Friday, January 29, 2010

Email Frustration

I am so frustrated. I am having email issues.
I have sent out several emails lately and not heard back from people.
Yet I know that people have said they have emailed me, and I am not getting those emails either.

If you have emailed me recently, please be patient with me. I am trying to get it figured out.
And if so, can you leave me a message here, or send me one on Facebook? Please?

I am NOT computer smart, so it is very possibly "user error".
So, if you have not heard back from me, please post a message here or send me a message on Facebook and I will do my best to respond.

Thank you so much for understanding.

I have to take my oldest daughter, India, to the hospital today in Sacramento for several appointments. And we have more next week and the following week. Please continue praying that we find answers that get her on the road to health.

I so appreciate you all. You have no idea how much I do.

Thank you,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making Nice With My Serger

I am trying to get over my weirdness regarding my serger.
So on Tuesday, I made up this little outfit for Ahnalin.
Leggings pattern was from an old Ottobre , Winter 2007.
And the dress was just something I drafted based on her measurements.
She LOVES these leggings and play dress outfits and they really are
a breeze to sew. But this time I sewed nearly the whole thing on my serger.

The polka dot fabric is a yummy cotton lycra knit I ordered on line from Chez Ami.
The cherry hearts knit was something I bought from a friend on Sewing Mamas.

Yes, she insisted on posing next to the Chinese lantern statue thingy in our garden.

So, the outfit "plays" well.
She refuses to wear jeans and wants to wear dresses
every day. So, the legging/play dress option really is the best for her.

Oh, and notice the snow is melting! Wahooooooo!!
Just a little bit left but she can still ride her bike.

My only frustration right now, regarding my serger, is that it needs a tune-up.
So, when I get paid from my next sewing job, I will take the serger into the shop.
No, this time I will take it to a local lady who works out of her home.
She is the one who taught the class I attended on Saturday.
I need the tensions all recalibrated.
The rolled hem that I did on the bottom of the leggings has already come out partially!
And the serger is running too slow.
But other than that, the seams are nice and even.

I sewed another pair of leggings and a long sleeve top last night. I will post them as soon as I get the jumper done that she will wear on top.

Melissa's sofa is still in progress but our schedules have been crazy.
Next week I hope to get more done on that and will hopefully show you a finished slipcovered sofa.

Now, if only my sinus headache would go away so I could see straight, I hope to
get more sewing done today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What I Have Been Up To

Yeah, I know. I am really tired of it.
Sure it is beautiful.
But we have already had WAY(!!!!) too much snow this year
and have I said yet that I am tired of it?
We live up in the Sierra Foothills, about an hour from Tahoe.
Snow is to be expected here.
But I am such a weeny when it comes to driving in the stuff
so I am ready for Spring.

Oh yeah, this picture was taken from INSIDE the house,
hence the window mullions in the picture.

One of my very best, and most patient, friends in the world,
Melissa,  asked me months ago to make her a slipcover for the sofa in her craft room. We picked out the fabrics LAST YEAR!
The weather has been so yucky here that I needed some kind
of fun change, and working with anything in the color yellow
is always a tonic for me in the dreary month of January.
This was the "before" pic of her sofa.

Melissa has been taking pics because she is a world class, super amazing
and awe inspiring scrapbooker (scrapper? scrappist?)
I have been taking my Janome up the hill to her house
for the last few days and setting up camp there.
She is documenting the process and will probably create
some gorgeous scrapbook pages of our slipcovering adventure that will
win major prizes at the fair.
I am sewing miles of plaid piping in this pic.

Since I only have the time that Ahnalin is at kindergarten
to do this, I have not gotten much done each day.
The first day, all I got done was the plaid piping and cutting and
sewing the outside pieces of the back. I have the side
pinned on to the outside arm of the sofa to see i it is straight.
You can see where her kitty clawed up the arm of the original
upholstery because of the stuffing sticking out from the side.
That will all be covered up!

