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Monday, December 13, 2010

Moving to juliecache

I've been blogging here at Wandering Knits for a few years, and Blogspot's been driving me N-U-T-S for all but the first year. So I've grown up and moved over to (free, self-hosted). I've used WP for a couple years for my home school business. It just made sense. And it's more predictable and much more customizable. (Let me know if you'd like to move, too. My local-business husband and I can host you and set you up on WordPress if you don't know where to start.)

My goal is to write at instead of here at Wandering Knits. You can subscribe to the new blog and leave comments just like you can here. But the pictures will be bigger, prettier, and not flipped sideways (unless I make it so), among other things. I will most likely keep my geocaching blog at blogspot. I'll refer to and keep the Wandering Knits blog, but not make new posts beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick strap cover

Quick to make is totally me! This project was fast and fun -- a strap cover.

I was gifted a POSH laptop carrying case last week. The main is really plain.

As I sit in my substitute authorization class, I see spiffy, but oversized, laptop bags. Like bigger than a carry-on. But the color scheme of one is right up my alley. I like the sleek size and look of the one I have. And I know that I'm keeping this one. The padding and pockets and everything are just right.

I'm in the middle of reading Grown Up Digital, by Don Tapscott, and he talks about the Net Generation needing customization of everything. Well, I'm not in the demo of the Net Gen, but I have almost always felt the need to customize my stuff.
Choosing things that are different also help me identify my stuff in the sea of conformity.

Looking at tutorials like the lovely Skip to My Lou blog (for camera straps) led me to use my Freebird fabric (shout out to Adventures in Dressmaking!) to cover the strap of the laptop bag. I used two prints (to conserve the remaining samples I have). Up close:

I guess I was so excited to shoot my new strap cover that I neglected to even up the ends. Rest assured, that has been fixed. The cushy shoulder pad and buckle (it adjusts the length) were not addressed in any of the tutorials that I read, but they were pretty easy to work through. 

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Blog Tour

Where have I been lately? On a blog tour. In fact, I'm mid-tour right now. I am hosting the Des Moines Area Frugal Blog Tour over at

Topics covered:

 There's also a giveaway at my examiner site (see Blog Tour Day 1) and at Sara's site. Join in and read!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lakota housing

As promised the other day, here are some shots from Pine Ridge. As mentioned in the LarkCrafts post, there is a real need for donations. For everything, not just mittens.

Batesland is a 'neighborhood' on the rez. Population 88. The towns on the reservation are not like a typical small town. This one has a lot of mobile homes.

You will not find a gas station or restaurant or grocery store in most neighborhoods on the rez. No coffee house, either.

You won't find garbage trucks stopping in the neighborhood to pick up your trash every week.

You probably won't find a bank or church or library. No big box anything. No sidewalks. No street signs. No fire hydrants (and prairie fire risk is very real).

The houses look similar to conventional houses from a distance. But many of them have graffiti. The windows don't have a place to install a screen. You probably will find three generations living in one house. The generations probably include branches of the family.

Statistically, at least one person in the house has a serious medical issue and all are expected to die before the age of 53.
Any house you visit may not have a floor, but a hole in the floor. With a view of the ground below. There is most likely no carpet, no air conditioning. We're building a wheelchair ramp here. Imagine being trapped in your house. 

The South Dakota climate is terribly harsh. The free project mentioned at LarkCrafts would be a fast and easy donation. I have plenty more to say if you want to listen.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free Project: Red Fleece Mittens

Readers, I was blessed to work with the Lakota over the summer with my daughter and our church's youth group. This morning, LarkCrafts mentioned the Lakota of Pine Ridge in the "Craft Your Life" area with a Free Project: Red Fleece Mittens. I wanted to say that the people of Pine Ridge are always in need, no matter the season. After I take some time to sort through my thousands of photos, I'll put a picture up of their housing situation to help you understand. If you would consider the project suggestion from LarkCrafts, also consider prayer and other sorts of donations. Mitakuye Oyasin.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Souvenir Foto School Family Participation

If you've seen my food shots on (best viewed in Chrome), here is a little "rest of the story." I typically take a lot more shots than what I post. My kids have definitely gotten into the challenge, all four of them. My youngest styled a shot for me last week. It's battling gingerbread men. Toothpicks are their sabers.

Here she is working on her subjects. (Panera Bread is responsible for the creation of the cookies, by the way. We did not make them.)

This is part of Darcy's Sweet Shot Tuesday. Click the button below and visit her.

Sweet Shot Day

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Des Moines Area Frugal Blog Tour

I am excited to announce the Des Moines Area Frugal Blog Tour. I will be your hostess, taking you on a tour around the area, stopping at some lovely destinations to help you incorporate frugality into different areas of your life. Areas beyond my usual "let's be crafty, let's use coupons" kind of stuff. I've got a fantastic itinerary with 13 area bloggers and examiners. To find each day's destination, visit my page daily between Dec. 1 and 14. There will be giveaways and fun along tour. See you there!