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So. How've you been? I've been busy - as usual. :lol: Himself asked me to replace his shirts with me-made ones, :gulp!: so I've been in the Studio working on a muslin for him to abuse. Funny thing - about the same time he asked me, Fabric Mart sent me an email with all shirtings on SALE. DEEP sale. (Gotta love Divine intervention, no? :rofl:) He now has 5 pieces of designer (seriously - Ralph Lauren, a "famous Hawaiian designer", and someone else I can't remember) cotton waiting to be turned into lovely button-down shirts. The muslin just needs buttonholes and buttons, then he gets to abuse it for a couple of weeks before I start on the "real" fabric.

In the meantime, I'm going to be sewing him a body double - Bootstrap Fashion has done it again. They offer custom drafted dress form patterns now....$24 for most sizes ($35-ish for the standard, multi-size patterns). I have his pattern, and we went out Friday and picked up the fabric for it (plain, gray, mid-weight cotton. He didn't want a pattern - even though it's in MY Studio. I don't mind - as long as it's in the color scheme I have going, it's good.) Soon as I get the buttonholes in, I'll start on it. :excited:

I'm not doing goals/resolutions/aspirations this year. Too much stress. :lol: Instead, I'm going to look back at 2018, then forward to 2019 to see what I plan on doing.

Knitting: Last year was pretty much a bust once FIL died. My knitting mojo left, and still hasn't really returned. I think it's because I had just finished a pair of stained glass socks (he LOVED them), and started another pair when he died. I finally finished the 2nd pair in....August, I think (he died in MAY). I started a scarf for Himself in December, and I'm finally 2/3's done.

This year, I'd like to knit more. I need to finish his scarf, knock out a hat for Herself, and start on this year's scarf for Himself. And finish a few pairs of socks for me. We'll see.....

Sewing: Last year wasn't too bad. I spent at least half focused on bags/purses, but I did get a few clothing items done. This year, I want to do Himself's shirts, then focus on undergarments for Herself and me. And a few purses, here and there, for the shop. Oh, and a few laptop cases - Cyn needs one DESPERATELY, and I want to see if maybe there's a market for geeky ones. (Hers will be the tester. :lol:)

Spinning/Weaving: I honestly haven't done much of either. I NEED to get back to the loom - I need the quiet contemplation weaving brings me. Spinning......well, can't do that in the house right now, as Duncan would eat the wheel. Teething wolfhounds are...well....a MESS. But cute!

Exercise: By December, I had a decent routine worked out. Sun/Tues/Thurs I do the weight machine. Mon/Wed/Fri I do a Pilates tape - 20 minutes right now. I want to keep that up - I've lost an inch in my waist so far! :huzzah!: Soon as my ankle gets better (don't ask) I'd like to hit the treadmill.......:sigh:

The contract job has sorta started back up. We'll see how it goes - I don't mind it. The money is nice, and the work is easy. I'm supposed to help Cyn with tax returns, so that'll also help.

Himself has gotten me to play some video games with him - it's fun. It's also a good way to bond...so this Mama is going to try to become a gamer. :gulp: So far, he's got me into Subnautica (creative only - I don't DO scary sea monster jump scares! I like building underwater bases and exploring.), Medieval Engineers, and he wants me to start playing Space Engineers, too. Oh, and Kerbal Space Program. :lol: He's offered to buy me the older Star Wars games, too.....but that's going to involve getting a MS :hiss: machine to properly run them - Macs aren't great for gaming. (I think I'll be getting one, anyway, for the contract stuff. All the programs client uses are MS based.....:sigh: I HATE MS machines! I'm an Apple fan......) Ah, well - it's fun. The kids are currently playing Borderlands 2........it's too violent for *me*. I'm a wuss.....

Let's see....oh. Monday last Tigger had a seizure. NSDH immediately ran her to the ER Vet - she's now on anti-seizure meds. (Don't mind me. We can't afford for me to go get my ankle checked out, but we can go into debt for a dog. Sure. Why not?) She's doing fine now - we have no idea what caused it. Our vet said they don't diagnose epilepsy after the dog is 5.....she's going on 11 now. So....who knows? She'll be on pills the rest of her life (at $75/month. Really, don't mind me - I'll get over it eventually.)

Anyway, I think that gets me up to date. Tomorrow is back to Cyn's, then Tuesday is finish the bloody shirt and start the body double day. Should be fun!
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Can't sleep.....ankle still screwed. I had the pain down to mostly manageable levels....then I stepped in the husband's trench yesterday. :sigh: Ah, well. I was fully aware of the risks.

Last week we finally replaced the piece of junk sofa/loveseat set we got 5 years (or so) ago. RTG told us it was "leather everywhere your skin touches, and bonded leather everywhere else. It'll last!" Yeah....not so much. The back of the top of the couch - where you stretch your arms out - started flaking off within 6 months. :sigh: Biggest waste of money.....

Anyway. One of the reasons I took the contract job was to get the funds to replace them. The original plan was Ikea......but I got to thinking. $1500 for a set I wasn't really in love with. So I hit CraigsList....and Wednesday I found a nice-looking set, in the next town over. I quickly emailed and was told, well, someone was coming out to look, but they'd keep me in mind. The seller's next email went to Spam. I found it Thursday afternoon, quickly emailed, then called......long story short, we ran out Thursday evening and came home with a new-to-us REAL leather set. Built in 2003. In EXCELLENT condition. (Pictures when it's not so early.)(And after I clean them - it's been raining here. 14" or so in OCTOBER alone. Mud. :sigh: Why I wanted leather!)

