Monday, July 20, 2015

Downtown Polevaulting

So I read in Lagniappe about this polevaulting thing that I never heard of before. Apparently Mobile has been doing it for several years, and it's wildly popular with the track and field crowd, who long to break free of their boring stadiums and fly around balconies and traffic lights with a crowd of onlookers. See the guy in the sky?

Here's a guy running straight for us.

And after seeing Trainwreck (hilarious, but RAUNCHY!) at the Crescent, we found they were still going:

How fun is that?! They had hundreds of people from out of town participating - you go, Mobile!

In other news, God sent me a link for a new shoe last night. I got on the internet to log in to my hospital since I was on call, and a page from Nordstrom popped up from nowhere (okay, I know they spam you with ads, but why not have a peeky-poo?). I scrolled through the anniversary sale shoes till a heel from Ivanka Trump caught my eye (love her shoes), and would you believe one of the pictures was this:

Do you get the connection? It's a pointy toe with an ankle strap, which I love, but do you see her skirt? Can you picture it covered in couching? I mean it's the exact same color as mine! God knows I've been working on it all weekend, and He wanted me to have some beautiful shoes to wear with it when I finish - thank you, God! Does God talk to you like that, or am I just really lucky?

And one last thing. I realized today that I have handicapped my children, despite thinking that I raised them to be autonomous free-thinkers. Well, they are, but apparently they don't know how to shop. When I took Drew shopping for some new college clothes, he stuck to me like he was Jake following me around the house. I literally had to say, "Do you see anything you want to try on? Well, pick it up and go try it on!" That's kind of cute to me, because it shows how low-maintenance a woman I am, that I don't shop a lot. But today in the shoe store, he did the same thing. He liked 2 pairs of shoes and seemed frozen with indecision. I said, "Most people want to try a shoe on, and that will help them decide if they want it or not. Go ahead....try it on." I purposely stood back and waited. Do you know the kid could not get the plastic insert out of the shoe?!

It finally hit me that all these years of running in Shoe Station, asking what they like, then ordering them to sit down and rip off their socks while I unpack the shoes and hand them over, has handicapped them. He just could not figure out how to pull that thing out. I finally picked up the other shoe and demonstrated squeezing, lifting at the heel, and pulling backwards, THEN he was successful. So mothers of younger kids, remember there's more to being a grown-up than being able to make your own lunch and take a shower by yourself. You should really know how to unpack new shoes...although re-packing all that paraphernalia is optional, in my opinion.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Camp War Eagle, Among Other Things...

It's been kinda crazy around here! First off, I'm not the only crafty person in the house, as Drew has been wanting to build his own computer for a few years. He's kept a list of components and has been pricing them for over a year, unbeknownst to us, so once he had a few paychecks from his dishwashing job, he ran it all by us, then went ahead with his purchases. Behold what the future electrical engineer created:

After troubleshooting an issue with the power switch (a loose cable was touching the case and apparently shorting out everything - he figured that out by himself before the same situation was portrayed on AMC's Halt and Catch Fire - I'm very proud!), he proved that it worked. Proudest moment of his life so far, I believe, as evidenced by his ripping his shirt off and striking a Herculean pose, though I opted not to include that here for modesty's sake.

And speaking of crafty things, I'm wondering if my AC shirt is fading in the wash. Robbie, have you washed any of your fabric yet? I've washed it a couple of times, and I don't MIND it fading, as I wanted just a faint stencil anyway, but I've always cut out the stenciled part, so this was interesting to see....will follow and let you know.

So he finished his computer a couple of days before we went to Camp War Eagle, which is mandatory orientation and registration for new Auburn students. We drove up on Wednesday after work, and ate at Ariccia, which is a FANTASTIC restaurant inside the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center. I loved it so much, I had to take pictures. What a fancy bread presentation, but why do they provide sea salt? Are you supposed to dip your bread in it? I really think it's for looks, as my mouth puckered up immediately upon tasting bread dipped in oil and salt. But so pretty!

Lovely Caesar salad - about half-eaten - sorry.

Drew's delicious pizza, which is reminiscent of La Pizzeria's here in Mobile, before they closed. This was salami, I believe, and SO TASTY.

And the only minor disappointment was that the tortellini with mushrooms was more of a salad, and less of pasta with Alfredo sauce, which is what I was expecting. Still delicious though, and LOOK at that parmesan cheese! I forgot to capture dessert, which was little doughnuts rolled in sugar that you dip in chocolate, raspberry, or caramel sauce - YUM!

So on with CWE - Drew took a suitcase and was shuttled off on a bus to check into the dorm while I went to lots of parent orientation meetings, which were great.

After a farm-to-table dinner, we got to sit next to the students for a pep rally in the stadium. Have you seen the largest Jumbotron in the nation? Well, this is it!

