Friday, December 31, 2010

Where Has The Year Gone?

Okay, so I am on Pacific time, so technically it is still 2010 here. It kind of blows the mind to think about the time zone thing because here on the west coast it is New Year's Eve and across the globe it is already half way in to New Year's Day. Of coarse on the east coast it is barely New Year's Day. Then again when you sit back and look at the "Great Big Picture" time is only relevant in the way you look at it. I suppose there are some that are glad the year is finally over, then there are some, like me, that can't believe the year is over.

I wanted to post one last time in 2010 as I have sat here this evening and debated in my head the directions I will and will not allow my emotions to lead me. Now everyone makes resolutions for the new year with the greatest of intentions, some are successful, most are not. But we all mean well, so it is kind of a cosmic joke about making those resolutions, and I have a list for myself as well. So, to keep myself accountable, here are a few of mine. Like I said, I am looking at things a bit differently presently so it just might be all accomplished.

I WILL NOT think about the 95 pounds I need to loose. I WILL work to loose 10 pounds in January. I will not think about how much I did not get the gym and will strive to go to the gym once a week in January.

Okay, when from this point forward, when I say this month, I refer to January.

I WILL NO LONGER have a pity party for myself. I WILL find time once a week to work on some type of project that makes me feel happy again.

I WILL NOT look at how dirty and chaotic this house is. I WILL clean, de-clutter and purge through each room of this house, completely ceiling to floor, one room a week.

I WILL NOT feel bad because I failed to post to my blog for months. I WILL make an effort to blog more often. The goal is once a week.

I WILL NOT start a new project. May write down the plan and a few notes about it, but not start it. I WILL finish one of the many projects I have left in various states of progress each month. It would literally take about 5 years at that rate, but when I finish one, will start the next until each one is finished. Maybe I can hit on some projects that are already nearer to completion from time to time so that I can possibly get more than one a month, but I will get at least one a month completed.

I WILL NOT overwhelm myself with planning months of menus. I WILL plan a month of menus for January.

I WILL NOT purchase any food (excluding essentials of milk and bread) until I know what I have in the house. I WILL clean out and reorganize the pantry, fridge and freezer.

I WILL NOT purchase any fabric or scrapbook supplies until I just have to have it. I WILL use what I have first.

You get the idea.

The recommended amount of weight loss is 2 to 2.5 pounds a week. I figure that 2.5 a week, four weeks a month, I should be able to manage 10 pounds a month. With a change in eating habits and exercise that is. There fore, actually going to the gym that I am paying for each month, menu planning for different way of cooking and eating will be essential.

In the interest of time, since I want to actually post this before midnight, I will close with a wrap up and go in to more details in the days to come. Now that I have literally I been worked on top to bottom, I want to get back to my hobbies, that of sewing, quilting, crochet, scrapbooking, and such. I am making myself a vow to work as much as I possibly can with all the supplies that I already have on hand. My oldest daughter visited for the week and one day worked on some scrapbook pages for her grandmother's (my mom) book. I showed her the supply closet, she told her hubby about it and he called me a paper hoarder. I told her I am just well stocked. May need a few little interest do dads, but will get the pages or cards done and then see if I really need anything else.

Same with my pantry. I read on one of the blogs I follow about an organized pantry challenge and I am all up for that. After doing the holiday cooking I realized I have spices from when I first married in my cabinet. I found the jar of pimentos, I spent 20 minutes looking for before deciding to leave it out of the recipe, after the dish was half way cooked. My cabinets need to be cleaned and organized so I know what I have and what I need in order to cook meals around here. I can honestly say that I could probably cook for two months off of what is in my cabinets, wouldn't be the family favorites, but they wouldn't starve either.

I also enjoy writing and want to get back to that as well. I realized this past week that I won't die, nor will anyone else, if I don't get on Facebook and Farm Town. While I enjoy the game, and reading what my friends and family post, I also came to realize that while I was mentally complaining that I didn't have time to work out at the gym, I some how found hours a day to play the game. Hence, I am writing down schedules of my time for what and throwing in a checklist to get the house cleaned and kept clean as well.

Enough blubbering about for one night. I am off to a warm bath and then plan to see the New Year in with a goodnight prayer and falling fast asleep.

Yes I know, I lead such an exciting life. Seriously, here's to a God filled and blessed year to come. Taking it one day at a time, one task at a time.

Pop on back over from time to time and see what I am working on and how I am doing on keeping my resolutions. In the mean time, thanks for stopping in and fill free to leave a comment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

WOW It Has Been A While.

It has been a while since I last posted. Things have just been so crazy. Where should I start.

First, not much happening on the sewing front. I have the desire to sew, just am not able to get it done. I did get the little doll blankets done that I posted about. Haven't pulled the photos off the camera yet, but will. Just to back track a short way, these were some quilt blocks that someone had put together intending to make a quilt. They were donated, along with some other fabrics, to our church quilt ministry. They had been thrown in the trash, were pulled out of the trash and I took them home and took apart a section of it. Then turned the four color sections in to four little doll quilts for the church's preschool kids to play with. Finally finished up the hand work and took them to the preschool. Well, the director just loved them. Only one problem, they never made it to the preschool room. The director showed them to the infant workers and they kept them for the babies to lay on. Hey, as long as they are getting used. The really neat thing about that is the director has hired me to make up some aprons. They are really simple and the workers are having to pay a ridiculous amount to buy them. I am excited about this and hope to start on them later this week. Have to make a top and blouse for my mom's birthday first.

I have an ultrasound tomorrow so they can see if anything is wrong with my ovaries. They did a biopsy of the uterus and cervix a couple of weeks ago which came back clear. Someone really should invent a way to make that procedure painless. To add to that, I have had a colonoscopy and what ever you call it when they put the camera down your throat to look at your stomach. Through all of that, drinking that gallon of vile tasting swill to clean out the plumbing was the absolute worst of all. I was only able to keep down about half of it. At any rate, had a really large polyp removed, a biopsy done on a tumor that was found, they also found diverticulitis and stomach erosion. Looked at the Hiatel Hernia, which nothing is being done about at the moment. Of course through all of this, no one can tell me why my stomach and chest feels like it is in a vice grip when I have to get up and walk, why I am constantly tired, so I guess it is just all in my head. Add to that the fact that even today, 5 days after the procedure, I still empty everything I eat out with in an hour or so of eating a meal. If I could just loose weight by this happening I could learn to deal with it better. As it is, am having to just learn to deal with it all any way because there is nothing else to do about it.

Okay, on to other topics. I did get my fridge cleaned out finally. Left overs to the dogs, spoiled and expired to the dumpster. Oh and did the four legged kiddos ever scrap over the scraps. LOL I usually always get a bit miffed at myself at the waste of money when I have to throw food out, but this time there wasn't that much. Mainly lunch meat which really seems to go a bit green rather quickly. With the problems I am already having with the personal plumbing, I am taking no chances with food that is turning or old.

Guess I have had a nice little rest while I typed this post. Need to get back to my cleaning. After I hit the potty...again. Tonight is Monday, that means...drum roll...Monday Night Football. That will be showing in the living room. I however will be in my Woman Cave (my hubby's name for the sew/craft room) watching other things. Let's see, there isn't really anything much else on Monday's but guess I will have to see how Law & Order goes. For a good laugh I can watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta. The ladies of DC or just so crazy, but then I guess living in the Capital the craziness of that town just rubs off. You know, that series is on Bravo and that network continually appalls and shocks me at the utter shun of morals they portray in all shows. But, like an idiot, I still stop in and watch. At least later tonight will be the new Hawaii 5-0. I wasn't sure I would like it when it first aired, but watching it I find only the names are the same as the original series. Kind of the same plots, you know get the bad guys, but the characters are much more believable and DannyO doesn't wear a suit and seems to be more a member of the team instead of...the lower level of workers. At any rate, I love seeing the scenery of the show and seeing the places I saw when I visited my brother while he was stationed there. Makes me miss the island.

Okay, am off to do the chores.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things to Ponder - Or Not

***Just a word of warning, this ended up a bit long winded.***

Okay, I have had shall we say an "off" week. I have not felt well and am not sure as to the cause. Stuffy head when it isn't running like Niagara Falls, zero energy level, burning itchy eyes, upset stomach and achy (okay, down right painful) joints.

