Ilivetolearn's Blog

February 26, 2009

Fusing madness

Filed under: fused plastic,sewing/knitting,upcycling/recycling — ilivetolearn @ 10:07 pm

Now that we’ve collected approximately three dozen fabric bags of all varieties for grocery hauling (when we don’t forget and leave them in the car), I am ignoring them in favor of getting more plastic ones to feed my fusing addiction. I even (and this embarrasses the girls no end) fish used ones out of the receptacles in the entryways of markets, especially when I see exciting new colors. Neighbors have taken to leaving pink or coral ones in my mailbox. Menus are planned around which food is in the bag I most covet for my next project. I did the carbo loader:img_0750and a purple one for Margo (whose friends all now want bags):

img_0741and an eye-smarting cross-pollination of Forever 21 and CVS:


Coming soon, thanks to today’s dumpster-diving, is one with a sea creature theme (we don’t eat at Red Lobster, but some local shopper does).

It’s as satisfying as quilting. Actually more so, since each project is done in an hour or less, and 99% of the raw materials are free.

I love upcycling.

February 21, 2009

Another retirement dream bites the dust

Filed under: mystery destinations,on the road,semi-retirement — ilivetolearn @ 6:04 am

Years after we married, Bill confided that he had always wanted to buy an RV and tool around the country when he retired. I suggested maybe that would be with the next wife, but here we are going on 27 years and halfway retired, so this road-trip wanderlust is getting less hypothetical by the day.

Thanks to the Mystery Destination game (see last post) I had a golden opportunity last week. I stuck Bill in the car and 40 minutes later we were at the Valley Forge Convention Center (“Quilt show? Flower show?” he was guessing) about to wander through aisles and aisles of towable folding camping trailers, pop-ups, and motorhomes. We toured dozens of models and marveled at the gas-fixture fireplaces, beds that hoisted to the ceiling so ATV’s could be parked underneath (they call that one the “Toy Hauler”), flat TV screens everywhere, and seeming inability of the interior designers to use any color but brown. But after a few rounds of “Look how cleverly the faucet folds down into the sink and a plexiglass work surface appears,” and “Aren’t those tiny built-in shelves pretending to be nightstands cute?” we concluded that this was probably not the life for us. A salesman, touting a VW Bug-shaped tow-along with a back flap that opened to reveal a grilling center, told us it was perfect for Nascar tailgate parties. That was the proverbial pin-shaped fastener hammered into the proverbial funerary box.

Bill is cured. And I am delivered, to live out my days in a home without wheels.

February 19, 2009

Mystery destinations

Filed under: food/groceries,fused plastic,mystery destinations — ilivetolearn @ 10:46 pm

Bill and I have a new way to keep each other guessing.  OK, we’ve only done it twice but I predict it will become a tradition. We pick a few hours when neither has anything going on; one chooses an outing and the other is in the dark. The first was to the Food Bazaar in Trenton–Bill told me we were going to a new grocery store and I didn’t believe him–

What a trip. It’s one of 15 stores run by the Bogopa Food Services Corporation, most of them in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, and it’s an amazing conglomeration of international foods, mostly from Central and South America and the Caribbean. Plus produce pyramids rising to the ceiling, every variety of meat you’d ever want to try and many you wouldn’t (beef pizzle, anyone?) and a seafood section that rivals any port in the world (Barcelona comes to mind). Reflecting the neighborhood it’s in, Latino foods reign. If there were a few more Asian specialties, we’d be there very week instead of twice a month.

And so our fusion cooking/shopping outings will contribute to the fusion bags (see last post).

“My feet are on back order.”

Filed under: fused plastic,random quotes,sewing/knitting — ilivetolearn @ 3:16 pm

Recently Margo has taken to quoting random lines from commercials. Her latest was, “Fine. I’ll put away my toaster.”

Inspired by this, I had to report the above quote from the saleslady at Jo-Ann’s. I was there to buy bobbins, but thought I might ask whether I was using the proper needle to sew through plastic. I’ve been putting my Viking through heroic deeds that were not in the minds of its inventors; after warming up with pj pants and a beanbag chair (Christmas gifts) I moved on to snowpants


and a series of fused-plastic tote bags


but  I had noticed that the feed dogs didn’t like moving the plastic under the needle. Turns out, according to the experts, any needle would do and the feed dogs would be happy if I just bought a Teflon-coated presser foot. But they were out of stock.

So I left with bobbins, without the foot, but with a nice line for Margo to insert into a future conversation.

February 4, 2009

I’d rather be..

Filed under: books/authors,bumper stickers — ilivetolearn @ 6:53 pm

Ever since my first foray into bumper-sticker-printing—last October I stole a slogan from a classmate and ordered 75 of these—


I have paid much more attention to words on moving vehicles. My current favorite is: “I’d Rather be Reading Flannery O’Connor.” Apparently these have been around since 2002, sold by the gift shop at her former home ( for only $4.00, but I’m sure they’re much more prevalent in Georgia than here in the northeast.

My stickers were mostly handed out to family and friends and went to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Margo and I had a sighting on an unrelated car the other day and got very excited, but I couldn’t convince her to scribble and hold up an “I made your sticker” sign. The driver went on unenlightened and we went on unattributed.

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