Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am so PROUD

I'm always proud of my kids... of course.  But Olivia did something tonight that has me so excited, I can't stand it!

I've been sketching out an idea today and Olivia saw me and asked if she could draw a dress, too.  I gave her a notebook and let her have at it.

Look at this...

Olivia's design

How awesome is that?

I have to make it.  She didn't ask me to or anything, but I have to.  Even though the color combination is a little off to me, I won't change a thing.  I'll probably use some old tshirts, if I can find a green one.  I know I have pink and red. 

This is going to be so much fun!

When I was in jr. high, I dreamed of being a fashion designer.... I still have all my old sketch books.  I have been tempted to drag them out to look at them.  So to see her take an interest in that direction just makes me giddy. 

Man, I need more hours in the day.  I wish I could run on 2 hours sleep.  That would be just awesome.  =)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Photo of the Day...

Today was so amazingly perfect.  If there had been more leaves on the trees and blooms everywhere, I'd call it Spring, but I'm not ready to commit to it yet.  As Olivia says "it's right around the corner!" 

I decided early in the day that after the girls got out of school, we were going to have a Family Fun Day and take a walk at the park.  I grabbed my camera, since I've been neglecting it, and headed to the park.

We had to share the paths with bikes, which got a bit nerve-wracking since I'd have an easier time walking cats without leashes than my kids.  We had a good time though.  And no one ended up twisted up in the spikes of a bike.

And I got this picture, which has given me way too much amusement...

 Zoe, singing her little heart out... Olivia, looking at her like she's lost her mind.  Perfect.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Clean Clothes vs New Clothes

Saturday is my laundry day around here.  I never seem to do more during the week than a load of laundry on Wednesday so I don't have to go to work naked, and I end up with a huge pile of dirty clothes on Saturday.  I hate it, and really should make more of an effort to keep it up all week, but that just never happens.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling the need to sew.  I don't know if you've ever noticed, but when I'm in a crafty mood, I can't really concentrate on anything but getting that urge fulfilled.  It's hard for me to sew and do laundry at the same time... the ironing board folds out of the wall and blocks the laundry room entrance, I have to move my big tub of fabric onto my bed where I fold clothes.  So, pretty much, just the bare minimum was accomplished laundry-wise and the girls have a new dress now.

Someone directed me to a tutorial this week for the Grow and Gather Dress on Moda Bake Shop.  I thought it was super cute, but it's written for 12-18 months.  My kids outgrew that long ago.  But when I looked through it, I thought I could adapt it for my bigger girls and gave it a try.

I had 3 half yards of fabric from the Bazaar Style line at Art Gallery Fabrics (the whole line is gorgeous) and thought it would be perfect.

The tutorial called for 2 layer cake squares (10" x 10"), and I bumped it up to 13" x 13", and adjusted the back of the bodice accordingly (and to work with what I had left... I only had so much fabric!).  I came up with 13" x 13" because I was aiming for a 25" chest... divided in half, added some ease and seam allowance and came up with 13".  I believe the back was 18"x 12.5".   Instead of fat quarters for the skirt, I used the entire half yard of one print.  I left off the ruffle.  Widened the ties, make the straps a little skinnier - just personal preference and I wasn't limited to a jelly roll strip, so I could. 

Bazaar dress

Bazaar dress - back

Since I also had to be Mother (and that's a lot harder to ignore than laundry), it took me the better part of the day to finish.  In fact, the girls were asleep by the time I got the skirt sewn on.  I hate not having a model to try on something I just finished.   Isabelle was more than happy to try it on and Zoe was less than happy that Isabelle got to it first.  It fits really well, with room to grow since there is elastic in the back and the halter ties.  They'll be wearing it for a few summers, I suspect.

Bazaar modeled

I love her accessorizing... the crafty bead necklace, the socks with dress shoes.  My kids have the best fashion sense.  =)

Bazaar back

Love the hip pop, Iz.  She's cracking me up with her modelling skills.

