Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm back!

Well, so much for my intentions of blogging every day!

Our daughter and I own a small, independent $1 store, which she has been managing while I managed my husband's business from home, although I was doing the bulk of the buying and "going to get stuff", and working on the weekends. As a single mom, she also had a part-time job on the weekend. The manager's position at her part-time job became available, so she applied for it because she needs the benefits...and got the job!

As a result, I am now running our $1 store full-time...6 days per week! I'm loving it!

However, my work hours were leaving me no time to craft or sew, so I set up a sewing area at the store and moved my sewing/embroidery machine down there. I am planning to create items to sell at the store, and I'm seriously considering selling on Etsy.

First, though, I had to get Christmas gifts out of the way. I have been one busy gal for the past couple of months!

Here are some of the gifts I've made!

First, a friend's husband built a Barbie doll house to scale for their daughter. I decided to help out by making the bedding. My friend built the basic bed, and I made the mattress, sheets, comforter, pillows, and headboard.

Here is the bed with its sheets and dust ruffle. The mattress was made from some old antique satin drapes. I quilted the top and bottom and stuffed it with a piece of an old memory foam mattress topper. The sheets were made from a scrap of a skirt that I had cut out for my granddaughter which turned out to be too small. The dust ruffle is two rows of pleated satin ribbon sewn onto a base.

Here is the finished bed. The comforter and twin pillows are made from some white satin that a friend gave me. The embroidery is a pink "B" inside a metallic silver heart. The headboard is a thin piece of plywood, upholstered with some more white satin, with a toy tiara glued on top for "bling".

Our oldest grandson has a hunting theme bedroom, so I made this pillow for him.

Our #2 grandson drew a picture of a cardinal, which is their school mascot. I copied his picture, cut the copy apart for a pattern, and cut the appliqued pieces out of felt. The lettering is embroidered. It was a BIG hit! Our #1 grandson now wants me to make a pillow for him, using one of HIS drawings!

Here are the bitty booties that I made for our toddler grandson. They are made of ultrasuede, backed with felt to give them body, and lined with fleece. The soles are sueded leather that I cut out from an old leather purse.

Unfortunately, they would not go on his feet, which apparently had a growth spurt between the time I tried the prototype on him and Christmas Eve! I am enlarging the opening in hopes that the basic bootie still fits him. If not, then I need to find another old leather purse to cut up for soles to make another pair!

Our granddaughter is 12 and into going on sleepovers and also traveling to visit her mom, so I thought she could use a travel toiletry/makeup bag. I had some Kool-Aid Jammers drink pouches, so I whipped one up for her.

I also made a purse for our granddaughter, with a cellphone holder that loops around the handle. I also made a matching eyeglass case, but didn't take a picture of it.

The purse is carried by looping the long handle through the short handle.

One of the customers at the store saw the purse, and wanted me to make two for her granddaughters. I made another one just like my granddaughters, and the purple one with frogs like this one. My customer later asked me if I could make a smaller one for her 2 year old granddaughter, so I scanned the pattern and reduced the size. I forgot to make a picture of it, but it turned out cute. It was red, printed with tiny stars.

I made quite a few purse organizers like this one. It is simply a long strip of interfaced fabric in coordinating prints, with pockets sewn all across.

You simply load your pockets with your essentials, roll it up and place inside your purse. When you are ready to change purses, just pick the whole thing up and place it inside the new purse!

Thinking of things to make for BOYS is HARD! I found the tutorial for these sun visor CD holders online. There are 12 CD pockets, and it was easy to make...EXCEPT that I cannot sew binding on worth a darn! Because of the stiff Veltex innerfacing, the binding could not be pinned, so I had to keep it pulled tight as I sewed. I am not pleased with my messy stitching on the binding, and I also broke a few needles, but the boys were impressed!

I also made quite a few personalized, fleece seatbelt cushions. Easy-peasy!

I made several checkbook covers like this one!

I also made a purse for our daughter, but didn't take a picture of it. I embroidered and personalized a few dish towels, and made a few more checkbook covers. I also made my sweet hubby a snuglet to keep hm warm and cozy while he kicks back in his recliner to watch TV.

