Thursday, September 11, 2014

Well then. Here we are.

So I obviously (OBVIOUSLY) failed at keeping up this blog for almost the last year. I will give you some good reasons:

  • December got busy even though I wasn't rehearsing for or performing in anything.
  • I got a stomach bug right after Christmas.
  • I came down with a second bout of bronchitis in January, which was accompanied by a day of abdominal spasms so bad I cried in pain and then couldn't eat for a week because everything hurt too much. I'm not kidding--I could feel the connective tissue between my ribs, and it HURT. And it lasted a month.
  • And then I was sewing and packing and crocheting for my two-week trip to Japan in March, and five days after I got back from Japan via Oakland, I rented a car and drove to Phoenix for a symposium. 
  • And then I looked for work and went on many interviews, and finally got a part-time gig at Michael's.
I'm still looking for full-time work and trying my best to actually do stuff, but it's discouraging. I'm carrying around some extra weight (still, but I think it's finally coming off) and I have so many projects in the works that it's hard for me to actually sit down and finish ANYTHING.

Here is what I need to finish:
  • So many hats. So many.
  • Crocheting a billion little hearts for the kids at church.
  • My niece's afghan.
  • My sister's friend's jaunty tam to wear during chemo.
  • So much mending and altering. So much.
  • A crocheted kitty for one of the neighborhood children.
  • A granny square pillow for my youngest nephew.
  • Sewing for me in general (still discouraging because of the weight gain--my good winter coat doesn't fit, and I spent GOOD money on it, so I'm even more annoyed).
  • Curtains for my sister-in-law.
  • Slip cover for my new little storage bench--it's a pretty dark red, but that doesn't match my bedroom.
I look at the unfinished things around me and get really discouraged, so I end up not doing anything, and then I get frustrated that nothing is done, and then I look at the list, and get discouraged. It's a vicious cycle. Also, I'm not as good at knitting as I am at crocheting, and that gets me in a discouragement loop, too. I know I'd be better at knitting if I did more of it, but then I think about how hard to read the patterns can be for me, and I think about all the pretty yarn I have that I don't want to ruin (hi, I bought some gorgeous merino yarn in Japan and I'm terrified to make anything out of it), and I think about how awkward my fingers feel with the knitting still, and I shut down and don't do it. But I keep buying yarn because I have such a good employee discount and there is some pretty great yarn on clearance at work right now. And then I have too much yarn to store properly, and I don't know what to make out of it, and Henry the Giant Kitten may or may not have eaten a little yarn heart and...

You see? You see how annoying and frustrating this all is? BLAR.

That's where I am. I just need to jump start something. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and get away from the computer and outside in this really lovely late-summer weather we've been having (between the heavy rainstorms, of course). I need to DO SOMETHING. Every day. Even if it's a little crocheted heart that Henry the Giant Kitten will try to eat. Maybe that will get these creative juices going again. I hope.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


It started snowing some time early this morning, and hasn't really let up yet.  One of my neighbors said that her kids measured nine inches in their yard, and I'm not at all surprised.  I'm grateful for the snow, but I wish I could justify new on severance and paying for a trip to Japan means that I don't feel like I can justify an expense like that until I have a job.  Interview on Thursday!  Keep your fingers crossed!

Yesterday I didn't get a lot done because I was watching my niece and nephew in the morning and then went to Temple Square with their family in the evening.  By the time I got home, it was too late to get anything started.  This morning, I was out of bed by 7:15 (yay me!) and in the sewing room by 8.

I cut out all of Laresa's costume, stabilized the stretch velvet she chose for one of the bodice panels, and cut strips of iridescent organza for embellishment while I watched "When Harry Met Sally."  Then I dug my Christmas boxes out of my dad's shed so I could decorate a table for a church Christmas party.  I got home at 9, after helping clean up and deliver extra food to neighbors who need it, and then I put all the dishes in the dishwasher and packed my Christmas things and the music box I used back into their boxes.  I'll try to remember to get the pictures off my phone, because my table turned out really pretty!

Watch my baby nephew
See my chiropractor so I can keep sewing (I jacked up my back and it hurts to walk, which is always fun)
Put Christmas boxes back in the shed

My goal tomorrow is to have Laresa's costume put together, if not totally finished with the trim, and have mine cut out.  Mine is much less complicated:  I have to make a bustle from two panels of fabric, some bloomers (to wear over leggings), and a bolero.  I just need to brave the icy roads to see if JoAnn has black sequin trim and decide if I want a skirt or just the bloomers and bustle.

It's going to get really cold out here for the weekend; I just hope they can keep the roads pretty clear.  I'd wanted (BADLY) to see "White Christmas" on the big screen in Draper tomorrow, but with my back like this and the weather (and being behind on sewing) I'm not going to make it, which makes me sad.  Maybe Cinemark will do their classic series again next year.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Well hey...

A year and a half since I've posted here.  Thank goodness I'm not one of those craft blogger ladies who have monetized!  Yikes.

Anyhoo, since I missed NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) in November, I told my two favorite friends that I'd post every day in December.  And I almost missed today because I forgot!


