Friday, September 30, 2011

Creole goodness make ya wanna slap somebody

I've been busy lately.  I don't have a lot to show for it, but there it is.

I've almost completed sewing a gi for B.  I didn't have a pattern, so it's been an adventure.  I went to Hobby Lobby, WalMart, and a few other places trying to find patterns for adult sized gi, but to no avail.  So, I went online to try to find information on traditional martial arts uniforms.  This resulted in pictures of the way clothing was constructed back forever and ever ago.  So far it's working out well.  The pants, unfortunately, did not turn out as intended.  They went together right, but I failed to take into account enough positive ease, so they wound up being rather fitted.  I was smart enough to buy additional fabric for the inevitable SNAFU resulting from sewing clothing with no pattern.  So, back to the drawing board on those.

I've started knitting a rug, but that kind of went off on a back burner when B asked for a gi.

I've had four depositions to transcribe this past month, and that on top of regular housework has kept me pretty much off the web for the most part.  (other than some short facebooking, and whatever surfing I get in on my phone.  Yep!  I got a new phone!)

I also made a recipe for red beans and rice that my sister-in-law gave to me.  It. Was. YUMMY! (I have about 3 quarts (maybe more) of the stuff leftover, so it's a good thing everyone liked it.  That was with B, the Pup, Fin, her daughter, and myself all having some.   The recipe says it serves six.  I'd say it would serve 12 easily, unless you just at the red beans conglomeration like a gumbo and skipped the rice.

Here's the original recipe with my alterations and additions in ( ) :

This recipe takes approximately 5 hours, so start it early.

Red Beans and Rice

*1 lb Dried Kidney Beans
*2 qt Cold Water
*1 meaty ham bone or a thick slice of raw ham cut into cubes
(Instead of ham, I used smoked pork neck bones.  They're about $1 lb and I had several bones leftover for soup beans or stock later.  You could also use smoked turkey wings for good flavor if you're not into pork)
*1/2 lb hot sausage sliced thick (I used andoullie, but I imagine you could use ground sausage, too.  It does need to be REALLY flavorful, because it's going to lose a lot of flavor to the beans and water.)
*1 bunch scallions, including green tops
*1 bell pepper
*2 stalks celery
*3 medium onions
*pinch of thyme (more like 2 or 3 good big pinches)
*4 bay leaves
*Cayenne Pepper or Tobasco Sauce (I used both... )
*Salt (liberally)
*White Rice - not instant
(Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
(Cavender's Greek Seasoning)
(Beef Boullion - 2 regular cubes)
(1 chile pepper)
(1 lb shrimp)

NOTE:  If you are one of those people who pre-preps their veggies etc. before they cook, add an additional half hour to the cook time before smashing the beans.
If you prefer instant rice, add an additional half hour to cook time after smashing the beans.

Rinse the kidney beans twice, toss any that don't look good (discolored), and get rid of any foreign debris that might've snuck into the bag.  Put beans and 2 qts of water in a big heavy pot.  You need at least a gallon stock pot for this.  It seems superfluous for 2 qts of water and some beans, but all your veggies are going to disintegrate into more broth, so you need the space.

Add the ham (boiling meat of choice), sausage, salt, and pepper.  Put on medium heat.

While your beans are heating and soaking - chop your veggies and toss them in as you go.  Add your seasonings (the original recipe calls for very little seasoning.  I liberally dosed mine with some additions, and it was not overly spicy)

When the mixture boils (I had to turn mine up to a med-high heat to obtain a boil) reduce heat to a simmer, and allow to cook for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes (or basically when you think about it, but don't wait too long.)

Using a spoon, squash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot.  If they don't mash easily, try again in 30 minutes.

40 minutes after you've mashed your beans, taste and tweak the seasonings.  Allow to cook for another 30 minutes while you prepare the white rice.  (this is when I added my shrimp - they were pre-cooked and just frozen)

Ladle beans over rice and serve.

All the veggies will practically disappear, and mashing the beans thickens the broth into something like a gravy.  I didn't squash enough beans, so mine was thinner than expected, but still really tasty.

If you don't add anything else to the original recipe, I definitely recommend some cajun-ish spices, and don't be afraid of salt.  The beans and rice both really dull down any spices you add, so the broth has to be flavorful enough to make up for it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I think my cell phone is dying.  This is unfortunate, since it's like my do-everything-thingy.  I use it to keep track of bills, budget, grocery lists, take pictures, blog, facebook, email... you get the idea.

