Monday, November 16, 2009


Our cat Sasha died sometime Saturday night. She was nineteen and a half years old.

I took this picture Saturday afternoon when I knew this was it. Poor thing is just skin and bones; she always had a hard time keeping weight on, and maybe weighed 3-4 pounds when she died.

Quite honestly, we've been thinking she's going to die for the past 5 years or so, but each time things looked bad, she'd pull through. This time, I knew it was for real when I noticed on Friday that she wasn't eating. She also started following me around the house (very unusual, especially since David was always her favorite). I could also see she had lost even more weight, and felt cold to the touch. So, Saturday night I built a fire in the fireplace, put a blanket down in front of it, and sat there with her, reading a book. Before I went to bed I brought her over to the kitchen counter, put her on a towel, tried to cover her a bit with another one to be warm, and went to bed. The boys and I buried her in the back yard on Sunday.

I'll miss her, and it's quiet, but at the same time, it's kinda like we've been ready for this forever.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Joker

another picture heavy post. click on any photo to see its full size.

Caleb was The Joker for Halloween this year. He wanted to be him last year, but I wasn't able to get the costume made, plus we had to go out of town for a funeral. I made sure to get the costume done this year, and I barely did.

we had a long day of trick-or-treating and a party.

there, that's better! I used Burda 8186 for all 3 pieces, and decided this was also going to be a test run for the possibility of making him a suit for 8th grade promotion in June. I used a cheapish poly gab from Hancock Fabrics for the suit, and cotton twill for the vest.

I cut a size 36 for the jacket, and it is fully lined. There was to be an inside pocket, but I was on a really tight deadline, so I skipped it.

The double welt pockets have a flap. The pattern calls for the flap pieces to be self-lined. I used lining, because otherwise they would have been quite bulky. The breast pocket is functional as well.

I do like that Burda patterns give you separate patterns for the upper and under collars, but I thought this one was kinda weird for a suit jacket. There is a collar stand, and the under collar is not cut on the bias (the upper collar looks exactly the same, with the collar stand also). It still looks nice, however.

There's a vent in the back.

I didn't quite make my deadline, and used safety pins to hold up the sleeve hems. You can see I bagged the lining through the sleeve seam, and I'll finish up the hems (and add the shoulder pads I neglected) sometime this week.

I also cut a size 36 for the vest. The pattern calls for double welt pockets, but I made single welt pockets. I think they look nicer on a vest.

The vest is also fully lined. (btw -- my husband did the graphic art on the shirt caleb is wearing)

The pants were the first part of the costume I made, and I cut a 34. They fit, but seemed like just barely, which is why I cut the other pieces a size larger. The pants have a double welt pocket on the back, which I did (though it's sloppy).

The fly front is real, not mock. It was pretty easy, though next time I will use lining for parts of it, as it's a bit bulky.

Caleb really liked the costume, and I'm looking forward to making another suit for him come spring. This was the only costume I had to make this year, as Calvin re-used the jester costume, and I found a James costume at Target for Connor.