Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green Scrap Quilt

My grandmother made each of her grandkids a twin-size quilt - a quilt that I still have today and use whenever I'm feeling sick. It's got the wear and tear of a quilt well used and I love every single inch of it. My mom decided recently to make a twin quilt for each of her grandkids, carrying on the tradition of sorts. While I haven't seen the quilt for Elliot yet, I helped her pick out the fabrics and was lucky enough to keep the scraps. Those scraps made a darling quilt for one of Fred's coworkers. Excuse the pictures - I forgot to take them and hurriedly asked these find folks (hi guys!) to take quick shots. Oh, and if you don't like them just don't say it to them as she's like 87 weeks pregnant. So you can talk to her hand.



** For whatever reason, blogger's spacing is being an asshole.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Campaign of Doom, or, "Gawd I Really Hate Those Stupid Pokey Bushes Out Front"

Ever since buying the house last summer, I've had one complaint and one complaint only: the front walkway is a line of mean, pokey barberry bushes that alternate in color from lime to red to lime to red to lime to red and from lime to red again and repeat one final time.

10 barberrys all in a row, poking and pricking people since 1997.

And, unfriendly!
And, ugly!

Should my own darling child lose an eye to one of this prickly human-haters, I would never forgive myself.

And, did I mention they're UGLY?

I know there's an easy solution to this but... well, there's opposition to my plans. The Mr. of the house actually LIKES them. He likes them! BWA! He wants to keep them because "they are mature, grown in, have some nice color and are easy to care for. All I have to do is trim them three times a year and they look great." I admit, it IS hard to argue with that.


He knows I hate them and want to get rid of them, but I wonder if he knows just how much. I've had conversations about it with coworkers, all agreeing that while they were oh-so-cool in the late 90s (coincindentally, that's when our house was built) they are very much not cool now. One person I talked with even worked out a plan to take care of the problem on the sly so he would think they suddenly started dying off. And then, I enlisted the help of Aunt Becky and her Merry Pranskers and all (read the comments) told me ways to secretly kill them off.

It was reading these that I realized just how present my conscience is and that I could never do it like this. It seems so ... unfair.

So, instead, I want my loyal followers (hi you two!) to write letters. Sort of like writing letters to your State Senator when you really care about an issue, I want you to write letters to Fred letting him know you support his opposition (read: ME) and that you, too, want the bushes GONE. You can write these letters in the comments - but be nice because Freddie Bill does have feelings and we're not trying to hurt those. We're just trying to break his very strong "I love those shrubs" stance.

Now, I can hear you saying But Anna, you HATE yard work! and while that is certainly true, I plan to be a gardener this year* and have every intention of replacing those shrubs with something nicer. Maybe something that flowers! Still having a nice look in front and still lining the entry way - just not with the shrubs of death.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*I try this every year. It has yet to stick because I hate being hot, sweaty or dirty and I hate bugs flying on me or slinking around in the dirt and will scream every time one touches me. I do, though, love the IDEA of it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shop Update

It may have taken me the entire month of March... but my Something Sewn Etsy shop is updated! New items, more items and even a new logo.

Check it out... and use the code FAMILY to get 20% off your purchase.

Go! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The 'Thank You's' I've Never Said. Until Now.

I read the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time today over at Aunt Beckys' blog Mommy Wants Vodka. She recently lost a family member who had been near and dear but that she'd never had a chance to thank for the little things he did for her. She writes:

"And I’m sorry I never expressed to him how much those small things he did when I was small meant to me. I regret that even though I know that there would never have been enough words to properly say what I meant. I could never explain how those small things changed me."

Here's my quick list:

To my grandma Cropp - thank you for coloring with me.
To Mrs. Smith - thank you for complimenting my writing skills.
To my mom - thank you for teaching me to sew.
To Jennifer - thank you for telling me I am your best friend.
To Dr. Xxxxxx - thank you for convincing me that I'm valuable.
To Fred - thank you for every hug, smile and 'I love you.'
To Auntie D and Aunt Betty - thank you for being my Lincoln moms.
To Ms. Haley - thank you for being Elliot's first great teacher.
To Stacey - thank you for reminding me each day is a new day.
To Elliot - thank you for playing Candyland with me.
To my dad - thank you for letting me shift the truck gears.

