Wednesday, May 21, 2014

At least some of Chez Insanity is clean, and my guys have clean clothes...

Current Notes: So tired, and so hot...

Hoping to sew tonight. While I didn’t get near the still in-progress kitchen except to microwave lunch, I dragged half our laundry to the Laundromat first thing this morning – and discovered that, not only did someone take every washer that did more than one full-size load, they just left. ARrrrgh. Luckily, I managed to squeeze our clothes into enough washers to get it done. While it didn’t cost more money to use, I had to use more detergent, but at least I got out of there before they did. Shaking out clothes between washer and dryer cuts dry time by about 30% - and I proved that at the dryers today !

I also cleaned up the Study – it got messy in there, since the closet is the access for the bathtub pipes, and Beloved Hubby replaced those this weekend. We moved half the stuff out and only part of it got put back in. Add papers blown by wind from the open windows (AC is still down), dishes, and general trash build-up, and it needed a cleaning, even worse than the kitchen ! Plus, it was easy to see results, and easy to fit laundry sort and store around the many tasks in there. Much better ! We’d mostly cleaned up the living room last night, but there’s always socks and stray stuff to pick up, so that got done, too.

Dearest Son and I got bags of trash out, and I added some newly-emptied drawers from the old cabinets to the Big Trash pile. Hopefully that’ll get picked up tomorrow. I’m kind of surprised it’s taken City Of this long. Sometime Sunday night, someone threw an old rusted metal chaise lounge onto our pile, but it was gone Monday afternoon. We have cruising scrap metal hunters, I think. Oh, and M&FIL’s huge tube TV has found a new home, so our porch is nearly empty (save for some doors, but those’ll get used soon). Also tidied up our bedroom and swept. Tomorrow I tackle the kitchen… but tonight, I wanna either sleep or create !

Meanwhile, this might make you smile. Tonight, I finally cut the ‘TY’ tags off my Beanie Baby Rarity. The one I bought in January, identical to the one we got Dearest for his birthday. I’d always intended to, but hadn’t. She’s no longer a tagged Beanie, she’s now Rarity. Yaaay !

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beloved busted butt !

Current Notes: And 'soon' is becoming 'now' every minute !

The Arena is all clean and ready to go, but there was no time to sew today. Beloved Hubby took today off, and after a long nap busted butt and got the last of the old kitchen cabinets torn down – luckily Big Trash hasn’t picked up yet – and nearly everything restored. We now have cabinets and a sink, and water in the kitchen ! In the living room, the TV is now on its own shelf, along with all the DVDs on their own shelves, and the Wii and DVD player on a small table underneath it all with the modem and router. The cooktop is still out, but should be restored tomorrow, and we still need to snake the drains before we can use the washer. That should work by the weekend.

I have major work tomorrow – even the clean dishes are dirty, because of all the construction dust, and everything else is in major disarray. I have to scrub the sink and counters before I can use them to help clean everything else ! But I have cabinets to store things in when everything’s clean again, and now that there’s separate but equal kitchens (almost), I’m hoping I can get food out of our bedroom and into the pantry.

We had a nice evening together, with Baconators and The Croods on Netflix. I really enjoyed it all. Free Birds was harder to get into, so we bailed, but Dearest Son wants to watch it tomorrow. We probably will, during lunch.

I am so close to having my kitchen back ! I’ll soon be back to whining about dishes and cooking !

Monday, May 19, 2014

When it's all going to Hades, buy something you can enjoy sorting !

Current Notes: Like half a pound of buttons. Hours of fun ! 

And now for something completely different…

I did what I thought was the smart thing, but it turned out to be a bad decision – then went with the other option, only to find out that was flawed, too. (sigh) I hate eyelets / grommets…

Had a few bucks to spend, so I thought I’d get an eyelet setting crimper – kind of like a pair of pliers, but with various bits that could set an eyelet without crushing the face or pushing half the ‘crimp’ part into the eye-hole. I had one, years ago, but donated it because I wasn’t using it. Bad mistake. In the store, I was confronted with a crimper just like the one I used to have - $25. ! – and the cheaper ‘hit these pieces with a hammer’ option, for $3.. Well, for once in my entire life, I went with the more expensive option.

And regretted it immediately. The tiny disc that holds the bits in place pops off with every use, sending the disc and spring and bits flying.  The fifth time I found the parts and went to put it back together, I rebelled and decided this darn thing was going back. The one time it worked, it didn’t crimp half the back down, just left it up and jagged, and I knew sooner or later, I’d lose a flying piece. So, because returning it the same day you bought it makes more of a statement, I bagged the pieces, unfolded my receipt, and grabbed the car keys.