All in all, I spent just a little over $100 on Christmas, and all the gifts were well-received!
My best gift was spending time with ALL my family, and I also finally got a beautiful picture of all 5 of our grandchildren! I forgot to get the wallet-sized copy before I left our son's on Christmas Eve, so I'll have to post the picture when I get that.
My sweet hubby expressed great appreciation for my efforts in giving our family the gifts. He's in construction, and with very few new homes being built, our work is very, very slow. He was very upset over not being able to do much in the way of gifts for the grandchildren this year. He said that the gifts I made were better than any store-bought gifts, and that he was very grateful for my hard work in making sure that our family had a nice Christmas.

I hope you all had a wonderful and happy Christmas with your families, and wish everyone a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Working on those blue shoes!

I've started trying to clean those blue baby shoes of mine. It's going to take quite a bit more work to get them really clean...IF that's even possible. After all, they have been in their dirty state for over 50 years in a box in my mom's attic! By the way, my mom says they got so dirty because I was a floor-scooter at a very young age! It seems that I would roll off my pallet and scoot to wherever I wanted to go. I wore those shoes for quite some time, she said, because they were a little big when the picture was made, and my feet didn't really start growing much until I was older.

Here's the original picture.

Here they are, after the first round of cleaning with carpet cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Still dirty, but at least you can see the embroidery a little bit better! I was going to try soaking them in Woolite, but the stiffening in the soles is cardboard! Nope! Can't dunk them into anything wet! I just stuffed the end of a washcloth into the toe, sprayed carpet spot cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles on them, and rubbed with a damp cloth.

By the way, Scrubbing Bubbles in the aerosol can is great for cleaning carpets! Before we traded our old camper in, I cleaned the carpet with Scrubbing Bubbles, and used an old towel soaked in Lemon Pinesol and hot water to scrub it. It looked brand new (and the black marks my husband tracked on the carpet disappeared!) when I finished, and the camper smelled wonderful, too! In fact, somebody bought the camper as soon as we traded it in!
Have a great evening!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Blue Monday!

Blue Monday has rolled around again!

My Blue Baby Shoes!

Some time back, my mom gave me a pair of my baby shoes. You can see me wearing them in the picture below. The shoes are made of blue felt. with little pink flowers embroidered on the toes. I would like to clean them up and display them with pink ribbon laces, but have no idea how to clean them without damaging them. Any ideas?


To see who else is participating in Blue Monday, visit Smiling Sally and take a look!

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Red Roses

I did almost NOTHING today, but surf the 'net. I did take a break to bake myself a birthday cake...the Coconut Pecan Pound Cake that I posted about earlier, only today, I used a carrot cake mix. Oh...and I did clean up some crud that my #3 grandson had spilled onto my end table and coffee table in the den...and had hidden underneat a potted...well, a FAKE plant. Thankfully, I had previously used a wax polish on the tables, which protected the finish! hubby arrived home with these!

A dozen red roses!
Then, after he mowed the lawn, we went out to eat at a new place in town.
A perfect ending to a perfect day!
Have a good night!

Birthday Biscuits!

My husband is an "early to bed and early to rise" type of guy, where I'm more of a night owl. Going to bed at the same time he does usually results in my waking up around 3 a.m. and unable to go back to sleep. Too early to get up and actually DO anything, because it would disturb him, so I have to lie there and fidget.

He gets up around 6 a.m., and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I generally get up a short time later, but I'm dragging my rear end.

He generally cooks breakfast, including home-made biscuits.

This is what I got this morning! He can be such a sweetie at times!

So, Happy Birthday to ME!
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jax Meets Rascal

My son has started bringing his baby over to our house once a week for breakfast.

This morning, Jax met Rascal through the storm door. Please pay no attention to the mess outside. I have done almost NO gardening this year, and I notice that Rascal has dug up the flower beds beside the door yet AGAIN!!!

Jax: "DOG!"

Rascal: "Hey! That looks like a human...only LITTLE!"

Rascal: "Wonder if I can sniff him through that glass?"

Jax: "DOG!"

Rascal: "Hey, kid! Wanna come out and play?"

Jax: "Hmm...wonder if he'll let me ride him!"

Rascal: "Aw...c'mon kid! I just wanna be your friend!"

Jax: "I know what you're up to! You just want my binky!"

