Wednesday, July 22, 2015

That 70's Skirt

My kids and I watch a lot of That 70's Show...some might say too much. Kerry and I laugh and laugh at the silly jokes and use the characters as descriptors, for example, "You're so Kelso" or "Stop being Red." My favorite character is Kitty Foreman. She's hilarious and reminds me so much of Molly Weasley - if Molly drank lots and lots of wine. Kitty often wears a wrap skirt and, after a bolt of lightning, I realized that it's the same as Tilly's Miette skirt. I'd been debating the pros and cons of digital patterns (the cons were winning!) when I got an email from a pattern seller with a discount code. I decided to browse and found this baby

on sale! With the discount code it was just over a dollar. Score! I picked out some fabric from the stash and got to work. When I tried it on to mark the hem I found a problem. The wrap didn't cover my backside! Yikes! I traced the pattern piece and made an extension, cranked some tunes (new Pat Benatar Greatest Hits cd, soundtrack of my youth) and got to work. Now my skirt is done and fits and, well, what do you think?

The fabric is another score. It's Robert Kaufman quilting cotton. I got the whole bolt for five bucks at the charity shop. Five. Bucks. I cut off a bit chunk for mom, who quilts, because I share. It's great for this type of skirt - comfortable and fairly light and washable. The design is really busy so my add-ons in the back don't really show. It's covered with flowers, fish, birds...I wouldn't be surprised to find a Tardis! Maybe I'll embroider one. Hmmm... Since I have so much of the fabric I did some dye experiments. I like dyeing things. It's fun to see what happens. Unfortunately, my dye selection is a bit sparse right now, so there will be more experimenting later. It was fun watching the color remover turn the swatch from blue and black to white and gray to cream and orange which dried to cream and tan. You'll see this fabric again, though, in some incarnation. So, in other news, remember the day of testing a couple months back? Well, they hired me! Yay! Monday I start a really great job. I'm super excited. The day starts at 6 a.m. so I've been gradually getting up earlier and earlier even though I've not been sleeping late this summer (except for after my surgery). Maybe by next summer I can go on vacation - I've been dreaming of a trip to the Grand Canyon for years. I'll even go alone if the kids and boyfriend don't want to go. I have lots of trips in mind - Orlando and the Wizarding World, some tropical beach, and maybe even a shopping trip to the mecca of secondhand shoppers, Second To None, that Vix and Curtise frequent. (That trip will most likely be just me since Eric has no interest in Europe at all.) It feels good to be optimistic again. This morning I have to go to court again. My ex doesn't seem to know when to just do what the judge says. I don't want to get into all of the problems I have with that piece of crap. I just hope that this time will be the last time. Okay, time to get ready to go. I'll be back, though, never fear! Have a lovely day!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Recouperating

I've had problems with my sinuses for years. My doctor, after many prescriptions for antibiotics that didn't help, sent me to a specialist. This past Monday I had some surgery inside my nose. I've been spending the rest of this week healing up. It's a strange feeling - inside my face feels swollen and tingly but nothing shows on the outside. I couldn't bend over for a couple of days or even move too fast. I was prescribed some pain medicine but haven't really needed much of it - I've had better results with an icy cold washcloth across my face. Today, so far, I'm feeling pretty good. I can breathe through my nose and nothing hurts more than mild discomfort. Yay! I've been keeping myself a bit busy making things, though. Last week I got out a few of the crochet booklets that were my great-grandma's and great-aunt's and have been making doilies. Some of them will be finished like this:

but I've been thinking about clothes, too, like these that I found on Pinterest:

I've seen so many variations of these ideas and I'd really love to try it. It also gives me something to do with the doilies that I enjoy making. Do you guys see many crocheted things when you're out thrifting?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Finished Sweater!

I finally have something to share - I finished a little cardi that I'd started a couple of years ago. At the time I couldn't decide on buttons so I put it away and just pulled it back out. Originally I was going to take it apart because I've gained a few (or several) pounds, but I tried it on and it fit so I finished it.

I also managed to get a haircut, too. We have a beauty school in town and cuts are cheap. I spent two hours getting shampooed, cut, and styled. The student was a bit confused about layering long hair, so the instructor showed her what to do - so I helped her learn something new. She then straightened it so I could see how it looks. Khloe really liked the straight hair and offered her flat iron for my use. Eric, however, prefers the curls. I do, too. I am aware that I don't take good pictures. It's strange trying to take pictures with the timer, running back and forth to reset it. I'm still working on posing, too. So for your viewing pleasure, here's a picture of Joshua sharing a pillow with Khloe:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I'm Back!

