Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Blessings

 We were blessed again this Christmas.  Both kids were home with all the grandblessings and our future daughter-in-law with her three daughters.  I got all my Christmas sewing finished in time.  Made 6 personalized pillowcases for all grands except Ava, she got one earlier in the year, two pillows for gifts made from painters drop canvas with initials (loved them!), and 3 fleece throws embroidered for the 3 new grandblessings to be later next year.  I finally have a poncho sewed up for a great niece, just waiting to get the trims on it.....this is a "just because" gift so no hurry there.  Casey and Ava headed back home today so the house is empty except for me and Miz Peach.  I may lay back and take it easy for today or later I may sew some....catching up on some laundry and just being thankful for blessings beyond measure.  Say a prayer for Casey and Ava to arrive back home safely if you will!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ava's Christmas Outfit

Finished a Christmas skirt and shirt for Ava.  Over three yards of the ball fringe on the bottom so you know it's very full for a near 3 year old!  The appliqued embroidery design on the shirt is from and is so cute, offered in applique or fill stitch.  I spent a long time on it, near three hours, carefully trimming each letter as it was placed.  I don't like embroidering on shirts too well but she NEEDED, hahaha, the design to go with the skirt!  Heading to mail to Texas tomorrow hoping for pictures of her twirling and giggling in the new outfit!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fun New Burp Cloths

Just finished making some cute burpcloths from prefolded diapers.  Quick and easy project for a baby gift.  I added ribbons to the bottom, you can never get diapers that have a nice clean edge, except for the one with cowboy boots.  I added jumbo red rickrack with a strip of denim under it that I clipped and left the edge raw so it would fray as it is washed.  Love doing
fun baby gifts!!!!!!
 The internet is loaded with cute things you can add to burp pads and then include a name if you can.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Fall

Made little Miss Ava an October outfit....used a pumpkin applique on the embroidery machine that creates a "raggedy" look with no efforts hardly.  This is the bigger size of the one I used last year on the "boutique" overalls for her.   The applique came from  The skirt is made from cute little Halloween fabric found at JoAnn's, adding a pretty polka dotted edge to match the black shirt, purchased at Walmart.  I still have to open the sides on these small shirts to embroider!  Mailed them to Ava this week with some other goodies.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yummy Chocolate Frosting

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tbsp boiling water (boil extra just in case your frosting is too thick)

8 tbsp (1 stick) butter at room temperature

3 cups confectioners' sugar sifted (sift extra just in case your frosting is too thin)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

place the cocoa powder in a lg mixing bowl & pour boiling water over it, stir  until the cocoa comes together in a soft mass. Add butter and blend with a mixer on low until soft and well blended (about 30 secs.) Stop mixing and  add the sugar and vanilla on low until blended well, increase speed to med and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, add more boiling water a tsp at a time if frosting is too thick or sugar if to thin.

I find if I set this into the fridge for a few minutes after making it, it will thicken better to allow you to pipe onto cupcakes.  If spreading on a cake, it will likely do better too! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

BEST Chocolate Cake Ever

Cake Batter

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
cream together
add 4 eggs (1 at a time mixing well)
1 cup self-rising flour
16 oz can chocolate syrup
Bake in a greased, floured 9x13 pan 30-40 minutes at 350

Frosting for Cake

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/3 cup pet milk (you can use regular milk)
boil 3 minutes (start timing when it starts to boil)
stir while the mixture boils and remove from heat,
add 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 tsp vanilla, and 1 cup of chopped pecans.
Pour over warm cake

My neighbor made one of these cakes for Casey when she was on her R&R from deployment last fall.  I have to say it's possibly one of the easiest, yet best chocolate cakes I have ever eaten!  Dangerous to have around my house since I can't seem to walk by it without grabbing a bite!
Hope you will try it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Decorating on the Cheap!

Grandblessing Ava has owls in her bathroom. I bought the matching rug from Target and bought and embroidered handtowels to match and a cheap garbage can from the dollar store. I embroidered the owl on tulle and used washaway stabilizer and ribbon to glue to the garbage can. My daughter had bought the
shower curtain and toothbrush holder at Target. Designs are from and

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hot Pink and Black Hair Bow Holder

Just adding another picture of another hair bow and hot pink!  You can't tell in the photo too well but the hot pink tulle sparkles!
These are so much fun!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tutu Hairbow Holder

 I have just finished the cutest project.  This design (the tutu bodice) is from  It is a completely done in the hoop project for a 5x7 hoop.  After you finish the bodice, simply add strips of tulle and ribbons and decorate to suite your taste.  If you google tutu hair bow holders you will find a huge amount of pictures and ideas.  I used what I had on hand to make this one but took a quick trip to the store today to get some fun things to do with some more.  In this file she also includes perfect, easy to follow directions complete with pictures.  I had wanted one of these for my granddaughters for a while now but if you look at them, you'll find they can be pricey.  I found them from $12.99 up to $60.00 on etsy.  This design is only $10.00 and the possibilities are endless.  Some that I have looked at are made from wood and some are made from foamcore board, but I couldn't imagine cutting these out.  You will get a template with the design and a  complete list of all materials you will need.  The back is just as finished and pretty as the front.  Any little girl would love having one of her very own I would imagine.    I am not connected with Embroidery Garden in any way, but I sure am a happy customer!

