April 2019 Goings on at My Homestead in Northwest Florida

I’m writing this on April 15, 2019, the third Monday of this month. There are five Mondays this year in April which I find curious but think maybe I just haven’t noticed in years gone by but I haven’t taken the time to look back at old calendars which I do still have more old calendars than I should admit to anyone; after all my mantra has been “Don’t Throw That Away!”

I realized this morning that much of what I’ve been doing the last couple years and especially the last few months is propelling me along a path that will lead me to a lifestyle that I think of as being my untethered life, or should I call it my free range life? I’m still on sabbatical from Facebook and enjoying it more than ever. As I mentioned in my post last month, I think about reactivating my facebook page as a task I “should” do and it’s on my “to do” list along with several other undesirable tasks that keep getting passed over for more enjoyable tasks such as walking with my dogs, bathing my dogs, grooming my dogs, also pressure washing the decks and sling blading the yard, sewing, laundry, or sorting and clearing out packed boxes that have been waiting patiently for my attention for many years, so long in fact that a thick layer of dust has collected on them in the storage area of garage. I think I got kick-started down this path to an untethered life when my tv quit working a couple years ago and I chose not to replace it. That “no tv” thing is another story that I won’t go into in this post because it actually deserves a post all on its own, and it’s still unfolding. My mention of doing laundry as a task more desirable than reactivating my facebook page made me think about what happened to my washing machine last month. It’s on my instagram page but I thought I’d add a little clip of it in this blog too.

I thought the support rod which is suspension rod may have broke but thankfully I was able to put rod back into the gizmo thingy that holds it securely. I’m happy to say I fixed it. I used a candle to prop open top, and cans to prop up basket to take weight of basket off the rod so I could put rod back in that gizmo thingy. It took longer to disconnect hoses, gather tools, unscrew back coverplates then put back together than to actually fix rod.

This post is about what I been doing since my last post, the goings on around my homestead. As I mentioned in last post, although I’m not on Facebook, I’m still using my other social media sites such as GoodreadsInstagramRavelryTumblr, and Twitter. I enjoy Goodread, Instagram, and Ravelry the most and I’ve really stepped up my use of my Goodreads account this month. I been updating my bookshelves and adding books I have had for years but never listed on my Goodreads bookshelves. I have been on Goodreads since November 2013 and only now starting to use the awesome resources available through the website. I joined a group on Goodreads this month, it’s called Crime, Mysteries & Thrillers. I hope it’s a good fit for my genre likes, time will tell if I stay and participate or drop out. I like a good mystery but I only care for specific types of mystery; I love Agatha Christie stories and especially her Miss Marple series. I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Mysteries. I do enjoy a good Forensic Crime Drama Mystery. When I had TV my favorite shows were NCIS, and the CSI shows, and so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I was really happy when I found the Alexandra Cooper Book Series by Linda Fairstein. Linda Fairstein is a Goodreads author if you care to look her up. Here is bit about her from the Goodreads author’s page, she “is one of America’s foremost legal experts on crimes of violence against women and children. She served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office from 1976 until 2002 and is the author of a series of novels featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper.” Linda Fairstein just published the 20th book of this series. I checked out books available from my local library and so I’m reading out of sequence and although some people who have a need to read a series in the order that the author wrote it say that I will regret reading out of sequence, I doubt it. I think each novel stands on it’s own merit. I know that when I finally get my hands on the earlier books in the series my knowledge of the more recent books will probably act as “spoilers” but I don’t care about that. I look at it this way, when I start listening to a podcast that I like, I begin with the most current one and then work on listening to all the ones from years gone by from the podcaster. I do the same with shows that are a series on video. It doesn’t spoil it for me when I know that a budding romance in an earlier episode doesn’t work out or that someone will be killed off. I haven’t spent all of my time reading though, I have been working on sewing and knitting projects, also much more in yard and around the homestead is underway. The Dollar General going up next door is also making headway with the demolition of everything on that property; I think everyday that could have been my place if I had accepted their offer last year. I have some short videos of goings on around here on my Instagram page if you want to check it out.

