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  1. #691
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    yikes that is hard Kathyb. Think more people would apply or are the requirements too much for the pay? finding that here.

    Yes the orange is actually a very nice coral colour. I was using what I had on hand that was the right yarn weight. 98% of my yarn stash is variegated cake yarn like mandala and caron cakes. had a big ball of white but lighter weight yarn. or neon green and orange. that yarn is what got me back into crocheting. the crochet along said get 4 of the caron one pounders 3 solid colours and one variegated. but I just wanted to use what I had in stock hence the interesting colours lol. just got the olive green after a couple of weeks when I found out the patterns. that is the thing with it didn't know what the squares were just week by week it came out. I never finished the one from last year so it was a challenge for me this time do complete a project that was easy. always can be a cat or dog blanket!

  2. #692
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    My coworker has been invited to a 1970's party. She is thinking of what to wear and what to do with her hair. She is African American and debating between a big afro or something else. I have let myself get happily distracted by that.

    I am thinking now of the book I had with my old pocket dolls. It is where I had the pattern for the little doll I posted last week. That was a very easy doll. Just two pieces front and back. The current pattern I plan on using is six pieces. The leg torso and head are all one piece. So that is two pieces for the front and back. But the arms are separate. So that is four more pieces, two arms front and back. In all fairness though, I think the arms will sew together really quick.

    I am debating modding the patterns. Like maybe the simpler doll could be made with the large head style that I like. The pattern for the doll with separate arms looks strange just cut out. The feet are made by bending the tip of the legs. The doll has a pipe cleaner inside so it can be bent. That makes the legs look strangely long in the pattern.

    The pattern is designed for felt, but I think that it could work with fabric as well. I am thinking more of the old book where the person made dolls with pattern fabric. I will see if I can find the book this week or this weekend. The idea sounds interesting. In this one all of the fabric than would normally be skin is made with a printed fabric. At the time I thought it was strange, but after making bears in print fabric, I wonder if it could work.

    I googled cloth dolls with pattern fabric, but it was mostly doll with solid color skin and print clothing. There were some with pattern fabric for the legs. I think this was supposed to be leggings or long socks. The arms and face were normal colors.

    I wonder a tiny bit if the choices could somehow be considered offensive. I have read that some of the old African American rag dolls are not considered offensive stereotypes. I am not sure if it was the way features were made or that the fabric was black rather than brown. Or maybe a combination. At any rate it seems like using black fabric for doll skin is a no no. I guess that would apply to pattern fabric as well. I think yellow might be problematic since that was a bad Asian stereotype once. Thinking of the whole Redskins football team controversy, I probably should avoid red patterns too.

    Maybe I will just stick to blue, purple and green. I do not think anyone would have an issue with that. And using white or off white fabric does not seem to be offensive even though white people are not literally white. Pink also has sometimes been used for dolls. I think that would be okay.

    So many things to keep in mind compared to doing stuffed animals.

    I am going wild with the hair colors though. There are lots of real people who dye their hair unnatural colors. And lots of people that have an accent color in their hair. For example, black hair with red accents are pretty common with African American ladies where I live.

    It is not like I am especially stressed over doll color. It is just something to ponder that is not one of my ongoing problems.
    KathyB

  3. #693
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marthamfi View Post
    yikes that is hard Kathyb. Think more people would apply or are the requirements too much for the pay? finding that here.
    I do not think it is that the work is too much for the pay. I think it is that the pay is just not enough. Rents here are around $2000 - $3000 for an apartment. That in for a apartment is a place that is reasonable safe. And commuting in from the suburbs. Living is the city is more. Except for the bad parts of town. The recommend rent guideline are that you should pay no more that 30% of your salary for rent. When we were renting, we had to show proof we were making enough.

    What they pay would probably be considered a good salary for an admin in most other places. But it is just not enough unless you have an SO or roommate to split costs with. Or live with your parents.
    KathyB

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  5. #694
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyB View Post
    I do not think it is that the work is too much for the pay. I think it is that the pay is just not enough. Rents here are around $2000 - $3000 for an apartment. That in for a apartment is a place that is reasonable safe. And commuting in from the suburbs. Living is the city is more. Except for the bad parts of town. The recommend rent guideline are that you should pay no more that 30% of your salary for rent. When we were renting, we had to show proof we were making enough.

    What they pay would probably be considered a good salary for an admin in most other places. But it is just not enough unless you have an SO or roommate to split costs with. Or live with your parents.

    ahh.. getting that bad here too with rents and all the other costs that keep going up. gas is now 1.72 a liter up to 1.78 in some places. gas electrical everything up and up. min wage is 12.65 but most admin jobs are $15 to 18 a hr but college degree plus plus so how can you live on that. and lots not full time. houses starting at $1million. I don't expect my kids to be moving out fast. at least they have many higher education opportunities without having to move out of the house. they say housing should be 30% of income but that just doesn't happen here.

