Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Yellow Rose

Lens Day: A yellow rose from my garden.

Memorial Day

We didn't do much to celebrate. My grandfather was in the trenches in France during World War I. He had horrible nightmares for the rest of his life from that experience, but he escaped the trenches unscathed physically which was probably something of a miracle. I wish I had known him. He died just after my parents were married, about 20 years before I was born.

My father and his brothers served during World War II. After the bombing in Hawaii, they tried to enlist, but they weren't US citizens, so the military organizations turned them down. My father went to work in the shipyards in Richmond, California. After a year, the military was ready to naturalize all comers, so my father and his brothers enlisted. My father never saw any action. He joined the Army Corp of Engineers because he was a civil engineer. The Army, in it's great wisdom, sent him to school to become a civil engineer; they needed more. He did really well on a test they gave everyone in his unit, which was why he was picked. When he raised the issue that he was already a degreed engineer, he was told to go anyway. Considering what my grandfather went through, I am grateful my father did not have a similar experience. His brothers joined the Navy, and they both saw action in the Pacific.

DH's father was also in the Navy. He served in the Pacific, as well. He's gone now, and DH says he never would talk about it, but I wish I could talk to him about it.

Friday, May 27, 2005

I hate travel!

garden party
I had to go to New Mexico last Tuesday and Wednesday for business. Then Chungita got sick on Thursday. It's like the whole week is gone with nothing to show for it. Well, I did get a little accomplished for work while in NM.

I swam today, 2400m in 63 minutes.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Fun in SF

Are we BABES or what? Well, I'm not in the picture, but they are still beautiful without me. Left to right, LoriB, Tailypo, Irene, JenS, Quesie, and Verosews. We had fabulous takeout dim sum, swapped fabric, patterns, and notions, and went shopping. I gave a tutorial on the FBA (full bust alteration) a la Neefer.

Here's some of the loot I bought at Fabrix.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Green is the theme for Photo Friday. I love the feathery leaves of love-in-a-mist. It has a neat name, too.


So it's an old photo for the current Lens Day challenge. I plead guilty to being too busy with my full-time job and being a mom to two small children.


I mentionned that I weighed myself on Wednesday after not weighing myself for over a week because I'd been a fat pig (note to self: stop the negative thinking), and I was concerned that my weight would be up. Well, it was. So I weighed myself on Thursday, and my weight was down from Tuesday but still up. I weighed myself this morning, and my weight is up from yesterday, only a little, but it's enough to obsess over. I got my period this morning which might explain the weight gain. Obsess, obsess, obsess.

The real downside of this is that I want to restrict my food intake. I want to be hungry. I want to lose weight. I want to stop eating. I want to have control over my weight.

I want to stop thinking about this.

It's time to go swimming. I have swum for about an hour every weekday this week. Overexercising because my weight is up? Another thing to obsess over.


I want to get Chungita started with sewing, but since she's only 5, I thought that a clothing item would be too difficult for us. I figured a pillowcase would be ideal because there's lots of room for error, and it only involves straight lines. Well, Chungita still lacks the coordination to cut a straight line. Good thing I put in lots of room for error. She picked out the fabric. She wants to paint her room in those colors.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Studio Friday's theme this week is MIX 'n MATCH: orange + yellow. This was so easy. I'm in an orange mood, so I've been making orange t-shirts. This one is yellow-orange with orange paisleys, and it's pinned with yellow headed pins in preperation for pressing and coverstitching the bottom hem.

See my blog at Sewing, Flowers, and My Eating Disorder.


Thursday Challenge for this week is Play. These are some of my kids toys on the floor of my sewing room.

It's raining.

