Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Socks

I've got a couple of 'nopes' and one 'maybe' in this post. Let's see the 'nopes'.

There's nothing wrong with plain colored socks. On the list of possibilities are those aqua colored ones, although they have fine yellow stripes. The right color would be okay. This isn't the right color.

The other problem is that these socks are a heavy cotton and don't fit comfortably into the shoes. Burgundy and lemon were a "hot" combination a few years ago. That seems to be the story of my life. Ooooh, nice color combination, about 5 years after it was popular.

Another pair that don't make the cut for color and heft are these.

One should not upstage the bride when one is dressing to attend a wedding. I'm afraid that the color would draw attention to my feet at a time when the attention needs to be on Carole. It helps in the decision that these are way too heavy to fit into the shoes. I wear these when I'm working out in the field, particularly on cold days. I put them on and think, "I should try to find more like these, for work."

In the "maybe" category is this pair.

They don't look like much, just cardinals on green branches. But in the shoes, there was a distinctiveness that I rather liked.

They rank with the cat socks shown earlier. These would be comfortable and are just quirky enough to be me. So, I'm adding them to the pile with the aqua socks, the blue stripe socks and the cat socks. We're getting somewhere.

Beverage:  Water


How to Trap A Cat, or Two

It's that time of year when the papers fly and you dread the application of time and math skills or your lack thereof. It's tax time. The last piece of major paper I needed arrived on Saturday so I spent last night sorting papers into piles to make sure I have all my documentation to do taxes this weekend. I use Tax Act which I found to be easier for me to process than TurboTax. Both still require that I have everything in order before I sit down. I have a tendency to use the "piling" system instead of a "filing system" which means I have to sort and then file the ream of paper generated from the last time I filed everything.

I was rather proud of myself. Although it appeared to be a huge pile, once sorted into the various categories, it didn't turn out to be that much, at least in comparison to some years. I also found a couple of pieces of paper I need for other things and discovered I could recycle some papers I no longer need to keep. The actual act of pitching stuff into the recycling bin is very cathartic.

I went to make tea to have as I actually filed stuff, not piled it back where it came from. When I returned to the bedroom, I found this.

Put out paper of any sort and you've got an instant cat trap. They've been rather argumentative with each other lately. I'm not sure why. There have been some rather nasty growling and hissing episodes of late so to see them resting calmly in proximity to each other is gratifying. I can file this stuff later.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


Frustration, Thy Name Is Starbucks

My best friend, Patt (not to be confused with my best friend, Pam. I love how my best friends' names start with "Pa". I know they would be good friends if they ever met, but I digress.) sent me a Starbucks card for my birthday. I don't drink coffee but they have tea and, right now, hot cocoa is all the rage. There is a Starbucks 2 blocks west of the office. I drive by it coming to and going home from work. And drive by is all I've been able to do.

Perhaps it's a sign of the times, that the economy is better or people are taking the savings they have earned from gas being half the cost it was a year ago and turning that into venti double espressos but the drive through line and their parking lot are always packed. The city fathers of Glen Ellyn didn't think the whole location of the drive through very well because on some days, traffic waiting for drive through backs out onto busy Roosevelt Road. I have cursed coffee drinkers and their need to pick it up from their car when I can't get around them. Had the drive through been positioned a couple car lengths further into the lot, it wouldn't stop traffic, even on busy days.

But what to make of the perpetually full parking lot? Well, there is a Chipotle in this small strip mall so perhaps the problem lies with a mix of the two. There is probably overlap between beverages and pastries and quasi-Mexican lunch and dinner.

Whatever the case, I have not been able to get a hot cocoa since the week after Thanksgiving. I'm rather frustrated at that. I've driven by at several odd hours and there is just no place to pull in or park. Oh well, the card doesn't expire and I'm sure they'll make hot cocoa for me in June as well as making it in January, right?

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


Friday, January 23, 2015

New Sewing Project

It's taken me some time to push myself toward my next sewing project. I'm going to try to use up the fabric I have in the boxes in the closet. There's such a low motivation to sew, though. It's this danged being tired all the time business. But, I broke down cleaning off the living room table into small steps and, every day, did one thing. I also told myself that dealing with the stuff I had piled on the table did not mean just moving it from point "A" to point "B".  I had to actually deal with the stuff. By Tuesday, I had cleared off the table and pulled out the new project.

My goal is to use up my Iowa Hawkeye fabric. Initially, I pulled this hunk out.

It's fleece. I have several pieces of Hawkeye fleece I've picked up over the past few years. This would be the first one I'd sew with. I'm going to use this vest pattern.

It's extremely simple; a front, a back and a pocket piece. It shouldn't take me very long to whip out 5 vests for the great nieces and nephews, all from Hawkeye fabric. While the child on the front of the pattern is female, I think the pattern could be considered unisex. The front is held together with a button put through a self-fabric loop. Instead of the loop, I'm going to attach elastic to the front. I think that will be easier for the kids to dress themselves then; much more give to the loop than fabric, even fleece. Plus, the idea of turning fleece was not appealing. When you've sewn as long as I have, you recognize what things are liable to give you more headaches than they are worth. Making a 3 inch long loop is one of those things.

So, I pull out the pieces for the vest. I'm not going to line them with a different color fabric. I'm gong to use the same fabric. All the pieces are 60 inches wide so there should be ample material to cut double of what I need, except for this first vest. This one has to be the biggest. After that, I'll come back to the pattern and make the next sizes down. I remember, when multi-size patterns were introduced, cutting the a middle size and then having to get another pattern to cut the larger size. You can always cut things off, but you can't attach them back on.

It turns out the gray fabric doesn't have enough to cut double the largest size vest from. I would have had to do some seriously measuring and replacement, things I don't want to do because I don't really need to do. Just change the fabric. I pulled this hunk out of the bag.

There's more than enough of this to make the first vest AND to have some left over. My goal is to not have any left over because I know how hard it is for me to toss material which may have some potential use down the line. The gray fabric will meet that criteria for a smaller size vest, but the yellow yielded a strip which has potential for something else. I trimmed off the excess and added the strip to the project box.

Tonight, I'm pulling out the sewing machine and getting that set up. The vests don't need interfacing so it will be about sewing the pieces together, turning them and doing some hand stitching. Maybe I can get one done and the next one cut out this weekend.

I think these will be fun for the kids. At the very least, the adults should appreciate them.

And, by popular request, here is the pattern I used to make Larry's shirt.

I like the style. I have some material which would lend itself to this pattern.

Beverage:  Hot Cider