Archives for category: Uncategorized

1. As a comment on my blog/LJ, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog/LJ and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog/LJ and leave one about you.

Advertisements

1. The dollar stores had a bunch of “chenille stems” (back in the day they were just called pipe cleaners) for sale. So we bought a package, because I had momentary amnesia and the pipe cleaner situation of last year fell out of my head. Let’s just say the results weren’t all that pretty, though there was no blood involved. So we’ve just been making wimpy sculptures these past few days. Then I got the brilliant idea to google ‘pipe cleaner projects’ and rediscovered that About.com is my friend. So today we will be making flowered fairy crowns. Shhh! I haven’t told the girls yet. I’ve just been making flowers while the various online things I read have been loading.

2. Remember How to Host a Murder? If not, the brief synopsis is that you get a group of friends together, assign each of them a character, dress from the decade that the murder is set in, then while eating dinner, figure out who murdered the supposed ‘host.’ It’s a lot of fun and I participated in quite a few murder parties in college. (It’s occurring to me just how long ago that was. Yikes.) Anyway, I’m too cheap to buy one, so I thought I’d throw my own together. Last time I did that, I was accused of making the murderer too hard to uncover. I’m trying to avoid that this time, though it’s not easy. Anyway, the idea was sparked by remembering Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, so there will be a time-travel device involved, as well as people from different centuries. It’s gonna be fun! And if I can, I’m going to throw it together in the next week or two. Because I’m crazy like that.

3. My neighbor is moving out because he’s renting a house in a different part of town. The biggest attraction? It has a yard. I cannot convey how unutterably jealous I am.

4. Somebody’s diaper stinks, but she’s also enthusiastically singing along with the Bob the Builder theme song. I can wait 30 seconds without fainting, right?

5. It does help that she says “Thank you, Momma,” every time I change her diaper. If only I could get her potty-trained. We’re working on it!

6. I can’t listen to talk about global warming when it’s only supposed to hit 88 degree Farenheit today. 88! This is June! In Arizona! This is UNREAL! But I love it.

7. The pipe cleaner flowers are looking more like mutant butterflies at the moment. Not that the kids will care.

8. I’ve been reading the Home Repair is Homicide mystery series, by Sarah Graves. It’s a lot of fun and I highly recommend it.

9. I’m avoiding doing my dishes. Have been for two days. ‘Bout time I took care of that, I think.

Things I would rather do than sew:
1. Read a book.  Any book.
2. Write a new book. (I am already working on this.)
3. Surf the interwebs.
4. Curl up on the couch and be miserable, watching mindless shows (the kids passed their cold on to me).
5. Design a Team Jacob t-shirt (we’re almost done!)
6. Think about cleaning the random clutter that’s accumulated in various nesting places in my living room/office/sewing room.
7. Write this post.
So, of course, I cut out two more things to sew yesterday. I’m a smart one, I am.

The book I am reading currently is the updated edition of John Holt’s Teach Your Own. I’m looking into homeschooling because I really don’t think I’m ready to throw KidCelt to the wolves yet. Also, I’ve always been fond of the idea of homeschooling. The Hub’s aunt homeschooled all her kids, who have turned out fantastically, and she let me in on a secret–it’s easy. You just include the kids in the things you do all day and be a resource for them when they want to investigate something. According to the book, they’ll start off being really interested in the things you’re investigating. I’ve always wanted to learn how to work an abacus, so I think we’ll start there. She’s already reading, so yay for that. We’re also going to look into horses–KidCelt asked to get a book on them.
The best part is, I *like* knowing things, and so I like to investigate them until I understand them. That’s what John Holt says you’re supposed to allow the kids to do. Easy enough, since they’re natural investigators. The hard part will be *not* teaching them. I’m pretty didactic by nature. *shrug* I can learn new things too.

My throat hurts.

