Sunday, January 31, 2010

Keep on Trucking...

Does you ever feel like there's not enough time in the day? It seems like my life is about details...lots and lots of details that need my attention.  This morning I did prep work to help finish the flooring project.  I moved all of my books out of the sideboard so we can easily move it tomorrow and relocated my birds to the laundry room.  The birds are such loves, but a little high maintenance in the cleaning department.  I've considered finding a new home for them, but Peaches has been with me for over 10 years and they do make me smile.  They don't get out as much as they used to, thanks to the Chief, but they still are very tame and like to be handled. I did laundry, cooked dinner for the boys and even managed a short trip into the studio before work.  I hope to get some more machine time when I get home from work, but we'll see how I feel.  I've finally figured out it takes twice as long when you have to rip out what you screw up when you're tired! Only took me about 40 years to figure that out!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Style

Ruthie just posted an entry about her style that got me thinking, "how would you describe my style?" This is really timely as I have been weeding out the things I never or rarely wear out of my closet to make way for things I love.  You know the garments, the ones you love to wear and just feel good wearing. I found there are alot of great pieces in my wardrobe that never make it off the hanger because I just haven't put them together in an outfit.  Casual days at home I have a usual uniform...athletic pants and a fleece, with either slippers, crocs or tennis shoes, depending on the day's activities.  I usually will slip jeans on if I have to go downtown Estacada to the post office or library, but truth be told I have been known just to wear the athletic pants and fleece before. (shameful admission!) Work is business casual, which for me is slacks or black jeans with a top (usually one made by me and a sweater or jacket).  I also love to wear dresses or skirts when the day's work is appropriate.  I tend to dress nicer than other people I work with, which leads them to ask if I have a job interview or a date after work.  Today I am wearing  a black Ann Taylor loft A-line skirt with pleats in the front and at the side seams with a black knit tie blouse (George from Walmart to be precise) and the awesome Coldwater Creek blue and black houndstooth swing jacket that I just received on Thursday.  I'm so glad I gave CWC another chance...the last few things I bought there have not been favorites.  I think the key is figuring out their sizing!  In sewing news, I finished a couple of stretchy bands for a certain expectant Mama I know.  She requested them as her pants are starting to fit a little snug and these make a nice little transition between your unbuttoned pants and shirts. I will have little Mama take a picture to show you all and can make a tutorial if anyone is interested in the process.  We have been busy with home renovation flooring in the living room, dining room and kitchen (they're all combined) and I need to repaint the kitchen (hopefully before Tom gets the flooring in there) Here's the new floor:
That's about it for this installment of Carolyn says...more later!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Report Card

Some projects finished! Whoo-hoo! What a good feeling.  Two of the scrub tops are ready to send and the other two should be not far behind!  I did get sidetracked a bit this morning, but it was all important stuff. Ran on the treadmill while watching Project Runway...Spoiler alert...if you haven't watched it stop reading right now...

To the Bat Cave Robin...

No, I don't have a bat cave, but that thought popped into my head as I thought about getting off the computer and up into the studio to sew.  I have a routine in the morning, which begins with taking care of the critters first, then coffee and paper, check email and chat with Sara and then beyond that, if I don't get focused the day can be frittered away!  Yesterday was such a day.  We went to town to do some errands and by the time we got back home, laundry, cleaning and making dinner consumed the rest of the day and evening. No sewing there!  So today I am making sewing a priority...right after I finish this post...and straighten the counter...and clean the bathroom...To the bat cave Robin!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I've been committed...

