Friday, August 24, 2012

The Couch that Mocks Me: A Retrospective

I threatened, now I follow through! A brief pictorial history of "The Couch that Mocks Me" From the early days to the present, a look at the many shades of mocking. You have been warned.

The couch in it's pure state, before I started to play dress up in an attempt to mellow it's mocking ways

Ah, the beginning, before the white walls!

And so it begins in earnest with the white walls and my collection of vintage sheets

Perhaps one of my favorite 'on the wall above the mockery' displays

So there you have it, a good and strange look into the life of such a sofa.
And this, this is only a small selection in the history of 'The Couch that Mocks Me'! What does the future hold? What guise will it take next? Will it continue to mock me? I do believe the answer to that is a most inevitable Yes!

We are off on a last Hoorah! before Summer ends and school begins! Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lying Awake

I have a life long relationship with insomnia. My mother tells me that when I was just a wee thing, I would climb out of my cot, make my way to my parents bedroom at 2 o'clock in the morning and poke them awake with requests for play, stories and the like. As I got older I was called a "night owl", unable to sleep until the early hours of the morning. As an adult, I have passed in and out of days on end unable to quiet my brain from all the thoughts and wonderings. So still, sometimes my head spins and I can not sleep.

Just a sampling of what keeps me awake these days...

Will the sour dough starter work it's magic science and turn into the hoped for source of delicious breads and pancakes?

After ages of not buying any new fabric, have I gone over board with a rare obsession with Lily Ashbury - Trade Winds for Moda?

How long has it been since I made a quilt. Too long. What kind should I make; whole cloth, patchy, stripy? How big? How long will it take, what fabric? Oh my.

How shall I dress 'The Couch that Mocks Me'? It's time for a change, again. Perhaps I should do a blog post about it, a retrospective of The Mocking Couch!

Oh dear school is about to start, I should get those school supplies.
Where should we go on our last camping trip before summer is officially over?
What shall I do with all of the potatoes we dug up today?
Pancakes for breakfast?

How about you? Do you sleep quick and sure every night? Do you lie awake thinking and spinning? What keeps you awake?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Simple Things

I just received some pretty exciting news! The folks responsible for Mollie Makes Magazine, are set to launch a new magazine this September called 'The Simple Things'!

It looks simply lovely!
Lyndsey Mayhew over at Mollie Makes sent me a little description of the new mag:

"A little bit about The Simple Things ...

The Simple Things is a new monthly print magazine celebrating the things that matter most. It’s about knowing the greatest rewards come from the simplest things, that there’s no satisfaction like that at the end of a long muddy walk, no pink so pretty as freshly-cut rhubarb, no perfume to compare with your own home-grown flowers. It’s about making warm inviting homes – big or small – sharing food with friends, growing your own vegetables. It’s about shopping for a coffee table only to find you’re happy with a tea chest. It’s keeping your dad’s old typewriter just because it’s beautiful. It’s an empty beach on a sunday morning. It’s backpedalling."

She also sent along a sampler link for me to share with you, hooray!

I am pretty excited to see the magazine in print, it seems to tick all the boxes and so pretty to look at! It will be available in the U.S. on the same schedule as Mollie Makes in many of the same places you find Mollie Makes, like Barnes and Noble for instance. It launches in the UK this September, so we should see it in the states the following month!

Here are all the links to like:

The Simple Things
On Twitter
On Facebook

Congratulations and best wishes on the launch of your new magazine! Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Quick Sticks Card Caddy: A Tutorial for a most excellent quick stitch card wallet

Necessity is the mother of invention. So yesterday my need for a slim little card carrying wallet kicked me into action and invention.

Recently, I attended a three day music and camping festival. It was hot and there was a lot of walking and wandering to be done at such an event. The trick is to carry a minimal amount of accoutrements on ones person, besides the ever present water bottle I wore a wee festival purse, nice and light weight with only the essentials. My wallet had to be left behind as it suffers from a spot of the syndrome known as The Costanza Wallet. What with my ID, credit cards, debit cards, library cards, health cards for the entire family, grocery market member cards, local business support cards, various business cards, and etc., It takes up a heap of room and getting out my ID and importants is a struggle. However, I found having these things loose in my wee festival bag was precarious, and I wished I had something compact and useful for the few necessary cards I was carrying. Something like a handy free-style pocket, as I am rather fond of a handy pocket don't you know.

