Thursday, March 24, 2011

I can do Yoga

At my age, having a regular exercise routine is important, but getting myself to be consistent about doing it, is also a challenge.  Jogging, Zumba, Turbo Hip-Hop, and all those classes that involve body parts bouncing up and down, is not for me.

A few years ago, our daughter had suggested that I try doing some Yoga exercises and perhaps join a class.  I was very reluctant to join these classes, since my body was not really the "bendable" type.  The thought of me, twisting my body around in a shape of a pretzel, sounded like an immediate trip to the emergency room.  I did join a Yoga class.  On my first day,  the instructor told us to lie down, flat on our back, close our eyes and focus on our breathing.....I immediately knew, that I was going to love this class.

It's been a few years now, that I've been practicing Yoga.  I do admit that I was away from it for a while and I've just recently joined a group, at the "Y". But, just like riding a bicycle, I got back into the routine with not too much of a problem.  Fortunately, the "Y" is located near the hospital, which makes it a faster trip to the ER, just in case I get "stuck" doing a "pretzel pose". 

If you haven't tried Yoga, you may want to consider it.  It really is an excellent and low-impact exercise program that stretches all your muscles, even those muscles that you never knew you had! It also helps you to relax your mind. I do admit, that sometimes it can be a bit tough trying to meditate and not to think about what I'll be having for lunch, after the session. Once you start the exercise, you'll soon learn why "downward facing dog" and the "child's pose", will become your favorite part of the routine.  The nice thing that I've also learned,  is that Yoga works for me.  I really can do it.    Namaste.......

This is not me, but I did this pose today! Yaaaay!

This is definitely not me, but I'm still working on the pose

Monday, March 21, 2011

Born to Be Wild

I don't really know who really started the Biker movement in the USA, and what I mean by that,  is when did the Harley Motorcycle love addition begin in the US?  I do love seeing the beautiful motorcycles that Harley Davidson produces.  It seems like there's always a "Harley Davidson" motorcycle that "fits" just about anyone.

1907 Model

A few years back, my husband and I had travelled across our country, via the train.  We had stopped mid-way, and rented a car for about a week. It was such a beautiful trip, as we had seen the most beautiful countryside in the states of North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. We did drive to Sturgis, South Dakota.  Truly, the Biker capital of the world.  Although, we were not there during the annual gathering, it was really nice to see why bikers from all over the world, meet there each year.  It's such a simple town, with no frills and no big city feel to it.  It seems like the perfect spot to drive all across the country to meet others who share the same passion. In the small town of Sturgis, there was this really fun souvenir shop, that sold just about everything you would want, if you were a biker aficionado. We picked up a few souvenirs for our Priest, who also rides a Harley.

If you're a Biker fan or just love wearing the fashions, here's something fun to start off the young ones on your list. These biker booties have become a popular sell and are exclusive to my shop.

It's Sew You!
Biker Booties
Available Year Round

Although I don't ride motorcycles, I appreciate those who do. I truly believe, that you should continue to do what you enjoy doing the most.....Nancy

Friday, March 18, 2011

Knitting is not just for Old Ladies

Each week, quite a few ladies in my parish, meet to knit or crochet items for the local charities. This group has been in existence for over 25 years, and our "leader" is 93 years old and still drives! I've been with that group for about 6 years, now. I do confess that I've always thought of these knitting groups, as something reserved just for the seniors.  In our group, I'm probably the youngest member, but hey, who's counting, right?

A couple of years ago, a young girl (age 11) was visiting our parish. She is homeschooled and lives in Canada.  Her mom had asked us if we wouldn't mind, if her daughter, Juliana, could join us for the day, while we knit.  Juliana has been knitting, since she was 9 years old.  She was such a joy to be with and is so mature for her age. Before she left, we gave her lots of yarn and knitting needles, as she wanted to make some baby items.

Each year, our "Knitting Ministry" conducts their annual "Show and Tell" at the church.   Most of the yarn had been donated by the parishoners and we enjoy sharing the items that we've made. All finished items are not sold  as they are donated to local charities, after the show.  Last year, 2010, we were pleasantly surprised to see Juliana, visit us again.  She was in town, and joined us for a day of knitting.  She brought the items that she had made.  These are the baby items that she had made for charity (as you can see in the photo):

Hand Knitted by Juliana, She is 13 years old

Here's another glimpse of what the ladies had made, within 4 months:

If you are new to knitting, crocheting or sewing, you may consider joining a local group, within your community, or start your own.  It's a great way to enhance your skills and it's so rewarding to create something for a person who really needs it,  right now.  As I always say, continue to do what you enjoying doing the most -- Nancy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sew Simple

Over the years, I've collected a few sewing machines.  My very first sewing machine was a Kenmore. My dad took me to Sears and I was so happy to select the one that I could afford.  It was a nice machine, made of solid steel, and it had a "free arm".  Which makes it so much easier to sew sleeves and small projects.  That machine lasted a long time and I'd kept it stored away, throughout all our moves. I eventually gave it to my Aunt, who needed a new machine.

Here's another one of my favorite machines:  The Singer Featherweight.  And, yes, the one in the photo is mine.  It looks like a toy, it's very lightweight and sturdy.  It only sews a straight line, forward or in reverse.  No zig-zag action on this machine.  It's as basic as it gets.

