Sunday, May 31, 2009

# Two's done, too!

Well, I've gotten number 2 sundress done. This one is for a five year old, so instead of a bonnet, I made a grown up hat. I made a flower for the hat from one of the fabrics. These fabrics are seersucker, which I love for summer time. I have the dress pinned out to the sides so you can get a peek at the bloomers. It looks kind of wanky pinned up like this, but truly is does hang correctly when let down. AND..........






.....look what my friend gave me! She changed the bedding in her bedroom, so she gave me the dust ruffle and pillow shams that are cream colored eyelet!!! I love eyelet, and with 4 grand daughters it will be put to good use. I have several ideas bouncing around like a super ball from wall to wall in my empty chamber of a brain. This gifter is one of my teacher friends who I blogged about a few weeks ago; she's one of the ladies who was so special to my daughter. Thanks, friend!


I won't get to sew much for the next three days.
* Tonight is a special program at my church. Several churches in the area get together on 5th Sunday nights for a covered dish supper and worship. Tonight's worship is being led by children and youth, so my puppet group is doing a program of Music Machine music. This is the program that I needed the snails for.
*Tomorrow my mom has an eye appointment. I have had so much trouble getting this worked out. First of all, there is an optomotrist in town who is supposed to come to the nursing home, but when I called, he told his receptionist to tell me that he doesn't "do that anymore." But, he also can't examine her in his office because he won't examine her in her wheelchair. I told his receptionist that would be ok if they had 2 strong men who could lift her into the examining chair. Of course, they don't. I wasn't REAL NICE when I was talking to her. I let her know that I didn't in any way blame her, but that she should tell him "Shame on you!" How easy for him to drive 3 minutes from his office to the nursing home, but he won't. Anyway, I asked my eye doctor if she could see her, AND, you know what? She's going to have her examining chair taken out so she can examine Mother in her wheelchair. She's an angel. I really like her as my doctor, too. She's the one who discovered my Glaucoma and sent me to a specialist. There is a handicap van service that takes wheelchair bound patients to doctors' appointments here, so that worked out, thank God!
Tuesday, is my FIL's knee replacement surgery.
Actually, Thursday, I have a dr's appointment for my foot, which I'm going to have surgery on sometime this summer. More on that later.
I will have to sew in short increments of time, which I don't like to do. I like to sit down and not get up till I'm finished. That's ok, I'll get it all done.


Friday, May 29, 2009

One Done!

One sundress done, and 5 more to go! Yes, I said five. There were only four, but when I delivered this one this morning another teacher saw it and wants one for her niece. I know, I said that I wouldn't do another one, but it's hard to say no. I have to get tougher. I think I'll practice, "No, I'm sorry I don't have time." "No, I'm sorry, but I have too many orders already." "No, I'm sorry, but I've already made 6 of these, and I don't want to make any more." "No, I only want to make one-of-a-kind special occasion clothing from now on." Maybe, if I can practice some pat answers like these it will be easier.


My friend seemed very happy with this one. I really like the fabrics and how they went together. I'm having fun coordinating all these different prints.
I'm going to have to get a prettier model for my bonnets. LOL! Smokey is such a cute mascot, though. He even plays "Rocky Top." For those of you who are not college football fans, that is the UN. of TN's theme song.


Back to work! Hummmmm...... I'm not sure I like the sound of sewing being work. I'm rethinking some of my ideas. I think I'm going to take a break from all of this when I get through with this batch of orders. Like I said above, I'm thinking I only want to do "Special Occasion" children's clothes. That was my original idea, anyway. I truly want to do one-of-a-kind things. I do not like doing the same thing over and over.


This afternoon is the May birthday party at the nursing home. They have cake and ice cream to honor all of the residents who have a birthday each month. I'm going to help Mother celebrate hers again.
My FIL is having knee replacement surgery on Tuesday. Please keep him and my MIL, who has alzheimers, in your prayers. Actually, please keep my DH and his siblings in your prayers, too. Thanks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Your Word is "Love"
You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.
Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.

