Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Most AMAZING Way To Shop!

My friend, Laurie, told me about Zappos.com.  It is the most amazing way to buy clothes, shoes, purses -- did I say SHOES.  Totally free freight -- both ways -- and you have a whole year to return stuff. 

Now, I'm not saying the prices are the lowest you will find anywhere, but when you are 61 years old, CONVENIENCE trumps price every time.  You gotta figure all that gas money you save too not having to drive all over the place looking for just the right item -- which, in my case, I don't even know what that is until I see it.  Then there is the walking which I don't really mind unless the weather is bad, and here in Oklahoma the wind blows so hard you are lucky if the door doesn't blow off your car when you open it, never mind losing a package.  Then you have to haul around the packages/bags/boxes because your car is parked down at the other end of the Mall.  And the WORST, most horrible part for me is this...
If I am familiar with the store, I always walk way AROUND the perfume counters.  But if it is a new store to me, I seem to always choose the entrance where the perfume-sprayer-lady is waiting to squirt unsuspecting shoppers with whatever the fragrance-of-the-day is.  It might as well be Raid when it comes to me because of allergies to perfume.  My throat swells up, my glands swell, stuff starts running down my throat like a river from a secret snot manufacturing plant inside my head. 
When this happens, I have to leave the store.  Actually, this happens to me in church too.  In our church, Jerry and I always sit in the balcony because the women that take a bath in their perfume (literally: perfumed bath products) always decide to sit right next to me.  My husband isn't allergic to anything, and he, of course, thinks I am a royal PITA, but I have been known to get up and move to a different seat two or three times in one service.  Not as bad as my Mother who always had to wear a babushka (Russian, I think, for scarf) over her head at church because the drafts hurt her neck.  I hate the drafts too, but not because of my neck.  I don't like the wind in my eyes.

And WHAT does any of that have to do with the subject!?

Okay, back to Zappos.com.  Here is how amazing it is.  SATURDAY afternoon -- a weekend day -- I went to Zappos.com and ordered a new purse, about 8 pair of shoes and a little cell phone wallet.  They arrived here on my front porch MONDAY, before noon.

Everything comes very well-packed inside one large box.

Out of the 10 items in the box, these are the only two things I kept:

How DARLING is that shoe!  Look at how well it was packed:
And how AWESOME is this purse???  It is mega huge, so I can carry my Ipad in it like Phyllis does.  She carries everything but the kitchen sink in her purse!

Remember, I can return these two items for a WHOLE YEAR.  Very easy to return stuff!  You just go to Zappos -- look up your order -- put a little check in the box next to what you are returning and print out the paper.  Then they email you a label to slap on the box.  Or you can get the label other ways.

Everything else that was in that box is sitting on my front porch right now waiting for the UPS man to pick it up.  I know he will be here today because I had to order those shoes in a smaller size, and they will be here TODAY!!!  How I love organization! 

I better get off this chair and do something that requires a little more movement.  I'll start by jumping on my little trampoline for a few minutes.  And just to prove I have NO PRIDE AT ALL, I made a video of me on the trampoline to show you how wonderful it is.  Right in the middle of my demo, the UPS man showed up at the front door.  You will see my reaction.  Poor guy probably won't recover for days!

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Lazy Sunday and Blouse Revisions

My goodness, what a lazy day.  Jerry has been at his computer all day long, as usual ...

We did watch Rev. John Hagee this morning from Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.  It was a very interesting message.  It was about Mary Magdalene and how all of us have the idea that she was a prostitute.  WHERE did we get that idea???  The Bible doesn't ever say she was a prostitute.  It says she had seven devils cast out.  The Bible doesn't even say the name of the woman caught in adultery.  

After "church" (we always watch on our computers), Jerry started working on 2011 taxes -- we JUST finished 2010 -- and I started working on my Sure-Fit Designs version of New Look 6808.  It takes me forever to do what Glenda could do in ten minutes.  I can make the entire blouse in less than a day, but it takes me days to make a pattern because of the wierd revisions I have to make to it.  

Wierd revisions such as my shoulders.  I have them on my door, you know:

Yep, that's them right there.  I have had Jerry draw them and Phylly draw them and even tried to draw them myself.  I highly recommend you DON'T try to do it yourself because it is IMPOSSIBLE!!!  In that picture, the shoulder on the left is actually my RIGHT shoulder, and the shoulder on the right is my LEFT shoulder.  Just getting that right took me quite awhile.  I would walk over and stand up next to them.  QUIT laughing!!!
There is no pattern in the world that is going to allow for your shoulders being different than each other.  Pattern companies assume you are built like a Barbie doll with even shoulders and boobs up under your chin.

