The Contents of a Box

I tend to hang on to things that I see as having some value to someone. I like to “fix” things and make them work or be useful again. I’m not to the extreme of being a “hoarder” but I still keep too much stuff with usually good intentions. What generally happens is after a long while the stuff winds up being donated somewhere, which is exactly what I should have done from the start.

This past weekend it was clear, I needed the space in my house that my mom had occupied the last couple of years of her life back, without her or her stuff in it. After she died, I had gotten rid of a lot of things, furniture had been reused elsewhere or stored, but there was still some baggage there, both literally and a little bit emotionally.

So this past weekend I started cleaning. Two do20160513_144113[1]nation loads later of trinkets, her “pretties”, full perfume bottles still in their original boxes, clothing she’d never worn, bed sheets she’d saved for years, blankets, even a fur hat in a beautiful hat box, I found a box I’d forgotten I’d kept. It was all of her makeup. The stuff that she’d touched almost daily for most of her life. She loved her makeup. She loved to put it on and stare at the transformation in the mirror. She bought cream after cream reliving conversations and events of her lost youth and her young, single life. She was always searching for the perfect match to her skin tone, the prettiest blush, or the best lip color, but never really found it. She’d shop for hours at the makeup counters of Macys, or at the drug store. She’d put little smudges of foundation or lipstick on the backs of her hands and look at the colors under the lights all afternoon. She lived for the potential of what the makeup could do for her and the happiness it could potentially bring her. And after she bought it, it took her an hour every day to apply her makeup. She’d sit at her vanity and carefully apply each item, examine how she did, think about what it all meant, and then move to the next thing. She’d smoke a cigarette in between, sip her coffee and have imaginary arguments with the past and people that weren’t there that this makeup would have won over. She didn’t display pictures of me, of family or even her grandson, but she had her makeup, her things and her hopes and dreams.

After dementia had really started to take its toll on her, we moved her to our house. I made a special effort to make sure her pretties came with her, so she would feel connected to something familiar in her new space. We moved her vanity as it was with all her makeup and her things arranged in it, and put them right where she could see them and she could possibly enjoy them. I don’t think she ever did though. She was too far along by then. She rarely bathed in her last few years in her apartment, refused to wash her hair, and couldn’t remember to brush her teeth or when to take her medications. After we moved her, she was bathed by aides, took her medications when we gave them to her, ate when food appeared, and she slept when she was tired. She stopped trying to be pretty on the outside anymore. I don’t think the face in the mirror matched the face she saw in her mind anymore, it was a stranger in the mirror. She mostly sat on her sofa, in a quiet, dark room, by herself, smoking and having her conversations with ghosts.

When she died, I’d just dumped her vanity drawers into a box to get it out of the way. I don’t know why I didn’t throw it away then, but it seemed important to her memory to keep it. It’s who she was. This stuff meant something to her.

There is was, in20160513_122255-1[1] the back of a closet, where it had been for the last five and a half years. I’d already sorted through and donated a lot of her trinkets, her Avon perfume collection, boxes of table cloths, sheets and some of her purse collection that day, and there it was, her makeup. All the things left that she intensely cared about as a younger woman, that defined who she was, that she used ritually for years and years before dementia took over. As I threw all the makeup in a trash bag and stood back and thought about it, I felt sadness and loss. There were hundreds of dollars of things here, money all spent years and years ago, but that wasn’t it. It was the stuff my mother had placed her hopes and dreams of happiness on. I had a realization that she was a really unhappy person who didn’t know how to be anything but unsatisfied with herself or her life.  I also realized how much she was used that unhappiness with others to get the validation and necessities she needed to survive. Her legacy was a box of makeup that couldn’t in death make her any happier or content than she thought it might do for her in life. The feelings I felt looking at that trash bag were completely unexpected.

I don’t regret getting rid of everything, it needed to be done.  Mom’s ashes still occupy a box in the closet. I saved her partial plate, a little black stuffed dog she’d grown attached to in her last years, and a pillow. One day soon, I’m going to gather the family that wants to go, and we’re going to do something with this little bit that’s left. What memories of my mother we have will live on in me, and my son, her brother, nieces and nephews and they are what they are. Sadly, with or without makeup she was unhappy in life, and it’s all she knew how to be, and that’s the memory most of us will have.

Godspeed, mom. I hope you’ve found the happiness there that you could never find here.

Grief

flowersI cried when my son went off to college. I mean CRIED. A lot. I grieved for days.  I still smother him, much to his chagrin, even long distance.

