Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Broken nose, again, so no sewing

Both of the kids have managed to break my nose over the last year.

The first time happened when Bubba and I were watching TV in our king-size waterbed. I didn't have my glasses on...and I have very little depth perception without them...and we rolled toward each other.

He caught me on the side of my nose. I bled for a bit and really hurt for a few weeks, but my nose was just slightly off so there was no need to get it fixed.

I was so worried that when Hubby called the doctor about it there would be a domestic violence officer over at the house.

Thankfully, this doctor is not only my doctor, but also Hubby's, Bubba's and Diva's so he knows Hubby isn't violent and the kids can be rowdy.

Then, a few weeks ago, I'm sitting on the grass playing with Diva and WHAM she runs head first into my face. CRUNCH goes my nose!

I bled and had a slight black eye, but that was it. It still hurts but I think that has more to do with the fact that my glasses sit right on what I believe is the break (thanks to the lump I can feel).

I have found that I can't sew a straight line yet, but hopefully in a few days I'll be able to :*) (That's the broken nose smiley face, my sister said I needed a new one until it heals)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mary Madeline Project

I came across this wonderful organization while surfing the web earlier and was so moved by what they are doing that I e-mailed them to offer my help.

Their message:

It is the purpose of the Mary Madeline Project to provide comfort and support to grieving families that have suffered the death of a baby. It was founded in memory of Madeline Marie Erickson who died at seven weeks of age and in honor of all the babies before and after her that have touched our lives.

We are a non-profit organization that donates infant / baby burial gowns and blankets to local hospitals for bereaving  parents.  Women donate their cherished wedding gowns to the project and volunteers give of their time, talents and love by making the baby burial gowns and blankets.

It is very difficult to shop for a baby burial garment when a baby dies. For premature babies, it is often difficult to find something small enough. The baby burial gowns and blankets are given to Neonatal Intensive Care Units for babies who die in the neonatal period.  They are also given to labor and delivery units for stillbirths.

What a wonderful way to remember this little girl...and what comfort it must provide for the parents who are greaving.
I offered to help them sew and I'm posting this on here in hopes that anyone who reads my blog, and can do so, will offer up their time and money.

As the mother of two preemies who came out the other side of the NICU roller coaster ok, I feel this is my way to give back and finally pay forward the words of encouragement that were given to my husband and father just before my emergency c-section at 31 weeks that resulted in the birth of my son.

While waiting for me to recover, my husband and father met a man whose wife was scheduled to have a c-section (with their 5th or 6th child), but I bumped her back :0)  He came over to my family and said, "I overheard your conversation and felt I needed to give you some words of encouragement.  My first son was born at 31 week.  He is now 6 years old, built like a fire hydrant and sharp as a tack."  Four years later, I can still remember his words.  They were the hope that got me through those tough times.

This is how I am paying it forward and I hope you will too.

Happy sewing everyone!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Writers Block

I have some of that dreaded writers block going on.

I have a few ideas started, but that's really all they are: rough ideas.

I can't seem to finish them, nothing I write sounds, well, right.

My husband thinks I may be stressing over it a bit.  Is he right?  Probably. 

So, I'm just going to post a picture of my newest creation:  crocheted headbands.  I used a "C/2 - 2.75MM" hook as well as Aunt Lydia's brand Classic Crochet Thread in a size 10.  I also have some Extra Fine Crochet Thread in a size 30 that I'm going to mess with.

The one below is the one I made for my daughter.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are you multi-talented?

I was sitting here thinking about how I have more than one talent when it comes to crafting.  I sew, I crochet..I used to know how to knit but I guess I liked crocheting better and just let that skill fall to the way side.

I know a lot of other women who have talent out the wazoo, but can only concentrate on one thing...painting, jewelry making, etc.  And I also know a lot of other women who have talent out the wazoo and they have multiple talents.

Are you multi-talented?  What are your craft talents?

P.S.- I know I haven't posted as much as I was, but I'm working on a few to post in the coming weeks...stay tuned!

Monday, April 26, 2010

2nd Thoughts

I am having second thought about my sewing business.

1.)  I'm wondering if it's worth it anymore.  It's becoming work.  I mean, there are some days I hate the thought of sitting in front of the sewing machine.

Don't get me wrong, I love sewing and I love the look on peoples faces when they receive something handmade...but my house is a mess and I feel guilty for not spending every second with my kids.

