Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hey Grandda!

"Hey Grandda, I've got big boy flip flops on!  I can walk in them and Uncle Dan bought them for me when I was a baby, which I'm not now!"

Hey Grandda, I'm on my way for my first haircut.  Will it hurt and most importantly will everyone still think that I'm cute?"

And how is Grandda Rex doing?  Well, we are in Nashville having just finished with the follow up Neurologist appointment.  All the test are in and the diagnosis is stroke damage from vascular disease.  It is amazing he is doing as well as he is with the damage that the test show.  Seeing the actual MRI helped me understand what is going on with his memory and why he is just not himself and hard to get along with some days.  Medication is being adjusted, rehab has been recommended, and he now understands that he will not be going back to work or driving.  But, he does have the okay from the doctor to mow our small yard, so he is a happy man!  Glad he has his priorities straight!  LOL  Not to make light of this, it is very hard some days.  We are adjusting to so many changes, not only in our lifestyle, but also in our marriage.  At the end of the day I am pretty exhausted from needing such a high level of patience and he is exhausted from trying to be nicer than he feels.  It is amazing how God renews us to face the next day.  I am also blessed beyond words that I am married to such an easy to get along with guy!

*I will be writing nothing about Rex's condition or our adjustments without his permission.  We both feel the need to occasionally share how God is helping us on our new journey.  



A Little More Inspiration

Okay Martha, you out did yourself on these outfits!  I know your grand babies are going to be the cutest things ever in their matching sunsuits.  I just hope Emma and Christian don't see these and want Nana to whip out a set this week!  :)  The sunsuits turned out fabulous and I love what you did with the fabric and trim.

You can view Martha's blog at 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunsuit Inspiration

Amanda has been sewing again, and what a cute outfit she came up with!  A sweet sunsuit for her sweet little guy made out of green striped seersucker using pattern #132.  The smocked wagons can be found in the "Beginning Smocking Book."  Great job Amanda.  I know that I am inspired!  How about you?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Good Bye Baby Whisperer

We had a wonderful visit, but it is now time for Daniel to head back to South Korea.  Not only was it a treat to have the kids in the same are for a few weeks, I also happened to get the 3 boys in the same picture which is kind of like trying to get a photo of Big Foot!  There they are, Daniel, Ben with Emma on his shoulders and Tim!

But what we will miss the most is Daniel's baby whisperer abilities.  Babies, like dogs always know who really likes them and who is just being polite.  They knew.  Was it because he is silly and will get down on their level, makes sure that they have the right educational toys, or could they smell the kindergartners that he teaches overseas?

Whatever it was, it worked and it was a tremendous help!  Yes, we will miss him and a year is a long time, but this is his 6th year so we have adjusted.  Not only is it what makes him happy, he is also going back to someone special.  Thank goodness for Internet and Skype!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Pleating Question Answered

It sounds like the last blog has quite a few of you all ready to sew gingham bishops!  And so there were a few pleating questions that have been sent my way.  The most frequently asked question about this bishop was, "How on earth did you keep the little gingham checks straight while pleating?"  And here is the answer, "I didn't!"  I thought about it for a while (about 2 minutes) and chose to let the fabric do it's own thing and embrace the ripply effect that I would end up with.  Besides, the blue fabric does represent water and my flamingos were not in the mood for perfectly calm water!  :)  *The ripply effect is the dark and light uneven patches of color that you see between the flamingos.  

And with that being said, I DO care about pleating straight if I am pleating larger checks and plaids.  I will try to work that into a blog in the very near future.  I know that we have had a shortage of tutorials lately, but as long as Emma is using Nana Shay's office as her bedroom (2 more weeks to go) not only is my time short, I'm also little too distracted for the creative juices to flow!  Right now, I am having fantasies of getting to sit and sew for an entire day.  I'll let you know if that dream ever comes true!  LOL


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What She Wore To The Party

Of course Emma also needed a special dress for the birthday party.  Lucky for her I had started a new bishop dress before she moved here!  :)

I seem to be having a love affair with turquoise gingham these days.  Emma has two dresses out of the same fabric right now.  A little weird, but it is a good color on her.

The smocking design is "Babies Ahoy" by Kathy Crisp Designs.  I love how the bright pink flamingos show up on the fabric.  A great design when you want a little smocking.

Bright pink rickrack brought the pink color down to the sleeves.  * A little sewing tip:  I picked out the rickrack first then matched the floss color for the flamingos.  Think of it this way, there are only a few shades of pink rickrack on the market while there are many shades of pink floss.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Birthday Party

Rubber Duckies were the theme, and a whole lot of family and friends gathered to celebrate your first birthday including all 3 of Mommy's older brothers, Auntie Tif, and Emma!  

The presents were cool, but did not compare to the tissue paper that they were wrapped in.  And since you certainly wouldn't want to waste a good audience, you chose your party to let go and take off walking!  

And of course there was a birthday outfit made my Nana Shay for the special day.  Mommy requested a Jon-Jon made out of Kona cotton that would last all summer long and smocked with Ellen McCarn's "Ducks Ahoy."

I case you are wondering, he did not eat a blue iced cupcake in this outfit.  He ate his cupcake in an old tee shirt, then had a bath, then dressed up for opening presents!  :)


Thursday, May 17, 2012

How Durable Is Smocking?

"Let them eat broccoli!" would be an appropriate title for this blog!  Yes, we let the babies play outside, eat, and act like normal kids in their smocked outfits!  The smocking is durable and washable and I want these clothes worn out with love and memories.

