Memorial Day 2015

"These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation
who has a long history of patriotism and honor - and
 a nation who has fought many battles
 to keep our country free from threats of terror."
Michael N. Castle


The Prickly Pear Are Blooming In Texas

The Prickly Pear are blooming!  We have had RAIN!  Those two things do not always happen at the same time.  The brilliant blooms dot our West Texas landscape precisely at this same time every year whether it rains or not.  I certainly don't know all there is to know about cactus, but what I do know is from observation and experience. 

My experience in observing these May Bloomers always makes me want to grab my camera, jump in the truck and head for the country roadsides.  This merry month of May, I have been observing the cactus and wildflowers from behind the wheel or as a passenger. 

One word keeps me in the truck and off the roadside prickly pear patches...TIME.  Not only is it Time for the Prickly Bloomers, it is Time for Sneaky Snakes.  A one Time encounter was plenty for this photographer.

It's just as well I don't have Time in my work schedule to go gallivanting around the countryside taking MORE photos of prickly pear cacti.  You can compare it to the recent 'One Thousand Posts' post.  Just substitute Prickly Pear for Posts.

Now when you pick a pawpaw...or a prickly pear.
And you prick a raw paw...well, next time beware.
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw.
When you pick a pear try to use the claw.
But you don't need to use the claw...
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw.
Have I given you a clue?
Mowgli:  Golly, thanks Baloo.  Bagheera:  PawPaw, ha! Of all the silly gibberish.
The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling


One Thousand Posts

It's better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times.  Asian Proverb
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. Idiom
Measure a thousand times, and cut once.  A Rule
The number, One Thousand, sounds like a lot of...well anything.  I know I have certainly used the 'Idiom Quote' at least a thousand times.  I feel like through all the things I do that require accurate measuring, I've repeated the 'Rule Quote' at least several thousand times.  It's the Asian Proverb Quote that I have failed miserably in abiding by...at least the first part...as for the second part...I guarantee you, I hear you the first time.  Matter of fact that could be another 'Idiom Quote'...."I heard you the first time." 
We all know people who repeat themselves...like you didn't hear them the first time.  Some folks can say the same thing a thousand different ways...like you didn't get it the first time.  Then there are those who talk a thousand miles a minute and forget what they said a minute ago, so they repeat themselves again and again and...well you get the picture.  And there in lies my failing of  the proverbial "Been There, Done That"...with POST PICTURES....and I don't mean pictures taken for posts...omg, that's probably Two Hundred Thousand...no, I mean pictures OF posts.

As I was going through photo files, I finally had to stop picking out post pictures for this post.  It was getting worrisome as I had flashes of seeing myself lying on a couch trying to explain away Post Photo Psychosis.

So, as you read and look through this One Thousand Posts post, remember this blog is a 'Collection' blog, and there is a reason for 'pert near' every 'pitcher and post.'  

For example the 'Mocking Longhorn'...it was suppose to be a post about the state bird of Texas...the Mockingbird.  There it was perched on the post, but by the time I got out of the truck, tiptoed through the roadside thicket, focused and clicked...the Longhorn flipped her tail, 'mooned' me and the Mockingbird flew off.  Needless to say there is not a post among this blogs posts entitled... 'Mooned by a Mocking Moo'er'.  That'd be ridiculous.  Who would read that?

You are probably thinking, 'now that's an interesting rock formation..a worthy landscape shot...too bad about the old, dirty dishrag flapping in the historical Fort Davis Mountain breeze ruining a perfectly good shot.  Wrong!  I was more interested in the clothes line post, the vintage clothes pins and that awesome old dishrag.  Now that was something to post about...and I did...Frontier Wife's Kitchen.

By now, you won't be surprised that among my collection of Post Photos there is an old Bed Post.  I have to say though that I was well aware of taking this photo specifically for a post in Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors....The Missing Life of Jeptha, a 4th Great Uncle.

It was a bit of a surprise to find sooooo many photos of posts in the files of photos taken in the last six years of blogging.  I seem to be drawn to fenced in critters , fence posts and barbed wire.  What can I say...I'm a Gal from Texas. 

