Thursday, January 27, 2011

Before I Get Back To Sewing Dresses and Aprons.......

Something HAS to be done about this!

I mean REALLY!!


Now, some have asked me why I do not just throw 
this chair away and get a NEW chair.

My parents have offered me some of their office chairs.

But I like THIS chair.

I custom ordered this chair when I was working as an interior
designer at a furniture store in Nevada City, while
waiting for Ahnalin to arrive.

It fits my body. 

And, as you can see, it has been my companion through many a
cup of coffee (yeah, I know it is really stained!)

So, I started by sewing up the torn cushion. 

The fabric is really, really worn.

But, since I am making a slipcover, 
you will not be able to see this.

Why am I making a slipcover instead of 
completely reupholstering it?

Well, I know I am going to be just as hard on 
it this time as I have been the past 6 years. 

And I prefer cotton fabrics, which tend to show dirt
and wear out quicker than nasty artificial fibers.

And once I make one slipcover,
I will likely make more as my mood changes.

For this first slipcover for this chair,
I pulled out some of my decorator fabric
from my stash.

As I am having to be very, very frugal,
and have a stash that may qualify me for "Hoarders",
I am choosing to use fabrics that have been 
my friends for several years. 

Yes, they are probably rather dated looking,
but I still love them. 

So, I cut the pieces for the slipcover
and decided to embroider my name
on the seat back.

Now......I have to make the piping and
sew the whole thing together.

More pictures to come tomorrow. 
I hope to have it done by then!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Got "Inspired to Sew" By Bari J!!

Guess who I met yesterday!!!

I hope I did not scare her by my stalker fan excitement!

She was so nice and pretty and friendly 
and so were her hubby and daughters!!

I LOVE her Garden Tunic! 

The pattern and how-to are included
in her book.

And it is JUST GORGEOUS up close!

The Tree Of Dreams Wallhanging, 
on the wall behind us, 

It has little bits of all kinds of
fabric and even a little ballerina dancing
amongst the leaves and flowers.


And she had lots of the beautiful projects in the 
book, right there to show.

Oh, wait!

I did not tell you WHERE I met her!

Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, CA
is just the most adorable quilt shop.

I will definitely be making the drive back there for classes
and fabric purchasing. 
They hosted Bari's book signing and had her
fabrics on sale too! 


Bari autographed my book for me!!

(Sorry, grammarians, this post
really does demand all of the exclamation points!!)

And I bought some of her lovely Country Lane prints.

I wanted to buy more, but let's just say 
that I am trying to be good about
my fabric purchases this year.

At least I made it until the 22rd of
January before I bought fabric this year. 

So, I am dying to start sewing
some of the gorgeous projects
in this book.

But I have to wait until I finish my 
online traffic school course that
is due this week.

You can buy your very own book
signed by Bari 

You will be INSPIRED!!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Taking India To The Disney College Program-Part 3

Sunday night was supposed to be 
the first night for India to sleep 
in her apartment. 

I will be very honest and say that I was
dreading leaving here there.

So during the fireworks show at Disneyland,
I was thrilled when I received a text message
from her roommate.

She said that she was spending her last night
at her mom's hotel room.

I was NOT going to let India
sleep in her apartment alone! 

I mean, she is STILL my baby!

So, we took her back to Jana's to stay 
with us.

Monday, we went to Walmart
and stocked her up on healthy groceries.

You know.....carrots, apples, milk, cheese....
Mac and cheese, Cocoa Pebbles, 
Top Ramen, Chef Boyardee Ravioli, etc.

She is, after all, a college student!

We went back to her apartment
and unloaded her groceries.
I hugged her about a million times,
trying desperately not to cry. 

India needed to take a shower and get beautiful
for the Welcome Party.

Jana saw that I was having a hard time leaving.

So, she said 
"Time to rip the bandaid off, Mom!" 

It is going to hurt either way, 
so it is best to just say goodbye and go. 

So, we took a last picture, 
and India walked us out to the car. 

And we left. 

Ahnalin and I cried. 

We drove back to Jana's and
she treated us to a yummy dinner
of Mexican food.

She is experienced with having
a grown-up-on-her-own daughter,
so she helped me to calm down.

Then we went back to her house,
packed up and set alarms for our early wake-up.

We had to catch the Amtrak bus at 5:45
Tuesday morning,
so we would be able to catch the train in Bakersfield.

Ahnalin was pretty sleepy and very quiet,
for the first few hours.

Then she played Mahjong on my phone for awhile.

Then, she WOKE UP!!!

So, every time the bus or train stopped
at a new station,
I made her get out and

And RUN!

Capes are magical for running and flying!

After nearly 12 hours on buses and trains,
we arrived home in Santa Rosa.

Daddy picked us up at the station
took us out to dinner,
where Ahnalin fell asleep!

We got her home
and put her to bed
because the next morning,
she was to start her NEW SCHOOL!

I had asked her if she wanted me to make her a new dress
for her first day at her new school.

She said no.

She wanted to wear
the dress I made her for her first day of first grade.

We waited with her.

The bell rang.

And there she went!

