Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Coming up for air...

Ahh, the *Beautiful* Monarch of the Seas (yes they called it beautiful every time they referred to it while we were on board). DH & I had such a wonderful time on our belated anniversary trip. The weather was lovely (tho for me it could have been hotter) and we had a most fabulous time. I wasn't ready to come home, tho I did miss the kids. Three nights just wasn't long enough for me, tho I'm sure my MIL was ready for us to return (bless her heart and my FIL too for watching our precious babies while we had a much deserved time away).

Our only port of call was Ensenada, Mexico, and I was less than impressed (unfortunately). It was shop after shop of the same things and ladies with their babies begging on the street for money every step you took. It was so sad actually. We were hoping to enjoy a yummy authentic Mexican lunch, but the place we visited (the #1 recommend lunch spot per Royal Caribbean) was a bomb. The food was awful! I've had more authentic Mexican food in my own town. Oh well, it's a vacation and things like that just don't get you down. We enjoyed lots of really fun activities aboard the ship and even took a few naps too! But as they always say, "all good things must come to an end" and an abrupt ending it was (waking up at 6am to get ready for the ship departure isn't my favorite way to end a vacation). Back to reality, oh bleck!

I will admit I've had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Coming home from a vacation is hard work. We did have a little bit of fun intermixed with getting back to reality in the form of a snow day. We live pretty much at sea level so snow isn't plentiful around here. But forecasters were saying we'd be getting a little snow late Sunday/early Monday and they were right on. We had an inch or two is all and then kids had a blast playing outside in it. And as usual, it was melted by afternoon. :-(

Lastly, my sweet friend Rhonda tagged me for a fun little game! Here are the Rules for this Topic:*Link to the person who tagged you.*Post the rules on your blog.*Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.*Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.*Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1) I used to hate tomatoes until I was pregnant with my fourth child.

2) I have to wash my hands the minute I step foot in the house after I grocery shop - all those germs from the carts gross me out.

3) I say "sorry" too much. I always say sorry even to people I don't know in the stores and such. Why do I have to say it all the time, I annoy the heck out of my self every time I catch myself saying it.

4) My favorite dessert is my mom's Huckleberry Delight. I ask for it ever year on my birthday and that is usually the only time it's made each year. I guard the leftovers I get and don't let anyone eat them - it's mine!!! (can you hear my evil laugh?)

5) I used to collect postage stamps as a kid.

Well that sure what harder than I thought. After all that thinking, I don't even know who to tag, so you're all off the hook. Nitey nite! :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bag Making is Painful!

I have wanted a nice travel bag for some time, but now our upcoming weekend jaunt has prompted me to get my rear in gear. My bag of choice was the Amy Butler Weekender bag. I've only made a few bags, but nothing at all like this one (lots of super stiff interfacing to help it keep it's shape and miles of cording). It was a 13 hour workout, but thankfully the end result was worth it (and yes I truly experienced *real* pain - hand sewing 60" of lining to a zipper - I'm a slow hand stitcher). I posted a review on Pattern Review if you'd like all the little details of how the process went ~ bag review.

Next up, a day of rest! I don't know what this afternoon will bring, maybe a little web surfing and relaxing, I think I earned it after yesterday's bag making adventure.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Busy Busy!

Well what's a girl to do when her wonderful hubby takes all four kids to his parents for the entire day to watch football? Sew of course! Last Saturday was a dream day in the making for me. I rarely get much time to myself (heck sometime I can't even go to the bathroom in peace), so having the house completely to myself for a whole day was heaven on Earth (I'm easy to please, huh?). Well knowing a few days ahead of time I was going to have this wonderful day to myself, I lined up a few tops I was wanting to make for an upcoming little getaway DH and I have planned. We're going on a short little cruise down to Ensenada, Mexico and so of course I wanted some new clothes to wear. To make a long story short (and not too painful stirring up bad memories! LOL), I made three McCalls garments (a shrug 5389 and a twin set 5536) all of which were a flop (I know I should review them, but I don't know if I can even muster up the energy to do that) and then a pair of pull on pants from Simplicity 3800 - I actually really liked these, it was just the fabric was horrible (a gross poly knit that I have no clue when it came from - good muslin I guess). So after all the disasterous projects, I decided to trace off something from the 1-2008 Burda WOF. It's a gorgeous wrap top (#116) and I knew after all the flops I had that day, that Burda would come through and save the day. Thankfully the day was saved (well for the most part - the ties are too short, but that is a minor thing that can be fixed next go round). My review for the top is posted here.

