Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Bucket, hardware store clearance $4
Plaster of Paris, on hand
poured into yogurt container, recycled
Branches, backyard
White paint, on hand
Green card stock, on hand
glue & glitter, on hand

We had fun making these together.

Interestingly, several days after we made this tree the branches bloomed!  Of course, the blooms only lasted about 3 or 4 days, but it was pretty while it lasted.  (Sorry, no picture)

This will also serve as our Easter Tree.  Stay tuned...

Spring Sewing

Tired of trying to fit my pear-shaped body into off-the-rack clothing, I have taken up garment sewing again. 

A work in progress...I spent most of the afternoon raising the height of that neck line!

Next on the sewing rack...a retro wrap dress for my dear daughter.  She chose this very springy linen.

I snagged this purple seersucker at a thrift store for about $5!  I'm making the middle view with the short jacket (no fabric for that yet...waiting for the perfect match to go on sale).

This will be the cute wrap number, lower left. 

These wild print panels are actually curtains I picked up at the above mentioned thrift shop for $4.  I will make the dress out of the print and the long coat out of the brown linen-look.  The shiny stuff is for the coat and dress bodice lining.

There!  I blogged it.....now I HAVE to get them done!!!!

Will keep you posted on progress.

What Kind of Environment are You?

Some favorite quotes from Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
"It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for our appreciation. 
"In the power of the Holy Spirit we can be an environment that is really an art form God can be using directly to affect and involve other people.

"So God is specific about the environment of heaven; no spot, no dirt, no sin is to enter in to spoil it.  That environment is protected.  We will not be involved in sin or temptation there...However, here in this life, a Christian should be an environment which is helpful to the people with whom he lives.  This is not just a matter of dress and tidiness but also of character and spiritual life. 

"It is worth considering what sort of an 'art form' we are.  What sort of an environment do we drag in with us?  How do we affect other people in their attitudes toward that which we are supposed to represent?

"We are either being what the Holy Spirit would have us be, or we are hindering His work in us and through us.

"I am sure that there is no place in the world where your message would not be enhanced by your making the place (whether tiny or large, a hut or a palace) orderly, artistic and beautiful with some form of creativity, some form of  'art'. 

"It goes without saying, too, that 'The Environment', which is you should be an environment which speaks of the wonder of the Creator who made you."

Beginning Watercolor

My dear family gave me a wonderful birthday gift last fall; a beginning watercolor class at the local community college.

I enjoyed it so much, I enrolled in two more classes. 

A favorite exercise is to paint from existing family photos.  Here are a few examples of what I have worked up over the past several months.


Charleston, SC.  A trip with Hubby last spring.


Florida Palm, December 2010


My oldest son at Boy Scout camp last summer.

MMM Day 10 1940's Pink Blouse

My first vintage attempt.

Overall, I am pleased with this 1940's blouse.  It was fun to sew with the vintage pattern.  I focused most efforts on inside details (seam finishing, facings, etc.).

Next time, I will focus more on fit...as you can see, the bust area is too big and quite boxy, further exaggerated by the serious waist darts typical of 40's patterns. 

This style was meant to be worn with shoulder pads (yuck!).  I can see, however, that I should have taken out some of the bulk since I had no intention of having linebacker shoulders.  I wore enough of that in the 80's to last a lifetime, thank you very much.

I love the delicate pink print...it is so spring.  I did not have enough for the collar facing, so I used even more of the pink paisley print (wrap skirt & owl bag). 

Fun project.  I will certainly sew more vintage in the future.

*Thanks to my kids for their fabulous photography

MMM Day 9 Canvas Owl Bag

I do not know where they all come from.  It could be the many conferences and fundraisers we have attended over the years.  They are all over my house.  Canvas bags.

Good, sturdy bags....with less than lovely graphics splashed across the front.  What to do with them all?  I can use only so many for library bags, and they are not suitable for the scale of our family grocery shopping. 

Inspired by another MMM post on flicker, I got out needle and thread, buttons and scraps, and set out to beautify the promo-bag.

MMM Day 6 Lacy Flower

Wondrous truths, and manifold as wondrous,
God hath written in those stars above;
But not less in the bright flowerets under us
Stands the revelation of his love.

