Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beginning Sewing

Dear Paden,

So you think you'd like to learn to sew and make your own clothes.  You have a lot of interests and talents for a sixteen-year-old girl, but I hope this won't be just a fleeting whim, and I'm more than a little pleased to think that I may have inspired you even in some small way.

It used to be common and thrifty to make one's own clothes.  My grandmother, great-grandmothers, etc., on back, made all of their daughters dresses, certainly and these weren't the skimpy things you see walking around today.  Think full skirts and layers of petticoats!  My own mother made many of our clothes when we were growing up.  And she did it for a long time with a machine that wouldn't run unless one of us girls stood there and held a knob just so.

These days, in spite of what you see on TV, it's not so common.  It's not cheap anymore.  Patterns and good fabric are expensive and hard to find.  I say this not to discourage you, but simply because it's true. 

Nevertheless, sewing has its own rewards.  When I see something I like in the stores, I don't just want to have it, I want to know if I can make it.  Or, more often than not, I simply can't find what I want in the store.  Or it needs to be adjusted-- have the hem shortened, the waist taken in, etc.  There's nothing like the feeling when you finish something and it FITS!  When the finished product is just what you wanted, and it looks beautiful, all is right with the world. 

I knew as a little girl, when I watched Mother sewing for us, that I wanted to sew.  I was nine years old when she took me to the store downtown owned by the couple who sat ahead of us in church, Fred and Rosella McClure, and bought me a treadle sewing machine.  Tiny Rosella showed me how to start the wheel and pump the pedal.  When we went home with that treadle in the back of the station wagon, I remember clearly telling Mother, "This is the best day of my life."

A few things to remember:

  • Start with something simple.
  •  Be nice to the machine, and it'll be nice to you.
  •  Be patient,...especially with yourself.
  • Measure twice; cut once!
  • Ripping and sewing go hand in hand.
  • Never cut paper with your sewing scissors.  Never!
  • Some days you'll make mistakes and feel like throwing the whole project in the garbage, but after a good night's sleep (or a good cry....and sometimes BOTH) you'll find that mistakes CAN be fixed.

Sarah Ashley

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Saturday, July 20, 2013


I've had this huge tugboat sticker in a set of Meri Meri Accents and wondered what on earth I'd ever do with it.  It turned out to be just the thing for a quick birthday card for my nephew, Johnathan.  Of course, being me, I couldn't stop at simple.  I had to go and make a pop-up for the inside.  Everything used scraps I already had on hand.

My mother liked this so much, she asked if I could make something similar for her to send her granddaughter, Anne.

Luckily, I had another big sticker from the same set.  I found the cloud background in my drawer of scraps.    For the pop-up, I cut three layers of stars with my Cricut machine.  Congratulations, Anne!
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Monday, July 15, 2013

One Layer Cards

I created this card for the One-Layer Card Challenge, but also for Mother's cousin Nancy.  It's always so nice when I can do two things at once!

I stamped the Painted Flower, masked it, and stamped the large block of sheet music.  I tore a piece of scrap paper, giving a ragged edge to mask the sheet music while I sponged alongside it with the Chestnut Roan ink.  Repeat the sheet music three times (or as many as needed to cover the card), stamping in different directions.

A Rose for Nancy Ann
  • Cardstock:  Mixed Media stack (GCD Studio)
  • Stamps:  Painted Flower (Hero Arts); sheet music block (Inkadinkado)
  • Ink pads:  Chestnut Roan (Colorbox); red and green (Tsukineko)
One-layer cards aren't always as simple as they look,...but they are fun!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hooked on Palm Trees

for Savannah
Peggy's Birthday

Here are two more cards featuring the TC Travel pad from K & Company and the palm tree stamp from Recollections by Michael's Stores.  I'd botched an earlier card idea and realized the scraps could create the look of another palm tree in the foreground.  I love it when I can use my mistakes like this!

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Monday, July 8, 2013

A Blue Horizon

My mother's cousin, Nancy, took me to Hawaii with her in September of 2010.  Our hotel was two blocks from the beach at Waikiki.  In the mornings I stood out on the balcony to call home, watching one or two boats bobbing on the horizon as the sun came up behind us.  At night I walked down to join the crowds of people marveling at the strokes of color changing every moment in the sunset sky.

When I pull out my palm tree stamps, island-themed paper pads and stickers, I try to re-create that same feeling.  I made this card for my cousin Peggy's birthday, and she said it's probably as close as she'll get to an island vacation this year.

Peggy's Birthday Beach
  • Cardstock:  Flourish Fusion pad (The Paper Studio)
  • Printed paper:  Sand Photo (The Paper Studio)
  • Stamps:  Coastal/Maritime set (Inkadinkado); Chelsea Sentiments set (Inkadinkado)
  • Chalk ink:  Chestnut Roan  (Colorbox)
  • 3D Stickers:  Coconut Palms (EKSuccess)
I cut two layers of the Sand Photo paper and sponged the top edges with Chestnut Roan ink to give it depth.  Don't forget--square cards require extra postage!!

This one may go to my aunt Nancy (the name Nancy runs in the family!).  I didn't realize she was sentimental about the islands until this past week, when she was visiting.  I'd found the song Beyond the Blue Horizon, recorded by Lou Christie, for her, and she was almost teary-eyed as she told me her senior class show over fifty years ago had had a Hawaiian theme.

Island Sunset
  • Cardstock:  Glitter Metalics stack (DCWV); dark brown (The Paper Studio)
  • Patterned paper:  Glitz Pack Afternoon Muse; Sand Photo (The Paper Studio)
  • Stamps:  Coastal/Maritime set (Inkadinkado); Greetings set (TPC Studio); Palm Trees (Recollections by Michael's Stores)
  • Brown Dye ink (Tsukineko)
  • Deckle-edged scissors (Fiskars)
  • Glue Dots (Zots!)

**I'd love to hear from you! Please leave your comments and questions.**