Thursday, March 21, 2019

Amy Brown's Simply Delicious Treats

I have been waiting for my friend Catherine's daughter Amy to get her shop up so I could rave about her cooking, but for now, she is cooking up soap.  Soap I would EAT willingly if my Father were still around to threaten me, LOL!  

Catherine told me every time she walks into the house when Amy has been working, it's insanely mouth watering to smell.  I have had Amy's cookies at Christmas, and she sells them locally, but I have no idea how it works on Etsy with a lot of the small kitchen laws changing.

She uses 'real' stuff in her recipes or for the diabetic crowd, she has low and no sugar recipes.  I found that her cookies are so delicious, richly flavored and textured on the tongue and just plain satisfying that a small batch will make you happy with out over eating; they are literally a very special treat, not just a snack. I'm looking forward to the next cookie holiday!  I wonder if I could volunteer as a taster? >.>;;  Along with soaps, she has also been experimenting pet treats, and the word is the puppy went nuts over them.    

SimplyDeliciousTreat on Etsy (the s would not fit).  

Moon Seasons Quilt and Organizing Progress

The quilt is coming along.  I ran into a road block with Summer, first picking it out and putting the pieces in the corner square rather than have such an abrupt transition from the middle square with the bright blue; then ending the mental argument about what plant would be good for Summer by deciding to use both bamboo AND hydrangeas.  The moons are done, so I will do the Fall and Summer embroidery soonish.  I decided to use some more of the middle neutral colors in the spaces between season squares with a little of the seasonal colors spreading into the neutrals.



Does this count as a crazy quilt?  Because I am being driven crazy.   I did one full size quilt (still unassembled into an actual 'quilt') but I find playing with much smaller pieces of fabric a lot more fun and satisfying. I work by hand because it's easier to 'edit' something that doesn't look correct.  I want to revive an old project if I can manage to redo the cat appliques smaller next.  Eventually every one of  my dolls will be wrapped up in their own quilt.

I have been determined to get more organizing done in storage since the big move last June.  I can't believe it has been almost a year?  Wow.  Life is running way too fast.  I went through all my fabric bins and listed every piece of fabric under two sizes, small and large pieces.  To me small means anything fit for 1/6, 1/4, and anything over is MSD, SD and 72+.  I put the lists on the side of the clear bins where I could see them.  Now when I frantically go looking for a bit of something, I can find it a lot faster.  I got a lot of it done the last few days, and today was raining again, so I was able to get through a lot more boxes.  Now I have to face THE DRAWERS.  Since I packed and moved a total of three times in the past three years, just stuffing things into plastic drawers was an easy way to move fast.  Thank goodness for plastic storage bags!  But I hate the fiddly little bits job of sorting out pins, needles, trims, etc.  I used to stick hubby with that project, but with only one hand under control, he can't wind up yards of unspooled ribbon or untangle thread and yarns so it's all caught up with me.   He is still planning on learning to make doll furniture when I have room.

I did manage to find all the little zip locks with cut out projects in them, after a panic about a particular shirt for a particular project that took me two years to find the exact striped fabric for, but after looking in the same place for the third time, I found it.  Why does that happen?

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I Found My Scanner

It was exactly where I thought it was.  Buried behind three very heavy dressers in the sideboard I sawed the legs off to make a tv cabinet/stand, in the bottom drawer.  I must have moved over a ton of stuff to get to it.  But it's working, Yay!

I almost, almost! ordered the same stupid printer I had the last two times before I realized it was the same printer.  I got a Cannon instead, because the thing on Amazon says it uses refilled cartridges and off brand cartridges easily.  I would have rather gotten one of the new ink tank things, but they offset the price of cartridges being lost by the price of the printer being a lot more.  So now I can print my patterns again, which is a happy for me.  I like being able print my own things for back ups, and being able to buy print yourself patterns is occasionally a good thing.  Not having to pay printing per sheet costs when like the Alexander McQueen Kimono Jacket is 50 sheets is nice.  I still want to make that jacket!   Not only for myself but for a doll or two.

Anyway, after all that lifting, it's a good thing I sleep on the top bunk, because if I were on the bottom, I would not be able to get out of bed in the morning.  This way, I can just fall out and land on my feet!

I'm rather nervous because tonight is the night, I get to stand up and point to a power point picture of my doll and quilt and try to talk and breath at the same time with out locking my knees.  This is the photo they are using:

Tama deserves some credit for this work, he supervised pretty much every step of the way when I was making it.  

Monday, March 4, 2019

It's Alive! My HP Desk Top Lives! After nearly 3 years in a box, too!

I finally got a steel storage shelf that's 15 inches wide in the shelving (free! amazing what people will ditch in storage) and set up my desk top computer on it.  Now, I swore I would not let it anywhere near the internet because of all the damned expensive programs on it that places like Microsoft and Adobe want you to RENT now at insane expense. So the first thing I did was set it back to 2007 or so.  I think it was actually made in 2008, so my computer now has a case of dis-tempore.  (Doctor Who fans make horrible time puns when ever possible, no matter how bad they seem now, decades later, they will be hysterical, I am sure!)

