just talk

A change gonna come

One of my favorite gospel songs is “A change gonna come” especially sung by Aaron Neville.  Actually anything he sings is my favorite.

Listening to his music has helped me keep my sanity in check over the past 2 years.  There has been a whole lotta changes–some good, other not so much.

In early 2012 our daughter decided it was time to spread her wings and leave our protective nest.  So she became a solider girl.  While very proud of her we were also apprehensive about her going out into the big bad world.  But we taught her well, so we knew she would survive it well.

My Soldier GirlAnd Mom was finally starting to recover from her heart attack in 2009 and the multiple surgeries because of it.  Life was good.

2013 brought a lot of sadness and a lot of happiness at the same time.

Mom suffered a devastating stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side and unable to talk. There were days when visiting her in the nursing home I would have to step outside and have a good cry.  It was so difficult to see her suffer so much.  Mom eventually died from the complications of the stroke, but it does give me some comfort to know that she is no longer suffering such horrible pain.

She was a classy and elegant lady until the end.


At the same time, joy came into our lives.  In June soldier girl got married to soldier husband Nestor.


And in August they informed us there would be a soldier baby arriving in April.  Talk about joy! It was a big surprise to us, didn’t see it coming.

Here they are at Christmas time at Manhattan Beach, CA visiting his family.

ashley & nestor

What a beautiful couple they are.

It still baffles me that I could have such feelings of joy and pain at the same time.  Now it is a new year–although almost half of it is gone, for me it feels like it is just starting.  Over the last few months, I’ve managed to tie up some loose ends and have energy for moving on.

That means you will see some changes here.  Actually, the changes have already started and more are on the way.

Until next time, have a beautiful life.


Been a long time

It has been a long time since I’ve shown my face around here, mainly due to a difficult last year.  Last April my mother had a major stroke that she never fully recovered from.  She lost her ability to speak and was paralyzed on right side.  At the beginning we were very hopeful that she would recover, but it soon became evident the damage was too much.

Since my sisters and I were not able to care for her at home, we had to put her in a nursing home.  So our main priority became to make sure she received the best care possible.  We established shifts where at least on of us 4 daughters were there with her almost all the time.  Since my work schedule was most flexible, I spent most of my days at the nursing home with Mom.  That meant a lot of things in my life got put on hold, including this.

In December Mom moved on to another phase of her life.  I miss her so much, but now I must move on also.  I will never stop missing Mom, but I feel her here with me all the time.

So what does that mean for Sew It Yourself Slipcovers?  Well, I need to revive and revamp–it is time for a new look, don’t you think?  Also, there are some technical problems that I have not been able to solve myself and no one else has either.  As you may have noticed, none of the comments show up and I can’t figure out why.  Very frustrating.

For the next few weeks, I will be working behind the scene rebuilding the site.  What I have now will stay up until then.  I hope to see you back here real soon to reveal the new look.



The last few months, life has been hectic and overwhelming at times.  And I’ve been out of sorts with myself.  Can’t seem to get into a routine and get things done.

Part of the problem is that too many things are unfinished and keep dragging me down.  So, I’ve made a list of all the unfinished things and have been slowly working on them.  And actually seeing some progress! YEAH!

One of my goal for this year is to simplify things in my life and in my work.  And part of my simplifying routine will affect Slipcover It Yourself blog, but not in a negative way.  In the coming days, I will go into more detail.

So until then, I’ll work on a few more things and get back to you in a few days.


My Soldier Girl

I know this post has nothing to do with slipcovers, but I'm such a proud mama that I'm about to burst wide open. 

Meet PFC Knowles!  Yeah, my baby girl is gonna be a solider.   This time Monday night she will be at Ft. Jackson, Columbia, SC starting boot camp.  She's moving on out from under the protective wings of mom and dad.  And I know she will do well. She's worked so hard over the last 7 months studying, taking tests and getting physically fit.  She passed all the required test and the physical training test to earn a promotion to Private First Class before starting boot camp.  Can you say "proud mama".

She has grown into one amazing young woman.  Focused, professional and with a big heart.  Yesterday I was at the salon she worked at being pampered with a ultimate manicure and pedicure while she trained her replacement.  This was a rare chance to see her as a professional instead of my baby girl.  I'm so glad I got to see that.  Makes me see her in a whole new light.

