SEWING DILEMNA? Ask Londa's FREE advice!!! a sewing educator for over 35 years, designer, and author with experience as a sewing machine dealer/fabric shop owner, custom dressmaker and more...I'm most happy to answer ANY and all questions to the best of my ability. Just contact me HERE with your question.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

True Christmas - 1Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13, Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Miracles In Action News & Thank You Note

What a great feeling it is to share! I recently received this nice thank you note from Penny Rambacher, Founder & President of the charity I focus on: Miracles in Action in Guatamela.

Penny writes that the donation I was able to make because of your support of my Creative Sweatshirt Jacket patterns will go a long way to set up the sewing training area of the new Vocational Center they are building in Santa Cruz. I've scanned the inside of that brochure so that you can read more about it. Their goal is to raise $150,000 to complete the construction of this 5000 sq foot building.

I'm proud to be a part of this effort - and, again, thank YOU for your support! Smile with me on what we are contributing...together!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Sew much has been in my head to share...this is a real conglomeration - I hope you find it useful and a little diversion at this busy time of the year...

  • Have a new HP printer here in my office - which runs out of ink constantly. Went to Walgreens to get refilled - they couldn't do this type. Gal standing there recommended Rapid Refill. GREAT place - lots of them around country in this exchange your empties for new ones immediately - and they recycle/refill the ones you brought in. Were a fraction of the cost of new ones. Chatting with the owner, asked him for printer recommendations. He said NOT to get a Lexmark. DID recommend the Brother for about $100. Cartridges cost just $7.99!!!! Sounds good to me. Also - for info: the manufacturers are now 'splitting' the ink colors - a cartridge for black, for red, for blue, for yellow. AND - if one is empty - makes your printer not work at all. I thought I would print photos when I got this printer - NOT! Cheaper to 'order'online from WalMart at $.07 each!
  • Since I write the annual Christmas letter to go with the cards, I decided to just do it in reality - as I'm writing it - not my hubby and I! Giving credit where credit is due...
  • Working like mad on my computer these days - lots of editing, website work, etc... so forced myself to get organized, cleaned the office...which led to the basement. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those Guerilla Shelves we got for the basement. WHY didn't we do that years ago??? Anyway - for satisfying my 'munchies' I 'feast' on Celery, Cucumbers, and hot water with lemon. Doing the trick so far...though those cookies in the FREEZER keep calling my name...
  • Speaking of CUCUMBERS... just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1,B2, B3, B5, B6, C, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium and WHY do I still want a cookie???? Also - the photochemical in a cucumber causes the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite - so if you're a lucky one going to a sunny place over Christmas holiday, remember that!
  • I LOVE being a size 1.5 at Chico's.....what marketing THAT is!
Standing in the PO yesterday - a LONG line, the postmistress tells us of an elderly woman who said she wanted a religious Christmas Stamp - and so she said, "Sure - Here's Madonna and Child". To that, the lady said "No, she's nasty, I sure don't want HER!"

If you're a Grandma Read this one!

To my friends who are grandparents and those who enjoy a good laugh...

(This was actually reported by a teacher)

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their
holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:
We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They
used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they
moved to Arizona. Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted
green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear
name tags because they don't know who they are anymore.
They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it
fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there, but they
don't do them very well.. There is a swimming pool too, but they all
jump up and down in it with hats on.
At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in
it.. He watches all day so nobody can escape.
Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts. Nobody
there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing
every night --- early birds. Some of the people can't get out past
the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to
the wrecked center for pot luck.
My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his
retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday
When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house.
Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

Monday, December 14, 2009

4 in 1 Essential Sewing Tool fr Alex Anderson is HERE!

Been waiting since AUGUST for this tool! I have stock...FINALLY!!
Click on the title of this Post to take you right to this item on my website...
It is all these tools in ONE!

  • Seam Ripper

  • Stiltto

  • Presser

  • Turner

Kinda long - but here is a neat video with Alex herself on how it is used...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cutting Fabric With A Hot Knife Video

From my absolute FAV Sewing Networking site -

"This video shows how to cut synthetic fabrics using a hot knife. It shows how to determine what fabric can be cut with a hot knife and includes variations for woven and knit fabrics. The techniques demonstrated include using a metal ruler, a dinner plate, and free hand cutting. It also shows what happens when you try to cut fabric on the fold and what happens when you try to use a hot knife to cut natural fibers." Click on the link below....

Thursday, December 03, 2009

How to Bake Cookies and NOT Eat the Dough

OK - started the cookie baking tradition today...our family has carried on the "Date Nut Pinwheels" from my husband's family for many years. Despite the 'danger' of uncooked eggs in cookie dough, it 'beckons' me EVERY TIME I allow myself to bake some - regardless of the season.

Sew...Today, I 'armed' myself with Iced Tea, Carrots, and Pecans. See photo....

Now, I can't say it totally worked, but it certainly DID help! I'm sure I only 'snitched' ONE time! then again...I'm afraid I perhaps let myself have a few extra once baked...

Here's the recipe...I hope you'll like it. They DO take a bit of work, but seem worth it. I also would have to say that I think these are special for us - because we only have them at Christmastime. My mother-in-law's recipe, as shared in a PTA cookbook dated 1955-1956!
I DOUBLE this recipe!
1 C Butter, 1 C sugar, 1 C brown sugar, 3 eggs, - cream all together.
Add 4C flour, 1 t. soda, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4t salt. Mix all up. Chill a bit to make rolling easier.

Date Filling: Mix 1 lb seeded, chopped dates (I buy then that way!), 1/2 C water, 1/2 C sugar, 1 C fine chopped nutmeats in sauce pan and cook a bit.

Roll dough to about 1/4" thick on a well-FLOURED surface. Spread with filling. Roll up. Chill.
Slice - bake on greased sheet 375 degrees 10-15 minutes.
YES - I ate one while writing this!

Interesting and Useful 'Sharp' Scissors Facts

Scissors are oft-used items in a household. For those who do NOT sew, the need still exists in a household and rarely do these homes have proper scissors to accomplish daily tasks...Therefore, consider some scissors a GREAT and USEFUL Gift.

The information below comes from "Answsers to Sharp Questions" - one of the many informational documents to be found at my FREE INFO tab at my website:

"Is it a Scissors or a Shear?
A Scissors can only take one finger in each finger ring. A shears will allow more than one finger into the finger ring. A beauty or grooming shears is called a shears because it has a finger rest or 'tang' extending out that allows one to use 2 fingers in cutting. Personally, I think the word 'scissors' is used collectively for this type of cutting instrument, but I will try to be 'correct' on this website... Scissors are normally used to refer to cutting implements not more than 6 inches in length and the two finger loops are equal in size. Designed for lighter cutting tasks, they usually have one sharp point and one blunt point to prevent snagging fabrics. Needlepoint scissors have two extra-sharp pointed blades. Shears are normally 6" or longer and the rings are sized differently - usually one round and one oval. Offered bent or straight with the bent format making it easier to cut material on a tabletop - hence the term "dressmaker" scissors.

'Leftie' Scissors Facts
Some basic understanding: On a right-handed scissors, the upper blade is the one on the right hand side as you are looking down on the scissors as you hold them in your hand. You can see where you are cutting, as the upper blade is to the back - or right hand side as you are working.

So - for a genuine Left-handed scissors, it is the opposite - when holding the scissors and looking down on the blades, the upper cutting one is on the left. You would be able to see where you are cutting because the upper blade is the back - or left hand side as you are working. The placement of the blades (as above) is one factor. The handles are another factor. Handles are either right-handled or left-handled - obviously for the comfort of which 'handedness' you are.

