Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday!

And I wish I had this cake!
The details are amazing!

I snagged the photo from 

I am still finishing Ahnalin's 
concert dress
but I will tell you that it is 
turning out sooooooooooo

So for my birthday today,
I am announcing the winner
of "Twenty Eight And A Half Wishes"

And the winner is............

"Buckster" aka Cheryl Heward!

Cheryl, I am sending an email your way!
Congratulations and enjoy!

Happy Sewing!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ladybugs for Abigail

Ladybug ladybug, 
Fly away home!

And this little ladybug dress
will be flying off
to a little girl named Abigail tomorrow.

Aren't these buttons darling?

You see, ladybugs
are a very special thing to many 
little girls and their families.

When we were waiting
for our Ahnalin,
we learned that ladybugs
were a symbol of hope for 
families adopting from China.

like our Ahnalin,
is a precious girl from China.

And I bet she loves to collect 
treasures in her pockets,
just like Ahnalin!

Don't these pockets look like
they will hold many precious goodies?

Abigail's mama ordered this 
dress to be custom made 
especially for her little ladybug.

I am busy sewing pretty dresses right now,
and I still have a few custom spots available!

You can see lots of ideas
and if you would like to order 
a dress that is one-of-a-kind,
custom made by me,
you can email me at
sivjegoose  @

Happy Sewing!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Ahnalin Sewed Her Own Shorts!

Ahnalin made these shorts!

Start to finish!!

This child, who still has not lost a tooth,
sewed wearable shorts!!

Are you impressed?

I am!!!

And lest you think she is some kind of
wonder child,
the reason she made them start to finish today
was that she is grounded
from the TV and playing with friends.

We have had some real challenges
with her attitude and behavior lately.

And when that happens,
we make her world very small again.

And intense Mommy and Ahnalin time,
especially when she can
learn a new skill successfully,
is just the ticket!

She wanted to learn to use a 
real pattern.

She wanted to learn to use the iron.

She wanted to make pockets 
out of a contrasting fabric.

She learned how to measure,
mark, and top stitch them in place.

I think she felt she needed to pin about
every inch to keep it straight.

Yes, she IS that precise.

I wanted her to put a clip in her hair
so she could see through her bangs!

But I had to pick my battles, 
and that one was not worth it. 

She struggled with feeding the elastic
through the casing. 

She is such a perfectionist, 
that I had to stop her and calm her
down when it wasn't going through
as easily as for her as it does for me. 

She had to rethread her machine,
several times.

But she did it,
every time.

This was the little joke she got past me!

She thought it was hilarious!!!

We cut a size 6,
but she is turning 7 in 2 weeks.

So..........she sewed in a size 7 tag!

Ahnalin chose this pattern,
Simplicity 3743.

We cut a straight size 6,
which is rather unusual. 

She is so thin and tall that I usually
cut a size 4 and add length.

But she wanted to cut the 6.

And it fit perfectly!

I think she did a marvelous job!

(Yes, this is my ancient cutting board.)

She is SO PROUD of these pockets!!!

Sorry this is fuzzy, 
but she insisted on her 
"Classic Ahnalin" pose.

I am so proud of my girl. 

She did everything herself,
yet she willingly took direction.

The second part is the bigger miracle,
as she is not always teachable. 

I am SO PROUD of her!

She has 4 more days of 
symphony camp and then Saturday
is her performance.
I am finishing her concert dress this week.
And she wants to do 

I have a custom sundress going out the door
so I will post pics of that in the morning.

Several people have requested information
about Ahnalin's sewing machine. 

It is the Janome Hello Kitty 3/4 size machine.
We purchased it from Target for $119.00
but I saw it just now at 
for $99.99!

This is NOT a toy machine.
It is a real sewing machine that is sized
for smaller people.
It even has a 4-step buttonhole!
She adores her sewing machine!

I highly recommend this machine for
a young sewista who really 
wants to own her new skill.

Happy Sewing!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Simple Blessings

I am so blessed!

And as I have been trying to save
money for our trip to Anaheim,
I have not been spending any money
that did not need to be spent.

And God is constantly reminding me 
that HE loves me!

I LOVE fresh flowers.
And sometimes, I like to buy a few.

No fresh flowers have been purchased lately,
and yet my new neighbor surprised me with 
these gorgeous Hydrangeas from her garden!

They smell beautiful and are so gorgeous !

I have been working hard to sew
out of totally enormous and 
totally embarrassing fabric stash.

I have only been purchasing things when I have 
nothing that can even remotely be substituted.

But today, in the mail,
I received a package from a sewing friend
and inside was this GORGEOUS fabric! 

I have never seen such a beautiful print!

Thank you so much Hettie Lynn!
You blessed me so much today!

I am doing my dead-level-best to stay 
away from Starbucks.
That place can eat up the bucks and add
calories with terrifying ease.
And I prefer Peet's Coffee anyway!

