Showing posts with label crafting/sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crafting/sewing. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A VHS-Tape Planter


The VHS tapes have been staring at me in the living room for more than a month. It could even be two months. I think that was the last time the Husband and I opened a bunch of boxes from storage to determine what to use, keep, throw, donate, recycle, maybe repurpose, or maybe sell. I think these VHS tapes are ones that I thought we might be able to sell online one day.

This morning I finally did something with 12 of the VHS tapes. I bound them together with duct tape to make two walls for a bottomless planter. That's it in the photo. Pretty cool, huh?

The planter would've been made of all VHS tapes, but I didn't have enough tapes. Fortunately, I kept the doors of a small cabinet, which fell apart last year, for the other two walls.

I figure the pretty flowers will take the focus away from the funky taping. Maybe later I'll pretty up the planter with color or simply put something beside the taped VHS-tape side.

It feels good to make something!

Today I'm hooking up with All Seasons, a meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshStG.  Click here to check other participants, or to join in yourself. Thanks, Jesh!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Carleen Original


I love handcrafted gifts. This Christmas I received one of the most amazing, beautiful handcrafted gifts ever—a quilt by Sister-in-Law Carleen. Isn't it gorgeous?! The pattern is trés cool.

The photograph doesn't do justice to the the bright and contrasting colors of yellow, green, purple, turquoise, and bits of bright blue. Carleen used a tropical theme because, she said, I was a tropical gal. I totally like that.

Needless to say, but I shall anyway, this Carleen original warms my heart big time and many times over!


I'm sharing this post with Warm Heart Wednesday, a new weekly meme hosted by the amazing Jenny Matlock. Yes, yes, I know it's Saturday. :-)


Friday, December 18, 2015

Tools for Fun


 Gosh, it's been one busy week. I apologize to the blog hops and memes that I hooked up with this week. I'm very late about visiting other bloggers, as well as responding here on The View from the Top of the Ladder. That's my plan tomorrow. 

Among the things the Husband and I did today was a stop at the art supplies store so I could spend my birthday money. I purchased a lot of cool stuff for the Husband and me to have fun with—suede boards, colored pencils, colored pens, drawing pad, Mod Podge, fabric glue, air-dry clay, and oven-bake clay.  Whooo-hooo! It's great being 62-years-old.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cool Stuff!


It's not my birthday.

It feels like it though.  

Today, the Husband and I drove over to Freedom to buy food for Molly the Cat. Our task was done quicker than we estimated, so we headed down the road to Watsonville to visit the art store and bookshop before lunch.

I'd only planned to buy a couple of new colored pencils at Wild Rose's Artists' Supplies and Custom Framing, but you know how it goes. I checked out the shop's art paper. Marbled paper. Oooooh. Wavy, corrugated paper. Gotta have that. Small rectangle-shaped suede paper. 25 cents, sold! My plan is to make masks. Yup.

At Crossroads Books, I bought a mystery called Shaking in Her Flip-Flops. Can't go wrong with a title like that.  Another neat thing about the book is that it's written by Joyce Oroz, an author who lives in nearby Aromas. The Husband and I also decided to purchase a copy of The 2016 Farmer's Almanac. That's always fun reading.

To top off getting all this cool stuff, we found a new yummy place for lunch—Imura Japanese Restaurant. Not only does it serve delightful sushi but awesomilicious Korean dishes. I've been missing Korean food.

So, you see, buying cool stuff and eating Korean food have me feeling like it's my birthday. Happy smiles all around.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bragging


Three days later, I'm ready to brag about my county fair ribbons. For some of them, I don't know if I would've won if there had been a lot more competition. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for all of them—four blue and one red ribbon in flower arrangements, one blue and one yellow ribbon in photography, and a white ribbon in wearable art. Whooo-hooo!

My most unbelievable win was the blue ribbon for my dry floral arrangement in the Country Road Treasure class. You had to use objects found along the road as containers or accessories. I found a broken piece of PVC pipe with jagged edges along the road while the Husband and I were walking home. It was perfect. When friend Kathy saw my arrangement, she described it as modern minimalism. I was told that the arrangement received a lot of comments. Good or bad, I didn't ask. 

You saw my Eiffel Tower martini glass arrangement already. If you haven't, click here.  These were my other flower arrangement entries.


