Monday, June 28, 2010

One Last Look

* I am truly touched by each of your comments, prayers and support.  Thank you so very much.*

What if you were suddenly informed that you might lose all, or most, of your vision?
What would you want to see, one more time, before your eyes dim?
Unfortunately, that is a question I have asked myself, as doctors recently informed me that I was at risk of losing my eyesight*.

Some might say they want to gaze upon the faces of loved ones.
Those are already etched upon my heart -- even the faces of those not often seen.
Some might say a beautiful garden.
I will still be able to smell the roses, feel velvety blossoms and rough textured bark, and walk barefoot through grass that tickles my toes.
No, I would want to see home one last time.
Home is Amarillo, Texas.
It is where I was born and raised.  It is where my parents lie in eternal rest.
But what I loved most was probably what others would find least pleasant.
It is flat.
Flatter than your kitchen table flat!
The flat land stretching out as far as one can see is what welcomed me home from chaotic college days, from the rat race of young adult life in a huge city, from the disappointment of a failed first marriage, from the tiring days of parenthood. 
It even welcomed me home to care for a mother battling cancer, and later an elderly father.
Nothing, as far as the eye could see, except sky meeting earth.
But in that first glimpse, my mind would clear.  I could breathe.  It did not matter what I had left behind, or what news might greet me.
There was peace and a serenity in that flat land.
It was home and beautiful to me.

What else would I want to see one last time?
It is somewhat similar.  Only this time, it is sky meeting water.
As a girl raised in the dry prairies of Texas, I did not have too much experience with oceans and beaches.
But once discovered, I was head over heels!
Some may find the ocean intimidating.
I find it just the opposite.
I find it empowering, yet calming.
It makes me realize just how big my God really is. 

And lastly, I would want to see Christmas.
Don't we all love to see the splendor and beauty of the holidays?
Whether it is the memory of our childhood holidays, or those made with our children, it is one of life's greatest joys.
It is ornaments and decorations lovingly passed down through the ages.  It is lights that twinkle and candles that glow, spreading cheer in the shortest days of the year.
It is smiles on everyone's faces and reassurance of good and joy and peace.

So, as I prepare for surgery intended to save and preserve my current vision,
I will cling to these images.
I will remember the flat beauty of home and breathe.
I will remember the ocean and know that God is in charge.
I will remember the faith, hope and joy that was born at Christmas.
I will believe that the Greatest Physician will guide the hands of my surgeon and heal my eyes.
And in the meantime, I ask that each of you do all that I cannot:
stitch, create, decorate, appreciate and enjoy these sunny summer days.
My family and I covet your prayers.
My greatest prayer is that I will see you here again --

In the meantime, I have scheduled a few posts.  You may not even realize I am gone!

So, what would be your last thing to see?

*My vision problems are complications of Graves Disease, a form of hyperthyroidism.  It has caused my optic muscles and tissues to enlarge, placing tremendous pressure on my optic nerves.  If left untreated, the nerves would continue to be compressed, die and render me sightless.  During surgery, portions of my eye socket walls will be removed to provide room for the enlarged muscles and tissue.  This should prevent additional damage to my optic nerves.  Each eye will be done during separate surgeries over the coming weeks.  Additional surgeries to correct double vision may be necessary later.
The first surgery is scheduled for 8:oo am, June 30.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Easy Peasy Breezy Slightly Patriotic Pillowcase Dress

**Thank you for all the kind comments!  I have received several inquiries through Comments and Emails regarding a pattern or instructions.  I hope to be back soon with some helpful hints. **

My mind and plate are both a little crowded right now, and delving into a complicated sewing project did
 not seem the prudent choice.  But stitching is my therapy, so easy peasy is the project!
If you can look past the stripe-y, moire-y effect of the poor photography, there is a simple little pillowcase dress for a special little miss.
I wanted to do something that she could wear for any upcoming Independence Day events, but one that would not still scream "July 4th" in August or September!
I selected Navy Stripe Candy Cord, a pima cotton fabric with a slightly raised ridge along the stripes.  The cotton fabric will breathe in our hot and humid summer temperatures.
I prefer to use elastic in the top casing, instead of running a drawstring through.  The little armholes are bound with pima cotton red gingham, and extends to form shoulder top bows!
At the hem, two tucks and some peek-a-boo red rick rack add a little more interest.

