Friday, December 10, 2010

A Special Treat

Today Peter told me he wanted to make a "special treat" using the following ingredients:
a gummy worm
chocolate powder
some oil

So we did! There are our ingredients! (We did 3 squirts of spray oil)
We stirred them around.

The chocolate powder (we used Nestle's Quick) stuck to the oil, and the oil stuck to the gummy worm.

I took a bite. Peter took a bite. It wasn't that bad. Chocolatey, then fruity. I asked Peter what he thought it looked like. He said dirt. I think it looks like something unmentionable. I might have a lot of fun with this on April Fool's day. Hmmm....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Phillip got his first bath this week! I think Peter thought he was going to get in there with him because I heard Mark turn and say "Peter why are you naked?"
So the five of us (three clothed) were crowded into the boys bathroom to watch Phillip get his bath.
He even looks like he's smiling in this picture!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Inspiration for the Unwieldy

Here's what we've been up to.
(Note: It's really hard to see how photos are going to be displayed in blogger so you'll have to assign the appropriate caption to the appropriate picture)
First: There's James' completed tool box (I love that he attached a baseball picture of himself to the keychain. Cool handy key-chain-nail Granny!)
Second: Peter hammin it up on the back porch.
Third: (this was tonight) "No hitting, kicking and punching your brother Peter."
Fourth: James and his CubScout Den enjoying the Frankenkrispy treats that James helped make.
Fifth: What I've been working on today.
You might think I have too much time on my hands. I wouldn't say that. I still feel like Tweedle Dee trying to get around (anyone remember the clown pants with the hula hoop waistline?), and I still have to take it easy more than is good for my house or my toddler - but there is not NEARLY enough time before the baby to get all the christmas and baby sewing done! Argghh.

I can't believe Pip will be here in 19 days. I'm scheduled to c-sect at 12:30 on November 18th.

I loved the 1940's lipstick application tutorial that I found here. She has lots of inspiring looks. It's crazy - I had just been thinking today, "I wish I knew how to do vintage looking pin curls and styles." So then I find this blog! She mentions a new book that came out "Style Me Vintage." I think I'm gonna have to get myself that one for my birthday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christmas Making

I love pictures of little children hands.
This is P. Note the fading baby wrinkle at the wrist. Fortunately I'm getting a new one in November. New fat wrists and ankles, and no ability to stave off kisses!

I've been Christmas sewing today. My house looks horrible, floors are visibly dirty and everything else is worse. The problem is not motivation.

In an occasion which should be historic, scientists actually named a chemical after the most notable result. The chemical "relaxin" is what causes your joints to stretch more than usual while you're pregnant. And since my body always seems to have trouble with dosage amounts (do you think she'll need some serotonin to go to sleep tonight? Nah. besides we made more than enough adrenalin today let's hit the sack ourselves), I think my body has made too much relaxin. It's as though I have communist bloc hormone glands. They always make too much of the wrong things.

So my house is dirty because it hurts to move. Each step is painful, just standing up is painful, bending over hurts in 5 different places that haven't hurt since I started taking horseback riding lessons!

So instead of cleaning the house I sat still. And laid still.

All day long.

I still really wanted to be productive though, so P and I played with construction paper and a single hole punch and glue, we "ate" cupcakes (they're made of felt), and I sewed little hand-sewing things. I can't say too much about it because the recipients all read my blog. But for a teaser, they were inspired by a cheap IKEA score + a favorite illustrator + this baby book interpretation (made by my favorite blogger), which was originally in this book. And that's all I'm gonna give ya!

I will take pictures and post them after Christmas, which is no help to the rest of you - but let's face it - I know that most of the people who read my blog are my friends and they HAVE my email address. If you need hand-sewy ideas for christmas, email me.

Love to everyone!


Monday, October 18, 2010


Granny came to visit us this weekend!
I had asked her to help James complete one of the requirements for his Bear Cub Scout Badge, so she came prepared to help him build....


(I've just realized there's not a good "all finished pic" - but I have a headache and you can see it in the last picture - sort of)

He was super-proud to take it to his Den Meeting tonight. I was worried that the event would not meet up to the expectation. But all the boys were really impressed, and looked and looked at our pictures and the tools and asked questions. James got to do a little talk on what each tool was, and impressed them even more when he told them, they were all HIS!

