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Halfway and counting down…

I’m calling this the halfway point.  I emptied the shelves and put lots of stuff into bins.  We’ll be moving these shelves into the next room and then putting in some way deeper shelves.
Gotta find a sunny spot for my table.  It all looks so spare and tidy now 
But this is only some of what I have to put back in an orderly fashion.  
Actually, I’m going to cal it the thirdway point.
There’s more here.  The quarterway point is starting to feel right.  I’d better get up and get moving.  
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Not Too Shabby

I finished the owls which means…time for a totally new project!  
I don’t know if you remember, but lately I’ve been playing with remaking tee-shirts so that they fit me.  It’s really fun but I had trouble figuring out sizing.  To figure that out I went and bought a bunch of giant ugly tee shirts to experiment on.  I knew it was a new way of sewing and I would need a ton of practice so I bought quite a few.  But…surprise surprise…I figured it out by tee-shirt # 3.  Not too shabby.  However, now I have a buncha giant ugly tee shirts.  
Like this one.
So I cut them buggers up.
They look like this until you stretch them out.  Then they look like this:
Thanks for another great idea, Alabama Chanin.

Now there are many things I can make with them.  I choose….jewelry.
But, until then I just want to say that this shirt:

was awesome.
Unfortunately, a really large printed area on a tee shirt doesn’t stretch the way I need it to so I had to throw that part away.  However, I still really enjoyed cutting up the word cancer.
I chopped it up real good.

On an unrelated note, I also fixed Mr. Floppy.  He appreciates it, his face was loose.  Now he can go home to my daughter; she has really missed him.
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Feeling Proud

I donated my Denim OCD Quilt to The Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  
They have a salvaged art auction every year to raise money.
You might remember that I donated some stuffed critters a couple of years ago.  
They just put my quilt on their website (scroll down) as a featured piece and I’m all aflutter.  I’m not sure where it will be displayed yet but I’ll be attending the opening for sure.
I also recently received  an email from the WI Institutes For Discovery.  They will be displaying the drawings from the last Lynda Barry workshop during their Public Humanities Conference.  I actually think the drawings done by kids will be waaaaay more interesting than the stuff us grown ups made.  The conference looks really intriguing and the workshop was crazy fun
I’m looking forward to attending that, too.  
That’s my spring social calendar filled.  
Not bad for someone who doesn’t actually have a social calendar. 
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Thanks For Humoring Me

On Thursday night, I took a screen printing class at Sector67.  I was supposed to show up with an image ready to print so I spent a little time on Wednesday and Thursday coming up with something.  I’m not used to doodling in a way that leads to something concrete so it was a new experience for me.
My first instinct was to draw a bird, but I coudn’t get this out of my head. 
 Damn you Portlandia!
 So, I dragged out my inkstone, ink and brushes to play with and see if I came up with any ideas.
He’s a water pitcher.
But, even with this great company, after ten minutes of mixing ink, it was immediately obvious when I put the brush to paper that this was not the right medium for screen printing. At least not for my very first time.
They are fine, I guess, but birds and squiggles?  I really wasn’t sure how that would translate to the screen print since I had no experience with it.  I wanted something super simple.

I looked up and saw that I had even more company than I realized, these guys were all lined up on the couch, almost as if they were posing.
Check it out!  They were totally posing.
I also went back through my old blog posts and found some other critters to draw.  I was really happy with the combination of simplicity with personality.  I stumbled upon my images.  Next time, actually screen printing process pictures.  I realize that a post about coming up with a doodle may not be the most interesting thing to people who have done it before but it’s new to me, so thanks for humoring me.  🙂

