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Time management

I have no idea where this post will wander. It kind of feels like my more recent days...unorganized, just wandering through each one, trying to fit in as much as possible, before crashing into bed at night. Despite the lovely weather the past few days - I feel a little overwhelmed by life (for no good particular reason), while at the same being underwhelmed by the outcome of everyday. A good analogy -- I was just typing pretty quickly but watching the words form on the screen at a much slower pace. That's what yesterday felt like...and the previous few days too. Hmmn.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been struggling in the creative realm. I made a rhino for my daughter and despite the difficulty of creating a rhino out of painted fabric leaves - I FORGOT A HORN.

And, then...there is this shirred disaster:

Any wisdom as to what was done wrong? I've gone back and carefully reread about three tutorials and I did it -all. But, my stitches didn't bunch the fabric together. I moved ahead, as one tutorial said "not to worry! just pull the elastic at the end and make the shirring tighter." No such luck. My elastic is refusing to be pulled, and even breaking when I try to force it. I've spent two whole naptimes on this stupid little shirt that should have been a cinch. The only explanation that I have...is that the tension on my machine is broken?? Or maybe my thread choice was bad? I dunno. Anyway... Somehow, I'm going to make it work out, just because I liked the fabrics. I think I can creatively wrestle the elastic into a shirred mess, that will work for at least ONE wear. For craps sakes.

Do you ever find yourself at a park and absolutely BORED? A self portrait above to describe what I was trying to wrap my mind around, above. I adore being home with my daughter, I really do. But, at this moment - there are so many reports to be written (job), creations to be made (of course), chores (duh), and the day just melts away...while I'm taking pictures of myself at a farmstead.

Balance. I need to create it. Got any tips to end this moaning?

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Blogger amy h said...

I have not tried the shirring yet, so I don't have any definite tips. I do, however, own some of that dot fabric, and I know it is really nice fabric (good weight for quilts). BUT, I have seen people say that the shirring works better with thin fabrics. I know the dots aren't super-thin. I have no idea if a different fabric would act differently, but its an idea. Maybe try some shirring on some scraps of a different weight?

Balance, what is that? I tend to go to extremes from day to day. I've been cramming in a little too much lately. Then I have to stop and do something totally not on schedule, like bake a pie.

10:49 AM  
Blogger beki said...

Ugh, if you learn the answer to that time management question, let me know. These days I feel so out of touch. I'm blaming it on the heat - it's melting my brain.

I've never tried the shirring, so I can't help you with that. I do think Amy is right in that it needs to be really lightweight, thin fabric to get the best results.

2:23 PM  
Blogger African Kelli said...

Yep. I've got a few tips.
1. Cut yourself a giant slice of slack pie. Realize that you are an amazing mother, a great employee and just a fantastic person all-around. It is okay to have bad days! It makes the good ones that much sweeter.
2. Get a cold, tall drink of your choice. For me? Diet Dr. Pepper over ice. Yum.
3. Get a big bar of dark chocolate.
4. Enjoy #2 and #3 without one single thought of fat content. Cry if you need to and take a deep breath.
5. Then pull yourself up by the bootstraps and smile. You have so many great things to be happy about.
And more creativity in your little finger than 99% of us!

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Alicia A. said...

Oh, honey. I have been bored at that damn farmstead so many times in my short mothering career. I totally understand.

Hang in there! I haven't tried the shirring, so no advice on that front.

Try a nice glass of white wine. That usually helps me in general. ;)

11:33 PM  
Blogger Java Mama said...

Take African Kelli's advice. She is exactly right. If that doesn't work then just change your course of action for an entire day just to do something different. I hope this weekend brings some relaxation & peace of mind! You deserve both!

5:54 AM  
Blogger capello said...

UNDERWHELMING. oh my gawd, you have no clue.

summer is kicking my ass. seriously. the boys want all sorts of attention and i'm not getting any time for myself and it is wearing me down quickly.

(well, since you were complaining, i thought i would too.)

seriously, bring on autumn. summer is not my friend.

10:40 AM  
Blogger --erica said...

i can help!
make sure your stitch length is long.
and experiment with tensions on your machine. On mine I go "down" in numbers.. but sometimes you have to make an adjustment to the bobbin.
Anyway.. then steam the heck out of it.
You might try getting what you've done wet they drying in the dryer too.. shrink it up.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Melissa R. Garrett said...

Shirring. Arg. I've tried it before with no luck.

I hate to say this, but I was really happy to read this post. I'm glad to see you are HUMAN!!

10:20 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I can so relate to your feeling overwhelmed by life, while also feeling underwhelmed by the events of the day!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Jenn Maruska said...

Hi - I just found your blog : )

I'm with African Kelli - that is good advice.

It does sound like you have alot of things wanting attention.

I recently went back and finished a project that's been hanging over my head for MONTHS. I can't tell you how good it feels to have that done. It has given me freedom and energy to tackle other things. Is there a small, unfinished project you could tackle, too?

Best of luck! : )

2:13 PM  
Blogger Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Okay, Stacy, I'm having major shirring trouble too. I've also read the tutorial many, many times, but my shirring turns out too tight, so when I go to loosen it the ends get lost and I have to rip it out, throw away the too-short piece of elastic thread, and begin again.

I'm on the third round on my shirt. Uck. Haven't even blogged about it because it's too, too frustrating.

One thing I have found to help is to adjust the width and tie the ends after each row--that way I don't lose three or four rows at a time because of the above-mentioned problem.

Good luck. Maybe I'll try to finish mine today. Of course, it may end up being a shirt for my daughter instead of me if I can't get to it stretch more successfully.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

I realize this is an older post, but wasn't sure if you've had any luck w/ that shirring bit...

I made the CUTEST sundress last year for my wee one and the shirring was accomplished by sewing a strip wide enough for the elastic to go inside of (like for pajama bottoms, does that make sense?), just sew a strip in two layers of fabric (the bodice was lined), slip the elastic inside (measure your elastic out to whatever size you need), bunch it up, sew a quick line up either end of the elastic to hold the fabric in place so you don't lose your lovely wrinkles, then sew the front & back of the dress together.

It was super easy and looked like I was a shirring genious!

BTW, did you find the answer for snapping out of your time management warp? I'm there right now.


5:16 PM  

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