Who Is More Bow Dazzling?

Who Is More Bow Dazzling?

If you’ve read many of our posts, you probably know by now that even though we take our arts seriously, sometimes we just go wonky funny.

So here’s the back story… Shari bought this pair of interestingly colored pants….

And, of course, she shared it with us in the Sisters/Mother FB chat group.

Since no one was asking ME to wear them, I just moved on as I suspect, everyone else did. …. Except Shari …. because she had plans for those pants and she wasn’t telling anyone either…

The next day, she and I are private chatting about this and that, when she decides to “SHOW” me the part that she had hinted the day before might be “really SPECIAL” about those salmon pants.

So, here’s the convo:

Shari: I was just going to send you this…cuz I know you’ve been waiting…

Jen: with baited breath –

Shari:

 

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Jen: how precious (Frankly, what else can you say to something like THAT ????? OMG??? What on earth is THAT? – lol)
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Shari: The bow on the salmon jeans butt. LOL

Sorry, but they are a size 3. LOL

Jen: I’m a bit jealous.. good thing I can sew- I just happen to have a bow– just have to pick out the pants — hang on, I’ll get the bow

Shari: Which means by today standards, it about a -0.

Jen: Please don’t hurt my feelings by saying it’s too much — I just soooo want to wear this when I go out shopping — maybe even the dentist office?

Shari: Ok

Jen:
 Jen:   now who’s jealous ? – lol lol
Shari: You go right ahead and wear it. Let me know what people say, because that’s a show stopper, alrighty.
Wow.

Jen: do you really mean it? You’re not just trying to save my feelings?
It is WOWSER though – not just WOW

Shari: Oh no, it’s definitely a wowser!

Jen: people be looking and pointing at me as I go through the store—
‘WOWSER, look at that bow’ !!!

Shari: You let me know how many orders you get.

Jen: Yeah, that’s about how I see it going. LOL  ……………could see me/ my butt and bow – on the cover of some fashion mag — you never know, so sorry about your tiny bow— but the color is nice

Shari: LOL – liar.
It’s ugly – bow and color. LOL

Jen: well, I MIGHT be talked into making you a bigger bow, but I’d need to cut off one of the legs of those salmon pants to do it —  hey, but you’d be hot walking through Target

Shari: If I were a size -0, I’d be right on that offer. LOL

Jen: somehow I’m getting the feeling you’re a bit relieved about that size thing right about now …

Shari: Never felt better about being a 10-12 in my life. LOL

……………

So, tell me, dear reader … Wouldn’t you really rather have MY bow on the backside of your pants than Shari’s little bitty, dinky bow?

Tell us how you feel –

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,

~Jennifer

4TxSisters at Etsy

The Dress, The Sister, The Cruise and the Boob Bag

The Dress, The Sister, The Cruise and the Boob Bag

So it all started out rather innocently, if you ask me.

This dress happened to fall into my lap.

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And I have to tell you, the picture just does not do the dress justice…. But anyway, back to the story.

At the time, I was making clutches.  Not sure how I ended up being the clutch girl, OR even the purse/bag girl;, but here I am, now having made close to 2 dozen in the last few months….  lol

The clutches I’d been making were actually bigger than I personally would want to carry, so as I was looking through my closet for some really cool fabric, I spotted THE DRESS, pulled it out, snip snip and a few more snip snips … presto chango- it’s  a smaller clutch

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…… (which coincidentally, you can find for sale in our 4TxSisters Etsy shop … or at least, as I write this, it can be found over there for sale.)

At about the same time as I am finishing up this small clutch, Sister Deb dropped by to pick up her Harley dog, the wiener dog, after they had been off doing their Thanksgiving holiday celebrating with her kids and grand kids, so I showed her this new clutch.

Deb says “Hey, that’s really cool.  Love the fabric.  You could make me one, smaller, of course… I just want it to hold my cell phone, a few credit cards and some business cards… oh .. and by the way, we’re coming to bring Harley back when we go on our cruise in 8-9 days, so I could pick it up then and take it on my cruise.  Would be GREAT advertising”.

Naturally I picked up on her not too subtle excuse for wanting this by time she set sail— as advertising?  Right!!!!   Ms Shy lady is going to go around showing off her bag to strangers, yeah, that’ll be the day.  smh smh – lol

So, here I am, I’ve got enough of the bottom of the dress to probably make another clutch, maybe even full size, but if I cut into it to make Deb a little cell phone bag, then, naturally, I won’t have enough of this fabric to do something BIGGER with.

