27 April, 2017

The Daily Drizzle

Purple Lilac dripping

Viburnum dripping

Flowering Plum dripping

Mini Iris's dripping

 What do you do when you are getting increasingly irked by The Daily Drizzle.

Oregon has had it's year of ice and snow, which happens every ten years or so. But the rain and gray skies continue. I would give anything for two consecutive days of sunshine. My garden is still so soggy, I think my sweet peas will rot before they grow.

We joke, of course: "Oregonians don't tan, we rust."

Actually, we just fall prey to seasonal something disorder where the gray clouds occupy 100% of our conversations. And you can tell the native Oregonians from the transplanted. Oregonians whine really, really well. (as soon as the UFO sun comes out, we will be whining about the the heat, the glare, the ...)

In any case, I sewed some more cork lip balm teeny zippy bags.
In my RunningWithHandmade etsy shop right now. (If you look at the web page view of my blog, the shop showcases on the sidebar).

This is a great way to use up scraps, especially of my high-priced cork fabric. I'm happy to use up every square inch of this fabric.

I'm even contemplating a blog post listing the Top Twenty Things You Can Sew With Your Cork Scraps. I dislike these lists, especially the sewing ones. The lists are generally not curated, tested, or tried out. I've seen tutorials/patterns on these lists that are a nightmare to sew with poorly written instructions, etc.. The author of those lists is blatantly passing along bad info. 

In order for me to write one of those posts, I would have to try out each entry. No hardship there as I like trying new patterns/tutorials.

Over the course of trying new patterns/tutorials, one acquires lots of hardware. I need to use up what I have. In the photo above, there's just a couple that match.

Cute reproduction 1930's Dogs at play linings.
EOS ball style lip balm pouches

Since January, we've only had a few days with full sun. None consecutive. It's getting on our nerves a bit. Normally, I turn off the heat in our house about April 15th. This year, as we approach May, it's still on.

I think we are finally past the frost date. I recall a few years ago, one occurring on my Mom's birthday of April 19th, but I think we are free and clear - if the drizzle ever lets up.

In fact, this is a fabulous year for all those new people moving to Portland  (173/day) dreaming of getting back to nature, going green, making a difference, actually being an artist and getting paid, etc.

People watch Portlandia and then want to move here to experience Oregon. They slave away at their non-profit dreaming of owning a farm and being one with nature. At five years, they make the leap to getting that farm, usually on five acres (5 acres! lol). It takes another five years to figure out that it is impossible to make money on five acres. That getting back to nature is a 24/7 hell hole of a job, Trying to keep the organics - organic. The animals housed humanely is really all about the amount of manure and where else can you put it.
The never ending rain ought to help clinch this year's hopefuls.

Did you know Oregon has 383 words to describe rain? just kidding, I think.

20 April, 2017

Teeny Tiny Portland Timbers Lip Balm Case

  I might have had a moment...
A Portland Timbers moment.

 I made this teeny tiny zippered bag keychain doo-hickey for my daughter for her birthday. It's long and skinny and just right for lip balm.

My dear friends, Wandering Goods, out of Portland make this awesome lip balm out of all natural, non-gmo ingredients, lalalala. They sell at Saturday Market.

A couple of years ago, they scored a huge contract for a national hotel, supplying all their toiletries.
Last year they scored another gig, landing themselves into Safeway, a national grocery chain which is promoting more local, more natural items.

I get the Black Licorice Lip Balm. There is a faint smell and taste of licorice which I love. I've always loved licorice, but I can't have it as I'm allergic to all the ingredients - except licorice.
For a while, licorice tea helped curb the cravings but I find this is my go to nowadays.

And then I went on to sew a few more (now in the etsy shop!), playing with sizing.

This is the first one I made, following this free pattern on craftsy. It would be great for EOS lip balm that comes in a fat ball.


Then I made one longer, following this tutorial for a lip balm pouch.

I liked this one better. Instead of cutting two pieces for the outside and lining, it's all one piece now. With the split piece, you can orientate your directional fabric so both are pointing up (or down).
But I find it doesn't matter. One less piece to cut out. And I like that there is no seam on the bottom on the outside or on the lining.

However, this one was kinda fat for a skinny lip balm.
So I narrowed it down a bit and now it's cool.

You could carry all sorts of small items in these - from lip balm to a bit of cash, to change.

These are so fun!
Very quick to sew.

My info: Lip balm: cut fabric 4 x 5.

EOS size was 3.5 x 5 (x2) joined seam.

Fat tube was 5 x 5.

15 April, 2017

Easter Basket

I needed a fast gift for Easter.
To hold all the candy.

I turned to my clothesline and 45 minutes later  --Ta Da!
Very satisfying craft.

 I went with pink and purple threads. I wanted the basket to be big enough to hold the candy and tried a racetrack oval for the bottom with success.

I switched out thread and bobbins several times to get the striping and then I wanted the beefy handles at the end - utilizing three rows of clothesline. 

I use my wonder clips to mark the start and end of the handles and eyeball it to make sure they are evenly sized. For this, I find using the white/natural color thread to be useful. If you make one handle super gigantic, it's easy to sew it down more to match without anyone knowing.

I finished it with a swirl and hand-tacked the swirl down. Very nice work.

  We are taking easter dinner over to the sister who is deeply depressed. We're trying for a group - en masse - all six of us - effect.  No pressure - just doing what you do - on Easter.

