Friday, September 19, 2014

How Do You Measure a Year? In Miles! Or, I Drove to California This Summer

Joey's senior recital

One of my favorite songs (Seasons of Love) from a musical I've never seen (Rent) asks how do you measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets

In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

Sometimes we move through life as though we are checking off a "to-do" list. Get this done, get that done and then we will be "all set."  But we are never really "all set." Life is quite a journey. This year has been filled with endings and beginnings, highs, lows, moves in and moves out (or is it move ins and move outs???)

From all of Annie's senior year high school events and graduation to my son's college graduation to moving three of them into college and a whole lot of living in between. From the high of seeing your oldest child graduate from college to the depths of losing someone very close, we move through life filled with emotion.

This year, some of that emotion was processed in the car! It seemed to be a year of driving for me and I put quite a few miles on the car, listened to a lot of Malcolm Gladwell books and shed a few tears. So if I measure this year in miles, it would look like this:

300 son's senior recital
300 son's college graduation
300 funeral service
300 memorial service
500 deliver daughter to summer job
120 set up and capsize sailboat
120 family party
120 family reunion
500 Sarah Bareilles concert
80 deliver daughter to college
500 deliver daughter to college
(700 deliver son to college - I didn't take this trip....)

2640 - like driving to California!

Gosh, I was like Jack Kerouac! (Except without all the booze, high speeds, and women!) My husband and I both read "On the Road" this summer and, well, we've had a lot of family jokes about it. But that's another story....

A few highlights....

Dad hugging Joey after his amazing recital

A few of the family and friends who came to the recital. I think we had about 21 people and we hosted a dinner in this practice room after the recital.  
Billy always finds a tree to climb.

Sheer joy!

Sunset over Cedar Point parking lot

 Labor Day sunset

Thursday, September 4, 2014

DIY T Shirt Tailgate Banner, Spirit Banner, Dorm Room Decor

It's football season and, around here, a few people cheer for O - H - I - O!  I have been thinking about making a banner out of old T shirts for a while now.  Having a few Ohio State shirts in my scrap pile, I decided to make an Ohio State banner. 

I was inspired by my son's cross-country meets. All the various schools set up tents for the athletes to gather. Most have tents in their school colors with the school name printed on them. Ours has neither. I offered to make a banner if we could gather old T shirts. We could even take T shirt scraps and paint letters on them. It would be a simple and inexpensive way to show school pride.

These banners would be wonderful to hang from a tailgate tent, or in the backyard for a party, or even as dorm room decor!

  • T shirts
  • Other fabrics, fabrics scraps
  • Thick yarn, rope, ribbon, twill tape
  • Scissors; pinking shears
I had some Ohio State fabric in my stash from other projects. I also thrifted a few T Shirts and the black, grey, and red plaid shirt.  You can use anything!


1. Create a Triangular Pennant Template: Use a piece of interfacing or scrap fabric to create a triangular template. Mine is 9" wide at the top and 10" down. You can use any size you prefer.

2. Cut Out Pennants.  Trace your template onto fabric. If you are using a cotton fabric, use pinking shears to cut out.

3. Cut Out T Shirt Motifs.  Cut the front away from the back if there is anything that you want to use on the back side. For shirts with motifs, determine what you want to include. For this T shirt, I decided to cut a rectangle and hang it sideways.

Use the rest of the T Shirt to create more triangular pieces.

Some motifs are large. You can use just parts of it, or the entire thing.

Here, I decided to only use the "O".

I also used the sleeves to capture two colors.

The fabrics may curl a bit. If you prefer, you can interface the fabrics to minimize the curling. I didn't interface mine.

4. Lay Out Fabrics

5. Stitch. I folded over the top edge of the pennant and used a wide, long zig zag stitch to sew the folded edge. I tried to stitch directly onto the yarn so the shirts wouldn't slide. I spaced the pennants about 3" apart. I just eye-balled it.

That's it! Enjoy showing your team spirit and using up some of those spare shirts, too! Use whatever you have on hand.  Next time, I want to try using Pom Pom Fringe. If I used this, I would simply stitch along the top strip with the fabric pennant underneath.

My banner is about 18 feet long.


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