Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy Birthday Bob!

Yup its Robert’s Birthday today and I hope you had a GREAT DAY!!! I’ll see you this week-end….

Yup 28 years ago I had my lil Bobby. What a joy he was. I remember the day like it was yesterday…..

My sister-in-law, Sandy and I went to the North Riverside Mall just to do some looking around and maybe last minute shopping. Yeah the 16th was the lil tikes due date, however Sandy and I were at the mall on the 15th checking out the sales and the crafts.

There was one vendor selling leather products and I was really interested in purchasing a belt. The man selling the wears had asked when I was due and I said actually tomorrow. He said your kidding and I said no. As the three of us talked I could feel Robert moving around, now I didn’t know that I was going to have a boy, but the name was already decided. The guy asked if it would be alright if he felt the baby as him and his wife had tried and tried but was never successful. Sandy and I didn’t feel that there would be any harm, as in those days people where uhm normal and you didn’t have to worry. So he felt my tummy and said it was neat. I indicated to him that I especially liked when the baby kicked or you could feel the foot. He said you could actually feel the foot and I said yeah, matter of fact right here is the foot. He put his hand on my side and he felt the foot, he said “wow”. Sandy and I talked a little bit more to the guy, I purchase a belt buckle for my hubby and we continued our walking.

When we got home hubby, Sandy and I were hungry. We decided to order a pizza. Well I really didn’t want to eat pizza as I just had a icky feeling in the pit of my stomach. We went ahead and ordered and then ate. I only ate a couple of pieces and it was stated, the is not normal. Sandy stuck around for a while longer and then off she was to go home down the street. My hubby went to bed and I stayed up for a lil bit longer as I just wasn’t ready for bed and again I just had that weird feeling.

About a couple hours later I was having some pains, but I really didn’t know if they were actually labor pains. It was bad enough that I had two kidney infections and false labor pains in the past I just didn’t know what was going on. I was watching the clock to see how far apart the pains were just to see if they were constant. Hubby was still sleeping and I decided to call the hospital. They indicated that I should come in when the pains were so many minutes apart. Well mine were closer than what the hospital had indicated.

So I went and woke up my hubby. He jumped out of bed and I said take it slow we don’t have to far to go. So as we drove we talked and every once in awhile I would get one of those stabbing pains. Hubby would say you okay, I’d say yeah as I would hold my belly. He drove a lil faster as he wanted to get me to the hospital quick. As he drove he was approaching a railroad track. As he took the track really fast all of a sudden a sharp pain! OMG!!! Hubby said what, I said major pain. He said you gonna be okay, I started laughing and said yeah, just be careful on railroad tracks, please.

Well he got me to the hospital and the pains were like every 8 minutes. They checked me out and said I wasn’t ready. Not ready, please. They said it could go into the morning. WHAT!!! MORNING!!! I am not going to deal with this for a possible 8 hours or longer. So hubby looked and me and I looked at him. I said go home, you have to work in the morning, I’ll call you when the time comes. He said okay, gave me a kiss and left.

It was like as soon as he left I was being wheeled into the hospital room. Yeah it was time about 1/2 hour from since I got there. They didn’t even have time to get my doctor there. Bing Bang Boom, that was fast. Then I hear the baby cry. Then they announced you have a baby boy. I was so happy, I wanted a boy so badly and so did hubby. I was very excited and couldn’t go to sleep. I stayed awake til 6 in the morning so I could start calling everyone! As soon as 6 came I was calling daddy then grandma.

This was the easiest delivery I ever had, not that my daughter’s wasn’t bad, I am just so happy that I didn’t have to go through a long labor! What a cutie he was, this headful of blonde hair, long eyelashes, pretty blue eyes, the lil fingers and toes, such a bundle of joy. To this day he is still that bundle of joy, all 6’3″ of him!

Love Ya Robert…..

Hugs and Kisses

Mom, Dad, Shell and of course Maggie!

Special Items for Special Lil Girls

I always like making special lil items for special lil girls. A few years ago I made a towel set for the little girl down the street. I saw her and her grandmother last week. As I talked to the grandmother she told me that Angelica still uses that towel set I made. I told the grandmother it was time for a new set.

Besides making a towel set for Angelica, I would be making a set for our nieces and another special friend. The designs I used are from Retroboulvard, the digitilizer is Ytmar. She has done some real nice work in the past. For the youngest niece I went for a design of a child toweling herself off after a bath. The other 3 girls I would do ballerinas. On the hand towels I either put their names on it or a pair of ballet shoes, which the design was received from a free website years ago.

