Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bree has always had an affinity for owls. . .

Busy day today. Got a text late last night from the ILs – they got a lift to their Doctor’s appointments in Old Town, could I take them back for their prescriptions ? Sure, why not ? I was only slated to take Dearest Son to Dollar Tree this morning anyway, and their thing’s in the late afternoon, plenty of time. Dearest wasn’t interested in going, so I left my cell with him and headed back to OldTown with the ILs, grateful it was just gonna be for one time, for two hours, maybe less.

Um, maybe I was being over-optimistic. DTree was a short visit, mostly for snacks and a few other budget needs, but I was still very tired and coughing a lot. I spent most of the interim hours asleep. By the time we got to the Doc’s office to pick up the ‘script ( we ended up waiting nearly an hour for Doc to sign off on FIL’s heavy-duty pain pills, then another half-hour at the pharmacy, with a half-hour drive each way, and of course they’re broke – but I saw three Monarch butterflies ! ), all the coughing had started to make my stomach and chest hurt. On the way to the pharmacy, my hernia started up. No real surprise, given all that pressure and my belly muscles already strained. Hernia hurts like anything, but there’s nothing I can do but tough on through – no way to lie down, no medicine I can take, it’s just pray for sleep usually. Too bad that was off the table this time. 

Desperate for distraction, I dragged m’self through the OldTown thrift store I normally love, while MIL went wild finding big stuff we had no way to get home. FIL was waiting for ‘scripts. I could tell her from experience (snort !) that an office chair just won’t fit in Emmy-car’s trunk no matter how cheap the chair is, and the chest of drawers was right out. For once, I was too ill to fall victim to ‘The Pout’. I was hoping they’d have big bundles of fabric once more, but all they had were three huge plastic tubs of polyester in colors that’d be perfect if I was creating Farmer’s Market Pageant costumes, and even those were $25. each (tub not included). I did snag a small 50¢ heart-shaped pillow made of Mary Engelbreit fabric, thinking I might take the cherry-print ruffle off for another project, but as it turned out, part of the ruffle is massively faded. It’s OK, the cushion’s great in my office chair as back support ! 

Snagged FIL, bought them sodas, and we all headed home. I don’t remember part of the drive. Passed out on the sofa for two hours, and I’m still hurting and exhausted. Thank Everything I don’t have to do a thing tomorrow !

Meanwhile, I wanted to finish out National Sewing Month by stitching up a pattern I just bought – unfortunately, I was too ill to sew anything but the simple one. Still had a real fight on my hands with the ‘simple enough for kids’ sleeves, and that neckline doesn’t lie down right. S’OK, it doesn’t in the pattern image, either – I really should have studied it more, but I wanted a go-to pattern I didn’t have to spend several versions tweaking. This is the Sunshine Dress, by Oh Sew Kat! . Used almost exactly half of a fat quarter. I hope to make the variations real soon !

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Head crafts.

Decided kinda late last night that I wanted something new and pretty to wear today, so I started the ground-work on AKA Embroidery’s ‘Scattered Leaves Headband Slider’. While even I sometimes make it sound like machine embroidery is just ‘load the thread and hit the button’, that’s far from reality. I watched a virtual stitch-out, figured out where thread changes happened and how many colors I’d need, printed out a project sheet and added all my notes, read the digitizer’s PDF – all in all, that took about an hour, and I didn’t go near Brody.

Actually choosing the colors, cutting out templates, deciding on matching or contrasting threads, stitching it out, trimming the felt, running another bobbin, troubleshooting a minor issue, cutting it out and attaching it to sized fold-over elastic took another two hours. It doesn’t normally take this long, but this was a large and complicated design, and I was enjoying every minute. And while errors were made, I love the finished headband – I can slide it off and add a Dollar Tree plastic headband, if I like. And I loved getting everything I needed from my stash.

Already looking forward to stitching out their ‘Christmas Lights’ and ‘Norwegian Sisters’ headband designs. Thanks to their recent sale, I could afford all three ! No one at Game Day noticed my pretty accessory, but that’s OK – I felt good wearing it, that’s all that mattered. Might wear it again, to tomorrow’s big Dollar Tree visit.

