Saturday, March 27, 2010


Now that the weather is finally starting to head toward spring, I have been a little busier outside. Yeah! Even though I haven't posted for a while, I have been busy with the crafting. I found a "new" fabric store. Quilter's Exchange is a recycled fabric store where you can bring in fabric you no longer want and she will pay you by the pound and then she resells it to others. I bought 2 lovely fabrics and the first one I turned into a variation the JJ Blouse from Burdastyle.

I left off the ruffles on this one as well as the sleeve bands and lengthened them just slightly. I used pearl snaps instead of buttons. One of my least favorite things to do is make buttonholes. I'm not sure why because I don't really have trouble doing them, but I like snaps so much better.

Here is a close up of this fabric that I find slightly retro and a little bit Japanese. This is one of my favorite tops right now. I recently purchased a black cardigan on clearance and they go together nicely.

I also tried my hand at dyeing just before St. Patricks Day. I found a silk/cotton blend cardigan in my wardrobe that I have only worn a couple of times because it was a very boring tan color and just wasn't a very flattering color for me. It is now a fabulous green that was perfect to wear to work for St. Patty's. I have already worn it twice and been complemented on it both times. More of this is in my future for sure.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby Gifts

I have been making baby gifts lately. Seems like everyone is having babies these days. The Fleece blanket and hat is for hubby's boss. I bought a kit 50% off after Christmas and the blanket was way too big for a baby so I cut it down in size and was able to make a matching hat from the extra. I still have more left and hope to make hats for the 2 big sisters as well. The sweater was for a coworker and I used The Einstein Coat pattern. All garter stitch and very easy. The recipient loved it. So much fun to craft for girls. My teenage boys just don't appreciate it. I finished the blouse I had cut out from the last post. As soon as I get pictures downloaded I will show you. I used the JJ blouse pattern from Burdastyle with a few minor changes. This pattern fits me well and I think it is a very flattering shirt for me. Makes me feel good. That's what it's all about, right?!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Store

I had some time to kill before I had to be at work the other day so I stopped at a new store I noticed recently. The sign said Quilters Exchange. Inside I found the most pleasant lady and lots of beautiful fabric. It was all folded into coordinating piles on shelves. Some were already measured into fat quarters and some you could buy by the pound. All of it was recycled from someone else's stash. I love the concept. You can take in the fabric you don't want anymore and she will weigh it and pay you for it. It is a little more costly than your big name branch store, but I would rather support the little guy and buy recycled. Of course I had to buy some fabric and I already have a blouse cut out of the one. I hope to get it sewed up today and then I will post a pic. The best thing is she will cut you whatever you want from a couple inches to yards if it is available. What a find.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Am I ready?

The same day our Cinder was injured, Enza was surrendered to the animal shelter. Is it fate?

The boys think she's a keeper, hubby is still grieving, and I am not so sure i am up to dealing with a puppy. She is only 4 months old and look how big she is. She is awfully good for a puppy. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

On to refashioning. I have been rummaging through my refashion pile after getting some ideas. Still wishing I had a dressmakers dummy to help out with proper proportions, but I'm making do with what I have. This one is 2 t-shirts that I hadn't worn in quite a while. The pink one I was just tired of and the grey one was too short in the arms and the torso. I just added long sleeves and added a band to the bottom and then tried my hand at reverse applique. I've aready worn it to work once and I like it alright. I'm a little thicker around the belly and hips than I want to be and I have to pay attention when adding to the bottom of shirts so it isn't too tight at the bottom. It will receive a few wears I'm sure. Not in love with it but that's o.k. I was just in the mood for something "new". The cold winter is dragging me down so "new" clothing options are wanted to help perk me up.

This one was a short sleeved mock turtleneck shirt my mom gave me. It was pretty shapeless, so I used another shirt that I like the shape of and took it in on the sides and cut off the mock neck and turned the raw edge under. I took a button down shirt I had made a few years ago, that was just a hair on the tight side, took the collar section off and added to the top. I then added the sleeves and the shirt tail to the t-shirt and there you have it. I also wore this to work yesterday. It will also receive a few wears. I have a few more in the stash that will receive some type of treatments. Not sure what yet.

