Saturday, February 22, 2014

Feeling restless

It might be the hint of spring in the air.  (We had thunderstorms and 50 degree temps the other day and a lot of the snow melted, yay!)

It might be that I've been at my job for 4 months and this is starting to feel "normal".

But the other 87.5% of feeling restless?  I can't put my finger on it.  I'm going to do some boring mindless cleaning today and see if the answer finds it's way out of my confused tangled snarl of a subconscious.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Pretty please, Spring?

I'm ready!  Just knock on the door.

Another 6-8 inches of snow over night.  My commute into work this morning was interesting.  Let's just make up the lanes on the interstate cause we have no idea where they are suppose to be!  I also fishtailed my way off an exit ramp onto another interstate.  Oh well, the van and I made it in one piece with only a few spikes of adrenaline.

So I spent my lunch break and most of this evening after work looking at a seed catalog, reading gardening blog posts, and drooling over pictures of green plants.  One of these days...


Monday, January 27, 2014

The Jean Quilt Saga

(On a two hour delay from work this morning.  Yay!  I don't have to chug my coffee like it's last call!)

So several years back, I learned how to make jean quilts.  It's not all that tricky, it's like regular quilting except in squares and strips without any fancy shapes or fabrics or colors and jean quilts are hand tied, not machine quilted.  (Well I suppose you could machine quilt but I don't.  It can be a lot of stress on the sewing machine.)  The thing with starting a thing is that all of a sudden, it's your thing.  People heard I've made jean quilts and they started giving me their old jeans.  Um...

Don't get me wrong, I like jean quilts for various reasons.  First the majority of the fabric is kinda free (old jeans), it follows Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, and jeans quilts are cozy and warm.  But all of a sudden, I had tons of jeans, no time to make quilts and kinda no place to store the jeans.  When we moved into the townhouse, the laundry baskets of jeans ended up in the upstairs hall.  I hate clutter and things not having a place and all these jeans were cluttery and not in a place.  Annoyed the crap out of me for oh, 10 months.  (Procrastination, thou art a bitch.)

Anyway with all the various snow days and holidays and just being stuck in the house more often, I decided to tackle the jeans.  Here are the steps:

Tear all the jeans into usable pieces.
Puzzle piece and place in rows.
Pin and sew all the pieces in a row together.
Sew the rows together.
Iron seams flat.
Trim edges to make straight.
Sew together the backing fabric (fabric isn't sold wide enough so requires sewing two pieces together).
Use basting spray and pins to hold the jeans and backing fabric together.
Hand tie the two layers.
Baste stitch the edges.
Trim the excess backing fabric.
Machine sew one side of the bias tape binding to the quilt edge.
Hand stitch the other side of the bias tape binding to the quilt edge.
Voila!  Jean quilt!

Honestly for me the longest part is tearing all the damn blasted jeans apart into usable pieces.  Did you catch where I said laundry baskets of jeans?  And there were also 2 black trash bags full.  We had A LOT of jeans.  I almost had enough to make 5 jeans quilts.  Well I am making 5 jean quilts anyway and I would have had enough except I decided to make the boys' quilts one row longer than the girls and I'm short ONE pair of jeans.  I think I have an old pair I can sacrifice, I just haven't gone digging in my closet yet.

Anyway here's where I am currently:

Jean Quilt #1 & #2: need to machine sew and hand stitch bias tape on and DONE.
Jean Quilt #3: need to trim jean edges, sew backing fabric pieces together, and so on
Jean Quilt #4: needs one pair of jeans to sew on to finish last row, otherwise it's to "iron seams flat" stage
Jean Quilt #5: ran out of heavy duty jean thread, in the middle of "sew all the pieces in a row together"

(I guess technically I'm out of thread for Jean Quilt #4 as well.)

(Also I don't have the backing fabric for Jean Quilts #4 or #5 yet.)

