Thursday, August 27, 2009

Toppenish for dinner? Why not?

We heard Brenda was going to be a mere two-hour drive away from us, so we zipped down near Yakima for a quick dinner-and-DQ adventure. It was great to catch up!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One last fling before back-to-school

It felt a little crazy to spend a day at the lake with school looming on Monday, but on the other hand, what better time to go? We joined the UChurch children's ministries group for a beautiful day of kayaking, picnicking and canoeing. Grandma came along and we didn't get a single picture of her! Bother!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Finally figured out how to make bias tape!

I've been eyeing those tape-making gadgets at JoAnn's and finally figured out how to make my own bias tape with a sewing machine and a safety pin instead! There were good instructions online for making a long strip of bias (like this one...steps 5 through 7 were all I needed), but the trick for me was realizing how twisty the tube had to be. Some of the diagrams online make it look like you sew a fairly straight seam to make a simple tube, and it's actually a bit of a struggle because of how twisty the tube is, especially when using a small square of fabric like I did.

Then getting the strips folded and ironed was the fun part! I was going to eyeball it and just iron the sides down when I spotted a safety pin by the ironing board. I just stuck the pin through the ironing board cover, leaving room for about an inch of fabric to slide under. Once I got it started, I could pretty much pull the tape through and let the edges of the safety pin "fold" it into place. The little gadget from Joann's might have done a slightly better job, but it would have cost me something (plus I probably would have misplaced it by now anyway! if you've seen my sewing area you know this is true).

My new sewing vow is to (1) use stuff that's already lying around or (2) only buy things that will help me finish existing almost-done projects. So my bias tape whim was for refashioning this perfectly good, horribly unflattering boxy denim shirt I never wear but can't throw out because it fits and goes with everything (stupid, I know). I cut the sleeves shorter, cut the collar into more of a round scoop neck, and took in the sides to make it a little more fitted. Then I got to use my fun new practically free bias tape to finish the edges! (Yes, I am one of those women who should wear long sleeves year round, but it gets HOT here--plus I wasn't fooling anyone with the slightly longer sleeves, and at least now they don't hit me at the thickest point of my arms!)

Hmmm, no "after" picture, but you'll probably see me wear it sometime. Super comfortable. I did a refashion with Claire this summer too--she was "in the mood to sew something" so we cut the legs straight across off a pair of her too-short, worn out jeans and sewed on a ruffle from an old sheet that had already been cut apart to make quilt blocks! Good sewing practice for her, quick gratification, and nothing lost if it didn't turn out. (It did, though, because anything is cute on her!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Grandparent Camp!

While dad took an Advanced Placement teaching class and mom worked, Ethan spent the week getting spoiled in Salem. I sent the camera along, which meant getting a few strange some cute ones with the cousins. Quite a week: OMSI, Enchanted Forest, ice cream three times a day (actually not sure about that last one, but there was definite spoiling going on).

A couple of weeks later he spent a week at Grandma Camp in Spokane (equal opportunity spoilage), but we didn't send the camera that time. He saw the new Miyazaki movie and went to the children's museum and...drum roll...was finally tall enough to drive a go-cart. (I think those were the activities for the first day!?) Anyway, I'm sure Grandma got some pics that we'll eventually load here.