It's happening!

They're working on the house and making good progress.  But, I didn't want to start my post with pictures of the house with the siding ripped off, so I'm starting with this thread painting I did in a class a few years ago.  It's double sided and I really enjoyed making it and have another one in mind of a leaf.  

I can't remember how much thread I brought to class, but it was a lot.  And I brought about a third of what other quilters brought.  She had given us some help, multiple shades of yellow and orange and white, black and a blue.  Lots of grays.  It was a fun class and I felt like I came out with a great project.  

I haven't done any sewing.  All our time has been getting ready for the house project.  We had rain last week that delayed the start, but they got here on Thursday and worked Friday and half of Saturday.  They got all the old siding off first, then started installing the new windows.  

On Saturday, they ran into a piece of rotten decking in the roof and the contractor is preparing a bid for that.  That's okay.  We knew there would be unseen things that would need repair.  But, where they found it was the opposite corner of the house from where I expected it.  

Here are the new windows in the dining room.  I had no idea our old windows were so fogged until they installed the new ones.  I can see.  And, the outside is a different shade of green than I thought it was.  

My perfectionist husband has been on the crew since they got here.  If they're listening, he's teaching them to do their jobs better.  They were going to install these windows at the angle the house had shifted into and he had them installed true vertical.  I probably would never have noticed, but he did and had it corrected.  He's also going to show them how to caulk, because they need it.  I went out and looked around our front door the other day and told Rob, they cut too much off the end of the caulk tube.  Their bead is too thick.  (If I could tell, then you know it was bad.  We spent two hours that night picking caulk out and the next morning, changed our work order to minimal caulk instead of full caulk.  I know they're talking about him behind his back, but frankly, I don't care.  The house is coming along GREAT!  I'm playing good cop.  I go out and tell them how nice everything looks and what good work they're doing.  all thumbs up and smiles.

That's a role change for us.

Everything in my studio was focused on the window, so to replace the window, everything had to be moved out of the way.  And, while it was piled in the corner, I looked at it and decided I wanted it to go back together a different way.  Most of it is in it's new place, but there's still enough piled in the floor that I'm not ready to show you a picture.  Just know that it feels a lot less crowded.  

I needed a present when I went to the grocery last week.  This little green and brown orchid was just the ticket.  This is before they replaced the window.  The factory made an error and sent the new window pebbled, like a bathroom window would be.  They installed it anyway and ordered new glass panels for it. So, now when I do dishes, there's no view except this little orchid.  

After spending Saturday putting the house back together, I spent yesterday in the kitchen.  I made banana bread, white bread, frosted half a cake I had in the freezer, tonight's dinner and a pizza.  By time I was done, I was pooped and we watched Enola Holmes.  Very cute little movie, if you're looking for something lighthearted and fun.  I'm really into escapism right now, so a fun movie was just the ticket.  


I don't know what to say.  I feel like I'm watching my country fall to some kind of racist reich.  I'm planning to go to the polls on day three of early voting and if I need to, I'll stay there all damn day.  Do you have a voting plan yet?  

This shit is NOT OKAY and I'm just hoping there's still a chance an election and a mighty protest will save it.  

And, with that little bit of negative energy, have a good week!  Lane


A tale of two shirts

 There's not much to talk about today.  We got word last week that they're starting the work on the house today, so we spent the week getting ready.  Before any major construction, there is some destruction and moving our stuff out of the way.  We're a little late because the window company was ransomware hacked and our windows were delayed, but they're supposed to be in now, and they're going to start removing the old siding today.  Rob has taken advantage of that by cutting the house open and doing some electrical work and we had a plumber in to replace our outside hose bibs.  This weekend, we cleared space in front of all the windows, which meant taking the studio apart because I had two sewing machines in front of the window in there.  I sat in my chair and studied the room while everything was pushed to the side and it's not going back together the same way it was.  I can make improvements on that.  

Rob got to wear his shirt last week.  He only worked a half day that day, but he said he got lots of compliments.  

Handsome devil.  And, a trained electrician, too.  How'd I get so lucky?

I thought I'd talk a bit about the changes I made in my shirt pattern for this latest shirt.  This is the shirt I made with this pattern last.  They've both been through the laundry, so this is their natural state, which is how they'll get worn unless I take the time to iron them...NOT!

I've always felt like this shirt just hangs off me.  The only things I like are the collar, which hangs very well and the length; a camp shirt should cover the top of my shorts, but not hang into my lap.  But, there are more things that are wrong with it.  There's the obvious button misplacement of the last button.  the shoulders hang almost three inches off my actual shoulder on both sides.  it's too bulky around the middle and that makes it bunch up when I sit down.  There's no "body" to the front of the shirt because the interfacing is too light weight.

I tried this shirt on before I cut my new shirt to see how the pattern fit and decided to change as many of those things as possible.  First, I cut 1.5 inches out of the top of both shoulders to bring the shoulder seams up...I could have done another half inch at least.  I re-drew the sleeve caps to add 1.5 inches to the top to account for the shoulder adjustment and made the sleeve a half inch shorter.  I I took a two inches out of the sides by trimming down the sleeves, the front and the back along the underarm and side seams to decrease the circumference of the shirt.  And, I used a heavier interfacing.  

Much better.  Dot, I did just need to take the buttonhole stitching out of both shirts a couple weeks ago.  I had not cut the buttonholes yet.  I've made that mistake before and had to remove the front placket from an almost finished shirt.  I'm more careful now.  

