Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Collecting Memories

Tomorrow begins National Sewing Month! Last year I posted daily throughout the month of September offering tips and suggestions, providing step-by-step directions how to make a simple project, etc. Things are a bit different on the home front this year. I’ll try my “bestest” to share more projects I’ve been doing, what others have created, and where to find great tutorials on the net, just not every day!

After almost a month, I’m still in Dallas, a three hour drive away from home. The game plan is for me to return this Friday! Oh, and when I do, I’ll list new aprons in the studio I’ve created in between helping my parents! For me, sewing is a stress-buster! Thank goodness I thought ahead and brought my machine and cut-out projects ready to sew up!

There is a sweet story to share, and I will, when I have a picture of the little girl’s apron I made last week! It’s primarily honeysuckle, yellow, red, and is a cutie (if I do say so myself)!!!

While in Dallas, and have had all the wonderful stores readily available, I’ve done a little shopping, too! Before lunch with a friend, today is my last chance to collect a few more items I know I’ll need later, once home and miles away from any fabric/craft store.

I was in fabric heaven the other day… a close friend of my mother’s ~ 92 years old ~ is downsizing and will be moving north soon to be closer to her family. She was an excellent, beautiful seamstress in her day but can’t sit at a machine, or cut out things, any longer.

Irma called Mother a couple of weeks ago, said she was thinking of Mother & me, knowing we both love to sew, and asked if we would be interested in going through her stash and taking all the fabric we wanted!

Mother & I finally managed to coordinate schedules with her and when we got over there, she led us into her sewing room, slid open the closet door, and basically said, “Go for it.” Oh my goodness! After two plus hours and two trips to the car we had gone through luscious, beautiful pieces bought to make this or that but never did. In addition, viewing her numerous collections and how she displayed various items about her sewing/guest bedroom ~ her entire warm & welcoming home ~ gave me much more than simply fabric. It’s been over fifteen years since I’ve been inside her house. But I remembered it well once I stepped back inside. I went on overload and almost had a system failure with the mental creative ideas going on in my head!

She’s a delightful, special lady, who I’ve also known for several years in my own right. I’m blessed this woman is part of my life. I wonder if she’d let me come over and take pictures how she has her collections displayed?!? I bet she would! I would love to share with you! I would love to remember how she did it! Need to make that call!

Do you have a collection of something? How do you have them displayed? Would love if you would share!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fall colors

A friend recently asked if I will be making aprons using fall colors. She loves fall colors. I have several lovely pieces and will begin working on them as soon as I get back to my studio! In the meantime, I brought a few projects with me when I came to Dallas. They are ready to sew and I’m working on them in between caring for my parents. The prints are more Summerish, but “Summer” lasts until the first part of October here in Texas! They’re bright and cheerful. In addition, and in my opinion, they are perfect shades much needed in the throngs of winter to brighten our soul. This morning I happened across the Sewing.Org website. A fabulous article caught my interest immediately. It’s the Pantone report for Fall 2011 Fashion Trend Colors. Look at these fabulous colors!
My most favorite color, the one they call Honeysuckle, is the 2011 Color of the Year! I love some of the write ups, describing perfectly the way I feel when I’m working with or wearing this color!
Honeysuckle - A Color for All Seasons Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it. Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life. “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.” Eiseman continues, “The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages. In fact, this color, not the sweet fragrance of the flower blossoms for which it was named, is what attracts hummingbirds to nectar. Honeysuckle may also bring a wave of nostalgia for its associated delicious scent reminiscent of the carefree days of spring and summer.” Honeysuckle is guaranteed to produce a healthy glow when worn…
Of these colors, which is your favorite?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I celebrated a birthday yesterday. Mine. It wasn't a milestone in the sense of turning sweet sixteen, or reaching adulthood by turning 18, or hitting age 21 and I could buy my own vino, or even celebrating 40 - a midlife mark. What made it so much better than any of the others I can recall, I was able to help my mother bring my 85 year old daddy home from the hospital! After having two major surgeries in less than a month, I'm so thankful he made it through okay and came back home to us.

When we all sat down at the table for our evening meal, including my husband, a birthday card had been placed next to my plate. It was a wonderful card my parents gave me that read...

How to make a beautiful life

Reflections for a daughter on her birthday

Love yourself.
Make peace with who you are
and where you are
at this moment in time.

Listen to your heart.
If you cant hear what its saying
in this noisy world,
Make time for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let your mind wander among the stars.
Take chances.
Make mistakes.
Life can be messy and confusing at times,
But its also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path might be a stepping-stone.
Be happy,
When you dont have what you want,
Want what you have.
Make do.
Thats a well-kept secret of contentment.

There arent any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to make your own way.
To know where youre going
Is only a part of it.
You need to know where youve been, too.
And if you ever get lost, dont worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.

Life isnt days and years.
Its what you do with time
And with all the goodness and grace
Thats inside you.
Make a beautiful life
The kind of life you deserve.

Author Unknown

I especially love the line:
"The next rock in your path might be a stepping-stone."

