Saturday, April 30, 2011

Remembering.........

 Do you remember this photo?
And then, there was this photo to show the contrast from winter to spring.
This is the same view after the storms came through the other night.
My husband and I were out of town that night.   Most of our family and friends were either in closets, bathrooms, under makeshift protection of different sorts, but all were really scared.  We kept in touch throughout the storms with my father-in-law.  He stayed in the basement till after midnight.  Lots of people lost trees and had damage to their homes.  No one we know was injured or killed.  We do know people who live south of us in the town where we used to live and where I taught school, who have lost their homes completely.  There are many who are without power.  Many people have wells that work on electricity, so they have no water.
We are so fortunate to have only lost 3 really large limbs from these trees and a few smaller limbs from a few other trees.  One of the most amazing sights to us was the picture below.  This small limb was thrown into the ground like a spear!  It is in several inches deep!
Here are just a few more views of our broken trees.
We were really lucky that one of these big trees didn't land on our house.




 Probably the most amazing thing is that these peonies were not destroyed.  They are leaning more than they should be, but they are still standing and blooming.
Please keep our neighbors all around us in your thoughts and prayers.  Many, many folks lost everything they owned and many lost their family members and friends. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A couple tops for me and my peonies

 So, here's the shrug that I have made to wear to my two nephews' wedding the next two weekends.  I am not wild about the drape in the front, but it really looks a little better on me than it does on my friend here.  I still don't have a name for her.  I'm going to post one of those voting poll thingys on my side bar and let ya'll pick her name.
 I like my brown flower.  This is like ribbon that was on a spool.  I just arranged it in a clump and stitched it down.
 I think I'll try to stand with my back to most people the nights of the weddings, because I like the back of the shrug much more than I do the front.  The pleats were supposed to only be sewn down along the center back, but I didn't like the way it drooped, so I stitched them down every inch and a half or so.
 This is a top that i have made to go with this skirt that I purchased last year.  I really like the skirt, but I have not found anything that I really like to go with it.  I also made an orange top.  I thought I took a photo of it, too, but it wasn't on my camera when I downloaded these, so I guess I didn't.  Anyway, I think I like the purple better.  One of the nephews is having a Carribean themed rehearsal dinner.  I think I'll wear this.  I also have  a yellow tshirt that I like that I may wear instead.  Or, I might wear the orange one.  Who knows?
 Here's a close-up of one of my peonies.  I love these flowers!
 This one has the most blooms that are already open.
 This one is a little behind, but it is going to have the most blooms of all.
This one is outside my sewing room window.  I sit facing this window when I sew.  So far, I can't really see the open blooms very well when I'm sitting.  But, I see some blooms that will be just in my line of vision when they open up!  I can't wait.  Like I said in my last post.  When we moved in this house, there was one peony that my husband's grandmother or aunt planted.  I wanted to move it, and when I did, it broke apart into several plants, so I separated them and replanted.  I've done that a few times, and now I have 11 plants.  I will probably separate these one more time to fill in the space between them, and then just let them grow.  These are on the back of my house, so no one driving by can see them, but I can.  They are right off of our deck, and as I said above, one of them is right outside of my sewing room window.
I did plant three in the front of the house, but I'm not sure they'll get enough sunlight there.   We'll see.  I just did that a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yard Work = Poison Ivy and some other stuff

I have been sewing JUST A LITTLE.  Mostly, I've been substitute teaching.  I applied on Monday, two weeks ago yesterday, and started teaching on that Wednesday.  I have only had 1 1/2 days since then that I haven't taught.  On that day and a half, I already had plans.  One of our daughters is coming for a visit over the next few days, so I won't go in while she's here.  I've already promised a couple of teachers a few days in May.  I have enjoyed it, but it has taken me away from my sewing and other things I need to be doing in my house.  I just need to get back in a WORK routine.
Now, for the title of this post.  There was no school on Good Friday, so I did yard work that was LONG overdue!!!!  Now, I have poison ivy!  I've never had poison ivy in my life, and I'll be 59 in less than 2 weeks!!!  I didn't see any poison ivy when I was pulling up weeds, but I wasn't looking for it.  I've never had to look for it.  I will for now on, for sure!  My house looks better, though, so I guess it was worth it.  My muscles screamed at me for a couple of days, too.  It was good for me!  This photo is not from my yard.  I took this at one of my daughter's a couple of years ago.  I just hate to have a post without any pictures.
Now, to the sewing room, to get back in my element.  I've actually made a couple of things for myself, and I'm working on a couple more tops.  I will post photos when I finish.  I've not had a chance to take any photos. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Clothing Made by reusing and recyling!!!

