Tuesday, December 9, 2008
With that said, I relate to you last night's adventures in shoulder seaming...
First, get kid's jammies on, escape to living room to work on sweater. Locate embroidery needle for stitching up the seam. Match up shoulders, start sewing. Oops, he's done reading books with Daddy, time to help kiddo settle down. Maybe he'll look at a book on his own. Yeah, try that.
Back to the living room. Finish up one seam, flip it over to see how it looks. Yikes. Crappy. What did I do wrong? I was carefully stitching down below the cast off row, but it appears that I didn't have the cast off facing flat up, so a few of the edges were showing on the outside. Bad, bad, bad. Unpick, unpick, oops, need to deal with not-sleeping kid...
1/2 hour later. Kid's asleep. Okay, still need to unpick and try again. I'll put in the movie I was watching last night to finish it up too. Yeah, that won't be distracting, what with the subtitles and all. Unpick, unpick. Okay, ready to try again. Flattening out the edges nicely, stitch stitch stitch. Well, that's looking better. Yeah, much better. WAIT! Why did I just sew the two front shoulders to each other??????? Grr. Unpick, unpick, unpick.
Okay, third time's the charm. Try again. Oh - I should get those little clippy things I used once to hold it together. Matched FRONT shoulder seams to BACK shoulder seams? Check. Clipped into place? Check. Edges nicely lined up? Check. Stitch, stitch, stitch. Hey, that looks better. Shows a little bit, but not badly. Let's make it good and tight then. I think I'll weave in the ends really snug, then call it a night (and night it is: 11:30).
Next day, hmm, I need to pick up stitches to do the neck. I remember reading some technique for that, where was that? Do an online search for picking up stitches, notice articles on finishing techniques, and then recall - D'oh! I did a plain 'ol sewing stitch (in & out, every stitch) and I should have done a backstitch or mattress stitch to get it all flat & even. Ugh!
So, what's your vote? Live with it, or unpick YET AGAIN (at least it's only 6 inches total) and do it right. Keep in mind that with this sweater, I've started the body twice (frogged the first attempt at 3 inches when I realized it would be enormous) and one sleeve once (had thought it would be too loose at the wrist, so I narrowed it, then realized it looked terrible that way).
Sigh, is it any wonder this has taken nearly a year?
Monday, December 8, 2008
Luckily, this morning as I was about to pass PaperZone on the way between school & work, I remembered that they are open at 9:00 AM and so I dropped in. The guy behind the counter helpfully pointed me to an examples book that had customer-submitted holiday card ideas and I found one that appeals. So, yeah, I am still feeling lazy (no glitter, no embossing, and using cards already cut to size with not window cutouts to make), and I'm taking a shortcut by stealing someone else's idea (although it's one they want to share, and I'm also doing my own take on it), but at least the homemade tradition lives on! Let the card-making begin!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Think it'll last?
Friday, November 14, 2008
- Forgot to call Lisa on her birthday (lowlight, bad sis). Remembered the day after! Always good to chat.
- Parent association meeting last week, plus got to participate or view videos of interviews with possible new heads of school for next year. Really fun to have some say in that process.
- A happier election day than I've had in years. Yay! Yes, we did!
- Bookclub last weekend. Fun to see the gang. Embarrassed that not only did we not finish the book (pretty much a first), we didn't even get a copy to start on. Sigh. Bad bookclubbers! Dinner (fajitas) was fun though. Maybe it's really a supper club, not a bookclub :-).
- Got my nightguard fixed at the dentists' office. Okay, it sounds REALLY lame, but hey, it's just nice to grind away all night again without waking up with sort teeth.
- Dessert out with my VTs. They're nice gals, not pushy, and we chatted and chatted about the kidlets and schools.
- Last night's 10-year anniversary party (10 years at MSFT) at EMP with 2000 of my closest friends (not, and by the way, a pile o' Microsofties all going from Redmond to someplace at the same time makes for lousy traffic). Food was pretty yummy, and it was fun exploring the "Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum". Plus, the Presidents of the United States of America played, which was fun. Sorta lost on me as I really only know "Peaches" but it was fun just thinking that it'd make Jason jealous (hi Jason). Colin and I liked the SciFi museum and thought that Max would LOOOOOOVE it given the amazing assortment of phasers, rockets, spaceships, and robots they have on display. Max & Abbey went today :-). Oh, and Mom, I was wrong, no classical at EMP, just rock & roll Seattle-based music scene. Noelle & Patrick were kind enough to babysit, and Max had a swell time with them. Thanks guys!
