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It’s been a long time since my last post and I’m sorry for the absence. I was hoping to get at least one post up a week and it just hasn’t been possible this last month. They have me working about 40 hours a week at the chocolate shop and things are in full swing on Craft Leftovers and in the shops. Which is great and I’m having fun and I really enjoy it all. But I’m also looking forward to less hours at the chocolate shop now.

I have quite a few fun announcements to make. Firstly, since I won’t be working as much at the chocolate shop now, I’ll be able to start posting again here about the fun things going on in the studio and ames in general. And with that, I have two plans for posts here. I’m going to start up my “drawing a day” posting again (I miss it), but having it be “Drawing Days” instead and post drawings twice a week.  The second plan is that I’m going to start posting what I cook more often (like I was during the summer) to help keep me in line with a healthier way of cooking and eating. Once I get back to Ames I have a fun post in mind that I need to take the pictures for.

The other fun thing I will be posting more about is the Ames Sewing Rebellion! I’m going to start hosting the Iowa Sewing Rebellion here in Ames. Hooray! Stop Shopping, Start Sewing! You can read more about the sewing rebellion here and here and here and here. I’ve posted about participating in it from time to time in Chicago on Overextracted – but I was bad at using tags, so it’s been hard for me to track down posts about it.  I’m starting a blog for it, but it’s not ready to go live yet. There will be info about the first meeting and pictures and the like. Our first meeting will be Sunday, January 11th from noon to 4pm. It will be a brunchluck (a breakfast/lunch potluck) and much sewing will ensue us all. It will be at the Ames Progressive which has been kind enough to not just donate the space, but help hang fliers, spread the word, and participate! Fantastic!

I’ll be posting again on Sunday night or Monday morning and will hopefully have a link to the Ames Sewing Rebellion then.

Best wishes and Merry Christmas!


I have to admit that I used to loath ironing. My first leap into out of the home schooling at age 13 was accompanied by ironing. Ironing shirts and skirts, every night and sometimes every morning. Stockings and full toe dress shoes. No socks. No pants. No tank tops. No too short of short sleeve shirts. No skirts the didn’t touch the floor when you bent down on your knees. For me, a very hard core tom boy who didn’t know that boys were gross because I was at that point more made of snakes and lizards than sugar and spice, this was a living hell.

I understand my parents’ thinking, and it does make sense to me now and even then it did. After 7 years of homeschooling, they didn’t want to just throw me into the public school system and classes of 24. They decided to send me for one year to private christian school called East Moline Christian, with classes (not just class room, but graduating class) of 8. Hated it. I hated skirts and girls, and anti-woman philosophies, and even christian rock (like mxpx and other christian punk bands – what an oxi-moron, i know, you don’t have to point that one out) were, “of the devil”. Solitaire was also “of the devil” because “playing cards leads to gambling, which is” you guessed it “of the devil”.

I think my most rebellious moment was when a fellow student said “well you have to wear skirts below your knees because seeing a woman’s legs is like seeing her whole body” yikes. So i flashed him….. with my tight cover knees, nothing higher than that, just the knees. This kid looked like he had just saw i peep show. It still makes me laugh 12 years later. It must have been all the of the devil christian hard core that made me do it.

Anyway, I’m digressing. Ironing. Hated it.

Ironing over a decade later? Love it. It’s one of my favorite parts of sewing. I love pressing fabric and making it all geometrically sound. I’m still not super keen on ironing clothing although I can press a blouse and pants in under 3 mins because of all the practice I got that year at emc.

u-handblog cover What prompted this whole post? I saw this tutorial on U-handblog about remaking an ironing board cover, which mine is in desperate need of. A new cover that is. Plus I’m getting sick of the gross blue fabric that it came with and the fact that it’s all gross from who knows what.

I really like the U-handblog and you should check it out. She has a ton of great tutorials on making bags and other sewn items (like ironing board covers).

I have some pictures of the kiddos after their bath this morning that are kind of funny, I’ll post them later today after I finish the cl pattern. (kiddo = 2 ferrets)
See you all later!

Seriously, it’s an addiction. I finished my first one on Friday afternoon and by Saturday I had started another.

Here is the first one all finished up:
Temari Ball - Finished

And here is the starting of the next one:
Temari Too!

