Thursday, September 15, 2011

~Temporary Hiatus~

If you are stopping by my blog for the first time or have been following my blog, you will notice that there hasn't been much going on here.

I'm in the process of remodeling this blog, which will now concentrate on the items I create, sewing tutorials and tips and also what I have for sale in my online store.  I hope to have this blog up and running in the next month or so.  Stay tuned for the new Dawggone Cute Creations!!

If you are wanting to follow my posts about life, family, traveling, etc, please go to my new blog:
Down Our Country Road.

Hope to see you soon~

Friday, August 26, 2011

~I'm Moving!~

Yep, I'm moving.  Packing my bags and heading for the hills.

Well, not actually heading for the hills.  And it's not actually me that's least not me as in the person, but me as in the blog!!!  With a whole new wardrobe and everything!   I'm keeping this blog but it will only be used to blog and post about the things in my online store, Dawggone Cute Creations.  Side note:  If you are interested in purchasing any of my items, you can go to my Etsy shop (by the same name).

Now back to the program.....  I've got most of the tweaks tuned on my new blog and still have a few more things I want to do, but I think that creating and maintaining a blog is always a work in progress, isn't it??
I guess you've been biting your nails wanting to know about this new blog, huh?  I know, it affects me that way, too.  Well, take a look....

This is my new blog!  What do you think??  The name, Down Our Country Road, was taken from the name of my B&B...Country Road.  In case you are, we no longer have the bed and breakfast, and, yes, we do live down a country road!  Name kinda fits, doesn't it? :)

The new blog will pretty much be the same.  Talking about cooking, decorating, sewing, etc.  So, other than a new wardrobe and a few extra accessories, it will not be much different.

I so appreciate those who have been following my new blog so far.  I do hope you'll continue to follow me on my new site.  I'm so enjoying this blogging thing!  Now that I've got most of the kinks worked out, I hope to be posting and sharing on a more regular basis.  I invite you to come check out my new blog and sign up as a follower there.  And I'd love for you to tell your friends and family about my site, too.  The more the merrier, right?  To make it easy for you, you can access it from here.....I know, I know, it was the least I could do.  Hehe.  Okay, click here....Down Our Country Road and I hope to see you there!

Love ya!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

~Undergoing Remodeling~

If you've been on this site lately, you may have noticed some funky things going on, maybe some things changing or maybe some things no longer there.  Well, that's cuz I'm in the process of doing some remodeling!

When I first started this blog, it was more like "let's see how I'm gonna like this blogging" than anything else.  If it wasn't what I imagined or not really up my alley, which I didn't think would be a possibility since blogging is like talking thru typing and, Lord knows, I do talk alot!!!  Hehehe....
.....then I would just change this site to feature the items I create and sell in my online store, Dawggone Cute Creations, and not blog at all.  Easy peasy, huh?

  Well, as it turns out, I LOVE doing this blogging thing!  Woohoo!!!  So, I have decided to create an entirely new blog with a name that fits the life that I live and the things that I love.  That's what I've been doing these last several weeks...the reason for my posts being somewhat infrequent.

This week I'll be moving my current blog posts over to my new site.  Since I've never done it before, I don't know what it will look like here.  I'm just giving you a heads up.  I didn't want you to freak out and think I've made a mess of things and left the country!!

Once the dust settles and my new home is ready for the big reveal, I'll let you know.  Just a few more days so be ready, okay?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


That's me.  In 1971.  My senior picture...40 years ago.  Mercy!!  This weekend, the class that I would have graduated with, is having a reunion.  I had to move to another large city in the middle of my junior year and graduated from there.  Something about going back and looking for old friends that I grew up with and new friends that I found during my high school years, friends whom I lost contact with, friends whom I haven't seen or heard from in those 40 years and wondering which friends are no longer with all draws me back.  I look forward to seeing them again

I met my classmates when I moved into the school district of William H. Harrison Elementary in the third grade in the large town of Oklahoma City.  Talk about classroom sizes...37 students in my class!!  For the life of me, I can't remember if there was another third grade class or not.  I'm sure there were, as I have it in my mind that there were two classes for each grade, K-6

My fourth-grade class consisted of another large class of students.  I remember being in an annex building that consisted of four classrooms.  During this year, our room faced out towards the basketball court not far from the entrance into the main building.  It was the only time I was in an annex room.
Each year it was always the same.  We pretty much knew who to expect in our two classes with an occasional surprise of someone having moved away or a new student moving in.  It was during my fifth grade year that President Kennedy was assassinated.  It was announced to us during class.  Even as a child, I remember feeling that this was definitely a sad time for our country.

In the sixth grade, our little family became closer, making and breaking friendships, going through childhood crushes and growing up.  This would be the last year that we would all be together in the same building.  Our seventh grade year would be spent in the extremely large high school with several thousand students where some friendships remained, some broken and some new ones were made.

