14 and 7

I got some dimples in this month’s pic.

Ketchup

Well, summer has officially begin. We’re in it now. What’s happened since the last update? Every minor in the house has had covid, but no adults. I got my booster when the first one had it, so fingers crossed I’ll avoid it for now. I know it’s going to get me eventually, but I’d prefer it wait until we get back from Virginia.

The boys had their eighth grade promotion ceremony, which was very sweet. There was a huge party after, that was fun. (Still, no covid.) There was an end of the year night at the City Park amusement park. Fortunately, the timing of those all worked out with the sicknesses.

My dear friend Mary Catherine moved away, so we had to take one last picture of the boys with Millie. (I mean, until we go visit.)

They’ve grown a bit.

Oliver had a treadmill accident the day we joined Planet Fitness. Then later that evening I had the brilliant idea to cut garlic with a mandolin. (Don’t.)

We got a new oven, the old one finally conked out. Getting rid of the shitty Samsung appliances one at a time. (New fridge was last month.)

The new stovetop is induction, though, which means I had to replace almost all of my pots and pans. But it’s worth it because it boils a pot of cold water in under three minutes!

Other things I recommend are freezy pop bags to freeze margaritas in and the PhotoScan app so I can scan a bunch of pictures in no time.

I guess that’s about it! The boys have a kind of orientation week at their high school this week, and they’ve been going to futsal (indoor soccer) once a week, too.

Until next time…

Last day of a lot of things

Today was the boys’ last day of 8th grade. Their last day of middle school. And their last day at the school they’ve been at since they were 3. Eleven years of French schooling, au revoir!

Last day:

(It was pouring this morning, so I couldn’t get the usual pic, and then the bus just flaked on them and never showed up this afternoon, so I went to pick them up on the condition they’d let me take a picture outside the school.)

And just for comparison, first day of 8th grade, when their voices were at least an octave higher:

It’s been a harrowing couple of weeks. The plague finally hit our house (only 40% of it) but it meant Linus and Oliver had to miss all of last week and Miles missed most of this week, and I had to cancel a work trip to New York (but I’m not bitter.)

Fair warning: tomorrow night is the 8th grade promotion ceremony, so expect another blog post and lots more pictures. Maybe even a family pic?!?

14 and 5/12s

(Took on time, just posted late.)

Less than a month left of middle school. Gasp!

How is it almost May?

The last time I posted about the random little goings on in life was three months ago, so I guess it’s time for another quarterly recap of my extremely exciting life.

I visited Kiki twice. Her mom passed away in mid-March, and luckily I already had a flight booked for two days later, so I was able to be with her and hang out and help her go through stuff and get rid of stuff and drink wine for a few days. And then I went back again last weekend to help with the memorial celebration she had at her house. We did a lot of gardening and cooking. Everything we made was from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I was cursing Julia Child’s name by the end of the weekend. But everything we made turned out well. It was pretty cool, actually. Kristina’s mom was a really amazing, adventurous, well-traveled woman who journaled everything, including her dinner party menus from the 1960s on, so we made dishes she frequently made for those dinners.

(If you’re interested, we made Orange Bavarian Cream, Cheese Puffs, Legumes a la Grecque, Salmon Mousse, Cheese Tartlettes, and Liver and Cheese Tartlettes.)

The spread of food.

Since this is my blog, I can brag that I made the tartlette shells and the cheese puffs (and helped with the other stuff.)

We also did some gardening and I learned how to spread mulch, which is good because I need to mulch our gardens.

Speaking of gardens, kind of, we got a rain barrel from a local organization yesterday, which is exciting because I’ve been on the wait list for a year. It’s sad, though, because in that year, I got a different rain barrel so I couldn’t put this rain barrel in a prominent spot. It’s behind the house, which is a shame because LOOK HOW CUTE:

Oh, and also plant-related, Kiki sent me these beautiful flowers!

Okay, well that about covers the last 72 hours. What else? Hmm.

I guess it’s exciting, if a little sad, that the boys decided on a high school for next year, and it’s not the school they’ve been at for the past 11 years. (They could have chosen to stay there, but they did not.) On the bright side, it’s one of the top public high schools in the country, and a lot of their friends are going there as well. But a lot are staying, so it’s tough either way. At least since their classes are in English, I can help with homework now! Wait, hold on. That’s not a good thing. Heh.

