Sunday, February 28, 2010

Here's to the US Hockey Team!!!! We Want Gold!!

I think I finally resolved my blogger issues from last night. When will I learn not to mess with my layout and settings while holding a glass full of bourbon! My pictures now look like pictures and not code!

Oh, it's getting tense in our little apartment here in The Big City! That's because the U.S is getting ready to kick some Canadian butt in the Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Game.

You see, I'm still upset that the Canadian Girl's Hockey Team made our U.S. Girl's Hockey Team cry when they took the Gold and left us with the Silver.

Hans however being the German Born Green Card Carrying Canadian Citizen that he is, is quietly rooting for Canada.

Quietly (or else!).

The animules are very excited and now that curling is over they held their own hockey game.

In goal waaay over on the far left is the draft horse, and on the far right, one of the lions.

Sweden was the right winger.

And Beaver was the defense man. Just try to get past those teeth!

I love the Beaver and imitate him all the time (I used to have Buck Teeth in high school. Not fun!).

Look how focused the coach is. She's warning the spectators that she won't put up with any nonsense!

Now she can finally concentrate on the game.

So I'm off to put duct tape across Hans' mouth and watch the game.

Go U S A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One must look one's best, especially on Hi-Def!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A tiny little purse, Olympic curling in my apartment, and a cold kitty.

Over at Freebies for Crafters I found a tutorial from Pink Penquin (check out her blog!) for a Puffy Purse.

Gee, that looks easy, I thought and then I proceeded to do my own thing and ended up making a complete mess of it! It's like I just can't leave well enough alone and purposely set my self up for failure! Anyway, in addition to using fabric a bit heavier than called for, I also added fusible batting. This along with 1/4 inch seam allowances set me right up for failure.

It was so bad I didn't even take any pictures of it, and tossed it straight into the trash. But I just had to prove that I could put together this simple little purse so I had another go at it. I dug out a couple of red napkins for my fabric and this time I didn't add any stabilizers to the body of the bag. Alright, I do admit that I added batting to the lining so it wouldn't be too floppy. I also added sewable boning inside the top closure to keep it stiff. Last but not least I sewed a tab with a D ring near the top so that I could add a detachable strap and it now becomes a wristlet.

So here is my keepable version of the Puffy Purse (wouldn't it have been perfect for Valentine's Day!).
Hans looked it over and then remarked that it matches the prostitute dress he bought me for Christmas two years ago.

It wasn't literally a prostitute dress (and is there really such a thing?) but it was red satin and I looked just like an old hooker in it.

I think I'll find something else to wear when carrying this.

A close up of the side with the D ring and strap.

Today our little friends got caught up in the Olympic frenzy and decided to hold a curling competition on our bed.

I couldn't help but notice that their coach (up by the headboard) was asleep on the job!

The Countess von Chlorox feels a bit cheated. By no choice of her own, she was moved from a comfortable home in the suburbs and found herself in a tiny apartment in the Big City with only this lousy heat vent as a sorry substitute for the roaring fire place that was left behind.

Adding insult to injury are my clunky 'outside shoes'; they are totally in her way!

In this old picture, the Countess is the melted mass closest to the fireplace. Behind her is my dearly departed Beast (whom I once caught wearing one of my skirts, and died far too early at the age of 6).

We are getting hit with yet one more nasty winter storm here in our Big City and I'm feeling a bit betrayed (just like the Countess) as I was promised a much warmer climate than the one I left behind!!!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

She might not be pretty but she has a great personality!

That's how I will describe my latest creation. And if she's not pretty it's all my fault.

That's because I can just never leave well enough alone! I recently saw a really cool bag at one of the houses I clean. Now mind you I see a lot of bags and purses during my work day but I have to contain myself and not pick them up and examine them more closely.

I mean how would that look??!! Can you imagine catching your cleaning lady inspecting your belongings???

Anyway the bag that sparked me on this venture sure as hell didn't look like what I ended up with. What I originally saw was a bag that had big pockets on the front, and they held a pair of shoes. It was made of a durable canvas like fabric and I'm sure (ALTHOUGH I DID NOT LOOK) that the inside had a couple of functional pockets.

So I got to thinking and decided that more pockets on the outside equalled a better purse.

And then I cut into my good fabric and created a monster.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's a purse of super freak dimensions!!!!

I thought putting the shoe pockets on the sides was a brilliant idea.

It wasn't.

Can you see how stupid it ended up looking?

