Friday, December 31, 2010

Hats off to 2010--Welcome 2011

Hard to fathom that 2010 is done, 10 years of 21st century finished. Who would've thunk it??

I bow to a fellow blogger for her summary of accomplishments...Southern Matriarch 
Martha also does a great job of writing many of my same thoughts and wishes.  I suspect someday we will see her writings published on paper! Seriously dear lady, you should be snapped up!!
Martha accomplishes so much with regards to stitching, and her tutorials are wonderful. Enjoy reading her posts.

We do share one thing this year...becoming grandmothers! Her first grand daughter! my second grand son. I often ponder if we should match them up...they would make a fine pair!!

JJ in his romper...about 2 months old...only for the picture ;-(

Another wonderful teacher, friend and blogger [by the way, courtesy of Martha] is Jeannie B.  Old Fashioned Baby  If you are looking for wonderful patterns, ideas, photos, commentaries Jeannie has a very wonderful way of showing life as so beautiful.  Sometimes I just want to crawl into her photos to touch, smell or be there!

Let me not leave off one other very special blog that I follow.  And I admire this lady no end, as she has had a year of trials and continues to go forward with poise and joy in her postings.  BessieMary  Jan, I cannot fathom how you have managed to post, and bless us with your insights and more. I pray that your early Christmas miracle/surgery is a huge success and that God will keep you and your vision whole in the coming year.

This blog may be a bet scattered and often neglected.  I hope today, the end of 2010 will open a more organized and better presented writing schedule.  Not many of you follow me, but those who do, I appreciate you all. And for those who also have blogs, know that I do read them, enjoy them and spend far more time searching links and other things than writing my own.  Some days, it has to stop!! but then at 2am, I at it again.

JOIN ME in a Salute to 2010 and a big HELLO to 2011!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.

PS>>  between two computers, I managed to get his written...but can't find my music to add. So the HAPPY NEW YEAR  post/ card is where you hear one of my favorite pieces!

Happy New Year

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time races on


So here we are, the end of the year and I am trying to catch up on much internet work, blogging, website, and more. Dear SANTA HUBBY managed to get my laptop up and runnng, albeit with some 'glitches' but for now, I will deal with it.  Much of what I need to, have to do is still sitting in the wings as I try to figure out how to get my life on a steady pace.  

The holidays have always interfered with routine...even when life was not interrupted by computers, internett etc. This year was no different, and with the fabulous UPSET of dear hubby starting a new JOB..yes he is working!! we had to wait patiently for financial things to settle in. That made Christmas Eve shopping [almost] a necessity. BUT WE COULD SHOP!!

Of course, in the middle of all this, I had a strong urge to stitch and create. Had to...dear little JJ needed a special outfit. He got one, but the first one didn't recut, resew was the order of the day! But isn't he just the jolly little elf that he should be for his first Christmas??

Can you guess that this is late on Christmas day?? He was so interested in everything!! 

The best part of JJ is that he seldom develops the crankies or crying when he is tired. Just quiet...a wonderful thing for a little guy. Of course, the wide open eyes with no smile tell you he is close to done. 

My dear son is the photographer and we are waiting for the holiday photos he took. So I have no more to add at this point in time.  With all due respect I wish you all 


Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas With a Capital "C"

This is not my usual style of music...and for me the video is so so. BUT-
I AGREE WITH THE MESSAGE. It may be Black Friday and the target is the monetary
goal and such. But the reason for the season is Christ. He is the gift to us all.

The little Sewing Shoppe says: "Merry Christmas!!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Getting ready and memories

It begins like this, a very damp clean pile. 

and like this-puckered wrinkled threads.

Then you work in sections to get to this:

and more

Workinng from center out.

and wind up like this

Not fully set or  ready, but close! Have to work on the center some more.

The tablecloth and napkins were purchased by my Air Pilot Father, years ago maybe around 1960's when he traveled to wonderful places like the Azores and Maderia Spain.  And thanks to my friend and mentor Lillie I have verified that it is hand embroidered. Not Margab embroidery, but Maderia done. 

My memories are many Sunday and Holiday dinners using this table cloth.  Stains and ONE small hole attest to that. Certain napkins are more marked than others...meaning they were top used and not rotated as they should have been. [And who was supposed to take from the bottom? not me!]  Now that I have learned to iron  it from damp to dry, no starch I spent Wednesday redampining the cloth and napkins with fond sweet tears as I prepared for my family Thanksgiving this year.  I miss my parents and others at the holidays, but as part of being thankful, I am happy they are in a much better place.  