- Looking forward to DOCS this weekend. Maybe I'll finally finish a sleeve!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Ready for real trick or treating in the neighborhood. He decided on Wednesday that instead of being a police man, he really needed to be an Airplane Director. So, I whipped up a safety vest (complete with reflector tape) on Thursday, and Colin made red cones for some blue flashlights and dug out some cordless headphones for ear protection. Pretty cute, if we do say so ourselves, and very original. Not as original as the blueberry, but hey - it was recognizable this year - the flashlights were the real key to the costume.
Monday, October 13, 2008
- Parent night at school, and Max actually enjoyed himself at the Extended Day babysitting at school, which is great, and unexpected given how apprehensive he was. Sure helps to have a kid there he knows from class.
- Sucked up my courage and made calls for Obama Thursday night for an hour. Verdict - hate it, just as expected :-). They seem to be low on envelopes that need stuffing and only want dialing help. Bother.
Preceding couple of weeks:
- DOCS - worked on the sleeve for my Gathered Pullover. Nearly done with one! Except that I don't like how it's turning out and probably should rip it and start again. Sigh. So it's been sitting, with absolutely no progress, since then. Mental block! It's only two sleeves, how long could it take? Guess we'll find out.
- Took Friday the 3rd off and hung out with ETHAN (and Jason and Chris and Fiona, and their assorted rellies in town). Emphasis is Max's. He was all about the cousin, so happy to have time with him. Zoo was unpopular with Max (raining, tired), but playing at home was great, as was Museum of Flight. Attempted a sleepover with Max & Ethan, but no sleep achieved until Jason & Chris & Fiona came back from their dinner out with friends. Max & Ethan had fun staying up looking at books though.
- Inspired by Just Bento, made chicken mini-burgers, basically using our gyoza filling recipe, and ate them on dinner rolls for buns. I thought they were way fun. Ethan & Max liked 'em well enough. Speaking of liking/not liking food, this Bento blog post (see the bottom when her kid tries it) made me laugh out loud. Been there, seen that (not with Baked Tofu though). Also trotted out my bento stuff for zoo & Museum of Flight snacks. Kids liked 'em. Yay.
- Saturday, the 4th was the Family Heritage Festival at school. Since I'm on the parent association, I got to hang out & greet folks as they came in. Fun to see everyone and what they brought for the potluck. Max wanted to help with nametags (writing people's names), but settled for making a plane/spaceship out of leftover nametag backs & sticky bits.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
So today was the day! We had one session before lunch, where we did focus groups on different designs, and we got about 80 customers for that, which was great. Unfortunately, they didn't all come back after lunch for my stand-up and talk session, and neither did anyone else. Out of about 40 people in attendance, only about a dozen were actual customers, the rest were other 'softies. Sigh. It's hard to vet plans with customers when they aren't there. Guess my joke to colleagues about how we should encourage people to check out the excellent shopping across the street wasn't a joke after all! That or they were tired of sessions on their last day.
I did fine, my presentation went well, but when you plan to talk for about 30 minutes of your hour-long slot keeping half of the time free for discussion along the way, you don't expect to be done at 36 minutes. But that's what happens with only a dozen participants. Better luck next time? Kind of a let down.
It did feel good to once again demonstrate that I can conquer my public-speaking anxiety. Lots o' prep, plus talking about something you really DO know about, sure helps :-). I mentioned to Max last night at bedtime that my presentation was tomorrow. He said "why are you so scared?". I was hoping that I was showing him that even though I was nervous about doing something difficult, I was preparing and pushing through the fear and accomplishing something. Might be a little too subtle for 5. But maybe it'll be a teaching example later. Who knows.
So that's me, and my week. Tomorrow, my biggest thing is a group lunch at work and date night. Yay - fun stuff!
Oh, and I really liked my outfit. It's a keeper. Thanks for helping me shop, Mom! Isn't it funny how clothes can boost your confidence?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
It took me about 2 ½ hours to whip up at Cyndy’s latest Day of Sewing. If you want to make one of your own, here’s how. These instructions may seem lengthy, but they don't take long. I'm just being too thorough (tech writer issue :-).
Sam’s Notions Pocket
Finished dimensions: Approximately 5 by 6 inches when folded up, 15 by 6 inches opened flat.
Holds: A small pair of scissors, a seam ripper, two spools of thread, several needles & pins, plus any other small notions you want to tuck in.
