Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friendly Suggestion

When I was in high school, my mom would often say "You should clean up your room.  Just a friendly suggestion."  Or "Don't be late tonight.  Friendly suggestion."  Or "Just a friendly suggestion -- don't play the piano so loud."

Of course what she meant was do-this-or-you'll-be-in-big-trouble.  I laugh about that now.  My mother was never overbearing, and yet always to the point.  She still is.  She's one of my most favourite people in the world.  I've tried the same thing with my own daughters (repeatedly!) and they just roll their eyes. 

I guess it doesn't translate to this younger generation.  : )

Anyway -- all this to say if you're not following The Frugal Fashionista, you should be.  I've probably said it before, but this blog is the best for highlighting what's hot right now in fashion.  Even if I can't wear or afford most of it, I do appreciate staying abreast of the trends. 

So just a friendly suggestion, Missy: go subscribe to Frugal Fashionista.  You'll thank me when you're older.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

HOLY. COW. Holycow! Holycowholycow!


Today, my bedroom closet was such a mess that I could no longer deal with it.  I took it on.  I won.

I got a pretty hook thingy from Hobby Lobby on which to hang my nightgowns.  I wanted to hang it, so I headed out to the garage to find screws and anchors and a screwdriver, etc.

(remember, this is the garage that it is going to take me probably a year to get through)

I kept asking my father-in-law Ellis, who passed away in 2003, "Where did you put this stuff, Ellis?  Where would you have stashed screws and nails and small bits of hardware?"  I finally gave up when I couldn't find anything and knew our stuff like that is in storage in my parents' barn.

I went to put away the screwdriver, when a plastic bag sitting beside the furnace caught my eye.  Inside it looked something vaguely like fabric.

Turns out it WAS fabric.  Pink pincord.

And under the pincord, I found this, wrapped in tissue paper:

There was a small box under the bag, so I grabbed it and went back into the house.
And here's what I found:
Treasures!  Treasures!
Vintage Patterns
Vintage Notions
Ancient interfacing & tracing paper
Needle book and the cutest ruler
Look at the prices!
Anne Adams mail-order

Here are my favs:

Wow.  Sometimes God just surprises you with these little gifts.

By the way, did I mention my mother-in-law gave me this for Christmas?
Singer Featherweight

This sure does make having to move a little sweeter.  I guess God decided I needed a spoonful of sugar in my life.  I think I'll go lay down and die now.

I hope your day is as good as mine, wall hardware nonwithstanding!



As many of you probably know, I'm an Interior Design student at a community college, and I'll graduate in May with an AA.  I went back to school when my eldest daughters started college -- but in a field that many people go into later in life.  Especially women, when their kids are starting to leave.  That made it a lot easier for me, since I wasn't the old lady with all these young kids in the classes.

Anyway!  I'm always on the lookout for new, creative ideas both with sewing and with design.  I saw this on Pinterest, pinned from a blog called "Storage and Glee." 

 What a great idea, right?

I am a serious sucker for storage.  The Container Store is absolute heaven for me.  So when I see an idea like this, I immediately make a mental note.  Or I write it in my blog as my mental note clipboard is usually full. 

As it happens, I am living now in my mother-in-law's house.  She has moved to assisted living, where she has a wonderful little 2-bedroom apartment.  It is small, and she took most of her stuff -- well, most of her furniture.  I am slowly sifting through the rest of the house so I can move us in.  It's a s-l-o-w process.  Seriously.  Snail's pace.  Largely because I have all this school stuff to finish up for the semester.

In the course of cleaning out one of the closets, I found these. 

I immediately thought "recycle bin!"  My husband, who has been substitute teaching at the local vocational school, thought "horticulture department!" 

And then I saw that photo on Pinterest.  (which, by the way, you should follow in case you do not).

So I'm wondering if I could do something like that.  The question is, what would these former flower vases hold?

I'm also wondering if I should just do something like this:

I dunno.  Feel free to offer suggestions.  I'm gonna think on it while I go write proposals, read George Sands, and draw a floorplan for a hobby store.  I know, I know.  Y'all wish you were me.  : )

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your Own Croquis

I know, I know, I already posted today and whined a lot.  But this is so cool!  I had to share it with you.

For some time I have been frustrated by the vast chasm that exists between what I see in my mind and what I see in real life -- as it applies to the clothing I make.  I think the problem is that I don't have an accurate picture of myself.

This is common to those of us who really like a particular style -- except it doesn't always flatter us.

The answer?  How about an outline of me, on which I can "try on" clothing before I make it?  Dressmakers often use a Croquis (pronouced croa-kee, it's french).  These are great for designers.

And here's a tutorial, using Gimp, which is free and very like Photoshop.  I'm going to try it when I get some time, when the school projects are finished and all the traveling is done.  If you give this a go, let me know how it turns out. 

Kinda looks like this -- only it's you!

Whine, whine, whine. And then whine some more.

Today in Jen's Sewing Room.  Uh, what?  What sewing room?

I am so tired of moving this "studio" from one house to another.  Pardon me while I whine.  And I would like some cheese with my whine, thank you very much.

I have to recover my table, because I trashed it with the last school project I did -- a model of a room in a house.  I am about to re-trash it with another model, this time a restaurant.  Besides that, I have to go through the boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes. . .

. . . and boxes . . .

of my fabrics to find one suitable for covering the table.  I'd like a piece of plexiglas to cover that, but since they're $200+ for that size and my budget (budget?  What budget?) is non-existent, I am resorting to clear vinyl.

Wanna whine with me?  Here's the current state of things:

So somebody shoot me or I'd better get good and drunk with all this whining.  Bleah.

I'll be back when I'm in a better mood.  : (

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Angela Kane is hosting a class!

If you're like me, you love Angela Kane's YouTube videos.  I'm not a paid subscriber, but I am a free member of her website, which is

I got an email saying that she was hosting some free classes via PowHow.  PowHow is beta testing, and they are offering free classes from various people. 

Angela is hosting 3 classes.  Go here to find out more:

I've registered for the sewing jersey class.  Try one of these!  You'll love it!