Archive for December, 2009

Family update

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I've been negligent in posting photo's of our family.  Janet and Luis sent a wonderful picture of their entire family.

CruzChristmas09 Armando is a Junior in high school and is holding Kieran, who is now 6 years old.  Janet with Kayman, 20 mos. old.  Luis is holding Kayleigh, an active and inquisitive 3 year old.   

Kayleigh recently took the scissors to her hair, which is typical of this age.  Kieran loves Kindergarten and Kayman simply loves hanging out and sticking Blues Clues notes all over the house.  Armando loves football and hopes his senior year brings a winning season.  It is looking good as many of the Juniors developed their talent and will help the team next year.

They still live in Orlando, FL and Luis is now in his 13th year with United Airlines.  Janet's business, Kloset2Kloset is thriving and allowing her to be a stay at home mom.

HeidiRaphaelTummy2 Luis was recently in Brussels, Belgium and took this photo of Heidi and Raphael.  Their baby will arrive sometime in early February.  I hope the baby waits for my arrival around Feb. 3.  I'm going to help with cooking and cleaning and cuddling the newest of our grandchildren.

Yes, that is beautiful snow in the background.  Their first snow in their darling home in Rixensart, a suburb of Brussels.

Heidi will continue teaching at the International School of Brussels until the end of January.  She will then go on maternity leave.

Raphael continues as the top IT man at the school.  His expertise is invaluable to the school.  I just wished he lived closer so he could help me design a whiz-bang blog.  Some day.

Today, December 19, John and I attended a very emotional and patriotic event.  We went to the commissioning of a very special young man as an officer in the Marine Corps. 


The commissioning ceremony was held on the flight deck of the USS Midway.  A retired aircraft carrier that is now a museum in San Diego Harbor.

The photo shows the five Marines, one Navy woman, five Army men and women and three Air Force men ready to be commissioned as officers.

Jeff Janowiec, our friend, is the Marine on the front, far left.


Jeff's wife, Heather, on his left, and his sister had the honor of pinning the 2nd Lt. bars on his shoulders.  Jeff is holding his officers hat, which Heather placed on his head.

JeffCommHeatherHat The military does everything right.  Families are encouraged to be an important part of a young person's career.  Having family members in active roles at a commissioning is just one way our military gets them involved.


During the ceremony each Marine is presented with a Mameluke sword.  This is a tradition going back to the early 1800's when the Marine's won a battle on the "shores of Tripoli".  The prince gave the lieutenant in charge a jeweled sword, similar to the ones the Mameluke tribesmen carried, as a thank you for saving Tripoli. 

Jeff was able to use his for the first time cutting the cake at a reception held in his honor after the commissioning ceremony.

JeffCommSinging After the cake cutting "ceremony" we sang many of Jeff's favorite hymns, gospel songs and Christmas carols.

John and I then came home, rested a bit, then walked across the street for our annual Stargaze Christmas Fire-pit Gathering.  All in all a terrific beginning to the Christmas season.

How to applique

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Several people have emailed me about how I do applique.  My Stargaze Sewing Apron uses my technique of applique and I thought I'd share some how-to photo's.

StargazeSewApplique This is the finished applique on the bib.  I'll now show you how I go about putting the girls on the background.

StargazeApronDrawGirls In the pattern the girls are facing the correct way.  The clothing and hair are reversed.  I'll tell you why later.

Follow the directions in the pattern for tracing the girls, coloring and detailing.  Cut them out, per instructions.


As mentioned above, the clothing and hair are reversed.  Trace these onto the paper side of the bonding sheet chosen.

Cut out each piece and iron onto the fabrics chosen.  You will iron onto the wrong side of each fabric.



StargazeApronApplique4 The above photo shows the fabrics chosen.  Some fabrics don't have a right or wrong side, such as cotton batiks.  Others do, like the red fabric chosen for the fairies dress.

After ironing the pieces, cut out.  Per instructions in the pattern, cut areas for the arms and faces.  The seam allowances are included in the clothing and hair.


The wings are made from Angelina fibers and film.  This is explained in the pattern. 

I do love cutting up small bits of the film to sandwich in between layers of Angelina.  Adds a bit more sparkle.  Those of you who know me know how I love sparkle.


The lay-out of the girls is explained in the pattern, but it helps to see, in color, how it is done. 

Lay the girls down first, then the fairies dress, and last the girls dress.  You don't iron yet.


Cut out the wings, slip them under the fairy.  Place the fairies hair on, then the girls.  Add a star, or two or three here and there.

Follow the pattern for the name card they are holding, then iron all in place.

Do be careful and stay away from the wings.  They will be stitched in place.  If you over-cook the Angelina it loses its sparkle.

So, there you have it.  Simple and easy applique.  All is free motion machine stitched in place with fun threads.

A Christmas Thank you

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

I want to thank all of you who have been coming to my blog throughout this year.  I've loved your comments, your feedback, your loyalty.  As a thank you I've attached a pattern for you.

JoyfulAngelBest She's my Joyful Angel.  This a very quick and easy pattern.

I made 7 this week for the staff who work with John.  You could spend hours and hours depending on the embellishments, but with some decorative threads and a few beads she can be done in a few hours.

One of the reasons I love Typepad so much is they make it very easy to attach a file.  The pattern is in .pdf format so any computer can open the file.

Enjoy her and send me pictures.

Mostly, all of you have a wonderful Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah tomorrow, Dec. 12.

Download JoyfulAngel