Friday, February 27, 2009

See Ya Later

We leave tomorrow for warmer weather. We'll fly to New Orleans and hop on the Carnival Fantasy for a week of sun and fun. I'm pumped! Cruising has never been on my "bucket list," but if someone suggests a trip, I'm game to go. I have a feeling I'll be hooked.

I don't have all those fancy gadgets like a blackberry and I'm not taking my laptop, so I won't be posting during that time. I do hope to have tons of pictures.

See you in 11 days!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Important things:

The dressy outfit is done. I'm not sure I'm totally satisfied with it, the knit has a nap and doesn't slide very well, but I think it'll be fine and the jewelry goes pretty well with it.

Pardon the cluttered sewing room-a clean sewing room is a room where nothing happens! All the batting that sits in front of the mirror is there to keep the cheap mirror from tipping backwards. The bolts have stripped and the doggone thing won't stay steady. Do you like the black socks?

I just have to sew a snap in the purse, and alter a t-shirt I bought the other day. The shirt is a little low-cut, but I think I can take it up a bit in the shoulders and make it work.

A zippered pocket in the back.

A nice little iris on the flap.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting Them Done!

First, I changed horses in midstream with the dressy outfit. My SIL gave me this jewelry set for Christmas and since she's going on the cruise, I thought I should make something that I could wear the jewelry with.

The fabric underneath the necklace is what I finally cut out. I cut out a simple tee, a gored skirt, and a v-neck jacket. The stretchy knit will pack well. I was in Coldwater Creek the other day, and saw a gored skirt made out of the same fabric. I thought it was funny since I've had this fabric for years-got it on clearance at Walmart. Four yards at $2.00 a yard versus $90.00 just for the skirt-do the math! That and fitting issues is why I sew. I can have a whole wardrobe of beautiful, custom, great-fitting clothes for under $100.00. I need to go back to Coldwater Creek, they have gorgeous clothes-maybe I can memorize some of the designs and go home and make some of them.

Now the jacket:

I really like how it turned out, and the fit is terrific. I lined it completly and hand-stitched the lining to the hems. I noticed in the photo there's a bump in the right sleeve seam, but in real life it's smooth. It must be how I hung it on the hanger.

I make purses out of upholstery samples. I dug in my stash of already completed purses, but I couldn't find any that matched the dressy outfit, so I found another sample in a nice navy with a tiny print. If I can find a zipper in my stash (see last post), I'll make it to take along.

Burning the midnight oil could definitely be in my plan for the next couple of days!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vintage Sewing Notions

Because I sew, people are always giving me stuff that Grandma or Aunt Mary had in their stash. Some of it's not great, but some things are neat enough I don't want to use them, just keep them around.

I didn't find a date on the package, but how cool is this? Any guesses?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Wedding Dress I Talked About

I needed to shorten this wedding gown 1". With the border on the lace, the only way I could do it was to take it up at the waistband. Surprisingly, this was one of the simplest wedding dress alterations I've done in a long time. This job came from the one I did last summer. The bride is a cousin of last summer's groom. I had to put a hook and eye in the back, too, so she could bustle it for dancing. Once again, it went smoothly. This isn't right-when is the other shoe going to fall?

I started a sweater for the Princess. It's for her birthday, but since Easter comes before that, she'll get it early. This yarn isn't fancy or high priced. It came from a dollar table at Jo-Ann's.

I started this with cruise ship knitting in mind, but it's going so fast that I downloaded a shawl pattern from Ravelry with the idea of taking that along instead. I could be done before the weekend is over. The sweater pattern is Lion Brand Eyelet Yoke Cardigan. It calls for Cotton-Ease, but this Symphony yarn swatched up just fine. Actually it swatched a bit big, but since the pattern only goes up to a 4, I decided it will work out okay. I added a bit of length, too. Gracie will be five, but she is a tiny five, so she should get some wear out of it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Closet Monsters

A few weeks ago we noticed some condensation on an outside wall of our front closet. What had happened was that there was a small section of the wall, the part that overhangs the basement, had not been insulated when the house was built. It got so damp, black mold built up on the sheetrock.

We ripped everything out and got rid of the mold. Then we used that spray foam insulation to fill in the roughly two foot square that had been neglected. In order to do this DH had to drill four holes. It turns out this boxlike section of the closet was divided into two compartments, so he had to have one hole in each to spray the insulation and one to see what he was doing. The second compartment he got a little generous, and over the next 24 hours these monsters grew:

They look like patrons at the Star Wars Cantina. I think I have to paint them and give them faces and identities. We've already named them. The big one is Sully and the little one is Mike, after the closet monsters in Monsters, Inc.

