Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween everyone!

You would think that given how crazy this month has felt to me--I'm sure it has come through here--that last night would have me in a sewing frenzy. But aside from adding velcro to panda girl's belt, I had no sewing after 8pm! Everyone was super pleased with their costumes. the puppy even mentioned that she thinks she wants to wear her "new jacket" on days besides halloween. They left this morning, decked out--worrying about if they would be the only ones dressed up. It is raining (and cold) I drove them today (something I rarely do) and we saw at least 2 other kids dressed up. You'd think that would help, but no--both were boys which--no matter how nice the boy--all boys are YUCKO (unless they aren't if you know what I mean).

here's the public picture so you can see the costumes.
Halloween 2014

So does someone care to explain to me how ALL of October was above average temperatures and less rainy than usual and today--the ONLY day that really counts for weather--it is cold rainy and going to snow? Is this just some cruel trick? Would it be sunny and 70 if I had not busted my butt on costumes?

Yesterday was all about the accessories. I had bought enough "fake shiny leather" to make boot covers, gauntlets, a mask and a belt. She ended up wearing her boots, and since she had on a black shirt (for panda arms duh) she didn't need the gauntlets. I did make the belt, choosing to rebel against the instructions and instead of fusing together the fake leather and some lining fabric (Oh the yards of back scraps I still have from last year's Harry Potter robe!), I chose two pieces of leather, sewn together and turned inside out. Um yeah--don't do that. And it looked funny, so I started to do it their way--and started ripping out my seam, when suddenly the point in the belt popped and wham-o--it looked like it was supposed to! Right as I needed to leave for work.

When I got home, I sewed it back up (Top stitched all the way around) and done! Then the mask. I did the mask the way the instructions said (sort of--I fused the webbing to the lining first instead of the leather first) and fused those together, and topstitched. I wasn't sure how my glasses wearing kid was going to wear it, but I thought--what if I make the eye openings as big as her lenses? So I did that--tracing around her glasses. She was thrilled because the mask fit right UNDER her glasses. So she could wear both and see!

I must confess that ever since puppy girl told me she needed "a headband with a bow and ears" I have been wondering how on earth we were going to pull it off. First, she hates headbands. Second, how do you attach ears to a headband? But in true rubber meets the road fashion--I had a brain spark. What if they were all on hair clips? The year panda girl was medusa, I had bought all these hair clips. Amazon calls them "duck bill clips" I called them something else. I had a whole sentence about it--then googled to get a picture, and lets just say I called them something that was slang for old lady porn. Don't go there.

ANYWAY, I couldn't find any of those around the house, and I was out for lunch around Michael's and decided to pop in to see if they had pink ribbon for the bow, and they had those duck clips! After I got home, I cut out some ears (I HATE that fabric can I be done with it NOW), and started playing with adhesives. Soon, I had two ears glue gunned to duck clips! The bow got wired on to a third and then we had puppy!


Halloween also brings us to the end of October, which means time for goal check in, and new November goals. But I don't really have big November goals and I'm thinking it will be boring to both write and read if every day I write--todays goals: get 10k steps, declutter, plank, hang out and read. Yesterday: I accomplished all that! Because I don't have big projects--I'm not knitting gifts this year, I thought I'd just write when I had things I was working on--hopefully more often than I did before September--but not every day.

I do have some projects though--I have some Christmas PJs I promised to help with (I haven't forgotten!), that I'm excited about. And I have some other sewing projects--a quilt one of the girls started, more pjs for us and all that Halloween fabric gave me ideas for barbie clothes! I mean, how crazy are you when you are sewing a costume and you think--would barbie look liek a hooker if I made her leather pants? Hey, you know who needs leather pants? KEN! Pretty crazy. Also--wouldn't barbie look gorgeous in a evening gown that had a leather bodice and a fun fur skirt? See, CRAZY!

Dont worry, I have no pattern for Ken clothes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30!

I see the light that is the end of the October tunnel. Tomorrow is Halloween,and kids are wearing their costumes to school. So theoretically by this time tomorrow--all will be done. Theoretically.

Yesterday I finished the tutu! Somehow, I had it in my head that I only needed 5 yards of tulle, so I bought 4 yards of pink, and a yard of a darker sparkly pink. I shoved them in a bag and dealt with other stuff. Then, I went researching no-sew tutus and many of them said--start with 10 yards of tulle. um TEN YARDS?! Well, I remembered I had 5, so buy 5 more right? So I went to Joann's and bought some (50% off--I got "shiny" tulle), I thought would be the same as the light pink. However, I didn't actually remember the light pink was light. So yep, I ended up with three different pinks for the tutu. BUT, that ended up being a really good thing--it added a depth that looks fabulous! Even in a blurry picture:

Oh and ten yards of tulle? WAY too much. But to be fair, 5 yards would have been a little skimpy. I do have enough to make a smaller tutu that will look just as fabulous.