Could it be allergies raging due to our superb air quality in the area? Let's see, half the farmers in town in cutting hay and alfalfa. The other half are cutting down the remains of their summer crops to prepare for the fall crops. Oh and then there is the fire on the hill, it started Sunday afternoon and as of today over 8,500 acres burned and is only 70% contained. Times like this I am glad I don't live up on the mountain. Understand, our town is in a valley, the end of long valley actually, but at our end, we are mountains three sides around so there are often fires to some degree going, especially this time of the year, factor in to that the Santa Anna winds and you have what is referred to as Fire Season. Our honorable governor Terminator, hold on, need to take a drink to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth by the thought. The governor has graciously declared a state of emergency in order to qualify the area for extra funds to fight the fires.

Where is the money coming from? Who knows, the state still has no budget approved and will start handing out IOU's again next month. Analyst feel that the politicians are waiting to see what happens with the November election. I think it is just wrong that the state workers (including those fire fighters, police, teachers, and national guard) will get IOU's. I just don't think that the grocery store is going to take it in exchange for groceries. Not to mention, those that are on disability (which everyone but me can seem to qualify for with less documented illness) state grants for college, or even unemployment (which seems to be really easy for everyone but me to get). I find it interesting that our Governor can declare a state of emergency for a fire from his little trip abroad, but he couldn't be bother to meet the deadline to file and appeal against the court that declared Prop 8 unconstitutional. Prop 8 is a proposition to legally describe marriage as the union of one man and one woman. All the hype over this is truly hard to navigate at times, but if you really look at the bottom line, it is a sad statement of our society that a detailed worded out description of marriage is even necessary. It really has nothing to do with gay marriages (which has an immoral voice that has sounded off in a loud way about) it has nothing to do with interracial marriage (which the proponents of gay marriage want to scare the people with) it has to do with those perverted minds that want to use the lack of terminology to get at our children and prey on women. If you don't believe that, think about it a minute. If the proposition defining marriage (which was voted on by the state - approved as one man to one woman) is not settled then of course there will be a mass stampede to the judges (and a few alters I am sure as several denominations have recently allowed to have gay ministers) for gays to marry. They say they want spousal privileges legally. A legal partnership, such as for businesses, is much stronger. Majority of insurances already pay benefits to anyone you list and pay for. Gay marriage is for the sole purpose of adopting children. Just like a traditional marriage, they can have the pull of a child to use on the mate. Here is the kicker, if marriage is not defined, it will be possible, legally, for multiple wives. In the more extreme case, and yes there are people out there that would embrace this situation, it would be legal to marry an animal, a real four footed animal. I find it rather disheartening that society has advanced to the point that this type of legislation is even necessary, but it is. Hopefully November will bring some huge changes as I believe a significant amount of voters may be waking up to what has been done to the country. Of course, I don't feel that our election process has the power any more for the common people that it should, that is was meant to have. The last presidential election with all the "super delegate" garbage, proven voter fraud, false information and news reports just reinforces that belief. Too bad Nixon didn't have the people in his pocket that Clinton did, he could have stayed in office as Clinton did, impeached and all. Of course, it would seem that Obama is the master of them all. Even his wife gets by with more than any other first lady. Really, her private staff (paid for by the taxpayer) is just obscene. Okay, I have vented and am now off my soap box and on to other subjects.

Things to ponder.

Why do old men like striped shirts with their denim pants with a belt and suspenders, at the same time? I had to go get blood drawn yesterday and there was an older gentlemen sitting there, getting the same thing done. I looked at him and thought how much his shirt looked like one my own dad wore often. Then noticed the same navy blue suspenders that dad wore. I am always thankful for those little fleeting good thoughts I have of my late father. Of course all my thoughts of him are good, except of this last hours. Those still haunt me and I can't get rid of them. At any rate, not going there, this sweet little old man, he was all of five foot five and doubt he weighed much over 100 pounds, but still had a look of determination and that little spark of frivolity in his eye. When he stood up and shuffled in to the lab, I noticed the belt too. That is what really had me thinking about dad, then when they ask his birth date I over heard his response and realized he literally about three weeks older than dad. It was a nice morning.

Then I went to the church quilt group. When I was working, I just didn't have the time to work on anything and just kind of dropped out of life I think. But, I am slowly getting back in to some things, carefully so as not to overload myself. It was really enjoyable. A couple of weeks ago, the last time we met, a couple of the ladies had decided to go through a box of fabric scraps. Occasionally, someone cleans out there home or cleans out a relative's home that is either moving or has passed away and they donate all kinds of fabric scraps, yarn and such to the quilt ministry. It is always such a blessing just waiting to be received by where God desires. Maybe the blessing in the the receiving of those end resulting items, maybe the blessing is in the giving from a thoughtful heart. So it was, that one of these donations was in the form of a box of fabric scraps. It had been decided to throw it away. Well, that is not allowed with the ministry. If nothing else, the church's school and daycare can use it for the kids to craft with. Well, in this box was a UFO (unfinished fabric object) in the form of a quilt squares that some one had started putting in to a quilt top. By the looks of the fabric, probably started in the 70's. I was in high school in the later 70's and I remember making my mom a dress (good grief what a horrible job it was) out of fabric that I had ordered from Sears, back when you had large catalogs that came out and you could just order anything from it, and the small floral print was almost identical to what I used for my mom's gift. Back to the UFO though. The print was paired with solids and made into block using the pinwheel block. Blue, pink, green, and gold (not yellow, typical bold gold of the time). Closer inspection was warranted as a result of basic curiosity. That was when I noticed the embroidered blocks. Someone had taken white cloth, used stamped cross stitch of little animals, and had embroidered the blocks. You know, the first thing I thought of was the time it would have taken to embroider those blocks. I wondered, not knowing where the donation came from, if this had been done by an older women while she waited for loved ones to visit or maybe a young mother while her babies slept, possibly a young child that was being taught to embroider. Okay, I have an active imagination that runs the gamut of lines of thought. I think I inherited it through my genes somewhere, the woman that raised me has no imagination what so ever. Aunts taught me to crochet, home-ec taught me to sew, and 4-H taught me other crafts. What can I say? A wonderfully special teacher taught me to open my mind to imagine everything possible and impossible, through books that I read, through writing my own versions down. Thank you Mrs. Marchbanks for a most wonderful gift.

I drift again, back to the donated scraps and the UFO. One of the leaders has pulled these bags of scraps from the trash and looked through the scraps, that was when I saw the UFO. My first thought was of the time put in to this work, thinking how sad that person would be to see their efforts in a trash bin. I took it and told them I would finish it out in to something. I just had to, their was no other reason. So, as the lady looked through the other scraps, I thought about what to do with these quilt blocks. Not really enough for a quilt, there was only four of them and one of them had this awful red fabric with little anchors on it. Well, the conversation of the other ladies was about the preschool and how the kids love to be able to cut the fabric and do all kinds of crafts with it. I remembered my own daughter playing momma in one of the centers and dressing up and carrying the dolls around. So...I hit on the bright idea to take these blocks and leave the original pinwheel and embroidery blocks grouped together in what is commonly known as a nine-patch then making those in to little doll quilts. Those little preschool toddlers will love the bright colors and it will be just the right size. I did take photos of the work, will post them tomorrow or so when I am all done. I found the cutest red fabric with little white stars to make a border around three of them and a mottled green for the fourth. I don't know why, but I just can't stand red and pink together unless it is valentine's hearts. Not in a quilt or in a garment though. That is why I pulled the green out of the floral and used it as a border on the one with the pink pinwheels.

While on the subject of quilting, I also when to the local quilt guild meeting yesterday. Now, there is a long story and some hard feelings about the local guild, which I won't go in to. Just leave it at the fact that I was made to feel that my skills were a little lacking in some of the old bitties eyes. In fact, I make quilts to be used, not to hang around at shows. I especially don't make the same exact quilt featured in the recent quilt magazine with the exact fabrics used on the project quilt and then act like I am so creative to copy something already thought of. I know, I said I won't go in to it, I really won't. Back to the point. The last few years before I started working, I had pretty much quit going to guild, just didn't want to deal with some of the personalities that were strongly represented there. Then when I started working, I didn't like going to the evening meeting because I don't really like driving of an evening. That is why I dropped out of the church quilt group as well, I could have attended the evening meeting, but just didn't want to leave the house. I don't mind getting out of a day, but when everyone gets home from work and school, I like to just hunker down and relax through the evening.

