Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jinxed Quinceanera Dress & Party

My Cousin called me a week and an half ago and said that they had to move the party up from the 29th of Nov to the 22nd of November, and wanted to know if the dress would be finished in time, I said yes, but she will be trying it on for the first time a couple of hours before she needs to wear it, so we will have to relly on the measurements taken as there won't be enough time to alter it. It fit Great - I love Garment Designer, you can get the pattern fit correct the first time around!.

My Cousin Patricia (Lohami's Mom) and Randy (My husband)

I finished the dress in the nick of time. Actually I finished it late, My Mom came home from work on Friday at around 4 PM, and said "Are you ready to go", I said "No, I'm not done we'll have to leave in the morning". I was still working on the large bow that goes on the side of the dress.

So we get in the car Saturday at 7 AM getting ready to go, and my Mom says "Every one has there passports, Right?" and I say "No, you didn't give me mine back to put away from the last trip to Mexico" "yes I did" "No you didn't" "yes, I did". Well that went on for about an hour while she looked in her hiding places and I looked in mine. Then she says mad as can be for being wrong "I've got it lets go!"

From left to Right: Stephanie (my daughter), Christina (My cousin who traveled 2 days on a bus to come from southern MX) Florencia (My Mom), and Lohami (My Cousin Patricia's daughter)

So now we are late again. I drive 80 in a 55 for about 100 miles. I was so thankfull I didn't get a ticket, even though we did see a few patrol cars.

We get there and my cousin went and borrowed a hoop skirt instead of doing what she said she was going to do to the one I measured. Well it didn't work the hoop skirt she borrowed was much smaller, so the skirt looked funny as it had nothing stable enough to support it. We said oh well and put 3 tule skirt under it.

Florencia (my Mom) and Lohami:

The dress fit, other than the skirt problem, so I marked the hem and hemed it. We left her there with her dress as they were doing her hair, so they could all finish getting ready.

We went and did other things we needed to do. And then met them at the church. My cousins daughter walks up to me and says "Do you have the bow?" "No honey, I left it on your bed after you tried on the dress." and she says "I'm sorry, I looked everywhere and couldn't find it." in a very sorry tone probably waiting for me to get upset. At this point it's to late, they were late in arriving and everyone was waiting in the church. "No worries lets get in the church and do this." was the only thing I could say.

It turned out Great in the end!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Baby Bib Sewing Group Project

A couple of months ago the Relief Society President had handed me a bib and asked if we could reproduce it so she would have gifts for the new babies being born in the Ward. I immediatly saw this as a first project for begining sewer's. I remember that in my first Apperal Construction class in the 6th Grade, the teacher handed us pieces of papers that had square's and circles, starting on the outside and deminishing inward, we would put paper in the machine and stitch without thread (the machine needle would make hole's) on the line. We would only get an A if none of the holes where outside of the line drawn on the paper.

So I saw this project as a way to teach that exercise. There are two short straight segments but lots of circles, to teach the needle placement and the control and feeding of the fabric.

I put together a pattern with detailed directions and photographs. (click here access the free pattern)

We had our first meeting on Thursday Nov, 20th. One of the one's that showed up was my little sister (Monica) and Taryn. They were great we had fun. Taryn brought a bag of M & M's - Anyone can bribe me with Chocolate anytime. Both had sewn some already, so they new the machine's and we didn't need to start there - so we started straight into the project, and I then just pointed out how I did things.

Tip One: You can use 'Bed Risers' to raise any table to a good cutting height.

Tip Two: I explained to them how I pin the fabric onto the material. I lay one hand down on the pattern/fabric next to where I'm going to pin - to keep the fabric flat, then about a half inch away from the edge of the cutting line of the pattern, I pin down and then back up. Making sure that the pins are all laying horizontal to the bottom of the pattern. We didn't have corners, but the pins at a corner should be pinned in diagonally. (I don't remember where I learned this or why you pin this way but I'll go find my handy dandy notebook "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing" and see if it explains why)

Tip Three: Cutting - When you cut the fabric, (for Right handed people) the pattern should be to the left (inside) of your scissors. And be sure to put your hand down on the pattern/fabric as you go. (again this is how I was taught and I'm sure there is a reason why but at this point I don't remember that part anymore)

We then experimented with Sewing Machine Needle positions, and fabric placement guides, to get good seams, as they were going to do lots of curves, and pivot corners.

It went great, Now to move on to the seams, right and wrong side of fabrics, and grainlines and pattern placements. I'll have to come up with a good easy project that teaches that.

Thank you Monica and Taryn for showing up. And Thank you Terri, for sewing the bibs at home so that we would have more to donate to Lisa.

