My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Happy Trails – sewing on the go September 23, 2013



Since I’m sitting here bored, without any of my belongings, I figured I should probably do a quick “tutorial” on sewing while traveling. 




Because if I had taken my own advice, I’d at least have a bit of sewing with me – or even my machine and I wouldn’t be watching a Star Trek marathon (the original to Voyager)…. again.  


Ok, I probably would be, but with my sewing machine wirrrrring next to my laptop as it played.



First – is it actually possible to take your sewing with you?


Of course!  For just hand sewing, there are so many different types of sewing baskets available, you could be stylish AND have something to do.

You could have vintage to traditional to just your style.








hello kitty


Even a tackle box would work if you’re not picky about what it looks like.


Make sure you’ve got everything you think you might need.  But usually you can find it in a smaller scale.  You probably won’t be cutting out any dresses on your hotel room floor, so large scissors probably won’t be necessary.  Do remember your thimble for hand sewing.  Unless you enjoy pain, or have no feeling left in your fingertips, you’ll want something for those hand needles.





This is probably a bit more then you’ll actually need – but you get the idea.


For those of us who like to bring their sewing machine with them, for say… classes, moves, long vacations, a craft night at your friend’s house or sewing with the other parents for a school function – what ever your reason, there is a way to safely and conveniently move your sewing machine AND your serger if you have one.

Several companies make varying styles of bags, roller bags, totes and luggage to carry your not-so-little precious all over and back.  As always, it comes down to price and style.

Whether your going for the quick and easy Joann’s at 50% off or the “matchy-matchy” whole darn set.  There is a right one for you.

One of my personal favorites, due to the functionality and color choices is Tutto.  How can you go wrong with that many color choices after all!


Now that we have most of our tools and gadgets with us, let’s answer our second question.


Why would we want to sew while we’re traveling?


If sewing is only for when you absolutely have to – then you don’t really need much of these.  A mini-kit in your luggage will suffice for emergencies.  

If sewing is a passion, then a small sewing basket and your latest work to practice a little hand sewing, will do great.  After all, once you’ve seen one corn field on your move…. you’ve seen them all.  

If sewing is a little more of an addiction than say, crack – than you’ll want the luggage.  And as the ReFashionista shows us, there’s always time to whip-up a dress!


And for those of you, who are seriously, seriously addicted, there are, in fact, sewing, knitting and crocheting cruises and vacation destinations.  


Happy Trails!





Christmas…. specials December 18, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Crocheting,Hubby,Sewing — blankenmom @ 7:00 pm
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We’ve all watched them.  I can, probably very safely say, anyone reading this has watched them since they were children.  And part of your tradition, as is ours, is to watch certain ones.  With a few being added, on occasion as your children are starting to get older (or you, but I didn’t say that).

Charlie Brown’s Christmas special I’m sure is on most people’s lists.  Whether or not you have the same beliefs in Christmas or not, you’ve probably watched it since you could crawl and so, making it your own tradition.  Now, as we’re all having our own children and some of them are getting to an age of having preferences, it’s amazing how they choose these same movies also.  Even or in spite of, the lack of technology used to produce it.

Today my boys sat and watched the entire show for the first time.  HULU is a great thing!  They really enjoyed it, much to my pleasure, although, I must admit, Charlie Brown has never been my favorite cartoon, this special has always been one of my favorites.  Maybe because it was one of the last ones that you could actually talk about Christ, or its simplicity, or that it was one of the good, old cartoons that the “kids” actually acted like kids.  Whatever the reason, it felt good to watch.

I have many favorites, most of them the old black and whites (that may or may not have been colorized).  I’m noticing the boys starting to enjoy those more too.  I love watching these movies, with them.  And I hope, someday, they will sit down and watch those same movies with their kiddo’s; whether for tradition, because they love the movie or just because it’s on. 

It’s just one of those moments that let you KNOW it’s Christmastime.

Now that the hubby has lovingly, satiated me with my favorite mashed potato’s, oh, and some chicken too, tonight, we’re going to sit down and watch a few more of our favorites, while I work on my outfit; having sent the hair bun covers off to their new, little owner and letting my “crochet” finger rest.  We’ve added a few new ones, that we’ll watch too, now that we’ve got the “oldies” out-of-the-way.


The little things… December 16, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Crocheting,Family,Hubby,Military,Officer — blankenmom @ 2:46 pm
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Anyone who knows me, knows I’m simple-minded.  Not a bad thing really; I’m easily entertained, don’t take much to keep happy (well, the hubby might disagree on that one), and attempt to keep things simple – I said ATTEMPT.

