Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Book Bag Memories

Growing up, all our Christmas picture books were stored in a drawstring bag and only brought out during the Christmas season. When I go home, I still enjoy looking through those books...they bring back so many fading and forgotten memories. My favorite story is a Golden book about a family that got a live Christmas tree for their apartment living room. Surprisingly the tree continued to grow until it hit the ceiling. The father cut a hole in the ceiling so the tree could grow into the elderly lady's apartment above them. Eventually the tree grew so much that it took up 3 or 4 stories of the apartment. All of the families in the apartment got to know each other and became friends as they shared the one Christmas tree. Isn't that the sweetest story? Mom says that I always wanted to live in an apartment when I was little, and I'm sure it was because of that Christmas book.

This year I have two Christmas books for Elliot's book bag. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. I look forward to collecting many special Christmas books through the years.

My book bag fabric was passed on from a lady in my church, and I decorated it with some of my garage sale rick-rack. Last summer Mom and I found a huge box of rickrack when we were garage saleing. Of course we snapped it up, and since then I have had so much fun covering everything in rick-rack!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Star Craft

My pictures below aren't that great, but these 3-d paper stars are adorable hanging across my living room window! Pattern found here: Lost Button Studio Paper Stars

Mom, I have a small star garland for you...Thanks for lending me your ball of jute!

These don't have to be just Christmas stars. They would make great 4th of July stars, or they are cute decorating a birthday package. Shhh....Katie's having a birthday tomorrow!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Chocolate Covered Cherries

A Christmas tradition still going strong
after 14 years.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rainy Day Paper Ornaments

Right now Oklahoma is going though a major power outage crisis due to a heavy ice storm that hit early yesterday morning. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power... our electricity has been out since 7am yesterday, and we spent last night here at my parents' home. So far they still have power, but even in the event that it goes out, they have a large woodstove that can heat the house comfortably. It pays to be prepared here in Oklahoma, as this seems to happen fairly often.

Last night was the perfect time to try out these festive paper ornaments with the kids. A tutorial can be found HERE at Design*Sponge. These are super fun, and easy enough for even grade schoolers to make. We made bunches and bunches, and had enough to hang them in the entry way and in the computer room.

This last picture is of a bunch of cards Katie and I made this afternoon. Mom has a stash of vintage Christmas wrapping paper samples from the 60's and we used some of it to make notecards and package tags. I love the retro colors and all the glitter. Oh my! I love them almost too much to use!

Have a very merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sewing for an 11-year old

Have you recently tried shopping for an 11-year old girl and actually found any dresses or skirts modest and appropriate for that age? If you have, please let me know where to shop. :-)

One day last week I was shopping for some clothes for Ellen who only has one cold-weather skirt that fits. Of course I couldn't find anything appropriate in the stores, so when I saw some baby corduroy at Wal-Mart I decided to sew a skirt for Ellen. Why didn't I think of that first?

The pattern I used is a Kwik Sew pattern from my stash. The skirt only has one pattern piece--a panel that is used 8 times to make the skirt. Instead of the elastic waist that the pattern calls for, I narrowed the skirt pieces and then inserted an invisible zipper down one side. Ellen doesn't like a lot of gathers and bulk at her waistline, so this was a good alternative. I did put some elastic in the waist casing, but just enough to keep the skirt at her waist without adding bulk.

Sewing this skirt has put me in the mood for more sewing. I think I'm going to search through my fabric and make Ellen another skirt or two....



As Random As It Gets

Okay, Jess. You (and Ginny and Tami) asked, so here goes. Random things about myself. Very random. Boring. :-)

1. My mom had 7 children and I have 7 children.

2. I am learning to play the oboe....started as an adult never having played any instrument before. I love it! I take oboe lessons for the first time in my life.

3. I like Sudoku puzzles. One a day, at the least. Sudokuoftheday.com is great.

4. My 2GB Ipod Nano is not big enough. I enjoy listening to audio books, podcasts, and of course, music. (I prefer using speakers, not headphones).

5. I am a night owl. Reformation isn't possible--I've tried.

6. My favorite Christmas music is Handel's Messiah. The whole thing.

7. I love to sew. Oh, is that one obvious? Okay, how about, I don't like to cook?

8. Dark chocolate is absolutely the bomb. Love the stuff!

Now for some cuteness-- This is Emily reading Christmas books from the Christmas book bag that only comes out one month a year.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We've been tagged!

