Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My DITL in photos

That's "day in the life".

A couple of online friends were doing it, so I had to as well (ever the sheeple!). Figured it would be nice to share it here also. I took over 300 pictures, but was able to weed it down a bit ;)

Allison's DITL

I have to say, I'm very impressed with Picasa's online photo system. I used 2 different cameras, and it was very easy to organize everything and put the pictures in order with it, rather than doing it on my computer.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mixing hobbies

I just bought a new lens for my camera. And new lens means I need a bigger bag. The one I had was just barely cutting it as it was. I looked online at quite a few places, and while I liked different things about different ones, it seemed most of them had one thing in common - if it looked like they would do a good job protecting my equipment, they were plain (UGLY!). And if they were "pretty", they looked rather flimsy. I have 7 kids, I need protective.

So after having a heart attack at the prices to begin with (mostly at the "pretty" ones - I'm willing to pay more for durability and great function) I thought to myself "I can do that". Plus, it gives me something to do rather than the things I was procrastinating (which I'll be working on now). Cost was pretty minimal. I had some of the fabric and the zippers. I think the total was around $25 out of pocket.

This is definitely a prototype. Lots of sloppy sewing, a couple mistakes, and lots of ideas I couldn't/wouldn't implement because I wasn't ripping stitches out!

I just laid my camera out on my pattern material, and drew around that and my lenses to get the shape. I also knew that I wanted a backpack/slingbag style. Lot of measuring and cutting later, and you get this:

It has one outside zippered pocket (one of the things that was an afterthought - I would have liked some on the sides). The piping has boning in it to make it more stable. That was a pain, and hurt my fingers, but I think it was worth it. There's half inch foam in all the sides. The brown fabric is the one I had, I bought the other (it was a remnant, and on sale, so it was CHEAP!!!).

The inside. It's cotton velveteen, and soooo soooo soft. It made up most of the cost of the bag, even though it was on sale as well. The dividers are made with 1" foam inside. Because it's a prototype, I didn't use anything to attach them to the sides or bottom, they're just safety pinned in. And I forgot the velcro for the pockets on the flap until it was too late too. It's got just enough space for my camera in the big empty spot (that's an extra divider in there), and even room for another lens or 2 if I wanted.

Overall, I really like the bag. There's a lot of changes I'd make if I get brave or desperate enough to make another one. I would make it less deep at the top then the bottom, make sure all the pockets I want are there before I sew the pieces up. I used 2 zippers (it's what I had) to get the length, but I'd prefer 1 heavier duty one with 2 zipper pulls. And it needs to be a little bit deeper overall. While it fits my current camera well, I think that when I upgrade, it will be a little tight. And I would skip the piping, but still use the boning in the seams. And I'd prefer a little bit darker fabric, something a little less conservative (but still having some brown of course!).

Even dumb dumb the cat gave his approval, and tried to claim it for a new bed while I was working on the dividers. Sorry for the blurry pic. I was trying to do it quickly before he got out!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Even my junk mail has it out for me!

I out of shape - badly. I haven't exercised regularly in, oh, ever?? So it's been a frequent topic of conversation between a couple of friends and I. And where do such conversations lead us? To me still sitting on my butt! I've been slow to get up and get moving, compared to my friends.

You know how people make fun of women because they won't go to the bathroom alone? Well, I'm like that. I'm not unsocial, or extraordinarily shy. But I hate doing new things by myself. Even trying a new restaurant makes me a bit nervous if I'm not going with someone who's been there before. So my excuse to why I won't join the gym? I want someone to go with me!! And so far, I can't convince anyone to go when I can go. Something about being too early in the morning...

So, while I know my health is actually suffering a little because of my lack of exercising, I can't get past my inhibitions to just go do it. And I feel guilty (just a little!!). I KNOW I should just do it, I KNOW I'll feel better, and probably not need as much sleep even. But the inhibitions are there nonetheless.

All to explain why I think my email has it out for me. I don't look at exercise stuff online, don't sign up for anything, etc etc. Yet for the past week, I've had at least one, if not more, junk emails about exercising. And the latest one? Straight to the point - "Get to the Gym". I'm not sure I'll listen to my junk mail, but maybe the prodding coming from yet another source will eventually do the trick.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why did I stay up so late?

I'm not dumb, I KNOW how much sleep I need, and how I can't function as a normal human being without that amount. Unfortunately, it's not a little bit. So why did I sit at my computer until 2am? Can I blame it on the snugly babe that was in my arms most of the time? Probably not, since he would have slept just fine in bed too. I can't even remember what I was reading after I gave up searching for ideas/examples for nursing pictures. I wasted hours of precious sleep!

So here I sit, at 9am. I've been "awake" for an hour. Awake is a relative term, considering my brain isn't keeping up with my body. And I sit thinking of everything I'm supposed to be doing today. Including hunting down the idiot in my neighborhood that thought that target practice at 3am was a good idea. I had just fallen asleep. I know we live in the middle of nowhere (not really, but it can seam like it!) but still, do people really not think that shooting a gun at 3 am, repeatedly I might add, is a good idea?

So besides that, my house is a wreck. The kind of wreck that a house gets if kids are the only ones cleaning for a week. I hate cleaning. Despise it. But I promised myself that I would get it done today since I spent almost the whole day out yesterday and nothing got done. But I just want to crawl back in bed.

I also got fabric that I had ordered in the mail yesterday. It's for an order I need to finish up. So I have that to do as well. And I want to sew for me. I haven't touched the fabrics I bought for me since I photographed them, what, 2 weeks ago?

I should make a "to do" list. Maybe if I start crossing things off as I do them, I'll feel better? More motivated to get my rump out of this comfortable chair? Blah - it sounds like work and that it would require a functioning brain.

Did I say I want to crawl back into bed yet?? It's calling my name. I really should go in there and make it, and maybe even clean my room, since the kids don't clean in there...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I have a thing for babies

I like babies. They're squishy, and squirmy, and just cute and lovely. I'm not sure I'd have 7 kids if I didn't like babies so much.

But I don't just like human babies. I seem to be drawn to all types of babies. Reptile babies, bird babies, not to mention the really cute kittens and puppies!! And I was really lucky that I had my camera in my car this afternoon when I came across this couple.

What's even more ironic is that they were at our church, where our pastor just mentioned this morning that they had only been seeing one crane recently to come eat, and were expecting to see a little fuzzy yellow chick (and what a BIG chick!!) soon. And there they were, later in the afternoon. I couldn't get enough of them, babies just amaze me. I watched it dig for it's own food, lay down to eat when it started getting tired, and even take some food from mom (or dad??) a couple of times.

Aren't babies awesome?
If you click on the pics, it will open it bigger so you can see it better :)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sometimes I think my eyes are going to permamently stay at the back of my head

They get there often with teenagers and preteens. As I'm procrastinating doing anything productive this morning, I overhear a conversation about razor burn between my 15 year old, 12.5 year old, and 10 year old. And since the 15 year old girl is the only one currently shaving, I'm thinking "what the heck?".

They're debating what razor burn is. Chrissy is adament that the little red bumps are just that. Mikhail says, no, they aren't. I'm trying to figure out why Mikhail would have any clue. He has a tiny tiny TINY bit of darker hair above his lip. Here, let me show you a picture.

There, do you see it?? Maybe you can zoom in. Because I can't!! And I couldn't in any of the other pictures I've taken of him recently either.

So, back to the story. Chrissy's yelling now, because Mikhail doesn't believe that little red bumps after you shave are razor burn. Finally Mikhail gets fustrated enough that he yells back - "then why does it itch??"

Gah - my baby boy is growing up, and attempted to shave for the first time without knowing what the heck he was doing. At least he waited longer than my girls. Both were under 10 the first time, and Kiera still bares the scar from her attempt!

