Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blog Giveaway on Marie Madeline Studio

Have you been over to Marie Madeline Studio? I just know I would love these girls in real life!
They make pretty, feminine and modest clothing and aprons, as well as sell fabric, design patterns and make quilts.

These beautiful ladies are going to give away one of these beautiful quilts and I desperately want to win one of them. So.....while I hesitate to tell you all about it, I will get 10 more entries for this blog post!!!!
So, head on over there and enter. But please, make sure you let them know that Sivje at Goosegirl Sews sent you.

Have a beautiful day!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and My Nutty Family

Yes, this would be cranberry sauce from the can.
We have to get the kind that is organic, without corn syrup or food dyes. But yes, it HAS to still be in the shape of the can in order for India to think it is truly Thanksgiving.


And this, this is my mother. Yep! She is the one who is very demanding about pictures.
However, when I tried to take her picture during the weekend, this is what I got.

This is my cute mother. She made faces every time I tried to take her picture!
And then there is my Daddy.....
NOW I know where India gets it from.

And then there was Ahnalin. Oh yeah, you can see her neck now.
Yeah, I cut her hair the other day. I won't go into the whole nightmare, but after certain
notes came home from school stating that the entire Kindergarten class had been exposed to lice uh...some highly contagious stuff, and Ahnalin reacted really badly to the shampoo, I couldn't take it any more and I cut her hair. Myself. It is crooked. Really, really crooked!!!!

This was her hair before I cut it. The nasty shampoo had turned her scalp into a dry, scaly mess and her hair was brittle like straw. I was so sad to do it but knew that if I did not do it when I made the decision, I never would get up the courage to do it.
This was the "after".  My Mother-in-law and I cut it a few days before Thanksgiving, but Ahnalin has taken a few minutes every day since then to tell me how much she hates her haircut.

So, the picture up a ways is the view I got each time she pouted.
Here are the girls playing one of the many hundreds of games of "Candyland" that took place this weekend. You see, I told India that since I was working on her Queen Katharine costume for the Madrigal dinner, she had to keep her sister occupied. To Ahnalin, "occupied" translated to "Dida has to do whatever I say."  HAHA!!! I stayed out of it!

This is just proof that I really was there.
I think Ahnalin took this picture while I was cooking something.

I started on India's gown and realized that I needed to get pics of the process. India, in true India fashion, decided to be goofy.

This is the front of the bodice of the dress.

I am using Simplicity 2589 and Simplicity 2621. So far I am not loving the instructions.
I prefer to hide the seams inside the lining, but for whatever reason, this pattern does it differently. Because I have to have the whole thing done by Wednesday, I decided to just follow the pattern and realize that no one will publicly humiliate me because the seams are visible in the bodice.
Yes, the seams are finished, but I can see them!!!! I don''t like that!!
The boning is all done, and now I need Don to hammer in the grommets on the back opening. The skirt pieces are almost ready for me to attach to the bodice. I still have to make the sleeves and attach those.
I am still scrounging for fabrics to do the sleeves and underskirt. Even with using bargain fabrics and remnants, this costume is costing me wayyyyyyyyyyy more
than I am used to spending on any one outfit.
I will post more pics as I sew.

So, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had so much fun. I am so blessed to be with my loving, nutty and generous family.
I pray you had a great Thanksgiving as well.

Stay tuned for more pics of the Queen Katharine costume over the next few days.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Tinkerbell Dress for Princess Madison

I just finished Madison's dress!
Madison is another precious princess from China and her mommy orders a custom dress from me every year for Madison's birthday.
This year, Madison requested purple shiny fabric with Tinkerbell smocking with flowers.
I found a purple cotton sateen with a lovely hand, heavy enough for a winter dress.

Madison requested her name on her dress and for

some reason the shiny thread is reflecting the light.

I sewed on some sparkly lime green beads and lime green
rickrack to pick up the color in Tink's outfit.

I love the green rickrack on the collar.

Yes, the sash in the back is really that big.
I LOVE big sashes and this one tied so pretty.

Little, tiny cuff with green rickrack and lavender flower button.
We all know I can't take good pictures, so there is some weird shine on this one.

Normally, I sew the petticoat in to the dress, but this time, I made it separately just in case Madison was overcome with the need to twirl when she did not want to wear her dress.

So, there it is. Madison's Tinkerbell dress. I can't wait to see pictures of her wearing it.
It will be in a box, winging it's way to this "Fairy" princess on Friday!
Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so blessed to be celebrating Thanksgiving with my parents in Sparks! We leave in just a few minutes to head over the mountains.....

Over the river and through the woods,
To Grandmother's house we go!

