Friday, May 25, 2007

New Sewing Project

I got my sewing groove on today. Made me a new muslin template too. I used MATH. Imagine that. I'll have to let my 8th grade Geometry teacher know it did come in handy. I'll have to admit I was wrong. Heh.

I am using a linen dress and sheet I thrifted. I decided the outside needed a little --ummpphhh- if you know what I mean. So I drew up some embroidery designs to compliment the sheet I am using as the lining.

I used gray and green floss. However, the gray is looking mighty lavender at the moment. Could just be the lighting.

I asked my husband to pick two numbers from 1- 14 (including 1 and 14). I didn't tell him what for. He said "Two and one." So commenter's Two and One will be receiving there gift tags in the mail. Congrats to Lindsey and Ryan! I am going to Philly this Memorial Weekend so I'll put them in the mail on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sharing the Love

Just because it's a Thursday.....

And a few weeks back I found these great bridge tally cards. I made them into gift tags. But, alas, I have no gifts to give. Except to you.

So leave a note. I am giving away 2 sets of 4 gift tags today. Pick which design you want.

Gosh. I remember when Thursdays meant Thirsty Thursdays. Now I am off on a Thrifting Thursday event. Maybe I can tie the first alliteration in somehow.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wedding Weekend

I just went to a "Martha Stewart" Wedding. Seriously. My cousin got married yesterday. It was probably the best wedding I have been to. Everything was so fun. Her groom has a sod farm so they converted one of their machine barns to a garden party for the reception. It was a class act. They sodded the entire floor. The entire place smelled of roses and lilac. I think that has something to do with the hundred potted roses and lilacs surrounding the tables. The centerpieces where gorgeous! I even got to take one home! And they gave out African Violets as favors. I had been wanting a few of those. They also had those huge round lanterns strung from the ceiling providing the soft light throughout the evening. Sadly, my indoor photography skills are lacking and only came away with these no-so-decent shots. But you get the idea.

Oh, and let me mention they used an old milk tank to keep the beverages cold! Can you tell we are a Ag family?

And speaking of more family, I walked into my grandmothers TV room only to find a stack of these old family blankets. -- - -Drools- - ---

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Randomness

I have been caught up in surprise birthday planning all this week. So many obstacles got in my way, but I persevered. A present that I ordered 3 weeks ago was causing major stress in my life. I ordered it online. Then I emailed customer service to find out what delivery provider they would be using, so I would know what to expect to make sure I could intercept and hide the present. No response. Emailed again. No response..... 5 emails and 2 phone call messages later... no response. I was nervous. They took my money. Good thing I paid through Paypal. The last one sided communication I had with the company was informing them that I was starting the process to get my money back through Paypal because of lack of communication. 10 hours later I received an email saying the product was out of stock and they refunded my payment in full.

This still leaves me with out a cool present. So yesterday I was calling EVERYWHERE for a folding poker table top. No one had any! Apparently this is only a Christmas stocked item. I found one. It was a cheapo. But he got it.

This afternoon when he got home from we we took a little nap. When we got up he opened his presents. I got him a book he wanted. Then he opened the poker table top. Then the card I made him that had 2 Aces on the front cover and 3 Kings on the inside. It read, "It's a FULL HOUSE tonight! Good food, good friends and great poker!" I surprised him with a poker party. He was estatic! I am glad it was a surprise.

They are playing as I type. :)

I am lacking current photos. I had to dive deep into my photo bucket account to find these photos of my container garden I had in MI last year. The sunflower was a surprise left by some bird I am sure. I had some begonia's on the back shaded deck and one plant produced the most amazing brilliant yellow blooms. And they were so large too! That bloom is pictured with some home grown snap dragons in an asymmetrical arrangement in the first photo.

I'll be away all weekend for an out of town wedding. But when I get back I have some major sewing to do. I have been making muslin templates all week. Trying out new things. Some worked. Many didn't. But that's why you use cheapo fabric. Speaking of cheap fabric, I went to my local Goodwill yesterday. I was floored at the change of pricing they had on their sheets and textile fabrics. Price went up. I wouldn't complain if it was cents. No! Dollars! Like $3-5 on average. I am not paying $8 for a sheet! Are they crazy? What new volunteer is doing the pricing? I hope this was a fluke and prices are adjusted soon. But I did find some vintage linen dresses! Plain, but nice colors.

And one more comment. I was reading (my guilty reading pleasure) and noticed a trend in celebrities covering themselves from paparazzi with some fugly blankets. Are they pulling these things out of a dumpster? I mean, they normally have great style with most other things. Why pull out ugly blankets? Get some Heather Bailey, Amy Butler, or Anna Marie Horner in your lives!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I feel the love!