The top row and the one on the left in the second row are fresh flower arrangements. The class for the tiny one is Little & Lovely, which meant it couldn't be 5-inches tall or wide. The class for the yellow flowers in a cup is Coffee Time, and for the flowers in the 1950s pitcher, Deja Vu. That's the Country Road Treasure arrangement in the last photo. I've used those red flowers three years in a row. I might retire them after the fifth year.

When I was a kid, a lot of my classmates entered stuff in the livestock, arts & crafts, and home economics departments, usually as part of FFA, 4-H, art class, home economics, or some other group. I always thought that would be fun. And, yes, I wanted to win a ribbon.


Seven years ago, I decided to enter some photos with the goal of winning one ribbon. On the fourth year, three of my photos finally placed. I think I earned a red, a white, and a green ribbon. I got greedy, I wanted a blue ribbon. (Cue mad scientist laugh.) On the fifth year, I decided to expand my horizons and enter flower arrangements, (whispering here) even though I've never done anything but place flowers in a vase. I won a couple of blue ribbons. Yay! Still, I wanted a blue ribbon from the photography department. Last year, I made that goal and I thought, I'd stop entering stuff. But, I'm hooked. The goal now is to get my entries done way before entry time. Yeah, right.

By the way, I had three firsts at this county fair. One was entering a bracelet, which won a white ribbon. I used the same fake pearls and red and green beads in my Eiffel Tower martini glass flower arrangement. Two, I tasted funnel cake. Yummmmmm. It tastes far better than it looks. And, not at all heavy.  Three, I rode the Ferris Wheel with the Husband. The scariest part was getting out of the seat and safely down on the ground.


See you tomorrow with Jane Austen, Action Doll.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Le Voiçi -- L'Eiffel Tower


On Monday I told you about my dry floral arrangement for the county fair. The photo shows my final result.

How did I do?

I won a blue ribbon for it.  Yup, yup, yup. You still can't see them, but there are tiny fake pearls, with red and green glass beads,  in the Eiffel Tower martini glass. They cover black stones that keep up the dry flowers.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you more about the fair. I'm pooped.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Finding Order in Chaos


Yesterday afternoon, procrastinating me started thinking about my flower arrangement entries for the fair, which are due on Wednesday afternoon.

I opened one of the kitchen cupboards and staring boldly at me, obviously begging to be in the fair, was an Eiffel Tower martini glass.  "I'm for the A Touch of Glass dry floral arrangement," it proclaimed. 

"Okay," I said. "Let's go." We went to the office where I set the Eiffel Tower martini glass on the drawing board, into which the poor Husband keeps bumping as he goes in and out of the office.

Before I knew it, the dried green moss called out from its basket on the floor, "Hey! Hey!"

Bammm! A handful of moss planted itself in the glass, draping itself whatever way it wanted.

The tiny blue straw flowers I bought the other day made a noise, "Me! Me! Me!"

Bammmm! The tiny flowers stood proudly in the moss.

"Yoooo-hoooo!" The fake pearls waved from its box. "Eiffel tower. Martini. You need us."

Not-a-bam. The fake pearls got lost in the moss.  "More, more," they cried. They may be right. The arrangement needs something to keep everything in place. But, I still need to make my wrap-around bracelet that features the fake pearls.

So, when the moss, tiny blue straw flowers, and the fake pearls quieted down, I had myself a work in progress. At first, I called it Dystopia. Negativity did not sit well with me nor with the Eiffel Tower martini glass, dried green moss, tiny blue straw flowers, and fake pearls. After some time of not thinking about it, the arrangement announced its name, "I am Coming Back from Dystopia."


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer Domestic Diva Challenge -- Two Down!


Hurrah! I completed item#1 on my list of seven things to do before the summer ends.

The Husband has his second tunic. It sports a couple of boo-boos. One pocket is lower than the other. And, there's a triangle of fabric missing in the interfacing. I cut it out as I was sewing because the fabric was overlapping in the oddest way.  I should've had more faith in what I was doing. We'll see how the tunic holds up with each washing.


The blue print on the pockets and on the sides looks weird. What can I say other than it brings out the happiness of the shirt.

The Husband is so cool.



Friday, August 14, 2015

Time Flies. . .


When you have much to do. Yup. Time flies. Fly, fly, time.

Within the next six hours, I plan to do this:

Finish the Husband's tunic. All I need to do is attach the sleeves and sides, then hem it up.

Make an appetizer.  The Husband and I are going to a party tonight. Fun. Maybe I'll make cheesy olive balls. They're easy to make, but that means going to the store for olives and cheddar cheese.