These collages are of examples of things I've made from vintage linens, or refashioned from other clothing, or made from upholstery samples, etc.....         
Visit thecsiproject.com

The theme for the CSI projects this week is Earth Day, reduce, reuse, recycle.  I thought these projects fit the theme pretty well.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

For me...........

 Here's the first top that I have made for myself since.............uh????????????? I don't remember when!
This is some really cheap inexpensive fabric I bought at Walmart!  I didn't want to take a chance on an expensive piece of fabric for my first top for myself, in case it didn't turn out so well.  I loved the watercolor look about it.  The colors are really pretty, I thought.  I used a shirt that I already had to get the basic size, etc.... Then, I played with it on my dress form.   I cut the ruffles on the front on the bias and draped them from the top to the bottom overlapping them.  As you can see, they have a curve to them.  I zigzagged the edges while stretching the fabric on the hems on the top and the sleeves, as I went, so that it gives the fluted ruffled look.
I guess you can tell that this is the back view.  It fits me a little too tightly snuggly around the arm scye in the back.
The part I like the least about this top is the sleeves.  They are too short and too full for my taste, but I actually copied the sleeve on the top that I used as a pattern.  Somehow, they didn't turn out exactly the same.  I look like a linebacker butterfly about to take off.
I do like the neck.  I made a bias binding from the same fabric.  After applying it, I went around the edge with my hem stitch from my sewing machine.  I reversed the stitch and adjusted the width so that the swing stitch would go JUST off the edge.  I also tightened the tension on my top thread so that it would pull in just a little, making the shell effect.

So, even though it isn't perfect, it is wearable.  I will make longer sleeves next time(probably 3/4 length) and take fullness out. That is, if I ever make another top similar to this one.  The next project for my self is a shrug to wear to a couple of weddings I have coming up for 2 nephews and a niece.  I'm not really sure what I'm going to wear to these weddings, but I have 2 sleeveless dresses that I like a lot, except I DO NOT wear sleeveless anything!!!!  I have a pattern for a shrug that has several views.  I'll have to decide which I like best.  Hum?????????  I also thought about cutting off the long dress that I wore to my daughter's wedding almost 6 years ago, and make new sleeves from what I cut off.  I really like the dress, but will probably never wear it the length it is again.  Plus, I don't like the sleeves on it either.  They were ok at the time, but that was 6 years ago!!  Can you tell I have issues with sleeves?  I don't have the pretty,  smooth, firm arms that I once did in my youth.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Distance ...............

I am joining Colorado Lady and  Lisa-Jo  in the Five Minute Friday posts.  I may not get a chance to do this every Friday, but I think it's a really great idea. 
Here is what Lisa-Jo/aka gypsymama says about this challenge.
Friday, time to crack open the chocolate ice cream and unscripted version of beautiful you!
Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s finger paint with words
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how to play along:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button in my right side bar}
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you {and if you love us, consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks to say howdy}
It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.


                   
So here goes.  This week's topic is ON DISTANCE............

