Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pants and a Zipper

So I got my mojo fired up again by organizing my cutting table. This put me in the mood to make some pants. Well, I really had all my knit top patterns pulled out with some fabric from the stash, but I talked myself into the pants because that's what I really need right now.

Robbie suggested using the Kwik Sew 3614 shorts as a starting point since I made 2 pairs of these and wear them all the time, so I added the legs from the previous Jalie pants I made to see what would happen. I knew going into it that this might end up wonky because the legs on those 2 previous pairs of pants were a bit wonky, but I could trim them down on the muslin and work it out. I didn't put the zipper in but just basted the fly because this was going to be awful.

Well hold up a minute, this might just work out! I love them! Just have to work out the legs a bit and fix that smile at the crotch.

Maybe I'll let the side seams out 1/4" at the hips and put the zipper in. I'll check the crotch curve against my Betzina jeans to get rid of that back leg wrinkle hopefully, but this is definitely do-able!

So I make my adjustments and sew the zipper in for real since I am definitely wearing these suckers to work - Robbie will be so proud of her donated pants fabric! (Lordy, I haven't even checked to see if the plaid matches up - maybe these'll be to wear around the house after all.) I proudly come downstairs to check the fit now, and discover a little problem undoing the zipper. Can you figure out what I did?

Yep, I sewed it in upside down. Since it was right sides against the fabric, I didn't check to see which end was actually up. Ever done that? So I can add this to my list of cutting off zippers and forgetting to sew a new stop. And adding insult to injury, taking smaller side seams actually made more wrinkles in the back.

Some days God smiles at me, and other days he has a little laugh at my expense.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just Dance 2 for the Wii!

Yeah, if you're looking for sewing stuff you may need to come back another day or check the archives to the left. If you're thinking of buying Just Dance 2 for the Wii, on the other hand, step right up! Shout out to my old friend Lisa for bringing this to my attention. I'm a sucker for exercise videos, but only do them a couple of times before I get tired of them, but this is DANCING.....I LOVE DANCING.

This has a wide variety of songs from Avril Lavigne to Elvis, as featured below, and talk about a cardio workout! So I shoot for a few songs a day and I'm already a little less out of breath now that we've had it a week. It even has a "Just Sweat" option that tracks your progress every day.

Of course, it's primarily a game for up to 8 players, and Lucas demonstrates his superiority in this song. He's just done this one about 50,000 times is all.

Now to go put a $5 reservation down on Just Dance 3, which is coming out in October. Surely that one will have some Lady Gaga....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Big Fire

So we were on the boat at Johnson Beach in Perdido when Lucas noticed something was on fire. It looked like it was coming from the vicinity of our house. As we were heading back, we spent 15 minutes in the no-wake zone and listed the appliances we'd each turned off. That's a creepy feeling when you think you might be looking at smoke from your own house. Then we realized it was further away. Now doesn't this picture look like the fire is right behind this building?

So H.K. (my deceased father and notorious ambulance chaser with no less than 3 police scanners in his possession) whispered that I should track down the source of the blaze. I concurred. This looks like a tornado, but it's the smoke. This is really creepy, like end-of-the-world creepy. Lucas expresses concern that we not get near the fire - it looks like it's really close.

Coming over the Alabama Pass bridge - Lucas says, "This is going to be devastating." I pray this isn't some condo full of people or the Publix which is right there and always full of people.

Turns out it's the Gulf State Park forest burning - awful, but thank goodness no people were hurt.

It was so eery to see it burning at night while everybody goes about their business at the beach.

So hooray for all the firefighters who got it under control today, I think. No loss of life or structure last I heard - phew!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dean Accomplished Something. I Did Not.

Well, I bought this rayon challis on sale at Hancock the other day. I was looking for something to make a shirt pattern I've had, but I think this wants to be a dress.

Dean's more productive than I am this week. He's floored the 2nd level (PICU-height).

It actually supports my weight!

All that's left is filling the yard below with fluffy grass and removing the stepping stones. Oh, and the handrails, rope ladder, steps, etc.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

Hope y'all had a great weekend - we had a nice one over at the beach. The dog needed to be right up in my lap on the way over. He actually put a paw up on the center console at one point, but Dean wouldn't let him drive.

