Wednesday, August 25, 2010

let the bells ring out across the land

let the celebrations begin
raise a toast to....
ma boots!
yes it's true i finally found a fantastic pair of boots! at least they are for me. here they look quite chocolate colored, but they are are more ox blood. 

i'm wearing a dress made from some of the 33 odd yards of fabric
i found them on ebay, last week, in an auction. they are mens but i don't have any problem with that. they started off at .99 cents. i watched them until the last 4 minutes and then placed my bid. and i won! woo hoo. with shipping the grand total was $21.05. shipping was the bulk of the price, $15.00, which means the boots themselves were only $6.05 (grin). i am thrilled i finally found a pair of boots that are leather, can be worn with either blacks or browns, are in great shape, fit my big ol' flapper feet, and were a great price.


Monday, August 23, 2010

anyone for some kite flying?

hello m'dearies!
today was a really nice day weather-wise. not too hot and with a slight breeze. i took the wee ones outside this morning to let them run off some energy. as i sat on the stoop, i thought about kite flying. i love flying kites. the oldest and i used to go out in one of our pastures with our sheep, ( yup we used to have sheep and a llama and a 25 acre farm, but that's a story for another day), and fly kites.
well the space we live in now is considerably far smaller. so i thought about kite flying in a small space. i came to the conclusion it would require a small kite. hmmm.....small kites? seems as though it should be easy to make. so i started to peruse the internet to see what i could find. the information i came across seemed easy enough. i got the supplies out and... created some kites. the young ones couldn't quite get the idea of not grasping the kite string, but just gently holding on to it. so the oldest came out and we had fun flying mini kites.

i figured if we had some laughs playing around with these maybe someone else might. sooooooo..... i decided to try my first tutorial. yes i know, gasp! a tutorial with lots of photos. now please understand i am not claiming to be a kite master. this was simply how i made the kites we played with today in a light intermittent breeze.

~a kite tutorial~
remember the key is to keep the kite as light weight as possible

tissue paper
glue stick
plastic drinking straw
quilting thread
exacto knife
safe cutting surface

i used some salmon colored tissue

1. cut the straw 6 inches long.
if using a bendy straw, cut the straw below the bendy part
save the top part of the straw for later

2. use your exacto knife and slice the straw length way, to open the straw up.
flatten the sliced open straw on the cutting surface

3. carefully slice 2 thin strips from the straw approximately 3 mm wide
two strips of straw approximately 3 mm wide

4. cut one of the strips to 4.5 inches long. leave the other straw strip the 6 inches.
one strip will be 4.5 inches long and the other will be about 6 inches long

5. slide the curved side, if there be one, of  6 inch strip of straw along the top of your glue stick.

7. place the sticky straw strip on your tissue. i started in one corner. but not too close to the edge.

8. i repeated the gluing process for the 4.5 inch straw strip and placed it across the first strip at about 4.25 inches from the bottom of the longer one. i then dabbed some of the glue from the glue stick on each of the corners of the strips.

9. using the ruler and pencil draw a line connecting the end of the glued on straw strips to form a diamond.

10. use your scissors to cut along the pencil line you have just drawn.

11. cut two strips of tissue, approximately 5 to 6 mm wide, as a tail for the kite. dab a bit of glue to the bottom of your kite and attach your two tail strips.

12. now is the time to attach your kite string. take your quilting thread, or heavy sewing thread, and pull off three lengths, approximately 3 yards. thread your needle with one end of the string and tie a knot in the other end. poke the needle through the strips, where they intersect, on the back of your kite. pull the string through until the knot rests on the crossed strips.

13. dab some glue on to the knot of string on the back of the kite to secure.

14. thread the free end of string through your small cut piece of straw.

15. attach the string to the straw by tying a knot.

16. wrap the string around the straw tube to act as a reel or a winder thing-a-ma-bobby.

17. if you happen to have a bamboo skewer you can place the straw tube on it so that the string will pull out freely.

these are the first three kites that i made and that we took out and played with this afternoon. 

the green and the purple were made inspired by some of the information i found online. the orange one and the one shown in the tutorial is based off of how my mum used to make kites when she was a wee lass. i found i like her way better. both styles fly well i just i like the simplicity of my mum's suggestion.

here's our oldest flying the orange kite made like the one in the tutorial. as you can see we have some construction going across the street from out apartment complex, and the trees that left standing are fairly tall. just so you have some point of reference as to how high these sweet little kites can go. 

so there you have it, my first tutorial. i hope some of you out there are inspired, or at least intrigued enough, to try one of these. if you do, let me know how it turns out.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

i'm done

this post is about the fact that i finished my entry for the embroidereading contest. i'm not wholly sure how i feel about what i created. i did discover that i don't like embroidering words that much. or at least not the font i chose. i loved it at first but....then after a while.....yeah not so much. hopefully i won't embarrass myself in entering the contest. but if i do no one will be able to tell (sigh of relief).

i'm also almost done with our two youngest. they are being complete buggers! doing everything between whining, if you tell them they can not have anymore of something, to down right screeching and crying if i tell them no. at least that is what the smallest one is doing. the middle one is making a valiant attempt at trying to figure out new ways to manipulate us into doing what he wants. he used to be a great one for crying at the drop of  a hat. but now it's not working anymore since he's almost 5. so now he's trying to find a new trick. the only time they do not fuss, fight, whine, argue, cry, or act complete blighters is when i sit and do nothing or "wait" on them. no one else, just me. (sigh) i know i'm going to sound like an absolute horrid mum, but i don't want to "wait" on them and do nothing all day. with the children i have helped raise these two are by far the most labour intensive. my mum helpfully suggests it's just a phase they are going through. gosh i sure hope so. because if it's not a phase i'm going to seriously look into advertising two lightly used children for sale. cheap! 