Sorry to have been MIA for a while there. I was studying. See, there's a company in town that requires eight hours of testing to apply to the - yes, just to apply. I had to go to the testing office first to get into the system and create an account in the practice site. Then I had a month's worth of practice testing and studying. At first it was no problem, but the more I did the harder it got. By this past Sunday I was crazy from math. I'm usually pretty good at math, but for some reason this really stressed me out. Tuesday was my test day. I did fairly well with high marks on all but one of the tests - I messed up on one of the dexterity ones. Now I get to sit and wait to see if they're interested. In March or so I finished this skirt and today the stars aligned just right to get a picture.

It's a lightweight cotton blend from, I think, Walmart that's been in the stash for a couple of years. The pattern is New Look 6382
from 2004. I got it at Mom's charity shop last year. The skirt is three pattern pieces and took no time at all to put together. I'll be using this again to make something like this outfit

from the movie CBGB. Have you seen it? I've watched it about a dozen times. I would love to have been able to actually go there and see some bands, but I was born too late. The soundtrack is great, though, and will eventually be mine.
I recently finished reading a book called Just Kids by Patti Smith (speaking of punk music). It's her memoir of her early years in New York city with Robert Mapplethorpe. It's touching, sad, beautiful, and inspiring. They really had a special relationship. It occurred to me that I hadn't heard much of her music besides the couple of songs that get radio play, so I got her CD "Horses" from the library. I rather enjoyed it and wish I had heard it earlier in my life. Her vocal style would have really helped me overcome my fear of singing in public (thanks to years of being told how bad I am from friends and family, thank you very much).
Joshua thinks I've been on the computer too long - he just nudged my arm out of his way and curled up on my lap. It must be rough being a cat.
I have to go and finish all of the chores that I didn't do while stressing and studying. I'll be back soon!

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Snowy OWL

I've been in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup since it started in the fall of 2008. It's a knit-a-long group based on the classes of Hogwarts. The OWLs are bigger projects that take about three months to complete. I've tried three times to complete my Divination OWL but the fourth time was the charm.
I crocheted seventy snowflakes. Most of the patterns are from Snowcatcher and a few are from pinterest. They will need to be reblocked and starched next fall. Since my tree is white I want to tint or glitter the edges, too, but I'm going to experiment a bit to see what looks best. The kids don't like them too much, but I'm using them anyway. I mean, I do all the work! Completing this makes me an OWL Mistress, meaning that I've completed every subject. It doesn't matter much in the real world, of course, but I'm quite proud of myself. I have to go back to court in two weeks. Yep - my ex once again filed to modify his payments. I guess he'd rather keep seeing the judge than just send payments. I'm so frustrated. But! The sun is shining and the grass is turning green again. Before long there will be flowers everywhere and the world will be colorful again.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Update

Sorry, no pictures today. I have a few things to share but have been too stressed to get out the camera. My final (for now) court date was Wednesday. My ex lost and was incredibly horrible and ugly to me as a result. The ruling doesn't mean that we'll get support any time soon, though. He hasn't paid since September and I expect him to stretch it out as long as possible - he's that kind of asshole. Kerry will be sixteen in a couple of weeks. He's so excited. I can't believe that my baby boy is going to be driving. So that's all for today. I'll soak up some sunshine (it's actually above freezing today) and get my head back on straight. Then there will be pictures of my latest makes. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Silver Lining of Sorts

Last week at this time (10:30 a.m.) I was sitting in a room at the courthouse waiting for my ex to show up for our third meeting with the state's attorney about his inability to pay support. He didn't show so I get to go back in two more weeks. Not happy. He has accused me of lying when I say that he won't be honest about his income and doesn't pay what he's supposed to or at all since September, but it's all true. But enough about him... after we left, Mom and I decided to check out the Goodwill in Peoria because we hadn't been there in ages. Holy crap. They barely had anything and it was all so out of our price range - I mean, $15 for shoes. Fifteen. Dollars. I can get new shoes for that! I did, however, find a couple of patterns that needed to come home with me.

The one on the left is one I've seen on a blog somewhere. I think my love of Stevie Nicks and her old stage costume of a leotard and chiffon skirt are coming to the front on this. Of course, that's a look only she can pull off, so I'll wear the leotard like I did twenty years ago - with jeans and crazy hair. I may try the pants and top, too, if I can find the right fabric. And on the right is another vintage shirtdress for my collection. This is from 1979 and looks pretty cool. It will also require just the right fabric, but I may have something to use for a first try. So I managed to get something good out of the day after all. Hopefully the next court date will be the last one, at least for a while. Today I'll be in another waiting room - both kids are home with fevers, sore throats, and headaches. Yay. A mommy's work is never done!