Monthly Archives: January 2009

Never Fails

I woke up this morning and it looked like old man winter crapped all over the place! Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like snow. It’s more of the shoveling I dislike, especially when little balls of ice are pelting me in the face and the snow on the shovel weighs more than a sumo wrestler!

I was sitting at my computer reading blogs and sipping coffee wondering how long I should wait for the snow fairy to appear. By 11 I figured it was a no go, so I bundled up, grabbed my shovel and headed out the door. Doesn’t it figure no more than 10 minutes AFTER I was finished I hear the the little twerp motoring down the sidewalk with his blower! Murphy’s Law sucks and I fall victim every time!

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Put That in Your Mouth & Chew On It For a While

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Goin’ Where the Weather Suits My Clothes

Oh Yea baby! In just a few short days I will be in Port St Lucie soaking up the sun and gettin’ sand where it don’t belong! I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately and I think this is just the ticket to get me out of it! I’ve been longing for the endless days of summer, with it’s warm air and fresh produce. Winter tend to put me in a melancholy state of mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in an area that experiences all four seasons, but there is just something about warm weather that does it for me!

All day I’ve been packing and transferring my stockpile of must have CDs onto my iPod. I’ve also been cooking the fresh veggies I have in my fridge into freezable entrees. This trip was kind of last minute and since I went to the food store last week, I have an over abundance of food that will spoil by the time I return…DOH! Not to fear, an enormous batch of curry is here! It is basically the same recipe that is posted here but I added WAY more veggies, omitted the ginger and added mombasa. This shit is HOT!!!I’ve also set my phone up to access the web while I am away since where I will be staying is not internet ready…and I really don’t see myself making a trip to Starbucks everyday for their WiFi. I’m not sure how long I will be gone so it just seemed like the right thing to do. πŸ™‚

I have many reasons to be ultra psyched for this trip, for instance:

1. Abundant Sunshine which leads to sun kissed skin, so I don’t look like a cancer patient (which happens during the winter because I am very fair skinned and tend to look sick if I don’t have makeup on.) Trust me, I’m not making this up folks! I get the “Haven’t you been feeling well?” sympathy looks all the time! Very annoying!!

2. The ocean. I LOVE the beach, the way it sounds, the way it smells. Never mind the annoying sand getting in places where it’s not supposed to, like your mouth, 3 weeks after you are home. Why is that? You’re just minding your own business, vacation has been over for a while and crunch, you bite down onto a grain of sand. Gross. I also love how sand will get you tan faster because of the sun reflecting off it. Calm down I wear sun block. I probably won’t get into the water though, seeing as how last time a freakin’ crab latched onto my ankle and wouldn’t let go! I kid you not! You should have seen me, I was screaming jumping up and down trying to shake it off under water. My step mother was like WTF is wrong with you?? I’m like “CRAB-CRAB-CRAB it’s on ME and I can’t get it OFF!!!!!” That was about 8 years ago and I haven’t gotten in since! If it ain’t chlorinated to the point where it burns my retina and I can see the bottom, forget about it!

3. But my main source of excitement is visiting my la grand-mère whom I have not seen in several years! How I miss her! I still write her via snail mail. During the war when my le grand-père was stationed over seas she played the part of *Rosie the Riveter* and was a welder. Before and after the war my les grands-parents owned a sewing shop which is probably where a lot of my sewing passion stems from.

My only fear about going to Florida is the lack of man candy. It is not spring break yet, so I don’t have college boys to look at and seeing as how the median age is, oh say 85, I’m not really into blue haired marble bags! But I am trying to stay positive and hopeful! πŸ™‚

Another bummer about my trip is I am not driving. Which translates into no detouring to visit with some of my stitchin’ sisters along the way, like Lacy and Libby. 😦

On a completely separate but useful side note. I LOVE wine and have a little tip I want to share with you. When drinking a glass of white just toss a few frozen grapes into your glass as opposed to ice, which melts and makes your wine watery. The grapes help keep it chilled and double as a tasty treat once your glass is finished. πŸ™‚

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A Date with Pooh

Today a celebrity was in my little town. This is not just any famous person either. He is a house hold name all over the world and just so happens to be the center of my niece’s universe. Who is this super star you ask?? None other than Winnie the Pooh.