Trying to play fetch with the puppy at the same time as typing isn't easy. She can't decide between the squeaky toy and the tennis ball. She keeps trying to figure out how to carry both at the same time. Hilarious. I think today maybe I will try to finish knitting a pair of socks. I am in the mood to snuggle under the blankets so that is what I will do. Maybe tomorrow I will get to the sewing room. I really need to get the mojo to make some new pants. Stay warm and creative.

Monday, February 22, 2010

RIP Beloved Friend

We unexpectedly lost our beloved protector and hubby's best friend. We are all in shock. When the boys were younger and hubby and I were both gone, they would let her in the house with them and they would feel safe and secure. She was such a special member of our family and we are so glad we had this winter with her and let her spend it in the house with us. It is so hard to believe she isn't here with us anymore. Just as unexpectedly we have already added a new member. A coworker of hubby's was at the animal shelter and they had just had a German Shepherd, 4 mo old puppy surrendered to them. The boys and I went to pick her up and bring her home to see if she would be a good fit for us. I think she has helped the boys tremendously with the hole that Cinder's passing left. Hubby is another matter. He is not sure he is ready for a puppy and just wants his dog back. It has been a hard couple of days. Today he spent time with Enza and I think he will feel better about her soon. He just needs a little more time.
Then she did this, just like Cinder used to at the time the boys usually come home from school. It was a little freaky. I wasn't looking to get another puppy right away, but she needed a good home and the boys already feel like she belongs here. Her paws and legs are huge, so she may end up being quite big. She is only 4 months old and already this big. The other 2 dogs are not thrilled, but seem to tolerate her so they will be fine in time. Say a prayer to help heal our hearts.
I will save my recent refashions for the next post.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yeah, the sun is shinning and it makes my mood waaaaay better. I have had a terrible cold, thus the blog silence, and I finally feel among the living again. I finished knitting another baby sweater and only have to sew the buttons on so I can gift it tomorrow. I will post that pic soon. I haven't finished my cardi yet as I seem to be working on smaller projects instead. most of them are finishing up so hopefully I will get back at it soon. Made a few more pair of underwear and repaired a few items. Not very exciting but needed to be done and is also productive. I have some new refashioning ideas from wardrobe refashion site and can't wait to give them a try. Can't seem to get up off this chair and get busy though. Bean and ham soup in the crock pot and I need to get bread dough mixed up to go with it. We'll have to wait and see if the boys eat it. I will leave you with a picture of a sock doll I made recently-no one to gift it to yet but now there is one ready if I need it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


My rework pile just got a little smaller. Last week I was thinking I needed some new PJs but then I remembered I had some very lightly used ones that just didn't fit the same after being washed a couple times. I hate rolling over at night and feeling a draft up my back because the top is too short. Or how about when the flannel pants shrink 3 inches after being washed? I had some fleece and knit scraps in my stash so I added a few inches to the bottom of the tops and let the hems out at the bottom of the pants. I also had 2 pair of flannel pants that were just a little too tight after being washed to be comfortable. I unpicked the side seams form the waistband down about 6-8 inches and inserted a wedge of fleece. I now have 3 new pair of pajamas. There are still 3 sets waiting in the pile, and hopefully I will get those finished tomorrow.

The top on the left is a t-shirt material and I wear it with some pants from another set that the top has some "lace" on it that didn't wash well. I cut the bottom off that top and added it to the yellow one. Now it coordinates with the pants. Perfect. The set on the right is flannel and I added strips of fleece to the top and the pants to lengthen both. So glad I have these as they are telling us another cold air mass is headed our way at the end of the week. Here is a close up of the cute snowmen and cats on these PJs. Aren't they cute? Purple is one of my favorite colors.