Or should be or the other.  I'm going to do the Eugene Half marathon with my daughter this Spring.  She's booked her passage back to the states and will be here for a month to finish up her master's degree and visit.  And were doing the half!!!  This is my first organized run/walk.  I know I can run a 5K and maybe a 10K if I'm being chased by a bear...but 13.1 miles?  That's a serious commitment!  I did an hour on the treadmill tonight while I watched "American Pickers" and "Pawn Stars" on the History channel.  I did sew a little today on the scrub tops.  My efforts were slowed due to a search for one of the yoke pieces that the Chief knocked off the worktable and batted under a set of drawers. Silly kitty! I did up the seams on a couple crib sheets. Dinner at the firehouse took a few hours to prepare...pork chops au gratin (or that's the name I pulled out of the air for a dish I made up), with homemade applesauce, corn and salad. Plus I made some of the Rocky Road Bars (recipe courtesy of Cookie Madness). Think I'll go try one of those with my sleepytime tea...need to hit the hay for a double shift tomorrow!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cut up...

Today was a preparation day for sewing.  I managed to cut out 2 more scrub tops for Sara and my knockoff top.  I have an unexpected day off tomorrow which is designated as sew day.  I pay for that with a double shift on Tuesday, but that's okay.  I miss the night route!!! Let's see what I can finish tomorrow!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Knock it off...

Sometimes you strike a bargain in RTW that just cries to be knocked off.  I ran over to the Nordstrom Rack on my lunch break today to see what was new and found a couple of things that came home with me.  One was a really cool top in a leopard print with an empire waist, dolman flutterby sleeves and a cowl neck. Originally $70.00, marked down to $24.75 with 75% off!!!  Love the Rack!!!  Now I know you are probably saying..."WTH" right now..."Aunt Mary has lost her everloving mind!" This top is darling.  And ripe for copying.  So that's what I shall do.  I really like how it's constructed and it should be one of those quick easy knit tops for when I am long on creating but short on time.  The other piece was a cute cream colored cardi to go over those Spring dresses I am dreaming of.  I did complete another project yesterday (that I am sworn to secrecy about but will disclose soon) and received my drop from  Insane...I ordered on Tuesday and the goodness arrived on Friday!  A big ol' box of fabric that is all perfect!!! This won't be on the shelf for long!!!  Later...I need to get off the computer and make a pattern!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Cat of Many Colors

The Chief is a frequent visitor in my studio. Whether it is sitting on the back of my chair supervising a work in progress or testing the softness of the fabric stacks, she is a loyal companion.  Yesterday I caught her and our old man Figaro on video...she was in a paper bag and he was trying to get her out of the paper bag.  It was a fun little vignette of our crazy zoo.  I did some work on the scrubs before heading in to drop my glasses off at the optician before going to work.  My glasses broke one week before the frame warranty ended...hallelujah! I'm glad they didn't wait until one week after! It's only going to cost $15.00 to replace the frames.  I pulled some fabric out of the stash closet for some upcoming projects and here's what I found on the fleece/minky shelf...A Cat of Many Colors...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lazy Blogger

I apologize for the lack of pictures lately.  I assure you that I have indeed been sewing and have even taken some pictures.  I just can't seem to get the camera and computer together. I am wearing the Missoni cardigan today and I must say it is fabulous.  You know the garments that you just feel good in? Those are my favorite and I hope 2010 brings more of them. I stopped at JoAnn's prior to work to pick up some Simplicity patterns for 99 cents and to buy some of the 50% off flannel.  I was really underwhelmed by the selection, but did manage to pick up a few pieces.  Where do you buy good flannel prints?  Scrubs are next on the sewing docket and I have been busy working on my digitizing skills.  It actually is pretty fun once you figure out a few things.  Maybe I'll even post a picture in the future! Happy Sunday Y'all!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Temptation of Sales