So there it is:
Easy Peasy Breezy Slightly Patriotric Pillowcase Dress!

I am participating in Sew and Tell Friday.
Hop on over to view other projects completed this week!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Nighty Night!

As mentioned in a previous post, I am making a few doll garments for an upcoming fundraiser.
After modeling all her gorgeous outfits contributed by other seamstresses, I figured the dolly might be ready for a good night's sleep!

So, I made a little nightgown out of a pretty floral lawn.
The sleeves and hem are trimmed with snippets of Swiss Edging from my overflowing stash drawer!
I used an out-of-print Simplicity pattern, also found in the depths of a sewing room drawer.

The pattern shows gathered lace at the neckline.  I was afraid the lace might suffer greatly with time and play.  Also, the type of edging I selected for the sleeves and hem is not suitable for gathering.
Instead, I decided to use a coordinating microcheck and bind the neck.  I also added microcheck piping to the skirt and bodice seamline to tie it all together.
And here is where I have a hopefully helpful hint!

I often make my own piping, as I love to use the same fabric elsewhere in the garment -- just like the neck binding and piping on this little dolly sized garment.  When not making my own piping, I do enjoy using Susie's Ready to Sew piping
This time, I did not have any of the light blue microcheck gingham fabric on hand to cut my own bias for the piping or neck binding.
Not to worry!

I used Susie's piping in Light Blue Gingham.
I pulled out my trusty seam ripper which, truthfully, is never too far from reach.
I picked out the stitches on a small length of the ready made piping, and removed the piping cord.
I then pressed it flat and had a piece of bias for the neck binding that perfectly matched the piping at the skirt/bodice seamline!

Normally, I strive for teeny tiny bindings at the neck, sleeves or other areas.  However, this time, I wanted the contrasting microcheck to be more of an accent or design feature.  It was taking the place of the gathered lace or a collar.  So, I made it a teensy bit wider than usual.  Overall, I think it helped to add a little something extra and was balanced by the longer length of the nightgown.

And please pardon my dolly's bed hair!  It is not that she has actually slept in this little nightgown.  I rescued this Samantha American Girl doll from a bin in a thrift store.  Her hair was even worse before a few sessions with the proper type of brush and a few mistings with a detangler.  We still need to have a few more beauty parlor sessions, but she was anxious to model her new nightgown for you -- and I was anxious to get the little nightgown sent on its way to the join the rest of the wardrobe being raffled!

I am participaing in Sew and Tell.
Hop on over to view other sewing projects completed this week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Blessings

God took the strength of a mountain
The majesty of a tree
The warmth of a summer sun
The calm of a quiet sea
The generous soul of nature
The comforting arm of night
The wisdom of the age
The power of the eagle's flight
The joy of a morning in Spring
The faith of a mustard seed
The patience of eternity
The depth of a family need

Then God combined these qualities
When there was nothing more to add
He knew His masterpiece was complete

And so,

He called it "Dad"
~Author Unknown~

Happy Father's Day to the best daddy ever.
I miss you more with each passing day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spaces to Create

Karen, at My Desert Cottage, is hosting the
Second Annual Where Bloggers Create!

Originally posted at My Desert Cottage

Whether it is to stitch, scrapbook, illustrate, decorate or craft in another manner,
many of us have carved out a special spot in our home where our creations come to life.

Originally posted at Mockingbird Hill Cottage

I, of course, was drawn to those spaces including sewing machines.  One of my most favorites was Rebecca's lovely studio, which can be viewed at her blog A Gathering of Thoughts.

