Where does the time go?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Aunt Martha's Towels

I worked a full-time job for 28 years, had dh, 3 kiddos, church, cooking, washing, shopping, cleaning, & I made everyone's clothes including dh's shirts. Somehow, everything got done, & I don't even remember if it was tiresome... surely, I was tired, but why can't I remember that part? What has happened to me....... I no longer leave the house for work, the kids are raised, the housework is much less, ... but I can't get anything done!
Lately, (when I am not too tired to think), I wonder about Aunt Martha... did she actually have a day of the week set aside for each chore?
Monday: Wash Day Tuesday: Ironing Day Wednesday: Sewing Day Thursday: Market Day Friday: Cleaning Day Saturday: Baking Day Sunday: Day of Rest
She was one smart cookie when she started that DOW Towel brainwashing campaign. Overnight, it turned every cookstove into a notice board & instilled a sense of order & responsibility into American homes!
That settles it.... I am going to stitch a set of those vintage towels & post one everyday of the week like a chore notice.... I am going to start today while I watch, "Days of Our Lives" on TV & sip a Coca Cola!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rosie Goes Pink!

Rosie from Alberta Canadasays, "If you ever want to be lifted up just slap on a pink wig... your spirits soar and you GLOW...hahahaha!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

From Pillow Sham to Tote

Here is a tote made out of a pillow sham......it is so easy!Most of the finish work has been done by the manufacturer of the pillow sham. I stay on the lookout for these shams at reasonable prices...find them at $ Stores, flea markets, department stores, & quilty shops. The quilty shops usually sell a matching quilt & pillow sham seperately, but sometimes the quilts get sold first, & the shams are discounted for clearance...... the sham used for the tote pictured was $2.50.... you cannot beat that for a bargain!
Take the pillow sham & cut 3 or less inches (depending on the design of the sham) off of the two long sides... these 2 stips will be used for the handles... Serge the raw edges of the strips & what is remaining of the pillow sham. Turn the serged edges of the strips to the wrong sides & fasten down by machine stitching or hand stitching....if you like, blanket stitch the turned edges with embroidery floss for a nice finished look.
Take the remaining piece of the sham & fold it RST (right-sides-together) long sides together & stitch the sides closed... pinch the bottom corners flat (seam to middle of bag bottom) & stitch straight across.... the triangle formed should = approx. 1 1/2-inch from point to stitching line... I call this mitering.....it will give the tote a slightly-defined bottom.
Attach handles to outside of bag using buttons... I use the nicest buttons on the outside & small plain buttons on the inside to make the attachment points stronger, & it makes a nice finish too. Then use velcro or a snap for closure... again, I use buttons on the outside for decoration & strength, especially if you are using a snap.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lasagna Cook & Sew

Cook It...
Sew It...(Mary_America)
This quilt, by Mary, looks like a pan of the real stuff!
( Mary, if you are reading, let me know, & I will give you specific credit.)
Lasagna is good any way you want it... there are 100's of recipes... traditional... quick & easy... on the box... secret ingredients... just like Mom's, or choose your on way! It is such a versatile dish... make ahead, freeze, cook later. What a great thing to have laid back in case of unexpected company!
It even has a quilt technique named after it...... The Lasagna Quilt... just by name, it sounds interesting. When I first heard about it, I knew that I am destined to make one, so I searched for a pattern. Come to find out, just like the casserole, there are lots of formulas. It's basically various 2 1/2-inch to 3 1/2-inch strips, sewn together & joined horizontally with a couple of borders sewn vertically. Any color scheme or scrap-hodge-podge will do. There are no hard & fast rules for construction.... just do your own thing.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Flamingo Attributes

What do Flamingos have that we all need? Could it be ....... strength to stand on one leg in case a foot is knocked out from under us ......patience to stand still as a lawn ornament in the face of adversity... a voice to be reckoned with, but the sense to sit down when it's time to be quiet... the ability to keep our heads above water, the desire to be monogamous, an inner-fire that continues to burn when lights have gone out around us.... & enough courage to be flamboyant in an uptight world.
In reality, flamingos are very social birds living in groups, called pats. They make nasal honking, grunting, a growling sounds, & their eyes are actually larger than their brains! They are also defenseless. Having noted these facts, the flamingo is the Greta Garbo of the bird world with legs longer than its body...it is their beauty & wild color that screams, "Bold!"
Perhaps it is their total package & their ability to stick together, giving them the fortitude to beat the odds . We could all do with a little of their collective, charming humility & a lot of their confidence....whether it is in tones, presentations, approaches, or demeanors.... are any shrinking violets in the flamingo world... not that can be noticed!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yes, it's me.......I wear wigs all the time when I am away from home because my hair, over a period of many years, has become very thin.........the pink hair belongs to me & it is just a creative phase I am going through right now......HAaaaaaa! I am just a wild teenager at heart....my sister-in-law, whom I loved dearly, had cancer & lost part of her face..........this experience taught me that thin hair is nothing but a minor inconvenience........if a wig could have solved her problems, she would have been sailing through........ bless her heart!
I am expressive in my wigs......I have a doz. different ones & wear whichever suits me when I go out.....my dh, family & friends love this about me, & I hope that I am a positive role model for others who have physical shortcomings...I have no time in my life for worrying about negatives........what is the old saying, "If life gives you lemons....make lemonade!" That's me..........Jana

Happy Campers are generally happy!

