Tarot Journal and my Discovery of the “Fauxdori”

So, as previously stated in an earlier post, I’ve become a bit of a planner junkie.  I’ve always loved futzing about with paper and pen and stickers, so this has been a very natural progression.

I’ve been amending my current planner, but I’ve been looking ahead to the new year, and the new planner I’ll be creating/working with.  And I thought I had made my decision.  I was gonna go with a Moleskine planner with lots of space/pages.  And I continued to look around on Pinterest for various hacks and ideas that I would take into the new year.

I was also looking at various ideas for a Tarot journal, since this is one of my October “spirit” goals.  I’ve been feeling rather disconnected from my cards, and I figured a daily draw and journal would ground me back into the practice that was once as natural to me as breathing.  As a pagan, or witch or practitioner of the Old Ways or WHATEVER I JUST DO MY OWN THING OK?, I yearn for that sort of daily practice to help me live my life as I determine.  Tarot is one of those things that help me gain awareness of the world around me, both physical and spiritual.

Looking around Pinterest… looking around pinterest… hmmm, that’s an interesting recipe… looking around pinterest….

And then I discovered the Midori Traveller’s Notebook.

oh.  mah.  GAH.
Seriously.  Where the Hella have I been?  This is a whole thing.  With a gajillion hacks and ideas and OHMIGODSMYBRAINISGOINGTOEXPLODEWITHIDEAS


I prolly glossed over them before because all I saw were leather covers, and I was all “meh”.  Leather, and all the subsequent tools I’d have to get to work with it, is expensive and not exactly fulfilling my instant gratification gene.

But after watching another (and dare I say it–way too long and full of “ums” you tube video)  thought to myself, “I bet I could MAKE one of those”

Enter the pinterest search, the discovery of “fauxdori” and a burning need to get into my studio and create.

And create I did.  AM I 100% happy with it?  Oh, lawrd no.  But that’s what prototypes are for. Now I know what it entails, and I know what I want to add/change.

Here’s the cover. It currently holds two Moleskine cahiers–and it’s not quite wide enough.  I don’t like the cahiers to be so flush, and i can’t stick a third on in there without it pushing past the edges.  But mistakes are how we learn…


But for now, I have a lovely lil journal to record my tarot musings and spreads.  Made out of the last scrap of some favorite material.  I still need to add some tabs and washi and all my artistic blatherings, but it’s a really nice start.

The first notebook

The first notebook

This one smudged when I went to erase some pencil marks–so I ran with it with some distress ink

This one smudged when i went to erase some pencil marks--so i ran with it with some distress ink

This section holds a month’s bullet list style for my daily draw–just so I can see trends. On this one, I wrote the moon cycles right next to the date, but I rethought that for November.

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2015-10-02 005a tad neater…more organized. With room for doodling, as needed. Only medicinally, of course

The second section of that cahier, for, ya know…stuff.

The second section of that cahier, for, ya know...stuff.

Working on the cover for the second cahier, where I plan to discuss each card in detail as I draw it

Working on the cover for the second cahier, where i plan to discuss each card in detail as i draw it

I then scoured pinterest for images of the cards I currently use.  This is the Housewives Tarot, and is a favorite deck.

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The cards–ready to cut

So today I drew my first card–the Nine of Cups. A good card by every measure.  So I jotted down my thoughts and feelings and some interpretations I looked up or already knew.  and I fleshed out a few of those ideas.  I also marked today’s date up in the corner, and if I draw it again, i’ll mark that date down too.  And perhaps flesh it out a bit more–that’s why I left space.

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Today’s draw

It feels like a great start.  And it gives me a chance to work out the kinks before I jump in with a planner for the new year.  And it gives me that practice I crave, and some great eye candy to boot!  One must feed the body AND the soul, no?

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Pattern Review: PeekABoo Patterns Castaway Cargos

I have a boy.  My first born.  And I have a business where I sew.  Many of the things.  But rarely do I get to sew for my boy.  Because let’s face it, what are my options?  Some variation of shirts or pants.    Knit or wovens, it’s still just some sort of shirt or pant.

On top of that my amazing boyo is also on the spectrum.  With many a sensory issue.  SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) is often a co-morbid condition with Autism, and that is certainly the case in this house.  Now, he’s not too picky about his clothes, but I can tell when he’s comfy and when they annoy him.  He still struggles with stiffer fabrics like denim jeans (although you can find soft ones if you know where to look) and he dislikes jean buttons and hard-to-snap snaps.

