Thursday, August 25

Sewing up a Storm

And the sewing continues! This is the completed Boppy cover that I started the other day. It was a little tricky, because on the inside of the curve there's a strip of fabric I had to figure out how to sew in... because of the nature of the curve and the thickness of the pillow, you can't just sew front to back and be done with it. But, it worked and it fits!

Instead of bothering with a zipper, buttons, velcro, snaps or anything else, I took the lazy - but trendy - way out and used ribbon ties instead. :-)

I'm very happy with it, and will use the same process and pattern to make another cover once I get through the other things on my list.

Last night I started on the changing pad cover, which was on the 'must-finish-before-baby-comes' list, as I haven't purchased one. This is what my sewing table looks like these days. It works best to keep all my fabric and remnants out where I can see them and mix and match. Also, my laptop stays handy, as I've been using patterns from Prudent Baby.

This is the first project for which I've used my cowboy print fabric.

After stitching the corners, ironing in and stitching a pocket for the elastic and threading the elastic through this morning, this is the final product.

Of course, more canvas dropcloth fabric is used for the neutral part of the cover.

This is what the bottom looks like, with the elastic.

So now I've taken it downstairs, and next I'll do the curtains for the little window in the baby room. It's also occurred to me that my mom might want curtains in the sewing room, which is also our guest room, so I'll have to sew some of them up, too, while I'm at it. :-) She will drive to Wyoming next Monday, then spend some time in Lander with my sister Melissa if the baby hasn't arrived yet, coming back to Casper either when the baby starts to make its entrance into the world, or by Thursday evening, whichever comes first. My brother will also be out in Wyoming soon, as he and friend Aaron are coming out for a four-wheeler trip over Labor Day weekend.

Also for projects in the baby room, I have the cowhide, drawer pulls and nailhead trim all gathered together for the cowhide door fronts on the armoire... it just needs to come to the top of the list. Once I get started I don't think it'll take long - maybe this weekend! I know, I know, my time is quickly counting down, and I don't expect to get all the projects done before the baby comes, but I'll keep working down the list until Delivery Day! Besides, I'll need something to do when I'm just sitting around at home being lazy after the baby arrives, right? :-)

Wednesday, August 24

Baby Update: One More Week

Well, we've officially hit the 'one week left' mark, as next Wednesday, the 31st, is my doctor-assigned due date for Baby Martinez. After my appointment last Monday, it looks like I'll for sure make it to that date, and perhaps even beyond.

So, in the meantime, I decided to share some photos of my other babies. :-) That's April's Pipsqueak filly in the photo above. She is an ornery little critter, and will be a handful. I've already started halter breaking both of them, and she certainly does not approve of being told what to do.

This is the laid-back baby, Cindy Lou. She really doesn't care about the halter, and leads pretty well, except for when I try to take her too far away from her mom. She's getting big!

So this week, as I'm waiting for baby to arrive, I've been busy at the Roundup office getting this week's paper together, still editing senior photos here and there and doing my best to keep chipping away at Fall Cattlemen's interviews, which I transcribe to get the quotes and accurate info before writing the articles.

At home I've been cleaning and sewing... At the top of the cleaning list was the refrigerator and freezer, and it was high time they were cleaned. As I'm expecting my mom and other visitors at the house in the weeks ahead, I figured I better clean my most embarrassing dirt collections. :-) So that's done, and the quarter-inch of dust of gone off the top of the fridge. Next on the cleaning list for tomorrow morning is the patio - Foxy really has a thing for tipping over my flower containers and spreading garden soil everywhere. It's an eyesore that I haven't gotten around to addressing quite yet.

And in the evenings I've been working on sewing projects. Yesterday I finished up the cover for my Boppy nursing pillow, and next will be a cover for the changing pad. I'd eventually like to have several of each of the covers I'm making, but for now I'm just trying to get one of each made.

