Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Love Thursdays

It's the one weekday I don't have to go out and don't have to work.  A whole day just stretching in front of me to do as I please.

So I made pudding.

We overbought on milk this week, so I did one of my big pudding makings.  Two boxes of Chocolate Fudge Fat-Free pudding mix and 2 boxes of Cheesecake with 8 cups of milk.

Swish it around in the mixer a little.

And there's dessert for 3 for a week.  Just add a little Cool-Whip Free and a few toasted pecans on top, and it's very handy.  I'm going to pretend all those lumps are supposed to be there.  I think they're chocolate chips.

Mike made an excellent salad for lunch, and then I spent the rest of the day in the sewing room, vacuuming, cleaning, and embroidering a couple of shirts.

This was my first try on the faux smocking designs.  Well, really the 2nd after I did my first one upside down.  No pictures of that.  I thought you had to do it on pleated fabric, but so many people were embroidering it on T-shirts that I thought I would give it a try.  These are designs from Applique Junkie.  There are so many new designs, it was hard to pick just a few.  I got the bunnies, foxes, sailboats, and hot air balloons.

I love the look of it, but I think these designs are a little too much for baby shirts.  It covers this 18 month shirt, and I even left off the top and bottom rows.

Also, the bottom wavy lines showed through the top stitches in a few places, but I don't think it's enough to detract from the overall look.  Very different.

I then did Graysen the little yellow gingham chick  from Planet Applique that she had on a burp pad when she was a little baby.

I hope I have time to make some yellow bloomers before we mail the latest package.

The best part of the afternoon was playing around with and (I think) conquering this intimidating-looking thing.

It's a ruffling foot  for my sewing machine that I bought last year, and my first attempt I didn't give it enough time and patience, and it was confusing.

I read the directions carefully this time and then watched a YouTube video on it, so I knew a little bit more what to do.  I have a Babylock machine, but the people there recommended the Bernina foot, and it fits my machine nicely (after a little trial-and-error time on my part).

I first did the gathering settings, gradually going from tight gathers

 to more relaxed ones and lots of looks in between.  I wrote down the settings so I'll have a better idea of what I want when I start a project.

Next I tried the pleating ones, and that's what I really like.  It makes a pleat every 6 stitches, and you can control how deep a pleat you make.  You can also do one every 12 stitches, but I think I will hardly ever use that one.

My favorite thing is pleating or gathering directly onto another fabric.   I can see myself doing this a lot.

 This piece took about 10 seconds with no measuring or pinning, and no taking out basting threads.

I've bought pleated ribbon before, and now I see I can make my own.  It will take a little practice and slowing down to get it just right, but I believe I can do it.

I finished my rooster and hen and got it delivered to Ann who seemed to like it.  It was fun to do.

I'm playing around with crocheting my dishrags now instead of knitting them.  The knitting pattern just will not behave every time, and I end up getting a lopsided square.

I still think the knitted one is prettier with the lacy border.  Maybe I could try adding a crocheted border around the other one.  Or maybe not.  It's just a dishrag.

I got back into emptying toy boxes from the attic again this week.  This barn is old and about used up.  It's silo is missing as well as most of the animals, but it has such sweet memories for us.

It was Gray's 2nd birthday present on December 28, 1973.  We had it waiting for him when we got home from spending Christmas with the grandparents.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  He had grown up so much that year, becoming a big brother and handling it so well and was just returning from an 8-hour trip, from Alabama to South Carolina, but he sat down in that chair and played forever.

Nope, forget going to bed.

I put this video on Facebook, but it will be hard to top it for sweetness.  I sent Graysen one of Emily's old Cabbage Patch dolls I found in the attic and told her to video Graysen's reaction to it.  I couldn't have asked for a better one.

I just got this video.  This phone was also in the box of old toys I sent.  I believe Emily got this for her first Christmas when she was around 11 months old.  We think her  first sentence was "Do it mySELF,"so she now has a daughter who is just like her.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Little Saturday Progress

I got up determined to get something done to show for my day today.

I've done all I can on the beach outfits.  Since they are not likely to be worn much unless they come south, I'm okay with it.

I found some cute play clothes yesterday, including these little coral-colored bloomers.

I had a yellow T-shirt and these wonderful fabrics.

And managed to end up with this.

Pretty exotic-looking elephant!  It's still wet, but I'm overall pleased with it.  That color was hard to match, and I didn't have a thread color close enough.  I had colors on either side of the the pink and orange family but none that would work, so I had to take a trip to the fabric shop and luckily found a close match.

The next one was as easy as the above one was difficult.   

Maybe with a bow?

So sweet.

I almost finished my rooster staying up late to watch Season 3 of Parenthood.  I finished it up this morning and started on the chicken part of the set.

Mike has been busy too - other than being on call for non-opinions on my thread colors and trying to get through the sewing room without being asked about something.  He's spent the day cutting the grass, hauling crepe myrtle limbs to the street, and smoking a pork loin (with an 80/20 mix of hickory and cherry wood.)  I'm sure I have that wrong, but it smells really good and will be nice to have barbecue after a hard day of sewing.  

