Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Computers and Clothing and Canvas Bags

Computers and Clothing and Canvas Bags

I had a great visit yesterday with Greg, my computer guru. His wife is a knitter and a friend of mine and his daughter was just a year or two ahead of DD#1 in school. After exploring all the options for systems with him, I went ahead and ordered a 27” iMac with extra memory. I want a computer that is going to last me a while. I have two desks sitting at right angles to each other—one with the Mac, the other with the PC. I’ll shut down the PC and put the existing Mac tower in its place and keep both machines running until I am sure I have everything off the old computer that I want.

Greg also offered to try to fix my Xerox Phaser color laser printer. I have had such bad luck with color laser printers. I had an HP that lasted about two years. The Xerox did a little better (four years, maybe?), but eventually threw a bad RAM code one day and stopped working. I tried the suggested fix, which was to replace the RAM. When that didn’t work, my only other option was to buy a refurbished electronics control module and replace it. I even found a YouTube video with step-by-step instructions, but it was one of those projects I never had time for and that printer has been a large paperweight ever since. I’d be willing to sink a couple hundred dollars into it if I could get it working again. When it worked, it worked well and I have a good supply of ink for it.

I also have an HP LaserJet 1200 that I bought in 1996 (not a typo). I will mourn for weeks if that printer ever stops working or if I can no longer get ink for it. I’d love to know how many millions of pages it has printed. What a workhorse.

My mother commented, when we were out shopping after Thanksgiving, on how bad the quality of clothing has gotten at Macy’s. It’s really astonishing. Liz Claiborne, a staple brand of my wardrobe, also has become a hit-or-miss proposition. I’ve looked at a few items recently that I don’t think would survive one trip through the washing machine.

Even Nordstrom has issues. I ordered a wool coat there a few weeks ago. I had seen one in the store but needed it in a larger size. (I ordered an XL because it looked like it ran small and I wanted to make sure it fit over sweaters.) It came while I was away. I took it out of the box and tried to put it on—tried being the operative word here—and it was way too tight across my shoulders. I don’t think it even would have fit DD#2, model-thin as she is. I sent it back it with a note saying how disappointed I was. Either the size was mislabeled or they need to find designers and manufacturers who actually know how to draft clothing properly.

How did we get to this point?


After two months of it living in the foyer, we finally got the industrial serger moved downstairs. Our renter came over and helped the husband carry the table down the steps and then the husband set the machine in it:


One of my tasks for today is to get the belt reattached and get this threaded and running. The owner of the sewing store where I bought it helpfully left it threaded, so I will just tie on the new threads and pull them through. I have mastered threading my domestic serger and will learn how to thread this one at some point. For now, though, I’m more interested in getting it going. I have all of these to work on:


That’s more of a mess than I usually make, but I had a marathon canvas cutting session last week and was trying to keep track of the fabric combinations. It was easiest just to toss them in piles on the floor. Maximizing the number of pieces I get out of each length of canvas is something of a puzzle. The canvas is 60” wide. The handles are 4” x 20”, the bodies are 11-1/2” x 20”, and the bases are 9-1/2” x 20”. I can get three of each by cutting 4”, 11-1/2”, or 9” by the width of the canvas from selvage to selvage and then subcutting, but I have to do it twice to have an even number of pieces that can be combined for three bags. (Did that make any sense?) And I am working with mostly remnants, so no two pieces of canvas are the same size. It’s a lovely workout for my spatially-challenged brain.

And there’s this:


I got out my transfer paper and pencils yesterday afternoon and transferred some designs from the Zakka Embroidery book to a piece of linen. I chose to start with the designs from that book because they are intended for only one or two colors. No need to make things more complicated than they need to be. Now I have something to work on in the evenings.

I am having great fun with the new blog software. It has so many cool features. It’s also forcing me to get in the habit of organizing my photos properly. Up until now, I’ve just been using the default image file name and leaving the images on the SD card. Going forward, I will give each photo a unique name and transfer it to a file on the hard drive (sorted by date) so I can go back and find it if I need it.

The past two days have been devoted mostly to job stuff and running errands in town. Today will be devoted to sewing.

To Blog Or Not to Blog?

To Blog Or Not to Blog?

Pop Goes the Weasel

Pop Goes the Weasel