Thursday, March 31

"I Beautiful" She Says and She's So Right

When her mama asked if she wanted to try on the little shirred peasant top I made her, she nodded. When she slipped it on, the first thing she said was -- get this ---
 "I beautiful!" ...
Of course my heart popped with joy.

She wore her ruffle pants and peasant top to school today. 
I've been sewing a lot this week.

I will get back to showing jewelry and faux-tique components here on the blog.

But for today, I had to show a little beauty girl!

Saturday, March 26

Red Plaid Jacks Spring

I went to the fabric store and dug around in the SALE bin, to find fabrics that were less than $2 a yard.

I didn't notice that the price of cotton fabrics had gone up so much, but I guess they did. I found some florals and plaids, and a little red gingham. And a fun little cotton that looks like the ball and jacks I used to play with when I was a little girl. I wasn't sure all the colors and designs were going to match well together, but I'm pleased with the combinations that came out of the fabrics.

I made up these pants yesterday evening. They have an elastic waist, and a double ruffle at the bottom. 

And I made the the little skirt this morning. The front of the skirt has a ruffled apron built into it, and the back is just plain with two ruffles on it.



They can be worn with the skirt over the pants, too, in case there's a slide to go down or swings to play on, keeping little legs protected. The pants are a capri length, they should be cute with sandals or tennis shoes.

Children's clothes are quick to sew. I need to make the little peasant shirt and the pinafore apron out of these fabrics also, to wear all together as an outfit. 

But right now, I need to go over to the studio and cast some pewter.
I have orders to fill.

Wednesday, March 23

Distractions Are A Good Thing Right Now

Needing something to occupy my mind and hands, I turned toward my sewing machine. I wanted to keep busy and not dwell on the missing furry friend who usually sits with me while I work on projects.

I recently bought an interesting book, titled "Little Girls, Big Style" by Mary Abreu. I liked the photos of her finished little girl dresses. 

So I am sewing-sewing-sewing my way through these days.
It's my way of coping, I guess.
I'll show some photos of the finished dresses later.

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts, helping me get past the loss of my furry friend this week.

Sunday, March 20

In Memorium


TIRZAH (1/4/1995 - 3/20/2011)

Today I'm very sad and missing a good friend.
Our collie-husky mix girl dog had to leave us today.
She was a very old girl, but kept pretty healthy until the very end.
My husband brought her home at six weeks old from Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri. He didn't even know me yet, then.
So, technically, she was his dog.
But once she met me, she decided something else.
She decided she was my dog.


When I came home every day, she would race back and forth across the floor, so happy I was home. I'd run with her. It was a running game we played every day. Since we moved to Louisiana, she hasn't been able to do that any more.

But she always got up out of her padded doggie bed to come and greet me, every day when I came home.

She liked to eat spaghetti noodles, I would hold it up and dangle it down, and she'd bite it off. She always made me laugh when she did that. She seemed to know it was some kind of a game. A good-tasting game, too.

Something happened to her in the middle of the night last night.
Do dogs have strokes? I don't know.
We took her to the emergency vet today.
He said it was time to let her go.
I was expecting it for some time.
But it didn't make it any easier.
I can't stop weeping for her.

Bye, bye, sweet Tirzah girl.
We miss you already.

Friday, March 18

Kitty in Redwork


Maybe you have to be a certain age to remember this.
Going to the five-and-dime store to get muslin cloth, embroidery floss, needles, a wooden hoop, and a package of iron-on transfers.

On long summer days, one way to stay occupied was to sit and embroider pillowcases and hand towels.

When the floss is all one color, like red or blue, it's called "redwork" or "bluework."


I couldn't find the iron-on transfer patterns in a cute design, I had to locate them online. There are some great designs available for free, if you search for them. And here's another location for patterns, if you're getting an itch to stitch, too.

Here is my old wooden hoop, with the transfer drawn on plain cream muslin cloth in washable blue marker stretched in it, and I've started stitching a second kitten. 