Time moved on.  I got used to him not being home every day.  I talked to him about taking his room for my office and finally moving my work-from-home space out of our finished, but dark, basically windowless basement to upstairs a couple of months ago. He was fine with it.  He knows he’ll always have a place here, a room to himself downstairs when he’s here. I never followed though with the move though. His room, even if he isn’t in it, is still HIS room.  It has been for 21 years.

So as a surprise gift for me today, MartMan spent the whole day taking down the few remaining things our son had left in his room and packing them, taking down his bed and moving it, cleaning everything, and then moving my desk, printer and the things I use to my new office. He set it all up so neatly with a view out the front window, bought me flowers and waited for me to come home.

I love what he did. It’s bright and sunny, there’s not 10 tons of hobby stuff around me, and I’m no longer in the dark basement, where I spent 20+ years when I worked every day from home.  I can open the window and feel a breeze.  I can see outside.

But I sat and cried and cried. CRIED. Again. Then I cried more. My son has been in this room every day of his life from the day his dad and I brought him home from the hospital. 21 years. His crib was in his room. His toddler bed. His bunk bed/futon. His adult bed.

I worried about will he feel comfortable when he comes home for the summer, holidays, weekends? What if he wanted to come home for a while? Will he feel like he doesn’t have a place at here anymore? Will he feel pushed out? I have to keep reminding myself, he’s 21 and does not need me to have a shrine in my house. As long as he has a door, his bed, Internet,  his parents (hopefully), then he’s FINE and it will work out.  This is always home.

On the plus side, MartMan was prepared. He already knew I would sob. You just have to grieve, I guess. And it’s okay to do it.

You would think after you get through the whole kindergarten debacle, you wouldn’t grieve as much.

Fun With Flags

Hello.

I am Milady, and welcome to the premiere episode of IAmMilady Presents Fun with Flags. Tonight, you and I are going to explore the dynamic world of vexillology.

What is Vexillology, you ask?  Vexillology is the study of flags.

Tonight we will learn about the garden flag.  The garden flag is a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge, known as the hoist, to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a home or yard and used as decoration.

Take for example, these garden flags.  This flag design is machine embroidered on a burlap field using in fun colors and displaying welcoming words, and customized with the name of the domicile they will proudly fly on …

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Whoa, I’ve learned so much.

 

Rub-a-Dub

20160408_150405Just a quick update on the crafting front.  MartMan (the hubs) has been interested in creating his own soaps, and I thought it might be nice to make him some “soap pockets” to put his creations in.

I used a throwaway towel for this first pouch, mostly to test my embroidery.  For a standard sized bar of Dove soap, I cut my fabric 5″x 9″.  I serged the inside edges of my pouch, which takes less seam allowance than sewing.  If you’re sewing, I’d recommend making the width a bit bigger, at least 6″ to a standard bar of soap, like Dove.  For MartMan’s homemade soap, I’ll have to adjust the width, since homemade soap bars tend to be wider.  If you’re putting your own soap in these pouches, measure the inside width of your mold and add enough for a 1/2″ seam allowance on each side, plus some give for the bulk of the soap.  9″ length is just about right.  20160408_150439

I embellished with binding on the envelope outside edges before folding and sewing together the long edges.  I used satin fabric cut 3″ wide, then ironed in half, then quarters folded over the edge and sewed on. This would be a good place to experiment with those decorative stitches on your sewing machine that you never use!

The claw foot tub and ducky embroidery is self-digitized using Singer’s Autopunch, which came with my embroidery machine, then Sew What Pro from S&S Computing.  I have three bubbles that float above ducky’s head, that I totally forgot to include.  It came out great though, and I see some improvements to be made for the next generation of soap pouches.

Determine your center for the back by measuring down from the top of the envelope 2″ and up from the bottom 3″.  The area in the center becomes your embroidery area for whatever design you put on the pouch.  After you’ve embroidered and installed the satin border, turn the pouch on itself, folding 2″ at the top, 3″ at the bottom.  You should have an overlap of about an inch.  Sew the sides, turn inside out and you’re done!

 

I Search

I’m not sure why, but I search. It’s in my nature, maybe my DNA. I search for products. I search for places, I search for names on the crime drama shows I watch, I search for people, property, things.