So, this means that pictures won't really be forthcoming except when I can get the darned thing to cooperate.

I finished the curtains in the living room!  Yay!  (finally :-P)

I think they turned out pretty good for about $16 worth of stuff found at the Goodwill.   My "old lady corner" is coming together.  The little bookshelf between the windows has all my cookbooks.  Not terribly convenient to the kitchen, but really there's nowhere in the kitchen for them, unless I take up some space in the pantry.  The hutch on top of the super awesome desk B built holds my crafting books and supplies (mostly), and the little corner bookcase has sort of morphed into a place to stuff fabric.

I think I might be ready to hang pictures on the wall soon!  Which will be awesome, since right now they're all in boxes in the floor by the couch.  I think if I can get those boxes cleared out, I'll be pretty content.  The guest bedroom is still full of boxes, but they're nearly all books and crafting oddments (fabric, yarn, quilt pieces, etc.)

I think it would make B very happy if I pared down the books, but... but... but...  I know I have a lot of books, a lot more than most people for sure.  But, I love my books!!  You can pick up any book off my shelves, and there's a 99% chance I've read it, and about a 60% chance I've read it more than once.  Some of my paperbacks have been read so many times they're falling to shreds (which is one of the reason I have a tendency to buy my favorite favorites in hardback.

Other than the books, I really don't have a lot of general stuff.  All my clothes fit in a couple of storage bins under the bed.  I have a lot of kitchen stuff, but I use everything I have regularly enough to tempt me to buy a few spares because I find that sometimes I need two of something I only have one of.

Speaking of making things.  Last night we had pot roast, and I was going to make dinner rolls to go with it.  But the Pup mentioned how much he loves those big soft pretzels you can get at the fair or the mall.  Guess what recipe was right before the dinner rolls in my favorite cook book?  Yep!  Soft pretzels.  They required fewer ingredients than dinner rolls, and I'm out of butter.  I figured a chewy-ish soft bread was a chewy-ish soft bread, and pretzels would be just as good with a pot roast and dinner rolls.

They were something of a pain in the butt during the boiling part, because draining them on paper towels was recommended.  However; wet, sticky, rapidly cooling dough on paper = damn.  I went through a lot of paper towels.  I really need to sew those t-shirt scraps into napkins, bar rags, and towels.  That would've been a lot less messy and wasteful.  But, the pretzels turned out really good.  They tasted awesome, and I would love to show you pictures.  But my phone is fubar, and they're all gone.  I'll post the recipe and pictures in a future post.

Tonight is going to be beef and noodle stew from the leftover pot roast.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


There was something said the other day that made me try to step back and take an unbiased look at my life.  Of course, about the time I tried to do that, I realized it was pretty impossible.  We are a culmination of the experiences of our lives, and our responses to those experiences make us who we are by coloring everything that comes after.

In taking that step back, though, I've come to the conclusion that I am absolutely, completely, totally, 100% f*c*ing SPOILED.  Rotten.  Horribly, and irrevocably.

I get woken up with a kiss and coffee every morning.  I know, that seems a little backwards, but we've come to the conclusion that I am *much* nicer if he wakes me up after he's back from PT rather than getting up with him.  Besides, he doesn't eat until after PT anyway.  But, he doesn't have to wake me up like he does.

I work, but it's not full time.  Even if I didn't work at all, we could still make it, and he's still willing to take care of me, because I take care of him.

I work in my PJ's if I want.

I have time for arts and crafts.

I have food in the pantry and refrigerator.

I have time to cook good food, like it's supposed to be.

I laugh.  A LOT.

I get to keep my cat.  (I love my Li'l Bit)

I have a friggin awesome apartment, that I love!

I have a nice little back yard, with a white privacy fence.

I have friends that like to hang out in that back yard, laughing, A LOT.

I have central heating and air.

I have a dishwasher.

I have a clothes line.

I have free gas and free water that I don't have to budget for.

I have a refrigerator.

I have a comfy bed.

I get kisses and hugs every day he's here.

I laugh.  A LOT!

I have friends and family that I miss and love.

I have clothes to wear.

I have a husband who's loving, patient, considerate, and helpful.  Yes, he get's moody, has bad days, and can be frustrating, but who can't?  I know I can!

I have the bestest sewing desk EVAR! (courtesy of above mentioned husband)

I have knowledge, skills, and abilities that my Gramma and dad taught me that allow me to take advantage of the good fortune of being a housewife to make the house more efficient and comfortable.

