Monday, September 26, 2011

What to do with leftover curtain lining

It's one of those weeks when I'm caught between what I want to sew and what I need to sew. And to top it off, I'm slightly sick (a consequence of visiting the inlaws) so I don't really want to do anything.

But it was another one of those chilly mornings and Michael currently only has 3 pairs of pants that fit him and all are in the laundry. So I really need to get with the pants making. Luckily I did buy a bunch of fleece last week at Joann's 50% off. And I saved even more when I picked up some fleece remnants which are already 50% off (you get the sale 50% on top of that).

So I needed to update my pants pattern. I found my recent shorts pattern and knew I needed to add a touch to the rise and make the legs longer. I usually like to make my patterns on big pieces of paper but I'm about out. I have some muslin that's good for patterns but I don't like tracing it. I bought some pattern tracing paper the other week. Big mistake. That stuff is about useless it's so thin. Tear resistant my ass. And then I remembered my left over blackout lining. Which leads me to...

I had a bunch of left over lining from sewing my nephew's curtains. I never know what to do with excess drapery lining. You can't really sew it together to make a bigger piece because then it won't really be 'blackout' anymore and it really only works as a curtain lining so it's not like you can use it in other sewing projects too easily. And it's such nice material, I hate throwing it away, but that's what I've done with it in the past... well only after months of holding on to it hoping I find a use then finally giving up and tossing it while cleaning.

So I had a little pile of it sitting next to my sewing table the other day when I was getting ready to make my reusable shopping bag. I knew I'd be using that pattern a few dozen times so I wanted to make it out of something that would last and be easy to trace and that when I remembered my blackout lining. The pattern worked great and I folded it up to use again later.

Main bag and reinforced handle. I will try to make a tutorial for this bag later.

So I went ahead and made the pattern for some simple pants. Blackout lining is easy to mark on with permanent marker and doesn't bleed. It also cuts like a dream. It's a little thicker so it can easily be traced. It lays flat even after being folded for a long time. It might be the perfect pattern material.

I'm so wasteful... I didn't even try to get that on the side.

I fold my patterns up and put them in gallon zip lock bags when I'm done. I keep all of Michael's pants together so I always make each set with the month and year so I can tell one from the other.

At least I tried to conserve fabric with this piece.

I got the pants I made with this pattern nearly done and tried them on Michael and realized that they were too wide. I trimmed down the pants and then went back and trimmed down the my pattern similarly. I'm just fumbling around here and hoping what I make is wearable.

Take a little off the sides.

That's better.

Trimmed down they were pretty much perfect.

Silly, wonderful boy.

Kitty "hugging".

Now I just need to make about 4 more fleece pairs... and then some jeans... and then some lined woven... and then some corduroy....

Saturday, September 24, 2011


We are visiting my inlaws this week. DH always comes home this week because it's the county fair (I know, it's really late here) and the fair is a huge deal around here.

I was looking forward to this week because I need a break from Michael, but I hate to leave him so going somewhere and letting Grandma play with him all day with him on the other side of the room is more appealing to me. Except...

Well, there are a lot of things that are stressful about traveling and visiting family and I don't need to make the laundry list out, but I've been particularly put out by MIL's complete disregard for Michael's schedule. Michael is the least flexible child in the world. Alright, that might be an exaggeration, but it's not far off. If he's always getting his way and having a good time then you can do things whenever you want, but the second you try to make him do something he doesn't want to, all hell breaks loose. And I can't blame him for being cranky when he's tired or hungry, I am too.

I don't know how many times I've told her that Michael naps at noon. And she can't hear so I'm literally yelling it at her which irritates me more. He's rubbing his eyes and is about to fall out of the chair, isn't it obvious, why do I have to say anything at all? I thought she was eating lunch with some fair people at 11:30 the other day but apparently we were suppose to eat lunch with her. So I ordered for Michael as soon as we got there so that he could eat but I had to leave with my food in a doggie bag as soon as it came and didn't get to eat it for another hour because I had to take Michael home by myself (everyone else, DH included stayed and visited and ate). And he missed half of his nap and cried the entire time we were at the fair that night and DH and I had take him home early.

Crying on the train ride.

And MIL keeps saying, "Oh, he's just crying because that other little boy was crying."

NO! He's crying because he missed half his nap and he's tired and cranky.

Then she'll say something like, "Well, I thought he could just sleep in the car."

NO! FUCKING NO! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU HE WON'T SLEEP IN THE CAR? It doesn't matter that every other kid on the planet falls asleep in the car, mine doesn't. Mine falls asleep in my arms. Some people my find that ridiculous, but I think it's kinda sweet (and he does fall asleep in his crib at night, but only after we've nursed and cuddled). I like being a mommy. I don't like people messing with our routine and making me feel like a bad mommy because my kid is crying in the backseat because he's tired and doesn't want to be in the car.

