Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pillowcase Sun Dresses - Instructions

Here are the instructions for the cutest sundresses for your little ones this summer - even more perfect today with all the heat in the Northeast. Thank you Marguerite!!

PILLOWCASE SUN DRESS1 by Marguerite Corbello


1. A washed and pressed pillowcase. (I bought mine at a thrift store.)
2. 12-14 inches of 1/2-inch elastic for the neck edge. (I used 12" for a size 2T)
3. Double fold bias tape to match pillowcase. (I like the wide bias tape but have used both sizes.)
4. Matching thread and trims to coordinate. (You need trims if your pillowcase is plain.)


The following measurements will help you get the right size for your little girl. This is the length of the dress. Measure from the hemmed edge of the pillowcase up to the top and mark across from side-to-side.

6 months 15 "
12 months 17 "
18 months 18"
2T 19"
3T 20"
4T 21"


Cut the pillowcase at the marks. I used a rotary cutter and cut through both layers of the pillowcase. This cut edge will be the top of the dress. Leave the hemmed end alone. You can add trims at the hem at any time during the process.

Cut out an armhole on each side according to the following directions. Fold the pillowcase in half and cut once so that they are exactly the same size.

For sizes 2T and below, cut 1.5" in and 3" down.
For sizes 3T and 4T, cut 2" in and 4" down.

Cut the 1/2" elastic into two pieces.
Cut two 26" pieces of bias tape.


Fold the top two edges of the pillowcase 1/4 inch to the inside and press. Then fold down another 3/4" to the inside and press. This is the casing for the elastic.


Using about 10 stitches per inch, stitch down the casing on both top edges. Attach a safety pin or a bodkin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the casing. Stitch across the open ends of the casing, being sure to catch the elastic in the seam to keep the elastic from coming out.

Notice that the bias tape is folded so that one side is wider than the other. Be sure that the narrow side is always on top. This ensures that both edges are caught when you stitch.

Fold the 26" length of bias tape in half and mark at the fold. Unfold it and place the mark at the seam of the armhole. Slip the edge of the armhole into the fold of the bias tape and pin in place all the way around. Stitch around the armhole and the entire length of the bias tape. Repeat for the other armhole. Tie a knot in the end of the bias tape.

The ties make the dress adjustable. That's it! You're done! I read on a website that done is better than perfect! I agree.


Good News

Just heard from the doctor that there was no cancer in what she removed from my vocal cords on Tuesday. Bad news is that its not so much that I shouldn't talk is that I really can't talk with any volume yet. Very frustrating!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Red Velvet Cake Kit Club

I mentioned a while back that I found a blog called the Red Velvet Cake Kit Club. I was intrigued so I ordered the most recent kit. What a lot of goodies I got in the mail today. I made the apron up this afternoon between rounds with Alex the dog trying to steal various things from the sewing room... including cedar blocks (now tooth picks), bead tubes (now just beads) and fabric scraps (still scraps, just wet). In the package came some beautiful fabrics, blue felt, 6 sheets of scrap book type card stock from 7 Gypsies, a Bazzill mini photo album, DMC floss, black rick rack and some number rubber stamps from Bam Pop. Here is what I have done so far:
I made the apron which has three pockets, each big enough to use for stashing a ball of yarn when knitting. I added to it a felt scissors holder and tied the scissors on it with the floss made into a twisted cord. The album came in basic black and I have added some of the papers to it plus some red raffia I had hanging around. The rest of the papers are shown in the lower right and the photo does not due them justice. Fun for the feeble minded... maybe. A sense of satisfaction after a very frustrating day with almost no voice and an active dog... definitely!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sleepy Time

After awakening at 4:30 AM this morning to ensure I had time to feed and walk the dogs and do a breathing treatment before surgery on my vocal cords, I finally made it back home by about 11:00 AM. As far as I know, everything went well and the things on each vocal cord were removed. Unfortunately when the doctor told Paul about what she found he was semi-awake but he remembers that the larger spot was like a callus while the other was something different. I asked him to have them fax what she told him to me but I just looked at the fax machine but I see nothing in it so maybe he misunderstood or they won't send it. Biopsy results will not be available until Thursday or Friday. The only side affects seem to be that I am very sleepy and my throat and mouth are very, very, very, dry. I am going to try to eat some milk and cereal, if I don't fall back to sleep before its ready :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Rainy Days

This is the third day in a row when the chance of rain is well over 50%. Here that means you are in for many, many hours of thunderstroms that flood yards, roads and, sometime, homes plus very muddy puppies. As an example, about 45 minutes ago the dogs and I went for a long walk with partly cloudy skies and dry streets. It is now pouring again with only a few rumbles of thunder and we are now stuck at home until it clears again. Oh, I forgot to mention, that when we gets rains like this your windshield wipers cannot keep your view clear so it becomes very unsafe to drive in these downpours. What's a girl to do?