Well, new meeting place, new times, thought I would just go and see how it flowed. I really like the new meeting place. Nice and roomy. The new location is a little closer to home as well, not much, but a little and feels a little safer area as well. That was a positive. Not too many familiar faces, the ones that were familiar were ones that I normally got a long with, so another positive. Of the few familiar faces I came across, I could tell from their face that only one of them actually remembered me. I might have been a little familiar to them, like they know they knew me from somewhere? But other than that, nothing. Which in their defense, it had been like 5 or 6 years since I was there on a regular basis. However, the rest of the crowd just ignored me and didn't even try to say hello, except for the one woman that chose to sit right next to me when there was like 40 open chairs behind me and beside me. Wouldn't have been so bad for the fact that she was a heavy smoker and the smell was just overwhelming to me. The ladies being so unfriendly was a negative for sure.

I admit, it just hasn't been the same since my dear friend Cara moved away. We always went together, had lunch, visited, I miss having a friend. The other negative is the time of the meeting. There used to me a morning meeting and the evening meeting. Now it is an afternoon meeting, meeting at 1:30 instead of 9:00 AM. By the time they get through saying hello, to all but new comers, it was closer to 2:00 before they got started. I had to leave about 2:30 so didn't get much from the speaker.

The speaker was a lady that designs mystery quilts. For those of you that don't know, let me explain a mystery quilt. A participant is given a fabric list. The required yardage of each of the fabrics needed. Sometimes it tells you to pick a light and a dark, maybe a focus fabric with a light and dark, complimenting colors, or such so you know what to use and how much you will need yardage wise. Nice to pick out your fabrics, but you have no idea how they will be used together, what will be next to what. Therefore, use of value rather than color is really critical to a successful quilt. Then, you are given clues one at a time. This will be your cutting instructions, sewing instructions and eventually piecing instructions. For instance, one clue may be to use color A and cut 45 squares that are 2.5 inches. Or, take the color A squares and sew them to the color B squares. Then, as you sew through the clues, you solve the mystery when you finally put the top together and can then see what it actually looks like.

The speaker had some very pretty quilts, but you know, they all seemed to look alike after awhile. This speaker really likes half square triangles and she uses them. I know you can really make a different look by playing with the placement, even just playing with your colors and values makes a totally different look, but in the end, they are all triangles. Her mystery quilts, the ones she designs, are done through workshops or retreats. Personally, I don't really go in for mystery quilts, although I have made a few through some wonderful online quilt groups. Usually online you get the fabric requirements (most of the time, you post a photo of your fabric and the hostess of the mystery - who knows how the quilt looks in the end - will email you if you need to have a little different fabric choice) and then about every two weeks or so a new clue is posted. Then, you can post about your progress, any problems you may be having or such.

However, I really cheat and won't start cutting one out until I have seen the end result. The speaker said that she has one student that takes all of her classes and loves mystery quilts, but she does them always with seasonal fabrics. The student said that way if she doesn't like the quilt she only keeps it out for a short time before changing to the next season or holiday. Makes sense in a way, but I figure if I wait until the mystery is solved and look at the final result, if I don't like the way it looks I have saved a whole lot of time and a lot of money on fabric for something I would never have made to begin with. Guess I am just cheap that way. Nothing against Mystery Quilts, they are lovely for the most part and I can see the fun in them, and as I said, if I like the finished quilt I will make it. But they are not my thing.

Back to the meeting, I am still undecided as to whether or not I will join up again. They do a lot of good work as far as charity goes, and since most of the quilting I do (about 98%) is all charity, they are a great connection for getting my work to a place that can really use it. I do so love to make the isolet covers that go to the babies in NICU, think it is my favorite thing to do. The quilt guild, according to their latest newsletter, is also making cuddle quilts for Painted Turtle (a camp for cancer kids) and pillow cases for kids along with donations for the Quilts of Valor group. We have a local hero that lost both of his legs while serving our country, the guild made quilts and presented them to him when he was give the keys to his new home that was built by volunteers through Homes For Our Troops. I think that kind of support is awesome and if being a member allows me to be a part of that, guess I can look past the other. They were voting on changing the time back to 9 for the day meeting, so hope that happens, it would be easier for me. The guild also has a block of the month program where you make the block of the month and bring them in and you are placed in the drawing for some prize. It is fun as you can practice making a block you may have never made before with out committing to making a quilt full of them.

I will think about the guild a little more.

My doctor's office just called, my blood work was not improved, in fact was a little worse, so am being referred over to a couple of specialist for some further testing. THANK GOD, we are now getting some results and may just find out why I am having the problems I am having. I knew this was coming back in February, is why I ended up resigning my position. I knew I would need further time off for these test and they couldn't let me have off. Well, they made the effort, was told I could have off one day a week for appointments. However, my office manager also told me it would have to be the same day of the week all the time. This does not work. Some doctors only take new patients on Tues, then see follow ups on Thurs, if you are limited to only having appointments on Wednesday, you may be waiting three months to hit on a Wednesday that has a opening. Reinforces that I made the correct decision, hopefully when we get me all fixed up a part time position of some sort will show up.

Wow, guess I better go up and post a warning that this is long. It turned in to a book. Guess I better go get something to eat and run to Wally World to find Miss J a pair of long black socks for the band performance this evening. Like she hasn't know she didn't have any before the last minute, right? Thanks for popping for a visit.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Triumph, Finally!

I am triumphant, have finished the dress. But first, a photo of the bible cover.

It isn't exactly the way I wanted, but is quite serviceable. Rather completely suits the needs I have .

This evening we went to take photos for a pictorial directory at our church. I love photographs as they stop time. The kids will never be this age again. However, a photo does show all that is wrong with a body from the dark circles under the eyes to the feeling you should have a sign that says "Wide Load" posted on your back side. Just when I think I am looking okay, some thing happens to pull that out from under you. Like seeing a photo of yourself, and the photo looks way worse than the way you see yourself. I always, and I mean always, look heavier in a photo than I see myself looking honestly in the mirror. Very depressing to say the least. I even put makeup on, feel like a ton of it, and then took a couple of photos of my myself. Holding the camera out in one hand while guessing where to look is a tad bit wearing on the posture. At any rate, looking at the photos I took, it doesn't even look like me. Kind of weird disembody thing.

Okay, here is the dress from heck. All finished.

I apologize for the quality of the photo, I am not good at setting up shots. You can't really tell from the photo, there is gathering on the top of both shoulders. The bodice is actually in two pieces, kind of wrap over thing but stitched together. If you look over previous postings you will find the photo of the pattern I used. It is Butterick 6582 and used view C with the circle skirt. For all the frustration I had, feel it turned out pretty good. It may not be that "Wow!" I had envisioned in my head, but totally wearable. A small miracle in itself. I tried it on and by the time I get the belt on over the waist seam, it will really look better. I sure wish you could see the front of the bodice and shoulders better.

I think that I will make this pattern again in the future, just not immediate future. So, that is actually number 3 on my Self-stitched Sept. list. My goal is 12 items, sewn, and worn, by myself and daughter Miss J.

I am nodding off as I type and need to get all this war paint off my face and go to bed. I have to get up early in the morning and make something up to take to WBS (Wednesday Bible Study) for our table.

Thanks for stopping in, will post more when there is more to say.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dress from there.

I have worked all day on sewing this dress, which I have decided is straight from the under world. All I have to show for it is the bodice. That just frustrates me to the point of being pissed off at it. As I posted earlier, I am making Butterick 6582 view C which is a reprint of a vintage or retro style pattern from the 60's. It is called a wiggles dress or Jackie O, as it looks like something she would wear. If I figure it out, it would make a killer LBD for my Hepburn project. I will see what the finished product is before a final opinion, but if you ask me at the moment I am hating it. I knew there would be a couple of hiccups along the way, I adjusted the length of the bodice because I am long waisted but forgot to widen the bodice to allow for my waist. I have come to the conclusion that it is time to get very serious about loosing some inches. I think that I have conquered the waist issue as I let out all the darts a little. I am not at all what you would call full busted, so the darts for me are more for looks than function.

