chores and more creative life! Ha!

So, this blog will remain as is and I hope it will get better. I hope to share from the heart and perhaps, help others too. The Photography portfolio will change a bit. I am not sure what I will do with it yet, but I’d probably have a shop for occasional print sales.

I have a website called Pixie Blossoms and I am about to end it. That site started in 2006 as a craft blog and by 2010 I was just creating cute photos that sold pretty well when an UK magazine featured some of them. I sold more than 600 prints in 4 years. Nothing last forever and I am quite tired of selling carnival photos. I don’t feel like creating cute pastel things for kids anymore, since pastels are not my top favorite. It’s not my real style, however I could do it for the money. I think one of my strengths is that play well with colors. And  seems that people really enjoy cute pastels colors {do not get me wrong, I think it’s pretty too, just not very me!} and how that site keeps attracting visitors even if I don’t blog for months!

I like the little money I make from my Etsy shop { and it’s drying out btw }, but I am not really motivated to do more with Pixie Blossoms. I can’t have both. It’s confusing and distracting. I understood what my style and tastes are using Pinterest! I don’t usually praise social media, but Pinterest is cool and it’s my favorite as I am a very visual person. It works as inspiration and bookmark. I find tons of good ideas and craft/sewing/garden tutorials as well. I don’t use it for business. It’s personal and only pin what I really like.

I don’t Facebook, I mean… I do very little, and I only add people I know and It’s just a way to keep in touch with my brazilian friends and family. I don’t waste my time there. I don’t use Google+ anymore. It’s been erased for good as there are no much interactions anyways. It’s just a bunch of noise. The problem with social media is that all is good and exciting in their beginnings and as soon as discovered by “business” and “spammers” it becomes cold, impersonal and extremely boring. Do I ever click on Facebook ads? Nope. Do you?

What is Twitter?

Oh Instagram, I like it less than Pinterest. See, social media must benefit me somehow and it must benefit others and that’s when they talk about “having good content”. I don’t visit blogs as much as I visit Pinterest these days. Why? Well, because it’s nice to have all in just one place and because I am a bit lazy or even tired of trying to connect with people who could careless or simply don’t relate to me either. It’s that old story…if you are not in my “niche” I am not talking to you! Isn’t it? Nobody talks about it, but we people act like that. That’s how social life goes, right? Sometimes we are not interested in certain things. For example: I don’t have babies anymore, I don’t have toddlers and I don’t plan more kids, and if your blog is mostly about that…well, I might find it nice, but my life is different now and I am not interested in diapers, how your pregnancy goes and baby furniture. I guess it depends how people share these things. Sorry, it sounds selfish, but man…I don’t have time for all. I struggle to find time to sew…

All these years blogging on and off I learned a few things: people like inspiration, unique content and tutorials. This is my case. Of course, there are all types of blogs out there. People want information, benefits.

I find it difficult to communicate with bloggers these days. I find it difficult to relate to them as well. My blog is not a big deal either…Oh well, whatever. I just feel nostalgic about the good old blogging days. I remember when we all were “real people” and we all said “hello”. Lately, we don’t see all bloggers linking each other anymore, ok some will do. Links have been replaced by ads {not against it, though} or simply disappeared. Sometimes we just don’t want to relate to a particular blog and better go “anonymously, right? Oooh…secrets of blogland or It’s just how we roll. I just decided to keep my favorite links on my Feedly account which is very convenient.

Well,these days I better do not worry. I am turning 41 years old tomorrow and I just do not have time and energy for small issues. It’s good to be genuine. It’s good to be here.

Too much blab, blab, blab today…I shall come back later!

One day I decided that I needed an industrial sewing machine. Why? Well, because I enjoy making bags! Besides Photography, sewing bags are my thing. So, today I want to share my little story as a “seamstress” or a maker of handbags. Am I even considered a designer if I draw my own patterns? I don’t care much about that, I just like creating and constructing with my own hands and using machines.

