Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Love My Library

I know, I know, as a Librarian it should be pretty normal, a requirement even, to love libraries and I do! But today I'm talking about *my* library.

To explain; I'm a single mom, I don't work quite full time and there is not a lot money in our house to throw around. Which honestly I think is a good thing in some ways, but that's another posting. So, that means I don't go out to the movies a lot. In fact it's a pretty big occassion when we do. Heck, I don't even rent movies a lot. They're expensive too!

Now, how does not being able to afford to go to movies and loving my library relate?

Recently I noticed movies on my library's Best Seller Express display (that's for new stuff that you can only borrow for a week - cuts down on holds; it's a great system!). I have no idea when they started to do this but suddenly I can watch a newly released movie (more than once if I want to and have the time!) and not be so out of touch! Yehaw!!!!

And if plans suddenly change, as they are wont to do in a life with a teen and a pre-teen, and I run out of time to watch the movie, or it turns out to be a stinker that I hate (or it bores me to tears!) I don't have to feel guilty about spending the money on something I didn't watch....because it was free!!! Yay!

FYI I have watched Iron Man, The Hulk, Star Trek, The Changling, Gran Torino, X-men 3, Benjaman Button and I just borrowed Quantum of Solace. We've borrowed a few others and not managed to see them and I have a few more on my list.
The library also has older movies so my kids now finally get the jokes about "Who Ya Gonna Call".

Yep, I love my library! Ta!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Happy Coincidence

 Yesterday I had the oddest coincidence happen. Happily it was a good one.

It started a little while ago when Adele Margolis died. Now, at the time of her death I had never heard of her but a lot of the sewing blogs that I read (and only found recently) talked quite a lot about it when it happened and how it was a lose to the sewing world and then (music to my ears) about how she had written quite a few WONDERFUL sewing books.
Sewing books?!?! I wonder if I can find any of her sewing books? I thought. Now understand dear readers...I love sewing books, especially older sewing books. I could even say that I collect old sewing books. I try to keep it under control but it doesn't always work. I have a few (nope, not gonna admit how many!) and I would love more! But sadly for me my local library didn't have any by Adele and I can't afford to buy any right now.

If we back track a little farther in time; prior to Ms Margolis' death we have me at one of my favorite events - the Rotary Club Book Sale. This event held every year at the local mall. Tables upon tables are lined up with a host, nay a bevy of books for folks to peruse. These are often books that no bookstore wants or ones that people have decided to donate to a worth cause. I love the Rotary Book Club Sale and I can always find something there I want. The craft/home ec section is usually my first stop although I've been known to stop and the SciFi section on the way by. This year's scores included a Martha Stewart Christmas craft book, an illustrated copy of The DaVinci Code (for $2!!!) and a new (well, for me) sewing book from 1969. Yum!
On the way home that day I popped my new sewing book into my work bag. It's always good to have something to read at work (which sounds funny from a Librarian doesn't it?) just in case.

Fast forward to last night and I'm stuck in traffic waiting for a train to pass. Wow the train is moving slloooowwww. What to do? Ah! I have that new sewing book in my work bag; which is in the car. So I pull it out and take a good look at it.....lo and behold! It's How to Make Clothes That Fit and Flatter by(drum roll please!) Adele P Margolis!!!!

Here I've been reading about this great woman and coveting her books while I HAD one in my bag! I was so stunned I just sat there for a minute and stared before I started reading.

Man, I LOVE the Rotary Book Club sale!!! I can't wait until this fall to see what treasures I can discover.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ahhh, flannel

So, last night was my first night sleeping in my lovely (okay, maybe not physically lovely, but in the dark they felt lovely!) new pyjama shirt.
And I'm left with one important question.....Why didn't I ever make one before now !?!?!?!?!? All these years I've been making the girls pyjamas for Christmas and in all that time I've only ever made myself a pair of pants....and I don't usually wear flannel pants. What was I thinking?!?
So this year, I hereby promise myself that I will tweak my pattern (it's not quite what I'd love it to be) and come the time to go shopping for flannel for Christmas pj's....I'm getting some for me too!!!
I too will have new pj's in 2010! Well, at least a long shirt, 'cause like I said, I don't wear the pants! LOL
Now to figure out what I need to tweak.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Check one off the list!