I am really loving it and once I get it all down, I’m hoping to write out a few charts for Craft Leftovers. This would be such a great project for it. I’ve already blazed through a ton of yarn that was just laying in my stash. I love it! And there is something wonderfully calming and meditative about wrapping a ball in thread.

I’ve also been sewing a whole lot. Since doing this past week’s midweek post for craft leftovers I’ve been making bags like I don’t know what. I can’t show the christmas present ones, but I’ll show some of the stuff I was working on tonight.

This is the fabric that my friend Carolyn picked out for her bag:
market bag to be

And her little lady was with her when we were talking about it and so I told her she could pick out some fabric for a little reusable shopping bag that she could use when she goes to the grocery store with her mom. We had been out all day with her and she only got a case of the cranky pants once, and it only lasted for like 5 mins and was really her just not saying bye to anyone, which I think is amazing. Having worked in retail/coffee houses for the past 8 years, I am truly amazed at how well behaved Carolyn’s kids are. Even at their worst, they are better than most kids I come across on a daily basis.

Anyway, since it was pretty quick to whip together, I have it pretty much done, just one more crack at it with the sewing machine and it will be all set to go:
Lainie's Little Lady Market Bag

Speaking of Carolyn, check out this sweet Christmas present she got me off etsy:
Reade's Diary - CoverReader's Diary - Inside FlapReader's Journal

Oh and somehow these remind me of another thing. This past fall I did a large series of drawings, 36 in fact, and I want to offer them up to you all and get them some homes. I’ll only being selling a selection of them as limited ed prints of 25. And a couple of the originals. I have added a “shop” link in the side bar under “about”. It will be here on the blog and each drawing will have its own “buy it now” button. I will also offer handmade note cards, hand bound sketchbooks and journals, and bookmarks. Those will come incrementally as I make them. Be looking for the first drawings and prints to show up in the first week of the new year.

I think that’s it. I’m off for more sewing! Goodnight!

I feel pretty good about today. I got a lot of things checked off the ol’ to-do list. On the other hand I did allow myself to get completely distracted by Temari, not as bad as yesterday, but still, I should have been working on Christmas gifts.

I did get Jason’s (my boyfriend) scarf charted, finally, and I’m happy to report that with the help of this site I was able to do so in under 2 hours. It honestly would have been just an hour, but I realized that I put in the wrong swatch size. So it goes.

delta sigma pi scarfscarf chart

The scarf knitting is now underway though and I’m semi confident I will get it finished in time for Jason and I’s Christmas gift exchange.

Now back to Temari. So I’ve been curious about it for awhile now. I first saw it over on Knit and Tonic and then Craftzine, then the craftypod, and now it’s just popping up everywhere. The first question I asked was “what the heck do you do with them when their finished?” Well, some people place them in bowls, Diane of the CraftyPod and DIY Alert, made her’s into an ornament, me, well, I’m not sure yes. I kind of like the idea of making a mobile out of them, or I might get a big vase or jar and fill it with them and place them by my window. Honestly, who cares! When was the last time I wore a sweater that I knit? Well, a long time, in fact I ended up frogging the whole thing to make a new sweater. This Christmas knitting has put a stop to my sweater making though and I’m afraid another winter is going to pass without the company of one handmade sweater. Enough moping. I sure am a selfish knitter. I discust myself. Haha. Not really.

So the straw that broke the camel’s temari curiosity back? I saw a new book on Temari at the public library. Dang it. I just had to bring it home. Then I just had to read it. And you see where this is going, I just had to try it!

temari ball wipSo I did. I collected up all my temari ball making supplies and soon realized that I would need something to put them in. I’m normally okay with ziplock bags, but for whatever reason, I wanted a temari ball bag that would have all my essentials for the ball I was working on.

temari ball bagThe other driving factor is that a temari ball is just the kind of favorite thing that my ferrets love to steal and hide and rehide until they have really done a number on it. So a zipper was needed too.

temari ball bag

hand bound sketch book I also bound this little sketch book the other day, I’m thinking about making more and selling them in an etsy shop along with other stationary kind of jobbers (quad city speak there, it means thing-a-ma-bobs).
cookies and tea Well that’s it for today, have a good one. I’m going to get back to my tea and gianormous cookie.

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