Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring, as in Handspring!

Gymnastics, the collegiate sport version, ended in late April, with three Gator girls in the NCAA finals. We’ve been able to go see some Gator Gymnastics in the past few years, having a couple of granddaughters who love everything about tumbling, balance beam, uneven bars, the works! But we’ve been crazy busy this year, and the season just sort of passed us by…

I did get a remnant project going: girls’ tumbling leotards from remnants!

Jalie leotards

Jalie Choix de Léotards

I love this Jalie 2792 pattern, because … it’s cute, versatile (22 sizes in one pattern, 3 necklines and 3 sleeve options), the directions are very clear and understandable, and it gives a method for sewing stretchy knits without a serger (which I tried and I think I like it even better than if I used the serger). The sizing is a little different than what I normally expect. But if you use the subject’s measurements, you are all set up to make an item that will fit. I hope anyway. The seam allowances are supposed to be 1/4″; if I sewed them larger than that, I might have a problem…Anyway, I will let my little models try on a prototype before I make them a second leotard. Another plus is that super-stretchy remnants always seem to be found in the remnant bin at JoAnn’s. You can make a girl’s leotard from a rather small length of spandex-infused fabric. And with these great patterns that have contrasting color yokes, you can use up lots of smallish pieces of remnants with very cool results! I bought some glitter elastic to sew on as an embellishment, on top of where the white yoke connects with the gold body of the suit. I could have bought some stretchy sequin trim as is shown in the pattern view B sleeveless, but it is recommended to be removed before laundering, and I didn’t want the girls or their moms to have to fuss with that.

I copied the pattern view I wanted in the size I wanted to make, onto Pellon Easy Pattern. I had some 3/8″ elastic, which is called for on the arm and leg openings. I had clear elastic and white braided elastic. I decided to use the clear elastic, until it snapped in two without much pull, then I realized why I had a lot of that around: because it’s not worth using. The package says “good for infant wear”–ah yes, because the infant will outgrow the item before it’s even worn two times. I would not advise using the clear elastic for anything that gets stretched, and why would you put elastic in something unless it was to be stretched? 💡 Regular elastic, good stuff!

is this the costume of a future Gator Gymnast?

is this the costume of a future Gator Gymnast?

gator gymnastics

Go Gators!

Fear of Sewing

Sometimes I am paralyzed with fear when it comes to starting a new project.

Many options

Many options

Being an analyzer, I try to find reasons to explain it away. Is it due to 1) retirement, 2) menopause, 3) stress, 4) lack of confidence, 5) an attack of the “shoulds,” 6) a feeling of disempowerment that is characteristic of females in an older generation who have been brought up in conservative households, 7) feeling bombarded by too many influences?

I think, the older I get, the less time I feel that I have, so I need to fill it with something important. When I retired, I felt that I needed to pursue all those interests that had been shoved aside while I was logging 8 hours a day working for The Man. I wanted to go further into many of those interests, but I had the nagging feeling that they weren’t very crucial in my overall development as a person. Now they are represented by the nine-tenths of my daily emails that I delete without even reading. Most of them require that I spend money, which actually furthers their agenda more than mine.

Which brings me to a realization I had yesterday, Easter Sunday. I listened to Kerrie’s talk in church about how repentance isn’t a punishment. It’s a way to disengage from all that frantic scrambling to get our needs met at any cost. Oh, it’s true. I need, need, need, a “do-over” often. Let me turn around, rethink this thing. I am sorry that I’ve missed the mark. I want to try again. And it’s beautiful that I have another chance. The whole concept of the Atonement of Christ has lots of facets, lots of applications in everyday life.

One time I went to a Relationships Anonymous group. Yes, it’s just like AA, a 12-step program for people who have been in addictive relationships. We all sat around a long table in a conference room somewhere and talked about “my name is _____ and I’m a….Relationship Addict? I can’t really remember, but one lady was just overwhelmed with everyone’s story, she always said she was sorry to everyone. Why? She just seemed to feel responsible for everyone’s awful situation, failed marriage, or even just a bad day.

