Monday, December 31, 2007

Peek-a-boo


Who's that peeking out from behind that wee doggie patchwork? Why, its one last Little Gift...one that I had to wait until it was opened before snapping some pics for you to see!

Here he is in all his dotted glory...


This blue Dotty Scottie dog was made from a pattern of Jenny's at AllSorts. Her original pattern is for felt, no seam allowances included...but this little guy was made from quilting cotton so I added 1/4 sa to all sides. He's awfully cute!

His tiny patchwork quilt was created from a Moda charm pack...backed in a dancing cats reproduction print, and quilted with machine featherstitch:


He was delivered to his new mama Lu, all nestled in the bottom of this dancing kitty tote...


complete with stuffed felt bone for chewing (tiny water & food dishses compliments of Lu, later.)


Here's to a bright, shiny New Year for all my blogger friends!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

The presents are wrapped, the sewing machine is (finally) at rest, and I am exhausted! But in a good way.

I wish I had pictures of the lovlies to show you, but my camera ate them. There's no other explanation. There's a gap on my card of 20 pictures numerically...and I haven't a clue how that happened. I also wasn't paying attention so I wrapped the gifts and now can't show you. :(

What you missed...monogrammed theme pillowcases for my nephews (American Chopper, Army & OSU)...and a darling retro apron. I made a matching pair, one for my mom & a one for Lu to wear when baking with her "mema". I'll wrap them both for my mom. Lu has no idea, so I can't wait to see her face.

I'm going to relax & enjoy the last, precious hours before the big day with my kiddos. We have cookies to decorate and A Christmas Story to watch!

And for all of my blogger friends I'd like to wish you a....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Little Gifts Pt 2

I just finished this darling purse for my soon to be sister-in-law...


The pattern is from a picture tutorial HERE on SewForum. Thanks to the very generous smoon for instructions!

The monogram stitches out perfectly. I've used a ton of the letters, and they're ALL perfect! It's a freebie from Judie on her yahoo group.


The handles are medium longish. Long enough to go over your shoulder, but not so long you look like you're going to sack groceries in it.


and the closure features a buttonhole & vintage button from my button box.


I'm a bad Santa. I really want to keep this one. You know, if I could think of an "S" word to describe myself. ;)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Little Gifts

Freestanding Lace bookmark from Stitch Delight for Laney's Sunday School teacher (she will also get one of the monogrammed cups.) I don't see this set on SecretsOf, which is probably where I purchased it from. But it is still available on the StitchDelight site.


I also made this gorgeous FSL ice skate ornament this week, for a SWAP I'm participating in over at NanaPennyPockets...


The skate is part of Anita Goodesign's Holiday Lace collection. It is beautiful when finished but it took 90 MINUTES to stitch out on my Bernina 170E!!! Yowza. That's when a second machine would come in handy, huh? (If you remember, my 2nd machine...a Babylock Ellure...is still under house arrest with my sister. Blast her.) I used a silk ribbon to make the hang tie, and I'm thinking about adding some crystals with my hotwand to bling up the swirlies just a bit.

My SWAP partner is also receiving this cute little wristlet...


It's constructed from a placemat from Garden Ridge! The adorable snowman was a freebie from Charming Station Embroidery last month. I believe it's still on her yahoo group though, in the freebies. There was a whole set of redwork snowmen! I can't take credit for the placemat wristlet idea, I was inspired by an adorable one over at SewForum.

And Lu had a ball yesterday decororating this plain jane purple frame with odds & ends from my stash. I photoshopped the picture of she & her friend Karen, so that they're fairies in a fantasy land.



I have a ton of things to finish for Lu...but she won't leave my side. Nosy little thing. Oh, and we got this at Wally World yesterday (don't laugh at my complete laziness in the baking area. I'll bake cookies & pumpkin loafs and gingerbread men next weekend...but it will have to wait til semester tests are graded!!)


Gotta go & get crackin now! Toodles!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mary, did you know?

The reason for the season...

Lu as Mary (and I didn't have to make the costume!)

The video is priceless, I wish you were all on high speed so I could upload it. (Because I'm sure you want to see it!) Lu was a beautiful Mary, and the 60 year old gym floors & gaggle of velvet clad preschoolers disappeared in the face of her amazing performance.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It's Comin'

The forecast for today through Thursday...


and the Doppler radar right now over me (I'm about an hour or 2 from the blue stuff. Which is the white stuff, you know.)


