Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Most Inspirational Blogger of 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone! And a Happy Belated Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. My blogging has been very sporadic lately, and it seems the holidays come and go so quickly. On my end, this has been the Christmas that wasn't. It simply hasn't felt like the Christmas season, nor did it feel like Christmas today.

I can't pinpoint exactly why. Maybe it's partly the news. The economy, so many people losing their jobs--it leads to a general feeling of not being in the holiday mood. It could also be my friend fighting cancer and getting denied disability for the second time, while I know another person out of work since summertime who is enjoying year-long unemployment checks while gambling in Atlantic City, not necessarily even looking for a job.

It has been a year of friendship disappointment. There's nothing like lending a long-term friend a high degree of support, yet having their dishonesty and half truths cause people to question my credibility. I promptly terminated the friendship and all association with that person. While another person acted as if they wanted to renew a friendship after blowing me off last year, I simply refused to go there. It caused me to wonder why it was happening and what they wanted from me. I felt they were only doing it because of my connections with other people. Sorry, I'm not going to be used. So, a good riddance to 2009.

Except for one bright spot! That would be who I consider to be the most inspirational blogger of 2009. She's the one person who made me want to consider an aspect of sewing I have never had an interest in. That is, until January or February of this year. She is the person who sews absolutely beautiful bras! I was continually amazed by her better-than-Victoria's Secret bras. Her exquisite detail and beautifully selected fabrics and laces were incredibly inspiring, and I even asked her if she would consider offering a class on PR on bra construction. Instead, she opted to create a lingerie sew along for interested sewers on bra construction. This busy lady graciously offered her expertise and time (of which we know there is so little of) and helped out all of us in creating beautiful bras, sharing ideas, and learning about fitting bra patterns.

If you don't know already who is, what I consider to be, THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL BLOGGER OF 2009, I'll tell you :) . It is...Sigrid.

Before this year, I never had any desire to sew up a pair of panties, nor a bra. But it is her work that provided me with the inspiration to sew up beautiful panties and a bra. I've sewed up two pairs of pretty lacy panties and one bra. The bra was a muslin, but I'm going to make the same bra as a back closure instead of a front closure one. On a side note, my days of front closure bras came to an end the day I was in the middle of teaching a high school class, and my bra became unhooked as I was writing on the chalkboard LOL. It was made worse by the fact that I had on a dress that was close-fitting from the waist up. Not a good experience as a C-Cup woman as one can imagine.

Anyway, I made plenty of little mistakes and ended up with little holes on the back band from seam ripping. Not to worry. I will make my beautiful bra in early 2010. However, it wouldn't have happened without Sigrid. Therefore, she gets my admiration for providing inspiration in an area of sewing I have never had an interest in before. And to accomplish that, one must produce outstanding work to the point that it creates a desire to do the same in another person. To never have an interest in lingerie sewing to have a strong desire to make beautiful bras and panties because of one person's work is a testament to her outstanding work.

Way to go, Sigrid!

Christmas 2009

Well, it's been an interesting past two weeks. I still haven't finished most of the sports headbands, just one completed one. It's what I'm going to be working on during Christmas vacation. Here is one of the headbands for DD#2's friend who absolutely loved it. We gave it to her Wednesday evening, and her father found her wearing it in bed on Thursday morning. So I guess she truly was pleased. It's my original design, although not much thinking required for it ;) .


Hayley's quilt is finished, and I'm just waiting for pics at this point. I asked her to take pics of it before giving it to her grandparents. We have been working on it for about three weeks, but she had to finish it up on her own. Hayley is my 13-year old sewing student, and I can't wait to see the finished project.

Now, on to my Christmas present :) . My little, lovable Jake who is really growing. The little guy gets neutered on Monday so that is his unlucky day. But we want to keep our little kitten permanently loving and as the breeder said, "Do NOT let him become a man!" LOL. Here is my wonderful little boy. Check out his adult fur growing in. It's short and wavy--so cute!

Snuggling with DD#2:

The handsome guy showing off his short, wavy coat (soft as velvet!):

Right now, I'm off to bed! I'm in normal body rythm mode of going to bed at 11:30 and getting up around 7:30 a.m. If only it could be like this every day...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm NOT Stupid!

I'm not stupid, but today I certainly felt like I was. I was stitching out two embroidery designs today. One is the original, one is a mirror image of a pointsettia design. The first one was beautiful. The second had some wonky stitching and I just didn't like it. The third one I must have pressed one too many buttons and put in the wrong thread color because I know the thread color order by heart. The fourth one I *thought* I forgot to mirror image the design when I stopped, then started back up again mid point later on. But...on the FIFTH stitchout, I realized somehow the design probably went bad on my CF card.

I've wasted a tremendous amount of bobbin thread and half the day doing this
@*#(*&*#* design. It's very frustrating because I waited three weeks for my machine to get fixed and now I'm backlogged with work. Christmas deadlines you know. Tomorrow morning I'm deleting the design from my card and downloading it again. Ugh!

I just HAD to vent!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quick Update!

It feels like forever since I posted! But I've been busy. Lots of sewing projects done or in the queue.

Before I get to the list, however, I have to include a pic of my handsome boy, Jake. MeredithP asked about kitty pics so I'll happily oblige :) . He is such a wonderful kitten and is now 4.5 lbs. He's long, lean, very athletic and just learned how to jump to DD#1's top bunk bed. It's amazing how this 4.5 kitten can jump to the top, but the amazing jumping skills are characteristic of the Devon Rex breed. Here's a pic of Jake doing his morning thing--snuggling next to DD#2 while she eats her breakfast. He does this every day and purrs like crazy. A real people kind of cat, and he does indeed seek out human companionship.

