It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I Lost a Shoelace

I know, I know - it's New Year's Eve and all you energetic young-at-hearters are out celebrating, and I'm searching for a shoelace.   Priorities folks, priorities!

This is an AWESOME pair of my favorite shoe brand - Trippen - gifted to me by my generous friend Rhonda (how lucky am I???).   I was going to wear them today but discovered one of the shoelaces went off for a stroll somewhere - how does this HAPPEN???  You would think I would notice when taking them off that I was a shoelace short, so surely they were both there the last time I wore must be the cat's fault.   It usually is, right?
I did nothing and I'm not here anyway...

I've been wanting to figure out how to make my own shoelaces, so clearly the time was ripe for it.   A quick web search showed me all of the ingredients I needed, which I happened to have on hand:

  • Ribbon of some sort (preferably something not too slippery, so they have some traction to hold a knot)
  • Shrink tubing (which comes in various colors, including clear - I had black for some electrical wire project sometime, somewhere - every girl should have a tool area with that sort of stuff, right?)
  • Paper clip (may or may not be necessary)
  • Hair Dryer.
That's it, and you're good to go!

I cut the desired lengths from my ribbon, and pieces of the shrink tube about 1/2" long.   The tubing I had was 1/8" diameter, and black, which just happened to be perfect for this ribbon (yes, I am lucky!)

I cut the ends of each piece of ribbon at a bit of an angle, and rolled it into as tight a roll as possible to stuff it in to the tube.   This is where the paper clip came in handy - I just pushed the ribbon in to the tube with the clip, and it was done in a jiff!

The hardest part was shrinking the fly-away ribbon & tubes with the hair dryer!   I didn't take the time to try and secure the ribbon with something that would hold it steady while the hot air was blasting it, and it was way too hot for my hands to be near it!   So if you're making a bunch of laces I suggest finding a way to hold the ribbon down while using the hair dryer.     I set the dryer on the hottest setting, and heated the tubes for 20 to 30 seconds.


For those of you who are out and about tonight, come home fulfilled, happy, and safe!   Here's to a 2016 that is filled with an abundance of blessings, good health and healing, fabulous friends and community, and lots of heart-expanding experiences!

I leave you with a shot of the first bulb opening up in my garden - Fresh Start!

And a sweet little gift from a young houseguest who is staying here for a few days:


Sunday, December 6, 2015

23 Lovely Ladies and a Greedy Gift Grab

One of my favorite types of parties is an old-fashioned White Elephant gift exchange.  One of my sewing groups holds an annual holiday party with a Greedy Gift Grab - and the gifts are far from White Elephants!

This group consists of creative, talented, and often elegant ladies with exquisite taste and sewing skills to die for, and many of the gifts are hand made and to die for!   The most fun is seeing these normally polite (but fun-loving!) women narrow their eyes at a coveted gift and go for the gusto with no-holds-barred enthusiasm!

We usually have so much fun at our gatherings that there is no time or thought given to a group picture, so this year I brought my camera and herded the cats together for a rare remembrance shot of the group.   Some of you will recognize many of the faces, but names have been eliminated to protect the not-so-innocent.

For my gift, I made a couple of felt containers - when I gather up my blog-posting energy again I'll post some instructions - I may make more for myself!    And I love love love the saying on the cup I found!   Big Bang Theory fans/fabricoholics will now have a new ear worm in their brains... ;-)

I was one of the early numbers in the number draw, but I happened to open a gift that ended up being VERY popular, so I ended up back in the fray quite a few times before the end.   There is definitely no guarantee that the gift you start with will be the one you go home with - especially if it's something you really like (because everyone else probably does too, and it WILL be stolen from you!  As it turned out, I went home with an exquisitely made pin cushion (which I stole from someone who loves this shade of red, but tough cookies Dorothy!)  ;-)

Delicious food, lots of laughs, great company, and the grey drizzly day even finally cleared up for us enough to enjoy the view from Ann's beautiful home!

A brief note on the health front - I actually ended up in the hospital last week, thinking I was going to go home with a new liver!   It was quite a dramatic day, since I got "The Call" earlier than I expected, but as it turned out I was only a back-up, and after 12 hours waiting (and getting readier by the minute!),  I found out that the liver had gone to someone else.   Disappointing at first, but the good news is that I learned so much about how unprepared I really was!    Focusing on getting all of my ducks in a row now, and really really really looking forward to being filled with energy and able to work again!

For any of my readers who don't yet know my story, here's a link to the background story, and a fundraiser that dear friends set up for me - I'm eternally grateful for all good wishes, healing energy, and any way that you can spread the word to help me get through this with as much grace and joy as possible :)   Jillian's Angels

And in the meantime: