Thursday, February 28, 2008

just one big crappy week

I'm too tired to tell y'all everyting, but in short, Atmos Energy can kiss my white patootie. They installed a new meter and left a note on my door to call them to get my gas turned on - ALL WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. I've cussed a few people out on the phone this week.

And then today, a wonderful quilter died today, my grandmother-in-law also known as Mema. She was a crotchety old lady, but she could quilt your head off. I luckily has some wonderful quilts made by her - all by hand as well as countless pot holders and baby scrap quilts for my kids. Only the last big quilt was machine quilted because she couldn't see to do it anymore. She was an amazing quilter. I have a quilt top she never turned into a quilt that I think I'm going to have finished and given to my mother-in-law, she is taking this hard. She also was my partner in crime with breastfeeding, when no one else around me nursed, she and I talked about breastfeeding all the time when my daughter was a baby. She told me she nursed all of her boys until they went to school. In fact, one of them told me he still has memories of nursing after school when he was little.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Waldorf Dolls - where to get wool stuffing

It's so yummy to get wool stuffing in the mail, lol. I had some arrive a few days ago. It comes from Amish country.

I've been running low on wool stuffing for awhile now since I don't make a ton of waldorf dolls much anymore and I've needed some more so I can take pictures of my fairy ears and wings tutorial for a waldorf doll. So I thought I would share my not-not-so-well-known source for wool stuffing. It's not really a secret, but it is not well known either. This place is cheap. I think it's around $7 for 1 pound. I just ordered only 2 pounds this time and it was about $20 including shipping. I know most online places charge about $12 for 1 lb, so this is pretty good savings. I've been using them for years and have always had excellentn and prompt service.

They also have wool roving in natural and colors. My husband called my order in for me (because I have this phobia of telephone calls, lol), and he's not here to remind me how much the roving is so I can't tell you. I've never purchased it, but the price seemed pretty reasonable as well. I used to buy wool roving from eBay to make wool balls, and I bought it from a lady who called it "dragon waste". It came in all kinds of cool colors, but she doesn't sell it anymore. It was such nice stuff....I digress.

Anyway, the man who sells it sells it for the Amish from what I remember, since they can't exactlly take phone orders, lol. And they take credit cards too!

West Earl Woolen Mill
110 Cocalico Creek Rd
Ephrata, PA 17522
100% Peruvian wool batting, wool roving

Friday, February 22, 2008

Little Girls Shirred Sundress Tutorial

My school computer is apparently really screwed it up, the store gave up and had to send it to HP to fix, lol, so I'm without my Corel Draw where I create my cool graphics for my tutorials and patterns and stuff, so this will have to do for awhile. It's the same reason why I haven't turned my nursing cover tutorial into a download.

Shirred Sundress

This is a quick little dress that is easy to whip out and look so cute.

Shirring elastic
1 yd of fabric – up to size 6 (larger sizes at bottom).
1/8 yd of coordinating fabric for ruffle.

1. Measure from very top of crease of underarm down to where you want the dress to hit. I usually prefer mid calf or little higher. Add 1 inch to measurement.

2. Cut the length of fabric to this measurement (you are going to keep the entire 44-45 inch width of fabric for the dress. You’ll be cutting the length from the 1 yd (36 inches) length. For example, on a size 5 your fabric should be 44-45 inches wide x 24 inches in length

3. Hem the top of the dress.

4. Begin shirring about 1 cm under the hem stitch line. Continue shirring about 8 to 12 more rows down. With the size 5, I usually shirr about 10 rows, with a smaller size such as 12-18 months, I usually shirr only about 8 rows. Make sure to leave excess thread at each row. Then as you create more shirred rows, pull slightly on the excess threads to gather the shirring more.

5. At bottom of dress, attach ruffle or just hem. For a ruffle, you’ll need to cut the 1/8 yd into half. This will create two 2 1/4 inch strips and sew them together until you have a length of about 88-90 inches. I use a ruffler foot so that it attaches and gathers in 1 step. With the long strip now, I fold the strip over widthwise with raw edges together and attached it.

If you do not have a ruffler foot, you’ll need to fold the long strip widthwise with raw edges together, and sew a long gathering stitch through the entire length. Then pull the threads to gather, pin to the hem of the dress, and sew it on, Make sure you pin it to the right side of the dress.

6. With right sides together, match the raw edges of the back seam and sew it closed. I usually do some backstitching to tack the shirring so it doesn’t come unsewn.

7. Try the dress on your daughter and mark the placement of the ribbon ties. When you sew the ribbon ties, I like to sew them on the hemline of the top of the dress and I tack them so they are secure.

You’re finished!!

For older girls, measure the bust and double the measurement and this will be the width of fabric you will need. Measure from the underarm crease to the length you would want

For example, my daughter is a 10/12 and her length is 32 inches, her bust is 32 inches.
So I would need approximately 64 x 32 inches for her dress.

To make it easy, I would find a print that would work widthwise (44-45 in) as opposed to the usual lengthwise.

For really quick and easy, I would use a 2 yd piece with 72 inches for the bust and then cut down the 44-45 inch length down to 33 inches (1 inch for hem at top and bottom). This way I would have only one piece of fabric like the directions above and just one back seam as opposed to using 2 pieces with 2 side seams.

For this example, since the width is 72 inches, you'll need to piece strips to make 144 inches long for the ruffle.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yummy Landscapes Yarn

I love this yarn. It felts wonderfully, especially to do my pincushion tutorial. I was at Hancock Fabrics today and they had a ton of yarn on clearance 40-50% off. And this one was 50% off in all the colorways, which makes it about $3.00/skein. They had some other wool and wool blend yarns on clearance as well. And, I found bags of colored 100% wool roving for 40% off in the same clearance section.
This is a Lion's brand yarn similar to the Landscapes yarns, but these came in solid pastels. I made this for my mom for Christmas. I also made Mr. E a matching one in plum color in a vintage wool yarn I had from my grandmother's stash.

And on another completely different tangent, have you seen Stylicious on DIY? I don't know if they are still on the air, I just caught it very, very late last night. Can anyone stand watching it? I don't quite get the women on the show -- seriously, they act and attempt to look like 8 yr olds. It was like a bad car wreck, I wanted to change the channel, but I was in awe that someone at DIY actually greenlighted this show with these hosts, and they were allowed to banter like children, which I think was an attempt to get closer to the 20-something crowd. It was very weird to say the least.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another Skating Dress Pattern

Well now that we have a strut costume idea going, I needed another costume for one of her solos. Because Ms. Em's novelty baton twirling routine is to to a song from the soundtrack of the Lemony Snicket movie, I was trying to think of a gothic type costume for it to go along with the movie-themed gothic look, so I have been trying to get ideas online, and Em finally found this dress she really likes. She likes the skirt part the most, which does look very cool.

And today I found this pattern and ordered it from to so something similar. I really like the neckline and sleeves in this pattern, the darker dress, for her, and then add some weird layered skirts to it. I have a dark fuschia, almost a plum color stretch velvet with a black stretch velvet that I think would look awesome for the bodice this dress, yet still be "gothic". I think I need to get some matching stretchy chiffon or something similar to do some underskirt, then the upper skirts will be the velvet.

Jalie Sewing Patterns

I got these in the mail a couple days ago. I was checking out leotard patterns over at Jalie and just happened upon these shirt patterns. I love the style of both. Plus, they can be just regular shirts, or one can be made maternity and one can be made nursing. Not to mention the bazillion sizes for girls and women.

FYI, I ordered mine from and their Jalie patterns are cheaper than anybody else and they have the whole line. They also ship SUPER FAST.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Have you seen Garden State?

I haven't seen it in such a long time, and I caught it on tv Saturday night, and I forgot how much I love this song - Let Go by Frou Frou. And Boys Like Girls has a great cover of Let Go too, I went and bought both this morning on Itunes.

But I forgot how much I love Garden State, I think I'm going to buy the soundtrack, it's a really good soundtrack. I don't know if Zach Braff was in charge of the music or not, but it's just a great soundtrack to life.

This is You Tube video I found that has clips of the movie set to the the song, Let Go.

Let Go

drink up, baby down
mmm, are you in or are you out
leave your things behind
'cause it's all going off without you
excuse me, too busy you're writing your tragedy
these mishaps
you bubble wrap
when you've no idea what you're like

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
so let go, just get in
oh, it's so amazing here
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

it gains the more it gives
and then it rises with the fall
so hand me that remote
can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow

such boundless pleasure
we've no time for later now
you can't await your own arrival
you've 20 seconds to comply

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
so let go, just get in
oh, it's so amazing here
it's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

Jumper is a horrific movie

I thought this looked like a cool movie in the trailers, and we actually wasted a "date" out of it. My parents came over to babysit and we went out to lunch and to see Jumper as a matinee - thank goodness we didn't pay full price for that crap. I'd like my $6.50 and 90 minutes back.

For once, I found the reviews to be accurate. It had hardly any plot. They explained nothing in this movie. He ran away from home, 8 years later suddenly decides to go back to find the girl he loved in high school - no explanation. It made no sense why these people - these "paladin" were chasing and trying to kill the "jumpers" and they've been doing it for hundreds of years - no explanation. I think they spent most of the money on special effects instead of a script.

I don't think I haver ever wanted to walk out of a movie before, but I was tempted to on this one. My husband was happy to find a nice dark cozy place to sleep, so he didn't want to leave. It was so boring, I fell asleep many, many times, and though I tried to stay awake to watch it, I couldn't. It could not hold my attention. There was no big climax, nothing.

It was bad, really bad. I can't think of a movie that was this bad we've seen in years. Don't waste your money.

I'm curious to read the book it was based on, I bet it has a plot.

One good thing, we went to Ruby Tuesday and it was YUMMY. I love their strawberry lemonade.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Girl's Baton Twirling Costume Pattern

So I've been trying to find a particular style of swimsuit or leotard in a sewing pattern to make a more classical style of strut costume for Ms Em. I found this pattern on eBay and it looks perfect. I got it today in the mail, and it's even better than I was hoping. It's vintage McCalls 9726. It has a back zipper in just the right place for a twirling costume, and it has some criss cross straps with a low back that look very easy to redesign into an more up-to-date back. I'm going to my favorite fabric outlet store tomorrow and see if they have any super stretch spandex so I can get started on it this weekend.

I just filed our taxes a few minutes ago. Yippee! We're getting a refund so we're paying off the air conditioner we had to buy this summer and my husband is going to redo the tile in the bathtub into one of those 3-piece bathtub wall things with the fake tile. Since we're homeschooling, I don't have to use our entire refund to pay private school tuition and can pay off some bills.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And here is what an $1800 pipe looks like

Yep, here is what an $1800 pipe looks like. Not much huh? See that tiny little hole? That is apparently a HUGE hole. That little sucker caused some major problems for us.

I've been meaning to post this, but my computer with the card slots for my digital camera is sitting at Fry's Electronics waiting for a new motherboard (for free! thank goodness for warranties).

Anyway, we came home from a little trip to Meme's house and hear this noise in the wall of the bathroom that sounds like water is spraying everywhere. My husband goes to the closet behind the bathroom to see if he can find the leak by cutting a chunk of drywall out and nothing is there, but an entire fire ANT COLONY!!! OMG!! They came pouring out. It took 2 days to get them all out.

Anyway, we had a slab leak - $400 to find it, then $1400 for them to jack hammer a 2 x 2 ft section of our slab in my son's bedroom to repair it. The fun adventures in homeowner land. They think it's been leaking for a long time and it finally just got huge. And that noise we heard? It was just the sound of air bubbles in the pipe from the leak. That was relief, I was picturing the wall filling up with water.

