Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How I met Susan.

Ahhhh . . nostalgia descends back to the day I (literally) ran into Susan . . . it was Black Friday at the Canby Fred Meyer, and I had managed to dive into the jewelry department, avoiding the worst of the crush.  Since that's where I wanted to go anyway (all the organi produce had been completely pulverized by the mad dash to the home decor, shoes and scrapbooking supplies), I cautiously surveyed the Frogger meets Stadium Football scene between jewelry cases.  I waved to my favorite jewelry clerk & certified jewel setter who had peeked out from the back room to gaze on the melee.  (I look like his sister, so he fixes my jewelry for free.) He gave me a double thumbs-up before ducking back behind the door reinforced especially for that sale.  I could just see the whites of his eyes gleaming through the tinted glass porthole.  Gritting my teeth with a deep breath, I shot a gap that opened for a split second.  With a quick shoulder roll and rebound, I leapt up on top of the case opposite, dancing and bobbing over other bodies clinging to the sides for dear life as humanity swirled and eddied around us, finally making it to the object of my heart's desire . . . the genuine simlulated VS1 flambe howlite pendant just in time to see a strong hand straining through the mass of arms and legs, trying to reach the single, solitary, last one!!!!  I let out an Indian war whoop and closed the last three yards in a linebacker dive, smashing heads with the blonde lady who belonged to the hand that had tried to steal my prize, my hand closing on . . . emptiness.  The blonde and I drew back, rubbing our rapidly-swelling noggins, as we saw a tiny, lightning-fast, vicious brunette tap dancing on bent backs and prostrate forms on her way to the register, holding that genuine simulated VS1 flambe howlite pendant high above her head, laughing all the way.

"Wow . . . " the blonde said.  "She was fast."

"Yeah," I said, really looking at the blonde for the first time.  She had a nice face . . . clear blue eyes and a  face that had laughter written all over it.  "I'm Annalea," I said, holding out my slightly mangled hand.

"I'm Susan," she replied, her hand (only slightly better than mine) came out to meet mine.

"Shall we go hide behind the old Canby Farm, Garden & Pet building while this crowd has their way with the building?" I asked.

"Sounds good," Susan smiled.  "There are some nice sheltered spots back there out of sniper range."  We laughed, and began the salmon-task of getting out of the building together.

(Yeah, that's just how it was.  Harrowing, life-endangering, and all that.  Much better than some of those "we met in the mother's room at church" stories . . . ;o)

Now, tell me what part of the above story is actually true . . .

(Posted to Susan's facebook page to commemorate her birthday, and to answer a "How did you meet me?" post.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm sewing! Look at me! I sew!

(Name the movie. :o)

So, last week little Miss Daisy had a birthday party to attend.  Together, we made the gift, a fun little project that took longer than I thought . . . but aren't all first tries that way? ;o)  I've long wanted to upcycle a pair of blingy jeans into a bag.  Here are the results:

Not too bad, eh?  A little slouchy, but it's supposed to be a fun, casual kind of thing.

I had the dickens of a time getting those letters to stick . . . until I realized that the shiny backs weren't, in fact, glue, but waxed paper protecting the glue.  Doh.  After that, the letters obligingly stuck themselves on in less than a minute.

Here you can see the lining Daisy chose for the bag, and the serendipitous ribbon detail along the top.  The fat quarter for the lining was about 1/2" too short to make it all the way down one side, across the bottom, and up the other.  So, I measured off a piece of ribbon, sewed it all along the top of the lining, and was tremendously pleased to find out that I could then topstitch the lining all along the top of the waistband, without any turning & handstitching at the end.  Hooray!

Managing to attach the ribbon along behind and over the snap wasn't the easiest, either.  I think next time I'll actually put the ribbon ends on either side of the fly and leave them unattached to one another so the fly can be opened and closed (you know, 'cause it'd be a feature, and little girls love features, lol), and it would mean one less seam.  The strap (which took up ALL of the rest of the ribbon--more serendipity, I tell you) is stitched with a standard x-in-box pattern to the inside of the bag, which was then covered with the ribbon-topped lining.  (You can barely see the strap stitching showing underneath the "belt".  Don't ask how many tries it took me to get a bow that. dang. cute.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it again.

Fingers crossed that I can, though.  One of the first things out of the recipient's older sister's mouth when I picked Daisy up was "Could you make meeee one of those bags for myyyy birthday, pleeeeeasssssse?"  lol  I think I'm going to be making a whole lot of these bags in the future . . .

 *I doubt I'll ever do a tutorial on these.  There are a zillion bag tutorials out there, and this one just starts you off a little faster with a finished outside, complete with lots of nifty pockets. :o)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One. Little. Word.

This year, I've discovered something I believe will become a tradition:  Ali Edwards' One Little Word.

 I stumbled across it, somewhere out in the blogosphere, a little shining thing.  Slowly chipping away at the beginning, I have a feeling this will really bring my word into focus.  I would love to have more company, especially if you're local.  There are forums, etc., but I would love to pull the meaning of standing friendship into my intentional journey through this year.  Whatever you choose, make this a year of change, growth, and openness to the experience and goodness of whatever comes your way.