Friday, December 4, 2009

Jackhammers and Packing

Ahhhhh, the restful sounds of jackhammers in the morning..........  Nothing calms my nerves more.

Well, the guys from Dust Management are here starting on the kitchen floor.  I'm busy in the back of the house packing up my sewing room so the ceiling can be repaired when the rest of the drywall work is done.   We've moved into a hotel in town because it's gotten quite cold in the house.   They are putting a rather large trench in the middle of my kitchen and dining room.  Oh dang!  Guess we'll have to eat out.

I actually have a few projects in the works, and thank goodness they are not due in the next two weeks!  I am working on a dress for the White Issue of Sew Beautiful, a reproduction dress from my own collection, an original coat and dress for preteen/teens or adults, finishing up a cute top and a few formals thrown in there.

So, as I'm packing, I 'm trying to put things that I will need for my projects in one very large plastic container.  Well, they may not all fit in one container......  I can't wait to show you sneak peaks of some of them.  I'm really excited about some of the upcoming projects.

Now, to find a quiet place to stitch.  lol     Happy Friday Stitching Friends!

Dare to Sew Lively!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And the Hits Just Keep Comin'.......!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Was it restful, relaxing, filled with food and fun?  I hope so.  Did you shop on the Day After?  Spend too much, find great bargains?  Hope so for that also.

Can you believe it is only three weeks until Christmas Eve?  Are you decorated, presents wrapped, relaxing by the fire with a cup of cocoa and your favorite people?  Are you singing your favorite Christmas Carols to the percussion of jackhammers and shovels?  No?  Well, you are not enjoying the holidays in as creative a manner as the Lively family this blessed season.

More construction work begins tomorrow.  It was supposed to begin today but permit snafus, a thousand phone calls and lots of prayers later, everything is legal with the city, the insurance adjustor is happy and we commence jackhammering my kitchen and dining room.  I think trenches are lovely decorating choices.  Something very abstract about them, don't you think?

Sorry, just have to instill a small bit of humor and/or sarcasm to lighten the festivities.  Finishing up packing the sewing room.  When it's all done, all but one room of my ground floor will have been demolished and put back together.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

To Nana's House We Go - NO!

I couldn't get this song out of my head this afternoon......

"Over the hills and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go....."

We were loaded, finally, only 30 minutes behind our drop-dead, have-to-be on the road time (pretty good for us!), everyone was in their places, even the dog and.....................nothing.  Dead battery.
Oh, knew I forgot something this week!

We've been having problems with the battery in the Yukon.  I've had to use my OnStar service several times to get my battery jump started.  I really meant to get that taken care of this week........
However, two sick children, travelling husband, very torn up house, and a very tired momma, and it just didn't happen.
But, we have a new battery NOW!  After the nice Pop-A-Lock man came to my house again (we've been on speed dial), my sweet DH toddled off to Sears to get a new battery installed.

We'll try again in the morning, at an insanely early time, to make it over the highway and down the road, to Louisiana to Nana's house in time for Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30 pm.

I am thankful for all of you, friends, and thankful to the Lord for the blessings He has given me in family and friends.

Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday with the special people in your life!

(told you it's never boring at my house!  ;-} )

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Fast Long Month

So many days simply fly by....Have you ever noticed that?  With the best of intentions you set your course for the day, and possibly, the week, launch forward, only to be blown totally off course like the intrepid crew of the SS Minnow.  And boy, do I ever feel like Gilligan more days than not!

Since the last time I was here, I have had pneumonia.  Was humming along until one afternoon at 2:07 p.m. I suddenly felt as if the SS Minnow had landed on top of me and I was full of water.  To bed I went.  Several days were complete blurs as I slept and coughed through them.  I thought I had the infamous swine flu, but tested negative for that.  Almost a week after getting sick and on my second visit to the doctor, finally got a diagnosis of more than just a virus.  Not that I was "diagnosis seeking", mind you.  But, as adults we KNOW when we are really sick and when we just need a few mental health days.  These were no mental health days.

Well, almost a month later, I think I am finally feeling like my old self again, excepting I feel the need to go to sleep by 10 pm'ish.  THAT is definitely not me!  I am almost perversely making myself stay up tonight so I can feel normal.  hehe

The real kicker, in this story, is just as I am beginning to feel better, both my children are sick.  AND, I can win mother of the year - not!  My daughter has been sick and home from school all week.  My husband has been urging me to take her to the doctor, but Doctor Mom knows that if there is no fever, just a cough and fatigue, there will be no meds in her future.  And why should we go sit at the doctor's office and be exposed to even more germs?  Well, by Thursday, when she still didn't feel she could go to school, even though she had gamely tried the day before and promptly slept through her first two classes, I thought I'd better take her to a doctor before the school called the truant officer on me.  Oh, and did I mention that my son had been coughing for a while also but seemed fine?