I just love that it was actually warm enough outside for her to be wearing a halter top dress.  I've been seeing buds appear on trees and tiny little flowers dotting yards and it just does my heart good.  It hasn't been a rough winter at all, but nothing makes me happier than seeing the world bloom into color again.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What I learned this week...

This was one crazy week.  I think I ran the gamut of emotions and really didn't accomplish much of anything. I learned a few lessons along the way...

  • Diet Dr. Pepper should never be mixed with grape syrup.
  • My fabric stash looks much smaller when folded neatly.
  • It is impossible to neatly fold 10 yards of knit fabric that has been unfolded. (while I am admittedly a terrible judge of measurement, if that wasn't at least 10 yards, I don't even want to see what 10 yards would look like in my floor)
  • After years of my driver's side window not working, it suddenly came to life today. 
  • My husband thinks I look shriveled (he was trying to say I look like I've lost weight - shrunk, not shriveled - but he has a knack for picking the wrong words and insulting me by accident.)
  • My daughter's teacher thinks I'm a bad mother.
  • It takes me approximately 2 days to recover from being made to feel like a bad mother.
  • Isabelle cannot go the length of a movie without going to the bathroom.  Twice.
  • Never let the volunteer at work bring you lunch.  Chips and string cheese.  It was a sweet gesture, though.
  • If I buy bananas for people to eat, they never get eaten.  If I buy them to let them get over-ripe to make banana bread, they're gone in two days
  • My boss is one of the most supportive people in my life.  
  • I can pass up the opportunity to go to Hobby Lobby.
  • I am a good mother, albeit with room for improvement, but show me a perfect mother....
  • My kids are awesome.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baby Blanket Progress

I just thought I'd show two things I'm working... crocheting, not sewing.  And you'll have to forgive the pictures.  I got a little happy with the editing choices on my phone. 

Baby blanket

I'm almost through 2 skeins of yarn (out of 8, I think) for this.  My goal is a skein a week and even then I'm sure it won't be finished by the time my friend has her baby.  I didn't know her when she had her other babies, but if I remember correctly, her babies like to make their appearances early, so I'm sure even if I devoted all my time to it, it wouldn't be finished in time.

I still think this technique of seamless crocheting is awesome.  The only thing I don't like is that I'm constantly untwisting it, but that's a lot better than hundreds of ends to weave in, so I'm not complaining.


This, which isn't even remotely blinding in real life, is a hat I'm designing.  I've wanted to do this for a while, but it's kind of spring/Easter-ish and didn't want to get into it during Christmas.  I realized that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, so Easter is approaching quickly.... I thought I needed to get busy on it.  I'm not 100% happy with what's going on, there will be tweaking, for sure.  I am hoping to make it my first "for sale" pattern, but I'll need some testers and you guys get first dibs!  I'll keep you posted.

I had intended to do a little cleaning and organizing in my bedroom to make room for the truckload  of fabric that will start arriving tomorrow, but the hat distracted me.  I'm sure I'll be more motivated to actually do it once I have the stuff in my hands.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fastest Dress Ever.

You guys, I think I need rehab.  The past two nights I go to bed thinking about fabric and designs... I wake up dreaming about fabric.  My name is Jennifer and I'm a fabric-aholic. 

I blame a friend of mine for getting me to join her sewing group on facebook.  All the cute stuff they have been making stoked up my sewing interest again.  Oh, and after all the fabric I bought last week... well, one of the ladies decided to destash and guess who has about 10 more yards on the way to her?  I tried to resist, but then she put up pictures of a dragonfly print and it was all over.  Plus, it was like $2/yd. 

No more.  You hear me?  Easter dresses will not match in anyway because I'm going to force myself to use what I have.  My kids don't have to coordinate.


I had a little idea simmering in my head all day.  When I put up pictures of my last Square Twirler, a friend of mine asked if it was all one piece, so my brain has been trying to come up with a way to make it just one piece.  I had an idea, but I didn't want to ruin a big chunk of fabric for a trial.  I would have to use knit and I have about 6 yards, but, like I said.... I don't want to go cutting into it for something that might not work. 

