Monday, December 20, 2010

Doll Clothes

I bought this cute doll for my niece for Christmas, but the dress she came in was ugly and of course any little girl with a new doll just has to have some doll clothes. So I naturally had to make some and it was so much fun. It brought back memories of making my daughter clothes for her dolls plus I learned to sew by making doll clothes for my own dolls. I used to dig in my grandmother's scrap basket to find that special piece to make something for my dolls. Since it is so close to Christmas and I needed to get all the gifts wrapped I only had time to make one outfit, a nightgown and a winter cape. However, her birthday is in April so once I get back home from family holidays I plan to start making her some more clothes for her birthday. Hmmmm, maybe matching outfits for her doll and herself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another quilt finished

Yippee!! Finished this t-shirt quilt in plenty of time for Christmas. Kim should be here this afternoon and I can't wait to see what she thinks of it.

I even had some time to get my snowman paper pieced project done. This little wall hanging is a 14 inch square. There sure were some itty bitty pieces with some tedious work, but I love it! I've already started working on the little wall hanging for February. However, I think I'll make some doll clothes for my niece this afternoon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Purple Gown

Erin and her mom came and picked up the dress I made for her. She tried it on and I was so please at the way it fit and how it looked on her. She will be giving tours at the Wornall House for Christmas Friday and Saturday night starting at 6pm. I'm sure she will be the prettiest tour guide there.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cornbread Casserole

This cornbread casserole is a standard for our Thanksgiving Dinner. My daughter and her boyfriend had Thanksgiving Dinner with his family on Thursday, but she missed the old favorites that I serve so on Friday night we had another dinner with them including this casserole that they both love.


1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained and 1/2 liquid reserved
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
2 eggs 1 (8 ounce) package dry corn bread mix
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, reserved liquid, eggs, corn bread mix and sour cream; stir until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown.

This will make approximately 12 servings. It is so easy and so delicious, hope you try it and let me know how you like it.

Civil War Costume

My latest project is this Civil War Era costume. I have a theater friend who does tours at one of the old Antebellum homes in Kansas City. Her daughter is also involved in the tours and wanted a new dress that was more holiday style instead of the prairie dresses she usually wears.

Diet Update

At my weigh in last week I have now lost a total of 25 lbs!! I have lost a full inch from my hips and over 2-1/2 inches from my waist. This is a picture of me in my now size 14 jeans. I have gone through my closet and all my size 16 clothes have been pulled out and given to the homeless or sent to the thrift shop. I stayed on my diet during two different Thanksgiving dinners and feel wonderfull!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

T-shirt quilts

I finished this quilt last week and she picked it up Sunday.

I quilted her degree into this one, which is something new I've not tried before and I think this will be something I can expand on with future quilts. I like the way it looks.

I always have my little buddy with me while I'm sewing and you can see what happens with the scraps from the t-shirts. Ginger thinks they make a dandy place to sleep.

I'm currently working on this one to have it done for Christmas. My next step is the border which I found the perfect fabric for the border and back in Jamesport, MO. I was there for a quilt retreat and they have a lovely fabric store with beautiful fabric. I found flannel for the back along with some other fabric I just couldn't live without!!

To all my friends out there, yes I am enjoying retirement to the fullest!!!!!!!!!

Diet Update

I weighed in today and I've lost 15 lbs and 2-1/2 inches from my waist!! This diet is so easy to follow and I am determined to stick with it. I took my own food to a recent quilt retreat and had a wonderful time with all my quilting buddies. I didn't even consider eating anything other than what was on my diet. My clothes are getting a bit baggy, but I think I can hold off buying any new pants for another week or two. I found a couple pair of smaller size jeans in the bottom of my closet, so I good with them for a bit longer.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Diet Update

Today I had my weigh in with the doctor, so far I've lost 12 lbs and 1-1/2 inches from my waist. The added bonus is that my blood pressure is almost down to normal. Yippie!!!!!!! So far the diet has been easy to follow, I just have to avoid eating out right now and when I go anywhere I have to take my food with me. However, those are only minor problems compaired to how much weight I've lost in just a little over two weeks. Amazing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unicorn Baby Quilt

I love being retired! Today I finished up one of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects). I put the border around this baby quilt and now its all ready for me to start quilting. Its partially recycled and partially new since I cut up a white sheet to use for the Unicorn squares, the blue fabric and purple fabric were from a yard sale find. The pretty flower fabric I bought for this quilt from my favorite fabric store. I love my embroidery machine as the unicorns took no time, I can't imagine how long it would have taken me if I had to do it by hand.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My diet