It Came!

My invitation to Ravelry, that is. Soooo-pop on over and visit me there. Hopefully I'll fill it with projects, patterns and pictures. Yayyy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

They're Off!

Sent the hankie bonnets today. I meant to send them yesterday, but I wasn't bright enough to remember that it was President's Day and the Post Office was closed. Since I retired I don't keep very close tabs on what day it is. I used to know when all the 3-day weekends were.

It wasn't very expensive to mail the three-one to Colorado, one to Canada and the third to Malaysia. I did have to fill out customs forms, however. I chuckled when I filled in the contents box as "baby bonnet."

Anyway, girls, they're on their way.

P.S. Jacket is done, pictures soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009


OK my blood is boiling! I am 58 years old. I am gluten intolerant, newly discovered, and am trying to weed out what I can eat at restaurants. I had to go to town today and started looking for a place to eat lunch. I remembered that the local wing place has grilled chicken strips.

So after waiting 10 minutes for my drink and another 10 minutes for a young thing to come take my order, I started asking her questions. She did bring the bottle my wing sauce came from and the label showed no gluten or wheat. I ordered grilled winglets with the sauce and a salad. After 20 minutes another young thing brings me a platter with the winglets and a pile of french fries. I told her I had ordered a salad instead of the fries. She disappears to get the salad. A young man brings me the salad, covered with croutons. Rats! I decided to just pick them off, but I didn't have salad dressing.

I asked the young man if the fries were cooked with the breaded things or had a dedicated fryer. (McDonald's has a dedicated potato fryer-I know I worked there for 4 years.) He said no they were not cooked with the chicken. When he came back, he said he asked the cook and the cook said that the grilled winglets and the fries were not cooked together. I said, "That's not what I asked. Are the fries cooked in the same vat as breaded things?" He said, "Yes, but your chicken is grilled." Sheeesh! I tried to explain about cross-contamination, but gave up.

Now the original waitress, "Holly" or something, brought my salad dressing (finally) and started coming by often and calling me "Sweetie." Every time she spoke to me she called me "Sweetie!!!"

Like I said I'm 58 and she was all of 19. A little respect here, people. I almost wrote on the credit card reciept, "your tip would have been bigger if you hadn't called me sweetie," but I figured she wouldn't get it so I gave up and left.

They said they wouldn't charge me for the salad but they did. There were finely chopped tomatoes in the salad. I was so frustrated and hungry by that point I just ate them, forgetting that fresh tomatoes give me stomach cramps.

Of course, I got the cramps. I had to race home-20 miles. $10.50 plus tip for this? I won't go back.

Update-I stopped by the local cafe today. One of the waitresses reads my blog. She couldn't wait to hand me my ticket, and call me Sweetie! She said she hoped I'd come in. Bad girl, Kami!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentine

DH and I went to this lovely shop today. He had intended to get me a gift certificate for the place for Valentine's day, but with the car shortage he couldn't sneak away to do it, so he brought me there today and I got to pick what I wanted. I have tasted one, and Sydney got one, but the rest are mine!! (DH hates chocolate-kind of a nice arrangement because that means I get it all!) It's nice to have such a classy shop right here in good old Montana.

By the way, my car is home. She cost $475.00-ouch! Must have chocolate to sooth my sore checkbook!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stranded! (And I don't mean a style of knitting!)

The part for my car won't be in until sometime today. If it gets here early enough, the mechanic will put it in right away. If it doesn't get here until late in the day, he will pop it in tomorrow. It all depends on UPS and how soon they can get to his shop. Working on Saturday? I think I got a gem of a mechanic! The big problem is that the shop is 20 miles west of here on a rural road. I told DH he could go fishing, so there went our only vehicle. The long trip is worth it considering the gem I stumbled across.

I have several people who can take me out if it does get done today. My friend Janis is willing, and my son or DIL can do it, too. Probably should call on the son-he probably owes Mom for giving him life and a roof over his head, etc. (At this point he'd just roll his eyes, laugh, and say "sure, Mom, whatever!")

Anyway, it forces me to stay close to home to finish some sewing. The jacket is all but done-some handwork and hemming is about all. I should have pictures soon. If I get cabin fever I can walk uptown, it's only about 8 blocks and I should be doing it all the time and leaving my car in the garage. It's supposed to be in the 30s today so it should be a pleasant walk.

