noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Body Double

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! I hope everyone has had an enjoyable couple of weeks! I know we certainly have around here. :)

It's still a little cold, very rainy, and awfully dull and grey outside. Seems like everyone I know, including me, is getting antsy now. Not that everyone necessarily wants to be outside all the time, but we would like to at least have the opportunity! I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say I don't think that's too much to ask for. Really, it's not. Ask me.

While cleaning house, reading and crafting are certainly on the top of my list to do when it's dreary outside, I sometimes need something different to do. While getting my sewing room ready to use, I couldn't help thinking that I'd still like to have one of those body form thingies. You know, the mannequin type thing that you can use to make sure clothing fits you properly? I've ALWAYS wanted one of those, but it just seems like such a non-priority that I can't bring myself to spend the money on one. After all, I might want to spend money on something else, like fabric. :D So, after diligently searching Ebay, internet sites offering that particular item, and the stores, I decided I was STILL too cheap to purchase one. Yep, I'm sure you've already figured out what happened! It was time to make one.

Now, I know that you are all laughing as you think "what the heck is SHE thinking?" and have some weird sort of visual going on. Well, you are entirely justified there. And, while I wanted to do it, I had to be extra nice to my hubby as I asked him to help me. With that rolling of the eyes and that look that spoke volumes (it actually said, "Oh geez, why me?"), hubby silently said a prayer and hoped that I would go away. It didn't work. When his eyes stopped rolling in the back of his head, he decided we needed to do it NOW. Ok, now we're talking!

First, I made him go to the hardware store to buy me some duct tape. Yep, duct tape. You've all heard that with duct tape, you can do anything. Well, you can. I know, it's a little scary, but it's true. Second, I tried on a bazillion (really, after this, I think there IS such a number!) of his old t-shirts to try and find one that was long enough for what I needed. We didn't quite find one that was the length I wanted but, never fear, plastic wrap came to the rescue. Yes, I said plastic wrap. STOP LAUGHING THIS INSTANT!

With shirt on, duct tape unwrapped, and plastic wrap attached, we began this project. Actually, to be really technical, hubby started this project while I just stood there. It was an interesting undertaking to say the least. I'm pretty sure that right before we began, hubby fought the urge to run for the door and never return. But, bless his little pea-pickin' heart, he didn't. I think the fact that he got to use duct tape on me was the main reason he stayed. And I'm also pretty sure that he was thinking about using that duct tape on my lips.

So, as I stood in the living room, with my feet set at the width of my shoulders, hubby started to wrap the duct tape around me. First, he started on the bottom of the shirt, where he had attached plastic wrap to add the length. Why start there? To keep the plastic wrap from falling off, of course. LOL As he wrapped, wrapped, and wrapped some more, I kept wondering if he was going to pass out from dizziness as he went around and around me. And I think the smell of the duct tape was getting to us both.

He wrapped around me horizontally from the waist to the bottom of the plastic wrap; and he wrapped vertically in an outward and upward pattern for the bust area, over my shoulders to meet the duct tape in the back at my waist. Then he continued with this until the entire top was finished. It was getting a little tight, but definitely still movable and not uncomfortable. Thoughts of mummies flashed into my mind. He reinforced a little extra at the armholes as I held my arms out straight (hoping they wouldn't fall off as they got tired) and announced the finish of the project. WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, we're not done YET. I politely informed him that he had to do it AGAIN. The body form needs to be pretty stable and I didn't think that only one layer of duct tape would be sufficient for my needs. After all, I was going to be using this in my sewing room as an actual model.

Poor hubby. By this time, I'm pretty sure the words "commit thy wife to an institution" were running through his mind. But, he patiently wrapped me up all over again. By this time, the ability to move was pretty limited, except for my arms. But what I really wanted to move were my legs. Standing there in that same position was actually a little uncomfortable. Really! STOP LAUGHING,I SAID!

Well, now that I'm wrapped up, it's time to cut this thing off. THANK GOODNESS, it's getting hot! So, hubby grabs some scissors and cuts up the back of this "thing" and we get it off of me. Along with some of my skin. Apparently, the plastic wrap was not quite long enough in one spot and the duct tape was attached to my leg. Oh yeah, now we're talking OUCH. The wincing went on for a few minutes as I carefully tried not to peel off my skin. At last, I WAS FREEEEEE!

Now what, you ask? Well, let me tell you: it's time to stuff the other me. So, I grabbed pillow stuffing and plastic grocery bags and went to town stuffing and fluffing, patting and filling, until the body form looked like me. Oh boy, that was NOT pretty. Normally, I would have cut off the sleeves of the shirt, but I wanted to keep them on so that I could have a semblance of length for my arms. I thought that would be the best way to judge for myself. Got out a hanger, hung up the form, and KACHOW! - all done!

I still want a real body form, but until I find one I'm willing to pay the money for, I'll stick with this. Really, a t-shirt, plastic wrap, duct tape, and about an hour of time isn't all that bad. And the best part - it was under $20! It's sure not the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but it works very well and will suit my needs perfectly!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Today's Bulletin

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! Our weather is cooperating and being very pleasant at the moment, so I am very thankful for that! I hope you all have some great weather going on as well!

A couple of weekends ago, my dear hubby helped me move some things into our extra room so that I could have a sewing room. I know, I know, I already have a craft room, so why on earth do I need a sewing room too? CUZ I HAVE A LOTTA STUFF! Ok, I'm calm now, just got a little excited there. Really, I do have a lotta stuff! I was sewing and quilting long before I ever started stamping and scrapbooking, so I have quite the accumulation. Now I can actually leave a project out (in EITHER room) when I'm working on it instead of having to put it up when I get the urge to start another (ALL crafters know that it is absolutely and unequivocally illegal to only have one project going at a time - it puts a bad slant on everything we all stand for).