Hmmmmm ……  what to do … what to do….   And of course, I have to do SOMETHING, because when one of my sisters says/asks/suggests “Make me something” – I definitely want to MAKE her SOMETHING because face it… we all sew and can make our own stuff…. so getting to make something for one of the other sisters is, well, to me at least, pretty darned special.

I’m sitting there contemplating, and look up at the dressmaker form and what do I see … ?

I see THAT!

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And within THAT, in my head, I start seeing a few snip snips, a tuck here, a fold over there … yeah, maybe even flip it upside down.. YEAH! … I actually see a cell phone bag within those boobs.

Now, I do have to add at this point, that if there’s a prude in our family, it’s most definitely a competition between the two older sisters, Pat and Deb, but maybe if I don’t tell Deb her bag was made from the boob section of the dress, maybe this crazy idea will fly.

So, of course I twist it, turn it and eventually flip it upside down, snip snip, vrooomm vroooommm of the sewing machine and presto-chango  – Deb’s Boob bag comes to life.

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I presented it to Deb when they came to drop off Harley, the wiener dog, on their way to Galveston for their Christmas cruise and much to my surprise, not only did Deb LOVE her boob bag, I think she was kind of excited to know what part of the dress it came from……    So off they went… The dress, The sister, The cruise and The boob bag….

…. and you might think at this point, they all lived happily ever after… but ..I have to tell you a couple of things.

I sort of expected that boob bag back because I wanted to list it on Etsy.  But NO… Deb actually intended to keep it – duh !!!!!  Which is cool too, I mean, I did make it for her, ya know.  lol

So, you might think we have come to the end of this story – but you, naturally, would be WRONG … It doesn’t end like that at all.

This last week Deb was here visiting with me, making me some butterflies on her emb machine… and of course, she’s carrying her boob bag with her… and somehow … that bag … falls into a small bowl of fabric dye – lol – ok truth be known, it was probably pushed or intentionally dropped.

So now …

it’s not white /silver anymore…

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And of course, she’s got to show me all the skirts and tops it matches now … and oh, can she get something like that in red?  So, I show her two beautiful pieces of red fabric, to which she says “Yes”.  I ask “Which one?”

As she looks up so our eyes meet, she also drops that innocent puppy dog look on me and sort of shrugs her shoulders slightly… with a “BOTH?  Can I have – BOTH?”

I say “OK” and then wander off shaking my head wondering how one simple boob bag could turn into 3 … ok, could be close to 5 now because she’s looking at a different color fabric now too (besides the 2 red ones) and maybe one out of the black and white fabric I just dipped in dye —oh, and as she puts it ” I don’t really expect you to have them all done before I go home”…   smh smh smh …  I’m thinking I am surely a sucker for making stuff for my sisters …  lol

Thanks for stopping by, til the next time..….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,

~Jennifer

4TxSisters at Etsy

 

PS:  I’ve since made more of these small cellphone bags and will be getting some  of them listed on Etsy soon.  A couple of them will be gifts for my step-sister and her daughter.  (They don’t sew, but only because no one ever sat down and gave them the 15 minute lesson.)

So, check  at our 4TxSisters Etsy shop or come back here and I’ll have a couple of links for you …, here’s a few un-staged pics in the meantime..

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A couple of these have, at least, hand dyed linings.  the purple one on the bottom shows hand dyed pocket, lace and bag strap….

Again, thanks for stopping by

~Jen

The Making of the Man’s Shirt Apron

The Making of the Man’s Shirt Apron

Using an man’s shirt, no pattern, just an image in your head of what you want instead of a piece of fabric, putting a pattern to it, cutting it out, sewing it up and saying “here’s an apron” … well, it has its own sort of excitement for a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants seamstress.

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But besides the uniqueness of using a man’s shirt, why would I make an apron, and then make an apron for you too? Here’s why.  In my opinion there are three typical issues with aprons

#1 They bunch up my clothes

#2 They come untied

#3 The top rides low and stuff still gets on my clothes because, frankly, there’s a shorter distance between my mouth and my chest than my mouth and the top of most aprons.

So, to eliminate issue #1, the cloth of the apron bunching up as I putter around the house, I line my aprons. And I think you’ll find that once you use a lined apron, you’ll be hard pressed to wear a plain ole’ apron again.