This is how far I got today!
Last week, we had several days of snow storms so yucky that I
could not drive in it. Well, I DID drive in it, but I get
really nervous driving the steep hills around here.
And Melissa lives on a mountain.
So.....this is taking a while to get done.
I am very, very picky about matching prints
even though this is the inside back and deck that will be covered
with back and seat cushions.

This is the same arm as I showed a few photos above.
The arm is now sewn together, and covers that nasty
cat-clawed area.

This is looking down from above where the arm meets up with the
inside back. It makes me crazy that I could not match up the pattern at
that seam. But because of how the inside arm had to be cut, I could
not match the pattern. This is a fitted slipcover, and I have not pressed
the seams of where the outside and inside is sewn to the welting.
So it looks a little wonky along the top back of the sofa.
Oh, at the bottom of the pic, you can also see a tiny bit of the pleat
at the back corner. I chose to do this and will attach contrast ties,
instead of zippers or buttons for fitting the slipcover.

Yeah, I know I have not hemmed it yet, but we were still deciding
what to do. I think I will do a contrast band hem with the plaid.

I am hoping my zippers arrive tomorrow so I can work on
the cushions. There are 8 of them to sew.
I am planning on working on this again on Wednesday afternoon,
so there will be more pictures coming.

Just a cute pic of my HRH and his girls.
We have had several power outages in the last week due to trees
falling down in the storms. No power means no TV.
That means MUCH more snuggling time!
Daddy LOVES snuggling his girls.

My MIL brought this outfit home from
her trip to Texas to visit my SIL Dianna.
Dianna bought the pink boots for my girl!
I should probably mention that Ahnalin has had
pink cowgirl boots ever since she was a toddler.
This is her 3rd pair! She REFUSES to wear
tennies but thinks that pink cowgirl boots
are a wardrobe staple.

Gotta love the tude!

On Saturday, I took a class at my favorite local independent fabric shop,
The class was "Minor Sergery".
You see, I have owned 2 different sergers for the last 18 years,
and I have been terrified of both of them.
I would sew a french seam in a heart beat, and often have
in an effort to avoid serging. The problem with that, is that
it is time consuming, and not always appropriate for every garment.
You see, I don't like any seam to show, ever. I am a seam snob.
I do not like raw edges! And serged seams are just too "ready to wear" for me.
But, time is money, and I do not have a lot of either.
So my sweet hubby told me to quit whining and make nice with my sergers.
Basically he wanted me to get over my fear of the things and start enjoying
these lovely tools.

So....I learned a lot. And I think I may have made friends with my sergers.
I just may use them more now...

India update:
The Metronic pump trainer came today and India is back on the insulin pump.
She is very happy about it. Her last pump died while she was on her Ireland
trip last April and then due to a rash of major health and insurance upheavals,
we decided to hold off on getting her back on the pump. But
due to all the health crises of the last several months, her numbers have been
pretty poor and we felt it was time to go back on.
In the next several weeks, we have many appts with different types of
doctors, trainers, nutritionists, etc, in hopes of getting our girl back
on the right path to health. We appreciate any prayers
you all can send our way.
Also, India has sent in her application to be a counselor at the DYF camp
Bearskin Meadows for kids with Type 1 Diabetes. This
would be a great solution as she would be working with kids, in a beautiful setting,
away from home all summer, but with her doctors and nurses right there!
Please pray she is accepted as a counselor.

In other news, I am continuing to work on the apron pattern, in between
doctor visits, working with Ahnalin's class at school, battling
insurance, and other client sewing. I promise. You will see it soon!!

Thank you for all the prayer for my family.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ahnalin's Doll

Ahnalin has been completely bitten by the sewing bug.
She decided that she wanted to make her own doll.

So, we set off in search of a simple rag doll pattern so that she could
try out her new sewing skills. She wanted to sew the doll completely by herself.
So I found a simple pattern and let her dig in my scrap box for fabric.

