Friday, September 28, 2012

Shuttle Pass

I do realize that I'm a bit late in the posting of this news event, about 1 week late to be exact, but I still think it's worth remembering.
Last Friday I was out in the back yard talking to the pool contractor who was finishing up the outdoor pool feature when I noticed a big white plane out of the corner of my eye. It had a small dark plane very close to it and that is what I was noticing.
Then… I looked at it.  I saw that it was the space shuttle "Endeavor" being piggybacked on a 747 jet liner and being accompanied by a little fighter jet. I got so excited and hollered at the pool guy to come and look. The jet was flying low and slowly down the South Bay where we live.
I had heard that it took off from Florida at the beginning of the week on it's way to a museum for its new home, but I didn't know it was going through the Bay Area.
  All the shuttles and the whole shuttle space program is being retired.
 This google map shows the route from Sacramento through the San Francisco then down to over Moffet Field and over the Hodgman house to LA area.
 Pretty cool huh?
I, of course, didn't have my camera and so I just looked online and found all these.
It was a beautiful amazing site.
The children in our local Daves Avenue Elementary School were expecting it's flyover and so they were all outside waiting to see it.
Apparently they all started chanting, "USA, USA, USA" and it was all spontaneous.
What a great country they all know they live in.
Again … pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Peacock Costume

Tutu's in every form are the new little girl halloween costume. It seems that there are entire websites dedicated to these costumes. Check this one out. Ghosts and Witches, to Dorothy and Belle costumes are all being embellished with accessories after the initial tutu is decided upon.
Well, any who … Ellery is going to be a Peacock and so I was enlisted to make one of my very special tutu's. I then changed it up a bit and made another version.
Most tutu are made like this.
*   Take tulle any color you please and cut it in strips twice the length plus about 1 ½ inches you want
      your finished tutu to be.  Double the tulle up (fold it in half) and pull it around a strip of 1" elastic
      pulling the cut ends through the folded other end of the tulle. Continue around the elastic waist
      forming a circle.  Keep on going.  Keep going until it is as full as you wish it to be.
Then there are those that are made like this.
* Here you take strips of chiffon fabric and gather them like crazy row after gathered row and then you
     do it again on the inside of the skirt.  This takes an especially long time.
Now this time I decided to do the peacock tutu a little different way. I used the gathering chiffon effect and layered it with graduating colors going down toward the bottom. Not attaching them layer after layer to the layer just on top of them, but actually attaching them to lining fabric underneath the skirt so they all come off separately, making for a cascade of ruffles.
Kinda like this skirt. Basically a combination of several ideas.

 Notice the top layer is 2" of chartreuse green along with 4" peacock blue. Then I added a back layer to attach the next 2 layers of the same blue and teal. Then teal and royal blue, and finally royal and tan.
 The same colors that are in a peacocks feathers. See the feathers here and I then made a "tail" that fans out the back of the waist and connects with a ribbon bow in the front of the skirt.
I attached the feathers with glue and some ribbon and Katz is going to have to figure out how to get the tail to stay up around Ells shoulders after she tries it on her.

Fast forward 4 days. The postal service did pretty well.
So far she looks like she will just hold onto it forever.
 "Okay, you can take a picture of it down."
 "But I really like it better THIS way."
More pictures next month in full regalia. (Is that spelled correctly?)

Monday, September 24, 2012


Yesterday was a temple dedication that was wired in to all of the Utah congregations.
My Mom and Dad sent all their progeny (except half of my kids who they apparently don't have in the family email list,) this little note.

We just got home from the 3pm dedication session.  We, of course are in Utah. (St George) Want all of our family to once again realize that all of you living in Utah were invited to the Brigham City Dedication.  In our afternoon meeting Elder Nelson was the voice for dedicatory prayer.  We, as the singing of "The Spirit of God" was sung mentioned to each other that all of you were singing along with us and had waved the hankie together.  Now, 139 temples are in service.  When Joyce and I were children, there were 4 in Utah, 1 in Arizona, 1 in Canada, and 1 in Hawaii.  The Church will continue to grow and assist us with our righteous activities - whether it be in school, in our homes or at our work.  Even those of us who are retired will be blessed.  
Love you all this Sabbath afternoon, GPs Kel 

