This is a rose garden, right?

The roses have started blooming in force.  They didn’t have much of a showing last year, even though I fed them … well, we didn’t have much water last year.  They’re responding well to the rain!

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The red and white roses are the same variety of roses that I carried in my bridal bouquet – Fire and Ice.  (They were a somewhat difficult plant to find, as they’re strictly a florist’s rose, the plants aren’t yet full-grown, so the blooms are smallish yet).   The yellow rose is Midas Touch, one of the most intense yellow roses out there.  FIL/MIL loved yellow roses, and so does my husband.

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Honestly I just picked these to arrange with the bouquet above, but they looked dumb, so I put them in their own flat vase.  This is a white mini-rose and the purple rose is the rootstock of some roses out front whose proper colors have given up the ghost.  The white mini roses are ridiculously healthy – that plant has been there for years.

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Mr. Lincoln – a long stemmed red rose.  My grandmother used to grow these.  Uncommonly for florist roses, they have a strong rose scent.  Commonly for long-stemmed roses, you don’t get too many blooms/plant – but if you like, you can cut a three-foot stem.  (I don’t like, but I could).   A lovely dark, rich red.

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I misremember the name of this lavender rose, but I find that lavender roses nearly always have a very intense rose smell, so if you like the smell of roses, get a lavender rose.  It’s a good bet.

Next week we should have the JF Kennedy white roses… they’re in bud but not bloom.

My husband and I enjoy growing roses, and I love having my home filled with cut flowers.  I don’t always get out there and cut them… but filling out my cutting garden is a priority for me.  I really *do* love flowers!

Holy Handsewing, Batman!!

Just a quick couple of lines… I’ve finished the body of the jacket, including sewing the lining to the fashion fabric on the hems and lining the collar.  This was *all* done by hand, people.  I don’t remember the last time my sewing machine touched this project.

On the up side, my stitches are getting ever so much more regular and skilled.  My arm is tired though.

For those of you playing along at home, I just *hand stitched* every inch of edge of the jacket.   Again.  Through denim.

I did learn that I want to make sure that my stitches for my trim next time are farther away from the edge of the garment and/or are better hidden.  You can see some of them this time round.  I mean, if you stare at the edges, which is a little weird.  Probably no one will do that except when I’m showing it off.

It lies on the body booootiful, though.  Boootiful.  The final project will have some tweaks, but this is still *really* nice.  And it feels like a cardigan.  In denim, which is odd.  But yeah. This messing about really does make a jacket that feels like a cuddly sweater.

Next we start sleeves.

Stress Bustin’ and Learning

Is everyone thoroughly tired of me whinging about being stressed out and fried?  I soooo am.  (I get tired of myself pretty quickly – not that it stops me, it just irritates me extra).

I keep talking about limiting myself and figuring out a new way to be… and I think it’s starting to gel.  Because one of the things I kept *trying* to say, and then not saying, because it just wasn’t true, was that I was going to limit my time with people.  Or I’d try to cut something *else* out of the schedule… but then there wasn’t anything I wanted to cut that I could cut, and the things that keep me healthy, should I really be cutting those?  No. Bad plan.

So, I was adrift.  Thus, the whinging.

But what to DO?  I’m in this place where things aren’t getting done, I’m sitting around at night useless and stupid because I’m tired.  Not body tired, but spirit tired.

God hooked me up, I’ve had a few good days of peace, quiet, and getting things done.  The hours of sewing, where I lost track of time.  The afternoon DH decided he’d help me clear out one of the cabinets.   Today, filling up a greenbin with over-due weeding.   The extra sleep.   I am beyond grateful.

And then God hooked me up with some dovetailing.  Els’ discussion about goals, my current habit of just giving over my days (and self) to God – and not my own plans, and then Maea helped me out by reminding me that it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to change hearts – not mine.

That’s the thing.  I worry so much that some word isn’t being said, some kindness not extended, that I burn myself out, ending up resentful.  I do that with chores and such too.  I’ll get myself all worked up – instead of just doing the thing.  I worry that people will think I’m lazy or selfish with my skills and talents or… I dunno.  Too much worry about what other people are thinking, for sure.

What works?

Giving it ALL to Jesus.  Not half-way.  All of it.  Every person, every conversation, every job, every chore, every moment.  Not worrying.   Really, truly letting God guide, letting God being in control, laying it all at His feet.

Which doesn’t mean, of course that I’m not talking it over with Him, not telling Him my concerns, and not whinging… to Him.  Because I am.  But once I’ve done that… I walk away and leave it be.

So.  That’s my next thing to learn.  I’m going to.

