Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Husband and I are "Night" and "Day"!

My husband and I have been invited to a Halloween costume party. We are neither one into dressing up in costumes, especially if they are uncomfortable. I went to Walmart to look at what they had to offer, which by yesterday, was very little. There was one Dorothy from Wizard of Oz that would have maybe fit me and some kind of Dracula thing that would have maybe fit my husband.
So, I was walking through the men's section on my way to the cards' section, when I saw the sweat shirts. Don't ask me what made me think of this, but a light bulb moment occurred. Not that this is that bright of a light bulb, but it is cheap, and it works.
He could go as "NIGHT" and I could go as "DAY".
Here's what I made. I ironed double sided iron on adhesive to fabric, cut out stars, a moon, clouds, and a sun. Then I ironed them on the shirts. This took about 15 minutes!!! Yea! No more thinking about what to wear.

BTW, my preacher just called. He has been pondering the things that were said at our meeting on Sunday. He is upset about the lack of communication that is going on in the church. He realized that my feelings had been hurt. We have our youth activity night and committee meetings tonight. He wanted to get all the committee chairpersons together, with me and with him to discuss this. I said, "No." I think it is too short of a notice, because the committee members will be there wanting to have their meetings so they can go home and they wouldn't want to wait on their chairs to be in another meeting. Anyway, I have decided that I'm going to discuss this with the session, which is made up of the committee chairpersons, at their next meeting. This isn't until the week after next. It will give me time to think through exactly how I feel and what I want to say. I don't want to cause a big "stink" anyway. One of the dad's who is really a co-director this year of the youth night, is planning to talk to the kids and parents tonight anyway, and ask for suggestions, etc...... if they aren't happy with the way things are going. I don't plan to be in the room when he does this. I think perhaps I have put my feelings on my sleeve and I need to back off, look at things more objectively, and get over myself.
If you are a praying sort of person, please say a prayer for one of my cousins who is having very serious health issues. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On A Clear Day ....and some sketches of Christmas clothes

A few days ago I posted a picture of the view off my deck. On that day it was too cloudy to see "my" mountains. Here they are. As you can see I zoomed in with my camera. They are quite this close to us. They are actually about a 20 mile drive away. What you are seeing is the Cherokee National Forest. The Cherohala Skyway crosses this mountain range.

These are very rough (VERY, VERY ROUGH)sketches of ideas for the kids Christmas outfits.
Little Man is getting a suit from the herringbone, an off white dress shirt, a vest, and a tie. I'm not sure, but I'll probably make the vest from the velvet and the tie from the taffeta.

On Jenna's I'm planning to sew lines of gathering stitches both vertically and horizontally and then gather them slightly. I will sew pearls randomly amongst the puckers. I don't know how this will work, but I think it will look pretty. We'll see. If it doesn't then I'll do something differently. On Kellen's I'm planning to make the bodice and the border around the bottom with velvet that I have sewn vertical tucks. I've never sewn tucks on velvet. We'll see how it looks. I will use my twin needle and tuck making foot to do this.

On Riley's you can see where I made the plan for the embroidered bodice. Her skirt will be velvet.

I've decided to do a panel of smocking on Emory's that isn't shown here. I've started it. I'm going to get the bodices done before I start on the rest. I will probably cut out everything in one fell swoop. That way when I start to sew, I can just sew, sew, sew till I'm finished.
I found brown velvet and lining to complete these outfits. I couldn't find any blue that I like so I'm just going with a little blue trim.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finished Embroidery!! And a little ranting!

I finished the embroidery for the bodice of my almost 4 year old grand-daughter's Christmas dress. Please don't look too closely or with too much of a critical eye. I did not use a pattern. I have taught myself to embroider and don't really know what I'm doing. I really like the blue, off-white and brown together. I decided that Little Miss Riley needs some pearls, too.
I don't know why I make the outfits for my grands in the order that I do. It is different every time and very random. I have planned out, more or less, how I'm going to make each of these little garments. They'll all be different, but will coordinate.

