October 31, 2007

Rock & Hard Place

Lately I feel like I'm whining - alot! And here I am to do some more! In the wonderful world of sewing blogs there are several people I admire. I admire how helpful they are - regardless of the question. I admire their creations and I aspire to be more like them. Of my cyber-sewers/virtual-friends, I repeatedly go-to Carolyn for inspiration. She inspires me to try using wonderful natural fiber fabrics (wool, silk, linen) that I am petrified of. She inspires me to take things a little more slowly and enjoy the process. She also encourages a greater quality of work. Another of these go-to friends is Shannon. This girl cranks out some fabulous garments. Again encouraging me to cough up the dough for the fabrics that petrify me. But she does garments quickly - instilling the belief that while an "epic" garment is always a fun learning experience. Getting something finished that fits well is equally important. There are so many others that inspire me on a daily basis. I love getting comments on my posts - they are encouraging. I also really enjoy the relationships that are built when I leave a comment and the blog writer responds to my comment. I have built a great network of friends across the County and if I ever get to travel you bet I will look you up and do my best to meet in person - I am not afraid! Anyway - I guess the point of this post is that I feel stuck between a rock and hard place lately. I want to make the fabulous garments that Carolyn is producing but I want to do it fast, using the serger to finish seams, getting things done and into the closet. I believe I'm going to take a Shannon approach and try to get some things finished and also begin an "epic" project to learn and improve some new skills. Thanks for the inspiration.

October 29, 2007

Things I'm Missing and Things I Love

Cara of January One fame recently asked what part of your life have you let slip away and now are ready to rededicate time to? This question struck me as really profound and actually shocked me right out of lurking on her blog to actually posting a comment with an answer! I never feel very confident posting comments when someone routinely gets hundreds of comments! Anyway - The things I'm missing: ::Sewing. I haven't spent near enough time bonding with my sewing machine lately. I feel like nothing I touch works rights, crafts don't have the same appeal as garments - and lately I can't fit myself, so I've been knitting socks! I am ready to rededicate part of my life to sewing. ::Walking the Dogs. JB and I had a pretty good routine down. We would walk the dogs, then I would fix dinner followed by telly. This was really nice, we'd get outside, enjoy some fresh air, get to watch the dogs enjoying the neighborhood smells and visit about our days - I miss that. We are headed into the dreadful Seattle Rainy season, but I'm ready to get out and walk the dogs again. ::Exercise. I never in a million years thought that exercise would be a part of my life that I missed, but it truly is. I miss the feeling of accomplishment, the tired muscles after completing a difficult or new routine. Being able to brag because I 'had' to go to bigger hand weights. I miss the energy and stamina that working out gave me. I'm ready to start getting up before dawn again (5:00 a.m.) and get back into my workout routine. Things I love: ::Sitting in the bay window knitting, watching the leaves fall and the dogs romp in the front yard with JB ::Beauregard bringing his 'favorite' toy upstairs with him and watching him trying to get somebody to play with him ::Lucy's cuddling and her sweet, sweet face ::Curling up with JB watching tv ::Fixing a nice meal - even if it isn't pretty

October 24, 2007

I Owe Thank Yous - Again

First, I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. I had a nice relaxing day - doing nothing. The dogs had a good time at the park and JB is learning to enjoy the yarn store! It's all good! Next, last week I received a package from my friend Blogfree Jessica. She sent a peppercorn dip mix, some wonderfully smelling vanilla lotion (vanilla is my absolute favorite scent!), more lotion, Burt's Bees Lip Balm, Vera Bradley "papers" and those super cute dog appliques. No seriously - see how cute they are? There are 2 paw prints and a bone. I have no idea what I'll do with them, but they'll be here when I finally think of something and am ready.
Going back to work after having 4 days off is never fun. However - my office made it so! My desk was organized and there was a big white box on it. Inside that box was this beautiful brown Coach bag. It's not signature - but I've never been big on paying someone to advertise for them - so this is perfect! I switched the contents of my current purse over this morning. Gosh - I really like this bag. Look - the lining is purple! How neat is that? Also included was a matching wristlett - also lined in purple. Later in the afternoon a florist appeared with a very pretty live plant arrangement from another attorney's office that we work really closely with. They sent me flowers. Now I have cards to write.
Oh and The Princess wrote a very nice post to honor me on my birthday - I love you kiddo!!!

