Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas time is here...

 Post began on Dec 8th...Holiday Boutique done, check it off the list.
The show went well, I brought along my sister in law's beads, MeMe's Beads. (pic on right)   She sold quite a few Christmas bracelets, and I took one for my commission.  So cute, with Christmas charms, it should go nicely with my snowman earrings and silver bell pin. I had a round table, but found myself extending into the lane with all of my banners, towel rack and baby crib full of pillows.  As predicted, I sold small sachets, pillows and a recycled apron.  My "Powell" towel/potholders just haven't been selling.  I might have to rethink what I want to create for a profit.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November gray to light

November grays, give way to Christmas sparkle, at least that is how I am envisioning my decor this year.  Priority is on more lights, even though the light bill will reflect my choice.  Cleveland can be a very gloomy place, though a rare day is pictured here with sun shine pouring into my windows giving my herb garden a dose...what with all the rain and clouds,  I like to brighten my space.  God knows we need it, news on the economy and how it impacts hubby's and my employment and income just doesn't get any rosier.  I can't detail right now, just know that it hasn't been a Rockwell life lately.  I know I am not alone, and many of you bloggers probably post and are positive about things, it is how we get through.... right ladies (and gents). 

 News flash:  Daughter turns 15!  (pictured on right, at a local indoor water park)
 We still sang to her on Thanksgiving, her actual day, with her choice of pumpkin pie. (she made it herself) We invited my good friend Max and her daughter, a quiet day, but we ate our weight in turkey!
Kate is already calculating what day she can legally get her driving permit. I got to spend the day before her birthday, (Thanksgiving) by hanging around a water park all day.  Her choice this year instead of the obligatory birthday party.She brought a friend, and they ran around enjoying all the amusements.  I was able to get in for a while, and tried out the lazy river.  It wasn't lazy, fyi, with all the kids pushing and shoving,not even relaxing.  I brought my computer and some sewing, and settled for entertaining myself.  The lobby was a quieter option, so I relocated there after spending the first half immersed in noise.

Lavender Rice Sachets Tutorial
One of the sewing projects involved hand sewing my lavender sachets closed.  I brought a bag full of sachets that needed finishing. It wasn't the lightest project I could drag in.  I grew quite a few lavender plants this summer, some I harvested, and some of the plants are wintering inside.  I dried some of the branches, and sprinkled some into rice filled sachets covered with vintage linen bags.  The nice thing about these sachets is that they can be pressed into warming bags, for aching necks, cold hands and feet.  Using essences help push the frangrance up a notch.  Simple, and inexpensive, I hope to sell these next weekend at the highschool's craft show.

Above is a pic of a lovely cross stitched table cloth, with plenty of grease stains that languished in my stash.  I cut out the usuable panels, the largest one was made into a pillow.  The smaller pieces are now part of my sachet collection, as described next.

1. First I sewed around 3 sides of small squares using vintage linens, ( My squares are around 3 x 4 inches, I kept the size consistent, since I made an assembly line of white muslin squares to insert inside with the rice.
2.  Then using a funnel I poured some long grain rice into each muslin bag, about 1/2 full, poured in some essence, and added a few sprigs of the lavender.  I then stitched the opening closed.
3.  What remains is the last side, and I hand whip stitched it closed.

These make lovely teacher/hostess/family gifts, that use up those lovely bits of yesterday, Vintage!  The 4RS way!   

And here is the pillow, a nice size for a sofa or bed! Try one!  Feel free to pin it to you Pinterest board, button is now on my site!

All of these items will make their debut this Saturday, at the Rockets Boutique, Bay Village High School.  Come and see me, bring some friends.  The admission fee goes to support our sports programs, and most of us selling wares, support our families.  Saturday, Dec. 3rd from 9:30 to 4 pm.  Till then....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Posting Hiatus Explained

My computer is now living in my sewing/craft room, which explains why it hasn't been cranking out updates for a while.  I have been wanting to update my blog, but feel intimidated by the layout...seems I made too many changes over the past few weeks, and now it is messed up.  Anyone out there know how to get my side bar back on the right, instead of below my posts?  And somehow my linky parties disintegrated, and I didn't renew the membership, so now they mock me with broken links!  ugh...my subbing and retail jobs have taken a toll, and I just don't have the energy at the end of the day.  I hope to get back on track soon. 

Meanwhile, here is what I have been filling my time with between shifts.

