The Pen Caddy

Welcome back! I’m really excited to share this next post with you. I have been tinkering away with my new sewing machine, trying to learn what I can from phone calls with my Mother, and all the tutorials I can on the internet. Oftentimes the designs in my head seem oh so simple, until I actually try and implement them. Well, I had thought up this idea for a portable pen caddy for my nicer pens and stylus for my drawing tablet for when I’m out and about. I didn’t want them knocking against each other in a normal pencil case. I had remembered seeing something similar to my design on the wonderful Pinterest, and decided to give it a go. I wanted something that would roll up and tie, so I could put it it my bag, and here is what I sketched out.



So,  I drew it out. I figured that if I would draw each step out clearly, that I should be able to physically make it happen. I worked out my measurements of how big I wanted each piece to be, and started digging for some fabric!


I knew I wanted it to be something cotton like. Easily washable if need by, and soft enough that it would bend and give a little. I had found this skirt at the thrift store that I fell in love with. The fabric was really cute, and I loved the floral pattern.


All clothes are are precept fabric when you think about it, so I decided to use it.  I grabbed my seam ripper, and went to town. The skirt had a zipper, lining and a hook closure that I set aside to start my notion stash. I will say, you will appreciate clothes a whole lot more when you start to carefully take them apart. What looked like a simple skirt was so much more. I decided on just a plain black cotton to coordinate. After I had the skirt in pieces, I laid them out, measured and cut my pieces.



I wanted to add some stiffness to the thing, and my Mother had told me about interfacing. Apparently there are tons of different kinds, used for a variety of purposes. I chose to go with the Pellon 950F, which is used for shirt cuffs, collars, and whatnot.


This stuff you cut to the size you need, and just follow the instructions. This particular kid I had to iron on. I made my first oopsie here… I didn’t pay attention to the side that was supposed to go down, and so now my  press cloth has a nice little strip of interfacing on it… OOPS! Lesson  1 Learned.


So, now everything was cut out, the interfacing was ironed on, and I proceeded to pis all the pieces together. Remember! Right sides together!




Now … Let the sewing begin!!! I started with the cords that I wanted to wrap abound and tie the whole thing closed. Instead of sewing two pieces together, I just folded one piece over, making sure to press it flat.


I made sure to leave enough space open at the end to turn it. Here’s where I had another issue. The first cord was too small to easily just turn right side out. I tried stuffing a pen in it, I tried using my seam ripper to slowly pull centimeter by centimeter, nothing worked well. I just managed to rip pout a good portion of what I had just sewn. I then remembered a trick I heard who knows where about taking a safety pin, attaching it to one end, then pushing it through and essentially scrunching the fabric over it as you go. After some finagling, this worked. I sewed the ends up, and added a zigzag stitch for decoration on the ends.




The cords were done! Now to move onto the body. This part was easy. I just went around the edges with a 1/4 inch seam, again leaving enough room to turn it right side out.




Forgive all the lint. Its solid black I swear! Its amazing what fabric can pick up… Another trick I learned  from the internet, was to trim the corners off so it makes turning them out easier. Like so.



So, after I did this for the top flap, and the pocket, It came time to start putting it all together. I knew I wanted the flap to just come out of the top of the main body, so I slid it in between the two pieces of fabric, leaving just enough out for a seam.




I also put the cords on here. But after sewing all the way around, I realized that when I went to turn it right side out, the cords would be in the inside… So, I ripped out a few of the stitches and removed the cords. Once it was right side out, I stuck the cords back in the hole, and did a straight stitch to attach them.



( This is what you don’t want to do… Lesson 2 Learned!)

So it started to really come together at this point. I could see the finish line! I was really happy with it so far.


I had to think for a little bit on what to do for the holes that were left from needing space to turn them. I did a quick google search and found  whats called a “Blind stitch”. It essentially closes the seam by grabbing the two innermost pieces of fabric, so you cant see the stitch from the outside. I did it by hand.


Now its time for the channels. My Mother is an avid quilter, and told me about the magical little thing called a Frixion pen. Its an erasable pen, whose ink disappears with the heat from the friction of the rubber tip. Well, with a quick press from a hot iron, the ink will disappear. If you ever need to temporarily write on fabric. Buy. This. Pen.


I decided that I wanted them about an inch apart, which would leave me with one larger channel at the end for my stylus. I measured them out, and let the machine do its thing.


And TADA!!! Its done!! I gave it a quick press, and put it to immediate use!





I am so over the moon happy with how it came out. I will want to make more of these, and make them larger. They don’t even have to be for pens, the possibilities are endless! I’m not sure what I want to make next, but I’m positive it will be another sewing project!!

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Thrifty Finds and Busy Times

After the long weekend at home, I decided I would really like to try my hand at my local thrift shops today. I’m really glad I did! I initially went because I needed a few decorative pieces to fill an empty space on my mantle, and on a new bookshelf we just got. As always though, I have to make at least 2 laps around the store looking at everything. Here is what I ended up with!


