Thursday, July 30, 2009

What I've Been Doing and More Inspirations From the Past

I have been trying to sew a little this week, but I guess the surgery took more out of me than I realized because I get tired pretty quickly. SO..........
Since I haven't been able to do as much in the way of sewing, or much of anything else since I had my foot surgery, I have been organizing my patterns. I have a long way to go before I'm through, but this does make a dent in them. I have been storing my patterns in shoe boxes in this cabinet. Yes, I know it looks a little rough, but that's what I love about it. My husband's grandfather built this cabinet for his bride, my husband's grandmother, of course, when they first got married. It was her first kitchen cabinet. Somewhere along the way it was shortened. Apparently it was a tall cabinet to start with, but it doesn't matter. I love it. However, it will not hold my patterns the way I am reorganizing them, so I'm going to move it over next to my machine to hold other things that I need to have right on hand, like thread, etc.... I don't know exactly. Then, I plan to purchase a file cabinet. I may get one that will fit under my sewing table, or I may get one that is pretty and made from wood to use next to the bed so it can double as a night stand. I haven't gotten that far in my thought processes yet.
These file jackets are perfect for storing my patterns. I just put the directions and pattern pieces inside, cut the envelopes open and glued them to the outside. At the top I have written a short description of the pattern and it's sizes. I am planning to file these by sizes and styles. That's sort of how I had them in my shoe boxes, but I was really bad not to put them back in the right place. I think this will be easier. Also, with some patterns it is impossible, as you know to put all of the pieces back into those little bitty envelopes.

Now, for my Inspirations From the Past.
First, this is a doll cradle that my grandparents had made for my mom when she was about 2, so that makes it about 83 years old! The doll is an Effanbee that my Mother-in-law gave to one of my daughters for a Christmas or birthday. (Somehow, when I first published this post this picture got left out, so I'm adding it now.)

Next, is a Shirley Temple doll that is in very bad shape. this was Mother's doll. She actually played with it alot, as you can see. I need to see about having her restored.

Then, this is also one of Mother's dolls. She is one of the Dione quints. She also needs some tender loving care. Her dress is in great shape. It just needs to be cleaned. Any ideas about how I can do this myself, or where I can take them?

This doll is one that my aunt won for selling newspaper subscriptions. She was 10 years older than Mother. She gave this Southern Bell to Mother.

Mother must have really loved playing with dolls. This trunk was hers, too. She made these cloth dolls and their clothes when she was about 10, so about 75 years ago.

The American Indian doll on the left was my mom's. The other one is one that I got when I was little on a visit to Cherokee, NC.

This little fellow was also Mother's. I don't know anything about him, but he looks like a Campbell's Soup kid. I don't believe there were any Campbell's Soup kids back then, though.

This beauty is one that my aunt brought to me when I was very little. She brought her from a trip to Holland.

These are the Dione quints. They were Mother's.

These beautiful little African American dolls were also Mother's.

I say "were" my Mother's because she has given these dolls to me or to my daughters. She had enough dolls from her childhood to give one each to my sister, me (I actually got extras, as she gave me the ones she made, and a couple of the smaller ones), her 5 grand daughters, her daughter-in-law, and a cousin's wife. I don't have all of these to photograph.
I never realized until I started posting about these OLD things how much I really cherish them. I love new stuff, too. My house is a real mish-mash of styles. In other words, I really don't have a style.
I can't believe I found this background to match this post!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Going to a Wedding and Nothing to Wear!

Not me........My friend's dad is going to a wedding. He doesn't want a new suit, but he needs to wear one to this wedding. He is mostly in a wheelchair and needs help getting in and out of his clothes. So, she and her mom brought this suit and pair of khakis to me to see if I could put a little ease into them. I took the three seams in the back of the jacket and the three in the lining, of course, apart and stitched them back giving as much ease as possible. I think it added almost an inch and a half across the back. It was difficult tapering at the top of the seams where the collar and sleeves meet the back, but it worked. I told her mom, who came to get them a few minutes ago, that she would need to take them to the cleaners to be pressed, though. My iron isn't that good. This picture is fuzzy and the jacket is hanging kind of cockeyed, but it really does look ok in person.

