Thursday, December 31, 2009

JoJo update

We're back from the vet and the news is good.  His vitals were all good and it was unclear why he has had diarrhea...I took them a stool sample to check...He got some fluids and Flagyl and hopefully this will be the end of this shenanigans!  Whew!  The creating can begin!!!

Awards and Looking Forward...

Linda of Danvillegirl Sewing Diary acknowledged me with these 2 awards, so what better time to get real than New Year's Eve? With both awards you are to acknowledge the person who presented you with the award and to tell 10 honest things or 10 interesting things about yourself. You are then to present the award to others and post that information here and link to their blog. I will combine the 10 interesting things (not sure if I have 10 interesting things to report!) and 10 honest things.  I will throw these awards out to my readership, because you're all worthy of merit in my books (and I am too lazy to link to you's that for an Honesty Scrap?)

1. I am currently worried about my JoJo...he has not been feeling well for a couple of days (I'll spare you the disgusting details) and of course his Vet's office is closed New Years Eve and Day!  WTF??? We have an appointment this afternoon at the office covering for them...he is not in acute distress, but I don't think I will enjoy the holiday worrying about my little guy.

2. I miss my daughter. Alot! We talk via the computer often, but I'd really like to give her a hug right now! (And it doesn't mean anything that Jo was listed first!)

3. My hair is turning gray...I colored it yesterday as the roots were showing...not a pretty gray either...a dull, uninteresting flat gray...thank goodness for hair color!

4. I am not that great of a housekeeper...Linda said it, so I'll fess up too.  There are other things that I would rather do.  I do maintain a standard of cleanliness, but it isn't that high.  Years ago in my nursing school study group we were having a discussion about what a mess our house was currently in.  I thought mine was bad until my friend piped up "oh yeah?  My son threw up a month ago in the bathroom and it's still there!" Okay, my house ain't that bad!

5. I actually like to cook and bake.  I've baked all our bread for years now and store bought bread tastes icky now.

6. I worked really hard to bring my cholesterol down with diet and exercise, but I missed the mark.  The good news is that my HDL (good cholesterol) was one of the highest they had seen...the bad news is that my LDL is still out of range and while the doctor left the decision up to me...I'm starting medication.

7. I crochet better than I knit...something I would like to equalize in the coming year.

8. I'm ready to go back to work...I miss my coworkers and students (and the dogs, of course)

9. I'm having trouble thinking of anything interesting to say.

10. I really should be cleaning house (see #4) than messing around on the computer...just trying to ease my nerves (see #1)

There you have it...the raw truth.  As for looking forward, I don't have any official resolutions for 2010...resolutions tend to get broken, so here are some thoughts about the coming year:

I need to get to England to see my baby.
I want to practice my knitting and crochet more.  Crocheted vest almost done and yarn procured for future projects.
I want to sew my stash down...I have great fabric, but still covet more!
Home improvement projects ahead-paint the kitchen and dining room-new flooring for aforementioned areas and landscaping when the weather warms up.  That's a start for the new year, I'm sure I will come up with alot more ideas, but I don't want to overwhelm myself.  I hope you all have a safe and happy new year's celebration and here's to a wonderful 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to Life...

Jo isn't quite sure if living in a snow zone is to his he is when we did our last walkabout to check the fire site..."Puhleeze, can we just go home?"  Surprise Jo! We are having a snow storm tonight at home.  I took dinner down to the boys at the firehouse and the roads were not bad...the interesting thing I found was how mesmerizing the snowflakes are when your driving...I get really distracted.  I didn't stay for dinner because Jo has been a little under the weather today and I wanted to monitor him.  I didn't get to sew today like I planned...after hitting the lab and doing the necessary shopping I had some unexpected cleaning to do.  The fun thing I did today was hit JoAnn's for their yarn sale...I have really been getting into crocheting lately.  The vest is halfway done and I bought some yarn for a couple of sweaters I think will be a nice addition to my wardrobe. I also picked up some nice dog related prints to make some scrubs for Sara for her new job at the vet office and also a nice BABY print...not sure...holding our breath and crossing our fingers...we had a nice chat this goals for 2010...get my passport and get our will in order...that seems so final, but I have been feeling my mortality lately...ugh!!! That is rather dark...personal moment...nothing to do with sewing!  Think I will go warm up something for dinner and curl up with the critters for NCIS...hope you all are safe and warm wherever you are.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Home Again...Home Again...

I feel like I'm torn between two current home and my future home.  I am very grateful that my Hunny took me away for the holiday to work on our property.  It totally broke all holiday traditions and I think I would have been really sad not to have Sara and Bryce home for Christmas if we were at home.  Busting my hump to burn Mt. Brushmore kept me from having a meltdown and we got a lot accomplished.  It snowed the day we got over there, but was beautiful, sunny and cold the rest of the week.  Tom went snowmobiling with Jim one day (while I continued to light big fires!!!) and I guess snow machines are now on the want list!  They went up Paulina peak and Tom was amazed at the beauty (plus he had fun going fast!!!) We visited with good friends, ate chinese on Christmas Eve and breakfast at Gordy's (the local truck stop) on Christmas so we could skype the kids. We finished burning on Friday and took a ride up to Christmas Valley on Saturday.  Coming home we took the road less traveled and had to back down about a mile and a half because the road was getting pretty nasty.  I prefer not to be the lost-in-the-snow people on the 11:00 news!  It felt so good to get home and cuddle with the kitties!  They were a little miffed at first, even though we had babysitters in the house the whole time!  Today I tackled Mt. Washmore (7 loads to be exact!) and we totally cleaned the camper.  I am sorely missing sewing, but have been working on a crocheted vest with some chenille yarn that's been in the stash for over 20 years.  Sometimes it takes awhile to find the perfect pattern!  Tomorrow I have to go have some labs drawn and then I should be able to sew.  January's BurdaStyle came early...I am really inspired by some of the designs...the pintuck shirtwaist dress and the zippered sport jackets...I also really liked the simple pullover cape...Need to go raid the stash...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas from LaPine, Oregon! 
May your home fires burn bright!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Got it!!!

I got the serger!!! 5 minutes later I would have been the sad one knocking at the door. (Hey, that lady called the night before, actually lived in Keizer and had all morning to swoop in and buy it out from under me) I would have been pissed driving all that way to miss out.  But it sews great...looks new and will be perfect for Annie!  I canned 28 jars of pears last night and still have a long list of chores to complete before the day is done!  More later if I don't collapse!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Break!!!

Ah!!! It is finally here! No students...finished teaching CPR to our training is good!  I have worked many a job where holiday shifts were just a fact of life.  Christmas and New Years off are a blessing! We went out last night for a wonderful italian meal and some Christmas shopping.  Basically it was shopping for the little people in our life, which is fun except for the throngs of people hanging out in the toy aisle and ToysRUs!  We were able to find some cute things, but of course from Walmart to ToysRUs one item we bought was cheaper and then this morning I open up the paper and it's cheaper yet at Freddies! all know how that chaps my thrifty hide!!!  Oh well, it's not worth driving back to town and buying, exchanging and all of that.  Probably Freddies is out of them! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  I know that our little friends don't read my blog, so I feel free in writing about their gifts.  We got the cutest little LeapFrog Learning Dogs (Scout and Violet) for Chloe and Payton.  I tested them out in the car while waiting for Tom.  They have 14 different activities, you can personalize them and download more songs and activities at  I like toys that have some learning components to them.  Hayden's gifts are more boy rough and tumble oriented...big metal Tonka Truck that he can take outside and play with and these Incredible Hulk Sock-em hands that make noise (I think Tom really liked them, because he tested those out).  When we got home and took the packages in, there was this strange growl.  Tom asked "Did you do that?"  I was out in the yard relieving Jo...I said "No, I thought it was you!" Deja's the great Eeyore incident all over again!  (It was the Hulk...hehehe!) We bought matching camo sweat suits for Hayden and I need to come up with something clever to embroider on them.  Lots to do today...waiting for Tom to get up so I can really make some noise.  Pears to can, house to clean and I found a promising serger on Craigslist for $50.00 to go check out for Annie.  I used Trena's search tip and typed in "surger", because some people can't spell and if they can't spell it, they surely should not be using it!!! I'm hoping that no one else saw it posted last night and is a little south, so maybe it will be mine (I mean Annie's!)  I have stockings to embroider, a minor repair to a jacket and a house to clean! Well, better get off the computer and get busy...Santa's workshop is open for business.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fabric drop

The Fabric Fairy dropped a box on me yesterday.  It contained a luxurious cream jersey knit and those Vera Wang lining fabrics I stole purchased a couple weeks ago from  Lovely linings...truly!!! Has me itching to be stitching, but unfortunately I must get off the computer and get ready for work!  Maybe tonight I can get something going or at least this weekend since I don't have to work.  I have 2 boxes of pears that I am waiting for the peak of perfection to can, so between that and cleaning???

