crafting with children / IN MY KITCHEN / sewing projects

good things to know

P1010002

1. Always check your barley

…before you shake a big pile of it into your hot bubbling stew that has been happily cooking along in the crockpot all day. Because that barley—that you didn’t store in an airtight container–just might be laced with tiny bugs that you’ll dump into the stew before noticing them wriggling and writhing around in the hot broth. And you’ll hurriedly scoop out as many of the offensive bugs as you can, but when you take a big ladle full from the bottom, there’ll still be a few stray deceased offenders floating in it.   

2. You can’t register for classes at the local community college

….if you’re on academic probation. If, last year, you accidentally signed up for pottery workshop as a credit class instead of an audit, and then you had a difficult pregnancy and didn’t do one stitch of pottery, and your professor called you two days before the end of the semester wanting to go over your goals and see your work, and you had nothing, he’ll give you an F. And if you have an F on your permanent record, you can’t sign up for pottery again (as an audit) without dragging your three children over to Student Services to meet with an academic advisor who will give you permission to take another class. You’re never too old for a little academic probation.

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3. Don’t give your daughter a sharpie

…and tell her to draw her best bird on the muslin cloth so that you can embroider it, without first giving her some direction. Because she’ll draw a really good bird on the cloth, one that you really love, with wing bars, but she’ll draw it so close to the edge of the cloth that you won’t be able to fit it into the embroidery hoop. And the project that you wanted to sit down and work on right away that evening to unwind, will have to wait until you figure out a way to get more room around the edges of that very good drawing of a bird. But then she’ll draw you two flowers to work on instead, and that will make you happy. And as you work, you’ll realize you really know nothing about embroidery, but it’s extremely relaxing and it just might be your new thing.

P1010002

1. Always check your barley

…before you shake a big pile of it into your hot bubbling stew that has been happily cooking along in the crockpot all day. Because that barley—that you didn’t store in an airtight container–just might be laced with tiny bugs that you’ll dump into the stew before noticing them wriggling and writhing around in the hot broth. And you’ll hurriedly scoop out as many of the offensive bugs as you can, but when you take a big ladle full from the bottom, there’ll still be a few stray deceased offenders floating in it.   

2. You can’t register for classes at the local community college

….if you’re on academic probation. If, last year, you accidentally signed up for pottery workshop as a credit class instead of an audit, and then you had a difficult pregnancy and didn’t do one stitch of pottery, and your professor called you two days before the end of the semester wanting to go over your goals and see your work, and you had nothing, he’ll give you an F. And if you have an F on your permanent record, you can’t sign up for pottery again (as an audit) without dragging your three children over to Student Services to meet with an academic advisor who will give you permission to take another class. You’re never too old for a little academic probation.

P1010005

3. Don’t give your daughter a sharpie

…and tell her to draw her best bird on the muslin cloth so that you can embroider it, without first giving her some direction. Because she’ll draw a really good bird on the cloth, one that you really love, with wing bars, but she’ll draw it so close to the edge of the cloth that you won’t be able to fit it into the embroidery hoop. And the project that you wanted to sit down and work on right away that evening to unwind, will have to wait until you figure out a way to get more room around the edges of that very good drawing of a bird. But then she’ll draw you two flowers to work on instead, and that will make you happy. And as you work, you’ll realize you really know nothing about embroidery, but it’s extremely relaxing and it just might be your new thing.

25 comments on “good things to know”

  1. Remind me to never eat your soup/stew. I am totally cracking up about the academic probation. My advice on the bird is to add a fabric “frame” around it. That of course would require your sewing machine so… how are the renovations going?

  2. Molly..you are too funny. Don’t you love it when life gives you one of those days filled with minute but utterly important details of living? Haha.

    BTW, care to share your crock-pot stew recipe, sans crawlies that is. 😉

    Very adorable bird, you should really try to rescue it. Can you sew some “border” around the bird to make it big enough? then it might turn into a pillow or you could take the border off and do whatever with it.

