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Saturday, July 16, 2016

20 Year Anniversary

 SO it's my 20 year anniversary working for Procter & Gamble this month! YAY! for me! I got my award plaque, and I got to go out for breakfast with my work team. All on the company's dime! And when you have anniversaries in increments of 5..like 5,10,15,20,25...then you get to select a gift from the on line award catalog.
 They have all kinds of things to choose from at the 20 year level. A bike, electronics, a TV,
 a table saw, watches, lamps, clocks, camping gear, luggage
 small appliances, like blenders and juicers rings and pins and jewelry like that
 But I chose this! I've been wanting an air compressor for awhile now and just lucky me, there was one waiting for me to select it.
 It arrived the other day so I had to go get a few accessories for it...like a hose......and fittings...I got this package with everything I need, I guess....darn it! Too bad the package tried to maim me!
 I got it all together and it works great. What a nice way to celebrate 20 years of hard work!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Little Gray Dresses

So Uber Son and the Lovely Jean will be getting married in August. In that event there will be 3 little girls doing various things...that could always change....and the colors for the wedding are gray and blue. So I'm tasked with making two size 6 and one size 5 dresses. I promised myself I would make the lace go the right way and make the taffeta go the same way. See this is  the lace.
 The design is actually across the grain...not that lace actually has a grain I guess, but it is something I had to pay attention to.
 And with 3 different dresses I had to keep the pieces sorted out too. I used masking tape to mark the wrong side of the lace and the wrong side of the taffeta too.
 I am glad there are really only 4 basic pieces for this dress pattern. Plus the 2 extra bodice pieces.
Here's the pattern Lovely Jean chose. I made the test dress and found that I didn't appreciate their assembly directions. Imagine that! haha. I blogged earlier about the Test Dress and I'm glad I made that one first.

  
They call for the dress to be almost completely assembled before putting in the zipper. I, of course, have to change that. I wanted to use invisible zippers-I like the way they look. So I assembled the back  and before I  joined at the shoulder I installed the zipper.
 See doesn't that look nice!!
 I love the way invisible zippers go in. They are so much easier for me than the lapped application.
 But I don't have an invisible zipper foot for Bernie the Bernina. SO I picked up a new package of feet. I'm not sure which one will fit, so I'll save myself a trip and get the package.
 As it turns out the feet are poorly made and I had to use some tiny strips of duct tape to hold the slider bar in place. I had red duct tape handy so that's what I used. Note to Coats Co...your foot is poorly designed.
Anyways, once I had it the way it would hold together, I just put it on the handy adapter foot part from Bernie.
See how slick that is? Nice!! Unfortunately I could only get two invisible zippers in the correct color, so I'll be doing a lapped application on one of the dresses.
 Here's the front of the dress-see how the lace is going the right way? YAY!
 These dresses will all have this blue ribbon sash. It really sets them off nicely I think!
 Here's the first finised dress-except for the hem.
 I used purchased bias tape, I did make some taffeta bias tape, but it's so ravel-ee I don't think I would like working with it. I'm glad I bought the bias tape-it will likely be more comfortable in the hot weather too.
 Here's the first try on, looks like a good fit! Sorry to interrupt cartoons Jaymie!!
 I realized I will need to add belt loop carriers for the sash. Good use for that taffeta bias tape I made!
 I made the bias tape from the taffeta under fabric.
 It's very slick and ravels a lot!
The bias tape wasn't hard to make, but I don't think it will be any good at all around the neck and arm hole openings.
 There, with the sash and belt loops...front view
 And the back view. I see the pattern has the bow tied in the front, but I think the back looks much cuter and since the girls will be carrying something. the bow in the back will be much better.
 Mmmm, I love the way these dresses came out. I was pretty nervous about the layers of lace & taffeta sliding around, but I really didn't have too much trouble at all. I serged the side seams separately on the front and back pieces and then sewed them up with a regular sewing stitch so I can let them out if there is a little growth spurt before the wedding date.
The girls will look very nice in these dresses I think. I'll be hemming them a little closer to the date-summer growth and all in mind. I cut them all with about 2" of extra length, so I know they will not be too short.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The BIG Driveway Project

SO for last Mothers Day I told my kids that I just wanted my driveway sealed. SO in preparation for that I bought this!
 Look at this little beauty-I shopped and read reviews and weighed the pros and cons of gas power vs electric and brands and PSI...it was tiring!!
 Anyway I made the decision to pop up to the Home Depot in Cedar Rapids and get this one-it was around $130.
 SO I got it all assembled and decided I better give it a test run before we attempt the BIG driveway project.
 Wow! This little tool works really well!
 I started out to clear the north corner that always has a mud puddle in it.....
 Well it still has a water puddle but boy does the crud come off the driveway easily!

 And I tested it out on the side of the house-being in the shade all the time I get this green fungus-mossy stuff on the house. You can see what a good job it did (on the left part) without even adding any detergent!
 Whoo-hooo! I think I have a winner here. Time to go to work though, so I'll put it away until the weekend of the BIG driveway project.
 Forward to Saturday!  I've got the cars and pick up moved over to the grass and the planter pots moved.
 I get the porch steps pulled out to clean under there...it's like a beer can saving account under there!! And I also dug out the edge of the driveway where the hillside is a victim of gravity. And I re-stacked the darn pallets that have been living at the end of the driveway for far too long.
 I get the power washer out and hooked up and ready to go, and make rope to tie off the ends of the driveway too.
 YAY! The family is here! Now the planning really begins!
 Uber Son takes over the power washing, we have to add a hose and a longer extension cord to reach the ends. But it's going pretty well. We'll start with the two ends of the circle drive and work towards the garage.
 The kiddos jump in to help...you can bet that won't last long...and we start pouring the sealant and using the broom & squeegee to spread it around,
 Somewhere about this point the conversation is full of things like..."next time we're hiring someone to do this-are you in, yeah, we can split the cost"....
 I had to point out to my kids significant others, that when Uber Son and DD start arguing about how to do it, just imagine a 5 year old and an 8year old and it's the same as a 25 year old and a 28 year old.
 Little Jaymie stuck with it off and on for quite awhile.....
 And Kaitlynn discovered the toads that live in the window well. Kevin could see where this project was going and walked home. Smart kid.
 But look we're getting closer and closer to the end!
 WOW! Doesn't it look great! It's not too much more!
 I was so glad it was such a nice day , not too hot only around 60, but it's a lot of work so breaks are necessary!!
 My kids finish up the last corner while arguing about how to do it and bickering about who's not doing it right. 5 year old and 8 year old.....
But at last it's done. Is it perfect? Not really, but it's about 1000 better than it was. Was it a lot of work? Yes! The preparation was more work than the actual spreading of the sealant.
Did we learn a lot? YUP! I'm so thankful I have kids who are willing to help me out with these kids of BIG projects. Let's see what's next...