When I read Pooh was going to be visiting the Manheim Library I knew Cecelia was just going to freak if she didn’t get a chance to see him. Well, OK, not really since she is not even 2 yet, but she does love him a whole lot! When I saw I had to call to make *reservations* my first thought was “oh dear god, this thing is going to be bursting at the seams with rowdy, snot nosed ankle bitters…obviously! My second thought was “great, no man candy to distract me from the screaming munchkins either, it’s gonna be all moms and their little monkeys.” Much to my surprise we had Pooh all to ourselves! It was like a private LA screening just for us…score! Apparently the first time Pooh visited they over advertised and it was like nightmare on Sesame St! This time in a conscience effort not to have a repeat of last time they under advertised, way under advertised! Apparently the local daycare was due to drop in but they didn’t, at least not while we were there. So again, score! And just to clarify one thing, it’s not that I don’t like children because I do, kind of. I went to school to be an elementary teacher, I just don’t like loud children in large groups that I have no control over.

Now it is time for our show and tell portion of this post.

At first Cecelia wasn’t quite sure what to make of the life sized Pooh and she was very stand offish…at least for the first 3 minutes. She showed big Pooh her bear. She would make the rounds by pointing to the Pooh’s on her dress…made by me of course, then her bear and then the big bear!All of a sudden it clicked and she was like a bear to a honey pot! The librarian read a Winnie the Pooh story to her where it was Pooh’s birthday. Then there was an activity where you placed stickers onto the birthday hat. She was more interested in putting them in her hair and on Pooh.
It was time for Pooh to go back to the 100 Acre Woods so we said our goodbyes and thanked him for a wonderful visit!
Our next stop was my favorite local diner for lunch. I had my usual, an egg white veggie omelet, Cecelia had french toast and Krystal had chicken salad. It was Tigger-iffic! OK sorry about that I am still in Pooh mode! I included this pic because you can kind of see the bib where I cross stitched a dragonfly and frog on for her.
After we had full bellys it was back to Aunt DD’s house for some grown up chatter. I gave CC my box of Liquid Blue Dead Bears to play with. She immediately went for Jerry…good girl! πŸ™‚ Of course I had a Winnie the Pooh beanie in there as well. πŸ™‚I also let her play on the piano. She was quite impressive in her musical debut!

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Rants, Rambles and a Wee Bit of Crafting

Shhhh, I am totally hiding right now. I am currently under a blanket with all the lights out barely breathing as to not let my presence be known. OK not really but in my head I am! What has me in this state of panic you ask? Working on my god-for-saken website! Trust me I am not being lazy, I logged in over 8 hours yesterday adding my Eco tote bags and leg warmers. I still have coasters, napkin rings and eventually my domestic goddess aprons which need to be rephotographed, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but I will say it again, I HATE UPDATING MY SITE!!! It wouldn’t be so bad if the program I used would not freeze up every few pages. That is what takes me so long, the constant rebooting of my laptop. I could switch to another program which in theory *should not* give me so many problems but honestly I am comfortable with it. That is where the laziness comes into play. I just don’t feel like teaching myself another program at this moment. So instead I bitch about it.

Since I am putting off working on my site I thought I would come and hang out here for a while. I haven’t been doing a whole lot this year in the way of sewing. Well that is not entirely true but that is how it feels. My muse left and as a result I am in a creative slump. I have some ideas I want to bring to life. They are sketched out, the fabric has been washed, I just can’t get motivated to create them. I have however gotten around to completing a few little projects.

