Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Blouse

I have sewn many things over the past fifteen years of my life.  Some of them were even rather complicated, like a fully-lined reversible child’s coat, and a blessing gown hand-pieced with heirloom sewing techniques.  I’ve made a bunch of other stuff, too, but never to shirt for myself.  I was terrified of having to fit anything as complicated as the adult female body.  No more!  My sister passed on a blouse pattern the other day.  I thought it looked pretty easy and was worth a try. 

Everything was going well, with quick fittings after virtually ever seam.  I was excited.  I sewed in my first sleeve.  It was beautiful – perfectly sewn in.  As soon as I put the shirt on it became frustratingly obvious that my upper arms are larger than the average female my size.  Curses! I wanted to cry!  I wanted to quit!  I wanted to burn my one-sleeved blouse!  So I threw the nasty thing on my work table, turned out the light and walked downstairs with my poor, bewildered husband trailing behind wandering what on earth was going on. 

I was grumpy for the rest of the night, but when I awoke the sun shined in my soul and I had a solution!  A cap sleeve would accommodate my less-than-slender arms.  Yippee!!  Run to the studio.  Measure, trace, pin, snip, baste, gather, set, sew.  And . . .

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Does the term “euphoria” mean anything to you?

Snow Morning

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It would be misleading to title this post “Snow Day” as the snow only lasted a couple of hours, much to our dismay.  I am not a snow person (I hate the cold), but I love a few days of good, solid snow.  I like it when it’s long enough to bake cookies and sip hot cocoa by the fire and drag out projects you’ve been meaning to finish if you could only find the time. 

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I love taking pictures in the snow because all that beautiful light is diffused and reflected under our grey northwest skies.  But I hate it when the snow turns ugly – you know what I mean – that ucky, slushy, brown stuff waiting for a good rain to wash it all away.  I did not take very many pictures, mostly because it just didn’t stick around long enough for me to even get dressed for the day.  So I stayed inside in my pajamas with my baby and took pictures from the sliding glass door.  (Sean took this gorgeous picture.)

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This is a picture of Djeryd and Erik making balls for a snowman, scraping what little snow there was from the yard.  Thanks goodness for the park full of snow just out the back gate to supplement our meager supply.Grandpa's dog, blouse, snow 010

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Can you see the snowball flying in the air against the fence?  This was perfect snowball snow.

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I think this is my favorite picture of the morning.  Pink (always), too small snow pants, a sweater (brrrr), mis-matched socks, and crazy, pokey bed-head sticking out a hat made for a grown-up.  Love it!

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I wish there would have been a little more snow and it would have lasted a little longer, but hey, I’ll take what I can get and just count my blessings we got to have french toast with Daddy on a school day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Striped Swirly Skirt

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Anna has been asking for a long skirt.  So I took the gypsy skirt pattern used here and added some length.  The yoke wound up being too long and the bottom tier not long enough.  I added several inches of width on the bottom tier this time to beef up the gathers.  I made some notes in my sewing journal in case I decide to use this pattern again.  I really like how it turned out, though.  And Anna loves it, which is the most important part.

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My favorite element are these ribbon roses (we’ll see how they wash . . .).

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Anna’s favorite part is that it looks like “waves on the ocean” when she spins.  Success!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Frenchy Bulletin Board

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I have been meaning to update my message board area in the kitchen for a long time.

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I stared at the blank board for a month before I finally got the ribbons and roses on.

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I love how it turned out.  The roses are just rolled paper spirals that I pinned on with black-headed sewing pins.  I tried to use some of those decorative pushpins, but the pin part was too fat and dull to go through the ribbons, fabric and cork.  I think this turned out much better.  Funny how that happens sometimes.  ;>

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crossing Over

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In January he Crossed Over.  My boy Djeryd is a Boy Scout now.  He bore the state colors at his final pack meeting.  And he Crossed Over.

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Our pack does a very cool cross over ceremony, with lots of drama and story-telling and smoke.  It is a pretty big deal, which is as it should be.  This is a right of passage.

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I admit I got a little choked-up when he crossed the little bridge marking his departure from Cub Scouts and his entrance into Boy Scouts.

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I think he looks very handsome in his uniform (although he desperately needs a slide).  I am so proud of him for earning that religious knot over his pocket and the Arrow of Light that sits below the same pocket.  Djeryd, you are so terrifically, amazingly, wonderfully special!

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And here are two pics I could not pass up posting:  Alyx trying to feed Grandpa her polka-dotted sock (yum!) . . .

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and Erik in one of his funny paradoxes – wrong place (on the bridge, on the stage – which did not surprise me at all), but very quietly and innocently eating his chocolate cake (which absolutely floored me – so much so that I had to take a picture for proof).  He makes me laugh.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What Am I Reflecting?

I got a call from my son’s teacher yesterday.  I hate calls from teachers.  Have you noticed that teachers never call to say, “Your kid is terrific.  I sure love having him in class!”  No, they call to tell you everything that is going wrong, which I immediately internalize to mean everything I am doing wrong as a mother.  Inevitably I take out my frustration with myself on my child.  I become someone I hate.

I have not visited the blogosphere much lately because it still hurts to sit at the computer for very long.  But today I happened upon this video via this blog.  And I thought of my sweet boy that I have been yelling at all day.  And I thought about the reflection of himself I am shining back.  It is not a good reflection.  And it is not a true reflection.  I think sometimes we not only see ourselves as the Ugly Duckling, but if we are not careful, we make others feel like the Ugly Duckling, too.  Especially our children.  They are so sensitive to our perception of them.  Do we treat them like Children of God?  Because that’s who they are.

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A couple of days ago I became enamored with these drops of water on my counter.  I thought the lighting was beautiful and marveled at the shapeliness provided by the surface tension of the water.  If Heavenly Father can make something so amazing with a little water and sun on my countertop, how much more amazing is each one of the people in my life. 

And why is it so hard to remember all this stuff when the teacher calls?

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