We were supposed to go on a ward campout this weekend, but I don’t think we’re going to go. KidCelt’s not completely healed, and now that I’ve got it (TMI alert: And I’m on my period), it just seems like too much work. But to escape the heat…that would be nice. But a new sleeping situation for the kids–they’d never fall asleep. And then they’d be cranky the next day. Plus, the state’s under a fire warning–no open flames allowed. What fun is camping out if you don’t have a campfire, I ask you? So I think we’re not going. Maybe we can escape up to my stepmom’s family’s cabin sometime this summer. Maybe. She has a huge family and they all want to use it.

The Hub is still looking for a job, but at least he knows exactly what he wants to do: grief and end-of-life counseling, i.e. hospice work. And he’s got some really good leads here, so there’s that. We want to go to Texas, to be closer to his family and enjoy better weather, but if it’s easier for him to find a job here, then so be it. I can accept that and still hate the heat. And maybe if we can move into a house, then his family would stay longer when they come to visit. That would be nice.

HOWEVER, if he can’t find a job here in the next few weeks, then we’re packing it in and going to Texas. End of story. Stay tuned!

KidCelt wants me to read to her. I have NO VOICE. Somehow, that doesn’t translate in the four-year-old mind to “Momma can’t read to you right now.”

I have a lot of beads I’ve collected over the past couple of years, and I’m itching to make something beautiful with them. I just don’t know what. Maybe something to hang on a wall?

TMI ALERT: ToddlerCelt is actually considering the idea of potty-training. We’ve even gotten her to poop in the potty this week–major progress. But it was only the once. Ah well. KidCelt stays dry all night, so there’s that–no more Pull Ups to buy for a while. [/TMI]

Someone got me the “Enchanting Orchid” lotion from Bath and Body Works. It smells lovely in the bottle, but on me, it kind of smells like something an old lady would wear. Unfortunate. At least it’s a small bottle. And then I’ll go back to my Green Tea and Cucumber lotion. Yum!

I should send out queries soon on that novel I finished…two months ago. I’m being such a chicken. Well, and waiting to see what happens with the job situation.

I should quit ignoring KidCelt now. Plus option #4 is really calling to me.

I know, I know, I haven’t updated in ages. I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, PEOPLE! So what if I consider myself a writer? I can’t be interesting all the time, can I?

Well, in a vague attempt to be interesting, I’ll try my hand at Thirteen Random Things. Hang on to your seats. This is going to be a wild ride.

1. The Hub graduates in two weeks. He’s also looking for a job. Ergo, he’s stressed out, which leads to me being stressed out.

2. Food and fuel prices are going up. Ain’t that exciting? Time to build up the ol’ food storage.

3. In an effort to *not* think about things like graduation and the rapid decline of THE ENTIRE WORLD, I’ve been burying myself in books. My little family was not pleased about this, but they survived.

4. What absorbed my attention so completely? The Samaria books and the Twelve Houses books by Sharon Shinn. She’s an excellent world builder–I loved her fantastic, epic takes on human mutations and political relations. Oh man. That doesn’t even begin to describe it. You’ll just have to read them for yourself.
(Warning to the more conservative reader: As the MPAA would put it, there are some adult situations in both series, more so in The Twelve Houses, so don’t be handin’ off the books blithely to the next random preteen you see.)

5. The first sentence of the first book in the Samaria series, Archangel, is fantastic: “The angel Gabriel went to the oracle on Mount Sinai, looking for a wife.” Someday I want to write an attention-grabbing first sentence like that.

6. Got me some plans to sew up a storm in the next month. I may post pictures with A-line skirts, palazzo pants, and empire waisted blousy blouses soon. And some of them will be pink!

7. I wish I completely understood fashion, sometimes. I know what works for me, sort of, and what definitely doesn’t work on others, but there seems to be a large swath of people wearing mediocre clothing that neither uglifies nor flatters them, but is just there. I may fall into that swath, in spite of the storm of sewing that I am brewing. *headdesk* I just want to be comfortable in my clothes, people!

