Friday, July 30

New Apron

I'm still so excited that my Etsy account is up and running. I've had a great response from friends and strangers both. And now that it's up, I have a place to turn my customers at Common Grounds to when they comment on the ones I wear when I'm Baristaing.

I'm calling this apron my Marmalade Apron because of all the orange that I used. I think the color orange makes one hugry, but I don't have a source for that info.

I used some of the fabrics my sister gave me in her last box to me - both the orange animal print and the orange flower for the pocket, and the ribbon too.

I went a little crazy on the pockets on this darker side. There are six! It was tricky to sew the layers in and secure it to the backing. I was thinking of a money belt when I was working on this one - maybe this is an apron for your next yard sale? Keep your bills and change with you in your apron/cash box! Or, just have lot of places to put your hands.

I've found I tend to favor right-handed pockets, as I'm right handed. I'm trying to not intentionally exclude all of those left-handed people in the world that also need a fabulous apron for projecting.

Dan and I started watching a series called The Sons of Anarchy. It's about a motorcycle gang in California and all of the drama they get involved in while smuggling guns and protecting the citizens of Charming (what a great name for a town.) The characters are crazy, the adventures are crazy, the plot lines are crazy, but we like it.

Also, Dan and I are great. Have I ever shared that he makes our coffee in the morning, and brings it to me, still groggy, in bed? It's one of the best ways to wake up. I think it tastes better that way too. I hope you have someone that does something wonderful for you.

July is almost over! Wowzers!

Wednesday, July 28

Great news!

I just got word today that my wonderful sister is okay! There was a possibility that a spot on her brain, which was found when she was in the ICU for low sodium levels, could have been a type of cancer, but it's not! Hooray! We have been sitting with fingers twitching for a week but her doctors think is old scarring from some past head trauma (falling off a bike? Cheerleading? Having our brother use her for wrestling practice?) So, whew! It was great to her her voice on the phone today with a noticeable lack of stress and worry. This of course means she can get back to that other huge thing she was stressing about - moving to Turkey in 14 days!

Now that her brain is safe and sound in her noggin, I purchased my ticket to Juneau to make my own travel hopes a reality. On August 14th I'll be on my way back to beautiful Juneau, Alaska (it's 62 degrees there right now!). Yay! I'm so excited to see my friends, enjoy the scenery, be a part of that crazy tourism culture, and the beer. Holy cow, I miss Alaskan Brewery's beer. My boss had a taste of their Smoked Porter and their Oatmeal Stout when he was in Colorado a few weeks ago, and he made me promise to bring him back a bottle of each. How can I say no?!

I still don't know where I'm staying when I get there, but I'll bring my sleeping bag and camping pad, and I'm sure someone's floor will come available. :)

Monday, July 26

Sewing up a storm!

Hi friends! Now that I've dove into Etsy and opened up the shop, I've been having a great time putting projects together and feeling good about how they turn out. At the same time, I've had two custom apron orders to make for a Common Grounds customer. So much sewing!

To start the weekend, my machine kept malfunctioning (!) and I spent a good hour taking the thing apart (as best I could), cleaned and oiled it, and eventually found the one loose screw that was keeping my feeder foot from grabbing fabric to progress the stitch. I felt pretty good, I have to tell you. Dan got to see me skip two laps around the house singing a little ditty proclaiming how awesome I am for figuring it out. So here's what I made!

This is the double sided full apron for my CG customer. She wanted something with lots flowers, in mint green and light pink. This is what I came up with . The green side has one pocket (the white square), and the pink side has two pockets (the beehive pattern rectangle).

These two bags I made and put on my Etsy page. I really, really like these two fabrics. Both I found on my last stay in Chicago at The Needle Shop.

I made this, my second Kiss Clasp bag, and I wasn't happy with how it turned out. It is a bit too long, which makes it a bit awkward to use. It was good practice with making my own pattern to fit the frame, and also to make inner pockets.

I call this last one my Octopus apron. I made myself a slouch bag out of this material and love it more and more as I see it. The purple square is a pocket on this side, and below on the back side, both the orange flower square and the pink polka dot square are pockets. I really like how this project turned out.

