Stay tuned...

I'm going to be taking a little break until school starts August 15th. I know I haven't been as visible lately and that's largely due to the fact that I'm still recovering from the issues with my back. Most likely I'm going to be having a procedure done soon to help alleviate the worst of the pain, and the recovery time for that can be a couple of weeks. It has to be done during summer vacation so that I can deal with the whole back to school thing.

That said, I've realized that one thing that really helps my back pain is a corselet/corset. There's something about having my back strapped in that keeps the muscles from spasming and irritating my low back joints. So I'm in the process of researching either making(?!?) or buying a corset. If you're interested, please check out SewCurvy. I found them via Gertie's blog and I'm very excited. The prospect of Not Being In Pain is a very heady thing.

Have a wonderful reast of your summer and May The Force Be With You!

Sorry about that last bit... My kids have just put on a Star Wars movie and I typed it automatically. :-D

Crafturday Saturday, Mirror Ball Trophy Edition!

Offical DWTS Mirror Ball Trophy
Today, my middle child is competing in her first ballroom competition at the ripe old age of seven. Her goal? To win the above trophy. By 4 years old, she had her life plan mapped out including: compete on So You Think You Can Dance and Win!11! and then move on to Dancing With The Stars and Win!11! So in honor of her determination and drive, I've made her her very own mirror ball trophy.

You don't get a trophy, but you do get a tutorial in how to make your own!

First you need a trophy and a mirror ball. You could buy them online and pay a fortune, or head to your local Party City (or equivalent) and hit up the "awards" aisle for the trophy and the "party decor" aisle for the mirror ball. For today's project, we're using a "jumbo" trophy and a 4" mirror ball. And PLENTY of hot glue.

To make the mirror ball sit in the trophy, you're going to need to saw off the rounded parts at the top of the trophy. Grab a hacksaw and get to gettin'. It won't take long and if you're careful, you'll have a great result. The plastic is cheap, so it saws through pretty quickly.

 The bottoms of my trophies were hollow, so I filled them with poly pellets used for stuffing animals and closed them off with a piece of cardboard and some hot glue and then glued some 3mm thick "foamie" sheets to the bottom to have it be a non-slip more finished looking trophy. I used a a paper cup to hold the trophy in an inverted position to make my life easier and to keep the mother-lovin' pellets from going EVERYWHERE. Do NOT omit this part if you want to keep your sanity.

Once you finish off the bottom of the trophy, flip it over and press it down a bit to make sure the warm glue gets really stuck in and the trophy is level. At this point you're ALMOST done, so pat yourself on the back and get out your disco ball. Resist the temptation to hang it up and rock out in your craft area. You can get your OWN disco ball later. They're much better for groovin' if you get the LARGE one and not the baby sized one anyways. Ahem. Not that I know anything about that. Not at all. Ahem.

Okay, now here's the part that's tricky. You want to get the hot glue inside the trophy but NOT on the outside. It's a PAIN to get off if it blurps out. So make one line of glue about 1/2 cm from the lip of the trophy, test the ball in the trophy being sure to put the dangly part INSIDE the trophy. Apply another layer of glue nearer the edge of the trophy but staying inside. THEN eyeball the mirror ball and apply glue to the ball itself in a dot pattern around the ball. Smush it down on the trophy GENTLY and it should stick nicely with all the warm glue bonding to itself.

For bonus points, use Photoshop to create a nifty label for the trophy. This part took way longer than putting together two mirror ball trophies including shopping for supplies! Extra bonus points if your last name starts with "S". Like so:

I used a Xyron label maker to turn my plain paper printout into a permanent label. W00T! for using all sorts of crafting supplies in one project.

What makes a pattern "chubby"?

I don't have any antagonism towards the term, and honestly, I think I prefer it to "obese". Chubby brings to mind a little extra padding, while obese gives me flashbacks to the "People of Walmart" video that went viral not so long ago.

I know this is kind of a heated topic to bring up in "back from the dead" sort of posting, but I've been laid up in bed recovering and I've had some time to ponder not only my belly button lint, but also the mysteries of the universe and so on. And this is one of them.

I've been told that I have a very odd way of getting around to topics, and so I'm going to give you some backstory as to how I got to this point! So here we go.

I suffer from a medical condition known as "Multiple Hereditary Osteochondroma Syndrome". Which is a VERY fancy way of saying "I've got a lot of bonespurs all over my body and it makes me abnormally SHORT". Yay? Well, my oldest child just had her 9 year old well-check and among other things, she's started to "develop". Which has me running for the hills screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO" at the top of my lungs. And the pediatrician - while not overly concerned since 9 is in the range of normal - was a little worried since there's this whole genetic disorder (see above) AND she's freakishly short for her age while still being in the range of normal for weight.

Shopping for her was relatively easy until this last year when NOTHING started to fit right. Everything was too long in the legs but too narrow in the waist. And her chest to waist ratio is OFF in a big way. I remember having a body shape like that, but that was back in the 80s when you could wear boxy jumpers and all was well with the world.

So now, here I am pondering the benefits of "chubby" patterns. Invariably when I make her clothes, I have to widen the waist but attempt to keep the smaller breast size. Shopping for school uniforms is nightmarish. In order to get them to fit her mid-section, I have to buy them a size or two up, but then they don't fit in the length or chest. Argh. Does anyone have any sage words of wisdom for me? Will "chubby" patterns help us at all?

What IS a chubby pattern anyway? What's the difference between just grading up a normal pattern? And how do I compensate for her short torso? Is she doomed to live a life of Regency inspired dresses? Not that I have anything against them, but I'm not sure that Jane Austen Couture is going to cut it with the Powers That Be at school. The child can't live in capri pants and shorts all year either...