Monday, November 10, 2014

Late post on Halloween costumes

Sorry I've been off the blog for a's been busy. My husband is trying to get everything aligned for his second surgery. It should be the first of December, but we are unsure as who knows if another cornea will be ready. I will try to update this site as much as possible and may even have a picture of his eye from Dr. Bowden's office!

This year, I tried to get my girls to wear outfits I had already made. We have an entire box of princess and dress up clothing. But the weekend BEFORE Halloween night, my oldest decided to change her mind last minute. So my oldest wanted to be a peacock princess and my youngest with happy with just a newer pink princess dress. Here is a picture of their costumes and I will try to post some other (more detailed) pictures later.

If you notice, each of my girls had numbers attached to their costume. Our church had a costume contest at their trunk or treat and well...the Peacock Princess won hands down. My daughter was so excited. She won a brand new "real" bible with new and old testament and a twenty dollar bill! Talk about fun! We had a great night. It was a little cold for Florida but a nice night to be out walking around.

As I said, I will try to post other better daylight. I will also blog about each dress as they were both simple, but unique. Sew come back Sew Hungry For More.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day Five of Blogtember challenge: Passions

Today's question is what am I passionate about? But first let us look at the definition. To be passionate means showing or caused by strong feelings or beliefs. Some synonyms of the word in English are: intense, heated, emotional, eager, excited, wild, spirited, consuming and heartfelt. When you also Google the definition of passion, you will find two separate definitions. One is to have a strong and barely controllable emotion. The second definition is the suffering and death of Jesus Christ and refers to agony or suffering of Christ. This is because the true Greek word when used in the Bible (KJV) has the root of suffering.

So really after reading the definition, if I am a true Christian, I should be reminded of Christ's death for me and my sins. He suffered for me. He was passionate about showing his love to the world and dying on the cross so that man could be saved. If you have ever seen the movie "The Passion" or have ever really read the scriptures regarding Christ's death...that's true Passion!

Since he had that passion for us...why do some of us no longer delight in having that same passion for him? I know that I am reading my bible, praying, having quiet time and trying to truly live for the Lord. That's where my true passion should be. Not in things or this world or of situations or people I have no control over. I should be passionate about his love, his word, and his plans for me and my family. While it is easier to say/write about that passion, I am trying to be more passionate daily and turn to him rather than to the world.

God Bless all and come back Sew Hungry for More!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blogtember Challenge: Day Three: When I grow up

Day Three of the blogtember challenge is "When I grow up, I want to be.." Honestly, that has somewhat changed since I was five years old but then again it has not. I always wanted to fly and I've had that chance. I wouldn't mind completing my private pilot license but i don't know that I would want to make it a job. That might make it boring because someone else would control the destination. I would prefer flying a private plane so I could fly where and when I want to. Yes, I do need the wind beneath my wings.(Insert Bette Midler song here) haha.

My real dream since sewing over the years has been to be a fashion designer. I don't know if I would do just children's clothing or move on to ladies fashions. It's a toss-up! I like kids fashions because they are usually easier to sew and fit! We as ladies understand that the more curves, the more sewing problems! This is why most models are stick figures and not real women. Wops did I just say that! LOL

My other dream is to teach kids or teenagers to sew. In my local county, there are no more sewing classes or even home-economics courses. Yes, we have Joann fabrics and quilting shops but they are not really teaching kids much about sewing. I don't know many teenagers that want to sew a pillowcase as their only project. My mother said when she was a girl they had home-ec classes in the basement of their church. A majority of girls in the church participated and therefore learned to really sew. Maybe it's an older tradition, but I think these teenagers need something to keep their fingers busy - things other than cell phones!

Another passion of mine are my girls and kids in general. I love seeing a smiling face. I know so many parents that don't allow their kids to play with playdough because they are afraid to mess up the carpet! Really?! I also have a heart for orphans...maybe someday when I have a million dollar mansion, I will fill it up with bunk beds and kids! :) Then I'll stay up all night to sew them all nice wardrobes! Or maybe I'll just wait til I get to heaven and God will let me sew the choir robes!

Ok, so back off my cloud and down to earth....I have passions for different things but now is not the time or the season. God's plan and purpose for me right now is my family. To be my husband's help mate and my daughters mother. All of which I try to do everyday and will until God reveals another purpose for my life. Well, see you tomorrow and come back...Sew Hungry For More!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Challenge Day Two: My Happiness

My Happiness

Day Two of the blog-tember challenge is What makes you happy? When I think about it, this is an interesting challenge to see what others will post about what makes them happy. It also helps us read about what we may have in common.

