Say What? Sew what?











{April 3, 2011}   Lazy Sundays…

It’s almost 60 outside, the windows are opened, I hear the sound of yard work, birds chirping, kids playing outside and all the lovely sounds of spring.  Unfortunately, it’s supposed to storm like a mother tomorrow. Blech…welcome to Spring Break, kiddos.  Diva S has an ear infection and possible strep, but her pedi didn’t call to confirm either way.  So, she’s on amoxicillin.  She’s like her biggest sister, doesn’t present with a fever with ear infections.

Little Dude has gotten his second tooth, and I’m trying to figure out if his issues are seasonal allergies or a cold.  Either way, there’s not much I can do about it since they do not make cold, cough or allergy meds for the youngest crowd.  However, if they don’t clear up by his 9 month check up in May I will be asking what I can give him.  He’s miserable.

I did sew this week, but nothing exciting–I just hemmed up some curtain panels for a friend and then sewed some patches onto another friend’s leather biker vest.  The girls’ Easter dresses are taunting me, but I hate the silky, fraying fabric.  I may tackle them later on tonight should all kids go to bed.

Well, I think I’m going to clean up Little Dude, get the kids dressed, go get a Sunday paper and then come home and we shall play outside.

Have a good’er Sunday, happy sewing and lots of love.

Jenn

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{March 28, 2011}   High Horse and Soap Box

A pet peeve of mine is grammar.  I know mine is not perfect, but I’m trying to teach my kids how to speak properly during this day and age of texting, twitter, emails, blogging, etc.  You can imagine my surprise watching a commercial for Gain and they spit out the word “gooder.”  *Gasp* Surely that commercial did not just say gooder? I have to love digital cable, because I rewound (is that even applicable today?) and watched it twice.  Yup, sure enough, it says “gooder.”  There were even two back-to-back Gain commercials, both using that word.

I found Gain’s website and wrote them a comment about their advertisement and how I found it offensive they were “dumbing down” their commercials and even my 4 year old knows good, better, and best.

Here’s their response:

“Dera Jenn,

Thanks for your comments and concern.

We chose to use the word Good’er for a dramatic effect. This was an attempt to play off of the expression “Have a Good Morning”.  We believe that families and companies should be doing all they can to promote education.  The process of doing laundry can often be a boring, monotonous process. The Gain team is hoping to make this process just a little bit more fun, and this is often demonstrated in the advertising.

Thanks again for writing.

Megan H.

Gain Team”

Yeah.  They couldn’t even spell “dear” right, and I’m going to ASSume that since “Dera Jenn,” is in an entirely different font that it was some automated bull crap answer.

I found one of the offending commercials on youtube and watched it.  I wanted to see if perhaps it was a play on “Have a good morning.”  It wasn’t.  The commercial starts out playing a Warrant song and the voice-over says, “Bill’s mornings have never been gooder…”  Hmmmmm, maybe I’m dense, but I don’t see how that is a play on “Have a Good Morning.”  Why don’t you take a gander at it for yourself?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqtvVfa0VqI

Here’s my email back to them and I know have bigger fish to fry than grammatically incorrect commercials.

Dear Megan,

Thank you for your response; however, I re-watched the commercial online and the word gooder (or good’er as you referred to it) doesn’t resemble “Have a good morning.” to me.  The commercial starts out saying, “Bill’s morning have never been gooder…”  This is a poor choice of a word, considering it isn’t even a word and I hope it never makes it into the dictionary.  If it had said, “Bill’s mornings have been good’uns…” than I’d be able to see the connection and probably wouldn’t have complained in the first place for Gain “dumbing down” their advertising.
Any way, thank you for your response, as automated as it was, and the proper salutation is “Dear,” not “Dera.”
Sincerely,
Jenn