Sunday, December 13, 2009

No water? Time to go to the Movies...

We had a quiet day at home all planned.  Went to bed at 9:00 last night and had a glorious sleep!  Woke up this morning and tried to flush the toilet...WTH??? We have water problems!  We are just coming out of a big freeze and feared that we might have a broken pipe inspite of our best efforts to prevent it. Luckily after inspection Tom discovered that the irrigation line to the fruit trees was open and when the pipes thawed out it drained the holding tank.  No broken pipes, but we did have to limit our water usage for awhile to allow the pressure tank to fill, so what better to do on a Sunday afternoon than go to the movies?  We went to see "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock.  What a great story and performance by Sandra Bullock!  We laughed (I cried) and we cheered.  I give this movie 2 thumbs up and plan to add it to my video library when it comes out.  We did some grocery shopping on the way home and now are watching Sunday Night Football while the weekly bread bakes.  No sewing since we got back from Vegas except for pulling out a chewed up zipper out of a sweatshirt I am replacing for a client.  Her poodle found it delicious!  I crocheted a scarf yesterday...I am really in the mood to crochet right now.  I need to go through my yarn stash to see what I have that I can make stuff with.  I have been seeing some cute vests and sweaters in the current crochet magazines.  It seems like crochet is making a comeback.  Tomorrow is back to work, but it should be an easy week teaching CPR.  Hopefully sewing ahead soon!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Paris Anyone???

Paris Las Vegas, that is.  This picture was taken from the Bellagio as we waited for the fountain show.  We had a wonderful time and learned alot about ourselves.  We learned that while Vegas is a nice place to visit, it's really not our thing!  We made our obligatory donation to the state of Nevada and thanked them for the brief casino slot machine entertainment.  We learned that we have the stamina to walk great distances in a single stretch.  I was really thrilled to get to see the Titanic exhibition.  The only disappointing thing is they did not allow photography in the exhibit or even in the Luxor, so I didn't get any pictures of that.  It was amazing to see the actual items they have recovered and the stories of the people who were on that fateful voyage. I love history.  We sat through the timeshare presentation and actually was impressed with their program, but honestly that is not our idea of vacation. We like to be out in the wilderness (aka our property) away from alot of people, doing simple things like fishing. I have to say they didn't really hassle us too much and Tom got his Bass Pro gift card, so he was a happy camper! We headed out to Bass Pro before going to the airport to spend it. At first he didn't know what he wanted so we did alot of browsing, but then he got into it and we ended up with all we could stuff into a new camo backpack we bought there plus what little room we had in our other bag!
The fountains at the Bellagio were beautiful.  I took video the first night and the next time we caught one of the performances I just watched and enjoyed.  It's difficult to catch the beauty of things when you're always taking pictures. We really like the New York, New York casino and ate our anniversary dinner there at the American.  It wasn't a fancy place, but the food was wonderful.  I had crab legs and it's a good thing it wasn't a fancy place!  They gave me this funny looking foriegn implement to crack the shells and I ended up flipping the small plate I was using to crack the crab into onto the floor! (You just can't take me anywhere!) It's not like I have never cracked a crab before...we lived on the Oregon coast for 20 years...I know how to do it, but I usually use pliers or a nutcracker...It was pretty hilarious and the waiter got a kick out of it (and a big fat tip!).  The canal shoppes at the Venetian were the feel of that casino and the changing sky.  It feels like you are outside when you are actually in a nice climate controlled building!  It is great to get away, but just call me Dorothy...there's no place like home!  It's great to be back in the cold Pacific Northwest, our furbabies and back to sewing.  Our last class of the year graduates today, so next week I will be teaching CPR and then it's off for Christmas break.  I love this time of year!!!  Hope you are safe and warm and are enjoying this holiday season with loved ones.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My bags are packed...I'm ready to go...

Well almost...I still have to pack up the dog's things for HIS little vacation, print out the boarding passes when we get into the 24 hour window...oh and there's that little thing called WORK that I have to show up for tonight.  Luckily it will be an activity filled night...the students have their first night route, so I will be busy and not get caught up in anticipation (I hope!!!)  Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary...what better place to spend it than Las Vegas!!!  See you at the end of the week!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I popped into Big Lots today while doing my errands.  I always like to check in there periodically because you can get some pretty good deals.  Like a case of 15 bottles of Gatorade for $4.00.  Bought 3 of those...Tom likes Gatorade.  Dog treats.  Jo has gotten really bored with the usual fare and looks at you like you are serving him horse fact horse nuggets would probably be more appealing to him! And then this: Bitten!

Things must be really not good for SJP's clothing says "SOLD EXCLUSIVELY AT STEVE & BARRY'S" and obviously BIG LOTS at a greatly discounted price!  The hang tag says this:
"Manifesto: It is every woman's inalienable right to have a pulled-together stylish confident wardrobe with money left over to live. get bitten. love, sj"
Good call SJP!  What I bought was a nice pair of skinny jeans (as skinny as I can be) in a dark gray color.  I really like them and they will be the staple in my Vegas casual look.  I have dresses for going out at night to dinner...less than one week...

I also snapped pics of the wool coat and the camera bags.  I wore the coat out and it was a big mistake.  Tonight is the big civil war football game between the Beavers and the Ducks, the winner going to the Rose bowl.  I almost got assaulted by a wild Duck fan who thought I was sporting Beaver's black and red Dude...BLACK and RED...not ORANGE!!! Sheesh!!!

It's half time...the Beavers have the lead!!!

Just a quickie before I get Rolling...

I finished the wool coat last turned out okay, but wasn't the WOW project I thought it would be...Meh...sometimes that happens.  The good news is that I still have some yardage left and may be able to eek out a short jacket or a vest for sure.  As I was watching Rudolph (the best Christmas cartoon ever, IMHO) last night, I made up a nice padded camera bag for my new digital and a matching bag for the recharging accessories.  One thing ticked off my list of things to do!  I have to run some errands today, but hope to get some sew time in...a day without sewing is...well, you can fill that blank in...guess I better get on that hamster wheel (aka the treadmill) and get this party started!  Good day y'all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Joy

Here is a picture of my handsome son in law holding up his personalized golf ball...first gift opened from his advent stocking...just wait til they find the clowns!!! (insert evil grin!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Frenzy continues...

