Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Not Fuzzy Anymore

Have you seen Sew Many Ways blog post today? Karen shared an easy to follow / quick tutorial on "How To Make A Custom Blog Signature...No HTML Codes" that took me about 2 minutes to do! I like my "new" signature much better now, especially the whimsical heart. This is the new one based on Karen's instructions (she has pictures, too):

This is the one I've been using: 
Don't like it cause it's fuzzy - when I finally realized it wasn't my eyes!

Okay, back to the sewing machine. I just wanted to share this great article for other bloggers. You can also have a nice signature on your blog, thanks to Karen's simple steps!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

She's Home!

I am working my way back to the sewing machine. I’m also able to do a bit of handwork again after spending lots of time out on the Keyhole Garden. It wasn’t that I spent hours upon hours each day collecting and stacking (and re-stacking) rock, it’s what I did to my hands while doing it. Then long naps in the afternoons to restore my energy really got me off schedule. With that said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat! That’s what Ibuprofen and naps are for, correct?!?

It felt good doing something physcial and being outside during our cool Texas spring mornings. I’m afraid the coolness won’t last much longer. What’s left to do on the Keyhole is simply (hahahaha) filling it with compostable stuff – readying it for a fall garden. That’s doable and still have hand use and energy left to sew!

Marianne Gotz arrived on Tuesday! She’s adorable!
Her "traveling" clothes - now boxed up in with original packaging
I’m thrilled the outfits I’ve created for Amercian Girl dolls also fit her nicely! They even wear the same size shoes!
Cute bench found at Estate Sale - perfect for photo shoots!
Marianne is getting a special outfit designed especially for her. I have the perfect “Big and Bright” fabric, it’s the actual design I’m still pondering. It will all come together in time!

P. S. In between sewing, what do you do to keep physically active?


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The End is the Beginning - Part 3

As I mentioned in Part 2, the concept behind the Keyhole Gardening method just may be the answer for us! It appears to be working nicely in Africa. Since it gets mighty hot and dry here in Texas from about mid-June through October, this method of gardening is certainly worth a try!

NOTE: I HIGHLY recommend NOT building a Keyhole Garden on a slope, but it was an area once used for tomatoes and definitely needed attention.

May 1, 2012
Silly me, I thought the wall could be / would be constructed in a few days – not! Once I got the hang of what was needed and how to best position the rocks, the construction went relatively quickly.
May 10, 2012
I had to totally re-do several times and this wasn't the last time! Totally started over the next day!
Yet, without my dear husband’s help harvesting rock – truck load after truck load (at least 12 trips: some on his own, some times we went out together), this project would not be finished for at least several more weeks!

Yes - at least 12 hauls like this!
Before and during the process of building the keyhole site, I checked google for more information and got back 3,980,000 results! The most informative article I’ve found is from the Texas Co-Op Power Magazine. Another informative place is Dr. Deb’s website where she has an outstanding .pdf document with step by step instructions. I did a search on Facebook, too! Yes, there is a page for Keyhole Gardens.

Although it’s the end of building the formation, it’s the beginning of actual playing with the insides!
May 17, 2012 - LAST rock - DONE!
Today I begin the process of placing cardboard (will be so happy to get the collection out of my kitchen!) and newspapers and cow poop (must gather some from the pasture – which won’t be a problem after experiencing the collection of rock!) and watering it all as I go.

One more thing we must figure out, how to / what to use as a frame over it to support a shade cloth.

To see additional pictures of our process, I created an album on Lanetta’s Creations Facebook page. As I continue on this journey, pictures will follow!

Will it be ready for a fall garden? Certainly hope so!

P.S. What should I plant for a fall garden? Suggestions welcomed!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Domino Effect - Part 2

If it weren’t for neighbor George, then new friend Gail, I would have a lot more sewing done over the last two weeks! I just couldn’t help myself! However, I’m not complaining. I think I’ve lost a little weight, too! Which all are good things!

Reading Part 1 first may help to make a bit more sense of this article.

As a few of us waited for folks to gather before The Lampasas Mystery Book Club meeting (April 29), I discovered where Gail and her husband, Mark, lives. It was interesting to find out that I’ve waved to them for years when driving along our 19 mile stretch of road into Lampasas – and beyond all points south. If memory serves me correctly, while attending TAMU-Central Texas, I watched as their house was being built, their land cleared, fences constructed, and noticed when goats appeared on the scene. Many times as I headed to Fort Hood (still daylight), I would see them walking along the road. We all would wave (Texas friendly) but I never had the time to stop, introduce myself, and welcome them to the “neighborhood” albeit 7 miles away!

It wasn’t until I saw the notice about the book club meeting, crossed the cattle guard for fun, and got myself into Lampasas that I actually met the folks I’d been watching and waving to for years. I added my email info to their roster and received a group email from Gail that evening. Of course, one of the first things I did - looked her up on Facebook. Yep. There she was. We friended one another. It was then I saw posted to her wall a project she was working on. It caught my eye: a Keyhole Garden.

