I’d Rather be Sewing

You know that feeling you get when you’ve just had a fender bender or have made some irreversible error resulting in damage to something you treasure?   A feeling that continuously says “you idiot”.  For the past few days this feeling has been all too familiar.  In the scope of bad things that happen in life, ruining a table-top is a pretty small thing however it still made me feel awful.

So what happened?  I was clean ing the windows, using ammonia.  Without thinking I set the ammonia bottle on our oak dining room table. Unknown to me, some ammonia had spilled on the outside of the bottle.   I got distracted and came back 15 minutes later to see that the ammonia had eaten through the varnish and it made a dark brown ring on the raw wood.  Ugh!  Below is a photo after I had been sanding for a while.

Saturday, which was to be dedicated to sewing was instead spent sanding, bleaching the ring with oxalic acid and sanding some more.  The next day I stained, then varnished, etc.  The color is close but not a permanent solution.  Some day soon I’ll need to strip, stain and varnish the entire table top.  How many garments could I sew during that time?

The lesson in this is obvious, but what a hard way to learn.

Graduation Dress(es)

Parents have so many opportunities to be proud.  Several weeks ago we had one of those occasions when Angela graduated with a master’s degree in nursing.  Kudo’s to you, Angela.

Of course, for graduation, a new dress was in order.  If not for the graduate, at least for the daughters of the grad.

Angela’s graduation and our trip to see her family was only a week after we returned from our Central America trip.  Being away for several months, I hadn’t sewed any clothing for Mira or Caitlin and I just couldn’t show up empty-handed.  That just doesn’t happen. Imagining that graduation would be a sunny May day, I unearthed Simplicity 3943 and sewed a sun dress for each granddaughter.  Instead it was 49 degrees, windy and rainy but that didn’t stop the girls from enjoying their new dresses.

In position


As usual, I put the finishing touches on the dress after we arrived at their house – in part because of time constraints (shouldn’t really have this as an excuse now that I’m retired), for fit and so the girls could help if they desired.  Catie was thrilled to have the opportunity to help sew on the straps and roses on her dress and on Mira’s. Then she was so excited to wear the dress that she tried it on about six times but each time she wouldn’t allow her mother to see her.  She decided to make her dress a “surprise” for the graduation luncheon and program. I am sure this is a day she will always remember, which is probably just how her mother wants it!


The Streets of Cartagena

Yes, our trip has come to an end and based on the number of recent posts, you may think this blog has also ended.  The latter isn’t true.  In fact I have lots of incomplete blog posts which I will still put up while transitioning this back to its primary focus as a sewing blog.

We spent the last week of our trip in Cartagena, Columbia.  The immediate response of many is a reference to “Romancing the Stone”, but for history buffs, the city was the center of activity during the Spanish era in Latin America.  Although this is a large urban city, the traveler’s haven is in the beautifully restored Center or Old CIty, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  We stayed immediately outside of the city walls in Getsemani, which is the old slave quarter.

The best way to experience Cartagena is to walk the streets to people-watch, to enjoy the variety of street food and to appreciate the architecture of times past. The following are a few photos of the typical doors, windows and bougainvillea lined streets of the Old City.

Thank you for traveling with us.