Damn you  You know I am weak! Why do you keep sending me these fabulous sale emails? Oh yeah, to make money. is having 12 days of deals.  You can look at each days sales, but can't order those sales until the given day.  It's a progressive sale, so you can continue to order from previous days sales until December 14th (like there will be any good stuff remaining...Hello??? Have you shopped at  Today's deal is 60% off the Vera Wang lavender collection.  I didn't buy any when it came out, but I saw a lot of beautiful things come from that line, so I let my fingers do the walking.  They had several colors of poly designer lining for $1.99 a yard, so I picked up some of that.  My lining shelf has been dwindling (my dear husband would scoff!)  I had some other fabrics in my cart, but decided to just go with a cream jersey to make another cardiwrap for my Spring wardrobe.  I have some beautiful silks that I plan to make a sheath and a chic skirt/top number that would look great with a cream cardiwrap.  I also had a coupon code for being such a fanatic dedicated shopper, so that knocked it down another 15%.  I came in under 40 bucks...made the free's all good!  Now to go get some housework done before's my Friday again...Wahoo!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday

I did my part to stimulate the economy! I was blessed to chat with my darling daughter last night before retiring and again this morning when I arose.  While we were discussing such important topics as Jacob's well developed biceps and renaming the pets (meet Yappy McGraybutt), I was perusing the cyber Monday ads.  I avoided Fabric Mart and some of the other embroidery sites, but Shopper's Rule had a deal that I simply could not resist.  Machine embroidery takes a lot of thread to do detailed designs and while I try to replace colors as I use them, the complete set of Polystar thread I receive for my birthday 3 years ago is starting to dwindle.  Shopper's Rule is an interesting site that has regular email sales and they have a feature where you can make offers on products.  I don't think I have ever taken advantage of that, but I have bought various things over the years.  I bought my favorite duck bill applique scissors for under $6.00 and bought rolls and rolls of H20 gone for making FSL.  Today's sale was just what I'd been watching for...Robison Anton mini-king spool set of 100 for $53.86!!!  This set normally sells for $299.00!!! I jumped right on that! RA is about the best you can buy for embroidery and my machine loves it!!!  I also have some designs I would like to pick up at Urban Threads, but that sale goes on til Christmas, so there is no rush. So what bargains did you all find this weekend?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All Quiet Now...

The house is very very quiet now...the kids have gone home and I have laundry to do and dishes to wash and good times to warm my heart til Thursday when they come back...It's Civil war baby...Ducks vs. Beavers and the winner goes to the Rose Bowl...I really don't care who wins (don't tell Trav that), but I love to mix it up because they all get so serious about it.  It's football man! It's not like it's sewing or anything!!!  Hehehehe! I tickle myself!  In unrelated news, I am happy to report that I finally made it to New Moon...LOVED IT!!!  A whole bunch of deliciousness!!!  Can't wait to go again!!!  The black wool coat is almost done...maybe tomorrow and I plan to sew up one of the Missoni knits in the black, red and grey colorway for the Vegas wardrobe will be based in those colors...excitement rising...more to come...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Joy of Babies

We have been blessed with the company of our good friends Travis and Annie and their two children for the holiday weekend.  I really enjoy having them around and the hustle and bustle that children bring.  I also enjoy my peace and quiet, but I realize how brief these visits are and that soon the house will return to the gentle rhythm of two old souls (and a posse of pets).  Annie's Grandma gave her an old serger that we were trying to resurrect last night and of course the kids wanted Mama at that very moment ( all know what I mean!!!).  The men folk were watching football (arrrr, arrrr, arrrr) and not really much help (sorry guys).  Usually Tom is the baby whisperer and he can put any little one to sleep, but Chloe was not having it last night.  Annie took Hayden upstairs to settle him into bed and I finally abandoned the serger to collect Chloe.  I hadn't got to spend too much time with her yesterday because she was velcroed to Tom most of the evening, so I was happy to do the baby waltz with her.  She snuggled right in and started to relax when our hearts found a symbiotic rhythm.  Pretty soon she was asleep too and Annie was able to put her to bed. I love that...that special quiet time...everything else can wait...babies don't keep.

Friday, November 27, 2009

For those who couldn't be with us...

Thanksgiving is for family and unfortunately not everyone can be together at the holidays.  Ma got out the plates and silverware and I set the table.  When we all gathered around the table we realized that we had set one extra place.  I think it was intentional for those loved ones that couldn't be with us.  So there's your place at the table...right next to Ma/Grandma!  We love you all and missed you!  May your holiday be filled with love and laughter

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Does anyone know where you can buy that?  I feel like a slug today...moving really slow, but at least moving! Did the Thanksgiving grocery shopping and finished the you think anyone will notice if I go back to bed? Yeah...probably.  Some cleaning to do and should think about starting on those pies!  Maybe just a quick nap!  If I don't post again for a few days, I want to wish all my blogfriends a happy Thanksgiving.  I am sew very grateful for all of you! Thanks for a hanging with me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hard head

That's what I have...a hard head.  My MIL said we could come for Thanksgiving if I bring her pies, pies, pies and an ironing board.  No really, she did concede that we could come if we didn't bring those things, but they would be welcome.  An ironing board, you question??? Ma emailed me a while back asking me to BOLO for an ironing board as hers had died and she didn't want to buy one of those cheesy new ones that cost a fortune and are flimsy light weight.  We are a bit old school when it comes to boards and I knew what she was wanting.  When Tom remodeled an extra bedroom to my sewing studio, he installed an in-wall ironing unit that I found at a garage sale for a song (and I sang too when I found it!), so I had relegated my much used, much loved ironing board to the garage, just in case I wanted to iron downstairs or something.  So when she asked, I was happy to report that I had the perfect ironing board for her.  Flash forward to today...I decided that a good DIL would make a new cover before taking antique ironing board to MIL.  I pulled it out, set it up and SPROING!!! The pin that held the gizmo that made the board stay upright broke! Oh horrors! So as I am trying to figure out what broke and how to fix it, I got hit in the head by the free falling legs.  Not once...not twice...about half a dozen times before I figured out how to stop getting hit in the head!  (Maybe the first blow made me a little confused...who knows???)  The good news is that I figured it out...with a few items from Tom's shop I MacGyvered the board back to it's fabulous functional form.  Can't have Ma getting whacked in the head, now can we?  Gotta run...dinner to drop off at the firehouse and then it's on to work...TGIF for me!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Working Like a Dog!!!

This morning Tom and I had an unexpected date.  We stayed up late last night after I got home from work and watched SNL. This is highly unusual for a couple of old farts like us, but Tom was off today and I didn't need to go to work till after noon, so we just went with it. We were able to sleep in a little late.  Of course, SOMEONE had to go to the bathroom at the usual time because they get all freaky if anything is different in their little world, even though they did get a potty break when we got ready for bed!  I was able to go back to bed for an hour or so before the rest of the herd became restless!  Then it was coffee and the Sunday paper, where Tom discovered that Best Buy had a super buy on TomTom navigation systems and a slim Kodak digital camera that I have been wanting before our trip to Vegas. So we headed to Gresham for breakfast at the Wildwood Cafe (mmm...huckleberry pancakes!) and then to Best Buy.  We got the last camera (sorry whoever came later) and the sales guy was really impressed at the price of the TomTom (so was Tom!).  So we both got our Christmas present early and no need to go out shopping on Black Friday!  I have to work days on Friday anyway and Annie, Trav and the kids are coming to spend the weekend, so who wants to shop??? (or work for that matter?)  Anyway, I brought my camera to work and am really working like a dog!!!  Here's Avis, my boss' dog with a little help from my friend Krystin to pose her.  She likes her butt scratched (Avis...not Krystin in case you're confused!) and so it's hard to get her picture.  

Here's the real boss of the office...Jo likes to think he's in charge and he usually is. He's got everyone trained to meet his every need.  He looks all sweet and innocent but he takes all the bones away from poor Avis and when Jo arrives in the office this is where Avis retreats:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

That leads back home...these double shifts kick my butt, but I sure enjoy 3 days off a week! I did manage to sneak some sewing related shopping in on my lunch break.  JoAnn's had McCall's patterns on sale for $1.99, so I picked up M5932.  I have a couple Missoni type knits that are screaming tunic to me.  It must be the year of the tunic because I find myself gravitating to that look.  My friend Erin had the cutest long sweatshirt on...she said it was billed as a dress...NOT!!! I managed to finish up the Purell cases last night, at least enough to fill with the sanitizer I had on hand.  Some of the students expressed an interest in having one, so I may need to do some more.  The Christmas boxes to the kids went out yesterday, so virtually I am done with Christmas creating (famous last words).  In unrelated news, while I was sewing last night I heard on GAC that George Strait was going on tour with Reba...sweet!!!  Gentleman George is on my Must.See.Before.I.Die list and glory be...he's coming to the Rose Garden on March 26...We are soooo there!  Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to me!!!