So, I have been making my own iced coffee!


You know I love Mary Engelbreit, right?

Well, when I was working 
at the furniture store,
while waiting for Ahnalin,
I ordered these cannisters.

This was at least 6 years ago!

I was saving them for when we were 
finally in our own house.

I had forgotten about them!
But I found them when we were
going through some boxes in our garage!!!!!

Aren't they wonderful? 
I am CRAZY IN LOVE with them!!

I also found this.

I had hooked this rug while waiting
for Ahnalin too.

I never bound the edges,
but other than that, 
it was finished. 

So, I finished the binding 
and now Ahnalin has a new rug to match her room!

And look what bloomed 
in my teeny tiny garden spot this morning.

So bright and happy!

Every good perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
 who does not change like shifting shadows. 

James 1:17


And don't forget to enter

the giveaway for the book here.

So, how have you been blessed this week?

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Twenty-Eight And A Half Wishes! -and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Oh! Lucky Lucky me!!

I just finished a really fun
new book!

And by "really fun", 
I mean
kind of fun!

an amazing woman whom I came to 
know through her blog,
is the author who penned this 
wonderful book!

Like me, Denise is a mom of children
of both the homegrown, 
and the international variety!

I had the opportunity to
interview Denise about her new book.
I fell in love with the main character,
Rose Gardner.
And I wanted to find out a bit more about her.

Denise let me in on a little secret.
You see.....well.....
just watch this and you will see.

So, grab a cup of coffee,
or a glass of sweet tea,
and get to know Denise and Rose a little bit.

Goosegirl: So, how did you "meet" Rose and where did her story come from?

Denise: The story idea came to me first. My son had bought his first car and I went with him to the DMV to get license plates. It was a hot and humid summer day and the room was stuffy and crowded, thus lots of cranky customers. As any writer knows, a good story needs conflict so I told my son that having a character who worked at the DMV would be awesome. My son thought I was nuts, but the idea stuck with me.

I’d just written a heavy, dark urban fantasy/paranormal thriller (Chosen which will be released in September) and I needed to write something lighter and more fun. Chosen had a little boy who saw visions of the future so I thought “What if I take that same idea but make it lighter?” So Rose’s crazy, mundane visions were born.  But Rose herself still didn’t exist. At that point, she was a nebulous woman who worked in a DMV and had visions.

It was when I decided her mother would be overbearing and abusive that Rose came to me.  Once that piece fell into place (and this all occurred in one afternoon. It rarely works this way but Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes was like a lightning strike all the way around) I sat down to write. Twenty-Eight is first person so Rose stuck herself in my head and told her story. She just poured out.

If I could be friends with any of the characters I’ve created, Rose is the one I’d want to live next door to. She’s sweet and funny and has the most fantastic outlook on life. I LOVE that she’s been repressed all those years, but ultimately takes responsibility of her own behavior. I love that she could have easily fallen into a victim mentality but chose to pick herself up and change her own future.

I know what you’re thinking. “Uh, didn’t you create this character?” And while I did, the characters all become very real to me and tell me how they react to situations. I think that’s why readers tell me that my characters seem so real. It’s because they are. In my head.

Did you ever have a time where you came up with a list of "wishes" like Rose?

Denise: Yes, although I never wrote them down. After my husband died five years ago, I realized that life is short and there may not be a tomorrow. If I wanted to do these things, I needed to do them NOW.  The biggest one on my list was to complete a novel. I did that in December 2009 when I participated in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  But I will say, my own personal realization spurred Rose’s in the story. And when she’s walking in the park and faces “the undeniable proof of my mortality” I’d had the same experience a few years earlier.

Goosegirl: I was sad to leave Rose when the book ended. I felt like I was just getting to know someone who I thought would be a fun friend. Will Rose be back?

 Denise: Rose will definitely be back. I love her too much to not experience her life more. I have three more books plotted. I started on the second Rose book but put it on hold to edit the second book of the Chosen trilogy, Hunted, which I plan to release in November. I hope to have the second Rose Gardner Mystery, tentatively titled Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons, published by next summer.  Rose will struggle with her long distance relationship with Joe while her sister Violet encourages her to not limit herself to her first relationship. I may switch the plot around a bit with the mystery, so I hate to say too much about it but will say that Mildred, the president of the Busybody Club, will be a more prominent character.

Goosegirl: Do you see yourself in Rose, or is she modeled after someone you know?

 Denise:  I think Rose is more like me than any of my other characters; however, I think she’s sweeter than I am. I have a bit more snark. ;)  She’s also not modeled after anyone. I know some authors do that, but I’d be worried I’d offend someone if they found out. Plus, like I mentioned above, each character I write is real to me. They live in my head so I think I’d find it limiting to base them on someone.

Goosegirl: Is 28 1/2 wishes your first book or do you have others?

