Friday, November 19, 2021

Friday Five: Teach Your Child to Sew

My mom is from Europe, where sewing is popular, so she taught me to sew. And I taught my daughter because…it’s what mothers do. The upside is that when my daughter went to grad school, I inherited a sewing project she didn’t have time to finish. That was seven years ago. I just finished the project. Here are the top five reasons you should finish your inherited sewing project.

 1. Your child inherited her father’s artistic eye. And she has a sense of line and knows which patterns will look good.

 2. You remember why your daughter abandoned the project—there’s a mismatch between the sleeves and the sleeve lining. You ponder ripping out the sleeve lining and recutting it… But, honestly, you’re too tired. Besides, your great aunt who taught fancy handwork at a Swiss boarding school isn’t going to grade you. (She once gave my cross-stitch an A for the front side and a C for the backside. Grrr. It’s not like that rankled… 😉)

 3. Your child is precise. This means she’s clipped all the curves, pressed open the seams, and followed the pattern directions.

 4. Sadly, the pattern directions your daughter left behind are in Spanish and you don’t know Spanish. You know Latin and French, so you tell yourself you'll be able to figure it out… In the end, you wing it and hope for the best.

 5. Best reason to finish an inherited sewing project: Most of the work is already done! New lined, fleece jacket in the color of autumn. Woot!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Friday Five, DIY Tiling

My husband Calvin and I are redoing our kitchen. We have brand new quartz counters—so much better than the old Formica. And we have a new sink and faucet—which has a sprayer!! (The old kitchen to the left looks remarkably good in the photo. But it wasn't--the counter was coming apart, etc.)

When the old counters were removed, they left big gouges in the wall. So, we needed a new backsplash and decided to tile it ourselves.

 Here are five things I learned:

 1. Know your strengths and weakness. Let the artist (not me) pick the tile. He will absolutely know if it matches the counters. It will save time. And worry—or, at least it should…

Me: Are you sure it’s going to look good?

Artist husband: Yes.

Me tiling.
Me: Are you really, really sure it’s going to look good?

Him: Yes.

Me: Are you—

Him:  I’m really, really sure.

Me: (I’ll worry quietly now.)

 2. When you put adhesive on the wall, more is not more. It just means more clean-up. Lots more clean-up.

 3. Any DIY home project requires music. The best kind is 80s pop/rock. Nothing is better in the midst of a DIY than a dance break. Especially when “Sweet Dreams,” “Heartbreaker,” or “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” starts playing on Pandora. (I'm definitely not posting a photo of this. :)

Wet saw.
 4. A wet saw. If you’re using a glass/stone mosaic tile, you have to have a wet saw. And if you have a friend who you can borrow one from…woot! Although don’t forget to put towels on the floor (as your friend suggested, but you forgot) because the saw spits water and ground tile, and you end up with a nasty puddle of gray gritty gunk all over the floor.

 5. Junky clothes. It’s so, so worth it to take the time to put on work clothes. Otherwise, halfway through the project you to say to the artist, “Uh, please tell me you aren’t wearing your good jeans…” Silence ensues. Thankfully, I’ve got a big box of Oxi-clean.

Next, step: Grouting.

Here's a close-up of the tiles, sink, and counter. (BTW, the garbage disposal has a magnetic collar to prevent silverware from getting chewed up. How cool is that?!)