now has shelves in his office! He’s been working hard on these for the past… two weeks. Very successful (and non-injurious) use of the biscuit joiner was involved.
Shelf 1. There's a television monitor that goes underneath it (the black mount and the white electrical outlet), and that cabinet on the right is the gas meter, for reference.
shelf 2 - under the window, which is the temporary resting spot for his new clock (his first Etsy purchase!).
You can see the detail work here, and the excellent job he did at finishing. Our favorite brand of stain, General Finishes, just upgraded to a "new formula," and he said it is even better than it used to be. Very exciting (if you can get excited about stain).
We figure that finishing the ceiling (the last of the wires have been placed) will take about an hour. He also has to make shelves for the closet, though the frame is already purchased (Connections from the Container Store), and then it really is done! And the stuff in the hallway will have a home again, and he can use it as he intended, and… we’ll have completed a project! I can hardly contain myself.
[Editor's note: I didn't take any of these pictures, and the only assistance I provided on the creation of the shelves was a bit of stabilizing during the biscuit cutting and an extra hand during the gluing/clamping process. He did everything else.]
First, some jewelry:
While cute, these have some design flaws. Those flowers don't stay where they're supposed to. I haven't worn them yet to see how bad it is "in action." Might have to re-do. (But, I have enough of these huge leaves for, like, 5 more pairs of earrings, so if you have any better ideas, share away!)
I blatantly stole this idea from someone on Etsy. I already had most of the parts, and didn't think I should spend $25 when I could make them for... free-ish. Hers were prettier (they have a cute pine cone in the center instead of a bead), in all honesty. Prince Charming was not enamored. I think they'll have to wait for a day when I wear my hair up - too much there to get caught in my curls.
I made this Tuesday night to wear with my purple dress. The beads matched perfectly! Miraculously, I had 8, so I made this necklace and a pair of earrings. Unfortunately, I lost one of the earrings as I was leaving work. We're keeping our eyes out, but I'm not optimistic. On the bright side, I only had one of these medallions, and used up all 8 beads, so I emptied two bags of beads/supplies. Woo-hoo!
See how they match? So much easier making jewelry when I have something specific to base it off of. Coincidentally, I bought this dress for a pittance on ebay, and everyone gives me huge compliments on it, even though it's a bit too big and should probably be hemmed an inch or two. No comments on the jewelry, but at least 5 "that dress is so cute!" remarks.
How lovely is this? I've had this pendant in my stash for a few years now, and was enamored with these beads. Prince Charming helped me put the two of them together. I have a few more of these beads (half a dozen, maybe), but they are all pretty dark with very little of the turquoise, so I don't think a pair of earrings will be made.
Now onto the sewing…
All those projects, cut out, supplies set aside (zippers, thread, etc.), ready to go.
I really wanted to have a completed picture of Vogue 8534 to share today. It’s nearly completed. It should be done. Unfortunately, I had major difficulties with the neckline. The first time, I used my twin needle, like I usually do when hemming knits, and it looked awful. When I ripped out the stitches, the basting came out too, so I had to re-do those pleats. No big deal. The second time, I used a stretch stitch that looks almost straight, and it turned out even worse. Unfortunately, the stretch stitch is impossible to remove. I spent at least an hour ripping out stitches, and am only halfway through. Thankfully, I only stitched the front of the neckline before stopping. Once I get that completed, though, I only have to hem the bottom, and it’s done. Seriously. And then it’s on to Butterick 5525. In the meantime, I’m off to PatternReview.com to see if anyone can give me some help on that tricky neckline.
Lastly, I have some pics to share as a project update for ‘s office, which is nearing completion. But I’ll post that later today.
Got my sewing machine back last night.
Made some very pretty jewelry – should get pictures of it tonight.
Hope to spend the evening sewing, and have pictures to share tomorrow.
That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, despite the fact that I announced this morning, “I don’t like this world. Can I get a new one?” Trying to focus on the positive….
Cut out. Should be quick and easy, after I transfer all the markings for the pleats (View C).
I had so many complications with this, mainly because, after a lot of fiddling, I realized that I just didn't have enough fabric for the gathered skirt version. But, I got around that by using the gathered skirt front panel and the non-gathered back panel. So I'm making up the pink/red version, basically, with brown for the center panel (like the gold in the black version) and brown waistband. And without sleeves, because I really didn't have enough fabric for that. I probably should have just made a shirt out of this floral and called it good, but it's too late for that now. I should add that the neat thing about this pattern is that it shows you all the different "parts" and then lets you put them together (the "Create it!" idea). I should take a picture of the instructions to show you what I mean.
Cut out. This was not nearly as bad to cut out as I thought it would be. And I am still super excited to wear it, even though it did take a ton of fabric. I think the skirt is much fuller than it appears, or something. Maybe it's just all the overlap. It seemed like a lot of fabric.
