Mother Comes for a Visit: National Aquarium

Good Man and I went to the National Aquarium for a wedding almost four years ago, but didn’t take any photos. This time I was able to get some pictures, and they had an amazing jellyfish exhibit, too.

We got to see people cleaning the aquarium from the inside, which was cool, but the place was crawling with little kids, which was…less than pleasant. (Of course, it is spring break, so it’s not a shock.)

Being around so many kids today reminded me of why I like to teach them but don’t want to parent them.

Our hotel offered free breakfast. This morning, Good Man and I were seated next to two boys. Their parents were getting breakfast when the younger one (preschool/kindergarten age) flipped off the older one. Two-handed, even. The older one (about second/third grade) gasped and said, “I’m telling Mom.”

Younger Brother twisted his face at the older one and shook his head. As soon as his mother appeared, he pointed at Older Brother and said, “He stuck up his middle finger!”

The mother started scolding the older brother while he protested. It was obvious she didn’t believe him and I piped up. “Excuse me, Ma’am? Ma’am?” When I had her attention I pointed to the younger one. “He gave him the double bird. I don’t mean to tattle on your kids, but I’m a teacher. I have eyes all over my head and saw it all.”

She thanked me and spun around. “You did what?”

The older one crossed his arms and leaned back in his seat, satisfied. The woman a few seats down from me leaned forward, caught me eye, and said, “Busted!”

At the aquarium, a young teenager stormed away from her mother and smacked right into Good Man. “Watch where you’re going,” the mother said in a bored voice.

“I don’t care where I’m going! I hate you! I hate everyone!”

Good Man just looked at me and shrugged.

Mother Comes for a Visit: Annapolis and Baltimore

We went to Annapolis and visited the Paca House and Garden as well as some other places. It was windy, but otherwise pretty nice out!

In the Garden

Mother and Good Man

From the Summer House

In Baltimore, we stayed near the National Aquarium.

Old Ship, Old Building, New Store

It was really cold on Thursday, but we wanted to hike. We ended up doing two small loops in Gunpowder Falls State Park. First, we hiked to a covered bridge (“one of five in Maryland” according to the ranger), and then we did a loop that ran along a stream.

Covered Bridge

Gunpowder Falls State Park

Power Lines

Spring Growth

Fabric Stash: Ridiculous

So. In our old place, all of my fabric and yarn was in large Rubbermaid (and Rubbermaid knock-off) tubs.

But we decided to turn the living room into a sewing room, so now I have room for fabric, thanks to Ivar. (The yarn, however, can wait.)

So over the course of several days, I slowly dragged the fabric upstairs. I put it on the shelves in whatever order it came out of the bin.

This was the first time I saw my fabric out in one place at one time and…wow.

Shelf One

Shelf Two

These shelves are large. They are 33″ wide and 20″ deep. The books on the lower two shelves in the first picture? They are double stacked. The patterns are in the boxes on the top (now in plastic hanging file folders).

In the second picture, the top shelf is already starting to buckle (maximum weight 99 lbs). The cabinet is filled with remnants and smaller pieces of fabric, as well as pressing hams, my iron, and the like.

There is a wire cabinet to the left that is stuffed with smaller remnants used for quilting.

When I finally unpacked everything , I looked over all of this fabric.

I have so much nice fabric. I have beautiful wools. I have amazing silks. I have a lot of “travel fabric” that I bought in Korea, or that Good Man picked up in Japan. I have gifted fabric. And silks! Did I mention the silks?

I am so afraid to cut into the “good” fabric because my sewing isn’t good enough.

But if I never sew with the silks, I’ll never learn to sew the silks! And all of the money will have been wasted.

One of the last things I unpacked was this little bit of fabric. It’s sixteen inches of fabric I bought from Joann’s remnants bin for $2.88 minus my employee discount when I worked there. It is gold or purple depending on how the light hits it.

Sixteen Inches

And then I saw the date.

4/30/02

I have been carrying this around for eleven years. That has been three moves in Atlanta, a broken engagement, a whole expat experience in South Korea, a lasting engagement, a wedding, and a new house ago.

I have been carrying sixteen inches of fabric around through all of that? For what??

So I decided a few things.

First, my next six garments will be sewn from stash fabric. I can buy lining, interfacing, and notions if needed, but it’s preferable to pull from the stash if possible.

Second, I *will* cut into that silk before the end of year!

Mile-a-Minute Baby Blanket

Another coworker is pregnant, so I made her a baby blanket. This one was much simpler than the chenille one that I made.

I cut alternating fabric into strips and sewed it up ABAB, etc. Then I cut the fabric into vertical strips and turned every other strip upside down. I sewed those together and bound the blanket using bias tape.

Good Man chose the fabric. “Cats and dogs! Together! It is perfect!” I originally had red backing fabric, to match the bow in the cat’s collar, but it went pink when I prewashed it, so I used blue instead. I used one layer of cotton batting and then sewed just a few vertical lines in the quilt to keep the batting from shifting.

Mile-a-Minute Blanket

Front and Back

The blanket is a little long, but my coworker really liked it. One nice thing about making blankets is that they can be a whole lot of different sizes!