Spirograph Designs

It all started with something that came through one of my social media feeds today…Inspirograph…). Remember Spiro-Graph y’all? I played with the online app for a few minutes before remembering my very own Spiro-Graph set, in-house, from Turkey no less!

Despite the fact that I didn’t save my Spiro-Graph kit from the 70s, I have some tools on hand to relive the moment. When I was in Turkey 5 years ago I bought a mini-spirograph kit from a street vendor. I dug it out today and made some art with it.

There’s two outer sizes and four cog sizes with 9 holes each…don’t do the math…your head might explode
I used one marker (blue) in different cog holes…1, 2, 3, 4….
Bigger wheel…
Spiro-Graph Experiments

This made me think of Spin-Art, which is now apparently available for party rentals! Seriously?! Of course! I’ll be renting one soon for my next art party!

Thank you ’70’s!


Sewing Machine Special Stitches

I’m hoping to learn machine free-stitching techniques soon so I recently tried out all of my sewing machines stitches and “documented” my results.


I stitched all the numbers on the wheel then I started experimenting with the stitch length

the final sampler

My First Machine Free Stitch

I freehand sketched the main leaf pattern then used all my available thread to fill it in with special stitches (ran out of bobbins after the 3rd leaf…experiment ended for now…so lazy).


A Finished Product: Sewing Machine Finally Earns Its Keep

I needed to replace (or re-cover) the arm rests on the rocking chair in the living room (It’s the rocking chair from my now 20 year-old daughter’s baby years…needed a little refurbishing and we’re not getting rid of it…ever… o^O).

Luckily I bought this cool roll of paper from the place where I took my machine sewing classes (which is kind of shiny on one side…deli paper?) to cut out patterns.


I measured the arm rests of the “Rocking Chair Needing New Arm Rests” and cut out at least four paper patterns before I got something that might resemble a finished product (with seams)…(cheap paper patterns are so helpful to avoid mistakes with material!)

And here we go! I just need to secure it with a few anchor stitches to the arm rests! 

I inherited this material from a friend (it matches so great!!) and just sewed some seams onto each edge to get them ready for the upgrade. I dealt with the corner seams like an (untrained) champ and I now have a new home decor solution!

When I dreamed of owning a sewing machine I imagined myself sewing curtains for my home…so this seems pretty close to the dream (plus I’ve realized since then that buying curtains is way easier…unless the windows are a weird size…spoken from experience). #yaycustomwindows #rennovationsarefun

Garden Colors, Despite the Heat

We don’t have air conditioning and my extensive and highly scientific studies have shown that temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit without AC make me a very grumpy and sleep-deprived crafter. These same studies have also shown that small dogs in this situation will move around the bed all night looking for the next cool spot and end up taking way more bed space than they are usually allotted (thus disturbing the sleeping humans on the same bed space). It’s a recipe for disaster and we’re all finding our way (mine involves a wind tunnel created with multiple standing and ceiling fans in the guest bedroom…did I mention my night sweats?).

So we’re having slightly more fun than the rest of the world that’s dealing right now with heat stroke (my family and friends in Texas are dealing with 100+ temperatures so I’ve extended a personal ban on my own complaining). The sluggishness does make me question my lizard roots…(I get so lethargic that the only thing missing is the lizard push-ups…most hilarious thing ever…if you’ve never seen it you should do a quick search…I’ll hold).

I’ve been posting more on social media than my blog (pics with few words are WAY easier!), so my summer life has been documented elsewhere. But no fear of missing out on my every sneeze! I’ve decided to capture a “best of” here to keep us all connected (ok, it’s based on nature and art rather than sneezes – lucky you).

Nature First: In the Garden

We can finally grow tomatoes without the local wildlife eating (most of) them!


Cape Honeysuckle blooms
Plumeria in the front yard
Often when these geraniums grow next to each other one of them creates a bloom with both color schemes in one blossom. I haven’t seen it yet this summer.

Geraniums remain my primary vote for IronMan of Flowers in So Cal. They bloom all year long here y’all, despite heat extremes and water constraints. It’s basically a weed here and I give/throw away runners all year long (poke it in the ground and you have a new geranium bed).

This is a rose bush I rescued from my neighbor’s driveway under a “free” sign. She has a garden full of more than 200 types of roses (all with official name signs) and for some reason this one was being cycled out. It’s called a “Rosetti Rose” (for the curious). It’s the only  flower in my garden with its own pre-printed name tag.
This wonder of nature landed on my rental car windshield when I was recently in Portland, Oregon.  What a cool way to be, huh?
This is my pineapple experiment…

So this took years y’all. I planted three pineapple tops “Avocado-pit-style” and waited…and waited…and waited…and I’m still waiting on all but this beauty. I think 5 years might have passed while these guys sat in pots and got moved in and out of the direct sunlight (causing some lukewarm gardening discussions about placement and which should be moved where when…a lot of W questions were flung about). This is all in the shadow of a favorite previous neighbor who grew  multiple juicy and edible pineapples in pots just like this around his pool (one of these experiments came from his garden). Not sure what I’m doing differently and I can’t guarantee the above fruit will ever be edible. But we continue to try…

So that’s what’s happening in my corner these days. I’ve also been crocheting, drawing and experimenting with the special stitches on my sewing machine so stay tuned.

Happy crafting!