Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the scribblings of moi

I have always loved keeping a journal.  I have a drawer full of them.  There are even some scribblings on scraps of paper that I managed to scrawl out when I was only eight years old. 

Over the years, it's become a habit - one that I don't think I could break even if I tried. 

It's an exercise that I find relaxing.  There's something about putting down my thoughts or even mundane daily things on paper that soothes me.

Some people prefer keeping their journals one a computer.  I've tried and I just can't do it.  Typing things out for this blog is a stretch for me.  I love ink on paper.  I always have.  I used to play with quills just because I loved the scratching sound and the dark blots the ink made.   My thoughts just seem to flow easier through a pen rather than pecking them out on a keyboard.  I even tried it on an old Royal typewriter.  Even vintage doesn't captivate me in this area.

When it comes to the books I write in and the pens I use, I am very fussy.  I like nice, leather bound books and roller ball pens.  Ever since I was little I have wanted a real fountain pen.  One of these days I'm going to splurge and buy myself one.

Needless to say, this is one habit that I would heartily recommend.  As the years go by, it's fun to take out the old journals and look at them from time to time.  If you took the time to write things out, journals can remind you of things and people that you thought were long forgotten. 

Of course, sometimes the memories are not so pleasant, but it is always a good thing to be reminded of mistakes made and lessons learned.  In my case, I have been keeping journals for so long, I can go back and literally watch myself grow up.  At least, grow up to the point that I have reached so far!  Sometimes I have to shake my head and laugh at myself.  I've even had the urge to gather up all of the books dating from the "teenage years" and burn them so that future generations will never know how silly I was!  But, I must be fair.  My grandchildren have the right to know that twentieth century children had the same problems as twenty-first century children. 

One of my favorite things is looking at how my handwriting has changed over the years.  Honestly, my progression in this area is not much to boast about.  My left-handed scribbles are what normal, right-handed people call illegible.  It slants to the left and all of the letters are formed backwards.  What can I say?  I was taught by a left-handed woman.  Unfortunately, she also writes better than I do...

And so, I come to the end of probably the most random post I will ever write.  It really has no point, except to say that I absolutely love to keep a journal and that if you haven't already, you should try keeping one yourself.  I promise, you will enjoy looking back on them one day.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

what happens when I can't sleep

What do you do when you can't sleep?  Read a book, watch TV, pace back and forth trying to remind yourself how exhausted you are? 

I've done all of the above, and more.  However, lately I've just stuck to tossing and turning, because getting up and doing something never seems to make going to sleep any easier.

This is what happened to me last night.  It had been a hard day, and aside from the 20 minute nap I managed to squeeze in yesterday afternoon, there was absolutely no reason why I shouldn't go to sleep. 

Of course, no reason except for one teeny tiny little thing.

My brain wouldn't shut-up.

I kept telling myself how tired I was, but my brain has a mind of it's own.  One brilliant idea after another started popping into my head.  This started a heated argument between my common sense and my brain.

"You know, you really need to get up and write this stuff down so you won't forget it."

"No, I need to go to sleep!"

"But these are really great ideas.  It would be a shame not to remember them in the morning."

"I have an impeccable memory, thank you very much!  Well, sometimes..."

This went on for about 2 hours.

Then, something dreadful happened - something that was absolutely detrimental to my earnest desire for sleep.  My brain began to taunt me.

"Well, you probably couldn't do that anyway.  You know, you've never tried it and it would be a shame start something like that only to throw it away."

That was it. I ripped the covers off, donned my robe and slippers and went into the cold sewing room.  I turned on the lights and once I could actually see, I pulled out a blank canvas and started sketching furiously.  Ten minutes later I was setting up my easel, selecting brushes and making a mess with paints.

Then, I turned on Ol' Blue Eyes and set to work.  (It always helps to have good music!)

It was late, and I decided that I was going to paint as fast and a furiously as I could until I was finished and then I was going to bed. 

I was in the mood for happy colors, so I toned down some crimson and bright yellow and slapped it on.

I ended up finger painting most of it.  Who says finger painting is just for kindergartners?

I just love happy colors!

So, 2 1/2 hours after I started, this is what I had come up with.  There's a bit of a glare in the picture.  The skin tone is actually a little bit darker than what you see here.

And guess what?  I actually like it!  I didn't think I would.  I've never done a painting off the top of my head before, I've always copied photos.  Also, I've never done a person before.  I've drawn them (it's not fun...) but adding color is not as easy as it sounds.

So, after proving to myself that I could indeed render my idea onto a canvas and like it, I went to bed.  Of course, it took me another hour to go to sleep, but at least I went to sleep, right?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

doggie photo shoot

Have you ever tried to take pictures of your pets?  It can be quite interesting, especially if your pet's aren't very cooperative or photogenic (yes, pets can be photogenic!).  Out of three dogs and a cat only two take good pictures.  The other two simply lack any personality whatsoever.

