Sunday, February 27, 2011

what a let down!

Third roll of film from the pinhole camera resulted in: a lot of nothing. an entire roll of useless negatives, actually. I am planning on trying to use the negatives in some other sort of mixed media somethingorother.
An hour wasted waiting for least I got to see my sister and get a half priced cup of Starbuck's coffee!!
I'm thinking of giving it a rest, since I can't seem to figure this thing out. Clearly, the unknown of the pinhole is too frustrating for me at this point in my life.
Two post cards to get out into the mail tomorrow...wish I had accomplished more, though.
Monday's up, tomorrow...good luck, everyone! :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

strange connections

So, more than one of the blogs I follow posted about the post office or their letter carrier or the postal service in general in the past couple of days. That, in itself, is not really a crazy thing. The bizarre-o thing that happened to me, concerning the postal service, has to do with a mailman. I had worked in a restaurant many (MANY) years ago with a guy who left when he 'finally' got a job at a local post office. I have not seen him since his last day at the restaurant...about 12 or so years ago. I wasn't even married the last time I saw him!! Anyway, it was another one of those days I was not getting out on time at Trader Joe's, but when I finally did, I was on my way to drop my drawer at the office when the Postman was on his way out...IT WAS MY FRIEND!! I stopped in my tracks and exclaimed, 'DAVE!' At first he wasn't sure, then it clicked how he knew me, 'Bad Axe, right?' (his wife was also from Michigan, and well, everyone always remembers AT LEAST the oddly named town I grew up in). Obviously, it wasn't a long reunion, both of us working and all. It was just so random. We exchanged a couple pleasantries, I gave him a big hug, and we went our separate ways. I'm sure it will be another 12 years before we see each other again, but I feel like all the extra postal connections have pulled him back into my little world for a short visit. Fun day.

And so this morning I managed to ALMOST complete another piece of mail art. Why does it seem to take me so much longer than everyone else?? Mail pours in...but not much leaves my house these days...I am apologizing to you, my mail art friends. Bear with me, I promise I'm not giving up!! :)

And after a day of wind and rain, I woke up to snow! Enough that only bits of the lawn are poking through...enough that everything has iced over. But the sun is shining, I have the day off with Hubby (who is finally up and getting ready at 9:30...I've been up since 6, I love sleeping in!), and I'm in the mood to do art and practice my clarinet and I even feel like I may dust off the guitar for a bit of 'how's this thing work?' And between it all...sadly, I have to force feed my cat with a syringe. I had forgotten that cats can make themselves anorexic. If they stop eating, they sometimes will not get back into the habit of it, and you have to make them 'remind them' that they need to eat. Weird little creatures, those!

Happy Saturday to all! Sorry about the double post...though I'm not promising to not post again today. I just never know what to do with myself when I have the whole day!

Hong Kong: a friendly reminder

So, I'm crap at this blog set up stuff. I am in awe of anyone using anything other than templates and personal photos from their desktop!
But I figured out how to get Erika's Kickstarter do-hickey on my page, so...there it is!
If you haven't watched the video, yet, you should. I tried to put that up, but the widget didn't fit in the space, and as i said, this is not my forte so I went the easy route! Go here to see the vid.
At any rate, even if you can't give, maybe some of YOUR blog readers would be interested...pass it on.
Maybe I'm just being selfish...I want a post card from Hong Kong!! :) the studio! All this excitement for her adventure has got some strange feeling stirring...could it be a little creativity bubbling to the surface? Only one way to find out!
Thanks for the kick in the pants, Erika!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

HEY! It's Friday!

With a short month coming to an end (and the mortgage being due again already), Hubby's job being in a state of uncertainty, and us owing some taxes (because one of my jobs didn't take any federal taxes out all year) was probably not the best idea to give up one of my shifts at Trader Joe's this week. But I did it anyway...because it was a Saturday, which means I get another 'family day' with Hubby and the 'kids'.
Unfortunately, I am actually wishing for this kind of day...
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good rainstorm/thunderstorm, but I am definitely feeling that 'spring fever' I've heard so much about.

