My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Terrible Toothfairy July 27, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 11:11 pm
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We have the most horrible Tooth fairy ever – I swear she needs to be fired! 


She must belong to a union?


We’ve had four boys lose teeth and are coming up to the last few teeth on the last boy and for the first time ever, she made it on time!






There was the time that she forgot the tooth at Christmas – we told our oldest it was because Santa and the Tooth fairy couldn’t be in the same house at the same time.  Too much magic would make the house explode.  He kind of liked that idea.







Or the time that the Tooth fairy didn’t show up for several days after our second son knocked the loose tooth out of the fourth son’s mouth launching it somewhere (we still don’t know where – that was 4 houses ago) and we used the excuse that she wouldn’t deliver until the tooth was found or a note left to explain.







She once forgot for several weeks…. I just finally admitted that we had a crappy Tooth fairy and she’d need to be fired.







The boys agreed.







Our youngest just lost a tooth this week and he was astonished that she made it in the first night.  So was I for that matter – our complaints must have finally made it to management.





There’s a pattern here (Tracing your steps) July 15, 2012

Filed under: Sewing,Sewing lessons — blankenmom @ 11:02 pm
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You’ve bought your pattern, your fabric, thread and notions.  You’ve washed your fabric like good people should and you’ve even done the dreaded pressing.  You now have it laid out, sprawled across your floor… and if it’s anything like my house, you dog has walked across it 3 times and the cat is now laying smack in the middle.



Yup – you’re ready to cut your pattern out!




I want to start by talking about proper storage.  There are several ways to store your patterns, mine is probably the worst way for pattern collectors – I cut the envelope and slap that baby on a manila envelope to store in file blocks, but it works for me.  You need to store them in a way that will keep the tissue, once cut, together.  Zip lock bags, envelopes, cabinets, folders, boxes – whatever works for you.  Just remember you may have small pieces sneaking out and you don’t want to lose them – they’re usually important!  You don’t want them torn either – very frustrating, although you can tape them back together, it’s just never the same.







You also need to keep them dry and out of the sun.  Moisture for obvious reasons, them being paper and all, and sun because they’ll discolor and can become brittle.  My older patterns, some older than I am, have done this making them very difficult to use.


Open the full sheet out – there will usually be several pattern pieces on one large sheet.  I suggest you cut ALL the pieces out at once just to save time down the road and to take the headache out of trying to fit the tissue back in the envelope.  Don’t worry about cutting on the lines just yet – no reason to do that twice!  For now just go loosely around the outside, being very careful not to cut into any lines.  You’ll see some directions on some of the companies tissues.  You can keep those if you’d like, but not necessary.  Reading them will get you bonus points!


While doing this first cutting, you’ll notice that there are several sizes on the patterns.  Don’t cut on any sizes yet.  Wait until you get to the final cut to cut on the exact line.





After getting all the pieces cut out, look at your directions to see which pieces you actually need.  It will usually tell you on the upper left corner.  They’re all numbered and are in the same shape as the pattern piece itself.  Most even tell you what the part it is.  Put the ones you don’t need back into the envelope.  *After you’ve folded the extra pieces to put them back; if you’re finding they won’t fit back into the envelope again, you can press them with a dry iron to flatten them out.  Make sure the steam setting is off however.  You also don’t need to follow the exact fold lines…. unless you’re a bit OCD like myself.  It’s sad….





You’ve got the pattern pieces sitting next to you that you’ll be using, but they’ve got lines and creases from being crammed into that tiny envelope; not good for cutting an accurate pattern!  Your iron is already hot from pressing your other pieces to get them to fit back in the envelope, so head back over and iron over all your pattern tissues – don’t worry, they won’t burn unless you leave them under there.  But then, so would anything else you left under there!  Just quickly go over the paper, without the steam on, getting the lines out.  It will go quickly.  I suggest doing them upside down since the paper will curl up towards you and doing it upside down will make it easier to lay the tissue later.





Now here is where I’ll take a side trip….


I don’t like to cut my actual pattern pieces, instead I like to transfer them to pattern “paper”.  My favorite being from Pellon.  They also make gridded, which I’ve been told works excellent – I just get to distracted by the lines.  If you choose to trace, use what works best for you.  You can find both of these products where you find interfacing in your fabric store or online.  Because I use it so much, I buy it in bulk.


I do this so that I can keep the pattern for longer, especially if I really like a pattern.  Cutting it over and over is a bit tough on the tissue paper.  It’s also great if you need to make more than one size, such as making matching outfits for your older and younger kiddo’s or matching bridesmaid’s dresses, or if you lose/gain weight, since you won’t be cutting on any specific line.  I should probably state for legal reasons that sharing patterns (such as letting your neighbor use the pattern) is a no-no.  We probably all do it…. but it’s still not supposed to happen.


Another good use for this paper is combining two patterns to make a new pattern for yourself.  This is good if you like the top of one dress and the bottom of another or if you’re especially large on one end of your body and much smaller on the other causing you to buy two patterns.  This also makes alterations SO much easier!


Before you lay the pattern down on the fabric, lay it down on your table or floor (This will not work on carpeting; it’s to hard to trace.) and pin the tracing paper over the pattern, being careful not to pin over tracing lines, it doesn’t matter how it’s laid on the tracing paper though.  Proceed to trace ALL the information from the pattern on to the paper in your size.  You can use a pen, chalk, crayon or pencil, although pen will last the longest.  You want to trace everything including pattern information and size so if you happen to leave a piece out, you’ll know which pattern it belonged to.





