And for my next trick…..

So, needless to say, I was pretty excited about this new idea of sewing strips of paper into an art journal!!  The task at hand now was to figure out the best and most efficient way to do it. (Click on the pics to enlarge them)

Since trying to sew it directly into the book was so clunky, I decided that I would try sewing it on a blank piece of paper that was trimmed to a similar size as the pages in my journal, which is a Canson XL mixed media notebook.  I love this book because the pages are a 60 lb paper and there’s no need to glue 2 or more together to get a strong page.

This is the next page that I put together. Kinda funky, eh?  I couldn’t decide if I like the randomness or not.

I tried gluing each piece down with ModPodge, but when I started sewing, it was gumming up my needle. I found that if I placed the paper pieces on the sheet of paper, then carefully flipped each piece over, glued it with glue dots, and then turned it carefully back and glued it down, the paper was a lot easier to sew together.   I also figured out that changing your stitch length to just about as long as possible would preclude the needle shredding the paper underneath or the papers on the top of your backing sheet.

Once the page is complete, all that’s left to do is glue it into the journal.  I used a thin layer of Yes! Paste to glue it in.  Not everybody likes this paste, It is extremely sticky and takes some getting used to when you are applying it.  It claims to never wrinkle paper and I haven’t had a wrinkle since I started using it.  All that said, it’s kind of on the pricey side.


Fourth page — and still trying to decide if the randomness appealed to me. I guess it’s not horrible. (Jeopardy theme playing in the background)

More later!

SMS contest for Husqvarna s21 serger

Isn’t she a beauty?  I have ‘d the idea of owning a serger for a very, very long time.

I have to admit, I have very selfish reasons for hoping to win this giveaway.

My daughter, God love her, hasn’t got a crafty bone in her body.  That’s not to say that she doesn’t appreciate all of the “goodies” that I sew/knit/crochet/build for her, because she loves showing off all of her “made with love” items to her friends and relatives.

So even though the “crafting” gene has passed her over, the oldest GrandDolly seems to have caught it, as it sometimes does.  She’s only four, but loves to sit on my lap and put her hands on mine when I’m knitting or crocheting, or sits on my lap when I sew.

I have a Featherweight that will be hers one day, if she wants it.  It was my first sewing machine and I love it almost as dearly as I love her. I think it would be a perfect first sewing machine for her.

I have another regular sewing machine, a BabyLock A-Line, but I have always, always wanted a serger.  Unfortunately, from an economic standpoint, I could never afford it.

So I thought I’d enter this giveaway — and perhaps, if I win, I’ll be passing this serger on to my GrandDolly, too!!

Facebook not allowed here!!

Without a doubt, deactivating my FB account was the best thing I could have done for myself. I was spending so much time farming, cooking, gifting, etc, etc, on that site that I was ignoring the things that give me the most pleasure in my life. Those things would be Sweet Baboo, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and sorrowfully, the GrandDollies. I was spending an incredible amount of time each day just figuring the most profitable crop, or dish, or computing when I needed to be home in front of the computer to harvest or serve …… Ridiculous!!

I really should have known better, though. I stopped smoking in 2001 and, although being better for it, I am and always will be an addictive personality. I only have to look around my sewing room to see the truth in that statement!! I have more yarn, fabric, notions, thread and what have you to last me for the next 50 or so years.

If spending too much time on FB was a reason to stop using it, what I went through while deactivating it sealed the deal.

First of all, I was bombarded messages that my “friends” that were going to miss me if I left FB.  That was the message that I got on the page where you went to deactivate your account.  I ignored that little bit of manipulation, but the next thing (and this really pissed me off, sorry for the language) that FB did was ask WHY I was leaving.  When you checked one of the reasons given (there were 8 or 9) they countered with what you could do to alleviate that particular reason/problem.  Now I ask you, what is there about me that is so attractive and compelling that FB would go through all of that to keep me there?  Again, ridiculous.

So, now that my focus is re-established, I spent part of yesterday at Joann’s in Manchester, CT with my BLF (best little friend) doing some (okay, not some, ALOT!) of craft shopping, then lunch at Bugaboo Creek, then home and I whipped together new seats and backs for our director chairs (I just used the old ones as templates)  and started cutting out fabric for pillows for my daughter’s MIL. (Check out this site for a very simple flanged pillow sham)  Now THAT’s more like it!! No clicking or computing required!