Which should fix at least that chunk of endless whinging from me.  🙂

Barbell Club April 10 2017

 

Weird things I do at the gym… create scaffolding for weights… That was for the barbell pullups.

Snatches went well tonight.  “Snatch balances” were odd, and I’ll feel those in my shoulders tomorrow for sure.   Deadlift pauses were tough as always – core work much?  (Or, should you be bending over, holding a 150lb weight at knee height for a count of two, and NOT tweaking out your lower back, what do you *think* is stabilizing you?)

Feeling so much more myself.  I’m SO enjoying this week.

Just following instructions…

I am learning SO much about sewing from just following the instructions in this pattern and going with the flow!  I’m very glad that I did it on denim before going to my ‘real fabric’ but still.

I feel like at every turn, I’m surprised by how things come together (the couture order of assembly is not at all like the order of assembly on a regular garment) and how beautifully it flows.   Like, these methods produce a better result.  Duh, right?  But if you’ve been taught one way all your sewing career, then switch – well, now I know why the sewing machines in couture shops gather a lot of dust.

I’m NOT saying that I’ll be doing this all the time.  No way.  You don’t even want to know how much time I’ve put into this jacket just this weekend.  Hand sewing?  I just hand sewed the collar onto the jacket.  And that was the easy, fast, part.

Pixels – I feel like such the magician’s apprentice today.

So.  The instructions say to start with a curved bit of sew-in interfacing (organza) to which one is going to attach a *rectangular* piece of fashion-fabric.  Then you start steaming and ease-stitching and … and it bends.  Now, I did have to trim the denim a bit, and you can see I have puckering with the flash (it doesn’t show w/out a flash on it – it also doesn’t show against my neck, where it nestles up).

I knew that loosely-woven wool would play nicely with steam – I really wasn’t counting on denim to do so.  My final fabric is loosely-woven silk, which is more cooperative than denim and less cooperative than wool.  I think we’ll be GTG.  So I’m absolutely shocked that this worked.  My photography skills aren’t up to showing off how *nicely* this lies … trust me that it’s a thing of beauty.

I was worried about the uncovered raw edges of the trim, so I left a bunch of the neckline trim raw… nope, the collar covers that.  -blink-

My words for the day are, “I don’t believe that worked”.

(The collar is not yet lined, so if you want to see the multiple lines of stitching in there, you can.  Well, you can’t see all of them.  But you can get the start of an idea).

This is just so cool!

But enough for one weekend, my arm is sore.

Craftsmanship

This is something about which I have a major bee in my bonnet – fair warning.

Craftsmanship matters.  Becoming good at something, producing things that are well-made and/or beautiful, it’s important.  Like any other thing that you learn, it can’t be taken away from you.  But more so, it’s just intrinsically important to who we are as human beings – we were made in the image of the Creator, and part of being a reflection of Him is a desire in ourselves to create.

Too often – in fact, nearly always these days, you see people want to make something without taking the time to learn how to do it properly.   They’ll do a cheap mock up and call it good, and consider you the next thing to a genius because you did it the right way.  This drives me INSANE.

Yes, I’m a good seamstress.  I’ve spent years learning to sew and practicing.  I also aggressively pursue projects that stretch my skills and require me to learn.  (I’d rather be dead than unable to learn anything ever again).  But there is nothing about me that makes me skilled, no intrinsic bit of my nature, excepting my fondness for color, that makes me any better than anyone else.

As a matter of fact, I had to overcome my intrinsic sloppiness and impatience in order to learn to do the things that *have* to be done right, right.  (I am still not very good at cutting).  Had I a different nature, those lessons would have been far more easily learned.

But I care about quality.  I care about beauty.  I care about a thing done well.  So I strive.

I had the treat of spending my month Saturday morning with the ASG ladies.  A room full of women with skills.  Serious skills.

In contrast, there’s this nonsense that Els found at the library.   What an insult.  How on earth do you expect to earn respect by producing trash?  Useless items destined for the landfill?  It’s a waste of good materials.  And it’s ridiculous – how is that feminist?  How on EARTH do you compare that to the work of skilled craftsmen and not hang your head in shame?  You don’t.

If you want respect, do things well.  If you want to pursue beauty, pursue it avidly.  Half-measures don’t get you anywhere.   Yes, of course there is such a thing as a learning process… but that’s a far cry from crafting for the sake of “crafting”.

Craftsmanship, true craftsmanship, scratches an itch built into the human soul.  Go for that, and accept no substitutes.

-gets off her soapbox-

Waiting for the pot to boil

Or… why those womenfolk are online a lot… in weird bits…

…because I want to do something AFTER the pot boils and I put it down to a simmer that I can’t start UNTIL the pot boils, but I don’t really have anything else to do until that pot boils…

…so hi…