Thursday, October 3, 2013

SHHH, can you keep a secret? It's like Christmas in September!!!

Wow, it's been a while since I've been here.  Not that I haven't done some things, just mostly haven't finished all of them.  Gosh, I hate saying that.  Anyway, today is a very special day.  It's a "moment" for me that I wanted to share.  

See that, in that photo?  Yep, that's me and MY OWN PERSONAL, VERY OWN, JUST MINE, BRAND NEW, FROM IN THE BOX, sewing machine.  It's so great, I'm so excited I could spit.  I have used my Mom's old one for years and it was great, don't get me wrong.  But this one has a drop in bobbin with see through cover, so I never run out again, 100 programmable stitches, needle stop up or down - it's so awesome!  AND IT'S MINE.  I could go on and on and on....  Of course, I WILL have to get it upstairs undetected, not sure if I can hide that smile tho :)   see, hee hee.  I just have to wait for that trade of his new running shoes for my machine.  I can wait for the reveal, but I will probably know how it all works by then, because I CAN'T wait to use it. That's not bad, right?  I'm thinking, NOPE.

I just realized its been months, May actually, since I last posted anything.  Well, here are some things that have happened, and/or I made:

Our ten year anniversary was in June.  We went to Niagara Falls.  I've always wanted to go. Stayed on US side (no passports) but it was wonderful.  I took this from the observation deck - we did the Maid of the Mist and went into the falls and we climbed the falls on stairs.  It was a fun trip!

Later, I made some placemats, which were sewed so well, I impressed myself.  But the Chief did NOT like the pattern.  Said it looked like a cafe.  So guess they go on table outside and I have to find something for his REFINED tastes :Þ

I made a zippered pouch for a friends daughter's 21st bday - she loves skulls, go figure.  Oh, we put a gift card in it, not even trying to pretend that would have been present enough.  All that glitter got everywhere too.  NOT doing that fabric again.

Then I decided to make a Halloween doll - so I sketched out what I was thinking and then I made it.  I didn't attach her yarn hair yet, because I decided I would go with red/orange like her lips, like Sally on Nightmare Before Christmas.  So, I've made the wig, I just haven't changed it out.  Which do you think?  I still can't decide.  She looks pretty goth with black.  Anyway here she is and no name yet, she's my Halloween mascot though...  I think she's adorable.

I sewed a pillow and a zippered pouch for Mom's hospice nurse Lisa.  She was so good to us and especially at the end.  I just wanted to give her a little thank you.  I bought this hilarious fabric on Ebay with all these nurses.  I told her the sassy one with her hand on the hip had to be her.  That felt good to finally say thanks.  

Lastly, I am working on making a headboard that I saw on Pinterest.  It was so cute.  I found this adorable orange fabric.  Grey walls - white accents - I think it will be so cool.   I cut and made all the squares already.  I just have to attach them to a board and get the Chief to hang it on the wall.  Just can't seem to make myself finish that part.  But I will.  This weekend, I hope to finish it and the doll.  Want to move on to new projects.  Again, too many UFO's (unfinished objects)!

Ok.  That's a lot of information from someone who had nothing to say, right?  Sorry, I miss posting.  

I am so in love with my new sewing machine and its not even out of the box.  I can't wait to push all those buttons.  I feel like a kid at Christmas!  

And now some funnies:

Have a wonderful week.  Love you all!


Monday, May 20, 2013


Well it's Monday again and that's okay with me!  (Working on my positive attitude, let's see how long it lasts).

I had a great weekend.  The Chief worked most of it, so I spent a long weekend cleaning house, baking and sewing.  Sounds heavenly, right?  

First I cleaned, for several hours, which I felt good about in the end, even though the dogs dug under the covers and messed up my bed making masterpiece, but they were cold darnit!

Then later, the Chief tracked in mud and grass from the backyard, so I scrambled around trying to wipe and sweep again.

He sampled the peach cobbler, then he left pieces of crumbly and sticky bits on the stove and counter, but he was forgiven instantly when he declared emphatically, "D*% that's good and I don't even like peaches!"

At that point, I made my self a plate, a drink and sat down, DONE.  

Here's the cobbler - it was yummy, I have to admit.

