January 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm (All Things Wedding)


My Sparkly Mother Of The Bride Shoes 🙂

Okay, so  I vowed to wear a pair of pink sparkly shoes for Amanda’s wedding.  Well… all of the pink sparkly shoes I found had hooker heels — from 4 1/2″ and higher.  Because I am not a stupid person, I found a pair of sparkly shoes that I could actually wear!  I found these at DSW and ordered them.  I love them.  They are comfortable.  They are fun… and sparkly 🙂





Permalink 2 Comments


January 27, 2012 at 2:00 am (Multiple Sclerosis, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Hello insomnia. I’ve missed you (NOT). Perhaps you would be so kind as to slow my brain down so I can get some sleep. I have a busy day tomorrow and I’d hate to start editing before I even get up. Muscle spasms can be exciting, but not when I am trying to hold my arms and legs still. The facial tics can be fun in a certain setting, but not while I am trying to count sheep to fall asleep. The tics keep messing up my counting!! I will try again in a few minutes. Thank you my friend (I feel that if I yell at insomnia, it will treat me even worse.) I am heading back to bed with quiet confidence that the heated rice bag will quiet my stray limb movements and hold the facial tics at bay. I am grabbing the promise of new morning, new mercies with both hands tomorrow morning. But for now I am now sharing my sometimes night time struggles.

desperately needing to get to sleep...

Permalink 2 Comments

Mother Of The Bride Shoes

January 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm (All Things Wedding)

I have ordered two pair of shoes from my favorite shoe store, DSW, for Amanda’s wedding. I will decide when I get them, which pair I will wear!

Permalink Leave a Comment

My Purple Coat

January 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm (Sewing Projects)


I realized I did not post a picture of my finished coat.  I had to put my spanx on to check the fit of my muslin mock-up of my Mother of The Bride’s dress — another post for another day!

Ta Da!!  Here it is!  I am carrying my new Big Buddha purse and wearing a scarf that my boss gave me 20 years ago!  The sunglasses are just because I didn’t want to put make-up on… just lipstick.   I love this coat!

Permalink 2 Comments

The 1912 Project

January 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm (Sewing Projects, The 1912 Project)

I am getting geared up to help with The 1912 Project.  Remember, I also have to make my Mother Of the Bride dress, bake goodies for 200 people (for the reception – recipes will be in future blogs. I’ve found some great ones!)  I have collected patterns for 30 years.  I’ve gotten them from auctions and Goodwill.  They were all up in the attic.  I realized today that isn’t a good place for them to be.  They are not in pristine condition, but the cold and hot will deteriorate them faster than normal.  As I was looking through the patterns I found two that seem to be the earliest… they are 15 cents.  Unfortunately the afternoon dress pattern only has the instructions (such as they are), no pattern pieces.


Simplicity 1091 Size 14 ~~ Hollywood Pattern 1416 Size 14

Here is my collection of patterns between 25 and 35 cents.


Many Many Many Patterns

These are a few coat patterns I love and would someday like to transcribe just for me.

Butterick 5519, Butterick 5908, Butterick 6852

This is a maternity blouse – ha!  I remember wearing those tent blouses.  My Momma wore the skirts with the holes cut out in the middle of them.

Simplicity 4718

 This pattern I started a few years ago (obviously I got stuck somewhere and quit.).  I love the cut of the jacket.

Vogue 5073

 I love the necklines of these obviously 1950 patterns!

