Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dinner Plate Hat from Sweater: How To


Seriously folks, this blog post is going to take longer to create than the hat, thanks to all the pictures I have to upload...

My victim: A size medium thrift store sweater in a ramie cotton blend:



Tools: The plate,

the scissors, a marker... and a measuring tape.


I place the plate on the upper back of the sweater, just barely avoiding where the tag is sewn in. Draw a circle around it. Cut it out. (I did all my marking and then all the cutting.)

Then, measure five inches from the bottom ribbing of the sweater, and cut off that strip. This will become your brim.




Handle the cut knit gently and it won't ravel out.



Take the brim piece and cut it into a long strip (it starts out as a loop) by making a cut in the center of the back or front of the sweater, so that if there are any seams in the strip they will be evenly spaced and towards the back.



Now take that strip, and fold it in half, and trim it so that the width will measure three inches at the ends, and five in the middle. When you spread it out, it will be like a gently sloping bell curve. You do this because you need more fabric in the front than you do in the back, since the hat sits back on your head.



Starting at the top of the circle (notice the ribbing pattern) and the middle of the strip, pin them together, right sides facing each other.


When you come to the back, make sure the ends are even. Now you sew a little seam in the back of the brim, and trim the excess, then zig zag your seam allowance.


Sew around your circle, straight stitch, close to the edge. Then go over the edges with a zig zag. It will never ravel now. If you are lucky enough to won a serger, just use that.






There's your hat. Obviously, it is huge.
Now comes the fun part!

Play around with pleats, ruffles, tucks and folds. Get creative and see what you like. You can give this thing many types of looks, from shower cap to snood to clown hat to something actually wearable, I hope.






I chose three pleats on one side, and a pleat in the back to take in the fullness, folding the brim back and adding a rose.

To make the rose I cut an extra strip of knit off the sweater--about six inches. I zig zagged around the edges to make them ruffly, then folded the strip on half and rolled it together, sewing and scrunching as I went along. This I sewed by hand, and then sewed it onto the three side pleats. I added some beads in the center of the rose as well.



And from behind:

Friday, May 30, 2008

The other pants leg...

got turned into this little "flapper hat". This one actually fits me. Woo Hoo! I think this is the first time in my big-headed life I've worn a hat that is not too small. A very nice experience, I must say. Now I'm beginning to understand the attraction. No worries about my hair, for one thing.

I call this the "Dinner Plate Hat" because for the crown of the hat, I traced around a dinner plate on the large "butt" of those huge jeans, just below the back pocket.

And then I calculated the circumference to cut the band. C=Dx3.14 remember?

When I put it on, initially, it looked like a badly fitted shower cap in denim, so I added the scrunchie pleats on one side, flipped up the "brim" and pinned it up with a brooch that desperately needed some work to do. I must say, I'm pleased with the results, even if it does look like a scrunched up, pinned denim shower cap....

My next project will be another dinner plate hat, cut from a thrift store sweater. I have an idea about how to go about doing that. I plan on taking pictures as I go along, and posting a "How To", but only if it turns out.

Well, here's the hat. I'm feeling a little camera shy today, hence the goofy grin:

And the side views, since each side is different....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Playing with Denim and a Blog Giveaway!

A friend of mine has the cutest little denim cap. I decided to try and copy it. So, in order to get some already faded denim, I went to the thrift store and purchased (on half-off day) the largest pair of jeans I could find on the rack for a mere two dollars.



I made the cap! Mine is slightly different, in that the band on hers was pieced from more than one strip of fabric and I decided to keep it simple the on my first try. The back of it sports a little denim bow, and the front is very plain, no brim. It has gentle elastic going through the front band which stretches out flat when worn.

It's a teensy bit more snug than I wanted it to be. Oh, well. Looks really cute on my youngest daughter, though!



Additionally, I made another book cover. This one is for my very first Morning Coffee blog giveaway!