Bright and glorious is that revelation,
Written all over this great world of ours;
Making evident our own creation,
In these stars of earth, these golden flowers.
Gorgeous flowerets in the sunlight shining,
Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day,
Tremulous leaves, with soft and silver lining,
Buds that open only to decay;

Brilliant hopes, all woven in gorgeous tissues,
Flaunting gayly in the golden light;
Large desires, with most uncertain issues,
Tender wishes, blossoming at night
These in flowers and men are more than seeming;
Workings are they of the self-same powers,
Which the Poet, in no idle dreaming,
Seeth in himself and in the flowers.
In all places, then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons,
How akin they are to human things.
And with childlike, credulous affection
We behold their tender buds expand;
Emblems of our own great resurrection,
Emblems of the bright and better land.

Excerpts from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, Flowers
To read the entire poem, click here

MMM Day 5- Cheery Cherry Apron

I made this one many years ago.  It is  a favorite for messy crafting and/or baking days. 
The large pockets are great for holding tissues (I presently have a cold), my i-pod, pencil, to-do list, scissors, etc.

I stitched up this simple apron as an example for a basic sewing class I gave to some very giggly 7 & 8 year-old girls.  The girls, along with my own daughter (now 15), were daughters of my dear friends.  We made reversible ribbon handled bags as well as these aprons. Great fun! 
Wearing this item today for MMM Day 5 to keep me clean while I bake, sew, do dishes and laundry.  Happy Saturday!

MMM Day 4-Pink Wrap Skirt

Circle Wrap Pink Skirt.  The original project from this crafty book began as a half-circle wrap skirt.

The wrap did not turn out well at all.  I removed the ties and opted for a "false button" look using some beautiful vintage pink butttons.
The functioning closure is two part; snaps under the false button edge and inner waste band buttons.

I am very pleased with the outcome and will encourage all sewers to never give up on a garment gone wrong.  There is always hope!

MMM Day 3: Re-purposed Jewelry

Since I am without a sewing machine during this challenge (mine is out for maintence), I am resorting to all sorts of creative alternatives to meet the criteria of 1 hand-made item per day.

Here is installment two of the repurposed jewelry (see yesterday's post).

Beginning with two different necklaces, I created this lovely jingly piece.  I could not hide from my kids today with this necklace on!  Every time I moved, it tinkled. 

MMM Day 2 -Repurposed Jewelry to Hair Pins

Bought some jewelry on an impulse two years ago at a national chain accessory store.  I think I was momentarily dazed by all of the well organized color coordination surrounding me.

Too much eye candy does not make for wise buying.  I came home with several pieces of jewelry that looked less dazzling outside of the store. 
I've worn these pieces only a few times each, but was not quite ready to part with them at the last wardrobe purging. 
I'm glad for my reluctance, for yesterday, pliers in hand, I transformed two of these neglected pieces into very wearable accessories for Me-Made-March.

My First "Me-Made Month"

Hello, Blogging World.  I have been peeking into your little windows for quite some time and have gained so much inspiration and cheer, I have decided to put up my own display, as it were.
I've never before published a blog, but I have produced 4 lovely children and managed a cozy home with my husband for nearly 19 years.
To begin my blogging, I will here lay down my efforts at following the Me-Made-March '11 challenge put forth by this inspiring blogger (http://sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.com/).  My pledge is to wear at least 1 item (clothing, jewelry, handbag, jammies) either made entirely by me, or "re-purposed" by me every day during the month of March.
I hope to hone my blogging skills through trial and error and I gladly accept gracious critiques/advice from whomever stumbles across me.

So, back to the MMM challenge. 
Very comfy 6 panel, elastic waist skirt. 
Fabric:  Medium-weight Cotton, purchased 2 years ago, sat for ages. 
I made the skirt about a month ago, lined it for a little extra warmth ( I live in Pacific Northwest, USA). 
The double "flounce" added to the skirt bottom made this garment look like a bad wardrobe piece from Little House on the Prairie.  I promptly removed it.  I think my 5'4" frame just could not support that much skirt!