I chewed out my husband quite a bit after that. He's different around his family so I just laid it down that we are following Michael's schedule and doing things on time and other people join us if they like and he'd better be the first one to let everyone know that.

It's not like we don't give any. I'm ok with moving things by a half hour or so. We pack snacks to eat on the go. We make the best of the situation, but he needs some consistency to his days. The kid didn't have a daytime schedule until he was nearly 14 months, trust me, we don't want to go back to that.

And MIL is also watching our nephew for a couple of days. Oh man do I want to tattle on her for completely disregard SIL's schedule (not that I will). They are bigger on the schedule than we are. She had him up past 10:30 last night (we went to bed, so I'm not sure when he did) and he only took an hour nap today. It's 9:30PM now and Michael's been asleep for an hour and they still aren't even home. The difference is that he IS the world's most flexible child and he's a huge Grandma's boy so he tolerates it well (but he'll have a melt down too if it goes on for too long).

But seeing nephew and Michael together is just another reminder to me of how completely different they are. We took the boys for a walk this afternoon. Michael ran ahead the whole way, stopping to play in leaves or pick up an acorn. Nephew insisted that Grandma carry him almost the whole time and is practically afraid of Michael (he's just too energetic for him). Michael wears me out and sometimes I just want him to stop wiggling for awhile but if I had to choose between the two personalities, I take my running, screaming, curious wiggle-worm any day.

C'mon! I'm waiting!

I'm not waiting anymore.

Inspecting some cool tree bark

Maybe I'm just grumpy because they don't have kettle corn down here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creative me!

I struggle with what to do with the blog these days. I think a lot of infertility bloggers find themselves in the same position after they get to the other side. This isn't an infertility blog... or a mommy blog... or something else entirely. And it doesn't really have to be anyone thing, but I feel like I'm misusing my blog when I completely veer from IF. But I don't want to leave this blog. This is my home on the internet. So, it's time for some rearranging and here's my new plan:

Posting once a week on life, IF, whatever.

Posting my craftier pursuits on Monday and linking up to The Southern Institute's Creative Me Monday.

And I'll probably do a boastful "mommy post" at the end of each month about my cute little man. I plan to be completely unapologetic and totally gushy in these posts, and if that's too much for you, skip it.

Alright, so that's how I'm going to try to roll for awhile and see how it goes.

Ok, so it's Monday and that means...

I've been trying to keep myself on sewing projects over here. I've got a long to do list and I've been slowly, but surely cranking stuff out. So this first post is just the back log of stuff that I've been meaning to blog about.

Curtains for my nephew

My SIL asked me to make curtains for my newphew's room. She moved him out of the nursery into his "big boy" room to make way for the new baby. She currently has a sheet covering his window and but wanted some nice blackout curtains that would grow with him. I found a nice Annie Selke pattern called Indigo Links at Joann's and we both thought it would look great in his room for years to come.

Just look at those curtains blocking out the light!

The curtains are simple tab tops. They look really nice and I think the blue and ivory will look great with the yellows, oranges, reds, and blues in his room. I tried them out on Michael's window to check measurements (they are not yet hemmed in this photo and nephew's window is longer than Michael's). They look great, but don't photo graph well. The pattern looks really busy, and they are a little busy, but it's not that bad in person. Anyhow, they are done and I'm glad to have them out of the way.

I'm supposed to make him some floor pillows from the remnants but they are lower priority and I don't have the time just yet, but soon. They will be my first piping project.

Drapes for my (soon to be) niece

I'm surprising my SIL with curtains for my niece's room. She was wanting curtains for the nursery but decided she'd rather have curtains for nephews room and didn't want to ask me to make both, so I decided to make some anyways. BIL knows about it so he can stop her from buying anything in the meanwhile before I give them to her.

The fabric is really pretty and girly and perfect for her room. They are rod pocket curtains with Sonata Sateen lining on the back and a pretty muslin ruffle at the bottom. I tried them out on Michael's window too (his rod isn't high enough for them, but they should just touch her floor).

Close up of the fabric. There are little pintucks sewn into it and ric-rac and ribbon sewn on it.

This is the nursery it will go it. It will coordinate really well with the purple and green.

I need to make them some tie back and I'm making baby blanket out of the fabric too, but my ruffler foot is being jerk right now, so I'm not sure when I will finish it. The baby's going to be here in November, so I can't slack too much longer.

Fall Jacket for Michael

So it's cold all of a sudden and I'm not really prepared for this weather. I think I was just dying from oppressive heat 2 weeks ago. I need to make Michael some pants and long sleeved shirts for this winter but first priority was to make him a jacket for the cool mornings.

