Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Adventure

I left my job of 25 years. I have no job waiting, I do not really have a safety net set up, but it was the right thing to do. I had been unhappy for a couple of years. I kept going to work because I loved the people I worked with and well to be honest the health benefits were GREAT. Now my husband & I are looking at health care, we signed up for Cover Oregon and hoping that we can keep the doctors that we have been using for the past 5 years.

Now I get to go to events on the weekend, wake up and play with the kitty's and my favorite of all….sew whenever I want to sew. I can stay up till 2am making a shirt for my husband or a dress for myself. It's all a little frighting but also new and exciting. 

Hat Museum in Portland Oregon
We went to the Hat Museum located in Ladd's Addition in Portland Oregon. It's worth it if you are at all interested in hats. There are over 1000 hats and one of the coolest hats is made from a very large mushroom. You have to make an appointment to go to the museum and only 6 people at a time, but it's worth the time as the tour is amazing. 

My latest Pendleton Rug, I'm on a mission to make 20 of these and try to sell them on Etsy. I love staying up late nights watching movies and crocheting these rugs. It takes me about 2 hours to complete a rug. 

As promised here are some better photos of me in the fashion show, they were taken by a good friend who attend the Quilt!Knit!Stitch! convention…Thank you Tina!!
All the lovely ladies that made dresses and were in the fashion show
Me wearing my saltwater sandals and my very comfortable Party Dress. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pendleton Wool Pizza Rug

I washed the wool rug and it felted up nicely. I'm working on my second rug but have to keep the cats away as they love the wool, the rug and the moving ball of scrap. 

The scrap looks like this when you buy it, kind of scruffy and like it will fall apart. 

When it's washed with Murphy's Oil Soap it felts up nicely. This is after just one washing. I understand that after 2 or 3 washings it will felt even more. 

A close up o the rug, you can see the stringy fibers have felted together.

 I added the blue & white scrap as the last ring hoping to add some color and interest…it's my first one so I think of this as a test run. 
It's kitty tested and kitty approved!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I attended the QKS event at the Oregon Convention Center on Friday August 15th. I was in a fashion show with about 7 other ladies that had made dress from Mary Adams book "The Party Dress". My husband attended the event and attempted to take some photos. I love my husband but he is not a photographer. 

There were a couple of Mary Adams dresses on display at the event.

A very blurry photo that my husband took as I was twirling in my Party Dress

All the ladies that made a Party Dress at one of the workshops that Mary taught in Portland a couple of years ago (Mary is in the center wearing all black). She is offering the class again at Mill End Fabric Store August 23 & 24, 2014. 

I arrived early because there was a class Pendleton Woolen Mills sponsored demonstrating how to crochet a wool rug from scrap that the mill use to toss in the landfill. Her rug was above was beautiful. Mine below looks a little like pizza. 

 I have always loved braided rugs and recently tried to crochet a rug from fabric scrap. The results were not what I wanted but I would not give up. In the class the woman talked about how to make all your stitches very loose. As someone that has crocheted in the past that was very confusing. Today I went to the Mill and bought some of the scrap for $2.10 a pound. The scrap looks a little strange, it's very loose and frays easily. I bought a lot of gray, blue and black scrap. My understanding is once you wash the rug it felts up nicely. I will be cool to say it's a Pendleton Wool rug that if you put it in front of a fire it will not burn, it's a natural flea repellant and it's totally washable!!!

 I see several of these small rugs in my future, the one I made took me about an hour to complete. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I love to can, mostly I like to make jam. Sometimes I have too many tomatoes and I make tomato sauce.  I have found that my husband does not always use the tomato sauce so this year I caned whole tomatoes. I have a lot of tomatoes. Today I preserved 7 pints of whole tomatoes and garlic. I still have a lot of tomatoes to preserve. 

Later in the evening I used my Ball FreshTECH Automatic Jam and Jelly maker to make a quick batch of jam. Blueberry and Strawberry jam in 30 minutes…It's wonderful, some of the strawberries are from our garden. I'm still getting strawberries this late in the year. 

I also pickled some Onions from my garden and some beans that a neighbor gave us. The beans are called Dilly Beans. 

There is something rewarding about preserving things that you grow yourself. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

All Girl BBQ

For the last 10 years I have hosted an All Girl BBQ in early August. It's similar to a Naked Lady Party but with hair dye, nail polish and make-up. A friend of mine use to have these every year and when she left Portland, I found myself longing for a day of trading clothes, eating great food and trying many different colors of nail polish. Sometimes after her parties I would go home looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. 
A few of the same outfits would come back year after year, someone taking it home only to bring it back the next year…as with this gem. I love this 3 piece pant suit it looks like something that Maude would wear. 