Ok, so here is a full view of me and as you can see I'm packing around a bit more weight than I should be. So on my recent visit to the doctor I found out I have high blood pressure, my choices are to either start taking medication or lose some weight. I opted to lose weight by trying the HCG diet which consists of hormone drops and a very very restricted calorie diet of 500 calories daily. This diet has worked for several friends and they have had great success keeping the weight off and the added benefit is you're not left with a lot of hanging skin which happens with the lap band and other weight loss programs. Soooo this is my second day on the diet and so far so good. My next visit to the doctor for my first weigh in will be October 22.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quilt Show results

I think I'm still in shock with the results of the show. I can't believe my quilt received second place in machine quilted category and "Best of Show"! I could not wait to let Christopher, Terri, and Emily know that the quilt I made for them won. They were so excited and Emily even screamed when she found out. Christopher was very happy and since the quilt shows are over he can now have his quilt.

My other entry of "Quilts on the Line" received second place in the wall hanging category. I designed this quilt and even pieced together the little miniature quilts that hang on the line by the beads I used for the clothes pins.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wool Felted Teddy Bear

This little guy is my first creation using recycled wool and wool roving needle felting for his paw pads and face. I completely hand sewed him together, which naturally was a bit time consuming. I could do it much faster if I used the sewing machine, but I’ll have to decide which one looks better. I think he has such a cute folk art look that may change if I do one on the machine. I entered him in the county fair and received a red which was exciting and motivating as he is my first creation with this method.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Retirement has finally arrived!

Today was my last day and tomorrow the paperwork, then I’m history and a name plaque on the retirement wall.

In the past 29 years with the BOP, I have been blessed with many good coworkers and a few good supervisors -- People whom I knew I could trust to have my back and friends who gave me support in the tough times.

It’s been a long climb since starting out as a GS-1, and worked my way through every step to finally retire as a GS-9. Several times the ladder rungs took a beating, but I just hung on for dear life and kept inching my way forward. It’s said that good things come to those who wait, so I did my share of waiting. My words of wisdom are to put God and family before your job, keep your values and integrity out in front and put more effort into keeping friends instead of making enemies.

USP Leavenworth has definitely been an experience, from cats falling through the ceiling to the ceiling falling in over my desk and the unforgettable day the ceiling fell out of the entire kitchen. I’ve had to dumpster-dive for office furniture and drive the old delivery truck that has no windows, no door handle and only one side mirror which makes backing up an adventure. At Springfield I saw things no one can believe, especially back when I worked in the Operating Room and the Psychiatric Unit. Believe me when I say they can put a tattoo absolutely anywhere. I can definitely say my least favorite job of all was notifying the family after an inmate died and how could I ever forget when a doctor at Springfield told me I sounded a lot better over the phone than I looked!!

I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, some good and some not so good. If you stick around long enough, you see the changes that didn’t work in the past tried all over again. The good thing about working for the Bureau of Prisons is it paid well, I’ll have a retirement check every month, I can keep my health insurance, and I had plenty of vacation time, so it was worth it. One thing I always say is where else can you work and have so much entertainment.

Now I start a new chapter in my life, one that will enable me to enjoy my family more, put my creative abilities in action, and do a lot of things I have put off and put on hold simply because there just was never enough time.

There will be some things I’ll miss, but a lot I definitely will not; getting up at 4:30 in the morning, standing on the dock with the wind blowing snow and ice in my face, and I’m definitely not going to miss coming home very day smelling like what we cooked for lunch. One of the big things I won’t miss is sitting in my office above the kitchen knowing that if anything happened the only thing I could do would be barricade myself in my office and hope there wasn’t a fire.

Now all that is behind me and I have so many plans and new adventures a head of me!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Father's Shirts

I believe this is my biggest project to accomplish so far. David Wright passed away is 2007 and I was asked to make a quilt using his shirts for his son Christopher and his daughter Emily. I have finally completed the quilt for Christopher and it took me about 2 years! This quilt was made using Davids work shirts and polo shirts with a few of his t-shirts as the main fabric in the stars and square blocks. I also added personalized embroidery is some of the squares as he was a soccer coach and an avid golfer. Since I wanted to use as much of the shirts as I could I took the cuffs complete with the buttons attached and sewed them all around the boarder of the quilt and I'm planning to use the collars of the shirts around the boarder of Emily's quilt.

