Wraping Up May with Marriage Moments, Memories & Messages

May has been an eventful month with family and friends birthdays, weddings, wedding anniversaries, graduations and more.  I'd list the rest, but memory fails me when the list gets over four or five events.  And, my May Calendar Book looks like chicken scratch with check marks, X's and ***'s...basically unreadable.  Glad to be turning the page to June...where another wedding is already on the calendar.

I feel like I have been all over the place here on CollectInTexas Gal, at work, in the sewing studio, at the Chicken Farm First Saturday, wherever and whatever else I've stuffed in May. 

I reviewed this blog's May posts I realized I really was all over the place with topics and photos...not to mention changing 'Header and Background' a jillion times.  I think a lot of it was the after effects of April's Intense Focus on the AtoZ Challenge.

Anyway, here it is the end of May with friends of our son, Greg and Laura getting hitched last weekend.  Another special couple, our son and wife, celebrated 15 years of marriage.

They were married on Son's birthday, so it's a double celebration...which we always recognize with cards for each occasion.  Fifteen years ago they had a traditional Texas Wedding with traditional ceremony, reception and all that goes with what we 'older generations' think how a wedding should be.  Here in Texas it's not unusual for the bride and her attendants to arrive in a horse drawn buggy and for the newlyweds to leave the same way.  Like I said, it was a Texas Old Fashion wedding and remembering it made me wonder how my son and wife will deal with their daughters 'Modern Marriages' in this age of technology.  Here's a sample of what may be in their future....
'Modern Marriage Messages'
Daughter Texting to Dad and Mom...I'm coming home to get married, soooon.  Get out your check book...LOL!!!  I'm in love with a guy I met on a dating website, became friends on Facebook, had long chats on Whatsup and he proposed on Skype.  My beloved parents, I need your blessing, good wishes, and a really BIG wedding.
Lots of Love....and thanks,
Your Loving Daughter
Dad and Mom's reply...also Texting...Our Loving Daughter...Like Wow!!!  Really??? Cool!!!  Whatever!  We suggest you two get married on Twitter, have fun on Tango, buy your kids on Amazon, and pay for it all through Paypal.  And when you get fed up with this new husband...sell him on eBay.
Dad and Mom
And That's A Wrap!


Former Floral Flour/Feed Sack Finds Fulfillment

As a 'Vintage Linen Collector', I think I must have been a 'Chiffonnier' in a former life.  How else can I explain a life long  attraction to any old piece of lace, ribbon, fabric, yarn, string, thread, embroidery, and on and on.  Didn't... and still doesn't matter if it was/is torn, tattered, stained, dirty, wearable or ready for the rag bag.

I call myself a Vintage Linen Collector which is a term widely used today among collectors of  all of the above mentioned collectibles.  I didn't come up with VLC myself, but sort of adopted the classification when I opened my first eBay shop, as 'Rag Picker' was not one of the choices.

That's right....I am a throwback to the late 19th Century and early 20th Century occupation of 'Chiffonnier'...fancy French name for 'Rag Picker'.  Thankfully, I don't rummage through the trash as Rag Pickers once did, but Thrift Stores, Flea Markets, Estate Sales, and my own closet are prime places for picking.

I mentioned eBay earlier as one of my outlets for marketing my collection of vintage linens, laces and fabrics.  Other markets I have tried to peddle my wares have been rented booth spaces in Antique Malls, Flea Markets and more recently online again with eBay and ETSY. 

Yes, I have had some success in selling, and then turned right around and spent my earnings on someone elses  'Rag Pickings'.  I'm done with thinking I can part with even a single dresser scarf or a former flour sack turned yardage. 

From now on I'm peddling 'Former Flour Sack Shirts with Dresser Scarf Sleeves.


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.



Someday I'll Be An Ancestor

Before I cleaned off my 'Growing Up in the 1950's &1960's' desk mess, I shot a few random photos. You know, just because, no particular thing in mind, but mostly to remind myself of how I had managed to produce a month's worth of post out of the 'Organized Mess'.