In between naps with the puppies and sporadic attempts to keep up with the muddy paw prints, I have been working on embellishing a tea towel for a swap with 19 other folk. My original concept was to stencil one. That quickly morphed into stenciling and the addition of bright trims and baubles. That idea moved into making a German roller towel with a linen ground and Schwalm embroidery. Then I remembered how much fun it was to do Swedish Weaving on Huck toweling. That idea stuck for a few moments so I went JoAnn's to see if I could find some Huck toweling. They did have Huck towels but there was an Aida panel woven into the toweling for embroidery. Here is what I did with it:

Using an acid green DMC embroidery floss I did a Blackwork diaper pattern in the Aida portion of the towel. The challenge with Blackwork is to complete it so that the front looks just as good as the back of the piece so that it is fully reversable. I wasn't as perfect as I would have liked to have been but it must be pretty good as, at one point, I had a hard time figuring out which side was the working side. And, if the threads fray and untangle a little, then it can look well loved and used is my partner's kitchen. The lower potion of the towel is done in a Swedish weaving pattern I adapted from a web site. Huck embroidery is normally done in multiple colors but I loved the acid green so much I did it in one color. It extends to both side borders. I hope my swap partner enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it. This towel project really illustrates why I like doing swaps. I would never have embroidered a towel with this much time invested in it unless pushed by the need to get it done for someone else. Although the swap rules only ask for one tea towel I will probably add some Bigelow teas that I enjoy like Constant Comment or Earl Grey or both.

Lest you think all of us n the rain belt are depressed by the rains, here are two advantages. My Brazilian Roses are in full bloom and

the Angel's trumpet Tree is also begining to bloom. Both of these plants love the rain.

Tomorrow morning its off early to have my vocal cords fixed. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Since coming here, Alex has been having fun playing with the toys I had for Lady Jane and the girls. In general, the toys were from McDonalds (mini beanie babies), the March of Dimes (full size beanie babies) and Kohl's department store. Neither Jane nor the girls had ever destroyed any of the toys from these sources, though they sometimes got pretty dirty. Alex has decided to make it his mission to, not only play with them, but to beat them into submission. As the photo below illustrates, there is a definate progression in the submission process. First he removes the clothes, and the nose, in the case of the white March of Dimes beanie baby. Next he removes the eyes as in the case of the Kohl's elephant and bunny. As a last step, he then removes their brains (stuffing) as in the case of the McDonalds duck and Kohl's mama sheep. Its kind of creepy to find them so disfigured when I try to tidy up after him. Maybe this is the difference between boy and girl dogs. Girls think about playing tomorrow, boys just go for the thrill of the kill today.

Other happenings on a very wet and rainy Saturday:

Between thunderstorms, I ran out to Target to see if I could find some nice pre-made tea towels to embellish for a swap I am doing. Didn't find tea towels that I loved but I had a sepctacular time in the Target spot area, at the front of the store, where everything is $1.00. They had garden kneelers (can also be heated and pressed into various surfaces to make your own, unique rubber stamps), card making kits with great black, red and white embellisments, a wonderful 36" plus double sided ribbon D-ring belt also black, white and red (great for purse handles) and a sack of eight dead tennis balls for doggy play. I also bought, not for a dollar, a seersucker sundress from the Isaac Mizrathi line. I hope it works well for me because I love seersucker.

I think Alex has learned that biting is not a good thing. He's still so young that he really has little self control. The other night he and the girls were playing their dominance games on me while I was trying to take a nap. The little blankety blank actually bit my butt - ouch! he didn't break the skin but it stung. Because of this I have decided that I needed to start some serious training. Both yesterday and today when he seemed to be getting out of control with the biting I would firmly say no and try to keep his jaw closed. If he persisted, I would then say 'Alex, do you want to go to bed?". If he still wasn't listening, I then picked him and put him to bed in the master bathroom. We have now done this 15 times for varying periods of time from 10 minutes to an hour. Just moments ago he was getting out of control and I asked "Alex, do you want to go to bed?" and miracles of miracles he stopped biting me. I think a couple of more corrections will be needed but I think we have made a breakthrough.