Understanding that ...The k-5210-L is a genuine left handed scissors with left handed blades - and will not work if a left-handed person is used to working with right handled scissors, as they will actually be pulling the blades away from each other - preventing the cutting action from taking place properly. Look for the term "True or Genuine Left Handed Scissors/Shears" on this website to identify other models that are left bladed and left handled.The k-5220-L then is a left handled shears (the handles themselves fit in the left hand) with right handed blades. These scissors have been designed to work for a left handed person who has learned to cut with right handed scissors - (and actually sell faster than the true left handed scissors the k-5210-L).

HOWEVER: this style - with right handed blades, will continue to block the eye path. If a 'Leftie' can retrain their hand to cut properly with a genuine left handed and handled shears (k-5210-L), they will be better off as they will be able to see where they are cutting.

English lesson...
Scissors is one of those unusual nouns that is both singular and plural in the same form: scissors. Another example is deer. You have one deer or several deer. You can have one scissors or a bunch of scissors. Scissor (without an s) is a verb. Like you 'scissor' your legs across each other as an exercise. "

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sarah Palin's Book - MY Opinion

I really don't want my sewing blog to become political, but as a business woman, and an American, and a Blog being where you are supposed to 'go on record' about things - I'm gonna state how I feel.... Take it, leave it, comments are welcome.

I just finished Sarah's book, "Going Rogue" and were my eyes ever opened - in a way that they similarly were when I read Governor Huckabee's "Do The Right Thing". Granted, the book is from her point of view -but I saw from the inside, this woman's fresh perspective, and ability to get things done. That can NOT be argued - if you just read for yourself the facts. As a woman, and a mother - she has my utmost respect. She has kept her honor, and her priorities Godly, and that serves as a model for me in my life.

The same goes for Gov. Huckabee's book - and the story of HIS campaign, and his stance on the issues of our days. Indeed, if everyone would just "Do the Right Thing" - putting others first, rather than themselves, the world would be a different place.

Honestly, it is beyond my comprehension why ANYONE who isn't a narcissist at heart would want to run for public office in our country! I am awed by people like Palin and Huckabee who have done that and are still 'out there' deciding if they might want to serve again...amazing! In my book, only because they have faith in our God above, as modeled to us through His son, Jesus, and the power and peace that that gives them, were they able to 'live through' - and live through VICTORIOUSLY everything that came with their office - and a presidential/VP run.

I can't recommend highly enough these 2 people, these 2 Americans, and their books written this year. If you REALLY want to know the stories - read these books yourself! Make up your OWN mind. Don't let commentators - radio, TV, print sway you. Read and decide for YOURSELF. I have done so, and believe and pray that either/both of them will decide to answer the call, if, indeed, God leads them in that direction.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick and SIMPLE

I love, love, love REAL SIMPLE Magazine. When I'm 'worked out' on my site upkeep, designing, order-filling, laundry, cooking, or just want to escape - REAL SIMPLE is my choice.
Last night, I loved this 'Five-Minute' WOW idea. One simple pointsettia bloom in a vase!
Could be lovely at each place for a dinner table.....

Buttonhole Elastic Alteration for Skinny Kids

My #1 Grandson, Cole is just SO teeny! His waist is about a 3T - but he's getting pretty tall - so we buy Size 4 - but then the pants fall off of him. So - it's BUTTONHOLE ELASTIC to the rescue.
I was reminded of this ...

1. When the pants I just bought him were falling off and he was walking with his legs all wide apart-trying to keep them from falling off...

2. I just got an order for 15 yards of Buttonhole Elastic. Bet the customer is a Mom or Granny with the same issues as described above. Find Buttonhole Elastic by just using the SEARCH tool in the upper left hand corner...that tool is AMAZING - at my site: Londa's Creative Threads. Have it on my order again - as i ALWAYS sell this cool stuff. ( A bunch of loose ends are up in my End of Season Clearance Department as well...)

Sew anyway - I was going to write a tutorial about how to do it - and since I'm squeezed for time, I thought I'd google for it - and found this great link - to a pretty cool blog from a gal homeschooling her kids, and living frugally in Ca.

Sew- her directions are just pretty darned great - so, try it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Poem

Received this in an email and it expresses my sentiment well this season. .... I offer it for your thoughtful and prayerful consideration. Londa

Twas the month before Christmas

When all through our land,

Not a Christian was praying

Nor taking a stand.

See, the PC Police had taken away

The reason for Christmas - no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say

December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod

Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down,

At Lowe's the word Christmas - was nowhere to be found.

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears

You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton.

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter;

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.

So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS , not Happy Holiday !

Please, all Christians join together and wish everyone you meet during the holidays a


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Count me OUT for Black Friday!

I got stopped in my tracks again today...when I attended what turned out to be a 'Seniors' type luncheon at the church we are attending. What a blessing it turned out to be! I had convinced myself to take a break from work to go - figuring it could only 'cost' me about 1.5 hours of valuable work time...figuring I HAD to get out a newsletter with ALL my clearance inventory up, etc. by a certain (TOO near) date....

Well...the meditation given by the pastor hit me between the eyes!
Thanksgiving...the 'forgotten' holiday observance! Wow - was he right on! Once Halloween is past - it is full force ahead for Christmas. For us 'retailers' out there - that means hustling to get our share of the proverbial 'Black Friday' (Day after Thanksgiving retail sales). Online is no different from storefront retailing. Honestly - I HATE what being a retailer has done to my holiday spirit! Sew...I'm gonna try my best to change that, starting with THIS year!

Some Thanksgiving REAL History, folks...
  • The pastor shared, from research, that in 1621 The first Thanksgiving meal - by the pilgrims was at the conclusion of a time of FASTING (that means NO eating) when they sought God with all their hearts - THANKING him for His provision. Half of them had died...but those that were left were THANKFUL. The end of that FAST was the Thanksgiving Meal.

That is far, far from what has become a day of stuffing ourselves silly and resting in preparation for the craziness of shopping with money we (most likely) do NOT have, for things we do NOT need.

  • Other interesting Thanksgiving facts can be found at the link above, or HERE

Sew..... I've eased up on myself regarding all this crazy pressure to make sales for business year end at this time of Thanksgiving. Instead...

I'm gonna clean out the kitchen pantry tomorrow, clean, and prepare a simple meal to share with some friends. I've made a realistic list of the 'work' for business I can get done - and by when. Hopefully, we'll have some more friends over on Sunday (the house should still be clean!), and then on Thanksgiving day - after we share a meal with the parents I'm thankful to still have with us, my hubby and I are going to go to the Urbana High School to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the many, many less fortunate folks in our community.

Above all, my heart will be purposefully THANKFUL for all the provisions for safety, food, and shelter and living in the USA where I am a free person. AFTER that time to be thankful and serve others, I pray that I can remain reasonable and enjoy what CHRISTMAS is all about. Christ - his coming to earth to show us the character of God.

ANd... I'll start by sending a Christmas Card - a Christian Christmas Card to the ACLU! Tons of Christmas Cards in their mail will freeze theri operations because they'll have to open them all looking for contributions! I don't believe in "Holiday Trees' - they are Christmas Trees! If you don't already know - it is the ACLU suing the U.S. to take God, Christmas or anything Christian away from us. Join with me in putting Christ back into Christmas!

