Monday, March 29, 2010
About those better needles... I strongly urge you to check out the Spiral Eye side threading needles at www.spiraleyeneedles.com. American ingenuity is alive and well and living in a grandmother named Pam Turner, her story is on the site. The U.S. Patent Office is so impressed with the simplicity and success of the design they did a feature article on her. As you know (or maybe not?) arthur likes to screw with about every aspect of my life including threading needles. I do most of my sewing by machine and my Janome has a threading device. However everything seems to involve some level of hand sewing. I have a stack of unfinished projects that I attacked eagerly with my new toy and it made all the difference. You can thread this puppy in near darkness and it doesn't pop out, ever! The most impressive aspect though is the speed with which I can rethread or change colors! I bought a small pack of the 3 most popular sizes but it does come in embroidery size needles and her next venture is surgical needles.
If you, your mother, grandmother, beloved aunt, whoever likes to sew or wants to maintain their independence this would make a great gift. Its perfect for low vision issues or those with limited mobility as well. I'm planning to order a backup set and donate all my old needles to the local homeless shelter.
I want to personally thank Pam Turner for putting a huge dent in arthur's repertoire of torture. I need all the help I can get! arthur the level of pain you inflicted last week really raised the devil with my life but I'm back on track and today promises to be a 6 :)
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Cut the liner for my son's bathroom window the correct dimensions.
Cut the 2 liners too small for son's bedroom blinds (did cut fabric right- phewwww cuz it was from a store closeout)
Cut 1 new and ran out. Cut 2nd replacement liner from stash for my bedroom blinds, thought I had extra.
Wrong!!! Had to go buy new liner for my bedroom. Lost the original design & dimensions so when I refigured, I was now short.
Realized one of the extra goof up liners fits main bathroom window that everyone hates and found clearance fabric for it. Damn another treatment to sew.
Can't finish son's room until I do mine because mine fell down this morning. Not enough blue tape in Akron to get it to hold temporarily. I live here all the time and he's not in until Easter.
Cut my liners then went to measure fabric. Again with the new dimensions so the silk shantung for my room is now 10" shy of what I need. Very expensive and I'm bummed.
Went through extensive home dec stash searching for a sub and... nothing :(
No JoAnn's coupons, double damn, full price here I come.
Found perfect silk on uber clearance for $3, yes I didn't mistype that I paid $3/yard!
Went from 3 small blinds to sew before Easter to 7. My dearest hubs reminds me that Easter is in 2 weeks and I'm not that fast. Priceless.
Does anyone else have days like this? I could film the return of the keystone cops with a wily cast of 1 at this rate! Laughter may be the best medicine but arthur was the only one chuckling. I will get the last laugh though, BWAH HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
arthur, I have been too busy trying to prep the house for Easter and the return of the prodigal son with his girlfriend to care what joint you're attacking at the moment. Blinds to sew, Easter tote bags (adult version of the basket at our house) to make, and a goodie box to ship to LA are all in a week's work for me! Gazelle.com you made today a 7, yippee I'll take it!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
But now, ta da, I've finally gotten back in the swing. I've been furiously cutting out fabric and liner to make 3 roman shades for my son's bedroom and bathroom windows. We currently have crumbling 19 year old honeycomb shades that were here when we moved in. We've been here 10.5 years and after dutifully cleaning them regularly they've finally separated and we've given them last rites. My son was trying to keep them together with blue painters tape the last time he was home for the weekend. So I'm posting pictures including the tape as well as the new fabric. Trust me as soon as I finish the new ones I'll be putting up photos immediately! They have to be done by Easter and hopefully much much sooner.
