Thursday, December 31, 2009


(This slightly pigeon-toed pose is for Shannon. hee.)

Why I'm making (cute) linen skirts in the dead of winter, I have no idea. I did it last year too.'s my half-circle skirt. I used the Sew What Skirts book for creating the waistband and the half-circle skirt pattern.

Setting up the camera is a good opportunity for a closeup of this awesome, vintage floral linen, and another peek at the fold over elastic (FOE) hem:

I think it might have been a tablecloth in its previous life. Or possibly drapes. Doesn't the print resemble these:

Crappy screenshot, but do you recognize the movie?? It's Apollo 13 (which I assume used period decor)! That would date my linen to the very late 60s. A slightly better screenshot and another skirt closeup:

And a few more skirt pics. I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so I just brought them all! The half-circle makes this a swishy skirt with lots of fun movement.

I couldn't really decide on shoes, but I kinda dig the yellow. the past several days I've treated you to a peek at 3 different corners of my house. The clean corners, of course. See that tiny picture on the upper left (on top of the Victrola)? That's me on a great big horse at the Buffalo Ranch, circa 1973.

That means that photo is younger than my skirt. This amuses me greatly.

And since I just realized a bit ago what day it is, I'll take this time to wish all of you a

Happy New Year!!!

Be safe, Be merry, and I'll see you on the flip side!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

dear john.

I heart you.

You may be a man-ho, but I wantonly don't care. You're a peach for keeping me company over Christmas break.


ps. nice tat.

Monday, December 28, 2009


In my usual nuttery fashion, I skipped over the minimal effort required to finish the turquoise/lime floral circle skirt to make an entirely different skirt. Because I have SADD (Sewing ADD).

You might recognize this as my Zooey Deschanel inspired B&W floral skirt, planned a few weeks back. Still floral. Still linen. So at least I'm consisent!

No pattern used...just ingenuity & creativity! Oh, and a little bit of math. I used my waist measurement to create a straight waistband (which I've decided I kinda prefer to shaped waistbands. My hips make a sort of "shelf" anyway, and this type of waistband stays put. The shaped waist wants to shift around on that hip shelf alot.) Sew What Skirts has instructions for this type of skirt if you need further guidance in creating the waistband. I highly recommend this book!

I used 2 widths of fabric (26" length) to create the skirt front & back. I wanted a very full skirt, really "1950s" in feel. I had pockets to put in the side seams, but completely forgot to insert them when stitching it up! Grrr. It would have been a perfect pocket skirt.

I used a lap zip on the side for closure. I just didn't have a black zip to use for the exposed zipper treatment the original featured (even though I'm definitely going to try that in a future project). The hem is very deep, 4 inches, bringing it to the perfect, right above knee length.

Hey, and look at me getting creative with accessories these days. I bought this belt from Forever 21 and I love it. I didn't really have anything to wear with it when I bought it, but I figured it would come in handy soon enough! (I'll have to remember to suck in my belly while wearing it though, HA!)

And I promise to finish the closure on the circle skirt so I can get a pic of it this week too. It's every bit as cute.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well, we had a white Christmas! Did you?

More pics of that and some furry cuteness in just a second. First though, I can finally post pics of the single handmade gift I crafted this season. I would be more ashamed, but the 3+ weeks of flu I suffered seriously cut into my usual Christmas craftiness. she is. Miss Kitty2:

She's pretty fetching, don't you think? Her boggly eyes crack me up (I used 1940's plastic buttons from my vintage button tin). The pattern can be found in this book by Jenny Ryan, Sew Darn Cute.

Technically the pattern is for a Square Bear. But my Lu loves kitties, so I just redrew the ears and added some kitty-like whiskers to her little pink, embroidered nose.

Lucky for me, while Lu may be fast outgrowing all things dolly (sniff), she still appreciates a good plushy! Just some details on Miss Kitty2: She is made from mint green wool felt (head, back & extremities), a cute "3 pigs" Japanese linen for the body front, and red rickrack accents. I used scraps of quilting cotton in a retro print for her ears, and pinked all the edges of her ears, arms and legs. She also has a red satin bow tacked to one ear, because she's a sassy kitty.

Now on to weather pics, in case you're on the beach and need to see the white stuff. It's been several years since it snowed on Christmas here! But it was blizzard conditions all night Christmas Eve, and bitterly cold. (It's still well under 30 degrees F.)

This is from Christmas morning in my back yard; the wind was whipping the snow so hard it made your eyes water!

See? Oscar says Brrr.

So does Megs.

Refrigerated Farm Food:


And one more of little Os, who actually loves the snow and would have stayed out longer. Except I'm a wuss and made him go in with me.

Christmas was wonderful, and over too soon. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday too!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Story

Something you probably didn’t know about me : Years ago, I was a rural mailman. Yup, that’s right, I drove forgotten highways and dirt, country roads, delivering mail when I was in my early 20s. I was just a “substitute”, but my regular carrier had a terrible accident, leaving me to carry the mail full time for over a year.