I have found that such an item is not just good for the carefree festival days, but indeed an all year round, every day sort of good. Since I am not one to scour the interwebs for just the perfect item, or spend hours looking for a how-to that isn't exactly right; I simply got to work with a couple of scraps and my sewing machine.

The result was so quick in the making and most excellent in the cute and useful department that I thought I just had to share it with all of my friends here! So, enough of my rambling ways, let us get on with the Tutorial (the nitty gritty details)!


A scrap of oil cloth - measuring at least 12" x 7" (30.5cm x 18cm)

A scrap of clear vinyl fabric - measuring at least 7" x 5" (18cm x 13cm)

Ruler, thread and scissors

You can find oil cloth and clear vinyl fabric in many fabric stores and some craft stores, and of course there are many sources on-line.

Note of disclaiming: My inches to centimeters conversion is approximate and untested, just sayin'.


Cut 2 pieces of oil cloth measuring 3.75" x 5.75" (9.5cm x 14.6cm)

Cut 2 pieces of clear vinyl measuring 2.25" x 3.75" (5.75cm x 9.5cm)

Place the 2 pieces of oil cloth together with wrong sides facing, raw edges meeting.

Place the 2 vinyl pieces even with the inside outer short edges of the oil cloth as pictured. (It is up to you to choose what side you want to be the inside of your wallet)

Take your arrangement to the sewing machine, using a straight stitch, sew 1/8" (3mm) from the edge and through all layers making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of stitches.

This is the only tricky part as the materials are a bit slippy. If you are having particular trouble with slippage, use a bit of tape to hold the pieces together then remove them after stitching. I managed to contort my hands awkwardly enough to keep it together without tape, but it took some practice.

Once you have sewn the layers together, fold the wallet in half and finger press a crease down the middle. Sew a row of stitching down the crease as shown. Re-fold the wallet in half along the stitch line.

Next you need to... oh wait, you are done already! Holy smokes that was fast! Your Quick sticks card caddy is ready for action!

Once you make the first one and realize how easy and quick this project truly is, you'll want to make some more. I made 3 in no time! I even tried out making one from all clear vinyl, then slipped a cut piece of an old map in between the outside and the lining, tres hip no?

ID Holder
Card Caddy
Business Card Carrier
Gift Card Presenter
Slim Bi-fold
Stocking Stuffer
and on, and on...

You could make the wallet with out the clear vinyl, you just wont be able to see through to the cards. You could make it out of felt as well.

Well, I do hope you have enjoyed this quick stitch tutorial! If you have any questions, ask away. And as always, if you make one I would love to know about it; please upload a photo of your card caddy to my Flickr group HERE!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, August 13, 2012

In the blink of a Summer

Hello friends!

This lovely Summer has sped by, full of goodness and running hither and yon. So much to catch up on here, maybe just a couple of highlights for now.

The very lovely and rather feisty Jess from Teddy Bear's Wednesday flew all the way from Melbourne, Australia to Portland, Oregon for a visit! We had a fantastic time, so good to meet her "in the fur" as she would say. She even came along on our annual trip to Pickathon, a local music festival. It was a truly special visit and wonderful to spend time in the garden chatting away. Jess and The Buddha Cat made fast friends and since she has left, he seems a bit down. Jess has also got us shouting "Aussie Oy Oy Oy!" at random moments around the house. Thanks for everything Jess, so glad you came to visit our silly family, we were so happy to have you here!

We have been enjoying the harvest from our garden, even though we have been a bit neglectful of it. Thanks to The Engineer and his buddy, we have a new beautiful fence in the back yard, thanks darlin'!

And of course, this one has been growing like a weed.

Oh my, I can see that I am out of the habit of this bloggy business, I'm going to have to sharpen my skills and get back into the swing of things. Looks like it's time to plug back in and see what all of you have been up to while I went underground!

Do tell, what have been some of your highlights of the last couple of months?