14 September, 2014

Pen Thieves Foiled

Checked off:  More Flower Pens.
I am on the look out for a more manly version - hence the plastic ping pong-type balls.
Men are not as secure in their manhood while writing with a flower pen.

My customers where I work have made off with 25 flower pens since I started at this location eight months ago. Which is way better than 25 gross of pens otherwise.

***Why do people buy plastic flowers anyway? I find them cheap at garage sales. The pens are back-to-school specials.

08 September, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop: CraftyTokyoMama & VacuumingTheLawn

I was tagged a couple of weeks ago for the Around The World Blog Hop.
I did my post last Monday. I said something about myself and then passed the baton on to two sewists that I admire.

Janine from Crafty Tokyo Mama and Kyle from Vacuuming The Lawn.
They both have different styles of sewing and I enjoy seeing what they come up with when their blog posts pop up in my feed.

We all answered the same four questions. But what went on in the background was interesting to me as well.

When I first was tagged by Marilyn of Shades Of Bold, I had to think about it for an entire day. I was in the middle of yet another 50 hours of vacation coverage at work where I do a 12-hr split shift. Meaning I go into work in the morning for a couple of hours and then back again later, finishing up 12 hrs (ha!) from when I started my day. To say I am tired and not managing my auto-immune is a misnomer of giant proportions.
No time, dragging my heels, where can I find the three hours to write that post?
But then, I felt honored that Marilyn knew I had something to say to those four questions.

1. What are you working on now?
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

3. Why do I create what I do?

4. How does your creating process work?

I thought about these questions all week to when I needed to post - the following Monday.
And by looking at what other people answered to the same questions, I realize we're all in it to sew and we are all different. We are all self-doubting.  And we're all nervous about sharing too much.

So - if you get tagged, pony up and share a little about yourself.
It's interesting.

Janine shared a pic of her fabric stash in her sewing room. I adore these pictures even if the photo-taker is obsessing about how messy it looks. I like seeing what furniture you use to organize your fabrics and how you decorate your space. Rest assured we are all in the same messy sewing room boat. And if you are obsessively tidy, then I am probably not reading your blog.

Kyle shared a little about her day job and she even came up with an outline of her Creative Process which is in my head too as I work and create. Except for that part of making a muslin.

How does my creative process work?

Ha ha ha, it goes something like this:

  • See garment on someone's blog/Pattern Review gallery.  Covet pattern/garment intensely.
  • Buy pattern immediately online or with next pattern sale.
  • Pattern sits in my pattern stash for months/years
  • Finally I make a muslin
  • I sew the real deal, maybe learning a new technique or two along the way.
  • Then I get frustrated with fitting--why is it not turning out like the muslin?  Or get frustrated with machinery--Why is my serger misbehaving?  Why why why?  
  • Spend way longer than I probably should futzing over various large and minor details.
  • Contemplate why I'm such a slow seamster.
  • I get over myself.
  • Photo shoot + blog it.
  • On to the next.
The Around The World Blog Hop goes on --- hop on.

01 September, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

 Welcome to the Around the World Blog Hop making a stop today on Running With Rocket.

I was tagged by Marilyn  of Shades of Bold to participate today in this Around the World blog hop that is traveling through the blogosphere.  Hopefully you will discover more about myself and why I blog and also to find some new blogs that just might make it onto your Bloglovin' list.

Marilyn makes stunning bags and so do I (humble :-)).  I love to sew and craft and I have a dedicated sewing room that I  finished two years ago. I've been blogging since 2008(!)- writing about sewing, my auto-immune, my airplane.  Yes,  I  live on an airpark. When we want to go flying, we roll open the hangar doors and pull the plane out. The runway is at the edge of my backyard. Which I also like to play in. I live on an acre where I garden - both flowers and the edible things. The blog has turned out to be a surprisingly good place to put all those flower photos.
Yes, I have sewn the cockpit cover and the luggage compartment for this all fabric Stearman Biplane.

My name is Kathy. I started blogging because I like writing and I take lots of photos. This  blog has turned into a big rambling journal for flying and flower photos as well as documenting items I've made. I don't know about you but my memory is going and I enjoy backtracking once in a while to view what I've made or to find a recipe that sits well in my tummy with my auto-immune.

I work in a day job that  is usually less than 40 hrs/wk but in the last three years, that job has turned pretty demanding. I need the creative outlet that sewing involves and I've made a couple of really cool bloggy friends over the years.

I've been sewing since I was four. It wasn't until I started blogging that I found out this was unusual. I started off sewing garments and designed my Barbie's clothes - I still have the tiny patterns. When I got married, I sewed a lot of my children's clothing and this is when I learned to copy Ready to Wear (RTW). The children's patterns at that time were about a foot too long with gigantic ease. My family has always been frugal so we learned how to read pattern layouts in order to buy less fabric than the envelope suggested.

 I sewed for years without a serger and I only bought one about four years ago and I love it.
Love It.   How did I sew so much without one - my Bernina serger is probably my favorite part of sewing now.

I will sew just about anything that tickles my fancy. I am also very good at saying "No" without any hesitation. This is my creative outlet.

Anyway, the Around The World Blog Hop asks us to answer the same four questions and at the end, I'll tag two more bloggers that I think you would enjoy and they will post next Monday.

1. What am I working on?
That pincushion above - I finished it yesterday afternoon. My bloggy friend Benta over at SlikStitches posted a little teaser photo of a gift for someone and it turned out the rest of us wanted one to organize our needles too.

How many types of sewing machine needles do you use? I have a variety because I sew through thin rayon all the way through leather. I buy them at garage sales because the price of fifty cents to a dollar does not make me swear as much when I break a needle at ram speed.

 The back side which will always be down had a little patchwork zakka moment. You'll notice a few of my favorite fabrics - some airplanes, some japanese, some mini-stripes.  I wanted to do this Benta-gift justice and post a huge thank you to her for doing the machine needles embroidery.

What - you don't know what this pincushion is for???
It's for when you need to change out your needle for another project but you feel there is still some sharpness left in the needle.   --Instead of putting them willy-nilly on the cutting table next to the sewing machine - ahem.

My other project: I'm waiting for these beauties to ripen. Another 20 days?

 2.)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I have a genre? Good lord. I suppose my projects differ because I can't stick to a pattern as written even when I do the writing/measurements. I'm kind of a think-as-I-sew sew-er. Let's just say I need to make it more difficult than it has to be.

Snap Bag. Paper pieced Bee.

 3.)  Why do I create what I do? I am 100% committed to handmade gifts. I make what I like or what intrigues me. My brain loves engineering and I enjoy figuring out how something was made.  I make copies from RTW  a lot. I like the detailing that you cannot find on home sewing patterns.
Taking time to create balances out the stressful parts of my life.
I sew garments as well as dabbling in quilting (tedious).

I give away most of what I make. The few remaining items get placed on Etsy. I am unable to make duplicates - just sayin'. Once I've mastered a skill, I'm ready to move on.

I made this tote bag for my niece. 
I had some internet inspiration but I did a design as you go construction.

4.)  How does my creating process work?
2 am. Seriously - don't you have the best thoughts at 2 am?
For instance, in the bag above, the reverse side is the reverse of the van - the back window flips out to feature a cell phone pocket.

I hope you enjoyed visiting me.

And now the Around the World Blog Hop goes on.  I have picked two great bloggers to be my taggees for next Monday:


Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn is a great garment sew-er as well as bag maker. I noticed Kyle a couple of years ago commenting on the same sewing blogs I was reading.  She just sewed two stretch lace gym tanks and they are awesome. She blogs about her fitting intrigues and posts great flower photos from the Princeton Farmers Market. She recently made this gorgeous dress - go look at what she sewed!


Janine  of Crafty Tokyo Mama is someone I met during a SewMamaSew giveaway day. I was intrigued about her haunted house in Amity (oregon) and come to find out - she is from Oregon. She has lived in Japan for the last 25 years - most recently Kyoto. She sells her creations in her Etsy store - she is definitely good at making 1000 bags! and blogs about life in Japan and her sewing adventures at CraftyTokyoMama. She shows stunning photos of the different shrines and festivals that  make up Japanese life. She made this Patriotic Table Runner last month that I love.

one last airplane picture - 'cuz you know how cool it is to own one!
No - I am not the pilot - just the navigator. My hubby has his license. . When times are rough at the day job, flying in an open cockpit biplane is positively guaranteed to blow out the cobwebs. Or as we say, "reach out and touch the hand of God."

More random facts about kathy:
Worked in Southeast Alaska as a cook in a gold mining camp. Got to fly in a Beaver and a Huey.
I almost got my flying license.
I love small towns.
I've been sewing all my life.
My juicing/blendering supports my garden as well as the produce manager at my local Thriftway supermarket.
I like to embroider but I'm so done with cross stitch.
I require my daily Sudoku fix {or else}.
My favorite flowers are Iris's.
My old gardening goal was to be able to pick flowers any day of the year.
I love to travel and I'm headed to Kyoto next Spring.
Yes - you can travel with an auto-immune to a country that breathes in soy (#1 bad guy).
I won three blue ribbons (and one white) at our county fair this year.
I can remember four jokes at one time instead of three - making progress here!

Sewing:::  1. Why should you never iron your four-leaf clover?
You don't want to press your good luck.

Flying:::    2. What do you call an alligator who uses a GPS?
haha - a Navi-gator!