So, if you would like a book cover made to fit the Jordanville prayer book, in plain denim with pink and purple dots on the inside lining fabric, drop me a line in the comments box, with your e-mail. All comments are moderated, so I won't post it if you ask me not to. If you do decide to participate, it would be nice if you dropped a separate comment without your e-mail that I could publish, as well. I will draw the winner's name next Monday, June 2, 2008.

US and Canada only, please. I don't want to ship anything to India. Sorry.

For all you non-Jordanville prayer book owners out there: It's a good prayer book. I recommend it highly.

Or, you can wait, and I'll do another blog give-away, soon. ;-)

Just to be clear, the hat is not part of the deal. We are hanging on to that.

Oh, and I thought I'd mention: Both these little projects were done with ONE LEG of that very large pair of jeans.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Too Good Not to Share!


Hot fresh bread just came out of the oven. A pot of vegetable soup along side. It's one of those rare moments of beauty that truly brings joy.

The Music I Listen To

H and S asks me in the comments section, what kinds of music I listen to, and not just Church music.

Well, lets see...there's the background music that plays on my second-favorite computer game called "Bejeweled" (It's one of those puzzle types of games where you move colored squares into sequences of three and they then disappear and the other blocks fall into place and things get rearranged and you keep going...very relaxing). It's sort of a smooth jazz type of muzac, which normally I hate but I'm getting used to it because I like the game so much...

For starters, I rarely listen to music unless I'm in the car. We don't buy music all that often, and when we do, it feels like a shot in the dark. I'm not super devoted to any one artist or band. I have started checking some music out from the library.

The newest CD we've bought is Coldplay...can't remember the title of it...the one that has "Yellow" on it.

I have an ancient copy of Chris DeBurgh's "Into the Light" floating around in my car.

Also Lynrd Skynrd's Greatest Hits.

I often check out ABBA's Greatest Hits from the Library.

Randy Travis has a gospel album that I've enjoyed, also from the library.

Lightningseeds Cloudcuckooland was a huge favorite in my college years.

As far as Christian Music....

Rich Mullins...although I only own one of his CDs and one tape (and no tape player).

There's this small-time group from Nashville, back in the 70's called Dogwood that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I went to a reunion concert of theirs (among other artists) last fall and was able to buy three of their CD's. So, very happy about that. Now I've been listening to their stuff and sort of getting them out of my system.

I used to love Michael Card, but have not had my hands on any his stuff in decades.

Same for the "Christian phase" of Bob Dylan's music.

I do really like (Fr.) Justin Matthew's CD "Confessing Between the Lines". He's Orthodox.

I also own (Fr.) Peter Jon Gilquist's CD "Ancient" and I like a few of the songs on that one, but not all. (also Orthodox).

We have a CD called "The Cross Culture Project" that has selections from a bunch of different musicians who are also Orthodox Christians. That's how we "found" Justin Matthews. I really like Cross Culture Project and wish I had more money to spend on building my collection, but I don't.


So, what it boils down to is: I have not spent much money on music to become a devoted follower of any group, band, artist or genre.

When I turn on the radio, it's usually to a country station, until that gets annoying. And then I switch to the Christian music station until that gets annoying and then I turn it off.

I can easily tell you what types of music I hate: Rap, Jazz, Muzac, R&B Pop, heavy metal, the Beatles and 50's music except for the Beach Boys, and children's music (of the John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt variety).

Outside of the car, I do like me some silence. If I were buying more music of the Orthodox Contemporary Music type, I would go for more of the Cross Culture Project CD's and then choose artists based on the songs from those albums that I liked.

Check out Saint Romanos Records for a look at what's current on the Orthodox Christian Music scene.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It Actually Happened!

I was at a party yesterday. It was a mix of people most of whom I didn't know. People standing around doing the small talk at parties thing. I joined the group of folks that my husband was talking to. A younger man and his father were chatting, and asking my dh about computer programming stuff. I could tell from the questions they were asking that they weren't in the computer field.

Then the man turns to me and asks me what I do. "I am homeschooling my four kids." And it was like someone flipped a switch on his face, and all the polite interest just vanished. I've never seen such a reaction that obviously disdainful before. I was taken aback.

