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Taking a break.... May. 23rd, 2016 @ 03:52 pm
I finished the muslin for Herself's Bonnie dress; just waiting for her to wake up to try it on. Figured I would drop in and blab a bit. :lol:

H: Yes, I have learned my lesson - EVERYTHING wearable (with the exception of aprons) gets muslined. Usually multiple times - even Bootstrap patterns. I will confess that I don't always use the "proper" muslin-y fabric - I don't always have the proper weight on hand; jeans get fitted by my pants sloper then made up in actual denim. At $3.50/yard I can afford to do *that* - because they're fit to the sloper first, it's a good bet they'll fit well enough to wear around the house, if nothing else.

As for the deals - the patterns were just a balloon :lol: - these were the $17+ patterns. That wasn't planned....but I'm grateful for the blessing just the same! Fabric-wise....hon, if your husband ever has to travel to Dallas for work, and if you can schlep the kids off to the grandparents for the duration, I will be happy to haul you to the Outlet area. It's in a sketchy part of town (so....go on a weekday morning!), but the deals! Armani silk for $8.50/yard, quilting cotton for $3.00/up, linen for $4.00/up.....I try to not go without plenty of spending money, because it's easy to go nuts. The wool.....I spent a good half hour trying to talk myself out of it, but it's the perfect - PERFECT - green, and the perfect weight for Texas winters. I'll be taking my time on the coat - I want it to be as perfect as I can get it. And I know I'll be learning a LOT from it - which is good!

I spent the morning washing all the cottons. The plan is to get the dress done, then start on the cushions. I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but SG has promised me a cabin for a Studio when he gets his severance package early next year. (To be fair, I offered a cabin to Herself, first, but both she and SG pointed out that a) I need more space than the garage Studio has (my loom is 6'x6'x6' - and that doesn't include any of the space I need around it to actually *use* it; there is honestly not enough room in the garage for me to actually *weave*. I've tried, but.....:shrug: I can either down-size the loom (and I've offered!), or I need more space.) ; b) we've already run a 220 plug out there, and would have to do that AGAIN if we give her a cabin; and c) I can get a large enough space that the sewing machines can go out there, too. So, I'll have my machine, Herself's machine, the serger, and a machine for Himself to use (he wants to kinda, maybe, learn to sew. I'm not pushing - but I'll set up a spot for him!). And the weaving stuff, a cutting table, and all the craft books. IF I can find the "right" furniture at the right price (aka: Free!), there will be a reading area in there, too.)

So. I need to make 4 matching chair cushions, and some throw pillows. :lol: Should be fun!

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Blah de blah de blah... May. 22nd, 2016 @ 04:43 pm
Forgot to mention the other day: I also scored 2 bolts of denim, and some lovely green...suede-like cloth. I wasn't sure WHY I wanted it, until yesterday; I think it needs to become a tunic. :lol:

I picked up a few more yards yesterday. I want to re-do the cushion on my sewing chair, so we headed to JoAnn's. Um. Butterick patterns were on sale for $1.99....I fell down. 5 patterns came home with me.....according to my receipt, I saved $86. I spent $12. :rofl: I LOVE that kind of shopping!

One of the patterns happens to be almost perfect for Herself's "Bonnie" dress. I'll substitute a fuller skirt, but the bodice is color-blocked in a manner that really looks like a stuffed-animal's tummy. I'll be tracing the pattern tonight; tomorrow will be muslin-making. And maybe real-dress making.

I also sat down and made al its of things that NEED to be sewn. Her dress, of course - then I need to get busy making seat cushions for the sewing desk and the kitchen table. IF I have enough of the tapestry fabric I'll make cushions for the dining room too. Then my coat, another dress for Herself (although I'm going to try to get her to sew that herself...we'll see.) and...I don't remember without getting up to get the list. :lol: The coat is the big project....:gulp: I printed the pattern out today (Bootstrap's Empire Waist coat)....I'll be spending a bit of time reading the instructions before cutting the fabric.

