Look, this is a forever project … I want all the colors that exist… but the big push, to have all the colors I feel that I need to properly represent… it’s done.  No more sitting at the sewing machine for hours on end, sewing through shipping tags.  I can go back to sewing CLOTHING… wow, concept.  :p


This was a lot of work.  I’ve been doing this all summer.    And I’m done!  So, celebrate with me!  :)

Also, I am completely ready to run my color parties as of right-this-minute.  My bag is packed and RTG.  Once I finish writing my interview sheet for image consulting, I’ll be RTG with that too.  Accomplishment…


And the kids start school on Tuesday.

Yeah.  It’s good.



Preparing for change, a bit melancholy

Walked my dog a bit today… thought some thoughts, realized some of the saying hello is saying goodbye.

On my religious blog (HHH) I talk often about the difference between what our cultural standards of “good” are and the will of God for our life – and when they conflict, that we have to choose the latter.   I talk about this because this is something I’ve wrestled with constantly.   At this point in life, I’m fairly well convinced that I’d have been a serious brat of a Pharisee if God hadn’t choke-chained me.  I’m grateful, intellectually, for the discipline, but that doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t mourn the road I’d rather have traveled.

The people with whom I choose to surround myself online are crunchy folk who value big families, country living, homeschooling, and spiritual rewards.  I live in SoCal, in a city where I’m living on water restrictions and clay soil better suited to home building than gardening.  I don’t have *room* to can, and now I’m sensitive to wheat (as is my husband) so there’s little sense in baking… a country life isn’t my life.

I’ve been considering this for a while, or why I have spent more time at the beach this year… it’s part of the “good stuff” that one gets from living in SoCal.  I’ve been trying to embrace the things that people in other parts of the country envy about my life, instead of sitting on my behind envying their lives.

I mentally shop quite a bit.  I’d figured out a couple of years ago what the “ideal dog” would look like.  Today I sucked it up and admitted that while I enjoy big dogs, I don’t enjoy having a dog *here*.   I like my dog, but I don’t like walking him on a leash.    There’s no joy in that for him, or for me.  (He does like a walk, but it’s not joy).  So, when he passes on, I probably won’t get another dog unless my husband takes up travelling for work.

The big dog goes with the country house and the acre of garden, the pantry bigger than my current bedroom, the quilting rack in the sunroom, an orchard and neighbors with a dairy and chickens.  That person is what my people hold up as “living right”.   If you can’t get there, you should try hard to get as close as possible.  -sigh-

I have confused serving God with living that life, ignoring how very many more people there are here to serve.  And then I get myself into another knot, thinking I should serve more officially at church.   Do you have any idea how many doors I’ve had closed in my face with church service?  It’s not even funny.

Authenticity is important.  When I know I’m being a brat, I can lock myself down tight, being sensible and stomping off very deliberately in the “right” direction.  I’ve found myself using mannerisms rather than manners and I know it’s time to find my own path.  How can I teach others to let their inner selves show if I can’t do it for myself, if I feel a need to put on a mask?

Saying goodbye to one stage in life and being open to not just the stage, but discovering joy-bits along the way.   And yes, some of it is just me being scared, wondering if I’ll find people who will allow me the joy of playing with them, chiseling them out of the marble and releasing them to the world…

My practical side is important, it’s the side of me that’s going to get swatches sewn this afternoon… but my squishy heart is important too.  One must join them.


I know this was more than slightly wandery, but I do type to think… did it make any sense at all?




The book is out!

As of *today*, you can get it at or… smashwords delivers it to all the other booksellers in a few days’ time, so if you give it until the end of the week, just pick your favorite retailer.  Smashwords, however, does sell in all formats.

It was a long day crunching things yday… but I’m happy to have this done.

Wardrobe Communication

A really confusing week, exercise/dietwise

So, I’m trying to find balance between lifting and CF, eating and losing weight.  I’m not actually TRYING to gain muscle, I’m just trying to get stronger/better at lifting, so it kind of happens.   I’m not after the aesthetic.  I want to be thinner.

Joined barbell club week before last.  LOVED IT.  Crossfit is often hard on me – I’m 43 and I haven’t done anything with athletics at all before last March when I found CF.  A video, a little gym time, swimming in the summer, maybe some yoga, a few dance classes (epic fail) – but I don’t run, I don’t play sports, and my cardio is pathetic.   (CF will boost your endurance like nothing else, if you’re looking for that.  Not *nicely*, but it gets the job done).  CF has a lot of cardio.  Oh yeah, “lifting weights faster”. Yeah.  YOU try a few thrusters or a set of wall-balls and get back to me about your heart rate.  Sometimes that cardio can be a lot.  It’s good for me, I need it – but it’s a lot.

