Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thank you, everyone!

Thank you to everyone that commented on the "disappearance"of sewing notions! Gosh, it's so nice to know it's not just me. Yesterday I looked all over my kitchen and living room to no avail. The darn reddish/brown spool is gone. Must have sprouted legs and walked to a new home. When that little spool finds the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, I'm sure it will walk home and make an appearance. Mostly likely some time next month when its not needed, and I'm working on Christmas projects.

After going to the gym this morning, I'll stop Ursula's fabric store and see if she has a nice color spool of thread. It's just up the road and not too far so I won't be wasting gas.

BTW, have any of you checked out Lindsay's blog? She's doing a great 3-part review of the stores in the fabric district of NYC. It is so handy that I've decided to start reviewing fabric and sewing related stores in the Poconos. Certainly NOTHING like NYC, but a lot of New York and New Jersey people come to the Poconos for vacation. The little stores sprinkled around this area would be good for a 15-30 minute excursion if a vacationer is passing by. Ursula's store will likely be the first one, and personally, I think she's a gem!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Does this ever happen to you?

It's was Saturday morning. I put my dowel rods and new thread spool on my ironing board. Got the phone call that baseball was cancelled for my boys due to rain. DH took DD#2 to the batting cages. They came back, we had lunch, then I had to take out DS#2 to AC Moore to buy some craft supplies for his fantasy insect. DD#1 and DD#2 wanted to come along for the ride (and expect more "surprise" stops for RTW shopping--Grrrr!).

Anyway, I come back home and after dinner went to work on my wall hangings. There they were, ready to have everything topstitched in place and my spool was...GONE!!! That brand new, never used yet spool! I was on my hands and knees on the kitchen floor looking for it. Pulled up the couch cushions. Lifted around papers and whatever was near it. Still haven't found it. It was right there on my ironing board before I left. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO IT??? Here it is Monday, and I still haven't found it.

This irritates me. It's the same thing when I have 3 sewing gauges and can't find one (okay, I just found one of them the other day). I have three seam rippers and only one is in my box. My scissors seem to disappear daily and my spring-handle Fiskars disappeared two months ago. Yesterday I pulled out my Olfa cutting mat (24X36) and discover there's a 1 1/2" tear in it on one side. How did that get there? It's always behind the couch and wedged up agains the wall so nothing bad can happen to it!

Very frustrating I tell you. Hopefully that darn thread spool will magically appear today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back in Business!

Today I was at Walmart and picked up a new Universal 32 in 1 card reader as well as an SD thumb drive. So it's a good feeling to be back in business with my pics. While I was there, I picked up some fall fabric and dowel rods for my wall hangings. The sewing department clerks LOVED my embroidered designs and the fabric I picked to go with them.

I did check out fall fabric online, but it was quite expensive and not to my liking. For some reason, two of the Walmarts I visit in my area always seem to have nice holiday cotton prints at a VERY reasonable price. The fabrics were around $4/yard. One of my local fabric stores (which sells mostly quilting cottons) has lovely fabric too, but I didn't feel like spending $9/yard!

So here are two of my stitched out designs with the fabric I plan to use for backing. I may mix and match them too.





The bad news for today is that it didn't rain! DH and I have to be in 3 places at once tonight for the kids, and it's so hectic. Some of the activities could still be cancelled, but waiting for the what if's just ruins my day.

On a side note, if you would like a nice cyber vacation, take a hop on over to Susan's blog. She was just in Seattle has several posts about it. Warning: don't visit if you're hungry ;) !

Monday, September 22, 2008

Uh...Did I miss something???

My frustration of the day rant:

My credit card company calls me up and explains this new "benefit" for being a valued customer. Something about agreeing to maintain a 0 balance every month and, in addition, I don't have to make minimum payments for 18 mos should a major life calamity occur. (Do you get this??? There would be no minimum payment on a 0 balance! Duh!!!) Or something like this?