Since reading about refashion on the blogs, I have amassed quite a stash of clothing items waiting to be re purposed or altered. I think hubby is getting a little concerned about what I am saving all this stuff for. Some items have turned out better than others, but all have been wearable. Most have been tops/cardigans. Unfortunately I have gained a few pounds this past year and I need to take the time to sew up a few pairs of pants. This is a more involved undertaking and I can't get myself going on this. Hopefully soon. I have one pair almost all cut out and several yards of fabric for other pairs in my stash already. I need some days off without hubby home. Tomorrow is such a day, so we will see what I accomplish.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Promised Sweater

Here is the sweater I promised to show you. It is a crochet design that I found on It isn't as fitted as I was hoping, but I still like it. It took a few tries to get the closures where they needed to look correct. It is a grey cotton/ramie blend from a recycled men's sweater I bought second hand. It took a while to unravel it and get it wound into balls, but I am glad I did now that I have used it. Now it is time to get off the computer and finish a sock I am crocheting to keep my feet warm. Nothing like a handmade pair of socks.


We finally have sun. It is so nice to see and does wonders in improving the mood. Here are a couple landscape shots from today.

This is what it looked like just 3 days ago. These are really the same views as above.

It was an ugly, blizzardy day. I attempted to go to work, but changed my mind when I got to the end of our lane and couldn't see a thing. Kind of scary. So I stayed home and crocheted. I am so ready for this winter to be done. I need to kick it in gear and get m cardi knitted so I can wear it yet this winter. Here is a close up of the yarn I am using. I was correct in the name of it being Snowflake from Hobby Lobby. It has so many flecks of color in it and I will be able to wear it with so many colors. Back is finished and the left front was started yesterday. It really goes very quickly when I sit down and work on it. I just have so many projects started and so many I want to start. I have to stop myself and finish what I have going right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Blizzard???!!!

I don't know how much more winter I can take. I'm getting worried about calling in to work again to say I can't get there. Hubby tried to go to work early this a.m. and ran into a road blocked with a(big) snow drift. A few hours later I drove to the end of the lane, intending to go to work, and could hardly make out the mailbox a few feet away. It was scary enough trying to turn around and drive back down the lane. It's the worst we've had since we moved out here 9 yrs ago. Already called the boss and told her I didn't know when I'd be able to get there. Hope I don't get fired. Aside from being stressed, I almost completed one sock. I searched Ravelry for a crochet pattern and have adjusted numbers as I go along. For some reason crochet is faster than knitting for me and I have been into that lately. I am also in the process of knitting a basic cardigan I found online. I completed the back in just under a week and that is all the farther I have gotten. I used a wool blend that I purchased at Hobbylobby and it washes up nice and soft. It is a soft celery green with small flecks of color. I really like how fast and nice it is knitting up. I believe it is Snowflake, but I am too lazy to get up right now to go get the ball band. I really need to get back at it as it sounds like the temps are back into the teens this next week. Hopefully I will have more progress to show next post. I will send you off with another winter photo. Stay warm and safe.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When The Boys Are Away

This is what Cinder (a black and silver German Shepherd) does when the boys leave for school or when hubby leaves. She has been sitting on the cedar chest and looking out the window towards the road. She will wait until they come home or wander around the house whinning. It is really pathetic. She is only content if they are all home and under her watch.
Lately she has been shedding like it was spring. We do not keep our house at an ungodly temperature. It is usually about 64 degrees. This is what I got the other morning when I brushed her. Do you see the full grown cat next to the pile of fur? I joked with my husband about saving it and spinning it into fiber. It really is soft. Don't worry, I threw it away. She leaves clumps wherever she lays. I am soooo tired of vacuuming multiple times a day.

Sweater Refashion

I had taken some outcast apparel from my mother a while back and the following sweater has been languishing in a tote since then. I finally went through the tote yesterday after organizing my sewing room. Here the the first refashion in my new space.


It was you basic over sized pullover sweater that was very unflattering. I am sure it is from the 80's. I started by cutting it up the middle, thinking I would just make a basic cardigan. Then I decided to cut the ribbing off the bottom and slice it horizontally a few inches below the arms. I reattached the ribbing in the middle, hemmed the bottom and zigzag stitched the front edges for a lettuce finish.


