Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Things

Easter was lovely.  I spent the Thursday before baking Hot Cross Buns, but they didn't turn out quite like I expected--more dense, like a bagel.  I will tweak the recipe a bit for next year.  While I baked I had the film Chocolat on in the background, which was seasonally appropriate.  I also dyed eggs that day, using a plain Paas kit that was on sale at CVS.  I always like to see the "imperfections" in the dying--the whirls and splotches, that I think are more beautiful than most things you would purposely do.  Nathan's little Easter basket didn't have any candy in it this year, but he did get some new pacifiers and plastic link toys, which he has been enjoying very much.  

My skirt came out nicely.  It has box pleats and pockets and a lining, and I will be making more.  We spent Easter weekend back home with our families, passing Nathan from one grandparent to the next.  Sunday morning was church, and then dinner at my grandmother's.

The week has been nice, but not very productive. Jordan and I have been catching up on past seasons of Mad Men, which we had not seen in a very long time.  That show is depressing and funny and provocative.  

We had doctor's appointments on Wednesday, where we found out that Nathan is indeed a big boy, in the 98th percentile for height.  Afterwards, I stopped in at JoAnne's Fabrics where Nathan very sweetly napped and let me wander around for a very long time.  I ended up getting a fat quarter of fabric, some jingle bells, and jump rings to make a mobile for him.  I also bought pinking shears, a purchase I had to agonize over a bit, since they were shockingly expensive, but, like my mom said, I'll have them for the rest of my life.

Today, I attempted to jump back on the productivity wagon.  I stopped at a local store to get some fresh strawberries.  Oh my goodness.  Nothing like the kind from California that you get in the grocery store.  These will mostly become freezer jam, and the rest will probably be eaten out right.  I also got in some work time, editing the course I am teaching online this summer.

All in all, a good week, but I can't believe how fast the days are going.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Spring is here for real, now.  The flip flops have appeared and I have gone bare-legged in public--I usually try to wait until Easter, but with temperatures in the 80s, there was no way.  Of course, as I am writing this, dark clouds are filling the sky and a threatened cold front is bearing down bringing rain.  But, it will pass through and wash away the pollen, so I am ok with that.

I finished my skirt, and it was so much easier than I had anticipated making it with no pattern.  I followed this tutorial, changing it only to add a lining to the skirt and interfacing to the waist band.  I am happy with how it turned out, although the zipper was a bit of a debacle.  I had learned a long time ago to put in zippers using a regular presser foot, but it isn't ideal--usually lumpy and puckered and messy.  So, I decided I would buy a zipper foot and do it properly.  I've had my sewing machine since I was 10, and if it ever had a zipper foot, it is long gone now.  After trying to determine what on earth I needed, I finally ordered one off Amazon.  Only to discover when it arrived that it was definitely not what I needed.  Apparently, my machine was one of the last made with screw on feet, and what you mostly find now are snap on feet.  Of course, what I had ordered was a snap on.  So, I ended up putting in the zipper with the regular presser foot anyway.  I think I can get an adapter though, so hopefully future projects will be a bit more smooth.  Otherwise the skirt is pretty nice--it is fitted in the waist, has pockets, and a side zipper.  More zipper craziness--the tutorial calls for cutting down the side of your skirt so that you can add the zipper in behind the pocket--I don't think I'll be doing that again.  I would rather have a seam up the back and put the zipper in there.

Of course, I had to make Nathan something for Easter, as well--it's probably a good thing he isn't a girl, or all my time would be devoted to tiny dresses.  As it is, boy clothes are bit too challenging, so I settled for making a tiny bowtie, which was so easy, using this tutorial.  There will probably be a lot more bowties in his future.

Besides the sewing, we've been spending lots of time outside, taking walks at the park.  The dogwoods and redbuds are blooming, and clouds of pollen waft through the air.  My allergies are the worst they have every been, and I am chalking it up to postpartum-ness--I am wondering how long I get to blame everything on having had a baby.  Still reading Sarum--just finished up the chapter on the feud between Stephen and Matilda, which is also the time frame for Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth.  Planning on making Hot Cross Buns for Easter, using the Pioneer Woman's recipe.