Sunday, September 17, 2006

Medieval Torture Devices and The Mother of The Groom Dress

My DS is getting married in 4 weeks...actually a little less than...4 weeks ago yesterday.

His bride-to-be has chosen fall colors for the wedding - burgundies and golds...
My last remaining formal that still fits is pale green...not at all suitable! I thought about dyeing it forest green which the bride-to-be said would fit in ok, but the bottle of dye said not for dry clean only fabrics..rats!

So off to the store I went. I thought I would start at some of the stores in the mall that we shopped at when my DD was in HS and going to proms. First store and I hit paydirt...well at least I think its paydirt - the bride-to-be still needs to check out the color and confirm its going to blend with the dresses she's picked out for the bridesmaids. Here is a picture of the dress (thats NOT me in it) in the color I bought.

Being of a certain age and given my propensity for NOT exercising the way I should, my figure is not definately not quite as toned as the model's...sigh. So I bought what I call a 'medieval torture device' - a tummy slimmer, 'guaranteed to take inches off' your waistline. This gizmo takes me at least 5 good minutes to fasten plus much huffing and puffing, works and I can still breathe (eating may be another story!). I had to invest in a strapless bra too...imagine...I am this age and have never worn one!

To round out the day, I found a teenie dull gold handbag thats just big enough for the cell phone and a comb...and the requisite wedding hankie, a pair of flat-heeled gold slippers (due to a car accident a few years back, heels are out of the question) and a gold shawl to cover the shoulders. In SoCal, you never know what kind of weather October can could be blazing hot or chilly... Total shopping time: 1 1/2 hours..including standing a checkout lane that did not move for at least 20 minute (the others were just as slow...I think they were having a crisis with the cash register computers).
So...if the bride-to-be likes it, I have to find someone to make it at least 6 inches shorter...I don't know if I am up to stitching on georgette and getting it to lay flat!

Keep your fingers crossed for me that the color works out so I don't have to take it back and go shopping again!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Another Meme...

1. FIRST NAME? Suze.


3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? 9/11/06 listening to the montage of the morning show program I was listening to the morning of 9/11.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I used to. Its gotten progressively worse over the years. I don't have as much control as I did unless I write really slowly. The computer does a much better job at calligraphy these days than I do.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Liverwurst with mayo, tomatoes and pickle-relish.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes. There have only been a few people I can't stand in my life.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I have one...sometimes I even actually write in it. Reading my handwriting later may be tricky though. I prefer typing on the computer but that's not quite the same as a journal.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes. Still have all my parts except my wisdom teeth (they had to be broken out), the sides of my big toenails, some moles and a couple of nasty fat lumps...

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? For a million bucks...I might 'think' about it. My DD went bungee jumping last spring. She did not TELL us that she was going bungee jumping until she showed us the pictures a couple of months later...the pictures are priceless. She claims it was fun.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Lumpy Cream of Wheat with brown sugar and butter...definately OFF my diet. Haven't had a bowl in at least 5 years.


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not like I was...but I still tackle moving stuff that I probably should get help with.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Butter Pecan. Raspberry Sherbet. Lemon Chiffon. Pumpkin Pie - only available during the fall, so its a real treat.

14. SHOE SIZE? 10. Or 'canal boat' size...



17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandparents.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Sure or post on a blog I read.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Peacock blue knit shorts. No shoes.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Steak and salad.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? An earthmover doing something to a neighbor's yard.


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? New mown hay. Chocolate.


25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Eyes. I dislike it when people will not look me in the eye...

26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Sure. Someday hopefully we can actually meet!

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Water. Diet Rite. Fruit juices...

28. FAVORITE SPORT? To watch - ice do myself - quilt wrassling.

29. EYE COLOR? Grey.

30. HAT SIZE? 7 something. I used to know in High School when I was in the marching band...but that's a loooonnnggg time ago now.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope...wore them so much when soft contacts first came out that I developed an allergy to the plastic. Sigh. Afraid to do LASIK since the doc cannot guarantee that my up-close vision would stay the same...I need that for quilting!

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Chocolate.


34. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Natural unbleached cotton. Very old T-shirt with a wild orange and blue design on the front.