To her credit, the man's wife tried to save the situation by saying something like "ah, you are a teacher!" in a syrupy voice.

That's when I decided to get my cain and take the kids for a mile long walk to play in the fountain down town.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Way to Give

Yesterday in my blog reading, I found out about a charity/almsgiving opportunity that I am really really really excited about.

The ideal set up for me would be to be able to do something charity/almsgivingwise out of my own home, with my sewing machine. I am responisble for taking care of and homeschooling my kids, and I have the added dubious joy of having less physical energy than many people and a bad back.

So, given all these restrictions, I've thought it would be nice to do something with my sewing skills.

For a while, I was hoping to do some sewing for some school kids in Swaziland, working with a friend who visited Swaziland last winter, but that has not panned out.

Yesterday, I learned about Goods4Girls. Goods for Girls

I'm so excited about this organization that it gives me chills.

Imagine being a very poor young girl in an African country. Perhaps you are an Aids orphan, or just very very poor. What if you have an opportunity to go to primary school? That would be nice, wouldn't it? What happens when you start your period and you have no sanitary supplies? Do you stay home a miss your exams? Do you use something very dirty and get a horrible vaginal infection? Do you risk social embarrassment by trying to rig up some leaves or something and then bleed all over the place? Do you take your male classmate up on his offer to buy you some pads in exchange for sex? (I was reading on the goods4girls website that transactional sex is common in very poverty stricken areas where the only collateral girls or women have is their bodies.)

etc.

Goods4Girls provides a cloth, reusable sanitary kit for a girl's mentrual needs. Distributing them in primary schools also gives an opportunity to educate young women about their menstruation, about sex and AIDS and other STDs. Goods4girls takes cash donations, one can donate by purchasing a kit from sellers of cloth mentrual products, such as Gladrags, or one can sew menstrual pads according to numerous available patterns and send them to Goods4Girls in Seattle, WA, who will distribute them via aid organizations to girls in Africa.

Like I said, this give me chills. It's just so basic. And so simple and easy. God have mercy! Jesus said: "Whatsoever you have done unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." If a girl in Africa is not "the least of these" I surely don't know who is.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Going off the meds because the side effects are hideous and getting worse...dizziness, nausea, headache.

And now I'm worried about feeling low. Yeah, um.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Modest Swimwear: Some Thoughts

Well, Memorial Day is next Monday, and one thing that marks the season is that this weekend, the city pools open. We live a block away from a very nice pool, so one thing our family always does is purchase a family pool pass. We always get more than our money's worth and it gives the kids a nice chance to exercise.


One of the things I'm very interested in, personally as a woman, and as a mother, is modesty. And it is very very difficult to mesh the two thing: Swim wear, and modesty.

I always wonder why the presence of a pool or a large body of water suddenly makes it socially OK for people to wear less than what would be covered by their underwear. Personally, I hate wearing a swimsuit. Yes, I'm fat, so nobody is checking me out for being a hottie or anything like that except for maybe the nasty 65 year old men who like fat "younger" women. But I'd like to think that I'm mature enough and modest enough that even if I were a "hottie" that I'd have enough of a sense of privacy that I'd be modest even then. In other words, I'm not modest because I'm fat or embarrassed about my body. I'm modest because of what's on the inside. And what's mine is mine.

But this brings up the question: What is a modest swimsuit? A hot debate, I'm sure, and one that each person who desires to be modest gets to work out for themselves.

As for myself, I think I'd like a long sleeved shirt on top, for the sun-protection factor. I hate schmearing on sun screen.

Is it something that covers you from head to toe, like the burqini?


Is it something sporty, UV protecting, and tight, like the sun-protecting swimwear at coolibar.com? Follow the link and see that this site also offers swim leggings of varous lengths, along with several style swim jackets and tops.

Something in between like this gear from Hydrochic? (Click around on this site for a variety of looks.)

Or is it the plain ol' tank suit from a place like Land's End?