This is me in my junior year when we moved to the big city of Tulsa. This is how my friends remembered me when I moved away. I remember I was the only junior who had a senior OKC, we were allowed to have them as juniors. :)   A lot of students thought that was pretty cool.  Being a new student in a large school wasn't easy.  I didn't have the ties with the students there and it just didn't feel the same.  But I made some friends...why wouldn't I in a school of several thousand??  And, I managed to enjoy my time there and made it through graduation.

So, here I am again as a senior.  Thankfully, I didn't wear the real beehive hairstyles that were popular during my school years!!  But they are coming back in a way, aren't they?  Maybe I should start wearing my hair like this again.  Had to sit there and park for a bit about the hair...hehe.

My class here in Tulsa had 429 students who graduated...not quite as large as the graduating class of students at John Marshall High School..  But my OKC school was always home to me.  My heart will always bring me back to where I grew up with my childhood friends   I just found out yesterday that my grade school closed its doors.  The high school that felt so large and intimidating when I first entered its doors is no longer open.  A very bittersweet thought knowing that we can never go back, walk down the halls and say "you remember when....?"  Sometimes, I have dreams about being in certain classrooms or down certain halls in that high school...strange, huh?  But there's something even stronger about the ties that we had with our childhood friends.  Was it because we were growing up together, still in the stages of innocence, in our cozy little school building where everything was the same year after year?  Maybe so.  I look forward to the activities of this weekend hoping that I recognize the faces of the people I see, sharing pictures, sharing memories, renewing friendships.  And then there's the thought...will they remember me? I plan to take lots of pictures and, I'm sure I'll have a story or two to share with you!

Have a great weekend ~

Monday, August 1, 2011

~One Very Happy Little Monkey~

This is sweet little four-year-old granddaughter who lives far, far away from us.  Actually, she lives in Omaha, but it is still far enough away that allows us to see her only a few times a year.  I asked her mama to take pictures for me when she got the skirt she wanted me to make for her.  The other two were bonuses...just because.

This is the first skirt she pulls out...the teal bandana skirt that "she needed for summer".  She is always so appreciative of the gifts she gets and so the expression on her face tells me all I need to know.

And from this really big smile, I think she likes it!

Of course, the first and most important thing is to check out the twirl factor.

Next is the striped skirt where I made a circular type pattern instead of the points and added the purple trim.

I think she's really liking the twirl factor quality, don't you?

And the last skirt is the bandana type fabric with the added eyelet trim.  This is my favorite and I can see her wearing cowboy boots with this one!  I imagine that she was getting quite dizzy from all that twirling and probably figured that this one twirled just as well as the other two.

Mama said she put one on and wore it for the rest of the day!  I think she likes them, don't you?

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

~Tutorial - A Child's Bandana Skirt ~

Several weeks ago, my daughter-in-law sent me an email and a bandana skirt tutorial asking if I could make one for Monkey.   Well, this looked absolutely adorable and fairly easy and so I said, if she sent me the bandanas, I would make it.

Shortly afterwards, I get an envelope with two large bandanas and this letter.  Monkey is only 4 years old so her mama wrote the letter for her.  This is what it says:

Dear Mammer,
Here are the "bananadanas" I picked out for my new skirt.  I picked out the teal because "I need a teal skirt for summer."
"If you like my skirt we can buy more for you to make more skirts."
"Mammer, thank you for making my skirt."

Now, how can Mammer (that's me) resist such a sweet request?  Let's get to work!

First of all, the list of materials is very short:
*Two large bandanas (approximately 22 inches square)
*Elastic (I used 1-1/4" wide)
*Ribbing (the original tutorial called for t-shirt fabric but I opted for a pretty rib knit fabric) 

Note:  This tutorial is going to be rather lengthy as I am want to make sure that beginning seamstresses know what to do.

Working with one bandana at a time, fold it in half, then in half again creating a square.  Make sure that your folds and seams are even...very important!  We are going to cut off the point of the fabric to create an opening for the waist.  Lay your fabric on your cutting mat.  Line up the left and right points of your diamond shape so that they are on the same line.  As you can see here, I didn't. :/ I lined up my top and bottom points and didn't pay attention to the other points.  You'll see what happens in a minute!  Anyway....using a large ruler, measure down two and a half inches and cut off your point.  If you don't have a rotary cutter, pin your fabric together, measure, draw a cutting line and then cut with your scissors.

Open up your folded fabric and now you will see a hole in your bandana!!  Place your ruler on one point and line it up making sure you have a straight line (you can probably use the fold in your fabric as a guide).  Cut along the ruler line using your rotary cutter.

Now here's the tricky part....we are going to create "open" pleats and the question you want the pleats to open on the inside or the outside of your skirt?
If you want your pleats to open on the outside, you will work on the right side of your bandana.

