Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Isn't that the truth.

Well there has been no shopping, sewing or craftying going on around here. I am sick again & now John thinks that he sis getting it as well. Lovely! I have been sick more this winter than in my entire life! My mom & out mail lady both think that it is because of the stress.....Hmmmmmm they are probably right.

So with that I only have a little bit of babbling for you today.

First I got a great package from my partner Coloriffic Swap-o-rama - Feb '07 - Rec'd

Look how cute this little mailbox is that she made for me!
Coloriffic Swap-o-rama - Feb '07 - Rec'd

Other than that there hasn't been much going on around here. I almost got a dust cover that JOhn needed sewn up on Sun but I put the zipper in wrong. After I ripped it back out I felt so bad that I couldn't bare the thought of working on it any more. Maybe tonight seeing as I went home yesterday & totally crashed after dinner.

On the subject of sewing I have a problem. I need to know if there is any possible way that I might be able to fix this:
Burda Jan 2006 - ouups
Sorry about the crappy picture, but what you are looking at is a cut into the fabric on the one of the front pieces for a pair of pants. It is right at the bottom of the crotch curve. My sweet mom bless her heart was serging the edges for me when she was up & caught that piece when she came down the center front. She felt so bad that she cried! Poor thing! I felt really bad because it took me 2 1/2 hours to lay these out matching the plaid. I folded them up & haven't looked at them till I took this picture. I really want to be able to save them, but I don't have any more if the fabric & this was the last that the store had last year. If anyone as any suggestions I would LOVE to hear them.

Friday, February 23, 2007

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. ~Henry David Thoreau

John made a comment the other night after I got home from the store. Which by the way am I the only one that find grocery shopping a total pain!? I don’t so much mind the going to the store or 1 ½ hours that it takes out of my evening, but dang if it doesn’t cost an arm & a leg. I also might even owe my first born to them, but I’m not sure! Goodness! Our grocery bill has gotten even worse now that I am trying really hard to pay more attention to what is in what we are eating & make healthier choices. Can someone please explain to me why if they are leaving out stuff it costs more??!

So on with my original thought. I had this pile of plastic shopping bags after putting all the groceries away. I hate them, but this store doesn’t seem to have paper available. So John says why don’t you make shopping bags then. Well duh! I even have one that I used when we in FL that Publix was selling for a time. Just a canvas tote really with Publix emblazoned on it. Then I remembered that I have seen directions for crocheting shopping bags from plastic shopping bags. I haven’t ever gotten around to actually trying this, but have wanted to.

So incase you are interested here are some links on this very topic:

Plastic bag usage statistics
Ideas for reusable bags
Crocheted plastic bag examples
Crochet directions & Instructions for cutting the bags and making a ball of "yarn"

There are probably manyof you that already do this but this is something that I would like to try to be better at. I will probably get some strange looks as I don't think that there are too many people in this area that bring there own reusable bags to the store with them but I think that after reading some of those stats that more of us better start! Eeeek!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Fat Tuesday!

So today is Fat Tuesday. Growing up I never really paid much attention but John’s dad was born in raised just outside New Orleans, in Metairie, LA. So as you can imagine John grew up with all kind of Fat Tuesday & Mardi Gras traditions. In the 8 years that we have been together we have been to LA several times to visit family & just love it! The history, the food, the fun little sayings that you will never hear any place else! For example what would you call the grassy section that divides the lanes of a road? Me, I call it a median, Cathy John’s cousin in LA calls it the “neutral ground” It has something to do with during war time not being able to shoot someone when they were in a certain area. Beki do you know? Any way I love that kind of stuff!

Now you probably know that Carnival is not just a New Orleans thing it is celebrated all over the world, but there is something that I had never heard of until moving back to Michigan, Paczki Day. It is the "feast of plenty,” celebrated by Polish Americans. The Paczki is a Fat Tuesday tradition. Just as Louisiana has the King Cake, the Polish in Detroit the go nuts for Paczkis! Well as do the rest of the nuts all over the state. Basically they are a huge jelly or custard filled donut that they charge an arm & a leg for. They are yummy but darn if I am going to stand in line for an hour for em. Now if you are in Britain, Ireland, or Australia you’ll be celebrating “Shove Tuesday” or “Pancake Day”. Looks like Fat Tuesday is just one big carb fest!