My heart is full today...I am very thankful for my family and friends and that I have a job working with people who inspire me...also thankful to be feeling better and able to go to work.  Sometimes you just gotta sing praises!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Getting there...

I'm not gravely ill, but I don't feel like dancing a jig either, so today will be low key.  I was really hoping to go catch New Moon, but I don't know if hanging out in a crowded movie theater is in my best interest right now (or the best interest of the other folks going to enjoy the show)  Sara loved it...posting on FB as the movie started and evidently Kaitie spotted license plates from home (Alaska is home for Kaitie), so she was thrilled.  I'm sure it will be showing for awhile, so I can catch it when I am feeling better.  I sewed for a couple hours yesterday and that knocked my socks off, so I ended up back in the recliner.  I watched "Valentino, the Last Emperor" and it was very good.  Quite an eye opener into haute couture.  I found it interesting in the beginning they were talking about all the seamstresses that work for him and that they had one sewing machine, but nobody used it.  All that fabulosity sewn by hand?  Wow!  Of course Project Runway concluded last night.  I was disappointed that Carol Hannah did not win.  I liked her collection best of all, but Irina's did have a common thread.  I thought her collection was too dark and depressing in my humble opinion.  Of course I am not the last word in fashion obviously, so my vote didn't count, but variety makes the world go 'round...well, I think I will try to get the advent boxes out to the kids this morning and maybe sweep the floor if my energy allows.  It's back to work tomorrow, so I need to be well rested!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanks for the Well Wishes

I woke up feeling better today, but still plan to take it easy.  There is a Project Runway marathon leading up to the finale tonight, so that will be my background for a little sewing and if I start to fade I can retreat back to the recliner and enjoy.  I hope to go catch New Moon tomorrow if I am back up to speed.  Tom was like "I thought we were going to go together???", but our schedules don't jive until sometime next week.  He finally conceded that I probably would want to see it again, so it would be okay if I went tomorrow.  Like I needed permission!!!  Too funny!!! I'm off to the studio to get some work done...more later!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sick Day

My first day off and I woke up with a massive headache and nausea!  Why does this happen on my time!  A day of Nat Geo in the recliner and some TLC from my wonderful hubby and I am starting to feel better.  Here's hoping for a more productive day tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is it Friday yet?

Nope! It's Thursday, at least in my work week.  Looking forward to a few days off...this working 5 days in a row is for the birds (LOL!) I did finish a few Purell cases this morning and all of the fabric is pressed and ready for the embroidery machine.  I need to purchase some more velcro tomorrow so the construction line can continue.  I haven't touched the coat since last week, and there is a wool skirt sitting on the chair ready to stitch. What can I say? I get easily distracted.  What's been distracting me lately is that in 3 weeks we are going to Vegas for some R&R! I'm not much of a gambler (too cheap), but I do love to wander around and look at all the casinos and attractions.  The Titanic exhibit is going on down there...I hope we get time to take that in.  Must get the coat done before we go...that would be perfect!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Sew Sunday

No sewing done today, but some sewing prep did happen.  I dug through my quilt scrap tote where all the smaller bits and FQs are stored and pulled some interesting fabrics to make some more Purell cases.  I cut out enough to do 14 more (the amount of bottles I have left).  Papa Jim and Mama Lou stopped by with Sophie the dog (always a pleasure!).  Sophie sent the Chief into hiding, but Jo and Soph were happy to see each other.  Louise said the snow has come to stay in LaPine and makes me long to be retired and there, but unfortunately I will have to work a few more years...sigh...unless of course I win the lottery...I'll let you all know when that happens, but for now...I owe, I off to work I go!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I heart Maggy London and Moose B Stitching!!!

Here I am wearing the Maggy London design Butterick 4914.  This dress practically made itself!  It was super easy without looking super easy.  I was a little hesitant because I thought the ruching would be difficult, but it couldn't be farther from the truth!  Careful gathering and basting to the foundation piece made for an interesting and flattering waistline.  This pattern is a definite keeper and when this one is gone, I'm sure there will be another to take it's place.  The fabric was a fine piece of jersey knit from Trendy Fabrics.  Red and Black are always welcome in my closet and I may take this dress with me to Vegas.

I went to the firehouse to make dinner for the guys after work today.  Of course they got a call 5 minutes before dinner was ready...sigh...such is the life of a fireman's wife!  They were recalled 20 minutes later, so dinner was fine.  I came home and took care of all my chores before heading into the studio to try out the Moose B Stitching in the hoop Purell cases.  They stitch even faster than I thought...a total of 4 minutes stitching time if you stitched straight through.   Of course there is a lot of stop and start as the velcro is appliqued on and there are 3 pieces of fabric involved in the construction.  I was very impressed with the thoroughness of the instructions.  I had always admired the set at the Moose B Stitching site, but never had bought any.  I don't know why I waited so long! The case turned out great without any problems.  I may even reach my goal of Christmas presents finished before Thanksgiving.  That's another thing to be thankful for!  I think I will call it a night and snuggle up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Date Night Report

Yes Gwen, we were home by 10:00!!! Actually we were home before 7:30.  We went to dinner at a local chinese place we love and had a nice meal, stopped at the post office to check the mail and then went home.  Pretty boring stuff, huh?  It was nice to get in our comfy clothes and enjoy a little GAC before Law and Order came on.  The pets also served as live entertainment.  The Chief hid under a pile of pillows and swatted Jo when he got close.  I am so my Mother!!! :)  We watched the new Blake Shelton video "Hillbilly Bone" which is a duet he did with my man Trace.  Can't go wrong with that combo, so I had to go online and get the ringtone, which is something I never do...I pretty much repel cell phone technology.  I'm not a texter by any means and so I struggled with downloading the ringtone, so my hero came to my rescue again.  So I have a cool new ringtone on my cell.  Call me!  I didn't get any work done on my coat last night (because that wouldn't be very partner like on date night!), but I did review the directions for a new in the hoop project I purchased from Moose B Stitching for a keychain Purell case.  I had designed a pattern to make my own, but in the hoop patterns on the embroidery machine are so quick and easy, so I took the easy way out.  I already had an in the hoop tissue case from Embroidery Library. I plan to make at least 15, so once I get in a rhythm it should go quickly.  Hopefully I will have some done to photograph tonight.  I am wearing my Maggy London dress today and will get pics when I get home.  I wore it with black boots for a more casual look, but styled differently it would make a great dinner dress. More later...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Date Night!!!

Whoo-hoo!!!  It's date night!!!  My Hunny has been busy...playing and working...we are going on a date tonight.  It was funny...we were talking at the station the other night about all that has been keeping us apart later and we decided to "have a date night" on Friday.  One of our younger friends, who is a volunteer, overheard our conversation and wrinkled up his face and said "Married people don't least each other!!!" Tom exclaimed "They do if they want to stay happily married!" Now I need to figure out what I want to do...that should carry me through my Monday workday on Friday the 13th!  In sewing news, I whipped myself up a quick pillow case last night...JoAnn's had some hot firemen fabric in the clearance...(yeah, I ended up there again...different JoAnn's) with 50% off it was only $2.00!!!  It makes me smile!  The gals at the cutting table said I should make one for wouldn't even make it out of the house!  The guys at the firehouse would never let him live it down!  I also worked on my wool coat.  It will be an easy project to complete, but I am taking my time as it is a garment that I hope to wear for a long time.  Question: What is the oldest garment in your wardrobe that you still wear?  I think mine is a bathrobe I have had for almost 30 years.  It is silky with a terry lining and has bears all over it. I thought it a little garish when I bought it and it still is a little out there, but I love it!  I mentioned maybe getting rid of it and Tom said "No, you better keep it!" Well, better get this party started...Have a happy and safe Friday the 13th!
picture shamelessly borrowed from my friend Annie...taken at Annie and Trav's wedding!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I was a busy girl yesterday and made some "interesting" stuff. Disclaimer: Don't read on if you are easily offended or an impressionable young person Oh yeah, don't look if your name is Bryce (not that I think he is a regular reader of my blog). Sara, you can look, but only if you promise not to tell...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm one of "THOSE" people...

