Friday, April 30, 2010

Thank You for Your Beautiful Comments!

We had the visitation and the funeral for my mother-in-law last night. The line at the funeral home went down the hall and out the door for 2 solid hours. My husband has a huge family, his mom was a teacher, all of my husband's siblings have tons of friends, the churches (ours, our in-laws, and others in town) came out in great numbers, many of my family members came, etc...... The Methodist Church Choir sang a rendition of Amazing Grace and My Chains are Gone, and In the Garden. How inspiring! My mother-in-law's first cousin is a pastor of a Baptist Church. He and the Methodist pastor did the service together. It was beautifully done. It was not a tear jerker type funeral, thank God for this!
Today we have the grave side service. To me, this is always the hardest part.
All of our girls and their spouses and children are here at our house. That part is so much fun. The little girls are playing dress up in the room with me right now. They are so cute and sweet. Our Little Man is upstairs getting dressed, I think.

Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts for our family. This blogger world is so wonderful!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayers, Please

Please keep my husband and his family in your prayers. His mom died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack this morning.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting Healthy is Making me Sick!

Yes, I know that yesterday was Friday and that I was supposed to post my Fat Fighting Friday post, but ...............

1. I have felt yucky for about 2 weeks now with this allergy stuff!
2. I was getting ready for the Earth Day Celebration at my church by going through old books for our used book sale. Some of these books were mighty musty! Didn't help my allergies.
3. Walking outside with all that's blooming right now is not working.
4. Most of the exercising I've been doing has been messing with my sciatica.
5. My mom has been occupying lots of my time the past couple of weeks.
6. I've been trying to sew some.
7. My sister is here.
8. We've been to a luncheon and a dinner this week where delicious deserts were served.
9. So.....I'm skipping a week on my FFF post! I could think up more excuses, but I won't.
I don't guess most of these excuses explain my title. I was thinking of the sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, tiredness, etc..... And the pain in my left leg!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

INSPIRE! and a tee shirt

Kim from Fowers & Art recently made this really pretty little purse from a book cover!!!! Who would ever think to use a book cover in such a unique and creative way? She decided to give it away, and can you believe that I won it!!?? I recently won a little miniature dog that she made. Puddin (my punch felted pup) and this INSPIRE tag are going to be watching over my sewing. Puddin already does, actually. She sits atop a little plastic set of drawers that I keep my bobbins, needles, etc... in next to my machine! I am going to hang this tag on the cabinet next to my sewing table, so that when I look at it, I will think of Kim and be INSPIRED! She makes the most incredible miniatures you have ever seen. You have to go look at the bus that she is making as a home for her little pig! Yep, that's right, just go see for yourself!

Here's a close up of the sleeve that I inserted into the little top I'm making for "Eldest Grand" for her 10th birthday!

A close up of the fabric I "made" from three t-shirts. I layered the purple, then yellow, then coral shirts together. I then stitched the black zigzags in a random, curvy pattern. Then, I cut out the purple sections from some parts of the pattern exposing the yellow. In some sections I cut out the purple and yellow, leaving the coral to show through.
As Elle mentioned, I saw this done by Jonathon on Project Runway. I actually have done this technique on sweat shirts years ago. I stitched a Christmas patterned fabric to the under side of the front of sweat shirts. Then, I cut away a tree pattern, etc..... I don't remember exactly what I did. This was not my original idea. I don't know where I saw it done the first time. By the way, if you haven't checked out Elle's blog, it is a must see!! I actually met this wonderful lady recently. It is a small world!

Here's the back. I used the hem of the yellow t-shirt's sleeves to bind the neck. It looks a little off in this photo. I'll have to go back and see if it really looks like this. I may have to redo. I didn't notice it looking this way when I was sewing it.

Here's the front. I used the sleeves from the purple t-shirt to make the sleeves. I decided to flute the bottom of the shirt by slightly stretching it as I zigged!

A few weeks ago, when I was really excited about spring finally getting here, I took this photo. I posted it on my blog. Now, that my allergies are getting the best of me, I'm not quite so excited about all the blooming things in my yard, but I still like this photo. I have made it the wall paper background on my computer. I love the bright yellow sunshiny feeling it gives me.