I go to yoga class every day, and it’s mostly exercise, asanas, but occasionally some principle of yogic wisdom is bandied about in class or in my personal study. Like the yama aparigraha, not focusing on things to prop up our egotistical sense of what it is. But even Mahatma Ghandi spun and wove and made his own clothes. At some point, I know that I can stop frantically asking the Lord for things all the time when I pray, because I realize that I already have all I want and need.

I wonder sometimes, when I see someone who’s really unhappy, just miserable, mean, confused, or wigging out…what would it take to make that person happy?

Paying it Forward at the Grocery Store

rainy morning

Rainy Morning

I ran into the grocery store this morning, still dressed in my gym clothes. I was going to get some quick deli food to give someone that I knew was going to be very busy around dinner time. In a hurry, I strode toward the entrance, when I heard a little voice say “Ma’am…ma’am!” I looked over to my right and saw a little white-haired lady about 4’8″ beckoning to me. As I got closer, she said “Would you like a store coupon? I just realized I forgot to use it when I checked out. This is the second time I’ve done that lately!”

“Oh”, I said, “you can just use it next time…”

“No!” she said. “It expires tomorrow.” Then she faltered, “I mean, it’s five dollars off fifty, if you weren’t going to spend that much…” her voice trailed off.

“OK,” I said, “thank you very much!

Her eyes sparkled.

I hadn’t planned to spend fifty, but there were a few other things I could stock up on…

As I breezed through the store imagining what someone would like to eat for a quick meal, the shopping cart filled up quickly. Then, at the checkout, that pretty young mom we took an iPhone pic of with Santa last Christmas (DH plays a few Santa gigs in December) took a book of coupons out from under the counter and, right in front of the manager, scanned one that gave me another $2 off my order! The manager offered to carry my groceries out to the car in the pouring rain, but I thanked him and said it wouldn’t be necessary…

I’m thankful for sweet, kind people. ❤

Beautiful Spring Day Goes Creepy

tree

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

palm tree

a beautiful day for a neighbor, would

you be mine?

you be mine?

University Ave

University Ave

We drove out of the city, out of suburbia, past the prairie

We drove out of the city, out of suburbia, past the prairie

cemetery monument

The pet cemetery on 441

cemetery monument

RIP Prince and Benny

dead butterfly

On the path lay a butterfly, chopped in half

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

early spring in suburban central Florida

Early spring in suburban central Florida

 

For more on this theme, look at WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

More Totes than Ol’ Man River Remnant Project

Sewing and knitting come together.
In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, I stole a few hours of so-called free time and finished, finally finished, two projects. Two tote bags.

lined Fair-Isle tote

Cotton remnant-lined Fair-Isle Tote #1

Both of these have been featured on the Knitting Blog (see link to it on the side bar), but they needed a remnant sewing component to finish them off.

cut thumb

Sliced thumb made it difficult to knot the thread

I sliced my left thumb with a serrated knife at lunch the other day. It wasn’t so bad until I tried to finish the hand-sewing on these projects: I just couldn’t roll a knot in the end of the thread with a band-aid on my thumb. So I took off the band-aid and yuck, that’s an ugly brut (bruise-cut).

The pattern for the Sari-ribbon tote called for a store-bought leather bottom, which I didn’t have, so I made one out of a fabric remnant. And my knitted tote-bag body turned out to be a very different size than the one in the pattern, so I had to do some improvising on the lining, and then make the bottom.

purse bottom

improvising the purse bottom

Wonder where the word “tote” came from? “Tote that barge, lift that bale…” ❤

Sari-ribbon Tote bag

Sari-ribbon Tote bag

I used a remnant of .89 yard of outdoor canvas fabric for the tote bag bottom and lining that was a perfect color match to the Louisa Harding sari-ribbon yarn and leather handles. And it sewed like a dream come true! I used a Kwik-Sew shopping bag pattern bottom and altered it to fit, and after three tries and a lot of ripping and tearing, I got it together. Next stop: shopping? Beach? Picnic?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Outside on the Inside of the Neighborhood

Sigh. I’m a slouch when it’s come to blogging. Too busy to do a sewing project. But awed by nature’s beautiful showing of spring inside the neighborhood just after a rain.
spring 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Three

This week’s photo challenge theme is all about Three. First, my take on the Three-fer:

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Grayzie and his catnip toys. Lately Grayzie has been found to have a thyroid condition, so we have to give him meds for that and it sometimes makes him gallop around the house and treat the other cats like he’s the villain in a spaghetti western.

