Monday, August 31, 2009

Some more of my study


My new study area. This little desk came from a great little antique shop in Waxahachie. I bought it for $15! It's not exactly an antique--probably 60's, 70's???--and was painted sorta white, with green paint showing through.
I scrubbed and sanded and painted it pink! And found the beautiful little glass knob at Hobby Lobby.

This is my new bulletin board. I am not too crafty, but sometime I find and borrow nifty ideas. (I don't think up originals very well.) This is an old window--no glass--that I put a piece of quilt behind, then tacked a large piece of foam board to the back of the whole shebang.
I cut the quilt up and sewed the rectangles back together in such a way that the seams are behind the muntins (the small bars that divide the window panes) and a star is in the middle of each window pane.
Ta-Da! Some place to put my notes to myself!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sewing is just not in the cards...

....this week.
So I'll show you a bit more about my fantabulous spruced-up study/sewing room.
Here's the pic of the huge office credenza that my wonderful guys moved into my sewing room. Yeah, guys!

This now holds lots of books (school and sewing), a few fun things, and my buckets of sewing projects that I'm working on.
I covered cat-litter buckets (they were just lying about in the garage--I didn't want to just trash them!) with fabric, and I put large zip-lock bags with one pattern and fabric/notions in each zip-lock. Three or four projects will fit in each bucket.
The buckets are VERY easy to cover. Just takes a few minutes (if you're not too picky about perfection). Read through the directions and figure out how much material you will (less than a yard).
First, trace the bottom of your bucket onto some paper, add 1/2 inch all the way around for the seam. This is the bottom. Cut out.

Measure the circumference of the rectangle you've drawn. Add 1 inch for seams. This is the length of your side. Then measure the height of your bucket. Add 1/2 inch for the seam connecting the side to the bottom, and add 2 or 3 inches to turn down at the top. Now you can cut out the side covering of your bucket.


Remembering that you will be turning down the top 2 or 3 inches of the side piece (dotted line in above drawing), mark where your bucket handles are. Slash the side piece and finish those edges (either turn to inside with a tiny hem, or bind).
Turn down top edge and stitch.
Right sides together, stitch together short edges of side piece. Press.
Again, right sides together, stitch bottom to side. To do this, mark centers of front, back and sides on both bottom piece and side piece. Pin together, easing or making a pleat or two if necessary.
If you wish, put a piece of elastic around the top of the bucket cover to help hold it onto the bucket (see blue line in above drawing).
Now, don't those old plastic buckets look much better?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of Grad School!

Only one class today (I'm only taking 3 classes this semester.) It was great. Already plenty of homework.

And, of course, the rest of the life isn't always peaceful. Didn't Jesus promise that our lives would be stress-free, euphoric, and financially bountiful?
No, He didn't. He did promise that He would always be with us, and give us strength for our trials.
So now, off to try and get the broken house key out of the lock, unlock my DS's car (lots of lock insufficiency today), and get some new house keys made.
Plus make dinner and work on homework--mine and the DS's.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

May I show you my fabrics from India?

They are lovely, if I do say so myself!

On the left is the dupatta, or scarf. On the right is one large piece of border-print cotton. It's supposed to be for both the tunic top (kameez) and pants (salwar), but I think I will use the material to make a summer dress. I may use the scarf for a top.
This is another set of fabrics for a 3 piece salwar kameez. I will probably make a summer salwar suit for myself. On the left is the blue print for the top, in the middle is the dupatta, and on the right the white print for the bottoms. (Though I may use the white trimmed with the blue for the top, and have blue pants).
This gorgeous stuff I purchased for about 6 dollars--the mirrors hadn't been attached yet, but I love it just as it is! It also is a bit short for a complete suit, but being altitudinally-challenged, I may be able to squeeze out a salwar suit. This is the front; the back is plain. Really, not sure what I will do with it, but it's lovely, isn't it?

This is the dupatta. It's quite sheer. If you can tell from this pic, the edge of the scarf has to somehow be finished. There is a cording along the edge, but the material is raw. Haven't quite figured out how to manage this!
I got all this fabric for about $20, can you believe? And finding 3 matching pieces of material for a salwar suit is nigh impossible here in the States! So I'm scheming and planning what to do with all this next spring--because before you know it, autumn will arrive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Look!