I've been unemployed since August, and you'd THINK I'd have a lot of projects done, but no.  Let me tell you a story about lack of confidence, illness, malaise, and general...well, let's just call it "enjoying my time of very few obligations," because it sounds better than laziness. :)

Quite honestly, I'm pretty sure I've been battling some mild residual depression from the last several months at my most recent job, so motivation has been hard to come by.  Also, I don't use this blog to impress anyone or to make money or to post tutorials, so it's easy to let it slide.  (Ok, I SORT OF use it to impress how I made 6 pies for Thanksgiving and they all turned out really good except the lemon meringue got a tiny bit watery and the cherry custard pie didn't have quite the flavor it would have had I used the Grand Marnier it called for or some kind of reasonable substitute...but that's beside the point.)

I have a major project that needs to be done by Friday:  masquerade costumes for me and my sister.  Her company throws a massive Christmas party every year, and this year's theme is a masquerade.  They've even hired a great band and one of the best DJs in the state, and rented a local (new) convention center, so you know they mean business.  If they mean business, so do we.  I mean, we could have rented some pretty great costumes at the theater near our house, but NO.  We had to design and make our own.  Really, they shouldn't be too tricky to do--mine involves very minimal sewing, and hers is an easy pattern--but we waited to get the fabric on sale and it took me forever to decide my costume, so he we are, less than a week away, and nothing has even been cut out.

I'm going to pound out as much as I can tomorrow before going to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights, and Tuesday hope to be done with at least one costume before I have to set up and decorate a table for a church Christmas party.

Wish me luck...I could use it.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I serge standing up.

Maybe all my posts should be labeled "Progress", because I don't do a whole lot in the sewing room lately.  I've been busy, but last weekend I got some mending and hemming done.  Yay!  I also cut out a dress.  I won't have time to sew it until Sunday, probably, but I was able to serge the raw edges last night between dinner and rehearsal.

And I did it standing up.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I actually DID do some clothing remodeling like I said I would in my previous post, but didn't take pictures.  I cut the bodice off a shirt-dress that didn't EVER fit right, hemmed it, gave it to the thrift store because maybe someone could use it as a shirt albeit more of a cropped style.  Then I cut the button placket off the skirt that was left, sewed up a seam instead, put a zipper in the back, added side pockets and a waistband, and called it good.  New stripey skirt:  check!  Get rid of a dress that never ever fit:  check!  I don't know if reusing the elastic from a pair of worn-out pajama pants counts, but did that too.  In a new pair of pajama pants.  Bright pink pajama pants!  I had considered trying to alter a shirt, but decided it would be too much of a pain so I just gave it away.  But, with all of this "make-do and mend" stuff in mind, I bought a skirt two sizes too big because it was A) pretty and B) $6.50 on sale.  I will unpick the waistband and take the side seams in by about two inches and have a pretty coral and brown nubbly skirt for winter.

My friend Amanda pointed me to this blog post (warning:  language) about altering and tailoring.  I must say I wasn't very surprised, in retrospect, by the idea that People With Money have all their clothes custom tailored, but I WAS surprised (and a little shocked) that I hadn't really thought of it that way.  I'm pretty sure I could teach myself some better alteration techniques and get more mileage out of my shopping that way, especially when one of my favorite brands has pants long enough but too big in the waist (I suppose I should be grateful for that but it's a PAIN IN THE NECK I TELL YOU).

Anyway.  To the cushions part of this.  I have my grandmother's cedar chest that was manufactured during WWII--it's a Lane and has a little card explaining that the metal latch and key normally installed in the cedar chest has been left out so all extra metal can go to the war effort.  It has a nifty, optimistic sentence that says "when Victory is ours, please write to the Lane Co. for your key and replacement latch".  I love it so much.  My mom spent DAYS refinishing it after my grandma died, and when it was done, she felt very strongly that it should go to me.  It is one of my treasures.  Because it sits against the wall of my room, instead of in front of my bed (as would be ideal), I'm thinking of using it as a bench/sofa.  In order to do that, I should make a cushion, right?  I think I'd like a REALLY BIG floral or pretty stripe (in pink, of course); it shouldn't be too hard to do if I get some 3" or 4" foam, cover it with muslin, and make a removable cover in a heavy cotton.  I'd probably need some piping and a heavy-duty zipper--if all goes as planned, it should only take a few hours to do everything.

Now.  To find the perfect fabric, which we all know doesn't really exist.  ha.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Make & Mend 2011

Yes, I'm participating!  I'm not sure how to do something like this, because I've never done it before, but I figure it's worth a try.  Besides, it will get me into the sewing room, right?  That's the theory, anyway. ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weird sizing at JC Penney

So I ordered some stuff from Penney's last Wednesday night on their Thanksgiving sale.  Normally, I'd probably go into the store and buy stuff, but these came in tall sizes so I got them online.  Problems:  they sent a large sweater instead of the medium I ordered, and the medium t-shirt I got is larger than my Eddie Bauer mediums.  More problems:  when I took them back to the catalog department, I discovered I can't get them in a smaller size in the talls.  So now I'm faced with the possibility of either not having a light blue sweater, or of altering a sweater.

My life is so complicated.

The sweater alteration shouldn't be too bad, and I've finally come to grips with the idea that I will probably have to alter stuff to get it to fit right anyway, but MAN.  I didn't expect to be swimming in mediums, and I know that this anomaly has nothing to do with weight loss.  I guess they've revamped some sizing and that's ok, but it's frustrating.  I guess I'll go ahead and order the medium tall and use one of my other sweaters as a template for the alteration.  It shouldn't be too bad, right?  I'll baste it first and try it on before committing to a shorter stitch.  It's worth it to have the extra length...I hope.