Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 The year of the roller coaster!!

I don't like to be negative or talk about sad things, but honestly, this is one year I am glad to bid adieu! This year has been wrought with grief and change in our family. But there have been some happy things as well, so really I do have things to be thankful for!
As many of you know, this is the year that we lost our oldest grandson Christopher (along with his mother, little sister and their exchange student). Our family is still dealing with this huge loss. We will forever.




Coincidentally, during the week of the funeral for him, three of our four children were moving. Talk about some chaos!!

As the summer went on, we found out that we were going to have another grandchild in the new year!! And we have since learned that it will be a baby girl, who, if her 4D ultrasound proves to be any indication, will look just like her big brother Holt!!! She has been named Colby Jane, Colby after her daddy's middle name and Jane after me!! Finally, after 10 grandchildren, I get one named for me!!! Woohoo!!

Our children have had some great things happen: one got a dream job, one opened her own practice, one took an amazing trip to Thailand, and then one has lived through yet another heart-breaking event.

I have found that with 4 married children and 10 grandchildren, there are always heartbreaks and disapointments, but oh, the joys!!!! They continue to bless us everyday.

The events of the year, mostly dealing with loss, threw me off my game as a clothing designer. I had managed to get only one pattern published:

Then , at the end of August, I had a business opportunity fall into my lap. A design firm wanted me to do their monogramming. So, what did I do? I bought a new embroidery machine, a 6 needle home business machine.


I monogrammed and appliqued all fall, filling tons of orders. Learning this machine was quite a leaning curve but I happily adapted. I have really enjoyed learning the software that came with it! I did manage to sew the back to the front  of tee shirts on a few early samples!!

After Thanksgiving (which was a fiasco in this family, I won't go into) my hubs and I went on a short trip to New York City. A fabulous fun filled 5 days of shopping and shows.


Next thing I knew, it was time for Christmas and I wasn't ready!!! I had not put up as many decorations as usual, didn't have all my gifts bought, much less wrapped, and had not baked and cooked as much. I found myself scurrying to get SOMETHING, anything, done. This WON'T happen next year!!
The tree looked pretty good, though!


We always have all the kids here on the weekend before Christmas, which, this year was December 17. We have gifts and heavy finger foods and a lot of playing. We had a great weekend. Come Monday morning, the hubs and I weren't feeling too well and by noon we had gotten word that one of our grandson's had tested positive for Flu A. From there, sickness of some form had ravaged over half of the family. It was a pretty miserable week before Christmas and what I hadn't gotten done, just didn't get done but we all survived!

So, here's to a great New Year!!! I hope that you all have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012!!!!



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Do you blog?".. . . . . "Why, yes, I do. . .

well, I used to, anyway!! I have been away from it for a while, it seems. Where has the time gone, where has the Fall gone?

Part of my absence is due to Matilda, my new 6-needle embroidery machine that I got earlier in the fall.  A new embroidery machine had not been in my plans nor my desires. But I was approached by 3 interior design and gift shops to do their monogramming, and the machine I had was not up to the job. So, a new machine was in order!

I love to embroider  monograms, and I love the look of a beautifully stitched monogrammed item, such as table, bed and bath linens. I also love monogrammed children's clothing.

When I finally surfaced from the orders I have had, it was time for Christmas! And may I add right here, I am not ready!! I have my gifts bought, but not wrapped, I have up the tree and some decorations, but nothing like what I usually do. I have bought the ham for our dinner this weekend, but not baked the first cookie!!
This is soooooo NOT ME!!!!

Somewhere in there, I did manage to make these dresses for two of the grands and several appliqued tees for 5 of the grands for their casual wear.
We also made a trip to New York City the first weekend in December.


I left home with boxes of decorations scattered all over the house!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?????

But, in retrospect, this is not the usual Christmas. We have had a difficult year. And as my friend Beki said in her blog post "Letting Go",  this year, I'm not Martha!!!! and it's OK. I just don't want to go setting any precedents!!! Next year is another year and I will be back on my game!!!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Pattern Sale!!!!!

