Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Favorite Sundress

I finished the sundress last night. Sewing was a nice distraction as my Father passed away yesterday and I really didn't know what to do with myself. Of course sewing will be put on hold as we prepare to say goodbye this week, but I will try to squeeze out some sew time when I can because it is therapeutic for me. Of course this dress will sit in the closet for sunnier weather, but it will be nice when summer comes. The pattern is Simplicity 6408, circa early 80's. I made this in a white floral print when Sara was a toddler and I wore the dress forever. I'm utterly amazed that I still wear the same size. The skirt is full...cut on the bias with a few gathers around the hip. The directions are a little funky, so I put it together my way. Sometimes you have to think differently to get a better finished project.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snow day...No way!!!

The weatherman teased us last night that we might have snow to the valley floor...did not happen. The clouds made a weak effort, but basically we ended up with wet slushy roads. Worked all day and then made stops at the store, library and post office on my way home. Picked up a book on 50 must have sewing notions, that was fun to read...I have many of them, but I did see a few new things I didn't know about and need to check out. I made a broccoli~cheese soup for dinner that was really good...the dishes are done and Tom is channel surfing between a bowl game and American Chopper...gotta love those biker boyz! Tomorrow is a big sew day...I have nothing to do but make some bread for dinner (Trav and Jason are making swedish meatballs...MMMM) Hope I have some projects to show by tomorrow night.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back to Work

I went to work after a visit to the Clinic. I am committing to finding out what is going on with my pain issues, which means I have to go see a rheumatologist. They got me an appointment within 2 weeks, which is pretty amazing...the bad news is that I have to go into the BIG CITY for this initial appointment. I could have been a big fat chicken and wait 3 months to get into the eastside clinic, but that isn't very brave and doesn't show much commitment. Hopefully this will result in better living without pain anymore. Work was okay...I made headway on calling the students for the next class...they are predicting snow tomorrow, so we will see about the commute! As for sewing, I am letting it be for tonight...I'm tired and bed is looking really inviting...I will have Friday blissfully to myself to create!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Just a little note to wish everyone a Merry Christmas...I have added some pictures as it is the time of the year when we torture the pets with cutsie outfits. Poor Jo is usually the recipient of this silly tradition. I tried to put a gold lame' boot on Figgy, but he wasn't having it. Jo did much better walking in his boots this year...he didn't try to walk on his front paws as he has in years past...maybe he has resigned himself to the fact that he lives with a bunch of crazy people who play with their pets for entertainment. I think he gets enough enjoyment out of us that it makes up for all the silliness. We had Christmas eve with the kids last night...they gave us the coolest digital photo frame with all the wedding pics and some other family photos. I love of the best gifts ever!!! Technology can be a very good thing sometimes!. We had the requested parmesan chicken and roasted rosemary potatoes for dessert...everyone was pretty well stuffed with that and some fresh pineapple with cottage cheese. Smoked prime rib tonight baby!!! I need to go put together the hot crab dip and figure out what recipe I plan to use for the rolls. I made some bread last night for Travis...he loves my homemade bread and I love making it...makes me feel close to Grandma!!! Well, I'd best get at it...maybe some sewing will get done today!!!! (Since we were out of power for most of the day yesterday...and Tom did offer to run a cord up from the generator so I could sew!!! What a Sweetie!!!)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lazy Day

I woke up this morning feeling less than my normal perky self...virus...old age...who knows what my problem is? My Hero made a delicious breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy with eggs. MMMM! That made me feel a bit better, but not well enough to accomplish much more than read a couple books, peruse the latest issue of Sewing News and watch a few football games. Go Seahawks!!! Now I am waiting for the latest build of Embird to download (darn dial up anyway!) Oh well, on the bright side it affords me some time to blog. Maybe I will head on over to Craig's list to look for a sewing machine for Annie. She aspires to start her own website selling embellished onesies, etc. Reminds me of when Sara was little and I made bank selling homemade Cabbage Patch dolls. I don't think I ever made one for Sara...maybe I should make her one now. I did make her a whole litter of homemade Pound Puppies for her third birthday. I was big into sewing then. It feels good to "return to my roots" and be creative. It feeds my soul. Embird Studio is for the main Embird...patience SewMama!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


It's not even noon yet and I have 10 towels (for me) and the better part of a dress done!!! Yeehaw! Going to take a shower and a break to head to town for some errands. Feels good to make some PROGRESS!