So, we get the family room at the clinic while I tried to negotiate a group rate discount for bringing two new patients with me.  My daughter, it seems has some sinus issues and a dry, hacking cough.  Nothing too serious.  My son hops on the table, the doctor listens to his chest for four breaths and takes him by the hand straight to x-ray.  After a full exam, it seems my poor boy has a double ear infection, sinus infection and double pneumonia!  ...................  Have you ever been there?  Just feeling lower than the floor, not even realizing your child was quite ill.  He hadn't run a fever, just had some headaches during the time period when I was very sick.  He tends to the dramatic side when he feels the slightest twinge or scrape so I have learned in 9-1/2 years to moderate his medical complaints with heaps of salt.  I guess I'd better re-evaluate that tendency.

During all this fun, the house is still torn up, waiting for me to get better to coordinate between the contractors, the bid process and the insurance adjustor.  Oh, and the little item of finishing the pattern I am launching and launching a website.  BUT, I am happy to say, that the pattern is finished and ready to ship, the website is functional (barely but it is there!) and the house is still very much a work in progress. So, I leave you with a picture of the cover of the pattern............Anticipate seeing more projects from me, provided no other distractions arise.

Monday, October 26, 2009

So, it's the end of October.......  How'd we get here so soon?  So many things still to do before the pattern release.  Right now, the pattern is at McCall's being printed.  Pretty exciting.  Just have to finish up the instructions, edit the cover and get the website up and going.  I have a lady working on that for me.  Hopefully, soon..........

I have worked up a version of the pattern in a short top with just embroidery on the front.  It can be worn with jeans or shorts.  Had to find a willing model at my son's school to check the fit and length.  I made this version in a size 8, and although my son is a size 8, he just wasn't going for it!  And now that Paige is taller than I am (that doesn't take much), she can't be my tester either.  Here's a sneak peak of the short version.  It will be shown on the back pattern cover.

It still needs it's embroidery finished.  Hopefully, today.

All the unplanned remodeling of the family room and play room has been a huge distraction.  The Friday before SAGA convention began we discovered that our cast iron pipes had holes in them.  It all started in the world's smallest half-bath downstairs off the kitchen.  Eventually, my wonderful plumbers had to jackhammer into three rooms of my house.   So, while some of you wonderful folks were at SAGA, I was listening to jackhammers and choking on concrete dust.

This pic shows the progression into the family room and just beginning to get into the play room.  Isn't it pretty?  We eventually had over 30 feet of open trench in the house.

Well, the jackhammering is finished now.  Onto the fun part......picking out new stuff and getting it installed.  Of course, with the holidays approaching, I expect this will proceed at a snail's pace.   We've built a house before.  It seems the framing and roofing go up quickly.  When they get to the inside finish work, glacial speed is the norm.

I'll try to be a more faithful post-er.  No more whining about the remodel.  Thank you Lord for insurance.  Now, back to photographing my step-outs for the instructions.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pattern Proofing

So, for my second ever blog post, more than 6 weeks after posting the first, I thought I'd talk about my new pattern.

The dress that will debut as my first pattern will be shown in the next issue of Sew Beautiful, #127, the Holiday Issue.  The dress is a washed dupioni silk tween age dress with a bolero style beaded jacket.   It has an empire, banded waist and slightly gathered skirt.  This particular dress features Italian Smocking but could be made without smocking.  It can also be made as a top to wear with jeans, with or without the jacket.  Here is a photo I took with my iPhone camera during the photo shoot last year.

The pattern will be available for sale and shipping by the end of October, 2009.

The dress was originally made in 2007 for my then-11-year-old daughter to wear for a Junior Cotillion dance, piano recital and the holidays.  I sent the original dress, my original muslin and the pattern pieces I could still find to the pattern grader last month and got it back about two weeks ago.  I really should have finished the proof by now but my plumbing/construction/family issues have been taking WAY more of my time than I'd like.  (More on that later...)

I won't lie.  It's kind of scary-exciting-knots-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach to see the pattern come back.  Honestly, I still get nervous when the magazine comes out each time that I have something in it.  So, before the pattern can be sent on to McCalls for printing in bulk, I have to make sure the graded sizes fit together correctly.  The original dress was a girls' size 16 but the pattern will be available in sizes 8 - 16.

Here is a peak at a couple of pieces cut out and ready to get stitched:

Wish me luck!  I'll let you know tomorrow how it came together.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wow! First Post on My First Ever Blog

Hey there!  I know there are a few hundred people out there talking about sewing, not so many talking about smocking or designing, and even fewer talking about creating crazy things with smocking.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy this and I won't just be talking to my computer and the cats all day.   Don't know if it's looking good.........I may have already put the cat to sleep!