I said in last post, I should spend more time on this blog, my handcraftermaggie blog,  but here it is nearly a month since I last posted. I think once a month for regular posts is enough time spent blogging about what I been doing or am planning to do. I do work on other pages on my blog such as adding recipes and patterns. I also add links to the reference pages such as is on the Animal Rescue and Pet Care Page so check out my pages listed on the menu if you are so inclined.

I mentioned in last post that I was working on the prototypes for some products for my Fibercrafty Shop and I finished one of them, the WIP Minder. I actually have it in my shop and I’m about 75% done with the matching project bag. I’m enjoying using my prototypes and as I mentioned in last post I started my first pair of socks that I’ve ever knitted. The picture below shows the project bag and WIP Minder as well as the yarn bowl that I crocheted. If you don’t know what a WIP is, it’s a Work In Progress.

These are the prototype WIP Minder and Project bag. These don’t have interface and are very limp but I’m enjoying them for my personal use. I used interface in the ones I made for my Fibercrafty shop.

 

Here are some pictures of my sewing project for the ones I made/am making for my Fibercrafty Shop. Check out the WIP in my https://handcraftermaggie.fibercrafty.com/5853-wip-work-in-progress-minder-for-dpn-and-circular.html

https://handcraftermaggie.fibercrafty.com/5853-wip-work-in-progress-minder-for-dpn-and-circular.html Transport your WIP (Work in Progress) safely in a project bag and know that the stitches will be held on the needles in this WIP cozy. The size is approximately 9" x 2" and will accommodate up to about 8-1/2" DPNs, also circulars. The 3rd snap will keep the shorter needles from escaping the case and could keep a crochet hook secure too. I added interface to the fabric to add structure to the cozy case. The snaps are invisible from the outside, they are hand sewn. I personally like hand sewn snaps hidden inside not showing on outside. This cozy is ready to ship and is the only one I have made in this fabric that feels like a linen-cotton blend. I prewashed the fabric before making the WIP cozy. I purchased the fabric as a remnant. Waverly Inspirations Screen Print is written on the Selvage.

Transport your WIP (Work in Progress) safely in a project bag and know that the stitches will be held on the needles in this WIP cozy. The size is approximately 9″ x 2″ and will accommodate up to about 8-1/2″ DPNs, also circulars. The 3rd snap will keep the shorter needles from escaping the case and could keep a crochet hook secure too. I added interface to the fabric to add structure to the cozy case. The snaps are invisible from the outside, they are hand sewn. I personally like hand sewn snaps hidden inside not showing on outside. This cozy is ready to ship and is the only one I have made in this fabric that feels like a linen-cotton blend. I prewashed the fabric before making the WIP cozy. I purchased the fabric as a remnant. Waverly Inspirations Screen Print is written on the Selvage.

 

The project bag is coming along nicely and I should finish it this month and get it into my FiberCrafty Shop. I like the structure the interface gives the project bag. It is a heavy iron on type of interface with a lot of stiffness to it. I still have to install the top closure section with zipper and the lining.

And last but not least, my yard work that I’ve been doing is progressing. I am making headway on my plans of relocating some fencing and gates so that my dogs will have a safe place to play outside while I deconstruct the rest of the fencing, some of the decks, and building.

This view is from garage looking toward the porch, see Zoie checking out the part I still need to sling blade.That section around the huge old Sand Live Oak tree is overgrown with Yaupon Holly, thorny vines, volunteer Junipers, and many other plants that I want to dig up and pot while clearing the undesirable overgrowth of thorny vines. I topped and spaded around some of the junipers and other saplings last year in preparation for potting them up for a new life as large bonsai – the kind that are about 3′ to 5′ tall. I will be able to move them and have them at my new home-base. Zoie’s hair is growing out nicely from the shave I gave her last months for hotspots. You can see more about that on my Instagram page.