MY GOAL FOR TODAY was to make my Sure-Fit Designs pattern into the style I just made from the New Look 6808 because Glenda wants me to do that because it is supposed to be easy -- and for Glenda, it is easy.  I want to know how it all works though, so I made a gallant effort.  In case you haven't read my other posts, here is a picture of the New Look 6808 blouse I just finished making:

 I am trying really, really, really hard to make my words wrap around the pictures, but I just cannot do it.  Somebody please advise me if you know how to do that.

Anyway,  Notice the COLLAR AND BOW and notice the GREAT FIT, especially in the armholes (I hate that word "armsceye"!).  I wanted to compare that to the SFD pattern to see what was different.  Well here is what I found that was different shown in the following pictures of my SFD blueprint.

This is the FRONT.  I needed to shave the armhole inward
and add width from under the bust down to the
hem to match the New Look blouse.  Shoulder tip was the same. 
 I believe the addition of width to the front and NOT the back
means that my stomach is bigger than my butt!!!
 This is the BACK.  All I needed here was to bring the armhole inward quite a bit. 
 The shoulder point was the same.

I also had to lower the neckline to make it a boatneck, but that was no problem.  I actually get that part.

I think Glenda is going to do a tutorial on this problem which I believe is what results from a narrow upper chest and back width.  "Normal" people don't require this deep armhole. 
Okay.  I got that all figured out and went on to what I thought would be the EASY part:  Drawing the collar on my SFD blueprint.  What I soon learned was that when one shoulder is different than the other, you have to have a LEFT collar and a RIGHT collar.  Here is my scary attempt at explaining this for my future reference.  Don't feel bad if you don't get it -- I MADE the changes and took the pictures, and I STILL don't understand it.
Time to go fix Mr. Bernsides (one of his many nicknames) some supper.  I'm going to make Spaghetti tonight.  We went out for steak last night, and the same restaurant that served me an AWESOME meal last week, messed my steak up TWICE last night.  I ordered it "PINK all the way through", and the waiter advised me that was "medium".  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight -- they always say that.  It came GRAY all the way through and it was a Filet Mignon.  Yuk!  To me, to be cooked too much, ruins it.  The Manager came over and apologized profusely and asked if I wanted another one.  I told her "No", at first, but after a few bites, decided I wanted it right.  I sent it back.  The next one came 20 minutes later when we had already paid and were ready to leave.  She asked me to check it.  Jerry and I took one look at it and could see they had just chopped it off the poor cow and slapped it on my plate! 

We asked for a To Go Box.  I broiled it a couple minutes, sliced it up for sandwiches and we had it for lunch.  YUMMO!  

Gotta go!

Hugs, Joy


Friday, January 27, 2012

Coat, Hoodies and Margaret

What a fun day I had.  My friend, Margaret, who just recovered from falling and cutting her head clear to the skull, was feeling good enough to do lunch today.  She also had to buy some groceries, so I offered to take us both to the Super Wal-Mart to buy groceries. 

I don't know if you recall, but Jerry bought me a North Face Coat that was $300 for Christmas.  It was black and real puffy and I felt not only like the Michelin Man in it, but looked like the Michelin Tire in it.

Yeah, I knoooooooooooooow, it looks GREAT on her!  What is she?  A Size 2?  You could put her in a parachute, and she would look good.  I think they should have 61-year old models in the pictures so you could get an accurate picture of yourself should your husband buy this for you!

And I can hear you saying, "WHAT ON EARTH does that have to do with buying groceries at

Margaret and I walked into Wal-Mart, and we each got our own cart.  We decided to go get all the things on our list and then text when we were done and meet back by McDonald's.  Now, Margaret had a very long list.  I only had three things on mine.  So, of course, I had to wander around and look at other stuff.  Anyone can understand that.  And not only that, the temperature in Wal-Mart was about 20 below zero today, and I had left my coat in the car because it was nice outside.  Not nice enough to have the deep freeze on in the store, however.  The first thing my eyes landed on were shnuggy hoodies with fluffie stuff inside.  I LOVE those!  I went over to where they were just because I was freezing, and I wanted to wear one while I shopped.  I found a cream colored one I liked right away, and I put it on.  It felt wonderful, and it fit me fine.  The only thing was, there was no price tag on it.  I have a real gift for choosing the ONE item without a price tag.  I figured all the private eyes were staring at me through the black holes on the ceiling getting ready to send the dogs out after me, so I took that hoodie off and exchanged it for one with the price tag dangling from the armpit.    
They probably have a file on me there anyway because I am the type to open a box of Wheat Thins and start eating them -- or a box of tissues and start blowing my nose - or a bottle of Tums and swallow one.  I ALWAYS buy them. 

