Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happiness is...

... taking a walk.

It's not a big deal to most of you, I know.  But it's a big deal to me.

Nearly six years ago, I broke my foot in half.  Two bones broken, a bit chipped off, three bones dislocated, all at the joint in my arch.  Surgery.  2" long pins (three of them).  PT.  More surgery (pins out, thank goodness, they feel weird).  More PT.

If you've ever wondered what the gnarly scars on my foot in the pictures are - that's where I got 'em.

I was told that ... I was nearly certain to get crippling arthritis in my arch, sooner or later.  I was told that I'd never wear heels again.  That I needed to wear super-supportive shoes forever.  That some stuff was just not going to be fun, and to deal with that.  To push in PT, but not push IRL. I was told that when the crippling arthritis showed up, I could expect to have surgery to permanently freeze the joint in my arch, which means that I expect(ed) to finish the last couple decades of my life using a cane. When I said that I liked to hike, the doctors shrugged at me.  Oh well. My break was bad enough that I was told to be *thrilled* with not having to use a cane now.  I've had several doctors ask me, in awe, who put my foot back together again.  It was that bad.

So I've sucked it up.  I've worn the shoes a size - or two - too big for my feet, to accommodate the bump my bone grew over the injury and the extra width.  No heels after the permanent swelling in my foot pooled blood up by the toes and broke capillaries... which remain broken, years later.  And when I wanted to take long walks and I did, and I spent the day after with my foot propped up.... I sucked it up and got on with life.

And then a couple of weeks ago, I walked farther than normal... and realized that my foot didn't hurt in the bad way.  Sure, it hurts more than the other foot, but it'd changed.  And then if you saw the post about the heels, you saw that I bought some heels last week!  And they hurt but not shockingly.  (I'm not taking up wearing heels regularly, no worries.  Stupid I'm not).

But today.  Oh today!  Today I walked up the big hill on the block next to mine, a good 25 minutes (and it's a BIG hill, designed to get those calves and thighs in top shape) ... and my foot doesn't hurt!  It doesn't hurt at all!  NOT AT ALL!  (Well, no more than it does at this hour every day, but that's the swelling so whatever).

Please celebrate with me, this is a huge deal.  This means I can take walks again.  Real walks.  I'm going to work up to it.  But WALKS.  Oh... this means so much to me.  And I wanted to share my joy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Types of Wives

This is for Elspeth.  :)

Different men want different things in women.  When we, as women, are told that "all men want X" that's not necessarily true.  And if you've got no X in your personality/looks to build on, you're just going to get all frustrated.  What you should be doing (if unmarried) is building on your best characteristics and learning to be flexible.

So far, this is the list of the types of wives I've come up with:  (most women incorporate some/all of these characteristics, it's a weighted thing, not an absolute)

Solace:  Life is hard.  Wife is soft.  This is the wife that exists primarily to comfort you, whose very being is respite from the battle.  The men that pick this sort of women usually have had some sort of conflict (physical conflict) in their lives.  Soldiers, police, guys who *used* to live in the hood?  Yep.  Sweet faced wives who can cook and make a house into a home, who are low drama, low conflict.

Stimulation:  Most of the gents who pick this sort of wife tend to be very intelligent.  They want someone interesting to watch, someone who breaks the tedium.  My mom is absolutely this type of wife.  "Hey honey, do you want to go to China?"  Yep.  The bouncy wife, always enthusiastic, always finding new things to see, to do, to participate in.  High energy, likes projects, hates sitting still. 

Status:   This is your gal who cares about the brand names, who cares about her appearance (and never skips the gym or the spa appointments), who went to a good school and who keeps the appointment book on lock.  Friends?  Yes.  Frenemies?  Yes.  Social and ambitious.  She runs the PTA, she's on every committee.   She can work a room, she keeps up on things.  It's not an easy job.

Stage-manager:  (Hat Tip to MizD)  This is the wife whose husband is frequently busy and/or travelling.   She takes care of things.  Everything.  She runs his appointment book, she buys his Christmas presents, she takes care of all the kid stuff... now, some of us do that because we're SAHM.  This wife will do the managerial job regardless of her work status, because it's part of who she is, and who her husband is. 