And here's some fascinating entertainment, a hip-hop dance team called AU Rhythm. The guy who runs in near the end was Drew's student counselor, who started his first year in ROTC - loved this guy!

The next day was academic advising and more meetings, but I had time to walk over to Toomer's for a milkshake. Did I mention the heat index was over 100 degrees? You can't see my hair dripping, can you?

Here's a shot of the famous corner, but they were putting the new oaks in and have the intersection all torn up.

And this is what stress looks like. Racing 500 fellow students to get registered for your perfect class schedule is apparently tough, so they have them work through several worksheets to be sure they're all set. Drew literally got the last seat in one class, just before the guy next to him got locked out of it.

Meanwhile, this joker is at camp in Texas for 3 weeks learning how to build a website, so he can enlarge his current YouTube channel empire.

And after CWE, there were the Blue Angels.

Here's a little sample of a flyover and the crowd. We had nice weather for once.

So I better change for date night! With Lucas gone and Drew working dinner shifts, Dean and I are being empty nesters for a bit - FUN! (Because it's temporary, of course.)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Lake Martin 2015

Um, the lake trip was difficult this year. We booked a house that slept 12 back in February, but the chick emailed me 7 days before vacation that the house was unavailable - whaaaaa?! After losing sleep planning the nasty review for her on HomeAway, we scrambled around and found an old cabin where we'd have to split into 2 parties, and would be the first short-term renters. A tenant had been it for 3 years, and the owner said it was clean and she'd buy us some pots and pans, but we needed to bring all our own towels and paper products, etc. Um, it has some interesting wiring, first of all. This would be the back porch light, operated by a switch outside, plugged into a plug.

And this is what she meant by clean.

I spent about 3 hours sweeping, Cloroxing, running dishes back through the dishwasher, etc. We DID get a refund after the following happened:

This would be my sister's room flooding after a thunderstorm...from one wall to the other wall at 11 PM - nice! Okay, enough negativity. Here's a lovely sunset...

And a little after sunrise - for some reason I woke up around 6 AM every day, so I sat out on the porch and stitched.

Here's Chimney Rock, where a bunch of people were taking their mobility and their lives in their hands by jumping...

After we relocated from the slum cabin, we enjoyed some card games on my Mom's porch...

and some tubing.

Next up, some videos of the action. First, Drew and Parker on the tube - didn't catch their crashes though...

This would be Drew bravely jumping from the slum cabin's awesome boathouse on the first day - no lifejacket!

And we'll end it with my very brave birthday jump...uh, yes, I wore a lifejacket and held my nose!

Have a great 4th of July weekend!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Airbrushed AC Shirt Awesomeness

But first, some homemade bread. This is the 21-year-old breadmaker we received as a wedding gift, and it's still got it!

Added the water, dry ingredients, then opened for a little peeky-poo after 5 minutes.

Sadly, the water is supposed to be cold if it's summer time, and I used hot water, thus the sunken top.

But oh so moist and tasty!

Now to my new favorite top. I opted for gray thread to bind the neckline, and wish I'd felled the seams with it too...oh well. I also serged the sleeves right-sides-together before hand-sewing them to the top, so there's a nice finished edge there. Just thought that would be fun.

Sad AC model style pics.

And my AC skirt made from recycled soccer T-shirts too...

"Why yes, I AM an Irish step-dancer; why do you ask?" Seriously, did capri pants go out of style suddenly, or is it just these shoes that make it look so weird?

Oh, it even goes with my favorite gray pants and gangster shoes! Wish I worked in the corporate world so I could actually WEAR this blazer.

So does it scream cray-cray, or can I wear it to work?

Nobody commented on the pink AC top I wore, but this airbrushing's definitely gonna get some looks. I'll let you know. Oh, and here's some experimental stitching on the blue dress:

Lucas wisely pointed out that I already have a beaded dress, so I'm just going with the satin-stitch. I believe backstitching is done with embroidery thread and not button craft thread like I did here, so I'm taking that out too. Now Robbie, do you want to email me some pics to post here? I'm anxious to see how your top is turning out!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Racing and Airbrushing

The weekend started with us saying goodbye to Dean and Drew, who flew to Dallas to do a Spartan race in the stadium. Lucas and I watched Insidious 3 at the theater - we were the only people there, and it was CREEPY! (Good movie, if you're a scare-aholic, and I just learned the older psychic lady is the crazy over-tanned neighbor Magda from There's Something About Mary - that chick has quite a range!) Then we got up at 6 AM Saturday to run Lulu's Hot Trot 5K. This was Lucas's first 5K and he was a-might nervous!)

Then he nearly had a heat stroke because it was about 100 degrees with 95% humidity, so we finished in 58 minutes, but at least he was still conscious when he crossed the finish line. Note the redness of our cheeks and ears - and this is AFTER we cooled off in an icy water sprayer.