Feeling somewhat better, shipping less fluids, but still very tired. Coughing a lot. Beloved Hubby took care of dinner, I’m gonna crash early tonight. I have no idea what I’m gonna do for the last day of National Sewing Month yet !

Monday, September 28, 2015

I love reclaiming abandoned projects !

Found a green acorn, complete with cap, and matching leaf in Emmy-car’s driver’s seat today. Fall’s definitely on the way – and I need to remember to close the moon-roof from now on !

I was going out to the car to retrieve a large felt owl I’d bought at Dollar Tree a few weeks ago, intending to zip-tie it to Beloved Hubby’s truck grille. I swap out silly holiday decorations, usually tinsel-based, and from DTree, and see how long it takes him to notice. He actually complained that the July 4th glitter-star was on a bit overlong. Turned out, the owl was too big, and would cover too much of the grille – last thing I want is for him to overheat on the interstate – so it was banished to Emmy-chan’s trunk. Few weeks later, I found a shimmery pumpkin much like the others, and it was installed that night. Poor owl’s been in the trunk for about two months.

But today, I saw how someone had jazzed up similar DTree felt pumpkins with a bit of machine embroidery (flowing monograms, for the curious), and decided to do something simple to save my owl. I actually liked him, or I wouldn’t have bought him in the first place, after all – I was just at a loss until I saw the photos. Pulled up a lettering program I bought in 2009, typed up a short slogan, and a half hour later, I had an embroidered owl, and he was hanging up on the front door. Owl was too big to hoop, so I stretched out some cutaway stabilizer and pinned him to it. Several times, ‘til I talked m’self into believing it was centered well enough. Not the best solution, it moved too much for my satisfaction, but I still liked how it turned out. The Autumn-colored ribbons I tied around his neck camouflage some of the felt bends and slight off-center qualities. Even used the plastic hook DTree used for stocking to display him. Yaaay !

I’d like to get fancier with future endeavors, the first one is always the biggest challenge. I confess, it’s been a long time since I embroidered anything larger than my hoop ! Probably use the spray adhesive, possibly with or without the pins. Brody will ‘air draw’ a square of how big the design is before the first stitch is sewn, which helps. Now I’m hoping for felt turkeys and Christmas trees and ornaments to appear at DTree soon. . .

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Of moons and space wars. . .

Dearest Son has fallen in love with Star Wars again – at least it’s the ones I like, the Luke/ Leia/ Han ones – and watched all three today. So of course I pulled up the Rebel Alliance keychain design I got on sale back on Star Wars day (May 4th, for you sticklers), and whipped one out for him. Less than a half hour from recycled stabilizer hooping  to presentation, and he loves it. Even used a star snap on it, first time I’ve ever tried one of those. (grin) No matter how sick I feel, I can knock out a key fob !

Speaking of, bought a new machine embroidery design because a fan posted a tutorial. I couldn’t ‘see’ how it worked before. It’s actually quite cool – makes two different shapes of vinyl snap-pouch, even with my 4x4 hoop ! One holds a gift or ID card. It was a bit pricey at $5., but I got a free cute spider key fob design with it, which I’ll probably use soon. And the snap-pouches will make great doll purses ! Think I’ll break out some of that UltraSuede to experiment with, I got tons of ideas. Saved the helpful photos with the design, and thanked the contributor – hope he/she does that again sometime !

Cold is a little better, a little worse. Got to sleep a little last night – night before, I was up every hour, clearing my nose – but I can’t get very far from a supply of tissues. I’ve even been coughing it up, which hurts, but not much. Drinking a lot of water helps. Still not hungry, and we’re awash in good things to eat. But most of them, even decent chocolate, hurts my throat. Seems rough going down, somehow. Tomorrow should feel better.

Got to see the lunar eclipse, too. When Beloved and I went out, the moon was red, with just a tiny white crescent at the bottom – it reminded me a bit of that Rebel Alliance logo ! Beautiful, but a bit eerie. When Dearest and I went out an hour later, it was a half-moon, all white. How fortunate we were that it wasn’t so cloudy here ! Thanks, Luna !