I hope Sunday will be this quiet.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Free People Travel Swap

I completed my project for the Free People Travel Swap today. The good news is that I had to purchase very little, the bad news is that I had to purchase very little. I was able to use stash fabrics however, in the process of using them, I ended up with a whole bunch of scraps that I will need to recycle. I have a feeling that I could just keep going and going like the energizer bunny as, it seemed, that I would complete one item with even more ideas for another item for the swap.

Here are two photos of the contents that I packed up today.

I Iinterpreted the Travel theme a little differently than others in the swap. I believe that even a trip to the market can be an adventure. Your fancy clutch could hold a passport and travel documents but it can also hold your grocery coupons. Having a map of Alaska in the carrier could mean you are trying to get from point A to point B on a road that is only seasonally available or it could mean that its a dream destination. The whole package contains a carrier for your car, a clutch, a notebook, a sewing kit, a magic card case and some maps of far away places. Items good for running errands or taking a plane to the other side of the world.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Disgusting Behavior

I thought I had seen every disgusting thing a dog could do but Alex takes the cake. As part of the dominance dances that have been going on around here between Alex and the girls, there has been lots of growling, butt sniffing, neck biting and belly exposing. BUT today Alex took it to a whole new level... in the midst of a lot butt sniffing and ear licking he cleaned up the girls butts with a few licks! No wonder I don't want him or them licking my face.

Other news - went to see the ENT doctor today for my pre-op review. I will not be able to drive for 24 hours, talk at all for three days and limit my talking for another two weeks after the surgery. Yuck! So please don't call me and ask me how I am as I will not be answering the phone for at least three days ...A whole new experience for me :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Try this....

I was directed to this as a compulsive time waster site - enjoy!

Pillowcase Sundress

I went to the Spring Branch neighborhoood group today, a new group that just formed here in Houston. I had received an e-mail from a friend asking me to attend as she was putting on the program - 'How to make a little girl's sundress from a pillow case'. It sounded interesting so I grabbed a salad and went. What a fun project... made me want to have little girls in the family (just not yet).

Basically you measure up from the hem to a point just below the neck of the girl or use the chart we were given for different sizes and cut and the closed end of the pillowcase. Cut out arm holes. Make a casing in the neck and insert elastic into each casing (one front, one back) and secure the ends. Bind the armholes from one casing to the next using extra long bias tape which becomes the shoulder ties. Just adorable results in less than an hour. The pillowcases she used were from a local thrift store and had wonderful embroidery, ruffles and other embellishments on them. My friend also added several pieces of stash trim to them.

If I get pictures and the full instructions I will post them. One suggestion was that they could also be used by teens as tunics - a popular look these days. If the pillowcases you have are not wide enough at the hip they can be made shorter or with slits part way up the sides to give some extra room. Our neighborhood group is considering making them for the holiday bazaar run by the church we use for our meetings.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cruising the Internet

For pure mindless activity while being pinned to the couch by a sleeping puppy, I surf the internet by hitting the 'next blog' button at the top of each blogspot blog. This evening I have found myself entranced by three very different blogs that I found.

One is by a guy who is part of a team from Great Britain working at Halley station in Antarctica. I read most of his entries from his being notified that he was part of the team last June, to yesterday when he went into the tunnels beneath the station to check on the utilities. The 100 day night has started and he wonders if he will make it in tact. The pictures are terrific and I believe I now have a greater appreciation for those doing science in such a harsh climate. Here is the link:

Another site that held my attention was by a woman who had been raped and was using her blog to work through her feelings about the rape, men, sex and other related topics. Her most recent post was on a video that had been made of about twenty men killing a woman from their family due to her being seen with a man from a different sect. The fact that some of the men filmed the killing more as documentation rather than in outrage is particularly offensive. I almost regret that I did not save the address as the blogger was incredibly articulate however I don't know if I want to go back as my stomach is still roiling at the thought of someone recording and posting such offensive activity.

