Saturday, February 25, 2017

Running on the beach

I heard today that the rescue organization where we got Miss Daisy has just gone and picked up 250 dogs from a puppy mill that was busted in Jacksonville. I heard too that those dogs are right now pretty low and scared. If I wasn't in an RV I would be over there right now and getting another one.

So I was thinking today about Daisy when we got her. Never been out of a cage, all flat and closed into herself.

Well today here she was at the beach. May those other dogs get a chance.


Here's to second chances everywhere https://youtu.be/oWwLaRANW9s





Thursday, February 23, 2017

We have to talk

Listen blog readers I have not forgotten you. 

Thing is I have this book writing thing going on and have a deadline. I am not sure if anyone will read it but I sure am putting my heart into it. So many sewing thoughts of a lifetime. I don't want to wake up in a few months and think I haven't told you something I need to. 

So bear with me. Lot of production going on in the RV.

So until my sewing goes public again are we fine with flypaper thought? Let me know. Here we go:


  • Time off for golf lessons
  • Pro is an elderly Irishman who might have had the odd cocktail or two
  • Slouches in the cart and just nails what I am doing wrong
  • No reaction when I say to him "this is just like life isn't it?"
  • Makes sense to me
  • Tells me to stand tall and just trust the swing
  • Of course this is like life
  • But maybe he has heard this one a lot
  • Jalie patterns are the bomb
  • Everyone new one has been turning out for me lately
  • If my husband keeps feeding me like this I am going to have to expand the fitting chapter
  • I think the three step zig zag is the most neglected stitch on the machine
  • Keeps that long zig zag thread from catching
  • It is making me unbelievably happy to have nothing to do but write and sew
  • Why did I ever think anything else is important?
  • Next weekend are going to the other coast to see the kids and grandkids and the other grandparents
  • Really looking forward to it
  • Promised the girls they could sleepover in the RV one night
  • Decided next winter we are going to drive across the country to San Francisco
  • No kid is going to get away that easy
  • Taken the southern route I think
  • Saw a pink flamingo in flight today
  • My niece is still digging out the driveway at home
  • I doubt if I will ever sew any zipper again except an invisible one
  • Why would you?
  • You can restitch and restitch them until you get it right
  • And none of that shows on the right side
  • Try that with a lapped zipper
  • I walk down to the inland waterway at night just to hear the fish flip out of the water
  • Miss Daisy listens for them too
  • Got to write tomorrow and then practice golf
  • Want to show I've got the life part down 
  • So we can move on to the slice
  • That's part of life too

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My halftime flypaper thoughts


  • OK I am not watching football but am aware it's on
  • Daisy is fast asleep too
  • Sewing on the road working well
  • Iron outside, cut on a cardboard mat on the bed, and machines on the table
  • Works if you keep your elbows tight
  • Times are changing
  • Nylon stockings are out whatever the temperature and leg veins
  • Eyebrows are in, coloured eye shadow is out
  • As far as I am concerned tailor tacks never go out of style
  • Saw an ad for a food preservation system that means you can eat food you made 35 years ago
  • Think about that
  • Who was a better cook 35 years ago?
  • Let's add water and rehydrate tuna casserole made with a can of mushroom soup mix with crumbled potato chips on top
  • You can tell a lot about a man by the look on his wife's face
  • Been to enough office Christmas parties to have figured that out
  • Riding my bike on the beach in the mornings
  • Watch the pelicans glide like masters of the universe
  • Pre-historic faces and all that grace
  • Consider that peacocks don't fly
  • Hope girls in high school are holding that thought
  • Not much is nicer than a row of perfect buttonholes
  • Any body figured out why it takes a dog 20 minutes to find the exact right place to pee
  • I wish I could play the clarinet
  • Ended piano when the teacher said come back when you have rhythm 
  • Good news Mom I said
  • I don't ever have to go back
  • But really
  • The clarinet is the musical equivalent of a shawl collar wool velour coat
  • You know what I mean?
  • Any one want to split a Key Lime pie with me?
  • Not many of those in Nova Scotia
  • Pies or splitters
  • My turn for dishes
  • Catch you later

Monday, January 30, 2017

Full disclosure

We are still in transit to St. Augustine and will be there day after tomorrow. Since we last spoke I have been sewing my brains out at various state parks (shout out to the amazing state and national parks service and rangers for many reasons) and I sometimes run into times where I am so busy sewing I don't seem tear myself away from the machine to blog about it.

