Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Farm Chicks Book

Come, have a seat. Leaf through my new book. Yes, I know it has been out awhile, but I just purchased it not too long ago. What's that? Oh, sorry, can't hear you very well for all the racket of boys playing Tarzan and Trucks. Yes, I bought it as Costco, my favorite store.

I do love a new cookbook, especially cookbooks with lots of pictures. The Farm Chicks cookbook also has a little vignette on each of the Chicks with pictures from their childhood. Very sweet.

There are also lots of pictures of aprons and stories about aprons.

And pie recipes. Doesn't this one look festive for the 4th?

Also included is an apron stencil in the front of the book. The stencil doesn't say "Farm Chicks" so you can use it how you like. And guess what else? It comes with a free subscription to "Country Living." Can't beat that!

PS. You might find my post about Joel Dewberry fabrics over on my Almota Roses blog interesting--or not!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

Over at Sew Mama Sew, they are hosting a month of Sewing Machine information. They asked for people to write about their sewing machines. Here's my contribution.

What brand and model do you have?

I have a red 1976 Viking Husqvarna beast that I was planning on taking a picture of to show you until my son did this to my camera. It is a Viking Selectronic 6570. The above picture I pulled off the internet.

How long have you had it?

I bought it used 13 years ago.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

It cost $300 then, it seemed like a lot to a young person not too long out of college.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

I have sewn several quilts, lots of pillows, window coverings, fleece blankets. I guess mostly home decor with the exception of the occasional mending of clothes.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I haven't sewn anything in the past month. I am itching to sew. It goes in spurts depending on if I have any custom orders or if I am sewing for a show. During those times my machine gets lots of heavy use.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

It is a good machine, but getting worn out. I am having a hard time with the tension. I have learned how to fix a lot of the problems myself, but it is getting to the point where it needs replaced. Too much sewing of thick materials. No name for her, but a good sturdy and versatile machine. It was quite expensive when it was new.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

It has a granny gear that is great for slow even sewing. It has 8 cogs that allow for many different stitches.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

Yes, the tension adjustment.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

No great stories, but she is a good machine.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

Yes, especially if you are looking for a good old dependable machine. This is a workhorse with lots of bells and whistles. It is heavy and strong.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Dependability, I don't want to waste time and money having my machine in the shop a lot. Also, with the type of things I currently sew, I need to have a machine that can sew through pretty thick things--layers. I do have an upholstery machine as well, but my regular sewing machine needs to be strong as well.

Do you have a dream machine?

Not yet, afraid to start dreaming. That usually leads to spending! Ha! Someday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Farm Chicks Show

The day dawned sunny and warmer than predicted. I took it as a good omen, considering the night before I twisted my ankle really bad while I was vacuuming out the Black Burban (don't ask). My friend Tami and I headed north with little Nona Joe asleep in her carseat. It was a girl's day out (maybe by the end of the month we will find out if it was indeed a totally "girl's day out" ;) -- I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, Tami.) We met up with another friend when we got there.

I absolutely loved the booth you see in the two above photos and the one below. This vendor had many hand made fabric items. She had racks of aprons, embellished A-line skirts, place mats, napkins, and little fabric covered magnets. Very creative--and gave me lots of ideas, I might add. The prices were a little out of my range, but I saw many people carrying around skirts from her booth.

There were 129 vendors in three buildings. By the time we got into the third (and largest) building, I was feeling a little overwhelmed. I couldn't remember where the things were that I wanted to go back and see. I guess that's why they had maps--duh!

So many great ideas, so little time.

I understand that Saturday was a complete zoo -- long waiting lines, people jam-packed into stalls -- it probably looked like a hen house at feeding time. (I could have used the {tips linked here} that Pioneer Woman had on her blog for taking indoor pictures.)

Can you imagine how long it took to set up this booth? I could tell that by Sunday afternoon, the vendors were looking tired. I felt sorry for them all having to spend hours taking down their beautiful displays.

Is this not the funniest thing? Decked out in earrings even. I wonder if the wall paper was used on purpose? The pattern resembles the antlers-- at least to my eyes.

And here is all I came home with -- at least the physical things. I am hoping to use the bent-back booster chair in the kitchen instead of the ugly plastic booster seat strapped to my antique bent-back kitchen chair. I will have to do some gluing, cut off about 4 inches of the legs, and paint it black. I sure hope Walter likes it! Ha Ha.
I also came home with my imagination stirred. I couldn't fall asleep until after midnight for all the things I was thinking about. That's unusual.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Farm Chicks or Bust!!!

Gonna go to the Farm Chicks show this weekend? I AM!!!! (shouting!!!) This will be the first time I have ever gone. I am so jazzed. Wanna join me?

You can read more about it here -- Farm Chick Party
I will be taking my camera so I can share pictures with you later next week.

And the Winners Are....

1) Holee --she wins the box of goodies! Her comment follows....

I recently found a Simplicity pattern for tiny old fashioned aprons to be used as ornaments. First I turned them into pin cushions, barbie aprons, recipe holder, etc.

One day I was going to the nursing home to visit and needed something to take along to put a smile on the ladies faces. The gift of the day was bottles of hand lotion. I quickly sewed elastic on the little aprons and slid them on the bottles.

The sweetest thing happened. A little old gentleman turned down the glass case offered to the men and asked for an apron because it reminded him of his mother. The stories of his mother & her apron flowed for the next 2 hours and kept everyone entertained, many jumped in with a story of their own. I learned an apron is not just an apron, but a world of memories!

2) Cassie --she wins the elephant pillow! Her comment follows...

It is interesting how aprons have changed over the years... originally they were designed with a purpose, keep the dress clean so that you didn't have to wash it as often, and you could wash the apron which was less fabric and easier to clean. Then in the 40s and 50s with the woman's rights movement, the view of the housewife changed, people started making pretty/frilly aprons for woman to wear. I wonder if this was part of a ploy by someone to make more woman stay at home "Look you get pretty things to wear all day" or if this was a change that was brought on by housewives because maybe cooking had become less involved or something. I wonder!

My first apron came from my great grandma when she passed away, it was one of the things I got to remember her by. I think it ended up staying at my mother's house. I love that apron, thick fabric, cute print and functional!

Now I really have a hard time not buying aprons when I am out thrifting or yard saleing. I try hard to pass them up just because I already have so many of them. But they are lovely aren't they? :)

Good luck with your apron store! I hope it goes well. I love the box of goodies. The pillow is cute too! Elephants are my sisters favorite, the trunk pointed upward is supposed to be good luck or something.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Let me know, Holee and Cassie, if you did not get my email.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Giveaway Winners Later Today!

Thank you for all your wonderful apron stories and tips. I am working on picking a winner and will post the results later this evening. Have a great day!