Tuesday, August 25, 2009

{in progress}

My fantabulous friend Maggie asked me to make a quilt for her mom out of some old fabric of her mom's. There were SO many amazing scraps - I wish I could have used them all!! But, I needed to sort through and find the ones that were big enough to cut pieces for blocks. And I wanted them to coordinate too. So, I'll be making an Irish Chain quilt for her mom, and my mom is going to quilt it for her on the Statler Stitcher (Gammill). I can't wait to get it all done and have it ready for Maggie to give to her mom at Christmas.

These are some of the pieces and a sample of one block (there will be 40 of these and 40 white blocks too!). I've decided that I don't like the cutting part, but man-o-man, I LOVE to sew!!!

More pics and progress to come...


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

<< going digital >>

I've been trying to get into digital scrapbooking for 2 years, or so. I have always ended up quiting because I didn't "get it", didn't have time, or didn't know how to do what I wanted to do with it. A sweet mama I know, Tracie, is an amazing digi-scrapper and even designs her own stuff. She has inspired and encouraged me to finally give it a try. A while back, she shared a link to a free class by a fantabulous digi-scrapper, Jessica Sprague. I took the class the other day and loved how easy she made it. Then I discovered that she offers more classes which teach all the things I wanted to learn (although they do cost a tad bit of $) and couldn't just figure out on my own by looking at my Photoshop screen - just looking at the screen teaches you nothing, by the way. I think I must have been waiting for some sort of inspiration or something.

For years, I have been a paper scrapper, and loved it. My friends and I use to go out to crop nights and have a fabulous time talking and scrapping, but boy did I make a mess and often didn't get as much done as I would have liked. I still have all of my paper scrapping stuff, and there is still a time and a place for it. With 2 little ones at home and a third on the way, there's just not the place or space for it like there use to be. That's where digi-scrapping comes in and I'm so excited about it.
I love that there are so many freebies out there for digital kit, and even when I do buy something, everything is reusable! If I cut up a piece of paper or crop a pic, I still have the originals - LOVE THAT!! In the long run, I think it may be less time consuming and cheaper - love that too!
I better get going on my kids albums. I'm only 4 years behind ;).

Right now, I'm in the middle of the beginner course by Jessica Sprague and have already learned SO much. I haven't even had to pack up all my paper goodies and albums to go anywhere. It's all right here, on my computer.

Wanna see some of the stuff I've done?:


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sweet Dress for a Sweet Girl

The daughter of a good friend of mine just had her second heart surgery. Knowing what it is like, first hand, I wanted to do something special for my friend's sweet girl. I couldn't be there for her - she lives half way across the country - so this was my small way of being there.

Her sweet girl is doing awesome and will hopefully go home soon.

I smocked the dress on my Juki TL-98Q and did the raw-edge applique with fleece on my Bernina.

Sunday, April 26, 2009



I adore delicious potato salad.

Recently, I started reading "A Homemade Life" my Molly Wizenberg. It's a lovely book about the influence of food and cooking on Molly's life.

The first recipe in the book is for her father's potato salad. The recipe is simple, yet yummy.

I adore how the colors blend together - the purple of the potatoes, the green of the onions and white and yellow of the eggs. I made it for Easter dinner at my dad's house. Besides needing salt, I think it was very yummy.

I can't wait to try more recipes from the book.

Monday, April 20, 2009

::a little smocked dress::

I remember my mom making smocked dresses for me when I was a little girl. They were my favorite dresses in the world! I would spin around in circles, making the skirt of the dress raise high into the air (I did wear shorts underneath, ;)). Those dresses were very special to me.
One of my joys, is sewing for Molly and I hope that she enjoys what I make for her.

Recently, I ordered Weekend Sewing, by Heather Ross. I LURVE IT! It is full of fun and simple projects, including directions for making a smocked dress. My mom was out of town, so having the directions in the book was very helpful.

Sewing the elastic on. I wound it on the bobbin, by hand. Worked great! Drawing the lines on the fabric is a MUST.

After the elastic is all sewn. It's not "scrunched" up yet - just you wait!

All "scrunched" up! Spray the smocking with water and press with a hot iron. Then, like magic, the elastic contracts. This is my favorite part.

My beautiful model! I did add an appliqued bird on the front, but that pic is stuck on my phone ;).

Sweet shoulder straps.

I'm considering posting a full tutorial on smocking a dress, or even a shirt. Humm...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

{fabric I adore}

It's a strange thing to adore fabric, I know, but I always have. Fabric is comforting, gentle, calm, and so very comfy. Of course, that is if you have some of the good stuff. I adore a wonderful, soft, brushed cotton. Heather Ross has incredibly touchable fabric. Her stuff is amazing.

BTW - I blame my addiction, er, love, on my mom.

This love of beautiful fabric lures me into quilt shops, online and IRL (in real life). I have accumulated quite a lovely collection. It is filled with cotton woven prints, hand-dyes (thanks to mom), and batiks. Batiks and hand-dyes are my absolute favorite for quilting. Cotton woven prints are perfect for making fun projects for my kids. I love when they search and find the perfect one to match their personality, at that moment in time.
At this moment in time, Molly was a princess and Aaron was a prince with quite the royal cloak. And I was "Queen Mama" - who could possibly argue with a title like that??