This view is from about midway of yard between porch and garage. I’m showing the fence posts I relocated to this area. I’m going to tack some netting to the posts from an old roll I have been saving. You can see Terra’s hair is growing out nicely from the shave I gave her last months for hotspots. You can see more about that on my Instagram page.

This view is from porch looking out toward the garage. If you look on Instagram you will find older pictures that show how overgrown the yard was a couple months ago. You can see I appropriated a gate – see it besideTerra? I will install it soon, it came from area out front that I’m deconstructing. Zoie and Terra;s hair is growing out nicely from the shave I gave her last months for hotspots. You can see more about that on my Instagram page.

 

This area was so overgrown you could hardly see the wood deck but I’ve almost finished clearing it with sling blade and rake.

The lush looking green section in the top left of picture is Virginia Creeper vines that have completely covered that area. I got them up from the rest of the yard last month and this month but that section is all I have left to do and now that the leaves have some out it seems more intimidating but I’m determined to remove it from this section of my property. I have about 2-1/2 acres and so it can continue to grow in the back section behind garage out in the woods for now because I’m not concerned with that area at this time.

That’s all I have for this month to share with you. I hope you all have a wonderful April 2019 and if you celebrate Easter or one of the other Spring Holidays – ENJOY!

Sabbatical and Springtime in Northwest Florida

My sabbatical from facebook continues and I am even less inclined to reactivate my page as time goes by. I think about it now as something I “should” do just to check in and to start maintenance work on the personal and business page on facebook but I don’t want to so I haven’t and no promise as to when I will. I do need to put a notice on the business page for redirect to other social media that I prefer to use such as Goodreads, Instagram, Ravelry, Tumblr, and Twitter. I actually post 99% of the time on Instagram and then it just shares over to Ravelry, Tumblr and Twitter. I rarely spend much time on Twitter or Tumblr except to check for any messages that may have been sent to me there. I should spend more time on this blog, my handcraftermaggie blog, but it’s just so darn easy to share a picture to Instagram from my phone and wam-bam that’s it done… I like simple and fast for some things.

This is prototype and I’m keeping it for my own use. I have socks on the needles here. You can see the details on my Ravelry project page, check it out on Ravelry. See link in this post r click on picture.

I have been super duper happy and productive this month doing many things I been wanting to do such as finishing my prototype WIP minder and project bag for my Fibercrafty shop. I am now working on the actual project bag with interface and matching WIP minder, so very soon I will have my first items listed in my Fibercrafty shop. I’ve been working on my very first pair of socks! I have listed all the details and pictures in my projects on my Ravelry page. Ravelry is my favorite social community center and if I could only have one I would choose Ravelry. It’s free to join and they don’t intrude on your privacy the way facebook has been doing. I am in Ravelry on the boards and forums everyday. I invite you to join and friend me on Ravelry, here is the link to my page  https://www.ravelry.com/people/HandCrafterMaggie then you can look at all my projects. I joined Ravelry June 27, 2011 and am still finding new things about it that I didn’t know. I’m in many groups and quite a few of those group owners have podcasts that I listen to. The one I’ve listened to the longest is Yarns at Yinhoo. I’ve been listening to her for about 5 years and when I found her podcast I also listened to all the older ones. I can’t say enough good about how much I enjoy that podcast and the group on Ravelry. Here is link to her website that has her podcast and show notes, http://www.yarnsatyinhoo.com/.

Working in yard yesterday in picture collage below notice the vines wound up and hung on the posts. I been pulling those vines out and trying to keep them intact so that they are long. I’m winding up the vine to let dry because some had started to sprout new shoots on the old wood. I plan to make a basket or several baskets depending on how much vine I can pull out. More on that in another blog post later.

click picture and go to my Instagram page

 

 

To see a short video in yard yesterday click on picture.