The nice cashiers didn’t quite get what I was explaining, so I put it back together and let airborne springs and plastic do the talking. I had my refund seconds later, while the others looked for pieces among the shopping carts. My old one was evidently welded together, instead of just barely tapped in place. Note for my future = metal pushed onto plastic is not a good design choice, especially if it’s holding down a spring.

Honor thus satisfied, I bought the ‘hit with hammer’ option, and once I got it home, it performed only slightly better than the crimper. At least it didn’t fall apart. Directions were scanty, so I tried it every way I could think of, only to still end up with crimped bits either not crimped, or showing up inside the hole. Kinda defeats the purpose. Beloved Hubby even gave it a go, thinking of yet another configuration for the parts, but we still got the same result. So I’m giving up on grommets. I think I’ll just get really good at small buttonholes or something.

The one thing I did buy that was fun and as shown was a bag of misc. buttons from Jesse James & Co. – the one that makes all the fun shaped buttons for holidays and such ? This was called ‘Grandma’s Grab Bag’, and it’s a freezer-thick sandwich baggie stuffed with 8oz of buttons. All kinds of buttons ! Basic four-hole blouse buttons, shank buttons pretty enough to be earrings, flowers, cats, snowflakes, white shirt buttons, stars, a few beads, lots of Christmas shapes, you name it. I even got two cameos, a tiny one in a gold-tone ‘frame’ and a larger one with no backing at all. I confess, I saw the tiny cameo before I bought it, but I can tell ya, I had a solid hour of fun going through it all and sorting it out. I got seventeen of one button, unfortunately, not the cameo one ! I have all kinds of ideas to use them – not bad for less than $4. Retail was $5.99, but I had a coupon.

Beloved was so tired, he went straight to sleep after a quick dinner. I think I’m gonna crash, too. And tomorrow, I’m finding a place for all that stuff clustered around my Arena. I need to create, bad !

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Current Notes: GarblewharbleArrrgh...

Things are…interesting. Turns out, we’re gonna eventually have to replace all the pipes leading in and out of this…house, if the ones under the kitchen floor are any indication. They looked like the ‘before’ part of a heart disease demonstration, if the model was made of rusted metal. Beloved Hubby did what he could, but there’s leaks, and I’m not even gonna get in to what happened when he tried to run the washer. I have no idea what’s next.

While we tried to assess the damage and what that means to our plans, FIL decided to step in and announce how wonderful his kitchen is, and how much he’s enjoying it. He’s a treasure, that one.

I’m sorry. I’m upset and a little depressed, and truly worried for Beloved. I’m gonna encourage him to just take a break and let things settle – and pray FIL gets a clue sometime this century, I think he didn’t get one last century, either. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's always something...

Current Notes: Hope Beloved likes canned Ravioli...

No such luck on Beloved Hubby’s plans. Turns out, we’ll have to bust up the kitchen floor to run a drain from the washer, we can’t tap in where he originally thought. So we’ll be lucky to have the washer working Monday, and that doesn’t even touch starting to redo our kitchen. Again, no offers to either of us from the ILs to use theirs, but MIL did bug both of us to run a line for her ice maker, since the one to our fridge is down because the kitchen water line is off for now. No sink, ya know. I asked if she could help pay for the long tubing kit that request will need, she looked at me like I slapped her, for daring to suggest she help pay for what she wants. So, no line. We just don’t have the money for it.

One of the few good things I can see outta this is that we’ll be eating the rest of our canned food up ! About all we have to cook with is the toaster oven and microwave, but you can do a lot with those. Time to get creative ! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

General whining with cape handout.

Current Notes: So this entry’s not a total loss, here’s a Disney-produced tutorial 
for how to make yourself a Frozen cape. 
We'll disregard that neither is film-accurate. 
Click for Bigness.
Enjoy !

I am satisfied to learn that, after a 50% discount this week only, the printer I bought last year is now $10. more than I paid for it. Gotta love office supply sales !

Today was completely unique. I don’t think I’ll ever experience another day quite like it. I’m kind of happy about that, honestly. Well, the end point is, we don’t have a kitchen anymore. M&FIL do, and they’re quite happy about that, but we’re kinda rooked. Ironically, not once have they offered to let us use their kitchen – in fact, FIL asked if he could have the big cabinet (the one left from the gutted house where Beloved was working) we’ve planned to use ourselves, because they could use another one. Um, FIL ? We have no cabinets at all. Not one. The ones that were in the kitchen were so nasty, once Beloved started demolishing the main one, the rest just could not stand. That means we have no sink, no range top. And we kind of need what we told you we were using ourselves from the start, so I have no idea what you’re thinking. Except ‘hey, we got a new kitchen for free (that so far has cost us $300. and a ridiculous amount of time), might as well claim it all, since it’s not been used for ten minutes !’. MIL even claimed our toaster, after I asked if we could share it ‘til I got another one. She just helped herself. Well, I hope they enjoyed all the take-take-take, ‘cause we can’t afford to do for them anymore.

