Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Christmas Recap in January
We had a wonderful family filled Christmas, with lots of good food, great company and merriment.
My granddaughter MacKensie decorated gingerbread cookies for the first time, and was quite thrilled with the outcome!
There were Christmas concerts at church,
Please forgive the awful picture quality, quick pictures with my phone were all I could manage. MacKensie is second from the left in the top row. They were all so adorable, singing Jingle Bells while shaking their bells. They all wore their jammies for the performance, adding to the cuteness!
I hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours, and I wish all the best for you and your families for the new year!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
A Purple Dress and Stupid Mistakes
Do you ever make sewing mistakes that are so stupid, you can’t believe you did it? I do. OFTEN. You’d think I’d learn. But no. My Fibro brain was going full force when I cheerfully sewed the wrong piece of elastic to the pair of pj pants I was making. Naturally I thought everything was fine. I attached the elastic to the top of the pants, after carefully measuring and ironing a quarter inch fold over. Then I folded the elastic and fabric down and sewed again. As I was mentally patting myself on the back, I noticed a forlorn piece of elastic glaring at me from beside my sewing machine. I looked at the pants, only to see a waistline fit for an elephant, not a two year old boy. It was four inches too big. That poor pair of pants sat reproachfully on my cutting table for two days, until this evening when I couldn’t avoid them any longer. The elastic had to come out. Forty-five minutes later the offending elastic was gone. Have I mentioned how much I hate unpicking? Especially when it is a pair of navy blue flannelette jammies, with matching thread. Elastic casings are starting to look better and better.
And another thing. On Sunday evening I wrote a post about the swoon cardi I made for my step-granddaughter. I was being lazy and wrote it up using Blogger, instead of Windows Live Writer like I usually do. Apparently Blogger was having issues and refused to save or post my post. I tried for over an hour to make it work, then finally copied and pasted my post onto WLW. Problem solved, right? Wrong. About an hour later I checked my home page for something, and nearly cried. The post I had worked so hard on, was exactly the same as the post I had written before it. Lesson learned. If you are going to be any length of time between writing posts, check your last post! In case you are wondering, I deleted the first post. I can make a fool out of myself very easily. I don’t need my blog to make it glaringly obvious to the world thank you very much.
Next on the agenda, a purple re-fashioned dress for my step-granddaughter. I love a fast and easy project. Lexi loves purple. I found this long sleeved tee for $1.00 on clearance at a local store. I knew I wanted to make a dress, but I didn’t really have anything suitable colour wise, and I didn’t really want to use quilting cotton. I found the perfect tie neck top in my closet. It is hard to tell on a monitor, but the purple flowers are exactly the same colour as the tee. It looks like the sleeves are incredibly long in the photos, but they aren’t.
PicMonkey isn’t co-operating at the moment, so I haven’t been able to edit my pictures yet.
The skirt is the bottom of the top, and I used the neck ties for the front waistband and ties in the back. I thought it looked a little plain, so I made matching yoyos and sewed them to the bodice with a little added bling.
I think it turned out cute. Lexi loves and and it fits perfectly. Proof that occasionally I can do something right!
Until next time, Happy Stitching!
Friday, September 28, 2012
Living With Fibromyalgia and Other Happy Thoughts
I don’t like to talk about myself. Especially about my illnesses. I’ve started and erased this post several times now, because each time I do, whatever I write sounds so trite and false. But I feel that it is time for me to write this, for my own piece of mind, if nothing else. I don’t want pity or sympathy, just understanding, for myself as well as anyone else who is suffering. I can’t even pretend that I am a skilled writer, in fact I agonise over each word and phrase. And spelling! Don’t get me started. If it wasn’t for my best buddy Spell Check, you would likely think you were reading some lost version of Klingon or something. (Assuming that someone will even read this!) So, whoever you are dear, brave soul, please bare with me as I stumble along in my attempt to tell you my story.
Nearly twenty years ago I was diagnosed as Manic Depressive/Bipolar, and to put it quite simply, I went through hell. I had months of twice weekly therapy sessions, and tried any number of anti-depressants and mood stabilizers, searching for the right combination. Depression completely takes over your life, controlling everything that you think, feel and do. I couldn’t eat, (I lost 65lbs in seven weeks) sleep, or think clearly. During this period I raised my own four children, plus my two stepdaughters.(all under eight years old) It was an up-hill battle, one that many times I was sure I would lose. Without the love and devotion of my husband and family, I’m not sure that I would have made it through. In time I was better able to handle my illness, and was able to regain some control over my life. Depression still plays a large role in my life, and probably always will. I still fight the over-whelming sadness and desire to hide myself away from the world nearly every day, but thankfully my manic episodes are much less frequent.
Eventually I was able to get a full-time job, and I finally felt whole and productive. I felt that I was contributing to society and my family. I felt proud. I worked at the company for eight years, and worked my way up to manager. My job was extremely physical, with long hours, and I loved it. I still kept up my home and cared for my family. I was determined to do everything, and be perfect at it. The only thing I didn’t do was look after myself, and continually pushed myself to the limit and beyond. Eventually, the demands of my lifestyle caught up to me. In May of 2006 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Suddenly my life was in an upheaval. Within Months I was unable to work, and ‘retired’ in August of 2006.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness, meaning that it is not life-threatening, but it is most defiantly life-changing. The list of symptoms and over-lapping conditions is extensive and debilitating. Fibro claims the entire body and affects all of it’s functions and abilities. It causes exhaustion so deep that breathing is a chore. Imagine being so physically exhausted that you need help getting to the bathroom, because without it you may not be able to get up and go. I know that sounds extreme, but it is the reality that I and many others with Fibro live with. Pain is another relentless part of my life. I have two kinds of pain meds, but neither takes the pain away, just dulls it somewhat. Depression has taken over again, and I don’t have the strength or willpower to fight it. I’m not going to list my multitude of symptoms and over-lapping ailments. Because frankly, there are too many, and it is just too depressing.
