Friday, August 30, 2013

JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores - Coming Soon

We have some new businesses coming into the New Braunfels area.  Can you guess how excited I am to have seen this sign yesterday?  At the present time I have to drive to San Antonio for a wider range of fabric choices; so this is AWESOME......  Not that the Quilt Haus and Hobby Lobby don't have nice fabric; but the choices are somewhat limited.  The Quilt Haus has all 100% cotton fabric, and while I do love cotton; its not my first choice to use in sewing projects for now.  Hobby Lobby has a nice selection; but is not open on Sunday (which I respect wholeheartedly); but Saturdays and Sundays are my primary shopping days.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pinterest Newbie

I am a Pinterest newbie..... I am very hesitant to link Pinterest to my facebook or email list.... so if you would like to follow me on Pinterest; below is my URL

Friends, I just want to say that I do not sell anything on any websites at this time.  I have done so in the past but gave all of that up a couple of years ago.  Taking care of my family was more important to me than trying to make a name for myself in indendent sales.  So, if you are concerned about me trying to sell you something; please don't worry.  Occassionally I link to products on Amazon that I find interesting; but there is no pressure to buy anything.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crocodile Style Liz Claiborne Purse

I'm not a big purse/handbag person.  I buy one and use it until it is ready to fall apart.  I don't spend a lot of money on them either.  I just never felt the need to match my purse to my shoes or match every outfit with a coordinating purse.  Regardless, I'm excited about this cool purse I picked up at Goodwill.  It's a Liz Claiborne and is turquoise colored faux (I assume) crocodile.  I only paid $7.99 for it; which is right up my alley.  I saw a couple of similar ones on ebay; 1) exactly like this one with a defect selling for $9.00; and 2) same style different color NWOT for $23 (bid at the time of this writing).  So I think I got a pretty good deal.

Here's a closeup of the outer tag.

Have you gotten any great deals from thrift shopping lately?  I'd love to hear about it.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Complimented Thrifted Look

Yesterday I wore this little thrifted dress with a pair of leggings and flat sandals to work.  I received several compliments on it; so I thought I would share a picture.  I had never worn leggings before; so this was a very different look for me.  The dress was purchased at Goodwill ($8.99) in San Marcos on Friday after a disappointing attempted shopping event at the outlet mall there.  Sticker shock made me think I've been thrift shopping for far too long; but I really don't like spending a lot of money on clothes.  I mean; everyone has to wear clothes, right?  So, why do they have to be so darn expensive.  I'm not a trendy fashionista; but I do want to look somewhat fashionable and not frumpy.

I picked up a few other awesome things on Friday and hope to share those with my readers over the coming days or weeks.  My children are back in school; and my time does not belong to me... hahaha.  Parents of teenagers can surely relate.

Wishing you all a blessed day!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Outlet Mall

Having major sticker shock. I've been thrift shopping far to long.  Lol

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Texas Style Home Series - Part One; The Main Bath

I'm excited to announce a new series of posts I will be writing in celebration of the vision, design, skill, determination, and hard work of one special individual in my life.

Meet TJ.  The man with a vision.

In "Part One" I am sharing pictures of the main bath that is near completion.  Just a few small details remain...

This home has been in progress for quite some time; but the most important factor in this story; is that it is built from the piers up to the beams with everything in between completely from scratch... or from the ground up if you prefer.  And even better... no mortgage payments.

The main bathroom consists of the standard amenities... a toilet, shower, bathtub.  As you will see; the European flair combined with the Texas style is absolutely beautiful.

So in this first picture we show the bathroom with King John proudly displayed.  John was set after floor heating was installed.  I'm still not 100% sure why you need floor heating in Texas; but I'm sure I'll find out one of these days. 

In the next two pictures you will see the beautiful tile work from the shower, to the walls, and finally to the floor. 

In the next picture is the 100% handcrafted vanity.

The doors, sides, and part of the countertop were aged using a technique called "burning".  And there you also see the older style faucet and basin that fits into the design perfectly.  In the upper corner you can see part of the handcrafted medicine cabinet, also with the burned wood treatment.  Isn't it beautiful?

A closer picture of the medicine cabinet.

A little repositioning came after the next picture was taken.  The mirror was placed and the light fixture was moved slightly to the right.

