Sunday, September 23, 2012


Sometimes I feel really lazy. I mean super duper lazy. This doesn't happen often mostly because I have kids and a life and that makes being lazy impossible (sleeping in isn't even sleeping in anymore. I'm excited if I wake up and it's after seven). But, sometimes I get to be lazy. Laziness mostly hits me when I'm cold. How can I be expected to do anything if I'm snuggled under a blanket?

Sunday I got a real bad case of the lazy. In my defense I wore my super cute plaid dress to church, with my vintage shoes and short sleeved bolero and it was not warm in that Holy building. Not warm at all. So by the time we got home the crisp fall weather was making my nose feel like an ice berg. I got into a pair of very worn jeans and a super stretched out sweater and then plastered myself on Brian. It seemed like I was trying to be snuggly but really I was just trying to steal his body heat (If I'd known better I would have put that into our vows "Your warmth, Oh Brian, shall be Jessie's warmth..."). Then I wanted coffee, and my laptop to surf the web and I was sooooo cozy and walking up the basement steps would be a near impossible feat.

You know what? My dearest love made the coffee and brought me a cup and brought me my computer (that necessitated two trips up and down the stairs). Then our youngest was yelling from his bed (nap time) that he needed to poop. Brian took care of that too, (but as punishment he put the dog out and I had to let him in). I don't get to be lazy very often but when I do it's because my husband is so great about taking care of me and things. Just so I can try and warm up my knee caps (there still cold in case you were wondering).

Side note: It looks like a dead person is laying on my sewing room floor but it's really the finished outer shell of the rain jacket. Hooray! Getting so much closer to having it finished. Today I surfed the web for rain boots.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The rain jacket part III

I find I don't sew properly if Pandora isn't playing.
I also need tea and a square of chocolate.
Or a few squares...

It's coming along. Not even slowly sort of at a surprising clip. I've taken my own advice and just look at one step of the directions at a time. Broken down it doesn't seem so bad. Make a pocket, I can make a pocket. There are a couple things coming in the near future that make me scratch my head, but I will get to that, maybe by then it will make more sense... Or maybe not. There is this one spot where I think I'll have to go off "the reservation" and that makes me a bit nervous. I've always been a "follow the rules" kind of gal especially when it's something I'm unsure of.
The mess.
I am so thankful for my sewing room. With it I have all this floor space to lay out fabric and pattern pieces and cut. My pattern instructions are laying in the middle of the floor completely spread out so I can look at them whenever I need to without unfolding it and finding my place.

This fabric is so long it takes up the entire length of the room.
I almost cut out the pieces upside down!!!

Because I'm sewing with plastic (basically) I'm sealing the seams with this really stinky glue stuff. Hopefully it will prevent water from seeping in behind the holes.

A Pocket!!
One thing that is super weird about sewing with this stuff is that you can't iron it. If you sew you know you iron a lot. This stuff will melt right to your ironing plate (thankfully I read about that before I did it myself. That is totally something I would do). Instead I stack books on top of whatever needs a crease, It doesn't work very well but it's what I've got.

I am really hoping to have this jacket done by October. For one thing if it takes much longer then that I won't be able to use it until the following spring and that would be a bummer! Secondly I'm going to a writer's conference then and I really want to wear it there. Why do I want to wear it there? I have friends that will be attending and who doesn't want their friends to ooh and aah over something they made? Really it's good for me to have an actual deadline or some things never get done.
Honestly this picture is for my sister Heather
and all other dog squishers out there.

I suppose that's why I'm going to this conference in the first place. I love writing (and I do consider blogging to be a big part of this) and I would love to put some of my fiction out there for other's to read. To be able to help my family financially would just be amazing. BUT I have the worst time being consistent at it.  The best luck I've had is when I'm around other writers; being inspired by them and pushed by them. I'm hoping that this conference (which my husband encouraged me to attend b/c I couldn't get past the cost of it. He's so good isn't he?) will inspire me to really get to it! To "Just Do It!" as the Nike saying goes. And, I have a big looming question I'm hoping this conference can help answer: when do you give up on an idea and move on to a different one? When do you accept that a story isn't very good at all? When is it truly bad and when is it just getting over the hump? I don't know how to answer those questions and their on my mind a lot. Almost constantly right now.  Well, anyway, I'm hoping to attend the Breath Writer's Conference with a smart new rain jacket and a quirky new skirt and find some answers. If your interested in what other local writers are hoping to get out of the conference check click here.

Thanks for sticking with me faithful readers. So many times I feel discouraged and even with this blog I want to throw in the towel. I'll start down the dark path that "no one reads this drivel!" and almost always I'll get an encouraging comment here, on Facebook or even in person, and it will bring me so much encouragement and hope. Thanks for that.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The world is full of inspiration; the woods and the sky, children at play, the LL Bean catalogue...

