Sunday, August 31, 2008

What I am working on Now...

I finished my first Jalie Sweetheart top last Thursday. It was a quick cut and sew and I loved it! I used some white fold over elastic for the binding and it worked beautifully! The top fit me well on the first stitch up. I had read over at Pattern Review that some people had trouble with the back, but as my Mom used to say, I have the body of a beggar and most everything fits...well almost. My current project has me scratching my head regarding fit, but some of that is of my own making. I actually cut it out in a size smaller than I probably should have and I changed some of the construction. The directions have you sewing a center seam down the front and back yokes and skirts. I'm sure this is to mimic the authentic design of using retro fabrics that are narrower than the wide yardage that we enjoy today. I cut the yoke and skirt on the fold to make it one continuous piece. I have the bodice together and it fits great except I was afraid it might be too tight with the zipper application. I slept on it last night (figuratively, not literally) and decided to add a facing to the side the zipper will be going in to minimize the seam allowance loss. I think it is going to work out fabulous and no one will be the wiser except for you, my dear readers!!! I was able to get the skirt sewn and gathered prior to heading to work, but it is not attached to the bodice yet. Tomorrow...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blog Thing

Here is a fun little quiz that I picked up at Judy's Mid Life Bliss.

You live your life with optimism. You remain happy through the bad times, and your outlook remains bright.
You judge all interactions through the lens of hope. You try to see the best in people, and you give them the benefit of the doubt.

You face challenges with a spirit of adventure. Things are what they are, so you might as well make the best of them.
You see love as the utmost expression of personal joy. You tend to be attracted to lively, friendly people.

At your worst, you are a bit petty and jealous. You want to be everyone's shining star.
You are happiest when you're daydreaming or thinking up fresh ideas.

What color glasses do you see the world through?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Music Monday...Soolaimon

My dear Hunny called me early this morning to ask me if I wanted to go to a Neil Diamond concert. Well, that's a no brainer! I said of course, providing I could wrangle the evening off from work. Our friend Steve has good tickets and can not attend (ahhh, so sad!) Tom thought it was next Monday, but smart girl that I am, I went on line to check out all things Neil and discovered that the show is actually Monday the 22nd! Bonus! Doesn't interfere with my bosses vacation and enough time to figure out coverage. I fell in love with Neil Diamond as a teenager and still love his music today. And you thought I was just some country obsessed Trace Adkins stalker!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Done!!!

I finished the retro dot costume (as the dress will probably always be known as) last night and it is fabulous. It fits me in all the right places and for being a pencil skirt type design it has remarkable ease. I was afraid it would be one of those dresses you look good in, but impractical for real life, but that is not the case. The only thing I think I would do different is use a little stiffer interfacing in the collar, but that is not a big issue. I hope to wear it tomorrow for graduation and will have my Hunny take a picture. I am really happy about all that I got done while Tom was gone hunting, but I am more happy that he is coming home today! It's fun to have some time to myself once in awhile, but it gets kind of lonely after a week. Besides, alone time is what a 24 hour shift is for. I can go cook dinner for the crew and then come home and be queen of the remote and do whatever I please! There is an Eleanor Burns trunk show starting today across from the library in our little town...surprising...I have never been to this little gift shop...they advertised that they will be selling fabric along with the quilt show...may have to sneak over there before Mr. Man gets home!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

