a frustrating day

Thanks, everyone, for leaving thoughtful and supportive comments on my last post. It's nice to know that my peeps have my back :)

The one thing you can say about living in a democracy is that not everyone is going to be happy with what results. You may be against health care reform. I may not be happy about my tax dollars going to fund unnecessary wars. That's the way it goes. The fact that we can speak out and express our opinions means a lot.

Coming out (so to speak) has been freeing and I was interested that some commenters would be more likely to support me based on my views. So, I guess it goes both ways.

But, back to what you're really here for. I had the most awful sewing day yesterday. I'm working on those new products I mentioned and I'm quilting a layer of patchwork fabric over two layers of felt—so lots of fabric. Everything was fine until I put a new needle in my machine and started a new spool of thread. Then things went to hell very quickly. The stitches went wonky, the thread snagged, the needle broke—three times! I finally gave up and switched to my newer Bernette. The problem with that is the foot is too wide. You see, on my old Singer the pressure foot is exactly 1/8" on the right side and makes a perfect guide to topstitch 1/8" from the seam. The Bernette is twice as wide and there's no good way to line it up properly. So I'm having to draw a sewing line with fading marker and it's taking me way too long.

I don't know if the problems can be attributed to the needle (maybe I need a heavier one), the new (but same as I always use) thread, or the fact that I used a less expensive felt. My prototype used wool felt inside because I had a piece lying around. The felt I bought the other day (besides being less expensive) is obviously different—it slips and slides easily and just isn't as nice to work with. But will wool felt make this product too expensive to produce? What to do, what to do? See, designing products isn't so easy after all!

I know you're all trying to guess what I'm making and I'll give you two clues. They're almost always square and you use them in the kitchen :)



In the five years I've been blogging I've noticed something. It's a tendency, when you find someone with similar interests, to identify with that writer and to believe that you have more in common than your love of crafts. Maybe you think they share the same religious beliefs, or political ones, or whatever. You only know about people what they choose to reveal so maybe that's true. But more likely, it isn't.

Ninety-nine percent of the time I talk about crafts but once in a while something related to my political beliefs slips out. And invariably there's an anonymous commenter who calls me out about it. And decides to stop reading or delete me from their blog roll. Fine. The blog world is huge and it's probably better that they go elsewhere to find like-minded friends who believe what they do. The delete function is a wonderful tool.

I use it myself all the time. When I read a blog that talks too much about whatever I don't identify with, I'm gone. Not because I don't like the person who wrote it but because I want to read about things that interest me personally. And that applies to all the types of blogs I read, not just craft-related ones.

So, if it offends you that I identify as a progressive/liberal (no, that doesn't mean I support everything that our president is doing), as a feminist (equal pay, equal opportunity), as non-religious (religion is personal and I was brought up believing that it's crass to talk about it in public), as not having children (really none of your business), or anything else, please hit that delete key.

To the person who wrote recently, referring to me as "one of those people" and assuming they knew what I was referring to and thereby proving my point perfectly, you'll probably be happier elsewhere. As for healthcare reform (which was not my thought, but thanks for bringing it up), I think a society can be judged by how they treat their citizens—all of them—not just the ones who look, act, or think like us. And no, I didn't get what I wanted—far from it.

I'm the kind of person who filters everything I say through my head anyway. Some people would say that's a good thing but it takes a lot of effort. And I get very tired of doing it. If I have to chose every word I write carefully so as not to offend then I might as well give up now. As I wrote to one of those anonymous commenters last year, it's my blog and I'll say what I want in it. I will try to keep politics out of it—I already do—but I can't promise I'll always say just what you find acceptable or comfortable.

Now, I have a busy week ahead. First I'm off to the post office to ship a button order to Norway (that's a first) and then into the studio for tons of sewing. I've been designing a super-cute new product (I'll show you soon) and finishing up a new batch of tea towels and mini wallets. Craft show season is coming!


strike up the band

I'm so glad that I broke down and bought a laptop because I can sit on my porch and work—just like I'm doing now. I have a pile of embroidery projects to finish and a blog post to write, and it's a really gorgeous day—almost 80 degrees.

The woods behind my house are full of the sounds of birds. It's like an orchestra and it's fun to try to identify which birds are calling. Some sites I like for identifying birds are Bird Jam, eNature, and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds. All have audio clips of bird songs to help you figure out what you're listening to.

Today I have the chattering of goldfinches in the big pine tree beside the garage, chickadees singsong calling for mates, and something else that I can't quite identify. Maybe the Baltimore Oriole since it's just about time for them to return.

My friend Siobhan, who lives in Belfast and writes a blog called On the Lagan for the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in Northern Ireland, has a great post about bird sounds posted within days of mine. Great minds think alike, I guess. Anyway, it's a wonderful blog if you're interested in birds (UK or otherwise—they're really very similar to what we have here, although sometimes called by different names), plus she's a much better writer than I am :)


40 things

Borrowed from Small Town Mom because I haven't done a meme in ages and I can't think of much to write about today :)

1. Do you like bleu cheese? Yuck...no
2. Have you ever smoked? No
3. Do you own a gun? Yes, and I'm a pretty good shot, too
4. Favorite type of food? Love Mexican, and Vietnamese
5. Favorite type of music? A little bit of everything. Right now I'm listening to a lot of jazz and Celtic music
6. What do you think of hotdogs? They make me think of summer barbecues
7. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee
9. Can you do pushups? Haven't tried for a while but I could probably manage a few
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? A silver and coral bracelet I got on my honeymoon in Sanibel Island, Florida
11. Favorite hobby? Embroidery, but you could have guessed that :)
12. Do you have A.D.D.? No
13. Do you wear glasses/contacts? Glasses, yes. I hate putting things in my eyes so contacts are out for me
14. Middle name? Kathleen, after my grandmother
15. Name three thoughts at this exact moment? I wish my knee would stop hurting. I'm ready for lunch. Is the sun going to come out today?
16. Name three drinks you regularly drink? Sparkling water, iced tea mixed with orange juice, Pom Wonderful iced tea
17. Current worry? Money
18. Current hate right now? Having to pay more for health insurance every month than I do for my house
19. Favorite place to be? Home
20. How did you bring in the new year? I was asleep so I must have missed it
21. Someplace you'd like to go? Italy
22. Name three people who will complete this. No idea; you really have to be in the mood to do these things
23. Do you own slippers? Yes, several pairs
24. What color shirt are you wearing? Navy, orange, yellow, olive green, and white print (my $10 Target tee)
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No, I'm a jersey sheets kind of girl
26. Can you whistle? Not well, but yes
27. Where are you now? In my studio
28. Would you be a pirate? Will Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom be there?
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I really can't sing, so don't even attempt it in the shower. Or anywhere else.
30. Favorite girl's name?  Claire
31. Favorite boy's name? Aidan
32. What is in your pocket right now? A candy wrapper
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Something crazy that my cats did
34. What vehicle do you drive? VW Bug
35. Worst injury you've ever had? Bursitis in my hip
36. Do you love where you live? I love my house but I wish it were somewhere with more fun stuff to do
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Our one television died about a month ago and we're missing it much less than we thought we would
38. How many computers do you have in your house? Four. Not all in use at the same time
39. If you changed your job, what would it be? I really liked working at the library when I was in college
40. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be? Good health, financial security, and world peace would be nice, too