Thursday, July 29, 2010

She's Here!

Baby Girl is here!!!!  She was born a few days ago, but I've been a little too busy to post about her till now!  She's a beautiful, dark haired little darling!  She weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and was 21 inches long.  Her mommy is doing wonderfully well!  Her big sis loves to give her hugs and kisses and then it's on to HER dancing, playing dress up, reading her new books, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, and getting lots of attention with both grandmoms here!  LBG, little baby girl, is going for her first doctor's appointment this afternoon.  He's going to say that he's never seen a more perfect little one. 
Gotta go.........it's time to go rock a baby!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preparing for....................

a trip to the West to greet a new granddaughter.  She hasn't made her appearance yet, but when she does, I'm flying out there.  While I am gone, my husband will be holding down the fort here in SE  TN, but I don't want to leave him with a big mess from the start so.......
 Things on my to-do list were:
Cleaning the house  from top to bottom,  that means upstairs and down. DONE (Well, except for the storage part of the basement.  That'll have to wait till I'm back.)

My sewing room which is downstairs needed a real straightening!!!  I tend not to always put things away when I am in the middle of several projects, one after another.  I actually decided to take all of my fabrics out of my fabric closet and refold those that needed it and to reorganize by color, etc.....  That's all done and it looks so good.  I guess I should show a picture, but I've done that before. DONE

While I am gone, my husband is going to have several guests, including my sister, my cousin, another cousin, my cousin's husband, and my cousin's wife.  They are all coming in to visit with Mother since I'm going to be gone.  They probably would have come anyway, but this worked out great!  So, I had to make sure the bathrooms and bedrooms are all clean and dust free, etc.....DONE

Straightening the laundry room, which wasn't bad, but the stuff on the shelves needed to be straightened up a little. DONE

Making sure all the laundry is done and folded and put away.  DONE

Going through all the mail to make sure there are no bills unpaid and to throw away the junk.  DONE

Making sure Mother has everything she could possibly need while I'm gone.  DONE

Making lists of all who are coming to visit Mother while I'm gone along with their phone numbers and the dates they'll be here.  Three copies of this list were made, one for Mother's chart at the nurses' station and two on her walls so the CNAs, or whomever needs to see them, can see them easily.  Also, I wanted Mother to feel secure about others being here to visit with her.  DONE

Packing all of the clothes, etc... that I will need plus all of the little gifts, etc... that I'm taking for the new grand and her big sister, all in one carry-on sized suitcase.  I'm not going to pay to check a bag.  I can do laundry while I'm there. Also, trying to find things to wear while I'm waiting to go, since all of my usual clothes are already packed.  DONE

Visiting with a friend or two who I won't see for a month while I'm gone.  DONE
Yes, that did say a MONTH!  I've never been away that long at one time.  I just pray that Mother will be ok while I'm gone.  I know my husband will be ok.  He's a great cook and with his dad next door to check on and all the guests who are coming, he won't be lonely.  He's actually going to join me later in the month.  My sister is going to come to stay at our house while we are both gone.

Finishing sewing projects and painting at the nursing home.  DONE

I'm sure I've done a few other things, but I can't think of what they are right now.
I will probably not post on my blog during this whole month.  I will occasionally get on the computer and check out your blogs, though, but if I don't comment often, just remember that I will be sitting and holding a new born baby girl and/or reading to her big sis, etc.......
I don't get to take the camera since I use my husband's that he has to have for his work.  I am going to rely on my daughter and her husband to take lots of pictures to let me send to my computer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Painting at the Nursing Home!And 28 years ago today.......

I'll start with the second part of my title.  28 years ago today our third beautiful daughter was born!  What a glorious day that was! And what fun it's been ever since.  
This time I painted windows instead of a fence.  These pictures will change with the seasons.  The first three rainy day pictures are at the front entrance.  We have needed rain so much that I thought perhaps this would help.
The next three pictures are on the windows that are in the living room area just inside the front door, so adjacent to the rainy day pictures.  I thought sitting around a campfire, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows and watching lightning bugs would be a fun summer time photo.   Note the orange T on the little boys shirt.  That's for the University of Tennessee.   Football time is approaching quickly. 
Now, as you can see the door into the dining room is to the side of the living room windows.  Of course I had to paint a great big sun for summer.  Several of the residents liked the frog on the front door so I thought they might like a turtle, too.             Summertime fun in the park with swinging and sliding
Next is a "man" for Margaret who sits in the chair in front of this window at every meal.  You can see the back of her chair int he photo.  This is the only photo I took from inside.  She asked me what I was going to paint on her window and when I asked her what she wanted she said, "A man."  She said her husband doesn't have to know everything.  I put an "M" on his shirt for Margaret and depicted him winking at her.  I told her this would be our little secret.  She is delighted!!!!!                                                      The next three pictures show swimming pool fun!  There's a little girl with her rubber ducky float, a boy doing a canon ball, and a graceful little lady doing a swan dive.    I didn't realize there was so much reflection in these windows when I took these pictures, but I guess they are clear enough.

