I wanted to wear my white pants today – they’re “winter white” and lined, so they’re winter pants – but after trying them on (yes, they still fit), I realized that I don’t own cream shoes anymore. Huh. I was wearing a pink sweater, and I also don’t own pink shoes. So, I wore different pants to work instead.
Now the internet tells me that it’s totally OK to wear black shoes with white pants. Who knew? It seems very strange, but I might have to try it out. Silly to have a pair of pants in my wardrobe that fit and yet aren’t worn. I have so many that are the opposite (don’t so much fit, worn all the time).
This weekend was a blur. I ended up staying at work an extra 45 minutes on Friday to provide technical support – very unsatisfying since we never did fix the problem. My massage was good, though it had been quite some time since my last, so it was painfully obvious that I need to go back again soon. There’s no amount of beating that will tame my shoulder knots into submission.
Saturday’s class was good, as usual. We bought new snow tires for ‘s car, and while he put those on, I worked on my grey dress. I got the facing attached, as well as the ribbon trim at the top, and the straps are stitched down at the right length. Next up? The zipper, which is pinned on (I was too lazy to get out my invisible zipper foot, though).
After dinner, did the major sanding on the cabinet parts (with the orbital sander), smoothing down the parts that we had to use wood filler on. We brought all the pieces upstairs and got set up for the next step: painting. “All pieces” includes two large backs, three small backs, four large sides, six small sides, and ten tops and bottoms.
Sunday morning I put primer on them all. While we waited for that to dry, we had lunch and went to the Container Store to attempt to find a shelf for the center speaker channel. I wanted something nearly invisible, but didn’t really like their fully-concealed options (and didn’t want to go to Ikea if at all possible).
This is what we ended up with.
They are for a standard 5/8″ – 3/4″ shelf depth, which happens to be the same as the plywood we have. So, we built a custom shelf. It’s gorgeous, I do have to say. I can’t show you, though, because it’s still being painted. We did attach the brackets to the wall and test it out with the unpainted shelf, though, and it looks great!
And then sanded down the primed pieces and I painted them with our Glidden White on White, and we got a second coat on just before going to bed. The cats were not happy about this, because the only place big enough to handle this project (that wasn’t covered with sawdust) that also has a door is our bedroom. They think they should get unlimited access to this room, especially on weekends when we frequently don’t make the bed (which apparently makes it more snuggly, because there’s always a cat sleeping on it). Too bad, so sad.
There was also a little bit of homework that I got done – I still have to finish up a diagram of my ideal classroom and write a short paper on it. Not too bad.
Hopefully we can get the three coats of poly on the cabinet pieces this week or on Saturday, and then assemble them on Sunday. That’s exciting. (There should be pictures then – are you excited now?)
And, in case you were wondering if peanut butter would be good with yogurt and honey… it is. (I’ve been eating Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey for lunch lately – the protein goes a long way in staving off hunger, I’ve found.) Messy, and could be texturally awkward (the peanut butter I have at my desk is a little runnier than honey, though, so I didn’t have any problems), but yummy nonetheless.
Please tell me your weekend was more exciting than mine! Or at least that your plans for the rest of the week hold promise! (Mine include lots of laundry and going to bed early.)
Welcome to Fluffy Friday! That’s kind of what it feels like today.
So, I’m trying to decide if leather skirts are OK. For me, I mean. Working in an office, not riding a motorcycle, not wanting to look like… a tart (grandmas – and great grandmas! – read this blog now; gotta keep the language family-friendly ).
Humor me. I’ve got two collages here. The same information is in both of them – the first one has the pictures and the second one has the line drawings. I couldn’t decide which image was most helpful, so I included both of them. (You can click on them to see bigger versions if you want.)
Obviously, it would have to be knee-length. I think that since leather (faux leather, actually) probably wouldn’t be that easy to sew, and doesn’t have much drape (though that “soft skin” stuff might), styling would have to be minimal. Also, I would like a skirt that says “Hi, I’m in my 30s, and this is totally age-appropriate clothing for the workplace,” not “Hi, I’m pretending that I can still pass for a high schooler and don’tcha all think I’m cute?”