Rascal: "How many times to I have to bark it? C'mon out and play with me!"

Jax: "SHUP! (shut up!)"

Have a great day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue Monday!

I was reading over at BJ's Sweet Nothings about Blue Monday, and decided...what the heck! If I'm gonna be a blogger, I may as well join in the fun!

First, I had to go on a hunt for blue stuff in my house. Here is my "Blue Boy" picture, which I love, even though there are apparently millions of him out there! I also have "Pinky". When I was in 3rd grade, we did a little program at school, where the students in my class portrayed the people in famous portraits. I can remember my mother making my Pinky dress, and I had to stand very still, as the dress and the ribbons on my hat were pinned to the backdrop to simulate the breeze blowing them. My mother got these pictures with her Quality Stamps (remember those?), and I finally talked her into giving them to me a few years ago.
I also like blue transferware, and have one of my plates on display atop my china cabinet. There is also a little blue in the cookie jar pig's apron, as well as in the wallpaper. Please excuse the dust and the tarnish on my little copper pot. I have knee issues and haven't been able to get up there to clean. The wallpaper is also going to come down as soon as I can get to it and make up my mind what color to paint the walls!

Here's the last of the blues in my house...the blue mat on this little picture and the blue striped wallpaper in my bathroom. This is also going to come down soon, as well. It is time for some MASSIVE changes around here!

If you want to participate in Blue Monday, Sweet Sally has the information on her blog, which is also fun to read.

I'm not the only crafty person... our family! My mom is pretty crafty, even at 92, and so is my son!

I think that Mama is just about finished with making baby quilts, although I think she is currently working on one. She has probably made at least 25 of her hand-embroidered and hand-quilted baby quilts for the babies in our family. The last one that I KNOW she finished was the one she made last year for my youngest grandson. I don't have a picture of that one, which is a "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall" design. Here are the ones that she has made for my niece's 3 boys. I have one that she made for one of my angel babies 27 years ago.

She uses vintage embroidery patterns from, I think, the 40s, and they are as cute today as they were back then!

One of the things she currently makes, as baby gifts, are these cute little gingham teddy bears. She hand-embroiders their features and the heart and belly-button on them, and she sews the ribbon bow on so that a baby can't get choked on them.

She also makes these cute little "twin" dolls!

She hasn't made any Humpty Dumpties in a long time, but I think that just about all her grandkids have one.

Our son, who did a LOT of the work on his new home, has been working on finishing the bonus room over the garage. He has installed a mini-bar/kitchen area in it. Here's the vessel sink that he installed. He found the pump at our local hardware store and plumbed it so that the handles on the wall work with it. He drilled a hole through a chipped enameled washpan to make his sink. He also built the cabinet that it sits on. Isn't it just the coolest thing?

My sisters are both pretty crafty, too; but, they aren't into taking pictures of their stuff. One sister is like me...trying her hand at almost anything. My other sister is more into sewing and smocking. She has three granddaughters, so she pretty much stays busy with sewing their wardrobes. However, she has been making a few things for my grandbaby. I just haven't gotten "into" smocking.
She made this little "Noah's Ark" outfit for him to wear at Easter.
She also made his birthday outfit.

I guess we are just a creative bunch of folks!

Today is my son's birthday! It's hard to believe that in 3 short years, we'll be planning his 40th birthday "Over the Hill" party! Of course, I was a mere BABY when he was born! ;)

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ancestors or Alien Descendants?

One of my interests is genealogy. Since I love mysteries, genealogy is one way for me to play "detective" without actually getting into a living person's business.

Over the years, I periodically resume searching for my elusive ancestors. Since I can find no trace of my great-great-grandfather Kimery before 1840, I have concluded that he must have been an alien from outer space! Actually, prior to 1840, he was too young to be listed as "Head of Household" on the census records, and census records did not start recording the names of the family members until 1850.

Actually, I think there must have been a slight name change, or change in spelling, as my great-uncle Ralph once told my daddy that our last name used to be spelled and pronounced differently, but he couldn't remember how.

In the course of my genealogy detective work, I have acquired quite a few old family photos, and I love 'em!