Join me...their address is: ACLU 125 Broad Street 18th Floor New York, NY 10004

For a true History Lesson on that infamous phrase: "Separation of Church & State" - click on the link below - give it THREE minutes of your time!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

USA Cries - and plays Christian Hymns

I'm watching the memorial service for those fallen in the horrific Fort Hood massacre. Aside from political concerns, today - my heart cries for these families, these soldiers, this base, and for our country!
I can't help but observe that the music played is the comforting melody of Christian hymns. Yes, indeed, this is a country founded on Judeao-Christian values.
My prayer is that we return to those values that we turn to when tragedy strikes. We MUST if we are to again have the special blessing of the God we love.

Monday, November 02, 2009

New SWIRL Jacket

I just finished this new jacket - from my promotional pattern: SWIRL Jacket - that I am most happy to send the link to you for whenever you purchase $45 or more at my booth - or my website. It features wonderful Crone Art Buttons (the inspiration), along with more of my Doupioni Fur - made using several strips of silk doupioni, and Thai silk - brushed with the chenille brush. That embellishment is also shown fully in my Embellishment DVD.

Must pack togo to Minneapolis Original Sewing & Quilt Expo this is just a quickie post...

Friday, October 16, 2009

God can use my Jacket Designs

OK - this is just too precious ... Gloria (my #1 helper at this show) explained that this nurse who works in Hospise situations was excited about finding my booth and designs and bought goodies to make a jacket to use as a 'conversation starter' with her patients. She felt that they would be good for the wide range of patients she serves in this wonderful ministry - from the indigent without hardly a bed to sleep in to the very, very wealthy.

That touched me - and I share this thought with the prayer that perhaps that idea might ignite something in any of you - to use perhaps recycling (ties, jeans, sweaters, etc.) in my type of jackets with the purpose of using them in this manner...Conversation Starters!

Monday, October 12, 2009

On the Road Again

I'm on the road to the big Houston Quilt Festival where I'll be one of MANY vendors...with a VAN FULLLLLLL of goodies!
If you're close by - do come visit me at booth 650.

Here in Searcy, AR last night, had a first: fried corn on the cob! What a way to take a healthy veggie and make it sinful!!!

My helper - Gloria is all smart about podcasts, and I hope to join the 21st century and get this all through my thick head on this trip...leading to podcasts that I can offer as well. Let me know with comments to this post if you would be interested in podcasts I could offer, and some topics you'd like me to 'chat' /teach about...

Family Report: My family, and brother and sis-in-law successfully moved my parents to Assisted LIving at Bridle Brook in Mahomet, IL and it went quite smoothly I'm so, so grateful to report. They seem content there - and I actually had fun finding places for everything/organizng them. Even made a 'Where is it?" list for them to half way be able to find things. I can't begin to say how wonderful the staff at Bridle Brook has been - truly a God-sent place and people to help my folks at this time in their lives. Service to the elderly is a precious, very badly needed thing these days. God is VERY, VERY good. All the time, God is good.

Monday, October 05, 2009

'CHOSEN' - my 'Talking Pattern' is a Hit!

As I thought might be the case, the concept my helper, Cyndi, and I came up with of a 'Talking Pattern' is a hit - due largely to the many talents of my professional web-designer son, Jeff Rohlfing. Could not have done this without him! Though as mother and son 'working' together we nearly tear our hair out - the rewards for both of us are finally worth it.

I sold out of what I'd taken at the Chantilly Original Sewing & Quilt Expo last weekend, (and also both of my DVD's)...and just finished shipping off all the special orders. Placed my order for the 2nd printing today!
Here is the pattern cover:

And an additional jacket - my 'test' of the Darted Collar style of a woven fabric cut on the bias is also included - though not phto'd on the cover...

Cyndi and I had a great time - and the trip to Chantilly, Virginia was a lovely drive. We met special people in our booth - and - as always - are enchanted with the lovely sewing crazy women we meet. Kathy - you are in my prayers as you fight breast cancer. You are a trooper...Go GIRL!!

OH - and thought of the name of my next pattern: 'Purity' - and will raise money to pay for a well to be dug to provide healthy drinking water in a village where it is needed through World Vision. More to come...

This week brings packing up and moving my parents to a lovely assisted living situation. Thanks to so many of you for your prayers.

Oh - and to let you know how 'sewing on the brain' I am - I actually told Cyndi we needed to stop - as we had 'a quarter of a yard of gas left in the tank!'

My website was unavailable to place orders the last few days - but all is fixed now - so thanks for your patience, AND your notifications of a problem. Prayers to the rescue once again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

9/11 Observance and Remembrance

Many thanks to my customers as represented below for sending in these glorious photos of our American Flag flying at their homes - especially in commemoration of those fellow Americans lost on 9/11/01. I'm confident that many of us both flew our flag and remembered these families in prayer especially that day. I am sending a check today to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund for $75 as pledged for 11% of all sales from 9/9 through 9/13.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wear Red on Fridays

The 'silent' majority of red-blooded Americans who support our troops and are grateful for the job they and their families have offered to do to guard our safety as a nation are starting a movement:
That simple - just wear RED on Fridays.

Lessons Learned...a Weird Way

These days have me deep into helping my elderly parents downsize - again. Mom has Alzheimers, and Dad can't care for her alone any longer. He also needs assisted rather than independent living. God has provided every step of the way with great places and people to care for them. So...I'm learning - AGAIN - how I should not WORRY - but depend and trust in God and his timing.
Recently I realized that ALL the family lace - and lace pieces I'd collected in travel that had been gathered for decorating at my daughters' wedding - have gone missing. I've turned this house upside down looking for that precious box - or bag - or whatever it all got placed into at the end of that wonderful day on June 6. My heart has been sick over it...even the lace that graced the altar type table at the wedding that was lace from my Mom's baby carriage was in there! From special travels, I've added to this collection - and decorated with these pieces frequently. I mean tatted from Italy, family lace tablecloths... get the idea.

However, it seems that as I see the stronghold that my parents seem to have on their 'things' that God has a lesson for me in this - right now - today. I have to try to understand their connection to their 'things' as they are children who lived through the depression, and they worked VERY hard for all that they have. Nonetheless - these are THINGS. They seem TOO obsessed with them - and who should have what...on and on. I observe this, I can only look inward regarding my own loss of 'things' - the lace.
All the sudden, the loss of all that lace doesn't seem as heart-breaking. I can see that God is teaching me - with an Exclamation Point - NOT to value THINGS.

Apply this to my 'career' of sewing - clothing - fashion - selling these things! Ouch. I feel guided to focus more on the creative experience that sewing affords, and to support whatever good causes God shows to me along the way. And, to testify to His love through my business in every way I possibly can.

Those are the lessons I'm being taught during these trying days.....and how God is providing people and places at exactly the PERFECT time for my folks as we travel this path together.

The Beginning of True Faith is the End of Anxiety!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

CHOSEN - new pattern off to the printer and editor!

YEA!!!!! Wasn't a hard choice - I elected to bite the bullet and just finish the writing and taping of the 3rd jacket directions for my CHOSEN pattern today (instead f cleaning the house!). I was also up from 2 - 3 am early this morning doing a section since I couldn't sleep. Sent it all to the printer. Editor Jeff to pick it up tomorrow for the 'talking' part.

Have 2 more jackets following these directions that I want to do quickly to double check some of the directions, but alas - I see the end!
Jacket shown is the final jacket included...