Personally?  I'm very high-solace, with stimulation and stage-manager thrown in. ( But mostly because I'm a SAHM).  I watch people - I know when some men are like, "ew.  short chick with curves and a sweet face. ew." and contrariwise when the guy who's had a hard day sees me and is like, "ohhh, nice.  Squishy!"

I haven't given much thought to types of husbands, although I will offer that a man without a strong protective streak is unlikely to choose a high-solace wife. 

So, there you go, E.  Later I'll write on HHH... the post that's been nagging at me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Food for Thought

I'm a good cook.  I started cooking dinners when I was 10 years old.  My mom worked long hours and I was on dinner duty - either that, or we'd have been eating dinner at 8pm.   She taught me her methods of menu-making, and then I got married and shuffled them all around.  And then we went off grains, so "I'll make some pasta" isn't on the list *either*.  
.............................................................................................................................................

This is how I plan my dinners:

Main dish - this is almost always meat

Side dishes - at least two
  • Ideally I play old-school and have two veggie side dishes, one yellow/orange, one green, one of which is raw or close to it.   This can be as easy as sautéed carrots + a green salad, or you can get fancy with orange/onion salad & sautéed spinach. 

Carb - optional
  • We don't eat wheat (well, the kids do) so our carb - when I include it - is potato or rice.  I know the other starchy root veggies count, but I'm really the only fan around here, so I include those in our diets sparingly. 
Sauces/condiments - when possible (my family loveeees special sauces/condiments, like hummus, peanut sauce, etc).
..............................

I try to have one star of the show for regular days, and the rest of the items are served relatively plain.  So - maybe I'll make bacon sautéed brussel sprouts... which I'll serve with roast meat or roast chicken, maybe some rice and pineapple. 

I extend that rule (including more fancy things) for bigger meals and feasts.  If *everything* is seasoned within an inch of its life, you won't be able to taste anything.  The palate needs a break!  Mashed potatoes anyone?

Same thing for menu planning.  Once or twice a week I'll really pull out the stops, but the rest of my meals are easy to deal with (even if they aren't all that "quick" as I am home all the time and a long-cooking item isn't a problem).
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Once a week, weather permitting, I make soup or stew for dinner.  Sometimes that's served with salad, sometimes not.  (Mostly depending on whether that day was grocery day).
...................................

Variety is important.  Rotate your menus.  I do this with an excel sheet.  Rotate your cuisines - African, Asian, European, etc.  Rotate your meats.  No one - not even *my* husband - wants to eat beef every.single.night for a week.  I go to the store a couple of times/wk, but I keep track of what I've been serving so we don't end up eating the same thing over and over and over.

Balance your meals.  Heavy meal?  Light dessert.  Light meal?  Heavy dessert.  Rich food? Make sure there's something sharp and savory along with (like a pickle or an onion salad or...) to break up the heaviness.  Super light food?  How about a bit of soup to accompany it? 

Match your meals to the weather.  We're having cool, cloudy weather... I think I'll be making some rich, warm food.  When the weather gets hot-hot-hot, that's the time to serve something light, with a wide variety of vegetables and maybe something interesting to drink.

Match your meals to your schedule.  My week's schedule and my menu go on the same page, so that I don't decide that on one day I'll spend three hours cooking and five hours scrubbing.  If you're going to do Spring Cleaning, use your crockpot.  Or serve sandwiches and re-heated soup from your freezer.  Balance!

Try new recipes.  If not once a week, once every couple of weeks, include something new.  You might find a new friend.  :)  If not, no harm, no foul - tomorrow you get chicken and rice, all will be well.

Be willing to bring out your family's favorite foods, so that everyone knows their special foods will see the light of day. 

Have fun!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Courtship - Mine, at any rate

Elspeth over at http://lovingintheruins.wordpress.com/ was asking me to corral up my thoughts about the types of wives and make it into a post, and then she was talking about the types of husbands.  I solicit your thoughts on the types of wives before I gel that post together, but I can talk about my husband a bit. 