I see you looking at me a little mystified. I know it's strange but I get a thrill when I see those glossy pages peeking out at me in the mail box. I don't think I've ever bought anything from them as their costs are a little out of my price range but I sure have dreamed about it. The LL Bean catalogue has taken my mind on many glorious backwood hikes.  Let me show you...

In my mind I wake early and after a morning cup of coffee drank from a tin cup and made at my old stove  I don my plaid wellies and step into the misty morning. We live in a cottage tucked back into the woods at the edge of a lake and every morning the dogs and I gather up the eggs from our hens that scratch around the backyard. The crispness of fall is in the air and I contemplate either kayaking our little lake later or a trip to the apple orchard. Either way I know I'll look smart in my comfy flannel shirt perfect for this woodsy lifestyle of mine.

I breath in the spicy scent of pine and think of Christmas just around the corner. Both our dogs (a corgi for me and a bull dog for Brian, though, both dogs prefer me of course) stay close by my side because they know we're about to hike into the woods.

Late that evening I snuggle up on my couch next to a merry little fire. My dogs are snuggled into their monogramed doggy bed. I have a cup of warm cider from the orchard next to me and some knitting in my lap. Brian looks at me lovingly and I think, "life doesn't get any better then this."

I think I should mention that Brian's dream is vastly different from mine. He wants to live in a place where he can see a football game i.e. Columbus. Maybe I could do Wisconsin where the packers are, maybe. I'm just hoping that by the time we can afford our "dreams" he'll want a more laid back lifestyle. It's also possible that we won't experience our dream living until we enter that sweet by and by at which point I assume teleporters will be available for use (how did we manage before teleportation?). Either way I'll keep dog earing pages of my LL Bean catalogue and dreaming of a pine scented life.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A few pictures.

At the beginning of the summer I had big plans to do fun crafts and cooking projects with the kids. Totally dropped the ball on that. We can blame it on the rain or lack thereof since it never rained we were outside a lot. And maybe my great ideas are really just practice for when I'm the most fun coolest Grandmother EVER!!!!

One of the things I did manage to do was make popcorn balls with the older two kids. It was soooo messy but very fun. We followed a Martha Stewart recipe and they were made with marshmallows, toffee and chocolate chips (yum). 

We made the popcorn in an air popper. Remember those?
The kids were amazed by it!

This summer I did get some great shopping in. One of the best finds of the year was this china set. I bought it because I liked it. Then I found out it's worth quite a bit of money (we got twenty pieces for $16!). I'm still using it though (because things should be used) and who knows maybe I'll find more some day. 

Any way I made my dear friend and neighbor Jen her birthday dessert. And used the dishes then. I let her pick out whatever she wanted for dessert and she picked out a brookie (cookie with brownie on the bottom). This is why we're seriously good friends!!!

Then I accidentally sat down and summer was over. Whoops! 

This is my oldest on his first day of real school. Kindergarten here he comes! Joyfully! Can't you tell? (He's actually doing great and I think likes it).

Friday, September 7, 2012

I Did Some Old Fashioned Tracing.

I finally got out my rain jacket pattern and started tracing the pieces. Tracing and cutting out the pattern pieces is my least favorite part of sewing. Some of my friends love it but to me it's messy and overwhelming and it's just the step getting in the way of me getting on with it! I used to never trace my patterns and just cut them to size (still hated it) but since I started investing in indy patterns I've made myself trace (the difference in price being very motivational to use the pattern again).

This is how I trace my pattern pieces.
I tape them to the window and then trace them onto
freezer paper. I often wonder if my neighbors think I nuts.
Sometimes I feel that life is like tracing a sewing pattern. I know what my big goals are (sew a rain jacket) but I have to wait and trace and when I pull out that giant tissue paper of pattern pieces I become quickly overwhelmed. In life I feel the same way a lot. I have goals: open an etsy shop, write a novel, raise two children, but I can't jump to the finished product and so many times I can't even get started because I'm overwhelmed with the first step. Finding time to make the product for the shop (to say nothing of photographing it and setting up the internet space), making myself sit and write when the story feels so flat and silly, eighteen years of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.... You get the idea.

But here's what happened when I finally started tracing the pattern today. I noticed that half the pieces were in a different size group, I could fold those up and put them back. Then I started tracing. One piece at a time I felt the puzzle coming together. One chomp of the scissors after one chomp, Pandora playing in the background. I stopped for lunch, I stopped to read a story to the kids, then I went back to it and before I knew it I had traced and cut all the pieces. Life is like that too, isn't it? Instead of focusing on all the millions of imagined steps from here to there we just need to focus on the one right in front of us. For me being overwhelmed can be paralyzing but today I think God showed me that I don't need to be overwhelmed I can take it one step at a time. Decide what I really need to worry about (is any one going to buy my novel doesn't really matter at this point since there isn't one) Start off the shop with a few pincushions and a few aprons, love the kids as much as possible, and for Heaven's sake sit down and right a page already!!

One step at a time sweet Jesus. One step at a time. (I'm not really sure if that's how the hymn goes I'm terrible with lyrics).