Monday, July 29, 2013


Last Thursday I completed my second pillowcase. It was the first sewing project I have done entirely on my own (no assistance from an instructor or my mom). As a result, it was not as good as the previous pillowcase. But, practice makes perfect. Here's the finished project:

From that picture it might look just as good as the first pillowcase. Unfortunately, close up it has two issues. One: it somehow ended up about 1/2 to 1 inch less wide when held up next to the other pillowcase. I must have sewn a seam a little wider or or something. The second issue is this:

Yeah, not lined up as well. I must not have sewn in a straight line somewhere. 

Even with these two issues, I am happy with it. After all, I did it all by myself :) I'll just need to keep sewing to practice. I think some issues arose since with the instructions. I should have written a couple of notes in the class. That and the take-home instructions were not exactly the same as the instructions in class (a little different ordered, etc.). That helped me in one way: I can read instructions and put something together. But it hurt in that I didn't really remember the extra steps we took in class, which is why I wish I took some notes. Oh, well.  I now have two matching pillowcases and they match the curtains in my bedroom pretty well. 

In other news, I am almost done with all of my classes! I have finished up one of my summer classes and did well in it, and now just have two more to finish. I have four projects and three papers to finish up in the next two weeks (busy home stretch). At the end of August I should be receiving my degree in the mail! It's been quite the wait.

With all of those things to work on, though, I won't be posting much on here. I am still babysitting the adorable, fast-growing, rambunctious husky puppy. He is getting SO big and so dark! I didn't know huskies got darker as they grew, so I learned something new in this experience. TJ and I are debating getting a second dog since Amos seems to really do well with another one around. Right now we are torn between getting a puppy or adopting an older dog. We've been taking Amos and Striker over to the neighbor's to play with their dachshund and Striker absolutely LOVES water. He likes playing in the kiddie pool and dries so easily. I guess that makes sense since they were designed to stay warm in the snow! We'll definitely miss the little fur-ball after we return him to his owners. Hopefully he won't miss Amos too much, or they'll need to get a second dog, too!

I'm also on the job hunt and had one interview last week. I'm hoping to hear back from some other places this week too. Wish me luck! I need a job to fund my new sewing hobby, right? ;) 

After these next couple of weeks with school and job hunting, I already have a list of projects to work on. So you can look forward to:
  • My first quilt (I found a kit at a thrift store that is already pre-cut, a great beginner's project)
  • More digital scrapbooks - finalizing how I want the Raider one, a Dargo one, a wedding one for my wedding (overdue), a 'zoo' one, and a vacations one
  • A baby quilt for a family member
  • Sewing a lunch box
  • Decorating and organizing the living/dining room
  • Finishing up some long overdue cross-stitch projects
  • "Fixing" my garden
  • Practicing my ASL -- I really need to get on this since TJ's family might be visiting us for Thanksgiving! 
  • Actually posting recipes I've been trying! I have a bit of a backlog on this. I'll likely post them on another site and just link them in my future posts. A recipe site will work out pretty well, such as We are gradually trying to cook more from scratch and we have some neighbors that can help us out a lot with this. They are ahead of us, even making their own butter, yogurt and ice cream. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Leg Recovery, Learning to Sew

Hello! Long time no blog! :)

Broken Fibula Recovery
My leg recovery is going really well, though I am really impatient. I have been walking without the boot for three weeks now. I have occasionally had to put it back on after over-doing it. The air boot helps it feel a lot better if I've been using it too much but still need to stand or walk more than I already have. I've been wearing a pedometer to keep track of how much I am walking and it seems if I walk more than about 3000 steps a day (it sounds like a lot but it definitely is not) my leg gets really sore. It seems to swell up by the end of the day everyday still too. I am able to do chores around the house and get around without limping now, so that's progress! I still have not regained full ankle motions (I can't point my foot all the way or move it in all the directions the other one can). I am working on that by 'writing the alphabet' with my foot, as my doctor suggested. I have not gone to physical therapy. My doctor wrote me a prescription for it but said that it's really up to me. It can help, but with this type of break is not necessary. I just have to take it slow and work the alphabet and do everything gradually. I won't be running for a long time. My next goal is to be able to squat and sit down on the ground/get up without pain. Slowly working towards that. It may seem like a weird goal, but this is what happened to my poor, neglected garden after I broke my leg:

It upsets me every time I go outside, but there really isn't much I can do about it at this point. Kneeling down, crawling, etc. just is NOT happening with my foot right now. All of the muscles from my knee to my toes still need slow exercises and are not making as much progress as I would like. I'm sure it is the kind of progress that is expected at this point. For the most part (if I don't overdo it) I can sleep without any pain at all while moving throughout the night. Just looking at my pedometer, if I go over about 7000 steps a day I regret it by bed time and need ibuprofen. 

The good news is, starting about a week ago I've been using stairs again! At first it was much easier to go up them than go down them. My goal at the beginning of the year was to be able to run an entire 5k without walking, so I've had to obviously readjust that goal. 