I know there are more - more than I could probably ever remember but this is a start. From here on out, I will try to remember to say thank you more often.

... for being something we drill into our preschooler's head daily, at what point did we stop saying thank you? And at what point did that become okay?

Monday, March 21, 2011

1 Part Good and 1 Part Bad

Good: The weather will warm up to 70 today.
Bad: My jacket was in my office at work this morning.

Good: We attended a beautiful wedding this weekend.
Bad: My dress' hem fell out and I lost a button.

Good: I got a clean bill and clean teeth from the dentist.
Bad: I had to go to the dentist.

Good: Spring is here and I found day lily tips!
Bad: The cookies I made to celebrate were ugly. UG-ly. Like I didn't even finish them before dismantling them ugly. Melted snowmen? More like Melty Uglymen.

Good: I think he just fixes helicopters... but
Bad: Cousin Mike got deployed somewhere secret and was given a day or so to pack for a year. I have seen the news a few times this weekend so I think I know where he is and somehow that's a bit of a comfort.

What's good and bad in your world?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Little-Bit-Late Leprechaun

A leprechaun, obviously running a bit late for St. Patty's Day, left a little something at our house this afternoon.

I love coming home to unexpected surprises.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pinterest Necklace

To say I'm addicted to Pinterest is a fair statement. The other day, a fabulously smart necklace cropped up and not only did I re-pin it but I was determined to recreate it.

And recreate it, I did, for about $5.50.

A series of loops through each washer holds everything together and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sort of amazed at the ease of this project.

Finally complete! I wore it to work the next day and while I did get a few inquisitive stares, most everyone thought it was pretty slick.

Hot damn, I am one pretty lady with my fancy necklace!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sing to Prince's Song: This is What She Looks Like... on Abilify

To say I've been a little more active since starting Abilify would be a huge understatement. I'm almost to the point of being over-active. Maybe even a touch of hyper-activity.

I. Can't. Stop. Doing.

Thinking. Creating.

Laughing. Talking.

Case in point? This is what has come from my sewing room in the last month. Oh, and I work full-time at an office, am married and have a 4 year old and am in bed by 10.

Honestly, I'm not sure how I've gotten all of this done... baby quilt, full-size quilt, scarves, hanging towels, embroidery and applique, notebook covers, an ironing board cover and even starting my first quilt-a-long.

And! I'm not even tired yet!

Abilify: It's like crack for crafters! Wheeee!

Abilify: I can't sit still long enough to read a book! Booo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick Question

Any interest in seeing my crafty crap here every once in a while? I promise to not turn this into a "look how amazing I am" blog, mostly because it's a no-brainer, but sometimes I want to show you things!

[Edited to add: Resounding YES!]

Because His HAIR Hurts

Mom! Mom! Mooooom!

Mom. Mom.


Me: Yes, Elliot. What.
E: I can't sleep cause my hair hurts.
Me: Your HAIR hurts?
E: Yeah.
E: It hurts like this (puts head on arm) and it hurts on this (puts head on pillow).
Me: Wow, rough. You hair hurts when it touches your arm or your pillow? You're right, you can't sleep like that.
E: Yeah.
Me: Good thing Grandpa Frank's blanket he brought is magic. I'll just tuck it around your pillow and (trying it out for self) YEP, it doesn't hurt my hair at all.
E: Oh.
Me: Go to bed.
E: But my hair hurts.
Me: Go to bed.
E: But it hurts on my arm and on my pillow.
Me: Go. To. Bed.
E: (harrumphs and lays down) It hurts.
Me: I doubt it. Go to sleep.
E: My foot itches.
Me: Go to sleep. (Leaves room)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Picture Day, Picture Day

This past summer, the Seckman family road-tripped out to Chicago to see my parents and my sister and her family who were in town from Cleveland. (Saw my brothers too but they live there so it's not that amazing that we say them as well.)