Thursday, August 19, 2010

better late than without photos

i had mentioned in one of my previous posts that i had a shy new camera, digi. after reading that post miss amybel was kind enough suggest a card reader so that mimi and digi really wouldn't even need to talk to each other. well i'm so happy to tell you all that it works wonders. i was able to transfer the pix i had taken to mimi and she was happily none the wiser about where they came from. so without further ado a story and some pix....

one fine, sunny, summer day, my mum and i took the two youngest boys with us sale-ing. we had already stopped at a couple of sales and really hadn't picked up anything of great note. the last sale we came across was a bit off the beaten path, meaning for the life of me i can't even remember where it was. we looked around and found a few things. my mum and i decided that i would watch the boys why she went to pay for the items. the boys and i wandered over to a flat bed trailer that had "manly" things on it. i also like to look at old tools and "manly" things because you never know when you might find some odd treasure or some rusty thing that inspires me to create something. I saw what looked to be a sewing machine case. I saw a price, written on some masking tape, that said $2. I figured a case for $2 wasn't bad and i could have fun decorating the outside of it. I went to look at the case more closely and discovered that it was actually quite heavy. something still resided inside. I unlatched the sides and lifted off the top. well what do you suppose was there? yup a sewing machine. i know startling, (grin). by this time my mum joined me. we both slyly looked at each other, and i quietly showed her the price. i could tell she had the same thought as i, was this really the price and did the thing work. she went back to ask about the machine, as i went to take the boys back to the car. i saw a gentleman start to bring over an extension cord. my mum came over to say that yes the machine was really only $2, and that it did work, he was bringing the cord over to show her how it ran. now sewing machines are my mum's area when it comes to how they sound and how they run. she has been sewing for the better part of her life. i on the other hand am as inexperienced about sewing machines as...a priest is in a bordello. now don't get me wrong i can sew, and i can thread a machine and make it go forward and backward. but as far as being able to say if the machine sounds good or it's running well, i'm a complete noob. The next thing I know the gentleman is walking towards the car with the machine in hand. needless to say my mum and i were very excited. i already have a sewing machine. one that my mum and dad gave to me about 20 years ago. it has worked well, but myrtle is getting a little tired. her foot pedal has some issues and ever once in awhile her stitches skip. she probably just needs a good going over and wee bit of adjustment. but my mum and i felt that maybe this new vintage sewing machine might be one thing to help poor myrtle get a break. 

lottie decided she wanted to introduce the newest member to our crafty home.

meet sadie the pink sewing lady. of course sedro, our wee sheep, had to get in the picture. he's such a ham.

this a closer look at sadie. she is pink as you can see. she is an atlas sewing machine. it just does the basic, forward and reverse straight stitch. i do need to get her a new rubber ring for her bobbin winder wheel, other than that, she is in great shape. 

she has a great decal on the plate of atlas with the world in his shoulder. the smaller design that runs around the edge is a small worlds. i have yet to put her through her paces, but i'm confident she will do great.

another amazing find i came across this sale-ing season made sadie quite happy. no it wasn't another machine. well i did find a couple of other machines but nothing like sadie. 

it was about a week ago. it was one of those weeks in which you find yourself rather casse (which is french for broke, or at least according to the film victor/victoria). i had to run to the store to pick up some milk. i was feeling rather glum but decided to stop by a garage sale that happens every year. there is always a bevy of things to go through. i figured i was sporting the last two dollars i had as spare change, and who knew what i might find. so i began to poke around. i over heard two ladies chatting, and realized that one of the ladies was the running the sale. her friend then asked how much she wanted for the fabric. me ears immediately pricked up and i realized i was standing right next to where she was pointing. i looked down and began to focus on a small pile of fabric. my curiosity quickly grew. the lady running the sale told her friend to fill up a bag and that she would make her a deal. i figure that this would apply to me as well. as i began to tentatively look through the fabric i realized that the pieces i was lifting up were quite heavy indicating that they were pieces with some yardage to them. i began to fill up my arms. i also began to notice that there were two more piles sitting off to the side that no one was even paying attention to . not only that but there was a plastic tote of trims sitting next to the fabric. i grabbed two trims and quietly asked another lady, helping with the sale, if she had a bag i could place the fabric in. she gave me a rather big bag and so i was able to place a few more "pieces" in. i looked around the sale and began to get a wee bit nervous. maybe the whole "fill a bag and i'll make you a deal" was only for her friend. or maybe her idea of deal would be different than mine. i took a deep breath and walked up to the table. both ladies that were running the sale were sitting at a table, when i approached i reminded the one lady about her deal for the fabric. i then offered her $2. at first she hesitated, but then she agreed. woo hooo! my mum had come over while i was out and i showed her what i had came across. we both got a twinkle in our eyes. my mum then asked if there was anymore fabric there. so we scrounged around the piggy bank and found two more dollars. i ran back down to the sale and even brought the bag they had given me to fill up again. when i approached the table where the two ladies sat, i announced that i was back. the lady said good and asked for the now customary two dollars. i quickly came home and my mum and i began to tote up exactly how much yardage we had gained. our nearest estimation, because we were doing the old stretch-your-arm-out-as-far-as-it-goes-with-one-end-of-the-fabric-and-touch-your-nose-with-the-other-end-of-fabric form of measuring off yards, was that we had bought 33 yards of fabric for $4.  yup that comes out to $.12 a yard. yes that's twelve cents. we were thrilled. 