Friday, December 21, 2007


I made it! I thought the week would never end, but finally Christmas vacation is here and I have a blissful day of sewing planned for tomorrow. JoAnn's was having a sale this weekend...Butterick patterns were 99 cents, so I did my homework and had my list of pattern numbers ready so I could just hit the cabinet. I selected some darling styles for my Spring wardrobe and purchased a few pieces of fabric to go with my Fabric Mart stock. I have fabric in mind for all of the patterns and hope to get a lot of items done over the break. They are predicting snow next week, which would be great as long as we don't lose power. I don't think Tom would fire up the generator so I could sew, although I could bust out the old treadle Singer and do it the old fashioned way! Hopefully I can post with some pictures of the fruits of my labor...for now I am going to start cutting out pattern pieces.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yay...Package from FabricMart has arrived!!!

I'm so excited...I received my package from FabricMart today and the fabric is fabulous. I ordered some of the bargain (99 cent) fabric to see just what you get for 99 cents a yard. I got a beautiful piece of cinnamon paisley chiffon that I dearly love. The turquoise fabric was all gone, but I was amazed at what I received in my mystery bundle. I expected some of the fabric would not fit in with my sewing scheme, but everything was gorgeous. There are 3 yard of a cobalt blue crushed velvet that will make something elegant. For casual wear there are 3 yards of a sand colered pinwale corduroy and then 2 yards of black with pink polka dots polyester that will make a nice casual top or a nice lining for a black jacket and a beautiful green and black striped sheer that I really like. I definitely will buy some more fabric there. As for work, only a day and a half left...3 more First Aid classes to teach and then a much needed break. The weather report is predicting snow for Christmas night...wouldn't that be fun??? Saturday Tom is on duty, so I may treat myself to a day in the sewing room playing with my new fabrics. Yay!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pleasant Valley Sunday

All in all Sunday turned out to be an alright day. I cracked crab for most of the morning and have the cut to prove it. I went to Fred Meyers to take out a loan for the prime rib we are having for Christmas dinner. I didn't really take out a loan, but I seriously dropped a chunk of change for a piece of meat!!! I baked a cake to go along with the crab salad we had for dinner at the fire hall. I spent the afternoon and most of the evening sewing. I finished all the mending, hemming and fix it projects and started working on the sundress I cut out last summer. I know it seems odd to be making a sundress in winter, but it will be nice to have a new dress when the weather again turns warm and it is fun to be working with such cheery fabric. Next I will do the vintage top and by then my fabric from Fabric Mart should be here. I will be starting a quilt block swap at work after the holidays, so hopefully that will not take up too much sew time. The little pesky grey dog is bothering me with his wiffle ball. He thinks the world revolves around him and I think he's right!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Break...Here I Come!!!

Well not exactly, but today is graduation day for the last class of the year, so my duties and working schedule will change a bit and I am headed for some time off in the near future. What to do...what to do??? I know...I think I will sew! The cleaning is going sewing studio is pretty much swamped out (one good sew session should turn it into a no fly zone again!) The floor is cleaned and all the stray threads have been vacuumed off the rug. My back table is organized with projects cut out to sew...a summer dress (well intentioned for this past I am ahead for NEXT summer), a vintage top that I loved in the 70's (No, I did not cut it out in the 70's, for those of you who know me!!!); some simple tanks (again for summer), plus a RTW top that I bought at a steal that was a size 16 that needs to be altered to a 10/12. Also awaiting my sewing skills are the carharrt pants that Tom set on fire welding (patch...maybe with something cute embroidered on them like "Flame On") and some dress pants he needs hemmed. Those should be quick to knock out. I have been so focused on embroidery projects that need my direct attention that I have not spent much time on regular sewing. Of course I probably won't be able to stand the quiet and may throw on the dish towels I bought at IKEA for me. I'm thinking Embroidery Library's Toile Farm Animals, because they are darn cute and require little interaction from me beyond hooping and pushing the button (Touch wood...can't be too superstitious when it comes to embroidery machine voodoo). I have all day tomorrow to myself as Tom is on duty and my presence will not be needed until dinner time. Hopefully Tom will come home from Coos Bay with a lot of crab, so dinner will be as simple as making a big salad and french bread. I may go shopping...better check the JoAnn flyer to see what I absolutely must have...yeah, that's a pretty good one I know. My latest plan is to go through all my books and craft leaflets to see what I can live without. There is no way I can do all the projects I have planned, but I guess dreaming about projects is half the fun. Hmmm!

Friday, December 14, 2007

What about Bob?