So here's my order: My God, My Husband, My children (two girls - one six, one three), My family and friends, My scotish terrier, A kiss from my husband, Messy craft day with my kids, Teaching home-school (first grade), Cooler weather, A good cup of coffee with lots of creme, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Pumpkin donuts from Dunkin, A nice fitting pair of jeans, An evening out with friends/family, A fabric store, A morning when the kids sleep in and my husband and I wake up for a bible study, Getting in the runway pattern with a Piper Cherokee then turning off the engine and gliding in for a landing in God's hands, A solo flight, sewing a new dress, eating my mother's cream chicken over biscuits, Thanksgiving, Christmas, a date night with my hubby, helping one another, participating in my church nursery and making kids smile, FREE stuff that you actually need or want!, the Quilt show, chatting techie stuff with my brother, catching up with old friends, making new friends, blogging, boots, designing a new pattern, Pinterest!, singing a good song, going antiquing with my BFF, smelly soap - the good kind! and whew...this list is getting long!

Truly, there are many things that make me happy. I try to look at the little things too. I remember first getting out of "OCS" Officer Candidate School and enjoying sleeping back in my bed, waking up when I wanted and eating the food I wanted! Plus I was actually able to take a long hot shower by myself!! LOL I can also remember when I had my second daughter and I was in the hospital for 8 weeks before my c-section. I was SO HAPPY again to sleep in my own bed, eat what I wanted, and not have all those monitors attached to me!!

I know also that my husband and I are both happier having had his right corneal transplant completed and we look forward to the future because at least now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life is good, Life is come back Sew Hungry for More!

Blog-tember daily posts challenge - September 1st - My Landing Pattern

So have any of you seen this challenge on Brave Love? It just looked interesting to me and I thought I would join in to help my blog and myself grow more into blogging. Actually, this is just the challenge I think I'm up for! Feel free to join in if you have a blog yourself or to follow other favorite blogs as we vow to blog everyday on these topics.

I'm a little behind, but here is the topic for September 1st: Imagine the front sleeve of a hard cover novel. Give us your "About the Author" so we can get to know one another, and for fun tell us what your imaginary novel would be about.

When I was a little girl, I always imagined what it would be like to fly a plane. I drew airplanes for a while and even glued together model airplanes. Then in the sixth grade, I received a VHS in the mail. Not just any VHS tape, but it was my cousin on his first flight! I burned with jealously, but knew my parents could never afford this type of adventure for me.

On my twenty first birthday I surprised myself with my first flight in a Cessna at my local airport. Little did I know that I would soon land a well paying job after college that allowed me to fly a Piper Cherokee for the next three years. However, right before obtaining my private pilot licence, September 11, 2001 happened and I decided to join the navy to fly.

After weeks of long hard hours, I was discharged from Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida due to anemia. Coming home disappointed, discouraged and broke, I moved into a home with my parents near the airport I once flew at for three years. I would walk in my neighborhood and look up at the planes in the runway pattern. Little did I know that in that pattern would be my parents new home, my church where my future husband was leading music and our first house.

The novel would be called: My Landing Pattern.

I'm linking this article up to the blog-tember challenge as stated above. Please feel free to comment. Hopefully you have gotten to know me more and always come back...Sew Hungry For More.

Update on my husband's recovery

"Things look Good." Dr. Bowden advised my husband. It's been four weeks now since his surgery and things are looking good. No signs of infection, no signs of scratching, and only signs of healing. He still has to wait two more months before the stitches come out in the right eye and we will then see if Dr. Bowden will let him proceed with surgery on the left eye. So for now it's all about letting God heal his eye and preparing my husband for the left corneal transplant. Stay turned for more updates as things happen and feel free to comment or ask questions regarding the transplant.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Honey, we need to call the eye doctor...

"my contact just fell out!" My husband said calmly. He said he saw a gray film along the outside of his vision and all the sudden he was seeing more clearly. He wiped his eye, the gray film caught the tissue and POP. Out fell the Prokera ring that was placed on his new cornea to release helpful medicines into his eye. It was scary, but it had been ten days since the surgery and we were scheduled to see the doctor the next day. We called Dr. Bowden's office to ask if we should rush him in for a check up of his eye. They called back with an appointment time, basically get there as soon as possible. We gobbled up lunch and drove all the way across town to the doctors office.

When at the doctors office, my husband was checked to see his current vision. His right eye registered at about 20/50 on this date, but not much of a change since the day after surgery. They examined the wound and it was healing as it should. While the ring fell out on it's own, everything seemed intact. He was advised that a different porous contact lense would be placed in his eye. This would be more like a plastic band-aid to help the eye continue to heal and protect the stitches.

My husband was asked to come in about ten days time to check on the lense placed in his eye. Things are "looking" better for him every day. Healing is continuing and so are his many, many drops. He is now able to do a few things but should still avoid running or any other strenuous activities. We keep his eye covered most of the time with a clear patch and elastic around his head. My daughters kindly say that dad's a pirate!!

We have another doctors appointment soon and at that point we will see if he needs another contact lense or if he is able to just wear an external eye patch. So as always come back...Sew Hungry For More!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Days after the transplant

"Ok, Mr. H, we are now going to remove the patch and I want you to tell me what you see." The nurse stated as she began to pull up an eye chart for my husband. As they removed the patch, my husband looked at me and smiled, "Wow, I can see you more clearly honey!" We both were trying to hold back from crying. The nurse ran through the regular eye chart routine. They were evaluating his sight. I asked what his vision is rated as of now. "It looks to be about 20/40!"