I pinned the pattern to the fabric and she cut it out and changed a few design elements
so that the doll reflected her vision of the perfect doll.
The original pattern suggested drawing on the face with a marker.

However, Ahnalin drew on the face and then asked me how to
applique triangles on for the eyes.
So, I taught her how to do basic applique!
We ironed on the triangles with Stitch Witchery and she
zig-zagged them in place. Then she asked me to draw on the mouth
so that she could zig-zag over that. She drew the nose
on and zig-zagged that.

After she finished the face, she sewed the arms and legs.
Then she started stuffing them.
She LOVES stuffing things with fiberfill!!!

Yes, that is Ahnalin cutting with my big sharp scissors.
I am sure I am going to regret letting her use them, but she is
learning to be careful with them.
The rag doll pattern instructs the sewist to stitch "joints" in
the arms and legs so that the doll can sit more easily.
So, that is what Ahnalin did!

Two legs and two arms!

Then she sewed the arms and legs onto the
front of the doll torso.

Arms and legs are all sewed on and now she has to sew the
back to the front. This could get tricky!

Ok. She finally asked me to help her sew
when she got to this point. Up until this point, she did not want my
help, other than drawing the smile and
telling her how to iron the eyes on to the face.
But the body got so bulky when she was sewing the back on
that she asked me to sew a few of the areas.
The arms and legs are still inside the body at this point.

But when she turned the doll the right side out,
it looked like a real doll!!! Oh wow, was she proud!!
At this point, I made her go to bed. She was NOT HAPPY
about this but finally gave in when I promised that she could finish the doll
after school the next day.

After school the next day, she stuffed the body and head and
sewed up the opening.
Yes! All by herself!!!
I had to stop myself from getting in her way too much.
I kept wanting to correct her stitches, but I had to wait until
she asked for help because she
"Wanted to do it all by herself!!!"

I love this picture because sometimes when she really concentrates, she sticks her tongue out, and it is almost out here!

She LOVES her new doll!
She has named her Sally.

Isn't she cute?????
I just love her!

I am having a terrible time getting pictures to load up so I am going
to have to load up the rest tomorrow.

Oh, and I wanted to give you all an India update.
Thank you all so much for praying. Please keep praying for her.
We went to her endocrinologist a few days ago and it was not a great visit.
But finally the doctors are all starting to catch on that she just gets
sick far, far more than she should.
We saw a local allergist and immunologist today. He will start
allergy testing in two weeks but has also referred
us on to an immunologist in Sacramento. He does not feel that we
have good enough labs locally, or that they just do not have the
experience necessary to find out what is causing India to be so ill.
But at least things are moving along now.

I will update when I have more information.
Please keep those prayers coming.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Requesting Prayer

I will keep this short and sweet, and promise you that I will post a lovely long post
with pictures later on.

But I would so appreciate any prayers you could send your way.

India is sick again.

She has been sick well over a week this time.
But she had only been well for a short time in between
this time and the previous illness.

She lost her voice over a week ago and is on her
second round of antibiotics.

Her glands are swollen and she is completely exhausted all the time. 

We are starting immunological testing next
week but the local doctor feel we should take her to
U.C.Davis as they are more advanced in the tests they can do.

Later on today we head back to her endocrinologist
in Sacramento and pray that he has some
ideas for us.

I know that her diabetes makes her more susceptible to illness,
but I have never seen even a person with type 1 get EVERY illness
that comes down the pike like she does.

It is really, really interfering with her life and
we just want her to graduate high school
in June, with her class.

Anyway, please pray for my sweet girl.
And please pray for wisdom for us, and for her doctors.

My girl needs her voice and strength back, so she can sing for Jesus.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ahnalin's Turn To Learn

Yes, Ahnalin is now sewing!

Let me back up a bit here.  Ahnalin has been begging to
learn how to sew. She has been begging for her own "MaSewing Machine" for almost
a year. She had seen the blue Hello Kitty sewing machine online several
months ago and had been hounding me for it. But I could not find one to save my soul.