So in BBC, you warm up and stretch, then spend a glorious hour and a half lifting.  Just lifting.   I know I gush at y’all about this from time to time, but I really love lifting.  Finally to find something your body is good at is such joy.

Last week I hit BBC twice and CF once (DH says I can only do 3 classes/wk, I get too wiped out).  That’s about 5 hours in the gym, total.  We did enough core work that my appetite was reduced, and I lifted enough weight that I was seriously craving protein.  So, I skewed my meals protein heavy/carb light.  And I ate less than I normally do (I wasn’t counting calories, just vaguely paying attention).   That sounds great, right?

Yeah, sure.  Thursday before BBC I was tired, but I carb loaded a little bit (this means I ate a potato for lunch) and went in.  Friday I was yard trash.  SO tired, and starving.  Saturday I was better, still low-energy and still carb-craving.  Loaded a ridiculous dessert last night.  This morning I got up, put my hands on my thighs as I was sitting down and… what?  That’s a flat bit.  My thighs got thinner.  (Visually confirmed with DH.  He says it’s slight but there.  No photo for you).  (Oh, and I don’t feel like yard trash today.  I feel fine. Not super bouncy, but tots fine).

I have to find balance.   I have to find the sweet spot where I’m eating enough not to feel like dog food … not so much that I gain weight, I’m trying to *lose* weight.  Coach says if I just eat clean I can eat as much as I want.  Which is awesome, but … tricky.  I’m good at following my healthy cravings, but this week I didn’t crave as much as I clearly needed to take in.

And while you’re thinking about creative advice, BBC is at night… so if you have mini-meals that are good to send you off to a happy night’s sleep, please advise.   I might start eating sandwiches, if I can find bread that doesn’t bug me.

Thursday Night’s w/o:

warmup of 400m row + 5 airsquats + stretching + overhead squats w/band etc.

Then… 3 sets of 5 overhead squats (42lb – BBC is about form)
5 Sets of 3 hang snatch (42lb – I did more than that, form again)
3 sets of 8 floor presses (just bench presses on the floor) (62lb)
3 sets of 3 1 arm dumbbell snatches (I ended up doing more, which is normal. Form is focus in BBC – 15 lb, then another set of sets w/20lb)

8 rounds of plank, tabata style (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off) (Cruel and unusual punishment)
50 full situps with abmat

Modesty in sports

Real modesty is about dressing so as not to draw attention to yourself.  We tend to interpret this strictly sexually, dressing to cover your secondary sexual characteristics. Different cultures (particularly religious cultures) do the modesty thing their own way, and the garb evolves to become more cultural than modest-as-not-to-draw-attention.

IMO you have to figure this out for yourself.  Your body, your culture, your husband/father – and your activities.

Insofar as I’m concerned, the modest option for sports is to be dressed to perform the sport, and then perform it.   A swimsuit in the water is one thing, a swimsuit on land another.

So, I crossfit.  Today, for example, I was

  • upside down (wall walks)
  • on my back (bench press, full range situps)
  • bent over (running with the medicine ball)

We skipped bear crawling today, but that’s usually part of our warmup… and this, of course, a mixed-sex gym.

A skirt is not modest in any of those poses.   Loose shorts are not modest in any of those poses.  Pants are annoying, plus crossfit gyms are not airconditioned – it was 82 degrees in there at 6am.  (That’s reason 1 I switched to a tank for summer.  Reason 2 is because I lift heavy weight and had an “ah ha” moment where I realized that my coach probably *could not* watch my form properly in a baggy t-shirt – which is dangerous for me).

And then I just wear colors and styles that amuse me, because I *like* working out, it’s my playtime.  I dress for play.  And this is what I look like, before and after.  I am dressed entirely for my own amusement and function.  Do I look good?  No, I don’t – especially after!*  (By the time I was done, I had to lie flat on the ground and pant before I got up.  No one looks cute like that.)  Is it modest?  I dunno.  I know I’m not dressed to show off anything, or get attention for anything other than bright colors and general cheer.

When I go to the beach, I wear a swimsuit and a sunshirt.  It’s tight, loose clothing is dangerous in rough surf, and the surf is usually rough here.   Again, not dressing to be looked at, dressing to do the sport.