Duncan is growing. I've been sewing. Himself has joined Herself in making earrings

Oh! Husband has a new job!!!!! It's an answer to a prayer - Praise God! He starts next Monday - no more contract labor!!!!!

Need to rustle up breakfast. Today is personal sewing (I need a new wallet), so should be relaxed. I'll try to be more consistent in posting.....since I switched our checkbooks to an accounting program (Manager.io - it's like QuickBooks, but FREE) I should be on the laptop more (it's easier to post from the laptop than the tablet. It's easier to use the tablet......you see my problem? :lol:)
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I have some good excuses, though....

Duncan sleepy 2

Duncan sleepy

Duncan face

Seriously, can you blame me? :lol:

Let's see.....


1. Duncan came home 9/16, and had his first vet visit on 9/17. He's healthy and happy, and so are we. He's figured out the pet door....but hasn't quite figured out that poopies are OUTside, not Inside. He's also figured out how to climb up on the couch...puppy snuggles are great!

2. Herself and I opened an Etsy shop - I can't figure out how to link here, but the shop name is thatdamnfangirl . Herself's idea - it's a riff on something Kacchan from MHA says ("You damn nerd!") She thought it was hysterical, so......there ya go. Not much there right now except earrings, but I'll be uploading bags as soon as I finish my cosplay. (Uraraka from MHA, in her UA uniform, with a Deku doll. We have the wig, and I've finished the blouse. Just need to do the jacket and skirt....I have until 10/19.....wish me luck!)

3. The Lord sent a contract job my way - it has been a HUGE blessing. I've earned enough so far to buy a new, improved rice cooker (Himself's request. This thing.....it's a Zojirushi, it has multiple rice type settings, and....well. I haven't figured it all out yet, but Himself has.), and new tires for the Jeep (soon as that check comes in, we're off to Firestone. :huzzah!: Next up is some more storage for my studio (Ikea lack and kallax, both in white), and a new sofa and loveseat for the living room. (Ikea. The Evil Empire has me in thrall. :lol:)

4. Ankle......yeah. Moving on.....:sigh:

Happy Sukkot, y'all!
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Looks like I'll be updating weekly, for a while anyway. :lol: Puppy pictures are IMPORTANT STUFF, y'all! I need to share the cuteness!

Duncan at 1 week old. He's now 2 lbs, 9 oz - so he's doubled his weight!

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We didn't visit this week - too much going on here. We are going THIS weekend, though - so you'll have photos that we took (these are from the breeder.)

The boys have been working on the new Studio/gym. Himself is learning how to wire up a house - good experience! He's done all the plugs on his side, and most of the plugs on the gym side. Today he has a few more to do; tonight he and SG are starting on building the panel.

Meanwhile, I've been in the Studio myself. I have another project bag completed - this one is the Swoon Harriet tote bag.

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This is the last of my MHA fabric; I got 2 complete bags out of 1 yard (plus a very, very little left over. Maybe enough to do a coin purse....) Once again, Swoon patterns show how well-written and designed they are; no major problems (well, I did sew the top inside panels in upside down, because the pattern doesn't show which way the pattern should run. No biggie - this is my new knitting bag - but next time I know which way to orient those panels. :lol:). The bag went together nicely - it only took me about 5 hours from printing the pattern to turning off the sewing machine; I did differ in my clasp. The pattern calls for a magnetic clasp; I used a turn lock instead.

The cool thing about the Harriet is the expandable sides. The bag, closed, holds an 8.5" x 11" laminated pattern, my current 2-ball sock project, the completed sock, my darning egg, and a bunch of misc. tools easily. I think I could fit a sweater project in there if I unzipped the sides.

Herself thinks she wants one of these. :lol: We'll see - today I am making a Brooklyn bag. She might just change her mind.........:rofl: (Why, yes - I am knocking out bags recently. I *need* new project bags, and a couple more purses. Plus......Mom wants a bag, and I want to give her few choices of style. Can't really do that without examples, can I? :lol:)

Gotta skitter!
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So. We are all giggly-happy over Duncan's arrival. *We* won't get him until mid-September, of course, but the breeder has been happily sharing her photos with us. Since I know y'all are only here for puppy pictures, let's start with him:

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This was the first picture she sent me. Let's all say "Daawwwwwwww...." :lol: Then came these:

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Then we made a trip to visit.....and Herself snapped this one of me and Duncan:

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There is another photo, but I am making a very silly face (I was cooing at him, all right?) so it will NOT be posted. :lol:

After we got home, this appeared in my text messages:

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Moving on before we all succumb to cuteness overload.......I spent most of yesterday in my Studio (finally!) and managed to knock out another purse:

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It's the Swoon Patterns Blanche bag. The fabric is from Spoonflower - expensive, but the ONLY place I could find My Hero Academia themed fabric. I accidentally grabbed an invisible zipper (it was the correct color!), so Uraraka is helping me with the pull. :lol:

And, finally - Herself has a new friend:

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His name is Griff; he's a Joltean (Pokemon) made by an Etsy.com artist named CrypticEnigma. He's AWESOME. Very well made, the fabric is lush and soft and nice, and the artist couldn't be nicer. (Herself has ordered 4 custom plushes from her now......:heh: She's sending up progress shots - she is SO TALENTED!)

