Forcing Myself to Have Fun

image

Sometimes I get myself going on too many projects at once. They aren’t even really projects, more like too many tasks in the day. I can make myself so busy with little things like laundry or updating my Tumblr queue that my day fills up before I know it.

It leaves very little time for the things I actually want to do, like sewing, knitting, playing music, etc. (Although Tumblr isn’t exactly a chore, but setting my queue after leaving it for months can be.) So sometimes I have to hijack my own to-do list and prioritize a fun thing for a week. Sure, I did start my laundry before I sat down on my bed to start demoing some songs, and I got back to it when my hour was up. But I had to set aside an hour to just sit down, write, and record a bit.

I’m always trying to get everything else done before letting myself do what I really want, and I usually run out of time. That, or my brain shuts down and refuses to do anything other than watch Parks and Rec or play video games. I’m trying to sneak more fun into my schedule. So far my brain is liking the idea.

The Frankenpants Saga

Kids have a really incredible innate ability to destroy things in ridiculous ways without even trying. The most frequent victim of this destruction: their clothes.

Sometimes I will get lucky with a tiny hole that just needs a couple stitches, or a busted seam that requires a quick trip through the sewing machine. Other times, I’m faced with challenges like this:

That is pretty much a new seam where there wasn’t one before. But that also means there is no extra material to create a seam. There is actually a lack of material. So I first attempted a flat seam with just a zigzag stitch. This worked…while the pants were in the drawer. So I grabbed some twill, used my new serger to create a patch.

Then I used three rows of zigzag stitches to cover the color and old stitches. So far this has worked, and isn’t too noticeable. Here’s hoping it works for a long time.

The Power of a Tweet

image

I just happened to be on Twitter at the right time the other day to see this tweet:

Which promptly made me jump on Amazon and order a record hadn’t known existed on vinyl two minutes prior. A record that I am currently sitting and listening to for the first of what will inevitably be hundreds of plays. Trust me, I don’t even want to check my iTunes to see how many times I’ve played that version, because it would be too embarrassing, even for me.

In addition to being one of my favorite albums, it also has one of the best creation stories I’ve ever read. You can read the whole thing here, but the gist is they dumped about $13,500 on the board and said, “How much time can we get for this.” They ended up with a record that went on to be one of their biggest commercial successes to date. Just goes to show you don’t necessarily need a lot of money to make a good record, just the talent.

(In contrast, Garth Brooks’ 1999 album as “Chris Gains” cost $5 million to produce. And was terrible. Other insanely expensive albums can be found here. It’s pretty interesting.)

This is one of those albums that has the ability to put me in a great mood no matter what. Except “Hear You Me.” That song makes me cry most of the time. I am so excited that it is now part of my “favorite albums” collection I’ve started with vinyl records. I’m the kind of person who still sits and listens to albums all the way through, in order.

Inconvenience

Why is it that the heater always breaks st the coldest part of the winter? Truthfully, it’s not much of a mystery. That’s when it’s running the most, so that’s when everything has a chance to break down.

It’s an inconvenience, sure. But you would never know if it broke in the summertime. Sometimes things have to be an inconvenience for you to notice something’s wrong.

This would be the part where you would expect me to go off on some philosophical bunny trail, but today all I’m trying to say is this: The heater broke, it is cold, and that is all the inspiration I had to write about today. I’m not that deep.

If You Don’t Expect Too Much From Me

This time of year is very resolution-heavy. After being sloths and eating junk for the entire month of december, we feel the need to completely change our lives. You know, for the next week or so.

While some people resolve to be better, others use New Year’s resolution time to set themselves goals for the year. I’ve tried that, a couple times. And one thing I’ve learned from the experience: I don’t like expectations, even when they are self-imposed.

It always goes well for a while, until I make the first mistake and/or just get tired of having to do those things. THe former comes from a sense of, “It’s already wrecked, why bother?” apathy while the latter just seems to be my nature.

You see, I just started reading Harry Potter. Like, for the first time ever. And, holy crap, it is really good. But I categorically refused to read it or watch the movies when I was younger because they were so hyped and popular. I also refused to listen to Good Charlotte for a year after “The Young and the Hopeless” was released. That’s how much I tend to try to avoid bandwagons.

I just don’t like being told I’m supposed to do something, even if it is something I really want to do and I am the one telling myself to do it. So I’m ditching resolutions, goals, or whatever else you want to call it in hopes that I will get more things done. Mind you, I still have my numerous to do lists, but those just help remind me what I had started doing in the first place.

The Half-Year Dress

Last January I set out to finish a dress in a week for an online contest. As nearly anyone could’ve predicted, I didn’t. But I did get it started. And then I stuffed all the components into a bag in my closet and forgot about it.

I know. You are now looking between the first sentence and the title thinking, “But it’s January again. That’s a whole year, not half.” And, yes, it is a full year since I started the dress, but that is just because I have been as lazy in writing about it as I was in making it.

Anyway, the dress and its pieces sat languishing at the bottom of my to-do list until around September. That was when my mom asked me to come work an outdoor tea for her organization, and I decided this dress would be perfect to wear to it. I had most of the main fabric cut and pinned, so it wasn’t too difficult to finish up.

The pattern is Butterick B5882, from the “Patterns by Gertie” collection. I used the print-at-home option to “save time.” I tihnk it ended up taking me just as long to paste all the parts together as it would have to get the physical pattern in the mail. But I have the full pattern saved in my computer if I were to ever want to make it again without having to keep way too many pieces of paper around.

The main fabrics of the dress are actually home dec cottons, and it is lined in muslin. If I wasn’t lazy, I could’ve dyed the muslin to match. But it took me almost ten months to sew the thing, so i think we all know that was just asking too much. I also decided to leave off the inner waist belt. I just like being able to breathe, really.

The thicker fabrics make the skirt nice and warm, which you expect to be a good idea for a mid-October tea. Unfortunately it was still 112°F, but it was good in theory.

Hello, Old Friend

img_4061

I have so many projects to share from the past few months, but, since it has been so long, I just want to ramble a bit today. I think it has a lot to do with the rain, really.

You see, while I was fording the rivers that have taken over the streets of the valley today, I was thinking. I love the rain. I used to share that love of rain with my best friend, despite the fact we lived in the desert and rarely saw any. When we went our separate ways for college (ok, I went and he stayed), we would tease each other when it started to rain in our respective locations.

Unfortunately, it has been years since we last talked. But I still get the urge to pick up the phone and send that text when it starts raining. Heck, I could even send pictures now…

So the rain gives me a melancholy feeling more than anything. And it tends to make me wish that I didn’t have to leave everything behind to move on. But you can’t move forward if you hold on to the past. One day I will really get there. Like the rain washing away the dirt (and trash, which is why all the streets are flooding), I need to let go of the past and forget about it so I can keeping going.

Sorry for the sap. I know it’s obnoxious. But I sometimes get tired of just thinking these things to myself and have to get it out of my head. Plus, this line of thinking goes along with all the, “It’s arbitrarily a new year so we all need to change ourselves now!” that goes on at this time of year.