September 30, 2011

Creating with My Memories

I was contacted out of the blue by My Memories digital software.  I will say I'm not a very "popular" blog so this shocked me.  But I agreed to play with it because I love the idea of scrapbooking, but do not want another expensive hobby and also - I am not very creative when it comes to photos and scrapbooking.  Also - I must say I'm not very good at "techy" stuff.  I bought JB photoshop, but neither of us has really played with it.  It's a bit over my head. 

I was able to easily download the software onto my laptop, open it, add free pages, trims, and other elements and make a small photo album of our New York trip.  For my album, I started with an album layout which included the backgrounds, spots and sizes for photos and where to place text. 

It was easy to use and I felt like a creative genius.  For my second project - I started with a completely blank page.  I then loaded a Christmas background page, added a photo, text, and embellishments (the dark grey snowflake and the light border on the left side).  Then I moved everything, saved it, saved it to a JPEG so I could load it to the blog and am sharing it with you.  I'm amazed at how easy it was. 

I truly believe the reason this was so easy for me is because of all the great (and lots of free) products available at the My Memories website as well as on their blog which is filled with tutorials.  The best part of this whole thing is a lovely offer to my readers as well as a give away (and since I don't have many readers - your chances are better than most!)  My Memories Suite has offered a $10 discount off the purchase of My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software and a $10 coupon for their store - that's a $20 value!  Just use this code:  MMS4Blog.

Now for the give away of the My Memories Suite Software:  do me a favor, hop on over to the My Memories site and look around.  Come back and tell me what your favorite layout or paper pack is and what you imagine your first project to be.  I know for my next project - I'm planning to make some gift tags and then maybe a calendar.  I will leave the give away open until October 14th.  Good Luck.

September 29, 2011

Thankful Dogs

Today I am thankful for the following:

~~ Friends who send lovely, thoughtful trinkets as reminders and remembrances.
~~ Crafty Friends who can take a piece and make it something you will love.
~~ Being able to take a piece that I love from Lapdog Creations to Orange Box Jewelry (see links above) and have Krissy make something that holds Dudley and the rest of my pack in my heart each and every time I wear it.
~~ Having a job - regardless of how stressful - I create some of the stress myself, but it's hard to let it go.
~~ Four day work weeks - giving me Fridays home with just the dogs allowing me to sew, clean or just veg.
~~ The ability to plan a great vacation to meet velveteen friends and visit with The Princess and treat JB to something he's always wanted to do but never done.
~~ Of course the obvious, but for now - I'm gonna get ready for work.  If you are in the market for some interesting jewelry - please go check out Orange Box Jewelry and don't forget to stop by Lapdog Creations.  LDC has a review of some dog treats and a give away! 

Happy Thursday everyone - what little things are making you smile today?

September 28, 2011

Bridgewater - Part 2

Just a teaser.
I threw the shawl over the bar stool to get it out of the way - and loved the way it looked there.
To be gifted soon.

September 27, 2011

Small Sewing

Last Sunday I finally made it back down to the studio and re-traced Vogue 1250 without the full bust adjustment - but with the added room through the hips.  I had 3 yards of a slippery knit that I picked up at Joanns to trial the changes. 

3 yards is enough to cut out the blouse with it's very funny pattern pieces and just enough to cut the free Fringe Festival Knit Top from Fabric dot com.  But only because both the front and back have seams. 

I cut a 14 through the shoulders and bust, graded out to a 18 at the waist and bigger through the hips.  I put in an inch and half hem and the length is just perfect. 

The print is brown with orange, pink, yellow and white butterflies all over it.  If I make this again - I would do something different with the sleeves - they end at a funky length and make the tie longer and possibly wider so it could be doubled.  However - it was comfortable and easy to wear.  I wore it with my denim pencil skirt and a white cardigan, tights and brown pumps.  Unfortunately - I was home before JB - guess I need to learn to take mirror shots - or figure out the tripod, eh?

September 26, 2011

Not Much Sewing

There hasn't been much sewing lately. 

After having a bang up Labor Day weekend in the studio - I lost my mojo.  I did alter a dress for a friend, but that's about it.

