Seasonal Acceleration Update

workin-workin-workin

It’s that time of year when you wake up and realize that even though it feels like August was yesterday, you are now in the middle of November and Christmas is probably tomorrow. Don’t blink.

I love this time of year but it goes so fast for me. Firstly because it’s busy season for me with work and secondly because there is so much to celebrate that I love! Pumpkin pie, cozy fires, slippers, crisp early morning dog walks, apple picking, caramel toast… need I go on? I am in the thick of it and loving it all.

home-in-the-desert

My parents are back from harvest in Idaho. Have I mentioned that they go to Idaho that every year? My dad drives trucks for the beet and potato fields and earns some extra wages to help get them through the year. It’s a fun time for them because we have a lot of family in Idaho so they make money and get to spend quality time with family. It’s really really nice for them. I can’t say I’m not jealous but them’s the breaks when you turn your back on the religious beliefs of your relatives. (That is such a loaded sentence. You know I have not done this lightly but I can’t really get into that here.) Anyway, they are back and so I took Spreckles back to them.

I was expecting a grand reunion but dogs are dogs and Spreckles acted like it was just another Tuesday.

bro-2019

My brother is in town for a while. It’s really great to have him around. It struck me, as we were all in the car driving to lunch, with me sitting behind my mom and my brother sitting behind my dad that this is just like we were little again. There we were, the original family unit. I almost wanted to start complaining that my brother was crossing the line and breathing in my space. But he wasn’t. He was being big and lovable and I wanted to give him a hug.

fall-in-the-desert

Speaking of hugs, right after I left the desert, my mom got really sick (stomach issues) and she had to go to the hospital. I should have lead with that information but I think she is going to be okay so I don’t want to make too big of a deal of it. She’s been in the hospital for a few days while they do every test in the book to see what is wrong with her. She has really good health insurance and good caring doctors so I am pretty confident they will figure out what is wrong and fix her. But of course I am worried. I think today we will find out what is wrong. Prayers are appreciated. And hugs and flowers if you are in her neighborhood. I will try to keep you posted.

Edited to add: Mom is better! She is coming home Sunday (11/10/19). Yay!

 

ferndale-plans

In other news, Bug has asked for a trip to Eureka to visit her dad’s side of the family for her birthday. What a fun and interesting thing to plan instead of the usual over-the-top birthday party! (I wish I could say it will cost less but I think it will be about the same if not more.) So far I’ve booked our flights and hotel room. So exciting!

 

Wild Space Kitties!

Space-Kitties-titleshot-alphamom

Calling all Wild Space Kitties! Here’s a costume that is purrrrrfect for you.

(This was supposed to appear as a DIY costume craft on alphamom.com but it turns out that Space Kitty is a beer company and not appropriate for a parenting site but guess what? I can totally post it here! Beer, schemer. Let’s make Wild Space Kitties a thing!)

First off a warning: This costume is ridiculously easy and ridiculously difficult at the same time. If you’ve never sewed with faux fur then this would be a great project to start with because guess what? You CAN do it! It was my first time sewing fur and I did it! Go me! But it’s also ridiculously messy, so check your OCD at the door.

Space-Kitty-supplies-alphamom

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 yards or more of faux fur
  • thread (color doesn’t matter because it does not show up in this wild mess of fur)
  • a sewing machine
  • fabric scissors
  • a wire coat hanger
  • a large dowel or broom handle to wrap your coat hanger wire around (This was Payam’s brilliant idea.)
  • ribbon or long skinny piece of t-shirt fabric (leftover fabric from this craft works great)

Space-Kitty-cutting-alphamom

Lay out your fabric fur-side down. You can create a pattern from a paper bag or some paper or you can free-hand it. Your pieces need to roughly look like the drawing below: 2 head pieces, two paws (one piece each) and two tail pieces.

Print

Faux fur is such a mess when you cut it. The loose fur floats all over the place. Just accept that it’s going to make a mess and make the best of it. Think of it as magical dust floating all around you making everything pretty and fuzzy. Sew somewhere that is easy to vacuum later and keep some packing tape on hand. You can even tape down where you are going to cut first and control some of the mess that way. (If you have any OCD tendencies I would definitely recommend using tape to control the fuzz.)

Okay, now that we have that out of the way let’s just get in there and make a mess. It’s worth it.

Space-Kitty-pieces-for-sewing-alphamom

Cut your pieces. Then lay them out how you are going to sew them.

Fold the paw pieces in half. Lay the front of the cat head (fur facing in) on top of the back of the cat head (fur to fur). Lay your tail pieces together, fur to fur. Pin. (Or don’t. I lived on the wild side and didn’t pin. My fur slightly crept askew as I sewed but I found it didn’t really matter that much. I just trimmed the uneven parts at the end and it didn’t show anyway. Fur is very forgiving.)

Now get ready to sew! Set machine to a zig zag stitch and get in there!

Space-Kitty-sewing-1-alphamom

Sew the outer edges of the cat head together like you were creating a cat-head pillow while leaving the inside head-hole un-finished. Fur doesn’t need a finishing seam. Win!

Sew your tail together, leaving the butt-end open. This is where you will insert your wire later.

Sew around one side of your paws, leaving the bottom open to insert hands into.

After you are done sewing, cut your threads and trim off any excess fur that might be sticking out. This will make it easier to turn inside-out later. Snip your rounded corners with a small snip, being careful not to snip over your stitches of course.

Then turn everything inside out.

Space-Kitty-inside-out-alphamom

Remove any lose fur. Shake it out. Do a little dance. Fur everywhere!

Next is a really important step that was thought up by Payam and I failed to photograph it because he did it in the garage for me while I was sewing. Take your coat hanger hanger and un-bend it. (Pliers will help.) Then carefully wrap it around a thick dowel or broom handle to create a long spring-like coil. This is the magical wire that will make your space kitty tail pliable and yet stiff and not pokey and sharp like normal wire would be. Thank you Payam!

Space-Kitty-tail-attachment-alphamom

After you’ve turned your tail inside out, insert this coil into your tail. Then close up the end and sew your ribbon or t-shirt string over the closed ending. This tie will make it so you can tie your tail around your waist like so. Wear a big hoodie over top (Because hoodies are a very important Space Kitty wardrobe piece. I will make this a thing, I swear.) and you’ll never know it was just tied on and not actually attached.

Then put on your hat and fur mittens, draw on a kitty nose and whiskers with white eye-liner pencil and you are now a space kitty!  Light-up blinky space boots optional.

Space-Kitty-glamour-shot-alphamom

Happy Trick-or-Treating!