Yeah, I admit it...I'm a Twilight nerd. As I sit here in my Twilight T-shirt admiring my New Moon blog wallpaper and my Team Edward blinkie...oh yeah...I got it bad. Didn't plan on it...just thought I would give the first book a read to see what all the fuss was about. Then I was hooked by the characters and wanted to know more about their story...what happens next... I don't believe I'll make the midnight opener of New Moon (um, I want to be awake to enjoy the movie!), but I definitely will see it sooner rather than later! Today is my "Saturday" and my hero is on duty, so the day is ripe with possibilities. Exercise is the first order of the day and then the sewing studio will be open for business. Don't you love it when your brain is swirling with projects? The only problem is, where to start!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Such a beautiful word! I haven't posted in awhile about my commitment to fitness, but alas, I have not fallen off the wagon. I have continued to dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to exercise. Most days it is either the treadmill or a fitness video...on days I work a double I have to be a little more creative (Yeah, I'm the crazy loon dancing around the office) This commitment is starting to pay off. I knew quietly that I have been losing weight over the past few weeks, but it's getting to the point where people are asking "Have you lost weight?" It's nice to say "Well, yes I have, thanks for noticing." While this was not the driving motivation behind this lifestyle shift, it is a nice side effect. I'm hoping for a downward trend in my LDL so my cardiologist won't suggest medication. The only downturn in this weight loss thing will be that I may have to make some new clothes...oooh...hurt me!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, Monday...

Okay all you baby boomers...I know that just conjured up the Mamas and the Papas for you...not the ala Mackenzie Phillips, ooh, John Phillips is a perv vibe, but the pleasant folksy song! I apologize...I don't know where that came from...probably staying up too late last night! My Hunny is still on his mini vacay in the sticks, so I have been creating til I can't keep my eyes open! No sewing yesterday, but I did produce something special! Can't elaborate right now, as it's a Christmas surprise! I heart Christmas! There were a few years when I was depressed and...not so much, but it's been pretty darn special for quite some time now! I also made it to JoAnn's yesterday and scored on the Simplicity patterns (yes Punkin, I got quite a few on your list for you!) and only picked up one piece of fabric off the clearance racks. It always gets me when they offer an extra 50% off...I found a lovely burgundy stretch lace that was $1.00 per yard with the discount. I knew I had the perfect match in a knit in the stash to line it for a rocking Tshirt, so it should be showing at a cutting table real soon! Today is a clean the birdcage, pick up the house type day since I find myself with an unusual Monday off. I am working another double tomorrow and then am off again. Almost like a fireman's schedule with the exception that I get to come home and sleep in my own bed! I could get used to this (as long as I was on the same schedule as Tom!!!) Sorry for the lack of pictures lately. Tom took the camera to "shoot" elk, and I suppose I could dig out the old camera if the batteries were still kicking, but nah...think I'll just wait. Well, I'm off to see what the day might bring...hope you all have a pleasant Monday, Monday!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Forward Progress

Yesterday afternoon I made excellent progress on the advent stocking presents. I need to start wrapping because I think Sara is done and Bryce is close. I embroidered my little heart out while working on some UFO's that have been cut out for weeks. I other people work on one project at a time, or do they use the assembly line process like me? I like to cut out a couple things in like colors (to minimize serger thread color changes) while watching a movie or sporting event and then constructing them while watching a movie or sporting event...or listening to music...that works too! I'm almost ready to cut out some more projects. I'm thinking a knit top-a-rama is in order...or maybe some sweaters. Sunday is mine, so let's spend it sewing!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looks like We Made it...

Channeling Barry Manilow, you say? No...that title just popped in my head when I woke up this morning and realized I made it through a particularly LONG work week and today is the first day of my weekend! Tom came home from vacay and went back to work a day early, which turned into a 48 for him, so I am extremely excited to spend today with him before he goes back on shift tomorrow and leaves for another brief vacay on Friday. Firemen have the best schedules! Last night while Tom was at the firehouse, I was able to finish my Maggie London dress, save for the hem and sleeve finish. I will coverstitch those later today or tomorrow. Valentine is wearing it now, giving the hem a chance to hang so it will be perfect. This was a lesson in patience. I had hoped to finish it yesterday morning and wear it to work. I was doing fine until the serger tension went a little wonky after going over a bulky seam...Ugh!!! I re-threaded, adjusted and did everything I knew to fix the tension, but to no avail. I get really anxious when one of my babies has a problem, so I left for work with a heavy heart and an uninspired outfit that I threw on at the last minute. It's funny how you forget the basics when you're in a hurry! I did a little research on my break at a Yahoo Babylock serger group I belong to and it was a light bulb moment! I had threaded with the presser foot down! Came home, re-threaded the proper way and guess what? Perfect stitch! Sometimes I just need to head slap myself! So I finished the side seams, tried it on and it's perfect, so I went to bed with a happy heart! The moral of the story...when things don't seem to be going right, step back and gain fresh perspective and the try, try again. Pictures of the Maggie London dress to follow later. Happy Wednesday everyone...I'm off to spend it with my man!

Monday, November 2, 2009

A day without sewing...

Is like a day at work...blech! Make that a double and it's boo! blech!!! But wait...I did manage to sneak some sewing in, even if it is mundane recovering of a wedge pillow with an old sheet that Lily gave me. Our wedge pillow that we have for positioning patients had a sorry excuse for a cover and when I pulled it out of the cupboard I was reminded that I meant to recover it when I had time. Enter double shift and staying on campus all day allowed me to get this done in between doing administrative duties that also get neglected when we are busy with class. Lily was so gracious to give me an old sheet...she had more and I quipped maybe I would whip up a new outfit while I was at it! No new outfit, but I did have to repair Jo's green kitty toy that he decided he needed to eviscerate! He gets pretty bored on double days! We never made it for a walk during our break, so the poor guy was pretty bummed! Such is the life of a working dog! I did get a chance to talk sewing with my lovely daughter this morning. JoAnn's has Simplicity patterns going on sale for a buck, so she picked out her faves for me to pick up for's funny we picked out some of the same patterns...what can I say...the kid has good taste! Actually I learn alot about current trends from her...she helps keep me young! Well the night is almost done and I'm whipped...One more day and my weekend will be here! Yahoo!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Whoever took my Mojo...I want it back!!!

A lazy Sunday morning...that's the holdover from a lazy Saturday night. I don't know what has zapped my energy...I'm not sick, but I just feel exhausted. I made it through work and stopped at the store to get milk for my Hunny who is coming home today! Popped into the library to return some items due this week and pick up a reserve I had waiting for me. Took the detour route home because Broadway was closed for Trick or Treating. Fed all the animals, heated up a bowl of soup for me and then parked in the recliner with a book and the World Series to watch. I drifted in and out of conciousness until I decided I'd better move it on up to bed so I didn't have a backache in the morning. Maybe if I do a little exercise my blood will get pumping and I'll feel like doing something! I hope so...a little over 4 hours I have to report to work!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I know...stupid play on words for my title, but I like it. I shot a quick snap of the vest and turtleneck when I got home from work before I changed for my workout. I obviously didn't check the picture closely, because the turtle has some funky wrinkles, but I assure you it was just the quick strike-a-pose before the timer snaps the photo. It was a very comfortable outfit for work and I have other vests planned. Work was good today...the day before graduation usually is pretty mellow and tomorrow should be the same, barring any visitor emergencies. And then it begins again...I really do love my job! Now for sewing...I have a Maggie London dress halfway done and should be able to finish it tonight or tomorrow. I worked on some patterns last night for a wool skirt (loving wool right now) and a dress/top pattern. There's an extra hour this weekend to help get some of these projects done. A little soup for supper and then up to the studio. Happy Halloween...everyone stay safe!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Better Today