  6. #695
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    This is a page from the book where some dolls are made with pattern fabric. It is hard to see at thumb nail size, but the brown skin dolls have little polka dots.

    The fabric patterns are all normal skin colors, brown tan and pale pink.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Stash Management-img_20190424_042515913_1556094870153.jpg

    KathyB

  7. #696
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I dug out the old doll book. I think I might go over some of the advice and hair and faces in it.

    The new pattern I picked up for dolls pretty much just says "sew some hair on." The designer says she generally uses two packages of embroidery floss per doll, but you can also use yarn. No real guidance on it. I understand the use of embroidery floss as opposed to yarn. The floss fits more in the scale of the smaller doll. But two package of embroidery floss seems a bit, well not exactly expensive but perhaps unfrugal. One think I like about little projects is that the costs are very small. I have sprung for the more expensive wool felt blend (as opposed to the really cheap acrylic felt.) So I am using maybe 50 cents worth of felt. The non sale price of DMC embroidery floss is 77 cent. So that brings the cost from 50 cents to to $2.04. Now this is still very affordable. But I guess I just feeling super frugal about this for some reason.

    Of course that is for the DMC thread. There are super cheap brands out there that I can buy big assortments of for very little. So I might consider that if I start making lots of dolls. I also see adds on eBay for floss assortment that are pretty cheap. Some are the cheap thread being shipped directly from a seller in China. I think others are probably the stash left when someone dies and no family member are into embroidery.

    The deals have made me think about changing my mind on going with the pearl cotton over the embroidery floss. I probably would not do it for embroidery. I might do it for doll hair. I want to go with the the whole brushed yarn thing first though. I have lots of yarn on hand. And I only use a small amount of the ball for hair for small doll. But thread hair might give it more or a rag doll look. I might try a little of both.

    ***

    In other news I found out late yesterday that the lady who just started with the severe medical condition got a new job. Her official last day here is the end of the week. I did not see that coming.
    KathyB

  8. #697
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Kathy - it sounds really chaotic at your work. On the other hand, the higher the turnover, the more they will appreciate you.

    I have bought some of the direct from China floss to see what it is like. It seems to be a little less tightly wound (spun?) than DMC, so is a little, I guess I would call it softer. They say they are cotton but I’m more inclined to think it is polyester, or a poly cotton blend. That may be wrong though. I haven’t tested it because it really didn’t matter to me. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as DMC to being pulled through fabric over and over, but is ok if you don’t try to use very long strands. The colors don’t really match DMC as they sometimes say, but are pretty close. I’ve kept mostly that out for these hexagon projects and it is fine for that. I don’t use them for cross stitch because I have to match exact colors and because cross stitch takes so much time I want to use the better quality thread for it. I’ve been sticking to DMC and Anchor for it. For projects that don’t have to be the top of the line, it is a good buy and perfectly serviceable.

    I didn’t get as much done on the hexagon yesterday as I hoped. Sharon and another friend had been to a funeral for a very elderly nun, and Sharon had the “hostess” duties, meeting and greeting, talking to, all the attendees, as she had at the wake the night before. They were exhausted and came out here to the peace and relative quiet of the country after it was over. That led
    to everyone gathering and tucking into the barbecue leftovers, so a block of time was lost to socializing. Again. Since very late March, we have had a holiday and four birthdays to celebrate. This weekend is another birthday, the next weekend is a big first communion party for the little girl, and a week or two after that, her mom’s birthday. I am totally partied out. I think that will be about all for a while. I hope so. We need a break!

    I did add some more embroidery to the piece, but pulled it out. This one is not a success - it is just too scattered looking. However I’ll finish it because it’s colorful and eventually I’ll get out the big bulletin board and but it up with some of the cross stitches.

  9. #698
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    Skein #7 on my w-b afgan's coming along. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week and onto skein #8. I do like the yarn but it's taking a long time to get done. Then again, this should be warm for spring/fall evenings when it's too cool to go without sheets but too warm for thicker blankets. Someone at a con I went to thought I was 'crazy' to make a full sized afgan using fingering weight yarn. But I really liked the color of the yarn. It's grey with 'flecks' of brown and green so it looks tweed-ish.

    Yay! My computer is finally fixed and on its way back. It should be at my local store tomorrow and I should be able to pick it up either tomorrow or Friday evening. Well, if it's Friday, I"ll probably pick it up Saturday morning, depending on how antsy I am to have access to my music again. That's pretty much what I've missed the most the past couple of weeks.

