Monthly Archives: March 2012

Apparently, I’ve Given Up Sleeping for Lent

I’m not really hip on my High Holy Days — being a lapsed Lutheran will do that to ya — but I always remember Lent because it’s in between Alcohol and Chocolate Bunnies. I don’t actually celebrate Lent, I just remember it. Like, oh crap, it’s Lent! I was supposed to…..give up something.

Picard being exasperated at you makes everything better, doesn’t it?

Anyhow, I made it to the gym four times this week, which is less awesome than it sounds. Basically, there were four mornings where I turned off my alarm and couldn’t go back to sleep.

I don’t nap. I don’t go to bed before 11 pm (midnight if there’s something good on TV, one am if I’m reading, four if I have insomnia….). If I ever sew my hand to my lap, this will be why. The only time I ever WANT to sleep is in the carpool line. Sometimes I try to twilight nap in the carpool line, which has to be the least attractive sight ever. I sleep with my mouth open and twitch a lot; it looks very special.

Have a happy Friday night! I’m going to leave you with this adorableness as a lullaby:

 

I’ve Got a Little List…

The title of this blog will go right over the head of anyone who doesn’t know The Mikado, but never mind that. If you can’t make obscure references to Gilbert and Sullivan on the Internetz, where CAN you?

I do have a list, though, of projects. Also of obsessions and ruminations.

1) First thing, I cut out another pair of jeans:

I like that the fabric for the waistband/pockets is extremely loud yet a perfect color match.

I cut them in the next size up, since I want a bit more room in this pair. They are really bright, but I am hoping that it will not highlight my lumps and bumps. We’ll see.

2) I am working on drafting my own denim skirt. I love denim skirts but can not find a pattern for one that fits well. However, I do have a perfectly fitted A-line pattern designed for stiff fabrics like twill and corduroy. So, I’m using that as a base and adapting the design details from other patterns. Currently I’m leaning towards leaving the darts in the back instead of trying to make a yoke — I might want a yoke eventually, but I’m not sure how much I can tweak without screwing up the fit.

So far, I've completed the front. Still need to decide if I want a three piece waistband or a traditional one-piece denim construction. Thoughts?

3) I’ve realized that there are no patterns for the type of knits I want to sew. I keep buying patterns and they keep disappointing me. However, I do have this book:

I bought this on clearance, forever and ever ago. Never used it.

So this may well end up being another drafting experiment. I want a cropped sweatshirt with a wide neck, and a loose-fitting t-shirt pattern that isn’t embarrassingly baggy. Also a knit dress that is not tight, revealing or made of shiny polyester. I’m going to be doing muslins and burning through the stash. THIS MIGHT GET UGLY.

Now for the ruminations:

4) Middlest has a sleepover on Friday and they are going to see The Hunger Games.

5) So Oldest and I made a pact to see it Saturday since we actually, y’know, read the book. I am super excited.

6) This will be a busy weekend. Joint birthday party for two families on Sunday. It is an hour away but Hubs is driving, yippee-ki-yay. Can not wait to see everybody.

7) Somehow, I’m hoping to fit in some sewing around the edges.

8) MUST REMEMBER TO PICK UP ITEMS FOR EASTER BASKETS. Also figure out what to put in baskets for teens besides socks and underwear.

9) I’m joking. Have never given socks or underwear as a gift, even to my own flesh and blood.

10) I have, however, given toothbrushes. This is reasonable antidote to candy, also included. Right?

11) Will be adding people to blogroll tonight. Let me know if I miss you…I promise it’s by accident.

12) The Hubs thinks I should put the blog on Twitter so people know when there’s an update. I hate Twitter and rarely use it, but it might be worth it for this. Any thoughts or preferences from the peanut gallery?

 

Cheetahs Never Prosper

…but they do occasionally get made into skirts. After I made the jeans here, I had a yard and a half of the material left. I had a pretty good idea of the silhouette I wanted to use, and the best fit for it was Simplicity 2451:

Misses' Skirts I knew I wanted to make the short version, View D, because the twill material is a bit on the stiff side for this pattern.

I think it came out pretty well, although the cream poly blend I used for the pocket and waistband lining was a bit flimsy and hard to wrangle. Also, the only zip I had that didn’t stick out like a sore thumb was cream, but after putting it together, I think I should have used black. Oh well, here it is:

I matched my cheetah stripes like a mofo.

