Monday, August 31, 2009

What Do You Do With Two Old Toilets???

My daughters are going to be surprised by this answer because I am not usually so RACEY ! However, this was so funny, at least to me. We decided to completely replace two of our commodes while we were at it. The one in the basement was leaky and old. The lever on the one upstairs sticks in the down position, so the water would continue to run if one forgot to pull it back up. We replaced the mechanisms in it several times, and it never did work right. So, we just decided to get rid of it.
I jokingly told my husband that we could put the two old toilets in the front yard and plant flowers in them. Or, we could put them on the front porch to sit on while watching the cars go by. My husband says, "We'd look like the couple on the Cialis commercial, only we'd be on toilets instead of in bathtubs." Now, to most of you this probably isn't funny at all, but at the moment it was hilarious to me! We were at that really tired, really punchy state of mind when he said this.
I guess it's kind of sad that I'm so amused by something so silly.
On to finish the downstairs bathroom. I'm putting on baseboards today. Then, it will be finished except for buying some new towels, etc...
If you are interested in seeeing more photos of our little Emory you can go to my daughter's blog.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

No Pictures! Fixing? the bathroom!

My camera has been acting up for a while now. Sometimes I can get it to work, and then other times I can't at all. So, I don't have any photographs. I probably wouldn't have posted BEFORE pictures anyway. A couple of years ago my husband and I decided that we could put a floor in our basement. We did it, but we swore that we would never, ever, ever,ever, ever do something like that again. He and I are not skillful in this type of work. We painted then, too. I decided that I would never pick up a paint brush for painting walls again.
Anyway, when we put down the floor before we never did get the bathroom done. But, we have company coming next weekend. We've had our girls home with it not done, but this is a cousin, his wife, his daughter, and her little son who we rarely see. They are primarily coming to visit with my mom. My sister will be here, too. So, unless someone sleeps on a sleeper sofa upstairs, we really need to use our downstairs while they are here. My sewing room doubles as a guest room, so that's not a problem. We have a family room down here, too, where my computer is, etc.... But, the bathroom floor was just concrete, with a crack running down the middle of it!!! The toilet has been leaking, too. Now, we never use this bathroom so it hasn't been a top priority, until now. We just turned off the water.
I love having company because it's the best way to get my husband inspired to get things around the house fixed.
We bought a new toilet, that we are actually going to put upstairs. We're going to move one of the upstairs toilets downstairs. We are putting in the toilets tomorrow. Eeeekkkk!
And, we bought this flooring that looked
soooooo easy to install! Ha! Ha! Ha! It comes in sheets of three one foot squares. They glue to each other with a strip along the edge. Sounds simple, huh? It was, except where we had to cut around door facings, the vanity, the toilet, the shower, and into the closet! But, I will say it looks a heck of a lot better now than it did this morning! I just need to buy a couple of small rugs to hide a couple of places that don't look so good.
Needless to say, we WILL NOT undertake a project like this again. Either it won't get done, or we'll be paying someone else to do it for us!!! I think this is the last project like this that needs to be done anyway.
Except, we have been talking about knocking out walls upstairs, adding a sun room and a screened in porch, enlarging our deck, adding rooms downstairs (we have lots of storage area that could be walled in, etc..... But, none of these projects are in our budget right now, and WE WILL NOT do them ourselves if and when these get done!!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Two Fingers!!!

When asked how old she is, Emory doesn't hold up two fingers like most two year olds, she says, "Two fingers!" She is so funny! We got to go out West to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and Emory. We got back late last night. Talk about jet lag!
This first photo shows some of the decorations that my daughter made for her party. Emory knows all the letters in her name.

Here she is in one of the dresses I made for her. Just look at those eyes!

She recognized the Annie dress right away. The photo on the left shows her reaction when she opened it. She wore it two of the three days that we were there after her party. The picture on the right shows her wearing it and eating a snack from one of the reusable sandwich bags I made.

The next photo shows her reaction to the Tennessee cheerleader outfit that we gave her. I didn't make this. She recognizes the Power T. For those of you who do not follow college football. The "T" for Tennessee is called the Power T. Go Vols! My daughters all went to UT, as did two of our son-in-laws, my husband and I went there, as did our parents and most of our siblings, cousins, etc.... You get the idea!