22 August, 2014

AirMail Earrings

My friend, Janine, has lived in Japan for over 25 years now. She blogs over at CraftyTokyoMama.

Each summer, she comes home to visit family. She and her daughter go camping, fishing, horseback riding and anything else Oregon-wise they can fit into the time they have. 

Unfortunately, that meant we couldn't meet up this time. We had to make do with the US Mail. Did you know it's much cheaper to send a package to her parents in Oregon than all the way to Japan?!?   I might have gone overboard throwing things into my package.
Janine, who is the mistress of beautiful packaging, sent me a package that was a delight to see & open.

 These Letter Earrings are already a huge hit at work. My co-worker tells everyone they are addressed to me!
They certainly appear real with "via AirMail" underneath the stamp.
The reverse side has "Postcard" written across the top with "I Love You" in script on the message side.

 Janine, who crochets better than anyone else I know, crocheted these while camping!
I think she blocked them too!
I have a coaster set of four different designs plus a square doily and a smaller round doily.
She had a book with different designs and went hog-wild!

We must live in the dirt when we go camping. If I were to bring something "white" it would be brown in no time.

Little Miss Geisha Girl is actually a "going visiting hanky" that all Japanese women carry.
I'm supposed to bring it when I visit Kyoto next Spring.

Even her card is special! Eastern Airlines! She knows about my airplane problem.

Did you spot the other airplane hanging on the card? It's an Airmail Stamp brooch.

She wraps everything in cute papers and washi tape. 
Each item came packaged. She even gave me some masking tape  (spot the airplane...). Is that a hint?
When I send things to her, I am intent on using up all available flat rate space. As in, crammed full!

I sent her some really random items. Blue nail polish for her daughter, Moonstruck (Portland) chocolate bars, MarionBerry Syrup (Neighbor make - Glenmore Farms), random sewing notions, some Clover Wonder Clips, etc.
All jumbled with no washi tape inside a priority box. And a huge pile of postcards for her Postcrossing addiction.

20 August, 2014

Wheat Weaving

My local library had a class on wheat weaving last night.

We all made the classic heart and then the angel/doll and our third item could be a bigger heart, a cross or another doll/angel.

The instructor is the same as who taught Ukrainian Easter Eggs back in the Spring. She speaks in a delightful accent and was pleasantly amazed when I added a Halo to my angel.

The farmer across the runway grew wheat this year. 
He just cut it and will bale it at any moment.
Do you think he would mind if I borrowed a few stalks . . . .?

19 August, 2014

Free Swatch from Spoonflower - Eco Canvas

For the next 24 hours you can try our favorite earth-friendly fabric for free! Get a swatch of Eco Canvas from now until 12pm Eastern Time (what time is this for me?) {9am PST} and we won't charge you a penny. That means free standard shipping, too! Head over to Spoonflower to get your swatch now, or read the directions below for more details. 

More about Eco Canvas:

  • Heavyweight 100% polyester canvas made with 45% recycled content
  • Launders beautifully; custom-printed designs stay bright and vibrant
  • 54” printable width
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Perfect for making backpacks, totes, storage bins, chair seats, sofas, ottomans, plushies, play mats, kids shoes and “jean” jackets

How Do I Get My Free Swatch?

To add a free swatch of Eco Canvas fabric to your cart, use the 'Go For It' button (visible on each fabric design page) between noon EDT on Tuesday, August 19th and noon EDT on Wednesday, August 20th (what time is that for me?). Proceed to checkout. The discount will be subtracted from your cart total automatically. Note that in order to receive your swatch, you need to continue the transaction until you reach the order confirmation page. (And yes, standard shipping is free, too.) This offer works for your own designs or for any of the designs available for sale in the Spoonflower marketplace. Multiple orders from the same household and/or customer will be disqualified.

This is the fabric I ordered:

18 August, 2014

Clackamas County Fair - Part 2

Part 2 - or Where I Reveal The Real Theme....

Upstairs in Hobby Hall was about a zillion AIRPLANES!

From RC models to really cool art entries.

 Good to see kids still make model airplanes.

 Added this year were several hands-on activities: Hammer up a tool box with adult help - all kids welcome.
The other activity I observed was Tole Painting at the opposite end of the hall.

The reality of hobby hall  is that less and less people are entering their fabulous creations.
Our county fairs - part of rural America - are becoming a thing of the past.
I was happy to see the interactive activities.

 RC model of - guess what??? A Stearman Biplane. 
Who do we know that owns a real one????

 Nice photo of a P-51 Mustang (WWII fighter plane)

 Photo of the back end of a V-tailed Bonanza airplane.

 Several VW bugs & vans made their appearance. I had hoped to finish my VW Van Bag in time to enter it but it wasn't to be.

 Kids can enter their 'collections'.

The RC airplanes were provided by the Dusters RC Club from Molalla.