Saturday, May 23, 2015

I've got the sewing bug (continued from yesterday)

As for the clothes sewing...........I've been searching for awhile as at my age nothing retail really fits and/or it is not comfortable and although I'd like to look nice, comfort is first and foremost.  So it seems the Japanese designers are on to something and I like it!  This book cost $13.00 and has 20 patterns while Simplicity charges about that much for one!  Although, I do have to trace and make my pattern which I've never done.  What paper should I use?  Does anyone know?  The pattern pieces are interchangeable and utilized in several of the looks thus the need for tracing. I know how to trace and I have the equipment for that I'm just curious as to what I should use to trace it unto?  Not tissue paper....that would be a disaster knowing me.  Maybe brown wrapping paper like you wrap packages in to mail or white paper on a roll although I don't know where you find it or what it's really called.
Anyway, it's another "adventure" in fiber fun for me! 
I used to have a pair of old Japanese Gardening pants that I wore in the garden and they were awesome....they were cotton with deep pockets and they were designed so you could bend at the knee without cutting off your circulation, etc.  ie; they were working clothes whereas most of the clothes today (for women at least) are for style with little functionality.  I have a hard time even finding pockets in women's clothing...really?  So, I'm disgusted with American clothes and designers and yet there is a whole aging population who's bodies have changed and there aren't any clothes (for either male or female in that category) that fit an aging person's body...knits are hot and hug the body both of which I want to avoid.  You do get "thin-skinned" as you age and elastic can rub you raw even when it's not too tight.  Men have it a little easier as they have always demanded functionality from the retail market.  You won't see guys wearing high heels or spandex to hold it all in.  I have never understood women and I am one!  Men have been chasing women since time began so why do women  go nuts trying to impress them?  I dress for myself and no one else.  Same with my hair and any makeup I may or may not put on.  If I like what I see in the mirror that's all that counts.  But I digress.  The point is someone out there needs to design clothes for the practical person not the fashion divas...they have enough at their disposal.  But I can't wait thus I am making my own wardrobe with my little Singer and my 2 hands.  I am hoping that the pants above are like my old Japanese gardening pants.  I still have them as I was going to take them apart and make my own pattern from them and I still might combine the 2....we'll see.  When you get to be my age it is no longer 36-24-36 or is more like 36-36-36 or more! LOL! 
Here are some other "looks" they have in the book and there are more books out there just like it with different patterns.........

If all goes well, I would like to make the slacks and tunic tops that are made of hemp, cotton and/or linen for coolness.  Knit do not breathe in MHO and although they stretch, my summer wardrobe will be lightweight material and no synthetics.  Plus, I can pick the prints I want which will be cute and happy prints.  Who knows, maybe I'll become a fashion designer for the "mature" set!  LOL!

P.S.  Since when did Memorial Day weekend start being on the 25th?  I thought it was always at the end of the month?
Happy Trails!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Yesterday was Wally World....need I explain?

Shopping just wears me out and I should have known better than to think I would get a blog post in too! LOL!   But I am up this morning, fresh and renewed and ready to take on the world!  I thought I would blog first before I get on with my day else I may not make it back here.  I plan on being outside working all day and I will take my water, a book and some crochet for when I take a "break".  The weather is scrumptious right now!  It's 52 and sunny!  Perfect for working outside but first...I have "treasures" to show you.
I mentioned that Sue, the book fairy stopped by and look what she brought me..........
But wait...........that's not you see some of these books?  Old authors and one I have been searching for .....Gladys Taber and her Stillmeadow farm books.  Well, actually, anything she wrote is  up my alley as it is non-fiction and about her life in an old farmhouse with her dogs.....story of my life except I need the farmhouse.  There's another Jessamyn West book that came before Me and Thee, Sue told me, called Friendly Persuasion so I'll be on the lookout for that one.  I am still "over the moon" about the Gladys Taber books.....what a treasure!  Thank you, Sue!
 She brought this beautiful and fascinating book over too and it is just on loan.  I haven't looked at it yet but soon it will be savored over a cup of tea in my jammies in bed with a few "biscuits".  Oh joy!  I promise not to get crumbs on your book, Sue!  In the bed maybe but not in the book.  LOL!
And to top it all off she made me a book mark with her new embroidery machine!  Too cute and no one ever has enough bookmarks...especially not us readers who read multiple books at a time.
I have hinted at but not really divulged to you that I have been bitten by the sewing, embroidery, Zakka-style, and "I need clothes and a new quilt".....BUG.  I went bonkers over a website I found which you might already be familiar with Nana And Company
I went nuts when I saw her creations and ended up going through her entire archives and pinning everything I saw practically.  Then I discover she's just published a book and don't you know I ordered it "lickety-split"!  It is now in my hot little hands and if I were you I would order one too! LOL!
I love embellishing and I love the little trims and tags and embroidered accents and the colors and fabrics are so sweet! Another designer that I love and that does that with such flair is Helen Phillips and I have several of her books too.   I have chosen 2 projects to work on first and they are the following.......
I was even able to get the material yesterday at Wally World....except for the linen which Amy uses a lot in her sewing.  That I will have to order along with a few other "necessities" like more fabric, trims and other items which might catch my eye....tee hee.
Here's the other project I am wanting to make.....isn't her work just too cute? 
I managed to get a few supplies at Wally World yesterday but I still need to order some more online......
I was able to get a few items on clearance and/or marked down too....that's always a plus.  Variegated rick rack?  Who knew? 