Ladders and paint are still all over the living room and dining room, but one room is finally finished.

From this.

To this.

I didn't realize how gloomy that wall paper was.  The Toasted Marshmallow paint color makes it much brighter.  

I'm determined not to spend any money on "things" for the house, so I repurposed a den lamp and a dining room flower arrangement and found a $10 rug on Amazon that will do.

I just realized that I didn't put birthday pictures here for Graysen's first birthday.  She had 3 parties - one early with her friends Mila and Owen, one at home with mom, dad, and fopa with me on Skype, and one at the home of friends in Bellevue, Ro and Lou.  They know how to give a party, and this one was so perfect.  She shared it with the hosts son PJ who was 26, but I think pink dominated.

Guests of Honor.

They call her Cookie (or Cookie Monster when she's grumpy), so it was fitting that she have a Cookie Monster Cake.  

And one of her very own. 

She's a very serious cake eater, and after her third cake in 2 weeks, she had no problem knowing what to do.

Her gifts included an orange and blue car and her own pony.

Really not sure about that pony!

Sweetest 1-year-old I know even if she didn't have any smiles for the camera that night.  Teething and a bout of separation anxiety plus being the star of the show kind of intimidated her.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Duty Sewing

There are some sewing-related things I enjoy doing and some I don't.  I think I have a problem with finishing.

So today I'm sticking with it and getting some things done!

First these two.

I got them for Graysen at a consignment sale for just a couple of dollars apiece.  I didn't like the pink thing, and the monogram was not hers, so I tacked the job of taking out the stitching.

 I've done plenty of stitch removing before, so I wasn't too worried about it, but I underestimated the density of those stitches and delicate fabrics.  It didn't make for a pretty finish, and I had a few nicks here and there.

I went ahead and tried my first monogram using my new Monogram Wizard Plus software - which I'm a little daunted by - and it did turn out okay.  I just misjudged the placement, and the letters didn't cover all I wanted them to.

It's just a swimsuit coverup, but I wanted it to be nice, so I started working on something to cover it all.  Most beach-related things I had were too large.  And I hate this smiling face.

But I found another slightly smaller fish (without a face), and am in the process of getting that done right now.

In retrospect, I should have either left the swimsuit alone or picked a bigger design.  It's lined, so I actually had to take out a seam and go under the lining.  WAY more work than it was worth.  And some of the pink still shows through.

But it you don't examine it too closely, it will be fine.  It's a jellyfish, by the way, with a touch of pink on his tentacles.  

These two dresses are next on the agenda.

Graysen wore the ivory dress Christmas, and it was really too short then, but with her growing an inch a day, it seems, it really needed lengthening.

The blue one is for the future, and I may not hem it yet - just get it hanging in her closet so it doesn't get forgotten.  It's been waiting for her for 3 years, so what's another year.  This was probably my best job ever, and I want to see if I can do it again.

So those are the main things I'm going to force myself to do today.  If I never post a picture of that fish, it will be because it didn't work!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Catching Up

I can never catch up with this blog.  I have such good intentions, but if I skip one day, then things start popping up in my mind that I need to record, and it all gets too much for me.

I've gotten to the point where I get stressed when I see that little orange blogger B anywhere.

So I'll have to go find where I unloaded my camera and see whats happened lately.

I did finish this little outfit.

I have to mail it off for sizing and approval.  It will be interesting to see whether these pants pass the (clown pants) test.  I wanted them to be capris, but the pattern didn't have a measurement for them - only shorts and regular length pants.  It's hard to gauge when the inseam is only 9 inches!

I love the pattern.  It's Children's Corner Parker's Pants.  There are so many options that I can see using it over and over if the fit is right.  I'm going to make some seersucker shorts next.

My cleaning out of the filing cabinet is ongoing, and I decided to weed my cross-stitch patterns.  I love cross-stitching.  There is almost nothing you can do to mess it up, and I've done thousands of stitches through the years.  I guess with machine embroidery it kind of became not as popular, but my favorite thing lately is to get a movie on my laptop and stitch away.  Two birds and all.

I did this bread cloth because it makes me think of spring.

Adding a little knitting too, trying to perfecting our dishrag pattern so it's not all wonky at one corner.

The good thing about bread cloths and towels is that when you're finished, you're finished.  There's no worry about more sewing or the expense of framing.

This old book has several towels that are beautifully detailed that I want to make.

I started this for a sweet friend who likes roosters in her kitchen.

I've used up all my time, and there are so many pictures I just uploaded from my camera.

But first a good-bye.

This old friend is 20 years old and has been very faithful.  

I can't think of any repairs that have had to be made, and we've moved it 6 times.  Several of those years involved having college kids bringing home laundry - loads of it - and never a protest.  Once I did some googling and realized the problem was a motor one and that we were not willing to take it on ourselves or pay for an expensive repair, we decided to get another one.   Another Whirlpool, naturally.  I can't believe how easy it is to buy an appliance.  Research.  Decide which gadgets I can live without.  Compare prices and shipping costs, etc.  Go to the Home Depot web site and fill out the information, and it's on it's way.