A small portion of my mail route was in town, and at the tail end of the day I would arrive on Collins Street, at the home of Gladys. Gladys was a crotchety old thing, 98 years old, widowed more than 20 years. 
Before she married, Gladys was a schoolteacher in a one-room schoolhouse. A large part of her salary was her room and board with one of the students’ family. She wouldn’t see her parents or siblings during the school year, as there were no automobiles readily available. Most people still traveled by horseback at that time in this part of the country. Gladys married and continued teaching for many, many years. She and her husband never had any children of their own.

After her husband died, Gladys spent the next couple of decades watching everyone she knew pass before her. All of her siblings, many of her nieces and nephews. Gladys outlived them all. In the early 1990s, Gladys (at 98), was still driving herself once a week downtown to have her hair washed and set and to pick up her groceries.

Gladys’ house had a stooped front porch and paved walk to the roadside mailbox. She was notorious at the post office where I worked, because of her propensity for telling off the clerks if her mail was wet or mishandled. She routinely hated her mailmen (or women) and wasn’t afraid to call in to chew out whoever was lucky enough to answer the phone that day.One cold, snowy day, I stopped at Gladys’ house to deliver her paper. I paused at the mailbox, but I couldn’t see how she was going to make it out to get her mail as her walk was already packed and slick. So I put my little red Ford Ranger in park and walked Gladys’ mail up to her front porch and placed it inside the screen, out of the weather. I knocked and left to finish my route.

A few days later, in better weather, Gladys was waiting for me at the mailbox. She wanted to thank me for bringing her mail to the house. (She also wanted to gripe about the “other one” for a while. HA!) But I knew a kindred spirit when I saw one. She was no nonsense, and full of spunk, and not afraid to speak her mind. From then on, whenever it was raining or especially cold, I walked Gladys’ mail to her door.
The week of Christmas I got in from my route to find the postal clerks waiting for me, one grinning from ear to ear and the other a little awestruck. He was holding a giant red box of chocolates and a Christmas card. From Gladys. My 98 year old friend had driven her 1973 Buick to the post office that day to deliver a gift. To me.

She wanted to make sure the “other one” didn’t get it by mistake if she left it in the box. Heh.

They never let me live that one down, but I gained a lot more than my coworker’s respect that day. Gladys & I were solid buddies for the next two years. I quit carrying the mail a few months later, but I would stop by and see her now and then, and she would call me at home to check in.

She sent me Christmas cards. I took my baby (and later toddler) boy to see her. Gladys was a bit uneasy around babies. It was funny to watch her nervousness. It was a wondrous experience to be the knowledgeable one; she was easily four times my age.
There was a party in town when she turned 100. I missed it, because I was having another baby and wrapped up in my own difficult life at the time. Gladys died shortly thereafter.

I’ll always be sad that I hadn’t been good about visiting, and I never got to say goodbye, but I never forgot about her either. Gladys had outlived all of her family and friends. We talked about it once, and she was rather matter of fact about her longevity. Frankly, she was tired of being alone and ready to move on to better things.

Still, I always think of her at Christmas time, and of an unlikely friendship forged between a 23 year old young mother and a 98 year old former schoolteacher. And how we found common ground over a great big box of chocolate.

Merry Christmas, Gladys. I know you’re watching over me and smiling tonight. Just don’t grade my grammar too tough, ok?

And the angel said unto them, Fear not:
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;

Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace, good will toward men.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


No, not at your presents! Rather, I sewed today, with my vintage turquoise & lime floral linen that I got last week! No sense in letting it languish in the fabric closet. After all, its been languishing under some Nana's bed for 4 decades.

I chose the circle skirt from the Sew What Skirts book, but didn't have quite enough fabric for that, so a half-circle skirt was deemed good enough by Fat Kitty (the only person at home to give an opinion.)

I LOVE this book. I would marry this book if it was taller than me and had a good enough job that I could stay home and sew and write snark all day.

While I cut & sewed up my screamingly cute vintage linen skirt, I watched this with Doris Day & Rock Hudson. Because is there any better inspiration than Doris Day in a wiggle dress??

I ran into a tiny snag at the home stretch when I tried it on (Oops. That should probably come near the beginning, huh?) and the silly thing was already the perfect length UNHEMMED. In a stroke of genius I busted out the pale chartreuse FOE (fold over elastic).

It wouldn't be my first choice for a hem, but it actually worked surprisingly well for a circle skirt.

Next, just gotta handsew that waistband facing down.

Fat Kitty tired out way before we got to this part.

Pictures of me in amazing vintage linen skirt forthcoming. When Fat Kitty wakes up and finishes the waistband.

And it's Christmas Eve Eve!! Just two sleeps til Santa!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I traditionally spend this day & evening alone, as my children go to their dad's. It makes for a lonely day, but the payoff is I get to have them on Christmas Day. I don't think there are many others out there like me, who will be alone tomorrow, but just in case you will be...I'll be thinking happy thoughts and saying a prayer for those who find themselves without family and loved ones at Christmas.

