Friday, July 12, 2013

Celebrating the Day I Changed My Name

There are moments in life when you know your world is forever changed. The day you graduate from high school or college, the day you marry, when your children are born etc. You get the drift. Then there are days that change your life in ways you never imagined. I've changed my name before; when I married, became a parent and then when this little princess was born. My name became "Mimi" three years ago today. I knew I longed for grandchildren but I had no idea the effect it would have on my life. Any grandparent out there knows what I mean. You think you know before hand, you don't know.

I love my children, don't get me wrong. I love being their mom and wouldn't trade it for the world. That being said to become a grandparent is something that can't be explained. I am not really sure what it is that tilts the earth on its axis but man oh man, does it ever! I felt like I had waited so long for grandchildren that I might be a little let down. That perhaps it wasn't going to be all I had built it up in my mind to be. This was not the case! It was that and more. Much more.

She has grown up so fast and has been joined by two precious little boys since then.  First her baby brother and most recently by a cousin. I lamented I would never have any grandchildren and now there have been three in three years! I wouldn't have it any other way.

She talks a blue streak, has an attitude a mile wide, is smarter than the average bear, loves cake, pahcorn (popcorn), Dora and Cinallela (Cinderella), would rather read a book than do anything else, hates her hands being dirty and has logged more miles on an airplane in her short life than most people do in a lifetime.  She runs the show, no doubt about it! She has more adults wrapped around her little finger than the law should allow.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl! I love my new name, Mimi.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stitchin' While Doing the Texas Two-Step

Have you ever wanted to learn to smock? Do you admire beautiful embroideries from by-gone eras? Do you love to sew for children but your garments have that “homemade look”? Do you read sewing blogs and wonder to what the terms pin stitch, faggoting, hemstitch and featherstitch refer? Would you like to broaden your sewing skills? Come join the Smocking Arts Guild ofAmerica (SAGA™) at its annual convention in Frisco, Texas October 23rd-27th and you will have a discover your hidden talents!

When you hear the word convention, think fun, exciting and educational classes!  Each class has been evaluated and approved by a SAGA selection committee so you can be assured that you will be taught proper technique and execution allowing you to expand your sewing skills. From pattern drafting for children, mastering the peter pan collar, designing your own smocked ornament, learning how to shadow embroider, working on pulled thread, tackling the pea hole hemstitch, mastering your pleater, stitching an elaborate Elizabethan Panel, or simply perfecting your smocking, there is something for everyone taught at all levels!

Are you ready to challenge yourself to improve your stitching? Join the SAGA Artisan Program and work toward attaining the level of apprentice, artisan or master in four different areas of expertise – smocking, embroidery, fine machine sewing and fine hand sewing. There will be an informational meeting of the Artisan Program at convention to explain the process and classes you take can count toward achieving the necessary levels. 

Interested in helping your community with a service project using your stitching? Come and learn about the SAGA Wee Care Program, and get inspired by the talents of our members who donate hand smocked and embroidered gowns and bonnets to local hospitals for neonatal units and bereavement programs. 

Don’t know anyone? Don’t worry - ladies who stitch are friendly, helpful and love to have fun. So join the SAGA convention, learn a new technique, participate in the doll clothing contest and yes, even learn to Two-Step!

SAGA has chapters through out the United States and a chapter in Mexico and Australia! Local chapters meet monthly, bring teachers for seminars and participate in the WeeCare Program™. If there is no chapter located near you, you can still become involved through the members at large program. For more information, check out the SAGA website at!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A New Man in the House

Another arrival has come to stay as well. When traveling to my daughter's she asked that I bring my iron because hers was really carpy. She was not lying! Carpy doesn't begin to describe it. I am not sure it ever got really, really warm; let alone hot.

I decided being the good mom that I am (and wanting those linen daygowns ironed after I left) to gift her with my Reliable Velocity iron. It is a great iron. I have blogged about it before, here. Also too, I will admit I had been wanting a later generation Velocity with the auto-shutoff override. So you see, my reasons weren't 100% altruistic. (Hey don't judge me, she got a great iron in the deal!)  SO of course I had to have an iron. I went looking and found the man of my dreams.

Meet Bubba. The Reliable J490 IronMaven. (Please, what a sissy name for this thing.) Is that a behemoth or what? I will admit I was a tad frightened when I took it out of the box and found wrenches, litmus strips and alarm bells listed in the info. After reading the manual; yes, all of it, I told you I was scared; I tested my water, filled the tank and turned that buddy on. WHOA NELLY! It will shoot steam half way across the room! No lie. I may have to get a separate table for it, it is huge! I'm afraid if I get one of those holders for the end of ironing board it will tip the entire thing over.

I will get over my fear. Hopefully, no lace or fabric victims will occur in the process. I have wanted one of these type of irons for a long time. I am hopeful it won't let me down.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Where in the World is Southern Matriarch?

In the sewing room! For two and half days I have traced, erased, retraced, wadded up, restarted, traced again and finally settled on a design for the new family gown for Baby Peanut and his future siblings. I don't know what made me think I could do this while I was away awaiting Baby Peanut's birth. I am a pretty good multi-tasker but for this process I need head space. I realized last night that in those two and half days I hadn't even had the TV on and very little music playing.  And heaven knows I needed a printer! If I find an image I want to adapt, I end up resizing it in multiple sizes with my all in one printer/copier/scanner. I certainly got in my "steps" the past few days, up and down the stairs between the printer and my sewing room.

The need for the physical space to spread out is also a must. Well that is the case all the time, but stencils, rulers, paper, pens, pencils, lightbox, tracing paper, etc. etc etc. take up a lot of room.  All that aside, the design is done and this morning blue pen will meet fabric.

So that is where I have been. As I said, I will spend a good bit of my time today tracing onto fabric and getting ready to stitch. This evening I will take a break to have the obligatory grilled meat and watch some fireworks. Happy 4th of July faithful reader.

May your burger be just right, the breeze cool and the fireworks aplenty. We are blessed to live in a great country. Celebrate that with those you love. My daughter who lives abroad wrote a great post about it. It is amazing the perspective you have when you live elsewhere.
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