My thanks to Jan of Bessiemary for the link to the little gobblers sitting mascots! Our best bites actually gave the directions and fun comments for the Oreo Turkeys and Pilgrim Hats on their site. My efforts are not as neat as theirs, but so far, a big hit...especially with the hubby!  

May you all have a wonderful, happy Holidy with your family and friends. I am thankful for so many things that I will save that litany for another time.  Later tonight or tomorrow I will share the days photos of what I am NOT stitching but cooking!  We will be 15 today, all my little turkeys and grand turkeys!


Monday, November 22, 2010

My biggest or smallest excuse

Not blogging , stitching, cooking, shopping or anything else keeps me more involved than Mr. JJ!! I spend my Mondays and Tuesdays with this wonderful little date and that's my story and I am sticking to it! Now 4 months old and really becoming his own little person. I have to remind myself that these days only come once, and no matter the end result=tired, cranky, happy, sad= they will not return. A lesson that only comes with growing older and gaining vision. As whoever said: YOUTH is wasted on the young. I am thankful this Holiday for my life, health and for stopping along the way to enjoy MR. JJ!!
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ornament Swap

Finished ! Pleated lime green stripe fabric with a mix of smocking patterns from different Australian Smocking projects. Mill Hill Antique Beads, Silk Splendor threads. Ball is 2 1/2 inch size.
This ornament will go to a Delphi Heirloom Sewing n Smocking member as part of our ornament swap. Great challenge and now I will make another one like it for myself!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rainy Days

It's raining...I have two friends traveling distances today in this weather.  I hope they both have good trips and arrive safe and dry!

It is November! I can not believe it.  Where does time fly by?? My dear young grandson will be 4 months old in another cute he is and how happy his parents are. Love them all.

My fingers have been fiddlin with some stitching..nothing spectactular...but stitchin.  This is the time of year when I think about all of the 'going to make....for .....' as gifts and of course...they aren't done, started or supplies ready.  Just not my style to be early or done with anything before the last possible minute.  Not the best way to run a business of course, but my own life...keeps me sane!

Maxine/my philosophy:
" I consider myself liberal about some things;
Conservative about some things;
And I don't give a rat's ass about most things! "
[sorry the photo is so blurry...transfer??]

I voted...did you??  There is no room on a 'sewing' blog for political commentary [in my mind]. All I will say is that I voted, that then allows me to complain or argue with other votees. The non voter shall keep his/her mouth shut have the total priviledge of voting or not voting...your choice...but please do not comment on this wonderful country's state of affairs if you choose not to vote.  The coming days will be interesting to say the least.  God Bless and Keep the USA!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Birthday Wishes for a friend

Happy Birthday to my dear friend and partner in fun :-o  Lois!! Wishing you a wonderful day and year ahead.  Somehow I feel as though we have been together far longer than we have.  I am so grateful and happy you are in my life. Have a great Birthday!!  HUGS>>>
Dallas Days!! we had such fun!!
Bad girls in class...poor Lillie

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I have been busy with

Just thought you would like to see what has been keeping me very busy...and happy. Three months old...a very happy little man. Keeps his Mommom busy two days a week! Hope you all have a happy day!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Saturday in the Mill Race Village

Come to Mill Race Village this Saturday [or anytime this week ] and you will be spook surprised at all the decorations and activites going on in preparation , contributing to our WITCHES BALL 2010. 
Find more information at the website: . 

The actual Ball itself is for adults to play.  Halloween on the 31st is for younger folks.
Parents please be aware of this.

FYI: Saturday from 6-10 pm, a Spooky Sale at
The little Sewing Shoppe.
Come be surprised at the savings!!

Come and have fun Saturday 6pm to 11pm at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's my day!! Baptism for JJ

Since the beginning of September, my life has been one revolving event after another. First there was this little Baptism to take in. Wearing his heirloom romper courtesy of 'Mommom' . A happy little fella and a wonderful day for all!

After the Baptism day, came traveling to Norfolk Va. for SAGA Convention. A wonderful week worthy of it's own post and pictures.

Cominghome we had a treat with Judith Marquis class at the shoppe. Additional news coverage coming up!

Now we are in to October...already the 6th day and the next event is WITCHES BALL in the Mill Race Village! A spooky fun night for all!

Following that will be our month or two of holiday sewing...Red, Green, plaid and more now in stock. Next class coming up...Reindeer Jumper.

Creativity for a Cause comes on Saturday, November 13th...doing beaded ornaments ...more pictures to be seen!

