Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Post of the Year

Hello 2011 !!

Here is a recap of what I have sewn this year.  Pictures were not take of all items.

6 dresses for me
2 Halloween dresses for the granddaughters
2 practice dresses for the granddaughters
6 skirts
1 top (which I am not happy with and probably won't wear again)  I learned a lot though
1 flannel nightgown

That is 18 items in one year!  I'm so excited because I am happy with 16 of them, I learned a lot of new techniques and I think my goal was 12 items.  One a month.

For this year I want to start using my serger on knits.  And, I want to make a coat and some jackets.  I am working on a plaid wool full circle skirt and matching vest.  The skirt is done except for the hem and the vest has been waiting for the lining material choice.  That choice has been made and now needs to be cut and sewn.  Next in the queue is a vintage dress out of a blue wool.

I have my next couple of projects figured out but for the whole year I would like to make:

1 wool coat
1 wool dress
2 knits dresses
4 knit tops
2 wool skirts
2 summer dresses
2 Halloween costumes (maybe 3 if youngest granddaughter wants one)

I have material and patterns for everything but the knit tops, Halloween costumes and any linings I might use.  It is so hard not buying patterns and fabric!  I love me some fabric.

I only made it half way through the Bible this year so I will finish it in 2011.  I obviously sewed too much instead of reading my Bible!

Have a wonderful and happy new year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Design!

I am visiting my recovering daughter today.  She had surgery and I am here to "help" and visit.  She helped me spruce up my blog!!  Yay!  I love the new look.  So much cleaner and easy to read.

Does anyone remember Beany and Cecil?  I love Beany and Cecil!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Love This Dress

This is a reprinted pattern from Butterick.  It is a 1960's pattern.  I love when pattern companies reprint old patterns.  So fun.  I made this last summer out of a rayon from Hancocks fabrics.  It has a self fabric belt and I bought the Bakelite belt buckle on Etsy.

OK.  Trouble with Blogger again.  It won't let me post more than one picture!  I don't get it!!!  Well, the close up of the belt will just have to be another post!

It is raining here in northern California.  Yay!  We always need rain. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Found It!

I found the pink dress!   For some reason I had to go out of my blog then back in to be able to download the picture.  Some things I just don't understand.

Fall Festival Costumes AKA Halloween Costumes

This is one costume I made for one of my granddaughters.  She wants to be a princess like her older sister.  The other dress is pink and I can't seem to pull it up my just saved pictures.  These dresses are polyester satin, tulle and a sparkly fabric.  They aren't hemmed yet so I need two little people to come over for a fitting.  Can't wait!

Tried again.  No picture of pink dress.  No pictures at all. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Poor Excuse

I have a wee bit of a cold so I'm going to use that as my excuse for not blogging for what? 6 weeks?  Longer?

I got frustrated weeks ago trying to down load a picture because posts are so much better with pictures.  It wouldn't download.  Even when I walked away and let the compute work/think for 15 minutes.  My IT person has been too busy to help me, boo hiss.  I'll see if I can find something for you to look at though.

In September, the two older granddaughters, their mother and I went to Hancock's Fabrics to pick out Halloween costume patterns and fabric.  The four year old wants to be a princess and her two year old sister is copying her.  We looked through the books and the four year old picked every princess dress there was.  Her mom suggester looking at them all THEN deciding on one.  A pattern was chosen and then we looked at fabric.  Four year old got pink and then told her sister what to pick.  The two year old agreed to everything.  She liked it all.  Mom took the four year old away and the two year old I an picked blue for her.  We got a shiny satin for the main body of the dresses, sparkly fabric for the sleeves and peplums and tulle for the over skirts.  Very fancy!  Good thing these girls are little so we didn't need much fabric!  The oldest did a nice job picking out matching thread. (How did she know we even needed thread??)

I traced the pattern in a size 3 and 4 then cut out fabric I already had to make practice dresses.  I wanted to make sure these fit since I haven't sewn dresses for them yet.  The oldest came over with her mom one day to try it on and it was a  perfect fit.  Over the next few days I threw together the practice dress for the younger.

I wanted to get these dresses to these girls ASAP because I wanted them to wear them to church and the weather would be getting cold soon and I needed to make sure the dress fit the younger.  I made arrangements to take the dresses up to their house which is inconveniently located in the Santa Cruz mountains.  I hate mountain roads.  I made it up the mountain only to get a block or two from their driveway and was stopped by  PG&E who was doing maintenance work.  I couldn't get through.  I was tweaked quite a bit by this turn of events.   I called my daughter and she said she would be me down the road a ways at a school.  She knew a back way that I wasn't about to try and do.  I knew I would get lost and then starve to death in the mountains only 20 feet from someones house because I didn't know where I was and how to get home.  SOOOOO pathetic.  But, I know my limitations.  