Why do all the good sales come in at once? Okay, I get it...the economy needs stimulated.  Pattern Review is having a wonderful sale on patterns...Jalie patterns included.  Dream come true! Daily I get emails from Fabric Mart,, Fabric Depot, Montavilla Sewing, Over the Rainbow...just to mention a few.  I get all kinds of inspired to shop until my husband tells me how much the recent power bill was...almost four. hundred. dollars! Ugh!!! I hate this time of year for that!  Seems like electricity keeps going up, and mind you, we don't keep the house super warm...66 degrees baby and if you're cold, put on a sweater or get under the blanket.  That's why we have keep us warm (not really, we love them...their furry little warm bodies is just a bonus!)  I did treat myself to a little bit of shopping at the downtown Nordstrom Rack yesterday.  I was working and one of the students commented that she gets her favorite sweaters from Nordstrom's when she noticed we were parked in front of the Rack.  Of course, she had work to do with her dog, but since the nurse had to take her mandatory 1/2 hour lunch break, I offered to go see if they had any of her sweaters at the Rack. Nope...nothing for her, but $11.97 I got a darling little shrug sweater, a surplice sweater in the most perfect shade of turquoise to go under the missoni cardigan I hope to finish today and a cute top with a darling fabric manipulated rose trim at the neckline reminiscent of Cynthia Rowley.  I know I have seen a pattern for this top...I wasn't sure it was a good style for me, but I figured for $3.00 I could pass it on to Sara if it was too young for me.  Mama loves a bargain, so I was pretty tickled with my finds.  Then I heard about the power bill...maybe I need to go look at those Jalies...maybe pick up a few to cheer me, maybe not!  Today I have chores to do.  We are putting down new flooring in the living/dining/kitchen areas, as well as replacing the carpet on the stairs with hardwoods.  Since Tom is working today, I am charged with putting a coat of finish on the hardwoods down in the shop.  Best get at it so some sewing can happen later!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers.  Although it's sad, I am glad he is not in pain anymore.  His health had been in decline for a long time.  It's funny, the last few times we had talked he told me he was really looking forward to seeing Mom again...maybe that is why she appeared to let me know he made it! Yesterday I had a few hours to sew and made good progress on the Missoni cardigan...down to some finish work and it will be done.  Probably unveil it tomorrow or Thursday, since I am working a double shift today.  Speaking of Thursday...Project Runway begins again this week.  I have not previewed the designers, but I understand there are a couple local designers in the running...better do my homework before Thursday night.  Next up in the studio are some scrub tops for Sara, and then I will send the patterns and some fabric to her because she got her machine yesterday!  I need to go to work now, but wanted to say thanks for all your support...our sewing/blogging community rocks!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vivid Dreams

Yesterday was a real rollercoaster ride. My oldest brother went off dialysis last week and we knew his passing was imminent.  I received a call at work from his girlfriend early yesterday morning that he was gone.  On top of working a double shift, I had to contact my other siblings to let them know. I won't go into all our family stuff, because everyone has one and we all have our issues. Anyway, I was exhausted when I got home last night around 10:30 and fell asleep rather easily after a cup of hot chocolate.  My darling husband took Jo out before he went to work this morning so I could sleep and although I didn't think I would drift back to sleep, I did.  I had very vivid dreams and I had a startling vision of my startling I thought it was real, but even though I called out to her, she didn't answer.  That's what woke me up and I still have this strange feeling. Maybe I will be visited again tonight! 

I hope to get a little sewing in this morning before I head to it therapeutic, call it...I'm tired of my cardigan being worn by Valentine and not me...maybe I can bust it out in time to wear to work.   Maybe...if I get off the computer...have a pleasant Sunday everyone!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Special Projects

I spent a glorious afternoon in the studio today working on special projects...I'm not at liberty to disclose what I'm working on, but believe me when I tell you it's something great! I did some housework this morning and backed into the bannister while I was vacuuming...OUCH!  I think I hit right on my sciatic nerve because my foot is cold and numb!!! (Don't worry, I did an assessment and I do have circulation getting down need for a trip to the doctor yet!!!)  Then I stumbled UP the stairs (how does that happen???)  So I decided that sewing was the way to go! I pulled some apples out of the freezer this morning for an apple crisp and spotted a "Chicken Soup Kit" I had put away this summer...mmm Chicken and Dumplings for dinner tonight warmed the tummy.  We are now watching the BCS championship and I am going to curl up on the futon and finish my Ann Rule book...Warm apple crisp ala mode on the way...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Girl!