Himself and I played a new outdoor game this AM - Recoil. Basically, laser-tag. With air strikes. He beat me handily, but it was fun.

Gotta skitter - Himself has a doc appointment, and he wants to take us out to lunch. Laters!
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Did a lot of running around this weekend. We needed to replace the TV in the family room (PSA: Stay AWAY from Vizio TV's. We've had to replace this one 2x in less than a year. :sigh: The mother board keeps going out.....) and the husband wanted to get a shotgun to help rid us of the cat problem. While we were out, he decided we needed to go to the Japanese Mall.....

We now are the proud owners of a hot water dispenser. Before you sneer and roll your eyes at me, let me explain: this thing is SO cool and useful! I had an electric kettle, but it only had 2 modes: boil, or off. This? This thing boils the water, then switches to "keep warm" mode.....it'll keep 4L of water at 194* for 6-8 hours.

We drink tea, here. This is useful - no more dirty pots to wash (sometimes multiple times/day, if we drink a lot of tea.) Himself has a bunch of Miso soup to eat......so, yeah. It was a bit of an indulgence, but.....it'll earn it's keep. I have to say, the Japanese take hot water VERY seriously - there were 9 models on display. :boggle: Each one had different features.......it took the husband 20 minutes to make a decision. I'm glad we decided to pass on a new rice cooker........:lol:

Yesterday I learned how to shoot a shotgun........um. I know that SOME people recommend a shotgun for home defense. *I* do not. I prefer my home to be as hole-less as possible.....and that won't happen with a shotgun. :shrug: Plus the kick.......yes, it has it's place. I WILL be using it to hunt the critter killing my chickens, but I much prefer a pistol. I don't get bruises from a pistol......

We also watched "The Greatest Showman" last night. It was...it was OK. The songs were catchy, but very modern - it didn't stop me from getting the soundtrack, but.....I've heard worse. It is family-friendly, and doesn't drag anywhere. And Hugh Jackman can sing. :lol:

My Harrison shirt dress is almost done......I'm on the fence about it. The line drawings make it look like a tent; the photo of Jenny has a belt (and looks great on her!); before sewing the side seams it looks like a tent. With the side-seams sewn, it looks more fitted on Kate, but.....the jury's out right now. I'll get it finished and wear it around before deciding if i want to make another one. This one just needs the button band, the placket, the collar stand, the collar, and the bias edging on the arm holes. Maybe today.....

The pattern is well-drafted, and the instructions are top-notch. I'll give a proper review after I've worn this one a bit.......

Gotta skitter!

Hey y'all!

May. 16th, 2018 08:24 am
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Guess what I got for Mother's Day? A new windshield for my Jeep! :lol: It was much needed - it was all cracked; last Monday I got hit with another rock that made it all the way thru. :sigh:

Himself made me a double batch of honey-free baklava. :mmmmmmmmm: I have a happy tummy now! :lol:

I have a Harrison Shirtdress laid out, ready to cut. I compared it's measurements with SOI's Vintage Shirtdress....and went with a 12 E/F. :gulp!: I added 2" to the length (I don't like knee-length dresses, I like them almost tea length. Yes, the pattern is drafted for 5'6"; I am 5'4". On a good day. However, the pattern looked like it ended right AT my knee......we'll see.), but the rest is going to be made as drafted. I'm hoping to be able to cut it out today, and maybe start sewing it up. We'll see - since it's already in the 90's here, I need all the lightweight, floaty dresses I can get my hands on. :sigh: It's looking to be a HOT Summer!

Speaking of.....we're making some changes around the homestead. After a LOT of talk, we've decided to ditch the pool. Yes, really. We only use it 3 months out of the year, and only - maybe - 5 days/week at that. The deck that the husband wants will cost us $10K.......and Himself has requested his own space to do his own thing in. (Why not? The other 3 of us each have space - Herself has the Garage Studio, I have my Studio, and the husband his shop. Himself is getting into modding Nerf blasters, and needs space to do so.)

So. We have negotiated a deal - I give up my pool, but I get a 14' x 32' building. With a hot tub annex added to one end. Himself gets half for his space; the other half will be a "workout" room, with access to the hot tub.

Being realistic, I know that the husband will use the workout space for.....a month. Maybe. Himself and I will use it long-term; I can't do any of my workout vids in the house because dogs. :rofl: And the hot tub will - WILL - be used by me year-round. I like taking hot baths - this will save money and time. The building will be where the pool is now, so right outside Herself's Studio doors. We can dry off in the "gym" before heading inside.

We're looking on CL for equipment; I want something that can do multiple exercises, to save space (and money!) The Total Gym is near the top of the list - we'll see what happens. (For the record - in the past year I've lost 3.5" in my waist and about 4" around my hips. I still have a ways to go, but at least I am moving in the right direction. The husband....not so much. He can't seem to understand the relationship between eating all the time and weight gain. :sigh:)

Anyway. That's what's going on here. Hope all is well with y'all!
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This is going to be photo heavy, so be warned. :lol: I'm not going to cut it, as there's not as much traffic here, anymore, and I am tired. No sleep last night - elbow hurt, and 3 dogs in bed is too many. Anyway.

Let's begin with Miss Suki, the newest canine member of our family:

Suki Outside

Suki Sitting

She is very sweet, very smart, and very much still a puppy. Current destruction count: 3 shoes, 5 toys, and 2 wooden coat hangers.