When it pours

It has been really rainy the last couple days, which is not entirely unusual for the Pacific Northwest. It has been great for the garden, and I turned the sprinklers off a few days ago...looks like I will be turning them back on in the next few days. The rain is also a metaphor for hard times. My Honda decided she didn't want to run today. She coughed a little when I started her this morning, but she got me around town to do my errands...I got gas, checked the mail, returned some library items and picked up some new books. When I got home I decided to vacuum out the car, so I pulled up to the shop door and vacuumed it out. I did not expect that annoying clicking noise and no fire when I tried to start it to take it on up to the house. Sounds like a battery issue. The silver lining is that she decided to die at home rather than somewhere else. Papa Bear won't be home until tomorrow night, so that means I need to take Lil Blue, the '86 Toyota 4x4 pickup, to work. I had not ever drove Lil Blue, so I took her for a test drive and a gas fill (Tom does not trust the gas gauge...he has ran out of gas before). I am very thankful that I have this option and don't have to arrange other transportation to work tomorrow. Sewing has been good today...I finished placing the zipper in the dot costume and all that is left is the handwork...that will be done later during the Olympics. I made one set of waterbed sheets this afternoon and should be able to crank out the other set tomorrow after work. I have been watching old musicals while I sew..."The King and I" yesterday and "Hello Dolly" today...this afternoon was "Pure Country"...well, it's not officially a musical, but there is singing in there and besides, it's gentleman George Strait, so it counts for me (I love the ponytail!!!) Dinner break is over...back to the machines!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Hot (Crazy) Mama

Yep...that's me! Yesterday was a fun day. I got a lot accomplished and I had fun too. I picked about 20# of green beans before the rain set in, I finished the freezer defrost project and moved the food back to the big freezer with some organization and I took my Oregon Jamboree pictures down to the pharmacy to be printed. I also went to the library to pick up some books and DVDs I had on hold. I rode my bike down to the post office. Not wild about highway riding, but I sucked it up and did it...I can be such a fraidy cat sometimes and it's silly...I used to ride my bike everywhere when I was a kid...maybe it's just experience that makes me cautious or the nurse in me that knows how bad it can be if you get hit by a car. Besides, Uncle Bruce was working for Tom and I would hate for the boys to have to come scrape me off the road! Late in the afternoon I popped in "This American Life" season 1 and played with my scrapbook supplies and my Trace pictures. I wanted to do a montage of some of the pictures to highlight my "Hot Mama" license plate I bought at the concert. I am very pleased with the results and it now hangs in a prime spot in my sewing studio. I felt like I was a teenager again...remember the pinups in 16 and TigerBeat magazine...come on, you know you do...the ones of Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy? Okay, maybe it was Shaun Cassidy for you, or even the "BSB" as Trace calls them! Anyway, it makes me smile and I love it!!! The furbabies and I were up early again today. I have the jars for the beans sterilizing in the dishwasher and will use the rest of the day for sewing. The retro dot dress should be finished today and I woke up with a plan to finish some new waterbed sheets. I have flat sheets in two colors...a moss green and a nice tan. I bought some camo fabric to make pillow cases and will add some of the sheet material that I cut off to make a cuff with "buck" and "doe" embroidered on it. Tom should love it...he likes anything camo! Guess I better get at break is over!!! Later...

Monday, August 18, 2008

What day is it???

I really need to stop turning on the Olympics coverage when I get home from work. I was up til 1:30 this morning. Thank goodness I work evenings this end of the week, so it wasn't like I had to be up at the crack of dawn, but seriously I am too old to be burning the midnight oil. I am more of a morning person anyway. So I arose around 8:00 (the pets have their routine that can't be messed with!) and was showered with a thunder storm during Jo's constitutional and the walk down to get the paper. A wave of energy overtook me this morning that resulted in the refrigerator getting completely emptied and cleaned out. That felt so good, I transferred all the frozen food from the big freezer to the little chest freezer so I could defrost it before Tom comes home with his antelope (the power of positive thinking!!!) The ice should be gone by morning so I can wipe it out and reorganize the food. All this was done before heading to work at noon! No wonder I'm tired! Then it will be all sewing. I applied the collar to the bodice of my retro dot "costume" last night (while I was watching Olympics). I followed the pattern directions...this pattern is circa late 40's or early 50''s amazing the detailed instructions that came with older patterns and the fit...clothes seem much more tailored from that era than the patterns we have today. I traced out my Jalie Sweetheart top too. This is my first time sewing a Jalie, but I think it will be good. I have 3 days off this week...all to myself...lets see what I can accomplish!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Peaches...a pattern giveaway contest