Monday, August 31, 2009

God Slows Me Down

Can't sleep...and even if I do...the dreams are WEIRD. Flu bug caught up with me - or some kind of bug - on Sat. morning real early. Has knocked me flat. God slowing me down, I do believe. Tomorrow, we'll move my mother from a nursing home (which has been wonderful - but it is still a nursing home) to a lovely assisted living home. I had such huge plans for really tending to every little detail of it all - but it's my prayer that I'll have the strength to do that Monday morning - in a few hours - so it looks like 'home' to her before we bring her in late afternoon.

Anyway...above is photo of the "Convertible Collar" version of my new CHOSEN pattern. This jacket is finished with facings at the neck and center front -pretty conventional. I do love those jumbo snaps that finish off the front though.

This is not working... 2:46 am. Might 'tweet' it and back to the bed - perhaps I can convince my brain to stitch up the other 2 jacket collections of stuff I have pulled together to completly test my directions...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back in the Designing Saddle...

I haven't uploaded photos from today's design session yet, but it sure was good to get 'back in the saddle' on this pattern. Since last Thursday morning, I've been at my Dad's side as we took my mom to the hospital, and now into a nursing home. Alzheimer's is a very, very exhausting and challenging disease to live through with a loved one. I'm very grateful for online support groups!

My mind got to hit STOP on all those concerns and I reached a new level of being in touch with God's peace as I got back into designing and sewing today. Once again, I was in control...not Alzheimers, not the health system - which, by the way, I feel stinks EVEN MORE now that I've been thrown into the Medicare/Insurance maze with all this. Reform is needed, but more government??? Don't get me started! Anyway - bossing the fabric around was true therapy, and I'm sew grateful it is part of my life!

This delay - and the catching up on the full process of designing - photo-ing - writing - and now recording directions as well - has made it real to me that I can only include 3 collar designs on my new talking pattern: CHOSEN. For one reason, it is just getting too big - too long with these 3 designs already. For another reason - I'm running out of time now too - but that is as it was to be, I know. During late night non-sleeping hours, my mind has the other design in my head morphing into anohter pattern to honor my Mom - perhaps re-cycling some of her clothing that she won't need in the nursing home - or even perhaps scraps of something I've made for her over the years hidden in my stash.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tough Week - Walking with Alzheimers

Wow - what an end to the week. Events occurred that necessitated taking the step
God was there - sending an angel named Liz to help us wade through these waters. God was there orchestrating all this occurring NOW, while I am still home before my fall travels start.
God was there placing Mom in a room with a perfect room-mate.
God was there transforming my Mom into a totally 'new' personality that we totally did NOT expect...with saying she 'died' the first night and came back. She seems very comfortable there and even said she was praying with other residents. I am well aware this new 'mood' for a woman who was very argumentative and angry with Alzheimers may not last - but, for now, we're very grateful.

Dad and I are both exhausted - mentally and physically.

But - God is good~!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Newest Jacket for CHOSEN pattern

It was a good day - though I can tell you I'd MUCH rather design and sew than get all the directions written down and spoken (for the new Talking Pattern concept!). I'll be on a roll taping into my computer and then along comes a train or a plane...
Here is a photo of the jacket I finished up today. Not the 'official' photo - but what I have for now. This is the same design basically as the one from a few days ago with the sweater used for collar and cuffs, but I wanted to test and figure out using a woven fabric cut on the bias for the collar. It worked!

I have decided to take pre-orders on this new pattern - it should be available Sept. 23. Here is the link where you can do a pre-order:

Tonight I'm trying to figure out this Twitter stuff...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Figuring out Facebook

I'd much rather be designing and sewing - which I WILL get to again today - but before I forget - this Facebook thing - well, I've set up a page for my business and here it is: Become a Fan...I'd appreciate it!
Be a Fan of Londa's Creative Threads @!

Sad thing - but when you're in business on the internet I'm told, and agree, that 'doing all this stuff' is NOT a choice.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Newest Creative Sweatshirt Jacket

I LOVE this collar! Achieved with 2 darts, it is an old sweater. Now I'm working on a version from a woven fabric as well. I make each design at least 2 times to write and test my directions...quite a process. Again and Again, I realize how VERY IMPORTANT a great stash of fabrics is to creative sewing. I hope YOU have one!

Finally decided what styles, and what fabrics the cover jackets (4) will be for
this pattern, Chosen. Sept. 7 is my deadline for all to the printer and computer whiz. Will be my first "Talking Pattern".

Can't wait to debut it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not My Tax Dollars to Fund Abortion!

I am staunchly PRO Life - as I have stated before.
I want to help get the facts out there about the current 'health care initiative' regarding abortion - and am pasting here below what I just got in an email from AUL; Americans United for Life:

"Perfect example: Planned Parenthood’s spin machine has issued a “Reality Check,” attacking what Richards says are “myths” spread by pro-lifers -- and twisting the truth so much it made my head feel like it was in a spin machine. I showed it to our legal team, and they responded with some masterful mythbusting of their own. Here’s their take on the abortion industry’s three biggest myths about health care reform:

MYTH: Pro-life groups want to strip reproductive health from health care reform.
Reality: Pro-life groups want to protect women’s reproductive health. And we do not want to deny women insurance coverage. However AUL, along with the vast majority of Americans, believes that “Real health care respects life!” No matter what Planned Parenthood says, abortion does not equal reproductive health. And health coverage should not include the destruction of unborn children. Furthermore, no one should be forced to violate their conscience by performing, referring for, paying for, or providing coverage for abortion. And make no mistake, that’s what the bills under consideration would do.

MYTH: The health care reform bills before Congress will not change the “status quo” regarding insurance coverage of abortion. Reality: An amendment added to H.R. 3200 permits the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to include abortion in the public health insurance plan, and requires abortion coverage if the Hyde amendment is ever reversed. The current Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, is staunchly pro-abortion and would certainly include abortion, allowing for immediate federal funding of elective abortion coverage. The provision also requires that all areas of the country contain one private plan that covers abortion and permits taxpayer funding of private plans that cover elective abortion.

The Senate HELP bill delegates to a “Medical Advisory Committee” the role of deciding what benefits any private or public health care plan must offer. This Committee is expected to include abortion as a required minimum benefit. Further, based on court precedent, private plans would be forced by the government to include coverage of abortion -- this is a drastic change from the status quo in which private plans may elect to cover abortion and individuals may choose whether or not to purchase health insurance that offers coverage of abortion. Ironically, “pro-choice” activists are trying to take consumer choice out of health care.

MYTH: The health care reform bills before Congress do not mandate abortion coverage.
Both H.R. 3200 and the Senate HELP bill mandate abortion in several ways:

an amendment to H.R. 3200 permits and may require abortion coverage in the public health insurance plan, and permits taxpayer funding of private plans that cover elective abortion;
prior court holdings which state that abortion is included within several of Medicaid’s mandatory categories of care (inpatient services, outpatient services, and preventative care) will certainly apply to any federal statute revising Medicaid and involving health care reform, and;
the rejection of several key pro-life amendments in the House and Senate Committees, where the inclusion would have ensured that abortion was not funded in the bills, demonstrates that the bills are intended to mandate abortion.
If you’re trying to sort out the myths from facts on health care reform, the best place to start is AUL Action’s The site features in-depth analysis from our legal team, showing how the health care reform plans currently under consideration by Congress would mandate abortion coverage, strip providers of their rights of conscience, and threaten the ill and elderly with denial of care. Also, if you’re going to a town hall meeting this month, download our special town-hall flyer and distribute it to show your friends and neighbors to show that Real Health Care Respects Life.

