Saturday, April 30, 2016

Me Made May

Yep, I'm taking part in Me Made May in 2016. This will be my 3rd year. If you haven't ever tried it, then why not come on out and play!

Me Made May is the brain child of Zoe, of So, Zo, What Do You Know?  The idea is to encourage people to wear and love the things that they make. You can read more about Me Made May here.

Here's my pledge, from So Zo's blog: 
'I, NancyD (, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '16. I shall endeavor to wear only me made clothes each day for the duration of May 2016. That includes getting off my butt and finally churning our some me made undies.'

I know I say that thing about the undies every year, but this time may be the winner.

After my recent Kondo-ing of my wardrobe, I know I have plenty of self-sewn clothes to see me through to the apocalypse. In my every-day life, though, I can get pretty lazy about how I use my Me Mades. Especially since I retired, it's all too easy to wear jeans and a tee shirt every day of the week. 

Me Made May starts me thinking a bit more about my options. Why not wear a skirt and blouse, even if I'm not on my way to a meeting? Why not wear a dress just to go grocery shopping and then lounge around knitting for the afternoon? As long as my clothes fit me and are comfortable (my basic requirements), then I should go ahead and rotate through everything way more often than I do.

I usually throw up a post once a week that documents my efforts.

It can feel a little overwhelming to snap an outfit-a-day photo for a month. My rules are:
  • The Man kindly takes pictures for me every morning. We do it in the same darn place because that's where the light allows.
  • He takes three shots, so one of them has to be good enough.
  • I don't spend time trying to make myself look especially good. What you see is what you get.

If we stay within those parameters, it doesn't feel like big deal.

I always enjoy Me Made May. I like seeing how other people put together their self-crafted wardrobes. I also appreciate that little spur to be a bit more creative with my wardrobe.

Looks like there are more than 500 pledges on Zoe's blog, so the internets should be hummin' with inspiration. Game on!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rice Heating Pad

I've been slowing down on the sewing front lately, feeling creatively blocked. I blame it on my speed-reading of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Under its influence I went through my dresser drawers and closet to prune and organize my wardrobe. I must admit that I have plenty of clothes. Plenty. Still, sewing is my hobby, dash it all! I may slow down, but I'll never stop.

So here's my one FO of the last month:

Rice heating pad
It's a heating pad filled with rice. And yes, that's bandaid fabric.

Flexible little minx
I made this for The Boy. He has done Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (a.k.a. BJJ, here's his school) pretty seriously since he was in junior high school. It's a good workout, but it can be kind of hard on your body. I remember one of his first instructors saying that ju jitsu is like weight lifting, but the weight that you're lifting is another guy. The Boy has entered his third decade, so there are times when the muscles can use a little soothing.

This is a quick little project, perfect for the odd piece of stash, and it makes a nice gift. You just sew up a rectangular bag of your preferred size, sew a few channels to corral the stuffing, fill each channel  about two-thirds of the way with rice and then sew across the top to keep the filling from escaping. Here's a visual, in case that helps.

My first tutorial!
I use rice for the filling because it has a nice weight but stays pretty flexible. My Aunt, Sister Ronan, has a version filled with corn. That also works well, but you really want popcorn* when you smell it heating up. Basmati rice has a nice, nutty scent. Sometimes I throw in a handful of lavender flowers for a little aromatherapy punch.

When you want a little warm-up, just pop the bag in the microwave (I do 90 seconds on high, then rotate and do another 90 seconds) and then apply to the muscles that need it. Or just cuddle with it in bed on a chilly night.

The Boy demonstrating proper application
If you want a cold compress, you can stash the bag (inside a plastic bag) in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

Also good for tired necks. A recliner is also helpful.
We have one of these rice bags that we've been using for at least 10 years and it's still going strong. I think every home can use one!

* Actual pop corn is not recommended for filling, unless you plan to eat after one use.