Tomorrow is plumber day, Tuesday is safety-deposit box day. Wednesday is our normal shopping day....I plan on staying home Thursday and SLEEPING. Hopefully! :lol:

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Current Mood: tiredtired

Still tired.... May. 18th, 2016 @ 04:52 pm
because we were on the road most of the day. We hit 3 of the fabric outlet stores.....I spent about half of what I had "budgeted" - but that I hadn't really intended to spend. If that makes sense....I also dropped off Herself's Bernina for servicing; the foot pedal failed the technician's test, so he's going to replace the innards. It's about $300 or so for a new one; he'll replace the guts for $119. It should be ready in 2 weeks; I've already taken that amount out of my checkbook so that I won't spend it twice. (I've also taken out the approximate amount of Himself's and my glasses, so that I won't spend it, either.)

So, what did I score? Well.....Herself picked out fabric for 2 full dresses, a pair of PJ's, and 3 yards for...something. Me? I got some more Armani silk for underthings, fabric for 2 more aprons......and.....:gulp:.....6 yards of a LOVELY green wool coating and 5 yards of dark navy Armani silk for a coat. I am...well, not ready to cut into the $38/yard - OK, so I did get 20% off, which makes it about $30/yard, but STILL - wool just yet. I need to find some books on proper coat-making, first......H? Any advice? :lol:

It was a nice day. Tiring, but good. I have to make Herself's first dress by June 5th - Comic Con. She wants to "bound" as Bonnie from FNAF (don't ask, and don't google if you're unfamiliar. It's a horror game character......) (If you're not familiar with bounding.....it started as a Disney thing. Basically, it's normal-ish clothes that reflect a particular character, without being obvious. So, for example, if you wanted to bound as Iron Man, you'd wear a red dress with gold accents, an arc-reactor pendant/brooch, and maybe red and gold ribbons in your hair (assuming you're female. Male would be a red and gold suit with the pendant/brooch, or maybe tie tack.) The point is to capture the "spirit" of the character, without actually being in costume. It's an interesting take, and much cheaper and more.....useful than cosplaying - because it's "real" clothes, and not a costume.

Anyway. I need to figure out what I need to research for the coat (already have a pattern), and then I need to start on Herself's first dress. It'll be easy.....mostly. :lol:

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Ugh. So. Tired. May. 16th, 2016 @ 07:31 am
So. This weekend was the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games. We came, we saw, we..are exhausted. I'm not sure WHY, exactly - both days were "dead" thanks to the uncertain weather. :shrug:

I hadn't planned on buying *anything* this year. Yes, I had money - we made it to the bank by 2:45! - but....I don't like spending without doing a lot of thought ("big" items, I mean. And the jewelry *I* like....well, it qualifies as "big" in my mind. And....I don't do much other types of buying at the Fests.)

Anyway. Herself and I were on walkabout and we stopped at one of our "cousin's" booths. He is a dealer in artisan jewelry....and he has exquisite taste. (It's who I got my Michale Duncan horse bracelet from, years ago). We looked....he has a new artists. Who has a thing for celtic horses. :head desk:

I walked away. I got about 500 feet, then turned around and came back. I then spent a good 45 minutes drooling and looking and trying on...and came home with this:

J walton Amber bracelet side

J Walton Amber bracelet closeup

:sigh: Horses. It HAD to be horses. :lol: The artist is James Walton....and the stuff is gorgeous! I had a hard time deciding between the Amber and the Amethyst......Amber obviously won. :lol: I figure "tree tears" sums up last year....I lost Dusty (my favorite horse) and my Dad in the same year (this is chronological, y'all - I got teased on that in our tent. :lol:)....so this is fitting. And it's the only "real" thing I'll be getting myself from the proceeds of Dad's house. :shrug:

I'm not one to go into Signature or Statement jewelry....but the bracelets both spoke to me. (The first one marks Finn's birth, so it seems fitting to mark Dusty's death too.) I tend to wear the original one most of the time - it's off in the Summer because of the pool, but I tend to wear it all Fall/Winter/Spring. Now I have one for the other wrist. :lol:

SG has decided we need to get "nice" wedding bands. The ones we have now I bought - they are inexpensive, but nice; he thinks they're "crap". :sigh: Whatever - HE can spend the $$$. The ones another vendor (also a Clan cousin) has....well, SG fell in LOVE with them. They are also $750+ EACH. They're beautiful....but I'm not sure we NEED them, y'know? (For comparison - both of my bracelets were under $200. Our current bands? Were $50 each, thanks to the exchange rate (they're from Ireland)) :sigh: Ah, well - let him spend that much. :lol:

We're going to the Fabric Outlets this week....I have money set aside for it, let's see if I can NOT spend all of it! :lol:

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Update thingy... May. 13th, 2016 @ 10:31 am
So. We closed yesterday, but the buyer hadn't sent the wire at the time we met. They DID send the wire last night; I am heading out to pick up the checks at 1:30. Then it's on to my brother, the Post Office, and the Bank! :whew!:

All that's left is to sell the lake lot (but that's divided between us, not us and the half-sibs, so that's a little less urgent.)....that's on the plate for next week. Hopefully.

