Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lab experiments !

Current Mood : Happily weary - with lots to read ! 

The kitchen is finally about as clean as it’s ever gonna get, unless I wanna scale a ladder and start scrubbing the cabinet shelves. I really should, since the doors got taken off for repair years ago, all the dirt, grease, and muck landed right in there, but after what I had to scrape / sweep / scrub off and around the stove top, I find m’self unwilling to jump into another major project this week. I just hope getting it that icky was fun. I’d hate to think all that…mess was there just because no one cleaned up behind himself.

When that was all done, it was trash time. First, I got all the trash out of the ‘alleyway’ between this place and the neighbors’ house. Someone has a habit of sticking semi-full trash cans out there and leaving them in the rain for a few weeks, probably because the pick-up bins tend to fill up fast. That’s why I made the effort to get the alleyway trash out first. No wonder the mosquitoes are so bad here ! Even with the brackish water dumped out, the cans weighed a ton, but I got them emptied, then the empty cans got turned upside down so as not to become rain catchers again. Beloved Hubby trashed all the other bins and plastic boxes that were out there for no apparent reason two months ago, so the alleyway is nearly clean now. We must have the most understanding neighbors on earth !  With that done,  I gathered up all the trash from every room and took it out. This completely filled one bin. Whew ! You know, once we move out, they can probably save a few bucks and go back to just one pick-up bin…

MIL knows we’re moving out next month. Kinda hard to not know when there's two sofas in the living room. She e-mailed Beloved Hubby, asking us not to leave. I feel for her, and she knows we’re not gonna abandon her, but we can’t stay here any longer. I’ve tried to get her to come out and participate more, but you can’t do much when the she prefers to e-mail us instead of talking.

With all that done just before noon, I was still rarin’ to go. The library notified me Saturday that the fourth and final Monster High book was waiting for me, and after making lunch for the crew and grabbing a much-needed shower, I was off. I actually got some time to m’self, since Beloved Hubby was home then, and neither he nor Dearest Son wanted to go.

I found a treasure trove of books in the Free bin this time – a bunch of encyclopedia ‘yearbooks’ from 1969 to 1980. Wow. I claimed eight, but when I went back for the last three, they’d been claimed by someone else. Oh, well. It was kind of funny, though. I’d managed to drag the eight plus several other book sale finds and a couple loaned books out to the car by m’self, but the lady who’d grabbed the three needed help getting them and two other books to her car. Wow. I must be doing pretty well !

I also got rid of several books we didn’t want to keep, including some earlier second-hand purchases from other libraries and yard sales, plus a buncha older Entertainment Weekly magazines I’d found when we cleaned up the Garpartment. Our library system welcomes darn near any contributions for their ongoing book sales.

Once home, I watched cable with Beloved and Dearest, did my online usual, and then it was time for the experiments. I had a cut out and Fray-checked second go-round of Tarja’s jacket bodice / vest ready to go, and I wanted to play a bit with that crystal pleated organza. I'd researched that stuff, and could find no directions on how to sew it. Learn as ya go, always one of your best entertainment values. I cut out a piece with a stain and a diagonal seam and put the rest away – at least if I totally butchered it, it would be on a ‘bad’ spot anyway.

But first, the vest. It fits much better, but my sewing on it is awful. One side is much wider than the other, and you can see every poorly placed stitch, but it may just be one of those things I need to practice and tweak a bit more. It wasn’t until I finished it that I realized I still had the ballpoint needle in KJ, from sewing that ribbing a few days ago ! You’d think I’d have learned to check that by now… At least that explains some of the tension issues.

After I swapped needles, I cut a near random rectangle from the organza, measured out some quarter-inch elastic, and got to it. I still have ‘fun’ (a growly, frustrated kind of fun) sewing with elastic, and this bit looked bad but stitched well. At least I’d remembered to measure a doll’s hips instead of just matching the organza to the elastic. Turned out OK, but I thought it looked better with the elastic covered up by some matching ribbon. Dead Tired DLaura’s wearing that with the ribbing bodysuit / romper I made Monday. They look kinda funky together, but at least now I have some crystal-pleated organza experience under my own elastic belt !

I’m kinda writing vest 2.0, the organza skirt, and the romper all off as ‘lab experiments’, since I can do better, but it was important to do them. Not sure if I’ll keep any of ‘em, even though I’m glad I tried. I wonder if a bit of adjusting will ease out that ‘dent’ in the organza on DLaura’s left side ? And if I don’t use the hem that comes on the organza, what is the best way to hem it – sewing it somehow, or just some Fray-check ? I wonder what would be the right ribbing width to make a *good* romper ? And I wonder if I’ll ever get the shoulders on Tarja’s vest the same size on each side !

But that’s the best thing about experiments. You can learn from ‘em and do ‘em over ‘til you get ‘em right, or just plain give up, ‘cause you learned something else instead !

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