From left to right: Simplicity 2257 has some interesting trim details, but is otherwise straightforward; Simplicity 4494 (which I’ve made before) is a 6-gore skirt with some detailing at the seams and a tiny little bit of flare; McCalls 3296 (I’ve also made this before, but the longer version with the fishtail back, which this one is not) is a very basic almost A-line; Simplicity 6685 is the epitome of basic straight skirt; and Vogue 8603 is a bit more fitted and is also 6-gore (I’m thinking this style would not be so flattering to my hips).
Pattern and fabric options
Line drawings, for those of you who find that more helpful
See, I think leather is like animal prints. Some people can wear it, but a lot can’t (though they try). I know better than to wear a leopard-print shirt. I also know I’ve grown too old for jean skirts (unless you can prove otherwise). But what about leather? I’m quite sure several of you have strong opinions on this (you might not have known you did until I brought it up, but I’m guessing you can muster up some feeling of right- or wrong-ness). Feel free to tell me I should put this idea out of my mind straightaway, or if you think I’m cool enough to pull it off. Either way – my feelings won’t be hurt, I promise.
- Up was a great movie.
- I hope I don’t get the cold/sickness/whatever that’s going around. I don’t need that.
- Coats and scarves, mittens and boots: if you live in Minnesota and you don’t have these, you’re probably dead, or soon will be.
- Tonight I’m paying for a nice back rub. OK, if “nice” is the only way to describe it, I might want my money back.
- I’m thinking about lunch – I’m hungry.
- I do not want to be a sheep. We were talking about politics earlier….
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to pizza and a massage (sounds like a perfect Friday night to me), tomorrow my plans include class and work on the built-ins and Sunday, I want to wrap up the grey dress (I think that can be done – it’s just the facing, zipper, and hem and some embellishment)!
via Friday Fill-Ins
… for above-zero temps.
… for husbands with malt cravings.
… for wood filler.
… for that free hour last night where I went to JoAnn (and spent less than $20) and Target (since when does foundation cost so much?*)
… for the will power to get my butt into bed around 9pm each night, even if it does make my life very boring.
… for really enjoyable classes this semester (I say this now, while the only homework is reading, before classes start kicking me).
… for photographs, and especially for guy who photographed our wedding reception (3 1/2 years ago) – I am so thankful for the memories captured (that fill my cubicle).
… for the massage I have scheduled tomorrow night. I’m relaxing just thinking about it.
Whew! That was a lot better than last week, don’t you think?
*My skin had been weird lately, so I checked my foundation, since I was nearly to the end of it. It expired in 2006. Hrm. Thought that could be the problem. So, obviously, it’s been 5+ years since I bought foundation. Prices have gone up a bit.
It seems like it should be much later in the week.
This is what comes from going to bed at 9 (or at least trying to). Go to work, come home, make & eat dinner, do homework… and then go to bed. Basically. Last night I watched about half an hour of TV, but didn’t get to bed until 9:30, so… you can see how much fun I’m having. (Not that I actually fall asleep at 9, because I have to read, and I have never been one to fall asleep fast, but starting that whole process an hour earlier can’t be bad. It’s helping combat the whole Saturday morning exhaustion that I feel all week.)
That said, I did finish the 200 pages of reading that needed to be done by Thursday, and only have a short reflection paper left to write, so I might have some time tonight to do something that’s not homework. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Sorry to be such a bummer, but we have entered that portion of the school year – lots of reading at the beginning, still not many daylight hours, cold & snowy outside… hibernation sounds like a good idea.
Chocolate is helping.
OK, usually I post education stuff elsewhere (namely Tumblr), but I just had to share this article that I discovered via Twitter (yes, I’m all over social media these days):
What If We Treated Doctors The Way We Treat Teachers?
(Try to ignore the fact that it’s on the Huffington Post – it’s just an op-ed piece.)
Highly enjoyable, at least to me, and made some good points.
Saturday afternoon, after my class, we assembled the one cabinet that we’d completed (there’s a second, smaller cabinet that is all cut out, but not yet painted). By completed, I mean that we’d painted the appropriate parts and protected them with several coats of polyurethane and lots of sanding.
The media cabinet!