Fabric and notions:
You’ll need 1 fat quarter of an outside fabric and two fat quarters of a pocket fabric (might be able to get away with just 2 fat quarters if you mix & match colors on the inside), matching (or contrasting!) thread, a little sew-in interfacing, and ribbon for the ties.
When I made this, I used a finished-hem cloth napkin that I had leftover from another project. The instructions are for using regular fabric instead. If you want to use a napkin, simply cut the flap & pocket out of the napkin instead and cut them 16/17 x 4 instead of 16 x 8. Also, I used two types of bias tape for the ribbon, that I zigzagged together (like I said, I had stuff lying around).
- Out of the body fabric, cut two 16 inch by 7 inch rectangles (for the main body of the notions pouch inside & out) and a 15 1/2 inch by 8 inch rectangle (for the flap).
- Out of the pocket fabric, cut one 17 inch by 8 inch rectangle (for the pocket) and two 5 inch by 5 inch rectangles (for the needle & pin holder).
- Cut two 5 inch by 5 inch rectangles of interfacing (for the needle & pin holder).
Assembly: Use ½ inch seams for sewing.
Make the body and pocket:
- Lay out inside body fabric right side up.
- Fold & press pocket fabric in half lengthwise, right sides out.
- Pin to bottom of inside body fabric.
- At one end (your choice), along the bottom, pin 4 small tucks to take up the extra inch of pocket fabric (this gives you extra room to accommodate spools of thread).
- Lay the outside body fabric on top, right side in and pin together with inside body and pocket.
- Starting in the middle top, sew all around, leaving a 1 ½ inch gap so you can turn it.
- Press the seams, trim the corners, then turn inside out and press again.
- Pin the opening and top stitch around the edge to finish.
Make the needle holder:
- Lay out interfacing squares, and then lay out needle and pin holder fabric squares on top, right sides together.
- Starting in the middle top, sew all around, leaving a 1 inch gap so you can turn it.
- Press the seams, trim the corners, then turn inside out and press again.
- Pin the opening and top stitch around the edge to finish.
Make the flap:
- Fold & press flap fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together.
- Sew along short edges, and then flip right side out and press.
- With flap right side out, fold down the raw, long edge ½ inch and press (you can zigzag stitch along the raw edge if you like before you press, to give it a finished edge).
Make and attach the tie:
- Cut a length of ribbon approximately 40 inches.
- Fold the tie in half to find the middle, then fold the body in half (pocket to the inside) to find the middle. Pin the middle of the tie to the middle of the body.
- Fold the body in thirds, to find where you want to attach the ties. Pin the ties at the folds, and then open the body up again.
- Pin the top of the pocket in place at the fold lines, to prepare for stitching the middle pocket.
Stitch the pockets and attach the flap:
- With the outside of the body and ties facing up, stitch along the 1/3 fold lines from bottom to the top to make the middle pocket, attach the ties, and create permanent folding lines.
- With the pockets facing up, move the ties out of the way, and stitch vertically halfway between the edge and the fold line on each side, stitching from the bottom to the top of the pocket to create the smaller pockets.
- Pin the flap to the inside top of the body. The folded, raw edge should be tucked under at the top.
- Stitch the top folded edge of the flap to the body (try and stitch over the top stitching).
Put in stuff:
- Slide some pins and needles into the pin/needle holder and tuck it into the big middle pocket. Tuck your scissors and seam ripper in the flat side pockets, and two spools of thread into the thread pockets, fold in thirds and tie it up with a bow.
Enjoy! If you'd like a Word doc of these instructions, just let me know and I'll e-mail it to you.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
- Running away to Spokane overnight for spa, movie, craft day with Jo, Lisa, and Mom. Great spending time with the girls. Happy 50th Jo!
- Day of Crafts and Sewing at Cyndy's - always a great time! Followed up with pizza and games, fun!
- Happy anniversary to us! 17 years - amazing. Palisade was a yummy treat.
- Catching up on some movie rentals (Waitress, Penelope) and current flicks (had to see Mamma Mia! on my own, since everybody else saw it when I wasn't around).
Lowlight: Sleep, how I miss it. Wish our little bug would sleep more, so I could too. Sigh.
Friday, August 29, 2008
It’s time for a change.
We’ve had enough of the cowboy mentality in our foreign policy. We don’t need a maverick, we need a leader. We need someone we can be proud of standing on the world stage, someone the rest of the world can respect, someone who can get people talking, find commonality, really listen and find solutions, not just wield a big stick. It’s time to stop bullying the world, let’s try leadership instead.