The third posting that caught my attention this evening was for a group that creates and sells craft kits each month - one for paper based crafts and another for fabric based crafts. Completely frivolous and I certanly don't need another kit but the shown kits for May looked like fun and a good distraction when I don't want to work on that blankety blank quilt I started two years ago and still haven't finished. Here is the link:

So this evening I have been educated, had my consciousness raised and indulged my crafty side. Now if I could only get this puppy off me so I can go to the bathroom without an audience life would be closer to perfect than it has for the past few days of sneezing and coughing.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

37 Days and counting

Today makes it 37 days until I retire from JPMorgan Chase. As this is Sunday evening, I am accustomed to thinking about my meetings and/or travel for the next week, what needs to followed up on Monday from last week, what deadlines are coming this week and if I have enough clean clothes to make it through the week. Today I looked at my calendar on my PDA and it is clear of work related meetings, travel, assignments, follow-ups and deadlines. I don't even care if I have enough clean clothing for the week as I can always slip a load into my empty calendar.

When I got my notice back in April, that my job was being eliminated if I didn't move to Columbus Ohio, I was was told that for the next 4 weeks I was to consider myself fully employed and looking for another position. The next 4 weeks were to be considered, 'at home' time where I could continue to look for a job and I would be on call if needed without any day-to-day responsibilities. I will begin that second 4 week period at close of buiness this Friday. My UK colleagues call this period 'special garden time'. I like that phrase and I intend to follow that directive by spending my last 4 weeks attemping to get my garden into better shape. Special garden time... here I come!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Sharing

Actually this was not a Saturday of sharing, it was a Saturday of sleeping. I think I have slept or napped 15 of the past 24 hours. I feel a heck of a lot better but I am in a bit of a daze. Probably too much sleep.

Alex has had a very active day. Whle I was in the shower he found a partially full soda can and proceeded to wrestle it into submission after dumping the contents on my sheets, two quilts, 4 pillows, a table cloth and the carpet in the bedroom. His punishment was to spend an hour alone outside in the backyard. Sort of a version of sending a child to his room with the TV, Nintendo and al the other modern conveniences. Fortunately it was sugar free soda but it was a cola product so I am sure some stains will remain after all the washing is done. I had not intended to spend today doing laundry but when I wasn't sleeping I was washing and dryng a lot of stuff. Maybe I'll have time tonight to actually re-make the bed before I go back to sleep again. :-)

Friday, May 18, 2007

May Sampler

I have a horrible cold and, when combined with three very active dander ridden dogs, I am not feeling the best. As you can imagine, getting something in the mail, besides bills and advertising flyers, is a nice surprise. Yesterday I got my monthly mailing from the Home of the Sampler. Essentially, on a monthly basis, the home of the sampler, mails to subscribers a whole bunch of things from indie crafters. Its part advertising for the crafters and part a package of goodies for the subcribers. In this sampler I received several greeting cards including one, very elegant , with the greeting Douche Bag, on the front. In addition there was a simple necklace of stones on a black string, a couple of magnets, several neat buttons, a music CD, a luggage tag, a very cute octopus applique and a whole bunch of special offers. I originally started getting these to look for program ideas for the ASG neighborhood groups but I have kept subscribing because it is fun. Check out the site at this link

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fabric Leftovers by D'Arcy-Jean Milne

Buy this book. It is not so much that the author is presenting anything new it is just that she brings so many things together that I had not associated with each other previously. Essentilly this book is about taking scraps of fabric and thread and combining them in new and different ways. Those of us who quilt understand the concept of cutting up fabric to be recombined into a new piece of fabric. This book takes it a step further. D'Arcy Jean uses those pieces I have thrown out in the past to create magnificent new objects. I have used her inspiration on coffee cup and soda can cosies, laptop cases and a camera case with, I think, excellent results. Here is an example of a camera case I made the other day from stuff I had already thrown into the garbage after making a laptop case for my son's girlfriend. The picture's a little dark but I think you can see enough of it to distinguish the two Amy Butler fabrics I used for the laptop case. In the spirit of raw edges, the buttonhole was made by satin stititching four lines to make a rectangle and then cutting a slit between them for the button. I did cheat a little by fusing the scraps to batting before I started sewing down the scraps. Wait until you see my own laptop case... but that's for another day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Another Swap

I just got my partner's name for the Free People Travel Swap. Its a pretty loose swap ... create something with a Travel theme for your partner. I have until the first week of June to create and send something to my partner. I have two ideas .... one is to make several travel bags for packing stuff like shoes and toiletries, a matching garment bag, and a tote bag or the other idea is to create a bag for carrying all the stuff that we tend to collect in our cars like Kleenex boxes, note pads, maps, pens, floss etc. I'm currently leaning to the second idea as I have a great pattern for one and my own has been a great additon to my life. Its the primary reason why I can carry, at the most, a small clutch and string bag when shopping because everything else I might need is in my car bag.