My husband, being wonderful, offered to let me nap while he picked up the girls from school.  When I woke up, I knew what to do. 

I grabbed an old tshirt and went to find Olivia's American Girl knock-off doll (whose name is probably Lilly because Olivia names everything Lilly).  I picked that particular doll because it had the most realistically proportionate body.  Most of their dolls have ginormous heads, like those Lalaloopsie dolls.  They're cute, but not really useful as a miniature dress model.

I did a few measurements and cut a 20" square out of the shirt.  I cut a neck hole smack in the middle and then two arm holes.  I tried it on the doll and the arm holes were way big.  So I cut up the other half of the shirt, making the arm holes much smaller.  I had cut the hem off of the shirt, trimmed it and tied it around her waist as a belt.

And voila...

Doll dress
Yes, that's the screenprinting on the side.  I messed up the blank side ;)

It took about 10 minutes, including the dress that didn't work.

I am going to give it a try full-size for the girls.  And I think I may crochet a simple edging on the neck and arm holes just to kind reinforce them.  The girls are rough on their clothes and I can see them ripping it.

We made a doll dress
My helpers, who mainly just fretted about the fact that I was cutting up a shirt.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tutorial: Square Twirler

I sewed!

It was suggested that I make a tutorial for my handkerchief hem dress and since my girls want more, I will be happy to oblige.  =)  This dress was such a hit with friends and family and even strangers.   Please excuse the dark pictures.... the lighting in my room is horrible for pictures.

This is easily adapted for any size... it just takes some measurements and a little math, but I'll try to take it easy on you.  I was this close to being a math major, so forgive me if I go a little crazy.

To make a patchwork version, you'll need about 5 coordinating fat quarters.  You can find bundles of coordinating fat quarters at the fabric store, usually around $10 for 5.  You can use just yardage for a single color/print and, depending on length, you might get away with a yard for little ones, up to two yards for bigger girls.  This tutorial will be all in one fabric, but I'll explain the patchwork along the way as well.

You'll need a two measurements:  the chest and the length of the dress from just under the arm pit.  Remember, the corners of the hem will be much longer than the middle of the side of the square, so make sure you are measuring where you want the shortest part to fall... you don't want your little girl showing off her bloomers when the wind blows.

Get out your calculator and a pen and paper to record your answers.  =)

Take your chest measurement and add 1" for ease.  Example:  24" + 1" = 25"  Write down this number for future reference.  We'll call it the bodice width.

Now, for yardage people, you can just cut one strip and sew one seam, so add 1/2" for seam allowance (assuming a 1/4" seam, adjust as needed if you prefer a different seam allowance).  Example:  24" + 1" + .5" = 25.5"  For fat quarter people, you will be cutting a front and a back, so your math is a little trickier.  You will take your bodice width, divide by 2 and add 1/2" to get the width of each piece.  Example:  (25" / 2 = 12.5") + .5" = 13" and you will cut 2.

We're not cutting yet!  Hold your horses... there's still some more math.

For the skirt, we will be cutting a circle into the square and we need the radius, or length from the center of the circle to the edge of the circle.  This sounds painful, but if you have a calculator, you'll be OK.  =)  Take the bodice width and divide it by 6.28.  Why 6.28?  Just trust me, it's a geometry thing.  Example:  25" / 6.28" = 3.98" rounded up to the nearest quarter-inch is 4"  Write that down.

For simplicity sake, we are also going to use that measurement as the height of our bodice.  You can make it shorter or taller, but it involves more math and you're on your own.  =)

Let's go back to the bodice.  We know how wide to cut the pieces, now we need to figure out how tall.  The bodice is double layered, so we will take our radius and double it plus add 1".  Example:  4 x 2 + 1  = 9".  My bodice piece cut from yardage would be 25.5" x 9" (or 2 pieces 13" x 9" using fat quarters).

