Monday, June 30, 2008
So, with those due dates, what do you think I finish first? Of course one of the tops for my sister, (Brianna's is done, Lauren's is cut out). I used Simplicity 4127 for Bree, and thought it was easy and fun. I did feel that the sizes were wrong - I used her chest measurement and I think it will be a bit big. This is a bit annoying, since the last Simplicity I did, I felt it ran a bit small. I'll be seeing my sister this weekend, so there may be some tweaking needed with the sizing, but all in all, I'm very happy with how it turned out. I feel I was stalling a bit on what NEEDED to get done by doing this project first, but I'm sure Brianna will appreciate. Oh - sorry for the pic. As usual, couldn't find the camera, so used the phone. (I begged my mom to let me borrow her camera and take it for a test run next week. Hopefully, this will improve my photo quality a bit.)
Next, with the daunting napkins and place mats hanging over my head, and the need to be dressed appropriately to celebrate our nation's birthday, I opted to just customize a few things I found on the Target clearance rack for Miss Rowan, and make Griffin some shorts out of some flag material I given by my mother. I think she used it to decorate the pontoon a few years back - we'll be using it to decorate Griffin's bum. I cut up a bandanna from Dollar land at Target and appliqued the stars on Rowan's clearanced skort and Griff's shorts, and then used a pretty flower stitch (that my trusty Husqvarna knew how to do, who knew?) on Rowan's top to make it a bit more festive. Griffin will top off his ensemble with a blue polo and red Chuck Taylors. Cute, cute, cute. Dave didn't like his shorts - thought they looked a bit too "uncle sam", but I think he'll be adorable.
So, the two 4th outfits are the "2 just fun", the tank is the "one done" and sadly, the place mats and napkins are the "one undone". I worked on them for a few hours last night and basically did everything wrong. "Bend the Rules" sewing seems to have a bit more rules than I counted on. I did better with her patterns when I just winged it on this. First off, I cut out the fabric the wrong size TWICE (obviously I need a ruler refresher), then I had trouble mitering my binding borders - then I ended up using bias for binding, but tried to use it like ribbon, not bias, so it was too chunky. THEN, I tried to 1/2 the bias and cut it too close to the edge and made a mess. I'll be using my seam ripper a bit tonight and making one more trip to the fabric store tomorrow - but they WILL be in the mail on Thursday. As God is my witness, I shall get them in the mail on Thursday. Wish me luck!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
First off, here she is showing off her cannon....
Here she is on the bench waiting to bat. You'll note that her jersey did not have her name on it, since we started late. Dave suggested "Why don't you just embroider it on there, since you are so crafty now...". Ha Bloody Ha. Oh, and you'll notice that her head is a bit big for the batting helmet. All those brains in there, huh?
Warming up before the game. Yes - her glove is pink. AND, it also lights up when a ball hits it.
Here she is at bat... the first game we were a bit surprised to see that our coach pitched to them. Dave and I looked around wondering if we were at the right place.... since we thought she was joining T-Ball. Where was the Tee? Turns out this is the master plan - all the kids get 3 pitches from their own coach and if they don't hit those they get to try the Tee. Now we know this is genius, day one we were quite confused :)
Yes, we are definitely newbies to parenting a school age child. I don't remember seeing a "What to Expect When your Child Joins Activities and Starts School" book out there. This might have saved me a few mishaps the past 2 years including missing her first dance recital (Showed up all dressed and ready to go the day AFTER the actual recital), missing kindergarten round up (we were not registered with the County as having Rowan, only Griffin), and joining T-Ball in time for only 3 games... I'm sure that the list will grow as she does.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
How exciting to arrive home to a package again? A while back I was doing my routine evening craft blog hopping - where I jump from blog to blog finding all sorts of inspiration and ideas. I somehow ended up on Sara's site - The Plaid Post and saw her cute tea towel apron. Not only did she share the link to the free tutorial she had found- she was offering the apron as one of her "Win it Wednesday" prizes. Because I was impressed with the tute, the cute site itself, and that the colors match my crazy colored kitchen, I commented in hopes of winning. Sara emailed me later that I had won. Well, I had not really won, but she had ended up making a second tea towel apron so that both of us who had commented could win. How nice & sweet! BTW - check out Sara's site for a cool way to turn tablecloths into elegant curtains, as well as some great shopping finds and sewing ideas. (PS - I borrowed the picture from her site - since I am still without camera)...
So, I wore my new apron today when I turned the last bit of rhubarb in my yard into a yummy, crunchy treat. I scoured all my local cookbooks today for a recipe. Does anyone else collect local cookbooks like I seem to? I never really planned to collect these - I don't really cook or bake, but I love small local cookbooks - especially finding no bake play doh recipes right next to homemade kitchen cleansers and 23 types of Artichoke dips. Church ones, School ones, Charity ones - I LOVE them all! I grab them up at thrift stores and yard sales. One more question, while I'm off on a tangent already, does everyone grow rhubarb? I may have to Google this later. It seems so Minnesotan to me, is it restricted to certain growing regions?
Anyway, I found a recipe for "Rhubarb Butter Crunch". Sounds odd - but tastes divine. At least I thought so - but no one in my house besides me was interested in rhubarb. Looks like I'll be eating it all myself... yes - I had sampled in the bottom left hand corner a bit pre-photo already. Pre camera phone photo, mind you. That is my excuse for poor quality and composition:)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Brooke got a bit obsessive about making baby shoes - (9 pairs in 2 nights!!) which will come in handy now that she has had her baby. Hooray!! See here for all sorts of pictures of Miss Vada Wood (and her shoe obsession). I tried my hand at them as well, though this is my first try and a bit rough. I made another pair last night along with a kimono dress for Vada - so I'll post pics of the "better" pair tomorrow.
