Monday, February 26, 2007

goodwill hunting

3 witty remarks
Went to Goodwill today for some jeans that I can alter with foam stamps or something and wear at the Event. Unfortunately, I also spotted this skirt.
It was two dollars! I love the print - it reminds me of the new American Crafts papers but in different colors - and I love that it's in cotton, so it would be only a tiny bit weird to wear a full(ish) knee length skirt to the grocery store. (In case you've been paying attention, my sartorial aim is towards being a Person Who Wears Dresses On Non Dressy Occasions, Yet Doesn't Look Weird. Cotton seems to help, although I could never pull off this dress.) Anyway, I think it would look great with a lime-green T shirt and flip flops. I'm dying to start wearing flip flops again, is that weird? Of course, wearing white on the bottom does seem to bring out the unnatural pallor of my legs, so thank heavens for self-tanner lotion.

Also, I found these pants.

Yes, those are hot pink and orange tigers. This is actually the second pair of Lilly Pulitzer capris that I've found at Goodwill (I snagged martini drinking pigs a few years ago). Four dollar Lilly pants are like the needle in the proverbial thrift-store haystack, since these things sell for mucho dinero. Twice in a lifetime means I should probably write a book ro something. I snatched them up even though they are not my size (in my dreams, maybe). I think I'll see if my sister Catherine wants 'em - she has both the figure and the fashion sense to pull off neon colored jungle cats.

I seem to be blogging a lot about clothes lately. It must be the time of year. I am so ready for it to be spring. Posted by Picasa

Son, you got a panty on your head.

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Apparently, this is what happens when I leave Matt alone with the kids and a camera. Although I think it was actually Porter's idea to wear Betsy's tights (she calls them "sock-pants") on his head. Let's just hope it's not an indicator of his future career choices.

There were a couple of other pictures but they were even more disturbing.

Wanna see what I did over the weekend?

I reconfigured our master closet a bit, moving one shelf up a foot or two and installing another one below it. That Rubbermaid closet system is actually quite easy to work with. I've increased our capacity by about 40%, which as you can see from the picture, we don't actually need... Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 23, 2007

dear future betsy...

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Do you remember February 21, 2007? That was the first day you went to Story Time at the library. Unlike Toddler Time, your mom is expected to drop you off and browse through the magazines in a carefree manner while you read stories and make a craft. I was a little worried, Bets, that you wouldn't like me leaving you there but my concern was needless. You were so thrilled to be with the big kids.

Of course, being your mama, I had to peek on you probably three or four times during the twenty-minute session. And you were doing great, sitting quietly on the floor while the nice lady read you stories about doggies. I wish you could know what you looked like to me, your blonde ponytail coming halfway down your back, the waist of your underpants sticking out of your jeans (it was your first outing without a pull-up, Betsy, did you know that?) and your little blue sneakers pointing out because you put them on the wrong feet. I was so proud of you, Betsy, but a little sad too because I honestly had no idea you'd gotten so big.

I sneakily watched you make your doggy ears project - you colored them red to look like Clifford, which is a favorite of yours right now - and heard your sweet voice chattering away. When it was time to pick you up for real (and time for you to put on your jacket, which you'd insisted on hanging on the little hooks in the back) you probably wondered why I had to hug you so much.

I am going to be a complete basket case when you start school.

love, mom Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

do not adjust your set

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I finished this scrapbook page this morning. It's actually been mostly done for weeks but I finally got around to writing the journaling.

(You can't really see them but I used Heidi Swapp acrylic stars on there... pretty much my favorite embellishment right now. There is almost nothing that can't be enhanced with a clear plastic star.)
The funny thing is, 'Santa Was Here' is pretty much an exact scraplift of a layout I did over a year ago.
I really liked this one, in fact it's probably one of my most favorite layouts ever. (I've lost count of how many times I've submitted 'Glow' to the magazines! Seriously, it applies to almost everything.) Although I usually don't scraplift anyone (including myself, lol) I will probably do this same layout again in the future with different pictures and supplies. It's kind of like sewing, where you can use the same pattern over and over again but with different fabrics and everything.

We've had to switch Porter to size 4 diapers. Parents of small children will recognize this as a fairly significant milestone since they wear size 3 diapers for pretty much an eternity. (I don't know why, that's just the way the sizing works.) I was thinking about it and I realized that Porter is almost 2. What??!! When did that happen?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Here ya go Mom...

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...since I know you like to see my projects.

I'm not in love with the sleeves: the fabric is a bit stiff so they tend to stick out like demented angels' wings. I'm sure there is something I can do about that. I did the topstitching in red, just to be clever - maybe I should have been more humble, because I still can't sew straight, and now everyone knows it. Oh well. I haven't sewn on the ribbon ties - I'll hand stitch them while watching NCIS tonight - and I dispensed with the little bow at the front where the bodice crosses over. They used a thin velvet ribbon; I used some red ribbon left over from the Christmas stockings, and if I tried to tie it in a jaunty little bow I'd end up looking like a present. Not good. I think I'll just tie it in a knot, instead.

