It is hard to let go…

When I was 9 years old I got a puppy for my birthday. He was a little pug puppy and for whatever reason I named him Butch. He was cute and playful. Sadly he had the Parvo virus and my parents didn’t realize it so within two weeks he had passed from this life. I was devastated. That is all I had wanted for my birthday and I loved him immediately. My dad, while he wasn’t always the best parent, he did have his moments. He decided that they would get me another puppy but this time they would wait until it was older and less susceptible to illness. So they found a little toy rat terrier that had been rescued from a loud abusive man and was being housed in a vets office. They paid $75.00 dollars (which is 1998, in rural Mississippi, is a lot more money than you might think) for her and on a very snowy afternoon, December 23, my parents brought her home to me. She was about 6 months old then. I wasn’t too sure about her to be honest. She didn’t look like what I expected and she was a little shy, but within no time we had bonded and I loved her more than I ever could have expected.

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There she is on the right, getting acquainted with my grandmother’s dog

I named her Baby (I was obsessed with Dirty Dancing), and gave her a little pink collar which I wrote her name on in my crude little handwriting. We played and grew together. She went fishing with me. She visited friends with me. I was home schooled so she was a dear companion. I spent a lot of my time with my grandmother and Baby was always there with me.

When I was 14 my Mother, brother, sister and I had to move in with my aunt and uncle. Baby had to stay with some friends for a few weeks, but soon she joined us in our Alabama adventures. She moved with us into a dank little trailer park, and then into our first house, and then again when my mother got remarried and then again when I moved in with my boyfriend. The only time we ever really spent apart was the year I spent in apartment with my friend Chelsea, and even then I would visit her on the weekends. She eventually joined me in the apartment and then the house I moved into after that and then in my current abode. She has traveled more than most people.

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On our way to PA and Washington, DC

Baby and I have traveled from Alabama to Houston, Texas; all the way up to Washington DC and Pennsylvania and most places in between. She has been with me through all of the important milestones in a young persons life. She saw me though my parents divorce and all of that fighting, through all of my childhood illness, through living with my aunt and uncle who literally started out every afternoon screaming at one another. She was with me in that horrid little trailer park and when I moved into the first real home I had ever had. She was with me when my Nana died. When I cried she would curl up and lay her head on my hands and sit with me. She saw me through high school graduation and college and marriage.

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I was rather obviously a little big bigger here. 2005 I think

Baby did not care if it was my fault, or what my mother thought of me or if we could pay the bills. She just loved me and she loved life and barking at anything that moved too much. I know that some people think it is silly to get too attached to a per, but how could I not. She was with me longer than almost any other person or thing in my life. Yesterday morning I fed all of the animals, and while I hadn’t seen her yet I just assumed she was still sleeping. She was small and could easily blend in with the laundry when she climbed in the baskets to nap. I called for her, shook the food bowl, looked everywhere obvious and then outside. Finally I got my husband up and he found her curled under our bed. She had fallen asleep sometime in the night and will not be going on any more trips I am afraid. After many years of companionship she has passed from this life.

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Steven and Baby, after bath

I’m crying as I right this, and I will probably cry for days to come. I think she had been with me so long I had just come to expect her to always be with me. This is a tribute to the best friend I have ever had.

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Pinterest sewing project: Rectangle skirt

I know that most everyone loves Pinterest. Recently I have been trying to actually make something from my boards there. Enter the rectangle skirt. I let my sister pick something she wanted me to make from my sewing board and this is what she picked.

Rectangle skirt tutorial

rectangle skirt

So I took about 2 yards of fabric, cut a hold in the middle for the waist, hemmed it, and added the elastic. I didn’t hem the bottom because the fabric I chose didn’t really need it.

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Front view

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My gorgeous sister modeling her new skirt.

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and a side view.

The next time I will probably use a lighter fabric, but I think it turned out well.

Now the total making time was about 20 minutes, it would have been longer if I had hemmed the bottom. The total cost was

$1.00 for elastic

$2.00 for fabric (on sale at the Walmart)

$0.25 Thread

Total: $3.25

Pretty awesome I think.

What have you all been working on?

Jessie

What we can learn from wee ones

Spring finally feels like it is here. It seems like all of April and most of May were filled with cold, nasty, rainy, and generally not very Spring-in-Alabama like weather. This spring sort of illustrates my life over the course of the new year. It was dreary and sad and not very fun…and then suddenly all of the work I had put into change has finally born fruit. The roses finally bloomed.