I somehow psychically new this was going to happen and cleaned out the closet where I had kept all my sewing stuff and a few days later this happened and the carpet was soaked in that closet from the leak.

Baton Twirling Costume - so far...

So I had to put my littel garage sale on the back burner as in about 10 days Em is performing her twirling solo for the first time. So I've been trying to design it. Last year, I bought several different fabrics and ended up with a tropical fabric for her Tiki Tiki Room routine so I had this fabric left over. I've been trying to come up with something. This is my current design. See the beaded fabric in the middle? - $70/yd Yep, your read that correctly $70 a yd. Yikes! I've had it carefully wrapped in tissue in a plastic bag since last year.

It doesn't have any elastic in yet and the crotch is still open. But just wanted to post it because I have never seen any kind of sew and show with these types of costumes and thought it might help someone else.

I've delicately cut out some more of the beading designs from the expensive fabric and will attach them to fill out the beading fabric more. The seams will all be covered with stretch sequin trims and around the entire bottom seam at the hip will be icicle fringe all the way around. I had white/clear, but I'm going to order gold icicle fringe as these beads have a lot more gold-y colors. The nude and upper bodice are also going to be covered in hot fix rhinestones.

I basically took a skating dress pattern and the panty and bodice were already 2 pieces - I just left off the skirt, and then I cut the top and middle in half and added back a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I'm using glissinette (I think that's what it's called, its nude with a little sparkly too it) as the top nude, and it's also behind the beaded fabric because I felt it needed more coverage. But this one is a little snug on her and hard to get on and off, so I'm going to cut a new one slightly larger.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Got my Luxe ribbon!!

I won yards of ribbon over at TrendWatcher from their ribbon line. Oh my gosh, this stuff is yummy wondeful!! Very nice, high quality ribbon. I have the package sitting on my desk right now calling my name to make some with it.

Oh and I saw the coolest thing on that Sandi Genovese(sp?) show on HGTV or DIY? I can't remember which one she's on. It was like 4 in the morning I saw it, thanks to my 4 yr old. Anyway, this lady made molds of just regular things using stuff like that Crayola Magic clay stuff. I'm not sure what brand she used, but it looked just like that magic clay from Crayola. It's really lightweight clay that dries super fast. First she used it to make a mold of something like a cute metal girly girl dress thing that hung on a wall, then once it dried, she put in more magic clay into the mold and created the actual thing, so she could paint it and then stick in a scrapbook page. She used pencils to do it too for a school scrapbook page. But I thought that was very neat to make in a mixed media collage for a shadow box. I got this neat idea to do something like that with a miniature dressform, then create a little "sewing/designing" shadow box with fabric samples. Oh my -- just writing this is making me create the whole thing in my head, like a miniature shadow box of Project Runway. I'm going to have to do this really soon before I forget, lol. It would go absolutely perfect in my mini-sewing room. And some of my new Luxe ribbon would be perfect to finish it off. You have to get some of this ribbon, I love the floral ones.

Wow, it took me forever to find the link to the episode, but she's on Scrapbooking on DIY and this is the link to what I was talking about.

Ok back to work, I'm screwing off again, lol.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Well...I'm not sure what to do

So it's 4 AM here, and I'm awake because of my neighbors. Why you ask? Because apparently they decided to have a party until 4 AM and one of their "guests" thought it would be great fun to run up and down our street peeling his tires over and over. I'm sure he had great thrills with me standing on my porch with all the lights on staring them down. I just needed a mud mask and one of my husband's rifles to complete the look.

Up until a year or so ago, this was a quiet neighborhood, then I started to notice that it seemed only a young girl lived diagonal to us. They had a fire a couple years ago and I'm not sure what happened because we were out of town at the time. But it took almost a year to rebuild it and then I never saw anyone but her and stupid teenagers around - ever after that. The yard was rarely mowed lately, and now there are literally trash bags of clothing sitting on the porch (and we're not talking Salvation Army pick up). This stuff has been there for at least a month now. And this girl now has parties all week long. They now have a band that practices all hours of the day and night. My husband has had to bang on the door at 1 AM to shut them up.

