Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas-

Heading out to help take care of my mom. No blogging for awhile, so Merry Christmas to all and a blessed new year!

Only one comment left since I posted last so congrats to my friend Donna over at Comin' Home! My snowmen ornies will be joining your homestead shortly!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you and a Give-a-way!

Hugs and many thanks to Donna and everyone who offered prayers for my Mom. She is doing well and we are looking forward to her release from the hospital later this week! She's a spunky gal! I still am not sure of my own travel plans, what kind of home care she'll need and for how long, so we're just 'playing it by ear' to see what happens next.
I've noticed, too, that my lil' blog is approaching 1000 views! Now, I know some folks out there get that every week, but it's a pretty cool milestone for me! I've decided to celebrate the occasion with my first give-a-way! Anyone who leaves a comment in the post that tips the counter to 1000 will be entered in a drawing to win this set of snowman ornaments from my Etsy shop! Can't guarantee they'll be to the winner before Christmas but they're a fun winter theme anyway!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just asking for prayer-

Satan apparently doesn't like busy and happy holiday seasons. My mom, Ann, (81) was rushed into emergency surgery last night for a blockage. She's stable, in ICU. I'm 700 miles away. Please pray as she heals and we make decisions concerning travel and such. Thank y'all-

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gotta love homeschooling...

One of those mornings I enjoy-- while other moms are rushing to get kids on the bus, I'm watching one son give a guitar tuning lesson to his youngers while his cannoli shells are bubbling in oil. Love it. (Unfortunately, camera batteries are dead. No pic. :( )

Our church's Christmas program is coming up this weekend, which accounts for little time to sew, craft, clean house, do laundry, eat--the usual. I love being the producer/co-director of our shows but it does eat the time up! So many people work full time now, it's difficult to find anyone able to help build sets and scenery. Not my strong points. Fortunately, the guys who know what they're doing were able to build proper supports. The art/finishing work---well, let's just say it's a good thing we're doing comedy. Wonky sets fit wonky scripts!

And this is a real life-interruptor: Sitting at a red light with Philip and discussing a library book when WHAM! A Chevy Trail Blazer met the back end of my little "Pumpkin"; a Kia Rio. No injuries but lost my car for two weeks. Boo!

Working on a bunch of needle cases for the Etsy shop (probably too late for stocking stuffers but I'll list 'em anyway later today) and a few gifts (no peeking Kal-El!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Newly listed-

I (finally) finished several sets of snowmen ornies and got them listed today. I'm pleased with how they turned out!

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Company (in the form of daughter Ashley, son-in-law Patrick and now-11 months old Kal-El) arrived on Wednesday and from the moment they got here it was non-stop baking, cooking, movies and Wii playing! Chef-son Corey worked until after 8:00 and started on the things he wanted to make so I wasn't surprised to hear him downstairs in the kitchen with Patrick until the wee hours trying to get everything done before he went back to work in the morning. He was home by 5, though, so we had our turkey later than usual. We also had the pleasant company of some friends from church so it was a lovely time all around!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I Spy" bags?

I have heard of I Spy quilts, ( made a half-baked I Spy quilt top last week for a shower gift) but yesterday I found I Spy bags for the first time. It's a really cool idea and goodness knows I have more than enough stored crafting supplies around here to make a few. I even have the poly pellets from my porcelain doll making days. I wonder about the safety though. I fear fabric or stitches ripping and little pieces getting into little mouths to choke on. Fleece is more difficult to tear--would it help to line the outer fabric with some? I'd love to hear from anyone who makes these and what successes and fails you've encountered.

In the 'not-sewing-but-I'm-proud-of-him' category: Number-1-Chef-Son made a chiffon cake with Swiss buttercream icing and fondant for the aforementioned shower. His first! And it was yummy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Starting on Christmas?

