Friday, July 22, 2011

Long time, no post

So, life is getting in the way for the next couple weeks. This week, I've made a lot of phone calls, my parents happy, my parents' kitchen suck less, and a variety of intangibles. I'll be back in California in a couple weeks, and I'll start making things again...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mock-up: Done

At least to sleeves. I just need to throw some gathering stitches into the sleeves and press open my seams tomorrow morning, and then we might be able to go over for a fitting after our bank appointment!

My mother in law gave me a handful of alterations to take care of today, as well. Most of them should go pretty smoothly, and I should be able to hit them hard tomorrow as well. Hard to believe we leave for Michigan in about a week, though this trip should be easier than the last--each one seems to be. I've come up with a few new conveniences that should help immensely:

1. Disposable cups for Lu's snacks. I've been washing leftover baby food containers for a while, and I realize there is absolutely no reason to bring anything I'm attached to to carry Lu's tiny cheese cubes and crackers.

2. I realized this last trip, but I'll reaffirm it: snack size zippy bags. They are the size of Lu's spoons, they hold three binkies, they hold several meals' worth of oatmeal, they rock rock rock.

3. Backpack. I realized this on the last trip, too, but I'll use a nicer bag this time. It was brilliant--clothes in the back, Lu's toys in the front pocket. I was organized without strife, mostly!

4. Snacks for me. I always end up buying overpriced airport food, and on the last trip, I found myself envying Lu's snacks. This time, Mommy gets some little containers of goodies, too.

5. Complete and unerring kindness and politeness for everyone around me. It is a lesson I keep having to learn, but my life goes so much better when I err on the side of niceness.

6. Umbrella stroller. According to the Delta website, I might not even have to check it planeside. Sweet!

7. Making friends with the flight attendants Last time, one of the flight attendants had the same name as Lu and they became fast friends for the flight. Plus, she mentioned it to all the other flight attendants, so we were very popular and well taken care of.

Today's make was a crocheted hat I worked on at the in-laws while watching the soccer game, which I felt was well-played by everyone. It's the first hat in quite a while, which is why it ended up being baby-sized. It's just about done, and Lu is a little too curious to wear hats right now (she keeps pulling them off to check them out!), so it'll probably go into the baby gifts to give box. It's a nice blue/tan/white mix, so it might flatter a boy nicely...

I just finished cutting up two pounds of cheese into tiny cubes for Lu's meals, and I think I'll be spending part of tomorrow planning out additional snack options to send with her this week. I'm working in costume stock at my old job for the mornings this week, so Lu is going to what I've, in my mind, been calling "Aunt Jenny's Day Camp for Tinies." I imagine that she will learn animal handling (chasing the kitties and avoiding the basset hound), fabric selection (rummaging through the remnants box), domestic economics (going to the grocery store and smiling at the retired people), culture (BBC series of some sort), pattern alteration (ripping up an old pattern that Aunt Jenny doesn't like anyway and crinkling it for the kitten), and library sciences (pulling books and DVDs off the shelves and possibly putting them back). She's going to have a great time!

It's later then I thought it was. It's time for bed, I think. Until tomorrow!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Wonderful Day of Domesticity

Behold! The clothesline is up! I listened to my sheets whip around in the breeze all afternoon, and it was fantastic. However, it's now rather dark out there, and they're still up. I'll have to get to that after I finish this post. We set up the clothesline under the patio roof so I can use it even when it's muddy out. Plus, I won't have nearly the worries of bird poo and cat surfing I would have had otherwise.

We had one of those simple days today. We went to the library, to the bank, to the grocery store. Lu slept in the car, so she was not interested in a nap one bit when we got home, despite J's best efforts, so she "helped" do the house chores--cleaning the kitchen and folding the clean clothes. I called my father for a while whilst J set up Lu's new car seat. I bought it months and months ago when it was on an unbelievable sale (let's just say I bought Britax, a high-end brand, at low-end prices), so I was glad to finally see it set up. Lu loves it, too. As J was attempting to figure out the straps and everything, she kept trying to crawl into it. This is going to be a popular change, I think.

After dinner, I logged a bit of time on the internet to look up tips on travelling with babies and toddlers, and started to formulate my plan to get through the airport with a baby, her stroller, her car seat, and our luggage. The luggage rack that I found in the free box at a yard sale is going to come in handy, I think, once I figure out what I did with the bungee cords--garage? Somewhere in the garage? I can rule out the Christmas boxes and most of J's workshop, and I know it's not in my car, so that only leaves about a third of the garage to search. Not bad.

Originally, tonight's make was going to be solutions for the trip, but once I realized that I only needed something to secure my umbrella stroller when it's closed, I figured I should look for a little more inspiration in addition. This was especially true when I noticed that I could just tie one of the curtain tiebacks that came with my closet curtains around the stroller and it would work perfectly. For some reason, I couldn't face more fabric tonight, so I pulled out the jewelry supplies and made a few necklaces while watching Sweeney Todd. Nice and therapeutic. It was nice to finally use some of the beads and such, since most of them were left over from the jewelry making class in grad school. Plus, I found these nifty crimp beads at JoAnn about a year ago that use teeny screws to clamp down on the wire. They took a little getting used to, but I think it was worth it. I'm also applauding myself for the slightly obsessive purchase of jewelry findings a few months ago when Tuesday Morning had them, because I had a nice selection of silver, gold and copper choices. I'm thinking that I'll be looking for inspiration for more complex designs to send as gifts for Christmas this year. It was pretty close to instant gratification.

