Friday, September 30, 2011

Can we have a serious discussion about something very dear to my heart?

So, here's the dealio: vinyl flooring is NOT the same as linoleum.

I know, you're wondering:

a) what the hell I'm talking about
b) why I care
c) why you should care

Well, as an interior designer, I am FED UP with people misappropriating the term "linoleum" and sullying its good name.  People, if you are the author of a shelter blog (I'll give you a free pass if you post occasional snippets of your personal diy home projects - you can't be held accountable, I realize that) you have a RESPONSIBILITY to get your shit right.

Vinyl = thin sheet flooring made of plastic (ok, fine,  it's made of vinyl... same difference) with a fuzzy backing and that usually has a "printed" pattern on it (like *shudder* faux tile).  It is glued down and the seams are left un-welded.  Also, it is usually hideously ugly and scars easily if you gouge/rip/cut it.

Linoleum = a substantially-thick sheet flooring that is laid with welded seams and has a beautiful jute (burlap) backing.  The colour runs through the product, so if you gouge it, it usually doesn't show.  It has speckles and flecks of colour but usually has no "pattern".  And, most importantly, it is made of renewable (read: "natural") materials.  Like cork, wood flour and LINseed oil.  It is biodegradable and has been around since the 1850's.  It lasts a long time and is gorgeous.  It is manufactured by people like Armstrong and Forbo.

So, stop using the term "linoleum" when you mean "vinyl".  Or else I'm going to get royally ticked off.

Pass it on.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Proof of Life

Been knittin'.

 The damn thing is so big that I actually had to use a stepladder to get far enough away from it to fit it in the frame.

Been sewin'.

 Making a new pair of twill pants using the same pattern I used for these jeans a million years ago.

Been workin' on a new tutorial... stay tuned.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Stuff

I mentioned a few posts back that I recently spent some time with my "little" cousin (who is actually 26 and very much a grown up... it's just that I refuse to accept it).  She's pregnant for the first time and I don't know if I can express how excited that makes me feel.

See, I don't want kids.  I like kids just fine.  There a even a few that I love.  I spent years babysitting (e.g. the aforementioned cousin) and really enjoyed it, for the most part.  I just don't want any of my own.  And neither does my stepsister.  And my brother is disabled so he won't be having any.  And I have another stepsister who lives a continent away and I don't have a relationship with.

So what I'm saying is: I kinda feel like my cousin's baby is going to make me an aunt.  You know what I mean?  This particular cousin is the closest female to me in age in the family (my step-sisters came after she was born, so they don't count for the purposes of my explanation) and I was absolutely smitten with her when she was born.  My uncle and mother get along very well, so we spent a lot of time together when she was little.  I see her as a little sister.  And I know she sees me as a big sister.

(As a juicy aside: her father - my uncle - had a little fling when he was 18 or so and fathered a daughter that was put up for adoption.  None of us knew anything about it and a few years ago, they were put in contact with each other for the first time.  How cool is that?  Just like that, I got another cousin!  Yay!  And it means that, out of 5 children, my uncle had 4 daughters.  That's crazy town.)

But I digress (REALLY? YOU DON'T SAY!).

So now I need something from you all: ideas for handmade baby gifts.

I have made her some bibs and a few little washcloths.  I'm also making her a market bag to use for whatever.

I know those little legwarmers thingies are the best thing evar, so I'm making some of them, too.  They're teal and they're going to have lighter teal and mustard stripes.  I am so smitten that want to make myself a pair.

So what else?  She's due in March, so I gotta get crackin'!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Viewer Discretion is Advised

The reason for the disclaimer is that I'm finally ready to show what I got for my birthday (back in much for promptness).  I hinted at it a few times, but I only wanted to unveil it when it was ready.

So, without further ado, I present to you the newest member of my family:

She's a foam body form made by a company called Uniquely You.  I bought it online and the way it works is that you tailor the canvas cover it comes with to fit you EXACTLY (more on that in a minute).  Once that's done, you wrestle the canvas cover over the foam form (emphasis on the "wrestle"... I actually have blisters on my knuckles from body slamming this thing into submission this afternoon).

I'm obviously a little shorter than the norm, because you can see the strip of foam poking out the bottom there.  Oh well.

And can I just take a moment to marvel at just how curvy I am?  I hate photos of myself (I am truly the least photogenic person on the planet) so standing next to this thing is the best sense I've gotten of my body's proportions ever.  I have got me some junk in the trunk.  Who knew?