My Education
I am getting so close to my degree I can hardly believe it. I don't actually think I will believe it until I have it in hand. I am taking three classes right now, two online and one in person. I am really liking doing chemistry in four weeks, I feel like I am learning so much more. It definitely is a lot of work though and ideally I wouldn't have wanted such an intensive course to overlap with the ones I am taking online. They are all going really well, though! Last week was my chemistry midterm and I aced it. By aced I actually mean a 100%. I was in shock. That has definitely not happened to me in any college chem classes before. It really shows that the intensive four week course really keeps me focused on it (I have to work on chem every night since there are quizzes every day, so that helps!). My other two classes are getting pretty intense too. I've been working on my final paper for my composition class (it will be about 10 pages when finished) and it is on the topic of the founding fathers' views on the separation of church and state. It sounds really boring, but the research has actually been really interesting. I just need to set some time aside to finish this bad boy. I had a paper last weekend for meteorology and an exam in there this weekend, so wish me luck! In about a month I will have my bachelor's degree! It's only about three semesters late, but at least I am finally getting it done! I had to take two semesters off for severe illness and one for the move so I'm still happy with it even though it is delayed. I definitely need some time off from school though. Hopefully this degree will help me find a decent-paying job around here! One can always hope...

Speaking of jobs, I have actually temporarily quit applying. With these three classes overlapping I am focusing entirely on school to finish up this degree. I do NOT want something going badly at this point. In about a month though, it will be nothing but job hunting! Luckily with our cuts in spending we haven't had issues with living on one paycheck. It's not like I have any time to be spending money anyways! It will be nice when we have spending money again, though.

I did do one fun thing during all of this craziness! Yesterday I took a beginning sewing class! It helped me get to know my machine (my mother-in-law gave it to me while we were visiting home in June) and I sewed a pillowcase! Basically, it was a project where we had to sew a lot of straight lines. I'll be trying to duplicate it sometime this weekend. That will be the test to see if I actually learned and can sew without the instructor helping me the whole way. Speaking of, Selinda was absolutely amazing! I feel like I really learned a lot even if it was only two and a half hours. You can check out her blog here. She specializes in sewing children's clothes, but don't be surprised if you see more info from her future classes on here. I may try to take her pattern reading class in the future and possibly her Christmas stocking one! I took the class at a really cute store in Shreveport called Lil Miss Priss. It was a great location for a class. There were two other ladies in the class and they were both beginner's as well. I highly recommend Selinda's class to anybody in the area who is wanting to learn how to use their sewing machine or just learn how to sew.

At the beginning of the night I was completely stumped as to the settings, needles, thread, etc and by the end I had made this:

Here is a close-up of the fabrics/colors:

In case you couldn't tell, I was trying to match the curtains in my bedroom. I posted those in a previous blog, my mom made the curtains for me. I'll be attempting to make another pillowcase on my own with the brown as the main fabric and yellow on the outside. First I need to pick up an acrylic ruler because that made it SO much easier to cut fabric. Luckily Hancock Fabrics has a 40% off coupon right now, so I'll be using that!

I'm not sure what my next sewing project after that will be, but I definitely need to sew a lot and make sure I don't forget what I am doing. I am so happy my mother-in-law had a sewing machine she wasn't using (thank you again). It's a simple one, but that is PERFECT for a confused beginner such as myself. This is my machine:

It is a brother VX-1010 and I don't have a manual for it, but luckily there was a manual online for threading it. I cleaned the machine today with an air duster and that has made some improvements but my instructor also suggested I go get it serviced soon. The instructor in the class even had a sticker-measuring tape to make the measurements on the machine from the needle easier to see! Magic!

Other News
In other news, we finally bought a second vehicle. It became much more necessary when I was taking classes. We bought a barely-used motorcycle from another airman here on base. He had it for a few years and basically never used it, so it was a great deal! We finally got it registered (was a bit complicated being non-residents, it was previously registered in another state, loan paperwork and insurance made it a paperwork nightmare), so it now has valid plates and my husband is using it as his commuting vehicle for work. I am not sure how I feel about riding it, and I know I won't be riding it for a while with my leg as weak as it is. Who knows, I might actually like it and need to take the motorcycle course myself. 

We also just got a brand-spanking new and improved battery in our car. Our last one had a cell die and it was way before it was supposed to happen. Turns out, the dealer put the wrong size in last time. They gave us the upgraded one for free due to the warranty! The whole situation before we got it sorted out though was pretty frustrating. Luckily, the battery just had to be switched out at any place that sold that brand of battery. We had a WONDERFUL experience at ABC Auto Parts. Especially after the previous experiences elsewhere. We bought new wiper blades while we were there-which we realized quickly we should have done sooner. I also plan on going back to pick up an air filter for the car at that store since they were so awesome. I got the oil changed yesterday and they showed me the filter....gross. Unfortunately they couldn't switch it out then and there since they were out of that particular size filter. 

For the next two weeks I am watching an adorable fuzzball aka a husky puppy. He is about 8 weeks old (I believe) and still working on potty training so we have our hands full! His owners are in the process of moving and while they are getting everything in order we are taking care of their furbaby. I don't mind at all :) 

Hopefully I'll have another sewing project completed for the next blog or possibly have more decorations on my walls (a goal of mine--our living room walls are still pretty bare). I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! 

P.S. Don't be surprised if everybody gets pillowcases for Christmas!