Then Sunday, I decided to try AGAIN to sew a zippered pouch.  The first one I tried a week ago, I pulled the zip off the teeth and couldn't get it fixed, so it went bye bye.  The second one was wonky and I decided to pull all the stitches and try again, since I HATE wasting another zipper.  But finally, after pulling stitches for what seemed like hours, I gave up and it went bye bye too.  So Sunday, when it was quiet and calm and the Chief was elsewhere (building a little deck that will home what will replace our next trip, because of cost), a HOT TUB, (yippeee, picture me jumping up and down), I decided to try again on the pouch.  Well, I must have been distracted, because as I was cutting out fabric, this happened!

As I was cutting out the fabric, I rolled the rotary cutter right over my finger.

It was worse than it looked, but I was a real trooper and didn't faint!  I calmly walked downstairs, stopped the bleeding, got a bandaid and went back upstairs DETERMINED to get this project off my bucket list!

And....  drum roll please,.....

Note the lining and of course the turquoise zipper - so cool.

I was so excited I think it was almost worth the reality of literal blood, sweat and tears!!!

And now it's Monday, so for now - so long dear weekend, I ate well, didn't lose an appendage and am on to my next adventure...  LOOK out, step back, HERE I COME :)

Peace and happiness to you all!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rosy Red and Loving It!

Happy Monday!

I didn't work on very much this past week, I was waiting for the weekend, but ended up with a tooth pulled on Thursday and totally didn't feel like doing anything at all.  Ok, I couldn't stand it and even though my mouth thumped when I bent over, I still had to start on, what I wanted to be, my next project.

That being said, you know how when you see something in your mind and you head in that direction on a project and then things don't quite work out, but then something happens and we make it work and maybe it comes out even better?  I know, I sound like I'm trying to convince myself, but I totally believe this, this time.

It's another thing I want to keep for myself.  But I don't have the space.  :(

Ok, here it goes, my round about, novice explanation and how I found the sunny side...

It started with a gold framed orchid print that I found by the side of the road down the street on one of our walks.  Hello, FREE.  Chief couldn't believe that I carried it all the way home and I kept moving it around in the house so he wouldn't toss it when I wasn't looking.  I TOLD him I could do something with it.  It was nice like it was - in brand new condition.  I forgot to take a picture but it looked kinda like this...

Just a little longer and taller.  But the frame was cool and I was thinking chalkboard.  Keep seeing them and thought red frame with black distressed stain and chalkboard.  I can still see it in my head.  Well, I finally felt good enough to go outside on Saturday and this is where it started...

Then, this is where everything changed.  I primed the plastic (it wasn't glass, go figure) with Kilz but it kept getting things caught in it from trees and bugs - don't start with me, we are at war with why I can't use the garage right now.  Anyway, It wouldn't sand out enough and I was so frustrated.  I just walked away.  I actually went and got in bed with the puppies and pouted.  Stated my mouth hurt and I wasn't happy.  I know, such a baby.  The Chief offered to take me to an antique store if I would get out of bed, of course I went.  Didn't buy anything but a margarita, but I came home with a fresh eye or blood shot eye, hard to tell.  :)

Then,  I couldn't stand it and I flipped the plastic over to just do the other side the same and noticed how good the white looked through the plastic.  So, I put it in the frame and now its become a dry erase board instead.  Which, now that I acknowledge chalk would have gotten everywhere, this is SO much better and I think it was so clever of me, hee hee.

Also, I loved, loved, loved how crisp and red the color turned out, so I decided not to burnish it with a black stain.  I am really happy in the end.

This is going to my grandson Adam for his room.  I think he will love it!!

So, it's Monday and my mouth hurts less, my project came out awesome and I am ready for a new week.  The big question now is.... What do I do next?  

Bye for now, I soo have to go search Pinterest.   Have a great week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the wall.... Marvelous!

My weekend update, yay!!!

I had a great weekend!!!

Ok, well Like I mentioned last week, I wanted to try a cap for my dear friend.  I made the reversible beanie from Crafty Gemini, Crafty Gemini Fleece Beanie Tutorial.  It is so cute and I did a great job, if I do say so myself.  Now, its Texas and its going to be hot, so obviously fleece isn't going to work, but "in my sewing novice wisdom" I'm going to try and adapt it to a stretch knit, if that's possible.  Guess we shall see and its a little big, so I'm going to try and cut it down a tad too.  Like I said, we shall see.