Yay! The Frugal Pj shirt is done! DONE!!!!
I finished up the buttonholes yesterday and sewed the buttons on while chatting with a friend early this afternoon.
I have to admit that I was worried about this. See, I love the excitement of a a new project, and with the challenge of the kimono facing me I was kind of worried that I would drop the shirt and then it would end up in the UFO pile, never to be seen again.
But I didn't! Yay!
It probably helped that I could "work" on the kimono by washing the material, while I was doing the buttonholes. The buttons were easy as I'm always looking for something to with my hands while I watch TV or sit and chat. I am so thrilled that I got this done and here are the final pictures.

Also accomplished this weekend - a new soup recipe made with (drum roll please) my own home made stock! Wow am I ever coming up in the cooking world! I have never made stoc before but with the success of last weeks soup I thought it was time. I made it in the crock pot over night and I have to say; the house smelled divine when we got up Saturday morning. Yum! And since the carcass was from dinner the night before - the stock cost diddly to make. I bought a leek, carrots, celery and then added some!
Now, I will admit to also having bought broth at the grocery store...just in case my stock didn't work out. LOL but I didn't need it. wohoo.

Nothing much to report on the kimono project. I have the math all done and the fabric is now all washed. Payday is this week so Friday I'll head out to the local fabric store and get interfacing. I'm going to need that for the obi. I'm also going to get something to reinforce the seams on the kimono as the fabric is very shred-y and I want to make sure the seams hold. With the fabric only being 36" wide I have NO room for error here.

C did some baking today. I think her watching Food network when she comes home from school is a good thing. LOL Tonight we watched Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. She made me go find the recipe for the pasta in creamy sauce with peas It looked good on the show and looks easy enough it might become a recipe for one of our busy nights if it turns out well. I would really like something new for that. I like the idea of the Ministry of Food. It's kind of a cool thing to resurrect. Our society seems to have become lost in some ways. Frugal things being one of them. The basics of sewing and cooking and all that being another. And we are so quick to dispose of things! Ack! That really annoys me.

Oh well, off the soap box and out to walk the dog for me. Ta!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pomp-a-Doodle is addictive!

Monday evening this past week I bought a ball of Pomp-a-doodle yarn. It's like pompoms on a string and you can make some really cute stuff from it, like a scarf.
Tuesday I took the ball to work to play around with it at lunch.
Thursday I brought a new scarf home (and my daughter promptly stole it!) so Friday I headed back out and bought some more!
And I can't seem to stop!!!!! LOL
5 and counting.

Cool huh?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What makes a good day.

Today was one of those days - the ones where you get to the end and you say "ahhhhh, today was a  good day" with a contented sigh.
It wasn't exciting or special or anything like that, it was just soul comforting good. Ahhhhh

It started out with being able to sleep in. I got up and had a bite to eat and then S and I walked the dog. It thought about raining on us and didn't so that was good.
Then we drove out to my favorite Indian fabric store to look for material for the kimono. Now, that wouldn't always be hard but they girls have decided they both want to be able to wear it and that means they have to agree on the colour or find 2 colours that will work well together (I could have made the kimono lined/reversible.) *That* is not always easy. But today it was! Ah, good! They decided on one fabric for the kimono and 2 for the obi's so they could each have one. As usual I got a great deal. I love that store! The problem is never finding material, it's walking out still being able to buy the months groceries! LOL
Here's the fabrics we bought. Yum!

After shopping it was time to come home and start the under-kimono (aka the test pattern). I got the base of it done before I had to stop and make dinner. My measurements look like they're going to work beautifully.

