Monday, August 25, 2014


14Aug25dufront I’ve been turning out purses based on these little fabric wallets like crazy lately. They’re fun, and I love the way they look – when they turn out right. I’ve been taking these and these down to the local Farmers Market with me each week, and this week I actually sold two! Including this mistake!

14Aug25duinside I finally cut into this precious Laurel Burch fabric to make my sister in law a birthday present because she loves kitties as much as I do. But I made a mistake somewhere and the magnetic snaps didn’t line up properly. I had to trim about half an inch from the bottom so that everything would fit again. But that meant that it was a couple of inches smaller than it was supposed to be. Somehow, I also managed to put the 14Aug25front zipper in with the pull facing in the direction opposite from what I normally do, although why I put it in facing the other direction I really can’t say… So I sewed it together and I looked fine – just not the way I intended it to, so I put it aside while I made another one for my sister in law.

14Aug25inside That one turned out just fine. Actually, it turned out better. Which was no surprise because practice does that. So, I tossed the mistake into the pile of clutches and wallets that I was taking to the Farmers Market… and someone thought it was nice enough to buy! Really, there was nothing wrong with it if you weren’t looking at it expecting it to be something else.

14Aug25back I like to work on one thing at a time, and do it until I get it right. Then I can start to improvise. In this case, fussy cut. This beautiful design of cat faces were just purrfect to put on the front of the wallet, while a more “subdued” Burch fabric complemented it but was by no means subdued. It took a bit of careful planning to cut this fabric, which is designed in beautiful horizontal designs. Those are two different fabrics there. I’m happy with the outcome, and I’m pretty sure my sister in law will be as well.

14Aug25hex I made this clutch for a friend who wanted “something in brown”. I love this Japanese motif, but don’t get much opportunity to use it. It’s a nice, heavy material with beautiful shading and nuances. For the lining inside, I used another Japanese print – floral printed on a mottled purple/brown shimmery sort of cotton. It worked very nicely together. When I dropped it off to her, she was talking to one of our local painters who, when we started talking about browns, said how she like working in “colours”. It’s funny how different colours and combinations affect you once you start working with them. I t14Aug25hexfmqold her that taupes never used to appeal to me until I started working with them, and now I just love them. And they ARE colourful – greys, browns, pinks, greens…. I think they’re beautiful.

For quilting this bag, I just followed the lines around the hexy shapes. Didn’t have to lower the feed dogs or free motion quilt.

Another New Moon tonight, this time at 2 Virgo. Virgo is usually a quiet and steady worker. If she has nothing to keep her occupied, she can become critical of others, although more often than not she can give great advice on how to straighten out a situation or proceed with a project. However, tonight Neptune opposes the New Moon, tinging matters with a pleasant fuzziness. You might rather sit down with a glass of wine than sit at your sewing machine. Mars and Saturn are also combined, squaring Venus in Fixed Signs, so if your measurements are off, just walk away from it – pour yourself a glass of wine and relax – because it’s not going to get any better tonight.

Until next time,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

After the rain

14Aug14beans Now that the thunderstorm has drifted on, I’ll update you on my week. Sewingwise, it’s been a bit of a wash. I finally got one little wallet finished, but I had to unstitch and redo it at least six times. Taken me forever! In fact, that’s been my whole week with everything that has anything to do with electricity – sewing machines, computers, etc. Not working for me this week.

Sunday morning our power went off (see? electricity), so I went outside and did some watering in the front yard. Where there’s a hornets’ nest. Right under the outdoor water tap. That drips and sprays water. Right into the crack between the porch and the front of the house where the hornets live. This has been going on for months, but one of them was in a bad mood Sunday morning and stung me on 14Aug14catnip the cheek. I’ve never been stung by a hornet before. I put some ice on it right away, and took two grams of vitamin c. It throbbed for the rest of the day and itched the next day, then it was gone.

Bean production has been ramping up. Green and yellow beans and black beans, although I haven’t collected any black beans yet. Tomatoes are starting to ripen, but not as fast as I’d like them to. I’m afraid that they’ll all ripen at once and I won’t have time to pick them (again). Everything is such a mess again. As usual, I plant too much in the space so picking takes a little more time because I have to move carefully. And then there’s the bees in the catnip (above picture). I let the catnip grow, thinking that I’d do something with it this year, like turn it into catnip mice. Ha. It’s been flowering now for about a 14Aug14greenhouse month, and there are at least two dozen bees constantly at the flowers. Which is all right, because they do the tomatoes and peppers while they’re there. But I have to move carefully around them, too. I wonder if they get stoned on catnip the way that cats do. I’d like to know where their honey stash is! Earlier tonight the resident skunk was on the hill just behind our fence, digging in the soft dirt. Everyone shares this yard, but I like it that way. Although, the grasshoppers can move on, I won’t miss them.

Until next time,

Friday, August 8, 2014

Feathers and polka dots

14Aug7feathers Maybe feathers and polka dots go together in some cases, but I don’t see the connection in this little fabric wallet I made. But I love both of these fabrics, so I’ll be using them again – just not together.

And, of course, living where I am in the Thompson-Cariboo region of British 14Aug7both Columbia, we heart western! This was Canada’s original western frontier, and we’ve got the sagebrush and cactus to prove it! And the rodeos. Horses. Cows. Rattlesnakes. Cougars. We have it all. And so the western look is really popular. I love these cowboy boots – and this time, the polka dots really DO compliment the fabric.

14Aug7zipper The zippers are coming along for the most part, but pocket zippers aren’t all that difficult. You just have to keep them straight as you’re sewing them down, and I’ve been using Seam A Seam double-sided fusible quarter-inch tape for that. I used to pin the zippers down, but the zipper would still move around too much. The tape takes about as much time as pinning, and you have the added stability of the thread plus the “glue”.

14Aug7inside I’m having fun making these little wallets now. I feel like I should be moving on to other things (a quilt, for instance), but I haven’t had enough of these yet. They’re quick and relatively easy to make – although the one I’m working on at the moment is giving me nothing but grief – and the pattern is free. It’s a tad confusing only because the pattern is all about promoting the fabric line, and sometimes the instructions seem to take second place to the fabric, but I guess that’s the price you pay (or not) for a free pattern.

I like the size – it measures about 8x6 when it’s finished, has a zipper on the back for change, a big roomy pocket inside for whatever and little pockets for your “plastic”. Has a magnetic clasp to keep it all inside, and a nice hands-free 14Aug7label strap so you don’t have to be putting it down and picking it up while you’re out and about.

The co-worker who I was making the wristlets for kept telling me to put my labels in a place where people could SEE them! So, I’m started putting them a little more prominently. Whatever! It was just a name I plucked out of thin air, and I used one of my pictures with it – a western swallowtail butterfly drinking from the flowers of our local prickly pear cactus.

14Aug7grnzeeb My tomatoes are beginning to ripen. I’ve already eaten a few of them, and I can say without exaggeration that I haven’t met a tomato I haven’t loved yet. And I don’t think I will. These are Green Zebras. I haven’t tried eating them yet, but I’m eager to. I gave away these two beauties, so I’ll have to wait a few more days. Right now I’m harvesting green beans and jalapeno peppers. I think the jalapenos are going to be part of tonight’s pizza!

Until next time,