2/27/15

MARCH~Looking Forward

It is almost March!  There are lots of things going on in March for me, and I  am looking forward to the next month of 2015.  Typically, March is a windy month in Texas...as it is elsewhere, but after the erratic February weather that Texas Mother Nature has hurled at us, a little wind will be tolerable.  I say that in a whisper so she won't get her panties in a wad and blow us off the planet.

Do you remember the last Leap Year on the calendar?  I didn't so I looked it up.  It was February 29, 2012.  That means the next one will be February 29, 2016.  That's right, it is next year, and it's on a Monday.  Won't that be a day to start the week or one's life.  I can't think if I know anyone born on Leap Year.  Do you?  Certainly no one in my immediate family has a February 29th birthday, and far as I have researched or noticed, none of my ancestors did either.  But...March...now that is a different story.

Brother has a birthday in March...as you can see on my desk calendar book.  His birthday was always fun to celebrate when our Uncle MD was living.  They were born on the same day and often celebrated together.  It was always fun because MD was fun.

From the photo of us on his 4th Birthday, you might assume there was several years difference in our age.  Not so.  We were 13 months and 6 days apart...except on Leap Year.  I looked older than 5 in this picture.  It's because I had longer legs than him.  That turned out to be the case until we were 19 and 18.  He shot up what seemed like...overnight!

 You will see him in many of the 1950's photos I will be using for my AtoZ April Challenge where I will reveal my THEME for this year on March 23rd.  As a regular reader here on CollectInTexas Gal, you already know that this will be my FOURTH year to participate in AtoZ.  Doing so has given me the opportunity to write about my Family Tree, the Lone Star Quilting Bee and Fiction From Forgotten Fotos.

If you are new to the AtoZ April Challenge event...you can learn more by clicking on the 'Badges' below or on my Sidebar.  Check them out...you are welcome to join in the month of April's Blogging Bash!
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html  AtoZ Theme Reveal

2/23/15

Blue Monday Morning...Crossword and Coffee

It's the way he starts every day for the last 25 years. 
I know this how? 
That is how long ago we bought a set of four handmade pottery coffee cups.
 
It was our 25th Wedding Anniversary in December 1990.  We took a trip to Sante Fe, New Mexico to celebrate.  Who knew the coffee cup would last this long!  Actually, I did, and I'm sure I told him so.

My assurance that it was a good purchase began with "HiHoney, this cup is handmade to last."  High fire clay and glazes guarantee that to be so...providing it doesn't hit the floor. 

Over the years there have been plenty of assurances for one thing or another, so when the 'I'm not bossy' sign was found it seemed more than appropriate.  However,  'I just know'...nothing...compared to his 25 year crossword vocabulary.

So what do crosswords and coffee have in common besides they are both morning habits?  There are plenty of words out there on the merits of crossword puzzles as being an important part of a healthy lifestyle and an activity to stave off neurodegenerative diseases.  On the other hand, there are skeptics who say crosswords may be just another 'Habit' with 'good and bad' prefixes attached according to one's experiences. 
The same, I say, can be said about Coffee!
What say you, Sally?
Linking To

2/22/15

Blogging & Social Media...It's a VisaVersa Circle

Although Blogland and Blogging have been on my mind lately, it was not my intention to get up this morning and MakeOver CollectInTexas Gal.  But I did.  It's the fourth or fifth time this year, and we are only two months into 2015. 

It isn't a big deal to me...this Tri-Monthly Makeover...it's just the way I roll and always have.  Change this, fix that, tweak here, delete, add, resize and explore all options...that's my blog mindset.

I'm comfortable with the changes I make here on CollectInTexas Gal.  They are made with several things in mind.  There is the obvious...like headers, tags, tabs and layout.  Then, hopefully, the not too obvious addition of AdSense and Amazon Ads.  And finally, the combing/meshing of multi-blogs and multi-interests all rolled up in this one Blog.  It is a Collection of this Texas Gal...so there YaGo!

No doubt there have been changes in Blogland since my first post in August 2009.  Technology and the wildfire spread of Social Media has impacted Blogs and Bloggers in every Media Genre.

I've been web-reading about the decline of blogging and the reasons there for.  It is kind of a no-brainer to acknowledge that the Social Media Platforms have had the greatest impact on the decline of particular components of blogs...specifically...comments.

Even for me, a change adapter, the options for discouraging spammers, hackers and robots are discouraging...for legitimate commenters.  I am still an Old Blogger commenter who believes in commenting on the bloggers content in a positive manner then sharing an experience that relates to that content.  It's why I'm not a good Tweeter!

