August already

It’s hard to believe that it’s August already.  In some ways, I feel as if the past year has flown by.  In others, it seems to have dragged out for a long time.  This weekend, Hurricane Leila turns 3 years old.  I’m glad to be rid of the “terrible twos” but sad to see her growing up on me.  I have almost one whole year of college behind me, and one more year to go.  Red will be beginning 7th grade in a couple weeks.  Wow I’m getting old.

The past week has been a rough one for me.  In the interest of saving you from my boring whining, I’ll keep the details to myself.  It was just very stressful, mentally and emotionally draining, and yet another test of my will.  I had a little pity party for myself, pulled up my big girl panties, and got over it.  Back to the crazy life that is mine.

As I mentioned last week, I am going to TRY to take out some “me time” each day.  Or at least a few times a week. Tonight I worked on some frustrating homework.  I decided I’ve had enough and went outside for a breather.  I thought I would share my relaxing time with you so that you might enjoy it as well.

I walked outside onto my porch in my socks and scrubs.  I laid down on the little wicker loveseat that is my favorite sitting spot and stared up at the stars.  There was no breeze to stir the warm, humid air on this sultry summer night.  If it weren’t for the security light right behind me, I would have been able to see many more stars in the clear, inky night sky.  But I could see enough.  I closed my eyes for a moment to absorb my surroundings.  Cicadas singing, a neighbor’s air conditioning cycling on, a dog barking in the distance, and then a train horn blowing.  I then tried to think of the nearest train tracks.  As I stared up at the twinkling stars, I had many fleeting thoughts:

I wish I knew more constellations other than the Big Dipper
I wish that security light was turned off
What is that bright star over there?  Oh nevermind, it’s a plane.
I thought of The Lion King and the discussion that Pumba, Timon, and Simba had about the stars.
The Lion King made me think of an ex boyfriend from a hundred years ago who took me to see that movie.
Thinking of the ex beau made me smile.
Then I thought of the current one and a sigh escaped me.
If it wasn’t so humid, it would be really nice outside tonight.
I wonder who else is out stargazing at this moment?
Hmm, didn’t I have a fabric once upon a time that was called “Stargazers”?  Or maybe it was a quilt design I saw…
I really should start quilting on the baby quilt that’s been sandwiched and ready for a couple weeks now

And then a Neanderthal sabertooth mosquito bit me, so I decided to come back inside.  Leave it to a dang bug to ruin my solitude and reflection.  Sometimes it’s good to just let your mind wander.  You’ll be surprised where your thoughts take you.  I also decided to come back inside because I was feeling drowsy.  I really don’t need to fall asleep on the porch.  Not only would I wake up with a very stiff neck and back, I would most likely be carried off, or sucked dry, by the aforementioned mosquitos, and my neighbors would surely have something to say about me sleeping on the porch.

At least I got a few good minutes of quiet time in for the night.  I hope you did too!

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Hurt

I’m tired of being lonely,
I’m tired of “the same”,
I’m tired of the hurt,
I’m tired of the pain.
I need to know you care,
I need to know you’re “there”.
Show me some passion,
Show me some fight,
My stress is overwhelming,
I need to see the light.
Do you think of me?
Do you miss me at all?
I wish we talked more,
I wish I knew how you feel,
I wish you missed me,
I wish I knew if “we” were real.
Is LOVE just a word?
Does it hold any value?
Can it save the world?
Do you have it in you?

Bottom line: I need more.

A Little Me time

The stress of just being me has finally caught up with me.  I’m in desperate need of some “me time.”  In an attempt to escape my children for a little while and regain some sanity, I retreated to the back porch.  I called my best friend and vented my frustrations for a little while.  After I got off the phone with her, I actually took a few minutes to enjoy the peace and quiet.  As much as I hate living in the middle of nowhere, being in the country does have it’s redeeming qualities.

I was sitting on the padded bench on my back porch.  I could hear thunder in the distance.  There was a nice cool breeze and the smell of freshly mown grass in the air. I closed my eyes to enjoy the moment.  It started to sprinkle and I just had to smile.  I sat there, face upturned, getting damp, waiting for a downpour.  I thought to myself, it’s been years since I played in the rain.  Why not?  But, alas, no rain.  The sprinkles stopped after only a few minutes.  The smell of rain hung in the air and the cicadas resumed their monotonous melody.  I looked up to the sky and could see a break in the clouds just overhead.  The stars twinkled happily as the sky to my left was lit periodically by lightening.  I sat there for a few more minutes enjoying the cool breeze, the sounds of cicadas, and thunder..  Those few minutes to myself did wonders for my mood.

