That bench I'm standing on was made by my uncle Keith. Next to my husband, my favorite man in the whole world. He's made dozens of these benches and gives them all away. The finish is as smooth as glass. I have several of his stools, but this is the only bench. When I moved all my sewing stuff to it's new location and converted this room back to its intended purpose, a dining room, I asked if he had any benches not spoken for. He was happy to let me pick one out and I was delighted to add it to my little mismatched dining set. My very special mismatched dining set. The table was our first real table as a family. More of Uncle Keith's handiwork. The top was a door, and good grief what a door it must have been. It's solid wood, with sort of a butcher block look. Heavy! The base was salvaged from a table belonging to my great grandmother.
I made a runner for the table top and recovered the chair seats.
I can't help but smile when I look in there now. The only thing missing is dinner.
What do you think? I know you guys don't see me very often, and usually then, it's an obscure shot here and there. I'm not fond of most photos of myself. Very few I can even stand to look at. I'm looking pretty shabby these days, and not shabby chic. Just plain shabby. Stringy hair pulled up in a clip, no makeup, sweats. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if What Not To Wear ambushed me on my way to the mailbox. I'm home most days and have no reason to dress up, but I'm thinking I should put forth a tiny bit more effort not to look like a troll who sleeps under a bridge. For my husband's sake, at least.
I have an appointment to get something done with my hair tomorrow. I cut my hair short when Casey was a baby and kept it pretty short for years. I started letting it grow about three or four years ago. I only go a couple, maybe three times a year to get it cut and maybe some color. I don't have nice hair. It isn't thick and shiny. It's baby fine and dull and straight as a stick. My hair looked much better short, I don't think it looked that much better on me though, if that makes sense. I pulled out some pictures, with various hair styles- different lengths and colors. Trying to determine what looks best on me. I could use some help, how about giving me your opinion. First, we can rule out any 80s hair. As totally tubular as that may have looked in 1985, I won't be revisiting that style.
This is the look I sport most days. See what I mean? Shabby, not chic.
If it isn't in a clip, it looks like this down.
This next photo was taken in 05, I think. This was before I started letting it grow.
Around the same time, I'm not really ready to go that short again. I don't think.
Here it was short and brownish-red. I'm not crazy about this color on me.
A little longer.
Forgive the shot of my backside, but I think I like this length in the back.
As soon as I find a good use for dog hair and dust bunnies. I'm telling you folks, I'm sitting on a goldmine over here. I'm pretty sure there must be a way to melt fat, smooth wrinkles, cure impotence, or at least run a car's engine with dog hair being the key ingredient. I'm just waiting for the stroke of brilliance to come to me in the middle of the night. Perhaps on one of those nights I'm awake at 4 am to let one of the bossy little shedders out to pee. In that 4am haze, I'll have a shining moment of clarity and discover why my life is filled with so much dog hair and dust. There must be a reason, right? Before Bayleigh was born, it wasn't only dog hair I had to fight, but also cat hair. Any cat owner knows the average cat sheds his own weight in hair every two days. The kitties now live outside and do all their shedding all over my back porch. I do battle daily with the dog hair, mostly because of Bayleigh. Don't get me wrong. I don't like the idea of it, but for the most part, if I go a day without vacuuming, it only affects my socks. Since Bayleigh spends so much time on the floor crawling around and exploring, it gets all over her. So I vacuum. And sweep. And vacuum some more. All this vacuuming and sweeping so my little angel won't be covered in dog hair. So, what does she do every chance she gets? She climbs right in the middle of a dog bed. There are several around the house and she's been in them all.
She gets right in the middle. Right in the stinky, hairy middle.
And when I chase behind her and pull her out? I get this face.
**JenJen, your comment about using the sticky lint roller on the couch reminded me of something I've wanted to share. I can't count how many sticky rollers I've been through. Recently I saw a commercial for the Pledge Fabric Sweeper.Anything promising to be fast, easy and effective in removing pet hair gets my attention. I picked one up at the grocery store and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. It really works. I keep it next to the bed for a quick sweep of the covers when I make the bed. Takes no time and gets all the hair, no need to fight with tape. I give it two furry paws up. Or should that be sixteen furry paws? Four dogs... sixteen paws. Man! That's a lot of paws.
I wish we all could have been at Hancock's together to have a big ole party in the pattern section!
I've looked through the pattern this weekend and wanted to share a few things I thought might be helpful. I didn't actually "write" the pattern. Simplicity has a staff of talented pattern writers who do that. I designed and constructed the items you see on the pattern jacket and sent them off to New York along with a detailed list of materials used, my written instructions on the steps I took in construction and pattern pieces needed to reconstruct the items. I knew the patterns would be written in Simplicity language, not Autum language, after all, they've been speaking pattern talk longer than I've been alive. From reading over the instruction pages, everything seems fairly clear and easy enough to follow. It's my feeling that at times the big pattern companies make things seem more complicated than they really are, sometimes with their wording of things. Most of the instructions are written essentially the way I did them. There were a few differences though. For instance, the method of installing the zipper in the cosmetic bag was not at all the way I install a zipper, but like that old saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat, right? One thing that I felt like may be a little vague and lead to some questions, especially for beginners was the materials used. Talk of interfacing confuses me with all the different weights, fusible vs. non, variations from one brand to another. It can be baffling. In my opinion, the interfacing is probably the most important aspect of bag construction. It totaly dictates how your bag will look and function in the end. To give these particular bags softness and structure at the same time, I use a combination of heavy weight fusible and polyester fleece. The pattern also calls for a stiff non fusible for the gusset portion of the bag. This is to give it a lot of structure, so it can stand on it's on. At the time I designed the bags, I used Timtex. I've found several discussions online about interfacing, like this one at Sew Mama Sew. You just have to find what works best for you. Don't be afraid to experiment until you get the look and feel that pleases you, there is no one right way. Thanks again for all the kind words and encouragement about the pattern. It was certainly thrilling to see something that came to life in my little sewing room in the pages of a major pattern book.
Many of you commented that you couldn't believe they didn't let me know the pattern was going to print. Actually, I did speak with someone last fall and was told it would be in the summer book. I just didn't realize the summer book was out.
along with dorky sharing of excitement with a complete stranger.
Nearly 2 years ago, I was contacted by Simplicity Patterns about designing a purse pattern. I was quite excited at the time, but didn't talk about it here, because it just didn't seem real and I didn't want to sound all braggy. My granny used to tell us, "no one likes a bragger" and so I try to take care not to sound braggy when sharing exciting news. Anyway, fast forward to today, an ordinary Friday, me and Bayleigh hanging out at Hancock fabric. You know, the place all the cool nanas hang out. We're flipping through the pattern books and there it is. Dude! My purses! In a Simplicity pattern book! In Hancock Fabrics! I was overtaken by complete dorkiness and giddiness. I contained my excitement long enough to get up and pull the pattern envelop from the drawer and couldn't contain my goofy self anymore. I showed the pattern to a complete stranger who was minding her own business, browsing the pattern books. I said hey, that's me, lamely pointing out my name, that's my pattern... I made those purses. The poor lady stammered uh... cool... that's neat...ah... congratulations... I've never met someone who made a pattern before.... I'm sure she was thinking, what a goof ball this woman is. I then proceded to do the same thing at the cutting counter. And then I did something I never do. I purchased a pattern that wasn't on sale.