Monday, September 26, 2011

Cleaning Closets

I have been a woman on a mission of late.
I admit that my kitchen has always had one drawer dedicated to odds and ends.  By the end of the week, the island usually sports a stack of unsorted mail and unread newspapers.

I also have to admit that I really fell behind the last few years, with some of my normal housekeeping and seasonal routines.  Opening and owning a store, undergoing and recovering from several major surgeries, and a few other assorted life happenings took priority.

Turning our son's room into a work space for me, recently led to other clearing, cleaning and reorganizing throughout the entire house.  We have taken loads to a recycling center, made donations to non-profit groups, participated in a community-wide garage sale, and consigned items.  It left little time for blogging, reading blogs, or stitching.

It felt good to clean and clear out some items.
Others were a little more difficult.
These are pretty holes in a favorite sweater.

These are not pretty holes in the same favorite sweater.

As the weather cooled and we began to pull out warmer clothing, we discovered some unwelcome guests evidently shared our good taste in clothing.
Fortunately, the damage seems contained only to our master bedroom closet.
Unfortunately, much of it occurred in a small cedar closet built inside our large walk-in closet.
I am also wondering why I even bother to pay for very expensive quarterly visits from the exterminator.

During the emptying and cleaning of the entire contents of our master closet, I did determine one thing.  If I live to be 100, I need never buy another black or white t-shirt.  That applies to both long sleeved and short sleeved versions, as well as v-neck and crew neck.  However, I bet next time I want to wear one, I still won't be able to find one.  They seem to have a knack of disappearing only when I want to wear one.

Due to the great closet clean out, I am now behind on many other tasks.  There are still other areas in need of cleaning and reorganizing.
Hope to be back to normal routines soon.  I mostly hope that all of your favorite sweaters are intact this fall!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Goodbye, Summer!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I wish you wondrous things that can't be tied up in ribbons.
I wish you dreams to take you to magical places.
I wish you togetherness with your loved ones.
I wish you soaring hopes for the days ahead.
And finally, lots of quiet time all to yourself,
when the grace of all that is good in your life
is sweetly celebrated within.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Record Broken

For 31 years, all summers have been compared to the summer of 1980.
It was the hottest on record with 69 days of temperatures over 100 degrees.
Yesterday, the mercury rose to 107 degrees and a new record was set.
We were all too hot and exhausted to care or celebrate.

The first 100 degree day of the year was recorded on June 13.
Each and every day in July was 100 degrees or more.
Last month, the temperatures fell for a couple of days.  With that, we failed to break the record for the number of consecutive days of 100 degrees.  The summer of 1980 will continue to hold that record.

We could easily reach 100 degrees again today, and then cooler temperatures are supposedly on the way.
However, concerns still remain.

The summer brought not only record temperatures, but record drought.
Everything everywhere is dry.
I drove through residual smoke from fires in East Texas on my way to Market.
On the return trip, I drove past still smoldering grass and pine trees just inside the Texas state line.
Yesterday, large fires broke out in nearby counties.

I have given up trying to keep landscape plants alive.  Even with city enforced watering restrictions, our water bill is more than double its normal summer amount.  I won't even discuss the air conditioning bill.
At least we still have a house to cool.  Thousands of homes in nearby areas, and other parts of Texas, have gone up in flames.  Residents have lost everything, and even a few lives have been lost.

When the rains finally come, maybe then there will be cause for celebration.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nine Eleven

God bless America ~
now and forever.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How Did That Happen?

It seems I turned this page only a couple of days ago.
We are now one-third of the way through the month!
How did that happen?
I have been busier than ever, accomplished much, but still have lots to do on my list!

My desk and other furniture has been retrieved from storage.
Photographs are being hung.

Accessories are being placed here and there --
soon to be overflowing with paperwork!

I am off for a few days to the Creative Needle Arts Market in Birmingham.
Due to illness and surgeries, I have not attended this market for awhile.  I am eager to reconnect with special friends, and be inspired once again.
I will be having a wonderful weekend, and hope you do, too!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just remembered!

