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Saturday, December 22, 2012

2 days and counting....

Well, either the Mayans were wrong, or the people who are supposedly "experts" misread information because...well, we're still here. that it's December 22nd, and only 2 days left until Christmas Eve, I figured I'd wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Kwanza, Solstice,
 and any other special day you might celebrate.

Today is my LAST day to get sewing projects done for Christmas gifts, and I'm already 2 gifts behind.  The good thing is that one only needs a few more tweaks and it will be finished....the bad is that the 2nd one hasn't even been cut out yet!!!  So that's where I'll be spending my day (well, most of it).  I have "grand plans" of getting some whole wheat bread made as well as some more cookies, but I'm not going to try and kill myself to get them all done...sometime things just have to be let go.

So far, I've gotten 2 new skirts done for DD and pajama pants done for DD and DS.....they already know that most of their presents from us are clothes since they grow so fast, but they also know that most of their stuff from the grandparents will be toys, so I suppose it all balances out in the end.

I hope that you all are safe this season and are sharing with your friends and family....may you have wonderful holidays and a fantabulous new year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas is coming!!!

It's 12/13/2012....Christmas is fast approaching....are YOU ready???

Yesterday was my 40th birthday, and yesterday was no different from the day before....same old, same

BUT...I had a fabulous day with birthday wishes, cupcakes, etc......AND the presents are all wrapped and under the tree, except for the one we had to order from Target - a rolling kitchen cart to help corral all of my kitchen gizmos AND give me more work space.

The tree has been up since Thanksgiving, though not as full of lights as in years past, but next year there will be more lights, and maybe even a second tree (upstairs).  The children are under a warning....for every night that they stay up past their bedtimes, they lose a present, and it takes 2 days of going to bed on time to earn 1 present back.  Thomas has lost one, but he's on his second day of going to bed on time, so tomorrow he will be able to put the present back under the tree.  It sucks that we have to do this, but they are acting up and showing their butts....apparently having one of Santa's elves watching them doesn't help curb their behavior.

In the coming days, our schedule is practically insane.....tomorrow is breakfast with my husband and son, Saturday is dinner out with my girlfriends, Sunday, we rest.  Monday I have to take my son to an appointment, Tuesday I have an appointment and I have to help my daughter make cookies for her class party (I refuse to make them because she signed me up without asking), Wednesday is her class party, Thursday I have a cookie and ornament exchange, Friday we rest, Saturday or Sunday means Mother will arrive for a visit....and so it fun fun.....

And so it goes.....if the postings drop off between now and January, well, now you can see what I'll be doing....

And if I don't post again, Have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

bonding time

So, I posted a little while ago about making quilts from jelly rolls of fabric.  The first one is 99% done - all quilted, binding attached, but then I found a place where stitches popped, so I will put it back under the needle and re-stitch that area.

Meanwhile, #2 jelly roll quilt is done except for attaching the binding.....and that's where the bonding time comes in.  DD (age 9) wants to help me do "something" so I suggested she and I work together to get the binding done.  For the past 2 nights we've had between 30 and 45 minutes of non-stop handsewing and chatter time.

She has some interesting questions, a lot of which make no sense to me at all, and we just ramble about how I learned how to sew, why her stitches look "stupid" and mine don't, etc.  I've told her that it takes time and practice to sew as fast as I do (much like my typing speed, it only gets better the more I do it)....anyway, I also had to tell her that I wasn't sewing nearly as well as she currently is when I was her age.  So we keep working together.  I have a 3rd quilt that I need to get to work on, but it can wait until we are done with this binding...she'll help me with that one as well.

It's interesting to sit and talk with a 9yo girl who has an older brother.  Sometimes her questions are about school and friends and clothing, which I can usually handle.  But sometimes, she comes up with questions that are both frustrating and heart breaking - like why is her brother so stupid about certain things and why does he always seem to yell at her......yeah, ouch.  I have to remind her, yet again, that her brother has Asperger's, which means he has a form of autism, which further means that the way he sees things, thinks about things, processes things, is NOT the same as how she does and that some things are difficult for him to understand, regardless of the fact that he's almost 4 years older than she is.

I have the feeling that this will be a life-long discussion, but at least she is asking questions and we are talking about them.  At least we are doing things together and learning more about each's something that's kind of new....who cares if her stitches are REALLY close or that she pulls them so tight that the binding puckers a bit...all that matters is that we are spending time together just being together and talking together......

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stress.....why always at this time of year?

So...we just had our Thanksgiving "break"...yeah right.....'

Friday night, around 1145 or so, DS knocked on the bedroom door and yelled, "Mom, I just barfed"...lovely.  So, DH rocketed down the stairs as fast as he could, then asked what I needed him to do (long story...short version is that he gets sick if others, huh?).  Got him in the bathroom and gave him clean clothes while I started cleaning the floor....thought things were settled when I went back to bed (around 1am), but later Saturday morning found us in the ER because of radiating belly pains towards his appendix. we have a freaked out child with Asperger's, ADHD, and anxiety issues, unable to take any of his medication because of getting sick, stuck in the ER for 4+ hours.  First attempt to get an IV line in failed and the poor nurse felt so bad about it.  Second attempt was fine...but during that time, a 3rd nurse came in, looking at me in an accusing manner and asking if there was a problem and if they needed help....what the heck was up with that.  I snapped at her that it was as under control as it was going to be at the time, and she left....later I got to talk to her and explain everything, but seriously, at the time I just wanted to smack her.

CT scan, blood work, pee in a cup...everything came back normal...only thing they could think of was that he pulled muscles when he was getting sick....

He's better now, but is back to his normal whiny self, half-assing his school work and mouthing off....

Seriously??  I already have seasonal affective disorder (aka seasonal depression) so I'm stressed out enough as it is, but to have to go through this as well??

I think tomorrow is going to be a baking/cleaning day, just to help clear my head and refocus

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Quilting progress

So....after hearing about the possibility of a "jelly roll race" on, I decided to give one a try.  First quilt was from the equivalent of half a jelly I added borders.  It is completely quilted and only needs the binding added to be finished.

Today I finished quilting the 2nd, made from a complete jelly roll.....on a different machine from the first one because I managed to break the foot I used for the first quilt.  I was lucky enough to be able to get to a local sewing machine shop and get a replacement foot, so I tried it on my Kenmore and YES! it fit!!!

