Finished Quilt Set

Finished Quilt Set


Another Prom Dress

I have a hard time saying NO.  Even though I had a trip to get ready for, a writing deadline, clients to contact before I disappeared for the weekend, AND the event I was asked to sew for was a little over a week away, I still agreed to sew up a Grecian style Prom dress. At least, I l;earned some new sewing tricks AND the dress turned out beautiful.  Can’t wait to post pictures of the “belles of the ball” this coming weekend in all my creations.

This dress went from concept to reality in 3 days.

ImageCutting out is always the most tedious and boring step (in my opinion).


To create the Grecian pleats, I had to cover the bodice and Empire waist form with a pleated layer.  Good thing… it’s gorgeous. Bad thing… it shrinks the dress dimensions.  Lesson learned as I had to put expanders into the back of the dress.


ImageWhat I originally cut out as a size 10, quickly shrunk to a size 6.  No bueno.Image

The skirt required both a slip (under sheer skirt), a skirt, and an overlaid sheer drape. Not sure my machine still loves me.


At least the finished dress is dreamy and the young dancer is pleased with my creation for her.


Now to do some alterations for two more young Prom goers.


Trash to Treasure

A couple of years ago, I bought this “not too exciting” garden swing. I really wanted to have a place to sit and read and visit when the temperatures were nice.


It lasted about 8 months.  The high winds in our area quickly tore off the canopy so we  moved the swing under a large mulberry tree.  Within another year, the sling was faded and by the end of 3 years, the sling had rotted and all that was left was the metal frame which was loose and useless.  I still really wanted a swing, especially for my daughter who loves to read outside.

BUT, I didn’t want to go buy another swing that really didn’t appeal to me aesthetically and would certainly suffer the same fate in our harsh weather.  I didn’t want to make do. Also, any fabric I used on the swing would have to be removable so that the elements didn’t destroy it as quickly as they had the original.

Some friends of ours had recently purchased a wooden swing and while I liked the look, it wasn’t the most comfortable place to sit. I had really liked the sling back style  of my own swing.


Then it hit me, why didn’t I combine the two styles.  I already had a sling back frame. How hard could it be to make a wooden swing from that?

I purchased 12 1x4x10s and some metal brackets and went to work. It was quite the experience to drill into metal and fit slats across a curved frame.  I reenforced every two slats with a metal bracket through the bottom of the frame and into the wood.

Next,  I cut slats and angled the back of the swing in an Adirondack style so that the swing reclined at the angle I wished.

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While the wooden swing now had the right angle and height and slant, it was not going to be comfortable to sit on long term, especially for my garden reader.


A quick trip to Hobby Lobby and I had bright cushions that make for a wonderful haven out in the garden.  My daughter has claimed the space as her own.

Now…to finish up the landscaping in the backyard.  Looks like I already have a new project in mind for this spring.


I had so much fun…

…On my recent Photo Walk. Even with the broken nails, skinned knees and elbows, blisters, and bruises, the event was totally worth it. I think I am even more in love with my camera and I was pleasantly surprised to discover areas of my community that I was completely unaware of.  I live here


Dry, arid, windy, dusty desert.  Yet less than 20 minutes away, I discovered this


and this


and this


while all along I was only expecting to see this


Want to see more of my amazing Photo Walk?  Check out Twitter or Instagram under #highdesertphotowalk and leave me some comments telling me what you think.  If you’re interested in participating in the April Photo Walk, leave a comment here and I’ll send you details.

The PROM dress

I’d forgotten how big a deal the prom dress is. With 4 sons and a daughter, and the daughter stuck down near the end of the family chain, I’d managed to skate through 5-6 Proms with just gentle reminders to not forget the corsages. This year? Not a chance.  This year, we have to focus on the hair, the nails, the makeup, and THE DRESS!

First, this required a day trip down to the L.A. garment district where we spent 9 hours walking in and out of merchants’ storefronts (if you’ve never been to the garment district, you’ll have no idea what this entails….no seating, crowded spaces where ALL their products are displayed, no dressing rooms, and barely a word of English to be heard) only to discover that the EXACT dress (what she was thinking she wanted couldn’t be found in next seasons offerings) was elusive and not to be cornered in this part of the state.  We did find two prom dresses for our foreign exchange daughters who weren’t quite so picky.

Second, (after my refusal to return to the garment district) we began the hunt online to no avail.  The perfect dress was no where to be found.

Then the father got involved.  I guess he’d had enough of the teenage tears and drama. Both he and the daughter drew up a concept (he’s a whiz at drafting which is what makes him an amazing engineer) and presented me with the DRESS. I then went hunting and found a pattern I could easily modify, and broke out the sewing machine.  Here’s what I did.

The concept

pattern  pattern2 Thank goodness I could find a decent pattern.


The material

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2013-03-25 14.41.11   2013-03-25 14.41.24

One very happy teenaged girl.  Now about them shoes??!!??

A Photographic Journey…

I have been invited to take on a Photographic Walking Tour which I will do later this week. I’m excited to try this as I am new to photography and to Instagram (where the invitation originated) so watch for pictures and descriptions of my upcoming walking tour. Should be a bold new experience. Maybe I’ll even write about it for my Author blog.


Looking for Guest Bloggers

Keeping up with 4 blogs can be a full time job.  That means less time for health coaching and writing my books.  So if you are interested in guest blogging on any of my 4 blogs:

Free To Find The Best You – Health and Wellness

A Crafter At Heart – Crafts and DIY projects

Deep In My Psyche -The ins and outs of writing and telling stories

Relating To You – Relationship Issues

Contact me at My Email .

I’d love to read what others think and are doing.