Friday, May 30, 2008

Look what came today

It was meant for a surprise from The Mr for my Birthday but last night while looking over our bank account I inadvertently happened upon the charge. Oops!
I've been shopping/ saving for the last year and a half or so. My dear grandmother in law couldn't abide the thought of me serging on her old 3 spool Juki and generously started off my little cash hoard.
After placing her generous donation to the cause safely in the bank, I had thought to squirrel away the rest of the price without a problem doing alterations and things but I've only sewn $55.00 worth since I started to save! I was doing pretty regular business before the new serger idea came on the scene, I'm not quite sure what happened! I did turn a job or 2 away toward the end of my pregnancy so I suppose that has something to do with it.
Anyway, The Mr threw in what I lacked and now it's in its box on the floor just where the UPS man left it an hour ago. I started to unpack it but I decided to wait until the children are tucked safely away for the night before I go any further. I think that will be best for all of us.

Here's the old girl. She's been out of commission for a few months. I've only ever had one needle for her and it broke. I have to order a new one online and I'm horrible at remembering until I'm ready to sit down and work so I've never gotten around to it.
I had planned to find a good home for her once the new girl arrived but now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be just as well to keep her around, threaded up with black to save me a re-threading or two. Part of the allure of the new machine were the self threading lower loopers and how changing colors would no longer be much hassle, but the separation anxiety is throwing that logic out of whack.
I expect the situation will cure it's self once I try balancing 3 machines on the skinny end of the computer table that's been allowed for them. If not, I suppose some one will have to compare me to my Dad the pack-rat. That usually knocks enough sense into me to get rid of the excess in such situations.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Graduation crafts

Baby Girl had her Joy School graduation last evening. Never mind the fact that she'll be right back there next fall and likely the one after it since she is an October baby and so will not start kindergarten until she's nearly six.

This is our family flag. The flags went along with the unit on families. The children displayed their flags at graduation. We decided on the trampoline for our family image because we really like to jump together.
Once the trampoline was done we were all rather tired and lacking any further creativity so we left it at that. We would have liked to add a Latin phrase to make it a little more dignified but since none of us have studied Latin we couldn't manage it. I think the best suggestion of text for the project was "For the benefit of Mr. Kite" which would illustrate the Mr's love of the Beatles and my own love of random thoughts that make people wonder. But we left it blank.

The "Mortarboards" were my responsibility. I had quite a good time making them. I thought through a couple of things I could do to make them stay on the children's heads and generally complicate things but in the end I pretty much stuck to the instructions given in the manual. I did revise the method of sticking the flat part on the top though. The manual directed me to simply stick the 2 pieces together with elmer's. I have had enough experience with paper and glue to realize that never would have held, so I beefed it up a bit and all but one hat made it through the evening with no damage.
All in all the evening was a great success. Now Baby Girl keeps asking me when we are leaving for summer vacation. I've told her probably 50 times today that all summer vacation means is no more Joy School 'till fall so, basically, this is it but she keeps on wondering.

Friday, May 23, 2008


We've had a pair of rainy, magical days.
I went out yesterday into the beautifully overcast morning and felt the glory of the day. The sky full of clouds made the normally sun drenched scenery come to life. Since I've lived here my reactions to weather are quite often the opposite of what I expect, based on the experience of my previous life in the land of snow.
After Joy School, we went on a little trip to Target and on the way the rain began. It was a loud determined rain with giant drops falling as fast and the clouds could drop them. Baby Girl watched wondrously out the windows and kept me updated on which side of the car was collecting the most drops.
There is a new Stein Mart near Target and I was feeling so energized my the rain I decided we just as well go in as not, a quick run through the wet isn't so bad.
I must tell you, I really love my dear Dusty Miller. I loved him before but I love him all the more after our first rain storm together. I've never driven a car that stuck to a wet road so well, and I can get us all un-buckled and ready to run for it before I even open a door! I fold the console between the driver's and passenger's seats down and walk the the middle row where the children ride. Then I get them out of their seats, open the door and we all get out at once. I use the remote to close the door as we're making our way to the dry store. When the shopping is through, reverse all of that on the way back.
I found this lovely place mat for $2.99 at Stein Mart. It was just the thing to make the surprise flowers from The Mr.extra special. I like it so well I think I'll get one or 2 more

We repeated the mass exodus from Dusty Miller again and went to Target. I've had my eye on these lovelies for Baby Girl and finally gave into myself and bought them.
I love her sweet little feet so much. I marvel at how they can be so tiny, slim and chubby at the same time.

