Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Update

Helloooo! Been a little busy lately, how 'bout you? I've still been knitting, but I also just got back from a meeting in Portland, OR, and have been giving lots of lectures, etc. Let's have a look. I just like this picture of Lucas and Jake sharing a moment on the porch.

This is a pack of striped cotton yarn I got to make dishcloths - I really should think of something else to make with this stuff, or else I'll have to open an Etsy store to sell them!

This is a few of the hats my MIL and her friends have been making for our NICU babies...

and just a couple of the blankets. These ladies are so creative with the colors and patterns - they freehand these things!

So last weekend Dean and I ran the Azalea Train Run 10K, and I shaved a minute or two off my time. Did a 11:47 minute mile - woohoo! I took a couple of pics just because this is the only downhill portion, and you can see I'm behind hundreds of people way off in the distance.

And the Azalea Trail Maids are scattered along the course - very nice.

Here's a washcloth I made for Drew's girlfriend.

And now for my Portland trip! Here's a beautiful sunset from the plane.

This is the view from a tram that takes you from the river up to OHSU Medical Center with the VA and the Children's Hospital - cool!

Can you imagine having a hospital room overlooking this view? If your bed is aimed that way, I guess, and you're well enough to care.

This is the longest covered walkway in the country, reportedly, connecting the main hospital to the VA - and that's a gigantic VA!

On the way back home, I walked through the Atlanta airport's concourse connector instead of taking the train and was rewarded not only with the history of Atlanta, but this rainforest, complete with chirping birds and dripping water!

They even have video screens simulating the sky and birds flying overhead periodically. I love this!!!

And finally, this was the opening session of my meeting. The president was surprised by a flash mob. And the dinner on the last night was accompanied by a live band and a huge dance floor where about 100 attendees tore it up - I have found my people!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras

Homemade stuff first: this is my grandmother's costume jewelry bracelet that matched my Mardi Gras dress perfectly, so I had to get Lucas to snap a pic.

And I finished the Split-neck sweater I've been working on since December.

I've worn it to work twice - love it! It just tends to grow in length and become tunic-like, which is fine when being worn with tight pants.

I'm happy with the V-neck, too. Next time I'll make the sleeves a wee bit smaller, but that's a minor issue.

And yet another shout-out to Aprons at Publix, where you sample the meal then buy every ingredient right there at the booth. Dean had a meeting, so I opted to cook Valentine's Day dinner myself - GASP! Publix had a delicious lobster pasta dinner already packaged.

You just throw it on a sheet pan for 11 minutes and voila:

They also had a recommended side item that I fixed, roasted asparagus with tomatoes and pistachios.

And now we pause for our Taiwan cherry tree...which bloomed for approximately 3 days...

and somebody else's tree, which also only bloomed for a few days. I was running and shot this, and the next time I ran every flower was gone.

Now back to homemade stuff. I ordered a 9-skein sample of Willow Sudsy Spray yarn that seems to be targeted at spa items like washcloths, towels, and even spa slippers, and Lucas requested a striped one, so this was the easiest pattern I could find on Ravelry, which is crocheted.

This is a knitted one for myself, and it turned out super soft - love this stuff! Making one for my mom next....did I mention I have 9 more skeins coming that are more striped? It was a 2 for 1, and I can't resist pretty colors.

On to the main event. Drew and his girlfriend came down for his first ride in Endymion, New Orleans' biggest parade on Saturday before Mardi Gras. It's hard to take a good selfie when you're staring straight into the sun.

Here are the boys all costumed up before heading for the float.

Meanwhile, Lucas, Camille, and I headed off in search of the Krewe of Lofcadio, otherwise known as the chefs' parade...because they throw out wooden spoons!

Spoons in hand, we headed to Canal Street for Iris and Tucks, where we met some guys in town from New York for a bachelor party. They were taken with my Auburn beads that Dean had bought in Mobile, though it turns out they never heard of Auburn University, but were big fans of War Eagle bourbon from Kentucky, which I never heard of! I very kindly traded my beads for this one's cup, because that's what you do in New Orleans!

