Friday, December 14, 2012

Hello & New Blogger

First, my sincere condolense to the parents who lost their precious children earlir today in Connecticut.

May I introduce you to a new blogger  who loves to make jewerly and is selling her creations on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Decorating, and New Blogger

I hope everyone is preparing for the holidays. 20-more days to go for the big day. I wanted to tell you guys about a new blogger. I found her videos on YouTube and I really enjoyed them. If you love home decorating like I do then you will enjoy Nikki's blog

Here are pics of my table setting in the dinning room. I bought the placemat from KOHL's ( 50% off), the green charges I bought at Michaels (1.00/charger). The plate with the green border is my wedding china, I have a enough pieces to serve 24. The green charges add a touch of elegance to my table.

This is the center piece, the two crystal xmas tress I bought from Macy's couple years ago. The are battery operated and when you turn the light on the color changes from red, green blue, yellow. So pretty.

The xmas trees on the buffet were made out of magazine. I saw it last year on HGTV white house xmas special, and I have been working on them all year. I,ve made a total of seven, I might make 3-4 more.  See the pic below

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Decor, DIY and Light Fixture vs Lemonade

Happy Sunday Everyone

I am getting my home ready for the holidays. This year's theme is "Nice, Quiet & Easy". I am taking a breakmy yearly holiday madnesssss. That means that I will only decorate one Xmas instead of 10 xmas tress.
 DIY project  red flowers centerpieces
 1. Five clear vases ( I bought the vases at AC-Moore two years ago using a 50% off coupon on each vase for a total of $7.50 per vase
 2. Flowers from the dollar store: Blood red, 2- Orange red, 2-Red, forr a total of $5.00
 3. Epsom salt- I had on hand
 4. Glitter crystals three bags (AC Moore) $10 per bag - 50% coupon off each bag for a total of $15.00
5. One large bag of cat litter.
Mix the glitter crystal with epsom salts- this gives you the best bang for your money.
Take the empty epsom salt boxes and cut  the top off- making sure it lines up with the rim of the vase
You can also use a 16oz yogurt container. Fill the container with cat litter and inster the flowers into the box of cat litter, arrange the flowers in a pleasing manner.Take the container of flowers and place it into the clear vase, add the crystal glitter epsom salt mix. And here is the final product

The last project I am going to share is my chandelier re-do. I sprayed the chandelier silver in 2007 and it was time for a make-over. I sprayed it cooper, once sprayed I did not like it so much so I use glitter blast ( its a spray) to give it some bling. Glitter blast is a bit expensive and I was not too happy with the results. Idecided to add wanted lamp shades,and after going to several stores I found shades prices from  $10.00- $50.00,  I need 10 lampshades. What is a decorator on a budget do? Well I had lampshades that I bought for $0.99 cents about fifteen years ago from the Rag Shop ( closed). After surfing Pininterest I found a great idea. Using scrapbooking paper to cover a small lamp shades and the rest is history. Here it is Lemonade and I love it!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Window Treatments vs Lemonade

Sewing new curtains (with lining) for my living room was on my to sew list for the holidays. I choose a sage green fabric embroiderer with pale blue flower and scrolls. I bought the fabric at the fabric warehouse in September during their 50% off everything sale. Total cost of the fabric plus thread was around $30.00. The lining fabric was in my stash.  My ultimate goal is to have a total of 16 panels with four different colors that work well together. Unfortunately the old saying measure twice cut once did not play a part in the first panel that I cut.
As you can in the photo above the panel on the far right has a line that is clearly visible. This is where I accidentally cut the panel in half. I decided to sew it together and kept it moving, unfortunately it is not going to work because the green fabric blends into the wall and it looks blahhhhhhhh. So when you get lemons, you make lemonade. See the pic below.
So there you have it lemonade, and I am loving it. I am going to go back to the fabric warehouse and see if I can more of the green fabric.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sewing With A PLan (SWAP)

Swap is a concept that has been around for a couple of years. I read about swap was from Julie Culshaw's website sometime in 2006 or 2007. After reading Julie's article I started buying stitchers magazine on E-bay; and I was able to read and see more of how the swap concepts work. I have been planning to swap from 2006-2010 without success; I made a plan, choose patterns, fabrics, and created a design board. After all that planning, I felt overwhelm, anxious and abandon the whole idea. Every fall I went through this exercise and finally last fall I decided that SWAP was no longer important and that I was going to sew whatever I wanted, no rules. The fabulous Sheila-CTK who has a relaxed, matter of fact attitude has encouraged me and shared her knowledge and experience. This has helped me to refocus and re-organize how I sew and what I sew. The results were evident in the last three post (carnival of skirts and simplicity 1873- Cynthia Rawley). Finally, I realize that the reason why my attempts of SWAP was not succesful in the past was because I only had one TNT (skirt) pattern, all the other patterns I choose required too many alterations and this took so much of my time. Also, I did not have all required notions for the fabrics I choose etc. I now have several TNTs (skirt, dress, jacket). This brings me to my last point, there is a SWAP over at Sticher's Guild that starts December 26,2012 and ends April 30, 2013. There are three options for a total of  9 to 11 garments including tops, bottoms, dressess etc. This equals 2 garments a month. If you are interested head over to Stitcher's Guild.
I will not be joining SWAP swe along, instead I will be using the concept to add needed pieces to my wardrobe.