If you think that I bought these for my child without checking to be sure there was not a pair round about that would fit me you are mistaken, and probably haven't gotten to know me very well. They only have these in toddler sizes. The less cute, silver sandals in the toddler section run through to girls sizes but these stop somewhere around size 9 leaving me no hope whatsoever.
When Target was all said and done we went to McDonald's. I climbed into the back seat one last time and we had a car picnic before driving home.
Dusty Miller told me it was 50 degrees out side. 50! on May 21! It was fantastic. I even got a little chilly later in the evening. It's so nice to get a little chilly in late May!
I was glad to be out in that storm, splashing through puddles and watching the rain drops and hail stones come down all around us, but I've forgotten to tell you about the Hail.
There was Hail. It started just as we clamored into Dusty Miller after Stein Mart and stopped before we got out again for Target. I really don't think I would have appreciated it all if I'd been shut up in the house the whole time.
Today we did stay in. We scrubbed bathtubs, organized fabric, ate popcorn, did laundry and read books. That was a good sort of a rainy day too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I shall whine over doll clothes no more

At long last Tuesday night I came up with a little frock for each doll that I wasn't ashamed of. I'm not all too proud of them, but I'm not ashamed and that was the best I could do at that point, such a state was I in.

Baby Girl Doll got this yellow plaid seersucker. Incidentally I have plans to make the actual Baby Girl a summer frock of the very same as soon as I get myself some elastic thread.
The dress is not much to speak of but I am fond of the grosgrain ribbon threaded through the square yellow buttons. Those ribbon threaded buttons rescued that dress from complete imemorability.

I made Baby Girl's dress first and thought it was a tad short so I made Bestest's longer and it looked rather mu-muish to be sure. I do think the color suits her though. The second dress is as forgettable as the first.

I've thought it trough and deciphered my trouble with doll clothes. I always set out to make a doll and then as I'm at the finish line ready to relish the completion of the project and move on to a new one, I remember I've got to clothe the doll before sending her out into the wide world, and here the drudgery begins.
My aim always ends up being to come up with something as quickly and simply as possible. There is not much scope for imagination in that.
Also, I loathe bear seams. I tolerate serged edges in finished garments when I must, but I don't like them either. Getting all of the seams out of the way in such a small project is challenging. The biggest problem is, french seams and full linings make the clothes awfully thick for being so small. It's also some trouble to get into all the nooks and crannies sewing things closed but I rather like that aspect of it.
I have a plan. I will learn to like making doll clothes yet. I'm going to set out to make some clothes independently of doll making. I shall sew for Baby Girl's existing dolls or dolls dreamed of yet unborn. Maybe I'll seek out a swap to join. I am determined to enjoy it at least a little.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Really now!

I can't figure out what my problem is with doll clothes. I've been working all day and the only fruits I have to show for my labor are an abandoned ill shaped t-shirt, a some what less ill shaped dress that will at least be suitable for Baby Girl to adopt on behalf of her own dolls, and a bodice, fairly well constructed though it lends a somewhat linebackeresque air to the wee doll it is meant for.
I've held myself here, forging back to the machine whenever my mind wanders until I can bear it no longer. I promised Baby Girl the dollies would be ready for Bestest tomorrow, and so they shall, but for the moment I must give up.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Warning- this post is not for the weak of stomach!

Yesterday I was in the food court at the mall and there was a girl wearing a "class of '10" t-shirt and awful denim underpants with a slit about an inch to the left of the left back pocket that equaled the length of the pocket in question, allowing for a generous view of side cheek.
So I'm sitting there enjoying my lunch when she comes into my line of vision. Just then, she plunges her hand down the back of her miniscule shorts and gives her thong a yank. This was no discreet melvin picking, aside from the unabashed plunge down the shorts there was a definite wrestle to right the deeply lodged thong.
There was no reason for such a display, the bathroom was yards away and it wasn't busy, I know, between brushing squaw bread out of my braces and a 3 year-old who is obsessed with the child size toilet in the family bathroom I made 3 trips during my visit to the food court.
Maybe the worst part? After situating her lingerie she placed her thong-y hand in the (as far as I know) un-thonged hand of her boyfriend and walked away.
I hope he'd already finished his lunch. Or, at the very least, he had something he could eat with a fork so the actual food didn't touch his bottom-soiled hands.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dropping in on the dollies

"Good heavens! You've caught us without our hair! Give us a minute will you?"