We’ve had enough of pretending that money to the top will help folks on the bottom. Get real. How do we not have healthcare coverage for everyone in our country? Our country can afford it – it’s the individuals who can’t. Use government to do what government is for! Creating a safety net for people. Taking care of our people when they need it. Not just standing by and consigning them to poverty, simply because they have the bad luck to get cancer.
We’ve had enough of the blue/red bickering. How about we pull out the purple crayon for a while? Let’s see what we could do if we actually worked together. What’s wrong with a little hope?
C’mon America, say it with me: Yes We Can!
I’m almost ready to volunteer to cold call folks in other parts of the country to try and spread the hope. Note the almost – I’d pretty much rather get teeth pulled or endure major surgery than call a stranger out of the blue & try and convince them of something. Not to mention knocking on doors? Yikes. Maybe I can hand out buttons instead.
(My lame attempt at a political speech is now over. You may now go back to your regular lives. But please, think carefully in November about what you really need from a leader.)
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Nana visiting - Max so enjoyed having Nana read to him at night and play in his "shuttle" all afternoon. Great visit.
- Finishing the appliques for my circle quilt. In progress for oh, about 2 years now, and I can finally move onto step 4, start sewing blocks to each other. (Step 1 was cut lots & lots of trianges & circles, step 2 was piece the triangles onto squares, step 3 was hand stitch the circles onto the squares.) Step 3, though it took a rather long time (since it would sit for months), was very restful and satisfying.
- Unpacking 3 huge boxes for my b-day present. Some additional pieces for our Denby Boston plates from Replacements, since it's a discontinued pattern. Now I have a gravy boat!
- Selling the bunk bed and getting real cash money for it, plus Colin taking a load o' baby stuff to Eastside Baby Corner to donate. Buh-bye!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Online shopping from Ichiban Kan USA plus a couple of eBay orders from Japan, and I had the equipment I needed.
I now present to you...Max's lunches for summer camp, Bento style:
Ham & cheese skewers, corn muffins, apples, and strawberries.
Dinosaur PB&J, cheesy crackers, cherries, raisins, carrots, & snap peas.
Bologna rolls, cheese stick, crackers, carrots, snap peas, cherries, granola bar, raisins.
Chicken salad, crackers, canned green beans, cherries, snap peas, raisins.
Tillamook cheddar hearts, hot dog octopusses, ketchup, crackers, cherries, carrots, snap peas, raisins.
More hotdog octopusses (octopii?), ketchup, bun, cherries.
I've also been doing my own lunches and snacks, when I have appropriate leftovers or did weekend shopping, in the Happy Orange/Blue Balloon and plain clear bento sets that Colin got me from the local Japanese dollar store, Daiso. He's an enabler :-). Better stop before it takes over the house!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We've had Stellar's Jays, Goldfinches (I swear, I never saw them around before I put up the feeder even though they're our state bird!), Black-Capped Chickadees (I knew we had those - chick-a-dee-dee-dee!), Dark-Eyed Junkos, regular-old Robins, a Rufus or Spotted Towhee, and some good old sparrows. We even drew a hummingbird one day although he looked confused that the feeder didn't have anything he liked. Not sure what kind of hummingbird - they're hard to get a look at. Anyway, it's been fun. One week, I started to notice that the bird feed (shelled sunflower seeds, no mess!) was disappearing rather more quickly than before. A day later, I found out why.
(Action shot - through a window - kinda fuzzy sorry.)
Hey Mr. Squirrel, that's not there for you! Guess we'll have to investigate and deploy some anti-squirrel measures.
Later that evening, it looked like this. 'Nough said.
But we did enjoy his new game.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Next year, however, I'm biting off a bit more. Let's hope I can chew it. I'm going to be the PAC Secretary, which means taking notes for the monthly meetings with the PAC and the Room Rep meetings, plus other tasks. So, probably quite a bit more work. As one nominating committee member noted, however, it's a great free pass on other volunteering at the school. Gee, sorry, wish I could help, but I'm on the PAC. AKA - the auction project won't be on me next year! ;-)
Mom thinks I'm crazy to sign up, when the meetings happen during work hours, but hey, work's supportive (and they even match my volunteer hours with cash money for the school), and Colin's on board, so why not.
So, what do you think? Most of you have church stuff, work stuff, kid stuff, school stuff, hobby stuff - how much is just enough for you?
