Monday, December 31, 2007

A calmer approach to New Year's Eve

I'm a little calmer now. Cidell from Miss Celies Pants came to my rescue. I now have pattern review on my side bar. I don't know about any of you but I think the Internet is the greatest invention ever. It literally opens the door to the world and some wonderful people out there. I also broke down and ordered a computer today. I think I've gotten all the life out of this dinosaur that I can. I'm also going to re-post my Holocaust picture from Berlin that hopefully won't be sideways.

Isn't it hard to believe that the Berlin Wall only came down in 1989? We saw a movie (documentary) this winter called The Lives of Others. It was German but had subtitles. I normally don't care for subtitles but this movie was great. It's so hard to imagine that I visited a country where just a few years ago (well, more than a few but time flies) people really had no freedom or rights. Typewriters were even registered so that if you ever sent a typed letter to anyone, criticizing the government, it could be traced back to you. There are parts of the wall still standing. On the eastern side they are blank, on the western side they are covered in graffiti. How awful it must have been to know that freedom was a few short feet away. Actually, no one could get close to the wall back then as there was barbed wire and fences to keep people away. I thought I had some pictures of the remaining walls but I don't.

But I do have a more cheerful picture:

Knute! He was around 8 or 9 months old here. Remember? He was the polar bear that was abandoned by his mother. From the looks of things someone needs to show him how to bathe himself. He was filthy. I was surprised at how unsophisticated the Berlin Zoo was. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. The zoos that I've been to in the states are huge state of the art things. This was more like a little park with exhibits scattered here and there. But I did read this December on Knute's first birthday that he has a penchant for rolling in mud. No kidding!

Well, it is New Year's Eve and we've been asked ever so politely to vacate the premises.

Some one's planning a little bash and we aren't invited.

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I want to rip my hair out

I'm so very frustrated. Now that I'm down to one job (the inn where I waitress is closed until spring), I decided to throw myself into blogging, sewing, and posting on pattern review with a vengeance. However nothing ever seems to come easily to me. Hence, you can see why I partly named my blog 'sew at sea'. Besides having a boyfriend who loves to sail, I seem to just flounder around a lot and not accomplish much.

I wanted to post a lot of things on pattern review today. I managed to get one pattern review done when I decided to add the option of having my reviews run down the side of my blog.


Pattern review says that adding the widget to my sidebar is a snap! Not to this obviously stupid blond. What am I doing wrong????!!! I'll have to email either pattern review or someone who uses this option on their blog. I thought I just had to add it as a page element but it's just not working. It also doesn't help that my computer is 7 years old and slower than the Buicks I always manage to get behind when I'm in a hurry (if you have a Buick, then I apologize, but do any of them go over 35 MPH?).

As it is, I'm going to stick a few pictures on my blog and figure out the reviews later. Actually, I'm such an amateur I can't see where any of my reviews would help anyone anyway.

This is McCalls 5139. It's really a halter pattern but I made it into a dress. On pattern review my name is Laura O. It's the only review at the moment.

I think maybe I need to stop right now.

I did rotate this photo, I promise!!! But I went and posted the original. Just turn your head to the side and then make an appointment with your chiropractor. This is cousin Charlie and me at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. At first I found it to be very odd. Just tons of cement blocks in varying sizes and depths. This is where we were in the deepest area and it was slightly claustrophobic. These blocks were very high. When you first walk around them, some are only knee deep but they get taller and taller and the ground slopes inward also.

This is Hans and I outside of the memorial. You can see what I mean about the cement slabs being very shallow on the outer edges. Should we be kissing at such a somber sight? I don't know but that's just something we do.

Check out the big German legs (his not mine).

But anyway that's just one dress. I hope to figure out my computer issues later but right now I hear wings and beer calling.

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas Eve and I'm still not done!! I forgot that I have to wrap my dad's present. He's the most difficult person to buy for. What do you buy a man that's in his 70's, has no real hobby, and owns every tool in the world?

A cuckoo clock of course.

Actually my mother gave me the idea of a clock this summer when she said my dad must have been a little clock maker in another life. That's something about him I never knew.
Well, Hans and I went to Germany this summer to visit his family and I told him we needed to keep an eye out for cuckoo clocks. However, we never saw even one! We were no where near the black forest where they're made so I came home clockless.
Thank God for EBay!!!
I found a vintage one from the 60's (does that make me vintage too?) that actually works. I put it up on my wall and left it running to make sure that it keeps time and so far it does. Hans was watching it tick and cuckoo away the other day and said, "That reminds me of when I was growing up. We had a lot of clocks." Then he mulled it over. "But, none of ours worked because my dad wouldn't leave them alone. He was always messing with them."

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all! While this is an exciting time of the year for some people, I know it's equally difficult for others. But remember, it will all be over before you know it!

I'll leave you with a picture of a this little girl.

