Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hemming and hawing

I bought these pants a few weeks ago and finally on Monday decided I'd get to work and hem them so they can be worn.
I was in my sweats at the time and intended to get the hemming done in short order and wear the pants that day.
Now, on Wednesday I still have one leg to un-pick.
Unpicking is not so much fun, and commercially made clothes are particularly unpleasant to pull apart so I have a hard time sticking with the project. It was pure bad luck that this particular hem required removing any seams at all. I think I'll start checking for that before I buy pants since at 5'2" I end up hemming nearly every pair I buy.
Other than picking out a stitch or two when I find my hands free, I've been planning some more projects made from men's shirts. I have a thrifted shirt along with an old one of the Mr's that will each be a dress for Baby Girl, and of course, I still have Tiny's blue Sunday Romper to do. I'm in the thinking phase on that one. Trying to figure out how to re-use the button placket without the little polo man ending up in the arm pit. The third aspect of that goal is that I don't want re-using the button placket to end up being more work than it would have been just to make a new one. So I'll keep thinking on it, ripping out stitches as I go along.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Romper Results

Remember this project?
Here is the first one. The neck is too wide and the sleeves too narrow but it is still pretty cute on a chubby little boy.
I figured out pretty early on that I'd cut the neck too big but there's not fixing that. I carried on with the project in spite of my error so I could get the rest figured out for the blue one. Once the collar was on, the wideness of the neck didn't bother me so much, it would look awful that wide on a man, or even a bigger boy, but since he's a baby it slides by. You wouldn't after all want to choke such a wee lad with too tight a collar.
I think I'll take the sleeves out and start over. I still have a whole man-sized sleeve left to work with so I might as well get it right.
Please excuse the rumpled appearance of the garment in the photo. He wore it to church before I photographed it and I found myself too lazy to iron it a second time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Scorned -part one

First, the whole pile of banished footwear

I got these in the early years on my marriage when the craving for the perfect brown boot overtook my soul. These tided me over but never really satisfied the craving, besides my feet slide around in them a bit, I hate that. So good bye brown boots, I hope you make someone very happy in your own, out-dated trendy way.

I was wearing these shoes when the Mr. told me he loved me for the very first time. How, you may ask can I dispose of such a sentimentally important pair of shoes? I'll tell you, I haven't worn them in round about 5 years, and I am working on my heartlessness so, really, this is just a step toward total emotional detachment.
On my way though, I'll take a break to recall that my outfit that day really was fab. Allow me to describe it for you. I'll start at the bottom and work up. The above shoes (sorry the photo is even worse than normal), black fishnet stockings, a straight black skirt that hit just below the knee with a side split, nothing to splitty though, just high enough to be able to walk, and a sparkly ballerina-style wrap sweater that belonged to my room mate with a bright pink shirt under it. I topped it all off with matching pink streaks in my platinum blonde tresses, pink lipstick, and a healthy dose of black eyeliner.
Now, I'm just guessing on this, but I was likely wearing a corresponding shade of pink panties. I can't imagine being contented with an otherwise flawlessly matched ensemble for such a special occasion if the match-ittude did not extend to the undergarments.

It started in 9th grade sometime, the desire for Doc Martin sandals. It was a strong one too. I was a senior in high school before I scrapped together the $130.00 for them. I kept trying to fill the void with other, less-expensive foot wear (though never the pay-less copy cat version of the doc's. I hated those with super-human vigor) then finally, my tax refund came and my wish was fulfilled.
When I got them out of the box on Saturday I was amazed at the sheer volume of those shoes. Seriously, they are gigantic. I thought about keeping them and wearing them around the house for extra weight resistance but in the end I decided to set them free. I can always strap bricks to my feet for a similar effect if I need the exercise so badly.

The style name of these is "High School".
This was one of those situations where I spent so much time thinking about whether or not I wanted them that they were gone. I just about gave up hope and then miraculously found a pair on a clearance rack. They are too big, but as you can see from the photo, they still got plenty of use. I wore and wore those shoes. If they were in better shape you can bet your bippy I would keep them and wear them for another 10 years.