Then it will be Turkey is time just flying by...Back in just a few! can't stop spinning!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Arriving Soon just a FYI

ASE #92

Just notified that the latest magazine is being shipped [today I hope]. Sorry folks, it won't arrive until next week so it will be in the shoppe on the 28th when we are here with Judith Marquis. 

Having previewed it, this issue is fabulous for all our bigger, older, adult gals. And a fun pirate plate for the boys. Beautiful bishop for special day!!

Only 8 copies coming...grab them while they are here!!

LATE NOTE:  4 issues/year mailed to you for $70 prepaid. [$17.50/issue]
Individual mailings=$18 charged to card when mailed.
Note that I am one of the last on the EAST Coast to get my supply. So it mails late.

Getting Ready for SAGA Convention


"The purpose of the Smocking Arts Guild of America is preserve and foster the art of smocking and related needlework for future generations through education, service, communication and quality workmanship."

The little Sewing Shoppe is a very proud business member of SAGA.  Our 31st annual convention "Tidewater Treasures" will be held September 22nd to September 26th in Norfolk Virginia.  And I am going.  {At this time in my life, I am on the SAGA Board as Region One must go.} And dying is no excuse for not showing up...;-p

All kidding is largely due to SAGA that I am in business, and I love sharing what I have learned at many SAGA events.  I love the art of smocking---not just for babies and children, but for adults, teens and more.  Fine Machine sewing goes along with smocking...and I am ever challenged to learn how to perfect a seam, a hem [my nemesis=hems] buttonholes and more. 

SAGA is a NON-Profit we work hard as volunteers to keep our organization moving along.  Our main charity work is Wee Care.  What is that you ask?

 Wee Care is one other area that I am more than excited about. I share a bond with the babies that wear our donated gowns, hats, blankets and more.  As a former Maternity nurse, I know first hand why these gowns are important. They support families in time of great need emotionally and physically. No matter whether their baby lives or has passed, mothers and fathers do appreciate the small comfort our beautiful gowns give them.  Yes, the thought of a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth is not a happy thought, it is a part of life that often is dismissed. But for that mom and dad, it is not dismissed. Our gowns make these babies true 'persons' and leave behind a memory. For those preemies that do come home---another great treasure to show how they have grown.

One table of raffle baskets at convention.
All worth the price of $1 ticket!!
 Now...more about convention.  For all the attending members it means five days, [24 hours total] of great teachers, classes, inspiration.  Along with that goes meeting up with long time, long distance friends. Making new friends, pajama parties [yes even at our age!!] Dreaming of winning a basket [last year 90baskets were raffled off]

More baskets!!

 Showing off your own talent--Design Show or Show and Share.  AND so much more packed into the 5 days.
All of it culminates in Saturday evening with our Banquet. Here the changing of the guard...President in/out, new board members, raffle baskets, speeches, raffle baskets, songs [last year was fun] dessert [always?chocolate] raffle baskets.

AND I forgot one other very very important part of the week...It is called     MARKET...

Since heirloom sewing and smocking supplies are rare finds in many areas of our country/world...this 6 hour window is the ultimate oasis for our members.  The ladies have one motto in mind..." if I love it....I need it...even if I have it in my stash already!!"   And I always tell them...'your husband called...he said buy anything you want'....teeheee....

All this and more make SAGA Convention the hi-light of my year.  Honestly I can say that I would not miss this for anything. I wish all my sewing friends and customers would join in and experience the sisterhood that I have found in this organization. And this year, I have to dedicate my week to my good friend Beverley.  Miss you darling, wishing you all the best!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: Simplified Smocking by Helena Buehler

Book Review: Simplified Smocking by Helena Buehler

Sharing something I found while not sleeping! I really should be stitching but this is a great post. Enjoy! just click on the link above...vintage smocking!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Modeling the outfit..& Hat!

The hat and outfit were done just before JJ arrived.  He is almost 2 months old soon, and his mom got him in it and shared her talented photos!! The hat fits!  Even if he does look skeptical!
This would be his father's look...what's up man??

And just watch me strut my stuff!!  Thanks to dear daughter in law Danielle for sharing her camera talent with me.  Romper is Pleated Bubble by Michie.  Hat is Judith Marquis Boy bonnet.  Fabric is Chambray from Fabric Finders.  IF JJ needed any more clothes I would make lots...he is the best dressed little guy in town.  Baptism romper is in the works...and another hat!!  Soon. 