Yesterday I worked all day in the yard and oh boy did my feet and hand joints yell at me last night but after a relaxing evening, a good night’s sleep, and taking it easy morning working online on my blog I am ready to go back outside and spend the afternoon finishing up the area I was working on. I am making an area for a doggie playpen so that my furry companions can be off leash in the yard while I work on the many upcoming projects that include dismantling the fencing, the decks, and eventually the buildings. Why you may ask? In case you don’t know, I plan to sell to a developer who will bulldoze everything on my 2 + acres. I want to salvage what I can to have for my new home base land that I will purchase with some of the equity from the sale of my 2 + acres. More about all that in upcoming posts. I hope if you aren’t already subscribed to my blog that you will. I hope you are enjoying your springtime no matter how you are spending it.

 

Spring 2019 and Sabbatical Continues in Northwest Florida

Springtime, are we there yet? It really depends on if we are talking about the meteorological season called Spring, or the Astronomical one, more about that later.

What have I been doing with all my time during my sabbatical from facebook you ask? I am still working on designs for the project bags that I will soon offer in my Fibercrafty Storefront.  and I am so pleased with the progress I’m making on that front. I hope to have at least one completed project bag to offer up for sale by the middle of this month. I also am working on designing some stitch markers and progress keepers that I plan to make and offer for sale in my Fibercrafty shop. I also will offer the needle cozy that holds the knitting needles, both DPN and Circulars with the WIP on the needles, as well have needle and hook storage storage cases. I will write more about that later on in the month.

This fabric remnant will soon be a project bag that I will offer for sale in my #Fibercrafty storefront, handcraftermaggie.fibercrafty.com
I’ve been working on original designs for my project bag line that I will offer exclusively in my Fibercrafty shop; I hope it will be well received by the fibercrafting community.
#sewing #knitting #crochet #handcrafting

I’m busily preparing for springtime, my sabbatical from facebook happily continues and I’ve been busy and productive. I can’t believe it’s already March 2019! I hope you all are enjoying your time doing whatever it is you are doing these days. Two of my favorite holidays are this month, Mardis Gras and St Patrick’s Day! Mardi Gras is Tuesday March 5th, and St Patrick’s Day is March 17th. What are your plans for the holidays?

Today is the 2nd day of March 2019 and despite the rain and gloomy looking skies, the 75F muggy claggy breezeless weather here in northwest Florida feels more like late spring than 18 days before the Vernal Equinox, also known as the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere which falls on March 20, 2019.

In case you ever wondered what Vernal Equinox means, Vernal means Spring and “The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night). On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world. ” Although the Vernal Equinox falls on March 20 this year, “Meteorologically speaking, the official first day of spring is March 1 (and the last is May 31). Weather scientists divide the year into quarters to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem, as these dates can vary slightly each year.” (cite – 1)

Another interesting fact relating to March Equinox is that “For the first time in nearly 40 years, the spring equinox will occur on the same day as March’s Full Worm Moon. The last time that these two events landed on the same date was on March 20, 1981, though they did come close again in March 2000, separated by a span of only four hours. But that’s not all: March’s full Moon will also be a supermoon, meaning that it will be slightly larger and brighter than most of the other full Moons this year.” (cite – 1)

Read the entire article and even if you are familiar with the spring equinox, there are many fun facts and some folklore too!

Cite 1 = https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox

 

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you are doing whatever it is you want to do on Valentines Day. I’ve been enjoying the company of my furry companions Zoie, Terra and Tango. I am getting some work done around the homestead, and in the studio. I’m also writing to some penpals, don’t you love getting a REAL letter? I know I do! After lunch, I will go to town to the post office and then take care of some business errands. Do you want to be penpals? Write me at HandCrafter Maggie PO Box 813, Bagdad, FL 32530.

I have an announcement, I finally opened my Makerist pattern shop at https://www.makerist.com/users/handcraftermaggie and I must say it has been a struggle to get it opened. It is a German based business, all correspondence has been by email and it has been difficult to be understood, it seems I have to send letters reiterating the problem several times before the customer service person finally understands what it is I am stating. I am still working on several different aspects of how they  format their uploads. I will post a grand opening soon on my blog.

This is a custom tote I made my niece Stephanie in 2012, it has been popular tote design over the years so I thought I’d share it again this Valentines Day.