We have somehow acquired a new rooster - he just appeared last week. We're calling him Nomad:

Nomad

The slipcovered sofa in my Studio:

Studio Slipcover

THAT was a fun project! I did it so you can still use the sleeper without having to remove the cover - THAT was interesting.

Next up - the bags I've been working on. The pattern is Swoon Bag's "Nora Doctor's Bag", in the Traveler (largest) size:

Chicken Bag Side

Chicken Bag totes

This is, of course, the bag for the Chickens (could you guess? :lol:) I LOVE the fabric! This was the first one - it's not perfect, but it's close. I LOVE it! I feel...well, I feel like this has upped my sewing game! The "totes" are actually modified purse organizers; the bag is so big inside that the meds were rolling around and I was afraid they would break. The totes don't have pockets, but they will keep the bottles all nice and tidy.


Critter Bag Side

Critter Bag inside

Critter Bag totes

This bag is for the 4-legged critters. I...OK, I don't like yellow, but I LOVE how this bag turned out! It's better than the chicken bag, not perfect, but better. I left the inside pocket out of this one - don't need it.

I liked those bags so much, I decided I NEEDED a purse. Not just ANY purse, but a STAR WARS purse:

Star Wars Bag side

Star Wars Bag Inside

It is the middle sized bag; it holds my current (non-themed) organizer perfectly. I will be making a "matching" organizer, because Why Not? :lol:

Here's a size comparison:

Bag Comparison end

Bag Comparison Side

There's 1 smaller size included in the pattern, but it was just a titch too small for the organizer. I NEED the organizer, so.....:shrug:

I have a few more bags planned, but not this pattern/style. I'm moving away from leather bags (for now), so I want to get a few more styles made up so I can alternate them and spread the wear.

I highly recommend Swoon's patterns - they are well-written, the instructions are clear, and you end up with an awesome bag!

Gotta skitter!
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So. We have another bobcat. :sigh: I think we are dealing with a family - the first one vanished for 5 weeks, we lost a hen, then a week later we lost a guinea. I've left 4 "packages", now - the latest yesterday (the guinea was gotten sometime Saturday late morning/early afternoon.) The packages are being consumed by *something*......so I'm pretty sure this isn't the same critter. :deep sigh:

Been busy in the Studio. A while back I had the bright idea of using a doctor-style bag to hold the critter medications. I found a pattern - Swoop's Nora Doctor's bag - but had to let it simmer while I decided on fabric. This week I made up the chicken bag - I used the fabric from the breakfast area. It's GORGEOUS, if I do say so myself. :lol: Pictures will be forthcoming - I've already started the bag for the goat and horse meds. then I have to knock out a gift bag, THEN I can start on my Harrison shirt dress (finally!). The SOI Nancy is still in time out.....:rofl:

Oh! We have acquired 2 new does. Saturday the hubs and I ran to Home Depot for concrete (We need to put up a fence around the garden...Suki is a DIGGER. :sigh:) We saw a guy in the parking lot that looked familiar....so the hubs called out "G!" And yea, it was him. His wife was in the store - these are our goat mentors - we bought our starter herd from them.

They had lost 10 does to a dog attack a few months ago, then their bucks died...they were down to 2 does. Hubs immediately told them that IF they ever wanted to sell them, we'd buy them. They looked at each other, then G said "You can HAVE them. They'll have a good home with you!"

Anyway, they brought them out to us yesterday afternoon. They are nice, well-bred Nubians, and very, very scared. Our dogs (of course!) freak them right out - but the dogs can't get to them, and the fences are separated by about 50 feet. They'll settle in.

And we have somehow acquired a new rooster. He appeared down the street about a week ago....Wednesday AM he was hanging out in the pasture behind our coop. (We sorta wanted him to become the next victim - save OUR hens, y'know? Bad, yes....but......he's not ours, y'know?) Anyway, by Saturday he'd decided to move into our goat barn. So, it seems we have a new roo. Fun times!

I need to do a photo post soon - I want to finish the next bag first. That's today's project - I have most of the pieces cut out, just need to cut the foam, stabilizer and interfacing, then sew it up. The first bag took about 4 hours to sew it up - this one should go faster. I hope. :lol:
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1. Took Bree to the Vet - she's OK, just old. Looks like she has arthritis in her back/hind legs; she is on meds now. :sigh: Still - she's doing well for an 8 year old Giant.

2. New dog has a name: Suki. Yup - she's staying. Vet says she appears healthy; we'll be doing the whole check-up and spay thing soon (she had an upset tummy and diarrhea, so.....we have to get her over that, first.) She's sweet......but very much a puppy. Still in the chewing stage...:sigh:

3. Sewing: Not much. (See #2). I have a SOI Nancy cut out, but I need to widen the sleeve - the tissue doesn't fit. I think I'm going to recut the armscrye to the next size, and try THAT sleeve; we'll see. It's in time-out right now.

Instead, I'm working on a Swoon Pattern's Nora. A doctor bag. This one is going to be used for all the chicken medicines we have; eventually I'll have 3 - 1 chicken, 1 goat, and 1 horse. We'll see how it sews up - I have it all cut out (and all the stabilizer/foam/interfacing cut, too!), I just need to actually sit down and sew it.

