Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hours Passed with My Grands: A Photo Journal

My grandparents live in the West Chicago suburbs and will drive to Iowa City to visit every few months. They came out this week and I spent time with them yesterday and today. Here's how it went.

Mom announced a "corn boil" which is exactly what it sounds like...she boiled a ton of sweet corn and we sat around and ate corn. I felt like a native Iowan for a few minutes as I scarf down my aslty, buttery, crunchy sweet corn.

Grampa suspenders.

My 83-year-old grampa, who has been a housepainter his whole life, insisted on painting my mom's living room on the day they arrived. And he painted all of it except the few spots my mom touched up. I took a photo of her standing on the step ladder, streeeeeetching....

Today, Gramma and Grampa came over to Doug's and my place (unfortunately, Doug is in Des Moines for a spell) and sat around for a bit and messed with the critters. I also crawled into the tomato jungle as they stood outside the fence and directed me to bright red tomatoes. As I got handfuls, I would hand them over the fence to mom and gramma. We collected 40 tomatoes total. I've been snacking on them all day.

To make the grands happy, we went to IHOP for lunch. We sat in a booth and talked and joked and i listened to my grands bicker and joke intermittently. Every time the waitress asked if we needed anything else, my grampa would reply "A stack of twentys this high" gesturing a stack on the table with his hand. Each time the waitress didn't get it. "Uh, what? Twenty pancakes?"

We went to Hobby Lobby, which is on the way back from IHOP, and Gramma and Grampa sat on a bench near the main entrance and insisted that we go shop for a few minutes. Mom and I ran around looking for elastic and felt for my sewing endeavors.
My goodies are at the bottom.

This Kept Me Up All Night

My grandparents are in town for a few days and gramma gifted me this awesome retro dress. I was shocked that it fit , and fell in love with it as soon as it was zipped. The photos are all a different shade because of the variation of "mood" lighting schemes in the house, but it is a lovely peach with tiny black polka dots. And, no, it is not the same color as my skin.

The only problem was the collar. It was very high and gathered and made it look like I had one gigantic boob. So I was inspired to do a little project. That little project kept me up until almost 4 in the morning, sewing the details by hand.

At approximately 1:53 am, I got the idea and started to snip away at the collar. It was pretty easy to cut it straight using the polka-dot pattern as a grid.

Approximately 2.53am, after pinning the fabric down to a pointed collar, I stitched both the outer polka-dot layer and the inner solid layer with a black topstitch. I stitched up the original piping to hide the seam from what used to be the inside of the collar.

I added a shiny, black button to the tip of the v-neck, to hide the stitching there. With the split sleeves, it's quite charming.

By a quarter to 4, I had a fantastic new dress for my collection!

Since it's so difficult to take photos of one's self in dresses, I may have to recruit a helper for the next project. Any volunteers if I promise not to work at 3 in the morning?