My children are wonderful adults now..
.and my two grandsons are the best.
Love them all!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Judith Marquis class Sept. 28th

Special Hours...Special Tuesday, September 28th, 12pm to 3:30 pm Judith Marquis will be teaching this notebook/doodle cloth class of embroidery embellishments not just for smocking but also for any project you are working on.

Stitches include: Bullions, Cast on Flowers, Feather stitch, and more.

Class Cost: $45 and includes your doodle cloth, needles, sampling of threads, notes and light snack.

You bring sharp scissors, embroidery hoop [4-6 inch, round or oval] magnification and light if you need.

$25 Deposit please to hold your seat.

Judith will have samples and examples of her stitching. Plus her Patterns including her newest pattern: Autumn Leaves.
Can't come for class...come to see the trunk show and patterns.

Hope to see you September 28th----YES it's a TUESDAY--Special Tuesday!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer is ending

How does this happen every year?? Summer starts on June 21st and it seems like the days are long and slow for July. Then poof...August 1st and bam..August is over. School starts for some middle of August and most by Labor Day.  The days are getting shorter [that is the part I really dislike] and the cool dry air arrives heralding fall.  Sigh.

Back to school time, Fall weather, smells of fall evening campfires, fireplaces, sweaters and long pants.  Many fond memories of school days and holiday anticipation all rolled together.  There are four seasons to a year, 90+ days in each.  Which do I love the most? ALL of them for various reasons.  But Fall may be my first favorite because I always think of it as new beginnings.

New beginnings are in line for ths Fall.  The shoppe is lining up some new ideas and using up our available supplies.  The end of September Judith Marquis from Canada will visit and teach a class on Hand Embellisments for your projects.  Mark your calendar for TUESDAY [yes] September 28th .  Full details will be available in another day. 

SAGA's 31st National Convention is September 22nd to 26th in Norfolk Va.  The shoppe will be closed that week so that I might attend.  Here is hoping that we have good fall weather and no storms that week.  Hurricane season is in full force...we can't be unaware of that. I feel like October starts tomorrow...time just keeps flying.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day holiday and that school starts smoothly for all.  Besides new beginnings at the shoppe, my family will be relocating in the weeks to come.  It is making for very busy days and nights.  NEW BEGINNINGS ... new challenges.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

52 days

Yes, 52 days with no car.  I survived, but my family is worn out from driving 'Ms. Daisy' and lending me cars.  My little four wheeled cart is back!! and working fine it would seem.  As this is typed, I am drinking my first morning coffee and anxious to get going back on my routine. 

What happened to my car?? For years I have believed that cars are more susceptible to crashes and bumps than anything...that is true. But they can/are HIT BY LIGHTENING!! and friends, with computers in cars now, not just electrical systems, but the whole dang thing can be blown away/out.  That is what happened to my little blue car.  Hit by Lightning...through the antennae. Not very visible or explainable to my mechanic, who kept trying to figure it out. Ultimately, it was taken to a major dealer/shop and after a month, was finally figured out/verified there.  Thank the good lord for comprehensive insurance which did cover the expense!

So, bottom line, if you think not having a car is a little thing in life, think again. Today we are overly reliant on our own private transportation.  It is a way of life and thinking that is absolutely overturned when taken away.  I am so thankful to my family, for sharing their cars, driving me and more, how to repay them is not easy.

 Can I also say that it is a very sad thing that in this country of 'opportunity' that we do not have a public transportation system for all.  There is no cohesive means for anyone to get from place to place without their own vehicle. Can we not find or see the need for mass transportation that works? Think about jobs created?? Advantage to the green world? Economic impact for many on so many levels.  To me it would be one of a few simple solutions to helping our country gain stability, growth and pride. 

The last 52 days have afforded me mental dysfunction on so many I have my car back and it would seem my brain is firing on all levels.  Thank you Tony B....I am grateful for your dogged expertise.  Hope I never need it again!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

We waited and waited--Welcome JJ

J.J. Baby arrived this morning at 9:40 am. 7 lbs, 7 oz and 20 inches long. He is perfect and already a very good baby for his momma. My son and daughter in law worked very long and hard to bring this miracle into the world. I am so proud and happy for them. Thanks to everyone for their loving prayers and words of this over tired and anxious grandma. Now I can stitch away to my heart's content knowing he is safe in his parents arms. This photo is at about 1 hour old. Very long, cone head from putting himself in a very snug position!! But bright eyes, healthy fingers and 'nurse' assessement is perfect. More photos to come.