Honestly–he’s happiest in soft cotton jammie pants–but then who isn’t?

So, as he began to shoot up in height yet AGAIN–quit growin wouldja?–I knew we would have to get some new pants for the school year.  Since it’s hot a lot longer anymore, we’ve been surviving in shorts.  Hell, we’re over a week into fall and I’ve got the air conditioner on and wearing a tank top, if that tells you anything.  Shorts are certainly the mainstay of his wardrobe, but it will eventually turn cooler, perhaps even dipping into the California bone crushing 50s. brr!  And he’ll need a few pairs of long pants to keep his knees warm.

Now, I’ve made him pants before.  I’ve been using the EZ fit pants pattern FOR EVAH, but mostly for those comfy jammie pants I was discussing, and simple summer shorts.  But he’s older now–a third grader amongst some pretty fashion savvy kids.  So it was time to up my homemade pants game.

(let it be known–I do buy him pants as well.  He owns many a pair of Target cargo pants, and whatever else was on sale)

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All the pieces cut out as Opus looks on. I make notes of any other pieces needed that don’t have patterns as well.

I saw someone mention the Castaway Cargos in one of the myriad Facebook sewing groups I belong to, and gave the pattern a looky-loo.  And I must say they were a smart looking pair of pants, with the nice soft waistband I knew my boy would like.  So, like any responsible seamstress, I tried to wait until I could get them on sale, missed the sale, and then bought them because I needed to make this boy some pants!

The Castaway Cargos are a PDF pattern, which means you purchase and print and then tape the pattern together.  I trace off my patterns, and was a tad disappointed that I had to print the entire pattern and not just the size I needed.  This trend of being able to print just the size you need has been happening a lot more with patterns, lately, and I find that I really like it since it saves me a step.  But I get that not all patterns have that, so I traced off the size I needed based on the measurements.  I used a size larger to make sure the waist was big enough.  And I don’t mind if the legs were too long.  Boys, by their very nature and elastic and changing, and while his hips don’t get much bigger, those legs, y’all.  so I don’t mind making a pair of pants that might last him more than one season.

2015-10-01 011The first pair I made, I didn’t make all the pockets, because I wanted to check the fit.  So I only made the front slanty pockets, and I modified the side cargo pocket into a flat pocket.  Since it was a plaid, I cut them on the bias for some visual interest.  I also cut out the fake fly portion of the pant and stitcked that down.  I’m not convinced it was needed, but I know many boys’ pants have them, even if it’s not functional.

When he put them on, he told me they felt like pajamas.

That’s a win, y’all.

So I went ahead and cut out two more–a short and a pant.  Actually, I was gonna make the red into some pants, but then thought better of it.  While I might sport a pair of red cargo pants for fun, it’s not my job to push my own artistic flair onto the boy.  Besides, I’d already made him a plaid pair of jams (that’s capris for boys, ya know) so I thought I’d tone it down a tad.  The pants would be camouflage.  Because, of course.

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welt sewn and turned. easy peasy!

I made the front slant pockets with ease.  And then it was on to the back welt pockets.  news flash–in ALL my years of sewing, I have never, not once, EVER made a welt pocket.  Wouldja believe it?  So, I made these , and they weren’t half bad.  I was using black thread–which when contrasting, can and will show every flub.  But it was a decision I made for efficiency.  For a client or show, I would certainly match threads, etc.  But here, I let my flub flag fly.

The welts, it turned out were pretty easy.

2015-09-28 001Then it was on to the side cargo.  I opted out of the extension piece–as I don’t care for the look of those bulgey pockets.  of course this lead me to the one thing I don’t like doing with curved pockets:  folding under.  Every time I try to fold under a curved pocket, it looks like I just started sewing.  It was ok on the plaid–because it was pretty much invisible, and that fabric had a bit more “give”.  But this red twill was NOT going to cooperate.  So I cut a lil facing, turned it and pressed it real pretty.  Worked like a charm.

2015-10-01 005

Odds bodkins!

The rest of the pant came together with ease.  The waistband is pretty simple (esp if you have a serger.)  You just pin at the 4 equal points, and then stretch as you sew.  I pressed the facing down and top stitched just to get it to lay flat and to give it a more finished look.  Then you insert the elastic with safety-pin or bodkin!   I love my bodkin.  I got it years ago and can’t imagine going back to a safety-pin.  Although sometimes it does slip out (it did on the camo pants!) but after some well phrased cursing, it all comes together.

