Friday, December 28

"A Very Scot Christmas"

You have to be careful what is said around Mr. Lina.  He remembers things. 

Two years ago my youngest brother, Clone, made the mistake of saying that as much as he found the show Hoarders interesting, he got to a point where he couldn't watch it any more.  He also went on a 5 minute rant about snuggies.  Same family event but not the same conversation.

Mr. Lina bought Season 1 of Hoarders and a leopard print snuggy in August so he wouldn't forget.  Here you can see Clone growling in his leopard print snuggy that Christmas.

Country Girl Couture has a post about Christmas music that reminded me of the start of these silly gifts.  (Side note, check out all of her "Things that tick me off Thursday" posts, I always find them amusing).

Quite a few years ago, I don't think that Mr. Lina and I were married at this point, Paul McCartney's song "Wonderful Christmastime" came on the radio or store or something.  I think it's one of the worst offenders for being overly cute (I love the Beatles, but damn Paul needs someone like John to tell him when to dial the sappy crap back.)  I told Mr. Lina that my brother Scot HATES that song.  So much he will leave armloads of picked out presents behind and walk out of a store, just so he can escape the song.

Mr. Lina thought this is good information.

He burns that song 13 times on a CD, creates a fake play list on the back and uses Google images for Scot's name to put pictures on the cover calling it "A Very Scot Christmas".

And he giggles to himself with glee.

Scot figured something is up when he opens it up.  Dokken (etc) is not really his taste in music and he couldn't understand why Mr. Lina thinks he would want to listen to any of the music on the play list.  So after the presents are opened, people are checking out their new gifts, he goes to my parents stereo and hits play.

About 4 bars in, he flips the CD over to read the play list again.

12 bars in he hits next.

4 bars in he hits next.  And hits next sooner and sooner until he looks up and says "So is it on EVERY tract?" as my entire family start laughing.

Next year, Mr. Lina's gift from Scot was wrapped in paper mache.  Silly gifts have circled between my brothers and Mr. Lina since then.  Last year Clone wrapped Scot's gift in bacon.  Nothing crazy happened this year, my SIL actually commented on that.

Little did she (or I) know, this year, Mr. Lina had a surprise for me. 

When we were in Manitoba this summer his parents taught us to play Canasta.  It was a new card game to both of us and we played a few times to get the hang of it, pairing with his parents so it wasn't two newbies being ganged up on.  One game, my team won quite soundly, mostly because I had wild card after wild card.  One round I went out before Mr. Lina got into his foot.

That night, as we were going to bed he said to me he knew what he was going to get me for Christmas.  I was surprised, I mean, this was early July and we hadn't done much beyond playing cards and watching the lake property be leveled by a back hoe.  I had no idea what would inspire a Christmas present.

Yes, he said, enough decks of cards to play Canasta and a vibrator so I could go f*ck myself.  He was pretty proud of himself for coming up with that line but kind of giggled as he said it so it had no teeth.

My "non-family Christmas gift" arrived yesterday with multiple decks of cards.  I'm all set to play Canasta by myself.  ;)

Thursday, December 27

Merry Christmas!

I have been actively avoiding my computer since the 21st.  I felt like I had work I should catch up on and by avoiding my computer, I was avoiding that and really having a break.  So I have a lot of catching up on blogs to do.

I am struggling lately to find a blogging voice.  I've started a few posts that seem to end up being a laudry list of what I've done and complaining.  I don't like them.  It's good for me to write it out maybe, but you don't need to read that.  So I'm switching to point form for a bit of some good and bad of the holidays thus far:
  • I got to snuggle with my niece.
  • Actually, I hogged her the entire time she was at my parents house on Christmas day.
  • She kept staring at Mr. Lina.
  • We had friends and family over for Christmas Eve, the 2.5 year old stole the show (figured she would).
  • Best lines from her:
    • Her dad:  O, it's time to go home now.
    • O:  No. (rather emphatically while she continued to march around the basement having just watched Frosty the Snowman)
    • Her dad:  We have to set out cookies for Santa before we go to bed. 
    • O:  Bye bye Mr. Lina.  (runs upstairs to get coat).
  • It snowed overnight, the most snow since March 2011 apparently.  It's very pretty and nice to finally feel like winter.
  • And has netted me a work from home day.
  • Well timed snow in that Mr. Lina gave me money for winter boots for snow shoeing and I bought him a pass to the local conservation area so we could get back into hiking and snow showing.
  • Went to the 42nd anniversary party for my relative who had a stroke about 6 weeks ago now.
  • He's had considerable improvement since I last saw him although he still struggles to find the words he wants.
  • His daughter who is 12 days younger than me and autistic started up her usual campaign to get my childhood Strawberry Shortcake figures.
    • Perhaps I would like to play with her Strawberry Shortcake dolls and she could play with mine.
    • Perhaps my mom could put them in a box so she could take them home (she knows they are at my parents house).
    • Perhaps my parents would have a garage sale and sell them to her.  We would tell her about it, wouldn't we?
    • Toys need to be played with, do you still play with them?  I would play with them...
    • She also told me my womb is still very small that I haven't had the baby yet.
    • No kidding.
    • She also knocked on my grandfathers head at the visitation and then told us that Uncle Alec wouldn't wake up. 
    • Papa would have found that really funny. 
    • I'm trying to find the humour in my womb being small.  I'm not upset with her at all, she's just speaking the truth, but I don't really like that truth.
  • Did I mention my niece is adorable?
  • I finally gave them the blanket I started in June, she hooked her fingers in the shell stitches and like most 5 month olds, tried to eat it.  It was rather cute.
  • I bought her a tshirt that had a hat and the words "Snuggle Weather" stitched on, Mr. Lina and I use the word snuggle a lot between us (we will have conversations of nothing but the word snuggle if we're feeling sickeningly cute) so that was the draw of the shirt.
  • When I got it home, I thought it was a little plain in silver stitches.  I embroidered red on the hat to perk it up.
  • Probably should have taken pictures of it before wrapping it.
  • I mentioned last week that the stuffed animal I made for a friend last year is her bed time companion.  Guess what they lost at Christmas?  I have been asked to make another for them so bedtime can happen without tears.
  • Mr. Lina is pretty miffed with Canada Post.  On the weekend he started the soft sell that one of my presents may not be arriving in time for Christmas.  Monday he was happy to say that tracking said it was on it's way, all would be fine.  I checked the mail box (I was waiting for the conservation area pass to arrive) and the parcel pick up sheet was in the box.  They didn't even come to the door, we were home. 
  • He's off right now picking it up.
  • Oh, and now he's at the door!

Monday, December 17

Crazy Time

The end of year, end of time with one client and the upcoming holidays have made a shade crazy for me.  The few times I am home, I don't really have the umph to do much.  I am taking a sanity break between projects to say hello so you know I'm still alive.
  • I finally finished that blanket for my neice, started in June, born in August, done in December. 
  • I don't think I'm winning any aunt awards with that one.
  • I still have to take pictures of it.
  • I have made headway on Burda 118.
    • I took in a lot more, went down to see what Mr. Lina thought and his first comment was that it looked like a sack.
    • By that time I had stitching in the seam allowance from about 3-4 times of taking it in so I unpicked all of that, put in a clean row of stitching, cut some off and refinished the seam allowance (this stuff frays a lot).
    • Now it looks less sack like but still lacks sleeves.
    • Sleeves have been sewn, but are separate from the dress.
  • We went to socialize with R's parents on Saturday and his sister dropped off her daughter for babysitting.  Last January I gave her a stuffed animal I made and it was well received at the party but you never know if people are just being nice.
    • It seems she won't fall asleep without that particular stuffy, the only one she's named.
    • I felt kind of good about that. 
I don't think it was this specific one, but similar.
Okay, back to work.  On the plus side, I only have to work the 27-28 between December 22 to January 2nd.  This craziness will end.

