Monday, July 30, 2012

flex time

Tyler recently started flex-time hours;
he works from 7:30-5, with only a half hour lunch break, 9 week days
then gets the 10th work day off.
Last Friday was his first 'flex day'.

there was margin.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

and now, the post we have all been waiting for

On  July 19th, at 6 in the very hot evening,
on a little dock at Carol Ann Cross Park,
in a small, sweet (and did I mention, hot?) wedding ceremony,
Tony and Kacy
got married.

I tried to not meddle ~ really, I did! But I couldn't help myself.
At 1:45 (in the very hot afternoon) I got Tony's blessing to decorate.
(as much as one can decorate at a moment's notice
with little help
on a hot July day)
See, they didn't really care about decor
or a big guest-list ~ they just wanted to get hitched.
But Kacy was awful tickled with the flowers Wednesday evening,
and her eyes lit up when she realized we could take the flowers with us to the dock...
I figured a little tulle would help her wedding day be a bit more magical.
Kacy rode with Tyler,
and Tony I were just minutes ahead of them...
Tony (the groom) Tim (the preacher) Roselle (the photographer) and Kacy's Dad and Valerie
all pitched in to help and we had the the wedding chapel ready in no time.

That fabric? tablecloths from the night before.
(I basted 2 together, but had planned to hang them vertically, so my stitching wasn't quite long enough. oops) 
Cooled it down by at least 10 degrees!
(did I mention the sweat trickling running down everyone's backs?!)

Her daddy went to get her from our Excursion and bring her to her man.

now you know why I needed a dress...

Tim always presents the couple with a gift as part of the ceremony.
Since they are both severs at Marketplace,
he gave them aprons, to remind them to always serve one another.

He may have also recommended wearing them

the vows

(do I look turtley enough for the turtle club?!)

at least Valerie is in the turtle club with me...

the rings

A story about Tony's ring:    One of 'their' words is palladium 
it means 'anything believed to provide protection or safety; safeguard.'
When they were ring shopping, they liked the look of this ring, and Tony liked the way it felt.
Then, the salesperson told them what it was made of.
It was a no-brainer.

the prayer

the kiss

Mr and Mrs Tony Lou....


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

attainable perfection

'member when I said I was going for 'attainable perfection on this here garment?
I think I may have set my sights a tad high.
Which makes them more difficult to achieve than, say, setting my sights low.

In some ways, 
I am so, so pleased with this top.
Even though I messed up and didn't do my beading on the body of the shirt like Alabama Chanin did theirs
with all the lovely white space between the beads,
a look I much prefer to my strings of solid beads (grrr),
I'm still happy with the beading.
And the beading along the neck-line - with the cretan stitch? love!
I'm pleased with my workmanship in general; for the most part, my stitches are even
and so are my seams.

I'm not real pleased with the not-smoothness of the neckline,
but upon reflection, I've figured out the problem:
I've seen lots of pictures of AC garments that people have made
(I am nothing, if not an extensive researcher ;-)
and several gals have had necklines that don't quite lay flat against the chest.
I made note of (what I thought must indicate) the necessity of slightly stretching the binding strips as I sewed them on.
So, I carefully slightly stretched the binding strips.
Only, the neck still doesn't lay just right.
I think the problem lies in the raising of the neckline.
See - being that I am, ummm, well-endowed,
my measurement around where I raised the neckline to, is 1 1/2 inches smaller
than my upper bust measurement where the original neckline would have hit.
One and a half inches!
That's bound to make a difference.
So, even though I wish it laid better (perfectly!) I'm glad that I figured out what to do in the future;
I need to take in the sides of that center piece a bit.
(which is easier said than done, based on the shape of that piece after raising the neckline, but doable anyways)

What really is a bummer about this supposed-to-be-perfect garment is this:
well, actually, there's two things.
First of all - a bug peed (Or maybe pooped? I'm not really sure what bugs do, waste-wise)
on my shirt (smack dab in the middle!) after I'd set it aside a few weeks ago, upon learning of my beading error.
The bug pee (or pooh, whatever the case may be) isn't the problem,
as much as the slub I created, trying to clean said bug waste product off my fabric.
The other problem is

it's too tight
(which makes no sense; my muslins did NOT fit like this!!)
and it looks positively hideous on me.