2015-09-21 004

nice that this fairly useless kindle still has a function. I can’t take it anywhere, but at least i don’t have to print out the instructions!

All in all it’s a great pattern.  Easy to read and follow.  I actually download it to my kindle (this one wouldn’t keep a charge, so I keep it in my studio, plugged in for just this purpose) and read the instructions there–less paper and ink!  If there are any cons to this patterns is that you spend a majority of your time making pockets.  I sent 80% of my time on pockets and the rest putting the pants together.  So it’s a good thing I made them assembly line style, or else I would have gotten a bit bored with this pattern and may not have made a second pair.  That’s not a critique of the pattern–but rather my attention span.  He will have to have some more new pants in a few months, but for now, I’m glad I’m done with the ones I made.

2015-10-01 016And as far as the boyo–he says they’re ok.  But hey–as long as it isn’t a complaint, then that means they work. 2015-10-01 013

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Planner mania

So i’ve jumped on the planner bandwagon.

may 29

Mags always feels the yarn though

As always i am looking for something i can do in little bursts of time.  Studio time is designated primarily for sewing and quilting, but up here in the house, i’m always looking for something to keep my hands busy, when baby permits.  Knitting and crochet generally take up most upstairs crafting time, but i don’t always feel the yarn, ya know?

And i’ll admit, the addition of baby #2 into the mix  (and subsequent mommy brain)and the boy with school and activities, I feel like my world is spiraling OUT OF CONTROL.  It’s not really.  I mean, what, i forgot to vacuum today?  Quelle horreur!  We’re eating leftovers for dinner?  someone call CPS!

But whether or not it is actually spiraling out of control, i FEEL like it is.  A great way to feel like i’ve got at least a finger grasp on the every growing cliffs of anxiety (next to guilt valley) is to keep a planner.

9780738726915Now, my mom gets me this planner every year.  and i love the information inside.  All sort of witchy information to keep this kitchen witch in the know.  but it’s a bit… well…

plain.  With not enough space for my creative ramblings and lists.

You know what makes me happy?  i mean that soothing velvet hug around my heart of contentment?  COLOR and CHAOS.

I know.  I KNOW.  a veritable ball of contradiction am I.  I do not want to live in chaos and clutter, but i LOVE to look at it–when it’s purposeful anyway.  I get no joy in watching Hoarders.  Really.

It all began with a buzzfeed article about planner people to follow on Instagram and i was all–HOW CUTE IS THIS SHIT?  And to anyone who knows me, well, that’s the siren call of a new hobby.

But luckily for me it wasn’t new PER SE.  I mean, i’m sitting on a gold mine of scrapbook stickers and rubber stamps.  And i love to use my planner. All i needed to purchase was washi tape–SUCH a hardship, let me tell you.

And it isn’t as if i were going to plan out theme specific pages with color palettes and coordinating stickers. I mean, there are people who do that.  And they have lovely planners.  And they apparently make a lot of jello molds and cart their kids about to various sports activities, and isn’t that nice for all of them.

SOOOO not what i had planned.

IMG_6297this is my planner habit:

  • go through and mark important dates and appts
  • lay down washi tape for menu planning and other stuff
  • Every day add random stickers, stamps, list tags, post its and quotes–whatever i’m feeling for 5-10 minutes.

Really.  That’s all i do.  Some might look at my planner, grimace and say, “well, that’s what it looks like”  and then they’d go make a tasty casserole.  And i don’t care.  This kind of nonsense makes me happy.  like seriously happy.  And that is in short supply for this depressed mama.

IMG_6299(i’ve always struggled with depression. breastfeeding keeps me from being able to take my meds and post partum hormones don’t always help.  So i look for happy where i can find it, albeit brief or transitory)

IMG_6298SO i thought i would start to share my weekly outlooks.  On each week i’ve added a bullet journal for my daily and weekly tasks.  and this week i discovered the Project Life cards at Joanns, which i just hole punched and added into my spiral for quotes and stuff.

I’m using the big blank(ish) page for a dashboard, and it usually gets filled up by the end of the week.  and as you can see, my bullet list is currently empty.  By the end of the week, most of that blank space will be filled with either reminders of stuff i need to do, or quotes and stickers if i have a particularly slow week.

I love finding a new hobby.  And one for which i already have the supplies?  BRILLIANT.  I’ll be sharing my weekly views on Instagram (DevillerougeDesigns) and here from time to time.  I will no doubt be getting a new planner in the next few months  as the new year aproaches–and i’m actually going to get a different kind for next year, so i’ll be sharing my hacks and craziness to that planner as i come to it.