We had some old friends over for a fish fry. Pat here has covered himself in the grass that washes up on the little beach. Last time somebody got in the grass, they complained of stinging and ended up with a red rash where bugs bit them. Luckily, Pat is an environmental engineer and knows what he's doing.

He brought a "box" of oysters over that took two days to finish. This is Dean's Father's Day breakfast - oysters and Diet Mountain Dew. I actually ate several right from the shell with cocktail sauce on them. Look Ma, no cracker!

Still waiting for the sewing mojo to return. I did go to Hancock and the manager still recognizes me. She cracks me up yelling, "Hey Girl!" and is very nice to talk to me, though she's never used the Simplicity binding tape maker they sell. If any of you have, let me know what you think because I might buy that with my gift card. Off to PR to read reviews.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Things

So busy with call this week! I just have time to post some random pictures. This one cracks me up. Visitors to the Mobile Airport may be greeted by the lovely Azalea Trailmaids! WTH? Just lovely high schoolers who interview for the opportunity to wear gigantic antebellum dresses and possibly walk in parades or greet dignitaries at the airport. Dean walks proudly and with a smile as he passes them. (Note they have turned their backs on him - he is not their dignitary.)

And this is what Dean is occupied this week while he's off.

This would be a treehouse actually up in a tree, which will have 2 levels. The first level is emergency room visit-high, and the second level is admit to the PICU-high. I do believe waivers need to be signed before friends play on this with Lucas.

Yes, you may be confused because you see the fort in the background. Dean built that when the kids were smaller and it has a rock wall on the back. But they're bigger kids who are ready to take more risks....there is already discussion as to how to connect the 2 structures. Should it be a zip line? A rope bridge? Well, time to go jack up the insurance coverage. See you later!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Cooked Better Than I Sewed...

Okay, I've never done a sleeve binding before. I've never put on a cuff or placket other than the practice I got in Betzina's class recently. All I've ever done is fold up a hem and topstitch. So I tried 2 methods on this muslin, neither of which worked well.

For the first one, I tried a method I learned from a Jalie top where you fold a strip in half, finish the edges with a zigzag or serger, apply to the right side of the garment with raw edges even, then fold inside and press. They did that with the neckline, but I tried it for the sleeve. Yeah, that didn't work too well.

It looked okay on the inside, but wasn't RTW-looking on the outside.

So I tried the official binding of the armhole. I think you fold the strip in 3rds and wrap it around the raw edge, but this is knit so I just sewed one raw edge to the armhole then wrapped higgledy-piggledy to the inside and "topstitched," hoping to catch it inside.

This is an example of very CRRRRRRRAPPY (that's with an Irish brogue) stitching! I was beyond caring when I did this, and the 3rd cable guy was tromping around in the attic, so I was in a hurry.

So I may actually investigate a binding maker - I think that's what it's called. I've got to go back to Katie's blog and check her binding method. Hers are always perfect.

Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Auburn Velvet Cake

Look what I can do! Today was my mom's birthday, and it was kind of hectic with me being on call and having to go to the hospital, plus Dean and Drew were flying out of town. Lucas and I took them to the airport where they proceeded to wait 3 hours before being told the flight was canceled. We then picked them up and brought them home, then took them back an hour later to catch another flight. In the middle of all that, I made a red velvet cake....except it's not red - it's ORANGE! This is what red plus yellow food coloring makes:

And I didn't even burn them, which is amazing since I always burn muffins without exception.

And I even made my grandmother's homemade icing - this is her cake recipe too. I love that it's in her handwriting and at the bottom it says, "Delicious!" And that's underlined, so she MEANT it! Lucas wanted to write something in frosting, but I insisted we make it look like Mamaw's cake, which had a circle of pecans on top.

I believe Mimi was surprised.

Ooh, I love a trick candle. This one has to be dipped in water to stop re-lighting.

Now why didn't I think to make the icing blue! That has just occurred to me - I even had blue food coloring!

This sucker even TASTES good, so looka there - I CAN cook after all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wild Kingdom in the Backyard

A cute wittle turtle in the backyard with the baby crow!

Baby Crow huddles next to the sprinkler head: "Are you my mother?"

Ooh, internet is up for the moment! Flash mob of movies!

First up is Lucas swinging from the new tree house under construction.