Okay, here comes the gripes. First of all, the pattern calls for a belt and buckle kit to make the fabric belt. I can't find one anywhere. I finally did find some waist shaper, stiffer interfacing type, for making waistbands and belts, so will use that. Not a big deal really as I can improvise fairly well with most situations. I will use a metal hook and eye, larger size like for fastening a skirt, on the belt and find a nice decorative button or piece to sew on instead of a buckle. May even add some red lace trim to the neck, buy a red belt, and wear it with my red shoes. What has proved to be a big deal, at least to me, is the totally mixed up directions for the pattern. One view is shown, then you go to the facings for the view I am making, but it doesn't really explain how to put the bodice together. I have ripped it apart about four times already, at least the side seams and darts any way. The diagram shows the facings sewn on with a zipper already attached, but I have not gotten to the steps to attach the circle skirt so there is no way the zipper can be inserted yet. I know there is at least one mistake on the bodice that just cannot be fixed with out ripping the whole thing apart and I am not doing that. Like they say on Project Runway..."make it work"... and I will. I am stopping for the evening, will start on the skirt in the morning. I am pretty darn good at skirts, and it is a simple circle skirt that is gathered on to the bodice, so should not be a problem. That zipper may be a different story, I am not at all comfortable in my abilities in that department. Maybe the sewing book I won will come soon and it will show me how to do zippers.

This is definitely a learning experience. I have learned that marking the pattern is very important. Less interfacing is sometimes a good thing to consider. I need to really work on darts. Which I will since the blouses I plan to make has them. Friday I finished up my bible cover. Three out of four projects is not so bad. If this dress works out, I will add it to my Self -Stitched September goals. I have four sets of blocks that someone had started making quilt tops from. I am going to finish them off for doll blankets to go to the church preschool. My quilt mentor, Mrs. S, and the other quilting ladies were shocked when another lady brought out a bag of scraps and tossed them in the trash. That is where the blocks came from that I am going to work on. They are really vintage, the colors are crayon bright, and there are blocks of hand embroidered stamped cross stitch animals sewn in along with some blocks of the pin wheel pattern. They are now saved from the trash and will be completed and taken to there new home at the preschool where they will have a purpose. I will post photos when I get them done.

I am worn out so am off to bed, have a crazy week coming up. Tomorrow, we get our photo taken for the pictorial directory at church. Mom goes in the afternoon, we go in the evening. Wednesday, there will be the bible study I attend, as well a evening trip to take Miss J to the church to help with Awanas. Thursday is always busy as well, then Friday night is football games. Saturday we are headed up the mountain to camp and ride the dirt bikes, me on a quad, and I am so looking forward to it. After I get this blue monster (dress) completed, I will be sure to get a quilt fix in by finishing those doll quilts before I cut out another thing, or make anything for mom. Although, she has me loaded with projects all at once, and letting me know they are waiting to be done, I will do them as I can. She wants them by winter, not sure what winter is and if it will ever get below 90 every again. Of course, in January, will probably be wondering if it will ever warm up again.

Thanks for popping in and feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Halfway there

Two down, two to go. I used Simplicity 2363 for mom. I finished it up yesterday.

I think it turned out okay for the most part. Good thing is mom likes the color and the fit is dead on. Except for the sleeves. I think the next one we will put a little elastic in it. Just along the bottom edge of the sleeve. She has requested that I lengthen the dress a bit as well too. No problem there, the main thing is it has the fit and ease she was wanting.

I was a little put out on one thing though. The embroidery work. I had problems with the interfacing, it is too stiff. It also caused the fabric to pucker around the stitching. Not sure why that happened. This particular design was supposed to be done in pinks, but I wanted to match the fabric colors. I also turned the fabric a quarter of turn to make the design run up and down instead side to side. Also, it took me longer to run the embroidery machine than it did to sew the dress. The design is bit involved and has a long (at least to me) run time. Then, the hooping each time (six times) along with thread changes (3 colors, six times) was a little boring as I like to work faster. Thankfully I didn't choose one of the designs that had like six or ten thread changes. Here is a shot of the yoke to show the detail better.

Like I said, the fabric puckered on me, but she liked it and that is what is important. Overall, I count is as a success. What do you think?

I also finished up my daughter's zebra print skirt. Funny thing about this pattern was the yardage I used. Miss J picked out this zebra print fabric because she has a top that is made of similar fabric. After looking over the fabric, I decided which way I thought the stripes should run and cut accordingly. I used the Simplicity 2606 pattern again for her, cutting it down a size. The pattern called for 2 1/8 yards, but when I cut it out, I used less than 2/3 yards. Goodness, what to do with the left overs?

Now, to start on my dress and the bible cover. Then I will have to have a quilt fix before cutting more garments out. LOL I have way too many ideas running around in my head as well, but I will work them out one at a time.

As a side note of interest. I joined a sewing challenge called Self-Stitched September. You can read about it by clicking on Zoe, did a similar challenge, Me Made May, and had a huge amount of participants, most of which wanted to keep it going. So here we go. I am challenging myself to make 12 items for either me or my daughter in September. I may have to include what I make for my mom as well. We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cutting is done.

I finally got done cutting. I have some sewing projects.

This is the pattern I am making first, it is for my mom. Making the shorter version with the quarter sleeve. She wants a comfy dress to wear of an evening to play cards and dominoes. The ladies have some pretty hot games going in the evening there at mom's place. I saw this blue paisley fabric and just fell in love with it. Especially at just under $3.oo a yard. It is a cotton blend so will wash and wear nicely. The gold is going to be the yoke. You can't really tell in this photo, but the outline is this same color gold. I needed a plain fabric for the yoke as I intend to embroider on it to dress it up a bit. Just don't want it to look like a house coat. I looked over some posting to blogs from some people that had already made this. Interesting was how consistent on the view that this pattern was sized generously, or had a lot of ease. After reading those postings, I decided on a size for mom and made no adjustments. This is kind of a practice piece anyway, before I use the fabric she picked.

In fact, I was so taken by the fabric that I bought the whole piece, about 6 1/2 yards. To make mom's dress and to make me a dress, I needed 7 1/3 yards, but since the yoke was out of a different fabric I decided to just go for it and with some careful cutting was able to get my dress out of it as well. There actually is a direction to the print, so used a little more fabric than I would normally so I could get all the pieces going the same way. In fact, I have enough scrap left over to make a doll outfit to start my little online business with. I decided on this pattern for my dress.

I love the look of vintage clothes. The lines are simple and elegant. This is a reprint of a vintage pattern Butterick 6582, so it is in current sizing instead of the sizing used years ago. I don't fit any of the ranges completely, so I just went by the bust and hips figuring that the bust is more fitted than the hips. I lengthened the bodice as I am long waisted and dresses are always hitting me a little short which bugs me, makes me want to keep trying to pull it down. However, in all my pride of remembering to do this, I forgot to add to the waist width. Hopefully it will fit, if not will just have to work a little harder to whittle that waist. I am doing the full skirt version. I even cut out the fabric for the belt, which I did remember to add a few inches to. I will have to head to JoAnn's to get a zipper and see if they still make those belt kits that come with the buckles. If the dress fits well enough to wear, am thinking I may make a red belt and wear red shoes with it.

While I was cutting, I got a little scissor happy and cut out a skirt for Miss J and a bible cover for my new bible. It is a larger bible than my old one so doesn't quite fit. Am using pre-quilted fabric for the cover and no pattern, just making it up. Will see how that goes. I do love the fabric though, will post a photo when I am done with the cover. I am thinking I will go back and get a little more and make a casserole carrier out of it too.

I have posted my plan, have had a sandwich, have laundry moved around, have chicken in the crock pot for supper. Have four projects cut out and am ready to sew. Will see how far I get this evening. Check back and see how it goes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

I am going to be really busy tomorrow so thought I would go ahead and post my Meal Plan Monday or MPM menu plan tonight. It has been so nice today after having those record breaking days of heat. It has been predicted that the heat will be back on Thursday and will continue through the labor day week end. Temps are expected to range from 103 to 105 through out those days so I am not going to use the oven on those days.

Mon - Meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, salad
Tue - Hawaiian chicken, rice, broccoli
Wed - Shrimp scampi, coleslaw, roasted potatoes
Thu - Crockpot beef tips, rice, green beans
Fri - Crockpot sloppy joes (Didn't get this made last week - will freeze half of it), tater tots
Sat - Sandwiches or left overs
Sun - Hubby's birthday - Roast, mash potatoes, green beans, sweet rolls, German chocolate cake

I will be all by myself during the day, so will eat light and healthy for breakfast and lunch with lots of water all day. I also hope to be feeling well enough to get to the gym at least two days this week.

