Friday, April 29, 2011

And Sew It Goes...

I finished it!  Project To Save a Couch is complete.  After multiple turns of the fabric (does it go back to back or front to back, and where does the batting go?!)  my spatial reasoning finally caught up and I was ready to sew.  The rest of the project mirrored nearly every other sewing endeavor I've ever attempted.

First things first:  Set up sewing machine.  My aforementioned spatial reasoning challenges threatened to severely stunt my sewing career before it ever took off simply by the confusing task of threading the machine.  This has gotten easier over time.

Second:  Decipher fabric layout, as noted above.  Once everything is matched up and laid out, many people would say... {Third : Pins. }

Here is where I have trouble.  I am, by nature, quite impatient.  It seems the more one trys to overcome this vice, the more impatient one becomes.  One of my favorite film quotes is from Evan Almighty when Morgan Freeman, as God, says, "If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?"  I have been avoiding praying for patience for this precise reason.

The idea of tediously pinning together fabric, only to have to unpin the fabric rather soon afterward boggles my mind.  This is not a step for the impatient.  I know the practical reasoning: it holds the fabric in place so you don't sew crookedly.  Sewing without pins is kind of like going out to Red Robin and ordering the Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich when you find that half way through the sandwich, the bun-to-meat ratio is way off.  You're either left holding a nearly empty bun, or contrarily you've got a whole chicken breast that you're trying to hold onto with a postage stamp spot of bun.  Either way, you've likely dripped teriyaki sauce all down your sleeves.  {maybe it's just me?}  I get it: pins help the fabrics stay together so that you'll end up with even results.  But even results have never been my thing, probably because of my unwillingness to take the time to do things the "right" way.

Recently my children took their yearly standardized tests.  As I reviewed the answers they had missed, one problem in particular stood out to me.  I actually laughed out loud.  It was a math problem, which simply asked, "Which of the following would you estimate?"  The choices were A) the distance between planets  B) the measure of shelves for a bookcase  C) the measure of sugar in a recipe  or D) {well, I can't remember D... but it was similar to B & C}  My child being my child, upon seeing there was no E) all of the above, picked B) the measure of shelves for a bookcase.  The answer they were looking for was A.  I had to laugh at their lack of creativity.  Clearly, these are pin-users.  And clearly, those of us who can estimate bookshelves, sugar, and whatever D was, must be more creatively evolved.  Of course, don't look too closely at our work. 

So, without pinning, my next step in any project is line up the fabric and pedal to the metal!  This works swimmingly for a while.  Usually at this stage I am thinking to myself, "Why don't I sew more often?"  or "Maybe I should go into business sewing things!"

Then, one of two things happens.  Scenario #1, I realize I've sewn the whole thing entirely crooked and need to rip out the stitching and start all over.  Curse words ensue {although I'm really working on it!}.  I briefly ponder the validity of pinning.

Today, we went with Scenario #2:

I really, truly, from the depths of my soul abhor bobbins.  {They ricochet the sentiment.}  It should be so simple.  Bobbin goes in bobbin holder thingee which fits like a puzzle piece into the sewing machine.  There's even a wordless picture showing us precisely how to put the bobbin and thread together.


Looked right to me...

...but somehow it wasn't.  After working for ten minutes to no avail, I was seriously contemplating calling the 16 year old neighbor who's in Home Ec. for help. {I did manage to keep the expletives to an enthusiastic "shoot", though}  I squeaked out a last minute prayer - not for patience - but for a solution.  

Not a moment to soon {perhaps in acknowledgement of my G-rated curb on cursing} the snarled mess of threads miraculously undid itself and once again, I was in business.  Incidentally, whatever business that was, it was most definitely not the sewing business. 

A pinner I shall never be.  I think I'm alright with that.  Just don't look too closely at my work.

Time to test it out.  Jack wasn't sure this wasn't a set-up.

I'm confused.  Usually this is a NO-NO. 
Are you testing me?  Did I just loose?

I should be down THERE.

Really.  I can't even look you in the eye.

Jack kept jumping down and had to be repeatedly coaxed back up.  But I don't think it was the new cover, after a while he seemed to like that.

You're sure? 

Wow.  This blanket does feel nice.

Okay, I like it.

Wanna see my impression of a Great Dane?

Good boy, Jack.

Folks, are you ready for the weekend?  I am! 
Have a great one, to pinners and non-pinners alike!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Random Joke My Son Told Me...

Zack, my 10 year old, just came up to me and said he had a new joke.  I thought I'd share it with you.

What do you get when you cross a dog with a famous director?

{Jerry Barkheimer!}

 Happy Thursday, folks!

{I just finished stage one of project "To Save a Couch"...
new post coming soon-ish}


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Once Was: Still Lamenting Over That Couch

If you have joined us here at Two and a Half Dogs before, you might already know that I have a "thing" for my beloved couch.  If you're new to the blog, {welcome!}, consider yourself warned.  I love my couch.  My dogs love it, too.  It is was mushroom.  It is was SO PRETTY!   You can find previous posts on the undoing of its former glory here, in Queen of the Couch, or here, in Going to the Dogs

I seemed to have conquered the dog-drool difficulties the couch has been subjected to in Taking Back the House; Part One.  That illusion lasted, at best, a week.  At first, I thought myself rather clever.  I even had this high aspiration of having helpful little "Taking Back the House" posts periodically, chronicling my conquests in each pet-ridden, overly lived in areas of the house.  I am now coming to the realization that there may not be an effective way to clean once and for all.  Why is this a revelation to me?  I frequently have to enlist all my troops to join me in the effort to bring our living area up from "borderline condemned" to "terminally messy". 

