Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
If you have ever had trouble focusing at the sewing machine or been a little stressed while quilting --this may be just the help you need.
Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.
Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing.
When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If, you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy sewing as you should.
From a Singer Sewing Manual, 1949
This is a hoot! But what the heck's French Chalk and why would you put it on your fingers?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Over time I have narrowed my focus on the kinds of games I enjoy. I do not like the 'shoot'em up' games or those that require a lot of manual dexterity. I do like the puzzle type games where you either have to solve a puzzle to advance to the next level of play or those based on shapes or numbers. The virtual Dog training game that came with the DS was a real bust as I do not the patience to wait around for time to pass before I can walk the dog or feed it.
My most recent obsession has been the Sudoku Girdmaster game for the DS. I started working on this late last year and started getting obsessed when I realized I could actually solve some of the harder puzzles without breaking a sweat. I've played it in bed when I couldn't sleep, in the doctor's waiting room, in the bath, in the car at the drive-up teller and in restaurants while eating. I finally threw in the towel yesterday with only 3 of the 300 Suduko grids in the game incomplete. The game proudly told me that I had spent 191 hours solving the puzzles but that did not count the numerous times I had to retry various grids like the 10 plus times I tried the hard level grid number 118 without a final answer. I now find that it is almost impossible for me to solve a paper based grid as I am always looking for my stylus to record guesses in the empty spaces.
I don't think I have ever spent as much time on a single activity in my life. I know that if my mother was still alive she would snort in disgust at my Sudoko playing. My excuse is that I am an obsessive type person. From quilting to stash busting, I easily get obsessed with a particular activity to the exclusion of all others. And besides, don't all the geriatric experts claim that as we age our brains need puzzles and such to keep our brains healthy?
I guess my brain is 191 hours healthier than if I spent that time cooking or cleaning. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The project for this month was a pintucked table runner. I decided to make one for a table that I keep dumping things on. I figured if I made the table runner out of a fancy fabric I would be restrained in dumping things on it. I chose a lovely peachy dupioni silk. About half way through I realized that this fabic was not fancy enough. I went into my stash of completed embroideries and found, what I think is, the perfect complement to the silk. I added the embroidery, some simple borders and backing and voila! I am now thinking that it may be too pretty to sit on a table and I may make it into a wall hanging. For now, it will stay on the table top until I get my next inspiration.
Here is Alex giving his sniff of approval:
Note to self: Always smell sale fabric before purchasing it. This fabric was purchased from Leandro Fabrics when we had their fabrics here for the ASG Houston annual meeting last year. It was on sale in a sealed plastic bag. When I started cutting up the fabric the most horrid smell began to waft through the room. The whole piece (four yards of it!) smells of mold and mildew! Since I wanted the silk to stay crisp I waited until I was finished then sprayed it liberally wth anti-smell stuff. So next time, smell before I buy!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Over the past year I have dropped about 20 pounds (eat less, move more) and all of my pants have been hanging off me . It had gotten so bad that I did not have to un-button or un-zip my jeans when taking them off at night. A couple of months ago I purchased a couple of pairs of jeans that were a size 16. I thought they were a good fit (especially after a couple of hot water washes) until I realized that I had to wear a belt pulled tightly to keep them on during the day. This is totally unacceptable so the other day I went and purchased a couple of size 14 jeans.
Yahoo! They fit my hips BUT they are still falling off. Why you may ask are these teeny tiny jeans falling off my husky body? THEY HAVE NO WAIST! They are the newish lower rise style and the waist band is about 2 - 3 inches below my natural waist. Where before I depended on my hips to hold up my pants with a smaller waistband, the new style have a waist band the same size as my hips. I think I going to have ask an expert (read someone much younger) on how I can keep my jeans up.
I don't think my body is ready for this newer style womens jeans. Summer's almost here when jeans wearing will be verboten. I wonder if I will have the same trouble with shorts?
Friday, March 14, 2008
- Even if you read and follow the instructions you can have less than optimum results.
- Pre-washed linen is very, very soft and does not want to make crisp pintucks.