Ginny from A Crafter's Chronology tagged us with the "8 Things We Didn't Know About You" meme several weeks ago, and Tami from September's Bride tagged us to post 7 random things about ourselves. How about I post 8 random things that you don't know about me. Can I cover both bases at once?

Here we go!

1. I grew up in Colorado, and can still feel the crunch of pine needles under my feet when I imagine walking through a forest.

2. Once, when I was going through my edible flower stage, I served ice cubes with johnny-jump-ups frozen in them at a tea party. I think I was the only one who thought that was cool.

3. I hope you know this about me by now, but I love Jesus Christ, and walking in a right relationship with him is one of the most important things in my life.

4. Can I share one about my hubby? He drinks coffee in the shower. How crazy is that?

5. One of my best friends as a kid was my cat, Winnie Pooh. That poor cat got cried on and hugged on a lot. Winnie Pooh also used to correspond with my cousin's cat Taffy. They loved getting letters from each other!

6. I eat sour cream on everything and anything. Right now I seriously love the stuff. I bought two containers of it this week. Yummy!

7. Sewing my wedding dress was a huge dream of mine, and sometimes I can't believe I actually did it!

8. Right now I weigh 5 lbs less than I did before I got pregnant. That feels nice. =)

Ok, Mom, it's your turn!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

15 years ago I made 2 little pilgrim girl dresses for my girls to wear on Thanksgiving day. This last week I made an Indian outfit for Jacob. Emily is pictured here wearing the one of the dresses that Jessica, Heather, Katie, and Ellen wore years ago. Yes, that is a tear on Emmy's cheek. I don't think she wanted her picture taken.

I have not had time to sew in ever so long, and the Indian costume was a quick sew. It was rather fun to sew something in speed-mode without having to worry too much about fit. Jacob has hardly taken the outfit off since I finished it. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I am thankful for the outlet this blog has been for me, but mostly I am thankful for the blog-friends I have made along the way. I appreciate all your kind and encouraging comments. You've been great! Have a blessed Thanksgiving day!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Knitting with Oboe Reeds

It must be a nightmare. Lately I have been knitting almost as much as I've been practicing my oboe, and now I am having these re-occurring dreams in which I am endlessly knitting. But at the ends of my knitting needles are oboe reeds! Hmmm.... Either I am playing my oboe too much, or I am knitting too much. Or I just need more sleep. :-)

This is "Martine" from the Summer Essentials book by Debbie Bliss. I am making it for Katie, and it was supposed to have been finished this summer. Did I ever mention that I am a slow knitter? I have the back finished and am midway through the left front. I love the yarn I am using---so soft, and the color is lovely.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My 1st Pattern Review! McCall's 5531

Whew! That took forever. I just posted my first review on Pattern Review! You can read it here if you're interested.

Any tips on a good site to host pictures for places like pattern review? They won't let me use flickr. I used photo bucket this time, but I didn't know if there are better ones. I'm not really good with all this computer/photo stuff.

Here's pictures of the finished jacket. I am really happy with how it came out. It makes me feel cute. =) I just love new jackets!

I didn't fully line it like the pattern suggested...I left out the sleeve lining and the skirt lining. It ended up working well, but I am sure thankful for my a serger!

Here's the back:

Friday, November 02, 2007

When you don't have pattern weights...

...you use mini pumpkins! (I hate pinning!)

I'm making view A of this McCall's 5531 pattern (the shorter length with the peter-pan collar). It's coming along really well, and I can't wait to show you pictures and write a review. I'm using a lightweight, very dark colored denim and doing top-stitching in white. I've been wanting one of these new styled jackets this season and was so excited to find a pattern for them. I can't justify buying a new jacket to my husband (I seem to collect jackets), but I can justify sewing one...especially when I got the pattern for $0.99 and the fabric was 50% off!


Elliot at 8 1/2 months

Little Dino Baby!

Normally I fold laundry on the bed and we compete to see who can be the fastest. I fold and Elliot unfolds...yesterday though, I found a solution. Put the baby in a laundry basket!

That didn't last long!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Easy Laptop Sleeve

Recently finished project: a laptop sleeve for my sister's birthday. She recently got a laptop and needed something to protect it when it is traveling in her bag.