When Emory opened the tub of her dress-up clothes she immediately put on the turquoise top with the red and silver skirt. Go figure! She has her own sense of style. Then when she put on the pink top she just wore it with her diaper. The Vera Bradley bag on the coffee table beside Emory is a gift from one of my other daughters, her aunt. It's to hold her Epi-pen and other paraphernalia in case she has an allergy reaction. What a little fashionista!

The last two photos show Emory in her baby doll pjs and nightgown that I made for her. We told her they were dresses to wear for sleeping. She loves dresses so she was satisfied.
Emory had a lot of fun with the "My First Dollhouse" that Grandaddy and Granmomma gave her.

Finally, I am in a real shoe as of today! You can see a slight difference in the way the shoe on my right foot (the one I had surgery on) and the left foot. There's still some swelling and soreness, but it is much better! It's been 5 weeks and 2 days since my surgery! Whew!

Thank you to those of you who commented about my paper dolls. I am anxious to get back to working on them. The more I look at the photo of the drawing of Jenna, the more I realize I need to work on it more. Today was Kellen, Jenna, and Riley's first day back to school. I hope they had a fun day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paper Dolls!

In my profile I wrote that I like to draw. I haven't posted much of my drawing because I haven't done much. Several years ago I made paper dolls for our oldest grand daughter. I made the doll look somewhat like her, and some of the clothes are like things she actually had. Some of the dresses are some that I had made for her. I made up some of the outfits. These are copies of what I did for her. I actually cut hers out, laminated them, put magnets on the back, and put them in a notebook using those plastic sleeve pages that have small pockets. I made two versions of Kellen. I'm not sure which one I decided to give her.

That year I displayed them for an auction at a Boys' and Girls' Club dinner. Someone actually ordered a set. There were several bids. The lady who won never did bring me her daughter's picture, though, so I haven't made them for her, yet.

One of the teachers at my school, however, had two little grand daughters, and she ordered a set for each of them. She brought me their pictures and described several of their outfits. I don't remember how many outfits that I drew for each of them. I also don't remember what I charged my friend. She brought me a photo of the girls holding their little notebooks with great big grins on their faces, though. That was payment enough.

Now that Jenna is almost 7 years old, I decided that I had better get busy working on a set for her. Kellen has had hers out playing with them. If you do for one, you must do for them all.

Riley heard me say that I need to get Jenna's made and she said, "Mine, too!" Perhaps for her 4th birthday.

Here's what I have done of Jenna's so far. Not much, but the hardest part; getting it to look as much like her as I can. I think I need to work on the lips and nose some more.

I actually made some paper dolls for the secretaries at my school one year. I put their heads on Barbie Doll like bodies. They loved them. I didn't know that they both collected paper dolls!
I am going to devote some days to cleaning my house, as I have company coming in a few weeks, and I can't stand to wait till the last minute to do things. I already started on my sewing room. I may not be on the computer much over the next few days for that reason.
Oh yeah, the wedding that I am supposed to make a little outfit for a little boy has been canceled. I was looking forward to making this little suit, but I hadn't bought anything yet, and this takes off some of the stress that I've been feeling lately.
Went to the doctor for my foot. I go back in a month. He said when the swelling goes down enough to get my foot into a shoe that I can try a tennis shoe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Toothfairy Pillow

I only have a couple of minutes to get this post done. I'm taking my Mother to the dentist this morning. Actually, I'm not "taking" her, I'm following the van that is taking her. There is a service here that takes handicapped people to doctor's appointments, and such. Thank goodness, because I couldn't take her myself, in my car.
Her gums have been bothering her. I'm thinking she either needs new dentures or to have hers relined. The dentist's Mother-in-law is going to be joining my mom at the nursing home on a temporary basis. She fell and broke her arm in several places the other day. Mother will be happy. This dear lady is a good friend of Mother's.

Now to the toothfairy pillow. The head of nursing at the nursing home has a grand daughter who has her first loose tooth. She was planning to make this pillow herself and realized she just didn't have time. So, she asked me to make it. She had already bought most of the supplies. Now, I didn't stop to think about whether I had time or not, which I did not, but I worked it in and got it done anyway. I hope she likes it. I took it to her yesterday, but she wasn't working.
The first photo is of the fabric she had bought. The second is a piece left over from my grand daughter's night gown. It's amazing how they worked together.

