Weekly Quote

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.---C. S. Lewis

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daddy Let Me Drive

I was picking up hay this afternoon and Alan Jackson's Drive came on the radio.  Every time I hear it I think of my dad and learning to drive.

I must have been twelve or thirteen years old when he started teaching me to drive.

Sitting beside him in the truck, he'd work the clutch and I would operate the shifter.  First gear, second gear,  third gear, second gear, stop, start over again.

Driving the old tractor around the pasture while my sister rode our horse Komoko.  Then we'd trade and she would drive the tractor and I would ride Komoko.

And finally driving the truck around the pasture.

By the time I was sixteen I felt like a pro.  And I was on top of the world when I took his 1969 Mustang Grande to DMV for my driving test!

Thanks Daddy these are great memories.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm Published in Haute Handbags

I submitted a handbag to Haute Handbags last fall and have been so excited to share with you that they selected it for publication in the Spring 2012 edition. 

My issue of the of the magazine arrived today!  On April 1 you can get your very own issue.  

It is filled with lovely handmade purses, market bags and clutches.

And the cutest little coin purses made from fabric yoyos.

You will be inspired.

My bag, Out of Africa, can be found on page 135 in the Gallery section.  

I paired cheetah upholstery fabric with black leather from an old jacket and lined it with a wonderful batik my sister brought from Africa when she returned from her Peace Corp adventure.  

A vintage red button and vintage red silk tie on the straps add a much needed pop of color. 

Finally I embellished the bag with pompoms I made from a vintage mink stole that had seen better days.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What I Learned This Week

My mother loaned me her awesome embroidery sewing machine :).  This week I spent several days test driving it.

My test drive was on a rocky road with lots of pot holes (like California's freeways) and frustration...the thread knotted up, the thread broke, the material puckered......

I was not happy, all I wanted to do was try out some stitches and make the eyeglass case from last Saturday's 101 list.

I called my mom to discuss the problems and possible solutions...change the bobbin thread to lighter thread, make sure the needle is the right size for the material, use different top thread.  I tried them all with minor success, sometimes the stitches looked good, sometimes the problems were back.  Hum.

So I pulled out the instruction manual.  I was doing what it said to do but wait...what's this...different stitches take different presser feet!  I changed out the presser foot and I was test driving on the Autobahn.

It was time to make that eyeglass case.  I took out all of the green threads in my stash and used them to create a background of vines using a different embroidery stitch with each color.  On top of that I hand stitched flowers using torn strips of lightweight silk.  I'm pleased, my glasses are pleased.

That's what I learned this week.

How about you, did you learn something new this week?  Leave a post below and share what you learned (and it doesn't have to be about sewing).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More 101 Uses for Your Old Jeans. Recycle.Reclaim.Upcycle.

Seems that everyone is making a list of ways to recycle your jeans from Fox News to This Old House.  I loved the This Old House list cause it was from a guy perspective...repair a rust spot...bolster insulation...huh? And how about this article at Forbes.com about Ford (the auto maker) using recycled jeans in the 2012 Focus!  So you can see we are in good company in our pursuit of ways to Recycle.Reclaim.Upcycle our jeans.

24. Market Bag. Everyone needs a market bag or two.
25. Wine Bag. Cute bag, neat idea to bleach the denim.
26. Lunch bag. Nice insulated lunch bag, unfortunately no instructions on how to make.  I think most crafty types could make this without instructions.  This lunch bag is significantly different than the lunch sack I showed in my last post, that's why I included the lunch bag here.
27. Yoga Mat Bag.  A little more challenging project because of the circular bottom. Downward dog on!
28. Nail Pouch.  This is probably the simplest denim project you will ever make.
29.Clothes Pin Bag1 or Clothes Pin Bag 2. Makes me wish I had a clothes line so I could make one of these bags for the pins.
30. Eyeglass Case.  I know this is not shown in denim but the pattern would work wonderfully with denim for the outside.  And isn't the caterpillar charming, perfect for a spring project.

I am taking this denim bag to the local Farmer's Market today.

I made it from the legs of a pair of wide leg jeans and an almost vintage sunflower print fabric from my stash.  The handle is from a nylon fabric, also in my stash, and upcycled leather.

How about you, what have you created from your old jeans lately?  Post a response below (come on don't be shy).  I can't wait to know what you are doing with your old jeans.

UPDATE:  The Market Bag desperately needs a pocket for my cellphone and a clip for my keys.  Then I could slip my wallet in the bag and leave my purse in the car.