Pencil pocket for notebooks and tutorial!!!

I carry notebooks with me all the time — practically every time I think of something even remotely important, I want/need/MUST write it down — so even though I always have a notebook at hand, having a pen or pencil is a horse of a different color.

And in a seemingly unrelated vein, I also have turned into quite the “internet tutorials collector”, if you will.  I spend WAYYYY too much time on the internet, surfing for the next great thing that I want to make.


This is what I found a couple nights ago on WhipUp and of course it was an “aha!!” moment. The link for the tutorial is here. Who couldn’t use one of these themselves, not to mention gifts? A nice new Moleskine with a nice new pencil pocket to go with it. I wouldn’t mind opening one of those, if sewing wasn’t my thing. BTW, my own Moleskine is next in line for one of these little cuties, but for now, here is a pic of one of my notebooks and my “I would literally just lay down and die if I lost it” calendar, both sporting their brand new pencil pockets.

Another kimono for GrandDolly

This is the other fabric that I bought for GrandDolly’s second kimono — the next one that I make for her (yes, I’ve already bought more fabric, I’m sick I tell ya!!) will be a bit larger, as she has already grown out of the first one that I made for her!!  No worries, my friend at work has a 4 month old that it may not fit now, but it definitely will later.  This one turned out great too — she looks fabulous in it with her little black gaucho pants that she wears often. The pattern is called Simple Kimono Wrap and I found it at Habitual.

Just before I started this newest round of sewing, I had mentioned to Sweet Baboo that we really needed to do something about the sewing/crafting/computer room that we share.  He had comandeered my table for the computer, leaving me with a card table (I KNOW, can you believe it???) with a promise that we would bring the computer desk up from the basement soon.  And that was about a year ago so I didn’t think that casually mentioning it again would be a bad thing. So, on a sunny afternoon in September…….

This is my “staging” area before. UGH!! I do tend to be a slob at times. Okay, most times.

And this is after — beaucoup improvement, eh?

And our new computer corner with aforementioned desk installed …with Sweet Baboo computing away…..

And this, joy of joys, is my table returned to me so that I can now have both of my sewing machines out at the same time!!

Yes, everything is definitely good in our little corner of New England.

Give a little, get a lot….

Is there anything that compares to the thrill of getting alot for a little? Sweet Baboo and I made our (squishy) way over to our nearby church bazaar Friday night (it always rains at least one day during this little event and Friday night was it), known here in town as St. Mary’s Circle of Fun.    One of the great things about this little function is the fabulous flea market that they set up in the basement of the church.  We look forward to it every year.

This is Sweet Baboo’s grand purchase from last year.  Literally, he uses it every day!!  He paid $1.00 for it — a fact that he tells me very regularly.  Seriously, it works great and if I don’t have to fry eggs, I will gladly listen to his occasional crowing

This year, I made out like a bandit.  Check out this pic.  I got this whole box for $7.00.  Whoever owned this fabric previously had some serious red, star, and frog issues.  Every time I look at it I get goosebumps!!  I can’t walk by it without digging in and pulling out something else wonderful. Yes, I know it’s not a great picture — maybe later I will pull everything out again and prettify it.

As I said about frogs, check this out.  It’s flannel and I am going to make some washcloths for GrandDolly.  I’m (hopefully) shrinking the daylights out of this fabric as we speak/chat/post.

I know!! Cute as can be!! I’ll bet I have a yard of this fabric in 3 or 4 small pieces.

I also found out that I have an ultra digital zoomie feature on my camera. I’ve had this camera for 2 or 3 years and just figured it out.  Who knew. Check out the progression of this freaky star fabric.  The stars look like they are uber embossed on the fabric.

I KNOW!!!! Isn’t that just the coolest?  I love little surprises like this in my life!!

So darn cute — Simple Kimono Wrap by Habitual

I found this great tutorial for this darling kimono awhile ago on a blog that I frequently lurk, Habitual Creature of Habit. She has some really great stuff over there, take a skip over and take a look if you have time. This pattern is very simple to follow and works up very quickly.