For the suit pants, I took apart the back seam pretty far down and sewed it back, tapering until I got about an inch and a half from the waist band. I then finished the edges of the rest of the opening all the way up, even including the facing. I took a piece of black knit tshirt type fabric and stitched a casing for a piece of elastic in the top of it. I then inserted the elastic casing into the waist band a couple of inches from the center on both sides. When I let go the seam closed up where you couldn't tell unless you look closely that anything had been done. Since he will be in a wheelchair and have a jacket on, no one would be able to tell anyway.

You can see where the knit covered elastic peeks out at the top of the waist band, but not too badly. When the waist band is pulled apart you can definitely see where the ease comes in to play. I stitched the knit wedge down to where the opening ends in a v shape. I tacked the knit to the seam below the opening. I hope these pictures explain better than my words do. I hope he is happy with the altered pants.

Now, for the khakis. They had a 30 inch waist, and my friend's mom said he needed a 36 inch waist! Now, I'm no magician, but I had an idea that might work, so, since he couldn't wear them the way they were, I decided that I would see what I could do, and if it didn't work then he still wouldn't be able to wear them. LOL!! Anywho, I took apart the back seam and both side seams. I had to cut through the waist band at the sides since there is no seam there. I stitched the back seam giving as much ease as possible which added about 2 inches!!! Then I sewed a wedge of knit fabric into both of the side seams. I have done this with a lot of my mother's pants. When a person is sitting all day, even elastic waisted pants start to bind. Mother doesn't tuck any of her shirts and is all covered up by the wraps that I've made her along with an afghan on her lap so nothing shows anyway. Comfort is the number one concern with her. My friend said that her dad wears polo shirts with khakis and that he doesn't tuck them in so that no one would see the sides anyway. I hope he will be happy with these. Her mom seemed pleased when she came by to get them. I was not planning to charge anything for doing this. I told my friend that I had no expense, except a short piece of elastic, some thread, and a couple of scraps of knit fabric in fixing these. I was doing it for her because she is such a wonderful friend to me, that I appreciate the relationship she has with her dad, and that I did it for that reason. But, her mom insisted on paying me. That was a nice surprise.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Treasures Bestowed Upon Me!

My Sister and Brother-In-Law are cleaning out and getting rid of stuff they no longer want. I was the lucky recipient of two sewing machines and lots of little treasures that were in the drawers of one of the machines. This first machine was my BIL's grandmother's. I really need to clean the wooden cabinet some, but really I love it as is. The treasures on top were in the drawers. I have some close up pictures below. I felt like a kid in a toy store at Christmas time when I opened those drawers! I haven't tried the machines to see if they still work, but I really don't care. This one is in the little area between our kitchen and family room and adds so nicely to that corner.

The next machine belonged to my husband's grandmother and had been thrown out into the ditch! Literally! It was rescued and ultimately has become mine. The top of the cabinet is missing, but, hey, who cares? It's very pretty sitting at the end of my hallway underneath the display of old family pictures. I learned to sew on a treadle machine and so having these brings back memories.

Here is a collection of scissors, etc.. that were in one drawer.

Look at these packages of needles!!!! And the measuring tapes! I remember when my grandfather had a hardware/farmer's supply store, he sold needles in those cylindrical wooden containers. His were in a big round tin that had a handle on the top. You would turn the handle until it lined up with the size of needles you wanted, then you opened the little door and got out your wooden cylinder of needles. I loved playing with that pin tin. Ha! Ha! Maybe that's why I
have a collection of tins that would blow your mind now!

Then, last but not least, look at these vintage buttons!!! I love buttons. I saw on this blog, DJ Storeroom, where these buttons make great bracelets.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blest Be The Tie That Binds.....

