Monday, December 19, 2011

All Four Of Us In A Single Shot!

It doesn't happen often.

I mean, we very rarely are in the 
same place at the same time,
when we are dressed in decent clothing,
makeup on and hair brushed,
at least appear,
in our right minds.

But yesterday at our new church,
Sebastopol Christian Church,
I grabbed a new friend
and handed her my phone.

I threatened my family 
with mayhem if they made 
anything less than the most
charming and lovely 

And there you have it!

Look closely at the hand on India's leg.

It's mine but it looks like it is hers,
only the fingers are opposite of what they should be.

It makes me laugh!

And I am pretty sure that 
India was saying 

Ahnalin refused to sit up straight 
and actually smile.

But hey!

There we all are now. 


Now.....back to my sewing.
Unless I finish India's Christmas dress,
she will likely be dress-less on Christmas day!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dresses for Cherish and an Angel

This little dress is for my precious, 
and in-every-way-wonderful niece Cherish.

I want to see her in it so much!

You see, it is red and white
and reminded me of 
Olivia the Pig, 
 so of course, I had to add 
some Black Rick Rack.

I loved it so much,
that I had to make one for a little
girl whose tag we picked off 
the Angel Tree at First Pres. Church. 
So this one is for a precious little girl
who I will probably never meet.

And Ahnalin found this "Sonya Lee" Little Peoples set
that we had gotten for her when she was little.
But she only ever played with her wood blocks
or her babies, 
so it was still in the box.
She decided to give it to the 
little Angel Tree girl. 
I am proud of my sweetie for thinking
of this little one.

Well, and then Ahnalin
decided that she wanted a dress
JUST LIKE the dress for her
Christmas dress!!!

But, I had to shake things up a bit....

So this is just a teaser of Ahnalin's dress.......

When I fell in love with this fabric
a few years ago,
I bought the rest of the bolt!

It has been in my stash
just waiting for me to decide to cut into it.

It's Michael Miller Iron Work
and I even have enough left over 
for another dress or two!

I need to take photos of Ahnalin
in her dress before
she gets "Christmas" all over it.......

And yes, 
I did. 

I made ANOTHER Rapunzel costume!

You see, 
next summer we plan to 
visit Cherish
and her Mommy and Daddy
and Ahnalin is dying to play dress-up 
with Cherish. 

I decided to simplify Cherish's Rapunzel 
dress and chose not to use grommets for
lacing the bodice. 

The ribbon is actually sewn in place
for the sake of comfort and simplicity.

The lace overskirt used every last inch
of the purple embroidered lace.
(well, I do have a skinny bit left for a doll dress...)

I machine sewed the hem so that it would 
be sturdy for 3 year old dress-up action.
The lace is vintage hem tape
that had a price tag of 65 cents on the wrapper. 
I love using my stash goodies!

So, one of the red dresses and the little Rapunzel
dress are on their way to my precious niece 
for her birthday and Christmas.

And the other red dress and the Little People
are on their way to another little angel.

And one more red dress
will be posted in a day or so
on my wild Ahnalin.......

Next project........

I get to start on India's 
Christmas dress,
which will be made from a gorgeous
length of vintage Pendleton wool
given to me by my Hot Rockin' Hubby's 
Aunt Dona Vee. 

After that.....Christmas Jammies
and then some mittens, hats
and slippers from felted cashmere sweaters.

And......Ahnalin wanted some new
doll clothes for Christmas!
Yep, I think that Santa can fulfill
that request....

Oh fun!! 

Happy Sewing!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Candles, Cocoa And Change

Tonight we lit the Shepherd's Candle of Joy.
We love Advent Sundays in our family.

They are my favorite tradition of the 
Christmas season!

We usually use a brass Advent wreath or 
a red cutout metal Swedish Advent wreath.

But this year, we are using the wood and greenery
wreath that Ahnalin and I made at the Advent Festival
at our old church. 
( More about this below.)

In this picture, we were singing
"The First Noel".

I can't tell you how much I love this picture.

I love love love love it!

Every Sunday night of Advent, 
we read the Bible verses,
sing the songs,
pray the prayers,
and light the candles.

Then we enjoy dessert and 
salted maple hot chocolate.

Last week, we had chocolate cake
and the same salted maple hot cocoa.

Do you see my darling Christmas Goose china?
I love it!

And the first Sunday of Advent,
we had dark chocolate brownies
and salted maple hot cocoa.

