Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Latest building project

Little girl's dream being built in my garage. This is a dollhouse and carport. It isn't to scale, but what little girl wouldn't love to have it. The porch is on two sides and the carport on one end.

Here is the front door and windows by the porch.

The carport on the end of the house.

This is the wrap around porch and all the roof will be finished off with shingles like the ones on this porch.

Here is the staircase in the middle of the house going to the second story. He cut and notched all the pieces and sanded everything as he went.

Here is the top of the stairs that open into a bedroom at the top.

This will be carpeted and also have a full roof on the front of the house and an open roof on the back for the attic use. The little girl that is getting this saw my Granddaughter's one several years ago and she has bugged her Grandmother to get her one.
He doesn't make furniture, but I think he does a great job of fabricating the look. No plans or patterns for this carpenter. Chris

How and where did you learn to sew?

When I was a little girl I watched my Mom and Grandmother's sew. They all had electric sewing machines, but one of my Grandmother's had a shuttle bobbin sewing machine. She made all kinds of clothing, doll clothes and sewing for others with this machine. This is a picture I found on the net from a site that showed old pictures of machines. This was dated 1853. Now my grandmother's weren't that old, but both learned on treadle machines and also by hand.
My Mother's Mother started sewing when she was 4. Her Mother was blind and needed help with guiding the fabric under the needle. She sat her daughter, my Grandmother on her lap and she treadled and Grandma would guide the fabric through the machine to make clothes for the other children in the house. The other sisters which there were 3 others never learned to do as much as my Grandmother did.
I learned by sitting on my Grandmother's lap and making blocks to then be made into potholders. I went on to make doll clothes and by the age of nine I was making my own clothing with some help. As a 20 year old I was teaching sewing for The Singer Co. I was the youngest employee to teach sewing in the State of Illinois.
I have made wedding dresses and tailored suits. Also made a liner for a casket that was built by hand. Doll clothing, drapes and curtains and costumes for lots of plays and events.
How did you learn to sew? In school, training at home, 4-H, Scouts or on your own?
I have taught my two grandkids to use a machine and also how to sew on a button. Even my grandson knows. Many times men are on their own and they need to know how to cook,do laundry and sew. Sewing can take you into a new world and then you are hooked. Let me hear how you learned to sew. Chris

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alive and Got a ton of work done outside today

The flowers are blooming and the weeds are growing. I sprayed three yards for weeds today. I needed to for along time, but you need a three day window for the chemicals to work right. Today was the day. I cut back peonies and iris beds. They have long since gone to a dead look. The creeping Charlie is everywhere.

For two years I haven't taken care of these two extra yards and the mowers came with all these weeds on their equipment and I was the one to keep the yards sprayed for all the weeds so I had catch up work to do. My house is still a mess and maybe tomorrow I will tackle the kitchen. It needs the ceiling fan cleaned and the walls dusted down and the cabinets need scrubbing. Plus I want to move a shelf and rearrange the eating area.

The one good thing to report is my husband after his procedure has improved. He hasn't been able to swallow food for almost 2 1/2 years. He is now eating. He ate a hamburger today and did fine with it. Hopefully in the next few months I can start cooking for him again and be able to go places and not be tied to a pump for him to eat.
He had dropped to almost 106lbs a year and a half ago and he was near deaths door. With the GI tube and a lot of care he has improved and can eat and swallow again. More has to take place but we are so relieved to think he can swallow food again.

Modern medicine and a lot of care and prayers are working for us. I haven't sewn a stitch in about a week or more. I have a few things I need to get done for someone else and I am embarrassed to say it sits there on the ironing board. My down time from the blog has made me think of priorities and what direction I need to go in.

You know I had a pity party for a couple days and then I said enough is enough get over yourself and face the facts you are who you are and you will only change if you are ready. Well today was the day to see the light. I was outside and working hard for 6 1/2 hours. Felt good and I am ready for bed right now, but I will try and stay up for a while longer. Take Care Chris

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hard realities of life

I am really going to be straight to the point. I am going to put everything on hold here. My priorities are being pulled from one end to the other and I am not getting anything done worrying about it.
Things are not getting done in my own house and I really need to step back from the computer and get some things done.
For Now things will be on hold and I will see how this works for awhile and talk to you again on the other side. Chris

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still Suffering but good news