Thank you for joining me in working to protect and defend life!

Yours For Life,

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D.
President & CEO "

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crescent 'Chosen' Design Complete

Monday was a great sewing/designing day. The design process was interesting, and decisions were not too hard to make. That was all yesterday - and it was GREAT to completely finish a jacket in a day - including taking 40+ photos of the process, making written notes, along with all the design decisions. say - I even put a dinner on the table!

Today - I did the 'Talking Pattern' portion and - unless dear son/producer tells me otherwise, I think that went well too.

Tomorrow, sewing and designing again. I'm all set - decisions made on color of sweatshirt and trims, etc. to use. Will be quite a SURPRISE....

Monday, August 10, 2009


OK - I'm ready - have exercised, organized, rested the weekend, most dishes are tended to - and though there are (plenty)weeds in my flower beds, the time has come to design/write/record, etc. for my new pattern: CHOSEN. I've done several jackets already, but I need to refine/add to - do more, etc. Ideas from snoop shopping on vacation added to the concept - so I can't wait to get started.

The photo is really an organized mess - necessary to figure out which collection of sweatshirt and embellishments/fabrics will turn into which specific design idea.
Think I'll yet have a protein-rich breakfast, then HIT IT!

Ready - winding lots of bobbins, and have decided I'll listen to good Christian radio programs in the mornings - and watch a good movie in the afternoon. My favorite archived programs are at: and

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Daughters' Wedding Album added to Facebook

I just added a nice collection of photos to both my personal and my business pages at Facebook - enjoy them there. I share about it here because I also blogged alot about the creation of her dress during the process.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Vacation Inspiration/Snoop Shopping

I'm often asked "Where do you get your ideas for the sweatshirt jackets?" My answer is "From Everywhere". This old brain sure can't remember every idea I see, so I carry a small spiral notebook in my purse for taking notes - sketching, etc. Above you can see a few of the pages from our recent trip out west.

Obviously, many ideas are from garments themselves I see in Ready-To-Wear (RTW), but others are sketches of just LINE - DESIGN. For example, the pattern of the back of a chair at a restaurant, the design of a piece of metal yard sculpture.... EVERYTHING gets sketched or noted in my notebook.

THEN, when I get home, I tear the pages out - copy many of them so I have duplicates, and put them with different bundles of fabrics, etc. that I think they 'go' with. These pages also get put into my DESIGN NOTEBOOK so they are never lost. this next week when it's time to design and sew some new jackets and perhaps develop some new patterns - my creative process is just interpreting, combining, and implementing these ideas. The only hard part is FILTERING the ideas - forcing myself to decide on the best interpretation, the best technique, etc. on a jacket - NOT PUTTING EVERYTHING ON ONE JACKET! But, since my "Frumpy to WOW" class teaches that - I am finding it easier to 'practice what I preach'.

Stay tuned for the rest of August and much of September for postings and photos of my upcoming design and sewing fun!

My Love Affair with Fabrics

This is my current 'job'.... measuring, swatching, naming, describing, scanning and uploading this wonderful group of Fine Italian Fabrics that just HAD TO COME HOME WITH ME from Albuquerque. The vendor across the way was selling these (and many more 'to die for') fabrics,and when it came apparent that I could buy them wholesale to offer to my customers, I............weakened, ONCE AGAIN!

I'd pretty much weaned myself off of offering fabrics on my website - mainly because I just couldn't find many of a quality that I demand - but these Italian fabrics just wooed me mercilessly.

I'm on my 3rd day of this task - and hope to wind it up this off to work I go! I've even dreamt up a really exciting debut marketing plan with them and the Sewing Workshop patterns that I think my customers will love.

Went to My First Political Meeting.......

On Monday, I went to my first political meeting - happened to be the Senior Republican local group. I really call myself an Independent thee days - truly disgusted with most politicians - regardless of whether they're 'red' or 'blue'. As far as I'm concerned, they all have let the power and trust we placed in them go to their heads!!!! TERM LIMITS - that's what we need - that's what was planned in the first place. These people are just all too full of themselves.

WHY oh WHY wouldn't they want to PROVE they had decided the best in health care reform for us by RUNNING to sign up for the same - not REFUSING the same plan??????????????????????

And this not reading bills before voting? Gee golly whiz - I could say the same thing about my house contract?? That I just didn't have time to read it before I signed it - therefore I shouldn't be held responsible for what I signed??? It's the same ridiculous thinking! A friend of mine suggested the other night that we pass a law that every legislator must pass a POP QUIZ on any legislation before he is granted the RIGHT to vote on it!

Representing me? I really don't think so - they are representing themselves - and usually not even honest enough to realize that they are so buffaloed by what someone has said they'd give them ($ for their re-election campaign or a better loan on their mansion of a house) that they don't even KNOW what they believe - they just OWE people.

I was reading in Romans 3 today in the Message and these words jumped out at me...
"Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting HIM set the pace,not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade."

A gentleman was at the meeting letting us know he is strongly considering a run for state Congressman against a woman who is so 'in bed' with Chicago politicians that it makes us cry - and his presentation was quite inspiring. After the meeting, I had one important question for him - "On what basis do you make your moral decisions? What is your 'rudder'?" When he answered 'Jesus because I am a Christian' - I gave him my business card and said I'd be happy to work in his campaign any way that I could.

To me... That says it all. I'm just praying - fervently for our country these days - specifically that these 'leaders' so entirely, disgustedly full of themselves and only themselves GO AWAY - either by the Lord taking them out in some miraculous manner, or us voting them out. I can only figure that God - who is in control - knows where we are in this country, and has let us fall this far in the hopes that we FINALLY seek HIM again as a nation.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm AGAINST National Health Care

While I agree that health care is a mess - I also believe that the bills as have been put forth so far will be MORE of a mess. As a politically active (independent) Christian woman, my stand against this is based on 2 simple facts.

1. It is obvious to me that our "greatest generations" (my parents, and mine - of the Baby Boomers entering retirement age) will undoubtedly be denied health care we desire. The government will be deciding for us when our lives are not 'worthy' of the all-important $$$$. In the most popular program being considered is included "Every 5 years have a discussion with my doctor about end of life measures"???? THAT is a personal,moral, religious decision - one that I base on the sanctity of human life - and NOT One that I care to have my government involved in.

2. My tax dollars (AND a huge debt for my children and grandchildren) will be forced to pay for abortions! Planned Parenthood (largest provider of abortions in our country) is included in this program. I am completely and without any reservations TOTALLY AGAINST abortion. Yes, even in the case of rape or incest - as if, as an infertile woman in early marriage desperately wanting a child, I had been given the option of adopting a baby from those circumstances, it would have been a way to create something good out of something bad - and I'd have easily said yes. The programs being discussed all include tax $ being used for abortion - denying our future generations life. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have many tasks today, but first I am contacting the 'Blue Dog Democrats' (contact lists easily found via Google)saying THANK YOU for being the roadblock, and encouraging them to hold fast against this railroaded program.

I believe that entitlement mentality - selfishness is king here
. My hubby and I - like many of the baby boomers, are looking at the end of the 'formal working years'. His employer-provided health care is not great, and we have to pay dearly for mine though that program. We would love nothing better than to just do my business - traveling doing Sewing Expos, guild and shop engagements, and my website business. The thing holding us back is that we're not old enough for Medicare yet - several years away (he turns 60 soon and I am 'just' 57). Therefore, it would be easy to selfishly think that a government plan would 'solve our dilemna'. Well - I really don't think it would. AND, the 2 reasons I've stated above ON MORAL, RELIGIOUS grounds - prevent me from endorsing any such program - REGARDLESS of the 'benefit' it might appear to provide our situation.