I made this from Kwik Sew 2911. It's made with Polartec 200 weight fleece and it's AWESOME! (I don't want to get on my soapbox about fleece, but if you are making things to protect from the elements, you should get high quality fleece... probably not the stuff at Joann's. Stepping down.) I'm so happy with the way this turned out. It looks store bought and it's very warm. And he likes to wear it!

His ears look better than that in person! His hat makes them look funny.

I have some more Polartec to make a few more of these. I'm going to make him a red one with a hood out of Windpro that will really keep him warm when things get nasty. I'll still need to buy him a winter coat, but this will cover a lot of the season.

It's also nice being able to customize the sizing. I used the 3T pattern which left the arms just slightly long (I trimmed them down) and the length just slightly short (the 3T is probably sized correctly, Michael is just super long). Next time I make one I will be sure to add a little to the length.

Fall Cardigan for me

I haven't gotten myself a new fall jacket since I was pregnant with Michael... in fact, I was still wearing my maternity cardigan. I was not happy about that situation (and now that Michael's older I definitely don't want people thinking that I'm pregnant because I'm still wearing maternity clothes) but me and clothes just don't get along so I refused to spend money on something again until I found something I liked. So I made myself a fall cardigan out of some grey knit I got at Joann's.

Just think how awesome this would look if I had a waist!

I followed this tutorial and it turned out really well. It think it's a versatile piece and I love the fabric. The only bad thing is that the knit is really light and it won't work for too long so I'll have to move on to my coat or something heavier soon.

Reusable shopping sack

I have an Envirosax reusable shopping bag that I love but they are kinda 'spensive and I'd been examining it for awhile and thought I could make one myself.

I got some nylon yesterday and made it last night. It took about 3 hours from making the pattern to finish (and cooking a quick dinner in there too) but I'm really happy with the result. It's constructed identically and is as good quality wise as the originals or better (but definitely not as pretty).

They roll up easily and compactly, so you can always have a few in your purse or car for unexpected grocery trips.

My grand plan is to make these as stocking stuffers for Christmas. A fabric coop that I'm in has nylon for cheep right now, so instead of paying $7-$15 per bag, I can make them for about $2.

I've actually had a couple other small clothing items in there too, but I didn't take pictures. Check back to see what I'm making this week next Monday and stop by The Southern Institute and see what other creative people are posting!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Last weekend

I'm getting pretty poor about keeping up with blogging lately seeing that it's Sunday night and I'm blogging about last weekend. I think I'm going to work on a bit of a blogging schedule that is more satisfying for me, but more on that later.

Last weekend was a big weekend for us. The national Case tractor show was at the show grounds near us. This was a pretty big deal for my husband and his tractor club. We planned to spend a lot of time there. Michael is tractor obsessed and was thrilled to be surrounded by them.

And DH had to be a hotshot and take his combine to the show.

I added a detour into the weekend... We had just got a copy of the farm bureau's quarterly magazine and there was an article about the Anheuser-Busch's Clydesdale breeding facility. I mentioned it to my husband and he let it slip that it was just across from the show grounds. I was so excited! I found out that they gave tours and jumped to sign us up for a tour on Saturday. DH was not excited about the tour. I always love seeing the Clydesdales so the tour sounded like fun.

But honestly, it wasn't much of a tour. We didn't get to see many horses and we only toured the main barn. I was envisioning something more like a wagon right through the pastures of the facility to get a look at the horses. We just stood and stared at empty horse stalls. It was hard keeping Michael still. Mutual torture. So it kinda sucked because the tour was my idea.

Michael was pretty into the semi-trailers. You can always win with trucks or tractors with that kid.

It was a pretty good weekend. Delicious kettle corn.

Nothing exciting this weekend. More fun and kettle corn next week!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I need a lawyer

Or someone body that is married to one... or maybe just good friends with one.

It's not what you think.

DH's cousin is studying law up in Vermont. She was helping someone cleanup their flooded basement after Irene the other week. She wasn't wearing protective foot wear and apparently some acid leaked out of something and burned her feet and ankles.

I felt bad for her, but didn't think it was too much of a big deal, but apparently it's pretty bad. She is having to get skin grafts and everything.

I feel terrible for her. The pain, the recovery, the feelings of self-consciousness about her feet for the rest of her life. A get well card doesn't seem like it's enough.

