Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Red, White & Blue Apron

Ta-Da! I finished my first real sewing project today. (By real, I mean that it wasn't a kit and I had to cut and use a pattern.) I love aprons and wanted a new one, so I decided to make one!
I made the "Full Contact Apron" from Anna Marie Horner's beautiful new book Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing. The instructions were so well written that even my novice self was able to make an apron I'm proud to show off!
I loved working on this apron because it was like a hands-on lesson. I had to select three different fabrics - and I love the three I chose. I had to cut the pattern pieces out then had to cut the fabrics, modifying them to my specific size. I had to make bias strips and buttons, two things I've not done before.
I didn't have to make button holes because I can slip it off easily, but I learned how to make them anyway. I also learned how to make an inverted pleat (on the bib) and gathers (at the waist). The hostess aprons I've been making have a continuous waistband, but this one has a decorative front and ties that I had to sew and pull through in the sides.
I'd like to make another soon because I can already see ways to improve what I did (wrong!). I would make the waistband taller. I sewed it backwards and had to rip it off and do it again; then I realized that I didn't flatten out my edge so I sewed it about an inch shorter than it should have been. Then, I had to modify the ties to match the smaller waistband.
I'd also do the pocket in a different fabric. It was supposed to have been the same as the neck ties, but I cut the other fabric by mistake and didn't realize it until I had it sewn into place.
I did make a few modifications to make it "me." For instance, I love zig-zag stitches, so I used them to edge the pockets and waistband.
For a first big project, I'm pretty pleased. Of course, I'll forever look at it and notice that I sewed the binding in the wrong place, that I put a little tear in the waist tie when I was turning it right side out ... you know, all the stuff no one else would notice!
(Please don't make fun of me in the photo. Yes, I took it in our powder bath. It was the only room with a mirror so I could see the reflection in the camera screen that I had it in the right place. Usually I make Paul photograph me with my head chopped off, but he won't be home until tomorrow night and I'm too excited to wait! And, no, the pocket and bib aren't off center - it's an illusion because of the way I'm standing with my hands on my hips.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Overheard ...

My kids say some silly stuff. Okay, mostly Mitchell says silly stuff because Noah's vocabulary is very limited right now. But, Noah apparently knows more than we think!

Here are some things Mitchell has said lately:

  • This store is damn cool, Mommy. (While at Hancock Fabrics. I squatted down and quietly explained that we don't say that word.)
  • I'll never eat as much or as fast as Noah. (Said through tears as he was totally upset after I said that no one is perfect. He was upset that he's not perfect - and he equates Noah's affinity for food as perfection.)
  • This butterfly is bigger when compared to that one. (Wow! Compared to - and he used it right!)
  • Gosh darnnit. (Overhead while he was playing "Mario Kart" on the Wii.)
  • Z. likes to collect the money. He must be Mormon. (Z. is a child in his Sunday school class who must always ask to pass the collection plate. How the love of money equates to being Mormon I just don't know!)

Also, Mitchell's favorite songs lately are "Say" by John Mayer and "Ice Ice Baby." He instructs me not to sing along with Vanilla Ice because he wants to "hear the pound of bacon part."

Noah's verbal abilities are growing everyday. Some of my favorites are:

  • Yum (See comment above re: food.)
  • Baby (He even says this to the lady at preschool who covers her baby with a blanket while in the Bjorn. How does he remember there's a baby under there?!)
  • Bobby (His doll - and he says it distinctly from Baby.)
  • Two (When he hears us say "one," he loudly says "two." We're so in trouble!)

This morning at Mitchell's preschool, Noah noticed a picture of pigs. He pointed to them and woofed. I felt silly saying, "No sweetie - those are pigs, not dogs" in front of the other parents.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Run, Girl!

It's official! (Yes, I'm crazy, but we already knew that!)

I'm training for a half marathon with Team in Training, benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I've wanted to be a runner for a while now and have had dreams of running in a marathon. I'll be training for the half leg of the Rock N Roll Marathon, to be held May 31st in San Diego.

Our good friend, Glenn, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in October. At the TNT information meeting this weekend, I learned that myeloma is one of the cancers that LLS supports with their funds.

