BeeKay's Blog

crafts, food, makeup, clothes, shoes, books, cats, life

Now We’re Cookin’ With Gas

 

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Love Paris, La Tour Eiffel, Play Ball!, Love Paris, Rosebuds, Mystical Purple

Here we go again!

These are the latest fabrics I have queued up for more cloth bowls. Some of you will receive one for critique. The catch? There is no catch—you get to keep the bowl in exchange for your comments.

I have chosen six or seven of you to have a look at one; all I ask is that you be honest and let me know your thoughts. Keep an eye on your mailbox!

 

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It Is Done!

It is done!

I am quite sure that John Greenleaf Whittier did not have this in mind when he wrote “Laus Deo” but it fits as I have finally mastered Simplicity 1126 and have six samples ready to ship for review.

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Queen Bee, Shamrocks-N-Swirls, Pawsies, Mickey Mouse, and Golf Course Crazy!

So the spousal-unit and I are looking into shipping box options. We have box sizes in shape, but trying to find them in stock in a brick-and-mortar store is not fun.

First off, for some reason our new-to-us PC seems to think we live everywhere other than where we really do live. Walmart.com has us pegged as living in Bethlehem (I did my freshman year of college, but well before the advent of the Internet). Amazon.com wanted to ship the dressmaker’s form I was looking at to Fort Washington (not even close but closer than Bethlehem). JoAnn.com indicated that I could buy Orioles-themed fabric in their Allentown store, the closest to my house (nope). But I digress.

At this point, all I need to get these bowls out for quality review are shipping labels (check: at Walmart) and shipping boxes (9″x9″x4″) but I do not want to purchase a bundle of 25 in case they do not work out; plus if they do work out I can get them much cheaper through Uline.com. I highly recommend this company for not only shipping boxes and other shipping-related needs, but brick-and-mortar retail store displays and inventory necessities … you can even get gift wrapping supplies through them! And if you knew me back in the day (before the no-gift-exchange policy) you knew I loved wrapping gifts and putting my personal creative spin on them.

Fingers crossed Staples can do me a solid and hook me up with three or six appropriate boxes. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

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It Is 0530 – Why Am I Awake?

Ugh! Yet another morning of getting up at an ungodly hour for no reason whatsoever. So I fired up a strong pot of hazelnut coffee and decided to tackle the day.

So far I have dusted the foyer console and have my lead crystal faceted candle holders soaking for a good, long-overdue cleaning. I intend to dust the living room and dining room, finish up the shamrock bowls, and get started on the Mickey Mouse bowl. At the rate I’m going with these bowls, I will need to replace the pattern—just not any time soon, as my return trip to JoAnn Fabrics cost me a pretty penny ($90) and BOY did I catch merry hell from the SU over it! I did get a new pair of scissors, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted trip, and I scored some gorgeous brocade to make a couple of evening bags.

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I DID finish the breast cancer awareness ribbon pin, and will tackle the bear asap. Fingers crossed that I don’t botch the slip stitching too badly. Let’s just hope I can get it done and shipped before the wee one is off to college! I also made a pink gingham snappy bag for her mom, with travel baby care essentials in it. (Photos to follow)

See you on the other side!

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Insomnia Can Bite Me

IDK what it is with me lately, but I have been waking up these past couple days at the very ungodly hours of five or six a.m.

For no good reason.

It’s not fun.

And it’s not that I don’t have anything to do—I’m helping the spousal-unit with some documents he needs for work, plus I have fabric coming out of my ears and HUGE plans for fabric bowls and snappy bags, plus the way-overdue crafts I have been promising to finish for the past three weeks (I need to get them out the door sooner rather than later).

I swear, I am my own worst enemy.

I need to listen better to my therapist—she always asks me if I would belittle a friend the way I belittle myself (of course the answer is NO). “I just KNOW those slip stitches are going to look like [crap].” and “I just KNOW that pin is not going to work out the way I want it to.” &c.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

So I brewed a pot of hazelnut coffee, poured myself a Hugh Jass cuppa, and got to work.

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A gift from my friend Ashley

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”

Words to live by, no?

So here is the latest crop of fabric. I have another 20% off my total purchase coupon for JoAnn Fabrics—I would like to get a new pair of scissors, maybe some more stabilizer—but I simply cannot come home with more fabric until these outstanding projects are done and out the door. (I have even yet still another 20% off my total purchase coupon but that doesn’t expire until early August).