I found the date! 1947!

I've been busy...

...trying to clean up the house--cleaning out closets, taking bags of clothes to thrift, filing--and getting ready for classes (both grad school and the science class I teach)!

Here's my sewing closet, all neatened up. There's shelves for supplies and then then a countertop to hold my old machine and serger, with bins underneath for fabric, from Container Store

I keep my scraps in an IKEA laundry basket

My DH and I took off a day for fun, and look what I found! for $1.00! It's quite a mess, but complete. With the brand name of "McCall" not "McCall's", it's a pre-1951 pattern.
Doesn't it look nice and cool for this Texas August weather?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More about India

To back up a bit:
This is the first trek we went on, to the nomads. We travel by jeep (you can see why if you look closely at the "highway")

The Highway

Nomad PeopleThis is where the nomads live. Himalayan desert. There's only water from snow/glacier run-off. The nomads must move around as the streams dry up and the grass is eaten.

Camping---next to the goatsIn this area, the people are Tibetan Buddhist, like the Dalai Lama. There are many monasteries scattered about the mountains. Many families send one child to be a monk or a nun.

Tso (Lake) Moriri, from the top of Korzok Gompa (monastery)Then I went to Leh to wait for my DH and DS #1!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finished painting!


Now it's time to put everything back.
I really like the pink color. It's very pale, paler even than the pic shows.
Tips for painting:
Go to This Old House website and look at their instructions: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/house-painting
My favorite paint? Behr, from Home Depot. http://www.behr.com/ It's the best I've found (though I haven't tried those really, really expensive types.) It covers well and comes in oodles of colors. The colors samples are quite accurate, and you can buy a small amount for around $4.00 to try on your walls.
Buy really cheap, thin plastic to cover your furniture (tape it down if necessary), then buy heavier plastic sheets for the floor. I don't like canvas (as recommended by TOH)--paint can seep through! And it's much harder to get up the seepages than any splats from errant paint strokes.
Also buy those disposable paint tray liners (cheap is fine) to put inside your paint tray. So much easier than trying to scrub the paint out of the tray!
But buy a really good 1-1/2 inch angle brush to edge your walls and ceilings. Use it just like a pencil to cut in. Easier, faster, and less messy than taping your ceilings, trim, etc. Make sure you buy the right composition of brush for your paint! Use a synthetic brush for latex paint.
Paint is such an easy and inexpensive way to fix us your house. I painted my sewing room with less than a gallon of paint plus a couple of hours of prep time and 4 hours of painting!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Painting, painting, over the bounding main....

Ugghh. Last night the cats conspired to keep us up by sashaying all over the bed, purring and licking our ears and noses. This DID NOT help the jet lag.
I can't wait to show you the beautiful fabrics I purchased in Leh (India)! And to show you some more pictures of the trip!
But first, I am fixing up my sewing/study. This used to be the guest room, but two kids (excuse me, young men) out of the house, it's MINE!
Today I am painting. Then, with all the kids (ummm, young men) over tonight for dinner, I will have some help moving back the furniture!

It's PINK!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Would you like a run-down of India?


Packed & Ready to go on Trek!

After missing our flight to Delhi, it was great to see Leh!  The trek to ChangTang was wonderful. We visited with the nomads. We also visited Tso Moriri, a beautiful lake high in the Himalayas, as well as the village of Korzok nestled between the mountains and the lake.

Our first stop--campsite 

A brief stop at a village 

Our last week in Ladakh was spent in the Dah-Hanu area.  It is a very interesting place. The people, unlike those in the rest of Ladakh who derive from Tibetan lineage, are Aryan. They tell stories of their ancestors coming from Macedonia with Alexander the Great's army. Well, they certainly look and dress quite differently! Notice the long
noses and rounded eyes. And the beautiful flowers in their hair!
More pictures later!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back from India!

Safe and sound. Actually got back late on Friday (missed a flight AGAIN!) but slept a lot of Saturday.
Can't wait to show you some of my new fabrics and to share a bit about India!