These old patterns are very quaint and child-like. I'm not sure I remembered exactly the right technique for stitching. I decided to use two colors of floss, a tomato red and a darker crimson, to give the design some depth. I think this needs to be put onto apron pockets in a child's size.

Do you remember doing these when you were a child? Maybe you never stopped.

When I finish the red kitty blocks, next I'm going to do some "Farmer Joe" blocks in bluework.

There's another grandbaby coming in July, a little boy.

Have to finish the quilt I'm making now for the granddaughter, and start one for the next little one.
It takes a while to make one, and I want it to be ready.
When he comes along!

Tuesday, March 15

To the Nines and Then What

I think I mentioned that I moved my sewing machine and fabric over to the house, and I've been looking through my sewing magazines. For ideas and inspiration.

I made up this nine-patch block over the weekend.
I used fabric that I've had saved for a long, long time.
Some of it was purchased to make little dresses for my daughter, when she was the age the grandbaby is now. (yes, I did keep it that long - hey, fabric is useful anytime, right?)

Now that I've made the block, I can't decide what I want to do with it.
I thought about making a pillow.
Or a tote bag.

Or I could keep making squares like this, make a set of four or six with borders around each square, and make a little quilt for the grandbaby.
I know it's silly, to start sewing something without having plans for it.

I just wanted to see if I could remember how to do the patchwork.
I was concerned I might have forgotten.
But I guess I remembered enough to get this far.
But what next???

Monday, March 14

Two Bites Are Just Right

On Saturdays I go to the library. It's my weekly treat to myself. And helps keep me from buying lots of books, too.


I love to make cupcakes. And there are lots of fun new ideas in this book.
It uses the little mini-cupcake pans. And there are savory as well as sweet recipes. 

I've got to try some of these. I have the book for two weeks. How many dozens of tiny cupcakes could I make in that time, I wonder.
If you love cupcakes too, check out this fun book.

Sunday, March 13

Pink and Pretty Sunday Blooms


The first signs of spring at my house.
The azaleas on the side of the yard are blooming.
That side of the house faces the south, so it gets the most warmth and sunlight.


The house is yellow, with white wood trim around the windows. That helps the pretty pink buds and blossoms to show up so well. I wish I could claim that I had something to do with them, but they were here at the house when we bought it. Wonderful colors!

It's almost time to mow the grass for the first time.
Happy Sunday to You!

Saturday, March 12

Button Button Who's Got The Button


Today is my day to do the Studio Saturday post at the Art Bead Scene Blog. I'm talking about buttons. Their quaint historical background. Their origins and why they're called "buttons."

If you comment on my post, you might win something!


Lately I've been playing with a bunch of old buttons, seeing how I can use them to make charms and connectors.

I love the old style shell and mother of pearl buttons.

These two are my most recent button collages.
I'm thinking of combining them with the bowtie pewter piece.

You know.
Buttons and Bows?
Very old fashioned and sentimental, I know.

Friday, March 11

Fun Times

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the three of us carpool into town.
My daughter, granddaughter and I.
On Tuesdays I drive, and on Thursdays I ride with them.

Since the weather has gotten warmer, we've started going to a park with playground equipment for a stop on the way back home.

That's me, with my knitting bag, walking beside the grandbaby, who is running toward the play park. My daughter snapped this photo, and made it look all antique. 

So much energy! 
It's wonderful to be able to watch her growing up.
She's getting taller all the time.

I never would have thought of myself as someone who goes to the playground once a week, until I moved here.
I'm so glad I did.

So if it sometimes seems that I'm not too terribly productive, it's probably because I'm spending time on a park bench, watching a two year old run happily around.
And worth every minute, too.

Tuesday, March 8

Fat Tuesday Treat


My daughter shot this photo, it's a Mardi Gras Cupcake.
Yes, today is Fat Tuesday.
When I lived in Saint Louis they had a huge Mardi Gras celebration, the second largest in the country.

But I never got the day off work for Mardi Gras before.

