Friday, December 31, 2010

What A Boring Final Post

Well it's the last day of the year and I have been deliriously happy because I get to SEW again! December was a mess with meetings, lectures, parties, etc., and I didn't get to sew a lick because it was so busy. So today the office was closed but Hancock was open and my sewing machine was ready!

I actually got a few things done. The queue includes MIL's pants, my fleece, my mom's fleece, and then I want to make a shirt with buttons and collar to wear with the new pants I was forced to buy since I didn't have time to sew up a bunch for work. MIL's pants are from the Kwik Sew book, and look what they do with the extra space in the margins! (Yeah, exactly what do I do with that - trace it onto something? Please advise.)

So I got her muslin made and I have to wait till I see her to get it fitted. So I finished cutting out my fleece. I was still in casual mode when I bought the material (now I'm all about my high-heeled boots and corduroys, of course) so it's lilac camouflage with a purple waterproof overlay. I'll wear it on camping trips or walks around the neighborhood.

And the boys were with me in Hancock's, so Drew requested "a jacket like you made Aunt Tracey" from blue fleece that he picked out (Another item in the queue - now do you sew your mother's fleece first, or your son's? A real dilemma!) And Lucas went nuts when he saw all the fleece, so he picked out some for pajamas. Then he asked to get enough to make a pillow. So here's what he made while I cut out my fleece.

And here's what he did with the leftovers - a "pillow for the car" - very creative, that one.

So having accomplished all that, I've called it quits for the evening. Dean cooked a fantastic dinner of steak and mashed potatoes with truffle oil accompanied by a Caesar's salad, which the kids now love. Lucas, who hates all vegetables, ate 2 bowls of salad - joke's on him!

Oh, and I was really excited earlier about Hancock's Funtastic Fleece Contest which ends January 16th, because I figured I'll submit my fleece jacket. Then I read that they're looking for 1) Originality, 2) Creativity, and 3) Construction. So I've only got 1 out of 3. I looked through their "ideas for fleece" thing they give away, and I think they want stuff like that - using a pattern then fancying it up with your homemade embellishments. I got nothing. Oh well...if only that darn teepee was made out of fleece.

Oh, so one thing non-sewing happened that triggered a memory. We were in Gamestop to trade games and there's a man in his 20's on crutches with one foot in a cast, and the other barefooted. WHAT? You can go in a store now barefooted? I realized I didn't see a "No shirt, no shoes, no service" sign there, but wow - that's gutsy. And gross, because it was raining.

So that reminded me of when I was around 10 or 11 and my mom made me go to the grocery store with her (Super Valu). I couldn't find my shoes and she was in a hurry, so I had to go barefooted. I think we did this a fair amount, being redneck children in a podunk town (that has GOT to be the name of a song - I'm writin' that tonight!), but I'm just remembering the shame of it, so maybe it was only once. I remember she stopped to talk to a friend (she ALWAYS stopped to talk to a friend - does that only happen in small towns?) and I wanted to disappear in the floor because I was so embarrassed about my feet. Plus they were dirty from the parking lot, so that was even worse.

Anyway, I'm wondering if that guy today was embarrassed about his wet, dirty feet. Of course, he was at Gamestop with his girlfriend, so I think he made a conscious choice there.

Yep, I can't find any way to segue that into a New Year's sentiment, so just Happy New Year! As always, I hope to exercise more (I think all my treadmill dancing happens in January) and sew more, so we'll see how it goes. I also have Mardi Gras coming up, so that's something else to add to the queue. Back to the machine!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Well, this is probably the Christmas card for next year, but you'll have forgotten it by then hopefully.

We had a blast in NYC! We did a ton of stuff, but we'll start with the geocaching so I don't have to cut and paste so many pictures. This one was across the street from the Dakota building, where John Lennon lived, and under a very nice arch in Central Park.

It was actually a pretty big one - we were surprised.

There weren't too many muggles around, but I snapped this of Dean as a jogger was coming our way. (I think he looks like a bad guy from The Bourne Identity - scary!)

And we did the NBC tour (Drew's favorite thing in NYC was seeing the SNL studio getting ready for the show later that night) plus went to the "Top of the Rock" for some fabulous views.

