Month: March 2017

What is Rest?

84VcL0XPThis week I finished two of the three last projects for work, and am half way through the final one. I have realized that until those are completed, I really don’t feel disconnected from work. Not surprising after doing 4-H for 31 years I guess! I see a time in Limbo Land ahead; it is not unwelcome, but very unknown to me. I sense that this my time of rest, but I wish I had an inkling about how long that might be. Should I sign up to sub for the school district? Should I market my piano studio into a larger venture? Should I just stay at home for two or three months before even thinking about it? After being scheduled 6 and 8 months out for years, this is a bit challenging!

I know that I need to rest, but what does rest look like? I don’t think it is weeks of no plans, or just doing whatever each day, at least not for me, but I don’t believe that scheduling lots of activities is a good thing either. I’m trying to find the middle ground here, a combination of necessary chores, if you will, things that I love to do, and figuring out things I want to do. I don’t think I can rest unless I feel some sense of accomplishment at the the end of the day. DSCN0666[1]

This is all so confusing and weird! I hadn’t even started thinking about not working, and now I’m in the middle of it!  So, my plan for this week?  In addition to the work projects, I had a BIG task, some NECESSARY things, and things for ME.


BIG TASK: The Basement…home of the “library” and storage.  Long story short, we have passed on lots of resources to other homeschool families this past week, most of the books are shelved now, and a bunch of unnecessary papers have been disposed of. We are making a trip to the dump on the next nice day with all the big junk that needs to go. ( from the entire basement😊) In the process, the family room looks like a family room instead of a paper and book processing plant, and all the books from my office, and Girl #2’s room are in their proper places in the library. Soon, I hope to call the basement good enough to move on to some other BIG TASK.

NECESSARY TASK: Clean the house…not the deep cleaning I plan to do as a BIG task, but scheduling a portion each day, so that the house is the clean I want it to be if I am home all day! This does include deliming the bathroom tile, (which will take weeks of treatment, I’m sure,) really dusting, and washing the wood floors, etc.

THINGS FOR ME: I’ve had to send my Necchi in for an adjustment…though I did get Girl #2’s machine cleaned and running again. 🙂 I can’t really do much sewing until I can clean up the room, which requires completing the BIG and NECESSARY TASKS, but in the mean time I’m perking along on some knitting, reading and cross stitching, as well as conquering a couple of troublesome accompaniments on the piano. 

And of course, I am enjoying some very pleasant coffee breaks with DH and walks with super corgi, Max, who isn’t very modest!

Is this rest? Maybe not in the physical sense, but in the mental sense, I think so.


Drafting Strawberry Fields

I pulled out my flat pattern book from college and was amazed that I once knew all this stuff. Keep in mind, I was an AG Scinces Major; I took Flat Pattern my last semester; I think I needed 3 credits, and was really pleased to be able to take something that was totally stress free and just plain fun.  😍  The others in my class thought I was a bit odd, but we got along in the end.

My inspiration for Girl #2’s requested top is Simplicity 1425, but after looking around, I wasn’t too keen on dishing out $10 for something that shouldn’t be that difficult to draft. I rummaged around and found an 80’s dress pattern that will not be happening, but had a princess bodice, perfect for what I had in mind. I lined up my pattern pieces, and made marks across each to match up the natural waistline, then added a 5/8 inch seam allowance to each one.

The Bodice front has a deep v neckline, so I changed it to a rounded neckline. (Yes, that is a cereal bowl….I never did get a French curve for class, and have always regretted it!) This will be just a tad lower than a standard jewel neckline, since I can’t fit it to the girl. The lower neckline will be more forgiving, and a possibly a little cooler.

Peplums are not difficult, and require nothing more than a straight edge. First, measure  the width of each pattern piece across the seam line (the natural waist here) and subtract the seam allowance. This is HALF the actual waist measurement (with some ease) which will be the same as the top of the peplum.

Draft a sloper, shaped like a rectangle, out of heavy paper with those measurements, marking the location of the  center front, back and side seams. Make the sloper the length you want the peplum. Next, make 5 vertical lines, evenly spaced, perpendicular to the top. Cut these lines nearly to the top edge then place a piece of pattern weight paper under the sloper. Now spread each cut according to the amount of fullness wanted in the peplum. (I opted for 1.75 inches.) When satisfied, tape the sloper, and trace the outside edges. Add the seam allowances, transfer the center and side seam markings, and you are ready to cut your fabric!

My inspiration pattern uses a looped 3 button closing in the back, which seems a bit dangerous, so I will probably do an invisible zipper Instead.  I’m planning to face the neckline and armholes with self bias from the scraps. After a trip to the fabric store I’l be ready to stitch!

