Made with Moxie: January 2013

January 31, 2013

My Sweet Swap Pouch is HERE!

It's a terribly blustery day here. Blustery, like the neighbor's tree blew over. Blustery, like I don't really want to go outside again.

But then I saw that the mail had been delivered. And you know how much I *love* mail. Little man and I ran down the drive and back since I was too lazy to put on shoes or a coat. It was only up on the porch that I realized I had gotten a package. A package! From Cork, Ireland! International mail! It's contents could have been poop and I would still have been excited.

But it wasn't poop! It was my Sweet Pouch Swap! Hot damn! Chocolate and homemade goodies = heaven. Just look!

My swap partner is, Siubhan, from Craft Lee. You pronounce it "shove-on". (I had to stalk her back to find that out.) Siubahn sent the sweetest note with my new pouch and chocolates *and* some awesome skull fabric too!

It's silly to because she apologized for the zipper and the size of the pouch and I love them both. It is the essence of handmade. It has character and I love, love, love it. If everyone loved perfect bags and pouches we'd do a sweatshop swap. I'm in love, Siubhan. Thank you so much!

I also owe a hige thank you to Siubhan and everyone else who voted for my blog in the Circle of Moms: Top 25 Creative Blogs. I made it!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to dancing and skipping about the house. Mail! From Cork! Woot!

(Made my day, in case you didn't notice.)

January 30, 2013


Some days aren't about making.
Lord knows, I tried to today.

UnMaking | Moxie Motherhood

Jimmy unraveled the Yoda hat I am working on.
Jane colored my Anatomy flash cards with a highlighter.

UnMaking | Moxie Motherhood

Together, we assembled a Cozy Coupe.
It only involved four time outs.

UnMaking | Moxie Motherhood

Jimmy put the claw side of my hammer into the hardwood floor.
I made macaroni and cheese. With ham.

UnMaking | Moxie Motherhood

My patience is worn.
I'm having a beer.

UnMaking | Moxie Motherhood

Physics class starts in two hours.
Tomorrow is another day.

January 29, 2013

A year of Sewing Selfishly

I've been on a sewing and making binge for the past four weeks ever since I finished the finals for my Statistics and Technical Writing classes. I planned a Star Wars/mustache baby shower for my sister in law and brother who are expecting their son in March, finished my super star quilt for Rachael and Kelley's Newton Auction, and then hit the New Year running.

My sewing resolution is that this year is going to be my year of Sewing Selfishly. I'm not sewing a damn thing for anyone who isn't myself, my family, or someone I have already spoken with regarding an order. I'm not doing swaps or bees. Nothing. Going back to school while raising two small kids takes up so much time and effort. Making is my love, my outlet, and when I only have a few spare minutes in my day it makes me sad to sew the things I 'have to' instead of what I want to. I have so many things I wanted to make last year for myself and family that never got touched. This is *my* year.

Made by Rae's Washi dress & tunic was top on my list. I love tunics and wearing crisp quilting cottons. And now that I don't have ginormous boobs I can need to make some cute, adorable tops for myself.

The Washi pattern is very clear and straight forward. Rae gives you more instructions, details and photographs than any commercial pattern even thinks about. I don't see why any beginner sticher couldn't tackle this. (Erin of Just Plain Lovely, I'm talking to you!)

I did add a few inches to the tunic length because I have a longer torso and like to discourage my son from dropping pennies in my butt crack while I am on the floor cutting out patterns. (True story.) Originally, I put the pockets in, but then after the fact I just stitched them closed and zipped them off with my serger since they added a bit too much poof over jeans. I also found the arm hole to sit a bit high so I altered that after the fact and changed my pattern print outs for future Washis. And there will be many more washis. I love it. (I may have it on again today.)
Rachael's Perfect Padfolio pattern was also hot on my Selfish Sewing To Do List. This pattern is also clear and well written. The Perfect Padfolio comes together easily and quickly, if you don't have two "helpers". It is an awesome organizer. I am using it for school to keep all of my shit together. Or to try and keep my shit together. You know how that is.

The pencil case I made using these instructions, except that I put a lining in too. I won't do that again while using laminate though. I have switched to using titanium needles since I snap regular needles all the time. I'm in love and *highly* recommend them. However, four layers of quilting cotton, four layers of fusible interfacing, four layers of laminate and a zipper are their breaking point. Never mind that I had been sewing with that needle since November. I have high expectations, what can I say?