One of the things I love about the BBQ is the little girls in my neighborhood love to come to these events. They dye their hair and try on all kind of make-up as well as playing dress up. Last year one of the neighbor girls Sophie was devastated that the party was the same weekend as horse camp. I explained that I would save her some cute clothes and when she got back I would dye her hair. This year Sophie did her own hair..as well as offering to do hair wraps for everyone at the BBQ. 

Anyway, no matter what you call it, All Girl BBQ, Naked Lady Party or clothes swap, it's always fun to spend a day with creative like minded ladies. I also get a wonderful new (to me) wardrobe. Some of the pieces of clothing end up in my studio waiting to be re-purposed, but a lot of things are donated to a local thrift shop. If you ever get a chance to go to an event like this…go it's good for your soul. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Party Dress By Mary Adams

A couple years ago I took a class from dressmaker Mary Adams. I fell in love with Mary's work when I saw her book The Party Dress.  Mary makes the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen. The detail work is amazing. She makes a dress called the Bias Dress in which the skirt has been covered in bias cut fabric.  The actual dress is fairly simple a fitted bodice and a full skirt. The details are what make her dresses so wonderful and very desirable.
I love this dress though I do not wear it enough. 

This is one of the bias dresses made by a very talented lady in one of the classes. I forget to get her name but she made this dress for her daughter. 

This is one happy lady in the dress she made in our class. She looks like sunshine. 

The reason I'm telling this story is because today I received an e-mail for Mary Adams. She is going to be in Portland again for a convention called QUILT!KNIT!STITCH!. She was looking for ladies that took the class and completed a dress to be in a fashion show wearing the dress. Of course I was very excited to get the chance to show off my dress, but also to be asked by someone I really admire to be in HER fashion show. What an honor. So if you are at the QUILT!KNIT!STITCH! convention on Friday August 1, check out the Street Style Fashion Show from 1-1:45pm. I will be the one wearing a pink party dress

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cherry Pies and My Next Project

I was recently up in northern Washington. When I saw cherries for $1.50 a pound I was very excited. My friend said we should try to  get cherries for less than $1 a pound. I was trying to explain that in Portland the cherries were $3.99 a pound and that was ON SALE. I ended up buying about 5 lbs of cherries before I left to come home. When I got home it was too hot to turn on the oven so NO cherry pie for me. Finally this evening I pulled out the puff pastry and made some little hand pies.

I work at a bookstore and every year at work they give us a t-shirt with some image or logo. I have enough t-shirts so this year I ordered a 6X. I figured that I can at least use the material for something else. I think with this one I'm going to make an Alabama Chanin Bloomer Skirt.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Why I like to create

My great grandmother instilled something in me that made me feel good when I made something for myself. When I was about 11 or 12 my mother asked me if I wanted to take sewing lessons or babysit my brothers for the summer. I chose the sewing lessons. I made a skirt that was cut on the bias, I had no idea what a bias was at the time. It was a blue skirt with a Mickey Mouse patch on the bottom. I have no idea what happened to that skirt. I know I wore it for quite a while as I was very proud of what I had made. I continued to sew some garments through high school, including a pink Gunne Sax dress for my prom. I remember one day in high school a girl talking about going to San Francisco to get her prom dress so that no one else had one like hers. When prom came someone else had her exact same dress, they got it out at the mall in suburbs. Even thought Gunne Sax was popular at the time, no one else had a dress like mine.
This is the first Alabama Chanin Skirt I made, I wear it all the time

 A log cabin quilt that I made a couple of years ago and gave to my father in law. He passed away last year and it came back to us. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Last week on vacation,  I spent the week making jam, dyeing fabric and sewing. What is it about making things for yourself that is so satisfying? I have always felt better wearing clothes I make…even when there are mistakes in the construction. I love having home-made jam on toast in the morning and I love the process of putting fruit and vegetables up for the winter.
It's something that my mothers aunts and my great grandmother instilled in me, the ability to provide for myself, the feeling I get when I have just completed a quilt or put up a batch of jam is one of the most satisfying thing that I can think of.

The 10 batches of Jam I made on vacation with a friend.

The quilt top I made before I left for vacation…this is the next project that I want to complete.