Does anything with some sort of "skirt" attachment qualify, even though it shows a mile of cleavage?

Or does one have to go the "extra mile" and make something homemade, or buy something multi-layered such at the outfits at wholesomewear?

Or, I could sew something myself.

I suppose it all comes down to what an individual is comfortable with. And I've been doing lots of thinking on the subject. And it boggles the mind. Some of the styles really do make me want to shudder. Why do I have such a negative reaction, when I'm fully supportive of the idea? And some, like the outfit from Wholesomewear , I just know would billow up and get waterlogged and be difficult to move about in.

What's really really interesting, though, is that as I've been cruising around on the internet I've consistently come across so very many comments by people just utterly derisive of people wanting to be modest. Now, why is that? Why should anyone care whether or not 80% of someone's breasts are showing OR NOT? It's almost like, in some people's minds there's this idea that in order to be "free", a person has to show off her body. Religious modesty is also mocked. It seems that not much respect is given to those who want to defy culturally endorsed poolside near-nakedness.

Not that I, or anyone else interested in modesty, really gives a flip what others think. It's just that it seems to me like members of an "enlightened"society would live and let live.

And the other thing I'm wondering is: Why is "American Christian modesty" always so much aesthetically less pleasing (at least to my eye) than jewish or islamic attempts at modesty?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Ridiculously Easy Meal

This is what I do every non-fasting Sunday for common meal:

A bag of frozen ravioli. Dump this into the crock pot, frozen. A jar of pasta sauce. Dump this in as well. Plug in, and turn on high, and in about 3 hours (the time it takes for Sunday School and Liturgy), it will all be perfect.

Oh, and just so anyone can know, Lasagna noodles, even the regular kind, do NOT have to be pre-cooked unless you barely put any sauce on your lasagna.

And did you know, that a can of plain pumpkin and a box of cake mix (spice cake is delish) such as dark fudge chocolate makes an excellent low fat, very moist and not at all rubbery (lenten) cake?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Easiest Meal Ever

You will need:

9x13 casserole dish
2-3 cups brown rice, uncookes
package of onion soup mix (dry)
chicken pieces (I use a bag of frozen chicken thighs)
water

Put rice and seasoning packet into casserole dish. Add twice the measure of water as you put in rice. Arrange as many chicken thighs on there as you can fit. I overlap them, and get a whole bag on there, as they shrink when cooking (8 thighs or so). Drumsticks work well, too.

Stick in oven and bake at 400 degrees F. for about an hour and a half.

If you use white rice, you have to thaw the chicken first, or the rice overcooks.

This literally takes three minutes to do and is very good.

Fasting version:

Use lentils instead of chicken pieces, and increase water (twice rice measure plus twice lentil measure). This version, I do in a crock pot. Also very yummy. And quick and effortless.

I usually serve chicken and rice with peas and a salad.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bad Fibro Cycle

(The cane I want.)
I'd appreciate anyone's prayers. I am currently in a really bad fibromyalgia cycle. I'm to the point on the guaifenesin protocol that I don't cycle as often as I used to, so when I do cycle, I'm not used to it, and it really sets me back and slows me down.

My mantra is "God's will be done". I did not choose this. But God made me, and I have this, so I hope that in it, God will somehow be glorified. For the opportunity to glorify God, even in this nasty chronic illness, I am grateful.

But it's also hard. Right now my hip is really bad, and I've been on my not-very-ergonomically-correct cane more often which makes my wrists hurt. And, I've not been very able to exercise. Which slows down my weight loss efforts, which gets me discouraged. And the pain makes me want a glass of wine, and then I get the munchies...so I get even more discouraged about my weight loss efforts. But I keep trying, (except when I'm not trying...) or I keep starting to try over and over, and eventually and very very slowly it adds up and I do succeed a little bit. It all feels rather pathetic. (Most people would have lost their 50 pounds by now. Seriously.)