Stupid poses, admittedly, but still fabulous views.

Lucas's favorite thing was seeing the Statue of Liberty. He grabbed Dean's leg and said, "Thank you for bringing me to see this!" (Sniff, sweet) He later decided that going in the Times Square Toys'r'Us was the best thing. He obviously likes being shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of people so that you can only shuffle your feet to walk and workers constantly yell at you to keep moving. He also must love getting hit in the face with wayward remote control helicopters, as that is what happened to him. (Dean declared it akin to being in hell...I concur.)

We did the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then made our way to "Curry Row" in the East Village, I believe, for some fabulous Indian food that's ruined us for our local joint. Drew later decided this was his favorite thing about New York. And I just had to video Lucas walking down a street - that kid skips everywhere when he's in a good mood, and I missed that but caught some sort of hand antics I wanted to remember. Why don't adults walk down the street like this? (Uh, well, they'd be picked up by the police and taken to the psych ward, I guess.)

We went to the Museum of Natural History, rode the subway (another big hit with Lucas), ate NY pizza plus other fabulous food (thumbs-up for Scarpetta), shopped in Times Square, and walked through FAO Schwartz just to say we did it. I also had a few minutes to run in Paron and gaze at the fabric - shout-out to Sheila for hooking me up! I wanted to go in Metro Textiles, but we were in the area on Sunday and they were closed. Shopping for fabric in NY is totally different than running in your local Joann's - I felt like such a novice!

After all that, we came back to the beach to have Christmas with the whole family.

Of course, a family get-together with us means either karaoke or a dance party, depending on the sound equipment, so here are a few highlights, starting with Jester and his sidekick.

Junior and Joe smoldered in front of a full moon reflecting off the water.

And Drew and his cousin grudgingly sang (I use the term loosely) at their mothers' insistence.

Poor Jakey was even forced into the holiday spirit for a few seconds.

So now I'm back to become re-acquainted with my machine and hopefully finish my MIL's pants and my fleece before starting on my mom's fleece. Whew, so much to do - hope you all had a great holiday too!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And One More Thing...

If you happen to receive one of our Christmas cards, let me explain a little. This is what we started with.

And with the wonder of Photoshop and Drew's computer skills, we ended up with this.

So no, I didn't let my kids swim in oil; and no, the dog isn't covered in oil; and no, the water didn't actually look like that. I'm not sure if it's funny, or tragic, or an environmental statement, but our sentiment was that we wish you a tarball-free Christmas. My neighbor's first reaction was, "Oh, it looks how did you put the puppy dog in the picture?" I could tell by her face that she didn't get it, so I explained it and she burst out laughing. Then she showed it to her husband to see if he got it, and his first comment was, "The dog is covered in oil."

I don't think this one will be hanging on lots of mantels.

The Post Before Christmas

Well, this first picture came out too bright so I messed with all kinds of settings to let you see the miracle of the jack-o-lantern face on this Thanksgiving carrot. It came out of the bag like this. Sadly, it didn't make the news.

And here's my sister, Junior, modeling her new jacket - it fits great except for the sleeves being a little long. I offered to make the lilac camouflage one for her with shorter sleeves, but she respectfully declined. Is that a statement on my choice of fabric? Hmmm.....

And I'm 2 lectures and 1 den meeting down, but still have the big pack meeting and karate party to go, plus the trip to NYC. Naturally, the MIL pants and other 2 fleece jackets did not get made yet. I DID actually measure and trace out the pattern for the MIL pants, though - baby steps!

And oddly, I'm having a very cry-ish holiday season so far. Last night the boys and I made hot chocolate and settled in to watch It's a Wonderful Life, and I teared up remembering the first time I saw it when I was about 8 or 9. I remember my whole family piling up in my parents' bed and my dad explaining it to us (at 404 for Jester and Junior). And today, Little Drummer Boy came on the radio, so I turned it up because Lucas wasn't familiar with it (is that a sign of a bad parent, or just a sign of modern times?), and I started tearing up again.

I thought you were supposed to get depressed AFTER the holidays. Well, looks like I'm ahead of schedule for once - merry Christmas everybody!