Friday, March 07, 2014


After a recent discussion with friends, I decided to give up something for lent this year. I'm scrapping added sweeteners, refined or not, from my diet. I'm shooting for 10 grams or less each day of added sugars. (This includes fruit juice. Whole fruit is ok.) After lent I'll allow unrefined natural sweeteners to some degree, but I am going to continue to avoid refined sugar for a year, staying below the 5 or 10 gram/day mark. (I'm still working out what is feasible without making everything from scratch.) I'm hoping that during that time I will totally lose my desire to eat it so that when the year is done, I won't suddenly rush out and buy a bunch of treats, and will instead want to continue avoiding it.

I know this is sort of drastic, but smaller measures don't seem to work on me and I'm tired of the ill effects on my health and well being. It's all or nothing, and I choose nothing.

For the record, lent began on 3/5/2014. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I will amaze you all and make a post.

Here it is.

My baby is nearly 5 months old now. Life is busy now with two kids. (Biggest understatement I have ever made, possibly.)

Here is the story of the birth. The day Clyde was born, I did many things. I can't even remember them all. Here is a list of what I do remember:

  • shopped at Trader Joes. The cashier asked when I was due. "Monday," I said. Two days away.
  • went to the library.
  • made three loaves of meatloaf. One of these loaves was dinner for David and Ila that night. They were supposed to go in the freezer that night (for post-baby meals), but stayed in the fridge for 2 more days.
  • Emailed a friend. "Baby has not come."
  • emailed j the square. "mailed the choker yesterday." For her wedding. 
  • went to a church dinner before Relief Society general conference. I ate tomato basil soup but could not eat the bread because it had wheat. Then I had ice cream. I thought my chair was very uncomfortable.
  • sat and started watching conference. thought I had gas pain from the ice cream. Pulled out my phone to measure intervals just the same. 
  • water broke one hour in. luckily, did not get onto church pew. dash to the ladies room. I guess it was not gas after all. 
After that, two friends got me home. One drove my car, another followed in hers. I was in serious pain when I got back. We called the neighbor to come over, called the doctor, wasted 30 minutes packing stuff. My contractions were around 5 or 6 minutes apart (before water broke). I was expecting a long slow labor. 7 minute drive to the hospital. Lots of screaming in the car, and 2 minutes apart by the time we arrived. Next, the wheelchair in the parking lot of the hospital. We should have gone to emergency, but we did not know valet would not be there on a saturday night. The security guard pushed me into the hospital, passing me off to another guard.
4th floor entry: Can you please spell your name? What is your date of birth? I thought, let me through before I am killed.
More screaming. The nurses can hear me down the hall and prep the room for me. The nurse tells me to breathe.
5 minutes later: baby comes out. His head was perfectly round. No time to be squished. Thank you Kate the doctor. It was 9:08 pm. My "gas" pain had started at 7 pm, and water broke at 8 pm.
Afterward, I was officially admitted to the hospital. 

I was wearing a yellow shirt (this one) and grey skirt during the birth. I wore that same skirt home 2 days later. Still mostly clean, amazingly enough.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clyde James


7 lbs 12 oz & 20 inches

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dress for Ila

David told me that Ila's sunday dress was getting too tight, so I decided in my last week of having a sewing machine (before being packed) that instead of making a dress for myself I would make one for Ila. I used some of the pattern pieces from the junebug dress pattern (size 2T)--specifically the sleeves and the back pieces. I used the back pieces for both the front and back of the bodice, but I added an extra 1.5 inches and cut through the fold for the back part so I could add buttons. It was my first time trying to do buttonholes, and let me tell you it was horrifying. The fabric was too thick to work with regular settings. It looks totally awful up close..but nobody is looking except me hopefully:)

I used some knit fabric I already had. You may recognize the skirt fabric from here.  The buttons I found in my grandmothers button collection. They are bright orange with little mushrooms, and so cute! I used my new shirring knowledge to do the puffed sleeve. I zigzagged the edge of the sleeve and then did one line of shirring near the edge. Then I sewed the sleeve ends together, added a gather on the top, and attached it to the bodice. I also had some lace lying around from an etsy purchase awhile back I wanted to add, so sewed that on last using a straight machine stitch (and going very slow, using the hand wheel for a lot of it).

