Spring Break Grandma Camp with Remnants

Spring Break brought a week of “Grandma Camp” at our house, and what a list of revelations I experienced!
1. Less time spent going over emails. Result: consciousness more focused on tasks at hand rather than clogged with internet distractions.
2. Start of Spring Break was Roots Tech conference, pointing me toward family history. I was very family-history-conscious all week.
3. Hey, wait a minute! I’m grandma! Is that why I’m so tired at night when I fall into bed? Because I’m….old? Gasp!

What do I remember about my grandmothers? Precious little. When we went to visit for my dad’s dad’s funeral in 1966, we took a walk to the corner store, and all of a sudden bird poop dropped out of the sky onto my nose. I ran into the house, freaking out. Someone asked what was wrong, and my grandma piped up in her British accent, “A bird crrrrrapped on her nose!” She had lots of cats, and she fed them fish wrapped in white paper from the grocery, just unwrapping it and letting the cats jump up on the counter to eat it. That’s what I remember about her. And my mom’s mother taught us to play Casino and gin rummy. And she taught me to crochet, knit, embroider, sew, and tat. Yes, tat. All of which I forgot and had to re-learn later, except for the tatting. I still haven’t gotten to t’at.

My DH remembers that his grandfather talked about the Boer War. Really! He and his brother called it “The Boring War.” He said his grandmother didn’t have TV. They also didn’t have Lunchables or Happy Meals so they had to eat real food when they visited their grandparents! And the grandparents’ neighbors had ducks and chickens, and they hoped they wouldn’t get impetigo when they went next door to play in the yard that had all the duck and chicken poop. So DH and I have a common thread of childhood memories featuring bird poop!

I asked Granddaughter which patterns I had for doll clothes she would like to help make. Of course, she chose one that was UNBELIEVABLY, HEINOUSLY, FIENDISHLY complex, the Snow White costume! With fuse-able and sew on appliques on the puffy, cuffed sleeves, a stand-up collar, and stuffed-ribbon hair ornament? And they call this Simplicity 5705? Please. D’oh, I should have seen it coming! But why not, when Snow White is such a part of our family culture that Aunt Amber even had a Snow White-themed wedding reception? Grandpa helped out by searching up loads of Snow White videos on You Tube. Our favorites included a Snow White make-up tutorial and a remix of the Wishing Song using scenes from the original 1937 Disney movie.

the finished doll dress

the finished doll dress

Best part: I didn’t have to buy anything, all the materials were in my remnant stash! The skirt fabric was a JoAnn’s remnant from 2004!
Ta da!

Ta da!

Granddaughter did some of the sewing and cutting and ironing. But some of the steps were pretty intense for a 10-year old.
I like sewing!

I like sewing!

She had to take a lot of breaks. The sounds of nana’s teeth grinding and barely-audible utterances of “what the frig?” as I squinted at the instruction sheets prompted brief break-times. And she needed to wheel the cat around the sewing room after he took over the chair.
come on, Grayzie!

come on, Grayzie, let’s go!

We have remnants, we need to know the STORIES!

Overall, I had a pretty happy day. I know, you’re about to tell me, “But yesterday was International Happiness Day.” True, I missed the boat not blogging about happiness yesterday. But I thought about it. And International Happiness Day is growing into something bigger. I have plenty going on now to make me happy.

I finally got the Ruby back from the repair shop. It has been in limbo there since early November. Funny, when I look at the Husqvarna Viking website, I do not even see Ruby, now they have a Ruby Deluxe. Perhaps the Ruby model is no longer produced, historically kind of like the Edsel? I didn’t sew on Ruby right away, because I’d been in a car accident and then hurt my head and got my neck and back jacked up. But today I plugged in the Ruby and made another rag quilt while watching the opening day of Rootstech. Ruby was all better, smooth and beautiful like I remembered! sigh! Rootstech is a 3-day genealogy workshop that is in its 3rd year of production. And it is BIG! An estimated ten thousand people listened to the streaming videos today, besides the throng of over 5,000 that attended in person at Salt Lake City.

Several points impressed me from the conference talks. One was that stories were stressed. Not just names and dates. Over and over I heard, we need to know the stories. WE NEED TO KNOW THE STORIES! Another point stressed: what will our great-grandchildren wish they knew about us? What would we know about our ancestors if they’d had social media like we have today?

I finished another larger rag quilt, using cotton flannel remnants. This one will go to Baby L, and the little one I already gave her will seem like a changing pad compared to this.

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20130321-210912.jpgback

Then I finished another lap quilt, one not made of remnants but of charming designer flannel fabric: Les Amis by Patti Sloniger for Michael Miller Fabrics LLC.

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20130321-211730.jpgdetail of Michael Miller fabric “Les amis de la foret”

For those creative readers who love this fabric, perhaps you could be the next fabulous new fabric designer? Check out this contest from Spoonflower and give it a chance!

