Creating Sewing/Crafting Space in the RV

We are finally settled back into our RV and staying at a very nice RV park in San Antonio. It was a long move (mostly because I tend to start packing months ahead, so we are living in boxes ‘forever’!) but it’s done and over with!

When we moved into the rental a year ago I posted pictures of  the wonderful (and organized) sewing room.  That room was a wonderful sewing space!

I thought I’d update it with pictures of my new sewing ‘area’; a 6′ wide x 3′ deep corner in our RV. It’s where the recliners SHOULD be but for now the sewing has taken over.

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Thank you, God, for a very patient husband who puts up with all this sewing mess!   The fabric, the batting, the ribbons and laces, the patterns, the threads – it’s all on top of or under the table!  It’s not the ideal….but it works.

Thanks to this little sewing space, She & Me Designs (Stacy’s and my Etsy store) continues to post new quilts and aprons for sale!    The little girls pink rag quilt in the pictures will be posted there soon!

I hope this encourages you to sew or craft no matter what space limitations you have – it can be done – maybe not the way you would prefer but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of creating to your hearts content!!

Take care, and have a great day!!

Linda

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Adventures with the Grandkids!

One of our many reasons for relocating to Texas (beyond just being close to our kids and grandkids) was to be available to take care of the grandkids for extended periods when our son and daughter-in-law wanted / needed some vacation time.

Even though we spend a lot of time with the grandkids, it’s usually just a couple hours here or there, and ‘entertaining’ isn’t really an issue. I’m not particularly creative at coming up with interesting things to do, so keeping them busy can be quite the challenge! Fortunately they are pretty creative on their own 🙂 and then we have to clean it up!!!

We decided this morning, after a hearty French Toast breakfast, to take a little trip over to our 5th wheel so we could pick up a few forgotten items, and take a walk around. The kids enjoy feeding the ducks (wish I’d gotten pictures), and just running around the lake area!

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It was nice enjoying it with them – they found a few bugs that they needed to check out, and noticed some beautiful white geese near the lake.  The few turtles that were resting along the lake headed for the deepest part as soon as they heard us coming!

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All in all, even though we didn’t do anything extraordinary. we all agreed we had a good time – and to seal the deal Papa took us all out to lunch!  Back at home, Josh and I played pirates – I was Izzy!!   And Caroline drew a picture for me of our trek around the park, with a treasure at the end of the trail.  Notice at the top, it says, “Nana I heart you” – Awwwwww!!!!   I love them all so much!!!

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Hope the rest of the week goes as well………….

Have a great weekend, and if you are spending it with your grandkids, I hope you’ll have some special adventures together as well!  Take care all,

 

Linda

Fleece Tied & Knotted Doggie Pillow

I’ve been busy the last couple weeks prepping for a vendor sale at a local dog groomers (Helga’s Pet Grooming Plus is celebrating its 30th anniversary this Sunday, April 14, at its location at 7870 Culebra Road, San Antonio)

I wanted to make sure that I had some doggie-related items for sale, as well as our signature blankets and aprons from She & Me Designs (the Etsy store my daughter-in-law Stacy and I have). So, I got started on some table-fillers, such as key rings with doggie pics, coasters with doggie pics, aprons with doggie pics, AND fleece doggie beds.

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I thought I’d share a few quick pictures and some ideas about how to make them – super easy to do, and your doggie will love them! And, best yet, you can make them in any size so perfect for the littlest and biggest dogs!!

I started with one yard of doggie-inspired paw-print fleece fabric; measuring 58″ wide x 36″ long.

I cut along the fold, so the sewing size is 29″ x 36″. The doggie pillow can either be sewed in either a rectangle or oval shape. I wanted the pillows to have the tied-knot finish around the entire edge, so I sewed about 5″ inside the edge ALL the way around EXCEPT for a 6-8″ gap along one long edge. I double-stitched the seam in order to make sure it would hold up to doggie-pawing all over it!

Now, in order to keep the stuffing from falling out, I sewed a 6-8″ piece of Velcro in the gap. I actually tried it several ways; neither of which was ‘simple’, but the end result was great.

  • The first pillow I made, I sewed the Velcro in AFTER I sewed the seam all the way around. This was kind of tricky because I only had a small gap to work in, and to get the sewing machine foot to fit in the gap. BE CAREFUL not to sew the top and bottom of the VELCRO in together 🙂
  • The second pillow I made, I sewed the Velcro in BEFORE I sewed the seam!  A little trickier because the two pieces of fabric were loose and I had to make sure they were sewed in precisely so that the two pieces of Velcro lined up.  After they were sewed though it was much better, because then sewing the seam around was very easy!
Velcro opening

Velcro opening

After the Velcro is in and the seams are sewed, then it’s time to cut the 1″ strips around the doggie bed.  I’m including a link to a tutorial in case you haven’t made a tied-knot quilt (or doggie bed) before.

