GoofingOff’s Friday Freebie

Today’s Friday Freebie is a day late but awesome just the same. It is a flower wreath by Jacquelynne Steves. The design is suitable for embroidery, applique, needlepoint, or punch embroidery. It can be done in pastels for springs, orange, brown, and yellow for fall, or silver (or gold) with red berries for the holidays.

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Quilt block by Jacquelynne Steves

Have fun and keep stitching!

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing……Make magic with every stitch.

7 Ways to Get Better Organized

What do I know about organization?  I come from very organized parents, a father who organized the refrigerator alphabetically (Mom, did you know Grandpa organizes the fridge alphabetically?) and a mother whose jewelry was organized by metal, color, and use. Amazing. Being a rebellious child I rejected some of my parents’ advice and it seems organizational skills was among them. I should have picked more wisely. 

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My parents at Dad’s retirement from the Navy, 1973.

No, I am not an expert on organization; I am a novice. Forever a novice, but I did learn a few things about organizing.

Here’s a few lessons I learned.

1) Put it back where it belongs. 

What is it? It is the glasses I can’t find (they are on the top of my head), the car keys that should be on the hook on the key rack but are in my coat pocket, the book I was reading that should be on my night stand but is in my tote. 

Learning to put things away where they belong means finding them and not wasting time searching.

2) De-stash 

This has got to be one of the hardest things for me…me with the hoarding tendencies. Do I really need to buy more fabric? Yes…well, maybe not….OK, no…at least not today. Do I really need more yarn? No. Can I give away some? Sure…er, well, yes, I can. I will start by putting it in a bag and see if it gets to the car (then we’ll see how long it stays in the car before getting lost in my trunk…big car problems). I keep a donation bag handy for those little things I find and think what the hell was I thinking? Obviously more money than sense that day. Before I know it the bag is full and ready to go to the car. Maybe the bag will make it to the hospice center’s box.

3) Buy just what you need. 

Oh boy, retailers hate this kind of advice (like me, OK. A little self-hate and self-deprecation going on). But really, do I really need nail polish in every shade even though I haven’t polished my nails in over a month? Granted, the idea was good at the time, and I didn’t buy every color, just three because I thought red, white, and blue nails would look very patriotic. I my defense, I didn’t buy every essential oil in the store when I was making salt scrubs….just 3….because they were too expense to buy too many….and I caught myself before they went in the shopping cart…before I had one of those “If I make and I could sell them” moments.

4) Make a list before you shop

And what does this have to do with organization? one might ask. Everything. You can’t organize if you have too much, don’t have the space, and/or don’t have the need. Eggs for $1.50 a dozen is a great price but if you don’t eat eggs (like me) or only use them for cooking once and a while (sometimes I have to). It could be the $1 a jar peanut butter. Cheap, yes, but buying 12 jars? True story but I didn’t do it…not that time. I came home to 6 jars of PB on my kitchen table. 
Example; 4 dozen eggs isn’t a bargain when you don’t eat eggs (and the hubby shouldn’t, either). The money I save up front becomes the money lose when the bargain is either thrown away or given away. I could spend the money better, like buying things to organize my things, which leads me to tip #5.

5)   Have organizational things to keep your stuff organized.

Call them whatever the things names are, bookcases, bag organizers, shoe holder, coat hook, coat rack, key hook (yes, that is where my keys go unless I forget to get them out of my purse). They are invaluable if they are used. I have one for my car (all the car stuff goes in it so they are not all over my trunk). I have a box to hold the vintage handbags I sell (a shining moment in organizational achievement) and a special place to keep the Pyrex (another shining moment). I even rewarded myself with a new earring holder (ok, not new…I found it at a thrift shop but it’s new to me).


New-to-me earring holder found at a thrift shop.

6) Keep the organizational thing close to where it will be used. 

