Monday, December 29, 2008

More Grocery Bags and Gluten Free Goodies

Here are two more grocery bags. The green aloha print one was my test bag. I used the Burda Style "Charlie Bag" pattern, but lined it. I tried to make the little pouch to fold it up in, but it was too small, so I didn't attach it. Then I decided to use the pocket from the Singlet pattern I used before. That worked, but I think I need to make it a little wider. The light floral print bag is made with the same fabric as the other bag only with a different color lining.

The last picture is of the yummy gluten free food I got for Christmas from my brother and his wife, with the exception of the M&Ms. I got the m&ms from my mom. Pamela's mixes are wonderful! We're having gluten free brownies for New Years! I've already eaten an energy bar and most of the shortbread cookies. I'm also halfway through the Cherry Brownie. All these goodies aren't going to last very long. Thanks Grant and Juri!

Now to get
ready for the New Year celebration...hope all is going well with you.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas gifts and island wide blackout

Well, we had another island wide power outage. We were having thunder storms. Then the power went out. Hawaiian Electric still doesn't know exactly what caused the outage. The whole island went down last night at around 6:30 pm. We got back our power at about 12 noon today. That meant that we were without power for about 18 hours! There are still people who don't have power! (It's about 24 hours now.) We ended up tossing some food from our refrigerator. Luckily, I had purchased a butane burner a few years ago. This was only the second time we used it. The last time was when a large earthquake rocked the big island two years ago. The weather forecast is for more thunder and lightening storms for the rest of this weekend. I hope the power stays on.

Now for a few of the gifts I made for Christmas. I made a sewing machine cover for my mother, that I forgot to take a picture of. It was green on the outside w
ith salmon colored lining and salmon colored piping.

Anyway, pictured is the fleece scarf and hat I made for my no. 1 daughter in her favorite color. She loved it. I was surprised that it was so easy. She is attending college in Oregon and got delayed in Portland because of the snow storm! She had to spend the night at the airport with some other students from Hawaii. So much excitement!

Hope your day is going well with no power outages!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Grocery Bag and gift wrapping

Merry Christmas everyone, one of my co-workers is retiring at the end of the month. On her last day of work (school), we had a little get together with her and I made her a grocery bag. I don't know if you can see it, but on the side with the floral print, there is a pocket. The bag can be folded up and put in the pocket. I also made one with a pink dotted lining. I haven't taken a picture of it yet. When I do, I will post it.

I also made some reusable fabric bags. They kind of looked like mini santa bags. They were a hit! I hope to make more for next year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Giveaways and A fabric envelope

I just got done going through the long list of giveaways at Sew Mama Sew. It took me two days. By the time I got to some of them they were closed and had already picked winners. Oh well, maybe next time.

I haven't really posted anything because I am sewing gifts for Christmas. I will post them after Christmas.

I am able to post about my attempt at being green. I made a reusable fabric envelope and put my SIL's birthday present in it. She has already received and opened it so it is safe to post about it now. This was my first attempt at making a reusable gift wrap. I made it too big. I found a pattern and instructions for an envelope pillow and adapted that to make this gift envelope. I am debating whether to make another smaller one or even make more to be used for Christmas or maybe I'd better make something a little simpler.
I'd better decide quickly or I'll run out of time!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okinawan Sweet Potato and A Rummage Sale Find

An Okinawan sweet potato I bought from the market sprouted, so I decided to let it grow. As you can see I stuck toothpicks in it and stuck it in a jar of water. It grew like crazy. Within a week I had to look for a pot to put it in.

I went to Koolau Farmers to get a pot and some soil. I ran into an old friend who used to grow sweet potoatoes and they told me how to do it, which was good because I had no idea how to do it. They told me what size pot to get and when to transplant.

As you can see, they told me to put the potato in a small gallon sized pot. Here is what they told me. When the vines grow about a foot in length, cut the slips (vines) and transplant them into another larger po
t. So, I said okay.

About a week later, there were two slips (vines) that were about a foot in length. I went back to Koolau Farmers to buy another larger pot and more potting soil. This time when I went there one of the clerks told me what to do. He said I needed to mix some chips with the soil so that I wouldn't lose any of my potatoes. It just so happened that the mix and chips were on sale. :) The sales person loaded it into my car for me and off I went.

I told my DH about what the sales person said and he helped me the next day to pot the slips. There was no way I could have done it myself because those bags of soil and chips were super heavy.

I just checked my potato today and it looks like I need to get another large pot to pot more slips. The Ag teacher at school said sweet potatoes grow like weeds! What have I gotten myself into?!

