Sunday Sevens – Week 73

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s installment of Sunday Sevens, highlighting some trivia from the past week. Sunday Sevens was started by Natalie, over at Threads and Bobbins, and gives a little peek into bits of everyday life that may not call for a whole post. Check it out and see if you’d like to join in, anyone can play!


Two weeks have passed since my last Sunday Sevens post, so here is a little update for you.


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The bathroom reno is so close – only little touches remain: the shower door, a towel/robe hook,  replacement radiator, vent cover, paper hanger, and glass shelves in brick alcove, all of which will be installed this week. And not a moment too soon, as mom has arrived!IMG_5996

Fold-up shower seat (aren’t we fancy)

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Into the “Hobbit” closet


Corner sink

IMG_6004 (2)Cat testing


IMG_6015 (2)A second muslin (from different pattern) created for my floral fabric.
It will have its own post shortly.

Happy Sunday to all, and have a fabulous week!


Photo Challenge – Winter

Joining in with the Weekly Photo Challenge, this week’s topic is winter.

Western/upstate New York has had a very mild winter so far, and fortunately was spared from the massive storm that pelted the U.S. eastern coast just a few days ago. Even without effects of the big storm, we do have a bit of winter wonderland. I do love our stately old birch in her winter colors!



Linking up with Wild Daffodils weekly photo challenge!

Photo Challenge – Vintage

I’m joining in with a Photo Challenge! This is Week 3, and the subject is Vintage. My old (1910) home provides vintage aplenty for the gathering. One of the things I love most is the wonky old radiator heat system, which starts up at 5:30 each morning. It roars, rumbles, clanks and clatters as the steam winds its way through each radiator, making it a most trusted alarm clock.

This radiator in the dining room is one of the best. I believe it started out white, or ivory, but it wears its age (rust, chips, spatters) well, wouldn’t you agree?


Linking up with Wild Daffodils weekly photo challenge!

Sunday Sevens – Week 71

Hi all, we’ve arrived again at a new edition of Sunday Sevens, started by the lovely Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins. Why not take a peek at her blog and check out the “rules” for the Sevens….you might want to join us. It’s fun and easy – no pressure!



Construction Progress

Since construction is the main thing going on around our household, this post will contain too many bathroom photos. The little under-the-stairs bathroom will be completed in less than two weeks, so you’ll soon see the finished room….and then we’re done!

IMG_5824Shower stall and toilet areas are framed. The shower is dark here because it is coated in dark red water proofing. The little brick patch is the back of to-be built-in shelves, honoring the old house by exposing the decommissioned kitchen chimney.

IMG_5827Old, tiny closet to remain undisturbed (except for the floor and some paint).

IMG_5818This newly uncovered corner (space stolen from a teeny tiny shelf closet in the bedroom) is where the corner sink will go. Tile work begins tomorrow, then painting, and then the fixtures can go in.

IMG_5829Once it’s completed, we will need only to ready the bedroom. Piece of cake, don’t you agree?

IMG_5814While our little crew works (3, 2, or 1 depending on the day), I hide out upstairs with a book – sometimes reading, sometimes watching Cat TV with Frieda.

Motto of the week


This is a card I’ve just sent out. Inside says:
Here’s to making history on your birthday!

And here’s to history-making sewing/crafting for all of you! Have a great week!

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden…

However, I did promise to start with a muslin for every new garment. And I’m following through. And, whew, am I a happy sewist for that!

Would you care to know why that makes me so happy? Well, it certainly isn’t because of this fabulous new top I have made from a navy blue twin bed sheet.



No, this version of Simplicity 8523 will never be worn, because …. well, it’s a sheet, and it is too small and too short. So obviously that isn’t what made me happy.

Let me set the stage for you. The intended fabric is a small piece, and requires some tricky maneuvering to accommodate all the pieces. And here is where my muslin comes into play, and the tiniest confession is in order. It was getting quite late, and after hand basting the darts, shoulder and side seams (more on that in next paragraph), I nearly opted to just turn the neckline under at the seamline instead of making the facings. It’s just a muslin after all – just to confirm the fit, after all. Common sense prevailed however, thank goodness, because I discovered a problem with the facings. Before sewing them together, I laid them out on the front and back pieces. Ack! Where are my front notches? Why is this back piece so round?? Yes, I had cut out the back facing from the wrong view! What if that had been my real fabric? Saints preserve!

~Why the hand sewn muslin? Well, there is so much construction dust floating around that Stella is tucked into her case, and will remain there until it’s safe to come out. (Soon!) And I could just sit anywhere out of the way to put it together. Hence the puckered stitching lines and loopy threads.~

In addition to the facing mishap, I discovered fit issues. Now, I’m sure the pattern in my size could be cut from the fabric by making the sleeveless version, using narrower seams, and possibly making facings from another fabric. Had I proceeded without the practice garment however, I would have a top that is too short and a little snug, with sleeves that are too short and too tight. So, my muslin saved my bacon. Or least my blouse!

Lest you think I’m prattling on about just any old cloth, this is my gorgeous Praline Honey Voile received from my StitchingSanta, Michelle, of Sewnhenge.

IMG_5665So I’m revising my plans, and here are the alternatives:  A) cut the larger size, and make it sleeveless, or B) hold on to it until the extra bagels and holiday treats have been eradicated so I can fit into the smaller size, which fits perfectly on the fabric.