None the less, I am realizing that more and more Blog Readers are becoming just that...Blog Readers.  It's a sign of the 'Fast Paced GetErDone' times.  Folks are busy and there is just so much time one can cover all the people and places to interact with on one's computer, smart phone, tablet and whatever else technology has to offer.  For me that would be a Sewing Machine and Microwave, which are potential shares/posts/tweets on Social Media and Blogs.  I tell you, it's a vicious visa versa circle!

2/20/15

Apronista Tech Tips on Link Within~Labels~Pinterest

McCalls apron pattern with mod print fabrics and embroidery
It is well known here on CollectInTexas Gal, that I have a thing for Aprons.  I can go so far as to say that just about everyone I know...friends and family...know about my Apron Obsession.

I know, here we go again with the 'OverDoSueness'.  It is true, I once had a huge collection of Vintage Aprons, but it has scaled down with last years '4R's Bucket List'...especially the Re-Sale part.  There are still a significant number in that collection which will be a focus for 2015's '4R's Re-Sale'.

With that out of the way, I can move on...to 'Back To The Future Apronista' movement.  Notice I am working on enjoying the sewing moments now that I have re-embraced my 'Fabric Stash'.  So much so that I am dragging out re-introducing the APRON posts from CITexas Gal's Archives and sharing my Pinterest Apron Board.
Link Within for blog SEO...Apron Pins on Pinterest
One of the advantages of subscribing to Link Within is it's SEO (search engine optimization) ability to zoom in on key words within posts text and photos and retrieve past posts with the same key words and photos.  This leads to the strip of photos, titles and link to previous posts entitled 'You might also like'.  It is so easy to add this widget to your blog.  If you would like to check it out...HERE is the link to Link Within website.

In addition, Link Within, gives you...the blog writer...a reminder of those previous posts that may need to be included in your Post Labels.  A quick check on the 'post footer' will let you know right away if you Labeled that post.  If you are like me, sometimes forgetful and quick to hit publish before checking the Labels Setting, the edit pencil gives you the opportunity to do so. 

Okay...moving on to my Pinterst Apron Board.  Yet another labeling tool of sorts for Future Reference...ideas for, in this instance...APRONS.  And, Boy Howdy, are there lots of creative folks on Pinterest in every category from Aprons to Zippers.  CollectInTexas Gal's APRON Board also provides a place to post my own Apron Collection and posts about them....like this post...which I will post to Pinterest via the Pinterest Icon in the 'Footer'...
Also, on the footer is the 'google+' icon which gives your post even more exposure within your 'Google Circle of Friends'.  If you are a Google user and not in my Friends Circle, I invite you to join my Circle...it's easy...it's on my Sidebar...Google+ Followers.  And of course, if you want you can post your post to Facebook with the icon.  I do have a CollectInTexas Gal Facebook Page I occasionally post to....the link is also on the sidebar.

Gotta Go Sew on the Tea Towel Aprons!
Here is

2/19/15

Spring Sewing Stuff Makes Tea Towel Aprons

I daresay much of our nation is ready for spring and the end of the 'Polar Vortex' that is spinning out of control with record breaking snowfall.  Why we even got a smattering of  the powdery stuff a few days ago here in West Texas.  It was gone by noon.

I find myself repeating the same sentence after watching the national weather news...."I'm so glad I live in Texas."  I promise you, I would be the biggest 'Weather Whiner' in Boston or anywhere on the East Coast these last few months. 

In fact, I feel a little guilty getting out my Springy Sewing Stuff, but it is necessary for several reasons.  First of all, I have only two more weeks to get ready for my booth at the Chicken Farm Art Center.  That will be the first Saturday in March...on the 7th. Secondly, I am always ready for WARM weather...again feeling guilty because we have had some unusually warm days for February. 

I may be a little ahead of myself and having a day of wishful thinking.  Spring Sewing Stuff has a way of making that happen.  However, since I've started, I will keep on keeping on and count the days down until March 20th...First Day of Spring.  By then I should have my stash of Aunt Martha's Flour Sack Tea Towels transformed into Sue's Springtime Aprons.

Thank-you Aunt Martha for making these premium Tea Towels already sized and hemmed...perfect for the A-line style Apron.  Yep, it is two cuts, two casings, one pocket, one tie, a couple of trims and twenty minutes or so...and...TaDa...Tea Towel Apron.
For Medium and Small Apron I use the 28x28 Towels.  For Large Apron the 33x38 towel.