If we could just all forget ourselves and what WE want NOW - and put others and our children and God's laws FIRST - most of our problems today would be immediately solved. As the man I most admire right now (Mike Huckabee) says - 'Just Do The Right Thing."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pressing Matters

Find my selection of pressing equipment HERE

The article "Going to Press" by Cecelia Podolak in the current THREADS magazine issue 144 - Sept. 2009 - page 70 is the impetus for sharing a bit of my learning curve regarding Pressing with you....

I remember I was SEW frustrated with trying to find - for myself, and to sell in my shop (1990-2003) - an iron that would stand up to the demands of my sewing and household tasks. Finally - a gentleman explained to me that an iron is a heat-resisting/producing piece of equipment...and will NOT last forever. Once I heard that - and took it to heart - my expectations were re-adjusted, and I actually just take it for granted that my investment in an iron is NOT one that will last forever - especially with the demands I have. Honestly, if I make it a year with an iron - I consider myself lucky!

When Cecelia explains on page 71 in the first paragraph below the chart that a too cool iron will NOT produce steam..."Water will just dribble from the iron" - She is SO CORRECT! You just must comprehend that (in all but steam generator iron systems), steam is created by water dripping onto a sole plate that is hot enough to create steam! If the sole plate is NOT hot enough (meaning you don't have it on at least the cotton setting), you can simply NOT expect steam! Expect water dribbles instead.

Cecelia says "It's important to add moisture to the fabric, if it requires it, and then dry it out to set the press" and that reminds me of how I saw and learned from my mother how to 'iron'. I distinctly remember her 'sprinkling bottle' - a 7-up glass bottle outfitted with a sprinkle cap on a cork that was shoved into the top. Once my Dad's shirts were laundered, she sprinkled them thoroughly, then tied them up in a big cloth so that the fibers migrated throughout the shirt. THEN, at least half a day later - she'd carefully get them out one by one (closing up the 'package' of ironing so that the others would stay moist) and IRON them with a DRY iron. Worked like a charm - and I can remember steam rising as she worked...the effect of HEAT - STEAM - and her loving ARM PRESSURE created amazingly crisp shirts for my Daddy.

I want to further quote Cecelia's last paragraph on page 71 - because I think it is so TRUE! "When uncertain about the temperature and amount of moisture to use, always begin with low heat and a dry iron. If the pressing results are unsatisfactory, increase the temperature; if the dial is in the steam range, add a little setam. Proceed in this manner until you are satisfied with the results." The chart of Heat sensitivity, Iron temperature and Fiber content above on page 71 alone is worth buying this THREADS issue in my estimation! Copy it, laminate it, and put it in your sewing room!

Another piece of info - "Hot Forgets, Cool Remembers". This applies to everything - even your hair. I have very, very thin hair, and when I 'do' it - whether it is styling with a blow dryer and round brush, or with a curling iron - once I 'curl' it - I have to let it COOL before I can really style it...playing with it while it is hot - I may as well not have bothered, as the 'curl' I just got will quicky disappear if I comb it without letting it COOL and REMEMBER. It is the same with fibers!

SEW...HEAT, STEAM and PRESSURE is what it's all about. Page 72 refers to pressing tools...I'm adding my own comments and links to these products on my website for each...

Iron Features - I need GREAT steam. I've had Rowenta irons - many models. I've been happy with most of them - (except those that the water container removed to be filled). I've also had professional gravity feed irons - a Sussman (where the water hangs in a bottle higher than the iron and gravity feeds the water onto the hot iron soleplate, creating steam). I believe I had that for a couple of years during my custom dressmaking years... During my shop years, I sold Euro Pro ironing systems. Those were good too - for a while. I have NOT invested thousands in a system like the Laura Star - nor have I used a vertical steamer. Some swear by an old Black and Decker...whatever works, that's the thing. This Spring, I invested in a Euro Steam iron at a show - $200, with the all-important tasks of creating my daughters' wedding gown foremost in my mind. It is a pressure cooker type of system where the steam is made inside the iron under pressure. They demo that it doesn't burst a balloon, and that you can set it on a sequined gown without burning it. I like it - though it is a dry steam - different from most. Therefore, it won't shrink the great new Texture Magic shrinking fabric. I don't entirely actually understand it - (I heard different tips from 2 different saleswomen now), but it works. It just uses OODLES of water! I find I use it for creative work pressing, and my Rowenta for ironing my hubby's shirts. Just keep realistic expectations for lifespan...

I also had and sold the Elna Press. Those type of presses apply wonderful pressure over a large surface area and can't be beat for applying fusibles - a la fusible interfacing in a tailored jacket! Other brands are available. I'll just add though that we tried to teach ourselves how to do my hubby's shirts with it - and ended up with only burnt arms to show for it.

Auto-Off or Not??? I never used to think that I would like an iron that automatically turned itself off - but I have one right now, and honestly - I LIKE IT! Actually, I find that am really more economical in my movements, sewing everything possible before needing to shake the iron to 'wake it up' and then proceed to many pressing tasks. All the energy-saving mentality, 'green' thinking of today has gotten to me I guess, but I do feel better not knowing I'm wasting energy the entire time I'm sewing just so that I can have a hot iron exactly when I need it. Then... there is the safety thing. I have to admit that I HAVE left an iron on - overnight - and when I realized it, was mortified! Gheesh - I remember WAY back when I was in K-2nd grade and pretend playing with my 'toy' iron that actually plugged in and heated! I figured out that the only way to let it get hot enough to really iron my dolly's clothes was to leave it on overnight! You don't want to know what my Daddy said when he discovered THAT....!!!

Water? I AM convinced of 2 things: That using Distilled Water and emptying the iron after you are done using it are two keys to success in extending the life of your iron. A salesman once told me that when iron instructions say you can use tap water - they are just insuring your next purchase, because tap water will kill your iron - sure thing.

Ironing Board Pads and Covers

You MUST pad that board - of THAT, I'm 100% convinced. Golden Hands makes a great pad - OR, get old 100% WOOL blankets and cut several layers to cushion your board. You are after a pad that wicks the moisture away from the cover and keeps the cover dry. No molding is a good property as well.....

For the cover, the way I see it - there are 2 schools of thought - either you like a cotton, absorptive ironing board cover, or you like a shiny teflon or other modern-type surface that reflects the heat back onto the fabric. Some claim that a reflective property cuts ironing tie in half. Perhaps that is true for IRONING - like ironing shirts for your man. However, for PRESSING - I really personally believe in the concept of pulling heat THROUGH the fibers and letting the fibers cool - is preferred. The vacuum board we sold at my shop from Euro Pro really, really did that - and it was amazing. I think some of the more expensive systems still use that system. I really like a 100% cotton duck plain ironing board cover myself. Golden Hands is the manufacturer and the owner of that company is at lots of the sewing expos, and you can find his line at Regrettably, I can't get that cover from my supplier right now. I'll stock up when I see him again and let you know! Cecelia Podolak sells a similar one on her website - and NOT any of the reflective covers, so that speaks volumes to me on the side of pulling heat through fibers rather than reflecting them...try both and decide what meets YOUR needs.

Pressing Cloths

My favorites are Press It, Silk Organza, and even a piece of the garment fabric itself. When my dear daughter (good new wife that she is) asked for a pressing lesson and supplies, be assured I gave her a 1/2 yard piece of cream silk organza!