Thank you so much Granny.
You are amazing.
You are super-cool.

Love you,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Art and Ocean

While we were at IKEA getting dining room chairs, I found little unstained picture frames for really cheap! I bought three bundles. For the longest time I couldn't decide what to put in them...
pretty scrapbook paper?
photos of my kids?
(my favorite and I WILL do it eventually)
pictures from old children's books
finally I settled on the DIY option:
tiny painted still-lifes.
(Are they still-life if there is just one
object in the picture?)
Peter helped me paint the frames in blue, pink, and very bright yellow (in other words, what I had in the bin below my bed).

Here is Peter with his favorite painting.
I was inspired by the art in Richard Scarry books - that is - the art that is hanging on the walls of the animals houses. It's nearly always vegetables or fruit. My favorite is a still life of five or six apples that hangs on the wall in Dr. Lion's clinic (Postman Pig and his Busy Neighbors).

When the husband gets them hung I will show you how they all look together!

I'm also working on refashioning some of my clothes to be nursing-friendly. I'm really in love with the t-shirt refashions from Tea Rose Home. One dress that was already nursing-friendly needs a little spiffing up so I've been working on that.

Today was Columbus Day and J had the day off from school (unfortunately the Husband didn't). P, J, and I all drove to Galveston this morning to play at the beach. It was really perfect weather. Warm but not sultry, with a light breeze. Best of all the tide had created a tide-pool and sand-bar which you don't usually get in Galveston. It was perfect for P who is still afraid of the waves. We had an exceptionally good time!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Big Tummy

Well, here it is folks: The big tummy! I am six weeks until my due date and I feel like I felt full term with the other two.

sparkling white grape juice
purple grape juice

There seems to be a protein trend in that list. I AM taking vitamins. This is a first for me. Luckily I found PreNatal Gummy Vitamins at Target otherwise I think I'd be awov (away with out vitamins). I saw a doctor yesterday at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, and today God arranged for me to meet a lady at the mall playground who had worked in the maternity ward there! I'm feeling positive about staying there even though it's about ten times larger than either of the hospitals I've delivered at before.

Six Weeks.
We can do this!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rural Community by James

First is a lunch sack I made from a pattern I saw online somewhere (I think I started at Meet Me at Mikes and went from there - who knows?).

Then there's James working on his model of a rural community.

I helped him make buildings. Then he laid them out and traced them, painted the box. Here you can see him rolling out black clay to make roads. It was so great. When he was done the clay looked just like the patchy tarmac you see in small towns.

You can see the road layout, and then - TaDA! buildings and bushes and trees and crops!

This is my favorite view: the Feed Store nestled next to the Wal-Mart

The next day Peter wanted to make a model of his own.
More on that next time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What the..?

Every time I have moved, there has been a moment of Why? Not why am I moving (well that happens too but in this case - not). Let's just get to it.

Moving out of Cuero: Helper - Corrie (and by helper, I mean the person who made it happen) unearths my collection of styrofoam egg cartons hiding atop the refrigerator. I don't know why I kept them, they always seemed on the verge of being helpful. We didn't have internet at home back then or maybe they really could have been.

Moving out of Hillsboro: Among lots of Helpers - Holly asks "Why do you have four jars of peanut butter? And they've all been opened?" (The problem there was that I had a ridiculously skinny pantry that was really deep. I could barely touch the back with one arm stuck in and my head pressing against the jamb. They simply got lost in there.)

Moving in to Houston: (less embarassing this time, or maybe everyone was too nice to mention it) I find no less that three boxes of swiffer wet-jet pads. And yes they've all been opened. I don't know how I ended up with three! One of the boxes got smashed and hidden under the stroller in my trunk. The other two...just wanderers I guess.

Does anyone else have this problem? I don't know why this happens - but I think I'm getting a little better every time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

All things new

Well, all things are not new, but here are all the things that are. New. Is that clear?

Exhibit A
The adorable red and white children fabric (it's actually more of an unbleached white than a bright white) came from the new quilt and smock store I found (with the help of my Aunt Denny) just north of here about 15 minutes. I'm pumped about this store. They sell really sweet quilt fabrics that you just don't see at JoAnn's AND they sell garments for children that are all ready to smock. They even had some little boy onesies. Now they cost an arm and a leg but at least if I want to give up an arm and a leg I know where to go.

