Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gratitude, a look back at 2008 and a look forward to 2009

First off I want to say thanks to all my blog friends who have sent encouraging words. You'll never know how much it means to me when I am throwing myself a little pity party. Not much improvement in the vision today, but I am reminded of the Rx I used to give a lot of my inmate patients when I worked for the DOC..."tincture of time is what you need to heal". Patience is a virtue that seems in short supply these days and I am digging deep to find some. So with that in mind, I am turning my focus toward being grateful for the good things in 2008 and the things to come in 2009. Many people are doing a review of their sewing year, so I thought I would follow suit. 2008 was the year of the dress for me. I made more dresses than any other garment type. Here is how 2008 played out (to the best of my memory)

11 dresses
4 skirts
8 tops
2 jackets
1 coat
1 sweater
1 pair of pants

These totals are only garments made for me. There are countless other items and embroidery jobs I did for my business, but that's just business. Those tallies will go to the accountant. It's hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, it would probably be the Chetta B wrap dress. It is so comfortable and seems to be the go-to dress when I want something quick and easy. It also always gets compliments, which is a good gauge of success. Of course, there was the Toby Keith concert dress and the retro sundress, oh and then the's hard to pick. I think I effectively worked to make more of my wardrobe made by me and less RTW, which I will continue to do next year.
So what's up for 2009? I need more tops...specifically a nice black blouse and casual tops for work. I have several sweater knits in the stash that could easily be made up. My goal this year is to use from the stash more efficiently. I want to improve my fit and make more pants. It's not that I am afraid of high school I almost made all my pants because back in the 70's there weren't a lot of clothes for really tall girls. I guess I was just blinded by the dress this year! I want to improve my skills and look forward to another year of inspiration from my sewing friends. I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year. Mary

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One step forward and one step back...

I went for my postop follow up today and I am doing well for the first day per the doctor, but my vision is blurry. My intraocular pressure is up a bit higher than it should be and I have 3 different drops to do TID. My eye looks pretty gruesome and my pupil is still pretty dilated, hence I am wearing the "Jackie-O" sunglasses on a cloudy day. I had kind of talked myself into going to JoAnns tomorrow for the New Years sale, but truth is I don't really need anything (I want things, but am trying to be firmer on wants vs. needs) and I don't feel confident driving in to the city. I went downtown to the post office and bank, but Estacada is a one stoplight town, and I could probably navigate it with my eyes closed (Not really!!!) Think I will crawl into the recliner and peruse the new Burda some more. Tomorrow will be a better day!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ahoy Matey!!!

Tom has been teasing me about being a pirate all day, so here is a picture of me with my parrots (wannabes!!!) Not a very flattering picture, but I will take it because it means that I will be seeing much better. I'll admit I was a little anxious about the procedure as I am not fond of eye drops of any kind in my eyes and even more freaked out about lens removal. The CRNA noticed that I was "white knuckling" the hand rest of the surgery chair and really helped to calm my nerves. The versed I was given didn't really put me to sleep. It was a weird sensation because it didn't really hurt. A sterile drape is placed over your face stuck down with adhesive with a small opening for the operative eye. My vision really went cloudy as the lens was pulled out, but when the new lens was inserted I could clearly see Dr. Plumb's face, which really put me at ease. It really didn't take that long and after I sucked down a quick cup of coffee to prove that I was okay, we were on our way home! Tom has been taking real good care of me. I should be back sewing tomorrow when the eye shield comes off. Then I will only have to wear it at night for a week. Sure glad that's over...until the right eye is repaired!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Good Christmas Day

The fun just doesn't stop. Yesterday we were able to connect with our kids and had a fun afternoon/evening. We headed into Portland to take the kids their gifts. The driveway into their apartment complex is quite steep, and a grader was scraping the snow in their parking lot when we arrived. There was a big snowbank at the bottom of the drive with little room to get around (probably to discourage people from coming in while he was working), but once you are committed on the Beaverton/Hillsdale highway, you pretty much have to go. So go we did and it was fine. I never worry when Tom is driving. He always keeps us safe. We took the presents in to the kids...Bryce his .22 pistol and Sara a new vacuum cleaner, plus some cash since getting a new vacuum cleaner is not a fun gift, even if you do need one! We then ventured out to the Nike Employee store (thank you Bryce for working at Nike) and did some shopping. I had to buy something because years ago when Sara played basketball in school her team played in a tournament in Portland. Tom went, but I had to work that weekend so I stayed behind. They all got passes to the Nike employee store and had a great time. When they got home, they were showing me all the cool bargains they had found. I kept waiting, thinking maybe they would have brought me a pair of socks...something??? Not!!! It kind of hurt my feelings, so I bitched a little...okay, I bitched alot, so over the years it has been one of those family jokes. I didn't buy alot for me, only this cool windbreaker jacket that will be great when Spring arrives and hopefully will get me back running. Tom got a great pair of black tennis shoes. It is hard to get him to buy shoes so I applaud when he seeks them out. Good shoes are important! Next up we took the kids over to Clackamas Town Center to look around until our table was ready at Claim Jumper. The mall walk was really a ruse to kill time until our friend Johnny got off work and could join us. It was a surprise for Sara as Johnny has always been a father figure/big brother/partner in crime to her. Not much had changed since they last met and the banter at the table was lively. Johnny had not met Bryce yet (To which Sara thanked Johnny for NOT coming to their wedding!) and quickly was giving him a hard time too. Johnny told old hunting stories that I either never heard before or probably just forgot (most likely the latter is true). A good time was had by all! Today is to be a low key, clean the house, maybe do a few projects type of day. The rain has set in and should help melt the increasingly ugly snow. It is so pretty when it first arrives and the aftermath...not so much! I started my eye drops for my surgery on Monday and have an appointment for a haircut this afternoon. Pretty ho hum, but a nice reprieve before new years. Not that we have any big party plans. What are you all doing on New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The day after Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Ours was very low key, but we enjoyed it none the less. The weather has kind of put a damper on travel around here, so we didn't get to see the kids yesterday, but we will get with them today and celebrate. My hunny got home a little late from work as they had a call about 5 minutes before he was off duty. We exchanged gifts and hung out til early afternoon when we ventured out to see "Marley & Me". Very good movie...2 paws way up!!! I read the book and loved it. The movie did a good job chronicling the journey of a dog and it's family. Of course a dog movie is going to be big with me! It made me nostalgic for all the great dogs that have been a member of our family over the years. There are more great dramas out there to see, but if you want something to touch your heart...go see "Marley & Me". Later in the evening we went to Clackamas to pick up our good friend Johnny who works for ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) to get dinner. He lives in North Bend on the coast and was called up here to help clear the snowy/icy roads here, which means he is away from his family. He is working 12 hour shifts, so by the time he got off the selections for restaurants were pretty slim. We ended up at Denny's and had a wonderful meal. Our server was so pleasant and nice. It was a great experience and I feel blessed that we got to spend time with our good friend Johnny. Today I need to go work awhile and then will go spend time with the kids. It's a good day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Projects Finished

Today has been a good day for getting projects done. Like the Camo Bunting
And some Chickadee Potholders for me
and a recovered pet bed. No pictures as the fat cat claimed it as soon as it hit the ground and all you really will see is fat cat! I also have embroidered 2 cardinal pot holders and have plans to do a couple of retro owls as well. I cut out a sweater BWOF 12/08 113B that I will probably whip out while the embroidery machine is working. I will leave you with a picture of Kodi with his hot dog. For a big dog, he is very gentle with stuffy toys and has called dibs on the hot dog. Jo is cool with that, as long as Kodi doesn't start eyeing the bear. Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas Eve!

