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October 2008

** newsflash ** preteens are difficult

Somewhere in my typepad account I had to write a description about by blog and I threw 'mommy-hood' in there.  Because I'm a mom, you see.  However, I don't dwell on that much here because, well, that takes up the rest of my day and this is my little space. 

However.  I have to share this.  Maybe because, lately, my fuse is short.  Maybe because I am still dealing with my hard drive on my work computer and I am getting less done every day.  Maybe because it's hormones.  I do apologize if you came here for pretty pictures or fancy embroidery.  That makes me happy, too.  Whatever, it's sharing time.  I'm sharing a bit of my frustration.  And I'm keeping it real. 

My twelve year old is without a doubt, one of the messiest, sloppiest kids I have ever met.  (She is also one of the sweetest, but we are not discussing that today.)  She will admit to having trouble staying on top of things like trash and laundry.  I'm kind of tidy, so we regularly clash when it comes to her room.  Which, from what I hear around the internetz, is pretty typical.   heh. 

But talking on her cell phone while doing an assignment?  Not cool.  Putting off 4 hours of homework for Sunday night at 8:30 and then yelling about how much she hates our computer?  Not cool.  Leaving smeared raw eggs on the counter?  Not cool.  Forgetting to flush the toilet?  No excuse. (Seriously, do I really need make rules at this micro-level??)  Clicking her brand new usb memory stick like a ball-point pen, in front of me?  Not cool.  Eye roll, please.  Huff huff.  Mommmmm.  Don't yell at me.  All you do is yell at me.  You think I'm an awful person. 

So, this is yesterday:
"Mom, I am starting to hate doing the musical because they are so strict and Lindsey and I can't any time to work on our project that is due Friday."
Why don't we have Lindsey ride home with us this week and you two can work on it at our house?
WE CAN'T!!! We need to sit in the parking lot with her mom's computer because she is a teacher and we can access the school's system.
What? Is that part of your assignment? 
MOM!  No.
Why do you have to sit in the school parking lot and hack into the system?  Are all of your friends going to have to find teachers with notebooks who can sit in the parking lot with them? 
Mom!  Stop yelling at me!
I'm not yelling.  I'm only getting half of the story and I'm trying to figure out what is going on.   Do they?
NO.  The powerpoint we need in saved there and her mom's computer can log on to their network because she is a teacher.
So you can't take this file home?  You have to work on this file at school?  Why don't you have time for that?
MOM!  Stop yelling at me!
I'm not yelling, I'm not even raising my voice.  I'm asking questions. Why haven't you been able to work on this project?
That is what I am telling you.  We don't have time in class, only after school, and the directors won't let us out.
So if you could get the file --
I CANT, MOM!  I need one of those sticks or Mrs Bingham's notebook -- and the file is on Lindsay's profile anyway, so I need her, too.
So -
LET ME FINISH!!  I just hate it.  I don't know how I'm supposed to get it all done. 
So, if we got you a memory stick you could take the project home?
I guess so.
Well, we'll do that then.  Will that work? 
(inaudible affirmative sound, arms crossed, eyes directed out of car)
I'm glad there is a solution.  See, no reason to get so upset.
It's just that it seems like you are so mad at me!
I'm not.  It's frustrating that it took so long to understand the problem.  And I want to help you now because I'm sure, somehow, it will all be my fault Thursday night if this isn't done.  By the way, give me your phone. 
You're grounded.   For your room.  It's a disaster.
See?!!!  You hate me.
No, I don't hate you.  But your room is a mess and your phone is the one thing you care about.
But Kaylie is going to call me to talk about going to the mall Saturday!  I need to talk to her.
About the mall?  On Saturday?  That does not qualify as enough of an emergency to override grounding.
But MOM!  She doesn't know my HOME NUMBER!!!
Well then, talk to her at school tomorrow.
But the plans might be for FRIDAY NIGHT!  She's not sure!
Well, then.  It's a good thing it's only Monday. 
--- The end ---
Of course, it wasn't really the end.  That was just 15 minutes in the car. 
It is hard not to feel like a failure when it happens this way.  And lately it happens a lot.  I'm tired of feeling like a bad mom, like someone who can't communicate, someone who just stirs her ire and makes her seethe and wish she could move in with her dad.  It's not always like this, but when it is, it makes me sad.  * sniff * 
Peace out.  :: exhale ::

embroidered anniversary

My inlaws recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.  That's a long time.  Enough time to make Dinner or a Gift Card fall way short of feeling like the perfect gift. 


Anniversary plates are not their thing (although I saw a really pretty 40th one the other day at the thrift shop), and elaborate gift trips are a bit out of our budget.   So.  I made them a giant embroidered monogram, working on it in the car, at night watching tv, and whenever else I had a minute.


It measures about 8x10 and is more satin stitching than I have ever done in one project before.  I created the basic design in Adobe Illustrator, printed it out and then traced it on to white linen.  That part was not so fun, and explains the wonky nature of some of the circles.  Also, I must have been inspired by Kirsten's gocco with those swirls, now that I see them in a photo.

It occurred to me after I had already begun that this would have been great to do in their wedding colors; however, I had no idea what they were. Instead, I went with light blue, which is my father-in-law's favorite, and black, which was sure to provide the necessary contrast for those tiny details.


I bought a regular matted frame and popped out the glass piece.  Then I wrapped the linen around a piece of foam board, smooshed it in, and replaced the original frame back.   It looks so much better than the tattered wrinkled piece I had been carting around.  Very satisfying and official.

But all she wants to wear are t-shirts.

I'm kind of obsessed with sewing for Fidge these days, even though actually getting her to wear her new clothes is proving to be a bit tricky.  (Remember the flowered shirt incident, earlier this year? )


This is something I wanted to do last year, but didn't... Repurposing one of hubs' old sweaters into a cardigan, and making a matching skirt. 

I got the cardigan pattern from Martha.  Its intended use is for felted sweaters, but I thought I could bypass that step if I stay-stitched the knit before assembling the pieces.  My results were so-so, as the ribbing in the sweater made it a little difficult to lay it flat and, therefore, to know when I was stretching it or not.   I placed scotchtape over all the edges before I stay-stitched them.  It helped quite a bit, but the tape was very hard to remove.  Is there a better way to do that?  I am so so sure there is.  

The end result is not as wonky as this photo is making it out to be.   I promise.


The plaid is a remnant I picked up thrifting some time ago, for no more than fifty cents.  For the skirt, I cut a flat front and gathered the back piece, putting elastic in the back waistline, sort of like the 'cute skirts' pattern.  I used one of her current skirts as a guide.  Rather than mess with a hem, I made some bias tape from some stash fabric and finished the edge.  I imagine if I can ever get her to wear this, we'll add some stockings and her navy t-straps.


The plaid reminds me of a school uniform.  I didn't go to private school, but always wished I had.  If for nothing else but knowing what to wear every day.  ;) 

This project made me want to make Fidge lots of skirts.  Man, they are so easy as fast -- very satisfying.  By the way, have you seen Alicia's apple picking skirt made from a man's dress shirt?  She's a clever one, that girl... I think she's on to something.