Friday, December 7


I am so tired today.  We had our team Christmas party last night and although it wasn't a late night, it was past midnight by the time I got home.  When the alarm went off this morning, my eyes hurt because I needed more sleep.  I think I hit snooze 4 times. 

That said, I am in a good mood.  Here are some things that make me happy today.
  • Tiramisu arrived!  It was wonderful to see the package on the dining room table and know what was inside.
  • It is Friday, that is enough to make me happy.
  • My drive to work was awesome, 38 minutes from driveway to parking lot is a record for this client.
  • We have no plans tonight, I can have a glass of wine and relax.
  • We have no plans on Sunday, I think we'll spend part of the day getting our Christmas tree.
  • Yesterday, someone noticed me babbling a bit and asked if I had coffee.  I mentioned this to Mr. Lina this morning.  He lamented that I've become a little more adjusted to caffeine and rarely sound like a little kid explaining a day at an amusement park to her grandparents.  It made me giggle when he mimicked the little kid (including puking after too much funnel cake and rides).  It's not often I'm laughing that early when I feel so tired.
  • I've signed up for Rdio and am now listening to music at work.
  • I love Jamiroquai.  I know it, but sometimes I get listening to a lot of folk/independent music and time passes without listening to Jamiroquai and when I listen again, it's like falling in love all over again.  I almost caught myself singing along yesterday (not a wise choice in cubicle-ville), I love how it makes me feel.
So here is a little Jamiroquai, hopefully it cheers up your Friday as it has for me.  Cosmic Girl is my favourite song.  In an interview, Jay Kay talked about this particular video.  They were still working on ideas for the video and the girl he was dating at the time was asking who his "Cosmic Girl" was going to be, kind of hinting it should be her.  To side step that, he made it about his car (he is a petrol head as they say on Top Gear).  The purple Lamborghini is his own car, the crew crashed it once loading it from his home to take it to the location in Spain.  They bought another (keep in mind, only 3 were made like this particular car), it was also damaged with precision drivers.  In parts of the video, there is no front windshield to the car.

Thursday, December 6

More good news

The Post Lifers won best short film at the Blood in the Snow film festival.  All of the films I saw had film makers, directors, actors in the audience, there was a LOT of networking going on.  Facebook was just a flurry of likes and comments last night, Mr. Lina was very happy when I got home from bowling on Tuesday.  That's 4 wins for best short, nominations for best short, best editing and best acting.  I think they are going to need a bigger DVD package when it's time to try to sell it. 

A special thank you to Amy at Sew Well.  She held a contest for 10 subscriptions to Zinio, an online magazine provider and I was lucky enough to win one.  If Threads had been an option, it would have been a perfect choice but alas, it is not.  Instead I selected Canadian Geographic.  My first issue arrived yesterday and I'm happy with my choice.

When I was in first year of university, I really didn't have a clue of what I wanted to take.  I was accepted as "Major Undecided".  At least it was honest rather than having something that wasn't going to stick.  When I finally did decide geography was for me, I got a lot of support from my family.  My grandfather bought me a subscription to Canadian Geographic.  I loved it, it was like having some kind of geography cred and sometimes I could talk about issues in class all pro-active keener like.  The last time I saw my Papa was at my convocation from university.  It's a fine memory to hold onto. 

I didn't have the money to continue the subscription after he passed away.  I've asked for it for Christmas now and again but no one has taken me up on the suggestion.  So at long last, I have my magazine and happy memories back.  Now to learn about polar bears and beavers...

Monday, December 3

What a week

I've been pretty quiet here.  Tuesday I had a migraine and after that I've just been either too busy or too tired to think.  So here are the highlights...
  • Attended another film festival, The Blood in the Snow festival in Toronto
  • It was good, The Projection Room on Gerrard is a great space for a festival
  • The movies I saw were well done although not all were my taste.
  • At least I'm not frustrated with them like last week, I don't mind movies clearly done on a budget but I can't deal with stories that don't make sense.
  • Craft show season is wrapping up for Mom and it shows, she's tired.
  • Hell, I'm tired and I didn't sew all the stuff we've been selling.
  • Still lining things up for the next FET but I'm not in a rush now that I have figured out timing, Humira adds a lot of time to the pre-transfer time.
  • Soonest the transfer could be at this point is early February, friends are planning a group trip somewhere warm in late February.
  • I may as well put off the FET to March and drink my fair share on a beach somewhere rather than rushing it and worrying about things going wrong in Mexico or Cuba.
  • My girlfriends from university had their Christmas get together yesterday
  • It was fun, but again, I kind of had to take a few big breaths to squish down the discomfort before opening the door.
  • And today I'm overtired and broke my rule of no crying while driving on 400 series highways. 
  • And it's not like my friends have it easy.
    • One husband has just been declared in remission from testicular cancer (YAY!)
    • One son was diagnosed with cancer at 6 months, he's 7 now but still not completely in the clear and seems to end up with things like gallstones or kidney stones when his cancer is doing well so she spends a lot of time in various hospitals.
    • One friend had to go through IVF for her son and based on that experience, they won't have more kids (biologically at least).
    • Two have had multiple miscarriages after having their first child.
  • Still, I can't help but feel sad to see 12 kids at a party and none of them are mine.
  • It also showed me how much I've stopped talking to them when no one knew just how many pregnancies I've had.
  • Work is well, crazy just about sums it up.  I'll be happy when January is here from that perspective.
  • On the plus side, I started drafting up my performance review today and it's going to be okay.
  • I have barely had the energy to read blogs never mind sew.  Progress is slow on my Burda dress, that doesn't mean I'm not interested or frustrated, I'm just tired enough to make mistakes.
I'm going to hop in the bath and go to bed early.  Hopefully that will make tomorrow less painful.

Sunday, November 25

A cap full of feathers

It's been quite the weekend Chez Lina's.

Friday night, we hosted Tim Williams.  Oh my, if you ever get the chance and are remotely interested in blues, music history, Hawaiian guitar, make the effort to see him.  It was a really fascinating night of music and stories. 

Saturday, we were off to Local Focus 5, a Kitchener-Waterloo film festival.  The Post Lifers was aired yesterday with other short films.  We went, some friends of mine came as well as the guys involved in the film.  It was nice to go for a beverage after the show.  Just a few minutes ago they were awarded best short film.  That's three festivals now that they have won best short film. 

Today Mr. Lina is at the awards ceremony and what am I doing?  Work.  I have a lot due tomorrow which is why I haven't been posting much this week.  Way too much.  A presentation in the morning and a huge map project due by Tuesday.  Not fun.  Well, the presentation will be fun, but getting it ready is not so much fun.

So, I'll be sitting here with my computer, listening to the Grey Cup game on the radio.  Oh wait, that isn't going to make much sense to the majority of people if my stats page is correct.  Canada has their own football league, CFL and the Grey Cup is the final game of the season.  Toronto is playing Calgary and hosting this year, the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup.  Hosting is decided before the season starts so there isn't always a "hometown" team playing but it lets the city really plan ahead for the game.  I don't really follow football much, although I have to say the games are hella fun to go to and people who are fans are pretty rabid fans.  But given that Toronto is in the game, well, I gotta say

Tuesday, November 20

I made a sack!

