Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dreary Winter Days


This has been the view from my front window for ever so long. The sun tries to burn through, but it doesn't quite make it. I have felt uninspired to do much. Since the water problems have been resolved I find myself stuck in the monotony of each day. Get up, make coffee, gather wood, build a fire and huddle on the couch with the dogs....... remote control in hand and laptop close at hand. I have one of those coffee tables that lift up and I can position it so that I can have the laptop at just the right height and the TV is at just the right angle for easy viewing. I have a notepad and the phone right there. I do have to get up to fill my coffee cup and go to the bathroom .............
I have turned into a couch potato. A big giant slug. I must confess that, although I have tried, I feel no guilt. I know that in just a few weeks I will have to steal minutes for myself. I did however grow bored with what the TV had to offer. I am bored with all the current drama surrounding the affairs of John Edwards, and Heidi's insane cosmetic surgeries. I did find the feud between Leno and O'Brien amusing and am pretty sure that the ratings went up for NBC during the froo-ha-ha. Sad to hear that Nancy Kerrigan's father died and that her brother is at fault. I am a little puzzled that the networks thought this would be a good time to rehash her skating career and her bout with anorexia. I would think the real story would be the brother and her father and what happened.
I am listening to the news as I write. A young man is on trial for the murder of his mother. He was driving around with her body in the trunk when he was pulled over for his erratic driving and had only a learner's permit. This required the police to tow the car and upon conducting an inventory of the contents they discovered the dead woman in the trunk. The defense is trying to get this "evidence" thrown out. They say the search was illegal. Our judicial system is in a sad state, much like our government..........
The other thing I have done while sitting here with a blanket on my lap is sew. I have gotten the process down to a science. The white monkeys were my first attempts and I used some socks that were on clearance for $1.00. The other monkey is one of my latest and you will note that she sports a hat. I realized that the toe of the second sock was being wasted ....... and I hate waste. While sewing up the ends of the arms and legs I decided I didn't like the way they were turning out, so I changed the process a little and started sculpting "fingers" and "toes". The original "instructions" said to hand sew the arms, ears and tail on after stuffing the body. I didn't like the way it looked and how easy a child could pick at the thread and yank these parts off, so I cut a small slit in the "butt" and one on either side of the head and sewed the ears and tail on. The arms still had to be separate, but I am using upholstery thread and sewing them at the "neck" and going all the way through one arm, through the neck and the other arm.



I have scoured the stores for socks that will be interesting. I liked the smaller pair with the teacups, but I wasn't thinking about the fact that they would be upside down, since the toe is the head and the heel is the butt. I won't make that mistake again! These are regular ladies socks and they make smaller monkeys. No buttons for eyes. I used DMC floss, all six strands and created these sort of square eyes. Not my favorite and I have decided a simple X will do nicely for the eyes.


These guys are made from men's work socks. The middle one is from socks make specifically for sock monkeys. I bought that pair about 8 years ago. I was going to make one and never did, then "lost" the socks in my sewing stuff and recently found them. This was my least favorite pair to work with. Also the most expensive pair. I like the texture of the other two and they had more stretch to them.

The last group here are made from knee socks and have wicked long limbs. I like these a lot. They have personalities. I will have them available to purchase in my camp store. I make different things every year and put them in the store. One year I did rag dolls and sold about 60 of them, so I decided to play around with my scraps and made doll clothes, too.
Everything I make usually has something to do with one of the grandchildren. I made all of them robes and nightgowns or flannel pants one year and decided to make matching robes and gowns for the girls' dolls, too. So I went a little nuts and made several dozen doll night gowns. Then decided to make more doll clothes and display those, too. My "label" is Kathy's Klothesline. So, I strung a clothesline in the store and displayed the stuff with clothespins. Too cute, huh?
A couple of years ago I was asked if the doll clothes were dog clothes. I guess you know what my next project was. I made some really cute harness and leash sets and then decided to make some handbags with dogs and cats on them. In a fit of inspiration, I labeled this "line" Doggone Cute Stuff. I have a small sewing room right next to the office/store. I sew when it is slow in the store. That is, when I am not documenting the ridiculous happenings of the park.
I have spent the last two days taking apart my sewing room and rearranging. I have refolded all my fabric and it is all zoned according to type. I put a cabinet that was previously in the store in my sewing room. It has glass doors on it and is 4 feet wide and 6 feet tall. It is holding all my calico and top weight solids. The bottom shelves have my bottom weight fabrics. Only cottons, though. I have all the knits and upholstery fabric in another cabinet with a little more space. The rest of my fabrics are stored in giant plastic bins according to type. I am thinking my couch potato days are over.............