So. Since we have a big trash pick-up day scheduled for Monday (but actually any time during next week), after an early-ending work day, Beloved Hubby came home and started getting things done and gone. To their credit, they did help move trash to the pile, and I appreciate that. I’m just a bit resentful, and I don’t think I’m entirely wrong about being so.

Anyway. I can’t even sew because stuff from the demolished kitchen is everywhere, even in my Arena chair. Beloved has hopes of moving OUR cabinets tomorrow, so I already cleaned off the TV and such – only place for the set was the sofa ! I’ll be so glad when I can put everything where it belongs again !

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Look what I got !

Current Notes: May be able to use it this month, too ! 

Had a minor little epiphany while getting yesterday’s entry ready to publish. One of the reasons I get so far behind so quickly is, oddly, is that I’m often subconsciously (and just as often consciously) waiting for something worth writing about to happen, so I can share it. Meanwhile, I have an entry ready to go, but it’s about laundry and a movie on Netflix – not exactly thrilling material. Then, a few days go by with no real excitement – often happily, ‘thrilling’ things aren’t always great and wondrous ones – it’s daily Life As Usual, and I end up posting the boring stuff anyway. So, why not just go ahead and celebrate the mundane, there’s plenty of it, and someone else’s life is always more interesting than yours. I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet times, so maybe they’re worth sharing, too.

All that said, I do need to create more often, I really enjoy sharing those !

No time to create this evening – I barely ‘created’ dinner. The ‘gutted to the bare walls’ house yielded up a couple more treasures, and they had to be removed tonight. Beloved Hubby came home with another new front door (this frees up the old new-to-us front door resting on the porch to be used in another project he’s plotting), a matching storm door, a nice nearly new garbage disposal, and some smaller bits like light bulbs. He installed the door on the spot, and when we needed to craft a frame for the storm door, he took me along –  on the way back from getting the last of the reclaimed stuff, we could stop at Home Despot. Plus, he had a surprise for me. 

The surprise knocked me off my exercise sandals – a dual wall oven ! Wow. I would have been happy as clams at high tide with a single oven ! This one is black, with a bottom standard oven – if half again as big as any oven I’ve ever used – and a top microwave convection oven, with a turntable bigger than any platter used to serve the Thanksgiving turkey in my life. Wow. It’s all ours.

So we got it all, and got it all done, and there’s a new door and storm door already installed, and a heavy double oven waiting for the weekend in the kitchen. I can’t wait. That darn turkey’s been taking up freezer space since last November, its days are numbered !

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's not much...

Current Notes:... but this is what I can offer today. 
And that's OK. 
There's the chance for better tomorrow, too !

Touch me ! I finally used the can of water chestnuts that’s been banging around our kitchens for the last two years. Was so close to donating it several times, including Saturday. All I did was rinse them off really well, then add ‘em to leftover Hot and Sour soup broth and boiled ‘em for a couple minutes. It’s dangerous (like raw cookie dough = salmonella risky) to eat ‘em uncooked. Then I added angel hair pasta and when the pasta was done, so was the soup. Tasty ! Could probably do the same thing with chicken noodle soup, but I like preserving that Asian taste.

Now I need to buy another can for the next time we get takeout from Happy Garden !

Not much else going on today – finished up the tidy work and returned due-today Library stuffs. I’m still on the first book of my third set of teen dystopian trilogies, so I didn’t get anything new. After reading several, I’m struck by the similarities. Cinderella story ? Check. Apocalyptic wars fought decades prior over ideologies that are never fully discussed ? Check. World-building limited to just what the lead characters need scene-by-scene ? Check. Three books to tell a thin, way overstretched story that would barely merit one book on a thin printing year ? Oh, heck yeah. I’d write my own, but so far, most of these dystopias are just regular life with slightly more restrictive rules – like perhaps what you’d see from overbearing parents in a gated spiritual community. Not sure why I keep reading them, unless I’m searching for the story promised in the flyleaf.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DP&M doll + H4H pattern = not so good...

Current Notes: Last time I used this fabric, it looked like a hospital gown on Toralei !

I can now tell you, straight from my sewing machine, KJ, to your eyes, that Disney Princess & Me dolls do not fit Hearts for Hearts doll clothes, or at least, their patterns. The cute little half-hour fleece jumper/ A-line dress pattern made for them took me about two hours, start to finish, to get anything remotely fitting Belle last night. Of course, the original free pattern (click to enlarge, to see what this is supposed to look like !) encouraged the old ‘with fleece you don’t have to hem or finish anything’ belief, which I just don’t follow, because while fleece may not ravel, the cheap stuff I normally have stretches out of shape in no time flat. Plus fleece seems to be the one fabric I have none of, so I used thin cotton then lined it. That may have made a difference, plus the fact that H2H dolls are about four inches shorter, and proportionally smaller everywhere else, too. They’d make an excellent ‘little sister’ for DP&M girls, but since the dress was a simple ‘float’ with tucks, it could have worked. DPs tend to fall right between H2H and AG when it comes to clothes and patterns. 

