Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Larger Bags Listed and a Video to go With!

By popular request, I've finally gotten around to adding larger zipper bags to the shops. There will be more to come. I've been super busy in the studio stitching and designing new embroidery designs. I've also added a video to help with making the larger bags since they are slightly different than the smaller ones to make. Also, you won't find the "mom" bag in any of the shops yet. It's hiding to make it's appearance as a weekend freebie.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Crafting in the Sixties


I recently came across some pictures of the things my Grandma made when I was a little girl. We've come so far since then! I have beautiful memories of crafting with her. She worked at a place called the Palette Party Shop. It was the craft store of that time. It was in an old late 1800's building on 38th in Broadway in Gary. I can still smell it as I write this. My sister and I would walk there after school and watch her and the other employees make party and shower decorations. I loved to play with the ribbon making machine. The shop was full of beads, felt, wiggle eyes, sequins, syrofoam, ribbon, lace, decorative pins, and crepe paper of every color imaginable. Things were so simple back then. I still have some of her actual projects. They are kept in a box because they are too fragile to handle.

Do you ever wish you could go back in time just for a day or so? Funny how special things can be when you look back at your past. We took those walks and visits for granted as kids but I do love the memories.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Some of My Favorite Apps

Since I've been blogging (lots of years), every now and then I make a post about my favorite apps. Of course these tend to change as more apps become available and more apps are updated. As of this writing, the following are my favorite apps:

1. Google Calendar - I suppose this will always remain on my list of favorites because it keeps my time so organized. I love the fact that along with the "events," it allows you to create tasks. I use the task feature as my daily to do list. The way I like to look at it is to go into the schedule and you have a nice list. I love that you can even add details to your tasks. You can even make recurring appointments for your events such as birthdays, bill payments, etc...

2. Readly - For around $12 a month, I can read unlimited magazines and even back issues. Every magazine I like, they have it. Each family member can have their own sign-in as well. I sure do get my moneys worth out of that one. And they have all the popular magazines and more!

3. Samsung Notes - This is my second brain! I used to pay for another note-taking app but since I discovered Samsung Notes, I like it even better. This app can only be used on Samsung devices and computers with Windows operating system. It syncs seamlessly among my devices. I love that I can annotate and create PDF documents on it. Between this and my calendar app, my life is so orgainzed! I might be obsessed over this one. And it's free!

4. Canva - I just discovered this one. I love it for creating ads. It's so quick to make them and I can do them from my computer or my tablet. I still use my drawing program but this is so handy.

5. Sketchbook - This is a nice drawing app. I no longer sell my artwork or clipart but I love to relax by doing some drawings.

That's my list for today. If you'd like to check any of these out, you can get them from the place where you get your apps.

Photo above: A picture of my sweet cat, Punkie. She lived to be almost nineteen and I still miss her every day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Are You Ready for the Three Dune Challenge?

The photo on this blog post is one I took while hiking the dunes. Long before the park became a National park (was just a state park) they didn't have the "3 Dune Challenge." They had the three big and steep dunes, but they didn't call it a challenge. We locals just thought of it as "Trail 8." And it's a tough one! When I first started hiking that trail, I thought I was going to die. I had this vision of DNR arriving to my aid on their 4-wheel vehicles. By the end of that sumer after going about two or three days a week, I had them mastered. I can even say that I never had to stop and rest, just breezed on through! 

The hubster and I were talking about getting our season pass and making it a regular activity once again. It has been about 15 years since I've climbed those dunes and I just know that I'll be back to near death again the first time. Between age and added weight, it will be rough but I'm bound and determined to make it happen. That is my goal for 2023.

If you want to see what I'm talking about, I've dropped a few links below so you can check it out.

What will you challenge yourself to do?

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Benefits of Doodling

Did you know that doodling has beneftis? Did you know that it actually helps you concentrate on something else? Well, it does!

I was listening to a podcast which I like to do while I'm working, and the subject came up on a podcase called Something You Should Know which is a great one to listen to if podcasts are your thing. Instead of distracting you, it helps you concentrate on what's going on. When you doodle, you can better concentrate because your mind doesn't wander onto other subjects. So basically, it distracts you in a good way.