There are small pleated pockets on the front (for my phone or ipod etc...) and a flap covers them. They aren't so bad.

This is the view looking straight down from the top. It's the biggest zipper gusset I've ever seen.

This is what the side pockets look like with no shoes in them. I added buttons to hold them closed (and if I ever ditch this purse those buttons will come off; they're antique bakelite, and probably worth a couple of dollars).

My original plan was to just put elastic in the top of the pockets (I wish I had) but then I went and used some bias tape so that plan went straight out the window!

The front flap is lifted in this view and you can see the side pockets here too.

I did use a layer of Insul-brite in this bag in an effort to make it more user friendly for carrying my lunches and keeping them hot or cold.

Here's my snazzy little wallet. I realize the mint green zipper doesn't match the blue theme going on here, but it matched the fabric and at this point that's good enough for me!

Overall, I'm very disappointed in myself but I needed a good work bag and while this will do the trick I'll never make another one.

Live and learn is my motto and maybe when I'm 90 years old I'll have things figured out.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A partially finished bag and ebay stuff!

Ebay first!!!!!

Here are two Orla Kiely 'reversible' place mats (the scissors are for scale). Reversible means I can tear them apart and end up with two pieces of the main print and two pieces of the scribble print.

I'm feeling extra special smart!

Future purse!

Two Orla Kiely dish towels.

In turquoise.

Future purse!

Have you seen how much her purses go for??

I'll make my own thank you very much!!!!!

A snazzy colorful Victoria Secret Bra (new without tags).
And I also received a very pretty white one with lace accents but I was so excited I immediately put it on, therefor no pictures!!!

I love VS undies (the bottoms never ride up on me) but I hate going to the store because their tiny sales associates, in their tiny black suits and perky boobs, completely scare the crap out of me!
On a different note, I hate their clothes. Cheaply made and skanky!

On to my partially finished work bag.

I had to stop at this point because it needs some fixing.

That's a flap on the front and it covers two pleated pockets. Those are okay.

Those funky looking wings on the sides are pleated pockets designed to hold my shoes.

They need an adjustment. I don't want them sticking out like Dumbo's ears so I'll fix that tomorrow.

Originally, for each side pocket, I added straps with Velcro (they were to come down from the top of the bag and attach to the inside of each pocket), and hoped that they would hold them closed when not in use.

It's just sloppy and not working for me.

But there is a fix in the works.


The front pockets are hidden by the flap that drops down over them

That's a strip of soft Velcro on the underside of the flap.

There's a strap that's sewn to the bottom of the bag (you can barely see it here as it blends into my ironing board), and it has a rough piece of Velcro on it and it comes up to meet the soft Velcro when the flap is closed.

It's situated so that it can hold the flap tight against the bag body when it's closed, or can expand when stuff is in the pockets.

So that's it for now.

Oops! Gotta go! We're getting ready to watch the Olympic Ice Dancing competition. Hans gets very emotional over the beauty of the sport, and I feel the need to critique the costumes!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ramblings (and an almost rumble) from the 'hood.

Ramblings first.

I went to the gym today and was horribly dismayed to find the 'I Can't Shut Up' lady was there. And then I remembered I had my new iPod Shuffle with me.

This cute little hot pink iPod which was my Valentine's Day present from Hans.

I've never owned one in my life so it took some figuring out. Instead of music, I downloaded a book (and at $21.00 I don't think I'll be doing that too often) and I love it! I ended up buying Sophie Kinsella's 'Can You Keep a Secret', and listened to it while I cleaned houses this week.

How did I ever get along without my hot pink iPod?

So when I saw old Big Mouth at the gym today, I listened to my book. It was heaven!

Remember this bag?

I use it for work (lunch and water bottle), and the gym (water bottle, padlock, and towel). However, the narrow top and roomy body cause all kinds of trouble.

Everything gets lost within its cavernous innards. If my phone rings, I'm rooting around like crazy, and half the time I can't find my keys.

And since it's winter I have to carry my working shoes with me (I can't wear snowy, icy, salt encrusted shoes in the houses I clean), and I won't stick them in a bag with my lunch so I have to carry them in a plastic bag.
Besides that, football is over and the Steelers didn't fare too well this year.

Today I decided to make a bag that will do what I need it to do.

I bought this fabric last summer and I think it's perfect for a house cleaner.

Since we're still slightly snowbound (and I've taken a kind of solemn vow to use what I have on hand before buying anything new), I dug through my stash this morning and found some denim type fabric that my mother gave me a while ago that I think will work well with this.