I had a cotton camp shirt that sported a number of stains.  I decided to cover up with pieces of vintage linen.  I simply cut out some medallions and flowers, and positioned them on the shirt, stitching them on by hand.  I haven't worn it since, but it waits for the next warm day when a tank is too skimpy...
 Then I finally tackled my daughter's bedroom, she didn't like the baby blue, that was my sewing room, before we switched rooms.  So she picked the color, a deep middle gray, and in a few hours, we transformed the baby into the sophisticated and mysterious...we also bought some metallic finish to glaze over top, to create a pearlized finish.  We are still hoping to do this, by Sunday?  Stay tuned.
I was impressed that she was so careful, even though you don't see alot of drop cloths here.  Who knew?
 And I finally made my kitchen a hanging towel, some thrift store jewels got some added pearls and crystals, and a few tweaks yielded a pair of earrings too. 

My new favorite thrifting forrays have me picking up chains and pearls, to refashion into baubles I can wear with all my work costumes changes.
 And of course, food is never forgotten, I experimented with my favorite salmon and couscous dish, just had a camera handy, to show the pretty colors.  And the breadmaker made it's fall debut, with a fresh pot of chicken soup, as a side.  We always devour bread when it is hot out of the baker.

And we are happy to welcome Mary Maeve, to our family

 She was telling us, it was time for a snack, so pardon the goofy pic I snapped below.  My nephew Scott and his lovely wife Katy are the proud parents.  We have another baby making an appearance soon, we will post Elizabeth and Pat's third, real soon.

So I haven't been loafing, life goes on, and is renewed again and again.  Hope to resolve my blog's issues before next post.  Thanks for being a loyal follower/visitor.  Please post your thoughts and comments!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Life gets in the way sometimes!

Well, I lied!  We were supposed to be in Washington D.C. for the 50th Celebration of Peace Corps by today.  Life intervened again.  Last weekend, for my hubby's birthday, we were planning to go to the boat, sit and enjoy the sunset and stars and celebrate.  For some weeks previous, I had been battling a bad stomach, and by the time we were sitting on the boat, I was doubled over with abdominal pain.  We turned around and came home and tried to rest, but I was clutching my stomach most of the time.  By 12:30 a.m. we decided that a long weekend of pain was not something we were looking forward to, so off to the E.R. we went. Sedated on morphine and saline, I was "well" enough to go home at 5 a.m. Ugh, not a fun night, and a week later, I am still suffering with pain and gas, and concerns.  I have a specialist appointment next week, so see what is going on.  My dad had diverticulitis, so I know that it might be the problem.  I have tried to be good about what I take in, so I am hoping to turn this around...So why did I tell you all of this?  Well it is my excuse for not traveling this weekend, and for being a little afraid to be too far away if an attack hits me.  I am hoping our friends at the reunion will take alot of pics, we are so sad we are not there with them..

Meanwhile, I still am managing to work, and juggle my various jobs.  We finally had a real estate payday, and have started paying our bigger bills.  And I am subbing at least one day a week...Retail hours means I am working 7 days a week, but I haven't felt too tired yet.  As long as my stomach cooperates...I give it a talking to every day!

We are having a rainy week, which means I return to my crafts, one at a time.  Crocheting while watching T.V., attaching beads and making some new jewels, and my quilt is being returned to again.  It would be nice to finish something, but such is the adhd world I live in. 

My hubby's big Irish family had their annual Labor Day picnic, at a local park, here are a few pics of the cousins and extended family!


Tonight is my daughter's homecoming, though she is opting out of the dance.  I will be selling hotdogs for PTA before the game, but as I write this, rain is constant.  Hope I can locate a raincoat before then!
Highschool has been a challenge for daughter, but I am proud of her work ethic and getting herself up and out the door every morning.  Quite a different child from her older brother...need I say more?

I hope you are finding time to do what you enjoy, leave me a comment, on how you do it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to school update!

Sorry, friends, it has been a hectic month!  My posts are less frequent, but lots of stuff continues to go on!  Daughter is back to school, this year starting as a freshman at our local high school.  Can't believe my baby girl is old enough, but the day finally arrived.  And just the day before, her braces finally came off after a 4 1/2 year run.  She still has an uneven teeth, but we decided we would deal with it later, after the retainer phase.  My smiley teen is on the far left, but her friends proudly show their pearly whites as well.

Just a month ago, I was working for a quilt shop.  After reluctantly leaving that job, which was 10 miles one way, and 5-6 days and full time, I recalled one of the employers who had contacted me, in the interim.   Got the job at a local women's fashions store on my birthday, and promptly started the next week.  I only work part time, and am training to open and close, but base pay includes commission on large sales.  I haven't really scored any big ones yet, but I hope to as we get cooler weather.  (Today was 93 degrees, but storms are coming to clear out the humidity. )

I am also back to "school" as I am subbing again, on my days off...and with 2 real estate listings, my days have been full, though I can't say we are comfortable yet.  Trying to play catch up with so many bills!  And son has been anxious to move out again, so we are bracing for more upheaval.  We will weather this too.