But I still need a break.  I think taking a few minutes out for myself each day would make a difference, but it’s not enough.  I just keep reminding myself that life will be much better in about a year.  After I’ve graduated from college.  I think.  I hope…

Making progress

I have started sewing down the applique pieces.  I decided to use the “blanket stitch” on my machine because it looks similar to a style of hand stitching.  However, when I applique by hand, you never see my stitches. I think this will look fine when I get it all put together though.  I have 16 done, and 20 more to go.

Blanket stitching

Don’t look too closely at that stitching, it’s not my best work lol.  I’m still learning to use this function on my machine.  Once I get it all put together, those little flaws won’t stand out. I hope.  Back to sewing… I’ve got ONE week to get it done!!!!

Wow I’ve really let time slip by!

I’ve been super busy lately with school, Red’s softball, and Hurricane just being a busy toddler.  My sister’s baby shower is 2 weeks away and I never started on her baby quilt! Eeek!  I kept thinking “I’ve got time.”  Well, now I don’t have time!  These are the designs I drew up and played around with a while back.

Baby quilt sketches

Baby quilt sketches

I finally decided on this one, then started doing some math (these are the unfinished notes btw)

Final sketch and notes

I chose the background fabric, made my template, then chose the pink and brown fabrics (not shown.)

Template and background fabric

I’ve enlisted the help of Red to cut out all the pieces.  Now I’m trying to decide if I want to really push myself and try to get all this applique done by hand and still have time to hand quilt it (in TWO weeks!) or just go ahead and machine stitch and quilt it.

I’m thinking since I start a new job on Monday, plus finals, plus whatever comes up, I may need to go ahead and do it by machine so that I can get it done in time.  I’ll update with pics as I make progress.

Happy Memorial Day

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. The American Flag should fly at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon until sunset.  While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. Memorial Day is for us to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country, died in the line of military duty. So as you enjoy your long weekend, barbecues, and beverages, remember the reason for the holiday. Visit a graveyard and place some red carnations on a fallen soldier’s grave (a forgotten tradition.)  And if you do know of a local Memorial Day parade taking place, try to attend.  Show your respect and gratitude to the families that have lost their soldiers in battle.

Getting more wear out of the toddler clothes

Hurricane Leila is growing like a weed.  Like all kids do.  The weather has changed here and we won’t be needing those long sleeves anymore.  They won’t fit next year and I hate to throw them out.  So I decided to make short sleeves out of them.  I looked on the web and found a great tutorial HERE.  I did two of the shirts in this way.  Now, I’m no seamstress.  I can quilt accurately and can eyeball a 1/4 inch seam from 20 paces, but clothes…. oy.  The above linked tutorial was super easy to follow.  If I can do it, anyone can!  After the first shirt turned out so well, I dug out some more.

These are the two that I did following the tutorial:

Before

After

Before

After

I had these two shirts that looked like two shirts. All I had to do was unstitch the long sleeve and leave the top, short sleeve in.  Took 10 minutes for both shirts. Easy peasy!

Before

After

Before

After

Then there was this shirt.  One of my favorites.  It has a pair of matching black pants with a little ladybug at the bottom of one leg. 

Before

See that red ruffly part at the end of the sleeve? I really wanted to save that and incorporate it into the short sleeve.

Sleeve before

So I played around with it some and ended up with this.  I am very happy with the results and kinda impressed myself lol.

After

Sleeve after

Last, but not least, this shirt gave me fits.  I couldn’t get the sleeves to behave.  I don’t know if this knit is somehow different from the others, or what.  The bottom of the shirt is serged and frilly and it will not lay down no matter how much I iron it.  It curls up.  The sleeves wanted to act the same way after I cut them.  So finally I gave up.  They can just roll up.  The sleeves will match the bottom of the shirt.  It looks terrible in this pic, but I’m hoping after a couple wearing and washings it will be fine.

Before

After

So now Hurricane has a wardrobe to carry her through the Spring months.  Most of the shirts above have matching pants.  Two of them don’t, but no big deal, she has shorts to wear.  When the weather gets really hot, I may attempt turning her pants into capris or shorts.  That’s for another day.  I may just become a seamstress yet.

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