I think I'm rambling.  (It's the cold, I'm delirious)

So,  Halloween costumes are almost done.  It has been great fun sewing dresses for little girls again. 
Christmas is coming.  Aren't these great Christmas decorations?  This was in Massachusetts in the 60's.  I was 9 and my sister was 8.  Snow was a big change for us Californians.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


It doesn't feel like summer here in sunny California.  I live in San Jose and it has been the coldest summer in 40 years.  I heard that on the news last week.  Today at noon, DSH and I were being lazy (it being Saturday and all) sitting around playing on the computers in sweats!  Unheard of in mid August.

This is my mom and her twin sister.  Aren't they cute?  They made their outfits.  My aunt is on the left.  My mom,on the right, is the oldest.  Their birthday is August 1st, one of my cousins is also August 1st, a granddaughter of mine is the 4th, a cousin's son is the 5th, mine is the 6th, another granddaughter of mine is the 8th, my husband and my anniversary is the 8th, and the cousin who is the dad of the boy on the 5th  is the 9th.  Got all that?  The family always has a big August Birthday Bash.  My mom and aunt are the STARS OF THE SHOW because they are twins.   They are SPECIAL.  Am I bitter?, a little ;)  Anyway,  they turned 73 this year, they are hard of hearing, there were little people running around and the party was much more balanced.  I definitely enjoyed it more this year.  Maybe I'm maturing a little bit too!  It also helped that my cousin and his wife who hosted the party gave me her mother's Baby lock serger!!!  It is about 7 or 8 years old but not used because her mother passed away just after she bought it.    No one in the family wanted it so I got it.  I've been wanting a serger for a long time and I couldn't decide what to get.  Now, the problem is solved.  I will take it in for service since it has been sitting in their garage for the past 7 or 8 years.  Then I get to figure out how to use it.

I have more sewing pictures to show but DSSD has to put them in the computer as usual.  So, when that gets done I will post them.   

Friday, July 30, 2010

One of the "Fun" medical procedures

Today was my first colonoscopy.  Procedure:  not horrible, prep:  kind of horrible.  I didn't like the  not eating part.  By 5:00pm Thursday I was feeling very nauseated.  I ate jello (not red)  then I had to start drinking my eight glasses of "juice".  That wasn't as bad as it sounds.  It actually made me not feel hungry.  The last glass was hard to get down though.  No one needs any of the rest of the details.  Let's just say I got lots of hand sewing done in the bathroom (I know, that just sounds wrong!).  But, all is over, I've eaten (Thank you, Lord, for food!) and there were no finding of concern.  I don't have to do it again for 10 years.  Yay!  Now I am just resting.
I would much rather be at Happy Hollow Park riding the merry-go-round!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One More

Thank you all for your nice comments.  Here is another project:

Here is a close up of my very first invisible zipper.  I was very happy with how it turned out.  This blouse had lots of problems.  It gaped a the neck so I put five pin tucks in which helped a lot.  It was supposed to have sleeves but I felt like I was in a straight jacket with the sleeves in so I took them out and cut them into bias strips and then bound the armholes with the strips.  That was the first time I had ever made bias strips.  That turned out pretty well.  I love the fabric.  It has tiny little flowers and vines that really do match the maroon skirt.  I think I over fit the top.  It doesn't really wear well.  The skirt is 100% polyester and feels very soft but doesn't hang or drape well so I'm not too thrilled with the whole project.  I learned a lot and the blouse fabric was only $2.50!  I got the end of the bolt.

It is funny what you see in pictures that you can't see in a mirror.  So many pull lines at the waist.  Sigh.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Here is one of my first projects.  It took me months to sew!  It is a pink and lavender tweed that ravelled terribly.  I had to zigzag each piece before I handled it too much.  I had to be very careful assembling the dress because I couldn't see the thread after it was sewn if I needed to rip it out!  I am happy with how it turned out.

This dress is brown and pink linen.  I like pink, mauve, raspberry, plum, etc!
This dress is a black and white polyester polka dot dress.  I made this because my husband likes polka dots.  It is a wrap around dress which is very different for me.  I made the front pieces overlap more than the pattern called for and I lengthened the dress three inches.  It is a silky type fabric and the tie wants to come undone.  Not good.  I think I will put a button and button hole where it meets under the tie!                       

My current project is a reprint of a 1960's dress.  I am making it out of rayon in a flowery print.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures!  It takes so long to get pictures downloaded in this house!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


A sweet comment by Judy at Apron Strings  has nudged me back to blogging.  Thanks, Judy!  I have been feeling much better which means I've been busy!  Work, sewing, family reunion, gardening, church, dog sitting for neighbors.  All the usual fun summer activities.  For Independence Day we went to the San Jose Giants baseball game and saw fireworks at the stadium afterword.  It was a great game and terrific fireworks.  They have an awesome BBQ before hand.  Great family fun.