Here's a close up of the princess toothfairy! Her bouquet is the pocket that will hold the tooth and the $$$ left by the fairy.
Here's the finished pillow.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sewing Green Marathon

Okay, so I told you that I was going to make some reusable sandwich bags (no vinyl or plastic of any kind). Trudy asked me to do a quick tutorial, so here goes:
1. Cut rectangles of fabric that are 7 12/"X 16"

2. Fold the short ends over twice.

3. Sew velcro to both ends. Be sure to sew along both sides of the velcro to hold it down well. I used 5/8" on some and 3/4" on others. It's what I could find. I also used the kind with no adhesive. That stuff is terrible on your machine and needle. Uh, be sure to sew the soft piece of velcro on one end and the nubby one on the other. I guess that's just common sense, but I thought I'd throw that at you anyway.

4. Fold in half with right sides together and velcro lined up. Sew a 1/4" seam on both edges.

5. Trim to about 1/8", really close to the stitches.

6. Turn it right side out and stitch down the sides again, about 1/4" from edge. This makes an inside out French Seam. I did this so that the velcro opening would have a really tight seal all the way across.

7. Turn inside out and mitre the corners. Try to make the French seams fold toward the same side of the bag. Fold the corner so that the seam goes right down the center into a point. Does this make sense? Then stitch so that the point is on the 5/8" marking on your machine.

8. Here's what the inside of the bag will look like.

9. Here's how it looks on the outside.

10. After I had made, oh, about 15 of these, I got the idea of sewing the velcro across more that one of the rectangles at a time. If you want yours all from the same fabric, you could just sew the velcro on both edges of a piece of 16" fabric before cutting it into the 7 1/2" strips.

11. Here are the 27 bags that I ended up making before stopping. I decided that each of my grands needs at least five. That way they will have a different one for each day of the week in case their mom's don't get a chance to get the laundry done before the weekend. I also decided that even though Emory and Little Man aren't in school, they needed some, too. Little Man goes to day care and Emory and her mom are on outings all the time. These don't have to have a sandwich in them. Any snack will do. Oh yeah, I do know that 5 X 5 is just 25 and that I made a couple of extras. I'll just stick those in the package with the one to my daughter who has 3 kids. I think she'll need them the most. These were so easy and quick that I may end up doing more anyway.

Guess What? I've been asked to sell things of mine at a trunk show that is going to be held in November in a town that is nearby. I will have to figure out if I have time to make enough stuff to make it worth while. Also, what would I make? I'm thinking some pillowcase dresses, from both vintage and new pillowcases. I'm also thinking that reversible jumpers with a Christmas print on one side and a solid or coordinating non-Christmas print on the other. That way they could buy these for the little girls to wear before and after Christmas. I was also thinking that maybe some of these reusable sandwich bags would be good. Perhaps some purse organizers. Hum, I have some thinking to do. I have to decide quickly, though, because I have to register soon. The arts council in this town would get a percentage of my sales, but there is no entry fee and I would get my stuff out there.
Panic is beginning to set in. We have sooooooo much going on this fall. There are still 5 Halloween costumes to make. There's a little boy's wedding suit, another lady's 3 grand daughters' dresses, Jenna's birthday coming up, a couch to cover, 5 blankets to make to give away to the Linus Project, a couple of trips, cousins visiting from out of town, etc...... I just don't know if I could get enough stuff made. I may tell them to keep me on their list for next year. I feel honored to be asked, though, and hate to turn them down. Hum.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Embroidery, Tiny Buttons, Sandwich Bags, and Marriage Certificates

I don't think I mentioned the little embroidered flowers and tiny, tiny buttons that I detailed this little dress with in my post-before-last. I loved these little buttons that I found at Walmart. The flowers are very simple and mimic the print in the dress. The bloomers are done, and there's nothing special about them, except that I did use a shell stitch on the hem to copy the scalloped hem on the dress. This was done with the hem stitch on my machine. I tightened the tension on the bobbin and made sure the stitch that goes out went past the edge of the fabric. Simple, but sweet.

Now, with this pile of fabrics, what to do?

I won't be using all of the fabrics in this pile, but I am going to make a bunch of these little sandwich bags. I posted a question about using vinyl for this project a week or so ago. After doing some research, talking to my daughter, reading the comment that I got on my post, I decided to not use any vinyl, just fabric and velcro. These can be tossed in the wash after every use. I'm going to make a whole bunch, at least 5 per grandchild who will be using them. I will probably make some different sizes, as well. One of my other daughter's child isn't in school yet, but does take snacks on car trips, etc.... That daughter suggested making some to carry cereal, etc....