Our little Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle), Elly,  is one of the more photo friendly dogs.  In fact, I don't think we've ever taken a "bad" picture of her.  She's just so adorable!

Unfortunately, I can't take any of the credit for the following photos.  Sarah took these a few days ago when it was warm and she let Elly outside to run around.

WARNING: These photos you are about to see contain images of an intensely adorable, cuddly, cute, and sweet bundle of fur.


Those ears!  :D

I'm a-comin'!!!!!


Here's a few random ones thrown in just for fun!

 Pleeeeease scratch my tummy!!!!!

You'd better have a very, VERY good reason for disturbing me...
Notice: she's curled up on a heating pad.  This dog thinks she's royalty!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Apron Fashion Week {7} + a birthday!

It's the last day of apron fashion week.  I've enjoyed it, but I'm glad it's over.  Trying to remember and take the time to post every day hasn't been easy! 

So, here we go.  The final apron!

This is another one of my vintage-ish aprons that I have no idea where it came from.  It's always been one of my favorites though.  It's a favorite for two reasons:
  (1) it's purple.
  (2) it has ric-rac!  I LOVE ric-rac!!!!!!

Sorry I don't have a more imaginative picture, but it's late and it's the best I could do.

I love it!

Well, there you have it folks: my apron collection.  Hope you've all enjoyed seeing them!


And of course, I can't close this post without mentioning that we have another birthday in the family today!

My niece, Alexis Paige (a.k.a. Miss Personality) turned 7 today!

Happy Birthday, Lexi!!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Apron Fashion Week {5 & 6}

Yes, I got behind.  I had good reason!  Yesterday, after the normal daily routine, approximately seven hours were spent going to doctor's appointments and grocery shopping.  By the time we got home I was in no condition for anything but bed.  Unfortunately, I had to clean and reorganize the refrigerator first...

Anyway, today I have two aprons to show you.

The first was an idea I got from Pinterest.  If you don't know what Pinterest is, I suggest that you keep it that way unless you are prepared to become addicted.  I spend so much time on there that you'd think that I have nothing better to do (which is the furthest thing from the truth!).  As far as I know, there is no cure...

Back to the apron.  I saw this and I couldn't believe that I didn't think of it myself!

It's a man's shirt!  Isn't it cool?  Daddy didn't have any old shirts that he was willing to part with, so I ran in Goodwill and I immediately clapped eyes on this shirt.  I loved it.  I think that was the quickest purchase I've ever made!

It was really easy to make.  You just cut the back out of the shirt and then cut the front on an angle up to the collar.  Then you just hem everything and add ties.  I made them out of the sleeves.

I made this with gardening/outdoor work in mind.  Mama suggested that I put two big pockets on the bottom.  Once I have some time, I might just do that.

Apron number 2.

This one found it's way into a box of sewing goodies that Grammy gave me a year or so ago.  Not really sure who made it, but it's mine now!

Granted, it's not the most flattering thing in the world, but my goodness it's comfortable!  I wear this one more than any of my others.  Sometimes, I put it on in the morning and never take it off 'till I go to bed!  Since it isn't cinched in at the waist, it's easy to forget that I have it on.

Ok, I'm caught up now!  Only one more day left.  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Apron Fashion Week {4}

Today I am posting an apron that I made just last week.  Believe me, I have been getting a lot of use out of it!

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce....

...my sewing apron!

Isn't it adorable?  I found the fabric at Hobby Lobby and I immediately snatched it up.  This project has been on my mind for years, but I just never took the time to make it.  After I found this fabric, I decided that it was finally time.

As I have mentioned on several occasions, I suffer from chronic absent-mindedness and memory difficulties.  My mother says I don't pay attention, while I prefer to blame it on heredity.  Anyway, I have a terrible habit of putting something down and then two seconds later panicking because I forgot where I put it.  I also walk into rooms and forget why (I am too young for this!!!!). 

This is disastrous in the sewing room.  I spend half my time just looking for things and telling myself that I am not crazy!  Pincushions, needles, measuring tapes, seam rippers, they all have a way of disappearing under my nose.

So, when planning my sewing apron, there were three things that I knew I had to have:
        (1) a pincushion that was attached so that it would be impossible to lose it. 
        (2) a ribbon that would be tied to my scissors. 
        (3) pockets for all of the little odds and ends I need on hand.

I thought about actually sewing the ribbon around the scissors, but I decided that it would be nice to be able to switch them out occasionally without damaging the ribbon.

Pockets for my rulers, pencils, everything else.

I think I have worn this apron every day since I finished it last week.  Things have been piling up on my sewing table and I've been working every day so that I can be caught up by this weekend. 