2/18/15

Wordless Wed...First Snowfall

Snow in the South is wonderful.
It has a kind of magic and mystery that it has nowhere else.
And the reason for this is that it comes to people in the South
as the grim unyielding tenant of winters keep.
But as a strange and wild visitor from the secret North.
~Thomas Wolfe~

2/17/15

Relief is Just A Remnant Apron Away

Once I made up my mind to Drop-Out of the self imposed Fabric De-Stash Rehab program, my interest in SEWING again has me flipping through my pattern collection. 

It has been awhile since I have made much of anything but quilts, blankets and bags, so browsing through patterns was kind of fun.

It was not intentional to start back to sewing with the letter 'A',  but Aprons caught my eye, and I remembered a collection of embroidery pieces that would be perfect accents on aprons.  So I picked a pattern and got started.  

What a relief to feel NO Fabric-Remorse.  I'm cured.  It seems rehab worked in reverse for I feel okay with being Queen of Not Quite As Much as before, and am pretty proud of myself for Re-Stashing my Fabric Stash with an eye out for Clearance Short Yardage Bolts.  Yes, I am now Queen of a Remnant Stash.

Here is how it works...You work in a Fabric Store.  That's it!.

Oh, and you stock and re-stock your favorite fabrics...cottons.  Plus you get first crack at those bolts going on clearance.  In addition, you keep an eye on the ones you like until they are down to remnant yardage...that would be 1.447 yardage...just under 1 and a half yards.

The other good thing about collecting remnants is they take up less space.  Mine are filed in smallish plastic baskets which stack.  One more thing.  You don't have to wonder if there is enough for a particular project...they are all under a yard and a half.

That's my story and I am sticking to it....for now!
Oh what a relief it is to be a Remnant Apron Maker!

2/15/15

Fabric Stash Rehab Dropout

You have heard the old saying 'If you can't lick 'em...join 'em...right?  Well, it is time I throw in the scraps...so to speak...and 'Re-Join 'Em!

For several years now, I have been on a quest to downsize, donate, sell, send, cease and desist my 'Fabric Stash'.

 I thought I had 'Re-habbed' myself from the title of 'Queen of Quite-A-Lot!  But NO!  I have 'Re-lapsed'...my Fabric Stash...is Re-Stashing.  My only consolation in all of this is knowing I can claim to be 'Queen of Not Quite As Much', and my Sewing Machine Collection is Closed...for now.
Afterall, how many sewing machines can one sew on at once?  Don't answer that, and don't judge me!  I am a bit sensitive about being a 'Rehab Dropout', but I'm getting over it.  I've decided to toughin' up and be my 'Scarlet Sue' drama queen self...
And if this doesn't work...
Well, personally, my Dears,
I don't give a damn!

2/14/15

Saving Sweet Sentiments


I pondered most of the day yesterday about what to post today. It's Valentines Day, and I wanted something old, something new, something pink, and something I would want to save for years to come.   After searching through my collection of cards and files of photos, I was still undecided until I found a Valentine Card from several years ago.  I can't say how many, because, once again, I didn't date it and it wasn't signed by name.  However, there is no doubt who it was from...here's the message:
How lucky I am to have parents like you...
Looking back on life, I know that from the very start
I had the greatest privilege there could be...
two wonderful parents who loved me.
 
There's no greater gift you could have given me.
I'm so thankful you're my parents.
Happy Valentine's Day!
 
Guess Who!!
 
Decision made! 
A perfect post for Valentine's Day,
but posting would have to wait until later...after work. 
 
This is what was waiting for me after work. 
FOR A WONDERFUL
Mother
On Valentine's Day
 
I'm not sure when I realized what a priceless gift your love is...
But I know that I treasure it ~ and you ~
more with every passing year.
 
Happy Valentine's Day
I Love You,
Your Son
 
Linking To

2/12/15

Horoscope Warning or Confirmation

Okay, so maybe it's not so much a warning as it is a prediction.  Or...could it be both.  Might even be a SIGN...one I should not laugh off.  On the other hand, it could be a confirmation for what it is already in the works for what is fast approaching in my future.  There ya go, Sue...ye olde Idealist, you 'Glass Half Full Gal' with your Masters Degree.

Still, when you are handed your Daily Horoscope on a 'Notable Day' like yesterday...see post below...by one who knows you well and has scoffed at the very idea of the Moon and Stars having anything to do with ones existence...well, it's another SIGN! 

I admit wholeheartedly to spending a lot of time in the past.  It's an occupational hazard for a writer of ones Family HISTORY.  However, I am a Sun Sign~Moon and Stars Gazer so I won't dismiss this water bearers warning confirmation.