Before I do towels I always make sure that I pre-wash the items not only for shrinkage, but also to get the extra fluff out of the towel. Once washed I am ready to stitch. I used the all in one hoop, with the exception of the large towel. I don’t like to have the burn mark in the nap of the towel. Once the items were hooped I then placed the wash away stabilizer, WunderStitch on top of the towel. WunderStitch is a water soluble stabilizer that washes out of fabrics when completed. WunderSttitch was great with these towels because the towel was thick and heavy. SewforLess carries this item and is always on sale.It is always important to use a water soluble on top of the towel so that when the design is stitching the thread stays on top of the towel, not sinking into the towel.

Another quick and painless day to stitch, here are the towels… washed a second time and they are still stunning.

Ice Luminaries for the season

Last year in one of the woman’s magazines that I read I saw a project for the holiday season, ice luminaries. There are so many ways that you can create these lovely lanterns. This past week-end I went ahead and started making a few just for fun. Of course when the freezer was opened the remarks were, what are you doing now! Then my spouse saw a program on Sunday on making them.

The supplies are very simple and if you have temperatures way below 30 degrees you can actually freeze these luminaries outside instead of using the freezer. You can use all types of plastic containers to make your luminaries. If I drank pop from 2 liter containers I would have started saving them up so that I could line my sidewalk, however I am not a pop drinker. Instead I used my food containers for these luminaries and luck would have it, our snow has melted so you do get the full effect of the outcome. Geez do I see a trend of my luck lately with weather??

Here are my basic supplies. Two tall containers, both a square and round one. Then some simple items that were frozen into the ice, tinsel, Christmas ornaments and plastic garland (not shown). The pebbles were used to put in smaller containers (and the crystal light could be used as well to give a deeper depth inside the container to place your candle). ¬†When using items to be frozen into the water, you need to do it in layers so that the items don’t float on top of the water.

Not only could you use everyday plastic containers, but you can use like i stated above 2 liter containers, milk jugs, smooth cans, plastic ice cream containers, the list is endless. And you don’t necessarily need to put decorations into your containers, you can just leave them as a block of ice with a candle in the center.

Basically you put a smaller container inside the bigger container after filling it with water. To keep the smaller container from floating around, place some rocks, pebbles, whatever you have available. This will keep the container to set in place during the freezing process. Once the freezing process is done either through the freezer or outside all you need to do is pop the ice from the containers, outside and inside.

Now like I indicated the rain and warm weather has dampened my opportunity to show what they look like outside in the snow, pout. So instead I merely put them on a plate and took pictures. I can even see this being used as a center piece on the table,]. You can use different size containers grouped together in a round shallow glass pan that has garland wrapped around the luminaries with some decorative Christmas items, like holly or ornaments. You can even use those scented pine cones, thus you are also giving off a nice scent. You will have to make sure that you use some protective item under the glass pan, so that it doesn’t freeze to the table and ruining the furniture, a simple round cork placemat, pot holder or even a folded washcloth.

Not only can you use these as a center piece, to line your sidewalk, driveway, but you can put on your porch, using different sizes, heights placed on a table at the door with your other decorative items. You can even place on on each step up to the house. You don’t have to have clear ice either, put some food coloring into the water to get a nice soft glow effect. What about freezing chunks of ice then breaking the chunks into smaller pieces then placing into another container and then adding cold water to get another effect of your luminary.

Here are the results of my luminaries. If we get some snow, I will be making more to line on our stairs and I will use more than just what I had on hand, milk jugs anyone!

Showing off my daughter

I snuck into my daughter’s portfolio from college the other night. I was really upset cause there wasn’t much there for me to sneek a peek at. She did have one drawing that I really do like in there and I had to show her brother.

In the beginning of the school year they had to do a drawing in the classroom and she did the window. Like she indicated to me and I informed her brother, the leaves in the drawing are actually growing inside the classroom. I’ve been really surprised at her work, she really has an eye and gets the detail.

The one thing she hasn’t or has problems with, hands, feet and faces. Since she needs to work on those areas, in her life drawing class it was mentioned for her to do a drawing with hands. Thus she did. How did she do, well she tried her best.

Andy Warhol is her favorite artist and there is a exhibition in Milwaukee, Wi that runs until January 3, 2010, The Last Decade. I mentioned to her that we could take a trip up there in a couple of weeks when she is not working. We had spent a day at the Chicago Art Institute a couple of months ago and it was amazing listening to her talk about depth, proportion and other areas pertaining to art. She really has an eye to see these things without realizing it yourself.

She had to write an essay which dealt with the Renaissance Era, her most favorite era. She wrote about Botticelli. She had to compared his work of art, Primavera, to another painter’s work. I was surprised how she was really into the Renaissance Era, talking about the angels and how certain artists drew halos incorrectly, artists did not show the proper proportion in facial features, i.e. a mother and child both the heads were the same size or facial features were almost identical. She even pointed out the issues of them not being able to draw hands, fingers were not properly done.

