Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Honey Bear" Sewing Progress

The hand embroidery is complete on this project! I so enjoyed every stitch I made! (Except maybe for all the tiny French knots needed for the honey dripping over the pot. There were so many!) You may click on the photos to enlarge them, if you wish. To the left in the above photo you see the sleeve cuffs. In the center is the embroidery for the bodice of the dress. To the right is the floral spray for the bonnet brim. Do you like it so far?

Sadly, I need to put this project aside for a little while to work on two of the others that I need to finish first. I do love hand work in the evening, though, and may have to begin one of the embroidered sections of another project just to have on hand when I am really too tired for the sewing room.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Simple Abundance

My Heart Sister Jana gave this book to me as a gift a few months ago. What a treasure it is! This is a day book of inspiration unlike any I have read before. Each day has given me something to think about and is helping to see things in a different light. Sarah Ban Brethnach has amazing insight!
The message for January 11 really resonated with me. I want to share parts of it with you. I hope it touches something in you.
"It's time we put thoughts of lack behind us. It's time for us to discover the secrets of the stars, to sail to an uncharted land, to open up a new heaven where our spirits can soar. But first we'll have to make changes. And lasting change does not happen overnight. Lasting change happens in infinitesimal increments: a day, an hour, a minute, a heartbeat at a time. And the change I'm encouraging you to make with me is fundamental. Take a deep breath. We're going to learn to become optimists.
"Now be reassured. Optimism, like the happiness habit, can be learned. Start today with a little experiment. Smile at everyone you meet. Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive.....A simply abundant world awaits." (The emphasis is mine.) Isn't Sarah wonderful? I more than highly recommend this book. It can be life changing!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hannah Rose Models the Nightgown!

Hannah Rose's mother emailed me these photos of Hannah on Christmas Eve. Doesn't she look lovely in her special nightgown? She plays the piano beautifully, by the way. She loves it and it shows in the way she plays. She has only been taking lessons for about a year but she has progressed through several years of material already.

Love those slippers! Doesn't her face capture the excitement of waiting for Santa ?

Christmas morning brings a happy Hannah with her new Molly doll dressed in the matching nightgown.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January and February Sewing Plans

I have a very hard time doing just one thing at a time! I bet most of you are much more orderly than I am. My mind starts going in so many directions that I feel like I have to begin at once before I forget what I was thinking about doing!

These are the five projects I want to complete before the end of February. By blogging about these plans, I hope to make myself complete them on time! This first one was actually designed in November and will probably go into my Grandmother's Hope Chest. (Do you have one of those, too?) The floral is a lovely piece I bought on sale a couple of years ago. It has a lovely 'hand' and washed and ironed beautifully. The little bodice will be hand embroidered on butter yellow cotton with designs from an AS&E magazine. The dress is not cut out but the bonnet piece has been pleated for smocking and the embroidery for the dress is 75% complete.

Project #2 is for a size two sundress/hat/and panties. The tiny bodice will be hand embroidered and the skirt smocked. This set has been cut out.
Project #3 will be a sundress and panties. The dress will be made using a vintage pillowcase. Isn't the crochet work lovely? This tiny bodice will also be embroidered. Nothing has been done on this project except for picking out flosses for the embroidery that coordinate with the vintage hand work on the pillowcase.
Project #4 is a commissioned piece for a 6 year old's recital dress. The fabric has been washed but I still need to order some black polished cotton for this one. Maybe tomorrow?

Project #5: "Butterflies for Emma". This is a two piece outfit for a little cutie's second birthday. Emma's grandmother babysat for my furbabies in exchange for this set. I love this arrangement! I get to make special things for a beautiful little girl in exchange for having my dogs taken care of by the most loving and caring woman. The fabric is washed and ironed and the pattern has been traced (but not cut out).
Okay, now I have to show you some progress by the end of the week, right? I better get busy! Have a great day!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Smocked Nighties for Hannah Rose and Her Doll

Doll's nightgown modeled by my daughter's doll.
I was very pleased with the way these matching nighties came out! The blue was lovely (more like this first picture) and the white lace, smocking, and hand embroidery contrasted nicely. Most importantly, Hannah loved the nightgowns and kept talking about how nice the fabric felt (Imperial batiste) against her skin. She was given the nightgown on Christmas Eve and awoke to discover her new AG doll, Molly, dressed in the matching gown.

The doll's dress was made using a pattern from Martha Pullen's book Martha's Attic.

This was the last set I made in 2009 and one of the sets I most enjoyed making! Thank you, Pam, for allowing me to be a part of your vision for Hannah this Christmas.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year Hopes and Dreams

"This year I allow myself the gift of reflection."

Daily Word January 1, 2010

I hope you all had a blessed and happy holiday (Chanukah/Christmas/ Kwanza) with your families. Ours was delightful with visits with family and friends, wonderful church services, good food, and laughter. Several highlights stand out: Victoria-Rose singing duets at the Christmas Eve service and a solo for the Kwanza celebration at our church on the 27th, my Heart Sister Jana's four day (too short) visit, both Logan and Victoria-Rose playing the piano so beautifully for guests, playing Apples to Apples with the family, and watching my Tim's favorite movie with him (It's a Wonderful Life). What blessings!

Like so many, I am glad to see 2009 depart and I am looking forward to all the wonderful times we will share in 2010. I will be reading Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In today's reading Sarah says, "This year, instead of resolutions, write down your most private aspirations. Those longings you have kept tucked away until the time seems right. Trust that now is the time." I actually did that this morning for the very first time in my life. I wrote down more than a dozen hopes/dreams/ aspirations that I will try to make happen in 2010. This will be an amazing year!

I must quote Sarah's last paragraph for today because I could never say this any better than she has: "Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source--a Sower of Dreams--just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true."
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