We again waited and were placed in another room for Dr. Bowden's evaluation. "What's his vision now?" Dr. Bowden asked the nurse. "20/40" she stated. "Really!? That's fantastic!" The doctor stated. We were advised to keep up all the drops/the prescriptions. I think there are like 10 bottles and we use them about 2 hours to 1 hour apart! At first it was a lot on me as my husband had to rest and couldn't see with one eye to accurately place the drops on his eye. (Weeks have gone by and now he's a big boy again, doing the drops by himself.) Before we left, the doctor placed a dissolving ring/eye contact on my husband's eye. This distorted his view completely again as it was film and plastic. However, the contact was to dissolve over 10 days and place medicine into the eye to allow even more healing.

As we left the office, I asked what my husband's vision was two years ago when we were advised he needed the surgery. "Let's see," said the nurse, "20/400!!" My husband had to have all 5 layers of his cornea replaced because of all the scarring and bad tissue in his eye. Now after surgery, so far so good! Dr. Bowden informed us that this is probably the BEST outcome he has ever had for this type of replacement. Most people have very fuzzy eyesight after the surgery and it's hard for them to see the biggest E on the eye chart. At the same time, my husband and I are not that surprised. We have been praying to God and knew it was in his hands. Our church has been praying as well. God is good. And while it was a little nerve racking, we know that God is faithful when we are faithful.

Well, gotta go...I'll blog about the ring coming out in my next post as well as our crazy last few weeks with doctors appointments about every three days! So come back...Sew Hungry for more!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Right Corneal Transplant

"Hey, Can I have some more of those numbing drops?" My husband asked as he awoke from his right corneal transplant. "Sure, let's get some of those over here," The doctor stated as he was finishing sewing up the last of the stitches.

That morning had been a long morning. Probably my longest ever. We woke up before the sun rose and drove to the first surgery center. While I waited in a room, Dr. Bowden cut my husband's right cornea in the other room. They left it in place, patched it up and we went to Baptist Surgery Center to complete the operation. While I drove my husband, I asked him, "How do you feel?". He said, "Well that was a weird experience. But they did give me some valium." It was funny, he was relaxed. I on the other hand was nervous and scared about the major procedure about to occur. Why did he have to get his eye cut at one place? Well, the doctor wanted to do a zigzag cut that would be more precise and allow better healing when the new cornea was installed. We both know he was the expert, so we didn't question the procedure.

When we arrived at Baptist Surgical Center, We waited in the waiting room. Dr. Bowden had to finish up with the patients at his center, then also drive to the surgical center. I think we waited an hour. My husband was number 3 in line, but he was the only corneal transplant that day. When they called my husband back, they prepped him to wait in the back before the surgery. They placed an IV in his hand, a heart monitor complete with stickers to the chest, a gown on his upper body and placed his shoes in a bag. He was ready! I looked at the doctors board and noticed he was an hour behind. I could see the other two patients ahead of us in make shift rooms as there were only blue curtains between us. And so we waited...again.

Over an hour later, we were still waiting. It was lunch time. The nurses were warming their lunches in the breakroom and the smell of chinese food caught wind. Sniff...Mmmmm. We were both hungry. My husband jokingly asked where his was and the nurses laughed. "It's wrong you know to have a patient lose 65lbs just to have surgery and on the day of, you decide to smell the hallway with food smells!" He stated. We laughed about it and continued to wait. Finally the anesthesiologist came to my husband and introduced himself. We also watched the two other men go back to the operating room and then go to the recovery room. The time had come. I knew I had to slip out to the waiting room and wished my husband well with a kiss.

An hour passed and I was still in the waiting room. Two hours passed. I went to the nurses desk to ask if the procedure was over. "Not yet, Mrs. H. We will call you back when it is." They told me. I called a few family members and friends to talk about my husband's status and to check on my girls. Finally, after what seemed like forever, they called me back. When I approached the back, he was patched up and sitting up. He was eating graham crackers and drinking water. The nurse stated he would be ready to leave in about 15 minutes!!

As I said, this was a long day on August 4, 2014. We woke up at 5:30am and didn't return to our home until 2:30pm!! I had a headache after only eating a pop-tart, coffee, some crackers and a lot more coffee!! My husband needed help up the stairs and Grammy still had the girls. I called her to check on their status as my husband soon fell asleep. 3 year old had just laid down for a nap. So I decided to take one too after this long day. As they say, now the real work begins as my husband's restrictions are to do...NOTHING! And I will talk later about how he is currently doing as well as his eyesight in a later posting. For now, gotta go...come back Sew Hungry for More.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

De-cluttering some fabric and supplies

Do you ever just feel you need to let go? Well, I'm starting to weed out my fabric stash to let go some of the materials that I just can't use right now. I have a lot of vintage materials and supplies and I feel it's just time to start listing more of them. If you are interested, they are available in my Etsy shop, ARaneeDesigns.