So as I was looking for fabric for covering our new dining room chairs (Ingolf IKEA) I was concentrating on not getting sucked in to my usual lots of bright color vortex. I kept repeating "serene, neutral, serene, neutral" to myself. Serene and neutral are not my usual style.

I am trying something new because, you guessed it, I want to add more serenity (at least visually) to my life right now. Also neutrals make all the other brightly colored things I have look more like a plan and less like a catastrophe.

My living room right now is plain vanilla - but it has lots of light. I've decided to keep the vanilla and add strawberries, raspberries and cherries (translate: a discriminate but unpicky use of the color red). I already collect red glass, and have some fake red flowers here and about so that drove the purchase of a red and white fabric. I justified this fabric with my boy-laden family because of the five different children on it, four are boys.
Exhibit B
Then the polka dots were just too sweet without actually having flowers. I totally forgot to buy enough for the back of the cushion but when I got home I had some red corduroy in my edited stash so now my cushions are reversible. You can see the red in one of the pictures.

Smart moment:
I traced the template from the chair seat right BEFORE Mark assembled the chair!
I scalloped the edges because, well, it's awesome, I love scallops and it absolutely HAD to be that way.

I am so happy to be back online, I can tell that my personal editing function has fallen asleep. I have no way of holding back. It seems I'm going to bore everyone with all the details for a while because I CAN!
Exhibit C:
Other new things we have been totally blessed to be able to afford (in a large part because my parents paid for our moving costs):
A new recliner for Mark (slightly smaller, a non-broken lever, and no crumbs from previous owners way down in the crack)
new dining room chairs from IKEA (Ingolf - they don't pinch you in the shoulder blade when you lean back, and they actually slide under the table)
a new camera! With money from the piano I grew up playing I got the Olympus Stylus TOUGH. I got really close to getting a DSLR but then I thought wait, I have sons. This camera can go under water and is dust and snow resistant (so we can take it to the beach), it also withstands falls of about 5 ft, and 200 lbs of pressure!
It may sound like I'm bragging but what I really mean to do is say I'm so incredibly blessed to have these things. They are just things, but it is so nice to have them. They don't make life all that much easier they are just an extra blessing. I thank the Lord for these gifts, I thank my husband who works hard at his job everyday by God's grace, and I thank my parents who are full of generosity and thoughtfulness.
God bless you all and Happy Sunday

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Send me a kiss by Wireless

I'm back! I'm back! I'm back!
It took about 5 minutes for Mark to get on the computer (btw my "C" key doesn't seem to want to work so look out for that), and then get customer service on the phone and get us our internet. It was supposed to be my job to do this all week, but calling computer help always intimidates me. Not as bad as talking to car mechanics though.
Talking to mechanics is the worst. I don't think it should be so hard for them to tell me the problem succinctly and then I can memorize what they said and repeat it back to my husband (a lot like the wife-bot in Serendipity). But no! First it's "do you know what a belt is?" and "you've got a timing problem..." All I have to say is just wait until they need someone to compose a two-part invention or a fugue - then the shoe will be on the other foot!
Speaking of wife-bots, Mark and I watched "Killers" last night. At one point Katherine Heigl plays the little-used and greatly under-appreciated I'm-just-a-dating-robot-trying-to-learn-your-ways ploy to cover a social embarassment.
I love this movie. Mark really enjoyed it too. And we each enjoyed it for completely different reasons. I loved how much the opening reminded me of "To catch a Thief" (Cary Grant and Grace Kelly), and then it morphs into a sort of James Bond + "Please don't eat the Daisies."
There was some language, and some innappropriate references to pornography (you didn't see any thing but they mention it), and of course as you may have guessed from the title, killing.
The killing was not gory though and I appreciate that. You see the car at the bottom of the cliff, you see the woman get shot, but no blood spurts or rearranged limbs.
What I MOST appreciate though was the marriage between these two people. Their love didn't evaporate when they were literally under fire. There was still humor, and logic, and reason. My absolute favorite moment (spoiler alert) is when the wife says:
Are we even married? I mean legally married, not like (extreme sarcasm) a 'marriage of the heart'.
I love this moment and now I'm going to over analyze it.
Hollywood tries and tries to say marriage doesn't really matter, commitment doesn't need a piece of paper etc. But over and over again, what they say is that this doesn't really ring true, and we all know that the true romantic comedy ends with a wedding or at least a diamond ring. It just doesn't ring true without it. Even in "He's Just Not That In To You" (which I enjoyed for how close it got to the truth albeit in a purely secular way) Anniston finally gives in and just wants her boyfriend Affleck back because he's better than all her sisters' husbands - then everyone breathes a sigh of relief because Anniston gets an engagement ring after all.
The message between the lines? Marriage really does matter.
And not just a "marriage of the heart."

