Where does the time go?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Share the Featherweight Spirit!

Often, I try to put faces to the original owners of the old Singer Featherweights. More importantly, I think about how determined they must have been to buy these units from the door-to-door salemen during the Depression era when money was so scarce. Yet the women who opened their doors to these salesmen were looking for a way to make a difference...looking for a way to make things better. How far we have moved from the sound, personal values of homemaking.
I just read a newspaper article saying that women are allergic to sewing machines. When did this happen? My mother, rest her soul, would be shocked. When I needed something, she made it, revived it, or invented it. The sewing machine was an important tool to her.
Have we moved so far away from practicing the skills of effective nesting that the domestic arts have been lost to the young of our species? Are we not baking from scratch, airing pillows in the sunshine, recycling hand-me-downs & whipping up curtains anymore. Please say, "It ain't so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Soon, if we do not correct this trend. there will be no more after-school cookies & milk! Maybe we are just trading our sewing machines, kitchen mixers & dust mops for discontentment & frayed nerves....buying Prozac instead of thread, vanilla & furniture polish......no wonder the discount stores are discontinuing sewing counters for expansion of pharmacy departments....shrinking the baking aisles making more room for the frozen entrees.....
Call me out-of-touch, but could it be that we are looking to feather our nests by turning away from the very personal & ingenuous touches that make a home a place of nurturing comfort?
If you are reading this, then obviously, you understand homemaking, but that alone is not enough to save our future.....
You must pass it on or pay it foward......how ever you want to look at it....teach someone to sew or bake today! Transfer the Spirit of the Singer Featherweight today!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What a Silly Girl I Am....

When I was little kid, I wanted a monkey....my mama said, "No, it will get on the table & throw mashed potatoes!" There was a lady down the road who had 3 monkeys & I dreamed about the fun I would have if I owned one, so I was disappointed & held a grudge for awhile.
Later, I begged for a parakeet which my mama finally allowed against her better judgement because she had vetoed the monkey, I suspect...turned out that Tweety Bird learned to say, "Kiss me," & "What cha doin?," & he never shut up.....over & over & over for at least 10 years. Ironically, this loud repetition got on my nerves more than Mama's.
I also asked her for a red parasol that was hanging over the Woolsworth toy counter....it was 98 cents which was a sum of money in those days. Mama said, "No, it will break." I wanted it so badly that I asked Daddy when Mama was listening. He innocently bought it for me, she was aggravated, & it broke the second day I had it. I was sorry that I had wasted a wish on it.
Over the years of my childhood, I asked for a great many things....some Mama would get for me & some she wouldn't for one reason or another. Of the wished for things I did get, some turned out to be great & some turned out to be not-so-good.
My point is that I don't always know what is good for me.....maybe none of us do until we experience it.
As an adult, I pretty much get what I want. The problem is that I have become no one to hold a grudge against but myself....oh, I could put blame on dh, but he is usually so innocent & oblivious of trivia that I don't have the heart to bother him......he's a pretty good guy.
A few years ago, I wanted a horse...poor man built a stable & hurt his back......I got the horse, & it nearly drug him off on the first day as it was running away...by this time, dh was determined that I would get a horse because he had built the stable....for the next 5 years, my horse was more of a never-ending-task done in all extremes of weather....looking back on it, I cannot imagine how I ever thought that owning a horse would be endless trailrides with Roy Rogers.
I have learned to approach my whims with caution & dismiss most of them, but my latest desire & there is always a new one, is most persistent...lol....I want a dog....I don't need a dog.....I already have the smartest Yellow Lab in Missouri, but I dream of having a Boston Terrible, like my daughter's . It doesn't make any sense even to me.....I am retired, kids raised, foot-loose-&-fancy-free...nothing expected of me.....I cannot justify all of the hassles that would come with a Boston pup. It would not be worth the strain on my marriage just to hold it in my lap while I watch reruns of Bonanza.
I demand of myself to consider several things........ is a Boston Tornado ever still....NO!!! Is it ever satisfied....NOT That I Have Observed!!! Does it tear the most valued possessions up in rapid succession......CONSTANTLY!!! Is it cuddly....Only if it is very tired from doing all of the naughty things it can think of to get attention!
Luckily, I am older & wiser & know that most of the things that I think I want are not really what I need & can be very long-lived. Obviously, this is one of those dreams....so, I will enjoy the sweet Boston Pies of others, & I will look at Boston Terrors on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY2WMyCR46M