I have sewn things that were given away, and later I forgot. If I did not keep a record I might not remember what I have done. Like the felted name tags for the FTWG conference, all gone and not remembered in the least. This giftee may not know that I picked the designer fabric just for her, with its French motif and Pantone color of the year, but here I note the remnants of the story.

Weekly Phoneography Challenge “Lunchtime”

peanut butter pie at Wolfy's

peanut butter pie at Wolfy’s

Oh, yummm! For more weekly photo challenge: lunchtime, click here. but I’m warning you, there’s no accounting for taste!

Weekly Phoneography Challenge Neighborhood Take 2

I was so bummed by the results of my other phone pic, I downloaded a free photo editor app to make another, more serious attempt to show the ‘hood.

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Metal Remnants

I recently got invited to a Jewelry Party.

Catalog for the Jewelry Party

Catalog for the Jewelry Party

I love jewelry, but I’ve never been much of a jewelry wearer. My slim list of preferred jewelry includes yellow gold, a wedding band set, earrings from cherished children, leather, and orange and blue beaded or enameled items I wear during football season. And yet, when I went through my stuff lately, I found that I have a ton of jewelry, and I like most of it, I remember when I got it, I have fond feelings for it, but I still don’t wear it. And some of it is broken.

Lately, I’ve wanted to create jewelry. I’ve got a few friends whose desire to make jewelry has really bloomed since I’ve known them. So I’m taking a leaf from their books of accomplishment and doing a little bit of jewelry.

Items on these pages of catalog are from $18 - $54 each

Items on these pages of catalog are from $18 (earrings) – $54 (necklace) each

You can buy all sorts of jewelry findings at JoAnn’s, Michael’s, and local bead shops like our nearby Gifts of Avalon, and they’re reasonably priced.
These are from Avalon Beads at $2 a packet

These are from Avalon Beads at $2 a packet

I found all the stuff to make these at JoAnn's for about $15

I found all the stuff to make these at JoAnn’s for about $15

As a Remnant Redo, I decided to fix some of my broken jewelry. It wasn’t hard to do. You just need a few basic tools.

crimp tool, round nose pliers, wire cutters

crimp tool, round nose pliers, wire cutters

Tons of how-to videos abound on You-Tube in which even the most simpering of young girly-girls know more about making jewelry than I do. Watch some of them and your brow will no longer furrow when you hear or read the word “crimp.”

I fixed these by adding cheap and easy clasps

I fixed these by adding cheap and easy clasps

a new barrel clasp made this Crow necklace wearable again

a new barrel clasp made this Crow necklace wearable again

Added a little jump-ring, and I can wear this watch my son gave me again

Added a little jump-ring, and I can wear this watch my son gave me again

just a little clasp was all it needed

just a little clasp was all it needed

metal remnants

metal remnants

Hmmm, wonder what could be done with this junk, er, these possible jewelry findings?

Weekly photo challenge: Neighborhood

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I apologize for the poor quality of my iPhone 3G! I pass this scene every morning on my way to yoga.

Shrugs and Therapy, Weekly Photo Challenge Lost in Details

Shrug Patterns

Shrug Patterns

I wanted to sew a shrug (click here for Wikipedia definition of shrug). Reason: I bought a dress that has a bodice that is a bit more revealing than I want it to be, so I sought to make a little shoulder cover-up, after having been inspired by the young women in this You-tube video, 195 Dresses.

I went to JoAnn Fabric on the day when all McCall’s patterns were 5 for $5, and Vogue patterns were $3.99. I figured, hey, I’ll just get what’s available. I also had a couple of shrug patterns in the stash already. Here are some of them separately from the above “Lost in the Details” photo.

Vogue Elizabeth Gillett NYC little jackets

Vogue Elizabeth Gillett NYC little jackets

Rectangle Tie Shrug from Little Green Dresses by Tina Sparkles

Rectangle Tie Shrug from Little Green Dresses by Tina Sparkles

McCall's Evening Cover-ups

McCall’s Evening Cover-ups

Vogue Elizabeth Gillett NYC wrap, shrug, and jackets

Vogue Elizabeth Gillett NYC wrap, shrug, and jackets

Vogue and Simplicity

Vogue and Simplicity

Simplicity Easy-to-sew and McCall's Easy

Simplicity Easy-to-sew and McCall’s Easy

Brooklyn Shrug from Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Langdon & Pollahn

Brooklyn Shrug from Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Langdon & Pollahn

I tentatively decided on the Rectangle Shrug from Little Green Dresses. Meanwhile, I got in a car accident so I’ve been sort of drifting, trying to feel better. I’m going today to another Bio-mat session. I won 7 Bio-Mat sessions at a silent auction at the local women’s gym, and I’ve been to 2 of them so far. We laughed at the advertisement which claims Bio-mat therapy helps heal everything from ADD to Cancer, but now I’m hoping those amethyst crystals kick in all the arcane healing capacity they can muster on my behalf!

If you want to see more Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details (and add your own interpretative photo) click here.

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