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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


Long stories short

Well, I've been promising a sewing post, but again, I've been a bit sidetracked. Finally, everything is coming together in a more or less positive way, so I can finally explain why.

Recently, my Grampa had a pretty bad heart attack. And more recently, one of our cats got sick.

My Grampa is an awesome guy. He's not perfect, (he's the first one to tell you that), but he's an excellent Grampa - he taught me how to fish, and how to dry deer meat, and how NOT to dig holes in the driveway for a swimming pool.

Anyway, after his heart attack, he developed pneumonia, as older folk are apparently wont to do, and they put him on this antibiotic that made him hallucinate. Long story short, he didn't hallucinate scary things - he hallucinated that he was James Bond, and had to escape the hospital. Apparently he made it to the parking lot twice - TWICE, ducking through hallways and creeping past the nurses' station.

I hope when I am in my late 70's, I am still spry enough to make two very creditable attempts to escape a hospital!

Now that Grampa's on the mend, my attention turned to Boobah.

Boobah's got a ton of personality, so when his behavior started to change, we noticed it right away.

Monday afternoon, Boobah started acting funny, hiding, not jumping up on the furniture, that sort of thing. You'd think I'd be happy about this turn of events, but really, when you're used to cuddling scolding the cat for jumping on stuff, and suddenly there's no scolding, usually it's a sign that either a) your cat has been abducted by aliens and replaced with a changeling, or b)something's wrong.

So last night, I...well, okay, I give my cat tummy rubs every night. And yes, when I give him tummy rubs, I talk to him like he's a baby. I suppose it's a pretty common behavior for cat owners, but I still feel kinda lame admitting it.

So anyway, I was giving him tummy rubs, and he felt...wrong. And when I rubbed the middle of his belly, he made a sort of startled growl/meow, and looked at me as though I'd just knifed him in the gut. Cue panic attack. I imagined that he'd eaten one of the innumerable furry catnip mice that reside all over the living room floor in a neat pile by the cat tree, and that we'd have surgery and a funeral, and we'd be sadly short one Spidercat.

Long story short - he's constipated. Just your garden variety "I-horcked-out-on-too-much-dry-cat-food-and-was-too-lazy-to-go-to-the-water-dish". Thank goodness. Our mutual punishment (he for being lazy and I for having opposable thumbs, I guess) is that I get to feed him medicine every eight hours. He doesn't like it much, but whatever.

I bought pet insurance for the whole cat-family on Saturday, and when Boobah got sick on Monday morning, a couple of hours after the coverage went into effect, I honestly felt just a little bit like I'd cursed him. And seriously, how do you explain that to the insurance broker? "I know he's only been covered for 12 hours, but could you please write me a cheque for $1800.00?"

On the upside, I got to see an X-ray of my cat - intestines are cool! And also, in protest of the X-ray, he "expressed his anal glands" which is the technical term for squirting stinky tuchus goo all over the table. Which means he doesn't need to have his anal glands manually expressed now! Way to save us $100.00, my friend!



They think I'm evil

I finally learned why strangers have been looking at me like I'm a madwoman lately.

I only used to listen to my MP3 player while I was at home, doing housework or sewing, or gardening, or stalking the gophers that have taken up residence on the back lawn. Recently, I've started bringing my MP3 player into town, so I can listen when I'm shopping, or working, or whatever.

I generally listen to audiobooks instead of music, especially in public. I used to listen to music, but I stopped because, unless I am actively concentrating on being still and quiet, I am completely unable to control my singing and dancing.

If there's music, and I either know the words, or can make them up fast enough, I am singing without realizing it. I'm genuinely unaware of the sounds that are coming out of my mouth. It wouldn't be so bad if I could control my volume, but no, if I'm singing, I'm singing in AT LEAST the same volume as my normal speech, and usually louder. And if it's a tune I can dance to, I am also dancing. Well, not just dancing. Dancing and walking, dancing and shopping, dancing and trying to stand still. It's...well, it's a travesty, since I lack both a decent singing voice AND coordination.

Anyway, when I go out in public now, or do anything that requires me to sit still, I listen to audiobooks instead of music. Or at least, I used to.

Yesterday, I was at the gas station, waiting in line to pay for my gas. It was a pretty long lineup, so I plugged my earbuds in and turned on my book, and as the line slowly moved forward, there was a part about a woman tugging her braid. I reached up and gave my own braid a good tug. Then, it described a character doing an evil, sneering laugh.

