Category: Year of Completion

Perhaps this has happened to you.

Your mom gives you some clothes and tells you to use them or give them away or whatever you want.

In the pile are a pair of Bill Blass peach colored jeans. And while they are tight around the waist, they are loose in the legs. I am not sure if this how all Bill Blass clothes fit.

There is a part of me thinking there is no way I am going to wear these pants while another part is thinking this color is really in style and I need a new skirt or two.

So I make plans to convert it from pants to a skirt which will be easier now that I have a new Husquverna-Viking sewing machine. After watching a wiki video, I feel ready to try it but I really need a practice run.

That is when I discover a pair of jeans that my daughter has stretched beyond repair in the rear seam area. Perfect.

First things first, I cut off the lower 12 inches of pant leg.

Pants - Beginning

Then with my favorite tool, the seam ripper, I open up the inside pant seams and seams leading up to the zipper and back yoke. This is the longest task of the project.

Pants - Unsewn

Next up is pinning the back seam and sewing it down. The trick here is to make a straight seam out of extra fabric. If I had to do this part again, I would have laid the pieces flat and drawn a straight line to sew on.

Pants - Pinned

After getting the front seam done, I cut off the extra fabric and use one of my serge stitches on the outside ends before ironing the seam to one side.

Now I make one final mark for the desired length of the hem. My daughter wants this to be above her knees and I want it below the thighs. We find a good compromise so a quick roll through with my rotary cutter gets the right length.

Pants - Final hem cut

I stitch to a different serger stitch on the hem to prevent future unraveling, turn up the hem and sew it down.

Pants - New Hem

Ba-Bam! The girl has a new skirt and we do not have to throw away her favorite jeans.

Pants - Completed

Now all I need is peach-colored thread.

What are you sewing this summer?




If you are like me, you are looking at Facebook every day.

And there is a lot to see, especially if you are a cooking/crafting/gardening/decorating sort of person – which I am.

A few months ago I saw a really cool craft that could be used in the garden. It is a decorative piece that can be as personal as you want it to be.

What am I talking about?

My Brand New Sign Post.


Sign - Complete

Now I know what you are thinking.

I want one too. That is Soooo Cute!!! Was it hard to make?

To be honest it really was not that hard to make. First off, I had the 2x4x8 already standing up in the ground. It was meant to hold up an air conditioner but stayed when the air conditioner died.

Sign - Blank Board

The next part was gathering the wood pieces for the name plates. At some point my neighbor was remodeling their house so some slats stayed in my yard. Another neighbor was tearing down wood siding. Some pieces came from the burn pile my husband keeps around.

The next part was even easier. I sanded down those pieces on the side I wanted to paint to make it smooth and accepting of the paint. I ran a damp cloth over each piece to remove dust from the sanding.  Then I made a list of the different places I wanted to put on a sign board.

However, how I did the next part was a part of the learning process. I lettered most of the boards. And that part was fun because I changed font styles for the different places. I used FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint by Plaid for the letters. Another lucky coincidence? My son is a paper boy so I have lots of brown craft paper to use under my painting projects.

Sign - Lettering

Just before making the last three name signs I realized I wanted a little color on them to make the letters stand out more. So I found some peach color paint and used my pounding brush to apply the color. After the paint was dried, I used a fine grade of sand paper to remove some of the paint to make the wood look a little distressed.

Sign - Process

I really liked that effect. When I tried it on some of the pieces I had already painted, the effect did not turn out well. I should have sanded more of the first bit of lettering off. Instead, I soldiered on with a new coat of a pale pink and lettering in the black outside paint. Once it was all dry, I sprayed each board with a clear glaze.

Sign - Complete 2

All that was left to do was to have the husband pound nails into the boards while I held them at jaunty angles with the back of the boards level with the 2×4. The finished product looks great. I am not usually successful with projects like this but this time around, I have a winner.

Have you tried any of the ideas you have found on facebook or pintrest and have had success?


Paint Brushes

Fine Grade Sand Paper

Seven thin wood pieces the shape and size of a street sign

Acrylic Craft Paint in your choice of colors for background

FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint by Plaid for the lettering

Clear Glaze Spray Paint

2×4 in the length of your choice

Nails and Hammer

Husband or willing person to use hammer and nails


This has been a crazy year for me.

I had hoped to have so much more finished by now. But calamity and rotten luck has gotten in the way.

Image by melodi2

All of my plans to get sewing projects underway went south when my stitch length dial stayed stuck on ‘0.’ I discovered this when some fragile fabric was eaten by the machine.

Of course, I thought it was the fabric. So I tried again. Then I tried using paper as a backing. When that tactic did not work, I checked everything and realized the truth.

The dial regulating stitch length was turning but not adjusting. Somewhere a spring must be stuck.

Getting it fixed requires money. Money I do not have. It has been a summer and fall of stretching the budget to extremes. Bills are getting paid but it has been tough and tight.

While I have spent some time whining about what I cannot do, I have totally forgotten what I can get done.

I have a quilt that needs to be tied. It was a project started by a girlfriends daughter. Because it has already has a binding, there is no way machine quilting will work neatly. But hand-tieing will not stretch out the fabric.

Suddenly, the year of completion feels as if it might get back on track. While there is no way to get six quilts done by the end of the year, I can work on one.

Another thing I am still working on is the novel. My plan was to try to get 500 words written a day. I took the idea of NANO which does 1600+ words a day and broke it down to manageable bits.

Image by Mantamagorical

Some days I write more, other days I write less. But I have five chapters completed that need sprucing up. While I have ten chapters to go, I have a direction. They are barebones that are waiting for the layers of descriptions and personality flaw to clothe them and dress it up.

I just hope that the rest of the book is done by the end of the year.

How are you working on those goals set last January?


Here it is – April.

