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Dec 6, 2010

Good News, Bad News!



Good news!

I preshrank all my wool for my toggle coat project using the damp-towel-in-the-dryer method I first read about here.  (I've done it before with successful results.)

Bad news...

OK, not tragic: I mildly sprained my back yesterday lifting all those...well, you can guess, and still haven't cut my fabric -- or my pattern for that matter.  I am hoping to get started today, however, and plan to purchase one of those Clover bias tape makers to make my own bias strips to finish seams.  I have also decided to splurge on real horn toggles.  Good news for me, bad news for the cows. 



Good news!  Remember my vintage taupe (mushroom?) American Tourister luggage set that arrived with damaged or missing feet?  I asked the seller for a 50% reimbursement and he agreed to it. Everything looks better half-off, my friends.

Bad news!  I am currently researching how to remove the cloying stench of decades-old sachets from vintage luggage -- blech!  I think I'm going to try the cat litter method, which sounds like the most effective.  After airing out the luggage, you fill the bottom with absorbent, unscented cat litter, close the cases shut for a week and pray.  I don't want to mask the odor; I want it gone.

Good news!  I seem to have lost "Carol," the beginner sewist who had expressed interest in my Necchi Lydia, inspiring yesterday's post about choosing a basic sewing machine.  Thank you readers for all your wonderful comments and varied perspectives.  Now I can avoid the issue entirely.

Bad news!  Someone else has expressed interest, with different but somewhat related issues as Carol's.  This woman used to sew years ago and wants to get back into it and doesn't have a lot of money to spend.  A designer friend of hers saw my Lydia and believes it would be adequate to the woman's needs.  I told her she could try it out here and decide for herself whether she was comfortable with it or not, no pressure.  Can't avoid the issue after all.

Good news!  Visitors to Male Pattern Boldness have gone up nearly 50% in the last month!

Bad news!  This is almost entirely due to a posting I did about beards last October.  Google beards or beard styles and one of the first images you see links directly here.  These aren't likely new followers or male sewists, but rather beard-challenged men (women?) looking for style guidance.  I guess it could be worse.  It could be kathy girdle fun.


Good news!  Apropos of facial hair, remember how I talked about wanting to shave with a vintage safety razor, shaving cream, brush, etc?  Well I now have my razor, my safety blades, my vintage shaving mug ($1 at the flea market), my Proraso Italian shaving cream, and -- in lieu of a genuine badger brush -- my synthetic makeup brush borrowed from Cathy that seems more than adequate to the task.

Bad news!  I am so afraid of cutting myself that I have yet to start shaving this way, this despite viewing countless YouTube videos on the topic.  For decades I have been using modern disposable razor cartridges and I fear a steep learning curve with the new-to-me old-fashioned double-edge safety razor blades -- and a bloody one.  Maybe I should start on my legs instead of my face...


Good news!  In addition to five sewing machines, I sold a lovely mirror from Ikea I'd actually found in the street. (Is that wrong?)

Bad news!  I still haven't sold my two vintage telephones, fluorescent work lamp, mid-century table lamps, vintage Sixties Arabia dinnerware, old digital camera, or mens body form (a display form that's too big for me).  I'll post these again this week and hope for the best. 


Good news!  The seller of the Singer sewing table I'd admired agreed to take an additional $5 off the cost.  It's a cute little table and would cost roughly $50 with shipping from Upstate New York.

Bad news!  For her anyway -- I've changed my mind about the table.  I've decided to stick with my current arrangement which suits me fine.  If I need to sew flush with a table top I can use my treadle.  Bringing another piece of furniture into the apartment means having to sell something else, and I can't bear to deal with another Craigslist posting right now.

Good new!  I kicked the coffee habit.

Bad news!  I now have a tea habit.

Friends, I know there's a life lesson in all this, one I'm refusing to acknowledge.  OK, I think it's that you win a few, you lose a few.  You have to roll with life's proverbial punches if you want to keep your sanity.  That's it, isn't it?  What do you think?

Readers, we're out of time.  I hope you're all well and happily stitching -- or thinking about it.

Balanced tension and a wadder-free week to you all!

40 comments:

  1. I received some old piece of luggage for a gift once. They smelled like 20 year old musk. It was awful. I managed to get the smell out eventually. Air them out in the sun (it's like a natural deodorizer) sprinkle with baking soda. Leave it for a couple days, vacuum out, spritz lightly with a vinegar/water mix, let it dry, repeat.

