Monday, August 1, 2011

Pictures as Promised…

First off, I changed the format of the blog; I needed a splash of color to reflect how I’ve been feeling lately. Too much? Is the white text on black harder or easier to read?
Drumroll….the before and after picture. I can’t believe I’m putting this out there in the world, as I am truly embarrassed by the before picture. I cannot believe I allowed myself to become as large as I did. It is amazing how much denial I showed every time I looked in the mirror. But I am very proud of my ‘after’ picture and I am putting the before/after out there so that if one other person is inspired to get healthy, my ‘before’ embarrassment will be worth it. I still have about 20 lbs more to go, so without further ado…
An improvement, yes? I certainly feel more energetic and much more comfortable in my own skin.
Next…the new addition to my Singer collection. As I said earlier, this was an incredible find at a local garage sale and it fulfilled one of the items on my ‘wish list’. It’s a 1953 Singer 15-88 treadle sewing machine, and after some serious elbow grease, it is an amazingly beautiful and quiet sewing machine.
With this machine and my Nana’s Singer 401, I’ve been busy making some customized clothing for my ‘new wardrobe’. I’ve sewn two casual beach shirts, a pair of pajama pants, and a muslin dress-shirt template. The first three I’ll share with you today, as I am quite pleased as how they turned out. The muslin will remain hanging in my craft room so I can learn from my mistakes. I won’t be sharing that messy catastrophe (smile). The next will be better; practice makes perfect.
Parrot_beach_shirtThe ‘Parrot Shirt’

Blue_beach_shirt Blue Beach Shirt

Pajama_pantsMy Pajama pants. Yes, these pants are covered with half-naked firemen. Yes, I know, they’re so gay and I LOVE them!
After the muslin disaster, I decided to take a break from garment sewing for a bit and to finally make myself a quilt. I’ve made a dozen or so over the years and I have given them all away as gifts. Now it’s time for my very own quilt to keep my shrinking body warm during the winter! Below is a swatch of the fabrics I’ve chosen and I hope to keep the blog updated with the quilts progress.
These are the base 3 7/8” half-square triangle squares. Only 550-some-odd more to cut before I can actually begin to sew. It’s a good thing I’m starting now!
Until next time…

Summer Pre-occupation

It's hard to believe it has been almost two entire months since I posted last. I'm either an extremely lazy blogger, or I've been busier than I had thought! I'll cast my vote for "busy", as I certainly know I haven't been lazy!

On the lifestyle change/weight-loss front - today, I am down officially 66 lbs. Gone and not coming back! I feel better than I have in years, and getting compliments from random strangers and old friends alike never hurts either. I'll need to put up a new photo, or maybe wait until Christmas and do a side-by-side from last year to this year. I won't say it hasn't been difficult; trying to stay motivated to keep with the healthier choices is a daily struggle, but it is a struggle that I am winning. The best motivator lately (and the most expensive) has been replacing my wardrobe...nothing fits as it is all too big! Shopping for smaller sizes never felt so good! And this has also prompted me to try my hand at garment sewing again, as standard ready-made shirts just do not feel comfortable anymore. My shoulders are still too broad for the smaller sizes, but the larger ones could be used as a pup-tent in the abdominal area.

And speaking of sewing, I added a 'new' vintage piece to my growing collection. A 1953 Singer treadle joined my herd about a month ago. I've always wanted a treadle and this one was a garage sale bargain! After a thorough cleaning and services, I am amazed out how well she performs. I refer to it as a 'her' because it is a similar machine to one my great-grandmother used and it reminds me of her. I'll put pictures of 'Mae-belle' (in honor of my g-gran) later this evening, as well as the two beach-style shirts I've made, as well as the muslin button-down. The button-down needs more practice, but I completed it, with alterations, and it fits rather well.

The patio jungle is, well, still a jungle. The melons finally succumbed to the Georgia summer heat, but the tomatoes and peppers have since gone completely gangbusters. I'm harvesting more of those than I can possible eat! It may be time to find some of my Nana's salsa or spaghetti sauce recipes and start storing them away for winter. But let me tell you, nothing beats a good old-fashioned home-grown tomato sandwich in the middle of summer! Yum!!!!

Pictures later - I promise!