Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sewing Tote Bags Galore

In July my fabric-stash-busting turned to a various assortment of tote bags!

I used various patterns, none of which I completely liked, so I went my own direction.

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I dug this beloved yellow fabric with florals of pink and blue from the stash that had been waiting for years go become something. I had enough to cut out both a backpack and a tote bag. First, the backpack.

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Here are two views of the front, flap down and flap up.

3-Backpack

I even inserted grommets from my stash. I threaded ribbon from my massive fabric stash. It's holding up rather well, but then I only use this lightly. Even so, when it wears out, I have other ribbon I can use.

3a-Backpack

And the back. I used metal clips from a much loved back pack that was worn out.

4-Backpack

Now for the tote bags. The first was made with this lovely yellow and blue fabric from the stash. I had trouble with the handles, so once again I dug through my ribbon stash. I decided to use this blue taffeta ribbon. The original handle attempt was sewn inside, so the handles are beguilingly cushy.

5-Totebag in Yellow and Blue

For pockets, I have one on the outside (seen above) and one on the inside (seen below).


6-Totebag in Yellow and Blue

The second tote bag I sewed was with this lovely toile from the stash. It has an outer pocket (seen below).

7-Totebag in Green and Toile

Below you can see the inner pocket.

8-Totebag in Green and Toile

Tote bag number 3 is my piece de resistance! Note that this is the same fabric as the back pack, yellow with florals of pink and blue. This one has a zipper! Also an outer pocket on this side...

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Oh, here's the bottom...

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Side pockets...yes, on each side!

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And the inside!

12-Totebag with zip

Finally the zipper cases from my smaller stashes of fabric. Remember this fabric? I had enough for a small bag.

13-Zipper Bag in Blue and Yello

For the inside I dug through my quilting stash...

14-Zipper Bag in Blue and Yellow

This stash fabric was originally a retired home decor sample fabric from JoAnn. I think I paid a dollar for it. I just love it! I had enough for a larger size.

15-Zipper Bag in Green and Floral Red

I dug through my quilting stash for something that seemed to coordinate well.

16-Zipper Bag in Green and Floral Red

Then I found this in the stash. I had purchased it a couple of years ago at a quilt store for my daughter, while I was collecting Row by Row patterns. This was actually a pre-cut fat quarter size from one of the quilt shops.

17-Zipper  Bag in Yellow and Hot Pink

While giving my daughter sewing lessons, I realized that she didn't have anything handy in which to store her tools, so I told her Merry Christmas! She loves the quilt fabric (again from my stash) that I chose for the lining.

18-Zipper Bag in Yellow and Hot Pink

I had enough fabric and supplies for one more zipper case, which I packaged in a baggie. Sometimes I only have moments of time to dig through the stash and cut things out. Then I package them in zip lock bags. Later when I have a chance to use the sewing machine, I grab a project that is ready to go.

19-Zipper Bag in Hot Yellow and Red Prepped

So, the back pack has already made journeys to Harpers Ferry and Bears' Den Overlook.

The tote bags are many, but will coordinate well with various outfits when I'm out and about in a more leisurely manner than hiking.

I'm leaning towards using my zipper bags for various art implements as I delve into the world of en plein air. And not that I'm an artist. I'm a want to be artist...which means I don't know how far I will go with this...so I can't yet make up my mind! But I do think that while learning, I'll carry all of my journals and zipper bags of supplies in the yellow and berry tote bag that has a zipper and umpteen pockets!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Harpers Ferry, a Camera, and a Backpack

Late Saturday night my son tapped, tapped, tapped at my door to ask me if I'd like to go on a hike at Harpers Ferry's Maryland Heights the next day. Absolutely!

How I forget the grueling hike to the top. For all the daily hour long walks I've done, and daily resistance bands and light weights...it's still pure agony for me.

Anyway I carried a few water bottles (and drank plenty) in my new backpack that I had just finished sewing. This was my first time to use it. (Sewing details in a future post.)

Backpack at Harpers Ferry

My son let me borrow his fancy camera that he purchased a few years ago dirt cheap on Amazon. My cameras never zoom in all that well. I kept the settings on automatic, which took much better pictures than my camera usually does.

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Overlooking Harpers Ferry, West Virginia from the Maryland side of the Potomac River. Shenandoah River as it empties into the Potomac. Virginia mountain in the background.


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The Shenandoah River, Virginia on the left bank, West Virginia on the right bank.


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Close-up of the Shenandoah, with Virginia in the background.
Note the rockiness of the shallow river...

