Recently I worked on a very fun project. A firefighter brought over a couple of sets of firefighter jackets and pants that were no longer serviceable. He wanted a BBQ apron and laptop bag out of them. Talk about re-using and re-purposing! It was been a chore to rip them apart-that stuff is tough and I dulled about 4 razor blades taking them apart. Then there’s the hardware-it took a pair of side cutters and a hammer to get it off so I could re-use it. I forgot to take pictures of the jackets and pants before and after, but Jeremy was kind enough to take a couple of the finished projects and send them to me.
The slider from the pants was used on the neck strap and there are side panels added with the waist ties. The pockets were already on the jacket so I left them in place. I didn’t line it (although we discussed it) due to the weight of the fabric and the fact we live in Florida. BBQ is obviously an outdoor activity and it would just be too hot to wear.
We left the upper pocket intact, it’s the perfect place for an instant read thermometer. It’s hard to see, but the lower pockets are full pockets and flat pockets as well. There is an opening behind them so it’s like a double pocket. You can see that a little bit on the pocket on the right in the picture. The outer pockets have holes in the bottom for water to drain out, can you see them? Look for the grommets, they’re on either side of the pleat.
The laptop bag came out very well-he loved it! I used the suspenders for the shoulder strap, some of the pockets off the jacket for power cord, mouse, etc. and the jacket lining for padding. Inside is padded with the liner from the pants. It is very well padded, we made it to fit a 15-inch laptop.
The closure is off the front of the jacket. As I mentioned, it was a bear to remove, but easy to re-apply. I did have to go to the leather store to buy rivets strong enough to hold it! The shadowed areas at the top of the bag aren’t shadows at all-it’s stained from the soot. These were actually worn by the firefighters until they became unserviceable. Once they were inspected and officially retired from service, we were able to re-purpose them (with permission). There are other projects we talked about doing, I can’t wait.
This was probably one of the most fun projects I have done in a while. Maybe that’s why I didn’t take pictures-I was having too much fun trying to figure out how to best utilize the jackets and pants!
I was surprised to see that it has been
nearly over a year since I last posted. I’ve been a slacker-I admit it! But I have been sewing a lot and have updated my Artfire store and actually have a sewing room of my own, sorta. At least I have my sewing machines out of the dining room and into the guest room.
I’m trying to convince G that since we have a pull out couch we don’t need a bed in there so I can move all my sewing and knitting in there, but so far he still thinks we need a guest bed. I pointed out that in 5 years, we’ve had exactly one guest stay over-a very drunk friend after a Jaguar game (we wouldn’t let him drive).
So I’ve been working hard on my shop, trying not to feel guilty for ignoring my blog and just basically moving right along. I’ll try to be better about posting, but I am thinking about moving over to the Blog in my shop. Haven’t decided yet though.
I’m here, but it’s been way too long since I felt like posting. It’s a combination of reasons, let me give the condensed version:
When we got back from Massachusetts, I knew my father was not well. He had been battling cancer and doing treatments that made him quite ill. I planned to go to Alabama to visit when G left to go back north. My brother went to see Dad over Thanksgiving and said he was doing pretty well, was able to eat and was up and about somewhat. That there was no need to dash right out there. So it was decided I’d go the following weekend and stay a few days. The day before I was to leave, I got a call saying to get there ASAP, that he wasn’t doing well at all and may not make it through the night. So I rented a car (remember I hadn’t driven my truck in months and I wasn’t sure of it) and left with my Google map in hand. I hadn’t even gotten out of town when I got a call saying he had passed. I turned around and went to be with my brother.
After that, I was just kinda out of it. I loved my dad, he was an amazing man. But we weren’t really close, like “called just to say hi” kind of close. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years at this point. So there is a lot of guilt to deal with. I wanted to write about him and every time I started, I would just cry. So I didn’t. And here we are, seven months later, and I still can’t write about him and his impact on my life. Maybe soon…I want to share what a good man he was, the things he taught me, the way he had of making everything okay, even when you never thought it would be again.
I started working from home in January, taking customer service calls for a major tax software company, then after tax season, a major home improvement store. It’s a 15 step commute, I love it! Right now I am between clients, but will be selecting another to train for soon.
Sewing has consisted of a little here and there, it’s hard to sew when you’re on the phone hours at a time. I did make a couple of quilts, pretty happy about them. When I get pics, I’ll put them up so you can see. I’m working slowly on another that I’m quite pleased with. I’ve let my Etsy and Artfire stores go, but am slowly retaking pictures of items to restock. In the meantime, I’ve relisted some stuff and actually added a couple of new things.