I like to tell a little smocking story for those who are hesitant about the durability of smocking.  When Anna was in kindergarten I smocked an insert for a sweatshirt with gingerbread men on it.  She LOVED that sweatshirt and wore it at least once a week to school during the winter.  The next year it still fit so it was worn over and over once again.  The next year the sleeves were short so she slept in it occasionally.  She really loved that shirt!!!!  I finally handed it down to a friend and although the sweatshirt was looking worn the smocking looked brand new!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Boy

It is hard to believe that you are 1 year old today!  What a wild ride you have taken us on this past year.  You now have 3 teeth, a few words, and although walking is scary, you are getting closer every day.  We are all blessed beyond words to share your life with you.

Those of you who have been reading the blog for the past year know how thankful we are.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

The 95 Year Old Baby Dedication Gown

Anna and I both held our breath today as Christian was Dedicated in the 95 year old family Christening gown.  I had done a little repair the other day and although the gown is still a beautiful white pima cotton, the fabric is now so thin that I felt like I was stitching on cotton candy.  The boy did great and fortunately did make any sudden moves that will require more repairs.

The fabric was so thin around the handmade button holes that they ripped out during the last Dedication.  I stabilized the placket with a piece of fabric on the wrong side, but on closer examination, realized that the fabric is also very weak around the buttons.  I tacked silk ribbon at the neck band which not only took care of the problem, but also makes the neck a little more adjustable. As I was attaching the ribbon, I was wondering when was the last time that I used silk ribbon and it dawned on me that it was left over from the flower girl dresses that I made for Anna's wedding 4 years ago this week!  Just a little more history added to the gown.

You can click here to read more about the Christening Gown.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Shirt And Shorts Outfit For The Boy

Using  pattern #110, this dressy shirt and short outfit was made out of mint and ecru pima cotton.  A front pleat gives the shirt a little fullness for baby and the shorts make Daddy happy.  The tatting was attached to the collar edge by hand after the collar was constructed.  Antique buttons add a little detail to the shirt front.

And what is the boy finding so interesting?  A breeze was blowing the trees!  That is what I like about babies, everything is magical.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Still Adjusting

A little update on Rex's Vanderbilt test... the three hour memory test showed that he has pretty extensive damage in  every area they tested except for speech.  Unfortunately that only means that his speech is not slurred and not terribly confused, not that he is talkative, which would be nice for a change. :)  The test results were bad enough that driving and going back to work are out of the question.  Yikes!  Not what we had planned for this stage of our lives!  We will be going back the end of the month for the final diagnosis and recommendations to get him feeling as good as possible.  As you can imagine the adjustments to these changes are extremely hard.  Just figuring out what he needs from me is a challenge every day.  

And just a little story, while in Nashville I had an engine light come on the night before the test!  I dropped Rex off for the appointment the next morning, went to the Ford dealership, waited 3 hours, got a call that the doctor wanted to see me, got a ride to the office, and then we took a taxi back to get the car.  I can now mark "Ride in a taxi in Nashville" off of my bucket list!  The reason for sharing this story is to let you know how normal my life is.  Although writing an article for Sew Beautiful Magazine sounds a little glamorous, I thought that you might enjoy knowing that when you read the November issue, my article was written in the waiting room of the Ford dealership in Nashville, while a very talkative stranger tried to tell me about his trip to Alaska!  LOL


Friday, May 4, 2012

If I Were Sewing Right Now...


If I were sewing right now....I would make this for Christian.  His fat little legs look great in a bubble and at 11 months, we can still get them by Daddy a little longer!  :)  

This bubble using pattern #102, appeared on which happens to be one of my favorite blogs.

Martha also has a great tutorial for piping the collar which is different from anything that I had ever seen!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm Glad That Someone Is Getting To Sew!

 Although I am not having time to sew at the moment....I'm glad someone is!  These cute pictures can be found at  I love what she did with pattern #110.

And most of all I love what she did with the fabric.  Great work!

What am I doing these days that could possibly more important than sewing? of the blog readers commented that I sounded "real" when I posted about the Easter sewing rush.  My life is more than a little "real" right now.  My office/sewing room has become sweet Emma's bedroom while she, Mommy, and Daddy stay with us while waiting for their new house just 5 minutes from us instead of in Arizona!  No complaints here, I get to see her little face and visit with Mommy and Daddy everyday!  Next, Daniel is home for a couple of weeks before heading back to South Korea, so a whole lot of visiting and catching up is going on.  

And last and most importantly, we are still dealing with Rex's health issue.  I am actually writing this from a hotel room in downtown Nashville, so we can be at the clinic first thing in the morning for a 3 to 6 hour memory test.  A 2 hour drive here, a little shopping on the way, and I mean a little, he didn't last long at the mall. I then found the clinic, found the hotel, found a restaurant for dinner, and now I am just glad to be back in the room.  I expect a long morning then the drive back home, where I will drive and he will sleep.  I made sure to bring plenty of good CDs to listen to on the way home this time!  We will not know anything until the end of the month, we are getting really good at waiting, and are praying for results that will move us forward.  Right now going back to work doesn't seem likely, but he is having more good days, is able to play a few family games with us, and Emma thinks that Grandda is the only one who can read her favorite book to her.  The last 3 months have been long and hard as we try to adjust to our new normal, but we are confident that God will continue with us on this journey.



Related Posts with Thumbnails