Mother update : The day before yesterday my allergies had taken over and all I could think about doing was laying on the couch all wrapped up in my soft afghan and sleeping. I woke up about 4:00 in the afternoon and decided to call the nursing home to check on Mother. I was told that she was really doing okay, so I asked the nurse to please tell Mother that I wasn't going to be there to feed her dinner. I asked her to tell Mother that I had a cold, but that I was okay, etc..... Did she tell Mother? NO she did not!!! Did Mother freak out imagining the absolute worst things she could imagine had happened to me? YES, she did! So, about 7:30 I got a phone call that I really needed to come to the nursing home so that Mother would see that I was okay. So, I dragged myself off the couch, put on real clothes and went to the nursing home. To say that Mother was freaking out is an understatement!!! As soon as she saw me, though, she was okay, but by then they had already given her medicine that has now had her nearly knocked out for two days. The new medicine that the doctor prescribed had not gotten there yet, so they had given her the old stuff. She was still asleep through most of lunch today. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I wasn't very happy. The nurse who was supposed to tell Mother that I wasn't coming said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I was busy and I forgot." UH....... she knows my mom and how upset she gets!!! YOU DON'T FORGET TO TELL HER THAT I'M NOT SHOWING UP!!!! I BET SHE WON'T FORGET AGAIN, BECAUSE I VENTED TO HER SUPERIOR. I wasn't ugly about it, but I made it clear that this nurse could have at least told someone else to go talk to Mother. OKAY, now I feel better!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A sneak peek .....

I took three of my tee shirts that I have never worn (they are either too short, too big, too little or too whatever!) and layered them with the purple being on top, the yellow in the middle, and the coral on the bottom. I did all this after cutting the front and back apart and cutting the sleeves off. Then I used black thread and a zigzag stitch to randomly stitch curvy lines that criss-cross, go back and forth, up and down, from side to side, etc..... Then I zigzagged over the same stitches all over again for added strength. Then, I cut out the sections using my applique scissors. In some sections I cut out just the purple which left the yellow exposed. In others I cut both the purple and yellow, which left the coral exposed. The picture shows the fronts and the backs. I haven't done the sleeves, yet, and may not need that extra fabric. My next step is to use this as the fabric to make my grand daughter, who is turning 10 in May, a top to wear with shorts this summer. I used black thread because I saw some black shorts that I plan to go back and get for her. She likes the long Bermuda type shorts. Is she going to like this fabric for a top? She is growing up and doesn't want "cute" stuff anymore. O0O0O0 - those are supposed to be teardrops because she's growing up so quickly. I wouldn't want it any other way, though. :) :) :)
When I think of her I smile. :) :) :)
I just got my new Ottobre. Thank you so much ladies for prodding me into ordering this wonderful magazine. There are incredible patterns for little boys!!! little girls!!! big boys!!!! and big girls!!!! I am so happy! I look forward to it like I do my Sew Beautiful. Now, I need to order the Australian Smocking mag.!
Thank you so much for the good thoughts and prayers concerning my mom. I think her doctor and I have a workable plan with changing some of her medications. Pray that it works. Debbie suggested that we check her for a UTI. That's always the first thing we do when she starts getting confused, but lately that hasn't been what's causing her problems. Actually, she's only having a day or two at a time that she's not confused lately. Again, thanks for your continued support!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Resident of the Month and A 40th Reunion!

My mother was chosen as Resident of the Month by the employees of the nursing home.
This past week was very rough for her. She keeps having nightmares and being very frightened! She gets so scared that she cries and screams. She sees things that are not there. It's best to just go along with an elderly person who is confused - UNLESS - the thing they are confused about is making him/her very anxious, scared, or should I say terrified!! I haven't figured it all out, yet. I have asked for a meeting with her doctor and the psychiatrist who comes to this facility. She has never seen Mother, but I am thinking that maybe she will have some insight into some meds that might help keep her on a more even keel!! At least that is my prayer. It will help knowing that some of you are praying for her, too.
See that pink thing in the upper lefthand corner? That is the foot of a flamingo. Mother has always liked flamingos. I'm glad I hung it behind her bed, because I think it would have frightened her if she could have seen it the other morning. She thought there were people hanging from her ceiling on these lantern things they had made in a craft session. I took them down. I just can't imagine what is going on in her mind. As my cousin's wife said, "Her brain is running a hundred miles a minute, flitting from one thing to another. She must be exhausted."
I still think I'm going to try to get inside her and other residents' heads and write a book.

40th Reunion! It's sad when your former teachers look younger than you and your classmates. This was our Freshman English teacher. We were her first group. She said we were her favorite. That's hard to believe. She was so young and cute. Our boys really gave her a hard time. She gave me a "C" in study hall for talking too much. I didn't know you got grades in Study Hall, but we did!!!!

