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To Sew or Not To Sew

Category: My Crafty Side | Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:27 pm

That is no longer the question. I started sewing when I was 10, Mom showed me how to thread the old White brand sewing machine that had been her Mother's and off I went. She sewed clothes for herself and me and I had watched her often enough to know what else to do. The machine had a knee lever instead of a foot pedal so I didn't have to be able to reach the floor.
I laid my doll down on a piece of grey pre-pleated fabric that she had left over from making me a shirt, with a pencil drew around the doll to make a pattern for a skirt and blouse and soon my doll and I had matching outfits of grey pleated skirts with white blouses. And I was hooked on sewing, my doll had more clothes than I did before long.

From the 7th grade thru 12th grade I took Home Ec classes each year...half a year learning to sew and half the year learning furniture styles and cooking. Don't ask why we had to learn furniture styles, it was the late 1950's that is just what girls were supposed to learn. I only remember learning to make two things in 6 years of cooking classes .....mayonnaise and chicken aspic. Now ask me how many times I have made either item in the 43 years since I graduated from high school, besides the aspic was vile.
But during the sewing half of the year I not only made the required class project, usually a skirt and blouse or a dress, I also made 4 or 5 home projects. When each was complete I would wear it to school for the teacher to grade.

I also sewed my finger...not once but twice!! Once in the first year of sewing class, I pushed too hard while guiding the fabric under the presser foot, it slipped on top of the foot and the needle went in and out of my finger right next to the fingernail and literally stitched me to my project. Teacher cut the thread and sent me to the school nurse who called my Mom who took me to get a tetnus shot.

Second time I was sewing at home, got distracted for a split second and this time the needle went thru my fingernail, thru the bone and curved like a fish hook on the other side when it came out and hit the feed dogs. Daddy had to dismantle the machine and take me to the hospital emergency room where the doctor pulled it out. THAT one really hurt.

Over the last 51 years I have made clothes for me and my daughters, vests and shirts for Randy, various curtains, throw pillow covers, Halloween costumes, three formal Prom dresses for Lisa and the wedding dress for her first wedding. In 1986 I started making quilts.
I have had various sewing machines over the years, usually second hand ones but I was never without a sewing machine more than a couple of weeks since I had so much sewing to do. My latest and last sewing machine was a really nice, brand new Elna 6003 bought about 10 years, I spent thousands of hours sewing with it until I lost all interest in sewing about 5 years ago at which point it was packed away in it's carrying case to sit under my craft table until a couple of days ago when I put an ad for it on Craigslist.
Last night a lady and her husband came by to check it out, she fell in love with it and it became her Christmas present from her husband.

It was sort of a bittersweet moment when they carried Elna to their car. I knew she would have a good and useful life once again, the kind of life she was made for but at the same time I was kind of sad to see her go. Elna and I had some great times together and made some beautiful items.
So today starts the first time in my life, especially since I started sewing 51 years ago, that I am without a sewing machine on purpose and have no desire to have another one and boy does that feel strange.

This blog entry has been viewed 1417 times

I know FRED is under there somewhere

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:54 pm

The cold spell we had starting Friday night brought three nights of below freezing temps and winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour.
The freeze took down most of the perennials and all of the annuals. Time to do the cutting back so they don't look quite so sad and pull up the annuals.
The Snapdragons are still blooming, there is one lonely Blackeyed Susan struggling to hang on and the Sedum Autumn Joy is really beginning to bloom.
Surprisingly the Common Sage, the Curry plants and the third generation this year of some annuals that reseeded in the large planter came thru just fine.
One of the Lavenders is mostly dead but there is new growth down at ground level.

The Cyclamen, Fennel plants and two as yet unidentified plants spent the cold weekend in my newly lighted and warm bloom house.

The high winds laid bare the pecan and hackberry trees, so FRED is under a good layer of leaves. Some are now in the compost barrel, I can rake up more as needed.

