Friday, June 30, 2006
Today I’m posting my “works in progress.” This is my ironing board (which needs a new cover) with my projects lined up, ready to sew.
From the left: a boy bib which needs snaps or some type of closure; some wee bunny pieces; fabric ball pieces; tissues (to remind me to make more tissue covers); a headband for Sandy (for helping me at the pool); some crocheted blocks that I did this week (after Heidi helped me); and a chocolate bar with handmade soap for the boys’ sports camp teacher (today was their last day).
Most of these “works in progress” have been waiting for me for the better part of the week, but I hope to get to them and finish them this weekend! The boys really want green wee bunnies.
3 Comments :
Happy housewarming. I hope you like your new blog home.Looks likes you’ve got a lot of projects going on! good luck getting to work a bit on them this weekend.
Comment by Angela — June 30, 2006 @ 7:28 pm
I can’t wait to see the results. Especially the bunny. The fabric looks great!
Comment by Kelli — June 30, 2006 @ 9:04 pm
You know how to make ironing board covers? I would love to know how, ::looking at foot:: but, you know, no rush.
Comment by capello — July 2, 2006 @ 1:02 am
Thursday, June 29, 2006
When my friend, Sandy, invited us to her pool and offered to help with the children, we took her up on the offer.
With my large family, we don't get invited many places (pools, day trips to the beach, zoo, etc.). No one is really willing to help me with my children, so we just do small things around town and around the house. The children are fine with it, but I'm sure they will start to notice when they get older ...
Anyway, Sandy had invited us a few weeks ago and we set some tentative dates. And yesterday was one of them. They boys loved it. They have a kiddie pool (that is fenced in) and 2 large pools (one with mid-size diving board and twirly slide). Spenser and Mason mainly stayed in the kiddie pool area; Jack went back and forth between the kiddie pool and the "big boy" pool; and Taylor and Carter stayed in the big pool (unless it was "adult swim only" time).
While I took my camera, I was busy watching the kids in two different places. Sandy was helping, but it was still busy. It wasn't until we were packing up to leave that I took a few pictures of Spenser in her diaper and poncho.
And then, when I checked my mail there was a little envelope shoved in my box. I was thrilled to see an unexpected package from AfricanKelli. Enclosed was a sweet note, a summer mix cd, and one of her infamous wristlets. (I actually got tears in my eyes when I opened the package!) I have always admired these little wristlets, especially the fun summery, fruity ones, and now I own one! I listened to the cd as I fixed dinner last night and I wanted to dance around the kitchen! It was very good, upbeat music. (Usually when I get in the car, we listen to children's music or the children watch tv. I had no "adult" music ... until now!) Thanks, again, Kelli!
And then, when I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some crochet hooks and notions, the lady at the fabric counter gave me a free crochet hook that had fallen out of a kit they were going to throw away. I know it's small, but I was really grateful!
Please Note: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all ... isn't that what we've been taught all of our lives? Only cowards leave rude, anonymous comments. Guilt stinks...
Another rude comment from 7-6-06:
I have a friend that has a family of 7 children all between the ages of 16 and 2, and I have never heard her say anything about needing help with her children, EVER. Her and her husband decided that they wanted a big family and they went for it. They are so involved with their local community and with 4H, that they are always on the go. They believe in taking the children with them and never leaving anyone at home. Never once have I heard her say that no one ever helps her with her children, and why should they. If the parents choose the size of the family, why should others have to “help” them with the consequences of the large family. My friends get invited to do more, and go to more places then I do, and I only have one child. The family is so loving and generous and kind to everyone and everything that is around them, it’s no wonder why they are so well liked. I find in my experience with the world it’s the people who do so much for others that get the kind help from others, while the people who expect kind help from others seldom ever receive it. I think that you sound selfish, and very childish, and that is not a very good example for your children.
Comment by The Clam — July 6, 2006 @ 6:27 pm
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
I joined my first swap. It's a Wristlet World. So today, I practiced making the zippered pouch. I haven't sewn a zipper in nearly 10 years. Actually, I was pregnant with Taylor and I made a dress and a pant-suit. They were the first two "real" things I sewed (besides a simple apron, some pillowcases, and valance curtains). And my friend Kathie helped me along the way. (By the way, happy 2nd anniversary, Kathie! Can you believe that I was pregnant with Spenser at your wedding? So much has happened!)
So I conquered my fear. Today I sewed the zipper alone. Yes. I won't lie. There were problems. Not big ones. But, as you can see in the photo, the zipper opens to the left, and, well, I'm right-handed. A little awkward, yes, but it works!
