Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ready or not,

here we go.

We begin our 16th year of homeschooling today.

I am woefully unprepared.
I guess that's what happens when you are in denial 
about school starting soon.

The good news is, we start mid week 
so we can sorta just e-a-s-e into school,
so I still have a few more days to really get plans firmed up.

Before TKD yesterday,
Brandon took the kids to the library.
If everything falls apart,
at least we have fresh books :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

this and that on a Thursday

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird on our Florida vacation,
mostly while soaking in the big ol' tub in the master bath. 
The high level of humidity created a delicious warped texture
 to the pages of my second-hand copy of the book.
I think I will keep it forever.

I wanted to re-read it this summer in preparation for the new Harper Lee book,
Go Set a Watchman.

After hearing that Atticus was a racist in GSaW,
I decided not to read it, though.
I quite like Atticus as he is in TKaM, thank-you-very-much.

It's a shame though,
Harper Lee is a great writer.


Yesterday was my Gramma Day.
(well, technically, my Gramma Day was 2 weeks ago, and yesterday's was 'Lish's,
but I traded with her to go on an anniversary trip with my man.)

I'd called her Tuesday to tell her I had a big day planned for us.
She was surprised and excited.

She called me Wednesday around 9am, wondering what day it was,
and if she had anything planned.

I got to surprise her all over again :-)

She didn't like the movie I'd picked out for us to watch;
it moved too fast for her to follow.
(She didn't really see how anybody could follow it,
and said she wouldn't recommend it to anyone.)
I told her at least she wouldn't remember tomorrow that I took her to a movie she didn't like ;-)

she'll remember that I love her.


While in NWA,
I hit a few stores.
When checking out at Hancocks,
an idiot clerk asked me if I was over 50.

over 50?!?

I'm 46, Nan. 

He didn't even have the decency to give me the damn senior citizen's discount 
to make up for the insult!


I didn't achieve the goddess part of bronzed goddess,
but I am nicely tanned.

I'm often surprised that those are my golden legs
when I swing them out of the covers every morning.
(I often tell Gramma that my brain isn't in much better shape than hers.
There's proof for ya...)


Yesterday, two different people contacted me about having a long distance shower
to celebrate Hadley.
It makes me happy that people want to love on my kids.


I have to say goodbye to my purse.
I bought it at the SA thrift store 3(?) years ago for $1.
I still love it,
but it's looking awfully ratty for a full-grown (albeit a not-yet fifty yr old!) woman to be carrying.

I replaced it with an olive green $2 yard sale find
that I feel rather 'meh' about.
At least it has a hot pink interior.
(And my new coin purse goes with it very nicely)

I could make a purse, 
but there are just so many other things to make, too....


We haven't  seen signs of the weasel 
(at least I think it was a weasel)
 that got into the coop
in a couple of weeks.
Perhaps he came up and saw me,
the night I sat out there 'til the wee hours of the morning
with a shotgun in my lap,
and decided to go elsewhere.

Or maybe,
more likely,
in a grand fit of justice,
something got him.

But still,
we've lost more chickens to coyotes.

Would somebody please remind me
not to keep buying chickens?!


I have had a terrible time focusing the past few weeks.
I honestly don't know what the deal is.
At Dr Baker's suggestion, I've been taking SamE,
which is supposed to help your brain.

Of course, I sometimes  forget to take it...

Monday, August 17, 2015

petite zip pouch

When I get change at a store,
I just toss the coins in my purse.

Since we save coins for the Anniversary Fund,
I rarely use them,
but every once in awhile,
when my purse is already heavy,
and the 'cents' part is closer to a dime than a dollar,
I'll decide to use some change.

When that happens,
I have to move the big stuff in my purse aside,
to grab a handful of coins (and bits of trash).
I always think, 'I need to make a coin purse.'
But then I don't.

But Friday, after I finished curriculum shopping,
and filled out the forms,
and turned them in,
That changed.
(haha - changed)

One of the reasons I don't make pouches/bags for myself,
is I tend to overthink it.
I think I have to have The Perfect Fabrics For ALL Time.
And  there's too much pressure.
This time I just told myself to pick fabric I like. 