This baby is 53″ tall, and is actually the TOP cabinet. The smaller cabinet, 24″ tall, sits underneath it, and will have one shelf in it. It’s 20″ wide, and the black rails in there are what the shelves hook in to that hold all of the media stuff (DVD player, video game consoles, receiver, computer, etc). There are cut-outs for an electrical outlet, a cable to transmit information to the TV, and more wires to come in from the top (the internet). What we lost by painting first was that nice seal when you paint seams, but if I can improve my caulking skills, it won’t be noticeable at all. What we gained, by the way, is a perfectly smooth surface – it looks almost like it’s MDF or melamine or whatever.
We drove down to the far-away Menards (because our local one doesn’t have a lumber yard, sadly) and bought two pieces of their plywood which was on sale, hoping that the quality would be sufficient enough to save us some money.
So, Sunday we cut into the new plywood, had great success, and then went back and bought several more sheets. The rest of the cabinets for that built-in (not the bookshelves built-in) are now all cut out and dado-ed (except for the back panels, which will do sometime this week while I’m doing homework).
8 tops and bottoms for 4 cabinets, and 4 sides for the 2 short cabinets
4 sides for the tall cabinets (Please ignore the evidence of my failure to vacuum for... several weeks now - it's so hard to be motivated with all the construction dust/debris constantly messing it up again.)
Our dado blade didn’t do as nice of a job cutting this time, and there were some other imperfections, so there’s some stuff to do before painting. Wood filler to the rescue! And, we’ll sand first this time, before painting, and then get a big set-up to do all of them at once, preferably somewhere with less sawdust than the basement, and where I don’t have to crawl around on the ground to paint. Hopefully we’ll be able to show you some more assembled cabinets in a week, give or take a few days. (I do have homework, you know, so we can’t exactly power through this like we could while I was on break.) We think we have enough scrap to get most of the bookshelves built too, though we’re not starting that just yet. One project at a time. Then we can think about doors, and handles, and floor trim….
Last week I cut out this dress and the shawl (though I didn’t have any lining yet for the shawl – more on that in a minute).
The short version - the only variation between the three is which side the slit is on, and how much ribbon trim there is.
Originally, I was lazy and cut out a size 14 for the whole length, but after doing the darts, I realized the error of my ways, and sized the top part down to a 12, and made the dart shallower (made it less 3-D).
Now, I had to figure out how to get this thing to fit me, because it is a fitted dress, and I thought it would look… bad if it just hung there. I had a brilliant plan. I stitched up the back seam (where the zipper would be) with a basting stitch. Then I slowly pinned the back to the front, while wearing it, to get the snuggest fit possible. A dressmaker’s form would have come in handy for this, but oh well.
This part went fairly well, though I have to show you how ridiculous this is.
You see that white line (the long one on the right)? That's where I'll actually be seaming the sides up. For reference, down by the hips is the regular 5/8" seam line. It's an extra 1/4" on each side at the underarm, and an extra 1/2"+ on each side at the bust.
Yes, that’s right, it appears that I cave in at the bust. That’s nice.
It gets worse. The back was… wrinkly, a sure sign of it not fitting well. No worries – nothing was sewn up yet. I had help me pin out the back darts more, because pinning your own back is really hard. Apparently I have a narrow back (according to my two tailoring books, that is).
This one is a bit harder to see, but the black seam at the top is the original dart, and the white line is how much I'll be taking it in. It's more than 1/2" at the widest point.
Yeah. Good thing I realized I’d need to fit it before doing anything else. Sometimes patterns are so … oblivious to the fact that their multi-sized patterns might not actually fit everyone. I was supposed to just stitch up the sides, attach the facing, and then do the zipper, and it would just… fit. Right.
This is why dresses are so hard. I think I like making the knit ones better. They’re so much more forgiving.
Oh, I almost forgot – the shawl! So, the fabric I have is this cream silky knit that’s too see-through for a shirt. The pattern calls for the shawl to be fully lined, which I don’t have a problem with, but I don’t want to buy fabric for either. So, here are my options:
1) Don’t line the shawl. Use French seams to enclose raw edges and be done with it.
2) Line it using something I already have in stock. I came up with two choices:
Lining A - cream, silky, not sure if I have enough of it.
Lining B – no picture, but it’s a silky, sparkly gold. Also, not sure if I have enough of it.