So, I'm going to train and run in honor of Glenn and all those other husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and friends who face the C-word.

As I train, I'll post my progress, triumphs and tribulations.

Please consider supporting the cause. You can make donations online by visiting my page. Remember, every penny helps! (And, all donations are tax-deductible.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Buttoned Up and Ready to Go

My fab-o Bloggy Friend Tova Darling does these amazing pendants, necklaces and brooches out of antique buttons. (Why didn't I think of that, I know!)

Anyhoo, my Darling Miss Tova is giving away one of her vintage funky creations. All you have to do is leave her a comment stating which is your favorite and also stating that you came via my site. Then, she'll randomly choose a winner on Monday and put the others in her Etsy shop.

Side note: Tova and I hooked up via SITS. If you're not a SITSa or a BITS yet, you need to hop over and jump on board.

Side note's Side note: I've considered posting some of my creations on Etsy. Should I?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Caught! (And two more cute pics)

I heard a series of weird sounds coming from the dining room and knew Noah must be up to no good.

I sneak in and find this ...

Noah had climbed up into a chair and pulled a container of mini muffins down. I caught him snacking on them. He'd taken at least one bite out of six of the eight that were in the container!

Ever the silly boy, Noah discovered yesterday that he could fit into my large Tupperware bowl.

I just thought this was a really cute pic.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In Search of a 12-Step Program

Hello, my name is Mary Anna and I'm a craftaholic. I've been sober for about 2 hours (if you don't count my scouring the internets for my next fabric finds).

Seriously, folks, I could have an addiction to making stuff. Just today, I made a burp cloth - from scratch! You know, the ones with the super awesome soft dotty fabric in the middle? Yeah, I made one in a yummy butter yellow. I now know that you can buy the cloth diaper fabric at Hancock for way less than you can buy the diapers at Babies R Us.

(Note: There won't be a photo of the burp cloth I made today because I did something really dumb and sewed my yummy yellow minky on really crooked That's why there are seam rippers.)

Here's what I'm currently coveting:

It's a really good thing that Jona lives in Arizona and that her fantastic store, Fabritopia, is there too! (It's also a good thing she has a website and ships to San Antonio!) Oh, and she's got the Pop Garden line on sale through the end of the month. Might need to stop by!

The hubbies don't know it yet, but my girlfriend Ashley and I are scheming to do some online fabric shopping here on Saturday and some sewing projects. Between the two of us, they stand no chance! (It's a good thing I got my Wii Fit today!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seriously, Folks, I'm Not Making This Up!

I oftentimes joke that my life is so nuts that you can't make this $h!t up. This morning was yet another example.

I decided to "shine my sink" so I filled it with hot, soapy water to let it soak for a little while. I came into the living room to sit down and check email when I hear water gushing in the kitchen.

I thought that maybe a pipe burst - but the water was off. Does a pipe burst if the water is off? I don't know.

So, I went running into the kitchen to find that MY SINK HAD FALLEN DOWN INTO THE CABINET BELOW!

Yes, folks, my sink collapsed! I have Silestone countertops with an undermount sink (fancy talk for the countertop sits on top of the sink so there's no lip around the sink).

I called the builder, to be told that this has happened quite a bit recently. Seems the plumber who did the installation had some had adhesive.

A few minutes after hanging up, Jimmy, my wonderful warranty guy, was here checking it out. He called the countertop people and then the handyman.

Rex, the fantastic handyman, called a little later and said he'd be there soon.

(Side note here: I absolutely adore Rex. He's one of those guys you'd never give a second look - an overweight biker dude with full facial hair and a ponytail down to his bottom. Spend 30 seconds with him, though, and you'll love him forever. He has the biggest heart and would do anything to help anyone. He started a biker ministry and does volunteer work in prisons on weekends. His heart belongs to God and his spirit belongs to everyone around him.)

Rex came and ensured that all the water had been cleaned up and that my cabinets wouldn't have to be ripped out. Thank goodness!

Then, the countertop people call at 2:45 and say they can't come until tomorrow morning sometime. I was not really nice when I said that if they'd called back around 9:30 when Jimmy stood in my kitchen and called them that I might have a sink to use today.