I will hopefully get to spend some time in the studio, though. Everyone around me seems to be doing great things, and I'm so far behind on creating anything, that is...well, a little sad.
Sad, like this :
Aww...a pug in jail!
Okay, I'm getting silly thinking about the upcoming glass of wine!!
oh...I finally finished my third roll of film from the pinhole camera...we'll see what develops sometime this weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hanzo update

My sweet boy seems to be fine, for now. Today was his ultrasound. Lauren shaved his belly and took a look at his insides. Specifically, Dan had been concerned that his kidneys looked larger than the other. Lauren agreed, and asked if she could sedate him to get an aspirate to see if there was anything odd about his kidneys. While she was getting things in order, and Amy and I gave Hanzo his drugs, I found a tiny lump on his side! We also looked at the lump on his leg. After all was said and done and aspirated...everything looks fine.
The kidneys are fine. The lump on the leg IS just a hematoma and should shrink in about a week or so, with the antibiotics he's already (supposed to be) taking. It could be something that was already starting when I originally took him in. It's possible, it's been the problem the whole time, it just got bigger after I pressed on his leg when they drew blood a week ago! The tiny lump I found while I was there is nothing right now, but 'will probably grow into something'. At which point it will probably -hopefully- just turn into something that we can just have removed or he can just live with it. Now, the thing with the lungs, which is what I was most worried about, seems to be nothing to worry about. The lab tech said it's not the same as when a person has a mass in their lungs. In about a month, Lauren wants to do another ultrasound and check the kidneys again, but until then...he's perfectly fine.
The verdict then? It seems his non-existent bowel movements were the result of not eating, which was just because he wasn't feeling well. It could be that there was already something 'brewing' in his leg, which made it painful for him to walk, which led him to stay out of the basement where his food, water, and litter box are.
Unfortunately, now he's still high from the drugs he got today and I am sitting here making sure he doesn't try to go downstairs! Poor guy is spinning and his back legs are useless. He's taking it pretty hard.

Public Service Announcement

As I posted earlier this week, a co-worker had a seizure Sunday morning at work. I didn't know what to do except alert the other co-workers standing near-by. Luckily, one of them had recently looked up what to do in case of a seizure, deciding it would be a good idea to know what to do, should it happen while she's there! It paid off, too.
I had an epileptic cousin, but the only memory I have of her is from when I was very young...10 or so. And it is a memory of her having a grand mal seizure.
The problem, these days, with trying to help someone, is that most of what we were taught years ago, is not the right way to do things anymore. This is one of those cases...everything I knew about seizure procedure is wrong. The right way is pretty much the opposite of what I knew.
This is a helpful link for seizures. You should never put anything in their mouths (they used to say have them bite down on a pencil or tongue depressor to keep from biting their tongue...not good!) or try to hold their arms down (I have heard the force of a seizure can actually pull their shoulders out of their sockets if you hold their arms down!). You should just keep them from anything that could hurt them...keep them safe.
It's also good to know that, once they are recovering, they may have saliva in their mouth, and should be rolled to one side so they don't choke.

A conversation I had with a friend the other day, about how these things have changed, led to the CPR procedures, as well. I don't really remember the exact way it was taught in school, but I know that when I took a CPR class a few years ago, it was different. It is intimidating to think that you would ever need to preform it on someone, but it is better, I think, to know that you could help, if no one else could. Here's a link for basic instructions...though, as it says, nothing compares to an actual class.

And, lastly,
Erika is trying to make it to Hong Kong to take the world by storm with her awesome oil paintings!! Go take a look at her's fun! And, if you can, why not help her out?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

For love of Art

For any of you who don't know Erika, she is a talented, self-taught artist I've 'met' through the blogosphere.
She's taking a huge leap into the unknown by trying to get funded to take a trip to Hong Kong to follow a dream. I admire her for making such a bold move and hope anyone out there who feels the same will spread the word.
We can, in our own little ways, be a part of art patronage!!
Find out more about her project and to help her turn this dream into reality, go here.
Good luck, Erika!