When at first I looked at the pile of photos it reminded me of the way I shuffle cards.  Stack them up all neat like...split the deck...bend and shuffle...then do the waterfall...it's a showing off thingy.  But instead of the interlocked cards riffling neatly back into one deck again, they shoot out of my hands and spray all over the table, floor...basically every where.  Needless to say, I never get to be 'The Dealer'.

However, amongst the spray of photos, there is some semblance of my organizing skills...the Color Coded File Folders behind the randomly filed and clipped mail envelopes, photos and notes.  Two things struck me about THIS unplanned random photo.  First the Pink Tab file..Geneology Laws & Quotes. which I pulled and found the title for this post...Someday I'll Be An Ancestor.

Secondly, the '4th Generation' file and the 'Three Generations' pictured in front of the file.  Look closely in the right corner and you will see Generation #1...my Dad on Dan (AtoZ Letter D post...HERE).  The 2nd Generation in my Dad's line is my 1st grade school picture (AtoZ Letter A post...HERE).  For the 3rd Generation, you have to really look closely at the clipped picture in the center...it's my nephew...my Sister's oldest son.

He is getting married next month!
My Sister's future grandchild...4th Generation..will fulfill my prophecy of...
Someday I'll Be An Ancestor.


Where Are Your Ginghers?

There is a very good reason why I have already gone back on my less than 24 hour old "I swear not to START any new projects" statement.  I know I am justifying here with this list of whys...
~ all the stuff was already out on the work table.
~ I needed to try out my NEW Ginghers.
~ I've been thinking about this new design project.
~ I finally got the specialty heat resistant fabric.
~ I had an Order for one that would hold two.
~ I am on another 'UseIt or LoseIt kick.
~ I needed a quick and under $20 item to sell.
~ I couldn't help myself.

The Heat Resistant OneFerTwo item will be revealed later when I get the protype worked out.  For now, I want to talk about scissors.  Specifically my first pair of Gingher Dressmakers.

They were a special gift.  You might be thinking they were a Mother's Day gift since tomorrow is Mother's Day.  Not it, but close. 

In October 1998 my Mother-In-Law opened her 'Heavenly Sewing Basket' for Saint Peter's inspection before passing through the Pearly Gates.

"Ruth", he said, "Where are your Ginghers?  I know you have had them safely stored in your drawer for many years.  I figured you were saving them for your 'Heavenly Sewing Room' where your Heavenly Family members are waiting for a Made by Ruth Robe." 

Now, you should know that Ruth was an excellent clothing seamstress.  She was thrifty, a scrap saver, and an 'Up-Cycler' before remaking/re-doing/re-using became 'Trendy'.  All she was and did was with thoughtfulness for the recipient of her sewing talents...seldom if ever for herself.   That is why the 'Gingher Dressmakers' were found in her Sewing Drawer...in pristine/mint condition.  She didn't forget them and she wasn't saving them to cut heavenly cloth.  I'm sure Saint Peter was not surprised by her answer as she held up her well worn everyday shears and said...

"These will do me just fine.  The Ginghers are being given to Sue.  I know this because my daughter Linda has a heart after my own."
May 8, 2015
Dear Wayne and Sue,
    This framed 'Stitching' is just a 'Keepsake' from Mom's dresses.  Hope you enjoy it!
Love the Two of You,
See, just as Ruth said, "My daughter Linda has a Heart after my own."  A beautiful example of 'Like Mother like Daughter. 

So, there you have it....a special memory and a pair of well worn Ginghers.  I have used them nearly everyday for 17 years and with each use I lovingly remember Ruth.

Thank-you Linda. 
You truly brightened our day with the Keepsake Stitching and Photo Album.
I loved the quoted scripture at the bottom of the card.
It speaks for us, too!
Every time I think of you...and I think of you often!
I thank God for you
1 Corinthians 1:4


After Shock of AtoZ

If there was a prize for the 'Biggest Mess Desk' I would definitely NOT be the 'Biggest Loser'... and that includes the poundage from photos, scrapbooks, yearbooks, water bottles, coffee cups and brownies.  Notice that the brownies are not among the mess.