Right, so you're dying to ask me if this thing works.  Well, so far, I would have to give you a resounding YES.  Oh, it gave me some trouble: it was hellish to get the stupid cover right.  You can see a whole whack of loose threads poking out there, right?  After the fourth fifth third hour of altering, I got lazy and stopped trimming the ends.  And holy cow, when the instructions say that the cover has to be SKIN TIGHT, they don't kid.  I could barely breathe in it.  The current incarnation you see above is actually the second version.  I spent a whole day altering the first time around only to discover that it didn't match my measurements when I got it all assembled.  My reaction when I discovered that is best kept under wraps.  It was not pretty, folks.

But, this weekend I had a bit of a burst of productivity and started to de-stash my fabric/sewing project collection.  (I know, crazy!)  I have been finding it difficult to get motivated re: sewing, lately.  Which is really dumb because it just sits on the edge of my desk all the time - it's not like I need to assemble it every time or anything.  Once that sewing machine gets set up, I find it much easier to just keep going.  Sigh.

So anyway, once I got this baby set up and measured it again (this time it was spot on, yay!), I took out a few projects that I started last fall (they've been sitting in the drawer languishing for a year OH FOR SHAME!).  One is a pair of pants and the other is a button-down shirt.  The laziness vis-à-vis the shirt, I can forgive, I guess.  (Have you ever figured out how to alter darts on the back of a shirt when you're the one it's being fitted on and you're alone trying to fit it?  Yeah, me neither.  Yoga will only get you so far: it can't help you grow eyes on the back of your head.  Hence why I needed the dress form.)  The laziness re: the pants is kind of ridiculous.  I mean, a whole 12 months they've been collecting dust?  Sheesh.  But the shirt got fitted this afternoon and holy crap, it was so EASY!  I actually foresee myself making more of them (which I never thought I'd "hear" myself say).  Dresses are going to be a breeze (I wish I could accurately convey the excitement I feel at being able to write that... but I can't, so you'll just have to use your imaginations, ok?).

Mwahahahahaha, I am now a sewing force to be reckoned with!

Or whatever.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Light on the photos and light on the content

It's getting to that time of year.  It's not very bright out when I leave in the morning and it's nearly dusk when I get home.  We live in the woods, so that translates into some pretty dreary conditions for taking photos.  So, you're not getting progress shots until I get some weekend sunshine.  And yes, I can finally report that there has been some (meager, but I'm not complaining) progress.

So, what have we been up to this summer?  Well, lots of sailing.  Lots of farmer's marketing, lots of berry picking, lots of jam-making, lots of yard work.  Some renovations, like painting and putting up shelves (totally mind-blowingly fascinating, I know) and drywall patching.  So, you know, nothing exciting.

This weekend, we participated in a beach cleanup and I remembered to bring my camera:

It was pretty gross.  When I showered afterwards, I found sand in places you should never find sand.  Blech.

In other news, a member of my extended family passed away a few weeks ago.  She, my aunt, had MS and had been suffering with it for over 25 years, so it wasn't a shock but it happened very suddenly.  She was the kind of person who, above everything else, loved a good laugh (at the most inappropriate moments, preferably), so we spent the days before and after her funeral telling funny stories and dirty jokes and doling out vast quantities of hugs.  It's always a shame that we're seldom together these days unless there is a funeral to attend, but I must say that it felt really damn good to see my cousins again.  It had been 8 years (since my own wedding!) and that's just too long (some of them did some appallingly efficient growing up during that period and my mind is still reeling).  So, I am declaring before all (40) of you, that I am hereby going to put $50 from each of our paycheques aside for future family-visiting.  No excuses.

I couldn't bring my camera (too bulky, too expensive) with me, so I'm relying on others' photos, but I hope to be back with more shortly...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yup, still alive

I know, I'm the most horriblest blogger ever and you've given up on me.  Before you walk away for ever though, I ask for one parting favour: go and check out Miranda's bedroom.  Go, I swear it's worth it.

We've been going back and forth on it for months and she has decided that, though she isn't 100% done, it's internet-ready.  Way to go, girl!

PS: I will be back soon with a full accounting of what they heck I've been up to and why I've been ignoring you.  I'll also be begging Chris's forgiveness for not calling her when I was back in my hometown for an unexpected visit last week, though I said I would (I'm SO SORRY Chris, I just ran out of time, dangit!).