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I bought this pattern at the Simplicity sale at JoAnn this last weekend. (It’s the one I bought the wrong size of. Anyone want this pattern in sizes 14-22? Free for postage. The pieces are cut apart from each other but not cut out.) It’s pattern number 3888. I chose fabric similar to that used on the envelope front, but in green instead of blue. This dress was not difficult to make. I recommend that if you make it you mark the dots at the inset angles well. And pin them well. I prefer to staystitch the inset angles and clip the seam allowance so sewing the seams goes more smoothly. Other than that, this dress was a slap-it-together breeze.

Changes I made: I raised the neckline 2 1/2 inches. I lengthened the dress 9 inches.

The next one needs to be made in something with more drape – maybe a nice rayon. And I want to do the bands in matching rather than contrasting fabric next, or maybe just not such high contrast. I like the contrast, but want to try less, too. And I think I would prefer a larger scale print – something with a larger repeat and less of a “calico print” feel to it.

I think this is the closest thing to a kimono I’ll ever be able to wear convincingly.

I just found meArtDesign. A lot of what I see out in craftblogland and on etsy is cute. But this artist’s stuff really does it for me. It’s got a romance I don’t see in most other arts and crafts. Some of the designs, particularly the black and white ones, remind me of children’s book illustrations that I love. I prefer the representational pictures over the abstract, but I like them all.  Check it out!

Monday: Bean and Barley Soup, Biscuits
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Thursday: Hot Dogs
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Sandwiches
Sunday: Crock Pot Chicken

For more participants and recipes, click here.

Don’t get carried away at a pattern sale, or you might pick up a pattern, then pick out fabric for it, take it all home, wash and dry the fabric, start cutting the pattern pieces apart, (all the while dreaming of actually finishing the entire dress tonight and wearing it tomorrow) and only then realize the pattern is the wrong size. Ask me how I know. At least there are two more days of pattern sale.

Who else saw the Oprah show on organizing last week? Who else found it convicting? I don’t usually watch much TV. But I heard from a friend about the show and made sure I could watch the evening showing.

I learned that people get to a point at which they no longer see their own mess. As I’ve looked around my own house since then, I’ve realized I have passed that point. I used to gripe if anything was in the floor. “I just want to be able to walk through,” I would say. Now I would be lucky to be able to walk through almost any room in the house without having to step over something or around something.

There are two major problems, as I see it. We have too much stuff. And we have inadequate storage. I’m getting lots of great ideas at I’m an Organizing Junkie. And a friend has offered to help. I’m considering using the Sidetracked Home Executives card system to keep up with housework. And I’ve already started throwing away trash and using freecycle to give away what is not trash but isn’t useful to us. We also have bought a few storage bins to use in various places around the house.

What are your favorite organizing solutions? Do you have helpful websites? Please share in the comments!

According to the news report. Thankful to be counting inches, not feet.

Monday: Lentil Soup with Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe for biscuits follows)
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Pizza, homemade heart cookies (by candlelight)
Thursday: Hot Dogs
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Grilled Cheese, Tomato Soup (The tomato soup didn’t happen last week.)
Sunday: Deli Sandwiches

My mom says that her mother used to serve leftovers by candlelight so they couldn’t see what they were eating very well. Ha, ha!

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Stir in buttermilk. Dough should be slightly sticky. Add flour or buttermilk to gain correct consistency. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Press out to 1-inch thickness. Cut in circles with biscuit/cookie cutters or whatever is on hand. (Mother always used a tea ball, which made delightfully small biscuits.) Place on cookie sheet so biscuits touch each other. Brush tops of biscuits with buttermilk. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden on the tops. Serve with butter, jelly, apple butter, honey, or use in biscuits and gravy.

For more Menu Plan Monday participants, click here.

Inspired by Sarah at A Stitch In Time I decided to share my recent portrait with you.