And while I'm talking about kids growing up, and sharing pictures, look at my baby. Do you see what he's doing??? He's NOT OLD ENOUGH. He was just born - wasn't he?? (and you can oohh and ahhh over that nice bright outfit I made him too!! See?? I'm getting brave!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fabric addiction

Yes, there is such a thing. Am I affected?? Depends on who you ask. I found out the other day that one of my favorite fabrics is going OOP (out of print for those of you who don't know fabric lingo). I have some. I think a yard and a half of each print.

So what did I spend an hour doing this morning? Finding the best price of all the coordinates, and ordering from 3 different online stores. And not just a bit. Between 15-20 yards. Yes, that's right, I'm not even sure how much I ordered total.

And my justification for it? It will make one beautiful quilt for the next baby. Yes, you read that right - the NEXT baby! You know, the one that I'm not even considering TTC yet (trying to conceive - for those of you not in the know of the online parenting lingo). And not even yet, but probably close to a year before I get serious (and you'll notice this because my husband will suddenly be a very happy man).

What does this fabric look like you ask? Well, ask, and you shall receive:

OK, so it's kinda hard to see in that picture, but the outfits are to die for, and it almost killed me to mail them to their new owner! But it's Heather Ross's lightening bug and other mysteries line. The little fishies (and the ones in the bags have NAMES!! How cute is that??) are just lovely. And if I decide to make actual clothing out of it, and not just hoard it and pet it, all the fabrics I bought (both fishies, the coordinating stripes, and the dots) match the bright orange shorts I made Kian. The polka dots on the pockets are from this line also (and I ordered more!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How you know you have children

You wake up with cramps in your back because you were squished in your king sized bed.

You sit on toothpaste on the toilet (someone isn't tall enough to reach the sink to spit)

You almost kill yourself getting into the shower because someone was playing with the conditioner.

Your hot water runs out really fast because your water heater is turned all the way down, and you like a HOT shower.

You have to hunt down your blow dryer because it was used as a laser gun last.

The nice lemon flavor of your toothpaste is overpowered by the taste of soap.

There's some rule that the cereal bowls belong in the cabinet with the pots and pans??

The soda (great breakfast!!) that you left on the counter with one sip taken out of it, is empty when you go back to it 5 minutes later.

There's folded clothes and socks in the DIRTY laundry - unless there's a compulsive person (besides ME!!) doing it?

The cat has a new hairdo (I really should lock those scissors up).

The peanut butter that you just bought, besides being almost gone, has a spoon in it still (midnight snack anyone??? eeewww)

This was my morning :)


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Her new "do"

Much better. I still miss her old hair - a lot actually, but my stylist did a wonderful job! I'm so glad it didn't have to be whacked off at her ears. She's now sporting a "Euro" look, though she has no idea what that means. Hopefully her bangs will fill in a bit more in a couple of weeks. She had only cut half of them, it was hard to get the other side to look the same!

It must be a girl thing

I bring you Aislinn:

Isn't she pretty? These were taken on Tues at the park -which I was going to blog about, the alligator sighting, the vibrant green colors of spring, that sort of thing. But instead, you get to look at my pretty girl.

Well, she's still pretty. But her hair isn't at the moment.

She's gone back and forth about having long hair, so I hadn't cut it. I also LOVED it. I guess she finally made up her mind. It actually doesn't look too bad from the back, but the bangs and side were a little overkill . I really wish she would have just asked me rather than attempt it herself. I definitely could have done a better job, but it's beyond my skills to fix it. So, she has an appointment with my stylist this afternoon, and I'm even more tempted to get my grays covered now that I'm sure I have more of them! I will post after pictures :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The answer to the most important question in life.

Which came first?

I think that's a pretty good answer myself. And if you want one, go here. And they have lots of other interesting ones as well!!

Fastest way to lose 5 pounds?

Get food poisoning. No, really, it works. Now, depending on how long you're living in the bathroom, you may lose more. I was fortunate (or un?) that it was only a couple of hours. I think about 4. It was 4 of the most miserable hours of my life, and to make it worse, I was NOT at home, but at my sisters after helping her move. And it was 1 o'clock in the morning when it happened. I think I finally fell asleep and stayed asleep by 5. And then I was up for the day at 7, which is NOT enough sleep for me, and I had to drive 2 hours home still. I got home and crashed and slept all the rest of the day and night. I love my husband - he kept 7 kids happy and quiet enough for me to sleep!