If for some reason I agree to this, and don't pay off to a zero balance every month, then I would have to pay 95 cents per every $100 of a balance carried. Gee whiz. That would mean I'd being paying this stupid 95 cents/$100 in addition to interest! Do I look stupid? Are they taking me for a fool? Did I miss something???

My answer to this bank that is obviously outsourcing this call at the expense of the American worker while trying to get more out of my pocket...NO!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time Flies!

Has it really been over a week since my last post??? I have a few minutes to breathe right now! I haven't been able to get any sewing done; however, in order to ease my stitch cravings, my embroidery machine has been smokin'. I'm making some Autumn wall hangings, a few for myself, and several to sell. Last year I bought some Fall embroidery designs with every intention of using them last year, but you know how life gets in the way.

Right now there about 8 stitchouts of 2 designs with plans to do a total of 16. I've been looking for Autumn-themed cotton fabric, but haven't found something that appeals to me as of yet. Once I find the right fabric, I'm going to use that as my backing along with some batting to give it more structure. They'll be the perfect-sized wall hangings for a small bathroom or as fillers on a wall.

I'll post the designs sometime this week. One of my children knocked my card reader off my computer desk and now it doesn't work! I'm not going to pay $35 at Staples when I can get the identical card reader at Walmart for $24. Problem is, I'm not going to make a special trip until I need to get other things so it will have to wait.

Hopefully, I can make a few Christmas wall hangings similar to my Autumn ones, but I'm going to wait until the designs go on sale. A Hanukah (sp?) design would be nice, too, for my Jewish friend, Carin.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Awesome and Influential People in our Lives

I've been very busy as of late with not much time for sewing my last summer garment--my linen capris. Sports occupies much of time right now with the Fall season in full swing. I am still working on my pants muslin and am ready for one more to get a decent fit, then it's time to get those capris going and be done with them.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind with a new school year too. And because of that, I've had a lot of time to sit at games, practices, and lessons, reflecting on the incredible people that have a profound influence on my family.

There are three, if you can believe it. Not one, not two, but three! How lucky is that??? Those three people are Stacy, Jorge, and Mo.

I'll start with Stacy. She is a friend and DD#2's pitching coach. I've known her for about 4 years now. She is an extremely hard-working single mom, a loving mother, and a great influence for all her pitching students. She is a perfect example and role model of how hard work, determination, and a positive attitude can help one achieve their goals. Although she has had some down moments over the last two years, she keeps going and is one tough cookie. She may not always feel like it, but she really is. She always sees the sunny side of things even through tough moments.

She gives her time freely, takes an interest in her students, and is always there for them. She doesn't clock watch and frequently tries to visit the girls at their games. They have never been a number to her. She is genuine--the real deal.

Label her "Awesome and Influential Person No. 1".

Then there's Jorge. I've known him maybe three years? I was introduced to him by a friend who told me that he teaches kids how to pitch and play baseball in general. The price for him to do it? Simply love of the game. How many people do you know would help a child or children other than their own simply because they love what they're doing? I have to say, I can't even fill up one hand. Really, I get to one or two and that's it. The man knows his stuff and has a true gift relating to kids of all ages. He can teach up and down the age scale with ease, knowing exactly what to say and how far to push a child to maximize their potential while still feeling positive and gaining self confidence.

Just like Stacy, he frequently comes to DS#1's games, watches his progress, never watches a clock--all on his own time. No one is a number to him, and he's another "real deal" kind of person.

Label him "Awesome and Influential Person No. 2".

Last, but not least, there's this tennis pro that is finally back in town. Years ago DD#1 took clinics and lessons from him when she was 5-10 years old. She fell out of favor with tennis due to being somewhat advanced for her age and got discouraged with the teen social issues for which she was not prepared. After telling me she'd never play tennis again, she went back to it at 14. Mo left and is now back after about 5 years. DD#1 just took a lesson with him last week and she said she learned more from him in one hour than she has the past two years with other pros in the area. While watching him work with her, I realized that his method and teaching style was very similar to Jorge's. Another person with a gift up and down the age scale.

Hopefully, DD#1 can work with him every two or three weeks in the off season for the coming year to improve her skills. I think he will have a profound influence on her level of play and confidence over the next year.