Friday, November 2, 2012

From My Home To Yours

This is another non-sewing post that I am sharing with anyone who reads or visit my blog. The recipes below was posted on Pinterest.  I've tried the recipes below and the result was great.

Recipe to Clean Floor
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 baking soda
1-Tbs liquid soap ( do not use dishwashing liquid)
2- gallons of very warm tap water

Mix all ingredients together in a bucket. I pour half into an empty gallon bottle and use the next half.
Mop the floor. This solution removes dirt and grime from your floor without scrubbing. If the floor is really dirty, let the solution sit on the floor for 10-15 minutes and mop the excess up.
Tip: I put a gallon to heat up on the stove, and when the solution is very warm to hot it takes less time to remove the dirt from the floor.

Oven Cleaner
Spread baking soda over the bottom of your oven and on the door (leave the oven door open. Put vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz vinegar over the baking soda until saturated and it becomes moist. Let it sit in the oven for 30-40 minutes and take a plastic bristlte brush and scrub the oven and the door. Move the paste around and spray and let it sit for 20 minutes and scrub. You will continue to move the paste around the inside of your oven and spray with vinegar until the oven is clean. Remove the paste and wipe with clear water.
I've tried it and it works, my oven..... and when I was done the oven looked brand new.
This is the type of cleaning that takes time, so you can do a little sewing while you give the oven cleaner time to work. This is enviromentally safe.

Vinegar instead of Commercial Fabric Softener
Add 1/4 cup of vinegar (front loading washing machine) or 1/2 cup of vinegar (regular wahsing machine) to the rinse cycle when doing your laundry.
My son developed eczema when he was 3-months old, his pediatrician recommended that I wash his clothes with harm and hammer detergent and rinse his clothes twice with a vinegar rinse.
I have been using vinegar as fabric softener for 18-years with great results. I no longer use harm and hammer detergent, instead in my home hair we use shampoo to wash our clothes, and detergent ( no perfumes) to wash sheets and towels only.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Simplicity 1873 - Cnythia Roeley

I am so please with this pattern. I lowered the waist 2" below my natural waistline. I made a muslin and I felt that the waist was too low so I shortened the waist by 1". I did not make another muslin I just cut into the fabric and as you can see the front waist was too short in the front. I am happy with overall fit of the bodice. I adjusted the front pattern, so on the next one it should improve.  I am not crazy about the flower near my bust, oh well....

The wrinkles in the back was caused by the lining, the lining was sewn to the fabric at the neck and I used bias binding to finish the armhole. I did not like the pattern instructions for the lining. The lining fabric was in my stash, I don't think It was a good choice, but oh it feels so great against my skin
This pattern is definetly my TNT and with each version it will get better.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Simplicity 1873 by Cynthia Rowley

I bought this pattern because the bodice had bust darts and darts that radiated from the waist to the bust. I have lots of problems getting the back bodice to fit due to a swayback combine with a short  upper back and narrow back. I tried several patterns and I always get frustated and walk away. I am here to tell you I have a new attitude, thanks to Sheila.
I made a muslin and the center front and center back lenght was too long. I decreased the lenght and its ok; I will continue to work with this pattern until I get it right.
I did not use the skirt that came with the pattern instead I use M5390 my TNT skirt pattern with a few pleats. S1873 skirt require a bit of pleating and it was too much fabric and pleats for my wide hips
Fabric: a medium weight linen. This fabric has been in my collection for a couple of years. I don't lke the flower near my bust.. oh well moving alongggggg.
the pattern instructs you to line the bodice; I underlined and lined the bodice. The instructions providing on the pattern guidesheets were a bit confusing, in the end I made it work. Once the lining was attached I was not happy with all the hand stiching required to hem the lining to the waist of the dress and I decide to take to remove lining. I tried the dress on  before removing the lining and the bodice with the lining  feels great  next to my skin. I will not remove the lining.
Please forgive the wrinkles,  believe me I press the fabric before cutting the dress out and during the construction of the dress. Once the dress is completed I will post  better photos.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hello and Updates

My son moved into his college dorm on September 1, 2012. It was a happy and sad Labor Day weekend. I did not go with him, my DD and DH went and they came back home, I saw the sadness in their faces. My DH, DD and I spent the rest of the day feeling sad and really missing him.

