Sewing Machines and Camping Trips

June 20th 3013

Jen Wrote:

Dear Seamstress Extraordinaire

Hope your time with Josh and his girlfriend was fun--and that Sam's doing ok/ feeling well.  It was so sweet of him to draw us those pics, which are now prominently displayed on the fridge.

I know, I know, I might be BIASED but the kid's got real talent.  (I don't even know if that's how the word bias is written in sewing speak, but it was worth a stab at funny).  :)

 Can't sleep because all I wanna do is think of sewing and buy a sewing machine...how pathetic is that?!  Wanted to ask your opinion on the Brother SE400...it's on sale at Walmart for $283., I think it is.(marked down from mid 300's).  Good machine?

Again thanks for a great playdate today--we had SEW much fun!  HA, I'm a geek!









Nicole Responded:

Yes the SE400 is my machine and I love it! I have had this sewing/embroidery machine for 5 years now and it has been used a lot!!

My mother was so impressed with this little machine she bought the same one from Wal-Mart as a back up sewing machine and she takes it to sewing and quilting classes because it is lighter weight and nice size compared to her Jenome sewing machine.

When I purchased mine I believe it was $450, so it has come down in price a lot. That is awesome. If you go on Amazon and look up this sewing machine you  will see that it has great ratings and you can read the reviews too!

Does your husband hate me yet?? Lol I had a lot of fun sewing with you as well, it's rewarding for me to  watch an interest blossom into an obsession lol just teasing. I obviously have the sewing bug bad because my fabric hoarding is getting to be ridiculous I probably have enough fabric for 5 years worth of projects and I still buy more! ;)

Well today's mission is getting ready to go camping! Yippee! Lol hopefully it will go smoothly.