I feel like the luckiest girl alive lately. Especially when it comes to the love I have received in my mailbox from my bloggy friends.

Take for instance, this surprise package of sewing goodies from Ann-Margret sent from Canada! If you haven't stopped by to visit her recently, you should. Her book is being published! A real bound book. I just think that's great.

And I recently started reading Sew,Mama,Sew. Hello? Where have I been? Free Fabric Fridays?!?! Imagine my surprise when I found out I was a lucky winner this past week! She posted the new Katie Jump Rope fabric by Denyse Schmidt. I was smitten at first site. I love the green version and imagined a fun summer skirt. So when Kristin emailed me with the great news I had to get another yard. I mean come on. You just have to. And while I was at it, I thought I would try the Cute Skirts pattern by Favorite Things. (Currently out of stock, but should be back in by the end of the week.)

AND, Alice over at futuregirl sent me this crocheted hand bag. Now that I think about it, maybe I should make a skirt to match too. Anyways, she has *the* cutest octopus pattern for sale right now.

So there you have it. Love from the depth of my mailbox. I love it.

And since I am a beef quiz bowl champion (and I got some raised eyebrows from the crowd) I thought I would share my beef knowledge in a future post. Specifically, "how to pick a steak" since grilling season is upon us. It's currently warming on the back burner. I have so many little projects in the works. I have to finish my container garden today, little odds and ends for a wedding present, more painting on my ornate frames, and some birthday planning.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Picture Weekend Recap

What a great Mother's Day weekend! Both of us headed to PA for a weekend of everything mothers. Lot's a annuals, perennials, veggies, seeds, and bushes were planted. Raking, hoeing, digging, and watering were accomplished too.

Saturday we spent the day on the eastern side of the state and Sunday we headed over to the western side to visit my parents. The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

Here's a view of some working mothers of a different kind.

Take a rest under the shade tree.

Look how everything is greening up.

My husband found his very first four leaf clover too! I must be rubbing off on him. Even though I found many that day, he found the biggest. And that's all that matters!

And because I am at a loss for words this morning- another picture. My new tea pot! How cool is this baby. It has a mesh cup on the inside to defuse loose tea. This morning I had green tea with essence of cherry. I didn't even bother to clean off my kitchen table to eat my peanut butter toast this morning. My purse is still laying on top of everything from when we walked in the door last night. It's sitting on a recent Netflix movie, tissue paper from wrapping Mother's Day presents last minute, and supplies from cutting a new grocery bag pattern I am working on.

I think the insurance appraiser just pulled in. He's here to look at my rear-end damage from a few weeks back. Time to get my beautiful Vibe looking like new again!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I have been tagged by iSew to share 7 random things about me. 7 things is a lot. If I pick the wrong 7 things I could look like a weirdo. So much pressure.

But here we go-

1) I have an unnatural ability to find four leaf clovers. I find so many of them that I normally don't pick them. I just let them grow in their mutated glory.

2) I prefer that my toilet paper be dispensed from the top/front rather than the bottom/back of the roll.

3) I still don't have a job after moving and getting married. But I have the most promising to-date interview next Tuesday. Once I get a job I am sure my everyday time with the sewing machine will come to an end.

4) I play Ultimate Frisbee. Even though I am the slowest person on the field, I have so much fun.

5) I hold a national champion title. "Beef quiz bowl champion" No snickers from the peanut gallery.

6) Once a month, I spend an evening at Borders reading all the magazines I don't/can't subscribe to. And worse yet, most of the time I don't buy a thing including a treat from the cafe.

7) Some days I have a Bob Ross moment and look to the sky and think, "Wow, those are some happy clouds."

In some sewing news- I am still working on more little girl skirts and I dug into my pillow case pile to find some great patterns. Imagine my surprise when after I had cut open the pillow case did I discover the tag said Oscar de la Renta! I wonder if this 3 year old will feel any different wearing it?

And this was my table centerpiece two weeks back. I went to the river and collected drift wood and smooth river stone. I used the bottom of a cut glass punch bowl to contain some beautiful cherry blossoms.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I recently showed a post with a dress on the sewing machine with the hopes on having it finished for church that Sunday. Remember that? I now recount the story behind that dress.

In the not so distance past, I decided to attempt my first dress. That's right. My first sewing project on a grand scale. I bought my first pattern at Walmart when I should have been grocery shopping. I chose the New Look 6615 , style B.