I cut everything out this afternoon and tomorrow I'll sew it together.

We nearly caused a rumble tonight when we went to dinner at a local bar (old steel mill working class) in our little part of the Big City and dared to ask the bartender to put the Olympics on one of their many TV's.

I had already braced myself but I still cringed when I heard the reaction of the bar patrons when women's curling suddenly appeared. Even though everyone around us knew that we liked this sport they had no problem letting us know how stupid they thought it was. But luckily some of the jeerers found a couple of the curling ladies to be attractive, and then they shut up!

I bet if the Sports Illustrated Swimming Suit Babes had been curling, all eyes would have been glued to the screens and no one would have said a word!

Friday, February 19, 2010

We are all out for Olympic Curling!!

After cleaning three houses and then getting stuck behind 'Oh My God it snowed two weeks ago and I still don't know how to drive' people (thus turning my quickie drive home into an hour and a half torture), I arrived home from work last night to find Hans lounging on the futon and glued to the TV.

He was watching the Olympic Curling Competition.

He then asked me what I was making for dinner.

He is still among the living.

But apparently Curling isn't just for people, but for pitties also! This is Brinks (appearing on Pitter Patter) and he is currently carrying on a long distance relationship with Hayleigh. They correspond their unrequited love through blogdom and depending upon my state of mind I find them to be sweet (un-PMS) or completely heart breaking (full PMS) .

I start every day by reading Pitter Patter, and my brilliant (?), wonderful, exceptionally smart(?) grand-dog Duncan has been featured on their site two times, yet I still remain humble.

Anyway, this afternoon Baby Girl called me once again and wanted to know if I'd finalized my travel plans. For some reason she thinks I should attend spring break, in Florida, with her and her college lacrosse team this March. Since I had no intention of going, I told her no.

"You're going with us." she stated. "Call First Born (my son) and see if he's coming too."

I called First Born. "What's up?" I asked, and he told me he was watching Curling.

Knowing First Born (a former hockey player), I laughed, "C'mon, you're kidding!"

"I'm one hundred and ten percent positive," he stated. "I love curling; it's fascinating and there's so much strategy!" And then he went on and on about the rules (many), the ice (pebbled), and that he and his friends have been researching the whole sport and fully intend to participate in the 2014 games.

Their future coach weighs 310 pounds and therefor won't be allowed on the ice lest he crack it.

First Born and his closest friends will be the 'team,' and my nephew (past state champion hockey goalie), and a good friend (comic relief) will be the alternates.

We talked a bit about spring break, I ran the dates by him, and he said he'd call me back.

The next thing I knew, he'd booked my flight, using his frequent flier miles, and I haven't even asked for the time off from work yet!

So with Hans and First Born (and Brinks) getting all caught up in the whole Curling thing I decided to watch it too.

I love it!!! I found my heart pounding as fast as their brooms were swishing!!!

It's kind of scary though, like what's next? Bowling? Bass fishing? Watching paint drying?

I don't care, as long as it entertains me!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Amish on Ice, and welcome to the Olympics!

You have to be kidding me!

What was the costume designer of the Canadian Couple's Skating team thinking?? What awful costumes! Dear God, even I (and that's not saying much) could have done better.

The fact that they skated to "The Way We Were" was bad enough, but I swear someone dug up the hideous brown dress (Peter Pan collar and all) that my sister made in Home Ec (back in 1973) and made a spandex version of it for the female half of the team. The male half simply wore a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt over a pair of polyester pants.

It made my eyes hurt!

Hey Canada! No Gold For You!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

No gold medal for me but I'll settle for honorable mention!

With Valentine's Day occurring tomorrow, and our being invited to our friends' (for what appears to be an annual event) I thought I just might whip me up a sweetheart of a purse.
Well, I had good intentions anyway.

I was once again perusing the Freebies for Crafters site (I've been living there these days) and I saw this cute little wristlet. Actually the basis for this wristlet is identical to the little zippered wallets I make but they just make it a little bigger and add a strap.
This is where I don't get my gold medal because I didn't refer back to the exact measurements, and you can see for yourself that the zipper should be sitting higher.

Poor Betty Boop looks a bit too boxy!!!

Needless to say, she'll be spending Valentine's Day at home.


Her back view.

