Nothing like a project I can start and finish within a few hours. And nothing like bears in pajamas.

The bears in question belong to my friend Alex‘s nine year old daughter. The big guy is “Upstate Bear” and his little friend is “Daisy.” They’ve been waiting patiently on our love seat since January to have custom sleepwear fitted. I’d originally made a set for Upstate Bear with an 18 inch doll sized pattern, but that was without laying eyes on the fluffy fellow. When I had Alex bring him over to measure for a hem, we found the whole thing would have to be bigger, but I had to launch into work on our Klingon wedding costumes before reworking the PJs.

Little did I know it would take four months to complete all the Klingon wedding stuff or that I’d be sewing the night before the convention and talking a hand-sewing bit for the car ride to Atlanta.

I was so relieved to have a small project to jump back into after we got home. But first, I moved our sewing area from the dinning room into our office and put my desk in the dinning room. Crafts breed chaos. When you have a connected living/dinning room, working on a big, long project out there makes it feel like we don’t have a living space at all. I will eventually post pictures of our sewing room when I’ve got things set up how I’m envisioning. I really want a giant spool and bobbin rack, an cork board and maybe a peg board to hang our fanciest tools on.

When I finally sat down to make the pajamas, I wasn’t sure how well the skills I learned modifying patterns for our wedding garb would translate to working with dolls and bears. Let me tell you, it’s much easier to work with a bear than a person. And the pattern shapes are much simpler. Measure the waist, cut the pants pattern down the middle, tape in some of the cool giant graph paper we’ve got and presto, it fits. The shirt is a little more in depth to explain without diagrams, but a cake walk compared to fitting the bodice of my dress, for sure. The little pair needed only to be shortened. I used a Ken doll sized patten and it was perfect.

I’m proud of myself for learning a skill I’ll hopefully be applying for years to come for costumes, dolls & toys, and possibly even day to day wear clothes. Without being to cocky – the seam ripper is always handy for a reason – I feel like I’ve got the basics down. For someone who never had hobbies before besides reading and writing which, at the core, are basic skills everyone learns in school, it’s a darn good feeling.

Upstate Bear and Daisy went home a couple days ago. I hear their owner is very happy with the results. Without a doubt, that’s the best part.


I sit here at my desk, newly placed in the dining room since I moved our sewing table into the office, drinking coffee while I do some typing in an attempt to write something publishable.

When we got back to South Carolina after our Seattle trip, I was determined to cut out all caffeine. Not forever, but long enough to rest my dependance. What use, I feel, is caffeine if it doesn’t give you a buzz?

I grew up without caffeine in the house, started drinking Mt. Dew and Coke in my early teens, coffee once I graduated high school. I am still more sensitive to high volumes of coffee than most people I know.
I’ve gone off caffeine maybe three times since I was twenty. That first time, it was a pot, plus a fancy coffee, plus several cans of Coke every single day habit. I was jittery, sleepless and burned out. When I went cold turkey off it all, I couldn’t feel my head for three days, but then I was fine. A couple months later, I started back on moderate caffeine use.

I got back in the day to day habit of so much coffee, but I do tend to enjoy one or more caffeinated beverages daily or nearly daily. It’s not always for the caffeine. I love the comfort of tea and Diet Coke is my favorite refreshment. We don’t own a coffee maker, but I invested in a $40 electric kettle after the $12.99 died in six months of heavy use. Tea has so little caffeine, I tend not to count it. I have access to fancy coffee at work and our apartment complex office has a Keurig I avail myself of around once a week. This machine is the source of cup I’m currently enjoying.

Now, I’d love to report this cup was my first after we got back from Seattle nearly a month ago, but I must report my “break” from caffeine lasted only four days. I could barely function for the fatigue and whole-body-migraine. I felt a bit like the day before the worst day of the flu. I left work early one day after throwing up. Worse, I knew 20 ounces of Diet Coke would fix what ailed me.

With only two weeks until our Klingon wedding and plenty to do, plus normal things like work, food prep, dishes and laundry, I changed my game plan to include one caffeinated beverage per day. I’d been using much more in the months leading up to the trip. When I down my blood pressure medication with Diet Coke, I feel unhealthy and stupid.

I don’t foresee a time in the near future where I can detox without interfering with preforming my daily functions. Not going overboard is the best I can attempt in an effort to both be good to my body and keep it doing the things I need it to do. Like walking and thinking.

For now, I’m waiting for today’s coffee to hit my blood stream and switch to water for the afternoon.