What do you think?  I love that it's reversible and I am soo making me some next winter.  Soo cuddly soft!

Oh and have to have Tucker's (#3 Grandson) debut - who is absolutely adorable, right?  His Maw sure does love him!

Ok, and a drum roll please....

Side bar:  I always have this fear of trying something, especially when the Chief is involved and I end up failing at it.  He will critique and I always want him to LOVE it.  So usually I don't bother.  Well I have come across so many things on Pinterest lately, I can't help myself and jumped right in...

Here we go...

Second side bar:  It was windy and I mean like gusts of 12 mph - most paint went on or around the fence and tree, so keep that in mind when looking at the pictures.  :)

Second side bar - part two:  This item belonged to Mom and I remember seeing this on the wall when I was 3 (there is a picture of it even then to remind me).  I wanted to keep the mirror, but needed to update it to fit the new space.  It will always remind me of her, but I know I did this all by myself, it looks fantastic and she would be proud.  Heck, I'm proud.  I tried it and I did IT!!!


How it started:

Getting ready to shake the heck out of the Kilz can:

Wind blowing, primer flowing.  Getting there.

Next, Krylon Gloss White.  Here's hoping.

More Wind blowing and paint flowing.  How did the wind know to blow EVERY TIME I sprayed the can, grrr.  Finally - it has to be enough...

Chief working in yard, wanted help.  I said no way bud, I'm busy CREATING.

Thought I was done, put it all together and then...  Brown overspray on glass from when Mom previously changed the stain.  Yes, all back apart - razor blades ready - scrape, scrape, scrape, yikies I hate that sound, makes my teeth hurt.  Finally its all off, yay - all back together...  and then...  this is where the drum roll comes in...

I am absolutely IN LOVE with this.  I am going to paint the upstairs room a baby blue with an old iron bed and put one of Mom's old quilts on it.  I can see it already.

Well, I am soo happy with my project, I could just spit.  Chief says no one will see the little bubbles - told you - CRITIQUE - but he loves me and he finally snapped that it was good and he should SAY SO.

So the moral of the story is:

Mirror mirror on the wall
Julie's not afraid at all
She has talent
So do we all!!!!!

Have a wonderful Monday.  Go do something and have no doubt.  We are all awesome!!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bow Pillow, Burp Rags and Beanies - Its a B day!!!

Well I feel like I've FINALLY accomplished something.  I stayed up until 2 a.m. - yep another late one, but I made a beautiful bow pillow in one night.  It came out so cute, I love it.  What do you think?

Of course, after the fact, I would change a few little things, but overall I am very happy with this one.  I combined a couple of different blog instructions and this worked the best and quickest for me.  Its very elegant. It was for someone else, I HAVE to start making cute stuff for me.   

I also made a couple of quicky burp rags for a friend that is due in a few months.  Thinking ahead, that's new for me :)  I loved the little birds on the flannel and then did a soft yellow on the back.
I don't know about you, but I seem to have trouble corresponding colors because I get so excited with so many choices of fabric, but I'm determined to at least carry one theme for these baby sewing gifts and I think birds will be it this time.  I love all things bird.  We had a redbird on a feeder this weekend and I was so excited.  The Chief likes to point out that the pretty one is the male, blah blah blah...  I love em all anyway, hee hee.

I have two baby blankets to make and I'm determined to sew one by this weekend.  I'm thinking of putting post it notes with project goals in front of my machine to help motivate me.  

I have a friend, a dear, dear friend who is sick and doing Chemo - they gave her these turbans to wear which are fine, but I think we can do better.  I found a site - Crafty Gemini, again - I love her - and she made fleece beanies.    I want to try a couple and then maybe I can adapt them to a different fabric - at least then my friend would have choices.  It's all cut out, just waiting for me to take the leap and attempt to sew it.  I will post pics when I figure it all out.

That's about it for me.  Guess I should go have a couple cups of coffee, so I can make it through the work day.  

