Friday, March 30, 2007

second dress

8 witty remarks

I started cutting out this dress on Monday, thinking I'd just get the pieces ready and sew it during General Conference. But then I thought, I might as well sew a little, and a little more, and then... this morning I realized I was 85% finished and I could have it done by lunch if I didn't take a shower. Which I didn't. And I still haven't.

I thought I'd make Simplicity 3875, with the crossover top and the cute sleeves. The more I looked at that pattern, I realized I didn't really like the rest of the dress, so I figured I'd try and patch the bodice front of 3875 onto the skirt and back bodice of 4072. (Which is the pattern I used on my last dress. Fortunately there's also an option for a set-in sleeve, or I'd be sunk.) That didn't necessarily work out so I ended up making entirely new pattern pieces for the bodice front, the sleeves and the neck bands. (I used that Quilter's Grid stuff - it's basically nonwoven interfacing with grid lines printed on - and I love it. I may start tracing all of my patterns now.)

I think I officially have a 'thing' for contrast topstitching, because this time I did it in pink.
And it's mostly straight! (Just don't look too closely at the midriff bands.) The biggest change I made from last time is that I widened the skirt band and doubled it over. I learned from making Betsy's doll dress that having a folded band at the bottom of the skirt gets you out of hemming it - and any time I can avoid hand sewing, I am a happy girl. Also, I only did one pocket, since I sort of ran out of room when I was laying out the pieces. Oh well - as long as I have room for my ChapStick, I can survive. ;-)

I just want to add that it's a REALLY gorgeous day outside today. I think I'll take the kids for a walk later. After my shower.
Also, if you see my mom today, wish her a happy 50th! Love ya Mom!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

that new computer smell

13 witty remarks
So, right when I was getting ready to do a hard drive restore, our computer REALLY died. As in, it smelled like smoke and wouldn't turn on. Thank goodness I had just gotten done backing things up, or I would be really stressed right now. I saved everything - not just our budgets and tax information, but also the REALLY important stuff, like the 100 or so fonts I've downloaded and supply lists for all my scrapbook pages. You know, the truly vital things.

I spent yesterday shopping around and today we went to Circuit City - the salesguy was quite amused by my little notebook full of side-by-side comparisons of various models - and bought pretty much the EXACT same computer we had before, only for $200 less. (I love how technology keeps getting cheaper. Pretty soon they will be including a free desktop in every box of Cap'n Crunch.) Also, we can burn CDs now, which we couldn't before, so that's pretty cool. The only downside is that now I have to learn Windows Vista - and it's already driving me crazy. Oh well, progress marches on, and I don't want to get trampled.

Oh! Who watched the game last night? Butler was in the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in five years. Which hardly constitutes a powerhouse, but still I think it's pretty darn good for a tiny obscure school from the Midwest. And they didn't win, which I didn't expect them to - and it would have messed up my bracket if they had - but they put up a really good showing. It's a good year to be a Bulldog!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I bet you thought I forgot

4 witty remarks
to finish posting about the Event! No, actually, we're having major issues with our computer. I think I'd better write this post before we end up having to re-install our hard drive, which is a huge inconvenience even though everything is backed up (phew!)

Anyway, yes, there was an Event last weekend, and I was there, and it was awesome! We took eight different classes, made some projects, and learned a lot about everything from photography to graphic design to Jelly Belly Sport Beans (they are like Gatorade jelly beans, and they taste kind of odd). Oh, and got a ton of free stuff! Chipboard, patterned paper, chocolate, you name it.

I haven't finished up most of my projects yet - everything still has a piece or two that needs to be attached, an edge that needs inking - and I was going to wait & do this post when they were all done, so I could show pictures, but that will probably not happen for a while. But, I do have some fun pictures to share.

This is me meeting Stacy Julian!

Note that I only talked to her for, like, two minutes. I don't remember gestuculating wildly, but photos don't lie. I was showing her the covers to an album that I made for her online class - didn't have time to finish the whole album but I really wanted to show her; I was so inspired by the whole 'Glimpses' concept. Anyway, Stacy is really nice and cool, and I got a kick out of her 'Finish Line' class. We completed a whole 6x6 album in under an hour! I like to agonize over the placement of every element on a page, so that was a good change of pace for me.

This is Jenni Bowlin and her truly awesome vintage apron. The photo totally doesn't do justice to her cuteness and her Southern accent. We made a great chipboard accordion album with some of her new products - which I LOVED, they are awesome vintage but not so 'distressed' looking that they wouldn't mix well with the modern paper prints I am always using. Does that make any sense? Just go to her site and look at her stuff (you would love it Mom!)

Another class I really loved was Heather Preckel's.

The project was an altered clipboard - and while I freely admit to not being an altered clipboard person, I had so much FUN! Heather did a great job making her class interesting and upbeat, I had a really great time.

These are some ladies that I ate lunch with the second day. Would you believe, I ended up sitting with a lady who's lived almost her entire life in Indianapolis?! And this - I had to save the best for last - is Katie from the message board. I mean, I though I was doing good to wear some actual green on St. Patrick's Day (considering that the overwhelming majority of my wardrobe is black, blue, and pink). But Katie went all out!