Just as surprising was the TOTAL number of photos I have posted on CollectInTexas Gal, Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors, Tracks of My Texas Ancestors and a Photo Blog.  My Google+ Photo Cache talley is 6,750.  The following Post Photo makes 6,751.

....Oh, I forgot to mention that THIS POST...
not the Sunset Fence Post Photo...
is my
1000th Post on CollectInTexas Gal. 
Now...for reals...the Asian Proverb
It's better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times.
Thanks for listening!


Cap...turing The Wordsmithy Good Times

As a self proclaimed 'cuma sorta kinda wordsmithy', I take a lot of creative licenses including a Wurst Speller license, a Please Yourself Punctuation license, and the coveted certificate of 'The Titleist'.

All of these licenses and others I make up as I need them, send Blogger's Auto Correct into a red zigzag stitch tizzy...which I mostly ignore...except when I'm serious about correct spelling, punctuation and proper word usage.  I can do that, you know.  I was tested for those on Facebook and ACED the 'Tricky Sentences' survey.

Perhaps the first thing I should give you is the definition of  'wordsmithy'...yep, it's a real word...at least 'wordsmith' is...the 'y' is mine...A skilled user of words.

 Did you have any doubt about it?  If you are interested in acquiring your own 'Wordsmithy' certificate you can print one out HERE

Just in case you think I'm kidding and are tempted to click outta here...first let me tell you about the Twits that are wurst spellers than me. 

The fact that they misspell on purpose, are among the worlds acclaimed wordsmiths, and are known throughout the www dotcom (whole wide world internet) does not excuse them from not knowing that this symbol...#...does not stand for Hashtag...which is not even a word in my 1965 Websters.

However, I can see how the Wordsmithy Tweeters came up with the 21st Century re-defined #number symbol.  It has to do with HASH...which is defined in my oldster Webster as...to chop into small pieces, confuse, muddle, to talk about.  If you aren't already, you can signup...hellsbells, you can create your own TwitTitle and hash right in there with the Worlds Wurst Spellers.  As for me...I'm gonna have to stay among 1965's confused and muddled hashers.

Okay, time to pull all this 'Wordsmithing' together with this Header and Quote. 
Life is like a camera...
Focus on what's important...Capture the good times...Develop from the negatives
and if things don't work out...
...Take another shot!
What a 'Good Time' I had Capturing and Wordsmithing this post!
PS...If ever I take my 'Wurst Speller' license and register it on Twitter,
 you can find me @#The Titleist.


Switching Sewing Settings To Stretch Stitch

For years my Janome's settings have been for sewing on COTTON fabrics. That's what quilters sew on pretty much exclusively, and that's what I've been sewing since the early 1990's.

I've been taking a long break from piecing and quilting, but I won't go so far as to say I'm over it.  After so many years of owning a quilt shop and all that goes with it, giving it up is not easy.  So I hang on to all my quilting stuff except the Longarm Machine.  It's gone, but I know where I can find it if need be.

For awhile now, I've been on a Bag Binge.  Putting together a bag is not too different from making quilts in that the machine setup stays the same with switching out a couple of feet and the walking foot.  My 'Cotton Stash' gets used as well as a collection of denims, ducks, upholstery and drapery fabrics, and bags are easy, quick and fun to make as well as good sellers in my Booth at the First Saturday Chicken Farm Art Center.

Lately, the urge to make clothes has captured my interest again.  I say again since clothes sewing was where it all began.

 I talked about my sewing life back in the 1960's and how it has played such an important role throughout my life. 

You can read some of those post in the Re-Run of AtoZ Challenge 2015...HERE.  One post in particular kind of brings me full circle....Patterns, Predictions and Perspectives.

In that post, I quoted my Mother as having said, "Sue, you can't play basketball forever, but you can sew for the rest of your life."  Aren't Mother's smart?

I gave up Basketball so long ago I now can't remember when I last dribbled, but I do know that basketball's court, rules, and uniforms have changed drastically from the days when girls played half court.   Okay, that'll do...I don't want to put off the next and the next generations of my 'Sewing Readers' who hopefully, see me as a '21st Century Tech Savy Sewist' rather than a 'Dark Ages Dribbler'.