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Boy, don't we look energetic. I'd meant to bring the jog stroller for Max, but sadly, left it in our garage at home. That doesn't help! So he had to hoof it most of the way and settle for intermittent piggy back rides.
Max and Maddie were impressed by the snacks at the end of the course. The yogurt, muffins, juice, and granola bars almost made up for the walking part.
It was great seeing Nana, Lisa, Van, and all the kids. Max had a swell time with cousins and Nana and wanted to come back the very next weekend.
You've already seen Colin and Lucy's posts on the other stuff we're doing around the house. Max participated in his T-Ball practice, but was still unwilling to play when it was game time. This might take all season.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
In KnitPick's Telemark, Colonial Blue.
So, did somebody say Spring? It's turning out to be a wild spring. Here's the contrast.
March 30th (temp obviously around freezing):
April 13th (temp yesterday was in the 70s):
Max loves him some dandelions. They're his favorite. Whenever anyone mentions dealing with weeds, he says "but not the dandelions! They're my favorite flower!". I fully expect to see him out there with a "Save the Dandelions" sign, picketing in front of the dandelions while Dad approaches with the weed killer.
And just to wrap up the updates, a couple of blankies for the Sather kids. Their new baby boy, just born Thursday, gets this one. Yep, those square are minky, and it's backed with satin. Hooboy, won't be doing that combo again any time soon, unless I have amnesia. Fuzzy, slippery, annoying. But oh sooooo soft.
Other than that, the twin obsessions continue: Democratic primary, Indian movies. Netflix says I've rented 27 altogether, starting in April '06. Longest streak: 14 in a row (December through March, nuthin' but Indian movies :-).
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Book bag for Max - made of placemats, with coaching from Noelle. Thanks for the tips, Noelle.
He seems to like it. It's good for holding the hugely oversized books he drags home from The Little School library.
Class pillows to match the class quilt. Split up the work with another mom, so you only see 1/2 of the class's pillows. Max was disappointed that they were going to be so small. He wanted one big enough to sleep on! We compromised with a pillowcase (thanks Grammy for the inspiration on custom pillowcases - very handy!).
And here's a quick blanket I whipped up for Max. We were in the fabric store, looking for fabrics to make a quilt for Jim & Kris's new baby-on-the-way, when Max spotted this. HE HAD TO HAVE IT! I thought it was insanely cute too, so I bought two panels worth, and then we went home, dug through my stash for some fleece for the back, and in less than 2 hours, Max had a new alien blankie. The fabric is Alien Invasion from Moda, and it's hysterical!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
- Last week - awful! Not much sleep for me or Max most of the week. Cranky mom, cranky kid.
- Weekend - not bad! Escape valve of "okay to come in Saturday nights" seemed to help a lot.
- This week - much better. Two nights of staying in his bed (Monday, continuously, Tuesday, just one break for a snuggle). Too bad I'm now trained to wake up at 2 & 4 am every night. So now it's my sleep schedule that is the problem!
Trips that aren't getting taken:
- Considered a quick trip to Leavenworth for this weekend, looking for snow. Couldn't find an appropriate room, decided it was too much hassle anyway. Holding out for a drive to Snoqualmie on Saturday to see snow. Maybe it'll happen.
- Considered a spring break trip to Orlando - mostly so Max could see Kennedy Space Center. Thought, heck, why not see Disney World. Priced some packages, got extreme sticker shock, read the Unofficial Guide, decided it was a big hassle too! Scratch that vacation.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I think it turned out fun with the bright batiks. What do you think?
Hmm. I must be over the blahs...
Friday, January 25, 2008
And boy, did I cut it close on the yardage (see, it was one ball, but I'd swatched with it before, so it was more like 3/4 of a ball). See photo above right for how much was left when I finished the decreases. Ooh that was close. Now I just hope it fits the little kidlet.
- Yarn: Trendsetter Yarns Scoubi Du in color 054 (Pink stone wash)
- Needles: Addi Turbo size 6, 16 inch circulars, plus bamboo size 6 dpns
- Pattern: Borrowed sizing & decreases from this one, but the hat itself doesn't really look much like it ;-). Thanks for the sizing, though!
- Modifications: Added eyelet row about an inch and a half up, skipped the top knot when I ran out of yarn.
In other news, I think I neglected to post a picture of Max's cool new loft bed from IKEA.
After spending the first night up top, he decided he'd rather sleep on the floor underneath. And after I ironed the canopy up top, he decided he didn't want that on the bed. Ah well.