  10. #699
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    The hexagon got much much better. First I reshaped the tendril things in the couched #3 perle. That a bit of spiderweb connected to nothing right under the spider so I will have to fix that. Then I removed the gimp trim that had been more or less along the seam of the grayest piece, that followed the wave shape of the sequined embroidery in that section. It was the first thing I had put on and as I continued adding things, it became more and more alien to it. Taking it off completely changed the effect. Itís still not great but Iím much happier with it. The embroidered leaf shapes, also done quite early are too dark for it, but I may not do anything about it. There is a little more I want to do and then Iíll just have to finish it off.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Stash Management-2060b590-e1ae-4df8-a618-6987f44acda3.jpg


  11. #700
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I am always a bit suspicious of the fiber content of anything I buy on eBay. I think I have noticed some of the cheap floss assortments on Amazon are labeled as a 50/50 blend. A few years ago I bought some cheap shawls on eBay that were labeled as 100% wool. I was skeptical about them being 100%, but they were decent shawls.

    I do not usually wash my shawls. But a few months ago I washed one I tossed in the cat carrier when I took my cat to the vet on a cold day. It was felted and shrunk. I guess they were truthful about it being 100% wool.

    I am often tempted to get craft supplies just because they are a great deal. Even if I they are more than I need - like the "lot" items on eBay. Even if it is a supply I am not currently using. Even if getting craft supplies at regular supplies is well within my budget.

    Case in point: pearl cotton 5. This is noticeably thicker than the size 8 pearl cotton I am using. And pearl cotton 8 makes a pretty bold embroidery stitch. For reasons I am not entirely sure of, there are often really good deals on pearl cotton 5 on eBay and Amazon. Much more so than there are for the pearl cotton 8. So I am really tempted to buy some. But I am not sure how or if I would use it. But yet there is still part of me that wants to get it.

    I do occasionally have a backward way of thinking when I get craft supplies. Rather than pick out supplies for a specific project, I just buy supplies that look good to me. Then I try to make something with what I have.

    Sometime I skim through the "lot" offering on eBay crafts. Some are de-stashing or straight from a factory in China. But other seem to be sales of stashes of someone that has died. Often they will actually say that in the description. These seem oddly appealing to me. I have this fascination with pre-owned things.

    My dad had this thing where he would often buy things just because the were a "deal" regardless of whether anyone in the family wanted it or would use it. He loved garage sales, but sometimes the local grocery stores would have good deals as well. He once bough a whole carton of canned peas because they were marked down over half off. Everyone in the family - including him - disliked canned peas. Luckily he was not computer literate and was completely ignorant of eBay. I feel like he would have spent most of his pay on eBay unable to resist the deals.

    So maybe it is conditioned or hereditary or something. Then again maybe it is just human nature to want to get a deal.
    KathyB

  12. #701
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    I fortunately have not gotten the ebay bug. Most of what I buy online is music and DVD's. Then again, I prefer to see and feel whatever yarn I intend to use before I buy it. I may pick up a few skeins online but only after I figure out what I'm looking for. I did have an issue with different brands labeling yarn the same thing (navy blue) but the colors actually ending up being different. Also if I'm going to use different colors in the same project, I want to be able to put the skeins side by side to see if they work together.

  13. #702
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I have done eBay before but it kind of comes in spurts. It is easy to lose lots and lots of time browsing through things. And many of the deals are not much of deal. I have not bought anything there recently. I have decided to just go through regular stores for my thread.

    Some of the offerings are just kind of odd. I could see buying of box of white skeins of thread. Some people want a bunch of white to try hand dyeing thread. But I am not sure why someone would want a box of blue skeins of thread. Not a box with lots of different shades of blue - a box with a whole bunch of the same shade of blue.

    I really do not need a huge collection of thread at this point. My non-mini project planned will be shades of yellow on a navy blue background. So my tentative plan is that when I finish a non-mini project I might pick out some new thread for the next non-mini I have planned. My first non-mini project took a couple months and I was out of work for a month. So this next one could be even longer. I am thinking maybe two thread purchases a year.

    I had thought of doing a cherry blossom theme one. But the cherry trees are only in bloom for a few weeks and it I think the project would take longer than that.

    One of the things I am hoping to do in when I retirement is to do embroidery in season that reflects plants around me. Kind of a year in the life of public garden overview in embroidery thread.

    Do other crafts have lists of things they want to do? Not projects you have actually planned. But craft projects that kind of fall in the "someday" category. Maybe things that you need more time/skill/money before you can do them. In may case many of these fall into the "when I retire" basket. I suppose some motivation writer would say, why put it off, do them now. Well there is the small matter of having very minimal time. And occasionally I feel so burned out from work and commuting I am not up to much.