I am independent.

I'm a homebody.

I'm pretty simple.

I like it that way.

My husband loves me.

I love my husband.

I like to cook, sew, knit, embroider, quilt, crochet, and otherwise behave as if I were 30 years older than I am.

Can I complain?
Sure I can.
I do a mountain of laundry every week.
I have a hole in my knee.
I wake up grumpy as all hell, sometimes (kisses and coffee have worked WONDERS on that aspect of my personality, though)
I don't always want to play little miss sociable, sometimes I want to tell people to go away so I can have some mental health time.
Sometimes B irritates the snot out of me.
Sometimes I irritate the snot out of me.
I miss rain.
I'm not looking forward to his next deployment (whenever that may be).
His future is still completely up in the air, because no one knows what to do with the four 11Bs that were odd men out (B and our Pup are two of those).  B may be going to classes here, may be going TDY, may be getting new orders for a different post, may be getting assigned to a different unit here... nobody knows.  Does it do me any good to bitch?  Nope.
Are any of those things so bad that they outweigh the good things?  Nope.
Do any of those things keep me up at night?  Nope.  Not unless something is bothering B really bad, then that bothers me.

Can I name any single factor or combination of factors that bother me so bad that I just want to bitch and whine and lament my existence?  Nope.

Honestly?  I am stupidly happy with my life.  There are little things, every day things, that irritate me, make me frown, bother me, etc.  But truthfully, those are generally having to do with B and his irritation at all the unknown quantities right now.

I am enviably happy.  Yep, I just said that.  I'm thoroughly loving the fact that I don't go to a wage-slave job, but I can still contribute a little bit to our income.  I am loving the fact that I can say "hey, baby?" and whatever follows (within reason) is going to get done.  I can say "Hey, baby?  Will you help me?" and he's already on his way when he says "Watcha need?"  I am adoring the fact that we have such a great place to live.  I really like living on post, because I like the social interaction (even if I do have to bow out of it from time to time to keep my reclusive sanity).  I love knowing that the Pup might pop through the door any second and go "Hi, mom!" flop on the couch and make himself at home.  I can't help but chuckle a little when I see Fin pop her head over the fence, climb up on top and perch for a cigarette and a conversation.  I even like the fact that she randomly asks me to watch her kid.  She's got the cutest, sweetest little midget.  I love the fact that I haven't left the house in two weeks other than a quick run to the class six with Katie.  I love the fact that even though he's playing a video game that he really enjoys, I can go pounce on my husband, give him kisses, and he won't get pissed at me.  I LOVE that.  He won't even get pissed if I ask him to get up and do something right in the middle of his game.  I love the fact that I am about to go rummage through the fridge to cobble together our dinner from whatever goodies are leftover.  I don't love dishes so much, but I love that I have a kitchen to dirty up and the time to absolutely destroy it while making something awesome for my baby.

I guess this post kinda turned into a "let me rub your noses in how happy I am", but I really don't mean it like that.  We don't have a lot to spend, we don't go out, we don't throw parties, we don't go to parties, we groan when we're invited to parties, we don't go shopping all the time, or find other expensive ways to enjoy ourselves.  It's the little things in life that are the most enjoyable and the most important.  You don't need to go buy a new car, new clothes, a new TV, new gaming systems, new appliances, new furniture, new cologne, new accessories, watch the movie on opening night, go to the club, or the bar, or any of that stuff to be happy.  If you go looking outside yourself for happiness, you'll never find it.  I've looked.  I looked for a very long time.  Happiness is easy, if you figure out that you are the source of your own happiness.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You little sew and sew... go sit on it and weave!

Ok, yeah... that's a cheesy ass title.  I can't help it!

 Bryan made me a sewing desk :-D  He isn't too thrilled with it, but it turned out exactly how I hoped it would.  I'm hoping that he will have enough odd scraps of wood eventually to make me some old style vegetable crates to use as drawers.  <3!!  It's got a huge work surface, which is truly awesome when I've got a curtain sized pile of fabric I'm trying to keep straight for sewing.

And an old hutch I was using as a book case has taken a place as a hutch again, which is why he suggested he build me a desk in the first place.  And because I'd hijacked the dining table as my sewing table, because there wasn't anywhere else with a work surface big enough for my projects.

I've got a super-amazing-awesome husband!