I gave myself a Japanese Juki DNU 1541-S for 2011 Christmas. Yep, my husband did not argue with me about it, since I used all my savings from my Etsy shop. This baby is quite expensive. A workhorse! I bought it online and it arrived with the table and an awful clutch motor that blew off in 2 months! I was scared and devastated when I saw the black smoke all over the room! Have you watched “Lost”? Exactly the same black smoke! I have no idea why it happened, but soon I found out that a servo motor is much better and quiet. Probably safer!  So ladies, if you ever consider a machine like this, request an adjustable-speed servo motor. You pay a little bit more for it, but they consume much less energy.;)

My husband put it together for me. Yeah, he’s a handyman! Not a big deal though, since the machine comes mostly ready to use. The manual is a bit confusing, but we were just fine. This Juki is super heavy and the table that came with it is bending! I am a little concerned about that…

As you can probably tell, I am no expert regarding industrial sewing machines. I just own it and I love it.  My intention here is just to share the little I know. I bought it because I wanted to make and sell leather/canvas handbags so I needed a walking foot sewing machine. I fell in love with leather! I was sewing bags out of textiles, and my domestic Janome was not handling thick materials very well. I wanted my bags looking professional and strong. I was able to sell enough handbags to pay for this machine. Since I started working with it, I’ve been on and off sewing. If you ever read this blog, you will notice that I have a child who has learning disabilities and our journey is full of bumps. I closed my shop last year and quit blogging for several months to help my kid with online schooling. We’re still struggling with school issues and that can drain me just way too much. I am trying to come back slowly and steady.

juki industial sewing machine

When we put this machine together I was sure I could use it right away. I’ve mastered my Janome pretty well so this shouldn’t be a hassle, right? So wrong! There are little secrets that the manual doesn’t explain to you. First off, It was set up way too fast for me. I can’t sew too fast. I had to call the dealer and they sent me a shorter belt for the motor and I handled that to my husband who always come to my rescue!

I was happily sewing when it became out of balance and I was pulling my hair off. We took the machine to a local sewing center. Gosh, it was just a matter of pushing a small button to fix it! That was so dumb! Finally, I found a girl in town who has a little repair shop (outdoor gear) and works with industrial machines and I hired her to teach me. The guys at the repair center did not want to share these secrets with me, of course. There are no schools around here and this is something I’d like to talk about too, maybe another day: Technical schools or trade schools, I am not sure how these schools are called here. In Brazil we have schools like SENAC and SENAI where I learned Photography. I don’t have a degree in Photography, I did not have to go through Math and Biology classes to learn Photography, do you know what I mean? Where are these schools? Where can you get skilled without going to an expensive college or university? I am talking about manufacturing. I know, this is USA and long ago they sent manufacturing to Asia, therefore there is no demand…but I wonder where can we learn certain skills? I am learning in a very slow and difficult way. I “Google” and I ask here and there. Sometimes I feel lost.

This blog has the purpose of documenting things I enjoy and my progress as a maker, an artist of sorts. It’s suppose to be whatever I want it to be. Bits of life,work and not so serious stuff. A few visitors stop by and I have no idea what brings them here. I don’t know if they sew, if they like Photography and what are their interests. Feel free to leave a message to me and ask anything related to this post.

Btw, I found this video and this one about industrial sewing machines and sewing with leather that are good help for anyone interested.


  • I found your post via Pinterest. You have a lovely blog. I just gave myself a used juki Lu-562 for my birthday 4 days ago. I’ve been sewing with a home decor janome for a year and taking sewing classes at a sew and vac shop. I have a great teacher but they only teach on the machines they sell. I have been searching for help online and asking around and having a hard time finding help. Have you found any other online tutorials? I’ve been debating adding my finds and experience if the industrial sewing machine on a blog as well because it’s been difficult to find tutorials.ReplyCancel

    • Zilá

      Hi Susie, Thanks for stopping by! I find a bunch of videos on You Tube, but most of them are just “show and tell” to promote their shops. I don’t find much on this particular machine. This Juki I have, for example, has attachments and accessories that I am not sure how to use. One thing I found out about mine is that the needle has an indentation and that should be positioned to the right side. I am thinking about sharing what I’ve learned so far.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    Hi there! I just found your post when googling for Juki 1541, and found it very helpful. I just ordered one :-) I make canvas things for my boat (sail cover, dodger, bimini). When I was looking for a heavier machine I was googling around, looked at a consew-111 for a while, but the Juki 1541 kept coming up. Your post helped clinch my decision. When I get it I might have some more questions, hope to share/learn with you :-) ReplyCancel