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#2 – They come untied. I made aprons for my 3 sisters and my mother re-purposing some beautiful western fabric Shari had had me make curtains out of years ago. Next older sister, Deb, complained that she never wore hers or many other aprons because they come untied.

She likes an apron with really long ties that she can wrap around and tie in front… So…. that’s why most of my aprons have really LONG waist ties.

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#3 – Aren’t all aprons made too long in the neck for most people? I always assumed everyone bought aprons and just tied, safety pinned, or clothes pinned the neck tie. With that in mind, I have to tell you I was broken hearted when my mother wanted me to have an apron I made for her back because she thought it was too pretty for her to wear.

She hadn’t safety pinned, clothes pinned or tied the neck part shorter. She’d taken a pair of scissors and whacked, yes, I said “WHACKED” that neck tie almost at the half way point and tied it to the length she wanted.

Well, once I got off the floor from shock, I realized that was an issue all of its own. Then I went to visit sister, Shari. She wears her apron almost right under her neck. She said it’s either that or a bib- lol – so then I knew… there’s a BIG issue with apron neck heights… well, at least in my family, so it was time to ‘fix that’.

And this is only a couple of ways to fix that…

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And now you can, adjust away  Winking smile

Recently I have even gone back to the basics of aprons by making them with ties- which makes it TOTALLY adjustable–of course, up to the length of the ties.  lol

So, there, now you know why I’ve done some unusual things with my aprons by lining them, making the neck adjustable in most cases with buttons,(now with ties)  and then made really LONG waist ties on many of them.. I hope you will give one a try. I don’t think you will want to buy another apron off the shelf again much less give something like that to a loved one.

You can find more of my Man’s Shirt Aprons over in our 4TxSisters Etsy Shop.

 

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,

~Jennifer

4TxSisters at Etsy

The Birth of The Clutches

The Birth of The Clutches

I know, I know, based on that title you expect to to tell you how clutches came to popularity… BUT that’s not why I’m here today.

What good is a purse if you only use if for “special occasions” because it really isn’t functional?

As the designer of these clutches, I started out with a vision of a bag that would be not only sleek in design but would be functional as well. But how was I going to complete this task?

Having a bevy of patterns at my fingertips and an idea formulating in my head, I sat thumbing through them until I came upon a pattern which looked to be close to what I was wanting. Upon further study of the pattern, I discovered it was just another run of the mill pattern and nothing special at all, or at least not in my opinion. But if you do not know me, you wouldn’t know that I tend to “live a bit on the wild side from time to time”.

Quite some time later and many drafts later, I finally had a plan in my head reflecting what I think is important in a clutch and it was to the fabric center for me.

The real adventure begins with the selection of fabric for the project at hand. You can’t imagine the number of fabric pieces that can end up piled up in front of me before it finally jumps out at me and says……. “Here I am; one beautiful bag in the making!”   In the meantime, while waiting for that fabric to jump out and say “me, me, me .. pick me.  I’m the one” … I ended up with a real mess to pick up…. AND ended up this trip with 3, count ‘em … 1-2-3 selections that screamed “It’s gotta be me”.

So, what do you do when THREE pieces scream at you that they are “IT”?  Well, if you’re me, you just say “OK then, let’s go.”

So now the work begins….. color selection for each phase of the bag, base and linings, and the appropriate number of pockets, inside and out, pouches and loops – pocket for the cell phone, etc., closures, whether they will be zippers, Velcro, snaps, magnets, all these things have to be decided.

Finally, I was ready to actually begin………… after hours of cutting, stitching, ripping seams (sometimes, because I’ve discovered I’m  more fussy about certain things than I ever realized in my younger years of sewing) and accessorizing, the first of my clutches was complete and ready reveal to my sisters.

Pleased with what had developed, it was time to reveal the first in my line of clutches. I received the anticipated responses of “good job”, “looks nice”, etc, but at the end of the “show” sister, Pat, asked: “What do you plan to do with the extra strap you are offering? Do you think you could work in a pocket to store the strap inside the bag?”

First response:  WHAT? The bag is finished, Pat!!!!

My second response was “LOL, Pat, I would just throw it in a drawer and forget it” , but then I realized, I had NOT created the perfect clutch .. and evidently it was not finished YET …. (smh)

But that’s what we do, we work together to improve and make an exceptional product to you. Me? What did I do? Back to the “Sewing Room” to design a storage method for the additional strap…. because frankly, not every clutch carrier just tosses their additional strap in a drawer and then forgets about it.