Cleaning that Gas Stovetop and Shower Doors

I love cooking on my gas stove but let's face it, it's hard to clean!  I use baking soda and a warm wet cloth to scrub with and once it is clean I coat it with car wax, let dry to a haze and then buff.  Amazingly it will keep the scrubbing to a bare minimim next time it is wiped!  This will last for quite a while before it has to be done again.  I love it when you find an easy way to clean.  I also have found once the shower doors are clean, I can take a bit of baby oil on a wash cloth and rub over them and they will repel the soap and water. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Using Metal Washers in Place of Sewing Weights

A couple years ago I had read about the benefits of using "weights" instead of pins when laying out your pattern on fabrics.  Each time you lift your fabrics to pin the pattern you stand a chance of shifting things a bit.  I didn't have any weights but had read about things you could use.  Some folks make their weights sewing fabric into small pillows and filling with rice or beans, etc. and some folks use small canned items such as tuna.  My husband picked up these large washers at the hardware store.  Twenty to the box, they are heavy and do a wonderful job holding the pattern down.  After cutting out, I pin the fabric with one pin to the pattern just to hold together until I get to that piece to sew it up.  Faster than pinning too!  Have you found an "everyday" item you use for sewing?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Elastic Thread Smocking (Shirring)

I can't for the life of me find the source of help I had found for doing the elastic thread shirring on my Brother 2002D ULT but I do have some pictures that will hopefully help you to learn how the threading has to be done.  (1) wind the elastic bobbin by hand with minimal stretching (2) put the bobbin in, hook it into the bobbin tension but DO NOT follow the normal bobbin thread path, lay the "tail" up as you see in the first picture (3) "pick up" the bobbin thread by dropping the threaded needle down and up again to pull up the bobbin thread as in picture two.  (you will likely need to use tweezers or something to grab the elastic thread to pull all the way up)   I sure hope this helps and I will post the link if I ever get my hands on it again!  Remember when using the elastic thread to not use the "scissors" on the machine but cut the thread yourself leaving a nice tail to tie off or either sew into your seam so it won't unravel.  I didn't try backstitching but many do and I will likely try it at some point.  ALSO, I did read not to count on a serged seam to hold the elastic alone.  I sure hope this helps and I will post the link if I ever get my hands on it again!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Elastic Thread Smocking

I love the clothing made with elastic thread in the bobbin but had never tried it until a few weeks ago.  I was in a fabric store and heard a lady say it could not be done on a "drop-in" bobbin machine.  I didn't say anything because I was overhearing this being said to someone else but I am thinking, I paid good money for my Brother machines (both drop-in bobbins) and surely this can be done.  Finally found a post on the internet showing the trick.  I will have to look up the site again, but the trick is to get the bobbin thread to hook into the tension and then bring the tail out and lay on the machine.  Use your needle thread to bring the bobbin thread up like you do in regular sewing machines.  Then you use regular sewing thread on top, the elastic thread in the bobbin (hand wind the elastic onto the bobbin) and just start making your rolls of stitching.  I put mine approx. 1/2 inch or less apart.  When you hit it with the seam from the iron it instantly pulls the thread together to make it look like the "smocked" clothing in stores.  Makes for a really easily made top for my 2 year old Ava.  Hopefully I will have the outfit finished before long and be ready to show you and I will look up that site so you will see the pictures of what I am trying to explain!  Blessings to all!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kitchen Towels

I have been drooling over some of the blogs and tutorials for kitchen towels.  I decided to make some from "stash" fabrics and do some practice, after all, who couldn't use a nice new kitchen towel every now and then?  These may be for my son...divorced father of 3 so he is the "mom and dad' in his home.  He likes cooking and I am sure he will appreciate them.  I have lots of ideas for doing more, just have to find the time between other sewing and life.
The dress is from the stash collection again.  A little peasant style dress for Ava.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some Things I Have Been Doing

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 Emilee gets a new top, of course it was last summer :)
ITH keychains for gifts!

 In the hoop projects, composition notebook cover and  monogrammed key chain for a friend of Casey's.  These projects can be found at  Very easy and really cute, the look changes with the fabrics you choose.  The key chain was my first ITH project and I love doing them!

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The overalls were from Walmart and became Ava's Halloween outfit......Said I wouldn't ever do another pair of these but I did and these were easier.  She looks like a little doll in them!

So this is just a little catch up on some of the things I have done.  Just made Ava two more dresses.  One is a pillowcase dress and the other a peasant style dress both using fabrics from the stash.  I hope to post more later!  The real world demands my attention at the moment!

Friday, February 17, 2012

MIA For a While!

Well it's been over a year since I blogged and I want to start back again.  Much has happened in the last year.  We have had Ava since May, 2011 while Casey is deployed and it's kept this ole lady pretty busy!  Spent months wondering how we would do it and now worried about how we will make it once Casey is home and Ava leaves us!
We lost our precious poodle Rudy in July.  He got into the road and hit by a car and broke our hearts.  We are a dogless home for now but plan to get another when Ava goes home.  I just couldn't imagine potty training a 2 year old and a puppy!
Many blessings throughout 2011 and have continued into 2012.  I got some sewing done I will share as I post and new projects in the works!  Dad had a bout with pancreatic cancer, had surgery and treatments and doing well.  We are planning building him a home next to us as soon as the weather permits.  I can't wait, my dad is one of the most pleasant and fun folks to be around!
Will try to start adding some things next week, tomorrow the grandblessings are keeping me.....there are 4 of them so I have no doubt I will be well tended to!