4. The garden is...well. Suki LOVES to jump into the beds. She's killed 2 cucumber plants, so far. :sigh: The potatoes are going gang-busters, and the watermelon looks good. So do the strawberries. The rest....we'll see. :lol:

Not much else going on right now.
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Let's see....the big news is that we lost Sam this week......he was old, and Sunday he quit eating. Monday I called the vet, but he died before his appointment on Tuesday. It was in his sleep, in our bed with us. :sigh: At least it was easy.....

Then today a stray came home with us. :big sigh: Himself is TOTALLY against keeping her; she's a pit/pit cross, so I'm not sure a shelter is the right place for her. I have a call in for a pittie rescue group......:sigh: She seems sweet; a bit scared of the current pack, but not aggressive. She's had pups.......this is a tough one. She, Loki, and Tigger napped with me earlier; right now Chloe's up and she's wandering the house, trying to avoid Bree and Riley. Doesn't seem to know what a pet door is. :shrug: We'll see what happens.

I finished my top and have the Nancy dress laid out. I am going to have to do a bicep adjustment on the sleeve (a first! Usually Sew Over It patterns fit me right out of the box.), which is why I've stalled on it.

Shout out to the Cashmerette team! I purchased a Harrison Shirt Dress kit when they first released it (maybe a year/two years ago?), washed the fabric, printed the pattern....and stalled on the sizing. According to the pattern, I am a 14 C/D.....um. Right. I wear a 36F. I finally emailed them on Thursday.....and yes, I *am* a 14 C/D according to THEIR sizing. Or a 12 F/G. Depends on the shoulders, really. :gulp:

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the thought that I am a 12 or 14! But.......everywhere else I am either a 16 or a solid 18 (depends on the ease). I am going to do a muslin before committing the "real" fabric.....but hopefully I'll have another shirt dress pattern I can use. (I LOVE the SOI Vintage Shirt Dress, but how many of the same dress does a girl need? :lol:) I also broke down and bought the Harrison Shirt pattern - I need a nice button-down shirt, and this one was designed for curves, so.......plus they offered a 20% off coupon. :rofl:

Think that brings me up to date.....

So. Tired!

Apr. 9th, 2018 02:11 pm
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But it's a good tired! Let's see if I can get y'all caught up.

1. Studio: Have recovered the couch in the Studio (this was a while back, but still - need to update!). It was a really....out there 60's brown/yellow/orange/brown plaid; now it's plain canvas. I also made a quilt and 4 or 5 throw pillows for it. MUCH nicer in there, now!

1a. We also got rid of "Big Ugly" - the old entertainment center I had in there. Now I have a double Billy and a single, in white. They....well. Big Ugly was 3' deep; the Billys are 15". So all the fleece is hanging out next to the loom. But! The Billy's have glass doors, and my yarn looks VERY NICE now. I can actually SEE what I have....which...well. I don't need any yarn for a while. I have enough in most weights to make almost anything. (Only 1 sweater's worth set aside; if I decide I NEED another sweater, we'll have to go shopping. But for hats/gloves/socks/scarves, I'm set.

2. Knitting: Have banged out 3 hats and a few pairs of socks. I've slowed down recently - I messed up my right elbow last month and can't do a lot without pain. :sigh: I have 2 pairs of socks on the needles, but they are stalled. No biggie - I'm sewing, instead!

3. Sewing: I joined Sew Over It's PDF club, and have taken advantage of it. I jumped on the new "Ultimate Culottes" - I have 3 pair, so far. Have plans for a few more - the goal is to get rid of my default sweat pants, and replace them with something a little more feminine. These fit the bill, at least for Spring/Summer/Fall. Have some Jeans patterns I need to work on, but right now I'm focused on Summery stuff. (It's been in the 80's...in MARCH and early APRIL. How hot is August gonna be????) Fabric Mart had a huge sale, and I scored some really nice Cotton Lawn. Already knocked out 1 SOI Vintage Shirt Dress; I have SOI's Nancy Dress (a Swing Dress) that I think will make a lovely tunic that I will tackle next. (SOI FITS me. I have to do very very little modification to their patterns, which is very very rare for me. SO NICE!)

4. Life, in general: Himself is.....better. He has developed an interest in modding Nerf blasters, thanks to the YouTube channel "Battle Universe". We've been having Family Nerf battles every Saturday evening....I am bruised, but it's fun. He still can't deal with crowds, so he stayed home yesterday while the rest of us went to Dallas Fan Expo.

FYI: IF you should decide you'd like to take your family to a Con (and have never been), might I suggest Sunday as your first visit? It's generally less crowded and a little bit cheaper. Most vendors (but not all!) are willing to slash prices so they don't have to move the stock back home. BUT.

If, say, there are more than 2 autographs you want to get, and they are BIG names, I highly recommend you spring for at least 1 Premium ticket (or VIP, but those prices are.....well. $$$$) We learned this with Mark Hamill - Sunday tickets, long lines, almost didn't get the autograph after HOURS of standing in line. For David Tennent, I did the Premium - we got 5 line jumps, so there was very little waiting.