It's Christmas Eve and looks like it will be another cold one! They are predicting the return of rain by Friday with warming temperatures, so with that we should see some flooding as the snowpack melts away. My Hunny is back at work today. He actually spent most of his day off helping others who were in need. That's just the way he is...I am so proud of him. He did get me out to mail my package and restock our pantry and the critter pantry. It's been really fun watching the different birds. I have a big book to identify the different species. One day I was all excited and said "Hunny, come quick, we have a dove". He rushed in to look and said "That's a mountain robin woman, put your glasses on!" I put on my glasses and sheepishly said "Oh". So yesterday when I did actually see a dove, I had to take a picture because I knew he wouldn't believe me. I also captured a great picture of a downy woodpecker. I was surprised to find him at my feeder, but there he was. As long as he doesn't start pecking the house, he can stay! We have had woodpecker problems before!!! I really believe I am channeling my Mother. She loved feeding the birds and would stand at the window happily watching them. I never got it...until now (Note to Sara...sorry to tell you kiddo...the more like your mother thing sneaks up on you when you least expect it!) On tap for today is to finish the camo bunting and blanket and I may cut out a little blaze orange jogger suit...just perfect for when Jason wants to take little Payton out woodcutting!!! Well, we want her to be visible!!! Then some sewing for me. Embroidery Library has a sale on bird designs, so I may treat myself to some new designs...Maybe embroider some kitchen towels and hotpads for me. I noticed ours are getting rather shabby. It is getting light out and I see my feathered friends are drifting in for breakfast, so I better go check the feeders. Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends and here's to a great new sewing year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How the Cat does Winter

I've posted about the dogs. I've shown you countless squirrel and bird pictures. It occurred to me yesterday that the smartest one of us all is Figaro, the cat. This is how he chooses to spend his snow days (Side Note: Brief intermission from blogging to go rescue cockatiels. Peaches is an accomplished pilot, but the other two yahoos don't fly so well. Every once in awhile they get the urge to take flight and then there are frantic SOS calls to each other. I think they are saying "Where's the cat? Anybody see the cat?" So as a good bird steward I must go find them and return them to a safety zone. It's like playing "Where's Waldo") Back to Fig...the closest he gets to the cold stuff is looking out the door and saying..."not going out today, let's have a bite and a nappy". In sewing/craft news, the baby blanket edging is almost complete...only 1 more row to crochet. Still pondering sweaters and made a window shopping trip through as they have a 20% off sale going, but nothing jumped into the cart. Guess I've reached the saturation point. It is another snow day from work, but quite frankly I would really like to go. Sad, huh? I will leave you with another gratuitous squirrel picture. This brave fellow braved snow above his head to cross the yard to see if the bird feeders had any better offerings. He was disappointed but gets points for his pluckiness!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Yep, not going anywhere unless I walk today. I considered walking to town as I discovered I have no snaps to finish the bunting I sewed this morning. I even had planned to walk to the post office to mail some sweatshirts, but it is a chore to walk to the end of the driveway, much less the 1/2 mile to town. Plus my DH who is working a double called and said "don't do it...I'll take you to town tomorrow!" So I guess I will just sit tight. Not that I don't have supplies to do other things. I'm thinking some sweaters right now are the project of the day and will go peruse my Burdas for the perfect projects. I've already pulled some sweater knits out of the closet for inspiration. I also plan to crochet a lace edging on the camo baby blanket. I think it's a nice touch and since I can't really go anywhere...the Dish Network is fubarred (not that they aren't fubarred anyway, but I will save that rant for another day!) so it is to the video file for entertainment. I lost power last night so I was very thankful my Ipod had enought juice to entertain me til I could sleep. I think I scared the dogs with my singing, but they should be used to it by now! Power came back on about 2:30 this morning, which freaked the boys out and caused them to bark (Big Ninnies!) I hooked the Ipod up to charge and found my IRiver too for good measure, making sure it has a fresh battery in it. The IRiver has a radio tuner, so I can get some news...not that it will help if I listen to my favorite station of the moment...they have no DJ in so it's all music. Oh's's with it Mary! Kodi is enjoying the snow...Jo...not so much! The only thing Jo likes to do outside now is raid the ground feeders. I caught him packing off peanuts the other day. I think the bluejays will take exception to that and could probably pack him off! His question was "How come you serve them peanuts and we get kibble?"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Freezing Rain

The fun and beauty of fresh snowfall has been sullied by the evil freezing rain. It started last night and left a glistening crust on the snow that is slicker than snot. Tom actually walked to work today, which is unusual because he loves a driving challenge. I ventured out to get the Sunday paper and tried to keep in Tom's footprints as I was a slippin' and a slidin'! Jo is so light he did not even break through the snowy crust, but Kodi did some crunching! Our poor paper delivery guy must have had a hard time because our paper was tossed on the roadside. I imagine he just slid down the highway throwing papers as he went. Making it down to the road was only half the battle. I didn't consider what fun it would be climbing back up the hill. We made it though and then I spent some quality time grooming Kodi. He doesn't get as much groom time as the spoiled one, aka Jo, the little tyrant and it's a shame too because he loves it more than any dog I have ever known. Just lays there and fiddles when you brush the right spot. Kodi will be 10 this summer and he has turned out to be one of the best dogs ever. I'm glad we said yes to bringing that little bear cub home. Here is a picture of Kodi when he was little. I have a couple of things cut out to sew, but may just pop in a movie and knit. The satellite dish is not working due to the ice and I am not climbing on the roof to try and rectify that, so a movie it shall be. Hope you all are staying warm and dry.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful...

Yes it is another snow day in the Pacific Northwest and I am grateful that I have no place to go today. I am up early watching the snowfall and savoring the possibilities of the day. There is no sleeping in when you have a household of animals. Somebody always has to go out, or wants fed or needs some attention. That's okay though...that's why we love them. I have been getting little projects done. I made a pink camo baby blanket for our friends Jason and Janis who are expecting their first. Jason is a big hunter and so the blanket had to be camo. I also have a bunting cut out (another pink camo fabric) and several other projects planned. I love baby sewing. I cleaned out the guest room the other day (it's closet serves as another craft storage unit) and finished up a couple fleece panel blankets for the family room. I think they were meant to be a gift about a thousand years ago that never got completed, but hey, they fit our decor and a nice new blanket is just the thing on a cold wintery day. This morning I have been doing some research on gravity feed irons. Why, you ask? Because my dear Sweetie told me yesterday that he intends to buy me one for Christmas and wanted my input. I just mentioned once that I was thinking about getting one, and he stashed that away and has been looking online. Anyone out there care to comment? I know Melissa in Kalama was selling hers awhile back, but I can't remember what she didn't like about it. I am just tickled that he was so thoughtful to pick up on that...Awe!!! Anyway, the sun is coming up and I have birdfeeders to fill before Mr. BlueJay comes a knocking at my door. You all stay safe and warm...Mary

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day!