While I've been spending time organizing and decorating my sewing room, I've also been thinking about the things I need for it. One of those things is, of course, a bulletin board. Not only to hold little odds and ends, but to hold my pattern instructions so I can just look at them and not fuss with the turning of pages, folding, trying to find my place, etc. Yeah, I know, I'm a baby. But it's ok, cuz I can be a baby if I want to! I'm big now and it's my right.

I had this super great idea (well, it WAS super great) for an inexpensive bulletin board, and my mind had it all planned out - how it would look, what I would use, how big it would be, etc. Well, the only thing that actually came to fruition was how big it would be. My mind is really good at planning things, but it sometimes forgets to tell the rest of me how it's going to turn out. And this is one of those sometimes. Sigh.....

I did manage to eke out a couple of the things (well, ok, one and a half things) that were in my plan, but other than that...well, let's just say...hmmmph.

I got some foam board (free, from exhibits that were going to be destroyed at work) for the base of the bulletin board. I actually got two plan was to double them up for a more solid board, along with the fact that some of the push pins have long pin ends and may go through just one sheet. Instead of gluing them together as I had originally planned, I used foam mounting tape to double them, leaving a bit of space between them for extra long pins. THAT was the easy part. The next part was really hard; I had to choose the fabric to cover it with. Going into my trusty toy box (yes, I said toy box, and it's BIG) full of fabric, I envisioned a super cute, bright, cheerful fabric to cover my board. Oooookkkkkkkkkk, not happening. Every single super cute, bright, cheerful fabric I brought out had Addisyn written all over it. How could I possibly use that on a measly BULLETIN BOARD when my adorable little GRANDDAUGHTER would look so much better in it? Sigh...there went that idea right down the tubes.

So, I chose a remnant I had of a nice sort of light sage color and proceeded to attach it. Now, when I say "attach" it, I really mean glue it with the wrong kind of glue. Yep, really. I had left my glue gun down at my daughter's about a year ago (yes, I know, very lame), along with all the glue sticks, which, by the way, her cat Jula promptly ate. So not thinking that double sided tape would really hold the fabric the way I wanted it to, I used tacky glue. BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah, that's how that went. While it did hold the fabric, it was much wetter than I would have liked but, of course, that's what it's made for. I used it anyway, not liking the results (like anyone's actually going to see the back?). I had really wanted to use a tape measure to make a cross-hatch pattern on the bulletin board (it IS a sewing room, after all) but I only found one that would work, and it wasn't quite big enough for what I wanted. Well, I did find part of an UGLY blue one, but that WAS NOT going on there no matter what! So, to my disappointment, no tape measure cross hatch. Besides, really, what the heck was I going to attach it with anyway? I set the board aside to dry, and promptly started to pout. THEN, it hit me...HOW THE HECK AM I GONNA HANG THIS THING? I don't have any hooks to attach and, if I did, I don't have the proper adhesive to attach it with. AARRGGGHHHHHHHH!

BUT, never fear, after the initial "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO BECAUSE I WANT THIS DONE NOW AND I'M NOT WAITING UNTIL TOMORROW NO MATTER WHAT!" moment, I went to my amazingly clever hubby and asked him for input. His response: "I don't know." WHAT?!? That is SO not what I was after here! So, after staring at him for a minute and wondering if he was an alien (he ALWAYS has good ideas, so what was up?), I took matters into my own hands, er, craft room. I went digging and looking and this is what I came up with:

BINDER CLIPS!!! I had purchased some cute binder clips about a year or so ago when I was doing some rearranging and reorganizing in my craft room. I knew I had some left so I thought, "maybe I can hang the board with those." I know, a strange idea, but hey, it might just work! The issue was figuring out where I had put them. Did I mention there's a lot of drawers in my craft room? hee hee hee Eventually, AHA, there they were, still in their little container, all ready for me. :) I was so happy. Well, I took a binder clip and clipped it on the top of the board, with the little handles (is that what they're called?) facing up and hung it on the wall. AWESOME, IT WORKS!

So, now that the binder clips have saved my life, I was feeling pretty good about things, even though my board looked a little ill. It was kind of pale and lonely looking so I set out to figure out what else I could do. AHA, binder clip again!! I got that one trusty tape measure (no, not the ugly blue one!) and folded it in half, attaching it at the top of the bulletin board with the binder clip that I was using to hang it. Then I wrapped it around the bottom and attached it on the back with push pins. While it wasn't the look I had wanted (remember, cross-hatch), it certainly livened up the board a little bit. A very little bit. I was ok with it, but not in love. Hmmm. What to do? Well, this is a bulletin board that will be covered with things, so I tried to comfort myself that pretty soon it wouldn't be so blase' looking. Hmmm. It wasn't working.

I figured it was time to try to put something on it, so out the pushpins came. And as I started to put them on, thinking about the things I wanted this board to hold, it came to me...BINDER CLIPS! The push pins I have are the kind with the longer stems, so it would be reasonable to hold scissors (although I don't want to hang my scissors there) and things like that, so push them in I did. And then I got some of the smaller binder clips out and attached them to the pins, the same way I attached the one to the top of the board to hang it. Yay! I could now take off the clips if I wanted to, while leaving the pins in the board. Pretty genius, I thought. I know, I know, it's MY thought, not everyone else's. But, you have to admit, it's clever.

Now everything is or can be hung, and I am as happy as I can be with this project. Even though it didn't turn out like I had planned, it's usable, sturdy, and MINE. And the best part...if I want to disassemble, everything can be taken off and used for something else! Did I mention it's MINE?