This time......well. It was HUGE. Just some of the stars: Princess Bride Vizini, Wesley, and Humperdink; 2001 (the 2 main male characters); Back to the Future Biff, Doc Brown (Michael J. Fox and the girl had to cancel last minute, but STILL); Val Kilmer; Chuck Norris; Richard Dean Anderson; Inara from Firefly, Anthony Daniels (C3P0), Billy Dee Williams (LANDO CALRISSIAN, Oh My Goodness!!!!)...and the list honestly GOES ON (oh, Ben Afflack was there....he's a bit full of himself.). There were 9 autographs SG wanted, so -after a lot of waffling, to the point he missed the VIP pass - he went for a Premium. He decided on 4, total...and got the 3 "big" ones on Saturday. (He would have gotten some on Friday, but the guys he wanted didn't make it before he had to leave.) Sunday he got Inara's while Herself and I waited in line for the 2 SHE wanted - the English voice actors for a Japanese anime called "My Hero Acadamia". If you haven't discovered it yet....go. Go NOW. It's just started Season 3, and it's WONDERFUL. (Basically humans have evolved super hero powers, called "quirks". There are a few quirkless folks around - the main protagonist is a 14 year old quirkless boy named Midoriya. (Called "Deku"). The Number 1 Hero is All Might - and Herself LOVES them. Here, let me show you:

MHA Minis

When she found out Justin (Deku) and Chris (All Might) were going to be here, she pulled out the Sculpy and went to work. :lol: We took them with us yesterday so she could give them to the actors....who are both simply LOVELY people. Very, very, very nice and personable, and both of them were SO NICE to my out-of-her-element Aspie. :hugs: So nice, in fact, that she willingly got selfies with both:

MHA selfie - All Might

That, my friends, is Chris Sabat, voice of All Might (and Vagita from Dragonball Z). He is.....well, you can see. :lol: (She is bounding as Bonnie from FNAF. She crocheted the guitar. Yes, it's awesome. :lol:)

MHA selfie - Deku

This is Justin Briner, voice of Deku. VERY nice guy!

She is thrilled - SG bought her a print with the whole ensemble (Class 1A from the school), and both Chris and Justin signed it. If any of the other actors come thru, she'll get them to sign it, too. (Yes, *I* also have their autographs...because I really like the show, too.)

We came home with 2 new plushies for her (Oh My - 40" tall Bonnie and Chicka from FNAF. They barely fit in the car!!!), a Gjallorhorn prop from Destiny (it was a flash sale....for 75% off! Himself is looking into modding it to actually fire Nerf missiles. :lol:), a bunch of art work, and some custom-painted Nerf blasters. Oh! We also had a photo op with the Princess Bride trio - it was a hoot! It was a good day! But exhausting - today has been very laid-back.
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After contracting the plague December 25 (we are STILL coughing from that!), things are ticking along OK. Himself is doing.....better. Not a LOT, but hey - any improvement is good! Unfortunately, SG borked the insurance (when you wait until Jan. 1 to call the company to, y'know, see about plans for the current year.......) so we are in limbo and I can't get his meds filled. :BIG sigh: Anyway.

One of the things his therapist told him to do was set up "Mastery Tasks" - something that he can't do perfectly the first time, that he's interested in. He decided he wants to cook...so every Monday is His Night. We have had some AWESOME meals! Chicken potstickers with tzatziki sauce (OMG that was YUM!), fish, mac and cheese (that's on tonight menu, again, because it's just so good!)...and desserts. Oh, the desserts! Chocolate cream pie that is SO good! And a deep chocolate cake that.....oh, my. He wants to do another meal this week - some sort of French Toast. I baked a loaf of bread today for him to use for that. :lol: 2 weeks ago he made me lunch - Greek meatballs and salad, with Tzatziki sauce and flatbread. Yum! I'm trying to get around to making some Feta to go along with this....(the blueberry muffins last week were also good, and I don't like blueberries!)(And, I should mention that all of this is FROM SCRATCH. Yeah, the grocery budget is shot, but.....YUM!)

My Studio.....the roof blew off a few months ago. The builder doesn't stand by his work. We had a contractor come out Saturday; it was definitely NOT installed correctly to begin with. SG wants tin this time - I am OK with that. I'm just tired of the blue tarp of dismay. :lol: Nothing inside got wet, so that's a plus. I almost have it - dare I say it? - organized now. I need to slipcover the sleeper sofa and make some throw pillows, and use up a LOT of fabric (I have.....a lot of smaller amounts that won't fit in the table. Useful amounts, so I can't justify tossing....) SG bought me 4 alpaca fleeces off of CL (they are YUMMY!) for $30; that was fun trying to Tetris them in there. :lol:

I have a plan for this year - I am focusing on jeans/capris/shorts (same pattern, different lengths) and bras/panties. I need these - I have enough dresses and tops now, so I need to get with the program. My waist is 2.5" smaller now (how'd THAT happen????), but the dresses will still work. I'm sick of sweat pants, so I need to get sewing!

SG is sorta, kinda "over" working as an electrician. Sorta. Seems that one of his coworkers told him he was stupid to NOT use his IT experience (um - I've been saying that for over a year, now!) and that he should go do that again, as it pays better (yeah - he's making $15/hour now; contract IT jobs start out at $40/hour.). He was all amazed at the thought - go back to IT! Why didn't he think of that?! :bangs head:

Herself is scattered. She goes from jewelry to polyclay to resin crafting and can't settle. She wants to do cosplay, but I told her SHE has to do the sewing. I have plenty on my plate. To that end, SG went a little nuts on the last Great Courses sale - he bought "me" 2 sewing courses: "Fitting all by Yourself" and "Sewing 101". I've told Herself she needs to watch them with me.....so far, no good. I'm working on it. (He also bought me "Continental Knitting", because I need to switch up how I knit, and I can't get it by myself.)(Yes, we still have the streaming. :lol: I have almost finished "Law School for Everyone"; Himself and I are almost done with "English Grammar Bootcamp".....yeah, we like learning here.)

