My mom adventures in Fort Collins


It’s raining, it’s pouring

No doubt if you live in Colorado, you’ve heard about some of the extreme flooding that we’ve been having. I live in Northern Colorado, so the main point of interest for me lately is that Estes Park (the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park) had flooded, and all of the roads in or out had been closed. (Not true, I learned after writing this that they opened Trail Ridge Road–the road that goes through RMNP over to Grand Lake–as a route for evacuation.) As far as I can tell from these photos here and here, Hwy 7 and Hwy 34 are fully washed out in areas. In mountain-area speak, there are only 4 ways in and out of Estes, and all are closed. (Well, Trail Ridge has traditionally been a seasonal road, so let’s see how long it can stay open before snow flies.) Residents are essentially living on an island. Can you imagine what the Estes Park Safeway looks like?

It’s estimated to cost millions to repair. Worse yet, people have died and many have been evacuated and may have lost their homes. Many in Boulder county have had entire residential streets torn up by the water. Schools are closed, the University of Colorado is closed, and there are closures along the interstate nearby. My sister-in-law works at a hospital in Longmont, and she assures me that it was a wild day at the office, so to speak. The hospital probably saw this guy:

But as for me, I can count my blessings. We are safe and dry. Our schools are also closed, but since I have soup and the kids have movies, we can just hunker down. If the kids feel like it, we might do this again:

Our walk to school on Tuesday morning

Our walk to school on Tuesday morning

We have the luxury of a safe, dry home, and I am grateful. For now, local reservoirs are holding and Spring Creek is okay. The Poudre River has overflowed, and caused a lot of road closures and some evacuations, but most city dwellers are safe this morning. Please say a prayer for those folks who don’t have such luxuries, especially those who find themselves scrambling for what to carry with them as they leave their home and head to safety. (How sad, the local Red Cross evacuation area doesn’t have a place for pets. This is probably not unusual in an emergency, but I just never thought about it before.) And pray especially for the folks in Colorado who were spared from fire a year ago, and are now fighting against mudslides and floods.

Stay safe, Colorado!

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Gettin’ Crafty: Recycle an old t-shirt into a girl’s skirt

I recently reorganized my closet, and I had to have a frank conversation with myself about my wardrobe. Seriously, you can only wear so many v-neck t-shirts, right? But what do you do with your castoffs? If you’re on pinterest, you can search “Upcycle” and come up with dozens of inspirational ideas. I did have a t-shirt in my pile that was special and sweet–but it was a little on the small side.  So… I know, let’s make a SKIRT!

Who, but my helpless children, will participate in these antics?

Start with a shirt--this shirt is a size small, Simply Vera brand t-shirt with ruffles down the front of the shirt

Start with a shirt–this shirt is a size small, Simply Vera brand t-shirt with ruffles down the front of the shirt

It’s really helpful to have a kiddo’s skirt to work from.

I used this size Small Xhiliration skirt of my daughter's as a  guide--it is a simply A-line skirt with an elastic waistband

I used this size Small Xhiliration skirt of my daughter’s as a guide–it is a simply A-line skirt with an elastic waistband

I did have to take the top two sets of ruffles off (love me some seam ripper!) in order to allow enough room for what will eventually become the waistband. The skirt gave a general guide for the shape of the skirt.

After you cut the shirt apart, you can leave a bit of room on either side for a seam allowance (I used a ruler to at least try to get straight lines)

After you cut the shirt apart, you can leave a bit of room on either side for a seam allowance (I used a ruler to at least try to get straight lines)

Due to the nature of the fabric of the ruffles, I did stitch along the edges to prevent fraying. But other than that, you work the shirt into a skirt in a fairly typical way–right sides together, sew up each seam until where the waistband would be. Turn the top over unto itself to create a “tube” where you’ll insert the elastic (I used 1/2″ elastic).

Creating the "casing" (I believe that's what the cool kids are calling it)

Creating the “casing” (I believe that’s what the cool kids are calling it)

Have your kiddo try on the skirt, if you can, to get the elastic as tight as necessary. It’s good to check that they can walk around–even in knit fabrics, you don’t want the skirt to be too confining. (If need be, you can make the skirt shorter or create a side slit to counter this issue.)

The measured-out elastic waist-band

The measured-out elastic waist-band

And I actually hand sewed the last little bit to enclose the entire elastic. Then, the most fun part–have your kiddo try on their new garment.

Trying on the skirt

Trying on the skirt

Sitting in the skirt

Sitting in the skirt

 

New skirt!

New skirt!

And she likes it… major craft success!