As usual, I'm joining Elizabeth's with needle and thREAD
Only. I can't remember if I've read any books or not right now....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


We are mostly screen-free this summer.

Jeremiah asked if they could watch a 'World's Toughest Fixes' episode.
I said, "No."
Jeremiah said, "Okay, Momma. Thanks anyways."
Which is, of course, the reply we work on around here all.the.time. 
I thought a minute and decided that I guessed it'd be okay if they watched one episode.
The problem is - when they watch one show, they want to watch another
And another
and they forget how to do everything except zone out in front of the TV.....

Before the episode even ended, Lexi asked if they could watch something else when it was done.
I said, "No."
She walked over to Jeremiah and growled at him through clenched teeth,
"How did you get a 'yes'?!"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

paleo pizza crust

I was going to make something else for dinner, 
but decided pizza sounded better.
Darn it if I haven't spent 15 minutes trying to find the wheat-free pizza crust recipe I've used in the past.
Figured I'd be smart this time and pin it, but no - couldn't pin any of the images.
No image? No pin.
So I'll post the link here. 
Then I can find it again later.
Of course, if I would ever add categories to my blog, I could find it easier.
More easily.

Monday, July 23, 2012

powerful stuff

A few weeks (months?) ago, 
my friend Sandy mentioned using a mix of Dawn dish soap and vinegar
for cleaning some especially difficult mess. I forget what.
I'd been seeing cleaning recipes using Dawn for awhile, 
but hearing that a real live person that I know in real life
had had success using it, convinced me to buy some and give it a try.

It went against my frugal nature to fill the bottle with just half Dawn, half vinegar,
so I used equal parts Dawn, white vinegar, and water.
I reasoned if it wasn't impressive, I'd add more soap and vinegar....

Color me impressed!
and purple with a streak of magenta...
I first used my 3 part mix a few weeks ago on the nasty ring in my washing machine.
The tall people in the house don't see this, but I do.
It was already looking pretty bad,
but when I pre-washed 3 dark-colored fabrics,
it was downright gross!
I couldn't ignore it any longer.
I ran an empty load with bleach and oxyclean.
It looked better, but there was still a gunky grey ring.
I remembered Sandy's spray and mixed my diluted version of it,
sprayed it on, left it for just a few minutes
and rinsed it off.
No scrubbing required!

I've used it here and there for little messes in the weeks since,
but couldn't be certain that the mess wouldn't have come up just easily with my regular spray.
Last night, though, it really shined!
I try to attack the burned on spills that surround the stove burners every few days.
(I hadn't expected a smooth top stove to require such upkeep!)
I usually spray (the regular spray), sprinkle on some baking soda, and spray again.
Leave it set a few minutes and scrub off. 
Takes some elbow grease, but it's no big deal.
For stubborn spots, I use Barkeepers Friend.
Last night, I lightly sprayed the Dawn mixture on all the burnt-on spots,
sprinkled on baking soda,
then sprayed with my regular spray.
I came back a few minutes later to scrub it,
but all I had to do was wipe it off.
No elbow grease whatsoever!

This stuff really works!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

the wedding party

Since the wedding didn't require a rehearsal dinner
and Beasley effectively ruined any chance of a dinner after the wedding,
 we had a small wedding party Wednesday evening, to send off the couple.

I'd decided on Monday that I was at least having flowers on the table,
so looked in the church kitchen when we were there Tuesday for a different party
to see if there was anything I could borrow.
I found some white plastic bowls that I thought would work nicely to put the flowers in.

Late Wednesday morning - yes, the dinner party was that night - I popped into Golden Corral, where we had a small room reserved, 
to see what the table situation was.
Plus, I really kinda wanted tablecloths - it would be so much nicer with tablecloths - so I brought along my tape measure....

