Monday, September 28, 2009

Serging Ahead

Want to see something that’s intimidating to even a somewhat experienced seamstress?
That’s right, a serger. I’m terrified of it. Or correction, I was. Until I saved up my pennies, bought a relatively cheap one (don’t want to make my cheapo sewing machine from Sears jealous) and decided that there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of a machine. If even it does have two needles, four spools of thread, 2 knives to cut the fabric (and possibly your finger), 2 owner’s manuals and 2 instructional DVDs, and a host of other weird accessories.

A serger is a type of sewing machine, I suppose. It doesn’t sew just a straight stitch; you still need a traditional sewing machine for that. This is the machine that makes clothes look really professional. If you’re wearing a shirt right now-and I hope you are because I prefer my readers not be topless-then you can check out the hem of your shirt and see what I mean. All that stitching, that looks all complicated and fancy-it’s what’s keeping the fabric from unraveling when it’s washed. And now, that’s a look I can achieve on my dresses. It probably won’t be quite as nice as some manufactured clothes (I’ve heard some sergers have up to 10 different threads going at a time!!) but I made a test dress while using it, and I’m really pleased with the results.
Look at that stitching!

It also goes ridiculously fast, and so far it’s definitely cut down on my sewing time. Although having to go back and forth between my two machines is something I’m still getting used to, and I don’t quite have it all down to an exact science yet. I'm sure if I videotaped my sewing process and sped it up, it would be quite entertaining. Here's to hoping that soon I'll be churning out dresses like crazy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Revenge Of The Fly

This California girl is well-versed in the agony and frustration of ants. Those obnoxious little buggers that seem to find whatever food you leave out and descend upon it. Those little devils that have no issue breaking into your garage, your pantry, even your bedroom-just ask my brother Kurt about the time he went to put on his pajamas as a kid only to discover them COVERED with ants (we were puzzled as to why the pajamas appeared to be moving). They are everywhere. They are unstoppable. They are….nothing, NOTHING, compared to flies.

A simple line of ants, so simple to spray with some ant spray and kill. What I wouldn’t give for that pest problem! Here, not only do we have horrible fire ants outside, but the inside of our houses are constantly being overrun by flies. I’m starting to suspect there is a tiny little fly door in one of my windows (I imagine it like a tiny doggie door, only made out of netting that can easily been flown through). It is ridiculous how many flies I have to deal with on a daily basis! Days that involve outside playtime are the worst. I might as well stand at the door and just usher them in and get it over with:

"Please, come in! I can offer you some leftover crackers that Laura left in a bowl by the couch, and I’m sure there are plenty of crumbs on the carpet. Don’t forget to stop by Moxie’s bowl for a quick drink and browse the kitchen counter for tasty morsels that I may have overlooked! It’s also a delightful day for buzzing around my head as I cook, so be sure not to miss that opportunity."

Sometimes they appear out of nowhere, when the door hasn’t been opened for hours. They always seem to locate the nearest human and incessantly buzz them. When they’re invading, eating inside my house is like eating at outside at a picnic. You can’t leave anything edible out, because you know the fly is landing on it and doing a little dance just to spite you, just to show you the power it holds over you. Ants thinking of attacking your food? No big deal, just move the food to another spot. Flies bent on sampling your pot roast? Well, you better shovel it down because the flies will land on it, even as you eat it. The rest of the dinner, still hot in the pan on the stove? Transfer it straight to the fridge, food safety be damned! That’s the only way to keep it safe, unless one gets into the fridge (yes, that has happened to me).

It’s amazing how much your life can start to revolve around flies. It’s not uncommon for the Army Man and I to stand in the kitchen chatting while one of us holds the fly swatter. We've started complimenting each other on particularly gory or spectacular kills. The best is the mid-air swat. Yep, we've both managed to snatch a fly’s life during flight. It’s awesome. Laura’s method is to trap the fly between the window and the blinds, and smush. There is usually sound involved, followed by the victory shouts of my bloodthirsty daughter. I always discourage this, but I won’t deny having resorted to it myself. Moxie tries to help, chasing them and snapping at them. That form of entertainment is the one redeeming fly trait.

I’ve had flies rise from the dead and fly out of the trash can once I open it to deposit another of their deceased brethren. I’ve had a few fly relationships last days or more…a few days after a madly buzzing fly zips around the kitchen, I’ve found it limping along in my bedroom or laying pathetically on the stairs. I feel no sympathy as I kill it-only disgust wondering where it was all those days and if it was walking on me as I slept.