And I’m dressed so I’m not even *thinking* about men, either to make them not look at me or to try to catch their eyes.    I think that’s the essence of modesty – not to even think about it.  When I see the guys in similar clothes, I’m not ogling them.  I’ve got other things to think about.  And since I live in SoCal, near the beach, I’m very, very used to seeing people in assorted states of undress.  Even the homeless dudes spend the summers without shirts.  Eeesh.

Anyway, I’m rambling and I really need a shower…😀



*I’m pretty sure I got the bruise on my thigh Monday night at barbell club but I’m not sure.


DSC04753Someday I’m going to make a proper Wardrobe Sewing Plan and I’m going to have a list and a budget, and I’m going to the garment district with a Uhaul truck…

I’ve been wanting to get up to the La Brea Tar Pits for ages, I’d only been once – thirty years ago, and my kids hadn’t gone at all.  I’ve been too constricted, having too few adventures, and this was going to be the summer I got out of the box a bit.  It turns out that Mood*  is mere blocks from the Tar Pits (and the LA county museum).   Well, you know I had to hit Mood, right?  I mean, MOOD.

So I convinced my dad to go (not hard, he loves LA) with, so that my poor abused children didn’t have to go to the fabric store with me.  Turns out, the smaller child didn’t want to go with, so she stayed home with my mom.  We hit the tar pits (good fun) and then my dad and son (peas in a pod) wandered around the gardens a bit and then hit the LACM while I walked to Mood (about 3/4 mile away – hey, I wasn’t trying to find more parking in LA).


Mood.  Oh, Mood.  Proper garment fabric.  Mid-range garment fabric, not the low-end stuff I can find in San Diego county.  I could still be there… and if I’d been sewing more, or had a plan, I’d have come home with armloads.  As it was, I exercised great self-restraint and only bought two pieces.  One is for my husband, one for me.

The post-laundry picture of the shirting just doesn’t do it justice.  This fabric is luminous, the quality of the cotton is high enough that it shimmers slightly, especially with this light twill weave.  The stripes are darkest navy… I could go on, at length.  They had a few color-ways of this stuff, and I’d have happily have brought all of them home for DH (none of them are online, I checked).  This will be a dress shirt intended to wear to interviews and formal events, it’s just luscious.


The shirting I bought for myself is a light-weight Italian cotton.  It’s thick enough to be opaque, but light and crisp enough to promise cool comfort in my warm climate.  (It’s warm here most of the time, summer-weight clothes are my default).   The warm red and ivory are very basic colors for me.


I could have shopped my little fingers to the bone!

Now, the question is… was it worth the 5.5 hours I spent in traffic?  And I don’t have an answer for you, though that does lead us to my opening statement – someday I’m going to make a wardrobe (sewing) plan and go up with an empty trunk and bearers.



*So is another quality fabric store, named, “The Fabric Store” – but I didn’t have time to walk to and visit both.  Another day.

Swatch collection grows

I bought a bunch more fabric (story in a sec) yesterday and spent the rest of the day turning it, and the other fabric bits I had, into swatch material.  I’m still missing some colors (yes, really) but I’ll make a list after this is sewn up – I’m done with “off the cuff”.


Soooo… at my last ASG meeting, we got clued in about a big “by the pound” quilting fabric sale at a church.   Someone had left her collection to the church to be sold off for missions.  “By the pound” is generally cheap, and small bits of fabric scrap is *exactly* what I’m looking for.  Win, I put it on the calendar.

The church listed their sale with every quilting guild in the area, and put it in the newspaper for good measure.  Of course, it was a zoo.  Which was the problem, because the church didn’t have a clue how many mad quilters would show up, and they put the fabric sale in a teeny tiny outbuilding that could only hold 30 shoppers at a go.  Bad Idea.

The next bad idea (which flowed from the first) was not sticking a head out and really thinking about what to do with the line.  And they didn’t – we stood in the line (fortunately mostly standing under shade trees) for over an hour before the ambulance came for an elderly lady at the front of the line*.  You see, it was 95 degrees in the shade yesterday morning, and nearly all the quilters are elderly.  The firefighters/EMTs were most concerned (and quite sweet).   When I got in the shop, the church moved the line to the sanctuary and some AC.

The shopping was good, and I expect the church did quite well.

A bit of an adventure for a Saturday morning.


*She was lucid and sitting up when she left, we had a few RNs in line and a doctor who helped her after she collapsed/before they came.   Well enough to apologize for “the entertainment” to the folks who saw her wheeled out.