Here are the difficulties I’m having: it’s hard to find a ribbon that works with both the dark grey of the dress and the cream of the shawl. Often grey is with white. Also, I’m not sure about the grey-gold combination. But, if the shawl is fully lined (assuming I have enough fabric), it’s fully reversible, so that’s something to consider too (the pattern doesn’t say it is, but I’ve read through the instructions, and it most certainly is, as long as you hem the sleeves with this in mind). I was trying to find some sort of trim I could use on both the shawl and the dress, but it’s just not going to happen because of the stark difference in colors.
So, what do you think? Lined? Unlined? Color thoughts?
I just took the Style Maker Visual Quiz (via How About Orange) and here’s my results:
Go ahead and check it out for yourself! Something to entertain you on this very cold morning!
(I feel like I should note that the only part of this description that is actually realized in our house is “your projects unfold over long periods.” The rest… might be true that it’s my preference, but our house certainly doesn’t reflect it. Not at all. It’s a work in progress.)
It’s hard to be thankful when the outside temp has been near or below zero for so many days in a row. However, I will attempt to find some positives.
- ‘s car is finally back from the shop. Much of the service was paid for by the manufacturer, so that was cool.
- My co-workers seem to be unable to answer the phone this morning, despite it being their responsibility today. Bright side: I’m still employed.
- I think the sun might be shining. That’s usually what happens when it’s bitter cold. (Cause and effect, clouds = trapping in warmth.)
- I finally took the Christmas tree down on Tuesday. Still have the rest of the Christmas decorations out, but one thing at a time!
- Step 1 of the grey dress is done! It was “just” darts in both the front and back, but you know those take a long time. I am, however, regretting my choice to be lazy and cut out the whole thing as a size 14 (because I’m a size 12 at the bust, but not at my hips). I think the darts may be too wide (and perhaps too… darty too – I don’t need to add too much dimension in that area). But, it’s progress!
- While the weather will be really, really cold tomorrow, it is jeans day at work, and I find jeans to be much warmer than dress pants, so… yay for that.
- I had a lovely Christmas on Sunday with and , and am quite thankful for my friends.
There! That wasn’t too hard, was it? (Yes, yes it was. It took me 2 hours to write this post.)
Last week, I asked for some advice on a shirt style to go with this skirt
View A in navy blue moleskin
View C (turquoise) was my proposed top, but I wasn't sure if stylistically they went together well.
This weekend, I went to JoAnn to take advantage of a pattern sale and to find some fabric to coordinate with the navy blue.
I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear a shirt made out of the turquoise zebra print, but it is the same material that I've used for lingerie, so that's always another option. The brown/cream/blue floral is quite nice and matches the fabric of the skirt well. It's a little darker than I would have preferred, but the cream lightens it up a bit. So much of what I saw was all navy or brown or dark colors, and it just felt so... wintery. I was hoping for something that would be appropriate until Easter (when it's entirely probable that we'll still have several feet of snow on the ground) or later.
So, I'm thinking View E would look nice. Long sleeves, drapey neckline, side slits that make it appropriate to wear untucked (because I don't really tuck in my shirts anyway).
I’m hoping that the neckline isn’t nearly as draped as Vogue 2611, which I’ve made several times. Nice, but a little too low cut – I’m always checking to make sure I’m not flashing people, which would be awkward.
While at JoAnn’s over the weekend, I bought lining fabric for the skirt with the fly zipper.
View A is all cut out, lining included, and I'm ready to start sewing.
Last night, I cut out these two, though I didn't realize that the shawl is fully lined, and I don't have any lining fabric for it. I'm hoping that I can whip these up before Prince Charming's company party mid-February. Both seem really easy (except for the lining part) - the shawl is only two pieces, and the dress is basically two pieces (plus some facings and straps). The only thing I'm missing for the dress is some trim - I looked through my extensive stash and couldn't find anything that was right.
I'm wearing a shirt I made up at the end of last year. I love this shirt! It's so comfy - I might have to buy more of this jersey in different colors. It's nicely fitted because there's a back seam for shaping, along with the usual side seams. I added about 6 inches to the torso length and sleeves, and it fits perfectly! (It looks much better than this photo might lead you to believe.)
So, to recap for the comments, what do you think about shirt pattern/fabric options to go with my navy skirt?