The fabric was one that I purchased from an Etsy shop, Sweet Flavor Also a great site to visit with lots and lots of fabric shipped quickly at reasonable prices. I’ll be going back to pick up a few more to add to the several other fabrics that I want to use for more of these little cutie pies.

Yes, it’s true, I am becoming quite obsessed with sewing for my little bean, AKA GrandDolly. Oh well, it keeps me off the streets and out of the bars……..

Oh, and the photo is clickable!!!

Pillowcase + Recycling = A Yoga Mat Bag Tutorial

Welcome to my very first tutorial!! This bag turned out SOOOO much better than I thought it would.   I couldn’t find anything like this on line so I made one. I hope I can explain well enough for anybody who would care to make one too.

I usually make an item at least twice before I get it the way that I want it. The first time is where I make all my booboos and solve any problems, then the second time around is the real thing. The first one that I made is actually useable, but needed a few adjustments.  This bag is the result of those adjustments. Be warned — I’m not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, so if something isn’t clear, please let me know. I’m not entirely sure I wrote everything down, so I will post any revisions as quickly as I can. Also, I overthink everything, so this will be wordy as all get out.

One king sized pillowcase (I think it’s king sized) (I picked up a few at my local Salvation Army)
Sewing machine and thread to match or contrast, whatever
Some kind of ribbon or cord, 18 inches long or so
Tape measure and/or yardstick. A ruler is handy too
All seams are 1/4″ but I used 14 or 15 stitches per inch for security.

Yes, this is me overthinking. Tres annoying, isn’t it?

1. Measure your yoga mat rolled up. Mine was about 23 1/2″ long and had a circumference of 13 1/2″ around. The diameter of the bag is about 4 inches so I used 5 1/2″ as a measurement for the circles needed for the end of the bag. I would imagine that those dimensions are pretty universal as yoga mats go.

Ooo, look pictures.

Yes, that’s my toe, thanks for asking.

2. My fabulous plaid print pillow case began life approximately 32 1/2″ long and 18 1/2″ wide. I used the two layers of the pillowcase for each of the three components of the bag so that I wouldn’t have to worry about lining it. The rectangle that I would need for my 13 1/2″ x 23 1/2″ mat, with a couple inches for wiggle room, would be 27″ long and 15 1/2″ wide.

3. For the strap, I cut off 3 inches +/- along the long folded edge of the pillowcase (not the long seam side, although it probably wouldn’t make any difference), from the hemmed opening to the bottom. Cut off the hemmed edge and then cut open the fold. I used my rotary cutter and ruler so that the width all the way down would be even. You will have a strip of fabric about 3″ wide x 60″ long. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press. Watch the fingers. Then fold in each raw edge about 1/4″ and press. Stitch down the length of the strip, close to the edge. The strap will be about 1 1/4″ wide when finished and can be cut to length. I used about 36 inches or so for mine.

Circles for bottom of bag — Cut off 5 to 5 1/2 inches on the remaining width of the pillowcase. I just drew a circle using a cereal bowl flipped upside down and then cut it out.

4. After cutting for the strap and the circles, you are left with a rectangle approximately 27″ long x 15 1/2″ wide, in two layers of fabric. Using the fabric doubled gives it some body so that you don’t have a wimpy yoga mat bag. You don’t want other yogacizers laughing at you.

5. The Bag

Pin the long side seams together. Don’t worry about right and wrong sides, because both pieces are the right side. No need for a lining that way. Start sewing the seam from the bottom, stopping when you are half an inch or so from where the hemmed open edge starts. I reversed and went forward several times so that it doesn’t fray. Press the seam open, this time including the edges of the hemmed area. I used a zig zag stitch to stitch down those edges. My zigzagging skills need some work, thanks for pointing that out. Fold the hemmed end down and stitch securely, making a casing about 1 inch wide for the cord or ribbon to go in. It’s easier to do this if you do it before you turn the bag inside out. Go ahead, ask me how I know this. Time to turn the bag right side out.

6. The strap is next. Can you see it in the pic above? Center one end of the strap over the finished seam, about an inch or so from the casing. Make sure the raw edge of the strap is facing down toward the end of the bag, not the top. I zigzagged back and forth several times. Then flip the strap down toward the end of the bag and zigzag/stitch back and forth again. Mine isn’t the neatest but it darn sure isn’t going anywhere. Turn the bag wrong side out.