So, when my friend Dawn called me a few weeks ago and told me that
Target had Hello Kitty sewing machines by Janome in stock, I knew it was
a matter of time before one showed up at our house. Ahnalin received
Christmas money from Grandma Barbara and Grandpa John-John and
she insisted that she needed to spend it on her own sewing machine.

So, we ordered it!

So, while she pestered me for a solid week after Christmas, waiting for her
new machine to arrive, little did she know that another little machine was on the way.

Aunt Chelle, Uncle Christian, and Baby Cherish had sent a little
Singer Chain Stich machine to our Ahnalin!

She received it on Saturday and played with it all day.
Then on Sunday morning, at about 5:30 AM, while half of the household
was still asleep, we heard a strange rattle and hum. Yes! Ahnalin
was seated at her little table practicing sewing straight stitches!!!!
I think she just may be as obsessed as her mother is!

She continued to practice threading the little Singer, and sewing straight
stitches on Sunday and Monday.

Then today, the new Janome arrived on the doorstep!

Oh the bliss!!

We set the Janome up on her little table next to the kitchen table where
I often set up my machines.
Ahnalin said to me, "Mama, I have two "MaSewing Machines" now,
almost as many as you!

She quickly figured out how to plug in the machine and turn on the light.
Then she insisted that I teach her to thread it. She DID NOT want ME to thread
it. She wanted to thread it herself!

Then she threaded the needle! I tried to encourage her to hold the thread a
little closer to the end, but she wanted to try it herself.
And she did it by herself!

Her concentration was amazing!
She also practiced putting on the presser foot, lifting the presser foot,
setting the needle and lifting it, winding the bobbin and inserting it
in the bobbin casing. This was one determined girl!

With a marker, I drew straight lines and corners on a scrap piece of
felt, so that Ahnalin could practice her new skills.
She was very intent on sewing those straight lines.
She learned how to stop, drop the needle, and pivot.

Dare I say that she sewed this little sample over and over until
she was able to sew it perfectly. I think she may be even more perfectionistic
than I am with my sewing. Kind of scary.

She went digging in my scrap baskets and found this "Dick and Jane" fabric and
insisted that she needed to make pillows from it. She is obsessed with
Dick and Jane right now. I forgot to photograph her sewing this
little pillow, but she is stuffing it in this pic.

Yes! Her first finished sewing project, completely made by Ahnalin!

Ok, I did press it. I am nervous about her burning herself.
Um....I let her cut with scissors, sew with sharp needles controlled by a
really fast motor, and use sharp pins but am afraid of letting her use the iron??
Ok, she is 5 and I have to be a little protective.

Then she pulled out this long skinny scrap and I suggested she make a rice
bag for her Nana. We put in some dried lavender to make it smell pretty.
This little project required no cutting, but she did all the pinning and sewing.
And I did the pressing again. But then she turned it, put in the rice and lavender
and pinned it closed so she could stitch then end.

Then, she made another Dick and Jane pillow!

She is so proud!

Sewing Pretty With Hello Kitty

I finally had to force her to go to bed at nearly 9:00pm. She has been
struggling with her asthma and fluid in her lungs, so she
really does need her rest. But I understand too well, the desire
to forgo sleep so that more sewing may be done.

As I was tucking her into bed, after reading, singing, and prayers,
she asked me this question.

"Mama, when can I sew a dress for you?"

Um...let's give it a week or two....

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Stay Tuned!

is gone!
is here!

And with that bit of deeply profound logic,
I encourage you to stay tuned.

Hopefully sometime today
I will post pictures of a clean sewing room.

Yes, I have many projects to complete,
And even more to begin.

The project of the last few days
Has been the cleaning of the
Sewing room.

Pictures shall hopefully

(This would-be poem was inspired by my friend Jane Steen, and must be read with an English accent.)