...our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

I have been blessed. My cousins, Malinda and Osborne (Joyce) sent me these gorgeous flowers. We don't just have kindred minds, but kindred souls, as well. My cousin, Malinda, is recovering from shoulder surgery. I used them as a centerpiece on our breakfast table while our Japanese teens were here this weekend. We only fed them breakfast and one dinner (we went to the home of one of the other host families for hot dogs on Friday evening.)

The three girls we hosted gifted us with these beautiful Japanese fans, a gorgeous tin box (they didn't know that I collect tins, {kindred minds?}), and a cd of their bell choir's music. We got to hear their choir today. They played at our church. Incredible is the only word I could think of to describe to them how it was. They didn't know the word "incredible". I tried to explain what it meant, and then I told them to look it up in the dictionary that each of them carried with them.
Their music touched my heart. Music is a universal language (kindred minds). I always told my students that smiles are also a universal language. Everyone understands them.

Each of the girls left us a sweet note on her pillow. I found them after they left. One, is an origami ship with the note inside. One is an origami style envelope with the note inside, and the other, as you can see has origami swans glued to the corner. This background from the cutest blog on the block site reminds me of origami. Beautiful and so sweet. I had made notes for them with their names decorated on the front of the card.(kindred minds) My husband bought them University of Tennessee tshirts, lotion, and got them each a local paper with their picture on the front. His picture is on page 9 in an ad. (kindred minds)

Here are the girls posing just before they left to go to our church this morning. They are Sayo, Natsumi, and Maeda. What sweet, sweet smiles. They are very gifted musicians. They offered to help with breakfast. They helped clear the table, made their beds, and blessed us with their smiles. They had never seen cows or stars(at least not the way we see them out here away from the city lights that they have in Tokyo. So when I look at the stars each night I will pick out one for each of these girls and see it for her. (kindred minds)

By the way, I'm in the basement on my computer and plan to get down here tomorrow to sew. Now, to get back upstairs! Hum??? I may have to sit down on my "bottom", (my mother never let me say the word " b_ tt". I never let my girls say it either. One of my SILs thought it was the word "but", that I didn't let them say. LOL Another story for another day.)and scoot myself up the stairs. No one is home to see me so who cares. LOL

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Post Op, List of Projects, and Hosting Japanese Teens

I had my surgery on Monday. I got through it ok. I am in more pain than I expected. I guess I really didn't know what to expect. I went back to the doctor today, and he thought it looked ok. I don't know when I'll try to get downstairs to sew or work on my computer (I'm on my husband's laptop, now). I will probably get down there the beginning of next week. I have some sewing projects that I really need to get to soon.
1. Emory's birthday is coming up toward the end of August. I'm going to make her the red "Little Orphan Annie" dress, a couple of gowns, some dress-up clothes, etc....
2. I have purse organizers to make for my blogger friends.
3. I have a suit and a pair of pants to alter for my friend's dad. He is handicapped and needs a suit to wear to a wedding. He doesn't want a new one, so I'm going to try to put a little ease in the jacket and make the pants easier to get on and off. I have a pair of his khakis to fix, as well.
4. One of the ladies who works at the nursing home has a daughter getting married in September. I get to make her grandson's outfit to wear while riding in a wagon down the isle. I think he'll have a little 3 piece suit. He'll be about 9 months old.
5. Another lady at the nursing home has two grand daughters (3 years and 7 years) who she wants me to sew for. Yes, I know I was not going to do simple little cute things like this anymore, but how do I say, "No"?
6. Halloween costumes for the grands are on my list, as well. I know that Kellen wants to be Pocahontas, and Jenna wants to be Sacajawea. I don't know what the others want yet. I will have to research the difference in the two Indian ladies.
7. I will need to think of making something for Jenna's birthday before too long.
8. Christmas dresses and an outfit for Little Man won't be too far behind.