I was curious so I did a little research myself and I found the following two reliable links with great informaion:

Who knew?

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Dreams Can Be Crazy - Keep a Journal for Them

Every night before I go to bed I wonder where I'm going to go before waking up. My dreams are so real that I really think I'm living them. Some are so crazy that I wonder how my mind can actually make them up.

I've recently been journaling them because some of them are so out there that I don't want to forget about them. They are actually fun to read later.

I'll share two favorites of mine that I never want to forget:

Our parents live in Florida and we were down there visiting one day (yep, 2000 miles for just the day) and they put out a big spread for lunch. The only thing funny about it was that the sandwiches were made from felt. Fabric felt sandwiches. Yummy!

My all time favorite dream was about three years ago. My friend and I were riding our bikes to the Gary, Indiana lakefront. I actually live by the lake several miles from Gary so I don't know why we rode to Gary instead of our own part of the Lake. The best part of the dream is that my friend and I were riding our bikes while carrying ironing boards. IRONING BOARDS! One of us got a flat so we stopped at a gas station to fix it. While we were there someone stole our wrench. I then said to my friend that we could buy another ironing board at WalMart for around $20 so we left our ironing boards at a laundrymat and went on our way. I seriously can't read that one without laughing.

If you plan to keep a journal for them, be sure to jot them down right after waking up. They are so easy to forget about if you don't do that. I always have a notepad everywhere in the house where I can quickly jot things down. If I don't have time in the morning, as long as I jot down some notes, I can record them in my dream journal later.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Designing Back In The Day


Long before PDF patterns and in the hoop embroidery designs there was Craft Magazine among many others. There were also so many hard cover craft and sewing books. It was so hard to get your designs published. You had no control over where your designs were used or seen. Once you submitted a design for publication, if you were accepted and hired, you usually signed away all rights.

One thing that was definitely different was the publication schedule. You'd submit your design in February or March, then if it was accepted, it would appear in their November or December issue. You also had to wait that long for your payment. It was fun and I was a regular designer for some of the publications but these days, it's so much easier for us designers. With that said, the competition wasn't as fierce as it is today. Today anyone can sell their designs and even their finished items. The internet has completely changed the sewing, embroidery, and craft design industry.

You want to know the worst part of it all? Back in 1993 when my first design was published in a magazine, I had to type the instructions on a typewriter! Can you imagine that? No backspace or delete button to be found. It would take me a week to get my instructions just right. Plus, different publishing companies had different requirements. One would want everything typed up with a two inch margin on the left and all pattern images had to be made with a technical pen while others wanted double spaced and wanted your pattern writing to be with a special blue pencil that didn't show up on copiers. I wonder if today's copiers could read that blue pencil?

I was so excited to get that first pattern published! Then when I saw it was on the cover, I was over the moon with excitement! I don't know if you can read the price on the image, but it was $3.95 back then. That's a lot of patterns for $3.95.

I'm sharing some links below about the pencil and technical pens so you can see what I'm talking about. Some of you might know already but the younger readers may not have heard about some of them. I didn't even know what a non-photo blue pencil or technical pen was until I was told to use them. I also want to mention that I dreaded using that pen. I had to use it for one of the publishing companies and it had to be filled with ink. I always made such a mess filling the pen!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Homemade Vanilla - So Easy!

If you've never made homemade vanilla, you really need to do it. It's so super easy. I made several batches last Christmas as gifts. I first had some when my daughter made them for Christmas about ten years ago. When it comes to flavoring your baking, it doesn't get better than that! If you plan to give some as gifts, you'll want to make it about three months before giving because the flavors need to mingle for that amount of time. How you make it:

Get yourself some glass jars (got mine from Amazon)

A bottle of liquor. I chose bourban, but any will work.

One vanilla bean for every one ounce of liquor.

Slice your vanilla beans down the length and put them in the glass jars. Pour liquor to fill. Set them to the side and give them a nice and vigorous shake every other day. That's it!

They really make great gifts especially if you're going for a baking theme.

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