Sunday, July 30, 2006

Christmas in July

Holly and Pinecones

Winter Chickadees

Elegant Poinsettia

Tartan Christmas

Nancy Jo, let me know if you fancy any of these Christmas apron fabrics. It will be a full apron, with a ruffled bib! Later, gotta go to bed and get my beauty rest! LOL


Monday, July 24, 2006

It's been so long since I've had time to blog....

Sorry, been realllllly busy with work and exhaustion, but...I have been sewing!

Here is a dress for a friend.

It is the most lovely cotton with a gorgeous rose print. Lots of topstitching and big pockets. She did a great job picking out the fabric!

The girls wanted to have new gowns, so I decided I could make two gowns faster than going out to shop for them. So the girls went "shopping" in my fabric closet and came up with these two cute creations! Didn't even have to leave the that is my kind of shopping!! Each gown took less than an hour from lay out to over the head! The fabrics really reflect their unique personalities too.

Today is lots of laundry and possibly a trip to the swimming pool for the girls. It has been hot, hot, hot and very humid here the past two weeks.....blech.

I really hope ya'll are having a great summer. It's been super busy here. I'm finally getting used to the extra hours in my new job. Boy hospital work is sure hard! I did it for over twenty years, then went into homecare for a couple of back to the hospital...phew, just can't run the halls like I did in my 20's.

Well, love and happiness to all. Don't forget to smile today, hug someone you love!


Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Briar Rose Apron

This is the apron that came to me in a dream last night. I woke up at 2:30 am with the pattern fully developed in my head. I drew a sketch of it, then went back to sleep. I just had to get it sewn up to see if it would work as I had dreamed it. It looks equally well on a size 4/6 all the way up to a 24/26 without adjusting anything except where you fix the back straps. The straps can even be just tied around the neck if desired. I wanted an apron that was very feminine, yet functional. Lovely to look at and delightful to wear. Afterall ladies, we are the princesses of our kitchens! No more scullary maid fashions for we farmgirl princesses!!

Oh, I still need to hem it. Can't decide whether I want to use a lovely pink bias tape or a simple hem. I'll probably go for the simple hem.

This apron is not at a beginner sewing level. It has a mildly complex bodice construction. Be sure to click on the photo and look at it up close. There is a littel pink rose on the pocket, and a placket ruffle across the top of the bodice. This would look good in a solid color or any number of mixed fabrics, but it just has to have roses on it to be the briar rose! Here is a shot of the back....oops, Andrea is naked in this poor sewing assistant. The girls stripped her and were playing dress up with Andrea's clothes! LOL

Hope you enjoy this apron,

I dreamed an apron pattern last night, but...

When I cut it out and was ready to sew it together, my daugher handed me some fabric that she has been waiting for me to sew into a dress for you can see, my daughter now has her funky dress! She picked out the fabric and pattern and then together, we altered it and made an assymetrical neckline with a nice little strappy finish! She added the long neck or hair scarf to the outfit. I used black piping around the neck and 1/4" double fold bias tape at the sleeves. She hates do I, that is why we opted to leave out the facings and use the bias tape and piping.

She is my little fashionista. I love this fabric it is a breezy rayon crepe.

I will be sewing up my new apon tonight I hope. It is a really cool pattern that I made....super easy and hopefully feminine.

Have a fabulous day....

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Tough Week and a look at Nurses and aprons through history!

( These top two photos are traditional British nurse aprons the one on the left is from the 40's. The one on the right is from the 60's.)