Every week she would have to provide a drawing to her life drawing class. One of her drawings was when we stayed at a hotel when we went to the Art Institute. One of her classmates indicated that it almost looked like it was drawn from a photo, the teacher agreed. When another student showed her work, she made the remark, oh I thought we were suppose to draw from a photo. The teacher said it appeared that it looked like a life drawing, oh yeah I heard that boiling point, giggles. She did a drawing at Panera’s, a eatery, and the depth and dimension was great.

In one of her classes she would partner up with other students and each one would draw certain aspects of the drawing. I had run into one of these drawings in her portfolio. I had asked her about the drawing and she said to me what are you talking about. She had all her drawings on her puter and I pointed it out. She told me her and another girl had done that work. I was amazed at how well both of them did. She called me a stinker and forgot she had it in the house.

There is another drawing that she had to do from a photo and I am wanting to get my hands on it. It is a girl in a Chicago Bear’s jersey. I love the drawing, she did a great job (as soon as I can get my hands on it, it’ll be on here). She likes it too. That particular drawing was in the college’s art show.

In the beginning of the year she would tell me about the naked models that they had to do. She was funny talking about them, lol. I remember when my sister, Susan was taking art classes at the Art Institute and she would mention to our mom about the nude models. My daughter would mostly say, gawd you should of seen the model we had today, talk about gross, laughter, but then came the day with the cute guy, hahaha.

Next semester she is going to take some more pottery courses. I’ll take some pictures of some of her pottery work from high school and college. One of her pieces from high school went all the way to New York for a possible scholarship. She wants to continue her art overseas, its’ll cost a lot less, but she still needs to check into it.

Candles with a cherry Christmas feel

Thought I would do some simple and not so simple projects for the candles around the house to get a festal feeling. The downfall, the one design chosen, to the majority of the simple projects… didn’t want to co-operate! Ho Hum!

The first simple project was to simply stitch out the design on water soluble stabilizer, dissolve the stabilizer and then simply place the design on a candle. Simple, very, but like I said if the design would have stitched appropriately it would have looked even more elegant once the design was placed on the candle. Even though the design is already sticky from the stabilizer I would still put glue on the design to make sure that it adheres. The other nice thing about doing this, you can easily take the item and put on a new candle. The outline of the design screwed up and well we are not all perfect.

The next simple project was to make a candle sleeve for the candles that my hubby loves to burn. Yeah I like to cause some trouble cause he would complain about it some how. Basically you take some tulle and water soluble stabilizer and hoop, then stitch out the design. Once done you simply cut the tulle to the size of your candle glass, height and width, sew a seam and ta da, slip it on the glass. You can even embellish the sleeve by putting decorative trim on the bottom or top or both. Another item that you can use over and over again. If I forgot to mention, you need to wash out the stabilizer.

Now for the more complex project, grrrrr! I don’t even know what to call it, so I will just call it the candle cover.

I saw this idea last year at sewing class and I really did like it. Couldn’t find my instructions so I was on my own. This project is to take 4 5 x 7 picture frames, screw small hinges on each side of the frame on the top and bottom. You will have problems with the last side because you have a square but if you leave the glass out of the last frame until you get the hinges screwed in place it’ll work. Was I successful with the hinges, remember this was a idea for my blog, I used packing tape to put em together, so I cheated. You will see at the end what I am going to use mine for.

Please be advised that each frame will need two pieces of glass. Go to your nearest hardware store and purchase additional clear glass, they will cut it to the size you need. You might even want to see if you can purchase thin plexiglass to use instead. Glass is not very expensive, where the plexiglas will be much more.

Since this was a sample for my blog I only did 3 designs in different fabrics. Well I will not do this on sheer silk again. Very hard to work with. Working with the tulle was great and I got the effect that I wanted. You can even check your fabric store for sheer fabrics with winterland scenes on it. You don’t want to just stitch on the fabric, you want to bunch it up to get a layered look, so make sure you use more than enough fabric when hooping. Take some water soluble place it on the hoop, bunch up the fabric and place it on top of the stablizer, once you feel you are happy with how the fabric looks, hoop it. Prior to stitching you will place another piece of water soluble on top of the fabric. The reason you are putting stabilizer on the top and bottom is to keep the fabric lying properly when you start stitching

Once all stitching is completed you take an ear cleaner and wet to remove the stabilizer around the edges. If you get it all wet, then you will have to wait for it to dry.After cleaning the clear pieces of glass, place the fabric and center the design. Prior to putting the other piece of glass on top, play with the fabric to get a neat effect, overlap the fabric, swirl it around, once you think you have the effect that you want, then put the other piece of glass on top. With the tulle I was able to bunch it up to keep a effect that would look good once the candle would glow through the glass. On the two designs that I used the sheer silk with, I had to take something thinner than a popsicle stick to push the fabric between the two pieces of glass. I don’t care for the effect of the material on the green fabric, however the red, I love it! But then I had to figure how to play with the fabric. You will cut all the excess fabric around the pieces of glass. Place into frame and secure. Now you have your candle cover. You can use all the same fabric and use different designs for each frame.