It was another rainy day in Oregon. No big surprise here. I had considered going to a matinee of Michael Jackson's "This is It", but after I did my workout and showered, my sweats called out to me, so I decided to just stay home. It was a good decision. I finished the plaid wool vest, so I have a new outfit to wear to work tomorrow. I took my time with it and it was deeply gratifying just to work the process. I didn't have any music or TV on...just me the fabric and the hum of the machine. And the occasional encounter of the furry kind. The Chief likes to light on the back of my chair to supervise. I finished a spool of thread and tossed it for her to play with. Immediately Jo, the jealous one, took the spool away from her and proceeded to chew on it, which resulted in my putting it in the trash. Poor Chief. As I was working out this morning, I spent a lot of time thinking about my Mom. I always get melancholy this time of year because I lost her on a rainy night in October. One of the things about Mom was that she loved her animals...immensely. Pictures always included the animals and she always had some anecdote about what was going on with her epiphany...I have become my Mother!!! Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see her in my reflection. Not a supernatural see her face, but I see her in my smile, or her crinkle in my eyes. Maybe it is just the aging process. I feel reflective more and more...something that I didn't do so much when I was younger. Okay...enough of is Project Runway night...I have my Burda's here to organize...I'm going to copy the line drawings and put them in a binder so I can easily access the designs. I also have some things to cut out...more plaid wool and I need to eat something...back to work in the morning. Stay tuned...More later!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Out of Sorts...

Ever have a day where you just feel out of sorts? Today was one of those days for me. Yeah, I got things accomplished and I even had some joy, but it just wasn't my best day. I think it started with bad hair! My hair would not cooperate for love nor money and I thought about throwing on a hat, but even that looked stupid! So I put on a little product, did a few curls and went out anyway! (No, I was not wearing purple!) I went to the mall and did some shopping for the kids advent stockings...Sara is easy...Bryce takes a little more thought. Guess I have more practice with Sara. I made good headway on that project and should be able to complete the task in time to get it to England before December. I ran into an old friend at the mall...isn't that the way when your hair sucks??? Was good to catch up with Rita...I miss her at work, but she is happy, so that's the most important thing. Sewing progress report...I finished the turtleneck last night that goes with the plaid vest. I had to do some alterations. The pattern has a dropped shoulder and I really didn't care for that, so I whacked off about 2 inches to make the top more fitted. I think it will look better that way with a vest and I was hoping this would become a TNT top, so I need to make note of that on the pattern. Heard from the great white hunters this evening...the hunting is not that great, so I hope things improve or else I will have an unhappy man and a freezer not as full as it's potential! That's okay though...I went to Trader Joe's today and stocked up...I love that store. They have such good stuff!!! Love their Mandarin Chicken! I got lunch eggplant wrap with Taziki sauce...mmmmm...It was so good, but then after I ate the whole thing I read the nutritional label and half a wrap was a serving! Why do they do that? You think you're eating all healthy and then you're a pig!!! Actually, I am okay on my calorie count with eating the whole thing, but it's crazy. Tom and I were having cereal the other morning and I had an actual serving and he's like "What? Did we run out of cereal?" When I explained that this was one serving size, he was totally amazed and not amused! All this talk of food has made me hungry, so I better go fix some dinner! Later...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Moment to Pause

My days off have begun in earnest. I think it is important to take a moment to pause, or at least as long as you can with 3 birds, 3 cats and 2 dogs waking you up for some love and attention. The Chief woke me up at about 3:00 this my face purring and patting my cheek...NOT COOL! I managed to stave her off a little longer until she found my feet at the edge of the covers and started hooking them with her claws. Of course when I shooed her off the bed, the guardian Pom went off like a siren! The old man Figaro was oblivious to it me, his main interest was SLEEPING! Anyway, I have been up for a couple hours now...enjoyed my coffee and computer time, read the paper and now am contemplating where the day might lead. I always feel like I must be accomplishing so much every day, I think it's good to just slow down and let the day just that's what I intend to do. Another thought I had today (sewing related) is that it makes me really happy when my sewing brings joy to people. I do sew for money, and while cash is good, nothing gladdens my heart more than when a customer calls me up just to tell me their dress is perfect and they are now "twirling" in their living room. That makes it worthwhile for me! And since this is a random thought post, I must say "Hats off the the USPS!" My Team Edward girls in the UK got their care package in less than a week and are having fun with all their Twilight I need to finish up the Advent stockings for the kids and think about what to make for Christmas presents for my girlfriends. What are you all making this year for Christmas?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stick a fork in it...

Because it's done! The paying jobs on my plate that is. I shortened the jacket cuffs, ran to JoAnn's to pick up a zipper and it went in like a dream, so unless any of the other pending jobs drop in on me, I should get to sew some clothes for me during my little staycation. Did I mention the menfolk are out hunting? I love my Hubby, but I do like my alone time, so 3 days off with no one to care for but the critters sounds pretty good to me! One more day of work and I'm there!

It always happens...

Business is business and I am very grateful for my patrons. Why is it the minute I clear my studio of customer work and have a little time to sew something for myself I get a rush of orders? Picked up a zipper replacement, cuff shortening, fly-ball bootie manufacture that could turn in to a pretty steady boss called yesterday and said the phone was ringing off the hook with "Is Mary there...I have a project for her..." while I was off. At least they're not calling for the dog anymore!!! It was rather disconcerting to pick up the phone and hear "Is Jo there?" Oh well, I'm not complaining because more business means more fabric, etc... I'm just saying... Guess I'll get the exercise knocked out and get busy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Caution...Sewing Ahead

After some creative layout, the vest is cut out and ready to sew, as well as the corresponding turtleneck. It will have to wait until Sunday though because this nurse has a double shift today, which will be the new normal schedule every other week. We'll see how that works out! Until Sunday I'll be dreaming sewing dreams...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm thinking vests

Isn't it funny how you get a wild hair to make a certain item of clothing, even when it isn't something you routinely wear? I have a few vests, but I don't wear them very often. The gorgeous blue/gray plaid I picked up at the yellow house is a little over a yard in a nice wide width (I haven't put the tape to it, but it looks like 60") My first thought was a skirt, but lately I have been dreaming about vests. I have several vest patterns to choose from, so that's not an issue and then of course Burda has plenty. I found a beautiful blue rib knit in the clearance section of JoAnns yesterday that I thought would match perfectly, so I picked up a couple yards. My eye was right on because it does look great together, so a long sleeve T and a vest it shall be! Of course you can't come home with just one cut when clearance is an extra 50%, so I also emptied a bolt of a fabulous turquoise Missoni knit. There was only a little over 2 yards, so it's not like I was being a pig. There were other colorways and other JoAnns for others to get in on the fabulosity. They just remodeled the JoAnns in Oregon City, which was really nice. Now if they'd fix up the one in Gresham, I'd be set!!! I did 4 miles this morning, so now it's time to hit the shower, vacuum and then the afternoon is dedicated to sewing! Hope you all have a great day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Operation Team Edward DONE!!!