I'm hoping this gets easier once pre-school starts in the fall.

2.)  I think my constant sewing is putting my health at risk.  My thumbs have been going numb lately.  I have carpel tunnel issues (thanks to my years of being a paralegal) and my little fingers and sometimes my ring fingers go numb at times, but now with my thumbs....I don't know.

3.)  I am beginning to wonder if there is still a market for what I do.  Why spend $15-$20 for something custom made when I can get something close that was mass produced for half the price?

4.)  I'm not really sure how to get market myself.  I have business cards and there is a magnet on the back of our truck and I ordered a canvas bag that I'll use as a diaper bag.  But I really don't know if there is anything else I can do.

Like I said, I'm having second thoughts.  But maybe that's a good thing?  Maybe that's what will help me succeed?

I don't know.

Happy sewing everyone!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The kids and I will be away from Sunday, April 18th through Sunday, April 25th.

We are off to visit my family in another state.

Though I had planned on this being a relaxing vacation, I think I would go through withdrawal without my sewing it's coming along with us :0)

I hope to have tons of new pictures to post when we return.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

The kids and I took a trip to the fabric store today.  The problem was we did it during my daughter's nap time.  Boy was she fussy.  She's 2 and totally lives up to her nickname of Diva!

Anyway, we were at the store and she was so fussy.  Hold me, don't hold me...want to sit in the cart, don't want to sit in the cart.  You get the picture :0)

I had to pick up some supplys for some projects I have going on, so I needed to get this shopping done.  I bribed her.  Yup, I told my little girl that she could pick out some fabric and I'll make her a dress out of it, but she needs to let me finish my shopping.

It worked.  She said, "Pin-cess Sin-a-rel-ra" (which translates into "Princess Cinderella").  This isn't a surprise, she is obssessed with Cinderella!  She spotted some pink fabric with Bell, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and, of course, Cinderella.  I had to wrestle it out of her hands to have it cut!

Yeah, I'm turning her into a fabric addict...and I couldn't be happier!! :0)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taking some time off

I woke up with a nasty 4 am :0(

So, I'm taking the next few days off so I can go see the dentist and recover from what may be a pulled tooth and an abscess.  Wish me luck!

I'll be posting some new projects in the next 7-ish days so check back soon!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mayberry 2010 know, the town from The Andy Griffith Show (and according to Wikipedia also the home of  Mayberry R.F.D and Return to Mayberry).  Mom...well, Aunt, Dad going off to work, kids running around, no one worrying about someone taking their kids.  *sigh*

I'm begining to think I was born in the wrong era.  I'm a stay at home mom (ok, well, kinda.  I'm trying to get my sewing business off the ground...but I'm still home with my 4 year old and 2 year old all day since they don't start pre-school till the fall), I bake, I cook, I sew...heck I'm even starting a garden and learning how to can jelly/jam/veggies/fruit!

I mentioned to my husband that I now have 3 people following my sewing blog.  I said, "there are three people out there, who I don't know!, who actually want to read what I have to say!!"  His response is what got me thingking about Mayberry.  He said, "You are an oddity.  You are a 21st century mom who stays home with her kids, who make your own bread for heavens sake! sew.   There are so many people out there who don't know the stuff you do."

I've been thinking about it all day...and he's right, but I never really though of it that way.

I was a working mom and I planned on being a working mom.  I worked as a paralegal before I got pregnant with my son...and I went back to work after he was born.  When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had planned on going back to work after her birth.  I had to quit my job because she got RSV at 4 weeks old and the doctors strongly suggested that we keep her out of day car for the first year of her life.  When she was 10 months old, I started looking for another job.  The economy is the reason I am a stay at home mom again...I went back to work for 6 months before being laid off.

I'm rambleing, but that's how my thoughts are now :0)

I enjoy getting up in the morning to my happy kids.  I enjoy planning dinner, cooking my kids their breakfast and lunch, making treats for my family (there were 2 pans of brownies and a double batch of banana cake Saturday), I even like baking bread (I also made oatmeal loaf on Saturday).

I enjoy mending my husbands pants.  I like making my house a home.  I like making my kids clothing.