If you like this idea, you can easily just do one picture frame, placing the candle behind the frame. You would have to get a piece of cork and cut it to the appropriate size and then take small nails and nail the cork into the frame’s bottom.

This project would make a great gift idea. Now what I am going to do with my 3 different frames. They will be used for gifts that can either be hung on the wall or placed in a window. Look look very attractive sitting in the window of my kitchen for the photos below. You can look at the layering effect on each one, again the tulle, I didn’t have to play so much as I did with the green and red. I really do like the swirls in the red.


Windy City, Chicago

Yeah the worse thing about Chicago, Illinois, wind. Yeah I know they call it the windy city, but I wasn’t too happy this morning waking up to, MY CAVE, look at it.

Slowly gets out of bed eyes half closed, raises blinds and looks. Geez what do you want me to do! Yeah the wind took to both sides of the covers I made and wrote about yesterday. Honey how ya gonna fix that, I have all my power electrical boxes and I can’t get them wet. Geez hun you didn’t have a concern last year, oh yeah, I forgot you didn’t have a jeep in there either.

Dragging self out of bed, putting on clothes, goes outside with duck tape and gloves. Snaps the cover all back with the exception of the one with the snaps all busted and the duck cloth cover. Rips a piece of duck tape and attempts to put on fabric and metal. Uhm didn’t work, (*%#$(*&$%#, why did I do this, all it has been is trouble!

Grabs shovel and starts clearing the driveway, figure I would do something more productive cause nobody else would. Oh yeah I never told you 2 years ago I bought a snowblower for my spouse so I wouldn’t have to shovel, day after Christmas it was returned. Now you know why its called the “cave”, he lives in the cave ages! And just think when I went to get that snowblower I was rear ended (no damage let the lady go). The trouble we go through – – – MEN!

So the driveway is cleared and I carefully take down the one side. The fabric is full of snow and frozen solid from the rain and freezing temps! Drag into the house and cut the straps. Takes all the straps upstairs and starts sewing elastic to the straps, makes 4 1/2 inches allowance. Realizes she has cut each strap in different places, geez which strap belongs to what on that dang thing!!!

Has two straps that she will be able to determine the proper length and then takes the straps and puts them back on the cover.

Grabs the cover and takes it back outside and snaps it back into place being careful in the snow with the ladder. Sure enough the wind was whipping up. Picks up the shovel and starts shoveling again, here’s the snowplow and decides to just push it all in the street, why lift!

Walks back in the house and says tomorrow the other one!

Just went out there, cold as heck, 30 mph winds and both are still snapped (the one side I left the zipper open at the bottom), btw the picture, thats from yesterday of the marsh we live next to. Kept walking into the house, I’m not shoveling!

Dakota Collectibles – Pebbles from the Flintstones – Tote Bags

Today thought I would do a couple of lil girl tote bags with Pebbles from the Flintstones on them. The totes will be Christmas gifts for my nieces in Alaska. They will be presently surprised once they are received. With the tote bag will be a smaller bag for them to put other lil items, however no embroidery. I will attach snaps to the tops of each tote so items don’t fall out of them.

Currently SewforLess has this CD-Rom on sale for 59.99. This is where I received these designs. Mike carries a great selection of embroidery designs as well as other items for machine embroidery. You need to check out the site as he also has giveaways going on during the holiday season, please see my blog about this week’s item that ends on the 10th, by clicking here. NOTE: Copyrighted designs CANNOT be stitched and sold for a profit, you can only stitch these items and give as gifts.

I was very impressed with the designs on this CD and they stitched out great. The tote bags were small in size, so I had to re-size the designs in Embird, but the density of the stitches stayed together. The designs come in two sizes, 3×3 and 4×4. I shrunk the designs small enough to fit the tote bags, which was smaller than 3×3. The coloring of the designs are prefect and I used Metro Embroidery thread. The thread is great and brilliant!

Tomorrow I will go back and stitch out a couple more for gifts. I might even run to my near-by Wal-Mart and get some sweatshirts to do some more designs for the girls and their mom (she wants a moose on her sweatshirt, now to see if I have a design just for her).

Yeah it feels good to be back in the sewing room!

More later…… don’t forget to check out SewforLess for sales that are going on!

Happy Stitching to you all!