This weekend, my husband and I are hosting some Japanese teenage girls who are coming here with a hand bell choir. They are going to play at lots of venues in our area over the weekend, our church being one of the places. I first said, "No," when I was called last night to see if some of the girls could stay with us, because of my foot, but my husband really wanted to let them stay here. I would, too, any other time. I really don't mind, though. My friend is hosting some of the boys who are coming, and she has invited us to join them at her house for a cookout tomorrow night. We will need to feed them on Saturday morning, and since my husband has to go to work early on Saturday, I will do a simple Continental type breakfast with pastries, fruit, etc.... My husband will cook for them on Sunday morning. I can't drive yet, so my husband and others will have to get them to the places they have to go to meet their group and bring them to our house. I don't know how many girls we'll have here yet, but either 3, 4, or 7! I have room for that many upstairs if they don't mind sleeping 2 to a bed and a couple of them will have to be on a sleeper sofa. I don't want to deal with getting my downstairs ready since I can't get down there. It should be fun to have them here, though.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New boot!

Yeah that's right, just one boot! I'm really going to be stylin' for the rest of the summer in my new boot. I think it weighs about 20 lbs. Argggg..... Tomorrow is the day for my surgery. I'm having a bunion and a hammer toe fixed. I also have a terrible neuroma in that foot, a bunion on the pinky toe, and misaligned bones that are protruding on the outside of my foot. He thinks that I have torn tendons where those protruding bones meet. Whatever, it hurts!!! He is only willing to do the bunion and hammer toe at one time, though. He thinks that will alleviate some of the other issues. I will probably have to go back to have the neuroma taken out later.
My computer and sewing rooms are in my basement so I don't know when I'll get to sew or blog. I'm sure it will be a few days, though. I don't know how easy the stairs will be to maneuver.
An up-date on my little great niece who I told you about in my last post. She is okay, but they did find a hairline fracture in her hip. It didn't show up at first, but when she wouldn't or couldn't stand and walk they took her back and found this. Poor little one!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catching Up! Seven Posts in One!

My Heart is Racing Still!
My sister called this morning to tell me that her 2 1/2 year old grand daughter (my great niece) was hit by a car yesterday. She is okay!!!! Thank God!!! She and her 6 1/2 year old sister (both pictured below) were playing when she ran into the neighbors' driveway just as the neighbor backed out. She was apparently just knocked to the pavement, not run over. She has lots a scrapes and is sore. They ran all kinds of tests and found nothing else. But, can you imagine what it must have been like for her, her big sis, who is the only one who actually saw it happen, her mom and dad, the neighbor, and my sister? I don't want to imagine! Hold on, give hugs and kisses, and love those little ones in your life!!!

Happy Birthday to my daughter!
She's 27 today! Let's see, can that be true? Yep, I was 30 when she was born, and I'm 57 now! What a fast track we've been on since then!!

I have been distracted for the past week, and here's why!
This is Little Man. His mom said that as long as I blurred his face I could post a photo. He had a ball playing in my cabinets, especially this one because he was a perfect fit!! He is the son of our daughter who is having a birthday today! He likes to give high fives, wave hi and bye, look out of the side of his eyes with the flirtiest smile you ever saw, walk around dragging his dad's shoe by the shoe string, and throw up his hands for a "touchdown," along with lots of other really cute and charming things. He LOVES his mommy!!!

Here's Emory! She's almost 2, and is a hoot! When asked what a surfer says, she says, "Hey, dude!" .....a golfer....."Fore!" or sometimes she says, "six." At least she knows it's a number! She can tell you what all the animals say, and her mom taught her to say,"Huh?" when asked what Grandaddy says, and "What?" when asked what Granmomma says. Her mom posted a video of her performance this morning. Our daughters are trying to tell us we are getting old and hard of hearing. Hum.... I guess I can't argue with that! She loves the movie "Annie" and says, "Annie, dress" and "Annie, dancing" and "Annie, this" and "Annie, that" throughout the movie. She gives a play by play! This photo was made at an outdoor concert in which my cousin's son's band performed. He is a very talented musician.

