Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011-The Year in Review

Well faithful reader, it is that time again. Time to assess where you've been so you can see where you are going. This past year has flown by for me as I am sure it has for so many of you. There have been the highest of highs and some low, low, lows. All in all it has been a very good year. So this is what I have done this year:

As always, I say to myself time and time again; "I don't get enough done." I am not sure what the word "enough" is all about. I sure did a whole bunch more than I thought. Sure there are countless projects up in that sewing room that I didn't get to and they are waiting for me with a mocking sneer. At the same time I have more to show for the year than I anticipated. Why do we tend to focus on the negative space of accomplishments instead of the positive?

Here is the rundown:
  • 23 pincushions
  • 20 snip bags
  • 7 Silk Ribbon Embroidered Pencil Holders
  • 5 bishops
  • 3 Children's Corner Lucy jumpers
  • 3 Blouses
  • 3 Rompers
  • 3 Aprons
  • 3 Chef hats
  • 2 Daygowns
  • 2 Slips
  • 2 Wee Care gowns
  • 1 Basic Yoke Dress
  • 1 Smocked Full Bodice Dress
  • 1 Embroidered Summer Dress
  • 1 Christening Gown
  • 1 Coming Home Gown
  • 1 Overalls
  • 1 Doll Dress
  • 1 Jacket
For a total of 84 items. Not bad. In addition to that
  • 1 Sewing School
  • 1 SAGA Convention
  • 2 Bathroom remodels
  • 2 Chapter Programs
  • 3 Tutorials
  • 1 extra trip to Louisiana
  • 3.5 kids of varying ages moving in
  • Same kids moving out
  • Birthday party of the decade
  • 1 Family Portrait with grown children from all over (Try it and see if you don't consider it a big accomplishment)

  • 1 design being published in Australian Smocking and Embroidery!!!!! Go me!
Once again it doesn't compare to the time spent with this Princess

and just as wonderful

welcoming baby brother right before Thanksgiving. What a gift to be thankful for.

So all of those hours snuggling, tickling, reading or sweet neck kisses from last year, are double this year. The most difficult thing has been finding time to take enough pictures. Thank goodness Oldest Auntie was home at Christmas and made up for my woeful lack of pictures. Even if I did develop a bad case of camera envy. I don't think a new camera will give me more hours in the day.

As if all of that wasn't enough....

He asked

and she said, "Yes!" Their excitement knocked my angel right off the top of the tree evidently.  Exciting day for all, Santa brought dollies, books and BLING! (Say a prayer for me because trust me, I live with George Banks!)

The coming year promises to be just as eventful as the last. My wish for you faithful reader, is that with each day of the new year, a blessing is realized.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thirty Four Years

Happy Anniversary to my fabulous husband of thirty four years. To a wonderful husband, a great dad and now an awesome grandfather. Here is to thirty four more wonderful years together.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Is Santa chasing you? He is sure chasing me. No gifts are wrapped, groceries aren't bought, some shopping still needs to happen. As of last night, offspring have descended, so time is at even more of a premium.

There have been a few moments like these that make all the rushing around worth it. I hope your holiday preparations are coming together.

Be back soon, faithful reader. And bringing back an all time favorite to remind us all of the peace to had this wondrous season....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do Not Be Afraid

In today's Gospel, the angel Gabriel appears to a young girl. A young girl engaged to be married. On the threshold of her life, she had it all planned out. Or so she thought. In her quiet solitude, an angel appears with news that would rock anyone to their core. Can you even imagine her confusion? Her fear? Fear of not only the unknown but the known. This was going to uproot all she had thought her life would be, what would her family say? How would she ever explain this to Joseph? Would he love her enough to trust her?  The angel tells her,
"Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favor."
After some consideration, she places her trust in God. Wow, I can't even imagine. I would have had a whole lot more questions!

Do not be afraid. It resonates within me. A very timely message for me, for us all. Set your fears aside as we wait for the coming of our Lord, at Christmas and at the end of time.

Do not be afraid.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Tale of Santa

We decided to try the Santa thing again. Here is how it went.


First I met some new friends that were also waiting to meet Santa. They seemed to be much more excited than I.