I was having terrible times getting the pieces of this one laid out (View 1, the black dress), until I re-read the instructions and fabric requirements and realized that I was supposed to have a second, complimentary fabric. Oops. Thus began a wild goose chase. I tried fabric.com, since that's where I bought the original fabric, but they didn't have anything in black or black and white (I don't want to add color if at all possible). JoAnn didn't have anything even close - perhaps it's a bad time of year to be buying black fabric, but shouldn't it be fairly classic? Hancock came through for me in the end. I bought some black jersey (as black as I could find) that I think will work. I really wanted a tiny print (like polka dots or mini flowers), but couldn't find any print in the right colors that wasn't ... animal. Seriously. I just checked fabric.com today, on a whim, and they just got in some of this fabric in a solid black. Too late. Will I regret that? I hope not. This is all cut out except for the pieces that are to be cut out of the solid black jersey, which was in the wash last night.
The weekend was pretty uneventful. Sunday we went to ‘s to celebrate ‘s second birthday. He is definitely a little boy now, and not a baby. Walking, talking. He even knows my name and, like , is getting good at bossing me around. (Not that it always works, but he has to try.) Funny story: we just brought a small gift to the celebration, since will be getting a quilt like did (but I was told it didn’t need to be ready until June, so I’m taking my time). It was just in a gift bag with some tissue paper on it, and minutes after we walked in, had unwrapped it and started playing with it. It was wrapped in plastic, though, so he couldn’t really use it, so he just carried it around and tossed it down the stairs a few times. then came to get me and asked me if I could open the plastic up so they could play with it. I convinced them, however, that we were going to put it back in the bag with the tissue paper and pretend that it hadn’t been opened. It worked! After lunch and cake, opened it up and was excited about it. Well, as excited as one can be about shaped wooden blocks.
I had brought the grey dress (the one I made for ‘s company party in February) along, hoping that or could fit into it. It’s just a tiny bit snug above the bust, and I really didn’t plan on wearing it again. But, since I had custom fit it to my body (size 12 on top with a small bust adjustment, size 14 at the hips), I knew I couldn’t give it to just anyone. Well, it didn’t fit , but it fit perfectly! Better than it fit me, actually (except that the straps are too long, an easy fix). She got the jewelry that went with it too, and was excited. Bonus: I now have a picture of someone wearing the dress!
Voila! I told her to pose nice because Grandma would see it.
I didn’t get any other pictures from the day, other than the one below.
Prince Charming, Joey, and Josh, watching a video on Josh's laptop. A very sweet scene, indeed.
Tonight, I think I’m going to go pick up my sewing machine from the repair shop. It’s been ready since Friday, but I decided it would be best if I finished all that prep work before picking it up.
I’ve still got some homework projects that I’m working on, but they’re progressing well, so I feel OK about that. I might get some sewing done this week without procrastinating on homework!
Wednesday night, after spending what seemed to be an exorbitant amount of time creating a worksheet*, I cut out Butterick 5398.
These knits were so lovely to work with! I can't wait to wear them!
Yesterday I was in a training all day, without a computer, and so I missed blogging. Class night was good. Here’s an uplifting tidbit: we had to share our worksheets with the class (using the document camera), and then we were supposed to critique, give suggestions, etc. This takes a while to get started, because it’s hard to be “mean” to a classmate in front of everyone. (I know, constructive criticism isn’t mean, but when you’re criticizing something that someone created, it can indeed feel mean. Or be taken that way.) Anyways. When it came time for me to share, I got some questions, but no critiques. And then a classmate told me that it was the kind of worksheet that, when he was a student, he would have really wanted to do, would have interested him, and he would have remembered years later. How awesome is that?
So, this weekend I don’t have class, and I don’t have a sewing machine, so whatever am I to do with myself? (Aside from writing a lesson plan up five different ways, reading a few chapters of my textbooks, and creating a visual representation of a teaching idea, that is.) Well, I might as well finish up cutting out the rest of those knits, in this order:
I just checked my yardage, and I actually have enough to cut out the whole thing (I thought I would be short for the sleeves, but I'm not). Woo-hoo!
Although not my favorite, it's the last of the non-slinky knits. Now that I have the brown shrug cut out, I'm hoping to have enough leftover fabric to use for accents on this dress.
And then we get into the world of cutting slinky knits. As lovely as they are to wear, they are dastardly to cut, which is why I've saved them for last, lest they hamper my progress. I haven't yet had to use any of the tricks I'd learn for cutting out knits, but I'm guessing I'll need them for this. And it's going to take forever. That's OK. Get it right the first time, right?