Monday, February 21, 2011

and so it continues

I know I've already posted today...
and, I hate posting mundane and dreary details, but here's an update on my kitty:
The doctor doing the ultrasound called in sick today. Which means: a)I brought Hanzo in to work for no particular reason; and, b) I have to wait until Thursday morning for more info on his condition.
The doctor who saw him last week, Dan, said the radiologist is calling it 'carcinoma' b/c that is what they always's hard to tell from the x-ray if it is actually cancerous.
Since he was there, at work, Dan called one of the other doctors that was on, Michelle, and asked her to take a look at Hanzo. Michelle and I worked together on Nantucket, and she remembered Hanzo from when he was surrendered. We took another x-ray, because at this point he had developed a lump on his left hind leg. I admitted that it could just be from me 'holding off' when they drew blood the other day, but she wanted to be sure it wasn't a bone issue. Nothing showed in the x-ray, so, was mommy's fault!! A warm compress to the leg to see if the swelling goes down...I feel a bit like a brute now! :(
The good news is that, by bringing him to work, I had a virtually endless supply of foods to offer him, and he was back to his old 'scarfing' eating habit by the time I brought him home at lunch time!
Still not sure that he's drinking enough, but I can always get fluids to bring home, I guess.
The doctors are being very nice to the point where it is almost awkward now, at work...this too shall pass, I guess? :)
Anyway, I am feeling a little more optimistic, having spoken with Dan, face-to-face today. Maybe it's nothing?


I've been offline for a couple days. Partly because I managed to pick up a little flu bug a few days ago and have been spending a fair amount of time in bed.
Partly, because, though I'm sick, I have still been going to work. I know, I shouldn't, and I almost took yesterday off, but a co-worker had a seizure at work and I would've felt like an ass, wanting to go home early!
And also, partly because I'm going through some issues with Hanzo.

I swore I would never get a cat. The cat Hubby had when we met was a nice cat, but he smelled and was pushy and we never bonded. I just never felt like you could bond with a cat like you can with a dog. Then I met Hanzo (then, his name was Rikki Tikki Tavi...had to change that!). He was surrendered with his 'sister', who almost immediately was put down when they found she had some sort of stomach cancer. He was the sweetest thing ever...always purring, very lovey, and de-clawed, both front and back. I would never get a cat de-clawed, but it was a selling point for me, after seeing how Hubby's cat had ruined our landlord's sofa. I was sad that he had been surrendered AND lost his sister all in the same offered to adopt him.
Even after having him, and loving him, and just thinking how dog-like he was...I still never thought I could have that bond.
But here we are, after bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasound, urinalysis...facing some difficult decisions. He started antibiotics for a possible infection, but then I got a call from the Dr. saying, after they sent the x-rays to radiology for a closer look at the 'fuzziness' in his lungs, that there is a mass in his lung.
Today, I'm taking him to work with me for a more indepth ultrasound so see if another dr. may be able to aspirate the lung mass to see exactly what it is. Chemo is a possiblilty, but we won't do that. And, we're definitely not doing surgery to get a piece of the lung. Most likely we will start him on steroids today, which will also get his appetite going again. But I figure we have a couple months...and,'s hitting me harder than I thought it would...
Sorry, for the downer for the day...had to get it out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

soup pie

Our newest toy is our crock pot that we got for our anniversary (from Hubby's parents). I'm not into crock pot cooking, mostly because my experience has been...well, mushy. Hubby has been using it for pulled pork and that sort of thing. I made soup. His last experiment with pork was using a pork butt shoulder. Surprise! It wasn't what I was expecting. He said, 'should I have the butcher cut it in half?' This was at the grocery store...they had one left and it was the size of my head! I said, 'don't be silly! I can cut it when we get may decide to use the whole thing anyway.' Big mistake. I tore that thing apart...but was not about to throw the bone out, since it was full of meat I couldn't loosen, and I've heard of people using bones for soup...crazy, I know! :)
So, I got out the dry bean mix I'd purchased with no real reason, some time ago. I used the random bits of celery and onions and the one potato we had to round the soup out.
It was good, but the starch from the potato eventually turned this soup into a stew.
Determined to not let it go to waste, I have decided to use the leftovers to make a pork pot pie, of sorts.
This mess, resulted in this
a not too bad looking pie. I added some frozen peas to the mix, and some ground pepper to the bottom crust. It may taste like crap, but we will know for sure tonight!

It has shaped up to be a gorgeous day today. It's got to be near 50 degrees, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Moxie is soaking up the rays!
She is such a sun worshipper. In the summer, she looks at you like your crazy when you make her come in from outside. Of course, due to the medicine in her ears, she probably can't hear anything, anyway. Poor girl. I feel bad that I let her ears get so bad. The upside, of course, is that I finally switched to the hospital where I's like having insurance! Unfortunately, I have decided to take Hanzo in ASAP (this afternoon, actually) to see why he's acting weird. He's usually eating all the time, but he hasn't been eating much, and now, only if I soften the food with water. He is sleeping under the bed instead of in the basement, too. I pulled his paperwork out from when I adopted him...I knew he was old, but he's THIRTEEN!! I think he's getting to 'that point'. We'll find out today (or soon, anyway). Sad.