I confess to already breaking my Selfish Sewing resolution and signed up to to Ros's Sew Delicous Sweet Pouch Swap. But it was not just an international pouch swap, and you know how I love Air Mail, but one with chocolate?!? Who could say no? Seriously, I stared at the sign up form multiple times before I just cut the crap and signed up already.

I made my partner's pouch with all black, grey and white fabrics. I don't know if I have ever sewn anything with no color before. It was kind of cool to step out of that box.

I mailed my pouch out to New Zealand today. I apologize to my partner for the false advertising of this picture; I ate the Butterfinger in a moment of chocolate induced weakness. So sue me.

January 21, 2013

Starting the New Year

Hi! Remember me? I've been writing blog posts to you all month long, but the tele-typer in my brain doesn't seem to be functioning very well. Maybe my wireless is on the fritz? I have some goals and plans for 2013 to share. Oh, hey, and a tutorial I promised you months ago about how to make your favorite tshirt into a hoodie. Oy!

I've been sewing quite a bit since I am in between semesters as school and loving it. The kids and I also ate something bad last week and spent a few days making lots and lots of laundry. I'm supposed to be 'taking it easy' as per my husband's orders. I don't 'take it easy' very well. It would take major effort to sit still for ten minutes and you know I'd spend those ten minutes thinking about everything I could and need to be doing.

In the spirit of 'taking it easy', I'm excited to post that the lovely Kara at Me and Elna picked me for her Liebster Award. If you don't know what it is, that's okay. No one does. It's the blog equivalent of a chain letter that changes over and over again.

Kara did ask my to answer some fun questions as part of the Award so I thought I would share them with you here. Lucky you! Before I do thought, if you could please take the time to go to vote for my blog here, I have been nominated as one of the Top 25 Creative Mom blogs for 2013. Thank you in advance!

What's your favorite fabric line?
I don't know if I can pick one line. I fall in love with too may fabrics everyday! My latest love is Salt Water by Tula Pink.

Where do you do most of your crafty making?
I am super lucky and have a have a studio set up in the office room of our house!

Tell us about your day job.
I currently am a stay at home mom to my two kiddos and am going back to school to start a new career as a congenital cardiac sonographer.

If you had a week to spend with nobody but yourself and an unlimited amount of funds, what would you do?
I would do to Fiji and read on the beach and get massages.

When did you start your crafty empire?
I started as a Maker full time when I quit my job after my daughter was born. It was only then that I had the time to focus on making and selling. And raising our children.

What's your favorite quote or philosophy?
Dare to be Different.
Never let your fears stand in the way of your dreams.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. (Emerson)

What makes you happy?
I make me happy. I am in control of my life. I am in a daily partnership with my best friend. We have made awesome sauce little kids. Also, fabric, beer, fabric, and getting mail.

What's the biggest crapper of a mistake that you've made while being crafty?
Making something for someone who didn't appreciate it. It was a waste of my time and effort and I worked so hard on it and it is gone.

Tell us your guilty pleasure!
I suppose it would have to be reading. Because I'm not making anything or doing anything productive. I'm taking the time to be selfish and relax and disappearing.

Toilet paper- over or under?
Always over. Under is wrong. Just wrong.

Describe yourself in one word and one word only.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some sunbutter and jelly sandwiches to make. Hope you all are enjoying the new year!


January 8, 2013

Ask Me Anything: My New Boobs (NSFW-ish)

Before my surgery my bra size was a 36 I. Or at least that is what I wore. They don't make cup sizes much larger than that with a 36 inch rib cage. Well, they do, but nothing short of a titanium would offer much support. I love a bra that makes my boobs look like the Merrimac vs the Monitor. They were not pretty boobs. I mean, they were boobs. And men like boobs. But at some point when they say your nipple should line up with the center of your upper arm and my nipple lines up with the center of my forearm, enough is enough. That isn't sexy.
(This picture is before kids.)

After two pregnancies and breast feeding for two years, I felt like a war zone. I have lost 50 pounds since my son was born. (Fine. He was 10 pounds and 5 ounces of it.) The weight loss and stopping breast feeding did little to reduce my size. So I had them cut off.

I told you to Ask Me Anything. This is what you asked.