Really tough week. First full week on the nursing unit. Crazy....I am so used to calm solitude. Working at my own quiet and steady pace. Now I have thrust myself back on to a super heavy duty Med/Surg floor.....I love it. Hadn't really realized how much I missed it. Very tired though. I've had to shake my girls out of their warm beds at 5:45 every morning. My youngest said to me Thursday: "Mom, I want to just skip today." Oh, how I felt the same way. But it was gratifying work this week. Even if I was the orientee. I ended up "in charge" at the desk every day. I started 6 IV's...all complex starts that nobody else could manage to start. Facilitated positive changes in treatment for three patients, diagnosed a mysterious finger disease that nobody else had ever seen....I've seen it only once in over 20 years of nursing. Managed to get the bed board has been broken for over six weeks and is a vital link for admissions, discharges and transfers to our nursing unit. I also ticked off only one nurse...a young LPN, with whom I worked three years ago...and she is just as lazy as ever. Everyone else was so glad to see me, I received lots and lots of warm tight, welcoming hugs. It felt good. Found some nursing aprons that you might like to see. These are wonderful images of nurses of the past. You will probably never see a nurse dress like this anymore. Too bad....I kind of like the look, well all except the dress part! LOL Don't ya just love their starched aprons and caps! I still have my nursing cap. Don't wear it much anymore. My cap looks very similar to the cap at the bottom left of the blue photo. Except mine as a 1/2" starched flat ruffle across the top. I also earned my black velvet stripe that I am allowed to wear as a graduate nurse about 1/4" from the top rim of the cap below the ruffle. I miss wearing caps. I think they envoke such respect from the public when worn. Although I feel like a relic when I wear it. Now for your reading en-boremet, following is something I wrote about an experiment I did a few years ago.

A Return to Whites
by Georgann P. Schultz, RN

I was one of the students in the early 80's who was forced to wear a cap through nursing school. I could hardly wait to remove it soon after graduation. Not because of the "stereotypical subservient" image it conveyed, but because it felt bulky and always became tangled in tubings, etc. So as soon as I graduated in 1984, it was shoved into the dark recesses of my closet and after about ten moves, was no longer in this world.
I also spearheaded the assault on whites in my hospital reasoning that nurses should be able to wear anything they want as long as it imitated a scrub of some kind. Ah hah, we were victorious and I marvel at all of the wild prints and slouchy appearance of we professionals in this new better era; comfort and individuality above the image of professionalism.
Recently, after twenty years of hospital nursing this whole issue was inadvertently thrown right in my face in two ways. I was taking off orders at the desk when a new, fresh faced nursing technician showed up for work dressed all in white. I was stunned. I was outraged I was humbled. I wanted to verbally lash out at her and say: "You have not earned the right to wear white. You are not a nurse. It is inappropriate attire for a nursing technician to wear one of the symbols of a nurse." Then I looked down at my colorful scrubs and shook my head and came to a realization. I did not have the right to say anything to her. I gave up my image. I betrayed my profession. I realized that my patients were hungering for that visage of hope that the whites portrayed. Secondly, I was saddened that one of our new grads said that her school of nursing no longer issued caps to their nurses. She didn't even have a cap to scoff at and throw in the back of her closet. She said that she felt a wee bit cheated out of that touchstone to the nursing profession.
Well, I decided right then to "clean up my act."
In this era of understaffing and increased use of unlicensed assistive personnel, I made the personal choice of wearing all white.
My first week of all white brought amazing results. Patients loved it. They were pleased that they could tell who their nurse was instantly. So I didn't stop there. Dread of all dreads, I reordered my cap from Kay's Caps in New York. Yes, they keep files on every school of nursing they have serviced and amazingly, they were able to tell me which cap my school used. I ordered it, and when it came beautiful packaged, starched and folded to perfection, I felt like an archeologist discovering an ancient treasure gasping at its beauty. I felt an almost reverence when I held it in my hands. I felt pride in my chosen profession once again. Dare I take this one step further and wear it to work? After all, I work on a very busy Med/Surg unit...lots of IV lines...lots of gaping wounds...lots of opportunity to rip it off of my head and thrust it back in its box. Yes, I dare.
I was stunned by the uproar it caused. All of my co-workers were floored to see it perched upon the crown of my head. A beacon of servitude on the head of the tiger! Patients and family members, without exception expressed their sincere appreciation of my whites and especially my cap. I had one young woman say: "I'm so glad you are my nurse, I feel I'm in good hands." Her mother said: "It is refreshing to see a nurse in whites and a cap. Thank you for honoring your profession." The elderly wife of another patient stated, "You make me feel proud, I was a nurse too." This lead into a detailed discussion between her and her retired nurse friend in the room about their caps and starching and pinning them to the wall...I realized then that the cap is not a symbol of servitude, but a light of hope. It ties us to our nursing sisters and brothers through the ages. It instills confidence in our patients. It distinguishes our profession and sets us apart from the myriad of bare headed, exotic scrub wearing generic "health care assistants."
Now I may not wear my cap every day, but the experience was refreshment for my burned out, hard working nursing soul. Oh, and my co-workers are digging out their caps to give it an occasional try. Well, all except one, she said: "Oh, please don't start something like that!” Sorry, the something is already started!"