Yikes. I better fill the tub with water and charge my laptop batteries! Dang I sure do wish my sewing machine had a battery! I've got projects to do!! At least the worst of it won't hit probably until tonight or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I made these yesterday for teacher gifts. The cups are from the Dollar General Store ($2.00) and have a removable base so you can switch out the insert. I used some scraps of Amy Butler & Jennifer Paganelli I had lying around, and monogrammed each with the teacher's initial. (Totally not my idea...I have seen these all fall on SewForum.) The alphabets were all freebies from SewForum too!


And I finished my 2nd "Temily" . This one is lime cotton lame with a little shimmer to it, smocked in simple 3 step waves and embellished with silver Japanese E beads:


I only had enough of hte lame in my stash to make the top, so the binding & ruffles are out of lime silk dupioni, which I washed & dried first to make it soft & drapey (and washable. ) I had trouble with the neckline this time and had to redo it once. But it turned out so cute!


Then I made these cute Christmas lounge pants for Lu out of stashed holly print with red dotty print for the contrast hemband & a red velvet ribbon trim:


Whew. I was busy yesterday! More to do today though. The Christmas rush is in full swing!

a.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

In a Pickle

The Christmas Pickle

You may or may not know the story of the Christmas Pickle. The Christmas pickle is a pickle-shaped ornament that is hidden deep in the boughs of the tree on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, the first child to find the Christmas pickle gets an extra gift from Saint Nicholas. (Or a year of good luck. As legends often do, it varies with the teller.)

This tradition is usually attributed to the Germans. The Germans say no. So nobody really knows, but if you do a little internet research you come up with a couple of plausible origins.

But that kinda takes the fun out of it.

I don't care where it originated, or even if its a complete fiction. After all, we hang stockings on the mantle too. So, this Christmas Eve I'll be hiding a pickle on my tree and we'll begin this cute little tradition at our house.

Just in case you want to join me, there's a spunky machine embroidered Christmas Pickle at Sew Weird. It's a free download, but you have to sign up for her newsletter to receive the link!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I Heart Elvis

But then, who doesn't?? I've been sorta busy this morning making & photographing this twirly skirt for an ebay launch tomorrow:



Only "sorta" busy, because it was actually alot of fun!! I like to sew when it's no pressure. This is a one of a kind set in size 4/5. Here's a close up of the cute retro Elvis print:



And of the tee, embellised with rick rack flower & a vintage button from my button box:



And a little bling bling to match...



Now it's on to Christmas projects & presents!!

ps... I feel lots better today, and thank you all for the well-wishes!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Preoccupied

I've not finished a SINGLE project all week. Mostly because I've had this contraption on my mind:

For those of you lucky enough to have never needed one...it's a CT Scanner (a "CAT" scan.) And I took a trip through that hole this morning. I had to drink a bum-load of this:

(Oh, ok, just 3 bottles. Still. And the friendly fruit images on the bottle are a decoy. It tastes like white glue.)

and then I got one of these as a prize:

(I'm talking to the nurse as she prepares the IV and I'm right in the middle of a sentence and say "I'll wait til you're finished", you know, with my eyes squeezed shut so I can't see the poke. And she says, "Hon, I am finished." Man, she was good.)

It was all over in 90 minutes and other than the mini-freakout I had last night on learning of my copay ($250!!!) I think it went rather well.

Lest you all worry from my ToooMuchInfo posting tonight, I've had a persistent kidney infection. Stubborn bugger. The CT is just a precaution to rule out abscess, and I fully expect it to be normal. (Good vibes sent my way won't hurt either.)

Your regularly scheduled sewing humor should commence asap.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gingerbread Tee

I whipped up this cute little tee for Lu this afternoon:


The ribbon accents weren't intentional. They were to cover up these:


HOLES!! I guess I had the tee pinched in the embroidery hoop, and this is where I screwed it in really snug. The sewing gremlin is going back and forth from my house to Shannon's and back to mine.

I kinda like the ribbons in the end, though. I used Steam a Seam to fuse them in place, and then straight stitched them to the tee. The gingerbread girl's bow is a removable pin for laundering.

You can find the adorable gingerbread applique machine embroidery design at Sewing For Sarah. It's a free download!

Happy Stitching!

Gratitude.

I am thankful for a lot of things in mylife...my children whom I adore, my parents & siblings who always make me laugh (even when I want to choke them), my job (which is trying but has those tiny moments of joy that keep you going), my friends...

And I am especially grateful for all of the friends I have made in this wonderful world called the internet.

