20 April 2018

"Tornado Watch" vs. "Tornado Warning" Explained

Have you ever gotten confused about the difference between a "tornado watch" and a "tornado warning"?

11 April 2018

My 1941 Singer!

It was my grandmother's.  This machine does everything the modern machines do... if you like to sew in a straight line.  It's a bit harder to thread than the new machines and the needle is placed in sidewise.  Not sure how I'll replace this one when it breaks.

It came with a carrying case, some extra bobbins, bunches of special attachments, and an instruction booklet.  The instructions tell you to call your Electric Light Company to enquire about the specific voltage and cycles of your local electricity.  Yeah, I skipped that step.  

Rose is not sure she wants to try to thread this machine.  It really isn't that hard, kiddo.

Woodjie wanted his photo taken, too!  Isn't he cute?  

08 April 2018

$4 Thrift Store Dress Makeover!

I got a cute velour dress for Rose at the local thrift shop, but the "bling" parts were missing.  I think someone pulled them off before making their donation.  So I'm gluing little craft gems for a bit of sparkle!

I rolled a bit of dental wax onto the end of this thumbtack.  See how it sticks to the little gem?  That saves my fingers from getting glue-y.  "Dental wax" is the stuff people put on the brackets of their braces when they first get them or when they've gotten a sharp edge and are waiting for an appointment.  If you don't have occasion to get it for "free" with your $5000 purchase as we did, it's available at your local drugstore.
For this project, I used Gem-Tac glue, but I think next time I'll use the trusty E6000.  It is far more messy, hard to accurately dispense and has smelly/ bad for you fumes, but it holds better.

A close-up of the pattern on Rose's "new" dress.

So pretty!  Rose chose pink and clear gems for this project.  

03 April 2018

Need Help With Meal Planning?

Let Hy-Vee grocery's licensed nutritionist help you select just the right candy for dinner today!

Sewing Dance Costumes!

I had the outfit itself done in this photo, but I was playing around a bit with the accessories to see what would look best.  I decided to go with just one pink stripe as you see below.

I made everything you see in this photo except the pants and Rose's stockings.  I actually have made a pair of matching blue pants, but they're longer than these and Woodjie should wear the shorter ones out first, yes?

Plushy stretch velour flowers

Rose embellishes her summer shorts.  She doesn't want to spend more than a few minutes sewing at this age.

30 March 2018

Serger Shopping in the USA

Serger/ overlock machine.  Image from wikipedia.
In terms of what most of the world has to live on per day, I actually have a lot of money to spend on a new serger.  It's just sitting there in the bank waiting to be spent. But I might just wind up buying something cheap I know I will throw away later.

I don't want to be the way I am, really, I don't.  What I'd generally like to do is to go and buy machines that are made here in the USA, use my stuff practically forever, save the environment and so on.  Sure, I'm willing to spend twice or even three times as much for a machine if I know it's going to support real working families etc etc.  But more than that, I like buying well-made stuff.

But here's the problem.  If I buy the American-made stuff, I can expect to spend about ten times as much as the cheap China stuff. At those prices?  I think I'm pretty reasonable when I say I'd sure like to be able to repair my machine when it breaks somewhere locally, not be charged an arm and leg for repairs.  I also shouldn't have to wait weeks for my machine to be returned.  It just doesn't work that way in real life, though.

Here's an example: in the past I've bought Riccar vacuums.  I bought locally so my "authorised repair center" was just up the street from me for a while.  Which you'd think would be a great thing, but the quality of the workmanship was not so hot.

Since I'm looking at sergers, the nearest authorised repair center for the model I realllly want is in UTAH.  That's an 18-hour drive one way if I (somehow) were committed to going to a brand-specific repair center and didn't need to stop on the drive.  I could not imagine how severely upset I would be if I encountered shoddy workmanship after a trek like that!!

Past a certain point, I don't care how well-made your machine is, I'm not going to bother with it.  I'll buy some cheap made in China thing and in a couple of years when it busts, I'll know the repair bill and the hassle is higher than the cost of a new machine and into the trash it goes.

I hate being like this.  I hate it.  I've been watching youtube videos on how to use the most nifty sergers and I love all the super-expensive/ handy features.   But I just can't buy something that amazing, knowing that the slightest problem with the machine will mean an unending hassle.

18 March 2018

Happy Day After St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a photo of my great-great-great-grandfather, John Barron (the young fellow with the mutton chops).  He was born in 1831 in Wexford, Ireland, and immigrated to the US in 1849.  Shown below his photo are his immigration papers in which he renounces all allegiance to Queen Victoria.