01 October, 2017

M and M Bags




 I've made several of these lately. All scrap except for the zipper. I've made them with straight sides and a logo (bottom panel) stitched to the lining. I've boxed the corners for a softer, rounder, coin purse shape. This time, I kept my bag intact at the middle and did some fiddly zipper sewing. These lie flatter. Overall, I'm liking the resulting shape.

The candy people have encased their M&M's in plastic. I suppose it keeps the candy fresher - longer. I saw a tutorial about re-purposing these bags years ago but it involved iron-on vinyl to give strength to the paper/plastic bag. The plastic nowadays is pretty tough - especially for a novelty purse. Who wants to deal with possible melted plastic on their iron - glad to have skipped straight past a vinyl overlay.


That's my cut basil as a backdrop. We won't get a freeze until November so I'll probably get one more cutting in before the basil dissolves into mush.



 I am supposed to be finishing these lipsense bags with the cute hedgehog. But I hit a zipper end roadblock. I don't like how they appear, how they came together - at all. I think I have figured out what to do to make them work, but it involves seam ripping and a few choice words.




This is my first end. It disappears into the side seam, but could flip up raw if you were, somehow, to push up into that corner.


 My second end - I sewed a fabric tab onto the end of the zipper. It's all bulky and bunches up there.
Don't like that one neither.

 I'm gonna try my third thing to remove some fabric bulk and then just get on with my life.

These bags are for Lipsense Lipsticks and will be sold in my etsy shop. That's why I'm making my sewing life miserable. I want these to look awesome - like the first one I sold. I'm over-thinking these zipper ends - that's for sure. Why I derailed for sewing candy bags.






Some fall garden photos.


Volunteer Putunia

 My exciting still life of fresh tomatoes and purple grapes nestled on a bed of basil. yep.


Ice Cream sundae Hydrangea


Cosmo plus some awesome raspberries

We've had some recent rains which helps to throw everything onto the ground.
Most of the sunflowers are in resistance.  This dahlia is so much fun. It has been my favorite this year.



  I had a chance to attend my local library book sale and really hit the jackpot. This is my first haul. Some are destined to be Christmas presents, Some will wing their way over to Japan. Some will be read. And one will be sold on Amazon to pay for the lot.

I actually went back when I had to return to work in the afternoon and got a second (and much bigger) haul. It was a really good sale.

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts - 2017 bag competition.

12 September, 2017

Proud Of My Garden

 It rained Saturday night. Blessed Rain.
Took the lingering smoke from the forest fires out of the air.



 I planted all of my sunflower seeds over a section of the garden and they ended up somehow, only in two places.


This fuzzy sunflower and it's 'friend', L'escargot, are in fine form today.

Thankfully, Peter Rabbit and his twin did not eat these seedlings. Or, did they dine on some?
They really liked my squash and pumpkin seedlings.  Good thing rabbits are cute.


 I'm really liking this dahlia and it's red spurs, randomly placed. I am a lazy gardener at best, and I don't dig my dahlia tubers for the winter. The blessings of living in the mild Willamette Valley.

Sometimes I lose some, sometimes they come back.

Everbearing Strawberries

  Look! at my amazing amaryllis.

I threw these used bulbs outside in this very sunny exposed bed in the garden years ago and they are thriving.
Since they are thriving, I meant to toss the last ones from Christmas here as well. But in the winter, I don't know where these pink ones are.



 My Fireworks Dahlia. I think I bought this tuber in the store in town and I don't think it's got a name but I might dig this one up for winter. Maybe.      I hope it comes back next year.



 Nasturtiums, cucumber vines and Dill. Yes, a weird combination. But they seem to like each other.


 I put this fence in over 25 years ago. My garden area is about 50 feet x 50 feet. The fenced area is about 25 x 25 ft. To keep the rambunctious dogs out. Haha. Those dogs loved strawberries, raspberries, peas. But it did keep them from running through new plants.

It does not keep Peter Rabbit and his friends out.

The bare ground is where I am digging my potatoes. The plants have died down and they are through growing. That's the hangar back there.

Anyway, I grow my peas and cukes on this fencing. The perimeter is not  whole anymore after many years of rototiller adventures and kids and dogs. Not to mention the wildlife I choose not to see.


 The runway is over to the left in this photo. Strawberries in upper right side. Sunflowers in upper back. Cukes and nasturtiums in front center

Garden path. We have pavers in front of the hangar which is to the right in this photo. The strawberries were all along the right edge of this paved path and jumped ship a long time ago to a happier place. Now I grow sedums where the strawberries used to be (righthand side of path).

Also a small Japanese maple tree.


 Strawberry leaves all dewy with rain with sunflowers and dahlias providing a pretty background. The raspberries are behind that providing a bit of a windbreak.









I don't always keep up with my garden but I rearranged things in my life a bit and managed an awesome garden this year. Usually the weeds get the upper hand *fast*.

I'm hoping all these cool sunflowers reseed themselves.


10 September, 2017

Drying Laundry


My niece just moved back to the states after living in Singapore for the last year and a half. She brought back a folding laundry rack cuz no one uses/has a dryer over there. Nor does much of the world. But, here in the states, we all have electric clothes dryers.

After my trip to Japan two years ago, I lusted after a simple drying solution. But all the outdoor drying tools in the USA were permanently attached to your house or inconveniently placed as an umbrella in the lawn. All vetoed by the other person in the household.

All amazon sells is the tiny version of the foldable rack above - suitable for drying lightweight items like lingerie.

