Friday, July 27, 2012

Random Stitching

Well, the shorts are being held up by the fact that my machine is still threaded with pink thread for the tankini, and I had enough fabric left over to make the other bottom, which is lower-waisted. So yesterday I finally got around to narrowing the crotch and cutting that out of lining and fabric, plus I shortened the bands in the back of the top to try and pull the front a little tighter. I also hemmed the top with a triple zig-zag since the tan serging line was distracting (it looked a tiny line of skin showing - ewww).

And here's where the knitting stands. I experimented with different stitches, so it's a garter stitch on the edge, then I tried a seed stitch, but I didn't truly understand what knits and purls looked like, so I ended up with ribbing for several rows till my mother got ahold of it and set me straight. I only did a couple of rows of that and went back to stockinette, but it kind of makes a nice little trim for the hat. Dean even said it had a nice...rim? I can't currently think of the word to describe the lower edge of something - band? (Moooooo...)

And here's the fabric for the baby bunting that will happen after the shorts. It's actually not greenish, but tan - the color is off.

I picked this up at Fabrics by the Pound in Summerdale. They mostly have quilting cotton, but this was on the table of jersey knits for $2.99, so I grabbed it thinking of a dress or something.

And finally, this happened! He was so excited about getting braces before he got them, and after attempting to chew one bite at dinner that night, he said, "I don't like braces."

I hope to have a productive weekend on call - what are you up to?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Florabama - the Safe Way

Dean discovered this a couple of weeks ago - the Florabama opened a "Yacht Club" across the street complete with a beach on Old River where you park your boat, a taco stand (I recommend the fish tacos - yum!), and live music! The kids stared holes in the poor guitar player because they're both taking guitar lessons this summer and apparently were critiquing his style or something. Lucas felt bad when we left because when the guys went on break, they said, "Now y'all don't leave - we'll be back after our break!" I reassured him that everybody says that; it wasn't a personal request....even though we were the only ones clapping after each song...except for that drunkish older lady in a bikini who was hooting too.

And today we went fishing in-shore. I scored 2 pinfish (what, you can't see the fish there? It's next to the bobber and just a little bit bigger), and Dean caught a stingray. Yowza.

I also got some shorts cut out and am still working on the knitted cap - woohoo! Maybe I'll have pictures of my progress this week...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Project

So Pammie inspired me with this post to branch out from sewing a little bit. She knitted in a hotel room, and I figured I needed something to work on when I can't get to my sewing machine. So while we were at Lake Martin, my mom was working on a baby blanket and I got her to refresh me on knitting. And voila, another obsession is born!

I grabbed a couple of books from the library, borrowed her #8's, and bought a cheap skein at Hancock to try my hand at a hat her Sunday School class knitted for homeless shelters that's supposed to be easy.

So now, instead of ignoring my family while I sew upstairs, I can ignore them while I count stitches in my head on the couch - ha! (Just kidding, of course.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Note the planes. Note the clouds. Note the bands of rain below the clouds. Note to self: even if it's pouring rain, apply sunscreen. My face is turning purple now because the rain prevented me from wearing sunglasses and the wind blew my hat, and it didn't occur to me to reapply sunscreen while hiding from a storm!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Lucas made it up on skis for the first time - see Dean cheering back there in the lake? He still prefers tubing with the cousins.


We finally all got to eat at a big round table at the Springhouse Restaurant near Alexander City (Alex City to locals), instead of breaking into the adults and kids tables. Amazing place to eat if you're in the area - the chef here was the sous chef at Hot and Hot in Birminghsm and even appeared on Iron Chef...and his team won!


So here's an outside shot of The Springhouse Restaurant from the back - we ate in the "well house," which was exceedingly cool....till it started flooding from the storm that came. Luckily I was wearing my Lady Gaga platforms, so I provided some higher ground!

Nice Family

Awesome scenery here at the Springhouse; you can almost miss that they're all making goofy faces.

Treasure Hunt

This is what you do when it's storming at the lake...well, the adults drink and play cards, so this is what the kids can do. My dad started this game when we were little - you get one clue that leads you to the next one, etc. Aunt Tracey set one up for the kids and they all got a dollar at the end...a little incentive for the teenagers to participate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3 on a tube

The grass is always greener on the other tube.


I believe this speaks for itself. You never know what you're going to get with the little iPhone camera delay!

Wet tankini

Only mild side boob action - otherwise great tankini! Oh, but the bra cups show through the fabric, so I'll have to fix that....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dam tour

No, really, we took a tour of Martin Dam. Very cool....well, hot actually, maybe I should say fascinating.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BAM - Tankini!

I finished the fluorescent tankini last night at 10:30 PM. I spent more time on this one altering the pattern - view B. I'll save most of the gory details for the review...eventually.

Here's an upclose of the topstitching (get your sunglasses). I did the triple zigzag this time around because the regular zigzag looked kind of childish and homemade on the blue tank. All my RTW have a double-needle finish, but I'm scared to try that since my previous double needle with wooly nylon bobbin attempts have been less than stellar. And just how do you thread wooly nylon in a serger, by the way? Seems like it would be so fluffy...

Here we go. So the PR'ers who made this said the crotch was too wide, and I narrowed it just a bit, but obviously it could be way narrower, to get rid of the wrinkles. We'll see if it starts sagging too much in the water...may need to redo the legs.

Hmmm, some thoughts: Pink shows every bump - the blue suit hid a bunch of stuff. (Oh wait, the blue suit was too big around the midriff and didn't even touch me - that may be why there are no bumps and bulges!) I always have thought that this halter style de-emphasized my pearishness, but I could be wrong.