Also, to answer other questions as per comments:

Connie, I sure would love to go to Montreal for a PR Weekend! We'll see. It all comes down to economics, and this year has been a bit leaner for us.

Kim asked a question about teaching. Although my certification in my specialty is K-12, I have only taught at the 8-12 grade level. I LOVED teaching high school. Loved the older kids, and my philosophy on the different grade levels has always been: Little kids have lots of little problems. Big kids have a few big problems. Personally I think it's way easier to teach pre teens and teens, but I realize that is just my personality. I'm not a little kid lover. Not that I don't love kids--I do! Enough to have four of my own LOL. But I never loved babysitting or cooing over toddlers. I love it that my youngest is now 10 1/2 and my oldest almost 18. They're the most fun ever, and I never want to go back to the toddler days.

So I guess it's really a personality kind of thing. One has to ask themselves what kind of age group they love dealing with. Perhaps looking at their own personal experiences and family life can help identify the age group one would like to teach if they're thinking about it as an adult. Personally, I think teens are so much fun to work with and they tend to have few problems. The problems they do have can be major but I like dealing with one or two biggies than lots of small ones. I have worked with some absolutely terrific kids and out of the 1000+ I've taught over the years when I was working, there might only be 1 or 2 that were truly bad eggs. Overall? I loved being a high school teacher! Even teaching at the community college wasn't as fun as teaching high school.

Back to's the list of my activities:

1. A birthday picture quilt. It's coming along. The holdup? Something went wrong with the tension disc in my Janome 300E. I brought it in the same day (two weeks ago now?), and I've been very lonely without it. In fact, I need to call today about it because I have Christmas presents that have to be embroidered and soon!

2. Both blouses (a McCalls and a BWOF) are done and ready to be reviewed. Just need the time. Not my fave blouses because I used a shirting cotton from It's okay fabric. The blouses would have been much better in a drapy fabric but they're still wearable. Just not my faves because of the fabric used. It was the first BWOF pattern I ever used so the "wearable muslin" is just okay. On my second try with a better fabric I'll do a forward shoulder, possibly a slight broad upper back alterations, and a 1/2" FBA. BWOF drafts for a C-cup? Well, not my C-cups I guess.

3. Completed two more chemo hats and am waiting for the fleece fabric order I placed on 11/24 from Fabric Mart to make several more. Where is it? It's been 11 days so I hope it hasn't been misdelivered. I just sent them an email about the order because it hasn't arrived, and I'm concerned about it.

4. In the midst of making a self-drafted, simple elastic-waist mini skirt out of a leopard print woven mesh underlined with black lining fabric. It just needs to be hemmed. I'm making the lining shorter than the mesh so it has a "peekaboo" effect at the bottom of the mesh. We'll see if I get the effect I'm looking for.

5. Smack dab in the middle of making a pair of pants. About a year or so ago, I wrote a post about the the Elusive Perfect Pair of Pants. Well, it's not so elusive anymore :) ! It's getting much better and am fairly close to a great pair. The pair I'm making is for myself or DD#2. We're the same shape and virtually the same size. The only issue is I'm not altering for asymetry on this pair. My plan was to make it for her, but if she didn't like it they would become mine. However, she tried them on last night and seemed rather pleased with the initial try-on. A little side seam tweaking for a snugger fit so we'll see. When I try them on, I get an inseam pull at the botton on my right leg at the hem. It's very likely because my right hip is about a 1/2" or 5/8" higher than my left hip. If the pants were for me, I would have cut each side separately but since I didn't know who the pants were for, I just did the usual thing.

6. 20 Christmas presents are in the works for my daughters' friends. 20 sports headbands, all embroidered. The good thing? They're quick and easy, and I redrafted a book pattern because I wasn't totally happy with it. It's now my own creation, and I really love the changes--much more comfortable I think.

7. Drapes! My vertical living room blinds, 21+ years old, are in VERY sad shape. I bought a traverse rod, hooks, and am following the instructions in a book for pinch-pleat draperies with matching sofa pillows. Once that project is successful, I will venture into slipcovers for my couches. Home dec is certainly not my fave, but it's always the dept. store prices that send me into a tizzy and push me to making my own home dec projects. I will finish hemming my tab top curtains from 2 1/2 years ago while I'm at it. I picked out the fabric for the drapers at my local sewing store so I'm good to go with this.

8. During short time blocks, I'm making a third pair of pretty, lacy panties. My first pair is okay. Not wide enough across the lower part of my bum, so I tweaked the pattern and made a second pair. Much better, but I need to tweak the crotch piece. It sits too far to the back. I'm very short in the front crotch, long in the back, so I'll tweak a little more. Still have to get going with the matching bras, but that's more of a thought process so it will wait until after Christmas. Panties are quick, no-thinking kind of projects.

9. Other time blocks? PATTERN REVIEWS! When was the last time I did pattern review? It was for my maxi dress. I have so many other things to review, and I've been VERY neglectful in doing them. The perfect night to do them? Sometime during the Christmas holiday vacation when we stay up late.

BTW, in other news, DD#1 got her first acceptance letter. It's to Temple University, and they gave her a Merit Scholarship so that definitely helps out in defraying the cost should she decide to attend. Still waiting on the others at this point. It's a real exciting time for her. And guess what! She shocked us all by picking a Winter "sport"! She's a tennis player in the Fall and Track girl in the Spring, but we nearly fell off our rockers when she announced she was trying out for...(gasp!) Basketball cheerleading LOL! She made the team, and the entire family is going to see her cheer at the first home baskeball game. Even her sporty friends were in shock and asked, "You did what?!?!" Quite funny. She and four or five of her friends decided to try out on a lark, and she ended up being the only one to go through with it.

My daughter is a cheerleader. Who would have thought that would ever happen. Not me LOL. I'll share pics because this is definitely an event no one in the family wants to miss!