Getting the house ready for a last-minute family get-together is a strange thing. I mean, it’s family. They already know about all the crazy habits and hobbies I’m going to try to hide while I’m cleaning the house.

They already know I have more craft paraphernalia than any other ten women. (Hey, it’s my job!) They know that I have never outgrown my love of games. (I blame my uncle for this; we may be related by marriage, but osmosis was at work or something when I was born ’cause I get it from him. Though, mine is more video and his is more card. Still.) And they know about my fabric hoard and my craft book collection my love of books and my Toot and Puddle collection and my cookie jars and my white pitchers and my strange reluctance to throw away Ikea and Coldwater Creek catalogs.

So why bother to try to hide all that if they know? Maybe they forgot.

So I shoved everything away like a mad woman and hoped no one would look under the bed or lean against the hall closet door too hard; that sucker was packed tight and could blow at the slightest provocation.

And then there are the spiders… we have a spider problem in this neighborhood. I find and destroy spiderwebs daily inside the house. When I don’t move the car for a few days, there will be webs all over it, too. If I head outside, I have to keep a lookout or I’ll walk into a web. They’re not the poisonous kind that bite, but they are scary nonetheless. The entire week leading up to the get-together I worried about the spiders freaking some kid out.

So the family came and I dithered thinking about all the stuff I hid. I tried to be cool and calm about finding a dead spider on the hearth when the house was at its fullest and busiest.

At some point I forgot about the hidden messes and the dead spiders and the dry lunch meat. I just enjoyed my family.

All in all the family shindig Saturday turned out great. Very little politicking. No blood spilling (though that prospect was a bit chancy at one point). Lots of laughing.

The Easy Friday List, August 3

The (Mostly) Beauty Edition.

Friday should be easy. Maybe something on this list can make your life a little easier.

Makeup Brush Folder: I have a confession. I love makeup brushes.

Seriously. That’s the confession. What were you expecting? And do I really want to know? If you tell me, remember that this site is rated G. Yes?

As confessions go, I guess it’s not as salacious or as interesting or even as unusual asĀ  it could be. Still. It’s not something that I readily admit.

I don’t know why. I guess that says more about me than my confession.

Anyway. Goodbye Therapist. Hello Topic: I own lots of makeup brushes. And with organization being a particular, well, issue of mine I feel extremely particular about, you know that I have to have some serious makeup brush organization methodology happening in the bathroom.

My Makeup Brush Folder by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

The outside.

There’s a reveal…

My Makeup Brush Folder by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

Wait for it…

My Makeup Brush Folder by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

And… the Beauty Shot!

I made it. The exterior black and white fabric is a light weight cotton (washable!) upholstery fabric I picked up somewhere. The interior is black cotton and scarlet red batik cotton. There is 100% cotton batting in between the layers of fabric. I’m stressing the cotton part here because it’s all completely hand-washable. I am a goofy klutz and makeup stains fabric if you can’t give it a good scrub; wash-ability is important.

There are three levels of pockets. There are so many little dividers that I don’t have enough brushes to fill them all. This is good. I’m fairly certain that the thing wouldn’t close if it were full. Still, there’s plenty of room to move things around, organizing, until I’m happy.

The InStyler Case: I made this case for the trip that didn’t happen due to the most untimely death of my old computer. I dearly love my InStyler and I wanted to make sure it was safe and protected. The case that came with it just didn’t seem sufficient for the job. Enter the fabric hoard!

I dithered about what part of my fabric stash I should use and finally settled on the three lovely fat quarters from Moda’s Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket. I love the collection and I’d been saving it for something special. So into the washer it went!

Out of the dryer it came… with runny red spots all over it. Argh. The red bled. I’ve never had this problem with a Moda fabric before and was a bit steamed. (Read “steamed” as “madder than I’ve been a good long while”. My Etchings Argyle Nine Patch is made of a good bit of red Moda fabric… and I didn’t pre-wash it. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen after I wash it the first time.)

I decided that I’d bravely use it anyway. So I did. It was garbage. Unfortunately, I couldn’t blame the red splotchy fabric for it.

I didn’t use a pattern; I complicated everything unnecessarily; and I was making it up as I went. It showed. I started over using a simple, drawstring bag idea with a pocket on the outside for the cord. Here’s the result.

My InStyler Case by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

I love this fabric. I wish it didn’t make me worry.

My InStyler Case by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

At least you can’t see the spots in the picture.

I’m really happy with the results, red spots and all. Now, let’s all pray that the quilt top I just finished using Moda red fabric doesn’t bleed, too. I’m lighting a candle.

InStyler: The older I get, the more apparent it becomes that I am cursed blessed with my maternal grandmother’s hair. She was lovely, but her hair was problematic: thin and wiry.

The InStyler saves me from hair nightmares. It smooths out all the kinks and waves.

The InStyler

Love this so much…

Mugs: Not just for coffee! Mugs are wonderful little cups of organization that can fit practically anywhere.

My Les Mis Mug organizes a corner of my desk at fig+fence HQ.

My Les Mis Mug organizes a corner of my desk at fig+fence HQ.

Also, it helps me keep track of all the pens that somehow mysteriously wander off when I’m not around. Must be more house elf action: pens and pin cushions. Ahem. They must love homophones.

College Writing References: I never threw my grammar textbooks/reference books away when I graduated from college. I have the Harbrace College Handbook (11th Edition) and A Writer’s Reference (2nd Edition) by Diana Hacker. I love them both, and I usually reach for the red Harbrace first out of habit (it’s on top) when I get grammatically stuck. Alas, it failed me. Only the Hacker book explained: two words that sound the same but have different spellings are called homophones (like pin and pen).

My tendency to write like Bulwer-Lytton is not the fault of either book.

Bed Dressing

Alternate title: I guess I’m gonna have to make the bed every day now, huh?

I’m making a quilted bed scarf. It’s a nine patch variation I’m calling the Argyle Nine Patch; it probably has an official name somewhere, but I don’t know it and couldn’t find it.

The Argyle Nine Patch by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

Here's the picture of it, minus the binding.

I’ve been hoarding fabric from Moda’s Etchings collection forever. And I mean forever; they don’t print that fabric anymore. I was lucky enough to find some of it on clearance at Hancock’s of Paducah recently. So I have quite a stash of it; I’ve been saving it for something special and this is it.

Some blue fabric from the Etchings collection.

Some blue fabric from the Etchings collection.

I love this fabric.

Some white fabric from the Etchings collection.

Some white fabric from the Etchings collection.

Seriously gorgeous.

I’m going to quilt it by machine. I haven’t decided if I’m going all out FMQ or if I’m doing straight lines with a walking foot. We’ll see when I get a little further along. Right now, I’m still cutting out fabric.

Making a quilt at fig+fence.

... in the process of cutting 6.5 inch squares from gray fabric.

After I’m finished with this bed scarf, I’m going to expand the size a bit and make a whole quilt in the same pattern using fabric from my three Butterfly collections at Spoonflower: Butterflies on Blue, Butterflies on Yellow, and Butterflies on Gray. (I’m still working on those collections… more designs, a free quilt pattern, and a notice of when it’s all complete, probably this Autumn or Winter.) So busy!