And here's the big news - I left the bra cups upstairs, so these pictures are with no padding! Woohoo! The tank flattened me out, but this style is supportive with elastic under the bust. I did leave out the contrast band since I didn't have any fabric, and I eliminated the upper back, since I did something special...

Ta-da! I copied another tankini I have that used this ring on the back, and cut that fabric up as a pattern piece to sew this in. Of course, this being me, I ran out of my pink thread on the VERY LAST topstitch around the bust elastic (God took pity on me, as usual), so the ring thread is a little too dark, but whatever.

So, it's off to Lake Martin to test-swim the 2 suits, and we'll see who goes to the Blue Angels. I did wash the blue one already, and nothing's come undone, so that's promising!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 4th - Dogs and Scrambled Egg Ice Cream

"So a duck walks into a drugstore and says, 'Gimme some chapstick, and put it on my bill.'"

No, this isn't Jake. This is our neighbor dog, Daisy, with her cousin, Blue the Great Dane, who is the tallest dog I have ever seen. I HAD a Great Dane, and this dog is taller than I remember Maverick being.

Jake was on the stairs watching these two have a ball, barking his head off...

Blue is huge and intimidated Jake terribly. They actually tried to play once, and when they crashed into each other, Jake instantly picked up his rear leg and started whimpering and limping. (It was all an act - they crashed into each other's shoulders!)

And this is my beautiful Nostalgia ice cream maker, which made perfect ice cream in 30 minutes, while the boys waited and listened for the motor to stop...

If only I hadn't poured the beaten eggs straight into the hot milk...leading to scrambled egg ice cream. Of course, you cooks know you do that thing of putting a little hot milk in the eggs, then vice versa, etc. But I'm not a cook...

My children still ate a bowl and declared it delicious before being turned off by the bits of solid egg every now and then...I have a new recipe that doesn't involve eggs.

Now back to the Tankini!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Up Next...a Tankini

So I settled on Kwik Sew 3238 as my one-piece-looking tankini. I'm really after the halter top which is better for enhancing my above-the-waist attributes (my shoulders - hah!) and distracts from the hips.

This has a few reviews on PR with lots of modifications recommended. One of the major ones is changing the single dart to gathers or a couple of darts to avoid the Madonna cone boob which many reviewers have ended up with. Another thing is that the contrast band under the bust pulls up in the middle, but I realized that was due to the angle of the pattern, so I added a wedge to fix it hopefully (that's what I'm pointing at).
And here is how I combatted the cone boob. I tried 6 or 7 bastings to achieve a natural curve at that dart that doesn't poke out. I stuck with this because my 2 halter tankinis both have a single dart in each cup that looks just fine, so I knew it could be done. I cut out the liner on one and looked at the dart. The cup on that RTW suit isn't as deep as this pattern's, but I didn't know how to fix that, so I just curved my stitching very carefully, and went further up than usual. It looks fine, but I shan't demonstrate due to the risk of embarrassing any male readers.

So I'd love to work on this more tomorrow, but I just got the electric ice cream maker I ordered, and I plan to be doing this tomorrow night!

Have a happy 4th, and happy bithday, Jester! (Yes, my brother and I have birthdays 3 days apart [plus 2 years] so there are matching outfits from our joint birthday parties before we were old enough to protest. And Scott, remember that year that we sat on the front porch waiting for your party guests, and no one came because it was the 4th of July? Character-building.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Happy Birthday!

First, a special birthday shout-out to my friend, Jerry, husband of my second mother and previous boss while in college, who shares the same birthday - hope it was a good one, Jerry! (So sorry you have to suffer through the pictures of bathing suits on Laura's account - that's really taking one for the team!)

Now let me warn you of the dangers of the "balance ball." You've all seen one, you sit on it or lay on your back on it to do crunches, sit-ups, etc. You can lean sideways on it to work on the obliques. Well, last night I brought it into the den while the boys were playing guitar so I could exercise - I'm trying to get better about it. (Nothing makes you want to exercise like seeing yourself in a bathing suit, am I right?) Anyhoo, I did a bunch of crunches but wanted to work on the quadriceps, those big muscles on the front of your thighs, so I rolled way back and lifted my legs while just my hands were on the ground. Well, one of them slipped, so I found myself rolling backwards towards the fireplace with no way to stop. For a split second it was neat rolling, then I realized I was headed head-first towards the fireplace poker. I curled my head up and covered it with my left arm, then fell off onto my right side, sustaining this carpet burn to the wrist, plus a bloody elbow. We need some softer carpet!

So anyway, Dean had to leave really early for work this morning, so this is what I woke up to.

And he left Drew instructions to make coffee for me and heat up a croissant - my favorite!

One of my gifts was a gift card to Hancock, so here are a couple of things I picked up. The fabric will be a T-shirt and shorts to sleep in.

And the Kwik Sew book doesn't have a halter-ish style, so I researched for hours on PR and found this 2-piece tankini. I'll be attempting view B.

I was also in Joann looking for the Kwik Sew pattern because the Mobile Hancock didn't have it (yes, I eventually drove to Daphne - I needed that pattern today!) , and you will not believe that they only had one drawer of Kwik Sews. I was astounded, and asked 2 ladies sitting there if there were more drawers somewhere. They told me they heard Joann is going to build a new store - could be very exciting!

Anyway, hope you all had a good weekend. Watch for the 2-piece tankini, coming soon!