I have a degree in Women's Studies, and therefore can say categorically that what follows will *not* be politically correct.  You have been warned.

My husband and I met... well.  I suppose we set eyes on one another sometime in grade school, since we went to the same church, same Sunday School.  We were even in the same Christmas play in 5th grade.  We didn't move in the same circles, and though I have a few memories of him here and there, we didn't "meet". 

The first time I can remember him speaking to me was in junior high, age 11.  I was just starting to get curves and had put on my very first blouse for a grown person.  TERMINAL embarrassment, of course - I spent the entire day with my shawl wrapped firmly around my body.  He walked up to me, smiled, and got me to show him my shirt. He complimented me, and walked off.   -jawdrop-

The next time I spoke to DH, it was Halloween.  We were 13.  He was taking one of his younger friends trick or treating, and for some reason they'd come over to my neighborhood rather than his (it's a 10 minute drive).  I was giving out candy... he smiled, said hi, said he might be back... the porchlight stayed on for a long time that night... -jawdrop-

The next time I spoke to DH, he called out a compliment to me as I was passing by one winter's morning in high school.  I couldn't see him properly, due to some issues with my contacts, or the lack thereof.  No one else (other than family) told me I was pretty.... ever... -jawdrop- 

Being the age that I was, I didn't really put any of these things together.  In hind sight, it seems like God kept throwing us together until we stuck... it took until the second semester of our freshman year, when we ended up in the same Contemporary Living (aka sex ed and how to fill out forms) class for us to meet.  And it took a while before I paid attention to him.  I mean, you're 6' tall, have a mustache, and you're confident... SURELY you are not a freshman!  Therefore I thought he had to be the dumbest senior *ever*, since our class was a mandatory freshman class.  You'd have to be asleep to fail it.

Oh.  Not a senior?  And interested in me?  No way. 

It took my husband six months of compliments to convince me that it was not going to scar the eyes of America if I wore something less covered than a turtleneck and calf-length full skirt. 

By the time sophomore year rolled around, I would have done *anything* for him.  Dance on sharp glass?  Not a problem!  I wanted to be *his*.  (I used to make him really mad by writing "property of ..." on my wrist with his name in a little box in ball point pen). 

I wanted to be loved, and I wanted to give my whole self (not ...ahem... in the Biblical fashion, but in the truest sense of the word - my whole self, my heart, my soul, every bit of me) to him.  If I could have rubbed my scent on his forehead to keep off the other women, to claim him  - I would have done so.  Primal doesn't *touch* how I felt about him.  I guess teenagers aren't shy about admitting their less PC cravings. 

Of course, timing being what it is... just before our sophomore year was up, his father died.  This was rather a damper to our romance (as his dying had been).  I've put that ... badly... but... well.  I was 15.  I didn't understand, and he was a 15yo boy.  He didn't communicate.  He disappeared.  He reappeared, sober and withdrawn, at the beginning of the next school year.

Bereft of his attention, bereft of my best friends (all of whom had moved that year, thank you to the daddys' 20 years in the Corps), I hung around him and his group of friends anyway.  Followed him like a very annoying puppy. 

Much soap opera that no one cares about that year.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned - you should see what a teenager will come up with!

Eventually he looked me in the eye and called me back to his side.  I was at his feet in a second.  If he'd have let me kneel, I assure you that I would have done so.   Yet more soap opera, ah dear high school.  (If you have teenagers, imagine yourself in love with your spouse at 16/17 and ... well, try not to rock and whimper too loudly, it disturbs the pets). 

My heart has ever been his on a plate.  All I've ever wanted was to please him.  To be enjoyed, to be loved, to be appreciated. To be owned, to belong. 

Now, practically speaking, I wanted a man who was strong enough to stand up to the tides of crazy that I put forth.  I am extremely intelligent, quite emotional, and I enthuse.  I didn't want to run some man's life for him.  I wanted someone strong enough to let me be all of what I am - and not change who *he* is. I wanted to be cherished for myself.  I hate being micromanaged, give me a task and go away.  I like being protected, and my small self finds herself quite nervous around not-protective men. 

