The person who procrastinates about other things while writing this drivel is

Monday, September 05, 2011

My 1952 Butterick Walk Away Dress!

Having long admired the classic Butterick Walk Away dress pattern, I was thrilled when Katrina of Edelweiss Patterns offered her expertise in leading a sew along! I already owned the pattern, having snapped it up in a Butterick buying frenzy back in July when Joann's had Butterick patterns for 99 cents each.

Finding the fabric was fun! I could see possibilities in so many prints. I knew I wanted to model the dress with my 1950s pumps, so black was a key color. I also wanted inexpensive fabric because I have not sewn garments since about 1994. I'm a little rusty! I found this black/white/red cotton bandanna print at Affordable Textiles, 531 Queen Street West, Toronto for $2.99/yd.

I'm pretty happy with the way it came out! Following Katrina's instructions, I modified the pattern and ended up with a bodice that really, really fits! A crinoline would really provide the structure that defines the 1950's silhouette.

Living in Lucille Ball's hometown, I knew just where I wanted to take my pictures. This is one of many murals that decorates our buildings.

Thank you, Katrina, for your tutorial and leadership! You provided me with the incentive to finally make this fun and lovely pattern. I hope to make it again in a dressy version!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Mod Podge Mania!

August 2011
I picked up a plain, blue vintage train case at a garage sale for a buck. It seemed to say, "Take me home. Appreciate me! You'll understand later!" I washed it up a bit and started using it to contain most of my basic sewing tools.

Then I saw upcycled train cases glued all over the web and I was smitten! I used some older illustrated pattern envelopes and contents to decorate the exterior with Mod Podge. The inside was still stained and a bit nasty, so I relined it using a cheerful button print quilting cotton that came home by way of the Salvation Army as a dress!

Thank you Judy of Remixed Vintage for her YouTube tutorial on relining a vintage train case! Her use of heat n' bond made a huge difference in the outcome of the lining project.

Just having such an appealing toolbox makes me want to sew! (Oh, and to purchase more train cases! I DO understand!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Just in time for Thanksgiving 2010
We painted our dining area and created a chic, cozy space to share our meals.
Here are the walls, "before" sporting the wallpaper I hung in about 2000. I liked it, but it is time for a change.And, after, featuring lots of Andrew's artwork:

We often use a golden yellow tablecloth which creates a lovely atmosphere. The color is called "Parisian" from True Value Hardware paints, and I would describe it as a terra cotta pink. We love it!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Birthday Cake!

September 2010

With Erik off at college, it is kinda tricky to make a birthday cake for him. The easiest one to mail 1000 miles is made of paper and filled with Aero bars! Here are a couple of pictures:

He loved it!

Thanks to ewillow for the tutorial and templates!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home improvements!

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October 2009

  • New windows! What an operation! The entire installation took about half a day and went something like this:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home improvements, Summertime 2008

Many years ago, in an earlier, poorer, lifetime, I used to plan my day around drying the laundry. It had to be a good drying day to do laundry --- over freezing, and breezy to boot. I would wash the longest drying stuff first so I could hang it out on my pulley system clothesline first, early in the day. I had two pulley lines that extended from my deck to the neighbor's garage. The stuff that dried quickly could go on last and come down first. Laundry was a very strategic operation.

Then we moved to an area with cheap electric rates and I no longer bothered with a clothesline. Few people seemed to use them. I didn't miss the extra work and strategyzing, but I did miss the scent of sheets dried on the line. This year, we got a clothesline!

It is one of those square ones on a center aluminum pole. To install it, you dig a hole in the ground and fill it with sackrete. You set a plastic sleeve in the sackrete to support the pole. The tube has a cap on it so that when you don't have the clothes dryer set up you can cap the hole.

This is the sunniest spot in our backyard.

I am using it mostly for bed linens and curtains.

Here you see another "home improvement" which is freshly laundered curtains, a symptom of "spring cleaning" taking place. This is nine lace panels and two valances. It is amazing how dusty, stiff and gray these get. Now they are sparkling white again.

Definitely, a home improvement.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Ancestral Home welcomes more descendants

Many babies came to visit, some to stay a while.

Someday, this four month old will get back at his two year old sister for putting the fuzzy crown on his head, but today he was okay with it.

Hats were the order of the day, for kids from Atlanta who came to their Ancestral Home.

They were a charming bunch!

Though dressed as a swimming wizard, he cast no spells. Their cousins, Jack and Mary (a.k.a "Mac and Jerry") from D.C. made their premiere visit to the Ancestral Home, too. Jack looks kind of familiar, but Mary's is an entirely new face. We look forward to getting to know them better in the years to come.

Though a mere six weeks, they were not the youngest babies on the old homestead. Local bunnies gave birth the day before the family reunion.

Oddly enough, we found them in the grass between our home and the next, near rose bushes looking more like the leavings of a big, loose dog than a nest of newborns. They were the size of small mice! There was no mother in sight, and we checked the bushes for a dead mother. No bunnies were found. We also lay a rhododendron branch over them for sun protection, and contacted an authority on the natural world for guidance.

She reassured us that mother bunnies do leave their young during the day and also that baby bunnies are born unscented to protect them from predators.

Mother Bunny's choice of locations was rather out in the open, but just a few days ago we had noted two bunnies working on a nest beneath one of the trees in our front yard. It was a shaded, protected hole lined with rabbit fur. Doesn't that sound divine? We waited a night to see if Mother would move them there. She didn't.

Mother Bunny had clearly been to the hole overnight, though, as evidenced by the grass clippings being pressed down, rabbit shaped. She also had tended and fed her babies who still were in the open. Jennifer also told us that it would be perfectly ok for all concerned if we moved the babies to the hole since it was close by. Mother would find them, eventually. If she didn't see them, she would hear their hungry cries.

Here is one of five baby bunnies. Four of them seemed hale and hearty, (hardy?) but one was not thriving. If you look closely at the picture of many bunnies, you will see one on its side. His skin hung loosely compared to the others, and he seemed unable to move very well. Son2 put them gently in the rabbit hole where they eagerly nestled into the fur, expectantly. We're guessing that it smelled like Mom.

After about 9:30 at night, when it was dark, we saw Mother Bunny cautiously approaching the original spot. She seemed easily spooked, so we left her alone.

The next morning, four bunnies seemed well fed and cared for, and one dead baby bunny was outside the hole. Now they are four days old and mother comes by nightly.

The six human offspring have since left. Their mothers were intrigued by the parenting methods of Mrs. Bunny and all continue to take an interest in the welfare of the four baby rabbits.