This no-brainer isn’t always a no-brainer to everyone. Some of us have to learn (like me…I am a slow learner). Now the mail I need to keep, a-k-a bills, is on my desk (along with other papers I don’t know what the hell I am supposed to keep) instead of in the kitchen with my keys.  A coat rack should be near a door going outside. Simple. Dishwashing detergent near the sink and dishwasher. Iron where you use it (mine is in the sewing room on the ironing board always ready for a project).


This little shelf keeps extra rolls of toilet paper close by and has a place to display pretty vintage bottles.

7) Ask for Help

No, not necessarily professional help….although that is OK…I am too cheap. I have friends who are organized and see the world different than me. Thank God. I go to them. My good buddy, Nancy, can look at a room and say “Here, try this” and it works. She helps me with my vast supply of patterns. 

Keep doing the good things that work and slowly but surely they will become a habit. 

Life is a series of works in progress…..and I’m working on it. 

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing 

GoofingOff Sewing Supplies…..Make Magic with Every Stitch

Famous People: Do We Adore Because They Are Famous?

Today I saw a post by We Are That Couple with the most intriguing title:

Pop Culture: Adoring the Famous Because They are Famous?

The post went on to tell about the writer’s trip to an Andy Warhol exhibit. Interesting, yes, but I was left thinking about the title and with this thought:

Are the famous loved because they are famous or are they famous because they are loved? Sort of a what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of thing. Still, are we, as a society, excited to see Kim Kardashian for example, because of her notoriety and fame or because she is a talented human being? Do we admire because of the herd mentality (everyone else does so it must be good) or because we truly think highly of them?

I remember someone once telling me that she had seen Robert De Niro. How cool! I would love to meet him, I said. Her answer, “Why? Because he is famous?” stopped me dead in my tracks. Was I like that? Did I think it would be cool to rub elbows, so to speak, just because he was famous or because I truly admire his work (The Godfather and Raging Bull). Am I a Lucy, crazy to meet any and all famous stars because they were stars?

I am not above the getting caught in the tide. I am thrilled when I have the chance to meet someone famous but honestly, I am much more excited if I admire the person or have been a long-time fan.

I almost feel a little sorry for the famous. Will they ever know if someone is genuine? Will they ever know if someone cares about them if they weren’t famous? Will they succumb to loneliness and despair, in an alcoholic haze, or drug-induced fog when the fame is gone?

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing… who is just thinking.

Sit and Sew at the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop

Made by Karen Brake from “Skinny Quilts for All Seasons” 

Happy Thursday! 

Yesterday I took a trip to one of my favorite sewing/quilt shops for supplies (Yes, I needed more fabric….stop laughing). I spent quite a while just walking around…until I realized I was getting lost in the fabric. Ever do that? I’m sure I’m not the only one. 
Anyway, while checking out I noticed this adorable quilt hanging on the wall. One of our local quilters, Karen Brake, made this lovely and is going to teach others to do the same. 

I don’t know if anyone remembers but a few months ago I sat in at the monthly Sit and Sew. It was wonderful. I could sew for hours, get tips, have lunch with good company, and not be disturbed by the phone, dogs (please walk me, whine, whine), hubby, or something on the stove (Babe, are you cooking something? Oops). I watched Karen as she started the table runner and was amazed by her work. She is also quite knowledgeable and taught me how to do French seams on the pillowcases I was making. Mais oui!
If anyone lives in this area….as in North Florida…..stop by for the Sit and Sew. The next one is August 22 at 10am. I won’t be there (working….got patients to care for) but Karen will be. You can make the table runner if you want to or just take advantage of the time away from the house and do anything. I worked on pillowcases and made a strip quilt… was good to have people there who had experience so I could ask questions. 
Besides, time with the girls is always good. 
More about what I bought and what I am making (a baby quilt) later. 
Enjoy the day. Pack it full of good stuff. Savor every moment. It only comes around once. 
Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing…….Helping you make magic with every stitch.
More about what I bought and what I am making (a baby quilt) later. 
Enjoy the day. Pack it full of good stuff. Savor every moment. It only comes around once. 
Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing…….Helping you make magic with every stitch.

