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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Creative Ideas from Customers!

Gleaning Ideas Galore from Customers' one of the best parts of doing these shows. This potholder purse grabbed my eye

It's creator shared that it was from potholders her kids wove as children - which she resurrected and turned into a purse by looping together leftover COTTON loops (hard to find!) and then knitting - on large needles - the gusset and long handle. It was just TOO CUTE! Especially attracted my eye as making potholders was my very first business when I was in - about the 4th or 5th grade. I made them like crazy and then went door to door selling them 1 for 25 cents or 2 for $35 cents. Guess kids can't go door-to-door any longer (but back then we did the same with GirlScout cookies for $.50 per box too!), but there's always the internet..........

Here's yet another idea - just an extra T-shirt cut into leaf shapes, and stitched onto an existing shirt with straight stitch down the center... I'd seen this earlier on a ready-to-wear top myself and made notes - but a picture is worth a thousand words. This idea WILL turn up on a Creative Sweatshirt Jacket - and people will ask how I can come up with these ideas - well: from RTW to a large degree! Ideas are plenty for the taking...
This smart gal had taken the color que from her great shoes - and you'd never believe how this shirt complimented her shoes!
The little things of life can serve to excite us these days .....

Common Sense Government

An email from 'my man in politics' - Mike Huckabee sent me an email today saying what I'm pasting below. See if it doesn't make sense to ya, and if this isn't what you'd LOVE to be hearing more of from our 'leaders'!

"Dear Worried American,
As a child of the Great Depression, my mother wasn't able to go to college -- but I swear she was smarter than the educated people who are running the country right now.
And if Mom were alive today, she'd probably give our leaders the same scolding she used to give me: "You have a champagne appetite and a Coca-Cola paycheck."
That was her way of saying that, when you want something you can't afford, you have to work hard and save up for it. But if you try to live beyond your means, you'll end up with nothing but big debts and a bad reputation.
Advice like that used to be common sense, of course. And it still is, among the vast majority of "Main Street" Americans who work hard, pay their mortgages, and rely on themselves -- not government -- to provide for their families and their retirement.
But in what I call the "Wall Street-to-Washington Axis of Power," different rules apply. Your bank is failing because you lent billions to unqualified borrowers? No problem: Here's a multi-billion-dollar bailout to cover your losses -- and to pay yourselves obscene bonuses. Your trillion-dollar budget has no room for a new set of big-government entitlements? No problem: We'll just print a few trillion more dollars -- and worry about inflation later.
That may not be the "change" that many Americans voted for last November -- but it's the change we're all getting. And we're stuck with it for at least a few more years. "

He then goes on to recommend an investment newsletter for those with money to invest which you can find HERE

As a Christian, I put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ - and that, knowing all, He will return at the point in time that has already been determined. However, the direction our country is going definitely concerns me, and I spend time each day it seems writing to my legislators. Regardless of your opinion - I hope you do the same. We can't stand by and say nothing...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For Such a Time as This...from Esther 4:14

For such a time as this... the Biblical quote from the heading is a well-known one - that many, I fear, don't even know the origins of.

Here's my summary of the historically true story.....Esther has been selected to be the Queen of Xerxes - King of Persia (Babylon...Iraq) back in 493 B.C. - after his original queen, Vashti, decided not to obey him and show up at one of his many parties (for which she was killed!). This really means that Esther was one of many in his 'court' (harem!). Her story is somewhat the same as Cinderella - search made for the loveliest in the kingdom, and the King selected her. After that, she was fed (fattened up because plup = pretty back then), and given all kinds of beauty treatments (spa, massage, facials, etc., etc.). Well - anyway - she was an orphan (living with her Uncle Mordecai), and a Jew - one of the many who had elected not to return to Israel when King Cyrus decreed that the exiled Israelites could return to Israel (this happened in 539 B.C. - remember, B.C. years work backwards!) after their captivity in Babylon. Sew...she had to been living and somewhat assimilated into that corrupt and pagan culture.