And just now the mail man came! My sister sent me a care package with all sorts of wonderful things! I knew about the fabric, but she added some wonderful other things - take a look :

Jam (home-made and will be gone in three weeks, yes, that's one jar a week), the second book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series, Ciara's favorite Amy Butler pattern, buttons, a hand-made paper notebook, and wonderful sewing things: fabric, fabric, ribbon, and edging. I can't wait to use these wonderful treats!

Comma (Ciara's cute gray cat pictured below) was sniffing all of the contents as they came out of the box, I can only assume, because she recognized her momma smell. It was so sweet. And then after it was empty, she guarded the box from Baxter (who usually gets to take the first squat in all of the other boxes that come into the house). Aren't the cats super cute?!

Sunday, July 25

Alaska Jane Handmade

I am so sorry to have taken so long, but finally, my Etsy shop is open!

Please visit and let me know what you think. I've been reading other people's pages to try and determine policy, shipping, and descriptions, but if you think it could be better or different, I welcome the feedback.

My Etsy page is

Now, to get more items I go!

Tuesday, July 20

So many pictures!

If you would like to see all of the pictures I took in Guatemala (both good and maybe not so good), you can click over to my flickr page, It is so much faster to upload them there (with there being 250+). I hope you don't begrudge me the convenience.

But, because I know how great it is to look at pretty things, here is a pretty thing I found over on Mustard and Sage

Sunday, July 18

More Antigua

Here are more images from Guatemala. It seemed the town is a wonderland for photographers with all of the texture and color on every street.

I had the opportunity to meet some people who have become very important to Linda and Gus in the years they've been going to Antigua, and the next few shots are of them.
This is Vilma and her new daughter Adrianna. Vilma and her family are weavers, each wearing items they have made along with the sling that Adrianna is sitting in. They came to see us with a load of items they had made to fill the requests Linda collects from people back in Chicaco.

Above is an extended part of Gus and Linda's family, Charlie, Hojana, and Jonathan. Not seen is another member Juan Carlos. All of which were such fun and so kind. Charlie turned 13 while we were visiting, and just like American kids, he was happy to wolf down a few McDonald's burgers.
Me and Adrianna! I got a first hand look at what kind of diapers (ie: cloth) are used after I noticed Adrianna was visibly leaking all over me and the floor while I was holding her! That just the way it goes sometimes I guess.

This is from a hike Dan and I took at a coffee farm named Finca Santa Elaina. The views were incredible, with the farm running right up the ledge of the river and rolling hills making up the most of the property.
Farm kitten!
Two parrots enjoying their view in the side of the building where the bulk coffee is stored.

Coming back from the Finca, we stopped at a road side fruit stand where these women were working. Dan bought sugar cane from them - it's interesting, you should try it.

Weighing the day's pickings at the finca.

I didn't learn her name, but Mark (out tour guide and host at the finca) called this little girl the coffee pixie, as she flits all over the grounds.
Dan illustrating how large the base of this Saba tree is.

This is the first coffee pickings of the year. They don't put the first bunch through the processing as it is mostly low quality beans and getting it off the plant is more important. It is drying here on the patio.
Dan with one of of the farm dogs, Milo (Mee Lou) while on our hike.

5th Ave in Antigua.

There was some sort of parade while were were walking around the market. The girls were all young and dressed up, and some threw candy to the crowd.

Dan before dinner one night.

Dan and I Joked that maybe we could hang a deer head on our wall - if it were made of wood.

Linda and Adrianna on one of visits with Vilma.

School kids walking home after class.

Linda and I went shopping at some of her favorite stores. Here we were at Women's co-op store and this little girl was helping her mom sell items. She couldn't say very much, but she was great at pulling things off the shelf and giving them to me. She liked my hat and also the screen on my camera that flips around when taking pictures, which is what she was doing here - looking at herself.
The World Cup was going on while we were there! It was awesome to watch a game in Guatemala with the pub packed with Dutchmen in orange. It was packed and a scream when anything good or bad happened in the matches.

My travel companions! Dan and his parents, Gus and Linda.

At the market.

Saturday, July 17

Back from Guatemala

We are safely home from our travel adventures. The whole trip was amazing! To give some order to sharing it with you, I'll break it up into a few posts: Antigua sights, People, and Finca Santa Elaina.

Today is Antigua. Enjoy the pictures!

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