Unconsciously, I did an evil, sneering laugh. Out loud.

I realized immediately what I'd done. For a second, it was like time froze. The two women in front of me turned their heads very slowly, to look over their shoulders with matching, horrified expressions, and the guy behind the counter stared as though I'd just whipped a Glock from my waistband. I slipped ahead, dropped two twenties on the counter, and ran out of the store, feeling like my face was about to melt off my head.

I guess I have to find a new favorite gas station.



Ruffler Foot Winner!

Once again, I numbered the entries in the order in which they were received;

MizKatie - 1
Mary - 2
Shannon - 3
Summerset - 4
Angela - 5
Kelly - 6
Contessa Kris - 7

Once again, thanks to everyone for entering - the more excess stuff I can clear out of my stash, the better!

Because I had more than 6 entrants, I used the random integer generator from random.org, asking it to choose a number between 1 and 7. Here was the pick;

Summerset, you're the lucky winner! I'll be popping over to your blog shortly to pass on the good news!

Sewing blogging to re-start tomorrow!



Last Giveaway (well, this week, anyway)

Like last time, I had enough winners that I only needed to roll one die at random.org.

I listed them, again, in the order they entered -

Camilla - 1
Contessa Kris - 2
Miz Katie - 3
Kristin - 4
Queen of the click - 5
Carla - 6

My deepest thanks to all who entered, and those who just commented for the heck of it - I haven't been posting much, or much that's interesting lately, so thanks for hanging in there - I'll be sewing this weekend, and posting about some of my projects, as well, including another update on the Pink Abomination.

In any case, todays winner is;

Kristin! I'll be shooting over to your blog shortly, to let you know!

And finally, as one more time-killing tactic before I am ready to start posting regularly again, and also so I can promote my Etsy store, I offer this item as my final prize. This week, anyway;

This is a brand new ruffler foot for a short-shank sewing machine. It's loud, clanky, and scary surprisingly easy to use. Honestly, scary noise aside, this thing is incredibly fun to play with - the first time I put it on my 50's Viking machine, I made ruffles out of ALL of my scrap fabric. I probably spent two hours gleefully making ruffles knowing that they're not likely to ever be attached to anything.

We're starting fresh, now - nobody is pre-entered. If you want this ruffler foot, leave a comment, stating your desire to make ruffles out of everything you own!



Another Giveaway

We have a winner in my first ever giveaway! Yay!

Because there were only three entrants who commented before the end of the day on Saturday (I say only, but I'm pretty glad I HAD three comments), I went to random.org and rolled the dice. I assigned each commenter a number from one to three - the first who commented was #1, the last, #3, and then rolled the dice. Here's a screenshot;

Gaylen, you're the lucky winner of the two-pack of patterns! Yay! I'll be popping over to your blog shortly to email you the news!

And now, without further adieu, on to the second giveaway!

It's a very nice feeling, sending patterns out into the universe, maybe to give them another chance to be lovely. I'm also a giant, grasping pattern Scrooge, and will make aggravated duck noises when I go to drop them in the mail. These two patterns, in particular, are hard to let go of - they're in a size close to what I might actually be able to wear in a few months. And they're cute. And they have all their pieces.

Though I adore the look of both patterns, I know I'll never make either of them. The first is SO pretty (and the model in version A is wearing my hair), but seams that run straight up and down the front of my body just don't suit me. And the second one, while exactly the shape I tend to look best in, has a collar, which doesn't suit me OR my meagre sewing skills.

So I'm setting them free, in hopes that someone else might make something of them, one day. Or at least that I'll have room to acquire two more vintage patterns that I WILL attempt to make.

The two entrants who did NOT win my first giveaway; Camilla and Contessa Kris, are automatically entered in the draw for these two patterns. In addition, the two other commentors who missed the Saturday deadline, Miz Katie and Kristin are also entered.

If you'd like a chance to win these two patterns, leave a comment! All comments received by midnight Thursday will be entered to win, and on Friday, I'll post the winner, and put the ruffler foot up for giveaway!



My First Giveaway

I feel a bit awkward about giving stuff away when my blog isn't all that...cool. It feels a little like buying friends. Mind you, it won't be the first time I've done that - my mom put pudding in my lunch, so I was pretty popular in grade school.

Anyway, if you've read any other posts, you'll know that I'm freakishly attracted to garage sales and op-shops, and can never quite resist the lure of vintage patterns and sewing notions. Generally, when you're at a garage sale or second-hand store, you don't have the opportunity to buy only the one item you really want - usually the item you want is combined with a bunch of other items that you don't need.

