My First Columbus Day Weekend

Believe it or not I haven’t had a Columbus Day off from work since I was 16 years old and  got my first job.

For the past 15 years I worked for a company that had very few paid holidays. That changed when I was let go from my last position and found my current one. At FGX International they like their holidays. I will even have Good Friday off. I am blown away by the holiday and paid time off package I still can’t believe it when I think about what I put up with for 15 years.

I made sure that I spent my first Columbus Day weekend thoroughly enjoying myself. First up was a much needed haircut. Well, more like a much needed trim. My hair is pretty damaged from a flat iron I had gotten for free as a sample from my last job. I thought it worked great – my hair was straight – until it started breaking apart in my hands. I lost chunks of hair from different areas around my head and they are finally starting to fill back in, to my great relief. Kudos to my amazing hair stylist Magan who made me look normal this whole time through her crafty cutting.

After my cut I went to pick up my sister to spend the day. We ended up at On the Border for some Mexican and at Jo Ann Fabrics for some new fabric. I love to make bags and picked up some cool fabric to make my niece a craft bag for Christmas. My sister got some awesome, wild greens and blues to make an Irish Chain quilt.

We then headed to see Ben Affleck (yum) in his new movie Gone Girl but the 2:30 showing was sold out. No big deal, right? Just go to the next show, right? But that would have put it well past 6pm when the movie let out and I needed to be home by 6 to give Sparrow her insulin shot.


Luckily, my sister understood and I offered an alternate idea – we could get our nails done. The girly idea sat just fine with my sister so we headed to a local nail salon. I was very impressed with the price, the cleanliness, the workmanship and the polite service. I brought my own polish – OPI’s Muir, Muir On the Wall – a brown-plum color perfect for fall. I also got acrylic nails because my fingernails were bitten to shit and it wasn’t worth paying for a manicure on them.


Sunday I was inspired to start Nora Corbett’s The Letter M for a gift for my Grandmother for Christmas. I did not have all of the Crescent Colors and beads for the design (and I wasn’t that crazy about the colors for my Gramma) so I changed the colors. I used some minty Crescent Color greens for the dress and the 552/553/554 DMC purple colorway for the letter M – perfect Gramma colors. I had matching beads and the same colors and Kreinik for the wings.

Here is the original design:

The letter m

And here is the start of my conversion on Silver Mist fabric by Silkweaver:

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I roasted a beef roast in the oven which made an amazing gravy (after the addition of butter and flour), mashed potatoes and green beans. A perfectly homey fall meal.

Today was a supremely lazy day. I designed a chart for Sparrow’s insulin shots, feedings and glucose readings. She has adapted to her new litter box quite well (thankfully). It is the Tidy Cats Breeze system where the urine doesn’t clump in the litter but free flows down into a separate pan.


I cross stitched, caught up on some tv shows and watched the Boston Bruins hockey game on tv. I’m a huge hockey fan for those who aren’t in the know. It’s been over 20 years and I still love it.

So ends the tale of my very first working Columbus Day holiday. Tomorrow starts a four day week at work and is capped off by the FGX International night at the Providence Bruins the minor league affiliate of the Boston Bruins. It ought to be a good week.

Yet Another Bag

Even though I have been absent from regular blog postings it doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to my eyeballs in crafty goodness!

First up is a big (15″x 18″) craft bag for my sewing/quilting loving sister. I loved the antique sewing machines and dress forms on the print but was not crazy about the color combinations.

I made due with the colors and chose a blue floral that matched the sewing machines to use as the contrasting fabric.

I loved the ceramic button I found in the exact brown shade. I really, really loved this button. It was very hard to part with it! 🙂

Eat Your Heart Out Vera Bradley

After seeing so many craft bags around with patterns and quilting I began to have bag envy.

Let me explain.

I have a bag fetish.
Briefcase/laptop bags.
Electronics pouches.

It’s bad.

I can get a serious case of bag envy over someone else’s reusable shopping bags. I found myself rushing to Sally’s Beauty Supply and Joann’s just to get one of their pretty bags.

It’s a compulsion.

But it’s practical. I can put things in all these bags.

Stop laughing. They ARE practical.

However, even I couldn’t stomach paying $100 for a floral/patterned/quilty thing that still wasn’t deep enough to cover an 11″ Q-Snap along with all my other crap, I mean supplies.

The Swamp Yankee in me sometimes makes me frugal to the point of just being cheap.

For a cute (but exaggerated) definition of a Swamp Yankee look here or check out the Wikipedia entry for the genealogy portion.

I’ve done my genealogy back over five centuries and was surprised to see how much Swamp I’ve got 🙂

Back to my frugal nature…
I saw these bags and the Swamp Yankee on my shoulder (don’t know if she is the devil or angel yet) whispered in my ear “YOU could make a bag like that for LESS.”

Hmmm, why maybe I could. I have made my sewing machine my bitch and can actually sew a bit- that was all detailed in November 2009’s book post of my exorcising my machine sewing demons!

I started scouring the internet for free patterns but they all were wrong.
Too shallow.
Too narrow.
Short straps.

So I tried two patterns and HATED them.

Then I started playing around with principals learned on line.
Seam allowances.
Stitching techniques.
Then made my own custom design.

For around 40 bucks in supplies and more than a bit of trial and error I have my own craft tote bag!

😀 big smiles!

Not great pics. Once I fill it up I will post a pic taken with my new camera!