I smell of cinnamon and brown sugar - tomorrow is Scottish Fest, and SG volunteered my cinnamon rolls. :rofl: No biggie - the KitchenAid looked at the 8 cups of flour (I doubled the recipe) and laughed as it kneaded up the most gorgeous ball of sweet dough. I have 4 trays of rolls in the 'fridge right now; I'll get up early, let them rise in a warm oven, then bake them. And make the icing....:mmmmmmm:

We have to go get lunch, so laters! Shabbat Shalom!

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Other entries
» Quick guide to Probate...
for those of you, who, like me, have NO idea of what, exactly, being named an Executor entails. It's interesting!

First, someone has to die and name you executor in their will. You need to cobble together some money (in our example, $1800-ish), and contact a Probate Attorney. Bonus points if he's "local" to you. Find the will, and make an appointment.

Go to the appointment. Discuss the basics of the "estate" with same; be sure to verify you will get back any funds spent by you on estate business (in Texas, yes - you will get back the funds. Otherwise, you'll come out *less* than the other heirs, and that's not fair.) Agree to the attorney's fees, and write a retainer check.

Go home, freak out slightly on the amount of money you will be out until you can liquidate assets.

Wait approx. 2 weeks. Get a letter from the attorney spelling out the date and time you are to go to Court to be officially appointed as Executor. Notice that he wants you to meet with him 15 minutes before the court time, so you can go over your "testimony". Mark date on calendar so that you are SURE you won't forget.

Court day! Make sure you are dressed appropriate to the dignity of the court - NOT in cut-off shorts and flip-flops, or the dirty wife-beater, stained and torn jeans, and tatts that the folks after us showed up in. :shakes head: Because you are paranoid about being late to official things, make sure you leave the house with PLENTY of time to spare. (In our case? Um.....4 hours. For a 1 hour drive. In my defense, SG offered to take me to lunch at a sit-down place that notoriously runs slow. We ended up at Chick-fil-a......and the yarn store. :lol: More on THAT later...suffice to say I *needed* a new project, right then.)

Wait for your attorney, who is LATE. Later than my brother, in fact, who is almost always late. (In our family, I got all the "Must get there on Time" genes, and my brother got all the "don't worry, it's fine, I'll get there when I get there" genes.) Then, remind your attorney of who, exactly, you are (he tried to give me someone else's paperwork. TWICE.)

Go over the "testimony" - basically, you answer yes or no to various easy questions. If you're not totally brain-dead, you've got this. :lol: Oh - be sure you're not a felon, or been declared legally incompetent. :snicker:

Take a deep breath, and go into the Court. The Judge will swear you in, get your attorney to hand him the papers, and then he'll tell your attorney to question you. Pay attention - he might try to trick you by asking "And you swear you are not a felon" and "Have you ever been declared mentally incompetent"...which if you are not listening you might mis-interpret. (No, I didn't. I did sign one page on the wrong line, though....)

The Judge will declare you Executor. You and your attorney will then go to the clerk's office to get the paperwork (he didn't tell me that.....:sigh:) and then you are done and can sell all the things.

Re: Yarn. I had started a new sock last Friday. By Friday evening, I was OVER it. The yarn - which was NOT cheap ($28/skein!) - is riddled with weak spots that break if you look at it funny. Or try to pull a bit out to knit with. I tried to keep going - by Tuesday AM I was at 4", but had 8 grafts. I told the yarn store owner about it - she was horrified and wanted to try and help me; I told her no, the yarn was a couple of years old, it was a highly-spun yarn and it looked like in some spots it was just too highly-spun. Seems that the company is now out of business, so......Anyway. I bought 3 new skeins and a set of needles. She wound 1 into a ball for me, and I sat down and CO a new sock. (SG was at Lowe's, which is in the same shopping center.) I happily knit while I waited for him - AND I had a sock to work while waiting for the attorney. And 2 more skeins to play with, later. :lol: I don't get to the yarn store often, so it was a nice treat. (Photos later......)