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So, I have two shamrock bowls to finish today (press out and stitch the trim), then I will most likely cut the pieces for the Mickey Mouse bowl; tomorrow slip stitching and gluing and packing and shipping! Will need boxes and mailing labels as well … no rest for the weary, right?

See you on the other side!

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So Much For THAT!

Well, the pin and the bear are still unfinished—the pin because I could not find the proper glue, the bear because time was pretty tight, what with all the running around I had to do over the weekend—and this state of affairs has gotten WAY old. So my vow to you is this: these gifts will be out the door no later than the weekend.

Not too long ago, I promised the spousal unit that I would not buy any more sewing patterns/fabric/craft supplies until the shower curtain and Roman shade for the master bathroom were completed. My intentions were good.

As always, we know that good intentions pave the way to the underworld.

Also not too long ago, I completed a pair of shorts and got 3/4 of the way to completing a tunic (Simplicity 3799) only to find that XXS does not mean a woman’s size 2; it really means “will fit a two-year-old female.” I was bummed because I really needed a pair of black shorts that fit properly; also because I really really liked the black/white/red paisley fabric I chose for the tunic. No matter, as the material for each can easily be repurposed (but damnit! I really was looking forward to rockin’ that outfit!). At least I didn’t butcher the blue crepe with the embroidered anchors over this, I’d have really steamed my clams. And the paisley fabric is always available, so no worries there.

On my latest trip to JoAnn Fabrics, lo and behold, all Simplicity patterns were $1.99, so I bought a replacement pattern 3799. That doesn’t count, right? Technically it isn’t a new pattern, right?

Then yesterday, while the SU and I were shopping at Walmart, I stopped by the fabric aisle (it isn’t the department it used to be ages ago but that’s neither here nor there), I found a fat quarter with a Mickey Mouse print. SU’s cousin loves Disney; SU’s cousin is very particular in his tastes; SU’s cousin has absolutely no qualms w h a t s o e v e r about letting you know what’s on his mind.

Looks like SU’s cousin will be getting a prototype bowl too! I think this match of fabrics is going to look very sharp with a black band (Mickey outside, polka dot lining).

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I am slowly but surely trying to reorganize/tidy up our fourth bedroom so it can serve as my craft room/another spare bedroom. I found this article late last night. Mind. Blown. Some of these are definitely worth trying, of course not all at once, but I’m down with a lot of them! I’ll keep you posted.

 

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Work It Sunday

Today is Work It Sunday. It is also Laugh At Sarge Getting Up To No Good Sunday, as he is kicking up dickens.

I have a gift package for a friend almost ready to go out in tomorrow’s post. Sarge decided to be helpful by knocking it over and dragging out the teddy bear that was in it for quality control inspection. He then tested the box to ensure that it would meet USPS shipping requirements by standing on it.

After that, he called a meeting with Maggie to discuss the quality of the new pet bed. She didn’t have much to say on that subject.

He is now snoozing happily with “his” bear, which will not be his bear for very much longer. I will eventually make him another one, the spoiled little guy.

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So, laundry is washing, pedicure is drying (L’Oréal Steel Colour in 100 POW! Perle),

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My ugly-ass feet.

and the Singer is pumpin’ cloth bowls and snappy bags, today in a shamrock print with a green lining. After that, the bear and pin, both of which Absolutely Must Get Finished Before I Go To Bed Tonight.

Next in the pipeline: basket liners for the powder room and master bathroom, Roman shade and shower curtain for the master bathroom, a shopping bag (view C), with this fabric

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and then even yet still more cloth bowls and snappy bags.

And housework. Ugh. Tomorrow is Clean The Bejesus Out Of The Powder Room Day as I want to give it a mini-makeover. Pray for me to the Domestic Goddesses, if you will.

 

 

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Crafts, Crafts, and More Crafts

So, as I am still gainfully unemployed, I have continued to hone my kung-fu sewing skills. I have now finished my third fabric bowl (Simplicity 1126, golf-themed pattern)

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with the intention of perfecting the creation of said bowls and selling them. To ensure that they are sellable (saleable?), I am going to make six or seven, send them to friends and family who have discerning taste and will not worry about being blatantly honest about the quality of my product, and ask them to share their thoughts on the quality of my product.

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Rose garden, black paisley, fuchsia diamonds, pink tiaras, black pawprints, shamrocks, and Queen Bee patterns

Since I have fabric scraps coming out of my ears, and hate to waste things (the practical PA Dutchwoman in me – thanks, Mom!), I took an old sweater from the SU and made a pet bed. Here it is 3/4 finished:

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There is easily ten pounds’ worth of scraps in it. So far no takers, but we shall see.