My husband and I went to a meeting at church this afternoon. I've mentioned before that I direct a puppet team at our church, and I am sort of in charge of a Wednesday night get-together that we have mainly for our children, but families, and anyone else who wants to come is invited. We eat together, play together, study together, craft together....... You get the idea. Anyway at this meeting today a couple of people criticized both the puppet team's work and the Wed. night get-together. We have a tiny church and not a lot of kids, but they are all, mostly anyway, very involved in both of these activities. The criticism was mostly that we haven't "GROWN" our youth in numbers. Well darn it, we may not have added kids, but we've added fun stuff for the ones we do have to participate in. The puppet team just started in January and this is our 2nd year for the Wed. night goings-on! I was so upset that I almost left the meeting. I may just finish up what is planned through Christmas and hand it over to those who are so critical. BTW, those folks don't help with either of these activities. One of them is the father of a couple of the kids, though. They always appear to be having fun to me.
I'm sorry, I know this blog is not supposed to be a place for me to rant and rave, but I just feel better typing this and seeing it in print. Whew! Now I can go to bed and sleep.
Tomorrow is another day, a busy one at that. I have a committee meeting to help plan the wearable arts show that our local arts commission sponsors. The next one is in Nov. of 2010. It takes lots of planning. And, my sister is here. And, I need to go get some more stuff for my Christmas sewing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mother and her care giver and a start on Christmas clothing

I know I just posted a photo of Mother the other day, but I got this one today and just had to post it, too. They had a Fall Festival at the nursing home today. They had hot dogs, pop corn, cotton candy, etc...... This young lady is the one who takes care of Mother every morning. I blurred out most of her face, but I had to let you see her smile. She and Mother joke with each other all the time. I love it! Mother loves it!

This little chair was my mom's when she was a little girl. I have it on my bathroom counter with an antique tea towel on it. I love the chair and the towel!!

I have tea dyed these pieces. The one on the far left is half of a collar that I am going to use on one of the dresses. Under it is half of another collar that will be on another of the dresses. These are all antiques. I'm not sure how I'm going to use the other two pieces. I think I will take the lace off and embellish the other two dresses. The one on the top right is a small table cloth so there's a good bit of lace to use. The hanky doesn't have much lace, but it will be enough to go around a collar. I like the color next to the brown taffeta better than I did the stark white.

Riley's dress will have an embroidered bodice. This is just a beginning. I don't know what it will be like when I'm through. I do not use patterns with my embroidery. I just act as if I were drawing on paper, except with needle and thread. I can erase by taking out what I don't like, just as if I had an eraser. I see some things in this photo that need to be erased. I think it's interesting how you see things in photos that you don't see in real life.

And finally, here is a view from my deck. You can barely see the mountains in this photo. If the clouds weren't so low you could see them better. This morning our neighbor's horse was in that field on the other side of the fence. I wish I had gotten that on film. You can see that our trees are just beginning to change colors, except for the one with bare limbs. The wind and rain knocked its leaves off early.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Add-On to this post!!! New Patterns and fabric for Christmas Clothing

Hobby Lobby was having a sale on patterns. All Simplicity patterns were $1.98, and the McCall's were 40% off. So, even though I really don't need more patterns necessarily, I bought some. I rarely use a pattern as it is intended, but I like to have different styles so I can mix and match tops, bottoms, bodices, skirts, and get the sizing right. I'm trying to get more of the bigger girl sizes. I have lots of little bitties, but Kellen and Jenna are in sizes 8 and 10 now.

This is the fabric for Little Man's suit and shirt for Christmas. He will have a taupe herringbone suit with the off white shirt. I'm not sure about a tie and/or vest yet.

The girls will have this chocolate brown taffeta. It doesn't show up very well in this photo. Little man may have a taffeta vest and/or tie. We'll see. I may or may not use some of my antique linens to embellish these dresses. If I do, I'll probably tea dye them so they won't be so white. I will probably use some that have a blue trim, but what will the blue look like after it's tea dyed? Hum......? I may just have to experiment a little. Then again, I may trim with off white and blue by using piping and/or smocking, or embroidery. I don't know yet. I plan to start on these next

My sister is coming for the weekend so she can visit our mom. I'm cleaning, doing laundry, and working in the yard today. Oh yeah, I also baked a cake. I NEVER bake, but we picked all those apples when we were up in the NE the week before last and I decided to make an apple cake. YUMMMMMMM.......!!!!! It smells so good!!! We'll take some to my husband's parents so we won't eat all of it ourselves. It took 6 cups of diced apples and that didn't make a dent in them, so I've got to do something with the rest of them. Any ideas???

I got my floors clean, my yard work done, and I'm in the process of getting the laundry done. So, I had a few minutes to sew up this little bunny costume for Riley's American Girl Bitty Baby. I hope she isn't disappointed because she asked for a RAINBOW BUNNY COSTUME. But, when I looked in my stash I remembered the scraps left over from Jenna's little birthday outfit. I decided that a soft, fluffy bunny would be great. I hope Riley agrees. My daughter will have to show her these photos before I send them so I know if this is okay or not. BTW my cake tastes as good as it smells!!!!! Since I NEVER bake I didn't know how it would be.