This will be supportive without being threatening.

I've got a spiral ham and scalloped potatoes in the oven warming up. A pretty tablecloth and napkins, some flowers, and some easter candy for the nephew. 

My pretty tulips despite the daily drizzle. We're all whining about no sun here. Although, I am glad we are not moving house in the daily drizzle (Like someone I know) and this type of winter weather only comes around every ten years or so.

Happy Easter everyone. 





11 April, 2017

Litlle Kitty Sewing

This little project has been gestating for a long time. I can't even recall where I picked up these vintage sewing/home pdf's. They've been sitting inside my computer for ages.

I remembered them last fall. And from there -another five months to make it happen.

I didn't want to do traditional embroidery on a traditional kitchen towel. I wanted to make some thread art with a scrappy feel.

There's seven in the set.

This was my inspiration

 I raided my overflowing scrap basket for tiny pieces of fabric. From the background white to the luscious pale pink for the kitty seamstress.

I used Wonder Under - a double sided fusible webbing to cut and attach pieces. When you iron them down - they don't move as you seam along the raw edges.

 I sewed my kitty down first. I had to re-do her right paw later when my sewing machine covered it up. I added scraps, stitched forward, reversed, forward, reversed again. This took a few hours of squinty sewing.

I used my frixion marker and a pencil to draw and for placement marks. I did learn that my frixion blue pen which is supposed to magically disappear when you iron it did  not disappear on the gray sewing table fabric. It left a ghost line. Good to know.

 I couldn't find a red scrap big enough or the right shade for the rug and in the end went with the thimble fabric. A  more red scrap would have been better, I think. But I like this. It turned out like what was in my head. And it is now out of my head!I also had some fabric stretching/puckering when sewing the letters S-E-W. I tried ironing it out. I thought hooping it would stretch it nicer. Probably one of those things only I can see.

This is a gift for a dear sewing friend - can't name her as it is now winging it's way towards her.

I also feel I am channeling my 70's upbringing making two hoop artworks - one after the other.
I can't show you the backside which is pink felt because I didn't iron it before gluing it down.

08 April, 2017

Spring Embroidery

There you go.
Embroidery done.

I had intended to make this 4 inch embroidery from MollieMakes Magazine into a card or incorporate it into a small frame purse. When I walked into my sewing room, this vintage Hawaiian Textiles print jumped up off the lower shelf and told me I had to make this into hoop art.

The colors and shapes of the leaves and flowers are uncanny in their similarities.

I backed the hoop with some felt from stash, the hoop also came from stash, and it's already packaged and into the mailstream to the person I was thinking about when I was stitching this.

Pruning canadian hemlocks. Vacant bird condo was relocated to a special spot near the front door.
  After our cold, snowy winter, we are enjoying daily deluges of rain, making the ground pretty soggy.

Too soggy to weed.

When a neighbor cut down some trees, I jumped at the free chip mulch. I spread it right over that Artillery Weed - super thick. Now I don't see the weeds but these glorious red tulips.

I call this ecological recycling as the chip mulch didn't have to travel far, thus saving our planet for another day. lol

These happen to be my favorite tulips that survived our gale force windstorm yesterday. I hurried out to take a photo before the storm hit but these are protected a bit by the lilac tree bushes.

Music box on my dash of my car.
My super garage sale find of the week. A treadle sewing machine music box. Still trying to identify the tune - we've all heard it before -- sounds so familiar....

I need to dust it off and spruce it up a bit. The treadle portion goes up and down while the music plays. It's about 6 inches high.

Need more photos of artillery weed? When it goes to seed, the seeds pop off and get in your eyeballs?

03 April, 2017

Half Stitched and Mollie Makes Giveaway

I'm carving out some stitching time. I had some errands in the next town over and ran by Joann's, 'cuz that's what you do when you're out and about.

They had the May issue of Mollie Makes on the rack plus some Portland Timbers' fabric in the clearance bin at $3 bucks a yard.

And weirdly enough, they now carry EOS lip balm and hand lotion. Which my friend's daughter likes. At 50% off with the coupon.

Successful outing on all fronts.

I  enjoy small embroidery projects. I did some cross stitch when the kids were babes. The only thing I got out of cross stitch was to mind how the backside looks - 'cuz people (diehards) look.

I can't quite decide what I'll make with this finished floral heart. I'll either make a card with it or stitch it into a frame purse. Or, it will wallow in the drawer to age it a bit. It's a cute little thing at less than four inches across.

I, ahem, also have an unfinished sashiko project of pretty pink cherry blossoms. It's almost halfway stitched. This is definitely a small space project, suitable for airplane rides up to Anchorage in May to visit my dear daughter.


I read through this latest issue and almost tried my hand at crochet and a fun granny square pattern. I'm in my spring clutter-free mode and I would love to give this magazine away to someone who can use this magazine or just wants a fun read through. It will be missing it's project ('cuz I did do the stitching fun).

All the projects inside are detailed on the cover on the left. Pretty botanical papers in the middle, a cork wallet, that super fun granny square pattern, some awesome felt bakery food items.

If you're interested, I'll ship anywhere in the US or Canada.

Leave me a comment. If you aren't a blogger, please leave your contact email in this format: You(at)email(dot)com.

I'll pick a winner this weekend - April 8th, 2017.

Stitch on!