Label him "Awesome and Influential Person No. 3".

It is amazing how people can have such a profound influence on one's future. Over the years there have been a few people like that for me. First and foremost, of course, is my DH. But before I knew him, I'd have to say my best friend's mother and my favorite Business teacher when I was in high school.

I don't how much these three people think about how the extent their involvement will affect my children for many years to come. The true impact will be felt as they mature and look back on how these positive role models have affected their choices and perseverance in their activities/lives just as I have done over the years. Hopefully my children will pay it forward just as their role models have done. Hopefully they will be "gifted" with the ability to say the right thing, encourage when there is self doubt, and promote resourcefulness from within.

My children have truly been blessed.

Has anyone blessed your life in this way?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Learning Curve

After posting my weird-looking crotch curve as per my flexible ruler several days ago, I received my current copy of Sew News in the mail. Lo and behold, I found my crotch curve!!! It is on p. 33, bottom right labeled "Low Fanny". It looks just like mine in fact. It is in the article titled, "Pants". Not a whole lot to learn from the article because I've researched pants fit up, down, left, and right, but I did pick up one or two new bits of info.

One thing that has been bothering me lately. I look at PFRP (Pants for Real People) a lot, and it irritates me more and more that I'm not finding any examples of problem rear views like the ones that are discussed with pictures at Patternreview. IMO, a new book is in order. I'd like a new book dedicated to baggy seat issues for all figure types, examining crotch curves/crotch depth and length and how to correct to get a good fit. Especially with close-fitting pants like dress pants and jeans. Most of the pants that are detailed in the book are more like trousers and/or loose, semi-fitted slacks.

No progress on my capris yet. It's a very busy first week of school.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sigh of Relief!

Summer vacation is officially over! I was out shopping with the kids Saturday, Sunday, and today. What a way to waste a weekend. Today it was the sporting goods store with DD#2 checking virtually every cleat for her big size feet. Why is it that various stores do not have her size in the off season? I can understand if it was at the beginning of the season with the mad rush but it's not.

Then to Kohl's, a small-mid-sized department store. The boys looked for clothes, the girls looked for clothes, only the boys were successful, and I picked up desparately needed new sneakers as well as DD#2 picking up some sneakers also.

The to Staples. Then to Walmart. Then to a shoe-store where they also sell JanSport backpacks. Didn't buy any because the backpacks were $60 at that store. I love JanSport backpacks but not at that price. DS#2 was incredibly disappointed.

This entire excursion took place over a 5-hour period. Only to come home, light the barbecue and make chicken kabobs and cook some corn, do wash, do dishes, hem a tee for DS#2 because his brand new tee is too long, among other little odds and ends.

Yesterday, DD#1 and DD#2 had to go the mall. Not the little mall in a neighboring town, but the big mall 45 minutes away. That was about a 6-hour excursion. Quite painful I might add. And to top it off, I went into Victoria's Secret looking for a strapless bra or the adhesive ones. The selection was terrible. I was so disappointed. Not the Victoria's Secret I remembered maybe 10 years ago. How can a store like Kohl's have a selection 5 or 6X the size of Victoria's Secret for bras? Unfortunately I didn't have time to even think about looking at bras at Kohl's even with all the sales. I'm certainly not going to try them on with four kids in tow. Making a strapless bra in certainly looking like something to consider doing.

Overall, the girls were really disappointed with clothing choices. DD#1 is the fashion diva who just couldn't find the right style in the right color. DD#2 is a sporty dresser and couldn't find sport pants long enough for her way long inseam (I completely understand about that problem!). Although, I never remember being in a funk about clothing when I was a teen like they are. Why is that? Of course! It's because I sewed a lot of my clothes! They still haven't taken the hint. Although I did offer to make some sport pants for DD#2. We just might get to that point.

Off to bed to awake bright eyed for the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" Anyone remember that commercial from the past year or two? The kids hate when I sing that LOL. Although I am going to miss them--summer seemed so short this year.