All of those New Year’s resolutions are a memory. Well, for some of us.

My big resolution was to start completing things. And I have started doing that.

I fixed my couch with big pillows and small pillows, giving up on those pillow-backs that never stayed in place.

A long worked on needle craft project has been finished.

We finally bought a pretty day-bed frame for my daughter’s room.

The first chapter of my novel was critiqued by my writer’s group.

Starting this month we are back on a budget.

I have started work on the front flower garden the shape it better with the plants that are already there.

My latest accomplishment is making two new skirts to broaden my wardrobe options. The one not pictured has a black background with dark sage green flowers with red centers. The one pictured here has a white background with brightly colored swooshes.

Both can be worn with a black sweater and tank top. The other day I wore the brighter skirt with a red tank top and it looked spiffy.

What I need is a medium hot pink tank top to wear under the cardy. I could use some new shoes but that can wait.

For now, I am happy to get a few more things completed. Next up – a new dress for my daughter.

What are you completing so far this year?

I said that this would be the year of completion for me. This would be the year that I would get long-worked-on or long-planned projects completed.

It is an auspicious goal, it is ambitious and over-reaching. And I have completed the first project.

The Needlecraft Project is Done!

Why does something like this take so long? I have only been working on it since my oldest son was a baby. I would do a little here and there, bring it out when he was sleeping and then put it away for a year or five.
I found it last year and decided to get it finished. Fill in that pitcher, complete the outline stitching and revel in a project completed.

Where I Started From This January.

I am so glad this project is done. Now on to the antique quilt!


I know a few readers are wondering out there how my year of completion is going.



I have been working on this for way too long.

So far, slow. I am working on that embroidery kit, trying to finish filling in the pitcher. It is slow but it is happening. Same with some sewing projects that I was able to complete at this month’s session at my favorite quilt shop. There is nothing like adjusting skirts because I have lost enough weight to make them need downsizing.



Getting out the door no later than Saturday.

However, I have another task that must be done. I have to send my parents their Christmas gift. This is one task that never gets done before our Easter trip to their house. This year I have the presents wrapped, in the box, and the box is ready for mailing. Tomorrow morning it heads out to the post office. I can’t say what the box contains because I do want Mom to be surprised and she stops by here often enough.

I am leaning towards the Florentine Clay but Georgian Leather is nice, too.



One of the items on my list of completion was picking a new color for the living room. It is currently a pinky coral color but I am choosing from a variety of terra-cotta shades. I am looking to go darker but the husband has requested a lighter color. Can’t wait to see how it will look when the room is finally completed.


How are you doing on your resolutions?


Related Post: The Year of Completion

The Year of Completion

Sometimes when I get depressed, I find I have to do the crazy thing running around in my brain to break its hold on me.

Like the time I ate an entire half gallon of ice cream.

I was depressed about various episodes in my life at this time. The only thing I wanted to do was eat ice cream but my head kept saying that was wrong. What would that do to my waistline?

The strange thing was I realized I had to do it. Damm my weight and potential guilt, damm it all. I was going to eat that half gallon.

So I did. I could not even tell you what flavor it was although I am sure it was chocolate of some sort.

By the time I was done, I realized I had a whole evening left. And eating the ice cream had not solved the problem. The problem was still there. The change was how I felt about it. Wallowing in my misery made me realize I could work things through, things could get better and I was being silly in eating that entire half gallon which I probably got on sale anyway.

I was thinking about that last week as the shroud of depression peeled away from me slowly last week. I spent Christmas day in bed after unwrapping of gifts, going to church, having a mid-morning hike and lunch at a chinese buffet. I was so tired, for no good reason, that I laid down and slept for hours. It was dark when I got out of bed. I really wanted to stay there and sleep some more but I felt that the family wanted to see me.

I went to bed at the regular time that night and slept some more. But this time when I woke up, I actually felt rested. Each day became better and then I began to think about what my new year’s resolution should be, what I wanted to acheive this year.

In the last month I had begun to feel as if I was not accomplishing anything. I was feeling as if I have not changed the world or made a difference in the area where I live. I looked at the pile of unfinished quilt tops and home projects that are only half way or one quarter of the way completed.

And it was driving me crazy.

That is when I read one post about resolutions that had been freshly pressed and had my own epiphany. Some of my volunteer efforts are in work areas I am considering. I purposely took them on to dip my foot in that pool. I purposely joined a writer’s group to make myself more accountable in my goal to finally write a novel. I have started decluttering and getting rid of the stuff I do not want while keeping those things that make me happy.

So I decided to make this year the year of completions. Those six unfinished quilt projects are getting done. The kitchen cabinets are getting painted and new hardware, the living room will get new paint and slipcovers for the couches. My daughter’s room is going to be painted to reflect her tween status. Closets, including the Closet of Doom,  are getting cleared out. All of these things that I have wanted to get done are getting done.

My plan is to take on one thing at a time. I have to keep up with writing and that will be on a different schedule. But craft, decorating and decluttering projects are going to happen step-by-step. I do not plan to run around willy-nilly getting things done. Just as the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace program talks about starting with the smallest thing first to give a sense of making progress, I plan to work on those projects that are easiest to complete right away. First off will be an embroidery kit I have been working on for years. Next will be the quilting project needing some applique work. In the spring, I will work on painting projects.

Along the way I plan to put up pictures to show how it is progressing. You will see the before and after pictures of rooms as well as some projects.

Then, there are the rewards.  Being kinder to myself was brought up in the comments last week and I intend to do that, to remind myself that I am human and what gets done, is what gets done. But when something gets done that is a big deal, I plan to reward myself for doing the job, for completion.

So task number one of making the goal known is completed. Next up, working on that embroidery project that should have been done at least ten years ago. I am very excited about this.

Are you working on any resolutions?