If you look at the listings, I will try to include a suggestion on how to use the material. I know sometimes it takes a look and then thinking through ideas. The bad part about my stash is I have an idea for everything!! Hahaha. But I realize that I will never have the time to put all of them to work! So for now I will let go of some and keep trying to finish what I've started..

Included in this post are some pictures of the materials on my site. Feel free to click above on the hyperlink to purchase! Thank you all. And don't forget to come back, Sew Hungry for More!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Surgery update and homeschooling!

Our phone rang the evening of July 6th at 7:30pm. "Hello is Mr here?" I handed the phone to my husband, it was the surgery center calling. "We can't do the surgery, Dr. Bowden believes that the cornea is to far damaged and there are no more in the tissue bank that meet his specifications!" Needless to say, we were all prepared...but it just wasn't in God's time for my husband to have the surgery. They tried booking another surgery center, but low and behold, our insurance would not pay for that location. We are now waiting til August 4, 2014 for his next surgery date.

I know my husband was disappointed. I mean this time, he even did all the medications for three days prior to prep for surgery. His weight was good...we had all our ducks in a row. But as we were informed about the bad cornea, I reminded my husband that it was better the surgeon found out there was a mistake BEFORE the cut was made! I mean after all...this is your sight we are talking about here. The last thing you want is to do the surgery twice because the surgeon messed up the first time, right? He agreed and so we have been waiting and praying for our next surgery date.

In the meantime, I've been busy. I am homeschooling our eldest daughter and last year was our first year in school (kindergarden) and our first year homeschooling. This has been quite the task with everything else life has thrown us this year...but with God's grace, we finished and got her portfolio evaluation completed. (Insert Mom with smile here.)

This summer has been filled with small "Stay-cations" as we have been trying to stay on task for my husband surgery. But it has given us time to do the little things with our children, even if it's a walk on the beach. I have been planning diligently for next year as this time I will have my three year old doing some pre-reading work and my six year old doing first grade work. It all helps keeps things in perspective and makes our family think about what really matters.

My sewing has taken a back seat for a while, but I will be working on some blog postings as we start back school. I have some changes in mind and will be praying which way to take them. God Bless and come back, Sew Hungry 4 More! AH

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Update on that outfit I traced..

By the way, here is a picture of my daughter's outfit that I used for the "How not to cut tissue paper pattern" tip. She wore it to a church Easter egg hunt.
Enjoy and come back...Sew Hungry for More.

Organized Sewing Room...Sort Of

Like many other bloggers...I have a sewing room. My husband sometimes kindly refers to it as my "junk" room! Because for some reason, it always ends up messy...the creative part of me sometimes doesn't care. Then other times the OCD in me says "Get your room clean!" So for now, it's clean, organized (for the most part) and ready for me to start sewing a little more. (Of course, I drafted this article a few weeks ago and I now have homeschooling books and things to sort through in boxes on the floor! Ugh..a Moms work is never done!)

Here's a few picture of the main ways I do organize the room. My friend gave me this older entertainment unit. I found out that my plastic containers fit really well inside once I took out the shelf the TV was orginally on top. I organize a lot of trims, ribbons and other craft like materials in the drawers.

I use these metal racks to organize all my material in the room. It's not the "purdy" way, but for me it's the practical way. You can purchase this huge 5 shelf racks at home depot for $75 to $100 each or find on craigslist for cheaper. They are strong, they have wheels for moving and being against the wall securly, I know they can't fall over like bookcases of fabric would.

I do make use of some spool holders and I have an older sewing table with a bench. Both of which I hope to repaint/refinish someday. As you can see, I have some patterns on my desk and measurements pinned to the back wall. I own a Janome machine which I actually got for FREE when I bought their serger one year! It works and has an automatic buttonholer so, I'm happy!

What you don't see is that I probably have like 40 projects that are unfinished!! YIKES. That happened when we stored our stuff after our first move. I couldn't find half of the projects I started! So I just opened another box and Viola...UGH...Baby projects I no longer need for my babies. (sniff, sniff) I am hoping I can recycle, up-cycle, or even finish for a baby gift. After all they have been cut out and some were even started on. I guess in hindsight, I need to cut out less and sew more. Finish more. I need to be more OCD on my UFOs! (Un Finished Objects!haha)

But I do have plans for most of my material. It's all in my brain somewhere. And I also will be sewing for my daughter's Bible Camp in July. (I sewed last year but didn't get any pictures from the camp...this year, I'm bringing my camera.) Our theme is Pirates, so we will see how that goes.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Boy...Life just gets the best of us around here!

I thought I would sit down to write a little bit today. A LOT has happened of late. My husband has been running around with doctors appointments for his upcoming surgery. Our family is also helping out at our church since there are many needs to fill. Then 2 weeks ago, my mother called...My Dad had a stroke...This has been very hard for all of us but he is now in recovery and doing well with physical therapy.