Uh, Girls? There seems to have been a bit of a mix up.

"Drat, Pick that up quick while I get my face on!"

There now, that's better.

"Hmpf, got carried away with the scissors did you? My face looks so fat with my hair this short."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fickle Flame

I haven't been much in the mood for crafting of any type the past few weeks. I have projects that interest me and the supplies to complete said projects but the desire has been lacking.
I finally made myself craft without the desire because a few of the projects were gifts and really needed to get done. So, I made these little girls.

They are for Baby Girl's bestest friend whose birthday I already missed by over a week. The white one is a mini Baby Girl and the brown one is a mini Bestest.
Baby Girl is apt to say when she sees me working, "Oh, my hair looks so cute!" or "Bestest is so pretty!" and then theres "can I hold me?"
The lack of interest in my work stayed with me until today as I was working on their wigs. I'm using a different method than I've done in the past where I crochet a little cap to weave the hair into rather than sewing the hair directly to the head. You can see one doll's wig is complete and the other is still wearing a bare cap. I'm loving the way this is working out. The only problem is, I failed to order mohair yarn for the hair and don't know where to by it in person, so I'm using what ever I could find at Joann and Michael's.
I love the look of the yarns I found, Baby Girl's has a gold thread through it and Bestest's a multicolored metalic which gives them a little extra kick, but they are both rather apt to unraveling which is a definite problem for use as doll hair. The upside of working with polyester is it's meltability. I melted the tip of each strand of Baby Girl Doll's hair. It worked fairly well but a good number of them caught fire as they were melting which left a black clump at the end of the strand. I'm not too fond of that, I may go back trim, and re-melt each of those.
The yarn for Bastest Doll's hair is pickier than the other, it unravels fast so I'm going to have to melt the ends before I thread them into the cap. I think it's going to turn out super cute, better than Baby Girl Doll's for sure.
I just have to give these girls some faces, sew on the wigs (once they are finished) and make them some clothes (oy) and they'll be ready for a late birthday gift, despite the fact that Baby Girl and I both really want to keep them.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm Here!

Yesterday was my fourth Mother's day as a mother. Fifth if you count the year Baby Girl was in the belly. This, the fourth or fifth for me was the year I arrived as far a Mother's Day is concerned.
This was the year my child made me a card at (joy)school for the first time. According to said card, Baby Girl loves me because "25" not sure what that means, but I'll take it.
This was the year my own child walked up to the stand with all of the other children to sing Mother's Day songs in church. I cried as soon as she left the pew. The upside of that was I got it out of my system before the number actually started so I could watch my girl wiggle and peek at me without the blur of tears in my eyes.
I was afraid she'd be nervous about going up so I prepped her for it during the week prior. "Baby Girl," I'd say, "What are you going to do on Sunday?" and after a couple of days she knew the answer "I'm going to go up in front with the other children and sing you a song for Mother's Day" I was so excited by the time Sunday finally arrived I asked her three or four times before we left for church. I think she got a bit tired of it but she humored me with the answer anyway and it worked! She was one of the first two children up there. She was out of the pew and on her way up the isle even before the announcement for the children to come forward was complete.
She only sang the first few words, as a first timer the songs were not thoroughly ingrained in her memory, but she assured me when she came back that she had hummed the whole time. That was just fine by me.
Mother's just may be my favorite of days.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home alone

while my family buys me presents.
What's a girl to do?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Butt Wheat

While waiting for the oatmeal to cook this morning (it took sooooo long today but it was extra good to make up for it) Baby Girl climbed onto the table to reach her hand way down to the bottom of the Honey Bunches box searching for crumbs.
Shooing her off triggered a memory, so here it is.
In the house where we lived through my preschool years the table was in the room with the TV and the TV was on a high self sort of in front of the table. That's a bit of a hazy description but it's a bit of a hazy memory so it will have to do.
We all took turns sitting on the table, getting scolded for it by the mother, and scolding each other for it. I was the youngest at that point so I imagine I really didn't play that big a role in the sibling scold-a-thon that was TV time, but I remember at least once, blissfully laying on the table watching "Little House on the Prairie". My second oldest sister at that point came into the room and told me I was getting butt wheat all over the table and I'd better get off quickety-fast.
The older Sibs were always complaining about the butt wheat on the table. "3-2-1 Contact!" and "The Bloodhound Gang" were on TV and in the back ground I heard "Get off the Table! I don't want your Butt Wheat all over my place at Dinner!"
I don't ever remember hearing the term "butt wheat" in any other context, though I just googled it and apparently there's a comedian named Butt Wheat. I don't think I've heard it since we moved from that house when I was five. I can't imagine how they got away with using it so much. My mother was firm in her discouragement of crude language. To say the word "butt" in her presence was to garner a very severe look.
We were taught to use the word "bottom" and only when necessary. Also, the word "poo" in all it's forms was not to be used. "messy" was the appropriate term in our house.
These words, "poo" and "bum," were the ones I was made to say by my sister and her friend when they took me to hide under a bush and taught me to "swear" but that's a story for another day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Baby my boy