Needle finally met thread today! Hallelujah!  I only had about an hour, but I made good use of my time working on the Missoni knit cardigan I cut out in early December.  I finished fusing all the interfacing and serged all the seam edges that won't be encased.  Sewed the shoulder seams and sleeve bands!  It felt good to sew and my supervisor, The Chief approved!  She cracks me up!  Flying on to the back of my chair, she rubs up against my neck and lets out a little meow...right before she bites my shirt (or hand if I am reaching up to rub her)  If I am not in the chair, it's even more entertaining as she hits the back of the chair and it spins around a time or two!  Where would we be without our furbabies?

Back to Life...Back to Reality...

The holidays are now officially over and last night was my first night back at work.  Thank goodness for breaks, because it makes you appreciate what you have.  It actually felt good to be back to work.  I was in such a good mood, I think my boss may have thought I had lost my mind over the Christmas holiday! I got the new class all settled in and today is Dog Day! Dog day is always a good day at Guide Dogs for the Blind!  As far as creating goes, I wore my new crochet vest yesterday and am working on the sweater capelet project.  The pattern is a basket weave that is pretty simple.  Since I am using Boucle yarn, the basket weave does not show up very well, but it does have a wonderful textured look.  I am excited to finish this project. I've decided to commit to one crochet project completed per month (The vest counts as January)  That means only 12 projects per year...that should be totally doable.  Besides, there are a lot of babies coming this projects are quick!!!  Still haven't sewed a stitch, but maybe this morning before I head to work if it doesn't take too long at the post office.  Somebody is waiting for a sewing machine! :) Happy Monday Y'all!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Oh Adam, You know I Luv Ya!!!

My hunny and I had a whole day together and went out to run some errands.  Tom had researched the best price on laminate flooring, so we took a drive to Hillsboro and bought new flooring for the living/dining room and kitchen.  We stopped at Aloha Vac and Sew to look at machines as I have been shopping for a new machine for Sara.  I was totally honest that I probably would be buying online, so of course the salesperson didn't want to spend any more time than necessary on me.  Tom schooled me on how being honest wouldn't get me the information I was seeking.  She did admit to me that the Brother ULT2003D was a lemon of a machine (No news to me!!!), which validated my sentiments!  Tom suggested we go to Montavilla Sewing to see what they had and since we were in Hillsboro I suggested we go to the Beaverton store because it was only 3-4 miles away from where we were.  Everytime I have seen my beloved repair man Adam, it's been at the Portland store, so imagine my surprise when we walked in and Adam was there!  I knew we would be walking out with a machine!  I explained what Sara needed and he pointed us in the direction of a good solid machine that sewed through 9 layers of denim like butter...LIKE BUTTER!   There's nothing like having a great sewing guy!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!!!

We welcomed the new year in the most delightful way...almost asleep! I did hear some early gunshots.  We live in kind of a redneck  rural area, so that was not cause for alarm.  Kodi didn't even bark!  I took dinner to the boys at the fire house and we had an enjoyable evening.  Even got to eat dinner without a call!  Watched a football game...the Chik-Fil-A bowl.  When did we get so many stupid bowl games?  Back when I was young (oh, here she goes again!) , there were only a few bowl games, like the Rose bowl, the Orange bowl and the Sugar bowl. Remember when going to a bowl game was a prize?  Now there are so many I think all the teams get to go to something! We watched Travis Pastrana jump his car 274 feet off a pier...that was pretty cool. I came home and finished my crocheted vest.  All that's left to do is block it and add buttons.  need to go dig through the button bins to find something suitable, or a trip to JoAnns might be in order! (Like I need an excuse!) I am excited to start my new sweater with the Boucle I picked up a few days ago.  I also have some scrubs cut out for my girl that need stitching today.  My thought was this week would be a blissful week of sewing.  It's Friday and I haven't even sat down at my machine yet!  Sometimes life gets in the way of our best laid plans! Maybe today will be the golden day!  I hope you are all enjoying New Year's Day and I will leave you with 2 words:  GO DUCKS!!!

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...