And as always, i’m still sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, cooking….  Idle hands, y’all.  You know what they can do.


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Thinking about a Brain Dump

*cough cough*

Bit dusty in here.

So, it’s been a while.  I know someone may be thinking–now why don’t she write?  Well, honestly, I just haven’t felt it.  I mean, everyone and their mother has a blog now, right?  And they’re all competing for page views and ad sense and trying to be fucking relevant.  And here I am having a cookie and NO ONE is reading this.  Oh, there’s like someone in Croatia or Slovenia reading this–but honestly, they’re just looking for pictures or something right?

But I woke up this morning–this morning of Mercury Retrograde and I felt all write-y and shit.  Not that I have anything really relevant or timely to say that hasn’t already been said by every SAHM blogger trying to feel like she fucking matters in the great scheme of things, even though we all of us are pretty small and insignificant. But occasionally we have some good advice or we made a tasty hot dish or we’ve got a joke.

Oh, I curse a lot. Did I mention that? Because I fucking do.

So, I may start writing here from time to time.  About more than crafts.  Maybe.  I haven’t decided, really.  I just wanted to dust off this blog and see if I kept being interested in a few days.

So… *shrugs shoulders*

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Getting Back in the Swing of Things

So, my amazing bestie got me a FABULOUS gift for Xmas–a new embroidery machine!  My old Brother was out of commission since I took it into the shop and it was never returned.54737_10151190433806859_1470794036_o Long story short I gave them my machine to fix and they never called, and when I finally called to say, hey, where’s my machine, they told me I took too long to call them and it was gone.

And then they got yelped.

Anywho, it’s taken me a couple months to get used to this machine, the Brother PE770.  It has a larger 5×7 field so I can embroider bigger stuff, and it’s got a much easier file transfer system since it used a USB stick.  I just haul my laptop down to my studio and I can work with Embird or just my massive amount of embroidery files, put it on the USB and stick it in the machine.  The is a DEFINITE perk as I no longer have to work with the clumsy cards.

44736_10151221680066859_733380896_n I’ve stitched out some stockings, and a few custom order inhaler pouches and some teacher gifts for the end of the year.  And a few baby onesies.  In fact it was the baby onesies that made me KEENLY aware of the tension465926_10151479711006859_1351292858_o issues, and changed the way I approached all embroidery projects.  I SWORE my machine was broken.  Until I tested a burp that stitched out perfect and I knew it was user error and not the machine.IMG_20130408_101814

Because that’s the thing.  This machine is FUSSY.  FU. SSY.  It’s taken me quite a while to get used to this machine, and I’m still figuring out its perks.

The main issue is tension.  My old 4×4 machine was just a workhorse and I could just plop anything in the hoop and away it worked.  But this one… I gotta test, I gotta adjust, and then I gotta test again.  I finally just had to change my mindset and realize that every new project is a new tension setting, and that it may not work.  I started keeping a notebook on my computer with notes for each project so that I can remember what worked and what didn’t.

20130606_110410 But I am happy to say that everything seems to be working well AT THE MOMENT.  I had to test an adorable design from Urban Threads because a client wanted it on a tote bag.    I will say, the benefit of testing is that, if it works, you have something with a cute design on it!  (meet my new knitting bag!)

20130630_121756 Today I stitched it out without a hitch.  The bag is a heavy canvas bag purchased from Jones T-Shirts and I used a simple craft felt for the otters, with Metro embroidery thread.  The wording on here was a custom order, with a back story here.  Turns out the recipient LOVED it, which makes me happy as well.

While the past couple of designs have been successful, I will admit using the machine still makes me jumpy. I keep waiting for SOMETHING to happen.  Which, if you think about it, is a little silly.  I mean, if it chews something up, I just start over again, right?  See?  It’s about changing the mindset.  And possibly the bobbins.  No really.  I just ordered some prewound ones from Amazon which supposedly END ALL THE PROBLEMS.  But I ain’t holdin my breath.

I am determined, however to embrace my new crafting motto: 577685_10151473874121859_178196059_n

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Waste Not…

Ages ago, I got into quilting.  What actually happened is that I got kicked out of school because of eejitry and ignorance and was forced to take a year off.  In that time I was working and whatnot, but I had some more time on my hands than usual, not to mention some bone-crushing depression, so I picked up a new hobby.  I had the brains to bring my Sewing machine up to Humboldt with me, so I had machine, material and mad skills.  Ok, maybe not the skills, but that’s when I started.


