Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I have managed somehow to find myself deep in the swamp. (A potential dramatization for small blogger, but I have no time for that now.) I do accept responsibility for having piles of work that need to be finished, but there are circumstances beyond my control involved as well. As a result I will be confined to the workroom for several days and evenings. I am just doing a little quick lunch-break blogging. (Can't neglect nourishment, even in the swamp.) So I thought I would post some pictures of what I will be looking at during my confinement.

My Needlework Guild of America pin that I earned as a Bluebird when I was probably seven and of which I am very proud.

I love this little picture. I actually love my sewing room, even though it is where I go to work everyday. I have hopes of being able to do more of the "sewing for expression" in the future.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Whew, busy week!

I spent a good part of the week working on some really cute chair covers designed by Colleen. They each had a reverse applique on the inside back and white twill tape at the hem. Very nice, but of course, I forgot to take my camera when I delivered them, so this is the best picture I have.
What is it with me and that camera? I guess I need to make it into a necklace so that I will have it "on me" when I need it, or better yet, put it on my key ring.

I also hosted a tea party in my backyard this morning, so I spent a lot of time this week rounding up the necessities. (I had a lot of help from the ladies who came.)

There is a family from our church who are missionaries in Chile. They are a swimming/surfing family. They run a swim center down there, and every summer come here and run a surf camp/school. We have the privilege of having the wonderful, energetic wife and mother (of five) as a guest speaker each summer at some type of gathering. Last year we had a clothes swap...fun!

The tea was a lot of fun and people brought some amazing treats. I didn't get pictures of the food table before we attacked it. I was fussing over my "Martha Stewart leek quiche" which was a big hit, by the way, so if you need a good recipe, it's on her website.

I am going to go and put my feet up now and enjoy the clean house and sweet little leftover bouquets.

I wonder if the husband will be okay with scones and biscotti for dinner.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Travels with Mom and Pop

The Mom and Pop chairs from my July 11th post are safely home. I delivered them, because they would both fit into my amazing little station wagon. When I cover a sofa, I make a pattern at the client's house, but I like to have chairs at my shop for fitting.

On my way to the home of "Mom and Pop" I heard the star date report for the day on one of my favorite radio stations. It was about the planet Mercury and it's huge cliffs. Some of them are a mile or two high and can stretch for hundreds of miles. The cliffs are named after Captain Cook's ships and ships of other explorers. That led to ponderings about the adventures of explorers. I really didn't like to read much when I was growing up. I was an "outside" kid until, when in Jr. High, I read a book about the adventures of Marco Polo. Wow, reading CAN be fun. True adventures are still my favorite books and movies. I doubt that I have the courage to actually ever explore uncharted territory, but I do enjoy going to places that are new to me, and learning the lay of the land, so to speak.

Just an hour's drive from my home the scenery is much different.

Llamas leisurely looking for a leafy lunch.

Don't pick the brussel sprouts! Or maybe it's broccoli, I'm not sure.

Happy Exploring!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

4th Best

Today I had to meet the sewing machine repairman at his shop at 9:00 to get one of these:

And also needed to pick up some fabric from a store in approximately the same direction that didn't open until 10:00. I was in luck though, the nearby Goodwill store opened at 9:00. I can easily spend 45 minutes in a thrift store. I didn't find much that I wanted to buy, but I did find a nice old silverplate tray. I like old silverplate, because it's cheaper than solid silver, and can even be found at thrift stores, etc. I am hosting a brunch in a couple of weeks and thought it would look nice with some pretty cupcakes on it.

I forgot to take a before picture, so I waited to polish the back. This is what it looked like at the store.

I love the inscription:

Not 4th place or next to last, or 3rd runner up, but 4th Best. That encourages me. I know I will never be best in show, or best in life, because I am human. A little too human it seems at times, but I can be 4th best, or 17th best, or next to last best.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Avalanche prevention day.

I am a maker of piles. Some people I know make piles that actually promote organization, but my piles are hurriedly constructed future avalanches. The really bad thing about this bad habit is that when I have a few minutes to be creative, I don't have a surface to be creative on, nor can I get to the drawers in my desk.

I cleaned it off. I put things in their places. I know how to organize. Most things in my house have a place. Sometimes the place isn't quite big enough (small house), but there is a basic bone structure for neatness.

