Saturday, September 29, 2012

And So It Begins

Oh my, I have been absent haven't I?  In spite of my good intentions to post at least a couple times a week, I am still lacking in time management skills.  Clearly my inability to focus and get things done is not the fault of having three young children, but all my own.  Though, now that I think of it maybe they are still to blame.  After all, they gave me their doozy of a cold the first full week I had to myself.  And they continued to make dirty laundry and ask me for food, even when they KNEW I had no time for such nonsense.  Ah, I feel so much better.  Not my fault after all.  Bullet.  Officially. Dodged. 

Other than being sick as a D. O. G., I did have another tiny distraction.  Sewing for cash.  Presenting:  

The name is Norwegian for "needles," useful tools and playthings for both my niece and me.  Here was my little stash to sell:  mini wallets, bookmarks, sandwich wrappers and a few drawstring backpacks.

Our humble booth and Nicole looking lovely behind it.

Overall, peddling our wares for the first time was a fun experience.  I am not sure if I felt more like Maria or Professor Emelius Brown with my suitcase full of goodies.  (Though I could have sung "I Have Confidence" or "Eglantine" and been equally as happy.)  I didn't make a ton of money and probably earned slave labor wages for myself in what I did make.  But college homecoming is probably not the place to really rake in the dough for crafty goods.  We have some fun thoughts about our future though.  Not sure where it will go, but I think we might just enjoy the journey.

Next up?  Halloween costumes!... but first I CLEAN MY HOUSE!!!

PS.  There were some "leftovers" from what we were selling.  I currently have no online store to post them in, but if anyone is interested in detailed pics or information on anything you saw in my suitcase, or you can check Nicole's little mittens and hand woven dish towels here, please contact me at and we can work something out.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thank You and An Answer

First of all, can I just say "Happy Friday" to you?  This first full week of school here is sort of kicking our butts.  We've had a whole lot of bus drama in the form of a kooky bus driver who can't seem to get her route down and is late in the morning and late in the afternoon and seems to sort of make up her own route as she goes!  The neighborhood is buzzing with frustration and the kids are exhausted and transportation is supposedly "on it" but the improvement has been marginal.  And just so you don't think I'm one of those crazy parents who gets up in arms about every little thing (I know how I can give that impression ;-)... the LATE bus beat my kids home the other day.  The late bus folks.  It's ridonkulous.

Nextly, (yeah, yeah, I know it's not a word but it's fun, right?).  Nextly, thank you all SO MUCH for your compliments and advice and thoughts about the bags.  The deal right now is not Etsy... though that is a possibility at some point... but my niece attends my Alma Mater and we have reserved a booth to sell some things at homecoming in a couple of weeks.  I have started some things and am actually not even sure what I'll have time to whip up before then, but it helps me to sort my thoughts to hear from you guys, so thanks for the support!  A couple of you were curious about the bag's overall size and sturdiness.  This is one of the short straps I made for Calvin, but the bag is the same dimensions.  It fits my on-loan-from-work-that-no-longer-seems-to-have-work-for-me Mac.  It is an older 15 inch (I believe) version, still an inch thick and somewhat heavy and it fits.

I think this one is plenty sturdy with the denim.  They all have interfacing on the bottom "edge", but I kept them more floppy otherwise, depending on the heaviness of the outer material.   I would definitely not market it as a laptop bag, as it is not padded or secure in any way.  But if you are just throwing it over your shoulder on a quick jaunt to the coffee shop or library, and you are not a complete idiot about it, I should think it would work. :-)  and, if you have one of those tiny PC laptops or a Mac Air or something, I would think it would be fab.

There is also the possibility of MAKING them more sturdy and with more pockets and padding or interfacing or adjustable straps or, or, or.   I have scads of ideas about these bags and about other fun and interested things I could make.  But for homecoming, in the interest of time and up-front monetary investment, I need to keep it pretty simple.  I like the idea of these bags in the two different strap lengths that might appeal to both students and alumni, singles and parents/grandparents as gifts.  This is all sort of an experiment for Nicole and me just to see how it goes and what we can make and to have the adventure together:  to sink or swim in company.

But thanks, too, for all of my online company.  The few of you that have continued to hang out here, in spite of my lack of posting and probably uninspiring verbiage, really feel like friends.  So, happy weekend friends!  See you on the flip side...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Belated Bag, Why Hoarding Isn't ALL Bad and a Question

Some of you may recall that last Christmas I made my kids these bags.  You may recall it because the bags were so awesome. OR you may recall it because, even though it was almost a year ago, it was only a few posts back.  Whatevs.  They are important to this story only because my sister-in-law liked them and said she wanted one.  I made a comment of the your-birthday-is-coming-so-you-never-know sort and that was that.  And then March was her birthday.  And then I just saw her in August and only THEN did she receive her own bag.  Cuz that's how I roll, folks.  NO! WAIT!  That's how the OLD me rolled.  The new, 36-year-old-without-kids-all-day me is totally going to be on time.  Ahem. 

