The View From My Front Door Bob’s Garden Summer 2014

I live in South Philadelphia where there’s not much greenery. But I’m lucky because my neighbor Bob turns the hot and gritty summer landscape into an urban oasis every year. Here are some pictures from this years’ garden.

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The Hawthorn tree

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The Koi pond

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wpid-img_20140728_174938blog_wm.jpgStreet view

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Banana tree

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 Flowers bloom, die and

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New flowers come up to take their place

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Lotus

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The Banana tree and koi pond

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Bob’s BFF Barbra keeps watch over everything.  Sqwalk!

If you want to see posts about  of Bob’s garden from summers past, click on the links below.  Not all of the slide show links work on the older posts but they will give you an idea of how the garden has changed over the years. 

2007 

2008

2009 

2011

2012

2013

Take the Highway to the Artway!

 

 

Last month, I made a long-awaited trip to Polymer Clay Express at the Artway in Laurel MD. My ostensible reason was to see my friends Rob and Wilma Yost but we all know that’s not true. I wanted to shop.

IMG_8943_newThe Artway was easy to find.  I just set the GPS and the car took me there.  How can you miss it?

IMG_8944_newThe place is huge as you can see and this is only one room!

IMG_8948_newLots of magazines and videos to peruse

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 They have a big, bright classroom with lots of tables and lots of ovens.    Scheduled teachers include Jana Roberts Benzon, Kathleen Dustin and Jeff Dever.  Check out the Class Schedule

 

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IMG_8955_newSome of the inks PCE carries

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All kinds of craft supplies

IMG_8962_newMore ink including the popular Tim Holtz line

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All kinds of stringing materials, cording, grommets, thread and findings

IMG_8985_newThe carry a full line of Genesis Paints

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IMG_8993_newSome of your favorite old polymer clay videos are now on DVD and you can get them at Polymer Clay Express

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IMG_9014_newRob hard at work

IMG_9022_newWilma packing extruders to fill orders

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Check out the 3D printer! 

 

But wait, there’s more!  Laurel MD is a charming little town with quaint shops, restaurants and historical sites.  There’s plenty to do after you finish your shopping.  For more information, press here.  And things are always happening at the Artway.  Besides getting the classroom up and running, Wilma continues to improve the Dream Machine and other tools and I hear that a shipment of motors is due in the near future.  To keep up with the latest happenings:

Visit Polymer Clay Express’s Facebook Page

Follow them on Pinterest

Check out their YouTube channel

And if you can’t make it to the Artway in person,  you can always shop on the  new and improved website! 

Turn An Old Skirt into Something New!

I wanted a dreamy looking leather satchel in a soft, buttery leather only I didn’t want to shell out a couple hundred dollars for it. I saw a cool looking black leather skirt in a thrift shop and I suppose they were having a hard time moving it because it was marked down to $7.00. I grabbed a back leather belt for $2.00 and away I went!

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I turned the skirt inside out and marked there I wanted to cut it.  Since the skirt was lined, I could skip lining the tote.

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I had to decide how to work around the zipper and  decided that I would  make a seam there and remove it.

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I’m glad I scanned the Internet for tips (see end of post) because I got myself some heavy duty needles which helped immensely.  The leather I used was thin-it had been a skirt after all, and the Singer Slant-O-Matic had no trouble handling it.  Plus it glided smoothly because the lining and not the leather was making contact with the sewing machine.

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I cut the handles from a thick leather belt which was very hard to cut.  I used a utility blade.

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I attached the handles to the body of the bag with grommets I bought at Harbor Freight.

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I stitched the  handles to the top of the bag with a sewing awl, also from Harbor Freight.  You can see that I had to make the holes with a drill, but the awl was great for passing the thread back and forth between the holes.

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I installed a magnetic purse snap and I had a leather tote for under $10.00!

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Here’s another one made from a suede thrift store skirt

This tutorial from sewbeittudio.com was very helpful.  I also liked this one from the Vintage Ramble blog.

And here is a good video to get you started.

 

Pictures From My Cell Phone

I took these pictures across the street from the Comcast Building in Philadelphia with a cheapie Alcatel One Touch Fierce and used the software that comes with the phone to edit them. The Comcast Building is covered with mirrors and reflects some interesting points of view, wouldn’t you say?

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Fireworks!

I’m off to enjoy some fireworks for the Fourth. Enjoy this fireworks video from a past Fourth of July. Ever wonder why fireworks are such a big part of the celebrations? Press here.