But just in case, I thought I'd better check in with my Yahoo Horoscope for what the future holds starting with today....
~Feb 12...You may feel as if you're on stage all day long.  Try not to get to self-conscious as you can get through this one last show and score awesome reviews.  All good there except for 'this ONE LAST'...no problemO, there's always the next ONE.
~Feb 14...You've got to get organized!  Skipping the rest...obviously they haven't zeroed in on my 'OverDo Organized Sue' Moon.
~Feb 16...You have got to keep a lid on your feelings today and avoid distraction at all costs.  Your energy is best spent on finding new ways to keep focused.  OMG, I can see myself jumping from one project to the next to the next.  I hate days like that.  I may stay in bed.  Now that is a warning!
~Feb 17...Change is coming, and you are the vanguard!  You find yourself at the center of something big and exciting.  I had to look up vanguard and you know I'm all in for being at the forefront of new developments and ideas.  Bring it, Tuesday the 17th!
~Feb 18 (last day of Aquarius)...Your sense of excitement is mounting so much that you could find it harder than usual to just chill out and get on with your life.  That is a small price to pay for what's about to come your way! 
Holy Moon and Stars!!!  I was right again!!!  It is a Confirmation!!!

2/11/15

Down Memory Lane with Thelma & Phyllis...What A Trip!

Thelma and Phyllis were students at Exira High School when this photo was taken. It was a cold winter day as noticed by their coats and scarves as well as patches of snow. 

It possibly could have been on this same day 73 years ago...February 11, 1942.  The camera was Phyllis' and the picture taker was the other Phyllis who made up the 'Threesome Best Friends'.

Thelma and Phyllis were country girls.  They finished the last grade offered at country school and to attend high school they had to find lodgings in town.  Phyllis wanted to become a teacher like her sister, and the plan was by the time she graduated from high school, the 'Normal Certificate' would be attached to her diploma. 
Thelma (on the left) came from a musical family and soon found her place in the Exira High School Choir.  Phyllis remembered how beautifully her tall friend sang 'Drink Only To Thine Eyes' and in the next minute would be singing silly rounds of ...

Thanks Phyllis for sharing your memories of my Mother. 
In Memory of
Thelma Irene Klemish Pittman
February 11, 1927 ~ December 13, 2013

2/8/15

Organizing The 1950's for AtoZ 2015

I am organizing a box of photos taken by my parents in the 1950's.  If it weren't for Fox Film and Kodak Developers stamps on the back and border designs, dating these photos would be considerably more difficult.  Especially if all I had to go on was my childhood memory. 

They say childhood memory functions as a guide to present behavior and can predict future outcomes in adulthood.  I wonder if my mother had any idea about that bit of child psychology.  I bet not.  I mean after looking at myself in some of these photos it's no wonder I'm....pfffft...the way I am.  Good example is the picture I have tagged for the Letter B entitled "Bathing Beauty Bombs".  Needless to say I'm not the 'Beauty'.  Nope, I'm the drowned rat on the left.  The childhood memories this picture brought back are revealed in Letter 'B's story.  It is due out for all the world wide web to read on April 2, 2015 as part of the AtoZ April Challenge 2015.

I know it is only February and I have at least six more weeks before the Challenge starts, but this year, I am going to be ahead of the game with the majority, if not all, of the posts written and scheduled for publication by April 1st. 

Once I decided to use the 1950's photos, I knew I would have to do some serious 1950's lifestyle research to supplement my memories.

 Lucky for me my mother was a better clipping saver than a photo identifier.  The How did we Survive? clipping was in the same 1950's box.

 I'm sure you, too, will relate to many of the lifestyle differences and be rolling your eyes at 'How DID we Survive?'.  Here's a few to wet your whistle....

~As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.  Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
~We drank from a garden hose and not from a bottle.  Horrors!
It's back to more organizing, scanning, and trying to regain some of my self-esteem by selecting some of the 'Cute' pictures of myself.  I'm already blossoming as I look at my beautiful Mother in her rolled up sleeves T'shirt.  You see, many people say I look like her.  
 
Click on the Pic for more information on the AtoZ April Challenge.

2/5/15

Crochet Baby Blanket Edgings On Fleece With Yarn + Quick Tute

Sweet baby blankets 35x30 with soft yarn edgings.
It's a TwoFer One Project.  Yep, from one yard of  a baby print fleece I can get two baby blanket tops which I back with one yard of a coordinating solid.  It is a win-win winter blanket deal when there is a Winter Fleece Fest Sale.

