Saturday, June 29, 2019

Random Notions - Times have Changed


Good news – my custom order was so well received, she gave me fabrics for another six pillowcases! Yay! (If you are reading this, Ms D, thank you!) Very excited – I find I like working on fabrics other people choose – for instance, I would never buy any kind of sports themed fabrics for myself so it’s cool to see the colors and coordinating fabrics someone else has chosen. So far, I’m liking it all! I’m really liking the green – I don’t think I work on enough green.


Funny, because a while back I bought some John Deere fabric - green with tractors on it. I got it for the exclusive purpose of making a kaleidoscope wall hanging out it.  I think it's going to look great.

I got this post finished and published and forgot to mention, I have a new listing in my Etsy shop:

Love this rose fabric - my mother had a yard leftover (years ago) after making a jacket out of it - she still wears it! 

I spent two nights at my daughter’s house so I could babysit the kids on their home turf. Lovely home, perfect company, but – I didn’t have my stuff! No sewing machine. As much as I love the kids, I was happy to be at home today to sew!

Having my grandkids coming out to stay a couple of days/nights a week with us for summer vacation has really been fun. I try to make sure I have things for them to do - puzzles, coloring, painting, diamond painting, word search books, movies, just to name a few, plus they are to bring stuff. I ask if they are bored, and they always say no, but it worries me. It takes me back to at the late 60's when my younger brother, Casey and I had to go to my grandparents' house while my parents were working. 

Let me set the scene for you:

Late 1960’s ~

  • No cable TV – five channels available – NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and KVVU, which is an independent. And this was before even Sesame Street was available. And - the picture was not always that good.
  • One TV in the house – and Grandmother controlled it. She loved game shows and baseball; he loved news.
  • Available toys – a few pieces left from a Tinker Toy set that was probably from the 50’s, and a couple of plastic blocks from a set you could also build with – the kind with all the pegs that stuck together. I’m sure someone knows what I’m talking about. They were the toys prior to Legos that hurt like crazy when you stepped on them.
  • No books for kids. We didn’t own any to bring with us.
  • No computers, smartphones, tablets, electronics of any kind. But this was okay, because we didn't have the Internet yet.
  • No fridge privileges to snack, but there were no snacks in the fridge anyway – we got lunch, usually a sandwich, and that was pretty much it. Every once in a while, Granddaddy Frank would share his cookies with us. Frosted devil’s food cake cookies – to this day we still call them Granddaddy Frank Cookies.
  • It was hot.

I remember sitting and literally staring into space, wishing I was anywhere but there. The spare room had a bed, but even if I wanted to take a nap, that room always spooked me because stuff was stored in there. With the light on, it was still dark. I tried to not go in there. I wouldn’t go outside because I have never liked hot weather, but Casey went out and even made friends with the neighbor kids. Staring at the TV, I had no idea what I was watching. To this day, I hate baseball. 

So this is why I worry about the kids being bored here. After thinking about what it was like back then, I guess these kids have it made with the computers, smartphones, tablets, DVDs. They have full access to the fridge and cupboards for something to eat. In fact, they get so engrossed in technology, I have to pull them off quite frequently. In addition to not being very good for them, out here in the sticks we have internet that is data limited. If I let them stay on all the time, we’d be out of data before a week was over!

Thing sure are different now, right?

That’s it for now – thanks for stopping by!

Laura

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Random Notions - I do Custom Work!

Last week, a super nice lady who lives not far away, found me on Etsy and contacted me about doing some custom pillowcases.  Previously she had quilts made by someone else and wanted matching pillowcases with her own fabrics. They turned out really cute - she has a great eye for color combinations.

 Blue starry body with Paw Patrol band (20" x 28")

Travel size blue starry body with Paw Patrol Band (12" x 17")

 Rugrats body with white flowers on yellow band (20" x 28")

Peace/Love Snoopy with multi-color peace signs band (20" x 28")

Powerpuff Girls body with teal band (20" x 28") 

Vegas Golden Nights - King size (20" x 38")

So you know, I do custom work - just contact me to work out the details!