G came back from Massachusetts in early March and is now working down south, but comes home every weekend, so it’s not too bad. We get a lot of riding in on the weekends, but it’s so hot, we wait til later in the day of we can’t get out early. The American Legion Riders Poker Run on May 8th was great, it was for The Wounded Warrior Project and we donated $19,000 to the Project. We’ve done a couple of other rides for local folks who fell on hard times and attended a benefit last weekend. It’s great to see how the biker community comes together to help when needs arise.
I’m gonna try to post more regularly, and am still working on the post about my dad. It’s good to know that some of you still drop by every now and then, hopefully there will be new stuff to see very soon!
It was beginning to feel like I had moved to Massachusetts, but we are finally home! Left about 9:30 AM last Saturday morning and arrived at our door at 3:38 AM Sunday. Not too bad of a trip and we made good time. G did most of the driving and we only stopped for fuel. I drove through North Carolina and that was it. When we pulled in front of the house, Renee came out to meet us with a cold beer in each hand. It’s great to have friends that know exactly the right thing to do!
New England was beautiful and I’ll miss the view of the mountains every day. But the leaves were gone and all the trees looked like skeletons, so it wasn’t as pretty as before. Hard to believe that I saw three seasons there-that’s something! Remember this post with the pictures from the summer and fall? Well, here’s what it looked like when we left:
Quite a change huh?
I started this post 5 days ago and just now got around to getting the pictures onto the computer. The first few days all I did was work around the house and yard. A LOT needed to be done. Then Thanksgiving I spent cooking. I don’t know who I thought was going to eat a turkey breast, dressing, butternut squash, green bean casserole, turnip greens, mashed potatoes and gravy and an apple pie! It was just me and G. I think it may have something to do with being in my own house, with my own kitchen and my own cookware again. Maybe not, but it sure was good and I probably won’t cook for a week now!
Been doing a lot of sewing, but haven’t listed a thing in either my Etsy or Artfire shops. The first night after we got home we went and had a few beers with friends and I got an order for a wallet like mine, but with Gator fabric. So I made two and brought them to the bartender that ordered one. One of the Crowley Boys saw it and bought the other one for his daughter and wanted a men’s bifold for himself. So I figured that out and brought it to him. Someone else saw it and wanted on too, and a welder’s cap. Did those and then got another order from another of the Crowley Boys for four hats, a wallet, a girl’s wallet and a backpack. I’ve got all of it cut, the hats almost done and still need to start the backpack. Business is good, I have handed out a lot of cards too, so people can see what’s online. Since I didn’t have an online store when I left, people are pretty excited to see what else I can make. Now if I can just keep up!
G is leaving to go back at 3am. He’s planning to drive straight through, although he said if he felt tired, he’d stop for a bit. I doubt he will. He’s not taking a bike with him, so at least there’s no worries with the trailer and all. We heard the roads going to the hotel were icy last night, so not having the trailer is a good thing. It’s gonna be hard to get used to sleeping alone again! I’ve been spoiled being able to wake up with him every day the last few months. I wish I could go back for so many reasons, but my dad is not well and I expect to be making a trip to Alabama soon to see him.
Hug a veteran today.
Tell them you appreciate their service.
G is a Marine. Through and through. Serving from 1975 to 1985, all over the world, in several conflicts and finally back home, he is proud. His truck has a custom USMC license plate. On the front there is a plate with USMC with crossed swords. On the bumper is a sticker that says “US Marine Corps is a part of the Navy-the MEN’S DEPARTMENT.” One of his vests has a full back patch just like the pic above. His Legion Riders vest has a USMC rocker over the Legion Riders patch. I could go on and on, but you get the idea-yeah, he’s proud! The Corp changed his life and he will be the first to tell you that. So today’s post is for him and all other Marines. Thank you all.
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE – 10 NOVEMBER 2009
Date Signed: 10/5/2009
ALMAR Active Number: 033/09
R 051329Z OCT 09
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BIRTHDAY MESSAGE – 10 NOVEMBER 2009//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. UNITED STATES MARINES REPRESENT THE BEST YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OUR NATION HAS TO OFFER. TO BE A MARINE IS TO BE A MEMBER OF AMERICA’S WARRIOR CLASS – TO BE ONE OF THE FEW WHO STEPS FORWARD WITH THE COURAGE AND CONVICTION TO FACE WHATEVER DANGERS AWAIT. OUR NATION EXPECTS HER MARINES TO BE READY WHEN THE NATION CALLS; TO LEAVE FAMILY AND THE COMFORTS OF HOME BEHIND; TO MARCH INTO BATTLE AND THRIVE UNDER AUSTERITY; AND TO COME HOME UNDER A VICTORY PENNANT.