Quilt Numero Uno.

I made a sampler quilt to try some skills, and a Little Red Schoolhouse quilt.  Both using scraps.  All scraps–since I didn’t really have any funds to buy more material at the time.  and I made it work. And I quilted them both both by hand, because I knew no other way.  Long, LONG hours quilting and contemplating and realizing the direction I need my life to move toward. A Lot of love and energy went into those quilts, and I loved them.  I loved them hard.


these schoolhouses ROCKED! oh, i miss you puffy quilt!

Oddly enough, I don’t have either of them anymore.  I have NO IDEA what happened to that first one, and the second one got left at the hospital where I delivered Benji.  Losing that second one was a heartbreak, but I know some family somewhere is benefiting, so I don’t mind.

IMG_20120306_101631 Anywhoozles, I started piecing quilt tops again a few years ago, honing the skills, learning a few new things, and using up those scraps.  Because here’s the thing–I LOVE using up the scraps.


these worried me…

now, some of those most stunning quilts I have seen have been made with particular color schemes and bundles and amazing stuff.  And I’ve even purchased material to perhaps match or contrast a particularly large set of scraps I might have.  But the quilt top I just finished?  ALL SCRAPS.

There is something of the thrifty pioneer in me, I suppose.  I have a quilt my great grandmother made–also scrappy, because that’s how one made quilts back then.  and it is well loved.  I just love the idea that we (quilters) can take all these pickety bits and make something that will warm someone on a cold night.  And comfort them.  With very little waste.  It SINGS to my frugal soul.

I followed along with a Debbie Mumm Block of the month quilt because, while I am not a Mumm material fan, I really liked the blocks and look of this quilt.  And as I had a rather extravagant amount of blue and green scraps, I thought it would be a perfect choice.

And oddly enough, it really was.  The thing about BOMs (block of the month) is that when you do it scrappy, they don’t always work.  And I was pretty unsure of this one.  the small border blocks really weren’t reading well in my eye, and I thought, this is just going to be a muddy mess of color.

IMG_4696but it turned out that parts of it really popped.  and it has the folky feel that I like, without the “country” look that I don’t.  It reminds me of Northern CA, where I learned to quilt, with the tree and salmon blocks.  And I may hand quilt it just because it reminds me of those two quilts that I learned on–both piecing and quilting.

It’s very soothing to have a finished quilt top ready to quilt.  I’m looking forward to snuggling under this next winter…

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Practice makes Practical

So, I knit.  This is hardly a newsflash.  I’ve crocheted since I was a pre-teen, and I taught myself to knit maybe 10 years ago?  Well, I watched some You-Tube videos and figured out the rest

Anyway, I consider myself still pretty unskilled, knitting-wise.  I mean, I can make a hat like a mofo, and circular knitting is my BITCH, but some stuff still intimidates me.  My lace always looks like ass because I lose count, I’ve never even tried fair-aisle or any real color carrying other than rows, and cabling?  *shudder*

But this is why the Lord invented dishcloths.

I used to think knitting intricate dishcloths was the biggest, stupidest waste of wastefulness.  And then I remembered my own crafty family.

I come from a long line of crafty women.  And something my grandmother and mother taught me by example was the creation of the “practice” item.  Whether trying a new stitch, figuring out a sewing technique, or learning anything new, it’s always great to practice.  In fact, that is how proficiency is garnered.

When I was teaching, I noticed a great fear of practicing–my students always wanted to get it right  the first time.  And while sometimes that CAN happen, it usually doesn’t.  And there’s nothing wrong with practicing anything.  Hell, even wedding dress makers make a MUSLIN before they start sewing on the good stuff.  You feel me?  practice is good.  Dancers don’t hit the stage right after reading a choreography.  Singers rarely get on a mike without singing the song a few times before.  And crafters don’t get GOOD without making a few items that might look…well…like it was for practice.

Luckily, the knit dishcloth is perfect.  You get to practice a stitch and learn a few skills, and in the end you have a practical tool for your kitchen.  Because, honestly, who’s gonna look at your dishcloth?  Really?

Even if they look this good:

I was practicing my cabling there.  As a continental knitter, my purls are never at the same tension as my knits, and I always end up with a gap after my cable twists.  The only way to improve that?  PRACTICE.

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