On the creative front, I haven't had a whole lot of time to make things, except that working for a women's fashion store, makes me want to buy my clothes, not make them.  And if you have ever been in our store, you would know they are known to have lovely jewelry.  So a quick trip to our local bead warehouse, bought me these quartz and amethyst stones, to embellish my plain jain chains. 

Pic were taken on different days, different locations, but you can see what a pair of round nose pliers, head pins and loose crystal or pearl beads can do to a boring chain.  I made earrings and bracelets to match, not shown.  While I have spent alot of time sewing and creating tutorials in the past, more recently, with the lack of time, I look for quick projects that don't have alot of steps to them.  I have to have blocks of time to really enjoy sewing again, and those have been non-existent with my varied work schedule.  I miss holding linky parties, and if you have been regularly visiting to do this, I do apologize, that they have been absent for now.  Hope you keep coming back to see what I have been up to.
A simple glass pendant, and crystal beads, using head pins.  This necklace knockoff cost me almost nothing to make, compared to the $50.00 plus items we sell at my new retail store.  I plan to finish the purple stone one tonight. 

And speaking of bling, check out my daughter's outfit for her first fancy dance!  She was invited by a boy that is a friend to their homecoming dance.  She invited her friend to accompany his friend, and a large group of them went to dinner and then the dance.  We parents got to play paparazzi, and take pics before and at our local park. 

The kids clean up real good, right?

I am anxiously awaiting word as to how the night is going.  Blogging and wasting time watching tv.  Of course I had to facebook the pics.  I am sure I will post an update, stay tuned!

Looking ahead, in 2 weeks, hubby and I are going to Washington D.C. to the 50th reunion of the Peace Corps.  While we served 33 years ago in El Salvador, the celebration is for all past and current volunteers.  There is a varied program of activities, including serving at various sites on Friday, a gala dance and a bevy of speakers and activities.  Sunday, we plan to march with our group, carrying our country of service flag, on the mall. While we don't have this trip budgeted, we will be keeping it frugal.  We will reconnect with everyone, including our friend Steve, who is just back from a year in Pakistan working for a government agency.  He has some harrowing stories for sure!
More slice of life stuff, thanks for visiting!  Hope to be more regular with tutorials soon.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Double nickel, 55!

Laugh out loud, you didn't think I would put a picture of what I look like at this age!  The cute couple (us) to the left is a pic taken at a friends wedding.  I think we were married for a year, and we were back in the country by then.  Hubby has the obligatory 80's mustache!  Not sure who has caught his attention, but I blissfully smile for the pic!

Yes, I had another birthday today  yesterday!  The day went well, beginning with sitting for Paula's daughter while she went for radiation for breast cancer.  I brought my daughter along, and we both agreed, it was our gift to be a blessing to them.  And I got to spend most of the rest of the day with my darling 14 year old, part of the time at her fav stores at the mall.  I used my gift card to buy us some fab earrings, and for her, more shirts to go with all those skinny jeans, I will never be able to wear!  I have so enjoyed the fame that comes with having lots of Facebook friends, over 30 wishes by this hour!  I feel so special! 

My last post talked about my success at my quilt shop job.  Well, alot can happen in a few days.  I am no longer working there.  There is a story, but I believe God will open a window after the door was slammed there.  I have already had two interviews, retail of course, so I am hopeful.  Meanwhile, I will probably will continue to help sell real estate, make and sell crafts at few craft shows, substitute teach, and work a few hours a week to fill in the gaps.  I have so enjoyed the beautiful day that was today, I am in no hurry to do much!  To the left, a pic from brother's 50th, we celebrate alot of special days through July -September.  Daughter is the exception, in November.

My quilt has been stalled, but I cleaned up my sewing room, to purge any bad karma.  Daughter wants a new curtain for her closet.  I had this one there, (above) made form vintage crochet panel and old sheets.  She thought it looked "old lady".  Here is the beginning of the new one.
I had this pile of shiny black, kind of see through fabric, and I married the pink duck I had from a thrift store.  Daughter wants to paint her room a sophisticated gray, and wants black accents.  Her bedding was a big investment last year, so I convinced her to work with the bright colors, and coordinate with black and white.  You can see how slick it looks, and then back lit, with the closet light, how it makes her clothes look etheral?
And I attempted to make my birthday cake, with only 1 egg, since I was out.  White cake mix calls for 3 egg whites, so after scrapping it out of the pans, I poured the scraps into a big bowl, mixed with the frosting and coolwhip and called it dessert! 
I probably won't do this again, but it tasted it ok.  My gal friend Max dropped by with Eggplant parmesan, gifts and card.  She made my day, especially since it had been a pretty difficult week for us both! 
I leave you with the pics from a beautiful day, I thank God for it and for my family and blogging friends!

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