For this post, I am sharing one of the ways I like to finish fleece.  It's totally a NO SEW project that requires tools from a quilters studio.  I will list those at the end of this post.

But first, the finishing crocheted edges and the baby yarns.  They are so sweet.

So sweet and soft.  This varigated yarn adds just the right touch.
The Key to making this a NO SEW project is the Skip-Stitch Rotary Blade!
Here's a Quick Tute!
~Layer print fleece right side up on solid back right side down...layer will be one yard cut by width (most fleece 60").
~With Rotary Cutter and long Rotary Ruler on Rotary Mat...cut layered 36"x60" piece in half....set one layer aside.
~Trim selvages and square up all around...keeping layers together with sharp even edges.  Piece will measure approximately 35"x 30".
~If your MAT is large enough avoid picking up piece and disturbing the layers.  If using a smaller mat...pick up carefully and set edges together...a little extra fullness is okay when smoothed to the inside.
~Place your Ruler 1/2 inch from the edge.  Using the Skip-Stitch Blade Rotary Cutter...start off the mat and run cutter along the 1/2 inch margin .  You may have to move ruler forward to complete the cut off the opposite edge...DO NOT PICK UP the Rotary Cutter.  If you do be sure to place it back in the last hole to maintain even space of holes.
~Repeat on all four sides.   Before picking up off mat use safety pins to secure the layers together...an inch or so from the edge every four or five inches apart.  This holds the layers and holes together so crochet needle will poke through both layers evenly.

Makes a perfectly even hole for crochet edging on fleece.
Quilters Tools
Large Rotary Cutting Mat (Amazon example below)
Long Rotary Cutting Acrylic Ruler (Amazon example below)
Rotary Cutter with Straight Cutting Blade (Amazon example below)
Rotary Cutter with Skip-Stitch Blade (example photo above)
(blade can be switched with straight blade if you don't have two Rotary Cutters)
 
Crochet needle...I use size G-6 4.25MM
Baby Yarn or Sport Weight
 
or
Kay's Crochet Edge Fleece Blade...Amazon link below
 




Linking To
Beverly's How Sweet The Sounds

2/3/15

AtoZ April Challenge Sign Up Time

Fourth year for CollectInTexas Gal...WOW!!! What a difference the AtoZ April Challenge has made in my writing. Yes, I am a writer...of sorts, and honestly, I'm more surprised about that than anybody. And yet, as they say...'The proof is in the pudding'...or as I say...
"If you are a story teller you too, can be a story writer."
Believe me, I have told some whoppers in the three years of participating in the AtoZ April Challenge.  Surely my Ancestors will forgive me for embellishing their life stories.  No telling who is waiting for me at the Pearly Gates, or heaven forbid...the alternative...for using their 'Forgotten Fotos'. 

Regardless of whether my reward is a halo or a ring of fire,
 I will forge forward for a Fourth Year with my 2015 theme...
Growing Up in the 1950's and 1960's
 
Here is the Post announcing the AtoZ April Challenge 2015 
 

2/1/15

Best Things About February

There are plenty of great things happening in February.  I've heard it said that the best thing about February is that it's no longer January.  In many ways, I agree, but since January is my birthday month, I am thankful for that one day, for sure.  

So what other great things are there about February?  I guess since this February 1st of 2015, I should document for posterity...Super Bowl XLIX...going on as I speak!  

February has two Zodiac signs and since my birthday starts one of them, I find that a good reason to like February and feel connected to other Aquarians whose birthdays are between January 20th and February 18th.   For the rest of February through March 20th, the Pisces people celebrate their moon rising with compassion and falling in indecisiveness.  They are complicated.

One of my favorite things about February is its' birthstone...the Amethyst.  My second favorite gemstone next to my own birthstone...January's Garnet.  Makes sense, doesn't it...first and second months...first and second gemstones!  I am beginning to disagree with those who say the best thing about February is that's it's no longer January. 

Usually the first thing we associate with February is Valentines.  I'm no different...as you can see by the change in this blogs February makeover.  No worries, it is a short month and another change is only 28 days away.

 Are you a fan of February's Flower of the Month?  Who doesn't love violets?  Besides it fits so perfectly with the Valentine poem...
Roses are Red.
Violets are Blue.
Sugar is Sweet.
And So are you.
Of course there are other versions like...
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Onions stink.
And so do you.
How about this one for a pick up line...
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Chili is hot and so are you!
Really...would you fall for that?
I bet Lucy Did!
 
 
Welcome February!!!

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