07 February, 2018

Orange Confetti Clothesline Bowl


 My third Orange Confetti Clothesline Bowl. Much happier with my third attempt. Second one was my typical, too fast, trying to make it the same, fiasco (in my mind). This third one is also a tad smaller. About 8 inches across.

Anyway, even with the leather finish, this bowl still had to have a knot. A snake knot, to be precise.

I just love how organic the bowl comes together. Not overthinking the design, just letting it evolve how it wants to.

 Last Sunday, my only day off, was warm - over 60'f,  and sunny.  Yard work was calling. Specifically, this wild Nootka rose.

It had no redeeming qualities other than keeping the neighbors at bay. No excess of blooms, no excess winter rose hips, just excessive vicious thorns and the ability to jump over and under the aluminum flashing I put in to keep it contained.

Late in the summer I tried some Crossbow on it and I was happy to see some dieback.
It will take me two years or so to get rid of the vigorous runner roots but I am waging war.

I have a nice clumping bamboo to put there instead. Teresa gave me some of her clumping bamboo varieties for my birthday last year. They are in pots until I gain control of this spot in my flower bed.

 It's all chopped back, crossbow applied and some roots dug up.

My living fence is now opened up and the neighbors got a bit closer.
Gardening is a process. That's for sure.

 I did do a bit of sewing. This was all cut out on my sewing table and was finished. This little professional pouch with leather accents measures about 5 1/2" by 4 inches tall.
Nice small pouch.

For coins, stuff, timbers memorabilia.
---our local soccer team.

While the rest of the nation is enjoying the winter months, our spring has started here in the Willamette Valley. My Christmas Cheer Rhodies are starting as well as my early daffodils.

Warmer weather is expected through next week and I might even see my mini-iris's pop open.
We can still expect frosts until April but this winter has been mild - our usual state of affairs here. Last year was snowy and icy - which happens every ten years or so. Good to be back to 'normal'.

04 February, 2018

Library Bingo

 I'm busy playing Library Bingo.
You can win a mug by reading four across/down/diagonal.
But if you do blackout - all 16 categories - you're in the running for a new Kindle Fire.

 Categories include Biography, Book translated into English, Book made into a movie, Travel, Nonfiction History, Humorous Book, Fantasy Novel, Book from Childhood, Bestseller, Poetry, Classic Novel, Mystery, Library Staff Selection, "Lucky Day" book, Graphic Novel, and Book by Oregon Author.

I need suggestions on Book translated into English, A Humorous Book, and a Fantasy Novel.

Creative Girl is providing me with a (short) graphic novel from her daughters extensive collection.

She also found me my Poetry Book. I like poetry but I don't love it enough to read a book full of poems. She found me a vintage single poem, "Sweet By and By". Complete with etched plates and illustrations. And the music score.

This is a typical time of the year for me to read more. I feel quite energized by this Library bingo game. I have until March 15 to finish, which I think I will.

Last Sunday was nice, so I had to play out in the yard (next post) instead of sewing and reading. This sunday is warmish but the wind is blowing and there's the occasional drop of rain. I was able to sew and read and do my laundry on this Sunday.

 Another acquaintance in town started her own book store. She's ordered this bag from me before (twice), so I made her another to use or to sell in her shop. I plan to make her two to help get her sales going so she can stay in business - we'll see.

This is my own tote bag pattern which I am still perfecting. But I made these corners. I'm pretty pleased with myself.

 Inside is this great slip pocket featuring a scrap of books.

 The Lilac Girls is my bestseller. It's about WWII and three women. One is a society gal who helps french citizens from the USA and sends care packages to french orphans. The second is Polish, studying medicine, when she and her sister, mom, and boyfriend are picked up and sent to a concentration camp. The third is german, also studying medicine, who turns into the only woman doctor tried for war crimes by lethal injections/operations performed upon concentration victims.

I highly recommend this book .

First of all, the similarity between my work environment and the concentration camp really played in my subconscious. I dreamt about this book. The decisions I made to get out in a year and a half are  more right than ever. I see more and more workplaces becoming authoritative, hostile - well- work is a four-letter word.

Secondly, I was really sick with the bronchial flu in December and still feel exhausted from the christmas work hours and continuing overtime. These women, underfed, forced to do hard physical labor, with less sleep than I get, were able to persevere, create bonds to survive and do more - in spite of their exhaustion. Very inspiring kick in the butt.

UPDATE on missing package: Well - we have been officially denied insurance coverage because tracking says the package was delivered. We are appealing that decision because no one bothered to give out keys to the parcel lockers. No one is addressing this issue. It's sucky.