Denise: Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is my fifth completed book. It was the third book I wrote. I wrote it last July and finished the first draft in 30 days. It was an incredible rush. Rose took control and told me her story. I heard her voice in my head and even started talking in a southern accent, because that’s how I heard her. I drove my kids nuts.

I have two more books coming out in the fall, Chosen and Hunted, and a completed young adult novel about an alternate universe that is still making the agent querying rounds. The first book, that NaNoWriMo book will never see the light of day. I’ve promised to haunt my children if they ever release it after I die.

Goosegirl: So Denise, Rose's neighbor Joe is quite the conundrum! Do you have a "Joe" in your life?

Denise: Ha! No, no Joe. I wish. ;) But I wouldn’t mind have a Joe living next door. In fact, out of all the male characters I’ve created, Joe would be the guy I picked out for me. 

Goosegirl:  Denise, thank you so much for chatting with me! And thank you for letting me read your book. I know I have told you this several times, but I loved it!
I can't wait for the next Rose Gardner book to come out!

You are going to want to read this book!
And Denise has graciously offered
a book to one of my followers!!!

She is offering the winner
their choice of a signed paper book
or an Ebook! 

If the winner chooses the paper
book, she will sign it and send it directly to you!

So, to enter, please leave a comment
and make sure you leave an email address so 
I can contact the winner.
The winner will be randomly chosen
and anounced Thursday, July 28th!
And if you don't want to wait to win
you can get your copy at these places.

Amazon: Kindle ebook
Barnes and Noble: Nook ebook  

Smashwords: ebook

Amazon:  print

Barnes and Noble: print
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Denise as much as I did.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Custom Spots Available!

Do you remember this dress?

Or these dresses?

Do you remember this outfit?

Does your little girl need some Bloomer Skirts?

Are you craving a Yaya's Apron for yourself
or someone special?

And I know you remember this one!

I am opening up some custom spots
this week and want to work with you
to make exactly what you want!

I may not have the exact fabrics
as you see in these photos
in all cases.

But, together, we 
can choose something wonderful
for your special request!

Please email me at
Sivjegoose  @  sbcglobal  .  net 
and we can work together to make 
something special.
Thank you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Bedtime" Smocked PJs for Ahnalin

Ahnalin fell in love with the 
baby doll pajamas designed
by Cathy Gunn

I am doing my best to not
purchase any extra fabric.
So I told Ahnalin she could go shopping
in my still-much-too-big-and-completely-embarrassing

She adores anything red.

And this cotton gingham, 
which I purchased years ago 
for $1.00 a yard,
is very light, with just a touch of polyester.

Ahnalin wanted a different smocking design.
So we just played around and this
is what we came up with.

She thought it was hilarious 
that I asked her to stand up

The pattern is designed for 
sizes 3,4 and 5.

I cut the 5.

But I had to sew the neck opening
with a 5/8" seam because
the standard 3/8" made the neck hole too tight.

The size 5 is VERY loose and roomy
other than the small neck opening.

And my girl loves her new jammies!

Sweet Dreams My Angel!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

India Doing Her Thing

One of India's friends from back home,
John Stevens II,
shot this video the other day
while on India's boat at the 
Storybook Land Canal Boats.

India will be finished with her 
Disney College Program 
next month and will be
back at college this school year.

She LOVES her job
at Disneyland and can hardly 
wait to go back next year!

Thanks for filming this John!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mariposa Dresses

Tomorrow, my church is sending
out a mission group who will
be going to do some work in a village in Mexico.

A friend of mine posted a request for
some clothing donations for 
the children in this village.
One family has 3 little girls!

I remembered that I had some
"Dora The Explorer" fabric in my stash
and decided to make a dress for the youngest sister.

Then Ahnalin saw this Tina Givens "Butterfly"
fabric in my stash and asked if
I would make a dress for one of the sisters with it.

Hm.....are you sensing a theme here?

You see, the Dora fabric also had
little yellow butterflies in the print!

Well, you can't have two sisters with
butterfly dresses and not make one
for the third sister!

And this is the big sister dress.

As I was cutting out, er actually tearing
the skirt pieces for the big sister dress,
I caught an edge somehow. 
And the fabric just ripped in the wrong direction!
I barely had enough of this gorgeous fabric 
left in my stash for this dress, as it was,
But after the skirt tore the wrong way,
I had to improvise.

Instead of freaking out over my mistake
(well, I did that a bit anyway!!),
I chose to look at this as a 
"Creative Design Opportunity".
We found this beautiful plaid in 
my stash and VOILA!

I asked Ahnalin to model the middle sister dress,
as I don't have 3 mannequins. 

She asked me what "Butterfly" meant 
in Spanish,
so we looked it up.

The word is "Mariposa".

She said the word made her want to TWIRL!

So twirl she did!

We are praying that the little girls
who receive these "Mariposa Dresses"
twirl with joy while wearing them!

We pray that they sense the love that was
poured into them during sewing.

We pray that, like the butterfly,
they will experience new life!

Happy Sewing!