In happier new: I was only without my car for a few hours this morning. I dropped it last night to have my rear brakes fixed this morning. I got a call around 9:30-10 a.m. to say they didn't replace my brakes because they were fine...just dirty. They pulled all the stuff out, cleaned and greased it up, and put it back together. When I picked it up, the guy said, 'I rotated your tires while it was up, because it needed it.' Okay, that's fine, I knew I was overdue. I realized when I got home, that they didn't charge me for it! It's only a $28 procedure, but they discounted my bill by that much! I love free stuff! Especially when it's completely unexpected. Now, there is, of course, bad news to go with it. I asked that they take a look at my exhaust while it was up, because I started hearing a rattle underneath, and my gas mileage has gotten kind of bad.
They couldn't find a leak except 'maybe the tiniest leak up front, but nothing too severe'; but, the bracket holding my pipes up have started to loosen. Unfortunately, it's too rusted to fix, and I 'don't want to pay for that repair until it's absolutely necessary'...'that repair' being a completely new exhaust, from front to back! Yuck! Hubby's solution: buy a new car. But, my frugal ways say,'show those bastards who think Cavaliers are disposable that you can get 200,000 miles out of her!!' Okay, 200 is pushing it, but I'm up to 116,000+ and I think I can get close!
That was all very interesting to everyone else, right?!

Well, the pot pie is done and looks gorgeous (well, it's actually a little dark on top, but who cares).
Time to practice my clarinet for a bit, since I have a music date on Saturday.
Then maybe a little French practice with my new Cd's.
Then, after the vet trip, maybe a little arting?
My 'weekends' cause me to forget the days...I imagine a lot of people are just getting through their workweek...planning their own weekend shenanigans?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

and the hits keep coming

Hubby and I are one of those childless (by choice!) couples who are 'mom and dad' to our pets. I, being the mom, end up doing all the dirty work. Like taking the kids to the doctor. Unfortunately, for the cat, I'm more of a dog person. Moxie is our baby, and Hanzo, though older, is the stepson. At least, that is how it used to be...
This week was supposed to be the 'easy' week. After all the business of the past two weeks, I was hoping for some fun! Instead, after work today, I had to take Moxie to the vet, then run some errands including a stop at town hall for her new license and then over to the garage to drop my car to be serviced tomorrow! I had my front brakes done in May, but it's time for the rear brakes...and I asked that they check the exhaust while it's up. After that it should all be fine and maybe i can get another 100,000 miles on my Chevy before I have to give her up? We'll see.
Anyway, the car is what it need work, and mine has had minimal issues...all routine. So, I try not to complain about it. I'll just be without a car until it's done.
The bad news of the day...the pets.
I try to keep Moxie in tip-top shape. She is only 21 pounds, topping out at 23 one year. I keep her ears clean, her nails trim, and she gets regular baths in the summertime. Most of this is because she's just so good for it all...she just stands there and takes it. Whenever we get pugs in at the vet, the technicians always cringe because they are notorious (there, at least) for being problem children...squirming and trying to bite...they hate having their ears and feet touched. But since I am always 'poking and prodding' (Hubby's words) the pets at home, they don't mind when the vet does it.
ANYWAY (wow, i can really go on tangents sometimes!) Moxie's ear has been especially crusty, and swollen. This is the worst it's been, and it's because I have been neglectful having been so pre-occupied lately. She has mild yeast in one ear and a full-blown infection of all kinds of nasties in her other ear!! Poor thing! The good news: the vet gushed over her! They always do, and I feel so proud to have a well-behaved pet with a sweet disposition and clean fur!
More bad news: Hanzo is acting weird. And he doesn't have the veracious appetite he usually has, and (pardon me for a moment) he hasn't had a BM in a couple days! I offered him some food this evening and he's eating, but I think he may have issues with the stairs now. And pug owners, or people who know pugs, know that there is nowhere safe to put cat food unless it is up out of reach! I hope it is just that though, because I really don't want him to be sick...poor neglected cat!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Celebration and the opposite