Have a blessed week.  And go sew!!!!



Monday, March 18, 2013

Vegas and Back - now time to sew, sew sew!!!

Well we are back from Vegas and plain tuckered out.  We had so much fun - so many things to see.

KA - Cirque du soliel is amazing!!!  I was in awe with KA.  We went the the Minus 5 Ice Bar where everything including the furniture and glasses are made of ice.  Picture below - that's me sitting down!!!  I think that's where I finally caught my cold :(.

We also went to the Pawn Shop "As seen on TV"  haha.  That's me with Chum Lee.  That was a rainy 44 degree day, but so worth it.  (Maybe that's where I caught my cold).

The Chief ran a half marathon in Red Creek Canyon, but I passed and slept. I know - so lazy...
Kelsey (niece) and I rode the roller coaster on top of NY NY.  I LOVE roller coasters.
Glad we went and glad we are back.

Now, another fellow co-worker has had a baby (now I'm three baby blankets behind, counting my 4 month old #3 grandson).  That's got to be a project for Sunday, at least ONE blanket.  I bought the cutest fabric on Ebay - black and white with little panda bears.  

Cute, right?  That will be blanket number 3 sooner or later.  Maybe with a black minky background?

Puppies were oh so glad we were home.  Missed our babies!!

Oh and we saw Oz yesterday.  Not what I thought, but with 3D and Dbox it was fun anyway.

Have a great blessed weekend!

And happy sewing.  I'm aiming for bunnies for Easter, will share if I dare!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Tuesday.  

I hope you have had a good week so far.  We had a great weekend at the Rodeo Cookoff, sporting a tad bit of headache and apparently I made lots of friends, got some beads..., but its supposed to be like Vegas - what happens there, stays there...yeah right....

Anyhoo - Chief had a fit on Sunday night and I got lots of sewing done - if I knew how easy that was to free up my time, I would have done that wayyyyy sooner...  just kidding - maybe - sort of...

Well, I am playing catch up and there are some things I have made lately that I wanted to share.  

First or should I say lastly, I made this adorable Cat in the Hat tote.  I got the instructions here, Cat in the Hat Tote Tutorial although I reversed the fabric - I lined the inside with the stripes - (ahem, did you hear that, I LINED something, oh yeah!)  Anyway, I did a boxed tote bottom that lines up PERFECTLY.  I couldn't believe it!!!  Not sure where my little tote headed, but maybe I will hold out for someone's birthday or baby gift, I think.  

Also, the Chief bought me a serger and I made an entire pillow using it - it was great fun, although I just shiver when I think I may have to thread that thing at some time.  I will worry about that later...much later.  I found the cutest Looney Tunes Dallas Cowboys fabric - so it's yet another pillow, I know, but its serged, which is something new.  Give me a break - I'm a pillow making fool  :)

I edited these pictures to rotate to the right, but they didn't and I'm not going to worry about it, so ENJOY the whole up and down image, yeah baby!  Life's too short to sweat the vertical hee hee.

About a year ago I made this rag quilt.  It came out so cute and I'm still holding it - for two reasons.  First, I don't know who to give it to that would appreciate the amount of work that went into it (since everything takes me twice as long).  Second, I nipped stitches when I was "ragging" it and I have to go back and sew some holes shut.  



I really love this blanket.  It's so bright and cheerful - some special little girl deserves it.  Let me know if you know of one.  I thought about at the hospital, but that's anonymous and I really wanted to see their face when they get it.  When the time is right - I'm sure it will find its home.

One thing that I am sure of by now is that I almost, no ALWAYS, seem to have to resew something on a project.  It's my lot in life I guess.

Ok - example time, ding ding - I saw the cutest little stuffed bunny to make for Easter - sort of combined two Pinterest patterns - cut, pinned and sewed.  So excited - out was out and in was in - even added lace for a little flair - I'm feeling cocky now, yeah baby!!!!  Getting ready to stuff when I realized - yes, its true, the ears are sewn on backwards.... see what I mean - EVERY FLIPPEN TIME!!!

(Ok - see I rotated this bunny as well.  I give up.  Tilt your head to the right and enjoy seeing my backward bunny ears!)

