Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New project

Along with all of the other sewing projects I'm continually working on I've been working on more horse related items. The braided tack is going well enough that we have decided to add helmet covers and splint boot covers to our product line. I made Lorna a helmet cover for Christmas and have since perfected the pattern and made a helmet cover for Malachi.

I'm still perfecting my splint boot cover pattern but here was my first attempt. In case you are wondering, splint boots protect a horse's leg muscles. They come in all sorts of colors but can be pricey. The covers would not only protect the boots but would allow you to change their look relatively inexpensively. I want the covers to be easy to put on but also fit tight enough that they don't slide around. The ones you can buy through the catalogs have velcro down the side. There are two problems with that, one the price of velcro and two the velcro can easily snag the lycra. Also velcro becomes dirty really easily around horses making it a high maintenance kind of thing. As of right now I have thin elastic at the top and bottom of the cover, it should keep the cover from sliding up or down the boot. Unfortunately the weather is too bad for Lorna to try them out extensively today.

I found an online store that sells some really great patterned lycra. I haven't purchased from them yet but their prices seem really good. I need to sew through the stuff I bought at a local discount warehouse first then I can justify getting more :)

Friday, March 26, 2010


I rarely post anything about homeschooling because it's not just an educational choice but a way of life. Our life seems normal for us so I don't really think about it much.

A couple of weeks ago Lorna was out riding with a woman that pays her to ride one of her horses. Her employer had a guest riding along with them. This guest is someone we are slightly acquainted with through our gymkhana club, she has told us numerous times how wonderful our kids are. I guess this guest didn't know that we homeschool and when she found out decided to grill Lorna about our choices. This woman really doesn't like homeschooling, not because she has any experience with it or knows anyone personally who does it, but because of some stuff she's heard second or third hand. She said it was okay that I homeschooled because I was "qualified" but that most parents are not. I guess I'm qualified because I have a degree and spent 2 years in a classroom even though I've had no formal teacher's training. The arrogance of this woman to think she can say who is and isn't qualified to teach their own children was amazing.

Of course the discussion morphed into the socialization issue. Our kids are not around a lot of kids their own age. Those they are around are not really interested in making friends so the kids have filled their social circle with adults. I personally think that this is just fine since in the real world they will have to interact with people of all ages. Lorna, especially, has made friends based on common interests instead of age. This woman thought this was okay but insisted that Lorna needed to have friends her own age. Lorna tried to explain that she has tried but that since she isn't concerned with boys, clothes, and make-up this hasn't worked out. She also told the woman that she is happy with the friends she has, regardless of their age. Of course, all of Lorna's opinions fell of deaf ears.

Since this occurred while Lorna was out riding we didn't hear about it until later. I was proud of Lorna for attempting to engage this woman in discussion and not just agreeing with her to get out of the discussion. Lorna told me how she tried to steer the conversation away from these topics and how she tried to politely disagree with the woman. I'm so proud of her for sticking up for herself. A few years ago she wouldn't have done this but with all of her activities she has gained enough confidence to realize that her opinions matter. I can't say we were pleased to hear that she was attacked for her parents' choices, and there really is no other way to describe it. I couldn't believe the audacity of this woman! It's probably a good thing I haven't seen her since I found out about what she said. I'm still extremely angry and do not want to be put into a position where I will have to interact with this individual.

I watched Lorna talking with her fellow chorus members last night at rehearsal. I watched as the adults around her not only listened to what she had to say but asked her opinion on a few things. They don't treat her like an inferior child but as a fellow member with valuable ideas. She has made a couple of good friends within the chorus and they don't seem to value her any less because of her age.

Monday, March 22, 2010


This was the first time we had conflicting activities and ended up splitting up for the weekend. Malachi had gymkhana, where he had an absolutely spectacular day, and Lorna and I had our annual regional contest for Sweet Adeline's.

Due to splitting up I don't have pictures of either event to share. Paul took the camera and videoed most of Malachi's runs so that we could see them when we got home. I was really glad since Malachi had such great runs which culminated with him winning high points in his division!

We had a great contest weekend. I know Lorna had been getting burned out with singing and was really unhappy with not being able to attend gymkhana, but this weekend helped her remember why she does Sweet Adeline's. Our chorus placed 3rd in our division and won the Audience Choice award again this year. We improved our score over last year so we met our goals. The best part of the weekend is always Saturday night after contest when we go around and listen to all the region quartets perform in the various hospitality rooms. There were a couple of quartets made up of young women that were spectacular, Lorna was really happy and inspired. It can be difficult for someone her age to feel like she fits in when most of the women that are a part of our region are her grandparents age.

Paul not only spent the day watching Malachi but he also had some of Lorna's braided tack for sale. We had 4 halters pre-ordered and were hoping to sell a few other things. He was swamped with interest from the people in our club and ended up selling a bunch of saddle crosses, halters, and 3 pairs of reins! Lorna is going to be a busy beaver this month making up the custom orders that were ordered and braiding a bunch more things for the big 2-day show next month. Lorna was exceedingly pleased with the interest especially since the tack store in town wants to talk to us about carrying a few of her items.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I finally got pictures of the costumes I did for our chorus.

I did the corsets, hip wraps, and head scarves. Obviously the corsets were the most time intensive thing. I made up my own pattern based on an Halloween costume and just kind of tweaked it until it worked. There are a few things I would have changed about the pattern if I hadn't been doing so many corsets for many different shapes and sizes. All of the trim had to put on by hand since the inside of the corsets are lined. Everyone is really pleased with how the costumes turned out, I just hope the judges like them next Saturday!

Of course I think Lorna looks the best in hers!

Friday, March 05, 2010


That is what we have planned for this weekend.

No horse activities, no Sweet Adeline's commitments, nothing. It's a wonderful thing and I'm so excited. I'm thinking it's time to get a handle on the house, it needs to be cleaned. With 4 of us home and working on it we should be able to get everything done in a short amount of time.

There has been lots of stress around here so I think we all need some down time. Paul was on the way to a meeting last Saturday and hit a large rock in the canyon. It was hit the rock or go into the river so I think he chose the better option. That little incident cost us a $600 repair bill. Car repairs are a never ending thing for us. With his job going so very poorly this was not a welcome expense but I am glad we had the money from the tax return to pay for it. Commission sales and the bad economy do not go well together.

On a positive note, we are all healthy and we haven't had any more animal emergencies!