I had an idea that popped into my head on Tuesday evening - making huge prints -
so before I left the house, I had Tony put the pictures I'd taken of him and Kacy on a disk for me.
After GC, I stopped in Staples and ordered 36"x48"engineer prints made up of a couple of photos
I thought T&K would like to hang in their bedroom.
The lady told me it'd only take about 5 minutes, so I waited. 
And tried to breath a little...

After Staples, I ran in to Hobby Lobby in hopes of finding tin buckets on clearance.
I figured I'd need fewer flowers in tins than I'd need for the bowls, so it'd actually be less expensive, 
even though I was paying for containers....
I didn't find any.
But - I bought a really cool metal sign of Joshua 24:15 to use as part of our blessing to them.

Then I went to Lowe's to buy the foam board insulation for mounting the prints.
They couldn't cut it for me on their saw, but the guy was very helpful 
and cut it for me anyways, using a razorblade and then a borrowed pocketknife.
I could have done it that way by myself - but figured this was quicker.
Plus - we're sorta lacking in large level surfaces around here....

Next up was a quick trip into Walmart to check out the $1.50 fabric.
I should tell you that all throughout the day, I was praying for God's favor 
and that I would have clear thoughts and be able to find what I wanted quickly.
I realize that none of what I wanted to do as far as decorating goes was necessary, or expected, 
but I think a well-appointed environment helps to set the tone for the event.
And it was a once-in-a-lifetime event...
I offered up several "Thank-you" prayers as I went about my errands!
Back to Walmart -- I found a grayish silverish fabric that was perfect for tablecloths, and they had 3 bolts of it!
(When they were planning a next-year-wedding,  Kacy had chosen purple and silver as the colors)
As I was driving there, I'd figured out how I wanted to arrange the tables, 
so I just had to quickly calculate my fabric needs.
(then wait for the lady to s l o w l y measure and cut)

After that, it was Sams Club for flowers.
I panicked when I first got back to the floral department; it was as bare as I'd ever seen it!
Thankfully, I was able to find enough appropriate flowers for the 9 arrangements I needed wanted to make.
After paying for the flowers, I hightailed it home. 
Tuesday evening, Tyler was still trying to come up with something to do that would have meaning to Tony and Kacy, and could involve the guests. 
After listening to a couple of lame ideas (sorry, Hon, but they were lame...)
 I told him, "Just pray about it, God will give it to you in the morning."
He does that for Tyler all the time.
Sure enough, God did give him an idea, and par for the course, he called to see if I could help pull it off.
I told him I'd sure do my best.
(But I was awfully glad he was getting off work a few hours early!)
When I got home, around 2:30, I got Brandon started on our print project by taping off borders so he could paint the foam board edges 
(turns out the taping wasn't necessary...)
I'd made a satin belt, straps and bows for the sundress that Kacy would be wearing that evening,
but I still had a bit of hand-sewing to do to actually attach the straps and bows.
I'd saved it for naptime, so after getting the borders taped off on the boards, I put Lex' to bed and worked on that.

Details are getting fuzzy now about what exactly happened next
- plus, I'm feeling a little stressed just from writing about all the rushing we were doing -
but when Tyler got home around 3:30,
I still hadn't started on his project
which was typing up and printing cards (2 of each) that had attributes of a godly marriage on the outside
and verses that went along with those attributes on the inside.
We wanted guests to choose an attribute that they would commit to praying for
for Tony's and Kacy's marriage - they were to keep one, as a reminder to pray for them,
and sign the other to give to them. We encouraged everyone to add a note or a blessing, too.

Poor Tyler had to do the project all by himself,
because I still had flowers to arrange....
I was seriously wishing my sister were here, 'cause she is soo much better than I am at floral arranging!
Before it was all said and done, I had Jeremiah, Brandon, Lily and Tony
(and even Tyler for a few minutes, once the cards were all ready to go)
all helping at various times.
You wouldn't believe the mess we made of the kitchen!
At first, we were aiming for the trash can, but before we were finished,
there were flowers stems and petals and leaves all over the place!

