Friday, December 31, 2010

Fair well 2010

All in all 2010 was no so bad. It was actually good.

I moved into a large house, with lots of space to spread out all my crafts. It was awesome. The reason I moved was not so awesome, but this year Every cloud has had a silver lining.

Moving Again

I managed to be on an airplane for 5 hours almost 6 - quite and accomplishment for a Claustrophobic person! And went to Hawaii with about half our family. There are tons of post in July about Hawaii.

Hawaii

I also Joined, participated and completed the ProBlogger 31 Day Better Blog Challenge. I learned a lot of stuff about blogging I just had no clue about. I'm still trying to incorporate it all into my blog. Just so much information. Day 31

So much that just a couple days ago I purchased Simple Blogging Less computer time, Better Blogging by Rachel Meeks. From a Review Katie did over at Articles From Addington, to see if I can simplify it all, because extra time I do not have but would so love to turn this blog into the blog that's in my head.

The greatest and most wonderful thing that happened in 2010 is my husband did not attempt suicide not once. It wasn't all peaches, there were more than a few lows of hiding the blades, the meds, the toxins, and all manner of previous attempts. Plus not letting him out of my site not even for 2 seconds while he went pee. Until the low low low was over. But after 5 years of 3 to 4 attempts every year. A whole year of no attempts, ER's, ICU's, Hospitals, then Behavioral Health Centers - No attempts Was the greatest Part of 2010!!!

Also My mom almost made it through the year unscathed. She was doing good recovering her mobility and started walking on the walker. Then a loss of Mobility, but after a short stay in Rehab she came out better than when she went in - I'm telling you nothing but clouds with great big silver linings this year!

Oh 2010 had some bad moments, My daughter didn't go back to college, Work was harder than usual to cope with, I felt trapped in all the day to day responsibility, I'm being sued by a Credit Card company, My Truck was broken for 2 and half months. Yet, none of those were anything I couldn't ignore or surpass by drowning myself in a good Craft project, and I now love the fact that I can share those with you, You had no clue they were coping mechanisms did you???

Last New Year's Eve all I could think was Please of Please God let me survive the coming year! Well I did, and all the better for it! As I've said before New Years Resolutions are not my thing, but Every year I do pick a few short term goals, I haven't finalized those yet. So I'll see you all in the New Year.

Happy New Year's!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

I haven't cooked in a long time, I used to cook. I can't say that I liked the day to day cooking, making a grocery list, figuring out dinner every night, and all the other hard stuff that goes along with that. But there were some things I like cooking.

This year I made Tamales for Christmas Eve and cooked a Ham for Christmas Dinner. Yes, we ate a lot.

My Sister and I making Tamales:


My Mom and My Sisters family came over for Christmas Eve Dinner, Tamales, Beans and Rice:


Don't ever leave the camera next to a bored child, My Stephanie:



We woke up Christmas Morning and opened the gifts under our tree:



I got a cool pair of boots I've been wanting for several years now, Yay! Everyone else got stuff they wanted also. Funds were limited so the one gift had to be a good one.

We then walked next door to Mom's and gave her her gifts. My family dressed up as the three wisemen/women. Keegan and lexi showed off what there Tio Rigo had given them, Slippers and a Hello Kitty backpack, They had much more I'm sure, but that's what they were showing off.



Then My little sister and her family came over for Christmas Dinner, Glazed Ham, potatoes and veggies. Aren't they just adorable.



And here is my husband teasing the dog with Red Velvet Cake:




We had a wonderful Christmas. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas also.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Shoulder Bag

I really like sewing the City Girl Shoulder bag Pattern. It allows me to play with different fabric combinations. So now I've pulled out tubs of fabric to pull those smaller than one yard pieces that I've been holding on to.


I love how this one came out, but I'm not a white person - so I made me one in black with the City Girl linen print fabric. oops didn't photograph that one. This one is available for purchase in our etsy shop. Sorry I'm Bored (waiting for Christmas, is it here yet?) Shameless post.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Soniaymonica

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quick Gift - Decoupage Notebook

I have 5 nephew's and 2 nieces. and it seems that every year we are more broke than the last. So the Christmas Gift budget for the extended family keeps getting smaller. So for a couple of years now I've been only giving gifts to the kids. Last year I made then crayon rolls from Skip to my Lou that I embroidered there names on - loved her tutorial.