Oh, how I love this one the most! But, this fabric is the slinkiest, slipperiest stuff, and I'm afraid it is going to frustrate me to no end (cutting, that is - I'm not worried about sewing or wearing). So, it's saved for last. I cannot tell you how much I want to wear a dress this shade of blue. It is so lovely.
What else will I do this weekend? Who knows. We could probably assemble the face frame for the built-ins now. used the biscuit joiner (that took a piece of his thumb) last weekend with no problems, so we can probably move on to that step. Then comes painting. Or we could hang the speakers. Or start building the other built-ins. Or plant some seeds (indoors, of course). Or bake cookies. I’m sure I’ll find a way to fill the time.
* asked me to send her a copy of my worksheet when I was done with it, so she could see if she was as smart as a 6th grader. I thought it’d be fun to post it for all of you, just because I can. Would you like that? Just as soon as I get it off my laptop and back onto the network (I had file saving issues Wednesday night), I’ll put it up. For fun. Because that’s what 6th grade Geography / Ancient Civilizations is: fun.
- Why does it totally cloud up when we actually remember to check out the night sky for Saturn’s appearance?
- Calling someone a ‘yahoo’ is equal to calling them a jerk. Just because it sounds prettier doesn’t mean it is, especially when I know that’s what you really meant.
- My favorite breakfast includes eggs and toast.
- Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey was the last book I read on paper (not counting books for school).
- I am SO glad I figured out this whole ebooks from the library thing. Awesome.
- A clean house would make me feel better right now.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to [I have no idea! no plans, nothing exciting, nothing different from the usual], tomorrow my plans include sleeping in (class was canceled due to a scheduling conflict) and Sunday, I want to see grass re-appear in my lawn (such a tease, this weather)!
via Friday Fill-Ins
Making a geography worksheet would probably be easier if I had taken a [phyiscal] geography class in the last decade. I was required to take Human Geography, but it was a 100 level course and, quite frankly, a joke. I’m about halfway done with this worksheet, but missing… something. You would thinking that, with the internet at my disposal, I could figure this out. So far, however, I have come up empty. Perhaps it’s because I’m trying to link two subjects (geography and ancient history) that I know very little about. Perhaps that was not the wisest choice to make. Also, I’m having trouble figuring out where the line is that divides “origin stories, legends, myths, stories of heroism, folk tales” into Social Studies and Communications. I don’t want to veer too far into content that would be covered in a different class. Not surprisingly, the standard is quite silent about this.
Last night, after working on said worksheet and coming up blank, I started cutting fabric.
This shrug first, because it has the fewest seams to sew, especially since it doesn't have to be hemmed. This is going to be so lovely and comfy to wear.
Then I cut out this one, since there are only two pattern pieces. I cut out the 3/4 sleeve version (B). The pattern piece for the front (with all those pleats) looks interesting. I am not looking forward to transferring all the markings and lines to the fabric.
And then there's this lovely vintage pattern. I had to laugh when I got to the main pieces for this. They seemed awfully... long. I held up the "front" and noticed that the "mini" length fell below my knees (this was with the bust darts lined up on my body). Hm. Prince Charming and I marveled at it. So, instead of cutting out the "mid" length as I planned, I cut out the "mini," because unless this requires a 5" hem, I'm pretty sure it's a safe length. I probably should have done a muslin on this, given that it's only partially my size, but knits are forgiving, and I feel good about just modifying it as I go.
Tonight, assuming I can get this worksheet created, I’m going to start with Butterick 5398. The three above took me nearly 2 hours to cut out (knits can be so finicky to lay out!), so I am glad to be getting all this out of the way while my machine is off being repaired. This is definitely not the fun part of the project.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are quite a few “positive” songs on the radio right now. Not your typical “I’m in love with you” stuff (though the Bruno Mars one listed below does fit that definition), but just… uplifting.
Pretty, pretty please
Don’t you ever, ever feel
Like your less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You’re perfect to me
-Pink, “Perfect” (edited for PG crowd)
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are
-Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are”
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
Cause there’s a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ‘em what you’re worth
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby you’re a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
You’re gonna leave ‘em fallin’ down-own-own
You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through
-Katy Perry, “Firework”
My mama told me when I was young
We’re all born superstars
She rolled my hair, put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
“There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are”
She said, “‘Cause He made you perfect, babe”
“So hold your head up, girl and you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”
I’m beautiful in my way,
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret,
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
-Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”
Now, it can easily be argued that these songs have nothing to do with the current times, that they were written, recorded, and produced over a period of time, and that their release is merely coincidental. And I think you’d be right. But, I think that in some small way, they’re a reflection of the current state of affairs, a response, if you will.
As I was reading yet another article about education and teachers, I came across a word that perfectly describes what I’m talking about: demoralizing.