I am so grateful to have a loving family who supports me and encourages me everyday.
I am grateful for a loving, handsome and talented "Hot Rockin' Hubby" who still loves me after 21 years of adventurous marriage.
I am grateful that both sets of our parents are still in love and married to each other since the beginning. They model commitment to me every day.
I am grateful that my children are currently healthy and love to be with me.
I am grateful to live in a country that is still free, where I can worship God daily without fear.
I am grateful to live in California where I can get to the mountains, ocean, desert, and valley all in a few hours drive.
And most of all, I am grateful for my Lord Jesus, who gave up everything so that I could have life.

I pray you all have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Thank you all for entering! I am overwhelmed at the response and have thoroughly enjoyed reading of your favorite holiday food memories and traditions.

I used the number generator on but could not figure out how to get the picture to show up. But, this is what happened....

I wrote down each entry and then visited everyone's blogs. That was fun!!! You see, I LOVE blog surfing!  That sucked up several hours when I should have been sewing, but I loved discovering all kinds of new creative blogs.

Then, after I wrote them all down, accounting for each "follower", I entered the number of entries into the number generator at

There were a few people who emailed me earlier in the week to say that they tried to leave a comment but could not, so I added them too!  I thought that was only fair. 

There were 142 entries. So when I entered the numbers into the number generator......

The winner was #36! The winner is Rebel Flame and here was her comment:

I'm a follower!
My favorite food tradition for the holidays is my mother always made pancakes with peaches and whipped cream for christmas breakfast. My mother is gone, but I always remember her with heavy peach syrup on my pancakes after opening presents.

So,  Rebel Flame, I need you to email me and give me your real name and address and I will get your apron out to you! Congratulations!!!

I did not choose the winner based on the comments, but I loved them all!!

This was my FAVORITE!

I LOVE this apron! I would be interested in testing the pattern too if you're looking for people!

My Thanksgiving tradition is kind of weird-- my grandmother (mothers mother) was an absolutely terrible cook. Every year she made stuffing out of wonderbread and onions and celery-- thats it! She also always put canned sauerkraut on the table-- even tho not a soul ever ate it and she couldnt say why it was necessary!

She passed away when my mother was only in her 30's. Every year, in her honor, my mother makes the disgusting stuffing (although no one ever eats it because it has no taste at all!), and puts a can of sauerkraut on the table :) no one ever eats that either :)

This was by Kristy

I loved how many of you have Mexican food for Christmas! I have a dear friend who makes tamales every year and last year she gave some to us. They were fabulous!!

I loved reading of those traditions from Romania, England, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Lithuania, Australia, and Holland.
If I forgot a country that was represented, I am so sorry.

Sharrieboberry said...
My mom makes the best sweet potatoes! Boil, peel and layer sweet potatoes in 9x13. Burn sugar in a cast iron skillet, add cream and more sugar and cook til syrupy. Pour your caramel sauce over the sweet potatoes and heat in the oven. Delicious!
So, "Rebel Flame" please post here or email me. Your profile does not list an email address so I could not email you directly. 
Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your new apron.
Now,  I have to get back to smocking "Tinkerbell". Pictures to come of that!
I pray you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving week.
In His Grace,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Productivity At Last!

You still have until Saturday to enter the "Yaya"s Apron" giveaway, so make sure you read this post and enter!

Some of you have asked how the apron fits on someone who is, er..."fluffier".  So, I am gracing you with this lovely, no-make-up, non-retouched photo of myself wearing my prototype. There might even be some baking crud on the apron I am wearing, as I just finished baking these.

Just click on the link if you want the recipe. These are GOOD!
The recipe said it makes 24 but it made 36 for me!

Yep! Another apron. The ruffle is really even but it sure photographed weird!

This little pocket is so cute!

Another one! I LOVE Mary Engelbreit fabrics and tend to hoard them. But this apron design just screams out for them, don't you think?

And then, I had to take a little break to make Ahnalin a Christmas dress. I am so crazy about this fabric.  There was just 1 3/4 yard buried on the flat fold table at our local Ben Franklin early in the spring. I fell in love!
The fabric is "Angel Cakes" by Alexander Henry and the pattern is
McCalls 5966. I like the pattern, but next time I make it, I will make a size 3 in width
and a size 6 in length. It is really cute, but very short and wide.

I love vintage buttons. This button was a very lonely old button found in
one of the many button boxes given me by generous friends who do not have
the passion for old buttons like I do. I have no idea how old it is, but it was perfect for this spot.

I took a little break this morning to go to Ahnalin's school for their Thanksgiving Feast.
Ahnalin had INSISTED on Tuesday that I HAD to make her a full
"Indian Princess" costume by today. However,  I volunteer in her classroom on
Wednesdays and discussed this with her teacher, who informed me that they had made their own
costumes out of brown paper bags and feathers. Well, that was a relief, but I do have that piece of brown Ultrasuede in the stash that could have been made up quite easily.....