But really, ultimately... I think God made me particularly for the man that I married, and I think He just kept throwing us together until we got the idea.  Took us a while... we could have easily been married on my 18th birthday.  We didn't get married until the summer a year after I graduated from college.   We were silly, silly rabbits.  So much wasted time!!!!

I love my husband with all of my heart, and I cannot imagine life without him.  He is mine, he is part of me.  I am his, and I am part of him.  We've let some insane stuff come into our lives, and we've survived all of it.  (Thank you, Lord!!)  We're more part of each other than the first day we met, more in love than the day we said our vows. 

And I don't think there was more than a paragraph of this that was relevant....... :D  I'll have to edit, if I'm going to write that wifey post. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

One part of the room done

I know, I keep saying the room is done and then we change things.... I actually took this pic for our friend who painted the big picture (Michael Fee if you're into it).

But it looks pretty cool, so I'm sharing.


Shoes and Social Stress

I had a really unexpected present yesterday. 

I broke my foot *very* badly about 5 years ago, and I'd been told that my days of wearing high heels were over.  My days of wearing anything but extremely sensible shoes were over.

It sucks, but there you are.  I am the queen of cute sensible shoes that work with dresses.  You need help, ask.  I'm your gal.

But still.  When you wear a knee-length skirt, sensible shoes look odd.  Maybe ballerina flats don't look too odd, but I can't wear ballerina flats, they hit my foot in the wrong spot.  (Always have, even before the break). 

Took the kids shoe shopping yday and decided, "what the heck, my foot's been feeling a lot better lately, why not give it a try..." and meep!  They didn't hurt.  Well.  Of course they hurt.  1) They were inexpensive shoes 2) I haven't worn a heel in five years 3) I'm used to really sensible shoes with a big toe-box 4) Yeah, my foot still doesn't appreciate heels

BUT.  It wasn't the white-hot "get me out of this now" pain.  Just - a not comfy shoe.  I can *deal* with a not terrifically comfy shoe, I'm female.  We all have the shoes you wear to walk into a building and then sit down. 

So I bought two pair of heels yday.  Not expensive, they're meant to walk in and sit down.  And I know, your sitting shoes are 2-3" higher than mine.  Whatev.  They're heels!  :)  Oh, and they're my proper shoe size, not the size or so larger I've been wearing to accommodate my extra-high arch and foot swelling.  (Another win). 


That should have made me awesomely happy...

But we're doing something crazy this weekend and I'm stressed.  :p  It's a good thing and I'm totally looking forward to it, but I'm stressed over it.  Social stress.  We're inviting a couple over for dinner that we only know from a couple of meetings.  We really thought they were awesome and so we invited them for dinner, but I swear it feels like dating again, stress-wise.  :P  I don't know why "invite a nice couple for dinner" feels so stressful, but it does.  Don't care, it's going to be awesome!   Once I get there and on the other side.  LOL.  I'm such a dork.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When you give advice enough

The last 48 hours I've found myself giving the same sets of advice over, and over, and over.  And over again!  When I do that, it's time to listen to my own advice, even if it wasn't originally aimed at the woman in the mirror.

1) If you keep doing the same things over and over and getting the same results - either change what you're doing, or stop complaining about the results.

2) Expectations shape reality - if you aim high, you'll end up higher than if you aimed at what you think is "attainable".  You may as well try to get what you really want (God willing, of course).  No harm, no foul.

3) So what do you want?

