Tuesday, April 10, 2018


I am not a talented person but I do work hard.  I get lots of enjoyment out of my activities, but I have never been in the spotlight.  I am competent...and move toward very good in some instances.

I can sew beautiful clothing and have made a few tailored pieces.  Generally, though I am happy to know that my closet is filled with stuff I made.  It is workable in my lifestyle, somewhat stylish and I made it myself.

I can cook food which people enjoy eating, and sometimes they even ask for the recipes.  It makes me happy to serve my friends and family with food I prepare.  I wouldn't win awards though.

I make some art-all of which I enjoy and some others might like.  Most of it probably puzzles other people, especially the odd collages or the books filled with ephemera.

I can ride most any horse and have trained a few to be good all around citizens.  I rescued a scarecrow of a horse and nurtured him to a point of health and pride.  He and I rose to "good enough" in endurance riding but excelled at our relationship and we were happy together.

I have been married for 43 years on May 23 and I know we make each other happy as well as allow each other to grow as individuals and as a couple.  We are lucky to have found that key for ourselves.

My life is personally successful, but I have never won an award for excellence in any competition I have entered.  Some also-rans, a few thirds, one or two reds but really never the blue ribbon.  Now don't start feeling bad for me because I sure don't.  I am proud of myself.  I know where I came from in the 1950s.  I remember what happened in my home and in my family and how a dream was crushed by circumstances and choices.  I know who I was as a little girl and how I looked at that debris and said to myself "This is not my life".

Catalina State Park 2018 Nick is learning to handle vertical ascents.
Every small act of choice, self-determination, and perseverance make up my life.  That life is happy.

We made it!  

Enjoying the ridgeline ride.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Some synonyms are a change of direction, 180, backtracking.  It's a term which will be used by historians to describe the current administration and its DOJ.  Not only does the current President flip-flop when speaking to the press or his Cabinet, but DOJ policies have shifted a number of positions in court cases.  These cases include labor law, voting rights, immigration, consumer protection, healthcare and prisoner rights.  I hope we are all paying attention to these shifts in policy and law, even while Russia and Stormy swirl around the news cycle.  
Christine Jonson's Travel Trio Two 331


In honor of this bafoon currently in the White House, I am making a reversible hoodie.  This one--->

The pattern calls for a knit, and I did pick up some lovely pieces at Marcy Tilton's site (on sale!).  I will use the fabrics below for version #1, and then I plan to try a lace and linen version.  

After a slew of failures in my shirtmaking recently, I am looking forward to this project as a way to build some success before going back to collars and cuffs, plackets and buttonholes.  

What is on your sewing table?  Share!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

a bit of reading, riding, and sewing

Besides this novel taking up space on my e-reader, I have whittled my spring reading list to the following, in no particular order:
1. Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriquez (begun and discarded halfway through)
2. Diamond Head by Cecily Wong
3. The Art Forger by BA Shapiro
4. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
5. The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie
6. Nutshell by Ian McEwan
7. Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
8. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
9. Sunburn by Laura Lippman
10. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
I am also reading Dressage Naturally...Results in Harmony by Karen Rohlf, as well as studying her video series and practicing some exercises she discusses. Riding well is a balancing act between allowing the horse to express him/herself and directing that energy in a way that results in better movement and a more harmonious ride. Those of my readers who ride will nod and many of my readers will think back to awful experiences when a borrowed horse ran away with you, or bucked etc. Speaking of, I am riding almost at 90% of my former abilities. I am still having pain and the right hip angle is not as open as the other, but I am okay to ride as long as no one is judging my form! It is a pleasure to be back in the saddle.
slick Nick-this is NOT what he looks like now as it is shedding season. Soon he will be glorious again.

Sewing continues as summer temperatures loom in the future. I am making a few shirts (B 6026) and have plans for some shorts (M 7726). I will check back in with a sewing post soon.  For some odd reason, I have had trouble with the shirts in both fit and collar attachment.  My techniques have been...um...creative.

Monday, February 5, 2018

One stitch at a time=wardrobe

It's a good philosophy.  One step at a time, one job at a time, one stitch at a time.  All those single steps or jobs or stitches all work together to make something...wonderful if we are lucky.  It is when we look at how far we have to go that we begin to second guess ourselves.  "Oh, I can't make a fly front...or a welt pocket...or an outerwear jacket...or reupholster a chair."

These all come from one stitch at a time. 

I also love to train my horse, and he came to me with solid training on the ground.  Even with that, I added my own stamp one step at a time.  It has been and will continue to be, a long-term project made up of many steps.  Yesterday, though, I was riding with a group of friends and one friend said "Whoa Nick, look at YOU" as he stopped, backed up and then cantered from a halt. 

One step at a time. 

A few weeks ago I decided to make a  capsule wardrobe using olive, brown and rust.  I started with some olive rayon and made some pants and then a loose fitting shell.  It looked a bit like algae all together!!           SW MixIt tank and V9067

So I found some bold brown striped fabric in stash and made a tank top.  Nice contrast, yes?                                               

                                                                             SW MixIt tank modified
 I remembered a top long neglected and pulled it out of the closet.  I made this one 2 years ago.  It works too. 

Cutting Line Hearts aFlutter tank

I was getting tired of tops and thought to make a long cardigan which current fashion is calling a duster.  I have some nice rust knit but decided to use a novelty knit to "muslin" the pattern.  A few days later I had this sparkly number waiting for topstitching and hems- Pamela's Patterns tank and cardi combo
OMG, this is going to work with some of these pieces also.

The capsule needed more pants or a skirt so I grabbed some olive print knit from stash and gave it a squeeze.  It felt really spongy-more like activewear- so I decided to make leggings or slim pants.  But I wanted a new tee shirt to counteract the sparkly number above so I used my self-draft pattern and whipped up a new tee.   Pants are next, I promise. 

Finally, I used this wonderful jersey for a 3/4 tee.  Deer & Doe Plantain tee

When I am done, I'll have 10 +  items, with the ability to make lots of combinations.  Rust cardi, olive slim pants, olive leggings, one more long tunic and I will move onto summer colors of white and blue. 

And maybe I can get Nick to use the correct lead each time!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Butterick freebies

I am clearing some room in my sewing studio and would like these patterns to go to good homes.  I had every intention of making them, but (fill in the blank).  If you would like one or more, please comment below and include a contact link or info.  These are free and offered with no obligation on your part.  One week only, then they are gone.  🐾

B 6491; 6-14 uncut CLAIMED
                                                   B6425; 6-14 uncutCLAIMED                                                                            
B 6048 OOP; 6-14 uncut

B 6261; 6-14 uncut   CLAIMED                                                     
      B 6247; 6-14 uncut CLAIMED