Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bob Seger and Me

Today it's Justin Bieber.  When my daughter was about that age, it was Justin Timberlake.  When I was that age, it was Bob Seger.

At that time, I lived in southeast Michigan, and Bob Seger sightings did happen.  I remember one time he was on the Southfield Freeway service drive on his Harley.  That mental photograph still makes my heart race.


I've joked over the years that he wrote You'll Accomp'ny Me just for me.

Of course, I don't believe it myself, and it's not at all true, but one can fantasize.  Especially when, several years ago a particularly annoying co-worker kept carrying on about Bob as if she were his best friend.  I sorta let it drop that we went to the same school and that we may have had a friendship.  Some truth in this - it was very briefly - and while I knew who he was, he hadn't a clue who I was.

The look on her face somehow made me mention that song.  My bad.

So, to this day, whenever I need a pick-me-up or just need to hear to some good old time rock and roll, I'll listen to a Bob Seger CD really loud.  May even dance around some.  And when You'll Accomp'ny Me comes on, I'll repeat it 6 or 7 or 8 times.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Inspiration!

About a year ago, while on one of my grand shopping expeditions, I saw a piece of fabric that made me stop in my tracks.  It was so pretty and the feel in my hand was so soft.  I knew this could be something truly striking.  Maybe a handbag or apron.

Sadly, there wasn't much left on the bolt, but what there was went home with me that day.

Over the past year, I've looked at this piece of fabric many times, not knowing just what to create with it.  The print is retro and lovely - large pink and yellow flowers and shaded green leaves scattered on a light sage background.


Over the past several months, as fabrics around this bolt were chosen and sewn into aprons or handbags, inspiration just never moved me to create something from it.  I still loved the look and feel of it, and admired it often.  Poor, sad little piece of fabric.  Kind of like Cinderella before the fairy godmother episode.

All that changed this morning.

After my usual (huge) mug of coffee...have I mentioned lately how I love coffee...and after watering the plants and a little more wandering about the house thinking of what I might create today, I went into my sewing room and my eyes fell on that piece of fabric and ... inspiration lit up my life!  I can see it in my mind - a beautiful retro apron - the lady wearing it has a pink flower in her hair - her hand brushes the soft fabric as she smiles - it's a beautiful moment!!!


I'll add pictures of the finished apron soon.  In a few minutes I'll be cutting and then sewing.  My machine is at the ready, the ironing board is all set up, and Bob is sleeping under my chair.  All is right in my world and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Guess the fabric had a fairy godmother episode too!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Love Americana? Let's Make a Flag Pillow

Several years ago, when my husband and I used to do craft shows, our style was a soft country primitive, and I find myself leaning toward that warm and comforting style again.  It's the soothing, restful look popularized in Country Sampler magazine rather than the coarser look of folk art.

My stitcheries have always been country primitive, and late last week I started an Americana themed batch - stitcheries were a great way to create quietly as my husband slept while recovering from surgery.

Today I'm going to sew a flag pillow and thought perhaps you'd like to see how it's done and maybe create one for yourself.  This is really a simple and fun little project, and the pillow is perfect for any country primitive decor.  Let me show you.

The finished project will measure about 7" high and 17" long.

All you will need to complete this pillow are dark red and navy blue checked homespun fabric, unbleached muslin, a rotary cutter and mat or scissors, a quilter's ruler or long straightedge, a water soluble pencil, gold embroidery thread, a bag of polyester fiberfill to stuff your pillow. and a sewing machine.


 First, you will want to cut 2" wide strips of the red checked homespun and the muslin into 14" lengths.  To make yours like mine, you'll need 3 - 14" pieces of the red homespun and 2 - 14" pieces of the muslin.


Press the strips well to remove any wrinkles or creases.  Sew a red strip to each side of the muslin strips, right sides together, with a 1/4" seam.  In this photo, I've already sewn one red strip to one side of the first muslin strip, and am sewing a red strip to the top side of the same red strip:


After sewing all the strips together, you will have something that looks like this:


Now, I'll cut the navy blue homespun for the star field - mine is 6" wide by the exact length of the sewn strips:


Pin right sides together and sew with a 1/4" seam.  Press the seam open and you'll have a pillow front that looks like this:


Using your quilter's ruler or straight edge and water soluble marking pencil, draw a primitive star on the blue homespun like this:


I'm using all six strands of DMC color 781 - Very Dark Topaz - to backstitch the star:


At this point, you could also add something on one of the muslin strips, such as God Bless America, I Pledge Allegiance, Sweet Land of Liberty, or some other short phrase of your choice.  Just use simple, primitive lettering and go for it!  Don't worry if your stitches or letters aren't perfect or even - in Country Primitive or Primitive styles they're not supposed to be.