Which brings me to 'Switch Sewing Settings To Stretch Stitch'...finally you say!  Yes, finally, and what a transition it is when switching from woven cotton's to stretch fabrics like, lycra, jersey, knits and many polyester blends.  By the way, I am not talking about the 1970's and 1980's Polyester Double Knits...I won't go there with that stashed and stored collection.

As shown in the above photo there are a few key settings to make on your sewing machine...

~#1...refer to your machine's instruction book.  I know...if all else fails, read the instructions...believe me I know about that little wise crack first hand.
~#2...set your STITCH choice to the Stretch Stitch.  Mine is in Mode 1, Stitch #6.
~#3...change your NEEDLE to a Ball Point.  Keep in mind the bigger the number the bigger the eye and the less likely the thread will shred and break.  The stretch stitch makes lots of tiny stitches and the faster you stitch increases the chances for shredding and breaking. 
~#4...set your speed regulator to medium or adjust your speed with the foot pedal.
~#5...adjust your stitch length and width.  My MC6600 is so smart...it auto sets and will only allow so much adjusting.  It says 3.0 and 2.5 are the maximum.
~#6...adjust the FOOT PRESSURE setting.  This allows for slippery fabrics to feed smoothly and efficiently through the feed dogs...you know the two rows of teeth that bite gently and push the fabric forward as each stitch is made.  Remember....Do NOT pull on stretch fabric as it stitches....you will end up with a pucker stretch stitched seam...let the machine do it's thing.

Tips and Techniques
~Use Clover's Wonder Clips instead of Pins...slippery fabrics slide apart when seaming together.  Pins like non-ball point needles, pierce stretch fabrics with a tendency to snag and leave a hole.
~Sew with the 'Stretch Stitch'...through all seams where garment will need to stretch.  example:  Tops...sleeves, under arm side seam down past bust line, neck;  Pants...WAIST band, front and back seams from top to crotch,  inseam from inner thighs to below knee, side seams from waist to below knee. 
~I often Switch to a Straight Stitch setting of 3.0 to 3.5 for sewing seams that are not going to need to stretch...example:  Pants...inner and outer side seams from the knee to the hem, hems.  Tops...loose fitting with flare from bust line down to the hem and the hem itself.
Wow...I really Stretched this post out, huh?  I've been sitting here so long I have puckers in my setting sitting seams....never mind...I'll just go stretch and sew.  How about you...are you ready to Switch Sewing Settings to Stretch Stitching?


Maxed Out Modella

Just in case you haven't been introduced to Modella, here she is playing the role she was made for...a Dressmaker Form.  

It is the second time she has auditioned as a form fitting form.  The first audition and adjusting was for a Prom dress. 

After the Prom, she kept her shapely Teen size and embarked on a career as a Jewelry Model...that post HERE.  She has such a lovely neck.

Modella has been out of work for months and drawing dust and unemployment.

That all ends now with OverDoSue's Project Runway.  Eat your heart out Heidi!
Dress forms are a three dimensional model of the torso used for fitting clothing that is designed or sewn.  As one makes a garment, it can be fitted on the model which has been adjusted to reflect the measurements of the person for whom it is made.  Dress forms have been traced back to ancient Egypt as is documented in the opening of King Tut's tomb where two crude wooden dress forms were discovered....one with King Tut's measurements and the other believed to be for the Queen.

Today, 'Vintage Dress Forms' are much sought after by collectors and the Fashion Display Industry.  Reproductions can be found covered in contemporary fabrics and used primarily for Displays and Home D├ęcor.  These are referred to as Mannequins and are essentially storefront 'Eye Candy'. 

Female forms are commonly known as 'Judy' and her male counterpart as 'James'.  Modern Judy and James dressmaker forms with sizing dials, come in a variety of colors and are typically used by seamstresses and tailors.  There you have a bit of Mannequin/Dressmaker Form history.  Read more HERE.

Modella...which is not short for 'Judy', but a name made up just for her as my model with the feminine la added.  She is a Ditz Dritz Dressmaker Form and is made in several sizes which can be adjusted to closely fit one's personal measurements. 

Before Modella could take off down the Runway wearing an Original OverDoSue garment, she had to be adjusted from the Teen Prom Gal to .... let's just say...a Mature Misses Sized Gal.  Much more maturing and she is going to be back on unemployment...which is also maxed out.


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