My husband Jeff had a procedure yesterday at the hospital and believe it or not he has really improved and doing a lot better. We have to go back and have more done in a couple weeks, but the Doctor was so excited when he came to talk to me.
The suffering part is my allergies. I am still not hearing well. My head is all stuffed up and I need to get some good sleep.
We have had the grandkids this last few days and they have been full of it. They helped me mow yesterday and it helped a lot the get the work done. Today we go shopping and look for some new video games for them. The deserve it. I have not done any sewing. I haven't even walked into the sewing room for days. Need to get some more mulch bought to redo another flower bed. Hopefully next week I will get back in the swing of things. Take Care Chris

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Old Soul in and Old Body

No, no pictures of and old body. I have just spent two hours on a website that has line drawings of flowers and an archives of knitting, crochet, embroidery, tatting and counted cross stitching that will take you back to a time that once was. If you are into older patterns from before and after the turn of the last century you will find this fascinating.

This is were the old soul comes from. I love to look at tapestries and old crewel embroidery. I think I was born in the wrong century. Women would sit and sew whether it be quilts mending embroideries for hours by the hearth to stay warm and have pretty things for their families.

Many times girls would start a sampler only to pass away or to get it lost in a house fire. You weren't raise right unless you learned how to sew and knit or crochet. It was something every girl from about 4 years old on learned to do. some were Tom-boys, but they learned their stitching.

When I was young I learned to do the same. I was sick a lot as a kid and it was something to-do when I couldn't be in school. I am sure this is why I have such a love for the process and the finished piece.

The line drawing above I found on a free sight. Many of these things will be used for my personal use and I try not to infringe on any ones work. The websites I have been looking at are listed here. .Click on the word Catalog and it will take you to the right spot. If you have a time you want to see the history of needlework feel free to use these as a stopping off place to escape into the past and live through the pages that are free here. Lots of instructions and illustrations to entice the Old Soul in Everyone. Chris

Friday, June 17, 2011

Not been sewing at all

I have felt so bad and yet it is allergies. I feel a little better this morning. Yesterday couldn't hear out of the right ear at all. Fine today. No temp just a small cough and plugged up. I have dropped 4 lbs not feeling well. Not a good feeling to loose weight that way, but at least I lost it. My grandkids are coming this weekend so I need to feel better. We see them so seldom anymore with my son being divorced and she lives out of town.
The yards need mowing again and I am not sure I will hold up, but have to get it done, Jeff does do some, but he wears out fast.
We have to have a day at the hospital next Tuesday. He has to have a procedure done and it will be 5-6 hours there. I am going to take some hand sewing to keep me busy.
The weather is suppose to show its ugly head again tonight. We get less than 48 hours between rains and yet we have to do our lawns and gardening in between the rains.
Last week I had to get some new glasses and still trying to adjust to the change. The vision part is fine, but I have trifocals. You see I am old and need to be able to see what I am doing. They sit on my face, they are a difference strength and the width of the actual bifocal and trifocal grindings are not as wide as my old glasses. Constant adjusting is going on. I think this is why I haven't sewn anything for a few days. I can see to thread the needles better though. Well going for the second cup of coffee and maybe wander into the sewing room for a bit. Have a nice day and a wonderful weekend. Chris

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not on Top of the World

The area I live in has had a lot of rain and also the trees and the grasses are in pollen right now. Boy can I tell it. Felt lousy. The mold in the air from all the rain hasn't helped either. Of course I have been outside and had an open window overnight to sleep. Which is a no-no for allergy sufferers. Last night I closed up the house and turned on the A/C and then this morning it is so cool and damp had to have the heat. What is going on???? We had a weather report locally that said we would have below normal temps for about 90 days. Which is good for the A/C bills, but not good for the corn growth and we live in the corn belt. Jeff has a Dr.'s appointment today and probably a procedure in the close future to go through. Will have to get some hand work to take and get it done while waiting. Not a lot to report on been busy but nothing to write home about. Chris

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Starting to get finished

We got some wood today to finish the ends of the porch. He made a door to access the shelf on the inside so we can store flower pots and yard ornaments. He ran out of wood to finish this end. We will get more tomorrow. He is wore out doing this much today and we went later this afternoon to get the wood.

He has Parkinsons' disease and he wears out easily so I think he did a great job today. Unless he asks for help I let him do it so he feels the satisfaction of getting it done on his own. Chris

A little time and planning

Doesn't this look good. Well these are all the things I shouldn't be looking at. My neighbor brought this book over to show me. We have been talking about the cost of food in the grocery stores. I think she is in the back of her mind suggesting I start making bread and selling some for extra money. I know a few would pay for a fresh loaf of bread. But if the health department found out I would be in deep do-do. I am going to buy some whole wheat flour. This book does have a recipe that doesn't include processed and bleached flour. Which if you want a good healthy bread that is the correct way to go.