Um Hm. Bet you can guess where the first largest is???

This is a great place! Long live the purple, green and gold, just like the Mardi Gras Sugar on the cupcake.
The cupcake didn't last long, though.
It came from a local place called "Little Cakes" or in french
Petite Gateaux.
Geaux Cajun Feat! Little cakes with big attitude. 
YUM!

Monday, March 7

Art Bead Scene March Challenge - Tahiti!

I love Gaugin! 
This beautiful image is the inspiration for the March Challenge for the Art Bead Scene Blog.
I can think of lots of ways to portray these colors and themes in jewelry.
If you'd like to enter, pop on over and read the directions.
The prizes are awesome.
Enter your design, you might win!

Saturday, March 5

Sewing It Up In Time


It's difficult to get a photo of her when she's not in motion.
My daughter snapped this for me.
Of my grandbaby wearing an outfit I sewed for her.

I have another one all cut out. I just need to finish sewing it.

So I set up a sewing spot in the house, with a typing table on rollers.
So it can be rolled out of the way when it's time for company.
Or when it's my weekend for a sleepover with the owner of the dress.
Like this weekend. Fun!

The strappy dress I'm working on reminds me of a gypsy dancer.
Bright colors and ruffles.
With pantaloons underneath. Better for sliding down slides.
I want to finish it, the weather is warming up quickly.
She'll be able to wear it soon.
Until she outgrows it. 
And that happens quickly, too.

Friday, March 4

What Was I Thinking

Maybe I'm the only one who does this.

I look back at pictures of items I've made in the past, things that have gone on to find new homes, long ago.

And I think, "Did I really make that?" 

I find things that make me scratch my head and wonder.
I need to break out the resin, and make some more cabochons like this one.
I vaguely remember making the wings and crown for this pendant.

But it seems so long ago and far away, like some other me did it.

So much has happened, so much has changed. It's like a whole new world.

Does that ever happen to you?
Do you look back at photos of your creative work, things that were made a year ago, eighteen months ago, and it's like a whole new world opening.
I hope I'm not alone with this...

Thursday, March 3

March Sale Surprise

Feels like time for a SPRING SALE in the Etsy shop.
If you've had your eye on something, or if you just can't resist a sale, pop over and see the special prices.
Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 2

Part 2, Not a Uni-Tasker


Here's the cover of the cookbook I got from the library.

I found it at Amazon for less than $9.00. I may have to make it a permanent part of my cookbook library.

You have one of those, don't you? Your special pile of cookbooks that you always turn to, when you want to cook something special, but can't decide what that might be on any given day.

This one is written by someone from Louisiana.
Now, in my book, that makes it extra authentic.
Especially for a cookbook with "jambalaya" on the cover.

The neat thing about the rice cooker is that it has three speeds.
Unplugged - OFF.
Cook.
Warm.
What else do you need? 
Put this together with the bread machine, and the meal's practically on the table all by itself.

Tuesday, March 1

It's Not A Uni-Tasker


Since I relocated here to Central Louisiana, I've been getting cookbooks from the library, to learn how to make the local dishes.

A lot of them call for rice. My daughter had a rice cooker, and swore by it. I always thought it was a uni-tasker - only good for making rice.

However, it does make really good rice, and makes it easily.
Does it tell you anything that I bought a ten pound bag of Basmati rice at Sam's, and we're already halfway through it? Yes, there's a lot of rice used in gumbos, soups, jambalayas - you get the idea.

Last Saturday when I went to the library, I found a cool recipe book, on how to cook things BESIDES rice in the rice cooker.
Even though I have the steamer basket for mine, I wouldn't have thought of making stews and soups in the rice cooker.

So I'm going to have to experiment with mine.
If you want a good chuckle, and more information on unique uses for the rice cooker, check out Roger Ebert's blog post about "uses for the pot" - he made me laugh out loud several times. Do check it out ...

So I will have to try stone ground oatmeal in the rice cooker for breakfast.
Hmmmm ... might even be healthy.