- Starch/sizing are good things when trying precision sewing.
- Cheap pintuck feet for your sewing machine are cheap for a reason.
So that I don't feel like a total nincompoop, here is a teaser for the Bag Ladies wristlet swap. I actually finished the wristlet this evening using a lot of materials that I had on hand. My inspiration came from an Old Navy sale rack. The final product combined Cordura Nylon, Dupioni Silk and some embroidery I completed many years ago. I will try to mail it off tomorrow. I hope my partner loves it as much as I do.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
My boy seems to be over whatever was causing his intestinal distress. The girls did not seem to mind his stinkiness but it forced me out of my bedroom the other night. He is back to thinking he is the leader of ths pack and trying to eat everything in sight. Next time I will know to give him Pepcid, very tiny meals and not to worry as much. Maybe if I started earlier he may not have gotten so bunged up.
The last post has occured on one of the most facinating blogs out there. He should be home by now and I will miss his regular updates on what it is like winterng over in the Antarctic. His penquin photos will also be sorely missed. I doubt I will run across another like it in my random hitting of the next blog button but will continue to try.
Finny and Donk's Sewing Adventure
The next project is the pintucked pillow. I am looking forward to this project because I think it requires straight line sewing for the right effect and I am not known for my long straight sewing. Since I haven't used a twin needle in quite a while or my pin-tuck foot ever, this should be quite an adventure.
I am only in one swap right now and that is for a wristlet bag through the Bag Ladies Flickr group. I have seen many versions of wristlets (small handbag that can hang off your wrist) and I am looking forward to making one up that suits my partner. With the amount of great stash fabrics and embroideries I have here I am sure I can come up with something.
I have previously written about the challenge one of the neighborhood groups I belong to is posing this year. The elements to be incorporated into my piece are inspiration from the Sergeant York movie, the color to be dusty rose and the stitch to be a highlighted is a satin step stitch. I napped through their meeting the other day and as a penance I started on my project. The fabric I am using is a rose, green and beige cotton plaid that is embroidered with flowers and stitched all over with elastic thread. My concept (a la Carol Watson's guerilla style garment making ideas) is to pleat the fabric at the waist, so only one of two colors of the plaid show, and then to make it all into a dress. I am not sure if it will be a successful garment but I am having fun stitching the pleats. The color and stitch are right on target, the link to Sergeant York is a little tenuous but I am sure I can come up with a plausible story.
After many tries I now have a background to the blog header (silk from Carol Lane Saber Workshop) and have cleaned up the sidebar. I really must keep my house cleaning more regular or this blog will get even messier.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Right now he's sleeping the sleep of the dead and dropping little smell bombs with incredible regularity. I hope that medicine works soon or at least before my sense of smell is permenantly ruined.
Wish us luck!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
About a half hour after the polls close and the official election folk have locked up the results then the caucus can occur. We didn't even get into the building until about 9:00 pm, TWO HOURS after the polls had closed. Five tables, one for each precinct, had been set up with about 8 chairs at each table. My precinct had about 500 people for that one table. The poor organizers had to quickly find space for everyone. In the end, the pastor at the church where this was all going on, had to be called in to open the sanctuary so two of the precincts could meet in there while the other three met in the community center.
I finally left at about 10:00 pm as I was dead on my feet but the actual caucus didn't finish until about 11.
I was immensely proud of the passion people showed in trying to vote in both the primary and the caucus. I may not have agreed with their choices but it was wonderful to see so many different people making the effort.... the elderly bikers, the elegant house wives, the weary business people, the scruffy house builders, my doctor, the cashier I like from the grocery store .... all were there to have their voice heard and vote counted. I was especially glad to see a number of children there. I wonder what they reported to their classmates the next day?
Anyway, here's to democracy - flawed, fractured and imperfect as it may be I wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, who wants to stay home and watch re-reuns while history is being made?
BTW - this is my 200th post. I have been mulling over what to say at such a milesone but all my high-handed snooty thoughts vanished when I realized that visible democracy is the most approproate. Now go out and support your presidential candiate and vote in November!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
One UFO down, several zillions to go.