Yup, that’s the title I earned today when I finished the kids’ table tent.  It started yesterday with the kids huffing and puffing because it was too cold to go play outside and me realizing that next month will more than likely be spent indoors thanks to April’s showers.  I’ve seen them done for card tables, but I have no room for a card table.  So, kitchen table it is then.  The hub of our house, where homework is finished, meals eaten, thinking caps put on, coloring done, creativity and imagination takes place (and where I do most of my sewing these days).  I rummaged through our linen shelf and found a twin sheet set that doesn’t get used and down to the black hole of my laundry room to look through my stash and away we went.  24 hours and several hiccups later, the kids were able to eat their pb&j’s UNDER the table in their own house.  I took inspiration for their house drawings for how I did the trees, bush and flowers.  It still needs a mailbox and I want to do one where we can put mail in it, but the kids spent all afternoon playing house, grilling out, playing barbies and driving around their house on their pillow cars.  I call it sweet success and I earned the coveted “Best Mommy in the Whole-Wide World” award.  Life is grand. =)



{March 21, 2011}   Spring is in the air

but not for long, but it has made its presence known!  (Thursday it’s going to drop back down below 50, but I’ll take this gorgeous weather!)  The kids and I had a wonderful weekend.  They were off school on Friday, so we made an impromptu visit to the zoo.  It was perfect weather, t-shirts and jeans, overcast and since it wasn’t a weekend day it wasn’t packed–it was perfect.  I think that was the longest we’ve ever spent at the zoo, almost four hours.

Saturday we went for walks around the neighborhood and played outdoors for hours.  Bubbles, sidewalk chalk and paint and imagination.  And yesterday was lazy.  We didn’t get dressed until 3–it was overcast and spitting out rain here and there with the sun trying to peek through.  We ended up having an indoor picnic for dinner and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel.

I did cut Diva S’s and Diva M’s Easter Dresses from the skirts, so now I have to go pick up some needles so I can sew them together.  I don’t have any fine, ball point needles and I sure in hell am not taking a chance using the wrong needle for the job and having the girls get upset their dresses were ruined!  I’m also trying to decide if the backs are going to be closed with zippers or buttons.  I can sew a zipper in, but to be honest I want to conquer buttons!  So I will ponder this.  Or maybe I’ll try invisible zippers.

We had an absolutely beautiful weekend and I can’t wait for Spring to be out in full force so we can start exploring the outdoors again.

Happy Spring, lots of love and happy sewing.

Jenn



{March 17, 2011}   So many things…

I actually didn’t think about it being the Ides of March yesterday until I was logging off the computer and saw the day.

No cute St Patty’s day crafts from me.  I thought about, perused some ideas on line and said forget it.  Especially since our weather has been halfway decent here and there, so we went outside and enjoyed the sunshine.  All kids have green picked out tomorrow, so there will be no pinches.  Liam has green as do I that we will wear tomorrow.

I’ve been brainstorming ideas.  I’m thinking about opening my own business and am pretty serious about it.  At first I thought I needed to get a 9-5 job, put myself out there, but then gas prices soared up and all the good jobs are well over half an hour away.  So, I thought why the hell not.  If I have ran my household for the past five years, why couldn’t I run my own business and take charge of my destiny??  I know I’m not going to be getting rich quick and I don’t want to (though getting a winning lottery ticket would be fan-fricking-tastic), I just want to be earning money.  I want to earn a decent amount of money and still be able to be there for my kids.  They’re all used to me being here whenever they needed me to be and my 8 yr old started to freak out when I told her I was looking for a job.  “But, but, but Mommmmm!!!  Who is going to watch us???” she wailed in horror.  (And no, I am not exaggerating.  If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting an 8 and half year old girl, you’d understand).  The only reason I can think of that she would be aghast at that is their father is military and also, for lack of better terminology, likes to step out, and I would always tell them, “Daddy is at work.”

But I am trying not to become overwhelmed by thoughts of business plans, marketing myself and what I’m wanting to do and *choke* accounting.  I can do this.  It’s actually quite perfect for me and I’d say more; however, I’m still in the brainstorming process, thinking if I like the name I thought of as I was suffering from insomnia at 2 am this morning and then the slogan that popped into my head as I was inhaling my Lucky Charms (they’re magically delicious!!) this morning.