What do I want?  Interestingly, at least to me, a lot of what I want I'm vaguely ashamed of wanting.  I wonder if that's not why I haven't attained. 
- I want to be beautiful
- I want to be fit and healthy and strong, with plenty of vim and vigor
- I want to have a clean house with good organization, good rhythms, and not a lot of fuss
- I want to be hospitable, which includes my immediate family as well as those outside the fold
- I want to create beauty (aka keep sewing, do more decorating, find my art, etc)
- I want to write a book
- I want to be a tiny bit famous.  Not wildly, just, "Oh - you're Hearthrose?  Cool."
- I want my garden to be inviting and pleasant, with flowers and fruit in abundance

You know, none of that is terribly shocking.  I guess I feel like wanting that stuff - or some of it - is a bit gauche.  I should just hang about and let God give me what He will.  Now, I'm all about being in God's will, and if He doesn't want me to have something, that's to my best and no quibbling.  BUT... perhaps the reason I don't have these things (or not to the extent that I'd like) is a lack of work on my part rather than a closed door on His. 

I've been doing #1 for a long time.  Things are well enough.  Well enough.  But change?  Well.  That's going to take a bit of #2, not just "work harder doing more or less what you were doing in the first place".  And I have some thinking to do.........

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Red? Coral? Geranium!

Yes.

Yes, I did.


I went back to the fabric store, bought the rest of the red silk, and made up another nightgown.

It's not as heavy a silk as the charmeuse - if there was "handkerchief silk" I'd call it that.  I doubt it will last as well as the turquoise, it was half the price though.  There wasn't enough fabric to make the little sleeves (sleeves take a surprising amount of fabric) so I found a pretty ribbon and attached it to the gathers instead.

Very simple construction, a nice addition to the wardrobe.

And now the existence of the red silk sitting unloved in the fabric shop won't keep me up at night.  ;)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why I stay loyal to the original CMB system

There are any number of seasonal color palettes out there.  Most of them are based on the original Color Me Beautiful system of warm/cool clear/muted colors.  The in thing now seems to be a 12 season system where you break the four seasons down into three additional seasons. 

The reason I always stick my nose into the air when people bring this up is not because I think that the original system was flawless, and it's not because I think that people don't have a narrower set of colors that they wear well, or even that some colors from different seasons will work for almost everyone. 

Nope.

It's because the CMB system is a good place to start.  You start out with the warm vs. cool, muted vs. clear dichotomies, and then you can narrow things down.  I'm a Spring - a Spring with very strong, bright coloring.  The yellows and browns and softer colors in my CMB palette?  Forget them.  I don't even look that great in peach, it just sort of disappears on my skin.  (Makes a great substitute for nude in lingerie, it fades out that well).   I pick up a few colors from other palettes - forest green isn't supposed to be a Spring color, and I rock it.

When you start putting out narrower palettes for *everyone* to use, you compound the problems of the original CMB system.  And you stuff people into odd boxes - because your coloring does change slightly from season to season (with a tan) or with age (you're brighter when you're younger)  you could think that your entire season was changing, and it's not.  Your best colors evolve with time.  They can even change up a bit with your personality!

But your season is tied to your untanned skin tone.  The delicate translucent nature of Spring colors?  Those remain.  The strength of earth that comes through in Autumn's shades?  Always there.  The cold, cold, coldness of Winter?  In every one of her shades.  And even the most vibrant Summer has a softness in her best colors (yes, even Barbie pink).

So I can hop over to the DYT system and learn that my hair color is a good color... and sure, it is.  It's a great color for me to buy leather goods in!  Purses, belts, maybe a leather jacket... but I'm not going to buy a dress in dark brown!  I wash right out.  The "Bright Spring" I'm supposed to be tells me I can wear *black*.  I think not.  You've never had that deeply frightening experience, but it's bad. 

No.  Take CMB.  Start there.  Take DYT and inspire yourself with the colors in your own natural palette.  Look at the twelve color palettes and analyze yourself... but don't get too crazy.  Even I, who loves color passionately - even I don't try to wear all the colors all the time. 

Here's where I got with my "tight palette" - and no, I don't expect anyone's to match up, quite.  If I were blonde it would be different.  I made one for BFF, who looks like a Waterhouse mermaid - it's not the same, and we're both Springs with long dark hair (who are occasionally confused for one another).   http://www.pinterest.com/hearthrose/color-your-style-colors/

That's why I'm a CMB snob, in the original.  Not because *everything* is good - but because it's less screwed up than you might think.