here is what that much fabric looks like

the black fabric is 9 yards alone. 

i also picked up a few little bits of fabric and two pieces of faux fur to try and create a werewolf doll for the 
boys. two lace trims (there sitting next to lottie on the green suitcase) and a bag of various ric-rac.

this is a little better pix of the trim i found. it's two different types of lace edging.

this is where all that lovely fabric is living, along with some of the other fabric in our stash.. i placed them on cardboard cores and made them into mini bolts. it helps keep them neat and looking wonderful. 


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

throughly discouraged

wow! what a day. i'll tell ya (why yes i will)

we have a van that we have had in storage for about a year. the reason? it would suddenly decide that it would be on a break when we would be out and about. there we would be running errands, grocery shopping or what not. we would park the van, take care of business, get back in the van and.....nothing. now one might think oh it was the alternator or the starter. nope had both tested and they were fine. some one might think it would be the battery. well at the time it seemed fine. my mum was very generous to allow us to use her reliable vehicle, the gem. so we placed the fussy van in storage.

last week the engine light in my mum's gem came on. it didn't sound any different or drive any different, but we all were concerned. so today my mum took the gem to the garage to see what they would say. at first examination they said it was just the o2 sensor. ummm ok? then they decided to look closer. well of course they did. and they came back with a laundry list of things that have to be done to the little gem. my poor mum was quietly have heart palpitations while she was at the garage and when she called me i started to have fits of apoplexy. actually i just became really snippy. which, as we all know, is just so not helpful (blush). after she left the garage and came over we all sat down and discussed that we would bring the fussy van out of storage and put the gem in until we could slowly work on getting the laundry list taken care of, bit by bit. of course since fussy van had been sitting in storage so long, we had to get the tabs renewed, something we had been remiss in doing, and get a new battery. for my husband had discovered the the battery that had been in the van was well past it's prime, by this time. of course all of this meant that our monthly grocery shopping excursion to town would totally have to be called off. we just didn't feel confident driving in to town and being stuck. so it meant that we would have to pay higher prices and less selection for the months food supply at the local market. (sigh)

now why would this necessarily make me discouraged? because i think i actually found a pair of boots that i like. but the budget this month is well on it's way to being spent. (sigh) and i really just can't justify spending some $51 on a pair of boots. i might spend a wee bit of change on a pair of new tights, but that would be considerable less than the boots.

maybe the benevolent vintage re-use/re-purpose/re-cycle gods (yes there are such gods. please don't try and convince me otherwise. at least not now and definitely not today) will allow me to find a pair at a garage sale for a song. keep your fingers crossed.

cheers! (even though i don't feel like it right now) 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

pant, pant, pant....

here i am! i'm here. (pant, pant, pant) geez it's hot! i'm melting, slowly. some one turn the thermostat down now please.

i have been s-l-o-w-l-y working on some embroidery. i have been trying to complete some dolls for our two young boys, but this heat just zaps all my creativity. i also have this pattern to complete for the two young ones for christmas. you know when i stop melting and in my free time.

of course, now i have gone and stuck my foot in it, figuratively speaking that is. i stepped up and said i would enter this contest. luckily i have until september to complete my entry. i have a poem in mind. i don't think i'll embroider the whole poem, just a stanza from it. i just have to find the book that contains it (grin). the funny thing is, i'm not entering the contest to win necessarily. i liked the idea of the project and wanted to participate. which if you knew anything about me, you would know i'm not a "joiner". never really have been. so for me to speak up and say i would enter a little creation in this, seems even odd to me.

in one of my previous posts i mentioned a digi-camera that my husband found for me at a garage sale. well after fiddling with it for the better part of the afternoon i discovered that my laptop, mimi, and it are not on talking terms. i connect the two together via the usb cable and then mimi turns her back on the poor, dear digi-camera and gives it the cold shoulder. the digi-camera tried to introduce itself and make nice but mimi would not have it. (she can be a wee bit stubborn). so i figure what i'm gonna have to do is go old school. i'm gonna have to take photos and then take the memory card to one of those nifty photo kiosks at a store and transfer the photos to a disk. then sneak those photos on to mimi. (shhhh, just don't let her know where the photos came from.) then i can share them with you all.