Here in the PNW we were hit with an arctic cold front. Things are not as bad as other areas of the country, but there was enough to keep me holed up at home creating (and cleaning). I finished 2 knit tops, made a new cover for the cat's bed and felted some new slippers for me. I am really getting into felting and was armed with several different slipper patterns to knit. None of them made sense to me. I can knit and purl and have even turned a heel now and again, but the acronyms and techniques were just not working yesterday. Perhaps I will find a nice knitting class or skilled knitter to teach me. I may be a confused knitter, but I can crochet like nobodies business. My Hunny suggested I make my own pattern, so that's what I did. The thing I like about felting is that if your item is too big, you can just throw it back in the hot water and agitate. But don't agitate too long or it will shrink too much. I finally downloaded a picture of the red jumper. The other thing that has been keeping me busy is feeding the birds and squirrels. Here are a few of my new friends.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I've been gone from the blog (but hopefully not forgotten!!!) doing domestic things, Doctors appointments and crafty projects for others. My hunny started me off by deep cleaning the family room...I hate to get started on a deep clean because it brings out the OCD in me and then I feel like I must deep clean EVERYTHING. And I don't like to stop when I'm in that mode. The kitchen is almost done...a few more cabinets to wipe down and then a good scrub of the floor, wash the rugs...see what I mean? I can't stop once I get started! In other random tidbits...we like to watch syndicated TV in the afternoons (while cleaning, or whatever) Love Law & Order (miss Jerry Orbach) and JAG used to be a favorite, but is not running currently. Our current addiction is NCIS. We started watching the show in the beginning, which started the last year JAG was on. Currently it is on 3 hours a day in the afternoon. I love it...a guilty pleasure to be sure. My hunny loves it too. How do I know that we are watching too much NCIS? When I say something obvious and the reply I get back is "Ya think, Dinozzo?" Good times!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Love Letters (A meme)

Little Miss Sew N Sew was doing a meme and I decided to accept the challenge. Here is the assignment, should you decide to join the fun!
You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on.

You can leave a comment and not be assigned a letter if you want. Just let me know if you want a letter to keep this going.

My given letter is "M" for Mary...10 things I love that begin with the letter "M"

1. Mom...the lady who gave me life. She didn't always have it easy, but she always made sure we had the best of everything. I miss you Mom.

2. Marriage...I am thankful for my husband. Today is our anniversary. 7 years if you are counting consecutive years; 27 if you are counting cumulative years. Long story...I won't bore you with the details.

3. McCall...not the patterns, but my kids. My daughter married a wonderful man and took his name McCall, so now I have a son and a daughter.

4. Mail...I love getting packages in the mail, like the big box from that was delivered today...or a new magazine...BWOF please!

5. Medicine...becoming a nurse really changed my life. I love the practice of medicine and helping people.

6. in sewing machines. I couldn't leave out my passion for the stitch. I love all my machines, old and new, and I am always on the lookout for some unwanted sewing machine.

7. Mannequin...Valentine has made fitting issues so much easier since she came into my life. I don't know how I sewed without her before.

8. Music...where would I be without a song in my heart? Today we sang along with the radio all the way on the bus ride back to campus. James Taylor's hit is now titled "How Sweet it is to be loved by Steve!"

9. Maui...I had a wonderful vacation there once and would love to go back...anytime!

10. Last, but not least, I love ME. It took a long time to get to this realization, but I can say that I have learned to be comfortable in my own skin and love myself for who I am and not who I think I should be.

So come on...if you want to play, leave a post. It's fun! Mary

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stick a fork in it, cuz it's DONE!!!

The corduroy jumper was finished this morning without much fuss, which was a big surprise to it's creator, who thought she would have to wad it up and hide it in the closet before it ever actually became a garment! Perseverance won out though, and it actually turned out nice despite the bust point being closer to my belly button, the pattern pieces that were cut out wrong, the recutting of said pieces that had to be altered to fit the remaining fabric and the sewing together of things wrong!!! I think it may become a favorite outfit. My dear husband made such comments as "Bathrobe?"..."Grandma Dress?"..."Are you from the Little House on the Prairie?" and my personal favorite "Corduroy is a comfort fabric, isn't it?" Yes, it is. I hope to wear it tomorrow to work and will try to get a picture so you all can form your own opinions. To answer a question from my last post (Hi Kat!)...I did learn a lot of tips working in a sewing factory. The main thing to remember in production sewing is that everything is done as an operation. So if you were working on a T shirt for example, your operation might just be the shoulder seams. Your work would come in a bundle of 12 items and you would just serge up those seams and bundle them back up to be taken to the person who was putting the binding on the neck, or the person who was doing the coverstitch hem, depending on who's bin was getting low. I did primarily elastic application on the serger, so I was the one putting the rubber elastic on the legs of swimsuits before they were hemmed. There is a real art to how much ease to put in the front elastic and putting the right amount of tension to gather the behind. When I look at pattern instructions today, I look at what operations I can group together to make the construction go faster. (that may account for some of my faux pas, as well...LOL) I use my serger for most things unless I absolutely must press the seams open (the one exception is lined garments...I usually use my regular machine for those). I loved working for of the coolest things was when they would clear out the scraps. We were allowed to go in the back and take remnants from the cutting room and there would be some pretty big pieces, especially if you are making swimwear. They then decided that we should be paying for it so they charged us a quarter for a garbage bag of fabric...oh, hurt me! My daughter had a lot of swimsuits for a number of years growing up! We also could take home roll ends of elastic because when it got too close to the end the elastic sometimes was wonky and was not good at keeping your measurement specs. I think I have one roll end left that is almost gone...pretty good considering I quit that job in 1982!!! time flies!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


What's almost as good as a day off? Getting to sew at work! In my other life before I became an R.N., I sewed for Jantzen Sportswear. God, I loved that job! Listen to my radio all day long (aside...I had a radio that picked up television too, so I could keep up with GH...Luke and Laura were getting married the first time to give you a sense of the era!) and the bundle girl would keep my bin full so all I had to do was sew. All day. And on breaks and lunch I could use the power machines to work on my own stuff. You would think one would get tired of sewing, but not me. Anyway, I digress lost in the memories. Today at work I customized these great dog coats that many of the students bought at the Mystic Pony. They brought their dogs down to the nursing office for a fitting and I adjusted the velcro on the strap to fit them perfectly. Working dogs need coats that fit well under their harness. These coats were exceptionally well made and the fabrics are gorgeous. Some of them were reflective just by virtue of the fabric, but for those that were not, I added 2" reflective strips to make them very visible in the dark. I'm a safety girl and I want those crazy drivers to see my friends. It was a good day at work!

