Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finished Latest Project - Flower Power Tutu Dress

I finally found a few hours to sew today and made this dress and listed it in my Etsy shop. It is lined in hot pink broadcloth and has the appearance of a skirt made of netting underneath. I gathered 4" of netting and attached it 2" above the hem. Not only does the turquoise ribbon act as trim, it also hides the seam to sew the gathered strip of netting.
The fabric is so bright and colorful, great for the Spring.

I thought it needed something else so I added a bow made from some of the turquoise ribbon.
There is a seam down the back with a slit opening. I will probably use a hook and eye closure at the top or perhaps a snap.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Tana

Wishing you a great birthday. Love ya!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Prayer

May all of you have a
and a

A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Decorations & New Sewing Projects

I'm very excited about Christmas. As you can see here, we have lots of gifts under the tree waiting to be opened. This weekend I will be preparing the food for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve I make a big pot of seafood gumbo, potato salad and baked ham for family and friends. It's a great time to visit and enjoy each other's company.

Because I have been sewing Christmas gifts, my Etsy shop hasn't had many new items listed. I did manage to make a couple of sets of "Mommy and Me" bags this past week that I recently posted. This turquoise and brown fabric has been one of the more popular ones for me this year.

I also purchased more fabric to be used after the holidays. I'll be making more totes but also have some new ideas for little girl dresses I want to try.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Making Christmas Treats

Here are some pictures of our day making Christmas treats. My two daughters, my daughter's friend and I made lots of treats that we divided between trays and tins for delivery in the next couple of days. Bosses, neighbors, co-workers and friends will be recipients of the goodies.

Peanut butter fudge and pralines were the first on the list and take the longest. I made 6 batches of fudge and 2 batches of pralines in the morning before the rest arrived to help.

This is some of the pretzel rods we dipped. Besides the rods, we also dipped a smaller version called twists. We used both white and chocolate almond bark for the dipping.

Sunny added some red and green sprinkles before they dried for a festive touch.

Oreo cookie balls is another treat that has become a favorite in the past few years. I don't remember where we tried them but were hooked from the first bite. They are very simple to make and make a great addition to holiday treats. The recipe is:
1 bag of regular oreos
1 package of cream cheese
white almond bark or white chocolate

Crumble or chop up the bag of oreos. Add the cream cheese and mix well. Make balls out of the mixture. (For best results but the tray of balls in the refrigerator for awhile before dipping). Dip in white chocolate or white almond bark.

We added sprinkes to some for a little variety. This year we tried something new and made some of the balls out of vanilla cookies for a friend who is allergic to chocolate. My son's favorie is devil's food cake, crumbled and mixed with icing, dipped in chocolate. After all, what wouldn't taste good dipped in chocolate?

Here is my daughter chopping the oreos.

My oldest daughter wanted sugar cookies to decorate with icing. She cut them out of Christmas cookie cutters I had but when they baked the shapes didn't hold very well so she ended up making round ones. There are always those items that don't quite measure up and end up as treats for "at home use only".

As you can see, we had a huge mess. We all felt sticky and a little sick from all the tasting we did during the process.

My daughter had an idea to make three different size balls to put on top of each other to make snowmen. Although the concept was good, we were lacking in our presentation. Since we weren't going to use them on the trays, we decided to have a little fun decorating. Here are two of our snowman creations. These snowmen ended up in the "at home use only" pile.

The day turned out to be alot of fun. This kind of day spent with family is what I enjoy most about the holidays. We've only done this for a couple of years but may become a favorite tradition.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Latest Project - Brown Corduroy Aline Dress

This is my latest project. I made this for my niece to give as a Christmas gift. It is an A-line brown corduroy dress that buttons down the back and is lined with the pink/brown checks. She bought the pink shirt to go underneath. This dress was the last sewing project I had for Christmas. All the sewing is done, presents bought and wrapped and Christmas tree decorated. Tomorrow we are having a baking and candy making day. My daughters, myself and Betsey's friend Sunny are planning to make fudge, pralines, oreo balls, chocolate dipped pretzels and cookies tomorrow. Next week will be the food planning and preparation - seafood gumbo for Christmas Eve and the traditional casseroles and other items for Christmas Day - baked ham, sweet potato casserole, broccoli/rice casserole, dressing, etc.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Busy Week

The past few days have been very busy. Saturday, my daughter Betsey, graduated from college. After attending the graduation ceremony, we had a family get together at my house. Here are a couple of pictures, one of Betsey with her 92 year old grandmother at the family party and Betsey and Sunny before the graduation ceremony. I am so very proud of Betsey and her accomplishments.