BUT, she knew from where she came, and kept true to her faith in the one, true God.

Well - as a result of her Uncle Mordecai refusing to bow to King Xerxes' right hand man Haman who is like Rahm Emanuel is to Obama, Haman has gotten the King to give a death order to all Jews in the land (yet approximately 9 months out in the future!).

Mordecai figures Esther might well be the way the Jewish people can be saved - and says to her: "Just because you live in the king's palace, don't think that you of all the Jewish people will escape. If you keep quiet at this tie, someone else will help and save the Jewish people, but you and your father's family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this." Esther 4:13-14.

Sew...the lessons Beth Moore helped me see through this Biblical historical account ...
1. "Not only am I royalty (in Christ), but I am also placed in my sphere of influence, regardless of the size I perceive it to be, "for such a time as this."
2. God cut out the exact time and perimeters for me to live in - the time and the place. Acts. 17"26. That means I have a duty to not only seek what He wants me to do, but to do it!
3. I can refuse to do what I hear God telling me to do, but even if I do, He will still accomplish His agenda - despite my choices. I still have choices - because God grants us humans free will - that's where we mess up.
4. I want to be so close to God - that I have my will - the choices I make - be close to what He has planned. I realize that even when the hugest, most awful (in my mind) events happen - God will show up - perhaps not in my timing, but in His. (Wow, have my 57 years taught me that the waiting isn't usually fun!) I pray that I am beaten to a conviction that wins out over my self-centeredness.
5. When I face a huge decision - I want to be open to asking, What if this is a critical moment? What if this very thing, this very decision is the most important piece of the puzzle (that God has ordained) comprising my purpose?"

I just pray that during times of great struggle that I make the Godward decision over carnal, convenient earthly comfort.

Anyway - that is the story I've been studying, and some of the lessons learned. I pray it speaks to you too - "for such a time as this" - wherever you find yourself.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wedding Gown progress!!!!! Granny fun.

I've been making HUGE progress on the gown. Most nights I dream about the next steps. It is turning into a more complicated project than I first thought it would be - but isn't that always the case! Last night - I even plunged in and cut out the lace pieces!
Pardon the layout of this picture - but I was trying to get her in the sunlight from the patio doors to reveal the ever so slight pink tinge to the gown - which we are both delighted with! If you've been following along, you'll know that is from layering the silk taffeta outer fabric over a pale pink batiste. I found when going to baste all the princess skirt sections together, that I couldstillsee the seam allowances, so I also added a layer of china silk under the pink batiste - so the skirt is 3 layers thick, then to be independently topped with our wonderful lace - as shown here. This photo will show the sloped empire line I worked and worked on - and which makes my darling daughter look VERY slim indeed! Please don't dwell on the drag lines - as this bodice is ALL basted together, and I don't have the boning in the side seams of the corset that is underneath all this yet - as OF COURSE, she is working on losing weight! I actually don't plan on stitching the side seams of the bodice at all, much less attach the bodice to the skirt finally until after May 9. The wedding is June 6 - so she's just gonna have to settle for that!
She is thrilled with the silhouette of the back skirt - with the additional pouf we added from the donated crinoline as previously described. See it - well kind of - in the picture on the right below. Sew... this fitting was actually to determine - for positive sure - the exact hemline. I then transfered that info to the muslin skirt pieces - for which I had made one muslin piece for EVERY skirt piece - clearly labelled as to which was the OUTSIDE - and cut the muslin hem OFF at the finished hemline. That enabled me to then utilize those pieces as the pattern pieces when cutting out the lace. I could lay each piece with the exact hemline on the scallopped border of the lace. OF COURSE, though - realize that the lace is straight - and the hemline is curved. But that will be all 'fixed' with cutting and handstitching those lace borders up into place. AND, sure enough - the lace was not symmetrical - not horizontally - NOR vertically. One scalloped edge had a row of lace/flowers above it with 3 flowers, and the opposite scalloped edge had less flowers in the grouping above. SEW... we decided to do the front pieces along one edge and the back pieces along the other - and I will add flowers to theback to 'balance' it - as if anyone other than myself - (and all of you) would EVER know such was the case anyway..........! I couldn't decide on placement of the bodice pieces - which direction, or motifs to center - but I had plenty of lace left for that - so at 11 pm - I decided to wait on those decisions. I'm so glad though that narrowing the circumference of the skirt yeilded ample extra lace and border. We plan to create some delicate straps of the scallop as well.
The fun part then was cutting off the beading and 3 D flowers from the seam allowances of the lace. We plan to scatter the flowers on the veil a bit too (a bargain at $6 from Hobby Lobby on 50% off!).