Somewhere around 5:15, 5:30 we'd taken a break from the flower arranging to run outside
- literally -
to finish the pictures.
I'd already trimmed the prints, fortunately, 'cause we  were running out of time!
Tony and Kacy were heading home to get ready to go,
and we wanted them to be surprised (and amazed ;-) when they saw the giant photos at the restaurant.
Sadly ~ when we pulled them out of the van, where we stashed them as soon as we finished, 
they were a bit wrinkled (?!) so we'll have to re-glue them.
No biggie.
They still looked pretty awesome, if I do say so myself...

We'd planned to be there about 30 minutes early, to get things set up,
but we left about 10 minutes late
and just a mile or so from the house, TJ called to tell us not to take the bypass, as there was a traffic jam.
So we had to take the long way to town.
I called Lana (who was aiming to be a bit early to help me anyways) and her and Luke (and maybe T & Mom & Bill?) 
were able to get the tables and chairs all moved around just the way I wanted them before we got there
maybe 10 minutes 'til 7, when the party was supposed to start.
Tyler's job was to hang the pictures.
Kacy's dad and his girlfriend arrived to the chaos of everybody else pitching in to get the cloths and flowers on the tables.
The room was looking real pretty (and I'd finally gotten to drink some water - I was so parched!) by the time Tony called at 7:06 to tell me 
he couldn't find my keys.
We'd left the girls and Jeremiah home with him and Kacy, so they were going to bring the Excursion.
Which also had that metal Joshua 24:15 artwork (that never got wrapped) we were giving them....
It never even occurred to me to leave the keys!
But, in addition to making sure everyone was good and hungry, them being unfashionably late
allowed everyone plenty of time to carefully choose the attribute they'd be praying for.
And to write a nice note in the card.....

In spite of all the craziness (and the fact that most of my pictures were bleh. pooh!) I think the little wedding party was good.
I think Tony & Kacy were blessed and felt loved
and I know that everyone that came was happy to have a part in sending them off!
(And I was happy that we were able to pull off 'pretty')

There was no rest for the weary though, because after we got home,
it was time for me to get to work on finishing up the wedding dress
(that I didn't talk myself into making until Monday.....)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

princess shoes

$90 shoes, on clearance for $10

plus a bit of spray paint, glue, and glitter
equal shoes fit for a princess. Or a bride.
Same difference, if you're talking to Lily....

(I think this was the only wedding related project I did that was not impromptu...)

Oh ~ did you know that if your sling backs slip off your heel,
you can just take a tiny chunk of elastic out, and sew it back together??
Learned that from my new daughter-in-law.
I'll post pictures just as soon as I get them from our photographer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

music that moves

My kids think I'm a music-hater, but that's really not true.
I'm just a noise-hater.

The other day, Tyler was beating me at Backgammon.
Seriously - it used to be about 50 / 50
but here lately (as in - the past several weeks!) he has won
Ticks me off!
So anyways ~ we're playing Backgammon on his iPod.
I'm losing. He's winning.
And he put a love song station on the Pandora.
(I have no clue how this thing works. you can pause it, but not skip stupid songs??)
I noticed that while a song I liked was on (usually one from the 80's or 90's)
I didn't mind him beating me so much.
But when a song came on that I didn't care much for,
I didn't care much at all for all his stupid rolling of doubles and such.

interesting  ~ huh?

Sunday, July 15, 2012


That 'in between' period is a beast sometimes.
In childbirth, and in life.
Even good changes are painful,
especially for one not fond of change at all.

Tony and Kacy - with our blessing - have decided to tie the knot a little sooner than originally planned.
They figured I'd be perfectly fine with it, seeing as how I'm of the mindset,
that once you find the one with whom you'll spend your life,
you might as well just get on with it.
And I am perfectly fine with it.
Most of the time.
But those other times - those other times, I can't even breathe.
And liquid falls from my eyes, even though I tell it not to.
Those moments catch me completely unaware.