Just little things wear me out much more quickly than they would otherwise. And it's perpetually frustrating when I don't have enough energy to do house work, and so the house is messy. Tomorrow I will rally the troops (kids) and get them to do a tidy-sweep of our main living areas. Today they were very helpful in switching out laundry loads and I managed to cook the world's easiest dinner (chicken and rice bake and peas) and wash dishes...well, most of the dishes, and run a couple of errands.

But right now my hip is really bothering me, and I wish I had a plug for my tub, so that I could take a hot bath. I keep meaning to buy one at the store, and then when I'm there I forget, or run out of energy to go to the hardware section. Perhaps I could improvise with a baggie full of a wadded up wet washcloth, or something like that.

So, that's my life when I'm in a nasty fibro flare up. The good thing is, while I was resting this afternoon, I got the rest of Deuteronomy read, the epistle of Jude and am almost half way through Joshua. I'm glad to be out of the Pentateuch and into the Historical Books.

And, it was interesting to recently have read about the rebellion of Korah, and then read about it mentioned in Jude.

Forgive me if this post sounds whiney. I don't mean for it to be.

Why, Why, Why?????

Can I sit down, with a cup of coffee, fully intending to pick up my Bible and read some more, but get sucked into the world of facebook and myspace and morningcoffee, instead. An hour and a half...wasted.

I do not love God enough. God have mercy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Avatar Info

Go to avatars.yahoo.com and have fun making your own avatar.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Yahoo Avatar

Scarily accurate!

Yahoo! Avatars

Bible Challenge Update

I finally finished Numbers this morning. I hadn't had much reading time this week, as I've really been working on "being present" with my kids during the day, instead of tuning them out in favor of reading. Hence the slow-down.

And, quite frankly, I find Numbers to be the most boring book of the Pentateuch. I did, however, get a little bit convicted about the complaining and murmuring thing.

Glory to God for all things.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Humor from the Spectrum

I am neurotypical. Unfortunately, this means I have a strong herd instinct, and will tend to do exactly what everyone around me is doing. I cannot help this. It is innate.

"So, what happens when an NT like me lives with people on the spectrum?" I ask, while shuffling my feet and gazing at the floor.

{This is a joke. Sort of. Directed at NTs. We tell many such jokes around our house. And we ALL laugh.}

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a picture


Inspired by women with icons

A Few Details

I'm noticing so many points of continuity between Old Covenant Worship and Christian Worship as I plow through the Pentateuch.

***Confession-Numbers 5:5-7 "And the LORD said to Moses, "Say to the People of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that men commit by breaking faith with the LORD, and that person is guilty, he shall confess his sin which he has committed; and he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it, and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong."

And I'm wondering...how could it not be?...when a person brought a sin offering, did they not have to tell the priest what it was for?

And we Orthodox Christians make confession in front of our offering: Christ and the cross of Christ.

***The cost of worship: The tabernacle, the holy things, etc. all very costly. But it's a both-and proposition, not an either-or proposition for the people of God when it comes to a balance between worship and caring for the poor in their midst. The argument is still heard today, the same one Judas used when objecting to the woman with the expensive nard.

***Priestly vestments: "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty." -Ex. 28:2

***Icons: The Mercy Seat had icons of cherubim on it. As did the veil (Ex. 26:31 between the Holy of Holies and the Sanctuary. What were the cherubim, but the mediators of the covenant? Hebrews 2:2: "For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received and just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?" My point is, in the Old Covenant worship, the Church had icons of the bringers of the covenant on their screen and in their holy space. And in the New Covenant worship, the Church has icons of the bringers of the covenant (God himself: Jesus Christ, his "mercy seat" the Theotokos Mary, his proclaimer St. John the Forerunner) on it's icon screen as well.

It is very interesting to intersperse reading the Epistle to the Hebrews with reading the Pentateuch.



***A Kingdom of Priests-"Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own poessession among all people,s for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." -Ex. 19:5-6

Being a kingdom of priests does not mean there is not a priesthood in their midst: "Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests-" -Ex. 28:1

ergo: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."--1 Peter 2:9 has since the earliest Church not precluded a ministry of the Episcopate.