Now, here is how the week is planned out.

Monday, will do some cleaning in my bedroom in the morning, then after lunch am cutting out two garments and hope to get fairly far on construction of both. Daughter starts her official school schedule, so will be taking her early and get started on chores before playing with the fabric. She has evening marching practice as well, so will have to make sure she is able to eat before going back up to school.

Tuesday, actually will be a fairly quite day. Hope to finish up the sewing. Work on laundry as well.

Wednesday, ladies bible study will get going at church. Looking forward to that. Will be catching up on organizing and scheduling list. In a couple of weeks, this will be the night for Awana's at our church and dear daughter Miss J will be volunteering her help, they have put her in the second grade group.

Thursday, quilt ministry group at the church that morning. This happens the first and third Thursday of each month, will be taking my mom to a senior bible study on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Also, Miss J has skating lessons each Thursday evening.

Friday, is football of course. Hubby will be gone every Friday evening with high school games, and Miss J will have to go back up to school on the nights of home games to perform in the marching band. Am pretty sure that I will get involved in helping with concession booth for band boosters those nights as well.

Saturday, is still football, hubby has college games most Saturdays through football season. Miss J likes to go up to the ice rink for a few hours to practice and visit with friends.

Sunday, is always church and family time. Pretty laid back here on those days.

Any time I can get to the machines I will be doing a lot of sewing over the next few weeks. Have a lot planned, guess I really should make a list of projects I want to work on. Have some garments I want to make, a quilts to make and one to finish, and there is the matter of keeping up the housework, making the menu plans, feeding the zoo, doing the shopping, and visiting with my mom as well. I want to make some inventory up to open an online shop with before November to try to make sales for the holidays. I had thought that maybe I would just spend a couple of days cutting out several garment projects, but have decided to draw that out a bit to see how the weight loss goes. I know I can always take things up as I loose, but would really like to be able to cut our smaller sizes on some of these.

I have made a spread sheet with all my patterns on it listing what brand, pattern number, size, and brief description of garment. Now I can just read over that instead of looking at each pattern, since I now have a little over 125 of them. Oh my, that is a lot! Majority of them are clothing patterns with a fair amount of various size doll clothes, totes, aprons and such. I have decided to use up scraps on doll clothes. I noticed when sorting through the patterns, I only have a few that are the reprints of vintage patterns, will need to get a few more when I catch them on sale again. At any rate, the patterns are all in nice neat order, filed in order, in the plastic drawers I have sitting in one corner of the room. These drawers are also my designated space for projects being worked on, or worked on soon.

I will post photos of the two patterns I get cut out and the fabric as soon as I can. Will most definitely post the photos of the finished work too.

Well, I am suddenly having a hard time keeping my eyes open, that means it is time for a shower and shampoo. Neighbors were at it all night last night, finally party broke up at around 5 in the morning. Now I hear them starting up again. I just don't understand why they have to get so crazy and loud just when everyone else is wanting to go to sleep. Which is where I am heading off to. Night all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Missed Monday

Okay, had every intention to post my menu plan on Monday, for Menu Plan Monday over at Laura's blog that I follow called I'm an Organizing Junkie. It is a great site for dinner ideas and real motivator for keeping on track. All the inspiration with over 300 fellow bloggers that all post their MPM (Meal Plan Monday) menus for the week. I am constantly both amazed and surprised at the variety, you really should grab a glass of tea or cup of what ever and just sit and read through them. Every type of dish, from meat and hearty to vegetarian to light and everything in between. From all over the world too. I learned that a pie doesn't mean the same thing everywhere. LOL

This week's plan:

Mon - Salisbury Steak, mashed potatoes, beans
Tue - Chicken Rice Enchiladas, Frito Salad, cantaloupe
Wed - Baked Talapia, Salad, Dutch Green Beans
Thu - Crock pot Sloppy Joe, Tater Tots
Fri - Pizza
Sat - Sandwiches, Chips
Sun - Steak, Baked Potato, Salad

Although, Wednesday may change a little since it is expected to be 110 degrees here, and since my kitchen is west facing, not sure I want to do any baking tomorrow. But, that is the plan.

On a more positive note, tonight's dish was a huge hit. Didn't have a recipe, which happens around here a lot, but here it is.

It was so good, and you know how I tell if it is a hit? No left overs. And this particular main dish was very cheap.

I bought some rice mixes on sale, this one was a mix for Spanish rice and it was .75 and was prepared in the microwave. In to the rice I chopped up the last few pieces of some packaged fajita chicken strips costing about .50 which is pre-cooked. Flour tortillas that cost about .80 and about 2 cups of grated cheddar, divided for another 1.40 for the portion I used. There was also about .30 worth of red enchilada sauce and an avocado that was .25 sliced up. Here is what I did with all of that. I mixed the chicken and rice together. In the baking dish I layered the rice, just a thin layer to cover the bottom. Then, mixed in about half the cheese with the remaining rice mixture, spooned it in to a tortilla and added avocado slices, rolled up and placed a toothpick to hold it closed. Layered these on top of the rice. Poured a little bit of the enchilada sauce over the tops of the rolled flour tortillas. Layered the rest of the cheese all over the rolled tortillas. Placed slices of avocado on top of that, loosely covered with foil and popped in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, opened the foil and spooned sour cream on topped with sliced black olives, placed back in oven to just warm the sour cream. Total for the main dish was approximately $4.20. Add in about $2.00 more dollars for the salad and cantaloupe and dinner was a total of $6.20 and there is actually enough left over for my lunch tomorrow. Not bad, since I am having a little trouble adjusting my cooking to servings of 3. I cooked for so long making everything for 8 because when the boys were home they ate seconds on everything. Then, went down to cooking for 6, when oldest son left home and since I was working would just take left overs with me for lunch. Now, youngest son isn't home anymore so it is just the three of us and I am trying to eat healthy breakfast, light lunch, and then healthier family dinners so the goal is no left overs.

Speaking of eating, thinking of tables, and all these vintage garments running around my head pleading to be made up. I know, long run on fragment of a sentence there. At any rate, while I was going through boxes and bins of fabric and treasures that were packed away, I came across these and had to share.
I saved these from the estate sale we had when moving mom out here. They are just too precious. They are placemats, probably from late 30's or early to mid 40's, I estimate this because according to mom they were pre-married life. My parents married in 1946 not long after dad got home from the war. The flower is appliqued down with the bottom petal left free so the tip of the napkin can pull through to hold it in place. There are embroidered details on the leaves and vines as well. I just love the scalloped yellow edge which is hand stitched. I have eight of them. Mom believes in settings of eight for everything when it comes to the table. Always has.

Tomorrow is the kick off for the women's bible study at our church. Since no longer working, I am so looking forward to getting back to the group. And...big news here...for me anyway...I was asked to run for a position on the women's ministry board. The elections are in September, so will let you know how that turns out. I thought I wanted to try for one position, but after looking over the position descriptions, I am so happy that they needed me for the one they suggested and I really hope I get to be a part of this board.

Thanks for stopping in an visiting my little world today, feel free to leave a comment as it is always nice to know that someone read it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good evening.

Well, it is late at night, but good night always sound like I am heading off to bed. Not quite there yet. LOL

Oh my, I have been having such a busy week. Did some shopping over the week end, bought some new patterns and a dress form. JoAnn's was having a big sale, Simplicity patterns were 5 for $5 with a limit of 10, so took daughter in with me and let her by the extras. LOL I also was so lucky to receive an 80% off scratch off spot on my coupon that was on the mailer. I was so surprised at such a large discount, I used it to by my new dress form. I think it will be a huge help to have since I am now sewing for three people. I just hate trying to stand in front of the mirror to judge if something is fitting or not. Have always wanted a dress form, I remember the one my mom used to have years ago. They are much nicer now, easier to adjust the sizing. They were out of the large, which doubt it would have had my fat waist measurement anyway, but the medium size form's range easily adjusts to my bust and waist, as well as all of daughter's measurements. I figure it will be a little bit of incentive...I plan to put some padding on the waist to increase it out and the goal is to reduce it as I reduce mine. That will be a great day when I can decrease the measurement.