Ironing a Shirt

I think I'll have my son tape this process - but it is how my Grandma did it, how my Mom did it - and how I've done it for years. A wrinkled shirt just says "I don't care" to me! Not on my men - much less myself!

1. Wrong side collar - then right side collar and stand

2. Back Yoke - point of iron extending into sleeve area and down the front yoke area

3. Sleeves - back side first, then front - then cuffs

4. Body - starting with the yoke area of the shirt's right front, then move to do around buttons, and rest of around back of shirt body, and then to left front.

I welcome your comments - add to this posting - let's talk and share!

New Fluffy Italian Trim Piping

A creative designer at the Project Runway competition in Novi at the American Sewing Expo in 2008 purchased my Italian trim in Black and created this great fluffy piping. I kick myself for not recalling her name (write to me if you are her - VERY tall)and for forgetting to include it my newest DVD: Londa's Refined Embellishments for Creative Clothing.

Here is the Italian Trim as you start with it (on the left) and how it ends up (on the right.)

Simply (keeping in those controlling chain stitches!!!), fold it in half and stitch along the edge like this:

Now you have piping that you an insert - just like any you this look as an insertion...

Or this look as a piping on an edge....

If you look closely at this last photo, you can see the chain stitches still controlling it - those need to be removed for it to 'fluff' yet in a controlled way.

This idea is DEFINITELY BULKY - but in the right place, (for example a collar in and of itself!), it could be spectacular!

Send me your photos and I'll include them here.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

DVD Production SAGA

Ahhh - my basement corner is filled with DVD's - LOTS each of my newest:
Londa's Refined Embellishments for Creative Clothing a 2 hour 40 minute dvd of everything I know and do in creative garments. in a DVD case - all DVD - no text files - though an outline for taking notes can be found HERE. Sheesh - it is even shrink-wrapped!

Creative Sweatshirt Jackets - Ultimate Edition - Version 2
This is a new version that will work in any computer (regardless of age) to easily access the pdf files of the Gallery and the 'Book'. Print them out and you'll have 2full notebooks! In addition - the hour of me 'talking and moving' in your DVD player - TV or computer. Well - there's a story behind this one, a mistake in the original master led to our receipt of 1000 shrink-wrapped discs that I found out were missing the pdf files! So - we promptly ordered new discs - and will have the fun of opening all of them and inserting the new, correct discs! shrink wrap - not a big deal. Lessons learned - lessons learned.
We're just thankful that these were only sold at one show - Cincinnati Creative Festival, and anyone who bought one there just needs to email me at with their mailing address and the COUPON CODE from inside the DVD to verify their purchase.

Sew...instead of throwing them away - we've decided to sell them for just $10 each. Find these HERE. Half of the money made on selling these will go to my current charity project: Miracles in Action - where they sell sewing machines to women and teach them to sew to improve their lives.

Journey to Creativity - or something like that - will (hopefully) be taped yet in August for fall production and distribution. The design and execution (sewing) of at least one jacket - perhaps 2 - will be the topic of this one. Black velvet is still hanging here in my basement 'filming studio'. Workaholic here thought I could do this after return from Cincinnati with my super helper Cyndi, but God put a stop to that with a little house accident. Whewww - what it takes to get my attention and slow me down!

Albuquerque & Branson Vacation Report

I've decided...I prefer green over brown and hills over flat! It had been YEARS since I was in the southwest (like 1976!), so I was excited to go to Albuquerque and hoped to slip in Santa Fe as well. Sew..the Annual Conference of the American Sewing Guild where I taught and had a booth was a wonderful opportunity. My hubby and I have worked shows for all of his vacation time since 2005 - so we decided it was long overdue to take (for the first time) a 2 week vacation!
Venturing out with prayers that Barney the purple Club Van would get us there - outside Missouri the "Check Engine" light went on. To Autozone we go - and that fixed it for a bit. Then in the middle of Oklahoma on a Sunday morning - it comes on again - but God showed up again providing an open place that fixed it right off the highway.
Onto Santa Fe we go - and it comes on AGAIN! I'm not technical enough to share what was wrong - something about mix of oxygen and gas - but there we went to a great guy at the Auto Angel - right down the street. I DO know to always look for ASE as a designation of an honest good mechanic - and each of these were just that!
Santa Fe was great - though lots of stucco and hot! Dry hot? Doesn't make much difference to me - hot is hot and I don't like it! Certainly got our dose of art! Wish there was more fiber art - but there just wasn't. Were excited to schedule a cooking class with some other couples - but then it got cancelled. If you go to Santa Fe, be SURE to take in the Loretto Chapel with the winding un-supported miraculous staircase. Another God thing...
The Conference went fine - but by this time my foot that I must have fell on in some way during a fainting spell (over site of blood!) at my home 3 weeks earlier got aggravated - puffed and hurting like crazy.

Onto Branson, MO. Ahhhh - rolling hills and GREEN! Yea.... Loved it, loved it. SIX was our favorite show - 6 brothers that make absolutely every sound - no orchestra, recordings or anything - definitely our favorite show. Saw old friends lucky enough to live there - and it was goot to re-connect with Marth and Ken. Even looked around at places to buy - move to - a definite possibility in the future!
Went to a DR. regarding my foot - a broken toe! PUt me in a splint up to my knee and crutches - which I quickly determined was medical overkill - I'd have broken my neck on those crutches.
The other thing we loved about Branson is that it is true AMERICANA - patriotic, Christian, plain, simple, down-home: my definition of America. EVERY show gave tribute in some way to our veterans and those currently serving.
Can't recommend Branson, MO highly enough..... go!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Read Good Books - Inspiration for Life!

I love to ties with sewing these days - when I don't need more clothes, and sewing which has turned into my work. I escape with reading - and God speaks to my heart through good Christian writers. I've discovered 2 new favorites these last few months...Robert Whitlow and now Terri Blackstock. They join Neta Jackson and Karen Kingsbury in my list of favorites. Both write mysteries (hey - I loved Nancy Drew as a young girl..) that challenge the problems of life - especially suffering - and face it head-on with God's word. No Pollyanna stories here - but true life, displayed in all its ugliness, hurt, and consequences of bad decisions - held up against the lives of the characters who know God through the life of Jesus...who know the Bible and let it live in and through their lives.

I praise God for these Christian writers and the others He has yet for me to discover. The lives of their characters are growing me - enriching my life as I think God planned all along when He gave this talent and this insight to these writers.

My church library has offered all this to me - and I'm very, very grateful for it. Reading stops my brain from working - and many days, that is just what I need.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'm OFFENDED - Michael Jackson is NOT the King the first song played at his funeral was written to honor!

OK - like the rest of the world - I'm watching the Michael Jackson funeral on TV ...
I'm crying in sadness for this apostacy...
"Soon and very soon we are going to see the King" - sung for Michael Jackson!????
This song was written in honor of my Lord, and Saviour - the ONLY KING worthy of praise - God's son, Jesus the Christ.
The very, very sad thing is that our society has been so tricked by the evil one - that we conflict such a wonderful Christian Ballad for this human-made king. When will we learn? I can see God crying...

However, I do see that Michael Jackson did grow the God-given talent that he was blessed with to the fullest and it has blessed the world. That is a model we are all well-advised to follow. ANd WOW - could he ever dance!

The message of love and caring that some of his songs send is the one that we all need to embrace. In the end, however, it seems to me - in my humble opinion - that Michael let himself, or allowed others to let himself get in the way. I just fear that his fans have made him into an idol, a 'god' that - perhaps - he never wanted to be.