I knew Tony was packing Wednesday;
packing up his entire life into a few cardboard boxes.
And I was okay.
Really. I was.
Until Lily showed me the keychain he'd given her...

I was rinsing my little coffee pot,
just a little ritual I do several times a week, 
in preparation for my afternoon coffee and reading with my feet propped up,
while Lex' goes down for a nap,
when I saw Brandon walk by out of the corner of my eye. 
I heard him go up the ladder to his loft room.
The room that, after Thursday, will no longer be his brother's and his - will be his, alone.
And the tears fell.

I am happy for Ton'.
And I am just tickled with Kacy ~ she is so perfect for him!
And more importantly we feel like this is God's will.
But man!
Sometimes transition's a beast.

all's grace

Surrounded by all of my children, grandchildren,
and my mom and Bill,
watching Jeremiah be baptized by his loving father,
I thought,
"Ann is right. It really is - all grace."
I found it especially fitting that I was sitting next to my beloved Gramma Joyce,
the one who introduced our family
to Jesus 
over 40 years ago.
to the friends and family who celebrated with us and shared our joy - thank you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

3 starts, 4 finishes, and a WIP

I got a lot of sewing in this week.
I started,
and finished, a dress for me yesterday.

Actually, that's not entirely true; I cut out the lining Saturday.
I originally wasn't going to treat the lining as a lining;
I was going to just layer the fabrics, and treat them as one
so I laid the outer fabric face down on the table, with the lining pieces on top and cut it out that way.
Without moving the pieces, I used my basting glue around the edges,
but then thought that might not be the best idea, and pulled them apart.
Which sounds easier than it was.
Everything went together pretty quickly after that.
I sewed the lining and the dress seperately, then used this tutorial for attaching the lining ~ it worked beautifully.

Being a knit pull-over, the dress is super comfy;
I just hope I don't feel like an overstuffed chair, wearing a floral print.... 

Tyler was gone for the evening, and the kids were swimming, so as soon as I finished my dress,
I pulled out the ruffle fabric I got on sale for $5 a yard.
I grabbed a tank top that the girls share, measured from Lily's underarm to knee
and got to work.

I had some superlightweight, fairly low quality white cotton jersey,
so I used that as the lining.
I folded it in eighths, 
and laid the tank top, folded in half, on top 
and cut out all 4 pieces (2 fronts, 2 backs - cut on the fold) at once.
Then I took 2 inches off of Lexi's length (should have taken off more, I see....)
and, again, used the lining pieces as the 'pattern' to cut the dress pieces.

I had to do more pinning than I prefer, to keep all those ruffles lined up,
but I ended up deciding I don't hate pinning as much as I thought I did.

I understitched Lily's - looks like I need to go back and do Lexi's, too

I finished most of Lily's dress last night, and sewed most of Lex's up this morning.
I saved the handsewing for nap-time.
I was on a roll, 
so I decided I'd go ahead and finish my coral and aqua shirt, too.
I just picked a stitch on my machine that looked like it'd have some 'give' to it that went with my daisies.
It only took about 1/2 hour, since I already had my binding strips cut and ironed.

It's still a work in progress.
The beading on the front and back is done,
and the side seams are sewn, but not felled.
I got a little bummed when I went back to the Alabama Chanin post, to find out what to do next
and discovered that they had spaces in between their beads,
and I, did not.
I set it aside for several days, but I'm ready to get back to it now.
Not a ton of reading has been happening;
I'm still picking up Captivating every now and then and I just started reading through A Pattern Language,
a book that my friend, Susan - who sadly, no longer blogs -  mentioned so many times,
I knew I had to check it out.
Our library doesn't have it, and at almost $40, I didn't want to buy it without a look-see.
I actually remembered to take all the info with me to the library three weeks ago, 
so I could request it via inter-library loan and it finally came in Tuesday.
I'm anxious to get to the part about houses - I'm still in towns, right now....
Once again, I'm joining Elizabeth's

needle and thREAD

Gotta run...