My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Cleaning weekend away April 2, 2017

Filed under: Family,Knitting,Military,Pets,Places,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:22 pm
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Last week, poor Lady was tripoding (walking on only three legs) due to her arthritis in a back leg.  Bad breeding from meth heads does that.  Along with bad genes, too many litters too soon, her body won’t last as long as even the normal short life of a healthily bred mastiff.  But we’ll love her anyways, all the way to the end, hopefully several years from now.  But… it will take a lot of work between now and then to keep her comfortable.

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Cleaning up other peoples messes, always does take a lot of work, doesn’t it.

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However, that doesn’t stop us from needing cleanings.  And when your dentist lives four hours away, you make a weekend of it.  Thank goodness my dentist man has an apartment above his practice, or we’d be sleeping in his dental chairs for the weekend!

We left her and her sister home with the second-born and pain meds, so she wouldn’t have to work the stairs while she’s in so much pain and over work that leg.  He now appreciates me being home and getting to pee by himself, and the girls are ecstatic that I was back home to stalk.

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While we were there though, we had a nice time relaxing, talking, trying some locally brewed cherry hard cider, a bit of a family Doctor Who marathon and a short trip to the cold, cold ocean.  And then headed back home again.  It’s always tough to come back after our trips, but it is nice to be home.

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He has reserve duty this weekend though, so we won’t see him for another two weeks  Glad we made the trip.

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In the four hour trip there, the four days we were there, and the four hours back, I finished knitting up a pair of gloves that still need to be felted, got as far as I could with a baby gift (waiting for more yarn) and only have a row left putting the quilt pieces together.  (The batting shows up this week – I will be showing that off next weekend – it’s pretty cool… or should I say warm?)

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projects

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A busy couple of weeks, but very productive and yet, relaxing.

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~ That’s a good life.

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cathlamet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Skirting the issue April 9, 2015

Filed under: Knitting,Refashioning,Sewing — blankenmom @ 3:19 pm
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I picked up a skirt while out in NJ at this great shop called Vintage Variety but had no idea what I’d be doing with it.  I just moved it around for about 5 years.

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I see your confusion at the word skirt here.  But if I wore it as a skirt, it would puddle around me.  The bottom, worn this way, hits just below the knee.  But I really liked it!  So it stayed in the back of my closet.  Calling to me every so often.

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I received a gift card for Joann’s fabric store the other day and went to poke around.  Nothing really coming to mind on what I wanted to make, I bought a few things for some up coming baby items and a new thread rack.

Way in the back I found some trims on sale – deep sale.  Sparkles galore!  Also some lovely coral ribbon in the exact shade I would like for every piece of clothing.

And this is when I finally figured out what to do with the skirt in the way back of my closet.

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This excellent piece of sequined trim covers the top elastic waistband section.  It is black, although it does appear a bit brown in this picture.  You can still see where I joined the two pieces together in the underarm area.  I chose this spot because it would be less noticeable while I was wearing it.  I bought a lot of it, so you may see it on something else later on.

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As for the rest of the dress, I chose to also give it a bit of sparkle since it had dots, it was ready-made for it.

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It’s sad it doesn’t sparkle as much in the pictures.  But I promise these little black, glue on jewels do in fact have a very nice sparkle!

I would like to take a moment here to point out that when you glue on jewels, you need to make sure you’re using washable glue.  As in, you can wash it and it will stay.  I made the mistake of using some regular sewing glue, but after looking at the bottle realized it was washable as in, it would wash off easily.  And, after almost finishing gluing them on and then realizing this I put it in hot water and yup, jewels floated right up.  Off to the craft store for a few more jewels and some specific jewel glue.  Much better!

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Something along these lines.  By-the-way, I usually use these jewels on the heads of my push pins on my cork boards.

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The main body has one size, black jewels and the “drops” at the bottom have larger grey jewels.  Gives a little something extra to the all black.

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I’m much in love with the simplicity and sparkles of this new dress!  Kind of reminds me of a flapper dress.  Now I’ll need to knit a shawl just for this dress – something with sequins I think?

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Take it down a notch… or ten. November 3, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Church,Hubby,Knitting,Made by me,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:29 pm
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I’ve gotten quite a few easy projects done this last weekend.  Easy sometimes is a good thing.