2nd jelly roll quilt is now ready for the binding as well...however, I haven't cut the fabrics for either binding, which I guess will be my project for tomorrow.  Oh, and I already have fabrics for a third jelly roll quilt, which will be started once these other 2 are finished and I've done some work on finishing the last 2 pairs of pajama pants that I need to get done before Christmas.

Phew!  Lots of work going on here....JR #1 has flannel for batting and a cotton back, JR #2 is just a top with fleece serving as both batting/backing, and JR #3 will be similar to JR #1 with flannel as the batting.

Meanwhile, on the baking side of domesticity, the only one eating the pumpkin bread is my daughter and I've made it clear that I won't bake anything else until the pumpkin bread is nearly she's been taking it to school for snacks and having it as her pre-bed snack.  For some reason, even though I basically made this one from scratch (didn't puree the pumpkin on my own), it doesn't seem as appealing as the batch I made from box mix.  Next up on the baking schedule are: brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and molasses cookies....whenever more bread gets eaten.

On the laundry side of the house, the homemade detergent is doing quite well.  We are up to 15 loads, and the clothing is still clean and fresh, stains are coming out just fine, and there is no residual fragrance to make my allergies act up.

Off I go....Parade, then cooking, then relaxing, and Friday will see me doing sewing and/or quilting while the kids veg out...what is everyone else doing???

Monday, November 19, 2012

frustrated baker

Darling girl said, "I *love* pumpkin bread!" SO I made some from scratch, sent a loaf in to one of her teachers, and sliced the other 2 loaves (recipe makes 3 loaves and I didn't want to bother figuring out how to cut everything down) for snacking.  I also made, at son's request, peanut butter blossom cookies and plain peanut butter cookies.  Well, all the cookies are gone (oh yes, including the plain sugar cookies), but the pumpkin bread remains.  I thought about doing some baking today, but there's still bread in the snack bowl.....guess I'll wait a few days.

I have the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies as well as molasses cookies, but I don't see why I should bother when, after making something that was asked for, it's still sitting uneaten.  Ah well...guess that's what they'll be snacking on for a while longer.  Since we aren't having a big hoo-hah for Thanksgiving, I might do some baking then....if the mood strikes.

I've finished the quilting on 1 quilt, am over halfway done on the 2nd quilt, and haven't even cut the fabrics for the 3rd, but I can work with this....the first 2 need to be done as soon as I can get them done, the 3rd is planned as a Christmas present.....but, I broke my free motion foot for my Kenmore, which is my daily sewing machine.  I'm working on #2 quilt using my EuroPro and the darning foot....stitches are longer, but it seems to actually be going better since I'm in the 3rd quadrant to help the son with Boy Scout stuff

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shock at the grocery store

So, it's that time of the month - payday {sigh}.  That means paying bills, of course, but it also means trying to get the best grocery deals for the least amount of money.  Right now, we are trying to pay of medical bills in addition to the regular monthly bills, so things are a little tighter than normal around here.  With that in mind, I sat down and went through circulars yesterday and matched up what coupons I had - minimum of stuff, but things I can build several meals around.  I thought I was done and ready to go...I was wrong.

Since Food Lion doesn't put their circulars in the Sunday paper (because their specials don't run from Sunday to Saturday like every other store), I decided I'd check out their circular while my son was in karate class today - figuring I had an hour to kill anyway.  Well, in that hour, I shopped, found great deals, matched coupons (don't forget that if your store has a coupon kiosk, you can scan your bonus card, or enter your phone number if you don't have your card, and it will print out coupons based on your previous purchases).  In the end, I had steaks, shrimp, chicken breasts, turkey sausage and turkey bacon, lunchmeat, some canned goods, frozen veggies and 2 Red Baron pizzas in my cart - all either on sale, with a coupon, or marked down because the sell by date was today or tomorrow.  Total spent: $96.39...yep, less than $100 for food to feed a family of 4!

Next step, and I believe I mentioned this in a previous post, MEAL PLANNING!!  After writing everything down on my inventory list, I sat down and started planning our dinners.  Breakfast is always fend for yourself, as is lunch for most of us.  Because the cafeteria where my husband works is currently closed, his lunches are made from dinner leftovers, so I try to cook a little more to make sure that he has something to take with him.  I had thought I would get about 2 weeks (to the next payday) worth of dinners planned, but once I started working on them, I ended up with......FIVE weeks of meals planned!!  Now, some of this was food we already had in the freezer, but most was from the food that I bought today.  I called hubby dear and told him I wanted to celebrate beause I've *never* done this well before.

Now I have to look at the lists I made for the 2 other grocery stores that I like and see exactly what we NEED from store has bread for $0.88 per loaf as well as a special this week where, if you buy 4 GM foods, you can get a free gallon of milk (and with milk almost $4/gallon, we could use this....we use GM foods anyway), so I will go there for that since it's on a regularly traveled route.  The other has canned cat food, cat litter, roasts all at decent prices, and I need to go there to pick up Rx meds anyway.  BUT.....that should only be another $60 or for $150, I will be able to feed my family of 4, plus 2 cats and a dog for 5, maybe 6 weeks??!!??  HELL YEAH!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's getting colder so.....

Let's make quilts!!

On Pattern Review, there is some chatter about doing jelly roll quilts - actually having a jelly roll race - in January.  I can't plan that far least not with home schooling, holidays, trying to combine about 20 cookbooks into one...sheesh!  Instead, I decided to give it a try and see if I was even interested in how they would turn out.  I have one that is almost completely done - assembly, batting, backing, and quilting - and one that is just the top, which hasn't even been ironed yet.  Both have already been claimed by others.  However, it has been SO nice to have the extra layers on my lap as the weather gets colder.

I'm thinking that I'm going to rotate baking with quilting with working through my various patterns that I'd like to get finished before the kids outgrow them....productive, useful...yeah, th is seems right up my alley. :-)

Now, detergent update: So far, we've done 7 loads of laundry using the homemade detergent and there has been no real smell leftover, the clothing is clean and fresh, and yes, all the bits of Fels Naphtha dissolves in a cold water wash and cold water rinse.  I haven't even added any bleach to the laundry loads yet!!  WOOHOO.....looks like dishwasher soap will be the next thing I make, but since I just bought some, it will be a few weeks.  I'm also looking into making liquid dish soap for the things that we hand wash.