    • Zilá

      Hi Melissa! I am happy to read your message. This machine will handle the stuff you sew for sure. Get the 1541-S, because when it goes off balance (as it happens often) you just push the button and turn the wheel, then all it’s in place again! I will share some more things about it soon. Thank you!ReplyCancel

      • Melissa Abato

        Yes, I ordered the -S version, seemed worth it for the small difference in price.ReplyCancel

        • Zilá

          Let me know when you receive it and what you think? ;) ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    Hi! I found you via Pinterest! I just purchased this machine three days ago and have yet to sew a thing. I believe it is unbalnaced or the timing is off because the needle is not catching the bobbin thread. Can you help?ReplyCancel

    • Zilá

      Well, if you bought the 1541-S there is a small metal button on the table, right under the arm (it’s a bit smaller than a penny). Push that in, with one of the tools you have or a pen. As you push it in, turn the wheel to the back. It should click. If that doesn’t work, it could be the bobbin. When you put the bobbin in place it has to click. You must push it strong and it has to click. You will listen to it. See also “troubleshooting” on your manual. It’s not well explained, but there are a few topics that may help you too. Do not forget that the indent of your needle must be positioned to the right side, always. I hope this helps you!ReplyCancel

This week I am giving myself refreshing morning walks. It’s a great way to think, to zone out and enjoy nature. It definitely helps me to feel physically and mentally better. I only hear the wind and the birds. Oh yes, I heard chickens too! Yep, looks like some people have chickens in our neighborhood and that’s cool. We wanted chickens too but, our backyard is small, we have 3 cats and I know I will be the one feeding, cleaning, giving them names, etc… I do like the idea of having 2 chickens, but yeah, I just feel overwhelmed with these home chores that I don’t need more things to worry about. However, I’d like to enlarge our veggie garden this year. Last Summer I made several delicious salads harvesting from our own garden. We had lots of lettuce, arugula and cabbage. It’s fun. Our planting season is really short (from June to early September), but it’s always a bliss! Btw, I found this series about edible garden via Roller Mill Farms.

The local nursery sent me $25! It was a great excuse to visit it and get some perennials. The employees already know me…oh small cities! Target manager also greets me and asks how my Easter went. And the security boy…and the cashiers. It’s funny. Sometimes I love small cities!

Last night I sanded my table. I painted white years ago, then I painted green. I think white looks better, but I like it rustic. Much better now!

The fabric…can I ever stop buying fabric? One reason I still have Pixie Blossoms open is that I can use the money to splurge on fabrics! Some of them from Purl Soho, others from this Etsy shop.

 How is your Spring so far?

  • Hi Zila, have been out of the loop for a while but thought I’d pop by and say hello again. I love morning walks, it really helps to get your mind straight. I love your photos too. We used to have chooks but a fox took the last 2 about a year ago now. We do miss the eggs and as I don’t have a compost bin I wonder what to do with the food scraps. May have to get some more soon! I wish my desk was as pretty as yours. Bye for now JaneReplyCancel

    • Zilá

      Hi Jane! Thanks for stopping by! I had chickens when I was a kid…they were great pets as well. I loved them. Maybe one day we’ll have a few.ReplyCancel

I had to stay away to take care of my eldest son’s issues at school. Seriously, some adults who are suppose to be role models behave just like kids…actually some kids have better attitudes. Go figure! Honestly, I have no energy to deal with irresponsible staff lies and little games. You would think that bully comes from kids only…ha, so wrong! You would think that a charter school would be better for a kid with learning disabilities like my son…well, think twice, do your homework and do not always believe the hype.

Charter schools may work well for a lot of families and there are probably great ones, but we are very disappointed at my son’s school. And I am not saying public schools are the best either. Honestly, if I had all that money, I’d hire competent tutors to homeschool my boys. I am sick and tired of all the bullshit we’ve experienced these past years!

I am glad this school year is ending soon and I can’t wait for Summer and time to relax, we are planning the so wanted road trip to Oregon via Yosemite, San Francisco and Pacific Coast Highway. Our visit to Brazil has to wait, because my country became way too expensive for us!

I am loving that it’s Spring already and trees are blooming beautifully right now. We went to Sedona last weekend to commemorate our 12th wedding anniversary. A blissful day!

We visit Sedona just too often. I love the vibe of that city.