It's amazing how much a little thing like a haircut can improve my mood. I woke up this morning thinking "I need to do something about my hair today". Except for the obligatory trim to combat split ends, I had been growing out my hair for almost 5 years. Lately my hair had been getting caught in the seatbelt, pulled when I swung my bag over my shoulder and breaking off, most noticeably in food I prepared. I had been thinking about a bob for some time now, but did not think I had the youth or style to rock a Posh spice coif. I did a little online research and came up with the style for me. My dear stylist said it was within the realm of possibilities, so snip away she did. I LOVE IT!!! Although I am not as cute as Katie Holmes, I think the cut does wonders for me and makes me look younger! (Caron is a beautician, not a magician!!!) Anyway, I returned home after my treat at the salon and continued with the cleaning obsession...I hope this ends soon...all this cleaning is wearing me out!!! In sewing news, I saw an adorable coat today on a gal in the mall. It was a beautiful chocolate wool...empire waist; 3/4 length sleeves with a ruffle; length just past the hips. I must make one soon. I will have to search for a pattern to start with and then look for the perfect fabric. What fun

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Tree is Up...

And the embroidery machine is getting a well deserved rest. I finished Jason's fleece and have been cleaning like a mad fiend! I still have some problem areas that need some attention, but there's always tomorrow. I bought a small tree from the Boy Scouts and decorated it tonight. I'm hoping it will help me to get in the spirit. Not quite sure why, but I am feeling a little blue...tired I guess. I think I will head to bed since I have to get up early for work tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Figgy Paws

Another busy day in elf land. I finished the gifts for our friends at the ranch. The sweatshirts look awesome and the little ditty bags turned out really nice too. It looks like I just might make it after all! I even had time to run a mile and a half. I haven't ran in over a month because I have felt so wretched. It hurt a bit, but I was able to maintain a decent pace and it feels good to get back at it. Tomorrow's tasks include names for Annie and Travis's stockings and maybe a bib and towel to stick in Hayden's stocking. My honey just arrived home, so it's time for a dessert date. Til tomorrow...M

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I thought I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on Christmas sewing...I mastered the in-the-hoop toothbrush holder, which takes about 4 minutes to stitch out on the embroidery machine. I finished one before heading to work, but put together all the fabric pieces and ribbon to do the other 4 tomorrow morning. 4 more sweatshirts for our ranch kids and then of course the IAFF sweatshirts for the guys, and then Jason's jacket...then my boss asks "do you have time for another project in the next couple days?" I thought I had things under control, but once I listed them out, things seem a little overwhelming!!! Thank goodness I have 3 days off this week! I sent off a package to my friend Emma from ATW. Christmas is about caring and helping one another. Emma is always helping someone, so it only seems right to help her when her family is in need. Tom finished putting together the computer armoire from IKEA today. It is very beautiful in the family room...I like it. Tomorrow I will finish putting away all the stuff we cleaned out of the old computer desk. Feels good to purge and organize. Maybe one day there will be hope for the sewing studio! (Don't hold your breath!) Yesterday was our anniversary and Tom made a fabulous dinner. Butternut ginger cream soup, Teriyaki-orange marinated tuna on the barbie, his famous foccacia, roasted parmesan asparagus (my contribution) and a great salad. I also made a chocolate peanut butter chip cream cheese bar for dessert. The kids joined us to round out the celebration...a good time was had by all. We played with the pets after dinner...the furbabies always seem to take center stage. On a sewing note, I am anxiously awaiting my package from Fabric Mart, to create with some new fabric!!! Wah-hoo!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Visit from an old Friend

Who can it be? A childhood pal or someone from the distant past? Nope! I was cruising a vintage pattern site, looking back at patterns from the 70's when I spotted a familiar pattern that I made in my teens when I was a neophyte seamstress. I sewed a lot when I was young because growing up in a big family without a lot of money that was the only way I was going to get new clothes. We received a lot of hand me downs, which was always fun for me. Looking back now I realize we were pretty poor, but it didn't seem like it back then. My Grandma gave me old dresses that I would cut down to make "designer originals". I really didn't have boundaries then in my sewing...I was more willing to take chances. I learned a lot in those early sewing years. I wish I still had some of those old patterns, but truth be told...I would need to make them bigger these days. Maybe I can find them a larger size!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Little Hiatus

Little hiatus from blogging, but not sewing. I embroidered the ranch brand on all the sweatshirts for the kids at the ranch and finished one dreamcatcher design on one of the sweatshirts. There are 5 kids, so only 4 more to go! Plus some other little surprises. Another little adventure during my days off was I discovered IKEA. I knew about IKEA, but had no idea I would find so many things I had to have! We purchased a computer armoire that will be perfect in the family room, a cat house for Fig, a message center organizer, several items for the kitchen and towels and bibs to new favorite store.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Project Completed

I'm happy to report I finished what I set out to complete today. The anniversary gift is least the sewing portion. I probably will make some tempting chocolate confection because Tom loves chocolate, but that will be done on Friday while he is at work. I received payment for some hemming I did last month, so I treated myself to a shopping trip to Fabric Mart. I had never shopped there before, but after seeing all the beautiful things made from their fabrics, I had to give it a try. They had some pretty pieces for a terrific price. I bought several yards of a beautiful paisley print chiffon in browns and ambers that I think will make a lovely spring dress. I also purchased several yard of a bright turquoise jersey/lycra. I may make something for Sara, or if I like it, something for Mama. I also took a chance on a designer mystery bag of 10 yards total of different designer fabrics. I love remnants, so this should be fun...we'll see. It's late, so I better head to bed because tomorrow is another busy day.