So with Bell, Book and Candle almost over and all this time I can do what I want, it's time to start on Christmas, right? Nope. I remembered I have another new baby arriving soon so I started work on her quilt. (Jude's is still slogging along at performances.) I did some mass cutting for a few Etsy shop items and then-- IT happens. IT often happens. I'm working at a good clip when suddenly the shop that is usually ignored clicks with people and I have a flurry of questions and then a couple of special orders. Yeah! IT is a good IT-- cash in the fabric stash account! But no work today. Got a special visitor today and it's time to shift into Grandma mode! Kal-El is 10 months old now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What to do, what to do...

Today "what to do" takes on two meanings:
First, a quandary-- Got a message at the Etsy shop to trade one of my items for something from their shop. Okay, I guess. I'm always happy that someone likes my item(s). But I don't need/want anything from their shop. I sell my items to pay for my fabric habit; I need cash. But I feel that if I say no, thank you, I'm being unkind or insulting. Is that how it goes for any of you others who have shops? Should I make a trade in a spirit of goodwill and support to a fellow crafter? What to do...

...on the other side is, really, what do I do now? I have a long list of projects that have been waiting for my 'want to sew' time (as opposed to the "have to sew" projects) and now that I have it I don't know where to start! Clothes for my odd-shaped bod? Pajama pants for the family (with a few put away for Christmas!)? Stock for the shop? Maybe I should clear out the UFO's some more? I dunno. I guess I'll see what jumps into my hands. One thing I am doing, though, is hand quilting Jude's blanket. Now that Bell, Book and Candle is running, I take it to the theatre with me. I have about an hour and a half of waiting time between my responsibilities. I'm hoping to finish it by Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New spaces

When you live in a small house (3 BR, 1 Bath) and have four kids, there's not a whole lot of choices. Mom & Dad have a room, boys share a room and girls share a room. After our eldest married, that left Jacie with a room of her own. We painted and decorated it to suit 'her' style, but after a little while it became clear to me that maybe it was C, #2, who really needed to go solo. At that time he was a working man and starting college. He bought his own clothes, electronics, books and I feared that the youngers would mess with the stuff he worked so hard for. I had him move over and Jacie shared with Philip. Interestingly, he did not care to re-decorate and was fine with J's choices of green and purple on the walls and windows! Honestly, he's not there much , except to sleep. It was good for a couple of years. Recently, though, we have all been noticing that, despite her penchant for boys' clothes and haircuts, Jacie is becoming a young lady and it was C who decided it was time to move back in with Phil. So, the past few weeks have been an absolute mess of boxing, moving, painting and organizing. We painted the boys room-- it hadn't been changed for about ten years! It has gone from a dark green/tan pallette to a light grayish-blue. Very open and airy! Jacie's was left alone; after all, C never changed it. The big thing about her room is it's not just hers. I am her new roommate! After years of my sewing being packed into one corner of our bedroom and my fabrics and supplies taking up my own closet (my clothes went over to my husband's closet!) I have moved my machines over to share space with Jacie. Most of the storage, planning, cutting, etc. will still be done in my 'cave' but the actual machine time will now be done in J's room. My dresser is now hers and her tiny one is mine and it fits right into the closet. It's nice to have room to move next to my bed! Unfortunately, the move took a lot of time away from schoolwork so we're behind in that. So, between school and finalizing "Bell, Book and Candle", there won't be much fun sewing time. But what else is new around here, right? While we were moving the heavy stuff, Jacie was busy working on her solar system:

When it comes to making a mess with schoolwork, somehow she manages to make time for that!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pinning away-

I closed my Etsy shop for the summer, thinking it needed some updated and new items; plus all the camp/travel/VBS commitments just made it difficult to check on everyday. I figured I had all summer (yeah, right) to make lots of stuff to add (yeah, right). I especially wanted to tackle the mountain of knick-knacks I have been collecting to make into pincushions. Every time I hit a thrift store I check out the bric-a-brac to see what might have pincushion potential. I see pincushions the way Haley Joel Osment sees dead people. Everywhere. I have a couple of guidelines-- one is that it has to be under a dollar. The other is no body parts. Other than that, the world is my pincushion. I finally took some time when "Forbidden Broadway" opened to get a bunch done. This isn't even half of 'em. I grabbed one picture of the lot before stuffing; now I have to photograph them individually and get them listed. It could happen! BTW-- I gave away one that was made from a porcelain toilet. It was part of the sink and tub set that's pictured. I've had requests for more so if anyone knows a little ceramic shop that happens to have a mold of a 4-5" toilet... :)