Someone on the SGF List reminded me of how important it is to get along with others.....Being a happy camper takes humility. Often, it is putting the ideas of others before your own. Happy camping is more than just giving in....the feeling that someone has infringed upon rights must be replaced with, "This is what has been decided as a group." If you can't roll with the punches, then you need to move on. Working & playing well with others is something all babies must learn.... it does not come naturally... sometimes, adults are babies too...lol.

Rick Rack Challenge


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Washcloth Baby Bib

Warning: You can't make just 1!

What an easy, instant success pattern!

1 washcloth + 1 cup + binding = bib

Go to http://www.patternbee.com/MENU.html & look at all of their patterns. This one is under Free Stuff at http://www.patternbee.com/FREE6.html .

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Did you know this?

Comparing Brown & White Eggs
The following info & so much more can be found at http://www.publix.com/wellness/notes/Display.do?id=Food_Guide&childId=Eggs
"The color of the egg’s shell is a reflection of the breed of hen. Breeds with white feathers and ear lobes, such as White Leghorns, lay white eggs. Those with red feathers or ear lobes lay brown eggs. White eggs are in high demand among most American buyers, but in certain parts of the country, particularly New England, brown shells are preferred. Breeds that lay brown eggs include the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, and Plymouth Rock varieties."

Live Your Life in Color

I have always flown by the seat of my pants when it comes to using color......even though an artist (or maybe because), I have never liked to talk about the color wheel..."it just seems too round." I have always done my own thing. Yes, I understand that red, yellow, & blue are the primary colors. I know that purple, green, & orange are secondary colors, & that all hues & shades in between come from these basics, but I never give color theory a thought when painting or sewing. I just PLAY!
If I like it, I use it ....if it looks good together, it's in ......if it needs a perk, I go wild ......you get the picture. I paint like this, I sew like this, & I certainly live like this. I am one fast chick when it comes to color! Color is simple. "Live your life in color....don't labor over color... and, of course, avoid round....HAaaaaaaaa!"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rick Rack Challenge

Email me at jdahmen@ckt.net with a pic of your latest project using rick rack as a trim & I will post it on the blog. Here is a darling sweatshirt jacket that one of the SGF members, Candy, embellished for her granddaughter.

Rick Rack

The open compound word, Rick Rack, is derived from the French word ric rac. In the 1800's, ric rac named an edging crocheters tediously made with hooks & threads...the popular pattern made a wavy edging which was all the rage.

It was such an enduring hit that sometime during the Industrial Revolution, it became a manufactured product which Americans labeled Rick Rack. It continued to be steadily consumed, & collectors of sewing notions still find it in original packaging dating back to the beginning of production. The festive trim could be applied easily, & for a part of the mid 20th century, homemakers energized a revival of the rick rack frenzy, & it was used on everything including my clothes...lol. It packed a wavy-punch for 15 cents! Due to overuse & the availibilty of more modern trims, its popularity waned, but rick rack never disappeared from store shelves entirely.

Once again, rick rack, by the yard or by the package, is luring sewers with nostalgic appeal in larger widths, brighter colors & more glitz. Boldly, it is applied to aprons, towels, clothing, quilts, applique' work, pillowcases, totes... & it's flying off store shelves.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great for Gifts

My embroidery machine brings me such joy..... it is like painting with thread & every aspect of the process relaxes me. I am not convinced that it matters what brand you have or whether it is a Big Dog or a Little Dog. I just know that it is a pleasure to own one. It makes putting cute gifts together a snap!

A Saucer for Every Cup

A saucer & teacup put you in automatic sipping mode, the savoring of a hot drink from thin china. I mean ...not pottery.....but bone china .....this one thing instantly transforms you back to simple when a schedule was not needed....a wrist watch was not worn.......& everyone had time for a mannerly visit.
Now-a-days, we chug-a-lug from a big mug....lidded, on-the-go fortification, insulated to preserve heat between gulps ..tough enough to survive a dishwasher.............. We've no time to sit in one place....no time for hours of idle conversation.....got to hit the pavement....make progress...keep pushing...get out of my way ..etc., etc., etc. It is exhausting even to think about the curse of the mug on our society!