8. You know what I want? This is going to sound weird, but go with me: a Stevie Nicks style dress. Sort of. I can’t find a good picture, so make do with my description: flowing sleeves, flowing long skirt, structured bodice. Phoebe wears one to the New Years’ Eve party where she says goodbye to Max on Friends. Dharma’s mom wears one to Dharma’s “real” wedding on Dharma and Greg. I watch too much TV. But it’s a cool dress!

9. So I finished the first novel I was working on. I think I like it. I’ve written a query letter to start shopping for agents. Searching for agents. Something like that. Haven’t sent it out yet. I have enough stress right now.

10. Started working on my second novel, just like Miss Snark says to. (She’s very Google-able. You can find her–lit agent writes on breaking into publishing business, etc., etc.) And I think I might like it. I’ll tell you what it’s about when I know. Just because I have an outline doesn’t mean it won’t radically change shape in the next few months.

11. When I say “first novel” I mean the first novel that I think is worthy of seeing the light of day. There are a few practice novels wandering around my hard drive that just aren’t worth salvaging.

12. I justify the fantastic amount of reading I do as “learning how to write better.” The Hub doesn’t see that as justification for letting him take two turns in a row to change a poopy diaper, however. So unfeeling!

13. Hah. I made it to thirteen and said mostly real things. I’m quite proud of myself. Also, new NCIS on Tuesday! Yay!!

1. We got a grill because KidCelt wanted to roast marshmallows. She loved it.

2. KidCelt and I went to the Renaissance Festival. She had a blast as long as there were animals involved. I had fun too, and the hat turned out better than I expected it to.  ToddlerCelt is jealous–thus the attempt on her sister’s life with a plastic rolling pin.

3. At one point, I was going to finish my whole project list by May. I was making good headway, getting through the quilt and the RenFest garb and all of that. But I keep adding things to my list. I think that it’s time I joined Sewer’s Anonymous. Or quit getting invited to baby showers. Below are the shower gifts that actually went together pretty easily: two quilts and a clutch ball (I finished the other clutch ball a couple of days ago, but it’s identical to the one below). Don’t ask me for the clutch ball pattern–my mother-in-law said she has to be dead before I can pass it on. It’s her “thing”–the clutch ball, not the being dead.

4. I’m in the middle of reading Mistborn 2: The Well of Ascension. It’s by Brandon Sanderson and a pretty hefty tome, especially in hardback. The Hub commented that it was a big book and I said something about reading Sanderson is a commitment. His reply? “Yeah, for the whole family!” *blush* So I get a little involved in books when I’m reading! No one’s gone hungry yet.

5. Speaking of hunger, everything tastes better when made on a charcoal grill. The Hub is threatening to be “all grilled out,” but he’s the one that takes over the grill every time I suggest we cook something over it.

6. ToddlerCelt cuteness, Exhibit A: Late one night, TC woke up and said her tummy hurt. We brought her into the room and checked her out–no fever, no chills. We rubbed her stomach a little and she released a buildup of gas and immediately said “Hey! My bottom sings!”

7. ToddlerCelt cuteness, Exhibit B: A couple of days ago, TC was on the couch with The Hub, eating a graham cracker and watching TV. Suddenly she yelped and said “Daddy! My mouth ate my thumb!”

8. I’m ignoring everything I have to do today. Well, except the grading I have left. I really should knock it out. But the dirty bathrooms? Dirty dishes? They shall sit a while longer, methinks.

9. Sorry, I can’t make thirteen. The kids are clamoring for lunch, I can’t find the right kind of pattern for the blouse I have in mind, and they want to watch Little Einsteins. Never mind that they watched Qubo all morning.

10. Signing out!

Ahh, I love not being in school. It means that my reading is not required, and if a book bores me, I don’t have to finish it. Bliss!
The book in question was The Professor and The Madman by Simon Winchester. It’s a history of the Oxford English Dictionary and the two men who contributed the most to its formation, James Murray and Dr. W. C. Minor. I think those were their names, anyway. Winchester kept focusing on side characters to add life to his narrative, but all it did was make it harder to keep track of the main protagonists. About halfway through, as I questioned for the fiftieth time what his sources might be that he has actual motivations for said side characters and their involvement in the story, I stopped. Maybe it’s some clever style to state things authoritatively that you have no personal contact with, but it’s not one that I read well. So back to the library it went.

