Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Homage to my Grandmother on her Birthday

Today my Grandmother is celebrating her 81st birthday, and since she is somewhat of an immigrant to technology I don't know if she will see this post, but perhaps my mother or I can share it with her when I travel to Upstate New York for the next few days. (**I'm bursting with excitement!**) I know I have failed to mention how I learned the skills of my creativity, sewing and all things handmade. I guess I would have to say its genetic. If you do a simple google search for "Arlene Vrooman Quilting" you will find several hits for my grandmother. Here is one article that does a little history lesson.

Only recently have I tried my hand at quilting, however, my grandmother is considered somewhat of a quilting guru. She is published in a book, several magazines, teaches classes at her home twice a week, and holds workshops throughout the Catskills. Here are some photos of quilts (from 2007) that she has constructed. The complexity of them is amazing and they are so precise.

Square Within a Square
Floral Arbor

Santa is Coming to Town
My grandparents had seven children, so in the 1950's and 60's sewing was taught to each of them. My mother of course learned from her mother and over the years taught me the artistry of craft. I will admit, I'm still figuring things out on my own at times when you don't have the ease of asking your mom how things are done, but I'm making my way through my creative exploration.

Now that I'm inspired, I'm off to sew!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2nd time for today

Ok, I got my act together and found my camera to take a picture of my new satin pleated purse with leather strap (try saying that 20x's fast!). I just love this purse.

PGA and Pleats

This weekend was spent visiting friends in Atlanta and going to the Tour of Champions PGA tour at East Lakes golf course. I'm not really a golf fanatic, but we were able to get in for free, so we decided why not chick it out?! We hung out at the 16th hole across from the Executive Box at the "Birdies for Braves" Military Outpost. It was very nice. There were free drinks, lunch from Chick-Filet and cake. I got to see Tiger Woods, Kenny Perry, Phil Mickelson and all of the others on the tour. Golf isn't a very exciting sport, but it was interesting to see the concentration on the players faces. It was definitely a different pace from UFC Fight nights!

On Thursday and Friday I worked on finishing the satin pleated purse. I'm pleased with the way it turned it out. It will be my "fall purse." I didn't take a picture of it fully completed, it's just missing the leather strap in these pictures.

I love the green lining I used in this purse. It has a magnetic closure, zipper pocket and two slide pockets. Doesn't it just say, "Fall' to you?

Today's project:
I made this little pennant banner to decorate for Autumn. I am trying not to accumulate "stuff" in our house because we will be moving and having to but everything into storage, but I thought this little project was too cute to pass up. I guess it will enjoy its time in storage for the next 2+ years.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Catch Up

The past week just flew by and I can hardly remember all of the events from the week! Does that ever happen to you? You are actively participating in "life" but at the same time it is spinning past you. Right now I feel like I'm trying to do a million things, but they are all things I'm setting up for myself. For instance, I've been sewing a ton, but since most of the items are for Christmas I feel a bit bottled up because I can't share.

I have been trying a few new things for myself. I've discovered that most of my handbags are military, and since I will need to cover more as a civilian in Korea, I've decided to make some non-military bags. I made this cute bag as a model to see how my design would turn out. I'm constructing another one out of more a sateen fabric, but I wanted to make sure the design would work first.

I'm quite proud of my pleats on this purse. I don't think I've ever done pleats without the assistance of my mom, so I guess I'm branching out a bit more! This purse is fully lined, has a zipper pocket, two slide pockets and a magnetic closure.

I finished another Bag From The Heart for a recipient in California. She sent me the lining fabrics and asked me to "do with them what you like". I thought the green looked best on the outside and for the inside I mixed the two together. The recipient is expecting her first baby, so I made sure to include plenty of pockets, 2 spots for bottles, and a hard bottom insert, so the bag can keep its form when filled.
This is the front of the bag. There are spots where name tapes can velcro on. The bag measures about 17" wide, 11" tall and 6" deep.
This photo shows a close up of the inside. You can see the brown slip in pockets (3 per side), the pen holders (3), the elastic pocket for a baby or water bottle (green), and the hard bottom insert (green).

This past weekend was spent entertaining and socializing. Friday night we had friends over for pizza and a movie. It was nice to have them over because the husband was stationed in Korea and his wife is Korean. She (Tara) has been teaching me about different things to expect, and is honestly making me even more excited and anxious to leave Augusta. I know Korea will take us far away from family, but I think it will unite all of us in adventure as well. I've been doing a lot of research about ESL jobs and trying to be as informed as I can be. It is difficult to contact schools of language institutes because we don't know yet where in Korea we will be. We might not know until we get there. Oh the adventure!

On Saturday Dan and I went to a member of Dan's mixed martial arts (MMA) gym to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I made 'pigs in a blanket' to take as some sustenance. You would have thought I was bringing in gold and diamonds the way the guys drooled and inhaled them. It was pretty funny how quickly they disappeared. I was glad that I made double the amount I usually do. I guess we will be invited back for the next long as I make some food.

Tuesday I adventured to Atlanta to visit with Kim and Aerielle. Yes, Aerielle! No, not the Little Mermaid (different spelling), but my long lost deployment buddy from Texas. I don't think we have seen each other since Dan came home from Iraq! We were both just very busy getting everything ready to move that we didn't have a chance to meet up. She is at Ft. Benning, so we are a little more than 4 hours apart in Georgia, but at least we can meet 1/2 way in Atlanta. The three of us spent the day catching up and wondering around a huge shopping complex. None of us bought much, but the conversation was well worth the trip. Plus we ate lunch at a great sushi place. All three of us were desiring sushi, so we were happy to find a descent place.