IN other news, my favorite blogger has released her Christmas ornament kit. She does a new one every year and they are beautiful. I can't really afford it, but many can because they sell out every year. I think it's been out a week and I don't expect it to last long because it's really really cute. You can see it at her blog here.

Now I have to go figure out my new digital camera which will be one of the subjects of my next post, along with my new home-made seat cushions!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cucumis Reservo Gratia

I've reached my tipping point in this pregnancy. What that means for me is that I've reached the point where I start tipping over. Literally. Two days ago I turned my head and had to steady myself against the wall. I've suddenly started running into doors, and walls. It's not just a matter of mass, there's also density. This morning Peter bumped into the kitchen table, and ricocheted - his head bouncing off my stomach before he got clear. Needless to say I couldn't really prevent this - my arms don't really reach down there anymore. I am thankful that after tomorrow (Deo gratias) I will not be required to climb stairs to get home. Upon being required to climb stairs for any reason I plan to play the quite large pregancy card and request that the doctor's office, post office, bank, or whatever descend, quite literally, to my level. Not sure it'll work - but not for my not trying.
Small graces have been my joy lately - something I've begun to think of as "pickle grace" for the laity or Cucumis Reservo Gratia for those initiated into the mysteries of online translators. There is small grace of conversation with an adult at a playground, a cheerful waitress, the anticipation of being back in the operational zone of my favorite grocery store, future near proximity to the beach, and hairstyle-enhancing humidity (which is the only useful purpose of the humidity surrounding the sub-tropical zone known as "Houston"), the opportunity to grow tropical plants in pots on my apartment patio (okay - one more use of humidity), since the entire area code feels and smells like a greenhouse anyway.
Pickle grace originates with small postulants such as:
I am a sinner and I don't deserve more than four small pickles on my hamburger.
Jesus died for my sins, and clothed me in his righteousness.
Now I can not feel guilty about having six to eight pickles on my hamburger depending on the size of the hamburger (or the health of my cardio-system).
It is for pickles that Christ has set us free.
Those of you who know me really well, are thinking right now: "But Lissa, you don't even like pickles." This is, of course, true (sorry - I've been reading Bill Bryson and picked up his syntax and rhythm a little - and to friends of Doug Garrett - tell him "A Brief History of Nearly Everything" is at Clark Dunlap's house). I don't like pickles. But when God gives us the wherewithal to buy pecks of pickles, as Piper might say: God is most glorified in us when we glorify him for pickles and enjoy him and them forever.
There, I've worked pickles, peck, and Piper into one sentence that wasn't a tongue twister. I can die knowing I've done something of worth. Or failing that, I can look back one day and say
"Dang that move sure made me crazy!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poetry in Motion

She did not live in Cornwall, in a white-washed cottage blasted by winds in the wintertime. She did not live in India in sugar-confection-like cottage like something she'd seen in an opera once. She did not even live in blinding bright and thirsty west Texas, where she might have seen the stars at night scattered across the black as though God had carelessly emptied his hole-puncher. She lived in Dallas. And there was nothing poetic about Dallas. Every now and then she and her husband were able to treat themselves to some event downtown and she hired a sitter, and found something to wear, hose with no holes and they would drive south toward the sparkly skyline with the famous glittering globe, with carseats in the back, empty.
It was all very sophisticated and exciting but, not poetic.
No there was nothing poetic about Dallas, unless it was the sort of poetry about ugliness which she didn't like anyway.

But, then again, she was surrounded by childhood and was lucky enough to have a tree outside her balcony, a constantly moving wallpaper inhabited by a squirrel her oldest had named George. Her youngest had learned about robins and their red tummies and would announce any arrivals at the top of his lungs. She was blessed enough to have a communal lawn (frequently a soccer or battle field) directly below and also beyond this the communal playground.

