Monday, July 6, 2009

With A Bang

We had the loveliest Fourth of July weekend, and if I don't tell you about it now, it will be jumbled together with posts about Andrew's birthday. And when I try to post too much at once, nothing is thorough. Just nothing. And I do like to be thorough.
So. We slept in. I know that's not such a big deal to most of you, but it is to us. I'm not saying that we didn't stay up late, but there is something nice about sleeping until it's honest-to-goodness light outside. Also, there's something that makes you panic and have heart palpitations in that first moment when you're waking up and realize that it's honest-to-goodness light outside and you might be late for something. But then, once the adrenaline subsides, you can just sink back into your pillow and let the morning pass by slowly.
For a little while.
And then you realize that the reason you were up late was a failed attempt at a Fourth of July dress and a new shirt for your daughter, and thankfully you finished the shirt, but you still need to make a dress for yourself from scratch and make biscuits and strawberry shortcake and special butter for the corn. So you heave yourself out of bed and feel very sorry indeed that you slept so long.
But I did finish my dress and I really like it. I like it so much that I'm going to take it apart later this week and fix a couple of things on it - which, I know, sounds all wrong if I liked the dress, but if I didn't like it, I would have just chucked it. I was a little inspired by this little top from Modcloth:

And I wound up with this cute-y cute little number:

What changes might I make? Well, let me tell you. I'm going to make it a little shorter, which I don't usually do, but I feel like the length detracts from its personality. And I'm going to mess around with the back. I did shirring on it with elastic thread so it's an easy, no-zipper fit, but I didn't account for the fullness of the front...
you know what? You guys probably don't care that much about the details. Nevermind.
I made Emma a cute little shirt out of the same fabric to go with....(drumroll, please)

The first skirt she ever made by herself! That's two bandannas, sewn together front-to-back and a simple elastic casing at the waist, which I ironed down for her, but she stitched and elasticized all by herself!

Once we were all gussied up, we headed over to my parents' house for a meat-and-fire celebration. I made my traditional strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits and the boys cooked up some burgers and yummy corn. We all ate waaaay too much and enjoyed every second of it, laughed ourselves silly and played a round of Balderdash.

Then, once the sun went down, we ignored the city fireworks display in favor of our own. We never have really bought much of that sort of thing on the fourth because we are always stuck in a crowded, sweaty and often rainy place waiting for the 15 minutes of fiery glory while being eaten alive by giant mosquitoes. But this year, it was decided that the young man in our midst needed to learn about the joys of making his own fire.
We started off small, with smoke bombs and snakes.

We worked our way up to sparklers,

and finished things off with June bugs and diamond cutters and other aptly-named bits of sparkly light.

The big finish? Oh, that was the Blazing Rebel - three straight minutes (just an estimate, mind you) of glorious, shooting fire. We still got eaten alive by giant mosquitoes, but I think we will all agree that the evening was immensely satisfying.

For the record, my youngest brother would like to be known from now on as The Blazing Rebel.

Today, I am busily making preparations to celebrate my big boy's birthday. He is turning twelve tomorrow. Sigh. The Terrible Teens are knocking at our door and I can only hold them off for this one last year.

Daily Bliss: licking the birthday cake batter bowl

Wake-up Playlist: Band of Horses, No One's Gonna Love You


60ish and Glad said...

The dress is very very cute - and the photos are great! The blazing rebel was worth the mosquitos and the strawberry short cake worth the two pounds I now must lose again.

claibornes corner said...

Oh, I love the dress and Emma's shirt. You are becoming quite the seamtress! We'll call Andrew tomorrow - so glad his card got there in time! But me - I LOVE BIG fireworks!!!

lubke-moss said...

Cute cute cute! You and Emma are becoming quite the seamstresses (sp?). Great work. :)
It looks as if you had a lovely 4th of July! Have fun celebrating Andrew's big b-day. :) I can't believe you have a 12 year old.

ModMandy said...

Hey Mess and Happiness!
Your dress looks killer! We are really happy you were inspired by our top! Because you look awesome.


Mary said...

I love Emma's skirt. I was seven when I made my first Easter outfit for myself. I remember exactly how proud I was to wear it. She looks adorable.

Happy Birthday Andrew!!!

mindy said...

See, I knew you'd get some great pictures! And I'm so glad you captured Joe's enthusiasm over the "Blazing Rebel" in that last one.....ha! Good times....

Jessica said...

Oh how envious I am of Emma and her skills at such a young age. I wish I would've learned this stuff back then. I love the dress and shirt! Very cute.