After that, I attended my work Christmas Party. Sunday I finished up my Christmas shopping and Monday attended the jewelry show with my niece. To top off the day, I bought a set of dishes for my home at Tanger Outlet. Evidently, all of the Mikasa stores in the US are closing as of December 31st and everything in the store is 40% off on top of the already discounted outlet price. It was a great deal. Here is what they look like.

I've been trying to do a little sewing also. After the holidays, I plan to start sewing for my Etsy shop and a possible booth in the Spring. I've been buying some very cute fabric that I want to make some Annette Reversible Sundresses out of and some totes. Some of the totes have already been given as gifts and I've sold a couple more as a result of the gift. I plan to make a line of "Mommy and Me" totes that will include a large one for the mom and a smaller replica for the daughter. Here is a preview of one set I finished last night.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Handcrafter's Holiday Blog Meme

Sew Mama Sew is having a Handcrafter's Holiday Blog Meme. We answer questions and link back to the Sew Mama Sew blog.

Here is mine.

Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?

I love giving gifts of all kinds but especially ones I've made myself.

If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making?
I've made clothing for two little girl's on my list, 3 dresses for a needy family, lots of totes and will be making peanut butter fudge, pralines and other edible goodies.

Here (LSU Outfits), here (totes) and here (dresses for a needy family) are links to other blog posts with pictures of my handmade gifts and here is one of the peanut butter fudge.

Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received?
A couple of years ago, I made a cookbook of my twin sister and my favorite recipes. I added pictures and stories of our lives together from birth to adulthood. It was a special project because my twin sister passed away ten years ago. I printed about 25 and gave them to her daughters, my mom, my children and close friends of hers. Everyone loved them and now I have all those recipes I use alot handy along with memories and pictures as I use the book.

Do you make and sell things that would make fantastic gifts?
I recently started a shop on Etsy. I am in the process of learning how internet selling works but have listed several clothing items as well as Christmas stockings. I'm hoping to have a couple of totes to sell also. I also sell epatterns on that would make a great gift for someone who is learning to sew.

What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

I make seafood gumbo on Christmas Eve and family and a few special friends come to enjoy. We have a great time talking about past memories, enjoying the food and company.

Have you started any new traditions with your family that you didn’t practice growing up?
The gumbo on Christmas Eve is something I started the last few years.

What do you love most about the holiday season?
Spending time with family and friends, cooking and baking.

What do you like least about the holiday season?
Sometimes I get so busy, I don't take time to enjoy every minute and remember that it is the birth of Jesus we are celebrating. Also, not having my sister here to share the holidays with.

Anyone close to your heart that you’ll be missing this year?
My identical twin sister, Annette. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years. I still miss her terribly.

What is your favorite holiday food?
Sweet potato casserole with the pecan and brown sugar topping. YUM

Do you have a great recipe to share?

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 large sweet potatoes or 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
Boil sweet potatoes ntil tender in a heavy saucepan; drain off excess water. Mash potatoes with a fork. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and milk in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add mashed sweet potatoes, mixing well. Pour into lightly greased 13 X 9 X 2 baking dish.

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and add sugar, flour and pecans. Mix well. Sprinkle mixture over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Totes for Christmas

My oldest daughter and I had a marathon gift making weekend. Friday afternoon we shopped for fabric, came home and cut out about 14 totes. We started sewing after cutting but were tired from the long day so decided to start again Saturday. We helped my middle daughter with the APIL event Saturday morning which was a huge success. Even though it only lasted a couple of hours, we were pretty tired but determined to get some sewing done. My oldest daughter started sewing while I pinned, ironed and got the pieces ready. It worked out great and we managed to get about 5 of hers made before she had to leave for work. After she left, I started sewing again and made 8 more before I quit for the night. Most of the ones we made are for gifts but I am making a few extra to put in my Etsy shop.

I spent another 1/2 hour or so cleaning up my mess. When I sew, I have stuff spread out everywhere. I really enjoyed the two days sewing with my daughter and feel relieved that most of my handmade Christmas gifts are done.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Great Christmas Story

This is a email I got recently and thought it was worth posting. Whether you have children or not, this is a great story.

The Christmas Pageant

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years
but hadn't been blessed with a baby.