My birthday was during the Labor Day Weekend. I sewed a sexy bold and pretty dress for my special day in anticipation of going on a boat ride to party hardy. Nope did not happen was not in the mood.

Went to dinner with DH on Sunday and I wore a dress that sat in my closet for the last two years because I needed to loose some weight. I did (10 pounds).

My plan is to loose another 10 pounds by September 2013 and start an exercise routine that will work for me.

The Christmas Quilt

August 19, 2012 September 16, 2012

Back In The Sewing Game

I bought the fabric last weekend. I bought five yards and used all of it, I was able to get three panels. One panel was cut in two and piece to the other two panels in order to create a wider piece of fabric. You can imagine that I had to cut and piece following the repeat of the fabric design. that took a bit more time to do and then the curtains are fully lined. I started sewing last night and the project was completed two hours ago. I pressed and hung the curtains up two hours ago. I love ittttttttt. As I said I am in the sewing game.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Christmas Quilt - Update

Work in progress- After working on the quilt last week I realized that I needed to use plain green cotton fabric because the design began to bend into each other. See the pic below.

In the photo below you can see that I added the plain green fabric and it does make a difference.

First Post
When I started this process I was a bit careless about how I cut the hexagons out. As I worked with the hexagons putting them together I realize that it was important to ensure that the hexagons were cut as accurately as possible. The mistake I made was using a white paper hexagon template on top of four layers of white paper, I was unable to see that I was not cutting accurately. I have cut templates out of manila folders, I checked that each hexagon template was the same size. Now it is going together like a puzzle and I can work on individual section and it will all work out.
Lesson Learned- If you can afford to buy laser cut hexagons- buy it!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Quilting Front- The Christmas Quilt and A Scrap Quilt

December 2008 I saw a quilting video by Jackie Wills on You Tube. The video was about a hexagon Christmas quilt. Two months later I bought Using Hexagon in Patchwork by Jackie Wills. This book was self published by the author. I read the book and forgot about it.
Fast forward three years later, a friend gave me a bolt of green fabric with small Christmas designs on it. I decided that I will use the fabric as muslin to test the fit of a TNT blouse/top pattern, and suddenly the more I looked at the fabric the more I started thinking about the holidays. I found the book and as I looked at the black and white diagram for the Christmas quilt, I realise that the diagram of the was not clear and that it would have been very difficult to follow. I went to the author's website and sent her an e-mail inquiring if she had a diagram of the quilt that was easier to follow. She responded quickly and sent me a revised version via pdf file. The revised version was in color- awesome. instructions for this quilt. You follow her tutorial on you tube and follow the diagram.
I want modern holiday colors not the traditional red and green. I choose the pretty green fabric that was given to me, a orange red and I cut out dark red poinsettias from a two Christmas tablecloths I bought 10-years ago for $2.00 eac). The author of the book sent a sample of different size hexagons; I choose a small hexagon because this is a large quilt. I cut out the hexagons out of scrap paper and 2-inch squares of fabrics in each color.
Jackie Wills wrote a second book, taking advantage of computer technology and photos in the book are vibrant and so pretty.

I also bought this book. You can also find her on facebook.

In other quilting news the quilt below I completed the top 4 years ago and last weekend I found 5 yds of corduroy fabric. I washed it and used it as the backing for this scrap quilt. Scraps quilts tell a story, every bit of fabric in that quilt reminds me of a particular time in my life or my children’s’ life. This is not a award winning quilt, it just a scrap quilt to keep your warm on cold fall/winter days.

I hope that when I am no longer on this earth every time my kids see one of these quilts it will remind them of their mom

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Random Post & Updates

Where do I start?
I am getting my son ready for college; he will be leaving home next month.
My sewing laboratory looks like it was hit by a tornado; I am doing a bit of cleaning up.
I sewed a white cropped jacket, more about that later.
I have been working on muslin for the past few months, I am a slowwwww sewer and after speaking to Sheila I am not going to make any other muslin. I will tweak the fit as needed.
I started working on a quilt; more about that later.
Home dec projects, more about that later.
Holiday projects; more later

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back Home- After A Great Vacation

This was the front of the resort. Beautifullll!
Here I am. It was a beautiful day with no humidity.
Me, Mom and my sister. I made the maxi dress using mimi's tutorial.