I did one embroidery square for Christopher's birth date and the memorial square with David's dates of birth and death.

The biggest challenge for this quilt was the fact I quilted it on my regular sewing machine, but due to the size of the quilt (100 x 100) I had to use my dinning room table and draped the quilt over the table, the chairs,and my shoulder while I was free motion quilting. I had to quilt a little at a time because my shoulders and back would start aching after a while! My next step is to make a quilt for Emily, but fortunately this one sill be a smaller size. I'm almost done designing her quilt on graft paper and I'm about ready to start cutting and embroidering. Sine I'll soon be retired I'm confident her quilt will be done a lot sooner than two years from now!!

Last year because I was feeling so bad about not getting anything done for her I made a pillow from some of the shirt scraps left after cutting the squares of Christopher's quilt. I entered it in the Platte County Fair and was thrilled to get a blue ribbon. When I gave Emily the quilt I let her have the ribbon since I felt it went with the pillow. However, she had other ideas and decoupaged the ribbon onto an old small wooded ironing board I had asked her to decorate for me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The carpet bag

This is one big purse, it's a large tote bag made from a vintage vest and some upholstery fabric. I made this one for a shop owner in Smithville. I went into her vintage and antique shop the other day to look around and she asked me about the purse I was carrying. I came out of the shop with this vest to make a purse for her. She wanted it to resemble the large carpet bags, which I think it does.

Today I made a purse for myself!! My friends keep telling me that I need a new one since all summer I've been using the purse I made last winter from a sweater, so today I made one that will be great for fall. I love the colors and I used the yellow striped fabric on the inside. I used one upholstery sample for the outside, fabric from a mans shirt for the inside and then the top and the handle are pieces of denim for a old pair of jeans. I used the wrong side of the denim because the right side was rather ratty looking. The button came from my stash so it's 100% recycled.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labrador purse

This is my latest purse, I'm adding embroidery pictures to them now and made a little coin purse to go with it. I used my favorite creative supply of old blue jeans and upholstery fabric samples.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shirt #2 up-cycle

Here's the second shirt I did. This one was a little more complicated since I put new yolks on it along with the fringe. I think it turned out great. The fringe on both shirts is actually a piece of non-raveling fabric that I cut into strips to make the fringe.

Shirt up-cycle

My niece is quite the little cowgirl and even at only six years old she has several belt buckles and ribbons from participating in youth rodeos. Of course she needs some awesome western shirts so she looks good on her horse, so I found this shirt and did an up-cycle on it. I think she will be cute as ever in it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Finished Purse!!

Since I don't work on Friday I managed to get up this morning before 8:00A and finish a purse I've been working on for a couple weeks. My regular job just seems to keep getting in the way of finishing my projects!! I was trying to figure out the best way to take a picture of my new creation and my son was standing in the kitchen watching me. I was talking about my new blog, my list of projects and just chatting with him about what was next on my list for the day. He laughed and said "You're really going to enjoy your retirement aren't you mom." I smiled and told him I was definitely going to have a wonderful retirement of creating!

This purse was made for my friend Teri, she came over one day and picked out the fabric for the purse. Needless to say she was a bit overwhelmed by my selection of supplies (i.e. preloved but usable fabric). For the lining I used an old pair of jeans and decided to use the wrong side since the right side would have made the inside too dark and hard to find anything.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I also love to do photography, I'm definitely an ameture at this, but I enjoy it. One of my goals for retirement (October 1 2010) is to take a photography class.

Baby Booties

Here are a couple more pictures of the booties I've made. I keep changing the pattern a little each time I make it, so they turn out just a little different each time. After a couple more I should have it perfected to the way I want it. Well, maybe, I'm notorious for never making the same thing twice. Probably because sometimes I actually forget how I did it when I make it the next time.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby Booties

This morning I finished a pair of booties for a friend who is expecting a new grand-baby. As you can see she is definitely hoping for a girl this time. I am however going to make a pair of booties for a boy just in case. I embroidered the booties bottoms last weekend and finished making them this morning. The fabric and ribbon all came from my stash of fabric and stuff. The biggest part of my stash comes from garage sales, auctions and the good will. I do occasionally buy fabric, but I make a point to recycle and up-cycle as much as possible.