Saturday, 27 September 2014

Two Awesome Zorros and More

Sebastian's Zorro

 Sebastian's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that he painted with watercolors.
 Elena's Cardinal that she embroidered (her idea).
 Sebastian's Walrus.
 This was from Isabel's first week of school.  Love it.
 And I adore this picture.  Elena's Zorro.
On the back it says, "Dear Dad, I love you.  My friends talk about Minecraft, but I prefer Zorro!  xoxoxoxooxxx Love Elena"

I prefer Zorro too.  My kids are awesome.  Yep.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sebas and Jubal

Sebastian is so sweet with Jubal. He hates to hear him crying.  (Mostly, I think, he hates any loud, annoying noise, but whatever.)  He'll come tell me he's crying and he acts very concerned, whatever his motives.  The other day, I was getting ready to go and I was running late, of course.  Jubal was screaming and I was changing Lando's diaper when I heard him stop, and I figured he had just gotten tired out. But when I came back through the house, Sebastian was sitting on the couch holding Jubal, just like this, so he wouldn't cry.  It was so sweet.  I didn't even ask him too.  It made my day.  :)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

My Little Black Dress--iDye Poly

 This spring there was a prom/wedding dress store going out of business, and I found this dress in size 12 that I liked for $37.  It was originally $180 or something like that.  Anyway, I liked it because it's modest and it doesn't look teenagey or mother-of-the-bride-ish.  That's a hard combination to find.  So I thought it would be perfect to wear to one of Leo's company's Christmas parties.  Only problem was, is that I would NEVER wear that color.  Never.  Ugh.  It would make me look all washed out and yellow.  Then I thought, well, I could dye it!!!  I assumed it was silk because of the price (I have a silk dress from Dillard's that doesn't fit anymore that wasn't nearly that expensive), but it's entirely polyester.  And the seams on the skirt aren't even sewn that well.  Errr.... sometimes knowing how to sew, it makes me irritated at the junk they pass off as super nice.  Anyway, that's a different story.  But for $37 I was completely willing to risk dying it and that it won't fit me, (I think it will eventually, but I was pregnant when I bought it, and can't fit it now. And it will take an act of God for me to fit it by this December. Not that it isn't possible but I would have to develop 800 times more will power than I have now to resist food. Plus, it's holiday time and I'm totally planning on going all out making cookies and chocolates because we have company coming. Yeah! But not yeah for my waistline.  My friends here keep telling me how I lose baby weight so fast, but it's not true, last time I just had two surgeries in a month and didn't feel like eating for a month and a half.  THAT really helps you lose weight.  Anyway, this was another tangent.  Back to the dress.)  So if it had been silk, it would have been a breeze to dye, but polyester, I found out, is a whole different kettle of fish.

First, you have to use iDye Poly. Available at JoAnns.  Two packages at $2.40 each, as I used 40% off coupons.

Then you have to a have a big pot.  This is the real reason I bought this tamale maker.  I did dye some linen in it, but mostly I dyed the linen in the washing machine.  It was the largest pot at the cheapest price I could find.  $20 at Walmart, of course.  Random tidbit, Leo has been in and toured the factory where these are made. Imusa is a Colombian company and they were down the street from where Leo's parents had their manufacturing company.  So they knew each other.  Anyway, now I have a dye pot if anyone wants to dye something.  
Then you wet down your fabric completely.

Mix the dye in the pot.  It stinks.  A blog I read said it was "unbearable" and they shouldn't allow this for home use and yadda yadda.  It stinks, but it wasn't nearly as bad as that blogger complained.  And yes, the smell does linger for a couple days.  Whatever.
Oh, I also read on a blog that it will stain your cabinets and you'll never be able to get the stains off.  I risked it, and they were right.
But you don't notice it from a distance.  So oh well.  I was thinking of doing it outside, but I didn't think I could get a rolling boil on our little camp stove with this great big huge pot.