PS: I'm a member of 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' I have added links to some terms that may not be readily known - I hope they help in the definition of the terms - Or you can ask me, I'd be more than willing to explain.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doing your child homework!

Why is it that at many points in our childrens education, we as parents get stuck doing there homework???

My daughter has a Community Service Learning class, It's a new requirment for all graduating High Schoolers. It's nice that they would want to teach our children to give Service to our Community, but we haven't found an organization yet that lets, children under the age of 18 volunteer without a parent.

I've done some Community Service in my life, but doing this class with my daughter has helped me realize how little I have actually done.

A few of the Students in the class formed a Community Service Club, They have written cards to Soldier's, done some cleaning around town, and now they ventured into a huge project.

They decided they want to learn to knit, and knit scarves for the local Nursing home. Keep in mind none have knit before and there are 37 residents in the home. They want to deliver these for Christmas with some cookies and other goodies.

They started this project in Sept, it's now Nov 18th and they have 17 scarves, of which I machine knit 7 of them - in my spare time :-) does anyone have some of that time they can give away, I'm running out of it, right about now.

So I taught one of the girls how to use the LK-150 and sent her home with it. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Done sewing the Corset

I've gotten pretty quick at sewing corsets. I remember the first one I did back in school, the pattern alone took me over 7 hours. Now I can custom measure, custom pattern draft (using Garment Designer) and sew the corset in the same 7 hours.

I have a trick I use so that the lines of the boning end up perfect. I sew the pieces together, then press open the seams, I then put down some seams great - It's sticky on both sides, then I center the boning sleeve on the seam, and iron the boning sleeve to the open seam. Then I take it to the sewing machine and stitch right on top of the boning sleeve stitches.

Sometimes I'm not quite center, but when I get brave and sew the seam in a contrasting color, all you can see is the two perfectly perpendicular seams, you don't even notice that the center seam is no perfectly centered.

That's my tip for tricking the eye - instead of driving yourself crazy. I should have the skirt done tomorrow morning.

Palm Springs Art Museum

In all the years of living in the Palm Springs area, I had never been to the Palm Springs Art Museum. About a month ago we saw a TV commerical advertising an exhibit called " Frida Kahlo, Through the Lens of Nicholas Murray". Stephanie quickly said "I want to go, I want to go." So I told her we would go when she got caught up with all her homework, She's been slacking I guess she's getting Senioritis. She can't afford to get seniorities, She has to finish all 9 classes this semester and 8 next semester with A's or B's, in order to have a chance at getting into Cal Maritime Academy.

We went on Friday. It was wonderful, they had lots of bronze pieces, this is my favorite:

Can you guess why? It looks like a wedding dress!

There was also a glass exhibit, Way cool!

I know the story of Frida Kahlo well, but I didn't know the story of Nicholas Murray. He was the first Photographer to sell color photographs to magazines. The first one was June 1931 Published by the Ladies' Home Journal - it was a swimming pool advertisement of seventeen live models wearing beachwear in Miami. This was groundbreaking since I guess the problem was that no one in America had the technology or experience to capture vibrant color or flesh tones.

He traveled to Germany where he bought a Jos-pe, a one-shot camera, and also brought with him color negatives.

It was interesting to see pictures of her in front of her art. We were only allowed to take pictures in the main lobby area.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Corset Pattern in Garment Designer

I've been asked to make a dress for a Quinceanera (15th bday). She'll be wearing it to church so I will need to make it Modest. I'll be adding a bodice with sleeves and then placing the corset on top.

Here is her inspiration photo:

So I took her measurements, and entered them in Garment Designer. I then brought up a princess top template:

Then I moved the points around like so:

Added Seam Allowance:

and printed it out.

She picked a really nice pink and white and we found some pink embroidery.

So it will be really easy I won't have to custom embroider, and the rest is just solid satin. I'll post a picture of the finish dress as this is an event I have to attend. I'll have plenty of time to take a picture in case I forget.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

101st Airborne Div. - Fort Campbell

I drove Michael to Fort Campbell very early Mon. Morning. It was dark, and there was a short blanket of fog. As we drove onto the base I could see ok thru the fog. There was lots of empty space between large buildings. I was focused on the directions Michael was giving me so that I wouldn't get lost on my way out, and out of the corner of my eye, I thought I had seen a small grouping of soldiers, poised in combat position. I recall seeing a grouping of helmets, and the points of guns, thru the fog. It was a strange feeling. It felt like I was driving thru the middle of a military operation. All I could think was - it can't be and if it is then they are training.

I dropped Michael off, and drove back to Nashville. The Sun came up as I was driving. And again all I could notice was the wonderful color scheme. I stopped and took some pictures. I thought to myself I can use these in an color excersice that Susan does, where you pull color from a picture.

