Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Surprise" Day

I started to call this Good Day/Bad Day, but really it was probably all good when I get right down to it. So today was the day to Get Things Done. I had a list!

And first on the list was having the chimney cleaned. It's been quite some time since that service has been performed and I knew it wasn't safe to even have a fire in the house (which is why I banned all of them last year, much to hub's dismay). While we were miraculously spared the horrible days/weeks long power outage from the ice storm of 2007 (thank you God) that year had it's fair share of other power outages, one which occurred on a particularly cold night (it was like 14 out). Lots and lots of firewood was burned that night. All of which made me acutely aware of the need to have it cleaned.
After my chimney cleaner inspected it, we learned there had been at least one chimney fire that had already occurred. Yikes. I won't bore you with the details on how this is determined but it was pretty conclusive. And the inside of it was glazed. This translates into:
1. Very unsafe and 2. going to cost more money to clean/fix. SURPRISE! kinda
But good news: no cracks or other damage and hey OUR HOUSE DIDN'T CATCH FIRE whenever this happened. Best of all, it's getting fixed so we can have fires all winter long and not worry.

Next up: my sewing machine.

Oh, that sounds so trivial. My machine is waaaaay more than just a sewing machine. My Baby is a Rolls Royce of sewing/embroidery/quilting machines. Lately I have been on a tear making these cute aprons for my booth:

And at some point, my Baby started making this groaning sound, like something was bound up (you know, like thread) in it. So, off to the great store I bought it at and SURPRISE! the extended "gold" warranty on it is STILL GOOD! Which means it will be moved up in the line to be fixed and, of course, cost me zero dollars. So that's a good thing.

My trip to stores and the bank were surprise-free, so back home I came and sat down to rest. Then the doorbell rang. SURPRISE! The guys from the awning company were here to replace our old awning with our brand new one! They were supposed to be here tomorrow or Monday (which had me wondering what day it really was). But it's great to have it done now! So here it is:

And I'm hoping that this is IT for Surprise Day. All in all, I cannot complain because, as I said, it's all good. Hmm.....maybe we should go out to the casino tonight.....

UPDATE: So, we did in fact go to the casino this evening. Although its the season premier of one of my most favorite shows (Greys Anatomy) I always record it so I can FF through commercials. Luck was good to me at the casino- at first. Then it sorta went south. Hub's back started hurting and we decided to call it a night after a couple of hours. No problem, said I. I'll just come home and start watching Greys. SURPRISE! Recorder wasn't set!!! Oh the panic!! Of course I immediately hit "record" and did in fact get the last hour of it recorded. So that's the good news. I'll just have to watch the first hour of it on the computer tomorrow. OK. Enough surprises for 1 day. No more please. Thank you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lovely Lady

Life is precious. Family love is too. Sometimes it takes heartbreak to drive this point home with us. And after the wound heals and the throbbing from the scar eases we can find a peace and clarity. Maybe even an understanding of Gods powerful ways. That 20/20 hindsight is always helpful when enough time passes.
Today marks the 8th year of my mothers passing. Anyone who knew her remembers her as the sweetest and kindest of people. Her inner beauty matched her gorgeous looks. So now, if you will pardon me, I am going to indulge in showing off my Mom with alot of photos of her that we are so fortunate to have.

Born at St. Johns Hospital in June of 1928, Mom loved my dad, her girls, her grand kids and tennis.

She also loved fashion. We aren't 100% sure when it all started, but when mom was a Junior Will Rogers High School (class of 1946) she did a project for her art class:

At around the same time, this photo of her was taken: Right after graduation, my mother graced the front cover of Tulsa Magazine
I suppose she was, by this time, modeling primarily for Brown-Dunkin Stores. Mom didn't really do the "runway" type of modeling; rather photo shoots for publications and ads.

This was on the back cover of a TU football program- a great night time view of downtown Tulsa:

She began her freshman year at the University of Tulsa that fall of '46 joining the Chi Omega sorority where she was involved in so many activities.

Mom was nominated during this time as TU's Kendallabrum Beauty Queen and won. The winner was chosen by Lynn Riggs, author of "Green Grow The Lilacs"

She met my dad her junior year. Here are photos from some of their first dates:

My parents were married in February of 1949, my Mom's Senior year at TU. She designed her wedding dress and her grandmother, a talented seamstress, made it and all of the matching attendants dresses.
They honeymooned in Kansas City.