That is how I feel right now. If you follow the news at all (and perhaps you don’t – more power to you), it’s hard to miss that there are currently some very negative campaigns out there, and a lot of them affect me or the things I’m interested in:
- States are trying to take away collective bargaining rights for public employees. As a public employee, this affects me, and as someone who has [briefly] studied the history of labor relations in this country, I am saddened by this… “progress.”
- Just about everyone thinks that schools are universally failing, and that the blame can be shouldered by 1) teacher’s unions, and 2) teachers themselves. As a future teacher, this is just really hard to deal with in so many ways. It’s hard to get excited about going to class, doing homework, putting in hours in schools, paying for tests so I can get licensed, etc., when it’s looking less and less likely that I’ll be able to get a job when I graduate (this just in: my district is removing 17 teacher positions for the 2011-2012 school year), and if I do get a job, it’s obvious that most people won’t appreciate any of the work I plan on doing, I won’t get paid much for doing it (no one is in teaching for the money, but it’d be nice to feel like I was a contributing member to my household), and things will likely get worse before they get better. Oh, also, from what I learn in my classes, most of my future co-workers won’t appreciate the things I’ve learned or the philosophies I’ve been indoctrinated with, and will think I’m doing it all wrong, and will likely tell me so, loudly. And, it’s highly likely that I’ll quit the profession within five years. (That’s not a personal projection, just a fact that a huge percentage of teachers quit within their first five years. I’d like to not be part of that stat, thank you very much, but it is good to acknowledge that reality.)
- I won’t go into depth on how women’s rights are being attacked on so many levels legislatively right now, because I’d rather not spark any public discourse on that given the diversity of the people I know, but I will briefly say that it’s wrong and infuriating and, quite frankly, disgusting.
It’s no wonder, then, that I find myself spending a lot of time reading fluffy romantic novels, sewing pretty clothes, and making fancy jewelry. So much of what I hear in the news devalues me as a woman, devalues my current job, and devalues my future career. Hrm.
Demoralized? Sounds about right.
And it makes me really happy whenever one of the songs above comes on. I need songs like that. I’m guessing that it’s not just me, or the people groups I’ve mentioned (though I know or are related to an extraordinary number of teachers or future teachers). I’m guessing you feel it to, if only because someone you know is feeling it.
Thankfully, there are happy songs. And there are news pieces (and editorials) that praise teachers and schools and public employees and unions – if you look for them (and you can be sure that I do). And I know there are people fighting the good fight, in schools, in the legislature, in the media and social outlets. I’ve never had a negative reaction when I told someone I am a government employee, or that I want to be a teacher. Everyone has been super supportive of the latter (except for one of my grandmas, who exhorted that I should stay away from junior highers because they were just about the worst things ever, to which I laughed – she drove a school bus, and I have no doubt that junior highers on a school bus are a nightmare). I know that I am loved. I know that I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a hug waiting for me at home. I know I have it good, if I put it in perspective.
But it’s getting hard to complete homework assignments, arrange for classroom experiences, and schedule haircuts and all that little stuff of life.
And in case you’re feeling it to, let me remind you: you’re perfect to me. Each and every one of you. And me too. We all need that reminder once in a while.
We had pizza Friday night. Always good.
A package arrived for me that had some fabric in it I’d swapped for.
"Make Life," "Wee Play," and some Kona Cotton. Thanks, Bethie!
Saturday morning, I went to class, and it was good. Actually, the content was mostly a rerun from last semester, but I did get some good work done, and have deep thoughts about other stuff (that I may or may not clearly articulate at a later date).
Then I took my machine to the shop (2 weeks for repair), and got my car washed. Seriously, it was really bad.
Though he is still healing from the last time he used the biscuit joiner, was not afraid to tackle a project that required its use. It probably helped that he figured out how he was supposed to be holding it in order to avoid a repeat incident. So, with the help of some clamps, we (mostly he) got that part of the project done without incident. Then we assembled and glued-up the shelves for his office walls. Next up is staining, but that’s all on him. On a side note, on Sunday he ran the last two wires through the ceiling in his office, and we can now finish hanging the ceiling tiles in there. After the wall shelves are done, he needs to build the closet shelves, and then his office will actually be done!
I did some less than exciting homework on Sunday. I have a bit to do this week, but not too much (I have to create a worksheet for Thursday’s class, and we don’t meet on Saturday due to scheduling conflicts, so it’s another light week). Also, we took care of that branch problem we had. (Back in November, a storm took out a branch on our Honey Locust. And then we had snow on the ground for four months. On Saturday, ended up talking to our neighbor, who’s in the tree business, and he came over with his fancy chainsaw-on-a-stick and cut the branch down for us, and cut the larger parts up too. Awesome. So Sunday, we cut it all down into smaller pieces and set it aside for burning.)