There has been much prayer around our house. My husband had his weight loss goal moved, (again!) so we are working on that each day so he can get his surgery on July 7th. I have been running around town helping my mother since Dad's still in a rehab facility 24/7. We have been trying to finish up our homeschooling - kindergarden. My oldest daughter also started piano lessons so we are trying to give her time to practice at either Grandparents house since we do not own a piano. My youngest is also potty training. It's been hecktic to say the least.

But through everything, I know my God is there.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Right now I know my blog is so. I'm a beginner so sometimes finding time for it well, takes Time! (haha) But I do have plans for the future and I'm praying about them. As it was once told to me "If you do something or start least do it well and finish it." I do have ideas and hope to share some different ideas as well as sewing projects and tutorials. So keep my site bookmarked and come back Sew Hungry For More!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesday: How to buy fabric on the cheap

I have family members and friends who are amazed (or shocked) at how much fabric I truely own. Right now My fabric room is full and I have about 30 huge rubbermaid containers full out in a shed! A few years back, I hit a deal - the motherload so to say. I went to an estate sale and scored an entire 3 car garage FULL of fabric. It took two truck loads to transport all of it in garbage bags! I felt like I was rich that day, but truth being told...I paid $60 for the ENTIRE LOT!! No coupon at Joanns would have helped me purchase that! So I thought I would list some tips for those of you out there who want to score some good purchases of fabric.

Tip One: Buy used and shop around. I look everywhere for fabric and I usually find it. Some thrift stores keep it in with the linens and sheets if they have no place to put fabric. Some estate sales have fabric in the linen closet. Craigslist is always full of deals. I also subscribe to a local estate sale e-flyer. They take pictures of items in the sale and email them out. One way to look for fabric is to see if there are any sewing machines or notions in the picture. Don't forget yard sales as these are sometimes good deals too.

Tip Two: Buy the entire LOT! Ok, some of you are telling me that's not within your budget...well think again. I find that most people selling the fabric have no idea what it's worth is and secondly, they don't know how to sew! Most inherit the fabric and then WANT to get rid of it. So if you see some fabric at a yard sale..ask the question: "What would you take for ALL of it?" I always ask and then most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised at what the answer is. (Take for example the estate sale...I was thinking the guy wanted a few hundred for the lot and was prepared to buy it for just that...but he wanted to get rid of it and it was the last day of the sale! So $60 for him was what he expected to make just to get rid of it!!)

Tip Three: Ask around for fabric! I have friends at church who now know I sew for my family. In the past year, I have been blessed to have them hand me fabric at no cost because they didn't need/want it! Now granted, you never know what you get but I never seem to find a problem with having material to sew! And since the types of fabric I own are like the rainbow...I always seem to have material for each type of project.

Tip Four: Know a little about WHAT you are buying. (Ok, I probably should have mentioned this secondly as it is very important.) When you buy a lot of fabric - SORT THROUGH the piles. LOOK at the quality. Are their stains? Does the material have a smell or odor? Does the material look in good shape - no rips, etc.? I will say you do have to be careful and examine most of it before you buy. Bugs and other things can and will hide in fabric. This is the reason I bag fabric in trash bags first when I purchase them. If I feel I can wash the fabric with little or no problems - then I will ask the question. BUT if it doesn't look good, then it IS better to pass it up. No one wants bugs in their sewing room eating the fabric and causing issues in their homes. I also sort through the fabric on the porch before brining it into my home. I wash it and fold it, then insert it in my fabric room. This ensures I have no funky smells and more importantly no bugs!!

So that is my tip for today. Hope you are able to find more fabric for your stash. And always come back Sew Hungry For More.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesdays: How to NOT CUT a tissue paper pattern EVER!

Ok, confusing title I guess...I was just trying to think of the best way to describe my next tip. I'm the type of sewer where I still enjoy using patterns for some of my projects. I can design some, but otherwise I do like buying a new commercial pattern just to see how they created a design. However when saying that, I have two girls..two sizes to buy for and sometimes that means two patterns. It can also mean that I have one pattern that includes Both sizes. Ok, if I cut the biggest pattern...yes I can cut the smaller later but what happens if I want to make the pattern again for my oldest??

I know some of you out there are like...trace (no brainer) but how exactly do you "trace" a commercial pattern that was printed on tissue paper! And how LONG will that take?

Well, I cheat...I don't actually "trace". Here's how to (And hopefully the visuals will help)

1. Take your paper pattern out of the envelope. Cut the pieces apart so you know which pieces you will need to make the garment. Read your instructions on the cutting layout for placement of those pieces.

2. Find (or purchase) a paper tracing wheel and the wax "marking" paper that many people use in tailoring. (I will note that it doesn't have to be the "wax" type as there are many out there, but it does help as it leaves a mark better than others.)

3. Follow pattern instructions for pinning the garment on your material. Pin as much as you can or all of it, if you want to roll out your material and continue pinning. (Paper weights can be used if your table is long enough or you cut piece by piece.)