I've gotten several projects done since he set it up for me the other day, too.

Remember those polyester scraps of slacks I mentioned that used to be in the trunk turned coffee table?

 I took some of them and ripped the seams out for a crazy quilt pillow.

I've decided that crazy quilting is kind of a pain in the butt, because trying to get all those odd shaped pieces to fit together into the size and shape you want them to eventually be is challenging.  But I love the way it turned out!  Katie helped me lay out the colors, and it is Pup tested and nap approved.

I also sewed a curtain for the window over the stairs.  We hung it up with staples, because it was scary enough with the Pup balancing on the banister to try to reach just for that.  Having someone balancing up there with a power drill and multiple sharp pointy objects to try to hang a curtain rod was just not something I really wanted to contemplate.

They're not really purple and yellow.  That's just the result of the flash.  It's more a country blue and sunshine.  They don't block all the light, so you can still see to go up and down the stairs, but it still blocks some light and cools off the upstairs hall and stairwell a lot.  Katie helped me with this one, too, because I just wasn't sure about combining blue and yellow.  I like it, in spite of the ruffles.  The blue ruffled bit was a round table cloth that I cut in half, then only sewed half the cut edge to the top edge of the sheer yellow fabric.  The other half of the half circle I hemmed and let hang.  I was going to get all fancy, and cut the table cloth into quarters, then try to sew the quarters together into something like a scalloped panel, but I decided that would be more work than necessary and would make the curtains way too long for the small window.

Another staple gun curtain project.  This was a very sheer knit in a sunshiney yellow.  It actually almost perfectly matches a tablecloth I gave Ms. Terri this past summer.  If I had seen this when I gave her the table cloth, I would've given this to her, too, because I'm really not a big fan of pastel or bright colors.  But, it ended up working out great for the bathroom.  It shades, without cutting out all the light.  And when it's cool enough to open the windows, it lets a breeze through, without billowing around and showing you showering to the neighborhood ;-)  It also makes the bathroom a pretty warm sunlight color, even when it's cloudy out.

That's it for my projects so far.  I'm still not done, yet.  B made me a lap loom that I just have to try out with the spools of run yarn I scored.  80 lbs of yarn for under $80.  When you consider that a normal skein costs around $3, and it's usually only a few ounces, you're talking about a MAJOR price score.  I just can't knit with it, because it all wound up being rug yarn.

If you look at the second picture of the desk, up on top of the hutch, you'll see some of the spools of yarn.  Most of them are big, fluffy thick yarns, with lots of loft in various shades of earthy browns and greens.  I've got some that I think are a little obnoxious (mustard yellow with orange flecks???), and some bright gem tones like a cerulean blue, garnet red, and a deep purple that I really love.  I can't complain about the yarn, though.  Included in all that (until now) useless rug yarn were two HUGE skeins of merino lace weight yarn in a really nice spring/mossy green.  *That* in the amounts I have it in, is worth way more than $80.  You're talking about 1200 ft per lb, and each spool weighs several lbs.  I have some lace patterns I've been dying to try out, I just have to find the time!

Maybe I'll be unpacked all the way, one day LOL.  I'd probably make more progress if I quit playing with the sewing machine, huh?

Poor little Gimpy

Gimpy was my buddy for one day.

Our neighbor, Fin, found him in her yard and brought him to me.  She figured I'd find something to do with him.  LOL  funny how the "sucker" sign follows us everywhere.  My "sucker" sign isn't limited to the cute and fuzzy.  I'll take in any damned thing.  Including snakes.

Gimpy was about 6 or 7 inches long, and... well... gimpy.  You can see in the picture that his underbelly is strangely folded in one section.  He wouldn't move that whole folded area, and when I held him that area was limp and strangely flat.  I think maybe he got stepped on, but I suppose he could've been hatched deformed.  There wasn't any visible trauma, no blood, and when he pooped it was normal with no blood.  I thought I could rehab him.  Or at least help him out a bit.

He turned out to be a Rough Earth Snake.  They don't generally get more than 10 inches long, and their primary diet is earth worms.  I thought he was a pretty little gimpy guy, so I set him up in a shallow tupperware container.

I've never seen a snake actually gulp water before, but this little guy was chugging.  B was tasked with getting Gimpy some earth worms on his way back from Lowe's.  B got the earth worms, but Gimpy never got one....

