Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Review

I don't plan on doing a lot of book reviews, but if a book really touches me, or I think it would be something worthwhile reading to improve oneself, I will promote it.

This book happens to be written by someone I know. The author, Jan Aldrow, has gotten where she is in life by working hard, being frugal, and giving her life to Jesus.

The Art of Money Management is a spiritual based guide to living in this poor economy while still enjoying life. She details how she became debt-free and independent. She gives tips on buying in bulk and stretching food supplies. Plus there are a few good recipes sprinkled through the book, including an awesome marinara sauce recipe on page 38!

Jan is living debt-free in Bozeman, Montana.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wedding Sewing

This flower girl dress was made for a friend's daughter's wedding last summer. They were on a budget and someone had given them a few yards of leftover wedding dress fabric. I had to make a pattern because she wanted the straps, but it actually fell together quite nicely. They had unused appliques too, so I used them on the dress. The flower girl, who is six, felt like a princess!

It was a Western-themed wedding, so I also made vests for the men-blue cotton with navy trim. The print wasn't so much a print as a two-tone tie dye pattern. Even the little boys had their own vests. They all wore jeans and cowboy boots, even the girls wore boots.

Then I got one of the bridesmaid's dresses. They had figured my plate was full so they sent the bridesmaid's dresses to another seamstress who shall forever remain nameless. They were too tight, the zippers were wonky, and the straps were way to short. Thank goodness she had left the straps uncut inside the bodice! When I had finished the repair and was hand sewing the lining to the zipper, I noticed my needle kept gumming up. That's when I realized she had glued the zippers in place! By the time they realized the other dresses had the same issues, we were running out of time so one of the bridesmaid's mothers stepped in to finish the repairs on the other dresses. At least the bride's dress was perfect. (She purchased it-didn't even have to alter it!) I've been promised photos but that usually doesn't happen!

I feel badly for the other seamstress-she was obviously over her head skillwise. Made for good references for my business in the future, though. I think my favorite thing to sew for is weddings. I love that I can take the time to make it look beautiful! And nobody squawks about the price!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

That is sooo cool!

I am overwhelmed at the number of comments I've been getting. What a neat thing to hear from people all over the world! So far I've visited all the blogs, but haven't had the time to reply to all of them. If I don't get to all of them, just know that I really appreciate hearing from all of you. This feels great, knowing that I've only been a blogger for just over a week!

Monday, January 26, 2009

One World-One Heart


I'll add my giveaway to the rest. This is called a "Magic Hankie Bonnet." First I make a hankie, then with a few stitches and ribbon, I transform it into a bonnet. The baby wears the bonnet for christening, dedication, etc., then you take out the ribbons and stitching, wash and put away. When Baby grows up, it becomes the "something old" she carries on her wedding day. If you have a boy, I can supply one that is more tailored with blue trim. I also have some with pink lace if you like that better. Just state your preference in your comments. Be sure to have a valid URL (I've noticed some of the links aren't valid) or e-mail address. Deadline is February 11. Good luck!

Update-I will close comments at 9:00 A. M. Mountain Standard time on February 12. Be sure to have your entry in by then.

Also, because there were so many entries, I have decided that I will draw three names and give away three of the bonnets. Better chances to win!!

Some entries don't have valid URLs or e-mail addresses, so watch my blog for the winners. If I can't contact you in 5 days, I will redraw. How will I draw? I think I will try the newfangled Random Number Generator thingie.

Thanks, friends!

Update-we have winners! See my latest post to see who won.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Bed

I've been wanting set Chloe up with a better sleeping arrangement. I don't mind her sleeping on the couch, but I wanted to protect the couch, give here something cozier, and keep her off the recliners. (She pouts like crazy when we run her off the recliners!)

I'd seen those round dog beds in the stores-the ones with a circular cushion all the way around and an indentation in the center. They look like something a dog would really like. I was being frugal (cheap) and had been putting off buying one, hoping to find a screaming deal somewhere.

I was cleaning out a closet and came across an orthopedic pillow that I had made. I'd copied it from one my chiropractor had. It was puffy around the outside with an indentation in the center.