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I stitched 'cause I needed a lift !

Ugh. My cold got worse last night. So as not to gross you out, I’ll just say that if phlegm and mucus were a commodity, I’d be exporting and getting a decent dividend check Monday. Meanwhile, I’m making knockoff facial tissue manufacturers happy, and waking up every hour to cough and hork. Glad Beloved Hubby normally sleeps through it. I usually get a miserable cold every Autumn -  be glad when this one’s over.

One good thing – my appetite is halved. Just not hungry. Wish it could stay that way. Lost two pounds yesterday, and that’s with me eating a lot of junk along with about a third of a head of cabbage and a lunch special of Chinese food. Used to love raw cabbage when I was a kid – my mother didn’t believe in after-school snacks for me, so I ate what I could forage. Give me another week, I’ll be back to munching on raw potatoes – the small ones no one will miss ! – again. I think I’ll safely stay away from raw bacon, though. While tasty, I can surely find better snacks. Or at least cook the stuff.

Got to return to Hancock Fabrics – yeah, I know. But I decided I wanted that purple and navy blue vinyl I saw on the $5./yd. Home D├ęcor flat-folds table last time, and we could spare the funds. Spent $13, but got a yard of vinyl total, a half yard of gorgeous glittery blue starry tulle, some markdown purple trim, and a small spool of Sulky embroidery thread, on sale, in variegated pinks and reds. Should make for some awesome heart arteries ! So the folds won’t become permanent, I rolled it up once I was back home. It feels so good to look over and see my vinyl stash !

I have a stellar idea for my next wrap-around dress for the Timey / Dottie / Chatty family, but I’m too tired and worn to actually sew it right now. This cold is kicking my butt. Crashed for an hour after my little shopping trip.

Which was good, ‘cause we ended up at Mal-Wart at 9pm, prowlin’ around. I think Beloved Hubby’s plotting on getting me a new TV for the. . .shoot, I don’t even know what to call that room anymore, no one’s in it but me 90% of the time, but it’s still shared space. Let’s go with The Playroom, and my stuff’s still the Arena, sound OK ? Anyway, I caught him studying them while Dearest Son and I looked at toys. When he watched some Netflix with me while I was prowling around online, he complained about the tiny TV – heck, it was only $6., and it’s over twenty inches ! – so I think that’s gonna be a done deal. I don’t mind, just wanna make sure there’s nothing else we need more, especially since we’re ditching cable in December.

I think he and Dearest have that in mind, since Beloved bought the Star Wars original trilogy (you know, the ones I like !) and Dearest decided he wanted Princess and the Frog. I thought we already had that, but I was told by both that we don’t anymore. We’re missing a lot of DVDs, some we don’t know about ‘til we open the box. (sigh) And it’s not worth asking the ILs about it, if the condition our last DVDs were returned in is any indication, they’re scratched beyond hope anyway. At least it’s no longer a problem.

Got to see the new 28-inch MH doll – Mal-Wart exclusive, she doesn’t even have a name, both the purple and the green one have “Voltageous Ghoul Friend” on the packaging. I’m intrigued, but truly, I don’t need more big dolls. Did the research anyway – despite the knee joint mold lines, their knees don’t bend, and their feet aren’t sculpted like the ones we’re used to – they’re like solid clumps inside the glued-on shoes. They come with a lot of dress-up props, and with the push of a button on the back of their heads, their eyes change. Tempting, but for $50., I think I’ll pass on these ghouls. $35., I would have probably gone for, but I think 17-inch Gooliope is overpriced at $30., and I’m re-thinking similarly-sized Frankie (holding out for Huge Ghoulia !) so . . .

National Sewing Month’s challenge was served today when I finished a long-neglected doll dress – it was complete but for closings. Oh, and I stitched out a feltie that I wanted to use as a keychain for Emmy-car. This one. It stitched OK, but I went too dark with the pumpkin, so the whole thing looks wrong. Was trying to match thread to her paint job, but next to the tires, the whole thing looks dark grey. And the glitter thread on the window and undercarriage didn’t show up well, either. Oh, well. Can do it again later, with better colors, when I have more energy.  I liked how the variegated thread came out !