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Still here Update

I know.  No posts for a month and then two in a day.  What could I be thinking?  
Look at all that floor.  And, look! A table top that hasn’t been seen for months and months. 
I’m just so proud of myself.  It’s not done by a long shot but it’s so much better.  Now I know that I have way too much linen and have to make something out of it really soon.  Also I have lots of awesome IKEA print fabrics that I completely forget about.
We got the giant cork board up and hubs is busy hanging art still; check out what he did with my denim quilt back there is the guest/game/workout/storage room.
I got rid of lots of wool and some pretty linen clothing that I was going to cut up but then I decided against it.  So…whaddaya all say to a crap craft swap? 
The going away pile.
I think I’ll ask if Sector67 is willing to host one. Would you (local folks) come?
I might even give away some of my baskets – I haven’t used them in forever.  I do love me some baskets.
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Time to Get Busy

 Time to get busy.  I want this tree trunk coffee table in my living room before my company comes for New Year’s!
One side of the slab was 6 3/4 of an inch and the other was 7 1/2 inches so I had some evening up to do.  I went to the good old ReStore and bought some 1/4 inch thick flooring pieces.  Putting the pieces on three of the four corners seemed to level it well enough. 
This is level enough for me. 
 So I gathered my tools and went to work.  First I carpenter glued the flooring pieces to the trunk. 
I used the wheels as weights for the 30 minutes the glue needed to set.  That way I could gawk at what was to come.
(A quickish digression: My husband actually helped a ton with this project.  He cut the wood flooring for me and got the screws and did all the heavy lifting.  It made sense that he should come along to the Woodcraft Store – the guy there had been really helpful before – to help pick out the wheels and just so we could hang out together.  We like hanging out together.
But the guy at Woodcraft only talked to my husband when we were in there trying to figure out which screws to use and what to look out for and whatever other details an experienced woodworker could help with.  I felt practically invisible.  My husband didn’t really notice as this has never happened to us before.  It was exceedingly frustrating and added so much tension to our day.  I have a little sour taste left over still.)  
Back to business.  The evil dude at the wood store recommended these fancy 4 inch screws.  We also had to buy (Not from the wood store, mind you, they don’t sell them there) a special drill bit because we needed more torque to get them into the hard wood.
 First pilot hole drilled!  There’s no going back now!  Every step felt that way a little. 
Then I hit a snag.  The drill couldn’t handle the length of the screws.  It actually started smoking before I gave up.  I had drilled the pilot holes as deep as I could go and the screws were still sticking out at least an inch and a half. 
So we switched to 2 1/2 inch screws and yet another fancy drill bit.  Problem solved.  It added a day to the project but that kind of stuff is bound to come up. And when you procrastinate as well as I do, a little delay is no big deal.
The only thing left do was lug that beast up a flight of stairs!  We used a dolly and didn’t swear at all.
 Now for the gratuitous finished project shots.

This is my living room.  Just to brag a bit:  That’s my jeans couch with a scarf pillow and two stuffed woollies and a linen quilt, all of which I made. To the right you can see a bit of the chair I reupholstered.  And my antenna is perched on an antique toolbox I cleaned up.  A pretty handmade home for my patchwork life. 
I’ve been waiting to do exactly this for months!  My company is due in an hour…Happy New Year!
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Process Post

It doesn’t look that different, does it?  But I did spend a fair amount of my yesterday making this second curtain panel the right size for my window.  I expanded it along two sides so that it would fit my kitchen window.  Now I just need to figure out how to mount it.  I need to be able to open it.  I have a pretty good idea, I’ve done this before.  I need to buy some dowel rods and rings so I’m at a stopping point for now.
There is something so satisfying about freshly ironed linen.  It can really stand up to a super hot, super steamy iron.  That kind of ironing brings out the best in linen – though when I wear linen clothes, I just embrace the wrinkles.  It’s one of my favorite fabrics.
I sewed the two squares together in a long chain to preserve thread but also to be more efficient with my time.  It still took me hours and hours.  
Fun hours but still…hours.
Before and After
 That’s right.  My before on this quilt is the exact same as my after.  I still can’t commit to the background fabric for this quilt.  I did lay them out a couple of times to see that they may end up looking like.  I sometimes think that I’d like a quilt made only of the corduroy.   PS – Check out the stuffed animal on the couch.  I made her out of an old wool coat about a year ago.
I did steal away one square to patch a worn spot on the sofa.  
Apparently, denim wears out whether the ass is inside or outside of the pants. 
 I picked the patch I did because it just had a few lines of embroidery.  That way I could add some more while attaching it to the cushion.  I extended some lines beyond the edge of the patch just for fun.  
I also used some thread made just for sewing denim – it ends up being relatively invisible – around the edges in the hopes that it stays on well.  I’m tempted to add some fray check around the edges just to be safe.  
We do get a lot of asses on this spot.
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Potter Fest

What will probably be the last one is coming up on the 29th.