This year I think I've hit sonic speed in how fast I was able to make all 7 gifts. I made them Decoupage Notebooks. I wrote a blog post early this year about my Decoupage secrets. I had to move my project to my cutting table because my scrapbook table is a mess!



For these 7 I bought kids wrapping paper one for the boys and one for the girls. The wrapping paper was very thin so the first few had way to much Mod Podge. I then used letters for the boys initials and I had small letters to be able to do the girls names (the short versions of there names).

If I do this again in the future I think I want to write something up that might inspire them to keep a journal and put that note inside.




Sunday, December 19, 2010

Digital Christmas Scrapbook page

My little niece comes over to my house almost everyday. She escapes from her Mom that is next door taking care of our Mom during the day. I work from home. My little sister walked in on this one day:




And said 'You should take a picture.' I said I had. and she replied 'I never get to see those pictures.' Which is sad because I have some wonderful pictures of her two little one's. I do post some here every now and then when I don't have anything else to talk about, but other than that they reside on a memory card or on my computer.

Well here's a page for you Monica - I promise I'll make more, and show you how to print them and put them in a book.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Melted Snowman Christmas Cookies

You won't find many food posts on my blog except the one's were I go eat something somewhere and I really like it, and even those are very few.

I just had to share with you my daughters snowman cookies. My sister had made little oreo turkeys for  Thanksgiving, so she wanted to make something similar. She didn't figure out how to use the oreo cookie, but they turned out really good anyways.

She used a tube of Sugar cookie dough and baked them as instructed. Then she placed a Marshmallow on the cookie and melted it with a lighter, if you have one of those little torch things that would work better. It doesn't need much fire.

Then she poured some frosting she had put in the microware to make it semi-runny. and poured it over the marshmellow and the cookie. Then she decorated them. The eyes are mini chocolate chip morsels, and the rest she used colored tube frosting to draw the stuff in.

My Fridge was taken over by melting snowman:



These are my daughters:



And then my son tried to help:



His are drowning in frosting.


This one even has a green swirly hat!

Friday, December 17, 2010

December Sewing Group

We had our Sewing group early this month. A couple of the girls wanted to sew Christmas Stockings. They each had to do between 4 and 6 stockings so most of the class time was used up cutting fabric.

At that point I was glad to have 3 cutting tables. We used my Stocking pattern from last year, blog post here.

And my sister asked me if she could do a cuff on her's so I made a cuff pattern, and embroidery her name's on velvet. Santa will have lots of new stockings to admire and fill!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mom's set the mood in there home's

I've always known that, and tried to keep aware of my attitude making sure it was one that I would want those around me to catch.

Yesterday I realized I had a mood that everyone around me had caught, When my daughter said 'It doesn't feel like Christmas.'

I had to ponder on that, and figure out why it didn't feel like Christmas, and the culprit was me. Our truck broke down the last week in September, I had someone work on it, they weren't able to fix it, I hauled it of to the dealership, they took an arm and a leg and it worked for 3 days, and then didn't. Had someone else start to work on it, that didn't work, had someone else work on it and he said he did all he could everything was in order in the transmission, hauled it back to the dealership, they took the other arm and leg. And now I cross my fingers and toes and hope and pray that this time it lasts longer than 3 days. So after 2 and a half months and 4 different mechanics, it looks like the truck is fixed.

I say all this because this is what has brought me down for the past couple of months, coming to the point of my low last weekend. So because I allowed myself to be so consumed by this situation, it hasn't felt like Christmas around here.

So what is Christmas for us and why isn't my family feeling it. Well it's not the gifts because even in my stooper I did manage to buy some gifts and put boxes under the tree.

I realized that because I didn't want to keep borrowing cars and asking for rides we did not participate in our regular Christmas functions or do our regular Christmas Service. We have not gotten in a car and gone to go see the Christmas lights, we didn't attend the Prophets Christmas Devotional, We didn't attend the Wonderful Christmas concert that is put on every year, we didn't go to the Ward Christmas Party.

So all in all I have been a Grinch, and my family not realizing it became Grinches with me.