When I think of distance, the first thing that comes to my mind is how far it is to my daughters' homes.  Two of them live about 900 miles away, the other has just moved much closer than the ACROSS THE COUNTRY distance where she used to live.  She's just one state over now.  When someone asks me where they live, I usually name the states they live in, but I almost always then tell them that it takes about 15 hours to get to the two up in the NE.  It should only take about 5 hours or so to visit the other daughter, now.
Not only are our daughters and their spouses this far away, but also our 7 grandchildren.  It is very hard to have them so far away, but.............
Distance is not the same now, that it used to be.  Now, with computers and cell phones, the girls and their families are only a text message, phone call, web hook up away.  It is easier to travel now than it used to be.
I often think of the moms and dads who waved goodbye to their children who were traveling to the Great West in search of a new and better life.  These folks were most likely traveling by wagon train and would probably never return to see their families back home.  The parents probably never saw their children again.  They may have gotten mail on occasion, but it would have been very outdated by the time it reached them from across the country.  They more than likely never saw their grandchildren.
That was a fast five minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have actually made myself a top that I think I'm going to like.  I made it by draping the fabric on my dressform.  I didn't have a pattern, well, I did use a top that I already had to start out with.  I will try to post photos tomorrow.  My husband has had to use his camera for his real estate job, and I haven't had use of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smoking Needles Giveaway!

My friend over at Smoking Needles is having a great giveaway!  She makes incredible note cards.  Just wait till you see these.  Just click here  to see these cards.  Now, I don't want you to enter her giveaway because that will lessen my chances of winning.  Only kidding, of course.  She is very talented and creative in so many ways.  She scrapbooks and sews like a dream!!!
Julia

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yea!!!!!!!! I finished my first cable stitched Easter project!!!!

This is Big Little Man's sweater vest.  It's to go with the shirt, pants, and tie below that I made for him for Easter.  He's sure to find a prize egg wearing this dudified outfit!!!  I was so proud and excited when I finished this last night.  It's kind of hard to see the cables in this yarn of various colors, but I promise they are there.  Maybe, if you click on the photo it will be easier to see.  I know I didn't do the cable stitch exactly correct, but I kind of like how it turned out.  I'm doing Little LM's differently.  It 's definitely easier the way I'm doing LLM's.
 I also, made one more hat.  The dark brown one that I had made before was to be for BLM, but it was a little bit too small for him, so I made this one.  I sure hope it fits him.  I found this blue fabric at Walmart, believe it or not, and was thrilled with the weight of it for this hat.  I like the blue and brown together.  I hope BLM likes it, too.
                        Here the vest and hat are photographed together on my kitchen floor.
I may be crazy, but I just applied to substitute teach this afternoon.  Since I taught in the system for 30 years, I figured I might get a few calls.  I am only going to sub at 3 schools, the one where I taught and two others that are close to where I live.  As soon as the lady put my info in the computer and sent it to these three schools, one of them called the school board office to ask for my phone number.  I know it was in the info, but anyway, I've already been asked to sub on Wed., Thurs., and Fri. of this week!!!!  One of the teacher's husbands is very sick, and this is standardized testing week.  They have to have a sub with a certification to give the tests, so, that's me!  Therefore, I have lots to do this afternoon and tomorrow around the house!!!!  For one thing, I am going to go through my spring and summer clothes and get rid of most of them!!!!  I am going to start sewing some for myself, so I can get rid of some of my rags!!!!  You may ask, when I'm going to sew for myself now that I am going back to work, and that would be a very good question, but I'll figure it out!!  I am not giving up sewing for my grands either!!!  That is one of my top priorities.

Do any of you use Adsense or any other company that displays ads on your blog for a fee?  I've thought about doing this, but I wouldn't want to have an ad for something that I don't think is a good product, etc..... I just wonder exactly how this works? Hum?

Julia

Friday, April 8, 2011

FFF - Winnnings - Cable Stitch - Canned Air!

I know that today is not the 5th, but I was actually on the road coming home from a trip to the Northeast, to visit two of our daughters and their families, on the 5th.  I am just now getting myself back to some semblance of normalcy.  I did not keep a list of people I sent cards, notes, and letters to last month, but I did send lots.  I had lunch with 7 of my friends with whom I used to teach.  I sent them all notes telling them how much I enjoyed seeing them.  I have sent a couple of sympathy cards, get well cards, and thinking of you cards.  I sent cards to a couple of ladies who are in a nursing home.  I really do enjoy sending cards, notes, and letters.  I love receiving them, too, don't you?  I just saw a couple (he used to be the preacher at our church years and years ago).  They and my mother corresponded for over 30 years.  They never failed to send cards for New Years, Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, and maybe even other times, to each other.  My mother saved every card they ever sent her.  They had a running joke going about the preacher and his family being the X Family!!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

