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Category Archives: clotheline


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So, after nearly 2 years of whatever it is that we have been doing, my clothesline is back in business.  The hubs put it in 2 weekends ago and I promptly washed some vintage tableclothes so that they could dry on the line.  Rosie had to help me of course.

Part of the rest of the clothesline is the steps out the back door.  So that I can walk out the back door in the laundry room right to the clothesline.  Going around the burned double tree stump and past the little oak tree regrowing from the old oak stump to get to the line.   I don’t have pictures yet – they still need to be painted, but they are functional and fabulous.  We thought of buying the premade concrete steps but they didn’t come tall enough for what we needed, so hubs spent several hours building a set from wood and hardy plank.  Considering that he’s never built stairs before I think he did a great job.  Thank heavens for the internet and instructions on how to do everything.

The line being back is a milestone of sorts.  Another step closer to … to what I’m not sure.  I really hate the phrase “new normal” and yet, it is new and it is sort of normal.  Normal before the fire was one kid in a house that needed a lot of work.  Normal after the fire is 2 kids in a house that is pretty OK but with a yard that needs a LOT of work.  It’s different.  It’s great.  It’s normal?

I was talking with friends recently, and trust me when I say that there are a lot of folks in this area who are also in the fire club, and what we concluded is that people who have never been through something like this or who don’t closely know someone who has – they don’t get the recovery process.  Nearly 2 years out and we’re still fighting our way back to the top of the hole.   And that it is the little things, like a clothesline, that mark a small victory.

I remember last year emailing a friend and telling her that I can’t wait until life returns to boring.  To a time when I’m not making a zillion decisions about a new house or baby or… when we get back into everyday routines and occasionally, delicisouly, find ourselves bored.  To me, that is probably the definition of recovered.  When life becomes routine and mundane and I think about a bit of excitement…  I’m not there yet.  There’s to much new in our lives still.  Kindergarten, the baby hopefully soon learning to crawl (and the chaos that that will cause) and the work on the yard… so much to do and think about still.  Being bored means that I have time to mentally recover, to not be so exhausted just getting through a day and have more of a buffer between being OK and wanting to throw rocks at the world.  Disasters take that buffer away and it is seeming to take an exceptionally long time for the buffer to return.

Little things though, they seem to help on the buffer issue.  Being able to hang out wash by myself on my clothesline while looking at my chickens and a couple of newly planted baby trees… it helps.  Planting flowers around the clothesline poles (I put in 4 oclocks) and hopefully watching them grow and bloom.  That helps, too.  Sewing 45 baby bibs… and working on my next project (details coming later this week)… I think that this is why recovery is so long though.  It took ages to get to the point of putting the clothesline back in, it wasn’t high on the priority list, but yet…

So, here’s to small victories, and growing buffers – a load of wash on the line at a time.

Clothespin Apron GIVEAWAY!!!!

So, as mentioned before, I’m GIVING AWAY this pillowcase clothespin apron!

What do you have to do?  Either follow this blog by RSS reader, the email signup on the right, or on Facebook.

Then, post a comment telling me how you’re following.  (If you are already one of the amazing people who follow me – please tell me that you are!)  Only those who comment saying how they are following me will be entered in the contest!

I’d also love to know what you’re planning on using the apron for. …

And that’s it!  I’ll mail it out to the lucky winner as soon as the contest ends… on SEPT 5, 2011.

This is listed in the Someday Crafts Thursday Giveaway link up – and it has close to 100 other giveaways going on right now that you can sign up for, too!  Just click on the logo below…

Please tell all of your friends!!!  Good luck!

Pillowcase Clothespin Apron Tutorial

I’m SO EXCITED to share with you my latest creation!!!!

This is a clothespin apron made out of a PILLOWCASE!  No, really!

Do you love it?  Because, you’re in luck!  You can make your own!  I’m giving away this tutorial for FREE!

The beauty of this pattern is, the only thing you need (besides the normal sewing machine stuff) is a pillowcase and some thread.  That’s it!  The pattern makes use of the entire case, there are only a few tiny scraps left when you are done making the apron!

And, the apron is double thick – so it’s nice and sturdy.  It is great for clothespins but also for picking beans, gathering eggs, collecting nuts, craft projects – lots of stuff!

Apron specifics:
– should hold about 150 clothespins
– about 15 inches wide
– about 14 inches tall
– straps are about 32 inches long each

What, you don’t sew?  Well, you’re in luck, later this week, this apron, the pink and yellow floral one, will be offered up for FREE in a fabulous GIVEAWAY!  But, you’ll have to come back later to enter…

Interested in buying one pre-made?  I have the top two aprons for sale over on my Etsy shop!

