Friday, September 19, 2008

Media Center Mom

I forgot to post about my volunteer job at A's school. Every other week for 2 hours (well, really an hour and fifteen minutes, since I have to pick M up) I work in the library. It's so much fun! The first day I had a total high when I left - it was fun, I was busy the whole time, and I felt so competent! Okay, that last bit sounds silly, but really, being a mom doesn't involve much in the way of measurable outcomes. Checking out library books and shelving is so clear and straightforward - it's great! So I'm really glad I volunteered for this gig. Actually, it makes me a little sad that I quit the library science program, although I'm pretty sure it's more fun to be an occasional volunteer than to be an actual employee. And also I never intended to work in a school media center. But still, maybe one day I'll return to it. Or at least volunteer a little more often! ;)

Today wasn't actually as much fun as the first time, but that's because the library was full of stuff for (the last day of) book fair. Therefore, they didn't have very many students, so almost no one was checking out books. On the plus side, though, apparently as a "media center mom" (that phrase cracks me up) I got a coupon for free paperback books totaling less than $9.99. So that worked. I got a Diego early reader and one from a series by Cynthia Rylant. (We love her - the Mr. Putter and Tabby books are so darn sweet! And we love Henry and Mudge, too. I just learned that she has some Newberry/Caldecott award books - I'm going to have to look for them.) So that kind of made up for not having enough to do, and I'm sure the next time I'll be busier. All in all, I'd recommend the library gig, though!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A new one

I had to show off the shirt I made Friday night. I didn't do quite as good a job on the stenciling this time (too much paint is a bad plan!), but it's still pretty cute. :)

Now I need to work on some other projects that I have in my head, but I'm pretty sure I'll be returning to these shirts - they're so fun!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm ridiculously pleased with myself

I'm just absurdly excited about this. :) I just finished a shirt I've been pondering in my head for a while, and it turned out quite well. Yay! So, as previously mentioned, I've been experimenting with baseball style shirts. I made one that fit better, using an old shirt as a guide. I haven't remembered to take a picture of it, though. Anyway, so once I had a better idea about fit, I chopped up the shirt pictured in my last post, and put it back together with a much nicer fit. I also did a birdie freezer paper stencil on it. This is the end result:

Isn't it cute? I'm very excited, because it's just what I was picturing in my head. I still need to work on my ribbing on the sleeves (they feel a little funny), but all in all, I'm quite happy.

Oh, and freezer paper stenciling was really easy! I had no idea. I've always been really bad at regular stenciling, so I'm glad to learn that this method works better for me. Well, aside from the really complicated design I picked. ;) Here's a useful tute on the subject:, if anyone's interested.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I love my serger.

I bought a serger quite a while back (last spring, maybe?). It's a Brother 1034D, and it's about the simplest (and cheapest) serger around. I got it off of Amazon, which is really funny to me for some reason. But I just think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread! Like I said, it's pretty simple, which is actually nice, because sergers are pretty terrifying when you first see them. We kept calling it the devil before I learned how to thread it. Luckily, this version has color coded visual aids that make the threading fairly clear, although I still had to read the manual a LOT of times before I could actually do it. But anyway, I am amazed that even though I've had it for about six months, I'm still struck every time I use it how utterly COOL it is. I have no idea at all how it works (not that I really understand my sewing machine, either), but I think the complicated stitches that it does are just amazing. And plus, I can use it to sew knits, which frankly I was never very good at before. And for some reason sewing knits seems so much more professional than quilting cottons do. I feel like I'm making "real clothes". Plus I can finish off the seams of non-knits much more nicely, too. Anyway, that ramble is because I've been using my serger a lot the last couple of days, and I just think it's cool! :)

Here are some newly serged items:
A baseball-style shirt for me:
I like the idea of this shirt, but I think the actual sizing needs some work. Next one I'm going to have to make some alterations.
Shirt for M:
Pajamas (these are for A, but M has a pair, too):

Actually, I've made a couple of other pairs of pajamas, too, and I have more planned. (No pictures, though.) It's hard to find good soft cotton PJs for any reasonable price when you get to be A's size, so I'm glad I can make them myself!

So I've been having lots of fun with my serger. My only complaint is that I want to be able to do a coverstitch, but I hear it's easier just to have another machine for that anyway. I just haven't gotten around to that yet.