She loves her new school.

And now,

I have to get used to a
new "normal".

Hopefully, I will get some sewing done now!

I have talked to India several times.

She is doing well and
loving the program.

She has been homesick and I have
been missing her so much.

If you have a prayer to spare,
please pray that God would
keep her healthy.

Pray that she would grow in grace
and wisdom.

Thank you so much.
Hopefully there will be sewing in my next post!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taking India To The Disney College Program-Part 2

Sunday morning dawned bright and early
with India applying her Maleficent lipstick
from Mac's "Venomous Villains" collection.


India and Ahnalin snuggled in the back seat of Jana's 
car on the way to Anaheim.

Ahnalin told me that she will miss holding hands
with her sister in the back seat,
so India held her hand the whole way.

We arrived right before 8:00 so India was one of 
the first students to check in.

Jana, Ahnalin and I walked over to Starbucks 
while the students had a brief housing meeting and 
received their apartment assignments,
got their keys, and a few forms filled out.

India called us a few minutes later and
told us what apartment to come to.

Because there was a parent orientation in a few hours,
Jana took Ahnalin over to Disneyland so that I could stay with 
India and help her move in.

The furnished apartments are REALLY NICE!!

This is her living room.

India wanted to bring her bedding from home,
so I made up her bed and got it all cozy for her.

I think the bedding is looking rather tired, so 
I still want to make her a new set.

Her roommate has not arrived yet, 
so she is alone in her bedroom.

This is the dining area in 
the living room.

The bedroom on the other side
is where her friend Tiffany and two other
soon-to-arrive girls will sleep.

This is the beautiful, brand new kitchen
in the apartment.

Do you see India's Star Wars toaster on the counter?

This is from the dining area looking into the kitchen.

India's roommate, Tiffany, was unpacking
too but I somehow forgot to take a photo
of the girls together. 
But she is really cute and nice and 
I know the girls will have so much fun together!

Tiffany brought these cool plaques and I just love them!

I took India to a local restaurant, 
so we could eat some lunch before the orientation.
She refused to stop making goofy faces so I could take a good picture!

At the orientation, we learned about
what is and is not acceptable in the DCP 
and it helped me feel comfortable,
knowing how strict they are.

After the orientation, Jana and Ahnalin
came back and picked us up and we headed back to 

This was India's last time visiting the park before 
being an actual cast member!

When we went on "It's A Small World",
we were thrilled to see that the Christmas overlay
was still up!

Yep, that would be the Goosegirl!

Ahnalin did not wear socks that day, so Jana
bought her these red and white polka dot Minnie Mouse socks.

Jana treated us to Mickey Mouse shaped beignets
in New Orleans Square.

I refuse to ride on the Mad Hatter's Teacups ride,
but Ahnalin and India rode it together.

We rode a few more attractions and 
then got settled in for the 
"Remember, Dreams Come True" fireworks show.

I always cry during this show, but
this time was even more bittersweet. 

This time, we were here because 
India's dream was actually coming true!!

After the fireworks show, we took in one more ride.

Ahnalin is finally tall enough to go on 
"Indiana Jones And The Temple Of The Forbidden Eye".
She was a little nervous but agreed to try it.
She liked it and is so proud of herself for trying it!!

Both of my girls are growing up!

"Taking India To The Disney College Program- Part 3" coming later 
today or tomorrow.

Taking India To The Disney College Program-Part 1

India is officially launched at the Disney College Program,
but I am dreadfully behind on this blog.

So, please forgive but, but I am going to back track a bit
and do a few posts on what we did the last few weeks
to get her ready to go. 

I have been missing doing any
actual sewing since we moved into our 
new house. 

But, I did manage to sneak in a few
towels to embroider for India.

And of course, they had to be "Alice Blue."

Preparing your chick to launch from the nest
involves lots of things that I did not 
think of until the last minute.

India LOVES carrots with a deep an abiding passion.
(Could it be all that time she spent with the White Rabbit
and the March Hare?)

So, I had to teach her how to make them the way I do.

They are just cooked in a bit of melted butter
and simmered in broth and 
salt and pepper. 
But they are a "home" food for India.

India's last night at home was spent
eating Chicken Green Chili Enchilada Casserole
and playing "Disney Scene It".
(I already miss seeing those green Converse high tops!)

On Friday morning, 
we got up at the crack of dawn and loaded the van.
Don drove us to the Jack London Station in Oakland 
to catch the Coast Starlight train.

We unloaded our suitcases to check in, 
only to find out that they were over weight.
So we had to lighten them and 
pack some of her things in boxes.
We were still way under the allowable limit of
3 checked items per person for the train.

Daddy took a quick picture of us
and then he had to leave for work.

Ahnalin took off running all over the train station
to "get her energies out" before
we boarded the train.

As soon as we got on the train,
I drove India crazy by asking her to check and make 
sure she had her various papers,
medical stuff, ID, etc. 
She put up with me and found it all to show me.
Yes, I am a crazy mama and she is probably
glad I am not there to ask her a million
times a day if she has her tester or if she checked her blood.

