Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mommy and Me Maxi Dresses

A dear friend of mine was trying to raise money to move from New York City back to his beloved Chicago. He set up a Go Fund Me and needed some "premiums"....a gift if people donated money for his cause. I volunteered to make some t-shirt maxi dresses.

One of the contributors was from Nebraska, and after asking a few questions, I found out she lived in Paris for a time...and she has a 3 month old daughter...
I loved the chevron skirt
Every dress needs pockets...
I paired the skirt with a Nicole Miller top
Some t-shirt fringe on the pockets
AND a little mini-me version for her baby girl...

Of course, it would be wonderful if everything I made was a big hit...but that's not the way it works. I sent the two dresses off to my friend's friend...and I never heard a word. ugh.

But, instead of being disappointed...I remembered this.

From my friend Eileen Roche (who is presenting the Friday Night LIVE show in Puyallup tonight).

Eileen says, "Here’s how I look at sewing gifts for other people. I pour my heart into it, pick the project and the materials with that specific person in mind and then I throw myself into it. I think about them the entire time. And when it’s complete, I am done – I mean, I could literally, throw it away because I know I already got what I wanted to get. I wanted to honor them with my time, talent and thoughts. I wanted to spend time focusing on them, kind of ‘spending time’ with them (although they’re not there). In my mind, the process is the gift. So don’t look at the time and energy that you spent as a waste, look at it as a gift to yourself. The gift of thinking, imagining, fantasizing about how much they will love your gift. The fact that they didn’t, well -- screw it. That’s their loss, just a total loss, it’s not your loss."



To read the issue about Eileen, her sister Marie, and the AMAZING sisterhood that is the women who sew -- check out the interview she did for Inspired To Sew magazine!! http://issuu.com/schmetzneedles/docs/its-feb15?e=10258703/11186835

My New Rolling Duffle

Warren spent the night here last night...and I get so busy trying to keep him from swallowing coins, I forgot to write a blog post.  But it would have been about painting my washing machine (it is happening)....

So, since I didn't get a chance to take those photos -- here's an OLD post about a dufflebag I painted a coupla years ago.  It was first published on February 26, 2012, and I was on my way to Puyallup.

*******************


Taking a page from Oprah's magazine...there's one thing I know for sure...

No matter how much you pay for your suitcase -- the airlines WILL DESTROY IT.

So, I've made the choice to travel with cheap 30" rolling duffles. They don't weigh much...I can get a LOT OF STUFF packed in them...they're easy and fun to decorate....and when Delta tears it apart -- it's not a big loss.

The first step is to stuff the suitcase with blankets or towels. You want the surface to be as flat as possible. The secret to success is a lot of different "coats" of paint -- and you have to let the project dry between layers.


Most important step -- a coat of Mod Podge. If you don't do this -- the paint just soaks into the fabric and you will never achieve vibrant color.

Then, I put down a white base coat...then big patches of pink or blue...

Next step -- lay out a design (sorta)

Next step -- paint another white coat over the failed first design...(lol)
When I think it's mucked enough -- I use a black permanent marker to add some detail.

FINAL STEP -- several coats of Mod Podge.


So THIS IS MY NEW ROLLING DUFFLE. If you're at the Seattle airport on Sunday -- look for it standing on the curb...

I AM SOO EXCITED!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mary's Hotel Lobby Seminar

On Mary's second day in Iowa, we went to the Figge Museum and had lunch at the Blackhawk Hotel. Then, a little magic happened. Magic is more likely to happen if you are in a beautiful place...or with people you love....Although we didn't exactly plan this part of the day...it did end up glorious...
This is the side entrance to the Blackhawk...
The side lobby is smaller, but still stunning
with a magnificent gas fireplace
The furniture is all custom made
When the hotel reopened, after the big expensive remodel -- we had a cousin's party there!!
WHICH WAS AWESOME...
So, on this special occasion -- after lunch, we decided to enjoy the gorgeous lob...by
And it just so happens, Mary brought gifts for everybody...
There were books, and patterns...
And -- WHAT THE HECK?? She might as well do a little seminar...
I mean -- the chairs are really comfortable...
And the lighting IS STUNNING...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Figge Day Lunch Location

So -- okay - it's still Mary's Figge Day. We saw some wonderful art. And I love the look of these pieces. A cross between a sculpture, a stained glass window, and a Christmas Tree light string...