This is the last picture for today. a lovely purple cotton sateen blank slate! Oh I LOVE smocking! In a few days, this will be the front of Princess Madison's Tinkerbell Dream Birthday Dress! I plan to ship it out on Monday, so I had better get smocking!

If you have not yet entered the giveaway, go ahead and do so now.
Please make sure you have your email enabled on your profile, so I can contact you if you win!
Did I mention that I am LOVING reading of all your holiday traditions? So fun!

I pray you have a beautiful and blessed day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Tara-flu"...OR...An Elixir to Keep Vampires at Bay

Keep those comments coming! The winner of the apron will be drawn on Saturday!! I am LOVING all the fun Holiday Food traditions and favorites!! You can enter here.

But I have to admit to not getting much done the last several days. You see, I started coming down with a nasty cold on Thursday night. This was unfortunate due to the fact that it was the first rehearsal for the Christmas services at my church. I LOVE singing. I LOVE LOVE singing for Jesus.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE singing at Christmas!! So I was not going to miss the first Christmas rehearsal for anything.
Well, Friday morning, I woke up all yucky. HRH and I had to drive to Sac for the morning and I could not get out of it. So, like the lady I am, I moaned and whined the whole way. Once we were done with our appointment, we had a very, very rare treat of lunch out together. We went to the Cheesecake Factory!! And....I brought almost all of my meal home. Yet I did order dessert, so I brought that home too.

 Let's just say, even with such a big treat, I did not touch those leftovers for a while. Sad...

Then on Saturday, I was even sadder. I was supposed to go with Don and India down to Oakland for the big Diabetic Youth Foundation Gala at the Clairmont. I had ordered salmon......SOB...
I LOVE salmon! But I was too sick to go. India was taking her donation of the funds raised through Showstoppers. She was so happy to be able to donate almost $900.00!! The actual amount raised through ticket sales and donations was nearly $1000.00!! But we needed to pay a janitorial fee (which was greatly reduced by a generous sponser!) and there were some printing, music and costume expenses that needed to be reimbursed. Most people donated their time, talents and gifts-in-kind, so that we could give more of the money to the DYF. Sadly, the DVD recording of the event was accidentally destroyed when the hard drive was purged. I cried over that news. A lot.

But, India was thrilled to make her donation and was so pleased to be asked to be a counselor at the DYF Bearskin Meadows Camp next summer. It really is a wonderful organization. And India got to spend some good time alone with her Daddy. That is very important when a girl is 18.

So, there I was, at home on the sofa, watching Christmas movie (Miracle on 34th Street) after Christmas movie (White Christmas) after Christmas movie (Desk Set). I was alone for a few hours because my in-laws took Ahnalin with them to a different fundraiser.

But then........I got a message on Facebook from my cousin Tara! Tara is an actress in L.A. and is very familiar with the frustrations of being a singer with no voice due to rotten bad colds.

She sent me the recipe for a remedy, that her sister lovingly refers to as "Tara-flu".
Upon first reading, I knew I would love it! I asked Tara if she minded if I shared it, and she said that it would be fine but that it did not originate with her.
SO, to whomever created this concoction, Thank you!!


1-2" of fresh raw ginger, grated to make 1 Tablespoon
2 cups cold water

Grate the ginger (I peeled if first, but not sure if that was correct or not)
and add to the cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add 1/4 t of Cayenne Pepper.
Simmer 1 more minute.

Remove from heat and add:
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 T honey to taste ( I am bad, I used raw maple syrup instead)

Let this concoction cool slightly but not a lot.
Strain it and then drink it hot.

Now, this stuff is STRONG!!! But I really liked it. It is kind of like the taste of hot and sour soup, which I love.  But be prepared, because it will make you sweat, A LOT! And the cayenne pepper is really hot! But let me tell you, it helped break up the congestion in my chest!

I finally made it Sunday night, after staying down all day. But, by Monday morning, the congestion was breaking up, and by Monday night, I was able to squeak out a few notes. I drank it again last night and this morning, I am almost back to normal. This is pretty miraculous because I have asthma and am very susceptible to both bronchitis and pneumonia. I think this may have kicked those out before they could get too cozy in my lungs this time!

But let me warn you, the "fragrance" of the garlic is quite strong! So, no self respecting vampire will come anywhere near you after drinking this. That would normally be fine, for me at least.

But, India, like many other teenage girls (and probably some of their mothers), is looking forward to the opening of New Moon of the Twilight series.

So, I doubt she will be drinking any of the "Tara-flu".
I am not a fan, but then I would rather stay home and sew, especially since I lost so much good sewing time when I was sick! UGH!

Do you want to see something funny???? India is in the choir program at her high school and this year they had a local seamstress make the dresses. NOT ME! Thankfully! Well, the measurements were taken by a woman who is not a seamstress. For some unknown reason, after taking the measurements, she added some inches "just to be safe". Well, when the seamstress got the measurements, she also added a few inches "just to be safe". See where this is going? YIKES!!!