4. Take a color of wax paper out that is an OPPOSITE color of your garment. You want these marks to show...not to blend in so you can't see to cut. (Don't worry, these are on the edges of the seams...they never show after you sew it up.) As you can see my material is pink and pink with dots and the colors are red, yellow, orange and blue. I decided to use blue.

5. Place the wax paper with color side down on the fabric and underneath the pattern. (You will have to un-pin parts as you go but please don't unpin the entire piece as you don't want it shifting while you trace.)

6. Use your tracing wheel and trace the pattern where the wax paper is below. Follow the size you need. PUSH HARD ON WHEEL AS YOU TRACE. If you just "wheel" it around, the wax coloring will not rub into the fabric as you need it to. It also is always a good idea to take a scrap and try "tracing" a line to see how hard you need to push or if the color will really work on that material.

7. Continue this around each piece and re-pin after tracing. Here is a picture of what the line will look like after you mark it.

8. Cut each piece out after tracing. Sometimes my markings are lighter than I would like, so trace and cut with GOOD OVERHEAD LIGHTING. If you cut as you go, you are more likely to see any errors in tracing and can correct them easier.

9. After you cut each piece, pin the original pattern piece to each one in order to remember what is what. Also don't forget to mark darts or any other things needed to guide you as you sew.

Now you are on your way to sewing the garment and you can now fold your pattern pieces up and place back in the envelope for your next sewing matter what size you make next time you sew!!

Also, as a side note, I am linking this up to NapTimeCreations linky party. So if you are new to my blog, feel free to click around. Hope that helps! And remember to always come back Sew Hungry For More...


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Delay and Disappointment

So Wednesday, my husband went to meet with his anesthesiologist to prepare for his right corneal transplant (scheduled April 7th) and well...things didn't go as we planned or hoped for.

My husband was so let down. They weighed him and measured his height. All the sudden he's shrank one inch (LOL) and their scale weighed him at 5 more pounds than our primary care doctor!!

This now means he can't qualify for surgery. They calculated that he needs to lose about 15 more pounds to re-qualify for another surgery date! His surgeon is also taking vacation during May. Since they only do this surgery the first of the month, he now has to wait til June 1st before undergoing surgery!

A let down for sure. We were hoping to get this show on the road and get his left eye done before the end of the year. Now though we are praying and I'm trying to encourage him that God has a plan and there is a reason we are waiting.

Well enjoy your weekend and come back Sew Hungry For More!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Nautical Lamps for Bedroom with picture tutorial

One thing that has also delayed a lot of my postings is our move. In January we finally "moved" to be able to sleep in our new place. We had actually been remodeling for one year and living with in-laws during that period of time. It's been a crazy experience and I will write more about our current "house" at a later date.

Our master bedroom is two rooms. One is a walk in bathroom with no doors! There are two closets on each side of the bathroom. Then the other room is our "bedroom". It measures approximately 13' by 13' with two windows. When we talked about what we wanted as far as design, I simply stated "an Ocean theme". I wanted something calming and relaxing when we needed to retreat from the world..or the kids! haha. I chose a blue from Lowes Valspar paint called Sea Spray. (However, now I can't find the color on the internet so here is a similar color in Behr's paint. We also decided to do bead board up to about four feet high, then trim in white.

On each side of our bed (later post) we were able to purchase a set of real wood mission end tables for $40 (as a set!) from craigslist. then we looked for ideas on what type of lamp we wanted to use. Our previous set was crystal with gold, but everything in our room was silver accents. We wanted something nautical, but in a more modern way. I searched the internet and found this lamp. But let's face it...$600 is a LOT for a LAMP. I also found this one for about $162 and liked the round shape but again couldn't justify the price. So, I began looking around for lamps. We visited our local ReStore (Habitat for Humanity's store where they sell building products) and found green lamps for $5 each! I liked the shape and the price since I was re-doing the entire lamp.
So here's what you will need to make your own:
1. Twine

2. A Lamp

3. A hot glue gun and glue sticks

Plug in your glue gun and get your rope out. Before you actually glue the rope down, figure out if you want to go from bottom to top or top to bottom of your lamp. I chose to go from bottom to top and started around where the cord came out. This hides the seam well.

Start with a line of freshly melted glue and start placing the rope over it. Squeeze only a little at a time so you can glue as you go. Remember that hot glue often dries fast!

Keep going and wrap and wrap. If you get tired, stop for a while and then get back to it. Just make sure that if you leave it, you unplug your glue gun! Also, place it where kids won't trip over a cord and break it as you are working on it!!

When you finish wrapping, ensure that your rope is secured at the end. If it's nylon, you may want to burn the end so not to unravel. If it's cotton or a natural material like mine, just secure with LOTS of extra glue around the end.

Viola! You Have a New LAMP!! A designer original! Also try to pick out the perfect shade. I chose these from Target. They are a nice accent color of Blue Jade and I liked the diamond shapes in the shade. I bought them on sale too...which was great as they were $14.99 each shade!!