There is, she realized, everything poetic about childhood. Perhaps even thats where all poetry really comes from - from when we experience beauty without hint of anxiety or worry. When it's important to know who has the toughest feet, and the highlight of your sons day is being aloud to climb the chain link fence to get his brother's ball. There is the poetry of the playground surrounded by a black-painted metal fence which the little ones walk along with their feet between the bars, slowly, methodically circumnavigating the area. There is the poetry of the snow-cone vendor who has just opened his tiny shop for the summer. Since he is only a block away the whole family walks there on fine Friday evenings after dinner for exotic flavors. Her oldest son rides his bike. There is the poetry of fresh homemade popsicles melting down their hands and dripping onto their legs leaving purple stripes. Tomorrow, she decided we will have jello poetry, and make all the jiggly jello jokes.

And soon, in the fall there would be more poetry. Late night feeding poetry, the exhausting beauty of a new baby who wanted only her. Who smelled slightly of sour-milk, warm as mashed potatoes, lumpy as brown sugar.
No, Dallas might not be picturesque, but her life certainly was.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bib Business

Thank you everyone for your advice and encouragement after my last (rather emotional) blog. I really appreciate all three or so of you!

Today my mother came over and together, she and I sewed about a million bibs. I got them started and she did all the pretty finishing. I had the easy part. Okay we didn't really make a million. We made around 3 dozen, I know - splitting hairs there. What with each of us taking a trip to the fabric store (literally across the street!), one toddler, one laughable small dog in heat, and one second grader who got sick and had to come home early from school, it was a fun-filled day. One very bored Iowan who shall be nameless also called us once or twice (each).

My motivation for this business had been waning steadily, I kept thinking: "other people are going to do this better, why would anyone want to buy mine?" But having Mom here really pepped me up. Now I keep thinking...she always has these great ideas right before everyone else, maybe we can hit the wave as it's rising instead of falling. We'll give it a shot anyway.

Peter is learning the power of the Wheedle. He knows that a smile can get him 80% of what he wants, "pleeeeeeeease Mom?" adds on another 5%, and running to hug me right before he asks is a solid 10% odd's increase. We came home from Wally-world with crazy straws, and new markers for him for no good reason at all on Wednesday.
Now because this is my blog, and I am under no oblogation to be interesting, here is our dinner schedule as of late.

Wednesday: Tostadas with refried beans and cheese
Thursday: Little Caesars Pizza
Friday (tomorrow): Beef Fajitas
Saturday: Corrie's gluten-free chicken enchiladas which everyone except Peter absolutely loves.
Sunday: TBA (hopefully something Asian, because I think I'm all Mexicaned out)

Drumroll please......

Here are some pics of the new improved (sniff sniff sniff) Peter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Elbows and Daisies

I have been really busy lately. Several of my friends are pregnant so I have gotten on the ball and made a couple of gift sets, a couple more to go. Here's what I've got...

A matching quilt, pillow, and picture frame featuring the little engine that could.

It's for a baby whose gender will be unknown until birth. I thought it was good compromise, locomotives for boys, retro female heroine for a girl.

This started with the frame over a year ago - a way to salvage a book whose binding was falling a part. I cut out pictures and glued them to a craft-store cardboard picture frame.

A few months later I found the big fabric panel on the sale table at Hancocks. Cut in pieces it became the pillow (which I think looks BOUTIQUEFULLY AWESOME!), and the blanket. There were more squares of the story on the panel, but I didn't have enough of my red backing to accomodate it. The best part is that I didn't spend any MORE money on the little engine that could project. Even the batting is two large scraps from another baby quilt. I felt really proud to be so frugal.

And a hooded sweater and matching pink elephant for a baby girl that's due any day. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to drop by their house tomorrow and find a tiny new baby! The sweater was supposed to be newborn size, but my crocheting always comes out a little large. As you can see, Pinky enjoys hiding out in the hood. I love how the hood creates a wee bit of sailor collar in the front.

The pictures of Peter show his last curly-haired day.

We went home and I cut his hair.

It was awful. Peter did not want to be still, and I did not want to cut his hair.

Why, then did you cut it dear Liza dear Liza?

To get rid of the knots, and crying in the bathtub, and hotness dear Henry dear Henry.

At least, that all made sense 'til it was done.