Well, some how, my munchkin sized daughter was put in a size XL!!! On the sides, there is at least 12 inches of extra fabric, and the length is a good 10 inches too long! I called to see if this was a mistake, and was told that EVERY SINGLE DRESS was made this much too big!! Thankfully, the local seamstress who made the gowns offered to alter them all. Whew! I did not want to touch this! I will do alterations, but altering something that is at least 4 sizes too big, and doing it in such a way that the dress can be re-altered for a different girl, would be a real pain!

So, we pick up the dress this afternoon and she has to wear it to a choir festival tonight. I hope it fits better after the alterations!

So, what do I need to accomplish this week? Oh my!

I need to smock and construct a custom dream birthday dress for a soon-to-be 4 year old princess from China. The dress above was commissioned by the princess's mommy last year. I will post this years next week before I send it off in the mail.

In addition to this, I need to sew an authentic costume for India to wear as Queen Katharine for her Chamber Choir's Madrigal dinner. Um....other than ordering the fabric, I have not started on this. I am praying the fabric arrives soon! And yes, pictures will be posted of this costume when it is done.

Oh....and then there are Christmas jammies, dresses, presents, etc. to be sewn!

And did I mention that I am writing the instructions for the "Yaya's Apron"? Yes. That is in the works.

On that note, don't forget to enter the giveaway!! I will do the drawing on Saturday and then will post the winner's name here. I hope to get the apron sent out on Monday, so do stay tuned!!

Love to you all, and keep those vampires away!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

100th post Giveaway!!

Yep! I have now posted 100 blog entries!
AND................ I am working on my newest pattern!
And you, my dear friends, get to celebrate with me!
Oh, and there I go again with my wild overuse of exclamation points!!!!!

This is the prototype for my newest pattern. This is "Yaya's Apron".
Since there was no pattern for this apron, I started playing around. This one was my prototype. 

I fell in love with this style years ago when I found an apron that my mother-in-law had been keeping. This apron had been belonged to her mother, hand sewn from a flower sack during the depression. I have worn this apron for years, but alas, it is so worn and thin that I can no longer mend it. Hence the need for me to make one for myself. And since I loved this style so much, I figured that other woman may as well. I made my prototype from a Michael Miller fabric in my stash called "Pod Posey". Sadly I do not have enough left to make another one.
This apron uses nearly every scrap from 1 yard of fabric.

(Sorry for the ugly rear view of my adjustable dress form. I think I need to make a cool cover for it.)
I love this apron because it goes over the head, and does not need to be tied on to stay put. 

It offers great coverage yet fits many body types.
Doesn't this one make you want to bake cupcakes?

You do know that I love cherries, right?

Easy vintage style, but with good coverage to protect your pretty clothes. you like it?

I will be asking for testers soon, as I hope to have this pattern available
for sale as quickly as possible.

But for now, and to celebrate my 100th post, I am offering a "Yaya's Apron" as a giveway!

Yes! Just in time for Holiday baking, one of you will receive a Yaya's Apron in the fabric of my choice, as my gift.

How can you enter, you ask?

You can earn 1 entry for each of these:

 1. Leave a comment, telling me of your favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas food tradition.

2. Tell me that you are a follower, or become one now.

3. Blog about this post and post your link here in the comment section.

The winner will be announced Saturday, November 21st
( in honor of my baby brother Christian's 40th birthday!!!!!)

Happy Entering! And I will get back to work on this new pattern!!!!


Thursday, November 5, 2009


That about says it. India has been sick since Sunday and is throwing up. Yeah. And let me just tell you that I am not one of those wonderful mamas that will rub her child's back and say soothing things while said child vomits. No. I can't even be in the same room because I have a completely wimpy gag reflex.
So, day 5 and we are all tired of this. We are waiting on the results of blood work for her and hoping that there is a simple solution to this.

So we would all gratefully accept any prayers sent on India's behalf.

On the other hand, Ahnalin is FINALLY starting back to ballet today. She has physical therapy after school on her arm, and then ballet. She is beyond excited! She has missed her dance classes so much.

She informed me yesterday, when I picked her up for school, that she had been swinging on the monkey bars are recess! NO!!!! This mama has HAD IT with doctor visits, hospitals, labs, surgeries and X-rays! So, we are encouraging her to be wise and stay off the monkey bars for a while. I think she is "mother deaf" when it comes to that kind of thing.

I have tons of sewing to do, but I think I am going to do something rare. Yeah. I am going to start on a top for myself. Let's see how far I get.

Oh.....and next post will be "100" for me! So.....stay tuned for a celebratory giveaway!

Thank you all for the prayers. Please keep them coming!