Monday, April 28, 2008

Yes, I pod

I got a toy for Christmas this past year. I opened it. I looked at it. I put it back in the box.

Tonight, I finally plugged it in and promptly downloaded podcasts of all of my favorite shows from NPR and PRI

Any good knitting podcasts to recommend?

One would think that I'd download music...

but I'm starting small

(ie: I don't have a secure wireless network so I don't want to give credit card info online using laptop and am too lazy to walk across the room, pick out a CD from my meager collection and load it).

Damn this thing is cute!

I'm now listening to an interview with Nick Cave on "Fresh Air" (can't help thinking of Bongwater's "Nick Cave Dolls")


The last time I listed to a portable sound device, it looked like this:

I love technology!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bag Lady

This coming Monday, I'll be doing a brief presentation at my quilt group as "Quilter of the Month". I decided to focus on bags, since I seem to have a thing for them. I have an absurd collection of bags! Did that stop me from buying 2 new bags (seen here and here - you can guess which colors, I paid MUCH less the prices listed online) at the Angela Adams sale? Hell no! Anyway, here are just a few of my own bags that I haven't shown you yet, made between last fall and last month:

Bow Tucks Tote (a/k/a "The Botox Bag") designed by Penny Sturges, available at, using fabric from the Moda Fresh Air Collection (stuffed with that Cowl neck thing), with one of my Nana's buttons:

Gypsy Tote using pre-quilted fabric, also from the Fresh Air collection (I love this fabric, can you tell?)", featuring a vintage button given to me many years ago by a former co-worker:

Charm Party Tote, also designed by Penny Sturges, using 5 inch charm squares from Sandy Gervais' "Fall Back in Time" collection for Moda Fabrics with a button from JoAnn fabrics:

Another Charm Party Tote using April Cornell charm squares from the "Vintage Holiday" collection, featuring yet another button from my Nana's collection:

Note: I'm not happy with this one. The pocket is off-center. Didn't notice it until I was done. Poo!

And a Mini Charmer Tote, designed by Penny Sturges, using charm squares mostly from 3 Sisters' "Shangri La" (with a little bit of "Roman Holiday") and stacked buttons from stash:

Lastly, a Carpetbag, designed by Indygo Junction, using Amy Butler and ??? made at our quilting groups' annual Getaway Weekend in March:

Lately, I've been busy accumulating MORE fabric (Fat Quarter Shop is EVIL) and working on a SECRET project that will be revealed in a few weeks.

Someday, I'll have something new to show, maybe even some knitting!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Culling the herd

In a recent post, I mentioned that I felt a little makeover coming on...

This is how my cube system looked last year:

This is how it looked recently (before makeover). As you can see from both photos, I wasn't using all of the space in the cubes, mostly because there were so many loose balls of yarn just piled up. In addition to the wasted space, I somehow accumulated more fabric over the past year and had no place to put it other than in the basket on the floor. It wasn't long before the basket was plum full.

Problem solved!

No, I didn't get rid of the yarn. I just cleverly disguised it in bins ($2.99 at Christmas Tree Shop - Helloooo bargain!).

As indicated by the title of this post, I did "cull the herd" and forced myself to admit that I had yarn that I'm just never going to use. I still don't know what I'm going to do with it, but at least now I can see my fabric! Most of those orphaned skeins of wool are in plastic bins stored in my cubby closet. I figure it's no different than putting clothes away for the winter.

Just look at all of those yummy colors!

Bag patterns are in their own bin next to home dec fabrics (guarded by Posey),

and Charm packs and ribbon are within easy reach.

Speaking of easy reach, I always find it hard to remember where I put things, especially when I can't reach them. This time, I made labels for everything.

Now, when I want to know if I have grommets or eyelets or D-rings, I know where to look!

Several months ago, I ordered belt buckles from jcaroline creative and couldn't find them anywhere. I just found them a week ago in a plastic bin with clothing fabric. It must have seemed logical at the time.

Now they are in a clearly marked bin. I wanted labels that I could change, so I made these by cutting double-sided fusible Pellon stuff (like Timtex) 2.5 by 3.5 inches and fused fabric to both the front and the back, then I satin stitched around and added an eyelet for the ribbon. The white label is just a regular Avery sticker label that I can change.

Incidentally, my friend Linda gave me this tobacco box a while back and it smells wonderful. I hope my buckles smell good too, not that people should be close enough for a sniff!

My mom gave me several plastic cases of my Nana's old buttons. This is just a sampling. You are jealous. I know you are. Just admit it. I.have.fabulous.buttons!

The basket that used to hold my fabric now holds knitting WIPs. Not too much there. I finally frogged Frances (too small) and the Sunburst pullover. Ariann is in the Market Squares felted tote and there are some single socks and the Larger Than Life Bag, but that's it.

OK. I lied. Somewhere, I have a baggie stuffed with felted flowers and Aune, and Flutter Sleeve Cardigan and Rusted Root are downstairs in the living room next to the couch. I've been picking at them here and there, but have been too tired and not especially interested these days.

When I finished the room last year, my friend Betsy said, "I want to see it in a year, because I bet it will be messy again". Eat your words Bets! Just to prove that I'm not cropping out heaps and piles, here's the rest of the room (one more shot of the cubes, just because I love them!):

Sewing/cutting table with fabric bins stored underneath:

Bookcase (it's not "perfect"- there are some loose patterns, magazines and books that need to be put away).

My other sewing machine and thread. The quilt is covering a basket of wool. It usually covers the sewing machine, but I used the machine last night to make the hanging basket labels.

Pens, paper and other little do-dads:

So, that's the tour. Who knows what it will look like next year. Despite all of this organization, I still feel like I need more space! I'd love to have the room that Mr. S uses as his office (talk about a room that needs organizing!).

I'll leave with a photo of my new gadget:

A plexiglass extension for my sewing machine! I've wanted one for a long time and finally found one this past weekend at The Fabric Garden in Madison.

Now I just need time to sew!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Remember these fabric coiled baskets I made last year?

I have good news: the designer is selling the pattern for making these bowls on Etsy at Auntiestwo! Even better: it's a down-loadable pdf - how hard is that? Even if you don't sew clothes or quilts, if you have a sewing machine, you can make one of these. Really!

Quite a while ago, one of you e-mailed me for more information about the technique. I scoured my e-mail but couldn't find it, which makes me sad because you also sent me a photo of your bowls, so I hope you are reading!

If sewing isn't your thing and you just want some eye candy, check out orange you lucky, a site that I've been visiting daily, just for the sheer joy of it. I seriously hope she comes out with a fabric line. And no, it isn't all about orange things (Jill); for that you must check out How About Orange.

I've been working a lot lately, so not much knitting going on. The Flutter Sleeve cardigan is almost done (working on the second front band [[yawn]]), so naturally I've cast on Rusted Root. I feel like the last knitter on the planet to make it! I blame Ravelry. If only it didn't look so darn good on everyone who made it! One of these days, when I'm able to pry my camera away from Mr. Strange, I'll post photos.

Until then, I'll share my new favorite fabric with you. I'd share the link, but you'd have to promise not to buy it all up because I haven't ordered mine yet :):

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sweet Nothing

We interrupt the silence of this blog to bring you this brilliant observation:

This little tyke appeared in an e-mail from Lion Brand.

Is it just me or is this kid going poopie?

Sorry. That's about all the communication I can muster. Will be back soon. I feel a craft room makeover coming on...