Friday, December 5, 2008


Progress comes in bits and pieces and sometimes in waves. I have been more in the bits and pieces mode, but things are getting done. The jumper is coming along...waiting for the skirt to be attached to the bodice and then just finishing. I should get there if I feel like it tomorrow after work. I made 3 bracelets and an amazing owl necklace yesterday afternoon while caring for my sick hunny. Today I felt like cutting some new projects after work, so I cut out 3 knit tops that should sew up quick. I also need to fire up the embroidery machine to do some towels. Christmas is coming...soon!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Knock it off

I have been so inspired by Sherril's recent Coldwater Creek knockoffs, that I have been drooling over their catalogs and email ads they send me. Two basic tops caught my eye today that I think I can easily duplicate. They have a turtleneck with princess seaming...supposedly very slimming. I don't know...gonna find out. They advertise them for $19.50, which is cheap for CWC, so I may just buy one anyway. They also have a very basic pullover with an overlapping funnel collar, trimmed in a blanket stitch. The sleeves are a little flared at the wrist. That shouldn't be too hard to emulate. We shall see. I got about an hour in on the red corduroy jumper this morning, but it has some fit issues now. The bodice is a little longer than anticipated and the bust point is about 3 inches lower than I would like it. So out comes the topstitching and I plan to raise that sucker up. The jumper appears a little long waisted, but not terribly and I'm not exactly short or petite! I will make it work, if it's the last thing I do! Not sure how much I will sew tomorrow. Still waiting to hear from my daughter if she is free to go to the movies. I thought it would be fun to go see Twilight. I have not read the books yet, but the movie was filmed in the Portland area (sorry, Forks folks), so that always makes a movie fun. Tom is on duty, so I will be able to sew the night away. Thursday is high speed day, so hopefully that transition goes smoothly and I can be blogging lightening fast! Hallelujah!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Vintage Bib Apron Giveaway

Another great apron giveaway at Catherine's Vintage Style Blog Go check it out! Mary

Welcome to the 21st Century!!!

I ordered the high speed today and it will become reality Thursday morning! Whoo-hoo! Major party going on! I also did some Cyber Monday shopping today. The Discovery Store had the Planet Earth DVD series for $24.99, plus I got a best of Discovery 4 disc set for an additional $9.00. Add to that a five dollar savings, which negated the shipping charges, and I am one happy girl! I also have another Discovery surprise on order, but I can't divulge this secret lest there be spies among us!!! I did a little more sewing on the red corduroy jumper this morning, but ran into a bit of a problem...I did a bunch of bonehead things when cutting this garment out, so hopefully there is enough fabric left to cut out another bodice back. This was the last garment in an all day cut-a-thon, so I think I was tired (or brain-dead) when I got to it. It looks like it will be a nice outfit if I can ever get it right! I just takes a little time and thought.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today's projects

No sewing(yet)today, unless you count changing the thread and needles on the Evolve to start sewing the red corduroy print jumper as sewing. Maybe I will have a late night sewfest if I feel like it after work, maybe not. I have been busy today thought in the crafty sense. I made 5 bracelets for gifts for co-workers. I really enjoy jewelry making, even though stringing the beads is difficult if the light isn't right. Hopefully after the cataract is removed and a new lens is implanted this won't be an issue. I also whipped up a batch of squirrel chow. We had been buying the ready made mix, which is really quite expensive and those squirrels are gluttonous! I bought a 50 pound bag of whole corn, 10 pounds of sunflower seeds and 2 pounds of peanuts. Mix together and serve. The cost breakdown figures out to 39 cents per pound, vs. $1.00 a pound for the pre-made. This should keep them going for awhile. The bluejays and chipmunks enjoy the whole corn feed too. I love my critters (but I'm not ever going to feed the crows Mom!) I finished knitting my wool scarf and need to felt it. I'm in the mood for something quick and easy to sew up. December Burda will be here soon...maybe something in there will inspire.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dude! You're Getting a Dell!

I told my husband that was going to be the title of my next blog entry while we were on our way to pick up our new Dell processor from Best Buy yesterday. He just shook his head...he thinks I'm crazy! Actually I was quite proud of all the research he did before we purchased it. It could not have been simpler ordering it on line and then driving to the store to pick up. None of this driving around to be told that the model we wanted was at another store. We also purchased Microsoft Office for a ridiculously low Black Friday price (also ordered online). Monday I am going to go order our high speed...ah, Merry Christmas to us!!! We also popped into JoAnn's to pick up some supplies for the harness bag I am making for my friend Kim. She actually asked me to make one a long time ago and I had decided to come through for her Christmas present. I designed the bag to her specs...she wanted a special poop bag dispenser on the front (my friend Kim is a Guide Dog user for those of you wondering why anyone would need a bag with a poop bag dispenser...LOL). It is always fun to design something new, but can be tedious as you figure things out. I had laid awake for a couple nights figuring before I cut into my muslin. After a rough prototype, I decided to just go for it and cut into the purple ripstop (another request...Kim is a purple girl) It actually went together pretty well, but when I got to the harness attachment piece, I realized I was out of black webbing. I have limited sewing supplies in the small town I live in and there was no black webbing to be had yesterday, so to JoAnn's it was. I decided to get some 2" stetch belting and velcro rather than use the buckles I have used in the past. My dear husband offered to stand in the long cutting line to allow me some time to shop the sale. He joined other well seasoned husbands, who nod and understand what it's like...they are kindred brothers in the cloth! I checked out the beads, which were pretty picked over by late afternoon, so I headed to the patterns because Butterick was on sale for 99 cents. I had hoped to get in and out before my Hunny caught up with me, but he caught me with my hand in the pattern drawer. "Don't have enough patterns?" I looked sheepish..."It's a new design", I stammered. He likes to give me shit! I was good, I only purchased one that really caught my eye. I could have gotten more, but why be greedy and truth be told, I have many patterns that have not been sewn yet. (But still we want more!) The chosen one is Butterick 5277 . I plan to sew view C in a nice plaid I bought from Trendy Fabrics last Spring...maybe with some piping around the collar. I may try view B in a knit and omit the zipper depending on how it fits. I just liked the lines and the raglan sleeves. I also see altering the bodice to add some soft pleats at the neck line maybe for a Spring dress. Anyway...I digress...the harness bag. We get home and I am excited to finish this project so I excuse myself to the studio because it's going to take maybe 1/2 hour to complete? Well, maybe if you sew the straps to the right side it might. I got all done (I thought) to discover I had made a rookie mistake. I could have cried had it not been so stupid. So my knight in shining armor came to my rescue once again and finished dinner while I ripped what I had sewn! The project is now complete save for a little fray check on the belting. To put an exclamation point on the day, I went upstairs to get towels for a trip to the hot tub and when I went to undress I noticed my T-shirt looked kind of funny..I had worn it backwards all work. Some days you just have to laugh...or CRY!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Shopping Anyone???

Not for this girl! I have to work, but even so, nothing in the ads could entice me out on a cold morning (or night...the news reported people started camping out Wednesday night!)...crazy! I'll wait for "Cyber Monday" when I can shop in the comfort of my pajamas! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mary

Monday, November 24, 2008

Whoo-hoo! I'm gonna be a Grandma!!!