Put together a photo collage.  It's for a luncheon fundraiser tomorrow. I could probably do that after the party, if I print the photos beforehand. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Get this post done.  I threw this in so I can feel like I'll have accomplished something once its published.  Always look for the positive, I say.

Thank goodness, I finished reading my novel last night, otherwise I'd forget about doing these things I plan to do. Enchanted  August by Brenda Bowen.  Just like the title, the story was enchanting.

I could go for either a cup of coffee or a lovely cocktail.  That's not going to happen. So, I'll just pretend to smell the flowers.  See ya.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Working Out the Laziness


I'm feeling lazy. It may be because I haven't pedaled Tilda-Hilda in a week. Soon, though, we'll be out again. Perhaps tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow, even if it's around the block.

Since I've been feeling lazy, I decided to start working on one of my seven things to do before the summer ends. The other day, I opened my fabric stash and came up with a color combination for the Husband's second tunic.

I'm patchworking a bit of blue with the brown kalidescope print. Although the two prints felt right together, they looked weird at first. Now, that I've finished sewing the patchworks together, I don't think the colors or the prints clash. Hopefully, I'll have time today to sew the tunic.

'This may be a very cool tunic or an ugly one," I said to the Husband.

"I don't care," he replied. "I'll wear it anyway."

The Husband is a sweetheart.

I'm linking up with Our World Tuesday. To join in or check out other participants, please click here.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Seven Things to Do Before Summer Ends


It's time for me to make a list of all domestic diva things I want to accomplish this summer. Otherwise, I will just vaguely think about doing them, which in my world means "I'll do it tomorrow." As we all know, tomorrow really never comes.

I shall ring Tilda-Hilda's ding-a-ling bell and...and...and...proclaim my list of things I shall complete before the first day of Autumn.


1. Sew the Husband another tunic.

2. Sew myself a tunic.

3. Sew the Christmas vest for the Husband, which I said I would do....uhm, two Christmases ago.


4. Make lemon extract.

5. Make limoncello.

6. Make candied ginger.

7. Bake energy bars. So, Tilda-Hilda and I can pedal farther and further down roads.

I can do these seven things. I can!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How I Spent My "Gone Reading" Day

I need to put up my "Gone Reading" sign more often. I got some good reading done yesterday. It did take awhile before I actually ran to the bedroom and escaped into another time and place but when I did I read for two hours before it was time to make dinner. In the evening, I went back to the mystery I was reading until I turned the last page of the book, which I will tell you about another day.

To feel okay about going reading, I decided to cross a few things off my To-Do list. I finally put the photos I had scanned back in the Mama's albums. Some of them even went back on the correct pages. Hopefully, the Mama won't notice. I filed away some documents and put papers to shred in a neat pile on the floor.

I even researched what kind of milkweed grows in our area and where to purchase the milkweed seeds. Milkweed is what monarch butterflies munch on as they pass through from here to there. When I was a kid, monarch butterflies were a common thing to see around here. Not anymore. Over the decades, their food source has been wiped out every where through development, which, of course, has contributed to their decreasing population.

Belt Holder

Last week, the Husband and I did a thorough cleaning in our bedroom on account of the carpet beetles that suddenly showed themselves. Damn, bugs. On one hand, it was good thing because it forced the Husband and me to take out everything in our drawers and closet. "Oh, I didn't know I had that," said the Husband more than a few times.  We got rid of a bunch of clothes and reorganized things. And, you know what, we only had a few things that had no place to be.

The Husband's belts, for instance. Yesterday, I got tired of seeing them sprawled on the dresser, so I put on my thinking cap. Essentially, I found a bunch of curtain clips in a drawer and. . . Voila!


As you can see, Jane Austen had to get in on the action, too.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Never Too Old to Uncover a Talent


Today I discovered a talent -- and a natural skill -- that I have.

First, let me put it all in context. I decided to enter the Country Roads Dry Flower Arrangement category at this year's County Fair. It'll be my first time. The requirement: I must make a dried flower display using a receptacle that I have found alongside the road.

So, this afternoon, the Husband and I decided to walk on the street that's next to the last small open field in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, a chicken-wire-type cyclone fence blocked us from wandering in the field. Still, I lucked out. Just on the other side of the fence was a broken toy rocket and a small kinda flat rubber ball. Bingo!