So here it is before:

And the color scheme I pulled:

and another picture that would be good for the excersice.

Michael called around Noon, so I drove back out to Fort Campbell to pick him up. I couldn't stand the not knowing about what I saw that morning so I asked him. "Is there a field out here where I might have seen a Military exercise this morning, I remember seeing helmets and riffles thru the fog"

He said no, but there is a new memorial that has soldiers standing on a large grassy field. It's just around the corner, want to go. I said sure!

It wasn't the picture that I conjured in my head, but I can see how I would have taken key elements of the memorial and created a different vision in my mind.

Michael is part of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, they have had some high honors in most war's the US has been involved in.

The Marbel itchings were stunning:

And it was surrounded by soilder's names from all war's after WWII as they were new in WWII.

The statue's had such attention to detail that Michael was able to point at all the gear and tell me what everything was used for.

I was so glad that I asked. We then drove home (hotel) had lunch there, then went to the Mall and walked around. Then went to Target, and bought the game of life, we like board games. By then it was time for dinner so we went to dinner, and then came back home (hotel) and played the game of life. Michael and Stephanie wrestled they like to do that. They jumped on the bed. Like I said it feels like I still have 4 year olds. Then we went to bed, as I was going to have to drive Michael back to the base, before we drove out to the airport. We had two great days.

What follows for Michael is a tough adjustment period. He will be at Fort Campbell for 90 days before they let him get out. That will be a homecoming. Until then all we were able to due for him, is make him feel like home for a couple of days.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

This was now my 3rd trip to Nashville in the past 4 years. 1st when Michael graduated from bootcamp, The whole family drove. 2nd time when Michael graduated from Basic, that time I flew by myself, and this 3rd time there was no way my husband and daughter were going to let me go alone, and there was no way I was going to drive the family cross country again, the first time was enough.

In the previous trips, I had seen everything in Memphis and Nashville I had wanted to see, but my family wouldn't come with me to the museum, after all the Plantations, and Historical building, they had enough. I love Country, country decor, country music, country living, everything country.

So we loaded in the car after lunch and I told them we were going "downtown Nashville", and Michael and Randy growned when we pulled up to the Museum, Stephanie has grown a lot since her last trip to Nashville 4 years ago, at almost 18 she has developed a passion for Art and Culture.

It was great I loved looking at all the costumes, all the memorobilia, and listening to all the old country music roots.

Elvis Gold Piano:

Wall of Records:

A dress I liked and I can't find my notes of who wore it:

There has always been a reason that I don't feel my children are old and that's because they has always, no matter how old they are acted like children, here they are coloring:

That was our Sunday, Michael had to check in for work at 6AM Monday morning so we went back to the hotel and rested, as I was going to have to wake up early and drive him into Fort Campbell.

Nov. off to a good start.

It has been a great weekend. As you can tell from the previous post, Michael did arrive while we were in Nashville. We checked into the hotel on Friday night, and then we just sat around all day Saturday and waited for a phone call. Finally around 3 PM they call and tell us his plane is due to arrive at 3:50 AM Sunday Morning. So we went and got something to eat, and came back and waited, there was no sleep that night.

It's about an hour and a half drive from Nashville to Fort Campbell, so we left way early since we would be traveling in the dark. It is a beautiful courtry area, I love the old buildings, and Ranches/Farms along the side of the road. I saw two shooting stars on the drive in. November was off to a good start.

We sat in a very, very large airplane hanger on bleachers. Then when it came time, we moved outside and waited on the tarmack and watched the plane fly in, and all the soldiers get off one by one, all 300 or so, we all yelled, screamed and hollerd. There were two adorable children standing in front of us, and every soldier to then as 'daddy'. I would post pictures. But they all look like this:

It was way to dark. The video came out great, my new video camara has NightShot. I'll have to figure out how to edit and post video.

They then lined up and walked into the airplaine hanger, again we all screamed, and shouted. There was a short ceremony, and then they released the soldiers. Just thinking of all the emotion in that room, I get choked up. It is an indiscriable feeling. My sleepless nights will no longer be because of the news I watched that night about Iraq.

We then took him home (hotel room), it was a Suite with a full kitchen that I had stocked the night before. A 24 year old boy can eat. We sat around and eat lunch and figured out that we were all wide awake even though none of us had been to bed. So we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Michael is State side

3 airline tickets from Palm Springs to Nashville with 3 days notice: $1,800.00

4 days hotel: $630.00

4 days car rental: $120

Food & Gas for 4 days: $400.00

Being able to hug your son/brother after 15 months in Iraq: Priceless

I don't know what credit card company this commerial is from, but mine was brought to me with help from the Cochenille American Express Business Card, Thanks to Susan. I'll be back in the office on Wednesday, to start paying this back.


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