Thanks for blogging with me tonight. At least I posted some nurses in APRONS!! LOL

Nurse George

This lovely sister above right is from the early 1900's.

And this fresh faced 24 year old new graduate nurse below is me in 1984. See my cap? See the white uniform? That was the last time I wore that for a long time. Went right to scrubs. LOL Don't ya just love the 80's hair, thin eyebrows, blue eyeshadow and disco make-up? LOL

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

'Twas the Morning of Independence and All Through the House....

All the creatures were stirring, and even the mouse....
Had hung up their aprons in the sewing room with care.
In hopes that the apron fairy, soon would be there.

To fill up their pockets with hopes and with joys,
And all sorts of goodies and candies and toys.

Here are three sweet little aprons for three sweet little girls. Just finished them, be watching the mail Sunshine.

Love to all and happy 4th of July!!


50 Things about me

Happy 4th of July!!!

I was inspired by a farmgirl friend to list some things you probably don't know about me. Thanks Aunt Jenny. Ya'll know I love to sew, so that is not even in my list!

Hope I don't bore ya too bad!! Here is something pretty to look at too. My only Shasta bloom this year. Bad year for Shastas here in VA.

1. I LOVE red licorice especially at the movies.....gotta have it with popcorn and a diet Coke (hehehe gotta save calories somewhere!)
2. My first job was at The Blackhawk Restaurant. I was a salad girl. I was 15 and filled the salad bowls on the buffet line. It was the best restaurant in Jacksonville, Illinois at the time.
3. Middle child in my family
4. Somewhere in the middle again grandchild on both sides of the family
5. Have wanted to be a mother and farmwife all of my life. First one happened, but the second one never will. I will be a farmgirl some day!!
6. Wanted to have 3 kids when I grew up. Had only one for 17 years then had two more, so my dreams came true.
7. I HATE to wear high heels. They ruined my feet. Wore them all the time in the late 70's when I was a Merchandising Manager for JCPenney. Walked the store in them.....ouch....NEVER again. Maybe that is why I went into highheels! LOL
8. I do wear shorts...alot, especially under my skirts. Hmmmm....I think I might try making bloomers! LOL
9. favorite color wear: black To have in my pocket: folded green! LOL
10. movie: "Funny Farm" with Chevy Chase......cityboy and wife move to the farm....laughed my rear end off......LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie!!!
11. music: ELLIOTT YAMIN Home town boy made good on American Idol. Love soft jazz, blues and funk
12. I can play the spoons and kazoo! (haven't had any offers to do it in public though.)
13. I love DUKE'S's a Southern thang.
14. I want a beater pick up dream car!
15. I drive a '97 silver Honda Civic
16. I am a night owl...I guess from doing third shifts for many years and menopause. I love the middle of the night. Quiet, one can think, everything seems so cozy.
17. My favorite food is duh, no brainer here: DARK chocolate!
18.if you come to my house I will be wearing: everything stretch cotton...sleeveless tank and pedal pushers.
19. I don't like to be in charge, but am in charge all the time at work...not afraid of it, just part and parcel of being the "senior" nurse all the time.
20. I smile alot
21. I am very grateful for my family....can't say that enough. They are the heart and soul of my life.
22. I have wonderful friends
23. I love to learn, and do well by listening and watching.
24. I love to volunteer at the elementary school, well within reason. I also like my free time!
25. I hate motels (I'll stay in them, but I know they don't really wash that bedspread in between customers! blech......
26. I love to be outside at night. The cool air, the crickets chirping, night owls it.
27. I don't mind crowds, prefer not to be in them though.