We are hopeful that you will appreciate the small, but meaningful improvements we have made upon a standard clutch and will want to add one to your collection of bags. I, for one, don’t think anyone should be without one really nice clutch.

You can find these two clutches at our Etsy shop, along with more.. and more to come in the future.

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Check out our Etsy site to see the clutches on hand, and know that more are to come!

in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,

~Jen

 

PS:  as an added bonus for sticking around to get to the end of this post, here are a couple of other bags I created that you won’t find on Etsy … YET !!!  lol

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And my camo bag that a few of my other sisters thought I was nuts to be making.

 

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Happenings Around the 4Texas Sisters

Happenings Around the 4Texas Sisters

It’s been pretty busy for a while all around the 4TexasSisters households.  Lots going on but not a lot we’d want to write about, ya know …lol

Though I’ve got tons of stuff to share about what’s been going on, I’ll just give a recap of what’s coming up.  How’s that?

And since it’s always hard to know where to start when there are four of us, I’ll start with the eldest and and work my way down the sister chain.

Pat’s been grandparent sitting.  First we had Ethan, now we also have the new addition… Elise.  sorry, no pics right now, but maybe in the future.  However, you can get a glimpse of Ethan if you go to bcalease.com.  You could say he’s the Christmas cover story over there… OR you could just say “he’s adorable” .. either works.  Am sure Elise will end up as a star over there in the future, but right now she’s barely 2 months old, so we’ll let her grow up a bit first.

Anyway, that’s not all that’s happening in Pat’s house.

She’s pulled out those rusty paint brushes and I have to tell you, this woman needs no warm up time… when she paints, she paints.

Check this out.  Gorgeous, huh?

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Keep up the good work, Pat.  We look forward to seeing more soon.

So, moving from the Pat house to the Deb house… Deb’s been super busy too, and evidently is the real jet-setter this year as she gets ready to go on a cruise.  Yep, she’s our cruise child for the year.  lol

She’s been tearing it up with her embroidery machine and sewing machine, revamping her clothes and stealing some of the husband’s to make into her own.

Check out this man’s pair of pants that Deb will now be sporting as a skirt… all trimmed out.

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She’s also been burning up that embroidery work, but I don’t want to expose ALL our projects in one post.

I didn’t get invited on this cruise, but I did get invited to babysit Harley, the wiener dog and there may be a t-shirt involved in this deal (  lol )so, I guess, I’ll go for door number 2, babysitting the dog.

Moving on, to … ME?  Well, I’ve been busy getting my sewing corner set back up and burning up a few threads myself.  This is a bedside caddy I made for one of my grand nieces who has headed off to her first year of college as of the end of August.

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I have to say, I honestly had no idea what I was doing as it all came together.  And I discovered what I’ve probably always known, but kept a secret….   I am a POCKET FREAK.  That bedside caddy ended up with 2 main panels and a total of 15 pockets… which is the dream come true for people who want everything literally within arm’s reach.  I think the only thing that won’t fit in one of those pockets is the kitchen sink.. However, there’s a spot for a water bottle, so that’s close.  Huh?

Oh, and the fabric?  Well, the main solid blue came from the grand niece’s great grandmother on her granddad’s side.  There’s some solid blue jean fabric on it. That came from her great grandmother on her grandmother’s side.  the blue glittery fabric came from my stash I’ve been carrying around since before I moved back to Texas from Florida.  AND the denim Jeans pockets, well, err uh, a few came off the behind of a pair of my old jean shorts.

So, moving along… to last but not least of the happenings in our 4TexasSisters households… Let’s go see what Shari’s been up to.

Pumpkins and furniture.

I have to say Shari and Pat both bring out the décor for each season and holiday.  Sometimes visiting one of their houses is like visiting fantasy land.  lol   Always, always, looks so …. seasonal… oh and awesome, of course.

And since Fall is in the air… Shari is making pumpkins… and pumpkins and…… more pumpkins..  here are just a few that are still in the works.

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AND… she’s become our furniture upcycle gal….  Yesterday she and Ryan were caught working on the springs of a chair.  ok, so Ryan was caught.  I guess Shari had to take the pic.  lol

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And there’s more going on with all of us, but I’ll save that for another post.

So, in the mean time….

