Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Aprons

These were another gift from mom.  She bought the pattern from a cute, little mom-and-pop quilt shop somewhere and the fabric to match. 

They were soooo much fun to make and look great on the kids.

I hope to sell them all on or I'll give them as gifts this Christmas and for birthday's next year.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Serenity's First Sewing Lesson

My daughter has giant windows in her bedroom.  For 10 months now she has been asking, and needing, window coverings. 

She picked the fabric and did all the work herself.

There was enough
 fabric left over that
she could make a
matching pillow. 

I must say that she was an amazing student.  She was very patient with her teacher's anxiety.  All I saw were those 11 year-old fingers next to a fast moving needle, yikes! 

I will always cherish this day.  She is a natural and will go on to make many things now, but I was able to be her teacher just like my mom was my teacher.


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Wedding Dress

A dear friend called and asked if I would make her daughter's wedding dress.  They paid me, She wanted to pay more, but . . . 
The honor is mine.
I'm only sorry she was stuck with an amateur like me.
She deserves a professional.

They came to my house with a drawing and a dream, literally.  In October the bride had a dream of her wedding.  When she woke up she sketched the dress.  A few months later she meets the man destined to be hers and I get to make the dress her subconscious designed. 

The satin is slightly textured.  The “right side” of the fabric is shiny.  She chose the matt “wrong side”.  It was perfect.

The folded ribbon was made just for the dress.  The skirt was a lengthened version of the skirt in the pattern (she wanted the fun, full skirt rather than the A-line of the original drawing).  The bodice was pretty much custom made.  The sleeves (“capped please”) were tricky but I made it work after a couple of tries. The zipper was done 4 times before I had to say “that is the best I can do.”

The simplicity of the dress dictated the sash.  She is a vibrant girl who has chosen a bright, multicolored theme for her wedding.  The beautiful blue lace will compliment the yellow converse she will be wearing on her feet.

I had so much fun making the garter.  I wanted to make the bow out of the lace but it wouldn’t lay right.  I made a strip of the lace for color and made the bow out of some pretty ribbon I always have on hand.  Again, the theme here was simple, but beautiful.

Her Bridals were taken recently  by a very talented photographer.  Her website is  As it turns out, her photographer is someone I did sewing for also.  She had 3 flower girl dresses made, 2 bridesmaid dresses altered, wedding dress hemmed, and a pair of trousers turned into shorts for the little nephew.  She hired a professional to make matching ties for all the men.  It was a fun and beautiful wedding.  The following photograph was taken by Ashley.  I only take credit for sewing the dress.  The majesty of the picture is all the bride and photographer.

If I had it to do over. 
I would have bought the dress form at the very beginning rather than at the end; it would have helped with the sleeves.  Thankfully I now have it for future commissions. 

There is a seam down the front of the skirt.  I will forever regret that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Fire Pit

We bought our home at the beginning of the fall so we had an entire winter to ponder the spring and summer in our back yard.  I decided the first priority, and the center piece of our back yard, would be a fire pit for tin foil dinners and just gathering family close. 

Once the ground thawed out I dug the pit and started hauling rocks off the mountain.  The rocks all had a layer of dew on them so the colors popped out at you.  I picked each rock for its color first, then for its flat face and shape. 

Once the temperatures stayed above freezing at night I poured the based and had everyone put their hands in.  I should have done their feet.  I know it's hokey, but I'm creating this home for my kids and their kids so the more personal the better. 

After that, any day that it didn't rain I was out gluing stone together for the walls.  I had to redo some of the mortor because I either got it too runny or too dry.  It really needs to be like peanut butter or it doesn't work. 

The pit only cost me $8.00 to make.  I can't calculate the time because I worked on it 15 minutes here, an hour there over the course of 2 months.  I didn't want it to look like a $300 fire pit from Home Depot becuase then it looses some of it's home-made, country cottage charm.  Wait till you see the porch swing that will go in by it... in a couple of years.

If I could do it again
I would do the stone work in one Saturday using cement rather than mortor.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Rugs

Reflections on my mother
My mom loves to go into fabric stores.  Not the big national chains; she likes the little mom and pop shops.  The only drawback is that mom feels she has to buy something every time she visits one of these shops.  She thinks that by buying something she is saying “thank you” to the owners for their cute shop and to support their business at the same time.  The only exception is when they have perfumed their shop with candles or oils, then she walks right out. 
What does all this have to do with rugs?  EVERYTHING!  My mom bought a rug loom at one of these cute little shops.  We were visiting one summer and she asked me to finish up a rug she started (and by started I mean barely started).  I read the instruction and had the 18X30” rug done in no time.  It turned out pretty cute. 

This is the one I made after we got home and ended up bending the loom so bad that it is pretty much worthless.  I have the instructions to make a new loom but I found something better.  This rug is several years old and has been very abused.  Now it is in my laundry room.

I love sarongs.  I wear them all summer long.  I love all the colors, patterns and fabrics.  They wear out after a summer or two but I can’t throw them away!  While looking through my fabric stashes for my next project, I happened upon my collection of sarongs.  PERFECT!  So many great summers made into one rug.  I decided to crochet strips of the sarongs together.  It made a great, thick, floppy rug.  I’m having a hard time finding a home for it in my house, but I love it!!  Okay, okay, it wasn’t my favorite rug.

 I decided to commit to braided rugs.  The country feel appeals to me on so many levels.  I made this large circle.  It has become my dog’s “spot” in front of the door.  She has to sit and stay on that rug anytime there is action at the door.  Cute little 40lb puppy thinks everyone comes to see her.
When it was done I put it on Etsy to see if anyone would buy it.  By some miracle a woman from Pennsylvania saw it and asked if I could make one out of baling twine; the stuff they tie bales of hay with (I had to Google it to make sure I knew what she was asking for).  She bought one from the Amish and after 20 years it finally disintegrated.  I jumped at the chance and charged her $125.  It turned out so amazing.  The mat took a good 100 hours to make and my hands were crippled for a couple of weeks but I will make another one or five.

 I’m writing all this because I just finished my latest rug.  Isn’t it pretty.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What Started it All

My obsession with making stuff started when I was a kid.  I was that odd child walking around the playground with the skein of yarn under my arm knitting a  rope with my fingers.  That, or I was running around with a gang of boys as their secret pinching weapon.  It was my nimble fingers. 

The above picture is a temari ball.  I learned how to make these just after I got married.  We were young and didn't have a bed so we slept on an air matress.  Well, in the process of making a Japanese thread ball I use a lot of pins.  I mistook the bed for a pincussion.  After blowing the mattress up every night for the next 3 months we finally got a bed.

The more amazing temari balls have been given as gifts . . . before I cared to take pictures.

I'm in the practice and research phase of my bloggin development.  I have found some really great blogs to follow along the way. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Start a Blog?

I've been looking for a way to show the world all the fun stuff I can do.  I hope to get some commissions, a book deal and maybe my own TV show.  Bring on the offers!  This was a dog house I made for our giant french lop rabbit Severus.  It is made from 100% reclaimed materials.  2X4s from the swing set we tore down when we moved in, 15 political signs from the campaign I worked on last year and "oops" paint I bought.  The paint I've used on lots of projects now. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day one, post 1

New adventure!  Stay tuned for the most interesting content EVER!