The first thing we did in my Saturday class (methods) was to use markers and paper to visualize the image of ourselves in our classrooms. We were instructed to use words, symbols, pictures, engage the 5 senses, etc. There must have been more instructions (several of us came in 10 minutes late because we were hanging out at the wrong classroom – apparently it changed and no one told us), because most people had remarkably similar pictures: this is me in front of the class, these are my students smiling, the desks are in a circle so we can sing Kumbaya, etc. While there was some good stuff, I have to be honest that there was some good old fashioned cheese too. Or perhaps I should just say that there were a lot of ideals present.
Anyway, my drawing looked much different. One, I am not a master of the visual arts (I’ve shared my drawings before, and they’re never pretty – I’m lucky if they’re recognizable for what they are), and two, I only had five minutes to think about what I wanted to say and then say it. That said, I’m quite pleased with what I managed to think up, and so I’m sharing.
They're symbols, not to be taken literally. There will not be couches in my classroom (though several people had them in their pictures, as if that was vaguely realistic).
Comfortable, engaging, and stimulating. I’m sure that, had I had more time to think about it, I could have come up with another word or two, but overall, I think it’s a good start.
started work on the built-ins over the weekend. He started with the hardest cabinet, or perhaps I should say that he started with the cabinet requiring the most precision (it’s where the media center will be). Aside from some issues with the cutting the dadoes, it went together surprisingly well.
The second cabinet is all cut out too.
So, on my day off yesterday, I primed and painted the pieces. Only the inside of the cabinets need to be painted at this juncture, since they’ll be trimmed out with oak that will be painted separately, and they’re encased in the wall, so that pretty much covers everything but the insides.
The color is White on White by Glidden. Two coats was sufficient.
We’ll let it cure a bit so we don’t have any problems with the pigment lifting when we polyurethane it (Wednesday), which should then have a bit of time to dry before assembly this weekend.
We can’t do any more work until we buy more materials. Of course, it’s ridiculously cold out this week, which is most definitely not the time that you want to spend outside, tying down plywood to the roof rack of the Rav. It’s also not really the time you want to spend messing with the table saw in the uninsulated, unheated garage. That makes me grumpy.
Progress is being made on ‘s quilt!
26 half-squares for around the edge (not pictured - 4 quarter squares for the corners)
2 1/2" strips for the binding (way more than I need - extra will be sold, along with the leftovers from Grant's quilt, on Etsy)
Squares! All done! Pressed! Trimmed to size! All 94 of them!
Of course, once I was done with the squares, important decisions had to be made. I was originally thinking red for the sashing (between the squares), but I only had one tiny piece. I didn’t want to buy any fabric if I didn’t have to (this whole quilt has been made from stash, as long as you don’t count the fact that I’ve been collecting fabric for a little boy quilt for years now), and the red just didn’t look as good as I thought it would.
Enter new options. I tried brown. Blech.
Shades of blue?
Or shades of green?
I emailed the above two pictures to , who voted for the green. liked both of them equally, and thought would like the green too. After all, it does match the boys’ current bedroom, and coordinates with ‘s quilt.
So, green it is!
Half of the sashing has been cut out and pinned to the squares (one side of the squares, that is). That was an effort, to be sure, because there was complicated coordination to be considered, but I got it done. Of course, after cutting 100+ tiny sashing pieces (1″ x 9″), and then pinning them to the squares, my feet were tired, so no actual sewing took place. I think I’m well on pace to get this done by mid-March, assuming that schoolwork doesn’t completely overwhelm me.
- Right now I need a backrub to work out the kinks in my neck from that mailing I just finished.
- Crystal Light Pink Lemonade is what’s in my glass Nalgene.
- A copy of this letter will be kept in our records.
- Ice cream is best with a spoon. But I’ll take it any way I can get it.
- The best movie I’ve seen lately is ?. I can’t remember the last movie I saw. I’m sure there was something recently, but obviously nothing memorable.
- The paint color of our family room is one that I like; it’s very hard to paint whole rooms with colors you love. Especially when the colors you love and the colors the person(s) you live with love are polar opposites.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a wee bit of shopping, tomorrow my plans include going to class and Sunday, I want to sleep, and sleep, and then sleep some more!
via Friday Fill-Ins