I have been shopping - however.  I've bought 6 new pieces of knit fabrics.  The past 2 issues of My Image and the Dickens Bag from ShoeDazzle.

I loved this bag when I got the email and had purchasd it within about 30 minutes of getting the email on Sunday.  The bag shipped on Monday and was on my porch by Friday. 

While it's a bit deeper than I would like - I like it and will use it for awhile. 

What have you been up to?

September 16, 2011

Too Much For Work?

This is actually my first version of Vogue 1250.  It's a lovely heathered brown that I picked up at Hancocks Fabrics.  It has a ton of extra fabric across the back width - you notice I haven't show you a photo of my backside in this dress.

Because I have seen so many of you belt this dress, I decided to try that to help suck in some of the excess fabric across the back.

I actually started out the door this morning without the cardigan.  Which, if I had known I was going to end up wearing a cardigan all day I would have grabbed blue since I wore blue pumps and blue earings and there is a little bit of blue in the cream belt I added.

Let me ask the garment people - see all the wrinkles above the belt and how much drape there is in the top?  Did I add too much with my full bust adjustment?  From the waist down the fit is perfect - seriously.  It skims my lumps, bumps and curves and while this fabric is a bit too revealing - well I didn't mind too much.  But both versions I have made so far (and yes, I think there will be more) have tons of fabric in the top and I'm wondering if I should readjust the top to take some of the extra I added out.  I added an 1" full bust adjustment.

As for the post title - when I first put this dress on, I thought it was just too much for work but I ended up wearing it to work anyway.

September 14, 2011

You've Heard it Existed

My white pencil skirt that is.  Now you can see proof. 

Almost immediately after getting the Simplicity skirt to fit one of the first variations I made was to make it a button front skirt.  It took nearly the entire month of July to make this skirt and it was honestly months in the planning.  I found the blue buttons at Sew Expo at the end of February, then bought the white denim in Portland when I meet Mary.

I cut the skirt out on July 4th, but then realized the fabric has more stretch then I anticipated and it was a bit sheer.  So - I prewashed some white muslin I had in the cupboards and slowly starting hand stitching each denim piece to the muslin and then used the denim as the pattern piece.

I had also made a red and white knit tee to wear with this, but the neckline stretched out too much while I was sewing it - even though I stabilized it.  When it didn't recover in the wash it immediately went into the round file.

Instead I wore a black, white and red tee that I made a couple years ago from a Vogue pattern.

September 12, 2011


I am busy working on a large square shawl.  I had originally picked this pattern to be a new baby gift but once I had picked the lovely green malibrigo wool I knew it would be completely inappropriate for a baby.  I mean the pattern itself would be fine, but the yarn is very thin and it's handwash only. 

I have to say this is the first time in my knitting career that I have knit something knowing it was a gift and through the process have decided that I really, really don't want to give it away.  I promise it will look like something more than a wrinkled blob once it's blocked - which should be soon now.

Anyway someone wanted to know about the last lace border that also finishes this beast. 

Let me go back to the beginning - this shawl starts with 1 stitch and you increase every row until you have the desired number of stitches and then you decrease back down to 1.  That took a fair amount of time.  Once you have a garter stitch square, then you pick up around the four sides and knit 40 rows of a border.

At that point you pick up some waste yarn and do a provisional cast on (one that can be ripped out leaving live stitches) 13 stitches on a double pointed needle. 

The final border is worked perpendicular to the shawl over those 13 stitches.  On every right side row you knit the last 2 stitches together.  Those last 2 stitches, one from the border stitches and one live stitch from the shawl.  So for every 8 row repeat of the final border, you are binding off 4 stitches!  A row counter is very important for keeping track of where you are. 
I have now been working on the final border for more than 2 weeks and I'm just ready to turn the 3rd corner.  I'm ready to be done with this and have it blocked. 

September 11, 2011

United We Stand

Being the dog lover that I am - as I think about the events of 9-11-01 and remember all who responded, I also think about the dogs and their handlers who responded. Some have already perished, sadly.

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.  Picture taken from an email - credits to Charlotte Dumas/Bancroft USA.