Today was another light baking day - sugar cookies.  Tomorrow will see a lot of bouncing back and forth because, since he has finished all of his classes to or beyond the halfway point, I'm giving my son a few days off from school.  However, tomorrow he has to write his essays for his scholarship merit badge.  I have to get to more sections of wall/ceiling with a second coat of spackling compound and finish caulking around the door.  I also have to finish quilting the first of the quilts and, hopefully, get the second one pinned out.  Oh, and did I mention that my son wants peanut butter blossom cookies??  Yeah, there's a lot to be done over the next few fun

Friday, November 9, 2012

Going off the deep end??

So...the detergent seems to be working.  Both children have now done their laundry with it and have said it is smell whatsoever, and the clothes feel WAY  I will be doing some of Hubby's clothes today and we will get his feedback to add to the collected comments.

However, now that I've started with a couple of homemade things vs. store-bought, I'm looking for more.  So far, I've done baking from scratch, made homemade, non-fried potato chips, homemade laundry detergent, and am making cloth napkins to use instead of paper towels.  I think that's a pretty dang good start...but.......

Last night, while pinning together bits of fabric for a totally different project, I started looking to see what else was out there that I could make instead of far I have recipes for a homemade version of "cheez-its" as well as "milk bone" dog biscuits...uh-oh....I need to find one for molasses cookies because they are apparently well-liked by my children now (last time I had any, they tasted them and threw them out, this time, they are eating them all!!).  Hmmm....this could be an interesting venture......but still have to work it in around the family sewing, Christmas presents, day-to-day work around the house, etc.

I'm thinking I should probably go back to making my "master mix" which was pulled from "Once a Month Cooking" - More Mary, Less Martha....fabulous cookbook, even though I haven't worked up to cooking once a month yet....the recipes are divided so that you can make anywhere from 1 meal to 5 meals...with all the ingredients listed properly for each amount....but the Master Mix totally rocks (pancakes, cookies, muffins, bread...yup, all from the same basic mix).  Which now has me thinking of all the cookbooks I've collected....oy!

That's another project altogether.  I want to have cookbooks made for each child when they are ready to move out on their own.  I've gotten a pretty good start, but with the collection of cookbooks that i have, it may take a few  I'm mainly putting in recipes that have been tried and that the entire family loved, but I'm also adding in ones that are healthy, low-fat, low cost, but we haven't tried them yet....we'll see how long this

Anyway, I feel like, instead of just dipping my toes into the pool of homemade heaven, I've just gone straight off the diving board into the deep end....but if it saves money in the long run, I'm all for it.....will post updates of projects and if the were successes or failures.....either way, we learn something

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homemade laundry soap - 1st attempt

Ok, so I'm getting all into this homemade mindset...not only to save money, but for fun (yes, it kind of is  I was talking to my hubby last night about homemade laundry detergent vs. store bought and he said for me to look into it. just so happened that a friend was making up a batch last night while the election results were being posted.  Of course, that lead to discussion and another friend posted that she makes her own as well....I have an HE front loader, but have been assured that they are fine for my machine.

Went to the links these lovely ladies provided and, more because of lack of storage space, opted for the powder version instead of the liquid-gel version.  Off I went to purchase supplies and I called a friend who was also interested in trying this out....we both grated Fels Naphtha and the combined everything else together then divided the final product between the two of us....should give us (according to the blog I got it from) about 4.5 months (lady who posted said she does about 8 loads a week and her last batch made it for 9 months).

We were careful to pour the powders slowly, but still ended up sneezing a bit, however the kitchen smells great.  I was a bit concerned because I have chemical sensitivities and have bought the dye-free and fragrance-free detergents, however, this actually has a light scent that I can tolerate.  Only thing I *really* need to remember is to NOT add this to the detergent dispenser, but directly to the drum of the washer when I do laundry.

Well, first load with this detergent is finished - DSs nasty pre-teen boy  Time to check the results and get them into the dryer.  Will post after they are all done on if we notice a difference....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Victorian Sofa progress pictures

So....had posted the start of the deconstruction of the sofa, here are pictures of the various steps:

 This is what the springs looked like once we got the multiple layers of "batting" removed - old, rusted, and no longer straight.
 We found this wedged into some of the springs.  Researched this and this particular sample came out in around 1912-1914 (have to double check my notes on this).  It is currently in a ziploc, and has been put back into the couch for dating purposes.

A clipping for a pattern, about 1920 or so.  Would *love* to actually have a pattern like this, but am guessing it's not the affordable price that this clipping listed.
 Front side pieces after treatment with OxyClean.  Removed years of stain and varnish - did this in the driveway so that it wouldn't stain the garage floor or leave foam all over the place
top side pieces, also after use of Oxy Clean.  Think these may have been soaked for a bit too long as they have almost NO stain left in them at all
 Top back piece before use of OxyClean...extremely dark, not what we really want for the room
 Close up of top back, center carving
 left side (when facing the couch)
 right side (when facing the couch)
All pieces after being treated with OxyClean.  I didn't try really hard to get all the stain out of the carving.  We're going for an aged, but not extremely dark and dismal look

 Removal of the old, crooked, rusty springs
 comparison of the old springs (closest) and new spring
 empty sofa frame
 installation of first new spring
 all springs installed, and first round of tying in place
 first round of tying complete, and second round started
first and second round of tying done and finishing up the third round

 third round of tying getting finished
close up of third round

 Start of fourth round of tying {sigh}
 All tying complete - front to back, side to side, then diagonally from left back to front (all the way across the length of the sofa) and diagonally from right back to front (again, the entire length)
 burlap cover for the springs.  Double layer, to help with spring compression and to keep the springs from poking through the batting and final fabric.
Another shot of the burlap cover...complete pain in the butt because it took 2 of us - 1 to hold in place and one to wedge the stapler in and fire off the staples - sometimes several in a very small area.

This is as far as we are right now.  Have to finish sanding and priming one area in the future office space, then we will move the sofa upstairs for the rest of the work.

Money saving tactics kicking into gear....

So, yes, it's been um....6 months or so since my last post.
       In May, I had pictures of the Victorian sofa that we are in the process of refinishing.  So far, we've removed all the old fabric and stuffing, replaced all of the springs, and removed decades of dirt and stain with my favorite cleaner - Oxy-Clean!!  It is currently sitting in the garage with new springs, all of which have been retied properly, and a double layer of burlap to hold the springs partially compressed.  It will shortly be moved to the future office space - just have to sand a couple more seams and get that area primed, then the couch can go upstairs for the remaining work (removal of the legs so that we can get the wheels off, some more nail removal and possibly some sanding in some areas) before the new padding and fabric ($$$ yikes!) can go on.