Stitching is done - now just rinse off the water soluble pencil marks, wait for your pillow top to dry and then press well.


Using your flag pillow front as a guide, cut a pillow back the same size from the muslin and press well.






Sew the front to the back, right sides together, with a 1/4" seam.  Leave about a 6" opening on the bottom side so you can turn right side out and stuff.  Turn right side out and press again.


Almost done - just stuff with fiberfill and hand stitch the opening closed.  Place your Americana Flag Pillow on a chair, couch, deacon's bench, or any other favorite location and enjoy your masterpiece!


If you would like to make a taller pillow, when cutting strips just continue to add red homespun and muslin strips till your pillow is as tall as you want it to be.  to make it longer, just cut your strips longer.  Remember to cut your navy blue homespun accordingly.  You can also stuff your pillow more firmly than I did to give it a "rounder" look.  It really is that easy!

Of course, if you want me to create one for you, just let me know.  Message me here, on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GypsyWindDesigns or at TalktotheGypsy@gmail.com and I will be glad to make one for you.

Happy Stitching!


Supply List

Dark Red and Navy Blue Homespun - I used the 1/8" check on tan background
Unbleached Muslin
Rotary Cutter and Mat or Scissors
Quilter's Ruler or long straight edge
Water Soluble Marking Pencil
Gold Embroidery Thread - I used DMC color 781
Polyester Fiberfill - I used Poly-Fil
Sewing Machine and Thread



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

On this first day of the new year, I'm acting on one of my resolutions.

My blogging has been nonexistent for many months...wonder if anyone remembers my (so clever) comments from last year?  No matter - my husband says I talk a lot, therefore surely I can find something to write about.

I usually have awesome ideas when I'm in the middle of cooking something labor intensive, or when awaking from a sound sleep at 3:20 AM, but those ideas are lost after several heartbeats.  There is now a small pad of paper and a pen on my night stand - writing by the Droid light should prove interesting.  My best beloved will have to take notes when I'm cooking.

Today is a "nonworking" day - spent the morning working on a new Facebook cover that will debut tomorrow on Gypsy Wind Designs.  I love it and can't wait to share with you and would love to read your comments.  Then, I created this:





Love the quote - Rosamunde Pilcher, The Shell Seekers - and have always loved shabby chic.

Shabby Chic designs will figure more into Gypsy Wind Designs this year - working on lacy, delicately colored floral, oh-so-feminine handbag and apron designs for when my my poor poor Janome comes back home.

Have a wonderful day my friends and, if you feel so inclined, tell me what you think of  my Shabby Chic ideas.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chocolate!

Somedays I am just hungry for chocolate.  Chocolate something...anything...I'm craving the food of the gods today.

Maybe Godiva truffles...
Or maybe a REALLY LOT of Ghirardelli ...
Since it's still morning, maybe chocolate chip pancakes or waffles would be a good place to start.  But then again, that doesn't seem to be quite what I'm wanting.  But who turns down chocolate chip pancakes?  Except maybe for chocolate filled crepes.  Hmmmm.

Is it too early for mousse?  I think not.  Probably never too early for mousse topped with whipped cream.  No one is counting calories on a Chocolate Day.  Besides how many calories could there possibly be in something so light and frothy?  Maybe only 5 or 10 - it's the whipped cream that will be on my hips tomorrow.

My lovely daughter gave me a this cookbook for my birthday - best present ever:

My darling daughter knows me well!

What an awesome book this is - chock full of only chocolate recipes.  No such thing as chocolate overload at my house!  I've made the chocolate buttermilk tea bread - chocolate + coffee = 2 of my favorite things - and the chocolate muffins - so rich and decadent - and several other recipes that were sinfully delightful.

And, it's still early.  I've got time to make the chocolate silk pie for dessert this evening.  Oh happy day!!!

By tonight I'll be sitting in the rocking chair, stitchery in hand, in a euphoric state of chocolate bliss.

Thank you, Lord, for this day and for chocolate!