Sadly, (watercolor by Jana) real teacups along with all their living lessons are stuck in the dark behind cabinet doors , stored in the cellar at Grandma's house, seen only as forgotten what-nots on dusty shelves & bannished to flea markets across America.
I suppose the thick, heavy, ugly mug was a natural middle point somewhere between the settling of this country & the modern day unsettling... once people became quagmired in the vast void of in-between, they lost site of either shore, & the clunky mug became the norm not only for beverages but as a symbol of behavior in general.
Maybe some still remember the teacup & its lessons in social graces, but children know little of this. Perhaps this is the time to dig those old family tea sets out of hiding..... the resurgence of manners & the declining of altercations in this country might be amazing. It might go down in history as the Teacup Reformation when etiquette, gentleness, patience, love for one another & the sugar cookie prevailed. Maybe, it is time to have a nation-wide tea party! Just make sure that you have a saucer for every cup.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Country Cooking Recipe

A recipe so easy yet so fancy!
Green Bean Bundles
Several cans of whole green beans or cooked fresh beans & strips of bacon cut in half cross-wise. Drain cans & lay beans out on a layer of paper towels, blotting to remove excess moisture. Carefully gather the beans into serving-size bundles & wrap each with bacon strip securing with a wooden toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish. Bake at 350' loosely covered for approx. 15 min.... check to see if bacon is beginning to cook .....remove cover & continue baking a few more min. until bacon browns slightly.....serve with spatula so the bundles stay intact. This may be prepared the day before, refrigerated & taken out to cook the next day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flea Market Wreath

Use wire to create a wreath of flea market treasures. Try displaying it on the floor, a shelf, or a chair......a wreath can be enjoyed as an accent anywhere...no need to hang it!

Betsy's Goat

My friend, Bets, in Arkansas raises pet goats. I can understand why if they all smile like this one....he must know that the weekend is coming!

Celebrate the choices!

A strong winter wind is blowing up a storm outside. The shoosh of it is repetitive & lonely. If I close my eyes & focus on just that sound, then push further, I can almost imagine a sister from the past huddled in a soddie... shawl choked around her neck to block the cold....bonnet tied closely, keeping small clods of dirt from settling in her hair...saving lamp fuel for later... the light too dim to see colors clearly...yearning for the ear of one friend... opening my eyes, I do remember stories of prairie women gone mad, children not surviving, loneliness & trials beyond my experience.
In reality a thermo-pane under warranty separates in from out, my house is toasty, & my ceiling is painted.
I sit at my computer talking to the world, as I drink from my favorite cup...the one with the words, "Free Spirit." It's a large cup, capable of holding coffee, tea, cocoa, water, lemonade, a Coke....whatever I desire hot or cold. I can change its contents with the seasons... volumes to my appetite... & the times to when I choose. I am a free woman of the 21st Century...... you are a free woman of the 21st Century.... let us celebrate this gift of endless choices together & never take it for granted, my sisters! Even with life throwing curves, we are free to work, play, know, come & go. We sew because we can...shop because it suits us... turn on a light that shines so brightly just because...
to be in this time... aren't we all!
In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free Gift

Daily, I am amazed by the # of visitors to this blog. How fortunate I am to have such a following! Writing & sharing with you has brought a creative outlet to my life much like being the publisher of my own little magazine. I know that you all must be passing my blog link, http://sewgoodfriends.blogspot.com/ , on to others or there would not be so many readers.
For this I want to thank you with a little gift... a pdf link with my instructions for making a fun Fat Quarter Book from a cereal box. http://static.scribd.com/docs/s21hgtl1dz7g.pdf
It is a simple & special way to present FQs to a friend.....I hope that you enjoy this.....Jana

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine Challenge

Bake something... make something... take something... say something... do something... for someone else... that's what this week is all about.

Candy Diane Jana Char Karen

Country Cooking Recipe

Monkey Bread.....mmm!
3 cans cheap biscuits 1 stick real butter 1 cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons cinnamon 1/2 cup white sugar
Prepare bundt pan with cooking spray. Mix 2 tbls cinnamon & the white sugar in a dish...set aside. In saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar & 1 tbls cinnamon, stirring until bubbly. Put scant tbls of this hot mixture in bottom of pan. Open 1 can of biscuits & tear each in half, roll in cinnamon-sugar, & arrange in bottom of pan. Spoon approx. 1/3 of hot mixture over all. Repeat using the remaining 2 cans of biscuits. Bake at 325' for 35 min...with a fork, check to make sure biscuits are not doughy. Dump immediately into large bowl or cake plate. Serve warm.
Mr. Monkey says you can prepare the night before, cover, & refrigerate. Bake the next day. For a larger batch, increase sauce by adding more ingredients & throw in another can of biscuits. Mr. Monkey likes his with nuts & raisins between the layers....this is a family-favorite!


Crafts. sewing, quilting, machine embroidery, soapmaking, cooking, homemaking, watercolor & commentaries on life....Jana in Missouri invites you to sit down with a cup of coffee!

This is the SGF companion blog, but membership is not necessary to enjoy. Application may be made at sewgoodfriends@yahoogroups.com , but please keep in mind that the SGF List flows smoothly. Bickering & swimming upstream salmon-style are not tolerated & may result in an unsub ... Jana (List Mom)


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