Jewelry: she seems to see that a simple strand of pearls is all this dress needs - nothing more 'showey'. I have a very sentimental strand that turn out to be the perfect color. She took them along to see if she could match some drop earrings.

OH - and all this on a day when my precious grandson Cole was with me. We had a blast going out to 'puddle stomp' after the rain died down. We also went on a worm hunt - but to our surprise, there weren't worms all over the sidewalks. Sew...we had to dig in the garden. Found 3 - one for him (a white centipede), and then a medium worm he named "Mommy" and a big one he named "Dabee" - her fiance who he dearly, dearly loves. This granny must show a picture...
Oh - and in filling out an application - actually decided I needed to mark the 'grey' box under hair color instead of brown... WHAT A DAY!

Really must get to WORK! The 'Barney' van awaits - packing for the International Quilt Festival show in Chicago I leave for tomorrow...

Biblical Wisdom for Life from the life of Esther

On Maundy Thursday, I finished the ESTHER Bible Study by Beth Moore (don't miss her website - Living Proof Ministries as given above!). Challenged by our leader, Carrie Burns, to decide WHAT I would do the following morning for my quiet time, I decided to both review all the wisdom and concepts I learned in this study - but also to not only write them summarily in my journal, but to share them here on my Blog in the hopes that something might speak to you - help you - lead you in your spiritual journey to the one, true God as revealed to us through His son, Jesus.

I will endeavor to put quotes around words exactly from Beth Moore, but I also have changed the person to 'my' in most cases, as I find doing this points the words more to my heart. However, if in doubt - just give the credit for the words to Beth Moore - OK?

Esther is a book in the old testament...the words most famous are 'For such a time as this'. Esther's faith and courage and wisdom actually saved the Jewish people from extinction during the time of King Xerxes in Persia. It is a short 9 chapter long book and I encourage you to read it for yourself. Get a good commentary, or buy Beth's book that you can find at any christian book store. Right now I can't seem to find it on her website...
Beth 'sew' related all of the events and lessons to our womanhood - what it means to be a woman in today's world... is the learning I have had from this study...I hope it enriches your life and speaks to you. I am starting this April 14, and it will be continued as I have time and do the re-study...

"When I trust my life to the unseen but ever-present God, He will write my life into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a good read. With a grand ending."

"The essence of oppression is punishing one by hurting many."

If a man has to command a woman to respect him, then whatever 'respect' is so rendered loses its meaning. Those who can gainrespect and obedience only by holding enough power to command it live with the constant anxiety of losing it. This was froom her source 33 in the Bibliography - which is online is all I can it is not in the book.

I cannot amputate my destiny from my history! This = redemption.

God selected Esther (as He does me) for a task He appoints in my life - my time- my sphere of influence - not in spite of my experiences, but BECAUSE of them! Jeremiah 29:11

"Only a person strong in character and steadfast in spirit can follow someone else's instructions for long."

"Providence can be defined as times when God triumphs my perfectly good plan with one of His own...then seems to disappear from it...He's there. He's there right."

I'll be victorious when God and I have the same enemy.

"A true woman who cares apolgizes even if for nothing." In my book, I've recently done this, and God blessed it...

"'ll never be more prone to attack than when I'm on the way to where God wants me. " scarey thought... but true!