   Meanwhile, in the space of 24 hours, we discovered that our cable bill jumped nearly $30, our current insurance has NO dental coverage - which means things we didn't pay for last year we now have a co-pay for - open enrollment is next week, and we HAVE to find ways of cutting expenses since the insurance options keep going up every year.  To that end, I spent quite a bit of time baking (so we didn't need to spend $$ of sugary snacks), and have made the decision that i will NOT buy paper towels anymore (not a huge step, but that's anywhere from $7-$13 off the grocery bill every month - yes, we tend to go through quite a few).  So...what to do to replace the paper towels??!!??  Easy.....cloth napkins that can just get tossed into the wash with the rest of the laundry - all laundry, unless extremely stained, gets cold wash/cold electricity used to heat the water up.  First batch has made everyone laugh - black fabric with colorful race cars scattered all over it (pics to be posted later).  No, I didn't go out and buy fabric specifically for this project.  Instead, due to the fact that I just didn't have the time to get things made, I'm using fabric that was already in my room, but that had originally been purchased for items that I was planning on selling at the craft fair - by the way, I'm no longer doing the craft fair because the running of the household and home schooling my son is taking more time than I expected.

    Of course, we've also done the temperature drop, but it's not been easy to get the children to wear warmer cloths, put on socks, etc.  Argh!!  One thing that HAD to get done was finishing the sheet rock seams in the future office space.  I got the last section yesterday - well, the first coat of spackling compound is on all the seams...still need a second coat and sanding, but I think that will have to wait until spring.  We are caulking all around the floor/wall seams, and I will finish caulking around the door today - still thinking that I might need to purchase some weatherstripping and put it on the door - not the adhesive stuff that I put up temporarily, but the vinyl stuff that will actually be a bit better seal.  Have fallen in love with rope caulk for the minor air leaks around the windows and have checked all the rooms downstairs - need to check the bedroom windows as well, but I *knew* there were leaks downstairs.

   Also in consideration - low-tech 2013.  What's that mean??  It means that we don't spend what we don't have, we make things for each other and as gifts, we help out more, maybe even barter for things, and we DEFINITELY save up to purchase things instead of using the credit card (mainly because, while I thought we would have one completely paid off, we've since gotten another bill for dental work, so who knows when the credit card will get paid off...frustrating!!!).  Going with the "make stuff" plan is avoiding the junk food trap by making cookies, breads, muffins, and yes, potato chips, at home.  Today will be the first experiment with flavored potato chips as I will be attempting vinegar for one batch, and BBQ for another batch, in addition to the "lightly salted" version that I've made in the past.  Debating about doing something I read in one of my cookbooks - pre-slicing potatoes into fries, hashbrowns, etc. and freezing them until we need them...but the fries I'm not to sure about....we buy frozen ones that look like they have already been cooked, so we are just re-heating they fry them in oil, cool them, then freeze them, or what...guess I should hunt around and learn before trying.

   Pictures of napkins, updated Victorian sofa, and other stuff will be posted at a later time.....

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Gotta love when everything starts popping into bloom around here....allergies are going haywire, not much can be done when you live in an area surrounded by farms and "hay" is one of your allergens...phooey.

However...I think a good part of today's troubles come from disassembling the Victorian sofa we bought a while back.  We had started peeling back the fabric to see how it was all put together and discovered the "padding" was actually layers of raw cotton and hay...ick.  Face mask and gloves on and I started taking the layers apart...apparently some of the crud still got breathed in because I'm having a horrible time with sniffling, sneezing sometimes stuffy.....ugh.  However....did discover what appears to be an old quilt that was used as part of the padding, and that will be slowly taken apart over the next few days so we can see what the fabrics were like.  According to a paper clipping we found, the couch had some work done on it in 1918!!!  wowzers!

That's just *some* of what I pulled off the sofa frame last night...interesting, huh??  I do have pictures of the "nekkid" sofa frame, but haven't uploaded them yet. 

We also remembered what we used to power out the old stain on a railroad trunk - oxyclean!  SO that's what I used on a small part of one of the sofa totally worked and now, instead of super dark wood, we are starting to see the cherry of the original wood..woohoo!!!  Told hubby that we should just make a big bucket, roll the sofa outside and spray all the wood buts down now that there's no fabric left on it....don't think he'll let me do that,

That is what the couch looked like when we first got her home (I say her because hubby has dubbed her Victoria - not too original since it's a Victorian sofa - but oh well)....the fabric actually started out as dark green with gold/reddish/pink designs in it, but had oranged...not even brown...that stuff looks orange!!!  I will be airing out the pieces so that I can use them as patterns for the new fabric....but for to see the local lab for a blood draw that is needed for my check up later this month....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

sunshine and gardens

FINALLY, we have sunshine!!  We've had a week of off and on rain and no sunshine whatsoever.....this weekend, it seems that the sun decided to come back for a visit.  So, today we managed to get more work done in the bonus room until it was time to take a break (before our backs went out completely).  Then, this afternoon, we put in our new garden plants....we tried to do the seed starters this year, but that was a no-go, so off to Milmont......this year, we have a Cherokee purple tomato plant that we got from the Staunton farmer's market, and from Milmont, we purchased Homestead tomatoes (beefsteak), grape tomatoes, yellow sweet peppers, orange sweet peppers, container cucumber plants, sugar baby watermelons, and seeds for buttercrunch lettuce, romaine lettuce, and collard greens...not to mention "popcorn" that my son picked out.

Not sure how much will take root, but we'll give it our best shot....have caged the Cherokee plant since it's fairly large already and have put the small fencing around the planter where the watermelons and the solitary grape tomato plant is.  We always put one tomato plant in the planter so that the dog has access to keeps him out of the other garden areas and he eats off his own plant when he so chooses.....

Will get pictures when I have the chance.....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do you believe everything that you read??? yes, I'm on FaceBook.....there have been some really FREAKY postings, shared by my friends, but written by total nut-jobs who apparently live to scare others...makes me wonder what they are missing in their lives.

One such post was that everyone who reads this particular message will die at 10:35 tonight...yeah, ok.  Here's the thing....God knew us before we ever existed, He knew the length of our lives....He did NOT give such awesome power to some random troll posting crud on the internet!!!

