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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I shoulda cleaned this image up a bit, but. . . well, you know.

Hafta catch up with you crazy cats tomorrow – laundry day was exhausting (ha-ha) and I’m not done yet. So here’s a laugh, courtesy of a repost from Beloved Hubby on FBook.

Hope your Tuesday was tasty, and your Wednesday is a wow !

Monday, October 24, 2016

Belle in Mattel !

Now that I’m approaching normal (for me, anyway) mentally and physically again, I can’t help but take stock of all the changes that have flowed past me this summer. I won’t be able to drift through Hancock Fabrics anymore – I kept planning on going over, but was never healthy enough to do so. And now it’s shuttered forever. Same for a favored local thrift. Drove past, hoping to catch the hours, but it’s gone, too. JoAnn’s is a bit of a drive away, so I don’t go often, same for Hobby Lobby, a store I have issues with anyway. This may be the year I actually use more of what I got than more of what I just bought !

That said, I have five Barbie-size outfits I haven’t put on dolls yet, all from Mal-Wart. Hoping for a good day to hit TRU soon ! Haven’t been there in months. Snagged one official Mattel dress, four Sparkle Girlz, during the month. What can I say, if I buy doll clothes instead of stitching ‘em m’self, I want ‘em to be just a buck or two. And Dollar Tree hasn’t had much of late. Strapless bodices sewn to garbage Velcro ™ and unevenly gathered skirts I can sew blindfolded anytime, and that’s all DTree’s current dolls wear. Not to mention I hate buying a doll because I like her star-print dress, especially when I know how poorly made both doll and dress are.

So I dressed the ‘vintage’ (lol, 1991) Disney Belle I claimed from eBay just before I got sick in the pretty green slip dress from Mattel. At $2.44 from Mal-Wart, it was just the dress, no accessories. But I like the packaging – I can see if it’s a ‘front only’ print, or wiggle it a little bit in the plastic baggie to see the asymmetrical hem. It’s super tight, so that it barely closes at the top. But it’s cute on her, and the Sparkle Girlz silver slides go well with it, too. One outfit on a pretty doll, four to go ! 

Beloved Hubby has promised to move the hard drive in my toasted desktop over to his working one sometime this week, so I can retrieve all my files – embroidery designs, new photos, writings, etc. I miss them all, although I couldn’t tell ya what I don’t have right now. 

I was busy today, too. Got a good chunk of the mess in the living room sorted out, the clutter was giving us walk-paths instead of living room. Left Beloved Hubby’s desk space alone – that’s his mess to sort through. Hoping to make sense out of the clean (?) laundry piles tomorrow. After I do a bit of shopping, we’re out of laundry detergent, and even if only half these clothes are dirty, there’s a huge pile of it waiting for me.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

If lazy were an Olympic sport. . .

Let’s try this again ! I am sooo out of practice, and I grew to flippin’ hate Open Office in the past month. I got to where I dreaded typing anything, because of all the weird formatting and strange hoops OOffice and I had to leap through to get my ramblings to look right. Stuff MS Office just did, no fuss. So the silver lining to the dark cloud of my computer going out during a power outage / surge Thursday was that I got to return to my old HP laptop, complete with Office 2000. I’d traded it to Beloved Hubby to use for a work image catalog, and took over one of Dearest Son’s old desktops. He ended up not using the HP, so it’s mine again, complete with Office2K. Whew !

Haven’t returned to the VA, except for follow-up appointments. I rejoiced daily for weeks over not having a drain bulb anymore, and darn near celebrated when I took the last of the nausea-causing antibiotics a couple weeks back. Everything’s fine, and on Friday, my wound care / surgery teams even said they didn’t want to see me anymore ! Most of my appointments from here on are the ones I had ongoing before this wretched Summer of 2016, which I will probably refuse to speak of as soon as next year.

Caught cold last week, and I’m just kicking the last of it out of my system. So today, I went after a few tasks that have been waiting for me. Had to redo my desk for the computer change, and tidy up that space. I can finally get to my sewing machines again, which has made me so happy, along with exhausted. Had to lie down after moving all that misplaced stuff. Then I had to shuffle stuff in the living room – a lot of ours is displaced for F & MIL’s things.

(sigh) Their stuff,  which we discovered two weeks ago, is probably not going with them. The original plan was that they’d rent a ya’ll haul truck and trail the car (we gave them) behind. That was why they moved in with us, to save up for the truck for their move to BIL’s. They haven’t saved a dime (we’ll probably have to fund them to leave), and have decided to take what fits in the car and drive it to BIL’s. Yup. A sedan old enough to drink, piled high with clothes, memorabilia, and three cats, is gonna get them nearly 2000 miles away safely. We’re supposed to have a yard sale together next weekend, but I haven’t seen anything happening, and at this point, they have nearly as much crap here as we do. Including furniture.