I thought you might be interested in the darts in my t-shirts. This pattern piece started out as Kwik Sew 2565. The changes are the side bust dart, the french dart, and the neckline. The original neckline was a crew neck with a thick band. It fit great, but it was not the best look for me. I have large breasts and a short neck, so a scooped neck or v-neck would be better. I decided to work on the scooped neck. The first attempt was okay, but I thought a deeper scoop would be better and the opening was too wide. I'd changed the band to a narrow band. So on this version, I brought the neckline in at the shoulders (& upper back).

As for the darts, the t-shirt is undarted with a bit of easing at the bust. I don't like to use easing because on me, it's more like gathers, and that basically a big wad of fabric under my arm which is at a height that is already big enough around, thank you. The first bust dart worked very well in terms of fit and final appearance, so why did I want to change it? Well, it's a friggin' big dart, and I hadn't considered that I could just cut away the interior of the dart when cutting, so it made the pattern piece very wide. I also thought a french dart would be more attractive, providing me with the shaping I want at the bust, but removing some of the fullness under the bust. I still have my waist. Rotating the side bust dart to a french dart worked well for fit and appearance, but it had the same problem that the side bust dart did. It's a frigging big dart, making the pattern piece very wide. So I decided to do a little of both in this version.

I had a binge last night. I was hungry around 4 pm, and I'd already eaten my afternoon snack. We had dinner shortly after I got home. DH cooks. The problem started when Chungita took ALL the parmesan cheese for ravioli. I felt a little resentful towards her and a lot deprived, especially when she declared she was finished, leaving about 3/4 of the ravioli and cheese on her plate. Well, you know what happened. While I was sitting, chatting with DH who was still eating, I started eating her ravioli. One lead to another which quickly became a binge. I did stop before I ate them all. So that is progress.

I swam this morning, only 47 minutes. I think I'm tired from the Monday-Wednesday swimming, and I couldn't sleep last night.

On the sewing front, I haven't done anything. I kinda wanted to get one of the t-shirts done for Saturday's sewing get-together (BABES), but I can't seem to press the hem in preperation of coverstitching.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Rubenesque (roo-buh-NESK) adjective

Full-figured; rounded; voluptuous,

[After Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) known for depiction of plump female figures in his paintings.]

Rubens's paintings: http://ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/rubens/

"But our society admires thinness -- the Rubenesque Marilyn Monroe likely would be considered too plump these days -- and so some of our children, in the quest to look attractive, may starve themselves."
S. Jennifer Hunter; Where Were Schiavo's Loved Ones As Disorder Led to Downfall?; Chicago Sun-Times; Apr 6, 2005.

From A Word A Day

Back on Track

Hey, I've been abstinant for about 5 hours! I faced down 2 challenges this morning, the uneaten french toast fingers and real maple syrup my kids had for breakfast and the donuts on Sherry's desk. So far, so good. I'm going swimming in a few minutes, too. I weighed myself this morning. It's up. Perhaps that is the source of my abstinance.

Isn't that a cool suit from the 1930s?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tuesday is ED Day

Today we talked about triggers. Anything that trigger binging, purging, and restricting. The group filled the whiteboard with triggers which we listed under the following headings: External, Social, Hunger, Internal/Feeling/Physical, Thoughts.

After that we did a not-very-fun exercise of writing down "3 Internal Factors That Trigger" and "Methods of lessening the effect of the triggers". My triggers were"

  1. Overwhelmed by negative emotions at home (eg kids fighting, us fighting, letting down DH).
  2. Want to be perfectly healthy.
  3. Want to be sexy, beautiful for DH (where sexy, beautiful = thin)
  4. Want attention, want to standout.

And my coping techniques are:

  1. Ask husband for help. Ask husband for hug.
  2. Realistic expectations.
  3. Tell myself that I do standout.

As you can see, item 3 is blank. It's really problematic because in a particularly butthead moment, DH^H^H BH told me that "the weight was an issue" in our sex life. He doesn't tell me that I'm beautiful. Our sex life is non-existant which I have blamed on the infertility, but we had problems before that. I said that I was terrified of confronting this issue, and the psychologist suggested that it's too soon to try to deal with this. I'm relieved.

