Mid-Winter Sowing Seeds & Sprouting Colorful Inspiration

Leaf Amaranth Seedling – February 2021

I know. I know. I’m — perhaps — a little unusual. I prefer seeds and grow lights (or sewing tools & fabric) as favorite gifts over flowers and jewelry any day.

In January, Jeff and I purchased a few little grow lights and I decided to work on some early seed starts as a way to help combat seasonal anxiety/depression and to learn how feasible it might be to start our seedlings inside, earlier in the season.

I have to tell you, I am blown away by how much I have loved growing the seeds as outdoor temperatures plunged to negative double digits last week (factoring wind chill). Featured above is my current most loved plant: Leaf Amaranth. The deep burgundy red fading to pink atop bright, luminous green brings me so much joy on cold and dark days. It also inspires me to think outside my comfort zone for future quilt, sewing and art projects.

This variety of amaranth is grown and used as an alternative to spinach. It may be eaten raw or cooked and is a nutritional power house. What a blessing for the senses! I can hardly wait to harvest some. In the background you can see beet root sprouts that I’m growing mainly for their greens. Again, there’s that spectacular contrast of burgundy red and bright, luminous green has me smitten.

What’s inspiring you these days? I’d LOVE to know. Please drop me a comment below (note, I have to approve comments to protect our blog from unwanted spam so it may take a bit to see your post appear).

Custom StandZa Zip Bags = Wonder Clip “Pincushion” & Storage!

Custom Size StandZa Zip Bag

I recently made a wonderful discovery I just have to share with you. I’m so excited about it because it’s making my sewing life ever so much more stress free and enjoyable.

You see, I was getting super frustrated with wonder clips (which I absolutely LOVE) getting sucked under under my sewing machine along with several of my favorite sewing tools.

So one day, in my frustration, I grabbed a custom size StandZa Zip Bag that I had made a few years ago and I quickly loaded her up.

I placed Jumbo clips across the top edge of the bag and the smaller clips across the lower lip of the open zipper. LOADS of extra clips are stored inside the bag. Then I put my most favorite tools inside–standing up–where I can see and quickly grab them when I need them (and quickly put them back where they belong). I can’t tell you how much time this has saved me, not to mention less stress and frustration (who needs any of that?).

Shown in this picture (in addition to the Wonder Clips), I have my Loop Turner Tool, Sew Easy Tweezers, Awl, a crochet hook, and a stiletto tool. It’s not shown in this picture, but I also keep my Point2Point Turner stored here.

That brings me to the next FREE sew-along that I’ll be doing via Facebook Live Video. Join me on Facebook in February 2021 and we’ll sew a custom size StandZa Zip Bag for your sewing table (or for gifting). The sew-along itself will be free, but you’ll need to have previously purchased your StandZa Zip Bag pattern (currently available in print and download).

It’ll be another quickie! There is a zipper involved (don’t worry, it’s EASY) so I am planning for this sew-along to be done in at least 2 small and very manageable parts that will make it super easy for you to fit into your day. I’ll give you more specific details as to date(s) and time next week (1/23/2021 and after), so be sure to watch for next week’s eNews and mark the date(s). If you’re not already subscribed, click here to sign up.

EASY No-Sew Squash Hammock upcycle/recycle project

Lakota Squash settling into the good life. It’s all about the squash hammock.

I’m experimenting with trellising some of my squash plants. This Lakota Squash plant is climbing the trellis beautifully, but the squash was starting to get big and heavy and really needed support. I know some people use old panty hose to make slings, but I haven’t worn panty hose in (?) maybe decades so don’t have any old ones laying around.

What to do? What to do? “What would my Grams do?” I asked myself.

The answer was easy. She’d use what she had. And one thing I have is old knit shirts I’ll never wear again. They typically age in a storage container for a while then eventually find their way to the wrag bin.

Problem solved. I pulled out a lovely blue knit shirt, cut some long strips about 5 inches wide and secured it to the trellis. I was mindful to cut the strips wide enough to accommodate growth and still keep the squash secure. I brought the rest of the strips out to the garden and have them hanging/waiting on an empty spot in the trellis. I’ll be ready for the next hanging Lakota that starts to plump up and needs a bit of support. In the meantime this squash is definitely living its best life–carefree and healthy–just hanging out in the hammock. Happy, healthy squash means more deliciousness for our dinner table.