 

The shirt I made I had planned on wearing to church the day I completed it, but somehow it ended up with a funky smell before it was even worn?  So, it’s in the laundry… I hope that smell goes away?  

 

My mother-in-law bought some very yummy yarn a few weeks back, but it was a bit spendy, so we only got one skein of the Alpaca/Silk goodness.  What exactly can you do with just one skein?  Well thank goodness it was a big skein and Ravelry is awesome.  I searched for the yardage and voila!  Infinity scarf, with beads no less.

 

 

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She’s going to love it.  And the lard I rendered for her this weekend.

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Yeah, you heard me, lard.  Don’t be jealous!

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I also made the most epic pajama bottoms ever!

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I know, they’re awesome right!

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I had actually planned on seasonal and regular stash p.j.’s, but alas, one needs to know how much yardage is needed before one buys.  Remember that kiddies!  These took me about 2 1/4 yards because of the pattern.  Without the pattern I could have gotten away with the 1 1/2 yards I have.  I guess the regular stashes will become an excellent pillowcase for me!

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And, as I type, I’m wearing the most comfortable pants I think anyone should be allowed to wear in public.

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Wow… uh pictures really do add weight?  

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No matter – these pants are awesome!  I made them out of “jegging” type material.  Very heavy, fairly thick (meaning no see-through cheeks going on) and uber soft.  And I mean, uber.  And the bonus, my dentist man asked where I bought them – always a compliment!  I will be making more of these.

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See, I have been productive!

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So productive, I’ve been running ram-shot right over people who clearly don’t deserve it.  While sending our potential new renters their background check packet, I managed to scare the pants (figuratively I hope) off the poor woman!  I’ve been so used to having to deal with thick-headed, lying… well, our last renters, that I didn’t even give the poor people a chance to breathe.

After a very personal sermon at church this weekend on gratitude, I realigned myself, took a breather and remembered that “that house” may be our curse, but to someone else, it may be a blessing.  If I’ll let it.  So I’m loosening my grip, taking a breather and taking the “DEFCON 1” level down a bit.

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Productivity is a good thing.  Scaring people to get it done, not so much.  It’s good to know I have it in me though, for future use.

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And tonight, our nice wood guy made his final delivery of our 3 cords of wood, at about 10 pm.  The guy likes to work!  So hopefully I can burn off a bit of that pent-up energy stacking, and stacking, and stacking.

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Oh who am I kidding… that’s what I have boys for!

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This counts as P.E. right?

 

Don’t call me, baby! April 5, 2014

Filed under: Knitting,Made by me,Random thoughts,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:01 pm
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I have a small confession…. I loathe baby showers.  I wasn’t all that excited over mine even.  I will send you all sorts of gifts if you don’t make me come!

 

A bunch of squealing women, touching one poor woman who’s too fat to run and hide.  Not that she’d fit anyway.  Sitting in the most uncomfortable chair in the room, everyone staring at her as she goes through each gift, hoping it’s not that ugly item she specifically passed over three times at the store.  And everyone hoping they didn’t buy that one item she specifically passed over three times in the store!

 

The last one I attended I won most of the games, possibly due to the fact that I was the only one who had kids already – so they stopped letting me play.  Sore losers!

 

I posted about the rattles I was making for a friend of ours.  After several years of waiting, they’re having a small litter.  A boy and a girl.

Having known our friend since 9th grade (we won’t go in to how many years exactly that is!) we are very excited for them!  He was one of the few who stuck around when we had our first, and was one of our witnesses when we got married.  19 years later, he’s getting two of his own.

 

How could I not get excited?

 

How could I not get even more excited when I was told “Hey, we love you, but we don’t want you driving all this way just for a shower.”  OMG’sh – I love these two!  Not to mention, I don’t know *any* of her friends.  Awkward!  So this was most excellent!

 

In my excitement I may have gone a little over board… maybe.  But by-golly I had a blast!

 

 

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I admit that it’s orange… that wasn’t my intention I swear!  The yarn is coral and when we went back to buy the fabric – it looked like it matched perfectly?  Darn fabric store lighting!  Goes awfully well with the teal though doesn’t it?

