That’ll Be Easy (A Crafter’s Saga, 2)

First – the fabric stash.

Some of my well-traveled fabric has moved every time I have in the last 30 years, along with the books and writings and art supplies and chickens.

Yes, that’s right, I have antique (lol) fabrics, most with permanent fold marks.

(Only because I don’t own an iron, or an ironing board. A garment steamer has been on my ‘someday’ list for about 10 years now. But, you know how that goes… hot water heater, A/C, new interior doors pending and long over-due garbage disposal replacement – since I ground glass with the current one.)

I guess you could say I’ve been more of save-it-for-the- right-time collector, than an avid user for quite a while. I tend to stock-pile fall-ish hues. Patterned; reflecting the warm, calming colors of autumn. About 75 % can be accounted for in this category. The other rows are neon, old filmy curtains, and Christmas. And chickens.

By the most amazing stroke of luck, the perfect Nashville yard and a half was waiting for me exactly where it should have been.

Crafters will empathize with me on this. There are a lot of “Well, that’s where it’s supposed to be… ” moments, searching for an obscure item which we know we have and have been saving for the appropriate purpose. There’s a lot of self-questioning that comes with being creative. Like the, “If I were me, where’d I’da put it?” that comes out of my mouth. Often.

But, never mind that. The re-organization gremlins were apparently COVID-quarantining and there it was: right in the brown section, toward the darker end. That was easy.

Tools are always an important choice. I could scissor my way straight through the fibers or pink in jagged edges. I could rotary-cut along a metal rule. Or, I could take out that over 15-year-old, Singer Electric Rotary Cutter my husband gifted me. Which, 1. I never used in his presence and 2. vaguely remember a short-lived attempt at mastery. Once.

Yep, I’ll go that way. That’ll be easy.

The manual was vague, but I kept referring to it and eventually, tightened the tension and got set. Illogically, on the coffee table, in front of the couch. Maneuvering was awkward because I had to hunch from the couch and step on the pedal and keep the fabric feeding. A table would have been a better location, but mine was in the basement and I had assembled and carried all of the necessary paraphernalia up from the basement, so I was gonna make it work.

It worked. Badly.

Warbling foot-pressure speed, misguiding and failure to keep a straight line, resulted in messy, uneven, thread-warped swatches. So, I slid off the couch to the floor and tried again. Pretzeled with one leg up to apply pedal push and one under tingling uncomfortably. Success escaped me. Again.

I tried to scissor-trim the scraps into shape, leaving me with slightly skewed, ill-fitted measurements. I caved.

Manual rotary blade. One swipe later, I declared the treasured fabric non-cooperative and trucked down to the basement to find a better idea. The inspiration genies were smiling down on me as I pulled the Michigan acquired, grid-patterned, auburn packet from the vertical fabric file.

Lines to follow!

Ok, yeah. That’ll be easy.

Quote for the week:

That’ll Be Easy. (A Crafter’s Saga.)

I love Thanksgiving.

It’s fall and comfort food. It’s a chance to be more consciously thankful, and people seem to be happier in general. Yes, there’s a connection there – between those two things.

The pride of my yearly crafting is my Thanksgiving card design. I spend the whole year thinking and looking at art trends. I toggle between simple and elegant and more complicated mini master-arts. I only call them that because each of the 25-30 cards I make each year is similar in style, but 100% an original like no other.

Sometimes my choice of action comes down to time and how much I have or don’t. Depending on how early or late I decisively decided to commit to a card and how complicated my choice is.

Breaking a card down into pieces helps determine the order of preparation and assembly. Early on I learned that gluing all the pieces together for each card individually takes way more time than an assembly line approach.

This year’s card was no exception. I decided to multi-media for a more impressive pallet.

Then, I played around with supplies on hand, measuring if there was enough of everything to create a full 30 or if some number would end up with slight back-ground, frame or brad variations. I miraculously came close to using one specific set of stock. I rationally suspected I may have a few shortages, but the likelihood of someone in one state sharing their card with someone they don’t know in another state assured me that was going to be ok.

I always over-cut, over-stamp, over-fold, in case of slips, skews, and off-pattern veering. And in case I forgot any new recipients I might have acquired over the past year.

Assembly would be straight forward once I established my steps and prepped my foundations.

  1. Determine the length and width of the fabric first layer, cut 34.
  2. Determine the length and width of the second paper frame layer, cut 34
  3. Determine the length and width of the inked third layer, create 34
  4. Fold and background ink 34 cardstock cards, assuring 34 size-match envelopes are available.
  5. Gather 68 brads knowing some will be of similar shape and size, but likely different colors.
  6. Punch 260 leaves, projecting 8 per card.

Pleased with my planning, I pronounced what all experienced, yet still unwise crafters (incredulously) proclaim at the beginning of any project.

“Great! That’ll be easy.”

Quote for the Week:

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Quarantine Things + A Quarter & A Carrot

  1. According to Imperfect Foods a “conventional carrot” is roughly the size of three quarters round, and equally lengthy as a 12 oz squeeze of honey. Bonus size veggies make me happy to help reduce food waste.
  2. When it comes to HBlu’s cuddle customs– one of us is usually more comfortable than the other. However, Sir Harley of Perpetual Surprise has the most gorgeous saucer greens, so I indulge him.
  3. Fu played “Whatev” for 30 points. Words with Friends seriously isn’t Scrabble.
  4. Oddly, COVID-19 spurred the musical creatives of social media to happily offer personal glimpses, unlimited private room shows and surprising collaboratives.
  5. Food folly. My ugly attempt at Bibimbap was tasty. Trying to pronounce the dish left me amusingly Hanson ear-wormed for two days.
  6. Sweet Un-Success. Picture perfect S’mores cups were absolutely faulty and certainly not the recipe’s. Self-rising flour isn’t fab for cookies. Or Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars, either. Texture/Taste: 2 out of 10. Only because you can’t really ruin a marshmallow.
  7. My bulbs bloomed without my help. I did that which I despise: gardened. Over-grown Hostas are split and scattered. Hopefully, they’ll overtake every open space and everything weedy.
  8. There’ve been a plethora of Porch Patrons. A COVID-19 drop and run Wendy’s Frosty from a friend. A new orange suspected stray friend for Blu. I tried to make him stick around by feeding a bit each evening. Then, one Sunday morning around 10:30 AM in broad daylight…. Harley Blu, bless his heart, thought the black and white fellow was another ‘friend.’ For which I am tremendously thankful.
  9. Having a “Let me try and explain this” attitude which other people analogically completely nailed better and with 100% more humor than I would have, since I don’t find the No-Mask morons humorous, at all.
  10. Finally, 16 weekend hours of multiple Acrylic-Pour art fails – last minute salvaged into squared quarter-sized 3/4” mini Rorschach masterpieces with a punch and a skewed eye.

Quote for the Week:

Button Bouquet

Button Bouquet

A joyful mixed-media collaboration between two crafters with ample access to buckets and baggies and boxes of shiny treasures.

Rescued bits of damaged jewelry, new and repurposed beads and buttons – metal, glass and plastic.

A temporary canvas – this image only existed long enough to photograph and fiddle with, but the bouquet is everlasting.

As is the friendship it was built on.

Available as a pillow, tote bag, travel mug.

Shop now at:  Knabbler @ Redbubble

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