OK, that's all for now. I gotta go start my day...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Which Austen Heroine Am I?

I am Anne Elliot!


Take the Quiz here!

A Lady's Meme

Outside My Window … it is dark.

***

I am thinking … about when Wes will get home from work and if he's died in a car wreck.

***

I am thankful for … quiet.
***

From the kitchen … a low fat turkey sandwich with mustard and sprouts.

***

I am wearing … a nightgown and a bath robe.

***

I am creating … yet another blog post.

***

I am going … nowhere.

***

I am reading … Numbers and Luke.

***

I am hoping … to be with God someday.

***

I am hearing … the hum of the computer and traffic far off on the larger streets in the neighborhood.

***

Around the house …all is quiet and asleep.

One of my favorite things … sitting on my back porch, snuggled up in my sleeping bad with a cup of coffee, lit candles and a prayer book.
***

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...take the kids to the dentist, go to Weight Watchers, Bible Study, keep schooling them and reading as much as I can for the Bible Reading Challenge.
***



Here is a picture thought I am sharing … Proof that I am domestically challenged.

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. If you complete this meme on your blog, please leave a comment.

My kids

have checked a Latin-English Dictionary out from the library and are busy making up new "Harry Potter" spells to go with the sanded down sticks with duct tape handles that they are calling wands.

Classical Un-schooling, I say!

And no, I did not put them up to this...

This is just SO God:

"If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the ass of one who hates you lying under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it, you shall help him to lift it up." Ex. 23:4-5

It sounds like the same God who said:

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing that others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."--Matthew 5: 43-48

WHY had I never noticed that juicy little morsel in Exodus before???????

The Happy Homemaker

Whenever I read blogs by women who just glory in home-making, I'm a bit flummoxed. I will freely admit, that I don't quite "get it". See, I have this love-hate relationship with my whole "homemaker" status. Since graduating from seminary, I've never been anything but a stay-at-home mom. And now a homeschooling mom on top of that.

And I like my life. But I HATE the "homemaking" part of it. OK, the fun stuff is fun. I like making things...sometimes. I like baking and cooking...sometimes. I like having the freedom to set my own schedule. I like being with my kids each day. I like teaching them.

But I loathe housework. Did I use a strong enough word? The dusting, scrubbing, washing parts. Just. Hate. It. Because it's nasty and has to be done again and again. And it stays nasty. And it keeps getting undone. And my house is shabby without the chic. So I feel perpetually defeated by the grungy reality of it all.

Cleaning house is so not creative. One reason I like making things, is that it's a way to spend my time productively, and I'll have something nice, like a shawl or a quilt to show for it, that I can point to and say: I made this and it is good.

The cleaning is not like that.

I wish I could walz though my days with a good routine (think flylady) and a decluttered house and breezes blowing through the windows and a vase of flowers on my lace-bedecked table. But alas, it is not so. I can't ever seem to make myself.

And we are all suffering a BAD case of homeschooling-this-year burn-out. Unfortunately, because of my dd's illness last winter, there were many weeks when school just did not happen. And now we have about five weeks of doubling up on lessons in order to get done and have a bit of a summer break before we launch into another school year. So my son stares at the wall, and my youngest dd needed me to take her by the hand and walk through much of her lesson orally. I'm ready to do that with ds as well, just so he'll be done for the day and I can go for a walk or something.

Furthermore, I wish I weren't so negative so often on my blog. The reason is, I tend to be a bit of an Eeyore in real life as well. My background noise sounds more like penitential psalmody than twinkling fairy music, I guess.

And I suppose it's impossible to change one's basic personality. And I suppose I should channel some of these restless feelings into a nice angry bout of housework. OR a nice non-angry bout of housework. Now THAT would be an accomplishment!

But the fact is, if I were to succeed in charming the birds from the trees, I'd have bird corpses to contend with.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I had a nice mother's day. My family got me a present, which was somewhat unexpected (a new knife set, and a CD that I wanted). I always like presents. And the knives are good. The ones we got when we were married, sixteen years ago next month, were literally falling apart. So now I'll probably cut myself tomorrow.