Today, We go find Christmas! Still have 9 days, Merry Christmas Everyone.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wedding dress Design Research

I love making custom Dresses. It makes the design process easy, you just ask the customer what they want. Since I made a goal for myself to make dresses even if I don't have customers in order to start a design line, the design process is different.

I have to guess what people would like. As I have mentioned before there are companies that forecast trends, color trends, shape trends, silhouette trends. Most designers take a look at this type of forecasting and then just have it in the back of there minds while they are designing.

Again I don't have money to spend on a forecasting package, so I take what is free. FirstView.com is a website that photographs designer shows and puts the images online, the current lines are pay-per-view, but there are old design lines that are Free. I like to go there and see what Designers have put out in the past and try and forecast what they might be doing in the future. Here is a link to a search result for Free Bridal collections. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Secret to Spaghetti straps

I have found the best kept secret to Spaghetti Straps. I always avoid them, I hate turning them. It takes a million years to turn a spaghetti strap.

But today it did not! Thanks to Jules at CraftyEndeavors.blogspot.com

You have to got check it out - you will fall over when you find out what the secret is.

Thank you Jules!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ribbon flowers

I bought this DVD on how to make ribbon flowers at a Tradeshow were Helen Gibb was our next door vendor, almost a year ago. Now I want the book so I don't have to keep using the DVD and fastward and rewind until I learn all the techniques. I didn't have enough money to buy both at the time, but do recall I did like the illustrations in the book.



When I was trying to figure out how I was going to hide the stains on my upcycled sweater purse, it hit me. Ribbon Flowers, I have plenty of ribbon, not sure why other than I like it.



My first two flowers did not turn out perfect but they work to hide the stains and they were actually quite easy to make. I think I'm going to get rid of the bow, and do more flowers in different colors.




Sunday, December 5, 2010

QuinceAñera Dress Done

It has been really crazy around here. The transmission to my truck has been sitting on the floor for almost a week now. Needless to say it is very hard for a one car family to have the one car out of commission.

Well at least I didn't need to go anywhere important, Oh wait I did - I had a QuinceAñera to go to. Well with plenty of help and charity, The dress got done, tried on, an attempted photo shoot on Thursday end in a ripped dress and then back to me for repairs. Warning: when you are walking next to a woman in a large dress of any kind shuffle your feet under her dress, so you don't step on it as she walks off.

But more than a dress the pictures below are of a B-E-A-utiful family! Gotta Love the Lopez! We love you guys!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Tree 2010

As I get older I have come to realize I do get wiser. One thing that I have learned is that, That Christmas Decorations need to go up on Thanksgiving weekend! If they don't they sometimes don't make it up at all, or they make it up late, because everyone is gripping about the fact that they are not up.

This year we took my nephew Keegan with us to go pick a tree. He was a little confused over the whole thing. He seemed kind of dazed. Then I brought out my 3 large plastic boxes full of Christmas Decorations and he woke right up. He opened all three and started pulling things out, 'What is this?' A decoration for the tree. 'What is this?' It goes on the wall. 'What is this?' It's baby Jesus, it's part of the nativity. 'What it is?' it continued - gotta love a 3 year old.


One of the big reasons that the Christmas Decorations have to go up on Thanksgiving Weekend is because of the Advent Calendar. I made it the Christmas I was pregnant, so it's as old as my daughter. Most years it has made it up in time to start counting, some years it hasn't. On the years that it doesn't make it up in time to start counting (mostly because it has been a bad year) that year only gets worse.

On the years that it makes it up, the Christmas Season starts off wonderfully. I'm happy to say 'It is up!'

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas Season.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I really do need to write things down before going to bed. Here it is less than 2 days later and the feeling has moved on. Not that I'm not grateful anymore but the excitement the happiness to have family around, I guess it's just the focus has changed. This Thanksgiving was a million times better than last year, as a family we are in a better place. We have grown together through our trials. It was also the first time in a while that we were back at Mom's (well those that could attend).

I am Thankful for My God, My Church, My Family, My Brother's and Sister and their families (oops just realized I forgot to return some phone calls, man I'm bad, I blame it on early Menopause!)

We tried to take a picture at the table with the timer on the camera - We didn't get one good one:


My brother Rigo is the cook. We had tons of food:


My little sister made this yummy gobblers for her babies daycare class and she posted them on Facebook and the whole family turned the post into a mile long thread asking for our gobblers. Well she made them!