And so concludes this segment of "The Scorned" tales of shoes once loved, now discarded.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Golden wedges

I'm in the market for a pair.
I saw a woman wearing some and the idea stealthily crept into my head and took over. My summer simply won't be complete unless I spend a goodly portion of it walking about in golden wedges.
I'd really like an espadrille if I can find it but I haven't had much luck. So far, this is my best bet.
My reservation is this, it is a rather narrow wedge for the height and I was planning on the golden wedges to be my go to shoes for the season. Can I balance a squirmy 14 month old on a day to day basis in that heel? I'd like to think I can, but if I am wrong I'll be sorely disappointed.
Speaking of Jessica Simpson shoes, I've got to say I'm really impressed. Me and Jessica haven't gotten along too well in the past. That is to say, I don't like one jot of her music, but, the shes are really doing it for me.
I've also been in the market for some thing fabulous in kelley green with at least 3 inches of heel. I actually found a pair at Marshalls and didn't buy them because I was sure they would be marked down lower and then they were gone. That pair was faux crocodile, which I adored, but have lost hope of finding again.
There now, dry your tears. I went to DSW the other day and found a pair of Jessica Simpsons that I think will fill the kelley green void in my closet quite well, even if they are suede rather than croc. The thing is, they are in the neighborhood of $50.00 so I left without them thinking "Surely they will be marked down, who besides me wants kelley green heels?" I guess I haven't learned my lesson.


Baby girl is ecstatic that I have "bracelets" on my teeth. She wishes my teeth bracelets had jewels like Aunty Lizz's though. I'm not sure what she means by jewels on her auntie's bracelets. My memory tells me they are just your average bracelets, but apparently hers are better than mine.
I am sitting here waiting for my mouth to hurt. Right now it just feels weird and I can't close my lips without using my hands.
According to the woman at the orthodontist's office, who it turns out is my neighbor, I have about 55 minutes to go before the pain sets in.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another goal acheived

I've been planning a massive closet purge for a while now.
Saturday I set a goal to get rid of 20 pairs of shoes. I am a shoe girl.
I did it. It wasn't even hard, and I actually got rid of 21 pair. Way to over achieve huh?
I took pictures, and I'm going to tell the tales of the favorites among the scorned. I haven't decided yet if it should be one massive post or if I should spotlight a pair here and there. In any case, I don't have the motivation to do any of it tonight.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sewing for a boy

I thrifted these to make some Sunday rompers for Tiny Boy. Sunday clothes for boys seem so hot, I felt bad for him every Sunday last summer. Next year he'll be too big for rompers and he'll have to suffer in shirts and trousers but this year, while he's still baby enough, he'll be as cool as I can make him.
It will be tricky though, sewing for him. I managed to measure him while he meandered around the house but fitting an actual garment is hard even on Baby Girl who holds relatively still. Tiny tends to run in the opposite direction any time he sees me walking his general direction with an article of clothing in my hand.
This might be one of those projects where a pattern would be helpful. I guess time will tell.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I did it!

I pushed through and got it done. Let's not compare the amount of time I spent avoiding the project to the time I spent actually working on it.

Here she is

I got her all dressed and took her picture before I noticed she didn't have a face.

There, that's better.

She's at her new home now. Hopefully her head didn't flop over as soon as I left.


I am fighting with myself today.
Yesterday I made a doll, the prize for that contest a while back.
My goal is to deliver her to the winner today but alas, as much as I enjoy making both dolls, and clothes, I don't really care for making doll clothes.
So I've been trying to get that wee dress made but somehow, I keep finding myself at the computer rather than the sewing machine. Now, Baby Girl has whisked my model off to play and I face the challenge of designing a dress for an absentee doll. Oh, but it's lunch time, I guess I'll have to take a break.

a mothering instinct

My lesson on Sunday included the story of Noah and the ark. I decided to use the Fisher Price Little People Noah's Ark play-set to illustrate the story. The only problem was, I couldn't find Noah.
I looked through every toy bin, under every piece of furniture but Noah was nowhere.
It seemed to me I had seen him recently, but I couldn't figure out where. Today I found him.