This has been such a hellish week in The Big City with all the snow that's just lying everywhere, and I had no desire to spend hours in traffic just to get to JoAnn's, so this was the only fabric in my stash that was even remotely Valentine's Dayish.

I'll hang on to her for awhile but I just don't see her hitting the town with me anytime soon.

I was feeling a little disappointed and then I spotted these scraps left over from my Belle Bag.

See the zipper in the bottom of the picture? A couple of years ago I ripped it out of a Salvation Army purse that I'd bought for its hardware and it's been dying to be used ever since.
It was a perfect match so I tore the rest of the old lining off and put it to new use.

So here is my finished little wallet. I'm so glad I saved that zipper!

The back is ever so cheerful!

See how well the zipper matches the interior?

I'm loving my 'matchy matchy' bag and wallet!!!

And let's not forget my orange flower Scrabble pendant from Home Studio.

And even if I don't deserve a gold medal, I'd love an honorable mention award!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

More Etsy and a tiny bit of sewing.

I really liked the Scrabble Pendants I bought from Home Studio so I went back and bought a set of magnets for my sister's birthday.

My OLDER sister's birthday and believe me I don't ever let her forget that she's OLDER!!!

Let me tell you, she sure as hell never let me forget it when we were kids.

The magnets arrived in this nifty little tin.

My sister is a huge Wizard of Oz fan and for her birthday last year I made her a Nicole Mallalieu Beach Bag out of Oz fabric.

I was very happy to note that she had all of her knitting stuff in it when I saw her at one of our family functions.

She inherited my mother's creativity, and knits some beautiful things.

This bag has front pockets which are divided by the straps.

And of course the hard bottom that I like so much!

I ordered these a few days ago and once again they got here lickedy-split (even in this crazy ass weather!).

Check out the back of the scrabble tiles.

D is for Dorothy.
H is for Home.
W is for Witch.
T is for Toto.

I have no idea if this is intentional or not but I love them.

And I couldn't leave well enough alone so I ended up with these.

I've added a sewing machine, and an orange flower (just because I love orange).

And then I remembered this purse. The one I made from the Orla Kiely tea towels.

And sonofagun if they don't look good together.

So good that I combined them when we out for beer and pizza tonight.

Kinda like wearing matching undies, it just made me feel good.

I delivered my little girl purse today with its matching zippered wallet.

I wasn't sure about using two different flowers but Hans (my fashion critiquer and guru) gave me the okay.

I found both flower tutorials over at Freebies For Crafters (a lot of fun things there!!!), and Khris, who helps put this blog together, was nice enough to show this picture on her blog.

A close up of the wallet.
That little flower really adds something doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Someone's wubbin' me the wong way!!!!!

Dear God!!! I told Hans that all I blog about are purses and snow! So I've decided to change course tonight and take a trip down memory lane.

Have any of you seen the new Geico commercial featuring Elmer Fudd?

Well, Hans has taken to talking like him now and then, just to get a rise out of me.

This is because the first time I saw the commercial, he almost had to peel me off the ceiling.

You see, once upon a time I worked with Elmer Fudd, well not really Elmer Fudd, but close enough.

And in no way was it fun.

Anyway it was over twenty years ago, and I was employed at a very chauvinistic utility company doing 'mens' work at 'womens' wages. Meaning my coworker and I were vastly underpaid.

We had recently acquired an independent company from way out in the sticks (I've often said I thought a woodchuck was their mayor) and I'd been warned that the chief engineer from this company was an Elmer Fudd clone.

I took this information with a grain of salt as I did with everything I heard in the churning gossip mill of my workplace. Here are some examples: From the men in my office on any visitor of the female persuasion, "She's so hot!!!!" translated into, "She weighs under 200 pounds."
From the women on male visitors who weren't decked out in flannel shirts, "He's gorgeous!!!" meant, "He wears a suit, yet reeks of sweat and cigarettes."

But I have to admit I was grateful for the warning because the day finally arrived when Elmer Fudd 'aka' Rich (Wich) entered the picture.

And he brought his wife.

I was at my desk and very intent over the engineering prints that I interpreted on a daily basis when I felt a presence beside me.

I looked up and there stood someone I'd never met. This someone was wearing a moss green leisure suit (I hadn't seen one of those since my junior prom some 20 years before), a green work shirt (similar to what my dad wore to the construction site) and a thick white knit tie that bore an uncomfortable resemblance to a neck brace.

I was puzzled as I worked in a building where 'employees only' entered and we seldom received visitors.

