Friday, May 2, 2008

Still in hot pursuit of a Red Paisley Chicken With That Thing On the Top of a Chicken Head....

...............our heroine finally finishes ~~ta DAAA!~~

A Curly-Cockaded Purple Woodpecker.

With beaded wings.

*blink, blink*

Yes, indeed, Dear Readers, those are curls in that cockade. Working to show them to best advantage, she---Eeeeek!

Yes. Well. It seems that Self-Installing Cat Accessory, Module Four has decided it is time to initiate Self-Installation! Please say hello to Artemis.

Quickly looking around for a distraction... any distraction... our intrepid heroine remembers she intended to show you something new! Hooray!

Having learned to her surprise that Spring in Kansas is not at all a warm season, despite the building's heat now being "off for the summer," our chilled heroine has developed a severe case of Heat-Seeking Toes. What to do, what to do.... why, she has recourse to her Trusty New Sewing Machine, of course! ~~ta-DAAA!~~

Another Kansas fact immediately confronts our trusting heroine... when the prairie winds blow through the window screen at twenty-five miles an hour all morning long, one cannot have recourse to a CLEAN sewing machine.


*blink, blink*

After a suitable interval with a damp cloth, our as-yet undaunted heroine turns on her iron and notices that the ironing board is once again rather full, the better to prevent Self-Installation programs from initiating. Moving everything out of the way, she absently-mindedly brushes away the ashes from an incense burner That Girl left on the ironing board. Charcoal immediately smudges onto her ironing board cover.


*blink, blink*

Once again procuring a damp cloth, our contemplative heroine wonders if anyone else is plagued by visits from That Girl, and if she drinks the last swallow from other crafter's coffee or soda the same way she drinks our heroine's last sip of tea, leaving the glass out as if it were still full; and she wonders if That Girl might look just like anyone else she plagues, or if she always looks like our heroine... an unhappy thought which our quick-thinking heroine quickly banishes! On, on to happy fabric crafting! On to new sewing skills! On to documenting the art and craft of our happy heroine's life!!

Thoughts successfully turned to the good and noble and charcoal successfully wiped up, our plucky heroine turns the cloth to a clean spot and dusts the television for good measure before laying out her fabric, and ironing it! ~~ta-DAAA!~~

To ease one's Heat-Seeking Toes, our resourceful heroine recommends to you, Dear Readers, half a yard of cotton fabric; assorted notions to include thread, scissors, pins, and yes, ever so UNfortunately, a seam ripper; and a bag of uncooked rice. Our heroine used a five pound bag of inexpensive rice and has enough left to make supper several nights running. *girly eyebrow waggle* Management wishes to disclose that Eyebrow Waggles are NOT provided and are inserted solely at the... whim... of the... er... whimsical... heroine.

Fold the cloth in half lengthwise, Dear Readers, and iron it lovingly well, as you will never be able to iron it again. Open it out and fold each side to the center seam; iron again. Then with no small amount of chagrin, Dear Readers, realize that you skipped a step and forgot to turn the hems on the short sides. Our blushing heroine turned one inch hems--and quickly ironed them!--but you, Dear Readers, may of course choose your own size.
Having successfully ironed her fabric into submission, our loving heroine carries it to the sewing machine, where inspiration strikes! Make a virtue of necessity, she thinks; when one has only lavender thread to use with green fabric, use a decorative topstitch!

We deeply regret, Dear Readers, that this striking inspiration was unaccompanied by adequate technical guidance from the sewing machine manual... and also unaccompanied by any previous experience. Our enthusiastic heroine plunged ahead, nonetheless. Management is not responsible for repetitive stress injuries incurred during overuse of seam ripper, nor for final outcome of ill-advised hasty resumption of process. To facilitate final use of the project, she ever-so-decoratively seamed the short ends of her fabric and added two seams at roughly one-third intervals.

We show you the pocketed fabric here, Dear Readers, upon our canny heroine's 25 cent thrifted tray, which she assures us she will tole paint "some day." Uh Huh.

Ahem. Moving right along, our determined heroine obtains the bag of rice and, ever mindful of the lovely meal her vacuum cleaner enjoyed the last time she attempted a similar project, cuts a SMALL corner opening. But alas, even a small opening proves unwieldy in a five pound bag of ever-so-pourable rice, Dear Readers, and the assistance of a small plastic drinking glass becomes necessary. Filling the first opening with three 8 oz glasses of uncooked rice, our inventive heroine then pins the pocket shut parallel to the seam line, as she has learned to her intense sorrow that one grain of rice is a powerful entity, and will emit dastardly death rays at any sewing machine needle in the vicinity. She ever-so-carefully checks and double-checks to make sure the rice is contained behind the quilting pin barrier before she sews her seam.