And it sort of does work. True, the original pattern calls for stitched down tucks front and back, and ties at the shoulders, instead of a split and Velcro © down the back, with much more shallow tucks at the front only, but I think I did pretty good considering the armholes are too small and too forward, and I could just barely fasten the ties. Turns out, the pattern designer has a similar one for 18-inch size dolls, but it’s not nearly as cute, with just one tuck straight down the middle, and I already have a pattern for that dress – made it out of purple gingham and sewed buttons from neck to hem.

Still, I could probably twist the larger pattern to my own evil purposes, so I downloaded it, too. And yes, there’s a pair of matching panties, but they don’t fit as well as earlier ones, so I think I need to print off a fresh pattern. I also added a photo of my new-to-me Aurora DP&M wearing the also new-to-us Interactive Princess Belle’s village dress. While Sleeping Beauty – or the story’s heroine – was never one of my favorites, this doll is absolutely    stunning ! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Late Mother's Day !

Current Notes: Sorry - so involved in home works, I forgot ! 
If you're a mom, or know one, I hope the day was rosy ! 

Well, we got most of what we planned done this weekend. M&FIL’s GarKitchen is nearly complete – all we have to do is buy the hardware for their drain, install it, and it’s done. Still have to install the plumbing for the washer and dryer, but it can wait a bit longer. All this scavenged ‘free’ stuff has cost us about $130. to install and use so far, for just this weekend. But it could have cost a lot more !

The new-to-us bathroom sink and cabinets are gorgeous ! We even got rid of the huge sheet of mirror and hung up a framed one that’s been in a closet for a while. Much better ! Between the shower tiling, a new shower head - also scavenged from the renovated house – the new-to-us window, the new-salvaged faucets, and the freshly scrounged cabinets, plus the new lighting fixture we bought, the bathroom is now a pleasure to be in. He even found just enough tile for the floors – which I think is project #6 on the new to-do roster.

We didn’t get to tear up our kitchen yet, but with rain in the forecast yesterday – and yes, it’s rained all day today, gloriously chilled air is glorious – we had to get all the not-used-yet cabinets inside. So we metaphorically tore up the rest of the house, putting FIL’s huge tube TV on the porch (with his permission, he’s trying to find someone to give it to) and tugging the big cabinet in its place, with the unused smaller ones clustered around it. My Arena may be moving soon, but not today. My job today was to tidy up all the out-of-place stuff and get us back to what passes for normal for us.

So I maneuvered the counter tops back on the counters and moved our TV out of the bedroom and on top, with the Wii and DVD player clustered around. Poor TV hasn’t been turned on since we moved here – I’m so happy to have it back, it’s like we just bought it. Found space for Beloved’s wireless printer, too. Got all the miscellany off the kitchen floor so we can cook, and put tools somewhere in the vicinity of Beloved Hubby’s workbench. Only he knows precisely where they belong. Most of MIL’s jewelry is still in the hallway – there’s no longer a counter for her to store it on, or in – but I don’t know what to do with it. Hope she moves it soon, it’s right in front of our bedroom door. If not, next week I’ll shove it into a box and shove the box into the hall closet with the rest of their stuff they refuse to move. That stuff will probably remain there ‘til we bust out that part of the wall, projected sometime around September. I have a box ready to go…

It’s still cool and quiet – poor Beloved was so tired, he ate and nearly fell asleep in his plate – so I may get to sew. Wish me luck ! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sorry for pulling a vanishing act, ya'll.

It's been one of those lives for the last couple weeks. I've been writing, but not photographing, and the Forces That Be've been kicking my round rump. Can't really even talk about it, it's both stupid and inane and it took all my time to the point where my angle on reality has probably been compromised. I really didn't need to know what type underwear my FIL likes to wear, there's one example for ya. 

I'll be posting what I've written later today, and hope to catch up photos soon. Don't worry, it's light and fluffy and doesn't come near close enough to all the stupid around here. Least I can do is spare you that. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cabinets. Cabinets everywhere...

Current Notes: Not sure if you really wanna see the GarKitchen...

Oh, what a day. Beloved Hubby’s been working on a house that’s being completely renovated, stem to stern. Basically, it’s being gutted to the bare walls, and whatever’s there is up for grabs. Appliances are long gone – and we didn’t want any besides – and we’re hoping to score the electrical fixtures (yes, even those are going) when it’s time they get chucked onto the pile. Nobody wanted the cabinets and doors, so Beloved grabbed ‘em.