At least the project is well under way.  I'm actually quite good at finishing projects once started, it's the starting that holds me up for quite awhile.  I hope to be finished by mid-February.  And then, done done done done done.  I kinda never want to make another jean quilt in my life.

tl;dr  I had a lot of old jeans, I'm making quilts out of them.  Also?  No more jean donations ever!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Linky Love

Foundation to Decrease World Suck   One of my new favorite charities, with a name like that, you can't go wrong.

Kiva.org  Micro-loans to help small businesses across the world.  On my To Do list to help fund some loans after my next paycheck.

John and Hank, Nerdfighter videos  Founders of the above mentioned Foundation to Decrease World Suck.  Hilarious vloggers with a great message.  Also, John lives in Indiana at the moment and writes awesome young adult books.  Win, win, win.




Sunday, January 19, 2014

YAY!


I think I might be getting the hang of my post divorce, post nursing school life.

(This is NOT a challenge to the universe to throw a monkey wrench the size of Texas into my life now.  Just saying.)

It just seems like everything up until about now has been me running around putting out fires.  I couldn't get ahead of the craziness to do any preventative fire ditch digging or spraying flame retardant, it was all I could do to keep everything from falling down in ashes. Or going up in smoke?  I'm getting lost in my own metaphors.

I've mentioned before that my finances are finally looking sorta normal.  It's so much easier to balance a household budget with a decent influx of income.  Who knew, right?  It also means I can finally buy some long needed things without having a nervous breakdown.  I still haven't bought much yet though because having a savings account with more than $100 in it is pretty sweet.

Long story short, not spending much on piddly needed things yet but I did put down a deposit for a rental beach condo in South Carolina for the kids' spring break.  YAY!  I've been kicking around some travel ideas for awhile and with all the crappy snow here in Indiana, I want out.  And so do the kids.  I figured heck, I have money, I have vacation days, the kids will be off school and not running in a million directions to camps or grandparent's houses like they do in the summer, so let's go somewhere for spring break!  YAY!  This is almost like a normal thing that families do.  It's so exciting!  YAY!

Besides our crappy towels can hold out for another few months.  The mini-blinds have been fine as window treatments for the last year, we can be curtain-less for awhile longer.  If it's not broke, don't replace it.  I've always said I'd rather travel than "have stuff" so it's time to put my money where my mouth is.  We're going to the beach!  YAY!



Monday, January 06, 2014

New Year

Subtitled: And a Snow Day

I might do a monthly wrap up of the past year later but at the moment, I don't want to.  2013 had some HUGE (like "OMG T-Rex GINORMOUS!") ups and downs and I'm finally finding my footing emotionally this last week and I don't necessarily want to revisit last year yet.  Denial, not just a river in Africa…  Also?  Run-on sentences, the way I live my life.

Anyway things are looking up.  Even with a foot of snow on the ground (because that would be looking down…), but more on that in a minute.  I'm loving my new job so much that I'm almost to the Irish "I'm related to the Murphy's,  what's going to go wrong now?" looking over my shoulder.  I have a savings account.  I have a retirement plan.  I have renters, health, and life insurance.  These all are a big weight off my shoulders.  I don't want to get all political (in social class sort of way) but now that I've tasted a bit of "being poor" for the last few years, I can see why moderately wealthy to rich people don't understand the stresses of the poor.  The stupid little shit that the rich don't even think about in their daily lives are gigantic problems for those without money.  And it's so insanely stressful, it's not funny.  I will never take any of this for granted ever again.

Back to the snow, the kids were already scheduled to be off school today so the fact that there are 12 inches of snow on the ground and a windchill of -30F doesn't really matter to them.  But all this craziness means that Homeland Security (not particularly a fan but whatever) has placed travel advisories on us and the state of Indiana is pretty much just closed.  At least central to northern Indiana is.  Which for me just means my "non essential" clinic is closed and I "have" to stay home.  Darn…  *shrugs*  Even though I love my job (see above), I don't really want to go out in this mess.

Happy New Year, Happy Snow Day, and keep warm.

Quote of the Day: "A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." -Carl Reiner