Originally posted at The Wrought Iron Gate

There are spaces displaying lovely fabrics and vintage linens.

Originally posted at The Raspberry Rabbits

There are spaces displaying a sense of humor by elevating the mundane to the sublime!

Hop over to My Desert Cottage and enjoy hundreds of inspiring and creative spots.
In the meantime, I will be attempting to restore some sense of order to my own sewing room!

Monday, June 14, 2010


After residing with us for a few years following college graduation,
our son decided his bank account would finally allow for a place of his own.
So, this little trailer followed us around for a few loads of furniture and belongings this weekend.
Who says that parenting is any easier when they grow up?

Now, to quickly turn his bedroom into a larger sewing room for me
before the money runs out and he returns!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Hippos for Hungry Humans

Ever since Santa managed to slide down our chimney with Henry* for our son's very first Christmas,
hippopotamuses have held a special place in my heart.
It wasn't just a three foot tall plush hippo that kept us entertained during those childhood days.

There was also the Milton Bradley game, Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Seems to me there were several stories read over and over, too.
Nor can we forget the holiday song, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"!

Now, I understand that hippos can be one of the most aggressive creatures in the wild, but you would never know it by the cute and humorous representations in toys and literature.
So, speaking of cute . . . . 

I could not help but smile, when I recently spied these on a stroll through our neighborhood World Market!

I told you they were cute and could prompt smiles!

They are actually quite delicious!
The outer covering is a thin and crispy wafer.
Inside is a combination of a creamy white filling and a rich chocolate filling.

Did you know that most female hippos reach their maximum weight
around the age of 25 years, and are not believed to grow much beyond that?
Sadly, that is not true of humans.
Too many of these Happy Hippos for this hungry human, 
and I will be bigger than any real hippopotamus! 

*Henry still remains a part of our family, patiently awaiting a day to be loved by other little people in our family!  The Hungry Hungry Hippo game is long gone, though.

On a side note,
thank you so very much for the many kind and thoughtful expressions of sympathy during
our family's recent loss.
Your prayers and care were felt and very much appreciated.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Life Well Lived

Please remember our family
as we travel and gather to celebrate a life well lived.
A gentle man.
A husband.
A father, grandfather and father-in-law.
A brother and brother-in-law.
An uncle.
A respected attorney.
A loyal friend.
An avid gardner.
A pillar of faith.

we rejoice that you have been healed and made whole again.
You are joyfully reunited with other dearly departed family members.
Gone from this earth, but never forgotten.
Always loved.
Thank you for always loving us.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Playing Dolls

As a favor for a friend, I am stitching some doll clothes.
They will be part of a raffle to raise money for a hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
A very worthy cause, in my opinion.
This was a quick casual ensemble that I whipped up in just a couple of hours! 
I love that the skirt is called Easy-Peasy. 
It really is!

I used dotted swiss for the little peasant top, and added a small bow
at the neck.
For the skirt, I used two early Amy Butler prints from my personal stash, accented with
hot pink baby rick rack.
The pattern is ModKid's Mini Nina, a dolly-sized interpretation of Patty Young's
child-size Nina pattern.
The Mini Nina may be found here.

I have a few more doll duds in the making.
They are such fun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Christening Ensemble Stitched with Love

Can you imagine being an expectant mother and opening a baby shower gift such as this?
You then would discover that your mother had been keeping secrets from you!

For weeks, she had been creating a gorgeous christening gown!
That was not all . . .

as there
 was also a lovely christening coat.
She still was not finished!

A precious bonnet completed the ensemble.

Each stitch filled with love for baby and new mother!

This precious babe will not only be wrapped in the love
of family and God on its special day,
but also wrapped in a special christening ensemble
created with loving hands of a grandmother.
Thank you to a dear customer, Lorrain,
for sharing her gorgeous creation!
Congratulations to her family on the upcoming arrival of a new little one!

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