I changed the way I do a few things at work which has helped my shoulder quite a bit.  I have finished some sewing projects and there are pictures but, of course, I depend on my DSSD to download them into my ancient computer and that hasn't happened yet.  The tomatoes are doing great but none are ripe yet, we've had a couple of meals with the green beans, tonight we had a zucchini, squash look terrible, onions are good and I keep picking the potatoes to early.

We went to Wasco, CA for a one day family reunion.  We drove down to Harris Ranch and spent the night there then continued on to my DSH's aunt's house for the big get together.  They have a huge farm so it is a big change for us city slickers.  His aunt sent us home with almonds, walnuts, old sewing patterns and books!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tendinitis and Bursitis

Today I went to physical therapy for my shoulder.  I have tendinitis and bursitis in my left shoulder from incorrectly using my left arm while working.  Shame one me.  It feels like I have an ice pick through my shoulder.  I have been taking a muscle relaxant for three nights which helped quite a bit.  I iced my shoulder once but since I was kind of dopey, I left the ice on too long and now my skin hurts too.  That feels just like a bad bruise.  Duh!  I'm on the mend now which is good.  It is amazing how cranky one gets when one is in constant pain, 24/7!  I'm so glad I have lots of help at home. Thanks DSH and DSSD!  I had lots of offers from other family members and friends but with two live-in helpers, it wasn't really necessary for all the troops to jump in.  My shoulder is taped up to limit movement which feels very good.  Hopefully, life will be back to normal soon!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Brisket: A New Way To Tenderize

She looks cute, sweet, cuddly, adorable and Innocent doesn't she?  But, in reality she is a thief and a glutton.
Here is her willing accomplice.
I got home this afternoon to find my brisket on the floor with bites out of it and the meat wrapper torn up and strewn about the kitchen floor.  The floor needed to be mopped anyway (what with all the rain we've been having and the muddy paw prints).  How did a small 30 pound dog get the meat off the counter with no chair or stool near by?  That's what I'd like to know.

I know you all want to know if I washed it off and cooked it to eat anyway.

Yes, I did.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Long Time - No Blogging

Time just flies by, doesn't it?  I have sewing projects to show and a garden planted.  It has finally warmed up here in CA.  This *global warming* crap isn't working for me.  It has been COLD.  Anyway, I have completed a maroon skirt and a plaid jumper.  I have a top and skirt outfit completed except for the hem and I am in the middle of a blouse to go with the maroon skirt.  There is progress but no pictures.  I have worn the outfits to church and it has been too cold and rainy to have a photo shoot. (I'm a wimp!)

Last Saturday I practically ruined myself digging weeds, turning in compost then planting all the veggies purchased the same day as the weeding (what was I thinking?)  DSH told his DSD to go get a pizza since it was past dinner time and I was still planting AND it started raining again while I was working.  No drought this year!  I planted onions, red potatoes, lots of tomatoes, squash, lettuce and green beans and one bell pepper.  DSSD started watermelon from seed and planted them too!  Oh, and we also have a gopher. :(

How does one get rid of a gopher?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He Is Risen!

Last weedend we attempted to tame what is
affectionaltely called "the jungle".

The truck was put to good use.Rope was tied to the back hitch.Then around the half dead and overgrown bushes.Then yank!  it was out!More bushes.Much better!  There are still lots of weed to get out and the fence needs to be replaced.  It is falling down. And, the dead tree that can't be seen from this angle still needs to be removed.  (I can't find the picture of it)  Sigh, will it ever end?  I am so thankful we have a house and we are still working to pay for it!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Our Japanese Maple is getting leaves!

Our apricot tree has been pruned and now it is budding. 

Bailey needs a window so she doesn't have to look under the gate!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Surprise Afternoon Off

All my patients cancelled for this afternoon.  This is the first time in seven years that has happened!  I am enjoying the time at home but it will hurt on the next paycheck!  I weeded the side yard.  It was a jungle from all the rain (thank you, Lord).  Now I will catch up on blogs and then I will sew.  Tonight is church.

More when I have another picture or two.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Date Night

Thursday nights are date night at our house.  I cook every night and work full time so by the time I get to Thursday I am pooped.  I am ready for a night off.  We usually go to very reasonably priced restaurants and we share.  It is an opportunity to just focus on each other and I really appreciate being waited on.  Tonight was Italian.  We tried a new place and it was very good.  We take turns picking the place.  We could never afford this when the kids lived at home.
Here is a picture of my dad and my sister and me.  I am on my dad's right.  I am 14 months older than my sister.  I think we are about 3 and 4 years old.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

?Wearable Muslin?