Now, to the valances that I am going to make from my daughter's curtains. Her husband has a new home office. My daughter swapped curtains in her family room after I recovered her couch. There are 4 panels and they have 6 windows that need valances. I'm going to make 3 valences from each panel, so that each window will have 2 panels of fullness. Easy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Noah's Ark - because I haven't sewn anything lately

A couple of years ago, a lady at our church started a mural of Noah's Ark, then she quit, both painting and coming to church. So, I agreed to finish it for her. She had a basic outline of the ark and the rainbow, so I had a lot of work to do. This is the finished product. This is on a wall in our downstairs room where some of our children have Sunday School and choir practice, just outside of the nursery, and where we have youth meetings and puppet practice. It was decided that this room needed to be brightened up with a fresh coat of paint, new ceramic tile floor, and a mural.

When I look at this, I see so many things that I need to go back and fix. I'm supposed to paint one in the nursery, too, but I just haven't found the time yet. I painted one at our old church of the inside of a Hebrew school from Jesus's time. I have no photos of it, though. I also did a map of the Middle East during Bible times. Years ago, I drew out the out line of another Noah's Ark. The youth of that church and ours painted it and then another lady did the detail, finish work.
I really enjoy doing this type of painting.
I went to buy fabric for the kids' Christmas clothing yesterday. I'll post about that soon.
It's time to go help my mom eat lunch, then I'm lunching with a friend! Fun!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My creative grand-daughter, my mom, my cat, and sewing for Christmas!

We are home again after going to Nashville for our niece's wedding. It was beautiful!!!! You'll have to take my word for it, though, because I have no pictures. We visited my husband's sister's new home. Incredible!!!! The weather was nasty, rainy, cold, etc..... I actually wore REAL shoes. I found some very pretty ones that weren't toooooo uncomfortable. We met some really interesting people this weekend. My niece has married into a great family!!!

My nine year old grand daughter made this really neat apron for her friend's American Girl doll

for her birthday. There was no sewing involved. She used "stitch witchery" I think, and Velcro. I was very impressed!!!

I often blog about my mom. I thought I would post her photo. She usually won't smile for pictures, but she did for this one. She's been sick again. Whenever she gets a UTI it makes her get really confused for some reason. I'm told that it is common for this to happen with older folks. Anyway, every time I leave town she ends up getting sick. What's that all about?

When we were in the NE last week she called my brother in the middle of the night to tell him I'd been in an accident, which of course hadn't happened. He called the nursing home, and believe it or not, they had already picked up on this and had started her on an antibiotic. Of course, it wasn't the right antibiotic, but they didn't know that until the culture came back. While we were in Nashville for my niece's wedding this weekend. My cousin called to tell me that one of the CNAs had called him to tell him that she wasn't being herself. He went to check on her. When he called back he said that she was confused but not nearly as bad as he has seen her in the past. One of the nurses told him that they had changed her antibiotic. When we got home I went to help her eat dinner. She was somewhat confused, but not toooooo bad. I feel so good that the CNAs realized what was happening and told the nurse on duty right away. This doesn't usually happen.
Lots of bloggers have been blogging about their pets. Here is our cat, Vanilla, who is 18 1/2 years old!!! She gets really mad at us when we leave her! She fusses at us when we get home. She may be getting old, but she's still pretty feisty!!!

It's time to think about sewing for my grands for Christmas. Here are last year's dresses and one little suit. I am going to go shopping for fabric this afternoon. I'm thinking about using blue and silver or gray this year. I haven't ever used taffeta for them yet, so I'm going to look to see what I can find in it this year. I may end up with something else, who knows what I'll find. I haven't decided how I'm going to make the girls' dresses yet. I have in mind what I want for Little Man, though. Actually, his mom has told me what she wants.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fairies, Snakes, Fish, Apples and more.......

We just got home from an adventurous trip to the NE. We saw road signs to Knoxville, Bristol, Abingdon, Blacksburg, Richmond, Winchester, Martinsburg, Hershey, Wilkes-Barre, Port Jervis, New York City, Newburgh, etc.....
While on our trip we saw.....

two of our daughters, their husbands, and four of our five grand children,

fairy houses,

a Princess and the Pea birthday cake that my daughter made,

snakes, frogs, animals from all over the world,


dinosaur bones,

apples to pick,

and I recovered this couch for my daughter.