I decided to do some serious praying and promised God
that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother,
love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son.

The next year God blessed us with another son.

The following year, He blessed us with yet another son.

The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty.
We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old.

I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it.
As a minister once told me, "If you pray for rain,
make sure you carry an umbrella."

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children
each day as they lay in their cribs.

I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me
with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the daythe children smashed
two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks.

I tried to be understanding. .. when they started a hotel for
homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours
to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and
rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog,
I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers,
never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more
than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother -
I didn't even come close...
I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told
my daughter we were going to church to worship God,
and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to "wash up" Jesus, too.

Something was lost in the translation when I explained that
God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was
generous of God to give us his "last wife."

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant.

My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds
and my youngest son was a wise man.
This was their moment to shine.

My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line,
"We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes."

But he was nervous and said,
"The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes."

My four-year-old "Mary" said,
"That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly. That's dirty, rotten clothes."

A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd
and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary
dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced
down the aisle crying, "Mama-mama."

Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up
and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe
and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced,
"We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts
of gold, common sense and fur."

The congregation dissolved into laughter,
and the pageant got a standing ovation.

"I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,"
laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes.

"For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of
gold, common sense and fur."

"My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest
blessing," I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.

Had no army, yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tiger Outfit - Christmas Gift for a Friend

I've been sewing some Christmas Gifts. The first outfit is for Ava - my second "adopted grandchild". Her older sister has an LSU Cheerleading outfit so I made this for Ava. It's lined in the bloomer fabric and I made it so it can be reversed for a different look. I had the yellow trim left over from the Christmas stockings I've been making so added that along the bottom.

Riley, my first "adopted grandchild" wanted LSU boxers so I made these with the same fabric as the lining and bloomers on her sisters. She wanted it lower on the waist and a drawstring rather than the elastic waist.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Winter Wonderland APIL Event Sat Dec 1st

There will be an APIL event this Saturday, December 1st at 10AM. It's a Winter Wonderland event for children with a snow machine

Friday, November 23, 2007

Little Girl Dresses for a Needy Family

Today was quite a busy day. I left to go shopping around 7:30AM and got back at about 2PM. I went to Hobby Lobby, the Mall, Burlington Coat Factory, Tanger Outlet, KMart and the Flea Market. I managed to get quite alot of Christmas shopping done. We pulled names yesterday so I not only have to shop for myself, but also for my mom, half sister and son. After Thanksgiving, I get in a hurry to complete the Christmas shopping so I can concentrate on the meals.

After shopping and taking a short nap, I started sewing while watching the LSU game. (which was very disappointing when they lost to Arkansas in the 3rd overtime).

Every year the employees of our company adopt a family to help at Christmas. This year's family has a set of twins and a 4 year old. Since they are all girls, I decided to make them matching dresses. Here is the almost finished product. I still have the buttons and button holes down the back to complete. I found this embroidered corduoroy fabric at Hancock Fabric along with the hot pink twill lining.

For the last couple of years, we have also adopted a military unit that we collect items for and send out at the beginning of December. This year we are sending items to a unit in Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the troops that will be spending Christmas so far away from home and to their families who won't have their loved ones with them during the holidays.

Christmas is a time of giving so consider donating items for the military or a needy family. There are so many opportunities available to help someone, whether it be a co-worker, family, neighbor, the troops or someone you don't know. The benefits can be as good for the giver as the reciever.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a very joyful and blessed day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Track Team Honored at Southeastern University Football Game

Yesterday I attended the last home game for the Southeastern University Lions. My daughter, Betsey, and some of her track teammates were honored at halftime for their accomplishments. Some because they qualified to compete in the Regional Track and Field Meet and Betsey and her teammate, Curtis, who were the only two on the track team to compete at the NCAA National Championships is Sacramento, CA. In addition to the halftime honors, we got a chance to watch Brian Babin play the last home game for the season. We have been knowing Brian's family for many years and I really enjoyed the chance to see him play. To top it all off, it was my first time attending a college football game, someone I worked with gave us great tickets on the 40 yard line and allowed us to park at his house which was less than a block from the football field, the weather was pleasantly cool and I got to spend time with my daughter, Betsey, her friend, Sunny, and some of Betsey's teammates. All in all, it turned out to be a very enjoyable day.
Southeastern Track and Field Regional and National Qualifiers

Brian Babin #10, Quarterback - Southeastern Lions

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Gift Idea/Cookbook and Memories

