Thursday, September 29, 2011

Extreme Couponing?

You all know I'm a frugal one, right? Last night after work I was having my Sleepytime tea and channel surfing for something to watch until the tea kicked in. I settled on TLC's Extreme Couponing show and was intrigued. It is amazing how these shoppers can buy thousands of dollars of goods for hardly anything, or in some cases come out with a gift card for $57.00 because their coupons were more than their total. Totally fascinating! There were a few things that stuck out in my mind though:

      * How many bottles of hot sauce does one household really need? One has lasted way beyond it's expiration date in this house!

      * How many papers do I have to buy to get all those coupons?

      * Are all the checkout people going to take a break when they see me coming?

      * Where am I going to put all that stuff? My pantry and cupboards are already pretty full.

I know I could save more if I put a little more effort into couponing, but how much time will preparing for this take? Do any of you coupon to the max? Guess I could parlay those savings into fabric purchases. How about coupons for notions...that's something I could jump all over!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Patterns Have Taken Flight!

I am pretty flush with patterns. Most any style my heart's desire can be morphed from some pattern I already own. Does that stop me from purchasing "just a few more"??? No!!! First up, did you know that Butterick has their own version of the Pippa dress? Don't you think it looks like this?
I knew Style Arc had a version of the dress but I hadn't gotten around to buying any patterns from them yet, although I have seen some great garments that others have sewn from them around the blogosphere. Anywho, I was reading someone's blog who had a picture of the Butterick pattern, so when BMV sent a sale email I was all over it! I never really thought to look in Bridal (I know...DUH!!!). I love everything about this dress and have a lovely print in mind for my rendition. Since no pattern should travel alone, I also picked up Butterick's latest jean pattern and another dress I have been meaning to try. I have a couple of other projects in the works...waiting on zippers and notions...hopefully they will come today. Today is my Hunny's 53rd birthday and he left today for his hunting vacation. His Dad and good friend are both going, so they should enjoy some nice male bonding time. Me? I'm staying home to work and mind the chickens...and sew of course! I have an embroidery job to attend to before work, so I'd best get off the computer and get to it! Catch you all later

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Night Lights

It's Friday and my sweetie is on duty tonight. They will be doing standby at the high school football game. Since I have to work early tomorrow I have no desire to go hang out at the football game. Does that mean I'm getting old? What's a girl to do on a Friday night all on her own? Well, sew of course! I think I will go spend a little quality time in the garden and pick some tomatoes and then head on up to the studio to see what kind of mischief I can get into. When I get tired of that, I have a scarf on the sticks that I can work on and if I'm really bored, I can whip the Kindle out and finish book 2 that I checked out of the library. I am really digging this Kindle lending thing and it is so portable I can whip it out and read a few chapters on the bus or whenever I'm forced to wait.'s the bomb!!! So what are you all up to tonight?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Color Me Excited!!!

Kindle library lending is now available and I just downloaded my first borrowed Kindle titles from the library! I still love to peruse the stacks, but how fun is this to check out a book any time of day or night?! Okay...back to picking tomatoes and the other chores I'm supposed to be doing...later Kittens...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rain, Rain...Go Away...

Okay, the rain has only been here for 2 days. I know I should suck it up because Fall is arriving, but I was just starting to enjoy summer like weather! And the glorious tomatoes need more sun to finish ripening. 'Kay, Mother Nature??? The weatherman is predicting the return of the sun, so I hope he's right. Speaking of tomatoes, yesterday I canned a bunch. I had a couple of big bowls sitting on the counter and nothing galls me more than wasting good produce.  While processing the tomatoes I watched music videos with the Sony Media Player. I hadn't seen this feature...zombie like button pushing straight to NetFlix can blind you to new experiences...this is only available for free til the end of the month (probably be available at a price after that) so I need to enjoy it while I can. I chose country videos and they had alot of the older ones...Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Craig Morgan, etc... It so reminded me of when Sara was a girl...we would watch a country video show every Sunday morning, followed by a realty show featuring houses for sale. This was long before CMT and HGTV. Made me a little misty eyed. We got to skype with Sara and Colt yesterday morning. Colt is a busy little guy! He keeps his Mama hopping! After I got the jars in the canner, I moved on to my next task of the day of swapping out my laptop that I use for the sewing room with our old desktop. We bought the laptop for Sara when she started on her bachelor's degree, and then "bought" it back when she got a Mac to start her Master's degree. It had been acting like it wanted to crash and take all my great embroidery designs with it, so it was a good time to back them all up on discs and transfer them to the more stable desktop. The monitor we had for this machine is ginormous, but I will find something more sleek and modern in the near future. Today I will finish straightening out the sewing room and be back in business. Well, the family is all up now, so time to think about cooking breakfast...Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quick Post Before I Go...