It was a really fantastic weekend, I'm so glad I was able to attend! I feel totally re-energized and ready to scrap again. And... my awesome husband actually kept the laundry kept up while I was away!

Monday, March 19, 2007

road trip thoughts...

2 witty remarks
So, I'm back from Alabama. It was an awesome weekend, I had a great time and took lots of pictures and there's a lot to write about it. But the driving part was so interesting, I thought it merited its own blog post. The thing that surprised me was how much it wasn't boring, driving eight hours with no one to talk to. In fact, I actually kind of liked it. The trip went by really fast, although I suspect that has as much to do with not having to stop every 2 hours to change diapers, distribute juice boxes, and mop up carsick as anything.

Matt's decade-old Sunfire handled better than I thought it would. The speed limit in a lot of places is 70, and you know what that means, don't you? It means that you can go 80 in the right lane and a Mercury Marquise will be riding on your tail, flashing its lights and making obscene hand gestures. (I'm just kidding. Mostly.) I've gotten better at passing trucks - that's long been a white whale of mine - although I still do, and always will, hate driving I-65 through Nashville. I mean, what the hey? The northbound seems to be slightly less leg-waxingly painful than the southbound, but really it's a lesser-of-two-weevils situation.

Odious highway interchanges aside, it was a really beautiful drive. The hills of Kentucky and Tennessee - while hard on the inner ear of this flat-land Midwesterner - are always a pleasant view. I've always been oddly fascinated by the way that you can still see tool marks on the rock faces from where the workers blasted through, however many decades ago that was. (Hmm, I should look that up.)

Driving through rural areas - especially in the South - often means that you have your choice of static, country, religious, or (if you're really lucky) staticky religious country. I was pleased to find great radio stations in both Bowling Green and Nashville. And being a taxpayer, I availed myself of the books-on-tape at my local library. I think that Eat the Rich as read by the author - Mr. O'Rourke has a surprisingly deep voice - was a big part of why the trip went so fast.

Anyway, it was really great to be alone with my thoughts, the road and some gourmet trail mix. But not the kind with raisins in it. Yuck.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

embellish your behind

4 witty remarks
I can't believe it, I'm leaving day after tomorrow for the Scrap Etc. Event! I worked on laundry and a few projects today, including these jeans:

I picked up the jeans at Goodwill and embellished them with Heidi Swapp foam stamps, fabric paint, and a Sharpie marker. I thought they'd be kind of cheesy looking and really only suitable for a scrapbooking convention, but I'm actually quite happy with how they turned out.

The kids and I headed down to Hobby Lobby this afternoon - I needed a pencil box for all my adhesives and sharp little craft knives and stuff to travel in - and as is my wont, ended up perusing the clearance fabrics. Where I found these obscenely gorgeous, heavy Japanese polyester satins for a price so dizzyingly low, I felt a little faint.

They're actually the same print - each colorway has a totally different personality, so it took me a while to realize that! I don't have a clue what I will make with them, since I already have a dress and two aprons in the queue. Fortunately I've recently learned how to buy fabric so I was all set - although I'm less inclined to make circle skirts so I went with three yards instead of four. They're now sitting on the shelf in my laundry roomuntil I can think of what to do.

Go ahead and say it, Mom...

The weather was so beautiful and perfect today - 71 and sunny - that the kids and I really had no choice but to go play outside. If it's this nice over the weekend, Matt's going to have an awesome time with the kids.

Friday, March 9, 2007


1 witty remarks
When I was driving home from Target, the car thermometer said it was 54 degrees. Woohoo! Time to break out the spring jackets - and more importantly, flip flops! (I really, really hate wearing socks.) It was kind of a strange winter, with about 95% of our snowfall crammed into three very blustery weeks. And, I know that Old Man Winter can never go out gracefully... there always has to be one last death struggle in the form of a late snowfall. But if I'm lucky, it will happen while I'm in Alabama.

Porter's new favorite word is Hat. Hat, hat, hat. He wore his knitted hat to Target (which coincidentally has cars on it - another favorite thing right now) and yesterday, he and Betsy made robot hats by wearing my colanders on their heads. No, I haven't taken any pictures yet, but if you think I haven't already planned a scrapbook page about it, then you don't know me very well.

Friday, March 2, 2007

been scrapping

1 witty remarks

I seem to work in creative 'spurts.' I'll do a whole lot in a short period of time, and then nothing else for weeks. This is the result of my latest burst of creativity. I still have another page to finish actually - but our printer is out of ink and I am too darn lazy to handwrite all my journaling. Slacker.

That last page actually represents a slight departure for me. Anyone who knows my scrapping style knows that I am not a fan of Basic Grey papers. I don't know why, but for the most part, they just don't do anything for me. I do, however, like their chipboard embellishments (it's really hard not to love chipboard) and the Lily Kate line of papers. I got the paper pack last time it was on sale at Hobby Lobby - Matt got me a HL giftcard for Christmas, and one of my rules of giftcard usage is, I have to use it on something I wouldn't have normally bought. Otherwise, it doesn't count. I know, I am kind of strange... But I really like how that page turned out.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

balloon family

2 witty remarks

Betsy's impression:
What we lack in torsos we
make up in balloons.

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