Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This is my dear dear friend, Lori. She should have turned 34 today. She has been gone for almost 9 years. There hasn't been one single day in that time I haven't thought about her and missed her terribly.

Lori and I met at Jordan High. We bonded over needing an Immodium. Everyday our friendship became more unique and special. We ate lunch in the hallway. We were nerds. We found humor in everything. How else could we survive high school?

My friend Natalie, Lori and I became a pretty tight trio. We were always at Dee's on a Saturday night. Always, fries and a Diet Coke. Or whatever. You could also find us at Chick-Fil-A a lot when we were supposed to be in school. Being nerds, food was our drug of choice!

Lori had nicknames for everything and everybody. I think that made everything seem special, more important.
A good friend was a homegirl. Anything cute or endearing had the word "home" in front of it. My first vehicle, a little tan Nissan truck with a shell, was called the "Home Shoe" because she thought it looked like a Converse High Top. Presents were "tresents", a mix of a treasure and a present. Any type of GI distress was a "poo-job problem". If a boy was mean to you, she threatened to "kick him in the peep". I could go on and on. Every single person (and car) in her family has a nick name. Lori's nick name was Pingon. Sometimes Pingon the Duck. Sometimes she signed letters: Pingon the Emotionally Unstable Duck. I still have some!

She always loved us unconditionally, "all the way down to our toe jams". And always wanted us to pinch our cheeks. And our bum cheeks.

She'd always say, "I'll be back in two slaps of a Pingon's bum cheek!"

Oh, my Lori! I miss her BIG hair! We had to sit in the back when we went to movies so people wouldn't say they couldn't see over it!! She had a car with a t-top, and when they were off, sometimes her hair would stick out of the top!

Oh, my Lori! I miss your Duck Noises! Luckily, you taught me how to do them. My kids love them.

I miss my friend. I miss her true heart. She always made me feel good. She always made everything better.

I miss laughing till we either puked or peed. I miss our inside jokes, that NO ONE ever understood.

She taught me to embrace my differences. She taught me that the best friends you have are sometimes those you seem to have nothing in common with. She taught me that ANYTHING can be funny, that the crappy stuff in life always makes for a good story later on. She taught me what true friendship is. True, lasting friendship. Even when you can't see each other any more.

I can still hear her voice, and her laugh, and her sound effects, and I'm so glad. I can still see her hands, and smell her hairspray. I'm so glad she never left completely. She left such a clear stamp on all those she touched, and we are all better for it.

We miss you, our Lori Ann. Thank you for staying in our hearts. Happy happy birthday my beautiful friend! Pinch your cheeks!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tutorial: Old-School Embroidery

How about I try a tutorial? I do lots of this kind of embroidery, on baby shirts, kitchen towels, baby quilts, etc.

My favorite vintage style embroidery patterns are "Aunt Martha's". I've seen them at Hobby Lobby, or you can find them at

I have been able to find all of the patterns I grew up with. My mom and great-grandma embroidered a lot. The fill-in trick I learned from Aunt Liz.

I liked this picture, and it wasn't an iron transfer, so I used a Hot Iron Transfer Pencil and traced the whole thing. (Always put an old tea towel or something flat to protect your ironing board cover. This is a "seep through" project.) Also, slip the shirt on the ironing board so you're only working with the front.


Then, iron on a semi-high cotton setting with NO steam for about 10 seconds or so. See how easy? Remember, your image will go on your project in reverse.

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While it's still a bit warm, color it in with crayons. No need to be too precise, but stay inside the lines.

I like to use a bit of lightweight fusible backing to keep the embroidery looking crisp on the shirt. I don't use it with pillowcases or dishtowels, however.

Next, take a lightweight paper bag (I like the ones from Roberts Crafts that they use for your scrapbook paper purchases.) Place it over the top of the shirt where your picture is. The fusible backing is ironed on at this time too, under the shirt behind the picture.

Iron away! Again, no steam. You're trying to melt the crayon wax into the fabric, essentially making a stain. You'll see the crayon seep through the paper, and you're done.

Then, go ahead and embroider! Everyone has a different style. Just do what you like. I try to keep mine as just an outline, but I sometimes fill in middles of flowers or eyes. The stitches I use most are the Lazy Daisy and the Vine Stitch. There is a good stitch guide HERE.

Next, trim off the backing, as close as you can get to the emroidery.

All done! Cute, right? The color does fade a bit when you wash, but I think that adds to the vintage effect.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spruce Up

Yesterday, I was not fit to be around humans. Have you ever had days like that? Too cranky for words?

I was thinking I had a little too much chaos. In my head and in my house. I have one of those "lists". A kind of wish list. Lofty goals. Things you'd love to get done. So I've decided to actually cross some things off that list. And here is one.

I got this neat wicker basket at a flea market for 50 Cents! Needed a little work though, a little love. I thought it would be a great place to store my ever growing collection of vintage sewing stuff. (crapola) Oh well, I love it. Especially the old graphics on the sewing needles and kits!

I had some cardboard from ordering 8X10 prints in the mail. I slapped some Tacky Glue and some thin batting on them, and covered them with this cute cherry cotton print. (another thing on the list: use up supplies you already have!)

For the piece on the lid, I made some extra pockets. I hate measuring, and usually don't. I just slapped it all on, and sewed it. Then I put more glue on the backs of the cardboard and set them in their spots in the bottom of the basket, and in the lid, behind the existing storage flap.

Ha ha! I love it! And it took about 10 minutes! I inherited some neat things from my Aunt Linda, so I have the letters she sent with them in there too. See that little phone? It opens up and it's a little travel sewing kit!

So, some things checked off, and out of my head. I feel a little better now. :)

I'm a bit more human again.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

G Man

Today is my Greggie's birthday! He wants it to be low key. Whatever. When he turned 40, I threw him a surprise party, he's still recovering from that. I don't know what his deal is. I know age isn't an issue, maybe it's all the attention? Anyway, Happy Happy Birthday to GREG!