Sunday, December 30, 2007

Post_Christmas blogging

We had the nicest Christmas with Melissa, and we were so glad to have her here as right before she came in Mom had a mini stroke. Melissa was really worried about her, so it was good she could stay over there and re-assure herself that her grandma would be ok. We really had a good time, we got to visit a lot; Christmas Eve was at Chris and Richards and Christmas dinner was here. We also spent the night downtown and went to Lincoln Park Zoo, and then to a bar. It was funny to see all 3 kids in a bar, but Sio turned 21 this past September. I have to say that I was really sad to see Melissa leave this morning, more than I usually am. But I am going to visit her in May, she gets her Masters and I am going to see her graduate. John said he was going too, but we'll have to see. He says things and then we don't do them, so if he can't I'll just go alone. In the meantime I am going to work full time on my Etsy store; that's my New Years resolution, although it's a bit premature. I created a new store and am having business cards printed up. I need to discipline myself now and spend 30 hours minimum a week working on projects to sell.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Sewing and Wool Quilts

I haven't had much time lately, I'm trying to finish up the Christmas gift sewing. John had the weekend off, too, so we did some of our Christmas shopping over the weekend. I think I'm almost done, I only need to buy one more thing. I have one present to finish and 2 more to make and then something Siobhan asked me to finish up for her because she isn't good at the sewing part of her gift. I hope to have everything done by the end of the week. Which will give me time to do what I saw on Simply Quilts this morning and I am very excited about. There was a lady on who was dyeing and fulling wool, and then making crazy quilt like pieces out of the wool. Of course any dyeing is fun, I could spend days on end dyeing and over dyeing. Then she butts pieces up to each other and adds a strip of fusible interfacing to hold them together. Then she flips the pieces over and uses her machine on a zigzig or other decorative stitch and joins them. She uses different threads for the joining, it can be invisible, the same color or a contrast. Then when she has the piece the size she wants she adds embellishments if she thinks it needs it. It was really cool, and I am filing it away as another one of those things to try. There is a quilt show in Feb and I could do a crazy pillow top. I could use the Dylon dyes, just set them with heat instead of warm water. They still work, they just aren't as brilliant as the Cushings. We have tons of things that would make nice embellishments. I think a whole quilt made this way would be too heavy, plus it couldn't be quilted anyway. But a pillow or table runner would be very nice. If it were a runner it could be backed with a dyed to match cotton flannel, or even a plain cotton.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hammer of the Gods

There are bits and pieces of the Zep concert from London on You Tube, and they are still the Gods of Rock. Jason Bonham fills in on drums for his dad just perfectly, Robert Plant still sounds as good as he always did and Page can still play those great guitar riffs. The sheer power still drives me to my knees in worship. Go, watch and be humbled before the Gods.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Recycled Wool Scarf

Sio and I were talking about making recycled clothing, and I came up with this scarf. The back is hemp fleece which I got in a grab bag from Hemp Traders, the patchwork is recycled wool from my rug making stash and a felted wool sweater. This may very well end up as gift for someone although I don't know who yet. I have enough fleece to make 2 or 3 more more scarves. I though about using polyester fleece from work, but the problem is polyester. I know it's recycled pop bottles but the problem is still what happens to it after it's out of style, or gets a rip or whatever. It will still end up in the huge mountain of plastic that will never decompose and so will be here long after we are gone. I almost always use natural stuff anyway, but when it comes to recycling maybe it's a trade off. I would be saving some man made thing from the junk heap for awhile longer and if someone buys it and wears it then I've saved the manufacturing of a new thing Anyway, I do think this is cute and it will be very warm.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunny Bunny

I down loaded the pictures from Thanksgiving and there were these of Sio's bunny whose name is Sunny. She was adopted from a shelter and is neutered and litter trained. She is in her carrying box before Sio took her out; Siobhan brought her over to visit grandma when we were both having dinner over there. She is the cutest bunny I've ever seen.

Simply Quilts Inspiration and Haunted Apt

Carla and Siobhan make fun of me because I get up at 6:45 am to make sure I don't miss Simply Quilts on HGTV. I don't care, I am taping all the shows because there's a lot of good tips, even if I don't always like the projects. This mornings show though was an inspiration and something I want to try in the very near future. The person who was the guest took a lot of different fabrics (she said you could use as few as 14 but as many as you want; one of the examples had over 70) and cut them into 1 1/2" strips and then sewed the strips back into a large piece of fabric. She kept color families together so the there were waves of color across the fabric; blues, yellows and purples in the example she was making. She then made a large ( I think it was 9", but I'd have to back and check) set of templates for a Drunkards Path. She cut the L-shaped pieces out of both the pieced and non-pieced fabrics, and did the same with the circle pieces. It all went back together looking very very cool. She said she usually starts with a focus fabric and then pulls in all the different fabrics that go with it. One piece was a Christmas wall hanging, and the focus was a poinsettia print. She also has cut out a poinsettia here and there and then appliqued them randomly back on the quilt top. I am really excited about this because she used a ton of batiks and mottled fabrics, so the possibility of using hand dyed fabrics for part of the piece is intriguing to me. I have a show tomorrow and I have some things to do for it but if I have some time later today I am going to pull out the dyes and play around with them. I could make a small piece, like a cushion cover for an experiment.