I digress.

A couple of YEARS ago...hmm... maybe even more than a couple... said sister-in-law had given me a REALLY COOL piece of hand made fabric art from Costa Rica, where she does mission work.  I loved it but never quite figured out what to do with it.  Somehow it never seemed appropriate for anything that I was crafting in my completely non tropical world.   But I kept it, as I keep a lot of things (yes, that was a confession) oh so carefully (**SNORT**) stuffed in a drawer somewhere with a bunch of crap potentially useful things.  When I finally got around to making the bag, I knew I had to use it and it became the inspiration for my beach loving and living, Laurie.  


Essentially it's the same bag I made the kids, but with a couple of added pockets and a longer strap.  This is what it looks like on a headless, 5'9" body who clearly needs a belt.

If you are petite, or have a head, your results may vary.

So, long story short:  Laurie got her birthday bag almost 6 months after her birthday.  I used something I hoarded, so I feel good even though sometimes it means I live in clutter.  And here is my question for any of you loyal friends and followers.  Seriously, all 5 of you.  What do you think you would pay for a simple little bag like this?  No bells and whistles, just cool fabrics, maybe some applique or decoration of sorts, maybe some simple pockets.  Made one at a time and one of a kind.  (Hey, that's kind of catchy...don't anybody steal that, k? :-)  (BTW, didn't take a picture of the inside, but it is fully lined with that brown dotty fabric).  I like the idea of getting a little feedback, so hook a gal up wouldja?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Schooldays Genesis

And there was fighting and there was crying the second day.
And Mom saw all the tired kids that the new schedule had created and said "Rats.  The honeymoon is already over."  

The End

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I May Not Have Cried, But I Will Charge My Phone

Well, here they all go... off to another year of school.  Everyone was ready for an hour before the bus was scheduled to come and, of course, it was late.  

And little miss sassy-pants here was clearly VERY distraught over her first day of Kindergarten.

My next door neighbor was teasing me after they got on, "MOM, you ought to be CRYING!!"  But I just did a happy little jig right up to my doorstep and I sat here and posted this to the hum of my ceiling fan and the tippity tappity of my keys.  AHHH... does life get any better?  Oh, it's half price day at the thrift store did you say?  Well, then, yes.  Yes it does.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's My Birthday and I'll Post If I Want To


This has been a bumpy year, and especially summer, for me.  I could care less about 36.  It actually seems like a lovely number, but there are other things going on that are leaving me less than satisfied.  As usual, my desire to make a perfect decision or to carry out a perfect plan has left me a little....hmmm.... lost?  All of my children start school tomorrow.  Did you catch that?  ALL of them.  And, while much of me is singing the Hallelujah Chorus, a growing part is struggling with "what do I want to be when I grow up" and "how do I make some money because we are broke" and "how do I get both of those things to work within a schedule that doesn't wear out our family and turn me into an evil, exhausted nightmare who resents both her work at home and her money-making work and every person around her that possibly needs something from her?"  You know what?  I do not have an answer to that yet.  As I have had for years, I have some ideas.  The wheels are turning for some things and need to be put in motion for others.  I am afraid, which I know is bad but is the truth.  And mostly I worry that I will make the wrong choices and fail myself and my family.

But there IS something about a birthday.  And something about a new school year.  It just seems like a fresh start for me.  I love the fall for it's beauty here in the NE and for it's cooler weather.  I love the start of a new routine and, this year especially, I love that I will have some time to myself to actually have a coherent thought that is not interrupted for potentially 7 straight hours!!!  I have already started rearranging furniture and slowly cleaning things out.  I have a plan for what to do with my days for now while I remain unemployed, and for taking more pictures, and posting more here.  I have a plan in the works with my niece to start a crafty business of sorts and I hope you will all buy stuff from me so I don't have to sell my first born in order to take care of the other two ;-)  But mostly, I have a plan to TRY something.  I am choosing, at 36 to move forward into the unknown with faith.  I know that I have not fully let go of my fear or my worry, but I am choosing to try to enjoy the journey in spite of them.

I can do this.  This 36 thing.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm 

                                     you, plans to give you hope and a future.

                                                       Isaiah 43:19

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in       

                                  the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.