 

I am on Sabbatical from Facebook

Update 2-11-19 I made a page to track my sabbatical from facebook journey see it here: Sabbatical from Facebook page.

See original post below that I posted on 2-10-19.

I have been on sabbatical from Facebook. I deactivated my page while I am taking a sabbatical from Facebook. I can reactivate it at anytime but for now I only plan to log in once a month to do some maintenance on the platform. I was told that the messenger doesn’t automatically deactivate so people wrote me but I haven’t seen the messages. I have been looking at this sabbatical as an experiment and I am already surprised by how much better I feel. I have had my Facebook page for about ten years and I realize it just isn’t fun anymore; in fact it is exhausting most of the time! The main thing I am thankful to Facebook for is making it possible for me to connect with family and friends that I had lost touch with but hopefully those family and friends will stay in touch by writing a real letter and calling me on the phone or texting me is good too. I hope they also visit me on other platforms such as my many different ones listed below. My favorites are Ravelry, Instagram, and Tumblr for their fun and friendly platform plus they have an easy to use private messenger that is integrated into the platform without being a separate annoying entity. Ravelry is my most favorite because it is for knitters, crocheters, and weavers. Ravelry groups and forums are drama free and delightfully enjoyable.

Maggie’s Ravelry Page: https://www.ravelry.com/people/HandCrafterMaggie

Maggie’s Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/handcraftermaggie/

Maggie’s Tumbler Blog: https://handcraftermaggie.tumblr.com/

Maggie on Twitter page: https://twitter.com/HandCrafterMag

Maggie’s Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/HandCrafterMaggie/

Maggie’s HomeTalk Blog:https://www.hometalk.com/member/327042/handcraftermaggie

Maggie’s Flickr Page: https://www.flickr.com/people/maggiescornerdotorg/

Maggie’s Good Reads Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25980334-maggie

Maggie’s Just-a-Pinch Page: https://www.justapinch.com/me/HandCrafterMaggie

Maggie’s YouTubeChannel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ML952FORWARD/about

Makerist Online Marketplace for Sewing, Knitting, and Crochet Patterns and Tutorials

[ UPDATED 3-21-19 – LINKS FOR SHOP IS OPEN ]

 

If you follow my blog you may remember that in December 2018 Craftsy gave me about a week notice that I would no longer have a pattern store on their website. I heard about Makerist and decided to apply as a pattern designer to open a pattern store on the Makerist platform. I was disappointed when I didn’t hear back from them for about 3 weeks. I have since learned that it is a bit of a process to be accepted into the Makerist platform. I received a second letter just the other day stating that they reviewed my application again and wanted to be sure that I had received the letter of acceptance for me to join their platform. They said they thought my sewing patterns would be a good fit for their market. They sent a contract that I am looking over now and so it seems that I may soon be opening a pattern shop on Makerist! I will upload all of my sewing pattern tutorials that will be available as a PDF download. I am also working on some other pattern/tutorials for other handcrafts. Although my tutorials have lots of pictures to show how to make the item the written word is in English, so since Makerist is based in Germany and also sell in the French speaking marketplace I am considering beginning the translation of my tutorials into French and German so that I can also be included in those markets.

click on picture to go to my Makerist Shop

I will let you know when I do open my Makerist storefront; I will have an online Grand Opening Bash and you will be invited! If you haven’t subscribed to my blog I hope you will so that you won’t miss a post!

In closing this post today I am reminded of my mama’s words, “Everything happens for a reason, look for the silver lining.”  I have to say thanks Craftsy for booting my pattern shop off your storefront platform! Thanks to getting the boot, I been motivated to not only grow my digital footprint by expanding into other platforms but to start creating new pattern tutorials and not just sewing tutorials, I’m working on other handcraft tutorials too. I am also considering doing videos that will be an add-on to the PDF tutorials.