I can be deep when needed, really.  I understand the news, the world around me; being simple-minded doesn’t mean you’re a dunce; you just like the little stuff.

Case-in-point, today I had to pick something up on base and as usual the hubby’s sticker get’s a little salute *giggle*.  Gives me butterflies – simple, yes, but I love it.  And really, why would I want more to entertain me?  It’s free, fun, simple and if we move on base, something I could get almost everyday – BONUS!

There are other little things that make me giggle; lizards, ducks funny walks, the boys spinning until they fall, the hubby’s grin when I make him laugh.  All free and simple.

Right now I’m making crocheted hair bun covers for a friend of mine’s little girl, for ballet.  As of yesterday morning, I knew the basics of crocheting, and now that I’ve been working on these little “guys” I’ve gotten quite the crash course.  When I send them to her, I’m to address the package as “From: Mrs. Clause”  Again, one of those simple things that make me giggle.  I’m having so much fun making them just because of the idea that I would love to see her face when she see’s a package just for her from “Mrs. Clause”.  Too much fun!

Simple, is not always boring.


Here and there December 8, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Crocheting,Dentist,Family,Hubby,Moving,Sewing,WTFr — blankenmom @ 11:48 pm
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Yup, I didn’t make it here for a few days.  I’ve been here and there, craziness as usual.  Christmas shopping added to the list of my daily tasks.  I hate shopping too, so it wasn’t even a good absence.  Although, I did get to so some of it with the hubby, so it wasn’t ALL bad.  By the time I was finished finding the cheapest site, best deal or right color, I was just to darn tired to do anything else other than sleep.  Granted, I’ve worked on a few of my projects, but that was while sitting in the dentist’s office or on hold on the phone.

Frankly – that’s just not exciting enough news to talk about.  No one wants to hear about our dental appt., well, except my hubby and his co-workers.   But I think I even talked him to death about it?

We have our new tree up; the boys loathe it however.  Spoil sports!  But the hubby and I are liking it, so at least we’re happy.

I have decided that the person who designed the hat I made for the hubby (for a second time) either has her stitch sizes wrong, or the man’s head in the picture was incredibly small.  I know my hubby has a ginormous head, but it won’t even fit on mine?  So, I give up on this pattern, especially after spending a lot of money on the second hat’s yarn.  I am getting a scarf out of the spare yarn though.  A nice bulky, green silk/wool – it feels so soft and cozy.  At least I got something to fit out of it.

I have my patterns all cut out, and ready to work on.  Well, let me rephrase that; I have the pants and jacket pattern cut out and ready to work on.  The red shirt pattern will have to wait.  It’s supposed to take 1 5/8 yards and I bought two, but being the great seamstress that I am, I didn’t pay attention to the part that said 1 5/8 of 60″ wide fabric.  Grrr – so, I’ll either be ordering some more red fabric, or just waiting for some different fabric to make it in?  But I cleaned off my sewing desk, and got my families sewing projects done and out-of-the-way, so I don’t have anything looming over my head (or sewing desk).  I need to serge the edges first, of at least the lining, since it keeps fraying.  I don’t want to end up with a little piece of fabric and a big pile of strings.  I’m sure I’ll hear objections to my serger in this tiny house, this late, but I’m sure I’d hear them during the day too, so suck it up people – mom want’s to sew!

I might get it done before we have to move next?  Can I just start moving my sewing machine in the car with us?  They have an attachment for the car don’t they?

We officially, legally have a renter now!  We’re still trying to get her social worker in to inspect so we can actually get paid, but I suppose this is all part of the process.  I just hope we don’t get stationed back up north now and have to have her leave after only a few months and working this hard.  That might make us all a little unhappy!

Tomorrow will be spent sending off packages and hiding the boys’ packages that show up.  It was so much easier when they were little and I could just tell them they were all for me!  Now I have to be all creative and what not.  Although, I did open one today that showed up and they were all so disappointed to find pattern paper in there.  Funny, I wasn’t?

I’ll leave on a good note – best trip to the geek store EVER!