When I went to work full time, it became obvious I would not have time to sew. I threw a private pity party and packed away all my machines and fabric. The bins of fabric have been sitting in the garage for a few years, was sure most of it would need to be thrown away as we have had a rat problem. To my surprise and a few "Thank you God" praises sent up, it was all in great shape. I was even elated to find that I had actually saved so much fabric for garment construction. Was sure I had gotten rid of all of it when I gifted out about 10 big black trash bags of fabric when hubby told me to decrease it or loose all of it. At any rate, I have some beautiful pieces that will be just perfect for some of those vintage patterns (re-releases of retro or vintage patterns but at today's sizes) that I have recently bought. I also have been organizing a bit in the sewing room as I took the time to make a master list of each pattern, the size, and brief description. Am actually contemplating scanning each pattern and saving to disc so I can print out my own little catalog to decide what I want to sew with what fabric with out spending hours hunting through everywhere to find it.

I have made menu plans for the next three weeks, have to tweak them a bit tomorrow, but now have a grocery list and will do that shopping tomorrow. This will be a very busy week for us. School starts tomorrow so will be taking daughter off to her first day of high school, women's bible study starts back up at church, a woman's group gathering later in the week as well. Of course football starts as well too and that means that I become a single parent/football widow/woman on her own until after the playoffs around the end of November. I LOVE this time of year, because my time becomes my own while everyone else is doing their thing. Also, this will be my first fall season not working in a long time and I will be able to just putz around in the sewing room after I get laundry going and the evening meal in the works. It also means that I will have some free time to go back to gym on a regular basis. I hope to drop at least two sizes by my birthday, or next summer for sure. My over all goal is three sizes, which I know will take a while, but I got time. Just need to work my butt off, literally as well as figuratively. Now, if it will just turn to fall temperatures, still in high 90's and expecting it to hit 106 mid week, I will be just happy as little clam.

And...I just had to post this photo.

I just love this photo of my new grand son. It almost looks like he is grinning. I wish I could just hold him again. I am hoping to see them at Christmas, but not looking too good at the moment. Will probably be spring or next summer before I get to see him again, he will be walking and running by then.

Well, I am off to soak my achy bones in some lavender water and then off to bed. Have to get up early in the morning and get a kid moving. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Project Finished

I finished a sewing project. My daughter's skirt and top. As I posted, she picked the fabric and the patterns. I think it took me as long to hand stitch the hem in as it did to make the skirt. LOL She likes it, all smiles, and it fits.

I think it turned out pretty good...or well. I will say, that next time I make the pattern there will be some slight changes. The skirt is Simplicity 2606. Three pleats in front and back with elastic waist and sash in two lengths. Miss J is a bit long waisted and long legged so I cut out the longer length to make sure I had it a decent length. Don't want her starting high school with backside peeking out you know. At any rate, the longer length is actually made to be just mid knee. I ended up putting about a 3 1/2 inch hem in but figured the it would help the hem lay better. Next time I will shorten it when I cut it out and will decrease the size about two inches so it won't be quite so full. The top is Simplicity 2593 and the directions are very wrong in my opinion. I don't like how the bias cut neck band/facing is attached and finished. It leaves the seams raw. The back of the top is a little gappy, not too bad, but I think a little gathering similar to the front would help or maybe decrease the size of it as well.

It had been so long since I had sewn clothing, that I was not sure about the sizing so I went by her bust and waist size. WOW, is the sizing totally off from what she wears ready made. But, I felt it would be much easier to take it up than to try and squeeze her in. LOL I will make it again, I really think a little denim skirt from this pattern would be cute on her. There is a Simplicity sale this coming week end so will probably get her a few more patterns. She is quite interested in my sewing her some clothes now that I have her looking at the style design, not the fabric of the pattern. You know, she would say, "the dress is cute but I don't like little pink flowers." Now she sees the pleats or straight lines. Hope that makes sense.

Now, to make something for me. LOL I am so ready. I know I have some fabric waiting in the plastic bins stacked in the garage, mostly quilting fabric, but there is some larger yardage that I bought for some clothing for myself. Now that I have gotten some vintage patterns, am ready to make something with some of that fabric. There are three pieces in particular that I can already see made up in my mind. Hopefully I can get mine to fit me as well as I managed for Miss J. I barely have my machines going again and my sweet little mom is wanting to hire me to make some things for her. Which I will...just after I make something for me and a quilt for that new grand son.

Speaking of getting the machines going. I found out last night that I am very low on elastic, which makes sense because it isn't used in quilts. I had 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, a small shank of one inch, but not a piece one of the size I needed, which was 3/4 inch, for the skirt I was making. And, I have looked all over everywhere I stuck things today, I cannot find my bobbins, bodkins, pins, disc I Ito make bobbins and machine needles. No decent cutting scissors either. Guess I will have to get a list of supplies ready for a shopping trip.

Oh, and I did have that left over chicken from last night. Man was it good. Just the right amount of flavor, although the next time I make it will add a little chopped onion as well. Tomorrow will be something in the crock pot. The recipe is called Amish Dinner, the family really likes it, and I like it because it gets in a lot of vegetables with the ground beef. The quilt group at church meets in the morning and I am trying to get a bit more connected with the church so have started back in that group. Although they are not really working on any projects at the moment, I will still go for some fellowship.

Monday school starts back, daughter is so excited. I am glad to see her so happy about school as it was pure hell for me. I wouldn't go back over those years for million dollars. Well, there are a couple of things I would change, but neither of those had to do with school. LOL

Thanks for dropping in, I am off to clean up from a day of sewing, you know putting the pins and iron away, then off to a warm soak in the tub and bed early while it is quiet. I did decide that I would leave the old ironing board out and do a little ironing tomorrow. It is so hot here that I want to get a few of my cooler blouses where I can actually wear them. It is hard to believe that school and football is starting back when the temperature is in the triple digits. I am so ready for it to cool off. Wonder if I will post in winter that I am ready for it to warm up. No...I like the cooler weather. Am also hitting the gym back on a regular basis once school gets started as well, will see how those results come around. Have a good night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not quite as planned

So much for well intentioned plans. Thanks to the neighbors...again...I am running on low energy. The street is lined with cars, so they are gearing up for a fourth night in a row. There really should be something that could be done to stop this partying til all hours...loudly...mess.

I got daughter's skirt and top all cut out, am going to start sewing tonight, thinking about taking a dip in the pool to try and cool off. Right now, my chest is tight and am very light headed and realize that with all the late nights I have gotten off my medication routine. Not a good place to be. Ah, but this too shall pass.

I cooked my chicken dish. It smelled so good, looked so good, and will eat it tomorrow night as hubby decided he wanted to get a burger. I took cream cheese and mixed chopped black olives, diced green chile peppers and bacon bits together to make a filling which I spread on to the skinned boneless chicken breast, which I had flattened, then rolled them up and wrapped bacon strips around it. Spread left over filling over the top and sprinkled with seasoning salt and bread crumbs, covered with foil and popped in the oven. Like I said, will eat it tomorrow night since hubby has meeting to go to. It will just be daughter and I so at least won't have to cook again. Maybe I can get something cut out for me. It takes forever to cut out for me. I can sew pretty quickly though, depends on what I am making. I need to make newest grand son a quilt soon too. Saw the cutest denim fabric with embroidered sports balls on it which I think will be great for the back. Maybe a log cabin design with the center square out of fabric that has sport things on it.

Okay, enough of a break. Need to go take allergy medicine and then start sewing and see how it goes the rest of the evening.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tomorrow Is The Day?

Tomorrow is the day I will start on dear daughter 13's new skirt and blouse. She has orientation for high school tomorrow so I plan on dropping her off and coming home and cutting, cutting, and cutting. I laugh a little chuckle, my youngest son (now 20 years old) would say this "cutting, cutting, cutting" as he took the pink plastic sign from my steak at a restaurant and use it like a knife to cut his muffin or roll. The place was known for their blueberry muffins they served while you waited for your food. Sorry, getting a little vintage there.