Sometime in the near future...not just yet, but my DD called this morning to tell me that they had decided that once she finishes her Master's (a year and a half at the current pace) they plan to start their family. So while they are not expecting just yet, at least they have a definite plan about it and Sara thought I might want to know so I can start making baby things (like I haven't been squirreling away grandbaby stuff???) I have a hope chest of sorts. I'm pretty jazzed about this. We had a good chat and talked about the crazy names Bryce comes up with for a boy...Shenanigans O'Toole is not going to cut it and Taj, while we all think that is a cool name, does not go well with their last name of McCall!!! Anyway, it is fun to dream about grandbabies and the circle of life and all that happy hoo-ha. Speaking of Happy hoo-ha...Ann is having a fabulous sale at Gorgeous Fabrics...this Kitten is smitten and may have to go shopping. I was just reading about all the glorious goodies that Karen and company purchased at JoMar, et al and I am jealous! I did do some stash reduction this morning using some Mary Engelbreit fabric to make a bird cage cover for those crazy tiels of mine...I took some pictures but the camera is not readily available right now for downloading. Tomorrow is the start of my days much to do. My eye surgery is scheduled for the end of December...guess Tom will get to lead me around sighted guide...wonder if I could take a dog home for the week to help me out...funny...not, but I am trying to be a brave little soldier and not freak out. Funny, I work with people with eye problems, but I hate anyone messing with my eyes...I don't even do eye drops unless absolutely necessary. I remember as a child needing eye drops and being such a stinker about it I got a spanking...guess that would not be acceptable these days. Did I tell you I'm gonna be a Grandma one day??? There will be no spanking for my little precious!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Just waiting for the email to all download. In this age of technology we are still on dial up in the booneys (or maybe it's because we're cheap? I'm not sure?) Anyway, the slowness of our ancient computer is driving the old man crazy, so maybe Santa will be bringing on the High Speed for Christmas. Also a new computer. We have a nice new-to-us monitor (thanks Kidz!) but I am ashamed to say how old our CPU is (also a Sara cast off from an upgrade). The mouse port died about a month ago...there is only one USB port that we have the mouse plugged into, so if you want to download pictures or use a stick...well, let's just say you have to be creative. It's called Macgyver computing. We are waiting on the mad Christmas sales to pick up a good buy on a computer that should last us another 8 to 10 years (quit snickering Kittens!) Last night we went out to dinner with some friends. I had some amazing fish tacos (mmmm, my doggy bag is in the it bad to eat fish tacos for breakfast?) I sewed the fabric covered snaps on my coat last night while we watched Criminal Minds, and it is good. (the coat that is). I will probably wear it to work today since I won't have to get on the bus with all the dogs today. Everything gets covered in dog hair when we ride the bus. Not that I'm complaining mind you, I love the dogs, I just don't want their hair all over my new fabulous coat. I'm eager to get sewing on some new things, but am trying to be quiet as my Hunny is still trying to sleep, which may not be happening since Peaches is being a little punk and screeching for me to come back into the dining room...crazy bird! They are restless this morning...trying to dump their freshly filled seed cups and who keeps pooping in the water dish? Come on...fess up! They have a couple of water dishes and a Lik-it, but every morning there are two piles in this particular dish. I moved it today to see if I can deter this nasty habit. I think super glue is made from the components of bird dung, because it forms a bond like you can't believe. Sorry for the randomosity of this's that download coming? Ughh...we're on 53 of 67 emails and it's slowed again...must be some cute, picture laden email. it comes. Maybe I'll head over to Craigslist for awhile and stop torturing you Kittens...later...Mary

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Stockings were hung...

Well, laid across the chair really. The kid's Advent stockings are filled and waiting for December. They always take them home on Thanksgiving and then start opening gifts on December 1st. My boss/friend thought it was a cool idea, so she started it with her grandkids last year. Now she curses me because it means wrapping almost 100 little presents for her (hehehe!!!) Only 50 for me (yeah, they get a bonus gift on Christmas morning because Mom loves Christmas! In sewing news...the coat is done!!!! I may add the optional snaps on the lower portion...not sure yet, but I love it! Makes me wonder why I dilly-dallied so! Actually I enjoyed sewing at a slower pace than my usual frenetic "gotta git-R-done" mode. Enjoyed the process. So without further ado: I really like the lining which was an after cut out find from JoAnn's clearance fabric. The green/blue plaid matched perfectly and was a much better choice than the plain green I had already cut out. I did use the plain green for the pocket, but who's looking at that? Here is the lining, that looks puckery in the picture, but I assure you it is lying flat (sorry, the perfectionist in me is seeping out) So now I need to get busy and have a cutting session to line up some more sewing projects. I do have 5 towels to embroider for Chrismas gifts, but that won't take much time. So what are you all working on?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't feel like sewing...

You don't hear that come out of my mouth very often, but I feel that way today. It's a shame too...the coat is almost done. I did the hem and the sleeve hems last night. This morning I did the button holes before I went to my eye appointment because I knew my focus would be off after my eyes were dilated. All I have left to do is sew in the sleeve linings, finish the main body lining, cover and sew on the snaps for the lower half of the coat and sew on the buttons. I did find the perfect yarn for a scarf to match the coat today. Maybe a little knitting would be good for the soul. I'm kind of bummed. I found out that new glasses wouldn't improve my vision. I have cataracts in both eyes and did not realize the left was affecting my sight so much. I know threading a needle had become increasingly more difficult, but my newer machines have a threader. Looks like I will be having cataract surgery. I didn't expect to be so freaked out by the prospect. I am a nurse for God's sake, and currently work with the visually impaired. Big sigh!!! Think I'll go dig out the needles and knit awhile. The coat will wait.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pattern Giveaway

Hurry! Head on over to StacySews to enter her pattern giveaway. Who can't use more patterns? Mary


Nothing new on the sewing front, but I did finish the advent stockings for the kids last night. We went shopping to pick up a few last items for Bryce's stocking and had a wonderful meal at Applebee's. Then we came home, built a fire in the firepit and enjoyed the glow from the hot tub. We have lived in this house for almost 7 years and for some dumb reason have only rarely enjoyed the firepit. We agreed that a firepit needs to be placed at the old folks home...especially as we start to clear the land and develop it, because it gets darn cold in LaPine!!! I can hardly wait!!! In other thoughts, I am so done with Grey's Anatomy. They have really jumped the shark now with the whole Denny coming back ploy. Really, enough already...he's dead. A nice flashback once in awhile, maybe, but come on!!! Most medical shows use some creative license to make the drama move in a timely fashion and I can accept that. I started to get disheartened with the whole Meredith code after she drowned. Seriously...when a person is basically asystole for that long, they don't just automatically convert to a sinus rhythm without deficits. I started my nursing career in the hospital and there is a certain amount of shenanigans that does go on in the hospital, just like any workplace. But the whole practicing on unclaimed cadavers and then interns cutting each other to practice sutures? Even when I worked in the hospital (which was many moons ago), there was an accounting system for supplies and certainly injectable drugs that would have alerted the powers that be that there was something weird going on. I was really excited to see the return of Anthony Edwards to ER, but was afraid they had jumped the shark too, since Dr. Green had died of a brain tumor. I was pleasantly surprised. I was a loyal ER fan back in the day of Dr. Mark Green (Anthony Edwards), Dr. Doug Ross (George Clooney, the original McDreamy, imho) and Nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies). As time passed, it became increasingly more difficult for me to stay up late enough to watch the show and so it fell by the wayside. ER also over dramatized a bit, but at least it was more believable. Anyway, back to Dr. Green's was tastefully done as a flashback to tell the story of what happened to Dr. Cate Banfield (Angela Bassett). I like Anthony Edwards...always have. My favorite character of his was his portrayal of Goose in Top Gun. Top Gun is one of those classics I can watch over and over again. Especially the volleyball scene...can I get a witness??? Enough about fiction...back to our regularly scheduled topic...sewing. Tom is on duty today, so I will most likely get some quality time in on the coat...maybe even finish it tonight. Time to start cutting again...oh, the places we'll go!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I got a lot accomplished on my days off. The super secret Christmas gift was completed in good time and I actually am getting somewhere with the green coat. I think I will really like it when it is done. I am taking my time, as the instructions are a little sketchy and I already have had to rip a few seams to get it right. I really need to think more when sewing then just blindly follow the directions verbatim, because sometimes...they are just plain wrong!!! Has anyone else experienced that? I also repaired Tom's bedroll (easy fix). I only have one other project cut out...a red corduroy print jumper. I really need to work on pants. Don't know why I am so hung up on Tom pointed out..."It's almost winter, woman...shouldn't you be making pants???" Yes, dear...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Squirrel Wars

