Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer = Relaxing

Sorry for no posts of late... you'd think now that I went back to only 3 days at work, I'd have tons of new projects to post. The sad (ha!) truth is we ran to the library and I've been immersed in books and beach time relaxing. Serious, we've been beaching it weekly the past 3 weeks and we ran to the library twice now and life is good. I finished the new Janet Evanovich, a bunch of Katie McAlister romances and a couple of Meg Cabot's books. Sigh. I'm happy. See how relaxed we all are? Positively zen like.

HA- This was Rowan's idea - how does she know this stuff? Like the "ohmmmm" noises and all?
It is not like I'm a practitioner, that is for certain.

BUT... I've got a ton of sewing to do. For real. More to come!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good mama weekend

In trying to be a good mama while Dave was out of town, I've been working hard to do kid happy activities. I took the kids to play at a beach with friends on Friday and brought Rowan to a garage sale that featured every "Camp Rock" and "High School Musical" apparel item ever made. Then we camped out in the back yard last night, complete with s'mores, tents, marshmallows and ghost stores (that the kids made up... HILARIOUS!). We did another beach adventure today (different beach), played at a park for awhile afterwards, bought and made fun food that the kids helped choose, and then set up the kiddie pool for more play time. Exhausted, the kids had a movie night tonight, while I did some sewing. Thank goodness for Netflix, 'cause it was the answers to my prayers this evening. I think a night spent on a camping cot with at least one child "scared" and snuggled up in my sleeping bag with me at any given time causes sheer mental and physical exhaustion. That, or I'm just plain old getting old! Here are some photos of our weekend thus far...

Here we are at our camp out... our fire was a bit of a dud. Never really got going, but it did the job.
The favorite foods that the kids chose really were not photo worthy, though the watermelon was delish. As an aside, since I chose it, I made up a batch of my favorite Guacamole. Dave does not care for it at all, and I make it with so much garlic, that it really is not the thing to eat when you share a bed with someone. Despite my best brushing attempts, it tends to linger :) The gauc recipe, in case you are interested, is super easy. I mainly wing it with exact quantities and such, but it is basically just 2 avocados -mashed but still chunky, 1/4 red onion - diced, 1-2 Roma tomatoes -cubed, 3-4 cloves of garlic - pressed, 1/2 a lemon - squeezed over mixture and cumin, salt and pepper. Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes and then Yum!

Just for fun, here is a picture of the homemade guac sitting on a vintage table runner that my step dad's sister thought I'd enjoy... Love it Vickie... Thanks!

For my evening sewing, the movie afforded me enough time to get a few things done. I used Rae's Spring Ruffled Top tutorial (without the ruffles) and a vintage pillow case for this top for myself. (sorry, horrid picture, photographer child was asleep)

I cheated on a few measurements, because I did not quite have enough fabric. I will definitely do another top like this following directions and using "real" fabric in the future. I'm still happy with how this version turned out... maybe not the most flattering due to my small chest and large arms (does it look maternity to anyone else?), but extremely comfortable. Could be that the pj pants I am wearing with it don't really do it justice either! Here is a picture that better shows the cute pillowcase... without pj pants to muck it up.

Somehow I neglected to shoot the matching dress/night gown I made Rowan from the other pillowcase. She is wearing it as I type... fast asleep. She actually likes the pillow case dresses I make her, at least for PJ's. Last up was a pair of long, cuffed shorts also for Rowan and a matching headband. The fabric was thrifted (I used it to make this as well) and I winged the shorts using a technique borrowed/stolen from Brooke. She basically makes 2 tubes of fabric, puts them inside each other right sides facing and then cuts out and sews up the crotch area. It is killing me to not wake Rowan up to see how/if these fit, but that would probably put my "good mom" status back to "needs improvement"! I had a strip of extra fabric left over after cutting, so I made her a quick matching headband. Maybe I should quick put in store tags so she thinks I bought these? Then she may actually want to wear them :)

I've got 1/2 a day tomorrow to see how my "good mama" title holds. Usually getting things done like laundry, painting a garage door and mowing the lawn puts a slight damper on the "fun mom" role... but we'll see how or IF I can keep the momentum going!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Teacher gifts...

It is hard to believe that Rowan will be going to her last day of school tomorrow. It seems she just started! She has grown up so much this year - it is amazing. Rowan's teacher, Mrs. Johnson, knows her stuff and I could not be happier with how much she learned this year...reading, writing, listening - all the important Kindergarten stuff! While I am a novice in all things having to do with elementary school, I do know enough to realize a teacher gift was in order. Not only did Mrs. Johnson sign on for the Every Day All Day kids, but Rowan had a fantastic experience and I know she will look back on this year with happy memories. For gratitude gifts, I opted for a tote bag and coffee cozy. I'm going out on a limb and guessing teachers haul stuff back and forth each day between home and classroom, so the tote may be practical. As for the cozy, Rowan informed me that her teacher is a coffee drinker.