I've been loving green and hot pink together lately. I think I've already mentioned that, though. So, while it is missing the strap to make it an actual "wristlet," here it is:
And today, when I picked up our mail at the post office (our town is so small that everyone has a post office box and they do not deliver mail to our homes, unless it's UPS or FedEx) I saw a padded envelope in the window. I was thrilled to see that it arrived:
Monday, June 26, 2006
On Saturday evening I tried a new bag style. I've really been liking green and hot pink together and decided to try a bag like this one. I used more of this thrifted sheet, hot pink bias tape, and a vintage button for decoration. The lining is this thrifted sheet. The handle was a little flimsier than I like, but it wasn't bad.
Today I sewed another Wee Bunny. This time a "boy" one for Mason. He likes orange and green and we just "inherited" some scary hand-me-downs from someone and there was an orange, white, gray, and navy striped jersey shirt inside. It was way too ugly to wear, so instead I washed it, and cut it to make the back of the bunny.
And this afternoon my friend, Heidi, stopped by to help me remember how to crochet. She originally taught me the basics about 12 years ago, but I haven't crocheted anything in 10 years. I've been wanting to make these adorable booties (the "converse high tops") for my new baby, but it seems that my skills are not what they used to be. Heidi came over and decided that she is going to make them for me! I'm so grateful! She even started them while she was here and finished one sole! I was still trying to get my stitches even ... We had a lot of fun laughing (at my stitches and other things) and talking.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
So I"ve been sitting out there watching the children play. Usually with my laptop catching up on some blogs. And the truth is, the rocking chair isn't very comfortable for long periods of time. My back really starts to hurt when I sit there. I've suffered with back pain for nearly 15 years (for unknown reasons) and being pregnant doesn't really help.
As I was browsing Martha the other day, I saw this. Outdoor pillows. Exactly what I need. Something waterproof (hopefully, because it rained last night) and comfortable. So I whipped up this in just minutes:
The vinyl tablecloth came from Target. It was oblong in shape (rectangular) and cost only $2.99. Quite a bargain! I bought it on Memorial Day with hopes of turning it into a waterproof bag to carry. Haven't done that yet.
Hey! Now I may even make a matching pillow for my front-porch rocker!
Thursday, June 22, 2006
A fireplace in our formal living room (a.k.a. "the red room"). The actual fireplace is in the basement below this one. This fireplace has a cast-iron gas stove hooked up to it. On the side of this fireplace are some neat old cabinets (and on our dining room fireplace, too). We have yet to paint the interior properly, so they are not being used. I've been bugging Joe to take care of it! I'll have to take a picture of those some day, as they are really cool.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I went to the doctors today. I gained five pounds. Dr. U. said that my placenta will not be going anywhere at this part of my pregnancy. My next appointment is in 2 weeks (aaah! that means 3rd trimester!!!) and they will send me for another sonogram at that point. So, a cesarean is inevitable.
They routinely do c-sections at 39 weeks (unlike Hopkins' recommendation at 37 weeks). So, I guess my first c-section is going to happen ... I'm just not going to think about that right now.
Jo-Ann's was having a big sale this past weekend. I stopped in and found these fabrics on their clearance aisle. I got some pretty sweet deals, too (besides the fact they were all 50% off their clearance price). Because two of the fabrics would have left remnants on the bolt, I was able to purchase them for an additional 75% off the clearance price. I was able to buy an extra.875 of a yard of one for like 37 cents and a yard of another for 44 cents. I must have really liked the pink floral fabric from the vintage collection, because when I was putting away the fabrics, I already had some. At least my taste is consistent.
These next two pictures were home dec fabric samples for 50 cents apiece. Because they are home dec fabrics, they are sturdy, and therefore would make a great bag.
AND, a tiny (ha ha) bit of wool felt to make those adorable Bitty Booties for my little boy baby. I bought a yard of robin's egg blue, a yard of navy, a yard of the green, and 1/4 yard of the yellow.
Now I must tell you about my deals. I used my 50% coupon on one yard, my 40% on the other, the green and yellow were remnants, so they were already marked to half-price, but then were an additional 50% off (I think). So the yard of green cost $1.75 and the 1/4 yard of the yellow as 44 cents. I know this is way more than I need for those wee booties, but I wanted to have extra for other things, too.
And finally, a bag that I made yesterday from last week's thrifty-found sheets. I found this tutorial a few weeks ago and had planned on trying it. It was easy to follow, except I forgot to clip the curves. It did not turn out bad, though!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
So yesterday, I made another pair for her. It is hard to get a good picture of her modeling the capris because she is so busy "posing" for the camera.