I do not put pictures of people on my blog without blurring their faces unless I ask first, so that's why these are blurred. Can you tell from the background that we held our reunion at a Senior Citizens' Center!!! How appropriate!!!! The guys look older than the girls in this photo, don't they. The girl on the left is a couple of years younger than us, but she married the guy next to her. He is a member of the band that provided our entertainment all during our teen years. They were, and still are, an awesomely talented group!!!

The girl in pink and I played basketball together. The guy in the black shirt was our class president. The guy with his back to the camera was actually our principal. I'll never forget the time that he announced that, "The next freshman who gets sent to the office will be sent home!!" Of course, that was our freshman year, and my husband was the next freshman to be sent to him. He didn't send him home, though. Whew!! His parents would have not been happy, to say the least!!!

The girl facing the camera is my bff from junior high and high school. We are still very close! She is the one who always beat me in sewing competitions. The girl with her back to the camera was also one of my very best friends. Our schools were integrated during our 7th grade year. She didn't come till the 8th grade, but we were in the same home room. We formed an instant bond. She, the other girl in the photo, and I played basketball together. They, along with the girl in the above photo were really good at basketball. But hey, someone had to warm the bench and cheer them on, right? That was my position. The girl with her back to the camera and I also sang in a sextet together. She has a beautiful soprano voice and I'm an alto. She and I quit the sextet together, too, because the teacher who was our director scheduled our practices during basketball practice. Boy did that teacher light into us! She said we would be sorry later in life, because, "You will sing all of your lives, but basketball is just temporary!" That was our argument, too. We wanted to play while we could. Brenda even played bb in college!!! She plays the piano at her church, too.

These are our classmates who have passed away. There was one other girl who was killed during our 8th grade year whose picture isn't here. The boy in the top right hand corner was one of the first kids I ever knew as a kid. Our mothers were really good friends and we went to church together. He and I rolled our Junior English teacher's yard three times at Halloween. We hid in the bushes and watched our teacher come out and clean up the mess, and then we would roll it again! He pulled me out of the water once when I did a stupid dive off the board while playing chicken. I was temporarily paralyzed and couldn't swim to the side by myself. The boy in the middle on the left side of this photo had just been to visit my husband and me shortly before he was killed in a car wreck. The girl on the bottom left was voted "friendliest" in our class. She was so beautiful!!! The boy on the bottom middle jumped into the deep end of our city pool right at my feet once. He couldn't swim. Why did he jump in? Who knows, but I pulled him out.

We had one table with memorabilia. The photo on the left is my husband and me at our senior prom. Look at that mini dress that I made to wear!!! The picture on the right was made during one of the rare times that I got into a basketball game. That's me on the floor fighting for the ball. They had a good reason for calling me Bruiser! That's my bff from two picture up, on the left looking as if she isn't sure whether to help me out or not!!! Lol

Now, it's to my sewing room to see what patterns and fabrics I already have that will work for making some things for my grands who are having birthdays in May.
If the air doesn't clear of pollen soon, I will not be able to function. My eyes are pouring and my nose is stopped up. I'm coughing and sneezing every few minutes. I need RAIN!!! I didn't think I would be wishing for rain, as much as we've had this year! But, I need some clean air to breath!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fat Fighting Friday Week 8!!