That’s pretty much it. is coming over tonight and we are going shopping, not to be thwarted by closing mall times again. I need to figure out if there is an Anthropologie store anywhere near me, so I can look at the skirt I’ve been lusting over to see how it’s constructed (so I can mock up my own, of course).
What else… oh, right, the house visitor.
This guy popped in for a visit on Friday. We hadn’t seen him since last winter, when he scared the crap out of us by trying to live in the window well below our deck. When we worked on the irrigation system last summer, we intentionally covered over the window well so that it’s no longer accessible to large animals. He doesn’t seem to like this very much, and has been giving us “sad eyes.”
"I don't fit under the deck anymore! It's cold out here. Can I come in there? Please?"
He came back on Sunday night. threw a fit. The raccoon was much braver (aren’t they always so brazen? the nerve!), and came right up to the door. was going to kill him, just as soon as he scratched his way through the glass.
"Oh, me? Don't mind me. Just looking for a warm place to chill for the night."
was merely curious, more so because was up in arms. I like to think that somewhere in her pea-sized brain, she knows that she doesn’t stand a chance against this guy, and that she’s protected by the house.
"I am bigger than all of you. I will hang out wherever I please. None of you scare me. Haha. Give me food now."
, however, just as killing on his mind. (took the last three shots here, the ones that turned out better than the ones I took on Friday night.)
I’d like to refill the bird feeder that has been empty for months, but I don’t want to encourage Rocky here.
We tried to check out the full moon (that supposedly looked awesome and huge), and to find Saturn in the sky, but not a speck of sky has been visible for many nights. Very, very cloudy and foggy. We could barely see across the street to the field last night.
Oh, one last thing – happy birthday, Grandma! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Good question. Let’s see…
Saturday after class, I took my sewing machine to the shop to be repaired. Sunday afternoon, I sat here at my desk and did homework. It's quite a lovely spot to do that, and kinda makes me wish my sewing machine could pop in and out of existence at will.
I cleared off my cutting table. Oh my. (Remember a bit ago when I said I lost things on this table? Not so much the case anymore.)
I emptied out my Winter sewing projects and replaced them with Spring ones. I'd give an update on the Winter projects, but it's pretty obvious that I completed almost none of them. I got that green corduroy skirt done, and the grey dress / cream bolero ensemble. That's it. Everything else got packed up for next Fall. It should be noted that while this looks like a lot of projects, a bunch that could have been on this shelf (but didn't fit) were booted to Summer. So now the Summer pile is HUGE.
Here's the small pile of "works in progress" that I allowed to remain. Click through to Flickr for details.
So after all that was done… I still had time to burn. What’s a girl to do without her sewing machine?
Get ready for when that machine returns, of course!
I picked out several projects from the Spring shelf and set about prepping them. On Sunday, I cut out and ironed all the pattern pieces for the projects below. I intentionally chose projects that were 1) all knits, 2) potentially dark and therefore more appropriate for early Spring, and/or 3) easy. I’m shooting for fast. If I do a bunch of knits all at once, I won’t have to change the needle, which will save a miniscule amount of time. Also, knits don’t need any seam finishing, so it’s just hems to worry about. I have some additional notes with the projects below.
You can't tell from this picture, but this blue fabric is so absolutely dreamy. I'll be making View A.
I actually own two copies of this vintage pattern, in sizes 12 and 14. I cut out View 2, though I won't make it that long (above-knee is best, but that mini is totally not appropriate for anyone over 20), and will probably do short sleeves instead of long. This teal is pretty dark, and seems more appropriate to early Spring.
This olive knit is also pretty dark. I can't remember if I'm planning on A or B - the only difference is sleeve length. There are only 2 pattern pieces - the sleeves are part of the top / back pieces, so I'm thinking that once I figure out how to do those pleats, this should go together very quickly.
This white/black knit is a nice ITY stretch and has great drape. I cut out View 1, though I don't have any contrasting fabric like the picture shows.
You can't really tell, but this is a nice brown slub jersey that has great drape. Having an extra layer is always appropriate for work. Three pattern pieces - this should go together quickly.
View C. The knit is has a "burnout" pattern, in that the grey portions are actually fairly transparent. Obviously a cami will be required for decency sake. I don't think I have enough fabric for the sleeves, so I might have to wait on cutting this out until I find some solid white jersey. We'll see.
Like the shirt above, I don't think I have enough fabric to do this up right. I think, however, that I might have some of the brown slub jersey leftover to do the accent pieces (not the panel down the center of the skirt, but the waist and bodice panels perhaps). I'll see how much I can fit onto what I've got before getting creative with another fabric.