And that’s been our weekend. Installing new-to-us cabinets in the bathroom (new sink and fixtures, too !), the kitchen, and what is now M&FIL’s kitchen. In hopes of keeping the drama down, Beloved is rewiring the garage part of the Garpartment so they can have their own stove, sink, and cabinets out there, and we’ll use the ‘old’ kitchen. I can tell ya, my IL’s were definitely down with that !

So, while they got the garage cleaned up, Beloved went up to retrieve the cabinets. Turned out to be more of them than even all those projects could use, so we’re gutting the ‘old’ kitchen, too, and using the long cabinet there until we can build to more our style and taste. But first, the IL’s kitchen.

The wiring is complete, and the cabinets have been moved into place. We’re down a washer and dryer until their spots can be reconfigured, but I can always ease on down the road to the Laundromat. They have water, but no drain. Otherwise, it looks really nice out there, and they can even use their own microwave ! I’m giving them the coffee maker, they use it far more than I ever will. Hafta share the toaster for another week or so, though.

Right now, though, the two cabinets for the bathroom and our huge temporary one for the kitchen are out on the lawn. Guess what’s up for tomorrow ? (grin) Is it wrong that I’m sooo looking forward to having a kitchen I don’t have to share ?

We splurged on a parts run and got a Mexican Coca-cola. In a glass bottle ! Taste of my childhood, right there. Had to hide the bottle so Beloved won’t throw it away, ‘cause it’s my new bud vase. Gonna get the most of that $1.65 we paid for it ! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

OK, back to making things - I have everything I want now.

Current Notes: Interactive Belle's dress (Playmates, 2002) 
on Disney Princess & Me Aurora (Jakks Pacific, 2010).
Some things are just meant to be together, no matter the details ! 

Once again, I got an awesome seller. Playmates’ My Interactive Princess Belle’s ‘village dress’ is already here ! It has a couple picks in it, but it just about fits, a little snug at the sleeve cuff again, and a bit tight at the closure, but it does close, and looks great. It’s nice to know most of those outfits fit – but as I have a Belle ball gown already, have half of Jasmine’s costume, and don’t really care for Interactive Ariel’s fin design, there isn’t much for me to want.

(chortle) Yeah, right ! I always want something ! Right now, it’s potato chips…

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Game Day, with pretzels.

Current Notes: Image a photo of meatloaf, right here...

Game Day today ! And I actually had fun. I’d promised Dearest Son another pepperoni pretzel at the nearby mall last year, and made good on it – too bad the memory of the snack was far better than the actual food. Ah, well. It wouldn’t bug me so much if the pretzels hadn’t cost more than lunch at McD’s, and they weren’t heat-lamp dry at a little after noon. Possibly the last ones we got were fresher. I also had to ask three times before I got the sodas we paid for – and they gave us the wrong ones. (sigh)

I’ll probably still go back to the mall, as there’s a neat little jewelry shop with those strappy bracelets that make great doll belts – for just a buck ! She also sold plastic stem earrings that are also great for dolls, since there’s no metal to react with the vinyl. I can see me spending ten bucks there and not getting a thing for m’self !

Game Day went pretty well, I actually got to interact with the other parents this time. S. wanted me to babysit again, I bowed out and we left a little early for an appointment. I also listened with much interest about some fun run/walks another member participated in – she sent me some links to investigate. And just yesterday, I spied a new municipal park with a walk/jog trail, perfect for an inactive lump like me to see if I can go the distance, maybe train a bit to do so. Much to think about.

But first, dinner ! Meatloaf with baked beans and baked potatoes. I’m too stuffed to move !   

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

♪ Pretty as a midsummer morn, they called her... well, Aurora ♫

Current Notes: Isn't she lovely ? 

Wow. I have one kinda lazy seller, then I get a flat-out amazing one. The DP&M Aurora lot I won Sunday is already here ! She upgraded me to Priority and mailed the next day. Fantastic. I left her the best feedback I could come up with, and e-mailed her specifics of how happy I was with our deal.

So. I now have the ‘original’ Aurora, not the ‘jewel’ version on TRU’s website now. In fact, all of mine are the non-jewel original releases, and I’m glad. Can tell ya that original Aurora’s dress is far more ornate and beautiful, as is Tia’s. And the glittery fabric goes all the way around. It’s sad how much that impresses me. (snerk) I was looking idly at Barbie ball gowns on eBay the other day, from various Chinese sellers. Most of them made note of the fact that the pretty fabric did, in fact,  extend all the way to the back closure.