I was able to pull the rocket through the fence without busting it. Whoo-hooo! Now to get the ball that was further away from the fence. The Husband and I found a stronger and larger stick, but that, too, was on the other side of the fence.  That's when I learned about my talent.

I was able to put part of my hand (which I now consider small) through the fence and grab the stick. Now, here comes the neat part: I patiently moved the stick up the fence until it got to the point where I could pull it over the fence and handed it to the Husband.

He channeled his talented elementary schoolboy self and swiftly rolled the ball to the fence. He stepped back and I worked my magic retrieving that ball with my new found talent. Ha! Goes to show, we're never too old to uncover a talent.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Giveaway Day Event at Sew, Mama, Sew!


I like to sew.

It was only recently that I realized I did. My passion to create via the sewing machine comes in spurts and usually 10 years apart. It is probably just my lazy nature that kept me from becoming skilled at the craft. Unlike the Mama. She is a talented seamstress. A very precise one, too. Though not anymore. She still has a pedal Singer sewing machine, but it's  too heavy for her to work, and the electric sewing machine confounds her. So she says. These days, she asks me if I'd mend something for her on the sewing machine. That makes me feel darn-tooting good. Fortunately for me, she has mellowed and doesn't care that my seams are still not perfectly straight and tend to be wiggle-waggle looking.

One of these days, I'll tell you, dear readers, the story about the time the Mama got a C (or was it a C minus) for my homemaking project in seventh grade.

Today, I want to mention the Giveaway Day event that Sew, Mama, Sew! is hosting at its blog. Quilters, crafters, sewing mavens, and others are giving away wonderful items they've sewn and crafted as well as extra fabric, patterns, and sewing and craft supplies that they have in their caches to their readers. Yes, that's right. Here's the opportunity to win a beautiful scarf, a necklace, a handbag, a yard of fabric, a vintage pattern, and much more.

Amazing, huh? One of these Giveaway Days, I'll have my act together and give away something that someone may think is cool to own. Yep, I shall.

 The Giveaway Day event is a one week event. It started on May 6 and will run until  May 10th. Sew, Mama, Sew! has divided the giveaways into five categories. Here are the links:
Buena Fortuna!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Never-too-Late Tunic


In April of last year, I stumbled upon a handsome batik-like print with ukuleles. Immediately, I thought, "An Hawaiian shirt for the Husband!" Without giving it another thought, I bought 2 yards of the fabric. I didn't care that I hadn't ever sewn a shirt before. When the Husband saw the print, he was just as excited as me about the idea of a Hawaiian shirt for him.

Throughout May, I looked at patterns online. The thought of sewing collars, yokes, and buttons made my hands sweat. I needed to turn this shirt into something fun to sew.

"What do you think about a tunic?" I asked the Husband.

The Husband went into a happy place as he described a Mexican tunic he once owned when he was a young man. How comfortable it was. How neat it looked. And so on, and so forth.

In June, for his birthday, I gave the Husband a written promise of a hand-sewn tunic in the ukulele print. Over the summer, I kept my eyes open for the perfect tunic pattern.

By September, or maybe it was October, I found an easy-to-sew tunic pattern. Fortunately, for me, the Husband isn't a nag. I wouldn't be surprised if he had forgotten about it.

Two days before Christmas, I sat myself at the sewing machine and made the Husband's tunic. I was great entertainment for the Mama and Molly the Cat that day. To my surprise, I completed the tunic all in one day. 


Check out other A to Z Challenge
participants by clicking here.


The Husband wore the brand-new tunic to his brother's Christmas party. A couple times, I heard him saying that the Wife made it for him. 

The Husband looks quite hip in it, and, yep, very much a hippie. It's his going-out shirt. He says it's very comfortable. He feels cool when the weather is hot, and warm (with a sweater underneath) when it's cold.

Who knows? I just might sew him another for him. There is a lot of time until Christmas.




Thursday, July 5, 2012

What's Wrong with Me!

We are on a strict budget right now. Not that I'm complaining. The flow of income can get very tight when you choose to be an independent writer. So,  all of you readers out there who want to be professional self-employed writers, bear that in mind. If you want the independence, you just keep plugging along. If you can't stand the financial insecurity, then you need to shore up on the writing, editing, researching, and computing skills to get a decent paying communications, technical writing, or editing staff job. And, for gosh sakes, please don't underbid your professional worth, which is essentially all professional writers' worth.

