Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011...a Retrospective

2011 has been a pretty good year for me. I didn't keep an exact tally of all the garments I made, but looking in my closet and seeing mostly me-made items tell I'm on the right track. I made the Jalie jeans (which are now too big...happy or sad??? Not sure) Probably my favorites would include the Jalie Scarf tops, cardigans and Vogue 1250, considering I made multiples of all in rapid succession.
I also was fortunate to be a test stitcher for Sewaholic's Minoru jacket. What a great pattern! Tasia really has a finger on the pulse of pattern development and I love my first "muslin" jacket. I have another cut out and ready to sew. Here is the original:
Other highlights of 2011 include meeting Gaylen (sorry, not a picture one was taken to commemorate the event) and of course our trip last month to visit the kids and cheer for Sara at her original marathon in Athens, Greece!
Getting to spend time with this little man was a big highlight of the trip. He really loves his Pop!
I vaguely remember a goal last year to step up my knitting. I became a mad sock knitter over the summer and cranked out multiple pairs while traveling back and forth to LaPine (when Tom was driving...I don't support knitting and driving at the same time!) I just tackled 2 socks at a time, even though everyone at the fire station made fun of my attempts! I'm happy to report I got past the difficulty of the cast on and the socks are looking pretty good, despite the fact that my circulars are old and stiff. I just ordered some ChiaoGoo circulars with a 47" cord so I can magic loop them and do 2 socks with one needle. Crazy, huh? I made a lace scarf and several cowls this Fall. I was able to purchase steal a yarn stash from a gal who was leaving the country to teach English in an Asian country. Sadly I have made a big dent in that stash and need to seek out more fiber. Luckily that is not a problem.  I tackled cables and yes Gaylen, you were right...they're not that difficult! The embroidery business kept me busier than I would like, but I can't complain...well I can, sewing for others seriously cuts into my sewing time for me, but at least people like what I do, so that's nice. I just wish they wouldn't dream up all these wild impossible tasks for me to do!
Tom bought me an iphone for Christmas and who knew...I love it! I keep my phone charged now at all times. I play Words with Friends. Sara is majorly kicking my butt, but she always was good with words!
I can't really think of anything negative about 2011. I'm sure there were times, but most of the time my memory sees the glass over half full. There may be something to this getting old thing! I am not going to set any resolutions (although I would be happy if 10 pounds just dropped off!), but my wish for 2012 is to be healthy, happy and productive! Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Blog Friends!

I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my blog friends. Thank you for a year of laughs, tears, and inspiration...I enjoy reading all about your adventures. This Christmas is pretty low key for us...Tom is on duty at the station, so we will be enjoying our fire family this year. We skyped with Sara and Colt yesterday and Colt was just precious! He said "Pop" (which is synonymous with grandpa in our family) for the first time and his Pop was ecstatic! What a great Christmas gift! I finished up the last Christmas present yesterday and while it was embroidering I whipped out a Jalie long sleeve T-shirt out of that snakeskin fabric I bought a couple months ago. There were other sewing jobs I could have worked on, but sometimes you just have to do something for yourself! We kicked back and watched Mission Impossible 3 in preparation for going to see MI4-Ghost Protocol sometime this next week. I smoked some trout and roasted some caulifower for dinner that was delish and then we read until we I couldn't stay awake anymore! This morning I have a CPR class to attend (Yep...CPR class on Christmas...what better gift than the gift of life) and then it will be dinner prep. Tom is smoking a rib roast and everyone else is chipping in with their best dishes! I am doing the broccoli salad, garlic mashed potatoes and of course fresh baked rolls...Jason and Janice are bringing some other delectable dishes and even the student volunteered to bring dessert! And two little girls for Jo to entertain in his Santa suit! Love my firehouse family! Better get a move on...have a very happy holiday my blog friends!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gone, but not Forgotten

I have been really absent from the blogging world, but it has not been forgotten. This is a busy time of year for everyone. Santa's helper has been busy up in the studio, and though I have not taken pictures of everything I've done (some things have been ripped out from under the presser foot and wrapped immediately for delivery), some of the recipients have posted pictures on FB that I have been able to rip off  glean. My friend Nancy works tirelessly as a foster Mom to find homes for abandoned dogs, mostly pitbulls. I made her a sweatshirt because she is special (and I don't mean in that derogatory drawn out "spec-i-i-a-a-l tone either!)
 What's not to love about Ruberta?
Ruberta needs a home!

