Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving!

I'm ready...23 will be here for lunch. More later! Psalm 28:6-8 (NLT)
Praise the Lord! For He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. The Lord gives His people strength. He is a safe fortress for His anointed king.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Much to be done...so little time!

Only 10 sewing days remain until our big McKinney Cowgirls Market.

We've have the decorations up and the house is in order (a few things left to put in place.) We shopped last week for a new stereo receive so we can have Christmas music playing in all the rooms during the event. A quick trip to Best Buy got us what we needed. Our favorite driver led the way...and along the way he picked up a hitchhiker! We were able to find what we needed pretty quick and head home to install the new equipment.

This week has been busy...not only with sewing but getting ready for Thanksgiving (which will be at my house.) So far there will be 23 of us!

This morning I worked on some small ornaments for the sale. I printed some vintage Christmas Cards onto canvas, stuffed them and stitched them up.
Once completed I cut out 4 new children aprons. Two of them I cut from new fabric and the other two I was able to cut from the "waste" of vintage tablecloths that were previously made into adult aprons. This one, below, ended up not having enough to cut the full apron, so I cut another top and pieced it to the bottom portion. I turned the front and back seams under,
and stitched rick rack over the front seam to hide the piecing. The edges were all trimmed with bias tape. I think it turned out really cute because I was able to piece more strawberries on top, otherwise it would have been solid white. Of course my granddaughter came by and decided immediately it was hers! No wonder I never have anything to sell! I'll have to hide what I've sewn when the family comes on Thursday!
Here are the other aprons I have cut out. I have all of them sewn together...just need the bias tape around the edges - then I'll have 3 more completed!I also have been doing some collage' work and various other art work on scratch board. I made this little German looking picture for my girlfriend and one for my husband.
I have been working on some really cute things...but with "someone" having a birthday on Monday - I can't reveal them until then!Still more to do...cooking and house wise for Thanksgiving....sewing wise for the Cowgirl Market! Till tomorrow!










Monday, November 17, 2008

Banana Bread & Sewing

I found a really old apron and used it as a pattern to re-create this new version. I used a piece of tablecloth (just enough left for a small half apron) and the red check was left over from dresses I made the girls when they were little (so it has to be 15+ years old!) You just never know when you'll need a piece of fabric?!?!? The pockets, created with the check sewn on top, make a deep place to keep your recipe. Once I completed the apron I felt "compelled" to do something with the blackening bananas on my counter. Out comes the "old" cookbook my mom gave me as a wedding present. It's called "Typically Texas Cookbook" (A collection of recipes used by rural electric co-op members.) I've found many great recipes in this book and each of my girls swear it is their book (when I'm gone, of course!) These bananas look perfect...just the right blackness. One more day and I think they would be in the trash.

I love that I get to use my brand new sifter. I picked this up this summer while in Canada. I find it's much easier to turn the little handle than the sifters with the squeeze handle.
Yum! It smells wonderful.
Pecans from Mom's yard. She said there won't be many this year, but I still have plenty in the freezer from last year. Maybe Miss Janice will have a good crop.
Now at this point I would have shown you all 8 of my cute little loaf pans filled with batter...but Ashley showed up with Austin and Lauren...then Stephanie showed up to talk wedding and chaos ensured. We cut one loaf to taste...nothing left of that one, and Lauren tattled that Stephanie ate 5 pieces!
Mike, Peter and Emily arrived shortly after...and of all the pans I baked...this is what's left. Each girl made sure they took some home! I better hide these two or Miss Janice won't get any! Aaron - here's your pan you were wishing for, but I'm not sure it will even be in the fridge when I get up in the morning!

Makeovers & Computer Issues

Last week lasted FOREVER! I was barely able to use my computer due to various issues...but thankfully it has been repaired. I had to move most of my pictures off to an external hard drive (slow process) but success was achieved and things appear to be back to normal.

The room makeover continued to progress (despite computer issues). Here is a picture of the final outcome of the dining room. The curtains were cleaned and rehung. Here is the fireplace located in the dining room. The two colors on the walls works well together and Miss Janice will place her tea cups on the wire hangers on each side. The very last thing to do is hang art on the walls...and we'll probably finish that this week.Here is a closer view of the floor as you enter the new living room. I placed a band of dark around the perimeter of the room so it flows into the existing floors.And this is now looking into the new living room from the dining room. The walls in the living room are painted the same color as the dining room, only in reverse (the raspberry is the accent color on the fireplace wall).And now...looking back into the dining room. I believe Miss Janice is enjoying her new digs! Of course, no rest for the weary! December 6 and 7 is our big Christmas Open House. McKinney Cowgirls Market will be showcasing our latest creations and Miss Janice's house is the "preferred" location. So that meant this last Saturday we had to begin the decorating process to get the house in order for our show!

Miss Linda arrived early to begin the process (of course Miss Janice already had Mike drag the tree down from the attic and she had begun the process of toting all the boxes of decorations downstairs.)Some of our "usual" helpers were there to decorate the tree!And Miss Linda brought extra help - her daughter - to help us. She was fascinated by the bubble lights! Some helpers quickly learned they could supervise others...

...while some just enjoyed the whole process! There were plenty of jobs to accomplish before we could call it a day...

but in the end...the finished product looked wonderful.
We still have some nooks and crannies to decorate and all our products to "merchandise"...but we'll be ready for our first ever McKinney Cowgirls Market!
























Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Projects & more makeover

I was at Miss Janice's Monday evening and today working on her room makeover...however, I won't be posting pictures. She is currently out of town and I wouldn't want to ruin her surprise when she returns. SO...until she can spy with her own eyes the transformation of her rooms...I'll hold off posting pictures. I will let you know that most of the furniture is in place -and I did some "shopping" throughout the rest of her house to fill in some spots I thought needed a little "something." (That will peak her curiosity when she reads this...so she'll have to wait with the rest of you!)



BUT...I have been working on some other projects in my "down time"! To begin with I'm working on a collage' currently. I have some more to do, but here is the beginnings of the canvas with the initial back ground colors laid over the picture. I'll be offering the collage' class to the GriefShare group again this year. It was such a blessing last year and they decided they wanted to do it again.I've been working on this German embroidery for awhile. I have the "Gute Morgan" yet to finish. I used an old "ruined" damask tablecloth for my background. I cut away all the good that could be saved and saved the blue border to hopefully use on the finished pillow shams. This has not been a rush job, just work when I feel the spirit leading. Hopefully I will finish it this year!I have many new tablecloths and vintage fabrics that are ready to be re-purposed into new, useful items. All of these have holes, or "blemishes" that cannot be removed. This only forces creative license to work around all the imperfections. I can't wait to get started (but first...finish the room makeovers!)I save every scrap from my vintage fabrics and I've been working on smaller apron versions that can be hung on your Christmas Tree. I currently don't have any trees pulled out from storage, so my thread holder for my embroidery machine works just fine!On a recent outing I found this wonderful jar full of red buttons. I've already been able to use a couple on an apron and on a purse that needed a finishing touch! I have plenty more small aprons to sew...I also found a bolt of Valentine fabric while I was out. I've been working on some Valentine ideas (never too early to start.)I found this frame at a recent yard sale for pennies compared to a new one. I've been looking for something I could showcase these doll clothes. My grandmother made these when I was 7 for a Shirley Temple doll. The white corduroy coat is fully lined and the dress has a sash and very small snaps on the back. The hand work is beautiful. Perfect stitches - even on the little pockets and the rick rack.And last, but not least...I recently re-surfaced the walls in my guest bath. I used a smooth stucco and troweled it on the walls. I found a stencil I really liked and also troweled it onto the stencil around the top of the walls. Once completed I mixed painted the wall a solid beige, then rubbed red diluted with glaze. The nooks and crannies in the wall and the stencil edges took the red and held the color as I worked around the room. It's a pretty small room, so didn't take too long. I really like the over all affect! Well...hopefully my next blog will show the completed pictures of Miss Janice's new living room and dining room. I really like how the two flow together...oh...I might give too much away!
SO...till next time!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Farm Chicks!

Wow! I have read about and admired The Farm Chicks (Serena & Terri) for awhile. They are all about celebrating my style of country and promoting and encouraging women in their dreams. I want to thank them for the nice mention of me on their blog! What a boost! Presses me on to get my etsy store open. I'll be working on that this week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dining Room Completed

I'm calling closure to the dining room! There are 3 coats of polyurethane on top of the stain, so I think it will hold up fine for many years. I love the way some of the wood took the stain. I'm very pleased with the way the whole project turned out. I will tell you it was work, but it was worth the time. (I believe Miss Janice wants to rip the carpet up in her bedroom and craft room next...after Christmas!) I think I'll work up some other drawings and ideas for the other two rooms (not diamonds). I know Miss Janice is hoping for the Texas Star in her craft room.

Friday night the "troops" were called into help move the dining room furniture into the newly finished room. I also needed the other furniture moved away from the wall in the soon to be living room. I plan on completing the painting in that room on Saturday!

Miss Janice and I moved two dining room chairs into the new room and sat down to wait for the rest of the workers to show up. My daughter thought we looked a little "nerdy" sitting on either side of the fire place...chatting each other up! We were taking the time to catch up on news of the day.
Pretty soon we had plenty of help to begin moving furniture around. Miss Janice had already emptied the china cabinet before we arrived...so it was easy to just move the boxes into the dining room...leaving the large items for the "boys." We had pictures and plates to take down from this room, and nails to pull from the wall to get ready for tomorrow's painting. Mike was in rare form - wanted everyone to get busy and get it done!
Lauren found her a "corner" to get out of the way...And Austin just wanted all the ceiling fans to be turned on!First piece in - the corner cabinet. Second comes the China Cabinet. We also moved the dining table into the room and then called it a night so we could go eat.

Plenty to do tomorrow.

The new living room consists of one raspberry wall, and the other three are the adobe rose color.
It was a tight squeeze to get around all the furniture that was shoved to the middle of the room, but we managed to finish painting the room. Once we completed the painting and cleaned our brushes we were anxious to unpack a few things in the dining room. Miss Janice left this morning for Stillwater...so I had free reign to place items to my liking! The curtains are hung and table is set...ready for guests!
If you can't remember what the room used to look like...here's the before...
White carpet, light walls...notice how these same curtains look against the darker walls now! Until Monday, you'll just have to imagine what this furniture will look like in the new room!
Next week I have to get some sewing time in! Only 3 weeks left before our big open house event for McKinney Cowgirls Market...which is why I have been in such a hurry to get all this down. Miss Janice is hosting our Christmas Open house! Next weekend we'll begin decorating for the show, and decorating her house for Christmas. Lots to do between now and then...but we'll get it all done!
Stay tuned! More room makeovers to come!