This Christmas season is the 10th year I've been single. Most of you know that I'm divorced, but none of you know that my ex-husband left me, my toddler son & baby girl a week before Christmas, ten years ago this December. For a few years, I dreaded Christmas. It's not an easy holiday to spend alone.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I love everything about it. The tree, the music, buying and making special gifts, the baking, the old movies. I love it. So it didn't take me long to get over the dread.

But it is a lonely time of year for a single person. The kids & I go and do lots of things during the season where we're surrounded by family "units". I've never let my fear of being the only single mom in the crowd stop us from enjoying all of the fun and splendor of the season. (Or for that matter, hopping on a plane and flying to some unknown city for a week. Yes, I'm terrified when I do it, but I keep doing it because if I don'thow would we ever go anywhere??)

Many people ask why I never remarried. My kids were very small when I divorced, and frankly I had my hands full. After a few years, I went back to college to get my teaching degree. And the years just sort of....passed.

In all honesty, I live in a small rural community whose population is aging. The church we attend is filled with families and the elderly... and all of my friends are married. Around here, the only place singles have to go is the local tavern. Not exactly where you'd like to meet the man of your dreams. Or even a pizza sharing partner. Besides, I'm not as cute as I was a decade ago.

So single I remain.

Today as the holiday season officially begins, I am especially thankful for all of you. For making me laugh and keeping me sane, and for letting me share a little bit in your lives. And for that I am really grateful.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wishing a safe & happy turkey day to all my blogger friends, near and far!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tickled Pink Again...


Here it is all finished! Well, except for hem...which isn't finished because I can't decide about whether to add a hem ruffle or not. The sleeve hem ruffle is pretty cute, but I think the hem ruffle might be "too much". At least for Lu.

As you can see (I hope), Temily is a basic peasant top, with a panel for smocking on the front. I piped the panel here with pink microcheck that matched the pink in the print.

I had some problems with the sizing. AS&E tends to run "large" anyway, so I should have only sized up 1 size. That would have been perfect. I ended up taking out about 6 inches total from the width (3 on each side at the hem tapering to nothing at the armseye).

What I'll do next time is use a peasant top I have already fit to Lu and then adjust the front for the smocked panel. And I DO want to do another one! It went together so fast! Next time I think I'll also add ribbon or self-fabric ties to the seams at the smocking panel, to tie in the back like a sash.

It looks pretty dang cute on her too, but she's busy watching a Barbie movie and refuses to model. Diva.

Tickled Pink Temily

The bullions are done. They're not prize-worthy, but they are very pretty & finished...which is the important thing!


I used the Temily pattern (resized to a 10-12) from Australian Smocking & Embroidery issue #80. The smocking plate is "Tickled Pink" from AS&E #70.

I added pink Swarovski crystal accents between the roses & along the top row of baby waves.


Now it's on to construction!

Handmade Holidays...

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

And have you been visiting SewMamaSew daily for this?


I'm smack in the middle of re-learning Buillion Rose embroidery to finish up the smocking on a Temily for Lu. I graded the pattern in AS&E up to her size (she's between a 10 and 12).

Here's the Amazing Tutorial I'm using to refresh my memory on the bullion rose. Pictures to follow soon!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pretty.

Ok, so my Wally-World no longer carries the elastic thread. Bummer. As such, I couldn't finish the black top for Lu's plaid skirt ensemble. It will have to wait until the weekend when I can get to Hancocks (and pray they have it there.)

This was all FINE because I had lost my black top/corsety thingie mo-jo anywho. On to bigger and better things, I say! For Lu's Centennial Celebration performance, we designed this little number instead:


I got to mix prints (my favorite thing) and Lu loved the crossover bodice. No pattern used, other than the armscye off of a bodice pattern in my stash. The bodice has halter ties around the neck, and the back is shirred for about 5 inches.

The bodice isn't really crooked either, she's just standing funny. See...


The best part is the frayed spiral roses on the skirt. I tore 1-1/4 inch strips of the blue/cream dot and stitched 1/4 inch from each edge to keep the fraying in check. Then I gathered each strip with my gathering foot (very fast & simple). Wind the strips around and around until you have a big fluffly rose & ta-da! Frayed goodness. I made 1 large & 2 smaller roses, with accompany twirly vine-age:


The little cream top underneath is actually a peasant top pattern lengthened to dress-length. She will probably hereafter wear the underdress as pajamas because she immediately said it looked like Little House on the Prairie jammies. Well, fine. But she wore it tonight under the dress! Fashionista.

Let me tell ya. It's not easy dressing a 10 year old!!