I also got the pillow from the rarely-seen DP&M bed, most of the Vanity set (missing the comb and tray), a play curling iron from another Disney vanity set, the robe and pajamas and tutu created for Aurora – all missing the shoes. Yup. All that, again no crown, and no shoes with any of the outfits. Ah, well. Like I needed more of a push to get my shoe pattern right ! Well, actually, yes, I do. All that, delivered, for less than half the sale shelf price of the doll alone. Only problem is, now I wanna get Belle a tutu, and Tia a nightgown set, so they all have matching clothes !

Aurora herself is in excellent shape, but the only downside to the ‘jewel’ collection now on TRU’s website is that it doesn’t show the original dolls and their reviews. Aurora’s hair is excellent, just beautiful, but it is a bit choppy in the back. Did the original owner cut it, or did it come that way from Jakks Pacific ? No way for me to really know. Ah, truthfully I don’t much care, she’s an absolutely lovely doll, and I’m happy to have her no matter what shape her hair’s in. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Really boring day...

Current Notes: Today's not even worth a photo, honestly. 

Yaay ! PineCone transferred my big six bux to PayPal, and I went right over to eBay and it ‘Buy It Now’ on the Playmates’ My Interactive Princess Belle doll’s ‘village dress’. I used to have that doll, and just loved her, but had to thin the herds, so let her move on to a new home. Ever since I got the DP&M girls, I’ve wondered if those clothes would fit, so here’s my chance to find out. I know Interactive Jasmine’s pants fit, but don’t know about blouses or dresses yet. Soon, I’ll know.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just me whining.

Current Notes: Soon to come photos, #12

What I ordered with my PineCone funds last came in today. (grin) I had two more surveys right after I cashed out for it, so I’ve requested another cash out in order to snag something else. Now the PC fund is completely empty – bring on the surveys ! I’d be more excited about new stuff, but… (sigh) I had issues with the envelope, much less what was inside. And this was from an Etsy seller with dozens of items and tons of feedback, mostly good but frequently lukewarm.

First off, please, try to spell my name right. I know my name’s a challenge, but I’m not Dorris. Dorris didn’t overpay for shipping and didn’t wait three days from the time you cashed your PayPal ‘til you had time to mail the package. PayPal spells my name right, I’d love it if someone I paid hard-earned to would make the effort. Second, if you sprung for tracking, great ! It’s protection for you, and frankly, I won’t ship without it either. It’s worth the small fee for my own peace of mind. But, wouldn’t you think it’d be a good idea to share the tracking number, so the person who paid for all this – not Dorris – knows it’s on the way ? You’re kinda getting more for the money if you share it. Also, just shoving it in the paper envelope is taking a real chance. Again, personally, I don’t like to ship without at least a cheapie zipper-type bag protecting the goodies inside. They don’t weigh much, and heck, if ya can’t get the right size or they’re too expensive, there’s always Mal-Wart sacks. I like bubble envelopes too – a recent envelope was so badly damaged when I got it, if it’d been plain paper, and the shoes hadn’t been in a plastic baggie with the jacket, the order within would have been lost and/or severely damaged.

The order itself was OK, but I don’t get where she said the elastic waist on the skirt was damaged when there’s no elastic here at all. Same for the waaay oversized ‘bloomer’ style panties. Both have ‘age spots’ in the fabric, so I’ll wash ‘em before I decide what to do with them. The blouse is very nice, very white, and I love the ‘Gibson Girl’ sleeves, but the lace is so big, especially along the collar, it overpowers the doll. It’s OK, I’m gonna have to take most of the blouse apart anyway – sleeve cuffs are too tight to fit over the dolls’ hands, the sleeve is about an inch off the shoulder and about a half inch too long, and the bodice itself is about an inch too big all the way around, even with the darts. It came with a cute cameo at the throat, which is actually a plastic button. Wish they still made those – most of my larger dolls would have cameo jewelry if I could find ‘em. The black vest is made from fabric I can’t identify, but it’s lined and lovely, with long ribbon ties and darts in the back. Also rather big on the dolls, but made very nicely. So I’m glad I ordered it, but kind of wish both the description and shipping had been better.  

But then, I wouldn’t have anything to write (whine) about ! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The joy of a lost book found !

Current Notes: Maybe soon, I'll get to actually read it again...

Despite yesterday’s fun, we hit the Sunday sale thrift shop today, shortly after it opened. Dearest Son found a new monitor – yes, another one – for $13. that he loved, and it went into the cart. Hey, if he’s willing to spend his allowance, I’ll let him learn from his own financial faux pas, no problem.