The New Tagline for GoofingOff Sewing

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“Play Ball” by Dan Patterson. Wrought iron

So this is Day(I am a day late but not a dollar short) and trying to do the 2nd assignment

 try making changes to blog title and tagline to properly capture identity of self and blog. 

Seldom has anything caused me such angst as this. Change my name? GoofingOff? But GoofingOff is me, so me. I am goofing off whenever I am on the computer (not even playing games), sewing, cooking. Anything that is non-nursing is goofing off. I am able to try new things, challenge myself, make mistakes, do-overs when necessary, or nothing if I so desire…. so changing my name is not an option. GoofingOff Sewing is all that; challenging one’s self to try new ideas, new plans, new projects, frog when necessary and do it over (or donate it to charity….that works, too) so no name change, but a new tagline…..that’s something else entirely.

I’ve tried to come up with new tags before….cute, catchy phrases like those ad folks on Madison Avenue do. For instance:

#sewitup….#sewsomething…..#sewon (as in Keep Calm and Sew on…I

kind of like it in that context) and my tried and true “GoofingOff…It’s what I do best” (which unfortunately says nothing about crafting or sewing. Sounds more like I am hanging out on the beach with a margarita in my hand).

Recently a friend came over and said “So this is where the magic begins.” i took a second look at my surroundings…my humble abode with art glass in different shapes and colors in the windows, handmade art (my hubby made awesome wrought iron art…I am so proud) and photography on my walls, wire sculptures on the mantle and hanging everywhere, quilts on the beds, and I saw the magic she saw (I also saw a dirty floor but we are not discussing my housekeeping skills at this moment)…..which leads me to my new tagline.

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“Triangle” by Dan Patterson. Wrought iron. I love geometric shapes. Bold and simple.

Drumroll, please,

“Make magic one stitch at a time”

I’m not making the magic…..GoofingOff Sewing exists to help others make magic.

How cool is that?

So, what do y’all think of the new tagline? Magical?

post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing….helping others Make Magic One Stitch At a Time.

Where the Magic Happens

“So, this is where the magic happens” my friend said when she came to my house….only I don’t feel like a magician. My name is Eileen and I color outside of the lines, or want to more than I do. I live and work very conservatively that I feel like I blend into the woodwork. Disappear until no one knows I am here. The ultimate legal beagle that never breaks the rules because I did long ago and didn’t like the consequences.

Why I blog

Recently I was asked why I blog. I blog to be heard. To announce “Here I am” to people around the world because I feel foolish speaking above a whisper to those I meet or know especially if the group is larger than two.

I blog to connect with people who love to sew, who love to create, who love to read, who love vintage, people like me, and maybe they might find something I found that they love.

Goofing Off Sewing Supplies

I opened a shop on Etsy, GoofingOff Sewing, after finding a bag of vintage, 1960’s sewing patterns at a yard sale. I looked over each pattern, amazed at the condition, surprised they were complete, and ready to become fabulous clothing. I thought about the first time I sewed, how magical it seemed as the fabric took shape and became a dress, and how I wanted to wear it forever. I knew then I wanted to share that magical feeling with others and could do so by supplying the materials.  The world of sewing pattern sellers is crowded, though, so I blog to set myself apart, to show off my items, to give ideas to customers so they can feel the magic, too.

Coat made by a customer using 1960's Simplicity 4738

Coat made by a customer using 1960’s Simplicity 4738. The pattern was from that first bag I found at the yard sale. I am so proud she sent me a picture of the coat. It is marvelous.

My Goal

I have been blogging for a few years but still have yet to develop a following. I am awed by writers who have huge followings and dozens of comments. I feel honored just to have people read what I have written, honored they took the time, their precious time, to read my thoughts or ideas. My goal is to build my audience by producing relevant posts that crafty folks, sewers and needle artists, can use to bring their ideas to life.