Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Stuff

I thought I might sew today, but I made a blueberry pie instead. When I was a kid, my grandmother had lots of blueberry bushes, several different varieties, so the yields were staggered and she got berries from June all the way through July and into August. When I stayed with her in the summer, I picked them every morning and then made some pies after lunch. We ate one for supper and usually gave the extras to visitors or neighbors.

I keep hoping to live somewhere with enough space for a few blueberry bushes. I planted several at the house I lived in two moves ago, but I went by there recently and they had all been mown down. . .

Here's my swimmer at our last swim meet of the season. . .

I'm so proud of her, she is blessed with my family's lack of athletic ability, but she still tries really hard and likes being part of a team.

I will be out of town next week, so I'll be back to regular posting in July.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Swimsuit

Isn't this the tackiest fabric ever? I keep thinking of *Love, American Style*. . .

It's basically the same as yesterday's suit, but I wanted to try not using Powernet on the tummy and see if I like the result. If it doesn't work out, and my tummy is rolling down around my knees, I can always wear the suit in the backyard and not go public in it. I'm hoping the skirt will hide that little problem. I haven't tried it on yet (men with hammers in my bathroom, etc.) to test the theory.

Here's a closeup of the leg elastic.

I have one more piece of swimsuit yardage and I just might make it up tomorrow if I get a chance, it's really quick to do since I have all my machines and supplies set up from the last one. Crossing my fingers that the kids will go without asking for food for longer than an hour.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Swimsuit Sewing

I've posted BEFORE about how much I love this pattern (Kwik Sew 2690). That aqua suit from last year is the only one I'll wear and it's getting worn out. I'm going to Orlando (again! I know) next week and will spend at least a day at a Disney Waterpark with ds while dd is at Sea World Camp. So, it's suit time again.

I thought this was a finished photo, but here I am trying it on with the bra and marking where to cut the straps off. . . Anyway you get the idea. I was trying to photograph myself in a swimsuit while there were men roofing right outside my window. Eek. The things I do for you, oh readers. . .

The finished suit, unmodeled.

The inside front. Note the powernet lining for tummy control. I used a regular lining fabric for the bust part (see behind the bra) because the powernet tends to squeeze you into a giant uniblob if you use it in the bust area.

The back side. The crotch and back seams are enclosed in the lining. I decided not to sew the bra in along the upper back edge this time. The suit comes high enough to hide it and it's really hard to hook it up if it's sewn on in the back.

I had a lovely time making it while listening to Lori interview Anne St. Clair about sewing swimsuits on her Podcast. It was just the thing. . .


Monday, June 18, 2007

New Clover Stuff

I ordered some Crochet Lites from Clover the other day and happened to notice this rotary cutter light. At first I was thinking this is silly, I never cut things out in the dark, but I couldn't resist trying it. I finally tried it out this weekend.

It fits onto a Clover rotary cutter with sticky tape. It has a little switch to turn it on and off and runs on about 3 of those tiny watch batteries. It's the green part with the clover on it in the photo.

Even though I was cutting in broad daylight and with lights on, it was really quite helpful to have that extra light. If you were using a dark fabric or fussy-cutting a quilt, it would come in really handy. It would be great if you have a basement sewing room or like to sew at night. Since I am on the other side of 40 now, I have much more trouble seeing under poor lighting conditions, so I think this will be useful for me.

I had never used this brand of rotary cutter either, and I like the feel of the handle, much softer than my usual Olfa. I'm not sure how well the light would fit on another brand of cutter, but I guess you could try it. The sticky tape fits around a curved area on the cutter which means it would be hard to make it fit without redoing the tape part in another shape.

The other thing I got was this cute crochet hook set.

These are the Getaway Soft Touch Crochet Hook Set. This is my favorite crochet hook so far, so I thought I might save a little buying them at once rather than separately. Also, I love the cute cozy they come in.

Note that if you order from their U.S. site, the orders are fulfilled by U.S. vendors. My order for lighted crochet hooks and rotary cutters came from one shop fairly quickly, but the crochet hook set took much longer (was backordered) and came from a different vendor who sells on Ebay. Just so you know. . .


Thursday, June 14, 2007


They call it demolition but that's not what it is. . .

I had forgotten how intrusive and unsettling it is to have large machines in your yard destroying things. And I felt like I couldn't leave, with a sick kid (fever, sore throat, etc.) and in case something went horribly wrong (I looked out once and saw the contractor holding a power saw and told him I didn't like the looks of it -- remember he cut himself with it a couple of weeks ago -- and he told me he just pulled a piece of denim jeans out of the safety cover, the ones he was wearing when he got cut).

They poured a new concrete slab for the garage and cut my cable line, so no computer all week. . .

I kept thinking of that old rap song from the 80s *tear the roof off the sucka* every time I look up. Of course a thunderstorm popped up as soon as they opened it up. . .

We watched a ton of movies this week and I'm only two or three days away from finishing the super secret crochet project, which is no longer fun to work on, since it's very big and rows are so long.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I've got nothing of substance to report, so I'll dazzle you with flowers. This is the first moonvine blossom. There's something so romantic about flowers that bloom only at night. I used to have some angel trumpets when I lived in TX and the bats would come to them in the evenings. I think they will grow here too, although they die all the way back to the ground in the winter.

These are WAVE petunias and alyssum that I grew from seed. The petunia seed packet was rather stingy but I got enough plants for the eight pots on my porch.

My tomatoes are way behind this year, I'm starting to see a few small flowers, but no fruit has developed yet. We're in a serious drought, but I'm watering faithfully. I'm guessing I'll have tomatoes in August and September. It's hard to be patient.


