Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Always Listen To Your Mother...

Or not. Whichever.

I got in the mood to change my hair yesterday. This used to happen to me quite a bit. I was a hormonally imbalanced teenager. Cutting my hair was what I did at least once a month. I always did it myself. So, I've gotten pretty good at messing with my own hair when the mood strikes me.

Yesterday, I was kind of in the mood for something drastic. Not purple hair kind of drastic, but chopping off my bangs kind of drastic. I just couldn't convince myself to do it. So, I asked my husband. He gave the usual husband opinion of, "Don't do it if it's going to bug you the whole time it takes to grow back out, because I'll have to hear about it." Yeah, helpful, huh? So, I did the only other thing I could think to do at midnight. I called my mommy in another time zone. She's the ultimate non-advice giver. It's actually a personal motto of hers not to give out advice. I told her I needed advice, and she immediately told me she might not have any to give. So, I presented her with the dilemma. Her response was typical Mom. Wait till morning, wash and style your hair, and then see what you want to do. I went to bed thinking Mom was pretty darn smart: #1, she didn't actually give any real advice, so she can't get in trouble for giving the wrong advice, and #2, she told me to sleep on it. Not bad advice to give at midnight, really.

Here's the real problem, though. I woke up to a house without water this morning. The pump wasn't turned on, and the cistern went dry. You didn't think of that, did you Mom? So, now what? Well, we ignore Mom, naturally. So, I took a deep breath, held it in and chopped my bangs. It took all of 2 minutes to drastically change my hair. And, I think I like it, though it needs to be washed and styled to be sure (and I've been told I've got a couple more hours till there will be water). So, what do you think? Please excuse the paleness (I've not been brave enough to go outside much these days with the 50 mph winds whipping through our property these days). The silly poses there's just no excuse for. Like I said, it needs a good washing and styling to not look quite so stringy, but I'm thinking it's a change for the better (I know, you didn't see the before shot).

Okay, now for the important stuff. I did quite a few little sewing projects yesterday and this morning (and one semi-big one). I fixed a nursing bra that I like to wear but whose clasp had snapped. You don't really need to see that, so we'll move on to the baby stuff instead.

First, let me apologize for the orientation of this picture. I've rotated it in iPhoto, but it doesn't seem to want to show up that way when I upload it. Sorry. You'll have to live with it this time (apparently, I couldn't live with it - came back and fixed it later by quitting and reopening iPhoto, in case you ever need to know). This is a little outfit I was given when Lambchop #1 was still in the belly. It was a garage sale special, and I know Lambchop #1 got some use out of it. She even gave the little bib a couple of nice stains. That's why I took the bib off (well, that and the fact that I'm not a huge bib fan). I didn't really want to throw the whole outfit away. Maybe I'm a sucker for seersucker. So, I detached the bib part and added a little rickrack to spice it up a bit. I think I like it better this way. Maybe it's not quite so fancy but it's more my style. And, since the outfit was free and that's most likely less than 20 cent's worth of rickrack, it's a pretty frugal restyling job.

Next is a little shirt I bought on sale a long time ago for 2 euros. I liked the cut, and I was planning to add some embroidery and give it to my sister-in-law's daughter. Only, I don't embroider and am unlikely to learn anytime soon, and the kid's now too big for it. Luckily, I had a girl. And, even luckier I have another sister-in-law who sent me a really cute collection of ribbons she bought a while back. I was able to dress the shirt up nicely with this one.

I was going to show you a before picture, but I didn't remember to take one till I already had the bottom section pinned down. I think you can picture it without the ribbon around the collar and bottom to get the idea of how plain it was before. I think it's really cute this way. Thanks, Aunt Dis. You gave me the perfect tool to fix this shirt up.

Here's a close-up so you can see the ribbon a little better. Perhaps it doesn't look like a professional installation job, but it'll do. I'm still not a pro at attaching ribbons, rickrack or bias tape, but I'm learning.

Now on to the big project of yesterday. I spent most of yesterday's sewing time on this one. I really love the way it turned out. I also love the fact that didn't buy anything new to make it. A while back, most of the grocery stores agreed to stop handing out plastic bags with groceries. Instead, they make you purchase slightly sturdier plastic bags and these funky material (plastic tarp stuff) heavy-duty bags. They're reusable and exchangeable, but they still irritate me. First, you have to buy them. Second, I used to reuse the other plastic bags for trash - now I have to buy trash bags so where am I doing any good for the environment?? And, third, they're really not all that sturdy, and it's a hassle to exchange them. I'd much rather have a pretty cloth one made from leftover fabric from my stash. So, I measured one of the store-bought ones and made my own.

Here it is:

Any Ikea shoppers may recognize the gray and black fabric to be a shower curtain. We bought one with a gift certificate we were given. Our shower stall is narrow, and the curtain was too wide, so I cut it and saved the excess material. The purple lining is some canvas that I used to make curtains for the bathroom (so this bag really matches the bathroom well). I had leftovers since it was double-wide upholstery fabric. The strap is made from a strip of fake leather I had bought for use as slipper bottoms (I changed my mind about the slippers, so I never used the fabric). I am very happy with it and can't wait to go shopping in style.

It's huge, too. Take a look at the inside. Imagine all the stuff you can fit in there. I just hope it'll be sturdy enough. I can't picture it falling apart as easily as the bags they sell you at the store, so I figure this will be fine.

Now, I have one last thing to show off before your eyes glaze over (don't tell me if they already have - I'd prefer to remain delusional). It's a little shot of my knitted cardigan tank. It's coming along nicely, and I thought I might be nearing the point where I should start the arm holes. I wasn't sure, so I steam blocked it a little with the iron to check. Here it is blocking.

You get a much better idea of what the lace will look like here than you got the last time I showed it to you. I love this lace. I think it's so pretty. I can't wait till I finish this cardigan. I guess that means I should really work on it more often, right? No big deal. I'll still have time before it gets too hot. With all the wind we've got these days, it's not yet the right weather for it. Anyway, see that band of lace that continues all the way up the edge? That'll be the button band. I'm kind of anxious to see how it'll look with the buttons going up it.

Well, I'm lucky today, because I get to hitch a ride with my husband to the fabric store to finally get a zipper for that blue dress. I'm also hoping to make a little stop at the thrift store. I have the excuse that I'd like to dump some old clothes, but we really know that I just want to feed my new thrifted sheet addiction.

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