Meanwhile, I did finish a remnant project so I haven’t been completely worthless. This is my 4th nappy mat, and first girly one.

nap mat

pink purrfect precious nappy mat

rolled and ready nappy mat

rolled and ready nappy mat

The mat isn’t for the cat. It’s for a cute little toddler girl. I would be deathly afraid to even show it to the cats. Bob got sick a few months ago with pancreatitis, then we found out he has diabetes. And ring-worm. So we’ve (that is, DH) been administering insulin, oral fungicide, antibiotics, milk thistle extract, and for a considerable amount of time, pain meds. Bob did like the pain med. He would saunter up to DH and meow plaintively when he thought it was time for another dose. And then he got extreme constipation. As a result of that, he got a couple of hernias from trying to poop, and the vet said his colon was the size of two softballs. I thought about drawing you a sketch of what his colon might look like, but there are obscenity laws….So when he came home from staying at the vet’s and getting a whole regime of enemas, he started pooping in the living room over by the piano instead of in his cat box. Needless to say the room that has the piano in it is now blocked off to ALL the cats, sorry, they must all suffer for the sins of the one. And Bob is the Alpha cat here so we can’t give him an inch. I am not making this up…so no, I don’t let Bob see cute little toddler nappy mats right now.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Bonanza Wax Museum Figures

The Mighty Cartwrights

 

A trip to the wax museum brings back memories of a famous TV family from way back.

I tried changing some of the visual appearance of the blog per Zero to Hero Day 15 and I almost had a heart attack when I couldn’t change it back right away. Whew! But I did modify the blog title to include weekly photo challenge (click to see more Family). Then I decided the new title looked sappy so I changed it back. Gee, I don’t know about this change for change’s sake…

Sew Happy

hologram

szdt – szdt – szdt hologram

I didn’t get much done today, and what I did do is of questionable importance. I worked on Zero to Hero Day 14, Blogger’s Choice. My choice was to add another element of new, a marked-up photo, see below…

Been planning to finish the holiday sewing but the Ruby had to go in the shop again: an error message came up over and over again like an old phonograph record with a scratch on it. “Clear out thread under throat plate, szdt szdt szdt” (the word szdt wasn’t printed out in the message but that was the sound it made).

I dreaded taking her in to the shop. Who knows when I would ever see her again? So I dramatically threw my head back, descended onto the nearest facsimile of a fainting couch, and meekly begged and pleaded with my DH to do it. He did! The silver-tongued, country-gentleman, good-ol’-boy, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, lovely man did it! And because he did, my Ruby was fixed and waiting in an hour, while 30 other machines allegedly languished in the bottomless repair pit.

sewing machine repair receipt

this was the receipt for the repair.

Would you believe they will sell your machine for the cost of the repair, if you left it over 30 days? That’s why it does pay to suck up to your local sewing machine repair shop. This shop also sells sewing machines that cost thousands of $$’s so they know if a machine is actually worth the cost of the repair or not.

Would you believe that my sewing machine review post, the one I linked with Sew Mama Sew’s blog, is one of my all- time most-viewed posts?

So I was able to finish a couple of dish towels.

embroidered kitchen towel

embroidered kitchen towel

This particular one, and its twin, are not fashioned from remnants but are finished, unembellished towels straight from the package, that I bought from JoAnn Fabric. You must use a coupon, because these are a bit pricey otherwise. I’ve got some Kokka remnants of cotton and linen that I plan to make more dish towels with.

Kokka linen fabric

Kokka fabric

Kokka fabric

Kokka

cotton linen fabric

dish towel fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word to the wise: if you don’t want trouble with your machine, clean out from under the thread plate with a vacuum, not canned air.

vacuum thread plate

Do

canned air

Don’t.

 

 

Even though I bought the canned air on Nancy’s Notions web site for cleaning lint out of small crevices, apparently it blows lint onto a sensitive sensor and then there is szdt! to pay.

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