The prayer/thought/belief that keeps going through my mind: I know God will not give me more than I can handle.

I share this card with you to inspire and encourage your daily walk, to "make a beautiful life... the kind of life you deserve."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ten Discoveries

Although I have continued the daily search for at least ten new things, I’ve not shared my discoveries in a while. With the renewing rain coming down on parts of Texas this early morning, giving us much relief from the scorching heat and drought conditions, I want to celebrate by sharing!

1. Someone graciously took the time and effort to provide us all with a fabulous set of pictures from the past. "Scan of the Woman's Institute booklet, Fancy Aprons and Sunbonnets, published 1916, with instructions to draft patterns for a dozen aprons, a clothes-pin bag, two sunbonnets and a sunhat."

2. Double (twin) needles came with my sewing machine, meaning I’ve had them for almost 20 years now, but I’ve never used them. Happened across this article “Double Needles Demystified” and will certainly try out the technique!

3. I’m a visual learner. I learn things quicker and retain more when I’ve seen a picture, or watched a video tutorial. It’s amazing all the well produced videos available at Made by Marzipan’s site.

4. On Crystelle Boutique’s site, she has a link to her Tutorial Boutique! Check out the clever Valentine’s wreath. Think Christmas socks! You’ll know what I mean when you see the tutorial!!!

5. I shared the SEW-lutions Guidelines site last September (National Sewing Month), but it’s worth repeating as it’s a great resource whenever a question on how to do a particular sewing technique comes up! 

6. May just have found the perfect Christmas gift to make for Momma at To Sew With Love.

7. Jill has listed 10 Reasons to Sew and I totally agree with them all! Especially number 9!

8. Craftstylish has an array of categories! I especially like “Craft”! 

9. At Creating my way to Success there are 10 blogging tips. A must read/apply I’ll do in a bit! She also has instructions for a notebook cover project I want to do for myself. I carry a spiral in my purse for freewriting whenever a character begins sharing a storyline. I get frustrated when digging for a pen, finding the spiral open & other stuff I carry in my purse is caught between the now open pages & that stuff spills out as I grab the spiral. Other writers know exactly what I’m talking about!

and last, but not least…
10. I’m tired of the limitations found at my local (20+ mile away one way) store. Now I’ll make my own doll buttons using polymer clay with the help of Beads and Beading! If I can remember where I put the clay I bought months ago!

Please share some of your discoveries!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quiet on the home front

I’m so thankful/grateful I also have a house in Dallas. It’s been a lifesaver, especially the past couple of weeks and projecting forward to the next month. It’s located next door to my parents ~ the house I grew up in ~ the place my heart calls home. We were extremely lucky when this house became available and bought it immediately.

The first thing we did - installed a gate between the backyard’s dividing fence! It’s worked out wonderfully for all concerned! I can go over there in my robe, without the neighbors spying me! It makes it very convenient for Mother or Daddy to walk over, check on the house, and pick up any mail received while we’re at the country. Sometimes Momma uses it as her art studio when we aren’t here. I love seeing her easel set up with a painting in progress. Her oils and acrylics are positioned on a table in the little den area that once was the third bedroom. (We took out a closet & made a passage way which created a circle in the original floor plan. A Zen thing to do!) The girls love running the course between our two yards ~ chasing squirrels, watching Granny’s back as she tends to her flowers, and also visiting with their Papo.

My Girls

For this trip, I brought my sewing machine and some projects I’d cut out several weeks ago to start, and a few to complete before next week. I have a card table set up in the living room as my sewing table/station. It’s a tight squeeze in the room with just me here. Must change/remove in a few days when everyone else arrives! But for now, sewing helps relieve the stress, accomplishing something, looking toward the future.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sewing Away Stress

After a week away, I'm getting into the swing of things. It's taken a couple of days back at the country for my thoughts to mellow and stomach butterfiles to calm down a bit. I'm not quite there yet as we must clear a few more hurdles here on the home front.

Although my 85 year old daddy's sugery didn't go as planned, he's alive, out of the hospital, and doing better each day. Fortunately, my niece and her son are there, staying with my parents a few more days for eyes-on/hands-on help. My sister is also in the Dallas area. She's been busy cooking, delivering scrumptious food, visiting, and doing everything/anything called upon to do. Appointments begin Monday and I'm so thankful they both are there to get Daddy and Momma to the different doctors. I'll be back to do my share once the home front settles down a bit.

I wasn't able to compose and post anything while in Dallas. My thoughts simply jumbled whenever I made an attempt. I had other priorities weighing in, doing battle within my mind. After taking some time at the sewing machine yesterday, I felt much better.

For me, sewing is the best therapy. Even when matching plaids! Usually I get stressed out merely thinking about matching anything other than the pattern's notches! But not yesterday. I took my time and hand stitched along the back seam. At least it's a little doll's dress so it didn't take that long and should be worth the effort in the long run.

Today's challenge: put in zipper and not screw up the matched plaids!

If you're looking for me, I'm sewing away stress!

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