Tucked in, ever-so lovingly, by dimpled baby girl hands.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Barefoot Cassandra tagged me to tell you six interesting things about myself. The question I have is this; do I not tell at least mildly interesting things about myself every time I post? And if the answer to that question is no then why, pray tell, does anyone happen by here at all?
Anyway, I guess I'll try and round up 6 interesting things but I can't promise they will be anymore interesting than anything else you'll find in this here blog as they are all coming from the same source.

1- I like to eat Graham Crackers dipped in lemonade and Cheerios with orange juice. This practice reached it's height in High School. I don't remember the last time I had either but I imagine I'd still enjoy both.
Baby Girl, it seems, inherited neither my taste for citrus dipped carbs, nor her fathers for the sodden. (Rice Checks that have soaked up so much milk they're swollen to twice their normal size, bread pudding, anything milky and squishy will do)
The other day she soaked a graham cracker in orange juice until it couldn't hold another ounce of liquid. I found her swabbing the table with the unlikely sponge.
As punishment, she was given her choice between eating the mushy cracker, or half an hour of time-out. She chose the time out, and sit there for thirty minutes she did.

2- I love to watch Little People Big World. Not because I have a particular interest in dwarfs, but because I have a particular interest in teenagers and the dumb teenager things teenagers do.
My favorite episode is the one where Matt goes out of town and leaves the twins with a list of chores to do. They spend a day and a half complaining about the stupid list, and how there isn't even enough time for them to do the things on the list so why should they bother with any of it? Then they both fall asleep and nap for eight hours. (The eight hours did not include night time by the way) The next day they get up and do all of the work in half that time.
I look at teenagers now with the same anticipation I did toddlers ten years ago. I'm looking forward to a house full of them. I hope they all have crazy hair, bosom friends, and profound thoughts about the life-altering importance of the extra curricular activities they chose to participate in.

3- My eyes are a bit lopsided. It is more just my brows but a but it makes the eyes seem so as well. I first noticed it in a family portrait that was taken when I was in 8th or 9th grade.
It was a fund raiser for my sister's something or other. There was a make-shift "studio" set up in Media Play. You paid a fee through the school organization and then went in to Media Play and they snapped one shot which was printed and delivered a few weeks later.
It is the worst picture of me in existence anywhere.
I had a bob with no bangs which I wore parted in the middle and curled under. It was red a-la My So-called Life. I loved that hair style, but I've never had it again since I saw that photo.
My left eye looked at least 3 times the size of my right and it pulled the rest of my face into the distortion along with it.
I noticed while watching "Penelope" that Christina Ricci's eyes/brows are similarly skewed. It doesn't bother me on her face the way it does on mine.

I guess the bangs covering my right brow make this photo not such a good example but it's the best I can do. Even if I had access to it, there is no way I would ever post the awful-ness that is the family portrait described above.

4- I remember going to kindergarten and hearing other children speak of the "Liberry" "idiots" I remember thinking "the word is library" "valentimes" got a similar reaction from me, as did "pome" "poem, dummies! poem!"
I remembered who did it too and carried an ounce of scorn for them throughout the remainder of our elementary school careers.
I must admit, I was also shocked to find that my teacher said "coupons" rather than "cue-pons" and wondered to myself how a teacher could make such an awful mistake.
I was thoroughly ashamed when I learned she was right.

5- It drives me insane when children root around in my kitchen. Baby Girl knows she must ask before opening the fridge and that if she is not setting the table she had best keep her hands out of the utensil drawer etc. Tiny will know that stuff too.
Occasionally we have a young visitor who does not know. I have to take lots of deep breaths on those days.

6-I am a bit contrary. Due to this contrariness, that is a part of my soul, I am not going to tag anyone else. So there.

