My 6th graders this year have historically been a pretty rough group. I’ve seen them through 5 years of a lot of really hard days. This year I decided I wasn’t going to be afraid of them anymore. I can’t change the circumstances in their lives that make them react to things the way that they do, I can just try and love them the best I can.
So today, I way went out on a limb. There’s this beautiful lullaby that is in part of Jill Trinka’s collection.
The lyrics are thus:
Lady, lady, buy a broom for my baby
Lady, lady, buy a broom for my baby
Sweep it low, sweep it high, sweep the cobwebs out of the sky
Lady, lady, buy a broom for my baby
Text wise–this is SO NOT APPROPRIATE for 6th graders, but again, I decided to take a chance. Why? Because the melody is stunning (and will help my kids with tonic and dominant chords) and they need more beauty in their lives.
It was AWESOME to watch them learning this song. They were all embarrassed, but I could tell that they really liked it too–like they were shy about admitting how much their sweet little hearts were touched by this simple little tune. In this super-techy world filled with so much noise and ugliness, I’m reminded of how the joy of a simple song can be just the balm a weary heart needs. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
Hello. I’m Lise. I’ve had a bad day. My cherry strudel EXPLODED in the oven and I burned my finger.
But I decided to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again. So I picked up my accordion and started to practice some music for Oktoberfest. That Top of the Hill Polka really is fun.
That was nice, but something was missing. I knew it–I needed a COSTUME for Oktoberfest.
Thankfully I had a light breakfast (what with my strudel EXPLODING)…I seriously don’t know how ladies ever used to breathe in these corset thingys. I sure am playing better though.
What’s that? I sound like Myron Floren? Really?! Why thank you.
This is the Burdastyle Minna pattern.
Things I love:
I love the color…but I wouldn’t have bought fabric in a color I didn’t love.
The gathers were quite fun to put in, and I think they look really nice with the charmeuse.
I hemmed it with iron on hem tape–I didn’t have time to do anything else and because it ended up being much shorter than expected, it saved me, plus it gave that blind hem look. Sometimes cheaters do prosper.
Things I’m not so excited about:
The shoulders on the pattern are way too big. Part of it probably had to do with the fact that some of my gathers pulled out as I was pinning on the trim. Also because of the pleats, it was hard to gauge exactly how big everything would be pre-sewing.
It’s very short. I like skirts and dresses to hit me at the knee. The pattern was for a 5’6″ person–I’m 5’3″…I shudder to think how short it would be if I had gone against my instincts and shortened it.
The armhole placement was not marked at all on the pattern, so of course I stitched all the way up before realizing that that wasn’t very useful. Yea for seam rippers.
All in all, it’s not a bad go for a first dress. Now that I have the dress form, I guess really my challenge is to be able to alter things before I get to the finished state. I guess that’s what muslins are for…sometimes I lack patience for making an entire muslin. If I have a general idea that it will work out for the most part and I didn’t spend a fortune on the fabric, I usually just go for it. Sometimes things work out well, sometimes not so much (like the t-shirt I made from fabric that stretched far more than I expected with two different length sleeves–ha–it was funny).
when you’re crafting/sewing?
Rick Bayless and his daughter Lanie’s cookbook has these neat little blurbs in each chapter of suggested music for cooking the various things each chapter is devoted to. When I got this book and saw it I was intrigued because I never actually listened to anything while working before (with the exception of listening to all of my music history listening assignments while doing homework in college).
So for me, certain days have certain moods. Today is a Barber of Seville day–Rossini matches my happy mood. Tomorrow probably will be polka time, and Saturday might be Mozart or Bach.
Here’s the start of my dress. I finished the front and back sections and pinned the whole thing onto Tina. I’m not sure I like the proportions yet. I cut the pattern so to accomodate my smaller top/larger bottom….but it looks like the opposite is true at the moment. Rossini will help me figure it out. Hopefully I’ll finish it all tomorrow.
I always underestimate exactly how much emotional and physical energy teaching takes out of me at the beginning of every school year. My classes are really good in general (there’s always a few gems), but the first couple of weeks of school always seem to put me in a place where nothing else can exist.
I have a wedding to play for this week (I have a simple dress cut for it but I won’t get to touch it until tomorrow) and my nephew’s birthday is coming up soon, so there’s a project in the works for that too. Right now the only thing creative going on is cooking which is survival creativity for me. I go nuts if I don’t cook. So off to the kitchen for some much needed comfort of alphabet soup from this book (one of the first cookbooks that I owned–it came with these jazzy measuring spoons that I still use because they are color-coded and I have always thought in color).
I’ve been in need of a dress form for a while. I picked up Subversive Seamster at the library several months ago and saw that it had directions for making one out of duct tape and an old t-shirt, but I hadn’t gotten around to it until last week. The clothes in there aren’t really my style, but the directions for the dress form are very clear and simple. Nathan made the stand on Saturday. I hope it’ll be a great help in sewing clothes. Why Tina? Because I think she just looked like a Tina.
I’m continually envious of the miraculous things that crafty bloggers manage to dig out of the trash or find for next to nothing at the thrift store. Is there something wrong with where I live that I can’t find stuff–am I not looking right? Who knows. What I do know is that I scored BIG TIME yesterday.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of having a classroom set of little carpet squares for my youngest students. It all started last year when one of my more kinesthetic boys (read–sweet kid but huge discipline issue) was transformed into a really good student by the aid of a little chunk of carpet his teacher suggested I borrow one day. For some fascinating reason, it helped him define his boundaries. Even on the days when he played with the carpet, I knew he was WAY more engaged then the days before and after he used the little square. That being said, carpet squares are really quite expensive for the classroom, and going to a carpet store to see if they will donate any leads me to believe I’ll end up with a pile of things of questionable origin which I have plenty of in my classroom (recorders/av equipment/weird books–literally, people dump things off some days–one day someone gave me a box of broken instruments–who’s going to use that?).
So after thinking about this for a really long time, I came up with the solution to sew a bunch of little mats for my kids. I just so happened to find this CRAZY Ikea fabric
at Goodwill for $4. It’s actually a duvet cover that measures 84″X100″! This gave me enough fabric to make 30 cushions which is more than plenty. I’m excited–I think it will brighten my classroom and help my kids focus on several different planes. I have big plans for these squares beyond sitting on them. I love it when the Lord answers a really silly prayer like, gee, I would love to have something for my kids to sit on, but my classroom budget cannot afford it.
I actually sewed them all AT school which was really fun–I have a really hard time making manipulatives at home because it feels like school is overtaking home, so this week week, since I was GIVEN time to get my classroom in order, I decided to use it instead of just planning which I can always do at home without it taking over my life/brain/house. I still need to add little squares of non-slip matting to the bottom of all of them because of some of the other applications I’ll be using them for. Here they are in their natural habitat behind my white board where I teach.
I sewed some of them with the wrong side out for contrast.
My box that I won from decor8 came this weekend. It is chock full of SO much stuff. Tons of fabric samples and wee bits of paper and nifty cards and other lovely goodies to keep me busy probably for years. I’m really quite overwhelmed with people’s generosity in donating things for this contest. I feel really blessed to have won. Here are some highlights:
And perhaps my favorite, this wee little zippered bag from Double H which is already housing my makeup.
My history with hair products is long and rather sordid. Ever since the joys of puberty turned my hair curly when I was living in a climate of year round 100% humidity, I have used about a million different things to keep the frizz at bay. 2 years ago, I started reading about all the icky chemicals in hair products and cosmetics and I chucked all of my old stuff in favor of things without any artificial preservatives or things that you need a degree in chemistry to understand. I’ve been a lot healthier because of it, but lately my hair has been quite dry, which it never is. I read about washing your hair with baking soda and rinsing it with apple cider vinegar at angrychicken who read about it here , and I thought–why not. So after 2 days, my hair is feeling remarkably healthy and clean. You can’t really get more natural than 2 ingredients.
I did add some things. First, I whizzed about 2 T each of lavender flowers and powdered chamomile with some baking soda in the food processor until the lavender was quite pulverized. It smells nice and my hair dearly loves both herbs. Secondly, I really don’t feel like smelling like a pickle either in the shower or afterwards. I know that the smell of vinegar tends to go away when it’s dry, but I have to go to work with wet hair because I am incapable of getting up at 4 am just to wash my hair, so the idea of being a pickle for my first couple of classes is a little fishy at best. So, to enough vinegar to fill an old olive oil bottle, I added about 30 drops each of German chamomile and lavender essential oils. The essential oils tend to negate the vinegary smell. Just give the bottle a shake before you use it (it’ll look like salad dressing funny enough), and you’re good to go.
Things are tougher with the styling products. I just can’t seem to get my soft bouncy curls with all natural/homemade stuff. Grr. Back to the drawing board.\
I got my package from decor8, and I’ll post pictures later.
My women’s group and I are going on a retreat this weekend, so I wanted to make them all a small present just because. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but I haven’t gotten around to it, so I figure the day that we’re leaving I might do something about that. ;) So I found several Bible verses, wrote them on index cards that I sewed to little squares of fabric and then zigzagged the edges. They turned out really nice. I wrapped them in squares of fabric leftover from my swimsuit experiment that didn’t work out (more on that later).