And this picture was just cute. I needed to prove that she doesn't wear pink everyday ... just most days. She is wearing her ballet leotard that I gave her for her 1st birthday (with her pink tutu). I forgot she had it, so it's the first time she's worn it. She loved her outfit. She kept wanting to go into the bathroom to look in the mirror.
And I love how brown her hair and eyes look! I never knew I could have a brown-haired, brown-eyed child. What a surprise and a blessing!
Monday, June 19, 2006
To keep track of the boys, we had them "buddy up" with another brother. This is Taylor buddying up with Mason in the Amazonia building (at least, I think that's where we were...).
And check out Spenser's reaction to the animals. I think she was watching the tigers. The next picture in the lot was of a tiger, so I'm guessing that's what she was watching. I was too busy watching her amazement to remember where we were. It's a priceless picture. Spenser loves all animals and belly-laughs when they move, fly, make sounds, etc.
And we couldn't pass up a chance to drive by the Washington, DC temple on our way home. We ran into the visitor's center for a quick run-through and used their clean bathrooms. The temple is always so beautiful.
It was a busy, busy day and my body is still recovering from all the walking. I think every muscle from my belly-button to my toes were sore.
And to celebrate our anniversary, we went to the Chinese buffet. Our boys love it there, so we made it a family affair. (We had forgotten to get a babysitter for our once-a-year date, so we will go the next Saturday Joe has off.) While we were there, poor little Spenser who has been sick (wheezing, coughing, etc.) coughed and threw up her entire dinner all over Joe (right as we were getting ready to leave). I'm so glad it was him because I was gagging so much anyway by that point that if I had to be saturated and smelling it, well ... let's just say that she wouldn't have been the only one to get sick inside the restaurant. (And it's probably more acceptable if a toddler does it instead of an adult.)
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Joe with all of the children at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.
And finally, the Father's Day tradition is to make mini pies (4 1/2 inch pies in "tart" or "pot pie" tins). These are given to a few of the neighbors who are widowers. And some are donated to church to be distributed to the fathers in church.
However, this year, only store-bought pies were picked at church. So, despite the fact that I made pies after everyone was in bed last night, and, despite the fact that I could hardly walk or stand, I made pies last night. No one in church took my pie, so I brought it home to Joe (who stayed home to take care of sick Spenser). Joe appreciated it, as did one of my neighbors (the others will be delivered when they are home later today).
So ... at least someone appreciated my efforts.
When I was on bedrest, my thoughts too often turned to the Father's Day pies. Who will make the pies if I'm still on bedrest? Will my neighbors miss the tradition? Like I didn't have enough to worry about ...
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Eleven years ago today, Saturday, June 17th, Joe and I were married.
It's hard to believe all that can happen in just 11 years ... Several moves, 5 1/2 children, and many, many business trips.
When I look back to the day we were married, I feel that I really didn't know Joe very well. Kind of funny to think about now.
It's great being married to Joe. He always takes care of me. When I am pregnant. When I'm sick. When I'm sad. When I'm achy. When I'm on bedrest.
He helps to take care of sick children. (Like last night when Spenser awoke with a croopy cough. He took her downstairs to the family room and took care of her all night so I could sleep.) He's more medically knowledgeable than I. He removes splinters, ticks, warts, and loose teeth. He cleans up throw up (because it makes me want to). And he apologizes to me if he is not home to clean it up. Same goes with poop in the bathtub.
He cuts the boys' hair so we don't have to spend $50 a month in haircuts.
He works 6 days a week (sometimes 7), at 10-14 hours a day. (Not because he wants to, but because the Army demands it.) He commutes 60+ miles one way so I can live in my house.
He can fix almost everything. Except the car. He has built decks for our houses. Installed windows. Installed french doors. Built additions. Fixed the children's bubble machine.
He can iron better than I. He's in the Army. What can I say?
He can't fall asleep at night until he knows that I already have. And he knows the minute I drift off to sleep, even though I'm on my side facing away from him.
He kills spiders for me.
He loves all of my creations and encourages me to do more. He never fusses when I buy more fabric.
He uses my homemade soap and gives me his opinion. Even when it might not have completely saponified, he will wash his hands 100 times to see if it irritates his skin.
He sews on Taylor's cub scout patches.
He bought me my first sewing machine as a Mother's Day gift when I was pregnant with Taylor (1996), and wasn't technically a mother yet.
He cuts my toenails, even when I'm not pregnant! (Although I usually do it myself. He says I don't do it right.)
And he still finds time to compliment me every day. Every day.
A lot has happened in the past 11 years and I have been grateful for all of the challenges we have faced together as a team. Happy anniversary, Joe!