I made this sweet little pouch which I listed in my Etsy store but I hope it doesn't sell; I love the fabric so much and I only had a small piece of it, less than a 1/4 yd. I inherited it from a friend who had to downsize her stash dramatically a couple of years ago and I got a lot of her fabric. I also made a little wristlet purse too. I like it too, but the little pouch is so much cuter. I have no idea what I would use it for, which is why I listed it right away, but if I think of something I will unlist it.
John and I went to Chris and Richards to watch football last night, and a buddy of Chris' from work was there. Somehow or other we started talking about the apt. and Chris insists both the apt. and the bar are haunted. His buddy, who has lived in Lombard his whole life says it is, too. Chris said things get moved around quite a bit and even with his own sleepwalking habits (he has been walking in his sleep for years and has been known to do a fair amount of moving of objects himself), there are things that go missing or are moved even when there is no way he could have done it. Plus he doesn't sleepwalk in Punkys Bar, when he goes down there he's always awake. He said you can feel the ghost sometimes. I know Carla said she thought the place has a ghost. The building is pretty old; I would say that it was built in the early 1900's or late 1800's. I noticed a historical plaque at the other end but I couldn't see the date in the dark as we drove past. I'm going to look this weekend if we go over there. According to Chris' buddy, the upstairs apt was a tattoo parlor in the 60's and maybe early 70's. The bar has been a bar for 40 or 50 years, although it wasn't always called Punkys. Rich had said he thought the whole place was some sort of boarding house at one point, but Chris' friend said he heard it was a half-way house. Anyway, my curiosity is up now and I want to find out as much about the building as I can. it's possible that one end is newer than the other, both Punkys and the cleaners next door is faced with a different stone than the other end of the block, although the apt. is brick like the other end, so maybe the different stone is just a facing put on over the brick. Chris said the cellar is made with those old stone blocks they used to use, and the woodwork in the apt certainly seems to be a style from the late 1800's or possibly a little later. Pat at work belongs to the Lombard historical Society and I'm going to see if she can help me dig up some info.

I sold a Christmas stocking on Etsy the day before yesterday, it was my first sale in over a week.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Patchwork Belt

I saw a belt kind of like this and thought I could make one. It actually was really easy, and took less than an hour. I used 4 different prints, all from the same fabric collection, and then a dark brown on the back. It fastens with the end threaded thru 2 D rings. I could have used an interfacing with a bit more body, and I will on the next one. These could make some really nice presents, or I could make half a dozen for the last craft show.

I can't find the embroidered stocking anywhere. I was almost done with the embroidery and it just disappeared. I had it at work, but I'm sure I brought it home. I really want to find it and finish it. It's been gone since this past Tuesday.

We had a really nice Thanksgiving over at Richard and Chris' house. Siobhan was really interested in learning how to make Thanksgiving like mom does, especially the stuffing. It really is the greatest stuffing ever. The guys watched football, and the Star Wars; Irene had never seen it so she watched it too, and we stayed til it was over.

I finally found some shoes today at Shoe Carnival. They always have buy 1 pair get the second for half off, so I got gym shoes and some cute strappy dress shoes that are kind of on wedges. They had a pair of loafers I liked, plus some really nice heels that were pretty high but not skinny; I might go back for those next week.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Table Runner

I stopped work on the stockings to make this table runner for my mom. She wanted one for her coffee table, and this one should be ok. It measures 45" x 16", and is made with strips of leftover Christmas fabrics from other projects. I did a quilt as you go so it went really fast. If she doesn't like it then maybe it will do for the mantle here.

I'm almost done with the partridge embroidery, I wanted to get it finished over the weekend but I worked on Saturday and then we had errands yesterday, plus John and I went out for a bit. We hadn't been to a casino in at least 6 months, probably more like 8 so we went and played video poker and had a lot of fun. We played 1 coin at a time and made the money last for awhile. Anyway, I'll finish the embroidery today and maybe make the stocking too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Partridge in a Pear Tree

I bought the Aunt Martha's Holiday Transfers at work yesterday, and decided to do an embroidered stocking with this motif. I am using some of the vintage linen I got from Joanie to embroider it on. I took the picture with my two possible fabric choices for the cuff, but the green isn't showing up too well. It's the same as the red. I might do some beading on the cuff, too. I'll probably do the back of the stocking either in the cuff fabric or maybe just muslin. I'm going to line it in muslin too.