I do pray that he knew Jesus and is living in everlasting peace that seemed to elude him on this earth.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Update & Ramblins'...Death of Rich & Famous

Back from Cincinnati Show with my A#1 helper, Cyndi - what adventures we have!!!
Conclusion: Shows are HARD WORK!!! Packing - unloading - setting up booth - unpacking, setting product - selling - teaching - sleeping/eating in strange places -un-setting booth - packing - packing car - travelling - unloading - re-setting merchandise so I can fill orders.....only to do a repeat of all of the above at end of next week.

Sew...tell me WHY I EVER thought we could jump into taping the new DVD about creating 2 jackets the day after we get back???? Craziness!!!

Sometimes, God stops us in our tracks for a reason! Wow - am I ever reason to give you all the 'exciting' details - but suffice to say that the message was clear - NOT NOW! Let's just say that safety is #1 - and putting family first is what it's all about.

SEW...the DVD about creating 2 jackets - from beginning to end is on HOLD until the time seems right - and REASONABLE!

Meanwhile....just found out that the just-delivered 1000 professionaly-done DVD's Ultimate Edition Version 2 on Creative Sweatshirt Jacket that we just got in in time to sell in Cincinnati are faulty - the pdf portion is missing! That mystery will be solved today and of course - a correction made. Everyone who purchased from me in Cincinnati - PLEASE get in touch with me so that I can get you a new, correct copy! Again - God at work to discover this before I sold too many......

I hate the bathroom facilities in public places! How lazy are we anyway???? I mean really - I can't use my little fingers to:
1. Flush when I'm good and ready...if I wanted to sit on a bidet - I'd like to select it myself...really!
2. Push the soap lever so I get the soap for washing hands...that automatic thing just dribbles soap onto the counter - what a waste!
3. Turn on the faucet to use it as long as I need: no more, no less
4. And this one REALLY gets me - feeling like an utter FOOL waving my dripping wet hands in front of the paper towel dispenser to get out a towel to dry...

Anyone out there agree???

And - sorry, but I'm just not 'torn up' regarding the death of Michael Jackson. Yea - I liked some of his music, and I certainly think he was a talented dancer. However, the lesson I wish would be being made clear regarding his death - and that of the other rich & famous lately is that no matter how much money you make - no matter how famous you become - in the end, the only thing that really matters is if you have a personal relationship with God through his son, Jesus. It's not my place to judge whether Michael, Farrah, Ed...are in heaven or hell, but it all just makes me that much more happy that I know that I DO know that my faith in Jesus will lead me to an everlasting life that knows a joy far, far greater than anything I can ever attain in this world. THAT gives me peace beyond measure...and I pray it does for you as well.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Still Wearin' It Contest Entries

From Debbie:

I made the white chenille jacket either 11 or 12 years ago and it remains one of my favorite things I've ever sewn. I still love lots of things I sew, but this jacket is just an ongoing favorite even more than 10 years later. I had to get rid of a lot of things I made 10+ years ago because I'm happy to say that I lost a lot of weight and they don't fit anymore - in a good way! I've kept the weight off for about 6 years now. But this jacket is loose fitting and can be worn still. I used four layers (if I remember correctly) of white inexpensive muslin and sewed bias lines every 1/2 inch or so. I chevroned some areas as well. Before sewing I layered colored cotton cutouts for the flowers, stems and leaves on the front and back, stitching through them with the muslin. I then cut through every layer between the stitching lines except the bottom-most layer, leaving that as the anchor base. All seams and edges are covered with bias tape for a finished look. I then washed and dried the jacket and it fluffed up to create the pretty texture and watercolor look of the flowers. I added an unusual button a friend bought me on a trip she took and some twisted rattail cording for the closure. It is warm without being too heavy and gets comments most of the time I wear it. I have since made many other chenilled items, but I just love this jacket the most. I recently (last week) made a new chenille jacket, this time from rayon, and used 3 layers, cutting through two of them. It is drapier and lighter weight. I also left the seams exposed and trimmed them so they fluffed and blend in nicely with the rest of the jacket. The edges of the new jacket are sewn with contrasting bias strips - one on the wrong side and two on the top side, rather than finished with folded bias tape. This way the edges have the fluff as well. It was much easier! I will continue to make bias chenille items but will probably not do so much channel stitching and cutting as in the past, but rather play with the bias strips of fabric instead. It's just faster and easier and has more room for flexiblity and creativity.


4:18 PM

Thursday, June 18, 2009

STILL Wearin' It Contest-Win $50 Gift Certificate

Do you have some garments you've sewn that just STAY in your wardrobe??? Well...I have!
Left Photo: July 1979 with my newborn son
Right Photo: June 2009 with my #1 Grandson

Not exactly the same top - but made at the same time, from the same fabric - I KNOW the Striped T-Shirt I'm wearing today when we snapped that right photo was worn - has been worn every season since 1979! My hubby won't let me forget it every time I wear it, actually!

Construction Techniques
At the time I made these 2 knit tops - it was a beginning venture into sewing with knits - quite a different experience from the silky long sleeve, cuffed, bow-tied collar blouses and lined wool jackets and skirts I was making clients in my dressmaking business. I also KNOW the knit is a nice cotton/poly interlock from Leiter's Designer Fabrics. Leiter's was top quality fabric that was sold by independent delaers like myself in 'showings' from samples of the fabric that traveled around between us reps.
The seams are constructed WAY pre-serger! (Didn't acquire a serger until 1987 or so!) A very narrow (.5) width zig zag of about 2.0 long stitched the seams, and then I zig zagged the seam allowances together with a zig zag of about 1/5 wide and 2.0 long. 100% metrosene polyester thread - I remember that as well. Not one of the seams has popped either!
The neckline was finished by cutting a cross grain strip of the stripe about 2" wide and stitching it onto the right side of the top - binding the edge towards the inside, then stitching in the ditch - and OH MY GOSH - leaving the raw edge on the inside! THAT was monumental to me at the time - a RAW edge!
It doesn't really appear - nor do I remember, cutting the ribbing any smaller than the neckline - but then the neckline was a pretty deep scoop anyway. Those techniques came later.
Hems are not stabilized in any way - and just turned up and stitched with straight stitching.
For techniques I'd use today, click HERE - a FREE INFO page at my website.
Find more valuable FREE INFO HERE.

Sew it occurred to me this would be a fun sharing/contest topic! If YOU made something long ago - say even 10 years ago - that still resides in your wardrobe and that you occassionally wear, please share about that as an entry!

Here is how the contest will work...

1. Comment on this post below with YOUR story! Include what you made, and why it is still in your wardrobe. Include techniques you used to stitch it, and what you'd change technique-wise if you made it again today of the same type of fabric. Be sure to sign your post with your first name. Please know that I have this Blog set up for me to approve all posts before they show up - so don't expect your comment/entry to show immediately.

2. Send me YOUR photo - to my email at I will copy your comment and add your photo to the CONTEST Blog Post so that all can see/enjoy/learn from your post. I don't expect you to have a photo of when you first made it - but for sure take a photo now - even if it is only of the garment - and not on you.

3. I need a minimum of 10 entries in order for this 'contest' to be operative, so tell your friends!

4. Winner will be decided by vote of my 'Customer Advisory Board' - of 5 people (which includes me!)

PRIZE is $50 Gift Certificate for the winner.
ALL participants will will win some type of prize!

Enjoy the memories!