To be fair, a lot of my searching is for work. I have to find companies, property and people. It’s amazing to see the lengths people will go to to hide themselves, their normal and mundane, and their misdeeds; their lives. If I’m lucky, I’ll find what I need to find that’s helpful. I know about bankruptcies, property, tax liens and creditors. I know how people take advantage of their parents. Where is that sister? I know about things people own and don’t want anyone to know they own. I know about real last names and how clever merging makes new identities. I know where folks were born, where they grew up, where they went to school.

I know.  But does it matter?
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Everyone’s life is like a giant puzzle. Some folks have a clear picture of what they’re putting together. My personal puzzle is fuzzy and indistinct. It’s like trying to put together a picture of fog. I can find the facts, but that doesn’t tell me the why or where the facts go. Some of other people’s pieces may fit with pieces in my puzzle, but I don’t know why they fit. So what if I know random facts?  I still can’t put them in my puzzle in any way that it makes sense.

I feel like I deserve to have a picture to work on.  I feel like it’s my right.  Maybe the more pieces if find, the clearer my puzzle will be.

So I search.

Bathroom Vanity and Medicine Cabinet Project

Over my Christmas break, I decided it was time to update the bathroom vanity in our Master.  30+ years was showing on the finish.  I love the look of the General Finishes gel stain product, and we had used it over the Christmas break in 2014 in the kitchen. The Java color seems to be really in style right now as well if you pay attention to all the home flipping and DIY shows on HGTV and DIY Network.

This is not a hard project, just time consuming. So here’s before and after.

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And here’s what it takes, generally, to do it.

  • 71rtztfzfsl-_sy355_General Finishes gel stain in Java. A little bit of stain goes a LONG way. This project took a fraction of a pint can of stain and topcoat.
  • General Finishes satin gel stain topcoat.
  • Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner and a bucket of water, cleaning sponges and cleaning rags.
  • 1″ and 3″ sponge craft brushes.
  • A small water color brush to get into corners.
  • Latex gloves – a whole box. Trust me.
  • An old cotton sock.
  • Ziploc bags and and saran wrap.

Gel stain is communicable and TSP is not friendly to surfaces you are not working on, so prep first.  Really.  It travels if you’re not careful.  Cover your floor with an old sheet or painter’s tarp, tape off edges with painters tape and mask your work areas. This stuff is seriously messy if you don’t control it. Prep, prep, prep.

Clean the wood surface with a TSP solution and allow to dry several hours.  You can get TSP in the paint supplies section of your local hardware store.  It comes in a powder you dissolve in a bucket of water.  Do not get this on any wooden out painted surfaces you are not staining.  It will damage your finish.

When prepping, be sure you tape off your line inside your cabinet where you’re going to stop staining so it looks nice and neat when you’re done.  I didn’t want to stain the entire inside, just the inside of the doors, so I stained the lip inside the cabinet doors and stopped with a nice, straight tape line, leaving the rest of the interior its original wood color.

Remove hardware, doors and drawers.  I worked on them separately on sawhorses in the garage. If you’re not replacing hardware, this is a good time to clean your existing hardware. Drop your hardware into a Dawn/white vinegar and water solution and let it soak overnight. Have an old toothbrush handy to give them a bit of a scrub.

Lightly sand all surfaces you’re going to stain with a sanding block to rough up the surface, then wipe down to remove dust.  Allow to dry if you used water to wipe down.

Now you can stain. I used the sponge brushes to apply the stain, but you can wipe it on too.  An old cotton sock is great for this. Regardless of how you apply, wear gloves.  Have a box handy.  Trust me.  You will need gloves. As far as timing, the doors will take twice as long as the vanity and cabinet base since you can’t stain both sides at the same time.

Just so you know, the first coat will look like CRAP and you’ll be wondering WTF you just did to your cabinet. Don’t panic. Be patient. By the second and then the third coats, it will start to look fabulous.

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1st coat.  Ack!  What have I done?!?

Allow each coat to dry 6-8 hours.

Do NOT rinse your work tools. This is stain, not paint, so it will stain your sink. Just wrap your brush in saran wrap and store in a closed ziploc bag between coats. The brushes are cheap.

Once you’ve stained the wood to the desired color and it is dry, apply your gel topcoat with your cotton sock. Wipe on, let dry, wipe on again. I used three coats. Again, a little bit goes a long way. Allow to dry 6-8 hours between coats.

If you accidentally get stain on your wall, counter top or floor, clean it IMMEDIATELY. I found water, a scrubby sponge or brush, and some Soft Scrub will remove fresh, wet stain completely.

My little project took four or five days with all the drying time. I could have done it faster if I’d have stained early morning and again in the evening every day, accomplishing two coats in one day. But I was on break after all.