Another post was about whoever read the whole story would be the next victim of revenge meted out by the ghost of a girl who was bullied to death.....yeah, see, I read that story...weeks ago, and here I am, alive and well (at least phsyically, my mental health has always been in question, but if you only knew my'd understand).

The point is....things written like this only serve one scare others and to make the writers/posters feel important.  How sad is that??  They could better spend their creative energy finding ways to cut gas prices, feed the hungry, bring clean drinking water to people who don't have access.....sad, just sad.

Bottom line....don't believe all you read...especially if you are a child with reasonably intelligent parents who tell you that it's just a lot of me, you are more likely to get a swat on the butt for keeping them awake all night than you are of anything in those postings actually happening!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

trying to get back on track {sigh}

Spent most of the day tidying up my work room...finally have the majority of the fabrics put away and patterns stored properly.  Have made a project list.....first thing I have to do is finish up some projects: hand sewing a facing down on a dress, hemming another dress, tacking the bodice of a knit top so it doesn't show off so much cleavage......

I still have to finish working on my summer lesson plans for the kids, but I'm still waiting for one of the books that I ordered....they will be a combination of Bible study and home ec.....gah....

eventually things will get back on track.....just not sure when

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Status report

Not a whole lot of sewing going on around here.  We spent "Spring Break" installing the last bits of sheet rock in what will be DHs office, and the few pieces remaining for the garage ceiling.  Then we started mudding....phew....taught the kids how to deal with the nails while I worked on seams, and hubby worked on the heating duct work that the previous owners ended about 5 feet away from the wall....apparently they were going to run a gas line in there for yet another gas log fireplace (so far, we know of 3 places they were going to install them, but they never got around to it).

I did another table runner and pillow covers for a different friend, and finally got fed up with the plastic bag that was holding my clothespins, so I whipped out a 3-pocket half-apron....AND I got 2 loads of laundry done on the lines before it started looking like rain...woohoo....

Not sure what next project (sewing) will be, but I decided last night that I was going to re-draft the pattern that I used in my first home ec class - simple apron, 2 pieces - to fit both of my kiddos for when we start our cooking lessons this summer.

Will try to make regular posts from now on, and probably quite a few this summer as we progress through various sewing and cooking attempts and (hopefully) family field trips

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Goodbye to another local store

It's official...due to there not being a seriously interested buyer, Valley Fabrics of Stuarts Draft, Virginia will be closing at the end of today.

While I can completely understand Kathy and Leo's point of view, I feel bereft of any local, supportive, creative fabric store now.  When we moved here (nearly 7 years ago), I could purchase fabric at Walmart (meh), Valley Fabrics, and Ben Franklin, or I could drive to Charlottesville to go to JoAnn Fabrics (need to improve customer service).  Ben Franklin closed last year, and now Valley Fabrics is closing.

We were fortunate that our local Walmart was not one that went to the pre-cut pieces of fabric and actually has a fairly decent (if you overlook the quality) selection of fabrics.  However, Valley Fabrics was where I typically went for the fabrics for my DDs various "custom-made" outfits, the notions that I thought I had purchased but that I apparently overlooked....and sometimes, it was just a place I went to get my sewing mojo back when I wasn't even remotely interested in looking at the sewing machine.

Eventually, I will probably have to resort to ordering all my fabrics from various online sources...but it's just not the same as being able to actually look at and feel the fabric....

Kathy and Leo and Phoebe (and everyone else) will all be greatly missed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

sewing status and rainy days

Table runner is done - reversible with pink/black zebra on one side and black with pink/white flowers on the other. 

Fabric is pressed and pattern pulled for the toddler bolero jacket, which WILL be ready/done by Wednesday morning when I go in to the elementary school to do copies.

DDs Easter dress is still sitting in pieces, but at least some of them are being put together into some semblance of order.  I may have to purchase more lining fabric, though...and sadly (because I don't want to see another local fabric store disappear), the store now has it marked down to 50% off as they are closing at the end of the month...ah well.

My Easter dress isn't going anywhere...still in flat-fold stage...oh well.  I have a few pieces of clothing that need finishing - hook/eye at top of zipper, hand-sew hem up, sewing down that may be what gets done instead of trying to squeeze in a complete outfit...then I can just wear one of those things and be happy with it...or at least

Now, we had planned to work in both the bonus room and the garden today, however, the garden is temporarily ruled out because of the continuing rain.  SO.....time to get into the bonus room and get what sheetrock we can put up.  Of course, we can't go buy any today....rain.....but at least we should be able to see how much more we need to purchase to finish that room off....then I get to do the nail divets and seams....yes, will need more drywall compound....but it's progress....

The fence around the back yard won't be getting done this year, even though we were trying for it....but we will repair what we have, as best as we can, and save up the money to get it done next year....if we are lucky, we may be able to get it done in the fall, but I'm not holding my breath over that....tuition for T's school comes first.

Off I go....time to get dressed and start either pounding nails or holding the sheet rock up....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easter, wedding, table runner...balancing projects can be

So, I finally got started on DDs Easter dress....then I couldn't find the zipper.  That derailed the project for a couple days, but I found it today, still in the bag from the  So ok....I can get back to work on that, but in the meantime I have 2 customer projects now. 

One is a table runner for a friend...I'm making it reversible for and black zebra striped on one side, and black with pink and white flowers on the other. 

The other project is a pint-sized bolero for the daughter of a teacher at the elementary school.  Her daughter is going to be in a wedding next month, and given the odd weather, she wants to make sure that she has a jacket to wear over the sleeveless dress.  Oh, the little one wears 12-18 month clothing....yes, a child that young IN a wedding.  But...who am I to judge??  SO....found a pattern today and pulled 3 different yellow fabrics.  She loved the jacket design and chose the middle of the 3 shades.....the other 2 will be used for other projects.  I think I will use one to make a 3-pocket apron to hold my clothespins in when I hang out the laundry....better than a plastic

Have washed the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers to figure out what I want to make from them....thought pajama pants...Steelers for my son Ravens for me....but now I don't know.  Also have a few yards of Marvel SuperHero fabric that was going to be turned into pillowcases for all 4 of us.....projects backing up again, but things are settling down a bit around here, so hopefully I can work my way through them.

