Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thrift Shop Thrills and Free to Be

Long time, no write.  I've had a busy, crazy, up and down summer.  Nearing the end of it, though, and I'm feeling renewed and happy.

Earlier this month I went in for an exam, and ended up having a uterine and a breast biopsy.  The uterine situation may require surgery (but is not life-threatening...I'll spare you the details), and the breast biopsy had great results.  I also found out my hemoglobin was NINE (should be 12-15), which would explain why I've been surviving on Coca Cola and caffeine and needing early bed times and naps.  I was exhausted the last few years, and figured it was just old age.  Nope...I started taking iron pills, and about a week later, I had several "vroom vroom" moments where all of the sudden my whole body would go flush and hot.  They lasted just a few days, and I asked my friend Jennifer (who teaches anatomy and physiology) what those were.  "That was your metabolism kicking in."

I am finally awake, only drinking Coke for enjoyment, and feeling much better.  Thank goodness.

Oh, so the cupcakes above were made by Harrison's girlfriend Christiana in celebration of my breast biopsy results...can you tell what they were supposed to represent?  (They were yummy!)

So, I have a new graph under "Raise the Roof Designs."  I've been volunteering twice a week at the Thrift Shop that supports our shelter, and see loads of items that don't sell, but that still have some quirky life in them.  I've got ideas already for three more in this series.  This is "Thrift Shop Thrills: Cookbooks."  I give instructions for five projects: stickers, wrapping paper, notecards, recipe cards, and tea towels (and there are seven designs for tea towels, two of which are below... I haven't made the Crock Pot yet, but it's on the list.)

Above is a box I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby for $3 decorated with stickers made from cookbooks and scanned and shrunken copies of my grandmothers' recipes in their own hand.  They're stained, which makes them look really cool and legit.

I made my own tea towels out of muslin, so they were extra cheap.  You can also buy tea towels pre-made at most craft stores.  I used the opportunity to try some fancy borders, and did mine in black, but hey, to celebrate this "era," use avocado green, goldenrod, or rust.

The wrapping paper was super-fun to make, and you can see one of my notecards above, too.  I bought carnations (of course) for the above gift decoration, but would love to see people use those little fake vegetable and fruit picks you find in the floral department of a craft store.  My boxes were too small to support those.  This is all meant to be something crafty to do, where you can't really screw it up, and where you finish in a short time.  

I am able to buy these cookbooks for 33 cents and $1 at the thrift store, but try garage sales and estate sales, too.  Don't limit yourself to cookbooks -- make wrapping paper for a graduate out of an old textbook or dictionary.  Use a 1960's travel book to make notecards and stickers for a friend who likes to see the world.  Make stickers out of fine art books and decorate a box to hold your goodies.  

You can purchase the pattern now from me at  The distributors will have theirs soon.

Southern Pines Animal Shelter asked me to design a t-shirt to sell to help fund lifesaving surgeries for feral cats.  Until this summer, the shelter has always been required to euthanize any feral cats that come in through animal control.  The trend now in sheltering is to practice trap-neuter-return, which means those cats, after being fixed, can go back and live their lives where they were.

It has always made me feel so sad to see animal control come in with animals in the back.  Possums, raccoons, armadillos, and other wild animals are released out in the wild.  But all of these beautiful cats with shiny coats, bright eyes, lean muscles and strength have been killed for years and years.  Why?  People tend to think of a feral cat as a "bother," but somehow adoptable.  These cats are too dangerous to handle (mostly, they stay clear of people.)  They could not be adopted (I've been bitten a few times by a feral cat, and let me tell you, they bite HARD!)

Everyone would think we were crazy if we were euthanizing squirrels or snakes, but for some reason, it's sensible to euthanize wild cats.  So, I designed two t-shirts (the purple one is a ladies cut, and the grey/green one below is in men's sizes.)  Proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts will literally save lives by providing spay and neuter surgeries to feral cats coming in to the shelter.

The design shows that there are two different kinds of cats -- those who have made it into homes and are living their lives as pets, and those who live outside as wild creatures...both kinds are beautiful!)  Free to Be means that these feral cats will be free to live their lives just as they are, hooray!

Briar says: "Deese are de links, and what your money will do, pee-pulls.":

Help save a life ($13.00 from the sale of a $20 t-shirt will add to our pot of funds.)

Save a Tom ($32 purchase of this t-shirt will save the life of a male cat)

Save a Kitty ($57 purchase of this t-shirt will save the life of a female cat)

In the meantime, I'm busy working on some fall graphs and more Thrills.  Thanks, as always, for your support, and I hope you are having a wonderful summer.