For the tote, I used my old stand by tutorial from the Sew Mama Sew blog. I love this tutorial and have made many. The fabric is left over from my unfinished Weekender Bag that is patiently waiting to be sewn. Alas, that is for another day... Anyways, if you can't tell by the wallpaper here on the blog, I'm a huge fan of blue and brown together.

I used a vintage button from the stash and added Velcro to the pocket so it wouldn't gap.

The coffee cozy was made from this pattern. Fabric was all from the stash, as was the vintage button. Love this button... I have a few more and I'm fairly stingy with them...

I have to admit, I was not sure Rowan's teacher would know what it was "as is". Then, I saw on The House on Hill Row blog the idea of gifting the cozy around a paper cup, within which is a gift card, so I added a gift card to Caribou Coffee too.

I'm excited to start on some new bags this weekend. I've drafted up some pattern ideas of my own (scary!) and I'm working on an idea with Brooke... if things turn out, I'm sure I'll blog about it! To give a hint, I actually fired up the old laser jet printer today for part one.... More to come!

Monday, June 8, 2009

sewing for a cause

My husband Dave's band, The Deadwoods, played this past weekend up in Bemidji, MN. The drummer's wife Carrie and her sister are doing the 3 day Walk for the Cure, and the gig was a benefit for them to raise the remainder of their entrance fees. We've been excited to have a weekend out of town - we had lined up a dog sitter and asked my sister to watch the monsters... Of course, 4 days before we were to leave, Griffin started running a fever. The next day he, and his big sister, were both diagnosed with Strep throat. Arg. Then the next day (Thursday, that is, and we were to be leaving Friday) Dave was told he had it. Of course, then Friday it was my turn. With an entire household on antibiotics at any given time, I had a lot of cleaning to do to get the house ready for a dog sitter to visit (it was BAD news people, believe you me). I also had a bizillion loads of laundry to wash so that we all had clothes to wear. On top of all that, I had volunteered to make some type of sewing project for the silent auction that was to accompany the band playing and other activities to raise money for Breast Cancer. Ack.

Well, thanks to Brooke's (and now my own) new addiction to Iced Coffee, I was able to complete all my duties with time to spare. Not only that, I am in love with the totes I threw together, and think I'll be making myself one as well! I used this tutorial (my favorite and a serious "go to" for me) thrifted canvas for the main part of the bag. I then used a Target dishtowel for the pocket...and the cute flower pin on the shoulder. This was my first time trying a flower - I used this tutorial. Very easy and I'm pleased with the results. They earned the girls about $50 or so...fantastic! We had a lot of fun at the show. We actually went out 2 nights in a weekend. Amazing. There is life after small children. The band played great and I was able to get a bit of dancing in - though I felt a bit like a bad 80's movie, showing off my mad skills on the dance floor :)

Here are the totes - with Miss Rowan modeling them about 10 minutes before we left town!

Oh - and for anyone interested:
Brooke's Delicious Addictive Iced Coffee recipe
Brew a pot of coffee - adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and cocoa powder to the grounds. In a glass pitcher, pour coffee over a can of sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
Chill in fridge overnight - or for a few hours until icy.
Fill a glass with ice, coffee mixture and a splash of half and half (again, I used fat free).

I know there are cold brewing methods, but for this lazy butt, this recipe rocks. Oh - and I'm searching for ice cube trays to make coffee ice cubes so it doesn't get so watered down. I didn't realize I did not own trays anymore since we got the automatic ice maker - but these should be an easy thrift find! I've got a pitcher cooling in the fridge as I type... yum!

(This may have been #5 or #6 that I had while sewing the totes. It was a bit like a caffeine drunk... why in the world else would I snap photos of a glass of coffee??)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dancing queen...or rather Princess

No time for crafting of any sorts here. Rowan spent the entire last weekend dancing... so I spent it watching dancing. Lucky for us, my mom and step dad brought reinforcements (in the form of cousins Chloe and Oliver) to see her Saturday show. On Sunday, Dad and Griffin came to watch. I "lucked" out and got to attend both shows, as well as a dress rehearsal on Friday.

Somehow I have become a dance mom - or more honestly, the mother of a mini (tiny?) dancer. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Mixed emotions - for sure. The positive stuff? Rowan loves it and is having a blast. She is cautious and shy normally and this really stretches her. Plus - I love me a good tap lying. The not so good stuff - Frizzed up Hair? Lots of Make up? Shaking her groove thing? Well, I can deal cause she is having fun. Yes - I know she has a ton of eye make up on in these pics, but good God, it is just one day (OK 2 recitals in 2 days, but you get the drift). It is not like she is gonna go out and buy a training bra tomorrow.... it just kinda feels like it....