It seems wintery weather is over for now, the days will be warming up into the 50's and 60's for at least the next two weeks. After christmas I think I will work off the stress of holiday shopping and preparations by cutting things down and digging some things up. I have two suffering Hawthorne bushes to move to a sunnier location too.

I haven't been out in the garden much for the last two weeks, now after puttering around out there this morning I have this stressed out feeling of already being two months behind. Arrrrggghhhh, isn't gardening supposed to be relaxing, rejuvenating, invigorating. I really liked living under the delusion that everything was as it should be out there and it could get along without me for a few weeks.
I need snow, about a foot of snow all over everything....a foot of snow that will hang around at least a month and a few hot toddies, I liked my delusion and wish to visit it again. The snow is difinitely right out, but I have the ingredients needed for a nice hot toddy or two or three :)

Oh, have mercy, I haven't even started on plans for the front yard yet. So now I am 3 months behind already.....I have got to get those toddies made.

This blog entry has been viewed 732 times

What I like about FALL

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:16 pm

Generally I like everything about FALL. I mean, what's not to like!!
The summer heat (90-100 degrees) is over for another year and even tho some days it will be in the mid to upper 80's that is not summer weather and can be dealt with.

The morning temps are in the 60's which is absolutely wonderful gardening weather, especially when your backyard garden is on the east side of the house. Sunrise is a beautiful thing, but by 8:30, 9:00 am the heat from the evil daystar is intense so gardening comes to a halt.

There has been a shift in the wind direction, it is now coming from a north/northwest and has blown the highly humid air back down to Mexico with my blessings. Lower humidity means you can walk outside and you are not glistening with sweat before you reach the car.

I can go stroll thru garden centers, taking my time to find all the good plants I want. I don't have to make it a 'hit and run' type of trip, grabbing the first plant I see or giving up and leaving with nothing because it is too hot to enjoy shopping.

And this year we are having a nice pecan crop, nothing for the last two years because of the drought but I have been finding a lot of good ones this year.

I have a list of gardening chores I can finally get started a certain degree. Kenny, our son-in-law, has been replacing the eaves all around the house, he still has the trim to replace, put the gutters back up and paint. So a lot of the available walking space in the backyard is filled with ladders, sawhorses and old wood not yet taken to the curb for trash pickup and just the general flotsam and jetsam found where men are working.

But at least now I have hope of playing in the dirt again soon.

This blog entry has been viewed 2081 times

New Junque = Better Mood

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:53 pm

Because my oldest daughter and her hubby recently chose to make their lives easier by selling their house and moving into a townhome and let someone else be responsible for lawncare and maintenence, she had some yard things for me.

The month of August is usually hard on me, what with the heat making it impossible for me to work in the garden I have to leave it to fend for itself. Other than watering there is just nothing else I can do out there and that makes me very moody.

Having new garden decor items to make plans for will help me make it thru until the weather cools.

I have this nice deep wheelbarrow to plant in. I will need to line it with plastic since it has been used to mix cement and I don't want anything leeching into the soil. Haven't decided what yet, but being so deep I can put something good sized in it.

These two tubs they had used to hold water for the dogs and bathing the dogs. I figure a few drainage holes along the lower part, fill with soil and plant away.

The fire pit ring was in their shed when they bought the house, the rest of the fire pit was gone. Recently the Dallas news paper had a large article on planting fairy gardens in the large Bonsai planters. Instead of that I am going to place this on the ground on top of some black plastic for weed block and plant my fairy garden in it.

This pile of bricks is only half of what was behind their shed, I have until the 31st to talk Randy into getting the rest of them. I want to make a nice sized wishing well planter. If I can't get the others then the wishing well will be as large as these bricks make.

Randy's dad gave me this box, I need to put some sealer on it before the weather eats it up then figure out what to plant in it too.

This birdbath isn't junque, it is new. We found it in the half price section of a farm supply store last week. It is die cast metal with green highlights.

This blog entry has been viewed 1017 times

To the rescue!!!