Next is Riley. She's 3 1/2 now. She was sick with a stomach virus most of the time they were here. Poor thing, she sat in her mommy and daddy's laps almost the whole time. She was running a fever and vomiting. She is such a little sweetheart. She cried when they left because Granmomma and Grandaddy weren't going back home with her. I hope she remembers some of the fun times she had while they were here. She did roast a few marshmallows. She actually made her Papaw (my FIL) his first ever s'more! My husband made a fire pit in our backyard. We have plans for a lot more fun stuff out back.

Then, there's Jenna. She's 6 1/2. She is such a sweetheart. She lost a tooth while she was here. It was her third. The tooth fairy found her, thank goodness! She is a little actress, singer, swimmer, and knee boarder. She learned to knee board last summer when they were here. Her great uncle has a boat and has taught all of the generation that my girls are in to ski, etc.... Now, he's teaching Jenna and Kellen. Jenna is a loving little one. She loves to give hugs, and what wonderful hugs they are! She loves to sit next to me and rub the "fluffy" skin on my arms! She likes to be a big help. She helped clear the table and anything else that she could to help her granmomma.

Our oldest grandchild is Kellen. She is 9! How in the world did that happen?!? She is also an actress, singer, swimmer, skiier, etc....... She loves animals and anything about nature and science. She and Jenna put on a puppet show for us while they were here. She is the writer, stage manager, production chief, puppet master, etc..... The girls all liked to dress up in the dress up clothes in the play area I fixed for them. They really liked it when I pulled out some of her mom's and aunts' old prom dresses, etc... for them to dress up in one night. Kellen is also a great helper. She really had fun with the "little" cousins.

Am I blessed, or what!?! The only bad part is that they all had to go back home after such a short and busy visit! We fit in a weekend trip to the lake to visit with all of my husband's family. There were over 30 of us in all. The grands got to go to our local park and play in the sprinklers. We went to a local ice cream/milk plant, and, of course, ate yummy ice cream. We built a fire and roasted marshmallows and made s'mores. We even had a watermelon seed spitting contest at Mamaw and Papaw's house one evening! We visited Great Grandmother (my mom, who is much better, by the way!) We stayed up late, watched kid friendly movies, read books, played with all kinds of toys, and ATE WAY TOO MUCH YUMMY FOOD!

Orange Sweaters!
My husband's cousin's wife, pictured here with my husband, and 2 brothers-in-law, knitted the orange sweaters that the guys are wearing. She also knitted the sweater she's wearing. She taught our two older grand daughters a little about knitting. She's good, isn't she? She made the sweaters orange because she knows that we are all BIG University of Tennessee fans, and that orange and white are our colors. These will be perfect for the cool fall Saturday afternoon football games.

Purse Organizers Not Forgotten!
I have not forgotten that I have some purse organizers to make for some of my blogger friends. Pictured here is a purse that I made for Emily who commented on my post about a give away. I decided to make her a purse that has pockets on the insides rather than just an organizer. I hope she likes it. She asked for light blue and lime green. I already had these place mats (yes, place mats) to make hers with before she made her request. Luckily, there was light blue and lime green in the design. I hope she doesn't mind the other colors! I will be getting the adults' purse organizers made very soon and all of them in the mail. Thanks for your patience!

More Inspiration From the Past!
Isn't this handkerchief about the most beautiful piece of art work you've ever see? I say "art work" because what else could one call this? Can you imagine how much time it took to make this? Look at the LOVE that went into this! My daughter bought this at her husband's aunt's store. She wanted me to use it in a Christening outfit for a baby boy if she ever had one. But, she has 3 daughters and couldn't be happier. Her girls actually wore the 3 Christening dresses that my girls wore as babies. I will find a use for this, no doubt.

Here are some of the different strands of tatting that my grandmother, Honey, made. The tiny row of lace is some she made for some little girls in my church. They are grown women now. Their mom found it recently and gave it to me. She never got around to using it. It was their dad who was my mom's dear friend who died recently.

Inspiration From My Cousin!
My grandmother who taught my cousin and me to sew, also taught my cousin. Below is an example of the work my cousin does now. This is a new quilt that she just finished. Isn't it gorgeous!?! This cousin just had surgery on her shoulder yesterday. She injured it at her school where she is a 4th grade teacher.