Hope you understand.

Plus I am sewing a lot of samples to deadline for my book and am pretty sure I am not supposed to be blogging about those garments in the meantime. My intention is that when I have enough made so I can get through the night without waking up at 3:00 thinking about my to-do list I can then start sewing more things to share.

Just think when the book is finally out you will be among those who will look at the pictures and know there was a good chance they were put together in an RV or on a picnic table in some state park.

In the meantime, until I am back on track and my out basket looks bigger than my in basket, I want to share some sewing thoughts:

  • Jalie's dropped pocket cardigan is a wonderful pattern. Made two, will make more. Not a cardigan so much as something you can wear over a T shirt to disguise the extra body parts and also sort of pockets with sleeves. Excellent for dog walkers, who carry a few poop purses.
  • Louise Cutting's instructions are terrific. Every new sewer should sew at least one for the insights. Bear in mind though that her shapes are over-sized and sort of boxy and choose sizes accordingly. I mean who would have thought I would be an  X small. But really great, great instructions.
  • To sew in an RV one of those cardboard cutting maps is essential. You can put it on the bed or a picnic table. Hanging toiletry bags with compartments are good too for notions, mine dangles from the hooks for the ladder to the over the bulkhead bunk.
  • A husband who cooks and cleans is also handy.
  • Dogs have no idea why we are doing any of this or why we just didn't stay in the nice yard back home.
  • My serger has given up the ghost on my. 20 years and innumerable services later I can't complain.
  • OK I did.
  • Already on the phone trying to get one lined up for when I arrive in Florida.
  • I love American grocery stores. I haven't exactly come from the Gulag but really there is so much stuff. We walk the aisles and marvel.
  • People leave interesting books in campground laundry rooms. Finished the one I picked up in Tennessee and leaving for the next reader here in South Carolina.
  • A small black dog in a dark state park at night is a challenge. We had to get one of those light things for her harness.
  • No idea if she was peeing or not
  • The man next site is a musician from New York
  • The lady working the next dryer is from the woods of Maine
  • Her kids have sent them south this winter.
  • Last winter there was so much snow she had to snowshoe across the lake to get coffee and the kids said enough
  • Stayed put one night on a mountain because my husband had a feeling
  • Turns out the place we were headed to was evacuated because of a tornado
  • Us we stayed alone on the mountain until some lost hikers saw our light
  • Husband took them down to the ranger
  • Two RVs of families home schooling on the road
  • RVs are not that big for a family of 6
  • Those are some tough mothers
  • Off to bed now so more later
  • Pictures should be next


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Flypaper thoughts somewhere in Virginia version