So, before offering this tutorial up for you guys… I had a couple of sewing friends give the tutorial a run through.  My friend Edna, a sewing NOVICE, made this pretty apron!

And my new friend Inder, of the fabulous blog Inder Loves Folk Art, made this over the weekend too!

My HUGE thanks to Edna and Inder for helping me get the kinks of the pattern.

So, speaking of that pattern…

First, please respect all of my hard work on coming up with the pattern and then putting it all together.  I hope that you make a ton of them, give them as gifts, sell them at local craft fairs and farmers markets… But please, do NOT sell these on line.

As a stay at home momma, I’m trying to make a few extra dollars while here at home and selling stuff on Etsy is how I’m doing it right now.  I know that many of you are in the same boat!  The original reason for this blog was to promote my Etsy shop (though it has turned into it’s own creature recently) with the hopes of making a few sales.

Thanks for understanding.

On to the tutorial… it’s a PDF file and you can download it here:

pillowcase clothespin apron tutorial final

If you make up an apron, pretty please with sugar and chocolate kisses on top, send me a picture?  I’d love to feature it on the blog!

Have fun and happy clotheslines!



Modern Simplicity

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Today, I am the GUEST BLOGGER over at this totally great blog called Modern Simplicity.   I wrote a post on … yup, clotheslines!  Sandy, the writter of Modern Simplicity, is also a Texas lady!  Her blog is all about simple/minimalistic home that is also environmentally friendly – a lot of what I aspire to be!

Please go read my post and leave a comment there saying that I sent you!

Do you need an electric clothes dryer?

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Image from Wikipedia


This study from the Pew Research Center is about the items that we buy that we view as luxuries or necessities.    They’ve asked this question about various things since 1973 (shortly after I was born) and then show on a graph how our perception of needs verses wants has changed over the following 3 decades.  Included in the survey are the home air conditioner (I would NOT be living in Texas without it – though I know I could if I had to, I did it during the Peace Corps, I just choose not to), TV set, microwave, dishwasher (don’t have one of those other than my husband) and of course, the electric clothes dryer.

What is interesting  in looking at the chart is that of those items included, only one  machine is ranked lower today than it was in 1973 – the TV set.  And only one other machine has decreased to close to where it started – the clothes dryer.  All of the rest have had a marked decline since the recession (they surveyed in 2006 and 2009) but not coming even close to previous lows.

I personally don’t feel like my dryer is absolutely needed, but it is nice to have when it’s raining cats and dogs outside… What do you think?  Could you live without your dryer.  Do you view it as a luxury item or a necessity?

Clothesline Fabric and Kits

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So, I was at a local quilt shop this morning, Once Around the Block in Giddings TX, looking for fabrics to match my vintage tablecloths that I’ve recently received to turn into clothespin bags… Such a hard job, this fabric shopping thing!

I had happened to bring one of my lidded clothespin bags with me so that they could see what I was talking about and not think that I am TOTALLY nuts.   A customer who was there saw the bag, loved it and… And I mentioned that I was thinking of making up a kit/tutorial to sell.  This interested lady said that if I stocked them in the shop that she would buy it!  Well, what was a poor shop owner to do but agree to carry my kits?

And, in order for folks to know what they were making, she gave me fabric to make up a demo bag to hang in the shop, too.  My kits will be there on a consignment basis, so she’s not out anything other than a bit of wall space (and a bit of fabric).  The picture above is the fabric that she gave me.  The bag will have the right print on the outside and the middle blue bubble print as a lining… cute, right?  The left fabric I bought to use to make a bag for my mom… shhhh!  Don’t spoil the secret!

Who knew that they have clothesline print fabric?  It’s Elizabeth’s Studio Spic N Span line.  Apparently, it’s been out for a while as I couldn’t find it on equilter and other sites that listed it didn’t have it in stock.  But, while looking for clothesline fabric, I did find this crazy cute gnome fabric where the little gnomes are hanging out their clothes above their little mushroom homes.  I really wish that I knew what to make this in to!

And, then I was chatting with a new friend over at Crafty Girls Workshop in San Antonio and she is also interested in stocking some of my kits!  It’s all so exciting and happening in one day!

SO – in the next few weeks I’m going to be super busy making up the tutorial and putting kits together.  They will be on my Etsy shop, too – so you folks not crazy enough lucky enough to live in Texas can make your own bags, too!

Indoors Clothesdrying Rack

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Isn’t this the coolest drying rack?  Her husband built this into their basement and they dry all of their clothes on it!  How cool is that?  Yet another fabulous example of how you don’t need lots of space to avoid using the electric dryer!  Please head over to Simple – Green – Frugal writing coop to read the entire article and see more pictures!