Beth had an entire session on "Mean Girls... read on
  • Insecurity is at the heart of every rivalry.
  • Only God can meet my needs. Not a man, a friend... The more I get from something or someone worldly, the more I will crave what they can't live up to. Only God can live up to my expectations.
  • Anger is power to those who think they don't have any other source of it.
  • Meanness always has a history.
  • Meannness perceives a threat. 2 Corinthians 10:12
  • Meanness catches like a virus.
  • Meanness is curable. Romans 12: 17-21
  • Mean girls let you hang with them as long as it's about them.
  • Mean girls dig at other girls but don't admit to it - won't take responsibility for it.
  • Mean girls dress provacatively around other girls' men.
  • Coming in contact with a mean girl raises up my own mean girl.

A person close to God and His ways finds themselves in an awkward predicament when they discern evil in someone who other people esteem. (Many of us in our country today in relation to those in Washington!) We must be prayerful to search our own sin-driven souls.

Proverbs 18: 7-9 Words of gossip feed my soul. Lips are snares to my soul.

"Gossip finds an easy ear because my human nature, left to itself, finds sick satisfaction in the deluded discovery that someone who seemed superiour was inferior."

I should respond from my mindset - my soul: not my mood. Setting my mind on things above, not of this earth... Collossians 3:2

"I can get glad in the same clothes I get mad in."

God never takes His eyes of of me or off the clock ticking over me.

"Satan can't win and I can't lose. God always trumps Satan. Never picture the two of them as equal, but opposite authorities. "

"Sometimes, God uses the winds of a new threat to blow the dust off a past miracle that has moved from my 'active file' into the archives. I must always remember what God has done for me! "

"God designed conviction to be uncomfortable so that I'd hurry to repentance and find relief in restoration."

God as the "Ancient of Days" is defined as the fact that the same judge who sat on the throne when the wrong was committed will be the one sitting on the bench the day of sentencing. This is great to know for me because I have to belive that ultimately, justice will be served.

"One of the most important parts of fulfilling my destiny willb e my transparency. "

"When God asks me to make imporant decisions, I may well find myself alone. "

"It will often be a crises that God uses to pivot my direction." Wow - How TRUE this has been in my life! To be certain - in my family,and in my store - to change my career from a storefront to the internet, and my 'world' more back to my family first!!!

"All my crises are critical to the path God has for me. There IS human dilemna in destiny."

"Wherever God has given me dominion - He has entrusted some kind of power or purpose for me there. "

"Some crises are too important for saving face. Saving lives is worth losing face every time. In God's economy, saving is always worth losing."

If I forget God (and worhip others), He will still love me - but not shield me.

"Repentance is not my punishment. It's my fglorious right of daughtership to restoration (with God)."

"Guilt is a relentless mocker even if its misplaced."

"Most of my problems are a wold deeper than my appearance."

"Strength comes from muscle,and muscle develps with a workout. It is no different spiritually than physically."

"I am wise to force myself to keep differentiating between simple inconveniences and authentic tribulations." Oh - How TRUE!!! I think this is a main difference I see over and over between myself and younger people...but there are sure times I need to remind myself of this FACT.

"The more detached and SELF-ABSORBED I become, the more I mistake annoyances for agonies."

"To stand by and do nothing out of self preservation is to be dead already."

This refers specifically to Esther 4:14 - "For such a time as this..." which is SEW much the crux of this Bible Study, that I am going to make it a separate post...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wedding Sewing Progress-Mother of Bride (me) and Bride

Well - I'm hard at it - sewing sillk chiffon and lace and beading. I moved it all up into my dining room - as I decided the basement was too messy with all my sweatshirt sewing/order filling projects to handle all this sewing as well...

