Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016

After my last post I received several messages from friends about my plans to move to Portland, Oregon.

I am not moving for at least a few more months.  I have sooo many preparations to make.  Besides, the nice weather season has arrived in Houston.  This is the best time to live in Houston.  I hope to move before the weather gets too unbearably hot again.

I just have so much stuff!  I have to sort through it all and keep only some of my things.

This past weekend I've been weeding through my clothes.  I just love clothes.  I take such good care of them that they seem to last forever (or until they somehow get too small).  I took 2 bags and 1 box full of my clothes to Goodwill yesterday. 

For the clothes that are  just too good to give away I use thredup.com, an online reseller. They decide what items they'll keep and put on their website.  The other items they donate to charity.  They also decide the prices and do the shipping.  It used to be that the company would send out "clean out bags" with a prepaid label.  All I had to do was fill up the bags and drop them off at FedEx.  They made their money by keeping the lion's share of the items' selling prices.  Now they want $9.99 per bag plus their share of the selling price. The fee is deducted from the seller's portion of the sales price or if that doesn't cover the fee they charge you via paypal.  Their policy change is very disappointing, but it beats pressing everything, putting them on hangers and hauling them to a resale shop or even worse, holding a garage sale!

Sorry, I've gotten off topic.  Once I decide when to make the actually move I will be sure to share it promptly.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

November 24, 2016

It's the sixth anniversary of the day my life was forever changed.  My husband of 10 years fainted in the bathroom and became instantly and permanently paralyzed.  I've already written about what the 2 of us went through during the months that followed.

I was aware that life as I had known it was over.  I've recovered from the shock of his accident and I've even gotten over the shock of his later behavior.

But, I'm still mourning the loss of how my life used to be.  I was married to my best friend.  My mother lived with us.  I was never lonely.  Of course we had our ups and downs but overall we were happy.

Now I miss the  lifestyle.  We had a good relationship.  We took short trips frequently, played cards with friends, had real conversations, faced life's problems together.  I had hoped I could have a similar life again.  It's been 6 years and I have been trying to rebuild my life.

I guess I'm lucky that I had those happy 10 years.  I still hope to make a happy life for myself.  I've learned that I have to be independent.  I enjoyed sharing the responsibility of home ownership with my husband.  It's difficult to do alone.

I'm ready to give up owning a home.  It's so expensive and I worry about flooding, property taxes, roof leaks, etc. etc.  My plan is to move to an independent senior living apartment in Portland, Oregon.  My rent will cover a 2 bedroom apartment, 2 meals per day, covered parking, maid service and some entertainment.  I will have to give up some privacy, a roomy house and 2 of my cats.  But, I will be in a group environment and no longer alone.  My son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren will only be 6 miles away from my apartment.

The other residents are mostly 10 - 20 years older than me.  But the years go by quickly and I'll be the OLD one soon enough.

In my senior years I hope to more fully explore my hobbies, especially doll making, do more exercise, explore the Northwest, go on an Alaskan cruise, travel and spend lots of time with my grandchildren.  I would also enjoy a part time job so I will be part of mainstream society.

The future looks promising.

Friday, October 28, 2016

2016-10-28: Cheshire Cat Vest

The completed project

There's a great thrift store near my house- Texas Thrift.  It's on Fondren just south of South Braeswood on the west side of the street.  The items are tagged with different colors, depending on when they were received.  Each Monday one of the tag colors is selected to sell for only $.99.

There is always good stuff to be had there.  I Last week I found 6 shirts nice shirts for Bert at $.99 apiece.  On another Monday I found this gray Disney t-shirt with the Cheshire Cat.  It was too small for me but I loved the cat.

Cutting out the good parts
 After washing the t-shirt I carefully cut out the cat and most of the spooky-looking tree.

I then appliqued the cut-out to the back of a raspberry-colored hooded vest.  The entire cutout was outlined in black so I only needed to use black thread in a zigzag stitch to apply the cat to the vest.

I'm very happy with the result.  Plus I already own a cheshire cat hoodie hat with matching mittens and a cheshire cat fanny pack with a tail.  I'm ready for the cooler weather plus the ensemble would make a great Halloween outfit, too.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25, 2016: A More Complicated Upcycling Project

Finished front
Finished Back

I bought an interesting Ralph Lauren man's shirt at a thrift store.  I liked it because it combined plaid with southwestern motifs.  Unfortunately, it didn't close around me, so I had to enlarge it besides restyling it.

I cut out a 3" strip from the middle back of the shirt (about 3/4 of the way) and inserted an 8" piece of black fabric with embroidery on it in complementary colors.  After I tried the shirt on again I thought that the addition looked too jarring.  It needed to mesh with the rest of the shirt more.  So I appliqued the pieces that I had removed back onto the fabric insertion.
restyling the back of the shirt
 I didn't cut the shirt all the way to the collar because the shoulders fit fine and it would be too much trouble to redo the shirt collar.  That left a space that needed to be filled.  I covered it with a piece of black lace from my stash.

Of course, then the front needed something more.  I added more black lace above the pockets.

Before - front
Before - back
When I first started restyling clothing I enlarged tops by adding fabric to the side seams.  I've found that it works better to simply add to the garment back.  That preserves any darts besides being an easier, better looking solution.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 1, 2016: My Poodle Shirt Refashion

I bought a t-shirt from The Mountain that had big poodle face on it.  The shirt was light gray.
I lowered the neckline and shortened the t-shirt.  Then I dyed it pink and added a big silver bow.

Now I have a shirt that looks like my little Sweetsie-poo! 

 I think my grandkids will enjoy looking at their Grandma wearing this silly shirt.

Sweetsie and me

Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016: Another Refashion Completed

While I was cleaning out my sewing room a couple of weeks ago I came across some batik pieces that I had purchased at the Quilt Show several years ago.  The colors went perfectly with a blue plaid shirt I had recently purchased at a thrift store.

I placed the large piece on the back of the shirt.  I selected 2 small pieces and appliqued them to the front of the shirt.  I did blanket stitching with brown embroidery thread around the 2 front pieces.

I was inspired by a plaid shirt that I saw in a Soft Surroundings' catalog. That shirt had flowers on the back but the front was only plaid.  I thought the shirt would look better if some of the design from the back were repeated on the front.  So, that's how I made mine.

Shoot!  I can't believe I forgot to take before photos.  Oh well, it's easy to imagine the shirt minus the appliques.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 29, 2016: Refashioning

Before - short tight dress
On September 10 I led my sewing group to a couple of thrift stores.  We went to fulfill a group challenge.  Each member was to buy a piece of clothing at a thrift store and then refashion (upcycle) it into another piece of clothing.

I remade several tops last weekend but I'll just show you one a day.

This first one was the simplest.  I bought an size XL sweater dress that actually fit me on top but was too tight and too short for the rest of me.

I cut off the bottom of the dress where it started narrowing.  I tried adding
lace to the bottom edge but my lace wasn't stretchy so it just didn't work.

I didn't really need to finish the hem since it was a knit and wouldn't ravel.  I just did some stitching at the side seams so they wouldn't come apart.  Then I used the bottom of the dress that I had cut off as an infinity scarf.
I think it came out cute.  Unfortunately the best photo of me wearing it is red-toned but you can get the idea.
After- hem is visible