The stage was set. There were lots and lots of other kids there. I was taking it all in; the music, the trees, the kids, the chair, that man.

I am not so sure. Our turn is next, I am getting a little nervous.


Nope, I don't like him! Did you know that Mommies go to see Santa too?

I would rather just go to lunch! I think Mommy agrees.

That new kid they brought to live at our house is a traitor if you ask me. Not one peep of protest from him. He even seemed to enjoy it.


I am pooped! This Christmas thing will wear a girl out. Has anyone seen my shoe? Rumor has it, I was snoring. I think they are mistaken, Princesses don't snore.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Prepare our hearts
and remove the sadness
that hinders us from feeling
the joy and hope
which his presence
will bestow.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho! Time for Christmas finery. Just in the nick of time, Breakfast with Santa was this morning. Princess and her baby brother were decked out and ready to go! Mommy and Mimi are a little ragged around the edges but they had a great time. For someone who has only been walking a week, Princess has turned into a modern day Road Runner. Good thing the dress is cute from the back, that is all we saw as she dashed here, there and everywhere!

There was one thing that stopped her dead in her tracks, that tall man in the red suit! I don't think it is possible for two little feet to be more firmly planted to the floor.

She was having none of it.

She may not have been willing to visit with Santa, but sitting in his chair with Mommy was okay. Master Hank didn't have much of an opinion.

On to the sewing! Both garments are made from Swiss flannel, love that stuff, trimmed with Susie's Ready to Smock red microcheck piping.The romper again is Chery Williams "Baby Bubbles" smocked with Ellen McCarn's "Candy-liscious". Since Master Hank is only a month old, I reduced the size of the insert by almost half. Much more in proportion for him. I pictured smocked the candy canes on his with three strands instead of four, that reduced the size of the candy canes. Then I squished (very technical term) the borders in close to the candy canes. I was happy with how the insert turned out.

The back view. We will address that faux belt another day. Ignore the fact that I took the picture before I stitched on the snap at the neck.

Like baby brother's, I reduced the depth of the original smocking design for the bishop as well. On a size 2 bishop, I did use four strands to picture smock, but repeated that "squishing" technique with the borders. As you can see above, it was the perfect depth. Normally I would have fretted about "bishopizing" (another technical term) the bottom border. For some reason, smockers have been led to believe that you HAVE to have use trellis and wave stitches at the bottom of a bishop design in order for it to drape properly. I took on the "They are not the boss of me!" attitude and decided to go against that philosophy. It worked great. You do have to smock more loosely along the bottom but it worked great.

I didn't get the slip made yet, have to do that in the next couple of days because "baby, it is cold outside!"

Onto the next projects after I clear a path in that tornado of a sewing room.

Parting Shot:
Just a kiss....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For you

Aren't DVRs great? Just one of those many things we wondered how we did without in a former life. While sewing this evening I was catching up on the last episode from Glee. My daughter had mentioned that it was a good episode. Not that there are many episodes that I don't enjoy. This one was a keeper. The below video is one reason.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Smocking is complete, now on to construction. I love the lime green with it. As on the insert, I compressed the smocking design on the bishop as well. Princess might be a tall drink of water but she is still just a baby. She doesn't need smocking down her shoulders. I am off to block it and clear the sewing room so I can start constructing them both.

I think I need to start Christmas shopping. You don't think it is too early?

Parting Shots:

Baby Boy is almost 4 weeks old. Wow, how did that happen? He is looking more and more like his sister every day.

And Princess has decided to enter the realm of toddler. Last Friday she decided it was time to stop the knee thing walking we called stumpin'. We think she had to be practicing behind closed doors and no one knew. She just got up Friday and took off. She had never gotten up by herself before this. Now she does this for long periods of time, running laps.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wait in Joyful Hope


Hope, deep abiding hope.

"Hope is the thing with feathers,
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all." 

Emily Dickinson's definition of hope captures what many of us have a hard time defining. Hope is not blind optimism, nor arrogant certainty, nor wishful thinking. Hope, the theme of today's Gospel, is the knowledge that God would not desert us, that we will endure difficult times to see a better day. Hope gives us the strength to seek peace and demand justice, and to envision the world as God intended it to be.
                             (Excerpted from

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