Why December 24th? Was it a Christmas present?
Nope. My surgeon is Jewish and I figured it gave me the most amount of time to get ready for Christmas, then the perfect week to spend laying around in my jammies letting the kids make a mess.

Did your insurance cover it?
Yes. My surgeon submitted that he would remove 500 grams (1.1 pounds) removed from each breast. Initially insurance denied the claim, but we appealed and they okay-ed it.

How much did they remove?
It is tough to determine just how much tissue will be removed exactly before surgery. I told my surgeon I wanted proportionate boobs that were awesome and perfect. (Hey, he's the top boob surgeon in Washington, DC. I expect perfection.) In the end, 1250 grams were removed from my left breast and 1275 from my right. Yeah. 2,525 grams. 5.6 pounds. With boob to spare!

So was it worth it? The pain, cost,recovery?? The scar?
Yes. Absolutely. No question. Recovery from a c-section was must worse than this. And I didn't have a newborn to wake me up every two hours. I stopped taking the narcotics they prescribed to me after 48 hours. All I needed was Tylenol. The worst pain was under my arms where he did liposuction to remove 'migrated tissue'. That felt like horrible bruising. Like someone stuck a straw under your skin and raked stuff out.
This is today. Two weeks post-op.

The scaring should be very minor. Heck, there are already barely noticeable parts of the incision at only 14 days post op. I would highly recommend finding the best surgeon for what you want done. I went to my surgeon because he was highly spoke of by other medical professionals. He is the top breast surgeon in the Washington DC area. They call him the boob man. I can sew well, but this man can sew amazingly well. Breast reconstruction is sculpting. Don't settle for anything but the best.

I would do it all again in a heart beat. I'm a 36C. I haven't been a C since high school. I *love* my new boobs

I am thinking about a tummy tuck since my stomach has looked like Freddy Kreuger face for almost 20 years. I would def trade my fat/flap for a scar.
I'm thinking of one too! I have horribly in-elastic skin. When I reach my goal weight, if my stomach skin is still a flap, and who am I kidding, *when* my skin is still a flap, I will pay to have a tuck. As I understand it, it is a more difficult one to recover from because they sew muscle too. But after two c-sections, I think I can handle it. Insurance will not cover that, but I am willing to pay for it because I will not lose all this weight to spend the rest of my life tucking a flap of skin into my jeans.

Should I wait until after I have finished having babies?
Most surgeons will tell you yes. I waited until I was finished. I have a friend who had her breasts reduced, then had a baby and her boobs look fine. (This is from what I can see with clothes on.) You will likely have difficulty breast feeding after surgery. With all the hormone swings and weight fluctuation that come with pregnancy, I would just wait. I considered it my reward for having and feeding my babies.

Do you still feel feminine with smaller breasts?
Hell yes. More so. Before I felt like a young women with fat old grandmother boobs. I feel like me now. At first I was worried they were too small. The same way you panic when you go to the hairdresser fed up and tell them to cut it all off. Then you realize how awesome it all is. I went shopping and bought the cutest, teeny tiny bras. With no wires. I don't need a bra. I can wear halter tops. And tube tops. And strapless dresses (without titanium structural supports.) I can shop for a bathing suit and not have to look at the old lady ones. I get to dress my age.

I have a friend with very large breasts, too large for her frame and height, that are already causing strain on her back. She would love a reduction but her husband does not support her desire because he likes them 'big'. What would be your advice to her in that situation?
I'd tell *him* to have the boobs. No really. If my husband was not supportive, I'd go out and buy 5 pounds of flour. No, I'd make 5 pounds of jello. Then I'd fill two balloons with it. I'd send him shopping to find a bra that they fit in and looked cute and didn't hurt. Then I'd send him shopping for a shirt that fit right. Then I'd make him wear that awful bra and shirt and five pounds of unattractive jiggle crap on his chest and ask him how he liked it.

I'd tell him this: Women who love their boobs are more likely to show them off. They're more likely to want to take their shirts off and let you play with them. They're more likely to wear tube tops, and little bathing suits and let you go shopping for them at Victoria Secrets. So let her get boobs she loves.

If you think of any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Either comment here or shoot my an email at thatmoxiegirl [at] gmail [dot] com.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have three new patterns for cute tops and dresses I am anxious to get working on!