We are a family of Monkey's - Monkey see's Monkey doo's:


Then we all plopped on the couch - like the rest of America I'm sure. We watched Karate Kid (the newer one) it was good. The kids thought it was great!


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!





Wednesday, November 24, 2010

QuinceAñera Dress Muslin

As a Mexican member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints it's sometimes hard to do some of our Cultural things, because the Culture is so tide to the Catholic church. A Quinceañera for example, is a Catholic Religious ceremony, were one actually takes and makes covenants at the church with the priest. Or something like that. I was baptized Mormon when I was 10 years old, so I really only know what I here from the rest of the relatives and what I sometimes am curious about and research.

As you all know I love making Special Occasion dresses. So when I asked my best friends daughter when she turned 15 and if she was having a Quinceañera, she replied no Mormons don't do that. She's a wonderful young lady, very righteous young woman. Her mom then asked me why I would ask. I replied that my mom just gave us girls a big 15th birthday party, big dress, big dinner in the back yard invited all the family and friends. She then convinced her husband that that is what she wanted to do. She had wanted to do something but didn't know what to do. (Sorry Sal, it will all be ok!) I of course said GREAT Natalie you call me 3 months before your birthday and I will make you your dress.

Well the time is here. We are in the middle of the dress. Today she and mom came over and made replica dresses for a cake topper and a give away doll. She also cut the netting and arranged the lace on her test dress the way she wanted it. She did all my hard work for me. THANK YOU Nat and Erica!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

COD Street Fair

I found my mojo - well sort of, it's getting there. I just had to come to the realization that this is my new normal, and I can't keep waiting for thing to 'get back to normal.' I even think I'm getting used to only sleeping 6-7 hours a night, mind you I used to sleep 9-10 hours to be productive.

I set a goal last month to attend our local Street Fair that is put on by our local Community College. I had set 2 dates previous and procrastinated and didn't go because I didn't feel prepared. I realized that wasn't working I had to set a date and go no matter what.

We went yesterday. I would like to say it was a screaming success but it wasn't. For many reasons the big one is that we were supposed to have our first big storm of the season - it was supposed to rain. Some day people will realize it doesn't rain in Palm Springs no matter how much the weather man says that those clouds coming from LA or San Diego are going to make it over the mountains, they aren't. Unless it's already been raining in LA or San Diego for a couple of days, then it's strong enough to make it over the mountains. Even though one little cloud that could did make a liar out of me for about 5 seconds.

I do feel really good about going. Only by doing it did I remember everything that is involved in setting up a craft booth. I was not prepared our booth did not look professional I didn't like our set up. I came back with a long list of things to do, this time I think I'll set up in my drive way to make sure I am prepared. I've set a new date, and have planned and drafted 2 new bag patterns.



My daughter Stephanie displayed her Jewelry - she also learned a lot.



But the big success was My husband and his doll houses. Everyone stopped and admired. I need to make him an order form.



We did pass out plenty of Postcards with our information on them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spring/Summer 2011

Designers work several season's ahead of actual time. So in my preparation to create a new Me, I pulled out my old plans and one was to put out a 5 dress collection each season. This is really going to be pushing the envelope for me so I think I'm going to change that goal to 1 wedding dress, 1 Bridesmaid Dress and one Mother of the Bride dress.

That seams like an achievable goal. It is similar to doing one dress a month, which I was doing and still working a 'Day Job Full Time'. Can't quit the Day Job it pays the rent, Plus 75% of the time I actually like it. (And I'm not just saying that because the Boss sometimes reads my blog).

So in order to work ahead Designer's sign up to Forecasting companies. There are many Forecasting companies out there. Specially specialized Forecasting companies. I would love to Subscribe to a Wedding Forecasting company but it is not in the budget.

What is in the Budget is FREE. I love Infomat it provides some Free information and small glimpses that help a lot.

There Spring/Summer 2011 Forecasting is online now.