This was a two day project in 90+ temperatures and sweat bees swarming and feeding off me, but the residents had fun watching so it's worth it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dresses for Lil' E and Baby Princess Presto! A pajama dress and ALOT of pictures!

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First, I'll show you Lil' E's dress.  I used this larger dotted cotton fabric for her.  I used, as you can see the white with black dots for the piping, binding on the sleeves, and as a border on the skirt.   Her mom is going to call me with a length measurement, at which point I may adjust the length at the binding, making it narrower or at the bottom, making the lower border narrower.  What do you think?  The white border is sewn into a hem pleat on the inside, so this would be easy to do. The ruffle is from a black with white polka dotted cotton.  (All of these are 100% cotton due to Lil' E's skin allergies.)   I decided to add the polka dotted ribbon sash because Lil' E is very thin, and even though I used a size 2 for the body and a 3 for the length, it still looked too big.  As you can see, I wove green ribbon into the smocked panel. ** I never use a pattern for my smocking.  Then end results just happen when I'm finished.  Someone recently told me that she had used the same smocking template that I did on that yellow linen napkin dress.  I don't think so.  I blurted out, "You didn't use this pattern, because I made it up."  I shouldn't have said that, but it just came out.  Oh well.                                                      
Now for Baby Princess Presto's dress............  I reversed the piping, binding and border at the hem, I used the black with white polka dots, and the white with black for the ruffle and a trim at the top of the hem border.  I also used the white with black as ruffles on the little bloomers.  Again, I wove the green ribbon into the smocking panel.  I also used it to hide the raw edges of the ruffles on the bloomers.  I also added three little bows on the bloomers.             
This picture is very lopsided?  I don't know what I did.  As you can see I ran the piping around the necklines and down the back openings on both dresses.   
I also made Lil' E a "pajama dress".  That's what she calls gowns.  You aren't going to believe this, because I really can't.  I made this completely, totally, 100% by hand.  We went out of town last weekend for a family reunion.  We had about a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, so besides packing my books and crossword puzzles, I decided to put this piece of fabric, a needle, a spool of thread, and a pair of scissors in my bag.  I started off by sewing 5 rows of running stitches across the front catching the edge of the turned under edge that makes the ruffle at the top.  I pulled to gather these rows of stitches, then I smocked with a very simple stitch across the front.  I then ran one row of a running stitch across the back piece, once again catching the top part that I turned under to make the ruffle at the top.  I pulled the stitches to gather.  Then, I stitched tiny little bitty stitches down the sides to form the side seams, but I actually did this twice because I made French seams.  Yes, by hand!!!!  Then I made  a tiny rolled hem, again, by hand.  Last, I folded over the two strips for the straps and stitched with a whip stitch to finish them, and then I attached them to the "pajama dress" on the inside on the back, but on the outside on the front.  I decided to use the border as part of the design on the straps.  My Lil' E loves princesses.  I guess that's pretty evident considering the name she is giving her little sis.  I don't know where the Presto part comes in!?!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Update and BLOG ALERT!!!!!!