As for the's going to be this one...........utilizing the materials I have.  It's Alicia Paulson's Ollalieberry Ice Cream Quilt. 
She includes all sizes in her pattern; crib, twin, full, queen, and king.  A bargain for sure!  And the instructions are a nice reminder for me who hasn't quilted in a while now.
I need to stop now as this post is getting to be long again but I will be posting more about this soon as I have more I haven't shared!  For now though, I need to get outside and get to work!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday Winnings!

We've had so much rain that my door mat started sprouting!  Aren't they cute?

Here's the "big picture"............
It was raining this morning and the house is so damp I made a little fire in the fireplace as I could not bring myself to turn the heat on in May in the south!  It was 58 when I got up this morning and is the perfect temperature for working outside's raining! LOL!
I won a drawing from Kristin Nicholas that she held on her blog.  It wasn't any of her books but it was a really cool one by Rebecca Ringquist who is a famous "stitcher" that even Susan B. Anderson took a class from and here it is in book form!  Am I lucky or what?  Thank you Kristin for having the drawing!
  She embroiders just about anything ON anything and how freeing is that? 
She takes vintage linens and embroiders on top of them and turns them into a completely new and different item.  There are many vintage linens I have that I hate to part with but they could definitely stand to be "refurbished".  I'm loving this idea!
She is definitely an artist when it comes to this medium of thread and cloth and you know how I hate to trash things if they can be resurrected at all.  She does a beautiful job of it too.  Look what she did with old patches
Or how about doilies being "reborn"?
The book includes a pre-stamped sampler to work on as part of the "workshop" and I think it is the same one she uses in her class as it looks like the one Susan B. Anderson worked on when she took Rebecca's workshop.  So many projects!  So little time!  But what fun I am having!  In between chores, of course.
I've been doing a little granny square work in the evenings as I have the pattern memorized and I can watch t.v. while working on them.....perfect!  I'm using Deramore's Stylecraft DK in all it's glorious many colors.  I am definitely an "eclectic" gal as I love mixing not matching.
Stop in tomorrow as Sue, The Book Fairy, came over, I got a new quilt pattern and my treasures  supplies, arrived by UPS a few minutes ago!  There will be no more "chores" done today! LOL!
I'm slowly catching up with blogging and visiting my blogger friends.  If I haven't been by, I will but until then.....Happy Trails!

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I used to do this on Book Journey  but evidently she is no longer hosting it.  She still has a great site though and wonderful book reviews.  You should visit her if you haven't already.  She's a much faster reader than I am. LOL!

I finished this Pulitzer Prize Winner and I did learn things from it that I didn't know before but for the most part it was a struggle to read.  There were passages that were very clear and I would think..."ok, here we go's getting better."  But alas, she would go off on some tangent like she was on some drug or smoking something and she would lose me.  Maybe I'm just not smart enough to grasp these types of books but I did learn so all was not lost.  There were definite moments of brilliance in content and writing but it never seemed to last very long.  I'd be interested to know if anyone else has read this and what they thought.  Maybe I expect too much from these "prize winning"  pieces of literature.   I was very happy when I reached the end.  Ha! Ha!
In case I forgot to mention this is a non-fiction about nature which I have read and enjoyed many of in the past.  I owned this book and have since donated it to the local library.
This book was a hoot and thoroughly enjoyed.  It didn't take me long to finish as it was such a pleasure to read.  This author has written 2 books and this is the second one.  Cute and funny characters living in a small Southern town.  Left me smiling as I drifted off to sleep.  I hope she writes some more.  This was my fiction book from the library.