Why did I make the book bag and some other things? While I have bought new fabric to make the replacement quilt for my son, I am procrastinating on cutting it out and sewing up the quilt top. Big sigh. Maybe after I write two blog posts. (cuz I'm NOT watching super bowl).

21 January, 2018

Missing Package And No Communication

The Post Office officially sucks at communication.

They ignored my case.
They ignored my sister's case.
They ignored my son - the recipient of two christmas packages that were placed into parcel lockers at his apartment complex.
They won't even address the issue of no keys to the parcel lockers.

Other than geo-tracking them to the parcel lockers, there's been no word.

I filed my priority claim today - one month after the package disappeared.

I went to Fabric Depot today and re-bought all the fabrics. Of course that's impossible. I bought the first fabrics for the quilt in October. The store is sold out of the original fabrics.

Moving on. Pencil Girl was unable to come today, so we did about a thousand messages back and forth.

Anyway, I did want to address a concern of several of my readers. It is highly unlikely your package will go astray. If you package it well, secure the label (inside the box and outside). Utilizing a good condition new box (for stability), wrapping in plastic (in case it gets wet).

In my 40 plus years of shipping packages, I have only had a handful go stray and I send a lot of packages.

I just drew the lottery on an emotionally charged christmas package to my son who moved out of state.

Fabrics all washed and doing their drying thing. I'll cut them out next weekend.

Oh - the photo above is of the beach south of me, down by Coos Bay, Oregon, taken by my cousin. The moon and the waves conspired to provide the BIG wave.
Very exciting winter surf on the Oregon coast.

My new favorite song heard on the radio this morning.
You  have to listen to that piano. mmmm..mmmmm One of the better re-makes of a classic Bob Dylan song: Don't think twice, it's all right.

17 January, 2018

Pencil Girls Christmas Gift To Me

longer sleeves. I vote for yes.

Pencil Girl made me this Kimono Jacket. She's been a friend since college and we both worked at the same fabric store - so we've sewn our whole lives together.

Anyway - last fall, she and I went to a Sip (wine in a fabric store!) and Sew at Fabric Depot to meet MimiG (look her up) and Deb  Kreiling. We'd met Deb for the first time at Sew Expo last Spring. She pretty much runs Simplicity Patterns.

Deb is shockingly short (my apologies, but she's shorter than me) and was wearing this beautiful kimono style jacket. I ran and grabbed the pattern, as did Pencil Girl. FYI: Simplicity 1108.

The jacket was so simple and so flattering.

straight from work with sweaty tshirt

 Pencil Girl even egged me on to buy this georgette - a fine flowy fabric on one of our recent Fabric Depot trips. I declined  - mostly because I was just starting the holiday season at work. I don't need more fabric waiting for me to find time.

Was I ever surprised to see this in my mailbox the other day. She does exquisite finishing too. And this is a muslin - made quickly to finesse the fit.

It fits!

Deb from Simplicity added some sleeve bands - lengthening the sleeve at the same time. Pencil Girl even made up some longer sleeve bands for me to try out.

Right now - I'm too lazy to change anything. And for the first time in months, I dreamed about sewing during my nap the other day. I may have the perfect fabric to make another in my stash.

I'm still a bit amazed that she sewed a wearable garment for me, and it fits, that I am showing you totally unedited photos. Don't get used to it.

***Update on missing package - see previous posts if you're nosy:
Today - wednesday - I received an email from USPS inviting me to fill out a survey regarding our recent missing package case. I was not flattering as no one has resolved anything nor have they followed up. Hello - here's my email.............

Tonight - ds found a note from the apartment complex manager that he had a package in the office. **** Could it be the missing one suddenly visible again? Is there two?

Stay tuned. It's almost been a month. Well - longer than three weeks. I mailed it on the 20th of December?

15 January, 2018

More Bowls And A Piper J5

 I made a second Orange Clothesline Bowl.
Only differentiated by the amount of Satsumas left in the house!

 These two - the stripey one with handles and the solid orange were destined to my mail carrier as she goes above and beyond to accurately and kindly deliver our mail. I needed a gift for her and I may have gone overboard. Her favorite color is orange. I think this set was my best ever in the clothesline obsession.

I meant to make two bowls in graduated sizes but my organic way of designing had other ideas. Once the rope is under my presser foot, anything can happen.

 I came up with a new finish -  little confetti dots for a design detail.
By the second one, it looked more like confetti.

I also tried out a leather accent piece, to hide the end joins. Riveting, yes? lol

If you're interested, the second bowl is now listed in my etsy store: RunningWithHandmade.