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Make Do Sewing Cabinet

I found this jewelry cabinet at a flea market for almost nothing......the top edge is scraped a little, but it makes a very good sewing cabinet.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cuppa for a Quilter

Pattern by House on Hill Road

One of our great SGF members pointed out this clever Coffee Cozy Pattern. It is free & well worth a look at http://houseonhillroad.typepad.com/my_weblog/tutorials/

It reminded me of an idea I have seen for a quilter's gift or a favor.

Cuppa for a Quilter
You need a disposable coffee cup with lid & stirrer.
Coffee chains will sometimes sell you their cups or you can buy nice ones at discount stores.
Fill each cup with pattern & supplies to make a quilt block or even tuck in a gift card!
Put the lid on the cup, stick in the stirrer & add a cute tag.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Are Your Drawers Full?

Blast the Blasted UFOs
Creative people like us can think up more things than we can do & ideas tumble over each other like building blocks. Our enthusiasms are as liquids, borders always changing....it could be the weather, the seasons, holidays, or the neighbor that just had a baby that reverses the directions of our
We can be raring to go one minute & wondering why the next. Shops full of fabrics & patterns bring out our wild sides! Our creative thoughts cause us to buy cowboy prints when we don't even like westerns. Store displays call our names & beg for attention until our brain cells jumble, causing us to grab up Fat Quarters & linen towels like cookies at a party. $ale$ are like a nectar to bees......& as we travel in packs by cars & buses, we buy in frenzies! Let's face it.....we sewing ladies have our drawers full of.......................................

Unfinished Objects....UFOs !

This is the year to do something about it.

Let's take.........................

Attitude......We didn't make all of those UFOs in one day, so we can't finish them in one day.
Change......It's okay for us to make potholders instead tablerunners.
Toss........We need to give it up....throw it out.......pass it on........or finish it!
Imagination.......This time, let us be more creative with new ideas for the old projects.
Organize.........We must put every UFO in it's own plastic, see-through bag.
Now.........All of us will spend 15 min. a day, everyday, on a UFO.
In 2009, we vow to Empty our Drawers!

Throw in the Towel

Go to church....do the wash.....iron the clothes....mend the tears.....buy the groceries.....clean the house.....bake the bread.... kitchen towels embroidered in redwork with these practical reminders hung by my grandma's sink.....stitches worn away....holes here & there....and I loved them, battle-scars & all.
I forgot about Grandma's towels when I started housekeeping....life was moving too fast for the old order... mass-produced terry cloth in colors of avocado green & tangerine orange were the rage! Time flew by...work got done, kids got raised......& it wasn't until this past year that I remembered these comforting towels & started throwing them in with wedding & house warming gifts. I turn to my embroidery machine when I want to whip up a set fast!
Here are 2 towels with a modified twist that I made for my daughter who loves to travel.

(The threads have not yet been clipped in this picture.)

The days of the week in Italian.... Sunday - lunedì, Monday - martedì, Tuesday - mercoledì,

Wednesday - giovedì, Thursday - venerdì, Friday - sabato, Saturday- domenica

The days of the week in French... Sunday - Dimanche, Monday - Lundi, Tuesday - Mardi,

Wednesday - Mercredi, Thursday-Jeudi, Friday - Vendredi, Saturday - Samedi

(Actually, the week starts with Monday in these countries, & the days are not capitalized.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Flannel Salad