Now for the exciting news....I know, long post, but it's been forever! Today Dan and I went and met with the woman who will "cut" our orders of Korea! We got different forms that have to be filled out by our doctors and different departments on post as well as different briefings we have to attend. Next week we will have another meeting to attend, which should answer/provide even more information. I'm extremely happy to have 'the ball rolling' with all the steps that need to happen when moving overseas.

Alright, phew...that's it for now. I will try to do better the rest of this week with updates! **Wishful thinking at least.**

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This weekend we went to Hilton Head Island for a little getaway. I found an amazing deal online that included our room, amazing dinner, and breakfast. Hilton Head Island is about 3 hours away from us, so it was well worth the trip. We couldn't have asked for better weather. On Saturday morning we starting our trek to the coast and arrived about 11am. We went to lunch at the Salty Dog Cafe and wondered a little bit around the South Pines area. It was gorgeous. We could have stayed for at least a week. After lunch we went to our hotel, where our room was ready, so we checked in and immediately headed for the beach. It was sunny and warm, but not too hot. It was perfect. We stayed beach and poolside for most of the afternoon.

Dinner was at the Hotel restaurant, which sometimes in hotels doesn't live up to expectations. The dinner exceeded our expectations in this case. The package deal allowed each of us to pick any appetizer, any entree and any dessert. It also included soft drinks. Dan and I shared most of our meal getting a chance to try all the delectable food. Our appetizers included tempura shrimp and lobster mac and cheese. Both wonderfully delicious. For our entrees I had the crab cakes and Dan had the lobster tail and fillet meal... Yes, I couldn't believe the choice for a full fillet and lobster at an all inclusive package! Dessert was also to die for. We had raspberry chocolate molten brownie cakes with vanilla ice cream. Lets just say the two of us were wobbling out of the restaurant when we were finished because we were so full.

Sunday morning was another appetite pleaser. The breakfast buffet had omelets to order and array of fruit and all of the other typical breakfast items. We hit the beach again and then left around noon. Before going home we did a little shopping at the outlets as well. I found some great deals on shirts at Gap. We drove home with the roof down on the EOS all while belting out our favorite tunes. It was an amazing trip.

Yesterday was back to sewing. I have orders to work on, so I will wrap up this post. This Penny bag was a joy to complete. The bright pink swirly fabric makes me smile. I will get these items in the mail soon.
Over the arm view:
Back to creating, but wishing I were still at the beach!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some Bags

I wanted to show off some pictures of two completed bags. The one has been done awhile, but I never got around to taking pictures.

This is the front of the bag along with a rolled up diaper changing pad. I got a little creative with this changing pad and made the outside of it quilted squares. I guess the baby that will be changed using this pad, will have his bum changed in style. The other size has snugglie flannel. The great thing about this changing pad is that if it gets dirty you can just throw it in the wash.

The second picture shows the inside. There are loads of pockets. On the front wall there are 2 sliding pockets, on the back there are 3. On one end there are 2 places for bottles, and on the other end there are pen holders. I think it utilizes the inside walls well.
The final picture is a bag that I made for myself. I realized I was giving away all the things I made and never had a good example of some of the things I can do, so I made this bag a few months back. I added some color around the names to add a little extra flair. The ends just have velcro for the patches to attach. I really just wanted to try out some different things on this bag. I liked it so much that I kept it.
As for the rest of today I am battling a slight sore throat and earache. I haven't been sick in forever, which I guess was one benefit of teaching. After the first year of constant sickness, I built an immunity of steel. I guess I will need to get back into the classroom as some point to get my germ strength back! I'm looking forward to the possibility of teaching English while in Korea. Good thing I got my ESL certification while I was in Texas! Smart thinking!?!

Some New Things

A lot has been going on the past few days. On Thursday evening we found out our next duty station...drum roll...we are going to Korea!!! We are very happy. This was our second choice, so we are excited. We will be moving to South Korea in January! Now, I have a lot on my mind. There are passports to update, visas to process, deciding what to do with all our household stuff, and of course shopping!

My sister also visited on Saturday. It was the first time she came to visit, so it was nice to spend time together. We drove around the area and did some shopping. I look forward to meeting up again with her soon.

Today I made some pillow covers for my sewing room. I thought they needed some spicing up. Here you can see the "before" and "after" pictures.

Sewing chair before:

Sewing chair after:
Lounging chair before:
Lounging chair after:
Alright time for more sewing

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Labels

I just checked to the progress of my new woven labels and much to my delight they are done! They were shipped on 9/1/2009, so I'm excited to just have to wait until they get here in (10-14 days). I don't know why it excites me so much, but I guess it's because they are new.

I think they are fun, but still readable.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pillows and ID Holder

The past few days have been busy in the sewing room. Unfortunately for you (but good for me!) most of the things are gifts, so can't be revealed yet. You will have to wait til Christmas. I guess the rain from the off coast storms have made my brain realize that summer is ending.

Somethings I can show are these two pillow shams. They will be sent off tomorrow for a birthday gift. They are a combination of Vera Bradley fabrics and some Amy Butler fabrics as well. I really love the vibrant 16-square pillow. I'm thinking I may need to make myself 2 of these for the pillows in my sewing room.

I finally made an ID card/cash holder to match my latest ACU tote. If you haven't realized, I love things to match. There are slots on the inside for cards and cash, and then there is a handy vinyl pocket on the outside for ID. It is extremely important to always have ID handy as a military spouse. Your life practically depends on your ID.

In other news I'm excited for the upcoming weekend. My sister is meant to come for a visit! I don't really know what we will do, but I'm sure we can find somewhere to wonder. Also, next weekend my dear husband and I have booked a little getaway to Hilton Head Island, SC. I'm excited to hit up the beach and can now only hope that we will have good weather!