And I didn't have to do anything in the kitchen. Also nice. In fact, I've slugged about all day and everyone has waited on me hand and foot. They even let me take a nap this afternoon! My whole family has been very very nice to me today.

The weather is very windy and stormy and I'm pretty much hurting all over. Is it OK to talk about that, without complaining? Just stating a fact. It's the fibro. In fact, my friend who has fibro was also hurting today. It's just that kind of weather.

But it was a nice mother's day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lightning Seeds - Pure

This song is one of my all time favorites. I can't believe it's almost 20 years old! Now I feel really old!!!! "Yellow" reminded me of this one. So I looked it up.

Bible Reading Challenge

I read this challenge on someone else's blog a few weeks ago, and it seemed like a neat idea: Read the Bible as fast as you can. The whole thing. The same way you would if you were reading a page turner. Pick it up and read whenever you get a chance. Spend entire evenings reading, etc.

Here's how I'm playing: Start date was yesterday, May 9th, 2008. I'd recently read the first three chapters of Mark, so I'm counting that.

My goal is to pray through the Psalter fairly regularly anyways, so I'm just going to keep doing that, and when I have gone through the whole thing, I'll add that to my "completed" list.

Oh, and this challenge includes the Deutrocanonical books.

As I complete each book, I will report in here on my blog. You can see the list in the sidebar. Feel free to totally nag me if I get bogged down.
Completed So far: Genesis, Mark.

Currently in: Exodus

Anyone want to join me on this challenge? (I've done the "Through the Bible in a Year" thing...this will be different.)

Friday, May 09, 2008

How to Make a Fabric Book Cover



My poor ol' Jordanville prayer book was getting ratty. So I taped up the parts that were falling apart, and made a book cover. While I was at it, I decided to make a coordinating set of covers for my pocket Psalter and my Bible.

I also decided to blog the process, so that if anyone wants to know how to make a quick and easy book cover, you can learn.

You will need:



Two types of fabric that you like (quilting fabric or something of that weight works best), that probably coordinate in some way, according to your tastes. If you use denim or a heavier weight fabric, line it with something light weight so that you don't have too much bulk.

Pencil (for drawing lines where you will cut the fabric, marking buttonholes and button placement.)

Measuring tape

Straight edge

sharp scissors

a sewing machine

a button

the ability to do some simple math.

First you measure your book, from the edge of the front cover, around the spine (with the book closed) to the edge of the back cover. Add eight inches to this number.




Second, measure the height of the book, and add an inch to this number.

Now cut a rectangle out of both fabric pieces according to the dimensions you just figured out.



With right sides together, sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, the two pieces of fabric together on three sides.
Trim the corners, so that there won't be a wad of fabric when you turn it right side out. At this point, it will look like a small, un-hemmed pillowcase.



Iron it so that the edges are nice and crisp.





Fold the raw edges to the inside of this "pillowcase-looking-thing" and iron. Then sew as close to the edge as you can manage, nice and neat.




You are almost done.

Do the all of the above with a smaller rectangle of any smallish size if you want a button flap to keep your pages together when you toss your valuable book in your backpack, or purse, or whatever.

Now, take your bigger fabric piece, and decide which side is "out" and which side is in, and wrap it around your book so that the flaps on the inside are even on the front and back. Carefully remove your book and iron the flaps down so that you have a visible crease.

BEFORE you sew this, decide where you want the small rectangle to be placed. On the back of the book cover, careful to not cross over the ironed line where the flap will turn under, sew nice and neat near the edges of the small rectangle to applique it onto the back. One end, of course, will be loose.



Check the fit.



Now sew the flaps down according to how you ironed them, at the top and bottom edges of your book cover, as close to the edges as you can get it. Now you have pockets to slip the front and back cover in.



Pick a button, and sew it onto the front. Make a button hole in your flap (I do this by hand as I can't seem to find the instruction manual for the automatic buttonholer on my machine).



And enjoy your charming, personalized book cover.