Well, goodness.
There are lots of fabrics I like!
Without the need for it to be my favorite
last forever and be positively perfect in every way,
I could just.make.a.pouch for myself.
Who knew?!

(All fabrics were scraps from other projects, 
including the zipper, which came from this)
(holy cow! that was over 5 years ago!)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

silly girls sewing

The girls had a birthday party to go to on Saturday.

Their friend likes art,
so we bought a pack of 36 watercolor pencils
and 3 different sizes of watercolor paper pads.

we decided we should make a little bag to hold her pencils.
Of course....

June's favorite color is blue,
so I dug through my blue fabrics
and found one that I thought would be super.
It was mostly blue,
with some red/pink
and sorta abstract watercolor-y looking.

Lexi said it was the exact fabric she had in mind,
so I guess it was a good choice.

I cut 2 rectangles
sandwiched them with a  batting scrap,
and the girls had their first go at the sewing machine!

Taking turns,
we randomly quilted straight and diagonal lines
all over our sandwich,
then I attached the zipper,
drew lines for them to sew along for the side seams,
and let each girl sew one side of the bag.

Lily was pretty cautious,
wanting me to operate the foot pedal for her,
but Lex' wanted to do it all.
and go faster.
(Since I'd done the foot pedal for Lil', though, I went ahead and did it for Lexi, too.
Gotta keep things even, you know)

They had a great time making a gift for their friend,
and at the party,

(refer back to the top photo - note Lexi's hair....crazy girl.)

but now they want more sewing lessons.....

Friday, August 14, 2015

out of sorts

I've been feeling discombobulated and more out of sorts than usual
for several days now.

It could be the lack of sewing.
Or the fact that Intent to Homeschool forms are due today,
and I only just yesterday 
finally forced myself to sit down with the catalogs and computer.
(I've been in denial.)
Or that my cycle is whacked.
Or that summer is waning.
Or that my weight just won't budge,
no matter what I do.
Or that this house is a wreck,
and even when we get it reasonably clean,
it looks like pooh.
Or that, 6th graders move from the children's program to the 'youth'.
and I have a 6th grader.
(who is, for the record, still a baby,
and is definitely not ready to be in a youth group of any sort)
Or that I have a Senior again.
Or that my birthday is just around the corner,
but I don't want to get old.

I can't do anything about most of those things,
but I can finish ordering curriculum,
and fill out and turn in the form
so I can sew.

Maybe that will help...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

a quilt for Claire

This (queen size) quilt's journey has been a long one.

these colors are far more accurate than the previous photo's

Before Chris and Claire were even engaged,
Lynnet asked if I would help her make Claire a quilt.

We decided that the three of us would work on it together,
making memories
while we made the quilt. 

By the time we actually got started on the making, though,
they were not only engaged,
but we were barreling towards a May 24th wedding.

After we got the quilt all laid out,
Claire said that was the last she wanted to see of it
until it was finished.
Even though she'd helped with the making of it,
there would still be some surprise
that way.

In April
we got the quilt top finished
 the back made
and the two layers basted together
with Warm and White in between,
and my part in the quilt
was also done.

In between caring for her mother,
health issues of her own,
Claire's wedding
(and 1st anniversary) 
came and went
without Lynnet getting the quilt finished.

After I posted pictures on Facebook 
Lynnet asked if she could hire me
to machine quilt Chris and Claire's.

I told her I could work on it in June.

Lynnet had really wanted to do the quilting herself,
so had a hard time passing it off to me
and it was mid June before I had it in my possession.
(It always makes me nervous to have someone else's quilt in my possession.)
(Even if it is a gift made by me, from me...)

Deciding on thread 
(I narrowed it down to 2 choices first, and ordered both,
then settled on a variegated blue)
and how, exactly, I was going to quilt it,
then practicing the quilting
took another few weeks,
so I didn't actually start quilting 'til after the 4th of July.