So here's Drew on the float...

and here's a shot of the crowd...

and here's their float coming into the Superdome...

where Camille and I were waiting with a sign so they'd see us. Which was funny, because Dean had no idea we made this. It worked like a charm, then I used it as a table centerpiece so he'd find the table easier - ha! I think it ended up out in the Quarter somewhere, so he'll be like Flat Stanley traveling around the city.

And here's Drew all tuckered out but still smiling. Needless to say, he didn't stay up long enough to see Kiss (none of us did), but he had a great time.

And now they're back at college, and we're mired in that post-fun depression, so I'm starting a new knitting project as therapy. Hope you had a great Mardi Gras...oh, and I realize I didn't mention all the accidents this year, but I'll summarize by saying there were 2 groups run over by vehicles in 2 different states (everybody's okay, amazingly), and 3 men fell off floats and a truck in 3 different states, one right in front of us on Sunday, one in Mississippi who landed on rebar and died, and one in Mobile who was in critical condition on Tuesday. Maybe Mardi Gras isn't so fun....

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sheet Challenge Skirt, Mardi Gras Dress, and Geocaching

So remember I had that vintage sheet that I cut into thirds and sent to my mom and sister to see who would come up with what? Well they're still working on it, but here's what I did.

I found a coordinating blue stretch fabric in the stash (no idea where this came from - maybe a GCGSW swap?) that was fairly casual. There was also a beautiful purple polyester fabric that matched the flowers perfectly, but was too fancy to pair with a sheet.

I used New Look 6189 that I also had in stash (so green, honestly!), because it has a center front panel,

and carefully placed my flowers front and center.

Voila! I left off the belt loops and sash because I only planned to wear this around the beach in the summer, but it turned out kind of cute.

And I don't usually tuck things in.

This is New Look 6470 and it goes with the purple flowers, I think.

And this is a knitted T-shirt I made but need to lengthen a little bit.

And now the backstory (haha - didn't intend that pun). I made a muslin of this skirt first with the rest of the bed sheet and it was too big, but then I tried a smaller waistband and it was too tight, so I went back up the size 16, which ended up floating on me. Being the lazy sewist I am, I took 1/2" out of the side seam WITHOUT the zipper, because yes, this has a side lapped zipper - DOH! So this is what happens to the back when you take in one side and not the other. The back seams get off-kilter and make you look weird. Now otherwise I finished this thing very nicely with serged raw edges throughout, etc., so I fully intend to take the zipper out and take the waistband off there, then take out 1/2" from the left side. No idea why I didn't do it before I put the zipper in. Just lazy.

Oh wait, it's because I had THIS project waiting! Lucas is part of the crew for the high school's spring show, and I volunteered to sew costumes with 2 other ladies. This was my first assignment: cover the gold with fur.

Yer WELcome!

Next up - finish the Mardi Gras dress. My dear patient mother assisted yet again with Simplicity 5093 , mainly to get the straps right on the back, which entailed unsewing and re-attaching to make them symmetrical.

Ummm, it honestly has to be my shoulders or blades, because we measured this like 3 times and it was perfect when she was there to arrange straps. I just need a dresser tonight to yank on those things till they're, the straps, not my shoulder blades. (Yes, I'm wearing it tonight for a local-run before taking it to New Orleans...notice I didn't say dry-run, because Mardi Gras balls certainly aren't dry!)

I also had to get some new shoes to go with this, since my gray Ivankas didn't look right with the blue. (Speaking of Ivanka, I fully intend to let Nordstrom know that I shan't be shopping with them anymore. I'm sure they'll be crushed.) I love the little Mary Jane strap, or whatever you call that.

I may have to wear them out to dinner since they look good with jeans!

In non-sewing news, my mother made me this shell necklace after taking a class with a lady - nice!

And Lucas developed a need for glasses - he chose bright blue frames (when seen from the top) after deciding against Sally Jesse Raphael red - phew!

And finally, we went Geocaching around Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores. Can you spot the containers?

Somebody very clever set these out.

And we walked about 3 miles that day in beautiful weather - who knew this was hiding across from the beach?!

May have to rent a cabin or go tent camping here sometime...

Now to finish my knitted split-neck sweater which I will wear to work next week. Then to finish the socks on circulars I've been learning to do. What are you working on lately?