Here's the Piper J5. It will have it's maiden voyage in about a month. Still fiddling with weird small stuff. The engine cowling is rubbing behind the propeller housing, for instance.

We had a 60' sunny break from all our drizzle so it seemed like a great day to run up the engine. A trip up and down the runway to get some oil into the cylinders and flash the neighbors.

It doesn't sound as good as the Stearman big round engine but it was a fine sound on Saturday.

***Update on pkg debacle. Well - it's MLK day and a holiday. Maybe some news on Tuesday....or at least more excuses.

12 January, 2018

Chalk Bag Number 2

 I made a chalk bag for my son's girlfriend. Her request, via my son, was for a Hawaiian-style fabric.

***UPDATE on missing christmas package at bottom of post.

I didn't quite get this done in time to ship (hallalujah! see two previous posts on The Missing Package). I was also sick most of December, finishing out my year with a bad case of bronchitis and flu (and the usual forced overtime which didn't help).

I had made one before in 2010 (!) for my son and the link to the tutorial had broken so I spent most  of November searching for another pattern.

Thankfully, someone else had saved the original tutorial that I liked, and this time, I printed it out to save. The internet is so capricious.

Anyway, most chalk bags patterns are round cylinders with a round bottom. This one is more ovoid-shaped with a gusset. It's narrower because of the gusset. It sits closer to the body.

Oh - for those who don't rock-climb or do gymnastics -- the chalk bag hangs from your climbing belt. You can dip your hand in to chalk up so you don't slip as much. Especially useful in rock climbing gyms. The inner bag cinches up tight to keep the chalk inside of the bag when in storage.

The Happy Face cord lock was bought in Japan

Fortunately, the son and girlfriend drove home for New Year's and I was able to present this, in person, to the girlfriend who wins the very appreciative award. 

I love giving handmade but the properly appreciative recipients get more.

This is the one I made my son, 7 years ago.

These chalk bags are pretty easy to sew - I can get one done in an hour. They require some specialty parts - elastic cording, sturdy grosgrain belting/ribbon, tie strap or something similar.
I saw some newish inspiration while searching for a tutorial online of making them with anime features. Gets  my mind percolating.

***Update on missing Christmas Package. Thursday afternoon we heard some (excuses) words about the parcel lockers. "They appear to have been tampered with."  They did find a package addressed to ds from a while ago. They didn't say from whom.

My question is WHY have no parcel locker keys been given out? And, if someone is tampering with the parcel lockers, why is a package mailed more than two months ago  - not taken? Not given a key either?
Why did it take three weeks to get to this point?

We are still awaiting word on this "Launching a big investigation."


I read this to mean I will have to go through the claim process to get $50 out of USPS. (priority comes with automatic $50)  --- To buy more fabric and re-make.
On a good note, ds put an offer on a house this week so we won't have to deal with apartment package delivery anymore.

09 January, 2018

The Missing Gift, Part 2

Supposedly this gift to my son is in a parcel locker at his apartment complex. The postmaster geo-tracked it, it must be so.

We are still in 'negotiations' to get the postmaster to get off his duff and go open the parcel lockers.

My sister also sent ds a christmas package and it too is in a parcel locker.

We blame everything on Lester.

Lester is a postal worker who threw everyone's packages into lockers and is holding the keys hostage.
We might be making that up. maybe. Not the Lester part. Who names their kids Lester nowadays?

After ascertaining that the package(s) are in the parcel lockers, the son's girlfriend actually got home in time to meet Lester. He threw all the keys on the ground amidst serious grumblings and moanings and basically refused to find the package.

Then ds met two newish postal carriers on another day who tried to open what lockers they could. They didn't have all the keys.

What keeps us hopeful on this 9th day of January is that two packages for my son are in there. Not just mine. With the handmade quilt. But my sister's (his auntie) as well.

In my despairing moments, someone else got the locker key and is now in possession of beautiful handmade gifts.

We are still negotiating with the local post office for the release of our packages.

Inside were another of my handmade gifts this year. Both my kids are amazing Instagram photographers. I took their photos and printed them and then attached them with double-sided tape to quality A4 paper and made notecards for everyone.

L to R: Bridge in Nevada, Yosemite, Seward, AK hwy. Top left is Mt Jefferson Wilderness

 Another image I printed: My daughter in our Stearman biplane.

 My niece in Glacier National Park.

My kids still write letters. My mom was a noted letter writer (haha - pun!)

These are all gifts I can re-create.

My UPS package arrived safely to my son but we have had trouble with the post office at this apt complex. I probably will utilize UPS in the future.