I got the pictures from that weekend a few months ago but just found them again this morning and got to thinking about that weekend. Specifically, Sunday. Sunday was the day my mom deemed "picture day" but I more fondly think of it as "disaster day."

It started off nice enough with a big lunch with all 4 of us kids and spouses and grand kids around the same table eating my mom's delicious cooking.

Then, it was time for pictures.

But it was also time for the kids to nap (or, at least, ours because he was a monster).

But it was time for older brother to meet with friends because his allotted time for "picture day" had already expired.

In a few minutes' time, Elliot turns into a jerk and Fred is forced to yank him out and drive back to the hotel for some rest time. This put the family into a tizzy with pictures being delayed and now younger brother was getting in on the your family is wrecking this vibe. Fred comes back after a while and we trek down to the park to snap some shots in the warm and sticky August sun.

I think this picture shows the general mood:

We rallied on and got a few family pictures snapped out too. The children were not amused.
Back: brother-in-law Dave, Kevin, Dan, Fred; Middle: Jen, Dad, Mom, XL Me; Front: Nate, Belle and Elliot.

(From adult belly buttons up, it's a lovely picture!)

We eventually went back to the house and had large slices of german chocolate cake* and rides on the Harley which seemed to magically erase the kids' attitudes and we enjoyed the rest of our time.

It wouldn't be a weekend full of family if it didn't have some drama.


- - - - - - - - - - - -
*I don't care who you are, MY MOM makes THE BEST german chocolate cake in the world. And, no, mine doesn't even come close so don't ask.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's (Not) Be Friends

You may or may not have gotten a friend request from me via facebook yesterday. A set of emails that set me off on an I-hate-you-facebook rampage of doom with only poor Fred to listen to me rant. (Say it with me, Poor Fred!)

I deleted my facebook account a bit over a month ago and haven't looked back. But, my little sewing business did.

I foolishly thought I could set up a business account on fb but noooooo, Mark Zuckerberg intervened and while he rubbed his hands together maniacally, he decided to make me pay for quitting in the first place.

Before I knew what was happening, it forced me to set up a profile by asking a stream of basic questions - all of which I figured you'd see if you clicked on the profile of Something Sewn. I then did that good ole address import business to find "friends" and that's when it happened... emails flew out of Mark Zuckerberg's butt and directly into your inboxes all but begging you to please, pretty please be my friend.

And, oh!, the flurry of responses I got.

Mostly it was your run of the mill "um, thought we WERE friends?" comments with the addition of one snooty "you deleted me as a friend and now you want to be friends again?" snip. No, obviously-good-friend-of-mine, my decision to delete my entire account (hint: read my blog and you would've known...) had nothing to do with you, personally. So shut your bitchin.

I railed against facebook and stupid Mark Zuckerberg for the better part of an hour and then, in one fatal click, put my account to rest again. No profile for Anna Seckman also means no account for Something Sewn. Pisser.

Reason #17 I'm glad I quit facebook: You didn't even notice I was gone... proof that it's just becoming a platform for games and self-absorption.
Reason #18 I'm glad I quit facebook: Can't set up a small business on there without setting up a full-blown profile.
Reason #19 I'm glad I quit facebook: Tricky Mark Zuckerberg.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Major Life Change

There was a time when our precious darling wanted the most simple of careers: to be a trash truck squisher guy. He had no intention of driving the truck (mom, you do it) or owning the business (dad, you do that) and had every intention of being the one to SQUISH THE TRASH.

This held strong until yesterday. We got a note sent home from preschool informing us of Elliot's major, life-changing decision: he wants to be a paleontologist.

Now, he's watched his share of Dino Dan episodes but I wasn't sold he even knew what a paleontologist does.

Me: Elliot, says here you want to be a paleontologist.
E: *blank stare*
Me: Don't you want to be a trash truck squisher guy?
E: Nope.
Me: A paleontologist?
E: *blank stare* *cocks head to side*
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
E: A dinosaur digger guy.
Me: Oooh, okay. Why?
E: Cause when you dig up the dinosaurs that's when they come.
Me: Riiiight. Cool. Carry on.
E: Okay. *walks away*

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Definition of Awesome

Awesome is when you and a co-worker come to work better dressed than highschoolers on Twin Day during Spirit Week.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Eat your heart out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Weight of the Matter

I broke the #2 rule of Weight Watchers (cause, of course the #1 rule of weight watchers is to not talk about weight watchers) and weighed myself before going to the meeting.