I used an old, heavy duty wooden spoon that's chipping off wood and thus no longer good for cooking to mix with.
Then you stick in your fabric, and boil it for 30-60 minutes.  This is where my problem occurred.  I did this in the afternoon during my two year old's nap and normally my 1 month old would be napping too. But like today, where I'm precariously balancing Jubal (the baby) on my knees while I type this, Jubal decided not to take his usual nap.  What the heck kid?!??!?!  Every other day you sleep in the afternoon, but not the one day I need you too????  And of course he wakes up and is fussy immediately after I put the dress in, and there's no going back.  Ruff.  So instead of stirring the whole time like I should have done, I nursed Jubal.  I had few options because I wouldn't hold a baby close to this, he might get burnt or splashed on, and I was wearing rubber gloves while working with it too.  And I think I burnt my fabric.  More on this in a second.
Anyway, then you take the fabric out, rinse it out in the sink till the water runs clear.
Throw it in the washer and wash it.  After which I wash the washer by running an empty cycle with bleach in it.
I did buy a special dye detergent.  Another $14 for that.  I used it with my other linen fabric too.  I washed the dress with it before dying--it's supposed to remove chemicals that might make the dye go on unevenly, and then after to help set the dye so it doesn't bleed.
And ta-da! My new little black dress (unironed).   I ended up spending $75 on it with all the other things I bought too.  Of course I used the detergent with other projects and I can use the pot with other projects as well, so maybe I could discount those a bit.  I don't know.  Was it worth it?  Maybe.  It's still not $180, like the original dress cost, but for $75 I might have been able to find something I liked even more that I wouldn't have had to bother dying.
Plus, remember how I think I burnt the fabric a bit?

These slightly coppery patches are what I mean. You can't really see them unless you look closely, and I think under dim lighting they won't be visible at all, so the dress isn't a total loss.  But I'm kind of mad because I think if I had stirred the whole time, this wouldn't have happened.  Errr...  Well, hopefully I end up using the dress, and it will be good.  Hopefully.....

P.S. I decided this was an utter fail.  I looked online and I could have bought this dress and had alterations made for ¾ length sleeves and a below the knee skirt for about the same price as I paid.  And I love it! Way more than my now mostly black dress.  Of course the dress is bright green (which I love) but would that work for a company party? Sigh.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

In Other News Besides Emotions Run Amok...

So besides my emotional breakdowns happening last week, here's some other news.
 1. Jubal is adorable.  And he slept for 6 hours straight last night!!!!
 2. I get such varied comments on who he looks like.  I don't know, don't ask me.  He just looks like Jubal, otherwise known as Jubalinski.

 3. I love Lando's eyes.  I think they are so pretty.  And he makes the funniest facial expressions.  Someday I'll have to try to get pictures.  He's talking more and more, but mostly I have to translate for him to others.  Although the other day I told him to go get Ana for prayer, and he went to her room and she understood, "Ana, prayer" amidst other babble and he grabbed her hand to lead her out.

 4. I love this picture!  Don't know why, but I do.
 5. Leo had the kids raking leaves while I dyed my hair.

 6.  Here, with our evergreen oak trees, you never get a large dump of leaves, just enough fall to make your yard look messy without the benefits of only having to rake twice or so with massive piles to jump into.  This is over the course of six months.  September through February.  I detest it at so many levels.  You just shouldn't have to rake leaves in December.  You really shouldn't.

 7.  Awww, Leo got a good shot of Isabel.  Today she told me she had a great day at school.  When I asked why, she said it was because her color wasn't changed.  (They start the day on green, and if they get a warning for bad behavior they have to switch it to yellow, and then to red if the behavior continues, which requires a note to parents.)  So then I asked, "Well, is your color normally changed to yellow every day?"  And she blithely responded, "Yeah, most days." Such a different animal than Elena who came home sobbing if she ever got a yellow--which almost never happened.

 8.  I'm still getting used to my hair.  But I have to say, I love it!  I just wish it was more white and that I had managed to get all the yellow out.  Next time.....
 9.  Acrobatics before bed.

 10.  Oh, Isabel.
 11.  Sebastian was a bit more timid.

 12.  But he eventually got the hang of it.

 13. This is the cake I made for FHE treat.  It took a week of prep.  Isabel chose it, I think because it looked so pretty.  It had candied cranberries that I made myself (they soaked for 4-5 days), and then the cake after assembly was supposed to sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours to let the flavors seep together.  It was a genoise (I looked it up, it's a cake developed in Genoa, Italy that uses whole eggs to make it raise, as opposed to a sponge cake that uses just the egg whites, or a regular cake that uses baking powder or soda) and the cake itself wasn't that great, I thought.  But all together it was divine. It has a chocolate whipped cream center with candied cranberries and a whipped cream frosting.  Yum.  I love the cranberries, by the way, the tart flavor is so much better than say if this was made with awfully sweet cherries.  Anyway, the whole family loved it.  Here's the recipe link if you want.

 14.  And these are the ugly Mediterranean geckos that I loathe so much.  Three live on our front porch currently.  And these are almost fully grown, as they are starting to turn brown instead of the pink translucent color they are from birth. Yuck.  Ana just caught another one in the kids' shower this time.
15. And yes, Lando sleeps with a sword.  He is definitely one tough character. ;)