We're almost done with the math and can get to the fun stuff.  I promise.

Now we will take the length of the dress.  Take your desired length, double it, add 1" for seams (that allows for 1/4" hems, adjust as needed).  Example:  22" x 2 +1" = 45"  If you need longer than 22", you might need to make your bodice taller because most cotton quilting fabric comes in 45" widths.  Or try to find wider fabric.  Whatever you need to do.  =)

If you are using fat quarters, the biggest square you're going to come up with is 35.5 x 35.5.  Just so you know.  You'll use 4 of the fat quarters for just the skirt.  Take your desired length, add 1" for seams and hems and cut a square from each quarter.  Then sew them together into a bigger square.  So, if you have a little one and only want a 15" length, cut four 16" squares.  Make sense?  It actually gives you about 1/4 inch wiggle room (half inch for hem, 1/4 inch for seams, but we're going the full inch).

Cut 2 straps, 3" by 12".  They will be too long, but better safe than sorry.  You can cut them to size when you are pinning them in place later.


Alright.  Now we have our big square, our bodice piece, and our straps.  Let's get to work.


I know that normally you hem at the end of a project, but I think it's easier in this case to just go ahead and hem the square before moving on.  I allowed for a 1/4" hem.

Now we'll cut the circle into the square.  Fold your square in half and then in half again to form a smaller square.  The corner where there are no edges, just folds, is what you are looking for.


Using your radius number, make marks that distance coming out from that corner.


I didn't have a pencil handy, so I just used pins.  I don't recommend it... mine came out just a tad bigger than I needed, but I made it work.  Using these marks, cut out your circle.  Set your skirt aside for a minute while we make the bodice.

Sew your one or two seams for your bodice, making it into a band.


Fold it in half, wrong sides together,  and press.


Fold one edge in 1/2 inch (wrong sides together) and press.  Go get your skirt.


Pin the skirt to the unfolded edge of the bodice, right sides together.  If your skirt is pieced, try to match up seams.  Sew them together using a 1/2" seam allowance.


Flip the dress inside out and pin the folded edge of the bodice to the skirt, encasing the raw edges, and sew.


You end up topstitching the front at the same time... I thought this was so cool the first time I did it.  Try to sew a straighter line than I did, too.  I was being rushed and it came out a little wonky.


Fold your straps in half length-wise and sew.  Turn inside out and press.


Top-stitch the edges of the straps.... this makes it look neater and keeps it from getting all bunchy.

Pin the straps in place.  I try the dress on my kid to make sure I have the placement right and can adjust the length at that time.


With the straps pinned in place, top stitch along the top of the bodice, setting the straps in place.  Reinforce the straps with another row of stitches about an inch below. I forgot to take a picture of that.  If the line of stitches bothers you, cover it up with a decorative button, but I don't find it that noticeable.

For this dress, I only attached the straps to the front and tie them halter-style.  It works best for Olivia because she's so much thinner than her sisters and I want to make sure they can all wear it.


And, that's it.  A square hem twirly sundress for your darling!  If you make one, please send me a picture or link to it in the comments.  I would love to see it!

That was her best twirl, being barefoot and all.  And yes, it is February, but I assure you, it was pretty warm today and she was only slightly chilly. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stop me.

There are a few reasons that I tend to crochet more than I sew.  Of course, it's way more portable.  Easier to stop in the middle of a project.  And it's easier just to grab a skein of yarn at the store than go through getting fabric cut.

Unless you order online.

I also very rarely impulse buy yarn.  If I don't have a project in mind, I don't usually buy yarn.  Granted, I almost always have a project in mine, but at least if I grab some yarn, you can be sure I'll be working with it soon.

I used to be like that with fabric.  I didn't understand how people got a big fabric stash because I had what I planned to use and a pile of scraps.

Then my brother-in-law gave me a chunk of his mother's stash.  And then I discovered Marshall Dry Goods last year and bought things without a purpose.  And then I kind of stopped sewing so much.