October 23, 2007

I Swear

the more time I have off the less I get done. Friday I barely moved from the couch all day. We were having huge weather - rain, hail, thunder and lightening. And I have a big dog who is scared of thunder - baby!
I did manage to make these pumpkin muffins and two loafs of pumpkin bread. I love pumpkin baked goods! After pulling my bread out of the oven - I finally headed down to the sewing room and finished the last summer skirt - which won't get worn until next year as it's now too cold. But here it is: Saturday I headed to the home of one of our local ASG Members and helped with the sewing up party for the Banquet favors. There was a lovely lunch which included a fabulous chocolate bunt cake. I stopped and bought groceries and then finally got home with just a little bit of time to spare before JB's poker people showed up. Thankfully, JB was doing the housework by the time I got home! I finished The Princess' Christmas gift but I can't show you that! Sunday we spent a lazy morning. In the afternoon we went out to the Digital Camera show and JB got a new Canon Rebel XTi for his birthday - coming up on Thursday. I'm kinda excited, maybe my blog pictures will be better soon! After spending lots of money on the camera we came home, watch some freaky Jodi Foster movie while I knit on the purple gift sock. You can't really see the pattern or anything, but you get the idea that I've got a long sock! I have the heel flap finished and the heel turned and am now working on decreasing the gusset. Thankfully the recipient of this sock has a small foot! Monday, dawned bright and clear. I had 4 dogs jumping on me to wake me up - Happy Birthday! 2 Adults and 4 dogs in a queen size bed means that my kidneys were stepped on, I was layed on, I had dog hair in my mouth and all over the place. I ended up with a few battle wounds - but it's not an everyday occurrence, so it was okay. We then took the dogs to the dog park. They had a blast - we walked around the park for an hour while the dogs ran and got rid of their energy. More home and knitting time, more errands - including a stop at the local yarn store and some new Lana Grossa sock yarn. You can't see it in the picture, but the yarn on the left is color 8007 - blues, oranges, browns and the one on the right is 8005 which is purples, greys and creams. Both are for gift socks for this holiday season. Yea right!

Finally - JB took me to dinner at Applebee's for my birthday. While we were there - I was busily picking up my gusset stitches, when I snapped one of my very pretty little Blondwood, size 0 Sox Stix. I wanted to cry!

Oh, and if you've sent me an email since say Saturday - I haven't got it. I am completely unable to log into my Comcast account. So, I'm not ignoring you - the computer sucks!

October 18, 2007

I Don't Have Much

to show lately. Since getting home from retreat, I haven't been in the sewing room. I have, however, been knitting. But I can't show you anything. I have a pair of gift sock started in Tofutsies (?). This stuff is a joy to work with and I'm loving the color. I almost want to keep them! Last night at knitting I got yarn for The Princess' Christmas gift. We know she reads this - so no pictures of this project. I finished my pink socks which were started in Hawaii, but have yet to be photographed. Guess I should get on that. I a four day weekend coming up. We do have lots of plans - Casino with the office on Friday night (knitting time for me); Poker Saturday night (sewing time for me); digital camera show on Sunday; dinner out with The Musical One on Sunday night; and then I'm not sure what we are doing on Monday - that's my birthday :) My plan is to spend Friday finishing the couple of skirts that I'm working on. Then get busy on the remaining curtain panels for the living room. I bought the fabric and made the panels for the dining room more than a year ago. I have needed JB's help to hang the new hardware and I've been waiting on that for a long time. So, I plan on blindsiding him tonight after dinner. Then Friday I can get those panels off my cutting table!!! I will have knitting with me at all times when we are in the car during the weekend. Hope the rest of you get some productive time in your sewing rooms.