Anyway, I'm glad it's done and I'm very happy with this pattern (despite the fact that I did a lousy job folllowing their instructions). I think I'll wear my new blouse to the ward Valentine thing on Friday... the one which was postponed twice because of all the snow. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 19, 2007

note to self

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Pressing goes a lot faster if you remember to plug in the iron first.


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I can’t believe, it’s less than a month until the 2007 Scrap Etc. Event! I spent like three hours on the computer Saturday finding all the pictures I need to have printed. I’m sure it makes me weird, but I don’t store them on my hard drive, so I had to wander around in my online gallery until I found all 100 or so that I needed. Then of course I had to edit them (I can’t believe how bad of a photographer I am) and convert most to black and white. Still, it makes it feel so much more real, knowing that there are things I can do now to get ready for the Event!

Also, since it’s President’s Day, a lot of fabric stores were having sales today, and I totally made the rounds. First I went to Hancock where Simplicity patterns were seriously 99 cents. I couldn’t find the awesome pajama pattern that Emily made, which seems to have been discontinued. Bummer. I did get another dress pattern which you’ll see shortly - and a bunch more vintage baby doll clothes to sew for Betsy. I think I’m more into it than she is but I keep seeing all these awesome fabrics that just beg to be made into teeny tiny dresses and PJ’s and sunsuits.

Next stop was Hobby Lobby which conveniently is close by. I returned some stuff - no Joni, you do not need any more AC Charlie stickers - and somehow ended up in the fabric department, where I scored this for $4.00 a yard.

That’s my new dress pattern - I’m going to try the version shown in blue, with the crossover front and the adorable sleeves (I can do set in sleeves is my new mantra) but I’d like to do the contrast bands as well. It may be difficult to find another print that contrasts perfectly with this one. I suppose if worst comes to worst I can do a solid rusty-brown cotton, which will at least match those shoes I got at Old Navy.

After that I headed over to JoAnn. I’ve discovered the secret to finding really great fabric at JoAnn: bypass the ‘Apparel’ section and head straight to quilting. Not only do they have way better prints, not only are they cheaper, but the quilting fabrics have the distinct advantage of being 100% cotton. (The last dress I served effectively turned me off to ‘silkies.’ Not that it was all that bad to sew, but I’m afraid to wear it too much or it will unravel. Plus, I’m trying to become one of those cool people like Dress a Day Girl who can wear a dress just for the sake of wearing a dress. Cotton somehow seems more ‘everyday’ to me.) Anyway, all the quilting prints were 30% off, and I found, all stashed in one corner like they were too cool to associate with the dowdy calicos and ditsy florals…

Alexander Henry prints! (Okay, so I'm a label snob. Sue me.)

Isn’t that the cutest? The funny thing is, I bought that pattern like 3 years ago, long before I ever knew how to sew. Simplicity doesn’t even sell it anymore. But I seem to be partial to that silhouette - it is vaguely Duro-esque, isn’t it? - and it’s a look which seems to flatter me. Won’t this be sweet, with cherry red ribbon for the ties?

I think this will be my next project so that I can wear it to the Event. It looks pretty easy - the sleeves are cut on the bias, so there’s no gathering, and like all of my projects, no fasteners. As soon as I get the fabric washed I’ll start working on the muslin (have to make sure the crossover part isn‘t going to provide any, um, unwanted glimpses…) All of my tutoring students seem to be on winter break, so I have time this week that really should be spent more productively than watching NCIS repeats.

This was another awesome print I found in the Alexander Henry section. The cutting lady told me they just got it in last week.

I’m dying to make matching bib aprons for Betsy and me. Why have a daughter and learn how to sew, if not to make matching mother-daughter aprons? I’ve been hunting for just the perfect fabric to use, and since I didn‘t have the envelope with me, I accidentally bought enough yardage to make a third apron if we ever have another girl. And while it’s not specifically marketed as such, I think the pattern is fairly vintage looking, don’t you? Maybe I’ll pick up a quarter yard of something else and do contrast pockets, just for fun.

While the fabric has me absolutely salivating, I think I’m going to have to work up to this one. (Maybe I’ll have them done by Mother’s Day. This year.) Why? Because each one is edged with miles and miles of bias tape. If you’ll recall from the Baby Doll Christmas Coat - which I never posted pictures of because I basically hated how it turned out - bias tape and I are not friends. Of course, that was the extra skinny kind. Maybe if I use wider tape - and yes, they do sell it in the perfect tomato-red to match the berries and flowers of Mr. Henry’s imagination - then maybe it won’t quite leave me wanting to hurl the whole thing out the window.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

crazy boy

2 witty remarks
Porter is a booger,
Climbing into the bookshelf.
Shoulda left him there.

Still snowing today.
Glad I don't have to shovel.
Will it ever stop? Posted by Picasa

I forgot to add. Doesn't he look so much like his daddy in this picture?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

snowy Valentine's day

6 witty remarks

You know, I really look forward to the day - decades from now - when we get to sit back and reminisce about the blizzard of '07. Maybe I'll even call it Ought-Seven, just to sound more folksy. And then we'll all agree that we were tough, not like them young'uns today with their terrible music and their iPods and their robot maids. Because I really hope that we have robot maids by then.

