Here’s my markerboard of stuff  to do for work.

I did a little bit of this sort of thing yesterday, and in fact just accepted a new assignment this morning, but mostly I was domestic yesterday.

I went to the grocery and stocked up well enough that the boys were happy as they unpacked the meatitude and sweetitude, but not quite well enough, since I have to go back before church today and pick up dog food and dish soap.

I deadheaded the roses, such of the Sleeping Beauty thicket of roses that I could reach, and dried some rose petals. I baked cupcakes.

I also took a nap, and sat out on the porch for a bit reading.

But I was determined to get some needlework in yesterday. It is so long since I have managed to make anything, apart from some  very slowly progressing knitting, that I had moved “make something” up to the top of the priority list.

The number of projects I have planned, and have materials for, is enormous. It was very hard to choose. I went with this.

It is possible that you  remember that last summer I went through a little spell of lingerie-making. One of the things I made was a bra: Elan 510, a front-closure with a two-piece cup and a “balcony” fit.

The balcony style looks very pretty under a low neckline, but since I don’t wear low necklines any more, I decided this time to go with what the bra-makers call “full coverage.” In fact, I decided to go with a three-piece cup, which is the serious Brunhilde-type bra. RTW bras of this kind often have names referencing goddesses, so you know this is serious stuff.

I chose a German pattern, which means you get a piece of paper that looks like a road map for a large city whose planners weren’t thinking clearly. Also it has words on it like “Vervielfatigungen” and “Schnittteil,” not to mention “Unterbrustweite.”

You have to track down your size among number like 80H and 90C, and trace off all the pieces.

This is really the most difficult part, though, because there are only six pieces, and they’re all little.

However, this being a serious engineered type of bra, each piece has several layers — lycra, stretch lace, power net, and tulle in various combinations — and they go together in surprising ways. You therefore have to line up all the parts and sew three or five or six layers at a time, persuading nonmatching curved edges to match.

I’m not good enough with a sewing machine to manage this. So, although they say that an experienced bra maker can sew one up in an hour using an ordinary sewing machine, I just took my time with it and sewed by hand as I read a detective novel.

This is a pleasant thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Still, life is real and life is earnest, and so after dinner I did my homework. I’m taking a class in web design via distance learning at the college where I teach. Our first assignment was to make this website. Actually, ours is slightly different — the alignment of the logo, for example, is different, and different stuff is italicized. Still, I found the website online when the logo turned out not to be in the student files and I needed to track it down, so you can go see it if you have a mind to.

Not much of a website. And I promise you that it is extremely boring to type all this out. Not only the words, but also all the little pointy brackets and backslashes and stuff.

We’re working in Notepad, which is good for us, but I’m used to Dreamweaver,which does some of the really boring parts for you. Or CMSs like Xanga, which let you play with pictures and colors and stuff, whether you have any skills or not.

And of course we’re still at the point at which the results as well as the process are pretty boring.

In knitting terms, it’s like casting on and doing a bunch of rows of garter stitch when you want to learn to knit because you admire Estonian lace shawls.

I learned a couple of things, though, and I expect to learn lots more as I go along.

It no longer seems likely that I will actually get to the grocery before church, and #1 son is taking the car to work after that, so the grocery is going to have to wait, or to be on someone else’s to-do list. I have more homework to do this afternoon, and a bit of recording and file sending, and 24 papers to grade, but I’m also planning to continue working on the bra. It could be my first finished object of 2009.

–brief interlude during which I went back to see last year’s xanga entry, thinking it would be amusing if I had actually made that first bra on that day–

Last year, according to xanga, which ought to know, #1 daughter came up to visit me and told me to do the following things: buy a new computer, buy the software I needed, get a website and business cards, and take a class in web design.

I’ve now done, or am doing, all those things. I see also that I had a list for myself, which included the following things:

  • I have to figure out how to have enough work, but not too much at the same time.
  • I have to figure out how to invoice people and pay taxes.
  • I have to figure out a new schedule that includes housekeeping, knitting, and dinners.

Essentially, I’ve done all the things my daughter told me to do, but almost none of the things I told myself to do.