Project #1 Cell Phone Cozy

Truth be told I hate talking on the phone and I think the social obligation to answer it is bullshit. I had a cell phone when I went away to college but after all the “can you hear me now, OK how about now?” I got rid of it. I only signed up for another one because of my job in sales. I was GM for Budget Blinds and we sold custom window treatments and draperies. Don’t let the name fool you I had clients who dropped 10-15 grand on window treatments, they weren’t cheap! I loved that job, basically I got to hangout with women, drink coffee and talk interior design, plus I got to play with some really amazing designer fabrics to boot! Um hello you’ve seen my fabric stash so you can imagine my excitement. Any who I had to go to people’s homes and let’s face it, there are a lot of psychos out there! I could have ended up stuffed in someones freezer or chained to a basement wall. We always had to check in with my boss to let him know how the apt went and to confirm we were not lying in a ditch somewhere. Since my office had Verizon I joined that network as well…free in calling and whatnot. My contract ended last summer which is about the same time my phone started acting crazy. Apparently cell phones have an average life of about 2 years. I finally got around to changing carriers last week, being such a priority and all.

If dial up internet didn’t suck so much I would not have gotten another phone, that is how much I detest them. Seeing as how I am chained to the internet with my business I opted for a cable modem because I didn’t have to sign up for cable TV. Dial up you have to have a land line. I was not about to pay for a cell phone and a land line when I had to get the cell in the first place. My old phone was a flip phone and I could just toss it into my bag. My new phone is a slider with an exposed screen. Seeing as how I drop everything and Jimi LOVES to push anything he can get his paws on onto the floor I needed to make a little protector. I used wool felt with a button closure. I will probably embellish it with a butterfly or some mushrooms but for now it works. My screens’ background is Jimi hanging out in his favorite spot, the sink. I think he likes the way it cradles his fatness!Craft project #2 iPod cozy reconstruction

For the holidays one of my gifts from my brother and Krystal was a super awesome iPod case. It is so me!! It’s brown with flowers and decorative stitching. There is even a little bird on it! The only problem is my iPod doesn’t fit!!! Total suxville! Apparently iPods are way thinner now so the accessories are smaller. Mine holds about 20 thousand songs. So far I have over 5,000 songs and still have tons of Cds to burn onto it. Since I don’t watch TV I only listen to music so it made sense to get the one with 60gb of space…hence making it slightly larger. Not to worry I’m crafty! I ended up doing a bit of surgery on it by slicing open all 4 sides and adding brown wool felt…it is now PERFECT!!!!

This is the top view, I punched a hole in the felt which the original design did not have. Now I can use my ear buds and AUX plug without taking it out of the protective case, thus allowing it to potentially be dropped and pushed onto the floor…ahem Jimi!Bottom viewThe only thing that was a real pain in the butt was I had to hand stitch the felt into place. Since the original case was kind of thick I kept pushing the needle through my finger. This could have been avoided because I have a thimble at my disposal!!!

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Yes, I am a Bag Lady

But in a good way, a green way. I always have fabric bags with me when I go places. Not only is it better for the earth but some shops give you a discount for bringing your own bags! Grocery stores in California actually charge you for NOT bringing your own bags!

One of my goals this year is to make a serious dent in my ridiculous fabric collection. I have so much fabric that both, yes both of my shelving closets are at maximum capacity. Well the one is more like 90% and the other is at 110%. I actually have to remove the entire stack to extract the particular fabric I want. Yes folks, I have a serious fiber addiction, but hey, half the battle is admitting you have a problem…right??

I am able to rationalize having all this fabric because of my business. Eventually IT WILL be used and a lot of it is already designated for certain pieces that are still floating around in my head, they just need to be drafted onto paper and brought to life. In the first closet most of my fabrics are organized by color, hand dyed hemp is on the top shelf and vintage is on the bottom, which is two rows deep. The closet shown on the right is mainly corduroy, fleece, flannel, natural hemp, bamboo and a few ultra fabulous $25+ a yard I got on my last trip to Boston. Most shelves are two rows deep. Almost all yardage has been tagged with the purchase price. This way I don’t have to dig through years of *archived* tax records searching for a particular receipt when calculating a finished garments’ price. Everything is washed and ready to sew. I must admit it is nice to go shopping for fabric without leaving the house! All I have to do is open the closet doors!!

