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...

 Time, something I haven't had much of lately.  All of my energy has been in getting to my jobs and leftover time was put to use making crafts for the show I went to last weekend.  Good news, I might just give some of my unsold items as gifts, as time and money are both in short supply.  So easy, to make things for the ladies in my life.  More of my energy goes into gifting them, but I will have to get crackin on the men.  Trips to the drug store and Giant Eagle for gift cards might have to round out my supply.  I really have so little creativity this year, guess crafting is low on the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs...Food and shelter being first that is!  LOL, getting the gift of Omaha Steaks from my daddy in Florida, was so appreciated.  Instead of worrying about holiday meals, we can focus on the sides instead!

Pictured on my right is another piece of that grandmother's quilt, that I continue to use pieces of.  This time, I fashioned a Kindle Cosy, and since it wasn't snapped up yet, it will probably find it's way as one of my gifts for a nice or two.  I am working on a few more, the shape is simply an envelope, made to the measurements of e readers, like Kindle.  I checked with an actual one, and it fit nicely.

 And I have a nice supply of baby crocheted edge blankets, and now we can welcome Emma, who arrived almost 2 weeks ago to our family.  3rd child of Elizabeth and Patrick, we are definately tipping the scales lately towards females.  How nice for me, with my surplus of pink and frilly stuff.  Here is a pic of the cousins, our family is too big to frame in one pic, and the two newest girls to our family, one got all the pics, it seems! Maeve, was in the cutest tutu and headgear!

A week has gone by since I wrote the above, add a few m ore items to the list to check off.  A quick visit from bro Bill and his wife Donna, I was able to send with him all my southern relatives their little token gifts and candy, the McM Family party is past now, and with the occasion, I also finished all my Christmas cards, baking and sister in law gifts.  Also had my retail store party and I finished 10 sachets for gifting them as well.  My sewing room looks a bit trashed.  It is Thursday night, the night before Christmas Eve, and I am blissfully making a few treats and coasting into tomorrow.  A few small packages are wrapped and a few more to finish, but I can say I am done for now.  My two besty friends still get to exchange gifts and treats. Hopefully this can be accomplished before or after church services. And a gift that didn't need wrapping is arriving tomorrow afternoon. 

 Daughter will be returning from her 6 day trip to visit her friend in Ft. Lauderdale, and then across the state to her grandparents in Venice.  She has posted many great pics on Facebook of her adventures.  Her birthday/Christmas present was sunshine, especially since her hometown is bereft of it.  Our Miracle of Cheese, fondue meal will greet her and then church, and we will be ready for Christmas.  And another gift is a few days off from retail, which I am greatful for.  This house has been very quiet with her gone, and her brother too, off with friends.  Not ready for the empty nester routine, but we are getting a taste of it, for sure!
So alot can be accomplished in a short time, but I am so looking forward to kicking back and not having an agenda for a few days.  How about you? 
 Merry Christmas to all my readers and friends, I will finish with our Christmas card...
in the small print on the card it  reads,
 We are so blessed to love and be loved.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


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). 

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!  I brought my daughter along, and we both agreed, it was our gift to be a blessing to our close friend as we visited..  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!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Sighs...

Some personal news, my now 25 year old son moved back home, and that has created it's own set of challenges.  Especially for my hubby, who now sits in his home office in the runway called my living room!  We are all making sacrifices as we creatively try to make the best of our situations.  More on this in the future, just let me say, prayers are welcome!

I have been settling into my "new" job, celebrating 2 months already next week.  There is still lots to learn, but I am grateful to my patient co-workers as they help me each day.  And I am making lots of new friends with familiar customers, even seeing them at my church!  I am making very slow progress on my quilt, as it is too hot in my sewing room!  I plan to go back up there tonight to clear an area to walk, in my wet bathing suit...ahhh

My brothers party was awesome, and it was nice to see alot of family too.  I think some fences might have gotten mended, and in so doing, my daughter and son have enjoyed seeing extended family again.  We seem to be dealing with our individual struggles, it is nice to stop and celebrate once in a while. 

On the sewing front, I am posting picures of my latest blouse, made from quilting cottons, Lily and Will collection.  It turned out nice, but I need to lose a few more pounds...I mentioned this in a last post, Sew Serendipity is the pattern, I need to make a few changes to customize it.  Love that Bernina machine though, I am becoming quite attached!

Here is a pic of the quilt from the Habitat collection that I am using as an inspiration.

Don't you love the "mod" flowers...and patterns!  I am doing the teal/taupe/green/black version...I promised hubby no more rose and blue ribbon quilts to sleep under.  My plan is to make by his birthday in September, ambitious?  Yes it is.  Since I am not an active quilter, this will be a challenge, but I like them, right?
For those of you who have stopped by looking for my Reap What You Sew linky party?  I am putting it aside for a little while, since I haven't had much computer time.  I hope to have more time in the fall to post tutorials and patterns...stay with me friends, I promise more is coming!  Till then, enjoy these summer weekends...:)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Baby Brother Bill is 50!

Tomorrow, my only brother will be celebrating his 50th, with a little soiree at a Holiday Inn, and he is inviting all of his Cleveland area friends and relatives, and all of our southern and much northern ones too!  We all gathered for my dad's 80th last year, and I think he decided not to wait till 80 to do the same!  Smart idea, celebrate while you are still young enough, to remember it!  Should be a great time, and I get to see one of my great nieces, born last winter, whom I have only gotten to know through Facebook!  LOL Can't wait to give Zora and Leah a big hug!

I have been working extra hours as the shop owners are at Bernina University in Texas.  They will bring back lots of great ideas and new stuff from the mecca and we are celebrating this with a fun day August 4th.  If you live in the Cleveland area, sign up (for a small fee) to participate wearing western garb (homage to Texas) and enjoy goodies and drawings to boot!  Wear boots if you have them!  Of course, I am hoping the weather breaks by then, our heat index is well over 100 degrees these past few days.  We probably should add bathing suits to the requirements.

I have only had a few stolen moments to sew or create, and certainly blogging has been sporadic.  I so appreciate those folks that stop by my linky parties, I haven't had much time to promote them, so I might drop for a few weeks, and focus more on new things I am learning in the world of sewing and quilting.  So many visitors and tourists have stopped by lately, each bringing with them their regional requests for fabric or patterns.  So much fun!

Well I mentioned I have been working on a snowball quilt, I probably have made 24 patches to date, and I have been using the different models of machines so that I can try out how each works.  And today I began to make a top using Serendipity Patterns from the book Kate Whit wrote last year. Here is the book pic, Sew Serendipity check out Kay's blog.  In a past post, I showed a skirt I made with her book.  It turned out great, though I have some sizing issues.   I have a signed copy of her book!  I am making one of the tunic tops with Lily and Will fabrics, so pastel and trendy.  Hope to finish to wear this weekend! I'll post when I finish.

Thanks to my faithful followers who have been posting their links.  I am grateful for the support, even though I haven't had as much time lately.

A few parting garden shots, with lots of rain, and before the heat started to take them down...ahhh, I miss spending time with my garden, until Sunday...:)

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