So there it is...two nautical style lamps for under $50! Well enjoy making your own creation...Let me know if you make one..I would love to see it! Thanks for stopping by and come back Sew Hungry For More!

On a side note, I thought I would submit this to a great linky party on Sew Can Do. You can visit her blog by clicking on the link below!! Lots of great links for other ideas!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Garden 2014

Just to let you know more about where I live..I do live in the city but also the country. Ok, that sounds weird but let me explain. I live in Jacksonville, Florida so I live in that city. However, our city has the largest land mass in the United States. How does that work? Our county is our city. It takes over one hour to drive from East to West in our "city". It also takes over one hour to drive from North to South. We are on the Eastern coastline and our river lets "out" into the Atlantic Ocean near our beaches. The St. Johns River is actually only the second river in the world to flow North! (The Nile being the first river discovered to flow North) Our city is called the River City to reflect the geography.

But my geography is far inland from the river. We are living in what would be the "sub-burbs" in most communities. So we live on a few acres of land with my in-laws. This year we wanted to start a garden in a different area. The soil is still very sandy, so you need to add lots of different soils to get the ground ready for planting. We also had lots of rains as much as the north has had snow. So we were a little smarter this year and planted seeds in newspaper pots and peat pots. Here's some pictures to share. I hope I will be able to share more once we are able to transplant the seedlings to the actual rowed garden.

These are some starter plants we decided to buy to see if they would grow well in our garden.

This is my husband's newest project, a compost drum made from a 55 gallon plastic drum. We are hoping to keep this going to help add more nutrients to the soil.

The seeds were purchased from Patriot Supply Company. Not the most likely place to purchase seeds but these were well priced non-GMO seeds. They are stored in mylar seed bags which I liked because I may be able to use some again for a fall garden.

Well those are pictures for now until better weather comes our way and seedlings start more sprouts. Always come back Sew Hungry For More.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Surgery date for husband coming soon (Keratoconus update)

I know my blog is mostly about sewing and I'm hoping to share some other things later for the homemaker and even home-schooler.
But right now I would like to give an update of why my blog hasn't gone so far and how my family seems as if it is traveling at the speed of light sometimes. Before the birth of our second daughter, a little over two years ago, my husband was diagnosed with a disorder known as keratoconus. (Say what?) Keratoconus is where my husband's eye though either genes or by series allergies has gone from looking like a normal contact lenses shape to looking more like a cone of ice-cream popping out from his eyeball. When he went to Lens Crafters for his regular glasses three years ago, he was told that his vision was still distorted after all the eye tests. We were referred to an eye surgeon to check up on my husband's astygmatism. At the time, our out of pocket expenses for medical care were high and thinking it was just some sort of "little" problem, we postponed his visit for a later date when we could afford it.

Months went by and my husband decided he should follow up as he was having some vision errors that were unexplained. They examined him and asked the optical surgeon, Dr. Bowden, to review the pictures and testing they did in office. I can remember my husband calling me..."Well, looks like I'm starting to show signs of keratoconus." My response was "What?" After he got home we researched and started to find out about more of this disorder. But in the beginning, it appeared that all he needed were special contact lenses to help his eye keep it's shape and not cone out as it was beginning to.

Months went by and we had our second child. I had a horrible pregnancy and was diagnosed with everything from Pre-eclamsia, gestational diabetes to eventually placenta previa at 2 weeks til inducement! I was hospitalized from about six months til c-section at eight months. This was hard on our family...not to mention me! I came home tired and had a terrible time healing. I bled twice out my incision site and felt as if death was at my door! But finally, I got better and things were somewhat back to normal with our family...or so I thought.

My husband resumed a check up through the doctor. The contacts were not working well. We were informed at this visit, his right eye would need intacts. (Contact lenses surgically installed over the cornea to stretch it back into shape.) We were also informed that his left eye was also showing worsening signs and he may need an intact in that eye as well. When we went into the "billing" room...we were floored at the cost. Most of the procedure was not covered! Our out of pockets were needless to say out of reach! Plus we still had to get approval from our insurance company to see what they would pay for! That was December...ya know, the month the insurance ends and a new plan begins. Time went by, he was approved on December surgery dates available!

January started and so did our new insurance plan. We went back at the end of January for a follow up. My husband's eyes were again checked..bad news again. Right eye has gotten so bad we need a corneal transplant. Left eye still intact but uncertain if that will progress. We were also asked about my husband's weight....apparently they had also changed the laws about how much someone can weigh when they are put under for surgery. So now the goal was lose over 50 pounds to meet requirements!

Months went by again. My husband tried several methods of losing weight, but he was just going up and down. During the summer, we had a recheck of his eyes once more. This now revealed he needed a double corneal transplant! So, desperate for change, we sought the help of a natural nutritionist. She told my husband to go gluten free. He did and lost 20 pounds in four weeks! We were excited but then a plateau hit. And something else happened.