On another note, Scott's also started a special diet in preparation for his surgery in three weeks, so I've also been helping pack him lunches and have been measuring out and cooking his dinners in the evening, which consist of eight ounces of meat, vegetables and lettuce salad. Never a dull moment around here!

Tuesday, August 23

Sewing for Baby With a Cat

Over the weekend Link and I were able to work a little bit on a few sewing projects.

The first project we worked on - and finished - was the slipcover for the rocking chair. It's good to have that one done!

Link was very helpful, offering his advice at every turn.

We decided to cover most of the cushion on the plain canvas dropcloth fabric, but we did use one other kind of fabric on one side.

So this is the one side of the cushion with a piece of fabric I picked up at the church thrift store in Iowa Falls when Melissa and I went to Iowa about a month ago.

And here's the finished chair! I had considered doing a blue star applique on the seat back, but decided I'll leave that detail for later, and for now focus on getting some of the other sewing projects done.

There are 2x4s under the chair because Scott still has yet to finish his part of the rocker project - blocking up the legs a little bit so it's a little taller and easier to get out of.

The next project we worked on was a cover for the Boppy pillow that my mom found for me. We decided to use the red stars because that fabric hasn't been used anywhere else yet.

And Link approved of my choice.

He's such a helper, and doesn't get in the way at all!

Sunday, August 21

Of Biscuits and Gravy

This morning is a beautiful summer morning, and as always I'm enjoying the sunshine streaming in through all the east windows in our house.

I've got the biscuits baked and pork sausage from Iowa ready to make into gravy, once Scott wakes up and comes upstairs. I would still be downstairs sleeping, but he's ruined me for sleeping in since we got married, and I was awake and ready to start on my to-do list by 5:30...

So I've got laundry going, the sprinkler on the yard, dishes done and have done a few tasks around the baby room. The birds are singing and it's 58 degrees! Today I'll try to make it out to check on my fillies, since I didn't get out there last weekend.

The top to-do priority for the day is finishing my slipcover, which has turned out fabulously so far - way better than I had hoped for my first attempt! I took this photo as I was headed out the door and it was still dark the other morning, so I apologize for the quality. My plan is to finish a dust ruffle for the bottom, sew up a quick cover for the cushion, and perhaps applique a star on the seat back to match a contrasting dust ruffle... One of the things I was pondering as I lay in bed at 5 this morning was where I could find a pattern for the star without having to print something offline, since I don't have a printer here at the house....

Saturday, August 20

The Good Life

We officially made it through State Fair week! From Wednesday through yesterday was pretty full, with our Cattlemen's Conference and Ag Hall of Fame Picnic on Wednesday, Kendra's senior pictures, attending the Wyoming Beef Council meeting and writing five articles on Thursday, then putting the paper out and going back down to State Fair Friday afternoon for the Wyoming Dept. of Ag Director's Reception and the rodeo on Friday evening.

But I made it through all that, and the baby did not come during the busy week, and that's all I was asking for! Paula, Kendra and I had fun taking senior photos on Thursday, and I am very pleased with how they turned out.

In fact, I don't think they could have turned out better! The lighting was fabulous, the locations were pretty and Kendra made my job very easy.

I'm still working on sorting and editing the 500-and-some images that I took. There are about 50 that I chose that I really like, which is usually about the percentage that I end up liking when I go out to take photos. Paula and Kendra are also very happy with them, which is all that matters. :-)

Also, I sold my first prints to the stock contractor this week, and I plan to start putting money away from photography income to start purchasing camera equipment. Scott also got a raise this week at work, so things are looking pretty good around here.

Now all we need is a painless delivery and a healthy baby! Many people were surprised to see me roaming State Fair, but almost just as many people have predicted that the baby will come late. I guess I still don't look like I'm over 38 weeks pregnant and they don't believe my due date, even though I'm absolutely positive it's accurate as far as the 40-week timetable goes.

In sad news, though, my summer intern Tressa has left for school in Texas, and Saige and I are now on our own with the editorial again. It was a delight to work with Tressa over the summer, and we wish her nothing but the best as she continues her ag communicaitons education in the south!