A Constant, Powerful Truth: The Sun Rises & The Sun Sets Every Day

It’s true.

No matter if there is chaos and confusion in the world. No matter if times are good or bad. As long as life on earth continues, the sun will rise and the sun will set each day.

The following three pictures capture an exceptionally stunning sunset this past Wednesday, March 26, 2020. The sequence was taken over approximately a three minute span.

I felt overwhelmed, humbled and blessed to have the opportunity immerse myself in this powerful experience. As it started, the bright yellow cast felt so intense it was eerie, unsettling and almost foreboding. But I stayed still. I waited and observed. I could not believe the incredible progression to the most incredible beauty I’ve ever seen in the skies. (These pictures which have not been filtered or adjusted are OK but don’t begin to show the true intensity). This experience was an excellent reminder that our human problems are truly small and insignificant in comparison to the ever powerful, constant truth which we have absolutely no control over.

To worry about the sun rising and setting would be silly because we can’t control that in the least (and that’s probably a very good thing).

I honestly believe the same goes for what is happening around the world right now.

All we can do is our best every day. We don’t know all the answers and how everything is going to play out. We have no control over this thing. To allow ourselves to become consumed with excessive worry serves no purpose other than to paralyze and weaken us; and it will diminish hope, strength and resolve both within us and in our children and grandchildren for generations to come.

So what do we do? Should we succumb to the fear mongers? Should we join in the fear mongering? Should we just give up and wait for the government to take care of all our needs?

I say, “No! We must each do the best we can. Individually and collectively. EVERY. DAY. We listen to the still, small voice inside of us and we get busy. We get really honest about what we CAN do every day to make our lives better for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors, our communities and we don’t wait for anyone to do it for us. We take back our power by remaining calm and controlling our own thoughts and our own actions. And it IS still very possible to do these things and follow the current safe social distance and shelter in place protocols.

There has never been a better time than right now to love, to be kind, to be thankful, to share, and most especially to offer hope to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Let’s take this opportunity to teach them how to stand strong in the face of adversity. Let’s teach them: How to sew. How to mend. How to fix things instead of throwing them away and getting new. How to clean up after themselves and help out more in the household. How to bake & cook. How to plant a garden (yes, even in a small apartment, one can grow a few things in containers–and it’s incredible how good home grown veg tastes!). How to can and preserve. Let’s teach them that they can be part of something bigger than themselves and the video games they play while they wait for you (or someone else) to take care of everything for them.

At the end of every day, the sun will set.
It’s more powerful than magic. It is a constant, powerful, indisputable truth.

Jeff and I send you warm wishes of love, good health, safety and peace. There is STILL sew much to be thankful for.

Discovery Day Sewing — Adding a Carry Strap/Handle to Glamsy

Glamsy vinyl mesh Spa Bag with Carry Strap

On Thursday last week (9/24/17), I did some Discovery Day Sewing. I wanted to add a carry handle/strap to the Glamsy Spa Gift Bag (pictured here). She’s  for my brand new StandZa Zip Bags sewing pattern.

 

I filled Glamsy with delightful bath/spa items chosen specifically to pamper and please, including: lavender scented Epsom salt soak, body wash, buff pad, spa eye mask, lip balm, shower brush, lotion and more. I *loved* that she could hold so much so beautifully; but then I decided that I really wanted an attractive and easy way to carry and present her.

 

Sew…I decided on adding a single carry strap as a quick, easy and inexpensive solution. After making this, I do believe the method should not be limited to this project. I think it would be great for adding single or double straps/handles of any desired length to a multitude of different bags types and styles. Why spend a bunch of money on designer pre-made straps or handles when you can easily make your own custom straps?

 

What do you think? Would you like to know how I did it?

 

If I get at least 200 unique and positive responses combined I will make a 1-page, step-by-step tutorial full of pictures and provide it as a FREE PDF in NEXT Sunday’s eNews (10/1/17).

 

My time is super limited, so I need your feedback if you would like me to do this for FREE.
There are four easy ways to let me know:
  1. Make a comment on the pinned post on our SewThankful Inc. Facebook page.
  2. Email me directly.
  3. Follow us on Instagram and like the Glamsy with Straps picture.
  4. Make a comment below, on this blog post.