Never underestimate the entertainment value of a small stuffed reindeer going through a cycle in a front loading washing machine.
Rosie (Rudolph's younger, lesser known sister) had an incident with a toilet in the wee (nyuck nyuck) hours of the morning. I'm happy to report that after her spa treatment and a few hours catching the breeze she made a full and fluffy recovery!
Look what I discovered when I lay out Cole's quilt to dry after a washing recently. Grrr. In retrospect, I should have known...that shiny thread and I had issues from the get-go. In fact, I usually eschew shiny threads - I always seem to have problems with tension and breakages and all the usual hooha that makes quilting with fancy threads way past being worthwhile for me. But, this thread was oh so pretty and just the right amount of colour variation of Cole and Immy's quilts, and it whispered softly in my ear that this time would be different...damn the seductive powers of shiny threads!
Needless to say, the quilting didn't go according to plan, and that damnedbastard decidedly ornery thread gave me plenty of drama during the quilting stage of both quilts. (yes, having fought with the thread all the way through one quilt, it seemed only sensible to continue the battle with the next quilt. I am nothing if not idiotic consistent.) Finally, the quilting was finished and I promptly threw away the shiny thread.
Nearly 2 years - and probably 250 or so trips through the washing machine later (this too shall pass, this too shall pass!) the kids' quilts - and particularly Cole's - are showing definite wear and fading. And that's fine, I was expecting all that. (This is them back when they were brand spanking new! Oh those tiny tiny munchkins!!) I *wasn't* expecting that damnedbastard shiny thread to begin snapping all over the place though! Eek! There are about 60 spots on the front and back of Coley's quilt (not quite so many on Im's) where the tread has snapped. Bugger. D kindly suggested I just unpick the quilting and redo it. He's due out of hospital any day now. I think new quilts may be in order sooner than anticipated...but wouldn't you know it, out of all the acres of fabric, I seem to missing something that's *just right*....
...this is what my studio shelving system is currently! I got impatient with having to dig through boxes to find sewing supplies, and since we'll not be getting down to Ikea now until early next year, I felt a little improv was in store. What is it they say about Kiwis and their number 8 wire mentality?
The kids and I decorated the tree earlier this week. (Well, 2/3 of the tree...the bottom sections are relegated to storage until we have a house with considerably higher ceilings!) When I discovered this little collection, I suggested to Coley that it was great handiwork, but we could perhaps spread things out a little - no need for all the decorations to be on top of each other. I was soon corrected - apparently this little diorama was deliberately created to *amaze and fascinate* (his words!) people who would not be able to believe that Christmas doves parped (farted) fireworks. Ahem.
Kittens! Mermaids! Kittens as mermaids! Really, what more could a five year old girl want? Well, if it were *my* 5yo girl, adding ruffles, ribbon and the ubiquitous pink to that list would make for perfection itself - let's hope she agrees when she sees her new dress in the morning!
(The fabric is vintage Michael Miller...that I have had in my stash for ever so long, and that is so abominable it has turned the corner and arrived back at cute!)
Well, they did it, and in spectacular fashion! Cole and Imogen danced their wee hearts out, and you could tell they just relished every minute - the mile-wide grins were a clue, but them repeatedly telling me how much they were loving it helped too!
(I asked the kids to just stand there and act natural...and this is what I got! I tell you, the drama is deeply ingrained!)
I confess there were tears yesterday - mine watching these amazing little people dance so beautifully on stage, and theirs when they realised last night that there were no more performances for the next little while!
Watching Cole and Imogen on stage just about did me in (how they can follow all the steps and still have their individual personalities broadcast so clearly just astounds me!) - I just couldn't stop thinking how these were the same little people who were kept in NICU for their first 10 days because they were deemed too little to go home. And here they were shuffle-ball-changeing it with the best of them, and taking prop mishaps in their stride like old pros!
(poor Coley couldn't stop tapping to save himself...even for photos!)
These are all silly photos I know, but then again there was a lot of high excitement and silliness yesterday! I couldn't resist this last pic though - Coley is really starting to get into physical comedy, and this pose reminds me so much of Buster Keaton...I think it's time to hunt out a few of Keaton and Chaplin's flicks...
This morning was the dress rehearsal for tomorrow's big dance recital. We have 2 very excited kids here! At the rehearsal I was helping backstage (just as well!!!!) and we discovered that Cole's outfit for his second tap number hadn't been ordered (the rest of the group's costumes for that number only arrived yesterday). Eek! Thankfully since he is the only boy in the group we had a little leeway - and he can wear his black pants from the other number - but suffice it to say, I have spent the rest of the afternoon hunting down pink satin in just the right shade and plain white fitted tees, and then spent tonight making a pair of suspenders and bowtie. Most of the making happened since the kids have been asleep, so I did a little measuring-a-sleeping-boy, but otherwise have all appropriate digits crossed that we're within spitting distance fit-wise and look the business on stage...in oh, 8 hours' time! Remember the other day when I was making sarcastic comments laughing at the irony of paying for a costume only to end up stitching braiding onto 15? Yeah, I really should learn to keep my mouth shut and not let my caustic comments out into the universe, ha!
In good news though, I figured out a great way to make (easy! cute!) suspenders, and a quick kid's bowtie....hmm, maybe a tutorial for anyone else who needs to whip something up last minute?
...I just spent 4 hours cutting and sewing, trying to make myself a tunic top with some delicious voile fabric, only to try it on and discover it is even less flattering than wrapping myself in tinfoil and chicken wire, topped with pompoms. sigh. Oh well, I'll revisit it tomorrow and see what I can salvage, when i've finished sulking, ha!
You would think that with 2 decades of clothes making under my belt I would know by now not to a) make things up as I go along without any reference to at least mocking up a rough draft pattern, and b) doing it at night when I'm tired and impatient! Apparently with some things, I am a painfully slow learner. Until I get sensible and mock up some proper patterns for myself (the lack of decent patterns from plus size women who aren't 75 is a rant I shall save for another day!)
Oh well, at least my sewing efforts for Cole and Immy are much more successful...the dress and shorts I made them last Thursday and Friday have been worn at least 6 of the last 7 days (insert proud mama moment) and I am getting very good at washing in the evening and hanging clothes out to dry overnight, ready for the next wear! Hmm, maybe i should just make them some more!
(The photos are of course completely unrelated - they're outtakes of a photo session where I was trying (failing miserably) to get a decent Christmas photo of the munchkins. The problem was that this bottlebrush bush was right next to a large and imminently climbable tree and standing still and smiling was *not* on the agenda for these 2 when there was a tree so tantalisingly close by. The photos make me laugh though - it's so very obvious how uninterested they each are in the picture taking, and you can all but hear them pleading to go climb, already... they are so sweet to put up with their mama!)