Knowing Lynnet likes surprises,
I assumed  that Claire didn't know
 that her quilt was being quilted,
so when I shared pictures of my work in progress,
they were only of the back.
(of course, Lynnet was peridiocally treated to crappy phone pictures of the front though ;-)

She decided she wanted me to go ahead and trim the quilt 
and sew, press and glue baste the binding to the back
(and do my patent-pending perfect corners ;-)
so I did that too,
and with relief that I hadn't ruined it while it was in my possession,
returned the almost finished quilt on the 19th.

Just a few days later,
so thankful that I had earned exactly enough!

Last Tuesday,
Lynnet finished sewing the binding down, 
and without even sewing on the label or tossing it in the wash,
she called Claire
and shared her big surprise.
At which point, Claire hopped in her car and drove down :-)

I love you, Sweet Girl.
Thanks for letting me in 
on creating an heirloom.
And 'Net, thanks for helping me save lives :-)

linking up with the finishers at Amanda Jeans, and Lee, even though it's finished
(does any one else find WIP finishes tricky?)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

workin' on the wardrobe


Except for a tiny bit of EPP,
I haven't sewn in a week.

The previous week,
instead of finishing up the OBW top,
or working on any of my other quilts in progress,
hungry for some instant (ish) gratification,
I switched to garment sewing.

I really needed some more skirts,
both for 'going'
and staying home,
and then, of course, some tops to go with them...

So, the week between getting the OBW 
(which desperately needs a real name!)
sewn into four sections,
and the week of no sewing,
I made 5 skirts
(most of them muslins, but all perfectly wearable)
and 2 tops,
plus I fixed a top I'd made last fall that fit horribly.

All knit, of course.

I have my AC pattern,
which I continued to adjust and tweak as I lost weight
(which means I haven't made any adjustments to the pattern in over a year. GRRR)
but it has a back seam.
While I like that back seam
because I can easily ascertain if my skirt is on perfectly straight,
and it eliminates the need for darts,
a lot of the fabrics I like for skirts don't necessarily work best with a CB seam.

I started
by making a pattern based entirely on my measurements,
using separate measurements for my front and back halves,
instead of measuring completely around and just dividing by two.

After I had that base pattern,
I used it to make a flared pattern,
so I could have a skirt with the same silhouette as this one
(which I've made several four more times, but never photographed, I guess)
but without the deep 'waistband'.

(I didn't quite achieve that - although my 2 pattern piece version does fit through the hips and flare,
it doesn't drape and swing as nicely as the 4 pattern piece version,
Still a decent skirt shape, but not exactly what I was going for)

I took the flared pattern
and turned it into a 6 panel skirt
with a little more swing.

The muslin I made with it puzzles me.
My pattern pieces should have resulted in a skirt that fit perfectly through the waist and hips.
(I measured and re-measured a couple of times)
but I had to take about 4 inches total off.

Perhaps the fabric was at fault??
I'm going to sew it up in something else
before I go messing with the pattern,
and take it from there.

In the tops department,
it was all about cowls.

I am determined to conquer the cowl.

I haven't done it yet,
(conquered the cowl, that is)
both tops are totally wearable,
while not a win, exactly,
I'm going with winish.

Custom pattern making takes (me) a long time,
and quite honestly,
it's time I would rather spend sewing.
I really want the clothes I make to fit and flatter,
so it's a necessary evil.

I'm hoping that if I ever do manage to lose the fat,
grading the pattern to a new size 
will be relatively simple.
If not,
I'll have a little bit of practice under my belt,
and the process will go faster next time around.

It could happen...

(many thanks to my multiple photographers
pink - Brandon, black floral - Josiah, blue - Lex'
Even though there were 5 skirts, 
Jeremiah and Lily didn't get a chance behind the lens
because I got tired of being in front of it.)

Linking up with Lee,
and  AJ and the finishers  :-)

I'm curious ~ Do you sew clothes and quilts??
There seems to be a lot of people who do one,
or the other,
but not so many who sew both...