Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Revival Week

We've been having a revival at our church since Sunday.  It ends tomorrow.  For me, it has meant being at the church from 6:15-9:00ish yesterday and today and tomorrow to run sound.  Plus be there from noonish to 1:00ish to listen.

I have come up with a new rule of ministry-if you are going to do anything on the stage as a ministry (preach, music minister), take a turn in the sound booth first!!!  Off that soapbox now.

You know what?  Not off the soapbox, rant coming.  Let me just break the week down like this:

Saturday 4/27
Soundcheck...sort of

Sunday 4/28
9:45 Set up soundbooth
10:00 Set up Sunday School classroom
10:15 Teach Sunday School
10:35 Take Sunday School kid to the nursery, get the low down on the PowerPoint, etc.
10:45 Start background music and announcements on screen, Sunday School lets out
10:55 Get music for service (!!!)
11:00 Start service
12:20ish Service over
Everyone goes to lunch until close to 2
Get some rest
Start a project in the house
Find a dead mouse (eww)
5:15 Get back up to church, start setting up sound
6:45 Get video, several songs, and power point to play, amaze someone that I can in fact start his music as the video ends even though he is giving them to me on separate CDs (hello iTunes!) attempt to get it all on the computer, communicated, and ready to roll by 7...
7:00 Start service
8:something Go home and crash
10:something Get a second wind and attempt to do a couple things
Go to bed way too late

Monday 4/29
9:something Get up
Get some stuff done
Noon Go up to church, no soundboard, just listen to the guy, realize he looks just like my Daddy will look in a few years, it's his Doppelganger
1:00 Come home, get some more stuff done
3:30 Decide to rest awhile, check the mail first, open R's package and read the entire book
5:00 Realize I have stuff to do still and pick up and dust the house
6:00 Get re-dressed for leaving the house
6:15 Go up to the church to do sound
6:45 Again, actually get all the stuff to do during service including a picture to get off a flashdrive and music from two CDs to burn
7:00 Frantically finish things and start
9:00ish Go eat with a bunch of people
10:00 Get home
Get interested in something (I can't even remember) and end up going to bed way, way too late again

Tuesday 4/30
10:something Get up
Get nothing done, read some blogs
10:45 Frantically realize the time and get dressed
Noon:05 Make it up to church
1:00 Come home, get stuff done
2:30 Robert asks me to come to the church and talk about VBS
3:00 Go to Sonic
3:15 Work on VBS meeting a little, clean the bathroom
5:00 Decide to fold clothes while watching TV but end up only watching TV
6:15 Go up to church
6:45 Get stuff, asked to fix the monitors because sound isn't coming through and the singer can't hear his music, frantically try while getting lots of unhelpful advice from technologically inept people asking things like "is it plugged in?"
7:00 Start without resolving monitor issue (mics go through it, computer sound isn't going through)
9:00ish Get invited to supper and decide to go home instead (and rant, although that wasn't my original intent)

Wednesday 5/1
Noon Service
Stay at church and work on Sunday and VBS  meeting
Have some sort of youth thing that will involve me doing sound but I'm not even sure when it is or where it is
Revival, do sound (I guess? Still not sure where I'll be with the youth thing, etc.)
Go home, get a couple things done (I have seriously strived to do a load of laundry and unload the dishwasher every day.  The laundry often does't get folded till later, but it has made life easier if I stick to it)

Thursday 5/2
Get stuff done
Prep for going to the store
Figure out exactly how much we will have to spend on glasses
Work on the VBS meeting
Fold about a week's worth of laundry

Friday 5/3
Go to town
-Eye appointment
-Pick new glasses
-Tractor Supply for dog food
-Meet a former youth who moved away for a movie
-Go to HEB and shop for the whole month, plus get 12cents off/gallon of gas
Go home
-Unload and put away a month's worth of groceries
Work on the VBS meeting

Saturday 5/4 (May the 4th be with you!)
Noon Go up to church and prep for the meeting
2:00 Lead the VBS meeting
4:00ish Clean up the VBS meeting
Still have to prep for Sunday School

The music and speaking have been WONDERFUL this week at Revival, but I will be so, so happy when its next week and my time is "mine" again!

I feel like the VBS meeting and VBS itself is just racing towards us but there are so many other things going on that I haven't been able to work on them.  But I think most of May will be available to spend on VBS and that will help.

Meanwhile, I've done NOTHING to the living room curtains.  They may never be done.  Which is sad because there are other sewing projects I'm really looking forward to doing!