Tomorrow, I intend to finish the mockup (I just need a front! I already know what I'm going to do, but I'm just getting chickeny at the last bit. And it's a mockup!), and maybe crochet a hat, just to keep my hand in. Maybe I'll take my hooks with me to Michigan. That project travels well, and if there's one thing in the basement (there's not just one thing, I assure you), there's yarn. If I'm remembering the move correctly, there were at least two big boxes of yarn that she couldn't part with at the time and is now not-so-gently advertising to me. I wonder if grandparents have something like the nesting instinct, only in reverse. It seems like since the moment Lu was born, both sets of grandparents have been going through closets and dressers, looking for things to get rid of. To be fair, one set is moving and one set just retired, so that might be part of it, but the timing is still amusing.

I'm off to rescue my sheets!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Successful Day!

In which I to the bank. And reservations for an earlier flight to Michigan (two trips in one month! I think the grandparents are going to have a great August!). And progress on the Robe a l'Anglais mockup. And perhaps the worst drawstring purse ever made (thick linen was not the right choice). The unemployment office call was easy and not too long, and Lucie slept in through it, so I could concentrate on it completely. Then I stripped the bed and set the washer to be done by the time I needed to go to the college to pick up my paycheck. Then I dropped the corset book off with my friend who's making a corset and hung out with her for a while (She's getting so far on it! I bet there'll be a corset for fitting in a couple days!). Then the bank and then home and feeding Lu and oh, the day got away from me. But I got a really great price for going back home early, and I'll still be able to work for the shop for the stock clean up!

I know I say this every day, but I'm totally going to get something different done tomorrow.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time Flies...

When you're...doing stuff, I guess. I did not get much done today, that's for sure. I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night, so I spent an hour or so reading stuff on the internet, but it was totally quality information on budgeting and making the most of your finances (for the first half hour. The rest was looking at lolcatz. I'm not proud of this, but they were funny.). At last, I was tired and cold enough to successfully go back to sleep, and boy did I ever. I was going to get up with J to start my day, but instead, I rolled back over and would have slept for another three hours. Would have, if only J had not looked in on Lu on his way out the door and she hadn't woken. He was very apologetic, and she was very hungry. By the time we finished eating and got out the door (late), it was time for Baby Bounce at the library. We do two of them a week to get Lu socialized and to attempt to meet other parents. With J working full time for the rest of the summer, I hope I'll be getting to know some of these folks.

After that, we called a couple friends to do a drop off, and ended up at Trader Joes until they got home. I was lingering around the sample area to try out their pesto tortelloni (like you do), when I got a call from my parents. Suffice to say the news threw me for a loop, and our friends decided they needed help on cutting out a corset and finishing some other projects. Thanks for distracting me! We managed to get the corset cut out and started, and she's feeling much more confident about the whole project. We ended up hanging out into the early evening, and J wasn't home yet when we got there.

It took until 8:30 for me to get into the sewing room at all, so it's a small make today: a holder bag for my clothes pins. This one's a freebie, since the fabric is an upholstery sample I acquired from a craigslist free listing, and the wire is a hanger from the dry cleaner that I remangled. I also found the clothes pins, which were on the dryer (alas, so obvious), so the bag could hold something in the picture, too. It's one of those things that I've always taken for granted--they're so common among the people who hang dry in my life that when it came time for me to set up, I didn't know how to get one. It's definitely not something you find in thrift stores, since nobody ever gives them up until the bottoms dry rot out. I realized that I was being silly, since surely I could make one, which is most likely what most of the people I know did in the first place. I think, though, that people a couple generations ago were either much better at sculpting with wire or that kits were available. Wire hangers are hard to precisely sculpt, and I don't think I will be entering this thing in the fair as a work of domestic art anytime soon!

Tomorrow, after the interview with the unemployment office and picking up my latest hourly paycheck, I'm totally putting up the clothesline--there are no excuses left. Actually, one excuse. I just figured out that Telemundo has English subtitles on the closed captioning. I finally know what they're saying on the telenovelas! The nurse in three-inch heels just stole her exboyfriend's newborn from the nursery, so I've got to go, though I exhausted, too... Just for entertainment, here's what a load of Lu's laundry looks like on the drying rack--no wonder it took so long to dry!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bonus Success!

In addition to altering Lu's clothes, I also got farther on the Anglais mockup for a good friend. Since I have to go over to her house tomorrow to drop off an Ikea good that went into the wrong bag, maybe I can get the whole thing put together ahead of time. Come on, Lu! Sleep in tomorrow!

In other news, I started to hang dry my clothes in the past couple days. Lessons learned so far: Put up a clothesline for the big stuff instead of draping it over a rack. The rack is taking forever to dry everything because there's just too much stuff together. It should be good for the smaller stuff, though. Also, I need to figure out what I did with my clothespins, and make a hanging bag for them so they can live with the clothesline.

Tomorrow, I also need to research a good corset choice for another friend, who has commissioned me to make her a good basic piece that will run along several periods and fit her really well. I have a few ideas...

I also need to look seriously into getting a grommet setter, because (a) those things are awesome, and (b) it will save me so much time with so many things!

I think I had a wonderfully successful first day of this project, and here's hoping it continues!

The Plan

Well, I've now been unemployed off and on for a month, and it's time to make something of the time I have. The plan is this: make something, anything, every day, and then write about it. After all, I've enough fabric, trim, beads, yarn and other art supplies to make something every day for months!

Today, I made the blog and designed it, sort of. I also intend to make a couple of Lucie's outfits not suck. Her I <3 NY onesie is not designed for any baby I have ever met. It's size 18 months, but it's about 3 months long and 24 months wide. Her grandparents picked it up for her in New York at Christmas last year, and I think it may have shrunk in the wash. It's so adorable that I want to put her in it, so I'm going to cut it off into a shirt for her. Her Star Trek onesie is an easy fix, too. I just need to split one of the shoulder seams and add snaps so she can wear it a little longer.

Honestly, what kid is shaped like this?

Good thing she's napping!