Progress is slow but steady on Burda 2012-10-118A.  I had to grade this dress up and I did an awful lot of flat pattern measuring, measuring me, comparing to the chart, figuring ease, etc.  I marked the seam line, I cut wide seam allowances.

For some reason, I don't trust any of that work when the needle is going in the fabric.

This weekend I sewed up the side seams and it looked, well, like a sack.  You could see both bra straps, if I bent over you could see right down to my panties.  Not so good.  I didn't take any pictures because I really don't want to see it. Without any shape to the dress all I see is a fat sausage in the mirror. It's like I'm drowning in the dress (particularly since in a fear of cutting it too short it's about 3" from my ankles) like a little girl in her mom's high heels.  Not a bit of it was doing my ego any good.

This is not to say is a wadder.  The issue is that I made it too big, sewing in the big seam allowances rather than trusting my seam line.  I didn't take the back darts in enough.  The side gathers could start higher (that's a petite issue).  I have seen improvement just taking in those darts and side seams, but more will have to be removed from the dress before I put the sleeves on.  I do like the way Burda have you put the folded fabric of the cowl front into the back like a little sandwich, it's very tidy on the inside.  And when I cut away some of the extra seam allowance and moved the seam up, both bra straps were hidden.  I think it's always going to be the kind of cowl that you can't lean forward in, but at least we've moved to a little cleavage rather than panty viewing.

In other news...  Blood work for STD screening has been done for both Mr. Lina and I.  Wednesday morning I'm going for the sonohystogram and probably going to work from home.  It seems my doctor will be doing it which is good and baffling.  He's running a clinic with 3 satellite offices, that's a lot of patients.  There are other doctors who work in the clinic who could do tests like this freeing him up for other things, but I'm not going to argue, I like him.  However, I do not like that in order for him to do this, my appointment is at 7:10am.  That means I have to get up at 5:30 (because I know I'll hit snooze and get up at 5:45) to leave the house at 6:25 to be sure I'm there in time with Advil already coursing through my blood (while not the worst test, it's not fun) and breakfast in my belly (I feel remarkably stupid without breakfast).  On the plus side, I paid for it on Saturday so I don't have to add that time prior to 7:10.

Friday we're hosting a house concert with Tim Williams (side rant, why can't people commit?  We could have 8 people at the show or 22 based on all the replies of "maybe"), Wednesday night we are going to listen to Henry Rollins speak.  On Sunday I went to make something for lunch for us and realized I had no milk, no eggs, no tuna, no salmon, no cereal, it seemed like nothing at all.  And yet I had a cupboard full of food, a cold room full of food, freezers that were full.  The cold room is admittedly full of my mom's pickles, pickled beets, tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes.  The upstairs cupboards?  Well, I found a lot of expired food.  It felt good to clean that out but it did mean a stock up trip was in order last night.

With a busy week like this, I couldn't see J. P. Hoe in Toronto last night nor tonight (bowling).  Bah.  He was so good at OCFF, so personable, I really want to go but it just was adding one too many things to my plate.  Hearing him on CBC2 this morning was like salt in the wounds, so close and yet...  I can't go.

Wednesday, November 14


I have a lot of things swirling around at the moment, it's time for a list.
  • I had a new roller coaster dream last night, but on the plus side
    • I did not wake up
    • I did not sleep walk
    • I was not stressed out in the dream
    • We were using the speed of the roller coasters as wind while having my picture taken, weird I know. 
    • Particularly when it became apparent it was kind of a log ride so there was water involved.
  • My mom's cousin's husband had a stroke on Sunday and I came into work to read an email about it.  He means a lot to me so it took a bit to swallow that news.  I get the impression that although they know there will be weeks of therapy, they are still in the midst of testing so not a lot of firm answers at this point.
  • I like dark beers because of him.  I helped him with the statistics for his PhD.  As payment, we would go for a late lunch and we split a pitcher on an empty stomach.  I was usually pretty tipsy before my lunch arrived.
  • Sonohystogram is going to have to be postponed, my period has arrived.  76 day cycle and it picks 4 days before my sono to come to an end.  If it started Monday that would have been perfect, but no, now I have to change it to sometime next week, I think they aim for day 6-11. 
  • Overall though, it's good to have it here, my breasts can return to normal and we'll blame my eye leakiness today on hormones.
  • And if I don't have to go for the sono on Saturday, I can either help Mom with the craft show or help my mom's cousin. 
  • Hospitals take care of sick people, there isn't much I can do outside of visit (and I gather he is tired so visits may be too much just now).  But the immediate family (typically) need help so they can do what the sick person needs.  In this case, their daughter is the same age as me and she is autistic and dependent on them. 
  • So this cousin of mine, let's call her Beth. She's awesome, we have a good bond.  We even have a not so secret pass phrase (which comes in handy when she needs to regulate and settle down).  I've offered some respite time so the wife can do what she needs to do without wondering what mischief the daughter is getting into. 
  •  Beth memorizes movies and quotes them back, using their dialogue for her conversation.  If you watch movies with her, she pulls out props ahead of the dialogue, "You dirty rat" will result in a plastic rat appearing out of a toy box.  It helps to know the movies she has seen recently to get her context.
    • For example, my pass phrase is "Yes, no, I don't know.  If that isn't a true blue miracle, I don't know what one is".
    • Not everyone has a pass phrase and those who do have a phrase of their own.
    • Now the first half is said in a silly sing-song voice with side to side head actions.  If she says that, I have to say the rest, and vice versa.  It's like proof that I am me.
    • The second half is from the 1978 Christmas Eve on Sesame Street special.
  • She also loves my Strawberry Shortcake dolls and is generally trying to manipulate them out of me.
    • Perhaps you could have a garage sale and sell your old toys.  You would tell me when you have a garage sale wouldn't you?
    • Do you play with your dolls, Sera?  No?  Toys need to be played with.  I would play with them.
    • Every single visit to my parents she finds them.  I don't even know where my parents put them last but somehow Beth does.  Then we have to check that they didn't "disappear" into a pocket...
  • I have taken a few more steps with the Burda dress, but last night was bowling so not as much as you would think, the back is joined and it has a zipper.
    • I really did a good job on the invisible zipper part.
    • The spot below the zipper, well, the seam ripper and I got to be good friends. 
  • Stellar Parenting made me leaky.  I love her posts to her daughter.  I must remember the line "You were worth the wait" when I feel impatient.  One day I will feel like that.
Okay, I'm feeling a little more sorted out now.  Thanks for following along.

Monday, November 12

Nighttime Ramblings

I have mentioned this a few times, but I sometimes have problems with vivid dreams and occasionally sleep walking or talking.  I rarely make it past the foot of my bed.  If I do, I wake up enough that I still feel some compulsion to do whatever I started, but I'm a little more aware of what is going on.  I am quite likely to go to the bathroom at that point because it feels like that thing you do when you aren't in bed in the middle of the night. 