Ttys Nicole
Jen Responded:
If it's good enough for my sewing mentor, it's good enough for me!  I told Ingmar that I wanted that one and how much it was and he said after a long pause..."well, let me research it tonight and see if I can get a better price."  I was shocked!  (BTW, he thinks he's Mr. Google Research Man). So I'm hoping that I'm getting one, woohoo!  Should I get a starter thread kit, too?Ah,  I sometimes really miss the days when I was making my own $$ and didn't have to "run things by him" for stuff/ purchases. How's the prep work going for tomorrow?
Nicole Responded:
Hey Jen Oh boy lots of running around today and the kids have drove me to open a bottle of wine tonight lol. 1/2 hour till bedtime woohoo!! ;) I'm all camped out for camping and  I haven't even gone yet. My husband is also driving me crazy today! Ahhhh maybe I'll go camping myself lol. As far as a starter thread package...not sure where did you see that? If you just buy all-purpose thread in black, white, and cream color that is a pretty good start. I also suggest you buy extra bobbins and machine needles. Other notions you will need to get started are:
  • Fabric scissors
  • Needles
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pencil or marker ( it's cool the marks come off with water)
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
Sign up to Joanne fabrics to get emailed their coupons.You can build up sewing supplies that way as well on the pricier items such as good fabric scissors. They  are roughly 25-30 bucks. They always have  40% off coupons sometimes 50% I think Wal-Mart has some sewing supplies as well. That is where they usually sell the brother bobbins they are cheap 4 or 5 bucks for a pack of them. Holy cow I have corrected a lot of type o's I better quit while I'm ahead lol must be the wine or auto correct that's my story and I'm sticking to it :) I will call you next week so we can sew again. Have a great weekend!
Jen Responded:
Oh, Nicole, didn't anyone ever pull you aside and tell you that husbands drive their wives bonkers EXTRA amounts right before a trip of any kind?  No? We had a joke back in San Diego--there was this sort of ghetto, definitely not high-end day spa-ish place called Total Woman (which reminds me of a tragic health club I taught at when I first moved to NYC called Living Well Lady--what the harry is that kind of name for a club that wants to be taken even remotely seriously?). Anyway, Total Woman.  When he would drive me insane (all the time), Ingmar would say, "should I just drop you off at Total Woman for the day and afterwards you might be in a better mood?"  My answer was always the same.."yes, if it was a halfway decent place you could drop me off with 3 bottles of wine and one glass, and I'll call you to pick me at the end of the weekend." Camping doesn't sound too appealing to me, but that part about being alone for a whole night does!  I can only imagine all the gear involved in a trip like this weekend with the whole family.  Wasn't there a Brady Bunch episode on just this scenario?  If not, there should have been. Hmmm, when I looked at the specs for the sewing machine up popped a whole bunch of related things to consider buying...one was the starter kit with I think 3-4 threads, bobbins, and maybe a pair of scissors for $30ish. Wow, I really don't pick cheap obsessions/ hobbies, do I?  And yes, Ingmar is thrilled that we met, became friends, and subsequently I'm  gonna drop a whole wad o' cash on sewing thing-a-ma-bobs. :)  His thank you card will be forthcoming.  I'll be ordering it on Saturday to make sure it hits the next credit card billing cycle (Ingmar's condition).  So when you're in Canada, I'll have to practice sewing tons o' paper. I'll be sad to not be sewing and laughing with you for a spell, but look forward to next week sometime....let me know what your work/ life schedule looks like--I think W-F is great for us. Don't forget to pack some scooby snacks (wine and/ or beer), and I hope it's a great time! No doubt you'll have some awesome pictures and family memories to show for it.  And I'm really hoping most of all that there's no drama--and that you guys don't get eaten by bears. Have fun, Jen
June 21st 2013
Nicole Wrote:
Oh my gosh ok I don't know where to start the traffic was horrendous the 3.5 h drive has turned into 6 and now that we are here it is crazy windy here in the desert the dust is flying in our eyes and stinging $&"@'n ridiculous our tents are sure to blow away but we have no back up plan ahhhhh I need a beer and a Xanax. I guess I have to laugh or I will cry!! Stressed Nicole
June 22nd 2013
Jen wrote:
Oh boy, I sure hope that you had some scooby snacks last night...(I myself had 2 beers with dinner and I didn't even have 1/10th the rough day you had!).  Has Mother Nature started being less of a pain in the butt yet?  Winds died down, I hope? Well, hopefully today will be an off-the-charts awesome kind of day--you all deserve it after yesterday!  And hurry home, sister, 'cuz guess who just pulled the trigger on a sewing machine?  tee hee, I feel like it's Christmas! Hugs, (wanna be) Sewing Sally
June 23rd 2013
Nicole Wrote:
Cool does that mean you have the machine?? Yay for you, check out you tube as well for sewing tutorials that will help the visualization process if you get stumped on something. The wind has been better today and we brought the kids to lake Isabella they had a great time. I have an easy project in mine for you that will help you practice your seams :) Ttys Nicole
June 24th 2013
Jen wrote:

So glad you're home, safe and sound! Abby just went down for a nap, so I don't dare make a peep and call....but on the inside I'm saying "yay, you're back!

Wed or Thursday (or both!) are good for us...we can push nap time, too, so we have more play/ sewing/ chatting time.  my machine doesn't come for 2 weeks and even after it does, I'll still bring it over to your house....there's NO space here and it's a royal DUMP. Yuck!

BTW, I just was changing the sheets on Abby's bed and there was a HUGE spider that was in her bed and scared the pants off me...I screamed like I was being tortured. I don't think I'd last 5 min camping!

Can't wait to see you soon and hope the kids loved their first camping trip!

Hugs,

Jen

Here are some pictures from our camping trip to Lake Isabella and we also went to visit the Sequoia forest. Beautiful scenery. The children loved camping. These were shot at Lake Isabella, in the heart of Kern River Valley. This man-made lake is  in the middle of the desert and was  made in 1953 by the US Army Corp Engineers by damning the Kern River. This 11 000 acre lake is one of the largest reservoirs in California. 



The huge Sequoia National Forest was also very cool place to visit! As we drove up the mountain range of the Sierra Nevada's we were around 12000 elevation. It was chillier at this height and I had to put my jacket on. The rag jacket my daughter is wearing I made for her.  She recently lost this at school!! No where to be found so I need to make another one for her. I will do a tutorial on that as well. 

There was a tall giant that fell across the path in 2010 I believe, and the people visiting this park at the time said the ground shook and the noise was incredible! Thank the Lord this did not fall on anyone!

On the way home we saw some beautiful countryside and moo moo cows :)