What does peaches have to do with sewing and what's that you say about a pattern giveaway??? I have been busy this last week canning peaches, which has kept me from what I really want to be doing...SEWING. I also have been sorting through my supply of vintage and not so vintage patterns and decided to have a little contest to give some away. Here is the the title of the song and the alternative group that sang this song. The first person to correctly answer this question will receive some patterns in their size and style that they me, I think I can accomodate!!! So good are the lyrcs:
"Movin' to the country, Gonna eat a lot of peaches"
In other news, we have been searching for the perfect retirement property in Central Oregon, more specifically in the La Pine area. We thought we had found it, but our real estate agent presented us with some more properties to look at and now we aren't sure. It sure is fun though to look and think about where we will spend our final days. I will probably end up working longer than my hunny, as he can retire from the fire service in 5 years.
I actually did some sewing yesterday after work. It was too blooming hot to do anything outside, so Jo and I stayed inside where the AC kept things nice and cool. A friend brought me 3 drum bags to embellish and personalize for her upcoming vision quest, so that was the first order of business. I had purchased the most perfect designs from Embroidery Library, so it was an easy project. I had to search through my design archives for one of my friends who wanted a tribal design and found a cool bear symbol design that had textured patchwork incorporated in it. It screamed "she who quilts", which is another one of Margie's interests, so that's what she got. While the embroidery machine was humming away I worked on my polka dot retro "costume" dress. My husband refers to it as the costume because the guy who cut the fabric out for me said "what are you making...a costume". Now every time I buy fabric my husband comments "that'll make a nice costume"...HA HA! Not long into it, my Brother died (my machine that is...not my real live brother). The piece that attaches the needle bar to the crank broke and so the crank moves, but the needle does not. So to the shop she went this morning. Not to worry trust 40+ year old Singer roared into action and the creative train does not need to stop for repairs. I have another New Home machine behind that one, and if worse comes to worse, I can bust out the treadle. I stopped at JoAnn's on my way to work because I needed some more embroidery thread and thread was on sale for 50% off. I also made a quick pass through the clearance bolts, as they were 50% too. I picked up a nice red gauze for $1.00 yard; a nice embroidered peach linen for the outrageous price of $1.50 yard (took the whole bolt of that as well) and then finished my fabric feast with a black and white cotton print for $2.00 yard that could be leaves, but looks almost zebra-ish that came as two pieces. There was not a 4 yard piece on the bolt, so I took what was there and the gal actually cut me a break as she charged me for less than I actually got. I smiled and said thank you. I also picked up some patterns (shhh!!! don't tell Tom...I'm supposed to be getting rid of patterns...not buying more). At $1.00 a pattern on sale, how could I say no? Besides, I made almost double what I spent doing the drum bags, so it all works out. (I can justify anything!!!) Anywho...I got Simplicity 4076 which is a wrap, a twist and a basic T like the Ottobre T. I have similar wrap and twist patterns, but I really like the basic Ottobre style and think it will become a TNT T- shirt. Next I picked up Simplicity 2936 which is a 6 made easy blouse pattern that has some interesting details. The sleeves are raglan with variation on the finishing and an optional collar. I'm thinking the embroidered peach linen would be great for this...I'm leaning towards view C. Lastly I fell in love with Simplicity 3789, a Khaliah Ali Collection pattern. Look at the pleating detail on the sleeve of view C. View B is a nice clean princess line blouse. I think this will be a TNT too if the fit works (Make it Work, Mary!!!) So that's what's happening in the sewing studio in the near future.
The rain is supposed to return tomorrow, for a refreshing change. My garden will appreciate it. The weather has been so hot, the watering has not been cutting it and we have been cautious since we ran out of water last year. Most of that was a pump problem, but I also forgot to turn the sprinkler off one night, which did not help. This year (knock wood) things have been fine, but once you have had to shower other places than the privacy of your own home...not good!!! The garden is producing quite well this year. The cabbage has all been harvested except for a couple of smaller heads I left in the ground to mature a bit longer. I don't need to do kraut this year, so I am sharing my bounty with friends. The green beans need picking again tomorrow (hope the rain holds off for this task) and the lettuce and broccoli are about done. Still waiting for the tomatoes to ripen, but there are some nice big ones on the bushes. The squash and cucumbers are going crazy...Zucchini anyone? I give it away every opportunity I get...I used to stuff it in Hayden's diaper bag when he would come for a visit. His Mommy is not working now, but I told the kids that they still need to bring him by to visit with Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary. They need to go on a date!
How about that Michael Phelps? We have been enjoying the Olympic coverage...staying up way too late, but it's hard to turn the TV off with so much action going on. I would love to go to the Olympics...maybe when they come to Vancouver B.C.? That would be fun (and expensive!)
Wow, I haven't blogged in awhile and it seems like the words are just flowing through my fingers! Thanks for hanging in on this long post (those of you who have not clicked away!) Name that tune and artist and win some patterns...Free is a very good price!