I have never experienced the "simpler time" people talk about when they speak of that "Mayberry" time, so I can't say that I miss the simpler time...but I really think I would have fit in :0)

I don't know my neighbors.  Really, I have never met them, and we have lived here for 2 years.  Any my mother-in-law lived here before us for over 5 years...and she doesn't know them!!!  I know most of the people who live on the road my grandmother lives on for heavens sake!

Why have I never met them?  I never see them outside, really.  I know my nextdoor neighbors have kids because I see the toys outside, but I never see people.

I want to know my neighbors...I want to offer them cookies when I bake too many.  I want them to come over and ask if I can sew a button back on their pants. 

I'm rambeling again, I'm sorry.  Yeah, this isn't much of a sewing post, but it was you, my followers, who inspired my thoughts today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I hate ironing and will avoid it at all costs.  But.....I had made a dress for my daughter that had a nasty fold line down the front. 

I tried washing and drying it, but it didn't help.

So, I dug out the ironing board and the iron.  Then, remembering a tip my grandmother taught me, I grabbed the spray bottle I use to wet hair, it has just plain old tap water in it.

I set up the ironing board and let the iron heat up while I positioned the dress on the ironing board.  Then I sprayed the dress a few times with water from the spray bottle.  Then I pressed the iron onto the wet dress...steam!

I steamed the fold line out of it like a pro!

Yeah, I know, most irons have a steam function.  But I don't think it works as well as the water from a spray bottle method.

Give it a try next time you need to press out a fold line or a nice pressed seam (like down the front of dress pants...I do this for my husband and son's pants from time to time).



Thursday, April 8, 2010

I have 3 Followers!

I'm very excited that you 3 have decided to follow my blog and I just want to say WELCOME!!

Are there any topics you would like to hear about?

Monday, April 5, 2010

This is a great site!  I stumbled across it last week...and spent a few hours just looking through it.  I really liked what I saw so I joined and opened a booth.

The best way to describe this site is "Craigslist and Etsy had a baby".  You can post new thing, custom things, used things...I just love it!

And the people are so friendly!  I was working on setting up my booth and was getting tons of "WELCOME!" messages.

This site is very user friendly.  I have not had much trouble setting everything up...and for the stuff I had questions on?  I was able to find the answers I needed in the forum.

You can post your listings on craigslist and Twitter with just a few clicks!

And you can have your friends or past clients leave personal endorsements.  How great is that?  I love this feature!

Fees are very reasonable and straight forward.

Here is the link to my booth.

Happy shopping and selling!!

Beautiful Weather....

The warm weather is here, for now!  The problem is, the warmer the weather gets...the less I want to sew.

I want to be outside playing with the kids, not sitting in front of the sewing machine.  I am so behind on my sewing it's not funny.  I may not have enough to do the craft fair I was planning on selling at at the end of the month. 

It's hard enough to keep up on the custom orders (they always come first) when the outdoors is calling me!  Today it was 74 and sunny.  Tomorrow it will be 83 and Wednesday is supposed to be 86!!!!  Maybe I'll be able to catch up on Thursday?  It's supposed to rain :0)

How do you get motivated when it's nice out?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sewing Machines

I am on my 2nd sewing machine.  When I was 13, my grandparents gave me a brand new Bicor.  I loved it.  About 14 years later it started acting up.  I'd clean and oil it and it would be fine for a few more months...then I'd have to do it all over again.

It finally quit on me in 2008.  There are so few places that actually repair sewing machines that I figured it would cost an arm and a leg.  So I borrowed my mother-in-law's (MIL) sewing machine.  She hardly uses hers so I had to clean and oil it before I could use it.  It worked, but it wasn't the same.

Then my birthday rolls around.  Hubby had been asking me to recommend a sewing machine for someone he works with who wanted to buy one.  He gave me a choice of a few and I gave him my honest opinion of them.

We get together with Hubby's family to celebrate my birthday back in January and out comes this large gift.  I was hoping for a bunch of new teas for my Keurig, but it was even better because it was a sewing machine.

Hubby had me pick out my own present...and I didn't catch on!

I have a Kenmore and I love it.  I do have one complaint:  I miss the option to select a long stitch.  My old machine had an option for what was about 1/4 of an inch, I used to for things like stay stitching and decorative stitching.  However, it has an automatic button hole feature which I love.  I could never get the hang of doing a button hole free hand.

My old machine would break the sewing needle if it hit a straight this one.  Below is a picture of what this Kenmore can do to a pin!