Anyway. The sewing machine is now packed so no more projects for a while. I'm not sure if the sewing fever will last, but it has been fun while I had it.

 This picture of Ila in it is before I added the lace.

Trying to show the cute buttons, but the lighting is terrible. Alas.

The end.

Rie Top -- Megan Nielsen

This review is for pattern MN1005 from the maternity survival pack, by Megan Nielsen.

This was the first top I made from the pattern pack I ordered. I used medium weight jersey and it turned out very well, if a bit long. I hated it the first day, until I decided that adding a belt would make it look much nicer and I wouldn't feel like I was wearing a shapeless pillowcase. I made the belt by buying some red knit elastic and a buckle from Joann fabrics. I just custom fit it to my rib cage and sewed the elastic over onto itself after looping through the buckle. I do find it too hot to wear in warm weather because of the long sleeves and thick fabric. I would make this again using something more lightweight (but opaque) or shorten the sleeves. I think it will always need a belt of some kind though to add shape.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Play Mat

Another project I did in June is this play mat. I got the front fabric on etsy. The back fabric is from, and the middle layer is some Quilters Dream batting (here). I discovered that my grandmothers sewing machine closet (which I inherited and adore) not only has a collection of tons of random buttons, thread, zippers, bias tape, etc, but it also has every presser foot accessory I know of (which isn't really saying a lot..but it also had a lot I don't know of too!). One of which is an even feed / walking foot which is super helpful for machine quilting.

I used safety pins to baste the layers together (after prewashing the the outer layers. The batting layer instructions said not to prewash. I forget why). Then I used the walking foot to sew along the edges of the roads and the airport landing strip. It didn't do a perfect job, (there is a bit of pucker in some spots) but we'll just blame that on my minimal basting and not my grandmothers awesome machine! I used biased tape to finish the edges. I realized that I should have purchased regular width double biased tape instead of quilting biased tape because the tape was wider than I needed. I think the quilting tape is for super fat quilts. Mine was not fat. But other than that, this was great!

Now Ila can play on it with her cars. Or she will someday anyway.

Diaper Cover / Wool Soaker

A few months ago, I was putting a Disana wool cover over Ila at night since she was peeing through her diapers every night. (this is left from my cloth diapering days, before Ila began peeing more than I could handle and resulted in me putting her in disposables). I decided I needed another cover while the other one gets washed, and thought I could try my hand at making one.

I learned to crochet only last April. I have made half of an afghan, but then switched to making this cover. Then I never went back to the afghan because I started the sewing madness. I had a tragic moment while making this cover when I realized I'd done it all in the wrong stitch (one which turned out not even to have a name!) and was not loose enough. So I unraveled it all. Sadness was had that day. But I got over it and finished the soaker. I used this tutorial. And I put it on ravelry! I never knew about that website until I learned to crochet. I called my mom and asked her to decode some instructions on the phone and she was so helpful! Even just sort of describing my problem and she knew how to fix it. Way to go mom!

The silly thing is that by the time I finished this, (end of June), it was SO unbearably hot that we stopped using the wool soaker. THis also coincided with the realization that the soaker wasn't quite as needed anymore. Ever since my friend Libby suggested I use size 5 diapers at night, most of the leaks stopped. Ila wears size 3 during the day. I'd tried size 4 at night and it hadn't stopped leaks, but for some reason trying size 5 never occurred to me. So thanks Libby! You saved our sheets:)

At least I have an extra soaker now. Unfortunately I never really got to test it and see if it stops leaks as well as the Disana one. The weave is much looser, but I lanolized them the same way and they are both 100% wool, so theoretically it should work:) I guess I'll find out on fire hydrant (baby #2!)

So long, and thanks for all the fish.