there’s this feeling of excitement in the air

And it’s emanating from my sewing room! The Daily Prompt wanted to know when the last time I got excited over something. It was yesterday! I can see, in the not too distant future, a wonderful sewing table becoming reality.

We got the stuff to build it yesterday, after borrowing a pickup to haul all my plunder (did I say that out loud??) home. Thank you, Mark!!! I’d much rather fill his gas tank than a delivery truck’s tank. I know, I know. Lowe’s has to make money too, and deliveries aren’t cheap any more. But if I can help a young man with a family to support by filling his gas tank, especially when he was willing to let us use his truck WITHOUT  charging us a dime, why not do that? Yuppers.

So . . . now hubby has his work cut out for him, and I’ll soon be cutting out my work. But what will that first project be?? Nope, not a purse, can you believe it!! It’s my first attempt at resizing a garment. I don’t even MAKE clothes, much less alter them, but my friend is convinced I can do it. So she left me alone with that valuable article of clothing. Imagine that. She trusts me.

We’re in stage one of the sewing room and the new table. That’s my excuse for the mess surrounding the table project. Any day now, it’s going to be a sewing paradise. I’m so excited!!! And I’m going to do great and wonderful things in there when it’s complete. I just know it. I trust me.

Oh – and that little feller in the cabinet? He was my attempt at acrylic painting when I was 16. My sister had him for at least 30 years. Her kids learned to draw on him (there are crayon marks to prove it). I’d forgotten all about him until visiting her about 12 or 13 years ago, and there he was, tucked away in her storage room. She’d saved him for me all that time!! And now he’s spending his sunset years tucked away in my fabric cabinet. Don’t let that woebegone look on his face fool you – he’s excited too! What a life!!

SO – on to the next stage. Today, phase one/coat one. Tomorrow, phase two/coat two. And the next day – final coat of sealant, then the REAL work begins. Hubby will attach the top to the base pieces, and stage one will be a rousing, rip-roaring success. Stage two will be the remaking of the fabric cabinets so I can actually use them. Stage three will be actually using them.

Am I excited?

YOU BET ! ! !

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

I have really enjoyed all these photo challenges and writing challenges I’ve been finding on WordPress sites. This week’s is on Everyday Life.  On my other blog, I had a bunch of fun with some travel photos for this challenge. But on this one I’d like to share something that’s been dear to our hearts. We’ve been part of a group called Christ’s Clothes Crew for two or three years now. The group goes regularly to various small communities to give away clothes, shoes, bedding, toys, and whatever else has been donated for that purpose. Helping people should be an everyday thing for everybody, don’t you think? I know it’s not “everyday life” for everyone – but since it’s part of our routine, I thought it fit this week’s theme. Right now our guest room is full of clothes waiting for the next giveaway.

I have to share a few things about this ‘everyday life’ that make it special for us. I cannot remember one person who has gotten clothing and not said a sincere thank-you upon leaving. Many times one person will come in and get clothes for an entire household. Several have returned later, bringing things to donate. No one takes what they don’t need – a few even brought things back when they didn’t fit, so other people could take them.

Without fail, we make a meaningful connection with at least one person at every single giveaway.  Last summer a young girl of 13 came to one of our giveaways, and I enjoyed her more than anyone else I helped that day. She was so excited – she said it was like going to the mall and getting designer dresses! She told me we had just provided her with clothes for the whole school year. She was so happy, because otherwise she had nothing. She’d just gone through one of those growth spurts and had outgrown all her clothes over the summer, and was worried because she knew her mom (another broken family) had no money for a new wardrobe. That girl went home and brought her aunt back with her, so she could be blessed too. I just about cried.

At another community, a young man (he looked about 20 or 21) came in. We don’t get very many young men (mostly mothers with children, many older women and some older men who live alone, and the occasional teenage girl), especially young men shopping alone, so he caught my husband’s eye. They had a long chat as hubby helped him find things in his size. We don’t ask people why they’re there, but often they will volunteer that information. This young man said he was trying to find work but had nothing decent to wear if he ever did get an interview. My husband took him to a rack of sport coats and slacks that had been donated, and then to a table of dress shirts and a rack of ties. Now, folks, I have to tell you here, that this type of men’s clothing is not normally in abundance in our giveaways – mostly we have t-shirts and jeans donated. But, as the LORD would have it, we had been given a whole bunch of the very things this young man needed right before this particular giveaway date. Does the LORD look out for folks?? YES HE DOES!!!  We – the entire Christ’s Clothes Crew – were so happy that day. One of our crew was almost in tears when she heard about him.