I am enjoying the free form swaps I have found on various blogs and web sites. There is a web site that is made up solely of swaps called Swapbot but it is a little intimidating as there is a ratings system where the receivers rate what they received from their partners.'No sends' are compiled as well. The people who organize these swaps all sound like marine drill sargents and usually require that you get vetted by them before joining a swap. Too much stress for me.

Now all I need to do is go through my stash for fabric ... vintage florals or modern graphics. Neither are my personal favorites but I seem to have tons of both. Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I always get a little maudlin on Mother's Day. Not that I do not have the most perfect child ( and I do) but that it was a completly arbitrary decision that added him to my life. My husband (now ex-husband) and I had applied to adopt a child from South Korea. When our name came up on the list there were four children to be placed - a set of four year old twin boys, a nine month old girl and a six year-old boy. The six year old, who later proved to be eight years old, liked arithmetic and was performing spectacularly at the orphanage by adding three digit numbers. I worked at a bank and the social worker thought it would be a good mix - mathemetician and banker - its all numbers right?

We did have our adjustment problems and on one memorable occasion he decided to walk back to South Korea. Some how I convinced him that we were stuck with each other and we would just have to work harder to figure out this mother/son business. He agreed to try and I promised that I would always give him a reason for my decisions even if he thought it wasn't fair. He tried very hard and I became very creative so I wouldn't have to say 'because I said so'.

I can't take much credit for how Paul turned into the incredible man he is today as his basic character was formed well before we met. I know I have benefitted immensely from our relationship and I believe we will continue to grow together as the years go on. So here's to you, Paul , but for you I would be spending Mother's Day remembering my mother rather than enjoying your company.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Sharing

Today was the monthly meeting of the Downtown neighborhood group of the Houston ASG chapter. We made hats based on a buckram halo hat form. I managed to complete the basic halo and am now working out the beading and netting part of the hat. When I have it completed I will definitely post it here. Even though I may not wear hats all that frequently (due to my fat head), this project was fun and we all became little girls playing dress-up as we put them together.
I shared some of my adventures in felting. From the Hancock fabric store that is closing near my home, I purchased two balls of Lion Brand Fettuccini yarn. It was like strips of felted wool made into a heavy ribbon. I crocheted it up into a wonky clutch purse and then felted it twice in the washing machine. This is how it came out:

One of the group suggested running yarn or cord through the holes in the felt left after the felting process. Definitily something to try.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Alex it is

Lance is now Alex and he almost always answers to it. My creativity since he arrived has been limited to trying to find the right way to train him not to eat everything on the floor (including shoes, inhalers, fabric, bowls, furniture etc.), not to dash out the door (so the garbage men don't have to stop their truck to catch him) and not to sleep on top of me all night long (he is very hot blooded). I have been successful in getting him to respond to treat, food and no; working on sit, walk and don't tug. Maybe I'll actually make something this weekend .... not related to dogs but I did see some adorable collar covers at a garage sale this morning. hmmm.....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

There must be something wrong with me

There must be something wrong with me that the prospect of cancer doesn’t seem to bother me. Maybe a little history would help…..

I have had Laryngitis, on and off, since mid-February and finally saw my personal doctor a few weeks ago. She couldn’t see anything wrong so I went to an ENT. Sally Shu, the ENT, let me know that I had a huge fungus in my mouth and throat. In addition, after putting a scope through my nose to see my vocal chords, that there were two spots, one on each vocal chord that ‘did not look good’.

Today I went back to see Sally for a follow-up. After two weeks on an anti-fungal and Nexium, the fungus seems to be cleared up and one of the spots was noticeably smaller however, the other spot had not changed at all so now we need to go to the next step…. a biopsy.

She mentioned that they would be looking for cancer. She explained that if it was cancer I would be getting radiation treatments for six weeks and that these treatments would clear it up. I wouldn’t lose my voice box and all should be well.