I think that brings us up to date now. I've been making more bath/beauty products - I think I've nailed my face cream and cold cream now, just need to tweak the body butter a bit. Then I need to work on a shampoo/conditioner. I'm trying to get away from all the unpronounceable chemicals here.
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Himself is doing OK-ish. Pretty stable - we've had 4 evaluations in the past 2 weeks. We have discovered that he, too, is on the Spectrum. :sigh: He's classified as "2E" - twice exceptional. His IQ is off the charts, which is all anyone ever noticed.

I had wondered a bit, over the years, but - insert Mom guilt here - was able to dismiss my thoughts because, compared to Herself, he was "normal"-ish. :bangs head: I have profusely apologized, and will continue to.

Part of his depression stems from this, we think. Not all - but some. He's a little better, just knowing.

The other "big" thing....we had a "life skills" assessment this week. Now, both the therapist and I figured he'd ace it.....um, not so much. Seems my "little engineer" really IS - he can't see the whole for all the itty-bitty parts. He gets hung up on the pieces, and can't finish the process. So.....they'll be scheduling some help, there, too.

Also - we found out he has low processing speed. Which just adds to the pressure he puts on himself......:sob:

Anyway. We are now waiting on some call-backs so we can move forward.

Me? I'm hanging in. I managed to knit 1.5 socks during the assessments, and have sewn a couple of portfolios to keep both kids' medically-related stuff in. (I had Herself's in a plastic one, but it disintegrated while in the POD. I can't find a replacement ANYWHERE, so....sewing machine to the rescue! I have 6 more cut out, because they will be PERFECT to hold my various knitting patterns....)

I had a scuffle with Zoey yesterday, and she managed to tear something in my left elbow. I think it's just scar tissue......my arm is bad enough that I CAN NOT KNIT. :horrors!: It's bad enough that Herself *volunteered* to milk for me tonight.....:sigh:

Oh! One thing we did that has helped Himself a bit - he's been wanting to upgrade his gaming PC for a while, so we went ahead and did just that. Today I ran him to Fry's and picked up a new monitor, keyboard and mouse. It's helped his outlook a little bit (yes, I KNOW that buying stuff won't make him non-depressed, but it has helped his mind get out of the rut it was in. No, it's not a cure, but I will take every little bit of help I can get for him.) Herself will get his old PC - she only wants a few games that they can play together, so she doesn't need the latest and greatest. He's got a new game coming up (Dual Universe - it looks AWESOME) that his old PC was almost not up to running.....so he's now in a slightly better frame of mind.

And one more thing - my identity got stolen back in January. (Or March....I can't be sure.) Seems someone went to Sprint and bought "a few" iPhone 7's and disappeared. I spent a few hours at the Sheriff's office filing a report, just so I could put a fraud alert on my credit reports, and get Sprint off my back. :big sigh: I have a feeling Equifax is involved..........

L'shana Tova!
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for now. :lol:

Let's see:

1. Attempted to do some embroidery today. Broke *5* needles, but ended up with an embroidered shirt front. It's PJ's......the design is a little lower than I wanted, but a) PJ's and b) practice. It'll do.....I need to embroider the pants legs then sew 'em up. I might share photos...we'll see. I need to work on tension and color choice.

2. Himself had a bit of a mental breakdown Friday. :sigh: He hated the psychologist we were seeing, so I am trying to find someone else. He and I had a long talk; things are sorta OK. He sees a psychiatrist 9/12. I told him I had never been a teen boy, so I wasn't sure how much was hormones/normal aging, and how much was mental disorder/whatever. :big sigh:

3. The 2nd bathroom medicine cabinet has been hung. FINALLY. We just need the baseboards, the cabinet installed, the trim all painted - and then the Master Bath will be DONE. (Then the Master Bedroom needs baseboards and trim painted, and the breakfast area/family room/hall/dining room/kids' hall/kids' bath needs baseboards. And the kitchen bar needs to be finished..the only *finished* room is the game/music room. :sigh:

4. Got a new board game - Star Wars: Rebellion. It's...pricey, but fun. I stink at strategy - even watching this year's History lectures isn't helping - but it's still fun.

Think that's all for now.......stay dry!

Wel!

Aug. 15th, 2017 06:11 pm
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Last week we had our septic tank pumped. We also found out we need a new tank....the old one is fiberglass, and is starting to collapse. :sigh: BUT! One of the guys has land, and has a brother with land, and they wanted goats.

We just so happened to have some bucks that I wanted to sell.....

The brother came by Sunday evening. We agreed on selling 7 bucks (leaving us 4) and Leia, the .25 Cashmere/.75 Nubian. He came back yesterday with a trailer...and left with 7 bucks, Leia, and.....Inara.

See, Inara is a loverly doe. Sweet, gentle, and dumb as a post. She wakes up in a different world every. single. day. It takes me over 10 minutes to milk just her, because she won't come in, she won't settle to eat, and she won't stand still. :sigh: So....I was fed up.

SG talked me into it. I'm OK with it, except he asked WAY too little for her. :big sigh: Ah, well - such is life. At least the aggravation is gone. And so are 7 excess bucks!