It was pointed out to me that there is too much focus on pleasing DH. Hm. After group, the psychologist suggested that I see my shrink about that issue. I think I will.

What am I working on?

Cutting Table

Blue Knit
I posted this picture of my cutting table with a glass of water for last week's Studio Friday. I recieved many comments asking what I am working on, so ...

The blue "tie dye" fabric is a printed knit, 50% cotton, 50% polyester, from Joann's that I bought to make the fitting toile of Neue Mode M23061. This will be my second attempt at this dress. The first time I chose an unsuitable fabric.

Playing with Embroidery
I've been playing with the designs loaded in my embroidery machine on scraps of fabric. This is a knit fabric, 100% cotton (I think), using a cut away stablizer.

I sent a cone of Maxi-Lock serger thread back to the manufacturer because it kept breaking every 18 inches or so. They sent me a large box full of thread. Some of those threads were rayon threads that I thought could be used for embroidery. I was very wrong. The duck on the left uses the free threads; you can see the white bobbin thread that is pulled up. I tried a lot of things to get that bobbin thread back behind; nothing worked. So I decided to use the free rayon thread as bobbin thread. The butterfly on the right uses Isacord (my favorite), Sulky, and Coat's & Clark's embroidery threads. No bobbin thread is showing.

Comparing Threads

I'm not sure why the colors were so different. The one on top uses the free thread, and the one on the bottom uses stuff I've paid for.

I'm making several t-shirts for myself. This one is almost complete. I've been working on this pattern for a couple of years, on and off. I keep lowering the neckline and changing the darts. This version uses 2 darts: a traditional bust dart and a french dart.

The image to the left is one of my prototype labels. I've wanted to put labels in my clothing for a long while, and I finally got my computer to talk to my embroidery machine, so Le Voila! labels! I was working on the labels when I got bored with them and started trying out the designs loaded in the embroidery module.

The image to the right are crochet samples. I recently discovered scrumble. I'm not sure if I'll make anything with these or not. I was just testing the patterns.
The blue fabric is for another t-shirt. I'm not sewing it because the serger is loaded with orange thread. The pink corduroy are a pair of Chungita's pants that need to be mended.

And last but not least, this is fabric for pillowcases for Chungita. I'm teaching her to sew. Right now, that means that mostly, I do the work while she watches. She can't cut straight, yet, so there isn't much she can do. But we do it together.

Practicle Joke

Chungita helped me out with the practical joke.

Someone started this business with the toilets in the front yard. I don't recall who did it to whom first, but Saundra recently retaliated against MC by carpeting her front yard with the carpet ripped out of Saundra's house. The next day, I put an old, plastic birdbath in MC's front yard. MC was sure that Saundra had done both. I finally told MC that I had done it because she was so pissed at Saundra. MC forgave me.

My father had this old toilet in the garage that he was supposed to get rid of before he took Mom to New Mexico for a vacation. On the way home from Los Abuealos, DH suggested that I put the toilet in Saundra's yard, but since Los Abuealos were going to New Mexico the next day, I figured the toilet was gone.

While they were gone, I told MC about the toilet, and she said that I needed to put it in Saundra's yard; MC's still pissed at Saundra. So I called them when they got back, and Dad still had the toilet. Technically, it was out of the garage; he'd loaded it into his pickup. So I went out with the kiddos, had a nice day with Dad, and came home with 2 exhausted kids and a toilet.

The next day, I asked Chungita if she wanted to help me put it in Saundra's yard, so we went to the local craft store and bought some silk geraniums. I really wanted cheap looking, plastic geraniums in florescent colors, but I don't know where to buy something like that. My father had given me tennis balls to cushion the toilet on the drive home, so I used those in the toilet bowl to arrange the flowers. I figured the tennis balls would throw Saundra off trace; I don't play.