My Tiny Boy is getting bigger and bigger.
For the past 2 days he's swaggered around the house like he owned the place, all the while carrying a well loved copy of "Goodnight Moon" in his little man hands.
He happened upon me in the laundry room and relieved me of the task of unloading the dryer. Laughing with delight over each warm article of clothing he deposited in the laundry basket, he then saw to it that the dryer door was closed before running off to find Goodnight Moon and get some toys out. He loves to get toys out. He's not so much into playing with them but he loves getting them out.
We took his binki away last night. Part of his new found big-boyhood is reaching into his crib to retrieve a bink whenever he takes a fancy. We've always limited binki use to bed time, and public situations where quiet needs be maintained. Also, at 14 months it's time for his binki use to diminish rather than increase so we cut him off.
He did fine last night. He was a bit louder as he drifted off but he slept just fine. Nap time was about the same today.
As I went about my nap-time tasks I mused over whether there's actually anything wrong with saving the 4 precious "starlight" nuks we have left for the next baby. Then I heard him crying. He'd only been sleeping for 45 minutes so this was odd.
I picked him up and tried to snuggle but he was having none of it. I got him a drink of water, still he cried. I asked him if he'd like to help me with the laundry, there was another batch ready to come out of the dryer, he perked up a bit and stopped crying but when I put him down so he could reach the toasty clothes he cried again.
It went on for quite a while. He didn't want to snuggle but when I put him down he would flop on the floor and sob. Not like he was hurt or angry, just like he was sad and nothing I did made it any better. It's been so long since he's cried without me knowing the reason, it nearly broke my heart and I gave in.
I fetched a binki from my jewelry drawer where I'd stashed them (yes, I love those $18.00 paci's that much) and gave it to my boy. He relaxed immediately and snuggled right in. He even let me rock him to sleep.
Did it all start because he wanted a binki, or was the binki just the thing that soothed what ever else was bothering him?
Maybe he was mourning with me the loss of his babyhood.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

High School

First the happy, then the sad.
My good friend Teresa is working on High School Musical 3. I am so thrilled for her, she's been working on this a long time. She's the kind of girl who's happiest when she's crazy busy and as such devotes herself completely to whatever job she's doing. I'm beside myself that she'll now be crazy busy with a job she actually loves. After an hour on the job I'm sure she knew the names, measurements, favorite colors, and pets of the entire cast and crew. Maybe not measurements for the crew but she could probably guess pretty accurately on that if she needed to fit one of them in an emergency tux.
Anyway, congrats T you're the best and soon everyone will know it.

I just learned from my mother that my High School is going to be demolished and re-built. I'm really sad about it. I loved that place.
I loved going there for my little brothers' concert at Christmas and still knowing that the bathroom next to the choir room is always locked after hours, and which bathroom in the main building would be unlocked at 9:00 pm and the quickest way to get there.
I love knowing that the door that doesn't lead to anything actually leads to a stair way that is no longer used and being one of the few students who's been in that stairway.
I loved the way you had to find a chair or something and climb into the costume closet that is 4 feet off the ground back stage. I loved finding bits of costumes that my sister made for past shows in there, like the spray painted gold character shoes from Into The Woods and that little sequined number from Anything Goes.
I love that one time when I was back there a year or two after I graduated for some event or another I tried the locker I had my senior year and the ridiculously easy to remember combination (35-25-5) still worked.
I loved the suit of armor in the glass case in the main hallway, I gaped at it open mouthed as a small child going to see my older siblings in plays and concerts and later, ate dinner in it's shadow during late night musical rehearsals.
"Why are they tearing it down?" I asked my mother. "Because it's old, but not old enough to be a cool building" was her reply.
If all of the old buildings that just aren't quite old enough to save are torn down how will our communities ever have any character?
By the way, I always though it was a cool old building.