I’m also trying not to get to worried about L.  He’s 7 months old, but he’s not rolling.  Refuses to.  No front to back, back to front.  Nothing.  He’ll kind of roll onto his side to try to reach a toy but if he can’t reach it he’ll flop back over and get distracted by his fists or toes.  He uses his feet when he’s on his back to kinda turn himself around so he’s facing where he wants or his arms if he’s on his belly.  He sits unassisted for long periods of time and can usually readjust himself if he starts to fall over.  He’s standing assisted too.  So, I’m not sure if I should be worried or let it go.  But he is a mini-linebacker, so maybe he’s having trouble heaving his body around.  Dr wasn’t worried though, so we’ll see.  He’s baby screaming talking now too, and it sounds like he says, “Hey,” every morning when I get him out of bed.  I wonder if he’s repeating me, because I always say, “Hey, good morning, butters.” (Butters=butterball)

I also have a heap of pink, purple and green shiny fabric staring at me since I tore apart those skirts to use.  I sat down with the girls and we all talked necklines, bows, colors, floofy skirts, etc.  So, I have their dress designs roughly sketched out.

Well, Happy Sewing and have a happy (and safe, don’t drink and drive!) St. Patrick’s Day!

Lots of love,

Jenn



{March 11, 2011}   Nothing fancy

but it’s sentimental nonetheless.  I did sew today.  Four pillows for my children who will be leaving to go their father’s house in a couple hours.  I also trimmed up fleece so they’d have blankets too.  Nothing fancy, but it’s my way of knowing they have pillows and blankets at daddy’s house.  In each pillow I stuffed a note with whatever I say to them right before I tuck them into bed.  I told them that it was so if they miss me or are upset, they can hug their pillow–it’s full of my love.  My way of being able to tuck them into bed at night even when I am not there.

I’m going to cry from sappiness now…



{March 8, 2011}   Ideas, ideas, ideas.

Well over a week has past since I last sewed.  The machine is taunting me as I dream up visions of the girls’ Easter dresses, summer dresses, a vintage dress for me, shirts for the boys, etc.  I just don’t know where to start.  But I’m guessing since Lent starts tomorrow, I should get on those Easter dresses as I’ll only have 40 days to make them.

I did make two shirts for Liam.  Well, I ironed on fabric transfer to two tee shirts for him.  Woo-hoo, took me 2 minutes and that includes making the designs, printing them on the printer and ironing them on. =)

Spring is right around the corner!!  I found a recipe for homemade bubbles that I’m going to make for the kids–who doesn’t love blowing bubbles??  I can’t wait for Liam to see the wonders of bubbles for the first time.

I need to start my tomato plants, figure out what I’m going to grow my herbs in–I want them to grow in the kitchen window.  I have sunflower seeds too!  So much to do (not really, but I’m languishing from laziness here).

I want to bake too.  I baked a cake last night, but I want to bake something else.  Baked goods, I absolutely love them and my kids should be glad that I love them more than baked goods, because I don’t like to share them. =P

I’m rambling.  The Littles are outside playing on the back deck, Little Dude is chilling in his exersaucer, about ready for a nap and Diva A will be home in an hour.  I’m trying to figure out dinner to cook.  What I want and what the kids will eat are two different things, sigh.

I should get to picking apart the prom skirts I have downstairs to use for their Easter dresses.  I picture foofy dresses with big bows for the two younger girls and something vintage-modern for the big diva.  Diva A would look good in a sixties mini (but not as mini as the 60’s, more like knee length), colorblocked dress.  Hmmmm…ideas, ideas, ideas.  I’m wanting to make their dresses without using a commercial pattern.

Sigh, well the teething beast is whining.

Lots of love, happy sewing and Good Luck with Lent and whatever you choose to give up!!



{February 28, 2011}   Thrifty Monday

Love Tag Sales!  Today at the GW, they were having a fifty cent tag sale!  Yup, I had to hunt a bit for yellow tags, but I spent a grand total of $8.48, which I totaled up the tags and it could’ve been $70.64.  I got a black velour hoodie, silver ruffle top, 2 dresses for me that I have been eyeballing in there, pair of pants for Little Man, 2 Little Girl dresses, a sheer top, 2 tops for Diva A, pr of shorts for Little Man, shirt for LM, skirt for me, cardigan for me and a leopard print chemise for me (me-ow, new with tags).

Here’s my pile:

=)  Thrifty finds!

Lots of love,

Jenn



{February 28, 2011}   Onesie to Dress

Well, I tried to take pictures through out the process; however, I was under a time crunch and totally didn’t take pictures towards the end.  That, and my camera battery decided it was time to slowly die.  I will type as much as I can and explain how I did it.  It started as me trying to make a fast dress for a niece prior to us meeting for lunch.  Should take you under an hour–me, however, it took almost 2 hours (thanks to a teething monster, kids’ tiffs, and a couple broken needles).