28 comments:

Lorenza said...

All those monkeys are pawesome!
My grandma has been thinking on re-arranging her sewing area too! She makes my dresses and her place is a mess!
My mom has been watching all those news too!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Sunny said...

I have been suffering with the winter blahs myself, not wishing the time away, but really looking forward to some spring like weather.
I LOVE your sock monkeys, they are really adorable.
Sunny :)

jojo said...

I've been rather blah myself, maybe I should look into sewing or at least monkey making...it would be a start!

Eternally Distracted said...

Great monkeys and loving the fact that you are being a couch potato because ooooooo what's John Edwards been up to?? Only one tv channel here and mostly it's arabic...!!

Rae said...

Oh you are so creative. I absolutely love your sock monkeys. Sounds to me like you are accomplishing quite a bit with your sewing. I think I need a trip to your camp store just to see all the things you have made. I know I wouldn't be able to leave without a few of them. I especially like the monkeys with the 'wicked' long legs. So cute.

SkippyMom said...

I was forced to be a bed potato [as you know - did I whine enough? lol] and it drove me bananas but I think it is important that you get this time now because, as you said, it is just around the corner.

Now do I have to drive down there to buy my girls a monkey or will you ship if I pay for it? I know the girls would just LOVE them [eventhough they are 12 and 17] I know I loved the ones my best friends Mom made me when I was in middle school - they had matching gingham outfits. I still have one of them! :D Email me plllllleeease!

Brian Miller said...

those monkeys are awesome! about to get 5-10 inches of snow today. you just try to get me off the couch. lol.

Stephanie said...

I could see the sun trying to burn through in your photo.

All those monkeys! For a couch potato you have been very constructive!

The Good Cook said...

I want a sock monkey!! Will you sell some via your blog? I'm serious. You can shoot me an email at thegoodcooknj@comcast.net

My grandlittles would love these!

Kathy G said...

Love the monkeys! It looks like you're making good use of your down time before the season starts.

We actually had the sun out yesterday afternoon, and took the students in my preschool class out to play for a bit. Gloomy again today, though. At least we're not supposed to get a lot of snow.

Carol said...

OK, I see a new business here for Kathy, ONLINE sales! Might think about it! Monkeys are too cute! If this is your "couch potato" production, I would love to see you in "non couch potato" mode! HAHA

ellen abbott said...

Oh, man, I used to sew all the time. When I started my studio and had kids though I just didn't have time anymore. When I was small, my mother made our clothes. I taught myself how to sew when I was about 9 making doll clothes. When I had to take sewing in middle school, I already knew how to do everything that was being taught so I sort of turned into the teacher's assistant. I made quite a few of my own clothes in high school and college.

Your sock monkeys are so cute. I'm going to try and teach my grandgirls how to sew this summer now that I have my sewing machine back from my sister. She finally got a new one.

ellen abbott said...

Oh, right. And enjoy your down time because, as you say, soon you will not have any.

Jo said...

Kathy, I LOVE LOVE LOVE those monkeys...!

You need to move to Vancouver, Canada. We have tulips blooming. :-) People are going to come here for the winter Olympics, and see that we have palm trees. *heh*

Kathy's Klothesline said...

The monkeys are for sale! One of the reasons I don't open an ETSY shop is that I put the stuff in my store and It always annoys me to go on ETSY and find something I like only to find that it is out of stock. I sew pretty fast, but don't know that I could keep up with two venues to sell from. The small monkeys are going for $15 and the leggy and fat ones for $20, The fat ones are cuddlier and made froms the men's socks. My Gavin has one and I hear from his aunt that he takes it for sleepovers at her house.My Layla started the monkey craze and will have a whole harem before it is all said and done. If you have a monkey craving feel free to e-mail me at www.kathy.elias@yahoo.com

Alix said...