I was just about to walk away from the hoodies when this thought hit me:  You should get a navy blue and white one to match the blouse you are wearing.  Yes!  Great idea.  So I took off the cream colored one, and I put on a navy blue one.  I decided to keep the cream one though because I knew I would wear that color a lot.  But then I noticed the same hoodie came in turquoise, pink, black, brown, purple and probably some other color.  They were only $16.97.  I figured I could buy half a dozen of them for 1/3 of what Jerry paid for the tire coat that I returned after Christmas.  So here, at last, is my Christmas present from my husband.  I just LOVE them!!!  AND, my husband loves them too.  He thinks 6 of something for 1/3 the price of another thing is a great deal!

Now, I don't know about Margaret.  I thought surely she would want to buy at least three of them, but she didn't buy any at all!  I think that bump on her head may have been more severe than we thought!

And we don't know what happened to my OTHER Christmas present -- remember Marsha -- the dress form? 

Marsha has never arrived.  We don't know if she took the wrong plane or what.  I like my jackets better anyway.

Hugs, Joy

New Look 6808 FINISHED!

Bet you thought I wasn't going to finish this, huh?  I finished it several days ago, but I got sidetracked by a friend coming to visit and then my husband coming to visit.  I hadn't seen him for THREE weeks!  We were so excited to see each other, we jumped into each other's arms before he got out of his little mini van.  Well, I suppose you would have to say, I jumped into his because he was still pinned in by the seat belt.  Too bad.  Shouldn't leave a wife alone so long. 
This "muslin" was made from New Look 6808 using my Sure-Fit Designs blueprint and then fitting the paper pattern using Palmer/Pletsch method.  It turned out really good, I think, fit-wise.  There is one funky little fold at one bust point, but I'm thinking it may be from the way I pressed it.  The miracle is that I am wearing it -- it is COMFORTABLE -- no pulling forward or back -- not too tight or too loose, and I like it.  Now, I want to make it out of some nice fabric.  Here are some pics I took this morning.

How CUTE is that bow?!  I don't usually go for bows or lace or foo-foo, but I really like this.  Reminds me of the bow ties my Daddy used to wear.  Wish I had a picture.  He was so handsome with thick, wavy black (maybe very dark brown) hair for which the gene passed to my sister and my brother and skipped me and my other sister.

On to the next project.  Not sure what it will be.  I will keep you posted though.

Hugs, Joy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friends and Stuff

Not much happening around here today.  I posted a new tutorial on pattern storage, and then I met Phylly for lunch.  We ate at the Olive Garden today and had our usual soup-and-salad combination.  We got a nice waitress named Jessica today, and she advised us that we could have a FREE wine sample if we would like.  I knew that Olive Garden has my favorite wine -- Riunite Lambrusco -- so I told her, "SURE!  Bring me mine and Phylly's too, please." 
(I should point out here that a sample is only one tablespoonful.)

Now, Phylly does not drink alcoholic beverages NOR does she eat avocados.  I don't know how we got to be such good friends when she has those two blaring faults! 

Well, of course, there is my other best friend, Margaret.  She just confessed to me last week that she does not like broccoli or cauliflower.
Actually, I have another best friend, Deanna, and her husband doesn't like -- of all things! -- mayonnaise!  How on earth can you get through life without liking mayo or Miracle Whip? 

I finished my New Look blouse, and it is currently in the dryer.  I put so many marks on my garments when I sew, I have to soak them in Shout and then wash them before I can wear them.  I use washable crayola markers, but sometimes they aren't that washable.  I will take pictures of the finished blouse when I get it ironed and on my body -- maybe tonight -- maybe not.

I did make the sleeveless knit top and the jacket I am wearing today.  I kind of like this set, and it fits me pretty good.  I believe the sleeveless knit top was my Sure-Fit Designs pattern and the Jacket was an old, out-of-print Simplicity pattern that gave me fits in the fitting. 

Gotta clean my house now.  I may see my old  friend and x-neighbor, Barbara, tomorrow.  Haven't seen her in years.  We tend to talk until we drop.  I may even have to take a day off from blogging once we get together.

Hugs, Joy

Monday, January 23, 2012

God is SO GOOD! and Superman is Real!

You will recall that yesterday, the wind blew my grill off the porch and onto its face in the backyard.  I could not lift it at all even though I tried twice.  I prayed that God would send Superman to help me, and thought of it as a silly request at the same time.

