Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And now for the seemingly impossible task of sewing a straight line.

I seem to recall mentioning that I would learn how to sew this winter. And when I made that statement I'm sure I felt the full force of craft determination backing it up, but when I sit down at the sewing machine, I practically enter panic mode. I'm not sure if this is because I'm using my grandma's machine, circa 1950, given to my grandmother by my grandfather, and I'm terrified that my lack of know-how will cause this heirloom to either explode or chunk apart like the Nome King in Return to Oz (you know, when he accidentally eats one of Belina's {the CHICKEN!} eggs...poison, poison.). Or maybe it's because every time I'm faced with loading the bobbin into the bobbin housing (?) beneath the bobbin trapdoor (?), the procedure becomes a minor tragicomedic event. Tonight I was faced with the ostensibly simple task of hemming the ends of two pieces of ribbon. That's four little hems, no more than two inches worth of sewing each.

Kkrrchhxt! That's probably the noise the sewing machine's soul
makes when I do this sort of thing. Oh well, it's only for Monika, after all.

A bit better. Still, I'm certain this hem would make a seamstress weep.
You're welcome, sisters.

I feel especially inept in this department because both the sisters and Mother dear can get on their sewing machines and whip shit out. I, on the other hand, have big ideas (like learning to sew), but invariably shove two pieces of fabric into Mom's hand on Christmas Eve and beg her to sew them into a square. In my recollection, this has happened at least twice. Yes, that's two separate Christmases. And the most ridiculous part of my inability to machine sew a straight line (this is not an exaggeration, ask anyone), is that I have mad embroidery skills. I get the job done. For real. So, the pillows I'm asking Mom to sew into a pillow shape usually have about 23 hours worth of embroidered blue-ring octopus on them. Does that sound braggy? Well, I think I'm entitled to a little bragging after the demoralizing ordeal that is hemming. 

And now for another little project: the fireplace. The fireplace is permanently out of commission. That doesn't seem to stop little ants from crawling around the grate once in a while, and it certainly didn't stop Kim, who lived in the apartment before me (she left exactly 13 things behind when she moved out: 2 negatives of her boyfriend {I'm assuming} without his shirt, 4 old bobbypins, 2 Hello Kitty items {cd case and?}, an Apple car decal, 3 burned cds {like 311 or something}, and a little glass box full of her teeth {duh, we kept that. Catherine has it in her room at Mom's house. Yeah, we collect teeth. What did you expect?}), from burning Q-tips in there. Back to my original point. The fireplace itself could use a little something. It's so drear. It would make Cinderella cry (wow. A lot of people are crying in this post.)...I mean, more than she probably did. (What's Cinderella's real name? Monika asked me that question at Mom's party. Does anyone other than Monika know? I feel like it's something I should know.) So, I got out my trusty Sharpies and some tape and some cereal boxes and went to work. (I'm much better with tape and paper and Sharpies than with bobbins and thread.) And I made some little logs to fill up my fireplace.

Admittedly, they're a bit ramshackle. But they're not meant to be viewed
up close. And it only took like 20 minutes, so what do you expect?

I intended to make some tissue paper flames, but I know Matilda would be inside the grate after them like every second of every day (She loves tissue paper.), which would be OK if it weren't so sooty in there.

That stocking looks positively deflated.

So, now the fireplace and mantel are all tarted-up for the holidays. I even swapped out the card in my picture frame, which is something I do seasonally. Not that you expressed any desire whatsoever to know that. It's just another random Christine fact you can file away in your vault. Then, if we ever meet one day, you'll know a bunch of odd, personal stuff about me and I'll be totally creeped out. Sounds glorious, huh?

Ahh, shadows. Boo.

And there's the ribbon garland, as promised.

And that's it for tonight. I have to examine my sad little hems more closely before I, defeated, tuck the sewing machine back into its cabinet. One day, sewing machine, one day I will be your master. Mistress, I mean mistress. No, I don't actually, mistress sounds weird.

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