You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.
And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.

I found this on Gorgeous Fabrics' blog

This is a quiz that tells you what your word is. I love that mine is LOVE!


Note the new avatar on my profile and my sidebar. I only wish I looked that good. Basically this is me, though. I made it at this site that Artfire Mom recommended.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whew! My deadline has been extended!

Whew! The lady who wanted the 5 grandchildren's outfits by Monday has decided it will be ok to get them to her by June 15th. You have no idea the relief I felt when she told me that!!
I have only one to get don
e this week. I can now relax, take my time, do a better job, not be so stressed, and do other things like: eat, sleep, visit my mom, visit at school tomorrow, go to church tonight and Sunday, etc.........

This is the fabric that I bought to make the boys' shirts. Their shorts are going to be solid navy. I haven't decided exactly which patterns I'm using, but I bought these four boys' patterns. I figure that I will need boy patterns, since I have Little Man to sew for, so I didn't mind buying these.


These are the coordinating combinations that I am using for the girls' sundresses and bonnets. They are all cut out and waiting to be sewn. I will definitely get the one for my school friend made tonight. Another school friend sent me an email to tell me that the teachers are having one last luncheon tomorrow. They have a luncheon about once a month. We take food and donate $5.00 and the proceeds go to Relay for Life. Since I'm not teaching anymore, I can go and stay through everyone's lunch periods and see everyone!! I was so happy to be invited. The last day for kids is Friday. I guess the teachers will go a couple of days next week.





Here are the girls in their skirt outfits that I made for them. The streamers are left over from the jungle themed birthday party. The blue streamers actually made a waterfall that flowed into the raging river that was part of an obstacle course for the kids' party. There was a bat cave, a giant ant hill, etc.... It was fun. Kellen and Jenna were singing and dancing for us in this photo. They are really talented and so cute. Of course, I'm not partial or anything! That's Riley watching from the sideline. I'm surprised she wasn't up there with the big girls, because she is as big as they are, you know.



These are bean bag chairs that I made the girls for Christmas. I made them orange and white because of the Univ. of TN Vols. The girls watch the ballgames from these chairs. Of course, they watch other tv shows, too. The primary use for these, however, is storage for their MANY stuffed animals. This was my DD's idea. What a good one!!!! There's never room for all of those cute, but bundlesome animals that make their way into a household, especially one with 3 little girls. These have liner bags so when the outside gets dirty the animals still have a home while they are being washed.


Okay, I have procrastinated long enough.... to the sewing machine I go!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Birthday cakes galore!!

No sewing yet, but I did pick up my sewing machine today, bought more fabric, and cut out sundresses and bonnets. Sewing will start tomorrow.

As I told you in my last post, we went to the NE to help celebrate our Kellen's 9th and our Little Man's 1st birthdays, and when we got home we celebrated my mother's 85th.
Kellen started out with a kids' party. Her mom, my DD, and my DD's friend made this cupcake snake. It was a safari themed birthday party. The house was transformed into a jungle. I wouldn't have been surprised to see Tarzan and Jane jump through the vines hanging from the ceiling!!!

For the grownup family party the cake was a three tiered animal print cake. The first layer had a peacock feather design, the second, a zebra striped motif, and the top was a cheetah coat. There were snakes twined around all three layers. These cakes tasted as good as they looked. It was sad to see them cut into, though.

Then there was the HEE HAW themed party for Little Man. His mom, another of my DDs, made Grandpa's banjo. How many of you remember Hee Haw? I do. It was a really funny show. It used to bother me to think that people from other regions of the country really thought that was how it was in the South, though. The Beverly Hillbillies didn't help our image much either, right? Back to the cake, this cake was actually pretty healthy in that my DD made it with sweet potatoes rather than butter. Yummy! She made biscuits with the sweet potatoes, too. The party was complete with pulled pork BBQ and all the fixin's, a Ball Jar penny candy center piece, etc.... Really fun.