So, I was wanting to ask the lawyers and spouses/friends of lawyers (or anyone that that has a good idea) if they could recommend a humorous law book (you know, lawyer humor) or something along those lines that I could send in a care package. Or, she's taking the bar exam this summer, is there a cheap study guide/flash cards/whatever that she might enjoy reading while she's laid up? All suggestions welcome.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Labor Day Adventure

I told my husband a few weeks ago that I'd like to take Michael to the state park (near) where I grew up. It's a beautiful place that once was home to a magnificent hotel owned by a wealthy businessman, but a fire started one night and burned it down. The remains are referred to as the "castle ruins" and they overlook a beautiful blue spring. The area around the castle is wonderful, hilly, karst land with fantastic trails. When I was a kid the trails weren't complete in some places and I remember being terrified of climbing around on the grip rings in the rocks. Now I try to spot the old grip rings when I walk by on the wooden platforms. There are lots of caves too and you can do some serious splunking if you go during the right time of the year (most of the caves are only open a day or two in the winter for the sake of the bats). There is even a natural bridge.

Me and my friends used to hang out there all the time. Oh the stories I could tell... but I won't because that time is gone. But it's definitely a place that I wanted to take Michael and it was beautiful on Labor Day so we went down then.

First we went to the castle ruins. Michael really wanted to climb down in the castle.

The spring below.

So next we went down to the spring trail. The spring comes out into an area with a small, but vertically challenging island in the middle of it. We broke off onto one of the island trails. Ok, so really the trail isn't that challenging, but I was wearing a 33 pound toddler on my back and that makes everything (a lot) harder... this is no place for strollers, not even the Chariot.(Not that challenging, however, if your are from Kansas the hills around here could be lethal.)

Near the top of the island is Balanced Rock.

Looking back up at the castle ruins. Do you get a sense of the vertical nature of where I grew up? Yes, I'm a hill person.

Ducks in the spring area.

The spring outlet.

We turned back when we got to the spring because I didn't want to take the stairs (316 steps) back to the castle (actually that's just the first set of stairs, there are even more than that to get all the way to the castle). On a good day, they are challenging, and they even have a warning about not taking them if you are pregnant or have a heart condition, but with a baby on my back, they would have killed me. I didn't bother taking a picture, but I wish I would have since I can't seem to find a good one on the internet.

Finally we went down to the natural bridge. That's a nice short trail and it was quiet when we got there.

Looking at it from the other side.

There are a ton of places that we did not go, but a couple of hours was enough for us that morning. We went to my parent's house to let Michael take a nap and visit before going home.

This weekend we have another cool trip planned, and I'm completely stoked about part of it!!! I will definitely be posting about it next week.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guess who I met today!

You all might not believe it, but I met the MOST fertile woman E.V.E.R.

I know, what are the odds?

It was really hot out today so I took Michael to the mall to play this afternoon. A mom walked in with four little ones and sat down near me. We talked a little and then she made a comment about her stomach hurting because she was pregnant (she looked like a size 2, fyi).

Me: "Oh, you're pregnant?"

MFWE: Yeah, I was going in to get my tubes tied and they asked me if I felt pregnant lately.

Me: Wow.

MFWE: Yeah, I asked them if they could go ahead and tie my tubes anyhow. They said no. Me and my husband have always been careful, but I just keep getting pregnant. I've gotten pregnant on the pill, using condoms, with norplant, with an IUD, and I found out I was pregnant last time when I was supposed to get a hysterectomy because of a bad car accident. But I couldn't get the hysterectomy because I was pregnant.

Me: Have you heard of the Essure process where they insert little springs to block the tubes?

MFWE: Oh yeah, I got pregnant with that too.

Me: Maybe you should try for that hysterectomy again because with your luck your tubes will grow back and you'll get pregnant again.

She apparently has 5 children but has been pregnant 8 times (I didn't ask what happened to the other three).

I told her that I was the opposite and it took months and several thousand dollars to get me pregnant. I told her that I took a picture of Michael with his bill on the anniversary of his conception. She thought that was pretty cool.

I'm not sure if she was a huge liar or if I should have asked her to sign my ovaries. I have a feeling that she wasn't lying but might have been a little mistaken... perhaps she thought the Essure implants were the same as an IUD? I can't imagine that someone one would get pregnant after having those springs inserted for a few months and then get pregnant at least once more (her current pregnancy). And if you had those you wouldn't need a tubal ligation. But she was trying to show me her norplant scars. She said comes from a family of 9 so I bet she inherited good fertility.

And as a bonus she said her youngest was walking at 5 months. The is absolutely the earliest I've ever heard of a kid walking, but she also pointed out that he walked funny and that they were having him checked for spine curvature and other issues since he may have actually over stressed his growing bones walking that young and caused problems.

I'm learly of believing with such extreme stories. I've known way too many pathological liars and this seems like it wreaked of deceit, except that it DIDN'T.She might have been a little confused, but I really think I met the most fertile woman ever.

I seriously should have taken a picture of her.