arthur hates it when I start a new project. He likes it much better when I lay around eating bonbons and watching Pride and Prejudice for the 50th time. (Love that Mr. Darcy... who doesn't!) Sorry arthur I've let you have way too much time this last week. Today is mine and its a 6.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I was still looking for inspiration today and dug into my photos for help. I found these pictures that I took 2 summers ago at the county fair. I can't explain why I love these but I do. They are childish yet a smidge menacing. There is just something unexpected about them. I had a great time that day and today I enjoyed filling my idea journal with future projects! arthur, you are the monkey on my back today. Shoulders hurting and too sore to sew but I managed a lot of scribbling... Today is a 5 :P
Monday, March 8, 2010
Can recycled tees mean fabulous fashion? You be the judge. This is the eternity scarf I salvaged from thrift store t-shirts. I used 5 colors but 1 X-large men's tee would be more than enough with a total cost of about $3 in materials. This was so easy I'm pretty sure I'll be tucking them in the Easter baskets I send to my daughter (she is truly the diggity bomb!) and her roomie in LA. I guess I'll need to go scouting for more spring colored cast-offs! I love thrifting :) Nice try arthur... you almost got me but today was salvaged into a 7.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
My son (love that boy!!) is home from college for winter break and we decided to go down to the local "you paint it, we'll fire it" pottery place. Now we all have things that we do to blow off creative steam, kind of like writing gibberish to circumvent writer's block. Its a great place to go with someone when you want to catch up, gossip (pleasantly), bitch, or even have a heart to heart. There's no pressure, your hands are busy, eye contact is not a must, and its not rocket science so if you flub something up its not the end of the world. Plus our little haven allows us to bring in food (read dessert) and yes... even wine! I've done this with numerous friends & relatives. We've celebrated engagements, cried over a parent's death, and made holiday gifts for loved ones.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
By the way, not to leave arthur out, I woke up this morning feeling as though my shoulders had been tied back in bondage all night :P What a wonder a little Advil can be, that and a dosing of prednisone (yes I'm a cheater) but today went from a 3 to a 6.5. Oh yeah... breakfast out with my lovely hubby every saturday always gives me something to look forward to!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Bring up Valentine's Day parties to most women and you get a litany of stories both good and bad. My favorite memories include slaving over a shoebox for a week trying to make the coolest most creative container in my class while making my own little hearts with construction paper, doilies, and markers then feverishly taping suckers or tootsie rolls to each one. I never could take the easy, store bought way out even back then. My least favorite encounters with this both blessed and cursed holiday involve high school and not getting a flower/candy packet from my raging crush or being turned down flatly and coldly for the Sadie Hawkins dance- picture wounded and awkward at 15.
Fast forward 30 odd years and you'll find me at a Girlfriend Valentine's Day Party having the time of my life! Better and cheaper than therapy is the communing of feminine souls who've been there, done that, and thrived in spite of it. (I'm not downplaying my husband or 2 kids who lovingly remember me with flowers and cards.) We all scout for deals and steals to pass out as goodies. I'm still trying to resurrect the Valentine's Box but apparently I'm the only homemade glutton for punishment, we use dollar store gift bags. We share pictures, stories, successes, miserable failures and we all have each others back.
In the past I've made sets of coffee spoons with 5 different flavorings, little bags with hand printed notes, large lovely candles encased in handmade paper cylinders, and (pictured below) handmade stuffed heart favors with unique embroidery for each. I have received potted flowers, key rings that make wolf whistles (my personal favorite this year!), and handmade leather bookmarks among dozens of other select and fabulous inexpensive goodies.
I wish I could say I started or even hosted this hilarious and not to be missed gala but I don't, I'm just grateful for the invitation. Do yourself a favor and make this an annual event. You won't regret it and your girlfriends will love you forever. Plus think of all the teenage angst you'll finally put to rest :) Arthur is now the one sucking his thumb in the corner, writing this blog brightens each day and upped me squarely to an 8 today!
Yesterday was a lost cause. I spent the whole day on the phone waiting for Time Warner to shift me slowly up the tech support ladder. Then they sent out a poor unsuspecting soul to install a new modem in hopes of upping my download speed beyond a glacial pace. When I gave him the history of our account he advised us to move if we want faster service. Otherwise we seem stuck with the black hole that is our IP address :P On the upside we had the first day of sunshine in the last 60, such are the skies of Northeast Ohio.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Downsizing and simplifying have become economic chic in the last 2 to 3 years. It seems to be reversing a trend that began in the depression. Boomers are struggling to wade through and sort out not only their own stuff but cleaning out grandma's place too. I've been dragging arthur, kicking and screaming, along with me through this process for the last 2 years.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
I really want to share a couple of my past projects so you'll know I'm not just using this space to whine. The first one is a wedding quilt I made of the couple's first home together in a lovely little lakeside village. The second is actually my first quilt (can't you tell) for a niece's beloved baby girl. Neither quilt came from a published pattern but rather out of the spinning cosmos that is my brain.
This is what happens when you've had surgery and become a virtual shut-in for 3 months in the winter in the midwest. You start to talk... to someone, anyone, looking for ways to stay busy beyond sucking my thumb in front of the tv. Now of course, depending on the surgery there are numerous ways to spend your time, but not for me. I have RA, rhuematoid arthritis. To keep this story short when you have surgery all treatment ceases and you become hostage to the process and the pain pills. All RA treatments require immunosuppresants that inhibit healing. Taking that into consideration I am particularly impacted by stress and weather either of which can force a flare up. Short story shorter, it sucks. I can't sew, knit, draw, or cook and that's on a good day. On a bad day, I can barely brush my own teeth, blah arrrgh, grrrrrr. I am not good at being dependent and decided to see if there's anyone out there with ideas. Even reading wears thin after 13 weeks with my foot propped up and swollen hands and shoulders. I also love photography but the bedroom and family room couch have limited shots. I can muster enough energy and dexterity to do a posting most days. As for arthur, he's been my constant companion for over 21 years. I will let you know each posting whether arthur controls my day (1) or I do (10). Today I'm in charge 7.