Monday, June 11, 2007


We did a lot of yard work. I was pruning some gardenias and found this huge beetle. It's hard to tell in the photo, but he was about 3.5" long in the body and his antennae were another 2". I tried to identify him online, but the only other PHOTO I found couldn't identify him either.

I made dh dig up and relocate my giant rosemary bush because the contractors are pouring concrete there next week. See the five gigantic bags of rosemary in my driveway? How many roast chickens would it take to use it all up? You can see the rootball behind the fence. What we didn't know is that there is a yellowjacket's nest underneath, but dh only got stung once. . .

Saturday was a girly day. Dd and I got new cell phones and went to the mall.

I know *what does a 10yo need with a cell phone?* but, in my defense, we don't have a land line phone at our house. So, when I have a babysitter, there is no way they can get in touch with me unless they have a cellphone (some do, some don't). Two years ago, I bought an extra cell phone for myself and let dd use it, or left it around as the *house phone*. She has proven herself reliable at taking care of it, and I like being able to keep track of her around the neighborhood or at friend's houses, without calling and disturbing their parents. . .

So, I got a green one, dd got a pink one, and we sat around at the Cheesecake Factory taking pictures or our pasta bowls and sending them to each other across the table, like total geeks. It was fun. I decided to get the bluetooth headset so I can talk and knit at the same time. (I am so behind the times, y'all. This stuff has been around for a long time and I am just now getting in the game. . .)

We went to Sephora and bought some crazy nail polish colors.

I succumbed to the Bare Minerals infomercials a couple of weeks ago and am really liking their makeup, so I bought a few more of their things too. And then we went to the bookstore. A fun day.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bath Remodel

I've been waiting for that relaxed summer feeling to take over, but I can't find it. As school was winding down, I was fantasizing about lazy mornings, relaxing afternoons, etc. I guess I forgot about camps, swimming, and the bathroom remodel.

This year dd is old enough to ride her scooter to swim practices, so I DON'T HAVE TO GO. This is such a foreign idea to me, I'm so used to transporting and waiting for children, that it seems WRONG and STRANGE. But I think I'm gonna like it.

My contractor (the guy who did such a nice job on the sewing room) sliced his leg open with a circular saw, requiring 100 stitches and a few weeks recuperation (a bad, bad, thing -- take safety precautions seriously, y'all). So he's just now getting started. That means I have to get in gear and pick things out. My inspiration for the bathroom is this bowl:

I love the sea glass, sea shells, etc. I bought this on vacation last week because I thought it would look pretty filled with shells. I spent the afternoon at Expo Monday, sitting in bathtubs and picking out tile. This is a bad photo, but I found this:

The geometric sections and half round are glass. Just perfect, I think. Now I'm trying to pick vanities and that part isn't easy.

My current crochet project is a gift for a sometime reader, so I have to keep that super secret. Getting to the sewing room seems like an impossible task right now, but when the banging on the house starts, it might be my escape. The first board they pulled off revealed termite damage, so I can tell it's going to be a long haul.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Gay and Gifty Crochet Ideas

Here's another recent Ebay purchase.

Published in 1951 and cost 10 cents. It has some crazy looking projects, particularly the tea cosy on the cover, but the lace edged handkerchiefs are nice.

But I was flipping through and found this:

It's the same as my free pattern! I'm so excited to find the original. Hope you guys can read it (click on it), I figure it was okay to scan it in since it's been out of print so long, etc. The plant hanger is pretty funny too -- it's like they're making patterns for ANYTHING. . .

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tshirt Quilts

So I saw a ton of posts at the Craft Magazine blog showing Tshirt quilts and I've never photographed or blogged mine. (Ha, easy instant blog fodder.) I made these two quilts ten years ago from a pattern that I bought in a quilt shop. You really don't need a pattern per se, but this one had instructions on how to stabilize the knit T shirt pieces, which was helpful to me at the time, because I was a beginning sewer and needed all the help I could get. . .

Dh had a huge collection of T shirts from college (1970s vintage) and all of his marathon t shirts, which he wore, but then decided he wanted to preserve before they all wore out. He ran a marathon every year between the ages of 30 and 40. (I also scrapbooked all of his race numbers and photos around that time.)

(You can click on the photos to enlarge.) There are a few odd bandanas thrown in, and I used a chili pepper print for sashing between the blocks. They live on the extra twin beds I keep in the basement and the kids use these for sleepovers. It really is a fun way to handle all those t shirts you can't bear to part with.

I have a trash bag full of t shirts of my own that I saved, but haven't ever been inspired to do anything with them. Maybe I need to go through them again. . .


Monday, June 04, 2007

Crochet Vacation

I made some slow progress on my granny afghan last week. I think I made about a dozen squares (50 more to go). It was the perfect, small, no-brainer project for sitting by the pool.

I bought a new straw hat, but it kept blowing off at the beach, so I crocheted a cord for it. A small thing, but it makes you feel smart to be able to fix something that way.

The shelling was really good this time. We managed to find two nice sized conchs (or whelks?). I don't know my shells at all, maybe I'll buy a book for next time.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Back from the Beach

Just a quick drive-by post today. The trip was fantastic. It was great to get away from home, and I couldn't keep myself off the beach this time. Being in an oceanfront house makes a big difference. Weather was great and it only started raining on the day we were leaving. . .

I enjoyed a break from my usual pursuits, didn't even read or get on a computer all week. I crocheted a little bit though. I'll have more when I get through the massive laundry mountain. . .
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