Big Fish

This Sturgeon was caught on the Willamette River just below Oregon City two weeks ago.

It weighed out at over 1,000 lbs and measured out at 11'1". It was 56" around the girth and took over 6 and a half hours, and 4 dozen beers, for the 4 guys taking turns at the reeling it in.

Any Sturgeon OVER about five feet has to be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water.

Totally unrelated to sewing, but one amazing fish!!!

It's my Friday...

No need to check your is Tuesday by the traditional calendar, but it is day5 at work, which means I am entitled to a couple of days away from the salt mine!!! Friday (the real Friday) when I go back I get to attend the volunteer luncheon which should be fun and calorie laden. Catherine and Kristyn have been busy creating a wonderful feast. I'm very thankful for our volunteers and the good food of which I am lucky enough to partake of! But I digress...sewing...that's what this blog is about, isn't it? Directly after I finish screwing around on the computer I will head to the inner sanctum to create today's masterpiece. I don't have high expectations of accomplishing much this morning since I do have to go to work, but the must finish project is a case for the compass I bought for my Hunny for our anniversary. I plan to embroider "You are my True North" onto some pre-quilted fabric and make a nice zippered bag he can toss in his pocket. His old compass broke and he just wants another simple one. He has a GPS, but we are simple folk, you know and sometimes you just need a compass to get you heading in the right direction. It worked for thousands of years before technology brought us great electronics. I am not knocking electronics...the good Lord knows how much I covet my embroidery machines (oops, is that a sin?), but relying on your senses and your environment are also good skills to hone. The Christmas advent stockings have started, so I will leave you with pictures of this years "snake surprise". I don't think Sara has found my blog yet, so I am probably safe to publish this. I will send her a link after I get the "Thanks alot Mother!!!" phone call...evil laugh!!! M

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Music?

No sewing today...time to pay bills and buy a new coffee pot. The Bunn from the dark ages finally gave up the ghost and the backup pot just won't stand the strain . I have been listening to the Christmas station the last couple of days...some people consider that blasphemy. I find it rather comforting. I like many types of music...I have even been known to busta few rhymes from time to time. Music is just another form of creative expression and I can appreciate many different artists. Songs from the past can take me back to a different time in my life...a much younger time. Christmas music? Yes!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tired of Sewing????

Not!!! Well, I was for about 30 seconds, but I feel the creative energy starting to well back up. Sara and I had a marathon sewing session yesterday that went deep into the dark night. I was getting so tired considering I had arose at 4:45 that morning to go to work, but the cause was so great and the company greater that I kept on stitching. We finished a number of projects for the folks at the care facility and I learned a little more about how this project came to be. Apparently a couple years ago a co-worker in Sara's office suggested adopting some of the people in the facility that her Mother lived in that had no family. The staff would try to buy gifts for these folks and brighten their holiday, but there was a tremendous need. I am so proud of Sara's generous spirit and it was fun to work together...all I can say is F-A-A-A-A-R-TTT!!! We finished about 11:30 and the studio looks like a bomb went off in it. I'm not even going to worry about it...tomorrow I will give the machines a good cleaning and start organizing as I work on the rest of my Christmas gifts...sweatshirts, etc...the EMP6 will get a well deserved visit to the spa for a wellness check and cleaning while Tom and I take a mini holiday after the new year. I'm not sure where we will go, but it will be fun where ever we choose to roam! After the holidays I plan to start working on my spring wardrobe...maybe if I get an early start I can get some things done for the actual season!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Busy,Busy, Busy...

Seems like the fun never ends...looking forward to a fast and furious crafting evening with my favorite daughter...okay, my only daughter. We have lots to do for our Christmas extravaganza...Sara is shopping as I speak. I didn't get to sew at all yesterday as we went to our friend Travis' graduation from TVF&R Fire academy and then out to dinner with the gang. A good time was had by all, but now it's back to business. I think once the holidays are over, I will concentrate on my wardrobe and stitching up those WIPs I cut out last month that are sitting pathetically on my back table. Better get cracking!!!

Project Dress a Girl

For the past couple of years, I have made dresses for Project Dress a Girl Around the World, in part thanks to the campaign launched by Mari...