And the final picture of the vanity with mirror.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Texas Summer Time Garden Update - Whew its Hot

Well, I can't help but wonder if I'm wasting water as I continue to try to keep these plants alive during the Texas heat.  We finally dropped below 100; but that was very short lived.  Its still pretty darn HOT!

This is a single canteloupe growing from the "container" it is growing from.  It looks pretty good; but its the only one I see.  I absolutely cannot forget to water this; because one day without water and it looks dead.

My sweet bell peppers are still producing; but the fruit is smaller and turns red much quicker than before it got so hot.

This littly cutie patootie is probably the last tiny tomato that I'm going to wait for from my Persimmon Tomato plants.  They look very tired and I think I just may put them out of their misery.  They are growing in grow bags and dry out incredibly fast.

I really tried to get a better picture of this little "Delicious" tomato.  Its a little bigger than a marble and is the only one from 4 plants. 

Many of my friends in this area are preparing for their Fall gardens.  I'm still undecided whether to abandon what is still growing and starting anew; or stick it out a few more weeks.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sewing Books on Amazon

Book recommendations from Amazon for sewing enthusiasts.

Disclaimer:  I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.  I may be compensated as a result of purchases made from these links.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Refashioned Dress into A Maxi Skirt

Welcome All, I'm excited about my latest refashion project.  Especially since I'm a newbie.  I picked up this dress at Goodwill and posted about that thrift haul last week.  You can read about it here, if you missed it.

Dress - Before

Not a very attractive dress; so I refashioned it into a maxi skirt.

The process was relatively easy even for a beginner.

  • First I put the dress on my newly acquired dressform; and proceeded to cut just below the arm holes.
  • Then I cut a strip of 1/4" elastic about 2" longer than my waist measurement. 
  • I tried on the skirt after pinning the elastic to it to see how it fit.
  • I removed the elastic (careful not to let the fabric slip off the dressform by using pins).
  • Then I adjusted the elastic a little and stitched it together.
  • I put the elastic back around the new waist of the skirt; repinned it and stitched it.

And... voila!

Skirt - After

Friday, August 9, 2013

Initial "My Double Deluxe Dressform - Small" Review

This is an initial review of the "My Double Deluxe Dressform - Small".  I got her all put together last night.  Instructions were relatively easy to follow.  The adjustments are plastic and not difficult to turn.  But after turning multiple times my thumb was a bit sore.  The small barely adjusted fully to my measurements, so I better not gain any weight  lol...........  I can't wait to get started, and hopefully I can put her to work this weekend.  I want to give her a name, so I'm racking my brain trying to come up with something.  I may have to add some padding in the backside, since the Lord blessed me with a little more padding than I'd like to admit. 

Disclaimer:  I have not be paid in any way for my review of this product.  I purchased this item with my own funds and the review is my own opinion. I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate program; so if a purchase is made relative to the links below, I may be compensated accordingly.

To order one of your own from Amazon; you can click on the link below.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mother / Daughter Thrift Haul

Today's post is a selection of garments my daughter and I picked up at one of the Goodwill Stores we shop. 

This picture doesn't do this purple shirt justice.  It is a very rich royal purple with beautifully designed embroidered detail.  GW price $3.99.  I do not plan to refashion this.  Its beautiful just the way it is.  My daughter suggested wearing it over a top and leave the front open; or wear it with a cute belt.  (I'm not big on belts.)

This dress is a ladies large.  The plan for this garment is to refashion it into a maxi skirt.  There is plenty of material and I think it will be relatively easy.  GW price $5.99.

This is a men's XXL sweater.  My daughter loves oversized sweaters, but this one is a bit too much.  Our plan is to refashion this into a smaller version of itself.  Fall is not that far off; and we hope to work on this project next month.  GW price $3.99.

I'm not sure if we will attempt to refashion this sweater or not.  It isn't as large as the one above.  It has interesting leather accents which are shown farther below.  This is another one my daughter picked out.  GW price $3.99 less $2 Special of the Week; end price $1.99.

This is a close up of the leather detail in the sweater above.  Isn't it cool?

Of course everything has to be washed before any wearing or refashioning begins. 

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Restyle or Refashion; What's The Difference?

I may have been using incorrect terminology in some of my previous posts.  I didn't want to mislead anyone; so I have looked up the definitions.

