A Word of Thanks

I just wanted to thank everyone who has followed my blog, made helpful or funny comments, who have shared a little bit of their life with me.  I also wanted to thank my models, without whom my products may have never sold(!); for all the times you had to fake a smile or overcome your camera shyness – Thank you.  For my friends and family – ahh, you know I love you!

I wish all of you a good time tomorrow with your family or friends or, if you’re lucky enough, both.

And she says she's the camera doesn't like her...

And she says she’s the camera doesn’t like her…

It was the hands in the pocket that brought out the "model" in this young one.

It was the hands in the pocket that brought out the “model” in this young one.

She really didn't want to take pictures...I think this picture just makes her look pensive.

She really didn’t want to take pictures…I think this picture just makes her look pensive.

And this little cutie didn't care!

And this little cutie didn’t care!

Something for Fingerless Mittens Fans

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

There is something very gratifying about finishing a mini-project that you’ve designed yourself.  Even the simplest gee-gaw can take awhile, especially when a stitch doesn’t come out right or you’ve miscounted, or the color combination doesn’t appear quite as you’d imagined; it’s always something.  This recent misadventure, though, had a minimum of frogs and actually went rather swimmingly, as compared to earlier such attempts.  I hope that someday, in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to connect the idea with the reality much easier.  I assume like anything else, I just need to practice; however, I am starting to feel like the perpetual student!

Front and back

Front and back

So, without further ado (I know, I know…what an antiquated quote!), here is the pattern, which is located in the Crafting Links tab under knitting.  It’s easier this way.  And of course, I have included the link to my shop in the event you don’t know how to knit or you’re too busy during this holiday season.  Either way, enjoy!

Pattern

Etsy shop

Half Couch Cover or An Attempt To Save Money

As any owner of free range dogs knows your furniture can sometimes take the ultimate toll; for instance, us.  We used to have nice leather furniture about 10 years ago.  When it was brand new.  At first it there were just a few scratches that we fretted over, and eventually, we ended up looking at this:

The victim.  The plaid lap throws just weren't cuttin' it anymore!

The victim. The plaid lap throws just weren’t cuttin’ it anymore.

A wonderful plaid lap throw became our quick fix for a bit, but the whole just kept getting larger.  With Thanksgiving a little more than a week away and the relatives coming to visit, I knew action had to be taken and fast.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on another couch whose fate would be the same as above.  I understand that inevitably, I will have to make the investment, that this couch will not function, but until then, I’m milkin’ it.

I’m not a skilled seamstress who can tailor fit a whole couch cover, and honestly, the top part isn’t so bad.  We had been using a lap throw (which slipped around and came undone a lot) but that didn’t look too good.  My husband came up with the idea of using a dowel stick to help keep a cover in place, so we ran with it.

Jo-ann Crafts Store had a Veteran’s Day special for 60% off all decor fabric – yea! – so we ran down there and got what we needed to the tune of $38.  That’s 1 3/4 yards of nice upholstery fabric with a 54″ selvedge.  Don’t you love it when you get a deal? :-)

This is the real pretty material we found!

This is the real pretty material we found!

Our search for a proper sized dowel stick turned into a search for a closet rod, which we found at the local DIY store where they cut it to size for all of $3.

Since I’m a beginning seamstress, I did what seemed right, and the first step was to measure the seam allowance the for the dowel and mark it off.

Figure out how much leeway you want to give the rod.  I went with a loose fit; you can always tighten it up if it doesn't work

Figure out how much leeway you want to give the rod. I went with a loose fit; you can always tighten it up if it doesn’t work

Make sure to mark where you're going to pin with chalk or colored pencil or anything that will stay around long enough to get your stitches done.

Make sure to mark where you’re going to pin with chalk or colored pencil or anything that will stay around long enough to get your stitches done.

This always happens when I first start a project for one reason or another - grrr!

This always happens when I first start a project for one reason or another – grrr!

 

I was so proud of my cheap little Singer!

I was so proud of my cheap little Singer!

For the edges I sewed an inch allowance, and the bottom I think was like 6 inches.  I know, a crappy tall seam, but it was really hard to figure out that particular measurement.  If you make this, your allowances will most likely be different.

Almost there.

Almost there.

Of course, on the last 2 feet of the last seam, the bobbin ran out.  *sigh*  I always try to overshoot for the amount of thread I’ll need, but it never seems to work in my favor.  The closet rod was a tight fit and needed some coaxing, but my daughter and I finally got it into a fairly good position.  Et voila!

Coolsville.

Coolsville.