Joan was in China and she bought back a silkworn cocoon (dead, of course), and some unspun silk for us. Melissa called last night and I told her about it; I am waiting til she gets in to try and spin it. I have a lightweight drop spindle that she said would be good.

I think I am going to start baking this weekend while the guys are watching football. I'll make them chili or something easy for dinner. Sio wants cranberry bars so I might make those, and then maybe something that will freeze well.

It's pretty cold today and I confess I'm listening to some Christmas music even though it's really still a bit early. It just goes well with the stocking.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vintage Stocking

I have been holding onto this piece of vintage fabric for about 6 years waiting for the right Christmas project to hit me over the head. Well here it is, a stocking that I trimmed with vintage lace. And I still have enough fabric to make another stocking and at least 1 pillow!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Where Have All the Prophets Gone?

Thanks to Jimmy for reminding me about the Bob Dylan song "Masters of War". It's a truly great song that resonates now as much as it did in 1963 when it was written. Pearl Jam has done a great cover, which Jimmy also brought to my attention: Anyway, as I said in my post yesterday we had some really good discussion over coffee and it was nice to have Siobhan there to add a little light from a younger generation. I know what she thinks about a lot of these issues because we've discussed it, but there seems to be a dichotomy between what she feels and what she can do about it. I think she sincerely cares about what's going on in the world around her; she sees the suffering and the hopelessness that is a real part of a lot of peoples lives, but I think she believes that she can't do anything about it. I know while she doesn't have a lot of sympathy for US soldiers that are fighting and dying in Iraq (she thinks they should have known better than to join the Army or whatever, a point I disagree with , but we'll leave that for some other time), she definitely feels for the innocent Iraqi's who never wanted us there in the first place and are now part of the death toll because of it. And not just the war, she has really strong feelings that to be able to withstand the coming energy crisis, as well as a lot of the other problems that will be her lot in her lifetime; in spite of the pity she might feel for others; she has to make sure that she and those she cares about make it, and if that means other people die well so be it. She knows that recycling and switching light bulbs and driving hybrids is not enough to save life as we know it. Anyway, it's not so much about the common good as a survival instinct is what I'm hearing. Which leads me back to the original point of "Masters of War". I have always wondered why there doesn't seem to be a poet who speaks to and for this generation on the issues that matter to them. The last band that I can think of besides Pearl Jam who brought attention to and tried to get people to act on issues was U2. There doesn't seem to be a political voice for this generation. I can't believe that they are so selfish that they just don't care enough, although I have to say that Siobhan believes that's the reason. Do all of them see their futures as a fight for survival in the mass of problems that preceding generations have left them, and that's all that matters? Is it so hopeless that there aren't even any prophets for this generation? Or are they being lulled into silence by other things before they gain their voices to speak out? Like the media; TV and advertising and all the other trash that's thrown at everyone everyday? Or is it because the end of the world truly is coming, and there are no prophets to speak because there is nothing to speak of? Have we as a race really lost our shot at repentance and reparation? I don't want to believe that. I prefer to think that it's something peculiar to this generation, and that it will pass and change into something better. As things change, as the media is silenced, as the structures fall apart, as the center comes undone those voices will awaken and there will be the leaders of the future as there was of the past. I don't know what I believe in anymore, but if there is some power out there I pray that it lets that be true.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crocheted Medallion Scarf

Siobhan and I had a lot of fun visiting Carla and Jimmy in Evanston. After some lively breakfast discussion we went shopping for the day and had lunch. I didn't find shoes, which is what I was looking for, but Sio and I both bought some vintage buttons, and I bought a couple more hankies to add to the ones I am collecting for a quilt. We had lunch at a Thai restaurant that was very good, although Sio wasn't all that happy; she wanted Indian buffet. It was still a lot of fun. We went in a boutique-y womens clothes store, where there were some really nice skirts; once I drop a few more pounds I may go back and buy at least one; there were two that I really liked. There was also a scarf made from crocheted circle medallions. The yarn was wool, and there were a couple of different color schemes; one had 6 or so blue/grey/teal colors, the other was warmer. I don't remember exactly what the colors were except I know there was a gold and brick red. The ends were fringed; it was a very nice scarf. I made up a few circles using some yarn I had here; I think it's Red Heart TLC. I am using an ombre for the large medallions and a light brown for the connecting ones. It's actually quite easy, and I think I am going to order 5 or 6 different colored wools from Knit Picks and make a wool one. I like the blue/teal/grey color combo, so I might use those colors. Something with plum might be nice, too.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vintage Zebra's

I have been going through my fabric stash, looking for fabrics that would make nice purses, and I came across this bit of vintage fabric that I don't remember ever seeing before; that being the case I certainly don't remember where I got it. I suppose it came in some vintage fabric pack that I got on E-bay. I wish I knew because I'd try and get more. The piece is only 9"x10". I really think it's cute and I need to figure out what to do with it.