Just taking a little lunch break out of my delightfully ME day and thought I would document the morning's entertainment, so I can reread this one day and laugh my @$$ off. I spent the morning in the dining room cutting out Christmas presents (which I am dying to blog about, but somebody might read this and figure out what they are getting. (and No,Punkin...this ain't about no secret snakes!) The dining room has big picture windows so I can watch the critters partake of the daily offering I leave them. The morning started with one squirrel, then two squirrels and so on until there were five of those little rodents swinging from the branches. We have a tall fence along the back and these two crazy squirrels faced off, ran straight at each other and wrestled until one got thrown off the fence. It was better than wrestling on TV...I'm telling you!!! This went on for some time until the cat decided he wanted to go out. It's all fun and games 'til the big fat cat arrives on scene. Not that he could win. You know, it might be kind of entertaining to watch Figaro square off with a squirrel. Wonder who would get launched off the fence? Enough the bat cave to sew!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm a Weiner!!!

Oops...a winner that is. Last week I entered a contest over at In the Bag and I checked back tonight and I won her new lunchbag pattern! Go check it out. Pretty cool, huh? That doesn't happen all the time. I was betting on's Fashionista Fantasy prize, but they haven't called yet, so obviously some other Fashionista is enjoying the prize...sniff, sniff!!! I'm happy that karma has awarded me this pattern and will happily accept it! Has anyone headed out to JoAnn's Veteran's day sale? I went today before work. DH had a repair project for me that required some rivets, so I said "Oh darn, I will have to go to JoAnn's for that". I actually am glad that I went today rather than wait for tomorrow because I had a time limit. I could have spent way more time and way more money if I went shopping on my day off. The only fabric I bought was for a Christmas present for DH (Punkin, if you are reading this, don't tell your Father!) He is working a 48 starting tomorrow, so I should get it all done and wrapped before he gets home on Thursday. Wednesday will not be very productive on the sewing frontier because I will have the little monkey all day, but I may be able to get some things cut out while he naps. The coat is coming along nicely. It had been so long since I looked at it, I didn't even remember how much I had done. I bought some shoulder pads to put in. I truly could have made them, but for 2 bucks...I thought my time would be better spent doing something else. While I'm working on the repair project, the Christmas present and my coat, the embroidery machine will be humming tomorrow to finish up some girl sock monkey blocks. I promised my MIL I would send her some to stitch up for my SIL who is pregnant with her first girl. Ma feels ready to sew now that she is recovering from her stroke, and a baby quilt is a quick easy project for her. She is a wonderful seamstress and sewed a lot of clothes over the years. I am really looking forward to a day to myself to sew. The rain is scheduled to return, so working outside is out and I like having quiet time to myself. Yesterday I didn't even turn the TV or music on while I made the SCD (seed containment device). Just me and the hum of the sewing machine. That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh! There you go...Music Monday has returned! Rock on!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Family

Here are the first photos of the new bird family

There is Peaches
And Angel
Here is the seed containment device I made this morning in an effort to minimize the seed mess I don't think it will solve all the problem, but it will cut down a little of the scatter. Theo likes to throw seed at me. I currently have them right next to the computer in the family room. We are getting the stand for the cage and then they will be moving to the dining room where they will have big windows to watch the wild birds and critters we feed. Next up I will make them a hanging bird teepee and a corner snuggle. I made those for Peaches and Darla years ago, but neither one of them were down with that. The new guys seem a little more open, so we will give it a go. Besides, it will give them a haven if somebody wants a little private time. We all need that now and again! I finished a paying embroidery job yesterday and have some pants coming in to hem...easy money. I will get enough off the hat to cover what I bought at Embroidery Library's Wishful Thinking sale. They always have such great sales. I also want to get busy with Christmas embroidery. I have the pooping reindeer and snowmen from Julie of Sew Weird that should make great gag gifts for some of the people I work with. Who wouldn't want a pooping reindeer? Guess I better get off the computer and ready for work...please God, let me retire before I die!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

An Officer and a Gentleman

This post is to honor my brilliant son-in-law who was sworn into the USAF recently. With his degree and all the other good things he has going for him he may be able to become an officer within a year. We are so proud of him. We took the kids out to dinner last night at Sweet Tomatoes (I had a coupon) I always have Sweet Tomatoes coupons in my purse. You never know when an opportunity to visit may arise. We also went to check out the new Trader Joe's that is within striking distance now. I love Trader Joe's! We got the most amazing mandarin orange chicken there (mmm, dinner tonight) and their fresh basil can't be topped (unless it is fresh out of the garden). Their dried cranberries beat the socks off of Ocean Spray (Sorry OS, I know you grow in my beloved Oregon, but TJ's taste better) As for sewing news, I finished the dress the other day down to the hem and decided to whip up the seams on the fleece jacket so I could spare changing back and forth between serging and coverstitch. Stitched up the back seam...doing well. Stitched up the front princess seams and WTH!!! There were big old flaws in the fleece that I obviously overlooked when cutting out. Unfortunately I did not have more fabric to replace those pieces. It was some fabric that was given to me, so it wasn't like I had bought bad fabric, but just confirms the fact that I need to wear my glasses...ALL THE TIME! Actually I have an eye appointment scheduled as I probably need a new Rx and the cataracts need checked. Dang, it's hard to grow old!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rainy Days and Thursdays...

Always bring me up...okay, so I did a poorly written knock off from the Carpenters' song. I was sitting here thinking about my day and all the possibilities. Tom is on duty today, so he won't be returning until tomorrow. It is my "Sunday" in regards to my work week and with the exception of the big mound of laundry I have sorted out to wash, my day is pretty much mine! Who cares if it is raining? It's cozy and warm in the sewing studio! I have a knit dress almost finished and a fleece jacket that has been cut out for months waiting to be stitched up. I think it is time to put some effort into the green coat as well, since I cut the new lining out for that about a month ago. Does anyone else have that problem? You cut something out and then lose interest? I get blinded by new fabrics coming in and want to sew them up quick, so they go to the head of the queue. I have some fabric right now that is mocking me. Trendy Fabrics had a good sale last week and I got some killer stuff. Since the reorg, all my fabric is fitting in the closet, so if I keep to that standard, I can buy fabric when something comes out of the closet, right??? Fashionista logic!!! In other news, I read that the Spring PR weekend is going to be here in Portland!!! I am sew excited! I definitely plan on getting the weekend off so I can participate in that. I was really excited when I read Deepika was planning a get together in Seattle, especially when I saw it was not on a weekend. I got really jazzed when I realized it was a week we didn't have students, but then my hopes were dashed when I realized I had made medical appointments that day that I couldn't reschedule. Life is a roller coaster, isn't it! Well, off to enjoy the day. I hope you all have a great day too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bird Report

The new babes are settling in fine. They still are not eagerly jumping on my finger, but birds are cautious by nature anyway and they are just learning to trust their new environment. Theo gladly helped me eat my toast this morning. I had Peaches on my shoulder as I checked on my blogs and she trailed my arm over to the new birds' cage and sat on top of it for awhile. Angel climbed up to be near Peaches, so I think they will be great friends soon. They did some harmonizing today and the new birds were mimicking my whistle. I also spent some time on my outside (wild) birds. Tom found some old feeders in the storage shed that I had at my Lakeside house, so I cleaned those up to put out with the others. Three squirrels dominated the feeders for a little over an hour before I chased their bushy little tails out so the birds could have some time. The bluejays were hilarious. I set some peanuts out for them and it didn't take them long to cart that booty away! No sewing yet today (yet being the operative word), but I did do some ironing (Blah!!!) Anyway, my final word for this election eve...VOTE!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Babies...

