One year

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One year ago, today, I had to teach myself to stop referring to Leo as my boyfriend and start calling him my, *gulp* "husband."

Very serious footwear

After nine and a half years of dating, that was hard. I'm pretty sure I've called him "my boyfriend" as recently as last week. Luckily, I mostly need to refer to him as "Leo" which has not changed since getting married.

Leo's been unemployed since February of last year. I work from home. We have spent, quite literally, almost every waking hour and all non-waking hours together, in our first year of marriage. One of two things could have happened in that time. Either one of us was going to snap, Lizzy Borden style, or we'd adapt, adjust and grow even closer. I think we've managed the latter, thanks in part to having saved up a bit of money, and having fantastic dogs to keep us laughing. (Seriously, how can anyone stay mad when dogs are being goofy?)

In truth, being married doesn't feel any different than not being married. It really was a formality for us, to ensure that everything we had was co-owned, that we'd be able to see each other in the hospital if something horrible happened and to ensure that we could take advantage of the other person's insurance, should one of us end up unemployed.

But even if our intentions in getting married, weren't romantic, I'm still really glad we did. Leo makes me laugh every day, we don't fight about religion, politics, money, whether or not to have kids, or really much of anything at all (except the merits of freezing one's head. Sorry, I'm just not sold on the viability of a Futurama like future for us.) If money were no object, we might have flown somewhere beautiful or taken off a week and had a belated honeymoon. But maybe we'd have done exactly what we did, which was to pack up the puppies, drive to the coast and enjoy a fantastically beautiful Friday and a big juicy burger we could share with the mutts.

Either way, it was a very happy anniversary celebration for all of us.

One Year Anniversary

I now want pockets on everything

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This pattern was so quick, so easy and the results so cute that I kind of want to sew up a dozen more and live in them. Come summer, a mid-length machine washable skirt (or two) is a great alternative to the jeans I normally live in for all occasions outside the house.

McCall's 5431_06 McCall's 5431_15
Modeling assistance courtesy of the pack

It looks a little like an apron when worked in cotton but I think it'd be really versatile in light denim, linen, or chino fabric.

But what I love, love love love, are the pockets.

McCall's 5431_07
The pockets are good at holding the stuff

They are ridiculously roomy. The pattern doesn't indicate a shorter version with the two toned pockets, but it's easy enough to make the modification, just buy an extra quarter yard or so of the main fabric and work version A, but do the pockets for version B.

Despite not having any darts and only a few seams, the fit on this skirt is great, and is so far the best of the three I've sewn since getting my new machine. It was a fun project to slip in while working on more substantial projects with the bulk of my time.

secret_02
You didn't see this, it's a secret

Twist Blog Post

Some of you may have gathered that my role at Twist Collective extends further than designing, especially if you are contributors, yourself, or happen to look at the masthead.

In December, I went to New Mexico with owner/editor/publisher/designer/etc Kate Gilbert to do the Two for Tea shoot and have just posted a blog post on the Twist site chronicling our adventures.

See the post here.

I always love behind-the-scenes style posts and I hope you like them too. If there are other topics you'd ever like to hear about at Twist, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Rekindling

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Do kids still take home economics and shop in school? I remember learning to sew and solder, sauté and saw in middle school (5th to 8th grade). I loved all of it and often cranked through projects so quickly that I would have to start a second or third in the time that most students were still working on their first.

In college, a boyfriend, gave me a sturdy Kenmore sewing machine for Christmas and I was ecstatic. The relationship didn't last but the machine served honorably as I honed my sewing skills and broke a fair number of needles in the process. During a long-ish stretch between relationships, I sewed so often a neighbor in an adjacent apartment complained that the sound kept them up at night.* When we moved to Oregon, we just didn't have room to move the machine and I offered it to my friend, Julia, who has since put it to good use.

It's been about 5 years since I had a machine of my own and probably 10 since I've sewn regularly. The past decade has been the era of knitting for me and the past couple of years, I've really started to miss making clothing for myself and toys for my pups.

Cue the tax return. After paying an extra mortgage, making sure that everything else was up to date and combing the internet for reviews and ratings, home came this bad boy.

Sewing Machine

It's a Brother Innov-ís 80 (details here). Consumer reports gave it, and the 40 model glowing reviews and other sources online seemed to feel the same.

The local Sew and Vac shop had it in stock for $100 less than the price Consumer Reports listed and that pretty much cinched it.

I immediately hit the local fabric shop where, lucky me, all Simplicity patterns were on sale for $1.99. The result?**

Simplicity 2655_13

Black and white, a good combo in this household.

And when I was done with that, I immediately busted into another skirt pattern.

Vogue 7301_01

I'm just dreaming about what I'll do next, though it may be a few weeks before I can really indulge. I have to complete some deadline work. But when my work for pay is off to its intended destination, I have some freshly laundered fabric ready to be cut and stitched into something bright and summery.

Cotton

I have to admit, there's something really appealing about cranking out a project in a day or two instead of a month or more. Of course, nothing will usurp my love for knitting but for all those things that knits do poorly (I'm looking at you pants) sewing sure has its charm.

I'm not sure how many of you are tailors/seamstresses/sewists/whatever we are calling it these days, but if there's interest, I'd be happy to do a review of the features of the machine and included accessories. Just leave a comment and let me know.



*I worked the swing shift at a newspaper and I spent time not sewing, either playing Final Fantasy or watching cartoons. I lived a very glamorous single life.


**There may have been an incident, with a zipper and a needle and almost a week while the machine recouped at it's store of origin. Let us never speak of this again, or not until I decide to tell you about my track record with busting things I'm really excited about having just bought.

I think we can all agree that the words, "staycation" and "funemployment" can be retired at any time with no adverse repercussions for the English language, but regardless, that's what Leo and I had last week when I took some time off from my day job.*

We didn't waste the time, getting a bit done around the house and managing to hit the beach three times. The pups were over the moon, around Jupiter and back around the moon once more.

March 25

Oregon_Coast_March_25_2011_058


A beautiful start to vacation, with perfect mild weather and plenty of fetch.

Then a drizzly follow up on March 28

Oregon Coast -- March 28, 2011_053
Darwin's still a little unsure about this whole fetch thing.

And then a last trip on Saturday, April 2, when we were able to play fetch while the sun set behind us. How's that for a great way to end a vacation?

Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011 - Montage
1. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_111, 2. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_052, 3. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_064, 4. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_075, 5. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_080, 6. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_091, 7. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_093, 8. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_096, 9. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_099, 10. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_106, 11. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_127, 12. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_140, 13. Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_148
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

I won't say that I was excited to wake up at 5:30AM on Monday, to get back to work, but I can say I had a really great week off. If I had to guess, I'd say the pups have very few complaints, as well.

Oregon Coast — April 2, 2011_027




* Though with the Spring/Summer edition going live, I still had responsibilities for my my alter-ego-super-hero-night-job.

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