Since I had him there, we went through the t-shirt racks, and found six for him, two for Beloved Hubby. Most of them were on sale, but I had no problem shelling regular asking price of two big bucks for a Red Knight ‘Only A Flesh Wound’ tee. The ‘Unathletic Dept.’ shirt was cheap and nearly new, too. He loved both of his, and admired Dearest’s new monitor. Admired it so much that he wanted to go, see if they had another. They didn’t – Dearest prefers widescreen – but Beloved found a regular aspect one that easily rotated to a ‘portrait’ orientation, and he’s always wanted one of those ! So, seven bucks later, he had a new monitor, too.

You may wonder what Beloved needed a new monitor for, since we both use laptops. But his new monitor allows fuller use of his drawing tools without constantly scrolling up and down, and he can operate both monitors together, or just one. So, whatever works – especially if it works and makes ya happy for a mere $7. !

Oddly, I didn’t buy anything for me this time. Just scavenged a gorgeous variegated forest green t-shirt from the ‘Freebie’ bin. I can cut around the torn sleeve, and since it won’t fit anyone here, have no guilt about ripping it up for new projects. Most of the ‘Freebie Bin’ finds are truly only good for rags, and with some fabrics, not even that, but I always give it a stir when there’s stuff in it.

Once back home, I did a quick load of laundry for Beloved’s work shirts, and got all the new finds ready to go. MIL and FIL are in the midst of going through all the stuff and boxes of books BIL left in the Garpartment when he moved out. So I occasionally find boxes open and midway through sorting back where the washer/dryer and water heater are. So far, I’ve found three of our long-missing DVDs, and today was reunited with my SciFi Book Club copy of Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary Wolf. I know it’s mine ‘cause in college, the local Library would laminate by the yard for a slight pittance. Most of my ‘good’ books from those days have laminated dust jackets, like this one does. I had wondered, years ago, what happened to it. Now I’m trying to figure out a nice way to ask, ‘Does BIL have any more of my books ? Can I look through all 15 of the boxes he left ?’. I have a sneaking suspicion Beloved loaned them out and forgot to tell me…

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April showers bring May yard sales !

Current Notes: Photo Coming Soon !

Yard sales bloomed like dandelions today, at least twice as many as yesterday, but most of ‘em were heavily concentrated on clothes, baby stuff, heavy furniture, and, for whatever reason, golf equipment, tons of that. As a consequence Salvation Army was nearly empty of shoppers, unusual for a Saturday. I had all the time in the world to look at their ‘collectable’ dolls, and found a lovely  ‘Miss Revlon’ bride – not sure if she’s a clone or authentic. The incredible detail to her dress and underpinnings suggest authenticity, but I couldn’t find a single mark on her. In the end, I let her go, since she would only get more dusty at Chez Insanity. But she was just beautiful. I also saw a Full House ‘Michelle’ doll redressed in a ‘days gone by’ style dress, hiding among the porcelains and pseudo-antiques. Not the most attractive doll in the world.

We found a few goodies – Dearest Son snagged a nearly new 1/18th-scale 1967 Beetle die-cast replica and an old Microsoft joystick to dismantle for fun. I found a nice lamp (we’ve needed a small one for the bedroom, my bedside desk lamp’s a bit hard to get to, and the light is often harsh), a pretty basket to replace the ‘Uncrustables’ box that held toiletries in the bedroom bathroom, twelve hand-sized fun-foam stars, and a knee-high burgundy wicker clothes hamper in near-new shape. You’re gonna laugh, but it’s perfect to hold the fabric I bought these past few days, plus all the sweaters I got from ‘stuff a bag for a buck’ Thursday at the PreviousTown thrift in March. Snagged all that for $22., Dearest’s selections and tax included. It helped that ‘household and bric-a-brac’ was 25% off today.

So I was pretty happy. Beloved Hubby’s latest job netted him some new-to-us windows – tall ones that don’t open, but will let in tons of light and are far better insulated. We discussed where they’re going, and he got to work bustin’ brick. I got to work bustin’ old mortar off dislodged bricks, so we could reuse them. MIL helped out, then she moved to let FIL do that, and enlisted Dearest to help her haul away mortar chips. I know my arms are gonna sleep well tonight, they’re both tired ! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

My stars !

Current Notes : There's at least two more big green ones in there !  

After yesterday’s wild fabric rush, it was hard to motivate m’self to go anywhere. But I had a Library hold to pick up – Kitchen Princess, Ominbus Edition 4 – and had promised to take Dearest Son to Dollar Tree, so off we went.

I had a short list of needs – new night-light bulbs for the fridge (the door’s water/ice dispenser uses them), a battery for the living room clock, elastics for my now shoulder-length hair, and dried papaya/pineapple for Beloved Hubby – and you know me, I’m always open to new finds. MIL had expressed an interest in a plastic bowl I bought there, and those were back in stock, so I snagged her one. And they always need coffee filters ! They also had a few of those rhinestone lanyards back in stock, so I got a pale blue one, as the black one looked really chintzy, and I still had some silver left. The delicious pickles were back in stock, so I got three jars, along with a few snacks and kitchen miscellany.