I went to a rummage and craft sale in Manoa a few weeks ago. To my surprise they had fabric remants on sale at the rummage sale. I picked up these three pieces of fabric for a total of three dollars. Since then, I've been trying to look for some garage sales that might have fabric on sale. I think the purple and silver one might make a nice bag, but I don't know, I may change my mind on that one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Fundraiser and a Rag Rug

We were invited to a fund raiser at Key Project in Kahaluu. Apparently they have it every year. Many of the businesses donate things for their silent auction. They had lots of art, wine, overnight stays at hotels and even ukuleles!

They opened the evening with the lions and fireworks. The green and red lions looked like Christmas. They had local entertainment which consisted of Jerry San
tos and Olomana and a halau.

Our dinner was served in the lauhala basket and the center pieces consisted of a taro plant and some local fruit. I don't remember which fruits were in the husk.

Since our closet is overflowing with rags, I decided to make some t-shirt yarn. I followed the instructions in the tutorial on Polka Dot Pineapple's blog. I think I overdid it though because my hand got sore. I even tried using my rotary cutter. That's when I found
out how dull it was! I have since bought a replacement blade. I haven't replaced it yet, but I will.

I am using the yarn to make a braided rag rug. It's giving me a bit of trouble because I can't g
et it to lie flat. I was hand-stitching the braids together, but I gave up and started to zigzag it together using my sewing machine. Now I have gaps between the braids where the machine didn't catch. I am deciding if I need to go back over it by hand or try again with the machine and a wider zigzag stitch.

I was trying to make it an oval rug, but it looks round. I also mistakenly used three different colors so that it looks like Christmas. Oh well, it will be Christmas all year round once I get it finished.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Days of Rain, Two Days of Vog and a Strip Stocking

We finally had some rain. It rained all day Saturday and Sunday. It was nonstop between a constant drizzle and and a heavier rain. I know it probably wasn't enough to get us out of a drought, but it was a start. Windward Oahu is under a voluntary water conservation as of Aug. 31 until further notice. So far, we haven't been advised otherwise so, I guess we're still conserving water.

After the two days of rain, we had two days of vog. I took this picture on Tuesday. Yesterday, Wednesday, the vog was worse. It was very, ver
y thick. They showed on the news that you couldn't see the coastline on Oahu. Luckily, the trades came back late Wednesday night and today was a lot clearer. It was even clearer than Tuesday when I took the photo.

I had to make a sample Christmas strip stocking for my class at school. I used Eleanor Burns' pattern. It was fun and easy. I did this last year using another teacher's stocking as a sample and the students loved it. Now, I have my own and I don't have to borrow the other teacher's stocking.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shopping bags

I am trying to sew bags to use at the market. I've discovered that supermarkets here give you credit for using your own bags. Safeway gives $.03/bag. Times and Foodland give $.05/bag. So far I am not very satisfied with my designs. I took apart a plastic bag from the supermarket and used it as a pattern. I sort of followed the Singlet tutorial, with adjustments here and there. I tried to make a pocket to fold the bag into, without success. I wasn't very satisfied with the final product, although I loved the fabric I used for it. I had problems with the handles too.

This brown bag is my second attempt. I am still not satisfied with the result. I made more adjustments to the pattern and this time I was able to fold up the bag and use the pocket! Hurray!

I will be making a third attempt at this, hopefully I can make it to my satisfaction.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reversible Patchwork Bag

I recently made a reversible patchwork bag using Pink Penguin's tutorial. I wanted to use up some scraps of fabric that I brought home from school. I decided to use blues and browns. I tried to alternate the darks and the lights and I think it turned out okay. I'd like to make another one. I'm not sure what I'd use it for, but oh well, at least I used some of my scrap materials. I lined the bag with some sample fabric I got from my mom. Someone gave her sample pieces that they use to order the bolts from. I wanted to make it all aloha print, but I didn't have enough aloha print in the right colors.
I'm trying to decide if I should make another one or try

I also made this red Japanese drawstring bag (Tsunagi Bukuro) using patchwork. It was a bit more difficult, but I must say that I was pleased with the result. I use this bag to keep my music tapes in and my little tape recorder. I purchased the pattern and fabric at Kuni Dry Goods in Moiliili.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The curtains are finally done. They didn't turn out quite how I wanted them to, but they are done. Maybe I will attempt another set later, we'll see...

There are many more projects to be done around the house. We've lived here for fourteen or fifteen years and things are starting to fall apart. Blinds need to be replaced... hmm...curtains?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cooling off with solar & reconstructed tees

It's been so hot lately. We got our solar water heater and panels installed 2 days ago. They put in two panels. The first picture is of the men installing the panels.

had to move everything out of the closet in the garage and in the area where the new water heater was going to
be inst
alled. We had so much stuff to move and clean. I need to call bulky to get rid of some of it.

The second picture is of them installing the solar fan.
The solar fan sucks up all the hot air out of the attic so that the house is cooler. We had four vents in the roof that they sealed because the solar fan will suck air in through all the holes and it will not be as efficient in cooling the house.