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter...can always put more clothes on, but its hard to get less than skin in the summer.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs. But baby kisses are pretty nice.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate.

38. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Just finished 4 of the 'Undead and...' Series - very funny. Just started 'The Shop on Blossom Street'.

39. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? It's actually a jar has the logo for the place I work's Diversity Council.

40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Did not even turn on the TV.

41. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Harp music. A breeze rustling leaves in the fall. Waterfalls.



44. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I am a generalist - little of this, little of that. (I even have a Master's Degree in Liberal Arts)

45. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? On a Naval Base in Newfoundland, Canada.

46. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Got it from JaneAnn's blog, who got it from JenClair, who got it from Deb, who got it get the drift!

47. NEWEST THING YOU'VE TRIED? Silk Ribbon Embroidery - and I LOVE IT! Expensive though...

48. ONE THING YOU'D CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF: I really, really need to exercise more - always...that sounds like a tired cliche, but its dreadfully true. I keep loosing 20 pounds but somehow, when I am not looking, they sneak up on me and gleefully shout "We're back!" I might be able to outrun them if I would only exercise more...and keep at it.

OK...Tag, you're IT!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

SRE Vest Progress

Here is the progress on my Silk Ribbon Embroidered vest. I am loving how this is turning out. I have a bit more stem stitching on the panel on the left and the panel on the right needs a bunch more flowers and lots more leaves and stems. I haven't started on the back yet.

I bought some material at the LQS the other day for the lining. The original pattern showed a dark blue vest with a dark blue and white checked lining. I wanted something similar but did not find a real checked fabric. The one I ended up with is sort of a check. I think its neutral enough to not detract from the flowers.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Answers to "What's that Lurking in My Kitchen Drawer"

1. Wavy French fry cutter - unused - making French fries at home is a major pain the the backside anyway and potatoes are off the low carb list

2. Fizz keeper for liter bottles - tried it once...but we drink up liter bottles so fast the soda does not have time to go flat anyway

3. Collapsible funnel - got this at the dollar store...nifty, but unused - I just don't have that many things to funnel...but I will use this one some day, I promise!

4. Opa's Antique German beer warmer - why its in my tool drawer instead of in my Opa's beer stein which I inherited, I do not know! Probably would make a nifty place to store waterproof matches

5. Cut and seal to make turnovers - useless - its supposed to make cute little filled sandwiches too, but that does a major waste on the bread slices

6. Honey dipper - also useless...honey usually comes in squirt bottles now and for a low carb family even that's off the list

7. Boil over prevention disk - unused...every time I boil something that could use it, I forget I have the thing

8. Mixer from a bar set - we don't drink so I use it to whisk small amounts

9. Tuna can drainer - worse than useless, makes a mess and then you have an extra thing to wash to idea why I keep it around..the can lid works MUCH bettter!

I think I need to send some of these things to the Goodwill!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Silk Ribbon Tips

These are some tips I learned from my silk ribbon class:

1. Use needles with very large eyes so the ribbon does not fray as much - we used tapestry needles for the spiderweb roses (less catching of the tip as you are weaving since tapestry needles are pretty blunt) and chenille needles for the other stitches.

2. Use pretty short pieces of ribbon... we used about 12 -14 inches only.

3. Thread your needle and pull thru only a couple of inches...pierce the end of the ribbon about 1/2 inch from the top with the sharp end of the needle and pull down on the long end of the ribbon to lock it in place around the eye of the needle.

4. Knots in silk ribbon can work themselves out as you are stitching or otherwise moving the piece of embroidery...the best knot is to pierce the end of the ribbon three times and pull thru. The teacher advised using a regular overhand knot for larger ribbon sizes (7mm and up) to minimize stress on the edges of the ribbon. You should lock the ribbon by stitching thru it, and always lock it when you tie off. Leave a bit of a tail also - ribbon cut too close to the knot can fray out...

5. Most embroidery stitches translate well to silk ribbon. In addition, we learned three different stitches that don't translate back to regular embroidery at all!