  • If you make a rectangular bed, then you’ll probably need to cut a 5″ square out of each corner, and then cut the strips.
  • If you make an oval bed, then you’ll cut strips all the way around, but you’ll need to do some creative cutting around the corners. In order to ‘make the corner’  you’ll need to cut the strips wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.   Be careful, but it does work.
Hand-cut 1" knotted ties

Hand-cut 1″ knotted ties

Note – be sure you don’t tie the knots in front of the Velcro until you’ve stuffed the pillow!

I am fortunate because I have an electric scissors that I  used to cut all the strips.  It is a My-T-Fine cordless scissors (available at JoAnn’s Fabrics), and I must say, it works my-t-fine for cutting fleece and most everything else!!!

After all that is said and done, it’s time to stuff the pillow.  I used Poly-Fil, which is available at all fabric / craft stores, as well as Wal-Mart and probably dozens of other stores as well!  However, you could also use cedar chips, as well as plastic bags (my daughter-in-law’s suggestion)!  Because of the Velcro opening you can replace the stuffing whenever necessary!

So, that’s how I made the doggie pillows!  They turned out great, and Boris (our wonder dog!) sure loves them too!

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That’s how I’ve spent my last couple of weeks – making doggie stuff – and I’ve had a good time at it too!!!   So, how have you spent your time lately?  Anything fun?

Have a great, great week,

Linda

 

Embroidery Sewing Machine – which one?????

Like many girls of my generation, I embroidered (by hand) pillowcases, aprons, and tea towels for my hope chest. Unfortunately by the time I married, embroidered things were out of vogue, so all those beautifully embroidered things got little use. Sure wish I still had them, now that they are coming back into style.

Rather than embroider by hand now though, I’d rather have an embroidery sewing machine so that I can work on special projects and get them completed faster! Especially now that we are getting requests at our on-line Etsy store (She & Me Designs) to personalize kids aprons, blankets, pillowcases and tooth fairy pillows!   I’d love to be able to accommodate those requests!  I’d also love to make some special personalized things for my grandkids!  I know they’d love it!

Cute as these are, I’d love to add a little embroidery embellishment!

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I’m in the ‘research stage’ of checking out embroidery machines.  I need to keep the costs down (less than $500) and of course I want as many bells and whistles as possible and the most dependable machine available.   Not asking for much, am I 🙂

So far my biggest requirement is a large ‘field of embroidery’; i.e. the dimensions of space to embroider on.  I’d like to be able to embroider a name about 2″ x 6″ on an apron bib or pillowcase top, so I need to find a machine that holds a hoop big enough to do that.

So far I’ve watched a YouTube video on the Brother HE1 Embroidery-Only Machine, and also read owner reviews, which were mixed.  Although this machine seems as though it would do everything else I want, it only has a 4″ x 4″ field of embroidery, and a lot of comments indicated the embroidery designs were disappointingly small.  So unfortunately that one is crossed off the list, although I sure liked all the features as well as the free designs available to download from the Brother website!

So, before I research a bunch more and just get all confused, I thought I’d ask your advice!   Do you have an embroidery machine?  If so, what type?  Do you LOVE it?  What are the best features?

I’d sure like to hear from you folks that do embroidery and have a machine that you just wouldn’t part with!  HELP!!!   Please!

Thanks a bunch – and have a fun, creative weekend!!

Linda

PS – She & Me Designs  is running an Easter sale on kids aprons through Sunday night, March 17!   Take a look and see if there’s something you’d like!  All prices on aprons include free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 States!

 

A Novice’s Attempt at Reupholstering!!

I’ve always thought that I’d like to do some reupholstering, but hadn’t ever tried it.

I started with what I thought would be an easy project – a side chair. Our daughter-in-law was getting rid of a chair that she no longer had any use for – and donated it to our daughter. Unfortunately the yellow floral fabric wasn’t to her taste. We decided that the chair would be the first reupholstering attempt. Off to JoAnn’s Fabric we went, where she found fabric she really liked, and she was thrilled that it was half-off!!!

Here’s the chair BEFORE I tore it apart – as you can see, it’s a perfectly good chair and in great condition!

Free chair!

Pretty, isn’t it?   Personally I like the yellow floral.

I took about a hundred pictures during the process, but don’t worry, I won’t post them all – just enough for you to get the picture of how the process went.  I was amazed at how many staples had been used – by the time I’d finished taking everything apart I’d removed more than 200 staples!!