While at the salon several of her clients came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed knowing her and that we did a great job raising her.  Not to brag, but I agree, we raised a winner.  Not that it wasn't rough at times, but it was worth it.  But we can't take all the credit.  She become her very own person and one that I am so proud to know.

The picture above is just one that we took recently and it is my favorite.  This one is my second favorite.  I love this picture of us. 


I do hope everyone has enjoyed a great start to the new year.  Its been a little crazy these last few weeks around here.  First Christmas brunch at my house and all the cleaning, decorating, cooking and other stuff that involves.  Then brunch today at my sisters house.  And in between all that helping my daughter wrap things up before she heads off to Army boot camp.

But, today is a new year and I love it.  I'm always happy when one year ends and another starts.  Not that 2011 was a bad year, I just like new beginnings.  Kinda remind me of then I was active duty and would get orders for a new assignment.  No matter how much I loved my current base, a new assignment was so full of promise.  Just like a new year, so full of potential.

I've got several new fun things going on in my personal life and I'm redefining my custom slipcover business.  Still working out some final details on that, but it won't be long now.  When everything is in place, I should have more time to concentrate on my teaching and writing.

Do have a great new year and a beautiful day, everyday.

A Tangle o’ Threads

I really like my sewing chair, I mean really like it.  Not that it is anything special; just your typical office task chair.  You know the kind, 5 legs, a pneumatic handle that raises the seat up and down.  Although mine seems to have a mind of its own.  I’ll be busy sewing along and all of a sudden, bam! the seat drops 3-4 inches.  If that doesn’t get my attention.

They usually are covered in some rough fabric in a dull gray, green or some other dull color.  But I upholstered mine in a happy pink fabric, so it is all nice, pretty and comfortably fits my butt.

But there is one thing I hate about it.  This!

What a mess!  And I cleaned it just two weeks ago.  Why can’t manufacturers make wheels that are covered somehow and so they don’t gather all these threads?  Is it just me, or does anyone else have this problem?

I guess it would help if I managed to get all the little bits and pieces of thread in the garbage instead all over the floor.  But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

So I’ll just have to deal with this mess every few weeks.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hubby and I are getting on a jet plane tomorrow morning headed up north to Milwaukee for a much needed vacation.  I thought when I took a break from sewing, I would get some down time, but no, have been just as busy as before.

We managed to paint our house, garage and garage apartment ( we did have help–actually the help worked harder than we did) and I finshed  two more top secret slipcover projects finished, but I can’t show them just yet.

So I leave you to enjoy these beautiful blooms from my garden.

Plumeria Frangipani

Plumeria Frangipani

I purchased a cutting of this plant 3 years ago because I was told it was pink.  It bloomed today for the first time.  Just in time for me to leave.  Hope it is still blooming when I get home.


Orchid Phalaenopsis


This Phalaenopsis belongs to my daughter, but it wasn’t getting enough light in her apartment, so it is now in my courtyard and doing beautifully.  Isn’t she gorgeous!

See you in a week.

Break is almost over

Well, my break time is coming to an end.  Need to get back into the groove of things.  I’m working on several projects–some I will share soon, others I can’t share for a while.

So stay tuned, I’ll be back soon.

Spring Fever

Once again, I’ve disappeared for a while.  Lots of things converged upon me at the same time and I didn’t manage to keep all the balls in the air.  Plus, I’m really have some burn out issues with my business.  Right now, I’ve totally over sewing slipcovers.  So, I’ve decided to take 6 months off from the business and work on several other irons I have in the fire and learn how to relax again and not be so uptight about things.

So in that vein, I played around outside today after the rain.  I love my garden after a long hard rain, and boy, did we have one today.  While out playing and getting good and wet, this bloom with rain drops caught my eye.  So I quick grabbed my camera and got a few shots.  So pretty!


Ground orchid with rain droplets

Bud with droplet

After the rain

I hope spring comes to your area soon!


Slipcover Summit Scholarship

Have you heard?  April 1 is the deadline to apply for the Slipcover Summit scholarship.  No, it is not an April fools joke, that really is the deadline.  If you are a slipcover professional or an aspiring slipcover professional, then you need to consider this.

Go here for the application and either email it to me @ aknowles6@tampabay.rr.com or fax it to 727-328-1431.  What are you waiting for!