My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

35 and counting March 29, 2011

Filed under: Boys,Hubby,WTFr — blankenmom @ 10:16 pm
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The subject of my birthday came up recently – 35th to be exact.  No, I’m not shy about how “old” I am.  I rather like getting older, it means fewer people to tell me “No”!  In fact, I look forward to being old and senile, I may even fake it early so I can get away with more!  I do however shy away from letting people know my exact date of birth; birthday’s and I have never really been friends and that’s fine.  I make every attempt at making sure my boys DO NOT have the same experience and welcome their birthday’s.  Although – NONE of them like to be sung too.  Sorry hubby!

On the other hand, with turning 35 this year, I somehow managed to pass into some strange realm where 34 was “young and youthful, full of vitality and the ability to conquer the world!” – to turning 35 and am now apparently so old I can no longer carry on and may have to enter an assisted living facility?

With comments on fb like “You can’t sell her eggs, they’re to old!” (not that I was intending too)  and “Your hot tonight; yeah, I hate hot flashes too!”  WTFudge!  I’m only turning 35 folks! 

You know how when you were like 15 and like, 35 was so like so ancient!  Yeah, what happened to that? 

I still feel 15!

So, when 35 comes around, apparently I’ll have one foot in the grave and blogging may become to difficult.  I may forget how, or what I was talking about?  I may not be able to even find my laptop?  Oh gosh!!

Then again, I may get my second wind and finally learn how to surf!!

(I’m banking on the latter one!)

Photograph by Richard H. Stewart






Slopers March 16, 2011

Filed under: Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:21 pm

I know – A second post?  My day really is not that exciting?  But, really it is! 

I’ve known about slopers.  “What the big pattern companies use to make patterns” right?  Wrong, you can make them yourself, OR you can buy them – yup!  You can buy one for yourself, or in multiple sizes.

Ok – let’s start from the beginning.  What’s a sloper?  A sloper is what pattern makers use to make patterns.  It actually looks like a pattern, but it’s the bare minimum.  There are no details.  You use it to get the basic shape your going for and then get creative.  For someone like myself, that can look at a dress and slowly re-make it, I generally don’t need them; EXCEPT when I need it done quickly, or need to make more than one.  Not to mention it would take A LOT of the headache out of designing a lot of items.

The very basics of all the pieces you need.

I found a company that sells them and will custom make you one in your measurements.

(There are other places you can get them, this just happened to be one I found and looks very promising.)

If you’re getting a little more advanced in your sewing and are feeling like you want to design something, I highly suggest these for making the process easier, so you can focus more on the designing and less on the technical aspects of the piece.  Now, it won’t make the process *magical*, but it definitely will be of great assistance.

I will be asking for these for my birthday, Christmas, anniversary, St. Patrick’s day. *snicker*  All I know, is that I was drooling when I was thinking about how much easier this dress would be to make if I had these! 

(And just as a warning – if you look up slopers, look up “sewing slopers” apparently there are other meanings that aren’t so…. um….. polite!)


On the verge

I’m on the verge of so many things….

We are waiting for the contract for renters in the house up north – Woohoo!  They talked us down a $150 a month, but it pays off in the long run, sort of.  We’ll have half our mortgage paid, won’t lose the house and won’t burden anyone with our loss.  Few!  Of course that means we’ll still be paying half the mortgage on our own – expensive lesson.

I’m attempting to get a dress ready for my customer, but she changed her mind on the design she wants, so the one I got done last night will now go away. 

I am *this* close to being done with the hubby’s sweater and might not have enough yarn…. grrr!  I think I’ll just leave the hood off if that happens, I’m the only one that will know; well, I guess you will now too.  Shhh – don’t tell anyone.

We almost have our tax return and I’m fighting every urge to buy some new furniture (we’ve never had new furniture before) and save it for our next PCS (military move) since $.14 per mile isn’t exactly going to cover the $4 a gallon for a 3000+ move.  I may have to break down and get some patio furniture though.

The boys are just about caught up with their schoolwork, which means we can do things during the day again – mom’s happy!

I’m on the verge – but it’s a good verge!


It may kill me… March 10, 2011

Filed under: Boys,Home improvement,Hubby,Knitting,Pets — blankenmom @ 5:55 pm
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While the hubby is gone, I’m trying to avoid all contact with news.  Why?  Because the burning pain in my chest when I listen to it, is most likely an ulcer.  I guess I’ve been getting a little to into my news lately. 

So no news radio, no Drudge, none of my usual news outlets that I go to several times a day while taking breaks.  I have no idea what’s going on…. this may prove to be worse for me than the actual cause?  Along with the lack of adult conversation for a week I may go bonkers!

I’m looking for a really good distraction – going up to visit the house like we had planned would probably have been a great distraction, but with gas prices where they are, that wasn’t going to happen.  And of course it has to rain all week, so I can’t go out reseed the owner’s lawn.  The boys playing Guitar Hero with their friends for hours on end, is not exactly the distraction I was looking for?

I AM working on the hubby’s sweater, which is helping over the edge of insanity – I’m loathing this sweater.  I would like to have given it to him saying “Made with all my love” but frankly, the sweater is not lending itself to that idea. 

I did finish the removable screens however.  Ok, I did that in the first day.  I think the garage may be calling to me again though….. ick!

I know it's hard to see - How do you take a picture of a screen?

The bar at the top

The weights at the bottom

Ok – so they’re not the most beautiful things in the world, but they keep the gnats and mosquito’s out of my house AND we learned it keeps the Oly monster and the old ladies in.  (I keep the gate up for the sake of the passers-by when they see Oly).

The hubby comes home tomorrow, which means most of the day will be spent cleaning.  Heaven forbid I do any while he’s gone, but really, it’s only a week, that’s not even proper time to make a decent mess!

So tonight while I work on that “lovely” sweater, I’ll retreat back into my world of Dharma & Gregg for the evening, having found it last night on  If you don’t mind Chinese subtitles and commercials it’s definitely a good place to find out-of-date shows or even recent shows you like that HULU hasn’t pick up yet, and no one has Dharma & Gregg yet.  I LOVE that show!!   


It’s done! March 6, 2011

Filed under: Home improvement,Hubby,Knitting,Sewing — blankenmom @ 1:55 pm
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I finally finished the pantsuit, can you hear the angels singing?  It’s done!  I’m not even sure if I care whether or not it fits – I just know it’s done! 

Ok really, I know it fits. 

With the jacket


Without jacket


It’s so funny – this was such a basic pattern, but for some reason it just didn’t want to fit.  I guess that little discovery about my rib cage made a huge difference in the fitting for something this snug.

The hubby’s gone again for another week of training, but I prepared this time.  I’ll be making removable/portable screens for the doors.  It’s a small project, but I get to use my tools AND my sewing machine; a perfect project for me!  They should be done before he get’s back.

I also have his “black sheep’s wool” sweater to work on, but I’m getting bored with it so a side project will be nice.  Good thing I had a customer message me that she needs a dress for a wedding she’s attending.  So I’m custom making a dress from the photo she sent.  This will be a new challenge for me because of the distance.  She can’t come in to try it on, so it will have to be perfect the first time around. 

Ahh – I love a good challenge!