I have costume parade for "Bell, Book and Candle" today-- a fun show that is pretty much found items. No special sewing so far. Very sweet cast and crew. I like non-stressful shows! Two weeks ago I got a message asking for help from a director I made one piece for last year. He had a show opening within three weeks and his costumer had not delivered key pieces yet so I agreed to do some, even though I really didn't have the time. It got a little frustrating because, while I was making my designs, the former costumer kept showing up with the now completed pieces. Waste of my time. I hate that. It made me feel like if I waste my time; shame on me. If you waste my time; I might remember it the next time you need something. Right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Not a sewing post---just had a heavy heart. My family has close ties to Mid-Atlantic Christian University (MACU), formerly Roanoke Bible College. It's my daughter & son-in-law's alma mater and we've known so many who attended or are attending this fine school. This past weekend a student was killed in a shooting in the dorm that is still under investigation. There is a person of interest, also a student there, but so much is still not known about the circumstances. So many questions. The one I keep hearing most often is 'why God would allow this to happen to Christians'. I have no magic answer; I don't know that anyone does. All I can say for sure is being a Christian doesn't exclude you from tragedy. Anyone who comes to Christianity to escape tragedy will not. Bad things will always happen. But Christianity will give the comfort to deal with it. I honestly don't know how those who don't know God cope.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University; Elizabeth City North Carolina has issued "A CALL TO PRAYER"; at 7:30 in the Blanton Center on campus Thursday evening October 7. All are invited to attend this most special service of prayer for the MACU family. If you can not attend, will you please take some time during that hour to lift up a prayer? God Bless MACU, it's leaders, faculty & staff and it's dear students. Amen.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I could get a lot more done 'round here if life would stop getting in the way! Tried to upload pics for new Etsy stuff but can't find the cord I need. Can't work in the cave because children left unattended stop doing schoolwork and start tormenting each other. Must work on Jude's blanket but need to do laundry. So here's some more "Forbidden Broadway"! Because THAT I have managed to finish!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just an update...

(sing along if you know "Spamalot"...)
I am not dead yet
I can dance and I can sing
I am not dead yet
I can do the Highland Fling!

I am not dead yet
No need to go to bed
No need to call the doctor
Cause I'm not yet dead!

Not that anyone in the blog-world missed me but I've had a busy few weeks. Here's an update: Jude is here! He arrived August 31st; gave his momma a hard time and had lots of prayers sent up for him but he is now thriving and quite beautiful. I hope to finish his blanket by next week. Or before he gets to college. Why isn't it done yet? Well...

Speaking of "Spamalot"... The new season is under way at our dear Little Theatre. Over the summer we went through a huge, expensive overhaul where we got new floors (they were sinking), seats curtains, paint, landscaping---oh, my! SO much work. But so worth it. The theatre is truly wonderful! The opening show is a musical called "Forbidden Broadway"; which parodies famous Broadway shows and performers. Very funny and we has such fabulous talent performing them-- it's one of the best shows I've had the pleasure of working on. Some of the costumes are true to the show and some are just plain silly but they're all great fun! And I had an actual co-costumer this time that did not disappoint! Since I don't know if she'd want her name on here I'll call her Ms. Awesome. She came through with great ideas, pieces, sewing work and stories. She has become a friend as well as a co-worker and I plan to call on her for fun and work as often as I can. The only drawback to Ms. Awesome is that she is a military wife which means she won't be here forever and I'll miss her very much. Which brings me to...