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  2. "Balanced tension and a wadder-free week to you all!"
    LOVE it!! ;)
    Rhonda

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  3. Yeah for the real horn toggles! Now you can just scoff at all those designer duffle coats with wooden toggles and fraying cord.

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  4. Thanks you, Peter. I'm sitting here with my stomach gnawing because of family conflicts over Christmas plans, and a reminder that you win some and lose some and especially "balanced tension and a wadder-free week" were just what I needed to keep my perspective!

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  5. Wow, talk about a mixed bag!

    The beard thing cracks me up. Especially since you don't even have one yourself. Good old Google.

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  6. I have heard that stuffing an object with newspaper and leaving it is good at removing odours. The cat-litter method sounds promising, though. Here's hoping it works. And hooray for half-off! (Although, it sounds like the vendor is making his money on the shipping anyway.)

    Balanced tension to you too! (Hmm, I think that could become a new universal greeting. Out of sewing context it starts sounding, y'know, really deep.)

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  7. I wish you the best of luck with that vintage suitcase set. I had to throw out a beautiful blue set because I could not get the reek out and besides that a bunch of white little bugs crawled out of it and got into all my patterns and books :(

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  8. I wish I lived closer, I am in need of a flourescent desk lamp. Does it have a very heavy base? They seem to be the best kind.

    I recently looked at my blog stats and learned that my most popular post topic was a cosplay costume sewn for my niece. There are a lot more people curious about a one-time-use costume than actual sewing. Oh well, keeps a person humble!

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  9. Good news! I am one of those happy new followers of your blog. The bad news is you don't have years worth of older postings for me to peruse. Bad news about your troublesome suitcases, but the good news might be that you could try putting charcoal in said odoriferous cases and hope that absorbs the smell. The good news is that the smell is not cigarette smoke, as I often have to return library books unread if I crack them open and a waft of noxious smoke comes my way!
    Finally, the good news is that even though my 20 year old Viking machine has started to act up, I may very well consider your example and get myself a used sewing machine!

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  10. Welcome, Anne! Surely you didn't get here via the beards search! ;)

    There's a lot in the archives if you're interested in older postings, nearly one year's worth.

    Are we talking charcoal briquettes? Would that be messy?

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  11. What are the dimensions of the body form? I am interested (only if you ship)
    Can't wait to see that coat finished!

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  12. I like the sun method of removing odor. It's generally effective, but since you don't have a yard (or a roof?), I'm guessing that's out. I haven't tried kitty litter as I hate cats (as a philosophy), but I have tried this stuff call Smell Be Gone. I get it at the hardware store. It does work to decrease the smell, but I usually combine it with open air/sun as well.

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  13. Thanks, Cherri. Jeremy, my one rule is that I do not ship. :(

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  14. Peter said:

    Are we talking charcoal briquettes? Would that be messy?

    ========================

    Sew them up in a muslin bag. You can make s'mores afterwards.

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  15. Wow - lots of news!
    One of my top search stats is "how to faint easily", after a post on how to get a spot of blood out when you prick your finger! Bit of a worry...

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  16. Fun post! Very interesting about the beards bringing so much traffic to your site...

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  17. Well if I get a chance to come down to NYC, I'll give you a call;-)
    It does look like my size...
    Thanks Peter!

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  18. For the charcoal... Use an old sock that lost its partner. Just drop in a couple of briquettes, and tie a knot in the sock.

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  19. The cat litter is an interesting idea. I wouldn't overlook the good old baking soda though, it works in real cat litter too :-). I have also had good luck with Febreze (on decades-worth of cigarette smoke), I'm not allergic to it, the smell doesn't linger, it's great on textiles.

    And I don't think it's wrong to sell the Ikea mirror from the street, too bad for whoever left it there, and you did the work. As to beards, well, whatever..

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  20. What about sending an email to the Finnish embassy saying that you have Arabia dinnerware for sale and would like to know where you could post about it?