If you want the pleats to open on the inside, you will work on the wrong side of your fabric.

I chose to make my pleats on the outside of my skirt as I thought it would make it more flouncy.  Now, I hope I can explain this clearly.  To create a pleat, make a fold along one of your points.  Pull up the fabric and kinda swing it around so that the cut line across the top is even.

Your folded pleat should look like the above picture.  Depending on the waist measurement of your child, you may need to play with the depth of your pleats.  But we'll talk more about that in just a bit.  Pin your pleat in place.  You know your pleat is straight if the inside and outside edges of your pleat are even. Continue working across your fabric piece creating pleats in each point.  I'm right-handed and I like to work left to right.  It's okay to do it right to left if you long as you do it the same way on both pieces!  

If you want the pleats to open on the outside, this is what it will look like on the right side of your fabric piece.

If you want the pleats to open on the inside, this is what it will look like on the right side of your fabric piece.

 Hi Banjo!  He's probably wondering what in the world I am doing.  I'm only 5' 2" tall and I'm standing on a little footstool to take better pictures on my cutting table!!

Sew your two sections, right sides together, with a narrow hem.  Don't forget to use your Fray Check since we're not making a hem.

This is what happens when you don't line your fabric up properly before cutting off the point!  If you have an uneven hem such as this, make sure that you have the hemmed edges matching.  When you create your pleat, this uneven area will be covered up and caught up in the hem of your ribbing.

Create your last two pleats and pin them in place.  Your skirt should look like this now.   You may or may not need to make some adjustments at this point.  Measure the waist area of the skirt.  I wanted my skirt to be about six inches wider than Monkey's actual waist size so that she could get it over her her little bottom.

 At first, I made my pleats about 3/4 inches deep but that made the skirt too large.  So I then made them about an inch deep and that was just enough to give me the six extra inches I needed.    Hopefully, you won't have to make too many adjustments to get what you need. :)  Once you are satisfied with how it is looking, sew a narrow basting stitch around the waist to secure your pleats.  You can now remove the pins at the waist.

This is my rib knit fabric and elastic for the waistband.  Remember, the waist of my skirt is about 28 inches and so I cut a piece 28" in length.  We are going to fold the ribbing over in half to encase the elastic.  We now need to measure how wide to cut your ribbing.  My elastic is 1-1/4 inches wide and my hem is going to be 1/2 inch.  That is 1-3/4 inches, double it and add just a bit extra for a bit more room, which makes an overall width of 4 inches.
This is a such a very simple method of encasing your elastic and attaching it to your skirt....I love it!   First of all, you need to get your elastic ready.  Cut your elastic an inch shorter than the width of your child's waist.  Overlap the ends by about one-half inch and sew all the way around that little rectangular area.  I like to use a zigzag stitch.  You are going to lay your elastic circle inside your ribbing circle on the top half.  Bring the other half up and pin the edges together.  Work your way around, pinning every couple of inches and sliding the ribbing over as necessary.  Okay, we're ready to attach to the skirt!

Pin your waistband to the right side of the skirt.  If you have to gather the waistband or skirt OR stretch the ribbing just a bit as you pin, that's okay because it's going to gather anyway.  Note:  Be careful not to catch your elastic as you sew!  I used a regular stitch first and then finished the edges on my serger so that it would have a clean look.

I ironed my pleats to give them a nice crisp pleat but it's not necessary.  Our skirt is done!  Isn't it adorable?  I had so much fun making it that I decided to make a couple more but used regular fabric instead of the bandanas.  I bought about 3/4 yard of each fabric I wanted and made two 22-inch squares out of each.

I fell in love with this pink and purple striped fabric.  I decided to round off the tips of the skirt to see how it would look.  I didn't want to have to hem it so I made my own binding using a purple floral print fabric.  Once it was all finished, I decided I didn't like it as well.  Next time, I may make a circle and do a poodle-like skirt.  That would be cute, too!

This one is a bandana type fabric and I had to add the eyelet for a more western look.  I was attaching the eyelet to the hem edge when my one of the threads broke and kept breaking (lower loop for you serger people out there) no matter what I tried to do.  I spent about four or five hours trying to fix this problem. and, oh my gosh, if I was prone to #%&*#$@#, I would have been doing some &#^@%@%#*!# but since I'm not one to !%^*@@*&!%#... I didn't!  I finally gave up and finished the edge with my regular machine.  It still turned out to be my favorite!!

So, here are my finished skirts!  What do you think? They went in the mail yesterday.   I hope she likes them.   If you decide that this is more work than you want to do, let me know.  I may add these cute little skirts to my line of products.  I'm thinking about calling them "Fandango" skirts.  The name popped just popped in my head!

Hope you're having a nice, cool day ~