All epatterns on my website are HALF PRICED Saturday only November 26th.
Monogrammed and appliqued tees
are also on sale 20% off
check my Facebook page for ideas!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do you know who made your kid's clothes????

I always love to read Kelly's posts and see her daughters dressed so adorably! I especially love her post on "Where do you shop for your kids".
The question I posed in my title may not be of importance to you but, I hope to get you to think about it!!
The very best place in the world to buy kids clothes is right here in the

USA

I have been making custom children's clothing for over 20 years. In the past few years, there has been a huge increase of WAHM's who are designing and sewing beautiful childrens clothing, accessories,costumes, party decorations and favors and room decor.  They do this not only as a creative outlet, but also to be at home with their children while still being able to contribute to the family's income.Many have websites and even more now have Fan Pages on Facebook. You can find most anything you want by surfing through the Facebook pages, on etsy and ebay too!

In today's economic climate, we, in this country,  have lost many garment manufacturers to overseas production. But the children's clothing cottage industry is alive and well right here in the United States!

So, I hope that when you need kid's clothing, you will consider supporting these very talented and creative
home-based businesses.


Support made in the USA !!!!!!

In addition to my own site




I would like to feature some of my friends!!





Friday, September 23, 2011

A peek into my closet!

I think all of us who love clothes and fashion, dream of a great big walk-in closet with lots of storage. (My sister has a fabulous one!!)

We live in a very old house and storage and closets are at a minimum.


So, we have to be very creative with storage space.

When we bought  and remodeled this house, we had to put my closet under the stairway, which  was beside a hallway we had closed up.
For my birthday a few years ago, my husband remodeled my tiny little closet and I could not be happier with it! I still love it in all it's tiny-ness!
I grew up in my mother's dress shop and have always loved clothes and fashion. I still do, but over the years, my wardrobe needs have changed considerably and I have learned what works best for me. Less is more!!
Because this closet was once a hallway, it is 36" wide and the units we bought fit in PERFECTLY!!!!!

The smallness of my closet forces me to keep only what I know I will be wearing for the season. My out of season clothes are stored upstairs in the guest room closet.


                  This premade unit from Lowe's fit exactly in the area that was the former hallway.

The top and bottom cabinets are for shoes. The two middle drawers are for undies and jammies.


Open shelves for boots, and more cabinets where I keep tees and tanks in one and knit pants in the bottom one.


I love this little set of drawers. It keeps lots of accessories neatly folded or stored.


The bench came from my mother's closet and the tiny dressing "table" I found at TJMax.

Hope you enjoyed the little tour!!

YAY Fall . . . .

It rained last night and we awoke to much cooler temps!! It is still cloudy and this type of day gets me in the mood to cook! Not something I am usually in the mood for!!

I have done some preparation for the fall season already. My closet has been changed out from summer tanks, capris and shorts to comfy, snuggly sweaters, boots and jackets.

I have "fall-erized" in the house with pumpkins, mums and my favorite candles, Aromatique's "Cinnamon n Cider". LOOOOOOVE this fragrance!!!!





Think I'll go get out the cinnamon and bake something!!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Caring for Heirloom Garments

One of the most common questions presented to me when a client picks up her heirloom garment , is "How do I care for this garment"? I always include a copy of my recommended care instructions with each garment.
I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, but rather these methods are what have worked for me in 30 years of creating heirloom garments.
If you have a garment that is of museum quality, is over 50 years old, or one that you are unsure of the fabric used, it would be advisable to consult a true expert in the field. The Martha Pullen Company is a great place for information.
What I am addressing today, is newly  made garments, or those that are less than 25 years old.
The most damaging element to an heirloom garment is storing it unclean. This may sound redundant, but it is surprising how many stains can be present and yet, unseen!
A baby garment, such as a daygown or Christening gown, that may have only been worn for a few minutes for a portrait, most likely will have some dribble from baby's mouth. Saliva contains sugars can destroy fibers over time. So, even though the garment may appear to be clean, with no stains or spots showing up, it is always advisable to wash it to be absolutely sure that it is stored clean.
Never assume that the garment is clean, always wash before storage. Before washing, check for any rips or tears and make repairs.
Cleaning:
One of my favorite products that I have used for years is Biz™.