My plan is, anything that doesn’t go with them gets sold in our yard sale before we move. My sales tend to go to a ‘Everything’s 25¢ Each’ clear-out on the last day. Which may be the first day. Beloved’s completely with me. Some of that stuff is BIL’s too. I’ve asked, since they know the address where they’re going, if they’re gonna mail stuff (especially the 12 boxes of BIL’s paperback sci-fi novels), but they don’t want to. Ah, well.

Wonder what I’m gonna sew next week. . .

Thursday, September 29, 2016

So sleepy. . . I always sleep well after my latest appointment is over !

Yaaay ! Today was a great day. I cooked dinner with MIL, and it was fun and tasty, and my drain bulb is gone. My docs are so amazingly awesome, I didn't feel a thing – they had to tell me they were done, and that was without any numbing drugs of any kind. They also gave me all the opened supplies, as I still have other issues going on that can use them, but even my remaining healing's going well, too.

Today's model is Frozen Fever Toddler Elsa, wearing the dress I got at the thrift for $2. last weekend. The blue bow shoes that came with it are at her feet, I prefer Elsa's originals with that dress. Not sure who that dress was made for, it doesn't close all the way in the back on either Toddler Elsa or any of the Disney Princess and Me dolls. You can't see it from the photo, but it goes to her ankles in the back.

It's part worn out, part brand new, something I see often in kids' toys bought second-hand. While the tulle's Velcro ™ snagged in several places and the edge trim is missing in more, it still had at least four packaging tags dangling from it. I've bought sooo many dolls with wrecked, torn clothes, but their hair is still in the factory set. Or with wrecked hair and perfect clothes, it goes both ways !

Confession Corner : It took me a couple tries to get the sewing machine needle threaded, and I tried to blame my numerous attempts to start a new color for that cross-stitch kit on the hospital's odd lighting. I have to have needles and thread just so to get 'em together these days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Still not right, but not bad either.

Got to sew again ! Too bad it came out nearly the same as the first one. But I played with it for a while, and I can fold the collar part to the front, to the back, under the arms, over the arms, flip it over twice – I came up with all sorts of ways for the doll to wear it. But it's still nowhere near as modest as the ones pictured with the pattern. Still not sure where I'm botching it, and I'm not completely convinced it's my sewing at fault. I may do my usual pattern-tweaking tomorrow, if I'm not tired of it yet.

That was the big excitement of the day. I think I had a sort of relapse, I was really tired today. But I didn't nap, as my medical anxiety over tomorrow's appointment will already make it hard enough to sleep tonight. FIL likes to drive me to the VA when he's feeling well enough, probably because waiting for me gives him quiet time to work on his book, hang out with vets, or enjoy some solo time in the Patriot Cafe. He's completely enamored of their cheeseburgers, too.

Decided not to go to the thrift again today, as the doll I was thinking of getting required shoes six times as expensive as she'd be – plus shipping. Plus, I simply wasn't in much of a mood for it. Kinda hoping the flea market will be in town again this weekend, though.

Well, I gotta be up early tomorrow. Hope your Thursday is great ! You deserve it !

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not too bad, really - even if it wasn't supposed to fit Elsa. . .

It wasn't until I started to write today's entry that I realized – I hadn't told you that, due to a cluster-bomb of family drama that has very little to do with Beloved Hubby and me, M & FIL moved in with us, back when I had the hernia surgery in late June/ early July. They're supposed to move out in a month or so, saving rent and utility bills to join BIL in upstate New York, but we'll see. It's actually gone better than I thought it would, but that may be because I was at the VA for most of their stay so far !

Only problem is, they moved most of our stuff out of our upstairs bedroom – Beloved had already moved our bed downstairs, to the living room, during my Summer of Illness – and kinda just tossed it anywhere. The Playroom is now our bedroom, with bags of clothes and books and misc. shoved around and cluttered up everywhere. I've been too exhausted to clean up much, but if I wanted to sew, I had to dig out from under, same with my cutting table.

But I've been meaning to clean up most of that already, so it felt good when I got it done. Today's effort came out a twinge small for the standard Barbie body it's made for, so when it fit my Hasbro Coronation Change Elsa, I was happy ! BTW, if you're concerned about shoes for the larger-foot Hasbro Disney Princesses, I discovered that she fits most Monster High footwear, and with a bit of persuasion, the ghouls can wear her icy heels !