La perrita Ruberta anela ayar su propia familia para disfrutar las siestas y las fiestas. Tiene Usted campo para una nueva amigita peluda?
Or Little Raggedy Ruby?
How about Grandma Ruby?
I'm happy to report that Ruby found her forever family thanks to Nancy's diligent work (and play) with Ruby. Here's what she looks like when she's not in cognito...
This story has a happy ending, but not all shelter dogs have a Nancy as a champion. Remember to check the shelter when looking for a new furry companion. There are alot of animals waiting to be loved. And if you're not looking to increase your herd this holiday the furbabies you already have at comes back to you in wags and kisses!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Smart Phone...

Tom bought me an iPhone for Christmas. I said "Maybe I'll keep my phone charged now.". He said "The phone is smart"...right before I smacked him! I love that man!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Good Occupy Morning

With only a morning to occupy my sewing room, I set lofty goals to accomplish. I'm happy to report it was a good morning to occupy the studio, as I finished 4 Christmas presents for some of the wee ones in my life.
No worries...I don't think any of them read my blog. These blankets were fun to make and I hope the kids enjoy wrapping up in their luscious softness. Who doesn't like a fuzzy blanket? I wish I had more time to occupy, but alas I must go get ready for work. There's always tomorrow...

Occupy Movement

Check this out...this is an Occupy Movement I can get behind...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Best Laid Plans...

Yeah...we know how that goes. I came down with a pukey illness on Wednesday, missed work (hate that) and spent my day off recovering. No sewing! BAH! But my weekend starts party and then maybe some sewing tomorrow? A girl can only hope! To be continued...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give Me Liberty...

There were so many things to see and do in London. Our first day we devoted to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland and taking Colt to see Father Christmas. There was a fairly long line, but the weather was beautiful and Colt was in good spirits, so we had a good time.

Not entirely sure about the big man in the red suit, but Mom says it's okay. After that we headed off to Harrod's. Self daughter said "Hey Mom, look over there!" I saw hoards of people in the street. I questioned "Oh, is that Occupy London?" "No Mom, that's the line to get into Harrod's!" More about Occupy later, but let me tell you...there were more folks occupying Harrod's than the Occupy London movement. The next day in London we did more traditional sight seeing.
We are walking across the London Bridge, and that my friends is a picture of the Tower Bridge...the one everyone thinks is the London Bridge of falling down fame. What? You don't see it? Me neither...too foggy that morning. We carried on along the Thames on the Queen's Walk.
There was an amazing skyline shot of a highrise...isn't the light around it interesting?
Moving on...we come to St. Paul's Cathedral. Elegantly beautiful!
Tom in front of the Firefighter's Memorial trying to act like I'm not taking his picture!

