Friday, March 20, 2015

Fun stuff on Friday Night (FNSI)

First, I'd like to thank Wendy of Sugarlane Quilts and Jenny of Elephantz for the sweet embroidery kit!  It arrived safe and sound here in New England after the January Friday Night Sew In.  I'm thinking of a few projects and this could spin off :)

Tonight's project was purely for FUN!  I tweaked a crochet pattern for Kermit the Frog to make my youngest grandson's favorite muppet: Elmo  :)

I need to get some orange yarn to make his nose, but I think that he will be presentable to a 21-month old.  He's small enough to be held and hugged by little hands.  I'll be visiting with him on Sunday so please wish Elmo luck!

.....and Happy First Day of Spring!!! to everyone in the northern hemisphere.  Mother Nature is playing a little trick on us in New's been SNOWING!!!  We've got about 4 inches of new snow this evening.  Perhaps it's really April Fools Day?

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

what's in the supplement you've been taking?

I actually wasn't surprised when I heard this on the radio this morning.  My only surprise was that it was so widespread.  In case you didn't hear about it, the New York State Attorney General's office tested herbal supplements from four large retailers; Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and GNC.  In a nutshell, most of the items tested contained little to none of the ingredient on the label.  More distressing is that they found substances NOT listed on the label, including ingredients that could be dangerous to people with allergies (legumes, gluten, etc.)

For 9 years I worked in Quality Assurance in the pharmaceutical industry.  We answered to the FDA, and kept records of every batch produced (which could be examined by FDA inspectors at a moments notice.)  Upon receipt, every raw ingredient was sampled and tested to prove that it was the correct product and the right potency.  Nothing was put into our product that was not intended.  I strongly believe that the herbal supplement industry should be made to answer to the same rules as the pharmaceutical industry.  For the safety of the public, anything that is taken or administered topically or internally should be exactly what is indicated on the label.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I am highly supportive of using herbs to maintain health.  I go to a Registered Herbalist who works clinically and teaches as a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild.  I trust my practitioner, and know that the clinic sources much of their herbs from local suppliers (a prominent herb farm.)  And much of what I have received from them is mixed to my specific needs.

We need to be educated consumers.  As you would trust your medical doctor and know that the medicines he prescribes for you are well-researched, please also research any supplements that you are inclined to take.  Use the information in the news, and keep watching and learning.  You're important  :)


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Senior Prom 1972

When one of my co-workers proudly showed us photos of the dress her daughter wore to last year's senior prom, I couldn't believe how much fashion had changed from our gowns in the early 70s.  Or maybe it was just the area where I was raised, but we evaluated our best features differently from the practice of today ;)

So this morning I dug through my old photos and found a snapshot from my senior prom, complete with shimmering makeup and lightly teased hair.

I had made my dress from Simplicity 9356 (View 2), adjusting the length.  It's difficult to tell from the snapshot, but the sleeves did have the double layer seen on the pattern envelope.  The lightweight fabric was known as "whipped cream" and the layers fluttered with movement.

Just a few years ago, I found a copy of this pattern online.  I may never make it again but it's nice to have it.  Who knows?!  By the time one of my granddaughters graduate, it might be back in style....or maybe not (* grin *)

Actually, I'm liking the look of V 2 in that mustard-y yellow with red rick rack on the sleeves.....

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  We're looking at another round of overnight snow and freezing rain, just in time to go to work tomorrow :)


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!