I was raised to be environmentally conscious. I compost, re-use what I buy for other purposes, try to keep my (destined-for-the-landfill) garbage to a minimum and generally leave the planet a better place for my children.

So I wanted this foldable, small footprint rack above bad enough to beg my friend in Kyoto to send me two. They are each big enough for a medium load of laundry.

In Singapore and Japan, they also have rods across their patios for hanging big stuff and these racks just hook over them.
I still want to install a big rod across my patio  but I have found a way to use these racks year-round just by hanging it off my kitchen chair.

What I have found in nearly two years of using them?
1. My knit tshirts stay long and no longer shrink "up".
2. Less pilling and everything lasts longer.
3. duh - less energy usage.
4. In the summer, most items are dry by the end of the day. In the winter, inside my house, they are dry in less than two days.
5. Planning ahead if you want to wear that favorite shirt/shorts on a certain day skillset.
6. I still have a dryer for emergencies.
7. In my two person household, in the winter, I use the dryer once a month for sheets and towels. In the summer, they go outside.
8. With my auto-immune bloating tummy, I love the fact that my tshirts stay the original length still.
9. It only takes 5 -10 minutes to clip everything on to the rack.
10. Pencil Girl asked if clothing got musty in the winter and I haven't found it to be so.

This very quickly became my routine and I don't really think about doing it differently.
It's easy to do - my first indicator of success.





Can't recall if I showed pictures of the two planes in the hangar. Still doo-hicking around with the J-5. Still hasn't gone on it's maiden voyage.
And the big old Stearman biplane.

Hope you hop over to my IG feed - RocketGirl50. I just figured out how to use my gorilla tripod to take a video of me skinning tomatoes. Exciting times, I tell you.

04 September, 2017

A Week Off





I sewed every day.

We are hiding inside because of near 100' heat all week and smoke from the wild fires trapped in the Willamette valley.

I knew it would be hot when I started  my vacation time. Perfect for doing my liver cleanse and sewing. My biggest plan was to sew in the cooler mornings and list items for sale in my etsy shops in the hotter (damp & sticky) afternoons.

  We still don't have the (orange) Piper J-5 airplane flying. Hubby is still dorking around on this and that. But look, They both fit inside the hangar. Our other airplane is a Stearman biplane.


 I had a little time before my hair appointment to take photos of the dahlia fields.
1:30pm and my iphone still takes awesome photos.

Yes, I managed to get my hair cut (not since october!) and I got in on someone else's cancellation to the dentist as well.

I usually set up my dental appt about 9 months out and hope for the best. My work schedule changes so frequently, I finally make it on the fourth cancellation. My dentist's crew know where I work and they will try and fit me in until an appointment 'sticks'.

Somehow, I don't think you should try this with your hairdresser. I needed a haircut back in April and here it is - September. Six inches gone.







I tried out some online selling places and was successful with my old Riccar. So nice to see it go to a good home. And clean out my garage a little. This machine does an awesome straight stitch but I have two others that do the same. I might still sell my Singer Stylist as I have my grandma's old Singer 301.
Not right now. The stylist sits in a nice cabinet with I put in the bedroom for a place to set down stuff.

So - what did I sew? A new pair of work shorts with all the topstitching and pockets. A lot of lipsense bags and a custom order of a doTERRA essential oil bag. I also finished two UFO's and working on a third.

I also listed a crazy amount of stuff for etsy but there is still a mountain in my garage that needs to be listed as well.

How did my liver cleanse go? Well - I'm finishing it up now. Basically, it was an elimination diet of anything with allergens and five days of being a vegetarian. No chocolate (sugar) and no coffee.

I failed.
On the chocolate.

I made it to Saturday -- about 10 days in and caved.

I disliked being vegetarian. Mostly because I can't eat beans (legumes - big allergen) and I can only tolerate rice once or twice a month. A lot of my allergens, I can tolerate in small doses but the effects accumulate and I can get really non-functonal fast. I can eat some nuts but they don't really get digested with my small intestine not behaving well.

There's a surprising amount of protein in dark leafy greens - which I juice. Each glass of green juice probably contains at least 8 grams of protein and I drank green juice 2 -3 times a day.

I was also taking  a product based on pea protein and I was reacting to that as well.

However, all the extra B-vitamins? Tremendous mental acuity and focus.
I didn't peter out around 2 or 3pm. I was good at the beginning about eating more to keep (chocolate) cravings at bay but slacked off if I got the wee bit busy.

If I do this again, and I will, I will skip the product and go straight to a liver cleanse without pea protein.

I had high hopes this cleanse would clear up some skin issues (yet another symptom of not getting enough nutrients because of my small intestine). Some cleared but the rest are still there. Less stress (no daily smack-down) helped.

My eyes seem to be clearer. Rested.

  My niece recently moved back to the area from living in Singapore, so I went and visited on Saturday. So much fun to see my practice grand-kids! The girls still remembered me and had to show me e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

I stopped at Ikea on my way and this button rug continues to taunt me. If I had a place for a white rug. I get so tempted to just buy it and stash it but I don't need more clutter.


I also took care of some clutter piles around the house. Bundles dropped with good intentions.

I cleaned the inside of my car after living out of it the past year, or so.

And I got my laser printer back printing after a year. It stopped working when we had a power outage and it took a year in the time-out closet for me to get up the time to sit down and uninstall and reinstall, fingers crossed, and it worked. Big smile.