What would you do?





Sunday Sevens – Week 70

Hi all, we’ve arrived again at a new edition of Sunday Sevens, started by the lovely Natalie over at Threads and Bobbins. Why not take a peek at her blog and check out the “rules” for the Sevens….you might want to join us. It’s fun and easy – no pressure!




As you can imagine, my week consisted mostly of the fun and games that come along with any construction project. See how the tiny bathroom is coming along. It’s still a shambles, but demo is complete, shower is framed, and even bigger changes will happen next week. The week draws to a close….



One of my goals is to do more reading and I’ve added this title to my shelf (temporarily in this case, as it is on loan from the library). I’m excited to get started on this one, The Pink Suit, by Nicole Mary Kelby. But it will have to wait just a bit, as I  am still enjoying Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum.

More Books + Cooking


Have a couple of newish cookbooks that I’ve barely used. The next recipe I’m planning to use, hopefully this week, is Cauliflower Orecchiette with Red Pepper, Basil, and Parmesan, from Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist. Next up, something from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook – it has a great variety of yummy dishes to try.



My own kitties were most uncooperative on “photo day”, so I’m substituting this cool metal sign. I’m certainly not advocating smoking, but I do love this sign.



A separate post is coming which will spell it out, but I have completed a muslin (yes!) for my first make of 2016, and first garment for the SWAP. Changes are afoot. There are positives and negatives. Watch this space.

Bagels, how I love them


New Yorkers swear their bagels are the absolute best. It’s a bagel, says this California girl, what’s the big deal? But they are better, so much better. My local Balsam Bagels is the best of the best. And therein lies a problem. During my recent 2-month stay in California, I had one bagel each month. After returning home, I’ve had one bagel each day. This is undoubtedly contributing to the problems with my muslin. (oh, could that have been a clue?)

Till next time, stitch on everyone!

Sunday Sevens – Week 69

Hello everyone! I hope 2016 is starting with a bang for all of you. Thinking about starting a new blogging tradition? Then why not pop over the Natalie’s site, Threads and Bobbins, and check out the Sunday Sevens. It’s a great opportunity to blog about random loveliness, with only the slightest suggestion of rules (you just need to include seven photos; and if you don’t have seven, any amount will do nicely).


At our household, we begin 2016 in a bit of disarray…this was the view from study into bathroom just two days ago.


The little half bath of my hubby’s study was slated for a very minor rehab sometime far down the road. We planned to update the sink and vanity (or down-date?) to a more period-appropriate set. The house was built in 1910, and these fixtures were added in the 80’s. We thought we’d also install a tile floor and either wallpaper or repaint the walls. But my mom is coming! In twenty-one days, this will be her room, and she will need a shower. So we are making room for one. No easy task in this awkwardly arranged space.


Partial demo


Further demo. A bit of electrical investigation and old floor removal will be done tomorrow – then the new installations can get underway!


Look at the study now. Impressive, isn’t it.


The old lath and plaster ended up temporarily on the front porch.


Items from the old bath closet are now parked on the dining room table, and the desk from study is in the dining room, too. Wherever shall I sew?


And what will I be sewing? For starters, this pattern in this gorgeous fabric.
Here is a question for you: does anyone remember the term “yardage” and does anyone use that anymore? Just curious.

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Now, I do realize this is Monday, and not Sunday, but I have a really good reason for not posting yesterday. We were in Buffalo at an NFL football game, the Buffalo Bills v NY Jets. It was a beautiful, although very, very cold day and the Bills actually won, which is something they do not do often enough!

So there you have it. The pictures are not so very pretty, but that will change in just a few short weeks.

Stitch on, everyone!

Aspirations – 16 for 2016

Resolutions are a tradition at the beginning of each new year. For some of us, these resolutions are abandoned nearly as soon as they are proposed. They are too far-reaching, too demanding, too unmanageable, or just plain impossible. It seems that lately however, lots of folks have a new perspective. Rather than definite resolutions, they are focusing on aspirations or goals. Cathy, of Nanacathydotcom, has made a list of her aspirations. For 2016, she has 16 items on her list. With her permission, I’ve stolen this idea, and the following is my version of 16 for 2016.

16 for 2016

16 yoga sessions and walks per month (that is 4 per week – 3 days off, easy!)

15 minutes of meditation daily (personal time of gratitude and reflection)

14 new vegetarian recipes attempted (how many versions of roasted veggies can I find?)

13 new books read (finished!)

12 lazy, do-nothing days (seems like a lot when it’s planned ahead!)

11 pieces of clothing completed for SWAP 2016 (better shake a leg)

10 pieces of cello music learned (lessons begin again soon)

9 sewing techniques learned (is making a muslin a “technique”?)

8 hours month volunteering (so many opportunities)

7 handmade gifts made (make-ahead for Christmas?)

6 outings with mama (every other month)

5 new cookbooks (ethnic, vegetarian, vintage …. )

4 seasonal deep clean and decorative nod (won’t it be nice to honor each season)

3 wedding outfits (MOB dress / mom, bride rehearsal dresses)

2 complete meals planned per week (not just last-minute “here, let’s have this”)

1 convert the empty room for my sewing/dressing room (this is a big one!)

0 excuses (self-explanatory)

Seem remotely doable? Good luck to all who are attempting any form of to-do list!!


Stitch on everyone; even John Lennon did it!