But, I've wandered. Being financially insecure at the moment isn't my tale. Nor is being a professional writer, which I finally get is what I am. Talk about sometimes not getting it. Do you know the yellow gas station Shell Oil? I don't know how many times I've seen the Shell stations by the time I reached a certain day in my late 30s.  I was driving south from San Francisco on Highway 101, a familiar route for me back then. I went around this  particular bend near South San Francisco when I saw for the nth time the Shell station logo broadcasting itself high over the freeway on my left. Bingo! At that moment I realized the logo symbol is a shell. You know, as in Shell Oil. Duh!

Again, I've wandered. What was I going to talk about? Strict budget. . . .yeah, right. Strict budget means don't look at tempting things to buy. These days that means fabric. Not that I'm sewing a lot. Nor even a little. But, my little makeshift sewing nook is still set up in the living room. Both the Mama and the Husband don't seem to care that I haven't been near it since I sewed the apron, a birthday gift for one of my gal pals. They—the Mama and the Husband—tolerate my madness so well. So do my gal pals, for that matter.

But fabric. Ahhhhhhhh. I love going up and down fabric aisles, pulling out bolts of color and of weird design. I also like looking at fabric online. I only allow myself to do that at Sew, Mama, Sew. (I just discovered its sewing tutorials. Oh-oh.)   

When I look at a piece of fabric that attracts, me, I sometimes can see what to make right away. For instance, I bought a couple yards of a muted green print with ukuleles here and there, and thought about making a birthday tunic for the Husband. Other times I just get a vague feeling that translates to I really must buy this fabric. An example of that is the one yard of a white and black chrysanthemum-type flower print. When I showed it to the Mama, she immediately said, "Hmmm, a blouse." So, of course, I immediately thought, A birthday blouse for the Mama

There. Two sewing projects to complete before the summer is up. But first that means I need to find—and buy—patterns. Ooooh, patterns.  Where's my piggy bank?


Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Sew Can!

I still can't sew straight lines, but what does it matter. The bigger point is to attempt and to accomplish. And you betcha big time, I so did!

I finished Molly's bridle this morning. Once Molly is used to having it on her, I'll post a photo of her sporting it. Whoo-hoo!

I also sewed a  reversible patchwork apron for a birthday gift, which the Husband is kindly holding up for me in the photos below.  Took me all of six hours, using my minimal sewing skills and following very basic instructions as well as my whim and fancy.   It's the second apron I made. The first patchwork one. I like to do patchwork. That takes center stage rather than the flaws. But, what's life without flaws, eh.

 I didn't realize the chicken panel was off until I was all done.
It adds to the perfection of its imperfection.

See, on the other side, you can't even tell the hem is crooked.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

What I Would Do

If I were more ambitious, I would nudge myself to actually take the time do the following ten...five...three! things within the next...uhm...let's say five weeks.

Sew the "bridle" for Molly the Cat.
It's not really called a "bridle". I just can't remember the correct term right now. But, it's the thing to which you attach a leash. Yes, the Husband and I have visions of walking with Molly the Cat. So does the Mama. I've already bought the "ingredients" (again, I can't remember the correct term) for the project. If you're curious about my vague description, check this link. Okay, the bridle is a harness. Bridle sounds so much nicer.

Pedal my bicycle to and from Tres Pinos. Every morning before breakfast, too.
Tres Pinos is a cool, tiny village about five to seven miles away from the house, depending on what route I take. This would be a very huge commitment as well as a complete overhaul of my schedule. It would mean that I no longer stay up until the wee hours of the morning. But, then, if I started my day earlier, I could get up to work in the wee hours of the morning before hopping on the bicycle.

For this objective to happen, the crew members of this house would have to readjust their schedules, too. So, maybe I should just think about coming up with a more realistic goal such as: Pedal my bicycle to and from Tres Pinos once or twice a week, regardless of the time. If I throw in having a meal or snack at the Flapjack's Country Cafe, the Husband just might want to join me.

Plant some herbs and lettuce.
I don't know how many years I've had this package of lettuce seeds on my desk. Every so often, I uncover it when papers get moved around. There is probably a package of basil seeds around here, too. Yes, this daydream...goal...idea... is quite doable. And if I do it indoors, the plants may have a better chance of living. After all, I finally got a hang on caring for the mushrooms in the box. See how huge they are in the photo! That's the second crop. The first crop came out stunted and almost like petrified wood because I didn't mist it enough. Hmmm, I think there may be a trip to the nursery happening in...let's say in two weeks.

© 2012 Su-sieee! Mac. All rights reserved.