Seriously? The guys dead mother was in the trunk and he was driving erratically? Now, if that had been me, I'm pretty sure I would be the best driver EVER to make sure I didn't attract any police attention. But the thing that blows my mind most of all is that nobody smelled anything funky. Wouldn't that be probable cause to pop the trunk?

I wonder how long they'll give him for the learner's permit offense. LOLOLOL.

Love your monkeys. They are rock stars... all of them.

Mamma has spoken said...

Agree with Alix, in that the guy was dumb! And John Edwards is a dirt bag! Love your sock monkeys too! Glad you have a place to sell them, and I got a giggle out of someone asking if the doll clothes weren't for dogs. I would have told them if it fits, they are.

Sandi McBride said...

I love your monkey kingdom! What great gifts they are going to make to the munchki(d)ns who pass thru your life...lucky they are too! Hope you get sunshine, soon...but we always have to keep in mind, it is winter...
hugs
Sandi

Karen said...

I love your sock monkeys!!! Great work! Enjoy your time on the couch before your busy season starts! And don't feel guilty about not feeling guilty. :))

luksky said...

I hate winter and any form of cold weather. I hibernate as much as possible until warmer weather. Luckily I live in a warmer climate so we only get a month or two of actual "cold" weather.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the monkeys. Do you need a sewing machine to sew them or do you sew them by hand???

otin said...

The winter is getting depressing. In the southeast, everything is so soggy, the ground is like sponge.

I have been so out of touch that I did not even know about the Kerrigan thing.

Your little sewing creations are very unique.

Whitney Lee said...

The monkeys are fantastic! I may have to email you an order; they'd make wonderful gifts for all the little ladies in my life.

If I had been looking out the window and seeing that for the last however long I, too, would be a couch potato. Although it sounds as if you're pretty busy for a couch potato. I was on bed rest with my first pregnancy and noticed rather quickly that there's not much on t.v. (no matter how many channels you get).

Thank you, by the way, for the visit (and following) as well as the sweet comment!

Kelly L said...

wish I had you talent for sewing.

Love to you
Kelly

Missy said...

That photo is absolutely dreary...you are right. I LOVE your sock monkeys. The knee sock ones are my fav. I need to learn how to do this. Do you have any photos of the rag dolls you made? I would like to see them and see how you did that. I love to see stuff people make. Inspires me!

Pat said...

I actually wouldn't mind a few days of doing nothing! We have been so busy with social activities! I know I shouldn't complain, but if we are booked day after day, it's wearing.

Sorry you have so much rain. You must have gotten the weather we had last week where it rained every day. We finally have sunshine. Yes!

I absolutely LOVE those sock monkeys!! They are adorable! I just might have to get one for my little grand daughter. Cute!

Nancy said...

We have had the same view forever! Finally had to pack up and head to California for a few days. it worked wonders. Now the white isn't so bad. I'm doing the same thing as far as cleaning out stuff. A good time to do it. I think we may put our place on the market in Spring - see if it sells.

I love, love, love the monkeys! They are all very cute, but I really like the last ones with the really long legs and cute ears. You are so talented!

Yaya' s Changing World said...

I'm sorry, but I don't think you can truthfully claim the title of Couch Potato with as much activity as you have obviously stirred up. However, given the level of cuteness you've created, I s'pose I can forgive and let you borrow the title, if you really want to. :-)

Those are absolutely adorable and I wish I could get my sewing machine to make even one stitch. When I had my treadle sewing machine, I sewed alla' time. Now, I have a machine that makes a k-jillian stitches and I can't get the silly thing in Drive. *sigh*

We haven't had any TV reception for the last seven months and I kinda' miss it. Take care.

~ Yaya
Yaya's Changing World

Colette said...

I love the sock monkeys. In fact, you've inspired me - I made my first sock monkey today. It's good for a first attempt - I'll have to adopt some of your refinements for the next ones.