Thursday, June 30, 2011


Had my physical a couple of weeks ago.  I asked my doc about my knee, it has been hurting a lot since I moved to the linens department and have to climb a lot of stairs to the stockroom.  She ordered x-rays and I find out that I have severe arthritis in the knee and will most likely have to have it replaced soon.  Rats!!  I just thought that when I fell last year I had a chunk of cartilage or bone that was getting in the way and a simple arthroscopic surgery would fix me right up.  I guess that's what I get for thinking........

They are going to move me to a different department at work, but that might take time for an opening to show up, so the supervisor told me to keep my trips upstairs to a minimum.  That's easier said than done, only one or two people know the stock as well as I do and it would be a worse pain to try to give someone directions to find something up there.  I'll try to be a good girl anyway!

The rest of me is in good shape-mammogram, blood workup, etc.  I have a bone density test on Tuesday-probably won't get off Scot free on that one-a person is bound to lose a bit of bone as one ages.  I don't like this aging thing, not one bit!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First Fruits

Stan picked our first official batch of strawberries today.  Just enough to slice, sugar, and devour over ice cream.

They were delicious!  (Key word:  were!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Got a Bit of Sewing Done

Got a few things done.  I have 5 days in a row off, but they are filling up fast so I don't know how much more I'm going to get done, but I'm going to try!  I really want to make a new purse.  I bought some cool heavyweight fabrics at Hancock Fabrics and I'm itching to turn them into a purse or two-if I get really ambitious I might make a couple extra and put them in my Etsy shop.  I got some nice top and blouse fabrics at Hancock too:

The bottom one is woven polyester, the other three are knits.  Can't wait to turn them into tops, but I have other things ahead of them, too bad!

About 30 years ago, Stan's sis Irene bought some black polyester velveteen.  She stuck it in a drawer and didn't make anything out of it.  A few years ago her stepdaughter Lisa was visiting and volunteered to make her something out of it.  Lisa is an accomplished seamstress who specializes in wedding dresses.  She turned the velveteen into a lovely suit.  Irene loved the suit-has worn it to a couple of funerals and other functions, but she never liked the dress's short sleeves-they really made her arms feel bound up, what with all that velveteen in the dress and the jacket.  A few weeks ago she asked if I could take the sleeves off.  I said, "Sure!" and have done that. 

She wondered if I could make pockets for the jacket out of the dress sleeves.  That worked out pretty well.

I decided to hand-sew the pockets in, because I thought topstitching would make it look homemade and not well done.  I used a kind of back stitch to do it and I think it will be good and strong.  Now she has someplace for her hanky!

Lisa made gussets in the underarms so I'm anxious to see if the armholes are all right.  You need more fabric if you have sleeves than if you don't.  I'll make her try it on first-she said she's not going to wear it without the jacket anyway so it may be just fine.  If not I can take it in a bit.  I didn't realize how much fuzz and lint was on this thing until I took the photos.  Better get my lint roller out!

It was fun to look inside a garment just to see how another seamstress does things.  Lisa is very good at what she does.

Then a young man and wife from our church asked if I could shorten a dress for her.  She is a tiny person, but the dress is REALLY tiny!  Cute, though, and it will look darling on her.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Work Clothes

I finally got a chance to whip up a blouse for work.  It is so blasted hot in my department that I am trying to gather some lightweight short sleeved tops to wear.  I had seen this pattern made by Lisa on Polka Dot Cottage.

I wanted sleeves, though, but I didn't care for any of the sleeves on the pattern.  I did some measuring and used the sleeve pattern from this one.

I have altered the t-shirt pattern to suit my fitting needs-it bears little resemblance to the original pattern.  It didn't go quite as I hoped, the first sleeve bunched up and I had a big pleat right at the top of the shoulder-grrrrr!  Resisting the urge to throw it, I ripped out the serging and redid it, basting the part that had pleated.  It went in smoothly the second time, thank goodness!  The other sleeve did fine, since I was super careful to watch.  The shapes weren't quite compatible but it worked out okay.  Now I have another top to wear to work!

This actually looks better on me that it does on Alice, tee hee!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet Alice

We took a road trip today.  For a while now, I've been thinking I needed a dress form.  I checked out my local fabric store, which shall remain nameless because they always disappoint me.  They wanted my whole paycheck plus my firstborn child for the forms they carry, besides the fact that they had only smalls in stock.  Those of you who know me know I haven't been a small since I WAS small!

On to the Internet and my favorite fabric store-Hancock Fabric.  Yes they carry nice forms and only want $99.99 for them.  I found the phone number of the Billings store and called them.  They had a medium in stock and put it on hold for me.  In the meantime Stan got his Harbor Freight ad in the mail and was itching to go to Billings anyway.