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:34 pm

I really hate to see good, useful things on the curb waiting for trash pickup. If I had the courage and a larger vehicle my yard would have more garden decor than plants.

The people across the street evidently have been redecorating and remodeling. They put a couple of couches and mattresses (no I didn't want those) on the curb Sunday evening. And a door.
I kept a watch on that door all day, but since they were home I was not going to go check it out (that is where the lack of courage comes in) but I kept telling myself that if it was taken by someone else before the conditions were ripe for us to get it then it wasn't meant to be mine. But I wanted that door. There are many people in our neighborhood who drive up and down streets on Tuesdays picking up scrap metal before trash day on Wednesday and many people who are brave enough to pickup other things that they can use.
Tuesday morning it was still there but so was the lady of the house. I asked Randy if he could take a couple of minutes of his lunch time and help me bring it home. Luckily, the lady left as he was putting his shoes on. We scurried over and brought it home.

It has a metal frame, the hinges and door knob will be removed. The glass is in perfect condition and the fake leading design around the edges is perfect too.
Now, when the weather cools some I am going to paint flowers on it...probably like the ones I painted on the old kitchen cabinet doors. The area near our back bedroom window will be changed to a plant nursery this fall and the door will be attached to the side of the shed in that area.

That's my Mom's old screen door behind it still waiting for it's garden decor debut.

This blog entry has been viewed 788 times

Been Thriftin' Yet Again

Category: Thrift Store Finds | Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:45 pm

Found this really cool wooden barrel. It is 12" tall x 10" diameter (31cmx26cm) Will probably seal it and plant in it of course.

A decorative beeskep made from grapevines.

A step stool that will be perfect for a couple of small potted plants to sit on...or for me to sit on when I need a rest.

Two teapots for making birdhouses similar to Zuzu's

Another teapot and a china watering 'can' that should make a cute birdhouse too.

This blog entry has been viewed 807 times

Our Blueberry Day

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:20 pm

We picked Lisa up around 7am, she had been sitting out on the front porch reading the Sunday paper since 6:30. Her family was still sleeping soundly, so she could make her escape without being noticed. First stop is for a coffee to take with us.

It is about a two hour drive east of Dallas and as you get further east the trees become tall Pines and so much prettier than the city-scape we have left behind for the day. We noticed also that the further east we went the more cloud cover there was and we were hoping that it would still be with us when we got there. Just a few miles before the town of Edom, we drove thru a rain shower and hoped it would be over or at least down to a sprinkle when we got there. It was still very overcast and very comfortable the whole time we were out in the field picking berries.
The berries this year were plentiful and large. Last year the drought was terrible on the crop, they could only stay open about 3 weeks and the berries, when you could find some were small. The picking time goes by pretty quickly because we are talking so much.

After paying for our berries, we went into Edom to The Shed, a really good cafe. After lunch we wandered thru the shops then headed back home but on country roads instead of the highway. Planning on stopping and wandering thru whatever little shops we find but they were all closed, we usually go on Saturday and forgot they would probably be closed on Sunday. Back on the highway,in Terrell we stop for another coffee.

We stopped at a couple of wonderful antique shops, they are huge and filled with garden decor goodies and stuff ranging from furniture and doodads to huge yard a Triceratops and a T-Rex and a really old MIG that Randy kept trying to talk me into letting him put in the yard. No AC in any of the buildings so it was hot in there, but not hot enough to make us want to leave in a hurry.
After I skim a sufficient amount off the grocery money for the next three months, we will be going out in the pickup truck to load up on goodies. They had piles of enamel pails and tubs, old rusty metal things, wood stuff and wire odds and ends...just the sort of things to give this Mistress of Garden Junque heart palpitations thinking of all the possibilities before me.

By the time we got back to the cityscape, we were getting hungry so we stopped at one of our favorite Tex-Mex restaurants before taking Lisa home.

