Friday, May 29, 2009

Track and Field Day

I went to Rowan's kindergarten Track and Field day yesterday. Complete with all the events I remember from my own elementary days - hula hoop, jump rope, bean bag toss and the good old shoe kick... *sigh*. Made me very nostalgic.
I thought this fade effect on the photos was appropriate since the day reminded me of my youth....

Rowan thought she had a blister from the monkey bars....everyone had to give their opinions. Consensus? Not a blister...

Tug o war... the girls whomped the boys. Then the parents had to participate...and they whomped us too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Holiday weekend...

We celebrated this weekend by spending loads of time with family. We did all the necessary Minnesota "welcome to summer" activities...roasted marshmallows, rolled down a grassy hill, and sang songs to accompany David playing the guitar around the campfire. We also celebrated my nephew's fourth birthday, so that means that there was cake too... what could be better? The kids were on an outdoor high - they played and played and played. They went to bed at night filthy and exhausted... and hopefully dreaming the best dreams! They are both getting so old and independent...much less chasing required this year than in years past. You'd think this was a good thing - and honestly, it is, but it is also a bit bittersweet that they don't need us in the same ways. Here are a few of the pictures...some at my mom's lake and some at Dave's parents house.

These are spiderman hands, btw. He is webbing me...

I may add a bit more photos later... my sister in law and sister took some nice shots I'd like to add :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

thinking pink....and chickens :)

Whether one inspired the other, I'm not sure, but I finished up 2 pink sewing projects last night.... and both also had a strange chicken connection. The first project is a "proto type". A friend from work asked me to make neck ties for his August wedding. He wants one version for himself and another for his six groomsmen. He specifically wanted pink and navy argyle ties, and when we could not find pink argyle anywhere, he went over to Spoonflower and made his own. How cool is that? Here is the trial version of his tie... pink on white with navy accent. We are going to extend the interfacing a bit, since the fabric is a little more sheer than expected.

The groomsmen fabric is navy on white with pink accent. The pattern is from the S.E.W (Sew Everything Workshop) book by Diana Rupp. I bought it specifically after seeing these ties on Flickr, but am thinking many of the other projects will be fun too! I deviated from the pattern a bit and cut the tie with the grain, and not on the bias. The fabric was not printed on the bias, so our main goal with this version was to see how/if it worked out this way. I recommended it be worn all weekend to ensure it stands up to a hectic day! I'll keep you posted with how it plays out ;)
Oh, and for the chicken part. A month or so back I did make him an intial proto type without cutting into his lovely Spoonflower fabric. I made 2 ties from some fabric I had on hand (that I was NEVER going to use...believe you me) one cut on the bias, one not. The problem was, both Dave and my friend refused to give them a trial run and wear the ties to see how they held up. I'm guessing because of the fabric. OK, I admit it is hideous, but I'm sure there is a perfectly logical reason I had a yard of this in my stash. I think it had to do with Dave's annual family picnic titled "Chicken Fest".

Next up, I have been coveting this skirt from the Sew What! Skirts book for many moons now, but haven't been able to locate a decently priced vintage souvenir tablecloth.

While in Texas, my aunt gifted me a vintage tablecloth, so knowing it could not be as long as the book skirt, and that it was not a state souvenir version, but still loving the idea, I gave it a try last night. Well, I must have hacked up my Sew What! A Line pattern a bit. I had modified the last skirt I made by taking in an inch from one side. Without thinking I cut an inch off the pattern. Hmm... not smart since the pattern was only 1/2 the skirt, I was in reality taking 2 inches off. So this is a bit more snug than I'd like, and because of the snugness, a bit shorter as well. Oh well, it will work well this summer at the lake. It is not like wearing a tablecloth is really something I'll want to do at the Opera (or like we go to the Opera:)). And for my favorite part, I used my serger!! I ended up just serging the end with a rolled hem... so as to not take any more length off and to use up the fuchsia thread! Hooray!

A close up of the skirt. Got to love the vintage faux wood grain. In Pink! Yes the photo is a bit blurry, but so is the fabric. The objects are all "shadowed" and look a bit blurry....

And to follow up with the second theme of chickens, this rooster was in the center of the tablecloth. I was going to use him as a pocket, but the skirt was so little, it really didn't need/want one. I think he may be an applique on something for Rowan, but not sure yet.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I thought I would post some odds and ends this week - nothing "huge" accomplished, but lots of little things to chat about.

Here is the dress that my pal Brooke made Rowan... it started life as a dishtowel we think. Brooke dyed it scarlet and added the yoke from her old PJ pants. This is totally inspiring me to make more dresses and tops with this yoke and knotted tie straps. Rowan loves it, of course ('cause I did not make it, I dare say)...I think this is her dancy plie (sp?) pose. Not really sure though.