I measured myself. Made the necessary adjustments. I was excited to have a tailored dress made specifically for my body type. My ambitions couldn't be dampened. I even learned that the standard cup size on any given commercial pattern is size B. Well, let's just say I am larger than a B. So I did some search on the Simplicity website and found directions to adjust the pattern to fit your bust size. I followed the directions to the T.

I bought this cute blue and white patterned fabric at Walmart for $2/yard. I wasn't really intending to find fabric there, but this design could easily be transformed from casual wear to work attire with a cream sweater.

All the pieces were cut out fine. Then the sewing began. I kept my copy of U-sew handy for any terms that would be confusing. And it came in handy! I got off to a great start. I buzzed right through steps 1 and 2. Then came step 3 and 4. It took me an hour to get through these steps which included 50 minutes of me reading the directions over and over again.

But I continued on. I clipped my curves to the stay-stitching. I layered my seams. I still don't get understitching, but I suppose I'll leave something to be learned later in life. :)

I was so proud of myself when I got the neck yolk put in and everything matched up. To see everything coming together was thrilling. I felt so proud of myself. When I got to this point I quickly threw it over my shoulders only to realize that the front bust panels were going to be terribly short on me. This is where it gets Bad. I have never been able to wear this style of clothing for this reason alone. The "waist" band lies across the middle of my bust line. How unflattering! So I ripped a few seams, matched up the pattern, and sewed some extra length to the front bust panels. And when you do this, you also have to lengthen the other parts too. This was certainly a learning experience.

After all that muxing, I continued onward with my new Pfaff sewing machine. I got to use some fun top stitching too!

And this is currently the status of the dress.

I added some darts and pin tucks in a few places. Had my husband help with the pinning. I got really excited. I made those alterations, threw the garment back on and this is where it gets UGLY. The front panels where still too short. Another 3/4'' and it would have been perfect. But now the waist band created this shelf over my belly and we certainly can't have that. I was almost in tears. And like a good husband I have, he tried to console me on my first dress sewing disaster. He even said, "You can't always have home runs on your first try." True that.

So it never made it to church with me. My jeans were a nice substitute. And it's still hanging over the closet door mocking me. But not all is lost I suppose. I learned A LOT! And I guess I can rip it all apart and cut new front panels with the left over fabric. Thankfully, I over estimated in case of cutting mistakes. But it's not an easy rip. Every seam, every hidden seam, all the pieces were built on the previous step.

But at the end of the day, I will make another. I will use this pattern because I still hold out hope that I can wear this style of top. And I am also thankful that it only cost me $6 in fabric to learn my lesson.

In conclusion, the moral of the story (did you know there was going to be a moral at the end?) is to Live, Sew, and Learn. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Don't skirt the issue. Dress it up.

I'll fill this entry full of pictures. The weather has been so nice lately, that I find myself outside more. However, the lure of my new Pfaff sewing machine has been strong and I completed a few projects and have a few more in the works.

Dinah, do you recognize the following fabric? She sent me 2 pillow cases in our pink and green swap, which I refashioned into a little girl gathered skirt. However, I have the feeling it's going to be a bit big for her this year.

I picked up the green bias trim and eyelet ruffle at the thrift store a few weeks back. These two finds really perfected the whole skirt.

I also made this skirt for myself out of a king size sheet found at the Goodwill. I cut the stripes at a 45 degree angle to make a saw tooth design. I really botched the waist band trying to make it a draw string, but I'll still wear it around.

And this dress is currently sitting on the sewing machine. It's at the stage of pin tucks and darts so it complements my figure. Then I have to put in the zipper, finish the arm holes, and hem it up. It should be ready for church this Sunday.

I have to go pick up my paint for the frames I posted yesterday, so I can get those off my porch and onto my bare walls this weekend. I need to get my body moving. It's still sore from playing Ultimate Frisbee twice this week. Blah!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

In honor of your first birthday

When I got married, I got more than my husband with the deal. I also immediately became an Aunt. Woo-hoo! And our little nephew is turning one on Sunday. We won't be able to make it up for the celebrations, but I made my very first softie for the special occasion.

I dug into my precious cashmere supply and used the Martha Stewart Pattern ( the links are now working on her website but thank you Old School Acres for emailing it over to me a few weeks ago!)

And behold! .... Blue Piggy!


BEHOLD....Blue Piggy!!

Where did that piggy get off too?
Look where I found him! Playing amongst these frames that will be painted up this weekend. Here piggy, piggy, piggy....

Don't you run away from me mister! Don't you know running is only going to make it 10 times worse! Oh, the audacity of this piggy! He's still a piglet though.

That's right! You are going in there! Oh, no. Don't start pouting now! Yes, I still love you. Now let's get into your tissue paper. It'll be a fun ride I promise.