red flannel pantry

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Archive for the category “travel”

on the road again

In a couple of weeks Daughter #1 heads to Northern Ireland to study for a semester, so for Christmas I made her some travel-related gifts.

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First, a travel document organizer. I found a helpful tutorial at thimble. It has two zipper pouches and a number of pockets to stash important documents and paperwork. I did add some lightweight interfacing to the exterior fabric cover, and if I were to make another, I might try using slightly heavier interfacing.

I had this terrific fabric . . .

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that reminded me of D#1’s most recent artwork . . .

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. . . so I used it for the cover.

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I came across another great travel gift idea on bee in my bonnet: a suitcase handle wrap. It took only minutes to make. I used the dimensions in the tutorial (5-inch squares of fabric and batting), and it fits D#1’s suitcase perfectly. The design is meant for sewing machine handles, which are not as beefy as suitcase handles, so an additional 1/2 to 1 inch in length might be needed to achieve the best fit. This wrap makes the handle comfy to hold and identifiable on a baggage carousel (though the maroon suitcase itself is distinctive!).

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And in her stocking was St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers. He’ll be going along for the ride.

between the East of my youth and the West of my future

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On our way home last weekend, after drinking far too much coffee at the Frontier Café in Grinnell, I needed a rest stop. We came upon one west of Iowa City and I dashed in, paying attention only to the location of the restrooms. Afterward, no longer distracted, I recognized the literary theme of the design of the place. Each picnic shelter has a steel wall featuring a laser-cut quote by an author or poet. The ones above are my favorites. With the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in nearby Iowa City, Paul Engle’s words here are fitting. With the trees, cornfields and sky visible through the cut-out text, reading “maybe it’s up in the hills under the leaves” had a visual and visceral impact.

This rest area is in Tiffin, Iowa, I-80, mile marker 237.

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