Thursday, June 21, 2018

It Was an Adventure!

I am so excited and thrilled to have been accepted in the Many Hands Fiber Arts Festival in Telluride, Colorado the last weekend of July.  We've never been to Telluride, and knew that we needed to take a small trip there and check out the drive and the town and find the show venue.  Since the weather looked to be nice yesterday, with no thunderstorms predicted, and it was Wednesday, we thought it would be a good day to go.  Wednesday is a great mid-week day to stroll through the town, chat with shop owners, and generally explore this terrific little mountain town.

It never occurred to either one of us to check festival schedules.  Traffic was reasonable all the way there, with the most congested part being through the city of Montrose.  It was an incredibly beautiful drive on well-maintained roads.

But when we got within a couple of miles of Telluride, there were signs along the road to turn right or left for "Festival Parking."  Festival?  It's Wednesday!  Who has a festival on Wednesday.  And all of the parking areas had lots of cars in them, and the highway into town was packed on both sides with parked vehicles.  What the...??

Little did we know, we had chosen the Wednesday which is the day before the first full day of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, an event that's in its 45th year and which draws nearly 50,000 people to this tiny hamlet over 4 days.  Town was absolutely packed.  So much for a leisurely stroll and some chats with shopkeepers!  We wanted to take a look at the Town Park Campground as well.  Not only was it full to overflowing, but so was the nearby baseball field.  I don't think I have ever seen so many tents in one place before!

It was still a beautiful drive back and forth.  I just want to share what I learned with everyone...  before you go to a new place in the middle of the summer, it's a really good idea to check the web and see if it's actually a good day to go!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Do You Upcycle?

The word "upcycle" may not even really be a word.  But today, it indicates that you take something discarded and give it new life as something different.

I love garage/yard sales.  Certainly, I don't need anything.  But you've heard the old saying, "One man's trash is another's treasure."  A couple of weekends ago, I purchased this polyester/acrylic fur coat at a yard sale for $3.  The lady I purchased it from said that she used to wear it to play 'dress up' when she was a little girl.  Certainly, it's a vintage coat. But I never saw "a coat."  I saw something else entirely.

The first thing I wanted to do was wash it.  So I cut off one cuff, hand washed it in cold water and threw it in the dryer for 15 minutes.  And to my delight, it worked!  So the whole coat went through a complete washer/dryer cycle this morning.

Next thing that needed to be done was to take it apart.  I took the lining out first and then cut away the seams.  This left me with quite a pile of fur! 
It also left me with three leather buttons. They will be very happy in my button box (which actually was my grandmother's button box!) until I have a need for them.

My pile of fur is sure smaller, but now I have a pile of smaller pieces, too.  It's time to put those pieces together and see if what I saw on that hanger actually works in reality!

And VOILA! It wasn't a coat after all.  It was a vintage teddy bear and a FurPet©!  Even the felt in the teddy's feet and ears is upcycled; it is made from recycled water bottles!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What Do You Do With Your Scraps?

Since I quilt, I do generate a lot of scrap fabric; scraps that are really not big enough to do anything significant with but too big to just throw away.  So a few years ago, I decided to invent something worthwhile to do with my scraps.  I make miniature rag dolls which were originally intended to be Christmas tree ornaments.  Since I've made four quilts since the first of this year, it is time to use up some of the scraps I've created, which is why I have the array of little dolls, little dresses and various yarns all over my work space!

I also knit, as you know.  This also generates scraps.  With my yarn scraps, I knit baby headbands.  In fact, I even wrote a tutorial so that you, too, can use up those end-of-skein bits of yarn (click HERE for that tutorial).

There are too many art forms to list, but I would bet that each and every one of them generate scrap, just as my passions do.  I would love to hear about your medium and what creative ways you have developed to use up your scraps!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Fix Your Chrome Browser

I use my computer a lot, like most of us do these days.  It's so handy to check on my web shops, Facebook, email, etc.  But during the past week, I had some issues with my Chrome browser.

First, it wouldn't remember or allow cookies.  It wasn't too hard to find the setting to fix this, but it was frustrating.

Then I found that Chrome forgot that I wanted to stay logged in to all of my favorite sites.  Every time I opened Chrome to do whatever, I had to re-login to every site I visit.  This was so annoying.  

After a couple of days of frustration, I finally found the setting that was causing me this grief.  There is a toggle switch which reads, "Keep local data only until you quit your browser."  This was turned on.  When I turned it off, everything was how it had always been.

If you are having this problem that Chrome doesn't remember anything, you may have the same issue.  Click on the 3 dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, then choose Settings from the drop-down menu.  Scroll all the way down the next page and click Advanced.  Choose Content Settings, and then Cookies.  If Keep local data only until you quit your browser is turned on (bright blue color), turn it off.  This should fix the problem.

If I have saved even just one person some frustration, I am thrilled!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Handmade Pot Scrubbies

I got asked again if I make the handmade pot scrubbies that so many people love.  Sadly, I don't - they are crochet which is a skill I don't have.  But I promised a lady that I would see if I could find them for her and post the results here.