Then I started crying. I cried on and off for the next eight hours. It was worst at night, and slightly better in the morning. Thankfully Peter still ACTS the same (don't laugh people, sometimes they DON'T act the same). I think I've gotten used to it after a week, but seeing these pictures still gives me a pang.

But Peter no longer screams in the bathtub while you pull at his tangles with a comb dear Liza dear Liza

Oh stuff it dear Henry dear Henry dear Henry

Peter gets lots of elbows. Sometimes he falls down and gets an elbow on his knee. Sometimes he and James play a little too roughly and he gets an elbow. Sometimes there is an elbow on his head. A few days ago he was really worried because I had an elbow on my head. It was just a little scab from a pimple, but he went on an on.

"Does your elbow hurt you mom?"

"No Pete, I'm okay."

"Your elbow is bleeding Mom?"

"No it's not."

and back to the beginning...

"Your elbow is hurting you Mom?"

Also there are a lot of oopey daisies. Any time Peter drops something it's "Oopey Daisy!"
If I drop something, "Oopey Daisy!"
If anyone drops anything (it's especially funny with Mark), we hear a tiny "oopey daisy!" issuing up from the floor.

I'm really struggling with James right now. He seems to be constantly arguing with me. Arguing is sort of a harsh term for what he does, but that's really what it boils down to. For everything I tell him, he has a reason why he should do it his way - so I explain why THAT reason won't work, then he has another reason, so I explain why THAT one won't work, and he'll have another reason. Usually by that point I explain why THAT one won't work in an angry voice and then raise my voice to get him to obey already.

That's on a good day. On a bad day I just get mad at the beginning and it saves time.

I hate being mad all the time.

James is also supersensitive and will burst into tears anytime I try to change anything. He was ready to fall apart over spelling homework today before he even started. On top of that he's really emotionally manipulative. I tried to patiently explain that with all his "reasoning" every time we asked him to do something, we were tired of listening to them - because it happens everytime! I tried to explain that if he would just go ahead and obey more often, then, when he had something he really really felt was important, then we could listen.

"You're never going to listen to me AGAIN!"

"No, no, it's just used up tonight, it will build back again - like health in a video game..." I wait for a minute for him to calm down.

"Do you understand James?"


That's when I got really angry. I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. Obviously James was tired too, but we have told him again and again not to say that...

I mean what are we supposed to say back?

It immediately puts us in a position of wrongness...

"no no sweetie you're not a bad kid!"

I refuse to answer that sort of statement from him.

So I'm really sort of at a loss here. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells all the time around him (stop laughing Mom, I didn't think this would happen 'til he was a teenager), and I'm exhausted by his argueing.

So this blog isn't a complete downer, let me tell you about right now.

James has dutifully done spelling homework (tears averted), and is practicing the violin. He is a smart kid and he puts up with a lot from Peter.

I'm praying right now that God provides a way for James to have his own room. Sharing a room with a destructive two-year-old contributes a lot to his stress level. He has wonderful educational toys that he can never play with because there's no room for him to spread out with enough time to accomplish anything.

Now James has finished practicing violin, and Peter exclaims "Great Job James!" He's pretty cute even though he IS destructive.

That's all for now.

It sure is good to have our computer back.

Oh and pray for Mark, he has UIL band on Wednesday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fancy Skirt goes to a Jazz Concert!

Fancy Skirt (along with her sidekicks: Vampira Pointy-Toes, and DahPlungah Tizzle) went to a Jazz Concert at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. They noted other members of the Pointy-Toes family. It's a very old family, a member of Hertfordshire branch of Toes. So they felt right at home. Left Knee kept horning in on their fun giving them some trouble but they blew her off and ignored her despite her grumbling.

They were escorted by none other than the elusive and finicky Pin Stripe Suit,(they agree he is toothsome) and Blue Dress Shirt. He is an old friend they have not seen as much of as late and were delighted to greet.

Fancy Skirt recieved a compliment during a visit to the powder room, and was pleased to note that she was neither overdressed, nor underdressed, but like Goldilocks (without the breaking and entering) was "just right." DahPlungah Tizzle (the artist formerly known as My Really Really Low V-neck, but don't we all agree that's no fun at all?) was really the only friend that Fancy Skirt wanted to go with on account of fabric and proportion considerations.