Their ‘Craft’ section had one bag of those star-shaped ‘jewels’, like they were made and meant for me to buy. There’s at least two big green ones in there !

The Library still had my hold, and I found m’self lightly tempted by the nearly 20 year span of World Book encyclopedia Year Books – annual updates to the big set – but I already have similar books that date back to the 60s, so I let someone else snag ‘em. The real temptation was the electric typewriter, complete with a ‘Works !’ Post-It attached. Luckily I didn’t really have the funds, a source of replacement ribbons, or a real use in mind for it. Much less space !

It must be Free Yard Sale weekend, because they seemed to be everywhere. We stopped at one that seemed to be a near perma-sale, because most of the prices were only a buck or two away from new. I found a gallon bag of what I thought were fabric scraps for some pocket change – turned out, they were various sizes of pinking-shear cut triangular dog bandanas. Possibly the seller used to have a grooming business ? Well, they’d already been washed, were unused and unhemmed,  and most were plenty big enough for my purposes. I must’ve scored at least 20 different prints, only one repeated. So I was happy with my deal.

It’s so hard to not go to all the yard sales I can find ! But we just barely have the space for all the stuff I really love and need, so it’s best if I enjoy all my new fabric instead !

I may have to figure out how I’m gonna store it all, though…

Thursday, May 1, 2014

And here's what I got from Kawaii Meow !

Current Notes: You won't believe what else I got today ! 

Helped Beloved Hubby finish up and clean up from yesterday’s late afternoon/ evening home-repair job. That took most of the morning before his medical appointment, but it left us just enough time for that rarest of indulgences – Croissanwiches ! I prefer bacon. I also found a new survey notice from PineCone, so I have a new fund started. Not sure what for yet…

After his appointment, Beloved wanted to show me a fabric store he’d found, and I was all for that. And, oh, what a store… envision the fanciest fabric you’ve ever seen. Then double all the colors it was available in. Now toss in enough glitzy, glamor fabric to outfit every Vegas chorus girl and Bollywood film twice, then stir in some rich wools, crepe du chine, silks, performance knits, leathers and velvets, furs and yardages with feathers and rhinestones sewn to them, and lace big enough to make a skirt for you from with one seam and no hem required. After that, add some rooms labelled ‘$1. Room’, “Half off Half Price Room”, and “Free Patterns”. Top with two lovely, fun, kind owners and you have this store… but it was even better than all that. I don’t even know half of what I saw was, all I know is that store was in.cred.i.ble.

I could go all day singing its praises, but here’s the tl;dr – I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so they asked what I most often sewed. Whey I said ‘doll clothes’, their eyes lit up in unison, and the pretty blonde lady slipped into a closed office and came out with a shopping cart half full of remnants. The lovely brunette nodded in satisfaction. I was invited to dig through it, pick out what I wanted, and we’d cut a deal. These were remnants they held for a client who no longer sewed, and they didn’t want to deal with them, so they’d be happy just to get them out the door.

‘Pick out what I wanted’ ? I wanted almost all of it ! And I had some money, but surely the wealth of beauty I singled out would be far more than that. So I modestly slid ten or twelve pieces to the side, hoping I could afford half of them. So gorgeous ! I picked out the one I’d be upset to leave without and put it on top, and asked what they’d want for all this. Glitters and knits and UltraSuede, tulle and lycra and chiffon…it sang to me, dazzled me even as I regretted having to leave some pieces behind.

Ever have that feeling of the world contracting to a pinpoint, then suddenly rushing back up at you ? I had that sensation when the owners looked at each other and said, ‘Ten bucks OK ?’ OK ? I thought I’d shoot up to the ceiling ! But I felt like I was taking advantage of them, that’s a lot of gorgeousness for just a few dollars. They again reassured me that I was mostly buying them a late lunch, they didn’t need to make anything on this deal. I squee’ed around like a kid, and asked if I could upgrade lunch by adding a few more pieces for $20. They were fine with that, so I did. I didn’t get greedy, just got those few I hated to leave, maybe about five or six more small pieces. They urged me to add at least three more, and we settled on two. Wow. They even tweaked it so that with tax, it was an even twenny bucks.

I am soooo going back to that store. I won’t hold them to those kinds of deals again, but I’ll never forget how kind and sweet they were to me. I hugged Beloved, and the bag of beauty, most of the way home.

Regrettably, I have no idea what I’m going to do with most of this haul. But it was worth far more than I paid just to unpack it all on the bed and roll around on it, hoping all that astounding splendor would transfer to me somehow. (happy sigh)