Hooking up

I’m always happy to find a good thrift store denim skirt, and in the spring got a real gem: a slightly flared, eight-gored number from Nordstrom. I wore it a couple dozen times this past summer alone.

However, in the course of moving a couple months ago, I tore one of the waist hooks and though I tried a variety of methods, couldn’t salvage the original. (It was not a sewn hook, alas.) I had bought a pack of Dritz sew-on closures, meaning to replace it immediately, but you know how that goes. Exactly. I “hemmed” and hawed, and tripped over it a dozen times while it sat, on the floor at the foot of the bed,, oh-so-patiently-waiting, hoping to be repaired and worn.

20131216_095941But this morning, in a fit of industry, I already had a needle and thread out, as I had sewn a page into my journal. (This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and it won’t be the last. It’s the perfect way to attach pages that I’ve written in other places to the “regular” journal that I’m keeping.) Having finished that job, I had ample thread left on the needle, and figured what better time 20131216_093609than the present. So I got to work, and attached the hook. Yes, a crappy looking job, if ever there was one, and not one I’m proud of, as a seamstress. But, it gets the job done.

Until I tried to put the skirt on. It’s pretty obvious, from the picture, that this was never going to be that easy of a job. Why? Because as you can see from the right-hand picture, the new hook is considerably wider than the previous one. Sigh. Now I had to remove the catch on the other side of the skirt. Because the original closure was set into the fabric like a rivet, there was no way for me to re-sew it. Plus, the one that I was now going to remove would have to be 20131216_090712trashed, too. I was really hoping that it wasn’t so sturdy and well-attached that it would rip the fabric, like when I had torn out the first one.

Grabbing a pliers from the kitchen, I managed to pinch the bar enough that I could remove it from the denim. I felt a bit like a dentist during this part of the arrangement.20131216_093504 Goodness, look at the teeth on that. It amazes me that I was able to rip out the hook on the other side.

Next part was attaching the new bar. Because I had, rather fortuitously, run out of the wine-colored thread I used initially, I figured there was no point in going back to it, and just opted for a matching blue. This time, I was much more diligent in both attaching it in a both a manner that would secure it, and having that manner be attractive workmanship (workwomanship?).

Mission accomplished. I can now wear my favorite denim skirt again, and am doing so today.

Five Favorites: Part Deux

Five Favorites Moxie Wife Joining up with some other ladies to exchange a diet of delights as we share the five favorite things that’ve recently caught our attention. Low key fun all around, and a great way to discover some interesting things.

1. Aussi Instant Freeze Spray

Aussi Instant Freeze Hairspray

My go-to hair spray–this stuff is amazing. They call it Instant Freeze, and they’re not kidding.
I really think it could suspend me off the ground. Just sayin’…

2. Knitting Socks

New socks for Sophia 001

I knit. All the time. I carry knitting in my purse. Socks are the most useful things, and they fit. Easily.
I made these for my daughter last year.

3. Papal Conclave

Papal Conclave


The waiting is the hardest part.

3. Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone Johnny Depp Cover

People sometimes ask me how I manage to stay abreast of pop culture without watching television. This is it.
Bonus picture of Johnny Depp!

4. Brocante Home

Brocante Home header

Cute and oh-so-very-British! Housekeeping superstars, unite!
Charming vintage pictures and tips, all served up by a lovely lady, Alison.

5. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

I saw the very first episodes of Little House on the Prairie on television, and then I found the books. Even better!
(Believe me, the TV series may be interesting, but it’s not for aficionados)
Always inspiring, never objectionable.

Stuff Catholics Like: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 001Oh yeah, bring on the Palms. It’s the craft of crafts, for the King of Kings! Hosanna!

Back when I was a kid, and went to a Catholic parochial school where actual sisters taught, there was a whole palm crafting culture going. Nowadays, most people just seem to take them home and tuck them behind their crucifix or portraits of dead relatives.

But not I! I actually make stuff out of palms—the way I was taught in a small way, but mostly the way I taught myself. A couple of years ago, my old priest, Friar Mark Weaver, OFM, Conv., called for old palms to burn to make the ashes used in the Ash Wednesday service. Most were just that—old palm leaves. But some were really cool—like flowers and intricate braids, so I asked him if I could keep them and figure out how they were made. He said sure and so I went to town. I’ve now elaborated on the braid and turned the top into a cross. I’m excited, but there’s such a short window of time to make things like this before the palms get too dried out. I’m trying to find a distributor so that I can get enough for myself to really learn some things. Naturally, the church only gets enough for people to wave at the start of the service.

But there are still a lot of cultures around the world that make things out of the palms that we get. Slowly, year by year, I’m increasing my repertoire. I’d like to do a class on it next year. We’ll see.

Candle Holder design submission

Here is a link to the candle holder design I submitted to Glade for a contest. Go and check it out. You’ll have to wait up to 48 hours to see my actual design, but you can always look at the other ones. You can vote for mine, too, but they say it doesn’t affect the judging. If you can’t find my design by this link, you can look for it under “All Around Fresh” with my name as “Cynthia S”.


I’ve never done anything like this before. It was fun, even if I don’t win. There are a lot of wonderful designs, I’m sure the company will have a hard time choosing only one. Maybe they’ll choose several!