Still Cutting Fabric

Staring at the piles of fabric already cut out, it would appear that I could start sewing the pieces together anytime now. Except the truth of the matter is, I’m not even halfway done.

There is much more fabric to be cut, marked and thread-traced.

Here is the polyester lining that will be used to line the skirt portion of the dresses. It needs to be pressed, cut, marked, and thread traced. Then, there is the taffeta and lace to cut, mark and thread trace.

I wish I could hurry up this process up, but I don’t want to make any stupid mistakes. Plus, the Olympics are not helping. I spent all last night knitting in front of the TV watching our girls win the gold in gymnastics.

Home at Last

Since Wednesday of last week, we’ve attended a wedding, enjoyed 2 days at the Jersey shore and attended a bridal shower.

Although every bit of it was fun, I am glad to be back home.

I plan to do absolutely nothing today.

OK, that is not entirely true. I plan to stay in the neighborhood to facilitate a boatload of cooking. Folks, it’s harvesting time.

The carrots, jalapeno peppers and, most importantly, the tomatoes are in. First up on the menu: tomato sauce. Oh boy, oh boy!

Not Quite Mrs Fix It

We have the best neighbors.

Not only did my neighbor allow me to borrow a hole saw from his collection of tools, he’s a retired handyman, but he also gave me several pointers on how to drill a hole correctly. He even drew me a diagram!

Armed with this knowledge and a hole saw, I drilled a hole slightly to the right of the original hole. I tried to go above or below like my neighbor suggested, but it was impossible to cover all the old holes and do that. The sawing of the hole went OK. Thankfully, the new doorknob covers most of my errors.

Then, we installed the doorknob.

Oh yes, Elly helped. I had to get a 2nd screwdriver and extra screws for her. She kept stealing the ones I needed for the new doorknob.

Dan came home and after telling me I was crazy to install a doorknob on a day I felt sick, he then ever so gently pointed out my error. Do you see it?

Yeah, the latch is backwards.

Dan had to reinstall the doorknob. Naturally, Elly supervised.

I blame the fever. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

PS. Elly and I are headed to Long Beach Island, NJ for a few days followed by a trip to family followed by a bridal shower. So, we’ll be busy. This blog will lie idle in the meantime. I’ll be back on Tuesday with lots of pictures.


Ecstatic over Ugly Paint

The two layers of white latex paint and one layer of latex-based primer have been scraped off.

The original ugly gold paint is visible again. I never thought I’d want to see it again, but I’m thrilled to have it back.

Now I can paint these walls again, but this time I’ll do it right. First, I’ll brush on a layer of oil-based primer. Next, I’ll add the base coat, a white latex paint with an eggshell finish. Then, I’ll start drawing and painting the stripes on.

It’s my understanding that once I paint over the oil-based gold paint with an oil-based primer, I can paint the stripes in either a latex paint or an oil-based paint. As I have already purchased all the paint in latex for the stripes, that is what I am using. If paint peels off again when positioning the painter’s tape,

I will just curse, cry and reach for our gallon of port – not necessarily in that order. Afterwards, I will head to Lowes and buy beadboard paneling. I don’t care that Dan hates it. No power on this earth could make me scrape paint off a wall again.


Don’t let Elly’s smile fool you, it is not fun.

Hooray! A New Camera!

All my life I have only used a point and shoot camera.

These past 5 years, I have been using a Kodak Share camera. It was great in the beginning. Over time I outgrew it. I was no longer just taking pictures of knitting and sewing projects. I was chasing after Elly, trying to catch every cute expression and every new milestone.

The Kodak failed in me in several ways.
It was horrible at taking pictures in low light, which accounts for our entire house.
The flash distorted the colors of the pictures I took. The first thing I typically did before shooting was to turn the flash off, which meant I lost a lot of pictures to blur, but at least they looked better.
The maximum amount of pictures it could take back to back was 3. Once I snapped #4, an hourglass popped up with the word “processing” underneath.

Then, the camera started to break. I’m not sure it was built to take pictures every single day like I do.
Half the time when I pushed the On/Off button, it didn’t turn on.
When it did turn on, sometimes it froze and wouldn’t allow me to take a picture.
That was the nail in the coffin. The rest I could put up with, but I demand that a camera turn on and allow me to take pictures. So, it is now headed to the landfill.

Meet my new camera.

It’s a Canon Rebel XS (purchased from eBay used). I purchased the body only. Then, I bought a new lens, a 85mm f1.8 Canon lens. It’s touted as being a great lens for taking portraits, which will be perfect when taking pictures of Elly.

Elly got a new camera too, a Vtech Kidizoom.

Don’t you just love how the background is blurred?

And it can take black and white shots.

Though I have to read the manual to figure out how to duplicate this shot. I don’t know what I did, but I love it!

Harvesting Onions

This is the 3rd year I have tried to grow onions.

Three times is a charm.

Not only did they grow well but I also didn’t lose a 1/3 of them in the drying process.

Here’s what I’ve learned about growing and harvesting onions.

Soil is important. I amended the soil with compost. I had done so before, but this year I increased the amount of compost twofold. It mattered. This is the largest they have ever grown.

Mulch is necessary. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I used grass clippings. Yet, it helped retain the water that the soaker hose or Mother Nature delivered.

Air flow is essential in the drying process. The previous two times, I had laid the onions out on our front porch. They got a lot of sun thanks to the southern exposure, but there is very little airflow due to brick wall. This year, I laid them in the garden for a few days before transferring them to the chaise lounge.

Total onions lost in the drying process: 1. It was eaten by a bug.

Now to make my favorite onion dish, onion tart.

Underlining for the First Time

I have never underlined a dress. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t even understand what an underling was and what it was used for.

Thankfully, one of the sections of Gertie’s Bombshell Dress class is on underlinings.

Based on Gertie’s recommendations, I will be underlining the bodice of both my dress and Elly’s dress. It will provide extra body to the taffeta fabric and also allow me to catch stitch the seams without my stitches showing through. Plus, it will keep me sane because I can write all my notes for each pattern piece on the underlining. Nobody will see them as they will be hidden in between the taffeta fabric and the lining. Brilliant!

I’m using a purple cotton from my stash for the underlining. The muslin in my stash felt too lightweight and it was 11 o’clock at night.

I still haven’t cut out the taffeta fabric or the colorful lining fabric. I’m hoping after I do all the thread tracing on the underlining I will feel more brave.

Introducing Baby Gertie

Last week on our way home from the Hickory Park pool, I pulled over to check out a yard sale. Boy was I glad I did.

I found the perfect table to sit in our living room next to our wing back chair. It was a steal at $2.

Elly made out even better. She found a new baby doll to love.

Truthfully, the doll won’t win any beauty pageants. But, her carriage could make even Cinderella green with envy.

Not only can Baby Gertie be wheeled throughout the house in it, but it is truly magical. It has two air hoses in it that can move Baby Gertie’s hands up and down when the carriage handle is squeezed.

We had named Baby Gertie right away. Elly is obsessed with learning everybody’s names these days. Later in the evening while looking the carriage over, I learned that it had a name: “Karen and her Magic Carriage”. I asked Elly if she wanted to call the baby Karen, since that was her given name.

“No, she is Baby Gertie” said Elly. And so she is.

Baby Gertie is not allowed out of the house. I don’t think I could replace her if she was lost or tossed out of the car window as we have already lost a toy and a set of CDs that way.