Isn't this a cool old picture? A very distant, almost cousin sent this to me. We believe that it is a party...maybe a wedding?...attended mostly by my Stroup relatives. Since my great-grandmother Kimery was originally a Stroup, my grandparents are in this picture (the couple in the middle), along with some Stroup cousins, and possibly a few of my grandfather's siblings, as well. Since so many of the Kimerys inherited the Stroup looks, it's hard to tell which one is a Stroup and which one is a Kimery.

I don't know who she is, but I love the look of the young woman on the bottom row. It looks as if she is flirting with some fella who didn't get into the picture!

Here is a picture of my grandfather that was only discovered about 10 years ago. My aunt had an old picture in an antique frame which needed refinishing, so she took the picture out and found this picture of my grandfather behind it. Since he had no mustache and looks very young and not as "filled out" as he was in adulthood, it seems to have been made when he was a teenager. I think he was a handsome young man, even if he did have that "deer in the headlights" stare.

I don't remember much of my grandfather, since he died when I was 5 years old, other than that he seemed to be this HUGE, but gentle, man who was in a wheelchair most of the time. He could walk, but arthritis made it too painful for him. Having learned more about him from my older brothers and sisters, I can understand why he was in such pain. Apparently, he not only LOOKED like a hunk as a young man, but actually WAS a hunk. Although he was primarily a farmer, he worked on the side quite a bit to earn income to support his family. When the railroad was building a line through his county, he got a job working to build the tracks. It is said that he was so strong that he could pick up and tote TWO railroad ties on his shoulders. Apparently, he would lean the ties against a tree or a wagon, and then hoist one at a time onto his shoulders, carry them to where they were needed and toss them down. And he did this all day long! Everybody always said that he had "crippling arthritis", which he probably did; however, I'm thinking that the arthritis probably started when HE HURT HIS BACK!

I remember a bit more of my grandmother, as she took turns staying with each of her children after my grndfather died. My grandmother was apparently a very upright and moral woman...BUT she could be quite a booger! Nobody knows what her problem was, but it manifested itself in often hateful behavior. As a child, I apparently did not like her because she was always scolding me for being noisy.

On one of her extended visits with us, my Aunt Sally, who was my grandfather's sister, came with her. Aunt Sally got along quite well with Mama Lula, and I apparently loved Aunt Sally to pieces. My mom says that Aunt Sally was "partial" to me because I looked like her granddaughter who got run over and died.

Why Mama Lula and Aunt Sally were such good friends is a mystery to me. Mama Lula was a prude, and there was no way she would ever put "paint" on her face. She also had some kind of Victorian idea that a "lady" never allowed her back to touch the back of a chair. Being a heavy lady, she actually broke the springs in the front of my Mama's new chair because she would always sit right on the edge of the seat. I don't remember ever hearing Mama Lula laugh or seeing her smile.

Aunt Sally was the exact opposite. Every morning, she would fix her hair, and put on her makeup and jewelry. She would smile at me, read stories to me, and listen to my stories as if they were the most fascinating tales she'd ever heard.

At that time, I was seriously into art...well, about as seriously as a 6 year old can be. I spent much of my time drawing pictures, including family portraits. It was inevitable that I would draw Mama Lula's and Aunt Sally's portraits. My mother still laughs to this day about those "portraits". Aunt Sally was delighted with her portrait, as I portrayed her as a beautiful young lady. I've been told that she framed it and carried it in her suitcase as she traveled amongst her children.

On the other hand, Mama Lula was FURIOUS! She told my mama that I needed to be punished, and got even madder because Mama told her that I hadn't done anything to be punished for...that I had drawn what I actually saw. I drew Mama Lula with her lips pursed up like she'd been eating lemons, and with as many wrinkles as I could get onto her face! If you look at her in the party picture (she's the 2nd from the right in the middle row), you can see that she pursed her lips like she had been sucking on lemons!

Anyway, here is a picture of Papa Jim and Mama Lula on their wedding day in 1900.

This is a ca1916 photo of 5 of their 6 children, plus a cousin who was staying with them at the time. My daddy is the little boy at the bottom right. Wasn't he cute? He doesn't look very happy to be wearing a pair of knickers and that shirt with the big bow, though!