On the other hand, I adored Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. I was first exposed to Crutcher through Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, which was a great book about the depths of friendship. Whale Talk was about racism and what it means to overcome people’s perceptions. Man, that’s a shallow description, but it’s the best I can come up with right now. I liked it a lot. There were some heavy swears in it, for those of you who are sensitive to that. On the whole, though, it’s a book I would re-read. And now that I’ve gone through and posted links to these books, I think I need to re-read Staying Fat. It’s, um, been a while *coughliketenyearscough*.

And now that I’ve revealed my completely unsophisticated taste in literature (Breaking Dawn! This August! Squeal!), on to even more mundane things, like the dang coat I want to make and other projects.

So I went on a fabric hunt this past weekend, convinced that corduroy would be perfect for the making of the Cap’n Jack frock coat. I went to SAS fabrics, a discount, mill-ends fabric sort of place. All the pieces are precut, which turned out to be a problem. The one piece of absolutely adorable rose corduroy was just shy of three yards long–I need six and a half for the entire coat, and at least four yards of 45″ wide for the body and sleeves. Dang. I got some dark blue corduroy for contrast, but when I got home I realized I didn’t like it for coat material. I wear enough dark blue that you’d think it was my favorite color. It’s not. So the rose and the dark blue will become fantastic pairs of palazzo pants, and if there’s enough left over, I might make some pants for the girls. Strike that. The girls will be getting dark blue pants. I’m boycotting dark blue!

I also found an interesting brown corduroy with rose and blue flowers on it. I have plenty of it to make the body of the coat, and the more I look at it, the more I think that it would contrast well with some denim. I’m not normally this undecided about a project, but it’s a hard one for me, because I want to make one that will last me for YEARS. Too much pressure, perhaps. I’m thinking, currently, that the brown corduroy/denim combo will be practice, and then I will hunt and hunt for fabric that I absolutely adore, indulge in some Warm ‘n’ Natural batting, and really make a coat that I love.

I’ve finished the Renaissance Festival outfit for me and KidCelt. I’ll post pictures after we go next week, but know that I made myself a hat. A big black felt hat. I’m still tempted to get ostrich plumes from SAS fabrics to decorate it, but that may wait until next year. We’ll see.

In more mundane clothing news, I’ve thought up a new skirt pattern that should be more flattering but still easy to make. More on that later. Also, I want some new dresses for Sunday. I’m going to have to go through my fabric stash and see what I’ve got. And the girls need new dresses, possibly in time for Easter. Maybe.

I got a Valentine from [info]petullant! Hoo boy! That was cool.

And then I was justly chagrined to read that she really wanted me to update my LJ. I suck at the LJ updating, Pet. I always have. 😀 But for you, I will write this entry.

Previously, this is what I had on my project to do list:

   Crochet: Slippers for the girls, a snood for my RenFest friend
Hand Sewing: Attaching eyes for my kirtle and KidCelt’s kirtle, weaving a new belt, making rags
Machine Sewing: redo kirtle skirt (FIX PATTERN!), edge shawl for KidCelt, make red apron, make black petticoat, make cavalier hat
Machine Sewing (does NOT need to be done by February): black shirt, tunic shirt (trial), dress from tunic shirt?, recut pj pants, more jeans, Regency outfit (chemise, stays or pair of bodies, dress), small blue quilt (I’ve got all the right scraps and enough batting leftover from the monstrosity to pull this off)

The crocheting is completed or redacted. Only KidCelt would keep slippers on, I realized when I analyzed the situation, so only she got a pair–ToddlerCelt will have to beg. And demonstrate that she’s capable of keeping her own shoes on. Especially in the car [/old gripe]. And my RenFest friend isn’t all that interested in headwear. Though I did get to looking at my crochet thread and realizing I could come up with some pretty colorful options for myself…next year.