It really doesn't look quite this wrinkly in person. Actually, after seeing these photos I adjusted the fabric on the cushions again. I should have taken new picts, but I didn't. I was having too much fun with my grands. I took their Halloween costumes and other little outfits to them. They seemed to like them all.
It wasn't easy to find the fabric for this couch, because we needed so much yardage, but we found an awesome store where all the fabrics are factory overruns, or seconds, or whatever. The fabrics were high quality, but inexpensive!!!! Yea!!!! It looks a little shinier in these photos than it really is. It's very soft and kid friendly. It also, all comes off for a spin in the washing machine. There are zippers in the cushion coverings and the rest, even though a tight fit, will slip off. I stuffed the back cushions so they would be fuller, and I covered the bottom cushions with batting to give a little more shape. This took two days, with half of the first day looking for the fabric. I've never done anything quite like this before so I really didn't know what I was doing or how it would turn out. My grand daughter said that it looked like a rich person's couch. That's the best critique I could ever expect!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Who would I choose to play me in a movie?

I've seen where several bloggers are choosing the person they would want to play the part of their lives. I would choose this lady, Julie Andrews. She's a little older than I am, but she sure doesn't look it!!! I love that she's wholesome, nice, beautiful, and sooooo, sooooo, talented. She would have to really dumb down to play me, but she could do it. This would be a very boring role for her.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One More Little Indian Princess!!

Some of you may remember this little darling from one of my previous posts. She has an aunt who loves her very much. This aunt has two half grown boys, so having a little niece is a treat for her. Anyway, she called and asked me to make the jumper that's in my last post and this Pocahontas dress. I'm going to deliver these tomorrow. She is one of my teacher friends at the school where I used to teach before I retired. They are having parent/teacher conferences tomorrow so it will be a good time to take them. Then, I am taking a few days off from sewing. I need a little break!

Here's the dress front and back. I stitched the beads on one at a time by hand to a piece of ribbon. I then sewed it on to the top of the fringe that I made from the darker of the two pieces of fake suede fabric that I purchased for this.

Following are some close ups of the details. First shows the little purse that I made and attached to a strip of leather used as a tie belt.

Here's the zigzagged hemline with the beads that I sewed on one at a time like the top.

Then here is a close up of the top.

Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference!

This is a jumper that I made for my friend's niece. She's going to give it to her for Christmas. She found some really cute tights that, I think she said, have giraffes on them. She wanted a khaki corduroy jumper to go with them. I decided that it is as easy to make a reversible jumper as it is to make it otherwise. I would have lined it anyway.
I found this dark khaki and already had the plaid.

Notice the wrinkles and uneven hemline in the above photo. I made binding from the corduroy and used it around the neckline and armholes. That worked well. Then I used it on the hemline. For some reason it just didn't look as good as I wanted. I think the plaid was slightly shorter than the corduroy. For whatever reason, I wasn't happy. So, I just cut the binding off the bottom and simply turned the corduroy over the plaid in a clean finish style. It still gives the look of the binding on the plaid side.

Notice how much more nicely the hemline hangs! The arm holes look a little funky in these photos, but not in person.

I also decided to put a little appliqued birdy on the plaid side. Do you see the difference in the two photos? I first put the little legs on the body completely. Weird. I removed them and lowered them so that you can see them extended below the body a little. I also smoothed out the plaid fabric at the point of the wing where it is puckered in the first photo.

Today, I'm working on the Pocahontas dress for this same little girl for a Christmas gift from her generous aunt.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Firetrucks and Argyle!

I don't usually post twice in one day, but I got these done, so I decided to go ahead and post about them. Besides, not too many people want to see the before and after pictures of my foot. If you do, you can check out my last post. It's pretty amazing how much difference there is.
Can you tell that this pattern has been well used over the years? This is one I haven't gotten into a file jacket yet. I used the pants from this Simplicity 5316 to make Little Man some pajama pants. Very simple!! I bought a Garanimals shirt at Walmart and appliqued a firetruck on it to make the pajamas complete. Little Man's daddy is a volunteer fireman, and we are very proud of him, hence the firetruck fabric.

I finally got a picture of Riley's skirt that I made. I used this Simplicity Lizzie McGuire #4563 pattern. How easy this was!!! I found this argyle fabric at Hobby Lobby and just had to get it. I have another piece that's green and pink. I'll probably make Emory something from that one. I bought the long sleeved tee shirt and leggings at Walmart. I wanted light blue to match the ribbon detail, but there were no blue shirts or leggings. So, I went with the brown.

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