Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crafting in the field

Yesterday I crafted.

Now, before you get all excited, wondering “How on earth does that Mara have time to complete field work AND craft?!” please be aware that I have seamlessly combined the two activities.

You see, I am working on these little guys

Which includes putting up little cameras to spy on their every move. These cameras are powered by big ass batteries that require superior strength to transport and set-up.

The batteries are changed about every four days, so in the meantime are in great danger of battery predators: namely, curious cattle.

Sometimes the cows feel like chewing on the cords, other times they like nothing better than giving the battery system a good kick. Basically, they enjoy creating holes in our data set.
We do have some beautiful cattle guards waiting around for me to pick up, but until that happens, I created the below masterpiece by lugging around various logs and sticks and placing them in pokey positions.


Ain’t she a beaut? I like to think so.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I have an affliction.

Every time I am almost done a simple sewing project, I always decide to make it "better" (a.k.a. complicated beyond words). This usually translates to a disastrous end product.

I blame patterns.  I get near the end of the pattern, the finished project within 2 seams of being done, and I think to myself, "Wow, that was so easy.  This looks so good.  I should probably make my life a complete disaster now by doing something really hard." I swear that those exact words pulse through my brain.

Case in point: This past weekend I decided to make a lunch bag. I found this free and cute pattern:

I duly read the instructions and all the comments.  I noted that Ellen said "zipper...great idea....some sort of suggestion [along the lines of 'don't use this pattern if you want to have a zipper']...would make zipper easier"

Fast forward 2 hours. Outer layer sewn. Lining sewn. Just need to stitch the tops together.

Kim decides to add a zipper.

Kim immediately forgets that it was suggested that this design would be difficult to add a zipper.  Kim goes for it.

Kim spends the next 4 hours ripping, sewing, turning inside out, ripping, sewing, ripping, sewing, flipping, and swearing. Of course, the entire time I was thinking to myself: I could just take out this zipper and go back to the original plan. But I really wanted a zipper!

I ended up having to rip off the metal piece that prevents the zipper from falling off:

The zipper fell off many times.  Often when the bag was guts out.

Speaking of guts bag herniated. A lot.

I almost herniated. A lot. Especially when this happened:

In the end, I finally completed her. It wasn't pretty, but I manage to suture up this puppy after a number of botched surgeries.

I do adore the bag. I love that it is lined with waterproof fabric and that the zipper can either be fully zippable or semi-unzippable,  and I even love that I wish that I had put a pocket in it.

Also, it now has a dual purpose: it's a lunch bag AND a daily reminder that I am delusional at best when it comes to improvisational sewing.