  3. OHHHH. Honey you had a hard day, didn’t you. I’m feeling for you about the pottery- and the crawlies. That happened one time with me and some polenta. I couldn’t eat polenta again for a long time.

  4. so did you eat the stew? last week my cousin told me about being at my grandmothers and finding ants in the tea that was being poured from a lovely old teapot. i’ll tell you what they did about the ants if you tell me what you did about the stew!?

    and the pottery class story. i had forgotten all about academic bureaucracy. but get the permission! because i want to see more of your lovely creations.

  5. I almost sprinkled some wheat germ on my yogurt last week but luckily spied some COBWEBS in the jar and a rather hefty MOTH inside. Yes, the larvae had eaten itself to adulthood.

    DISGUSTING. I can hardly think about it.

  6. molly… i was just popping over to get some miniswap details/rules and caught this latest post of yours, these little details of your recent days are way more fun than mini-swap rules/details by far. acedemic probation? awesome. (i love how your flowers turned out! they sort of look like knitting)

  7. Oh I borrowed chili powder from a neighbor one year full of bugs. Full of them! And I didn’t notice until the powder was already stirred into the chili. We had take out that night!

  8. Oh Molly! How come every time I make it over here to catch up, I wind up wishing (again!) that we lived closer!

    You know what my Momo used to say about the bugs that invaded her flour or cornmeal? “Oh well, more protein, I guess.” 🙂

    Maybe just baste a little fabric fabric on, just to give you some room, and then take it off after you’ve finished the embroidery?

    And last – your story is why I fear that I will never finish the 20 hours I have left to walk away with a diploma. I’ve gone and gotten to old, busy and irritable to put up with the whole rigamarole of the academic world.

    Of course, it might be fun to enter the quiet halls of academia with my rowdy men trailing behind. Shake things up a bit, you know 🙂 Love to you, friend. (oh, and watch your mailbox!)

  9. I’ve totally done that with the bugs. Most recently with popcorn (my husband never suspected) and before that with flour. So gross! I think someone else mentioned sewing on a fabric frame to solve your embroidery problem-hope it works.

  10. the bird! fantastic! you have to figure a way to make it work – i know you will. also, i let the kids go to town on fabric with the water soluble markers – a spritz and the mistakes are gone.

    laughing about the academic probation. that would happen to me in a heartbeat.

    have a great weekend molly!

  11. On a morning when I am sick, and just a bit grouchy with husband and kids, your post really made me laugh. And, embroidery is kinda my new thing, too, and I use it as therapy on days like you and seemed to have yesterday. 🙂

  12. Oh NO on 1 and 2, and no. 3 is really beautiful (albeit too close to the edge). But of course, I have a thing for birds.

    (When I lived abroad, I got in the habit of sifting every baking ingredient very carefully. But now that I’m back in the states, I’m sure I would do like you and just assume that bugs don’t grow in the barley here!)

  13. Oh WOW! I LOVE that bird. I have been sketching birds all week and trying to simplify them into something I can use to applique a quilt for my niece in the works. And hers is better. It’s exactly what I want. I would be framing that one some how and leaving it as is. As for the bugs…seems to be standard for us no matter where in the world we live. I’ve found buying cheaper grain staples they tend to have more bugs…but that probably just means the other has been fumigated. I always just check. And as for your course…that really sucks. Hope you have a good weekend…

  14. I’m sorry for you, but I had to laugh. Your descriptions were very rich. I have an idea about the bird…maybe you could scan the image then cut it out, transfer to a new piece of fabric and you’re good to go.

  15. sew. Totally . Awesome. I cannot wait until my boys can do this…just add patchwork quilt love to the edges of that piece of muslim and it will fit in your hoop!

  16. That has to be one of my favorite posts in a long time. I don’t have much time to read posts anymore and I am so happy that I read that one. I love it! That is life and you write it so well. I really should take the leap and take some of those college classes if I can do it without going on accademic probation. :o)

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