I bought this one about 6 years ago, online.  A lot of quilters use this machine, because it's easy for them to take to their classes.  I am not a quilter, but I did make a quilt top, using this machine. I ended up quiliting it by hand, since doing it on the machine was not working for me.  The finished quilt is more of a lap quilt or wall hanging.  I made it for our daughter. Here's the finished quilt:

Of course, I had to add to my collection, and couldn't resist this great find.  I found this "Viking" Sewing Machine (circa 1970's) at a thrift shop.  Paid only $15.00, and it included the side table and the original case.  The sewing manual was missing, but I did find oneonline.  The machine works beautifully!  It's got more steel in it, than the average car, today. As you can see, it's just another simple machine.  I use this one as my backup.

Today, I use my all time favorite "Bernina".  I've always wanted a Bernina and finally got one, about 6 years ago. It's just a simple machine, with no "bells and whistles". Although my new machine is basic, it does offer a few nice gadgets, like an automatic threader. It came with a few attachments, but I'd soon learned, that purchasing additional "gadgets" are very expensive for this machine. The "walking foot" alone is $169.00! 

If you're new to sewing, my suggestion is to first decide what type of sewing that you'll be doing.  If you'll be quilting, purchase a basic machine that INCLUDES the Walking Foot.  For sewing clothes that you would like to monogram, select a machine that offers the different styles of monogramming.  If you'd like a machine to do mending or repairs, a simple machine will work just fine.  Keep away from the hand-held sewing machines. It limits you from using both hands and the stitching quality is not the best.

Buying a sewing machine is like buying a car. There are so many different styles and models and they require regular maintenance. Take time to understand and learn your machine, just like you would your new car.  Eventually, you will enjoy it and everything will be "sew" simple, after that........


Monday, March 14, 2011

Lacy Capelet in the Making

Every now and then, I like to venture off and create  something as I'm making it.    My motto is, "It's never a true project, unless it's ripped out once." And, yes...I do rip it out more often than that.  In this case, I've wanted to crochet a lacy capelet/wrap.  

I've started here, using a smooth textured yarn in sage green....

My completed capelet/wrap was done in Black (surprise, surprise - since it's one of my favorite colors)....and yes, I had ripped it out at least twice......:)

Anything lacy, is truly my favorite project.  I've made a few lacy wraps over the years and wear them year round.  It's such a convenient accessory to carry around with you, as you can toss it inside your tote bag, or drape it over your purse.  It works well in the warmer climates, as well.  Take it with you when you go shopping or to a movie theatre.  It will definitely chase away your "chills" as you enter the air-conditioned building.

I continue to have fun doing what I enjoy.  Isn't that the way it's suppose to be? -- Nancy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pattern Addiction

I've gotta admit, that I love collecting patterns of all kinds.  Lately, I've been adding to my collection with these very fun pattern books.  Anything, needlework related, I probably have it. My little stash just keeps on growing.

I'm always on a search for a style that looks fun to wear. My favorite book store in town offers a large selection, including a wonderful selection of sewing/knitting and crochet magazines. And yes, I have a collection of those, as well. I saw this book,  "Knit your own Dog".  It's just too, too cute!  The chapters are named after the class, such as: The Working Dogs, The Sporting Dogs, etc. This is a must have for dog lovers or for those who would love to own one. I did resist the temptation to buy it.  Well just for now.

I've even ventured off to creating my own patterns. This may not cure my "addiction", it may just be the beginning of a new one. Oh Well!  I continue to have fun, doing what I enjoy most ! -- Nancy

It's Sew You!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not your Momma's apron

Today, aprons are now getting the attention that they deserve.  Traditionally, it was meant to be worn in the kitchen, while preparing the family meals.  Today, it serves the same purpose, however, you don't really need to know how to cook, to wear one.  

Remember this style? This is one of my sewing patterns that I picked up at an Antique Shop. It still contains the actual pattern pieces, too!  I may have to give it a try.

Here's one that I make, and you won't need to sacrifice style the next time you're in the kitchen. This lovely apron will add just that touch of elegance to any outfit. This new style, is one that I make from a pattern. and offer it in my shop.

The apron styles have changed over the years, but I'm glad to see them back. This poem, was given to me a few years ago.  I don't know who the author is, but it's beautifully stated.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Recycle Daddy's Dress Shirt for your Little Ones

Recycle or Repurpose? Whatever word that you use, a new creation has been made, before it reaches its finally destination at the landfill. The nice thing about it, is that the materials are free or almost free, especially if purchased at a thrift shop or flea market.  You may also consider it as an heirloom piece that has been handed down to the next generations.  For example, Grampa's shirt has been repurposed and will be cherished for a long time by his grandchildren.

I've found this great idea online, at Craft It uses a Men's Dress shirt that has been repurposed as a little girl's dress. It's really cute, too!  I'm eager to try this one, as I'm always up for a challenge.

I've also repurposed a dress shirt and necktie, to use as a Bib.  (a Baby's Bib, that is...:) .  The bibs are reversible and backed with a soft terry cloth fabric. These fun bibs are always available at my shop:  It's Sew You!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reversible Baby Wear

A new collection of reversible baby wear will soon be added to my shop.  You'll get 2 looks with the same style.  The hat is also reversible! In today's economy, thought this would be a great way to maximize a baby's wardrobe, without breaking the bank.

The fabrics that I select, are all 100% cotton and will feel comfortable against the babies delicate skin.  Each set has been prewashed, prior to sewing.  This will ensure limited shrinkage during each wash.  This will eventually become a 3-piece set, as I'll be adding one more piece to the style listed below.