It said I gained. I went in and they said I lost 1.2 pounds.
Loudly, I exclaimed "Suck it, home scale!" and grinned.

Today I crammed my bottom half into a pair of jeans one size smaller than I wore this time last week and smiled.

I've struggled with weight my entire life from growing up with three tiny siblings (no, seriously, not sure any of them weigh over a full buck) and being called names having anything to do with lard by them as well - lardbutt and lardo were the most common.

Hurtful is putting it lightly; it was brutal. And if my parents tried to stop them, it fell on my deaf ears as the damage was done. When asked if I really wanted a second helping of corn or if I just enjoyed being fat (true story), it finally clicked in me that enough was enough.

Thanks in part to growing like a boy in 8th grade, and not eating breakfast or lunch and only dinner if I couldn't make plans with a friend, I was slim in high school. It took a lot of work to stay that way and I was tired and hungry most days.

But? I wasn't made fun of.

In fact, I made fun of others. I swore to my friend that if I ever, EVER had to wear a size Large in anything to just kill me because I'd be too fat to be worth living. (I'd kill to fit nicely into a size Large.) I was kind of a bully about it, but not to any one person and really, kind of to the old me.

It started to crumble when my teammates went to our cross country coach and told him I wasn't eating. He confronted me and there, in the halls of Jefferson Area High School, I cried on his shoulder. I started eating as little as possible to make them shut up and never told my family what happened although I'm not so sure that he didn't call my mother.

I was crushed. It was so hurtful to go from being told I was eating too much to being told I needed to eat more.

I couldn't win.

I gave up in college. I decided I didn't care anymore and on came the freshman 15 and it's been up and down ever since.

It took a long, long time for me to realize I was NORMAL and that my siblings, actually, were quite skinny. And when I asked my sister about it a few years back, I found out that she doesn't necessarily love it and would give almost anything to have some of my features (read: hips and boobs). Funny how you learn these things so much later than when it would have mattered most.

So you can imagine, that after only 5 weeks of Weight Watchers and losing a mere 10.2 pounds thus far, just how excited I was to not only get on the next size down but to get them buttoned AND STILL BREATHE. AND WALK. AND SIT.

And that? Is awesome.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let's Talk About Poop, Baby

There's been a whole lot of poop talk around here lately.

I recently had a discussion with the preschooler about the correlation of tooting and pooping as it pertains to his little body. You toot? You poop.

So you can imagine his concern when I let one rip the other morning but didn't make a beeline for the bathroom. Thus began a lengthy conversation of my lack-of-a gallbladder, surgery, scars and tooting just to toot.

The next time I tooted he looked at me sympathetically and said "Mommy, it's okay if you not hafta go poop cause you doesn't have a badder." Gee, thanks.

The office pooper is back - but I think it's a new one. The last one had an issue with keeping it in the bowl but this one seems to enjoy filling the bowl... and, oddly, only the part that doesn't have water. I'm not even sure how this is physically possible and at what angle you'd have to be hovering to poop on the back inside of the bowl.

Lengthy discussions have been held, Ms. Pooper, and we have some questions for you. First: how much fiber DO you eat? Second: You feeling okay? Third: HOW do you get it there?

One of the most intriguing things I learned during my pregnancy was that a lot of women poop during delivery. I found this little nugget out on the night we toured the delivery facility at our local hospital and remember wondering why it was the first I'd heard of it and how hilarious it was.

I was going to poop on the floor. Bwa ha ha ha!

And, it turns out, I did. Twice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Didn't Give Much LURVE to Books

Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol (kidding, blame it on a slew of new anti-depressants), but I didn't read many books in February. I read three but only finished two... I quit reading the BLECH below because it was literally lulling me to sleep every time I'd try to read more.

Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Maybe, in hindsight, I should've blamed it on the short month so you don't think I'm a boozy pillpopper. Lesson learned. (I hope.)