And as you round the Cathedral, there they are. Really? The stock exchange is a few blocks down and they are camping there. The gathering was considerably smaller than our Occupy Portland...well, I am not going to expound on how I feel about the Occupy movement, but I will say I fail to see any positive in what they are doing.
Here is the obligatory shot in front of a British telephone booth. Tom is even kind of smiling!
Tralfagar Square and the National Gallery...would have been great to go in, but more sights to see so we enjoyed the beautiful statues and fountains on the move to our next stop.
Westminster Abbey and Big Ben...moving on...
We strolled along beautiful St. James Park. Oh hey...what's that with the gates of gold???
Buckingham Palace. I wonder if Prince William and Kate were there?
The palace guards were not wearing the Beefeater hats and they were too far away to mess with, much to Tom's dismay! We headed out of the palace and what do you know? We were really close to Hyde park where we started the day before! We did alot of walking, which was really good for us. We walked towards Picadilly Circus and stopped for lunch at TGIFridays. After refueling we walked along the shops. This is a sewing blog, right? It occurred to me that I have not put into words my Liberty experience. Amazing!!!
I had not yet found Liberty. The kids went into the Gap because they were having a killer sale on kid's hoodies and Tom and I went outside for some air. I saw a woman walk by with a Liberty bag and I got excited! We had to be close. I mentioned it to Sara when they came out and we started down the block. We started to cross the next street when Sara looked back and saw it slightly up the street we were crossing. Screech!!! I hit the brakes and made a U-turn right in the middle of the road! Liberty is a beautiful old store with wood staircases with ornate carved bannisters. It reminded me of shopping with my Grandmother as a child (not that any American department stores are as old or elegant as Liberty, but it gave me the same feel) Haberdashery is on the 3rd floor and the lift could only hold 4 people, but of course I said "See ya" and bound up the stairs! I passed through the room of yarns and fiber supplies (thought of you Gaylen!) and then I was there! Liberty heaven! The fabric department was small and tasteful and I loved looking at each bolt, considering it for the journey home with me. Now I have shopped many times at the orgy that is Fabric Depot or the Mill End, but this was a different experience. I carefully selected a bolt of the softest cotton  in the world with turquoise and blue flowers. I have a couple of blouses in mind for this fabric, but you can be sure I will muslin the hell out of the pattern before I cut into this special fabric! I also picked up a remnant of the peacock print that matched the pincushion and button jar of the same fabric. Tom asked me why I didn't go crazy in there and buy everything in sight? That wasn't what the experience was about for me. I wanted one special piece (well, I did buy two pieces) that I could make a garment out of to remind me of our time in London.The Peacock fabric will make something for my sewing room. 
After fondling the fabric and Sara buying some yarn to knit a hat, we explored the other floors. Beautiful designer clothes! A beautiful Vivienne Westwood wool coat that Sara and I both coveted! Stella McCartney...yes, please. I especially loved the designer vintage section. I got to really examine some vintage Chanel jackets up touch them and check out the seam finishes. There were vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases and shoes, glorious shoes! Sara remarked that she was surprised at all the other cool things at Liberty, as in all my ravings I forgot to mention that it was much more than a fabric store! 
Tom risked life and limb to take this picture of me outside Liberty...he is standing in the street to get the full shot of the store name...if you've ever been to London, you know that is love. Hurry Honey, snap the picture and get out of the street!
Anyway, that is the short version of our London escapades and my Liberty experience. In sewing news, my mojo has returned and I am finishing up the things I started before vacation. There is a game bag repair to be done and the Pippa dress is pinned to Valentine. I have Thursday off, so maybe I can finish it before this weekends IAFF Christmas party. I cut out the snakeskin knit yesterday and have several other garments in the planning process. I took advantage of BMV's Cyber Monday sale, so a bunch of new inspiration is heading my way...I'm thinking capes...more on that to come. One of the dogs down here has horrible gas...time to turn on the Scentsy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting Back in the Groove...(picture heavy)

In my head I formulated all these great blog posts as I snapped pictures on our vacation. GREAT posts chronicling all the cool places we visited and the great times we had. Travel is exhausting and while those great times are still in my head and I have the pictures that make me smile and remind me of where we went and what we did...I'm going to keep the dialog simple and give you a brief pictorial. I returned back to work the day after we blew back into town. Disney, the retired guide dog came to stay with us while his Daddy trains with his new guide. I got a cold. Thanksgiving and black Friday! Tomorrow is a day off and where am I going? Back to work, as Disney has an appointment with Dr. Patti. Oh goes on...Here are some highlights from our time in Europe with the kids.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still Alive...

But on the go! It's been a great vacation so far...Greece, watching my baby complete the original marathon, time spent with Colt, Breaking Dawn with the girls and heading out to London for the weekend...whew! I will save the details for when I have time to compose my thoughts, but I'll leave you with a picture of our Sara...26.2 miles and still able to smile...see you later...

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I always love the anticipation of a journey...thinking of all the places we'll go and all the people we'll's exciting! Since I am a list maker, I have been systematically trying to take care of all the loose ends and get ready to go. I am getting down to the packing and trying to figure a nice capsule that will travel well with minimal wrinkles and will not take up alot of room. I need room in the suitcase to take presents for our little man. Gram is way behind on spoiling that little guy! Actually I am taking things to put together the advent stockings for the kids since it is so close to the holiday. Sewing lately? Not so much, unless you count hemming pants for my Hunny, last minute gifts and repair jobs. The Pippa bodice hangs pinned to Valentine, but all indicators point to a beautiful dress. I hope to buy some fabric while on holiday (can you say "Liberty" friends?), but most of all I plan to cheer for my marathon girl, hug my soldier and love my little grandson! I don't even think I will take any knitting...well maybe not. Flights can be rather long and monotonous. I do have my Kindle loaded up with some great books to read and there's always Scrabble to play with Tom! Well, better get back at the list...see you soon little Man!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kodi Report

