Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pascal Goes East

He's not Fifel and he traveled the opposite direction, but I think this little lizard could star in his own movie.

Meet the cast: a Beagle with a nose for adventure named Grunt, a human Charlie to operate the vehicle going East under the guise of  helping his daughter, and the deaf old Jack Russel who distracts everyone with constant grumpy growling and therefore protects the adventurous Pacal.

Traffic was sometimes slow...

And the terrain was sometimes terrifying. Yes, that diagonal stripe is the road, and yes, Pascal is afraid of heights when they are THAT big.

Clinging to the window for dear life. Please oh please don't fall off the road.

Hassling the driver. Did we HAVE to go up that Wall of Death? Yes, we made it, but its a good thing I wasn't riding here when we were going up it. By the way, the smudge on the window... um... that's a bug you smushed. Wasn't me. 

What strange creatures live in the desert. Too hot for Pascal, no thanks. Onward!

This could be a nice place.

Yay for modern conveniences!


Hrm. I see the light! I want out!

Traveling is tiring. The grumpy dog makes a comfy bed if he falls asleep first. Shh.

Hanging out with the other driver. He seems like a fun guy too.

This place is too flat. And salty. I would call it the Salt Flats, I think. Anyone got a drink handy?

My turn to drive!

A pretty end to the day.

A lizard's vision isn't great, but can you make out the Morton Salt girl on the side of that building?

Pascal doesn't see well in the dark, but the rest of the trip was uneventful. He made it to Colorado, but perhaps we'll need to fill in the gap for an actual movie. For now he'll just make a scrapbook, perhaps.

Not An Itty-Bitty Living Space

Hello from my new Colorado apartment!

It took absolutely forever for paperwork to go through on this place, but we finally have a spot to call our own. My husband and I are splitting a two-bedroom two-bath second-story apartment with my husband’s best friend. The complex has two separate pools, a fitness room (which I haven’t seen yet) and even a small fenced area for dogs. I’ll be filming a short tour later on for family and friends, after I’ve cleaned up some of the mess of unpacking!

In the meantime, you might have noticed that my blog has been rather uneventful. Jamie set up his computer with our huge tv, and it hurts my eyes to try and use it for very long, and while my computer is a laptop, it felt like moving in to crack it open, so I left it alone. The boys have their video games and other things to occupy their time, but I was starting to get really bored with nothing to do but wait.

Mammy saved me. She is our friend’s mother, and it was her basement we were occupying. She has a wonderful garden occupying most of her back yard and a lot of the front, with delicious berries and other foods growing in them, and the occasional flower or two. She also is a crafty person, and one day she came out of a nook bearing a box of crafting supplies. She set me up with pre-cut pieces to make a flower-shaped pin cushion. My hand-sewing was rusty, but it didn’t take long for my stitching to straighten out and stop being an eyesore.

Now, I was stitching like crazy, but sewing by hand takes forever. Before I managed to complete the flower cushion Mammy brought out an armload of fabric. She gave it to me. There were two brown bottom-weight fabrics, a bunch of light yellow, light pink and dark pink with dots, a ton of turquoise, and some black with stripes of flowers and vines. Not only that, but she took me on a field trip out of the house to the quilt shop and a local fabric store called Hancock. There were so many beautiful quilting fabrics! We oohed and ahhhed over nearly everything in there, and looked at all kinds of creations hung up on the walls. We have similar tastes, Mammy and I.

I think the quilt shop spoiled us a bit, because it seemed like Hancock was much more plain after that. We did find some great things though, and Mammy insisted on treating me to fabric in order to make a dress that I had a pattern for. We chose a bright lime green fabric with a tight pattern of white swirls- very much a fun summertime fabric. It was perfect. While browsing she also bought me a remnant of gorgeous gauzy stuff that had animal print and purples and yellows in a very busy but very pretty effect. The different elements of the patterns and colors remind me of a calico cat. Then she found some tye-dye green fabric that was super-soft. I didn’t know that made it into the cart until we were at the cutting counter. Mammy found a white fabric with fun spots and dots in bright blue and red with lime green and I think purple, as well as several of her preferred batik fabrics. Those are kinds with a watercolor or soft tye-dye effect, and usually have a pattern in a different watercolory pattern or contrasting colors- it is hard to describe.

We brought home our treasures, and I have been happily sewing non-stop for days.

My first dress was the lime green jumper (which seems to just be a sleeveless dress). The collar facing was sort of skimpy, and refused to lie flat. It also touched me, so that I constantly felt it against my chest, and it was just weird. So, I used an embroidery stitch and tacked it down. I changed the hem to have that stitch also so it turned out rather pretty, though you might not notice it from far away.

Before the embroidery

Secondly, I discovered that the gauzy calico fabric looked perfect with one of the brown fabrics mammy had given me already. So I planned an outfit of shirt and pants, but I had no idea what to line the shirt with. While yellow and pink looked good with the gauze, the pattern washed out with a light color beneath it. Mammy magically appeared with the perfect dark purple to use! I mean this color is so perfect it’s like I went out and bought it on purpose. To keep the shirt’s fun feeling, I used a bright yellow zipper in the back. It just spoke to me, I had to do it.

I had my own buttons for the brown pants, but Mammy’s zipper collection helped them out too. I felt guilty using up her supplies, but she swears that is what it is for, and I know I would share the exact same way if my craft stores were not nearly non-existent. So, then I had a fun jumper and a pretty fun but sophisticated pants outfit.

Next, I wanted to do something with all that lovely turquoise fabric. There was so much of it, I knew I wanted a long dress. I had a button-up shirt pattern, so I decided to do a shirt dress and combine patterns with the longer version of the jumper. The shirt had a one-piece back while the jumper had princess seams, but I think it turned out wonderfully, and I’m wearing it right now as I type this tonight. I found out to my utter delight that the color matches my flip-flops just about perfectly too. Yay!! I still have fabric left over if I feel like making a regular shirt.

Mammy has tons of other claims on her time, including work, but she has sewn several new shirts too. One has nifty tabs and keyhole details on the sleeves. She does it all so effortlessly, without any pattern for the alterations, while I have pretty much stuck to what the pattern directions tell me to do. I blended the shirt and jumper pattern decently though, and added pockets. I’ve learned a bunch about garment construction along the way. The pants pattern was from the Simplicity Amazing Fit collection, and they really are just about perfect and extremely comfortable. That would be the entire point of sewing your own clothes! I will have to make sure to visit their house often for crafty social time- the thought of sewing more outfits from the fabric she gave me all by myself (well, you know- without a kindred crafter-spirit) in the new apartment is somewhat depressing.

We have most of our stuff moved in, but are still in the process of unpacking, and there some items still left in Mammy’s house that we need to get. She has donated a comfy couch to us, and I believe the kitchen table with two chairs will live with us here too. I’m scouring craigslist for a king-sized mattress. There are tons of postings for free stuff and I’ve seen two ads already that I missed out on, but it shouldn’t take long to find ourselves a bed for nothing but gas money.

Anyway, it’s getting late now. You’ll be happy to know that our internet is now set up, and you’ll be seeing much more frequent blog posts from me again. My job starts training classes next Monday, and I’m sure I’ll have bunches to talk about.