We got to have dinner in the dining car!!!!

Oh I LOVE to eat in the dining car of the train. 

And this was the first time for my girls. 

They LOVED it!

At nearly every station where the train stopped,
I made Ahnalin get out and run or climb a tree.

That girl was TIRED of being cooped up in that train!
We were on the train for 12 hours,
arriving at Los Angeles at nearly midnight.

My cousin Jana picked us up and drove us to
her house, 
and hosted us all weekend. 

Thank you Jana!!

On Saturday, we ran around and got 
some more things India needed for her

And then Saturday evening,
my cousins Tara and Marlyn, 
as well as Jana's kids Ryan and RJ,
came over and we had dinner together. 

Ahnalin pretended to be a puppy the whole evening,
along with Jana's puppy Eli and Tara's puppy Mischka.

Ryan is EVERY BIT as "epic" as India is!

After everyone left,
we got ready for bed,
checked addresses and maps,
and set alarms so we would be on time
to check India in to the program!

"Taking India To The Disney College Program- Part 2" coming up later today!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Silly Pictures And A Recipe For Hummus

Really, I will get back to sewing. 

I promise!

But first, some silly pictures!

India had her heart set on a special toaster 
that is shaped like a Darth Vader helmet
and burns an image of old Vader himself. 

Stupid, eh? 

But she loves it and it will be going to her apartment
at Disneyland with her.

Ahnalin received a new Razor Scooter from my 
parents for Christmas. 
She wants to be on it every minute of the day.

And yes, I do believe that twirly skirts and pink
cowgirl boots are the perfect compliment to a
Hello Kitty bike helmet!

Our new neighborhood has flat streets! 
No hills!

I am pretty thrilled because I have found a
working combination of camera and computer,
for now.

My Mac is still broken and I am on Don's laptop
and using Ahnalin's camera. 

So, I had to grab a shot of my girls
snuggled together on the sofa watching tv.

Ahnalin had found the Pirate costume set she had
purchased for Daddy at the dollar store.

She had meant to give it to him for Christmas but 
somehow it got packed in a box and lost
before Christmas!

I have found my sewing machine and some thread!

Believe it or not, 
this will be my sewing area. 

It actually already looks better
but I haven't taken a new picture yet.

Suffice it to say that Ahnalin's 
dollhouse is more organized than our house is at this point!

My friend Tika gave Ahnalin her old
dollhouse before we moved.

Thankfully, my old dollhouse furniture fit it perfectly!
And Ahnalin picked out a little dolly family
to live in it!

The mama has long red hair and lime green shoes!

The baby had no hair so Ahnalin colored it black with a sharpie!

Ahnalin loves having her own room.

So far, we just have a combination of 
mismatched bedding on her bed.

But I am starting on curtains for her
and will be putting up some vintage
Laura Ashley wallpaper border
to make this a really special room for her.

India is thrilled to have Yaya's bedroom set
in her room now. 

She has definite ideas how she plans to decorate
her room, but since she is leaving in 11 days 
for Disney, it will have to wait.

And the master bedroom.......

We have to put up the wall-mounted
reading lamps, and our silhouettes, 
and it will look more inviting.

I made this bedding 9 years ago
and I am SO READY for a change. 

But it will have to wait a bit.

Ahnalin's room will be first
and then new slipcovers
for the living room furniture!

So, since you slogged through a bunch 
of messy, just moved in, pictures,
I am going to show you what I made for lunch.

I KNOW it looks like wallpaper paste!

But, I have a deep and abiding passion for hummus.

And I was hungry.

So I grabbed all the ingredients from my cupboard
and made up a yummy batch.

Now, I rarely measure anything, 
so these measurements are very loose.

But it is yummy and I think you will like it!

Sivje's Kalamata Olive Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans
1 (or 2, or more!!) garlic clove, diced
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
2 T Sesame Tahini
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
 about 10 (or more!) pitted Kalamata olives

Drain the garbanzo beans, reserving a few
teaspoons of the liquid, and dump into 
a blender or food processor.
Dump in the diced garlic and "buzz" these together.
Pour in the lemon juice and the Tahini 
and blend them.

If you want a thinner hummus, pour in 
some of the reserved liquid from the canned beans.

Now, with the blender or food processor turned on,
add a little bit of olive oil, to taste.

Now, throw the olives into your blender and buzz it!
Now taste it. 
Salt and pepper the hummus to your taste and 
buzz one more time.

I use the same basic process for hummus everytime,
but I vary the additions.

Sometimes, I use sundried tomatoes, 
or roasted red peppers,
or feta cheese,
or fresh basil or spinach,
or just a LOT MORE GARLIC !
If you have good manners, and people are
watching you, pour the hummus 
into a bowl and serve it with carrots
or pita slices.

If you are alone in your kitchen..........
go ahead and eat it right out of the blender!!!
It is that good!!

But...........for your own safety....

turn off the blender 
before you stick your finger into the hummus!

I hope to actually sew today, 
so hopefully I will have something to show off soon!

Love to you all!

Here is to a NEW YEAR and a 

I pray a lovely and exciting year for you!