Saundra doesn't have a clue. First she accused MC, and now she thinks it was Dennis. I don't think I've crossed her mind as a suspect.

I went swimming yesterday for 54 minutes and today for 64 minutes.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Beautiful Fabric

I bought this fabric at an African import store in Oakland, but I'm not sure what to do with it, other than a quilted wall hanging sort of thing, which I really don't want to do. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of fabric? And say, washing it? Any help, comments, or advice is welcome.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Oakland, California boasts the oldest storybook park in the country. Fairyland is 55 years old. I used to go when I was little. Does anyone else remember Popo the clown? Fairyland has had a hard time the couple of decades. It is being refurbished, and I hope to see it change to reflect the diversity of Oakland. It's a wonderful place to take your children.

The bubble blowing elf on the mushroom at top has weather the years pretty well. The owl and his boat have not.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Studio Friday's theme this week is AQUA. Aqua is latin for water. Here's my water glass on my cutting table.

You can see what I'm working on at Neefer Sews, but I'll post more about it soon.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fish Bed

Cute cat bed pattern review


I love gerbera daisies. The colors are so vibrant.

I am cursed! Cursed! I tell you!

@#$%ing t-shirts!

Lately, it seems like nothing I sew comes out right. I tossed the neue mode dress, the bust on the jean jacket is too big and too low. And now the t-shirts! I thought I could improve the french darts. Did I listen to Georgene who told me they were fine? NOOOOO! So now the darts end between my breasts, and what's worse, because I'm a member of the Big Ol' Dart Club, they are very, very obvious, like a little pocket below my boobs. ARGHHH!!!! I'm going to redraft the front tonight or tomorrow. I have enough fabric to cut more fronts.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Swim, Shrink, Sew

62 minutes today. Only 2300 m, tho, but I did a 50 m sprint in 52 seconds. That was good.

I went to see the pill dispensor. She upped my zoloft to 200 mg per day. Hopefully, that will help with my lack of productivity at work.

I'm playing with the designs that are loaded into my Bernina 180E. It's kinda fun testing out the different embroideries in whatever color I have on hand. I'm working on 2 t-shirts, slowly, but maybe by Friday afternoon, I'll have pictures to show you.

I love that design. It's from My Little Mochi. She did it for t-shirts in Auto-CAD. It never occured to me to use a drafting program like that. Perhaps I still have access to Visio.

Don't Have Kids!

This is an unknown rose. It was in the garden when we moved in. I'm constantly debating (with myself) whether or not to remove it, but the blooms are lovely. I hate to remove anything with lovely blooms.

I didn't get the kids to sleep until 10:30 last night. That's 2 hours past their bedtimes, so this morning, I decided to let them sleep in. The only problem with that is that I didn't get to work until almost 10 am. I blame the kids. No not really, but I couldn't possibly be at fault here. I know; I'll blame Applebee's. It took friggin' forever to get our food last night. The waitress said it was because our order was behind a big takeout order, but things arrived cool than hot, so I know they were sitting there waiting for her. To top that off, my dinner was terrible. I tried the orange-chicken-rice bowl thing, and it was soggy, salty, and just awful.

The kids did behave well, except for the jumping in the air and bouncing on the booth seats so that the entire row of booths shook ... and there was the drawing on the window with crayon (note: Applebee's gave us the crayons) ... and I'm not sure the wood blinds still work, but other than that, they were great. No one screamed ... much, that is. And they ate their dinners!

This is why I had kids. There is nothing like going out to dinner with 2 small, tired children.

Somethings are just so much better in real life. I mean, that lasange doesn't look like much, but it was wonderful. My husband likes to fish in the ocean, and he likes to cook up what he catches. It was dungeness crab, and with a lot of cheese and some noodles, it was the best thing in the world. Georgene was lucky enough to get some, so you can ask her how good it was.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesday is ED day.