Friday, April 26, 2013

So, BUT So...

Look, two in a row! (SHHH, don't tell you that I wrote this as part of yesterday's post and it was so long I broke it up and scheduled this one.  I'm NOT currently in The Big City getting tires put on my car and doing some shopping.)

I'm currently working on a project (see? that's what I'm doing right now!) that will possibly take into the next century to finish and I have banned myself from doing other projects until it's done because it's like motivation to get it done.  Except I'm not so sure the ban is working.

I got a serger for Christmas and I LOVE it but I didn't know much about how to use it, other than to finish edges.  Then, I found an AWESOME class on Craftsy done by Amy Alan called Beginner Serging (that I got on sale!) and I have totally fallen IN LOVE with my serger.

I put the class on hold because I don't have the decorative threads I want for the last two projects and began planning my living room curtains.  I had fabric left from the pillows I made, some brown canvas from another project, a burgundy canvas I'd bought for something else and then changed my mind about, and lots of fabric samples from a friend that was organizing a drapery shop and was getting rid of the outdated samples (or something like that).  So, I had lots of little pieces and some bigger pieces of many different but coordinating fabrics and I wanted to make a larger piece out of it.

(The remainder of this post is an odd cause and effect repetition that started out unintentional and for some reason, I can't stop.)

So, I decided to try my hand at quilting.  (Something along the lines of "I can sew, how hard can it really be?! may or may not have gone through my head.  I plead the fifth.)  Not really quilting, actually.  Piecing a quilt top that I have no intention of turning into a quilt.

BUT you have to be crazy superwoman perfect with cutting for this to work out.

So, I cheated.  I bought a 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 inch ruler.

BUT some of the samples were not that big.

So, I decided that all pieces should be exactly 12 1/2" wide and the length was just whatever.

BUT some of the samples were not even that big.

So, I had to sew pieces together and then cut them into the base 12 1/2" wide size.  Since my serger was all set up and I am now totally in love with it, I just had to use the serger to make the squares.  I'm not sure what was up with the tension (I suspect I didn't have one of the needle threads all the way into the tension disk, Amy would be so proud I figured that out) but when I went to press the square, it had a faux flatlock
(the link is a real flatlock) look.

BUT it looked really cool.

So, I decided to go with it.  Anyways, I did this to a HUGE pile of fabric. Until I thought I had enough squares.  Some were very simple (12 1/2 by 12 1/2 brown canvas, for example), some a little more busy (12 1/2 by 12 1/2 floral, stripes, paisley, etc., for example), and some a little complicated (the whole "sewn together" ones).  Then I laid them out on the curtain panels I was using as a base size and also plan to use as the back lining.

BUT I was a few short.

So, I went back to the cutting.  I laid them all out again and got them how I wanted (colors fairly evenly spaced, not too plain or too busy, not too visually heavy in spots, between each curtain and each "stripe" of the curtain) and sewed those squares together.

BUT I had used my serger for something else (before I made the rule about not doing anything else until the curtains are done!) and now it was serging regular (no threads showing on top when I pressed the piece.)

So, I played with the tensions until it looked the same (added a page to my Stitch Book! Amy would be so proud!) and sewed all the strips together.  This was incredibly tedious.  It turns out not everything was EXACTLY 12 1/2 inches no matter how careful I tried to be.  I actually had to pin things.  And be specific.  It got done though, somehow.  Then, I laid them back on my liners to start deciding where to put each "strip."

BUT then I realized three across was not quite wide enough.

So, I went away and may have cried a little.

BUT that got nothing accomplished and really want to finish them.

So, I came up with a solution.  Using the "main" fabrics (the ones I used for the pillows plus the burgundy and brown canvas) and my 3 by 18" ruler (I did math first, but I was pretty determined to make it work with a ruler I already had so I didn't have to do special measuring) I cut enough fabric to make 2 skinny strips to go between the 3 fat strips.  And then I sewed all THOSE together into strips.

BUT then I couldn't decide how to arrange them all, especially since it was hard to see all of it at once because nowhere in my house is really big enough to put four curtain panels down on the floor at once without moving furniture.  Plus I was being super indecisive.

So, I took the whole project up to church one Saturday night and had a couple youth girls help me place all the strips. I was excited at this point, thinking I was surely more than halfway done.  (Somehow, I can't seem to remember that I'm basically making my own fabric and, once that's done, I actually have to turn that fabric into the curtains still...)  "We" (read "someone else came up with this idea and I'm totally taking credit") were super smart and realized we could roll the fabric strips up in the curtains to keep everything in its place.  I took it home and, even though it was late, rolled a curtain out, intending to start sewing strips together.