I'm a greedypants, and have sort of enjoyed amassing my collection of stuff, but now that I'm on the injured list, I've had some time to paw through all my stuff, and have realized that much of it, while perfectly lovely and useful, is of no use to me, or unsuitable in terms of style or size.

Therefore, I've opened a little Etsy store to clear out my vintage patterns and notions. If it's old and I won't use it, it's going to end up for sale there. Hopefully I'll make just enough to cover my garage sale habit.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a few items, to get the ball rolling on the clearout. I have three vintage patterns to give away, as well as a brand new ruffler foot. Today, it's a two-pack of incredibly similar patterns;

Essentially, this is one dress, five necklines, and it's a simple, pretty style. I really like these patterns, but while the style is flattering, it's not flattering on my particular shape. Therefore, they have to go.

If you want these two patterns, leave a comment to get in the draw. I'll draw a name from the first five people who comment before Saturday, and we'll have our winner. Um, if fewer than five people comment by Saturday, then I'll draw from however many comments there are.

I have two other items to give away over the next few days, also; after we have a a winner for this draw, the next draw will be for two larger-sized vintage patterns, in the 18-20 size range. Here's a sneak peek at one of them;

And then next week, I'll be giving away a brand spanking new ruffler foot for a short-shank machine.

This loud, scary item is incredibly easy to use, even if it IS loud and scary. You can make ruffles and attach them to stuff at the same time, though I haven't figured out exactly how, yet. I have four of them - I bought one on purpose, and the others just sort of appeared in among the lots of other stuff I bought from garage sales and such. I don't need four of them, and two of them are brand new - one is still in it's original packaging, even.

Anyway, if you want the two-pack of patterns, comment away!



Oh yeah, and...

my next post will be about sewing, I promise! In fact, I'll be having a bit of a giveaway - I recently picked up a most excellent box of sewing machine goodies at a garage sale, so I now have an extra ruffler foot and a whole bunch of vintage patterns that I'd like to send to new and loving homes. I'll save that for tomorrow's post, though.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about my most embarrassing purchases in the name of fitness. The reason for baring my soul was because Jenny at Three Kid Circus was having a contest, in which the winner would receive a Wii console and a Wii Fit Kit, including one of those new-fangled Wii Balance Boards.

Long story short, I won, and my Wii arrived late last week. By FedEx, no less.

I just wanted to say thanks once again, to Jenny and her selection committee - this is the coolest thing EVER. I'm not a huge video gamer, but this whole "up off the couch" thing makes it SO much fun. I can barely wait until I'm healed enough from my fall to get back on the board and back on track!



Aye Caramba!

Sorry for the blip in my blogging - I was doing so well, there. I'll be back to daily posts very soon, and I have a lot to post about, but I took a pretty bad tumble off our deck, and am having a wee bit of difficulty getting around.

I'm not sure which part of my fall I enjoyed the most, the sound my knee made, or the sound my ankle made, or the part where I laid in the dirt for half an hour, pretending not to cry, cursing myself for flailing as I fell. See, when you fall down, you're supposed to go limp - it's supposed to be easier on the body, and honestly, I wipe out so much that I'm pretty good at instinctively relaxing on the way down.

This time, though, I had my laptop slung over one shoulder, my car keys in the other hand, and a very limited amount of space to fall - too far to the right, and I would have landed atop a very large pile of recently removed Christmas lights which SOMEONE should have wound up, packed up, and stored by now. If I'd landed too far to the left, I would have fallen atop a large, handmade bird house which might just be the love of my fiance's life. Going limp wasn't an option.

So I flailed as I fell, trying to land in the clear space, and I let go of my keys as I went down. With the power of the mad flail behind them, they flew pretty far, and landed about 30 feet away from both the door of my house AND my car door, about 25 feet from where I went down.

Even better, I live 25 minutes away from town, and inside the house, I have a staircase I'd have to climb in order to get to a phone. So what did I do? I dragged myself on my belly across the freshly tilled soil and retrieved my keys, then dragged myself back to my car, where I used the mirror to pull myself up. I got in, drove to where my laptop landed, then did a donut on my back lawn to drive myself into town, to emergency.

Anyway, at least I can put it into perspective - bad news, I wrecked my left leg, good news, I waxed my legs JUST before I went outside, so at least I didn't bring fur into the ER.