McCalls 9434 - McCalls 9611

This dress pattern isn’t that old, but it has special memories.  I made and wore this dress to Buck and Mary’s Wedding in November of 1979.  That was the day I met my darling DannyO.  He kept telling me my dress was on backwards.   Bahahaha!  That started what has been 31 years of wonderfulness. 🙂

Simplicity 9190

 I do not know how to date the patterns but I am going to keep them under my bed where they will be safer.  If anyone is interested in them, I can give you specifics of a certain pattern and either lend it to you or you can buy it… I’ve never done that either, but I feel these need to be seen!!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

My Mother of The Bride Dress – Part 1

January 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm (Mother Of The Bride Dress, Sewing Projects, The 1912 Project)

This is the first time I’ve ever made a muslin test garment of anything and I’m 52 and have been sewing since I’ve been 10 years old. Why? You ask? Let me ‘splain. When I was 10 I was fearless. I made a beautiful Easter dress and a hat out of some cotton fabric my mom had in her stash. When I was 13, I made a purple jumpsuit because… Donny Osmond’s favorite color was purple. Through my teenage years I just sewed and sewed. When I was at Grace College, I made my “Lucy” costume for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Definitely my “ugly duckling” stage

I loved being a diva! I used an ice skating pattern for this (it was 1978 🙂

In my 20’s I weighed 110 pounds, had no bulges and just sewed. When I was sewing baby and toddler clothing for darling Amanda, I never made a test garment. When she was a teenager, I made all of her prom and formal dresses. Amanda has a beautiful figure and there was never any doubt the dresses would fit.

I didn’t use a pattern — we saw a dress she liked…

Winter formal dress — 1999

Cut to 2012 – this is the most important dress I’ve ever made in my life. I weigh *** . Thank goodness they no longer require weight to be listed on drivers’ licenses! I have so many lumps and bumps and jiggles that spanx will be needed and a muslin test garment is a necessary step! Patterns are also not “vanity” sized like ready-to-wear garments are sized. In a store I wear a 6 or an 8. In a pattern a 12 may be too small.

In my previous blog I posted a picture of my dress pattern and my fabric. I found my Threads Magazine, 151 from October/November 2010. In it Susan Khalje gives fabulous instructions on how to make a muslin test garment.

I received nearly a bolt of muslin from my massage therapist, Ginny. She was giving away a room of fabric and her friends who sewed got to “shop” in that room! Thank you, Ginny! I’ll see you in February!

Truthfully, as I was following Ms. Khalje’s instructions to the “T” (remember, I have OCD), I nearly quit. It seemed to be so much work… to cut, trace, sew, sew, sew… and that was before I evened sewed a seam. I used a spool of cheap black thread to mark the seams, a charcoal pencil to mark all of the notches, circles and squares. I then sewed the seams with pink thread – you know, my favorite color is pink… I’ve got oodles of pink thread just lying around! Sewing the seams together was the easiest part. I am learning (again… I know I knew this important tidbit years ago) that pressing is important to “shape” seams. Muslin is almost indestructible so I am ironing this sucker to death! Here is my garment all sewed together. The next step is to see if it fits… Yikes!! To be continued…

After 4 hours of work…

This is also a valuable experience for my next adventure. I am sewing test garments in “The 1912 Project.” I have joined other, many more experienced than I, sewers to, first make muslin test garments, and then if we’d like, to make the garments out of “real” fabric. We are sewing through a French Pattern Catalog of 1912 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.

Permalink 2 Comments

Ashley’s Scarf, Beads and My Dress

January 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm (Jewelry, Sewing Projects, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Some of my last few blog posts are full of despair.   I don’t despair every day, some days I have hope.  Today my house is spotless — the needles from the Christmas tree are all swept up.  The kitchen floor is shiny.  I am enjoying a cup a tea and a (surprise!) bag of M&M’s I found hiding in the cupboard.

My trigeminal neuralgia is acting up, but I am medicating and feel reasonably okay.  I have a high pain tolerance… As an aside, I hate it when the doctor asks me to rate my pain from 1 to 10.  What is he using?  His scale?  My scale?  I haven’t figured that one out.

Okay — the reason for my post.  I knitted a scarf for my son’s girlfriend.  Obviously it is the 12th of January and I am three weeks late, but hey, it’s finished.  I am going to put it in the mail tomorrow.