I finished up the Team Edward box last night and this morning I posted it to the kid's APO address. I am very curious how long it will take to get to England and get through customs. That will be good information to figure out how soon I need to send their advent stockings. I stopped at my favorite thrift store and picked up a piece of beautiful wool plaid in a smoky blue/gray colorway. They also had a new box of patterns, so I picked up a bunch of them too. I think I am the only one who takes patterns because they hang out for a long time. Let me know if there is a particular pattern you are looking for and I will keep an eye out...Free is a very good price. We got to chat with our girl this's so funny...I say "Good morning" and she says "Good afternoon"...I'm fixing breakfast and she's cooking dinner. We were able to do a 3 way skype conference, which was fun. I love technology...I would be a wreck if I couldn't talk to my baby on a regular basis! I bumped up my workout this morning and now need to scoot into work early. We are working towards automating our charting which will really be helpful to be able to access records at our San Rafael campus. Here is a parting shot of the last Twilight goodie to be stuffed in the box...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's my Wednesday

One of the weird things about my work schedule is that my mid week falls mid weekend. Doesn't really matter and it's really rather nice having my days off during the week. So much easier for scheduling appointments and shopping is much less crowded. I also adore working the second shift (I do both days and evenings in my schedule) because I can get up early...use my best energy to get my house cleaned and my projects done and then skip off to work, returning to (hopefully) a clean house. I didn't make it to the studio yesterday afternoon, but I did start a new cross stitch pattern. I used to cross stitch all the time and then other things took over my life. The past few years cross stitching has been sporadic. I have hung on to this kit for at least 20 years and now appears to be the perfect time to get it started. I hate to be vague, but I will reveal more when it gets a little farther along. Big cross stitch patterns can take a long time...especially Stoney Creek designs that have the most beautiful, subtle color variations that make for beautiful pictures. Also makes for tired eyes. I did a section with 2 different colors and to the naked eye, I could barely detect a difference. I know when the picture is done though, it will make a difference. I am still honoring my commitment to fitness and so I need to get off this computer and get my exercise done and attend to some house details before I head off to work. I am moving Lola and Chief's "essential services" into my sewing room. They have had the run of the guest room, but my Father in Law is coming next weekend and I doubt seriously that he would enjoy sharing the room with 2 cats!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Date Night at the Gun Show

My Hunny and I have been together for a long time. We try to be mindful of our relationship and have "date nights" every so often. I feel it's important to get out once in awhile and just have fun together. It's good sound relationship maintenance. Date night doesn't have to be the traditional dinner and a movie (although that is fun too). I remember telling one of my visually impaired students one day that I was excited because that night was going to be date night. He responded by asking "So are you going to go stand on the corner in your hooker boots?" I was kind of taken by surprise and said "I don't know what date night is like in your household, but that's not how we do it". He sighed and said "Nah, we don't do that either...I'd probably pick up the wrong hooker anyway!" There was a gun show at the Expo and usually Tom goes with his buddies because I am working. Last night we were both free and the gun show was open til 7:00 p.m., so we headed out. It was fun. Tom had a few things on his list to pick up and a few other things he has been wanting to buy. It's nice to see that some of the stock that has been hard to find is starting to be available again and that the prices are staring to go back down. There is still a lot of anti-Obama sentiment out there and that saddens me, but then again we do have freedom of speech in this country, so everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sorry about the political moment...just an observation. Anyway, back to the gun was fun to watch Tom get all excited...kind of like me at Fabric Depot. That's what a good partnership consists of...championing each other and finding joy in their enthusiasm. So here's the question...what do you do for date night?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Team Shirts

I finished the shirts for my UK Team Edward girls. They are your traditional 3/4 sleeve baseball shirt with red sleeves and neck binding. They just need a good pressing and then they can be boxed up with all the other Twilight goodies. Here is the front: And the back:
I put a "17" on the sleeve...what fun!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rainy Day in Oregon...

But I don't mind...perfect weather for holing up in the studio and sewing. I continued to work on the Twilight goodies and a surprise for one of my favorite students. I also visited the local thrift store this morning and picked up 3 new pairs of jeans for a buck a piece. My thrifty Mother must be smiling in heaven. One was a pair of Levi 501s. It is amazing the difference in sizing. All three pairs were different sizes and they all fit perfectly! Talk about your Sisterhood of Traveling Pants!!! Now I am watching Trace on GAC and drinking a glass of 3 buck Chuck is good!

Monday, October 12, 2009

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Double, Double, Toil and Trouble!

Working a double shift today, so I doubt much sewing going on. I finished a little gift for my boss yesterday for boss's day and found some cute Twilight gear for my Team Edward girls in the UK! Gotta get the New Moon care package ready to go out this week. Then I can concentrate on my Fall and Winter wardrobe! to work I go!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Open mouth...insert foot...

I know many of you follow Dawn's blog, which is full of great sewing and rich details of her Alaskan life. I love Dawn's blog because she is not afraid to tell it like it is and be herself. That's how I try to live my life too. I am not ashamed that my husband hunts and provides much of the meat for our meals. I have hunted in the past too, but with just two of us, we don't need that much meat anymore and Tom loves to hunt. It's a family tradition and a social outlet for him, besides fulfilling a basic need for protein. So when I made a comment about going to shoot my new shotgun and the possibility of coming upon a "dumb deer", I meant that it was highly unlikely we would see a deer at that time of day, but if we did happen upon one while up in the woods, Tom would have his rifle along to fill his tag. That comment generated some negative feedback and I truly did not mean to create a firestorm for Dawn. I have refrained from adding comment there because Dawn did a wonderful job stopping the negativity without any input from me. That reminds me of Sher's stalker, ridiculing her blog, which I truly enjoy reading. As my Mom used to always say..."ah, live and let live". We can disagree with people, but if we are voluntarily visiting their world, shouldn't we be respectful of their values? If not, we don't have to follow them anymore. The delete key is always an option. Let's celebrate our differencees and not put each other down! Okay, off my soapbox...original sewing programs will resume! Picture Source:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What a half hour gets you

Sometimes we don't think we have time to sew, but given a free half hour, I discovered that I could get my new wool coat laid out and cut. Granted, it is only 5 pieces, but's forward sewing progress! Every little bit helps!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mail Bag Treats

My wool melton I ordered earlier in the week from's irresistable sale arrived today! I am sew excited. I ordered the black and it is destined to be Simplicity E.S.P. 8150. This vintage pattern is circa 1977 (the year I graduated from high school!) I got it for a quarter at a garage sale and I have coveted this pattern for about a year now, waiting for the right fabric to come along (at the right price) to make it up. After I ordered the fabric, I began the search for the perfect braided trim. Not as easy as I thought it would be. I first considered using a charcoal gray, making the coat a bit more conservative. Number one, charcoal gray fold over braid is virtually impossible to find, and number two, the more I thought about it, gray seemed rather blah for a coat I have been dreaming about sewing. Since my fashion consultant is not readily available when I need her advice, I relied on my own fashion sensibility and asked my husband for his input. He initially suggested gray (can you tell we've been married awhile?),but when I offered up red against the black wool, he thought that would be smashing. I looked at JoAnns, but nothing there. Tom even went with me to Fabric Depot and helped me peruse all the trims there, but the only fold over braid to be had there was white, and that did not appeal to me at all. We even tried to think out of the box and looked at other trims, even the home decorator stuff. I got ideas, but nothing that really excited me, so I went home empty handed. I did eventually find what I wanted on line and am waiting for it to arrive. I should have the coat sewn by the time it arrives, even though I have vampire baseball shirts to embroider first! Here is the back of the pattern: The coat has darts in the back neckline, but I plan to "smoosh" them out (the Marta Alto way) because I feel they are unnecessary in this garment. If I was making a fitted blouse, yes, I would sew the darts, but this is a loose coat...I think I can get away with it. Well, my lunch is finished, I need to go punch down the bread and get my exercise in before I head up to the studio, because otherwise I might be tempted to skip it and I can't do that! I hope you all are having a wonderful Columbus Day weekend!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fashion After Forty: Giveaway!

Fashion After Forty: Giveaway!
Head on over to Sher's blog...she's giving away a gorgeous bracelet!!! Go now...what are you waiting for???

Monday, October 5, 2009

Casting Call

Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics started an interesting meme about who would you cast to play you in a film. I thought about this for a few days and then it just hit me...Susan Sarandon! From her portrayal of Louise (of "Thelma & Louise)to sassy Annie Savoy in Bull Durham, and Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, Susan has shown a depth of character. I think she embodies my essence.
"I feel I've always been on the outside and always on the edge of an abyss. The women I portray, and the woman I am, are ordinary but maybe find themselves in extra-ordinary circumstances and what they do is at great cost." Susan Sarandon
So who would you cast to play you?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Progress Report

I spent a few hours on the Maggie London dress last night. The bodice is together and the ruched waistband is attached on the front and back. The directions have you attach the sleeve flat and then do up the side seams. I had hoped to work on it this morning, but life details got in the way...the little munchkin needed a bath and I did some cleaning (and my work out!) My cardiolgist recommended 20 minutes a day five days a week. I committed to doing at least 20 minutes every day. I could just do the minimum, but I'm afraid if I give in to that I'll become Mary McSlacker and stop working out. I really don't want to take the meds because I need to develop healthier habits. We do eat pretty well, but not so good on the exercise. It's good to have a goal and the reward? If I do well and lose weight I'll need new follow my logic???

