Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Bit of Sewing.

Not long ago I mentioned being in the mood to sew.   I have a fancy dancy sewing machine, plenty of patterns from when my girls were little (I sewed all their dresses) and a stash of fabric that needs using up.

So one rainy day I spent some time in my sewing room.    I wanted to make something fast and easy so I chose 2 patterns I knew would fit the bill. 

First was a pattern I had altered from a button down the front to an easy jumper that buttons at the shoulders and I added the ruffle at the bottom. 


I used my easy ruffling trick of zig zagging over some crochet thread then pulling it up to ruffle the fabric, for me this is easier than the two rows of basting stitches. 


The dress was done in a couple hours so I started on another.

I have a ton of white denim, I got it years ago for some project or other, I think I made some tote bags but found I just did not enjoy that much.   I thought it would be cute made up into this jumper pattern.


To add interest I just appliqued the large funky flowers on.  The pattern came with the appliques.  The pattern is by New Look and it is number 6578.  A super fast and easy pattern, the most time consuming part is the embellishments, the rest whips up in no time. 

While going thru my fabrics and sewing supplies (I was trying to organize my sewing space) I stumbled upon my silk ribbon embroidery stash.  I started doing silk ribbon embroidery in the early 90’s, it was very easy to learn and the results are worth the small amount of effort you put into it.

I had some linen in my fabric stash and thought the little jumper dress would be lovely made from it with the silk ribbon embroidery along the neck line for the frou frou. 

I mapped out my design with my water soluble pen…


Then I embroidered away.  It took me a couple hours to do this design…


Here is the back..


To make sure the ends do not come loose when washing I seal it with fusible interfacing.


The interfacing will be hidden by the front facing. 

And voila…a lovely little jumper dress that was quick and easy but with a special touch!

The silk ribbon embroidery holds up better than you would think in the wash. 


Here are all three together..


Now I am in the mood to sew something for myself.. I loved working with this linen, actually it is a linen blend, 55% linen and 45% rayon, it is easy to work with and is less wrinkly when worn than 100% linen. 

JoAnn’s has it on sale right now in stores at 30% off so I picked up some more.    Now to work on a dress for me.


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Monday, January 30, 2012

This always makes me smile.

Peoples ingenuity in making ends meet in this tough economy never fails to inspire me.  Take a local builder.  We all know that construction is not at it’s best right now so what is a contractor to do? 

Create a whimsical village that people will want to buy. 


Name the village Bent Twig..


with crooked little cottages with names like:

The Tree House.  (built onto the stump of a tree, of course)


The Office (gotta love this guys sense of humor, the real roll of toilet paper is a nice touch!)


The Sugar Shack


I am still waiting for the name of this one, maybe we can dream one up. 

I can just see these in a cottage garden with pathways leading to each one, some with roses rambling up the sides, lots of bright flowers planted at the doors…well, you get the picture.


The Burrow.


I am wishing I had started photographing when he first started to put these out.  Some have sold and been hauled away by the new owners and so far no two have been exactly alike.


I hope to see many new ones. Driving by this each day brings a smile to my face and lifts my spirits. It is just so fun to see.

Each time I see someone pull up and load one in their truck I am filled with anticipation.  I know a new one will soon take it’s place and you just never know what it will be.

Enjoy Bent Twig, and I will try to be more diligent any getting photos of new additions to share.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chairs and Roses

A few months back I started on these poor old things


And I did a post of chalk paint vs Rustoleum on them


Then I took it further and decided to paint a motif on the seats.


I did not care for it at all and I could not figure out why.

image  I know the rose on the back had to go, so I painted over it with the white.  And I like it better.  But still the seat was lacking. 
I was just going to strip them down and reupholster it with some old ticking or something but have not been inspired at all to do a thing. 

I have been using them as is in my sewing room and after awhile I started to like the roses on the seat but felt it was still missing something.  Too bland or sedate..
So I took the other seat (still unpainted at this point) and put a little bit different design on it and added a bit more color. 


I think it needs some daisies still but I know adding a bit of a darker pink and the lavender helped a lot, at least to my eyes.

To gussy this one up more I will add some other flowers and maybe go over a rose or two with the darker pink .


Here they are together in my sewing room, please forgive the less than stellar photographs, it was dark in my sewing area and I was in a hurry.


They already dress up my rather chaotic sewing space.  I hope to get better shots of them once the sun shines again.

Not to shabby for a couple of thrift store cheapie finds.

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9 Immune Boosting Foods

I get a newsletter from Organic Gardening that always seems to have useful information for me and I thought to share one article I read yesterday.


I confess to being an iced tea addict.  All day long I carry a glass with me to sip on, summer or winter, it does not matter. 

I had read that black tea was very healthy years ago but here is an update on it’s immune boosting properties. 


4. Tea

People who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink, in a Harvard study. The amino acid that's responsible for this immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea—decaf versions have it, too.

Your optimal dose: Several cups daily. To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, bob them up and down while you brew.


Maybe my tea habit is why I did not get the cold we had this past week very bad, it was quite mild compared to what most folks had to deal with.  I just felt tired and had a few sniffles.  My husband got very sick, fever, body aches, night sweats….the whole Maryann, but not me. Phew! 

I was also grateful to see there is some help if I do get down. Nothing like Chicken Soup.  Weren’t our Grandma’s smart as they always prescribed chicken soup when we ailed.


5. Chicken Soup

When University of Nebraska researchers tested 13 brands, they found that all but one (chicken-flavored ramen noodles) blocked the migration of inflammatory white cells—an important finding, because cold symptoms are a response to the cells' accumulation in the bronchial tubes. The amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which may explain the results. The soup's salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. Added spices, such as garlic and onions, can increase soup's immune-boosting power.

Your optimal dose: Have a bowl when feeling crummy.


The link to the entire article is here…if you wish to find out what the other immune boosting foods are…

9 Foods to Boost the Immune System
Adding these foods to your diet can help you stay healthy.


Keep healthy!


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