Had an unexpected trip up north. I wrote about my Father-in-Law's Heart attack/bypass several weeks ago. He's doing very well; home from rehab and feeling good. Number 1 daughter, 'A' wanted to see him, and her other Grandpa while she had some time free so we went for a quick visit. Honestly, I think the attack scared her a little and she just wanted to see her Grandparents before something else happens. She was a little wary of traveling with Kal-El by herself (her husband couldn't leave his new job). I was swamped with sewing, starting school, working at the theatre, and trying to re-open the Etsy store but, as my husband pointed out, this is one reason we homeschool. So off we went. It was a nice visit but I am still trying to catch up on school and house and laundry (oh, yes, the washer died for good right before we left) and, as is so often the case, the pleasure sewing must wait. Right now I plan to catch up on posts from all the lovely sewing/crafting blogs I follow, before another night of 'Forbidden Broadway'. And it's time to start work on the next show for the other theatre. And soccer season has started. And we'll be hosting Sunday night Bible study here. Oh and there's the Christmas program!

What's crazy is I actually have said 'no' this season to a few things. Oy!

Monday, August 23, 2010


No new pictures because The Jude blanket is waiting for, well , JUDE! I can't put his name and date on it until we know his stats so we're just waiting for him to arrive. He's late. His poor mommy.
In the meantime, the fall season for my community theatre will open Septmber 10 so I'm immersed in costuming for "Forbidden Broadway". Lots of costume changes and some really weird stuff but I have a lovely assistant! Right now I'm trying to figure how to cover/color an oversized foam sea shell bra...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jude's Blanket Part 2

Jude's sleepy bear is appliqued on and his features are embroidered. His nose is a scrap of black velour; heat fused on and then tacked down all around with a whip stitch.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jude's blanket

I'll begin by introducing the pattern: I bought it at a fabric store in California back in the early eighties. I was in the Navy, had recently moved out of the barracks to share a house with a bunch of other squids, and was seriously missing my sewing machine. I had it; I just rarely used it. When one of the gals I worked with was expecting I thought it was a great excuse to sew something besides uniform patches. I found a fabric store somewhere around Oakland. I made up the blanket pretty much as pictured, maybe different colors, and it was a hit at the bridal shower. I got a few requests for some and then the blanket kind of morphed into my 'signature' baby blanket. I made them off and on as I moved around and friends had babies. Then I was making them for my own babies (except Jacie) and lastly my nieces and nephews. After so many I was tired of the bear so I put it away (I thought) for good. Now Jude is going to be arriving soon. Jude will be the first child of the first child of some good friends of ours. Our two families have only known each other for about 6-7 years but we've grown close. So, a first grandbaby, I thought, needs a special blanket. The sleepy bear. I dug out the pattern but I just couldn't do the same ol' thing. I wanted to play with patchwork so I made some pinwheel blocks to be the bear's ''quilt". The colors are based on the baby's bedding in his nursery. Here's how he's coming along:

I used to applique his head and such with a satin stitch but I'm going to change things a little this time; first by lightly padding him and then using a machine blanket stitch. Update later!

Stop the World...

Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation and lazy days, isn't it? Can't prove it by me! Jacie and I made it through another week of camp, came home, slept for 5 hours, re-packed and headed off to Ohio for a lovely wedding. I thought maybe I could really get some stuff made for the Etsy shop but there was cleaning and laundry and yard work and a visit to Kal-El and relatives visiting and auditions--- whew! And in the middle of it all--- my father-in-law suffered a minor heart attack on July 30th and had triple bypass surgery on August 2. My husband, B, was with him for that and he's doing well. He's walking and eating and plans are being made for him to spend some time in rehab. About the only thing I did get some decent work done on was a baby blanket for a little guy due this month. More on that later. Auditions: It's been over three years since I've been on the other side of the curtain and it's bugging me so I just had to audition for an upcoming musical. Without a lot of drama I'll just say I didn't get a part. But I was already costuming it, so I will be involved. I'll just be "in my own little corner in my costuming chair" again. It's okay. I'm good there.

In the 'WooHoo' department, Number Two (Corey Joseph), took part in a competition at culinary school today and I'm happy to say he and his teammate took first place! Very proud mama here!