I am such a sucker! I know where I got it. My Mother was a sucker too! She taught me to love all animals and to take them in when they need a home. My friend called this morning to talk to me about these 2 cockatiels that she aquired yesterday when another mutual friend's sister passed away. I could tell that she was not digging the whole seeds being thrown out of the cage routine, which anyone who has had birds can testify...they are messy creatures. So when she asked me to take them, I stalled by saying I had to check with Tom. Fair enough, I check in with him before bringing in any living creatures, otherwise I would become my Mother...enough said. I figured he would say "Really...we don't need any more animals!" To my surprise he thought it would be a good idea since Peaches has been so lonely since Darla died. So off I ran to pick up the newest addition to the menagerie. Their names are Theo and Angel and they are both yellow Pied cockatiels. Peaches was so happy to meet them. I have their cages side by side in the family room and everyone seems pretty happy, so I think it will be a good thing. I will take some pictures in a few days when they are more settled. It's been a rough week for them. Moving Peaches out of the sewing studio means I have more room for sewing and craft stuff!!! Whoo-Hoo! yeah, right!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Daylight's Savings Time

Whoo-hoo! Love the "Fall back" version of this little conspiracy. I love getting an extra hour to sleep, sew, whatever I want to do. Not so happy when March rolls around and they take my hour back, but for now, I will revel in the moment because who knows how long we have on this earth? I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween. I was treated with a visit from one of my favorite little monkeys and he brought his new friend Wyatt, who I had not seen since his recent birth. That is the great thing about having young friends...they have kids and I get to be a surrogate aunty/grandma type. Hayden was in rare form (probably jacked up from the candy!) and kept his parents running. He knows where all the fun stuff is in our house, so he was making the rounds. Wyatt is adorable...lots of dark hair just like his Daddy. I didn't do too much in the sewing room yesterday after work. I did a scan of my vintage patterns for options for Lisa's wedding dress that we are going to start planning this afternoon. I made some repairs on a vintage Cabbage Patch Doll I picked up the other day at the thrift store for 50 cents. I picked up the nicest girl and boy dolls in the bin. I probably could have bought more, but a boy and a girl for my toybox is plenty. No need to be greedy. In other news, my friend Charmaine purchased her first embroidery machine...a Viking Designer SE. I am sew excited for her (she is the one with the first grandbaby on the way)! Now I have an embroidery buddy who lives close. She took her first class yesterday. I remember when I got my first embroidery machine...I had been sewing since I was like 7 and I had such problems in the beginning with it...I thought I was retarded! Definitely there were some lessons to be learned, but after five years I feel pretty comfortable with machine embroidery. Can't wait to see what Charmaine makes! My hunny will be home either tonight or tomorrow for sure. Elk hunting has not been good this year...good thing the freezer is still full of good stuff to eat. We are always pretty well prepared in the food department...I think we could eat for sometime without going to the store (except for fresh things like milk...can't live without the cow juice) I do have powdered milk, but I'm sure Tom would revolt if I tried to serve that up! It works just fine in baked goods, etc... Enough rambling about powdered milk! I am holding my breath for the elections to be over. Our Son-in-Law enlisted in the Air Force and we are so proud of him, but I am waiting to exhale pending the outcome of the election. I fear what will happen in Iraq if McCain gets elected. Go Barack!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What I did Yesterday...

The other day when I needed to recalibrate the hoops for my EMP6, I became aware that the manual was not where I normally keep it. Not that I need to refer to it all that often and most everything I need is either available on the machines computer screen or online. I just like to know where things are. A frantic archeological dig Monday night after I got home from work did not unearth it, so I embarked on a studio reorganize/clean mission yesterday. I tried to time limit it til noon, but that was a gross underestimation. Besides that, I get sidetracked easily and took a trip downtown to the post office, the library, Hi-School Pharmacy...I needed a break after a few hours. I picked up some movies to watch while cleaning. I love our library. Besides having all the movies that our collective county system provides, our city library purchases new releases that they "rent" for a quarter a night. One of the librarians tipped me off that if you return them before the library opens the next day, they don't charge you for the first night. I didn't find anything in the new releases that grabbed me so I made a quick pass throught the regular shelves of movies and found some surprises. They had the Morgan Freeman movie "10 things or Less", "Things you can Tell Just by Looking at Her" (which I am watching now), "Things we Lost in the Fire" with Halle Berry and Benicio del Torre and just for fun "Blades of Glory". I use my library alot. I believe it is a tremendous gift (that we pay for with taxes, of course). One of my first jobs was as a library page. Loved that job...I still email back and forth with my old boss and see her whenever I go back home (which isn't often anymore since both my parents are gone) Anyway, I went to bed fairly early and woke up early...I took pictures of the clean studio and my new dress on Valentine. There you have it...a tour of the studio and No, I still haven't found that blasted manual!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happiness is...

A delivery from
Paying less for the fabric than the actual cost of the "FREE" shipping New fabric with gratuitous picture of spoiled pom
Dressing spoiled pom in adorable devil costume Spoiled Pom hanging head in shame
"I'm gonna %$#@ing kill you while you sleep!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pleasant Valley Sunday...

Okay, all you Monkees fans...I know you've got that song stuck in your head now! Just a little shout out to my peeps. I have been busy, although I have not been photo journaling all my projects, which I know is not as interesting a blog read but is what it is right now. My photographer is off on another hunting trip (elk this time), so I may resort to dressing Valentine up and taking pictures. I've tried the mirror thing and frankly the pictures don't turn out. I can photograph Jo in his devil costume though, which I need to do for Mary over at Pattern Rescue, since that pet costume pattern came from there! As it stands, I have finished one dress and one skirt from last Sunday's cut-a-thon; another dress is halfway...I have hemmed pants, did lots of embroidery and other asundry projects. I need to search for my Babylock EMP6 book just because it is not where I usually keep it and this makes me crazy. I had to go online to find instructions to recalibrate the hoops as the alignment was off. Not that the book would have told me how to do it, but by the grace of God and the internet, this information is readily available. Saved a trip to the shop, which is a good thing. Anywho, I am busy with Christmas sewing and one of my daughter's friends wants to commission me to make her wedding dress for April. She is getting married in a hot air balloon, so this should be interesting figuring out something for that! I'm thinking something with a shrug or capelet. It's gonna be cold up there! Gotta love a challenge!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Report Card