Most dreams that lead to walking are reoccurring.   The past few years, the dream has been some variation of thinking someone is in the room and I am concerned because I generally sleep naked and I shouldn't be naked with people other than Mr. Lina.  The practical solution was to wear pj's if Mr. Lina wasn't coming to bed at the same time as me (he was usually the "other person" since he wasn't there when I went to bed), so far that has worked.  But since we came back from Florida, I have woken up almost every night mid dream still believing it's real.  Three times I've gone to bed naked and woken up with pj's on (I do remember putting the pj's on but it's pretty fuzzy).  All but one dream involve going on a roller coaster (in the exception, I was a waitress trying to remember multiple tables orders).  The ending has shifted over the two weeks, starting with not knowing I was in my own bedroom and now I wake up surprised that Disney knew how to make the ride come back to my bedroom.  From that point I get stressed trying to figure out how I got to the ride naked (or how to get off the ride), which leads to me sneakily sleep walking to my cupboard (or laundry pile last night) for pj's.  I put on the pj's and I fall back asleep fairly quickly.  I don't lose a lot of sleep over these dreams but I don't like waking up feeling stressed and confused.  The practical solution will be to wear pj's for a while to stop the walking (although not the dreaming because I don't always walk), but it does hint to other issues.

In short, something is on my mind.  Something is bothering me.  I don't do this when I'm not stressed and over thinking something.

So what could it be... 
  • Infertility treatments are looming, I know I'm feeling a little unsure in my decision to take Humira.
  • Which reminds me, the sono/blood work I thought were booked for Saturday?  We went to the clinic to find out it is for NEXT Saturday.  And when I got home I remembered there was paperwork for me to sign/pick up that I forgot to ask for.  Sigh.
  • It's our last cycle and as much as I am good with that, it doesn't mean it's all butterflies and rainbows.
  • Performance review time is starting at work.  I know my manager will give me a good review but I tend to think critically of myself and don't like writing that out.
  • I am juggling too many clients at work but part of "too much" ends today and I will be back to one day a week at my employers office rather than one day every 2-3 weeks.
  • I really liked Disney and want the rides to continue?  As fun as it was, I don't think this is it.  I wake up either in line or at the end of the ride, I don't remember fun part of the ride and it's not the same as any of the rides at Disney, maybe the closest is the three seat tube like thing for Space Mountain.
  • I am not feeling down like I did a year ago, I know I'm procrastinating horribly at work and hiding from reality in games/books so things aren't perfect, but I know I am in a better mental state than I have been.
I did do some sewing this weekend.  Yay!  I tidied up my sewing table so I could have some elbow room.  I have Burda 118 A cut out.  I am disappointed in myself for not paying attention to the direction of stretch because having the stretch going around my body just makes sense, but I think it will be okay.  It is suppose to be on the bias, but someone has cut it on the straight of grain and it's been fine, so it shouldn't be a fitting issue (or if it is, that's me grading up incorrectly).  It isn't overly stretchy so I don't *think* it will impact the hemline drastically.  I have found some flaws in the fabric.  Just a little thread pulling on one side.  Colour wise, I can't tell front from back of the fabric but those pulled threads have decided which is which.  I cut around the worst one but there are two small spots I couldn't work around (but I also can't see it on the right side where I could if I knew where to look with the larger one).  The stay stitching is done, it's fraying around the curves so I have already zig zagged the seam allowances for the front piece, the gathering on the side is done.  The more I touch the fabric the softer it feels (although burn test has me thinking it's completely synthetic) - I love the fabric.  I think I've been sewing slowly because I'm afraid of f*cking it all up rather than trusting myself to read and follow directions. 

Sunday, November 11


So remember how I was going to cut the front so the little bit of stretch when around my hips? 

Guess what I forgot to check prior to cutting?

The front now has the stretch going up and down.  And no, there is not enough fabric to cut a new front nor new skirt.  I don't think there is enough left for a single sleeve.

Any suggesions on what to do?  The skirt should be on the bias from the original pattern, is that going to make it okay?

Friday, November 9

Inspiration & Pattern Adjustments

Are you driven by patterns, fabrics or others?  Do you find yourself starting with a pattern and finding the right fabric?  Or holding a fabric knowing the right pattern is out there?

I think I am often inspired by fabric.  I love thinking of the potential for a fabric - a full skirt, a light blouse, a cosy shirt.  As I was working on Burda 118A last night, I realized that fabric had not even come to mind.  Here I was, tracing the thing out, taping tissue paper sheets together and starting to cut them out and I had no idea what fashion fabric I was going to use.  None.  It had not crossed my mind to find one.  How weird is that?

One thing I have come to realize is that I have bought lots of:
  • Poly knits, probably purchased on a 3 for 1 sale
  • Rayon fabrics thinking to make Senchas, Sorbettos and Pendrells for summer
  • Stretch cottons bought this summer
  • Sheer fabrics
  • Silk noil
  • Crazy fabrics (generally purchased with lingerie in mind so they are a bit costumey)
You know what isn't on that list?  Wovens (with the exception of the silk noil).  Rather, non-sheer and non-stretch wovens.  The few wovens I have must have a little lycra or spandex because they all have a little give in one direction.  Strange but true.

A year ago when I was up for jury duty (odd how I remember that trip to Fabricland so clearly), I bought this fabric.

From a distance, it reads as  a solid, but it's a really nice mix of a plum colour and black in a very small herringbone.  It has a little stretch to it, just a little.  I'm going to learn from Allison C's issues of the bias skirt causing problems and cut it so the skirt is straight and the bodice is on the bias.  The bit of stretch around my hips will help if my estimates on sizing up are a little small.  Am I right on that or will disaster ensue? 

I've been doing some flat pattern measuring to figure out where I need to add and how much.  One thing I found interesting in doing the many measurements that Burda has was the front and back body lengths.  I'm 5' and a half inch, not as tall as the 5'6" they are designing for.  I was really surprised to see that the front measurement from my shoulder to waist was pretty close to what they were designing for.  The back measurement, however, was off by 1.5-2" if I remember right. 

Obviously with a FBA, you need more width to go around and deeper darts.  I'm 43-44" at my full bust (depending on the bra) and almost 39" at my high bust.  The less obvious aspect is adding length to go over those breasts.  It seems that in having a fuller bust, I'm ending up with the right body length.  But being short, my bust apex is higher than the sloper.  In the back, I don't have breasts filling up that volume so I need to remove some length. 

Burda Site for Source

I have paused in making my FBA because I need to let my brain simmer a little on how this translates from flat pattern that exists, changes I know I need to add/remove, and my 3D body.  Added to this, look at the line drawing, there are no bust darts.  The side gathers make it a little hard to figure out where the apex actually is (or how much it matters without darts).  I was folding the tissue paper last night to make it look more like the flat finished shirt, tissue paper does not drape like fabric.

I am slow with this stage of sewing.  I like to walk away and ponder, maybe pick up something else for 10 minutes and return to it.  It's a simmering process for me.  As it was approaching 10pm, I also figured it was good to stop rather than push on.  I wasn't ready to cut into the fabric yet and that was going to take time when I was ready.

I mentioned in comments a few updates on the fertility process.  I passed the skin test for TB.  I had my chest x-ray done and here's hoping that confirms the negative test.  If not, well, I'm okay with that too except for the fact I'd rather not have a latent case of TB.  I am clearly not "pro-Humira", I think I'm more trusting in my doctors opinion than really wanting to take it.  A positive test would remove that decision from my hands.  I have also booked all the tests the clinic wants for Saturday.  So once the x-ray results are back and I've handed over some money and consent forms, we're good to go.

My experience at the x-ray clinic was awesome.  No appointment needed, I walked in at 5:20 last night and I was at my car by 5:30.  AND the receptionist (in having to type my birthday in) commented on how I looked so much younger than my age.  Score!

Thursday, November 8

Adventures in Burda-land

I think this Burda project is going to require time, but expectations of small amounts of progress for the time spent.  It's a bit of a learning curve to sort out where to look for, well, everything.