I worked as a baker in a bakery chain 33 years ago. Everything was from scratch. Then later in a grocery store with prepared frozen products. Not the same. I have so much trouble with food allergies I have to be careful with ingredients. The bread I can eat and don't mind is so expensive. There is a bread outlet store that carries it day old and it is going out of sight even day old. Which today is weeks old because of the preservatives. I do not own a bread machine or I would weigh 500 pounds. These are one loaf recipes so that is a plus also.

I know from the market reports that the grains are more expensive this year because of the fuel cost and poor wheat crops last year. So anything you buy with wheat or flour in it is going to be higher in price. What happened to 5 loaves of bread for $1. It was simpler time and the food was fresher and easier to find a quality food product on the market. Less food additives. Color, preservatives, added ingredients like vitamins and calcium. We got all that from the food we eat instead of adding to the cost of the food product. I have gone back to basics on several things over the last 23 years and I guess I will try and do the right thing for my family by making some bread from scratch.

Have you looked in your cupboard to see what you can make from scratch? Chris

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Finish with blood

No I didn't show the blood. I clipped my skin at the base of my finger with brand new scissors. It has a band-aid on it now. I will survive. I just got it all fixed stuffed and hand stitched. The shirring on the gusset makes a interesting finish to the pillow. I stitched pipping to the top and the back first and then added the faced shirring. I learned a better way and will do that the next time. Stitch the pipping to the shirred piece and then your stitching will be covered better. Glad I learn something new every time I try something new. This will be on my bed and no one will know the difference

I like the over all look and this was a trial project. I did machine raw edge applique and also the different finish with the shirred gusset.

I think it is light and Springy looking. Also lessons learned while doing it. Chris

Made a mistake

Well kinda made a mistake. I didn't make enough. This is going to be a pillow with a shirred gusset. I made all the gathers placed the lining behind it to stabilize the shirring and then I thought which is where I went wrong I thought. I didn't have enough made to go around the corners and all the sides. I have to go back and make more and add a piece to the shirring and lining section to go around the whole pillow top.

Here is a picture of the shirred gusset pinned to the top. It will make a different looking pillow, but something pleasing to the eye when finished. I had to walk away because I am frustrated with it. I will go back to it yet today. Need to pay attention to laundry and household chores for a few minutes. Will post more later. Chris

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blah City Here

Got the Blahs. Not sick not well. Just Blah. Not doing a lot. The weather changes are catching up to me. 99*F on Wed and 67*F today. Body can't keep up with all the changes. I have tomatoes on my vines. They are the size of ping pong balls. I will glad to get some fresh ones to eat. Bad weather potential tonight. Winds, hail and torrential rain. The last rain was 3.12 inches on Thursday. We gush when we walk through the yard. Tomorrow Sun is suppose to be out. I will have to mow the grass again. Can't keep up with all the rain. Have a Great Weekend everyone. Chris

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well the dust was rolling

Yesterday I made up my mind since it was so hot to get the dust rag out. OMGosh......... I have neglected to do things around here. When you can write your name in the dust on the TV screen it is bad. But I can wash it daily TV's attract dust. I went to the furnace and cleaned it all up and placed new filters in it so maybe that will help also. We live between two corn fields and the river on the other side so it is dirt city around here. Today I need to get into the sewing room and get another pile of UFO'S either put away or finished. I have a pillow ready for the back and then stuffed. Need to get the iron filled with water and get it pressed then on to the finishing. I think I am going to make this one with a gusset. Haven't made one like that for awhile. something different. I was cruzing online yesterday and found some ideas for different items that I would like to decorate with. My bedrooms all need painting and I need to get new curtains made for the windows. Winter will be here before you know it and have to shelter the cold from coming in. I like the layered look at the windows and yet I like the sheers that are so popular. But I need insulated drapes for the winter. My goal is to have Summer curtains and Winter Drapes. My grandmother had that for her house. She always changed with the season. We plan on in the next couple months of replacing the front window in our living room. It is a picture window with side slides and we hate it. I want two windows with the mullion between. I can then open the windows and have more breeze going through. I am going to the lumber yard next week to take measurements of what is available and how we will have to make it happen. Have to stay within a budget and yet hopefully it will cut down on the cost of heating and A/C cost down the road. Of course we will have to have help. I can't do all the lifting. Jeff isn't well enough to do that and yet he has the brain to make it work. If we get it mounted in the wall and the old one out he can finish it. The new drapes will have to work over both windows so maybe keep my eyes open for fabric or ready mades in the colors I want to use. Plans in the works. Chris

