Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Wish . . .

In the parking lot of a Major Discount Retailer, I saw a license plate frame with an interesting message:
 (*Derogative replaced)

What kind of car do you suppose bore that message?  I might have felt more sympathetic if it had looked like this:
or even this:
But, no.  It looked more like this:
That's right.  A shiny red Jaguar.  Maybe it's not Barbie's dream car, but it's pretty close to mine.  What more could a girl want?

(I'm assuming the driver was female.  If there are any guys out there who wish they were Barbie, I'd love to know why.)

What does Barbie have?  Having never owned one of the dolls myself, I'm no expert, but this is what I've observed:
  • Long blonde hair, blue eyes
  • Sculpted body
  • Wide variety of fashion choices
  • Dream house, where everything is pink
  • Various dream cars, also pink
  • Wide variety of jobs, hobbies, and acting roles
  • Boyfriend with plastic hair and commitment issues 
  • Tight calves (it's a painful medical problem--you can tell from her foot position)
  • Regular facelifts
Are those the things Ms. Dissatisfied Driver desires?

While I admire Jaguars, I'm pretty sure I'll never buy one.  I have more important things to spend time and money on:
  • Wonderful, amusing, supportive, loving husband
  • Four brilliant, fun, active, occasionally exasperating but overall good sons who need food, clothes, more food, education, wholesome extracurricular activities, more food . . .
  • Comfortable house that we all like 
  • Vehicles that run (I'd hate to pick up boys from a muddy soccer practice in a Jaguar, but I don't mind if they get in the van)
  • Resources to create my own fashion choices
  • A job that requires a wide variety of skills--homemaking
  • A strong belief that if we do the right things, and raise the boys right, our family can be together forever
If those are the things she lacks, then I do feel sorry for her.  An expensive car is no substitute for love and faith.  What do you wish you had?  I can point you in the direction of faith, at least.  (And if you'd like to trade a nice Jaguar for a mostly-running retired police car, let me know!)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Brights

When I offered to sew Easter shirts for the boys, I wasn't surprised that D2 chose pink and Rollo chose blue.
I thought I'd pick out some subtle fabric for them, but it turned out to be convenient to take them to the fabric store.  And they chose bright pink,
and peacock blue.  What fun!  I used Simplicity 5581, an out-of-print Father/Son pattern.  The Caterpillar used it for his red shorts, but I hadn't used the shirt patterns.  Of course, I ran into the same problem this time as I did then.  Rollo and D2 are thin enough to fit the Boys' sizes, but much too tall.  It was easy to fix, except that Rollo's fabric shrank a lot when I pre-washed.  I added as much length as I could to the outer pieces, then added another fabric to lengthen the facing.  So he has secret penguins inside his shirt.  Shh!  Don't tell!
Not so secret are the rampant dragon and unicorn I added.  They're part of a fun set of patterns from Urban Threads.
Scoot and the Caterpillar wore some shirts they already had, and they all looked handsome on Easter.
Rollo climbed the magnolia tree to get a better perspective on egg hunting.  It didn't work.
Scoot and the Caterpillar found their eggs first.
But all were found eventually, and several were enjoyed for dinner.  It was a beautiful day, made brighter by remembering the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I'm happy every day because of the first Easter.  May you find the same joy.

Sew Your (Pattern) Stash 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stash to Treasure: Little Gifts

D2 and I had a couple of parties to attend last Saturday.  I enjoy creating, and really don't like shopping, so I made gifts for both occasions.  I was invited to a baby shower, so I sewed up this little outfit.
I started with the Baby Suspender Shorts tutorial from Crafting Zuzzy.  The 0-3 month size was just right to cut out of a pair of navy blue size 8 boy's dress pants.  Luckily, there was only a hole in one knee.  The pants had four buttons, just like the pattern called for--except that one was bigger than the others.  I found some matching buttons in my jar, harvested from some other pair of pants, I guess.  Then I grabbed one of the Onesies from Grandma O's stash, and dressed it up with a necktie appliqué.  I knew those little straps would fall off without some help, so I added matching loops to the shoulders.  
D2 was invited to a birthday party for a girl in his class.  I always ask, "What do they like?"  And the answer is always "I don't know."  But there was a clue--the invitation to the roller-skating party was decorated with a dolphin photo.  I've never seen a dolphin roller skating, but I decided to send one to the party, anyway.
I used the Playful Dolphin pattern.  Unlike in most amigurumi patterns, the pieces are crocheted flat, then stitched together.  I was a little confused about the directions before I figured that out, but things went well after that.
The dolphin is actually a nice medium blue and white, and the turquoise ball has a fluffy pink stripe.  D2 chose the colors from yarn I had on hand.  I enjoyed making these gifts--I hope the recipients enjoy them, too!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Musical Monday

Spring is here!
 The weeds are going to town.
Hopefully the strawberries will, too.

When spring is here, I always think of this song.  I would never do such a thing to a pigeon, of course.  But I'm about ready to do in the varmints that chew up the wires in the car every winter.  Any ideas?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Origami Valentines

Valentine's Day came a little early this year.  The class parties did, at least.  The boys don't have school on the 13th.  It's one of those extra days built in for making up snow days, I think.  Unlike the eastern half of the country, we haven't had a lick of snow this winter, so it'll be a four-day weekend.  Yay!

Anyway, D2 received a great collection of origami paper for Christmas, so I suggested he make origami Valentines for his class.  He set right to it, and had them done well in advance of today's party.  Rollo, on the other hand, wanted to think about it more.  I don't know what he thought of, but by last night, the obvious choice was more origami hearts.  They were quick and easy, and he could make them all different (which was the only idea I'd heard from him). 

We used the Easy Origami Heart instructions from Origami-Instructions.com.  I liked folding the corners in to round the hearts off a little, but the boys like them pointy.  They look more like paper airplanes that way, I guess.  I'll have to take a heart for a test flight some time!

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Shortly before Christmas, 2013, I sewed myself a skirt.  It was very simple: rectangles of lace and fabric, with an elastic technique I hadn't tried before.  I wore it to church, but I didn't like it.  The elastic idea was not suitable for this project.  I added a casing later, but I still wasn't happy with the skirt.

The experience was not wasted.  One reason I sewed the skirt that way was was that a friend had asked me to sew her daughter a tulle skirt along the same lines.  I learned some things, and the tulle skirt turned out much better.  It also looked much cuter on a 15-year-old than this did on me.  The red skirt languished in my closet until this week.
It was time for a makeover.  I decided to use a favorite old skirt pattern, Simplicity 9696.  (It's just a classic pencil skirt.  Why do these patterns go out of print?)  I updated the fit (using techniques I learned from this book), and cut it out of the old skirt, lining first.  I basted the lining, and had Dandelionslayer mark a hem line.  Then I removed the basting stitches, and used the markings to line up the pattern pieces on the lace.  I still wanted to use the border of the lace for the lower hem.  This resulted in the lace layer flaring a little more than the lining, but I like it this way. 
I found just the right zipper from Grandma O's stash, and finished it off.  This time I am happy with my new old skirt!

Sew Your (Pattern) Stash 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015