Black Lace & Promises

Salmon Pink, Black, Gray, Red, Royal Blue… additional colors available soon

Per special request: solid colors, lace, something to wear when dressed in your Sunday best. Additional colors already cut in my “sew next” bin are Turquoise Blue, Winter White, and Autumn Orange (just orange… reminds me of pumpkins). The adjustable ear loops can be removed if you prefer straps. Black satin ribbon? Maybe clip on a single crystal earring off to one side for a little sparkle. Of course, if you are handy with a needle, you could adorn yours with glossy little seed beads.

The lace is a bit fragile so gently wash by hand and be careful with the iron. I used a dry iron with heat set on polyester for pressing while sewing. Only two were sewn of some colors, four of some others, and the lady who asked has first choice.

As for promises…. awe, that’s to myself. I need to make art again so when I finish sewing up everything in the “sew next” bin, I’ll be done with masks for awhile. COVID just spun everything around. I had 3 pieces in a show this year without the paintings even leaving the house. They did an excellent online presentation. It’s just not the same as viewing the actual art in person. Only one of mine was accepted by the juror, but all three entries were posted on their website as they had a separate virtual gallery for the rejected pieces. That was cool. I don’t feel so bad about being rejected after seeing fabulous pieces by other artists that were also rejected. It was also easy to see that the juror’s selections had more to do with how the various pieces interact and come together as one cohesive show than one person’s opinion of your art.

So, which piece was selected? Isolation.

Thanks for reading!

Homemade Threaders

Little homemade tools for threading ear loops through mask casings. I had made one before and didn’t realize how handy it was until I lost it, so I made a couple more.

All it is is about a foot of wire folded in half and twisted, but it makes me smile so I decided to share. Quite literally, as I shall be mailing one off to my sister.

I used a fairly stiff nickel silver wire leftover from my jewelry making days, but you could use brass or copper, doesn’t really matter. I’m not sure what the gauge was as it wasn’t labeled, thinking maybe 18 as it feels a little thicker than a 20 ga. A softer wire might be easier to bend as I had to use pliers to squish the top loop narrow enough to slide through my casings and, of course, wire tends to gets harder and stiffer as you work it so my twists are not perfectly uniform. I’m not making them to sell so I didn’t bother to de-burr the ends before curling them in.

Another thing that tickles me was discovering an alternative use. My hands are old, got some arthritis going on, so tying overhand knots wasn’t always easy. Now I can just wrap the ear loop cords around a finger, slide the tool in, wiggle the loop over the ends and pull them through. Photos might help explain.

I have another handmade tool to help poke those cord ends through pony beads, but it’s a just a rather large old-fashioned tapestry needle held upside down in a pin vise.

Yeah… welcome to old age, where innovation is needed to continue doing the things you want to do. Thanks for reading!

NOTE: if you are here looking for masks, what I have sewn and photographed is on the “mask4sale” page. Prices are not carved in stone so talk to me if you want more than one or if our mutual friend is delivering.

Straw Port Mask Flaws

Seriously flawed stitching yet functional “straw port” masks… so flawed, I’m giving these two away… visit my Facebook page for more details (link below).

Yes, I’m experimenting with “Straw Port” masks, thinking up ways to keep the hole always covered, even while in use, so as not to totally defeat the purpose. Of course, we’re not supposed to ever touch our masked face… but reality prevails. If you are going to walk around flea markets or other public spaces on hot summer days, sooner or later, you’ll be unmasking yourself or trying to shove a straw up there somehow just to quench your thirst. So, why not make them with straw ports?

It’s NOT PPE folks… it’s a novelty item that offers minimal protection (like most fabric masks), but if it keeps masks on more faces, the better for all of us, eh?

My first attempt was to hide the port in a fake pleat (straw enters at bottom of pleat, travels up a tunnel and exits near mouth at top of pleat) but, the port was located too high, so care must be exercised to avoid shoving straw up your nose.

My second attempt (shown below) hid the port well under black satin ribbon, but the overall width (nose to chin) was way too much, which put the port a wee too low.

The third attempt (below) added a tab to make finding the port easier. I used the same pattern (and fabric) that I tested in my last post, adding a plush cotton pipe cleaner for a nose wire and plastic beads to make the ear loops adjustable. I love the way it fold up to look like a little purse.

As you can see, I made the port a tad too low but, easy pattern adjustment to move it up a bit (still below mouth level so can slide up to mouth instead of straw aimed to go up nose). This design is a keeper… I’ll be selling these for 8 (2 for 15) after I get a few made.

Thanks for looking! And, BTW… if you think adding straw ports is nuts, wait till you see my masks with zippers. Those fly out faster than I can sew them… mostly to smokers who live in designated non-smoking high rise buildings where stepping out for a smoke, even when social distancing, requires wearing a mask. Some people wanted them just so they could unzip for a drink, which got me thinking that a straw port mask would be better for that use unless they want to dunk cookies… odds are, they’re not sipping milk.

Link to Facebook page: https://facebook.com/Mice4Mars