First thing this morning, I called Flair Body Shop to find out if they could fix my Honda any time in the near future.  The last time I needed repair because I had pulled up too close to a high curb, I had to wait three months to get in.  Flair was fixing the thousands of cars that got hail damage in front of everyone else because they get all of Geico's claims.  How nice for them!  Since there have been no hail storms lately, Flair said they could take my car in right away.  Yeah!

When I got to Flair, they already had my claim information, and I had not even given it to them yet.  Wow!  I love, love, love businesses like that.  The nice girl told me that the insurance company would provide me a rental car.  I didn't want the hassle of that, so I declined it.  Besides, I have another car to drive.  Since I didn't want the rental, Flair's customer-driver-home guy, Bill, had to bring me back home.  Well, the 2nd I saw Bill walk into the showroom, I thought, HOORAY, it is Superman!  A husky, nice looking, friendly guy.  I thought maybe I shouldn't ask him to pick my grill up -- but then I thought, the worst that could happen is he could say, "You crazy old woman -- quit "YELLING" at me (remember the policeman)."  I waited until we were in his little drive-customers-home truck, and this is what I said:  It works EVERY time!!!

"Oh my, you look SOOOO STRONG -- I bet you could lift an elephant!" 

He gave me one of those "awww shucks" looks.  Then I told him about the wind blowing over my grill.  I told him I was sure that Flair didn't pay him to help little old ladies in distress, but I would pay him if he could just give me one minute and HELP ME lift up the grill.  He said he would. 

So when we got back to my house, he came in and through the house to the backyard.  I showed him the grill and he went over to pick it up.  I rushed over by his side and started to pick up one half of it. 

He said, "Oh, Maam, please let me do it.  I can do it by myself."  I'm sure he was thinking he didn't mind doing this one thing for me, but he didn't want to have to perform mouth-to-mouth on me and call an ambulance next. 
He lifted it like it was a feather and put it back up on the porch.  He also locked the wheels for me (Jerry was right) so it would not blow/roll off again.  We walked back in the house, and I said, "Let me pay you for that."  He said, "No, that's alright."  I insisted.  I said I could at least buy him lunch, and I gave him a $20 bill.  He was very happy, and so was I. 

Thank You, Lord, for sending such a sweet SUPERman to help me.

Hugs, Joy

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Knit Top #5 - Love/Hate Relationship

Well, after all the hours I spent today on this knit top -- #5 of the 6 -- that I wasn't going to keep, I better like it!  I am really into these knit flowers right now.  They will probably be totally out of style now that I've figured out how to make them.  I never have cared what is in style or out anyway, so I guess it only matters if I like it or I don't.  I'm a real plain Jane dresser -- don't like to draw attention to myself.  Lord knows, my big mouth gets me enough attention and usually the kind I don't want.
I used to work for this high-fallutin (??? Did you know that you have to already know how to spell a word to look it up?  It's true.  I have no idea in the world how to spell "fallutin".) oil company when I was in my 20's.  I made a lot of my clothes then, and some of them were from doubleknit.  I thought my clothes were nice, and I never really compared them to what the other girls in the office were wearing.  One day I was entering my office, and three girls were standing outside my door and one of them -- the big boss's personal assistant -- and VERY pretty -- said to the other girls, "Can you believe she wears DOUBLEKNIT!!!"  I wanted to dig a hole in the floor, crawl in it, and pull the floor over top of me.  I was so self-conscious after that about all my clothes.  I felt like I was wearing rags.  I heard the same girl talking to some other girls one time and she was talking about her $250.00 silk jacket.  Dear Lord!  My whole wardrobe probably didn't cost $250.00.
She actually looked like that, only prettier.  I even remember her name.  She was a nice girl too.  She didn't know I could hear her.

ANYWAY, I digress....

I went searching through my stack of sewing adventures from the last few weeks and found Knit Top #5 this morning.  What I didn't like about it was the bust darts were too high and there was way too much fullness around my body.  I had to take two waist darts in the front to get the fullness out.  I took lots of pictures, but I must have filed them in some far off file by mistake because I cannot find them.  After I did that last week, I threw it aside because it was the fabric that had the little blue flaws in it.  I looked it over this morning and decided to experiment with some more knit flowers.  I figured if I destroyed the flowers and/or the top, it wouldn't matter. 

So here it is:  Knit Top #5 -- all done -- with flowers all around the front neck and little glass beads in the centers.  What fun it is sewing on those tiny glass beads with invisible thread!  Not sure if I love it or hate it.  Guess I will wait to see what Jerry says.  He will tell me the truth if it kills me. 

It was fun making the flowers, and I think I like them.  It's all those darts I don't like.  AARRGGHH!  It either looks like a maternity top or like this.  Guess I'll have to get used to it.