By the end of this week, I hope to finish my quilt repair and rip and resew my little bunny.  Then who fricken knows....I'm on a roll... look out  :)

Have a wonderful evening!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Laugh and Love!!!

Ok - It's only been a month and I'm back - wooo whoooo!!!!

It's been a sad month since Mom passed.  Passed what, right?  I hate that phrase, but died just sounds so final and blunt.  Anyway, the good news is my eye finally has stopped twitching.  My task list is almost complete and I get to get sad and then get glad again now.  So, that's life just keeps going...

I'm trying to do things to keep busy - the Chief says Mom told him his job is to distract me, which basically means he's trying to make me craZy, with an excuse.  I asked him if he could feel Mom "swatting" him - you know like Whoopie Goldberg did on Ghost?  I feel certain that she, Mom, not Whoopie, is up there trying to "git that boy".  They gave each other hell and I know he misses her as much as I do.

Ok, deep breath, new subject...

I'm listening to Amy Sedari's audio book entitled:

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

I have replayed part after part - she makes me laugh so much, with "side bar" notes and self-award winning recipes, with tidbits and humor - I hate that I'm on the last cd.  If you need a little humor - get it, or be cheap like me and check it out at the library for free!!!  

My loves:  Libraries.  I miss holding books, turning pages, feeling the paper, smelling the ink.  I am old school and admit it here and now, I LOVE BOOKS!!  But, and, as I spend an inordinate amount of travel time back and forth to work, the audio book works for the car portion and I haven't opened the IPAD in a week.  I checked out a Stephen King book - The Dome (1,074 page, weighs a flippen ton) and Mary Poppins, that I found while scoping out the children section for my grandson, Adam.  I'm also reading The Human Life of Jesus that I found on a shelf at Mom's.  So lots of reading going on, and it's making me happy, so there!!!

News flashes:
I am down 26 lbs.  Jeff is down 30 so far - we are doing Weight Watcher's and its working.  I really got off track in the last month, but I'm finding my way back.  Can't let him win, right?

Valentine's Day was yesterday.  We agreed to go with homemade cards this year.  I don't have pics of his and my small cards, but I will post them next week, because mine was pretty darn good and his was absolutely hilarious.  I almost peed on myself while reading it.  I did want to give him something tho, so I made what I called a "big" card.  I found it on Pinterest - I love Pinterest.  It's not perfect and it needs a a little more work, and as usual I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. the night before last, making it, but I like it.  So did he, he was wondering where to hang it, which TOTALLY surprises me.  I will post the pics next week.  I would like some feedback.

Jeff's niece and sister brought over a little container of goodies - one was chocolate covered bacon.  Yes I said it.  Chocolate covered bacon!  Whoever thought of that was NOT on Weight Watchers!  It was yummy, shhhhhhh!

My Adam is here this weekend, so I am playing up the Mam Maw for all it's worth.  I see lots of Wii games in our day tomorrow.

Nothing else going on.  It's Friday afternoon and I am headed home.  One and one-half hour trek - here I go...

Ash Wednesday service reminded us that we are beloved children of God.  Isn't that awesome to hear, even though we know it already.  Never hurts to be reminded.  As screwed up as I am, I'm still beloved and so are YOU!!!  Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to say goodbye and help those left behind


It's been a really long time since I have posted.  I could blame it on so many things, but really I just got lazy.  We have taken trips and made improvements to the house.  We have made friends and probably a few enemies in all of this time.  But, I think the biggest change is that my mom died on January 9th.  It will be three weeks this Wednesday and I still reach for the phone and try to call her.  It's almost as if she is still just that phone call away.  Then you realize that cornbread, pineapple upside down cake and chapstick can have a profound sadness surrounding them.  I know someday they won't make me cry, but for's so sad its almost numbing.  Here's a photo I found when going through pictures of her - this is how I remember seeing her when I was growing up.  That hair - yikes - all three of us kids have that same hair.  I say thank GOD for flat irons :)

Also, having had to do so much of the process by myself, I have learned a lot that I hope will help others.  I mean it.  There are so many little things we can all do now, that can help our loved ones when the time comes, whether expected or not.  And these don't take much time and are so helpful to others later.