Mother's cake was a traditional bakery cake that my sister bought. She and I did not consult each other about colors or anything, but we both know that Mother likes lavender, so the cake matched the plates, cups, etc... that I bought exactly. You can see part of one of the plates in the photo. Notice that one of my great nieces, whose mom and dad, surprised us by coming to the party from SC, had to have a piece of the cake before I got a photo of it. No problem. I didn't blame her, it really did taste good. Mother had a good time. Lots of her friends sent her cards and several visited her while I was out of town.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Home again, Home again Jiggity Jog

Do you know this  little rhyme?
 To Market, to market to buy a fat pig
Home again, home again, jiggity jig
To market, to market
To buy a fat hog, 
Home again, home again, jiggity jog!

This is a little rhyme that I have repeated over and over and over again, first with my girls and now with the grands.

As you know we went out West recently to visit our DD and her family.  This past week we went to the NE to visit the other two DDs and their families.  Kellen and Little Man had birthdays.  We celebrated Kellen's 9th on Sat. the 16th and Little Man's 1st yesterday.
We just got home a little bit ago after a 15 hour drive!  

I am intrigued by words and their origins.  On this trip I really paid attention to the names of towns.  Poughkeepsie, NY, Wilkes Barre, PA, Roanoke, VA, and lots more.  I plan to research to learn more about some of these names. 
 The drive through Connecticut, Massachusetts, NY, Pennsylvania,  Virginia, and Tennessee is a beautiful one with lovely scenery.  My DH would ask how I know that because I'm usually reading or sleeping, but I pay attention more than he knows.
I read Ruby Among Us and Rose House by Tina Forkner on this trip.  Very good books.  I recommend them.
I will post photos tomorrow or the next day.
Today is actually my mother's 85th birthday.  We are celebrating tomorrow. 
On Tuesday, I get my sewing machine back.  Yea!!  I sewed some at my DDs homes.  I mended a few things ad made a few cushions, but no real sewing.  I had two messages from one of the ladies who wants 5 grandchildren outfits.  She needs them by June 1st rather than June 6th.  Hum.... I'll do my best, but I also have one other sundress and bonnet due this week.  I told her I would be out of town.  She must have forgotten.  Thank goodness the others aren't needed till the 16th.  
My DDs and their families surprised me with a wonderful bird house that one of my SILs made and some very needed sewing supplies for my birthday and Mother's Day.  They also cooked a DELICIOUS meal!!!!
My eyes are closing as I type this so I. think. I'll. go. to. bed. now.  ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

Monday, May 18, 2009

More about the Attitude of Gratitude Award

I still can't get the logo to copy and paste, but I can go ahead and make my nominations.



The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award

1. Put the logo on your blog or post (Maybe you can go to smokingneedlesknitting.blogspot.com to copy the logo since that's who awarded me.)

2. Nominate a few bloggers who show an attitude of gratitude

3. Link to your nominees within your post

4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award

5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award.

6. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude



Some of you who I would ordinarily send this along to have already received this award. You know who you are, I think. Faye and Gwen, just to name a couple. And, of course, Knit Machine Queen, who sent it to me. There are several others who I feel deserve this award, however, and they are:

Cindy
She not only is someone I'm grateful for personally, but she has the most wonderful attitude about paying it forward. What wonderful ideas she has for her business!! Cute kids, too.

Sabine
She is my German friend who took the time to add a gidget that translates her blog into English so I can read it. I love reading it, by the way.

Sewingsister
She is a very young little lady who is learning to sew and blog with her mom's help. So impressive!!

Back Porch BlessingsShe's the kind of mom who gave up her sewing room for her daughter. She's moved back into a much smaller room with all of her sewing paraphanelia. She is a very hard worker.