When I don't sew, I don't buy fabric.

But... I've been bit by the sewing bug again.

I have 12 yards of fabric coming my way.  Twelve.  This isn't even Easter dress fabric.  Of course, when all is said and done, some of it may be because I don't have anywhere to keep this stuff.  My sister and I have been talking about another trip to Marshall Dry Goods soon for Easter dress fabric (quilting fabric for her...) and I bought 18 yards there last year. 

I already showed off a few of the prints I got but I ordered a few more yesterday.  Like this...

And this...

And also this...

I better sew tonight so I have more room.  =)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to find a lost item

I mentioned before that I couldn't find my keys when I returned from my cruise.  I was bummed because I really liked my keychain and I had to carry my husband's nuts instead.  (Actually that makes me giggle... alot... and that link is 100% safe LOL)

My husband's nuts.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

So, I broke down Valentine's Day and ordered a new keychain.  I'm a little obsessed with European charms because of my new bracelet, especially the Murano glass ones.  I found a keychain that came with three gorgeous blue glass beads.  My intention was to put the blue beads on my bracelet and put my extra set of beads, which are green, on the keychain.

The keychain came in the mail today and I swapped around beads.  Very happy me.

New beads
The flowery beads are new.

Then I went into the living room to work on my baby blanket and help Isabelle with her homework.  My crochet hook was missing, so I figured it had slipped between the couch cushions.

No crochet hook.  It was under the couch.

But my keys were there.

Of course.  I had finally replaced them and there they were.

Don't ask me why I never checked the couch.  I thoroughly checked the other couch.  It just never occurred to me to check the other couch.  I know.  I'm a moron.

It's all fine and dandy.  I have my funny fork keychain, a pretty sparkly green keychain, all my keys and my gym tag, and three new beads for my bracelet.  Yay for me.


The moral of this story is... if you lose something, replace it.  You'll find it right away.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A girl can dream...

Zoe wore my little Purplelicious creation today to school.  Bill called me after he dropped her off at school and said it was a show-stopper.  He said she just walked in and whipped off her jacket, very proud of the dress.  He said the director asked where we got it and was surprised that I made it.  She even had to verify that with me when I picked her up.  We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and even got compliments, with only the bottom poking out of her jacket.  My ego was well fed.

Days like today make me wish I could do this stuff full-time.  I get so jealous of people who get to stay home with their kids and work from  home.  I know it would probably be harder work than what I do now, but the benefits would totally rock.  Plus, I'm kind of bummed because I won't get to take any time off during the girls' Spring Break and I'm going to miss a field trip with Isabelle because other people are taking time off.  I don't expect to get priority treatment on certain times just because I have kids, but that doesn't stop me from feeling sad about it. 

Oh well.

Aside from a little melancholy daydreaming about the unfairness of having to pay bills, today has been really cool.  I got my crochet books in today.  I looked through my overlay crochet pattern book I bought - sight unseen - and am happy I made the purchase.  I can't wait to try something out of here.  Of course, it's all written to be jewelry, but it's also all written to be worked up in sewing thread.  And that's just not going to happen... we'll make giant versions and then figure out what they'll be.  Probably awesome looking pillows, but who doesn't need awesome looking pillows?  There is one necklace in there that I think would make an amazing camera strap when worked large-scale.  It might be my first project from it. 

I also got news that my husband's aunt and grandmother may be coming to visit next month.  That in itself is really fun, but it gets better....  His aunt has a serger that she has promised me and she'll bring it if they come.  A serger!  And a lot of fabric, too... it's stuff she bought to make ice skating costumes, but never really did anything with any of it.  The serger is probably 10 years old but barely used. 

Did I mention yesterday that I ordered some fabric?  Yeah, Fabric.com had a good sale going on and I caved to temptation.  I found some to attempt to make a scrub top with.  I got some really neat looking astrological sign themed fabrics, one for each of the girls.

