Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Change of Mood

Daddy Steve:  I've never seen the mood at Gregoropolis change so abruptly.  Take a look...

Blake: Ooooh, what have we here?
Holly Belle: Some new shoes from Marti Murphy just arrived in the mail!
Emile: So stylish.  Eet ees what all of ze fashionable garçons parisiens are wearing.
Daisy: These will go perfectly with my new spring dress.
Holly Belle: I just adore pink!

 It was at that point Daddy Steve had to break the unfortunate news.


Sorry, sweeties, but I bought these shoes for the upcoming Sasha Festival.  They're for the gift exchange and helper raffle.  I promise that I'll bring you back some more lovely shoes from Marti.  And other surprises, too!

Blake: Well, okay, I guess
Holly Belle: If I live that long...
Emile: I will just 'ave to go barefoot, like ze street urchin.
Daisy: Waiting is agony.

Friday, April 20, 2018

More Mayhem

Daddy Steve: We haven't talked much about Mikko and Tyler's antics lately; you might've thought the two rascals were finally behaving themselves.  Alas, you would be wrong.  They're still up to their usual mischief, sorry, adventures.  Some of their recent exploits have included...

Spelunking in the clothes dryer.

Mikko: We're searching for the Lost City of Mismatched Socks!

Creating havoc in the kitchen under the pretext of 'helping.'

Tyler: What would happen if turned it on 'high' and raised the beater"
Mikko: Let's find out!
Smiley the Pig: I don't know, boys, that doesn't sound like a good idea...

This little activity had us puzzled.  Turns out they were trying to see if the loaf of bread would work as an emergency slide "like the ones airplanes have."

Tyler: Evacuate the aircraft!
Mikko: Wheeeeeeeee!
Ezra: Right behind you!
Anthony: Hey!  That's for our supper tonight!

Lately Ezra has frequently become a collaborator in these schemes--a third musketeer of mayhem.  However, when caught by Anthony, he's very quick to distance himself.

Anthony: What am I going to do with you guys?
Ezra: Yeah, what's wrong you two?
Tyler: Hey! What do you mean "you 'two'?"

It seemed everyone in Gregoropolis had an opinion on their antics...

Bowie: They're like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Holly Belle: Of course, real pros wouldn't get caught.
Charles: Wouldn't they rather do something fun like create an Excel spreadsheet?
Patrick: Tsk! They're so illogical.

They are basically good boys; and almost always repentant, though never reformed.

Mikko: Worth it.
Tyler: Totally worth it.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Some Thoughts On Sewing

Daddy Steve: A little over a year ago, I purchased a sewing machine with the thought of making clothes for the (then only) boys.  You may have wondered where that idea eventually went.  Truth is, it didn't go terribly far.  No, not far at all...maybe around the block or perhaps just to the corner and back...

I took a sewing class through Community Education that was somewhat helpful, although most of the class time was spent getting everyone's machine threaded.  Turns out that sewing machines are a lot like people: they're all basically the same, but not exactly the same.  I did a little practicing/experimenting on my own, but didn't create much other than frustration.  Sewing doll clothes is frequently described as 'fiddly work', and now I understand why.  It's all of those sharp little curves--sort of like trying to maneuver a tank around a miniature golf course.  I think part of the problem has to do with my temperament.  I tend to get frustrated when I don't feel proficient at what I'm doing.  Unfortunately, proficiency in sewing doesn't come overnight.  After some abortive attempts, the machine just sat there and collected dust for a bit.

A few weeks ago, I dusted it off.  We were doing our Easter post and needed sheets and pillowcases for the bunk beds.  It turned out to be a project I could handle!  I do a fair job at long, straight hems and square corners.  It was nice to be able to make something and actually be reasonably satisfied with the end result.

Anthony: Very nice.  Perhaps he's finally discovered where his talents lie.
Gavin: Otherwise, he could always take up a musical instrument.

As a newbie, here are a few random things that I've learned about sewing (often the hard way):

1.  Fabric has a 'right' and 'wrong' side.  When you sew, you need to be mindful of which side should be facing up.  The first project we made in class was what the instructor described as a 'little thing to put under a plant or candle.'  As you can see, I got one of the pink pieces facing the wrong way.  Whoops...

Kaveh: I think it looks nice.  It's not even noticeable.

Thanks, Kaveh.  You're a sweet boy.

2.  Ever seen one of these?  You need to use it.  A lot.

John Martin: It's called an iron.  When you plug it in, it gets very hot and flattens fabric.
Luke: Well, fancy that!  All this time I thought it was for propping open doors.

3.  You'll need to use one of these a lot, too (especially when you're learning).

Benjamin Roy: Stupefy!
Blake: Dude.  That wand only reverses spells.

4.  While you're sewing, it's a good idea to periodically check to make sure that you really are sewing..i.e. the needle hasn't become unthreaded or the bobbin hasn't run out.  Sewing without thread is basically just poking holes in fabric.

Giancarlo: Aren't they supposed to stick together?
Robin: Well, that's the way it looks in the book.  Wait, do we have thread?

That's all I have to report for now.  At this point, I'm not sure where (if anywhere) my little sewing adventures will ultimately go.  One thing I can say is that this experience has given me tremendous respect and appreciation for all of those folks who create beautiful clothes for Gregor and Sasha!

Friday, April 6, 2018

BR Builds A Bed

Daddy John:  Gregoropolis has gotten a bit crowded of late, so we've needed some new sleeping accommodations.

I came across Benjamin Roy lounging in a quiet and solitary corner (very rare around here!).  When I expressed my plan, he happily volunteered to take over.

BR: I've been watching a lot of This Old House; I've got this, Daddy John!

BR: First, we review the plans and inventory our parts and tools.

BR: Uh-oh, the little man in the directions has a friend to help him.  Guess I will need a helper, too.

BR's best buddy Pete Dakota was soon enlisted and he appeared, hammer in hand.

The boys set to work.  BR hammered in the pegs and Pete screwed in the bolts.

Pete: Have you got that end all right?  Careful now, watch your fingers!

In no time at all, the frame was all put together and soon the boys were putting on the mattress, sheets, and blanket.

BR: Think I will test it out with a nap.  Would you turn off the lights on your way out, Daddy John?