Below was my audio book.  I try to read a fiction and a non-fiction, a magazine, an audio, and a book of my own and one from the library.  This was an excellent audio book and the readers were all different based on the character.  It was more like a theater production than an audio book.  Excellent!  I'm going to look for more audio books put out by Focus on the Family radio theater.
This was such an enjoyable audio book!  There is something about Southern writers and especially the "genteel" type from South Carolina.  I had never heard of this author but the cover caught me and the title and it did not disappoint.  I don't think she writes 'series' but she has other books she's written.  It has everything, drama, comedy, great characters, great descriptions of the surroundings, love and "family values"! LOL!  It's about 3 generations of a family living all their lives in the low country of South Carolina. It takes place currently and is a jewel of a find!
I listen to my audio books in the kitchen when I'm washing dishes, cooking and ironing.  It was so good I caught up on all my ironing! LOL!  It was also a big audio book.....10 cds!
INTERMISSION picture before I show what I am reading currently...............
aren't they just gorgeous and still going strong!  I highly recommend Pro Flowers.  Thank you again to Uriah, Ben and Amanda! 
I went to the library and BINGO!  I hit the jackpot this week!  Did you know Jan Karon has a new book out?  Where have I been?  I've read everything she's written and I even have her cookbook.  She is most famous for her Mitford series books which take place in the small town of Mitford with Father Tim Kavanagh as the main character but everyone in Mitford becomes a favorite.
"After 5 hectic years of retirement from Lord's chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife, Cynthia, return to Mitford from a so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors."  And thus the story begins.  I have all the books and I may have to start over again reading the series as it is probably my most favorite and reminds me most of my childhood home.  If you have never read these books you are missing out on one of the most cherished series of all time!  
Oh, I'm still reading Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and it is very depressing and I am not enjoying it but hoping the ending makes it all worthwhile....I'm almost finished.
  I picked up another book by Dorthea Benton Frank........Shem Creek another Low Country tale!  So far I am enjoying it although the reader for The Hurricane Sisters, Robin Miles was so good with her Southern accent it really made the story come alive and you felt like you were there.  "Meet Linda Breland, a single parent of two teenage daughters.  The oldest, Lindsey, who always held her younger sister in check, is leaving for college.  And Gracie, her Tasmanian devil, is giving her nightmares.  Linda's personal life? Well, between the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet, and her ex-husband, who's married a beautiful, successful woman ten years younger than she is-----let's just say, Linda has seen enough to fill a thousand pages.
As the story opens, she is barreling down Interstate 95, bound for Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the land of her ancestors.  Welcomed by the generous heart of her advice-dispensing sister, Mimi, Linda and her daughters slowly begin to find their way and discover a sweeter rhythm of life."
 I'm halfway through it and it is a very pleasant read.  I'm really liking this author!
You probably know, if you've read this blog, that I am a knitter therefore I do love me some KNIT LIT!  I had previously read Kate Jacobs' The Friday Night Knitting Club and loved it.  It was her first book and then she wrote another called Comfort Food about a celebrity chef and that was also good.  Now, there's Knit Two, A Friday Night Knitting Club novel and I can't wait to dig into it!  It picks up where the other one left off so you might want to read the first book if you haven't read it.
This book, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, was recommended by someone but I can't remember who or where.  Sometimes, I jot book titles down from other blogs or PBS or any number of places I visit.  Usually not Oprah though.....I tried her "book club" nominees and most were too depressing for me.  After what she went through as a child I am always surprised by the type of books she reads.....put it behind you , girlfriend!  So, anyway, I cannot remember who or how I discovered this book but there it was on the library shelf so I grabbed it!  It's a big one too...550 pages!
"From the internationally bestselling author of The House at Riverton, an unforgettable new novel that transports the reader from the back alleys of poverty of pre-World War I London to the shores of colonial Australia where so many made a fresh start, and back to the windswept coast of Cornwall, England, past and present."  The author is Australian and lives in Brisbane, Australia.  I am looking forward to reading this one.
My reading eyes were bigger than my reading time allows but I couldn't resist reading Debbie Macomber's The Shop on Blossom Street.  I might have read this before but I'm not sure and it is a "knitting series" so  I am all over it! 
 For my non-fiction I am listening to this audio, Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls.  It is a 'true life' novel.  "Jeanette Walls, acclaimed author of The Glass Castle, presents the story of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith.  Born tough, Lily shoed her first horse at age six, moved to the western frontier at age fifteen, and soon learned to drive a car and fly an airplane.  Always filled with adventure, Lily's life held witness to several disasters, heartbreaks, and wars."
I know this post was a bit lengthy and I have been way over due to blog and to visit but I am "swamped" here on the homestead between a broken dryer, storms, and so much work I feel overwhelmed most days but my goal is to pack and move so my blog is suffering.  Summers are busy for me anyway and I appreciate the fact that anyone visits me at all here!  I know you all are busy too!  I hope all is well in your lives and you are enjoying this Spring!
Happy Trails!