None of this seems to dismay me. Is it because there are new treatments all the time? Is it because I feel I can control my treatment and refuse it if I would like? Is it because cancer does not hold fear for me? I don’t know but I feel like it’s a character flaw.

While I figure it out, please think good thoughts, especially on the 29th when I go for the biopsy

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What's in a Name?

Lance is a name that implies strength, speed, accuracy and precision - none of which describe the dog I have curled up, glued to my hip on the couch this evening. He still prefers the very girly decorative pillows from my bed to his manly black and white doggy bed. He cries when the reel lawn mower goes over the ratty old rubber ball that's been in the yard for almost six years. He politly wait for everyone to finish eating before seeing if there is any food left in the other food bowls. He gets very anxious when the Dyson commercial with the squeaky vaccuum cleaners comes on TV. Some how Lance just doesn't do it for me. So I am changing his name - to what I am not sure yet but Alex has been working but so has Dodo, Buddy and Butch. I'm leaning towards Alex .... as long as a friend of mine does not mind him being named the same as her her grandson. :-)

Here are a couple of pictures: sleepy puppy to the left and wide awake puppy on the right. Pretty cute don't you think?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Long Night

I can't believe how long a night can be when you have a new dog in the house. I tried to put everyone to bed in the master bathroom at about 10:00 PM. The girls know the routine and went rgiht to their bed and quilt. I made up a bed for Lance in the vanity cut out and put one of his toys in it. He was having none of it and once I closed the door we started to whine and yip and generally carry on for about an hour and a half. I finally let them all out and they came onto the couch to watch the end of Waking the Dead with me. I then tried the bed routine again... no luck. I finally let the girls sleep on my bed and tried to get Lance to join them. He would have none of it. He barked every time the air conditioning came on for about 10 minutes each time. He decided the foot stool at the end of the bed was an okay place to sleep and finally settled down at about 1:00 AM. I finally fell asleep and woke at 2:30 AM to go to the bathroom. I found him sleeping on the decorative pillows from the bed. Of course, my going to the bathroom was a big hit and it took another 15 minutes for him to settle again.

He appears to be used to relatively rough play and the girls are not. There has been some growling and fleeing going on. He also does not seem to be used to free access to the outdoors and while the girls will spend many hours outside during the day, he seems more used to indoor play. Every time I put him out he is back in a few minutes. He doesn't even chase the squirrels. Its early yet so things might change. He is feeling more comfortable in his explorations and he knows that I mean it when I say no. I hope everyone sleeps well tonight or I will be very, very grumpy tomorrow.

Monday, May 7, 2007

He's Home!

This evening Lance the wonder dog moved in with me.

He has spent most of his time sniffing everything. He seems happy to use the doggy door to come in but the only time he tried it going out his 'equipment' got hit by the threshold. Thank heaven he is already fixed! My son's dogs are still here and are pretty confused by him. He doesn't chase the squirrels like they do but he does bark at everyone passing on the street outside. I think it will take a couple of days for everyone to figure out the pecking order. BTW, the collar is reflective which makes it hard to get a picture of him with the flash camera. I'll try again tomorrow. Its going to be a long night.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Moving on

Lady Jane Grey Anjo died March 31, 2007 after a brief illness and seven years of much love and affection as well as many health problems like heart worms, a broken leg, seizures and pancriatitis. She was the most lovable and loving Italian Greyhound I have ever met. Yes, she quivered a lot, but that was her reaction to chill air and new situations, and she was never completely potty trained but we meshed and accepted each others' quirks. I miss her every day.

Jane was rescued from a college student who had two other IGs. He never gave her heart worm pills hence the heart worm treatments she had to have when she came to me. He never potty trained her or let her cuddle under the covers or take her for a walk on a leash. When she came to me I took her to the local vet and he said that I should take her back to where I got her as she was going to be an expensive gimme dog. I brought her home and wondered what to do when my son came home from his job on his lunch hour to see her. After laughng at her way of slinking around on an inspection tour I told him what the vet said. He looked at me with a stricken look and said I couldn't take her back as I was in the business of rescuing. I didn't get the reference until I understood that he was essentially a rescue from South Korea at the age of six (though I think he really rescued me) and that our last dog was one day from being put to sleep at the ASPCA when we got her.