Back to my poor, poor couch.  The great baby wipe trick from Part One has lost its novelty and its luster.  Sure, it's great to get rid of unsightly dog drool, but who does this every day?  I have a few other things on my plate.  Should I ever find my plate to be empty, I still wouldn't want to do it.  On an odd side-note, it seems that the diameter of the slobber halos has grown steadily and exponentially since I wrote that know-it-all, isn't-this-easy post.  {We'll show her...}

M r. Murphy, if you're listening, let me be clear this time.  I expect no easy solution; I refuse to tempt your Law. I merely went to the fabric store and picked out some material.  I thought I'd endeavor to make a couch cover - more of a pad, really - which we can throw on the couch in an attempt to curtail the evidence of nocturnal drooling.   I know there's probably some loophole to this restoration, but I respectfully wish to give it a shot.  It's worth it for the fabric alone...

Cute, right?  Alexandra helped out with the fabric choices.  My daughter has the best eye for color & quickly found the aqua accent material to my star print. 

I now have one more thing on my plate, thus preventing me from having the time or care to baby-wipe clean the couch: sewing a cover/pad.  I have retrieved my sewing machine from the depths of my closet and intend to embark on a refresher course of which way the bobbin thread is supposed to go.

Check back with us for an update on project "To Save a Couch". 
And please, don't look closely at my stitching!

So glad you came by,


Friday, April 22, 2011

Somebody Makin' Toast?

There is something about the aroma of toast that gathers people together.  It's a simple yet powerful force.  {I think it's at the molecular level}  Vivid memories of early mornings at my grandparents' house flood my mind each time I detect that unique toast bouquet.  It is likened to or supplanted by nothing else.

Apparently, Indy thinks so too. 

Of course, it's not JUST Indy.  All the dogs love toast-time.

Behold, the all-powerful Wizzard of Toastdom
(referred to hereinafter as WT)
{He is the one in the plaid jammies.}

Notice the eye contact.  Indy dares not take his eyes off the toast for a second.
WT has a way of making it disappear.

Indy: I'm watching

I'm watching very carefully.

If you need any help, oh great and powerful WT, I am here!

Watching and waiting.

Hey.  Hey, whatcha doing? 
{WT:  Just a minute, boy...}

Okay, WT.  I will wait.  I am very, very good at waiting.

Watching and waiting.


Oh, thank you good and kind WT; thank you!
{good boy!}

Is anyone going to have that other piece?

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!  I am so glad you stopped by today; thank you!

Wishing you great rewards for watching and waiting,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Oh, how I love you Pluto. 
When I am older, I will have a real dog, just like you. 

So. Happy.

{Let's skip and never stop.}

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Are You Wearing?

I have come to the realization I cannot leave my house as a clean person.  I know I begin clean.  I take a shower, put on clean clothes, yet when I am in the car, balancing the cd cases that I am switching, I inevitably notice dirt.  Schmutz, dried slobber, a muddy tennis ball mark or quite often a paw print. 

Many homes have the coveted mud room.  In order to preserve the nicer areas of the home, one can enter through the mud room, remove said mud, and continue on through the rest of the house clean.  I need an out-of-the-mud room.  A dressing area post-goodbye to dogs, and that one last game of fetch.

Today I drove my daughter to co-op and didn't bother to switch the CD.  (It was, appropriately, the new Francesca Battistelli song about the small stuff that drives you crazy...)  I show up at co-op cluelessly wearing this:

(how could I miss this?!?)

It's not looking good for the dogs to get to play that one last game before we leave the house.  Summer, I covet your sunshine and your dirt.  Spring: I'm not diggin' the rain and the mud.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Week, It Was Yogurt

Two and a half weeks ago, it was mud.   Last week it was hamburger grease.  This week it was yogurt.

You see, Ken went to grab himself a snack.  Whenever the seal on the fridge door squishes open with that tell-tale {mfffpfft} sound, two and a half dogs are right there.  Sometimes, I think they plan their arrival in great detail.  They vote on which dog will stand, sit, or lie down behind you right at your knee level so that as you turn around you will trip over said dog and fall down like a human pinata, dropping the food you just got out of the fridge.  Then, they split the loot.  Occasionally, however, one dog decides to go rogue on a solo mission.

Tonight, it was Lucy.  Ken grabbed a yogurt from the fridge.  {mfffpfft}  Lucy ran over to him and waited for the perfect opportunity.  Ken peeled back the thin foil lid and turned to toss it in the garbage.  As if in a slow motion wild-animals-attack sort of move, Lucy sprung up (apparently, her new thing), making a grab for the lid.  (Ken forgot to lick the yogurt from the back.  That's good yogurt!)  Unhappily for Lucy, she didn't get a substantial enough grip on the lid.  She merely managed to dislodge it from Ken's hand, thus flinging it up (still in slow motion, of course) into the air. 

The lid stayed in the air for like, a minute and a half.  Well, it sure seemed that way.  It made several rotations before giving way to Murphy and his Laws, falling yogurt-side down on Lucy's head.

The placement of the yogurt was extremely irritating to Lucy.  She spun around in circles several times, and unsuccessfully pawed at her head.  I did not feel like indulging her in an entire bath, so I called for Indy.  After all, he cleaned her up the last time.  Indy approached.  Indy attempted to lick.  Lucy did not like that.  This was her yogurt.  She earned it.  And darned if someone was going to exploit her for snacks ever again!

My yogurt!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can I Have Some?

Two BBQs in one week?  Spring must be here.  This particular night we opted for a less lubricious fare of chicken breasts and turkey dogs.  The dogs didn't mind. 

Can I have some?