I hope you are all going over to my friend, Kim's, blog on Thursdays. She is the inspiration for me doing these Fat Fighting Friday posts.
Okay, so I was really excited this morning when I got on the scales and they said 1_3! Now, that's only 4 pounds down from where I started 8 weeks ago. That's only .5 of a pound a week!!! At this rate, I'll be too old to care by the time I reach my goal. Let me tell you, there will come a day when I say, "I don't want that salad, chicken, tuna, apple, etc...... I want that hot fudge cake, apple frittata, peach cobbler, etc...."
When my mom doesn't want to eat anything but her desert, I'm like "Okay, you can eat whatever you want!!" Last night, she asked me if she HAD to eat her supper at all. I said, "Mother, you get to decide for yourself whether you want to eat or not." She said, "Then, I don't want to eat." So there!! She was a little upset to her stomach. Some days she wants everything they have and still wants more! Let It Be!!!
I guess I've digressed somewhat, huh? I'm not supposed to be talking about my mother's weight issues, but I'd rather talk about hers than mine!!!
On the Fat Fighting Front ------ I went out to eat with my friend for lunch on Wednesday. I ordered a hamburger and chips. I asked for a take-home box when I ordered. I cut the burger in half and put it and half of the chips in the box right away. OKAY, I know that a burger wasn't the best choice, but I can't remember the last burger I ate.
My husband and I have eaten roasted veggies, chicken, fruit, popcorn, more roasted veggies, more fruit, etc..... all week so I didn't feel too guilty.
I need to figure out a good schedule for eating. I'm usually running up to the last minute before it's time to go feed my mom lunch, so I don't eat before I go. By the time I'm finished and run the errands I need to run, it's really too late to eat lunch, so I usually have a banana or something like that. Therefore, I'm usually starving (HA! LIKE I WOULD EVEN KNOW HOW THAT FEELS!) by supper time. We eat a healthy supper, and then I want to graze all evening. NOT GOOD!
I didn't mention breakfast. I usually eat something like a slice of whole grain toast, unless my husband is in the mood to cook. Yesterday, he made omelets with left over asparagus and onions, YUMMY!

I need to pump up the walking! I've walked several times this week, and I've gotten faster each time.
I need to get on some kind of normal schedule. I could eat before I go to feed Mother.

We went to the funeral home last night for the young man I told you about in my last post. There were so many young people there. It was so sad. There aren't words to express the feeling. Tonight we are going to the funeral home for one of our parents' friends who died of cancer. I hope not to have to do that again for a while!

Our 40th class reunion is tomorrow night. We are going to decorate this afternoon. I've got lots of stuff to do before then. I'm supposed to make a cd of 60s music to play while we mingle, etc.... I painted a Tornado (which was our mascot), but I don't like how it looks so I'm going to do it over. I don't yet have shoes or jewelry to wear to the reunion. I'll probably end up wearing some I've already got. I doubt that anyone will notice or even care what I have on. I did get a pedicure, manicure, and a hair trim yesterday. I could just walk around with my hand in front of my face and go barefooted!!! LOL
Tonight and tomorrow night my cousin's wife is going to spend the night with us. Tomorrow, her nephew and his fiance are having a pre-wedding reception/shower. We're going to that, then to the reunion, then to the REUNION dance!! She's also going to our reunion with us and to the dance. She was actually in the class behind us.
When we were teens, a group of guys from our high school had a band. They played every Friday and Saturday night! There wasn't anything else to do in this small town (there's still not) so that was awesome! These guys are coming back together to do a benefit dance for our local arts council. That's why we decided to have our reunion this weekend. Lots of our classmates will be in town for the dance anyway. FUN! FUN! FUN!
Sunday, there is another shower for one of my former students.
Next weekend our church is celebrating Earth Day! It really is a big deal. We close off the streets around our little bitty church and have a band, booths of all kinds that deal with the environment, a book sale, food sales, a puppet show, etc......... Dignitaries come to get their pictures made for the paper, etc.......

After that, I'm taking a little break from being so busy!!! I will get back to some intense sewing. After all, two of the grands have birthdays coming up. I have some ideas of sewing projects for them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Premio Amigo Artesano Award!!!!

My friend Kim sent me this amazing award. She truly has become my friend. Not only have I won one of her incredible miniature punch felted puppies, but I also have won a purse that she made just recently. My puppy oversees all of my sewing. This lady makes the most unbelievable miniature worlds!!! I couldn't believe it when I first found her blog. I thought these were life sized homes, etc.. that she was showing. When I realized I had fallen upon a true miniature artist I was so intrigued!!!!! I still am!!!! Kim also is into trying to get herself a little healthier. She is posting a Healthy Thursday blog, on Thursdays of course. She has so many great tips!!! She's the inspiration for my Fat Fighting Friday posts. She is feeling better already.
The only requirement for this award is to pass it on to 5 other bloggers. I have so many blogs that I read almost daily that this is very hard to do. I have decided to pass it on to some that not so many of you have found based on their numbers of followers. I suggest that you link to these. You will love them as much as I do.