This blog entry has been viewed 574 times

Anniversary weekend away

Category: Life happenings | Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:28 am

After giving Amanda last minute instructions that were actually repeats of the instructions we had given her a couple of times already Friday morning, we left home a few minutes after 1 on Friday, got back home about 5 minutes later because Randy forgot his pocket stuff.
Realized later that we had forgotten the camera but by that time we were too far away to turn around. Oh well.

The BnB was really pretty, the two acres it is in the middle of has lots of trees but very few flowers since neither of the owners have time for that much gardening. They use the grounds for weddings so the plainer the landscaping the better.

Saturday we wandered thru several antique/junque shops in downtown Denison and then went to Sherman to do the same. I lived in Sherman from the age of 9 thru 18. We found the houses I had lived in easy enough but the downtown area is so different, it seemed strange to wander around there remembering what it looked like 43 years ago.

Saturday night there was a wedding at the BnB, we sat on the patio at the back of the house and watched. The couple couldn't have been older than 20-21 yrs old. They stayed at the BnB Saturday night and we got to meet them at breakfast the next morning. They looked even younger up close, but they were a very nice couple and we sure hope they have a fun and long life together.

We left Sunday about noon, stopped in another town on the way home and wandered thru more shops.

I didn't ask to stop at any garden centers even tho we did pass a few really nice looking ones.
But I did get some cool garden stuff.

The ladder is about 18 inches tall, don't know where it will go yet. The white buffalo isn't going out back, Bears and Buffalos are my favorite animals.
The gnome has a spooky looking face but I liked him anyway.

These two I found at 50% off, couldn't resist them either. The birdcage is going to hold a wave petunia, probably in red. The copper tea kettle was just too cool to pass up.

At a shop on Saturday we had seen a kerosene can that had Bluebonnets painted around the middle, then Sunday we found this can that I can paint myself.

One of the last shops we went thru had these three wood spools of thread, the thread is not that old so I think it will be perfect to use as the warp on my small loom.

And the window is something I have been hoping to find for several a decent price at least and found this one for only $10. I plan on painting some of the glass panes and I will probably knock out a couple of them to hang a couple of things in
then of course it will go into the garden.

Last edited: Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:41 am

This blog entry has been viewed 962 times

A guiltfree buying trip to Calloways nursery

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 5:56 pm

This was a really fun trip, not that all the other trips to garden centers haven't been fun, but this one was almost free!!

I had a coupon from Calloway's for 25% off one plant and the birthday money from Randy's folks. So the total cost of this trip was $3.50 When I checked out I asked the young man if I got to choose which plant the coupon was used on, most of the times coupons can only be used on the cheapest one, but he said yes so I chose the Spiderwort of course.

Buying a rose bush had been my original plan for the birthday money, but they don't have the ones I want so I wandered around for a while. They had gotten a big shipment of plants since I was there last week too.

Last week I had found this gorgeous succulent and planned on going back this weekend to get some, good thing I went back today because there were only three of them they are mine.

This is all three of the Aeonium hybrid 'Zwartkop', they are such a dark purple that they look black and the Tradescantia x 'Sweet Kate'..aka Spiderwort. You can barely see some of the blue flowers already open.

This blog entry has been viewed 1681 times

A "Mile(age)stone" was hit today

Category: Puttering Around The House | Posted: Sun May 06, 2007 12:02 am

I have never owned a car that hit the 100,000 mile mark. Several years ago we bought a 1978 Mercedes Sedan with well over 200,000 miles but then a Mercedes is supposed to last almost forever. Before we sold it, we had reached at least 250,000 before the odometer quit working and got a Grill Badge from Mercedes Benz.
When the transmission went out we decided it was time to buy a new car instead of putting more money into a used one. So January 2nd, 2001 we bought a brand new Mitsubishi Galant just off the delivery truck, it had only 1 mile on it. Today it rolled, clicked actually since it is a digital odometer and not the rolling type, 100,000 miles. We took it out for a drive so we could get these pictures when it happened.

Since Randy faithfully changes the oil and filter every 3000 miles, it should last us many more miles.

This blog entry has been viewed 858 times

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