Next up is a top I finally finished after working on it for several weeks. I'm usually not that slow, but it was over Christmas break and I ran out of hot pink thread during the process too. I have loved this top since I got the issue and am so glad I finally made it. I like that it's a jazzed up sweatshirt, something not so ordinary. I plan to add another one or two to my wardrobe when time allows. I also posted a review for this top ~ it's from 11/2007 #118.

On my "home alone" day, this was another garment I had cut out. Another version of the cowl neck top from 10/2005 Burda WOF - love it! Thankfully Burda helped me get a few things right that day! :-)
And lastly, I completed a UFO for my oldest son. It's from 4/2007 Ottobre #28. I cut this sweatshirt out in September and just the other day got it sewn up for him. The best part is he LOVES it and he has plenty of room so he won't be outgrowing this very soon. The review for this sweatshirt is posted here.

Up next.....I just don't know. I would like a few more new tops for our trip, so I think that is the direction I will go. I'd also like a new bag to take on the plane, so maybe I'll go that way. So many choices, so little time. Happy sewing!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Help me pick a garment steamer

For a while now, I've wanted to buy a steamer for my sewing studio. It got some cash for Christmas, so now is the perfect opportunity to treat myself. I noticed in the recent Hancock Fabrics ad that they had the Homemedics Commercial Steamer on sale for $49.99 - thinking the word "commercial" equals quality, I stopped by and picked one up. Well today I finally took it out of the box and I'm less than impressed. It seems like it should be sturdier than it is, so I started snooping around PR and the net and found some other steamers that are probably a better investment than the one I purchased. I steamed the cuffs of my McCalls puffy sleeve blouse and it worked pretty good, but I have no experience with a steamer, so I don't know if it actually did a good job or not.

So give me your opinion - do you have a steamer? If so, which one? Do you have the one I purchased? If so, do you like it? I am now thinking of returning the steamer (the lady at Hancock's told me I had 60 days to decide if I didn't like it) and buying the Jiffy J-2000 from Costco, but they also have another one on the Costco website too called SteamFast Professional Steamer. They both are close in price so it's not at all about the price, it's about the quality. I want something that I will have for the long haul. I'm not even sure how often I'll use it, but it makes no sense to buy a piece of junk for $50 that I'm going to have to replace.

Looking forward to hearing some opinions on the issue, so please don't be shy!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!!!!

Goodness, how can another year have flown by? That I don't know, but I will say it's happening faster and faster the older I get. And talk about celebrating like old folks, we were in bed by 10pm last night. In our defense tho, my hubby had to work today (he always has to work New Year's Day) and gets up at 4am for work and the kids go back to school tomorrow, so it really was necessary not to ring in the new year with the rest of the Pacific coasters. We did get a notice from our neighbors (albeit a rude notice) that it was indeed the new year by them continuously lighting off boxes (yes whole boxes at a time) of firecrackers and then screaming. Our poor dog - she's an outside German Shepperd, but she slept inside last night because she was so freaked out by all the fireworks that kept going off.

I was hoping to get some sewing done today after I've been a cleaning fool the past few days packing up Christmas decorations and doing some household reorganizing. However instead of blissfully sewing, I'm reorganizing my sewing studio. I am publicly announcing I have too much sewing cr@p and need to get a handle on things. I have WAY too much fabric and patterns and accumulation of stuff stresses me out. So my quest this year is to sew using what I have. I spend way too much time moving piles around and reorganizing and it now occurs to me (yes, *just* now) that if I didn't have so much stuff, it wouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't have to spend so much time organizing if I didn't have all this stuff to content with. I plan to weed out things I don't want so I can get on to doing what I love to do - sewing! And make no mistake, I am not saying I won't buy a single piece of fabric or pattern this whole year, but instead I am going to give it my best to use what stash I have when I'm sewing (both fabric and patterns). There is just no sense in hording fabric, there is no shortage and Lord knows there will always be fabric and pattern sales. I will be keeping my Burda WOF and Ottobre subscriptions tho, those I honestly can't live without. ;-)

Cheers to a healthy & productive 2008!!!!