This is a picture of my Kimery great-grandparents and my Stroup great-great-grandmother. My grandfather is the 2nd from the right in the back, and I believe the girl next to him is my Great-Aunt Sally. Doesn't she look like she'd be a sassy young miss? The other two men and the man in the separate picture are, I believe, my grandfather's brothers, and the other young woman is his sister-in-law. The 3 young children in front are also my grandfather's youngest siblings, Alice, Myrtle, and Ralph.

I haven't done any real family research in quite a while. While I've dug up a few family skeletons, I've hit an internet dead end in searching for my great-grand-father Kimery, whose name may have actually been Kimbro, Kimbrough or even something totally different. One day, I hope to be able to go spend some time in Northeast Tennessee and North Carolina to see if I can find any record of him. That'll be a while, though!

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Big Mama is 92!

Here's what we did tonight. We met my mom, our kids and grandkids, my 4 siblings and their spouses, my niece and her two daughters at a nearby restaurant for a birthday dinner to celebrate my mom's 92nd birthday! A good time was had by all, especially my mama!

She's still a kid at heart! Look at her when I caught her swiping a bite of cake frosting! Oops!

Man, that frosting must be good!

Here's a picture of Mama with our son and our youngest grandbaby. His 3 older kids had to go to track practice, but they stopped by to wish Big Mama a very happy birthday.

Here's what I made for her birthday gift! I managed to finish this purse at straight up 3 p.m., just in time to get ready for the dinner!

I am so thankful to still have my mama alive and well at such a great age. She still lives in her home by herself, keeps her house neat and clean, works in her flower beds, and makes the cutest little stuffed bears and dolls, and baby quilts. I'll have to post some pictures of her sewing for you to see at another time!

Have a good night!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I CONFESS!! I'm a drive-by shooter!

NO! It's NOT what you think! I'm guilty of drive-by photo shootings! Here are a few pics of some of the lovely homes in our town, many of which are antebellum homes built before the War Between the States. I think we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 antebellum homes in our town. General Grant himself ordered that our town be spared from burning, as the ladies in town were so very nice to his wife while they were here.

Did you know that, at one time, people could order a house from Sears & Roebuck (now just plain ol' Sears)? It's true! You could choose your house, order it, and it would be delivered to you in panels that you put together. Here is a lovely Craftsman-style home that was ordered from Sears.

This is a little brick house that I've always thought was so cute! The windows that are hidden behind the tree are arched at the top. I'm thinking that the room with those windows might, at one time, have been a porch that was later closed in. This picture is slightly blurry, because I had to snap it while rolling because it looked like I was fixing to be rear-ended!

This is "Montrose"., an antebellum home owned by our local garden club. Nobody lives in it, but it can be toured, and is often used for super-elegant weddings and receptions.

This house is a "sister" house to Montrose and is right across the street. They were built by the same plans, but have some different detailing in the trim.

This house is called "The Cedars". I wish it didn't have those bushes in front so y'all could see it better! The gingerbread-type trim on this house is beautiful.

This house is called "Wakefield". The tree on the right is a huge dogwood tree. Until a storm caused another tree to fall on it, ripping off some of its branches, it looked like a huge lace petticoat when when in bloom.

This gray house isn't an antebellum home, although it's old; but, I've always loved it. It's pretty in gray and white, but I especially loved it when it was painted a soft, mossy green.

This is another antebullum home. I love how it looks like it looks as if it might be surrounded by cotton fields, although it is right smack dab on one of the busiest streets in town.

This is an antebellum cottage. The landscaping is beautiful, and can't you see yourself sitting on that front porch with a tall glass of iced tea, watching the world go by?

Well, that concludes our tour for the day. I hope you've enjoyed it! We have lots more beautiful homes in our little town, and I'll be doing more drive-by shootings soon!

Today is my mother's 92nd birthday. She has five children, 12 living grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren. She is a wonderful woman and mother, was a wonderful wife to my daddy, and is beautiful on top of all that! How cool is that?
I love you, Mama!

And, last, but not least, let us remember those who lost their lives 7 years ago this day, on September 11, 2001. 9-11 is truly a sad day in our history, because those precious lives were wiped out by those who practice hatred and call it religion.
However, the good thing is that Anerica showed the world that we will not take terroism lying down. Pray for those family members who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, and pray for AMERICA! We are truly a great nation, with wonderful people!

Have a great day!