Selfish, is it?

I’m not 100% a silver-lining gal, but, in my book, there were a few good things to come out of last year.

One huge plus: Music makers making music.

I’ve been keeping some melodies to myself. Selfishly.

I think. At least that’s how I kinda feel about my hoarding/delayed sharing.

Sort of. Anyway. I’ve been digesting daily, ruminating repeatedly.

This here’s just the first of those COVID+’s I’m letting go, now. Because it’s a lot newer, and timeliness may matter.

May 28th, to be exact. Took a little longer to get to me; across the ocean.

Monday, May 31st at 13:05, to be exact. Through DHL, happily, and not some other hack-way delivery service that likes to leave packages places other than my front door or porch. (Yep, off track.)

Speaking of off-track, one of my favorite total freak-out fan-based things is B-sides and outtakes and the ‘what might have been’ of songs: mining the creative process and good humor.

Actually, there’s no mining when it’s handed to you on a silver-platter, or in this case, on a pink CD.

And, tempting packages for pre-order. (Dec 2020.) Bundles of every conceivable which-way, of which I chose:

CD: Fatal Mistakes

CD: Outtakes and B sides

Autographed insert (fan-girly, but it’ll look lovely in my office line-up.)

T-shirt. I probably didn’t need the t-shirt. Well, to be honest, I completely didn’t.

Don’t worry about my overstock. I’ll take advantage of the situation by off-loading one, holey, faded, stained monstrosity that I would never wear in public. Not even to the trash bin.

The kind of thing I’d only ever wear to cautionlessly paint or forcibly succumb to gardening pressures (if I had to.)

Hmm. Maybe I’ll keep that old one as a designated, doing messy, things shirt. Because I abs won’t mess in my new one.

Ok.

If you’ve been trooping along with the band’s progress posts, you’ll have seen a few videos, heard a few previews of the floaty-sounds radio airplay will make, for sure.

If ya, haven’t been following, it’s not too late. The moral of the music is that you can go back and do it again – 20 years later. Successfully, wonderfully. Barry, bonnie, lovely. Platinum worthy.

Quote for the Week:

  1. Current Fav Track: It’s Feelings
  2. Next, Start here: You Can’t Go Back
  3. Then, Go Back here:  Roll to Me

(Or vice-versa (3, 2) if you adventurously need an introduction to humor and the band.)

That’ll Be Easy (A Crafter’s Saga 3)

Plaid lines to follow! Success was on the horizon.

Seriously. How hard could it be to cut a straight line when there are lines to follow?

Kinda hard if you’re working with a maybe-a-little dull rotary push blade, a slippery plastic ruler, still stubbornly assuming an awkward couch-to-coffee-table posture.

I didn’t count the passes. I just know I, multiply, veered off the rule, lost the grip, over-corrected and then over-corrected the over-corrections.

After a few thinner, shorter, not card worthy swipes, I tried another roll-over aiming to trim with fabric scissor. Ancient, pre-Jeff, inherited, fabric scissors. When I thought about it, I calculated they were nearing or at 50 years old, holding just a smidgen of rust.

Correctable, in my view. A kitchen trip to grab the knife sharpener and hone away, also netted me an apple. It was a particularly good batch of market apples. I needed a break, so I savored, while staring at the rotten fruits of my labor.

That’s when I decided. Deviously counting the odds, here’s how I added it all up. The lop-sides and veers would herald obvious hand-made. By default, this would make them endearingly rustic. At least that’s what the perfectionist in me planned to say if anyone had a word about it.

Creative minds envision orderly procession, despite the disorganization of supplies and the tendency to rationalize with the phrase, “For now…”

Who wants to put away paint tubes by color when another fabulous idea has surfaced, which, if isn’t documented this very minute might float away, forever.

For now, I’ll leave it there. For now, I’ll remember where it is when I need it. For now, I’m just going to take a 10 minute (ahem 1.2 hour) break.

60 minutes later, the fabric finagling ended satisfactorily.

Since the Singer was still set up, I figured I’d give it a try for straight-cutting paper layers.

That’d be easy, for sure.

Quote for the Week:

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: