Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Birthday Skirt: Part 2

In part 1 I told you I had cut various widths of striped green and pink fabric. I had a cunning plan to sew them together in a simple 2 color bargello style pattern. I executed the cunning plan without thinking through all the math that I should have. Here is the result:

It was at about 11 last night when I got to this point. I was ready to jump into making a simple lining, sewing the ends together, hemming and putting elastic in the waist. I was thinking woohoo, I am going to get this done before bed.

Then LB woke up and needed me for a few minutes. As I sat with him I got to thinking about the actual dimensions of this great green and pink thing. It is 23 inches long and about 18 wide. Plenty long enough for a waist band and hem for a toddler skirt, but Monkey's waist is about 19 or 20 inches around. Sure if I sew the ends together it will fit around her, but it will fit like a straight jacket and she won't be able to walk (which may be very funny for a few minutes, but not a good long term idea)

My first reaction included words that I shouldn't say or type. My second reaction was that I needed to find a quick and easy solution. Perhaps just adding a solid section that would make it wide enough for her to move in. Or perhaps I needed this piece to be a skirt front and I would just need to make a back panel. Quick and easy way would be a single piece either pink or green. Or I should just put in the time to make what I originally had planned and make more strips, sew them together, and cut them into various widths. 

Any sewers reading this your comments would be greatly helpful in finding a solution to my lack of planning.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Monkey's Birthday Skirt

A while back I ended up at a charity fabric sale at a local church. All fabric was $1/meter. I picked up way more than I probably needed to and GeoDad asked what I was going to do with all of it.

First I made a dress for my niece.
Monkey trying on her cousin's dress
Then I made a skirt that I hope would fit Monkey, but it was a bit too small so I gave it to a friend who has a daughter Monkey's age as well a newborn girl. It was a bit of trial and error, but it has given me the confidence to tackle something a little more complicated.

The skirt barely covers Monkey's bum, and I had to really fight to get in onto her.
After the last couple crazy weeks I thought I should ease myself back into sewing so I made a couple new soother clips for LB.
I am a big fan of the train ribbon that I used.

Then I got to work on the next project out of the almost free fabric is going to be a birthday skirt for Monkey. I picked the green and pink broadcloth and set to work cutting strips, and sewing them together to make a set of stripes. Then I cut all set of the stripes into 7 different widths. 3/4 inch to 2 1/4 inch.
The end of the set of the stripes, forgot to take a picture earlier.

Nice variety of widths. 

Next I am going to sew all those strips back into a useable length of fabric and it will be a skirt that fits Monkey (I hope). I probably could have made progress on that tonight, but instead I searched for fabric online and procrastinated. I probably could have got some stain on the Ugly Hutchling too... but I didn't. Oh well I have lots more weekend to work on both projects.

Enjoy May Long Weekend. Hopefully the weather stays nice for everyone. 


Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Ugly Hutchling

Once there was an Ugly Hutchling. The lady that owned the Ugly Hutchling thought it was too ugly and tried to sell it in a garage sale. But no one would buy it. She tried to sell it online. But no one would buy it. She tried to give it away. But no one would take it. It was just too Ugly.

Then one day the lady's daughter came home after finding a new house to live in. The daughter saw the Ugly Hutchling, but instead of seeing how Ugly it was she saw that with a bit of work it could be a Beautiful China Cabinet for her new home.

The lady offered to help her daughter transform the Ugly Hutchling into a Beautiful China Cabinet. They set to work sanding the Ugly Hutchling. Removing layers of clear coat and the ugly grey-white finish.

After sanding the whole base of the Ugly Hutchling the daughter could see the inner beauty, a solid oak cabinet. All it would need is a bold and exciting stain color to help it look new. The daughter and her hubby thought about the colors in their new house and thought about the colors they liked the most. They chose to stain the cabinet as bright an orange as they could get. A stain would allow the Cabinet's inner beauty show through, while giving the daughter and her hubby a unique new piece of furniture to place in their new home.

The daughter tested the stain on drawer. She wiped it on. It was so bright.

Then she waited 15 minutes and wiped it off. 

The daughter was sad that it was getting late, she wanted to keep working on the cabinet. But it would to wait until the sun came back up.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

April (hmm, or early May) Weigh In

I would like to start off with an small apology... sorry for not posting more over the last few weeks. As I mentioned last week, things have been chaotic. GeoDad has started at his new awesome job, we have put all our stuff from our house up north in storage (and will get it shipped after get down to our new house in Calgary). We have found place to call home starting in June. It is beautiful 2 story house with 3 bedrooms and a great big deck and good sized yard. Now the downside to all of these good things happening is that for the month of May kiddos and I are staying with my Mom while GeoDad crashes on the spare bed at my Grandma's. My days are way more busy without GeoDad around. I am adjusting ok, but just to keep me on my toes LB is also starting to grow some teeth, so there has been way less sleep at night on his part.

I have not sewn anything at home since getting back from our house packing trip. I basted 17 hexies while driving around Calgary.. but that is the only semi-productive crafting time I have had.

Now it is probably time to admit a few things that I am not proud of from the last few weeks. I have been craving chocolate (which is what I do when I am stressed, and moving stresses me out big time). Cravings aren't so bad if you can manage them in a positive way, like 1 square of dark chocolate after dinner, but I have been caving and eating donuts, cupcakes and brownies. I know that it is not helping me get to my goals and when I am done the eating the chocolate I kind of feel like slapping myself for not being more focused.

Here what I have been doing fitness wise for the last week and bit since getting back from the packing trip.

End of week 10 and week 11 Fitness
May1: Getting back into the swing of things. 30 minute online pilates.
May2: Walk to CrossFit and back pushing both kids in my good double stroller. CrossFit: Strenght; Sumo Deadlifts. 85% at 5x3 reps. I wasn't paying enough attention to what I was doing and did: 85lbs 4x5reps. WOD: 10 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of 5 push press, 7 hang cleans, 9 deadlifts. Completed: 5 rounds. I am over thinking power cleans/hang cleans/etc, and keep not getting it right. I know what the movement should be, and I can't seem to make my body do it. It is pretty frustrating.
May3: Walked to CrossFit pushing both kids in the big stroller. Babysat. Walked home.
May4-5: Took kiddos to Calgary so we could find a house to live in. Does packing the truck count as exercise?
May6: CrossFit: Test for 1 Rep Max Back Squat. 135lbs. Max sit-ups (cap at 50): 50!!! Max push-ups: 22. WOD: Tabata: (8 rounds of each exercise: each round is 20 seconds, 10 second rest): squats, burpees, hollow rocks, push-ups. Completed: 88 squats, 24 burpees, 70 hollow rocks, 51 push-ups. 
May7:Walk at off-leash area with kiddos, grandma, and dogs.
May8: CrossFit: Strength: Rack Jerk 85% 5 by 3 reps. 75lbs. WOD: 21-15-9 reps of deadlifts and box jumps. Deadlifts at 65lbs, stepups on 12inch box completed in 4:38.

And now its time for the weigh in. As of May 2, these are the numbers:
My weight 232 lbs (down 4 lbs since March 31, total 10 lbs lost)
Chest: 36 inches (no change from March 31, down 1 inch total)
Waist: 39 inches (down 2 inches from March 31, down 3 inches total)
Hips: 50 inches (down 0.5 inches from March 31, down 1 inch total)

And Photos... but I will admit is it not a good comparison to see my baggy clothes and my gym clothes side by side (and normally Monkey is wearing pants, but not while I was taking photos today).

Feb 27, 2013 - Start
March 31, 2013 - 5 week Check In
May 9, 2013 - 11 week Check In
I have a ways to go yet, but losing the first 10 lbs, and 5 inches in a good start. There is a few more weeks of chaos until we are completely moved, and then I will work on finding a new routine that works me and kids and that will help me achieve my goals.

I have loved hearing your words of encouragement and thank you for reading, blogging is keep me more accountable to myself (other than the chocolate cake/donuts over the last few weeks).


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Week 8 Fitness, Week 9 and 10 Chaos

April15: CrossFit: Strength: Rack Jerk - Test for 1 Rep Max: 105lbs. WOD: 20 rounds of 30%pushups, 30% sit ups, 30% squats. Completed: 20 rounds of 5 push ups, 10 sit ups, 10 squats in 27:37. Longest WOD I have done. Total of 100 push ups, 200 sit ups and 200 squats. I am tired, but happy I finished. I strongly debated stopping at 15 rounds when I was doing my 11th round I realized there was 9 more to do. Thinking I can do one more round got me through rounds 12 to 16 and then there were only a few more to reach the full 20 rounds.
April16: 30 minute online pilates class. I am loving having access to so many yoga and pilates videos at www.myyogaonline.com. I would definitely recommend a subscription if you are looking to do a bit of exercise at home.
April17: Kids are almost healthy. We got outside for a short walk late in the day.
April18: CrossFit: Strength: Box Squats at 85% - 5 x 3 reps. 95lbs. WOD: As many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of 10 kettlebell swings, 20m shuttle run. Completed 12 rounds with a 8 lb kettlebell.
April19&20: Naptime exercise didn't happen because GeoDad and I were working on details of our move to the big city and some times we like to grocery shop without Monkey in tow. And it won't stop snowing.. GRRR.
April21: 55 minute online power yoga. LB helped for most of it.. it is much harder to balance when your 7 month old is playing with your toes.
April22: CrossFit: Strength: Power Clean test for 1 rep max. Never got there, new coach was more detailed with technique and I was having trouble figuring it out. My timing of the lift is way out which is making it hard. WOD: 750 m row, double unders, 500 m row, double unders, 250 m row, double unders. Number of double unders is your age + body weight divided by 3 for each set. I can't do double unders (Skipping) and normally the ratio is 1 double under = 2 skips. Doing the rough math this would have required me to do 173 skips between rowing each time. Coach and I decided to scale it back to 80 skips. Completed WOD in 12:05.

April 23-April30: Chaos.
Ok, not complete chaos, but we have had a ton going on. We have been staying in Alberta with my Mom while GeoDad looks for work, our house was being watched by housesitters and friends up in the Yukon. When we finally found out that GeoDad had a new awesome job in Calgary it was time to figure out what to do with the rest of our life, and go back home to deal with our house. Here is a rough time line of the last 10 days.
April23 drive to airport, fly part way to the Yukon, overnight in hotel.
April24 arrive in the Yukon. PACK HOUSE! Haul stuff out of storage shed, over the 2 feet of snow in our yard (stupid never ending winter) using snowshoes so we don't sink up to our knees.
April25 PACK HOUSE, putting everything in a storage locker.
April26 Move big furniture to storage locker. LB and I fly back to Alberta, as we left Monkey with my Mom. GeoDad finishing packing house.
April27 GeoDad should have started driving, but had a small amount of work to do for his previous employer (who is now hiring me, but I haven't been trained yet, so GeoDad had to do it).
April28 GeoDad starts the drive south with just a truck load. Blizzards along the way makes for a slow day of driving. Me and kids enjoy the nice weather in Alberta.
April29 GeoDad finishes the drive to back to us in time for dinner. We unload the truck and start looking for a place to live in Calgary.
April30 GeoDad spends a bit of time relaxing and playing with the kids, gets a haircut, changes his cell number then leaves for Calgary. I try to find space for the things we brought back with us (clothes mostly because the kids have grown since we were at home last).

Nice short 2287 km move. 
May1 GeoDad starts his new job. Now its time for me to the kids back into a routine and get myself exercising again. Packing, moving and all the change going on in our lives has been very stressful. I have eaten more chocolate and sweets than I should have, and had more coffee than normal. May is looking like it will be a great month of lessening our stress levels and getting outside to enjoy a bit of spring weather. Maybe I will get some more sewing done too.

Off to do some pilates before kiddos wake up from their naps.