I didn’t do it!

That girl of mine did it.  And it’s awesome.


She’s working at a shop called Bad Hats.  Great name, huh?  They do hats and shirts and stickers.  She designed this bad boy just for me.  My sewing machine is even more badass now!

Stay crafty, my friends!

Evolution of the spa turkey

I am gonna start out by bragging about my Thanksgiving turkey.  Best ever!  EVER!  And I never exaggerate.

It’s been 3 long years since I have cooked a Thanksgiving turkey.  How sad is that?  Here are my excuses, in chronological order.  Three years ago, my boy Bubba was in college and working at Target.  He couldn’t make the trip home for turkey day because he had to work at the ass-crack of dawn on black Friday.  So we went to scenic Fargo to celebrate.

Off on a tangent alert!  I don’t know what the heck I ate before we left home.  Over halfway through the drive my tummy rumbled and I got some major gastric distress.  You know that feeling, sudden bloating, and you just shamelessly pray for a gentle fart to release the pressure?  It didn’t work out so well for me that day.  More than just air in that fart.  I admit it – I sharted.  In the car. With That Man and Miss O.  No choice but to pull off at the next rest stop, where I had to dig through my bag and head into the sketchy bathroom to change.  They may have been my favorite underwear, but courtesy demands at this point that they be thrown directly into the trash can.  Back on the road, I knew I had a good hour-and-a-half of relentless teasing and shaming to endure.

Anyhoo…we had Thanksgiving dinner at a hotel buffet.  Meh.

The second and third years we ate at the Grand Hyatt here on Kauai.  I have a really good excuse.  (All of our worldly belongings were in storage, as we waded through the horrid process of remodeling our old, termite and roach infested house.)  They have a pretty good spread, especially if you are the type that likes sushi with your turkey.

What were we talking about?  Oh yes, my delicious turkey.  I have been brining my turkey every year for twenty years or so.  It really does seem to make the turkey moist and yummy.  I even have a dedicated turkey brining bucket!  Brining a turkey in Minnesota is pretty darn easy.  You get the turkey in the brine, then in the bucket, and set the bucket on the deck or in the garage. The weather is predictably cold enough  to keep it properly chilled.

That just ain’t so in Hawaii!  Can’t put the turkey in a bucket and leave it out unless you want to invite Salmonella to your dinner.  Light bulb!  I used a turkey size oven bag!  Mixed my brine, and into the spa goes the turkey!


That birdie floated, breast-side down, overnight.  When it came out of the oven the next day, the anticipation was palpable.


You can see some of the sage leaves I jammed under his skin.  The only less-than-perfect thing about a brined turkey is purely cosmetic – uneven browning.  No way around it.

This was, by far, the BEST turkey I have EVER cooked!  Today is Saturday, I just ate a turkey sandwich, and the breast meat is STILL moist!  Not exaggerating!  The moistest, most flavorful, Butterball of wonderfulness ever created.

So…I think this is extreme crafting and a life tip all roasted in one pan.  And the pan is disposable.

Stay crafty, my friends.



Theme of the day = Goldfish!

Hide your disappointment if you were looking for small orange snacks.😞 ◁ That’s your disappointed face.  Admit it.

Don’t know what’s up with me and purse sewing these days.  I’m still at it, and it shocks the shit out of me.  I’ve been making tons of those Necessary Clutch Wallets by Emmaline Bags.  My stock “excuse” is that I have been trying out different combinations of interfacing.  I think I’ve just about achieved my perfect combo.  My fickle crafter’s mind keeps seeking out new opportunities to try out my new stiff interfacing knowledge.  By the way, in that last sentence, “stiff” and “interfacing” go together.  Not “interfacing” and “knowledge.”

I bought a new pdf purse pattern, the Integral Bow Clutch by Constructivism.  Dang, what a cute little bag.  Did you guess that it has a bow on it?

Who knew you could find goldfish in a palm tree?
Who knew you could find goldfish in a palm tree?

This little gem is not a project for the timid.  The construction techniques are unconventional.  And the result?  Also unconventional, mainly because nobody will ever figure out how you made it.  Next time I leave the house, I’m gonna take it for a whirl.

My little vanity tags are Tiffany blue! And I’m off to my craft room to trim that little thread…

I added card slots in the interior.  There’s no room for a wallet in this little bugger, and I don’t like my cards flopping all over.  And flop they will, if you don’t corral them.  I also added a detachable wrist strap so I can sling it around.  It turned out so cute, I’m going to enter it in the Purse Palooza contest over on the Sew Sweetness Blog.  Wish me luck!

These are the glamor shots I took, my little bag out and about in the garden, next to the pond, in the lemon tree…

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If you like my new creation, leave me a comment.  I feel like I’m talking to myself in a wind tunnel.  Wondering if I should actually tell people I’m writing a blog.

Stay crafty, my friends.

I love this bag, and I’m sure glad it’s done!

I sure wish I had kept that jeans purse I made in junior high.  I think it would receive icon status, just for the “what the hell were you thinking?” reactions it would surely elicit.  I know I wasn’t the only one who made one of those bags.  Cut the legs off a pair of jeans.  Sew across the bottom.  Use one of the legs to cut a shoulder strap.  Line it with horrific floral fabric.  Take it to school and pretend that it makes you look cool.

Let’s just say that I like this bag way better than that any of my 1970’s creations.  I got all inspired to make a cute bag by reading all the posts on blogs about Purse Palooza 2014.  It’s all about sewing and it includes the word palooza.  What more could a gal want?

My challenge was finding a bag that was more structured than slouchy.  Although my posture may be slouchy, I prefer my bags to stand on their own.  Upright and proud.  I found it on Sew Mama Sew, the Blossom Handbag by Amy Butler.  http://www.sewmamasew.com/2010/09/free-amy-butler-pattern-blossom-handbagshoulder-bag/

Yahoo, my Blossom Handbag is finished!
Yahoo, my Blossom Handbag is finished!

I found some really cute home dec fabric, and scoured my local (limited) resources for coordinates.  I love the fabrics I used!  I don’t think anyone here is looking for a pattern review, so the one thing I will say is that it is well written.  My challenge came from a much different source:  bulk.  Bulky fabric, layers of interfacing, and then layers of that all folded up!  My Viking is just a regular home sewing machine.  If I were to take up serious bag-making, I would need a heavy-duty workhorse machine for the thick parts.

Out for a stroll through the garden.
Out for a stroll through the garden.

When those uncooperative bits came along, I just turned off my machine and walked away for a while.  Like a day or so.  Then I would get all excited again and force-feed the pieces through my machine.  More than once I had to remind myself that finished is better than perfect.  Mainly because I knew that with this machine, certain parts of this bag could never be perfect.

My trusty sewing machine balked at many of the thick parts of this bag.
My trusty sewing machine balked at many of the thick parts of this bag.

Now I’m going to show this puppy off!  On Facebook, here on my unknown blog, out around town.  Woo hoo, look what I made!

Stay crafty, my friends.

What good is my wallet if I can’t see it?

Well, I figured out what the problem is.  I’ve been making these wallets for my friends and everybody just loves them.

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I decided to actually try one.  So surfing ninja got the honor.  The idea of these fabulous wallets is that you can put your cell phone in there and carry it in lieu of an actual purse.  I even made a detachable shoulder strap for this one.

I was feeling all carefree and proud of myself.  Until I realized that I didn’t have my glasses with me.  My disappointment was palpable.

Let’s throw a life tip in here, since I seem to be slacking in the life tips category.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  You can quote me on that.  I need to see things, so my “in lieu of an actual purse” needs to hold my glasses.  Being a mother, I knew it was time for invention.

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Apparently nobody told my sunglasses they would be in a photo shoot.  Probably should have cleaned them.


I can put my spectacles in the little compartment and switch ’em out for my sunnies when I go inside.  So now, in lieu of an actual purse, I can carry this vision of happiness!  I’ll just sit over here and feel proud of myself for a while.

Props to Emmaline Bags, creator of the pattern called the Necessary Clutch Wallet.

Stay crafty my friends!

Selfish Crafting

I just love to make stuff.  There’s something hugely satisfying about making pretty things.  Made with fabric.  Made with paper.  Made with scissors, zippers, batting, glue and grommets.

Most of the things I make I just can’t bear to give away.  How pitiful is that?  But I love them so much after I make them.  I feel like all my crafties are my children.  I know their story, from conception to completion.  How could I give away my children?  I mean, there have been a few times when I contemplated giving away my actual children, and no court in the land would convict me.  But I digress.

I now find myself making things that I actually WANT to give to someone.  What has come over me?  It’s like I went to sleep one night and had three ghostly visitors or something.  Maybe Clarence the angel came for a visit and did a George Bailey on me.  But I doubt it.  I wish I could believe that it was totally selfless.