Tomorrow at 11 we go to the Title Company. This is almost done.......:whew!:

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» Happy Monday!!
Hope y'all had a nice Mother's Day - I got to split and stack firewood! (I WANTED to, y'all. We need firewood for winter - even a mild one.) We have about 1 week's worth done; we need to do more. Fortunately, the county cut trees down our street last month, so I can go gather more wood. (Do they do that in other states? Here, every year the power company sends crews out to clear the lines. The tree-cutters cut the logs to fireplace length, and stack them neatly on the side of the road for anyone to pick up. Free wood - works for me!)

SG and the kids took over the morning stables (I had taken them over during Spring Break; the kids need the extra sleep and I don't mind.) then took me to lunch. He also bought me a new leather jacket - think Black Widow. :lol: Wilson's was having a major sale - the jacket was ply $39. Solid, real leather. :blink:

I think it was to "make up" for Saturday....see, I wanted to do lunch then instead of Sunday - less crowds. We hit Woodcraft first...and the ShopSmith people were there. We just so happen to have a ShopSmith - a 1969(ish) Anniversary edition that needs to be looked at. (The motor has 2 wires that came loose, and he can't figure out which pole is which.) I got to talking to the demonstrators.....long story short, he ordered a rebuild kit and will soon have a working ShopSmith (if you're not familiar with ShopSmith - look them up! Short version: a multi-tool. The new models are 7-in-1; ours is 5-in-1. Takes up less space in your shop, and works well.)

Saturday was also Free Comic Book Day, and we hit the "local" Comic store. They had an artist there....my art wall has 1 new frame, now. (And 1 on order. :lol:) He's doing BB-8 for me; we bought a cute chibi-style Avengers piece with Thor, Cap, and Iron Man. One of these days I'll get a photo of the wall for y'all....

Oh! Herself bought me a pair of shoes! This is BIG for her - normally she grunts "Happy Mother's Day" in my general direction and later presents me with a(nother) pair of earrings (which I love, don't get me wrong, but I have...plenty of earrings now. :lol:) This year? She saw a pair of shoes on my eBay watch list and told me to order them, using her debit card. :blink: They haven't *gotten* here yet, but - she bought me shoes!!!

Anyway. SG's off all week..so we'll be all sixes and sevens around here. I need to get ready for school - laters!

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» This week...
has been....interesting, shall we say. I guess somebody invoked the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times" because, folks, it has been Interesting.

Especially Wednesday. It was Herself's braces OFF! day. SG was home, so I invited him out to lunch with us after. Himself decided last minute that he didn't want to go - it was Star Wars day, after all, and he had just bought some "new" SW games that he HAD to play. I pointed out no lunch; he pointed to the freezer. :lol:

So. The 3 of us went. While they were trying to get the impressions for her retainer (2x on the bottom, *4* on the top!), my phone rang. It was Himself......

Seems that right after we left, Chloe started barking. And barking. And barking. He went outside - she was "playing" with a turtle. He, being a soft-hearted kid, pushed her away and tried to get the turtle to remove it. Chloe lunged at it; he shoved her away again. She lunged again, and Bree - who had been standing there watching - decided Chloe needed a lesson in minding and lunged for her.

Only, Himself was in the way. Of 2 very large dogs. :sigh: Bree got him on the hand, and immediately backed off. He got knocked down and trampled a bit, but managed to get into the house and on the phone with me before starting to panic. *I* started panicking, but managed to hide it, thank God.

I went out to the waiting room and sent SG to the house. He picked up Himself, came back and got us, and off we went to the ER. :sigh: 4 hours later, Himself was OK - no stitches, just 2 bad puncture wounds on his left hand, 1 on his elbow, and 1 on his right arm, plus a lot of scratches from Chloe's claws.

We got home (finally!), and I went to look for the turtle. Which was on the back porch (Chloe had brought it there) with 2 punctures in it's shell....turns out, it wasn't a cute l'il turtle that needed saving. It was a demon-spawn SNAPPING turtle that deserved everything it got (sorry, y'all, but I have been chased by a snapper before. They are EVIL - and if IT had gotten hold of Himself's hand, things would have turned very bad, very quickly.