Ashley's Scarf -- purple stripes

On Sunday I decided to sort my beads into colors.  It is so frustrating to need a bead in a certain color and size and I cannot find it because there is no order to my bead stash.  Now, as a person with a teeny tiny bit of OCD, you can imagine how I can take a task like this and run with it…  four hours later…

Blue-purple, Red-pink, Green-yellow, Brown-black, Gold-silver, Pearl-White, Miscellaneous

I also had a 40% off coupon from Joann’s Fabric burning a hole in my pocket.  I picked up all of the supplies I need to make my fabulous Mother-Of-The-Bride dress.  I have to tell you that Amanda, Juel and I went into Joann’s Fabric on Black Friday, wrote the numbers of the colors we wanted and walked out the door.  Nothing, absolutely nothing would have enticed me to stand in the line that snaked around the store, first by the cutting table and then through the checkout…  Here is the fabric and the pattern… I will blog about its progress…

Shantung and organza -- say a prayer for me 🙂

Permalink Leave a Comment

Tuesday ~~ Shoesday

January 10, 2012 at 10:01 am (Shoes)

My darling hubby (ummmm… Amanda, really) got these for me for Christmas.  I L-O-V-E them!

Permalink 1 Comment

I Can’t Do This Anymore

January 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm (Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Last night at 12:00 midnight, I wandered down to the TV room where darling DannyO was sitting, watching TV and doing some computer work.  He is a night owl — actually he is an early bird too… another subject for another time.  I said something I’ve been saying for the last six months at least three or four times a week, “I Cant Do This Anymore!”

“This” is trigeminal neuralgia pain in the right side of my face.  At least two or three times a week the pain becomes unbearable.  I am getting better about medicating.  I used to be reticent about taking pain meds, but then the pain gets a head of steam and no matter what I do I cannot medicate it away.

Even if I take my medicine correctly, sometimes the pain breaks through anyway.  Last night was one of those times.  I took Ambien and the pain broke through my sleep.  Lying down makes it worse.  Sitting up doesn’t help but at least I can distract myself by watching TV or surfing the Net.  My kids laugh at me because when I am awakened in spite of Ambien, my brain races and I make lots of plans.  That is when I usually start texting them… regardless of the hour.  They ignore my texts (which is good) or they answer by saying, “Mom, are you ambien-texting?”

I don’t have any answers.  I am resigned to the fact that I will have to live in pain for the rest of my life.  I’ve chosen for my 2012 verse  Jeremiah 29:11-13. ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.   You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

The only thing I know to do is to wake up every morning and claim new mercies to face another day.  It is exhausting and discouraging.  I often feel deep despair. I have asked the Lord to take me home — an honest truth.

I wish I had answers but I do not.  I must have hope — how can I have hope??

I am learning to take my life minute by minute.  I have pain this morning but it is under control.  I will think no further than the next hour, then I will edit my activities based on how I feel.

I MUST do this.

Permalink 2 Comments

Bittersweet Days

January 7, 2012 at 11:34 am (Musings...)

I have not taken our Christmas tree down yet.  One of the reasons is that it is a big job, usually taking two days to complete.  I put all of the “special” ornaments back into their original boxes — and there are many special ornaments.  The second reason is that I want to remember this tree for a long time.

Every year since our children were born, in 1982 and 1985, we have bought a special ornament (sometimes two) for them. Every year we put the new and old ornaments on the tree. Our promise has always been, when each child gets married and has their own tree, we will give them their ornaments. Since Amanda is getting married in March of this year, her ornaments will be going to her house. I hope Hengyi likes ballerinas, Barbie,  little mermaids and Winnie The Pooh!

Tomorrow I will begin the process of taking the tree down.  I will lovingly pack each ornament into its box and probably weep a little.  A chapter closed.  It seems I’ve been closing a lot of chapters lately.

A picture of my darling daughter when she was 3 -- she is NOT getting this ornament!!

Permalink 6 Comments