As always, WATCH THIS SPACE!

Off to make crab and andouille jambalaya for dinner (SO GOOD, recipe to follow).

EDIT: Someone has already claimed the (nearly-finished) cat bed.

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EDIT #2: Someone else staked claim to it last night.

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Today’s phrase that pays: “SARGE TESTED, MAGGIE APPROVED.”

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An Exciting Past Few Days

[Edited 6/10/2017]

I have been one of the gainfully unemployed for over two years, and while sometimes not working was fun, on the whole it was soul-crushing boredom. I took up sewing again, got back into designing my own cross stitch patterns (I have yet to execute any of them as of this moment, but hey! it’s only 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning! the day is still young, right?), and took up meditation to (try to) get my mind serene.

On Thursday, my local paper had an advertisement announcing a need for obituary writers (part-time). The hours are great (afternoons, with some weekends), the office is conveniently located downtown (park-and-ride! mass transit! this would be awesome!) I lined up my references, drafted a cover letter, and sent in my résumé.

Another downtown employer is seeking a Visitor Experience Supervisor; résumé will be cued up and sent out shortly.

So hopefully within the next few weeks (days? a girl can hope, can’t she?), I will have a new gig lined up.

Last week, I sent a letter to the spousal-unit’s incredibly cool, generous, and talented aunt; she is an artist living in South Dakota and we correspond frequently. In the letter, I included photos of Maggie and Sarge.

In return, she sent me a piece of her work titled Notions and I have to say it will look amazing in my craft room! I can’t wait to hang it. Not sure what I will send her in return but it’s going to have to kick ass. (But now that I think of it, I have an idea … watch this space!)

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Sew Crazy!

I have been a woman possessed by the spirit of a mad crazy seamstress lately. Even since the spousal-unit bought me a new sewing machine (Singer Brilliance), I’ve been a total heaux fo’ sho’ sewing.

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To date, I have made upwards of 250 snappy bags in a plethora of fabrics, a dozen pairs of pajama bottoms (See & Sew B5517 for Mom and Sally, Simplicity 1520 pants for the spousal-unit, Ashley, Rain, and myself in either Philadelphia Flyers or tubby penguin flannel, and sleep shorts),

a floppy beach hat (McCall M6664, one in purple paisley, one in a black, red, and white pattern, both of which will go with my swimsuits);

and three skirts (Simplicity 2184) in the material shown below.

Not to mention, I FINALLY finished my Christmas in Paris apron (See & Sew B5125)

And made a Steelers catnip toy for Sarge’s cousin George.

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In the pipeline we have 2 tunics and 2 pairs of shorts (Simplicity 3799; khaki and black shorts, and tunics in this material);

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And as I blogged yesterday, a teddy bear, sundress, panties, and hat for OBIL’s stepdaughter’s first baby.

However, let us go back to Simplicity 3799. Two things:

  • What the hell is a size XXS? Is it like a size 00? And
  • Who came up with this pinning/cutting schematic for the tunic? I am sewing tops, not building a damn battleship.
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Procrastination

I am almost halfway done sewing the Roman shade, so naturally had to stop working on that and start working on other projects.

Younger Brother-in-Law (YBIL) is a horse racing enthusiast, and with the Kentucky Derby coming up this weekend, I decided to make him some swag for the day after finding some sweet Derby-themed cloth at JoAnn Fabrics (it was 60% off!).

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So from this he is getting:

(The patterns for the last three items were on sale at JoAnn Fabrics, 3 for $5.)

Then I received a nice note from my friend’s daughter who is in her sophomore year at university—late last year I made her a pair of pajama bottoms in this cute tubby penguin flannel which she really really liked.

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I found some adorable pink patterned cotton fabric at Walmart for 50¢/yard (!!!)

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So I made her another pair of pajama bottoms and a headband to match.

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Next is a bear, sundress, panties and hat for my Older Brother-in-Law’s stepdaughter’s baby girl who is due any day now.

Once all of the above is done, it’s back to home dec and then summer wardrobe. I hope to get my summer wardrobe done before Memorial Day however, at the rate at which I’m going that might not be happening.

Watch this space!

(PS the phrase-that-pays: “Is there such a thing as double-sided fusible web?” as I get out my Heat-N-Bond, which is double-sided fusible web.)

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