Oh yeah! Sometimes my brain works like it should and I immediately put it on the couch and laid the fleece throw that she has claimed over it. You can see the results. She is in love.

Now isn't that the sweetest face?!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Christmas Dress

I figured I'd better show something I sewed since this is supposed to be a sewing blog. I found this fabric on the red tag table at Jo-Ann's. I think the ultimate Christmas dress for a little girl is a green plaid with red or blue in it and being shot with a gold or silver thread makes it even better. I had this done in time for Christmas programs and the Princess looked fabulous in it. I used Butterick See & Sew #4860. I've had this pattern for a long time, so I'm not sure if it's still available. The collar was made to be just one layer, but I made it two layers with interfacing. The velvet lays much better that way. I accidently used the wrong notches to match the plaids in the skirt but Princess is so short, I was able to cut it down so I could get a good match. The pleats hung nicely-luck, I think. I prewashed all the fabrics and the taffeta washed like a dream!

Hopefully she can get a bit more wear out of it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thanks, Gram

My MIL is 92 years old and a sweet frugal soul. My SIL helped her clean out a closet the other day and this is what I got.

And this.

The box is in the trunk of my car to be donated, but what's on the table I think I can use. There was a lot of vintage fabrics I couldn't let go of. Not the polyester doubleknit, though. That will be gone.

I had to keep this. Those of you over the age of 50 will remember this fabric. Sheer nylon with a flocked design. You made a solid slip to wear underneath. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What I Did Today

Actually, the important thing I did today was watch the inauguration. I started a pair of mittens for Princess Gracie because mittens are something I've done a lot of and I didn't want to be distracted by a lot of pattern work and counting. I got pretty far even if I really wasn't paying much attention to it.

Today was a day like no other in the history of the United States. The significance is so profound it's hard to get my mind around it.

In 1968 I read the book, "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin. A non-fiction published in 1961 it relates how a white man dyes his skin black and spends six weeks traveling by bus and hitchhiking through the South. It's a story that shows the hate and prejudice that was so rampant in the South at that time. The book showed that there was a locked door for which there was no key if you were black. He was called names, not allowed in certain places, not allowed to fully function as an American. The book changed my life.

Today, Barack Obama took the key and unlocked the door. There is no longer a wall between people. By taking the oath of office, he not only unlocked the door, he tore down the wall.

People have argued with me, "A black man has had the right to become President for a long time." Yes, legally, but not in the hearts and minds of Americans. It took a financial crisis of epic proportions to force people to listen to a brilliant man who just might have some answers to get us out of this mess. I consider it a God thing, and I know some of my evangelical brothers and sisters might not agree, but God knows how stubborn and hard-hearted we can be so he had to provide us with a clear answer for this situation our government got us into. He just happens to be black.

Today, in Heaven, I think Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King are dancing at their own inaugeral ball.

Tomorrow we'll go back to our regular lives. Politicians will fight again. Fox news will disagree with MSNBC. Jobs will still be scarce. Banks will still be in trouble. Kids will still need better medical care. But just for today, we'll act like real Americans and we get a chance to see what America is supposed to be, what our forefathers intended-"A government of the people, by the people and for the people ."

All people.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"I Have a Dream"

"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'" Martin Luther King, August 1963

More tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First Project of 2009

My sister-in-law is battling cancer and started chemo last week, so I thought she needed some comfort and care so I made her a prayer shawl. Of course, anything I lay on the couch becomes the property of Chloe, our Westie, so she gets in on the picture.

I just did a simple block pattern (knit 4, purl 4, then after 4 rows reverse). I used a bulky big skein yarn on 10 1/2 needles.

Here I Go!!

Hello! I finally broke down and set up my blog. I'm sure it will be quite a learning experience so please be patient with me. I have four addictions-sewing, knitting, cooking, and grand kids. I live in south central Montana, but I'm a closet city girl, though I've never lived in a city.

Anyway, welcome to my new blog. I look forward to making bunches of friends.