2. FROM AL ANBAR IN THE WEST OF IRAQ, TO HELMAND PROVINCE IN THE SOUTH OF AFGHANISTAN, OUR CORPS OF MARINES CAN ALWAYS EXPECT TO BE FOUND WHERE THE FIGHT IS TOUGHEST. SUCH IS OUR HISTORY. TODAY, AS WE WRITE THE FINAL CHAPTER ON OUR VICTORY IN IRAQ, WE WILL INCREASINGLY TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE ENEMY IN AFGHANISTAN AND ADD NEW PAGES TO OUR LEGACY IN PLACES CALLED DELARAM, NOW ZAD, AND GARMSIR. ONE DAY, WE WILL RETURN TO OUR NAVAL HERITAGE AND PATROL THE HIGH SEAS WITH OUR NAVY BROTHERS. SUCH IS OUR FUTURE.
3. AS WE CELEBRATE OUR CORPS’ 234TH BIRTHDAY, WE FIRST PAUSE TO REFLECT AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THOSE MARINES WHO HAVE GIVEN THE LAST FULL MEASURE IN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM. WE EXTEND OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO OUR MARINE CORPS FAMILIES – THE UNSUNG HEROES WHO ENDURE HARDSHIP AND SACRIFICE SO THAT WE ARE ABLE TO GO FORWARD AND ACCOMPLISH ANY MISSION. WE EXTEND OUR APPRECIATION TO OUR COUNTRYMEN WHO HAVE ANSWERED OUR EVERY NEED. AND WE CELEBRATE THE MAGNIFICENT MEN AND WOMEN WHO WILLINGLY AND SELFLESSLY CONTINUE TO GO INTO HARM’S WAY TO PROTECT THIS GREAT NATION.
4. TO ALL WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE, TO THOSE WHO WEAR THE UNIFORM TODAY, AND TO THE FAMILIES THAT GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO FORGE AHEAD – I WISH YOU ALL A HEARTFELT HAPPY 234TH BIRTHDAY!
5. SEMPER FIDELIS! JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//
Copied without permission from http://www.usmc.mil/news/messages/Pages/ALMAR033-09.aspx
We don’t have an exact date yet, but G says within the next two weeks! Hurray! I’ve really loved New England and have met some great people, but it’s time. The weather is turning cold and dreary, the beautiful leaves are little more than a colorful carpet and I miss my kitties! G still has some work on the Huntington bridge (redoing the bridge deck and asphalt and some steel repair) and when it’s complete, we’re loading up and going home.
On another note, I’ve been working hard at my store on Etsy and have had six sales since opening! Two were from Yamilette, but that’s okay-a sale is a sale! I’m pretty excited about it, I didn’t know how it was gonna go. When I get home I know I can add more items, sewing here is a slower process that I’m used to. It’s really hard not to have all my favorite toys and tools here and it makes it less efficient. Here’s a few of the things that have sold:
A large Buttercup Bag that was bought by Yamilette
This was a custom order for Yamilette for a Coupon Holder to match her purse:
Here’s Cosmetic/Toiletries bag that I copied from the one I take when I travel, only larger:
That one sold within a day of listing it-I was so surprised! There’s a couple more, but these were my faves.
I’ve got a lot to do in the next week, getting ready to go home. Gotta pack (yuk) and figure out where to put all this stuff I’ve accumulated since I’ve been here. It’s only another two boxes of sewing stuff, but there is only so much room in the truck. Remember that G was here in June and came back to Florida to pick me and the bike up? Well, my stuff barely fit in the cab of the truck coming back, and he only had an overnight bag in it then. I may actually have to ship a couple of boxes-I have acquired a bit of a stash since getting here! We do have the trailer, but the Springer takes up most of it. I may be able to tuck a few small bags here and there-extra padding, right?
I need to go back to Webs and get some yarn. Their prices are so good, I hate not to bring some home. Of course, I have hardly worked on my socks since I got the sewing machine, but still…I may want to knit when I’m home. Or on the 18-20 hour drive back. Another trip to Osgood’s in also in order. There are quite a few fabrics I want to take home. I haven’t bought them yet because of the storage issue in the hotel room, but I can just ship them since I won’t be needing them before I leave. I think my credit card is gonna get quite a workout in the near future!
It’s been a good time in Massachusetts, and I hope to come back in the spring with G to finish the other three bridges. At least we’ll know the area and have some friends up here. A few of them are threatening to come to visit us in Florida when the snow gets deep. That would be fun, if they can handle the heat!