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Not that I don’t enjoy spreadsheets, and numbers and a generally stressful environment…but you can only do that for so long. Last week, actually a week today, I had my first day at the new job. I have my own class of 3 year olds in the afternoons. They are cute, cuddly, fussy, opinionated, and exactly what I needed. In the fall I will move into the nursery, but for now 13 budding new people and I are taking a summer journey. I think I am probably learning far more than they are, but I hope to inspire them just a tiny bit. Here are a few things that you can learn from little ones.

1. Always, Always, Always smile. Smiling will dry up useless tears, Even when they fight with each other, or don’t like some certain rule, they might cry for a few minutes, but then they just keep on smiling.

2. Always get back up again. You haven’t seen anything, until you have seen a 3 year old fall, and I mean face-plant it, and get right back up and keep running like nothing happens. Sometimes as adults, when we fall, it hurts like hell, and we just want to stay on the ground, but not those kids.

3. Everyone can be an astronaut, or explorer, or pirate. We can be whatever we put our minds to. Kids don’t think about the needless details. Why should we? We are only ever as limited as we think we are.

4. Use the voices when  you read! One thing I started almost immediately after getting this class was classroom reading. I think it is important to read to them. A lot of them can recognize letters and this process can help with that. Plus, they love it. Especially if you can read with enthusiasm and all the proper voices. Next week will be Amelia Badelia and Bernstein Bears.

5. Don’t cry over spilled milk, or spilled anything. The spills don’t matter. Everything spills, everything stains at some point. Clean it up and move on.

I’m sure there will be more to come later.

Go hang out with a wee one. I guarantee you will learn something.

Jessie

Stretching Pennies Refashion: Jeans to Capris

Hello All.

Happy Memorial Day!

If you saw my post from a couple of days ago there were several things I was working on.One of them is a jeans refashion that I would like to share with you.

I started out with a pair of jeans that I bought on sale about a year ago. Due to the fact that I am altitudely challenged I can never find jeans of the right length, these were about 4 inches too long though which is ridiculous even for me. I didn’t mind since it was winter and I could just stuff the extra length in my boots and go about my business. After I had been wearing them about 3 months I ripped the bottom…still wasn’t a big deal since my boots covered it. There were also two holes beginning to for below the pockets which is not good. Now that it is summer time, and with my new job (more to come on that later) I thought it might be time to make them more versatile.

So here they are:

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Isn’t the color awesome?

Anyway the first thing I did was get out a pair of shorts that I liked and cut them a bit longer for comfy capris.

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I recommend always cutting longer than you think you are going to need. You can always cut more, but the adding is harder to do.

Here they are on my after the cutting:

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I like the length, now to hem them.

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Now to fix these two holes. What I did was a combination of methods I have read about other people trying. I took two patches from the leftover bottom of the jeans, pinned them on the wrong side of the fabric, with the right side facing the holes, then zig zag stitched across the patch and holes to keep the holes form getting any bigger, but also to keep the patch on the inside and preserve the cuteness of the pants. The key that I found was to match the thread color to the color of the outside of your jeans as much as possible.

Here are the finished pants:

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Aren’t they cute?

What have you refashioned lately?

Lots of projects

I’m hoping everyone has had a good weekend. I thought I would share my current projects with you all.

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I love, love, love these jeans, but I bought them at a sale and they are about 4 inches too long. In the winter I could just stuff the extra length in boots, but then I ripped them..and it is summer So I decided to try a pair of capri pants. I will also have to repair the holes that are starting to form near the top. I got them cut and one leg hemmed before I broke my needle.

Now I am forced to clean up my sewing things in order to find my extra needles.

I also started a little patchwork basket for my sister yesterday.

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I just have to add the liner and handles…once I find that needle.

 

The other project I actually finished yesterday.

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I made this cute little headband to wear to work yesterday.

 

What are ya’ll working on?

 

FIshy fishy!!!

It is that time of year again. I got to go fishing for the first time this year over the weekend. I know some people don’t like to fish, especially girls. However, I absolutely love it!

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As you might be able to tell from this sweaty, sunburned picture. I love to wish pretty much anywhere, with anyone, but I especially love fishing with my husbands father. He is a fun guy.

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This is a very awesome picture in my opinion of that awesome guy. It is kind of artsy.

Being out on the water is magical. Nothing can touch you out there. Not the worries of life, like bills and problems and other such things. It is all about the heat of the day and the feel of the water and the fish in the water. I can’t wait to go again.