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This is just what I put in the basket – I still have a few left overs!  Anyone need baby items?

 

The end results were great – I was very pleased!  And much relieved when they told me how much they liked it on its arrival.  It can be a bit nerve-racking when you hand make something not requested – who knows if they’ll actually like it or think “Oh my lanta – this is the ugliest thing anyone has ever made?”.  Oh, don’t act like you’ve never gotten one of those!

 

I guess the lesson here is – if you want a haul from blankenmom, don’t invite her!

 

 

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Items in the basket ~

  • Two handmade, softest blankets you’ll ever lay your hands on.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • Eight handmade, softest washcloths you’ll ever lay your hands on.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • 12 handmade burp cloths.  NOT in pink or blue. 
  • Seven handmade, reusable diaper wipes/washcloths.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • Eight handmade baby rattles.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • 10 white onesies in 0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 months.
  • Four store bought gauze blankets.  (Where were those when I had the boys?)
  • Two boxes of flushable diaper liners.
  • A gift card for what-ever was forgotten.

 

 

Mazel Tov my friends!

 

Happy Trails – sewing on the go September 23, 2013

 

 

Since I’m sitting here bored, without any of my belongings, I figured I should probably do a quick “tutorial” on sewing while traveling. 

 

Why?

 

Because if I had taken my own advice, I’d at least have a bit of sewing with me – or even my machine and I wouldn’t be watching a Star Trek marathon (the original to Voyager)…. again.  

 

Ok, I probably would be, but with my sewing machine wirrrrring next to my laptop as it played.

 

 

First – is it actually possible to take your sewing with you?

 

Of course!  For just hand sewing, there are so many different types of sewing baskets available, you could be stylish AND have something to do.

You could have vintage to traditional to just your style.

 

 

 

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Even a tackle box would work if you’re not picky about what it looks like.

 

Make sure you’ve got everything you think you might need.  But usually you can find it in a smaller scale.  You probably won’t be cutting out any dresses on your hotel room floor, so large scissors probably won’t be necessary.  Do remember your thimble for hand sewing.  Unless you enjoy pain, or have no feeling left in your fingertips, you’ll want something for those hand needles.

 

 

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This is probably a bit more then you’ll actually need – but you get the idea.

 

For those of us who like to bring their sewing machine with them, for say… classes, moves, long vacations, a craft night at your friend’s house or sewing with the other parents for a school function – what ever your reason, there is a way to safely and conveniently move your sewing machine AND your serger if you have one.

Several companies make varying styles of bags, roller bags, totes and luggage to carry your not-so-little precious all over and back.  As always, it comes down to price and style.

Whether your going for the quick and easy Joann’s at 50% off or the “matchy-matchy” whole darn set.  There is a right one for you.

One of my personal favorites, due to the functionality and color choices is Tutto.  How can you go wrong with that many color choices after all!

 

Now that we have most of our tools and gadgets with us, let’s answer our second question.

 

Why would we want to sew while we’re traveling?

 

If sewing is only for when you absolutely have to – then you don’t really need much of these.  A mini-kit in your luggage will suffice for emergencies.  

If sewing is a passion, then a small sewing basket and your latest work to practice a little hand sewing, will do great.  After all, once you’ve seen one corn field on your move…. you’ve seen them all.  

If sewing is a little more of an addiction than say, crack – than you’ll want the luggage.  And as the ReFashionista shows us, there’s always time to whip-up a dress!

 

And for those of you, who are seriously, seriously addicted, there are, in fact, sewing, knitting and crocheting cruises and vacation destinations.  

 

Happy Trails!

 

 

 

 

All boxed in July 16, 2013

 

 

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Hold on…. let me move this box over so I can see you better.

 

Well, it’s official – my dentist man is a civilian doc now, except for his one weekend a month and two weeks a year for reserve duty.  He’ll actually be losing money to do his reserve time, but between the better health insurance rate and his sense of duty, we figured it was still the better choice, even though the massive budget cuts make it less than a desirable choice for practitioners.  So he’ll be heading off this week to start at the new practice.