I made soup! Okay, not exciting for most people but I have actually never made a home made soup in my life. I am not the most comfortable cook. I do okay, but it's not really my forte. Just after Christmas though we were in the bookstore and I found an *easy* chicken cookbook on sale. We eat a lot of chicken and I'm always looking for something new to try...if it's not too hard. I bought and have already found a few recipes I want to try. A few are for soup!
So for dinner tonight I decided to try the Chicken and Potato Soup with Bacon. Well WOW! It was easy to cook (just like the book promised) even for me and *everyone* liked it! There are some adjustments to be made (less potatoes and maybe some mushrooms or corn would be nice) but it's definatley worth repeating! And next time I need to make more so that way I might actually have some leftovers for lunches for work.There's enough left for maybe a cup of soup with lunch! I think that's a good sign though.

Gran Torino was the next installment to my great day. I found it at the library on Tuesday and set it up to watch while I did some Pomp-a-doodle knitting. I love Clint Eastwood! The movie is great too, although it made me miss my Dad. He was another grumpy ol' man. LOL
During it I got another scarf finished (that's 3 since Tuesday!) and  a 4th started. I love this stuff. I am going to be soooo ahead come Christmas.

Another rainless walk with the dog and S to finish up the day and soon I'll be off to a warm and comfy night's sleep.

Ahhhhhhhh What more could one girl ask for?

Friday, January 8, 2010

I have been Challenged!!

Well, not me directly, I'm taking this on for all creative parents. Let me explain.

Next month the Olympics are coming to BC. My daughters school is really getting into the spirit. Each class has picked a country; S's class is Japan. They are going to have an "opening ceremony" type parade and each class is to have flags and stuff to carry in the parade to show which country they belong to.
Mr D (S's teacher) thought that someone carrying the flag wearing a kimono would be cool. So he asked if anyone had one. One's girls cousin does but she's not sure she can borrow it because it came from Japan and it's silk (silk seems to scare people a bit, I'm not sure why). Mr D was sad :-( and said that's too bad and it's too bad no one could make one.
HA said I when I heard that. (Coming from DD with that wistful look in her eye - she knows her Mom can't resist a sewing challenge, the smart girl.)
"I can make a kimono!" 

In fact I've made kimono's before, they really aren't that difficult. They are just straight geometric shapes. Now, ask me to make full court garb from the Heian dynasty? That's hard! A regular Western influence kimono? Easy peasy! Like I said, I've made them before, albiet a long time ago in Unviversity but even then I don't remember them as being hard.

So this morning I did some research, found some great websites and soon I'll be off buying fabric. Of course I'll test it out on a sheet from the thrift store first. If that works it will become the white under-kimono that's usually worn.

Can't make a kimono? HA!

Great websites I'll be using here;
Simple sewing instructions
Wonderful pictures for dressing and tying the Obi
Lovely detailed pictures on dressing and tying an Obi with lots of styles of Obi

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Schedules are like roads

I was driving to work today thinking about how the day was a little messed up because my schedule was different; I hadn't gone straight to work, I had done some work in town first.

That made me think about a friend of mine commenting on my morning schedule and how boring that must make my life. I don't think so, I find comfort in my schedule; knowing that if I do things by a certain time in the morning I won't be rushed, I won't be yelling at my kids to get a move on.

And then I started thinking about how my morning schedule is kind of like my drive to work. I've been driving to the same job in virtually the same place for 19 years now (with some time off for maternity leave of course) and some people would consider that boring. But as I drove along I saw the swans that winter in the area flying over head. They were sooooo beautiful. And I saw a little bunny by the road; soooo cute. And then a shaft of sunlight hit the top of a snow dusted mountain; breathtaking.

And all of those are things I would have missed, had I not been comfortable with my regular drive. I like to think my schedule is working the same way; it lets the everyday things become the drive and the special moment I might otherwise miss is the swans and bunny and sun; all beautiful.

I think I'll keep my schedules.

On a totally different note I found this wild yarn at Walmart last night and had to buy someto try it out. It's Red Heart Pomp-a-doodle and it's like pompoms on yarn. See it here PompaDoodle
It came with a free pattern for a scarf and I started it at work today. I couldn't help myself! I just had to see! It's great. Now I'm thinking about making some for next years Christmas presents. It's so fun I can think of lots of people who would like one. Maybe I can make scarves a theme?

