December 30, 2010

New Clothes!

I went post-Christmas sale shopping with my mom today and scored big time :)

Awesome wool jacket,
a gift from my mom.


I also got a sheer black silk blouse with embroidery, a blue cardigan, a black sweater with a small ruffle around the neck, a blue cowl neck tee, and navy chinos.  For less than $200!  I have all these great sweaters now and am totally ready for winter :)  Winter 2010, 2011, 2012...
Replaces my decade-old pencil skirt ;)

December 27, 2010

Christmas Baking

Fancy Christmas Trees
 My mom and I didn't get to do our usual pre-Christmas cookie baking this year, since I was sick.  Instead we made some cookies on Christmas afternoon :)  It was fun--she mixed the dough in advance so we just rolled, cut, baked and decorated.  Then it was time for dinner.

My next baking adventure will be a birthday cheesecake for a good friend.  Yum!  Don't forget the raspberry sauce :)

                                          Don't let anyone tell you the star tip isn't multipurpose ;)

Maximizing the dough!

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a Very Happy Christmas, surrounded by people you love.
It's definitely feeling Christmasy around here: lights are hung, decorations are out, dinners and parties to attend.  My mom and I are even fitting in some cookie baking tomorrow, just for fun.  Then there's a New Year's party to attend, and many friends to see, in my new red lace vintage dress.

 "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
                                                           Luke 2:10-14

December 21, 2010

New Wall Art

Dining area flanked by fabric panel
I finished another project: a large panel covered in fabric.  It's ~20"x6' and adds color while creating a separation between the living room and dining area.  It was pretty inexpensive and looks great, I think :)

The fabric
I saw this fabric online and loved it immediately.  Decorating with fabric is a great way to add color and texture on a budget.  With the leftover material I'll make covers for my sewing machine and serger.

The frame was constructed from engineered lumber I had on hand.  I created a mitered frame and glued and stapled it together (wood screws didn't work in the engineered lumber).  Two straight pieces were added to brace the long sides.  In the photo below you can see one of the cross braces.

The frame
After the frame is complete staple the selvedge edge straight along one side, pulling the fabric taught along the selvedge as you go.  Then stretch and staple the fabric on the opposite side center, and top and bottom.  Continue stretching and stapling the fabric on the second long side from the middle out.  Then staple the two shorter ends in the same way.  The corners were folded under neatly and stapled.

December 17, 2010

New Socks

I finished knitting a new pair of socks for myself :)  I used a cotton/wool/nylon blend for the first time and am curious to see how it feels and wears.  The yarn was nice to work with.

New socks
The yarn pooled rather than being self striping.  It looks ok, even though the two legs pooled differently.  I used the same number of stitches, same gauge, same ball of yarn, so they should have been identical.  I think they'll look great with jeans.

One thing I always do is reinforce the heels and soles with heel stitch.  It looks pretty cool, too, in patterned yarns.

December 16, 2010

Little Better

Well, my mom redeemed herself by saying she's upset whenever something hurts me.  That I've had enough hurt for one life and don't need any more (very, very true).  So I'm glad we've moved on, if not actually addressing issues.  It's family, what can ya do.

The horrible bronchitis that's dogged me for over a week seems to be finally improving.  Thank God for prednisone, and Fisherman's Friend cough drops (10mg menthol each!).  Now I can hopefully get some energy back and start to get in the Christmas spirit.

December 14, 2010


Growing up my name was always something I noticed.  I'm from a blended family so had a different last name than my immediate family.  It was not a negative, just another detail to complicate life.  As an adult I wanted to take my mother's maiden name, since I'm very close to her family, but it wasn't worth the emotional and legal hassle.  I've since gotten married and changed my name, then got divorced and changed it to my mother's maiden :)  That's it, enough names, I'm done!

It's fascinating how much a name can impact how you see someone.  Everyone has met a person who's turned them off from anyone else with that name.  I think in words and if I meet someone and am not able to spell their name I cannot remember it.  However, if I can write a name down or envision the letters in my mind it sticks.  Also I think of people by the spellings of their names, which I have to keep to myself since it  makes no sense to anyone else.

*I'm just finishing a pair of socks and a sweater so soon I'll have photos to share!

December 12, 2010


The one thing I really miss, being single and living alone, is having that one person to talk to about anything.  It's not the same telling bits and pieces to various friends--I'm largely invisible.  When someone else is witness to your daily existence it lends meaning.  The interesting things I see, or funny thoughts I have, are left to rattle around in my brain, unshared.  Not that life is awful, just lonely.  And I've had more than enough loneliness for one lifetime.

Btw, there's such a huge cultural bias against admitting to loneliness.  We're supposed to be happy with our own company, self sufficient, able to cope.  What is that about, I wonder?  Part of the do-it-all-yourself, by the bootstraps American image?  Examining cultural precepts is fascinating.  But then I'm weird that way ;)

December 9, 2010

A Conversation

I talked to my mom after breaking up with my guy.  I called a friend first but she was sleeping, so ended up with my mom.  Somewhere in the conversation my mom said--at least it sounded this way to me--that I shouldn't expect a man to ever want me because I'm ill.  She never talks this way normally and it was very hurtful, and the worst possible timing.  In the same conversation she mentioned how compassionate I am.  I don't get it.  I brought this up a few days later and she got upset with me.  We didn't resolve things but did state our points of view.

She decided to talk about it with someone else and try to figure out why she says these things.  I'm just so glad that she's trying to figure it out, and not with me!  Hopefully she'll have a better understanding of how much it hurt.  Cause I make an awesome girlfriend ;)

It's interesting how friends just accept me as I am, with no stigma, but maybe my mom still has her hopes from before I got sick.  I don't know what it is that's wrong or disappointing in her eyes.  With what I had to work with and the troubles along the way I've made a really good life.

Edit: I wanted to reiterate that what my mom actually said was not what I heard.  I still have no idea what exactly she was trying to say, but I'm sure it was supportive.  Or meant to be.

Sewing...or at least thinking about it

Birds!  in cross stitch
Initially I meant this to be primarily a sewing blog with some knitting and life thrown in.  However I have had so little energy due to chronic pain that almost no sewing has happened.  Plus it's winter and my task lighting sucks.

I did finish a cross stitch piece that I'd started in high school!  I gave it to my mom for her birthday and she loved it :)  I wanted to post a photo once it was framed but she's choosing the frame.

Maybe I'll put the sewing machine on the dining table since there's better light there.  I never actually eat at the table anyway.  I have a quilt to finish quilting, a jacket to sew and I'm sure other things I'm forgetting.

I had started making a wrist pin cushion but kept making stupid mistakes.  After bumping my head last week I've had headaches and migraines (worse than usual) and now bronchitis.  I may undo the mistake and try again tomorrow.  It would be very handy to have and I don't care for the store bought ones.

December 6, 2010


I thought I'd found a nice man to share my life with.  Instead...I don't know.  He's no longer kind to me, doesn't think of me, just takes me for granted.  Many friends were checking in and making sure I was ok after hitting my head.  Not him.

I know people have difficult times in life but that doesn't have to make for an unkind person.  It should bring out one's empathy.  I'm tired of men becoming hard and insensitive to me, ending whatever relationship we had.  I'm an open-hearted person and feel deceived when this happens.

We live in a world full of evil but I'd hoped that my little corner of it was safer.  Obviously I was wrong.  Again.

December 4, 2010


I'm working on a jeans hemming tutorial but got interrupted.  I walked into the corner of the wall, really hard.  Thankfully my mom was at the door and took care of me.

The swelling got worse overnight and I think I'll end up with a black eye.  

Wishing everyone else a safe weekend!

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