Biz™ is safe for delicates and will remove almost any stain. A twenty minute soak in a sink will usually be enough for most garments. If you have heavy stains, you can soak longer. There are many other good products on the market, designed specifically for heirloom and vintage garments and linens.
Method for heavy stains, accumulated dust and general dullness:
In a plastic bucket or container, mix 1 cup of Biz™ dissolved in a gallon of hot water. Let the water cool and add the garment. Let the garment sit in the mixture for up to a week, checking periodically for stain removal.
To finish:
Rinse the garment in cool water, several times, being sure there is no soap residue left in the garment.
Squeeze excess water from the garment. Do not wring or twist. When taking the garment out of the rinse water, support it both hands. The weight of the water can add stress to the seams and laces.
Roll the garment in a thick, clean white towel to remove excess moisture.
Lay the garment flat on a clean, dry towel to dry. Make sure it is completely dry before storing.
To store:
Store flat, wrapped in acid free tissue. It is not necessary to iron before storage. Stuff sleeves with tissue. A seldom-used dresser drawer is a good place for storage.
Don't:
Hang to store--hanging can put stress on seams and laces
Store in a plastic bag
Starch the garment before storing--moths and silverfish love starch
Store in a hot, dry attic or damp basement

A great resource that covers a variety of stains, cleaning solutions, fabric types and 'how-to's" is this book by Sandy Hunter:

I love this book and refer to it frequently. It addresses much more than I am able to include in this post!
Sandy also has a wealth of supplies on her site, Material Luxury, that includes acid free paper and boxes, cleaning solutions and her book (mentioned above).
Most of all, enjoy your heirloom garments and dress those babies up in them everyday!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One of my favorite styles

What a wonderful morning here!!
After days of intense heat, a bit of respite last night in a nice shower of rain
which has resulted in a very pleasant , and much cooler morning!!
The extended forecast promises relief by week after next!!!
I wanted to show you the best seller of my new collection,




 I just love her little foot!!!



I had so much fun with this photo shoot!! All the little girls who modeled for me were
so beautifully behaved, and did everything that was asked of them perfectly!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer therapy

During  this long, hot and very difficult summer, staying busy, busy, busy has been my therapy. It has been good for the mind, body and soul. I have been SO busy, that I have not found the time to blog much lately. I have read a lot of yours, however!!
 Here is a little bit of what has been going on around  "Camp Norris".

We began a garden "remodel"

We redecorated the family room
Both of these jobs are mainly finished but I have just not gotten around to taking photos and posting.. I still have to  make the draperies and table skirt toppers for the den.
And we are actually getting a small harvest from our garden!!! This is fun!!!
We went to Homecoming at my childhood church, celebrated the 4th of July, 
 
had a family reunion, 


 our church got moved into our new church building (the old one was destroyed in a tornado 3 years ago) 
 
three of our four children moved to new houses, and we just learned we are going to be grandparents again!!!! Yay!!!
In the sewing room, I have made countless outfits for grandchildren and clients alike.
I also finished up a little collection that I will be selling on my website and etsy.
I had a photo shoot for this collection, as well!!
More on it soon!!!
Stay cool!!!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

I would like to present. . .

My Collection!!!

This is a little collection I have designed that will be available through trunk shows, my website and on etsy!!



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where Sara Creates

I am participating in Karen Valentine's WBC Party for 2011
My creative corner is my studio. This is where I dream, design and most importantly, get inspired!
Many times I have attempted to change it up, with something different on the walls, or maybe the floor, but there is always a project that takes precedence over any redecorating jobs here!
Still, I love it just the way it is!





















I hope that you have enjoyed this tour

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