 

We do get one last move from the military and while we’re still trying to get through the loan process (USAA is very difficult to get a loan with), we still have to leave this house at a certain point.  So the packers came, packed, boxed, bundled and left.  And so went 99.9% of our possessions. 

 

 

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For two weeks we’ll be sitting here…… 

 

 

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We’re so bored.

 

Every 1-4 years (or about’s there), a military family packs up their entire life, leaves friends, sometimes family (as we will this move) and heads to their next place.  Some of you may have moved before…. picture that every few years.  Picking what’s worth moving again and what should be pitched or given away.  Some moves, like our last one where we were only there for 9 months, you have to decide if it’s even worth unpacking.  It wasn’t.  (Oh the craziness of watching packers unpack and repack boxes that were never opened!)

 

 

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For the life of me I can’t figure out why it’s more tiring to have movers than to just do it myself (which I’ve done before)?  I stand and watch, answer questions, point and assist in various ways and that’s it… and by the end of the day I feel like I ran a marathon?  Every “mover” move it’s the same?

 

The first-born has flown the coup and is now out on his own, with the confidence that we’re only a few hours away, bank accounts are still connected for emergencies and more than a handful of loving friends offering free food and a room if needed.  Had we known we’d see him more these last two weeks than we saw him all of last year, we would have moved him out sooner!  And in spite of differing comments from various people to the fact that we’re “kicking him out”, “ditching him”, or “abandoning him”, there was no such action and the lad is 18 – seriously people – let me cut the apron strings!  I homeschooled and was told I was a “helicopter parent”; let him out of the house at 18 and we’re uncaring parents – go figure.  None-the-less, we’re all happy with the situation, including his brothers who had a small farewell ceremony and a good argument over who got his spots.

 

New renters in “that house” to top it all off!  This in spite of the various odd inspection requests from differing agencies!  How did we all survive in that house with deck spindles 1/2″ too far apart – I know how dangerous 3 inches can be!  I have a great feeling about these renters though – which is a good feeling to have.

 

And although I discovered that I accidentally let my current knitting project get packed, I did manage to save a few other skeins to hopefully keep me from getting stir crazy between paint touch-ups, hole filling and wall scrubbing (6 months post dogs and I’m still finding “slingers”).

 

So while I sit here and watch “Spongebob” for the 100th time since all we have left is internet and teach the boys how to cook Top Ramen old school style – on the stove, using our “moving pan”, I’ll do my best to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having before we head off in two weeks to the house we still don’t have… to open up all the boxes that just left us.

 

 

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Moving on…. May 5, 2013

 

 

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I have been ignoring you…. could you tell?  Don’t take it personal, it’s for a good reason I swear!

 

With my dentist man being home, it’s been a whirl-wind of activities.  Visiting friends and family all last week.  This weekend “that house” is getting its final touches, we went out to the “dry side” and checked out a few homes and the place he’ll be practicing.

 

 

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And what a perfect week to do it too – it’s been gorgeous!  I mean really  – it’s never like this?  Nearly 90* in May?  Sorry mid-west, we stole your sunshine.  We’ll give it back, I promise… maybe.

 

We left the oldest two home, since they have a life and all.  I felt like I was forgetting something the whole time?  But the younger two enjoyed their time “alone”.

 

It’s a very strange feeling to be looking for what’s supposed to be your final home?  It just seems so…. final?  I’m so not used to this concept and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.  How do you look around a town and think “Yup, these are the same faces I want to see for the next 60 years”?

 

To relieve some of my anxiety we are getting land though.  My time with neighbor’s is done!  I know, that seems a bit harsh, but let’s admit here and now that we haven’t had the best track record the last few years them?  Not to mention, it saves my neighbors from having to deal with me!

 

 

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While it’s not my first choice of places to live, it is dry – dry is the key word here.  I can’t take anymore rain and the “dry side” has four distinct season.  I do love a good reason to knit and snow does that for you!  And I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve thought I wouldn’t like a place before and changed my mind, so please don’t take my hesitation as complaint, it’s merely caution before a new situation.  After this year, I would rather have familiarity than excitement and adventure, but adventure is what I’ll get none-the-less!

 

 

Yakima

 

 

Life is like that.

 

We’re moving again, but this time on to a new kind of adventure.

 

 

 

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