Wednesday, August 17

Fair, Photography... Busy!

And I was doing so good in posting consistently! This week is state fair week in Wyoming, which means we at the paper are busy making sure we've got all our bases covered, and today is our big day, with the Cattlemen's Conference this afternoon, which we sponsor with a feeder from Wheatland, and our Wyoming Ag Hall of Fame Picnic this evening, which we sponsor with Farm Credit Services and Encana Oil and Gas.

The above picture was taken at opening weekend of State Fair, at the Wyoming State Fair Ranch Rodeo Finals. That's Tami Larsen on her Redneck stud - the one that would have been April's colt's grandfather, had she taken the time I bred her to Bob's stud colt.

During the ranch rodeo I spent some time taking photos, until my camera battery died. My camera battery's kind of like some cell phone batteries... It'll last forever on full bars, and when it starts getting down even one bar, there really isn't all that much power left.

I came up with some ok ranch bronc photos - nothing brilliant, but I've still stumbled into an opportunity to sell prints to the stock contractor to whom they belong.

Today I won't have a whole lot of time to take photos at fair, as I'll be busy with the Wyoming Livestock Board meeting this morning, and I will take some at the picnic tonight. After the picnic a bunch of us from the Roundup are going to the Darryl Worley/Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers concert in the grandstand, which should be a good show, and it should be a gorgeous summer evening.

Then tomorrow morning I'm headed to Esterbrook, which is just beneath Laramie Peak in the Laramie Mountains south of Douglas, where State Fair is held, to take senior pictures for a coworker's daughter.

So, with all this coming up today and tomorrow, I need to get going to gather all my things together, but I wanted to put up a quick post to touch base. :-)

Also, last night I finished the hardest part of my slipcover project for my upholstered rocker, and it turned out way better than I thought it might! Now I just have to finish the dust ruffle on the bottom, and make a case for the seat cushion. Then I can move on down to the other simpler sewing projects on my list for the baby room.

Friday, August 12

Baby Update: 37 weeks

Well, here we are, three weeks from the designated D-day! I thought this would be an appropriate time to get around to posting these baby room photos that I took even before our trip to Iowa in July... I apologize for the low photos quality... I just took them quick so that I'd have something to show people in Iowa, to give an idea of how the room was shaping up.

The above photo was taken from the door to Scott's and my room. There are two finished rooms in the basement, plus a full bath, and they will be the sleeping quarters for all three of us.

This photo is from the corner with the window, and the door to Scott's and my room is on the left, and the door to the bathroom is on the right. Behind the open door is a closet.

Here's my crib project, with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I'm really happy with how the color turned out, as pink as it looks in the can, and the light and dark wax turned out well, except it still remains a little tacky... not really sticky, but not really smooth. I'm curious to see how it wears over time.

I lined the drawer beneath the mattress with kitchen liner - not the sticky kind. I was glad to find something I could just cut to size and lay in there, without having the permanance of contact paper.

This little toddler chair came from my mom, along with an even tinier chair to match. The tiny chair I now use for a little cowboy teddy bear on the bookshelf.

There's the tiny chair, when it was in the corner, next to the saddle from Uncle Bob.

I'm really happy with the dresser stain project. Last night I finally purchased the drawer pulls for it and for the armoire - I've been waiting three weeks for them to go 50 percent at Hobby Lobby. Have you looked at Hobby Lobby's drawer pulls lately? They have a great selection of all types.

This is the box my little Western hankies came in. The box itself is pretty adorable. :-)

And here are just a few of the hankies... I haven't done anything with them yet. Still debating all my options...

The dresser and armoire also got lining for their drawers - this time a blue pattern.

I've been collecting enamelware for the room, to use for storage, decoration, etc. Little did I know these enamelware canisters I bought in Pendleton last September would fit in so well!! Or what I'd end up using them for. :-) The lovely C} wood piece is a gift from Emily in Missouri - she made it and stained it for me, and I love it.