The other day, I was searching my house over for my and my husband's marriage certificate. After being married for going on 37 years and having the same insurance for 31 years my insurance company has decided they need proof that we are married. Anyway, I hunted every where. I knew where it was, right? No, it wasn't there. Okay, so where else might I have put it? I looked there, and, yep, there, too. As a matter of fact, I looked every where that I could possibly think I could have possibly put it. I didn't go to the bank to look in the lock box, but did we put it there? I don't know, but I finally decided to get on line and just order another certified copy. It is going to go in our wedding album when it comes, after we fax a copy to our insurance company. I HATE hunting stuff! I have tried so hard to get things organized so that I know where everything is. I used to teach my students that if they would stay organized they would not waste precious study time, and then they would have more time for tv, video games, football practice, etc.....
However, I did find this precious embroidered wedding piece that someone in my family (???grandmother????aunt??? great aunt???) started and never finished. I may just have to finish this and hope that it comes clean so I can frame it. I love it.

For those of you sweet friends out there who have been asking about my foot, it does seem to be getting better everyday. I have driven some this week. Finally, freedom! I drove a little too far the day before yesterday, though. I took my car in for an oil change and to get new tires, and an alignment. Besides driving a little over 30 minutes each way, I was there for hours! I was really tired when I got home. I would have walked to the mall, Hobby Lobby, or the book store which I could see from the shop window, but not with this foot. The sad thing is that the car is pulling to the right and needs more work done on the alignment. My husband is going to try to get time to take it tomorrow, but if he can't and I have to go, I'm going to ask one of the people who work there to run me over to Hobby Lobby, or maybe the mall, or maybe the book store. I would like to go to all three places.
This background reminds me of the wallpaper that was on my aunt's bedroom walls when I was a little girl. I used to love to spend the night with her. I tried to count the roses on the walls, but I always fell asleep before I could get them all counted. Weird kid, huh?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blueberry Dress

This is one of the tiered dresses I made earlier this summer modeled by it's recipient! This beautiful little princess is my friend's niece! I don't often get to see the things I make on the children themselves. I don't even always see my grandchildren's things on them since they live so far away. My friend sent this photo via email so if it's a little blurred it's because I downloaded it, put it in iphoto, then posted it here. Sometimes photos loose some of their clarity when they go through all these steps. This one seems to be pretty clear, though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cyber Bridesmaid Dress!

My friend at smokingneedlesknitting is getting married and has asked some of her blogger friends to be cyber bridesmaids! LOL! What fun! She said the only requirement would be that we make a new dress. She said that if we don't sew for ourselves we could make a dress for someone else and post a photo of that person wearing the dress. I will have to get this dress to Emory and get a photo before I can meet that part of the requirement, but I thought I would go ahead and post the process.
Emory's mom saw the pattern that I used as a basic pattern for the Annie dress that I posted about in a couple of past posts. She liked view A of the dress and asked if I could make it for Emory. She wanted just a simple fabric. I had this in my stash already and think it is so sweet. You may have to click on the photo to see the fabric better. It is a simple cotton with a tiny pnk and periwinkle flower pattern.

I went ahead and made the keyhole opening in the back as it shows in the pattern. I used a short piece of elastic thread and a very small white button as a closure.

I underlined the dress. The fabric is so fine that I felt it needed the extra body. I almost always underline my girls' dresses. I bound the armhole with binding made from the scraps of fabric. I sewed French seams. Those of you who have followed my blog for long know that I like the finished look on the inside as well as the outside. So, I photographed the inside, too.

I love piping, so I made some for the collar. I used this tiny cording. The dress is just a simple, sweet, little dress, so it needed simple, sweet, little piping.

I also love scalloped hems when it's possible. I used the same fabric that I used on the collar. I cut a strip that was about 3 inches tall and cut it by the hem of the pattern. I then folded it until it was the size I wanted each scallop to be, then I just rounded it off with my scissors. I sewed it to the hem line, right sides together, trimmed it very closely, clipped between each scallop, turned it, pressed it, and then clean finished the top edge before hand hemming.

There will be bloomers. I was out of elastic so I couldn't get them made, but I photographed the solid periwinkle fabric that I'm using for them. This (Butterick 4778) is the go-to pattern for bloomers that I found this summer. I love it's simplicity and how well it seems to fit.

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