Well, inadvertantly, I have hidden away much of my fabric. I thought I was storing it for when I would really need that perfect one, but no. Really, what that does is reinforce that "out of sight, out of mind" principle. I have forgotten so much of what I have, beacuse of those "convenient" storage bins. So, reorganizing was next on my list. Otherwise, I risk buying the same print or batik again, which I am completely guilty of.

So, I decluttered and reorganized! Wanna see?? I do have to apologize for not having "before" pictures. I forgot.

Folding up my fabulous fabric onto boards. I bought these fabric organizers from Polar Notions. The are absolutely wonderful. I love that they have them for fat quarters too!

Walking in:

Ah, so much better. But you can see that I still have stuff in bins. I ran out of the boards and need to order more.

After I go through these bins, I have a feeling I'll actually have empty space on my shelves!

My cutting table and more fabric to the left. Again, ran out of boards...

So, it's a start! And it's a much better family space too. Clay can work on the computer and not lean on thread and be threatened by straight pins. On the cutting table is my newest creation. I'll have pics of the finished product soon!

More to come...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

:sweet stitches:

When I was young, I watched my grandma crochet. She was so speedy, and every stitch she created amazed me. I also watched my mom sew, and sew, and sew. I don't remember a time when she wasn't sewing. It still amazes me. And now, my own son watches me with wonder and curiosity. He wanted to learn to sew. He is a tad too young for machine sewing, so hand sewing was the next best choice. So I went shopping...

Shopping list (inspired from the book The Creative Family - Soule Mama blog in blogroll):

Embroidery Hoop
Tapestry Needles (so he doesn't poke his fingers)
Embroidery Floss (lots of fun colors)

Here is my boy creating beautifully sweet stitches:

So proud of himself!


Some handiwork...

I think it's a lost art: handiwork. People don't make things for themselves and friends as in days past. I do think it's making a comeback though, with sites like http://www.etsy.com/ and wonderful books like The New Handmade. It is an art that has been in my family for many generations and I hope to carry on the tradtion with my own children.

My wonderful friend Maggie (she's in my blogroll!), photographed our family last Fall. In exchange, I am making her some props for pics and some fun stuff for her kids. I love trades!!

Here's some of my recent handiwork for her:

Apples & Ruffles for Peach

Pretty Birds for Peach

Apron for Peach

I also made Maggie a fun little headband for her birthday. It's from the book The New Handmade:

(me modeling it)

For many many years I resisted machine sewing as a hobby. My mom sews and is amazing at it. I never thought it was for me. Now, as an adult and a mom, I find peace at the sewing machine. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I complete a little something special and it puts a smile on someone's face. It tickles me that my kids know what a bobbin is and that they actually ask me to make things for them.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

What have we been up to?

Gosh, it's been too long, once again. I've slacked and and will just jump right back in.

{{side note: I'm sitting here giggling, while watching Molly play hide and seek with some coins and a little stuffed pumpkin. She says, "Where'd it go?" as she covers the coins with the pumpkin. Then replies, "There it is!" after she enthusiastically lifts the pumpkin from the coins. Gosh, I love that girl.}}

Since I last wrote, we have had lots of fun stuff happen in our lives. Which is quite welcome, in this household.

Our first big news is that Molly officially learned to use the potty! WOOT WOOT! I found out about the 3 Day Potty Training (www.3daypottytraining.com) technique from some wonderful friends. Haphazardly, we had been trying to teach Molly how to use the potty, but it was quite inconsistent. Using the 3DPT techinique worked great for Molly, and she stays dry day, nap and night. Of course we still have an accident here and there, but it's all manageable.

So, NO MORE DIAPERS! For me, as a cloth diaperer (and as my other cding mamas can attest to), it is bittersweet. I love that fluffy bum that comes with some sweet and sassy cloth. Maybe there will be a chance to use all of those fabulous diapers again, someday...

Not sure if it was the smartest timing, but just 2 weeks after PTing Molly, we went on our first family vacation, ever. We spent Aaron's birthday in Disneyland, and had a wonderful time. I'm going to create a separate Disneyland post, complete with pictures. :)

After getting home from Disneyland, (and this is NOT so fun), my laptop got a virus and I had to get it removed. Everything is okay, now, so maybe I shouldn't go into all of the drama that came with that terrible virus. To make a long story short, I didn't back up some VERY important data, and am having to reinput 5 months worth of business transactions. Needless to say, I will be backing everything up, and often, from now on.

As of today, we are all happy and healthy. Molly is so content playing with an old burp cloth, trying to fold it and unfold it, Aaron is playing some computer games on www.noggin.com, Clay is sleeping in, and I'm, well, typing ;).

I do have some great pics from the past month or so. I'll be adding those in with some upcoming posts.

Big hugs, everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

::coming back::

I've been gone for a while, well, a whole month actually. It's been a hard, emotional, exhausting month. Now, I'm feeling more myself and welcoming the energy I need to keep up with my life.
2009 will be a wonderful year and I'm excited to share it here.
Eva is the new girl in my house. Eva is a Didymos wrap, and I absolutely adore her. Molly seems to like her too. Molly likes to wear her babies too - don't you just love it?!

I'll be back soon with more pictures and stories from our lives.