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Quiet homes near Harpers Ferry


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A quiet home near Harpers Ferry


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Looking North-Potomac River


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Looking North-Potomac River, West Virginia on the left bank. Maryland on the right bank.

Again, note the rockiness of the shallow river. This is why George Washington envisioned a canal...which was eventually built.
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Hiking back down...water trickling over a log in Maryland.


Harpers Ferry 9
A stream that runs through Maryland...


Harpers Ferry 10
Pools of water from the stream...


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Train trestle in Harpers Ferry historic area.


We always seem to rush our days here, but there are also the canals!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Turn of the Century Bike Sighting

There are lots of bicycle riders in the Purcellville area of Northern Virginia. But to my surprise, I found this turn of the century model against a store front one day.

5-Turn of the Century Bike

And yes, I saw the bike rider (dressed in today's biker's attire) riding it while his buddy rode a more modern bike.

It's amazing how he just hopped on and off.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Yellow Embroidered Gingham Dress in Washington DC

The kids and I spent the afternoon in Washington DC...and I happened to be wearing one of my newly sewn dresses, so I asked my son if he'd do a photo shoot for me.

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And...there's my son! I handed my cell phone to my daughter to take pictures of the photo shoot, so that I could upload a few to facebook. Also I thought it would be fun to have a photo of the official photographer!

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Furthermore, I knew it would be a great and simple project for my daughter to take pictures and work on her spatial reasoning. She's come a long way with picture taking, but is still rather adverse to doing photography of her own accord. The beauty of digital is that we can preview the photos. She thought they were good but I'd point out this or that, which she hadn't noticed. So she took new shots and they were great! All in all she seemed to have a lot of fun taking pictures in this setting, and I love the photos she took!


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I love this one, where there is just a hint of photographer. She thought I was going to ask her to redo that one, but I told her it was a keeper!

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And now for one of the many shots my son took, and edited. He is quite methodical and tells me exactly how he wants me to pose. I like this shot a lot.

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My turn! I took some photos of our destination, the National Archives.
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Love enjoying our Founding Documents in this beautiful location. We also toured the neighboring exhibit about all the other neat items that they preserve. One of my favorite items was a copy of the land deed that Laura Ingalls Wilder's father had for their property in Dakota Territory.

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From there we walked across the street to tour the National Gallery of Art, another favorite Washington DC museum. But first my son took a picture for me in front of the NGA's water fountain.

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Dress construction details are here.

And my shoes are quite comfortable for walking around town! Like my American Duchess shoes, these don't fit either. But they stay on rather well and make do.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Cowboy Boots and Hand Cranking Colonial Chocolate Ice Cream

By the end of the week the kids and I had an opportunity to hand crank ice cream! This year we chose a colonial chocolate iced cream recipe from Mount Vernon. I used some American Heritage Chocolate, the supply of which I won in a contest a few years ago. Yes, I've been guarding this chocolate carefully and still had some!

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How do you like my son's new cowboy boots?

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After all that cranking, we had good eats for the week!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day Fireworks at The Plains

Independence Day was different for us this year. When my kids went to work, I went to a BBQ to help represent Convention of States Project.

COS pin

It was a very hot day. Sunny skies. Really hot. Lots of great food! Really hot. Lots of great conversation. Really hot.

Early that evening I caught up with my kids. We grabbed a picnic lunch then drove to The Plains. As the sun set we enjoyed our picnic. Then the kids strolled the grounds while I read a book. When evening finally descended, a pretty good fireworks show ensued. I knew the show was better than my photography, so after a couple of snapshots, I simply sat back to enjoy the celebration of our country's independence.


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As we arrived home we viewed another incredible fireworks show ahead of us in the sky! We finished watching it from the parking lot of a grocery store where the kids decided to pick up dessert.

When we got home, we enjoyed some mint Klondike Bars on the back deck, while we enjoyed the lovely evening and more fireworks from the surrounding area!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Pre-Independence Day Celebration

This year my kids were invited to a pre-Independence Day celebration, and they took me along!

Grilling was still in the works so we were sent to the recreation area. My kids chose the bean toss, which happened to be a great spatial reasoning exercise for my daughter. While the three of us were playing, two other friends joined us. After another round, I stepped away to snap a photo shoot.

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Behind us dinner was grilling away! Yum!

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After dinner recreation...

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Then...the fireworks! These were quite a bit different from any I had ever experienced. My son told me that these were the types allowed by private citizens in our county. They are low to the ground, set off from a table top. They guys ran some really great rounds, working efficiently to keep a constant flow of activity. Very interesting to watch.

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Well, that was great fun! What's up for the 4th?