Too Many Irons in the Fire

Tales of a crafty, working mom of four.

Mending Month 03/24/2009

Filed under: Fiber & Crafts,Household — TypeAMom @ 9:51 am
Tags: , , ,

Tackle It Tuesday Meme It is mending month at Craft Magazine and I have used that as an excuse to get all my mending done at home. Kids can really tear through their clothes and while I try to fix simple things I usually don’t go all out with big tears and wardrobe malfunctions. However, since the economy is pretty cruddy, I thought I would brush off my sewing skills and start really fixing everything I possibly can.

Today, I patched my jeans while wearing them using an upholstery needle. I like a challenge. It’s not the best stitching ever, but it gets the job done. If you have never used an upholstery needle, it is curved to allow you to stitch and patch in places that you can’t get a needle in behind the fabric – like a cushion or the side of the couch or in my case, my jeans since I actually have them on. One pair of jeans saved thanks to a simple patch. YAY! Now for the pictures to show you the patching process as well as the finished result:

Sewing the patch on my jeans. I used a denim scrap that I saved from shortening another pair for my daughter.

Sewing the patch on my jeans. I used a denim scrap that I saved from shortening another pair for my daughter.

The finished product

The finished product

If you want to get creative, you can stencil a design on fabric and make your patch a designer work of art like I did with these pants:

I used Wonder Under to iron on the owl and cotton thread to attach buttons for eyes

I used Wonder Under to iron on the owl and cotton thread to attach buttons for eyes

How the owl looks finished on the jeans

How the owl looks finished on the jeans

I have added two more birds to the jeans to tie them all in as part of the design

I have added two more birds to the jeans to tie them all in as part of the design


Tackle It Tuesday – Twitter Purge 02/03/2009

Filed under: Geekery,tips — TypeAMom @ 11:50 am
Tags: , , ,

Tackle It Tuesday Meme This week I started my Twitter purge. I have pretty much just stopped using Twitter because the noise levels were so high that it was no longer useful. When I ran the podcast at I followed anyone who seemed to be a fan or had anything even remotely interesting to say back. It wasn’t long before I was following over a thousand people and many of those I really didn’t have anything in common with. Some of the new media people I would still like to stay networked with however, I don’t think Twitter is the place to do it. With all of these social network sites you tend to add all of the same people, but I don’t think that is the most efficient way to handle them.

I originally signed up at Facebook (when it was still closed to the public) because higher ed used it and I work full time in higher education. I have branched out my Facebook relationships, but I won’t add just anyone who adds me. I like to keep to those I know or are interested in similar music. I use Ravelry to connect with knitters and crocheters. Now I do have overlap on some of these networks and that is pretty awesome but normally I don’t want to talk web 2.0 in a yarn forum. Specialized networks should be used for the specific types of relationships they foster to get the most benefit from them.

Back to Twitter static; I had to clean it up. I was missing messages from people who I really enjoyed reading updates from. One of the best tools to start my purge was Twitter Karma. Twitter Karma pulled in all my followers and friends and sorted them. First I could see who I follow but that doesn’t follow me. If you aren’t famous or a service, I would appreciate the follow-back. If you don’t follow me back, maybe you aren’t interested so I re-evaluate if I am really interested in your updates. Non-followbacks cut dozens of my follows out.

Twitter Karma shows how long ago user updated.

Twitter Karma shows how long ago user updated.

Next was the mutual relationships. I sorted these by Last Updated and cut everyone who hadn’t updated in at least the last 90 days then reviewed everyone who hadn’t updated in 30-60 to see if that was just their way of doing things before purging them.

I have cut hundreds of people and it’s sad I even let my account get to the point where I have to do that. The last phase of my Twitter purge is to watch my timeline and if I don’t recognize a friend or they tend to tweet things I am not interested in, I am manually removing them. It’s nothing personal, I am just not interested. There might be a few that get caught in the cuts that I want back, and I am sure I will find them again.

The moral of the purge is that it is easy to go to excess with social networks. If the network you are using isn’t teaching you something, connecting you with others, or benefiting you then either cut the site or figure out how to fix where it went wrong. I miss Twitter, hopefully this will get me back in gear again.


Tackle It Tuesday – The Linen Closet 01/27/2009

Filed under: Household — TypeAMom @ 12:13 pm
Tags: , ,

Tackle It Tuesday MemeI love a simple project – so why in the world did I put off the linen closet for so long?! It had come to the point that I loathed getting into it because I couldn’t find anything and everything was just jumbled all around. This project took less than an hour and I feel like I really accomplished something.

  • I refolded all the linens because they were so jumbled and messy that they had lost their folds.
  • I sorted sheet sets by size so I can easily find what I am looking for. It is easy to get the sets separated in a house with children. Kids wake up in the middle of the night ill or with an accident and if you are like me at 3am all you are thinking about is getting back to sleep. You pull the things out of the closet that you need to swap on their bed and in a day or so when you have laundered and reassembled their bed you have miss matched pieces to put away. I had just been shoving them into the closet just any old where and that is what led to my downfall.
  • I put all orphaned pillowcases that no longer have sheets in a pile by themselves. I really don’t think I need 14 backup pillowcases for emergencies so I might use some of these for more Charlie bags. It would be fun to have Harry Potter and Monsters Inc. shopping bags!
  • Although my youngest is now four years old, I am still not ready to part with the crib sized blankets because she still uses them to cuddle up with on the couch or to have a carpet picnic. I did purge all the crib sheets.
  • The Boppy nursing pillow is never going away, I still use it when I have a neckache and the kids use it to prop up on to watch TV.
  • At the bottom of the closet are pillow shams, curtains, and a few odds and ends that aren’t in use in the bedrooms but match the sets in them.

It feels great to get this closet straightened up, I feel kind of sheepish and silly that it took me so long to do it. Since I cleaned up everything in the closet I had room to move all the blankets I had in a giant storage tub in the hallway back into the closet. With no more unsightly storage tub in the hallway it gives me one less place to toss junk on top of.


Tackle It Tuesday – My Closet 01/20/2009

Filed under: Household — TypeAMom @ 12:45 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Tackle It Tuesday Meme My closet has to be one of the most neglected areas of my home. No one sees it when they come over and it is the place we stash everything from gifts to junk just to get it out of sight. I made great progress on it about 3 months ago with the intent to continue but didn’t get back to it until this weekend.

I was hoping to do better but I am really happy with the outcome anyway. I purged over 30 pairs of shoes that didn’t fit, I didn’t like, or just plain hurt and numerous bags and purses. I dumped enough clothes that I covered my entire bed in a huge pile and dragged out a total of 6 trash bags worth of stuff for Goodwill.

I know it sounds like I must be a clothes horse, but really I am not. I had things from high school in there and everything anyone gives me. I am the hand me down queen. I will take just about anything and try to make it work. Unfortunately, most of the stuff doesn’t really work.

By the time I was done I only saved three items to refashion/upcycle into something new and everything else went out the door. I now have enough room that the clothes I did save aren’t all smashed together anymore and getting wrinkled. Since everything that I saved are things I really like I will never loose a favorite blouse in the mess again. I have over a half a clothes bar completely free of clothes and my closet looks well organized.

I forgot to take before pictures, but here are my after pictures and the big basket of hangers I had empty after the purge (ignore the messy side of the closet, my DH hasn’t cleaned his stuff out yet :)):