I put my dollar basket on the desk to hold things that I might NEED to pile somewhere. (It is a rubber?/plastic? coated metal basket that I found at my favorite thrift store. It was pretty dirty, so they charged me a dollar. I don't mind washing things for a bargain.) This way, I can just pick the pile up by the convenient handle and remove it from my "creating space".

I love finding things in the midst of cleaning that I have forgotten about. I got this little flower press as a favor at a friend's birthday party. I had forgotten that I actually pressed some flowers in it.

You probably already guessed that I also bought this desk at the same great store. It was brown with handles that I didn't care for, but now I love it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The mama and the papa.

I'm working on slipcovers for a pair of wing chairs that are definitely a pair, but at the same time are slightly different. The client calls them the mama chair and the papa chair. The mama has a little more curviness. I am covering them in a big check fabric. I have learned from past experience that if I don't cut the pieces out in the right order, the checks (or plaids) won't line up, usually in some noticeable place on the chair.

I went to the Internet to seek help with this, but found nothing. I thought of e-mailing Angie (the Slipcover Diva), but being the impatient person that I am, I asked the only one around who I thought could help me.

But Max just looked up from his studies and shook his head from side to side.

So, this is what I came up with. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Brained bird brain.

This black headed grosbeak flew into our second story window a couple of days ago as you can tell by it's stunned, beak agape expression. We ran outside and picked it up off the ground. A better thing to do would be to place a colander, or something else with holes in it over the bird, but when else do you get a chance to hold a wild bird. They are so soft.

I was thinking that birds fly into windows because they do, after all, have bird brains, but I guess some people who have studied bird brains have found that they have more reasoning abilities than once thought. And when you think about it, when a bird flies toward your window, he (or she) doesn't just see the sky reflected, he (or she) sees trees, and a bird flying toward him (or her). Have you ever walked into an unfamiliar house and thought you saw someone in the next room, but laughed to find out it was your reflection in a full length mirror? Now imagine, before you realize that it is you, running as fast as you can toward that person. Hopefully if you do that someone will help you up or call an ambulance, or place a colander over you until you wake up.

My husband, who is loved by all animals, made sure that the bird was safely in a tree before we went inside, and we think he survived. We hope so.

Monday, July 9, 2007

All wrapped up.

Blue slipcover is neatly packaged and ready to go, and "small blogger" is all bundled up in her new sweater and new skirt.
The cutting table has a new wrapper as well.

This week is off to a good start.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Thank God It's Friday I Mean Tuesday.
For those of us who worked this last week, but took off the 4th, it was like having a Monday and then a Friday followed by a Saturday and then another Monday and then another Friday. And some of us probably stayed up a little late on that middle of the week Saturday. Well, I'm ready for a whole weekend!

Here is a little recap of what I did on my two Mondays and Fridays:

Swam in a sea of blue fabric while making a sofa slipcover.

Ironed blue slipcover.

Found a hole in one of the seat cushion covers. Doh!

Cut out new seat cushion top so repair could be made.

Tried to pick which thrifted sheet to use to recover cutting/ironing table.

Next week I will show you my choice in my new clothes.

Monday, July 2, 2007

It's time for a change.

Every time I go to the grocery store, I feel a little guilty that I am bringing home more plastic bags and encouraging the demand for them and continuing the problem. I could go on a tirade, but I won't. Instead I'll show you what I did last week.

While looking around for a good reusable shopping bag pattern, I came across this. It is a bag bag, crocheted using plastic bags. I made one. It is smaller than I had imagined, but will be useful in some capacity. Maybe I will work on my patience deficit by making a big one that could actually tote groceries, or at least produce from the Farmer's Market.

Then, a little later I went over to betz's blog and followed the link to the etsy tutorial and learned how to fuse plastic bags together to make a usable fabric type of material.
I even saw a dress made from this stuff. (Not exactly my style.) My daughter had been complaining about her wallet being too large, so I made her a nice compact one using a bag from a local surf shop. Now I just have to add a holder for her driver's license somehow.

The dilemma is that now I want MORE plastic bags. Something went awry here. I have made a commitment to still use fewer plastic bags, so when I need to replenish my supply, I will "borrow" them from a recycle bin somewhere. You may see me explaining to people, as I take bags from the bin outside the grocery store, "I'm not a bag lady. Really. I'm just doing crafts. I live in a house. I keep my things there. Really. Oh look at this nice pink bag."