The Easy Friday List, June 15

This is my weekly list (posted every Friday) of items that have made my life easier in some measurable way these last seven days. Maybe they can make your life easier too.

Nintendo: Stress. Relief. God bless Mario Kart Wii.

Adult-Sized Sippy Cups: Hydration is important, particularly when the temperature hovers somewhere around the boiling point.

Double Fold Bias Tape: Not only does it finish projects beautifully, it also hides a million mistakes around the edges. Thank goodness I am fast and good at sewing binding.

Tea Cozy: I love tea. My biggest problem with tea is that by the time I get around to drinking a second cup, the tea in the brewer is cold. I have a Bodum Assam 17 oz. brewer; it steeps tea wonderfully but it doesn’t keep it warm after steeping. So I made a tea cozy.

The wonderful tea cozy at fig+fence.

It has cotton batting between two layers of fabric... keeps the tea nice and warm.

I’ll be posting more pictures of it soon. I’m thinking about writing a tutorial for it. Let me know it you’re interested.

Martha Stewart: Martha Stewart is the reason I haven’t been blogging much this week. (Yes, I’m blaming Martha even though I’ve blogged about as much as I usually blog.) I’ve been assembling some cubby hole shelves from Martha Stewart Living in the new craft room.

Yes, NEW CRAFT ROOM. Please excuse the shouting. I am so excited about getting my sewing machine and supplies out of the room some people like to call a dining room (still can’t figure out why). Pictures soon!

The Easy Friday List, June 8

This is my weekly list (posted every Friday) of items that have made my life easier in some measurable way these last seven days. Maybe they can make your life easier too.  I have a philosophical question today: Is a list of one a list?

This is an item that was extremely useful to me this week. Usually, I have more than one item, but I didn’t do much crafting this week. Mostly, I worked on my Monster Pin Cushion Tutorial and Spoonflower fabric designs. Other than that, nada.

I’m getting ready to do a lot of crafting, but I’m not there yet. Also, I’m cleaning the sewing room/craft room (which some people insist on calling the dining room – I have yet to discover why). Before one can create, one must first destroy, yes? This is to say that the room is a giant mess. It is now an even bigger mess than when I started cleaning it. Clearly, I’m using the word “cleaning” euphemistically here; no cleaning has yet to be accomplished… just a lot of destroying.

Anyway. It’s time for a brilliant segue. Hello Topic! Here is this week’s Easy Friday List Item.

Poker: I have the humor of a seven year old boy. I know this. (I also know how confusing this is to people online, for I also have the combined writing skills of a Victorian grandmother, a modern-day overly-verbose technical writer, and a redneck. I am also confused by it all; you are not alone.) But my odd humor isn’t the only reason why I love my poker (so named because it is a thin wood stick with one pointy end – you “poke” with it). It is extremely useful. I can easily turn really tight corners right side out when I’ve sewn something to be stuffed. I can stuff fiber fill into fabric and poke it into tight spots, sure. But I can also use it when I’m piecing a quilt top.

A lot of people like to use stilettos when they machine sew because you can hold fabric in place really close to the needle without endangering your fingers. Also, they can go where your fingers are too big to go… really close to that needle.  And they work fine… except when they don’t. I am prone to sticking the stiletto through the fabric. I’ve also scratched the bed of a machine with one. (%^&*$^%!!!!!)

I use my poker instead of a stiletto when I sew and need to hold the fabric in place close to the needle. It’s just pointy enough to get the job done, but it’s not terribly dangerous unless I aim for an eye or something. I wear glasses, so I have some protection from the poker there.

All in all, it’s terribly useful and cheap! I have several… they come in bags of Poly-fil. And after my marathons of pumpkin and bird stuffing last fall and winter, I have plenty. (Not that I know where all of them are.) Back to the cleaning!

LATER: I just looked in a new bag of Poly-fil. The poker actually has an official name. It’s a Poly-toolz Stuffing Stix. Oddly enough, Fairfield (the maker of Poly-fil) doesn’t even mention the pokers in the Poly-fil product description. They should; it’s a wonderful selling point.

I like the name “poker” better than stuffing stix.

The Easy Friday List – May 25

This is my weekly list (posted every Friday) of items that have made my life easier in some measurable way these last seven days. Maybe they can make your life easier too.

Glass jars: It’s confession time here: I collect glass jars. I collect used glass jars. You know that jar you threw away when you finished eating all the strawberry jelly? I keep that jar.

I come by this genetically: my grandma collected used plastic butter tubs for used lard storage and my father collects used plastic creamer tubs for nail storage in the garage. I collect glass jars for sewing notion storage. Mostly. And I glue pretty paper to their lids.

Janet Millsapps' glass jars for sewing notion storage

I think they're pretty and I don't know why I feel slightly defensive about it. And shyeah, sometimes I'll buy Brand X instead of Brand Y because Brand X has a better jar.

I have yet to glue pretty paper to the ones missing lids. My paper-crafting space is the same space as my sewing space and I’m busy sewing right now. But glass jars are so useful, they don’t even need lids.

Does your sewing machine oil bottle not stay upright properly? Does the stopper thingie on the top of your sewing machine oil bottle not stop oil when the bottle lays on its side? Put it in a glass jar.

Have you inherited buttons from your mama, nanny, and great-granny? Put them in a jar.

Do you buy and hoard buttons like all the females in your maternal line? Put them in a jar.

Do you not know what to do with bent pins and dull sewing machine needles? Put them in a jar.

Do you hoard little packets of desiccant because you like to put two in your basting safety pin tin and you don’t want to throw away the remainder? Put them in a jar.

Do you have a collection of broken vintage jewelry that you plan on using someday for something but you don’t really know for what yet? Put them in a jar.

They’re pretty, they’re useful, and they keep all that glass out of landfills! Without glass jars, I’d be afloat in little packets of desiccant, coins, bent pins, dull sewing machine needles, bacon drippings, buttons, sewing machine oil, broken vintage jewelry, and rocks.

My fish sketchbook cover: It’s seriously simple, but I’m no longer searching for my lead holder and my sketchbook will no longer suffer bent corners from being tossed around in my purse. And it’s stinking’ cute. Bonus!