Roses and Butterflies

I finished my rose skirt today.  I *love* this skirt.  This fabric suits me so perfectly... it makes me happy!  :)  Clothing should make you happy, shouldn't it?

Please don't judge the fabulousness of this skirt by my picture, I get very unenthused around selfie #3, and I'm feeling a bit off today anyhow. 



Construction notes:

I took a lesson from my yellow skirt of the same pattern (it's a three-tier skirt attached to the petticoat top with a zipper from a folkwear petticoat pattern).  Since this is a skirt - something on top - instead of a petticoat - designed to go smoothly underneath - I moved the top gather up to a more flattering place on my stomach/hips.  This prevents that gnarly flattery issue which is the main reason you'll never see me in the yellow skirt sans overlayer.

I simplified the pattern a bit, which seems to have made it overall a bit shorter.  Works, though I prefer another couple of inches.  I'll get a lot of use out of this, the slightly shorter hemline is more practical.  Imagine this with my workboots!  (Go ahead.  Because this *will* happen). 

Fairly pleased with my solution for seam finishing gathered skirts.  I use a decorative stitch and sew ribbon over the raw seams (after trimming/pressing).   This keeps everything in place nicely, and it looks cute from the outside too. 



See?  Just a subtle bit of sweetness.  Okay.  I'm wearing a skirt covered with roses and butterflies, perhaps "subtle" isn't the word.  Hey, I can carry this off!  You may not want to try this at home.  ;)


So, even though this was a low-energy day, I'm a happy Hearthie.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Price Per Wear: Silk Nightgowns

I woke up today wearing a silk nightgown that I'd made myself two years ago.  (http://hearth-tobelovely.blogspot.com/2011/10/pretty-inside-pretty-outside.html).  I have two silk nightgowns in rotation, I wear one or the other of them nearly all the time.  M'lady has been getting pretty sad - and today was the day for her to be replaced. 

Since I have had her in rotation for two years, and I wear her about half the time, we could conservatively say I've worn her about 300 times in the two years since she's been made.  (Allowances for cold spells and colds, when I break out the flannel).  I believe I spent about $50 on her materials (certainly not more). 

50/300 = .16667, or 17 cents/wear. 
 
Well worth the money and the time.  Well-worth it.  When you think of your clothing as "$/wear" you can really break out of the fast-fashion rut of wearing things that are cheaply made and disintegrate just as quickly.  Now, sure - if I'd made the same gown out of cotton flannel, we wouldn't be having this chat, because it'd still be going.  And half the price too.  But - hey.  Silk.  :)
 
 
For me, sleeping in silk is the best of all possible worlds.  My husband likes me to sleep in soft things, I can't abide polyester "satin", and real silk warms to skin temp in seconds.  It is intrinsically sensual.
 
Which is a good thing, because clothing designed to be slept in is *not* sexy.  (You have to be able to move about quite a bit).  My silk nightgown is not a bit of conjugal costuming.  It's extremely comfortable as well as being lovely.  No, it's no boned corset... but I'm not planning on sleeping in a corset! 
 
Sewing details:  I used about three and a half yards of silk charmeuse ($60).  I used the peasant blouse pattern that I've been using for everything these days, lengthening the hem from hip to brushing the top of my foot.  It's embroidered at neckline and hem, gathered at the neckline.  French seams throughout.  Perfect?  err.. no.   But it's good.  And it feels *divine*. 
 

On the personal level, I started and finished this nightgown today, having finished DH's shirt yesterday and prioritizing "replace nightgown" over "make a new skirt".   Feels WONDERFUL - exactly what I needed today.  :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Done Done - on to the next... but done!

The sleeve heads *really* fought me on this shirt.  I think I either need to change my method of sleeve insertion for guy shirts or revisit the sizing on the sleeve head - or both. 

Otherwise, it wasn't tooooo painful. Someone remind me that 1/32" pinstripes aren't easy to use? 

