Tuesday, May 9, 2017

#1 son and his surprising sewing talent!

So, I've been doting on my little grandsons lately, so I have to catch you up on something fun for my son, Dan.  He's the guy who lives way out in northwest Montana, loving life in the mountains around Glacier National Park.  He and his girlfriend, Jessica, find many ways to enjoy the outdoors there.  they ski a lot, sometimes clear UP the mountain when the lifts aren't running.

And then, there's the biking, and even though there's still plenty of snow at the higher elevations, they will bike up as far as they can go.  This picture is from Going-To-The-Sun Highway, running across Glacier Park.  It's really steep and narrow and winding, and full of cars when all the snow is cleared.  That's still awhile in the future.  But while the plows are still working, bicyclists have the freedom to use the open sections without worrying about being run off the road.  

 Between work and play, Dan has developed a new little sideline business.  It's named Totes Magotes,  a name I knew nothing about but sounds quirky, so I googled and learned this:
Totally, meaning 'Of Course' 
First used in the movie 'I Love You Man'
- Are you coming to that party on Saturday

- Totes Magotes! I'm so there.
Even his business cards are quirky!

He has started offering the bags on his new Etsy shop, and is discovering the many ways that a sewing machine can come in handy!  He's using one of my older machines and a gifted serger on his dining table to put the bag pieces together.  I think he started learning to sew when he wanted to repair and/or tailor some of his own clothing.  I taught him the basics and he's self-taught from there.  He really does a good job, even his a good cutting mat with rotary cutter and ruler.  And he knows how to use an iron, too!  That started way back in high school when he had a job that required neatly pressed khaki pants every day.

I gave him a recycled burlap coffee bean bag a few years ago, made by my friend, Kristina.  Eventually, he became interested in the idea of making his own, after a lot of people saw his bag and liked it.  Now he has 3 bag designs that he makes and sells.  The main bag is about the size of a paper grocery bag, and there's a smaller version for kids or book or lunch.  Then he has developed a specialty bag to hold a yoga mat, too.  They're shown below:

He even makes custom orders with painted designs.
This was an order from Canada for a Mother's Day gift.

Every coffee bean bag comes from roasteries in Montana, plus a couple imports from Minnesota!  Every bag is different.  That burlap can be pretty tough.  He found out that sewing through bits of bark will break your needle!
He's been stockpiling some bags in order to offer them for sale at the Farmer's Market in Whitefish when that starts up.  I've been to that market, and it's a good one.  A really good community event.  So if you see a bag on his Etsy shop, you should get it now before that market opens.  It's fun to see him learn how things are made, and then figure out how to do it.  He will really take on just about anything!  When both my kids were little, I always tried to convey the message that it's always worth a try to learn anything new.  It might not work out, but it also might be fun!  No matter what, Dan will always know how to run a sewing machine!

If you shop on his Etsy page, tell him mom sent you!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

this and that

Last weekend, we (Bob and I) made a little journey south.  We were hoping for a bit of warmer weather to counteract the unusually cold spring we are having, but the weather really didn't get much better.  After all, it's less than 200 miles, so we shouldn't expect to wear flip flops with our winter coats, right?!

We did get to attend a baby shower for my niece, Nora, hosted by 2 of her girlfriends.  It's Nora's first, and her mom's first grandbaby, so I really enjoyed catching up with them on how this baby-making is progressing!  Here's Nora, with her mom, Mary, and my mom, too.  This will be my mom's 6th great-grandchild and the 4th boy.

One of the shower decorations was this sign, and I love the verse on it!

Meanwhile, my own little grandson, Leo, is growing by leaps and bounds!  We went from the 20th percentile on growth curves at his 1 month checkup, to 50th percentile at 2 months!  I think he's determined to catch up with his big brothers, Ian and Jack.
I can't wait for Nora and Mary to get the chance to ooh and aah over their little guy's milestones!  Leo is starting to smile and interact in a real way, not just hopeful thinking!

I'm into baby-hat-knitting mode, and here's another one just finished!

And another cast on!

This yarn looks a lot like denim.  It's called Tenderfoot and comes from The Polka Dot Sheep out of Whitefish, MT.  The color is named Stillwater.  I've lost the name of the yarn used in that first hat, unfortunately.  I really should get better about keeping the names and care info with the yarn, but if the yarn sometimes needs to be wound into a ball or "cake", and then the label doesn't stay connected.

No sewing done here except to get the quilting and binding done on 2 quilts for classes at Bear Patch, that was on a deadline so I was very happy just to meet that deadline!  Especially since I was the one that set that deadline for all the class samples to be turned in!

Along with getting all the class samples ready for display, there is a lot of "backroom" work on the computer, which is what I have spent some time on the last few days.  If you want to see proof of my labors, just look through the class information for the store's website.  Click on any class, and you will get a full description plus details.  I'm glad that's all done for now, but I'm still looking for errors every time I look at it!  There are a lot of dates and times and requirements to include, and after awhile they are all swimming around in my head like a whirlpool!

Today, I'm swearing off computers and going outside while the sun is shining so I can pull some weeds!  Have a great day!