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Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today, I pulled out my old pleater, got a fat quarter, and pleated it! OK, not such a fantastic accomplishment, and after looking at maggiebsmocks blog, I think I did it backwards. But, it's still pleated, and I need some practice. I'll be dusting off my old instruction books and working on the stitches this weekend. I haven't smocked since Laura was about 7 or 8 (and while it was a really cute dress, I don't think she ever wore it). She's now 20, so yeah, it's been awhile.

I have an idea for a easy, cute sundress that shouldn't take a long time to make. Just need to get the basics down for now.

I also decided to go for a new banner and avatar for my shop, and am having an ad made for the project wonderful advertising. Stay tuned for that...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Craft Table

Sometimes we have to take a break from our crafts to make our environment, i.e., where we do all our fun work, work better for us. My cutting work has taken place in either one of two places in my house. Big projects were cut out on the dining room table, and I'm notorious for leaving stuff out. Not good for family harmony. Smaller projects are cut out on a flimsy folding table covered with a cardboard "cutting board" from one of the fabric stores. This table lives at the end of the guest bed which also serves as a "table". Also not really a good plan. Here's the photo:So, time for a new plan. I've already cleaned out the storage part of our basement. Now there is space for a new cutting table. I bought the trestle legs at Ikea, and an MDF top at Lowe's. I had the MDF cut to 3' x 6' and will be ordering a cutting mat to cover it... just looking for the best price. Roland built the whole thing this evening, and with a little sanding, and maybe some painting of the edges it will be ready to go. No more dining room, or guest room mess (well, maybe a little mess). Here's the table:
I have a long scrap of MDF that I will use as a shelf on the bottom. The other great thing about the table... it's 3' high, so no uncomfortable bending over while I cut. I'm ready to sew! Won't be happening until Thursday though (maybe late Wed., we'll see, but 2 WW meetings... might be tough).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Costa Rican Treats

Pictures are now on the computer, and I thought I'd share a few treats. We stayed at 2 hotels, the Paradisus Playa Conchal and the Hotel Tamarindo Diria (about 20 minutes south). It is near the end of the dry season there, and things were noticeably not green. The great thing about the dry season for visitors is, however, NO rain. That is desirable when you're taking a beach vacation and the weather did not disappoint.

The first few days were spent doing... well, nothing. Relaxing by the pool mostly, and while re-energizing, by the 4th day we were ready for adventure. And we got it... leaving the hotel at 8 am, a group of 18 of us headed inland for a canopy tour that included a 14-platform zip line, water slide, hike to a waterfall, mud bath and hot springs (of a sort), and a wild horse ride.

After adventure, we needed to recuperate, and we did that the next day on a half-day catamaran trip that ended at sunset. This time, about 45 in our group attended, and there was enough sun, surf and sand to satisfy just about everyone. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the sailing, which was fine with me, but some of the purists onboard would have preferred sail over motor. All told, I saw much more flora than fauna, but did see several iguana, an anteater (or sloth...not sure which), lots of skinny cows and horses, and a porpoise. Oh, and a tick hitched a ride stateside between my toes. Ouch!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm back from Costa Rica and will be posting some pics soon on flickr, and maybe a few right here. I've renewed my promoting on etsy, put my plugboard graphic on a few sites... will do more later... and even added a plugboard here.

One thing I've realized is that it would be better to blog when I'm not tired. Which means I won't add any more here except to say that it is wonderful to be back home. Costa Rica is a fascinating country, and while I loved parts of the trip there are other parts that were not as enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Things are happening...

Well, things are moving right along. We leave for CR in 2 days! Tomorrow will be spent mostly packing and organizing, because even though we have an afternoon flight, I've got to drive the dog to the kennel which will be about a 2 hour round trip in the morning. No more WW meeting this week... check those off the list. Let the eating begin ;-).

And etsy... exciting things happening there. The new/old feature "Alchemy" looks very promising. I've already bid to make an item, though it will be one with lots of competition (a tote bag... there are LOTS of tote bag makers on etsy). No worries though, if I get it, I get it.

I've also purchased a plugboard graphic, so look for it to appear on blogs throughout cyberspace (or at least a few places anyway). I realize that it may have been simple to make according to the plugboard site, but I'm not that computer savvy, and I wanted it done sooner rather than later. In other words, I've let someone else (ButterflyChic) do it for me, and she did a great job!

But back to the vacation. My shop will essentially be closed while I'm gone, but I'm not too worried there... haven't even made a sale yet. With luck, it will be like the proverbial watched pot, and will finally boil. I'd love to be going to the post office the day after we get back! Once we are back... more spreading the word about downthestreet!

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Wow! Time does get away from me somehow. Today was the WW staff meeting, so there went my Sunday afternoon. Laura was home this weekend, doing laundry before heading off to the coast for her spring break. And I have 4-1/2 days to get ready for our own trip to Costa Rica! Very excited, but there is a lot to do. I've got a new apron design that I really love, I hope others do to. The picture is "just a peek". And, as luck would have it, it's the part that is finished.

I've joined flickr, and when I get it sorted out, I'll put in a link. I'll put this picture in, too, in the Just a Peek etsy flickr group I joined. That sounds pretty unintelligible, so perhaps I had better end this post and try again when I'm not tired and distracted.