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Cutie Coffee Cozies for Us

Closed eyes no more. Time to be responsible, my aching knees.  ~ Su-sieee! Mac
That was my pronouncement to myself this morning. Neither The Husband nor Molly the Cat heard, so you, dear readers, are my witnesses. I am going to do my best to go through, organize, and throw out the piles of papers and boxes of stuff that are in this house, as well as "do" instead of "thinking about doing" something fun and creative for no reason at all. Yes!

In that second regard, I am happy to say I made something yesterday evening. Actually two somethings—those coffee cup cozies you see in the above photo. Sewing them was easy-peasy. Unlike the first time, a bunch of years ago, when figuring how to do it completely stumped me. I was sweating bullets while stitching it on the machine. Sweating bullets, what an image!

We've been getting coffee to go lately so cardboard coffee sleeves have been collecting in our car. We don't remember until we get back into the car that we p…

Che Bene!

It took the itchy flea bites to finally get me to the sewing machine.  For me, a good summer means insect bites, in particular, flea ones. The other day, I came home with seven flea bites on my left leg, from ankle to hip.

A few years ago I discovered if I apply heat to an itchy bite, the itch goes away almost instantly, which means I don't end up with scars because I didn't scratch as much, giving the swollen bite sites a chance to heal properly.

So, this morning, after I opened the blinds and curtains, I headed to the sewing machine, which has been waiting to be used since the start of the year. The scissors I bought in May finally came out of its package. A box of fabric on the sewing table was already open.

Snip, snip. A rectangular shape was cut out of a fabric scrap. The rectangle was folded in half for double strength.  On went the sewing machine. One side, two sides sewn. Rip went the rice package and rice poured into the pouch. The ends of the last open side was tuc…

Pretty in Pink

The Mama loved to sew dresses for me in pink when I was in elementary school. I didn't care too much for the color, but because I wasn't interested in looking at fabric back then, she bought what she liked. Long story short, once I got to a point where I began choosing materials or ready-made clothes, I avoided pink.

Then somewhere in my late 40s, I thought the color pink is fresh. It's bold. It's got pizazz. It's joyful. It's happy. Again, long story short, I think I'll put some pink in the tunic I am going to sew soon.


Haute Hippie Couture

I walked into a woman's boutique shop in Santa Cruz to check out a very cute East-Indian style top that I saw in its window. It was similar to ones I wore when I was a very young thing. I thought if the cost was right it was going home with me. I was even willing to pay $45 for it, although I thought it was worth $20 bucks.

I have no sense of how much clothing are worth these days. Twenty bucks was how much I paid for eccentric stuff, which the the parents called hippie clothes, at import shops when I was a very young thing.

The East-Indian tops of yore were made of a thin cotton. This modern version was made of a smooth, rich-feeling fabric that turned out to be rayon. Not being silk, I figured the top would be very affordable.

Then I finally found the price tag.

One hundred ninety-eight dollars!

Shall I say that again: $198.00!!

Seriously.

When I got home, I looked up the designer online. Maybe I'd find the top for cheaper.

Ha!

$218.00!!!

I saw several other tops on t…

My Amazing, But Unplanned, Stunt

The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday morning, as I was pedaling my pretty pink bicycle. Quite freaky, in fact. Totally insane. I wish I had one of those cameras strapped to my head so I could've recorded the whole thing, which lasted a few seconds but in slooooooooow motion seemed God, Almighty! long. In my mind, what I did is akin (almost) to attempting the circle-of death-biker stunt. Hey! Don't laugh. You gotta remember I'm a fat, young old fogey turning 60 in a few months, which I say in a very positive way.

Okay, okay. I think I've got your attention to the kinda, somewhat, yes, indeed risk I experienced yesterday morning.

It was about 8:17 a.m. For those of you who don't know my normal pattern, that hour is like sunrise for me. The Husband was still snoozing in bed, the Mama was eating her breakfast, and Molly the Cat was gazing out the back window probably thinking about climbing the fence. Me, I had a meeting to go to and by, golly, this time I h…

"A Case for Smiles"

See that mess of fabric on the right.

I'm almost finally going to turn them into some things. Operative word here is almost. A couple hours ago I ordered more fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew!  Almost 8 yards worth of different happy, calming designs with such names as Good Earth,  Daisy Dance,  Carnations on Gold, and Poppy Parade Brown.  So, once my shipment comes in, I shall drop everything and sew pillowcases.

Pillow cases?

Yes, pillow cases.

I'm going to get off my butt and sew at least seven pillowcases for "A Case for Smiles," a fabulous project sponsored by ConKerr Cancer.  Based in Philadelphia, the nonprofit group delivers donated handmade pillowcases to terminally ill children in hospitals across the United States. The founder is Cindy Kerr who started making pillowcases for her son and other children in the oncology unit in 2002 to help bring smiles to the kids as well as brighten their hospital rooms.

According to the ConKerr Cancer Web site, the organization has…

A Craftsgal Wanna Be

That's right, I admit it. I'm a craftsgal wanna be.

When I was younger and lived in San Francisco, I thought it would be so cool to sell my handcrafted wares on the sidewalks. It didn't matter that I had no wares or skills.  I've been daydreaming again about selling my handcrafted wares, but this time at farmers markets and online at etsy.com.  Still, no wares and no skills.

When I get tired of writing, I visit crafts blogs. Sewing, knitting, beading, whatever. I especially like the blogs by crafts ladies who repurpose old stuff into fantastic things that I want to make, such as clutch purses out of used skirts.

Last fall, I finally had the space and time to try my hand at crafting. My first attempt was a hedgehog. That's it in the photo. It only has one eye.

Next, I made was a pinwheel. I go gaga over pinwheels. They're what I associate with Fourth of July and family picnics. One day, I would like to learn to weld so that I can create one crazy gigantic pinwheel…

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day

"Busy, busy," the husband said to me when I asked him if he read my latest Take 25 to Hollister, California post.

"Yeah. But I'm not making any money," I said.

"Well, you're not robbing a bank."

That's why I love the husband.

We're two freelance writers, just minding our own business. Though lately we haven't been good at minding it. Yesterday, I did look at online job ads for freelance writers and bloggers. Is it so bad to say I'd rather earn nothing for writing a post to my blog than get paid moldy peanut shells for researching and writing a tight, comprehensive article? Well, at least for yesterday. I may just be disciplined today.

Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon checking out the various sewing and crafts giveaways being hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew! I didn't count, but I'm sure there were far more than a hundred bloggers who were participating in Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day! I clicked through three pages of lin…

Cloth Napkins

I’ve been talking to the husband and the mama about changing to cloth napkins for almost two years. (Time flies quickly when you’re old. That is, older.) The husband and the mama had no objections. Cloth napkins are more economical than paper ones, as well as more than one tree would be saved. But any moves of finding and purchasing cloth napkins were going to come from me.

My research was sporadic and disheartening. There weren’t, and probably still aren’t, many places to buy cloth napkins, nor were there a variety of choices of napkins. And I am very particular about shelling out money, between $4 and $5 per napkin, for something I could easily make, if I had the time. As for the mama, who is even cheaper than me, I imagined her hiding a paper napkin amongst the expensive cloth one and pulling it out to wipe her mouth when I wasn’t looking.

A couple months ago, I finally did walk my talk. It was fun and a hoot putting my foot to the metal of my mom’s Singer treadle sewing machine,…