Fabric project envelopes

December 31, 2011

In the hopes and dreams of being uber-organized in 2012 I made these very simple fabric envelopes to hold my sewing projects.

I started with these 15 inches by 23 inches pieces of fabric that got from eBay and didn’t really have a project for… until now.

I also had some clear vinyl from a project that never happened… that came in very handy.

I just folded the fabric and cut a clear vinyl pocket and I got this…

The pattern goes in the clear front pocket and the materials and notions go in the fabric pouch.

I’m thinking about adding buttons and button holes but I can do that later if I want.

For now I’m just making small, medium and large envelopes so I can keep my projects together.  Hooray for organization.

Happy New Year to everyone!

And finally a little house keeping.  In 2012 I want to focus on completing more projects and to encourage that I am going to post once a week.

So I hope you have a fantastic week and I’ll be back next Saturday.



Nothing has exploded yet

December 30, 2011

I am very grateful to say that nothing has exploded yet.  But I have learned some interesting things.

One – Champagne yeast fizzes up very slowly so it’s not like bread that doubles up in a few hours.  This is good because it means no explosions… yet.

Two – It’s yeast, so there is a bread-y taste to the root beer.  That’s just how these things are.  Apparently there is some kind of liquid yeast that has a cleaner taste but I’d have to track that down.

Three – There is a great deal to be said for small batches while you are finding your feet.  If things go south you really don’t want to have to dump a whole lot and it’s not like there’s all that much work involved… although sterilizing things takes a very long time.

Four – Ginger Beer, Ginger Beer, Ginger Beer…. that’s what is on tap next.

Five – If I scale down to smaller batches then I’m going to need a smaller bucket for mixing.

That’s the report from the home soda shop.


Are we taking bets?

December 29, 2011

I’m bottling my first batch of root beer tonight.  Anyone want to place a bet that something explodes before this is all over?  Because I’m pretty sure something is going to go horribly awry.

I made a 2.5 gallon batch with my Gnome extract and all my kits from More Beer.  That’s 24 bottles of root beer.  I’m going old school.  Glass bottles, champagne yeast… this is dangerous stuff.

I even made labels…

So everyone keep your fingers crossed.  Otherwise I’m going to be cleaning for months!


another failed experiment

December 28, 2011

On the 19th of December I noticed that my finger nails were fraying.  I figured it would be a good idea to get a very simple manicure to protect my nails a little bit.  Since I am horrid at painting my nails I went to a little salon near work.  They asked if I wanted a gel manicure instead.  I said sure.  I’d give it a shot.  I had heard great things about them.  Immediately dry, long-lasting, it sounded great.  And it worked.  My nails were perfectly dry before I made it out of the chair.

I didn’t even come close to chipping or hurting the polish in any way over the next week.  It was actually a little unnerving.

And then, yesterday afternoon, I did something that chipped one of the nails.  So I thought… that’s it.  This stuff has to come off.  And being me, it had to come off immediately.

Only you really can’t take this stuff off yourself.  The girl said if I really wanted to I could soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and then put the cotton ball on your nail and wrap the whole finger in aluminum foil.  Do this for all fingernails.  Then wait 30 plus minutes and the polish should come off.

Except it doesn’t really work that way.  After 45 minutes I still had to scrap the polish and gel off and I didn’t get all of the base coat.  But it was enough that I could wait for tomorrow and go into the salon to get the rest off.

Yeah – so I go in and the girl tells me that I wasn’t supposed to try to take it off.  She even said that the top two layers of my nails are coming off.

She then used her Dremel file on my nails to file off the last of the junk that was on them.

I get that I did not have the soak off gel.  I get that I had a knock off manicure.  But I learned a lot of lessons.

I do not want to have any kind of manicure that has that many steps to take off at home.  I should not have to go to a salon to remove my nail polish.  I’m too obsessive compulsive about it.

I would get one of these again after researching someone who is doing the real thing, not someone who is just jumping on the bandwagon.  But I would only get it for a special occasion and I would get it taken off no more than three days after the event.  I can’t deal with the change to my natural nails.  It was like acrylic nails all over again.

So there’s my tail…  It’s going to take a while to grow back nails that haven’t been filed down repeatedly.

Live and learn.


How many do you need?

December 28, 2011

I’ve spent the last few days reading through my cooking magazines and I’ve got a question… how many meatball recipes do you need?

Once you have a base recipes for anything, do you need to keep collecting them?

I did tear out a recipe for Swedish meatballs but only because I know my recipe for Italian meatballs like the back of my hand.

Because I have a recipe for macaroni and cheese I didn’t bother to pull any of them… even though there are many.

Maybe that’s why cooking magazines are so popular.  Because you need to find that one recipe that will see you through all the times to come.  And once you find that one recipe you don’t need any others.

These days, I don’t think I need that many cooking magazines.  I’ve got most of the basic recipes.

Everything else is gravy.


A setting for murder

December 26, 2011

I’ve spent the weekend watching Midsomer Murders… season after season of it on Netflix instant.  It’s amazing.  Each episode has 3 or so murders.  Year after year all these murders in these tiny towns and villages in the county of Midsomer.  (Which is fictional by the way… I looked it up.)

It reminds me of Cabot Cove and that old joke about how murder just follows Jessica Fletcher around.  If you saw Jessica Fletcher, wouldn’t you run in the other direction?

I can’t help but think that the amount of murder happening in Midsomer, it must be hard to sell real estate there.  I mean, I live near Oakland… which could be considered a rather large city and also a place where a lot of murders occur.  It’s something that’s talked about constantly.  So I can’t help but think that small places like Midsomer and Cabot Cove must be the constant talk of their regions in terms of violent / suspicious deaths.

But we suspend disbelief.  We think that each murder is the first murder.  That there is no internet or wide-spread news.  So everything that happens, happens in its own little cocoon, fresh for our enjoyment.

And that’s what I’m going to go on believing through all 14 plus seasons.

It’s an addiction.  It’s genetic because I got it from my mother.

We can’t be helped.  The BBC is at fault.


Have you wandered around Kickstarter yet?  If you haven’t I should warn you before you click over.  It’s dangerous.  You will find things that you want to support.  You will figure out how important it is that you get prototypes that are just coming off the assembly line, art that is just being created, etc etc etc.

For me, it started with Neil Gaiman talking about his Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.

From there I got involved in art projects, movies, technology prototypes… and I can’t seem to stop.

Right now I’m trying to figure out if I should fund a new Espresso Machine prototype in order to get one of the first machines…  I like my espresso machine.  I don’t need a new one but they’ve created a new thermoblock…  and … I feel the tug.

This is an addiction.  It’s particularly bad for the art projects.  I want them.  I just have them.  How do you say no to a Monster Alphabet Book written in iambic heptameter?

Written by Darren J. Gendron and illustrated by Obsidian Abnormal!

I need to stop poking about on this website.  I need to stop clicking on links to Kickstarter projects.

But I won’t because that’s who I am.