Monday, December 31, 2012

Sweet Ending 2012

Well.  After being a Non Blogger for 2 months or so.  Man, where does the time go?  Well, it's gone by in very meaningful ways for me--lots of family & friends, travel, holidays and...PARTIES.  I returned to UB just over a week ago and it has been nonstop party.  Three plus Christmas Day.  So, we have opted (wholeheartedly) for our preferred New Year's Eve celebration tonight:  at home.  Together.  Movies.  Homemade pizza (sans corn and pickles for heaven's sake!).  Oh, and champagne and watching the crazy city-wide fireworks from our big windows.

Anyway, before ringing in 2013 and determining to blog more (sigh...sounds familiar) I want to reach out and touch my 5 followers ;) and share some pics.  I think I'll start with most recent and work back.

UB is full amazing ice sculptures.  Everywhere.  At -30 F this is no problem

Christmas decorating was very simple on both shores.  Very.  Some quilts and my childhood nativity at home my Mongolian one here.  Done.

My first English Christmas Pudding at my first English Christmas with dear English friends!  Set on fire & everything.  The pudding that is.

Chamber of Commerce Award Dinner Extravaganza

Party #2.  Corporate--but with dear friends hosting.  Small, intimate, --with an amazing chamber orchestra.  So special & fun.

The Annual Wagner Holiday Shindig.  Over 1100 employees now. We filled the room for sure.

Randy was a real One-Man Show, being about the only director in country.  To quote him, "you don't know you need a policy until you need a policy."  Case in point.

While home in US, Randy had to work on WAE budgets.  Skype calls, spreadsheets, etc.  This captures it perfectly.  Notice Munchkin Andreas in background :)  I think that's his Cat hat

New Christmas dresses!  

Nothing smells Thanksgiving like turkey! 


Yum & cute

Ready to see the Lightin' o' The Tree downtown Kennewick.  Granny & Julia are into stripes.  Julia more

First wine tasting!  Ever 

Last tea parties of the year.  One-on-One.  Dress required :)

Trip to the Apple Store for Papa's new Mac.  Notice how the Munchkins gravitated to the candy and made themselves right at home.

I've really been sewing.  A lot.  Alas, another blog!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Munchkin Time!

Well.  jetlag has certainly sideswiped me this trip home--hence the Blog Gap.  I've been up and running--no, make that up and dragging.  I try not to miss out on anything (and there is SO MUCH not to miss on this side!), but I am certainly operating on just half a cylinder.  


My 1st weekend home, the Munchkins' Parental Units invited me along for a trek to Georgetown to view the Colorado fall foliage--ending with ice cream, of course!  We did this pretty much every year when raising the girls.  

Then, Kelby & I have a standing date on Wednesday afternoons while his sisters go to dance class.  We rake leaves, we hunt for Pirate Cones ;) , feed the geese back at the pond/lake thing by the courthouse--oh!  This week we went to Home Depot--never had so much fun there!  Kelby just cracks me.  All the time.  A lot.

For over half his life, Kelby makes a bee line for a drawer in a dresser in the guest room to get hold of this luggage scale.  I never know where I'll find it around the house.  Makes me smile.
I'm also trying to do individual dates with Natalie & Layla, knowing that they'll be living in VA this time next year.  Last week I put Natalie on the sewing machine--she's a natural, no surprise there!  We had a ball.  Layla and I went Out & About Aurora last week, and, unfortunately I didn't take any pics.  Sometimes we just need to be in the moment and not treat everything as a photo op, you know? We ended our special time together with Pumpkin Smash smoothies at Jamba Juice--eaten outside, of course :)

Sometimes I have all 3 at the same time.  Busy Granny.  But the hugs and kisses are so very, very, worth it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

That Learning Curve

I set out about a year ago to apply my perpetually jet lagged brain to garment sewing for myself again--wanting to learn new techniques and knowing I would have to learn how to fit my, ahem, "mature" body.  

Boy, have I learned.... 

...that FBAs are wondermous.  Why did it take so many years for me to catch on?  Countless wadders could have been avoided.

...that still, I tend to make things too big.

...I have narrow shoulders and have great success in making a size smaller in the neck & shoulders than I do for the rest of my bod.

...that my skirt & dress hems look far better just above my knee.  No more church lady look!  Not that I have anything against church ladies--I am one ;)

...that adhesive dots work great on knits to identify the right sides.  Even the Chinese ones found in UB.