A lady came in the store yesterday and she was making these little embellished wrist purses. She uses beads for her embellishments, pads them lightly, and lines them. She was using cording for her wrist straps. I asked her what she was charging and she said $25. I have a little clutch I want to finish this morning before I go to Carla's, but then I am going to pick out a fabric or two and some beads and see what I come up with. I have tons of vintage scraps I could use; these little bags were only 6"x7" or so, maybe a bit bigger but only an inch. I can embellish them at Carla's this evening, or at mom's this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another Etsy Sale and Christmas Stocking

According to Melissa, Pisces careers are supposed to be on the upswing this month so maybe that's why I had another sale on Etsy. This time it was the random patch skirt I made earlier this year. I got $60 for it, so I made more at home then I did at work.

I made a very retro looking stocking today and listed it, too. I wanted to make two of them, but I didn't have enough fusible fleece for the interlining. It turned out pretty nice; I hope it sells quickly.

Siobhan spent the afternoon and part of the evening here and made a bag for herself. This is only about the third time she's sewn anything; she needed help but she did pretty well on her own for most of it. I was ok with her sewing, too; I didn't need to do shots or have a nervous breakdown which is a huge improvement. It's funny, but I seemd to be ok with Melissa sewing; I don't know why I get so crazy when Sio does.
We might go up to Evanston and spend the night on Thursday, and then come home on Friday when John gets off. We haven't talked to Carla about it yet; I am going to call her tomorrow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Soul Connection and NIN

The thing about Nine Inch Nails is that I don't like a whole lot of Trent Reznor, however the couple of dozen songs I do like I more than like; I feel a connection on some really deep level. With some bands I feel that connection with it's just the music, and with a lot of bands it's just the lyrics, but it's rare for them all to come together in the same soul scarring way that songs like Head Like A Hole, Closer, Wish and Every Day is Exactly the Same do. I tend to forget how long they've actually been around; Pretty Hate Machine was released in 1989, and ever since I first heard that album, NIN has become a part of that bit of music that touches some part of me that is real. There is so much music out there that is just so much worthless bullshit that history has no place for, but I believe that NIN touches that dark place that exists in everyone, and will be around for a long time because of it. At least that's the way it is with me. And most of life is not sweetness and light, it's dark and deep and a lot of times really shitty, but still worth every minute.
Plus, even the love songs are not really love songs, and yet they are more so than what I would consider typical love songs. I have always been one to say that the reason to run as far and fast as possible from ones soul mate is that if you have that much of a connection with one person, you'll loose yourself in that deep darkness that is the well of someone else to the exclusion of who you are and what the rest of the world is. All the classic cases did; Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights are the couple that come to mind; Marion Zimmer Bradley portrayed Uther and Igraine that way; I'm sure there are others that I'm just not remembering right now. Anyway, NIN love songs show the depth and the loosing of self in the other. And while I believe that love at that depth is possible, and some people experience it, at the same time it's destructive and very, very scary.

Another bag

I sold the little clutch from last week. I listed it and it sold in about 6 hours. I have another one cut out in a different fabric, plus I bought some more of the oriental print I used, too. I made a large granny bag yesterday that I listed this morning, there is a picture of it here. I am going to try and list something everyday, at least til mid-December.

Sio and Chris went to an animae convention over the weekend so I watched bunny and Albert. She called me twice a day to make sure bunny was eating and Albert was ok. I haven't heard from her yet today, but I expect to before too long; I'm sure she's anxious to see them.

John took off a bit early yesterday and we went to Chris and Richards to watch foot ball. It was a nice afternoon; with the way John's been working I never see Chris anymore.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Craft Show

We did the show last Saturday, I only made $18.50, and the space was $15. It was fun hanging out though.

I sold a bag on Etsy Sunday, for $30 so that was nice. I am trying to list something every couple of days so I can keep my store looking nice. I also made this cute wristlet bag which I listed. I made 12 tissue covers on Monday, and a cosmetic bag yesterday. I quilted a pretty big piece of black cotton so I don't have to quilt a piece every time I make a cosmetic bag. I am sewing for the craft show this Saturday, too. I sold all the Christmas ornaments I had, so I am making a few more. If I hadn't already committed, I wouldn't even bother with this show.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yesterday Revisited

Well, I have to say that yesterdays post was one of the most depressed I've ever written, and while I see things as being pretty dire maybe it isn't that bad. I mean, there are things that can be done, but there is an urgency about it that I'm not sure most people recognize. John and I were talking about it and he said that while there is a point of no return of course we need to do things before we reach that point. I've said again and again it's better if we change because we want to rather than because we have to or we are made to. Rationing is on it's way, and so are things like bans on certain products as well as things being a lot less available and a lot more expensive, especially food. I don't think people really connect the energy problems and global warming with what could very likely be massive food shortages. And to think at this point that the markets will fix the problems is just insane. We are on the verge of a worldwide economic collapse that is going to make the Great Depression look like a picnic. And it will take a long time and a huge rethinking before we can climb out of it, if we ever do. Life will be very different in the future and while I don't think that I will feel the absolute rock bottom in my lifetime, it will begin really changing within 5 years. I would have to say that for the next couple years the only real difference we'll see will be the continued rising fuel prices which we're already seeing, as far as the oil shortage goes; but it can get a lot more dire in the case of global warming. I guess the most important thing is to keep telling people, and letting then know what things they can do about it.

