Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Take the Time to Smell the Roses...

You have heard the saying "Stop and smell the roses". 

Family, job, work, home, church, friends, pets, dirty floors and laundry.

All these things make demands on our lives and our time, and they have a perfect right to do that.  We all have things we must do just to get through the day.  Maybe you're the one responsible for all of it, maybe you have help.  Some of it doesn't have to be done today, right now, but eventually you run out of underwear and you just have to bite the bullet and do the laundry.

But HOW do you do it?  Is it an ice cream sundae task or a root canal task?  If it looks like you're going to go have a root canal, who wants to come along?

If you absolutely dread doing the laundry or the grocery shopping, there's no way you're EVER going to be able to convince someone else to do it, or even help you with it.

I actually enjoy doing laundry, even though I don't do much of it anymore.  I have people for that.  My DH is retired and he has over time taken over all the household chores except for dusting and cleaning closets.  And he always smirks when I say "I have people"...)

One of the best things I heard at Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend, and I heard a LOT of good things, was Mark Lipinski's lecture on the Slow Stitching Movement.

Do you remember Mark's magazine, Quilters' Home?  I loved that magazine.  Here's one of the issues I have...

Mark had a life threatening kidney failure and got a transplant.  During that process, his life changed.  You can read about it if you don't already know on his Slow Stitching Movement web site.  I recommend you go there and read the whys and wherefores of what the SSM is all about.

It was a revelation to me... mindful sewing - I get it!  I like it!  I'm going to try to practice it.

Hobbies, if done correctly, can relax you, lower your blood pressure and improve your mood, give you a sense of self satisfaction and take away the worries of the day.

They can also help you focus your thoughts, and inspire you with ideas for the challenges you may be experiencing in the rest of your life.  When I concentrate on what I'm doing at the moment, sometimes my unconscious brain will be reviewing something else and suddenly I'll have a eureka moment. 

Whatever your task, whether hobby or work, try to 'be there' as much as possible and not be worrying about what ELSE you might be doing.  When that happens sometimes mistakes are made and sometimes they're irreversible.  Like texting while driving, or cutting out the wrong size from your pattern on the last three yards of fabric on the bolt. 

Whatever color YOUR roses are... you know what to do.

Sew on...slowly :-)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Threads Post - Common Objects with Sewing Uses


As defined by dictionary.com:

  • Small items used in sewing, such as pins or needles.

Recently I read an article in Threads Magazine about ordinary objects that have unexpected uses in the sewing room.  Here's a link to read it for yourself:  Threads article

It was interesting to me that I am currently using a couple of these myself and two actually made me say "AH HA!... what a great idea!"

The ones I have used:

  • Forceps or hemostats can be purchased on Amazon or from local medical supply places, or you can ask your nurse or doctor friends if they can bring you discards (not straight from the operating room!)  They make great grabbers for all sorts of task, like getting out the pin that broke or turning small pieces right side out.
  • Painters tape was kind of a natural since it leaves no residue on fabric or anything else.  It makes for nice straight lines, and if you're coloring or painting on fabric, it's a no brainer for resist areas or taping down stencils.
  • Interdental brushes -- In my humble opinion, the more often you clean the lint out of your sewing machine the better it will run.  I use several things to do this but one thing I never do is blow into any machine.  That puts moisture in where there are metal parts.  I do use q-tips and GUM mini-brushes to pull the lint out, and a small lambs wool duster to gather the big pieces up.

  • Chopsticks are good pushers, and I like the wooden ones.  If you hit them with a needle, there's no breakage -- at least of the needle.  Plus they are cheap and plentiful if you eat Chinese food as often as I do!
The ones I said AH HA to:

  • Wooden spoon:  using the handle of the wooden spoons in my kitchen to keep from ironing the impression of the seam allowance into the side seams of the pants I make?  Priceless!

  • Silicon mat:  they go into the oven, so why not use them with your iron to keep things from burning, like your fingers?  That's one of those why didn't I think of it things...

The one I said no to:
  • Using an exacto-knife blade anywhere.  I don't care how careful you are, you are going to cut something with it that shouldn't be cut.  Like your fingers.  Or your hand.  Ask me how I know that...
All in all, it was a good article to read and think about.  There are things like binder clips and pony tail holders and empty mayonnaise jars

and a gazillion other things that could also be on the list, but this is a good start.

Thank you, Threads editors.  Thinking outside the

Sew on...