Aren’t you glad to see something other than my bathroom? Guys, meet my living room. Living room, these are the guys. Oh, and before I forget:

Ta-da! Back view!

While I’m happy with the way this turned out, the pattern is going straight to the donation pile. Both straight and tulip skirts don’t really suit my shape, in part because I have no high hip. You’ll notice in the front picture that the sides have a few odd ripples; these are not in the skirt seam but in the way it fits my body. My hip is too straight and my legs too curvy to make this a comfortable style for me. I’ve also decided that life is too short (and my pattern drawers too full) to hold on to a less-than-pleasing pattern. So while I’ll wear this skirt, I won’t make another one like it.

Sci Fi Sunday — I See Dead People

I’m currently reading two different urban fantasy series that feature the afterlife:

Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price is the first book in the Alex Craft series. Alex Craft is a broke private investigator who is also a grave witch — she solves her cases by raising the dead and speaking to them. She’s even on intimate terms with Death himself; a bit of a problem as he seems to have a crush on her. In this world, fae have come out of the closet because human disbelief was causing their numbers to dwindle, so fae and humans coexist in something of an uneasy truce. Alex is threatened when she takes on a case for the police that will result in the first ever ghost taking the witness stand. Detective Falin Andrews would happily remove Alex from the case, but her exposure to dark magic makes her determined to solve the question of who is trying to kill her.

This is an enjoyable read if you like urban fantasy; nothing extremely new or shocking here, but there’s enough creativity that the story doesn’t feel recycled. Alex is a likable character although I saw some echoes of other fantasy heroines in her, particularly Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan. All in all, probably best for die-hard fans of the genre. I’m now on the second book, Grave Dance.

And now for something kind of different, Darynda Jone’s First Grave on the Right.

First Grave on the Right

Charley Davidson sees dead people, mostly murdered ones, and has been helping her uncle and father (both cops) solve crimes since she was five years old. Technically, she’s a grim reaper — ghosts are attracted to her and pass through her to the afterlife. She also has a sizzling hot romance with a dream lover who is both incorporeal and irritatingly anonymous. Solving a string of crimes and ferreting out her lover’s identity occupies most of Charley’s time.

I don’t know how to categorize this book. It won an award for Paranormal Romance, although I’m not sure it fits a standard romance arc. It’s also — and I mean this sincerely — laugh-out-loud funny. There were several moments reading this in the carpool line where I’m sure people walked by and thought I was having a seizure or something. I don’t know if I can compare this series to anything in the paranormal genre. It actually reminds me most of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, so if you liked those then you’ll like Charley. I’ve already read the second book, Second Grave on the Left and have Third Grave Dead Ahead on hold at the library.

In Which I Get Awarded!

One of the things I neglected in my recent loopiness (spellcheck insists this should be looniness….no) was checking everyone else’s blog, so I was thrilled to find that I got two awards recently! Calico Stretch gave me the Liebster Award:

 

The Rules are:

1) Thank the Liebster Award Presenter. Thanks, Calico! I get a kick out of your blog and enjoy chatting back and forth in our comments!

2) Link back to the Presenter. Right here, you guys. Check her out!

3) Copy/Paste Blog Award….hopefully, I did that right up there.

4) Present the Liebster Blog Award to five blogs with 200 followers or less. Uh…I’ll pass. The majority of my blog group follows each other already, and I’ve seen this blog award going around, and I’m afraid I’d just pass it back to people who are already in the loop. Plus, I have no idea how many people have more than 200 commenters. HOWEVER…if you haven’t gotten an award and you wanna claim this one, GO ON WITH YO BAD SELF. All I ask is that you post a comment with a link to your blog so we can get to know you!

5) Let the five blogs know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog. See #4.

I’m just going to have a Sally Field moment here, okay? Deep breath….alright, it’s past.

ElleC of ElleC Sews also gave me the Sunshine Award!

In this one, I get to answer questions which satisfies my never-ending urge to talk about myself. What? I have a blog for a reason, y’all.

Favorite Color: Purple. Obviously.

Current hair color, after overdying.

Favorite Animal: Cats. I like most animals, but anything that can cuddle with me without interrupting my reading is always going to be my favorite.

Favorite Number: I don’t have a favorite number, but I vastly prefer odd numbers to even. I have three kids, was born on November 9th (11/9) and would rather run a 5k than a 10k.

