Recycled Men’s Long Sleeve Dress Shirt

Six to seven years ago my son needed a shirt and I came home from work with the first thing I could get my hands on.  Ok it’s not a color he appreciated but the tie is nice Obviously he didn’t want to hurt my feelings and admit that he disliked the color or quality so, he placed it on a shelf. 

This morning I found the boxed set buried in some items in his closet.  Mind you , he moved three years ago; shirtless.  

Well…. Mama recycled it.  

Fabric Sample/Stash Tags

One of the smartest things that I have done since I began my sewing journey was to create sample tags.  The cards were created in Microsoft Word. Using a single hole punch and an o-ring, I catalog fabric listing:

  • Manufacturer
  • SKU
  • Price
  • Content
  • Width

Now when I need to order more, I know exactly where I bought the fabric and the price. This also allows me to simply remove the card containing the sample and bring it to the fabric warehouse when coordinating with other fabric.

If you want my template simply email me below. 

DIY Dog Grooming

Today, I am not going to discuss sewing but share some helpful DIY dog grooming information with my fellow dog owner friends. In February I called several dog groomers that were recommended to me.   Each one told me that they were booked until the end of April.  Well, it’s mid April and my 9 month old Yorkshire Terrier is growing and looking more like Steven Tyler every day.  Needless to say, that grooming him is a daily chore because they have hair not fur. I don’t like doing my hair let alone comb and brush a dog twice a day.

This week I scoured the web for YouTube videos to educate myself for on the proper grooming techniques for his breed and found this one to be the most resourceful of all of the videos because she uses the “Good Boy” technique that many of us learned in dog training to communicate with the dog letting them know that their actions are good.  She also demonstrates detail how to trim the feet face and ears.  Take time to scour YouTube to find grooming techniques and the type of cut based on your breed.

I prefer clippers and didn’t know what is best.  I have not used clippers since my son went to grade school so again, I read every article that I could find and looked at more videos on Youtube.  I found that many professionals recommend ceramic blades versus a stainless steel blade because it cuts more precise and works well with fur and hair.  In addition, many claim Yorkie hair does not clog the blade.  Many groomers state that ceramic works well for wire hair dogs so for all of my Schnauzer friends, this is for you.  OK… now which one?  Oster or Wahl?  We all know that they are the best.  Once I narrowed it down, I found that I would need to purchase additional combs once I put out $120 or more and because this is my first time, I opted to spend less, and select one that had no negative feedback from other customers.   I went with an Ardis.  Why Ardis you say?  Well, I didn’t want to drop $170 for a dog trimmer.  Can you use your own trimmer or your husbands?  Yes, but if my husband had hair, he will not use the trimmer again after the dog.  That’s just him.

The Andis, that I decided on came with several combs, a #10 ceramic blade, scissors, blade oil and a zipper case.  In addition, the Amazon verified buyers (legit purchases and not paid for opinion type of customers) said something that caught my attention.  You don’t want a trimmer that runs hot.  That’s why one purchased it and the advise of others tha you want one with low vibration.  I never thought about that. Imagine that hot metal on your dogs coat?  In addition, you want a low hum trimmer that’s not going to make your neurotic dog even crazier.  Amazon sold the Ardis at the lowest price so I purchased it from them.

I read professional dog  groomers advice that it’s best to touch the dog by stroking his coat an hour before grooming so that he’s comfortable with your touch.  Well, I took it to a whole ‘nother level.  I spent Friday evening bathing and petting him.  I opted to let him air dry because blowing my Yorkie’s hair tends to dull it and it loses it’s natural sheen.  So I let him run around the family room with his Kong prior coming and brushing his damp hair.  Once he was settled, I continued reading articles.  I remember seeing a groomer use various combs for grooming and didn’t want to cut him too close.  This article, explains what blade and comb to use based on breed.

Lucky for me, all of the proper combs come with my kit.  Saturday morning, I got up, played with my boy and ran my hands through his hair.  No problem.  I know how much he dislikes the vacuum cleaner so I decided to put him on a folding table, and run the trimmer against his coat to see how he reacts.  Not to trim him but simply to acquaint him with the vibration. He was cool with it and here are the results.

Before – Charlie Parker, 9 month old Yorkshire Terrier (never shaved)


After – What a difference a trimmer makes!

Parker Cut - After


Skylar – Grandpa’s Greatest Blessing

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was making a crib quilt for my childhood friend’s first grandchild Skylar.

I started with one idea when I began assembling the exterior. The weather has become unbearably cold so I decided that it would be best that I invest in an open toe embroidery foot and  heavier bunting for warmth to free motion sew the front to a solid white backing. This ensures that she is warm.

What better way to say Happy Valentine’s Day than present his little princess with a pink crib quilt ?

#childhoodfriends #stevecunningham


Forecasters say that there are severe vibrating sounds coming from my sewing room, that will increase in speed between the hours of noon and 7pm. Fabric debris, and thread will be in effect. Stay out of the area. I repeat, stay out of the area. 

Husband should remain calm and wrap up on the sofa with the remote. Tracy’s chill factor will be at an all time high and low visibility of seeing anything except the back of her head and emitting small giggles until she turns the power off and resumes to high attitude conditions.  

Stay tuned for the 6 o’clock news!

Pullover Poncho

A month ago I posted an article on that after nearly  25 years, I picked up my crochet needle again. 

Well my pullover poncho and headband are complete.  It’s superheavy (6.5 – 7 lbs) so I know that it will keep me warm.  As I was crocheting the flower for the shoulder last night, I decided to make an ear warmer to match. 

….Then went on to create a second to match the snud that I made on my knitting loom last week (see previous post)


The Knitting Board All in One 18″ Loom

During the Holidays, my adult daughter and I were shopping and came upon a display of round looms.  I indicated that I would like to try one.  She insisted that I put it back and it was “cheap” LOL

Christmas arrived and she surprised my with a sturdy ADJUSTABLE 18 knitting loom by #knittingboard.  The next day, I dragged her to Michael’s for yarn so that I could try it. Below is my first snud and hat.   

Would I use it again?:  I definitely will use this often this season.  An infinity scarf is on the horizon. 

Difficulty:  Its not difficult.  Looming requires patience.  I suggest that new users watch YouTube videos prior to taking it seriously.  Don’t feel bad about “do overs” for the first two rows before you get the swing of it. 

Pictured: 18″ Knitting Board All in One Knitting Loom made in one weekend.