Restyle = to style again or over.... I like # 5 in the link below:  "a mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness"

Refashion = to remake or alter.... the definition below wasn't all that helpful.

So... in order to get it right; my terminology may be changing in future posts.
When I modify, recreate, or alter a garment it will be "refashion".
When I do not modify, recreate, or alter a garment; but update it with accessories and/or what not it will be "restyle".

Sorry for any confusion in my use of either of these terms in previous posts.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pattern Sizing Does NOT Equal Ready-to-Wear Sizing

If you read my post about the failed project I recently attempted, then you know I was working with a size 12 pattern and it was too small.  I blamed it on the fact that the fabric was not stretchy although according to my ready-to-wear size I am a size 8. 

Today I took on the challenge of measuring and consulting the back of the pattern below; which incidentally I purchased for $1.00 on sale at Hancock Fabrics yesterday. Ok... it/they were 5 for $5.00.  My teenage daughter picked out some patterns as well.

I have two different fabrics that I want to use to make a vest. The front will be the print below and the back will be a solid dark burgundy. At least that's the plan.


This fabric is from a thrifted skirt score at one of the Goodwill Stores I visited last month.  I cut off the band and the hem.  It isn't quite enough fabric for one piece; so that's why I want to do a contrasted vest.  Will provide an update when the project is completed.

So after I took my measurements on a full stomach (don't want anything too tight after I eat).  I circled them on the back as shown below.  Well.... thinking I'm thinner than I really am this shows me to be somewhere between a size 14 and 18.... remember the waist measurement was on a full stomach; so maybe its really between a 14 and 16.  This almost hurts my feelings, but it is what it is.  The measurements don't lie.  At least not today. 

I'm really glad I took the measurements... you know the old saying... "measure twice; cut once" - I think I should live by this rule if I'm going to sew regularly.

So my advice to anyone reading this post and is considering sewing; be sure not to do what I did and check your measurements before you cut. 

Lastly, I ordered a dressform in a small today.  Lord help me if its too small!

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Restyle a Skirt into a Sleeveless Top - FAIL

I found this fabric at a Goodwill in Live Oak a few days ago....

The "fabric" in this restyle project started out as a ladies size 24 skirt.  I paid $2.99 for it.  Let me tell you, this was a very well made skirt.  Ripping the stitching out took quite a bit of time.  But I finally got it all taken apart.

I picked up a few vintage patterns at the Communities In Schools Resale Store in New Braunfels for $.175 each (yep that's seventeen and a half cents).  I chose the sleeveless top circled for this restyle project. 

I cut out the pattern before I realized this was for stretchy fabric only.  I thought "since its a size 12, maybe it will work anyway".... but after I pinned the pieces together and tried it on without stitching it, I realized "OH NO" its way too tight.  So, then I thought I could modify the design and make a vest out of it.  Cut, snip, pin; and still too tight.  So this attempt was a MAJOR FAIL!  Perhaps after a little more experience with simpler projects I can go back to this and make it work somehow. 
I am posting this so any other individuals who are learning to sew, know they are not alone if it results in failure.
Have you had a sewing failure?  Don't be ashamed, its a learning experience.  And... although very disappointed, I am not ashamed.
God Bless,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Garden Update in Texas

Its been 4 months since I planted my first Spring garden, and I'm a little disappointed in the results.  But, not enough to give up on gardening in the future.  Too much time and money invested in getting it started.  I had a few successes and a few challenges.

First - Cucumbers are producing nicely; 3 - 5 every other day or so.
Second - Sweet Bell Peppers are producing nicely; at least 1 or 2 every other day
Third - Jalapeno had a great start.  Still producing but seem to be winding down.

Sweet Bell Peppers 7/31/2013

I have canteloupe plants growing; but I planted them late - so I'm still not sure how well they will do.

Canteloupe in Raised Bed 7/31/2013

Canteloupe in Container 7/31/2013

First - I have 4 delicious tomato plants that did not produce a single solitary tomato.  I am trying to decide whether to uproot them since we are into triple digit temperatures.
Second - 2 Persimmon tomato plants that produced a about 5 or 6 tiny tomatoes that were supposed to be up to a pound each.
Third - my squash and zucchini were destroyed by the squash vine borer.
One is trying to recover; but it may be too late.