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Root Beer.

Facebook or Twitter: I have accounts on both and neglect them horribly. Actually, I only use Facebook to connect with my 4 or 5 friends who refuse to use email.

My Passion: Sewing, reading, anything science fiction or fantasy related, costume.

Getting or Giving Presents: Neither? I’d rather go out to dinner or share an experience with someone than collect objects.

Favorite Pattern: Butterick 5682, View B for straight-leg jeans

Favorite Day of the Week: Friday. Although Saturday isn’t bad either.

Favorite Flower: Tulips, since we had them in our front garden when I was growing up. I don’t really like to get flowers though — I feel weird watching them die.

Favorite Celebrity Role Model: I guess Jonas Salk, since I almost named Youngest after him.

I guess I’ll close this post with a picture of my ass. Well, a few people commented on my sailor shorts that they wanted to see the back view. So I called the Hubs upstairs to have him take a photo of my backside.

The Hubs: Is this like porn?

Me: In my porn, people get naked.

The Hubs: So it’s like Craft World porn.

Me: I’m pretty sure in their porn, people get naked too.

Anyhow, totally non-porny view of my arse in sailor shorts:

There ya go.

The crotch curve is excellent and you can barely notice my swayback, so I’m quite happy with the back view.

Thanks again, guys and love you too!

Hellooooo Sailor! Kwik Sew 3854, and an apology

Howdy! I apologize for my ridiculously long absence — I was planning to take a week off because Youngest was on half-days last week, which required me to run back and forth to school like a chipmunk on uppers. I finally got through the week, which was also punctuated by two concerts and a drama in five acts when Oldest realized he’d left his phone at the church where they hosted the district concert. Miraculously, someone turned it in to the district office and I was just recovering from THAT near-coronary when I got a cold. For some odd reason, it also took me a week to finish these sailor shorts. I can’t imagine why.

Kwik Sew 3854, size M

I honestly think these are way cuter in person, but they’re not quite as cute as the ones on the model. This was my first Kwik Sew pattern, and it turns out I’m right on the edge of the Small and Medium sizes. So, I made a Medium with 5/8″ seams and had to overlap the button area a bit more than normal to make it fit. As a result of that (and/or the denim I used as a fabric), there’s a bit of bubbling in the sailor bib area. I’m not sure how to fix this because the Small is quite a bit smaller — I’m tempted to try sewing a Small with 1/2″ or 3/8″ seams? Maybe I’ll make a muslin to see if that works. I also had to give up on the instructions halfway through, because they insisted that I should under stitch or stitch in the ditch for everything. This makes putting together the yoke unnecessarily difficult, and the pattern is practically made for topstitching, so I recommend ignoring the instructions in that regard. Long story short…the pockets are under stitched but the yoke and the hem are just stitched. Next time I’ll use contrasting thread and topstitch it all.

This photo shows the bubbling a bit better...or worse, actually.

Anyway, this brings me one step closer to the goal of making all of my shorts by summer.

I noticed that I got a couple of awards in my absence from Calico Stretch and Elle C. Thanks guys! I’ll be back to normal commenting et cetera by tomorrow.

Whoops, Naked People

If you’re watching Lost Girl on Syfy, Monday nights at 10 pm, you’ve probably had to turn down the heat in your house. There’s more action on this show than at a fraternity mixer. Lots of beautiful naked people. Like this:

These topless lovelies are Anna Silk, who plays the main character Bo, and Kris Holden-Reid, who plays Dyson. Aside from being unreasonably annoyed that he’s named after a vacuum cleaner brand, I really like Dyson and their chemistry together is like, WHOA. Also, last week’s episode had a song playing during their Bo/Dyson combustion scene (there’s really no better way to describe that) and it got stuck in my head. Then I looked it up and was like, “Wait, I know this song. I kind of like it,” which is good because it’s my current ear worm. And since we all know the best way to deal with ear worms is to give them to someone else…

 

Baby Steps

Those of you who read here regularly know that our two cats are rescues. They were in an abusive situation previously, although I’m sure we’ll never know the full extent of what was done to them. They’ve been with us for nearly a year now, and the difference is remarkable. Lila used to hide under the bed for days at a time and now she will sleep with us, play with us and sit on my lap. She still has trouble with being picked up:

This is the Hubs, holding Lila. She used to freak out completely; she's relatively calm here.