Mr. Lina is sick, just a cold, sore throat, whatever.  I left him to video games last night and thought I'd tackle the dress I mentioned yesterday, 118A (B being the shirt version).  I pried back the staples and pulled the pattern pages out and started to unfold them.  I had a Jaws moment.

My goodness those paper sheets are huge.  I was already expecting a crazy eye chart of lines, but wow, that is really impressive.  I don't like marking patterns directly, but I don't see how you can find the right line to trace without making it stand out more.  So I got my highlighter out and was about to start when I realized I have no idea what size I am in Burda-land.

So I pulled out my measuring tape.  This was not fun at all.  I guess my belly was full of cabbage soup goodness, I am well aware I'm a little heavier than I was, but I had to check that waist measurement twice.  It turns out it was crazy bloating because this morning my waist was 2 inches smaller.  Crazy.  I'm still not sure what the "best" size is for me because I'm all over the map and heading more to their plus sizes (but I want the regular size dress!) so I'll be adding generous seam allowances and a FBA.

I had my pink highlighter in hand, patters are opened to Page A as directed.  I find piece 4.  It's small.  It's not suppose to be small.  I find piece 3, it is also small, and is suppose to be small but it doesn't look quite like the layout diagram.  Piece 1 and 2 are large so it's hard to see what the heck they DO look like until I've marked them in pink.  I don't see the very distinctive V shapes that will create the single side gathers.  The magazine refers to piece 1A and I don't see a 1A.  I was very confused.

There is a shirt version (118B) of this dress (118A).  Fehr Trade pointed out the difference in fabric between the "tweed" dress to the shirt.  The shirt has a metallic quality to it and seems stiffer.  So instead of a soft side gathers, it looks kind of wrinkled extra fabric at the waist.  I also think it's a little tighter across the bust than what is ideal. 

I find the fabric description of "techno gabardine" a bit amusing.  Is it best used for light switch raves?

Anyhoo... back to the enormo-pattern sheet that just fits on the dining room table when folded into 4 so I only see Page A.  I look up the shirt pattern in the book and it says that pieces are on Page B, not Page A.  So I do a little origami to get page B facing up and sure enough, I see the V's, I only have one small piece, I have a sleeve, I have darts.  But I'm not that trusting.  I figure maybe there is something else wrong or a reason the shirt/dress are different, someone else has probably figured that out.  Google to the rescue!

So I send a special thank you to Allison C who already made it up twice and confirmed the misprint.  Doesn't she look awesome in this pinstriped version?  I also learned that I'll need to be sure I pick a fabric that has a fairly dense weave because the front skirt ends up on the bias and it's causing her problems with the cranberry version.  

I have also decided that since I have to piece 1 and 1A to make the front of the dress (and it's really wide), my usual tactic of using parchment paper isn't going to work so well.  I like parchment paper, it's easy to see through and I don't have too many complaints about not folding or tearing, but it won't tape together well.  One of my clients is near Ikea, I have read other people using their kids paper for tracing.  Any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 6

Here we go again

I'd like to thank Nothy at Aft Agley for her Burda giveaway.  I was lucky to win her last giveaway but you can too!  She has another Burda up for grabs.  I have never used Burda before so I was excited to win as a way to see what all the fuss is about.  There are some cute dresses in this issue but while my eye likes some of the ones with front pleats, I'm not sure that's a good spot for pleats on me.  I think I'd like to tackle this dress first.
From Aft Agley
The neckline and wrap feels like something that would suit me well and fit in my work wardrobe perfectly.  Although her posture and arm is a little odd, I hope that isn't hiding a gaping neckline.

And now into the non-sewing update.

I am in the prep stages for our next (and final) frozen embryo transfer cycle.  I know this is going to be a really hard cycle.  I am ready for it to be the last, but that doesn't mean it will be easy.  I'm already noticing some differences between what is in my head (just get it over with) and my behaviour (waiting 4 days to book an appointment).

I have agreed to trying the drug Humira with this cycle.  It's pretty controversial, there is no real proof it is going to work but there is also nothing saying it won't.  The immunologist we saw last year wouldn't recommend it but my doctor does.  May I say it sucks to be at the cutting edge of medicine?  No one has a single answer to agree on and I'm left in the middle basing decisions on trust because research sure isn't giving me an empirical reason one way or another.

Humira suppresses your immune system.  It is generally prescribed for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Chrone's, colitis, etc.  I've taken other drugs to suppress my immune system but this one is another class of drugs all together.  My drug plan will cover it if my doctor fills out a form to say it's needed.  Even with 80% coverage, it's not cheap.  Injections happen two weeks apart and the start of Humira is the domino that sets everything else for this cycle in motion.

Humira does such a good job of suppression, I can't take it until I've been checked for tuberculosis.  So I'm off to my family doctor today for a TB test and booking a chest x-ray.  Part of me is annoyed that the clinic didn't mention this back in July, I could have had this done a little sooner but I don't have a time machine so I can't do much about that.  I guess I have dragged my feet about it because it highlights again the risks I'm taking to myself with this drug. 

I also have to get a sonohystogram done and both of us need STD screening done and given that my last period was September, a pregnancy test.  Sonos are not all that horrible, advil worthy, like being hit with the worst cramps out of the blue, but I know it ends and I know the pain is short.  They fill up my uterus and fallopian tubes with saline and check by ultrasound that there aren't any blockages, abnormalities, etc.  If you have blockages, from what I've read this can be really painful as the saline tries to push past.  STD screening is only good for 6 months so it feels like I am always getting this done.  I don't care so much, I have to be there for other blood work and ultrasounds, but Mr. Lina drags his heels.  He doesn't like needles, they draw a lot of blood for that test, and he has to go out of his way to do it.

And the pregnancy test.  My last period was just before my birthday in September.  Something is going on with my hormones, my breasts are crazy tender, it is enough that I did a home pregnancy test the other morning to put my mind at ease when accepting a glass of wine.  But no, either my HCG level was below 25 or something else is going on.  Maybe my period is going to arrive soon and my progesterone levels are rising.  The clinic tests are more sensitive, I am okay with them testing for me again to be sure before doing all this.

I am so done with all this poking and prodding.  It just feels annoying to me, not exciting that we're starting a new cycle.  Usually I don't mind some of this because it means something is happening, hope returns and all that.  Now I'm dragging my feet at the same time I'm impatient to get it over with.

I just want to be a mom.

Friday, November 2

Evil Queen

As mentioned, our trip to Orlando was great.  The screening went well, they took home a prize, it really justified going to that particular film festival.  During the rest of the week, we went to Island of Adventure, the evening Halloween at Universal (which is actually scary), Disney Hollywood Studios and ended with the Magic Kingdom and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween.  Mr. Lina was the photographer for the trip but we took the little point & shoot, not the good camera so not all of the pictures are of the best quality.

I did take a lot of me-made clothing, but looking through pictures, it's hard to tell.  The night I wore a Sorbetto to the Universal Halloween it was freaking cold so I have a coat covering it.  I took the bathing suit I made but again, too cold to wear it.

Last time I talked about my costume plans, I was annoyed by the options in stores.  Either they were too trampy for Disney or just a tube of crushed velvet (and not in the right colours at that) or I'd have to sift through a ton of stuff at Value Village and I didn't have time.  I did find more purple stretch crushed velvet, but when I got home I found they were not even close to being the same purple.  What I had was more blue purple and the one I bought was almost raspberry.  I opted to start from scratch with the new fabric.  I'll cut up the other fabric in to something else so it won't go to waste.  Our camera batteries died as we were dressing up at the car to return to the park, this is the only picture I have of me in the costume at the moment.

