Monday, August 18, 2008

It's been awhile since I've done a new entry, but I've got a good reason, I swear! I've been working on setting up the LTD myspace page. Check it out here. We've got pics and songs up and as things develop we'll be posting more stuff.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Babies Everywhere!

These are gifts I made for two recent baby showers for friends. The dress is made from a button down shirt I bought for myself and rarely wore. The short-all is made from an 'imperfect' Hanes t-shirt I bought for $1. I always kick myself after the items are finished when I realize I should have taken pictures of the process! But they're both easy. You can draw your own pattern, or use an existing item of children's clothing as a pattern. Sorry about the fuzzy pic for the short-all, but it was taken with a cell phone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Low Tide Drifters are here to Stay!

I know you were all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to hear what our decision would be for a band name. And, drum roll please, we are NOT changing it! Ha! We did some busking this weekend at the Oregon Country Fair and we learned a few things. First, the name we picked (The Whistlestops) did not feel right (I couldn't remember it when people would ask). Second, finger picking on acoustic instruments without resonators doesn't translate well for busking...especially when the other buskers have seven-piece ensembles! And last, but not least, sucking dust at the OCF does not improve harmonica playing, vocals or the overall mood of the musicians. The fair has never been our thing, but we were bound and determined to give it a try. I don't think Dennis (blues harp) has recovered yet.

We did, however, get to see one of my local favs, The Badmitten Orchestrae. These ladies are just awesome musicianers and fun! They're nice, too! Here they are busking near the Divine Cupcake cart. They were sweet enough to listen to our (very quiet) set and Morgan (fiddle) sat in with us on a couple of tunes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Super fun 30 minute Kids' backpack

I saw this patch at a shop in Oakridge, Or and just had to have it for my nephew, who has been a veggie-lover since before he had teeth to chew. It was the perfect size for a little backpack that he could use to carry his own books and toys on a trip with his mom and baby brother.

I sewed the patch to another piece of canvas that was about 4-6 inches longer than the actual patch and just a bit wider. I sewed the bottom of the patch to the end of the other canvas piece that matched the width of the patch. I then folded the top of the patch up to meet the other end of the long strip of fabric that resulted when I sewed the patch to the new piece of canvas. The printed side of the patch should face in (wrong sides out). Iron the back pack so that there is a 1/2 - 1 inch strip showing below the patch. In this case, that makes the bottom of the bag a darker fabric (possibly hiding a bit of dirt and also nicely showcasing the patch). Seam the sides and make "triangle corners" (as pictured in this blog) in the bottom of the bag. Fold the top down and stitch in either matching or contrasting thread all the way around the opening of the bag (if you're being really tidy, you can make a casing so there are no raw edges on the top, or use pinking shears to keep the edge from fraying). Use a snap closure. For the straps I used an old web belt and overall buckles--you could also make your own straps from canvas (sew a long piece, wrong sides together, into a tube. Turn the tube right side out and iron the tube so that the seam runs down the middle of the strap. Hide the seam by putting it toward the inside on your finished project.). Cover the ends of the web belt in scotch tape and melt it with a lighter (this keeps the belt from fraying). Sew one end of the belt pieces to the inside of the backpack. Position your overall buttons at the bottom of your backpack and feed the straps through the buckles. You can use rubber bands to keep the backpack straps in the right position for your child. Wallah! Easy as pie and you can use stuff that you have lying about the house. And it's great for kids to have the responsibility of carrying their own books and a few toys with them!

Freedom from Work

The 4th was a great day off with a neighborhood barbecue. The band played a few tunes with abandon...and a little beer. Fireworks were visible over the back fence and Bay put in a new fire pit in her back yard.

Entertain yourself this summer! A fire pit is incredibly good fun in and of itself...a few friends and a warm blaze can be just right on a summer evening (or early morning).

The band (referred to previously as Low Tide Drifters, but having another name crisis - help! Give us a reply if you think of something good - we're looking for something vaguely political/catchy. It would be great if the name was unforgettable and incredibly clever) will be playing at the Oregon Country Fair on Saturday - we'll be busking near the cupcake cart....Divine Cupcake has fabulous tasty vegan organic cupcakes. I'm not vegan and they still taste fantastic!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Easy Purse Shopping Bag

Alright, here's an easy option for those folks (like me) who are always forgetting their reusable shopping bags at home. These two bags are made from pretty inexpensive materials with minimal effort. The red one is made from a child's t-shirt (hanes irregular shirt picked up at a dollar store) - The sleeves have been removed and the neck cut down until it resembles a shopping bag. Hem the straps and sew the bottom together to make a bag. I also sew corner triangles inside like this purse, but smaller. You can use the sleeve to make your "stuff sack" and follow the directions below.

The pink one is even easier. It's made from a pink silk camisole (to you men, that's a tank top) that I bought at Goodwill for a couple bucks and the bag is made from a really inexpensive remnant of brocade. The trick with making a shopping bag from a tank top is to find one really cheap (or free) that has the same neckline as the back line (i.e., not a scoop neck). If you find one like this, it's the perfect shopping bag and no need to hem the straps.

Turn the "stuff sack" inside out and sew it into the inside seam of the bag facing the top. Now, when you turn the "stuff sack" rite side out you can stuff the shopping bag inside. You can close your "stuff sack" with a drawstring, or as I did with the purple brocade, you can use a simple snap button.

They make great gifts and they're good for the environment. Plus, you're not paying $5 for a brand name "Chico Bag," which uses the same concept. And, if you're into it, you can make it much prettier than a chico bag!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Front Porch Pastimes

I have to say that I haven't watched TV in many months. Oh, I'll catch a film every other week or two, but I have to say that on the whole I'm way too busy for TV. Here we are, entertaining ourselves this evening on a nice shady front porch (temps got to about 93 F here today). Also notice our two biggest fans (it should tell you something that our two biggest fans always want us to stop playing music and throw a ball or spin them around the yard).


Another "gig" at the ESSN Annual meeting. ESSN is the Eugene & Springfield chapter of Jobs with Justice. Only half the band is in the pictures...we were all spread out. Hopefully more pictures from someone else's camera. The band, Low Tide Drifters (LTD-not to be confused with Lane Transit District), plays old-timey/country/punkish/folk/beachmont blues (like piedmont, but with a coastal feel). I might have made some of that up. I'll post songs when we get some decent recordings! Vocals/ Lead Guitar - Nathan James, Vocals/Banjo - Kate, Harmonicas - Dennis, Vocals/Guitar - Bayla, Percussion/Harmonies/Guitar - Joseph. Sitting in on this one, the great Mark Ross on fiddle.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fuzzy Pink Bathrobe Project

How many things can you make from one fuzzy pink bathrobe? I recently received a hand-me-down pink bathrobe from my aunt. I loved the material, but just couldn't see myself wearing it. I've been sewing just long enough to look at every piece of clothing I find as fabric that might really want to be something else (i.e. a fuzzy pink owl trapped in the form of a bathrobe). So I decided to see how many different things I could make from this one robe. This is just one form of recycling folks...patch it, quilt it, make it into something else! Just don't throw it away!

Low Tide Drifters on May Day

Okay, so not a great pic, but here we are getting out there and playing some tunes at the Grower's Market on May Day. Holy Crap! Live entertainment! Where's the TV screen? Seriously, if people start doing this all over the place it WILL be an analog uprising! Come on people, give it a try--it's just like reality TV.
(yes, the pic was taken on a digital, ahem. And yes, I'm the one behind the curly head)