Jemima BeanShe blogged about her friend's (Tina Ann Forkner) books, Ruby Among Us and Rose House, which I bought. I've read Ruby Among Us and loved it. I can't wait to read Rose House. Great books. I highly recommend them.

From A Creative HeartWhat a rough time she's been going through with her husband's illness, and the horrible care that he has been getting throught the VA.

There are so many other deserving folks out there, so I hope my nominees will send this along to others.

I know that I have received so many blessings over my lifetime and that I appreciate them all. Life has not been all rosey, of course, no one's is, but the good definitely outweighs any bad that has been in my life. I used to dwell over things that I couldn't change, but at some point I quit doing that. Any time I start feeling sorry for myself for any reason I stop and reflect on the wonderful things in my life and I get over myself in a hurry. Well, at least I try to do this. I'm guilty of pouting longer than I should. My DH usually reminds me that I need to get over it. I am just rambling and contradicting myself, so I'll quit.

Except to say that I feel so fortunate that I was given the gift of learning to sew since it is something I enjoy so very much. I inherited what creativity I have from other women in past generations in my family. Okay, my dad was creative, too, but he didn't have much influence over me. He did have some very wonderful gifts. He could draw, build with wood, and sing very well. So, he should get some credit, too.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude, you betcha!

Thank you to Knit Machine Queen for the Attitude of Gratitude Award!! I am having problems posting things right now, so I will send this award to others as soon as I can get things going again. I am greatful for all the blessings in my life. I have a wonderful DH who I've been married to for 36 1/2 years, 3 wonderful daughters, 5 healthy grandchildren, not to mention all the other very close family members on both sides of our families. I have some of the most dear friends a person could ask for in a lifetime. I have all you blogger buddies out there, as well.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hangin' It Up, Babs is tired!

Of course I'm not "hanging it up."  I'm just going to give BABs a rest.  She's going in for a tune up.  It's been over a year since I've taken my machine in to be cleaned and oiled, etc....  BABs (my grandmother's initials - the one who was my first sewing teacher) needs a good cleaning.  After all the sewing she's done for me this is the least I can do for her.   She'll be in the shop for about a week.  I've got stuff going on that will keep from sewing anyway, so the timing is good.
When I get her back, she'll have to work extra overtime to help me get all of my sundresses, etc... done for the people who are paying me $$$$ for doing what I love to do.
This is my last project on my list that I've been able to get done.   There's only about 3 things left.
These are twirly skirts that I made using this site's directions.  I changed a few minor things, like adding rick rack and not measuring exactly.

This first one is Riley's.  She did like bees.  I don't know if she still does or not, but I saw this cute fabric and thought of her.  I bought the shirt and embellished it with cutouts from the fabric using double sided iron-on adhesive to attach them.  

Jenna's is all hearts and flowers.  She's a real girly girl.  I thought I was through with hers, but the more I looked at it the more I felt the shirt needed something more, so I added the rick rack around the  perimeter of the heart.  

Kellen's is polka dots, swirlies, and flowers.  The flower on her shirt mimics the shape of the flowers in her fabric.  I've been seeing lots of really cute black and white little girls' outfits and wanted Kellen to have one.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whew! Three more projects marked off!

I've been busy.  This is another wrap from fleece that I made for my mom.  I gave it to her for Mother's Day.  She seemed very happy.  She liked the color and the edging.  I simply used a blind hem stitch on my machine, making sure that the stitch that goes out went off the edge.  I tightened the tension so that it would make a more pronounced shell stitch, or as some call it, a picot stitch.