My twin sister and I always enjoyed cooking and had our favorite recipes we made over and over. Like many who have a collection of recipes, ours were in books, on pieces of paper, on index cards, etc. A couple of years ago, I decided to make a simple recipe book that would put our favorite recipes in one location. Anyway, that is how it started. Since my twin sister had passed away 8 years before and her husband 5 years later, this would also be a special gift for their two daughters. The idea began to grow and I decided to include pictures and stories. I searched through boxes of old pictures, picking my favorites and scanning them to my computer. I began gathering the recipes and jotting down stories. The process of putting it all together was very time consuming and brought out many emotions, some happy and some sad. I got our children and my parents involved to help with the stories and to help me decide what to include. I enjoyed the project tremendously and was very pleased with the result. I ended up printing about 25 copies and gave them as Christmas gifts to each of my children, my parents, close friends and family of my sister and brother in law and a few others who requested a copy. Everyone loved the idea and enjoyed making the journey through the book. I have my copy displayed in my kitchen and use the recipes from it often.

Here is a sample of some of the pages.

This is the cover with one of my favorite pictures of two of us. These dresses were made for us by my grandmother. On the collar is a pin with the first initial of our names that we wore throughout most of our school years. It was the only way the teachers could tell us apart. The next few pictures are samples of some of the pages. I put a picture and story on the left side of each page and a recipe on the right.Trying to figure out how to arrange it so that I could print on both sides of the paper was a bit of a challenge. Also, I wanted to start with us as infants and progress through the ages.

I also included an introduction, table of contents and a few personal messages at the end - to their girls, my children and my mom. I also added a couple of blank pages and a couple of lined pages with lines to add other recipes.

For anyone who has lost a loved one, this is a great way to document some of the stories, share favorite pictures and remember them in a special way.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Stocking - Zebra Print

This is the latest Christmas Stocking I've made. It's made of a velvety zebra print fabric. The cuff is fleece and I lined it in red broadcloth with a black chenille loop for hanging.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

APIL Event This Saturday - November 10th

We have another APIL event this weekend from 10 - 11:30AM at St. Amant Park. It will involve hockey and crafts. Ascension Parish Inclusive League is a non-competitive, all inclusive sports program for children between the ages of 4 and 13 of ALL abilities. If you are interested or know someone interested in more information, call the Ascension Parish Recreation Department at (225) 621-9661. Volunteers are also needed. The volunteers have as much fun as the children and leave with such a great feeling.

Here are pictures from our last event.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas Stocking and Scarf Ebooks on YCMT

My two new ebooks are now available on This has been so much fun, making the ebooks, making the stockings and starting the Etsy shop. I am an Accounting Manager during the day so doing these projects has helped to fulfill my creative side. An added benefit has been learning more on the computer side - changing files to pdf, changing the size of pictures, uploading, downloading, setting up accounts, etc.

I am hoping to continue to add new and interesting things to both websites and really give my best effort to make this business grow. Maybe even be on Oprah one day!!!!
So everyone, go to and and buy all my stuff!!!!!
All joking aside, leave me a comment on what you think.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Ninja Costume

These are some pictures of my "adopted" grandchild in the Ninja costume I made for her. I used a robe pattern for the top and a simple elastic waist pants pattern for the bottoms. With some of the extra fabric I cut rectangle strip for the headband.

As you can see, she really got into the character for the pictures.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Stockings

I am having so much fun making these stockings. Here are a few more I've done. Some will be sold in my Etsy shop and some are for gifts.

This one is great for those LSU Tiger fans. I think these will be a big hit. I've sold one and am considering making a couple for those on my Christmas list.

I went through my fabric stash and came up with this combination.

This one matches a little girl's dress I made and have for sale on Etsy.

This one was made from an old chenille bedspread that someone gave me. The trim also came from the bedspread. This one is sold but I am going to try to make another from the same bedspread. I really like the idea of recycling old things into something new.
Another chenille but this one was new fabric with the poodle chenille cuff.
This one is black corduroy. The picture isn't very good but there are large red bells hanging from the cuff.

I had enough fabric to make 3 of these. The red fabric is what I used to cover the seats of my dining chairs and the stripe fabric is what I used for curtains. I decided to keep one of each for my mantel and have one to sell or give as a gift.

I love ladybugs and I thought the lime green looked good against the red.
This one has beads and sequins on the fabric and is a linen blend fabric with the poodle chenille cuff.