The third picture is how it looks finished. The solar fan is the squarish looking thing on the roof. We'll need to see how cool it keeps the house. Right now it feels a little cooler, not quite as hot.

Climbing electricity bills, Federal tax rebates and state tax rebates encouraged us to finally install solar.

As far as sewing goes, I worked on altering 3 t-shirts. I took old shirts that had holes in the armpit areas and neckline. I cut off the sleeves and neck, finished the edges and voila' a modified t-shirt. It's cooler without the sleeves and high neck, almost like a tank top. Oh, I also shortened it, about 2 inches.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Curtains, Quilt Show

I'm working on curtains for the kitchen. I did the lower part, now I'm working on the swag portion. I'm stuck on the ruffle portion. It's not turning out how I want it. I think I may have to lengthen or extend the ruffle so that I can get more ruffle. Right now it's kind of flat. I hope I purchased enough fabric. The blue and white fabric is the old curtain. The sunflower fabric is the new curtain. I've never made curtains before. This is a learning experience.

Back in August, I went to a Quilt Show. These are some of the quilts that were on display. My photos are a bit blurry, but the quilt with the large flower was really something. The flower was 3D. It was really pretty. I wish my photo was better.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Car, t-shirt reconstruction

It's been a while since I've posted, but we got a new "used" car. It's another Corolla. As you can see it's white. We decided to go with another corolla to save on gas. Of course, we ended up paying much, much more than we were reimbursed. The way I understand it, it has to do with the way the law is written.
DH is still getting tests to find out how injured he was from the accident. DD is done with her tests and doctor
visits. She has recovered from the accident.
I was in an accident over 10 years ago and still have pain from it. I had a whiplash that resulted in a pinched nerve, TMJ and CD. The insurance has stopped paying for my doctor visits.
As far as sewing, I haven't been doing much. I have been altering t-shirts since the weather has been so hot and muggy. I've been taking old shirts with holes in the underarms and necklines, cutting off the sleeves and turning them into either sleeveless shirts or tank tops to wear at home. It is much cooler that way. This is just one of the shirts I've done. I will post the others later. I hope to have more time to sew now that I am working half time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rental Car

This is a picture of the rental car we got from enterprise. Our car was deemed a total loss. It was in an accident last week. The other party's insurance is paying for the rental, at least part of it. I'm not too happy with the arrangement, but it's better than nothing. We have it for a week.

The insurance is paying for the rental fee. We have to pay for the insurance for the rental. How messed up is that. Sorry, but I have to vent. The fees for the insurance come out to more than the cost of the rental itself. What a rip off! I'm ready to ask my parents if we can borrow their car. I think the other party's insurance should cover everything, because he hit us! Now we have to get a new car. Grrrr...

My DH is in Oregon. He took my DD to college. I've been trying to reach him on his cell, but he hasn't returned by calls. This is most frustrating. I guess we need to go car shopping this weekend. Gotta get rid of this rental ASAP. I hope I can convince DH to go car shopping on Mon. He returns from his trip tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is going well. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Greenhouse Frog

I don't know how well you can see the little frog in the jar, but that is what hopped into our house. We captured it last night. It is a greenhouse frog. I called the Department of Agriculture's Pest Hotline and that is what they told me it was. It is not poisonous, but it is an alien species and a pest. It makes a chirpping noise like a bird. Our neighbors have birds who make lots of noise, so I was unaware that we had these in our neighborhood. The man who took my call told me not to be nice because it looks so cute. He said I would regret it later when it multiplied and kept me up at night.

I spoke to some people I work with to find out who to call and some of them told me that they have lots of these around their neighborhood.

Oh, the man who took my call told me to kill it. He said to put the jar in the freezer, then throw the jar away.

One hopped into the house about five days ago, but I chased it out by spraying a vinegar and water solution at it. It left the way it came in, I think. I didn't actually see it come in, but it squeezed out through a space under our screen door.
I told my neighbor about it and he told me that I would have to catch it. Well, we caught this one...I wonder how many more we have around our house. I hope not too many and I hope they don't venture in any more. If they do, at least I know what to do with them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Japanese Buzzsaw Quilt

During the summer, I took a class at Bernina to learn how to make a Buzzsaw Quilt. Since it is made with oriental or asian print fabrics it is called a Japanese Buzzsaw Quilt. This is a photo of my instructors finished quilt.

I chose a green background fabric and use light colored print
ed fabrics. My instructions were to cut 9 inch squares and 2 x 8 inch strips.

We were to sew a printed square and a background square, then cut them in half to make two new squares which were half print and half background fabric.
Next, we cut the new squares into 2 inch strips, we laid them out so that we could see the print. This enabled us to mix the prints or if we wanted to leave them the same.

We assembled our strips to create a new square. We then used four of the squares to make a block.

This is a picture of a finished Buzzsaw quilt I saw at a quilt show. I didn't finish my quilt yet. I will post pictures of it in progress.