Yesterday was quite a productive day on the sewing front. Actually I did much more cutting than sewing, but it all has to be cut out before it can be sewn together. I cut out 3 dresses and a skirt before my hand starting throbbing. I have some arthritis that sometimes flares with a lot of handwork. It may slow me down but it doesn't stop production. I pretty much completed construction on one dress...everything but the facings and hems. It is a retro pattern that I received from Pattern Rescue last month...a sleeveless shift dress that also can be worn as a jumper. The fabric is a brightly flowered stretch twill with pink and white flowers on a black background...very mod 60's. I'm thinking black tights, turtleneck and boots will make a nice outfit. We'll see if it is a fashion do or fashion don't. Nonetheless it will be a nice summer dress when the sun rolls around again. Maybe I am trying to hang onto summer! I also whacked on the wedding dress pillow project. I removed all the lace overlays and tore apart the skirt layers. The dress smells kind of funny (no wonder daughter didn't want to wear it) so I washed a sample piece of the silk this morning. Since it seemed to do alright with handwashing, I washed a piece of the fabric (reserving the remainder should something weird happen) and it is hanging to dry. I have a plan on how to proceed. I need to peruse my embroidery designs to find the perfect heirloom design to go with the lace. I also plan to make some rosettes from the sheer ruffles. I have to work tomorrow, so my sewing time will be limited, but Wednesday may be a possibility. Don't know how long (or if) I will be babysitting, so the rest of the day can be spent in the studio. I also had a bright idea to make another Halloween costume for Jo. I know the devil costume is done, but I'm thinking about a tool belt and hard hat for Jo the plumber. I might even make him an Obama button too. I think there was a freebie design over on I know, pretty crazy to spend so much time outfitting the dog. I need grandkids...I'm telling ya!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

She finally fell...

Yep, that's 8:30 this morning I succumbed to I got an email saying they just reloaded their $1.95 clearance, plus add to that a coupon code for 15% off all clearance and free shipping for orders over $35.00, no coupon required. I couldn't take it anymore!!! It was a rough class, I worked some mad OT and I found some fabric in that category that I really liked that will work well in my wardrobe. 22 yards for $36.44??? Averages to $1.65 a yard. Most of the time I have been really happy with the bargains I have bought in the $1.95 clearance section...the few that I have not been as thrilled with make really good cheap muslins, so there you are. I also love getting that big box 'o fabric in the mail. It makes me happy!!! I have a couple pillow forms that will work for my paying job, so I will avoid JoAnn's and save some money there. Guess now I need to get busy and start sewing. Tom is on duty today so I'm on my own til tomorrow morning. Let's see what one motivated girl can accomplish!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm about to fall off the wagon...

The fabric buying wagon that is...(didn't want you all to think I was going off on an alcoholic binge...LOL!!!) JoAnn's is starting their moonlight madness sale tomorrow and darn it all if they don't have all the clearance fabric at 50% off! I scoped out the shelves at the OC store the other day when I was picking up snaps and there were definitely some bolts with possibilities. We'll see...I waver back and forth. The devil on my shoulder says "buy, you know you want to", while my guardian angel says "remember the!" But isn't it my patriotic duty to stimulate the economy??? (shut up, little devil!) Wow, reading this back it appears like I may have been drinking!!! Seriously though, my daughter kids me on my frugalness. It's not like there aren't wonderful fabrics in my studio. What is it that drives us to want more? I do need to get a pillow form for a paying job. This gal would like me to cut up her gorgeous wedding gown from the 80's to make a keepsake pillow for her daughter, who wouldn't be caught dead in this dress! Go figure. I am thinking something heirloom, incorporating the lace and pearls on the bodice. There are yards and yards of chiffon flounces too that might make a nice accent. I was surprised in looking at this union made RTW dress how poorly it was made. The seams were not even finished. The gal that brought it to me said it was a very expensive dress in it's day. I guess you notice these things more when you sew. I have been clearing things off the cutting table. Jo's halloween devil costume turned out cuter than cute. I will take a picture of him later to post. I tried to capture him in it last night to put on my new phone, but he wasn't having it and the cat was trying to attack him...must have been the devil costume. Figaro was trying to cast out the devil! They transferred all of my numbers, but couldn't transfer my pictures or my personalized Jo bark ring tone. Guess I will have to make him bark again (like that is difficult!!!) It is raining here today in Oregon (another big surprise)...good day to watch baseball and sew!

Monday, October 13, 2008


My Hunny is coming home from hunting tomorrow or Wednesday! Guess that means no more late night sewing seesions. That's okay, I'm really missing him and besides, in a couple of weeks he'll be gone again for elk season! My latest project is almost complete...Butterick 5223. I am making view B with the collar out of the grey linen-like fabric that I made the Patrones skirt (My 2 yard wonder outfit) The jacket is coming together nicely, but I need a large snap for the closure. I dug through the button bin and found an interest single button that looks like a nugget. I know it sounds weird, but this button looked really good. I wanted something different and interesting since it only calls for one button. A large snap under the button is the way to go. I resisted going to JoAnn's for the Columbus day sale because 1) I would have fell off the fabric embargo wagon and 2) my hair appointment ran long and I didn't have time before work. Just as well. I was very happy with what Caron did this time. She has been trying to get me to move away from the bob for some time now, and so when I came in toting a picture she was thrilled. It's stacked in back with the sides long enough to push behind my ears and of course my trademark bangs. I have a big forehead and with the left eye droop thing going on, I need some coverage!!! I like it...don't know how Tom will feel, but it's my head. It's not like I shaved it or anything (though the thought did cross my mind) I like my nose and my smile...eyes and forehead not so much. So what's your favorite feature?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I've been talking about my sewing, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Sara took a picture of the top I finished last night and I noticed that there was a picture of the blue and white vintage "costume" dress on the camera when I was downloading. Pardon my hairdo. Looking at the pictures, I realized that I need to make an appointment with Caron to get my hair cut. The afternoon was a whirlwind of activity. Sara is a thrifting maniac!!! Wonder where she got that gene? She jumped in and shopped circles around me. I was so tired I even begged off going to the fabric store...all I wanted to do was get some dinner and collapse! We had a good time though. She found a couple pairs of jeans and a bunch of tops...I found a nice Liz Claiborne sweater set and a beautiful JG Hook quilted jacket, some jewelry and some books and a puzzle for my little man. Now I need to go crawl into the recliner!

Sew, Baby, Sew!!!

Not Drill, Baby, Drill!!! Sorry, I know I said I wouldn't make this a political commentary. But while I'm on the subject, doesn't it gall you when you get an unsolicited call and the person just assumes you believe the same way they do? I am so tired of being interupted mid seam to answer the phone just to have it be a vote for so and so call. I like to mess with them a bit...make it worth their while before I tell them to stop calling me. The Do Not Call list thing hasn't been working lately, so I guess we need to do that again. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming...sewing! I finished BWOF 10/08 Top #114 last night and am wearing it today. Sorry no pictures yet...Jo doesn't have opposable thumbs, so it is difficult for him to be my photographer. Sara is coming this afternoon, so if she is not in a big fat hurry to go thrift shopping, I will have her take a pic. Meanwhile enjoy Allison's review as she tried out the top too as a muslin for the dress (Smart Girl!) As with most BWOF designs, the top was a little low cut for everyday wear so I sewed a 2" seam up the upper bodice. I did attach the tab at the seam line where the top and bottom join, but the pattern is so busy I probably didn't need to. I think a nice brooch or other focal point would be nice there. I'm not a big dolman sleeve fan, but these seem to work okay and are not too sloppy. It definitely is comfortable. The only real adjustment I did was add a little allowance at the bottom of the sleeves so that they fit my forearm, but aren't tight like encasing a sausage. I did not get any work done on the jacket last night because I had to work overtime yesterday (yay! good for the Deeter family economy) It should be an easy project to whip out...I am starting to see the cutting table again, so it's time to cut out some more things. Maybe will make that a baby clothes cut-a-rama!!!

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...