Monday, April 28, 2014

J & V Hodgman Cars (since 1979 when we were married) Or "Trip Down Memory Lane V-2"

Not sure why I didn't post this last year when I wrote it, but I must've been waiting for our new car to add.
Well I'll post about that special car in the near future, but for now....

......Since we have been married we have gone through many cars. The Hubby is definitely a car lover and is constantly reevaluating and scheming about the next vehicle purchase. As opposed to my first blog about the cars my parents owned during their married life together, this collection of cars is much more accurate. The Hubby remembers minute details of cars - especially ones he has owned and loved.

So, here is a quick rundown of all our old cars:

1967 ford custom 500 red/ white
   Bought in 77 from Hodgman parents

Uncle Brad Swenson outside of his Provo apartment in front of our car
1967 ford pickup tan camper attached
 Bought in '79 also from Hodgman parents

Vicki modeling the rear bumper
1981 Honda civic station wagon
We purchased this with $4,000. cash and a $2,000. loan. Payed off in 3 years.
GG Hodgman's campsite with the Airstream ("the Beer can") and their pickup truck.
One of our first runs to Costco - 1982?
1985 Chevy van blues 302 V-8.  Had a couch/ fold down bed, 3 speed w/overdrive. After my 4th child I locked myself out of this van at least 4 times. I soon learned the easiest way to break into it through the side pop out window.
Maybe I had a mushy brain for a couple years? 
Pregnant Vicki with David and Jonathan at the Colorado National Monument 11-85.
Mom, David (3 1/2), Jonathan (5 1/2)
This picture has a sign above the garage welcoming home our second girl, Stephanie in 1988.
We owned the Honda Civic station wagon and the Chevy blue van

1988 Chevy 1500 350 V-8 van.
Burgundy red/tan. This van had a nice closet, a refrigerator, and a more powerful motor. We got a great trade in from our prettier blue van and paid cash for the balance. Very nice not to have payments again.

Sundance mountain retreat for Uncle Steve's 40th b-day
Little picnic in a random parking lot out of the rear of the van.
Mom, Stephanie (1), David (7), Jonathan (9), Kathryn (3)
1992 Chevy Astro van teal. Purchased December 1991.
Jonathan and Dad coming around the corner on Joseph Ct in NW Portland.

1988 CJ-5 black jeep 302 Chevy engine.
Bought in 91, sold 92.
Finally found a picture of John in our Joseph Ct. driveway
1992 barely used Lexus SC400
        Garnett red.

Theres got to be a picture of this pretty car somewhere.

1994 Ford Explorer 
4 speed. Forest green
     Built in HUGE telephone. 

Sold to Jonathan in 2002.
Joseph Ct. 3 car garage with room to walk around. I do miss this garage.
Explorer on R, Astro middle, Grandma Hodgman's white on L.

1996 Honda accord (1991) lt. green
   2 door, Jonathan drove traded for Prism ('98)

1996 Suzuki 1200cc motorcycle  - Sold in 1998
        cranberry / silver

1998 Prism green sold to David in 2004

Here it is today a little worse for the wear, but still chugging along nicely
(I wrote this 2 years ago and about 3 months ago David sold this for a cool thousand)
 It is amazing how much time we spend in cars and yet when I look for pictures of these past cars, they are very hard to find.
This is Stephanie decorating the Suburban for a high school graduation party for Kathryn.
What a nice little sister

1998 bought 99 Chevy Suburban, burgundy, in St.George, Utah while visiting   Mom and Dad Kelly
      • Added cost $1,200.00 just to get smog approval in California (gotta love 

             California and all its red tape)
      • Fit less cargo than Astro Van

      • Had the Suburban until 2004 when we purchased BMW.

1998 gmc Z 71 1500sierra. Sand beige   Gave to GGK's H in summer 98 back in maybe  2006 for a year then 2009 for a month. Michael had it at the U last year and then after we drove it back to California Tressa decided that she'd like to buy it from us. Sold to Tressa in 2011.

