Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Making Curtains- Making Mistakes- Life’s “Do Overs”


This past couple of weeks I have updating my fifteen year old bathroom décor.  I’ve been stripping wall paper, washing walls, light fixtures, and switch plates.  I painted everything with two coats of  a soothing foggy gray. (I think it gives the room a spa-ish feel.)  On Saturday, I sat down to make curtains. Yes, you read that correctly.  Me… making curtains.   I’m no Becky Home-Ecky by a long shot.  (No offense to my Becky friends, or my home-ecky ones, either.)  I don’t even own a sewing machine.  I had to borrow one from my daughter, who has two of them.  (I don’t know where she gets her home  ec. talents.)

On a side, but related note, I had planned to do this project last winter.  I went out shopping for new curtains to help me make my paint color decisions.  If you have a bathroom with windows, and you've shopped for curtains, you know how this tale ends.  Bathroom.Curtains.No.Longer.Exist!  So I asked my Facebook friends for advice.  The resounding answer was: “Make your own curtains.”  YIKES!  And that’s how this project didn’t happen last winter…

Anyhow, I am not without skills.  I took the required home economics in seventh grade, so I know some sewing basics.  Also, over the years, I have created a few projects with the use of a sewing machine. This project was not hard, just not my cup of tea.

So, knowing I had to make my own curtains, I went shopping for just the right material. I found a shower curtain that I liked so I purchased two of them for my curtain fabric.  The shower curtain fabric had a horizontal stripe, but I wanted a vertical stripe, so I turned it sideways and got to work. I finished the curtains for the first window; two panels and one valance in just a few hours. 

When I put them on a rod and held them up to the window, I realized that the panels were an inch or two shorter than what I wanted.  Maybe I could just move the curtain rod down a little? Also, I chose to use the “factory hem” instead of doing my own.  That was not the best decision because the factory hem didn’t always follow the grain of the fabric and I had to cheat a little to make it all work. My final problem was that my stripes didn’t match up.  The gray stripe on the valance was on my left, and because I had turned the shower curtain to use its side seam as my hem, the panels had the gray stripe on my right.  This would not do at all!

Life is like making curtains.  Sometimes you screw up.  Sometimes without even realizing it until it’s too late. I thought about running to the store to get another shower curtain so that I could re-make the curtains better.  How much easier would life be if we could have ‘do-overs’?   Like when I’ve said something hurtful, or made a bad decision, or didn’t pay attention when I should have.  But would our lives really be better? Would our relationships stronger? Would we be thoughtful problem solvers?

Would we be less humble and more reckless with our thoughts, our actions, our words?

We’ve all had moments when we wished we could just have a do over.  For the most part we can’t.  And really, as much as it may burn, this is one way we grow and learn and become a better person. Right?

As for the curtains, well.  They’re just going to be a little too short. And, because I learned from my mistakes, I made sure the curtains I made for the second window flip-flopped in pattern.  Now the valance of the first set of curtains match the panels of the second set of curtains and vice versa.  I’ve created matching sets – although not matching curtains. Such is life. Now it’s time to hang  ‘em up and move on.

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