My sewing machine died


I hate when things wear out. Especially things that have worked great for a really long time.

Meet my sewing machine. It’s a Brother VX-808. It used to be white and red now it is a bit yellowed. My mom bought this machine for me when I was first learning to sew. I was about 9 or 10 and I was taking the sewing project in 4-H. I couldn’t handle her big machine so she got me a simpler one.

I learned all about seems and button holes and how to untangle my messes on this machine.  I carried this machine all over the world including to Scotland when we lived there.  I’ve sewn costumes, gloves, re-usable shopping bags, and  a ton of clothes. In the last few years, bits of my machine were starting to fail. The light wouldn’t stay on no matter what you did but would flash on suddenly for no reason. There was nasty knocking noise no matter how much I oiled it. The little feet that feed the material through no longer fed anything, and now the thread always tangles after a couple of stitches.

I’ve tried repairing it but to no avail. Alas, after 30 some years of use it has finally died. I feel like I should have a funeral or something. It has been with me longer than my husband or any of my friends.

I have found a replacement. During the Black Friday craziness, JoAnn Fabrics had a sale on Wednesday that offered Singer Heavy Duty machines that are normally around $300 for $179. I couldn’t pass it up. I bought it, but I will miss my old machine.

Farewell Brother VX-808, Rest well, you’ve earned it.



If you are bored…

Said every mom at some point in the summer months. Kids on vacation from school means kids that get bored. Often more chores are heaped on or they are sent out to play so they don’t make their parents psychotic. But sometimes we turn to crafts…

A long time ago we found these at the dollar store. Discovery Digging In. A small block of supposed sandstone hiding a treasure for your intrepid young archaeologist to discover!

I thought this would be great for my autistic son, because he loves digging for treasure.

Ummm, yeah, right.


After working away for a while and asking for help repeatedly because motor skills and strength were not cooperating, we got a bit of the treasure uncovered.

We were both covered in the most powdery nasty substance known to man and that I’m sure was designed to suck all the moisture out of any bit of skin it touches. He got bored and started playing with other toys.

After 20 minutes of, “Are you going to finish digging for treasure?”

“Yeah, mom, help!” Over and over again. I finally gave in and finished breaking the little toy loose.

All that hoopla for this tiny little warrior.


So basically, the lesson learned is…if they are bored don’t give them something that will make more work for you because they’ll still get bored and you and up with a mess on  your hands.

Ah well, I tried.

Elementary Candle making

Long time ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I was in 1st grade art class and we made candles. We melted our old crayons in a metal coffee can, yes they used to be metal. And we very carefully made candles with paper cups, paper clips and string.  I love to find ways to reuse or recycle old things instead of just throwing them away. So I thought what the hey, let’s do it again.

So I had this old peach mango candle that was so burnt down that only the metal of the wick was showing.

I popped out the metal piece with a spoon.

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Then I found an old smaller candle holder, a giant paper clip and some string. Made a cool thingie to hold the new “wick.”


Microwaved the old candle at 30 second intervals because I really wasn’t sure how long it would take to melt the wax. Then poured it into the new candle holder. I missed a couple of times and managed to knock the wick into the glass but I just fished it out again.


I let the hot wax sit for a few hours and it had solidified into a lovely new candle. I managed to get a new glass jar out of it and a new candle. Not bad for something I learned in art class a million years ago. Guess it pays to keep the Arts in schools.


The Invisible Menacing Monster is allergic to sewing.

I think the invisible menacing monster has allergies.
I’m not hearing things or maybe I am.

I was home alone and the cat was outside. I was working on sewing some reusable shopping bags that I make out of recycled jeans and things when I heard a sneeze from behind me. I turned and saw nothing. I wandered around looking for the source of the sound. None of the windows were open and I couldn’t see anyone outside.

I don’t know what else was it could have been besides the invisible menacing monster. So either it has a cold or is allergic to sewing. There were  threads that I cut off littering the floor. Maybe that is what was making it sneeze. If that is the case then that kind of creeps me out because that means he was sitting under the table next to my feet.

I really think the cat needs to exterminate the invisible menacing monster.