Saturday night, we took Sydney and her new boyfriend to a neighborhood jazz concert.  Their first intro to jazz. The singer was pretty good, and I kept watching and wondering what they must have been thinking about the soft backgrounds and samba beats.  

Remember Lane, selfies are taken from above, never, never, never from below.  

We've had so much rain recently, breaking our hot and dry spell.  The garden is finally starting to recover and look like it's old familiar self.  I'd likely have spent a good bit of time digging out there if we hadn't been so busy clearing things around the house.  This plumbago is going wild and I'm loving it!

Sydney got a really good evaluation at work and a nice raise.  It's good to see her doing good.  




His & his

 Remember I said I was making us shirts?  Here they are, finished.  I got the buttons and buttonholes finished on Saturday.  I had to replace all the buttonholes I put in the weekend before due to a misuse of my favorite buttonholer.  Because even with all the times I've used that tool, I can still make a mistake with it.  

Find the pockets...

I really take a lot of pleasure out of doing that.  And, I should, because it takes a lot of time.  I use a piece of template plastic cut int he shape of the pocket and trace the pattern from the shirt.  Then, I lay that on the fabric I'm going to cut the pocket from and match the pattern and mark the pocket for cutting.  I draw on the plastic with a pencil, so it erases right off for the next shirt.  I didn't do that with mine.  I counted the number of arrows from the purple one...yeah, crazy, right?  

 It doesn't matter if I'm a little off.  I can adjust the placement of the pocket to get it just right.  

It's cooler weather here and I spent as much as I could outside.  But, even cooler makes for a hot afternoon, so I did some things inside as well.  I gave Linda's mixer a good workout.

I made banana bread.  Everybody else made banana bread early in lockdown and don't want to hear about banana bread.  I just made mine from a banana left on the counter too long.  It doesn't taste very banana-ey, but it's got a good texture.  I found the recipe on the internet when I searched for one banana banana bread.  

And, I made bagels.  They still don't look a lot like bagels, but they look more like it than the other two batches I made.  I think this recipe needs more yeast.  It's just a little too dense and chewy.  

There also might have been a batch of cookies the other day, but enough about me putting on weight.  

I'm still doing yoga and meditating tho.  There's something about sitting and focusing just on me for a while.  Just focusing on clearing my mind, stretching my body and preparing for a full day ahead.  And, it's 45 minutes less per day that I have to read the news.  It's a good thing.  

Everybody have a great week.  It's always busy at work.  Recently, it's been busier.  But, at least the bit of depression I've been feeling for the last couple weeks is passing.  Be well.  Lane


With 3, I make 2

We are having a good 3-day weekend.  We got a lot of rain last week, so too wet to do anything in the garden, and besides, the mosquitoes are too bad to be out there for any length of time.  I've done some cooking and yesterday we ate spectacularly well.  But, most of my time has been spent making shirts.   

Rob had picked a fabric a few weeks ago and I had picked one last week, so it was time to "get my sew on" and turn that into clothes.  

Rob's on the right, Lane's on the left (you'd be surprised how often I use that to keep up with whose is who's.)  Rob's is further along.  He likes his Hawaiian shirts with a placket and a collar stand and a yoke.   I've learned to start his first, while I'm fresh.  Mine is a plain camp shirt with all the little things that make that easy, plus a few tricks of my own.  If I get everything done today except the buttons and button holes, that will be a win.  I can still have them ready by Friday.  Rob and his boss both wear Hawaiian shirts on Friday.  They don't even see how camp they are together.  

I enjoyed some retail therapy last week.  Apparently, that's what Aquarians do in times of stress.  There are 10 yards of room darkening drapery lining on the way. With the new doors, we're going to need heavier curtains.  We love what we have now, which is a khaki colored twill.  They've held up great, but they don't block much light.  I darkened the room with Roman shades, but we won't be putting those on the new doors, so we're going to need a heavier drape.  And, since I was going to be getting free shipping, we took advantage and bought...wait for it...more shirt fabric.  But I forgot that I'm nearly out of interfacing to make shirts with, so there you go mr smartypants with your free shipping.  

I also bought this cute as heck teapot, because it's so cute.  It's a cube.  Even though I don't drink tea very often and if I do, I'll likely make it in the cup instead of messing up a teapot.  But, retail therapy isn't really based on need or usefulness, is it.  It's cute.  And, now it's mine.

My prayer plant is certainly very happy.  I must be doing something right.  

This is my first Dahlia.  My Grandmother grew Dahlias.  I can remember her receiving them as gifts at Mother's Day or her birthday.  She grew them in the side yard with her roses.  I've tried to grow them at both houses I've owned and never had any success.  But, this year, I finally have my first one blooming.  There are several blossoms on it, so maybe I'll get more flowers.  But, this is one plant out of several that I put in.  All the rest died and at that success rate, I don't know that I'll try again if this one doesn't make it over winter.

I've given up the news and taken up Yoga, Meditation, and gaming, especially building simulation games.  If inciting the American people to war against one another is not treason, then what is treason?  If speaking against those who sacrifice for their country isn't betrayal, then what is betrayal?  

Just how far are the orange riffraff willing to go to defend their pretended right to be racist hate mongers?  And how far am I willing to go to deny them the power to act on it?  More good people are going to sacrifice to protect the rest of us from the worst of us.  If I'm called, I hope I'm willing.  

Everybody have a great Labor Day.  If you enjoy a 40 hour work week, thank a union!