Needing to prewash small pieces of flannel this morning, I reached for IT in my sewing room. You may recognize IT as a salad spinner advertised long ago on infomercials & sold at discount stores right by the salad shooters. Now, they mostly sit on shelves by the blenders, food processors, specialty coffee makers, rice cookers, crockpots, electric knives, cookie presses, bun warmers & everything else that waits to be used once in a blue moon. I bought my never-been-used-model at a garage sale for $1.00. My dh was doubtful that I needed it, but it was just a buck....
to some it is an unappreciated gadget , a space-waster, but to me......to me........it is a small washing machine for fat quarters, charms, squares, strips, etc.
Here is how it works.
1. I set the double baskets in the sink, throw in the fabric & wet through & through with hot water, maybe adding a little laundry detergent.
2. I put lid on & let a stream of water flow into the basket, & I agitate by rotating back & forth .... be sure to take the lid off & work out any extra soap before spinning.
Tip: I separate lights from darks.
3. I replace the lid & rotate the handle fast & spin, spin, spin.........the fabric works to the sides of the basket similar to an actual spin cycle.

I dry the fabric in any way I want.......here it is just spread around here & there to dry.
Couldn't be easier!
Before you buy a salad spinner.....ask around....
someone you know has one & will gladly give it to you.

My Favorite Cocoa Mix

Rich Hot Chocolate Mix
13 oz. malted milk
22 oz. powdered coffee creamer
4 lbs. powdered milk
32 oz. powdered sugar
56 oz. chocolate milk mix
2 lbs. miniature marshmallows

Here's a Thought to Ponder!

Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food
manufactured in plants

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Country Cooking Recipe

Lemon Pie for Dieters & Sugar Watchers

3 small pkgs (9 oz. total) sugar-free, cook & serve vanilla pudding

1 small pkg (3 oz.) sugar-free lemon gelatin

2 1/3 cups water & 1/3 cup lemon juice

8-inch reduced fat graham crust

1 1/2 cups reduced fat whipped topping

Combine the dry pudding & gelatin powders with the water & lemon juice.Cook & stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook until thickened.Remove from heat & cool slightly.Pour into crust & refrigerate 2-3 hours to set.Spread with whipped topping & serve in small pieces.....this is a rich pie.

I made this pie last night & even my dh said that it was very good for a diet pie. It is a bright yellow color with a slightly rubbery texture, but it is suprisingly creamy & satisfying.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Free Cupcake Pattern

Link to free printable cupcake pattern
Link to basic tea towel tote instructions

Join Me Here!

You are invited to join me this brand new year, 2009, to celebrate life....to enjoy homemaking....to be creative....& to get ready for CHRISTMAS 2009!

My kids have all left the nest & are flying on their own......there is very little that I can buy them that will put giggly smiles on their faces.....

My friends are all my age & already have most things that they need.....in fact, my friends & I are in the Lighten the Load stage of life!
Then, there is also the age-old consideration.........!

There are 5 solutions to apply:
1) Stop exchanging gifts.
2) Be more & more creative!
3) Buy only a few small things.
4) Give carefully selected gift cards.
5) Give money.......
# 1 is not an option for me....giving is my greatest joy in life & Christmas is my favorite time to share........& a tree is not a tree at my house until it has a few gaily wrapped gifts underneath the boughs for the ones I love.
A combination of #s 2, 3, 4 & 5 work for me... giving money is sometimes appropriate if presented in unique ways, & a gift card to someone's favorite haunt can be a nice when placed inside something special...for instance: under the wrapper of a giant chocolate bar, tucked in the pocket of an apron, slipped in a menu from the restaurant, taped in a pizza box, added to the layers of a fabric sandwich, etc.....you get my drift. I shop, but I do it all year like an eagle, swooping down on bargains, sales & clearances, stretching my money like a rubber band!
....but, #2 is my very favorite approach!!! There are quidelines here, though.......make it useful & or fun, flat & or small, consumable or edible & make it for each receiver's personality......for instance, Grandpa fishes, Mama sews, Brother golfs, Frank watches TV & Cindy is only 3....lol !
This year, I am going to remind my readers periodically to be making gifts, gathering gifts & planning ahead for Christmas 2009. You can expect to see things I have made, ideas, tutorials & patterns, MAKING this Christmas the most loving of all!

What's that you say? Oh, you don't have friends & family to make for....well start looking for lonely neighbors, children's charities, hospitals, etc. that will welcome your efforts.

Your will be bigger for it!


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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