Again I made the back short since she is always in a wheel chair or bed, and it's hard to put something down behind her back and the chair.
I had a pretty polka dot ribbon that I sewed around the neck and left long enough to tie a bow.
Next I made three baby slings. For some reason this link didn't work.  Go to Maya Baby Slings.  There are different sites.  To see the finished product go to their regular page.  To see how to make them go to the Patterns for Maya Slings.  I have made these for two of my daughters, and they love them.  I knew that I was saving the cardboard from rick rack and binding packs for something.  Now I know that I was saving them to use as spacers for these slings.  The directions say to pleat in 4 - 6 inch pleats.  These cardboard pieces are 5 inches.  So, they are perfect.  When I've made these before the hardest part was getting the pleats even for the whole length of the sling.  I know the pattern directions say that you don't have to make the pleats the whole length, but I find that it makes it easier to fold to wrap for a gift and that the presentation is just better  this way.  I bought these rings at slingrings.com.  I couldn't find them in any store.  They come in different colors and sizes.
Last, but not least I have made doll dresses to "sort of" match the big  girls' sister  Easter dresses.  Since they are doll dresses I didn't put quite the effort into them that I do when I am sewing for a real child.  They have American Girl dolls.  
Now, I'm working on twirly skirts for the three big girls.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Trunk Full of Puppets

These are two puppets that my puppet team at church needs for an upcoming performance.  The song they sing is called "Have Patience."  It is a really funny, but teaching, song.  The snails have extremely DEEP voices.  The striped one is the Daddy Snail and is a lot larger than the brown one.  It's hard to tell that in these pictures.  The striped one is made from an old turtle neck of mine that I haven't worn in years.  The brown is made from two pair of socks that I also never wear.  Is this refashioning?  I guess it's more reCYCLING.  The eyes are made from ping pong balls cut in half and colored with a permanent marker.

These two puppets were used years ago at my old church  for a skit about Noah.  The whale looks much better in person.  
The cow and pig were also from years ago and for a skit about "The Little Red Hen."  I can't remember the actual hen puppet.  The cow is fake fur and the pig is felt.  They have been in a trunk for years.  I just let them out yesterday.
The dog and cat were also part of "The Little Red Hen."  The dog has lost one eye.  Poor thing.  He is made from an old chenille bedspread, and the cat is felt.  Please don't judge these puppets too critically, as I didn't have patterns for them, just my imagination, the materials at hand and my limited skills and time.  Please keep in mind that these are in no way supposed to be realistic, more cartoony was my goal.
The favorite puppets I ever made were a pair of camels.  They are near life size.  Two people actually stand under the body to make the humps and the front person controls the head.  I made the heads from towels.  I will try to get those for a post soon.  I think they are at my church.  We used one of them for our Christmas play last year.  They were originally made to act out the song, "Humphrey the Camel."  Have you ever heard of that song?  Probably not.  

I've been busy working on my project list.  I got to mark off the baby slings and Mother's new wrap and the snail puppets.  I also got the doll clothes cut out, to be made tomorrow.  I'll post about these soon.

I have been commissioned to make not only the 5 sundresses and bonnets, but also another bonnet and 3 boys outfits of shorts and shirts.  Aaaaccccckkkkk!  Can I get them done?  Of course I can.  Sure I can.  I know I can.  I keep telling myself I can.  I just have to get my project list finished. 
 One of the ladies I'm sewing for told me yesterday that she doesn't need hers until June 5th!  Whew!!!  She is one of the ones who wants 2 sundresses and now outfits for her three grandsons.  She first said she wanted the dresses by May 16th.  That wouldn't have been a problem except when she added the boys outfits to the order --- I almost panicked!  










Friday, May 8, 2009

Little Man's Birthday gifts! And reflections on motherhood!

I'm getting there.   Another thing marked off my list.  These jeans shorts are for Little Man's first birthday!!  How can it be that a whole year has already gone by? I used Butterick 6894.  

Well, I sort of used it.  I made the side pockets the way jeans' pockets are made.  I also made back pockets.  I added belt loops, as well.  I did the double stitched seams except on the side seams.  I did French seams there.  
Notice the two different styles of back pockets.  On the first try, I had them too high, too close to the waist band.  So, I took them off and before I sewed them back on in a lower position I added more decorative stitching.  Since his mom and dad sometimes call him Little Man, I made and L and an M.  The left and bottom lines make the L.  Both sides and the dip in the middle make the M.  I guess this is corny, but I did it anyway.