My husband called me on his way into work that morning..."Honey, I'm on my way home, I just had an accident, I rear-ended a truck" My husband could no longer judge the proper distance and the morning sun in Florida was just too bright for his condition. This was scary. We decided I would drive him to work with our the mini-van I might add! My mother in law also helped drive him when she was able. Two months passed and my husband was now having even more trouble work. He was typing things incorrectly, he was having more headaches, and even dialing phone numbers wrong. His boss at the time encouraged him...take company disability and get your eyes fixed..otherwise you'll be good for nobody. I encouraged him as well and he finally went on disability. A few months passed and he started losing more weight.
So now after sitting on the husband has been approved for surgery at the first of April. It's scary to think about but it needs to happen so we can move our family forward. They will do a right corneal transplant and when the doctor feels that has healed (anywhere between 3 months and a year) they will schedule him for the left corneal transplant.
Until then, I will try to blog as much as I can and as often as I can...but my God and my family do come first. Right now is a time for our family to prepare for the unknown. Thank you for all the support and keep coming back Sew Hungry For More!
If you would like to know more about Keratoconus, there is another blog here that you need to check out.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesday: Vintage Pattern Refresh

I know, I many other blogs do this too...But there are some things I do and haven't seen any postings out there about it. So to start, each week for a few weeks I am going to do some general tips to do with sewing. Now these tips are for sewing and how to help you with your sewing materials - like patterns.

I do buy things from all over. By "all over" I mean I will buy from thrift stores, yard sales, Etsy, Joanns, Quilt stores and estate sales. But when you buy used material or patters, you run the risk of a "funky" smell. It could be a "grandma's attic" type smell or even a musty smokey smell from years of tar attached to the pattern. (And sometimes we even debate whether to get the product because we don't want that smell in our sewing rooms.)

Sew here is today's tip: How to rid a vintage pattern of an old smell:

1. Look at the size of the pattern envelope and find a ziploc (or generic) resealable bag a little bigger than the pattern envelope. (I like to keep some generic dollar bags around just for this purpose.)
2. Look in your kitchen cabinets and take out your Baking Soda. (Not washing soda for those making homemade laundry soap) 3. Place sewing pattern in the plastic bag. Make sure you include ALL the pieces, even if they are loose or outside the envelope.

4. Pour your Baking Soda inside the plastic bag and a little even inside the pattern. (This will not hurt your pattern.)

5. Seal plastic bag. Shake the Soda around the pattern inside the bag. Let it get a good coat on it.

6. Let the bag sit overnight or longer. Open the bag the next day to check on odor. If there is a continued odor, place more Soda inside bag, shake and leave for another night. If the smell is mostly gone, then take the pattern out of the bag shaking all Soda into a trashcan. Toss the bag and keep your pattern. (It may leave some chalky residue, but over time this will wipe off and does not hurt the paper pattern.) You can also leave the pattern in the bag until the time you need to use it. I will sometimes store older patterns this way as it helps prevent an odor as much as getting rid of an older odor.

This tip is also good for older books either hardbound or paper! I use a 2.5 gallon hefty bag for those jobs. (sometimes Walmart carries these) Same directions, place book in bag with Soda and leave it until no smell exists.

I use this method quite often. In Florida, it also seems like the humidity makes the smell get worse over time. So I have been known to leave a pattern in the bag if I store it in the garage or another place.

I hope this helps some of you. Now maybe you will take a chance on buying that estate sale pattern even though it still smells! Happy Sewing and as always...come back...Sew Hungry for more!
Make It and Love It

Sunday, February 16, 2014

When in "who-ville":

Ok, so I'm back on my sewing blog and I'm sorry for some of you that it has been a while since I posted. Life has moved fast. We remodeled a home and have finally moved in...more of that posting later. But for now, I thought I would share with you our Dr. Seuss looks. I homeschool my oldest daughter who is in kindergarden. She is learning to read and LOVES Dr. Seuss books. We found out that our local school teacher supply store was celebrating his birthday a week early and thought it would be neat to take the girls. I also had some material that has been sitting around over a year and finally decided to whip up something whimsical enough to be in "who-ville". Now granted, I didn't do all the hair and accessories (even though I did buy ribbon and what not!) but I do think it turned out nice enough.
As you can see, the backdrop was AWESOME!! School Aids did a wonderful job at making it a neat place to celebrate and play some Seuss games.
My daughters loved being "thing 1" and "thing 2" and we found it funny that the cupcakes had toppers to match their t-shirts! (Material purchased on Etsy, T-shirt knit is Joann Fabrics, Embroidery design was purchased on Etsy, T-shirt was altered Kwik Sew pattern and skirt was altered Modkid pattern by Patty Young.) Well I hope you had a fun time looking at these pictures. I still have fabric left over to do some library book totes. (Hmm, hoping that material won't set around for a year! haha.) Sew happy sewing and come back...Sew Hungry For More. Amanda