Materials needed:

Outgrown onesie (or stained)

Matching Fabric:  10″ by whatever width you choose

Scissors or rotary cutter/mat

Coordinating thread

 

Pick an outgrown onesie or one that has a stain–you can applique over the stain should you like!  I chose a chocolate brown onesie that I had set aside to do something for Liam, which got promptly forgot.  He is now too chunky to fit into the 6 month onesie.  I also chose a cute floral fabric I found in the remanent bin at JoAnn’s, because I could choose a flower from the design to applique to the onesie.

Next pick where you want to chop the onesie off at.  Higher up is more empire waist and lower down will be more of a foofy dress (and in my opinion last longer).  I chopped it off at about an inch above the leg holes.

Then measure the circumference of the shirt–mine was 16″ all around.  I doubled this for the width of the fabric to cut out.  On some tutorials I read they added 12″.  It’s up to you, that’s the beauty of this!  Next I cut a piece of fabric 32″ x 10″.  I had to pause for a few minutes to change a diaper and put the teething monster in his highchair with puffs.

Yes my fabric is wrinkled, but my iron was ready to go!  I ironed it flat (yelled at a kid for running through the kitchen with my iron on, coming dangerously close to the board) and then ironed 1/4″ along one long side and then another 1/2″ to create the bottom seam.  If you have a serger you could serge this edge and then iron up 1/2″ or use bias tape or ribbon to finish the hem.  Then sew the seam shut.  Next, feed more puffs since they have now been thrown all over the floor and stuck in hair (sigh…).   Right sides together, match up the bottom seam on the short side to create a tube, sew down the short side, I also overlocked the edge to keep fraying to a minimum, you could serge or zigzag this edge.  Then iron the bottom hem and the seam you just sewn.

Now, this next step is important!  CHANGE YOUR NEEDLE TO A KNIT NEEDLE!!!!!  If not your machine could possible eat your material.

Did you change your needle?? Now pick a design in your material that you would like to use for the front of the shirt.  I ironed interfacing to the back of it before cutting out the flower to decrease the fray factor.  Next zigzag stitch to where ever you would like to be on your shirt.

Now this is where my kids started fighting, the baby screeching (one loud toy plopped on high chair tray) and I realized I had 20 minutes to get out the door!!!  So I forgot to take pictures, please bear with me and I’ll explain it the best I can.

Mark the skirt part and tshirt part’s half and quarters–this will make ruffling, pleating, gathering or however you choose to do your skirt easier.  Match up the center and quarters right sides together.  I chose to make pleats, due to the time crunch (I suck at gathering, I should really get that gathering/ruffling foot).  Now sew 1/2″ (or serge) from the edge of the skirt/shirt junction, remember to take your pins out as you go, this is how I broke 1 needle!!  You can then leave as is if you don’t have a serger, or I overlocked (make sure your machine is actually on overlock since I had to change the presser foot–hence the other broken needle) it to keep fraying down to a minimum.  Iron your seam down towards the skirt part.

You can say you’re done or you can top stitch the skirt (I did, makes it look more polished in my opinion) and then you can say you’re done!  Stand back, admire your work and assure the kid that butterfly does start with a B as in ball and bat and bug. And then go on your way!!!

I hope this all made sense–if not, ask questions or I have another onesie that I will work on and I can insert more pictures into this tutorial.  Make it your own!!  It’s easy peasy.

Happy crafting and lots of love,

J

 

 

 



{February 27, 2011}   Been Busy!

Well, it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted.  But it’s been a whirlwind of birthday parties, another round of illness and life in general.  I’ve sewn my niece’s baby blanket (6 months late, oops sorry!), a skirt with matching doll for a friend’s daughter and today was a dress for SIL’s daughter upcycled from a onesie and some matching material.  Pictures of the blanket, skirt and doll; however, I am in the process of whipping up a quick tutorial for the onesie dress.

Simple square quilt top, 6″ squares, 5X6 squares.  The skirt is a take on Dana’s Market Skirt and the doll is something I made for Diva S last year and brought out the pattern for another birthday girl.