Ribbon stitch - used to make leaves - stitch up from the back, lay your ribbon out to where want the leaf point, pierce the ribbon with the needle from the top and gently pull thru..if you pull too hard, its just a straight stitch! As the ribbon gets close to going thru to the backside, the top edges will curl. Depending on which side you put the needle, you can get curls to the right, curls to the left and curls on both sides...Thing to remember is not to tug too hard...

Spiderweb Roses - make a frame to weave your rose that has 5 spokes...we thought it looked a bit like the little man in Hangman. If you are using 4mm, you can use the same ribbon to make the frame. If you are using 7mm or larger, use 4mm in a similar color to make the frame. Weave around twice in the center then pull tight to make the center compact...then twist the ribbon a couple of times before you start weaving...leave the stitches loose...weave around until you are reaching under the prior rows stitches to find the frame stitches.

FrenchKnot Roses - start out about 3 or 4 inches up from the surface, make your two or three winds around the needle for the french knot, then do a running stitch from side to side down the rest of the tail of the ribbon, poke thru and pull gently to form the rose. These are quick to make and so cute!

6. Silk ribbon flowers that get a bit squished can be revived by misting with water to fluff them back up. (I haven't tried this, but this was what the teacher passed on to us...YMMV)

What's that Lurking in My Kitchen Drawer?

Someone spilled something in the kitchen tool drawer (we aren't naming names here but there are only two of us and I didn't do it!) so I had to drag the contents out for a washing... Needed doing anyway since most of the stuff was dusty in addition to having something sticky on them. I don't do much fancy cooking during the summer - its just TOO DANGED HOT to get into recipes that require standing over a hot stove when your house AC does not work. Bring on the winter chill so I can cook again!
Anyway...I found some stuff in the drawer that intrigued me (probably why I acquired the items in the first place!). So, can you identify all these objects?*

*answers posted later...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Crazy Heart

I also did some crazy quilting during September. In a number of blogs that I follow, I kept seeing these really cool crazy quilt hearts. Seemed like an interesting shape for a crazy quilt I tried one too!
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This is the first cut at the heart...I looked at it for a few days and decided it needed more pieces and seams...
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So...I added some more! This is after adding a couple more pieces of fabric and deciding what pieces of lace to use.
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This is the completed heart. Some of the seam treatments were from the 100 Details that are being shown on sharonb's InAMinuteAgo blog...some are just what I thought looked like it belonged. My favorite is the caston flowers...those were cool to make!

I decided I will applique it to a background, sandwich and quilt around it and make a wall hanging...I need some help deciding which of the following backgrounds looks the best:
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By the by, most of the fabrics for this heart came from a lady on the Quilting forum who was moving last month and wanted to get rid of some 'fancy scraps'...I decided to stick with mostly the fabrics that she sent me - the only extra is the coppery colored lame'.

In"Vest"ing in Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Another August happening was taking my first Silk Ribbon Embroidery class.

The class was listed as embroidering an apron - a velvet or denim apron. Now...I don't know about you, but if I wear an apron, it's to keep splatters and flour and stuff like that off me while I am cooking. I cannot fathom wearing a velvet apron with silk ribbon embroidery on it just for fun. So, I asked if I could embroider something else and they said sure..."some ladies embroider a panel to put in a wall hanging or a shirt"...I decided to make a vest - a vest I will wear! One of the ladies in the dyeing class gave me several large chunks of lightweight wool so I decided one of the grey pieces would make a very nice vest.

The store where I was taking the class is one of the only places I found locally that I can buy silk ribbon by the yard off spools. It was fun choosing which colors to buy. I took the ribbons home and wound them onto cardboard floss bobbins to keep them from getting wrinkled. Most of the ladies just brought the wad of ribbons as they were cut, but I wanted mine to be more under control.

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This is the view of the classroom. The lady next to me actually was doing the velvet apron. I loved the fabric she had chosen for the strings and lining. The rest of the ladies facing this direction were doing shirts - either denim or white...One lady on the other side of the table was embroidering a peach colored moire silk panel.

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Here is my vest front after the very first spiderweb rose! What fun!

