Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday project

This 3-tiered skirt has been on my project list for awhile. Cut it out last night and finished it today. This is the first Burda pattern I've ever used. There were some things I liked about it but the directions were dreadful. An inexperienced sewer would have been tearing their hair out. I feel my sewing is smoothing out again after a few years of doing very little of it.
Here are the earrings to go with it.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

dish towel saga continues

Now I have a shelf full of dish towels of slightly nicer weave fabric. Came up with this binding and applique technique yesterday. Gives me a chance to practice my applique making. For some reason. Maybe I will need to embroider a sash for Ashley Wilkes to wear around the waist of his Civil War uniform.
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rustles of spring

Spring in Arizona is usually short but gorgeous while it's here. Bougainvillea blooming along the back wall.
Hedgehog cactus by our mailbox.
Soft display of color along front walk way. Temperature is heavenly.
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Towel tale

My friend Linda and I are somewhat of dish towel fanatics. We love to go to Anthropologie and check out the sale tables for their beautifully embellished ones. A couple of years ago I found some colored feed sack towels and bought a number of them to decorate for Day of the Dead. I made one set for Mandy and still have a huge bunch of them in the closet-unornamented. So in the midst of that project, Linda and I found these colored dish towels at Target. We went a little goofy buying a bunch of them. When I washed them, discovered they weren't as heavy as the ones from Fry's. In my attempt to beef them up a little, I came up with the idea in these pictures. Well, Linda and I decided we liked them so much that we made a special trip over to Joann's to buy trim fabrics. We had a special sewing day when we started on them. I think I made 4 or 5 that day. Last weekend, Linda got this project out and started working on it again. She inspired me to dig the towels out of the closet and I finally finished all the ones I had from Target.
This picture is for Linda because these are fabrics of hers that she shared with me. We both are a little freakish for Alexander Henry prints. Now I have to work on my messy house and lay off sewing for a while.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

fussy little felts

The baby shoes that I just finished from a re-release of a vintage Simplicity pattern. While I certainly don't intend opening an Etsy account to sell these as they were a fair amount of effort, if any of my family and friends have a special baby coming in to their life, I would be happy to make them a pair.
This is a felt project that I finally finished last year after hauling around since my girls were little. I think things made of felt can either look awful or great and I have to admit to loving these. There were a great deal of work being sewn together with blanket stitch and all features hand embroidered. At one time when I was into having more grandiose ideas, I had thought to make a set of these for everyone in my family. But alas, I now know this set will surely be the only one in the world of my existence. There seems to be a resurgence of things made with felt and all-wool felt is becoming available and is recommended for anything of nicer quality. I really enjoy making little felt objects but it is tedious.
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Once upon a time when my girls were approximately 8 and 12, I placed an order along with my British friend Gail to a company she used all the time called Clothkits. It sold things through a mail order catalog that were complete kits for making garments and a few household items. The things were printed on cloth and you cut them out just like paperdolls. All the notions you needed came packed in a little bag. I made Mandy a very cute little gray corduroy skirt and mauve print blouse and Becky a blue corduroy jumpsuit. This skirt kit was purchased for me but of course as is my way never made.
In my current attempt to make up some of the things I have been hauling around for up to 40 years, I sewed this kit together and mailed off to Becky. Chances are she will never wear it.
But in the event she does give it a shot, I made these earrings to go with it. I'm sure she can wear them with something else anyway.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

over my head

My sister put a beautiful post of her dinner this evening on her blog. The presentation was lovely with food in jewel-like colors. I made this seafood lasagna for our dinner. I have been trying to use more of my cookbooks of which I have an overabundance. This is from Cooking Light Favorites. I purchased the ingredients to supplement those which I already had. Uh-oh, forgot to read the directions prior to beginning. This gem had 4 separate pans of stuff. One part asked that I peel shrimp and make a stock of the shrimp shells. Well, I had purchased peeled shrimp though the large and raw sort. Thankfully I keep a jar of Penzey's seafood base. Finally got all the sauces, cheeses, pasta ready.
I had this ridiculous amount of dishes that I washed. Couldn't bear to take a picture of stovetop and 2 counters littered with dirty utensils and ingredients during preparation.
This is the evil concoction after we ate. It was pretty good, not spectacular. Den's comment was, "Don't cook any more fish for a week or so." I said,"Didn't you like it?" To which he replied that he just couldn't stand the way the house smelled. Which unfortunately reminds me of one of my old friend Jackie's favorite jokes.
What did the blind man say when he passed the fish market? Hello, ladies. Sorry-just couldn't resist.
And on a sweeter note, here's how $3 worth of daffodils looks since they've all opened. Happy spring!
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