Love, love, love both of these fabrics. So comfy! Yes, I would live in jersey if I could figure out a way to still look professional. The pink stripe will be the dress (C) and the green slub (like the brown above) will be the jacket (A). There are not many pattern pieces to either of these (3 each, I think), so these should go together quickly.
As you can see, that’s well more than I should reasonably be able to finish. One of the nice thing about knits, however, is that size is much more fluid of a concept. If I cut them out this year and don’t finish them, I don’t really have to worry about them not fitting next year (unless I drastically change clothing sizes, which I don’t expect to).
For an additional layer of insanity, I feel the need to point out that I pulled out the easiest projects from the shelf. Additionally, there are three button-front shirts (from 2 patterns), 4 skirts (from 3 patterns), a pair of pants, 2 more dresses, and a fabric-pattern combo that I’m not completely decided on (dress? pants? we’ll cross that bridge later).
Between now and when my machine is fixed, I plan on cutting out the projects above, assembling any additional supplies (for jersey projects, the list is probably limited to “thread,” but I’ll check to be sure), and laughing at my own folly. If I have time, maybe I’ll pick out some beads to make coordinating jewelry.
More on my weekend, and our unexpected house visitor, later today….
- I love to go to Chili’s because I’m always there with a great friend, and we have good conversations and fantastic drinks (their queso is a fav too).
- When asking Prince Charming why he doesn’t like Chili’s, he might say it’s the quality!
- The last thing I had to eat was a handful of jellybeans.
- February is the month in which you start to believe that sunlight is no longer essential. Because it seems like you’ll never see it again, and it probably won’t kill you, but darn it if sunlight doesn’t make everything better.
- Please take a moment to use your turn signal before changing lanes. Thank you.
- Grit and determination have brought you this far.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to pizza!, tomorrow my plans include class and taking my sewing machine in for repair and Sunday, I want to be productive… somehow!
via Friday Fill-Ins
Like I said earlier, my hobby of late has been jewelry making. It’s a fine hobby to switch back and forth between, because the supplies don’t go bad and store nicely.
Here are some of my latest creations.
This is the first one I made to go with my green corduroy skirt. A good use of those silver flowers, I think. Turned out a bit fancy, but with the right outfit it could totally work. (Those beads are, in fact, green, just very dark, and kind of matte).
But then I created this, and fell in love with it more.
Also, I fell in love with using this “antique brass” finish of findings. They’re super flexible and so easy to work with. Can bend them with my hands, and if you look closely, you’ll find it hard to tell the difference between the loops that were commercially done and the ones I did. Awesome. Incidentally, some of the gold findings I have are like this too, but almost none of the silver ones. They’re super straight and pretty hard to bend, which has its own benefits, but this was so lovely to work with!
Earrings attempt #1. I like them, but they're too much for this necklace. Also, this was when I discovered that the pendant is a bit more silvery than those antique brass findings. Huh.
Earrings attempt #2. OK, totally boring, but they definitely match, and don't overpower the necklace.
Some black, because though I rarely wear it, when I do, I realize I don't have any variety in my jewelry options. (Just one pair of earrings. A few more options if I go expand to grey, but sometimes I really want black.)
Found a good use for these earwires, which had been sitting around for quite some time, just taking up space.
Here's my "karma necklace" that I told you about yesterday. Sorry it's blurry. It's pretty hard taking a photo of your own neck in the bathroom mirror. True story.
I saved my favorites for last.
I've been trying to make more gold jewelry, if you can't tell. I love these! Simple yet fun. I have a hard time being inspired when I look at my gold findings. This is all I've come up with so far. (I did a pretty good job with the white background on these, didn't I? Wonder why the rest didn't turn out as well. Still so much to learn about photography....)
And these beauties. Because a girl can never have too many pairs of turquoise earrings. Right? I mean, 6 or 7 isn't that bad. It's not like they take up a lot of space. I loooove those flower beads, and would love to figure out how to use them best in a necklace.
So, there you have it. I’ve been trying to make more metal-only jewelry, but you can see I haven’t quite succeeded yet. I’ve also tried mixing metals, since I have a few pieces like that from sources other than myself and I really like them and their versatility. But, I’ve failed at that so far. I have much more success with the colors. And flower beads. Any requests? I’m going to need to add a level to my jewelry trays if I keep this up, and don’t mind making things for others ( and , I have thoughts on this, so no need to make requests here).
I managed to keep my sewing machine working long enough to finish Vogue 7857.
Please excuse the less-than-pristine bathroom mirror.
