Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shaken from the Doldrums... has been that long.  Where have I been?  Close by...closed up and closed in.  Like many of us, dealing with my personal demons...healthwise and otherwise.  Now I am better, as it is always revealed  when you step outside yourself and think of others not as fortunate as you--in spite of whatever your current circumstances are.  Just be reminded, we are fortunate to be alive today...many are not.  We are fortunate to move free of debilitating pain....many are not.  And, Rhonda Buss (author of Rhonda's Creative Life,) an expert sewist and fellow blogger, reminded so many of her readers that many of those not so fortunate are children, much younger than we who have had many more years of life.  I felt I needed to participate in the Mary Bridge Childrens' Hospital Pillowcase Project she sponsored, and it helped snap me out of my malaise.

Thank you, Rhonda.....thank you thank you Thank You.  You are an angel to the children who get to pick a pillowcase for themselves, and to those of us who felt the joy of guiding each stitch in our donated pillowcases. The picture above is the pillowcase grouping I created.  They are not perfect and have unique flaws which set them apart from the factory-created examples.  My overlock blade was often too dull to cleanly sever several bulky seamlines, but, I kept sewing.  At the end I was visualizing even more fabric combinations but forced myself to stop after completing twelve.  I put one of my vintage printed labels in each one, hoping the child that chose one of them would find it and wonder who was the creator.  They honor my three grandsons, all healthy and growing up in sunny northern California.  All are rather boyish looking, although I did throw in one with purple and red flowers just for me.  (smile)

Well, that has taken up only a portion of our yearlong separation.  The other time has been filled with sewing, and I have several posts currently in draft status, just waiting to share the final garment on a dress form or on my body.  I have lost so much weight, they will fit differently better, but, I currently have so few opportunities to dress up and model them with the proper accessories, days months have passed by.  I promise to reveal them soon, even if they lie on the floor!

There are several crafting projects to complete, too.  Below you will see three examples of decoupaged cigar boxes I am completing for my son and his oldest two boys.  They were covered with napkins purchased at The Party Store ($1 per pkg).  Each napkin was roughly torn and slapped down with ModgePodge inside the lid and outer surfaces of each box.  Isn't the lizard eye menacing???!!!  My oldest grandson will love it!  The bottom of each box will sit on four colored flat-bottomed marbles and each top will be hinged and latched with hardware I purchased from an overseas Etsy seller.  The inside of each box will be lined in green felt, and it is my hope they use them to store the secrets and treasures accumulated over their lifetimes.  I hope they keep them forever and never surprise their mother by storing a tarantula or frog inside.  lol....

I actually wanted to share a source for my favorite straight pins, but the cigar boxes added so much more visual interest to the picture I included them in the shot, too.  The large blue can in the foreground holds five thousand extra long superfine Iris straight pins!  All those sewists (like me) who do not gravitate toward using ball head pins (except on dressforms) will love these pins.  They are very thin (superfine) and extra long (1-3/4") which remains ideal for old-school sewists who still pin pattern to fabric a majority of the time.  And, I confess....they work great with the bad habit I have of sewing over pins with my 401 Singer Slant-O-Matic.   I know, I sister has told me I can't do that on any other machine.....including her $2000  So far, it has worked fine in certain cases (to ease in set-in sleeves especially), so I will continue this horrible, horrible habit another 50 years until I begin to throw off machine timing or begin breaking straight pins one after the other.  I also have the habit of cutting out several garments at once, so I no longer fear running out of my supply of these special pins before I remove them from other projects.

While my son was still in high school, I worked as a training instructor in a (now defunct) fashion fabric store in Fremont, CA.   I fell in love with the extralong pins they carried, and purchased six or seven packages of them, each containing 300 pins.  Well, this year I opened the last package and found out the company is no longer in business.  WAWAK has their replacement, and I am glad I was able to find them.  (Atlanta Thread Supply went out of business and WAWAK took over their customers, website and inventory.)  Looking for a pin that does not snag your fabric and holds a maximum area flatly and smoothly, check these out.

Don't forget me!  This blogging community is amazingly supportive and I have learned so much from its contributors.  My sewing has improved immensely, even though I have been sewing over 55 years, so thanks to you all.   I love the fact that there is still so much more to learn.  I hope to become a frequent participant and encourage your comments.  If you would like to see more detail on the cigar box project, just let me know.

Til next post, take care of your health and take each atta time!




  1. So, so nice to have you back :) The pillowcases and the precious little gift arrived today. What a lovely surprise it was and I love your cases. They are so very special. Thank you for all you have meant to me during my blogging career!!!!!

    1. It was my pleasure! Such a wonderful extension of your good intentions and giving spirit! I look forward to including myself in your next endeavor...even if I am only your cheerleader!.