Never has the church done a dedication like this before, and my DD lives in Orem, so I made her this special temple hankie and sent it last week. I used 2 different white thread types. One was a bit shinier than the other and I use that for the leaves and flowers. In the pix below you can turn your neck around (even though I can't) to see the "S".
Here is the nearly finished piece as I gathered and sewed on the ruffled lace edging.  This kind of French val (cotton) lace has a thread on its header that just needs to be tugged on for a gathering affect, and it doesn't need much of a gather to make it very pretty. 
 These 4 surrounding mitered borders were completed about 20 years ago and saved in my lace bucket. I have meant to use them for before, but usually this gets put on the back burner when I'm busy with other things like a wedding gown or something. (right Kathryn?) So now they have been put to good use. I guess that's why I don't throw things away and why my sewing room looks is out of control.
 I had an extra mens handkerchief in my socks drawer so I put Steph's boyfriends initials on one and sent it too.
 Here is the end result.  I love it. So did Steph.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"I Love You - You Love Me"

No, I haven't reverted to watching reruns of the big purple dinosaur, but Barney just popped into my head. Sometimes the 80's does that.

This is totally off subject for what I am intending to write about, but I always say "I missed the 80's."

This because I was making babies, and cleaning up after them, and training them to clean up after themselves, and singing children's songs with them, and reading nursery rhymes, and mending broken toys, as well as skinned up knees, etc., etc. I was also working as a nurse at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, OR several days a week, and fixing up a new home, learning mothering skills from my awesome neighbors, and sometimes The Hubby and I each had 3 church callings at once. You know the drill.

Although I was too busy to follow fashion very closely. I do remember trends such as John's seminary student Rod Mc??? (McKenzie - just found him on FB)  wearing skinny ties to high school and poofy hair on Melanie Allen and Marjorie Jensen(and me too I guess) to boot. I was too busy listening to children's music to become real familiar with the "Village People" or any other pop culture.
When an invitation for a wedding in the early 90's came and I did not have a clue about the motions to the "YMCA" song. I thought, "Where have I been."  It is pretty funny looking back on it now, but my interests and time were being spent where they should be, so I didn't worry about it much.
I don't think my Young Women at church thought I was out of touch at all. In fact I think they would be surprised that I had no clue about the songs they were listening too or the movies they were seeing. They just related to me anyway, because I was a young cool mom and it really didn't matter. Life was a bit slower because of technology, so I wonder if I would have taken time for Facebook or Pinterest if I could have back then. Maybe, but then again maybe not. It wouldn't have allowed time to wallpaper bathrooms, make bedspreads and curtains for my children's rooms, take long walks with children riding on their "Big Wheels" and cook nutritious dinners. So who will ever know?

Now …. Off rant about the 80's.

What this post is supposed to be about is how supportive The Hubby is of me.

Yesterday I told him I had wanted to go to a Quilt show in Livermore that occurs each September. Last year I couldn't go and I think I just found out about it the year before, but it is held at a long established plant nursery which is located in a beautiful grove of native huge Live Oak trees called Alden Lane Nursery.

Yesterday wasn't an ideal day for us to attend, because I was doing RS visits in the late morning after a Stake choir practice, and The Hubby was supposed to attend a Priesthood meeting in the afternoon (that had been changed the previous week to include him and all men.) Well I gave him an excuse to come with me because I didn't want to go alone and he obliged.
I suppose I go to some things most wives don't want to go to. I attend guy movies, games, etc. But I really do enjoy those things and I'm not sure I should expect him to enjoy "my" things the same way.


But, he doesn't complain and I appreciate having him along for these jaunts. What a good Hubby I have!
He even confided that it was honestly quite a pretty site all these colorful quilts hung up high into the trees.
Inspiring!?! Yes He is!

Couple More Baby Blankets

These minky blankets are becoming my signature baby gift. Although I never seem to quite learn my little lessons from one month to the next while making these things.
I always look for a creative edging stitch to use around the binding, and by the time I finish I wish I had just used a simple zig zag stitch. For some reason the fancier ones don't stitch as evenly on the satin blanket binding as I would like, so I am always disappointed with the outcome.
 We have a couple of cute new baby boys in the ward. I had never used this monkey alphabet embroidery that I downloaded several months ago, so it was time to try it out.
 I used long minky fur fabric for the beard on this one. Kinda fun.
 And I've been adding these ribbons in different widths around part of one edge for the baby to play with. Also added some crinkle noisy filled fabric on this one. I'll have to ask about that in a few months as baby Spencer starts to become more inquisitive.
These animal inspired fabrics work with the monkey on the front don't you think?

