Storm O’ Crafts

WELL. Who knew how wonderful it is to have a crafting room? I sure didn’t. I’ve spent the 23 years* since I moved out of my parents’ home living in one apartment after the other, and any crafting or sewing I did had to be assembled before and put away after each session.

But now, I have a basement room, a room with sewing machines** that I can leave up, an ironing board in the corner, and a maple hutch full of yarn and thread and beads and beginning to collect fabric. How did I live without this? How will I pull myself away as summer ends and school begins? Can I train the animals to clean house while I craft? Finally, I understand the wealth of room and time that led to the first Kleenex box cozy.

In the past few days I’ve lined a felted bag and created pillow shams to match my new bedspread.  I knitted the bag in lopi using the booga bag pattern with the addition of an I-cord castoff. Then I made a lining with a reinforced bottom and pockets, and I even used one of the fancy edge stitches the new machine makes possible:


The new shams were necessary because I used some birthday money (thanks, Tom!) to buy a new bedspread and sheets, but I wasn’t going to shell out $20 each for two matching sham covers. So I bought two plain pillowcases ($9.95), two rolls of wide ribbon ($6) and a package of double-sided, sticky, fusible interfacing ($5) and went to town. You can see in the picture how impressed Ricky is by my craftitude (oh, and the stripes are meant to not line up. Really):


In other news, a couple of weeks ago, I had an old ash tree removed from my backyard. It had three main boles, one of which was cracking away with a trajectory aimed at my spare room/computer room. Removing it in July***, however, meant that I lost the afternoon shade to my backyard and house. I’ve been wondering if I jumped the gun, if I could have/should have waited until late fall.

Then the storm came.

Tuesday night, we had a storm blow through with 80 mph winds. Tree limbs and some trunks littered town the next morning. The most telling (and sad) testimony, however, are the two pics below. The first is the historic Maryhill Catholic Church, more than 100 years old and having stained glass windows valued at more than $300,000, before the storm. The second pic, from the local Storm Lake Times, is after. Note that a tornado did not cause this — a Midwestern phenomenon known as "straight line winds" did.  No more regrets about the tree removal.




**I bought a new sewing machine this summer. Nothing fancy, but my mother’s old Singer, a chunk of gilt-edged black iron that could withstand an atomic blast and probably could sew through sheets of tin, only does plain stitching, forward and back. No zig zag, no button holes, no bunnies pulled out of hats.

***hey, it’s when I had the money. If I’d waited, it would have been frittered away on, say, crafts….


5 responses »

  1. OH. My GOODNESS. That is absolutely shocking. I mean, not that wind did it. We’ve had straight line winds here in Austin in the last few years, and yeah, they leave wreckage aplenty. Usually trees, and big ones, but a warehouse just blocks from here looked like it had been stepped on last summer from nothing but winds. I’m so sorry. Such a shame to lose a treasure like that.

  2. That’s a chilling pair of pictures. They remind me of the storm damage I saw in Gulf-Coast Mississippi (Ocean Springs, next town east from Biloxi) when I visited my father there after Christmas. He’s since relocated to Philadelphia to get out of hurricane country, but during Katrina, he was living four blocks from the water, in a senior-citizen high-rise. He didn’t evacuate. His building, thank God, was more or less okay.

    When I visited him, everything in his neighborhood looked more or less okay until a block from the water, where the houses all looked like they’d been stepped on. There was nothing left but concrete foundations and sticks, and children’s clothing tangled in the uppermost branches of trees that somehow hadn’t been uprooted.

    We spent part of a day driving along Route 90 between Ocean Springs and Gulfport, which before the storm had boasted gorgeous old antebellum mansions, a lot of hotels, and some casinos. NOTHING was left anywhere but rubble, and the occasional concrete stairway rising up a story or two before breaking off, the building around it completely demolished.

    On a much happier note, I love your craft projects. I’ve never had the patience to sew or knit or crochet, and I really admire people who do!

  3. I am SO glad you had your tree cut. Whew.
    And that’s an improved Buda bag IMO. That was one whole lot of knitting!
    Life is good,eh?

  4. Micro Bursts, straight line winds…ugh…storm damge sucks. Glad you’re ok. I LOVE the bag – the cats. Norman would feel betrayed.

  5. I would adore to have my very own Craft Room. And you have only increased my need. Your pillows are adorable.
    And those church pictures are devastating. How sad that they lost their church, and such a lovely piece of history. I hope no person was hurt.

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