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Monday...No Music today

Just a short shout out...I have lots to report on the music front when I download the rest of my pictures from the Jamboree. I had to download my man Trace right away, but the other card hasn't even been touched since we returned from vacation. I actually switched to a new 1G card before Trace's concert, because I didn't want to run out of room on the other 1G card. Like how many pictures do I need? Well....I took 118...of just Trace, but who's counting! Not all of them turned out fabulous of course, but there's enough good ones to wall paper my sewing studio. Stay tuned for pics of Glen Campbell, Neal McCoy, Joe Nichols, etc... I will get it together soon. Life has been such a whirlwind lately. The garden has been producing in hyperdrive, so the canning thing is in full swing. I've been itching to be stitching, which I should be able to do some on Wednesday. Tom has a frame swap to do and it may even flow over into Thursday. Then he received a call to go antelope hunting next week, so Mama will be on her own. I'm thinking it would be a great time to get a handle on the fall wardrobe. Also thinking about Christmas and making jewelry for my friends. JoAnn's has their string beads and stones on sale for 50% off starting Friday, so I am thinking about designs. Also another exciting distraction is that we are looking to buy some property in Central Oregon to build our retirement home! Had a wonderful time visiting friends there and decided that since we love to vacation there, we might as well live there. Seems rather weird to be thinking about actual retirement, but it is coming...we've been thinking about it for a long time and trying to plan responsibly, but it's tough to know what your actual "number" is. You hope to have enough to live comfortably, but what if you live longer than anticipated? Or you scrimp and save and then kick the bucket a week after you retire? What's the answer???

Monday, August 4, 2008

Music new boyfriend

Ain't he cool? I'm going out on tour with him...we're headed to Ventura, California. I'll send you post scripts from the road...oh wait...wake up's morning!!! Dang, that is one fine looking man!!! Just home for a minute from the Oregon Jamboree. I have more pictures than that, but we are heading out this morning to go camping, fishing, and visiting friends in Central Oregon, so I will have to give you all the detail of a great Jamboree weekend later. Our seats are towards the back in the VIP section, but they allow you to go up front to take a couple pictures. There were a whole bunch of people standing up at the stage, so I didn't think I would get to take close up pictures, but my darling husband encouraged me to go up anyway. When I stopped to talk to the security person, she said "go on up, but just stay to the left in case of fire" You mean, I get to stay up there? I leaned over to another woman standing next to me and said "I hope my husband doesn't expect me to come back" and I stayed up front for the whole concert!!! My heart was just a pounding. Tom was laughing when I returned after the concert was over. He said "I seen you dancing up there and your smile was shining so bright...I knew you weren't coming back!!!" I love my hunny!!! Anyway...Trace was awesome, and if you see him in concert, ask him about his new girlfriend Mary!!!

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...