I have downloaded and installed Embrilliance Essentials and Enthusiast. I have even printed the manual out. I haven't done anything else - yet. I finally got a color printer up and running, so I have print outs of the various designs I have (I kinda need that, so I know what color is #1/#2/etc. :lol:) I'm planning on getting out to the Studio tomorrow and playing around. :fingers crossed:
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I'm supposed to be doing Morning Stables, but...it's raining. Heavily. So instead, I'm posting an entry. :lol:

Haven't done anything on the embroidery machine - I am intimidated. Part of the problem is that it is NOT Mac-compatible. I don't think any machine is. :sigh: SG just bought me Embrilliance Essentials and Enthusiast, so I should be able to play with the files soon. Embrilliance....also intimidates me, but I'll play around with it this week and see what happens.

You need software, unfortunately - you can't SEE the designs, or manipulate them otherwise. And...you do need to be able to manipulate them. Windoze users have tons of options; Mac users have 2 that run natively; Stitchbuddy and Embrilliance. Stitchbuddy is cheaper (MUCH), but, unfortunately, is limited. I need to be able to split designs (Herself wants to do an embroidered jacket back, which is larger than my hoop. I need to split the design so I can stitch it. :sigh:) SB won't do that while Embrilliance WILL.

Ah, well - such is life.

I hope to be able to start playing around with it soon. I have the software, I have the thread....I just need to DO it. :lol:

H, thanks for Urban Threads........I am in BIG trouble. :rofl:
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Um. Yeah. I kinda came into a little bit of money recently. Not a lot - not enough to pay off anything - but enough to DO something with, you know? I immediately tithed, then got the kids' Hannukah settled, then let the kids buy a little something.

There was still a little left....so....um. I did something I said I wasn't gonna do - I bought an embroidery machine. :hangs head in shame:

I couldn't help it - Herself has been getting more and more into cosplay, and has a TON of ideas. I love embroidered peasant blouses.......and I HATE hand embroidering. (I'd rather knit!) I had been idly looking on CraigsList, then I went to Pattern Review to see what they said. I had decided on a Brother....then Tuesday we hit JoAnn's.

They don't carry Brother. They do, however, carry Singer. The lady was nice, and talked me thru everything the "basic" Singer does.....I did NOT buy a machine from JoAnn's. (They were too high for me.)

I went home, did some more research, then Googled. Walmart had the best price, and free shipping to the store.....so today we picked up a Singer EM 200. :gulp: ($200 LESS than JoAnn's, including a 3 year extended warranty.)

It's big. It's plastic. It's.....impressive. I am scared of it. :lol: I have done 1 motif - it wanted me to use 4 colors, I used 1 (I have thread on order. I only own 4 colors of machine embroidery thread, and I didn't want to use all 4 together.)......it's nice. Relatively easy - so far. :lol:

I have an Etsy cart FULL of downloadable pattern files. I.......am about to go down the rabbit hole. Oh, dear.....:lol:
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I was able to get some photos yesterday of Finn and Poe - here ya go! :lol:

IMG_2263

IMG_2264

Finn is, of course, the gray one and Poe is the brown one. :lol: The other does STILL have not popped yet....I think they're just fat. :sigh:

Oh! As a bonus, have some pics of the newest sewing project - another SOI's Vintage Shirt Dress. This is in a nice cotton lawn; the collar is a sand washed silk.

IMG_2265

IMG_2266

I learned a few things, here - cotton lawn is lucious feeling - very light, airy, and cool. Silk..is of the devil. Slippery, slick, and sticky. My machine grumbles, but will sew it IF I go slow and sandwich it between something else.

The lawn came from England (eBay - LOVE it!). I'll be ordering more - at a little over $4/yard, you really can't go wrong! The pattern is...interesting, but not Ugly, so it's good. :lol:
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but LJ is being slow as molasses this morning. It took *30* minutes to upload 2.....and I have 6 or 7 more. :sigh: I guess you get to see the new dress only, instead of the house. Which is NOT finished, but is much, much closer!

Anyway.

Dress! This is the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress:

2017 SOI Shirtdress front

2017 SOI Shirtdress side

It was very windy yesterday, so the photos aren't the best, but you can at least get an idea of the dress. I did NOT wear the jacket - it was threatening rain, and I will not risk that! :lol:

So, house. Monday the last of the new floors went in. Yesterday the plumbers came in and did the Master Bath, and repaired the pipe SG put a hole in, and re-installed the water filter (they removed it to repair the garage leak) - when SG hit the pipe, he flooded the (NEW!) bathroom. I told them to cut the water, they did - at the house, which re-routed the water into the (missing) water filter. Which flooded the garage. :sigh: It's all sorted, now. Still not DONE, of course - my NSDH has problems prioritizing things. Which is why the pasture got mowed, but the baseboards didn't get painted until 10 minutes before the plumbers showed up. They had to wait on HIM.....never mind. Suffice to say things still aren't done, but the pasture looks good.

Oh! One of the other pictures was of 8 new chicks - we have 2 broody hens. 1 is a nasty banty hen, so Herself pulled all the chicks. The other is sweet, but batty stole her hatchlings....so they're in the Garage Studio, as well.

I will try to upload again later - I'm not sure if it's on my end (storms right now) or LJ's. I'm pleased with the way things are looking; the armoires fit and look really, really good.

Gotta go get school sorted - later!

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