Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend wrap-up

 * One big thing I needed to do was get some kind of rubberized footwear for next weekend; it is the "Wonders of Wildflowers" workshop at a Nature Conservancy property not too far from me, so...I signed up.

I had thought about looking at the Wal-mart when I was there on Friday but (a) I hadn't had lunch yet at that point and (b) I just didn't feel like it. So I decided to try one of the local "farm stores," the Tractor Supply.

chicken boots

Hopefully they will be sturdy enough. I was envisioning something like the lace-up green rubber things I used to have years back, but only pull-on boots were on offer, and I didn't feel like trying anywhere else.

(Yes, those are chickens on them. Apparently printed rain boots are a thing now. I think of the "Peanuts" rain boots I had as a child - two different sets in different sizes, one blue, and later, one hot pink, that had Snoopy and Woodstock printed on the sides - but the figures were not all-over and were very small)

* Some more thoughts: I commented on Twitter last night that I generally preferred farm stores to the "big box" type of stores (even though farm stores are generally big and boxy, they have a different vibe from wal-mart, and I find often they try to promote quality products or locally-made products if they can get them). When I need jeans, I usually wait until I'm up visiting my parents and take a trip to the Blain's Farm and Fleet (this is apparently a long-time, family-run business). Here, we have Orscheln's and Tractor Supply, which are similar but are bigger chains. Unfortunately, our local Tractor Supply only has a very small clothing section (and most of that seemed to be kids' clothes) but I opined that a larger store - or mail order - might be a way to go.

And, huh. They sell Wrangler brand jeans (no longer made in the US, IIRC....I seem to remember the closure of the Wrangler plant being a news story a while back). And I thought: Maybe, if I can get them to fit*, I buy a pair of Wranglers as my next jeans. This would be to exorcise the childhood memory of being teased because my frugal parents bought Wranglers for me at a time and a place where Jordaches were the thing, and anything cheaper or "more country" than Lees or Levis was frowned upon.

And one of the (perhaps few) blessings of adulthood: None of my students or colleagues would give two hoots if I showed up one day in Wranglers. Oh, they might notice "Hey, you're wearing jeans instead of a dress, do you have fieldwork planned for today?" but that's as far as it would go. And if someone DID make fun of me for the brand I was wearing, most of my colleagues or whoever was around me would go "Not cool, man, not cool." (Also one of the blessings of living in a less-wealthy place: status symbols have much less power)

It still amazes me - and makes me sad - to think how much it upset me that those dumb kids teased me about the brand of jeans I wore, but "fitting in" is a huge thing when you're a pre-adolescent, and to me, it just seemed yet another way I did not fit in, would not ever fit in.

(*This is an issue with jeans. I almost always buy Lees because I am pretty reliably a 16 in Lees; Levis often tend to have insufficient difference between waist and hip, or are tight in the thighs. And the "fancy cowgirl" brands are more expensive and if you're going to be shinnying up and down over rocks or getting hung up in sticker bushes, it makes more sense to spend $30 on a pair of jeans than $80. And honestly, being able to reasonably trust that my usual size will fit is worth a lot to me because I don't like spending three hours trying on jeans)

*  I worked on the "birb" quilt off and on over the weekend and got all the blocks made. I just barely started setting them together.

I also did the machine-sewing part of the binding on a quilt done. It's this one and I'm surprised that it took me so many months to get to that. I did take a little extra time to dig around and find a scrap of the backing to incorporate into the binding (most of it is a red fabric I bought new). I used to do a thing like that a lot - where the binding was multi-fabric and incorporated scraps from the backing. I had to dig quite a bit for that.

And in the process, I set aside fabric for the next two tops:

- a "Layer Cake" called Les Amis that I bought more than two years ago at Whitesboro, and a pattern that will work with it (I have decided any more not to hang on to things *forever* on the hopes of finding the "perfect" pattern but to use a pattern that will work)

- A pastel Jelly Roll ("Pom Pom de Paris," maybe?) and some pink fabric for a pattern in one of the recent issues of Quilty.

One of my summer goals is to do a little bit of a stash blowout in the form of just making a lot of tops.

I also found two large pieces of Pony-themed fabric and another unicorn fabric and I think some time (maybe this week) I will do a bunch of pillowcases (two each from each of the Pony fabrics, one from the other unicorn).