The problem with my car was that the exhaust was plugged. Tight, I guess. Man!! I wonder if that's why I started having headaches! Scary!

Sydney, my 4-year-old (five in June, Grandma) grandson is coming to stay for the weekend. His mom is bowling in a tournament in Missoula so they're making it a Valentine weekend away. They really owe me a trip to the mechanic! I am looking forward to having Syd here. After all I have the six cutest and nicest (or handsomest, sorry Chris and Isaac) grandkids in existence. It's always fun when they're here. I've been trying to get Sam, the three-year-old, here for an overnight for a couple of weeks, but things aren't working out very well.

This weekend Sam's family will be in Billings. Every year at this time they take time out to celebrate Chris and Isaac's adoptions. Both adoptions were final at about the same time of year so they just make it one big trip. The two younger ones are biological-I'll tell their stories sometime, too. Miracles!

I have a bride coming Sunday night with a wedding dress to be altered, so maybe I can snag some pictures for you. Told her I had to have it this week-the wedding is the end of March, but since I'll be gone until March 9, I thought it would save her anxiety if I got it done now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Have Winners!

First, I want to thank all of you who visited my blog and entered my drawing. It was so cool to meet people from all over the world. In fact, my three winners come from three different countries. I couldn't have planned that!!

I recorded each entry on an Excel sheet and used those numbers to draw. I used the Random Number Generator (so easy) and plugged in my range of numbers.

The generator picked:
Franny at Picklebeans
Fitty at Fitty's Pink Rose Garden
Beckie Holso at Art Beckons

Franny and Fitty had e-mail addresses, but I couldn't fine Beckie's. Beckie, I left a comment on your most recent post, so contact me through that.

I'm so excited to have been a part of this. I can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting There!

The robe/coverup is done. After working on the fabric for a day I finally figured out what the theme of the print is. Women golfers in Hawaii! Sounds like fun to me!

I used the kimono jacket pattern, but added enough length to make it come to my ankles. I made it wider so it would cover more, but adding enough to have it lap over would have changed the lines of the robe too much, so I put button loops with shank buttons instead of having a sash.

Can't see the detail too well, but the lines are very nice, and will work well going to the pool on the ship.

Had these buttons for a while-another bargain (see previous post). I can call it a stash-buster, the fabric was from my stash, too.

Today I should be able to finish the jacket, then I need to cut out the dressy outfit. I'm thinking a dressy small purse, too, but don't know how far I'll get with that. Should be able to do something, but life can get in the way. For instance, I'm carless until Saturday, when the part arrives. Oh yeah, I can't go anywhere, guess I'd better sew!

Queen of the Bargains

So I was prowling through Walmart yesterday, looking for screaming deals. I wandered into the garden shop (go figure) and found all these buttons on clearance. The tag over the peg said 5 cents. I spent a while sorting through, some of them were ghastly, and came up with these. I got 29 cards of buttons for $1.45. The two cards in the lower left corner of the picture are for a current project and were full price. I paid more for those two cards than I did for the whole rest of the pile. I took them through the regular checkout instead of the self-checkout because I figured it would be tons of fun to scan all of those and what if the price wasn't in the system?!! They were so the checker was spared the problem of price-checking.

I love a bargain!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Froggies

The girls at the local cafe like a variety of aprons. I suppose I've made 20 or so in different colors and seasonal prints. Here are the latest:

Now I will fire up my embroidery machine and personalize them.

I love the rowdy frogs. They're having a grand time celebrating St. Patty's Day! I didn't know frogs drank beer!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Another Book?!!

Okay, I said I wasn't going to review a lot of books, but here I go again! This book got hold of me and I couldn't put it down. I inhaled it in a couple of days.

The author, William Paul Young, has shown exactly what God's love is all about. He tears down all our preconceived notions about religion, faith, judgment, forgiveness and love.

Mack, a father and husband, loses his youngest daughter to a psychopath who kidnaps and kills her. After almost four years in "the great sadness," God leaves him a note in his mailbox asking him to meet Him at the shack where they think his daughter was murdered. Mack learns who God really is and how to heal from such a terrible tragedy.

If you really think you know God, read this book. You'll be amazed at how much you don't know.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Starting to Sew

I need a bathrobe/beach coverup, and I found this in my stash:

It looks kind of Asian, but I think it's meant more to have a French flavor. I used this pattern and cut it longer and wider (so I can add a belt or maybe some buttons). After I serge it together and try it on, I'll decide what my next step is.