Then, because the only store within 30 miles of the lake is a Wal Mart - which I'm not normally enamored with - and I got antsy to do something crafty... I tried the felt critters from the Aimee Ray book. These were fast and easy - and I think very cute. I do need to do some research about higher end felt, as these pilled up within a few hours of being played with.
These are just some random shots of the kids from this weekend. Griffin was sure glad to have her sister home :)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
(arg... this is my 5th time trying to organize this post correctly... having problems writing first and then getting pictures added. I'll try it the other way around next time.)
While this weekend was mostly spent doing things for our 5 year old daughter's dance recital (her first - although she danced last year -long story - another time and post), I managed to do some sewing and embroidery projects as well...(and not any housework, our house is a MESS!).
First, a disclaimer - normally, I'd first create a post dedicated to JUST Rowan's dance, but we'll have to wait for the pictures that Auntie Kim and her Grandma took, since my camera was worthless in the dark auditorium. Let's just say, she was adorable and amazing... I laughed, I cried... she is so grown up!
On to my projects...
Immediately following her recital today, Rowan and her cousin Chloe were off on a trip with their Grandparents to see the Black Hills of South Dakota. Dave and I are only about 7 hours into it and are basket cases - we miss her like crazy, but I just talked to our big girl, and she is having a ball. I made the girls matching pillow cases for the trip - but did not get Chloe's done in time. Just finished it tonight and she'll get it right when she gets back. Again an Aimee Ray birdie and a Sublime Stitching critter pattern. Next time - I'd spend my time on the embroidery - not making an actual pillow case. Seems silly now... I'd have had the done in time if I hadn't decided to make them from scratch (well, not "growing cotton" scratch, but you know what I mean). Oh well, next time :)
I am still practicing my embroidery - so I had picked up a bunch of these hats in the dollar bin at Target and gave one a go. I used the same bird pattern that I found in the Aimee Ray book I mentioned above- just changed it up a bit. The hat is pretty thin - so this will be a play hat for Rowan - but I think she looks adorable!
Next - after reading about the Simplicity 3835 pattern on a zillion craft blogs, I picked it up for myself. It was an impulse buy, honestly, since I was not sure how to actually buy a pattern in a real store (with 4 walls that is, as opposed to existing somewhere out there in cyber space). Turns out it is ridiculously easy - big drawers labeled with numbers... Even I can manage that! I was nervous with this top, since I was not sure how flattering it would be... and didn't want to "waste" my pretty fabric (Amy Butler - LOVE IT!). But, I am fairly happy with how it turned out - and LOVE fold over elastic. This was something I think I saw on Angry Chicken and I"m now a believer. It made the sleeves and neck a breeze. I probably saved a ton of time not having to build casing for elastic, and then feed it through. Plus I like the look of it as well.
Lastly, just a quick picture for our Texas viewers/readers: First, sorry for all the stripes. But, there is a good reason for this post. At Rowan's Saturday recital, Grandma had a trunk full of Uncle Jack's old clothes that Nance must have sent up. We took a shirt to make Griffin some pj pants... cute, huh? Now Griffie can wear his favorite "Apple Jack pants" - tada!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Got my hair cut and foiled last night. Am a bit concerned that I went a little overboard with the foils. Trying to hide lots of gray may have ended up giving me that 80's frosted look. Ash blond is not really appealing outside of Dynasty reruns. I'll give it some time to grow on me, or not, before I do anything different. I snapped a picture of my cut (can't really see the color) in the mirror with my Anniversary gift from Dave - my new blackberry.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Combining 2 of my more recent projects - I made Rowan some pants from one of Dave's old polo shirts, and then embroidered a bit on it. Took the pants idea from here, but changed it up a bit. Both my kids are so big, I can use the arm hole (with the sleeve cut off) as the crotch for them. Then I can also use the existing hem as well. Very easy! This shirt was a bit strange, since it was a bit shorter in the front than the back, so I left it that way for fun. Also - I let them be very "bell"-ish with a narrow waist. They were a bit plain though - so I decided to add a bit of embroidery. After my many purchases for this new "hobby", I realized that I did not have true embroidery floss. A confession here - until I read my books, I thought I had embroidery floss. Turn out there are various types of threads... and i did not have the one that divides into little flosses... I did have some craft thread, though, which could be used for some stitches, but basically ruled out the split stitch. (which most of my new patterns called for). Well, I'm not big on winging it so early in a dabbling adventure - but I did find a pattern from the Aimee Ray book I mentioned earlier that had not split stitch. So, I eyeballed it and free handed it on the pants - with marker no less. My fabric chalk did not show at all on the pants- it is time to invest in a good product for marking fabric temporarily. Love the book, BTW, the projects are very inspirational. While I may not do them exactly as described, they are getting my brain going in fun new directions!
Anyways - the black marker led me to the black thread - and I'm very happy with how it turned out. Made up the little twig on top to give it a bit more decoration. I debated a black blanket stitch around the hem, but think they are cute as is. Can't wait to show them to Rowan when she wakes up! She loves getting new things made for her!
(ah hem... please ignore the hoop marks in the pictures. It is past my bedtime and I did not feel like ironing them out.)