  • Stopped for the night and tomorrow will keep heading south
  • The right direction to go for a Nova Scotian in January
  • Had a magical visit with the son and daughter-in-law in NYC
  • Poignant because this is probably the last one before they move to San Francisco
  • Which will also be good
  • But snow falling as you walk in New York streets, past the doormen
  • Past the older people out and about 
  • Who in any other city would be holed up at home because you need a car 
  • Past small bright bars and dogs in coats
  • Past facades that are just the way they were 50 years ago
  • New York is its own time capsule
  • And for a while it has been mine
  • Now on to the next thing
  • With kids, of any age, it there is always a next thing
  • Even if the last thing is perfect
  • But we all need next things 
  • And some times we even know it
  • Have passed the time on the drive plotting my sewing
  • Tell me
  • What's with all jackets right now being presented as unlined?
  •  As if that was a good thing
  • Truth is linings cover a lot
  • And keep you from feeling you should do fancy seam finishes which take about 47 hours
  • And such a pain to draft your own lining pattern
  • Which just goes to show these patterns are no time savers
  • Do you think if I attempted a knit moto jacket, lengthened I could do it without losing my mind?
  • We will see
  • I have decided it is easier to sew more jackets than it is to lose weight
  • I want some Indie designer to hire me to help with the instructions
  • Just ran across a poor new sewer posting she was having trouble with step 117
  • Listen there is research on this
  • The mind can only hold onto 5, maybe 7 points, max.
  • You need to stop and give headings
  • Things like telling folks what they are actually doing and why they are doing it 
  • And when they are done you write "You have now completed the body of the dress and just need to put in the sleeves"
  • Or words to that effect
  • So they can breath out
  • 117 steps
  • That's just not fair
  • Is there any thing more annoying than that voice on the GPS
  • Unlike perhaps it is your own voice saying that GPS is annoying
  • When you are not the person personally stopping traffic in Manhattan 
  • With a large RV with a car attached behind it
  • Not to worry
  • That nice lady from New Jersey just went around us and drove up on along the sidewalk
  • After she had a talk with us
  • Didn't know you could drive there
  • We don't do that at home
  • Tomorrow we are getting a new GPS that tells you what roads, bridges and tunnels you are allowed to drive an RV on
  • Seems like a good idea
  • Also tomorrow
  • Driving far enough south so the water lines are not at risk of freezing
  • And I get my running water back
  • Also a good idea
  • We wait all year for these trips
  • It's our big excitement
  • Now off the bed with a small mad black dog
  • Real grass tomorrow Daisy
  • Real grass

Monday, January 9, 2017

About to go on the road again

A few pictures for your amusement.

On Wednesday morning we are pulling out for three months in the US mostly the south and Florida. Heard too on Friday that the middle son, who now lives with his wife in New York, has been transferred to San Francisco as part of a promotion.

So this will be the last trip to stay in New York for a while, and I will be adjusting my head to the West Coast. I might be there in early summer this year and definitely our winter trip next year will be towards that destination. This child has always introduced adventure into my life.

In case you are wondering why we go to so much trouble to go south every year, involving often elaborate working remote arrangements, this is the view from my front door right now to the RV, which I have to pack this afternoon:


For me this has become the only real way to travel. Think of it as sort of a mobile sewing room- I am taking a huge machine, a serger and all my tools and ironing equipment. The samples for my book might even get made on picnic tables around the continent. Bet not every author can say that.

I am sad of course to leave family here for a few months, my grandchildren who wink at me, my spectacular daughter and also this guy, my youngest, whose job has always been to keep me up at night.

Here is he last week, 300 feet in the air, on a windmill - he works in training and business development for a company based here. I mean my nerves, he sends me this stuff to freak me out:


So later folks, from the road.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Love hate relationships

I have a question for you.

What do you love to sew and what do you hate to sew?

Even the most obsessive sewers among us have these feelings.

I know I do.

For instance I love to sew knits and outwear. I sew pants because I can, but I hate, hate any kind of home decor sewing. I just lose sight of where the edges are on those massive yardages. Sleeves I can recognize.

I have also decided bra-making leaves me cold.I can buy in 5 minutes something that fits me just fine for the same price it would take me to make one. And those pieces are awfully small and fussy. Case closed.

I think that the www makes the question of what you really love to sew and don't even more pertinent.

It is so easy to see pictures of things other, some seemingly continuously productive, sewers churn out and think, gee I should make that.

I have learned to be alert to the moments when "should" crosses my mind. Life provides me with enough shoulds already.

More and more, and this might in fact be my sewing resolution, I want to sew only the things that I am just dying to make.

No shoulds.

No have tos.

No working my way through a to-do list.

Now over to you, what do you really enjoy sewing and where is your own personal line for feeling you have crossed into sewing drudgery territory?