My brother is home and very happy to be there!  He will have his IV hooked up at least 6 -8 weeks with Home Health Care coming to help him hook it up, etc...........  He still has a way to go, but his spirits sure are up just from being home with his wife and son!
My mom's pneumonia seems to be mostly gone.  Her anxiety levels seem to be down from where they were before her doctor finally adjusted some of her medicines.  She's still not "herself" again, but you know what, she probably won't be back to "that place" in her life.  She is still dependent on everyone around her to meet her every need, so that leads to some unhappy and impatient moments.  But, as one of my daughters told me, "You'll be just like that, Momma."  Oh, I hope not, but I may be worse!  I just have to take better care of the physical me, so that the mental me can stay healthier.
My strep throat, oh yeah, I didn't tell you about this, is on the mend.  Last weekend I was feeling poorly.  I truly thought it was just due to stress, etc....., but when I looked in my throat and saw white stuff on one of my tonsils, I realized that maybe I should see a doctor.  Of course, I chose the July 4th weekend to be sick when no doctor was in his/her office (not even on Monday), so I had to wait until Tuesday to see a doctor (mine didn't have any openings).  I never even gave a thought to it being strep.  I haven't had strep throat since I was about 16 or so!  I thought I had an inner ear thing and maybe tonsillitis going on.  But, I ended up with a shot in each hip and a prescription of Amoxicillin.  I am so much better now!  I sat around all day Wednesday, except for the hour or so that I had to go to the nursing home because one of the nurses got frustrated (I started to say this another way, but this is a family friendly blog).  I told her I had strep, but that didn't matter to her.  Anyway, I took care of things with Mother, then I sat around the rest of the day working on some smocking for Lil' E's and her lil' sis's dresses.  I have the smocking done, the patterns cut out, the piping and ruffles made.  Now all I have to do is sew them together.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  I'm really liking this fabric that I posted about a few posts back.
************ALERT*************
When I said above that this is a family friendly blog, I really meant it.  The other day, a blogger kindly sent me an email to inform me that she had been looking at my profile and clicked on the first blog in my "list of blogs I follow".  The blog was a porno site!!!!!  Now, how in the world did that get on my list?  I checked back through all the blogs that I have CHOSEN to follow and that one wasn't anywhere on it.  So, I deleted that list from my profile and changed my password!  Has anyone else had anything like this happen to them?  That blog is not listed on my sidebar.  Where did it come from?  Needless to say, I was so relieved that this kind blogger informed me of what she had found. She said she was reluctant to tell me just in case I meant for it to be there, but she had looked through my posts and didn't think it fit my profile!  Thank Goodness she did that because I had no idea it was on there!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Antique Hand-Appliqued Linen Napkin Dress Finished


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This little dress is perfect for SPRING!
Here is the completed dress that I have made using antique hand-appliqued linen napkins as the collar, sleeves and the front section of the skirt.  I have, as you can see, also hand smocked a panel for the bodice of this little dress.  The grandmother who ordered this dress wanted a pastel for her little dark haired granddaughter. O ised ,y favorite color combination of yellow, purple, and green in their pastel shades.  I have had these napkins for a long time and I've been dying to use them.  This gave me the perfect opportunity.  As you see, I pieced the napkins together to make the collar and sleeves.  I had extra napkins and decided the skirt needed a little something extra so I stitched two of the napkins, points together and filled in the diagonal triangles on their sides with fabric from the dress.  The fabric is a fine cotton pique that I purchased at Gina's in Knoxville.  As I have stated before, this store is a little pricey, but I think it was worth it in this case.  the color match was perfect.  The grandmother also asked that this be a light weight dress since her little granddaughter lives in sunny California.  I made the piping from a bias strip of the fabric.                                                          
I love sashes on little girls' dresses.  I decided to use white grosgrain ribbon on this dress.  There is white on the napkins and the background of the smocking, so I thought I'd add just another little touch of white.  The buttons on the back of the dress are round, unlike the ones on the smocking, but they are also the exact color of the napkins and the fabric.  I love buttons on the back of little dresses.  The heirloom techniques I used on this dress other than using the antique napkins are French seams, feather stitching the abutted napkins together, the hand smocking, of course, and using my wing needle to add little touches around the edges of the napkins where I needed to stitch.  A wing needle is wider than a normal needle and looks almost like it has wings on the sides (hence the name) which make a little hole in the fabric that adds a little touch of heirloom.                                                    
This is a close-up of the bodice which shows the collar and the smocking a little better.  I had these adorable little buttons that were the perfect color. They were the perfect shape, too, turned diagonally.  They mimic the shape of the collar and the points of the napkins on the skirt.  For the smocking, I wanted it to sort of look like a flower garden.  I stitched the green across the bottom as if it were the grass.  Then, can you see the leaves and stems?  The purple and yellow represents the flowers.  I made lots of little French knots to add some texture to the flowers.    
This dress was lots of fun to make.  Now, to get it packaged and in the mail! Then start on Big Sis and Little Sis dresses for our almost 3 year old and her little sister that hasn't been born yet!
My brother will probably go home tomorrow.  It depends on whether they were able to set up the Home Health Care folks to go to his house every day.  Since it's a holiday for lots of people, they weren't sure if they would be able to set up the visits today.  He is ready to go home!!!!
My mom had a wonderful evening yesterday, and she was still ok at lunch time today.  The pneumonia is under control, and she has been very calm for several days!  I'm hoping that this is a sign that the medicine adjustments really did work!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Not Finished, The Baby's Room, A Brave Little Girl, and My Brother Whew!!!!