Now that I feel better having justified my obnoxious hoard of fabric to the online community I can get to the point of this post….Green Bags! I decided to start making that dent in my stash by creating fabric bags as another *low priced* item to add to my website and etsy shop. They are simple, no frills, fabric shopping bags. I will eventually be making some heavy duty duck cloth bags but wanted to start with these first. I think they will also be a good seller at the festivals since they are geared towards all consumers, not just those interested in hippie style patchwork and handmade clothing. So far I have cut out and sewn about 15 bags in the past 2 days. I still have a stack of fabric waiting to be made into more. Here is a picture of the ones I made today. Good things come to those who wait…or more like read. If you’ve made it this far you are in for a treat. In a conscience effort to save the planet, spread some love and keep my karma in check, I’ve decided to have a Green Bag give away! All you have to do is leave a comment about what you’re doing to save the planet to be entered into the drawing, which will be chosen through random.org. This means you can’t post as anonymous. It also makes my blog stalkers come out of the closet if they want a chance to win. The lucky reader will be chosen and announced next Sunday. Here is a picture of the bag being offered up for grabs.It measures approximately 17″ across the top, 13″ along the bottom and is 14″ deep. Good Luck! πŸ™‚

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Trading Up

During the month of December I did a lot of trading with my fellow sisters. Some of it was to be gifted and some was for me to keep. I wasn’t able to post about it until now as I did not want to ruin the surprise for those friends that read my blog.

My first trade was with the lovely Libby, owner of Maylees Garden. I’ve been using her hot press soaps for months and I LOVE them! She had mentioned how she loved my peasant tops and one of the hemp Peanut Patchwork skirts listed in my shop. We ended up working out 2 super fabulous trades! The first one was for the skirt which was for her little peanut Maylee…is she not just adorable! Seriously I want to squeeze her to pieces!In trade I got tons of her soaps to keep my sensitive skin super soft and smellin’ fine! I also tried out her natural laundry detergent. I will admit I was a bit skeptical at first due to the lack of bubbles. I was so use to using the chem-loaded commercial stuff that foams all over the place. After one load I was hooked! My clothes were clean, smelled fabulous and they were so soft without having to use any fabric softener! The best part is you only have to use 1-2 tsp per load!!! I can’t wait to try out it’s grime fighting ability on next season’s farm clothes!

Our second trade was for a custom peasant top and all the laundry soap I could ever want!! WOO HOO!! Seriously I have pounds of this stuff in just about every scent she carries! My favorites are OHM, Patchouli, Dragon’s Blood, Sandalwood Ylang and Nag Champa. This is the top I created for her.The main fabric is a Tracy Porter print in a batiked flower pattern. I then accented with white hemp. She loved it and so did her hubby. Hopefully soon I will get a picture of her sporting it to add to my gallery page…hint*hint*wink*wink! πŸ™‚

My next trade was with sweetheart Jamie from Back Porch Boutique. She was interested in some of my lip balms, a room spray and a tea wallet for her sister. I was in love with one of her hemp tree totes so we had a deal! Let me tell you how roomy this sucker is! The first trip out I loaded it up with several water gallon jugs and there was still space left! I snagged this pic from her site showing my super cute tote.Last year I ordered several wool felted cozies made by the talented Lacy of BlissKitty to give as gifts. Basically everyone in my family got one and they were a big hit! Since I loved using mine so much, I figured I had a few friends who would love them as well! Lacy mentioned how she really dug a pair of leg warmers that were listed in my etsy shop, so once again, another trade was in the works! I told her what colors my friends were into and this is what she created
The two shown with bottles made there way out to J and Katelyn, while the other one stayed in Lancaster with my partner in crime Jamie. Lacy told me how she wears her leg warmers almost daily which is awesome because they were my favorite as well!! Maybe I will get a picture for my gallery pages from her as well! πŸ™‚ Last but not least is my sweet sister Justine of Potomac River Goods. I had been drooling over her super fab arm warmers for months. She mentioned she wanted to get some lip balms for gifting and a sea salt body scrub for herself. We both LOVE my Patchouli Lavender scrub and so does our skin…which reminds me I need to make more for moi! πŸ™‚ Here are my ultra awesome arm warmers that she created for me. Girlfriend has me pegged with the shrooms and colors!!