Charlotte Dumas, a photographer has travelled the country to take photographs of the remaining dogs.  Her book is titled Retrieved

I am so very grateful to all the police and fire personal who responded from around the country.  Who are still dealing with the remembrances of that day.

I am also so very grateful to the people who serve our country and continue to give sacrifices for a war that seems to be never ending. If you share your spouse with the military - thank you.

Go read Carolyn's account of her days surrounding September 11 - it's quite moving from someone who lives in NJ and works in NY.  And go check out Chan and Angie's posts. 

September 8, 2011

Combining 2 Things I Love

Dresses and Dogs

This is my second version of Vogue 1250.
It feels almost "too sexy to wear to work"
but wear it to work I did.
and I was comfortable all day and only a little self conscious.

the dogs are Beau and Lucy.
I was holding a squeaker that Lucy liberated
and teasing her with it.

You can't see it - but the back has a bit too much extra fabric.
I think I've figure out how to eliminate that - with the next version.
I spent about 2.5 hours last Friday altering the pattern.
I used Debbie's technique for a full bust adjustment and added another 3" to the skirt.
and now I'm busy looking for more knits to make into this dress.

September 7, 2011

Last of the Summer Dresses?

Taking a page from Carolyn's book - I've been on a dress kick.  I've also seen this particular pattern on Snug Bug's Blog a couple of different times. 

After making a couple of Vogue 1250s this weekend, I cut out Kwik Sew 3758.  I made no alterations to this pattern, other than to compare the bodice to my favorite KS tee shirt pattern.  I used some white double knit from the cupboard and a very old, but lightweight quilting cotton.  I had some sparkly lavender cotton that I used for the belt. 

There is a piece of clear elastic sewn to the seam that joins the skirt to the bodice. 

I wore the dress Monday night to go out to dinner and then to see The Help. It was cool and comfortable and I could maybe see a few 'grown up' versions for the Fall, but the problem is - the fabrics I see for the skirt for Fall versions (wool, plaids, velvet) are too heavy to gather gracefully into that full skirt.

Pictures before the end of the week of the second V1250 - Promise - I'm wearing it to work today.

September 6, 2011

Perfect End to a Long Weekend

After a lovely long weekend (I don't work Fridays!) - JB and I capped the weekend off by going out to dinner and going to see The Help. 

Oh my.  First let me just say, I am shocked and appaled.  I have a very hard time understanding that people really believed the things that happened in that movie.  Believing that people who are a different color have different diseases?  Really?  And if you believe that - then please tell me why it's okay for them to fix your food, raise and love your babies, and clean your house.  And then - did any of those women think for themselves?  Seriously.  Anyway, I mean I know that it happened, but it was never, ever reality in my world.  It just baffles me.

Second - loved it!  I absolutely loved it.  This is a movie worth buying and watching over and over and over again.  The story is magical, the actors are fabulous.  I really started to love and care about these characters.  I'm sure the fact that I read the book first didn't hurt any.

I will say that I often want a continuance - even after finishing the book I wanted to know if Aibileen was okay.  What happened to her?

And the clothes were incredible - lots of inspiration there. 

September 2, 2011

Wedding #2

The lovely couple during their first dance.
It was very easy to see how happy and in love they are. 

This is what I wore to the second wedding.
This was a big party to celebrate.  Good times - indeed.

Wedding #1

On August 27, 2011 not one, but two of our friends got married.

Above is the bride.  I've known her since we were 10 or 11.
She's known her groom as long as I've known my husband.
The day was lovely and the Bride was beautiful.

Here I am with her grown son (he was the ring bearer at my wedding 16+ years ago).

September 1, 2011


Monday was a very sad day in blogland, I got an email from Marjie telling me that dear, sweet Thor had passed.  You can head over to her blog and send your condolences.  Regardless of how long the dog's life was - it's just never long enough.  The give us so much and only ask to be treated gently, loved and given food.  The house of MDO&H did just that and I know they have a large gaping hole in their family right now.

Thor as a baby.  Wasn't he adorable?

Thor at his 4th Birthday.

Both Chan and Sue have also posted lovely tributes to this beautiful boy.

Rest in Peace Dear Thor, I'm so sad I never got to meet you and scratch your head.  
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