Archive | April 2016

I’m not doing a bad job

Sometimes when I check the kids into kid-care to work out, or, put on a show after dinner and go run on the elliptical I feel like maybe I’m not doing the right thing.  I know that being healthy is part of being a good mom but what do the kids think?

 

today I got a little bit of an answer….  I was doing a little work and Fiona came down and hopped on the elliptical and said she needed to work out.  She lasted about 65 seconds but hey, she is really short.  Since I still had a little bit of work to finish (taking down the townhouse add, I wish I had 3 to rent!)  I gave her my phone and she asked me to smile and show my muscles.  Not really the best picture ever but my photographer is 3.

  

   
I think that they know exercise is important.  I’ve heard them all choose water because it is ‘most healthy’.  I’m sure I’ve messed them up in other ways by calling the cute or pretty or praising a 100% on a test rather than the work or effort that went into it. (aside, so what if no work went into getting that 100?  What if the test is so easy that anything less than 100 for her I would ask if she got distracted?  Still awesome that she followed the rules and got 100% but can’t exactly praise her ‘effort’).  The other day they had a push up contest and in 4 one min tests Nimh did 80, Zoe did 100, and Fiona did 40 – I didn’t witness this so no idea on the quality but they wanted to do this!  I could be doing worse raising kids with fitness on the mind – I’m balancing it with absolutely no

3 Things

status

weather – seem to be reverting to winter… uncool MN spring

nap – she needs one, she is in her room, I am here typing

House – major shake ups coming, playing room merry go round and kitchen mini reno.

reading – not much!  keep falling asleep too fast

 

  1. This game – Neko Atsume – my mom introduced it to us and it is so fun for the kids.  incredibly low interaction, you really just go look at what cats are there.  You fill the food up and maybe get a new toy out but really all you do is check on the cats.  Purrrrfect distraction for all the kids and certainly makes me smile.IMG_8687
  2. Thing two that is a happy thing is finally listing the rental.  I listed yesterday and its like a feeding frenzy!  4 inquiries in under a day.  I already have a favorite but there is a strong second too.  It is such a relief to have demand!
  3. After a year of sitting on the project, I nearly have bedroom curtains.  Don’t worry, we had shades so the neighbors were shielded from our PJ’s.  I say nearly because I’m still working on some options but they are cut and 90% sewn.

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    not yet perfect but they exist – top is a close up

I’m also looking forward to my MOM night out tonight and I have an excited/scared feeling about taking on my closet.  Its time, its been years since I wore my work uniform of nice pants and a button down that I need to say good bye to that segment of my wardrobe.  I have ignored the closet for years, it needs help, I think this is the time to reclaim it.  Sure, my life is full of glamour and excitement, you should see what I don’t tell you about 😉

Wordless Wed

(although I have lots of words, lots going on, I actually have no time to write so I’m glad to offer this one picture)

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Thinking about Therms

 

I think people who have read for a while here know I bake.  I bake all our bread, I bake muffins weekly and in this season of birthdays I’m churning out cake and cupcakes like its my job.  This is NOT the time for our oven to go nutters.

For a while, it was just running off but predictably so.  I have an independent thermometer so I would just go by that and adjust – it was roughly 30 degrees hot.  Kinda like our car that the gas gauge was highly unreliable so we kept mileage tally for about 3 years.  Recently it has lost any reliability and baking has become a hazard.  Thanks to a really good tax return we are looking at replacements.  Yes, it might be fixable, however, it is mid range in a mediocre branded came with the house that we have lived in for 16 years.  It’s done its time.

Just like the washer replacement last year, Lars is drawn to the higher end replacements.  I was very reluctant until I found that double convection ovens are now ‘the thing’.  The only down side is my ability to research like crazy so I can find people that hate everything….  The local store did not have any of the brand we wanted but it had a different split oven so I eyeballed it myself and confirmed you can put a turkey in the bottom and a good sized dish, or 2 cookie sheets in the top.  I will miss the storage from a traditional model but I bet I’ll be using the top oven 90% so I can keep my spare pans in the bottom anyway.  The other primo feature is a central griddle burner.  I’ve been using 2 burners and flipping it between batches of pancakes for years, I don’t know what I’ll do with my extra found time while cooking …

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For over 1k this thing better be awesome but the washer is so I’m hopeful.

share my world week 16

Sharing Sunday…  Questions courtesy of Cee, here is her post and there are links to many others from there.

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?  Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?  Laser correction!  I know everyone can’t but I was able to and it was the best money I have ever spent.  Every day I’m happy to see.  Every day when I open my eyes at 4am or 2 or 7 or 9 I’m glad that I can see the clock and whatever face is inches from mine.  I can’t imagine diapers or any of the late night hazmat missions without being able to see.  Before the date with the laser I wore contacts and before that glasses.  I’ve needed vision correction since 10 so I’m holding my breath (not really, I think I know the answer) on my 3 kids who see two parents with no glasses but little do they know what nearsighted genes lurk within them.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be? stock-photo-road-sign-says-watch-for-animals-next-miles-in-yellow-and-black-on-blue-sky-background-11184133

I am the watch for animals sign.  I am on the lookout all the time for all the things that don’t belong because it is my talent in life to remember where you put your keys/shoes/book/homework.  I also love seeing new things, I’m dragging my family to all sorts of things so I can see it and a certain friend still sends me Llama pictures because of the hour side trip I made everyone go on to see a llama farm (lamalot by the way, worth the trip if you are near Breezewood Pa)

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so? Both.  Elementary was hard because it was a small class (11kids) so if you didn’t click you didn’t.  However it was an awesome education and I almost didn’t learn a new thing for 2 years once I moved to public middle school so that bit of school was pretty easy.  High school was a mix, I took hard classes and was into overdoing things with work and the play and sports teams but I’m really glad I did it.  College I actually considered easy because I could just take the classes I wanted to take so they were fun.  I fit into the school model, I learn by seeing or hearing or discussing or reading so I was pretty good at getting the info they wanted and I like writing and discussing (obvious by my blog here for 10+years) so school was intended for good girls who sit still in seats and listen like me.  