Make sure to mark all the little triangles, printed circles (but not the cut circles, those are there to help the pattern tissue settle faster when you lay it on the table), squares, dots and lines.  Only trace your specific size – you’ll notice that all markings come with sizes next to them.  If you’re a size 14, trace all marking with that number next to them, including the outer cutting lines – no need to trace all the sizes, since you’ll just be cutting the extra lines away anyway.


It’s a long step, but well worth the effort – now get ready to cut!


Wait, What?! July 14, 2012

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Home improvement,Hubby,Navy — blankenmom @ 12:32 am
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I’ve been super busy lately.  Ok, I’m always pretty busy, but this time I’ve purposely been making myself busy. 





My dentist man has been gone and while this isn’t unusual in our house, his higher-ups had been hinting that there would be some big news coming down the line.  Big indeed!  While out to sea, most likely so they couldn’t escape, they informed the whole ship that they’d be the lucky recipients of another long cruise…. and then proceeded to soothe them by feeding them like kings!  I think my dentist man mentioned something about steak and crab legs?  Where’s my dinner?




Oh wait…. sorry –






In lieu of grouching and cursing, I started to redo the homeowners deck.  What?  Isn’t that what your renters do?  I could sit and sew or knit or read all day since the boys are out of school for the year, but then I’d go to bed all frustrated… and lonely.  Instead I go to bed exhausted, sore and a bit burnt, but I fall right to sleep! 





And since I can’t sand when it’s dark, I have been attempting to work on a few new sewing projects now that my robot is done, (and she looked very cute by-the-way) in my evenings. 

I have also discovered a new toy I want.  Ssshhhh – don’t tell my dentist man, he’ll just say no!





When the whole project is complete I’ll share the photo’s; it’s pretty drastic! 

I also have some walls to paint from where the last renters put a few holes in and tried to patch over them, but left a giant white patches on a bright red wall, tan wall and brown wall instead?  The poor homeowners!


This morning I woke to a huge thunder-storm, very unusual for this area, which kept me from my deck project so instead I actually folded laundry.  My dentist man popped up for a few minutes of FB and heard that I was actually taking this drastic step and *knew* I was missing him.  Now, if I could just bring myself to put it all away?





Now how to distract myself at his family reunion next week when I get asked about my dentist man many times over by curious, well-meaning loved ones?







A little of this July 7, 2012


…. a little of that.





With so much going on, I was having a hard time getting my thoughts straight on what exactly I wanted to talk about.

I could always fill you in on the 101 things I’ve got to get done before tomorrow or the world will end as we know it, but instead I’ll just throw out a few of the high points.


As my dentist man was sailing off into the sea, the first-born had made it back safely from his mission trip.  In spite of wild fires, power and water outages, and extreme heat, they managed to get the houses painted and fixed up for the folks on the indian reservation.  In between meeting new people (read: girls), seeing a section of the country he actually hasn’t seen yet (that he remembers) and a day off at a hotel to wait out an evacuation order – hearts were changed. 

He came back with some great stories of new friendships, teenage drama’s and maybe a few new followers. 


He also came back bearing gifts for us all!  Tea for his tea loving dental dad, a new pocket knife for his brother who can’t eat anything and chocolate “bear and deer poop” for his two youngest brothers. 


And what does he get his mother while on a mission trip?




No worries; This was paid for, stored, transported and delivered by an adult.  The son just thought of me when he saw it and shelled out the money – HA!


He cracks me up!


While he’s been catching up on his sleep and attempting to remove paint from his hair, I’ve been working on a costume for VBS.  It’s a robot – can’t you tell?




For the wrists and neckline.












I was given the skirt and shirt that were bought from Goodwill to make into a “Rosie” type costume from the Jetsons.  (I wish I would have taken before shots.)  It will be worn over one of these creepy things –







Can’t wait to get photos!


And topping that off; the youngest is nursing his manly wound from our celebrations on the fourth.  Our neighbors across the street have an awesome Independence Day show.  You know – nothing says Independence from tyranny like drinking heavily, eating too much and lighting things on fire!!   While we have a few big ones, they have ones that make your hair blow back!  This year they had a few rounds of beer pong to get lit-up before they lit things up. 

After several odd rounds going into trees, under cars and one even blowing up before it launched.  What ended it all was one of the mortars getting kicked over while the lighter attempted to stumble away before it had time to launch into the air.  It shot straight at our house, with all of us in the driveway.  Not only did it end up in our garage, under our cars, in our grass and on us, but it caught the youngest on slightly on fire!  After ripping his shirt off of him, this is his manly “war wound”.   (While I don’t think the situation itself was funny, we did at least walk away relatively unharmed and he’ll have a great story to tell!)

His oldest brother and I are teaching him the manly art of “embellishment”.  By the time dad comes home he’ll have been “Totally on fire!  Having saved the whole family from total destruction, he’ll have put the house fire out completely alone – and all he got were these measly… little… scars!”  He’s showing them off to everyone and I can’t get the shirt with the hole in it away from him.  HAHAHA!





He says he can hardly wait for next year!




Since that is over and done with I can move on to the other 98 things that have to be done before tomorrow.  I don’t want to ruin everyone’s day by ending the world after all!