No actual sewing to report today although I am planning the next thing I'm going to sew.
I need to insulate some windows in the house with reflective batting window inserts. They'd be like curtains but they will velcro into the window frame to make the best seal. I plan to do at least one window in my bedroom and some in the big living room window. Those ones of course won't be sealed to the frame all the way around because even if I tried the cats would soon "deal" with that. The living room window ledge is a favorite spot.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Testing Testing shhhhh

Be very quiet, I'm at work, testing to see if I can post from here. Not that I should and of course we all know I would never do it on work time, but I just had to see if I could do it!
And it looks like I can. ^grin^

Bad Librarian! No cookie! LOL

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Only the buttons left

Just one more step to go and my Frugal pyjama shirt will be wearable. Yay! I managed to get almost 45 minutes of sewing snuck in today between visiting and laundry and grocery shopping. Of course I had to sacrifice the last hour of the Stargate Universe marathon but hey, that's what DVRs are for, right?

Once I get another slot of time the button holes should go quite quickly I just need to figure out where to put them. The buttonhole patterns never seem to work for me so I always have to play around. What I really need is one of those magical buttonhole spacer devices to help me out.
Sadly I don't have one of those :-(
Maybe I need to start a list of sewing tools that I need (ironing ham) or would *really* like (buttonhole spacer thingy) and hand it around close to my birthday. Hmmm.
Well that's it for todays update. Tomorrow it's back to school and work. The girls are really looking forward to going back to school. I can't say I feel quite as enthusiastic but I do miss some of my work stuff. It's going to be hard to get out of bed tomorrow morning after all the sleeping in we've done lately though. ICK! ick ick ick.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

An afternoon full of sewing

Ahhh, a quiet day, how I loved it! I did some reading, some laundry (sadly real life intruded but you can't win them all) and got some sewing done! Yay!

The Frugal Pj's aren't quite done but I got a lot accomplished today.
Neck band on and facing on neckband, sleeve band on sleeves and sleeves on body, edge stitching done to hold stuff down on facing and sleeve bands and I got the side seam started. I'm still not sure about the length so I didn't sew the side seam to the bottom. I want it farther down than it is but I don't think I want it to the bottom. I've marked 12 inches from where it is now and will sew that up tomorrow and see how I like it.
My thought right now is sew the 12 and then make the hem like a curved shirt hem. I think that will suit the sort of "old fashioned night shirt' type of feeling this is giving me.
In lieu of photos of the shirt/pj's in progress here's the fabrics I'm using where they're from and what they're being used for.

From top to bottom;
2 years ago (all of us, I cut apart my pants) for one front, and one sleeve.
C's last year for the back and the neck band.
S's this year for a front and a sleeve band
C's this year for a sleeve and a sleeve band.

On the side is a cut apart pair of pj pants from quite a few years ago. I only used that for the front band facing. I needed a long strip so pants I don't use seem like a better idea than piecing a couple of strips.
Pretty this shirt will not be, but warm, functional and frugal it will!!!

Sometimes not sewing is satisfying too.

Not a bit of sewing got done yesterday, not even a thought of it really.
Well maybe a thought or two, after all I *did* get to the fabric store and I did buy stuff, and I bought other sewing related stuff in other places too.
Hmmm, maybe the day was more sewing related than I thought.

We got up very late yesterday, I think staying up after midnight might be at fault there ;-) I'm not even sure of the last time I stayed up that late.
At 10:30 or so we went to go pick up C from her NYEve sleep-over. Only she and her step-sister were awake when we got there and they sure hadn't been up long. They hadn't gotten much sleep either. Seems they all decided to stay up as late as they could - 6 am or so! Yikes! Ah, to be young again. I can (vaguely) remember staying up all night until the next morning; it seems so long ago.