Thanks for stopping by!

Laura




Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Random Notions - I'm back

Hey, it's been awhile. I am unemployed again and thought this may be a good time to start up the blog again and some other stuff. (Good thing I kept paying for my domain name, right?)  I thought perhaps a good way to reintroduce myself to old friends, and give a beginning to new, was to just write up a new About Me page and copy it here to the regular posting area. So here it is~

About Me
As a Las Vegas native, I learned at an early age that it was far better to stay indoors than go outside - I am not happy when it's hot. My mother taught me to use a sewing machine when I was eight, and the first thing I did was put the needle through my finger. But I was not deterred; for several years after I made clothes, mostly for my friends and their dolls. Then I became a mother - to a daughter - and who better is there to sew for if not your daughter? I made clothes for her until I started working the graveyard shift in a local hotel/casino as a PBX operator and was just too tired to do much of anything.

Working the graveyard shift for over 10 years is not easy. My job was rather boring at times, and I watched my co-workers read, knit, crochet, cross stitch, and - wait, what? Cross stitch? My new pastime was found! I found I could spend my entire eight hour shift stitching - it was awesome. I didn't even mind the job as long as I could stitch - talking with rude guests and executives, but knowing they would soon hang up and I could put in another X. I became obsessive - my hobbies are always my addictions - and I started buying so many charts, flosses, fabrics, needles, tools - you name it, if it had to do with stitching, I had to have it. I made quite a few beautiful things and found out how expensive framing is. Cross stitch got me through almost 20 years total working in the hotel/casino until they blew up the place to get rid of me. (Honest, I know they did it because of me.)

However, not being paid to sit and stitch did present a bit of a problem. I got a few administrative positions where I was expected to sit in front of the computer and fill out forms and spreadsheets, or file things, or take notes in meetings - you know what I'm talking about. Over the next 16 years, I worked at an adult medical school, a software development company, a commercial real estate company, and a few years period of unemployment during which I obtained an education, Bachelor's and Master's degrees - yes, I was stupid enough to rack up student loans, getting my BA at age 55 and my MLIS at 58. I figured that if I was going to work for the rest of my life, I wanted to do what I dreamed of doing since I was a kid, and that was being a librarian. I did work for a library for four and a half years, and I would still be there if not for my health.  Oh, what the heck is $125k in student loans? Tish, Tosh. I will pay them in full when my winning lottery check clears.

This blog was started in November 2012, during that six year period of unemployment to combat depression. The only joy in my life was my grandkids, my cats, and the bits of crafting I could get in there. Since my grandkids were small, I was able to get a little quilting in. I made a few other things - you can see the "stuff" I made in my older posts. I did a bit of cross stitch, but getting things done hasn't been easy. Case in point - I started Mirabilla's Spring Queen in 2004 and she is still waiting for me to finish her up!

The blog became neglected when I was working for the library - you will see that my last post was in 2015. Even though I was only part time, I was still taking online classes for my degree, and babysitting the kids. Not too much got done after the last post. But I should note here - there is very little to totally stop me from my addictions. Even through all the periods of time where I wasn't crafting, I was still buying stuff. I'm sure there are many people that know what I am talking about. I continued to buy the fabrics and cross stitch charts, quilting rulers and other tools. I own SO much fabric and stuff, the organizing of it all will never be done.

But - I'M BACK! I'm unemployed again, and honestly, I hurt too much everywhere to find another job. For the past couple of months I have been listing fun pillowcases on Etsy, and I am going to expand to other items I refer collectively to as Soft Art. It will all be Fun, Functional, and Decorative.  


I don't know about anyone else, but if I'm not doing something, creating something, I get a bit blue.  Sharing my Soft Art adventures is a way to not be blue - I prefer to think of myself as a PPP - Predominantly Purple Person.  Purple is royal. Purple is mysterious. Purple is happy. At least, to me.  I hope you will join me.

Laura