We left about 10:00 and met our sisters for a Mexican lunch, then headed out shopping-first at Big Lots where I scored a good deal on a Bissell Spot Shot, then to Harbor Freight where Stan got a ton of guy-type doodads and a big rollaround tool chest.  Then we hit Hancock and got my form, plus some lovely fabrics for tops and some duck cloth to make a couple of bags.  Our last store was Kohl's to check out the competition, since they're building a store in Bozeman right across from the mall and Macy's.

A potty break and coffee to go and we were back home again by 8:35.  The dogs were naughty on my living room rug, so the spot shot is charging and I get to spot clean some carpet in the morning, grrrrr!

 The form is blue, so I have christened her "Alice" after the song, "My Sweet Little Alice-Blue Gown."

Now I can show photos of my creations on a form instead of on a flat old hanger.  Next time I'll drape Alice with something so we don't see her naked blueness through the sheer fabric!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Thirty some years ago, the neighbor across the street stopped by.  She and her sister were going to get some lilac suckers to plant in their yard and they wondered if I wanted one.  I said sure and they went on their way.  About three weeks later the husband came over with a sheepish grin and a bucket with a dead-looking twig in it.  "Sorry," he said, "We totally forgot about this and it's been dry for a couple of weeks."  I told him I'd take it anyway, and planted it because even if it never grew, it didn't cost anything to plant it.

Now look at that dead thing!

Sometimes it pays to take a leap of faith!

There's a rain drop on the lens in the first picture-the rain won't stop and the whole area is flooding.  We're OK where we're at, but I feel sorry for the people who live nearer the rivers and streams, especially those in Roundup, MT.  We took a drive on the back highway last night and the East Gallatin river is all over the place.

I wish we could just tell the rain to go south to cool down Texas and Arizona's terrible heat spell.  Maybe if we all yell at it together, hehe!

We did have about two days of sunshine and Merlin took full advantage of it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Is It Really Summer?

Today was absolutely beautiful-it got all the way up to 70.  We planted the garden and just enjoyed the day.  I did some baking-not too hot for that, thankfully, and barbecued.  I have to show you our trees.  They are breathtaking this year.  Right now we have 3 lilacs, one pink crab, one white crab and a chokecherry bursting with blooms and perfuming the air.

 It feels like a fragrant park in our yard right now.  Soon our Spirea and peonies will open up.  In the back I have two beds full of day lilies and irises.  There are two lilacs back there, too, that are doing their fragrant thing.

Every photogenic beauty has to have a close-up, right?

And the cedar waxwings are still pruning the old apples out of the pink crab.  They are so darn cute!

Tomorrow is supposed to get to the 80's but then it's going to get cold again.  I love summertime in Montana but all this chilly weather and especially that icy wind really makes me miss Mazatlan.  Oh well, we had today.....

Thursday, June 2, 2011


First I want to say "Happy Birthday" to Gramma Liz.  We lost her two months ago, and today she would have been 95.  SIL Norma went to Washington to visit her kids-a planned trip, but a good thing to do to keep herself occupied so she doesn't have to think about the day quite so much.  Don't know how Stan is-he is definitely a man of few words.  When we got married, Gramma Liz warned me that he was and she was certainly right!

OK, life goes on and Gram would want it that way.  I really have been sewing-for myself and for others as well.  I started this project as a topper to wear to work, since we have to wear black.

 I decided it was too sheer to make buttonholes, so I made loops.  After thinking for a while, and not finding anything suitable in my massive stash, I hauled out the crochet hook and black thread from my mom's stash.  I have used a ton of her things-glad I held on to them!

I made a self-fabric binding for the front and the neck.  The front I cut across the grain, and the neck binding I cut on the diagonal to accomodate the curves.

The neck ruffle before gathering.

The ruffle in place.  I made a tube, finishing the ends, and left a small gap to turn it.  Then I gathered it down the middle and topstitched it in place at the neck.  I thought about hand stitching, but I thought the topstitching would make it a bit more stable since you really can't interface the thing.

In all its glory.  I REALLY need a dressmaker's dummy.  I think I'm going to invest in one soon since I'm working so much-gotta get something I want out of it.

Just did three buttons.  I had a terrible time getting my camera to focus, even on auto.  I think it was because of the sheerness of the fabric.

Finished with a rolled hem.  Love that finish and it's much easier than you would think.  I got the instructions from an old Threads magazine.

After all was said and done, it's too dressy to wear to work!  I would trash it working in my department.  So now I have a lovely topper to wear to Macy's special events.

I did some sewing for customers yesterday-I'll try to get those up in the next day or so.