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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Package

The package came yesterday but George brought it over today. He got home late last night from work and was tired. So I told him not to come out. Wait until today. If I had the money I would have taken a taxi and gone over there to get it, but I am not that affluent yet. So I work at being patient. George got out of work early today and picked me up so we could go to the farmer's market first. OK. More patience. It was fun. I love being with him. He makes me laugh and he has a great car, and he is just wonderful to be with.

So, I climbed the stairs with the box. Set it down, made an iced coffee, cleared the work I was doing on my bed, found a razor blade and opened the box.

This was the first bag I opened. My scissors. I have had these for a very long time. I think maybe 24 years. When I left the store, I left a lot behind. Just like when I left the apartment. I just couldn't bring everything with me. I have had many employers in my life. Never have I worked for people who valued me like the wonderful women at Fabric Depot, Portland Oregon. Working with them, Julie, Bobbi, Georgia, has been a profound experience. I am so grateful that I get to continue this relationship some three thousand miles between us. They saw my scissors and sent them in a bag with a covered hanger. That I didn't understand. A hanger.

The first project is the jacket out of a gold brocade. I have to be creative with the closure. The picture does not do the color justice, but perhaps when I am finished with the jacket, it will be better. The jacket isn't lined. If I were at the store, I probably would insist on lining it because the brocade fabric ravels so much. So I will have to be creative with the seams as I don't have a serger here yet.

I am making the dress I think on this. A golden brown satin. Self lined. Obviously I didn't pick the lining. It will be wonderful when I am done. I'm not sure if the dress will be going with the brocade jacket or, if I am supposed to make the jacket here too. I will call on Monday.

I am making the white and blue dress. Something cute and summer, only in Purple (the purple didn't come through in the picture) with a black trim. Very cute. I should look to see if my mannequin is acsessible in my storage space.

This explains itself.

This appears to be silk. Shears beautiful

Then there was a bag with a lot of interfacing which will be fabulous. That way I can choose what I need for each garment. No one will have to guess at what I like to use. Good move

And now, the last package:::

My sewing shoes. Crocs. just a simple pair of flats but very comfortable. I didn't wear them around in the store, just when I was sewing. They are so comfortable. I forgot that I left those behind.

They came wrapped in:

My seamstress coat. I made this right off when I got the job. It's big and covers my clothes, and catches all the little threads and fluff from working. It has huge pockets for carrying everything. I can't tell you how many customers over the years have stopped me, asking about it. I designed it from the movie "The French Lieutenant's Woman". Merryl Streep wore one like this at the end of the movie when she was working as a nanny. I saw the movie years ago but always kept the image of her smock in my memory. I made a pattern for it and copied the pattern so many times for customers. It just fits many body types. I made this one out of black twill. Easy care, perfect wear. And I will continue to wear it here as I work away every day. I will at some point take a better picture with my wearing it so you can see its full value. Then everyone will want one.

This is why they sent the hanger. I always had it hung on that hanger on the wall in my sewing room! They even sent the hanger. Can you believe that thoughtfullness? My heart is full.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Flowers in my home

Today I went to my baby sister's house for lunch. Linda is a wonderful cook. She loves to cook on the grill and so I knew I was in for a treat. This is what I was greeted by when I arrived in the house. It is supposed to be a dog. If I had a dog, this little creature would be "snack food". Her name is Essy. Who makes these little things?

On the other side, this is the television. It's so huge that I had to step way back to take a picture. My god, who makes these things? You can see the image of the mills along the Amoskeag River, once the livelihood for a huge population of the of this city.

Linda's indoor garden is massive. I would never have the room to grow one this big because my sewing takes up too much room. And this is just the half of it. I never did get to photograph what she has going on out doors.

The pictures are out of sequence. I really wanted this picture to be first. When I arrived in the kitchen, this was on the table. It comes from her garden. Can you imagine going outside and picking this for your table? I'd be in heaven every day!

This is Linda, my precious Linda who is about to go through a metamorphosis. Yeah!!! She has been my precious one since I held her when she was born. I was twelve years old and started changing her diapers right from then.

And this is my beautiful sister Suzanne who used to be the youngest for ten years until Linda was born. Suzanne is married to John and lives in Laconia and is a Master Gardener and a writer, an ex-politician, she's going to have me delete that, and so many other important things. She is a sweet patient lovely incredible woman. And she loves shoes.

These are some of the dolls that I have made for Linda over the years. They even have the dust to attest for their age.

Mother. Who raised six incredible children. Now a bit frail but very healthy. A bit of a bad back. Silent a lot. But healthy and content.

Linda has birds.

I wanted so badly to take a picture of this moth. It was on the kitchen door. I took about twelve pictures in all sorts of ways and modes. This is the best I could do. It was beautiful. I have never seen one like it before. Linda says it has been there for a couple of days. In the same spot. I was so taken by it. Typical of me.

The lunch table.

Steak tips. I don't usually eat red meat, but, Linda does have a way with the grill and this steak was so tender, so tasty that I ate a whole piece. Can you believe it? I did.

And these are the vegetables she roasted on the grill. Onions, so sweet, orange peppers, asparagus, sweet red peppers. mushrooms, summer squash. Just barely roasted so that they still maintained their texture and taste. Then she served small baked potatoes with Greek yogurt. She even had an electric pepper grinder! Hah. I've only seen that on cooking shows.

I don't remember being this much taller than my mother. To make her laugh, Linda had her say "chocolate!" So, it runs in the family.