Two days on the Rimadyl and he is showing remarkable improvement! Kodi is less stiff when getting up and is bounding up and down the stairs again! He goes back for labs the Monday before we head to London and if all systems are go we will switch him over to the less expensive generic form. Rimadyl lets the vet give a 2 week sample pack. Even the generic is not cheap, but it's worth it if it makes him more comfortable. I have been looking at some of the online pet med sites and it is less expensive that route. Does anyone have any experience with these sites and any recommendations?
In sewing news...I started on the Pippa dress! After a dry spell of just mundane sewing I couldn't stand it anymore and spent a couple hours in the studio yesterday before work. I did some embroidery and button embellishment on some thrifted capris, and while the embroidery machine hummed I sewed up the bodice and bodice lining darts. It looks pretty good draped on Valentine. Maybe I can finish it for this next graduation??? Lots to do in preparation for our trip, but perhaps finishing that will keep me from freaking out over all the little details!
I finished watching 3 seasons of Damages on Netflix and who knows how long it will be til they have season 4 available. I couldn't find full episodes online, so I may have to tough it out! Boo! I got addicted. So now the new show I am watching is Sister Wives. I don't think I would like to live that lifestyle, but it is interesting to watch. My favorite wife is Meri so far...I'm only a couple of episodes in.
Shoot! Tom did not take the trash down for pickup when he went to work...better go throw on some jeans and haul the bin down to the road...Later...

Monday, October 24, 2011

BMV Sale Alert!!!

BMV is having a 3 day October sale...I wanted to pick up Vogue 1250 for Sara, so what better excuse to buy patterns? I picked up McCall's 6282 and Vogue 8603 because no pattern should travel alone! I am really thinking capes...I've been seeing them everywhere and almost bought the Rebecca Turbow McCall's 6446, but I know I have a ton of capes in my BWOF magazines and how easy is it to trace out a cape? Off to the vets with the big guy...just routine vaccinations and a conversation about whether it's time to start Rimadyl for our senior. He isn't complaining, but he is awful stiff at times and sometimes has trouble with the stairs. He does pretty well for a 12 year old BIG dog!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No Sew Sunday...

Well, I didn't make it to the sewing room today, but I did make some good progress on the chores around here. The 5th wheel is all clean and ready to be put to bed for awhile. Not sure that we will need it again til Spring, but then you never can tell. I worked on some Christmas projects and housework. I cooked yummy corned beef and cabbage for dinner, which was well received by the boys at the firehouse. Watched some of the World series game, but it wasn't as exciting as last night's high scoring game, so I gave it up for "Sister Wives". I know...lame!!! I'm thinking bed would be a good plan now...see ya tomorrow! :)

Musher You Say???

Marjie commented that she did not know I had been a musher in a previous life (truth be told, there are alot of things I've dabbled in, but a girl's gotta have some secrets, right???)  This is from Tom's first Oregon Dune Musher's Mail Run...he drove the dogs and I was his handler that year...
The next year was my turn to I am coming off Heartbreak Hill...
Sorry the picture is not that great...we didn't have digital back then, but this does illustrate what a big-ass hill it was! It was steep, but time and wind have changed it over the years. I doubt it is as daunting as it was back then! Look at how small the people at the top of the hill are! Here is a pic from a training run...we are coming back to the parking lot...the dogs look tired!

Here they are crossing Tahkenich Creek...

And in case you were wondering...yes, they did pull on snow...running the sand dunes was great conditioning for the dogs. After pulling a wheeled cart that weighed about 60 pounds on a surface that had much more resistance than the smooth snow and ice, the sled was much easier going for the dogs. And what a ride!!!

Enough reminiscing for one day. Need to get busy and get some work done. Kodi has a vet appointment tomorrow and the gal that is going to house sit us is coming over to meet the rest of the gang (she knows Jo from work). Won't be long now til we head out to see the kids! Can't wait!!! Maybe even a little sewing might happen??? We'll see...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No sewing yet :(

