Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What is Your Passion?

I can't really remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by sewing, knitting, crafting.  Some of my earliest memories are of seeing a sewing basket by a chair in a babysitter's house and seeing the colorful bobbins at my Aunt Jean's house.  I was hooked.  What was that stuff?  How does it all work?  I started hand sewing in first or second grade, and got my first sewing machine in fourth grade.  I was so fortunate to be born in a family that, while of modest means, truly valued, and encouraged, creativity.  My third child, a son, was born into a family of no guns or hunters.  I swear he came out of the womb going "bang-bang" with his little fingers.  He soon fashioned guns and swords out of Legos or duct-taped cardboard.  He is 27 now and still loves guns and shooting.  His son, Benjamin, is turning three this weekend, and has a love of cars.  And trucks.  And construction equipment.  Even when he was very little, he loved watching cars go by on our back deck with Grandpa Carl.  He has a bunch of toys, but the things that go "zoom" have his heart.  I saw the road fabric panel in the Keepsake Quilting catalog, and knew that it would be a good project to make for his birthday.  I am sure he will have fun following the roads and tracks with his little fleet.  I thought he might need a reusable tote as wrapping, and made him a big, personalized one out of fabric left over from the quilt his mom made him last summer.  His party is Saturday, and his mother and I will be attempting to make a racetrack sheet cake with individual cake cars.  I am sure some wine will be involved.  I will share the results, good, bad or ugly, with you next week.  Have you given in to your passion?  What makes your heart go pitty-pat??  Jerilynn

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Days of Whine and Noses and Coasters for Hot Tea

Sometime last year I mentioned to someone that because I am getting old, I don't get so many colds.  I really shouldn't have said that...I think I have had more colds the last 12 months than I have had the last 12 years.  I am not sure where I picked up this recent doozy...the Oregon Coast?  Deadwood?  County Market in Cumberland, WI?  Hard to say, but this strain knocked me for a loop, and I very generously allowed Carl to share in its fun.  As usual, I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done, but mostly just felt like doing computer work, sleeping, reading, and watching tv.  What a life!  While I was in the Comfy Chair (as opposed to The Red Chair), I worked on the digitizing of the shaped Woolfelt coasters.  You may have seen these before, sharp-eyed readers.  All but the pumpkin were designed before, but the sew-out was clunky.  Fine for me, but I plan to package these designs and sell them so others can have some Woolfelt fun.  Since these were going to be going to houses all across America, I wanted the stitch-outs to be smooth and as jump-stitch free as possible.  It is amazing how long it takes even to take these simple designs and make them dollar worthy.  I can see why commercially digitized designs are so pricey!  Hours!  Anyway, they got stitched out today and I declare them good.  Now I need to convert them to popular formats for various machines, burn them to CDs, make an instruction sheet, photograph the coasters in good light (good luck with that one...it's been quite cloudy and rainy), make a cover sheet, and post them for sale on Etsy.  I will give the buyers a choice of a cd or a download.  I may even offer sets for sale.  I am not sure when all this will magically happen.  I am giving a talk to the Eau Claire Sewing Guild tomorrow night.  It will be a trunk show of things I have made along with instruction on some of the construction.  I hope along with the information I do not pass on any major germs.  I think I am getting better, though.  I am thinking Wine rather than Whine.  That is a good thing.  Jerilynn

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pretty Birdie Purselet!

This is one of the ideas I had on The Car Trip. I cut out two birds from the KAS Oslo fabric, some lining the same size, sewed in a zipper, and....a cute bird purselet! It is small enough to stash in a bigger bag, but big enough to hold some good things. The zipper is a cool black zipper that I harvested from a thrift sale Columbia jacket. Seriously. Those Columbia jackets have a ton of zippers! To get a bird on each side, however, I had to fussy cut, and now I have two holes in a pretty good sized chunk of fabric. Tres cute, but maybe not practical to mass produce. Jerilynn

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Too Good to Use

We got home from our loooong car ride only to jump back in the car to play with our youngest granddaughter for a few days in Madison, WI.  What a cutie!  We came back Thursday and I slept for 14 hours!  The very next night I slept for 12.  I think I was a bit tired.  Yesterday, though, I woke up with a sore throat, which is maybe why my energy level is on empty.  I hope I didn't pass anything on to anyone, but this time of year, colds are everywhere!  I have so many ideas to try out and my house really needs a good going-over, but the aforementioned energy level says "not today".  I decided to pull out some special beads that I had ordered a while back.  The first beads are from Loupiac's shop on etsy.   I have ordered several of her bead sets over the years and have always loved her craftsmanship and her color sense.  The stripe set called out to me to be an autumn bracelet.  Stringing beads on stretchy cord is about what I can handle today.  As I was going through the bead box, I also found the Rainbow Hanna's from Z-Beads.  Beautiful, no?  I had saved these sets until a time that I could come up with some very creative idea, using only a few of the beads in each creation.  They are pretty pricey sets, and I thought I should "save" them for something very special.  I would occasionally take them out of their boxes and marvel at the colors and perfection.  Especially after my daughter treated me to a glass bead making class for Mother's Day, I realized the utter difficulty of making even ONE pretty bead, let alone a whole set!  Today I realized that I was missing out by not using/wearing these beads.  What was I waiting for?  Beads can always be re-used into another item at any time!  How many other fantastic things do I have that are "too good" to use?  Time is going fast.  The leaves are making their final windy dance. Don't wait for the right day, the best idea.   I feel just good enough to make a nice baked pork chop dinner with twice baked potatoes.  Wearing a new bracelet, of course.  Jerilynn

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ten States in 2.5 Weeks

Ten states.  5250 miles. A monumental gas charge card bill.   Wisconsin to the Oregon Coast and back.  We followed mostly the Oregon Trail and I had fun reading the roadside signs:  Dead Horse Creek, Crazy Women Creek, Dead Man's Pass.  You just wonder if there was another wife at some point on that long trip that just lost it after listening to non-stop 60's music.  I had knitting with me, some magazines, and an iPad that would get service once in a while.  Sure not very many people or towns in some of those Western states.  Or cell towers.  I only cried once when, after biting into a piece of salt water taffy, half of one of my molars broke off.  At that point we were on our way back from the coast, somewhere in Montana or Wyoming - I think it was very near the site of Little Bighorn.  I was longing for my own bed and not living out of a suitcase.  I was actually getting blase about all the gorgeous scenery.  I wanted to go home and see the autumn trees from the studio window and start the nesting for the winter to come.  We made it home safely, of course, and I was lucky enough just to catch the tail end of the good color.  From  my window I can see all the wonderful last hurrah shades of the trees.  As you can see from the picture, I managed to hit a few fabric shops here and there.  The magazines had all sorts of good ideas in them and I can't wait to dig in and do some sewing.  All of our clothes have been washed and put away, the internet is steady.  My sheets are super soft, and the bed is Goldilocks-just-right.  There's no place like home.  Jerilynn