Happy sewing everyone (oh, and my Aspie boy made a point to ask if I would be teaching him about the sewing machine this summer/next school year)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Time getting away from me

SO....ok, it's March 18th.....after all the crap of the past few weeks, I decided to take a look and see what NEEDED to get done in the shortest time....well, that would be DD's Easter outfit...all cut out, need to locate my interfacing, then get to work on it....if the children would just be in school for a full week, I might be able to do it (last week, DD had abdominal issues on Tuesday, DS came home with a migraine on Wednesday - turns out he hadn't taken his meds, and DD got hit in the face with an errant kickball on Thursday)....we are waiting to hear if her nose has been broken again...xrays weren't in office yesterday as we had been told they would be.

I don't want ot actually PLAN anything because, every time I try to make plans, things go horribly, I'm HOPING to get to DDs Easter outfit this week, DH wanted my help in getting some sheet rock up in what will eventually be his office, I have to call the orthodontist's office to see if they are making appointments for June since that is when he wanted DD to come back in for an evaluation to determine if it was the proper time to put spacers in (small mouth, no room for her adult teeth), and then I need to get back to listing items in my Etsy shop so that I can clear things out....phew...oh, and of course, I've got the little Easter goody bags to make for DDs class and the teachers/secretaries....

I will be making copies of some review tests for the children and if they blow through them, I will move them on to the next level for our summer school program....thinking of 1-2 pages of school stuff M-F (only takes about 30 minutes at the most), cooking on Monday and Wednesday, sewing on Tuesday and Thursday, nothing extra on Friday as we can use that for local field trips and such.....and each day will have some form of planned exercise....I am determined that both children will actually grow some this's not as hard for DD, but for DS, to be smaller than all his peers is not a pleasant thing....hoping that if I get him started on a regular, fun exercise program, he will continue it and by the end of summer, he will at least be 5' (he's close, but 11yo how weighs less than 70lbs...even though he eats regularly??)....

Argh...time to hang some laundry and pray the rain holds off until evening....

Friday, March 16, 2012

checking in....

So, the post about my son (his essay) really should have an update to's now gone global!!  People are asking if they can re-post it, print it out to share, email it, etc.  With luck it will be on the ASPEN website and not just on their FB page.  To see his face when I read everyone's just glows.

School is another issue...we have decided on a program, I have done the preliminary number crunching and it is feasible, and now we have the placement tests to work on...probably over spring break when we aren't putting up sheet rock and getting started on the drywall seams and nail divets.  I am still working on putting money aside to have our fence replaced by the late summer/early fall while also trying to come up with the $$ for the schooling, and while it will be tight, thankfully the meal planning and such helps make so it is possible.

Haven't gotten back to cleaning out my workroom yet, but then again, things have been all over the place for over a month now.  School issues still aren't resolved, though in one meeting the points that we wanted to make were well received after being totally ignored and shut down at the first meeting....unprofessional, disrespectful behavior from school administration who is now trying to say that was how my hubby treated him....even though I'm biased, I wouldn't hesitate to call my DH on it if he was being that way...he didn't lose his cool until we were leaving and tried repeatedly to make his point but kept getting interrupted and talked down to....way uncool...anyway.....that's another story for another time

I have DDs Easter outfit started and need to get to work on that, but am in the process of getting the house tidied up, clothes hung on the lines to dry, and general busywork right now....

what are you all doing as schools get ready for spring break and summer vacation is only a few months away???

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How my 11yo describes his life (Asperger's)

Aspies (people living with Asperger Syndrome) are pretty cool. Although we may appear strange, act different, or talk too much, we are not really that different from you. There have been some pretty famous Aspies in history such as Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison, to name a few.

The way that I, and other Aspies, see the world is that there is no middle ground (gray area), just foreground and background (black and white). I also look around me and see a bunch of neurotypicals (also known as nypicals) and think most of them are the ones with the differences. One really big difference between nypicals and Aspies such as myself is that you use and understand sarcasm, but I just look at you funny because I don’t understand the tone or inflection of your voice.

I think how you (nypicals) see the world is that you just look around and know how to make friends easily. I also think that when you look at me, or others like me, you probably think, “Why is that kid acting so weird?” Another thing about most nypicals that I’ve met is that you (nypicals) tend to whisper about me behind my back, thinking that I don’t know. Aspies don’t do that because we don’t really have a filter and say exactly what we are thinking with no anticipation of the reactions of others.

Aspies are cool because we brought music, understanding of the planets, physics, and light to the world. Because of how we think (mostly outside the box and looking at the future), we are often the owners or upper management in businesses. Some people even think that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates should be added to the list of famous, influential Aspies!

I hope that I have managed to persuade you to look at me for who I am as a person and not for how I act. I also hope that you will keep this in mind when you meet someone who seems a bit different than you - chances are you may have just met another Aspie.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Allowance based on points earned....for my lovely friend, Lisa

So, Lisa and I met for coffee and were talking about children and she said how she had trouble getting her girls to keep things tidied up and how it was sometimes a struggle to get them to help out around the house.  I actually did NOT come up with this point system, it was actually found in "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right On the Money" by the Economides family (you can google the title...I borrowed it from the local library).

I told Lisa that I would put a blog post up so she could see what we have running in our house, but here's the basic breakdown: morning point, school point, chore point, and round up point.  Each point has different things that must be accomplished in order to be earned.  Just doing the "basic" list will earn each child a total of 26 points (no school on Saturday or Sunday) and we decided on $0.20 per point for any total from 26 points to 30 points. do they get to 30 (or more) points??  By doing extra chores or helping out with things that normally aren't their responsibility.  For 31 or more points, we pay them $0.30 per point.  We also make their time with electronics dependent on their if they earn $9.60, that would be 960 divided by 60 (minutes in an hour) and that ends up being 16 hours of electronics - payable in poker chips (each chip represents a different amount....white is 1 minute, blue is 10 minutes, red is 60 minutes) only SOUNDS really isn't...but you must be able to stay on top of them when it comes to paying up with the chips, or they will sneak time in and not pay for those minutes/hours spent rotting their brains.

SO here we go:

Well, let's start at the earn their morning point, they MUST: get up and dressed with no fighting, take their vitamins and have breakfast, brush their hair and teeth, and get everything ready for the day....see, not really that hard, but our oldest has Asperger's and ADHD, so he sometimes has trouble with this.

Let's go to the top picture where it lists how they earn their school and chore points.....for the school point, they MUST:  have gotten NO think times during the day, completed ALL homework neatly, have all homework written down neatly (both children, so we can sign off on it as required by teachers), and get all their papers in the proper sections of their notebooks (problem for both kids who like to just shove it in the backpack and then forget about it).  Again, nothing too difficult for either child (mine are 11 and 8 and we've used this for at least 2, closer to 3 years now).