On another subject entirely, I have sewn a bit for Etsy and the craft shows, although I have to confess I really haven't been into it a lot. Anyway, I did make a couple of bags and here are pics of one of them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In a Funk

I've sort of been in a funk lately. I made a couple of bags, and I have this craft show this coming Saturday, but I just am uninterested in the whole thing lately. ASPO had their meeting in Houston, and the news coming out of it is not good. There's actually a great article over at the Guardian that I read this morning:,,2196435,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront. The Oil Drum is covering the ASPO conference: The thing is we seem to be so wrapped up in the political cycle here in the US that nobody seems to notice that with the dire predictions that are increasingly becoming true that are coming out of the energy sector, it doesn't matter who sits in the White House, unless that person is willing to make themselves very unpopular by instituting severe rationing of gas. The way of life that we know is quickly going to become extinct. And most people don't realize how bad it's going to get. I had a lady on Saturday who was making fleece blankets and she wanted a separate plastic bag for each blanket so she wouldn't forget what went with what. She was making 3 blankets and she was willing to cause more harm to the environment because she couldn't remember what went where. She's a fucking idiot, just like 80% of the people who I run across everyday at work. People don't seem to get the fact that we may very well be at the end of human existence and that we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have fucked up the only place we have to live to the point where it's on the verge of no longer being able to support us. We have driven ourselves to the point of extinction, and taken something like 2/3rd's of the other life forms that were here with us. What kind of crazy species does that? I am past the point of hope, I used to believe that the human race was resourceful and we could come up with the solutions for all our problems. I used to believe in God, too, but I don't anymore. At least not today. Maybe not ever again. If there ever was a God he deserted us long ago.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Robert Hirsch Interview

This is an excellent interview with Robert Hirsch where he talks about Peak Oil and how that relates to a peak economy. He also talks about possible solutions to the problem.
I have to say that I haven't been thinking a lot about the problem lately anyway. It's just so huge that I have to step back and just leave it alone for awhile. John is pretty wrapped up in politics, and I admit that I get that way too, especially in the current climate of less and less respect for the Constitution by the current administration, but when it comes right down to it, in the long run it doesn't matter. Whoever is in office, as oil declines, along with our economy and all the resultant ways we live because of it, control of the general populace will be ramped up, at least at first, as long as the resources exist for the federal gov't to keep that control. Eventually that will end, too, and it will come down to a much smaller level. Hopefully we can make the transition to a much simpler lifestyle on a much more local level with a minimum of violence; however I don't see that as being possible. When global warming is thrown in and the fact that we are using the resources we have left to drive fucking SUV's to Wal-Mart to buy stupid stuff we don't need that was shipped here from China using more of those resources instead of trying to ration what we have left to help come up with solutions to both problems, we are well and trully fucked. I believe we may be at the end of the human race; we're driving ourselves with our SUV's right to the exit sign: Extinction 2 miles. I would like to believe that there are enough sane people to get us on the right track, but I don't know. I guess I'm just in a real funk. I know it's awful but it's just easier to pretend the whole thing doesn't exist. I can take my reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, and tell John to walk to the store to get smokes and pretend like that's enough. I just don't have enough in me right now to do anything else.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sewing Expo and Coldplay