They stayed here in Tulsa the rest of their lives, raising We Three Girls:

She was such a fun, great Mom to have. We all miss her so much.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tie-Dying With Fabric Spray!

I have always loved tie-dyed clothing; the brighter the colors, the better. I had heard it was messy and a chore to do this, depending upon the dye and method you used, but I was ready to give it a try, nonetheless. So I began my research and subsequently came across this fantastic new fabric spray paint!

Could it really be this easy? Spray it, let it dry, wash/rinse and voila? Turns out: YES it IS that easy! I first went and purchased 3 of the cheapest men's t-shirts I could find at Wal Mart, washed and dried them. The thing that you have to learn by trial is how to fold/tie/scrunch/bunch/twist and shape your material to get the cool effects. I found alot of tutorials online for this and of course, the beauty of tie-dying is that anything goes, no 2 are alike and everything is beautiful ;o)

I shopped around to find the least expensive way to purchase this spray paint. I had coupons for JoAnns and Hobby Lobby I could use. The price for 1 can was the same, even at Wal Mart: $4.99. The price for the Party Kit was $24.99 at Hobby Lobby and I had a 40% off coupon, so I got it -mostly because it had a variety of colors (which I wanted). I then bought a can of the bright pink (gotta have that color!) at JoAnns using a coupon there as well.

I read all instructions and tutorials before beginning (this is hard for me to do, I like to just jump in and start creating usually) I put down newspaper, then a trash bag. Got out the plastic (or vinyl) gloves, then tried to figure out how I wanted to manipulate my material. You can use rubber bands, if you can find really big and small ones. I had to tell myself that this first one would probably end up being a dust rag, as I had read that too many colors on top of each other = mud color.

So I tried tying the shirt in a big knot, first. Thing is, I didn't see that it said to make it a TIGHT knot and I did the opposite (this is some form of dyslexia I have, I swear).

I had read that you really need to saturate the material:

And the spray really can make a mess if you aren't careful- it IS permanent too. If you get any on your hands, you have about 3 minutes to wash it off before it sets in. Use the gloves!!

So this is how that loose knot actually came out:

Not quite as I had hoped. I decided what the heck and just did stupid stuff on the back of it, which wasn't real smart because this spray paint isn't cheap:

You can, however, see how bright and pretty the colors are.

So I decided to try the swirl technique. It's pretty easy after practicing it a few times. I really drenched the paint on the shirt: orange on one side, pink on the other. And it came out pretty darn cool:

I read some more about this product and decided I wanted to try the black stencil spray and make an OSU t-shirt for myself (in celebration of the new season, etc). I copied the OSU logo onto some heavy card stock paper, then cut it out with an x-acto knife.

This time, I used a much thicker/nicer t-shirt I got at Sams for $5.00 I made the swirl design, picked up the orange colored spray can was almost totally gone. Oops. I had used most of it up on the previous shirt. So, quick! what do you do? Well you grab the 2 colors that make orange: red and yellow! And start spraying carefully. Then I opened up the shirt (and liked what I saw) and layed it flat on the plastic, then put down the stencil and put paper all around it (it does splatter a fine mist!). The stencil paint is quite a bit heavier and thicker, so it has to sit and dry for 24 hours; then you let it hang somewhere for another 72 hours. I then gently washed it and I love the way it turned out. This picture was taken through a mirror and doesn't really show the vibrant colors:

So the pros:

Easy, fast, FUN!

Cons: kind of expensive, a little messy

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


As many of you (who know me) know, I make and sell these aprons that are quite popular and fun to make:
Well now I have found another cute pattern for the half-apron and am having so much fun with it. It uses 4 fat quarters (18x18") of fabric and has these great, huge pockets (this was my first one):

I immediately pulled out all of my Halloween fabric stash and began cutting 18 inch squares. I figure these big pockets will be great for putting "treats" in when answering the door for tricksters that come by October 31 (which is a Saturday this year, by the way):

What a great way to use up saved fabric! Can't wait to get started on Christmas aprons next :o)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009