My cousin and I. Another view of my maxi's dress. My cousin and I are
color coordinated, this was a coincidence.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Maxi Dress , Vacation & More

I bought this fabric in Manhattan when I met the sewing divas Rachelle, Sheila , and Rosie.
I knew i wanted to make a maxi dress for my daughter using mimi's maxi dress tutorial; it was super easy. I hope to make two more before leaving to go on vacation with my family next week.
Update- my son graduated from high school last Thursday and it has been non-stop with celebrations.
Going on vacay next week to meet up with family and more celebrations to follow.
Once I am back from vacay- then college preparation for my baby- he will staying on campus. I just don't know where the time went.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prom 2012

Tonight is my son's prom. I cannot believe my baby is graduating from high school in 21days. Where did the time go? Below are photos we took before going to the show off (red carpet event) that is the best part of the prom. It was awesome. It started at 5pm. My son and his friend rode in a beautiful brand new white Mercedes Benz to the red carpet event. His friend dad was the driver, and once they did the red carpet a limousine was waiting to take them to a beautiful country club in NJ. I saw 65 cars from Rolls Royce,Lamborghini's, porche, corvette, and more. I left at 7pm and there was at lease 25 to 30 more cars to go. Anyway I am going to take a nap for 2-3 hours and get up. I want to be awake when my baby comes home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Fabulous Weekend (Lunch, Fabric Shopping, and Sewing)

Last weekend I had a wonderful time. On Saturday I met Sheila, Rosie and the fabulous diva Rachelle in Manhattan, NY. We had lunch and proceeded to visit a few fabrics stores. See the pic below

On Sunday, Andrea joined us and Sheila took us to fabric stores off the beaten path and we had a great time. In the pic below Rosie is checking out the great fabric selection.

Here is Rachelle and I with the store owner. She was a lot of fun.

Here I am wearing a maxi skirt I made the previous weekend

The weekend was a lot a fun. I got home around 6:30pm on Saturday and at 8pm my DD decided that she wanted to sew a maxi skirt. This was her first sewing project. As a good mom I taught her how to cut and sew a simple maxi skirt, two hours later the skirt was done. I was exhausted, however I got up Sunday morning renewed and ready to go. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

If you love quilts and history, then you will enjoy Jennifer Chiaverini's books. This is second book I listened to (books on CD) by this author. The story revolves the Abolition movement to end slavery and the importance of quilt during this time. Quilts were used to mark safe houses for slaves who was escaping to freedom. So many of the blocks had messages and road maps to help the slaves escape. Only the folks involve in the Abolition movement and the slaves understood the quilts. And sprinkle into the story was a bit of love and romance. Just great reading.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Ms Faye presented me with the LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD. Thank you Faye.

The reason for the award is to recognize and promote other blogs. I enjoy reading sewing blogs so it will be very easy for me to nominate other blogs for the awesome award.

CENNETTA- I have a followed this beautiful lady blog for probably five years. Her sewing skills gets better with every garment that she makes. The inside of her finished garment are absolutely beautiful. I also enjoy the recipes and craft project that she post on her blog.

TOY- I enjoy Toy's video post regarding pattern collection; she compares the pattern from the big 4, and at times shows how the pattern companies tweak the pattern and presented as though is was a new design. She used beautiful print fabrics to create awesome dresses.

MIMI- All I can say is to check her blog out. She is stylish, down to earth and kind. She shares sewing knowledge by posting great tutorials and most important she encourages beginner sewers to jump right into the sewing game by posting easy peasy tutorials.

ADRIENNE- I enjoy Adrienne's blog. My favorite post are the ones that includes recipes and sewing projects.

SHEILA - This one another one of my favorite blogs. Sheila sews timeless garments. Her style is classic, timeless with a twist of modern; one of my favorite garment that Sheila made was the matrix leather dress. In addition to sewing she makes pretty crochet sweaters, cards and other craft items.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Movie, Maxi Skirt and Updates

Maxi Skirt- I was inspired by Erica and Mimi. If you have been following this blog you know that I love skirts. I did not follow Mimi's tutorial; however I do recommend it for beginners. I plan to follow her tutorial for the maxi dress. More skirts on the way.

This is my version of the maxi skirt. It only took about 1-hour to sew maybe a little more. I bought the fabric at Jo-Anns two weeks ago. The fabric is cotton with maybe rayon. It feels like silk, its soft and has a nice drape.

I love the color blocking trend, although I seemed to be gravitating to softer colors.

Movie- Think Like A Man Act Like A Woman. This was a fun movie, In my opinion young single women should go see this movie. Here I am leaving the theater.

1. Migraines- I am feeling much better, no migraines. I cannot believe that it took 3-weeks to get a relief.

2. Bulging disc in my neck- I am doing much better, I have two more weeks of physical therapy and hopefully that will be the end of that.

3. Black jacket for the Donna Karan skirt- work in progress.