Friday, October 15, 2010

We interrupt our regular broadcasting schedule

I'm doing something a little different today.  I know this blog is about oh so many things, but, generally speaking, I don't really show much of the creative things that I do.  Even though I scrapbook, crochet, knit, sew, etc etc etc, I guess I feel like there are so many great crafty blogs out there that I don't really share much of that side of me.

But...I'm making an exception today.  Tam over at Sew Dang Cute (such a cute blog name and an incredible blog as well!) is having a contest for crafters in the blog world!  It just so happened that I was halfway through creating my project when I found out about the contest, so it was perfect!

This summer I got a new sewing machine.  My old one was a gift from my mom 20 years ago for my 16th birthday (yikes!) and had been well-loved and well-used.  But, alas, it went to sewing machine heaven.  I replaced it with a new machine made by Pfaff and I LOVE it.  I love it so much that I am just making up things just so that I can sew.  I don't have any children of my own, but this summer I made a ton of baby blankets for my new niece and a friend's nephew.

This fall, the sewing inspiration hit and I decided to make a halloween costume for my friend's 1-year-old.  After having two boys, she is loving have a little girl and she absolutely dotes on her little "love bug."  Since that's what she calls her, we decided to go with the idea of a love bug for the costume.

I don't have a tutorial because I just sort of made it up as I went along, but I'll do my best to describe what I did.  The only part of the costume that I had a pattern for was the onesie.  I made it out of a really soft brown knit and I was thrilled with the way that it turned out because I've never sewn with a knit.  I'd also never used the sort of snaps that go on the crotch portion of a onesie, so it was amazing that it turned out so well (even if I do say so myself!)

For the skirt, I wanted to use a pink fabric with brown polka dots, but since I couldn't find the right fabric, I decided to applique the polka dots onto the skirt.  This was the first time I've appliqued as well and I was so pleased with the dots.  They certainly aren't going to come off of the skirt!  As far as the shape of the skirt, I knew the baby's waist size and just sort of did a rough sketch and it poofs out at the right angle just perfectly!  I then used some of the brown fabric to make a waistband and my bias tape maker for the edging on the bottom of the skirt.  I think it gives it a really finished look.

For the tutu portion of the costume, I simply cut strips of tulle and tied them around a piece of elastic.  It was easy peasy and sooo cute!

I TRIED to make the wings myself, but after several failed attempts at bending the wire perfectly, I opted for a pair of dollar store butterfly wings.  I think they work just perfectly and were a very economical choice.

Finally, the headband that she's wearing will have two little ears attached to them.  I would have attached them for the pictures, but my model had skipped her nap and had an ear infection, so I was working on borrowed time to get her into the outfit and snap a few pictures.  (Hence, the death grip on the bottle!)

On Halloween night, her outfit will be completed with some brown tights and shoes.  I can hardly wait to share those photos.  She is such a cutie patootie, don'tcha think?

So, if you get a chance, drop on over to Sew Dang Cute and check out the rest of the contest entries. While you're there, let'em know how much you adore the little love bug!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things that are worse than unmet expectations - lowered expectations

So, having not committed suicide, I decided to instead commit to making a real effort in my dating life upon returning home after my brother's wedding.

I decided to really buckle down and give this thing a go!  I swear I tried everything and looked everywhere for Mr. Right.  I hunted down hotties at the grocery.  I gave God's house a go.  Much of the time I came up heart-wrenchingly empty-handed.  Whatever it was that I needed (skill, swagger) to "turn some heads",  I was clearly not equipped with.  The only numbers I was giving out at the grocery store were the ones stamped on my debit card.

Not getting the results that I desired through conventional means, I ventured out into cyberspace.  Back in those days online-dating was in its infancy and for the most part, it was still populated by those who were less than successful in meeting people in "real life".  Most of the time, if a couple met via the internet back then, they had to get their "how we met" story straight.  After all, no self-respecting person would admit to finding "real" love via virtual means.

So I joined and chatted with more than enough guys online to be able to fairly quickly sort the testosterone-filled wheat from the chaff.  It's also where I developed some very basic tests for determining if I would even respond to an email from a would-be beau.  For instance, if he didn't know when to appropriately use "there and their" or "your and you're", he was clearly not going to make the grade.  It may seem a bit picky, but there had to be SOME sort of process for culling the herd!

After all, in cyberspace I was a regular hottie.  I was witty and charming.  I could talk on a wide range of subjects and I laughed at all of their (sometimes horrible) jokes.  (What I lacked in self-respect I more than made up for in self-loathing.  {sigh})

This is the way things generally went in my online-dating life:  1)  Guy would find my profile online and send me an email.  2)  I would respond to his email and wait with baited breath for his response.  3)  We would converse like this for a week or more before he would suggest we could talk by phone.  4)  Phone conversations back and forth would proceed for another week or so before he would eventually ask me out on a "real life" date.  5)  We would go on said date and then, inevitably, 6) all communication would end.  Rinse.  Wash.  Repeat.....

Even after the 10th or so time of this happening, it was simply emotionally devastating for me.  The worst part was always the deafening silence of the phone in the weeks following those dates.  The only thing worse than NOT receiving a phone call when he said "I'll call you," were some of the other responses I received:

"I had a rough break-up and I don't think I'm really ready to date yet." - Apparently he recovered quickly because he was messaging other women just days after telling me this.
"I think I'm going to try to get back with my ex-girlfriend." - Apparently she didn't take him back because, once again, he was online chatting with other women just days later.
"Well, I called you ANYWAY." - said to me after a brief lunch date with a man that I wouldn't have dated if you had paid me.  He was telling me this because, in his opinion, I was below HIS standards!

I can MAYBE understand this sort of out and out rejection if I had, in any way, lied or misled them about who I was or how I looked.  But I hadn't.  I always posted an accurate, up-to-date photo of myself (more than I could say for many of them).  I was always up front about what I looked like.  I was always honest about who I was.  Besides, I may have never deluded myself into thinking that I was beautiful, but I don't think the self-loathing brought on by their behaviour was warranted either.

Stay tuned for the misery that is speed-dating and turning over a new leaf.


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