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cardio and Sewing Report

I did 3 miles yesterday while watching Walter Mathau and Jack Lemmon in the Odd Couple. I picked this up at a garage sale on my way home from work along with several other movies for 50 cents a piece. I love old movies and having something to distract me helps me forget about the pain. My left hip, leg and foot gives me fits sometimes. It is shorter than the right and I was reminded of that yesterday morning when I was taking a student sighted guide...he remarked "You have one leg shorter than the other, don't you??" I asked "How could you tell?" He said "You rock when you walk" Gee, it took several doctors and a physical therapist to figure that out...I should have just asked one of my students! When I told my husband about it he said, "Well yeah, I told you that too, but he was more tactful" Tom told me I waddled! Gotta love the honesty in a good marriage! I did finish a Jalie top last night that is destined for the charity box. It wasn't the really was a muslin that I hoped would be wearable, but in my heart of hearts I don't think I will wear it much, so I am going to pass it on to make way for things I love! The problem was I went back to a 5 thread serge with the safety chain stitch and it made it just a little too snug (Unlike the t shirt I am wearing today that was made with the same pattern and sewn with a 4 thread serge). I'm glad I found out before I used a better fabric. Next up are some pants which I sorely need and a beautiful Maggie London dress. Tom is still gone hunting, so it's me and the fur/feather babies. Some sewing again after the cardio...what movie shall I watch today? Maybe "Fried Green Tomatoes"!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rainy Day

Sitting here at work (on my break people!!!) staring out at the rain. I will be home in three hours. I'm thinking...get my cardio out of the way and then sewing, movies and a pumpkin spice latte...doesn't that sound like fun?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A good day...

Today has been a good day off. I return to work tomorrow. I got my workout in early, chatted with my best girl online and did some major cleaning in my bedroom. I love books and the stack by my bed had gotten out of control. Does that happen to anyone else? I reorganized the book situation, found another home for my guitar and music books, sorted out the sock drawer and even did some dusting! I took a box of goodies to charity and then came home to enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte. What? You say that's not a health hearty drink? It is if you modify the recipe with skim milk and reduced sugar! Stacy posted an awesome recipe for making Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I have several packages of frozen pumpkin from last years harvest. I'm always looking for recipes to use it and I think this will do it. My version makes enough to make 8 cups. I make a coffee syrup that will work perfectly with this mix for the days when I go to work early and don't want to make a whole pot of coffee. Here is my recipe:

1 cup Pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix ingredients. Add 2 Tablespoon Pumpkin mix to 1 1/2 cups skim milk and heat. Add milk mixture to equal parts coffee (or a couple shots of espresso if you prefer) You can add whipped cream sprinkled with nutmeg, or not. It's good without it! I found this mix very tasty and enough vanilla flavor for me (the original recipe this is adapted from calls for 2 Tablespoons vanilla per 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin.) That was way too much for my sensibility! Try it and fool with the recipe to your taste!

Now that I'm fueled with a little caffeine, I think I'll go vacuum so I'll be ready for Project Runway...Michael Kors is supposed to be back! Yay!!! Can't wait to hear what he has to say!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A new leaf...

Nothing like the threat of having to take a pill to get me off the couch! I have 3 months to get my cholesterol down or else??? Cheerios anyone??? I need to get at least 20 minutes of cardio type exercise at least 5 days a week. Off the computer...on the treadmill I go!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sewing Therapy

I have been a little stressed out lately and this evening I found a little free time to myself. The perfect stress reliever? A quick Jalie sweetheart top with a ruched neckline variation. Similar to the yellow one I made this summer, I used self bias strips for the binding. It is a rich dark teal blue...not a usual color I wear, but I think it will be a nice accent in my wardrobe. Everything is done but the hems on the sleeves and the bottom of the top. I could have pushed on and finished it, but my movie was over (Someone Like You) and I am feeling tired, so I quit while I was ahead. I can finish it tomorrow or the next day. It dawned on me that when you're feeling down, a cherished hobby can help take you away, if only for a little while. What do you do to take care of your mental health?

Thank you Trudy!

I have been honored with the Creative Blogger Award by Trudy of Sewing with Trudy. Thanks Trudy! Honestly I feel like I have not had much creativity lately. I did spend some time with the embroidery machine the other day and that felt wonderful. I have lots of other projects swirling around in my head...hopefully soon I will commit them to fabric. I decided that it was time to update my blogs look. I guess I do have a little creative energy going. Okay! On to the rules of the award: The "RULES" of this award are that I am to 1) tell you seven things that you don't already know about me and 2)name seven other blogs to receive this award. I'm going to start with number 2 (because I like being bass-ackward sometimes!) I am not going to name just seven blogs because there are so many blogs I love to follow that I can't narrow it down to just 7. Soooo...if you are reading this, you are most likely one of my peeps and this award goes to you because you inspire me daily with your creativity. Do with it what you will...display it, share it, fly it up the flag pole...the options are limitless because that's what creative people do...we go wild! Here are seven facts you probably did not know about me (or probably care to know!!!)
1. I was obese as a child...yeah, I was the fat girl, which later turned into the anorexic girl, before they really put a label on it. I struggled with my body image for years and still when anxiety creeps in I tend to not eat. I am a healthy weight now (at the upper end of the scale for my height), but the "fat girl" still lives inside me.
2. I prefer thrift shops to regular retail stores. Call it the bargain hunter in my, the recycler, whatever...I believe that too many things are cast off that still have value and I would much rather reuse than contribute to the waste.
3. I used to run sled dogs...dogs are a prominent theme in my life.
4. I didn't set out to become a nurse. One of my earliest jobs out of high school was a CNA...hated that job and vowed I would never do that again...HA! Seems nursing was one of my best aptitudes. Life sure is funny that way!
5. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the change in the weather, the colors of the leaves and all the things Autumn...fresh apple cider, hunting season, making hearty soups, Halloween and Thanksgiving!
6. I'm a little bit country AND a little bit rock and roll!
7. As a young girl I had a crush on Kevin Tighe of the television show "Emergency". No wonder I married a Fireman!!! :)
So there you have it useless rarely heard facts about me! Have a pleasant Sunday!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bits and Pieces

As promised, here is the newest addition to the home for unwed sewing machines (Thanks Gwen for that name...I love it!) She is going to a young girl who wants to make doggy raincoats. She is getting a horse today, so she may be preoccupied for awhile. I also found a home for the Singer Touchtronic. Our friends came last night for a visit and Annie brought 2 blankets she had made for the kids that she wanted their names embroidered on and the edges quilted around. She has wanted an embroidery machine so she could embellish and quilt, but that is not in the budget currently. She did an awesome job fusing the edges of the quilt and stitched stays in the body of the blanket by hand, but she didn't have a sewing machine to finish it how she wanted. She asked if I would do it. I said, "How about I give you a sewing machine and YOU do it?" Hayden's blanket was Thomas the Tank and when I showed her the machine, what do you know? There was a train stitch and I knew it was the perfect match! Annie actually had never sewn before, so I gave her a basic lesson to start and then let her play while I went upstairs to do the embroidery. She really caught on fast! She tried all the stitches and started putting quilt blocks together. I brought down my big tote full of quilting fabrics and let her take whatever she wanted and also gave her a packet of photo transfer fabric to do a memory quilt. I can't wait to see what she does with it! It is so gratifying to help someone get started in the craft that I love. I spent the rest of the day playing with Hayden so Mom could play with her new machine. He is such a busy guy...I am exhausted now! Checking my email I see that has a new free Hot Patterns download for the Cool, Calm and Cowl necked top...go check it out! NCIS on the TV and Tom in the is good!

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...