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Fashionably Functional

I made a set of wool felt napkin holders for my mom for the holidays, along with a set of hand painted pressed leaf hemp napkins. She LOVED them as I suspected she would!I recently made several napkin ring sets for my etsy shop and listed them today…napkins are soon to follow. My favorite is the Butterfly with the Mushroom Trio coming in a close second! Despite their simplicity in design they really take a while to make, especially since I hand stitch the appliques. The blanket stitch was created using one of my machines. While making the napkin rings I kept placing them around my wrist thinking this would be a super cute cuff! Not sure if a wool felt cuff would arouse any interest, I filed it in the back of my brain for further investigation at a later time. After listing the napkin rings in one of my myspace photo albums I was instantly messaged by two different people. Both said how they would make awesome wrist cuffs. I guess I was on the right track after all. I love a dual functioning product! πŸ™‚

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Procrastination in Purple

I’ve been working on a blanket for Jason since we lived together in Indiana. This project has been going on, oh about 5 years now, but who’s counting?!? Thankfully he doesn’t mind that it is taking so long. “Art takes time” were his exact words and being an artist himself he gets it.

I am not a big New Years Resolution kind of gal. The way I see it if there is something you want to change about yourself you don’t wait for some holiday to roll around, you just start doing it. Plain and simple. Now with that being said I am about to somewhat contradict myself. I’ve decided to finish this god forsaken blanket This Year! It is more of a goal that a resolution anyway.

So why is this project taking me so long you ask? Well my problem is:

A. I crochet wicked slow! Each granny square (6 rows) takes me about 45 minutes, but in my defense I am usually watching a movie. My friend Jen, who taught me to crochet, can crank one out in about 20 minutes and that is even without watching what she is doing! She is awesome!

B. I can only crochet when it is cold. There is just something about touching yarn when it is hot outside that bugs me! It’s like it subconsciously raises my body temp or something.

C. I have overwhelming guilt if I am not using my time to create something I will sell.

I am almost half way done. Another reason it’s taking so long is every time I would show it to Jas he would ask me to make it bigger. Three times he did this to me! It started out 10×10 then was 12×12 and I put my foot down at 14×14…that’s 196 squares and 8,820 minutes or 147 hours!!!
My original plan was to make every square unique. Um yea, that idea went right out the window after I realized I would only have 4 solid squares. I was also spending way too much time staring at squares to see what I had already created. Thus far I believe they are all different but eventually I am sure they will repeat.

With that being said it’s time to pop in a movie and start crocheting!

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Snug As A Bug…

…in a Pixy Patch Hug! From time to time I get requests, mainly from my cousin, to make one of my fleece baby hugs. I made the first one a few years ago as a baby shower gift for my niece’s mama and it was a huge hit. I was so excited to hear Cecelia was brought home from the hospital wrapped up in my fleecy hug! I tried to download the pictures but I couldn’t get them off the CD…stupid Kodak Picture CD!!

To be honest I don’t really enjoy making them which is why they are not offered on my website. Trying to wrap bias tape around a corner while stitching several layers of thick fleece together can really try my patients. Here are the pictures of 2 fleece hugs I recently made for my cousin who is giving them as gifts to friends, both with little girls.
How they work is you slip the baby in the bottom pocket and then wrap the sides around the baby. Here is my friend’s little girl, Naomi Jain, modeling her baby hug made in a cute kitty print.

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