Learn2SewFlorida Cindy has just opened her shop where she teaches sewing in a new and much better location. She often shows photos of her students' work. She even has an online Project Runway competition featuring her students' work. You will be amazed at the quality of clothing that they produce, especially since most of them are new sewists!!! She also links to lots of articles about sewing from across the world. I love reading about all the interesting things that sewists are doing out there. You will love, love, love Cindy's blog. She is a very thoughtful person who truly cares about her fellowmen and women. She is absolutely amazing. You will love her blog as much as I do!
Afterthedress This blog is so much fun to read. I love that she asks a sewing related question every week and then takes the time to analyze the answers for her readers the next day. I have learned so many new techniques by reading what others answer to her great questions. She asks the types of questions that many of us probably have, but have never verbalized. You will adore her blog, too.
Mermaids This amazing lady is a substitute teacher who isn't afraid to take on any class. She especially loves it when she gets to sub in what we used to call Home Ec. I forget what she calls it on her blog. Her son takes this class and is the star pupil. He must take after his mom. She is also the parent who the school calls on when they need costumes made for plays, and really just about any kind of project, because they know they can count on her. My kind of parent!!!!
Itsasewinglife This blogger is making the prettiest little flower girl dresses you ever saw from taffeta and chiffon. These two fabrics are not the easiest to sew with. She's making tiers that are cut in the round, so partly on the bias and partly not!!! That in itself is difficult enough. Of course, I'm in love with the sewing of children's clothing, but anyone who sews at all will enjoy this Atlanta lady's blog.
Thesewingspot Okay, now this lady has done some gorgeous smocking. You will be just as impressed as I have been. I've only found her blog recently, but I'm hooked, and I'm sure you will be, too.

My friends Jackie and Knitmachinequeen need to pick up the award Beyond Your Imagination from a couple of days ago about their favorite books. These two special ladies have been faithful followers of mine for a long time now. I love both of their blogs!!! I'm glad to know how much they like to read, too. Actually I already knew they did, but now I'm positive!!! Pass it on girls!!!

Like I said, there are so many blogs out there that I am reading almost daily that this was hard. I just thought it would be nice for some of you to find these 5 incredible ladys' blogs like I did.

I hope you ladies will pass this along to other bloggers so that they can pass it on, as well. Before we know it, we'll be seeing this on lots of blogs. I hope that a lot of the other blogs I read will be showing up with this award!!!

On a very sad note - Please keep my friend's family in your prayers. I taught with this man for many, many years. I have taught all three of his wonderful children. His oldest son, who was only 20, was killed in a motorcycle accident last evening. He had just finished a NasCar mechanics school in NC and had gotten a job working for a Jaguar Plant in Chattanooga. When I was at school the other day to deliver the pillowcase dress he told me all about his three kids and what they were up to. He was so very proud, and rightly so, of David. As I said, I taught David and his siblings. They are all great kids. Dianna has already been contacted by many colleges for her cross country track skills. She will have her choice of where to go. The younger son is running track, as well. The dad is the basketball coach and one of the p.e. teachers at the school where I taught for 30 years. He is an outstanding coach. His wife is a teacher at the local high school. They are donating David's organs. How generous of them to be thinking about saving other lives while grieving for their precious son.

On a Happier Note - My Mother-in-law came home from the nursing home today. It will be difficult for a while to learn the ins and outs of taking care of her at home after her broken hip incident. Home Health Care Workers and Physical and Occupational Therapists will be coming into the home to help out for a while.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Was In A Lollipop Mood Today!

I'll explain the Lollipop Mood in a minute, but first.......

What a day!!!! I was already awake, but not out of bed yet when the phone rang. It was a nurse from the nursing home telling me that my mom was very upset. So, I jumped up, threw on clothes, ran my fingers through my wild hair and drove up there. She was REALLY upset. She'd had a bad dream and was scared. She settled down when I got there and talked to her. I helped her eat a little cereal, but I could tell that she wasn't totally calmed down. (She actually started being anxious yesterday.) I told the nurse that it would be ok to give her something to help her settle down and sleep for a while. I stayed until she was sound asleep. I went back at lunch time and dinner time. She was awake both times and ate good meals. She was much calmer!!! I don't understand what's going on with her, and neither does the doctor, but it is hard to see her this way. This stage usually lasts for several days, then she usually sleeps for 2 - 3 days, then she's usually ok for a few days. She actually had a great week all of last week!! I guess I should just be glad there are good days.
My mother-in-law is doing well. She goes back to the orthopedic doctor on Wednesday, and my father-in-law is hoping she will get to come home then. He will have help from home health workers, physical therapists, and occupational therapists at home for a while.

This afternoon, I sewed. I find that sewing helps me take my mind off of other things, so it is really like therapy for me. Does sewing help you this way, too?