I added one button at the ribbing and I am quite pleased. When I put it on this morning to wear it, there wasn't as much definition at the waist as I wanted, so I took it in about and inch on each side and tapered up to the armholes and down to the hem. Now I will where it and feel it is a flattering fit. Love the lettuce edge! Such an easy refashion. Give it a try.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

This is what it looks like out my front window. That is a sheet of ice people. I am sooooo tired of using my vacation time at work for this crappy weather. At this rate, I won't have any left when the weather gets nice. This is also one view of my "new" sewing/craft room. I, surprisingly was able to convince my hubby that it was a much better use of space. You see, my other space was upstairs and measured about 7'x9'. Very small and not user friendly, not to mention I just didn't go up there. Instead my stuff was usually spread around the dining room so that I could do laundry and other chores in between sewing etc. We also use a corn stove to heat the house, and with the cold weather we have been having, we hung a blanket at the bottom of the stairs and in the family room doorway to help heat up the main living space. We haven't really used the living room and the family room since TV went digital. We all watch programs together in one room so the family room was just sitting there not being used. I still can't believe he let me have the room. It took a lot of talking and convincing him that we could move the computer and weights out of Hathead's room so he had more space also. That is what convinced him. This has lead to multiple trips up and down the stairs to get everything moved. The boys had to be bribed with pizza to get this all done. Whatever it takes, right?! It took us two days, but things are finally organized and I am so excited to start on my many sewing projects. Oh, and I said I could make some money with my projects and that helped win him over too. Now I have to get busy. Here are some more pics of my space.
There is a large closet that holds off season clothes and jackets/blazers. There are shelves to the left and right of the hanging clothes as well as two full length shelves above the rod. I have a small bookcase beside the desk that holds my patterns and 2 larger shelves to hold books, accessories, sewing baskets and some of my fabric stash. The rest is in the closet as well as my yarn stash. In the middle of the room is a drop leaf table for cutting and work space. I can't describe the excitement I feel at having this space to use. I am so thankful to the men in my house for letting me have this room. I promise to use it and try to keep in in some semblance of order. I have multiple things cut out already waiting to be sewn. I can't wait to expand my wardrobe and do more refashioning. I am so lucky!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jack Frost

I really hate driving in the fog, but it also produces beautiful frost clinging to everything. That includes the long winter hair on the horses.

This pictures doesn't look as cool as it really looked. The tail was the best part, but I couldn't get a good picture of it. They all kept thinking I had a treat for them so they just followed me around. You'll just have to take my word for it.

Now on to yarn news. I made to hats when we went through our deep freeze weather. One was knit and one was crocheted. I am enjoying crocheting again. I think it is faster.


I am pretty sure these are both on ravelry. They were both quick projects. The knit cap was to be a gift to someone, but it came out too big. She has a child size head I think so I have to make her another one. I will keep it to gift to someone else in the future. The cloche is for me and I love it. It is also slightly large for me, but I still wear it. The boys laugh at me and tell me I look like an old lady, but as you can see I was able to get them to model the hats for me (after a lot of pleading). These were both made from some inexpensive acrylic yarn, but the cloche is made using I Love This Yarn and it is quite soft and works well. Next post I will show you a sweater I crocheted and completed in a weeks time. I hope to wear it soon and then I will get a picture. I have a dress that I shortened today that I think will look just right with it. I'm trying to decide if I can get away with wearing it to work tomorrow. I work in the medical field and it isn't typical for people in my line of work to wear anything other than scrubs. When I do, they think I am one of the providers (that's what we call the doctors). I wish I made that much money, but I really wouldn't like all that responsibility. I'll stick with being ancillary help. We'll see if I am brave enough because I like to wear dresses. With the much hated weight that I've gained, they are just more comfortable. I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cold start to a New Year

More snow and bitter cold temperatures, thanks to a north wind blowing down on us today. The snow is one thing, but the cold is just brutal. It does make for nice fiber time. Right now I am in a crocheting mode. I have been feverishly working on this sweater using some recycled cotton yarn from an x-large mens sweater I got at a thrift store. It has 4 or 5 strands twisted together that are in various shades of grey. It took a little time to dismantle the sweater, but I think it will be worth it when the sweater is done. I am probably going to add some length to the body and do the sleeves in HDC with only a few rows of the shell stitch on the end of a 3/4 length sleeve. I would really like to have it done to wear this weekend. We shall see if I can accomplish that. I hope to make it to work tomorrow and with the lovely weather we're having I think it will be a long 12 hours so maybe I can get it completed.