Next is Lucas finding a new spot where both of Jake's legs actually go crazy - looks like he's riding a bike. It's very short because he flipped himself off the step shortly thereafter (Jake, not Lucas).

Next is watering the baby crow. If you listen carefully, you'll hear Momma Crow overhead...I am very brave.

That is all.

An Entrepreneur with a Purpose

So if our Internet was up, I'd post the old photos of all the sales he's had in the past, like the hot chocolate sale (bombed), the book sale, the toy sale, and the lemonade sale made with our own lemons. This time he agreed to donate proceeds to charity, so we registered with the Multiple Sclerosis society, who puts on this big lemonade sale during the summer. We pledged $300 and got 96 cans of lemonade, 3 boxes of chocolate cookies, a banner, 2 yard signs, a donation jar, information sheets for donors, and T-shirts for the host kids.

Hs main concern to start with was how to decorate the table and arrange the propaganda - this is Lucas, who is different. He's now been out there 1.5 hours in 90-degree weather and is so proud that he's made at least $30! Every time a car comes I have to run in the house because he wants to be alone with the customers...we know that grownups talk too much if I'm standing out there from previous experience.

Anyway, maybe tomorrow I can post my video of giving the baby crow, who remains alive, water from a syringe. It was rather creepy and reminded me of why I didn't become a gynecologist (ewwwwww!). The plan is to trap it in a cage and take it it the Environmental Studies Center to be raised, except it doesn't want to go in the cage. Maybe he didn't get the memo that he's dying because his parents aren't feeding him.

So a second cable guy is coming tomorrow to take a crack at our internet, which was fixed all of 8 hours before going down again. We may become legends at Comcast. (They already changed the phone options to "If this is Dr. Fun, please press 3."). I can send my pics to the blog by mobile blogger, but the videos have to be embedded from YouTube, which is surely a pain. Plus I'm just not as funny on the iPad as I am on a desktop. (You don't have to agree.). See, that would've been better in italics.....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Poor Baby

This is a poor baby crow which has landed in our back yard for some reason. I noticed 2 gigantic crows flying around our yard while I was watching a movie 2 days ago, and apparently this is why. It sounds like a haunted cemetery around here with the parents cawing constantly, though they don't seem to be feeding the poor fella.

Jake the Wonderdog walked right past him to do his business in the yard and walked right back in the house without noticing a visitor beside his water bowl. Of course, Lucas and I missed him too, and were standing right next to him before I saw him and jumped. The bird jumped when I jumped - it was kind of funny. I thought he was a goner for sure, but he's still out in the bushes hopping around waiting for his parents to feed him.

I remain paralyzed in the sewing department. I got some pants drafted from the Kwik Sew shorts I made last year but haven't sewn them up yet. I need to put bindings on the armholes of the lilac sleeveless shirt I salvaged, but I'd rather start cutting out one of the new shirt patterns I bought. To wit:

New Look above, Jalie below. (Why must they have the little girls strike a pose on every single pattern? This is very disturbing to me.)

I feel like I need to dress up as Joan Crawford and beat myself while yelling "NO.....KNIT......SHIRTS!!!!!" (I assume you saw Mommy, Dearest and are howling with laughter at that reference. I make a lot of assumptions.) I am totally obsessed with knit shirts, though I haven't cranked one out since that black polka dot one.

Oh well, that's all I have to say right now. I'll continue to sit here and wait for the cable guy to come restore our Internet on the home computer....hey! Did you see that monkey just fly out of my....oh, never mind. Maybe I'll go sew....

Two beanbags and a microphone... (Beck)

Sorry, Picasa is screwed up and I needed a URL for this pic!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Lucas-ism and a Drew-ism

Two things for me to remember in a few years:

I was windblown from go-cart riding at the beach and we'd come home all tired and sweaty. I changed from contacts to glasses but still had on my favorite T-shirt (it says "Waikiki Surfing Championship 1967" with a picture of a woman on a surfboard) and shorts. I checked on Lucas, who was enjoying the beanbag chair while playing a video game, and he says, "Mom, you look like you're in college." I say, "What, my skin?" thinking that the Meaningful Beauty is just ripping YEARS off my face! He says, "No, those glasses. And your hair, your shirt, your shape, just everything."

My shape? God bless that boy! (He's not quite right.) He's in for a rude awakening (no, more like a pleasant surprise) when he gets to college and discovers that most girls are NOT flat-chested pears!