And yes, I have lots of different Christmas china.
All of my dishes for the rest of the 
year are super practical,
but I love my wonderful Christmas dishes!

And in case you were wondering,
the "Salted Maple Hot Cocoa"
is my own concoction.

You see, I had been very, very committed
to the Anti-Inflammatory diet, 
and had avoided all sugar, wheat, corn and potatos
for months.

But pure maple syrup is allowed occasionally. 

And I loved the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
at Starbucks, so I wanted something similar for me!

So, here it is!

Salted Maple Hot Cocoa

Serves 4

4 cups milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
3/8 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup boiling water

whipped cream 
(yeah it has a bit of sugar. I don't care!)
cocoa powder to sprinkle on top

In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk on low heat.
(Be careful not to scald or burn the milk or you get a yucky
brown film on it.)
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder,
salt, maple syrup, vanilla, and boiling water until foamy.
Carefully blend the cocoa mixture into the hot milk.
Pour into 4 mugs and top with whipped cream.
Sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder on the top of the 
whipped cream. 



And the change I was referring to.........

Well, we have loved our time at Santa Rosa
First Presbyterian Church,
but we are so excited for our next adventure!

Last Sunday was our final Sunday at First Pres,
and this morning was our first Sunday at 
Sebastopol Christian Church!

Don is the new 
Director of Music and Worship
at SCC! 

We had such a fun time 
in worship with our new fellow
singers and musicians. 

We can't wait to get to know new friends
and serve in new ministries.
God is so good!

And the best part is that 
we will still be able to see
our friends from First Pres because we 
are staying in Santa Rosa!

I am so grateful to God 
for the gift of His Son
and the gift of worship.

Happy Advent!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Madison's Birthday Dress

Once again it is birthday time for
one of my favorite little fashionistas!

For the last 4 years,
a darling little girl named Madison
has requested a very special dress for her birthday.

Last year, when she was 6, Madison
requested an "Olivia" themed dress.
More pictures of this dress are HERE.

And when she was 5, 
Madison requested a Tinkerbell themed dress.
More photos of this dress are HERE.

And this was the very first dress I smocked
and constructed for Madison, 
when she was 4.

Each year, Madison chooses her theme,
color, and other details and then I get to create
a dream dress for her.

Madison's mommy sent me a picture of the
design that our little designer had chosen.

Because there are no smock plates 
(smocking stitch pattern)
for this kitty, 
I had to figure out a way to 
smock this design. 

Just like last year, 
I ended up smocking free hand.

Madison requested Hot Pink 
as the color of her dress but left 
the rest of the design up to me.

I loved the contrast of the black 
outline in the design,
so I chose to use black for her name
and for the rick rack as well.

And like last year, 
I sewed a row of tulle to
the attached petticoat
to add a little bit of fluff to the skirt!

And I found the most fabulous
hot pink sparkly buttons to match the fabric
just perfectly!

And of course,
because we all know of my passion for rick rack,
I had to add some to the skirt......

 And the sleeve cuffs.

of course,
because the attached petticoat
is sewn to the lining of the bodice,
there are no scratchy seams visible.
(The color is wonky in this photo!)

And it had to have a
Sivjegoose label too!
While the measurements
are customized to Madison's actual more petite size,
I chose to put a size 7 tag
inside because this is for Madison's 7th birthday!

I can't wait to see pictures of the birthday
girl in her dress!!

Her mama told me that Madison is considering
being a dress designer when she grows up.
I think she will do a marvelous job!

Happy Birthday darling girl!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100

Make a JOYFUL noise unto the LORD
All ye lands.
Serve the Lord with GLADNESS.
Come before His presence with SINGING.
Know that the LORD, He is GOD.
It is He that has made us and not we ourselves.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING
and into His courts with PRAISE.
Be THANKFUL unto Him 
and BLESS His name.
For the LORD is GOOD.
and His TRUTH endures
for ALL generations!

This was one of the first chapters of scripture
that I memorized as a child.
I think of these verses often
and they remind me that even in 
difficult times,
I have SO MUCH! 
So being thankful is so much 
easier when I remember this.
I love to sing my Thanksgiving to the Lord
and this is a favorite hymn of mine.

I am so very thankful for my beautiful family.
I am thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country.
I am thankful for a variety of healthy, delicious food.
I am thankful for the gift of creativity.
I am thankful for loving and fun friendships.
I am thankful for the gift of music.
I am thankful for the beautiful rainbow of color,
evident both in people and in nature.
And most of all,
I am thankful that God loves me
so very much.