What a loooong week it's been.
I have been doing all the things that seem to pop up all at once this time of year. I never really noticed it before, but perhaps it's the few extra 'gotcha's' life's throwing in the mix this year. We're in Massachusetts, where cars need yearly inspections. I'm not sure if this is the norm in all states, now, but it wasn't when I was first driving. I grew up in Michigan, car capital of American, if you will. My first car was a hand-me-down '84 Chevy Cavalier (that I honestly loved despite it's MANY flaws) which I inherited from Auntie when she decided to get a $500 '79 Grand Wagoneer (sky blue...oh, it was a beauty!). When I had to leave the Cape our first summer (due to lack of funds and needing to live rent free with the parents for a didn't last long. I had just turned 21, I knew right away that living with my parents would never be an option for me!)...I drove that Cavalier back to Michigan...and then back to Mass a few months later. Before I could even change from my Michigan plates, I got pulled over after, what I thought was, my muffler had fallen off. When I took it in, I learned that my car was not legal. In Michigan, at that time anyway, you didn't get your cars inspected. You drove them if they moved, and if they didn't sent them off to the junk yard. My car had a long pipe welded in place where the catalytic converter should be. "that's illegal'' is what the mechanic told me. So, several hundred dollars later, it was 'fixed'.
The point? Umm...Oh! State inspections...mine was due this month. So there was that. And my front brakes need to be done, though, they didn't keep me from passing my inspection. I did, however, have to make an appointment for this Thursday (there goes another off, at least). That will be the day after the dog goes to the vet, since her annual exam always falls on February, too. And tax time!! We don't usually dread tax time, but the past couple years have been great big question marks. Last year, we only had health insurance for the last 2 months of the year, and so had to pay a fine. I have no idea what that fine was, but it cut into our tax refund. This year, we were covered the entire year, and were pretty excited about getting some moolah back in the back...until I sat down with the W-2's and whatnot. I found out, and this has actually happened to me before, so I should've learned my lesson...Trader Joe's has not been taking any Federal taxes out of my checks...for a year. The year I met Hubby, I had to borrow money from him to pay my taxes because I never realized my job wasn't taking any out. I believe it was around 5 or 6 HUNDRED dollars. It sucks, and it's been weighing on my mind...of course, until I go to work to straighten it out and COMPLETELY FORGET TO BRING IT UP!! Stupid!! At any rate, it was a slap in the face and a little added stress that I just don't need.
Not that everyone wants/needs to hear my sad story, but Hubby is also stressed at his job due to a financial situation his boss is in, resulting in no one getting paid last week. He's also worried that his boss is saying and doing things that lead him to believe he is looking for reasons to let him go. That would be a huge problem for us, to say the least, but the worst part really is the stress of not knowing. I hate to see Hubby stressed...that's MY thing! :)
So with all of that going on, I have finished my 10 day work week.
And there is some good, besides finally getting a day off. It is a day with Hubby, and it's kind of like two since I was home by 1 yesterday.
Valentine's day isn't a 'holiday' we celebrate, but since we got a day off together, so close to the holiday, I felt like celebrating. I have also been wanting to try some of the cheeses we have, since I am now in charge of ordering it. People will come to me and ask me about cheeses we have, so I need to be prepared. I am amazed by the number of people who will come into Trader Joe's, planning a party, but seeming to have no idea how to do it or what to serve. They literally expect us to plan their party, right there on the spot! But no matter...I'm the kind of girl who embraces her new challenges...I am a slave to my job, no matter what it is...I'm a loyal employee, to say the least. But, big fun! I spent a little bit extra when I did my grocery shopping this week. I got a couple cheeses to sample, and after my discount, it's almost like I got them for free (that's how I justify splurging when money's tight!). I thought a nice cheese tray, and our yummy Ham & Gruyere Tarte D'alsace and a bottle of wine would be a 'fancy' lunch.
I got the Pinot Grigio Salami that I love (I'm not really a salami girl, usually, but this one's nice..a little peppery); the Irish Dubliner Cheddar that we know we like; I have been wanting to try the English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions (the triangle pieces in the top right corner) ever since getting the Cotswold with chives for the holiday party I went to in December, and I'm glad I did! The one I've been dying to try is the wedge with the orange edge. It's Port Salut. It's a semi soft cheese that just looks delicious to me. It's so white and just spreads on the crackers. It's so mild, that I had trouble really tasting anything. I truly enjoyed the texture and couldn't stop eating it, but I literally could not tell you what it tastes like! Has anyone else had this type of cheese? Could you explain or describe it if someone asked? Trader Joe's has also recently added a new cheese to their line up (I know I sound like an ad, but it really is just my life...not me trying to get you to shop their or even like the company...just me rambling on...). It's a 'melange' of goat and cow milk (it's the one at the bottom left corner, between the apple and the salami). It has a nice creamy texture, and you can really taste the goat part, but the cow milk cuts that sharp goatiness. It's nice for people like me who have to 'be in the mood' for goat cheese. My palette accepts it as a sour taste usually, which isn't particularly pleasant to me most days.
I rounded out the plate with some basic water crackers and yummy pita crackers, a surprisingly new favorite in our house.
And the tarte...Hubby doesn't eat ham, yet this is a favorite of his. It's a thin crust topped with Gruyere, ham, and caramelized onions. Unfortunately, when I took it out of the box, I discovered that it didn't survive my shoving it into the freezer after my shopping trip! Oh, well, just for us, no biggie.
So, we sat and ate cheese and tarte, and drank some wine and just thought about the good things...and that was what we celebrated.
Now the birds are singing. The days are definitely getting longer. Hubby has some freelance work going. I have a day off and the sun is shining. Who cares about the rest!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