I completely forgot to share this little outfit earlier this summer!
I did post it on a sewing forum to which I belong, so it may look familiar to some.
It has been a busy week, and the only sewing I accomplished was in my dreams.
So, I decided to go back in time and share something that I did actually stitch!

The pattern is Ruffled Neckline Top or Dress from Whimsy Couture.
It is a pdf pattern and may be purchased here
The recipient was a very busy little lady, crawling here and there.
So, I also made a pair of coordinating bloomers.

This is a cute pattern, and a breeze to construct!
I did think it ran a little slim, especially for active little diaper-bottoms.  Shortened to top length, and worn with bloomers, seemed to work best in the smaller sizes.
Melissa has made several sweet versions for her darling daughters.  The most recent was worn on the first day of school.

I did make one change to the construction.
The pattern instructs to narrow hem the armhole edges, and then stitch the side seams.  That leaves the seam allowances exposed, and just kind of hanging out there!
I stitched my side seams first, using a tiny French seam.  It gives a nice and neatly finished appearance to the inside of the garment.
Using a bias strip of the gingham, I faced the armholes.  This provides one smoothly finished edge around the entire armhole.  I also love the little dressmaking touch it adds!

The ruffled neckline frames sweet faces, and is a really fun little outfit!

Novelty print fabric from Fabric Finders and kiwi gingham from Stylecrest are available at BessieMary.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Missing . . .

My Loss
Heaven's Gain

I thought of you today -- not once,
but oh so many times;
I felt my heart fill up with tears,
and hoped you wouldn't mind.

I struggle with your absence
and wish to see your face,
for now there is a void on earth
that time will not erase.

And yet I hear inside my dreams,
when stars unveil the night,
the angels whispering tenderly
that you are at their side.

And often they remind me
as I go about my day
that all my deepest love for you --
is just a prayer away.
~Deborah Lindsay O'Toole~

Seventeen years ago today, I held my mother's hand for the last time and whispered a final farewell.
I miss her so much.
She always knew what was on my mind and in my heart, even when no words were spoken.
But, it is the hugs and her gentle touch that I miss most.
Someday we will hug again, and never have to let go.
I love you this much and more, Mother.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Squint and Use Your Imagination!

A week, a month and a season all gone in the blink of an eye!
I have been busy.  Not necessarily anything to really merit blogging or photographing.  Just very busy!
I did manage to carve out some time the past two days for a little sewing.

The Mother Huddle

One day, while blog hopping, I ran across these cute fabric hanging bags at The Mother Huddle.
I originally planned on making some for my sewing room, but that never happened!

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am turning our son's bedroom into a work space.  I decided some fabric bags would not only help with organization, but also add a fun punch of color.

To my stash I scurried, and found several fabrics that worked well in the room.
A few were leftover from previous home decor projects, but many were from days when I made fabric tote bags.  I even had enough craft weight fusible interfacing on hand for all four bags!  My only expense was the cafe rod, on which to hang them.
The only thing better than getting organized, is making a very small dent in my fabric stash!

I am still waiting to have my desk, lateral file and bookcase moved from storage.
So, I am not able to hang my cute little bags.
The front stairwell served as an impromptu photography setting.  This is where you need to squint and use your imagination!  I think they will look much better once they are properly installed.

They were very fun and easy to make.
After making many bags over the years, I do have one tip.
While instructions often indicate that both outer and inner fabrics should be cut and seamed the same, I find that often does not work.
I may cut the two pieces the same size, but I usually use a slightly larger seam allowance when stitching the side seams of the lining.  It then fits more snugly inside the bag, leading to a more crisp and finished look overall.

If you wish to make hanging fabric bags of your own, complete instructions may be found at The Mother Huddle.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!
There is even a chance that we finally will have a day cooler than 100 plus.
Fall really might be just around the corner!

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