When I went shopping with daughter, Payless is havin a buy one get one half off, so I got a pair of school shoes for me...well hubby thinks they are school shoes anyway. LOL lovely pair of black high heels, satin finish, very vintage looking. Will look lovely with some of the vintage dresses I am planning on making. And that hat that I am going to buy. Funny thing, the hat I found that is stuck in my mind is definitely of a 30's or 40's vintage, as I mentioned earlier was one I saw on Olivia Walton often.
Okay, after doing a little research, the hat I have fallen in obsessive lust over is more like a replica of a 1920's cloche hat like this one. Except the one I found has brown trim. At any rate, will have to make a dress to go with it that is similar styled. No flapper dress, but am thinking early 40's will work. I also came across a great find in my closet. One of my mom's old hats that I some how ended up with...em, took possession of...a while back. A lovely example of 1950 or so as the style is something you would see on Mad Men (which I am totally hooked on now) and my daughter wore it in a vintage fashion show we took place in. Hmm, I will have to find those photos of her and post them as she looked so cute in those vintage styles. At any rate, when I found it, knew that it would it would go with. One of those Vogue vintage patterns that I just bought and found just the right fabric at Hancock's today to make it up. Well, if it is still there when we get paid again. LOL Along those lines, found a wonderful bright blue mock wrap dress out of polished linen that is so 50's styled I just had to purchase it. Best part, it was over half off.

The idiot neighbors have been their drunken, loud, annoying bunch of loud mouths again and thanks to them and all-night-in-to-the-morning-hours of partying (like 3 AM) I am running on about eight hours of total sleep over the past three nights. Things are pretty quiet over there tonight so I am going to try the pain-free PM medicine that I bought again and see if I can actually get some sleep for a change. Have to actually get up early and have daughter at school in the morning for her thing.

Other than that, have been working on the crocheted green-yellow monster that I am struggling with wanting to just frog it all out. But am so close to finishing, although I have no idea what I will do with it when I am.

To end on a very positive note, I actually won something. Angela over at Sew Loquacious, a blog that I really enjoy following lately, ran a rewind contest. We were suppose to post a project that was from, or showed, the 70's. You can read more about it on her blog if you pop over there. I entered a photo of a granny square afghan I made back in the late 70's and my entry won. I can't wait to get my prizes. A sewing book (which will be great for brushing up on some forgotten skills, maybe never had, while doing all this sewing I have planned) and the coolest macrame (or crocheted) white owl with a large plastic ring to hang a towel or rag off of. I actually had one of these in my bedroom growing up that I made as a 4-H project, it was made of jute and macrame, that I hung all my hair ribbons on. SO COOL to have that memory come up and to actually win something.

Also, I can't believe that after spending most of the day taking mom around that I came home and actually got a two week menu plan knocked out. Even have most of third week done, will finish up fourth week and make up the grocery list tomorrow evening as well. After I finish sewing up daughter's school outfit I plan to set a day aside to cook ahead a few things or at least get some prep work out of the way. I planned a certain kind of food for each week so I don't make too much of the same thing. You know, 5 days in a row of ground beef or chicken. Kind of like the 50's lifestyle when mom planned meatloaf every Tuesday or roast every Sunday. Here is my plan.

Meaty Monday - any kind of beef
Tweety Tuesday - chicken
Weirdo Wednesday - what ever isn't beef or chicken
Too Busy Thursday - crock pot as this is quilting day at church
Freebie Friday - clean out fridge since football has started and everyone will be gone
Slow Saturday - again, since football has started will only be daughter and I so slow and easy
Surprise Sunday - surprise being who actually shows up so will fix big family

There is a group of bloggers that all post their menu plans on Mondays and I am going to join in on that. Here is this week's menu.

Monday - Roast, green beans, mashed potatoes - even made a pineapple upside down bundt cake.
Tuesday - Bacon Chicken Rolls, sweet corn casserole, boiled okra
Wednesday - Baked Pork Chops, carrots, cucumber salad
Thursday - Crock pot Amish Dinner, rolls
Friday - Left overs
Saturday - Sandwiches, chips
Sunday - Burgers, chips

Okay, so I spent yesterday watching a marathon of "The Next Food Network Star" and was a little inspired. It is on the Food Network, of course, and was really interesting. Don't think Arrti should of won, I liked Tom better, but no one asked me. Daughter thinks I should enter the next one. Like if I was actually chosen I could leave the family for that many weeks. SOOO very tempting at the moment though. Besides, I don't have the foggiest notion as to what most of those cooking terms even mean. I can cook good food, but ordinary food. I have to have a recipe as well, have no idea what the egg does to the flour or how much of what spice is enough or too much. But I did learn, after watching the show, that I have been pronouncing potatoes gratin wrong all these years. My, do I sound hick when I say it. Do I care? Not at all, I have no illusions of being Julia Child or even Paula Dean (which my accent is closer to) but that is quite fine since my family doesn't eat those styles of food. Well, they would eat Paula's and listening her to talk sure reminds me of home. Especially during one of the challenges when she said one of the cooks was "cuter than a bug's ear". May just have to go back and peruse some of her recipes for even more down home inspiration. I did however find one of my old cookbooks that teaches all kinds of techniques (actually stole it from and ex-boyfriend) and pulled it out so I can maybe practice a different technique once a month...or so.

OH MY GOSH! Just when I thought we were getting a night of reprieve, the neighbors have just started up, at just after ten in the evening, can hear them in the pool and pulling out the glass bottles which causes one of the women to turn in to a really loud cackling hen. You know the laugh I mean. The pool thing? Let's just say that from in here, every time someone jumps in it sounds just like one of those mortar type fireworks going off. Good grief. Meds here I come.

Will post my progress on the sewing tomorrow or the next day. Thanks for stopping in.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Will I ever get there?

Been shopping for youngest daughter's school clothes all week. She will be going in to 9th grade which is high school in our district. I can honestly say that there are very few of the fashions that I would have been allowed out of the house in when I was that age. A lot of the fashions I just don't understand. To me they are not flattering, no shape. Kind of reminds me of the 80's disco meets grunge. At any rate, trying to be a good mom and not stifle her finding her own style, we were successful and found a some what happy medium. She likes the look and fit, I like the coverage. Although I still think those bleached jeans look like they were thrown in the floor of the laundry room and left where the towels had bleach spilled all over them. Reminds me of cleaning up vomit actually, but then I can remember a few battles with my mom over fashion sense as well.

On the positive side, my youngest daughter did pick out some patterns and fabric and asked me to make it for her to wear the first day of school.

I hope to start on it soon. Still trying to get a few things cleaned up around the house and get the time to just start cutting and sewing. They are easy patterns, so won't take as long to sew as it does to cut probably. Am slow at cutting out, but sew quite quickly. I am so eager to just sew, anything, that I am struggling with my determination not to start on anything until I can get the house done up a bit. My resolve is weakening. The other part of that is that at those teen years, I am just happy to have my daughter make this request of me. She has black high heels to wear with it that we snagged at the thrift store. Really great find.

Speaking of great finds. I went to a thrift store while visiting my daughter when the grand son was born.

It was $1.99 and I just couldn't resist. It really is a bit small for her, but at that price just couldn't pass it up. The fabric is worth something.

This is a close up of the bead work which is all over the dress. I figure even if I cut it up for another project, I couldn't have bought the beaded fabric for that amount. Am actually tossing around the idea of mixing the beaded fabric with some black satin and making her a skirt out of it. Think it will be really cute and dressy. As well as fabric I would not be able to purchase around here.

Along the lines of my vintage obsession...I took advantage of the recent sale on Vogue patterns and picked up three. I know, not really that many but I have not had a great history with Vogue to begin with and I am trying to be really good and not overwhelm myself or the bank account with all this planning of projects. I found a hat at the mall that I really want, black with chocolate brown ribbon and trim, and I really want it. It just screams 30's and 40's and it is very similar to one that I saw often on the show the Walton's, was worn by Olivia Walton, the mom. I want to make a brown and black outfit to go with it. Bought some really vintage styled dress shoes yesterday that are just awesome. So, the hat would just top off the whole look.

Which, by the way, here is a photo of some vintage shoes that I found in a box with some old photos albums. The photos are so great. I see all my mom's family in their glory and dates such as 1948 on the photos. I just wished that more had been written about who was in the photos. The clothing and old cars are just wonderful. My dear sweet aunt Georgie was a piece of work. In my as then...was as glamorous as any movie star of the time. She married her sweetheart that was career air force. He was an instructor, not sure if he ever was a pilot, but they sure had some adventures. At any rate, here are the shoes.