I pray that this Thanksgiving,
you enjoy love and bounty and blessing.
I pray that you bless others.
And I pray that you rejoice in 
the creativity that allows
us to share in the joy of our Creator.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A New Slipcover for Goosegirl's Sewing Chair

Way back in February,
I posted this picture.

I blogged about it HERE.

Well, I am sure I have told you 
that I have major Sewing A.D.D.!

But I FINALLY finished my chair!!!!


When I originally had the chair made,
I was working at a furniture store in 
Nevada City.

I wanted a sewing chair that had a ruffle!

The manufacturers laughed at me!

So for years, I put up with my
cute, but boring red checked chair. 

It started to wear out and look awful!

I said for years that I would slipcover it.

But then I always got sidetracked and
put it off.

I have been a bit bummed out lately
and kind of feeling sorry for myself.

Don used to tease me that when I got
depressed, I would start painting things yellow,
to make my own sunshine.

I now have my very own chairful of sunshine!

This is the back. 


I know it looks like a dress.

I made covered buttons........

And they match the custom piping.

And I fussed the back all up
just the way I wanted it!

And I love every detail about it.

And everything came out of my stash!

I had purchased these fabrics
to decorate our living room
in our home in Lake Bluff, Illinois
back in the 90s.

So yes, they are maybe a bit dated.

But I love them 
and they make me feel happy.

My sewing area is in my kitchen. 

This was probably intended to be 
the breakfast nook

So my space is VERY LIMITED.

Those curtains underneath the table
hide my clear plastic shoe boxes
that hold all my notions. 

I also have my smocking pleater,
my floss box,
some fabric and current projects,
and other things.

Most of my fabric is actually stored 
in the garage.

Ahnalin's little Hello Kitty Janome
stays set up right next to my Janome,
so we can sew together.

My other machines are in the garage too.

I grabbed my old bookshelf
and put it on the sewing table to hold
my antique spools.

I use the spools for my elastic,
piping cord, 
rickrack and other trims.

This is a vintage spice rack that I painted
with some leftover craft paint.

I think I want to repaint it yellow,
or maybe a paler aqua.

And the Mary Engelbreit print
desperately needs to be framed.

It is signed by Mary!

But it will go on the wall right there.

I painted this at a pottery painting 
workshop with my girls on Ahnalin's birthday.

I sew much better than I paint, 

I took photos of most of the steps 
while I was making the slipcover,
so I may post them soon.

But I am so glad that I finally 
finished my chair and fixed up my sewing area.

It feels like a huge gift to mysef!

I need to get back to my smocking now!

Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Simple Corduroy Skirt For My Girl

So my girl was on another design kick the other day.

She pulled this remnant of black,
white and pink corduroy out of the stash
and requested a pleated skirt
to go with her new hat.

And it had to "Swish" too.

I found an unopened roll of this black
and white ribbon and used every inch of 
it to trim the yoke and hem.

And do you remember this dress from THIS post?

Well, Ahnalin wanted the same effect
on a long sleeved shirt
that just happened to have a stain in front.

The ribbon hides it perfectly!

And the shoes, 
well, I love them!

This picture makes me laugh!

Between the hot pink sweater and hat,
and the standing-on-one-leg,
I think she looks like a flamingo!

And then I started to play with the Black and White
feature on the camera.

And I love this one too!

Can you tell I really want to learn
to take pictures? 

She wanted to swing on Daddy's arm
and is still just short enough to do it.

And then she put her boots back on to
ride her scooter home.

But she reminded me that we had not taken
the "Classic Ahnalin" pose,
so she remedied that!

As to the skirt,
well, I did not use a pattern.

It was just a less-than-a-yard
remnant and math.

If there is interest, 
I may write up a quick tutorial 
for this super quick skirt.

But my projects for today
include smocking for a favorite client
and finishing the slipcover for my sewing chair.

I find that with the tendonitis in my hands,
that I have to take breaks from smocking
and do other types of motions for a bit.

And then I can go back to smocking.

I will have pics of the chair hopefully tomorrow!

Thank you all for your prayers for my hands
and for my India. 

She will be having surgery in January on her foot,
so she is off dancing for a while. 

Off I go to sew and smock!

Happy Sunday and Happy Sewing!