...that 1/4" Steam-a-Seam works great for narrow hems on unruly knits.  

...that using grosgrain ribbon for skirt facings is fun.  I get a kick out of  hiding something colorful within a basic garment.

I have to give A LOT of credit to some great new books and the online sewing community--which gives the gift of laughter as well.

Oh, and...that I choose flats over heels more and more these days.  
And that is very OK.
Thank heavens there's lots of great looking, comfortable flats out there besides orthopedic shoes.

Well, off to the Rockies to spot some fall glory with the Munchkins.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Through the Looking Glass

Am writing this in wonderful Incheon Airport, So Korea.  Took the midnight flight from UB last night, winging my way home to Colorado.

I both dread and embrace these 2-day trips spanning half a globe and a 15-hour time difference.  Dread because, well, hanging out on planes and in airports for all those hours is a drag. 

Embrace because there is something Zen-like in traveling solo on such trips.  I think of it as The Zone.  Submersed in anonymity and the wonderful care of Korean Air and Incheon Airport.  

Ahh, Incheon.  Spotlessly clean and incredibly accommodating with numerous rest areas, transit hotels, sightseeing tours around the island and into Seoul, free showers, free water, multiple restaurants and stores, no obnoxious TSA recordings and some of the best massage in Asia.  I try never to miss that.  

Anyway.  The is a time to just zone.  Read.  Watch movies or documentaries.  Think.  Doze.  Hold a constant, relaxed conversation with God.  Just mouth breathe.  

But!  before I left UB (packing fabric this way for a change!), I wrapped up all my sewing projects started there.  I ended up shortening this skirt per Nikki's advice.  Then I almost completed a more tailored one in silk wool.

Now, looking straight into the mirror, it looks like it's above the knees.  Not so in this pick. Hmm.  Maybe it's the angle.  

The same great detailing is there though, with a much more flattering length.  Maybe I should go shorter...

OK, well, off to brush my teeth and get ready for the 11-hour flight to San Francisco.  Where the travel stress begins.  

On the other hand, there are hot showers, water that's not brown, bananas, car keys, etc. --and Munchkins!  awaiting.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wearable Therapy

I have been having some fun--and being able to wear the end products.  What's not to love about sewing?  Even the occasional wadder are part of the learning curve, right?  The constant learning--not only new fitting skills and sewing techniques, but the spill over into learning new tech-y things, photography things, blogging things--is something I am really enjoying.  Plus the online sewing community is so much fun.

Anyway.  My successes :)
Shirt #2 from my TNT Simplicity 9158
this time in a basic black lightweight stretch poplin from
 This time I added a kicky facing.  Next time I might just do a bias binding instead of the facing.

Then a black skirt from a great bottom weight knit I found here in UB.  It was a dream to work with and feels great to wear.  It's from Vogue 8750
I really like the curves and fit and the vent in the back adds just enough leg.  Not sure about the length, though.  Still, I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it.

...and how about this crazy grosgrain ribbon facing?!

Oh!  and look at how the seams/invisible zip all come together, hmm?  Pat on back :)

From the same TNT I made my shirt from, Simp 9158, I just finished this from a lovely soft, light-weight cotton khaki twill from  I'm thinking that I'll get lots of wear with either sandals or boots.  I added a slit in the back to enable me to get in and out of the Jeep back home ;)
 I lined it in a cotton/poly blend I found here in UB.  Also got to use more of that fun grosgrain ribbon for the facing.

This made up really quickly from a downloaded Maria Denmark pattern, Kirsten Kimono Tee,

I made up in a beautiful Korean knit I found here.  I think this will be a great foundational piece with a colored cardi or such

Lastly, this could very well be a wadder.  The pattern was a free Hot Pattern download from   Slinky-Slouchy Drawstring Vest--the pattern is wonderful.  The problem is that I made it in a soft, drapey mesh-ish knit I found here.  The pattern calls for woven.  The back neck and armholes have stretched waaaay out of wack.  It actually looks nothing like the pattern and I cringe to think that Hot Patterns would even see this.  That said, I haven't decided to live with it or chalk it up to that learning curve. But I'll definitely be making up the pattern again--for reals.

Wearing Option B.  Looked better in the mirror than in this picture!  hmm...

Very last of all--Fall has arrived in UB.  Glory!