We were surprised to find when we turned the chair over, that the ‘lining’ underneath had a zippered compartment!   It was probably there to make it easier to tighten the chair legs, but we thought it made a nifty hidden compartment!

Although I separated the back from the seat,  we were at a definite disadvantage because the original upholstery was put on BEFORE the legs were attached.  Since I wasn’t about to remove the legs from the structure, we had to improvise along the way.

Here’s a few pictures of how everything was taken apart –

Hidden zippered compartment

Hidden zippered compartment

Pulling staples!

Pulling staples!

Removing screws

Removing screws

Removing all the upholstery layers

Removing all the upholstery layers

Separating back from seat

Separating back from seat

Chair back

Chair back

Before we started reupholstering, I painted the chair legs gray, to match the gray in an end table we had painted for Megan several months ago.   (See previous blog titled “Refinishing a Thrift Store Table”. )

After I removed all the upholstery, I marked the pieces before I took them all apart. Although I was able to use the existing back pieces for a pattern , I was not able to use the pieces from the chair seat because it ripped while I was removing it.  You’ll see in the next pictures that instead of a fitted chair cover we  just ‘wrapped’ it and stapled it on.

"Wrapping" the chair seat

“Wrapping” the chair seat

Trying to 'tuck' fabric down around the legs

Trying to ‘tuck’ fabric down around the legs

Seat covered

Seat covered

Chair back covered

Chair back covered

Zippered compartment put back on

Zippered compartment put back on

FINISHED!!!

FINISHED!!!

Megan approves!

Megan approves!

I’m very happy with the way it turned out, but………I must say it was difficult!  I’m not sure that I’ll try anything more upholstered than an side chair in the future.  It was fun doing it with Megan though – we made a pretty good team!

I’d love to hear about your first time reupholstering projects!   Did they turn out as you expected?  And did you enjoy it enough to keep doing it?    Your comments are welcome and appreciated! Have a great week – Linda

Moving – AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been a wonderful year living in this huge house!!!

New home

As you may remember, 18 months ago we moved from Oregon to Texas, lock – stock – and barrel!!! The move was so that we could live near our son, daughter-in-law and three little and growing grandchildren. We desperately wanted to be a part of their every-day lives, more than part-time grandparents, and being in Oregon made that impossible!

So, we boxed and loaded everything up, and headed on down.

We decided to live in our 5th wheel for a time until we figured out where we wanted to live. That got old after about 6 months, so we rented a beautiful nearly-new home in a very nice subdivision. We moved in, I unpacked EVERYTHING as if it was our forever home, and enjoyed the home immensely!

Unfortunately, the year is up, and instead of staying the home we are heading back into the 5th wheel. This time we’ll be on the road a lot, traveling around the states and staying in California and Oregon for extended visits, so it won’t be as difficult – I hope:)

Grand Junction

It’s 38 feet long, which sounds big, but when you’re trying to put your sewing room and myriad sewing projects in it, it gets a little crowded!  🙂

This time it’s more difficult – I’m ready to settle down in my own home. I want to decorate, and paint, and do some DIY projects I’ve found on Pinterest!  But, the packing has to get done!  I’ve gotten pretty good at getting rid of a lot of ‘unnecessary’ things – but there still seems to be an awful lot of stuff! Wish me luck – in 4 weeks we’ll be moved out so I better get on it

Do you have some moves under your belt? What do you do to make them less stressful (short of hiring movers to do all the packing and moving)? (or is that just plain impossible?)

Oh, and by the way, Happy Valentines Day to all of you!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Linda

‘Eat Your Heart Out’ Kickstart Cleansing Diet

Over the last year, since we moved to Texas, I’ve put back on some of the weight I’d worked so hard to get off!  Story of my life, but I really want to stop this up and down, back and forth diet business!

Anyway, the day after Christmas I started a diet, and managed to lose a few pounds.  Then my daughter e-mailed me a “Kickstart Cleansing Diet” that she’d received from a friend.  It looked hard, because each different is a different regiman, but I thought it might be just what I needed to get going again.

So, last Monday I started the diet.

Each day, something different to eat.  I have to say, it was HARD!!!!!   It’s very difficult just eating certain things on certain days – thank goodness it only lasted 7 days!  It’s definitely not a diety that I could follow permanently, but I did it for a week!  And, I got results!  A total of 10.8 pounds!

I believe it was originally posted by Justin and Ashley @ Refresh, who received the diet from a doctor.  They posted the diet with a lot of information.  Check it out for a lot of FAQ’s and background information.

Lose 10 pounds in 7 days!I’m proud of myself for actually completing the entire week without cheating.  Now to continue the rest of my life trying to be careful!

Have you tried this diet out?  What do you think?

Take care,

Linda