I suppose I already blogged about the boys’ school dance and making jeans, but I also made another quilt for funsies (it lives on the couch, mostly under Ziggy):

And also this one for my friend Heather (I realize if you’re not a Saints fan it’s pretty ugly, but she and her fiance like it, so that’s all that matters.

I also made a red dress for her wedding this weekend, but I’ll save those pics for later.

Oh well I guess Mardi Gras also happened and we didn’t get Covid, so yay! It was pretty fun. We put the house float back up (and added a Rose Apothecary!) and Steph and I dressed up as Moiras on Mardi Gras day and I went to a parade and got a shoe and we saw our house float on a float, so all in all, it was good.

Okay. I think that’s it for real. Coming up: 8th grade graduation! A wedding! A new fridge! Summer! Another trip to Virginia! Camp Aunt Jenny! Quinceanera! Graduation parties! Bugs! Heat! Humidity!

Four years old

I was trying to make Miles look at old pictures of himself with me, but surprisingly, he was not interested. But that didn’t stop me, and I found these videos and now I cannot function any longer.

This is the whole video from the “Totally identical” video that got us on the front page of Yahoo Japan.

and this is the one I couldn’t stop watching last night.

Intense jeans making

Apparently the Mardi Gras parades started in earnest this weekend. I can’t say I noticed. I spent the whole weekend sewing instead.

As background, I’ve been following Lauren Taylor (lladybird) on Instagram and her blog since I heard her on some sewing podcast a while back. She cursed a lot, and I’m pretty sure that’s why I decided to follow her. Anyway, she has been teaching these jeans workshops for a few years, and every time she posted the yearly schedule I’d eagerly look for New Orleans and then would be sad when it wasn’t there. So imagine my excitement when I saw the 2022 schedule and New Orleans was on it! I immediately went to the Papermaple Studio site and signed up for the class.

Blah blah blah you don’t need to know my journey to this class but originally it was scheduled for next weekend, which for Mardi Gras reasons would have not worked well at all, so I’m very glad it was moved up a week.

Because it was amazing. I wish I could express how good I felt leaving the studio yesterday with a completed* pair of jeans. (Fine, I still need to hem them. Close enough.) Not just because I had a pair of pants (frankly, I don’t even wear jeans very often) but because I was around this amazing group of women, and I got to meet this sewist I’ve been following for so long, and who, frankly, I was a bit starstruck to meet. This was one of the first social things I’ve done in, well, a long time, and it was really healing to the damaged inner extrovert in me. I needed it.

So! Why should you take a jeans workshop from Lauren if you get the chance?

  1. You will learn so many little tips and tricks that not only apply to jeans sewing, but to all kinds of sewing. (For example, I learned why my top stitching has always been horrible in the past – my thread was too heavy!)
  2. You will make friends with other sewists. This is 20 hours of intense sewing over 2.5 days. You will be taking your pants off in front of them a lot. So you can’t really not be friends.
  3. You’ll come away with a pair of jeans that fit well (maybe not perfectly, but you’ll know how to make the next ones perfect!)

PS We made the Ginger jeans pattern from Closet Core Patterns. (I also had the option of making the Ames jeans from Cashmerette, but I was happy that the Ginger jeans did fit, which I didn’t expect, as they’re not designed for an extended size range. But stretchy denim is stretchy! Not that I would have minded making a plus-size pattern when everyone else was making “standard” sizes, but at least this way we were all using the same pattern pieces and the same seam allowances, etc.)

Some pictures from the weekend:

The studio where the class was held is tucked away in the French Quarter, and is run by the fantastic Leisa. I can’t say enough about her and the gorgeous space where the class was held. We even got a little private shopping with Cole from Promenade Fabrics. (I got a bunch of this red stretch twill that is destined to become a dress of some kind.)

If you can ever take a workshop from Leisa or at Papermaple, again, I can’t recommend it enough.

Now I guess you’re going to want to see my new jeans, huh? They’re very dark wash, so it’s hard to see the detail in a picture, but I’ll try.

Bar tacks! Belt loops! Top stitching! Pretty pocket lining! Rivets!

(I don’t really have a good picture of them on because I need to hem them and wash them so they shrink up a bit, but you get the idea.)

14+2

Gross weather + kind of forgetting anyway until the evening = inside picture.