In cause you are looking for some yumminess to celebrate you can check out some Mardi Gras recipes, Pancake Day recipes or Paczkis!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Lots of love!

I have blessed with some great mail this week, but not with a cooperative internet to post about it. Maybe it’s the cold. I know internet I feel all slow & wish that I could hibernate till spring too. Seeing as we can’t on with the love!

I got the bestest package from Heidi my partner for the Pink & Brown Swap! It was like Christmas! She is such a sweet & generous lady. She really tailored a box to my likes. Thank you thank you!

Here is a whole shot:
She picked such great stuff! I realized that I don’t have any Valentine’s Day décor but thanks to Heidi now I do. Starting on the upper left with a pink candy dish filled with Reeses hearts (John says thank you!) & a pink candle stick that say ‘Forget me not” on it. There is a roll of pink ribbon with brown dots & next to that the little bag has the buttons in it. The sweetest tea cup candle that Heidi made, on top of a Blue Ridge Pottery saucer. In the middle is the portfolio with the greeting cards. On the bottom a pink tea towel with very intricate hand embroidery, crocheted lace collar, sucker in an adorable handmade cover & some yummy biscuit sticks dipped in strawberry cream! Everything was labeled & packaged so nicely!

Thank you again Heidi!
Pink & Brown Swap - rec'd

Check out these beautiful buttons! She said that she thought that they were made from Conch shells & I would have to agree. Now I’ll have to find an outfit to make around them!
Pink & Brown Swap - rec'd
I am so impressed with this. Heidi made me this little portfolio of assorted handmade cards! It is so pretty & the work she put into it is amazing! I just love it!
Pink & Brown Swap - rec'd
Pink & Brown Swap - rec'd
She also sent this really neat crocheted collar she thought I could use for my costuming. I have some fabric that this matches perfectly! I am going to have to see about designing a costume around this collar & put it to good use!
Pink & Brown Swap - rec'd

Then for Valentine’s Day my sweetie brought me a box of handmade dark chocolates. There were two dark chocolate strawberries(especially sweet because we had these on our wedding night), dark choco covered toffee, orange peels (can’t say that I would get these again, but I appreciate the thought), & peanuts! Yum!
Then to top off the week I had the sweetest little handmade felted heart card waiting for me when I got home last night from Miz LLA!
I hope that everyone else had a good mail week too!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More “Oh Hum” on the pattern front.

Well Butterick has posted their Spring offerings, & I am quiet under whelmed. They didn’t even have a good costume offering this time around. Butterick often has a nice Victorian Era pattern that I can use as a base for a more period correct outfit. Not in this group.

So here are the very few that I might pick up when Joann’s has their next $1.99 sale if I happen to be there for something else, but I am not sure that I would go out of my way for them. There are a lot of dresses & most reports say that the dress is the “it” item for spring. I am not a big dress girl. I like them but don't seem to wear them, so I might not be the best judge for all of those.

4976 Wrap dress with sash: there are a lot of these out this year, what I think makes this one different is it’s for knits.

4986 Top & Camisole: New twist on the twist top. It’s almost like a twist cardigan. A little different & might be worth picking up.

4995 Pants & Sash: Yeah I know gauchos again, but look close, the one design has a side closure of buttons. Cute! The almost have that sailor pant feel to them. Don’t right I think that you could get an Anthopologie feel from this pattern. I also like the sash & cuffed pair as well.

5006 Sewing & Knitting Accessories: Oh the knitting bag & needle holders has been done to death, but I don’t remember ever seeing one with a pattern for around knitting needle case. Great idea! That might be worth getting the pattern is you’re a knitter or know a knitter.

That’s it. Very blah collection if you ask me, but sometimes a pattern done in the right fabric could look like a totally different garment. As to how these were presented, very blah or very be there done that by other of the Big 4.

Oh well maybe summer will be better. A girl can hope can’t she?

