Archive for January, 2009

Couture Sewing

January 28, 2009

A while back, before Christmas, I bought Claire Schaeffers book, Couture Sewing Techniques. I’ve read a lot of it, but oh the fun of using those techniques!!!!

I’m making a jumper – that I designed with my new pattern software πŸ™‚ – and am sewing it completely using couture techniques. Which means… by hand. πŸ™‚ I’m completely surprised at how fast it is going!

whole-back.jpgΒ  back-facing.jpgΒ  front-facing.jpg

I’m including pictures of the facings. I cut my own, didn’t really get the hang of making the shoulders the same width, but I’ll for sure remember next time.

Doing facings ‘couture’ is completely different than what they taught us in 4-H! πŸ™‚ They also turn out wonderful and I love it. My nearest sewing friend is 3 hours away, but I was so excited by how my facings were turning out I dragged Mike in here. He tried his best to be happy for me, but didn’t really ‘get it’. “Honey, I don’t even know what a facing is!!!!” he said, apologetically. But he was happy none-the-less, mostly because I was πŸ™‚

I’m also sewing for my American Doll… couture! These are not your childrens doll clothes!


this is her shift, her undergarment for those of you not up on clothing terms of the 1800’s πŸ™‚ Completely sewn by hand, with silk thread, all seams nicely finished. Next… a dress. For her.

This is really a lot of fun. I haven’t been able to find any other couture sewing groups though. I’m sure you’re out there. I’d love to have someone to talk couture with… anyone?

have a happy week and stay warm πŸ™‚ karen

100 Things

January 25, 2009

100 Things

I got this from Cherri’s blog

The rules state:
Below are 100 statements. Bold or change the color of the ones you have done. hmmm… i don’t see anywhere that I can change color of text… so,the things I have done are BOLD.


1. Started your own blog – and here it is!
2. Slept under the stars – a lovely way to sleep!
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford budgeted to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland or Disney World World- Disneyland… a few times
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. – Luckily for you all… NO! πŸ™‚
11. Had stitches – more than I can count.
12. Visited Paris – drove through it, does that count?
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch – quilting, watercolor painting.

15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty back when they still let you.
18. Grown your own vegetables – green beans, carrots, beets, tomatoes.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept in an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitchhiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – many of them.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – right now actually.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful, in Yellowstone Park, erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight – I lived on the California coast, I did this a lot. πŸ™‚
46. Been transported by ambulance – when i had to have my gall bladder out, and once when I had a concussion.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gotten a speeding ticket – yes, but only once.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business – started several.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason/special occasion – yes, from my sweetie husband πŸ™‚Β 
64. Stayed the night in jail.
65. Cried so hard you threw up – yes… don’t care to revisit that.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check – usually not on purpose, but once or twice because we needed food.(long time ago)
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt – oh my… way too many to count.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job – yes, from a copy store. They didn’t think I had the right stuff to ‘copy’.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book – Log Cabin Quilts: A Brand New Story by Karen Murphy
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper – when my book came out.
85. Read the entire Bible – over my lifetime.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had Chicken Pox – when i was a child.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous – published quilters mostly. No movie stars.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby – had 3!
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a lawsuit – I suedΒ  overΒ  getting fired from work, in Germany, when I had that concussion.
98. Owned a cell phone – still do
99. Been stung by a bee – owie!
100. Read an entire book in one day – probably one of of the Left Behind Books, or Jan Karon books

Play Yarn Dash

January 23, 2009

Have you signed up yet? Play Yarn Dash is the newest hide and seek game… for yarn shops/lovers! Brought to you by the creators of Quilt Dash

If you’ve Dashed at Quilt Dash you know how fun it is. Now, it’s time for fun for us knitters, crocheters, yarn lovers of all kinds! Our first Play Yarn Dash begins Feb 15 for 2 weeks. Got a favorite yarn shop? Tell them about it! The Quilt Dash has brought new customers to lots and lots of Quilt Shops… let’s spread the wealth!

I also invite you to put the Play Yarn Dash or Quilt Dash graphics on your blog. (Don’t forget to link them to the appropriate site) πŸ™‚

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Quilt Dash should be linked to


Play Yarn Dash should be linked to

Spread the word! πŸ™‚

Minestrone Soup

January 21, 2009

I love the minestrone soup at Johnny Carino’s… except for the lima beans. (blekky) We ate there the other night and I ordered the soup for dinner. Combined with the yummy bread, it’s a great dinner! My first bowl had ONE lima bean! it was delish πŸ™‚ So, I ordered another bowl. It had over 50 lima beans. Yes I counted! I was scooping them out and putting them on a bread plate. I know it’s not good manners, but I couldn’t get a bite of soup without at least 3 lima beans in my spoon! By dinners end, I had a nice little mountain of lima beans. We considered asking for a partial refund but thought that would be tacky. πŸ™‚

I would love to have a good recipe for Minestrone Soup. Do you have one? Will you share? πŸ™‚

thanks for all your wonderful comments about Lucy πŸ™‚ She’s a funny kitty, as they all are, and seems to be relaxing a bit.

I’d like you to meet Lucy!

January 12, 2009


This is our newest family member. πŸ™‚ We got her from some people on FreeCycle. They said she needed to be in a one pet home, that she wasn’t adapting to the 2 yr old Pomeranian that was in her home. Something about ‘nipping at her heels’…? Well, that would bug me too. But we are the winners, she is an awesome cat! Spayed and declawed all four paws. (I didn’t think they did all four paws anymore?)

She has adapted quite nicely to our home. She’s not a big cuddle bug, but she does like to help me knit πŸ™‚

She can put away the food too…sometimes we call her the pigcat! Isn’t she beautiful?

lucy-2.jpg lucy-1.jpg

Dental Torture :(

January 10, 2009

I had a dentist appt this week, for a temporary crown. To put it lightly, I do not do well at the dentist. I spend the first few days before an appt stressing over the upcoming appt, the day of the appt trying to convince myself I’m too sick to go to the dentist, the time in the chair takes FOREVER and I’m one tense muscle until that’s over, then the next few days I’m recovering from the overly huge adrenalin from all the stress. I also have fibromyalgia (not sure I’ve ever mentioned that here before) so the whole dentist experience takes a toll on my body.

I have found a wonderful dentist here, she’s a woman. And gentle. And understands. She gave me some happy pills (valium) to take the night before and the morning of. When I arrived, she had a special comfy cushion on the chair for me, and a fuzzy, cuddly blanket. She suggested I use Mike’s iPod which really helped. As far as the dental experience goes, it has to be one of the better ones. I was in the chair almost 3 hours.

The appt was on Wed, I didn’t start feeling myself until Thursday night. That’s pretty good for me! πŸ™‚ So, one more appt to go, to get the permanent crown and I’ll be done. I think I can get through this.

But with all that going on, I haven’t felt much like blog writing. :/