We’re trying to pick her up more, to see if we can get her accustomed to the experience. Crystal will tolerate being picked up, carried and petted but is NOT a lap cat and will sometimes growl or verbalize her displeasure if we’re too friendly. Also, Crystal hates being in pictures and insists on sleeping with Youngest. We think she’s a bit of a masochist.

The elusive Maso-chat in her natural habitat.

I have accomplished very little this week because Youngest came down with the FLU. Luckily, it was the cold variety and not the stomach flu and he’s back in school, but things like that completely throw me off. I have sewn three muslins and tossed two patterns in the giveaway pile (and good riddance). I did pick up a few new patterns at JoAnn’s Simplicity sale, notably 1887 which I’ve been eager to try since the spring patterns went up on the website:

Misses' Pants & Skirts It has a flat front waistband with back elastic, side pockets, and the kind of style details I’ve seen in a lot of RTW garments lately.

I also picked up this:

Doll and ClothesThese dolls were too cute to pass up, although I have no idea who I would make one for.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some sewing done this weekend — although we do have a concert and a boring educational outing for Scouts. I am not knocking Scouts, but educational tours get VERY old by the time you’re on your third Cub. I should bring along a flask and make it into a drinking game…every time the guide says, “Attention,” take a swig. Every time you smack your head on a low mantel because people were apparently shrimps way back when…take a swig. Every time one of the kids asks a rambling, three minute question that makes you want to reach out and choke him, take a swig. If it’s your kid, take two swigs.

Who am I kidding, I’d be drunk before we got to the first bathroom break.

Pixie Hair!

Remember when I said I’d go back to purple hair someday?

THAT DAY WAS YESTERDAY. And it is awesome. Have a look-see:

I asked the hairdresser to do streaks, but this type of hair dye is semi-permanent and it bleeds so bad, it’s hard to see the streaks. There’s some blonde, some white (because of the toner), some brown underneath and quite a bit of purple. I love it! Although, I think I’ll do more of a complete cover when I touch it up in a few weeks. Also, I totally match the bath pouf in the right-hand corner. AWESOME.

My hair is growing out nicely and almost at the length I like it. I might keep it this length or just a tad longer; I can put it up in a ponytail right now but it’s still got a lot of short bits. You can see the streaks a bit better here, although it is not that pink in real life:

Believe it or not, with all that excitement, I even found time for some sewing. Given my bad track record with skirts lately, I opted to do a muslin of Simplicity 2152, the midi length:

Misses' Skirts And this is how it came out:

Simplicity 2152. Lila insisted on the title of Photo Inspector.

That fabric is a flannel that I bought for pajama bottoms and it wound up way too pilled and scratchy when I washed it. It was kicking around in stash until I decided to use it for muslins. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on wearing this out of the house! The skirt actually fits nicely, but I’m holding it together in back in lieu of a zipper. I think I’m going to do the shorter length, though, as this midi length really screams dowdy to me. Well, maybe that’s the black socks.

Sci Fi Sunday

Currently Reading:

One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel

One Grave at a Time, by Jeaniene Frost, the sixth book in the Cat and Bones series. Catherine is a part-vamp who makes a living staking full-blooded vampires until she realizes the bad guys aren’t the ones with fangs. Bones is the vampire who teaches her to fight and becomes her partner, and eventually something more.

Ok, this is the sixth book in a series. It’s like second verse, same as the first. There were relatively few surprises here, and we all know that when it comes to series, surprises are BAD. Surprises mean that the author kills off a good character, or something awful and irredeemable happens. Otherwise, reading series books is a bit like watching Star Trek:TNG — there will be drama, but Picard always works things out in the end. There is literally nothing I can tell you about this book that will make sense unless you’ve read books 1 through 5. Which I do recommend by the way; the first book is Halfway to the Grave. Because Cat is halfway a vampire, get it? Yeah, and Bones totally looks like David Boreanz. Ok, I don’t know that for sure but I’m unable to picture him as anyone other than David Boreanz.

Anyhow, if you like paranormal romance that’s a bit heavy on the bloody action, then this series will be right up your alley. Standard disclaimers apply.

Currently Watching:

A Firefly marathon on SCIHD. “This must be what going mad feels like.” Ahaha, I love Firefly.