Unfortunately the best laid plans of mice and men...I have not sewn a stitch since I gave myself a deadline. Isn't that the way? My dear husband came home from work on Friday with a severly stiff neck, so when I got home from work I was still on nursing duty. He is improving, but I am still required to do the "heavy lifting" so to speak, so no sewing. He is sleeping now, or else I would be up there sewing away instead of down here singing the no sew blues! On a bright note, I am happily engaged in a new knitting project after finishing a Christmas present for a friend. Back to the sock mill, which are quick easy projects I can pack in my purse and work on whenever I have a free moment. I'm also reading a good book I borrowed from the library on my kindle "My Lead Dog was a Lesbian" by Brian Patrick O'Donoghue. It is so taking me back to our mushing days as this reporter recounts his experience as a rookie musher attempting the Iditarod. Not that I ever seriously entertained thoughts of running the Iditarod. Okay, I admit it was a dream, but only an unrealistic dream...I wear the scars as a red badge of courage. I loved our dog years. Mushing and the dogs taught me alot about myself. I we have a skype date with the kids and my work schedule changed for this week, so I am working this afternoon. It will be okay...I don't mind Sundays. I will get to see Laureen, our yoga instructor, which is always good. Well, I'd best move on to my other Sunday chores so I am ready when Tom gets up for our skype date!

Friday, October 14, 2011


But no sewing! :( And not the kind of cutting you're imagining either! Spent yesteday morning cutting and wrapping Tom's deer. He got a 4 point this year and it is delicious! We'll be eating good this year. Hopefully I can start sewing the Pippa dress this evening. My goal is to have it done by next Saturday so I can wear it to graduation. Perhaps giving myself a deadline will motivate me! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011're Back In

My order came in today and I was pleased beyond belief! Hallelujah! Here's the booty:
The snakeskin print was the first thing that caught my eye and it has the most interesting texture...almost a rubbery finish. I'm going to wash it up an make a form fitting T shirt out of it. The royal blue ponte knit is for some leggings and the navy blue, white and teal print is a delicious sueded jersey that feels sumptious! I definitely will look for more sueded jersey in the future. The cuts were generous, no flaws in the fabric...I am a happy girl!
In the done pile, I finished my first pair of Jalie jeans last night. LOVE that pattern! I made the low rise as I have started to like the lower waist since Sara got me out of my "Mom jeans" faze. I plan to try the mid rise next, although I need to get some more top stitching thread first. JoAnn's has thread 50% off starting on Sunday, so I probably will wait til then to get it. I have other things I can sew til then.
Like the Pippa dress. Best get at day!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Better than Jamba Juice

My blender and I  have been quite chummy lately. For some reason I have been on a smoothie rampage lately. Every morning that I have not had to work early (breakfast is provided at work) I have been busting out the smoothies. I usually start with 1/2 banana (whole if I'm making for 2, however my sweetie is gone hunting right now) and add whatever fruit grabs my fancy. Yesterday I had a pear from my pear tree. Today I used some blackberries out of the freezer...added a little juice and ice with some flax seed for my health...instant breakfast! Sometimes I use yogurt, sometimes not. I'm dreaming of a veggie smoothie using some V8 or tomato juice...does that sound weird??? It's rainy again today and I am feeling rather glum for some unknown reason. May be I'm missing my sweetie, or the weather...I don't know. I finished embroidering a sweatshirt for a friend, a couple of full coverage bibs for Colt and am making great headway on a pair of Jalie jeans. I have a sewing station set up in the family room so I can watch NetFlix while I sew. My new obsession is Damages and I try to watch a couple episodes a night. Maybe I'll just have a marathon today while I sew. I have one more serving of eggplant parmesan to eat...with Tom gone it's difficult to cook for one. I made this amazing eggplant parmesan and yes, I know I could have froze some, but instead I have been alternating betwixt that dish and a great chicken soup I made last week, so tonight I shall cook something different. Or maybe chinese takeout...we'll see. The good news is that Tom got a 4 point yesterday...shot it while pheasant hunting of all things. Had to use buckshot since he was carrying the 20 ga shotgun. I am thrilled to have fresh venison for the freezer and some pheasant too! We'll be eating good this winter! Well, the machine is calling...hopefully I will have new jeans by sundown!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Tale of Two Dogs...

Jo had a visitor in the office the other night...
We got out all our best bones for the party...

If you notice, Jo has two bones to his guest's one. There were four bones total and through the course of the evening, Jo had managed to drag three of them under the desk. As I was working, I heard a strange grunting out of Jo. I looked over to see him trying to extricate the last bone out from under his guest. She just smiled...

"You ain't getting the last bone!!! It's mine!!!"

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...