October 16, 2007

Toes Up - A Pictorial

October 15, 2007

Stunt Stitcher - Part 2

Blogger is not cooperating this morning - so this a photo-less post! Sorry. (ETA: I was able to add a few photos, but not many.) This past weekend, starting Friday was my ASG Chapter's Fall Sewing Retreat. It is held at a camp in the middle of nowhere, with plenty of electrical outlets, all the food is provided for us, as well as the fact that everyone brings snacks! It was three days of food, conversation, and sewing - wonderful. There was even some knitting thrown in. Good times. The week leading up to the retreat was very busy at work, and I wasn't able to get my projects ready, but I managed to get out there by 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Friday I finished the small double needle roll and had the larger needle roll mostly assembled. I had all the parts for a knitting bag from Becki's pleated tote pattern ready to go. I added extra pockets. The needle rolls and bag were mostly constructed using the Chocolate Lollipops fabric by Anna Maria. This fabric is completely unavailable in my local area and I while I love the large print that Miss C. sent, it was too big to work in the needle rolls - You would have lost all the print. So, I added a few semi-solids from my own cupboard and away you go. After finishing that - I decided to start working on the Amy Butler skirts. Taking my measurements was scary! I actually cut the tissue rather than tracing it. Starting on the A-line skirt on Friday, I managed to make a muslin, smooth out the markings and cut the actual fabric. I put a beautiful pin invisible zipper into the back seam and had someone help me pin fit the side seams. After sewing them up - I tried the skirt on, only to find I had jodhpur hips! Never a good look. So, since I didn't have proper undergarments with me - it got set aside. Next up - the quick summer Kwik Sew skirt that was on the table a few weeks ago. Got it cut out Saturday night. At that point I was very tired. I set the skirt aside and finished working on my second pink sock. I was so tired that I couldn't remember which way the decreases were suppose to go to make the correct slants on the toes! Time for bed. Sunday morning, I almost finished the Kwik skirt - never having been to retreat before, I didn't bring my entire sewing room (some people did!) so I had to finish all the seams on this cotton skirt with the sewing machine. Got it finished but for the hem and waistband. Sew that's what I've been doing for the last week! How about you?

October 8, 2007

Random Monday

I am so late on showing this that the 'vultures' that are the rest of my family have already scarfed their gifts and ran with them. Last Thursday when I got home from work - there was a box on the front porch. Inside was a bunch of little gifties from The Princess, but don't bother going to look at her blog - it doesn't say much of anything lately!!! Inside the box were these lovely blondwood sox stix! They are short double needles, but I have been wanting to try them forever! As soon as I finish one of the pairs of socks currently on needles, I will use these little beauties to cast on a gift pair!
This next picture is for Bonnie. She's looking for a pair of sparkly shoes to go with her Santa Dress (scroll down). I offered to send her this pair that The Princess left for me when she moved, but alas, Bonnie has small fee and The Princess and I do not! These puppies are a size 10! Sorry Bonnie - they are really cute, too. Finally, I don't know what my issue with three day weekends, but I don't ever seem to be able to get half as much done as I would like. I did make it to WW for October WI on Friday - and yes I had to pay for being over-goal again! I also got my errands run, stuff crossed off my to do list, groceries bought, helped Claire move a bed, made a nice dinner on Sunday and then the weekend was over.
In the Stunt Stitcher category I have been working on a coordinating knitting bag and needle rolls. Last weekend I designed and made a double needle roll. This weekend I got a double needle roll and matching straight needle roll cut out of chocolate lollipop fabric sent to me by Camilla. I'm sure it's not what she expected, but I added some semi-solid fabrics from my own cotton stash to use with the beautiful prints she sent me. I have the bag cut out, the outside of the small roll made and the strip you saw above - the sash strip for the large roll. More progress to be made tonight during Monday Night Football!

October 3, 2007

Dishes, Dishes Everywhere!