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Isn’t is pretty?

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We also found some turtles.

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Go enjoy some water time. I hope to again this weekend!

Jessie

Stretching Pennies…New fabric and awesome doodads

Good afternoon all!

I know everyone is excited to hear about my latest thrifted awesomeness.

This past week I visited a local thrift shop. Sometimes you can find awesome things on these visits and other times they are a complete bust. This time I found a treasure of polka dotted fabric:

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In total I think there was about 5 yards of fabric which cost $2.00.

Then there was a cute spool of pearls, and ribbon and lace.

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The cost for these were about $1.00

and a few other random notions

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Altogether about $0.75

I also picked up a cute pair of jeans that actually fit really well and a new shirt dress.

The total cost $10.00

Pics to come soon from the little clutch I am making out of my new fabric. I’ve been in a crafting slump so perhaps this will help me out of it.

How did you Stretch your Pennies this week?

Jessie

The Awakening: A Review

 

Hello friends,

I am going to be reviewing some of the things I am reading for the first time or re-reading this summer. Please share your won opinions or favorite quotes.

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“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”

This is a quote from Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. In this 19th century novel the main focus is a woman, who after several years of marriage, birthing two children, and settling into a complacent life, decides that she doesn’t want to fade into nonexistence. She summers in New Orleans with her family which is where she meets a man that she begins to love. This transformation in herself is what helps to change her perspective about all of the facets of life around her.

I give this book an 8 out of 10. It is a great little summer read.

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.”

“but whatever came, she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself.”

The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women’s issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating mixed reaction from contemporary readers and criticism.

Mother’s day tribute…a few days late

Hello friends!

I am running a bit behind schedule on my posts but that is life sometimes I suppose.

I have been diligently working at a number of custom orders I got last week as well as making a few Mother’s day gifts for friends and my husbands mom. It was an interesting foray into jewelry making.

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I spent Mother’s day with the husbands family. This is pretty normal. my sister did get to come by after church yesterday morning and visit with me a few minutes. She brought me a neat frame for mother’s day so that I can start hanging more pictures in my office.

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I wanted to spend a few minutes, post Mother’s day to Thank those women in my life who have been a mother to me when I needed it.

My earliest memories of Barbara Holloway are from when I was 11 years old. I worked with her son at a local Pizza Hut for a few hours on Monday nights painting faces and making balloon animals for their “kids night”. I realize that normal 11 year olds don’t have jobs…but my life was never normal and that is a story for a different day. That is how I came to know her family. My very best friend, the best friend I have ever had, or may ever have, was her daughter Savannah. Not at first of course, at first I thought Savannah was weird and entirely too energetic. Ms. Barbara saw through a lot of the barriers that I put up around myself. She gave me a place to stay when I needed it (which was often), food in my tummy (which was rare), and a calm rational, adult voice that I did not get anywhere else. She provided the only stable home that I knew as a child.

My aunt Cynthia was not really my aunt. She married my great uncle when I was a wee little girl. Luckily for me my great uncle loved my grandmother, who loved me and I got to see all of them quite a bit. Cynthia opened her heart up to me, but perhaps more importantly she gave me a good example of strength through adversity. She also introduced me to the oldest friend I have, her son, who continues to be a steady influence in my life.

My real aunt Kathy is probably the most awesome aunt that any girl could ask for. She took me fishing when I was a girl. She would get up at the crack of dawn when I was bugging the crap out of her and take me down to the country store, order sandwiches and then take me fishing. She listened to my struggles and triumphs and always watched over me. She never had kids of her own, but she is like my mother in more ways than the woman that birthed me. Even though we live a few states apart now she is still just a phone call away.

Finally, Amy Crews deserves more thanks than I will ever be able to give her. She has helped me though all of the adult trials and tribulations that women in their early twenties face. She also gave the best advice and was a shoulder to cry on when my brother and sister came to live with me. She has been a constant voice of reason though crappy relationship, my own parents failures, and my own personal screw ups.

Thank you ladies. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Jessie

Stretching Pennies – New creations..putting to use those thrifted notions

In my first Stretching Pennies post I showed you all my newly thrifted sewing notions. I have made a few things since that post in preparation for summer craft shows.

DSC02139 - CopyUsing some beautiful vintage buttons

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I made fasteners for Kindle cases.

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And that vintage bias tape (the middle white)

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All of these are now available in my Etsy shop.

Everything but the thread was upcycled or thrifted.

Have a great day!

Jessie