Also yesterday, I finished the hooks for the panda girl cape, and started thinking about her belt. I did talk her into her winter boots, so that's one less thing to make.
In case you are keeping track, that means I need 1 belt, and 2 puppy ears.

Yesterday I was really bad about my big three. I didn't plank (went to yoga though and tried really hard to do the vinyasas correctly instead of my usual flop on my belly move), I didn't declutter (I have a PLAN for that tulle!) and just barely got my 10k steps (like pacing before bed for the last 200!).

Today, I will do better. Today I will get the halloween costumes DONE. Today I will get all three of the big three. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I will get halloween pictures BEFORE school.

One last thing, my husband often complains that halloween has become almost as stressful as Christmas, what with all the expectations. The costumes, the pumpkins, the decorating! All too much! And part I think of what feels stressful is the lack of advanced planning. I hate rushing to get costumes done. However, I was reminded of why I go through this every year.
We had dress rehearsal. We put on the costumes so we could make sure the parts are all fitting and working together (and get the cape hooked on straight). Both girls separately put on their costumes and said--OH WOW! I LOVE this! I look GREAT! The Awe in their voices, the joy in their expressions... that's worth it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29

Yesterday was the last day of the five days of black and white photos. It makes me a little sad because there were several things I liked about this challenge. First, it made me get the camera out and take more photos. I mean you can't find one good photo if you don't take at least one photo. Second, it made me think about contrast in ways I don't usually think. So, for example, the beautiful fall colored scene out my window looks not just muted in black and white, but monochrome. And last, I figured out that my camera has a setting to take black and white photos, so I didn't do much post processing. I'm a pretty SOOC (Straight out of the camera) person. I will crop, and sometimes brighten, but I hate fiddling with that stuff. I'd rather take 40 pictures and find one that looks decent. My style was made for digital cameras I think.

I also got all of my big three done, pulling in 11k steps, planking 3 sets--one of 35, and 2 of 30, and putting one string of bat lights in the donate bin. I hung two outside and realized that the outside outlet isn't working, so I may actually get rid of another string of bat lights--I have 4 and this is the first year I've hung them.

I didn't sew at all. I didn't start on the tutu either. I did vacuum up the fuzz in the sewing room (And a piece of fabric and maybe broke my basement vacuum). Oh wait, that's not right--I hand sewed. I got eyes for the cape sewn on the dress (or at least one shoulder--I need her to try it on to get the placement for the other--and hand sewed down the edges of the panda girl logo--because I'm terrible with fusibles.

Today, the tutu gets made. I have the elastic cut--all I need to do is cut and tie the tulle. Also the fitting for the panda girl costume, so I can finish the hooks and eyes for the cape.
I am skipping the last farmers market of the year, but going to yoga. I have a lunch date with my husband too! But the theme of the day is definitely tulle.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28

Yesterday I did an amazing thing--I finished the poodle jacket. Did you hear that? I FINISHED THE POODLE JACKET! Granted I only had to put in a zipper to call it done, but I had to buy the zipper.

So funny story with this--I measured for the zipper--24 inches, went to Joann's, found a 24 inch separating zipper, brought it home, realized upon laying the zipper out that while yes, one side of the jacket is 24 inches, the other is only 22. Yep, I'm just that great of a seamstress! Let's just say we went with 22, and some hems got added. So that added a few layers, because I also had to trim the zipper--so that meant making a new zipper stop.

I also realized that a while ago I decluttered my patterns and got rid of the one with instructions for making a non-sew tutu. Some people would say--see don't ever throw things away you might need! I say--Google! At any rate, I have a ton of tulle, and a plan for making a pink tutu (and possibly wrist and ankle tutus.

It probably goes without saying that I did my 10K steps, planked and de-cluttered. But I feel like saying it because--I didn't run. I wanted to stick around until my parents left, but by the time they did--it was 10am, and I just lost my will to run. I cleaned bathrooms, showered, did 5 loads of laundry, the above sewing and many other odds and ends (Oh yeah started chapter 8!)

Today, aside from the big three (and my volunteer shift at school--done!), I want to get tulle cut out for the tutu. I didn't measure any elastic on the girl before she went to school, so I really can't do the whole thing. I also need to look at panda girl's belt and mask and boots. I told her I'd at least get the belt, but it would be nice to have the whole thing. I have to work a few hours today though AND run to meijer, so we'll see what happens.

OH! And cupcakes part 2 maybe. See my girls are twins, and they do some activities together--including this book club. Last week panda girl offered to bring the cupcakes I mentioned, so then I thought phew, I don't have more of those to do--but then it turns out this week is poodle girl's turn to bring treats! Really? two weeks in a row? I could do cupcakes again (if I buy a cake mix and cupcake liners while I am out), or I could do something else--but the club is tomorrow, so I need to do it today--with no guidance from the girl.