2000 Millenium Edition, Carrera 4 Porsche, 6 speed manual, violet chroma flare, natural tan leather interior
 John can clean a car up better than anyone I know.
 Michael added the "Jump Man" symbol. Nice touch.
2001 yellow used  (18,389 miles) jeep wrangler soft top for $16,856.94
Kathryn got her license in jan 2002, and was the first of our children to drive this car. We used it through hers, Stephanie's and Michael's high school years and then some. 
We just sold the jeep. It had 59,200 miles on it, has been in a couple of little wrecks, and has been loved nearly to death. Michael, Stephanie and Kathryn did NOT want us to sell it, but we needed to get it out of our driveway.
2003 Porsche Cayenne 2002 turbo 450 hp  off road lift. This was a very pretty car and was the first one that was a high performance that I, Vicki,  drove regularly. Spoiled me for regular cars. 
 This is my current car. I took a little while to get used to driving a non-truck/van, but I really like it now.
This is a fun car to drive and it minds me very well. It goes and stops on a dime.
It is a BMW 545i, black with black interior. We got it lightly used at the end of 2004 and I have been spoiled by its handling. 

We bought this next Honda at the same time as the BMW (December 2004) when we traded in the Porche Cayenne for them.
 Kathryn bought it from us as she was getting married. Get that puppy clean girls!
Lexy and Ellery helping Katz
2004 used Honda Accord 5 speed manual w navigation, dk  grey. This has been a great little car for her new family. This picture is cousin Lexy helping clean the car in our driveway while Ellery watches on. A fun time was had by all!
2005 Honda Accord, black exterior with beige interior. 5 speed, and …. yet another great Honda added to our collection. Stephanie bought this one in 2011. Here she is driving it on a long trip to Utah from CA.

2007 Porsche carrera 4S, meteor grey, coco interior with double stiched upholstery, 6 sp, Bluetooth, nav, etc.
My cute Hubby keeps it quite impeccably clean, as he has kept his cars for his entire life. This is often kept covered in our garage. 
His parents used to wash cars every Saturday whether they needed it or not, so he learned at a young age to respect these precious purchases.
I'll explain a little about how he cares for them in an example of one of our first noticeable differences of opinion. He couldn't believe that I would set things on the top or hood of a car, and he let me know that he was irritated when I set a book down on his hood. I didn't have a clue that he was serious, so I laughed and apparently it was not a joke. Mind you, it was the red and white 1967 Custom 500 and it was 11 years old so I had not even thought about what I was doing. Truthfully, if it had been bought yesterday I wouldn't have thought about it either. I just did not get it. I always used to set things on cars, as I would a fine piece of furniture. I would never scratch a car and set something dirty or uber heavy on it, but I learned to not set things on cars at that juncture. 
John's current commuter car. He drives to Brisbane from Los Gatos 5 days a week and shares rides with a couple of coworkers. We apparently love those Honda's.
2007 Honda Accord. Black, black interior, 5 sp. (Another change here. Michael now has this car in Utah while colleging -my exciting new word)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cookie Placecards

 I've taken to decorating cookies lately. At Christmas I did some fancy trees, girls, etc., and this time it was for a little luncheon/tea that Debbie, Carolyn and I had for Laurie's daughter Jayne who is getting married.
We ate great food, toured Laurie's beautiful refinished apartment in the city and shared stories.
Here, I am just writing about the personalized cookies I crafted for the event.
Some of the cookies were iced with flood consistency royal icing in yellow followed by spokes of blue through the circle. You then drag a toothpick through the colors to marbleize them and then let the icing dry.
Starting out with pale yellow royal icing, I made a couple of styles of round cookies. This icing dries to a hard smooth finish if it starts out the right consistency. I basically copied this cookie from a tutorial I found on a Julia Usher site.
Literally used a rubber stamp from my stash and tapped it onto a paper towel that I had lightly covered with maroon colored gel food coloring. I then diluted some pink and green food coloring and  colored in the design lightly with a brush.

I personalized the cookies and placed bicolored dots of icing around each  after "glueing" a cookie frame to the top of the base cookie.  Then glued the double wide nameplate to the base with more royal icing. Learning all the time here. Next time I'll lessen the glue, and cut out the frame on a silpat so I don't have to move them around or touch them before cooking.
Here is a picture of the two girls flanking Carolyn at the tea. We loved getting to know Maggie and had a wonderful time eating and socializing with the group.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Perfect Lady(s) For The Easter Parade