My daughter bought this light turquoise cotton fabric and the green ribbon to make Lil' E a pillowcase dress, but instead she gave it to me to make. I've had it since Christmas, and I finally got it done today. I added this polka dotted fabric as the hem band and the lollipop! The top is simply a casing through which the ribbon is threaded. I stitched at the ends of the casings to hold the ribbon in place. I made bias binding to bind the arm slits. As you can see, I added a border of yellow rick rack on the top of the hem border, blue around the outside of the lollipop, and pink to simulate the swirled candy. The lollipop stick is 4 rows of cording that I just zigzagged into place. I added the green bow, and Voila, a lollipop pillowcase dress. I guess I should be calling it a faux pillowcase dress, since it really isn't made from a pillowcase at all. It can't get much simpler than this! I hope Lil' E and her mom like it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beyond Your Imagination Award! And.......

Sweet Young Emily from Super Stitches awarded me with this awesome award!!! I love using my imagination! That is what sewing, writing, drawing, etc..... is all about.
The rules are below:

-Award Rules -
1. List 8 stories or books you'd like to live in.
2. List 8 other bloggers who deserve this award.
3. Comment on their blogs & let them know you've awarded them!

I'm going to bend the rules just a tad. Most of the books that I read are not ones in which I'd want to live. Rather, most of them make me glad to be living my real life. However, when I read a book, I almost always find a character with which I identify. Also, I taught 6th grade language arts for so long that some of my favorite books are for that age group. I am going to list books and authors I love to read.
1. Wizard of Oz - by Frank L. Baum (If you haven't read the book, you should. The movie leaves out so much of the excitement!)
2. Belle Prater's Boy - by Ruth White ( about a young boy in the mountains of SW VA whose mother disappears)
3. Homecoming, Dicey's Song, Seventeen Against the Dealer - all by Cynthia Voight (the Tillerman children are abandoned)
4. Hatchet, Brian's Song, The River, etc...... - by Gary Paulson (adventure, survival, etc...)
5. Call It Courage - by Armstrong Sperry (A young boy goes out on his own to find his courage - set on a Polynesian Island before recorded history)
6. All of John Grissom's books (good way to feel good about my own life, not near the drama in real life!!)
7. The Help - by Kathryn Stockett (This is a fairly new must read!!!! about racial issues in the South during the 60s.)
8. Philippa Gregory's books - (I wouldn't want to live in these books for sure, but they are fascinating historical fiction.)
There are many, many more but I will stop with these eight.

If you love to read leave me a comment and I will send this award on to you!!! I know a few of your read a lot, but I'm not sure who all. Perhaps we should start a reader's blog.

This is a tiny photo, but perhaps you can see it well enough to appreciate the beautiful colors and precise piecing on this gorgeous quilt that my cousin, Malinda, made!!! I am not nearly patient enough to do this kind of work!! She has made so many pretty quilts.

She and her husband, who is a pilot, flew here from Chattanooga on Saturday. It's about a 30 minute flight in the small plane he flies. I picked them up at our teeeeeeeninsey airport. We went fabric shopping at Katy's Fabrics which isn't too far from us. Katy and her family own and operate this really cool store. They have fabrics of every type!!! I've mentioned before that if I ever need something really different I find it there. They used to just carry seconds and factory overruns, but no more. They have gorgeous cottons, etc..... Malinda bought a bunch of quilting fabrics. Katy has ordered fabric for me to make my grandbaby-to-be's nursery things.
After the fabric shopping we went to the nursing home to feed my mom her dinner. We also visited with my mother-in-law. They sit at the same table so we can visit with both moms at the same time.
Then, we went to Malinda's brother's (my cousin, of course) restaurant where we ate pizza! I only ate one piece, though. I ate mostly salad.
We had a great time!!!
I took them back to the airport. They were back home not long after I got home! I think that is really cool that they can just hop in a plane and fly up here so quickly. Of course, it is a little over an hour's drive.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fat Fighting Friday Week 7! Another Pillowcase Dress!