Malinda, my cuz, who made the quilt, gave me this frame a few years ago. I keep it with a photo of the two of us on my sewing table. She is a real treasure to me. We are only 4 months apart in age and grew up next door to each other. She is closer and dearer to me than most sisters are to each other. She's also the mom of the musician whose band we went to hear that I mentioned above.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Inspiration From the Past!

First of all, I want to say thank you to those of you who commented on my last post. I was in a very reflective mood when I wrote it. I thought of the irony of funerals and weddings and how they play such important parts of our lives. I think there are many events in our lives that are so contrasting yet they all meld together to make us who we are. Perhaps I am who I am because of the many people who have had such an important part of my life. Of course, family is important, but others in church, school, work, etc.... impact us as well. I have been impacted by folks who are much older, but those who are much younger than I am, as well. I am constantly impressed with the insight my DDs have, and I hope they know how much I appreciate and love them. I am very proud of their accomplishments and with the way they are approaching parenthood.

I find myself being drawn to the beautiful things from our past. these are a very few of the many beautiful vintage hand worked handkerchiefs, laces, etc... that I have accumulated. I have noticed many blogs that feature tea cups, or other things on a particular day of the week. I think I will start featuring some of the beautiful linens, etc... that I have on Tuesday, or whatever day of the week I happen to get it done. I call these Inspiration From the Past because this is from where I get much of my creativity. My grandmother, Honey, and my aunts, and others before them made such beautiful items. They taught me and left me with a love, respect, and need for hand made creations.

This is a handkerchief that has delicate embroidery and a scalloped edge. You can see where the edging is frayed. That just adds to the knowledge that this was a well loved hanky. This could be incorporated into a little girl's dress as a collar, as insets on sleeves, or set into a sash, etc...

My aunt made huck towel tea towels all the time and taught me how, as well. It really isn't difficult to do. The hard part now is finding the huck toweling fabric. You can see how the weave is conducive to weaving a design. I have used several towels such as this as collars, or as pillows for new born babies in our family. My grandmother's tatting is on most of my aunt's towels. This one wasn't finished, but when I use it I will add some of the tatting that I have left from my grandmother's box of yards of lace.

This crocheted tablecloth is gorgeous. I purchased this piece. I don't know what I'll do with it yet, but someday it will tell me what it wants to be. There isn't much of this piece that isn't damaged, but enough to make a pretty overlay skirt on a tiny dress or as a collar or something.

I love hand embroidery. I think this is so pretty. I'm not sure what the fabric is but it has a very interesting texture, as you can see. The blues, pinks, and yellows in this work of art are so pretty. I can see this as the border of a little girl's dress, or again, as a collar or sleeves. It would even make a pretty cardigan over a springtime dress. I think the crocheted lace is unbelievable. Scallops are one of my favorite details on any piece.

This is one gorgeous embroidered and drawn worked linen napkin. I have a set of these. I once made a dress for my grand daughter from 8 linen tea towels sewn strategically together. I think these may come together in a dress kind of like that one.

At the top of this view is some delicate tatting on the edge of a handkerchief. My grandmother did not make this particular lace, but isn't it pretty? What a pretty edging it would make on a little baby's dress! The linen napkin is one of a set that I have. I once sewed a whole set of napkins diagonally all the way around the skirt of one of my grand daughter's dresses. These might work well like that or I may even sew them all together and make a whole dress. Or I could use each one in a different dress, one for each grand daughter so they would have matching dresses. Hum.... that's an idea for Easter.

I don't think this tea towel is all that old, but isn't that applique beautiful?!? Sometimes I just get ideas for my own embroidery or appliques from pieces like this.

More lovely, delicate hand made lace on the edge of a hanky.

Look at this treasure! I have lots of ideas floating through my little brain for this one. I may cut apart the circles and use them separately some way, or I may turn the whole thing into a dress some way or other. I had some crocheted place mats once that this reminds me of that I turned into a dress.
I think all of the dresses I have mentioned are in the slide show on my sidebar.

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