Large Crochet Pot Scrubbers - Set of 2 through 8 - Pastel Nylon Dish Scrubbies - 5 inch Kitchen ScrubbyRebekah Wheat has a shop on Etsy with reasonable prices and a great selection.  Her shop is ArtistBeeBee.  I am sure she would love to hear from you!  

If you would rather shop on Amazon, Michael and Kristine are TheLotusShop.  They have been on Handmade at Amazon for quite a while, have great feedback and reasonable shipping/delivery times.  They, too, would surely love to hear from you.

I hope these sources will help any/all of you who are looking for these handy dish scrubbies!

Friday, January 26, 2018

A New Way to Destash

Those of us who are artsy/crafty people tend to collect things that may someday be used in a project.  Sooner or later, we all find ourselves in a situation where we simply must cull our collection of stuff.  It's time to destash.

I have hit this point, even though I disposed of all kinds of minuscule fabric and yarn scraps when we moved.  I still have more fabric than I have room to store.  So I am making a quilt out of it.  I'm calling it a Pioneer Quilt, since I am only using what I have.

Looking through my piles of fabric, I simply couldn't come up with an idea on my own.  My wonderful husband came up with the idea to cut it into squares.  This is exactly what I did.  I decided on 4 inch squares, meaning they would be 3.5 inches sewn.  Considering that I wanted this to be crib or lap size, I needed to cut at least 220 of them.

The cutting phase took a bit more than two days.  Then came the sew-them-together phase, or another two days.  Since I didn't have equal quantities of squares, I chose to sew them together in no particular order. Yesterday, I laid all of my strips out on the floor (17 of them!) until I was satisfied that no two identical squares were aligned with each other, and began the assemble-the-quilt phase.

And today, I have a quilt top.  Tomorrow, I will decide what to do for the back.  Then, all that will be left will be to quilt and bind it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Have Been "Sewing Woman" Lately!

We have needed a new quilt or comforter for our bed for a while.  The one that has been there for a bit more than 13 years owes us nothing!  It's been slept under every night for all that time.  It's been washed and dried I-don't-know-how-many times. But it's been showing it's age for a while.  Having made that quilt, I'm really happy with how it has stood up to the test of use and time.

I really didn't want to make us another quilt, and have been shopping for a replacement for almost a year.  We actually did buy a quilt from Wayfair.  But when it arrived and we put it on the bed, we both agreed that it did NOT look like the picture online.  I guess it was at that point that I knew this was going to be my quest.  By the way, returning it to Wayfair was pretty painless.  I would recommend Wayfair.

It took six full days of sewing and 19 yards of material, but it's done and on the bed.  Paul picked out a really nice wood-plank pattern for the base and a beautiful digital print for the panel/pillows.  It must be okay because this new quilt has passed the "Maggie test;" she's snoozing in the sunshine at the foot of the bed.

We are hoping that this quilt will last as long as the one it replaced.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What Would You Like?

Actually, I like to write.  But you would never know it from this blog.  It's been over a year since I wrote a single word on it.  Amazingly, this blog still has followers.

It's been quite a year since I last wrote....  filled with an interstate move and some health concerns.  But all in all, it's been a good year.  And since we're now settled in many ways, it's time I get back to writing on my blog.  So the question is....  what would you like to hear from me?  What would you like to read?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Over

The American people have voted, and in doing so, they have elected a candidate who has made it okay to slur entire races, pigeonhole women as sexual objects who exist for nothing more than providing sexual pleasure to superior males, give huge tax breaks to the richest among us, and other ideas such as privatizing infrastructure at the expense of us working stiffs who will be paying the tolls.  When the leader of the Ku Klux Klan makes the announcement that, "We've done a wonderful thing," we should all be so very afraid.

This is the United States of America, and because it is, I am allowed to have an opinion.  It may be different from yours, but it doesn't make either of us wrong.  Today, I am sad and embarrassed for us as a nation who elected a racist, elite, misogynist to lead and represent us for the next four years.  It is where we will be lead that scares me to the core.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The One & Only FurPet© - Still Made By Me One at a Time!

I am still making each FurPet© one at a time, and I am tickled to report that I've just completed my 300th one! FurPets© are great listeners, love to play catch, eat nothing and make no noise!  And - they are unbreakable and guaranteed to last!

FurPets© started out available in only 4 colors, all of which were short, curly hair.  But they have rapidly evolved! FurPets© are currently available in more than a dozen colors and in short- and long-hair styles.  The lime green (shown) is our best-selling color.  We have heard from a number of people that they glow in the dark, although the manufacturer of the fabric makes no such claim.  It must have something to do with the color and the finish on the fur.

FurPets© have been purchased as toys (the original intent), as key fobs (never, EVER lose your keys again!), as cheer-up gifts for sick friends, as therapy aids for use in a nursing home (they are fun to stroke and squeeze), as stress relievers to live in peoples' offices, as rear-view-mirror hanging decorations, and as party favors for children's birthdays.  It really is incredible how they have just grabbed everyone who see them!

FurPets© are still affordable at $7.50 each.  In fact, the price has never changed.  They are even less in multiples!  If you want a FurPet© in a color I don't currently have, let me know and we will see what we can do!