I was waiting in line behind the woman being helped at the geek counter (the third-borns software came in to fix his computer) and while I was waiting, a young lady comes in behind me carrying her desktop computer, not the monitor, just the computer part.  It’s big and heavy, so the man behind the counter asks her if she wants to set it down, she of course hands it over.  He asks if she’s the one that called in earlier about the power cord and she says enthusiastically “Yes!”  He has someone go and get the power cord while he works with the first woman and while her order is going through walks back to the young ladies computer.  He tips it a few times, looks it over, sets it down and looks at her.  “Uh, miss.  I can’t work on this computer.”  Hands in the air, backing away from the computer. 

Of course I want to know why the heck not, but behaving I try not to listen.  He says he’ll pull her aside and explain in private why, motioning her to walk to the other side of the counter.  I thought, “Well, that’s nice of him?  Maybe she’s got bugs in there or something?” 

She walks back, not angry at all, picks up her computer and walks out.  He walks back to the counter and proceeds to wipe the marijuana off the counter, where her computer had been sitting, onto a piece of paper and put it into the trash.  OMG’sh I was trying so hard not to laugh!

So, it pays (in entertainment value) not to get angry, that he helped her, instead of me first.  I would have missed the whole thing.  Sometimes, patience is a wonderful thing!


Good day! December 5, 2010

We had an excellent day yesterday.  Something I’ve needed for a long while.  I nice morning at the Farmers Market, getting just a few things that we probably don’t need.  The Jam stand gave the boys his last pickles of the season, free.  That was a wonderful surprise for the boys and I.  Next week is the last, and we’re thinking of sending a few of his jams to the parents for Christmas.

I got to hear of a friend at home who just delivered her 7 new bundle of joy.  A new little girl.  That makes 2 boys and 5 girls.  While I’m VERY jealous over her seventh, I’m very glad for my 4 boys.  Could you imagine being those two boys in that house!  Haha!

We lounged a bit and then worked on the fourth-borns bed.  He and I painted the wood together.  The girls sat out front with us and “helped”.  We were very proud of the Oly Monster, a girl came by with a motor scooter and she didn’t chase her.  That’s a first for her.

The boys spent majority of the day watching movies in their rooms and playing Bionicle games, felt kind of lonely.  It’s great to listen to though.  The great plots, scheming, wonderful idea’s they come up with.  It also makes me laugh – when I ask them to come up with a story for schoolwork, they draw a complete blank; not a single idea, place them in a room full of Bionicles (or, for the fourth-born, random game pieces, Bionicle parts or even a deck of playing cards) and they have an unending imagination and story lines!

I got to have some yummy Squash soup and worked on my patterns a bit before we got ready for our party with the hubby’s co-workers. 

The party was a lot more fun than I had expected for a bunch of dentists and for us being the “old fogies” there.  We’re 8 years older than majority of them, but they didn’t really pay much attention to that other than the fact that our boys are so much older and we’ve been married so much longer.  One of them works on the Air Station and is going to find out about the religious center for us.  EXCELLENT!  It was good for me for a lot of reasons, I’m very glad we went. 

We have the “Mandatory fun” party on Friday.  That one will have all the higher-ups, but I really enjoy talking with them, so it will be a good party also.

Today was a different sort of day.  I ended up hurting myself, so I spent the entire day working on a UFO (pic’s later) and ordering Christmas gifts from bed.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be up and moving again.  I suppose the rest was good for me.


A gosh darn productive day! November 20, 2010

As my first-born says “I love the weekend – it’s like a holiday, every week!”  I think he’s on to something there?  And Friday is the gateway; spurring me on to get all sorts of things done, and I did.

After my disappointment last night with his dental appointment and missing my other appointment, I groused for the rest of the night and decided to make the most of the day when I woke up.  The boys did well on their schoolwork, they didn’t beat each other up to many times.  (What – you thought homeschooled kids didn’t behave like “normal” kids?  BAH!)  I got to my appointment today and met a very nice, fellow Navy wife.  She’s only the second or third, and I think I liked her the most?  We laughed together about the fact that she was in sweats at 5 pm, since her hubby was deployed.  Sounds fair to me!  No shaving, no getting dressed unless you HAVE to, pretty much just being a mom and not a wife until he get’s back.  Yup, sounds about right.

I also managed to get to the second-borns store for his rice syrup.  I have to make marshmallow’s for his cranberry salad.  They don’t have his kind anywhere near here.  His marshmallow’s are a great off white color and I actually prefer the taste of his.  The homemade just don’t work as well in the salad though, but he agree’s, these are better than nothing!  I also use the homemade marshmallows to make him his own “Peeps” with colored sugar and different shapes.  The don’t turn out pretty well!  Mmmm – I’m hungry for cranberry salad now.