Now we're getting Number 3, Philip, ready for his week away. Our church rents a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a week for the teenagers to fellowship and study the Word. I want to try to get lesson plans done while he's away so we can start school before the end of the month. And thus goes my summer. Another one without getting much sewing done but many happy (and a couple pthhhhbbbb) memories! Maybe we'll wait on school this year... just this once...
P.S. Happy 22nd Birthday, Corey Joseph!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kal-El at six months! It's amazing to me because I remember having both a 3 month and a six month cake to celebrate his mama's first year milestone dates; simply because I still couldn't believe she was here. Now she's the mother to this beautiful creation. Every new picture I see I want to drop what I'm doing and go play with him. Or just hold him. It goes by so fast!
Another thing going by fast is this week. Aw, heck, they all do. This week is "Sweat Week" for the youth group at our church. Every day this week the teens are meeting up at church and going off to do different works of service. The minister and youth director were kind to invite Jacie to join them, even though she's not officially in youth yet, so I thought with Philip and Jacie both out of the house for most of the day I'd get a lot done. Not yet! (lol) Monday was B's day off so after we dropped off children at church we headed out to the landfill to recycle old paint cans. That errand turned into a sightseeing drive, a great lunch, and a lovely day with my love without children arguing in the back seat. I spent yesterday putting away Shakespeare and started organizing crafts for camp next week. Oh, and I read a book. I wanted to start it and take it to camp with me but once I started I couldn't put it down. ("Girl with the Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier) Today I must attend the funeral for a dear lady from church. She passed on Saturday; less than two weeks after her 100th birthday. Maybe there'll be some time this afternoon... if I don't pick up that other book I meant to take to camp!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's funny-- the show is over but it's still here. All over my front hallway, sorted into piles for whites, colors, bleeders to wash separately, and a really huge Dryel pile. I did take the suits to the dry cleaners. The going is slow because the washer has developed a habit of not shutting off the water after it fills so my back room becomes a river if I don't catch it!. Fortunately, the water runs right out the back door. Unfortunately, this means I can't just put a load in and walk away to do something else. I've just about got the timing down so I'll know when to check on it. The dining room still has all the VBS supplies-- they're still out because I have to figure out what I'm going to use for camp. I'm planning for 50 but I never know 'til I get there just how many kids there will be. The 'youngers' and I re-organized their room and I cleaned up the cave. I've mentioned before how I can't seem to start working on sewing projects after a big show until I've messed around with the organization. I just have to do something new to it. This time I moved around some oil painting supplies and found new drawer space for buttons. I started on some new pincushions for the shop and cut out some new smocks. I closed the opening in a bunch of stuffed fleece ornaments I started in, oh, February?! I did manage to get a small, store-bought blanket embroidered for my grandson that my daughter had brought up a couple of months ago. That just might be a record for me! There was one hiccup in the second "K" when the thread ran out; I'll just fix it by hand.
The sad part is--- even with all the cleaning and moving and sorting and putting away I've done in the cave, I still haven't found the remote control that disappeared a couple of weeks ago. There's the buzzer. Time for another load.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Hello, cave? Remember me? I'm sorry you're piled with laundry instead of the quilt squares and pincushions and smocks I promised we would do this summer. Shakespeare is almost over and so is VBS since they're both running this week--- which means I am running wild too! The little one we have been caring for for two years (supposed to be a few months, remember?) is moving far away tonight so we won't have her pulling on your hanging fabric and re-arranging the thread spools. We will miss her terribly. Just three more days and life will be a new, quieter routine. For at least a week. Did I tell you about camp, and the trip for a wedding, and...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Picture night