After the last coat is dry, put your hardware back on, touch up where you need to, and you are DONE.

I felt so accomplished.  All grown up and everything.

If you’re buying new hinges, take one of the old ones with you to the hardware store so you buy exactly the right style. It will save you a trip. I bought mine at a store here called Locks and Pulls. Cabinet and door hardware is all they sell and they have a huge selection.

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Curtains

When I first moved into this house I made actual lined drapes with the pleats for my family room.  They were necessary because once upon a time the family room was the TV room of the house, and the afternoon/evening sun blazed in and disturbing viewing.  But the windows were short, because the family room is in the basement.  I made short lined blue drapes, crisp with pleats and curtain hooks.  When I think back about them, I am kind of amazed at myself that I got them made as well as I did.  No pictures, it was far too long ago.  The curtains eventually succumbed to sun fade and cats.  It was kind of a sad day when they came down for the last time.

The lesson I learned was that I could make curtains.  Now mind you, just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you WANT to.

20160120_184905Six years ago, during a real, honest-to-goodness blizzard when work was cancelled and I was trapped at home, I made a project of making made lined, tab topped curtains for my large new replacement sliding glass door in the dining room. The new door had replaced French doors that I had made lace panels to fit top and bottom inside the frame for the glass.  They were not “private”, but very pretty.  The door had to be replaced eventually though and I opted for a sliding glass door.

This door is huge, and it takes a lot of fabric to adequately cover it.  As luck would have had it, I had a giant piece of lightweight wheat upholstery fabric that was given to me some time ago, and that I found was suddenly begging to become a new curtain.  Applying measurements and math, I found was just short enough that I was not going to have enough to make curtains with adequate fullness — unless I got creative.  With nothing but snow and time on my hands, I found some brown fabric that I added to the top and bottom, and tabs making my curtain a perfect fit.

The lesson I learned from these curtains is I certainly can make them, but I don’t really like making them.  Curtains this size are usually big, bulky, hard to measure in small spaces without using the floor, and really difficult to press on a standard ironing board.  I have a short memory.

20160130_150727Four or five years later, and having forgotten lessons, I decided I must finally re-cover the window formerly covered by the crisp blue pleated curtains.  An inexpensive upholstery remnant from Pottery Barn, some white fabric for lining and they turned out pretty nicely.  This particular window may be wide, but nice and short, so there’s not a lot of bulk required.  It helped that the fabric was exactly wide top to bottom to not require much cutting at all.

In December, I stained my bathroom cabinets.  Turns out gel stain is apparently communicable.  Note the lovely stain spot on the above large curtain.  That stain isn’t coming out.  At all.  Ever.  I also noticed that after six years of use, the curtain was pretty worn on the lower right corner too — lots of rubbing by dogs going in and out of the door.  The brown fabric had faded, and there was no amount of starch that was going to make them look crisp again.
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I also had a big bolt of light beige upholstery fabric that was screaming at me, “make me curtains.”  I used the prior curtains for measurements, found a nice coordinating upholstery fabric for the top and bottom, and set out to make curtains.

Now I remember as I’m crawling on the floor — I don’t like making huge curtains.  At all.  But I’m committed, and here they are.  I see errors — this fabric was wider than the original fabric and I didn’t account for that, so they’re pretty full.  I also measured the lining without taking the top stripe in account, so the lining is a bit too short.  But they’re done and I’ve decided I’m my own worst critic.  They don’t have a spot on them so I’m happy.

On to the next project.  And it won’t be curtains.

How Did I Get Here?

I am Milady.

How did I get here?  It’s a fundamental question.  It is probably a question everyone reflects on in some unconscious way all the time, but because they know the answer it just flies in and out of their head without much consideration.

I can’t really do that.  I am Milady.  My parents are Rose Evelyn and Information Not Given.  I can’t remember anything from birth to age four, save a couple of snippets of my grandfather’s home on North 11th Street in Kansas City, Kansas.  I remember my grandfather very fondly, then he died.  I spent the years between four and 10 essentially living out of a turd brown 1962 Chevy Nova station wagon.  The next eight years, from 10 to 18, are the ones that probably shaped me more than any other, but it still doesn’t answer the fundamental question, how did I get here?

BlankBox.JPGJust to be clear, I have never really fixated on the missing information.  It’s just there, and it is what it is.  It would come up every now and then.  That blank box.  The one that kept me from filling out my passport application online because the form wouldn’t accept anything other than a full name for parental information.  The one that made me worry about my security check for my Federal job.