I've decided that I should add another "F" to my Friday title!! Don't worry, it's not what you are thinking! It should be :
Frustrating Fat Fighting Friday!
The beginning of this week was great! I started a walking routine and worked in the yard. But, I aggravated my sciatica, so now I'm reevaluating things. The scales didn't move in either direction, but that doesn't bother me too much! It just bothers me that when I do exercise, I mess up my back, hip, leg, and hip!! I am not going to give up on walking or doing yard work, though. I realize that I need to do my stretches before I walk, and when I work in my yard, I need to get down on my knees rather than bend over!!!! I also need to use ice on my lower back!
We had a big Spring time storm on Wednesday, so there was no walking that day, but I needed to rest the sciatic nerve anyway. Yesterday and today have been rather cool, so I stretched and exercised indoors.
The following pictures are of the small lake (It's really more of a large pond) that is in a park near my house. It has a walking trail that is a mile long, and there are some very pretty views.
I will continue walking here.
This first one shows a spot where we took our oldest grand daughters fishing when they were visiting once.

There are lots of ducks and geese on this pond. That can present a problem sometimes. The geese, especially, can get very aggressive. One pooped on my husband's shoe when we were picnicking there once. LOL! At least I thought it was funny, but my husband didn't!! I love this little family of ducks that crossed the path in front of me. Up on the hillside to the right is a great playground and picnic area where we have taken the grands a few times. Also on the right, but not in the picture is a baseball field where the little league teams play ball.

A squirrel ran across my path here, and then up a tree , too quickly for me to get its picture, though.

Remember the flag reflection from my post the other day? This is the flag from a distance. That white building is a concession stand for a little league football field. There's a soccer field at this park, too. It is a great park for our little town. The 4th of July celebration here is a lot of fun!

This duck was not happy that I took her picture. She really fussed right after I took it!

I love willow trees.

Some more ducks! They were very playful!

I love this little wooden bridge. The ducks above had just swum under it.

The dock that you see in the distance is another favorite place for fishing with our grands when they visit. The fountain is to keep the water aerated, I think. This is a man made lake. There are lots of fish in here, but they are small and not for eating. Look at the reflection of the Bradford Pear Trees. Isn't that pretty?

As you can tell, on the day I took these pictures, I didn't walk very quickly. I kept stopping to get good shots.

Earlier today, I took the pillowcase dress that I posted about yesterday, and the one below, to my friend. I made them for her niece. It was fun to see some of my teacher friends. I have only been to my old school twice this whole year! I wish I could have seen all of my friends, but they were busy teaching! I need to go down and stay in the lounge where most of the teachers eat from the first lunch period through the last one. That way I would see most everyone. I may just do that one day the week after next. They are on Spring Break next week.
The only part of this dress that was actually part of the pillowcase my friend brought me is the hem border. It was connected to the actual pillowcase with entredeaux. I saved that and sewed it to this seersucker. The original pillowcase was very stained. There is nothing easier to make than this style sundress!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pillowcase Pinafore and Dress Finished!

I finished the dress from the pillowcases that are family heirlooms that belong to my friend. She wanted a pinafore made from the pillowcases to go over a dress for her little niece. This is what I came up with for her. It just happened that I had a large crocheted doily that had the same, or almost the same design in the same colors, so I combined them. I used my crocheted flowers as the bodice. I sewed three together, overlapping the white parts and zigzagging any loose ends. I used two of the flowers on the back of the bodice and the centers of two for the shoulders. I decided that I would use ribbons as closures on the back of the pinafore.

I opened the sides of the two pillowcases. I stitched the fronts together to make the front skirt and the backs to make the back skirt using French seams.
For the back, I sewed a gathering stitch in a curve around the corner and all the way to the bottom, so that the trim would go up the inside of the opening. I hope this makes at least a little sense!

I pulled up the gathers. See below.

This is how it looks all put together from the back.

And here it is from the front. I made a binding from the left over fabric from the pillowcases to go across the top of the skirt section.

Here are close ups of the under dress. I think she may enjoy wearing it by itself this summer. I made a self lining from white cotton. The flowered fabric was a little too thin to be worn without a lining. I made a self binding for the sleeves. This dress is made with French seams, too. It is rare that I don't use French seams on my children's clothing. It just makes for a cleaner look.

Next is a pillowcase dress from another of her pillowcases. This one is really stained, but the hem edge is a really pretty solid lavender. I am going to make a typical pillowcase designed dress using some seersucker to replace the body of the pillowcase and just add the hem edging to it. I'll get into my ribbon stash to see if I have some matching ribbon.
I'm hoping to finish by tomorrow so that I can deliver these to her. She's a teacher at my old school. They are out for Spring Break next week, and I really don't want to wait till the week after next to take them to her. So, I'd better get in my sewing room and get busy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Upside Down! A Great Big Smile! & What's Next?