Every time I wear this blouse, I will remember that while I was sewing all those itsy-bitsy glass beads on the wind was blowing and howling outside. 

I kept hearing a metal sound outside like something was clashing against something, but I didn't look to see what it was.  I thought maybe that metal stuff wrapped around the chimney was clanging or blowing off or something.  I wasn't about to chase it down the street if it was. 

I kept sewing on itsy-bitsy beads, and all of a sudden I heard a very loud crashing sound of metal against metal.  I thought, GOOD HEAVENS!, are we being bombed or what?  I better look outside.  So I put down my project, unlocked all three locks on the back door, and walked out to find our large BBQ Grill laying face down on the ground and the propane tank laying on its side next to it.  First, I had to take off the giant cover that was tied around it.  I was able to lift the propane tank up and make sure it was turned off, but I couldn't even start to budge that grill!

That sucker weighs 1000 pounds (or might as well), and every time I try to pick it up, the lid wants to open, and it all falls down worse than it was before.  SOOOOOOOOOO, the grill will be staying on the ground until Superman shows up.  My neighbors are older than I am, and I sure can't ask for their help.  When the wind blows here in Oklahoma, it REALLY blows!

That's it for today. 

Hugs, Joy

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Nifty Notion and Carpet Is Up!

Check out the "Nifty Notions" section for my new pattern weight demo.  You will love them!!!

It is Saturday, 1-21-12, and I am back at my own home in Edmond.  Chico showed up at 7 AM this morning as promised, and I got so little sleep last night, I am teetering and tottering around.  Tried to take a nap, but my body thinks that is a terrible sin, and it will not allow me to do that.  I can't remember last time I took a nap.  I was in my 20's or had just had surgery and was drugged.  I was awake half the night trying to make sure I woke up on time even though I had my cell phone alarm set to loudly play Susan Boyle's song -- something about horses -- at 6:30 AM.  I was thinking of EXACTLY how they would rip up the carpet -- where would they start -- how many would come -- would they roll it up right -- would they be able to understand anything I said -- and on and on my mind rolled all night long. 

I got out of bed at 6:30 and thought to myself:  I'll just put a bra on and stay in my pajamas.  I'll wash my face, brush my teeth and run a comb through my matted hair, and I'll go make some coffee.  Now, this is something I never, ever do either.  Not even when it is just Jerry and me home alone.  But, I told myself, other people do it all the time.  Nobody cares if I'm in my pajamas or if I have my mascara on and my lipstick. 

Well, I ALMOST had myself convinced of all that until it was almost 7 AM and I knew Chico was going to be there any minute.  I thought.  OMG, I am in my pajamas.  I have to run and change.  So I ran into the closet that I use at Mom's house and put on a tee shirt and jeans.  I was just pulling on my pink and white striped, super fuzzy, soft socks I got at Sam's when I heard Chico's truck outside.  Whew!  That was close. 

Chico came alone.  His helper had some excuse.  Then he called another helper, and that helper was eating breakfast and couldn't come right then.   (See "Contractors" - lol)  Chico worked by himself from 7 AM to 8 AM pulling up part of the carpet by himself.  Then he left to go pick up a helper.  He got back at 9:00 with two helpers.  You never know if these Hispanic people speak English or not.  These guys were young -- of course, the whole world seems young when you are 61 years old -- but they were in their early 20's, I would say.  They seemed nice enough but the one young guy evidently, did not have time to put on a pair of pants with a working zipper, so he was wearing jeans with a broken zipper -- the fly gaping, but not too much, and the zipper pull hanging off one side at the bottom.  A lovely look, really.  At least, this guy had not wet his pants too! 

The routine was that the guys would pull the carpet up off the floor -- then they would roll it up like a giant snake -- then I would run over and wrap tape around both ends and label it with a Sharpie marker.  The roll of tape I had kept shredding, and I couldn't get a piece torn off right, so one of the guys took over that part.  All I had to do was write.  At one point I went into the living room while one of the young guys was taping up the end of a roll.  
I said to him, "What is your name?"

He said what sounded like, "Pencil".

I asked again, "What was that?"

He said, "Pencil".

I thought that sure was a weird name, so I repeated it.  Your name is "Pencil"????????

He looked at me and pointed to the marker in my hand.  He wanted me to label the tape on the roll of carpet.

I'm sure glad I didn't try to tell the guy his zipper was broken!

Really, they were all very nice and well-mannered.  I've decided I need to go buy one of those Spanish learning DVD's if I'm going to have any more remodeling done.

Better make some supper.  I'm going to bed early tonight.

Hugs, Joy