Would you rather take a 1 or 2 week vaction with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice? At this exact moment?  Cruise, because of the kids.  I’ve been on long tours and they are fun but lots of moving moving moving and that won’t work for little kids.  I hear cruises are very fun for a family.  Most often I go with my own brand of organization with a general list of places I would like to see and a ‘wing it’ approach to what we do when dependent on weather and kids and moods etc.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  From the last week I’m grateful for the weather.  Spring is here so there is rain but there are also warm days and playing outside and dreams of gardens.  I’m looking forward to more of the same next week.  I’m in a little lull between parties and enjoying the relative calm.

Earth day t-shirt upcycle

status

Weather; another perfect sunny day, why am I inside?

Nap; should soon change this to ‘quiet’ time  with the occasional sleep

reading; been a while since I noted – I’m done with the Robyn Hobb series(es), I’m in the middle of a Charles Stross series,  Just started the Trone of Glass book 2, and reading my kid behavior books for age 8, 6 and 4.  I’m also reading the Secret Garden to the girls out loud.

 

I’m glad that I live in an age that there was almost always an earth day.  I can’t remember before recycling cans.  I lived with an original upcyclier and while sometimes he basically built traps disguised as furniture the WWII use it until it disintegrates was part of my day to day.

When the kids outgrow things they are usually in decent shape so it can be passed on.  Since Lars and I are not really growing we tend to wear things until they are embarrassing so there is no passing on possibilities.  I’ve made aprons out of jeans, plenty of things turn into napkins (my crusade against paper waste!) but my most recent upcycle is the t-shirt pillow cover.

I’m in my house all day every day so I want it to look nice if I can.  Since pillows are a major part of our life from the mundane couch decoration to the insane pillow forts – they need to have covers that can be washed so this pattern is for easy on/off covers.

Mens shirts work best – this particular shirt was well loved and I think is about 10 years

 

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2009!

old.  Lars was fine with napkining it but I can’t help but remember times like this and now every time I see the couch I remember the fun.

 

 

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2016 – very loved

 

You can either get a new (from the thrift store) pillow or just measure one you like but could use a new look but keep in mind the scale of the shirt and the scale of where the pillow will live.

  1. Start by cutting a straight line from the shoulder to the bottom.  You want to make sure no arm seam is left.  Do the same on the other side so you end up with a long rectangle.IMG_8324
  2. Measure how far down the lowest point of the neck hole is and then move the tape to the side so you can cut off the neck in a neat straight line.  This whole time you are cutting the front and the back at the same time so take care to keep it from wrinkling or bunching on the bottom.IMG_8325
  3. Now you have two pieces!  As you can see on mine there is a hole in the front so I had to size my pillow to avoid that.  Take a second to make sure the graphic is centered (or off centered or how you want it!) and measure the height of the pillow you are working with.  (Mine is about 13 inches)IMG_8326
  4. Hopefully you can see what I mean here because there are a few things going on but nothing is hard.  First, I flipped both sides over.  The front is on the right, you can tell by that nifty little hole.  I folded the bottom of the front up to the measure of the pillow ** I do not cut the front anymore **.  On the back, I cut the fabric to size but I measure up from the bottom so I can keep the original t-shirt bottom edge seam.IMG_8328
  5. I don’t have a picture, but, you now want to put the front on top of the back with the graphic in and the folded section out and the finished/existing bottom seam along the folded edge.  Pin if you like to but make sure it is squared up.
  6. Start at one of the folded/bottom seam corners and sew 3 sides.  You are leaving the bottom open – the bottom should be the folded up part and the original t-shirt seam.  On my machine, I use the stretch stitch, #2, it really is great on a stretch fabric like this shirt.  Make sure to sew the three layers; back, front, and folded part of front, all in one line.IMG_8330
  7. The result; 3 seams and you can see that the folded up section is now a pocket! When you turn it right side out, the pocket is on the inside.  This makes a really smooth looking front  because the pillow goes into that pocket.  Soooo much easier than a zipper and no pillow peeking out the bottom.IMG_8331
  8. And then you get crazy and make 4 more… or five… or some for every season and maybe your husband starts to wonder where his shirts went…

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    there are 6 shirt pillows here… the one from the example is in the top right

And as a bit of a bonus.  Those sleeves you cut off?  Not to go to waste, they make great headbands.  I’ve long passed the point of bibs at my house but there is a lot of hair-in-food situations so having a little pile of these near meal times works nicely.  They don’t just fit kids, I can wear them too, and they might not be the most fashionable they are perfect for working out or in the garden.

 

I hope I’m doing my part for the earth!  and I hope this tutorial helps you upcycle some beloved shirts too.