So, after such a beautiful, inspiring morning at the Figge -- our lunch should be something special. AND -- REMEMBER WE ARE in DOWNTOWN DAVENPORT. So -- where should we go???
Two blocks away -- the stunning, recently remodeled, historic Blackhawk Hotel!!
Mary and Phyllis at the Bix Bistro -- the restaurant inside the Blackhawk.
They spent MILLIONS of dollars renovating this hotel, and the results are stunning.
I can't afford to eat here often -- but -- hey -- LUNCH will be about a $20. We can treat ourselves, eh?
AND THE FOOD WAS DELICIOUS. I had a pork belly rueben. I LOVED IT...
Along with pumpkin soup??  I'm getting hungry, just remembering the delightful food...
After lunch -- we reconvened in the lobby. SAY WHAT???
So -- that's my tip for the day, folks. Whether you're in your hometown, or traveling -- if you want to eat at the most expensive restaurant in town -- GO THERE FOR LUNCH.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grease Spot Removal

Here's my laundry tip for the day. It starts off with a handy supply of safety pins...
This little holder has a magnet on the bottom -- so it sits on top of my dryer at all times.....
One of John's shirts had a bad grease stain.  Ugh.  The fabric needs to be WET in order to pre-treat. And, once it's WET, it's hard to see where the stain is.  So, when the shirt is still dry -- I pin around the edges...
THEN, I make a paste of these three magic ingredients...
Equal parts baking soda, Dawn, and hydrogen peroxide...
The best applicator is an old credit card or hotel key....
Wet the fabric, then apply the pre-treat. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes...
The safety pins are a great idea...and it allows you to TARGET the area of the stain exactly...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Three Books At A Time

One of my many television shows is Child Genius (it follows Dance Mom's on Lifetime). The little girl I'm rooting for (Yeji, age 11) reads TEN BOOKS A WEEK. Holy Cow. I cannot imagine what it would be like to raise THAT girl. But I love her because she is always shocked by how much she knows....not full of herself, but more surprised by her knowledge.

That's the POWER OF BOOKS. (OMG...it sounds like I'm comparing myself to a child genius...which I certainly am NOT).

But I don't JUST watch television.  I have been an avid reader all my life...and I am usually reading three books at once.

I am ALWAYS have a book on tape going in my car.  Because I live in the country -- it's always at least an hour to get where I'm going (and back).  Sometimes, if it's a really good book, I just drive around aimlessly....

Books on Tape are MY FRIEND. THEY ALSO KEEP ME ON TASK when I need to be cleaning in my kitchen, or walking on my treadmill (this has not happened nearly enough lately).

 This is the car book I just finished listening to....
 I finally read the first book in the Elm Creek series. The Quilter's Apprentice: A Novel (The Elm Creek Quilts) Paperback – October 21, 2008 by Jennifer Chiaverini. I LOVED IT...and am sooo looking forward to the entire series.
I was listening to this book when I took the day trip to Starving Rock State Park.
Falling From Horses by Molly Gloss is a great example of LEARNING while reading. Set in 1939, a young man moves to Hollywood to become a movie cowboy. He becomes friends with Lilly, a young woman who wants to become a screenwriter.

I loved the characters in the book, and I trusted the research the author did about the time and place. When they were making all those western movies, in the big chase scenes, the hero would ride like the wind down a well-marked path...while the Indians and/or posse chasing him would be subject to hidden trip wires. So all those falls often meant broken legs for the horses...


I just started reading this book. Lin from TMBC gave it to me...It's the book that I read when I'm sitting in my chair. (the chair-sitting is going to kill me...it's been a long winter)...The chair book is usually a paperback, because it's the one I grab when I'm leaving the house....especially if I'm on my way to a waiting room someplace!!
THIS is my bathroom book. AND IT IS SUCH AN INTERESTING BOOK....
THIS is the book about the man who was really the reason for the Singer fortune. Edward Clark. He was the attorney who kept the shyster Isaac Singer out of jail. And, because Singer didn't have a nickel, Edward did the work in exchange for 50% of the patent.

Edward Clark was the  real brains of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.  He was the quiet, hard-working businessman -- the incredible free thinker who came up with INSTALLMENT PURCHASING...which changed the landscape of retail shopping forevermore.

These two men were complete opposites.  They were as night is to day.  A womanizer and a Sunday School Teacher.  Edward Clark lived a quiet life in New York City with his wife and four sons.  Isaac Singer (who Mrs. Clark would not allow in her home) had mistresses and illegitimate children all over the world.

Edward walked to the office every day...

Isaac??  His transportation around town was an opulent carriage that could seat 31 people.  It took 9 horses to pull it -- and it had a separate smoking room AND a nursery.

OMG...is that the very first RV??

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mary's Visit: Day #2

The SECOND DAY of Mary's visit was jam-packed.  My friend Phyllis is going to join the TMBC for a visit to the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa.
The Figge Art Museum is located in downtown Davenport.
It was the first time Phyllis got to meet Sandy, Linda and the Figge...
This mug from the giftshop struck my fancy...
AND I'm thinking it could inspire my own art project. Can you guess??
We enjoyed this exhibit: Yuriko Yamaguchi: Interconnected in Art, Nature, Science and Technology:

And we all loved THIS exhibit: Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum

After some walking, and talking, and browsing, and picture taking...we ended up in Lillian's favorite part of the Figge. The Children's room -- where you can pick up a marker or a crayon and make your own art...
So, here we are, sitting on the kiddie stools...because THERE ARE NO CHAIRS at the Figge.
My cousin Linda, the artist (that's how we refer to her -- LindaTheArtist)...is a member at the Figge. And that is her single complaint about the place. THEY DO NOT HAVE CHAIRS...apparently, in Davenport, Iowa -- if you want to be a patron of the arts -- you're supposed to do it STANDING UP...