Friday, May 21, 2010

Adding a Little Flair

I had a very good friend bless me with some clothes recently. I took this opportunity to experiment with embellishing and adding flair to the times to make them be as unique as me! Yes, I choose the word "unique", its a tink life afterall!
Anyhoo, the cut of shirt was already perfect. It fit me well, and even though I love black I am consciously trying to add some color to my wardrobe. All the browns and blacks and pinks need a little more vibe!
So, I took a package of Wrights hem lace in teal and did this:

I already had the perfect necklace, earrings, and bracelet and even eyeshadow, so it must have been meant to be! Now I just need the shoes, too.

Here is a closer view of the bodice. The area of the lapels had gunmetal rivets glued on and some had come off, so I pulled the rest off and covered the glue marks with the hem tape pleated every 1". Then I angled the lace while still pleating it every 1" and sewed the lace down with a tiny black zigzag stitch. With the two strips left at the very end, I cinched and gathered making the rosette which I tacked at the joining of the wrap style bodice.

The black peeping through is a camisole, not my bra, just in case you were wondering. What can I say, I have bad posture!

There was a band under the bust, so I covered it with a row of 1" pleats, sewn again with a tiny black zigzag stitch through the open work of the lace. I sewed 3/8" from the edge to give the pleats a ruffled look.
I love makeovers that cost nothing! Thank you my dear friend for gifting me with this shirt, it is so very comfortable.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Clean Is It Really?

You know how when we or our children take baths, our dead skin cells slough off and over time leave this wonderful residue behind?

As a child I remember wondering why bathtubs and towels became dirty if we were clean or became clean while using them. And I even completely understood Danny Tanner on Full House cleaning his vacuum and other cleaning utensils.
which is saying something, because his character really got on my nerves!

Nonetheless, I never thought about how nasty dirty the inside of a washing machine could be. Its not like I stick my head in it too often for an inspection. I'm not quite that OCD (there may be a thin line, but I won't point at it if you won't). I'm even blessed with a wonderful washer, a fisher & paykel ecosmart gw11.
It does so many things for me and is so easy to use that I was ecstatic on a past vacation at the beach to discover the condo had the same washer (yes, I know the OCD line is there, stop pointing already! sheesh!).

My husband does industrial electric work through a union and has had many a filthy location to work in, but this past February he began working in a steel plant. My dad even worked there for a little while when I was kid. And the only thing to say about the place is NASTY! Like all over nasty; nasty on his boots, nasty on his fire retardant clothing (apparently a must when you work near kilns larger than a Hummer), nasty on his neck, nasty on his face in a very artistic capacity, considering the safety glasses, hard hat and filtered mask he wears. So, as I said, nasty!
Of course these clothes he wears-socks, pants (thermals in the winter),underoos, tshirt, and snap button jacket-must all be washed. At first, I just couldn't seem to get his clothes clean and they, of course, smelled. Not that earthy, musky, "you turn me on" male scent either. The smell goes along with the list of nasty.
Grease Lightening became my friend for getting his clothes clean, but alas, to my horror, I discovered that the NASTY was leaving its stain behind in my washer. (Ok! now you can point out the OCD line has been crossed! I admit it, I'm compullsive!)
I tried the Tide washing machine cleaner, but it didn't do the job to get rid of the NASTY.

Here is a cutaway shot of my washing machine. This machine is different from the others I've had, in that you take off the top cap and pour the laundry soap/and Clorox down the center tube. Then you pour the fabric softener in the top cap that comes apart into two pieces. I was shocked at all the places the nasty grime had left its mark, as illustrated in the picture.

So necessity being the mother of all invention, I went back to my Old Reliable, Distilled White Vinegar.

with the help of a little friend that helps us get the grime out of fingernails after working at the steel mill, or in my case working in the garden.

There was no rocket science or even vast amounts of elbow grease to rid my washer of the NASTY. Matter of fact, its taken me twice as long to write this post as it did to clean the washing machine (my excuse being pics of Bab Saget are hard to come by)!
I simply poured distilled white vinegar into the laundry soap resevoir and in the bottom of the tub. Then I set the washer on a cycle of heavy duty and a soak with the highest level of hot water. I paused the cycle before it went into rinse mode and let it sit a while longer. After about 30 minutes, I opened the lid, took the fingernail brush and an old toothbrush to the areas of grime, including the two pieces that make up the fabric softener resevoir. Within ten minutes all the grime had been scrubbed away just like the dead skin cells left behind in the bathtub. When I was done, I simply let the washer complete the cycle and it is now as clean as the day I first used it! Take that NASTY!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How do you say goodbye?

I know most girls and women have to/had to say goodbye to their mothers at some point. Whether it be a sudden stroke, a car accident, a rampant illness, or the long process of diseases like alzheimer's, heart disease, and cancer. Most involve extraordinary pain and suffering physically and mentally. You wish your mom relief, pray for healing, and hope her strength lasts another day. Yet, you know, just as I know now, that goodbye does come. It comes shrouded in grief, horrific in stench, and black in form, robbing wherever it roams. The question is how do you make use of the golden moments alloted before death comes and your beloved life giving mother is seperated from you by the barrier between earth and heaven?

Death may have no sting but it is cruel. Seemingly more so, when it waits languidly in the shadows and you've no inkling as to when it will eventually strike.

Though I know when my mother does leave this earth, free of the monstrous cancer that has ravaged her body for over seven years, there are two things death can not take from me, too. Her love for me, her daughter, and the memories of her love.

Friends of Mine