Here are some Runway images you can see the rest HERE: 



I love the Color Forecasting you can view it HERE:

You'll want to go see it there - there are tons of images for each color.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My focus & a Wedding Dress

I seem to be having an identity crisis. I never thought I would be where I am at 40 years old. I've been feeling a bit trapped. My truck keeps braking down and I never thought I would be in a situation were I'm having to figure out the bus schedule, because I have no money or recourses to fix what needed fixing.

Lots of flat out wrong decisions and some not so good one's on my part and the part of those around me have landed us here.

I don't like the feeling of being trapped, I run out screaming. Literally, I've had a truck since my senior year of High School and more than once I've put everything I owned in the back of it and disappeared, just moved on. I can't do that this time, it would be irresponsible, not that it wasn't before, but this time it really really would be.

So I have decided to decide Who I am! and What I want to be! I think I lost my path a while back, and I'm getting back to it. I printed off the local Community College Spring course catalogue and have chosen a few classes. I'm going to meet with a counselor and see what needs to be done to move on to the local University and get my Bachelors Degree, and then start hiding some money to move back to San Diego or maybe Los Angeles (my family doesn't like LA) and continue with a Textile or Fashion Degree.

I want to have a Fashion line to specialize in Modest Wedding and Formal Attire! I was on that path once, and then lost that focus. I'm getting on that path again.

Here is a dress a did a few years ago - that I just found the pictures to. 6 years ago I was doing at least one dress a month. I want to get back to that. It gives me Joy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Sewing Group

I am amazed at myself. I had the sewing group on the 2nd Tuesday of the month instead of the 4th Tuesday and I was actually prepared, and had a full house.

Now I want a bigger house! 2 Ladies did my shoulder bag pattern. Two ladies did my Apron and Placemat Pattern, One did the Apron pattern for a 4T - and because I had drafted the Apron pattern in Garment Designer I was able to open it up choose a size 4T instead of Misses 12 and in less than 3 minutes print out a small pattern, Voila Great Tools make you a magician. And My sister made a Gathered skirt with waistband, pattern not yet finished.

My photographer (my daughter) went to bed before we had finished projects, but you can tell we all had fun.




And I realized I want a bigger house with a really really big GreatRoom so I can host more than 6! Or I can just do this more often.

Monday, November 8, 2010

No knit - Knit bag

I have been holding on to my favorite sweater for 2 winter seasons now. I stained it, I don't remember with what. I just couldn't get it clean for nothing in the world and I tried everything anyone suggested.

This is my favorite sweater:


Today I took a pair of scissors to it and made this:



I will now be able to keep my favorite sweater as a recycled sweater purse! This instructions for this knit bag are here. Only instead of knitting a 10" x 20" piece of fabric, cut it out of your sweater, or someone else's sweater.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day of the Dead

We went to a Day of the Dead celebration at the Palm Springs Art Museum. It was a wonderful Cultural experience. I love going to these events. It reminds me of my Grandmother. The funny thing is that when I brought my mother the masks, paper flowers and other Day of the Dead tokens, she said my Grandmother never participated in the Day of the Dead celebrations. She said she didn't recall ever going to church. She recalled being forced to kneel every night for long hours praying the Ave Maria (She said this with a mimic of a tired facial expression her shoulders coming up and down and letting her head fall from side to side making the falling asleep motion). My mother is a Character now you know were we all get it from.

She went on to say that it was probably because they lived on a Large Ranch several miles out of town and it would take hours to come and go, with 4 girls and no husband, she just wasn't up to doing that, but she had the strength to chase down my Grandfather and yell obscenities at him as he was forced to walk past her house on his way to his own house coming home from work every day, She went on.

The Day of the Dead is a Day to remember our Dead. This should happen all the time, but it doesn't. They are our Ancestors and we need to know where we came from. This is the day that I analyze what I have done with my Genealogy and renew my goals to do more.

It also reminds me that I need to teach my children there culture. The Event was very well organized they had Ancient Dancers:


They had Ballet Folklorico:



They had Mariachi (sorry no pictures, I think we were tired by then and had put the camera away)

Then they had set up different stations were you could do crafts related to the Day. We did the Paper Flowers, the Masks and the Posada Printmaking.


They did a great job of decorating, and asking local artists to build Alters:



I had a wonderful time, I hope my niece and nephew will remember it. It was a hard long day for my sister but I believe well worth the effort. Plus we got to eat Free Pan and Posole.

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