Poor Gimpy :-(  He didn't make it.  But we tried.  I feel kind of guilty, because I think he would've made it if I had given B specific instructions.  Gimpy's little habitat was outside, so he wouldn't get too cold in the AC, and so he could have sunshine.  But!  This is Texas.  It's not just hot, it's H-O-T!!  I had Gimpy in an area where he would only receive direct sunlight for a very short time in the morning, and ambient light throughout the day.  I checked on him periodically to make sure he wasn't getting too hot, and he seemed to be doing fine.  After B got home from Lowe's, he moved Gimpy (unbeknownst to me) into a chair in direct Texas sun.  Gimpy never had a chance.  *sigh*  Poor little guy.

What gives?

Where've I been??

Right here...  It's strange, really.  I feel busier now than I sometimes felt when I worked full time.  What's a typical day like for me?

B's alarm goes off at 0445, but we've made a deal that I don't get up with him first thing anymore.  It's better for both of our mental health.  He doesn't eat breakfast that early anyway, and the coffee pot has an automatic timer, so I can fix it the night before.

He wakes me up at 0700-ish, when he gets back from PT to shower.  That's when I make his breakfast and get my own coffee.  After that, it's dishes, then scoping.  He takes himself off to 0900 formation.  When he get's back (because usually he doesn't have a detail, which I find so odd), he plays video games or something, and I continue to type as long as I've got a job pending.  At the lunch bugles, I make his lunch, grab a snack, clean up the lunch things, and go back to whatever I was doing.  After 1400 or 1500 formation, I usually give up typing or hang up the housework and attempt sociability.

There's always something needing done.  If I'm not typing, or doing dishes and laundry, I'm trying to unpack some more, make more hoojies for the house, or I'm cooking.  I spend most of my time in the kitchen in some way or another, honestly.  By 2100, when they play the little warning bugle call for one hour till quiet hours, I'm beat, and I just want to crawl in the bed.  How's that work?

When I was working full time, my days were longer, but I had set "working" hours.  After that, I crammed in whatever housework I felt like, and the day was done.  I felt like I'd put in my fair share.  Now, I feel like there's always something I should be doing, even if there's really not much I can currently do not having a lot of shelving, yet.  (But, we've got plenty of beer bottles, thanks to the kids :-P  so more shelves are on the way.)

I've got a few things to post that we've been up to lately, but even though we've both been busy, we haven't really completed a whole lot.  Everything seems to be stuck at 'work in progress'.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Travel Trunk Table

While I was visiting with Ms. Terri from over at In the Blue House on the Hill, we were talking about crafty things, and I mentioned a foot locker that I have absolutely full of vintage polyester.  Yes... I really do save anything.  These are scraps left over from my step-gramma's clothes-making.  She used to make her own clothes to wear to work, because she had to dress nice, but couldn't afford to go buy expensive clothes.  I was trying out idea for what to do with all that 1970's scariness (because boy some of those patterns and color combinations are *wild*, and polyester really isn't a pleasant feeling fabric.  Kind of scratchy, and plasticy.).

Ms. Terri by-passed the fabric and went straight at the trunk with her train of thought.
It's a pretty awesome trunk.  I love old stuff, because it always has more personality than new stuff.  There are scratches, and dents, and tarnished places that make it more individual than just going to the store and buying something that is just like what everyone else already has.  Old stuff has stories, too.  Even if I can't use it in its current incarnation, I save old stuff until I can figure out a way to give it a new purpose as something else or part of something else.  Trunks are always handy, though.  They're storage with attitude.  You can leave a trunk stuffed full of junk anywhere in the house, and it looks like decoration.  Try that with a cardboard box some time.  It just doesn't have the same appeal.

Anyway... sorry about that.  I kinda got sidetracked.  So where was I?  Visiting Terri... right.

She suggested I turn the trunk into a coffee table.  She even gave me finials for feets!

But you can't have a  cool, banged up old travel trunk with raw feets.  The feets need some character, too.  (these were happily dinged and scratched already, so I didn't feel the need to beat them up).

But they did need staining.

The curtain hangers were stained with the exact same stain.  The finials just seemed to take the stain way better.  I like it!

Then, I got to thinking about the water rings left by cold drinks, the leather-ish (probably vinyl) material covering the trunk, and the particle board underneath.  Some form of water protection would probably be a good idea.  I don't want my table getting all mushy and the top falling in.

So out comes the polyurethane.

In heavy doses!  I must've put 1/4 inch on there.  It drooled down the sides and back some, so I went ahead and polyurethaned the whole lid.. you know, just to keep it from looking too sloppy.  