And last, Suzanne and I went out into the garden to pick some flowers that I got to take home. I am not the expert arranger that she is, but they are so beautiful to look at. And there's my pin cushion, and a hand made jar that holds jewelry - yes, I own some!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My temporary home

This is the room where I spend most of my time right now. In the foreground is my big chair that I have always bragged about. And it is big. You'll see just how big in another picture below. The order of these pictures don't come up in the same order as I enter them. It is a long narrow room. Against the right wall I have the chair and my bed. There is a fan in the window and a standing fan that you can see. The temps go up in the day and at night it is cool so I use both fans at night. I am not a summer person. So I bring in as much air at night as possible.

This is the quilt I have always talked about. A log cabin that has 1200 pieces in it. It is based on black and Asian fabrics with white centers instead of red. It is based on a picture of an antique quilt I saw in a magazine only I used Asian prints instead of floral prints. Typical of my nature. Maybe one day I will hang it in such a way that we will be able to see it completely.

This is the big chair in its largesse. Here I knit, I work on my hand pieced quilt, I write, I work on my computer, I even eat here, when I eat. It is pure comfort.

The new computer, well, lap top. I had to call my sister to figure out how to load pictures in it so I could write this blog. I am completely computer stupid. But see all the pens and pencils beyond it? That is my true method of writing.

Kitchen. This is on the other end of the sewing area. As time goes along I will be photographing all the special things I have. You can't see it, but in the very corner is my Russian Tea set. George was sure to bring that. He managed to bring dishes and all the basic things to set up the kitchen. My copper pots and pans, espresso maker, enough interesting things to give me a sense of home.

Cozy huh!

Denise, my sister, thinks I am crazy that I iron dish towels.

George and I used to vacation in the Adirondaks every year. It was a private estate owned by friends of my sister Suzanne and her husband John. The last year I think it was, we hooked up with the carpenter on the estate and asked him if he would make us this table which was common in all the little cottages on the estate. He was happy to do it and we paid him for it. The legs are cut cedar trees and the top is pine. The color of the table is the same color that is found throughout the estate. It blends in with the entire landscape of the estate. It fits perfectly in this kitchen as there is little counter space and it gives me more room to prepare all of my stir fries and whatever I am cooking. There have been hundreds of breads kneaded on this little table. Everyone should have one in their kitchen. I love that the legs still have the bark on them. Bring the outdoors in. It is a great feeling.

Getting comfortable

My sister Suzanne who lives in Laconia gave me my first plant. I really had a difficult time leaving my plants behind. I always grow my plants from little things. I love having them. They are a sign of home to me. I have a a great thumb when it comes to plants. This one is really colorful. It will grow well.

I found this in my storage area. I have been using boxes. I don't know why I took a picture of it other than it was purple against my beautiful rug. Another sign that I am setting up home. It is ready to receive cut threads, fabric snips, all the little things that go to waste when you are sitting at your sewing machine.

Just waiting for a project

The only spool of thread I brought with me.

The only fabric I brought with me. I have a new lap top. I am going to make a pad for the top of it to protect it from dust.

Inviting isn't it?

My Sewing Machine

It was a huge box that arrived with my sewing machine in it. My sister had it packed very well. Still, when I opened it, I was mortified because the machine was on its side. And computers can be delicate. Peanuts. I hate packing peanuts. They get everywhere. I swear I am still trying to sweep them up. It doesn't help that I have a broom and no dust pan.

So this is it. My heart was beating. Hoping that it waas going to be OK.

Packed in my suitcases was the beautiful scissors that Julie Olds gave me. Mundial. I was honored to get them. I love scissors. I can't tell you how many pairs I have. Maybe one day I will inventory my scissors. And as I do that, I will still be buying more. One never has enough scissors and rulers. The scissors cut all the bubble wrap and the very secure tie that bound the machine closed.

Here it is. I didn't have any scrap fabric at this point so I used an old dish towel and tried all the stitches on it. I had only one spool of thread and one bobbin. I loaded the bobbin up and tried it out and it worked perfectly, tension and all. I can breathe.

This is an antique table my husband and I bought when we were living in upstate NY, on one of the Carnegie estates. We bought it in an antique shop in the Tri-State area either in Connecticut or Massachusetts. He'll remember. I have a tendency to forget such things.

The rug was given to me from my first husband's grandmother. It comes from the Sear's estate in Harvard Massachusetts. At the time they gave it to me it was already 120 years old. That was in 1979. So that makes it bout 150 years old. The fringe was quite damaged at that point and while living in Boston, I had the rug cleaned and the fringe replaced. It is really quite lovely. So this is where the sewing machine will sit until I move and then it will sit on an actual sewing table. For now, it will have just a simple arrangement and all will be well.


I had to borrow an ironing board from my husband's daughter, Stacy. It never ceases to amaze me what people consider to be an ironing board. A piece of iron, a 1/4 inch piece of foam, and cloth. I tried to iron a blouse on it and it was awful.

So, even though I knew I would not have it for long, I took it upon myself to take it apart and make it better.

I removed the cover and the foam. I bought a package of batting and put four layers of it over the board and cut the sides to cover just over the sides.

Then I struggled to get the cover on and tighten it to get it just right.

It came out surprisingly great. I can iron anything now. You can see that the edges are nicely rounded and completely padded so that anything I iron will not have the impression of metal.

This was the original pad. Sad.

To anyone serious about ironing, not only a seamstress, without the proper ironing board, you just cannot get the right press. I have been ironing since I was a little girl. I have never known anything but a well padded board. What are your boards like?