My mother told me one story, then another, and then others.  I always knew that there might have been a shred of truth in each story, but none of them were “the” story.  Mom had what I called convenient memory — she remembered things the way that was most convenient to her, and then she believed it, so it was truth to her.  What was inconvenient or embarrassing to her, just didn’t make it into her story, and she really didn’t think much about how she told it.  She had no problem telling me as a child that I was not loved or wanted.  But it is what it is, and I never spent a lot of time pondering it and just assumed I’d never really know.  Over the years others had approached my mom with questions, and she was just as creative with them.  We got some great quotes though.  Glenda, who was my “mom” for many years, was adamant I needed to know and she had a long conversation with my mom once.  All she got out of it was that apparently the sex was “hot,” but nothing more.  And yes, that was the word used.  Ick.

I once had a client that was a private detective.  To help pay his bill with me, he did some research on a name and story that my mother had settled on after I was 12.  I just kind of assumed that the shred of truth was that second name.  My step-dad had once found my mother crying over an obituary when I was 15 or 16, and she claimed then it was the man that was my father.  She told my aunt the name, giving a certain amount of credence to the story.  The detective researched, found the obituary my mom likely had referenced.  He died in the mid-1970s, so the timing was right.  I just filed the info away in my brain and left it with that.  I had a sneaking suspicion that he, or whoever it was, never even knew I existed, and if he were dead, my mom didn’t have to give it another thought.

In 2014, my husband gave me a Ancestry.com DNA kit for Christmas.  I sat and stared at it for six months before I finally spit in the vial and sent it off.  I’m not sure why I waited, other than it was just that blank box thing again.  I just wasn’t sure it would tell me anything new.  I’ve always felt like I was on the periphery of my family anyway, and it wasn’t going to change any of that.

EthnicityEstimateIn 2015, I got my ancestry profile.  It actually was kind of fun.  I’d always assumed that I was predominantly Scotch/Irish based on my mother’s ancestry.  Well, not so much.  Turns out I’m primarily Western European and British — my mother’s ancestors came from France and England.  That was news to me.  I felt a little let down that I wasn’t as Celtic as I’d imagined, but it is what it is.

I shared my results with my maternal cousins, and one took an interest.  He was so curious, he did his own DNA kit.

PredictedRelationshipThe first confirmation was that Ancestry.com immediately matched our DNA and made our relationship first cousins.  A fact has been established.  This is just about the most concrete evidence of where I came from that I’ve ever had.

Then we noticed something.  We had shared DNA matches.  Ancestors on my mother’s side.  It was an actual path that I could follow.  My husband was fascinated by the whole thing and worked my genealogy back to something like 700 AD.  There’s landlords, Countesses and castles in the lineage.  Perhaps I am a little bit of a milady after all.

That lead me to the DNA matches that my cousin and I did not share.  The obvious implication is they came from whoever my father was.  My closest relative on that side is a second cousin.  That means we have shared great grandparents.  I’ve talked to her, and her aunt on her mom’s side, and it seems logical that I’m from her mother’s branch of her family tree, because that’s the branch that was from Kansas City.  We haven’t quite figured it all out, and I still can’t say I know who my father is, but I can tell you who he wasn’t.  He wasn’t the name my mother gave me when I was 12, that she cried over an obituary for, and that the private investigator researched for me many years later.  He may be one of the names mom mentioned in her waning years as dementia was taking over.  I will never know.  Based on the little bit of evidence I have, it looks like the possible candidate, who is deceased now, was at time of my conception substantially younger than my mom, probably around the age of 20 to her age 31.  That would have been a fling that my mother would never in a million years have admitted to because it would have been far too embarrassing for her.  Que that convenient memory.

The one conclusion I can come to is it is very reasonable to believe that my father, whoever he was, had absolutely no idea he ever had a child named Milady out there.  I can believe that telling me I was not loved or wanted was at its least unfair.  That may be all I ever get, but it’s more than I had.  It is what it is.  I’m here.

I am Milady.

A Little Catching Up

I have a new toy.  I bought a Singer XL-400 sewing/embroidery machine.  It replaces my starter embroidery machine, a Singer CE-100, which I hated.  Or it hated me.  I’m not sure which.  Fortunately, things are working out better with the new relationship.  I use the XL-400 for embroidery, and I still sew on my old metal Universal, or my Brother electronic.