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spent most of the day outside Mowing

Three and half hours out in the heat and then it took the rest of the day to recover. It got to 97*F yesterday and the heat index was 104*F. Today is suppose to be worse. The temp right now is 75*F and the dew point is 70*F. The air is full of water already and it is only 6:58am in the morning. HOT HOT HOT!!! This is the Maiden Hair Iris I have planted in a couple flower beds. Today is the day to clean and try new things. I guess I have been sitting on the sidelines long enough. I am going to teach this old Dog new tricks today. LOL! I have a lot of wants in my life and I can only hope I can fulfill the smallest amount of them by trying new techniques. I have stuff here, need to get going. My goal is to experience something new each week to see if I can broaden my mind and reach to the stars. Remember Dreams don't expire. Chris

Monday, June 6, 2011

I think I am an Antique

This Pfaff machine was made in 1964. My granddaughter says it is an antique. Well I am 12 years older than this machine. It is in a cabinet with a knee control. I am thinking about taking it out of the cabinet and just sitting it on the counter to sew with. The cabinet sets it back so far and if you sit with your legs under the cabinet the machine is off to the left and not centered to watch your sewing.

It is so old it has cams. The stitching from the cams is so so compared to what is available today in a machine.
The sewing machine weighs a ton and could be used for a boat anchor. It does sew a perfect stitch when straight stitching. I think I will use it to piece when I get back to it. The applique seems to be keeping me busy most of the time now. So I will say so long from this Antique. Chris

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting more done slowly!

Well here is the progress today. I did trace off the rest of the trapunto blocks waiting to be stitched. Here is the second border. It will be on all four sides of the center 9 blocks and the striped border. Lots of hand stitching and measuring so they are even.

Here is the small porch we have been working on. Waiting now to go back to the Lumber Yard and get more materials.We have to wait and work in between rains. It is really solid and the steps are nice and deep and not to high from one to the other.

Now you can see the size in comparison to the door. Thinking about putting stepping stones in front of the last step.

Hot humid and a quiet Sunday afternoon. Chris

Heat and Humidity make Rain

Looking out the back door I thin you can see the rain on the door glass. It rains some and then the humidity goes up with the heat. The grass likes it.

You can see the rain coming down in the picture. The garden is doing good, but now the weeds are sprouting with the little rains we have had. This next week will be hoeing and weeding time again.
See how green the grass is. I am mowing twice a week and couple probably mow three time some weeks. The rain sometimes doesn't stop long enough to get out and mow.

Been up early and trying to wind up a couple WIP that I have on the table. Stay dry Chris

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hot out and Rain off and on

It is to hot to go out and the gray of rain so I made my own sunshine. I got out the fusible web and decided I would use bright colors and make a small floral piece to make a pillow out of. I did it all by machine. blind hem stitch and then the straight stretch stitch as accent. The only thing I did by hand was the heads on the Ladybugs.

I think my shelf life on my fusible is a little beyond the peak. I know they do loose some of their stickum power with humidity. I tried making sure the edges were secure, but it didn't work everywhere.

I use threads close to the colors and trying to stay close to the edge when I was blind hemming. Well that wasn't as good as I had hoped. Maybe it looks like lace around the pieces. LOL
Hopefully the sun comes out tomorrow and I can get back out and get some more work done. Will take pics of the finished pillow in the next couple days. Chris

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where do I start?

I have been sitting the last couple days trying to figure out a good plan. Well I still don't have one. Imagine that! I have a want to start a store on the internet or to do the Etsy thing. I have lists, I have drawings, I have fears and all are taking over my sleep and also my waking hours.
My fears are such that I am paralysed and not going forward. Today I have to make a decision. I have set a goal and trying to get to the goal I have drug my feet. I never have been afraid of anything. I have always been head strong and plowed into things and then thought about it later. Does this mean I am finally growing up and using my head?? LOL So the first order of business is to get a few things done. I have so many things on hold for a decison. Today the goal is get your behind up and get going one step at a time...........
It is only 5:27am and I am going out to get my supper in the crockpot and get the wash started and see where the day takes me. Hopefully it is in the right directions and I can see some results that are productive. Wish me luck. Chris