So, I have no kitchen sink until it's fixed! I'm not a happy camper!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My First (& Second!) Sewing Projects

One of my goals for this year is to learn to use my sewing machine. So, I decided to make a rag quilt for my girlfriend Kristen's baby shower. I didn't take a photo of it after I washed it, so the photo below has big fringe. The finished blanket (after washing it) has nice, fuzzy seams around each square. Very cute and very soft!

And, today, I made an apron for myself this afternoon. I found this "Apron in an Hour" pattern and was so excited to get my fabric in the mail today (didn't pick up my mail yesterday!). I love how it came out!

Bernie, my machine, and I are very well acquainted now!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Now Playing: "Say"

I've always secretly loved John Mayer.

The past few days, I've heard his song "Say" on the radio a lot. I just picked up the chorus until this morning. I turned it up when it started, and I really listened to the lyrics.

How empowering!

Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems
Better put them in quotations

Say what you need to say

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead
If you could only

Say what you need to say

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You better know that in the end
It’s better to say too much
Than never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say

What would our lives be like if we just could open up and say what we need to say? As I listened to the lyrics, I couldn't help but think that this could be a song about prayer.

I'm not one to push religion on anyone, but I am very prayerful. I think these lyrics are a great invitation to pray. "Have no fear for giving over, Have no fear for giving in." So true. So many people say they're afraid to pray because they think they're not doing it right.

We took a class at our church called "The Signs of Servanthood." One sign is pray. Our pastor used the word pray an acronym for the anatomy of prayer:

P: Praise
R: Repent
A: Ask
Y: Yahweh

So, my song for the week is "Say." It may end up being my song for the month or quarter or who knows. (It can't be my song of the year because I've already given that honor to the first John I loved - Mellencamp, that is.)

May you all take the time to say what you need to say.

Lyrics source: sing365.com.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Current Craftiness

Here are some photos of what I've been up to lately.

I'm hosting a baby shower on Saturday, so I made this banner for the buffet. I cut out the letters on different patterned papers and strung them together with brown ribbon. (Yes, I hand-cut the letters with an Xacto knife, my weapon of choice.) It didn't hang how I wanted, so I used painter's tape to get it just right!
(Note to self: put away the Christmas decorations in the formal dining room
before Saturday - and don't forget the Santa upstairs.)

As promised, here's a close-up of the bramble scarf, which is still a UFO (unfinished object). The color in the photo still isn't quite reality, but it's closer.

I'm also working on a ribbed scarf for Paul out of a charcoal gray merino blend. He has to travel for work sometimes, and everywhere he has to go is very cold this time of year. And, I've never made him anything, so I thought I'd do something for him. Mitchell is upset that I'm not making it for him.

Here's a close-up of Paul's scarf. The first photo looks like it's blue, but it's really a dark gray.

And, here's an altered folder I created. I adopted the word now as my word for 2009. I'm very good at procrastinating, and that's something I need to stop! Inside the folder is what I want to do now. It currently contains the notes from a workshop I took about clutter control. I need to get things back under control. It's amazing how the holidays wreck your home, your waistline and your routine!
BTW: The "Quick & Simple Clutter Control" workshop is online at Simplify 101. It was a great workshop, broken down into four weekly sessions. When I did the workshop before, I didn't devote to it the way I should, so I've pulled out the notes and am starting over. I'm also doing the "Organizing 101" workshop that starts Jan. 13th. Hopefully it will be just what I need to start the year off right!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm Saucy!

Today was the first day back for teaching Sunday School, so I dashed off to church like a mad woman with Mitchell in tow.

Imagine my surprise when, after lunch at a red light, I checked my email with my iPhone and had all these nice comments from my SITSas!

That's right - I'm Saucy! I'm featured today in the Sunday Shout-Out as a Saucy Blog!


If you don't know about SITS - it's The Secret is in the Sauce, and it's a haven for us blogging mavens. Every day, the ladies over at SITS feature different bloggers, and each Sunday a list of Saucy Blogs is put up.

You should really check it out. Oh yeah, and they always have cool contests and give-aways.

So, thank you SITSas for visiting and commenting. I have to run - I have tons of blogs to visit and comments to post!!!