Anyway. Good news is that (besides the world having 1 less snapping turtle) I had drug my Pax Eire socks to the Ortho with me (I have been studiously IGNORING them lately. I went off them, and couldn't drum up any knitting mojo.).....the time in the ER? Was prime knitting time - see here:

2016 Caliegh socks right

2016 Caleigh socks left

They are nice socks - Cashmere/Merino yarn! - but....I just lost interest in them mid-way down the foot of #1. Sometimes that happens.....:shrug: I have started another pair (What???? I Knit. Except when I lose mojo - but it's back for now.) in a nice, over-spun Merino in a lovely turquoise color way. We'll see how long it takes me to work them...:lol:

I had started another apron.....today I put the binding foot on, cut the bias strips (but not very....um...accurately. :sigh:) and took it for a test-sew. That foot is da Bomb! But you have to pay a lot of attention to it, and the resulting bias binding is only 1/4" wide. I have discovered that I prefer 1/2" wide binding.....and that if I don't pay close enough attention the binding gets screwed. :sigh: That apron was a fail, and is now in the trash. (No, seriously - I didn't feel like trying to seam rip 2 yards of binding; I tried and the edges of the apron started seriously fraying. :sigh:) I'll reattempt that apron later.....lesson learned. :lol:

Gotta do some knitting - Shabbat Shalom!

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» Good Morning!
It's actually SUNNY today! I will FINALLY get to use the clothesline!!!!! It's been a while....of course, it's supposed to rain tomorrow....but hey! Sun today!!

Herself is having a lot of nightmares. I'm stumped - I've tried lavender, sleep meds (both OTC and prescription), no screens 2 hours before bed, no horror vids/movies/games, no gory vids/movies/games....I don't know what else to do. I finally got her dozing on the couch......Riley helped. He's a good dog.

My knitting mojo is gone, as is the sewing mojo. I'm starting to get the itch...but I just can't pick anything up. :Sigh: Ah, well - it'll be back. In the meantime, I've been reading a lot of British Good Housekeeping books - I have compilations from 1929 - 39, 1940's, 1950's, and a couple on the War Years. They are FASCINATING - I knew the Brits had it worse than we did, but I didn't realize how MUCH worse off they were. Even the ads are cool! (I'm a History geek - LOVE history! Up to now, it was all Tudor, all the time - but now? I'm devouring everything I can get my hands on that covers WWII. If you'd like to play along, look up the BBC's "Wartime Farm" documentary. It's....Awesome! And a good place to start!)

This is Goodbye Braces! week - Herself will be braces-free on Wednesday! It's been a long road for her, but it was so, so worth it!

Think that's it...I gotta go reboot the laundry. Hello, Sunshine! Here I come!! :lol:

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» Well...THAT was interesting...
Yesterday I made a few calls. 1 guy said "I want to be either the first or the last person to look at the house, because I WANT to buy the house!" :snerk:

Well. We met. I told him I wanted a little over half the tax value, but that I KNEW it wouldn't fly. He pointed out the garage wall, the floors, the probable lead paint...the den that needs to be bulldozed (at least it's on a concrete slab!), the old water heater, the roof...and offered 1/3. I said, well...I WANT 1/3 + 10 (half of the tax value, actually), but I'll take 1/3 + 8. He stopped, looked at me, and said "Deal."

So. IF the title is clear (should be - we haven't received anything from the city on the house, and the mortgage was paid off in the '90's), we will close on 5/12. (Please pray! I can't do anything TO the house to make it more salable, and honestly? This is probably as good an offer as we'll get.) (AFTER the court date. I have been told - numerous times! - that this is legal. I hope so......the thought of something happening to the house before we can sell it keeps me up at night.)

I really wish I could do more.....but honestly? Can't. The guy thinks it'll take 4 roll-off dumpsters to remove all the....stuff. No, it's not worth much - we had a "picker" come in and take a look. HE wouldn't offer anything for it....which tells you a lot, doesn't it? (I am in the middle of de-cluttering. :shudder:)

Anyway. I have hopes that this, at least, is taken care of. The title company has already sent me some paperwork to fill out, so that's good, right?

Gotta get back to dinner! Laters!

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