This is Sonia (with one bloom from Judy Garland). This rose was a gift from our real estate agent. When I researched Sonia, I was dismayed to learn that she is a hot house rose. I planted her in the backyard anyway. It turns out that Livermore is the perfect environment for a hot house rose. Sonia does very well.

I went to group this morning. I had met with one of the other clients last Friday, and afterwards, I wondered if it was a good idea or not. That's not quite right; I wondered if the therapists would recommend it or recommend against it. Well, not only did they recommend against it, but they STRONGLY recommended against it. They are concerned about cliques forming, about one client becoming a psuedotherapist for the other client, and about a falling out between the clients that might cause one or both clients to stop coming to therapy. So ... I don't know what to do about this. I mean, how to broach the topic with the other client, since we would both like to continue the relationship. I don't want her to have hurt feelings. I will mull it over for a while before doing anything.

This is New Year. NY is a grandiflora, with great disease resistance, and it isn't bothered by the hot sun.

DH is in Ohio, so I'm a single parent. So no swimming today. I swam yesterday, 2000 m in about 55 minutes. I did a couple of 50 m sprints at about 55 seconds. That's definite progress. I think I've shaved 5 seconds off. My parents are coming over for dinner tonight, so Chungita will get to go to swim class. I think we'll go to Applebees afterwards.

Hey, it's not a rose!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Stopping the Binge & Purge Cycle

From _Overcoming_Eating_Disorders_ Client Workbook by R. F. Apple & W. S. Agras

"Based on the cognitive-behavioral model of bulimia, the prescription of a regular pattern of meals and snacks represents a logical first step toward interrupting the cycle."

We use this book in my group therapy. If people aren't familiar with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), the idea is to break the behavior FIRST, then address the underlying issues. CBTs say that you can't treat the underlying behavior while you are still B&Ping.

The book recommends 3 meals, 3 snacks. My therapists recommend 3 meals and at least 2 snacks. That's what I do. They say that the meals and snacks should be about 3 hours apart, scheduled, and planned. That way you don't get hungry or fall into the habit of restricting (which leads to B&P). Also, before each meal/snack, you set the limit of how much food you eat, so that it doesn't become a binge.

This works pretty well for me. I'm able to stick to it most days. I've been bulimic for at least 25 years and maybe as long as 30 years. I'm 40. I tend to have more trouble on the weekends, less structure, and in times of stress. I still restrict and binge, but I haven't purged in a couple of months, and I don't want to purge anymore because on this plan, I'm losing weight. I'm about 50 pounds overweight. I'm not trying to lose weight.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

More roses and some sewing

Another rose, for which I have forgotten the name. It's starts with a k. The tag said it was a climber, but I consider it more of a very large rose. It's about 10 feet tall and wide. I tried to get it to climb up on top of the shed in our backyard, but it won't get any taller than 10 feet (3 m). It has glossy, dark green leaves and is disease resistant.

I had a nice Mother's Day. My husband gave me a gift certificate for Joann's and time to go shopping. Then we headed up to my brother's fiance's house for brunch. Esther is a great cook.

Among other things she made the beautiful and delicious desserts pictured above.

I worked a bit on 2 t-shirts. It takes me so long to get anything sewn. It's discouraging.

I am so upset about the chaos in Iraq. I didn't want the US to invade. I get especially upset when I hear about Iraqi civilians. It's not like they have much of a choice about being there or having our military there. I don't care who kills them. Since we are there, forcing our form of government on them, we are responsible for keeping them safe.

Which brings me to Vietnam. April 30th was the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. Of all the shameful things that we did in that work, the abandonment of all of the agents that we used against the north Vietnamese has got to be the worst. It's inexcusable what we did.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Tania's Art

More great art by Tania.

A Little Embroidery

I finished up the first set of clothing labels. When I showed them to DH, he wanted me to put them in the sweatshirts that I had made for him.

On my last trip in the space shuttle, I snapped this picture.