Last night was picture night for "As You Like It". That's when the director grabs a couple of pictures to send to the newspaper for publicity purposes. I hate picture night. For some reason, no matter how much I try to prepare for it, it never works right. Because of the shorter turnover time between the start of rehearsal (when I meet and measure the actors) and opening night, there is no way I can have EVERYTHING picture ready two weeks before opening. It's just not going to happen. So I have to have as much as possible done because I never know until just before what he wants for pictures. I concentrate on the principals, for sure, and maybe a quirky character that takes longer. Invariably, it seems I am just not where I want to be for the pictures. This time, I got conflicting lists of the scenes/characters he wanted to photograph and the frustration level rose. I arrive at the theatre early to dress those selected. Always there are a couple of actors who were sure they were supposed to be in the picture and when I have to tell them they weren't on the director's list their feelings are hurt. I feel bad. Frustration rises. An actor says he came in early because he was told he was to be photographed. I know nothing about it. Frustration rises. The director asks if a particular character can be dressed 'right now' for a picture. He wasn't listed and is particularly difficult to fit. "Can't you just throw him in something?" No, he is not a standard size and I am not a magician who can make clothing appear. Plus he is one of those 'quirky' characters that I designed a particular look for. So he says ''Can we photograph him tomorrow?' "Yes, absolutely." Okay. Moments later--- the actor is ordered to the photographer with a prop hat and having his picture taken. Frustration level hits the roof! I know the director needs to get this done but what he doesn't seem to care about is this: That picture is representative of MY work. That's what people will see to entice them to come to the show. They'll think "THAT is how the costumer saw that character?" It's not me. It's not my work. It's not my vision. There will be 'real' pictures taken later for archive and scrapbook purposes but very few will see them. It's frustrating. I hate picture night. Of course, I never get any pictures because I'm running around like a chicken with it's head chopped off. So I'll leave you with a shot taken at sunset from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. It's calm and peaceful. Unlike picture night.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home again!

Had about a week away to attend my
sister's wedding and visit with family. Nice time! Our only issue was what Jacie would wear since she prefers boys' suits and I prefer she look at least a little feminine. We settled on a jacket and capri set, she chose a lavender linen-type and we bought a lace trimmed tank to wear under. Her jacket does have the 'peek-a-boo' lace strip down the back as in the pattern picture but I didn't get a picture of that!

I also had the pleasure of making their cake-- it's just stacked layers and fresh flowers (that matched the bouquets) to decorate. (Chocolate w/ icing filled on the bottom, white w/ sliced strawberries filling in the middle and marble/ w/icing on top. And the weather was gorgeous! Now-- back to Shakespeare!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Working on Designs-

"As You Like It", Shakespeare in the Grove 2010, is officially underway with the introductions and script reading last night. I got my sketches done. They're never exactly what walks out on the stage but they're in the ball park. I have a terrific helper this year-- she is already working on one of the designs and she's raiding her own stash for fabrics! So cool! I have had people express interest in helping with costumes before but they usually fall through. This one looks like a keeper! (And it doesn't hurt that her son is in the cast... the helpers are a lot easier to find when that's the case.) The picture shows my dining table during the designing stage-- the script, lots of paper, pencils and erasers, a few copies of vintage pattern envelopes for go-bys, Prismacolor pencils and a really large glass(es) of iced tea. Golden.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An outside project

One of the things I really wanted to complete this spring was this display. It sits to the right of our front door to welcome folks and give 'em an idea of what we're about. It started with an old sewing machine my sister gave me. It had been in her garage for years. It was in it's original table but, sadly, the wood was so badly warped and mildewed it was not salvageable. Since I couldn't save it, my dad helped me remove the machine and the iron treadle/stand and pack it in my little Rio for the trip home from NH to VA, where it sat on the porch since last September.

Last week, B and I bought some wood to make a tray and I hit the treadle with a touch of flat black spray paint. I wiped it down to remove the dust and cobwebs but I didn't try to cover up or remove the rust. I liked the look.

We stained the tray and while it was drying I cleaned up the machine with some Mr. Clean. I should note that there was no hope of using this machine- it would need a complete re-build so I was okay with re-purposing it for decorative use! I had to use a light touch with the Mr. Clean so it wouldn't ruin the paint. Then I sprayed it with a clear protective spray.