And then, just because I was curious (and not happy with where I am weight wise, but too lazy to do anything about it!) I stepped on the scale. Down 5 pounds. So at least something good came out of it, right??

Now I just have to decide if it was my favorite restaurant that did it (which is more than likely since I only got sick) or something else. I guess I'll lose more weight if I stop eating there so much...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Rule #1 - don't wait for 6 weeks to sew cut out things

Especially if it's for a baby. I even cut them in the next size up. It wasn't big enough. 7 kids, and the last (not last as in no more for those of you hoping!! ) one needs to be different. 6 kids all grew the same way. I could predict what size they would be in for the next season, year, etc. Made it nice for sewing ahead, or even buying stuff on sale.

Not this kid. Like I said, he needs to be different. When I cut the outfits out, he was in a size 3-6mo (or 62 for Ottobre which is what the pattern was). He had JUST gone into this size. So I figure making him a 68 for summer would be fine. I didn't think he'd wear it all summer, but at least half - right? Nope. I've got 5 shirts and 2 rompers, some out of very hard to find or expensive fabric, that are too small, and half sewn. I'm hoping the shirts out of the stretchier fabric will fit for a little bit anyways.

I think I want to cry. My 4mo old baby is the size of most 9 month olds. I made him promise he wasn't going to grow up too fast, and not only is he doing that, but he's HUGE as well!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Outside of my comfort zone

I don't do bright colored clothes. If you look in my closet, you'll see shades of brown mostly, with a couple blues and greens mixed in. And nothing bright. I'm not exactly sure why that is, but I never think bright colors look good on me. And that tends to carry over to the things I buy or sew for my children as well. For Kian's 3mo pictures, I was told to have him wear bright things. I was screwed. If you take a gander over here and look in the baby gallery you'll see the "bright" I came up with. Kian is the cutest one in the green hat and pants. Those were the brightest things in his wardrobe.

I'm trying to change. Starting with Kian's summer wardrobe.

He needed a sunhat. Trying to find one that fit was just about impossible locally. Even the pattern I had was too big. So I drafted this one. I'm trying to figure out how to make it reversible and still put ties one (there aren't any now). Let me know if you have any ideas!! What was nice was that I could use just the scraps of my precious Munki fireflies, rather than yardage. The lining/reverse side is just muslin.

He desperately needed shorts as well. For this I used my trusty Kwik Sew for Babies. I hacked some off the bottom, and made them more straight legged rather than tapered. The orange fabric is a lovely hemp muslin. It has a unique texture that I really like. I begged this piece from a friend a couple months ago. The bias cut polka dots are also from Heather Ross, but from the Lightening bug and other mysteries line for Freespirit. But the colors go wonderfully with a few of the Munki fabrics as well.

A little big, but at least I won't have to hold him upside down to get them off like his current ones!

I even used my iron!!

Look at that cute baby butt!

And just because, a picture of his adorable fingers and toes. I loves me some baby feet!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Apparantly I'm old.

Or at least I act older than I am. According to my oldest daughter. Why the opinion of a 15 year old means so much (never mind that the discussion came up while out to dinner with an older friend and her girls - and they all agreed), confuses me. Maybe it's just the "I don't want to look or act like an old lady" ego of a 30ish year old (for the record, I'm only just 31). I always said I would grow old gracefully. Wouldn't dye my gray, etc. Of course, I was in my early 20's, no gray, and I figured I would be in my 40's at least before I considered myself "old" (my apologies to all 40ish year olds!).

So while trying to figure out what exactly it is that makes me "act old", I start trying to discuss it with above mentioned 15 year old. I ask how. The response? Typical 15 year old. "you just do". Thanks. I think conversation skills may need to be addressed in the next homeschooling lesson.

I'm resisting the urge to call my stylist for an appt...