Today’s tally stands at nine killed, an undetermined number still at large. I can't wait for the winter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Charleston Trip

It's not often that the Army Man informs me that we are taking a weekend trip anywhere, so when he does, I say "yes please!" without even worrying about where we're heading. He chose a great spot to go last weekend-Charleston, South Carolina. He went a few weeks back on some training and had a great time, and he wanted to go back again with the whole family (except Moxie. Sorry, dog). It was a short trip, just Friday-Sunday, and although I was momentarily afraid for our safety when I saw our hotel, it was a fantastic trip!

If you live in California, surely you know of the Roxford exit off of the 5? Well that should give you an idea of what the area our hotel was in was like. Charleston is a beautiful town, so we were quite shocked when our directions directed us to a rather shabby looking hotel in an even shabbier part of town. Inside the hotel and was nice and clean, and with the Army Man there to protect the family, I knew we would be fine. But I learned my lesson about booking hotels online!

Friday we walked around in the beautiful downtown area and ate dinner right by the water. Saturday we hit up the aquarium and the beach. The aquarium was nice but small, and the four penguins that call the aquarium home were the saddest looking bunch I've ever seen. They made me much too sad to enjoy them, even though Laura kept reminding me how much I like penguins (in case I forgot). Right next to the aquarium was a small Ft. Sumter museum with the tattered remains of the giant American flag that once lived at Ft. Sumter. A replica hung on the wall-it was gigantic!

After that, we went to the beach which was so much fun. It was ridiculously crowded, but the water was very warm and the weather was great. We all went pretty far into the water and I was loving it until a wave knocked me over and swept away my sunglasses. The Army Man and I searched in vain for them-the most perfect sunglasses I've ever owned. Later, I rested on the sand while Laura and the Army Man went far, far into the water to see just how tense Mommy could get. At one point they were out farther than anyone else! But of course Laura loved it and the Army Man was pleased that his plan to torture me worked. That evening we visited all too briefly with my cousin Shirley and her daughter Eden. Eden just turned 2 and is so stinkin' cute! Laura was too glued to the TV to pay much attention to Eden, and it was weird for me seeing that Laura really is a big kid now-she looked so much older and bigger than Eden.

Sunday was a lazy day for us and we never did make it to Ft. Sumter. I guess we'll have to save that for the next trip! Now, what you've all been waiting for: the pictures. I have a ton of Laura from the beach, and couldn't decide which ones were the best, so I posted a lot. Enjoy!
Laura and Daddy, enjoying dinner by the water Me at dinner, getting the obligatory photo take to prove I was thereThe USS YorktownThe source of my near panic attackLooking at Ft. SumterLaura being cute

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Gospel Truth

According to Laura, after she stumbled over the words in a song:

I am not a professional singer because I'm not that good, but I am a professional draw-er.

PS. We are currently delighting in all that Charleston, SC has to offer our family. Since we love history, shopping, the beach, and cool architecture, it turns out it has quite a bit to offer. I'll post pictures soon after we return home, provided I don't die of a panic attack when we have to drive over yet another of the highest and longest bridges I have ever seen. My water and heights phobias have never been better, thanks for asking!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You See What I'm Dealing With

Poor Laura, dealt a boring mother who doesn't ever seem to want to play, and when she does play, doesn't do it right. Laura is even forced, on occasion, to entertain herself or clean her own room. To make up for these injustices, is Laura given a pool? A pony? A cell phone? Even a TV in her room? No. None of these requests have yet to be granted.

When Laura's mother has the audacity to ask for a few quiet minutes to get ready to go out to dinner, how does Laura respond? With complaints, harassment of her mother, and the sporadic karate chop, naturally. When her mother, who can't take it a moment longer, tells her to go find something to do or else be forced to clean the kitchen floor, how does Laura respond?

"That sounds like fun!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Poor Laura. She's been forced to be my model these last few months as I've attempted to take cute pictures of my creations to put on my Etsy site. It's really been tough on her-you know how much she hates the spotlight. And how much she detests getting her picture taken. Oh wait, that's me I'm thinking about! In reality, Laura has absolutely loved getting to model my clothes for me, except for the times I interrupt her during an important task (usually coloring). I usually get a few cute pictures that I can't post on Etsy but seem too good to waste, so I thought I'd post a few of them here. The first two are of my latest shirts.

All of these poses are her own doing, naturally.
I love her faux surprise in this one.Oh so sweet. Yeah right.
I'm sure I'll be back soon with more, seeing as I don't think Laura will EVER tire of getting her picture taken.