Anyhow.  He hasn't tried it on yet, but the project's not done until it's blogged.  Right?  Yeah, go ahead and laugh at me, I'm laughing too.  :D

 
PS I know I chose boring fabric.  First the fit has to be on, and the general style, then you get fabu fabric. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Support your local craftsperson

...or, if they aren't all that local, but still a craftsperson, support them.

The economy bites.  We all know that.  But it's coming on to buying season... and even if you don't have much to spend, you'll spend what you have.  You know  you will.  Who do you want to support?  A big-box store or a small business?  Your choice.

My husband and I make a point to try to do more and more business with small business, and buy more things from crafters, local or otherwise.  I haven't been seriously disappointed yet... in fact, by and large I've been thrilled.  The prices are a few dollars more (a very few) than I'd pay at the stores - do you think the small businesses don't know what the going rate is?  They do.  And the quality is higher, the individuality and artistry are off the charts. 

I look around at my living room - the desk I'm typing on was from the local unfinished wood guy - he gets them from American builders, finishes them there if you pay him.  Bookshelves, file cabinet - also from him.  (Well.  The dark ones aren't). 

That gorgeous stained glass window?  We went downtown to a stained glass hole-in-the-wall shop, and were able to sit down with the proprietor, look through his book, and pick out exactly what we wanted.  Then after he got the sketch, I went back down to pick the glass he'd use.  Worth.every.penny. 


My wedding dress (hat tip to A Practical Conservative:  http://thepracticalconservative.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/become-and-support-your-local-seamstress/) was made by a local seamstress.  The heavy silk, my mom brought that home with her from China... but the work? That was done locally.  Yes, it was a pain to find someone who really *knew* fitting and how to deal with silk (neither easy) but when we did find her, it's embarrassing to tell you how little I paid to have this dress made.  Hm.  Maybe half again what the alterations on a sparkly wedding gown from the shop would have cost me?

 
 
Look, I know art is more expensive that normal stuff.  But at least *look*.  Maybe you can find something in a thrift shop.  
 
Support your local craftsperson.  It matters.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I hate polyester

We were running early for the movies the other day, so I took my kids to [a store that will remain nameless] at which I often buy clothes for myself.  My daughter is a bit past being able to wear child's sizes, so we headed to the teen section.  Blech.  Then over to the adult woman section, in the basics department.  Also, blech.  (Although that section was much better than the rest of the store).

What happened to cotton?  Linen?  I won't ask about wool... it's too warm to wear it here anyway.  But what gives - everything I touched made me make the wetcatface.  (My friends enjoy inducing this face while we shop together).  Scratchy, ultra-fake, poor quality... what on earth are they thinking?

Well.  I'm thinking, "I think I should be sewing". 

Struggling right now to insert the sleeves on DH's shirt so that they're perfect.  The slight poofiness that's perfectly okay on my shirts? Not okay on his.  Men's shirts have to be perfect.  :p They use boring fabrics and little ornamentation, but the cut and fit and construction have to be fabulous.  Definitely a skill-raising experience.

I do like those, but I also like just chilling out and enjoying the make.  I'm really far behind in my familial sewing, all I've been doing lately is going through my closet and getting rid of stuff.  "I don't wear this, I don't wear that, I don't like that, this doesn't fit..." And my daughter does the things to clothing that all children do (as well as grow out of it - 3/4" this month) so there's not much rummaging around *her* closet ... but I have a ton of fabric in the patio.

Time to conquer these sleeves and get some clothing turned out!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Living Room Improvements

We've been working on re-doing the living areas.  I've mentioned the blinds that got ordered?

So, here's a progress picture of the living room.  We need different/new lighting sources, it's kind of dark.   A rug, a coffee-table (our kids are old enough for us to have coffee tables again, hooray!) and a fresh coat of paint over the odd bits here and there and I think we're calling it good.  In here.  ;)



Here's the foyer, which we painted teal.  I found some great art at an estate sale warehouse... *score* .


If you look closely at both pictures together, you can see that the pictures match the tile floor nearly perfectly. 

So far, so good.  :)  Next up, the family room... new desks for all.  *Matching* desks, should be very exciting, lol.