The first time I've had to ask if my eyebrows were even.
In starting again with lots of fabric to work from, I thought I'd do less draping and work with a pattern I knew.  Renfrew to the rescue!  Yes, I know that's not a dress, and yes, it has sleeves, but this was a slap dash costume and at least I knew it would fit my bust/shoulders/waist.  Here is what I did:
  1. I cut the front and back for the cowl version because it was already traced.
  2. I extended the pieces from the hip with just a very slight A line to the length of my body.
  3. I added in godets at the side to give a little more freedom of movement but the end result still fell straight down to my feet at the front.
  4. I turned and zig zagged the arm holes rather than adding sleeves (expecting it to be hot)
  5. I did stablize the shoulders as suggested in the pattern.
  6. I tried steam a seam at the back neckline but I found it hard to work with on the curved neckline and fabric that didn't like pressing so I gave up for the other seams. 
  7. On the plus side,  I think it will keep that from stretching out given that I didn't do the proper U neck and it made the back easy to identify when getting dressed.
In the end, it skims my curves nicely but kept everything covered up.  It was cold the night of the event, down to about 8C.  Fortunately my costume had a cape, but I wore a black tshirt under the dress for an extra layer which actually worked well as the Evil Queen has the black hood starting under her purple dress.

I didn't take a crown with me, I thought it would be the easiest part of the costume to purchase at the park.  I mean really, it's Disney, land of princesses and queens.  What I ended up with was a tiara with a picture of Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty on the centre.  I blacked that out with mascara so it looked a little less happy princess-y.  Given that I think it was made for kids and my head is not small, I was really impressed at how it stayed put on my head.  I took it off for Space Mountain, but past that I wore it.

With our new flight, we still got home just in time to hand out treats to about 40 kids.  Less than we usually get but not bad considering it was cold and raining and we got a bit of a late start.  I quickly pulled out the dress and my cape from my luggage while Mr. Lina set up ghost lights and tested out his new smoke machine and we had a great time.  I have taken to handing out envelopes of hot chocolate for Halloween and I must remember for next year that with marshmallows was the preference by the vast majority.

And my favourite picture from the trip...
Snuggles on the boat at Downtown Disney.

Thursday, November 1

Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work I go

Our trip to Orlando was great.  I'm not sure when I've walked so much but my ankle was healed enough to be up to the challenge.  I think it helped that there aren't a ton of stairs, just walking at my own pace.   Mr. Lina went a little picture crazy so I'll have a better post soon but I wanted to mention a few things from the trip.
  • Although we never experienced hurricane Sandy directly, she did impact our trip in very minor ways.
  • Like turbulence on the way there.  I was feeling pretty nauseated by the time we landed but there was a little girl in the seat in front of me giggling every time we dipped.  I couldn't wimp out if she was still giggling.
  • The weather was much cooler than I expected.  Forecasts when I was packing said it would be between 20-32C, I think the warmest day was 25C if you were in a sunny spot blocking the wind. 
  • I didn't need to pack my bathing suit.  Long sleeve shirts would have been a better use of luggage space. 
  • I could have put the long bell sleeves on my costume, it was 8C when we were trick or treating at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Going home, our original flight had a stop at Laguardia airport in New York.  You can imagine how that worked out. 
  • Somehow, we ended up with a way better flight.  Direct to Toronto, taking off at 2:15 so we could sleep in a little later and only got home a half hour later than our original flight, in time to hand out treats!
  • There was a pretty good audience for The Post Lifers screening and they were people who got it, laughed in the righ spot, asked a ton of questions during the Q&A after the screening. 
  • This is not a family movie (one of the zombies is a former porn star and while there is no sex in the movie, she sure does talk about it graphically) someone actually asked what the writers mom thought of it. 
  • For the record, she has seen it and she is proud but the writer doesn't like watching the movie with her in the room.
  • They won best short film.
The Freaky Award - 2012 Best Short Film

Wednesday, October 24

Just Put it Out There

When we were at OCFF, I was part of a conversation about putting your needs out there and somehow the universe will pick it up.  Call it prayer, call it fate, whatever, we were calling it the universe.

The specific example was about instruments.  All three are involved in a youth music program.  One of the musicians had a contact that offered guitars but things fell through.  But this actually raised the question if the youth even wanted to play guitars.  Maybe they really needed harmonicas or drums or mandolins.  Each had an example of a time where they either needed something, or when they could provide something for someone.  Maybe they just needed to put the word out there that there was need and the universe would deliver.

The universe just looked out for me.

I have a presentation to give tomorrow, more of a training session than presentation.  I am scheduled from 9-12 with a fire drill in the middle giving us a break so I have to be a little flexible on how long that break is.

I don't know this client, I haven't really worked on their categories even.  So for all of the examples, I had to create data, not just borrow stuff I had and learn about their brands so I don't stick my foot in my mouth.

I was trying to figure out the handout situation.  It is too big to print every page and why kill a tree for heading slides?  So I saved as and started trimming down to what I thought would make a good hand out of the best oh, 20 slides.  I could have just hidden them, but no, it's a new file, I'll delete.

You know what I didn't do?

Save the damn file before I saved as. 

So the version I have saved?  It was about 3 hours old. 

I realize this at 4:45.  I email Mr. Lina.  I am not sure if I'm going to cry or puke or what but it sure wasn't feeling good.

And then at 4:51, 1 minute after hitting send on that email to Mr. Lina, they email to cancel.

I should not be happy that someone is in the hospital, but I am.  I so am. 

I am going to go home and appreciate every second of time I am not spending on recreating that presentation.  I'll have to do that at some point, but not right now.

Tuesday, October 23

Oh boy!

We're off to Orlando on Friday.  The Post Lifers is airing at a film festival so we're going to take in that festival on Saturday and stay until Wednesday for some additional vacation.

You know what's in Orlando?


I've never been to Disney and honestly never had a real drive to go.  Last time I was in Florida I was 5.  I remember parts of the trip.
  1. My Winnie the Pooh colouring book I had on the plane.  It had stickers and I thought this was like some magical book that I could not only colour but place stickers - scratch and sniff stickers at that.
  2. The spiral stair case at my grandparents apartment.  I seem to remember having a hissy fit when my parents just wanted to pop up to Nana and Papa's unit quickly and I wanted to take the fun staircase not the boring one that was closer to their unit.
  3. Vague memories of the beach because my dad buried my brother in the sand and I thought it was funny.  But that might be a different beach and my mind is merging two trips.
Pretty Grievances has talked about going to Disney for a Halloween event and I thought that was super cool but never connected that it might still be going on.  We're going with the writer/director of the film (and his mom) and the three of us were planning the trip on Saturday and he brought up Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween.  Well now I'm stoked to go.

But what to dress up as?  We're leaving on Friday, I have a house concert on Thursday, we're seeing New Order tonight, that's not a lot of time to pack and make a costume.

Last night, we went to a few places to get some inspiration.  I have a cloak I made a few years ago that I would like to use, the black outside and red lining could make a good Evil Queen from Snow White if I could find a purple dress.
Well, all the costumes either seemed to be the wrong colour, too slutty for Disney or it was just a tube of stretchy fabric. 

Not quite the look I'm going for but you can buy it here.

I can sew a tube, maybe add a godet.  It's going to be hot, I am okay skipping the long bell sleeves.   I have purple crushed stretch velvet at home... 

Stash to the rescue!