I also made him another pair of shorts with a shirt to match.  I used the Butterick pattern for these shorts, pretty much by the pattern directions.  Then I made the shirt by the Simplicity 2627 pattern shown here.  I made the boys' view A, the plaid shirt.  

As you see, I only made the front yoke from the plaid.  I top stitched the collar, sleeves under the yoke, and the hem with the stretch triple straight stitch on my machine because I wanted the topstitching to really show up well.  I used this stitch on the jeans shorts, too. 

 As you know, if you've been following my blog, I like finished insides so I finished the seams of the shirt by trimming one side of the seam allowance very close to the stitching and double folding the other side over it and stitching next to the seam.  Does this make sense?  There is a name for this type of seam finish,but I can't think what it's called.  It almost looks like a French seam when it's finished.  I used French seams in the shorts.



On Another Note - Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms and grandmoms out there.
  • Remember when your child was first born, and he/she needed you for EVERYTHING?  You felt like you would never get any sleep again, or have any "ME" time again.
  • Then he/she hit two years and everything was either "NO!" or "Me Do It!"  This child, all of a sudden, wanted to be INDEPENDENT, but as you knew he/she wasn't.  There were still diapers to change, toys to put away, boo-boos to kiss away, etc....
  • Then there were years three and four, which went by WAY TOO FAST!!  Your child could really do some things like dress him/herself, well sort of, and feed him/herself without TOO much mess.  Diapers were no longer needed.  Whew!
  • Then five came along and he/she started Kindergarten!  How did that happen?  Now, you were no longer THE smartest grown-up in your child's life.  The TEACHER was!  Ouch!
  • Then 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10!  All these years went so fast.  There were t-ball games, dance lessons, soccer, swimming lessons, maybe piano lessons, and church choir practice.  Scouts, gymnastics, HOMEWORK!!! and school projects.  There were school plays to attend, etc................
  • OH NO! now your child hit 11, 12, and 13.  Who was this person in your child's body?  Did some extraterrestrial take over?  This child was an exaggerated TERRIBLE TWO!  He/she thought that he/she was all grown-up and could or should be allowed to DO EVERYTHING because EVERYBODY ELSES' moms and dads let them!!  "EVERYONE" had a cell phone, an ipod, a computer, a flat screen tv in their room, etc.................  He/she had to have the WHATEVER label clothing was IN at the moment. According to him/her your main purpose in life must have been to embarrass him/her!!  You did it well!  But, when it came to stuff like homework, or hurt feelings, etc... mom was still needed.  (I know these things because I taught 11 and 12 year old for nearly 20 years!  Even though my girls went through some of this stuff, they weren't nearly as bad as most. I was a pro at embarrassing them, however!)
  • HIGH SCHOOL - seriously, you weren't old enough to have a kid in high school!   Talk about homework!!   It was endless.  There were boyfriends and girlfriends.  Of course, those have been in his/her life since at least kindergarten, but now it was different.  Girls wanted to go out with boys who can DRIVE!!  Boys were not ready for the girls who were lurking around every corner.  
  • 16! Driver's Licenses, real dating,  part time jobs, and looking at colleges!!
  • Then came senior year!!  Where had the time gone?  Where was your little baby boy/girl?  Yet, weren't you proud that he/she turned out so well, despite YOU?  
  • Off to college.  If you were lucky he/she went somewhere close to home.  Most of the calls home were to tell you how much books and supplies cost, that the food card is out of money, that there is a formal event that calls for a new gown or tux.  Then there are the calls about speeding tickets, car accidents, etc....  Then there is the announcement that he/she had met the ONE that was meant for them and that wedding plans needed to be made.
  • After college: marriage, first homes, grand babies.  Life came back around in a circle.  Did you ever get any "ME" time again?  What's "ME" time?

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