Friday, February 09, 2007

I won I won!!!!

Ok I know that a lot of people say I never win anything, but really I don’t. I enter all kind of little contests, buy the occasional lotto ticket etc & I never win anything. Really I mean it. In jr high I played soft ball & bought 10 tickets to win a bat at a fund raiser raffle, my friend bought 1 ticket. Ours were the only tickets in there. Who do you think won? One hint, not me.

Then I read over at Stacy’s blog that Adorn was running a survey & the first 50 people won a year subscription. I have only been able to find it once & loved it! So I rushed over took the survey & was rewarded with an e-mail telling that my subscription would start with the Spring 2007 issue! Yeah! So rush over there & take the survey!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A sad passing.

It might seem odd that I would be saddened by the passing of Anna Nichol Smith after my harsh (& apparently not popular) opinions on Tom & Katie, but I just always felt like she was such a lost soul. Like there was never anyone there to guide her on her rise to fame.

I remember when she was the face of Guess, back when Guess was the “IT”. She was so pretty & glamorous. Like the Marilyn Monroe for my generation.

It’s a shame, as she was a real Cinderella story. But she just kind of lost “it” & never seemed to be able to regain it. I really feel for her baby girl that she had a few months ago, then her son dying. I am sure that it will come out that she O.D.ed on something too, or at least the “Smut News” will imply it.

Funny how all the money in the world doesn’t seem to buy enough help for some people.

What a waste.

Career testing at it’s best, er dirtiest?

Finally a career test that is worth a darn!

Your Career Personality: Original, Devoted, and Service Oriented

Your Ideal Careers:

Art director
Book editor
College professor
Film director
Graphic designer
Stage actor

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A little of this & a little of that……

Ok so we got snow, wind & sub zero temps over the weekend. Poor Puppy Dog’s little feets freeze every time she has to go out to potty! The snow sticks to them because they are warm & it is so cold. John thought he might have to carry her back into the house last night because she wouldn’t move & he thought her feet were stuck to the ground! Now he is suggesting that I make her some kind of booties. If you knew John you would find this very funny. He is not the kind of man to dress up a dog, normally.

The roads are horrid! All of schools were closed Mon. & again today. Of course I am at work, don’t ask.

So let me share some pics with ya*!
The front yard:
Blizzard of 2007

Looking out a livingroom window:
Blizzard of 2007
So you would think that I got a lot of sewing done over the weekend with not leaving the house. My sewing area is on the North side of the house & freezing on Sat. I started working on my dress on Sun after bringing a space heater. I could only get so far because I realized that I did not have a 22” zipper or the 1” bias tape that I needed. Now you would think that with all of this I wouldn’t you?

So that was the weekend. John started his new job yesterday. Poor thing was fried** by the time he got home, it’s a lot to take in. That has me thinking of lunch stuff for him. I don’t know about everyone else but it is a constant battle at our house as to what to buy at the grocery store.

Me: “Is there anything you need or want from the store?”

John: “not that I can think of”

Puppy Dog: pleading eye & wagging nub ~ translation bacon, lots of bacon & cookies……

Me: “Are you sure, nothing? Nothing to take for lunch?”

John: “Really, I can’t think of anything”

Puppy Dog: more nub wagging ~ did you hear me? Bacon, cookies, maybe some raw-hide bones….helloo?

Me: “oooookay”

So of course after the store I hear hey did you get “x” at the store, there is nothing to eat/take in my lunch.


So I have been trying to figure out what I can make ahead of time that is healthy, lower in fat, tastes good & can we heated up at work. I have had limited luck finding good ideas on the net. Any suggests?

Since is it is a balmy 10ºF out I have been thinking a lot about planning a spring wardrobe. Stacy & I have both broken down & ordered patterns from Onion. I am pretty excited to try them & hope they come this week. We have also been talking about the lack of anything good in any of the Spring 2007 designer collections to knock off. We have however both discovered several items from Anthropologie that would be worth the effort to duplicate.