And Drew enlightened me on a deep subject. I was asking him why he didn't want to do anything fun with us like sailing, which he had declined the day before. He said, "Do you know that from about the age of 4 to the age of 12, you and Dad have told me repeatedly to go find someone to play with, find something to do, learn to entertain yourself, etc.? And now that I CAN entertain myself, you want to do something with me again?"

Ouch! Now I explained to him that that's universal child-rearing; that ALL children have to learn to be independent and not depend on their parents to constantly keep them entertained. But still, when you think about it, I can certainly see his viewpoint.

He's still wrong, but I see his point!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Final Product

Just waiting for a coat of polyurethane. I added the year on the side....awwwwww. Wish my internet was back so I could put up better pictures.


I believe this is self-explanatory. Drew feels GQ-ish.

Painting a Hand

Drew's hand was too big for the plate so I had to paint it. Drew is contemplative.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Overdue for a Fall

Well, it was bound to happen sometime, huh? I had 2 bags of groceries and was walking so nicely through the parking lot without a care in the world. I had to step up on a curb to get to my car, but that dadgum left foot (it always seems to be the left one!) missed its cue and sent me sprawling in the dirt. Both bags went flying, my sunglasses hanging on my shirt got bent and a lens popped out, and my left sandal stayed behind. This was not an easy recovery since I sprawled all over the place, so I got up and unlocked my car with one shoe on, went back and gathered groceries (thank you, God, that the milk didn't burst), found my other shoe, and then a very nice young woman going in the health club next door asked if I was okay. Oh crap, all those people on treadmills facing the parking lot...should I go collect some tips for providing the entertainment?

I drove home with brown knees, a scrape on the left one, a bloody right toe (how'd that happen?), ruined sunglasses, and dirt on my groceries. I think I'll be touring assisted living homes later this afternoon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This table is a be-ach!

So maybe I should've asked somebody at Michael's whether acrylic paint is ok to use on top of this table paint, which doesn't specify whether it's oil or water based, though the chief ingredient is water, so isn't that water based? (Don't worry, I'm much better at doctoring than I am at decorating stuff!)

This just doesn't look like it's going well - the paint isn't coating nicely. Seems like Dean and I had this problem when we painted kitchen cabinets in a rental house one time...

Flip flops

Oh, couldn't you tell these were flip-flops and a bathing suit (yeah, seriously, that's supposed to be a bikini)? Why don't they make stencils a little larger, do they think I'm decorating doll furniture? Don't they know I have a 6-top table to cover in beachy cuteness?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recycled Table

So this is all out of whack because I'm doing it on the iPhone. Lucas painted for about 10 minutes then bailed, but got a picture before he left to document my work. I don't think you can see the sweat dripping off my nose - I saw on the news that it was 101 degrees yesterday!

And here it is with a second coat applied at 9:30 this morning. When you start with half-rotten wood, you can't expect too much from your paint job. I think sanding and filling in with putty would've made it look better, but it was destined for the trash heap so I don't feel too bad.

And this is a link to the original picture from a February post when I had just started refinishing it.

Now if I could just get the boys to show interest in creating artsy spray-painted things on it....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Post Putt Putt

I have an important tip for you. Don't play putt putt at 11 am on the hottest day of the week when the place is open till 11 pm. Think about the fact that you'll finish up around 12 and may die of heat exhaustion. You can't see the blood red color my cheeks were because Arby's is nicely air conditioned, but you may see the soaking wet hair that was dripping on my shirt.

Anyway, after haircuts for the boys I had a nice visit with fellow sewer Robbie, who lives in Gulf Shores and very kindly brought me 2 issues of Threads magazine dealing with fitting shirts. Too bad I didn't bring my shirts for some hands-on fitting help! Now off to strip more paint from an old table so the boys and I can repaint it. I'll post before and after pics as we go.

Best Putt Putt on the Beach

So we vote that Pirates Island beats the Track, Adventure Island, and probably Waterville, though we haven't personally played that one, but it had very little shade from what we saw yesterday. Pirates Island was well-groomed, shady in many spots, had excellent seating at most holes, and had lots of water features. The lady who ran it was very friendly, and they even sell ice cream in the office! We give it our highest endorsement.