Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our Natural Disaster

To quote Winston Churchill, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

As natural disasters go, I certainly can't claim to be dealing with what my friends in Calgary are living through right now. But I got just a tiny taste of that horrified, sinking feeling when I took RB out to play in the yard after a thunderstorm last week, and found this:

I'm used to having to deal with the odd emergency here and there when the Captain is away for a long stretch, but this happened 3 days (THREE DAYS, people!) after he left. Seriously???

So I got up on the ladder to discover that the wood under the rain gutters had completely rotted away and needed to be replaced before the problem could be fixed. Off to Home Depot I went for treated boards. With a little help from a friend (long boards need someone to hold them up at either end if you want the job to be painless!), I got everything ship-shape again:



So here we are. One week into a six-month deployment, and I've learned how to fix rain gutter. If things go on like this, I'll be a licensed roofer by Christmas!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pillowcase Dress

I promised you something impressive. Hopefully this week's craft won't disappoint.

I had two yards of stretchy navy fabric that needed to either be used or donated. I believe I paid something like $6 for it. Here's what I came up with:


What? Not impressive enough?! I admit that waistline does have a bit of a 70's mu-mu vibe going on. Not exactly flattering, especially on my body type. The overly interested cat doesn't do the whole look any favours either. But look what happens when I cinch it in and pin the excess with a brooch:

Instant hourglass! I could actually wear this to one of the Captain's wing-dings--not bad for six bucks! I left the hemline long enough for heels, but if I ever have the urge to waddle around the house in a comfy maxi dress, I can put a thin belt around my waist and let a little extra fabric spill over the top:

Again, not the greatest look for me, but this kind of thing seems to be all over Old Navy right now, so who am I to judge?

You might be surprised to discover that this dress required only the most basic of sewing skills and no pattern. If you want to make one yourself, here's a good tutorial for a kids' version (for an adult size, just make the fabric wider and longer--not rocket science, I promise!): http://www.theribbonretreat.com/blog/pillowcase-dress-tutorial.html

Technical notes: I also attempted a shorter version of this dress in a non-stretchy cotton fabric. It was okay, but I much preferred the way this stretchy one hung on me, and with a stretch knit, you have the added bonus of not having to hem the thing because it won't fray. Hooray for laziness! I like the feel of this one much better too. That said, I need all my clothes to feel like I'm wearing an oversized t-shirt, so I might be being a little nit-picky here. Also, some stretch fabrics are very hard to sew with, so you have to weigh the pros and cons.

And now the pressure's on to complete teacher gifts and town fair entries. If I'm successful, I should have all kinds of things to show you next week, not to mention a full account of our latest natural disaster! Stay tuned!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Here We Go Again!

Well, the Captain has deployed for a third (and hopefully final!) time to Afghanistan. No break in the middle of his tour this time, so we won't see him until sometime around the winter solstice. Perk up your ears. Can you hear me ripping my hair out? Don't worry if you can't. It'll get louder and louder over the coming months.

As a result, I'm a little behind in posting my latest crafts. Rest assured, I have something positively impressive to share with you this week, just as soon as I get my photos uploaded. With the town fair approaching fast (so far I've made absolutely NOTHING on my list of about 10 planned entries), you might have to bear with me. In the meantime, here's a little something I found on Pinterest that should give you an idea of where my head is right about now:


Only 24 more hours until the weekend. Hang in there, everyone!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Shield Your Eyes!

I got a little behind in posting last week, but when you have a craft to share that could potentially blind your loyal blog following, it's not the sort of thing you want to go rushing into.

I decided long ago that wearing ratty old sweats to bed was not my thing. And just in case you're now worried that you're about to see a picture of me in some skimpy lacy leather thing that covers next to nothing, rest assured--that's not my thing either. But I do like something comfy that is also not falling apart at the seams, so every so often I make myself a new pair of pyjama pants.

This past week, things warmed up considerably in these parts. Finally, it actually feels like June! So I was in the market for some lighter weight PJ pants to celebrate the rising temperatures. I've been trying hard to stay out of the fabric store and instead work through some of my stash downstairs. Put on your sunglasses, people. This is what I came up with:


Yes, they're crazy. No, I'm not sure if they'll glow right through the blankets and keep me up all night. But, I have to say, they're kind of fun! I inherited this wild fabric from my mother, who was perhaps planning to make herself a clown costume??! So, my new PJ pants were completely free. As well they should be...

In other news, my Monday started off with the Captain departing for a few days at an ungodly hour. RB was also up and raring to go at 5AM, and Firstborn dragged himself up the stairs, late as usual, and greeted me with the obvious question: "Mom, what's an orgy?"

So apparently it's going to be that kind of week...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Movie Date

Yet another busy week, and no crafts to show for it!

The Captain will be deploying to parts unknown shortly, so last night, Firstborn and I took the opportunity to   see a movie together. GI Joe: Retaliation was playing at the local theatre. As it turns out, I simply do not have the attention span for action films. From the 30-minute point onwards, I was repeatedly asking myself where the heck Channing Tatum had gone. I'm still not sure what the answer is, and I don't really care enough to check Wikipedia to find out. Throughout most of the fight scenes, I wasn't sure who were supposed to be the good guys, and who were the bad guys. And at one point, I fell asleep. Thankfully, when I woke up the credits were rolling. What I could understand of the plot was pretty silly, there were a lot of unnecessary explosions (though to be fair, it was rated 14A and I took my 9 year-old anyway. Mother of the Year!), and Bruce Willis' joke about having high cholesterol just made me feel old and sad. Bottom line: Firstborn thought it was awesome.

I should have a craft to share next week. Really.