I took this picture of the reflection of the flag in a small lake in a park near my house this morning. This lake has a walking path around it that is one mile long. I will tell you more on my Fat Fighting Friday post about this park, the lake, and this walking trail. This reflection is pretty amazing, I thought.

Here's Lil E in her Easter dress. Her mom posted this picture on Sunday. The green band on her leg is an id bracelet that her church uses in the nursery. The church they attend is THAT big!!! In my church there are only a few little ones and everyone knows them all! It makes me feel good that they take such measures to assure the kids' safety at their church.

Yesterday, I mentioned that my next project is to make a couple of dresses for my friend's niece from some heirloom pillowcases. Here is a picture of the pillow cases, fabric that I am going to make an under dress, and the pattern that I am going to "kind of" go by to make this first dress. My friend wants a pinafore over a dress. I will probably make the pinafore longer, with the crocheted flowers coming right to the edge of the hem of the underdress. I am also going to change the top of the pinafore.

In my stash I have these crocheted flowers that are almost identical to the ones on her pillowcases. I couldn't believe that they were so much alike!! I am going to maybe use them on the bodice of the pinafore some way or other.

Gotta go get busy!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Winner Has Been Chosen For My Giveaway!!!

is the winner of my giveaway! I am so happy that she won. We have had a running conversation going on by email, as well as reading and commenting often on each other's posts! Jackie is a very talented and creative knitter, quilter, embroiderer, etc....... Click on her name above to visit her wonderful blog!
Thank you to each of you who left a comment. Some of you are very faithful followers and leave comments on nearly every post. Some of you are also my email pals. I love getting to know more about each of you. It really is a very small world!!!
My next project is to make a couple of dresses for my friend's niece. She has given me family heirloom pillowcases to incorporate into them. What fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm not complaining about my husband "borrowing" HIS camera. Afterall, when he is using it, it's for his work. He is a realtor and sometimes he has to take photos of properties, etc.... I am always glad when he has real estate work to do, since the housing economy is so bad right now. I'm very happy that he lets me use it, actually. His camera is a lot better than any that I've ever had.
But, finally, he is finished with it for a day or two, so I have taken pictures of the blankets that I have made, and of my giveaway items.

As I told you in my last post, or maybe the one before last, I am going to donate all but one of these to the Department of Human Services. I remember that my mom used to get calls in the middle of the night to go to someone's house to pick up kids. Sometimes the parents were being arrested for some reason, or the children were being abused, but whatever the reason, it was traumatic for those children. These days, a lot of children are being removed from meth houses. No belongings can be taken from a house where meth is being made because of the poisionous fumes, etc.. Someone recently suggested that I give these blankets to our local DHS rather than send them to the Linus Project. It is basically the same kind of giving.

This blanket is in honor of Little Man. This fabric is what I used in his nursery. This is backed with a solid white piece of flannel. Little Man is adorable and I think this fabric is, too!

This one is in honor of J. She's a real girly girl and what's more girly than a butterfly? J painted a beautiful butterfly picture for me recently, so that's why I thought of this motif. I used a piece of aqua fleece for the butterfly. The center is a piece of the blanket binding.

This is in honor of R, who is also a girly girl. Flowers are just as girly as butterflies. When I thought about R, I thought of something soft and pretty! She loves pink. The green is binding that I just stitched on in as a rambling stem. The flower is made from rick rack.

This one is in honor of Lil E. My mom used to make blankets for some organization. The sheep fabric was some that she had. I backed it with grey fleece and made an appliqued sheep from a piece of terry cloth and felt. Lil E is a little lamb.

The baby that is due in the summer is honored by this simple little receiving blanket. I clean finished the edges with a shell stitch. This is really just the back of the above blanket. I've already given this one to the family that our church is helping. I felt that they needed it right away.

Last, but certainly not least, is the one in honor of K. This one is two layers of flannel. I stitched about 1 1/2 inch from the edge, cut fringe, and then washed and dried it. Susan had shown how to do this on her blog recently. I love this daisy print, and thought of my sunshiney K when I saw it.

Below are the things I am including in my giveaway. There may be a couple of surprises, too.
Hand crocheted large doily

Open worked doily

Large square linen open worked doily

A crocheted daisy, antique crocheted buttons, set of 12 antique lace medallions, two pieces of antique lace

Two bibs to cross stitch

5 hand embroidered antique handkerchiefs

Small circular linen doily edged in pretty lace

I will choose a winner on Monday, so be sure to comment on this or one of my previous (4?) posts if you want a chance to win.

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