Live Every Moment, Love Beyond Words, Laugh Everyday,

~Jen

Jen’s Now Famous Burritos with Paleo Tortilla

Jen’s Now Famous Burritos with Paleo Tortilla

Sorry I don’t have nice pictures.  Who knew I would end up sharing this recipe to more than just the family.  lol  – I do have not so pretty pics down below the article.  Next time I make these I will try to remember to take pics as I go.  ;-(

I made up this recipe as I went, so just go with your own style — change up the meat, use sausage of your choice, whatever … I’ve used Italian Sausage, turkey sausage and now chicken breast.  If you’re a beef eater (which I am not), you could use ground beef or even shredded— same with pork)

You can mix match the beans (red, kidney, black, etc…)

… probably could use shredded cabbage instead of spinach ( I haven’t tried that but am sure it would work) or any vegetable or NO vegetable at all… I used to make them without- but add it now to give Deb a small amount of veggie.

The filling will fill about 24-28 6-8″ burritos and will freeze fine – for each burrito I use a heaping – I say LARGE-LARGE HEAPING tablespoon of the filling

If making for 2 people, I would say do one of three things:
#1 just throw in the serving size of meat you want, with beans, avocado, serving size of spinach, spices to taste and run with it.
#2 Divide the recipe into 3rds
#3 Or make the whole batch below, figure out how much you used for your taco shells or tortillas and then freeze the rest in that size portions.

… but below is what I do for my sister Deb once a month.

Filling:

(2 1/4 lb meat of choice) I used 3 large sized chicken breasts that weighed about 2 1/2 lbs total)- lightly boiled until done- sliced thin  across the grain so it’s pretty fine pieces for the most part

Approximately 2  1/2 cups home cooked black beans/red kidney beans or 2 cans black beans/kidney beans STRAINED/drained

2 ripe avocados

Full bag of spinach (this is optional)

garlic, garlic, garlic and a little more garlic
(I use 5 or 6 cloves chopped up)

1 to 2 cup(s) shredded Mexican cheese (cheddar, Monterrey jack, most any cheese would work as I’ve used a variety over the last year)

2 TBS paprika
3 TBS cumin
3 TBS chili powder
1 TBS rubbed sage
1 TBS Oregano
1 tsp ground fennel (optional)

Mash the strained/drained beans
Mash the avocado
Lightly steam spinach and then let cool and squeeze out liquid
Slice, shred or chunk Chicken (your choice)
Dice up the Garlic (I do it to taste, so add or take away as much as you want or leave it out)

Throw everything into a big bowl, stir it up well to mix and then refridge overnight.

NOTE: Filling should be firm, not be ‘soupy’ which is why I drain the beans and squeeze out the spinach.

I let the filling stand in the fridge over night, then make the tortillas the next day.

Once the tortillas are made, get a large serving spoon, dollop a spoonful on the edge or the tortilla, roll it up like an enchilada and set aside.  Move on to the next tortilla until they’ve all been filled.

Now you can freeze them (with rolled edge down) or brown them in the skillet and serve (but you don’t have to brown them if you don’t want to.  I just like mine crispy on the outside)

Down below is a pic of them in the freezer.  As you’ll see, I roll the edges in.  It helps keep them from leaking out when browning.

I brown them on four sides, takes about 4-5 minutes for each of the four sides.

Sister Deb eats one at lunch most every day and it’s diabetic friendly.

To make Paleo flourless tortillas:  (For the original recipe, go here)
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Makes: Four 6-8″ Mexican tortillas

Ingredients:
•  2 eggs
•  1 teaspoon melted coconut oil (or melted ghee)
•  1/8 teaspoon baking soda
•  1/4 cup arrowroot powder
•  1 teaspoon coconut flour
•  Pinch of salt
*  1/2 tsp cumin
*  1/2 tsp chili powder

Directions:

Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and whisk in the melted ghee.
Add the dry ingredients and beat well to combine.  In a small (6-8″) skillet over medium heat, pour in about 1/4 of the batter and immediately roll it around to evenly coat the skillet- flip once it is set on top –(like cooking a pancake)

Here are two rough pics.
#1 I am not a photographer and only have a phone to take pics with
#2 Since I don’t use my ice maker, I took out the bucket and use that area for my freezing of things like this.

This pic is before the spinach is added

In the freezer.  After they are frozen, I put them in baggies, ready to pull out, brown and eat.