It's been a very productive morning here. I am enjoying a quick iced tea break before I head in early to work for my massage with Laurie (Heavenly!) and then begin my shift. What a great way to start a work day, don't you think? I got up this morning and did a bunch of computer updates. While the computer was busy doing it's thing, I cleaned the desk up. Much overdue task...while working on that, I baked some zucchini bread mini loaves for hunting season. Super nice for the guys to pop in their daypack and have a snack while they're out stalking the hairy horny one! I also took the opportunity to grate up the growing stack of zucchini on the counter and froze that for future baking sessions. Love my Kitchenaid Food Processor! I checked on the garden and picked bags full of tomatoes...guess what I'm doing on my next day off? We got shorted in the green bean department thanks to the deer, but the bounty of tomatoes this year is phenomonal. I saw that the deer had visited the garden again, but I had already pulled all the bean stalks...HA! Evidently they don't like tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, chard, onions, lettuce or brussel sprouts! I haven't made it to the sewing cave this morning and probably will not, but I did finish Butterick 5283 last night after work. I had cut it out when I had a big cutapalooza a while back, and I wasn't quite sure if it was going to work or not. I used a cream colored stretch lace that I had purchased from back when we were on speaking terms. (I also have it in white and black). I made view C. Since the instructions have you cut 2 front pieces, I lined the top with a matching cream ITY knit. The back was to be one piece, but since this was lace, I cut 2 of the back as well.  The instructions for the twist were...wait, there were instructions??? All it said was "Twist as shown" or something to that nature. WTH??? There wasn't even a picture with that instruction. I pulled out the envelope and figured it out, but really Butterick? That's the best you could do? The reviews on Pattern Review were mixed, but I did find some useful tips, especially from Trena on how to finish the front using 1 front piece. My assessment? Love this top! You know that feeling when you like how you look and the clothes "feel" right? This is one of those times.  And before you have to ask my dear bloggy friends, I took a picture wearing it to add to this post.  Scary, huh?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Checking In...

Wow, I was a blogging fool and then...nothing! I have been keeping myself busy with tending my garden (tomatoes, zucchini anyone???), cleaning and reorganizing the sewing room, and of course sewing! I did a few refashions...shortening a skirt, cutting down an adorable skirt with a knife pleat ruffle from a size 18 and making Tom some new fleece camo "soft pants" (loungers). I took the Espire in for her annual checkup since she is still covered under the Gold Standard, which means free maintenance. This is her last year, so I want to make sure she is in top shape before repairs are on my dime. I pulled out one of my old Kennies...the electronic machine I picked up for $5.00 and it has been a true joy to work with. The skirt revamp required reinstalling the invisible zipper, and this machine has the greatest invisible zipper foot I have ever used. I think this will be my permanent invisible zip machine. Is it crazy to have a half dozen machine set up for different operations? Anyway, it's back to work this afternoon, so we shall see what I can get done before time to shuffle off to Buffalo! But just so I don't have to leave you without a's a picture of a special little boy who is turning one I wish I could be there to celebrate, but soon Little Man...soon...

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I love mornings. Especially when I have some time before I need to report to work. When Sara was a child, I always worked day shift at the hospital, because that worked out better for daycare and all her activities. I never really considered swing shift an option...just a nuisance if I got called in to pull a shift. I really love having my best energy for doing my things (not that I am not 100% for work folks...don't read into that comment) I am generally more creative and make less mistakes in my projects when I am fresh. Yesterday I finished a much needed ironing board cover. When perusing the stash for a lining for the knitting bag I found a remnant of silver heat resistant fabric that I had squirreled away for this day. It was just enough to complete the's that for lucky? I have a few things cut out and waiting for sewing (always). I am inspired by all the new Fall things I am seeing and was really inspired when I dug through my fabric. I have a skirt refashion in the works and also found the perfect fit RTW skirt the other day...I am definitely going to glean a basic pattern off of it because it fits this curvy girl to a T! I went out and picked some blackberries this morning while it was cool for another cobbler and smoothies and will do a massive pick on my day off so I can bank some of that berry deliciousness in the freezer. The studio beckons...later Kittens...Meow!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to Work

And back to blogging apparently. I find myself being rather verbose lately and productive in the studio. Maybe it's because Fall is quickly coming on, or maybe it's because the La Pine project is coming to completion (well at least for this year). On top of that I have been sneaking lots of time with my new toy, the Kindle. I was rather reluctant when they first came out, but let me tell you, the e-reader concept is pure genius! I love having access to a whole library in one slim volume. Easy to carry in my purse, I no longer am left without something to do if I am asked to wait. Not that I go to the doctor/dentist office all that much, but the few times I have it has been a Godsend. Or cooking dinner for the boys and true to form an emergency call comes in...great...time to read my book! Or play a game, or even check my facebook or blog. Yes, the 3G version has limited internet access. Not the speediest browser in the world, but hey, the 3G wireless is included for free, and free is a very good price. Library lending will be available by the years end, so they say, which will make the Kindle perfect in my estimation. Being the bargain lover that I am, I have found tons of free books that I am really enjoying, and of course Amazon has the daily deal as well. I picked up a super 2011 travel guide to the sites in Athens which will be very helpful on our trip. It even tells you where the entrances are to points of interest such as the Acropolis, when it's open, the price of admission, even which point of entry is less crowded usually so you can get in quicker! Now that's news you can use! The reviews also recommended using the text-to-speech feature to have a guided tour, so to speak. I'm excited to try it. And speaking of travel, since you can load pdf documents, one blogger recommended loading your travel itinerary and even a copy of your passport. I'm not sure how I feel about the passport, having worked in corrections and knowing how easy it is for someone to steal your identity. I have to think on that one a bit. All in all, I am a very satisfied Kindle owner. Do you Kindle?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pictures for my Peeps...