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  21. Okay, believe it or not one of the best odor removers I have ever used is... vodka!
    Mix up (cheap) vodka and water in a spray bottle and spritz throughout. Do a second treatment if necessary. We remove dancer and actor odors at the theatre I work at all the time this way, and I removed serious attic must from a velvet violin case once.
    And you don't have to worry about getting rid of messy treatment products afterwards... what doesn't evaporate can be swizzled with some (a lot of) OJ and made tolerable.

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  22. Bi-O-Kleen makes Bac-Out which is their Odor and Stain Remover. I would take some and spray it lightly over the insides of the luggage and allow to dry. Also expose it to sunlight. Hope you can get Bi-O-Kleen in your area. It has always worked well for me.

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  23. Peter, No I didn't find your blog via the scary beard search but the super tasteful Mamie van Doren post in September....I may have typed in 'mutton dressed as lamb' in search of women who are old and try to look 16....(I'm 48 and I guess I look my age...a few grey hairs, some crows feet, etc!)
    Not sure about Febreeze....Read somewhere that it may be harmful to animals...
    Good luck!

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  24. thanks for the good laugh! A fun post. Hope your back feels better soon.

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  25. THE BIAS TAKE MAKER WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!! :D

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  26. (Talk about your unbiased view...)

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  27. Good news, your decluttering is contagious. I'm not ready to part with my non-functioning (missing cam) Rocketeer yet, but you are encouraging me to just sell stuff, give it away and make space. Bad news, I'd get more of that done if I wasn't haunting my Google reader for more of your blog entries to enjoy.

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  28. DIY bias tape maker tutorial:
    http://creativelittledaisy.typepad.com/creative_little_daisy/2007/11/diy-version-of.html

    Haven't tried it myself yet, but it looks good!

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  29. I agree with Kathleen C. about using vodka. Spritz it on and check back later.
    If you were asking about a wool sweater, just add a bit of distilled vinegar with your laundry detergent.
    I'm kinda excited to see what you make into bias tape.

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  30. Bad news! My kids and I were wondering today what the gender-neutral word is for "seamstress" and I didn't know one. Good news! I came to your blog (as I do most days) and there was "sewist" popping right out at me. Isn't it funny how you don't notice words until you need them, and then it seems like you see them all the time?

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  31. Good news (for me). I quit coffee and switched to tea three months ago. I quit the tea a month ago. It was a bit of an ordeal but now I'm clean of both. I now drink some 'grain coffee' and it's just as well.
    Congrats for the step one :).
    mici

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  32. Good news! A new post from Peter.

    Bad news! Only one per day...

    I think you should congratulate yourself for taking the initiative in selling the found Ikea mirror. Well done!

    I also think you should start with your legs, yes indeediedeed.

    Sam

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  33. Hi Peter, an antique dealer I know did the kitty litter thing in an old set of luggage and it worked. if that doesn't work you might want to try this, I've read about it before, maybe it will work.......
    Remove odors from a lunch box by placing inside a slice of bread that has been soaked in white distilled vinegar in a bowl. Leave overnight.

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  34. Baking soda is good to deoderize. Cat litter is good. After you try all those (had not heard about the vodka), try your left-over ground coffee beans that you will not be brewing. I snatch the free coffee sachets from my hotel room, unwrap the plastic, and keep the filter paper sachets in my suitcases. Keeps the dirty clothes smell away. I hear flight attendants use them in the cabins when they have a smelly person on board!

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  35. If you use charcoal, check out aquarium supplies. You want as much surface area as you can get. Or break up the briquets. And finally - don't get the "easy lighting" ones since they have the lighter fluid mixed in them. I've also used kitty litter, baking soda, Febreeze. Heard about coffee grounds, vinegar, and sunshine but not vodka. Do let us know how it works out and what you use!

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  36. I am interested in the body form. What is the chest measurement?

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  37. You could try Smells Be Gone. It is an actual smell neutralizer. I get it at my local Ace Hardware. I have used it to get rid of some incredibly nasty barnyard variety smells. It is wonderful stuff, I have no affliaction with the hardware store or the spray, just a happy customer.

    It is almost magical how well it works.

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  38. We used "Dead Down Wind" on a truck that reeked of cigarette smoke. It's a spray that hunters use and it worked like a charm. You can get it at Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, or Cabella's. Good Luck!

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  39. If you want some tips getting to grips with using a traditional double-edged razor, come visit www.thevaletmalegrooming.com/the-valet-best-shaving-guide.html It's one of our favourite topics!

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