Always Download and Make Backups

[UPDATE: 1-17-19]

I want to emphasize that I like Sally and I do understand why she did what she did but I don’t agree with her. I am not spewing hate as I’ve been accused of by some of her followers. I am simply stating why a customer who purchased a pattern in a shop that had the feature of retaining a forever copy in that online venue is upset at having the pattern they purchased gutted because the designer was leaving that venue. Also… I am not defending Sally as I’ve also been accused of by some. I understand why Sally gutted her patterns instead of leaving them for Blueprint (former Craftsy) to manage. I understand but I don’t agree and I can say that because I too was a designer who had a shop in the Craftsy venue, and I didn’t do that to my customers. I must also say that I didn’t have anywhere near the sales and customer base as Sally. Compared to Sally I am a hobbyist. I like Sally, I think she is a talented designer, and so did all those who voted for Sally to win the Designer award for Bionic bag design in 2014 on the Craftsy platform. I will probably buy patterns in the future that Sally designed so long as they are available on a one by one basis that I can download and walk away with. And…. I definitely will be sure to download it immediately and keep a backup offline.

[Article below was originally published 1-16-19]

RipStitcher won the 2014 Best Pattern Design Award for her Bionic Gear Bag https://shop.mybluprint.com/a/article/pattern-design-award-winners/

Blueprint, the rebranded Craftsy closed the Ripstitcher shop Dec 28, 2018 –

I bought the Ripstitcher bionic gear bag pattern and had it in my Craftsy library… glad I download all of my patterns and classes because the 82 page pattern updated to 4 pages due to designer’s last minute update before her shop closed.

I bought patterns at Craftsy because of the feature of having the library with the patterns/classes there online for my backup in case something happens to the ones I downloaded, such as a computer crash or corrupted files. I also have patterns/classes at Patternfish, Ravelry, and Etsy [CORRECTION: Etsy doesn’t have online library, nor does it have any way of updating and alerting buyer an update is available except for manual one by one message within the Etsy message system]  for the same reason; all of those businesses have the same feature as Craftsy, the online library with a copy safe and secure in case something happens to the copy that I downloaded. All of my patterns/classes that I bought over the years at Craftsy were all left intact by all of the designers with one exception, and that is the RipStitcher patterns that I bought from Sally.  I like Sally and I understand why she decided to do what she did to her patterns by updating her contact information to let her customers know that Craftsy closed her shop and to let them know where to find her, but I don’t agree with removing most of the pattern in that update which did wipe out the original version in every customers account, including mine. I had downloaded mine when I bought it so I have the full 82 page Bionic Gear Bag pattern that I bought. I keep all of my patterns backed up on an external hard-drive offline but I bought the patterns at Craftsy so that I would also have them online at Craftsy when I log in. I too am a designer and Craftsy closed my shop too. I did an update to all of my patterns to correct my contact information because I had closed down a website and changed my phone number last year.  I had about 27 pattern/tutorials in my Craftsy shop that I updated and sent out notices to all my customers of the update. I did this update around December 10th, before I had been notified about shop closing. I opened my shop in Craftsy in 2012 so I had a lot of history and customers records to go through. I wasn’t happy about Craftsy closing my shop especially with about one week notice. When I was notified on December 19th that they were going to close my shop I thought about how I wanted to be able to keep in touch with my customers and I was worried what the owners of Craftsy would do with my patterns/tutorials because they are all my own original designs. In the end I left my patterns/tutorials completely intact; I want my customers to have what they paid for, I don’t want to punish my customers by taking back what they had bought from me and I knew that they would want to have the pattern/tutorial remain in their library on Craftsy just the same as I want all of the patterns/classes I had bought over the years to remain in my Craftsy library. As I said, I like Sally and I understand she made a decision in the heat of battling an unfair deadline imposed by Craftsy, but I don’t agree with the gutting of her patterns on Craftsy. It isn’t the matter of charging ONLY 88 cents, it’s the principle of the matter that something that was already paid for by a customer is no longer in their library at Craftsy which is part of the reason they bought it in the first place. It has enraged many customer’s sense of fair play, and I think that many customers who would have followed Sally to her new website and spent lots of money at Sally’s new website won’t now because of the fact that they don’t appreciate having what they purchased in good faith taken back in such a manipulative way.