For their chore point, both children MUST:  complete ALL chores promptly with NO reminders.  Ok, this may sound harsh, but....each child has their own list of chores as you will see soon, so they are old enough that they can walk in, read off their list, check to make sure they are done, and move along to the next thing....for some reason, this seems to give them the most trouble, so I've recently told them that if I have to say anything more than "check the chore list", they will NOT earn the chore point for that day.

Finally, we go to the middle picture, the "round up" point.  This is the one that finishes off the day and sets everything back to zero for the next day.  To earn this point, both children MUST:  put their own things away, get dressed and ready for bed, get their clothes out for the next day (to avoid fights in the morning), brush their teeth, and be in bed, with their lights out at the proper time...again, nothing too difficult for either of them. we move on to what they need to do to earn their chore point....some may say it's a lot, but keep in mind their ages and the fact that nothing on either lists takes more than 10 minutes (unless they choose to play instead of getting it done and moving on to something else).

As you can see, both children are expected to clean their bedrooms thoroughly...this doesn't mean that they have to dust and vacuum means that they have to have the floor picked up, no papers piled up on nightstands near lights (fire hazard!!), no piles of clothes all over the place or under the bed....common sense cleaning.  We divided the care of the pets up between the two of them....our oldest is responsible for feeding the 2 cats and for changing the cat litter, but our youngest is responsible for vacuuming the litter and spilled food up and for feeding the dog.  Both are required to put their clothes away properly - piles on the floor, or worse...on the floor NEXT TO THE HAMPER is something that smacks of laziness and REALLY annoys me....have told them that if they can't even get the clothes in the hamper, I can't be bothered to wash them...that has worked a little bit {sigh}.  Our oldest is responsible for the dishes (loading and unloading the dishwasher), dusting the family/tv room,  and vacuuming the living room and tv room as needed - simply because he's taller and a bit stronger than our youngest. Plus, since he's the one that wants electronics all the time, he should be the one that dusts the room that houses them...just my thoughts.  Our youngest takes the kitchen trash out to the huge can in the garage, and is responsible for scrubbing the table - which makes sense since the majority of the milk and syrup spills happen on her side of the table.  Again, none of these really take more than 10 minutes, and they don't have to be done every single day.

So now we have what they can do to get above the minimal 26 points:
There are chores worth anywhere from 1-5 extra points (and sometimes they do things that aren't on here and the parent they helped gets to decide how much it was worth).

For 1 extra point, they can:  water the plants or the garden or they can swiffer the family room
For 2 extra points, they can: scrub the kitchen counters, swiffer the kitchen/dining room floor
For 3 extra points, they can: help fold clothes, help with baking or help with making a meal, or they can change their own sheets (something neither child likes doing)
For 4 extra points, they can: help with the yard work or help with the groceries (bringing them in and putting them away, though as they are getting older, they will start with the shopping as well....teaching them how to get the best deal and use coupons...better to start when they are young )
For 5 extra points, they can: have a kids' cook night (where they are primarily responsible for meal preparation with only some assistance from parent(s)), do their sibling's chore, or clean up their sibling's mess

Not surprisingly, they both try for the last one more than anything else....not only do they earn points, but they get to rat out their sibling....{sigh}.

Here's the breakdown of how we use the poker chips that they earn:

For a white chip, they have 1 minute of electronics or 1 piece of candy
For a blue chip, they have 10 minutes of electronics or 2 pieces of candy, and
For a red chip, they can have 60 minutes of electronics or 3 pieces of candy or a soda
Not only does this help limit their time playing games or watching tv, but it limits the amount of junk they are consuming....AND it forces them to make the choice and once made, that's the end of it.  Oh, NO, they are not allowed to trade in 2 red chips and get 6 pieces of candy or 2 sodas....

This is the chart that we use - found it free online, so I just printed it out and make copies as I need them - one for each child.  The stickers were found on clearance, but sometimes I just put in checks for completed and x's for not completed....and i total it up at the might be able to see that they earned 13 extra points yesterday....they helped with dinner and Dad was primary chef, so he decided they deserved extra points since they both helped with dicing veggies for tacos (something that I still can't handle watching....keep picturing cut fingers and visits to the ER)....obviously they are going to be in the $0.30 per point range this week...last week they weren' make it a "family thing" I am the one who tallies everything, but before they get their allowances, Dad has to review and sign off on it....if they get less than 26 points, they don't get paid because they didn't even do the minimum required work....too many days of that in the real world, and they'd end up fired....we can't and won't fire them from the family, but we will withhold allowance from them.

This is working really well...worked great for the year leading up to our family trip to Disney because we had told them we weren't buying loads of crap after all the $$ we spent just to go on the vacation (we did buy them jackets and ears, but they bought the dual-edge light sabers and other memorabilia that they wanted).  The great thing is that they know there are certain things we will NOT purchase for them (pokemon cards among them), so when they have money in their spend banks, they can buy them and we won't say anything.

That's another thing....we make them divide their allowance into 3 banks: 10% give, 20% save, 70% spend....for Disney, we got rid of the 70% bank and has a 30% Disney and 40% spend....whatever was in their Disney bank was what they took with us.....they actually opted to NOT use their spend bank and add it to their Disney bank (yay...they are actually thinking things through!!!).  We have had discussions about trendy clothing and the increased expenses involved and I have told them that I will give them the $$ that I would spend on a non-trendy item, and they will have to use their spend money to make up the far nobody wants the $90 tennis shoes (though I almost bought a pair of $80 jeans....sanity returned before I made it to the register).

Once they have what they think is a decent amount in their give banks, they decide who to donate it to.  Sometimes it's the church, sometimes it goes to the food bank, but they get to make that choice.  Once their save bank starts getting full, I take it and deposit it in their bank accounts (local bank, no fee, and I am also on their account as custodian until they are 18).  We started the bank accounts for them because we discussed how having 2 children would be expensive when it came to them driving.  We have decided that, while we will buy them a good, solid, safe, used car, they will be responsible for the increase in insurance and keeping gas in the car....hence the savings accounts.  The great thing is that they have no idea how much they have in their accounts, and I plan on keeping it that way for as long as I can because I don't want them accessing the money for trivial things when they are both more than likely college-bound (both are honor roll students) and will need the money for other things.