I also need a light jacket for the evening ocean breezes. I bought this pattern a while back and even though it is meant for quilted fabric or fleece, I thought maybe I could use it for this fabric:

It's actually upholstery fabric-a flat-fold remnant. I washed and dried it and it turned out beautiful. I found a nice satiny polyester in my stash that will make a nice lining. The pattern doesn't call for lining but that never stopped me before. I also squared off the bottom and lengthened it about 1 1/2" so I can wear it with more outfits. It also calls for frogs or something similar. I'll wait until I have the body put together and try it on. I'm thinking button loops of some sort and some classy shank buttons. I won't bind the edges. Lining it will take care of edge finishing. I will interface to make it look a finished as possible. I'm skipping the mandarin collar, too.

I love taking patterns and making something entirely different out of them!

Friday, February 6, 2009


We made a road trip to Billings yesterday to give my SIL her prayer shawl and pick up a couple of booster seats her daughter was giving to us. The SIL LOVED her shawl, by the way, and said she would take it with her to Chemo.

We got home with two boosters. We have a convertible car seat-from birth to toddler, but it was rapidly getting too small for the grandsquirts. I decided that all the covers on all three seats needed to be washed. Manufacturers don't seem to take into account that old people like DH and I need to have detailed instructions on taking these covers off and worse, putting them back on!

Chloe did her best to help-actually she was rooting for crumbs dropped by children. She found a few. The covers are drying-God help us when it's time to reassemble! I think the boosters will be fine, but that big car seat will be a big pain.On the upside, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to Hancock Fabrics. I am so proud of my restraint! The only fabric I bought was five yards of batiste, which I use for the hankie bonnets and is almost nonexistent in Bozeman. I can get it at one small shop but it's pretty pricey. I picked up some bobbins for my Viking and a bit of elastic but that was it! The major restriction was time-I could have spent more money with more time, but I'm just going to say I had self control.

Hey, it's my blog, I can lie if I want!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Less than a month and this is where we'll be:

We can hardly wait!! So much sewing, so little time!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What We Did this Weekend

DH and I have a huge barbecue that his brother had made several years ago. It became ours when they moved away.

This weekend we used the barbecue to cook beef for a friend's daughter's wedding. And what a wedding!

The story of the bride and groom: the bride was born here, went to school here, and attended our church since birth. As a teenager, she got the call to missions. She did some training with YWAM, "Youth With a Mission," and spent a few weeks in Africa, in Gambia.

She was hooked. She knew two things-one she had to serve the Lord in missions, and two she was being called back to Africa. She entered intensive training with YWAM, which has a major training camp here in Montana.

Kente cloth.

The groom: he was born in Central Africa Republic, the second of six children. While still very young, he lost both his parents to AIDS. The kids were on the streets. One day, he met a group of kids playing soccer, and since he was very good at it, he joined in. The group turned out to be a Christian group. He was taken in by a Christian family, found Jesus, and was raised and mentored by this family. Fast forward through the next few years-he was able to get a job and buy a house to care for his younger siblings, but he too was feeling the call to be a helper to his people, to get rid of poverty and find homes for orphans. His mentor and foster father was in YWAM, so through that program he came to the US for training. He had a choice between Hawaii and Montana. He was advised to go to Hawaii simply because it's COLD in Montana! He gave it to God and felt the leading to come to Montana.

At training, he met a gentle, genuine, caring young lady. Yep, our gal from home. They were both advanced in Bible, so to keep busy and to help the young man with English, they started studying together. They fell in love.

Saturday they got married. The church was packed, with family, friends, fellow missionaries, and a few of the groom's people from C.A.R. In our tiny, mostly Caucasian church in a tiny town in Montana, people from all over the world converged to celebrate a wedding of two people who share a rare love. They come together with eyes open to what is in store for their lives. They celebrated that the orphan gained a huge extended family. He now has someone he can call "Mom and Dad." After more training in England they will move permanently to C.A.R to work setting up foster homes for orphans.

The ceremony was American with tuxes and the gorgeous white dress, but after the wedding they changed into traditional African wedding clothes for the reception. Mom and Dad did too. The toast was in French, translated by a lady from our little church. (Who knew?) The music was a mix of American praise songs and African music. We had a lovely dinner with African flat bread, American beef, and the requisite cake. Both the American and C.A.R. flags were displayed.

Just for a bit, an afternoon and evening, the world came to our little town. We all came together to celebrate a rare and genuine love, and rejoice in the power of God's hand guiding two people to a service of Him. We had African, French, Asian, Dutch, all of one mind and heart. All for now "getting it."

150 people will be different forever. Now we know, now we understand.