I spent the last two days at the Sewing and Quilt expo at Pheasant Run in St Charles. Hancock has a booth and I've been working it with Joan. It's been fun but very tiring. I haven't had a lot of time to walk around but I'm taking an hour tomorrow. It's not a bad thing because I haven't spent any money either. I ran the register for awhile yesterday and then played with the yo yo maker which is very neat and I will be buying one. I can see making a yo yo quilt over the winter while it's so cold. I also really want to take the time to look at the different patterns out there, too. There are a lot of different patterns at the show that I never see because they are just small companies. I saw a few but tomorrow I really want to look around. Holly is coming too, she is giving me a ride. It's really cool and I'm glad I was asked to work it, although John and I have not had much time together the last couple of days. He worked til 6 last night and still got home before me.
I've been listening to a lot of Coldplay lately. I kind of resisted them for years, but Clocks is such a good song! I have to say that they sound a LOT like U2, especially in that particular song. The first thing I ever remember hearing by them was Yellow and I just did not like it at all. Speed of Sound is good, Beautiful World is good, Talk is good; there are just a lot of good songs. They are a bit mellower than what I've been listening to the last few weeks; I've been on a steady diet of Flyleaf, Soundgarden, Foofighters,etc. and this is a nice change, much more conducive to meditation. I have been really thinking about the whole life in tension and how it's such a balancing act between what's ethically and morally right and what I just have to do to keep things going. I really believe that I won't have a job much longer or else I might quit soon. The one thing that keeps me at Hancock is the people that I work with, I really do like them a lot and so I just hang on. I'm thinking they may wait to close our store til after Christmas, but maybe not. We'll see.
Jimmy wrote an excellent post on rock and roll saving the soul on Oct 9th, I just read it today: I have to agree with him, music, not just rock, but music in general has inspired me to reach for some of my higher ideals, as well as being an inspiration to a lot of the stuff I create. I can't imagine a world without music, one of the things that I think would be the worse if we really do enter an era of way less energy will be the loss of electric music, most specifically rock music. I don't believe that humans will stop making music; I think that one of the first things the first cave man did was beat a stick on a hollow log to make the first rhythm, and some other cave man or woman found themselves naturally swaying to that rhythm. But we would loose so much, a whole type of music if we didn't have the power to use the electric instruments we use today.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Christmas for the Troops

Kathy from Bernina brought in a pattern from They are collecting things to send to the troops in Iraq for Christmas, and they also need stockings to put the stuff in. I made these 5 in just over an hour this morning, and I'm going to make some more. Irene wants to help so I am going to let her cut some more out for me. I also printed up the list of items they need and am going to see if John and Chris will take it to work and maybe collect stuff. I'm going to give it to Sio too, maybe Chris' mom would like to collect some stuff. It's not much, but maybe it will give one of those young men or women a bit happier Christmas.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Craft show sewing

I have four shows coming up, which is why I haven't done much posting. The first one is Oct 6; I actually have to work that day, but Holly said she'd bring my stuff anyway. I have been making little cosmetic bags and tissue holders. I think they are nice and are a good size, too. The bags have a quilted bottom so they are a bit sturdier and will stand up. I have a lot of them made, I am selling tham as a set for $10. I might make some individual bags a bit bigger too, and maybe sell them for $7 or $8 each. Anyway, here's pics of the first 2 sets I made; I really like the black and white one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cooler Weather

We have had a bit cooler weather the last couple of days, there is a definite hint of fall in the air. Irene turned the heat on yesterday morning, and it is on again this morning. I stepped out the door and it's a bit chilly. I love fall, it's my favorite time of year. I love the colors and the smells and snuggling under an extra quilt at night. And I love the prelude to the holidays. There is so much preparation and anticipation; cooking and baking and making gifts and knowing that Melissa and Gregory will be home and we will all be together. Irene is looking forward to having a tree and Christmas in this house; last year we thought this house would be sold and she would be at Gloria's or in her own apartment. Now, instead, we have many more holidays to look forward to in this house. She told John she never wants to leave here, and she never will if we can help it.
Siobhan mentioned wanting to start baking cookies last night; I told her it's a bit too early but we will soon. Maybe the first week or so in October. I have been doing so well on my diet that I really have to watch the whole cookie making thing. I can eat half a dozen without even thinking twice.
John and I had a nice afternoon and evening yesterday. He came home early to take Irene to her dr's appt and while she was there we went to Naperville River walk and just sat in the grass talking and watching people feed ducks. After we dropped her off we went and got dinner at Portillos and sat in Salt Creek Park and ate it. While we were there 6 deer came walking out of the woods. They kind of watched us but they really weren't very scared. They just kind of sauntered up the edge of the forest til they were so far back we couldn't see them anymore. It was very cool. One was a bit bigger than the others so it might have been a male, although he didn't have any antlers. I don't know when they grow antlers and when they shed them so I'm not sure. After we came home John came down into my domain and we sat down here for another hour and just talked. It was a very pleasant day, and we need to do it more often. We want to finish fixing up the tv area down here so he or I or whoever can come down and watch whatever they want on tv. We still don't have cable here. We were dissatisfied enough with Comcast in the last year we had them that I'm not sure we want to go with them again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wool for Nfld. scene rug

I started dyeing wool yesterday for a new rug; I haven't done any dyeing since we moved, so it was time.I'm not sure exactly what the scene will be yet, I may design my own or I might buy a pattern from Deanne Fitzpatrick; she has a wonderful pattern of 2 Cape Islanders and a couple of houses and some nice hills. I have my water and sky colors dyed, and I dyed a pretty gold piece for a house. After it was dyed and out of the dyepot, I added some more gold dye and a red piece of wool. I wanted to tone the red down a bit, so I could use it for a barn or outbuilding or even another house. Well it bled; I knew it was going to because it bled when I rinsed it out, so I threw another piece of cream wool in the pot and as bonus I got a pretty orange shade that I can use some other time. I may dye a piece a bit darker blue to add to the water colors, but I might have a piece already so I'm going to look for it. I want to dye some hill/ground colors some autumn tones; maybe some golds, tans and light reds; I can mix them in with the greens and add a touch of fall to my picture. I wish I hadn't dyed all the roving; I could use a bit here and there to fluff out clouds.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Needlework accessories and bag keepers

This is what I been up to the last couple of days. I finished the 2nd bagkeeper, I was playing around with a smaller size and it's a little too small. I like the embroidery though, and the yoyo adds a nice touch. I really like the owl one, I am probably listing it on Etsy today.

