Monday, December 28, 2009

Sugar Doll

Tracey from I'm Just Your Average Mom who is also Strasfamily on Pattern Review has just nominated me for the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award. Please visit Tracey's blog as her blog is new and she has lots to share. To receive this award I'm supposed to tell ten interesting things about myself. Not sure I'm interesting enough to come up with ten, but here goes:

1. You already know that I have a twin sister, but what you don't know is that I hate being a twin. I would have loved to be an only child. Growing up I never had my own identity. In fact I didn't even have my own name. I was called twin, or one of the twins. I married an only child and I have an only child. I think they are so lucky not to have had to share anything or anyone.

2. I don't like cell phones and I wish I didn't need to have one. I do have to acknowledge that very few people have the number. That way I can just use it for MY convenience.

3. I don't color my hair. My son helps me pluck the same 8 gray ones that keep coming back. It's easy since the gray ones stand out against my very dark brown hair. I hope that I'm in my 70's like my Dad before I get enough gray hair to matter.

4. I've been on some kind of diet since high school, and I wasn't fat back then. In fact, I wasn't ever overweight until after I gave birth to my son. It's all his fault. BTW, I've lost over 20 pounds now. Only a ton more to go.

5. I made a lot of my clothes in high school and sewed for my friends and older sister as well. Today I hate to sew for other people. I fear that they won't like it or that they will think I did a bad job. Probably an unrealistic fear, but I can't help myself.

6. I'm a card carrying member of the Chickasaw Nation, which is one of the five civilized tribes. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I'm 5/32 Chickasaw, but that doesn't include the Cherokee blood. The records of that heritage was lost along the way and was never recorded on the Dawes Rolls. So in reality, I'm more like a quarter American Indian.

7. I grew up in Southern California but was born in Kingman, Arizona. I wasn't raised around my native people so I don't have any Indian culture to speak of. That's why I jump at any chance to visit Oklahoma where the Chickasaw were placed after the march down the Trail of Tears and where my Dad's family live.

8. I didn't graduate from college until one month before my 30th birthday. I have a degree in Communications and specializing in Public Relations. I worked in Public Relations for a small hospital for five years until my son was born. Becoming a substitute teacher was a way I could work and spend the time I needed to with my special needs child.

9. Before getting my degree I worked in various jobs, first as a secretary/stenographer for the Los Angeles County Planning Department, then as a secretary for General Dynamics. I also worked as a legal secretary and an office manager while I was attending college.

10. I used to be a party animal. Happy hour? I'm there. Invite me to a party, I'm the last to leave. No party tonight, then I'd get one started. However, since giving birth to my son 15 years ago I now almost never drink. I don't go to happy hour and I don't usually go to parties. It has everything to do with keeping me safe so that I can be there to take care of my son. If I do drink, it's one glass of wine at home and then I promptly fall asleep.

Now it's my turn to pass this award to 10 very deserving blogs.

Amy at Quixotic Pixels who makes the most fantastic projects both sewing and knitting.
Angie A. at Quality Time who is also a teacher and has the best sense of humor.
Trena at The Slapdash Sewist who sews the most fantastic dresses and shares her trips traveling around the world.
Nancy at Encue Creations who sews a lot of great looking garments for herself.
Linda at Danville Girl Sewing Diary who also sews a lot for herself and shares the most wonderful hints to help make me a better sewist.
Nkem at Sew Shy who is working hard on getting her garments to fit. It's exciting to see how her garments are coming along.
Deepika at Curtains to Coats who is the founder of She doesn't have a lot of time to blog but is dedicated to sewing at least one garment a month. She also shares lovely pictures whenever she returns from her travels.
Shams at Communing With Fabric who has been trying out some French patterns. This is a new-to-me blog but I've really been enjoying her style.
Gigi at Gigi Sews has been helping me sew better for nearly 8 years. Her blog is full of wonderful garments and helpful hints.

I really hope you visit all these wonderful blogs. They are some terrific women who all have a love of sewing and a desire to share what they do with others.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's a Red Eye

While visiting my Mother-in-law, I asked her if I could take a look at the Singer machine that she wants me to have. This machine belonged to her grandmother and she remembers her mom using it. She uses it as a side table now but would love for me to take it so she could buy more bookcases. Wouldn't it be a great addition to my sewing studio whenever my partner and I get it started?

I was so excited to see that it was a red-eye! Unfortunately, it no longer has it's treadle pedal or belt wheel. Her mother had it motorized. Does anyone know if I could just replace those parts or do I have to find a whole new base?

I'm sure it will be much easier to use with the motor, but I would love to have had it in its original condition. I do really love that it has a light.

The machine is in pretty good shape and it still works. At least the hand wheel turned by hand for me. I didn't plug it in to try it. I'm sure all the oil will need to be replaced.

As for how old it is, I'm having a hard time figuring it out. It looks to me like the serial number above reads 760331. I didn't look at it closely when I was with the machine in person, unfortunately. I don't see a decimal point in the picture, but it is a bit fuzzy. According the Singer website, that would date the machine to 1871. However by my research, the Red Eye decals weren't being used until 1910. So my dear friends, can you help me figure out the correct date?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish you all a very merry day today. I hope Santa brought you all everything you wanted. I had a wonderful Christmas Eve with my family coming to my house. My twin sister Carrol (Carrol and Sherril, isn't that cute?) got here late because she works retail at Sears, but everyone else came including my Dad, sister Susan, her two sons, Matthew and Jeremy, Jeremy's wife Carrie and their two kids Logan and Rhianna. And of course, my husband Bob and son Steven.

Probably the sweetest gift I got was from Steven. I know he saved his allowance to get it for me. He bought me a $14 gift certificate from JoAnn's. I think with the 50% discount off thread, 40% off rotary cutter blades, and some $3.99 Vogue Patterns along with the 10% coupon from the sales ad and my ASG 10% discount, I will be able to parlay the $14 into a really great shopping day. In 2010 I'm committing to not buying any fabric or patterns. Of course, there will be times when I need a notion or two, but I'm cutting way back on spending this next year so this may be my last big hurrah for awhile.

I asked Bob for a new bathroom scale. Nothing was wrong with the old scale except that it wasn't digital and the numbers were getting really hard to read, especially if I couldn't put my hands on my glasses first thing in the morning. This one measures to the tenth as well as has a large digital readout. This morning it showed almost exactly the same weight as my old scale, so I'm keeping my ticker updated with the new scale from now on. I'm down 20 pounds but I won't change the ticker until Monday, my weigh-in day.

My family draws names every year where we list items we want and need. This year my Dad got me. We're supposed to keep to a $50 limit, but Dad is a most generous Santa and got me just what I wanted.

A new analog wrist watch with a leather band and date window. I love it!

And a radiant heater for my sewing room. I get up hours and hours before the rest of the family and I hate to heat the whole house. With this I can heat only the sewing room and save lots of money. It's keeping me toasty right now.

I have lots of plans to sew next week since I'm off from work. My first project will be the Hot Pattern's Metropolitan Tie Me Down Top. Debbie Cook just finished a wonderful version of this pattern and of course I had to have one too.

I also want to make up this new pattern from Amy Butler. This is exactly the type of purse I wish I could buy. The size is great and I love the side pocket. I plan to put a few pockets on the inside as well.

For those of you who celebrate some holiday other than Christmas, I hope you have a joyous time on your special day. Today we are going to spend the day with Bob's mom, Arlene. It's through the valley and over the Santa Susana Mountains to Grandmother's house we go.

Merry Christmas!