I took your advice into consideration, as well as what I could glean from the internet, and decided to not follow the pattern instructions for finishing the lining/hem. However, since my corduroy frayed a lot, I had to go back and zigzag all the raw edges, which is not ideal to do after construction is finished. Oh well. I should have zigzagged the lining too, since it also frayed, but my machine didn’t stitch that well on it, especially on just one layer, so I just trimmed those short and decided it would be OK if seams started to come apart after a few washings. I trimmed the remaining seam allowances down as much as possible to reduce bulk – this corduroy is very thin, so it wasn’t too bad, but less bulk is always good.
The vents turned out OK, though not how I expected. I’m not sure I did them right, but they’re done.
They're pretty big vents (both front and back), and while I would prefer for them to be side vents instead, I definitely need every inch of flexibility they provide while walking, since the skirt tapers in a bit at the bottom. Of course, I have a long stride, so that may not be true for everyone, but I'm glad they're there (even if they're weird and strangely placed).
[Editor's note: Yes, I know, the front- and back-center vents are a feature of the pattern, so I shouldn't complain about them. I actually like them in the pictures, more so on the longer skirts though. As I mentioned before, I had originally planned on doing the longer, fuller skirt... but in that case I wouldn't need the vents at all, and they'd be that much longer, and maybe I'd be even more annoyed with them. Lesson learned.]
I did check skirts that I owned, and very few are store-bought, and even fewer have vents. Only one had a lining. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that. Iended up hemming the lining with lace, but not the green lace I’d purchased. None of it was right. I used black instead, and it made me happy. Because of concerns about it catching on the corduroy, I did a quick test before attaching it and this corduroy is such a tiny wale and so slippery that it wasn’t an issue.
Ooh la la! OK, here you can see an example of my continual issue of "which side of the lining is the 'good' side?" I thought I was hemming it correctly, because the inside is the side that looks pretty (seams facing outward). However, since the part that might be visible is actually the outside, I should have hemmed this the other way. The whole lining thing really messed with my mind (in terms of which side was which, not the actual assembly and installation, which was surprisingly easy).
Finishing the waistband was a little tricky. Something had gone wrong, and things didn’t exactly match up.
Hrm. That doesn't seem right. How did that happen?
I’m not sure what was going on there, but decided quite quickly that I didn’t care because the waistband on my clothing is never visible.
Really. You'll never see the waistband. I own exactly one belt, and I have worn it exactly twice in the past year, and both times it felt awkward. I prefer this look instead, which is much more flattering on me.
Coincidentally, that is also why I left off the belt loops and didn’t make the coordinating belt. I also didn’t do the buttons, primarily because I didn’t want to ruin a finished skirt by attempting button holes. Also, I didn’t have enough overlap in my waistband (and only turned in the barest minimum to finish that edge, so again, not sure what went wrong there).
Hook & eye closure, fly, waistband facing (hand-stitched at bottom) and lining.
I used a hook & eye closure instead, just to add extra strength to the waistband. It was a good idea, because it is just the slightest bit tight (but most of the waistbands on my clothing is tight right now, so that’s not really unusual, and could be fixed if I found time to exercise or stopped eating sugar). I know that I wasn’t supposed to run the zipper all the way up, but I did. I wouldn’t do it that way again. (As a side note, while looking for something on my cutting table, I found the green zipper that I had purchased for this project. It was sitting with the buttons I had purchased and the leftover corduroy fabric. Somehow I forgot about it entirely when looking for a zipper and found this brown one in my stash. There’s a lesson in there somewhere about keeping my cutting table clean….)
Overall, I decided that while I learned a lot of things and there were a lot of good things about this pattern, I would not make it again. What I would do, however, is use the pattern pieces as a basis for a basic pencil skirt pattern (though after this weekend’s trip to JoAnn, I now have one of those in my stash). I could do without the fly zipper, though I am no longer afraid of them. I really like side or back invisible zippers in my skirts. The shape is really nice, though. Also, I don’t like the vents. I do, however, like the front and back darts and the general shape – it’s somehow slimming and doesn’t make me look hippy (in terms of standard measurements, I’m a bit out of proportion between my bust and hips). And the pockets are nice and big. I think it’s a good starting place for more pencil skirts, something which I have not had much success with.* I also got better at top-stitching (pockets, hem) and used a top-stitching needle, though I didn’t use top-stitching thread, so it doesn’t show as well (but still looks good).
The completed skirt.
Also, I made jewelry to match. Because I could. Actually, I made multiple sets of jewelry to match.
The first attempt, show here with a scrap of the skirt fabric, a bit darker than it appears in real life. I like this, but it's a bit fancier than I had planned on.
I designed the necklace to work with a button-front dress shirt. A lot of the necklaces I make end up not working with shirts I have for one reason or another, usually length (but sometimes the size of the components just isn’t right), so I was glad that this one did.
Ooh, this one I like much more! OK, so the beads don't match as well, color-wise, but it's a fine line. (Minor problem with that pendant - it keeps flipping over, and it's not imprinted on the back. Bummer.)