* If I DO spend part of the summer reorganzing the sewing room (with a thought to cleaning and repainting), maybe another thing is to group chunks of fabric, along with a fitting pattern, and just fundamentally have a bunch of (self-made) quilt "kits" ready to go for when I want to sew. (And also as an encouragement to me to 'shop the stash first.' I could see buying large chunks of plain solids, or splashing out on a nice backing since I used up fabric 'already paid for' (and thus amortized)

And yes. The last couple trips to Lowe's I've cast an eye towards the paint chips. It would be a huge job to move everything BUT I kind of love the idea of having a pale-lavender or turquoise sewing room. And anyway: one of the consolations of living alone is that you get to choose your decorating scheme and there's no spouse/housemate/child to say they don't like it and don't want it that way.

(Right now I am leaning hardest towards pale lavender even though it would match with exactly zero other rooms in the house, but I might change my mind before I actually get around to it - if I ever do).

* I also want to do some stash-shopping for knitting. I need to complete some of the ongoing projects but I have at least two sweaters I want to start soon, and also, it might just make sense to dig through the stash and FIND everything I had put aside for things, and again, arrange it with the pattern I was intending to use. (Maybe I buy a ton of those small zippered clear-plastic pouches to put the "kits" in. I could probably do two or three per pouch because I'd remember what each one was for.)

* I also should do a "clothing purge" this summer. I have a few things I just don't wear but that are in good shape that I could donate to Goodwill or somewhere, but I also have a LOT of jeans/khakis that are too shredded (the butt nearly blown out, or whatever) to feel comfortable wearing EVEN for gardening in. I HAD been saving the jeans with half a thought of sending them to that outfit that allegedly recycles denim into insulation but you know? The problem for me with recycling is the stuff piles up because it's an effort to get it TO the place where it can be recycled, so maybe this go round I just pitch stuff, until we get better recycling in town or it's easier. (If the Jeans-recycling place did prepaid labels, I'd do it, but the thought of having to truck down to the PO and wait in line and all of that - nope.)

Then again, I don't know: they have mailing labels. You are still on the hook for postage but seeing as in my case it would be 3-4 pairs of jeans, maybe, it wouldn't be that much. Maybe I do that and package them up and when I run in to have my mail held for my May trip, I also send them off.

Though I don't know if it's more environmentally-friendly to just send them to the landfill rather than make the USPS truck them there. Ugh.

But I do have a  lot of trashed t-shirts, also, I could just pitch. 

* I broke down and re-ordered something that Amazon kept putting me off on. I had wanted one of the articulated Curvy Barbie dolls. They made one, in the guise of a hip-hop dancer (though I confess I will be changing her clothes: most of the Barbie outfits now are flexible enough to fit the different body types so she will probably share clothes with the Gabby Douglas doll, and I bought the pack of "curvy" shoes - for bigger feet - a while back). She has pink hair so I'll have to play around to see what colors work on her.

I had ordered from Amazon, but it was "out of stock" forever.

Well, finally, I decided: Either Mattel quit making them (I suspect this, as they are not on the Mattel website any more) or they all got bought up. So I ordered one - yes, for about twice what I WOULD have paid through Amazon - from a third party seller. It is allegedly on its way to me (this is after waiting on the original order since January). Ironically, I had left that earlier order open, figuring maybe I could cancel it when I did have the doll in my hot little hands from the other seller, but guess what? Not 12 hours after I placed the order, Amazon e-mailed me and said "We can't get it after all, we're cancelling your original order."

So yeah. I don't know if Mattel had manufacturing problems (I have heard some people complain that some of the articulated dolls tend to randomly drop off hands or legs) or if they just decided that curvy Barbie doesn't deserve to be articulated, or what. I don't think it's that they didn't sell well; they seemed to chronically be out of stock everywhere, and I have heard of a lot of collectors buying them up (so other adult collectors like the articulated dolls)

(I know a lot of people rolled their eyes about a "fat Barbie" when the different body types came out but....Curvy is really not...all...that...fat. I'd say if you scaled her up to human size, she'd be slimmer than I was.)

I hope I don't get a broken one or something like that, if there were QC problems. And I hope Mattel makes more articulated dolls. Now that I've got back, a little bit, into doll-collecting again: the poseable articulated dolls are much more fun (and in some ways are easier to dress) than the more-static dolls.

When she comes, I'll have to figure out a name. Gabby came already named, as did the numerous Monster High dolls I have.

1 comment:

Judy said...

If you can find them, try Wrangler Pro Rodeo jeans they are cut looser in the thighs. That's what my sister wore as she was blessed with thighs.