I secured the tray to the treadle base, set the machine on it with some scrap wood to level it and arranged some flower pots I had around. I chose flowers and vines that would offer color and green fill, as well as different levels try it make it pretty and interesting. The flowers represent my husband (the aforementioned 'B'); he loves his flowers. (The cow is also 'him'!) And I figure if you've been reading me, you know what the sewing machine stands for! This picture was taken the day after planting. It has since filled out a little more.

I think the amazing part of this whole project was I dreamed it up on the ride home from our visit last fall--- and less than a year later it has actually come to fruition. That HAS to be a record for me! Thanks, B!

No time-

How do you know it's showtime around here? No blog posts! "Smoke on the Mountain-The Homecoming" opens tomorrow. It's a fun show with good music and funny bits. Not a real challenge costume-wise. It's set in the late 40's, very country-ish and the loft had plenty of clothes to choose from, plus the cast chipped in their own stuff so all I had to do was co-ordinate. I wouldn't have even spent a cent on this show except we opted to get a 3/4 wig for one of the girls. Super nice, talented cast-- this was a fun show to do.
Also getting underway--- this summer's Shakespeare in the Grove. Has it really been a year since "Macbeth"? Wow! This year's offering is "As You Like It" and, for reasons unknown to my understanding, the director is setting it around 1969. MadMen meets Hippies meets Brady Bunch-- oy vey! Although we've discussed where we (HE!) want(s) to go with the costumes, I have to submit more detailed designs tomorrow morning. Do you think I'm ready yet? 'Course not! Between schooling and child care and trying to fix up outside I have had no time to boost the Etsy store supply or sew for fun. I hope that changes next week-- my sister's wedding is in a couple of weeks and I wanted to make a dress to wear. (I wanted to lose weight too, but that didn't happen either.) So much still needs to be done outside but I really would like a day of rain so I can't work out there and can sew guilt-free!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Remember when I mentioned finding "treasure bags" of sewing notions at the thrift store? Here is one of the cool things in the last batch-- a crown shaped pincushion! The fabric is a gold velvet; trimmed with a metallic gold braid. The metal base contains a retractable tape measure and there is a clip on the top that holds a thimble as the crowning 'jewel'. All the pins and needles on it came on it---- as well as the dust!

Then there's this... needle? Awl? I don't recognize this tool. It's about 3 inches long, one half is smooth with a sharp point at one end while the other end is rough, like a file of some sort. Does anyone have any ideas?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A bug took over my machines today-

My Jaciebug, that is. It's not the first time she has sewn but it may be her first project that she shopped for the fabric, had it cut on her own, measured, cut, and sewed herself. I was there to instruct but she did it. I have no idea why she chose those fabrics/colors. But she's happy and I'm proud!
She's faking.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What NOT to do with buttons-

A two foot tall, umm, sculpture(?), currently for sale on Etsy. I dunno-- I guess the idea is okay. It's just--all those beautiful buttons that could have been on a cute shirt or lovely dress or just looked at and imagined into wonderful creations. Or this. *sigh*