Now I am put in the situation of being a rescuer again. A beautiful male Daschund has become avaiable locally. His name is Lance which is so descriptive of his quick rocket-like running. He was found as a stray with a harness that was so tight that it cut into his skin. He has been in a kennel for about three months and with a foster family for the past month. He's all red and a complete devil. He came for a meet and greet yesterday. In the length of about 30 minutes he made it past the barrier to the second floor, found and hid about four bones and got into my knitting. My son's dogs that I have been baby-sitting (see previous post for a picture of them) did a lot of sniffing and tail wagging so I think it will work out.

Although I am still grieving from Jane, I think Lance needs a real home and I hope it all works out. I think I'm going to be pretty busy over the next few days making sure he understands how to use the doggie door and which things are not toys. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Stronger Than Dirt

There is nothing stronger than dirt. As of right now my area has seen 3.11 inches of rain in May and it's only the 5th! What's a girl to do when the yard is damp or muddy all the time and there are two frisky girl daschunds who have to go out no matter how much I want them to use the old newspapers. These two go out all the time, even when its raining, to chase squirrels and dig holes, not just to do their business. Then they come in to see what I am doing, which is laundry today, and proceed to jump all over everything. I think I washed the same t-shirt at least three times today and it is still grungy.

Observe the culprits storing energy for more fun and games.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Lessons Learned by a Mother

These are not original to me but are from the Stitchin Heaven newsletter called Hot Flashes. Their website is If you are interested in quilting this is one of the best on-line stores. Now on to the list.

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2,000 sq. foot house four inches deep.
2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with rollerblades, they can ignite.
3. A 3-year-old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a superman cape. It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20X20 foot room.
5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
6. The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "Uh-oh", it's already too late.
8. Certain Lego's will pass right through the digestive tract of a four-year-old.
9. Super glue is forever.
10. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
11. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
12. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.
13. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.
14. A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock, even though a 36-year-old man says they only do it in the movies. A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.
15. The fire department in Austin has a 5 minute response time

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Summer Craft Swap

The Crafty Daisies organized a summer craft swap wth approximatly 90 participants. The rules were simple - fill a flat rate USPS box with crafty summer items within 3 - 4 weeks for your swap partner. The participants needed to include at least one thing that they created. I received my box from Pasha Plum in Arizona. Check it out - fabric, japanese candy, note cards, pincushion, papers, ribbons, knitting wool, threads, notebooks, and the list goes on. Two things you should note are the origami lips made by Pasha's daughter (on top of the pincushion) and this recipe for Frankfurter Tiara Bake (from a custom made cook book). I am so lucky!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Miser Scarf

The Miser Scarf is something I made up when I went into my yarn stash last Thursday looking for something to do.
At the top of the pile was one spool of ribbon yarn. I thought it would be fun to make an updated miser purse. A miser purse looks like a binary star system with an pouch at each end joined by a tube. The tube was slit at each pouch so that the user could insert coins into the pouches. They came with rings that snuggled down on each pouch to keep the coins from falling out. To retrieve the coins you would need to move the ring up onto the joining tube then dig your fingers into the pouch to get the money. It was called a miser purse as it was tough to retrieve the coins as you could only get one coin out at a time. My updated miser purse is actually a long scarf with a pouch at each end. The rings were added on the top of each pouch and attached with a ribbon. The rings close and open an opening at the top of each pouch where the pouches flatten out in the scarf. Perfect for a night out to carry coins, cab fare and ID.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

56 Days to Retirement

Yup.... 56 days until I leave JP Morgan Chase. After 27 years of service, 2 moves, 14 mergers and countless ups and downs I am finally taking a severance package and leaving. I feel conflicted about it but I really need some time off. My health sucks rght now and I need some time to concentrate on me. I also have a zillion projects to either complete or even to get started. My 'studio ' has become a dumping ground of unfullfilled dreams. Like the burmese silk I bought last year at the quilt festival for a summer outfit or the wool blend I bought three years ago for a jacket all sit in a pile with half completed quilts, orphan pattern pieces, wool bits for felting and an extra sewing maching or three. My first task is to get the bits and pieces organized then to complete the UFO's all intspersed with time sensitive projects like getting ready to teach at a local high school and several American Sewing Guild neighborhood groups.

I will take the summer off to work on me and my stuff then I will go job hunting as I cannot live on my savings or the severance package forever... besides I think by then I will be going nuts. Apparently there are bets out there on whether I will last more than a week ;-)