The pattern's one of the freebies I downloaded yesterday, Dolls Ahoy's 'Cloth 'n' Thread Halter Dress'. It's named so because that's all that's supposedly needed is cloth and thread. I needed a bodkin, a chopstick, and a vat of patience to turn that narrow tie-down collar right-side-out ! But otherwise, it went together well, and sewed up fast - only about fifteen minutes, not counting turning time - but I didn't like how it fit on my test model. So I took it in a bit at the back seam and it fits Elsa beautifully ! She can wear it with the collar up, or folded over, like in the picture. Neat ! If I do the facing in a contrasting fabric, it'll be even more versatile.

I hope to try this pattern again tomorrow, as I think I know where I blew it. If you'd like your own copy, you can find it here - Cloth 'n' Thread pattern (I printed it at 100%, and the inch mark matched) and an image of the finished item here - Malibu Barbies modelling. It's pretty, so I hope I get it right next time. Still, not bad for someone who hasn't sewn in months !

Oh, and I promised to tell ya what I found at the flea market on Saturday. I got a vintage copy of Better Homes & Garden's Sewing Book, and a bag of 70s Workbasket magazines, each for a buck. Workbasket and I go waaay back. My maternal grandmother had a subscription for decades, and during our occasional vacations with them (they lived about a day's drive away), my mother and I would dig through all the back issues, either borrowing some and mailing 'em back, or just taking them to a photocopier machine before we left. While I knew most of them would be knitting and crochet patterns, I couldn't resist the lure of old ads and recipes. Well worth a dollar. I even scored a couple sets of heat transfers, and a lot of Bicentennial craft ideas.

I also got a CD of ocean sounds and the soundtrack to Cats, and several DVDs. But the prize of the day was 'School Spirit' Spectra, still in her box, for $2. ! Even if I decide not to keep her – I already have the first one – I like her clothes and shoes, and will probably keep those.

Well, I gotta clean up tonight's mess if I wanna make another tomorrow. Even if it's cleaner in there than it's been in weeks ! Thanks for all the sweet messages and kind concerns. Ya'll are the best, and I love ya !!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kinda Katy Perry-ish, at least to me.

Yay, a quiet day at home. I'm still digging through my neglected e-mail in-box, unsubscribing again from a buncha stuff I unsubbed from the first time I was admitted to the hospital. Those political ones just don't wanna leggo – and they 'share' with dozens of others, so it isn't the one you were sort of interested in, it's that one and its fifteen 'friends'.

Found a good Pinterest board with tons of Barbie patterns I didn't have yet - - and downloaded a few. While I had to make a grocery run today, I hope to sew tomorrow !

Also had to find places for all the goodies from the thrifts, yard sale, and flea market I got to visit this weekend. Not a lot of doll stuff, but I got a pretty Target 'Barbie Basics' doll whose outfit was so amazing, I thought it was original to the doll. Nope, I think the only things she still has from her packaged days are her shoes and a bracelet. Couldn't resist that Steffie face, her dark hair, and those luscious red lips ! And for $4., I didn't have to. That thrift is having a half-off sale Wednesday, and I just might go. They had a lot of nice fashion dolls.

Same store got me a toddler Disney Princess pair of blue 'bow' shoes and a blue dress that could fit either the toddler or possibly the Princess and Me dolls. Hope to try it on one tonight. I also got some tiny blue roses on white flannel and pink 'stars and swirls' fabric there. The rhinestone snowflake necklace will be in season soon, and I can't wait to use the porcelain spout-cup to melt butter in the microwave. I got it all for $11.,cheep ! Another thrift had a blue tag special, so I got three new t-shirts, a pair of pants and a still-tagged nightie – in smaller sizes, I've lost 35 pounds since May ! - for 99¢ each, along with a bike pedal exerciser ($5., was looking at a new one for $25.), a glass loaf pan ($3.), and a box of unopened cocktail umbrellas ($2.) from GoodWill. Total sucker for those little paper umbrellas. Tell ya what I got from the flea market tomorrow.

Slowly but surely picking up household tasks again. Luckily, Dearest Son has been helping me with dishes. Some foods still taste odd to me – fountain sodas are consistently awful, so are many savory items – so dinner's been pretty basic, lunch at home is soups, ravioli, and ramen. That should improve soon !

I'm almost nervous about sewing tomorrow. I haven't done it in months ! Wish me luck, I may need it.