28. I don't like doing dishes, but nobody else will do them, so I'm stuck with it!
29.I had a hard time saying no, but have no problem with it anymore. Too many people took advantage of my good nature through the years. I can still say no, but know how to temper it. So when I say yes, I really mean it!
30. do dye my hair, still questing for my natural am a natural blonde, but it dulled about 8 years ago and now I dye it. I am almost to my natural color now and am letting it grow out.
31. can't resist books and fabric and have way way too much of both...OMG.....Me too!!!!!!
32. could spend hours just watching my children....oh, wait....I do! LOL
33. dream vacation...Me, My hubby, My kids in an RV traveling across the US....Oh, and a stop in Illinois to pick up my MOM!!
34. grew up in the Midwest....Illinois....near the the river. Live near the James River the river!!
35. I LOVE to fish..but haven't done it in years. Some of my best memories are of fishing with my dad. Getting up in the wee morning hours. Mom would pack sandwiches and shoo us out of the house with dad....hmmmm......maybe that was Mom's mini vacation! I know what she did when we were fishing....danced, danced, danced! LOL
36. I don't like to shop for clothes....for myself...but I love to shop for clothes for my kids.
37. A good old movie is one of my favorite things
38. When I was little I was known for being a little wildcat when pushed too far by my older siblings.
39. I like to learn new ways to do old things...that is why I love new graduate nurses. They have so much to offer we old nurse warhorses, if we would just listen!!
40. I can't stand baseball. I know, unamerican....but it is soooooo boring!!! Oh, oh...also Nascar...........argh, I know, I know.......unSouthern......oh, well.
41. love to snuggle with my kids and dog.
42. Not a fancy bone in my body, don't even own a dress anymore, or a pair of dress shoes.
43. my scent is sweat! LOL No I love Lily of the Valley and when I dab on parfume' it is Joy.
44. love baby powder
45. love Shih Tzus!!
46. grew up around at a time and ALWAYS named Tom.
47. pedal pushers and running sneakers
48. At a buffet the first thing I go for is the broccoli chicken (we go to Hong Kong King Buffet)
49. I drink at least a gallon of decaf tea a day. I love water, but get heartburn from it. weird huh?
50. My girls are my favorite flowers. No really I love all flowers, but my favorite: shhhh...roses!! I'm a sucker for a sweet smelling rose.

There I did it too.

Happy 4th of July!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Fairy Dreams!

Well it is late, or rather early. I have almost finished 3 aprons tonight. Didn't start sewing until about midnight. It is two am right now. Still have to sew the waistbands closed and add the ties. They are really cute though. mother send me some gorgeous embroidered pockets for my aprons, so I will be adding these beautiful pockets to a few aprons. I'll post photos of them the later. I am pretty tired tonight. We went to see CARS today. It was wonderful!! Then tonight, we watched "50 First Dates" with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. This is one of my top ten movies of all time. I balled my eyes out the first time I saw it and tonight, the tears were rolling down my cheeks, but at least I wasn't sobbing like the first time. Eee gads!! Love it though.

Hope you enjoy the little picture I posted. I sneaked outside in the dark and snapped a photo of my fairy reading. Just checking to see if she comes alive in the fairy garden at night. She is under a huge hickory nut tree and oak tree. Well, goodnight everyone and sweet dreams!


Final thoughts...

Thank you for visiting today. Feel free to sit for a spell and wander through my archives of sewing projects, aprons, original poems and stories, musings and vintage treasures. I really love guests in my home....and if you wish, leave me a comment so I will know you were here! AG