Source: fabric.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

For my Libra, Olivia.  The blue reminds me of her eyes... she's my only blue-eyed baby.

Source: fabric.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

My Taurus, Isabelle.  She's not crazy about it, but I can't help that it's her sign.  Not my favorite, but I do like it.

Source: fabric.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

My Capricorn, Zoe.  I'm not normally an orange lover, but I do love this.

 And last, but certainly not least, my favorite selection of the day....

Source: fabric.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

I showed it to a girl I work with and she instantly said, "Isabelle!"  Isabelle, coincidentally, thinks it's the ugliest fabric ever.  But it's so her.  I'm afraid to make her something out of it for fear that she'll never wear it.  So maybe it'll become a bag or something for me.  Because I love it.

On a side note... because of the fabrics I bought, I looked up the girls' astrological signs and read the descriptions.  Olivia didn't really strike me as a Libra by definition, but Isabelle and Zoe are very much like their signs' descriptions.  I'm not really into astrology, but it's fascinating to me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Purplelicious

During one of my two runs to Hobby Lobby last week (yes, I know I have a problem), I saw a gorgeous purple-themed fat quarter pack.

 I think that gingham-y one is so very out of place with the other 4 prints....

I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do, but I thought it would be pretty similar to a dress I made Zoe a while back... it's pretty much just a peasant dress and I can't find a picture of it, so just imagine a pink and brown patchwork peasant dress, OK?  Good.

The longer I thought about it, the more I didn't want to do that and a new idea formed.  It was kind of a mish-mash of one of the Easter dress patterns and two different tutorials I've used before.  By the time I got home today, I just couldn't wait any longer and dove in.  Even with the kids awake.  I don't normally sew unless they're unconscious, for obvious reasons, but it was fine.  They were very curious but didn't get in the way too much.

Everything came together just as planned.  No glitches at all.  It was quite shocking, really.  And here we are... the Purplelicious top/dress (depends on who is wearing it)


Just imagine that I had remembered to either shut their bedroom door or pick up their dirty clothes, OK?

I love, love, love it.  And I had just the tiniest scraps left over.  I used Isabelle's chest measurement and made it a tad bigger than necessary so that they don't outgrow it in a week.  It's way too big around for Olivia, though.  She was really upset about that, but I promised to make her one.  Different colors, of course.  It's a perfect dress length for Zoe, a tad too short for Isabelle, but she can wear leggings under it.
It was really easy and didn't take much time either.  I might use some knit for the next one and it will go even faster because I won't have to hem it and I won't be piecing the skirt.

In other news....

I started another baby blanket.  I am basically finished with the Fruity Pebbles one... just need to weave in a few ends and I think I might make a matching hat.  But I just really wanted to try a pattern from the Seamless Crochet book. 

This pattern is amazing.  I have finished the first row and the whole time I was saying "this is SO cool!"  I'm not sure I'll ever do another granny square afghan without doing it this way.  13 squares in the first row and it just flows from one to the other without fastening off and weaving in ends.  The only ends will be the beginning, the end, and where I have to join a new skein.  It's just genius, I tell you.  Genius.  I feel like the book has paid for itself already and my own copy hasn't even arrived yet (I'm using my library copy).

So, that's what I've been doing... and not doing, apparently, from the picture of Isabelle and their dirty clothes.  I swear I picked up the front of the house today.  I just never made it all the way down the hall.  =)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I need to sew.

This will be the 4th year that I've made my girls' Easter dresses.  The first year they were identical pillowcase dresses that they never wore again.  I had just started sewing, too, so they weren't very impressive.  The next two years, the dresses were identical patterns, different fabrics.  So this year I have been thinking of trying three different patterns with the same fabric. 

Hobby Lobby had their Simplicity patterns on sale ($.99 each) and I thought I would check it out.  There are a lot of patterns I've found online, but patterns on Etsy run around $8-10 and multiply that by 3 plus fabric and I may as well just go buy some dresses.  I love making things for them, but if it costs more to make it than to buy it, I just think that's kind of silly.  That's why I sew mostly from tutorials or making things up myself.  Patterns can be expensive.  But $1 patterns, I can do that.  =)

I found some patterns I liked and a pattern for scrubs.