The problem is, there wasn't as much purple fabric as I thought.  I know I cut a pair of panties out of it but I must have cut something else out as well.  I had enough to do the front of a dress and around a bit to the sides, but not the back.  The cloak will hide the fact the back isn't purple but I am trying to keep it looking interesting in case I do need to take the cloak off.

Either way, it made me clean off my cutting table, dig through the stash and sew.  It has been so long since I've actually done something, I think I lost sight of the fun and just saw the big pile of stuff blocking my way.  I really don't care all that much about this costume so it's crazy slapdash styling, but I had a great time, sewing past my "witching hour" which resulted in some time with my seam ripper.  I got so slapdash I even just cut part of the seam out rather than ripping it.  Sad but true.  I have to go to Fabricland at lunch for my mom (another hunting expedition but this time last season's Christmas fabric) which gives me the opportunity to look for a gold braid to make the belt and see if they have more purple fabric at a good price.  I'd cut that back off again if I could have it all purple.

There is still some work to do on it, a bit of fitting, figuring out what to do for straps/neckline, but it's about 80% there.  The house is in okay shape, I think I can do what needs doing for the house concert and still have time to finish up the dress on Wednesday.  Maybe.

Update:  I went to Fabricland and they had the same crushed velvet on sale for $5/m, so it's going to be an all purple dress.  Yay!

Friday, October 19


Last week was a 3 day week and it felt like a full week.  I think I slept through this week and it feels surprising that Friday is here.  Not that I mind the weekend starting, but I don't feel like I did 5 days worth of stuff.  Time is fascinating in that it is specific and constant but our perception is so varied that it becomes illusive.

  • My ankle is finally showing some real improvement.  It's still sore when I poke at it and I still have a bit of a limp but going down the stairs was more fluid this morning.  Up until now it felt like it healed about 70% and stopped.  Not so painful as to need Advil, but enough to be awkward.
  • I'm sure none of you are surprised to hear Mr. Lina likes horror movies, well it's October and become "Educating Sera" month.  In the Mouth of Madness was the pick on Monday night.  If you want to understand how HP Lovecraft continues to influence modern (okay, mid 90's) horror and suspense, watch that.
  • Don't watch it if you don't like being scared.  I actually asked if this was going to be too much for me about 20 minutes in.  But I stuck with it.
  • Those of you from the Greater Toronto Area, keep an eye out for landmarks.  It was filmed in Toronto, Markham, Unionville and Stratford/KW.
  • I spent most of the week in a fog from lack of sleep at OCFF.  5am bed times are not as easy to recover from as they used to be.
  • I'm off to help my mom at a craft show tomorrow morning.  Should be a good time, a public school in Caledon. 
  • Sunday we're going to see Cirque du Soleil, Amaluna.  I've seen one other Cirque show, I'm looking forward to it.
  • Just reading up on it and one costume has 65 yards of fabric. 
Amaluna - The White Dress Source

  • That's a whole lot of fabric.
  • You know maybe it's not, I'm sure I have far more than that in my stash.
  • Although I'm not trying to wear all of my stash in one go.
  • And then dance in it.
  • Yeah, that's still a lot of fabric.
Ever watched a television series on DVD/NetFlix and get into the "just one more" syndrome?  I know I have, watching Castle past my bed time, Once Upon a Time was another series I had a hard time putting down.  At almost 10 minutes, this is a little long, but I laughed so hard, it's worth it if you can spare the time.  I really could be that couple, particularly seasons 1 and 2 of BSG.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 14

Lingerie Shop Along - My Results

As a trigger happy participant of the Lingerie Shop Along, I bought 5 bras from  Overall, I'd say this was successful in buying bras but also figuring out I was one of the 80% of women not wearing the right size. 

I did take pictures of myself, but I have to say they suck.  It was apparently rather chilly in the room and some of the bras are a bit sheer for public consumption.  So let's split this up into the three groups.

The Good

Sophia by Freya
Lucy by Flirtelle

Let's start with what I'm keeping.  Lucy is the best fit out of all of my purchases, in part because I bought a larger cup size.  Sophia isn't a perfect fit but it's good enough it took some time to really feel the poking of the underwire on the right (larger) side.  I really should go up a cup size but I wore it long enough that it's mine for now.  It's not bad, it's just not great.

The sports bra is something I am comfortable sharing here.  Comments in the bra reviews suggested the fit was snug so I stayed with what had been my band size and I'm glad I did, this is freaking snug.  With my ankle being sprained, I haven't had a chance to take it for a test run (literally) but based on single leg hops and the feel, I could bungee jump and they wouldn't move.  I am pleased on a functional level, but I can't figure out how the hell you're suppose to do this bra up on your own.  See how there are two black bars across the top and bottom of the open circle?  Both are hooks and eyes.  They are too wide to hook both from the front and swish it around, the bottom I can do up on my own, but my arms do not reach that high and still have the angle to do up hooks and eyes.  Maybe I'll figure it out with practice, but Mr. Lina had to help me out.

And talk about compression.  There is a reason I can buy bras from these sites specializing in larger cups.  Does this look like a large cup to you?

The Bad

I have known for a bit that I need to cup up so to speak.  I've made bras in a larger size only for them to be too big.  In the past, my bras have been 38 D.  I'm 35" at the band so I wasn't adding quite 4" (or the 5" they would have suggested) but I thought I'd try some 36" bands because I liked how tight my last self made bra was.  I also knew to go up a cup size.  So the sports bra is a 38D, the other 3 are 36DD and the Lucy is 36E. 

Monet Plunge by Freya

The problem with Monet is the 3rd and 4th breast that I get.  There is a seam line that is pushing into my breast.  Although the Sophia bra is a little small but not too bad, this is clearly too small on first glance.  Sadly, they are sold out on the 36E.  But it is really pretty, if you wear a 32DD or 32F, you may be luck.

Which leads us to...

The Ugly

Oh dear, this bra was not made for me. 

Vivienne Tshirt bra by Bestform

First, I don't mean the bra is ugly.  It's quite lovely, the detail at the band and straps is really pretty.  The molded cup is not thick enough to hide the fact that it was cold but it would provide a nice seamless look under a snug shirt.  The problem is fit and shape and well, everything.  My breasts don't really do that nice cleavagy thing where you'd measure the high bust.  It's like I'm flat and suddenly there is breast tissue.  So when this bra won't change shape and wants to do whatever engineering pushes it up, this is what happens:


See how I end up with this shelf of breast within the bra?  It just goes flat and the bra sits higher than my armpit.  It's just hundreds of ways wrong.  Even Mr. Lina was raising an eyebrow and saying things like "that looks weird".  It's just not for me.

In all, 3 bras to keep, two to return and a lot learned as to what suits and what doesn't.  I'm pretty sure Freya would be a good fit in a 36E.  I'd try that brand again.  

Thursday, October 11

Just call me Hopalong

Mr. Lina and I are off to OCFF this weekend.  Yes, we joined the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals so we can go to their conference.  Starting tonight until Sunday morning, it's going to be a fantastic mix of music, workshops, and meeting people - both new to us and reconnecting with people we've hosted.  As such, I have tomorrow booked off of work and today is like a Friday to me.  Somehow as a 3 day week, this has been long enough.

My doctor says that I sprained my ankle.  3 of the ligaments specifically, although he did point out that I did not hurt my foot, the inside ankle nor the bones.  I wasn't all that worried about any of that myself because none of them hurt, but I suppose it's good to know.  So for now, you can call me Hopalong Cassidy.


Rest, ice, support and time (2-3 weeks) will heal my ankle.  I need to wear flat shoes (figured that out already) and use a tensor bandage/brace to give it support if I'm going to be walking much. 