For many people, giving a bunch of used clothing away doesn’t seem like a very interesting everyday life. But for the ones who volunteer, and the ones who benefit from the donations, it’s a blessing.

Bibs, Baby, Bibs!!

And now I enter the baby bib world; I just finished a couple this weekend. One is for one of our missionary couples; they were blessed with their newest addition while we were away on vacation.

so many styles – so much fun to make!

These look easy, don’t they? Well, for most folks who sew, they’re probably child’s play (couldn’t resist!!), but for me . . . well . . . .

Anyway, I tried them, and as the little train so aptly put it, “I think I can, I think I can; I know I can, I know I can.”

The one on the right was from a pattern I found on a site called “Craftiness Is Not Optional,” and it’s a fun one to try. The only difficulty I had with this one was making my own bias tape. Well, not really “difficulty” as much as just time-consuming. But not difficult. The real difficulty was making sure I caught both sides of the tape when I sewed it down – hence the two or three passes with the machine. 🙂

The one on the left is smaller, more for newborns I reckon. The material was an old burp cloth that I thought would be cuter as bibs – plus, I needed something more boyish, and this was it. The pattern includes a pocket, but I left it off.  This pattern came from a site called “Nested.”  This was the first bib I tried making; my first attempt was a dismal failure, but I learned from that and tried again. This time I used bias tape instead of sewing the front and back together and turning it, like the instructions called for.  That didn’t work so well for the size I cut the first one – it made the neck piece more like a string than a neck piece, way too thin to hold the velcro closure. Oh well, that’s all part of the sewing process. This one was better, so I guess that means I’m making progress. Oh . . . wait . . . I’m making bibs.

Why You Sew and Sew – Round Two

Well, I did it again.

Remember the purse from “Why You Sew and Sew”? The one I took completely apart and remade? That one.

I made another one from that same pattern, only this time I actually did what I said I was going to do in the first remake. I put that 3″ strip along the sides and left the darts out. Oh – and decided on rings for the handles too – kinda like this:

pleated strip, phone pocket

Kinda hard to tell, but that strip made this purse quite a bit larger. Look closely and you’ll see that I cannot resist pockets. I had to put a little phone pocket there…or notepad pocket…or hanky pocket…or….pocket pocket!

The inside is some pretty nifty-spifty pajama…er…uhm…slinky leopard print material. Oh, OK, so it is from an old pair of jammies.  I am, after all, the REmissionary. Gotta use what I’ve got handy, right? There is something to be said for a tiny bit of weight gain. I got a perfectly good – but totally unfit (ha ha) – pair of pajamas for my purse-making stash out of the whole deal.

Speaking of the inside…it is pretty cool, actually.

one of those fun pockets I put in every single purse

Naturally, no good REmissionary project goes unchanged. I got it all put together (as is my custom) and discovered something I’d done wrong. To redo it would entail taking the purse apart. Not gonna happen this time. Nope. Here’s what I did wrong and didn’t notice til it was together:

a wee bit too big

See that tiny detail there? Where it sticks up just a bit above the purse? Not supposed to do that – and ESPECIALLY not supposed to do it crooked like that. I had to find a way to make it right without taking the whole thing apart. That is not fun. So I pondered and studied and walked around it and looked at it and left it and came back to it and….none of that was working. A decision had to be made, because it was getting close to time to give this to the new owner. And I wanted it to work right. Sooooooo…..I wondered what would happen if I just pinched up that extra stuff and folded it down and just sewed it. I clipped it down and looked at it and walked around it and studied it and left it and came back to it. Not working. I tried sticking little metal rings in the fold for decorating, but that would mean I’d have to sew the thing in, and that would look just – well – dumb. Back to the pondering and so forth. Then I picked up a piece of the lining material and folded it and stuck it up in that fold.

a bit of scrap material

Not much to look at like this, but I could see possibilities here. Had to try it! I stuck it up into that little fold, and A.MAZ.ING!! the difference it made in the looks!

new and improved version

So, here is the original version of this second purse, and the *new and improved* version. Tell me, can you see any difference?? And would you want a purse like this? There’s enough outer material for one more small one – but no more jammies. Reckon I need to grow out of these new jammies now. Or maybe not. I’ll just buy some liner material!