My entry in yesterday's black and white was one of panda girl--who then turned the camera on me after 20 or so shots. I like this one she got of me--even if it wasn't one of my "official" entries.


Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27

One of the good things about not updating on the weekends, is that when I come back on Monday and start listing things I got done, I feel like there was real progress.

First, I got my 10K steps all three days. I got 2 days of de-cluttering, and 2 days of planking --and they were not the same two days, if you know what I mean. I did not plank Saturday, because we went to see Lyle Lovett in concert and got home very late--I am a lazy bones who saves her planking as a bedtime routine, there was just no way that was happening.

But really this weekend was all about the sewing. Poodle girl's jacket is ready for a zipper--which is the last step. Honestly, this jacket should not have taken me this long, but I ran into a problem with a vague direction, and let me tell you this fabric is not great for ripping out seams. It is also not very structured, which means it is hard to see where things are supposed to go. But I have it together, the girl has tried it on, and it fits. I swear, I don't know when I have ever been more proud of something I made, not because it looks professional (far from it) but because it was so fussy to make. Now let's see if I can get the zipper in with a minimal amount of swearing.
I also happen to think this is amazing because my parents are visiting--but they are pretty understanding of my need to sew as Halloween is less than a week away.

The weekend was also about a black and white photography challenge. The challenge is to post a black and white photograph (to facebook) every day for 5 days. I'm having quite a lot of fun with it. Here is Friday's entry:

Today, my parents are leaving. Originally I thought they were staying until tomorrow morning, so I cleared this day too. Which of course means--free day!

On tap aside from the big three: Buying a zipper and perhaps more tulle--so I can get the jacket finished and the tutu started, cleaning, and running. I'd also like to get busy reading chapter 8 (aka the LAST chapter). In fact this whole week has some big reading goals. I have two books to finish for book club (one we are discussing, one I am passing) and chapter 8. I think this is on the order of 400 pages by next Monday. Oh and it would be great if I finished chapter 8 by Wednesday--no pressure. Sigh. I tried to get my book club books on audio thinking I could listen while I sewed, shopped and cleaned. Only one of them was available and I would have to get it through interlibrary loan--plus it is the book we aren't discussing, so if I don't get it read by Monday it is no big deal.

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24

So yesterday I had a really relaxing slow paced day with my mom. Seriously, I should do this more often. I crossed three things off my weekly to do list even. I planked, I got 13k steps, I got rid of two dental floss samples (my mom is on a quest to find her favorite floss that has been discontinued--yes, it does actually run in the family, this weirdness) and I started sewing the poodle girl outfit! Best of all I got all of chapter 7 proofread!

We really didn't get the shopping in, because we were kind of lazy all morning. But there are only so many hours in the day.

Today, I want to do the big three, and work more on the costumes. Which is kind of what I say every day anymore. I feel like it is all I ever hope for. I do have a doctor's appointment today too, and I'd like to run and shower before that, which might be tricky with guests because I always shower in the "guest" bathroom. However, it is 8am--the sky is turning pink, and so far I'm the only one awake in the house, as all the family have gone to jobs and school; my parents are still sleeping. I was going to wait until 8:30, give the sun a chance to come up, but maybe I'll go as soon as I post this--be back by the time anyone wakes up.

Yesterday I tried to capture the pinks of the sky as the sun rose, because it was quite lovely. This was the best I got:

The weekend is more of the same, plus a concert on Saturday!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23

So yesterday, I did not run. In fact I went to yoga, which is not an activity that adds steps to the fitbit. And somehow I managed to clock in at 15K steps. That should explain just how busy the day was. I also decluttered a bunch, by taking $8.30 in cans and bottles back. That includes the 3 bottles that I had to take back to the specialty store since Meijer doesn't carry that brand (whatEVER). I think I got most of my stuff for the day done. I planked for 3 sets of 30 seconds (even though it was yoga day) and my mom told me I'm not planking, I'm bridging. WhatEVER.

I even decided that I didn't like the way the zipper was basted into panda girl's costume, ripped it out and basted and SEWED it in. Despite no less than 4 interruptions to my 1/2 hour sewing.

Super unhelpful Bernina zipper instructions

Sometimes when I think about yesterday and all the running around I did, but with not much to show for it, I wonder if I really got anything done. I need some way to quantify the intangibles I suppose.

Today, my parents are here, so I'm dialing back a notch. I'm hoping to do my big three of course--including a walk with my mom. I'm hoping to get some sewing done, and for the next however many days I need to spend at least 1/2 hour a day on my husband's book. I'm on chapter 7 of 8 chapters, and I want to get it finished soon.

Shopping is also on tap sometime this visit. All the decluttering has left me realizing that I have some significant gaps in my wardrobe. It was hard to see around the clothes I didn't want to wear. Now most of what I have left are clothes I like, but they are mostly black, white and brown. I want some purple and maybe some gray (round out the neutrals!).