Sunday, April 20, 2008

Finally, Clean Lockers

At last, self-awareness--I've figured out why it takes me so, so long to clean up around here. So you can figure it out, too, I'll illustrate the process of my locker-cleaning this weekend:

  1. Willow was miserable with a high fever on Saturday, so instead of doing little girl stuff all day, she spent the entire day lounging in our bed watching movie after movie after movie--screen time is severely limited in our house, so this works as a stay-in-bed tactic. I decide that since my little girl helpers are halved, this would be a great time to tackle cleaning out those lockers. The first thing I pull out is a stack of thrifted and dumpster-dived T-shirts, some of which are tie-dyed. I've been working on a tie-dye T-shirt quilt for myself for a while and I also want to make another one to sell, so I separate out the tie-dyed T-shirts and spend a couple of hours cutting out quilt panels. I happily discover that all the T-shirts are large enough to also cut out the material for a baby bib and a set of coasters from each shirt. Sweet.
  2. I organize and restack the rest of the T-shirts and return them to the lockers. As I'm replacing the stack of baby clothes I'm using for a future quilt for the girls, I notice that one of Sydney's old shirts, size 18 months, has some mildew stains along the shoulder that disqualify it from quilt making. The sweet embroidery along the front is unaffected, however, so I cut that out, get on the computer and pull up all the photos I took of Sydney when she was 18 months old, crop and tweak the exposure, etc., print them out, and make this awesome scrapbook page, my best yet, I think:
  3. The Monsters, Inc. (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) DVD skips because it's been watched about 5 billion times, and so Willow comes in to see what I'm doing. To entertain her, I make her some ribbon headbands for her new short hair. They're very simple:
  • Measure the circumference of the kid's head where you want the headband to be. Willow is 19 inches.
  • Cut the majority of this length as ribbon. For each headband, I cut about 12-13 inches of ribbon.
  • Cut the rest from elastic. I used elastic the same width as the ribbon, and about 5-6 inches in length.
  • Sew the elastic to the ribbon at both ends with a very strong stitch, and trim the raw ends close to the stitching. I didn't include a hem allowance here because you want it to fit a little snug, so the finished circumference of the headband should be about an inch smaller than the kid's head--that's where the elastic comes in. Make them a little roomier for growing, if you'd like.
Here's Willow rocking one of her new headbands:
4. Something like 12 hours have passed, now. I re-organize the sewing stuff and put it back into one crate in the locker. I wonder where to put my knitting stuff. I still haven't completed any knitting projects--I want to make something useful and necessary (no scarves!), but easy enough to let me practice my skills and get them into muscle memory. Hmm, I think...washcloths! They're small and square, I can practice a variety of stitches, and we have practically no useful washcloths because I keep using them for cleaning and getting them stained and gross. I cast on for a six-inch square washcloth, using my Stitch 'n Bitch Nation as a reference, and happily knit away in a simple knit stitch for the rest of the evening.
5. It's the next morning, and since I was up with Willow pretty much all night, Matt let me sleep in until 10:00 am, and then took the girls out for breakfast burritos and to try to score a Sunday paper from outside some business closed on Sunday. I knit some more, hiding in the bathroom for most of one row when Matt returns home, since I don't know how to stop in the middle of a row and I'd told Matt I'd be cleaning while he was gone.
6. I do clean for a while, finding a box for knitting stuff and organizing and replacing my scrapbook stuff, and then I pull a Scrabble board out. I used these for bulletin boards and book covers last summer, but my latest issue of had a short tutorial about how to make a box out of a gameboard. I should probably see if it works before I decide what to do with the rest of the gameboards I have lying around. I make some modifications to the tutorial, covering the inside with flannel, reinforcing the edges with pretty duct tape, and altering the overall dimensions somewhat, and it ends up taking so long--at least a couple of hours--that I doubt I'll make any of these to sell, but I might make more to store stuff in the house. It looks pretty awesome, though:
7. Matt is starting to give me dirty looks every time he passes the doorway to the study, now, so I buckle down for 30 or so minutes and finish up:And yeah, that's why nothing is ever clean around here.

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