Three weeks in flat shoes means I needed new shoes.  I have been wearing my crappy summer ballet flats this week but the only good thing about them is they are flat and red.  I have some running shoes that are good for supporting my foot but they aren't work appropriate and my winter boots are too warm.  I have realized I do not like flat shoes.  I mean visually, I never look at flats and say "oooh look at the pretty shoe".  Never.  It was really hard to keep my eyes off the pretty shoes and look only at the boring shoes.  And at that, I wanted flats with some kind of arch support and grippy sole.  I also didn't want to spend much time walking to get them.

It's like being told you can go and buy fabric and since you need this for a specific project and you need it today, price is not the dominant factor in your purchase.  And you see lovely velvets and laces, linen and silk, but you know that's not suited to the project.  You have to go to the back of the store for the polar fleece and broadcloth.  Not to knock broadcloth nor polar fleece, both have some perfectly practical uses, but would you call it pretty?  Would you wear it to a dinner party or a wedding?  Cinderella was not dressed up in polar fleece.

After going to a shoe store with too many pretty shoes and the only functional flat shoes were not my size, I thought of checking out Mark's Work Wearhouse (added benefit of being the next store over).  I have bought practical black heels from them and even their dressy shoes have a "Tarantula" anti slip sole that is pretty handy on winter shoes and should keep me sure-footed while my ankle heals.  I purchased these:
I cannot believe I'm wearing shoes that have velcro.  What is wrong with buckles?  But it was those, or these:
I know it goes higher and might support my ankle more, but I just couldn't do that shoe in a skirt.  If this is the shoe I'm wearing for the majority of the next three weeks, I need skirts.  At least the Mary Janes I can wear with either pants or a skirt and look a practical version of cute.  I tried them on with a tensor bandage on so I knew I could fit that if need more support.  Seriously I do not think I've gone 3 weeks wearing nothing but flat shoes since I finished university, this is a real adjustment for me.  

Wednesday, October 10

Dear Anonymous

I am thrilled that you love my blog.  I love having new readers and getting comments just tickles me pink.  It is wonderful to have suddenly gained such a frequent contributor to my blog.  I don't have many people who leave 4 or 6 comments to a single posting.  Those posts must resonate with you.

Sadly, my finger slipped and I deleted quite a few of your comments, but I'd like to address a few of that are still in my spam inbox.
  • I don't believe I need assistance to run solo ads correctly.  I'll have to give your course a pass.
  • I am afraid I will not be helpful in your quest for information on internet dating.  I met Mr. Lina the old fashioned way - drunk at a bar.
  • I am glad you are into talking about girls.  I suppose I do write from a female point of view and generally about women's clothing because I don't sew much for the men in my life.
  • Perhaps you need to visit more blogs as I certainly would not cover your interest in beat making software.
  • You must be a writer.  I understand you have a guide to seduction and must be working on volume two because you are also looking for seduction tips.  I will consider this as a possible future topic, but given that Mr. Lina reads this from time to time, I don't want to tip my hand. 
  • Thank you for the compliments on the information I shared.  I'm not quite sure what it is that you found so valuable but I suspect it did not relate to grammar.  I will try my best to "stay us informed like this".
  • You must have such varied interests.  So often your comments and web site do not seem related at all.
  • No, I do not share your interest in a 21 day sugar detox.
  • Your offer to cross promote and guest post confuses me.  I don't think we cover the same topics as your web site seems to be about heartburn.  I'm flattered, but I really don't know much about heartburn.
  • There is a comment that starts with "It's an amazing paragraph", I'm sorry, what is the amazing paragraph?  I understand it is designed for "all the internet peoples", and perhaps I am considered one of them, but I still don't know what paragraph you are talking about.
Well, Anonymous, I don't know what brought my blog to your attention lately, but thanks for providing so many varied comments. 


Tuesday, October 9


Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada.  It is not the big deal that it is in the US, at least, not in my house.  It is an opportunity to eat turkey, see some family/friends, have a day off and be a little thoughtful. 

We all have things to be thankful for.  Really.  Even if things look horrible, there is always something good.  If you have food, if you are warm, if your basic needs are easily met, in the grand scheme of things, you should be thankful.  But it's so easy to loose sight of that.  So easy to feel the "yeah, but" that goes with that.  Sometimes, we need to think of the big picture.

I don't know if fall is just a hard time for me, but I feel a bit of sadness.  I stepped out to run an errand at lunch and found my thoughts all negative and circling around to babies I don't have.  Maybe a list of what I should appreciate will help.
  • Mr. Lina.  Our marriage is far from perfect, but people seem to think it is from the outside looking in.  When friends comment on our relationship as one they look up to, I find myself at a loss of words besides thanks.  I found the right partner in life with Mr. Lina.  We have been through a lot of challenges together and I still want to have him by my side to face the next scary thing we encounter.
  • Finances.  We both have jobs that pay enough to have most of what we want in life.  We still make some choices, I can't have everything, but again, in the grand scheme of things, things that are important to us are feasible, food is plentiful, our house is warm and welcoming, I can buy fabric when I want to.  I know what it felt like to be paying student loans, making very little and not sure that I could share in the rent with Mr. Lina.  Or paying for university and trying to eek through April when all of my summer money had run out and I had enough for bus fair to my parents until my next pay arrived for 8 hours of work.  I may fuss occasionally about the cost of things, but that's part of how I grew up rather than really not being able to afford it.
  • Skills.  I have skills to do some pretty cool things.  I can make maps, I can talk about consumer behaviour, I can sew a bra, I can bake soft pretzels, I can make appetizers for a party of 30 without breaking much of a sweat (the house cleaning for the guests is the source of the sweat).  I am a very capable person.
  • Family.  I may not have children, but I do have both of my parents and in laws, I have 2 brothers, a brother in law and 2 sister in laws who care about me.  One set of grandparents were important to me as I grew up and had an impact on how I see the world now.  Mr. Lina still has one grandmother to spoil us with cinnamon buns.  So maybe I don't have kids, but I sure do have family.
  • Health.  Okay so my immune system is a bit ah, sensitive, reacting to things it shouldn't (like carrots and babies), and my ankle still hurts (bowling may not have been a wise choice).  But I don't have as many migraines as I used to, I didn't get bronchitis this fall (really ragweed wasn't too bad at all), I haven't had a really bad run of hives in a long time.  Sure there are quirks to my body, but they are my quirks and they aren't debilitating.
  • Strength.  I'm not feeling all that strong today, but it really is something I should appreciate.  I firmly believe that every single one of us is capable of doing more than we think we can, surviving more than we think we could.  Infertility has left a mark on who I am, but I'm still here, internal strength of just getting through it is part of that.
  • "The Blog."  We are all part of a really neat community.  It's lovely to be a part of it.  I've had a custom pants blocker courtesy of The Consultative Dressmaker, I've recently won an issue of Burda from Aft AgleyElleC had a giveaway a bit ago with a "pile of orange" (kind of faltered on the pattern that was part of that, my lapped zipper is not going in well).  I find myself talking about blogs I read like friends.  You know, my friend who is an expert in bras and tipped me off to online pretty bras.  Or how about those friends who are raising children they adopted, I've had more than a few conversations with Mr. Lina that were sparked by her experiences.  Quite often posts that resonate roll around in my head for a few days and they leave an impact on my life.
So tomorrow will bring a new day.  I'll get my ankle checked out with my family doctor.  I'm home from bowling and my bras have arrived.  I think I have a pretty good batting average but we'll discuss when I'm more organized.