Sometimes, a dice bag is more than just a dice bag.
Sometimes, there is a surprise inside.
Introducing, the divided dice bag. This is a new design I've been working on. All of the seams are enclosed, with no raw edges. The four dividers go all the way to the bottom.
The exterior of the bag will be a bit taller, say 2 inches taller, than my traditional dice bag, but in other respects, it is the same construction as my regular, square bottomed dice bag. This bag is not, however, reversible.
We've returned from our annual two weeks at the beach. Oh, the beach.
We saw invertebrates
of different kinds, colors, and shapes.
We saw at least three different kinds of sandpipers, bald eagles, golden eagles, song birds, and pelicans.
But it was the mammals that were the real treat this visit. There was the grey whale, the harbor seals, deer (both fawns and does), and what was either a drunk backpacker or a bear.
But the most unusual mammal we met was a baby harbor porpoise. I was walking with my Mom and sister O, when I saw something in the surf. It was small, and had a dorsal fin. We watched for a while, as the dark grey creature was rolled by the surf. It would start to swim out to sea, and then get barrel rolled back toward shore, until he started to swim straight toward us, toward the beach. O and I cautiously moved forward it, both of us wanting to be sure it wasn't a shark before we tried to help. Once the waves had left it on dry sand, we could clearly see the blow hole. When we knew it was stranded, O picked it up. It was small, less than three feet long, and light enough that she could carry it alone. He went still and relaxed in her hands. I walked with her into the water, to be sure she wouldn't need help. O said he felt like a baby. Soft, but muscular, fat around the middle, with a blunted forehead, and dark grey all around. He remained calm and relaxed until she'd walked beyond the breakers, but once she pushed him into the water, toward open sea, he started to swim with vigor and quickly disappeared from sight.
We watched from shore for a long time, but we didn't see him again. That evening, Big E saw a pod of porpoises swimming past. Since we didn't find our little friend on the beach again, and we didn't hear of anyone else finding him, I'm hopeful he found his momma again and is living well.
Looking on the internet at baby sea mammals, the harbor porpoise seems most likely. He was small, slightly chunky, and solid dark grey. Harbor porpoises are rare enough here, that we would have heard if a baby had been found.
And of course, I did not have my camera with me, so I have no photos. Of course, if I'd had my camera, it might not have survived my wade into the sea.
I know I do not say often enough how much I am enjoying this age with Miss G. I've realized that I actually avoid mentioning it, because I fear that by recoginzing it, it will end. But now that 6th grade is over, I feel safe in saying I loved having a 6th grader, and I am thrilled beyond words to see how strong and vibrant she is.
Busy, busy. I've taken a bit of a mini break from sewing. When I'm sewing, it's hard to stop and make time for other interests. With the machine turned off, I've been able to get the wax out and do some batiking. Oh batiking, I've missed you during the winter!
Although, now that I think about it, batiking is really just prep for more sewing.. so perhaps I haven't really taken a break from sewing after all.
Last week, Little e and a friend did a three day project with me. The first day of the project was spent painting a piece of cotton. These artworks used fabric paints and a waterbased resist.
The next two sessions were sewing classes for two first time sewists. We practiced sewing in straight lines and talked about seam allowances. There was lots of practice pinning and learning about the parts of the sewing machines.
The girls worked hard. Nine is such a good age for this kind of project. To accent their original painted art, the girls were able to choose fabrics from my stash.
In the first class, they made the outside of their bags. In the second class they were able to assemble the insides of the bag, the strap, and to put the pieces together. I'm thrilled to say that they each sewed their bags entirely themselves, even the top stitching.
I love how well the fabric they choose accented their art, and how functional their final project is.
The backside of Little e's bag, the other side is her elephant.
Little e's already been using her bag, and she's looking forward to practicing more with the machine.