Next up is a quick shot of my totally stolen cup rack idea. Saw this cup rack in a photo from Alicia Paulson's Stitched in Time book, and have been scouring thrift stores ever since. Why is it that I've seen these MILLIONS of times while thrifting in the past, but then when I need one it takes me over 3 months to find one? Lucky for me, a a coworker who I looped in found me one... so I painted it up, hung it in my kitchen window near my coffee maker, and threw a bunch of mismatched thrifted mugs on it. Sigh. Makes me happy :)
I whipped up some more cloth baby shoes for my mother to gift to a coworker who recently had a baby boy. As usual, I used this tutorial/pattern... and while I did not figure out (YET!) how to make them seamless inside, I'm happy with them.

I had a bit of the doggie fabric left over, so I backed it with terry cloth and made a quick burp cloth as well.

Moving on...Dave and I spent the weekend doing all sorts of yard work. One project I've been thinking about got done as well. The kids (especially G) were overcrowded in their tiny sand box. We (read: Dave) made them one almost 3 times as big. We plan to frame in their old one for a play house. I did help too... really! I levelled the ground and dragged 8 bags of sand across the yard (yes, selfless martyr that I am) to fill it and TA DA... presenting 1 happy kid... he is, I swear, despite the serious face :)

And last, but not least, for a certain friend basking in the hot Indian sun, here are a few pictures of Miss Bailey Frances while she enjoys life at Casa de Thom. We miss you Kimmy G!

Friday, May 15, 2009

so big...

Where does the time go? I had to snap a photo this morning of my big boy who came downstairs very proud of the outfit that a) he chose on his own and b) he put on all by himself. Check out his ensemble...and his proud, cheesy grin.

And then my big girl looked so old in her choker necklace, I had to snap a shot of her too.

Then they decided to get along, so I got the treasured yet elusive shot of them both together smiling and looking at the same spot. Hooray!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Belly Dancing...and a prom dress

No - not me - either one,Thank God! My little sister is going to Prom and my friend Rayna belly dances and has a recital coming up. Rayna asked me many moons ago to make her harem pants... but it took until tonight to finish them up. You guessed it - I waited until the very last minute as her dress rehearsal is tomorrow night. I threw in a quick top as well - since the pattern she bought had the pant and shirt (and skirt and hip scarf) included. It was Simplicity 3832. Very easy and quick... though the stretch knits are a bit challenging and I was not up to using my serger tonight. Why, you ask? Mainly because I had bombed out on it last weekend trying to hem my little sisters 17 layer prom dress.... and it is still full of fuchsia thread. Not to worry - she'll be able to attend prom...I did hem it, just ended up using my sewing matching in the end. Talk about a learning experience... thanks to all those who've posted their prom dress hemming advice in Internet land! One quick shot of the dress... just to give you an idea how much of a "birthday cake" it really was :)

Back to the belly dancing - I hope Rayna likes her ensemble... and that she can shake her booty (belly?) in it :) The pants are very "I Dream of Jeannie"...They have slits about 1/2 way up the outside of either leg.

I've had the shirt fabric in my stash for about 9 years. Not sure why, but it will work well with these shiny pants...

I used Fold Over Elastic as bias tape for the top... since I did not want to deal with narrow hems on the neck and arm holes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Austin Adventures

The kids and I are back home from our vacation. And while it is wonderful to see the hubby now that we are home (who we all missed like crazy, mind you) we miss the Fraziers already! Not only did I get to gab/craft/gossip with my Aunt Nancy, I got to hang with her crazy husband and wonderful daughters, my mom, and my Grandma. Chalk full of peeps I love... including my own little monsters. Oh - did I mention I got to go to Sonic as well? We are lacking them in the northern Midwest, so I got my fix of Diet Cherry Limeades one day and will be content for awhile now. What more could a girl ask for? (Well, sunshine would have been nice...but....)

Instead of going into TOO MUCH detail and posting all the pictures from our week in Austin, I opted to make a quick collage of all our fun. You've maybe already seen the summer blouses... but there was lots more indoor sewing and home decorating done by me (and my Aunt), tons of ironing done by my Grandma (or GG as the kids call her) and lots of swimming done by the kids. Both little fish came home with mad swimming skills compared to when they left thanks to help from their big cousins Sami and Zoey, as well as their "Apple" Jack. Here are some of our projects and fun...everything from Freezer Paper stencil t-shirts to Pleated Beauty Handbag (yes - from BTRS) to Spool Birds, Sew Mama Sew/Irene Tote to Summer Blouses (Weekend Sewing) to lots of swimming and furniture movement... the list goes on and on :)

Other highlights include Rowan losing her 4th tooth, "THE CLAW" (aka "Apple Jack" aka Uncle Jack) wrestling with both kids, Nancy getting stuck in her faulty string backpack and our drunk dials (and giggles) to various rellies after an evening of cocktails :) Since it was gloomy and overcast most of our days, the sewing, decorating and good company (and yes- I admitted to some imbibing in cocktails) was somewhat necessary to divert my attention from my lack of a sun tan. On the bright side... this did save me from having to apply numerous layers of sun block to both my pasty white children, and allowed for more crafting then I had thought possible in such a short period of time! Thanks Nance!!