Thursday, May 21, 2009

My First SAL

Thanks to the motivation and inspiration of Annemarie, I've completed my first SAL.
This is Carriage House Samplings "Primitive Stocking". Though this is a slightly "abbreviated" version, as the fabric was cut too small, I still like the result. I added a piece of vintage style calico to give the stocking the long, lean look I admire in the CHS stocking series. Looking forward to bouncing around to the blogs of the other SAL members to see what they've been up to.
One more night of mandatory "FUN" and then I begin my break from the gym until 8 June. I am simply bubbling over with ideas for crafting, sewing, gardening, cooking and yes even cleaning to fill my days. Tops on the list are some new doll clothes. The 1923 Franklin Simon Catalog has been a source of inspiration for my 16" vinyl doll creations. I try to designate a doll for each of my favorite fashion time periods. The redhead Tyler doll will get a new suit of blue and brown tweed with a blue and brown floral print silk blouse underneath. I even went so far as to splurge on a new doll. Her beautiful face and hair style pushed me to bid $24.99 on eBay and to my surprise I won with my low bid! This is 16" Tonner Doll Company "Tess Trueheart" from the Dick Tracy collection. Don't know much about Dick Tracy comics or the supporting characters, but I just love this new doll. Although she is dressed in a 1940's dress I made last Spring, I think she will become my 1870's model. Her hair style just reminds me of that time period. It's hard to see in the photo, but the back of her hair is a large bun of twisted curls. In order to make those clothes I splurged again, on Amazon this time, and bought three more "Wishbooks" by Susan B. Sirkis. This lady was amazing in her authentic period pattern drawings. With very few adjustments I can suit the patterns to the 15.5" to 16" vinyl fashion dolls. Any doll collectors who likes to make their own clothes....I highly recommend this series of books. They are out of print and a bit hard to come by but the Sirkis family has their own website that sells Susan's books. A Google search of "Susan B. Sirkis" will bring good results. So far I have 1806-1810(my Jane Austen collection), 1871-1875, 1880-1885, 1895-1896 (those are the three new ones I bought this week) and 1900. The 1920's also intrigues me but the styles were quite plain cut then and relatively easy for me to draw up my own patterns for those outfits.
An absolutely gorgeous day.....80F, sunny and only the slightest breeze. Ideal for stitching outside. I have two more hours and then the "Marathon of Fun" at the gym. Then the real fun begins for me tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I would like to think that's the sound that stitching makes. Yes, the sewing machine really has it's own sound. And I suppose hand stitching makes it's own little noises too. But the sound of "stitchy-stitch" is what's been flowing from this house lately. The "Spring Break" from the gym is fast approaching. This week is what we coaches loving call F-Week. Fun Meet week. A three day extravaganza of all the gymnasts from all the classes and the Team performing in a three night/two shows a night marathon. I vaguely remembering writing a very similar post last's amazing how time flies, and what the mind wishes it could block out. I had yesterday off in preparation for all the "F" to hit the fan tonight, and I felt the need to set the tone for my up-coming two week break from work. I bought paint to paint the bathroom door and ceiling and some of the outdoor variety to paint the porch trim. Then I sat down and opened up the WIP cabinet. New canvas cover for my old swing in the yard-DONE.(Sammy and Coal wasted no time in checking it out) A pair of soft, light denim jeans from McCall's pattern-DONE. A pair of light striped denim jeans from JC Penney hemmed-DONE. Jane Austin Sampler, from March 2007 Gift of Stitching on-line magazine-DONE (shown here with my Jane, who desperately needs a new dress). Way too much stash buying at eBay, Amazon, JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby-DONE. Primitive Stocking-DONE(pic to be shown Thursday on SAL update day).
Busy, busy, busy.....which distracts me from some sad news. The mystery cat, Morris, is once again a mystery. He disappeared early last week and I haven't seen him since. I've done the mandatory search of the fields and the ditches along the roadside...nothing. That I suppose is good news. Maybe he's moved on to another house, or has found his way back to his own family. He was such a nice boy, so friendly. I gave him some anti-biotic for his cough and sneeze trouble and some flea and tick spot stuff so he's pretty healthy and clean too. We miss him and hope he returns.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rain and Royalty

Two days of nearly nonstop rain has given me a chance to make some CDs of my collection of Royalty photos. As some of you know I am a big fan of Victorian Era Royalty and search through books and the Web to find interesting vintage photos. Here are a few of a lesser known royal lady, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna of Russia. In the photo below she poses with her eldest son Nikolai and her younger daughter Vera.

Born Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenberg (1830-1911), she was the wife of Grand Duke Konstantine, brother of Tsar Alexander II. Her eldest daughter became Queen Olga of Greece(1851-1926) and is shown in the photo with her here in the early 1860's.

With daughter Olga(right) and grand-daughters Alexandra Georgievna(left) and Maria Georgievna(in front) of Greece.

Of course it is Thursday and I will not let this week pass by without an update on my CHS Primitive Stocking for Annemarie's SAL. Just a small amount of progress made. Once I start browsing through the Royal photos I get so inspired by the costumes that the cross-stitch gets pushed aside and I start sketching doll dress versions of the period gowns from the photos.

The rain held off for about an hour yesterday morning shortly after I had posted here. It was just long enough to fulfill one of my plant my tomatoes. Then the downpours came and there are little ponds all over the garden. I had worried that the tiny plants would be crushed, but all are standing up OK...10 Striped Romas and 6 Pineapple Heirlooms.

The sun has broken through again, about an hour ago. Just long enough for Carmella to enjoy a little roll-around on the walkway.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mid-Week Update

Is that not the dullest title ever for a post!?!?! I just can't come up with anything better. Beside that, this update is well over due. I missed out on last Thursday's SAL w/Annemarie post. I know it's a low-pressure, no obligation SAL, but it was rather rude of me to not even acknowledge the day. Suffice it to say, there was no progress on the Primitive Stocking. I did work on this little ditty though. Another cutie from Barbara Ana Designs. I just love her stuff. Even just the floss colors laid out together are beautiful. This is "Summer Biscornu".
I've made a lot of plans lately. Many, many plans but not much action! Joe, unlike me, makes a plan and then follows through immediately. He wanted a new riding mower and darn-it he went right out and bought one. How's that for stimulating the economy! It's a Husqvarna, so I approve. They make marvelous sewing machines and I plan to buy one........there's that plan again.

I planned to plant my garden today, but it's raining. I did actually make some progress. The seedlings are doing well and last night a tilled up the whole area (while Joe was taking lap number 246 on the riding mower). It needs another once-other to break up some larger clumps, but that will have to wait until the weekend. Even the plans of Coal and Roy were foiled for the day.

Much like the lack-luster title of this post, my writing seems to be petering out too. A day to stitch, I suppose. Maybe even a little action out of the old Singer too. I have lots of plans............