This weekend has been a treasure hunt.  Went to thrift stores and consignment shops on the hunt.  Somethings that stand out in my head are $2 for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” $4 for 3 Lemon Snickett books for Diva A, $2 for a sky blue formal skirt that I can see being a Cinderella dress in the near future, $1 for a gold chain belt for me, and then today was a bag sale at a children’s consignment shop–Liam scored big for next year and I found 5 or 6 leotards for Diva M and Diva S’s dress up bucket.  Oh and I found a brand new pair of Sketcher pull on tennis shoes for Little Man for $6 for next school year and Diva A a like new pair of slip on ballet flats.

I’ve been in the process of purging out unnecessary junk from the house and it’s been wonderful!  I have several bags of junk out in the garage ready to get donated and several other bags of kids’ clothes ready to be set out for a garage sale when the weather breaks.

A close friend of mine brought me a beautiful orange sherbert skirt to use for material for the girls’ Easter dress and since then I’ve been plotting Easter dresses and outfits for the kiddos.  I think Little Man and Little Dude need matching t-shirts this year.  Well, not matchy matchy, maybe a bowtie for Little Dude, since Little Man requested a pointy tie.

I had a job interview on Friday for a legal secretary position.  I think I did fabulous, so we shall see.  If anything it gave me the confidence to go back out there and get a job.  I can do this!  I can’t just sit on my buttinski for the rest of my life.

Little Man, Little Dude and Diva S had their physicals in the last two weeks.  Little Dude was 6 months exactly on his physical and was 24lbs, 11 oz and 28.75″ long (off the charts for a normal 6 mo old); Little Man, 5 yr old, is 43.5″ and 39.5lbs–50-75% for height and 25-50% for his weight; and, Diva S, 4 yr old, is 42.5″ and 41lbs–90-95% for both.  So all are doing well and the pedi exclaimed over how well behaved my children are and to keep up the good work.  I told her they knew they had lollipops in the van waiting for them based on their behavior–my trick to make it through shots and dr’s visits.  Bribery works in some situations, dr’s visits being one of them.

Diva A got sick…man sick.  But she did actually have an ear infection and was quite dramatic when they flushed her ear out.  She also had waxy build up in her middle ear.  So, yes the tears were abundant at that appointment.  She is still milking the “my ear hurts” statement, but I ask her if it really does and do we need to go back and it magically seems to feel better.  I wouldn’t ask her if it really does, but she brings it up when I ask her to clean her room.  I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, child.

Diva M has been doing smashingly in school–I’m so proud of her, I was getting worried about her progress.  We, uh, had a break through during a homework session a couple weeks ago.  I was told by her teacher that if she gets frustrated not to push the homework session past ten minutes.  Well, well, my diva figured out that if she cries, pouts and acts discouraged long enough I will tell her enough’s enough, go play.  Hmmmmm, fast forward to progress reports–“I am concerned about her progress.” writes her teacher.  Well, no shit Sherlock–you told me not to push it at home!!!!  Diva M would “shut down” whenever something remotely educational would get started.  Hmmmmm…listened to her playing school, she knew her shit and knew it well.  Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit–the little imp didn’t want to do her work, she just wanted to play!!!  So, the following Monday at homework time she starts getting jittery and I tell her that as soon as she is finished with her homework assignment, she can go play.  She pouted, she cried, she gave dirty looks, I walked away several times.  But she did not leave the table till her homework was done–two and half hours later.  When she finally did it, it took her 5 minutes to do it.  FIVE MINUTES!!!!  She told me she didn’t want to do her homework several times during the ordeal and that she just wanted to play.  But I didn’t back down.  Guess how long it takes for her to do her homework now??  Guess!!!  Five to ten minutes!  And that is by herself with minimal guidance from me.  So, yeah…shouldn’t be a problem for now.  Her school work she’s bringing home is actually better than before and she seems to be doing much better overall.  I’ve also set up a homework/arts and craft station near the dining table.  everyone has their own box with crayons, scissors, glue sticks and stickers, so it has made it more fun to do homework.

Well, the volume level is getting out of control with Diva A and Diva M–I think there’s an alpha fight going on, so I must show them who top dog really is before it gets out of hand.

Lots of love and happy crafting!

J

 



et cetera