done, and done

Sheet to dress #3: done.
here is a closer look at just how awful I am at the zipper thing.
I don't know why this picture uploaded as a vertical instead of horizontal, but the point is that it's all bulky and ugly...
What's even better than that? How I just can't seem to match up the sides when I sew the zipper in!! It's hilariously crooked, and it's going to stay that way...I can't imagine anyone looking closely enough at the back of my dress to realize it, anyway.
And this is how it looks hanging up...I honestly haven't even tried it on yet...I literally finished the zipper (hand-sewn) and threw the dress on the sewing machine, and went to make dinner.
front back

Today, I skipped my friend's knitting circle to get some stuff done. I'm nearly finished getting my taxes together, and now I can get to work on my valentines!

Anyone out there celebrate February 14?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

not again!!

Okay, I am a gluten for punishment, for sure. Why...why, oh, why...why do i continue to try sewing?? The whole thing is just a mess of threads, crooked stitches, and patterns cut as if by some drunk!!
This time around I thought, 'I got this!' I was even going to buy a zipper foot, since that part is generally the hardest part for me. Would you believe, I couldn't find one!? The fabric store did not have one. They had an 'invisible zipper foot', for invisible I bought that. It is a package of 4 different attachments for 3 different types of machines. Guess who is in possession of a machine that fits NONE of those feet!? My luck, of course.
'Oh, well,' I think to myself. 'I've done this before, here we go again using the regular foot for a zipper. Only this time, after the second time all the thread got all jammed up in the bottom bobbin (whatever that part of the machine is called?), I yanked and cut and threw the dress back into my 'sewing bag', put away my machine, and grabbed a beer and the computer.
I guess I have two options now:
1. try the fabric store again and see if they got any zipper feet (foots?) in yet; or
2. hand sew the zipper.
I will probably try hand sewing the zipper while watching TV tonight, because sewing makes me very impatient and I am at that point where I just want it to be done and over.

In the meantime, all of this sewing has kept me for practicing my clarinet, planning dinner and a grocery list, and my many mail art projects.

What have I learned from all of this? That I know why I had put aside sewing for awhile, and that I will likely not abandon it forever, even if I feel like it now! :)
(no progress pics...too frustrated today)

Monday, February 7, 2011

feeling a little down

I had planned on having a fun evening of football with hubby last night. He made bbq pulled pork in the crock pot, I picked up a growler of beer from the local brewery, and we had a platter of cheese/crackers/salami/veggies for a pre-game snack. It was shaping up to be a lovely evening.
But then, around 7:45 p.m. I could NOT keep my eyes open!! I blame the 4 a.m. wake up call for work, the hour long workout I squeezed in AFTER work, and the two pints of beer I had before 6.
I never feel bad about going to bed early, but sometimes, like this morning, I wake up thinking I made myself miss out on something. Sure, it was just him and me, but we don't get a lot of time together with our schedules as they are, and I feel like I should've tried to stay awake later.
Oh well, what's done is done, as they say...time to move on.

I am hoping to finish my dress by week's end. I am having some serious car (brake) issues...not sure it it's all the slush/ice/salt on the roads, or if I just need new brakes. When I had the back one's done, they did say I would need to start thinking about having the front ones done...'it's not urgent, but just so you know.' I have been wanting to start some new mail art projects, but have been filling my days with socializing, which is rare for me! Thursdays look like they will be my 'knitting group' day...I don't knit but I go have coffee with some girls and do some embroidery. It's a fun few hours.