Happy Birthday dear JJ grandson!! Welcome to the world....may God Bless you and your parents with a wonderful life together!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Waiting for JJ

A very random and quick posting of my busy work the last few days while waiting for JJ to arrive. We are all getting very impatient to meet this little one. And dear Danielle is very tired of waiting, as we can all appreciate the mother's viewpoint.
Smocked cap is Judith Marquis pattern...I made the next to small size...up to 12 pounds I believe. It looks big to me, but I am sure will work.

Fabric is Fabric Finders cotton Chambray. It was a 'leftover' piece that I was not quite a yard by 58 wide. Thrifty cutting including bias for piping!!

Michie's pleated bubble with his initials on the center pleat. Size 3months

I am a very impatient grandma...I pray dear baby arrives soon, safe and quickly. Certainly would be a delightful distraction from the summer heat! Hope he likes his new outfit! 
The summer heat is brutal, and the shoppe lost power late Wednesday afternoon, so I am hoping this morning it is restored. Sadly, the phones are also out when power is out...sad.Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not REALLY a sewing problem...but it is

I AM WITHOUT MY CAR...and that makes it a sewing problem since I can not get to my shoppe. So that makes it a sewing problem. I am ever hopeful that by the end of today it will be fixed, but I am beginning to think that my car is having 'issues' with my mechanic/son.  Good grief it makes me crazy!!


Since I am without a car, I am also not open for the last two days.  Somehow, I will get to the shop on Saturday...heaven help me I will.

Stay happens...but this is getting tooo out of hand...I may have to stitch my car back together...;-p

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A quick obsession

The current issue of Australian Smocking and Embroidery [#91] has a dress "FROCKSTAR" in it. I have had this fabric in my own 'stash' for almost a year. It turned out quite well. Size 4. I think it should be longer...but I have to see it on some little lady first.
This project took up MY weekend...I was obsessed. It actually took about 2 hours to smock, and about 4 hours to put together.

The original Frockstar is done in Amy Butler Fabric...very modern and sweet. I hope to get some of that fabric in for my customer friends. But in the meantime...this shows you how it can be in something totally different.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Now for the month of June....;-)

Good grief, it is June 2010 already.  Seems like 2009 was just here and I was busy getting ready for dear son's wedding.  Now we are waiting on our new grandbaby!! The end of June should be his arrival!! Yes a boy.  A wonderful surprise for all of us! So if you call the shoppe or stop by after the 15th of June...and I am not here with no can bet I am at the hospital just snuggling our new baby.  Jay Jay...his nickname at the moment.

Traditionally, summer time has not been a busy time for the shoppe.  But it would seem that this year is starting out different!! A good thing...but something that is making me spin in many different directions.  I do have a plan/calendar for some classes, if I could just find it amongst all my other papers that keep piling up !!

Stay tuned...there are new and some refill patterns arriving daily.  My plans and ideas are spinning quite quickly for some great classes for those who are interested.  And please do remember that the shoppe is in possesion of and selling Beverley Sheldricks amazing silk ribbon kits.  From her drawstring Reticule to small cushions and more.  Stop by and see them...they are lovely!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Say it Ain't so!

Before I came down to the shoppe today, I quickly ran over to my local needlework shop:  CrossStitch and Frames Unlimited, in Hamilton NJ. [Mercer County]. And what sign did I see>>>'GOING OUT OF BUSINESS'   sale.   I have to say I am so sad to see this happen.  Maybe I did not support them very much, but geez oh pete...they had so many threads, and miscellaneous pieces.  I am so soo sew sew sorry they are unable to keep going.  Please oh your local shops...maybe a few pennies more will keep them going.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's Baby Shower Time

The shoppe will be closed on Sunday May 23rd as I am hosting and cooking and cleaning for dear daughter in law's baby shower!!  Baby arrives some time late June, early July, so it's getting close!!

Debbie Glenn's bib is one thing that I would love to get done for our new baby.  Time time time...friend or foe!!

Have a great Sunday...I know I will!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Yellow Roses from the garden outside of my shoppe.

My mother's favorites, mine and my sister also.
Samantha is standing next to the roses, modeling a sweet bishop dress which is going off to a raffle. I hope the recipient enjoys her doll and clothes.

Happy Mother's Day to all...memories of my mom are sweet treasures today. Memories of my own young mother days are just as sweet. May all have wonderful days as mothers.

Barefoot Samantha in her bishop dress. Swiss overlay is from Bear Threads with pink rosebuds on scallops.