    It is like a bucket list, but for an introverted, adrenaline hating homebody who has zero interest in climbing any mountains.
    KathyB

  14. #703
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    As you all know, I have bought lots and lots of stuff from eBay and Etsy, the vast majority of it for someday projects. I knew that one thing I wanted to do was to get into embroidery. My initial inspiration was some of the pieces by Judith Montano. The book below was my first introduction to it. But for that kind of embroidery Iíll need a wide ranging stash with all kinds of stuff in it. I have spent a lot of money on it, but it is really paying off now that I am finally stating to work toward that absurdly ambitious goal. Baby steps, but if I live long enough, Iíll get there, at least I hope I will. I definitely need variety for - lace, trims, charms, buttons, beads, ribbons, sequins, all kinds of threads, novelty yarns, and almost anything else that can be sewn on or attached to fabric. The hexagons are just my learning canvases.

    I have also bought a lot of books, mostly cheap used copies from Better World Books, a few new from Amazon. All have some good ideas to contribute, and in the collection I have stumbled on a few that are five star plus books.

    All of it together is more than I can ever use, but at the same time it has as much as I would ever need if I could never add another thing to it.

    So yes, I definitely buy for someday projects. If someday comes I have the materials and if someday never comes, thatís ok too. Someone will enjoy it after my demise.

    I find that posted lots from people clearing out stashes or from estate sales are good sources. I have picked up some great finds that way. If what is needed is instant variety rather than much of any one thing, itís a good way to go.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Stash Management-3fa22f53-ef25-4659-b27a-2e8e7d639823.jpg


  15. #704
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I've bought a lot of stuff for hobbies I thought I wanted to do someday. But when I did the first big purge of my sewing room, I got rid of a lot of that. It was a reality check for me. I took a hard look at my skills and interests and got rid of stuff like the stained glass stuff and other things. I realized I most likely would never actually take the time to use it. I haven't missed any of it, and don't even recall all the different things I got rid of. I focused on keeping areas where I already had a lot of skill and large investments in equipment and supplies, mainly sewing and beading. Both allow for fun projects using skills and knowledge I already have, while also providing opportunities to learn new methods and try new ideas. Sewing at the level I do also serves a practical purpose, as I can sew and have sewn to both save money and earn money either working for myself or someone else.

    My lesser hobbies are set up so they have designated spaces, and I haven't allowed them to outgrow their spaces. I've talked about that before. The beads, leather, fur, and macrame are housed in a $10 former entertainment center that takes up only about 6 square feet of floor space. The knitting, crochet, and tatting items are in another $10 cabinet the same size, so in less than 12 sf I have enough supplies for 5 or 6 different hobbies, with enough variety in each catagory that I don't have to worry about buying more supplies for most any project. I also have a varied stash for knitting, crochet, and tatting because those crafts can often use the same supplies, which gives me many options for potential projects.

    I live where it's difficult and inconvenient to buy craft supplies. I probably would not have amassed my stashes if it was easier to buy supplies here, except for beads which are so expensive I buy them when I see them cheap. I also took a page from D's book and have worked at building inventories ahead of retirement. Most of it has come dirt cheap from thrifts and garage sales, so I had to buy it when I saw it or pay far more later on.

    I never know what I will need, which makes planning an inventory difficult. Therefore, it works for me to keep a wide variety of supplies. Over the years, it has saved me far more than it's cost. I really like being able to walk into my sewing room and know I can do whatever I want, usually without having to worry about having what I need.

    I left out the cross stitch stuff because that's more Husby's hobby than mine, but it's the same with that, designated space and picking up cheap supplies.

    So far this has worked for us. I'm constantly tweaking my organizing and storage methods to optimize those. I will also confess I'm making allowances for overflow in a couple of key areas, namely my 2 charity projects. I buy most of my DfG stuff new, but sometimes I run across things very cheap. Since I'm self-funded, it would be crazy not to buy low and save the money for shipping costs. For angel gowns, I never know when I will find gowns free or cheap, so have to take advantage when opportunities present themselves.

    I actually kind of like the challenge of organizing stuff.

  16. #705
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    I "inherited" or was given a lot of the fabric I had/have on hand, yarns, cross-stitch and so on. I have bought yarn and beads, mostly because I just thought it was pretty. For yarn I just have 3 1 lb solid color skeins and 5-6 smaller skeins of a pretty variegated to use some day. Beads fortunately take very little storage, so 2-3 shoe-box size boxes. Embroidery floss & Aida fabric in a couple of tote bags. The sewing fabric, zippers, tape, & thread takes 5-6 paper boxes and I'm good about only buying what is needed to finish a project at this point. I live close to both Michaels and JoAnn so buying as-needed is not a problem.

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