After picking C up we headed up the freeway to do some returns. C's shirt from AD was just a wee bit too small. The XS size from the Gap works for her in stretchy shirts but not in woven material.
We had the funniest time at the Gap while the poor clerk wrestled a bit with his computer which refused to accept that the shirt was on the gift receipt. He was funny and he won in the end.
C was too bleary eyed to find something new at the store (they were sold out of the ruffled shirt in her size....actually every size but 1 in XS) so we just got a card and we'll go back when she's had more sleep. Gift cards are a great motivator for me to get out of town (not something I do a lot!)
We signed up for a new card system and notification thing from the Gap while we were there. I'm hoping we'll find out about new stuff and sales so we're reminded to go back and use the card.

Our next stop was The Body Shop. What can I say? I'm addicted to Satsuma! So we picked up a couple things and the girls in there were so fantastic they even gave me a Canadian membership thingy for free when they couldn't make my US one work. It's sad but I get to The Body Shop in Bellis Fair lately more often then the closer one down the road. Yikes, I need to get out more!

Then we wandered over to Sears to see if they had anything that might inspire me to use my gift card. Well, no griddle pans to use on the stove (I'm thinking 2nd hand store for that) but I did find a load of kitchen stuff I needed/wanted and most of it was on sale!

(the cute little non-kitchen tool in the picture is our little tabby Zoe) 

Plus I decided that a new set of scissors wouldn't go wrong either. I love my rotary cutter but sometimes a girl just needs scissors!

I still have some room left on my card so I'll be back for mor picture frames later (they had a pitiful selection....lots of frames for Christmas presents I think)

Then we drove home, dropped the sleepy C off and S and I headed out to the local mall to try and do an exchange for BFF. No luck there so I have another gift card in my purse. LOL

Our next stop was Value Village. I've been doing a lot of reading about vintage sewing and patterns etc and it's a good fit for me since I was already collecting vintage sewing books for fun before so I decided to see if VV carried patterns....I had no idea, as I've never looked before!

Well sure enough they do and some sewing books too!
So I picked up these 4 patterns (although I have no idea what I'm going to do with them!) and a new book for my collection.
The skirt and scarf pattern appear to still be in the factory folds from a cursory look.

I got the 1952 copy but they had a newer one there as well. 1959 maybe? I can't quite remember.  If it's still there the next time I go back I might get it, just to see what the differences are. It was only $3 so why not?

After VV we headed out to the fabric store. I need buttons for my Frugal Pj's. I looked but I just don't have enough of the right size :-(
I also wanted to see what kind of deal they had going on Christmas fabric. I've been thinking about  gift bags and have been reading about using fabric to wrap so I wanted to see if I could get some material for it. I didn't find a lot but at 70% off I managed to find 4 I liked.

None are too cute or too Christmasy which I really wanted. I bought a  metre of each except for the bottom one; I bought 2m of that one. It's just a plain deep red with a lot of quiet shine to it. I really liked it and with no print it's very versatile. I like that in fabric AND wrapping! LOL
All totaled my fabric trip was less than $20 and that included the buttons! I love sales.

After that S and I were pooped and headed home. We spent the rest of the night just lazing around and putting together a new "tower" (aka skinny bookcase) I had bought. It will be nice to get some more stuff organized.

Hopefully today will have more sewing!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year Everyone! 
And may this year be better than the last! 

I had planned to wish everyone a happy new year right after the clock ticked over to 2010 but some irritating neighbours with some (illegal here) fireworks prevented that. We had to go out and make sure the dog wasn't freaking out. 
I didn't figure he would be but I'd rather be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to my animals. 

All was good, and now all is quiet. Ahhhh

I don't make new years resolutions anymore, I don't like the pressure of them and I don't like the limitations either; why should I only make resolutions one day a year? So, no new year's resolutions for me to post today. Sorry. 
I will say that I hope to blog regularly, to use my camera more this year and get more sewing, spinning and other crafty stuff done; maybe even some of it for me! LOL 

Good night all and may 2010 be the best year yet!