Note to self - use simple zig-zag stitch next time!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August Backyard Progress

This past month we saw a couple large and many little things come together. We are nearly finished now with the exception of the water feature that is between the pool and the patio below, and the metal trim around the small arbor posts.
 The kids really wanna jump in here in early August, but the pool is still too cold for us. The solar and gas took longer to get all hooked up than we had the patience for.
 So they got into their skivies and got in the water anyway.
 "You are right! It is cold." The pool is covered in shade most of the day and so some kind of heat is totally necessary in this backyard pool.
 The lights got hung in trees, patio's and along paths.

 Okay, they actually talked me into it here.

 Our nephew Brett with Jess and kids came for a short visit and played well with the 2nd cousins.
 The solar got connected only to find a huge leak  flood coming out from under the cement floor in the shed. Had to have it dug out and repaired major.  Then again the solar guys came out and hooked us up only to find the that the welders had sparked several small holes into one of the plastic solar panels the pool water runs through. "TURN IT OFF!!"
So …. they came again another day and replaced that problem. It does seem to be running smoothly now. Murphy has no more what-ifs to choose from.
 Plants are happy with the cooler weather.
 The Hubby got the BBall hoop all set up.

 The A/V guys got things working (almost all of them anyway.) We watched a lot of the Olympics out here in the covered patio area. There are 2 infared heaters for the cooler nights that we will use later.
Chimney was finished up, and the fire logs arranged too.
 Last arbor is welded into place.
Amazing that it is usable, comfortable and great. Now the upkeep starts. The lighting and watering systems could be a nightmare if we don't keep them perfectly coifed. I have no idea where some of them originate and end, so there will be a learning curve for me in this regard. 

Utah Travels

There were several reasons for going to Utah for the long weekend.
One was my MIL's 85th birthday.
Happy Birthday Grandma Hodgman
We also went to an American Fork volleyball game and watched Stephanie coach her girls to an amazing comeback victory. We met her new boyfriend Jon, and had a nice visit with him throughout the game.

Here we are at the Brigham City temple open house. Stephanie and Jon came to see it with us. She has gone to one other open house in Sacramento a few years ago, but it was good to be able to take her to see the whole inside of this beautiful edifice.
 There were amazing touches throughout, and the finish work was just beautiful. (I feel fine, but it appears as though I'm ready to fall over. My neck pain sometimes puts me at an odd angle.)
Steph took this magazine-ready picture of the outside of the temple.
Our Jonathan came to Mantua to celebrate with Grandma too. This is out the front windows toward the beautiful mountain and reservoir.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pillowcase Dresses

Talking about making some easy little pillowcase sundresses for the granddaughters since spring, I finally made the first one for July 4th.
Lex had asked me to make her something for the 4th because both her sibs had something red/white/blue and she didn't. Perfect opportunity for a summer frock, I thought.
 So I made a little pillowcase sundress for her and put a little embroidered rocket on the front, rick rack around the hemline and stars and stripes ribbon for the neckline ties. We went to the beach and celebrated a friends 60th birthday and David's family came along for the day. It was a cool one at the coast, but we had fun.
I really didn't take any pictures of it and I need to really start taking more shots of the construction of these things.
I looked at a tutorial from a pretty nice website that you could find here if you'd like.
 A couple weeks later I made the other girls each a dress. L-2's is black and white with a little pink thrown in for interest. I have a bunch of b/w fat quarters that made for a nice assortment, and the animal print is a leftover from a baby blanket made long ago. (I think I made it for a baby girl that is now 17 years old)

 This one has a bow made of one of the main fabrics, that ties in the back.

A rick rack flower pin was made to go either near the hem, or anywhere she pleases.
All happy and ready for pre-school. I bought the matching leggings at Costco. I love Costco.
 I sent the Colorado girls a couple of them too. Coke's is a 8 x fat quarters juvenile prints one.
 Ells is little girls on swings fabric. Don't you love how the little one looks to her big sis for an example? So cute.
 Coordinating fabric and a closer look at the swing in the trees.
These dresses were pretty simple to make and they should be able to wear them for years. The dresses will grow as they get shorter, but won't be too small.
An old retro addition to a little girls summer wardrobe.