Matt's had two days off from work, much of which he's spent shoveling. Yesterday it snowed and drifted and snowed and drifted; today the snow has stopped and the sun is out, and so are our neighbors with shovels and snowblowers. The big task now seems to be digging out the mailboxes, just in case we get any mail today (which we probably won't, we didn't yesterday and who knows if we will tomorrow? But I hope it's soon because I'm waiting for a paycheck and Hobby Lobby is having a sale and I haven't even left my house in three days.) Matt took the kids out sledding and despite Indiana being 99.999975% flat, he was able to build a sledding hill out of drifted snow - got plenty of that around - and pull the kids around in their sled.

It's also Valentine's Day. You know, that little holiday? So, by tomorrow morning the roads need to be passable enough to get to Target for half price candy. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

dress success!

5 witty remarks
So... (drumroll please)... here it is! It's actually not quite finished; I've only done half the hem, but you can't see the pins poking me in the knees. Posted by Picasa And I truly don't know what's going on with my hair in this picture.

I made a bunch of changes to the pattern, actually. Mainly, I attached the facings to all the neck and midriff band pieces - on the theory it would be easier to match up my sloppy notches when they weren't attached to the dress - which caused the front not to match up perfectly, so I lapped it a tiny bit and hand sewed it. (Maybe I'll put in some hook-and-eyes later, or frogs.) And I cut the front skirt piece about 2 inches wider and gathered it extra (would have been good if I'd remembered to increase the skirt band as well). And, instead of hemming both long edges of the waist ties, I just folded the whole mess in half and sewed a single seam. (This allowed me to do less pressing, which is my second least favorite thing about sewing, after cutting out the pieces.) While you could conceivably cut out the side skirt pieces on the fold, thereby eliminating another seam, I left it as it was and added pockets (I think Dress a Day Girl would approve).

See, Mom? That Sewing with Nancy book is really coming in handy now.

The bodice and skirt is a silky polyester, which was rather ravelly. If I use that type of fabric again, I'll zigzag the edges first (it turns out I can do that) or pink the edges with pinking shears or try French seams (Nancy makes them seem really easy). Or, I'll save myself the trouble and use a nice, non-ravelly cotton, (geishas, anyone?) The midriff bands are a heavier polyester suiting material, which I think works well with the style of the dress - the skirt band, especially, needs a little weight to it I think.

I'm already plotting what I can sew next, since I still don't have any photos to scrap (and whatever I do have I need to save for the Event). Unfortunately I've discovered Amy Butler fabrics, which are so gorgeous and pretty (do they remind anyone else of the new American Crafts papers?) but are 9 dollars a yard (yowch!) Still, it may be worth it. I scored a pair of these shoes in brown (they were marked down to $5! they had one pair! they were my size!) and I don't really have anything to wear with them. Hey, if I managed to make a dress in 3 days, maybe I can do it again?!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Super Bowl

1 witty remarks
Umm... so the Colts won.

There was actually a massive parade and pep rally downtown yesterday for our returning heroes. And I so would have gone, if it were maybe a teensy bit warmer than 2 degrees outside. As it was, the RCA Dome was filled to capacity and the streets were lined with yet more fans. THE COLTS WON THE SUPERBOWL!!!

Today it's warmed up a bit - just enough for the snow to start, actually. Yep, we're in the throes of a full fledged blizzard. And Matt - who had yesterday off, due to his generous bosses - is on his way home right now. I'm mainly typing this blog entry to take my mind off of my nervousness, actually.

I finished assembling my dress that I started on Sunday. Now I just have to pick out a lot of basting stitches and do the hem while I am watching NCIS. I'll post a picture in the next day or two - it's wicked cute.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Scrapping, sewing, stuff

4 witty remarks
Okay, first of all how cool is this. I'm going to the 2007 Scrap Etc. Event! Mo generously gave away 5 free spaces and I was lucky enough to be #4. Which not only means a weekend of fun, scrapping, and NO kids... it also means going to Alabama... in March! I've never been a fan of March weather (though it's better here than in NY) so that will be a nice break.

And... I mailed my HOF entry yesterday! I feel pretty good about it. I did my best, it's just up to the judges now (well, okay, and the U.S. Post Office, also).

Since my HOF entry is done and I'm out of photos to scrap anyway, I decided to dedicate a little time to sewing. I'm doing Simplicity 4072 and so far it has lived up to the name 'simplicity' - no buttons, no zippers, no set-in sleeves even (I'm doing the view with the kimono-style bodice). I hope to have it done in time to wear to church next Sunday. I have to say, the sewing is fun, but I REALLY hate cutting out all the pieces... especially those &^$@#%^ notches.

Betsy hasn't been feeling too well this weekend. She seems to have caught a gastrointestinal bug - though it seems to be running the 'intestinal' end of the spectrum. Boy howdy, there was one disappointed little girl in my house this morning when she realized that she wasn't going to Primary. However, I got her to eat some oatmeal by giving her leftover Christmas sprinkles to sprinkle over the top, and that cheered her up a bit. She's taking a nap now, which is a shame because KICKOFF IS IN TEN MINUTES!!!

Yeah, we're just a little excited about the Colts.

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