I absolutely love this apron!  It's so cute and I feel so spoiled having everything right at my fingertips all of the time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Apron Fashion Week {3}

Technically, this apron isn't mine.  It's Mama's.  However, I made it and so that gives me the right to post it!

I believe that I made this about 4 or 5 years ago for Mama's birthday/Mother's Day.  I can never remember which since they both seem to fall on the same day more often than not.

The apron is made out of a large piece of leftover linen that had been calling out to be used.  The hearts are made from remnants leftover from our linen napkins. 

I opted to not use a pattern (a habit that I have acquired over the years.  There are some situations where I would not recommend it...).  The whole thing was created around the idea of embroidering Mama on the bib.

Have you ever tried satin stitching by hand?  Unless you have the patience of Job and no deadlines, don't try it.  I tackled this the day before I needed to be finished.  In my ignorance, I was sure that it wouldn't take very long.  After all, there were only four letters, right?

If I remember correctly, it took me approximately 4 1/2 to 5 hours.  I was pleased with the result, but after that ordeal I haven't had the nerve to try it again.

It was worth it, though.  Mama loves it and that's what counts!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Apron Fashion Week {2}

Have you noticed that retro has become popular?  Bow ties, big black glasses, three piece suits...  I guess it's true that fashion comes in cycles.

Today's apron certainly has a retro flair.

In fact, it could really be that old.  I've had it for years, but I have no clue where it came from.  No one in the family made it, so that leaves me to conclude that it was given to me by a mystery person.

Most of my aprons seem to be half-length despite the fact that I am a chronically messy person.  Put me in a kitchen and I will come out covered in something.  If I were practical, I would make an apron that came up to my collar bone, down to my ankles, and had long sleeves attached.  But, who wants to be practical?

I love that happy colors on this apron.  Happy aprons make me happy and then the whole day just seems brighter. 

The huge pocket is my favorite thing about this apron.  It's ginormous!  And the fact that it's cocked to one side to look like a diamond gives it a nice playful look.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Apron Fashion Week {1}

It's no secret.  I absolutely love aprons.  If I am at home, I am usually wearing one.

Of course, it has to be a certain kind of apron.  I don't like the ones we wear when working out at the fairs.  They're just so thick and...well...man-ish.  I've been trying to come up with a pattern that is a bit more suitable for us ladies and that is also acceptable to the boss.  ;)  I have three months before we start kicking things back into gear, so I'm in no hurry.

Anyway, back to my love of aprons.  Did I mention that I love them?  There's just something about tying on a nice apron that makes you stand a little straighter and feel good even when going about the most mundane chores imaginable.  Personally, I feel at home and comfortable in an apron.

Cheri, a fellow blogger, suggested that we pay tribute to this love of aprons by participating in an Apron Fashion Week.  I wholeheartedly agreed.  You are more than welcome to participate as well!  It's really simple.  Everyday this week I will be posting pictures of one of my aprons.  I may even post pictures of dream aprons that have yet to be made!   Hopefully ya'll will enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoy wearing them!


I thought that the perfect apron to begin this week with would be my first real apron.  By real, I mean that it wasn't made out of an old pillow case and confined to the dress-up drawer. 

When I was about eight years old, I became infatuated with Mary Poppins.  What little girl isn't?  I mean, she could sing, she could fly, she could slide down banisters without wiping out (something I found extremely unfair), she could clean a room by snapping her fingers (also unfair), and she could ride carousel horses without the carousel.  Who wouldn't want to be Mary Poppins?

So, I decided to become as much like Ms. Practically Perfect as I could.  After watching the movie ten zillion times, I found that she had something that I needed.  The apron.

After putting on the apron and she seemed to become a new person.  A bit more tangible and human.  That coupled with the fact that it had huge ruffled shoulder straps that I absolutely adored made me decide that I needed one.  I talked about it constantly, always making sure to point out that mine absolutely must have the big ruffles or there would simply be no point in wearing it.

A few weeks later, Grammy surprised me by making me my own apron, complete with ruffles on the shoulder straps.  I was in little girl heaven!  I remember wearing it everywhere: to the store, out to feed the chickens, gathering up the eggs in the skirt, helping Mama in the kitchen.  One day, while helping in the kitchen, I managed to drop a huge spoonful of chili into one of the pockets.  I was devastated.  I didn't realize that my beloved apron was washable.   I guess I never had it off long enough to find out! My parents were forced to draw the line when I begged to wear it to church.  They just didn't understand my eight-year-old sense of fashion.


I haven't been able to wear it for years, but I managed to squeeze Genevieve into it for a picture.  My nieces still get some use out of it though.  They love to play in it.

I went through all of our old photo albums and this was the only picture that I managed to find of me actually wearing it.

Weren't we cute?  This was taken around Christmas of '99, I think.  Oh, the carefree days!  Isn't Sarah adorable? ;)

So, there you have it.  My very first apron.  

Do you remember your first apron?

What did it look like?