Sunday, November 04, 2007

What I CAN do

Inspired by the arrival, starting next weekend, of five separate groups of friends and family over the next month or so, I started seeing my home this week, as I hadn't seen it since my sister's wedding two years ago (last time we had many people here). I noticed how cold our old drafty house is and realized that it may be a bit much to ask our friends and family to bring longunderwear in order to gather together in the living room. We are in Georgia after all. I noticed how I start to feel eye-strain after talking and looking at anyone for more than ten minutes in the living room at night - not much light in there. And I recognized our rugs, once again, for what they are. They may once have been a great deal at the Pottery Barn outlet but now there is no denying it anymore. They are dingy scrapbooks of what we have crafted and eaten for the past several years. So for the past week, I have done a lot of research. We ended up ordering rug tiles from FLOR; I'm getting lamps at IKEA this week; and I carried the borrowed Singer machine to the dining room table, along with its manual, in order to face down my sewing phobia once and for all and make curtains.

"If I can learn how to work this thing, I can do anything!" I boldly announced for all to hear, hoping to model getting over the fear of learning something new to my boys. In hindsight, I believe I should have taken a more quiet approach. After reading the manual four times, in order to learn how to get the right colored thread on the bobbin and then set the tension, I started to sweat. I decided that I couldn't go any further without a new empty bobbin so realized that this task needed to be put on hold, again, until I could get to a store. An hour later, another brilliant avoidance realization hit me. Insulated curtains mean sewing through lots of material. Looking up different needle and cloth possibilities on this machine, I was relieved to note that it can only handle medium-weight material.

YES! I will face down my sewing phobia, and thus be able to conquer anything... just with the help of a live person, and not today.

I researched insulated curtain options on the internet and may even be commissioning my sewing genius friend to make them for us.

So, for the rest of the sew-free day, I concentrated on what I can do well - make lists of things I need to do and take pictures of others doing things well.

Here is Gillen, dressed in his OLD, very small little league baseball pants and socks with his organic farmer shirt. He is compelled to put this outfit on before playing baseball in the back yard with Jesse. Every time. Even if they only have ten minutes or so to play before we have to go to soccer practice (for which he has to change). I so love this boy.

Here is Nicolas putting up a clothesline for me - something I have had on my list to do since the sticky notes list back in August.

I kind of like this dark picture of terra-cotta colors that I captured from the side porch. Squash are photogenic.

Now I am off to eat the gluten-free (so I can eat it without a rash!) cake that Gillen made for us and the squash soup that Nicolas made. Yes, I am that lucky. I will redeem myself, with better examples of what I can do, starting tomorrow. ;)


Alecto said...

My daughter has what appears to be the same model singer machine as you show in the picture. I must tell you that I despise this machine with every inch of my being, mostly because of the bobbin issues. I think the bobbin loading on that particular machine was designed by a masochistic genius! I have been sewing most of my life and never had so much trouble with the thing!

Auntie G-ma said...

Your blog reminded me of the time we had overnight company and they opted to stay out in their truck because our house was too cold!
You may find sewing down-right easy when you borrow a Bernina instead of a Singer (at least the age of the Singer in your photo). Curtains are a pretty easy project if you allow yourself the space, the time to be accurate with measurements and a machine with good tension.
How fun! Getting ready for company and HAVING company!

mindy said...

The rugs...I love your description!!! Can't wait to see you...

Danielle said...

Well, not that it will help much, but if you want to wait until we're in town, I'd be happy to help you sew curtains. Curtains are fun and forgiving.

With regards to tension, it helps to have it set by an expert and then never touch it again. At least that's been my approach, and it's worked pretty well over the years.

Madeline said...

Thank you all for allowing me to blame the tension, the bobbin and the machine. But I don't think I will sew these insulated curtains - too thick to take on with this machine. This one room's curtains will be purchased. I will get my tension set (good idea) so that visitors can show me the basics;) I promise it will be warm by your arrival. But you may want to think about packing a few warm sweaters and thick socks.

I just brought lots of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant from the farm to cook into things for all of you!

Blogging Molly said...

I love the lucky outfit. My son went around the neighborhood today in shorts, a Superman t-shirt, camo rain boots, a silver glittery hat (from High School Musical On Ice) and his sword. Where do they get their fashion sense?

dharmamama said...

"I concentrated on what I can do well - make lists of things I need to do and take pictures of others doing things well."

I *love* this, it makes my heart sing. And you are VERY good at those things! lol

My ex-husband helped me put up a clothesline this past spring. I love, love, love it. Even now, when my hands get cold as I hang the clothes. There's nothing like it. Hope you get years of enjoyment from yours!

Jessica said...

I loved reading this so much! I am always so happy when other smart wonderful women who can do so much and whom I admire also can't figure out a sewing machine. Oh, wait, you are the first. Yay!
Love, JEssica

Tamar Orvell said...

bag the machine, projects that repel, and any thoughts on what you can't do as fuel for negative thoughts on self. can you find awesome lined curtains in a yard sale? craigslist? perhaps the perfect pair(s) awaits your discovery! i long for the unused custom made lined upscale drapes i bought for practically nothing at a yard sale (in a pricey area, of course).

company can get me feeling nervous on nesting habits/stuff pushed away though needing brushing up. some of this brushing up long overdue, some of it purely daggers at self. i make choices that include not allocating resources to making total upgrades tho company coming reminds me that some upgrades are doable... and the time for doing is NOW. i went through this last month and now have pix hanging versus stacked in a closet. happier me.

Madeline said...

Thank you, Jessica and Tamar. I ordered the insulated curtains online - they were on sale. It felt so good to put the sewing machine away, for now. And I am happy to hear that you, Jessica, can't face the sewing either. What good company! You're my first as well.

Tamar, what you say is very wise. We are only taking care of what was absolutely essential. There is much more that I am fine with ignoring for now.

whimsigal said...

Oh, lord! Sewing! How I wish I could do it.

The pottery Barn outlet! Now you're bringing back memories for me. When Sean and I were married almost 10 years ago we were transferred to Lawrenceville and I LOVED the outlets. The Crate and Barrel may have been my favorite, and now it's gone. :(

I hope you enjoy both the preparations for your company and the visit with them!

Danielle said...

I agree with Tamar—about many things, but here about the universe providing what we're needing.

We stopped at Goodwill this week and there, just waiting for me to purchase, was a denim slipcover for the couch downstairs—for months now! For $12 no less! It's in such beautiful condition that I'm sure the whole slipcover thing drove someone bonkers and forced them to donate it. It's hanging on my moo'ed out clothes line as we speak.

All that said, I'll be sure to pack warm stuff, as I'm often cold. However, Jim's currently boycotting the house temp. He and the kids will be picketing out front soon. So maybe I'll be suitably acclimated by the time we arrive.

Madeline said...

Yes, Danielle! Congratulations on the slipcover. I love it when that happens. Goodwill is a good thing, in every way.

It is also great to once in a blue moon aquire something new that is going to make our lives so much better (especially when it comes from an eco company like FLOR) The curtins, not so much. I don't do it often; I wait and wait and consider, forever. It is good to have the emphasis be on buying second-hand when possible. SO true.

Walter Jeffries said...

Nice air time catch!