Monday, November 24, 2014

Mini Daytripper

I showed you some fabric months ago that I wanted to make a bag out of but didn't know what to use for the lining. As it turned out, I had a piece of fabric I'd gotten in a grab bag that I thought was perfect for the bag, but there wasn't enough of it. Long story short, it was out of print, but thanks to a Google image search, I found a couple of places that still had some. The first one was in the UK, and I didn't want to pay shipping from there, so I kept searching till I actually found ONE SHOP in the USA that carried some yet. The fabric was on sale, even, but with shipping, it's kind of an expensive lining. But perfect. ;)

Here's the bag I made - for me! It's the Mini version of Erin Erickson's (I should be a spokesperson for her patterns, don't you think? Ha. I guess I sort of am.) Daytripper bag. Tips for making the Mini are on her blog here.

Jess had given me the fabric for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it seemed just right for a bag for myself. I wanted something basic that would go with a lot of things, because I don't like changing bags.

The strap is adjustable so I can hang it on my shoulder or over my neck crossbody style, and I added a strip of fleece interfacing to it as a bit of padding. I also added some piping to the outside pockets to trim them a little.

Here's a closer look at the fabric and piping (and my lovely little freebie label):

There's a recessed zipper at the top. The pattern had slip pockets on one side of the lining (see that pretty fabric in there?)...

... and since I like a lot of pockets, I added slip pockets plus a zipper pocket to the other side of the lining. If you ever need to make a zipper pocket like that, there's an excellent tutorial here. It was a breeze following those instructions - best zip pocket of that kind I've ever done.

I so love that lining. It was worth the effort and price, in my book.

I like how it peeks out whenever I open the bag or a pocket... a nice pop of contrast.

For being a "mini", it's still a good-sized bag. I can fit my iPad in the back pocket.

This is a closeup of a little zipper pull I'm debating about using. I've gotten one free with every order I've placed from Zipit. Whaddya think? Use it?

Although this one is okay I think, I need to find the other pulls I've gotten from there and see if there's one that looks better. I wonder where they are... hmm.

So, there's another bag finish. I'm very pleased with it, and it went together just as smoothly as all of Erin's patterns do.

On that note, I'm going to say good-bye for a bit of a blog-cation! I have a lot of things I need/want to be doing, so I'm giving myself permission to not blog for a week or so. But I'll be back sometime next week. Meanwhile, I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Furball babies

I finally brought a camera out with me yesterday morning when I fed the cats. It was only 10° at the time, but it wasn't windy, and the sun was shining, which is the only way I get any kind of light in where the babies are. I only brought my old Kodak, mainly so I could get videos, but also because it was quicker and lighter-weight than the DSLR, so these photos aren't the greatest, but at least you can see the kittens.

Here's their beautiful home. It's an old building that had been used for hogs and then sheep... many years ago. I told you it was dilapidated! It has a door, of sorts, but it won't close because things are too warped out of shape. The kittens live in that corner on the right.

Here's their little pen. I reused all the stuff from the garage that I'd used for Rainbow's first litter last summer. I'm sure glad I saved all that!

There is styrofoam insulating their walls, and lots of straw inside the box. You can see their little door behind those two kittens. Yes, Rainbow can fit through it, too. That round thing on the right is just to prop up the wall.

This is Cottonball. Just look at how dark she's gotten!

Here's Haily... and Mia's tail:

Cottonball (looking way whiter because of the camera flash) and Mia... I love that little face!

I tried to get individual pics of them, but they didn't turn out so good. It definitely works better with an assistant. See? Ha!

I did, however, get some cute videos. They may not work on your tablet, so you'll need to get to a computer to view them. Enjoy!

LiEr's gonna die AGAIN when she sees these faces:

Cottonball is by far the most extroverted. She's always the first one out and cries the most to be picked up.

Don't worry... just because they're crying doesn't mean there's any problem. They'd cry like that even if they were in a warm house. :) They just want attention. The ones in the garage did the same thing every time I went out there last summer.

I'm so glad I have them! They just warm my heart every time I go out there. Nothing like holding 3 little adorable-faced furballs at a time! They make going out in the cold worth it. :) I sure hope they can survive the winter... the worst is yet to come, of course. But they're 5 weeks old now, and each additional day gives them a better chance.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sneak peek

I'm sewing! It keeps me from looking out the window at all the white.

I'd ordered that zipper, just HOPING it would go well with the fabric. Woohoo... couldn't have matched any better! So pleased!

Hope to have it done soon. Maybe I can show it to you on Monday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I found this on our deck yesterday morning.

I think we were visited by an angel! ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In the top 22

Remember this Time Warp Sunburst Tote that I posted about here?

I entered it in the Purse Palooza 2014. There were nearly 250 entries, and of those, my tote was selected by judges to be in the top 22! Those 22 bags now get voted on by the general public to select the top 3 who will win some great prizes. There will also be a random drawing for a 4th prize.

Now, to be honest, I really don't like those type of contests, because the winner is just the one who can get the most people to vote for them, not necessarily the best entry. I entered this one mainly for the exposure it would bring for Jess's new fabric line. So I'm just asking you to go and vote for whichever bag you like best, and if it happens to be mine, I thank you for your vote! Voting ends Friday night.

Here are the bags and the poll: Purse Palooza Poll
Just click on whichever one you like best and then scroll to the bottom and click on "Vote".