Vampira wants it noted that she didn't stumble or trip ever. Not once. Visions of weak ankles had been keeping her up nights with dreams of broken legs and facial cuts and abrasions. But everything went smoothly despite I. M. Pei's obsession with white marble staircases.

A cameo appearance was made by Blackie the Beaded Clutch. She was not originally slated to be part of the evening. A certain Pearl Clutch from Iowa was on the call list, but couldn't make it out of the Apartment Offices in time. Blackie behaved herself very well, and did not forget herself on table, or under chair.

Everything came to a head for our intrepid girls when they arrived at the green room after the show. Standing around, trying not to embarass themselves with inane small talk, they followed the proverb and keeping silent "appeared wise." They were amply rewarded with a site, nay even a chat and hug from the great Wynton Marsalis himself! Pin Stripe and Blue were beside themselves with awe. They could hardly speak. Fancy Skirt rose to the occasion (but to nothing else) and made small talk mentioning Pin Stripe's profession, and giving the great Marsalis something to chat with them about. (Fancy skirt knows that is a dangling participle, but really dangling is all the fashion this season) Fancy Skirt is sure that Pin Strip will soon give an account of this on his blog here. So if you want to hear a more coherent, but less fashion-conscious account - keep an eye out.

Have a fancy day everyone!
With kisses,
Fancy Skirt

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Finished It!

With great joy I finally finished it! I probably devoted way too much time to it, but time I had, and money I did not.
I did have to buy some fabric, but it was on sale, so I spent $4. I also bought a zipper. AND THAT WAS IT! Everything else I had.
I am not typing very much, since I need to go play with my two year old who has missed me. I look forward to wearing it to the Jazz Concert tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fancy skirt update

On Saturday I must finish making my fancy skirt, yea even by Friday it must be done.

Because I'm baby sitting on Saturday, and going to the concert Saturday night.

It's coming a long well. First I made myself a basic straight skirt from a pattern I had in my archives. I made it of a thick unbleached cotton, a kind of canvas. I fitted to me as exactly as I could myself (yearning for a dressmaker's model like Barbara), then put in a side seam zipper. I forgot to put in a pocket which I usually do even when there's no pocket in the pattern. I cut out 6.5" strips of unbleached muslin (I had a lot) and what I could find of bleached muslin (not so much) and ironed it into a 3.25" ruffle. I liked the length of the raw edge of the skirt so I lined the ruffles up with it (I will hem it under later and I won't have to worry about perfect evenness because it'll be hiding uder the ruffles) and hand pleated them in a random, organic fashion.
I was striving for an orderly randomness.
I got about halfway up before I ran out white.
A slit in the back gave me a little trouble, as it's "two ruffles tall." I didn't want it to be really noticeable. I ended up starting and stopping the ruffle at the very bottom, and at the top having a ruffle cover up the slit. So I now have a 5" slit that looks like a 2" slit.

Today I will be cutting out more white ruffles (and being very careful with my rotary cutter so as not to need to get more stitches) and ironing and pinning. I will be trying to get as much done today as possible because I also still need to make a waist band. Maybe I can work a cell-phone pocket into that?
Although the rest of the skirt is cotton muslin, and therefore, not shiny - I thought I'd make the waist band out of a bit of off-white satin that I have. I plan to make it at least 3" tall (maybe more) and incorporate two cloth-covered buttons of the muslin. Then, if I ever want to tuck in a shirt to be more fancy the satin will show.
I'm excited because I think I'm creating a skirt I can wear for Easter (to our very undressy church) as well as to an evening at the Meyerson Concert Hall in Dallas. No easy feat, it required several phone calls to my Cedar Rapids style pulse-keeper. She keeps me from getting to historical when I sew.I can easily slip into what was stylish in 1780. But when I show up somewhere with pannieres on I feel stupid. I have the heart of Tasha Tudor but not the stamina. Oh well. My man probably prefers it that way!

In other news, Corrie and I have added more content to our website! You can now read the first chapter of each of our novels. Also Corrie has written a tasty essay on humor! Come see us at: !

Oh I almost forgot. I've looked all over McCall's, Butterick, Vogue, Burda (I'm heading for Simplicity next) because I want to make a shirt like this. Does anyone have any ideas where I should look? I have fabric that I haven't known what to do with and this would be perfect! The original blouse is from but it's not in my size.