This part is very important.  Be sure that your strap is not twisted inside the bag after you turn it wrong side out.  It’s not? Good. Now check it again. Ask me how I know to do this. (again)

Pin the double circles to the bottom of the bag and stitch around. Watch the fingers. This part can be really painful. Be sure to catch the other end of the strap into the seam securely.  I sewed over it a couple of swipes. Depending on your level of perfection, you may or may not have tucks in the seam.  I kind of like mine.

8. Grab your ribbon/rope/twine/cord and pin a safety pin to one end. Thread it through your casing. How about that!!  It’s a yoga mat bag!!

Birthday dress for GrandDolly

While surfing one night, I found this “pillowcase dress” pattern on line. I also had this great vintage pillowcase dotted with roses and greenery that I had been holding onto for awhile.  The ties are left over from another small quilt that I made for Darling Daughter a few years ago. GrandDolly’s birthday party is this weekend and she’ll have a new/old dress to wear!! Super simple to make — I will take pics of her in it this weekend.  The only change that I made to the pattern was to slightly “A-line” the dress.  GrandDolly is a little peanut and I thought making it more narrow through the chest would look nicer. I really like the idea of using vintage linens to make something new!!

Hey, did anybody miss me????

blog readability test

I found this test — I don’t know, somewhere out there — so I dropped in my url and voilá!  Elementary school level?????? Depending on how you view it, I either write very simply or I write so that simple minds can read it. Your call.

I had a nice month off from blogging, thanks for asking — truth be told, I was being obsessed with other things.  That’s the way my mind works — I get hung up on something for awhile and it’s all I can think of or work on until I burn it out.

I spent 2 weeks assembling a “household notebook” which essentially has every phone number and financial statement and appliance booklet and road map etc etc in it.  My lists of what I wanted in it were extensive, (read: overwhelming!!) but after putting it together and knowing that anything I want is in there, I’m pretty proud of it.  I got part of the idea for this (mostly the financial and legal end of it) from Lifehacker, a blog/website with some of the most amazing information on it. Check it out if you have the time. Not everything on the site will interest everyone, but if you scroll down to the bottom and click “archives”, there is a list of tags that you can choose from.

I also devoted a bit of time to closet cleaning (found a Christmas gift that I had put away for DD — seems that I do that just about every year and she’s always so excited when I give her the gift a few months later) and going through plastic tote boxes of fat quarters.  I seem to have a serious problem in the quilting cotton fabric department.  I have 5 totes of fabric!!! Smallish totes, but totes just the same. I’m not a hoarder (usually) but the thought of parting with it makes me quite nauseous.

Also cleaned out my (ahem) clothing that will fit when I lose weight.  HA!!  Isn’t going to happen, or at the very least, won’t happen sufficiently that I will be able to get into them.

Sissy and fabulous BIL came down to visit for 42 hours — they live on a farm with a tight schedule — and we had a nice visit and toured Old Sturbridge Village in — duh — Sturbridge, MA. Don’t let anybody ever tell you differently — the good old days weren’t even close to being good!! Sissy and I said over and over that it was such an effort to do anything back in the 1800′s.   It makes you appreciate all that you take for granted.

And of course, knitting.  DD has been patiently waiting for me to finish her French Market Bag (photos when it’s finally finished). It’s just waiting now for a good felting. I also made a few hot pads with some orphan yarn that I had — also waiting for a good felting.

My last obsession has been assembling the supplies that I need to make reusable grocery bags.  You can’t beat thrift stores for sheets — who could pass up sheets for $1.50 each??? That’s a heck of alot of fabric.  Let’s see, full size flat sheet about 80″ x 100″ — that works out to about 6 square yards of fabric.  For $.25 a square yard!!!!! So yeah, I’ve gone a little sheet crazy and will be making these little beauties as soon as I get my fanny to a fabric store for fusible interfacing.

I also saw an idea for lounge pants from a bed sheet on Creative Little Daisy’s blog that I will probably be making a stab at, and finally, just tonight, I found a Pyramid Doorstop pattern from All It Took Was Just One Stitch that is just the thing that I need for about 3 doors in my house. Heavy enough to prop the doors open, light enough that it won’t squash GrandDolly’s toesies when she picks it up and drops it on herself.

So what have you been doing for the past month?