I wish you all safe travels if you are on the road this week. And may you have a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Beangirl & I have been trading interesting word verifications for a while now. (Because we don't have enough excuses to avoid sewing and stuff.)

This is my new favorite.

I will now use (and abuse) this expression for the remainder of the day (or possibly week). Like...
Beangirl: "You can replace 1/2 cup oil with mashed, ripe banana when baking!"
Me: "The DOG, you say!"

That's all.

Monday, December 21, 2009


A very cheery skirt for the first day of Winter!

Skirt is Ottobre 5-07-118, and I made it back in April. You can see the original post here.

I thought it about time I blog something I've sewn, since my sewing is so much on the back burner in the fall/winter months! I promise, I'm still wearing beautiful clothes that fit (this skirt is a tad big now, but I wore it anyway!) and that I made.

With the addition of a black sweater set (Target), black tights (also Target, love their Merona tights!) and comfy black Mary Janes (Cato) and I've got a winter outfit from a summery print skirt that might otherwise be shoved to the back of my closet in the colder months!

My hair is shorter than you've seen it in a while! I got all dolled up to finish Christmas shopping/groceries. Red shiny lips and black eyeliner made me feel a little retro. I got lots of smiles and nods this afternoon.

I love how people appreciate a pretty skirt! (No one line jumps in front of pretty skirts and red lips either.)


I don't normally blog celebrity news, because...I don't care very much for celebrity. But I'm saddened by the passing of Brittany Murphy. Mostly because it is such a flipping waste!

I loved Clueless, and went on to enjoy her in other things. I was sad to see her disintegrating appearance over the years. She was just adorable when she was a healthy, normal weight.

One of her last appearances (this photo is dated December 1) show her emaciated frame and pale, unrecognizable face.

How sad that she has, for years now, subjected her body to such ridiculous expectations and deprivation. How sad that she never understood how completely wonderful she was before.

Although they are saying "natural causes" right now, I don't think its any coincidence that Karen Carpenter was also 32 when she died.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I hate crowded shopping malls. No parking, people shoving, crabby salesclerks. I do my best to keep a cheery disposition even when its nearly impossible with all the negativity surrounding me. But sometimes even I get pissy.

For example, I waited in line 15 minutes yesterday to buy my parents a gift card at Cracker Barrel, only to have some woman bypass the ENTIRE line to rudely jump in front of me when it was my turn. Because she "didn't feel like waiting." I politely said, "oh, I'm sorry this is the front of the line, the end is back there" (pointing to the other side of the room). The clerk says, "Oh, she can skip the line. It doesn't matter."

I would normally bite my tongue, but this time I responded, "It matters to me. And I'm pretty sure it matters to the 30 people behind me." Still polite, still smiling. No need to get everyone's panties in a bunch, but neither is it in the Christmas spirit to cause more wait time to people who have politely been waiting their turn. I hate people like that. I turned and left without purchasing anything at all.

The funny thing is, and I didn't realize it until my sister pointed it out in the car, that line included people waiting to pay for their dinner ticket as well as the gift store people. So when I left, they had no idea whether I had a dinner ticket to pay for or not! Bwhahaha!! Serves them right. For all they know I left with a $100 meal in my pocket. (I didn't.)

My Christmas shopping haul included these non presents. For me. Because that's how I roll.

Gorgeous 2.5 yards of vintage, 1960s linen. Yumm-O!

Fabulous creamy faceted bead necklace:

Oh, and a stack of patterns from Hobby Lobby's Simplicity Sale, including this one, which my dear readers suggested for the ModCloth knockoff:

And this wasn't purchased yesterday, rather I bought it for myself for my birthday/Christmas and wore it yesterday. (I use that excuse for everything I buy in Nov/Dec. Ahem.) This gorgeous locket is by Melissa Stevenson, whose Etsy shop can be found HERE. She makes the most amazing enameled jewelry, but the lockets are my favorite. And since I have a love of all things bird, this one bespoke my name:

It hangs from a beautiful brass chain. I love the vintage-y feel, the applied brass flower detailing, the sage green enameling...pretty much everything about it. And the locket is large enough to hold a decent closeup of my two favorite people, hanging close to my heart where they belong.

ps...I did almost finish shopping. Gotta do the stockings and then I'm through! Whew. And to all you crabby line jumpers out there, I really do hope you have a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Seems crazy to think that this tiny boy is now in high school.

Where did the time go?? Fifteen years ago tonight I met you for the first time, and life as I knew it would never be the same.

Probably the only person on the planet who loves you as much as me, is this one.

I would normally consider this picture of me (no makeup, hot, tired, long day hiking in the Arizona desert) unfit for blog viewing. But since you're right there beside me, I think its rather perfect.

Happy Birthday, boy of mine!