The pincushion was easy and fun. I still have tons of 6 inch squares from my friends downsizing her stash, and they are perfect to cut a circle from. The bottom circle is pink wool I dyed, although I forgot to take a picture of it. There is an excellent tutorial for it here:

The needlebook is foundation pieced; I saved the pattern in my files as a pdf. file; the link is here: I made a check book cover from this pattern too, it's the perfect size for that.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Storms and floods

I haven't posted in the last week because I have been cleaning up after the intense storms we had here last Thursday. I was out with mom, Carla and Sio when the first one hit, we were having a late lunch. The power flickered in the restaurant a couple of times but never went out, but the rain was blowing sideways. I can't remember a storm like that in years, it was pretty scary. By the time we finished lunch, it was over, so we took mom to the grocery store. The power had been out there but was back on, Carla kept trying to call Jimmy and Rich, but all the circuits were busy. Sio finally reached her Chris who said it had been pretty bad by their house, and part of a tree had come down on the hot tub room. Their power was out, too. Carla finally reached Rich, who said the power was out up Main Street, and there were a lot of trees down. He suggested that we go home on all the back streets, stay off of Roosevelt, Main and Westmore. I tried to reach John, but couldn't. It wasn't til we got about 6 blocks from the grocery store that we began to realize how bad the storm actually had been. There were trees and branches down all over the place, no one had power and some of the power lines had been taken down by trees. Some of the streets were just not passable. We stopped at Jimmys mom on the way to make sure they were ok, she and Kevin were outside, and they were ok but there street was blocked by a tree. We saw several houses that had trees and/or big branches that had fallen on them. Carla drove by Chris and Sio's on the way here, and there maple was leaning against the hot tub room with part on the roof. Chris had already been up there and said he didn't think anything was damaged. We came here next, and John was sitting on the front porch. A third of the 55 year old maple was down and filling up the side yard; it had taken out my clothes line, and the garden. It bent the fence, and was on the power line but didn't actually break it. If it had been a foot further to the left it would have hit the house. John had already been out looking for us to make sure we were all ok; he said there was a car over by Rich's work that was squished from a tree, I saw it later and it was squished.Thank God no one was in it. Anyway, we got our power back in about 18 hours, but mom, Rich and Chris, and Sio didn't get theirs back til Saturday night. Because the sump pumps stopped, we ended up with an inch of water in the front part of the basement. I'm so glad I took the back part for my sewing room! None of that stuff got wet. Chris and Sio had water too.Anyway, the kids came over and cut the tree up and we have a lot of firewood. As soon as we have a chance we are taking them all out to dinner, maybe next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Owl embroidery

I finished the owl this morning, I think it came out very nice, very reminiscent of the 70's. I was originally planning a bag, but I might make something else instead. He would be equally cute as a kitchen accessory; maybe the center of a small quilted table topper , a pot holder or as part of one of those plastic bag holders although I'd like to discourage the use of plastic bags. I'm going to look through all my pictures and patterns and see. Maybe a tea cozy, those are cute.

I broke down and listed the apple tote bag; I really think it's cute and I hope it sells quick or else I'll be tempted to keep it when the listing expires.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sewing and gardening

I made this bag for Etsy last week and I like it so much I still haven't listed it. The pocket is made from a vintage tablecloth I got at Salvation Army. I took pics of it hanging on the clothesline and they really aren't very good. Maybe I did that on purpose so I have yet another excuse not to list it? I did sell a corduroy bag with a patchwork flap a couple of days ago.

I also went next door to see what was going on with the cucumber vine that's growing across the fence. No one has lived over there for months, it's apparently been foreclosd on and the bank has it up for sale. Anyway, I have gone over there a couple of times to pull weeds that are growing through the fence and to pick some of the cherry tomatoes that are growing through the fence. While I was over there I looked to see if there were any cucumbers and right up against the fence hiding partly under some leaves was the biggest cucumber I've had this year. It's almost 12 inches long, and really big around. I don't know how I managed to miss it. I also have some ripe peppers and my regular tomatoes are very good, too, and I have quite a few of them. I wish I had planted plum tomatoes because I want to make sun dried tomatoes.