 I drilled some pilot holes a little smaller than the screws coming out of the finials and screwed them into place.

Then, I got some of the scraps from B's curtain hangers to screw onto the tips of the screws so I won't accidentally cut myself on the tips when I reach into the trunk for something.

And there we go.  A coffee table/trunk :-)  It's awesome!

Please ignore the clutter.  I am still unpacking and organizing, but it's the perfect height for setting drinks and controllers on, and the inside has just enough room for the blankets I had folded on the backs of the couch and love seat, and the two travel pillows that the Pup and B use when they nap in the afternoons.

It's Curtains for You!

It's curtains for you, kid.  You're gonna be sleepin' in da dark from now on!

I *finally* got some curtains hung!  *Happy dance*  I'm not done, yet, not by a long shot.  But!  I've got the master bedroom curtains finished, and one set hung.  Bryan made all right side brackets at first, which made it difficult to hang anything up at first.  He made some left side brackets the other day, and announced that they're ready to go up.  Yay!  He's awesome!

He cut some squares, then used a boring bit to make a hole in half the squares that would be the right diameter for the dowels we're going to use as curtain rods.  Then he cut out one side of the hole to make a sort of slot to slide the dowel down in to.  Add some hanging brackets, pretty trim, and stain, and you've got some really nifty hardware for pretty cheap.

I think they look way nicer, too.

For my curtains, I cannibalized the sheers and scarves that I used to have hanging from the canopy of my bed.

These were a couple dollars at the dollar store several years ago.  I have four panels, and as it turns out, one panel is wide enough for each window in the master bedroom.  The guest bedroom window is wider and will need two full panels.
These window scarves were also from the dollar store.  They're ridiculously long, and I'd guess almost 5 ft wide.  I had two, so I cut one in half long way to make narrower scarves.

 This stuff is some heavy wool that I found at a clearance fabric shop a long time ago.  It's very thick, and has a color similar to burlap.  I only needed a couple yards at the time I bought it, but it was so cheap I bought a ton of it.  I figured I'd eventually find a use for it.  And I have :-)  It'll make great blackout/insulating window shades.

I think that, for an accidental compilation, they look pretty good together.

 These are my ancient pinking shears.  They were my Gramma's.  Unless I am mistaken, they're from the mid-late 1930's.  They are a little scratched, and the blacking on the handles is a little worn, but there's not rust on them, and they cut smooth as ever.  Since sheer fabric is a complete pain in the butt to hem accurately because it's so slippery, I figured I'd just use the pinking shears to cut it, then use a decorative stitch to sew just behind the cut edge.  It'll still fray, but I don't mind that.

 I used thread that doesn't quite match on purpose.  I wanted the stitches to be visible.

 I likewise didn't technically hem the wool.  It won't fray much at all, because it's so dense, and I wanted it to  have a similar look/feel to the shabby-ish sheers.

Instead of sewing the wool panel and the sheers separately, and having to hang them tandem, I sewed the wool to the back of the sheers so it all hangs in one piece.  I pleated the shears at the top a little.

And used a burgundy thread when I sewed the wool to the back to repeat the decorative stitch pattern.  Burgundy may seem odd, since nothing else on my curtains is burgundy, but my bedding is burgundy, cream, and brown, so I wanted to toss some red into the curtains somehow.  It's such a small bit of red, it won't even be really noticeable, but I know it's there, and I like it :-P

Unfortunately, I didn't allow myself quite as much width on the wool panel as I really needed for a solid blackout.  But, I (surprisingly) didn't have as much wool as there appeared to be.  In order to have enough to do both windows in the master bedroom, I had to stick uncomfortably close to the actual window dimensions with almost no overhang anywhere.  I still have some wool leftover, and it's enough for a small project, but I won't get any more curtains out of it.  I'll have to figure something else out for the guest bedroom's blackout shades.  

They're not the neatest curtains ever.  I'd like to find a better way to keep the edges of the sheer fabrics from fraying.  They look heat pressed or something on the factory finished edges.  I wonder if I could singe it slightly to melt the cut threads together?  Maybe that'll be something to figure out when I have to take them down, but for now they won't really be getting moved around or fussed with enough to cause the edges to fray.  But, I think they look pretty good :-) 

They also function as intended.  Even with only one window covered, the room is noticeably cooler throughout the day, even with the sun shining right on the window.