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Here is the right vest front after a few hours and learning a few more techniques. I need to put more leaves on to finish this side off and maybe a few more rosebuds. I am going to embroider both fronts and across the top of the back. I haven't decided if I am going to add pockets or not...If I do, I plan to add a bit of embroidery to the pocket placket.

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Lazy Daisies and French Knot Rosebuds.
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Stock, Spiderweb roses, French Knot Babies Breath, Lazy Daisy Rosebuds and Lazy Daisies.

I took this project in to show the ladies at work. The lady that runs the craft club said "I am going to put you down to teach those roses on next year's program"...more on that later as it develops!

Monday, September 04, 2006


Another interesting thing (at least to me!) was I got together with my sister for a little one-on-one time. We figured out that the last time we did this, she was 17! In between, we have of course seen each other, but at family gatherings, mostly with the kids (between us we have 7). They are all grown and out of the house now-she's a grandma with 4 grandkids and another on the way....
We went to a flea market. Here are some of the treasures I found:

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A cool embroidered purse, a fat squirrel to add to my largish collection of squirrels and chipmunks (been collecting since I was a kid), a handpainted jar from Thailand, a silk sarong from Tahiti (the top is too small for me so its going to get turned into silk ribbons!), a silk blouse that needs a bit of ribbon embroidery on the button placket (or it may get turned into ribbons too) and a baby book that any quilter would adore - for whenever my first grandkid shows up...whenever that may be! I also got a large brass hat and coat stand that my DH was looking for. Fortunately, it comes apart otherwise it would not have fit in my small car!

I don't have pictures of what my Sis bought - but she got a purse too - brand new with fish on it, a ceramic hedgehog (she collects small figurines and did not have a hedgehog) and a black stuffed crow for her DH who loves crows. One other thing I bought was a pair of fish earrings - thought about using them on a crazy quilt but they went with her fish purse sooooo well that I gave them to her!

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This is my box of ribbons, laces and braids. Some of them I got at the flea market, some of them at a quilt shop, but most of them came from sending away to Wright's for their 'doll pack' of ribbons and laces - which came during August. I got a huge bag for $4 bucks - most of the pieces were well over a yard and I think there were at least a dozen pieces-I probably will never use up all of them! Some are very good for crazy quilting, some I will need to use a bit of imagination to figure out what to do with them! The lace on the cards is marked as 'vintage' and there is lots of it (and no - I did not pay $10 bucks). I think I will experiment with dyeing some chunks of the laces.

Chemistry Lessons for the Fiber Artist - Part Trey

One of the classes that I went to during August was Fabric Painting. This is the last in the series that we have been taking for fabric dyeing.

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This is before we started painting. Note the spray bottles - these were very cool - you fill them with dye and pump them a couple of times and voila - pressurized dye! Makes three sizes of spray dots...

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We did tree paintings...they looked way better while wet than after they were rinsed. Would have been MUCH better for these to have dried before rinsing...I think the colors would have been more saturated. None the less, I kinda like the one I did and may turn it into a pillow with thread painting on it..

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Experimenting with dribbling and salt...

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The reddish one in the foreground is mine...I sopped up the dye that was on the table from other pieces and came up with an interesting piece...layed rubber bands over it and use the sprayer to make a sort of mock batik...this is my favorite piece we did.

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My favorite is on the bottom, the tree is on the top...the other two are ok..but look messy to me. I really should have gone for more of a Melody Johnson look...

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We had so much dye left after painting our fat quarters that we dyed t-shirts too. This is mine with several of the 'off' colors of Dharma dye (Old Rose and Peach Fuzz). Off colors are batches that Dharma mixed up that didn't quite dye true to their expected they sell them but once that color is gone...its gone! They had other interesting colors too - Muddy Elephant and Blue Breeze...
I need to do something to this shirt (besides sending it to the Goodwill). My DH says he thinks it looks like a slasher got to the shirt..he says its even too scary for me to use it as a nightie... Any suggestions?

Back to Blogging!

Sorry its been a longish time since I posted anything...have been busy and the machine that I normally use is 'on the fritz'...managed to get a few minutes to upload the pictures that have been sitting on my camera for the last month! So I will be doing a bunch of posts about what I have been up to during August.