The AtoZ April Challenge was certainly a 'Challenge'.  For the first time in the four years participating, I had to juggle a 'Work Schedule' in with writing posts, minion duties, visiting and commenting.  Now that it is over, I almost don't know where to start cleaning up this 'Biggest Mess Desk'.  You see, I have this overwhelming need to Re-Organize the Shoebox Album into a 'Real Album', to Re-Scrap my 1960's Scrapbook and clean off  this Desk. 

The problem is...there is another 'Biggest Mess Desk'....
Oh...there's the coffee cup!  The ring around the cup is probably permanent and the creamer has more than likely grown a new crop of Hazelnut flavored penicillin.  Yes, this is the other 'After Shock' of the AtoZ Challenge.  Thing is there are THREE more 'Work Tables' that are just as 'Big A Mess'.

So, now you know...my 'OverDoSueness' is on the verge of exploding beyond all hope of recovery.  However, I am swearing off of starting any more projects until these 'After Shocks of AtoZ' are minimized to little tremors.

There you have it...my excuses for the delay in returning your visits and comments on the last few Letters and the Reflection Post.  I will do that soon...between harvesting a new strain of penicillin and reducing the Multi-Messes.  Oh, and I can't forget to mention this....additional hours at my JOB caused by...you guessed it...more 'OverDoSueness'.  When will I ever learn?


AtoZ REFLECTION...Connections~Perfections~Suggestions

Reflection Connections
I've enjoyed watching your childhood in Texas - quite a contrast to mine in PA. Yet here we are Blogland friends and a lot in common. Joanne
Back in the 1950's and 1960's here's what I knew about kids in PA...they could go see the Liberty Bell.  I don't know if Joanne has seen the Liberty Bell, but I do know she will let me know as soon as she reads this 'Reflection Post'.   
We had such different childhoods (I grew up in New York City) but, through the magic of the Internet, and the A to Z, I was able to peek into your life. Alana 
Who knew that anyone would be interested in a small town Texas gals life growing up back in the 50's and 60's...yet here's a girl from New York City who was.
How was it all possible?
As Alana said..."through the magic of the Internet and The AtoZ April Challenge".
And from my 2015 theme...
...A Collection of Stories based on my Mother's Shoebox Album
 and my 1960's Scrapbooks.
Reflection Perfections
Thank-you to...
 Arlie and the Co-hosts of AtoZ April Challenge
AJ Lauer, Co-host and Fellow Minions...I loved being a wHooligan!
 All who participated (List)...Congratulations!
 CollectInTexas Gal Visitors and Commenters!
CITexasGal Blog Roll...Daily Commenters
Joanne...Word Splash
Julie...Empty Nester
Wendy...Jolliet etc.
Reflection Suggestions
Posted on AtoZ Challenge Home Page 
Example: Sue at CollectInTexas Gal AtoZ 2015 Challenge
Minion for AJ's wHooligans
AtoZ Blog Roll
Create a Blog List to Share with Readers.
Display on Sidebar...1 click to AtoZ posts.
AtoZ Posts Collection
AtoZ 2015 Posts Re-Run
Consecutive Posts from ZtoA
~Here is a way to compile/collect all of your AtoZ posts in one place/file.
~Makes for easy reading/sharing for Readers to CatchUp on your AtoZ Challenge.
~Makes for easy  'Editing' for a future Publication.
Easy to do in Blogger
l.  Create a LABEL in Post Settings...Mine is 2015AtoZ
2.  Label all posts you want included...Blogger will file them on one page.
3.  Create a Picture Tag...Go to Layout...Add Gadget Image...Link to LABEL page.
4.  Display on Sidebar.
Please click on my AtoZ 2015 Posts Re-Run Tag which will be on the Sidebar for awhile.  Later it will be moved to the bottom of this home pages 'Storage Unit' to join the previous three years of AtoZ Challenges. 
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this a fantastic AtoZ Challenge experience.