Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sewwww Long...

On my Facebook page I put "sewing" as one of my activities/interests. That is something I never thought would happen. And I'm still a pretty bad sewer, but the category is, after all, "sewing" and not "good sewing." I guess it began out of necessity. I am much too cheap to buy curtains, and they are pretty much just straight(ish) lines--pretty simple. I've been known to make slipcovers for pillows as well. That's about my speed.

Well I have tried things of more difficulty, which I can never accurately describe the ridiculousness of. Like the dress I tried to make. It had a drop waist with a gathered skirt, not so elementary. As for the facing, well I didn't know what that was, so I just sort of tried to "hem" around the neck. Somehow I managed to pick a pattern 3 sizes too big for me. The fabric was purple with a floral calico print. Okay, not to be stereotypical, but I looked like an old mountain woman in it. It fit literally like a very large potato sack. It was worth all the time and money spent just to laugh that hard.

When we bought a little cottage up in Michigan I lugged my trusty sewing machine up there to make the necessary curtains & pillow slipcovers. I liked my machine pretty well. It was just a $100 model I had bought at Target, or I think it was Venture then. Nothing fancy--I just need a straight stitch, and zig-zag if I'm feeling really crazy. But this was back a few years before stuff was made with plastic gears & such. It actually worked pretty well. But horror of horrors, in transit I dropped the foot pedal, and it broke.

My husband fixed it, sort of, but it still wasn't quite right. I should have just gone on the internet and found one on e-bay, but in a momentary lapse of judgment, I decided to take it to my dad. Now I had a seemingly good reason for this: My dad has a small manufacturing company and one of the things I knew he had produced was an industrial foot pedal. So I figured he might be able to do the repair quickly and easily.

I love my dad very much, and he is brilliant, but I could have told myself that I never should have left that machine in his hands. Because I would never see it again. He tried to fix it, but couldn't, so he decided to build me a whole new foot pedal. Cool, but in the mean time I had found a place where I could just buy one for $40. What? Didn't I want the super-industrial-one-of-a-kind-shiny, metal ($150) beast my dad was already working on?? Of course I did! Well, I never did see that magnificent foot pedal. It didn't work with my machine.

I am confident that eventually my dad could have got the thing to work. Only he has, as I said, a company to run and plenty of other fires to put out, projects, problems, etc. From time to time I would ask about my sewing machine. I don't remember what he said but the writing on the wall was getting clearer. Time ticked by and I discovered products like "stitch witchery" with which you can glue up curtain hems and the like. I tried not to be upset, but I was. Then, without my knowledge, my dad moved his business. I knew they would have to have thrown away as much junk as possible. My sewing machine had been sitting there for at least a year, probably much longer. I assumed it had gone in the dumpster.

Okay, this really is getting "sewwww long," so I will finish with a sequel. Peace out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Crazy Cat

I have too many hobbies. I forgot, before starting this, that I had started making a blankie upstairs. I remembered when I saw photos of other blankies while searching for the perfect photo for this blog post, pictured above.

I just ordered a bunch of sheet music and it came and it's all too easy and hokey. Very disappointing. So I ordered some more. But this time I set my computer on the piano, put on my magnifiers, and tried playing the example page arrangements first. It is hard to pinpoint my skill level in piano, because I really only like playing things that are too hard for me. But that's okay; I'm dogged.

So, hobbies, occupations, vocations...I have been a parent for quite a while and have seen all kinds of choices being made regarding children and just how-much-time-are-we-going-to-invest-in-their-interests? Time and effort (oh, and cash). When it comes down to it, none of my kids were ever going to be in the Olympics anyway, but had they had the talent...I just don't know if I would have been up for it. Not saying that's a good thing. I lament not focusing enough on any one thing, somewhat.

But let's face it, I value the distractions in life--maybe too much. It's the once-hippie-homeschooler in me. Like, wow. My 8-year-old had his first baseball game yesterday. He did well at bat, kind of left field in the field. But I like this league, because it's all about having fun. There are some really good kids on the team, and they pretty much covered the others, but that seemed just fine for everyone. It was nice, enjoyable, even.

Lately this same kid has been getting very sick of school, even though we homeschool. Like, with stomachaches & headaches that magically dematerialize when he's away from the books. I am confounded. I mean, he has no real school stress. No bullies, no peer pressure, no tedious hours of clock watching, no lessons too easy or too hard...I don't get it. He has a great teacher!

Well, maybe it'll be better next year when his brother is forced to do kindergarten. My big guy will want to be in on all that cutting & gluing stuff. I do think it's kind of sad that kindergarten is only one year. Seems like it could be longer. Especially for kids like my slugger, and me.