Wednesday, April 3, 2013

what I really want to do

is write.  Since I was a little girl.  I guess I don't, or haven't, wanted to do it enough or I'd have DONE it.  As previously mentioned, I used to crank out those long letters.  When I start on fiction I get bogged down by the mixing experience with fantasy.  I worry about getting sued.  I've had some outlandish experiences in my life that are too good to not put down.  There are other survivors and what if they picked up something and got mad at what they perceived as my portrayal of them?  I'm probably fairly safe with the stuff from my 1970's in backwoods Florida, not many of those folks still live and maybe only one or two read.  Likewise my times with the cold war army in the 80's (though I would guess most of those CAN read).  But the stories I really want to write come from my days as a prison nurse in the 90's and 2000 decade, and those could get me into trouble.  There's HIPAA (your federally protected health information).  There are all those inmates who are a very sue-happy population anyway.  There's the brotherhood (even though there are plenty of women officers) of correctional officers who'd be offended about everything I wrote about it, and I would still dearly love to go back there to work one day.  The clearance check for employment is pretty extensive and I'd probably never be allowed to go back if I told the stories even here online, let alone wrote a book.  There are some great stories though.  Prison is not what people think it is like inside, too much Hollywood.  I watched a couple episodes of Oz because I was told that was pretty real, but I didn't think so.  Even the reality shows skim the surface.  It's like watching a show on the beach versus going into the ocean and feeling those currents of cold and warm and forceful waters once you are in over your head, and knowing there are plants and creatures and fish all over down deep.  Or being in a big city and aware that you are in the midst of many cultures that you are not participating in, the foreign ones as well as the rich ones and poor ones and homeless and crazy and druggie ones while you are just on the bus trying to get to work and buy those pans and the throw rugs that your apartment needs.  Prison was fascinating for me, everyday.

I was watching Stephen King speeches and a documentary on him on YouTube.  He just wrote like crazy all the time, no matter how many jobs he was holding down while a young father.  He was driven and gifted.  I don't have that.  I am more niggled and maybe not gifted at all.  The fact that I do want to write says maybe I could do it, if I just did.  I think about Gone with The Wind, Margaret Mitchell.  Huge book this lady cranked out over the years, her only work ever.  I don't believe she ever submitted anything else, though they wanted her to.  I'd like to have a book written, probably more than one.  I work a night job that would afford me 6 hours or so each shift to do nothing but write!

I wrestle all the time about how much I produce.  Do I clean enough, exercise enough, create enough, etc etc etc.  I work an exhausting job, though it demands little enough from me while I'm there and almost nothing when I'm not.  Night shift sucks the life from you.  I'm gentler with myself than I used to be, almost 53 years old and still not back to where I was before hip replacement surgery last year I forgive myself for not getting it all done where I couldn't when I was 30 and 40.  Thank God!  I had my 5th kid after my marriage died and was working one and 1/2 jobs all the time, no local family support, no financial help.  My house was messy but clean under the flying debris of kid stuff, I was outside raking and planting and mowing, I was cooking real dinners and running to girl scouts and ball games.  I still went to bed thinking I should do more.  Now at least I feel virtuous sleeping whenever and as much as I can.

And if I didn't start that great american novel today (really, I just want to be as good as the Stephanie Plum novels) I did at least write!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Dress

I made an Easter Dress for the first time since my grandbabies' mommas were babies.  It took me longer than I thought ("Oh, it'll only take me 45 minutes once I cut it out" phhhht!).  I really, really enjoyed doing it.  I blended a FREE and very lovely pattern and tutorial from Lindsey at The Cottage Home with a paper pattern, Simplicity 2688.  It's still so cool here and I wanted the little puff sleeves.  I am so glad I added them.

I was a little worried about using a sleeve from one pattern and just sticking it on another- but it was so gathered that it worked very well.  Match seams, pull up threads till it fits, pin and sew.  I loved sewing on this little bias cut band.

Because I added sleeves I had to change the way I put in the facing as well.  It now required hand stitching around the arm holes.  A little labor of love.

I am very proud of how well made it is, but there were as always a couple of flaws.  The biggest, I made the darn thing too big!  I always did this for my babies too.  I'm thinking about sewing in some pintucks above the contrast band hem, but the mommy was ok with it as is.  It really is kind of sweet that long, and the bodice has a little wiggle room too, so this dress as is may fit next year.  The other thing was I didn't mark pieces and whoops used the tie for the bottom band and vise versa.  It meant extra seams in the band, which didn't hurt anything.  Also it made the bottom band shorter.  I would have liked the impact of more inches of fabric contrast, but again this dress was long enough as is.  I'll watch out for that next time I make this dress.