And then I realized while I had all the parts (I threw away the blasted printer) I could not figure where the heck I put the scanner!  Not good.  Not good.  Not good.  It has to be in there somewhere.  *head desk*

I will find it.  I just hope it has not been buried under something very heavy and broken, because I want to get a printer again.  Printers are very handy for printing, I am so tired of paying for prints and not being able to resize patterns or scan and resize things, whine, whine, first world problems complain.  Also, I need it to scan in photos so I can get back to the embroidery program designing thing!  And I can't believe how the price of programs has dropped, from 1000 to less than 200$ but will they work with my op system if I go that route?  Best to get the extra cargo springs on the truck first.  

I am not any where near ready to stand up for that talk thing tomorrow, but the quilt in progress is.  I have enough of it to hold it up and say this is how I deal with it, and what ever, I have no speech written, I can extempore for five minutes with out fainting, surely?

Fishcake gave me an awesome Japanese embroidery book and I had this gold japanese metallic thread, so I did the sun and it came out so nice and simple to do, that I decided on the same for the moons.  I stuck with DMC  for the rest of the embroidery, because I have a bunch.  Paying attention to the book's instructions on color perception, I used white thread with silver metallic and cherry blossoms for the Spring moon, I'm going to use grey and silver for the Winter moon with pine branch, antique silver with yellow for the  Summer with something I have not figured out yet, either bamboo or something officially summery in Japan, and Fall will be antique silver with copper thread and maple leaves.  The rest is just trying to figure out how to use up scraps that imply the season in colors and visual 'feeling'.

Bad lighting in library, plus bad phone cam, but you get the idea.

Spring will be in the upper right corner. (I did not rotate
the photo before putting it up.)

The idea was to have the seasons surround the sun....

With the moons in the corners.  Each season will have appropriate
quilt pieces.
This project has pretty much kept me sane for the past two weeks and should be good for another two weeks.  I did not shrink the flannel backing yet, so I am a bit worried that I will have to put a very wide border on it when it is done, but that's what a needle and thread are for, problems you can solve.  I think the whole Pacific Ocean has been sent our way.  Thank goodness for the first time in decades, we do not live under a leaking roof!   Even storage is not leaking, which is even more important.

I relisted the bodice and skirt sets for SID down from 45$ to 35$ each.  I have to say, I must have weird fashion ideas, I thought that outfit was pretty awesome.   After this Summer's shedding of the junk we no longer think we need in storage, Dai and I plan on getting some tools to start making furniture.  Come to think of it, now that we have the bigger storage unit, I could actually go completely wild and make a doll house wall for my dolls, but yeah, maybe that would be too much.  I'd have to dismantle the thing and move it into a flat if we can hold out for the darned wait list.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Etsy is Driving me NUTS!

I finally had to just search for why they are taking more and more money out of every sale and found out on USA  Today, of all places that they raised their fees from 3.5% to 5% and GET THIS, they are 'taxing' 5% off postal fees too!  So if you sell something for 45$, and it costs 7$ to ship, they charge the 5% off the total of 52$  Now here comes the jerk part of the thing.  They offer a discount on shipping if you buy the lable through them!  Then they charge you for buying the label!  That discount used to cover the envelope and tissue paper or ziplocks for shipping and handling, but now I'm like, what the hell! 

I have been roped into doing a quilt thing for the library, and finally figured out something I WANT to do.  This is why I don't join the guild here: they dictate what you are supposed to do.  I'm like....noooo, I want to sew what I want to sew, something I can throw my heart into, not "produce this because you have to".  I chose my sewing projects for customers based on how much I want to do the project.  I have only had to turn down three customers since 2011, one because it was impossible, another because it was rather blah, and the third because I am not a factory for doll clothing to fill another person's Etsy shop or what ever.   I want to sew something fabulous, and if it is for a customer, something they will think is perfect and wonderful and fabulous.  I left theater sewing because I got tired of my creative urge being stabbed like Caeser every time I had an idea about something. 

So after I came up with an idea for another doll blanket quilt, I was told, it has to be something relating to women's month and life changing.  I was like.....O_o  It's a farging doll quilt.  I can not begin to explain how getting a new doll is as life changing as having a baby or any of that.  They won't understand, how can they possibly understand?   Dolls are a private joy that is shared by (how many people on the combined forums?) O_o.  We know who we are (and what our particular brand of 'crazy' is ^_~).  So yeah, my seasons of the moon is going to have to be blah blah blahed; it reflects my renewed interest in taking the time to appreciate nature, and how is that life changing?  How can I do five minutes about that?  Can it stand up to power womyn who are out to take over the world with their radical socialist feminism or what ever?  Good lord, are quilts politicized now?  I mean yeah, the quilts world aids foundation was a big wonderful thing, and quilts for disasters like the ones a teacher at the college's church does for the Philippines  and Porto Rico, but life changing events? 

I asked.  Getting through cancer, drug recovery, losing a child, omg!  Do I really want to 'quilt' my husband's stroke?  Being 'homeless' by definition if not actual attitude? (We're camping.  Seriously, big on the whole camping thing.  Lots of camp grounds out there and I fully intend to get that bathing suit done before summer this year.)  Ummm, nope.  To hell with that depression.  Are we really supposed to 'celebrate' depressing things? Maybe she should have put that a little more differently.   

And I will bring one of my dolls, because damn, I need some emotional support for this thing, and I can show proportion, etc. 

If I'm lucky, they will think I'm too nuts for them and the lady who set me up will back off.  Then again, I have my doubts about her. 

I should do fluffy kittens.  But this moon and seasons idea wants to be done.  I'll do fluffy kittens next time.