Instead I think it’s a new evolution in my craftiness.  I’ve begun to look around outside my usual interests, especially in the sewing world.  There are some amazingly talented and creative people out there opening my eyes.  I mean, the last time I considered sewing any kind of a purse was in junior high. Lop off the legs of an old pair of jeans, cut some straps out of the legs, add some lining, and voila! A (now heinous) groovy ’70s purse.  The memory alone makes me shudder.  Too bad I didn’t keep my patchwork maxi skirt.

Now these brilliant designers are writing patterns so we can make things that are covetable.  Like the Necessary Clutch Wallet from Emmaline Bags.


Aside from the fact that I am madly in love with my pineapple fabric, this wallet is amazing!


I mean, it’s got tons of card pockets, a zipper compartment, phone and lipstick will fit in it too!  And heaven knows my momma taught me well, I never leave the house without my lipstick.  Shout out to Janelle MacKay, she IS Emmaline Bags.

Where was I before I felt compelled to show off?  Oh yeah, selfish crafting.  This was such a fun, one afternoon project.  I showed it to my visiting sisinlaw.  She loved it.  So I made her one.

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And I made a simpler wallet for my Girly.  (This one is called the Have It All Wallet, by Straight Stitch Society.)  She loved it.  So I made more.  For one niece, another sisinlaw, another niece.

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And you know what?  I’m actually digging giving these away.  One factor has got to be that they are fast and easy to make.  Maybe I don’t have time to fall in love with them.  I’ve decided they are not my children, not at all.  They are like somebody else’s children.  The ones that are cute and I want to play with them.  And at the end of the day, I want them to go home to their own mommies.  After I have basked in their adorableness, spoiled them with cookies and caffeinated and carbonated beverages.  Now go home, you little bastards, and keep your own mommies up all night.

There’s something about these small, colorful projects that makes me want to spread them around.  Could this be the type of project that brings me around, around from being a selfish crafter, to being a generous one?


Stay crafty, my friends.

Extreme Crafting, Golf Edition

It’s not always easy to find a way to insert my passion for craftiness into my That Man’s world.   After all these years of persuasion, he has yet to complete a popsicle diorama.  And he refuses to sit at my sewing machine and stitch a quilt.  At least he has gained a hefty appreciation of my skills and talents.  And I don’t always have to kick him to get a compliment anymore.

We spent 2+ grueling years remodeling our little chunk of paradise.  Our last little stroke of genius was to add a 6 hole putting course in the back yard.  You can guess that most of the planning for this was squarely on That Man’s shoulders.  After all, he is the one with the passion for golf.  I only learned how to golf out of self-defense.  I knew that if I didn’t learn to golf, my chances of seeing him in our golden years were slim and none.  And I figured that I might want to see him sometimes.  But I digress.

So That Man planned out the course and dug the holes for the pins.  He mows the fairways and the roughs, he fertilizes and waters.  All the while I think to myself, “This would be perfect if only I could figure out a way to get some crafts into the game.”  Think about it, there’s not exactly a logical solution here.  No matter how tolerant of my creations, That Man probably would not go for handmade putters, no matter how carefully I craft them from paper mache and dowel rods.  And golf balls don’t exactly scream out “you can make this at home!”  I pondered, because pondering is often as fulfilling as actually doing something.

Off to the Big W, in search of supplies.  Here’s what I brought home:


You see, I figured once all the crazed golf fanatics descended upon our course, there would be challenges and debates about who was better and who did what and all that stuff that golfers like to brag about.  So I set about making a leaderboard, a brag board for all the backyard accomplishments.

I wanted the course info and categories to appear permanently on the board, the scores and info that changes can be written on the board with the markers.  A little light bulb, Ding!, and I decided to cut out vinyl letters to label the board.  I have an electronic cutting machine that I love, it is called the eClips and it is made by Sizzix.  I use a software program called Sure Cuts A Lot to tell the machine what to cut.  If Sure Cuts A Lot was invented by Sir Mix A Lot, all would be righteous in our world, but I’m pretty sure Sir Mix A Lot was too busy singing Baby Got Back to invent software programs.

Anyway, I cut out my vinyl and ended up with a good looking leaderboard:


And here it is out on the course, proudly displayed on the tiki hut near the first tee:


That sassy little butt you see belongs to Ricky Ricardo Montalban Rich Corinthian Leather.  He’ll be back, I can promise you that.

Stay crafty, my friends.