This year, these guys are prizes.
They are all leftovers from different collections.  The rest sold. 

I don’t know why they didn’t sell.  It just happens sometimes.  My guess is that it’s because they were just a little different from the rest of their respective collections.
This guy is awfully cute.  He was a Pendelton coat at one time.  Maybe I should have mixed and matched his colors a bit more, like I did with his buddies.
His vintage button eyes are made of casein, a milk protein that was used more widely before plastic took over.
OK.  This guy I can understand being overlooked.  He’s super wonky and just looks sleepy.  I was experimenting with his eyes and it ended up reading as eye bags.  He used to be overalls.
He was smaller than his comrades but I think he looks awesome.  I love sleeve wings.
Too intense. 
In any case, I hope they’ll be appreciated a bit more as prizes. 
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Way Back Machine

During October I participated in the Habitat for Humanity Restore Art Auction.

I donated 3 stuffed animals,  and, at the last second, I included bio’s for them.
The auction went pretty well.  It was fun to have my work in an art opening and it felt good to support the Habitat for Humanity.   The only bummer was that they forgot to include the bio’s.  Two of the three Woollies were sold.  I was a little disappointed that the bio’s weren’t included because I think they would have helped to sell them for a little more.
So I thought I’d post them here because it was so much fun to put together and there really isn’t anywhere else to share them:
This set includes one (1) Super Hero Wannabe who is just figuring out how to use his sleeve/wings for good.  Our hero is constructed out of wool jackets.  His muzzle is the flap of a pocket.  His mask is the lapel from another jacket.  His nose is made of Casein – milk protein that was more widely in use before plastic became popular.  He doesn’t sport a label but won’t let that hold him back.

One (1) Sidekick who could probably run the show but she’s too nice to let our Super Hero feel bad.  She too was once a Herringbone coat and also has a pocket mouth.  Her eyes and nose are a mix of vintage and thrifted buttons.  Her label identifies her as “Stafford Executive” but her ric rac keeps her from getting too snooty about it.
One (1) Patchwork Villain who turned to crime for the thrill of it.  His patchwork is from some very old and some not so old jackets and skirts.  He’s a bit of a mixed up kid with buttons from all over the place as well.  He has yet to live up to his label, which promises ‘Satisfaction Always’.  His deep secret?  His label came from the main fabric of our Super Hero – they have more in common than they could possibly imagine.
Salvaged for these little dudes:
10 Wool Coats
2 Wool skirts
8 Vintage buttons (From school assignments circa 1941 & 1959)
Each Woollie is stuffed with 100% wool stuffing to keep away dust mites (They hate wool).
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While trying to make purses out of old coats, I had this realization:
A stuffed animal is a purse with eyes!

OK, also arms, ears and a tongue and no purse strap.

But, it really got me started on a whole new obsession. I’ve been taking tweedy wool coats and cutting them out around the pocket to make an adorable mouth.

Then I add vintage button eyes and some trims and sometimes the
old woven tags from inside the coats and they just seem to come alive.

This frog’s head is from the lapel of the tweed coat used to make the dudes above his head.

This old skirt just wants a big hug.
There are a couple left at Confectionique.

My next step is to move beyond purse shapes to more complex
critters with heads and more shapely bodies.

I’ve sold a bunch through the library of all places.
They were available at a Susan Komen event about breast cancer awareness.

It wasn’t my original intent but they have become great comfort items for people who are going through challenges – both in terms of health and personal issues.

I guess people have been using their pocket mouths to
hold important talisman type items to assist in healing.