I am a WINNER!!!
 I won this adorable romper from Alida at I Make Stuff.   I feel very privileged to have won this cute, cute, cute little outfit.  It should just fit our Lil'E.  I just put it in the mail to her today!!!  When she outgrows it, Lil'B can wear it! 
This awesome hair decoration is from Bugaboo Mini Mr. and Me.  I decided to leave it with my three oldest granddaughters, Miss K, Miss J, and Miss R when I was visiting them last week.  The three of them can share it!  If you go to her blog, you will see that I have won another giveaway from her.  This time I've won a yarn wreath.  I can't wait to get it!!!!

And the third giveaway I've won recently is from Jerre at Fabric Artist.   This journal cover would be perfect for the little boys in my life, Big Little Man and Little Little Man.   Even though they are both too young for writing in a journal, Big Little Man could draw pictures in this for now.  When he gets a little bigger, we'll get him a new tablet to insert into the cover.  He will love it!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

I've been challenging myself to learn at least one new skill each month.  One thing I was determined to learn to do was the cable stitch in knitting.  I have learned how to do it.  This is my first attempt.  It looks nothing like the picture on the pattern.  I think I know what I've done wrong.  I've played with some scrap yarn.  This is to be a sweater vest for Big Little Man.  When I make LLM's I will try to do it correctly.  I kind of like how this looks, though, so I'm leaving it the way it is.  It's hard to see in this photo, partly because of this yarn with the various colors in it.  

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
I took my sewing machine to be serviced while we were gone.  I went to pick it up yesterday.  The gentleman who serviced it thought that I had used canned air to clean it.  But, I never have.  I've thought about it, but I just never got around to buying any.  His wife said that I must use my machine next to a return vent, then.  I don't.  He said that the lint, etc... was packed, packed, packed in there and that if he hadn't cleaned it out, the motor would have burned up.  I usually take it every year to be serviced, but I never made it to the shop last year.  He said that's probably why it was so packed.  He said he could tell I use it LOTS! 
He and his wife did tell me NEVER EVER to use CANNED AIR on my machine, so I thought I'd pass that tip along!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not About Sewing - Rather, My Public Bathroom Pet Peeves!

Am I the only one with these pet peeves?  Do you have others that I haven't listed here?

1.  Going into a bathroom stall in a public place after someone who will not sit on the seat!  When a woman stands up to pee into a toilet, the seat gets wet!  If women don't want to sit on a public toilet, they should either use the toilet seat covers that are provided or use toilet tissue to cover the seat.  No one wants to sit on a seat with someone else's pee on it!!!!
2.  A public bathroom that has paper towel holders that have a lever that has to be worked by hand.  I mean, how do you know if the persons before you washed their hands before getting a paper towel.
3.  A public bathroom that has only the blow dryers.  These are supposed to be worse than anything germwise.
4.  A public bathroom that has a door handle on the inside that you have to touch in order to get out of the bathroom.
5.  A public bathroom, especially one in a restaurant, that has a sign telling their employees that they have to wash their hands.  It scares me to think that they have to be reminded.
6.  A public bathroom with a sign that says the facilities are inspected every 30 minutes or whatever, but that is filthy.
7.  A public bathroom with stall doors that won't latch.
8.  A public bathroom stall that doesn't have a place to hang a purse.
9.  A public bathroom that doesn't have any soap in the dispensers.
10.  Going into a stall where the last person did not flush.  I mean, come on, even the youngest child who is being potty trained can learn to flush.
11.  A public bathroom toilet that only has a flusher lever that can be worked by hand.  The self-flushers are the best.
12.  A public bathroom that is locked so you have to touch the key that everyone else before you has touched.

Can you tell we've been on a road trip?  I guess the best thing to do, is to carry your own sanitizing sheets and hand wash.  That way you can wipe down the toilet seat, sink faucet handles, paper towel lever, door handle, etc....   

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