BUT I realized that the strips needed to be slightly larger than the liner and the fat strips were just a hair too short.  And since it was rather late (and I truly want them to be as long as possible), I decided to add length to the fat strips instead of taking length off the liner.  It may have been a moment of insanity because I feel compelled to continue now.

So, I added the length and sewed one skinny strip to one fat strip before I couldn't keep going.  I rolled it back up so it wouldn't get destroyed laying on the floor, fully intending to work on it again Sunday.

BUT I didn't.  And then Monday was the first day of the Bible study I started having weekly at my house and I wanted my whole house to be clean to make a good first impression (so that I could subsequently slack off).

So, I cleaned rather than crafted.  I hate those days.  Which is probably why my house is never disgusting but it never all clean at the same time.  Tuesday I had time to sew.

BUT my house was actually clean and I didn't want to mess it up! (Also, I was exhausted because April has been a bat-crap-crazy kind of month and I'm thinking things are speeding up instead of slowing down!)

So, after several days (or, you know, maybe a week, who can be sure?), I began again.

BUT I only got as far as finishing the "fabric" for one panel and then I fizzled out again. : )

I'm blaming the fact that I wanted to switch quickly between my serger and sewing machine and that it was too hard, but just tonight Robert helped me hang the corner shelf that frees up more desk space and allows me to run ALL THREE machines at once (if I were so talented) so, in the future, that can no longer be an excuse...


Thursday, April 25, 2013

It's Been A Long Time, My Friends...

One day, I'm gonna get the hang of this whole "blog" thing.

I'm pretty sure it's not today.

Don't hold your breath.

I was thinking about all the things I've done recently and how I love to read tutorials on other people's blogs and how I could do that.

Then I realized I rarely take pictures of my processes.

In fact, I'm lucky if I take a before and after shot.

I've been trying to get over my camera issues, though.

(How many one sentence paragraphs can I do in a row?)

(Apparently, 9.)

(Unable to resist the urge to make it 10.)

Moving on.

(Crap, now it's 12.)

Continuing the list-like theme, here are the things that have changed since last time:

  • I started a part-time job.
  • I left the part-time job. (They didn't seem to think that little things like employment laws or Minimum Standards applied to them.  I disagreed and, rather than rock the boat anymore, decided to leave.  Plus it was a long drive with expensive gas and wasn't really worth it.)
  • I volunteered to teach preschool Sunday School (by which I mean the one preschooler we have at our church.)
  • I decided that I missed "my" Bible study and wanted to start one here.  We are meeting Monday nights at my house (I thought that would be more inviting to some, if we continue, I plan to use the church.  I think our poor church building is sorely under-used.) and doing the "Restore My Heart" study by Denise Glen.  Each week, I'm supposed to give them a trinket to remember what we talked about.  Instead, I'm making them make their own! (Actually, I thought it'd be great fun but I'm having more fun than they are.)
  • I volunteered to help direct VBS.  R also volunteered.  But he's going to lead Rec during VBS so he's more of a planning co-director and it will be all me come VBS week.  (Prayers for a smooth week! Actually, we are feeling major pressure as we are used to doing VBS quite differently than this church and the fact that we are planning this early is new to them but to us it feels like we are running way behind!)
  • Last Sunday, my one preschooler was sick so I started cleaning out my room.  I was nearly late to church (and I run sound!) but nowhere near done.
  • So after a couple more hours Sunday and a couple more hours this week, I have cleaned out a shopping cart full (literally!) of stuff that needed to live in the Resource Room and completely rearranged the classroom (switching some furniture between rooms, too.).  I still need to put things up on the walls and replace the chairs I stole from the other room. (Our church has a closet where lonely preschool chairs have gone to die.  I'm seriously not sure why they are all in the closet and not in the classrooms, but I found them and will use them.)  I also am on a hunt for some supplies for the room.  A stapler, for example.  
That's probably not everything, but it's all I can come up with.  There's also upcoming things like TWO youth camps (both of which I'm also going to) and various youth trips.  I'd love to make a trip to see my family or have them come see me, but life has been too busy all around.  AND


In September. 

I'm so excited.

And now that there's an odd symmetry to my post, I'm going to end it.


(Yes, I know I need to fix the whole background thing.  But I was attached and it took a long time to get the blog how I wanted and now they changed how to do that kind of stuff and I just haven't fixed it yet.  Sorry.)