Basically I took the measurement of the laptop and added a bit of ease. It fits pretty snugly. I used a cotton fabric for the outside, a sew-in interfacing, and a lining of fleece.The strap closes with Velcro. I was so happy with how this turned out, and Heather loved it too! I wonder if these would sell on Etsy?


Friday, October 19, 2007

New Shoes for Elliot and Friends

Made from the Stardust Shoes pattern, these baby shoes were easy to make and are so cute for Elliot to wear. He's gotten a lot of compliments on the camouflage pair. I made 10 pairs in all...just had to show off some pictures.

For the fleece pairs I used "jiffy grip" fabric for the bottoms, and it seems to work well. I didn't have any of the bonded fleece for the soles that the pattern calls for, but because Elliot isn't walking yet, I figured they won't get much wear anyway. The fabric shoes just have fabric soles, but I did use a layer of felt in between two layer of fabric to add a bit of padding.

btw, the pink pairs are for a couple of girl babies I know, not Elliot! =)


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tofutsies Socks Finished!

Today on the drive to church I grafted the toes of the second Tofutsies sock, finishing the pair! The yarn for these socks was given to me on my last birthday from Jessica. I love this yarn! It is so soft. I admit that at times it was a pain to knit with because it tends to split somewhat, but really it wasn't too bad once I got used to working with it. I'm going to love wearing these socks!

50% Superwash Wool
25% SOYSILK brand fiber
22.5% Cotton
2.5% Chitin (made from shrimp and crab shells!)
Colorway: Get Your Feet Wet

Size 1 (2.25 mm) Pony Pearl double-pointed needles

Baby Cable Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

Friday, October 12, 2007

Garage Sale Finds

10 vintage metal zippers in a rainbow of colors.

Such fun!

Monday, October 08, 2007

A New Purse

As much as I like using my "Dorothy" bag, I am ready for a change. Time to sew a new purse! Voila! Here it is in all of its brown-ness:

Notice the little tag sewn to the outer pocket. Thank you, Heather, (my daughter) for the gift of the cute tags that match my fabric perfectly. The tag on the bag reads "euphoria."

Yes, I like pockets as mentioned in the past. I used a tutorial (there are several in blogland) for directions to sew the inside zippered pocket--a method I'd never done before--rather like welt pockets, which I have done before.

The magnetic snap is my favorite type of closure, and I'm thankful for the clearance sale I found a year ago where I purchased a number of these purse snaps.

Did I mention that I like pockets? The matching zippered pouch is really just another pocket. Think of it as a detachable pocket. Oh, these pouches are so fun to make! Again, I used another tag from Heather.

That's it for the purse, but take a look at Emily's hair! After wondering for so long if she would ever grow any hair, I am just loving her blonde curls. All sweetness, my baby! (Well, most of the time, anyway).

Until next time,

Friday, September 28, 2007

Treasures, Part 4

These two dresses remind me of "back to school" outfits, and I intended to post about them back in August when we started school. It didn't happen. :-) Both of these dresses are once again something I pulled from the closet---treasures from the past.

I made the blue chambray dress for Heather in 1995 using a Kay Guiles pattern called "Elissa." The only picture I have of Heather wearing the dress was taken at a birthday celebration, and the snapshot is not that good.

The apple dress below was made in 2000 and is "Lee" from Children's Corner patterns. The piecework inset pattern "An Apple a Day," is also from Children's Corner. This particular dress was fun to make, and the paper piecing inset was something new for me. I loved how this dress looked on Katie when she was 11. Unfortunately, Ellen, who is now 11, won't wear the dress. So much for a "classic, never-go-out-of-style" pattern.

I've enjoyed rediscovering these dresses that I sewed so many years ago. There are several more in the closet that I hope to write about soon. One thing I have learned from doing this is that it's important to take pictures of my children wearing the creations I've made for them to wear. I'm finding that I didn't take very good snapshots, or very many snapshots, of my girls wearing their made-by-mama clothes.

That is one impetus I had in deciding to write out these special dresses---to have a journal or record of sorts of some of the dresses I spent so much time in making. I would highly encourage those of you who sew for your children or others to keep a record of what you sew and to take lots of pictures! It's something I wish now, that I would have done back then.