I don't usually put pictures of unfinished garments on my blog, but I thought I'd show you that I really am making a little progress on this dress.  As you can see, it needs to be ironed and the smocking is nowhere near finished.  I have decided that the sleeve hems need to be gathered.  I'm actually going to put a casing about 3/4" from the hem and insert elastic, I think.  I'm trying to make the smocking look somewhat like a row of flowers, so I have work to do on the top part of the lavender, and I'm going to use some more yellow in the flower part where the white shows through.  Does that make sense?  As you can see I inserted two of the antique hand-appliqued napkins, like the ones I used to make the sleeves and collar, into the front of the skirt.              
Here are a few pictures of the real nursery.  Our little almost 3 year old, who is going to be a BIG SIS, is excitedly awaiting lil' sis in her big blue story reading chair.  She did the art work that is on the shelf.  I love it.  I made the curtains, the crib skirt, and the crib  mirror.  My daughter chose all the fabrics, and told me what she wanted, so the fact that it is all so cute is her doing.
Above the closet doors are some really cute bird houses that my daughter painted. The crib skirt fabric is a Love Birds pattern.  I don't know if you can see that in the picture or not, but these bird houses mimic that theme.  My daughter and son-in-law haven't chosen a name for this little one, yet, but after they do, she's going to do some kind of art work above the crib that incorporates her name.   I'm not sure about the art above the changing table, but I like it. I love all the sweet colors in this room.                               
I have been fortunate to have gotten to make the nursery things for all of the grands so far. 
The first one was a sky theme with the light blue fabric with clouds on it.  I made lots and lots of stars and moons that hung from the ceiling.  The curtains were puffy like a cloud.  
The second one was a circus theme.  I made a canopy that looked like the top of a circus tent to hang over the bed. 
For the third one I made valances that were three large stars stitched together.  The bumper pads and head board cover were made from star sprinkled yellow fabric.  The head board piece was shaped like a large star.  My daughter used the curtains that I made for her nursery when she was a baby that were little squares of yellow gingham and white eyelet sewn together checkerboard style.  
The next nursery was this new baby's big sis.  Her nursery was painted orange.  The fabric we used was a sky blue with large polka dots that were yellow, green, orange, and red.  I made the bumper pads, bed skirt, and Roman shade from it. 
For our Little Man, we used this pieced fabric that had chenille, flannel, and printed cotton fabrics all cut in squares.  I made the bumper pads from that fabric.  I made curtains from an old chenille bedspread.  For all of them I made a blanket and some pillows, etc....  Their moms picked out all the fabrics, etc... and I just made what they asked me to make. 
             
This is our almost three year old jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool where she is taking lessons.  She wanted to jump off the blocks!  This class is designed for 3 - 9 year olds, but she was too advanced for the class for 2 year olds.  She is very tiny next to the other kids.  She reminds me of our youngest daughter, who is her aunt.  She never had a fear of anything, except maybe spiders.

My brother just called to tell me that the doctor came in this morning to tell him that the infection isn't getting worse, but it's not getting better.  They are going to give it a few more days, and if it still isn't better they will have to go in and remove the whole prostheses, clean it out and put in a dummy one which means he won't be able to walk.   I didn't ask him if they would then go back later and put in another real prostheses.  I was afraid to ask him.  He was so down and out.  He said his wife really is getting depressed, as well.  He teaches school and definitely won't be going back in August. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sneak Peek at Linen Napkin Dress and Brother update

This is the collar.  It is made from a linen napkin.  I'm hoping the points will line up like I think they will.  This picture is not very clear.  It's difficult to see the hand appliqued design on the front of the collar.  It is the same as that on the sleeves below.      
Above are the sleeves.  Combined I was able to get the sleeves made from only two napkins.  I abutted the finished edges of the napkins to make the "Vee" shape and sewed with my machine's feather stitch.   I also used my wing needle to make the holes along the edge of the clean finished hem that I made.  I was trying to copy the look of the napkins' hems.  I'm not sure if I am going to gather the sleeve hems.  I'm leaning toward, "no".  I'll see how they look once they are in the dress. 
Update on my brother:
He is making some progress according to the doctor this morning based on the three blood tests they are doing each day.  He is beginning to get anxious to get out of the hospital.   He will be on antibiotic IVs at home for at least 6 weeks.  Home Health will come to his house to help.  I was wrong about one thing, they put permanent parts back in his hip on Monday rather than temporary.  I don't know where I got my info, but it was wrong.  I may have imagined it.  Anyway, they are hoping not to have to go back in to redo any of this.  He was told yesterday that there is a 50% chance that this will work.  Pray, pray, pray that he doesn't have to go through all of this again!!  I thank you for all the prayers and well wishes.  I know it makes me feel better to know that people all across the world care what happens to my brother. 

I have more done on the dress, but this is all I've had time to take photos of so far. 

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