Learning quickly from this... er... intense experience, our smart heroine stitches two-thirds of the seam in the next pocket BEFORE she pours in (not as much!) rice, then repeats the Pin and Stitch Exercise. Annnndddd yet again, our frustrated heroine stitches three fourths of the seam before she pours in NOT AS MUCH rice and repeats the Pin and Stitch Exercise.

*blink blink*

Next time, Dear Readers, our plucky heroine will sew a long tube with one short end open, and will sew the dividing seams the easy way, after she pours in the (NOT AS MUCH) rice for each section. But for now, two minutes on "high" in the microwave makes a verrrrry nice neckwarmer to ease her neck muscles from this happy exercise.

Just ask Self-Installing Cat Accessory, Module One. Bubba knows a good thing when he sheds on it. All cat fur will be whisked away before this rice bag is treated to a luxurious five minutes in the microwave and then tucked beneath the covers of the bed to pleasure Heat-Seeking Toes for an hour or more on chilly Spring nights.

And here, Dear Readers, is a picture of rice bags that are not for Heat-Seeking Toes, but for Comfort-Seeking Mothers. They are made from the same fabric one lines potholders with, filled with uncooked rice, and then slipped into nicely tailored fabric envelopes. These will soothe our happy heroine's Mom on neck and knee. Management would hereby like to state it is NOT responsible for any delays in shipping, as it was MANAGEMENT'S stated intention to hand deliver said items upon management's recent trip to Phoenix.

Well. Yes.


In unearthing the fabric for the Heat-Seeking Toe Warmer, our happy heroine discovered a WIP she had forgotten about and is most happy to finish! It seems, Dear Readers, that putting fabric away has unforeseen consequences: one loses continuity. Our eyebrow-waggling heroine briefly considers whether this may actually excuse her from putting things away.


The undone WIP is a pocket tote, our hesitant heroine's first actual attempt at putting a patch pocket on a pillowcase tote. The pocket has long since been lovingly and carefully hand-lined and hemmed; it is waiting ever-so-patiently for its day in the sun. The tote, unfortunately, has long since gathered an accumulation of fabric and is awaiting another turn with the iron. Our enthusiastic heroine decides to redeem herself with very careful STRAIGHT stitching, and irons her tote handles as well as the bag itself, then lays the bag out preparatory to pinning.


Dear Readers, it appears our now-more-experienced heroine is having second thoughts... she appears to be afraid that you will see something she does not wish you to see. Our fearful heroine now considers whether she can pin the pocket to the tote evenly without measuring it, or if it will be obviously crooked when she sews it.


Nothing if not inventive, our creative heroine decides on a deliberately asymmetrical approach, and pins her pocket to one side of the tote. She makes sure it is evenly set, checks and checks again--yes! Yes, Dear Readers, her asymmetrical patch pocket is even and looks fine! She pins, she stitches, she reveals!!!


Exultantly, our redeemed heroine refills the bag with fabric, and hangs it upon the doorknob!

And now, Dear Reader, we must quietly tell you that although this borrowed camera has blessed our sheepish heroine with the unforseen loveliness of a blurry picture, what you cannot see is that once the bag is full, the sides poof out... and our abashed heroine's lovely straight patch pocket looks crooked as can be even though, she rushes to assure you, it IS sewed on straight and even.

It is time, Dear Readers, to allow our resolute heroine to attempt to salve her wounded ego with a beading project. She is, mercifully, not a beginner at beading and does not expect this kind of... shall we say... entertaining?... progress. We leave you here for the nonce with a chance sighting of the Curly Cockaded Purple Woodpecker in its natural habitat, contemplating whether it sees food... or a possible predator.

Farewell, Dear Readers, until next time.

Management is NOT responsible for any nightmares which may (or may not) have been induced by the sight of Curly Cockades OR giant fabric inchworms. Reader contemplates possible scenarios at own risk. Management would further remind Readers that cotton fumes are addictive and mind altering substances; Management is NOT responsible for any behaviors induced while intrepidly foolhardy heroine may (or may not) have been subject to such addictions and/or fumes.

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