The Lot


So, All in all, that’s a Mercury Glass style bowl, a glass lantern, an Eliot Porter picture, a quilt puzzle, glove bookends, four books, a pair of Yoga gloves, a Game Boy Color, A Game Boy Pocket, Pokemon Red and Yellow, and The Legend of Zelda; Oracle of Seasons. SCORE!!!



My favorite finds have to be the two Game Boy’s and the games. I have some really fond memories of getting my first game boy, and with it, Pokemon Red and Blue. I would spend HOURS glues to the screen, totally enraptured by the world of Pokemon. The struggle was real then too. The old Game Boy’s didn’t have a back light, so there may or may not have been more than a few groundings when I was little for staying up crazy late trying to play with a flashlight after I was supposed to be asleep.



Eliot Porter


This is a really beautiful picture. Google tells me that its by a photographer names Eliot Porter. I’m not sure if that’s correct yet, but I have sent a few emails to a few of the galleries that have his work to see if anyone can help me identify it. Its professionally framed, which leads me to believe that it has a little value to it, but we shall see. It sort of reminded me of Ansel Adams, so I picked it up.


Books and Ends


Im a sucker for books. I own way to may of them, and yet I always seem to bring more home. I adore these bookends too! These will go on that bookshelf I was talking about. The books are silly, and I’ve read the Dungeons and Dragons one before. I lost my copy when I loaned it to someone years ago, so I was really happy to find it randomly on the shelf today. The other books are supposedly in the vein of the Fifty Shades category. Every now and again, I’m in the mood for a good smut read. I’ll save these for then.


The past week has been a flurry of picking up the house. I have all of the Christmas decorations packed away, but I have a few of the boxes that still need to be taken up to the attic. I have developed a knack for putting blinders on and walking right by them instead of just doing the job. I really don’t like the attic… I also seem to have to run the vacuum and Steam cleaner multiple times a day. My puppy Kora is having a real issue with potty training. She doesn’t like going outside when its icy out, so she just uses the living room instead. It can be really frustrating.  So add that on top of trying to maintain some level of cleanliness around the house, and it can be pretty stressful. I am learning to tell myself that nobody’s house is as clean as they look in the magazines, or when you go to someones house for a party. We live in the house, and its bound to get dirty. That’s OK! Because it’s my job to take care of the house, I want to be able to take pride in how it looks, but having a magazine ready home 24/7 is just unreasonable when there are teenagers and long haired animals that shed everywhere. It’s a constant work in progress. As long as there’s progress, perfection isn’t needed… until there’s company.

The weather is calling for a fair amount of snow this weekend. I’ll look forward to curling up on the couch with my cross stitch, getting a fire going, and watching more of The Man in the High Castle. If you haven’t started that show yet, you need to. Its really really good. So, until next time!

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Knowing is Half the Battle

My weekend was full of ups and downs with my thrift store finds. Thanks to Ebay being on the fritz, It took me over 5 hours to print labels for my outgoing packages. So my treasure hunt got to a slow start. When I finally arrived, everything had been pretty picked over. So I made my usual rounds around the store, hoping that a new cart of goodies would come out soon.  After about an hour with no luck whatsoever, I decide to call it and head to my next store.


That’s when I saw it.

The card ahead of me had a red box in it. I only saw a small amount of the typeface, but I recognized it instantly. It read GI Joe. Now, I will be honest with you. I know close to nothing about GI Joe, aside from that people still collect them. So I grabbed it and looked inside, only to be more surprised. There were about 16 Joes, and a ton of random accessories. With the price tag that was way more than reasonable, it was a an easy decision to take them home. I had no luck again at my other usual spot, and I chalked it up to going so late in the day. So I took my new buddies home and started to do the research.Joesjoes 3  joes2

According to Wikipedia, GI Joes were created by Hasbro in 1964 and centered around the large 12 inch dolls. The line was relaunched in 1982 with the ever popular 3 3/4 inch models and came with a slew of accouterments like play sets and vehicles. There was a story added to the mix about the struggle between the GI Joe team and Cobra Command. Since then there have been TV shows, comic, and movies about the popular toy.

I found a website that was a really helpful database of all the merchandise. A huge thanks to for keeping such an excellent site! I was able to identify most of the Joes, and am still figuring out which accessories I have and who they belong to. Some of the figures can bring a pretty penny, and even more surprising, is many of the accessories are worth more than the figures themselves! A word of caution though! The inside of the Joes are held together by a plastic string of sorts. Over time, that can become brittle and easily breakable. I learned this one the hard way. So take care when handling them!

So all in all, I may have to hold onto these guys for a little while, but it should prove to be a nice little return if I find the right buyer. Plus, I got to learn something cool about a toy I had no idea about.

Any questions? Comments? Just leave a comment below! Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check back on Thursday when I do my first “Pinthrift” challenge!


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