Some things to consider when selecting a sewing machine:

-What do I want to use this for?  This way you know what features you need and what features you don't.

-How much do I want to invest into this?  Are you just learning?  You may want to consider a less expensive machine with less features until you know whether or not sewing is for you.

-How much will the "extras (replacement needles...bobbins...etc)" cost me? 

-Will I set this up and leave it in one place or will I have to sew on my kitchen table and put it away when done?  You don't want to have to lug a heavy machine around.

These are just a few things to consider.  Make sure you read reviews and ask questions, too!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I love sales!

I went to JoAnn Fabrics today looking for some new fabric to make more plastic shopping bag holders.

I was welcomed by a sea of red and white sales tags.  40% off this...20% off that...I was in heaven!  But it was around lunch time and the kids were cranky because they wanted to eat, so I just went and got what I went there for.

I get up to the checkout counter and notice that the pre-cut "Fat Quarters", as they are called, are ringging  up at only $0.90 instead of the usual $1.29.  OMG!  They were on sale too! 

Now I'll have to go back either tomorrow or Saturday and get more.  Their sales usually run Sunday-Saturday...but I didn't see this one advertised so I have no clue when it will end.

I'm really happy about saving $8!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

There is the cheap way to do things and then there is the right way to do things.

When someone says "I'm sorry, but that's just too much [for that hem my pants...etc]"  I get a little upset.  I set my prices to what I feel is fair.  And if I'm not sure I know a great group of smart women who I can bounce my ideas off...and they won't sugar coat anything.

I was in discussion with someone about making a custom gown for them...from a picture...with no pattern.  Ten to twelve hours of my day, at least, to make something custom for you.  Yes I want $150 to do that, that breaks down to about $13-ish an hour.  You are paying for my expertise for something you can't do.

Why do I spend the extra time on lining the dresses I make?  Because I think it looks nicer and is therefore a better product.

Why do I make a sample of anything before I make one for sale?  Because if something isn't right I can correct it with the cheap fabric and not waste the better quality fabric.

Why do I do all this?  Because, as my father is fond of saying, there is the cheap way to do things and then there is the right way to do things.

Everything I make is done the right way.  It might be a little more expensive to do things that way, but it will last longer and it looks better.

I suggest that with everything you make, whether to sell, to gift or for yourself, that you take into consideration that there is a right way and a cheap way to do things...which way would you want it done?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pinafore dresses...old fashioned yet cute!

I love the way little girls look in dresses and for some reason they are so much more so when you add a pinafore to the dress.

I like the look of having buttons attaching the pinafore rather than the look of the ties on the shoulder.

You know, pinafores were first used so children could get more wear out of their clothes?  Back before washing machines and dryers it saved mothers from doing tons of laundry.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What to do with all those plastic shopping bag?

If you are like me, you like to reuse those shopping bags as much as possible.  I keep them around as a place to put wet clothes in case of an accident while we are out...or to hold stinky diapers so they don't smell up my house...or to put meat in to keep it separate from my other groceries when I go to those discount stores that charge you for bags.

They are very handy little things...but they also go all over the place if you just look at them wrong.


Bag holders!  I love these things.  I bought mine about 10 years ago at a craft fair and it's still holding my plastic shopping bags.  You just hang them on a nail, use the opening at the top to put the bags in and then pull them out of the opening at the bottom.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Boo-Boo Bags

Ever heard of these?  They are great!  Just bags of fabric in different sizes filled with things like corn, rice or flax seed they can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the freezer and used for what hurts you.

And yes, they actually work.

I use them when the kids gets bumps I use these instead of ice.  When they have gas, I heat one of these up in the microwave and place it on their tummy.

I love to sew, it keeps me sane :0)

I got my first sewing machine at 13.  I made all my formal dresses throughout high school.  About 2 years ago, my first sewing machine started to die on me.  As my ability to sew went down, my stress level went up.

For my birthday this year, I got a new sewing machine and I am a happy woman again.  I can spend hours in the fabric store just looking around an planning projects.  I love making clothes for my kids.

The latest project?  Smocks.  The kids can still be messy eaters and according to my 4 year old "I am a big boy, only babies wear bibs"...what he does, his sister follows, so no bibs.  Smocks, however, are cool and they will wear them.

The first picture is the back of my son's smock and the 2nd picture is the front.  The 3rd picture is the back of my daughter's smock and the last picture is the front.