I've begun to keep a record of each instance of this crap.

So tonight I got pissed and decided to "investigate". And according to the tax records apparently this home belongs to a 75 year old woman. Now there is no record of her death, so maybe they killed her and moved in ala Charles Manson and his family or maybe she's been shipped off to the nursing home and the granddaughter has moved in. I don't know. So I've decided from now on I'm going to call the cops any time they have a party.

Weird thing was, when my husband went over in the middle of the night, there was no furniture anywhere he could see in the house. I'm starting to suspect drugs or something.

But I've also noticed that if the old lady no longer lives there, she is illegaling claiming homestead and senior citizen exemptions on her property taxes.

Anyway, I'm pissed because now my 4 yr old is wide awake too.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Geez, lady is this a Sewing Blog or a Book Club?

Ok so I admit it...I am diehard bookworm. I breathe in books. I feel panicked if I don't have a stack of books to read. I love books. I love libraries and I love to get lost in a bookstore, especially used book stores. Half Price Books is my favorite -- and not the little ones around the Dallas area, but the big mama one near North Park mall that's in an old super sporting goods store. It drives my husband crazy but I will spend hours in that store and still find a dozen new books I need to buy.

Ok so back to what I was originally going to do -- post some book reviews...So have you read The Time Traveler's Wife?? I gave my copy to my MIL and I hope I get it back soon. I think that is my favorite book EVER. I can't wait to read it again.

I just finishd this book about a week ago. It's a big book, over 500 pages, but it's a definite page turner. I couldn't put it down and when I had to put it down, I would find ways to go grab it and read a page or 2. It's about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife and her sister, Mary Boleyn. It's historical fiction, and the movie is coming out this year, soon I think. The Boleyn family wants to move up in the world and so they push Mary to become the king's mistress, and she falls in love and has 2 babies with him. Then after baby #2, while she's still recovering from the birth, Anne wiggles her way to become his mistress and eventually the queen. What I liked about it was it is written very contemporary and not with a bunch of "thee's and thou's." But since you know what happens to Anne in the end, you can't quit reading for what happens to lead up to her death.
This is the current book I'm reading, and I am enjoying it as much as The Other Boleyn Girl. This one involves some new players in the court of Henry VIII. This is set much later after Anne's death and after the third queen Jane Seymour dies in childbirth. This one is told by 3 women - the new queen from Germany, Anne of Cleves - who the king doesn't like; a new Boleyn girl named Katherine Howard who has the eye of the king; and Jane Boleyn, the sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn who gave the testimony that lead to her death. In the first book, you do not like Jane Boleyn, she's very lewd with her words and always spying on Anne Boleyn and her brother (Jane's husband), but in this book you see another side and understand her more. I'm about halfway through and it's a page turner just like the first.
This one is by the same author, but I have not read it yet. It's the next one I'm going to read. It is about a 14 yr old Jewish girl who can see the future and flees from the Spanish Inquisition and gets hired as the queen's fool for Queen Mary and later Elizabeth.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I'm on a roll -- I need to go find me a casino

I won another blog contest....for some scrumpitious scrapbooking ribbons...24 yds!! I can't wait to see them IRL. Aren't they gorgeous!?! I'm telling ya', I'm on a roll and I need to go up to my mother in law's and find me a Choctaw casino and win the big jackpot while I'm on my roll.

Miss Em's doing a baton twirling solo to the song during the end credits on Lemony Snickett, it's called Drive Away. It's a very cool song. So I've been looking over movie stills to find costume inspiration -- which seems very gothic, and those ribbons gave me some great gothic ideas with the little scrolies. I'm picturing maybe red velvet with black sequin scrollies like on these ribons. Hmmm, I don't know. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, and her first performance is Feb 23 -- yikes!