I think we have hit the solution for our problem.  I hope it lasts, but for $41 dollars, I think we can update this look every year!

See you in the funny pages!

The Contents of My Purse

I think it will be the bane and boon for every woman over the age of 44: the well-stocked purse.  You know…the middle-aged woman who works with you in your office; the go-to lady when you have a headache, an acidic stomach, or your button has fallen off and you’ll get either a safety pin, or some highly skilled tailor services for free and said button is repaired.  When disaster befalls your office, she is the one with some chocolate to soothe the nerves, and perhaps, even, a book that materializes out of her magic bag to distract or inform the beleaguered office worker.

Ah, yes. A random pic of the interior of my purse to illustrate my point. Beanos, hand sanitizer, aspirin, cough drops, kleenex, and I know there’s Immodium and Tums in there somewhere!

After all the services you have received from her, there is still a little joke that runs around the office about her age. Yes, the old lady’s purse, and the more she carries, the older she is. And you will never do that, because you’ll be young forever…Or something to that effect.

Yet here I am, carrying, in effect, the contents of a pharmacy. (See image) I have also come to the conclusion that, as I grow older, I don’t care what the young ones think; I’m a middle-aged woman who doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable just so I can be hip, because that’s not happening no matter what I do!

So go ahead and feel smug in your youth. Make the jokes, because I’m going to laugh at them also, knowing eventually, the joke is ultimately on all of us!

The Digital Age

10645289_10152361571820740_6680762984255085695_nI happened upon a yarn funny the other day, and it got me thinking.  How many of us have anything we consider worth saving that isn’t digital?  I live up here in the (dry) forests of Northern California, and summer can be just absolutely nerve wracking.  You’re always checking the skies and sniffing the air for the unmistakeable signs of a wildfire.  So far, none have come within evacuation distance.

Strangely enough, my first experience with that was when we first moved up to NorCal and lived in a suburban subdivision.  Behind our wooden fence was acres of land that had yet to be developed.  You know the kind of place I’m talking about.  Since 2008, there have been many such neighborhoods.  Anyway, it was Labor Day, people were out barbecuing, partying, having a good time.  The wind was brisk and someone’s grill let loose some sparks, and there you have it.  The evacuation was a mess, so we ended up going to the local bar and ordering some beer and lighting up a cigarette.  For those of you who don’t know it, I stopped smoking in 1987.  I felt this was a good time to blaze one up again.  It wasn’t; it just gave me a headache.

When we were given the green light to go back home, I had time to assess what we took in our 5 minutes of warning.

  1. The pets
  2. Some random clothes we threw in a suitcase – plenty of underwear!
  3. My external hard drive backup (didn’t have a laptop at the time)
  4. My camera bag stuffed with my cameras, lenses, hood, flash, etc
  5. A folder filled with house and insurance documentation

That was it.  The list pretty much remains the same, except I would include my laptop (so I could blog about it!!!) and drop the folder.  And maybe my most current yarn project.  Everything else is online.  It’s amazing how much “stuff” I have on my laptop, and if I were to lose it, the agony!  When did this happen?  I can’t even imagine what an evacuation would have meant for us back in the 80s!  I mean, if I had to live with the bare minimums, there you have it.  What we’re doing with all this other stuff we have cram into our houses…Gee, I don’t know.  Do you?

Just some food for thought.

See you in the funny pages!

 

 

The Definitive Knitting Tutorial…maybe

So it only took my about 2 years to finally make it…and I’m not happy with it.  Too long.  I didn’t feel like breaking up the separate components, because all the steps go together; however, I understand, that due to our dependence on our computers, most of us now have an attention span of a goldfish.  The running time of this tutorial is a little under 20 minutes.  BUT, if you follow it, you will learn how to make your own knitted fabric swatch, so I’m gonna leave it.  There.

So what has everyone else been up to?

See you in the funny pages!

 

New Giveaway!

This is my new giveaway offer, geared more towards the crafters out there.  I had to think about this one and finally came up with an option that would make a suitable gift.  So, I have decided to part ways with a lovely wool from Knit Picky Andean Treasures line, in a great color called Embers.  There’s 3 skeins, 330 yards total of DK Peruvian goodness.

Stacked all pretty.

Stacked all pretty.

Artistic, yet simple.

Artistic, yet simple.

Scrumptious!

Scrumptious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to enter,  go to my Facebook page, and like the post that announces the giveaway.  This counts as “one”.  If you want two extra entries, share the post!  When I reach 207 likes on my page,  I will make a video of the drawing and post/announce it on my page.

Good luck!