I started sewing again about a year and a half ago.  I used to make all my dresses and my girls dresses for church.  The girls grew up, life changed, sewing fell by the wayside.  Many changes have occured during my sewing hiatus.  I've gained weight and body parts have moved (in the wrong direction).  Fabric stores have closed and the ones that have remained open tend to lean towards crafts and quilting.  Not much fashion fabric to choose from.  I feel like I am learning to sew all over again.  I definately am having to relearn how to fit my new (but not improved) body.  That being said, here is a picture of my second attempt at a dress for church.  The fabric is 100% polyester in "army blanket green".  The bodice is lined.  I made the bodice longer but wish I hadn't.  There is black gimp at the neckline and wrist.  I like the pleats in the front but I am seriously thinking I need breast reduction surgery!  It is soft and warm which is good because I am always cold in church.

I am working on another dress in 100% wool suiting.  It is a mauve and plum tiny check.  It is a jumper style that is probably to young for me (I keep forgetting I'm over 50!) but I liked the picture and the pattern was on sale.  I am fitting it to wear over a turtleneck for winter.  Of course, I don't own a turtleneck that matches and there are none in stores right now.  It won't be finished for a couple of weeks.  I still have to cut out the lining and contruct that part of it.  I didn't want to waste the lining fabric if the dress didn't fit.  I did not do a muslin.

More rain this weekend which is good because we need as much as we can get.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Better Late Than Never-Poppyseed Muffins

This is the post that should have been posted last week.  I have been trying different poppyseed muffins.  I love the poppyseed muffins from Costco.  So yummy.  This last batch was pretty good but nothing I tried came close enough to replace Costco's.  I love to bake but I will continue to buy Costco's muffins.

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Birthday to my Dad

Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Sickness

No pictures today.  You'll thank me later.

DSH is sick.  I mean really sick.  He was up all night with both kinds of trouble.  We don't know what caused it.  We ate the same things and I was fine.  No sleep last night, no church today.  We slept in to get he rest we desperately needed.  I cleaned house a bit and cut out a skirt.  I fed him dry toast and 7-up.  Tonight he is feeling better.  Poor guy.

Aren't you glad there are no pictures?

You're welcome.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not Up To Snuff

Not feeling great today.  Dear Sweet Step-Daughter gave me her cold.  Sore throat and stuffed up nose.  No more details needed ;)  I stayed home from church since I woke up every hour last night and felt cruddy when I woke up.  Part of the day I worked on a dress for church and I rested a bit too. 

We have had a lot of rain this past week so we have dog towels at the front and back door for wiping off wet paws.  Bailey helps herself to the towels, drags them around the house, giving it a good shake and then rips the tag off (if there is one).  We are running out of towels that still have tags.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Sewing

Today was Sunday School, church then sewing.  DSH went to the Sportman Show so I had the whole afternoon to make a muslin of a new church dress and then cut out the fashion fabric.  I did not get the lining cut out yet.  I sew in the garage and it was a bit cold out there this afternoon.  It has been raining and drissling all day.

Yesterday we went to see my mother in law at the skilled nursing facility.  We took the dogs which is always a hit.  The weather was nice yesterday so we decided to take MIL outside.  There is a large yard area next to the facility so we parked her in her wheelchair next to the grass, let the dogs off their leads and started throwing the ball.  MIL had a blast!!!  She laughed and talked and smiled and threw the ball and laughed some more.  WHY DIDN'T WE THINK OF THIS BEFORE???  Another elderly woman was wheeled outside because she had asked her daughter if she could go out and watch the dogs.  She had seen them from her bedroom window!  It was so much fun :D  I can't wait to go again and invite the elderly outside!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Monkey Brains

Last week we had Monkey Brains for dinner.  Oh, not real monkey brains.  Stuffed cabbage covered with spicy tomato paste that my girls nic-named Monkey Brains.  I really like them, SD really likes them and DSH doesn't really care for them at all.  It reminds him of the days of his youth when his mother would stretch one pound of hamburger for a whole week for a family of four.  And he was a growing boy (he's now 6'3" and over 200 lbs).  I made 8 large stuffed cabbage leaves.  I had planned on getting two meals out of the deal.  Good old leftovers, ya know?  What my DSH calls "old food".  The three of us are sitting around the table, some of us are enjoying our meal, and I ask, "Would anyone like more?".  DSH, who had already eaten his (in my mind) allotted portion of two, said, "I'll take another one".  "But, you don't like these, why do you want another one?" I asked.  He said, "I don't want these coming back as old food so I want to eat them up now!  He ruined my plans for leftovers but we all had a good laugh!  And he didn't have to eat them again.  Well, that doesn't look too appetizing, now does it???  But, it was quite tasty!

Well!  I was going to do spell check and it is gone!  SD upgraded my blog and now I have to know how to spell?!?!  Oh, dear!!