I ALSO got the MIL’s shawl done.  The crochet pattern that was given confused me, so I made up my own.  It’s not perfect, but it looks good and I can’t imagine anyone inspecting that close.  If they do, they have issues?  And I have 1 1/2 balls of yarn left for me – YAY!  I’m making the cowl with the blue and a very skinny scarf with the”Coral”.

I’m still waiting on my lining fabric, so I decided to pull out a UFO.  A friend of ours from up north that helped us out so many times, would often bring me odd sewing items to work on that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to work on normally.  Real fur coats, worth several thousands, that I relined.  I loved those – they were gorgeous and felt fabulous.  The also brought in a wet suit, several leather items and even a sail.  That’s the UFO that I’ll be working on.  The wife wanted a shower curtain made of the old sail.  I already made the husband a firewood carrier out of it and I’ve been trying to get the shower curtain done while all my machine were busting and we were moving and I had probably 30 projects going at once.  (See, you’all thought I never really sewed!)  Now, I have plenty of free time, so I thought I would pull it out to work on it.  I just have to find my hair pins?  You can’t pin it with regular pins; the “fabric” bends the pins and they leaves holes, so I use the alligator style hair clasps to hold the hem.  I can’t wait to ship it to them, so they know I’m still thinking of them!

Still haven’t gotten a hold of my dad – stupid fax machine!  And my first-borns poor mouth is torturing him.  I know exactly how he feels and it sucks as the parent because I feel like I’m doing it to him!  It’s for his own good, it’s for his own good, it’s for his own good…..

Tomorrow is the Farmers Market; yes, it’s still going on down here.  They tell me it goes on until December.  I believe it!  It was 70*+ here today (although, there were people at Wallyworld in hats, scarves and gloves – I kid you not!)  But I intend on taking it easy for the rest of the day.  I may finally work on the fourth-borns bed; I held off because I wanted to punish him a little longer for busting it.  But I can’t take it anymore watching him all curled up in a ball on the floor.  Granted, he’d be curled up in a ball on his bed if it weren’t broken AND he spent several weeks on the floor during the move, as did we all, but somehow this time it’s different?  So, I guess it’s time to fix it.  I’m making him help – we’ll see how it goes?


BROKEN November 16, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Crocheting,Knitting,Places,Sewing — blankenmom @ 10:33 pm
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There is a very good reason for my lack of posting last night – the internet went down.  It tends to do that around midnight 2 – 3 nights a week.  Very irritating!  Although, it’s not like I had a tremendous amount to say anyway.

Swim lessons went well yesterday and we learned two new “swim lessons” lessons.  1) Men should never, EVER, wear white swim trunks, EVER!  And 2) Elderly ladies trying to be modest by wearing a shirt in the pool, should also wear a swim suit instead of their white bra underneath.  Hmm – yeah, it was an interesting day.

We have an appt. for Thursday at 1o for the inspection for the C/O.  Yeah… can’t wait.  I’m going with the “glass is half full, but has a leak in it” on this one. 

I am still looking for the pattern for my pants.  I can’t seem to find just the right one that I want; very frustrating.  But, I can’t start sewing anyway until my lining shows up.  That gives me time to finish up my MIL’s shawl.  80 st 300 rows of St st – Bleck!  But I’ll add some crocheted lace to the ends and make it all look fancy and pretty.  I wanted to take my stockings to swim lessons yesterday, but when I went to pick up the bag they were in I realized the pattern was missing.  The project that I had been working on for two years, off and on, and I can’t find the pattern!  I took a breather, went with out it and when we got home I had the fourth-born look under the couch, near my knitting basket and he found it.  FEW!  Good job #4!

The first-born made a great lentil soup today.  I didn’t like the sausages in it, but once I got those picked out, it was really good and will be really good tomorrow for lunch too.

My dad went home, which is good.  He’ll be having some follow-up surgery most likely.  Now the key is to keep him out of the field for as long as possible – which is a near futile task.

We’re finally getting some fall like weather.  Wonderful blustery days, the occasional sprinkle of rain and the great smell of fall.  It feels so good.  It’s still 70*, but it’s still beautiful out.  The boys have been enjoying the wind blowing up their parachute.  They have to take it down when it rains, but it’s worth it to them to set it up and take it down each time.

It’s been a calm, quiet last two days.  It’s nice, I’ll take it.  Now, if I could just get that pattern picked out?