fun project

Finished a really fun project this afternoon. Mommy and me aprons with the Alexander Henry cupcake print. Finally getting the hang of the home-made bias tape.
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Saturday, March 07, 2009

with loving memories

Ninety years ago today my dad, Fenton was born in Adams, WI. His parents were John and Freda both from immigrant families, his Irish, hers German. My dad was named Fenton Julius for his grandfathers. He once told me if anyone ever named a child either of those names he'd shoot them. My grandfather was 15 or more years older than his wife. She met him when she was a supervising teacher in Adams county.
My dad and me in the lane at my grandparents farm. When I was a girl, we used to spend 2 weeks with my grandparents every summer. I was the only grandchild then and was treated as a little princess. I loved the farm which was mainly a milking operation.
My dad at the time of his retirement. My father was a person in my life who gave me unconditional love as he did to all of his family. The older I get the more thankful I am for many of the qualities I feel I have of his. Dad, I loved you very much!
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Friday, March 06, 2009

favorite things

Reading is what I love to do most of all and I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from browsing and purchasing used books. I go to thrift stores and the donated section of both my libraries. I probably have more books now than I will ever be able to read but that does not stop my quest. I have discovered some wonderful authors in this fashion. This book Caramelo been out in the cabinet for a couple of years and I just started reading it a couple of days ago. I had read a review of it when it came out and thought I might like it. Well, I absolutely love it. Also find the dust jacket very creative. It's funny how a book might please you. Sometimes the title is just a grabber, it can be the artwork on the cover. Frequently for me a phrase will just strike the right note when I'm leafing through. This one is just pleasing in all those ways.
A nice side benefit is that each place I look usually also has a few CDs. I've been able to find some wonderful music this way. This little jewel I picked up for a buck at Mustang Library today. My mom used to sing the Hut-Sut song all the time when we were kids. I'm sure she would probably enjoy a copy of this CD. Doesn't take much to make me happy!
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Thursday, March 05, 2009

another banner

What I finished today was a banner for Easter to send to Mandy for donation to the silent auction at Evan's school. Jake liked it and had quite a bit of interest in possessing it for himself.
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

the product

Finally got a couple of things finished this week. These are jammies from the Cindy Taylor Oates pattern. Every time I make a pair I get really fascinated with the way the 3 different prints go together.

And some earrings. I like combining pearl and crystal.
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Sunday, March 01, 2009


Sunday has become my favorite day of the week. I don't feel pressured to accomplish much. I went to church this morning and had no duties, just got to sit and listen. Then I treated myself to California rolls made with real crab meat over at Whole Foods, followed by this incredible orgy at a quick stop at Ross. Came home, read, messed around with the dogs and did a few chores.
This is the dinner we had tonight. These are healthier versions of the omelet and fried potatoes we often have on Sunday evenings. I used only 5 ounces of red potatoes, precooked them in the microwave and then sauteed in only a half tablespoon of my really good olive oil from Queen Creek, the potatoes, red pepper, onion, mushrooms and little tomatoes. It tasted great with quite a few less calories. In place of the omelet, we had this breakfast casserole from a Weight Watchers cookbook. When I came back from Tucson, decided that I must try to shed some poundage. Read a book by Jen Lancaster on overweight, saw an article in the paper about abdominal fat and feel that someone is trying to tell me something. So any of you that pray, please pray for strength for me and if you're not a praying person, think positive thoughts. I have been unhappy with myself for such a long time. Don't know if I can do this but am going to give it my best shot for Lent.
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