I guess that's as much rambling as I can get in this to work!

Friday, February 4, 2011

dress making: day 2

After all the pinning, stitching, and ripping out the stitches, I finally got around to sewing the darts properly. Not too shabby.
So, moving right along, I thought I might be right on track to get this dress nearly finished (and maybe all done by the end of the weekend?). Then, as with EVERY time I've ever sewn a dress, I get to that part of the instructions that just don't make sense! This time it was the 'vent' in the back. A part that is probably not even going to be necessary because of the length of the dress, and how it's going to fit (it won't be a wiggle dress that is so tight I will have to shuffle my feet to walk!).
Sew it closed, cut this here, press this there, remove that stitch...I mean, come on! 'As shown' means nothing here, because even the picture is confusing and doesn't make sense. I just can't wrap my brain around how this works out in the end. So I did what any normal person would do...I skipped that part, and will just figure it out after the whole dress is assembled and I can visualize how it should look. I imagine I will just sew it right up the, slit.
More to come, I'm hoping to finish it up this weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

a whirlwind of crafting

I pulled the sewing machine out again. And the flannel sheet that I snagged at the kennel way before Thanksgiving...please try to get over the fact that it is: a)a sheet that was donated to an animal hospital (we don't use the sheets that are donated...only blankets and towels); and b)well, the the fact that it's a donated sheet! :)
It is, of course, going more slowly than I would like a project to go. The reason my sewing is so crappy is mainly because I just don't want to put the time into precision. This dress, this fabric.
I cut out the pieces,and still have about half a sheet left. I, big surprise, didn't cut all the pieces I needed, and had to go back and cut a couple more pieces...for the lining for the top. And sewing that part was quite an adventure...'what!? how does this work...I have to pull it do i do that!?' I figured it out, and Voila! a top is created!!
Oh, and the best part...the darts...oh, good grief, why do I do this? Being the clever (lazy) seamstress that I am, I used the hem of the sheet for the hem of the less step, I love it! I even got the darts to look right. And then, I realized I did it inside, out come the scissors, and out come the darts. Pin it all again, and times up...I had to put it all aside for another day.
Another day, like maybe the next day? Meaning, today?
Nope! I was invited to my friends' bakery for a 'knitting circle'. I don't knit...or crochet...or any of those crafty 'making-something-out-of-nothing' things. But, it turned out there was a woman there doing some 'foiling' for jewelry she makes. Anyway, I brought my embroidery stuff. And a skirt I had ruined many years ago. I had a job at a bagel shop, where I was basically a short-order cook, frying up eggs, bacon, Reubens, and all manner of greasy foods. Grease stains don't dye well, for the record. I took my khaki skirt and attempted to dye it black. As I was dying it, I took it out when it got to this fun grey-lavender color.
I decided to embroider something over the stains, to disguise them.
Not too bad, so far, but it's hard to tell where I'm going from here.
Now I have several unfinished projects AND I need to get a move on in the mail art department!
Home by noon tomorrow, gives me plenty of time for arts and crafts.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

a great day to stay inside

I have a fairly long list of things to do today. All, except the one I really need to do, can be (and should be) done inside. And that's great, since it's cold and rainy, and the streets are basically sheets of ice today. It is, as a friend said yesterday, like living inside a slush puppie machine (or maybe, more appropriately, a slurpee?).
At any rate, I am, once again, debating whether or not to get my butt outside and to the dump to get rid of our trash and recyclables. It's just so yucky out there! :(
But, as I said, there's plenty to do inside today. I have the house to clean (bathroom and kitchen were mostly done last night...just need to do the floors!). There's the tax worksheet to do, and documents to gather to send off to the accountant. I have mail art to do. Music to practice. Animals to snuggle with.
And...I may try making another dress.
The blue one. I have an old flannel sheet waiting to start its new life as part of my wardrobe. I thought I had a picture of it, but I can't find it and I'm too lazy to go downstairs to get another. Yes, I am that lazy right now! It's 8 a.m. and I'm still in my reindeer jammies, too!
I am terrible at sewing, but I feel like it's that type of day, where my idle hands will continue to feed me until I find something else to do!
And the other I go with Hubby for coffee this morning, even though the roads are bad and I've already had 3/4 of the pot I made this morning. Rough day, so far...aahhh...