I donated my old slippers because I didn’t like wearing them. I also thought I had a pair waiting for me at my other house. But when I journeyed there this weekend, found none and felt a faint tingle in the back of my mind, “oh yes, I donated them too because I didn’t love them”. I am trying to get better about shooing things out of my life that I don’t heartily enjoy. This new habit I’m trying to form has left me slipperless.
Shopping is fairly torturous to me, I avoid rambling around looking for things. I don’t have a lot of belief that anything I will cherish is manufactured in bulk. Thus, when I am disproven it is usually the result of a gift. Fortunately in this instance I stumbled on a work around.
I went looking in my yarn bin for materials to make a crocheted Trotro doll for my niece’s X mas present around the same time I was experiencing slipper loss and just starting to warm up the cabin by woodstove heat.
Years ago I did my student teaching in New Zealand and I still remember the day in the market that I bought some virgin wool. A woman named Nicole made me her confidante. She was in a quandary. She said she had started to raise a few sheep to have wool for her projects. She said she had been naive, she didn’t realize they would multiple so quickly. She promised herself when there were 15 she would find a solution to keep the numbers low. She repromised at 20. She said she now had 30 and couldn’t think of having the lambs slaughtered, but couldn’t kill the old ones either. What should she do, she asked me. Me, a twenty something from America, I had no idea what to say to her. Her wools were soft and varied. Creams to greys and browns and rich charcoal, I could imagine this beautiful flock and the impossibility of trying to decide between them. These are materials I can love. I bought a variety, and way more than this non-consumer could concieve of. When I got it home to my place in NZ n realized my bags were full and I was to depart in a few days I realized I would have to wear it to get it home. I crocheted it into a long sleeveless cloak with a big pocket and traveled home encompassed in the heart of the land of NZ. It stayed that way, for years, I had never intended to keep it in that form, but somehow it remained and went on many more travels with me. Finally a few years ago I set to the task of taking it apart and finally, they are anew
Recently we moved to a dry cabin that did not even have a sink set up. We did rectify that situation as soon as possible, but in the meantime we had to come up with creative solutions for dish washing. Since we now keep our dishes to a minimum to reduce clutter and dish load, it also means we have to each wash a single bowl and plate basically every meal. Without a stove top, or running water, or a sink! I came up with a multi- purpose solution. I had gunked up the crock pot making a delicious turnip, radish, apple, moose, summer squash concoction (which I should also write about soon, before I forget the ingredients!).
I poured water into the crock pot, put in our bowls and silverware and turned it on low with some dish soap. Within a few minutes warm water and a scrub brush turned out clean dishes in seconds. Then I scrubed the now submerged crock pot walls as well and Voila!
It was a fun project to help a friend problem solve and remind her of how special she is~
I have a good friend whose parking space at school was always taken because she has to travel between schools. In Alaska this is a big deal in winter because there are a limited number of spots that have plug ins that interior Alaskans mush have to heat up the oil pan, engine block and battery blanket to keep our cars chugging through down to -50 F temps. So while she was away to a conference celebrating the wonderful Librarians of Alaska, I wanted to do a little to show how much the people right here appreciate all she does to keep us revved up to visit the library.
I had some wood pieces that had been cut flat on one side but left bark on the back. They had been tunneled through under the bark by some critter (spruce beetle?) so my first job was to remove the rest of the bark and the debris from their chewed up tunneling. It actually makes beautiful designs so I didn’t mind.
Then I sanded down both the front and back sides and realized I could also handsaw off a few bumps from limbs gone by. Luckily my boyfriend had a power hand sander that worked great. I love painting so I whipped up a design in pencil then painted it on (as seem on featured image). Once that dried I applied a layer of shellac, and (pressed for time, as she was due back) I didn’t wait quite the full 4 hours recommended before adding another layer.
While that was drying I moved onto the post portion. Her husband supplied me with a small 1x 1 that was perfect for the job. I first tried sawing but was shown this handy chisel tool and away I went carving one end of the post into a piercing point. This was actually pretty fun.
To attach the post to the sign I wanted to make a third piece that would attach to both the sign back and the post. So using some scrap sheet metal from her husband, I used a tin snips to cut out a piece to fit.
Clamping the post in an anvil, I used a small hammer to shape the metal around the post on three sides. The remaining metal would lay flush to the sign. My boyfriend showed me how to make dents with this punch to start the screws easily.
Then after the shellac wasn’t sticky to the touch I screwed it to the post using the metal bracket I had made. I’m sure there are lots of other solutions you could make up for this connection. This was just what worked out easily for me. I also left more of the post above, because it was winter time and the sign would then stick only in the snow. In spring she may want to shift the sign further up on the pole when more of it would be driven down deeper into the dirt.
But this is it for now. She said it worked great for keeping her spot free and didn’t have a problem again until she took the sign down when the snow melted and the ground was still thawing. It was a fun project to help a friend problem solve and remind her of how special she is~
The whole process took less that 30 minutes or so, and now I have a flattering cute top rather than a saggy baggy mess.
So I found this extra large top that I loved the feel and the pattern of, but no way could I wear it in public. So instead of hauling out the sewing machine, I came up with this quick fix. I’ve always liked empire waists that emphasize the bust line, so I simply pulled the front sides of the shirt back behind my arm til I found where it overlapped the back panel of material while still covering my bra line.
Then I pulled the remaining fabric forward while keeping the front material tucked in the fold.
After that I just started from the inside of the back hold point and sewed along my bust line. I actually did that while I was wearing it, but just because I didn’t have any pins on hand and I was just kinda caught up in the moment.
I did the same thing on the other side, just checking the the arm holes seemed about the same size. The whole process took less that 30 minutes or so, and now I have a flattering cute top rather than a saggy baggy mess. This of course would need to be a stretchy knit probably to start with for it to work, but I was pretty happy with the results. As you can see I’m wearing another tank under, just because I didn’t want to worry about revealing too much in pictures, but it is definitely a stand alone piece.