Sweet Retreat's Little Sister Tote

I picked up this tote bag kit from the Wisconsin Shop Hop this summer.  I love words and letters on fabrics and this fabric is very special since the words are all cities and towns in Wisconsin. Not to mention that it's in my favorite color combination, black and white. I just had to have it.

Since summer is officially over, it's time to stop staring at this kit like I have all summer long and actually make this tote! The pattern is from Whistleped Creek and it is called Sweet Retreat's Little Sister Tote.

It has very sturdy panels because of the fleece iron-on interfacing it contains. I love the clever way the multiple pockets are made and I learned a lot about careful pocket planning both inside and outside the bag. I will definitely use these techniques again.


Custom Fence Panel

I've been following Pinterest for quite a while and I seem to constantly return to the same photo.  It is a picture of a pergola and a privacy wall covering a nice patio.  That privacy wall is built out of two-by-fours forming a grid and there are random glass blocks in some of the grid openings.  I wanted very badly to use that idea.

We recently installed some fence panels on our lot line to give us some privacy.  In the process of doing that project, we had our fence post hole guy dig two extra holes next to our hot tub.  So here was my chance to use that Pinterest inspired idea.

My husband and I installed the 4x4x10-feet long posts into the ground next to the tub. After a few days to ensure the cement footings were firm, we filled the dirt back in and cleaned up the rest of the piles of dirt left over from the dig.  From there I got out my graph paper and measured and re-measured the opening.  I drew out the plan down to every little detail. On Friday morning I went shopping for glass block.  

On Saturday morning, he went shopping for the lumber and we started to build the grid that would hold the glass block.  Between the shopping and laying out the grid and the frame, we used up most of the day. On Sunday morning, we installed the grid-frame structure to the fence posts.  It went up quickly and easily, thank goodness. Then we spent the day cutting the boards to fill in the bottom half of the fence.  On Monday I installed the glass block permanently by using silicone caulk to hold them in place.
Custom Privacy FenceI am so excited to see this project completed. We discovered together that we can do our own thing without worrying too much about having an expert draw up a plan - we can do it all ourselves! This was one of the most rewarding non-sewing projects I have ever completed!

Thank you, Jeff for your fantastic woodworking skills, we make a great team.