Monday, November 17, 2014


'Pretty' ugly, if ya ask me. We got more.

About 6 inches more on Saturday.

It's just sitting there waiting for the wind to blow, which it is forecast to do. Gusts of 35 mph should move it around 'pretty' well.

The temperatures are ridiculous, too. It was already below zero when I got up yesterday morning, with a wind chill of -22°. More of same on the way. Ugh.

It's not a good winter for too-young kittens, either. Saturday night Grandpa helped add a bunch of straw for bedding for them and the older ones. So far so good.

I'm going to hibernate for the rest of the winter, I think. In my sewing room. If you don't hear from me, you'll know where I am. At least then you won't have to listen to me complaining about the weather. ;)

Friday, November 14, 2014

More names

My helpers came through... we have names for the newest babies! At first I'd thought of naming these 3 little kittens after the helpers themselves, since they were all females. That would've made them Emily, Jenna and Kate. :) But then I thought maybe it would be more fun to have the girls name the kittens themselves. They thought long and hard and finally succeeded in coming up with very cute names.

I took these photos on Nov. 3rd, since I had my regular assistant here to help me with them. Here she is, looking like a cute little leopard herself. :) 

The kittens have grown a lot since I took these pics, but it's been too COLD for getting any more recent ones lately. Just imagine them being bigger and cuter than ever. :)

This first one is Mia (she even has her initial on her forehead - ha!):

I thought sure the girls would come up with something like Mittens or Socks, considering these little white paws, but they were thinking more modern than that. Good for them! :)

This next one was going to be Zoe, but since Courtney already has a Zoey, I thought that could get confusing, so I asked for a second choice. She is now Haily!

She had a fat belly then, but it's even fatter now. Mama Rainbow is a good milker. :)

I bet you'll never guess what this little one is called:

Last, but certainly not least, we have.... are you ready for this?.... Cottonball!! :)

It makes me chuckle. I told the girls' mom that this kitten is looking more like a 'used' cottonball all the time, particularly one that was used to remove mascara or something. Ha.

Just look at her crazy coat... a light layer, a black layer, and then a light undercoat. So strange!

The kittens are doing great so far, even with the cold temperatures we're experiencing now. I have them tucked in as snugly as I can in our old empty hog barn. The trouble is, they're getting big enough (4 weeks old already) that they're wanting to get out of their box to explore. I hate to let them out, for fear they won't find their way back and get too cold. We need some warmer weather!! For many reasons!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I don't think I've ever told you this little gal's name, either! Remember her? She's one of Patches' offspring born last summer. She's so beautiful, and a definite favorite of mine.

I named her Serendipity... "a joyful surprise"... because I've never had a cat with those "silver tabby" markings before.

It's a name we've used before, many years ago, when a beautiful calico cat just showed up here one day... another joyful surprise.

I call her Sere (pronounced like Sarah) for short.

She's pretty photogenic. And look at those stripes!

And that belly - ha!

She's pretty tame, too. I can pick her up (as long as she's at the food bowl) and she doesn't object. Nice, compared to the first time I picked her up and she chomped at my (gloved, thank goodness) finger. :)

I'm still waiting for names for Rainbow's now-4-week-old babies. The girls naming them thought they were done, but one of their choices happened to be already taken, so they're working on coming up with another one. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

'It' happened

Yep, it did it.

That's a leaf, BTW... not a mouse.

And these were made by a Rainbow:

Not so bad, really, if you consider that they got a foot of snow not too far north of here.

Also, harvest is done, as is the tillage. So it coulda been much worse. But it's still yucky.

I'd rather go back to Autumn.

There. I did. This picture happened to be in my camera, too... taken five days before. Much better sight, huh? Poor little thing was wondering what happened to her water bowl (a.k.a. the birdbath).

Well, if nothing else, it's good weather for sewing. I have a project well under way, so I'd better get back to it. Show ya later!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Mama's kittens are still here... all except one, presently. She's been dragging them all over the place, but always brings them back, although quite often leaves one behind. Not always the same one, though. We've had them named for quite a while... I've just neglected to tell you. Here are some new photos (at least I don't think I've shown you these before) and the kittens' names.

I went with my theme of family names for a couple of them, since I'd started with Rainbow's Aggie who was named after my grandma. This little guy is Silas, after one of my grandma's brothers:

Next is Swede, another brother (whose real name was Goodwin, but nobody called him that... and can you imagine a cat named Goodwin?).

I like to call him "Little Svede".

Up next is Peekaboo....

... because so often I see her peeking out from somewhere!

This is Punkin, so named by Jess (because punkins are orange, of course).

He has beautiful stripes.

And last, but certainly not least, is my lovely Autumn.

Isn't she just the most...

... adorable doll ever?! Eek! I love her!

They are doing very well and have gotten quite tame. I love how they come running to meet me when I go out to feed them now.

Rainbow's latest ones are doing well, too... so far. We have some mighty cold temperatures coming up this week, though, and I worry about them. I have them tucked into a warm little "house", but the upcoming 0° is gonna be pretty mean. I hope they can make it. They're getting close to 4 weeks old, and the older they get, the better their chances.

They are in the process of being named, also. I enlisted 3 little girls to help name them, and they haven't given me their final decisions yet. It's HARD naming kittens! :) When I get the results, I'll let you know and show you how cute THEY are!!