Now the question is where else to look for some good inspiration? It appears that there is a lot of black & white for spring. Blah. Boring. I like some color of winter. Also am I wrong or am I seeing animal prints again? I still have some animal print fabric in the stash from when that was in a few years ago. Hmmmm it might be a good thing if it is making a come back cause I can use up some more stash fabric. The other trend I am seeing is skinny legged high waisted pants. Um yeah I will stick to my low rise boot cut, thank you. I got enough of skinny leg pants back when I was 13 & peg rolling my jeans, only to wear 3 pairs of layered slouch socks with them. Not a look I care to revisit.

Well my lunch break is nearly over so I will leave you with this fabulous view from the window behind my desk*. Those are ice cycles covered in snow. They look like ones you see on little Christmas villages with glitter stuck on them. Rather pretty actually.
View from office windows

The one is from our breakroom window. That is a sheet of snow that is frozen mid slide off the roof. Pretty neat huh? Until we get an ice dam, that is.
Views from the office windows
*To see more pictures of the Blizzard of 2007 & the views from my office windows you can check them out here.

** **It has come to my attention that some readers mistook this for f-i-r-e-d & not f-r-i-e-d as in his brain fried, like an egg on a hot griddle after being over loaded by corporate mumbo jumbo on the first day. You would think being nerd bait & all she would have gotten the difference. Geez!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Good Gravy, Ya’ll! It's COLD!

It’s snowing like the Dickens out!*

Our weather dude informed us this morning that this weekend will be the coldest weather we have had in a decade & that we should expect another 6-12” of lake effect snow. There was even talk of blizzard like conditions & having emergency provisions on hand. Really? Good lord did we move into Little House on the Prairie* or something? I am used to having hurricane supplies after spending 23 years growing up in south Florida but I guess it never really occurred to me that I would need to do the same here in MI. Huh. Guess I will be hitting the store on the way home for some more water & stuffs.

So with that lovely forecast for the weekend my plan is to stay home & sew. I will be working on that dress for the wedding to get the darn thing finished already so I can move on to something else.

So with that “something else” still undefined I would like to share what the pattern companies are serving up for their Spring 2007 collections. I have to say on a whole I was very unimpressed. I was just asking to my mom last night why can’t these US pattern companies get on the ball & offer styles that are not a) completely out of date or b) just another variation of the 10 other variations of the same thing, again! Geez!

With that said my favorite so far are the new Simplicity & New Look patterns. Not that they haven’t offered up some serious Fug as well.

I just thought that a few of theirs were either different or close enough to a RTW ** item that I saw.

Here are my observations ***.

I liked this New Look dress & this one too, especially the halter top style.

These other New Look patterns might be worth a closer look:
Tunic Top – 6677 & Blouses – 6678

Now on to the new Simplicity patterns.

I think that this top is probably my favorite out of all the new patterns.

That is because it is very similar to these Anthropology tops.

There are two new Built By Wedny patterns, One for a dress/mini dress/top & one for pants/capris/shorts. I am not sure how I feel about the dress/top yet, but I will probably get the pants patteern.
There is a Sew Stylish Collection (#3867) which I think must be linked to the new magazine that Threads is putting out, Sew Stylish. (go figure). That top is pretty cute.

Another Tunic pattern, but this one I think is a little different & could be changed up to copy some RTW styles, but I could be wrong.

I mostly likely will not buy these dresses but I thought they were kind of fun.
Retro 60's & this one.

Butterick hasn't put out anything new yet.

McCalls spring collection is pretty much hideous. The only one that I even looked at twice was this for the sewing/craft room, but I think that I could make those without buying the pattern.

So lets love on to Vogue. Vogue is usually too stuffy or fluffy for my tastes or life style. I like to look at them but rarely buy any. I did like these two & might think about buying them if I happen to catch them on sale.

It's a shame that the jacket & pants pattern doesn't also include the pattern for the top they show with tht outfit. It's pretty cute.
* I am a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work. If you all you know about her is from the TV show I highly recommend reading her books based on her real life.

**Come on don’t you just love old time expressions like that? Ever wondered who these Dickens were & what they did to have such a saying? Hmmmmmm.

** *RTW - Ready to wear

*** *to be taken with a grain of salt for sure.