Taking a lunch break and reading blogs, I noticed that some folks requested some pictures, so without they are! First up are the two Vogue 1250s I finished last night: Houndstooth:

The beginning of a bag...the design is one I put on a sweatshirt for Sioux and I thought I needed something with that design too. I didn't want to be too matchy-matchy (although I do have a Tiger hoody just like hers because I stitched a sample of the design before doing it on her sweatshirt) I haven't started searching for lining yet...distracted :)
Lastly is a pic of today's thrifty find...a new lamp! We only have one lamp in that part of the family room...over Tom's chair. He prefers to watch television in a darker room...I prefer to do needlework or read while he's watching television. Now I have my own lamp that I can target on me...5 bucks!

And I got to see my friend Linda at the thrift store...she has been on hiatus for the summer babysitting her grandson, but her daughter had the day off so she came to work at the thriftstore today...was great to see her! I also picked up a new skirt with the tags still attached and some things for Tom...speaking of he is all wet at the MDA fundraiser:

Good times!

Happy Labor Day!!!

Good morning all! Enjoying a banana/blackberry smoothie for breakfast after the exhausting chore of cleaning the bathroom. Well, okay, it's not really exhausting, but for some reason bathroom cleaning is the job I despise the most, and not because it's all that difficult and I work around bodily fluids and functions, so it's not that. I hate hair in the the bathroom...ugh!!! Enough about my freaky quirks...on to the day. Tom is on day 2 of the 48 and he informed me last night they are having a dunk tank fundraiser today. Would I go take pictures? Of the boys getting dunked? Hell, yeah! Sounds like a good time to me! And the rest of my time can be spent sewing! I finished the two V1250 dresses last night. Amazing how changing the fabric can alter the look and feel of a garment. The glitzy party dress looks rich and slinky. The houndstooth version accessorized with a black belt feels very sexy secretary to me and with a red jacket will be perfect to wear to work. (not that I am a sexy secretary at work, maybe well dressed professional would sound better!) Anyway, next up is another sun dress before the sun leaves us for the winter, a lace twist top and some simple brown leggings. I have a great brown and cream print charmeuse that is screaming to be a tunic, but I need to figure out what pattern to use. I also started a new bag for my knitting/crocheting projects. I embroidered a beautiful 4 seasons tree design from embroidery library onto a beautiful burgundy colored quilted fabric. I have some nice round purse to shope the stash for a nice lining.  Decisions, Decisions...Better get off the computer and get this party started! Be safe out there this holiday weekend!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This just in...

I picked a flat of blackberries and now am enjoying the rash of blackberry thorn allergy. This has developed in my later years...probably from years of exposure picking and clearing blackberries. A little Benadryl tonight and it should clear up in a day or two. I'd take it now, but then I would snooze this lovely Sunday away. Once I got going outside, the garden called to me, so the boys and I weeded. By boys, I mean Jo and Kodi. Kodi supervised, but Jo got right in there and started digging in the beds. Cute and perfectly acceptable behavior during the weeding and cleaning out process...I'm not a fan when I'm trying to plant the garden. Now I'm finishing off the last of the coffee, contemplating my next move. Think I'll shut up the house, turn on the AC, have a Mad Men marathon courtesy of NetFlix and start sewing! I'm getting giddy thinking about it! TTFN!

Blackberry Pie and Sewing

My labor day weekend has officially begun and since Tom is on a 48, I think a little sewing is in order! I have minimal work left to finish the other two Vogue 1250 (that will make the total up to 3 Gaylen) and I have plans to modify the pattern to add some sleeves. Doesn't this dress look suspiciously like V1250 with sleeves? I stumbled upon it from Life Happens Be Positive .  Seriously makes me happy that I sew when I see prices like that for a simple knit dress. Anywho, I do need to make dessert for dinner tonight, as Vinnie is bringing steaks for the bbq. Since the blackberries are ripe, I think I will go pick a bucket and make a pie or cobbler. Blackberries grow like a weed in Oregon and sometimes are a nuisance. Tom usually sprays to keep them from taking over the property, but he always leaves me some so I can make some pies or jam if we are running low. I made my broccoli salad and the mandarin orange salad last night. I use nuts in the salad and had to go to the market to get some. Tom requested pecans rather than walnuts, so I took out a loan and bought some! Seriously, nuts are expensive! Even on sale they were very dear! The prices of things just keeps getting higher. I am so blessed to be comfortable financially, but what about the folks that are struggling to get by? We had tough times starting out, but it seems like it's even harder now for folks. Sad. Well, I better get out and pick those berries before the sun really goes to town and it gets hot. Hope you are all having a great safe...

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...