I didn’t see the article about Keyhole gardening in the Texas Co-Op February’s issue! I gave the magazine straight to Daddy without glancing through it.

I took a good look at our west yard… our pitiful former tomato bed.
I’ve so wanted to have another garden area to grow veggies. The watering issue July-September while gone to Dallas put a stop to wasting our time. But with this technique, the ole light bulb went off! And, it’s all because of Gail! Thank you, Gail, for calling this method to my attention!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How it all started - Part 1

I’ll begin at the beginning! On Saturday, April 28th – my Mother’s Birthday – our neighbor dropped by and brought the local bi-weekly newspaper, along with the daily Radiogram (dated the previous Thursday). George brings the newspaper often, but it was the first time he saved / shared the Radiogram, something I rarely get to see. (It’s not the same reading the online version.) I love reading through its Classified Ads. This particular issue (remember, I was reading Thursday’s on Saturday) under the “Look what’s Happening….” section I read about “The Lampasas Mystery Book Club” that would be meeting on that SUNDAY (Thank you, George for bringing the Radiogram when you did, rather than the following week!). I called the telephone number provided for more info, left message, received call back later that afternoon and spoke to a very nice lady, Gail.

Although I’d not read the April book, I met the group the next day, on Sunday afternoon – another huge plus that they meet in the afternoon rather than at night.

** I’ve had my fill driving dark country roads at night – been there, done that while attending TAMU-Central Texas over on Fort Hood!

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the folks, and listening to the discussion. The May book is Ghost Walk by Heather Graham. When I got home that Sunday, I went to Amazon and bought/downloaded the Kindle edition! I’m half way through it and I better get a move on because the next meeting is May 27. Yes, it is Memorial Weekend! What a great stay-cation – gathering with a group of nice folks!

The group meets the 4th Sunday of each month (even during the SUMMER)! If you’re interested in finding out more information, post a comment or send me an email!

P.S. Are you in a book club?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day - 2012

Me growing up was rough on my mother. Looking back, I know I gave her hell at every turn possible in between sprinkles of joy. She’s a tough woman though and got me through it all without too many scars on either one of us! I don’t know where I would be right now if it weren’t for Momma. I am truly blessed.
The greatest gift she taught me was giving unconditional love for family. She never said it, she always showed it – and still does. Among many life lessons she taught me, one thing sticks out above all others. I can hear her words now as she told me, “It’s the mother who sets the tone for the day.” No matter how she felt, or what troubles she was experiencing, she always started the day with a happy, “Good Morning” and a hug.

When frustrated with me I could bet money she would say, “Just wait until you have children of your own.” I certainly heard this more than a few times!

Well, God said, “No” to me having children. Instead, I was blessed when He brought two nieces and a step-daughter into my life. Although I wasn’t around each and every morning to start the day, I love them all with an unconditional love.

Thank you, Momma, for everything you’ve done and continue to do for me.
Thank you, Sister, for sharing your girls with me throughout their life.
Thank you, Bud, for bringing Amy into my life.

Thank you, Sweet Jesus, for your unconditional love
and the peace it brings to me knowing I’ll someday know the reason for “No”.

Something else on the website where I found this picture is exactly how I feel and want to pass along:

To all the women out there who have ever:
 Read a book, tied a shoe, mended a boo-boo, wiped a nose, dried tears, gave hugs, taught lessons, passed on a tradition, allowed a mistake, picked up the pieces, stood on the sidelines, pushed us ahead, and generally been there for us – be it grandmother, aunt, mother, sister, mentor, co-worker, pastor, cousin, or simply a friend…
 We say happy Mother’s Day to you all!! We couldn’t do it without you. Thanks Mom!!

Hope you have a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Tips

During the wee morning hours, I seize the quiet time and read articles, always wanting to learn new techniques. I found some amazing tips today and had to share. Feel free to pin this article so you can find them easily whenever needed! (If you need an invite to Pinterest, leave your email address in the comments below, or send it to me privately, and I’ll send out the invite.)

I’ve not yet tried making my own bias tape because I didn’t feel I had the correct “tools” necessary. At The Scientific Seamstress Blog site, Carla created and shared a template for us to print out. It looks like it will work perfectly! Will do this soon!  

The (EPIC) scallop” tutorial takes a bit of time to load up, but well worth the wait. I’m such a visual learner and appreciate the detailed photos of each step Hetterson provides!

Someday I will embellish something – an apron, a sweet doll dress, an e-Reader cover, or something – using the silk ribbon embroidery technique. Carla at The Scientific Seamstress Blog again offers visual and written instructions for simple little romantic roses and leaves.

Well, “the sun’s spit morning” (one of my favorite movie quotes from The Owl and the Pussycat, 1970 – and yes, that shows my age!) and I need to get busy sewing! A new product line is coming soon at Lanetta’s Creations!

Happy Sewing!

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