Tag Archives: Business

Sewing and photography collide

On the surface, cameras and sewing machines don’t have much in common but in our house, both are important tools. Once in awhile, though, the two are essential to each other.

I know very little about my husband’s cameras — especially the newest digital — and he knows even less about my sewing machines — one digital, the other built before the era of digital. But having lived with me for 32 years, he recognizes my need for a sewing challenge.

So…he recently asked if I could create some fabric pouches for two of his filters. He has several filters for his camera lenses. Some aren’t used very often. For example, the purple one is used when shooting indoors in a room with florescent lights. It eliminates the “yellow” look of the photo. The other one is an outdoor cloud filter. It enhances clouds on summer days.

Although he doesn’t use these often he wants to carry them in his camera bag for those times when he does need them. Just throwing them into the bag wasn’t an option — he doesn’t want to scratch them…thus the request for the small pouches.

No hurry, he said. Naturally, the filters sat untouched on my sewing desk for about a week. Every time I sat down at my machine, there they sat, staring up at me as if they were two different colored eyes — one purple, the other gray.

Eventually, those eyes got to me and I realized it was time to tackle the project. Like most seamstresses, I have a lot of fabric sitting around just waiting to be used.  This required something soft, like fleece. Fortunately, I had saved an odd remnant of black fleece. It was perfect.

When I do this kind of sewing, I have to play around with the fabric until I come up with something that makes sense. I set one filter on the fabric and measured a rectangle so that I could create a sort of pocket with a flap. I measured about 1 1/2 inches from the top and made a horizontal line, then folded the rectangle, bringing the bottom edge up to the line. I sewed double seams on each side of the rectangle — close to the edge, then folded the top 1 1/2 inches over the opening.

The nice thing about fleece is that it doesn’t ravel so you can leave the edges unfinished. I used small squares of Velcro as closures — sewing the soft side to the pocket flap and the coarse side to the upper side of the pocket.

In the end, the pouches turned out perfectly, and the hubs was happy with the product. Now I just need to find a market for these things — I have LOTS of fleece remnants just waiting for the next set of lenses.

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An adventure in leaky pipes

This may be difficult to believe, but it appears I have proven my worth as a plumber. Because according to journalist and humorist Arthur “Bugs” Baer, “A plumber is an adventurer who traces leaky pipes to their source.”

And that folks, is exactly what I have done this week. If I have done nothing else of importance this week, I have indeed traced a leaky pipe to its source and wonder of wonders, I have conquered the leaky pipe…at least temporarily.

I really can’t take all the credit for this. After all, I wasn’t even aware that we had a leaking pipe until “Little-Miss-I’m-Trying-to-Avoid-Course-Planning” went on a reorganization/cleaning spree of our kitchen and laundry room during her Christmas break. It was she who discovered the leak.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Daughter number 1: “Mom, did you know that there is a leak in the laundry room?
Me: “Of course, I knew it. Cold air has been sneaking through the window seals since we bought the house.”
Daughter number 1: (Eye roll) “No, mom, not an air leak. There’s water on the floor.”

Oh. That. Well. Yes, I guess that would indicate a leak. Naturally, I did what any other homeowner would do: called in the big guns. As in THE PLUMBER. Unfortunately, since I couldn’t honestly classify it as an emergency, I had to settle for an appointment sometime in the next millenium. Actually, that’s an exaggeration. But a week away might as well be in the next millenium.

So as daughter number 1 headed off to her real world of researching her dissertation, she reminded me that we should probably find a temporary fix for the dreaded leaky pipe.

I tried to forget the problem but when my husband made the comment that “At least we know why the water bill is so high”, I realized it was time to do something. My Dick-Pannabecker-do-it-yourself genes kicked into full gear. Peering behind the washing machine, I found one hose dripping at the point where it connects to the washer. That was the easy part.

Armed with duct tape, a heavy strength two-gallon freezer bag, I went to work. The hubs cut strips of duct tape as I fit the freezer bag under and around the hoses and then taped them into place. (I may have to buy stock in duct tape after this week.)

Then I folded the  bag into a cone shape and added more duct tape. I placed a large wastebasket underneath the tip of the bag. Finally, I snipped a small hole at the point of the bag and water began streaming into the wastebasket.

Amazing what a little duct tape and ingenuity can do. Nine hours later, the wastebasket was half full of water. Too bad it isn’t gardening season — it would have been useful for watering the garden.

I’m trying to decide whether to make myself scarce or hang around when the plumber arrives. Maybe he’ll offer me a job. Probably not. I probably shouldn’t give up my day job…yet.