The earrings were a bit more difficult to design, but I came up with something I liked in the end.
This is my second attempt. They're boring, and not exactly what I wanted, but they match, and they were all I could come up with, given the constraints I had (it's really hard to get jewelry findings in this particular color of metal, that's for sure). I'll show you the other pair tomorrow.
So… happy St Patrick’s Day from a non-Irish girl to everyone! Downtown will be crazy and full of drunk people today (as early as 10 it starts to get weird down here), and bus rides are free after 6 pm (sponsored by MillerCoors). I will be celebrating by going to class tonight, however. Because that’s how I roll.
*I tried making the basic straight skirt from Sew What Skirts, where you draft your own based on your measurements, and it did not go well. That’s where I learned that side zippers do not belong on straight/pencil skirts, because they don’t conform to the hip shape well and just look lumpy and… bad. The pattern drafting didn’t go well either, which was a bummer because the A-line skirt I drafted from that book was perfect the first time.
One thing's for sure: I do feel blessed.
At 5:05 pm yesterday, I got an email with my test results in it.
OK, I know none of you were worried that I would pass, but I was, particularly on that reading one. Apparently I did fine. If the scoring range can be translated into a percentage the way that seems obvious, the passing score of 240 is 80%. That means I got 94% on the reading, 95% on writing, and 98% on math! I think I only missed one math question!
If you were wondering about those plus marks in the second box, apparently my “descriptive assignment” essay only demonstrated a “general command of writing skills” instead of a “strong command.” That was a terrible essay to write, and I knew it was not good. I would tell you about it, but I am prohibited from disclosing anything specific for 10 years. So… too bad. I’ll just say that it was a poor choice for essay topic in the first place.
So, there you go! Next up is the Social Studies 5-12 content area test. I’d like to take that soon, but need to find out from my school when I’m supposed to take it. I’ve heard it’s hard and covers a ton of stuff, and is very specific (like dates and names and crap like that, you know, the reason that all of us hated Social Studies in school and the exact opposite of how I would teach it).
I’ll post later today about my latest finished sewing project.
I literally got an email yesterday where the title was “MTLE Test Results,” and it told me that it would email me my test results tomorrow (so today) between 5 and 10 pm. Really? If you’re going to title the email “test results,” the email should contain my test results. I’m just saying.
The website says that results will be posted after 10 pm today. I also find this frustrating. Why don’t they just say that results will be available tomorrow, if they’re going to wait until 10 pm to post them? I’m sorry, but that’s just silly. I thought my results would be ready on the 16th… and they will be… in another 13 hours.
I’d take bets on if I passed or not, but I’d rather not do that. I am less confident that I passed all three portions just because some of those questions are tricky in that you’re really trying to figure out what the test writers thought was the best answer, not what the best answer is, if that makes sense.
At any rate, I’ll be waiting, waiting, waiting all day today. Uncool.
But, I have a fabric swap set up through Flickr, and made some purchases on Etsy earlier in the week that could be arriving soon, so there are other things to look forward to. Plus, I’m wearing a pretty necklace I made for myself.
This is not my necklace. This is Karma from Luluka on Etsy. Click on the image if you'd like your own.
My necklace looks… almost exactly like the one above. I didn’t have time to photograph it this morning, and it’s dark in the mornings right now anyway, so it wouldn’t have looked very good. I’d feel bad about so blatantly copying the design if there weren’t a hundred very similar items on Etsy right now. I liked it, and knew I could make my own for way less than the $24+ that I saw them for. I’m guessing this one cost me less than a dollar. Some people were calling them “eternity” necklaces, but that’s not the symbol for eternity (here’s a good eternity necklace, in my opinion). I do like a lot of the two-circle designs that I saw, but I wanted something really simple. I like the idea of a karma necklace more.
Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. Karma means “deed” or “act” and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, that governs all life. [Wikipedia]
Also, for those who bristle at the non-Judeo-Christian philosophy:
The Christian concept of reaping what you sow from Galatians 6:7 can be considered equivalent to Karma. [Also Wikipedia, but the Galatians 6:7 link is to Bible Gateway.]
The circle isn’t really a symbol for karma. I did a Google search and came up with a lot of images, very few of which were circles. But in the western interpretation of karma, “what goes around comes around,” it works pretty well. Also, I like the simplicity.
Wow, that was a lot of talking for a necklace I don’t even have an actual picture of.
I’m working on a post for tomorrow for St Patrick’s Day, which… would be the first St Patrick’s Day post I’ve ever had. At the most I may have mentioned it in a passing rant. I’m turning over a new leaf.
Just because I could, I just checked the website to see if my test results were posted. They’re not. I’ll update you when they are.