This is my old camp coffee pot... It was a cheapy from Walmart, and the little 'glass' knob on top of the lid melted one morning as the coffee was simmering, so I removed the lid, kept the pretty red pot, and will use it for something, if only decoration.

My mom has done a great job collecting things for the baby room - these books are just another small part of the things she's found for Baby Martinez. They're all Western cowboy books, so they fit perfectly with the theme.

This is the view from the baby room window...

So that's what the baby room looked like in mid-July. Since returning from the Iowa trip I've worked on putting away baby gifts from the Iowa baby shower and have washed and put away most of the clothes in the dresser and armoire. More pictures to come, as soon as I get the room to a more put-back-together state. Right now I'm working on a slipcover for the rocker, and after that will come curtains. Those pink sheers just have to go soon. I'm tired of looking at them in pictures!

Thursday, August 11

Then and Now: the Pets

Continuing with the 'then and now' theme, I thought I'd do a post about the aminals that have been around over the last five years... You'll have to forgive the randomness of the photos, they're just the first ones of the appropriate animals that I came across on my external drive.

Then: The photo above features the one animal, besides my mare April, who came to Wyoming with me and is still with me... That would be Link, who continues to be a character with quite the personality. He was about three or four months old when we moved to our apartment in Wyoming, and he has been a great companion ever since.

Now: This is a recent photo of Link, showing a little bit of his personality... Apparently it's too much effort to stand and drink at the water bowl..

Then: Lexus joined Link and me in the summer of 2007.

Now: Lexus stayed with us through November 2010. She was a sweet, lovable little kittie, but had to move on because of unresolvable behavior issues. It was a sad decision to let her go, but I enjoyed having her for the few years that I did.

Then: April is the bay horse leading the line, and she came with me in 2006. At that time I kept her in a pasture west of town with several other horses, before moving her in to Galles's so I didn't have to drive so far to get her.

Now: April lives west of Casper again, in a friend's pasture, and recently had a filly. She's 18 now, and starting to show her age, but is still in good health.

Then: Jazz came out from Iowa in the summer of 2008, I think. I can't remember exactly what year I got her, but it was the summer my dad got fed up with putting up with her harrassing the cows and calves. :-)

Now: It's been good to have two horses around, as over the last couple summers I rode enough that both got consistent use and I alternated what jobs and trips I used them for. Jazz came with me on last summer's pack trip to Gannet Peak from Dubois.

Then: In February 2010 Lucy joined the family as a four-week-old pup. Needless to say, Link was not impressed with my decision to get a dog.

Now: Lucy's a year-and-a-half old, and has grown up to be quite the cow dog. She loves to work, and would do it all day, every day if we gave her the opportunity. She's also a nut, who always sticks her nose everywhere where it's not wanted, and her curly tail is her trademark.

Then: Foxy joined the clan in June 2010 at about eight weeks old. She came from a friend of ours who has a ranch near Thermopolis, and the first day we had her in Casper she was very grouchy and growly and didn't like anybody.

Now: She's actually turned into the sweetest little dog, and her trademark is her slouch and her eyebrows. She's a lot more calm than Lucy, and she loves to be loved. It took her a little longer to come into her own working cows, but now she's a tough little girl who will bail in and bite them wherever she can get a hold. We thought she was a non-shedder. Turns out, she just holds onto all her fur and lets it all go in the span of about one week in July. There was a lot of vacuuming needed!

Now: New this spring was the addition of two fillies - Cindy Lou Who and Pipsqueak, who is the lazy one in the photo above.

Cindy Lou was born the end of March, and Pippy came two months later, I think. She was a month later than I had expected, and was the tiniest little foal. She's growing well now, and will be a very cute, feminine horse. Although she's the one with the stubborn, feisty streak. Cindy Lou is much more laid back and easy to get along with.

And the next 'now' that will be the latest addition to the family in a few weeks is Baby Martinez!!