I’m finding myself somewhat ambivalent about the whole machine embroidery thing.  On the one hand, there’s a science to it, and getting the embroidery to come out looking neat and professional is definitely something that requires practice.  On the other hand, unless you are your own digitizer, you’re really just applying designs someone else has created to your stuff.  It’s nice to personalize things, like the coin purses below, and even the kitchen set had a little bit of personalization on it, but it’s not like I actually made the artwork I’m using myself, I’m just interpreting someone else’s work.  I’ll come to terms eventually I suppose.

So some recent things I’ve been doing.  Coin purses.  Lots and lots of them.  I made them for Christmas gifts for friends and family.  Did I mention I made a lot of them?  I based my little pouches this year on instructions  at sewmehappyblog, and personalizing them with my handy-dandy embroidery machine.  http://sewmehappyblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/coin-purse-tutorial.html

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Coin Purses

In the midst of making coin purses, I realized my fabric stash was a mess.  If I can distract myself from the project at hand, I certainly will.  I found the organizing project very liberating though and am glad I made time for it.

I started the gift-giving season with a gathering apron for my cousin, who raises chickens.  This apron was made from scratch, using the instructions found Sew4Home, http://www.sew4home.com/projects/kitchen-linens/easy-half-apron-jumbo-pockets, and then I embroidered it.

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Gathering Apron

A few other gifts:

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Dollar Tree Holiday Placemats with embroidered monogram.  The dreaded metallic thread conquered.  (Adorn monogram from Designs by JuJu)

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Dollar Tree kitchen set – required disassembly to embroider.

 

Jewelry travel pouch from Instructables for a friend who makes her own beaded jewelry.

A giant foam finger required a custom Chiefs cuff and optional costume change cuff.  My hubby carried it to the Chiefs v. Raiders game (we won, advancing to the AFC playoffs) on January 2nd.  I created this cuff from scratch and it attaches with a velcro closure in the back.  The Chiefs logos came from a licensed flag we bought specifically to cannibalize and add with Heat ‘N Bond.

A couple of pre-made cheapo aprons that I embroidered.  The green one was for a friend that does ceramics, and the red one I did for myself and used on Thanksgiving Day.

This apron is a crafting tool belt apron I made several years ago.  I’m not sure I remember where I got this idea from, but I’m thinking with a little modification, I could make this a little more user friendly and a cute addition to my project lineup.

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Crafting tool belt.

I also made a purse that I love, started on a base for a costume my husband is making for Comicon, and I worked very hard on an awesome RenFest dress for me.  I’ll add pics of those to another article.

And lastly, today’s project, which is the prototype for a craft show item I’m contemplating.  This heart coin pouch is an “in the hoop” design from Five Star Fonts. My friend that does ceramics wants to combine talents and have a mixed media craft show display sometime in 2016, where we both sell our wares, so I’m pondering what is unique enough, cute enough, and quick enough to make in quantity to do that.  And the back of this cute purse is a lovely blank space just begging for some sort of embroidered saying or appliqued initials.  I’m still pondering.

HeartCoinPrototype

Heart Coin Pouch with zipper

The next project I have planned is a sewing only project.  I stained my bathroom vanity and medicine cabinet over the holidays using General Finishes Java gel stain.  Gel stain somehow migrates all over everywhere if you’re not careful, and apparently I was not.  I somehow managed to stain, and ruin in my estimation, my sliding glass door curtain (also made by me) while letting the dogs out.  The good news is this project is all serging straight lines, the fabric I have was a gift, and I don’t have even measure that much, because I can use the current curtain as a guide.  Hopefully I can get it done quickly.

20160120_184905See the spot?  The curtain is six years old and definitely showing wear so it’s time for a new one.

But the bathroom looks amazing.

 

 

It’s been a while ….

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It’s been a while, and I’ve been busy.  I have a new embroidery machine, and made tons of cute personalized coin purses at Christmas.  I’m working on aprons.

And then there’s my latest project, pillows.  The pillows were created from an unwanted king sized dust ruffle for a bed. The biggest constraint was the fabric was only 16″ wide, challenging the size of pillows I could make.  I wound up with four 16″x12″ rectangular pillows, two 14″ bolsters, and a cute round sunburst pillow.  I’ll post more later, but here’s pics of the pillows. These are for a friend, and a project I held off doing much too long.

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I was blessed to be sent a picture of the pillows on the owner’s bed.

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Directions for the round pillow are from Sew4Home, and found here. http://www.sew4home.com/projects/pillows-cushions/round-piped-pillow-gathered-top

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