Things to do now:

First, and I say this most ardently, make a call list.  Everyone you would ever want to have called.  When that moment came, I stood there with my eye twitching going through an old phone book of hers with no idea who half the people were.  We missed calling some people, I know because they called me after the funeral when they heard.  I felt so bad....To be honest I was so stressed out, I don't remember who all got called.  Make a call list.  Put it in an envelope in a cabinet with your papers and let someone know its there.  It's a gift that makes the process so much easier for those left behind.  I would even suggest, if there are quite a few, breaking it into sections, so it can be handed to several people to make calls, so that one person isn't stuck trying to do it all themselves.

Secondly, pictures.  This was a nightmare because I had a 1 day deadline to gather approximately 45 pictures for the keepsake video and get them emailed, so they could get it online.  Take the time to save your favorite pictures of yourself and photos of you with those you love to a usb stick or cd.  You can update every once in awhile to keep it current.  Put that stick or cd in the envelope with the call list and file it away.  Just let someone know its there and mark it with big letters so its easy to find.  Note:  They wanted 25 pictures for the keepsake handout at the funeral, but didn't ask and chose their own 25.  As it turned out their choice included 3 of one aunt, 2 of one brother and 4 kids were left out.  MAKE SURE that when you save the 45 - label 25 of them specifically as Keepsake Brochure or Keepsake Handout.  I had a war with the funeral home trying to get them reprinted the day of - and that was a stress I didn't need.  If you have family like mine, you know you can't accidentally eliminate kids or someone gets their feelings hurt.

Third, obituary.  They write it and send to you to proof.  If you just make up a dummy one - it makes it so that no ones name gets misspelled or left out.  But they do write it, so this is one stress that I got to share.

Fourth, music.  They play about 3 songs at a service.  If you have a preference, just write them down.  They had all of the music, so I only had to give them the names.  That was actually painless.

Things to do later:

Fifth, and apparently very important, the flower spray for the casket.  I wasn't asked until the florist didn't have time to order the right flowers.  So tell the funeral home you want them to arrange it but have the florist call you to discuss your choice of flowers.  Our's worked out because she knew I was upset and she found flowers somewhere, and it was lovely, but it was another stress that could have been avoided if I had known to handle early on.

What to wear.  Okay, I found something beautiful for mom, but it helps if you can leave an idea of what you want.  I got lucky.  But everyone has their own ideas and you could come out looking differently than you imagine. You also have to send the jewelry.  I sent three rings, so they could choose, and they put them all three on.  She would have loved the bling, so I left it, just be prepared that if you send it, they will use it!

We took bells and angels that she collected and put them on a table by the door and asked everyone to take one home for a little token to remember mom by.  Everyone was ringing the bells as they walked out.  It made me smile.

We had to go back after the graveside service to handle paperwork and then they gave me all of these flowers to take home.  I ended up with 7 arrangements and 2 plants.  My house smelled cloyingly sweet and made me sad.  I would love to have had everyone take one with them.  Ask them beforehand when they will allow you to take them.  Better to share.

So to sum up,

1.  Make a call list
2.  Save your pictures
3.  Write out names and spelling for obituary.
4.  Music - write down your prefrences
5.  Order flower spray for casket through funeral home first day
6.  Outfit, if you care
7.  Ask them about flowers to take home, beforehand

There were other things; family that couldn't see family at the same time because of disagreements, so scheduling a viewing earlier helped.  Finding pallbearers ahead of time would have helped but no one wanted to and in the end everyone had to.  Seeing people you didn't recognize and not sure how to approach, trying to be friendly and efficient and strong.  Thank you cards afterwards.  My eye hasn't stopped twitching.  Its a process, don't panic, surprisingly in the end, it all gets done.

But, please, please, please for the sake of those left behind, get an envelope minimally, put in the call list and the photos and put it where they can find it.  I'm working on mine right now.  The Chief wants a margarita machine at his and they said you can do it if you want to, so see, anything is possible.

Lastly, go tell the ones that are still here how much you love them.  Even the ones that piss you off or drive you crazy.  Because eventually you lose the option to make the choice.

I'm tired and I'm done and now I can just be sad.

God bless us all.  We need it!