There is no size on them anywhere. I have spotted them in the photos though so know she had worn them in the later 40's at least. I was looking around on some Etsy shops and notice that some of the vendors would just list a measurement of the shoe length and the heel height. Guess that is what I may have to do if I list them as well. I am hoping to create an Etsy store of my own by mid September. I am guessing that from the look they are about a size 5. My mother wore a 6 to 6 1/2 in the day and Aunt Georgie was a bit smaller than mom.

Well, off to get some lunch and work on a mountain of laundry that is waiting for me. Hope to start cutting pattern pieces this evening and possibly the fabric as well. If that happens, will be able to start sewing the skirt and blouse tomorrow. Daughter wanting the outfit for the first day of school means I have a deadline of sorts. LOL

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NEWS update

I am really put out and seeing red. My computer caught a virus, a really nasty little piece of work. Apparently they were kind enough to have my computer notify me that it was infected, but it was an unending cycle of tossing me back to their website to pay for virus removal. Couldn't do anything to get around it either, but thankfully hubby called the computer guy at his work and they were able to get me up and running again. I hope anyway. My PC is sick, running really slow, so have been having to use my laptop for everything. Problem is, it doesn't have Word or Excel on it and I can't find where I put the office 2007 disk to load it on my laptop. I put it somewhere safe. LOL

To add to that, I went to local craft store which is having a sale, Simplicity patterns for $.99 each - all month. Well, most of our list was of course out of stock, then find out they won't be getting any more in because they are discontinuing the Simplicity line. Oh, the sales clerk was quick to add that they would still carry McCalls. Good grief, a town the size of this one and we will be down to only one shop to buy patterns. I can get them online, but the price is outrageous. And I was moaning about only one location of Walmart carrying fabric? It just gets worse it seems. I may have to learn to make my own patterns after all.

Yeah, that will happen. LOL

I am back home

Well, I am back home. Need to finish up a few projects around the house before I can actually start sewing, but can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

Got to spend a week with the new grand son. That was totally awesome.

He is just pretty great. Long fingers, long toes, and a head full of black hair. Will be interesting to see what color his eyes turn out being. Of course, he will be walking before we see him again unless they can some how come here for Christmas. Praying, but not holding my breath.

And of course, had a great time playing with grandson #1 who is ready to be a big brother. He is just special to be around and I can't wait until next summer when he gets to come spend a few weeks with us.

Okay, now that you know what I have been doing lately. This is what I have planned. After I get the master bedroom finished and a yard sale held that is. Oh my gosh, it is almost time for school to start. I am actually looking forward to getting everything back on some type of schedule. Would like to make some clothes for my youngest daughter, but she doesn't really seem to interested in the idea. We will see. Am heading to a vintage shop this morning. Just to look around a bit. Speaking of vintage, here is the plan, think I mentioned this in an earlier post, but now have photos.

This is some fabric I picked up on clearance and the two patterns I have narrowed it down to making. After reading a few blogs that have made Butterick 4790, I think I am going to go with Butterick 5209. The main reason is because the fabric is a plisae (not sure how you would spell that) or thin with little bumps on it and do not think that it would be suitable for the wrap waist which will have some pull on it. I do however, think it would be perfect for the view made with the cap sleeves. Both of these patterns are current reprints of the original vintage pattern. I am so hooked on the vintage styles of the 40's and 50's. Simple lines that are timeless. I have noticed that several of the current lines from the fashion designers are using the same style elements in their fall lines. My only problem is trying to make patterns fit me. They are made for June Cleaver figures, I have Aunt Bea's. We will see how it turns out.

I took the day yesterday and went through the patterns that I do have, listed them, and was quite pleased with what I found I already had. There is one pattern that has me a bit baffled though. See what you think.

This is the front of McCalls pattern 5915 which I purchased many years ago. It was supposed to be my attempt at what would be called high fashion, probably from the days of Chrystal Carrington or sometime in the 80's I think.

However, after throwing it in the drawer and waiting...well, a while...I pulled it out to find that the images on the back of the envelope do not match at all. The fabric requirements and line drawing views were for a totally different outfit.

This is what I found inside.

Not even the same style skirt. At least it is of a style that I like much better. Can wear better as well. No problem there, can go with the flow as it has the sizes in it I would need. I got the bright idea that I would just google that pattern and find the correct image of one made up. Would print it out and glue it to the front of the envelope. Pretty smart right? Well imagine what I was now thinking when I googled the pattern number and this is the image that comes up for that pattern.

Yep! You got it. An apron pattern? Believe it or not, this is pretty typical of my sewing experiences. And, of course, I still have not idea what the outfit for this pattern looks like.

Well, I am off to the store. I should be working on my bedroom, laundry and such, but I am taking a break and heading out to do some looky louing. I am actually going to check the prices as I have found some vintage prom dresses and am going to open an Etsy shop and list them and some very vintage shoes that are from the 40's to see if I can get a little income coming in. I have a pretty decent stash of fabric and supplies so am planning on making some things up to put in that Etsy shop as well. Am thinking that with Christmas on the horizon that maybe I can sell some baby items, doll items, vintage styled aprons and maybe some quilts. It is a plan anyway.

Good news is that youngest DD is actually online in her room making a list of patterns she likes. OH YEAH! A local craft store has the Simplicity patterns on sale this month for $.99 and I can take the add to another craft store and they will honor it. I have a long list myself. LOL

Thanks for stopping in and feel free to leave a comment. It is always nice to know that someone has read my postings.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Wow, Weston made a quick entrance in to the world today. Daughter's water broke and he was here with in the hour. Big wonderful boy. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 12 ounces and is 21 inches long, a head of dark hair. I have held him once. Hopefully they will get to come home tomorrow. Everything was going great until daughter developed severe head ache which turned out to be due to spinal fluid leaking from the epidural. They have done a patch and it seems to be helping her a great deal.

Okay, you know I had to show him off. Ain't he something!

Today, I went to lunch with a very dear friend of mine from when we used to live here. Like a sister she is. I also went to a thrift store and an antique store. Although, the antique store was half craft store for the owners things that she makes. The antique items were just lovely, and I was very good and didn't buy anything. Of course, it isn't too hard to be good when I know we don't have room to take anything much home with us. BUT...when I get home, downtown here I come. Where I live, there is an old Woolworth's five and dime store in the middle of the down town area which is trying to revive itself. It has been turned in to an antique mall with vendors on every floor and every nook and cranny. I am giddy with anticipation. Back to the story though, the interesting thing about the store I was in today is that it is the first time I have seen a depression glass pattern similar to the one's I got from my mom. It was very helpful as I took notice of the price of the pieces so now have a ball park range for what they might bring if I decide to sell them. I also have some nice vintage china that I would like to sell. Don't get me wrong, I would love to keep them, just don't have room and at the moment I am ALL ABOUT MAKING ROOM. There was only one vintage outfit, an old prom dress from the 70's, that I saw, but some of the crafted items gave me an idea of a selling price for what I intend to make. Not exactly the same thing, but would be considered in the same general line. I did see one lovely old quilt tagged at $175.00 and another one for only $35. Don't know what the difference was, but the cheaper one looked more appealing even before the price was seen. There was a wonderful old table cloth listed at $35 as well that I am seriously thinking about going and getting too. It is definitely from that vintage kitsch era, my guess is late 40's or early 50's and is white with pastel pink and mint green designs of Hawaii on it. I am no authority by any means, but I would bet it came out either in response to fascination with the islands after Pearl Harbor or later when it was made a state. It was very clean and well preserved.

At the thrift store, there was some wonderful blouses that I would have loved to have gotten from my mom, a lot of embroidered style button shirts such as Quaker Factory and name brands, but sadly they were all just to small for her. I did find a very lovely knit lace style blouse, but more like the fabric is printed to look like lace so is not really sheer at all that is a rich salmon color. I think she will really like it. I also found a lovely turquoise satin beaded belt. So rich and so vintage. LOL Guess I am using that word a bit much. But, I can see wearing it on a black dress with a full skirt. I already have just the retro style pattern, and if I didn't get dumb and junk it, I have some black satin to use for it. Although, a velveteen or mole skin may be nice as well. If I opt for the straighter look, which is questionable with my figure but am toying with the idea of living on the wild side and in a firm girdle for the right occasion. I mean, honestly, I couldn't buy the beads that the belt has on it for what I paid for that belt.