Saturday, January 24, 2015

FNSI - progress on presents

Looking out my window this morning, I just might settle back onto the couch and continue where I left off on my quilting last night.  The huge snowflakes are coming down quickly, and has been predicted to change to rain/freezing rain today.  I prepared for this and don't have to go out.  So I'm going to try to make more progress on the quilt for my son and his wife, which is the first of many handmade presents I'm making for Christmas 2015.

(masking tape used for stitching guide)

I estimate that the hand quilting is one quarter complete (not all of this was done last night), and hope to have it done and ready to have the binding applied by next month's FNSI.

I returned to Friday Night Sew In after a very long absence and I am so glad that Wendy of Sugarlane Quilts is carrying on the tradition started by Heidi and Bobbi.  I'll be popping over to her blog to visit all the crafters who have signed up to see the beautiful things they've created!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, no matter what the weather!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


We tend to think of ourselves as "younger" than we really are, or at least I do.  Without looking in a mirror, I picture a version of myself that I remember from years ago.  Inside, it's the age I feel....well, until I stand up and realize my body has a little more mileage on it. (*wink*)

So I was quite impressed when I clicked a link that led me to this site.  These  folks are amazing.  It's one thing to brag about going to the gym before work.  But ice skating competitions at age 86?  Wow.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

dusting off

From Google: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.......happy coincidence
Sometimes it takes several events to create that happy coincidence.

I held on to my original sewing patterns until I was in my thirties or so, rationalizing that the fashion industry would never again embrace the feelings and concepts of the sixties and seventies.  My Aha! moment occurred about ten years ago when I realized that it was not the fashion industry, but myself, who would embrace those feelings/concepts again.  Either I've reached that stage in life where "anything goes" or I've matured enough to confidently be who I am.

So, for the past 5 years or so I've been trying to collect the patterns I sewed back when I was a teenager/young adult.  I have been fortunate, finding the most important of them even if they may not be the correct size.  I even found the pattern I used for my wedding dress.  And I just bought one of my favorites on Etsy, a slacks and skirt pattern that I had almost given up on.  Others have been purchased for mere pennies in thrift shops.  As of today there are only a few that still elude me.  I may or may not reproduce the clothing from some of these patterns, but just holding them brings back memories the way aromas (perfume, salt-sea breeze, spices) create familiar visions in our minds.

So serendipity stepped in this week when I found the 2015 Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge hosted by Kerry of Kestrel Makes and Marie of A Stitching Odessy.  I've pledged to make at least 4 articles of clothing from my "private" collection.  (I have almost 200 vintage patterns from several eras, but those will most likely not be used for this challenge.)  Knit or crochet items may also be created from vintage instructions to accessorize my wardrobe, as I see others have done this in last year's challenge.

I've chosen a few that definitely made the cut and will be posting soon.  In the meantime, here are a few "refashions" I made using vintage patterns in the Self-Stitched September 2010 hosted by So Zo:
Plaid vest from skirt
Weekend top from men's athletic shirt
Top for biking

I'll be sharing some of my "private" collection with some special photos in my next post.  Hope to see you then!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

R & R

Lazy and moving slow. I'm near the finish of my annual vacation and just returned from several days on the road, visiting family and friends far away. Our Independence Day holiday was the perfect foil for my personal independence from responsibility.

We had a small gathering of the clan up north, including the Cityfolks and Citygrandbaby.  It was wonderful to see people catch up when they've spent years apart.  It's amazing where their lives have taken them, how they've matured, and what their plans are for the (near) future, but still see that strong connection to their past.

I was able to connect with some older friends on this trip, which made it even sweeter.  We spent an evening sitting on the front porch until after dark, chatting away.  I found out who has moved, who is doing well, and who has recently married.  I keep thinking of that saying: "Make new friends but keep the old.  One is silver, the other is gold."  Yes, they truly are gold.  We have history.  We've been through both good and not-so-good, each had our own problems, shared laughs, put together suppers from the "nothings" deep in the kitchen cabinets, and made life a little friendlier.  We aren't offended by the others' political leanings.  In fact, it may make being friends more interesting.  Email will never replace a front porch.

The mountain views and the sunsets were magnificent.  I'll never know why I didn't think about taking photos.  I just let them burn their images into my memory.  The details may fade but I'll still see them as magical.  Even the day it drizzled on and off.  The soft mist made the mountains more lush.  Right now I can see the grass at the park, worn and browned where it gets the most foot traffic.  Green and soft under the trees where we sat.