I've decided God must have been watching out for me that I didn't go ahead and finish my dress earlier last fall when I got going on it after getting the (to me) lovely beaded silk chiffon floral print while I was in Houston. If I had - I'd realized way back then - and been worried all this time about the 'CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY" before me! Can't decide wich it is - either I didn't cut the 2nd back skirt piece, OR I cut it and have lost it (NOT to be found - I assure you!), but I have only one of the skirt back pieces of the floral chiffon for my dress. It is Vogue 8150. I'm doing the center view as seen below. Well.....a version of it I suppose. The skirt is the shiny side of the crepe back satin that you see draped in the photo to the left - topped with a loose layer of the silk floral beaded chiffon. The neckline as it curves around my neck was a buggaboo...I realized quickly it would need to be stayed - and SURE GLAD I DID - as it still seems to buckle a bit on me - but I'm convincing myself that I'm being too picky. One has to move in a dress and it isn't always picture perfect. I see things like that all the time in the fancy gowns on Hollywood award shows.....

Back to the skirt - Thankfully, I have enough of the chiffon to go around me - but the angles to the skirting that I do have - are kind of odd. Posted by PicasaSee in this picture of the skirt kinda pinned on my Duct Tape Double - (which is on TOP of my dining room table) what I have to work with...

The photo on the right shows the center back seam - kinda crazy...

I did have a long piece left that I will add to the left front as an extra floaty piece - we'll see what happens. I finished the handwork on the top tonight - and tested it - I CAN get it on - and off with help. :) Dear Daughter had a cow when I put it on for her - exclaimed too much cleavage...

My hubby says it is fine. Not that low at all. I'd worked most of yesterday adding a 2" piece to the top of the original center front - as you can see on the inside lining in this photo. She should have seen it before I did that! Twas that issue that put the break on progress last fall.

Next problem is since I have a seam in the chiffon skirt on the RIGHT side, but NOT the left - do I take OUT the invisible zip from the left side and put it in the right side - OR go ahead and put an opening in the fabric without a seam on the left skirt - which would look yucky - OR just NOT take the zip down into the skirt - and I think perhaps I can get away with that solution since when I just put it on - and had help taking it off - that it could be done without the opening extending into the skirt. Will sleep on it.....

On the other front... the wedding gown is coming along. Have the bodice all fitted - and torn apart and labelled clearly so that this 'muslin' is now the pattern pieces themselves for careful cutting. Today, I went ahead and made the corset part that has the boning in it - and the petersham waistline stay - the mechanism that actually holds the dress up and on her. Got the neatest soft boning channel stuff from my bridal friend/expert Tina down the street, and the spiral steel boning - so all ready for a final fit on that tomorrow morning to determine the length of the stays, and to assure the placement is good. During the fitting yesterday, we decided how the lace edging would be stitched pattern-wise at the bodice neckline edge...see photo:

There WILL be straps on this one - though exactly how - and what they look like remains to be determined. I took quite a bit of circumference out of the princess lined skirt - so that will ease up things on the minimal amount of lace I have to work with...annother challenge - but what fun!

The other thing I have conquered is to 'give her a butt'. She wanted the back of the dress to stick out more - so armed with net flounce donated by Tina (cut off of a mermaid slip) I engineered the pieces to add to the back. See here - the bottom most one supports the train and I had the brilliant idea (at least I think so) to velcro it on - so we can remove the bottom one when it comes time to bustle the gown for dancing.

This photo of her in the muslin gown - checking out the back in our makeshift mirror system - shows how the slip supports the muslin skirt...

Have her coming again in the morning to double check the corset - then I get to cut the silk taffeta, the pink underlining, and the china silk lining! Can't wait.....

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Red Envelope Initiative

A website sewing friend sent this to me - and I fully, whole-heartedly and emotionally support it - and encourage you to do the same. Life is life, human is human, and every one life is God-ordained. My arms ached for years to hold my own baby - but God answered my prayers another way - to grow my children IN my heart - not UNDER it. As the mother of 2 children by adoption - I can truthfully say that I'm SURE there is a home for EVERY unwanted child. ANd that INCLUDES children products of rape. If we'd been offered a child that the mother lovingly brought to life - even though a product of rape - we'd have gladly accepted.

Send your RED ENVELOPE - empty - today to the White House:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Penssylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

with this written on the back: "This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception."

I've given just one website as a link - just google for Red Envelope and you'll read much, much more.