Then neck brace man said, "My name's Wich, and I'm the new Enguneeaw (engineer) fwum Widgewund (Ridgeland). (OMG what is it with me and people who can't pronounce their 'R's?)

I felt my face go scarlet and I was immediately thankful a thousand times over that I'd been warned about Wich or I may have thought this whole thing was a colossal joke and actually laughed in his face.

While I frantically collected my thoughts, Wich introduced his very tall wife Sawwy (Sally), who looked like she'd gone zing zing zing around her mouth with her fuchsia lipstick as it was not only on her lips but on her teeth, and on the skin around the entire perimeter of her mouth. And thanks to the too short length of her skirt I had to force my eyes away from her legs as she had some of the worst varicose veins I'd ever seen (I met her one more time and that story may turn into a future post).

After a shaky hello I learned that not only had Wich gone to cowwege and got a degwee in enginewwing, but that his wife was tall, her brothers were tall, her father was tall ,and all of them (with the exception of Sawwy who was still breathing) had to have their caskets custom made to accommodate their excessive length.

By the time they left my desk I was a sweaty mess and my head was pounding.

But I grew to hate Wich.

With a vengeance.

Wich's salary was about three times as much as mine.

He didn't know what he was doing, but what the hell! As long as I did his job for him, who cared?

And that's not an exaggeration.

There were 'rumors' that Wich had been in 'intelligence' during The War.

I immediately put the kibosh to that as the only war Wich was age worthy of was the Vietnam War and he'd have been around twenty when it ended. I seriously doubt he was even potty trained by then.

"Wich has the mind of a steel trap." This from one of the men in the 'field' who loved Wich (and hated me) because with Wich at the helm, the men in the field used to be able to run amok, do what they pleased, and no one knew the difference.

"That trap rusted shut along time ago!" I shouted at this particular red neck.

But one day I finally figured it out.

Wich wasn't brilliant and Wich wasn't intelligent (I'll never forget the time he told me his pwegnant daughter was due on the thootieth or thooty foost of Febuawwy!).

Not in the least.

But luckily for good old Wich, his grandmother owned the utility that was bought by my company. You see, back in the 90's someone realized there was money to be made in communications and deregulation, and all of a sudden we were all out for progress.

Tiny companies, run by tiny families couldn't even begin to meet PUC (public utility commission) standards and had to sell out to the Big Boys. These little families suddenly found themselves wealthy beyond belief when they were each bought out for a million dollars!!!

A million dollars to people who strung wires through trees and kept pigs in the backyard.

But wouldn't you know it would be my luck that some damned grandmother would figure out that her grandson Wich wouldn't be able to get a job wiping his own butt, so she specified: "You can buy my antiquated wires but you must promise my grandson Wich (the stupidest man on the face of the earth) a job for life (and at a horribly inflated wage) or I will hold out for more money!

Well in the winter of 1999 my department went south (literally) and I lost my job.

But guess who didn't.

That wascially wabbit!!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Enough with the snow already! And yet one more purse.

I was under the impression that I'd retired my 'Snow Shovel Queen' sash when I moved south last year. But due to popular demand it's been dusted off and put back into duty. I know I should be honored but I'd really rather be done with the whole thing and just rest on my laurels (and butt)!

Since we'd been warned about the next storm (raging outside at this very moment) Hans and I went to the grocery store today and for the first time in either of our lives we saw a lot of bare shelves.

It's a very unsettling feeling.

So onto a safer subject.

Yet one more evening bag (I'm not sure why I feel the need to make so many bags from this one pattern! I guess I just like it). Instead of two handles, I made a strap. The flap on the front is one of the pattern variations.

I used a linen napkin for the body of the purse (it's from the same batch of napkins I used to make the second bag at this post). The flap, straps, and bottom are from a woven curtain panel I found at The Good Will.

It has a magnetic snap on the inside and there's supposed to be one on the flap but my snaps are very strong and I would have been yanking too hard all the time in an effort to lift it.

I just added a heavy decorative button instead and the weight of it holds the flap in place nicely.

This is the original bottom but I didn't like it so I had to rip the whole thing apart.

Here it is with a new plaid bottom and I thought since I'd added antique bronze D-rings to the strap I may as well follow up with bronze purse feet.

Some residual Super Bowl fun.

Here's Chlorox enjoying (NOT!) my glow in the dark bracelet in the form of a necklace.

Oh, look!!! Her eyes glow too!

Such a pretty kitty.