A battle for the back yard

I spent my morning in a bloody one woman attack on the weeds in my back yard. I gained a lot of ground but the tough soldiers in the back quarter who survive on minimal rations were too tough for me.
I considered it a stalemate when time after time my pulling efforts resulted in a hand full of leaves and a root in the ground waiting for it's chance to insight a rebellion.
My plan is to allow a supply convoy to be intercepted, get them good and watered and when they are all gushy and let their guard down I'll swoop in and yank them out of the ground so fast they'll be in the garbage can before they realize defeat.
Also, tomorrow I'll have reinforcements in the form of Mr. Uniquety who plays dirty. That's right, he'll likely be bringing chemical weapons into play.
Watch out weeds.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This is where a lack of proper Barbie clothes leads.
Actually she is not Barbie, she is Jazzy. The difference is she has much smaller boobs and much bigger feet. Jazzy is all about realism.
She was given me by Melissa Gates at my 8th Birthday Party.
The only clothes I still have are a pink bikini top with yellow straps and a red wrap skirt.
Baby Girl apparently found the ensemble offensive and so, making due with what she had, endeavored to give Jazzy a more appropriate up-to-date look.
I think the knee warmers are very fashion-forward but she could have done something less predictable where the panty is concerned. What do you think? Has my child a future in fashion?

Friday, April 4, 2008

They've gotten to her

Baby Girl has begun reciting commercials to me.
On a fairly regular basis of late she has told me that "Dixie cups stop germs" this usually occurs while she's washing her hands after using the potty or really any time I mention the word "germ".
Also the other day she told me she'd like to wear pull-ups training pants. Not just "pull-ups" mind, but "pull-ups training pants" I think she also mentioned something about being a "big kid now". This from a child who has been potty trained for a year and a half.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Were the main attraction at the park today.
The big boy who was with us threw them, (when I wasn't looking) Baby Girl and her girlfriend built castles with them, and Tiny licked them.
Something for everyone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Little Bitty goodbye

I got Little Bitty all packed up last night and she left this morning after breakfast.
I had such a hard time bonding with her for the first 2 weeks, then they told me she would be leaving and all of a sudden Tada! out popped the feelings!
So basically to sum up my experience I spent 2 weeks feeling guilty for not loving the child, not even a little bit. The cute things she did left me completely cold, unimpressed, annoyed even, and always guilty.
Whenever someone would comment on what a generous thing we were doing, how good of us to care for her as our own, all I could think of was the lack of emotion I felt for her and how much more she deserved.
When I found out she was leaving I was relieved, not just because it had been so hard, but also because I hoped that her grandparents would love her like I couldn't.
She was napping when I got that phone call. When she woke up and I saw her, knowing that she'd be gone in another week, the emotion stirred within my heart for the first time.
From that point everything was a lot easier for me. I started hugging her spontaneously, where before I'd had to remind myself to do it because babies need hugs. I poured into her every drip of sentiment I could squeeze out, hoping to make-up for the matter of fact, loveless way I'd cared for her in the previous weeks.
Part of that was the doll. That's how I love, I sew things, and the bag. The thought of packing her things in a plastic grocery sack made me feel a little bit sick inside so I made a fabric grocery sack instead. I honestly patterned it after a Target bag. I changed up the bottom a bit, made the handles a bit longer and the body of the bag a bit shorter. It is reversible, one side is a linen blend, pink with butterflies all over and the other is blue eyelet. Both fabrics came from my stash. I love stash sewing. I'll be making more of these bags, it was a good quick project.
Anyway, after breakfast she played for a few minutes, kissed her dolly,(and I got a picture of it!) melting my heart at long last, I'm so thrilled that she liked it, and then it was time to go.
I learned that her grandparents wanted her all along, there was just some miscommunication, she'll have cousins visiting frequently, and all the love I could wish for her.
The rest of the day I felt totally at peace. I hugged my babies, watched my boy play and knew that she was ok.
I'll likely miss her from time to time but I am so glad to get back to my own children. I have missed them fiercely.