I am making doll clothes for the Christmas show at work, I have practically every doll clothes pattern out there, plus a bunch of out of print ones. I can take them to the craft shows and maybe sell them with my other stuff.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Craft shows and miscellanea

I have been making reusable Christmas gift bags for the two shows I have coming up in October. I think they will sell pretty well this year as more and more people realize the importance of no longer filling our landfills with waste that takes forever to break down. I need to make a bit on them but not a lot, and I'm thinking of donating a dollar or two from every purchase to a charity like the Climate Crisis Coalition. I can sell 4 bags for $10 or $12, depending on the size and donate $2. Anyway, the sewing of them is really easy, I can make 4 in just about an hour, I made 12 this past Friday. I can get an average of 6 bags from a yard of fabric. I also started a crocheted baby blanket for my Etsy store. It's like a huge granny square, I'll take a picture when I'm done.
Sio and Chris came back from Disney yesterday and brought me a sailboat necklace. The sails are made from dyed shell. It's really pretty, I like it a lot. They had a good time. I am going to see her later at mom's. I have to bring over some tomatoes, we have way more than we can eat.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Colonial era costuming 2

Well, here is the pic of me wearing the costume. I don't know why the picture went on twice and I can't figure out how to delete one. Oh well. Anyway, the corset is a bit too big in the bust area, so I'll have to do some alterations before I wear it. The skirt is one from a different costume but it looks fine. I am going to make the other skirt today and then I can use the tan one for a petticoat or I also have a lighter maroon skirt that could serve the same purpose. The shawl is in the pattern and since I am making this as a model garment I went ahead and made it too, I used a homespun looking plaid. I think for the demo I am going to go ahead and knit a shawl. One out of black wool would be nice, but since it wouldn't be washable I'm thinking maybe an acrylic. Or maybe a blend, we have Lion brands Wool-Ease at work. I also made the cap, I had to do a few adjustments but it fits now. I just am not crazy about it and I probably won't wear it.

I have been going through my costume stuff from before and I have nice collection. I pulled out my hemp boned corset I made a few years ago, it's a bit too small but with much tugging and pulling on strings I think I could still wear it. It doesn't have straps, but I could add some. The one thing I really like about the McCalls one is the straps. I have a navy wool skirt that is almost finished, a shirt I've done some blackwork on, and a plaid wrap. Very Scottish looking, and I could wear that instead. Or it could be remade for someone else who wants to dress up. I have several lightly boned bodices, a brown velvet one, a brown corduroy one that I lined with blue cotton, and a gold one made with a drapery fabric.

I have decided to leave the brown fabric as it is and try to work around the flaws. However since I have this dyebath I made from the black walnuts that is a very dark brown, and a nice piece of hemp linen, I am going to dye it instead. It may become an apron, or even another boned corset since I really like making them and haven't perfected the sewing techniques yet.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hemp Boned Corset

Well the corset is finished, except for a couple of ribbon ties which were supposed to be brown but I didn't have enough ribbon so the straps in back are laced on with maroon satin ribbon. I wanted to show step by step how I made it, but I lent the camera to Melissa and Gregory when they were here and I couldn't get over to Rich and Chris' to pick up the other one. Mildred is much smaller than I am so I had to fold and pin the corset in place, the back looks a bit weird because of that. When John comes home I'm going to have him help me get into it and see how it fits and take another couple of pictures. It fit ok during construction so I'm thinking the finished one should be fine. I wanted to boil my black walnuts today and get a nice dye stock for the skirt fabric, but I'm not sure what to use to dye 3 1/2 yds. of 60" wide fabric and be able to apply heat. If I had a huge pot I might be able to rig something up on the barbeque grill, but I don't. Joan suggested a big metal garbage can, but I don't even know if you can buy those anymore. Since black walnuts really stain hands so much maybe I wouldn't need boiling water. I wonder if I could just pour the boiling dye bath into hot water from the tap and then put the fabric in and just soak it for a couple of hours or so. As long as I stir it a lot I'll get even color. It won't be colorfast, but that shouldn't matter for this event. My only concern is that it will be hanging in the store for a couple of months and I wonder if fading will become an issue. I am actually getting pretty excited about doing this whole thing, I think it will be fun to dress up and demo for the day, and I know enough about my family history that I can be a charachter from my own past. Anne Newells mother, Francis Moore was baptised in St. Pauls in Harbour Grace in I think 1745, although I'd have to check my records to be sure about the date. When she was my age she would have been a little out of date with this style of clothing, but I can just pretend I'm a bit younger and it'll be ok. She married John Newell and moved to Brigus where she had 3 children that I have been able to trace,Charlotte, who is my great great, great great Aunt, she married a Penney whose name I can't remember, it could have been Thomas, anyway, he was the grandfather of the Penney who is my great great great grandmother. Then there was John Newell, named after his father, I suspect he may be related to Glenda; I can't remember right offhand who he married; and Anne who married Ambrose Sparks sometime before 1801, maybe 1799 or 1800. Anyway, I know the most about Francis and the dates work out about right.