SO....there it is...the allowance plan for our household....sounds difficult but really isn't.  The hardest part was figuring out how much the extra chores were worth.  I bought a big whiteboard and put it up in the dining room so everyone could see everything...and it also has space leftover that I set up so that each family member had a little memo section - I can write notes to the children about schedule changes, hubby can write reminders to me about groceries that we need...whatever...sometimes it's just the perfect place to write reminders to each other that we love them....

baby clothes

Finally had the motivation to finish up an outfit for a friend.  It was originally planned as 2 tops with coordinating pants....but I didn't buy enough fabric, so...blah.  It ended up being 1 top with flannel bodice and striped cotton flounce and 2 pairs of pants that could be worn with it - one out of the flannel and one out of the striped cotton.

Here you go:

I need to root around to find 3 buttons to put on the back of the top and I need to get in touch with "mom" to get the baby's waist measurement, but other than those 2 things, it's done.  And now I remember why I liked it when my children graduated to toddler was HARD doing the hems around those narrow sleeves.....ouch!!!

But, it's done, and so is the purple to work on MY daughter's Easter outfit, then back to make a romper and a couple of baby dresses.....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Contests are over, so now I can do fun little things

Well, the "red dress contest" is officially over and voting will start soon.  I have removed the badges as the contest voting was completed and I found out that I didn't  The point really wasn't to win, it was to challenge myself to enter and complete more contests....I've put out a lot of challenges for myself this year.

Now I can focus on finishing up some baby clothes for a friend...have 3 pairs of pants cut out and will put them together today (minus the elastic in the waist until I can get in touch with her) and have 1 of the coordinating shirts ready to be cut out.  Then I have 2 more shirts to cut.....followed by 2 precious little dresses and a romper.  Hopefully I can get these done before the little one outgrows them!!

Of course, there's also the outfit that my own daughter requested for Easter...kind of a retro design...drop waist dress, matching jacket...and of course, it is pink and ivory...not sure what she's going to do for shoes, but we shall see.

No other real projects with a deadline, so once I get through those, I will do some more blankets for Soldiers' Angels (which will help them and get more fleece out of my workroom, thereby giving me more space to work in)'s a win-win as far as I can

No pictures in this post...sorry....but there will be a post soon per request of a friend that details the allowance by point system that we use in the house, and that will include a picture of our whiteboard with the chore breakdown and point values and whatnot...pretty sure I explored this way back when this blog was fairly new, but pictures are always helpful.....see y'all some other time

Monday, February 27, 2012

Red dress is DONE!!

Few, after all the chaos around here, I really didn't know if I would get my entry into the red dress contest done in time....deadline to enter is 2/29 and I *just* uploaded, reviewed, and entered it....yeah, Phew!

So, here it is:

Yes, it needs a seriously good pressing, but's done!!  And check out the middle picture...little red, peep-toe, bow-back satin pumps...and almost a perfect match to the dress wheee!!!!!

So, now onto the baby clothes with hope of getting some finished before this weekend when I might be able to deliver them to mom without having to take them to karate class with

Friday, February 24, 2012

life sucks so there's no sewing

I'm still battling with the school and the court system with regards to my son being bullied.

Recommended disciplinary action was NOT taken and the child is back in class with my should have been a 10-day was less than a week out of classes, and apparently he only got put in the "alternate education setting" other words, in school suspension, so he was still on school property and able to complete his school work on time.

So...I will be trying to distract myself this weekend, which MAY mean sewing, may mean shopping, may mean sleeping as long as possible to get me to Monday.  why???

Well, Monday morning, I will be in the office to talk with the vice principal....if I'm not satisfied with her answer, I will be at the school administration building.  I will also be talking with the resource officer (again) per instructions by the intake "officer" that I spoke with today...but I don't know what that will accomplish.

Gah.....but at least my son (and daughter) know that Mom is in their corner and will not give up without a significant amount of fighting on their behalf

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


No, not a's snowing and sewing combined.  So....I had a list of things I wanted to do since we got about 9 inches of snow.....

I fixed the patch on hubby's coat, made a jumper for a friend's little baby, finished the Dr. Seuss skirt for my daughter, and got a red dress cut out for myself (not the original pattern, but another one I liked).

Here is the proof:

And of course, pictures of the children in the snow: we have a 2 hour delay because they don't want to risk b uses of children on narrow roads with black's time to head to the doc's office because T's croupy barking cough is not getting better even though he's using an inhaler, and now R is starting to cough as joy.....NOT!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A day of snow and sewing.....huh, yeah right

Ok, we were supposed to get snow today....this is the 3rd weekend they have said that.  So far, we've seen some flakes falling, but nothing consistent or steady.  However, in preparation for the potential accumulation (lol), I have gotten the Sunday paper, milk, and paper products.  As far as food for meals, we're good until early yes, I was laughing at everyone trying to stock up on things.

However, now that I've run out and done the brief shopping, I have the whole day ahead of me and plans to spend as much as possible in the sewing room.

My plans for today (and as long as I get "some" of them done, I'll be happy) include:

-re-attaching a patch on a jacket for DH
-finishing the Dr. Seuss skirt for DD (still trying to find a trim that she likes, but will get it all the way to that point today, then will continue the trim hunt next week)
-pressing the fabric for my red dress and getting the pattern pieces out, pressed, and ready (yes, I press the wrinkles out of my pattern pieces)
-sewing up a ruffly jumper for the princess baby
-cutting out a romper for the princess baby
-getting the pattern pieces out for a sleep sack for the princess baby

That's what I'm aiming for today.  Oh, and the "princess baby" is the newborn daughter of a friend....who already had 2 boys and was REALLY hoping for a daughter this lots of pinks and purples (mom's favorite color is purple, so I'm going to try to use a lot of that).

Of course, there's lunch and dinner to be had, so eventually I'll have to take a break....not to mention laundry to be done.  I promise to post pictures of the things that actually get

Happy sewing!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

back to relative normalcy

There's been a LOT going on that doesn't need to be blogged about, but which has kept me sufficiently distracted that sewing was NOT an option.

However....I did manage to finish my entry for the menswear contest at Pattern Review.  I made my darling hubby an ivory flannel shirt to go with the blue and green ones I had previously made him.  Given that we are trying to keep our electrical usage down, the thermostat is set lower than normal, which means we wear layers, and flannel shirts are one of his "go-to" items.

Here is the finished product, modeled by my hubby in all his goofiness:

Next up....Red dress contest