Fibro has robbed me of so many things. My health, my job, friends and family that don’t or won’t understand, my ability to do the most mundane chores and the desire and ability to do my favourite hobbies as much as I’d like. What used to take me a couple of hours to sew now can take days or weeks. But the most important thing that fibro has stolen from me is my self-worth and self-confidence.
If you know anyone with Fibro or Depression or any other hidden chronic illness, the absolute best thing you can do for them is to let them know you understand. It is far to easy to judge someone because of what you see on the outside. Just because we aren’t able to keep up with you doesn’t mean that we are lazy or don’t want too. It just means that at that we can’t. You need to look inside a person, and really see what they are suffering, before you judge can them.
I apologise for such a depressing post, but I just needed to get it out. In the next few days I hope to show some of my sewing projects. To leave on a happy note, here are a few pictures of my granddaughter’s first birthday!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
A New Year....
I have done a little sewing. Well, more embellishing than sewing! My daughter saw two tee-shirts embellished by Sachiko from Tea Rose Home, and she asked me too make some for her. They were both easy to do, and look so cute when they are finished. The first one I did was the 'Ruffled Shirt'. Sachiko made her's from a cream coloured sleeveless tee, but I used a black 3/4 length sleeve top.
Black is so hard to photograph!
The second tee is another ruffle shirt, this one with rows of vertical ruffles.I started with this,
And this is what I made,
I think they both turned out ok, but next time I make the vertical ruffles, I will sew them even closer together. Thank you Sachiko for the great tutorials!
My daughter is pleased with her new tops, and that is all that matters. Have a lovely day ladies! Anne
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I have been trying for a month to make dresses for my friend Amanda's (The Modern Brady Bunch Family Blog) four girls. I've also been trying to make one for my own daughter. So far, I've made two of the four, and almost completed my daughter's. The first two dresses are for Savannah and Sophie.
Savannah's dress is a simple cotton interlock tank dress by Simplicity. I am making the same dress for my daughter. Savannah had pointed out another similar dress on another web page, so I tried to make it as close as possible. I really hope this meets her expectations! Please forgive the pins holding the tie in place, I haven't made the belt loops yet!
This dress is for Sophie, Amanda's youngest, who is starting school this year. You can read about Sophie's latest adventures here. Again, I hope she is happy with her new dress! The skirt is super full, perfect for twirling, something that I'm sure Sophie is apt to do.
Up next are dresses for Abby and Caitlin. Although, I do have several ideas for cute little skirts and tops, so maybe they may get skirt and top sets! Once I have them all finished I will pack them up and ship them all to them at the same time. I would love to take them to the girls myself, but the eighteen hour drive from Ontario to South Carolina would be a bit much for me! Have a great day ladies, and I promise to be posting again soon!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I call this my 'Little Bo Peep' dress. I just love the eyelet, don't you? This dress is my own design, and is one of a kind.
And this is my 'Flower's of Fire' dress. The colours are so vibrant and summery. I think this is my favorite! Oh I wish I had a little girl again! I made this dress yesterday, and now I am at loose ends. Time to start a new project!
On Sunday I was lucky enough to buy two half shell mannequins, a toddler, and a child size. So yesterday, I redid all of the pics of the items in my shop, plus pics for the new items. Things look so much better on the mannequins, but boy, is it alot of work! Dressing and undressing, and taking pics in the meantime, it took me two hours! But, it was worth the effort. The pics turned out great, or at least I think so, and if you saw the previous pics, I think you will agree! As of this moment I have seventeen items listed in my shop, and I have to be honest and say that I am immensely please with myself! Since retiring from work four years ago,(because of my illnesses) I have been feeling unproductive, and to be down right blunt, useless. Fibromyalgia is so debilitating that it is impossible to keep a regular job, with regular hours and schedules. Opening my etsy shop has been like a breath of fresh air. I feel useful and productive, and I can sew when I feel up to it. If I want to sew at three in the morning, I can. If I have a few bad days, I don't have to do anything. Everything is at my own pace. It has been liberating for me, and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in this endeavor. My family, who has listened endlessly to my chatter about fabrics, patterns and all things etsy, and not to mention the sound of my sewing machines at all hours! Too my friends who have encouraged me, and to all my wonderful readers and followers who have also listened to my etsy ramblings, from the first idea til now. Thank you so much everyone! I love you!
Another person I would like to thank is someone who has become so close to me in such a short time. Amanda, from The Modern Brady Bunch Family Blog. Although we live thousands of miles away from each other, we talk and text everyday. She has become a very important part of my life, and has taught me to believe in myself. Thanks for being you Amanda! While I'm talking about Amanda, you should really check out her etsy store, Six Little Chickens. She has just posted the most awesome bag. And she will personalize it with your initial. I just love it. Take a look!
Well, I may not have posted in a week and a half, but I've certainly made up for it today! I'd love it if you would hop over and check out Amanda and my etsy shops, and leave us a comment to let us know what you think. Thanks again, Anne