The little Colorado granddaughters needed Easter dresses from my stash of fabric this year. I have wanted to use some old pink/blue plaid fabric for a new kind of smocking for many years, and have never quite gotten to it, so this was the year. 
But, first I thought I'd grab some fine white cotton and make a fancy lace embellished dress for the little one. I've also had this fabric for several years and it has woven striping and kind of a French entredeux running down the fabric every ½ inch or so. It is really cool fabric.
I also have some Swiss embroidery insertion that I bought about 22 years ago. This was a time for me when I had just learned the basic methods of old fashioned heirloom sewing and I purchased several yards of some of my favorite types of laces and insertions, and I just looked at them once in a while when I was sorting through my sewing notions.
The picture below shows a close up of the dress bodice. Here the lined fabric runs horizontally whereas the rest of the dress fabric runs vertically. The cotton val lace and embroidery were put together without entredeux and I used the point de paris stitch (#1229) to mimic the look of entredeux. This Bernina 830 machine does such a good job and I starched the fabric making it easier to run through . Turned out great.
I sent the dress to CO with a blue satin sash, but I had to actually go to the store and buy it before I felt like the dress was finished. By then I guess I was over the pictures.
Herre from the back of the dress. I lined this with a lightweight cotton and then added a 6 inch gathered pettiskirt chiffon to give it some lift.
The base of the dress is finished with more lace and pre-embroidered insertion. The ⅛ inch blue satin ribbon adds a little more blue for nice effect.
This French val lal lace is pretty easy to sew together. I just slightly gather the top line of the 1 ½ wide lace and then put it next to the ⅝" lace and set my machine on a small zig zag and go. The wearer has to be a little careful when playing in a dress like this, and I always tell their mother to take off dresses like this before feeding little faces. Then you don't have to wash them each time they wear it.
The corkscrew ribbons and some more of the embroidery tape to mimic the dress made a cute little ribbon for her hair.
Now onto the plaid.
Like I said this plaid is needing to be turned into a new kind of smocked dress.
You don't have to pleat the fabric to start with, but rather you use the lines of the fabric to make a geometric design in the bodice. I found this heart pattern and went with it. 
Of course I had to make another hair bow to match this dress too.
The white collar and cuffs are a heavier solid white cotton pique. Now that the dress is gone, I feel like I should've put a little heart embroidered on the collar and cuffs. Maybe I'll add something when I go visit these cute little ones next month.
These little females also have a 1 year old brother. I made him a simple tie out of the plaid and so they should all match for the big Sunday celebration.
Maybe they can even walk (i.e. parade) down the halls at church showing of their finery.
Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chuck Taylor

Apparently Chuck Taylor started wearing All-Stars by Converse in 1917 when he was playing basketball in high school. After working as a shoe salesman thereafter, he suggested adding a round protective patch over the ankle and changing some other aspects of the design for comfort and support. The company hired him to help with the design and that was followed by the addition of his name on that ankle patch.
These shoes are all the rage again for little girls and boys alike, and I ordered some to make my version of "altered shoes" for a couple of the granddaughters.
 The first ones are orange low tops that we just glued some crystals to.
I know that sounds a little simplistic, but it really was a super easy project and my cute little granddaughter who was just short of 6 helped me decide which colors to go with. I let her work with some less expensive sticker crystals while I did this and that worked out well.
I bought some nice Swarovski type crystals at Michaels and then just used E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive to put them onto the plastic toe of the shoe.
I should ask if they are staying tight to find out if it is the right combination of materials. She's been wearing them for a couple months now, so I'll try to find out how it's working out, and report back.

We also added some colorful laces to the shoes in the form of ruffled ¼" ribbon and shoelace plastic end pieces that I purchased from ribbon and bows oh my. They have a crazy assortment of ribbon at this place.

Okay.... onto the next shoe. After I completed the orange shoes I found out I'd ordered too big of sizes for the girls so I've just been dragging my feet on the next project for her big sis. I finally got to them this last week and here's the result.
 Starting with high top "Chuck's" in a bright fuchsia color I hand sewed woolen yarn to these shoes with crazy embroidery stitches.
Using a large and strong needle and metal thimble was key to this project, and I learned as I went. (I always do that, 'cause I always just do one or a few of a project before giving it up for another.)
 These heavy canvas shoes are lined with a lighter weight natural cotton canvas and I pretty much stayed under the lining with my stitches so they don't show through to the inside of the shoe too much. Obviously I have some knots in there that I couldn't avoid showing, but most are actually hidden in other stitching, under seams, or behind the tongue of the shoe.
 I used feather stitch, french knots, stem stitch, and a couple that were new to me.

Some of the stitches I used needed some review as I hadn't done them for several years. I found a lot of great stitch tutorials on this blog here. There are several types of stitches listed on the left side of the blog. The directions were easy and doable making the project easier, and I was happy with the results.

Aren't they SO CUTE!
Hope the girls like them.