I came back with no thrifted finds.  This time my car trunk came home filled with dirty clothes.....and one pound of terrific coffee beans ;)

So tonight I may fall asleep on the couch, one last night of independence.  Tomorrow morning I'll have some of that coffee, pack up a lunch, leave for work and get ready to face so very many unread emails!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Hello again!


Though I may not have put a single word to paper (or, to screen), I have been around.  I took a bit of a break from expressing my thoughts to enjoy life’s adventures.  And I kept popping in to check on your world(s).  I may have lacked an online presence but I was, and am, still here J

I’m looking forward to the first birthday of my newest grandson in a few weeks.  I enjoy my monthly rail trip into NYC to give him hugs and kisses and see him grow.  This Sunday just can’t come fast enough!  I’ll be on an early train J

Another DS and his wife announced that they are expecting this fall.  Whoo-hoo!  Now I’ve got even more reasons for my northern road trips.  I’m so happy for them and know that they will be terrific parents.

And…..we’re getting (most of) the family together this summer.  Those of us who were able to schedule the time will be spending a few days in joyous (raucous?) togetherness.

I am still blessed to have my Mother here.  She is somewhat weaker but still doing well, having celebrated her 95th birthday just a little while ago.  And she enjoys her first great-great-grandchild, a darling boy who would have been my sister’s first great-grandchild.

I’ve used the internet more for research than for entertainment this past year.  I’ve found some interesting sites and information that I’ll be sharing.  But I did find time to watch Doc Martin, Broadchurch, and some other great British shows.

I haven’t done much stitching these past few months but I’m ready now!  I’ll be re-joining Friday Night Sew In, and possibly joining in a self-stitched monthly challenge.  Any new ones out there for refashioning?  Or maybe I can find the link to my biking mileage and get that going, again!

Here’s hoping we all have a wonderful summer …. or Winter, if you are that many miles away J

We’ll chat soon…..


Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Natural Intentions

It was a dark and stormy night....

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon a few weeks back and I was cleaning like a madwoman, having neglected my household chores for the past week.  From mail that needed sorting to dusting and clearing the living room and more, I had enough to keep me painfully inside for the day.  When I settled into the kitchen to prepare a few meals for the week I set up my laptop as usual.  I looked for something interesting to listen to on the internet while I chopped, simmered, and packaged, and that day it turned out to be a very interesting podcast.

The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Kasper is an all-time favorite of mine.  I used to listen to her on the radio when I lived up north, the local station played it when I was driving to work (early afternoon, for second shift.)  I'm so glad that this internet thing has given her a broader audience so that now I can listen to any episode, whenever I want!  So on that Sunday, I hit a few clicks and listened.

A few minutes into this episode she interviewed Jo Robinson, author of the new book Eating on the Wild Side.  Ms Robinson has examined hundreds (or thousands?) of studies on the properties of foods, and presented the findings from the studies in this book.  She explains how to select... let's say, apples... based on which varieties contain the most nutrients.  As we moved away from being hunter-gatherers and turned to farming, we selected more palatable varieties and left the "natural" selections.  Of the most common apples now available, she writes that the Granny Smith is one of the most desirable based on nutrition.  And if choosing a red apple, pick the one with the most color.  It was on the outer or top branches of the tree and produced the most phytonutrients.

I couldn't possibly do justice trying to explain the detailed information she gives in this project, so please take a listen to any (or all) of the following interviews as she explains what you will find in her book.  From how to choose and store lettuce, how to get the most benefits from garlic, I have learned so much from her!  (I'm currently trying to find purple carrots!  Read why in her book...)

The Splendid table


HuffPost Live

And here is her website: EatWild

I've changed my choices when shopping, looking for the best I can possibly do for myself.  I've also changed my way of thinking.  Now that expression of how Nature always provided exactly what we need to feed our bodies makes more sense.  If I am not meant to be a hunter-gatherer, at least I can choose to make the best choices.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

THE dress!

My trip north coincided with one of the local fairs so this particular town was quite busy.  Traffic was heavier than usual but I knew which side street would circle 'round the congestion and take me exactly where I wanted to go, a secondhand shop.  As I walked in and checked the sign to see which color tickets were discounted, I was surprised to see that everything was half-price that day.  My first stop was the sewing patterns but I couldn't find a single one that I wanted.  So I wandered through the store until this lovely gown caught my eye!


A scattering of tiny beads!

It is very vintage...metal zipper, stiff horsehair-type crinoline, and all.  These photos do not show the true champagne gorgeous!  And it's in excellent condition.  I would never fit into this sweet dress but it will be listed in my etsy shop soon.  Here's hoping I take better photos so someone sees the real beauty that it is!

Treasures like this don't turn up very often, but they do make the search exciting :)