Waiting for Santa

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is a BWOF top made from a Martha Stewart shower curtain that I bought off of EBay for .99 cents. I wanted a large, open weave eyelet and couldn't find any on the Internet. I jumped onto EBay looking for some, this shower curtain came up, I thought it would work well and it did. I used the bottom scalloped edge of the curtain for the top part of the halter . I got this pattern from Lauralo at lauras sewing room. Her stuff is incredible. I saw the top she had made but couldn't for the life of me figure out where she'd gotten the pattern. I sent her a message via and she immediately got back to me.It was a pattern you could only get if you subscribe to Burda World of Fashion Magazine. Since the magazine isn't sold around here I had to subscribe, but she was nice enough to trace off a copy for me. All the way from Bucharest for goodness sake! Aren't sewists the nicest people. I'm sure it has nothing to do with her name being Laura!So anyway I've made this top in eyelet, old blue jeans, and a lime green fabric that would have been hell to work with if I hadn't sprayed the living daylights out of it with spray starch before I cut it out.

The only thing I really don't like about this style of top is that I'm short (5')and the fullest part hits me right in the hips and makes me look wider than I am. I did cut out some of the fullness in the lime green top as opposed to the eyelet one. Plus the lime green one has drapier fabric. I plan on making more of this top because it's so easy to make and easily modified for other looks.

Over all I do like BWOF but I do have trouble following their directions, their translations are sometimes a bit odd. If I were to get the German version, my boyfriend could translate but I'm impatient and would probably accuse him of giving me wrong information.

I've got to take some more pictures but I should really be getting ready for Christmas. I don't have anything wrapped and I have to work tonight (waitressing) and tomorrow night, so that leaves Sunday. I told Hans that he's going to have to watch football or play poker and leave me alone for a few hours on Sunday because I refuse to wrap presents on Christmas Eve.

He asked if I have enough paper for him as he hasn't wrapped anything either. When I told him (optimistically) that I have TONS of paper to wrap MY presents with, he informed me that he only needs a piece about 6" square.

Hans lives life on the edge.

Here we are. Hans and Laura. He's my big, sweet, German man. This was my birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory last year. Everyone should have as much fun as we do.

Now that I know how to post pictures, I'm going to post some of my sewing stuff. Like the shirt I made out of a shower curtain, things like that!

Me and The Beast (her given name is Blossom but my animal activist daughter is the only one who calls her that).
The picture propped on the floor is a Wysocki print that I bought off of ebay (who needs groceries?).
I couldn't afford to frame it (because eventually one does need to buy groceries) so I hid it in my closet for about 3 years. My boyfriend Hans stole it (look out Judge Judy) and secretly had it framed for my birthday (don't worry about which one!). He had a very elaborate plan that involved lighting my fireplace and posing my 2 cats in cute cat poses, just like the picture. I was to close my eyes and when I opened them I was supposed to see my picture and my cats all at once and then tell Hans how wonderful he was. Well The Beast felt upstaged and with tail held high (so we could be treated to the sight of her dirty bottom) she left the room in a huff. Only Chlorox (the sweet kitty) remained. I still told Hans how wonderful he was.
When we took the picture upstairs to see which wall we should hang it on, guess who decided that she needed to be in on things. Everything is done on The Beast's terms and don't forget it.

Once Hans said to me, "I never thought I'd see the day that I dated a woman with cats."(read syphilis).
Ok, he's almost perfect.

More About Me

This blogging thing is already giving me a head-ache. I spent about 2 hours creating a pulitzer prize winning synopsis of my life on the About Me page and Blogger said it was too long! So I edited and deleted, again and again and it was still too long. So here I go once more.

What I've discovered during my blog stalking is that there's a snobby, caste systemish kinda thing going on. Apparently, talking about one's cats is in poor taste amongst some hard-core bloggers "Oh gag, she mentions her cats and actually post pictures of them!" Some bloggers say " I know I promised to never post my opinions or views on this site." And there are those who refuse to mention any family or personal info.

But I love looking at pictures of peoples cats (no matter how inferior they are). I love reading other people's opinions (even if they're wrong). And how can I feel superior in my dysfunctional life if others don't write about theirs?

So, yes I have cats. Two of them, and plenty of pictures. I have three children, (even more pictures) and the youngest just started college. I've been divorced for over 10 years (Oh why wasn't blogging 'in' back then? But maybe that's a good thing).

And (please don't gag) I'm dating (it's really a hell of a lot more than that, but there is no modern day word to describe two people, who are not married, but are a couple, and crazy about each other) a wonderful, fun, intelligent man. We've been together for over 3 years and have exciting things brewing in our future, but I won't go into it at this time.

Ok, I know. 'Wonderful Man' is a mythical creature. There have been fewer sightings of 'Wonderful Man' than there have been of albino yettis and the Loch Ness monster combined. But there was one out there and I found him and he's mine so hands off!

I'll let you ladies in on a little secret. Forget the common red-necked American male. This man is European and apparently they're doing something right over there! And don't be quick to write me off as a sappy idiot. I don't think there could be a more jaded or hard hearted woman when it comes to men than me. I was married for 17 years when the warranty on my marriage apparently ran out. It was not fun. It involved 3 kids. It was both embarrasing and heart breaking.
BUT. If going through that hell got me to where I am today then it was worth it. Sometimes I fear I'll wake up and find that the last few years were just a dream. I sure hope not.
I haven't even scratched the surface yet. (Oh my, aren't you on pins and needles) and as soon as I figure out how to post pictures? Look out.
Because did I mention that I have cats?