I love dishes and I am easily bored. Put the two together and you end up with a girl who buys new dishes all the time. This used to drive JB crazy, until I finally convinced him that he should be happy I was only getting bored with my dishes every six months and not my husband!
Until I got smart a couple of years ago and bought the white embossed set of dishes - I would give my old dishes away and replace the entire set - serving pieces, everything. Yep this got expensive. The glass set is Princess House and I have a fairly large set of these including serving pieces. These are usually reserved for holidays.
Then I got smart, when I would find dishes that I loved, I started purchasing 4 dinner plates, then I decided which other piece was important - the sandwich/salad plate or the bowl. So, some sets like these yellow plates and cute floral sandwich plates - that's all I have of those. But they mix well with some of the other dishes that I have. When I saw these dishes on clearance, I fell in love! I have 4 dinner plates and four bowls. These are green with a purple circle around the inner and outer 'edge', a light blue swirl in the center/bottom and navy blue flowers around the rim.
The Princess used to work at Pier One before moving across the country. She picked up these beautiful dishes for me. The plates are have purple rims with brown circles. Those circles are etched into the rim. Because we are into mix and match dishes in this house, she also got me four salad plates. The plates are square with a raised grid on them. A cut sandwich and some fruit look beautiful on these plates. The square plate makes a great presentation. She then broke the rules and bought the purple circle matching bowl. These bowls are JB's favorite for having ice cream in. They are also great soup bowls because they are stoneware, they really keep soups warm. Finally, last year for Christmas, The Musical One bought me a complete set of 4 of these pretty white dishes with blue, green & silver stars. These were also from Pier One. The got me the dinner and salad plates, bowls, and coffee mugs. The problem with this is that I don't use the coffee mugs that match any of my dishes. I use the ones I pick up on travels, that I get as gifts - you know the ones that we all use. So, I exchanged the salad plates and mugs for some really pretty irregularly shaped stoneware plates that mix and match with the original dishes. The new salad plates are blue and are a perfect match to the blue in the star dishes. The bigger dinner plate is olive green. Both of these pieces are stoneware and are irregularly shaped so the plates are perfectly round. I love them.
The only problem I have now is that I have run out of cupboard space (I literally have 3 cupboards filled with dishes) to put more dishes. I don't get as bored with my everyday dishes because I have plenty to choose from and I am far more selective when choosing new.

October 1, 2007

At Carolyn's Urging

On Saturday afternoon, I finally got off the couch, got dressed and went out to run my errands. I saw it was at her urging because I was just sitting on the couch watching the really cr*ppy line up of sewing programs when she posted this comment: "Gay ~ I love the shortened version with the new pants. The outfit just works now! :) So are you going to try the outfit on and take a pic so we can oooohhhh and aaahhhh over how great you look in it?!"
Apparently, it was just the push I needed to finally get moving. So, I went and got dressed, snapped a couple of photos (not great ones, but this is what you get!), and headed out to run errands. I picked up Season 3 of Sex and the City - I was a little late to this party. Did a little fabric shopping for my KnitOne TeaTwo Swap Partner. I then managed to wash, dry and fold all the fabric Camilla sent me, plus everything I added to the stack while shopping on Saturday.
On Sunday, I had a few more errands to run - got the treats for my SWAP partner. Picked up a long overdue birthday gift. And I managed to purchase 2 Santa puzzles for our annual Thanksgiving puzzle. I then make hot cheese artichoke dip for football watching and then headed down to the sewing room. The dogs wouldn't even leave the living room to come sit with me. I managed to find all my old patterns and information for the big needle roll and drafted a smaller one for double needles. I did not take a picture of it with needles in. It is a little different that the big needle roll as on top of the needle holding pocket I added a little pocket with a flap (the circles & stripes on the bottom) for holding little things like stitch markers. I promise to give more details after my SWAP partner receives her package.
I feel so much better having actually got some sewing done this weekend. Even if it was all crafty. I have already got tonight's dinner in the crockpot - so that will free me up for a little sewing after work tonight :}
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