We ran home to take showers, then Robbie joined us for the great Alabama Chanin Airbrushing Experiment...where we also nearly had heat strokes! We set up in the garage, where it was probably 110 degrees with 97% humidity, and proceeded to paint for about 3.5 hours, and yes, sweat was dripped onto fabric as well. This was our first test piece using a thinner knit fabric and Angie's Fall stencil with mostly transparent paint in a slate color. We discovered the transparent paint is actually see-through, takes longer to dry than opaque, and flies out of the airbrush in about 10 seconds, whereas the opaque lasted quite a bit longer. Behold the beauty:

Now what could this be? This is Robbie's black fabric with Anna's Garden stencil taped up to achieve a couple of small flowers (trust me).


I may have to frame this next one. This is persimmon Alabama Chanin fabric hanging off the table, and we've already painted the bottom half with a black/white mix of opaque paint. Looked silver in some cases, and brown in this case. Of course the part on the table is unpainted.

These are some of our finished fabrics laid on a bed to dry. You can see my white top there too.

This is what you feel like after you've lost 4 pounds of sweat in a stuffy garage surrounded by paint fumes.

No - just kidding! The fumes were nothing, so we didn't wear masks, and we took breaks for delicious pork butt sandwiches and cole slaw that Robbie graciously provided. Also a break at the beginning because I couldn't remember how to set up the airbrush. There are 3 pieces that have to go together with a tiny screwdriver, so instructions and reading glasses were necessary before we started.

So I'll get better pictures of my dress and top after they've "cured" in the dryer and I have some better light, and Robbie promised to send me pics of her garments when done, so maybe I can post them here too. Oh, and speaking of that Spartan race - here are the boys after finishing in 1 hour 45 minutes. I need to go see if Drew can lift himself out of bed this morning

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday Airbrushing!

Okay, I simply can't wait to upload all the pictures - here are some quick videos. Thanks to Lucas for adding the music to them...otherwise you'd hear the deafening roar of the air compressor. (And it's humorous music at that - I was thinking some country fiddles or something, but he said the videos were kind of boring, and sped them up with the appropriate accompaniments.)

Here's Robbie:

And here's me:

And tomorrow I'll show you some fabric eye candy!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Alabama Chanin At Work

I'm just saying it's not all about cowboy booted-women in a field of wheat, or barefoot women on a dirt lane. Maybe that IS where you work, but I work in an office seeing patients, and I'd like to be able to wear my Alabama Chanin stuff everywhere. That's why I tried the T-shirt pattern from Studio Sewing and Design, though I did lower the neckline and cut it shorter. (And this would be the ONLY AC garment where you need to lower the neckline - trust me!) My corset and fitted top were in no way appropriate for the office - and I've only worn the fitted top with something underneath it to lunch with Robbie, because I've been told it looks like lingerie. Anyhoo, my office-wear also involved other fabrics, since the AC fabric is primo and I have so many knits in the stash currently. So you've seen these before, but here're the actual outfits for work. The blue top already garnered a compliment, and nobody asked if I made it!

Someone PLEASE suggest better shoes with both of these - I'm dying. I've been to DSW twice in the past few months and just can't find any spiffy flats other than my gangster wingtips, and they don't really go with EVERYthing. And I have this weird thing about open-toed shoes - I don't think they belong in the doctor's office - am I crazy? (Katrina - no offense if you wear them!) I had an attending who wore Birkenstocks with everything, and I felt it was just TMI, if I may borrow a phrase. Plus I couldn't wear sandals for years in public because I was so self-conscious about my feet. (Scott Kenny, my 5th grade boyfriend, squatted down to inspect my painted toenails one day at school then called everyone to come look, so I blame this phobia on him.)

Also, I should've done a close-up, but I did end up doing a twin-needle hem and neckline stitching on the blue shirt, and I thought the cretin stitch around the hem of the pink shirt looked fine and helped camouflage it's "unfinished-ness." I'm wearing that one tomorrow.

Oh, now have I told you the fabulous story about my AC Mardi Gras dress? I feel like I told somebody, so stop me if you heard this. A few months ago we had a fancy fundraiser to go to and I wore the dress. A colleague of mine, who shops bi-annually in Atlanta and New York City for her clothes, came up to me and said, "That looks like a Project Alabama dress." My jaw dropped - someone actually RECOGNIZED my dress as being Alabama Chanin! It turns out she bought one of Natalie's first T-shirts in NYC, and was a big fan of her work. She told the next person who walked up to us that my dress was worth about $6000 - high praise! Anyway, she decided she wanted to try to make something herself, so I gave her links to the AC website and Craftsy - wish her luck!

Okay, I'll let you know tomorrow how many people ask me if I made the pink shirt once they see the threads and knots poking out...and how many just give me a weird look.