The girls have all three fixated on one particular pattern though.

I don't blame them, I love the handkerchief hem.  My other ideas:

The petal top version in pink.

This will definitely be used if only for summer clothes. 

So we may end up with the same dress, different fabrics after all.  We'll see.

I mentioned to my husband that I need to make a trip to Marshall Dry Goods to buy fabric for the dresses and scrubs.  Marshall Dry Goods is this ancient fabric store about an hour away that has the best fabric prices ever.  Like $3 per yard on some things.  As far as scrubs go, I need to find cheaper fabric or else it's pointless to make them.  You can get scrub tops for $15... to spend $8+ a yard on fabric... well, it's just not worth the effort.

Anyway, when I mentioned going to buy fabric, my husband looked at me like I'd lost my mind.  He mentioned all the fabric I bought last year when I made a trip to MDG with my sister and how quite a bit of it is still sitting unused.  It's true.  But most of it is just a yard each and I can barely make a simple dress for the girls with a yard anymore.

It's the first time my husband has pointed out that I have a bit of a hoarding problem with my craft supplies.  Between my unused MDG fabrics and the fabric my sister gave me from her mother-in-law's stash when she passed away, I have quite a stash.  But not much I can use for these particular projects.

So I guess I need to get to sewing to justify this trip I want to make. 

Which means I need to work on cleaning up the disaster my kids have made of my bedroom so I can actually sit at the sewing machine.

Friday, February 10, 2012

About the cruise... Part 2: where we went

We had three stops on our cruise.... Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. 

Originally, we had planned to go on an excursion to see the Mayan ruins in Cozumel while the rest of our big group went snorkeling.  After an almost-altercation with the guy at the excursion desk and realizing we'd spend a total of 4 hours driving to the ruins, we decided to just get off the boat and explore and shop on our own.

Getting off of the boat... crazy busy!
Shrunken head =)
We found a little beach and chilled for a while
My sister's best friend, my sister, me!

We only spent a few hours in Cozumel.  We decided to go back on the boat and take advantage of the fact that most of the ship was off and enjoy the pool and water slide.  Everything is much more fun without crowds!

We added two more to our pack for our trip to Grand Cayman.


Again, we had no excursion planned.... we just got off the boat without a plan.  We had to be tendered here, meaning that we had to get off the boat into a smaller boat that took us to shore.  I had pictured a row boat taking us up to the beach.  I was pretty relieved to see this:


After we got off the little boat, we saw a very large man with a sign offering a tour of the island for $20 per person.  We decided that would be fun.  Well, I kind of decided that it was crazy, because this was a large, scary man and we were 5 women getting in a rickety old bus in a foreign country.  He filled up the bus with other people though, and I felt less worried that we were going to disappear off the face of the earth.

Of course, we saw several iguanas roaming around
A wild chicken.  Really... they roam the island freely.  There are more chickens than people there.
We went to Hell.  Seriously.  

Our tour guide turned out to be a lot of fun and we had an awesome time.

Our last stop was Jamaica!  We were stoked about this one.  We actually purchased an excursion... the Irie Mon Beach Party complete with open bar and lunch buffet.   My boss said "What are you going to do with an open bar?  You've barely had any alcohol this week."

That's because I had to pay per drink.  What did I do with an open bar?

Make friends with the bartender (aka, tip well)
Drink entirely too many Rum Punches and Rum & Cokes

I got my hair braided.  Man, those Jamaican women can braid!  I've never seen anyone braid that fast.  They braid very tight, too.  I felt like my hair was going to fall out.  I lasted about 24 hours and had to take it out.  I kind of liked the look after better than the braids themselves


So, that's it, folks.  My Caribbean vacation.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures and I hope you have the chance to live it for yourself one day!


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