Friday, April 2, 2010

Some women like diamonds, some like pearls--

What do I like? Thrift store goody bags from the sewing department! Whenever I find a plastic bag filled with the most random notions I consider it a successful mission, no matter what I was looking for! I hit thrifts a lot for my costuming and I always check for these bags. Often, they are the result of someone emptying a box, basket or drawer that held supplies for an older sewer and it was donated to the thrift as part of an estate. These bags contain the most wonderful little surprises and it always makes me wonder about the original owner. Did she sew often? For pleasure or necessity? Did she sing while she hemmed her daughter's dresses or curse while patching her son's jeans for the umpteenth time? My favorite things to find are wooden thread spools ( I display them in a vase on a shelf above my machine), fabric measuring tapes (retractable ones are a bonus!) and buttons. LOVE buttons! Especially if they are still carded. I keep telling myself I'm going to sell some in my Etsy shop but...not yet. I always find hand sewing needles ( I have enough to choke an elephant), rusty pins (usually threaded through a random scrap of paper or cardboard) and one half of a snap set. Always. Why does every notion drawer or box have only one side of a snap set? Is this a Murphy's Law of Sewing? Anyway, I found three great bags this week! I want to share some of the neat things with y'all but I can't find my camera--I might have left it at the theatre when I took the publicity photos for "Savage''. I may have to borrow my son's-- there are two items I can't identify and I hoping someone out there can help me out!
Also, sending thanks again to Donna over at Comin' Home (http://thehomemakingarts.blogspot.com/) for the lovely note cards I won from her giveaway! They are beautiful!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I sat down to write something! Must be showtime! "Curious Savage" opens tonight and I'm overall pleased with the look of the show. The actors are a terrific group. I finally got my nerves together and auditioned last week for this summer's Shakespeare. Although selections haven't been finalized yet I'm pretty sure I didn't make it. C'est la vie. I still get to costume! This year's play is "As You Like It" and I think the director is going for modern costuming instead of the heavy, Renaissance-style like last year's "Macbeth". Coolness all around. Happy Spring, Everyone! I'm looking forward to catching up on all your great projects!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Photo Day

One of the most stressful days for me as the costumer is the pre-production photo day. We have to have publicity photos as soon as possible but often my final designs aren't ready to go so I have to scramble to make sure I have something for all the actors, even if it's not the final look that we use in the show. Today we did pictures for "The Curious Savage". I don't have to do much sewing for this show; instead I've been able to pull from my growing collection of vintage. Here's a sneak peek! Featured actresses are Teagan, Linda and Katherine. (And, yes, the cute little boy on the lovely Teagan's lap is my daughter, Jacie-)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Still treading...

We are still behind in schoolwork, mostly because #3, Philip, did not do the work he was supposed to while his sisters and I were away. Not only behind in school, I haven't been able to 'play' here because the 'puter was on the brink of a crash (numerous viruses) and we lost it to a shop for a few days. I guess I'll be doing my February 'Christmas in...' update a little late!
As usual, my break between shows is over without getting all my projects done. That's going to slow down my UFO progress too. But I miss my shows and my theatre people so I'm happy to be back in the costume design seat. First up: "The Curious Savage" for the local community college. I love this script--- it makes me cry everytime I read it; even though I know what's going to happen. I actually wanted to audition for this one but reality stepped in and I just can't commit to the rehearsal schedule; IF I had been blessed with a role. So I'll stay backstage (again) for now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fabric choices

Not much done this week as we are playing catch up with school and I'm working on a couple of baby gifts as well as more diapers for Kal-El. I also cleaned up the living room bookcase, clearing out stuff we don't need in our homeschool anymore. I've started picking up stuff for next year and I need space! But I did get a yearning to make stuff for me and I really want to use these vintage patterns I've been collecting so I think I've decided on my first project: this shirt; view 1. I will make a muslin first, for fit, but I can't decide between these two fabrics. The first is an easy care plaid--- I don't know anything else about it because I picked it up at a thrift store. (2 yards/$1.98) I've washed and pressed it and I think it'll do well. But I am oddly drawn to the orange print. Literally-- they're oranges. Really bright oranges. I see me wearing it open over a tank top as the kids and I wander the amusement park this summer. If the first one works, I'll do a second, but I can't choose which to do first! If it doesn't work, I don't want to waste either fabric!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's good to get away...

...but it's always wonderful to come home! We were treated like royalty at the in-laws and my parents homes; so great to see family and old friends. Too bad the guest of honor won't remember a minute of it! Kal-El traveled like a champ and charmed everyone with his gurgles and lopsided grins! The real winner, though, was probably Jacie, who turned 11 on Friday. She had one cake Thursday at Auntie Julie's house, a cake waiting for her at Nana & Poppa's when we got there Friday and a cookie-cake from her Daddy when we got home Saturday night! Happy birthday, Buglet!
I really could have done without the snow, though. Snow is one of the reasons I didn't return to Massachusetts after the Navy!
Church this AM, and I'm looking forward to a quiet afternoon getting caught up on all "youse guys'" posts!