Book Review–1906

I listened to this book, because I needed a diversion while driving to and from Pierre last weekend (190 miles one way). It was an engaging listen, formatted much like a police report, with dates and times. The author,  James Dalessandro, took the events in and around the San Francisco earthquake, created some characters for the story, and wove them in and out of the real life events and characters. I was ready to hunt the actual history when I finished. It was an enjoyable listen, and a very interesting piece of history I knew little about. It also kept me alert on the drive home, which was well past my normal bedtime, so while not riveting, it was definitely entertaining!

If you enjoy historical fiction, you may want to check this one out. I’d never read/listened to anything by this author, but I’m going to see what else he’s written. Happy Friday!

Peace Sweater #6

Drum roll, please….I have finished Diagram C!!!!!! The sweater is no longer just the body, but is now separated into Front and Back. I’m working the back first, and debating about finding some 2.5 mm regular needles. The stitch count will run at 135, anyone have an opinion on straight or round?

I’ve been using the two pair of circular needles I have, and it’s OK, but not great, since one is about 16 inches and the other is sleeve size. I haven’t found any online sources for 2.5 mm (2 1/2 on my Norwegian package). I tried a row with my 3’s and I could feel the difference, so not sure I want to go that route.

I am also very happy to change colors, the yellow highlighter was difficult to see in the evening lamp light. I opted for blue this round. 😄 I have worked 10 more rows on chart D, but it is slower for me working the pattern while purling. 

I have also found a mystery knit along, called the Knitterati Afghan,that is 30 10 inch knitted blocks over the next year, to celebrate Cascade Yarns’ 30th anniversary. I may use it as a break from Peace, depending on how I’m feeling. Find the link here. I first found it poking around on Ravelry. 

Pattern:  Peace by Dale of Norway DG1501

Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll in white and wonderland heather

Transition Land

After the drama of the past month, the rush to take care of details and loose ends, yesterday was my last day at work. Well it was supposed to be…as per usual in 4-H world, way too many things to do, and not enough time to get them done. I guess it was my fake last day! I have trophies for the next two events (like 300 of them) all over my office and flowing down the hall.

So, the plan for today: go in at 7:30 and continue to organize the awards and label the boxes, sign the statement I promised the Director (my boss’ boss), write a budget priority list for my successor, and write the narrative for the Hall of Fame awards to be presented in April.

I also have to get some training materials to someone I forgot in the chaos, and finish copying my contacts listing, just in case I need it.  Then I can take down the stuff on the walls and truly be done, except for that national committee I am on…I need to finish that, but I’ll do it from home.

Until these tasks are completed my brain is not ready to be done! My friend across the state was in the same boat…she was doing a training at 5:30 last night! We find it quite ironic, and have laughed a good deal! My apologies for boring you with these details, but it has helped me finish the list!

On the other side, I have been overwhelmed with the support, kind words and tokens of appreciation. My volunteers spoiled me rotten over the weekend, and I will be working on thank you for a very long time!

Post Transition-I haven’t scripted my first day, but may sit down this afternoon and begin working on a plan. My wonderful West River 4-H staff provided me with this brand new journal, so I am going to attempt some variation on a bullet journal. 

Today is supposed to be a lovely spring day, so I am ready to get this list done, and savor that feeling of “playing hooky” when everyone else is at work this afternoon. 

Book Review – Radio Girls

This historical novel, by Sarah-Jane Stratford captures a bit of the flavor of the post WWI era and the beginnings of the BBC. I was intrigued by the the subject, and am always willing to give a historical novel a try. I am an avid library user, both books and e-books, so I’ll give most things a go.

I enjoyed the story, and the history, and appreciated Stratford’s note at the back outlining where she went “novel,” and where she stuck to straight history. I think her current sensibilities filtered some of what she wrote, but it was still an enjoyable, relaxing read, which was perfect for me this week.

If I see other stories by this author, I’ll at least read the book jacket to see if I’m interested. I think the topic will be more of a draw than the author, but I could be wrong!

Strawberries, Peplums and Skirts

I have finally finished my twill skirt, though I have no pictures actually wearing it yet…😊

With it hanging you can actually see the hip adjustment. I finished the hem on Sunday, and  I’m thinking about wearing it to work, but people are here from campus to load up my event stuff so maybe I’ll hold off until their van is loaded….maybe not, they can load their own van!😆

I am now working out the details for a shell top with peplum for Girl#2, made out of this strawberry fabric no less! There’s likely not enough, so I’ll have to come up with a way to make it work. Time to dust of those drafting skills, I guess. It will be a congratulations package for her…last week she was accepted to Oxford And a few days later was offered a yearlong fellowship in Rome! Pretty crazy stuff for a little girl from nearly nowhere! 

I am queueing up several projects to bring me through these next couple of weeks of adjustments. I needed a vacation before all of this started, so I’m going to give myself a couple of weeks to de-stress, sew, think about my new future, sew, do a spring cleaning, and sew. Maybe we’ll have some nice weather too, and I can start on some of those garden dreams….today was warm, though somewhat cloudy, so spring is coming!