The eyes are attached to the kirtles! I have to re-lace mine with a stronger cord, but I haven’t done that yet. I’ll get there. It’s on my list of things to do before Saturday. And I have to add extra material to KidCelt’s outfit–dang kid hit a growth spurt in between the time I measured her for the outfit and when I actually completed it! The screams of frustration originating somewhere in the Southwest would be mine.

Gave up the new belt idea. Mostly because I have the perfectly functional leather belt from last year. Why repeat my efforts when I have a functional item already?

Rags, done.

And I fixed the kirtle skirt–it doesn’t poof out over my already large posterior anymore. Fixed the pattern too. I’m not going to make that mistake a third time! After I tried it on, I realized that I needed something to go on either side of the lacing to distract the eye, so I dug out some black and purple tapestry ribbon that I had left over from another project. I had just enough to trim each side. There will be pictures later.

KidCelt’s shawl has been edged (I zigzagged about one inch from the edge) and fringed (the zigzag keeps the fringe to an appropriate length). Dropped the black petticoat idea for the multiple lace edge petticoat I made to go under my Halloween dress when I converted it to a pirate dress for my birthday party. And I cut out the cavalier hat Saturday night! I’ve had those project materials for a year now, so it feels good to finally be pursuing it.

I’ve also purchased the denim to make more jeans! I love my pants pattern. Simplicity’s New Look 6710–the girl in the pink pants in the top middle row. Love the pattern–it’s three pieces if you don’t do the pockets. I made two pairs of these pants the day before I went out of state for my brother’s wedding, wore them the entire time, and lovedlovedloved them. I intend to raise the waist a little, and I did have to lengthen the leg, but I’m a tall woman who’s had two kids. Adjustments have to be made!

Projects I’ve added:
I’ve decided I want a frock coat as my winter coat when we move to Lubbock. You see, the winter coats that I can afford and that keep me warm are rather tube-like. I know I’ve shared about my pear-shaped-ness before, which means that a tube does not fit. Not enough room around the bottom, you know. And I don’t like how trenches look on me.
So I’m taking a page from Captain Jack and making myself a frock coat based on the Simplicity Pirates of the Caribbean pattern (4923–you’ll have to scroll down a bit to see the pattern, then click on it to see the coat). I intend to make it out of corduroy and some kind of a lining, maybe a thin flannel. And if I take my time and cut it out right and choose materials that I absolutely love, the coat might last a few years.
I nearly bought a maroon corduroy with maroon stitching on it, but there were only five yards on the bolt and I needed six and a half. I might go back to day and see if it’s still there–I could make the cuffs and the goudets (insertions to make the bottom part of the coat more skirt-like) in a contrasting color.
Dang it. Now I’ve decided I have to go back. There was another corduroy there that was cream with maroon stitching that would be a decent contrast…and they were both on the clearance rack. I just hate to make hasty decisions, because I don’t decide well when I’m hasty.
And I’ll have to figure out how to modify it for closures–the buttons and buttonholes are all faked. The pockets are faked too, but I can just put on some patch pockets under the flaps.

I’ve also decided that I don’t like how my chemises turn out. I was helping another friend with her chemise creation. She didn’t like the examples I’d brought, as they all had collars and she wanted something more feminine. So I directed her to Dawn Duperault’s chemise pattern and helped her get it measured and assembled. It went together so easily that I made one for myself, forgetting how long my arms are. So I gave that one away to a shorter friend and I’ll be making a new one with longer sleeves before Saturday.

In summary, my list of things to do before Saturday:
lace my kirtle
lengthen the kid’s kirtle and chemise
make my chemise. Again.
finish the cav hat

I can do this!


Still in a holding pattern, otherwise. I’ve read some good books, but I really need to get moving now–I promised the kids we’d go to the library today. If we’re going to the library AND Joann’s, well, I have to be dressed in something other than my pyjamas.

So there’s a promise for you, Pet–I’ll be posting about books soon. Then you won’t have to mail me a letter asking me to update. 😀