And a crafty note:
The flowers in my bouquet were handmade of velvet by me, my sister, my friend, and my mother (and Joe said he helped, too!). In fact, all of the flowers in the wedding party (corsages, boutonnieres, bridesmaid flowers, and the tossing bouquet) were handmade of velvet. It was hard work, but the work definitely paid off!
Friday, June 16, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
The "new" little reading nook of our family room. I wanted to put the bookshelf in front of the french doors (which used to be the home of our spacesaver treadmill) so we would be able to open up both doors on nice, breezy days. Our old rocking chair was Joe's great-grandfather's (I think only one great). The seat has been re-caned.
The one on the left is more "modern." I will make a springy bag and some capris for Spenser out of that. It is cute. It has flowers and little girl faces. I couldn't pass it up.
I love the one on the right. It has flowers and strawberries. (I bought the flat and the fitted sheets. No pillowcases.)
And some pillowcases.
The stripey set on the left end will probably be used as linings for bags. Although it is modern, I thought the color scheme would look good with some of my floral prints.
The pastel floral pillowcases (I found 4) are very nice and soft. I may even keep these to use on my pillow!
The second from the right actually is a pillow cover (it has a zipper), which I didn't realize until I took it out of the dryer. I'm sure I can salvage the zipper, too! (Although I haven't sewn a zipper in almost 10 years!)
And this final, wrinkly pillowcase was a loner. It, too, is very, very soft. I think this will become a pillowcase dress (from MS Baby) for Spenser next summer. (She's a little short this summer and has a ton of summer dresses.) The floral print is only on the front.
My total bill, including tax, was $14.44. Sometimes I think they just charge you what they want to charge. This girl charged $1 a sheet and 75 cents a pillowcase. I think the other girl charges $1.50 a sheet and 65 cents (maybe) a pillowcase. I think the sign said sheet sets were $3, so it would make sense to charge $1 a sheet, because "sets" should include pillowcases. Don't ya think?
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
This morning I ran into town to have my glucose tolerance test. Yuck. I think that's all I have to say about that test!
So, as I had an hour to kill in the waiting room, I smocked (Christy, you should be so proud of me!). Christy was teaching me how to smock while I was on bedrest and she's been bugging me to finish ever since! I also had grabbed my ipod on the way out the door, and without little ones to share it with, I listened to my music and smocked.
It was a very peaceful hour ... until ... I had a "sad song sneak attack." It caught me by surprise. The song was I Believe by Diamond Rio. It reminds me of my sister, Kristen, who was killed in a car accident. I wasn't ready for the tears. Big fat, juicy tears running down my face. Luckily, I didn't have any loud sobbing sounds. That would have been very embarassing. (Just wished I would have looked in the mirror before running all over town because I had smudged my mascara!)
Then, sans kids, I ran to the thrift store. There I experienced "sheet-thrifting fingers." We always joke that when Joe eats chicken he gets "chicken fingers," which is when you have greasy fingers, you have an itch. I had "sheet-thrifting fingers" today. As I'm rummaging through the sheets and pillowcases I always get an itch on my head or face and I'm so terrified to touch myself (or the kids) until I've carefully disinfected my hands. So, I had a little itch on my head near my ear. It had to be scratched, so I used my left pinky finger. It happens every time!!!
So, without a phone or reliable internet service, I have been sewing. I sewed this pink apron (trying a scalloped edge) for a gift, but I don't like how pointy the scallops turned out. In my defense, I must say that my internet went out while sewing the apron, so I had nothing to reference. Out of default, I will keep this one for myself.
So then I sewed this little green floral apron instead.
Then I decided to give a pocket-size tissue holder a try. It turned out on the first try. (Well, actually, I had made one out of felt many years ago, after seeing it in a MS Baby magazine. I couldn't find my magazine, but the felt one was still with my sewing supplies, so I just measured it.) I used a handkerchief for the outside (pretty funny, huh? a handkerchief tissue holder?) and white and black polka dot fabric for the lining. Very simple and already in use.
Tomorrow I hope to post my thrifted sheets and pillowcases. They're in the dryer now.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Our DSL (through the phone company) is only working sporadically. Surprised that it even works at all!
I think the phone company can't be here for like 2 more days or something...
I say, "Blame it on the birds!" Dang birds!
In the meantime, check out my friend, Kim, who rode her Harley to my house on Sunday afternoon. (Yes! I had two friends visit me on Sunday!)
Monday, June 12, 2006
Every morning Spenser wakes with crazy hair. Joe had dubbed her "Dudley Moore" (remember the Friends episode when Phoebe cut Monica's hair like Dudley Moore, instead of Demi Moore?), and we laughed about it every day. However, she is so cuddly in the morning, we decided to name her "Cuddly More." Even when we ask her if she is "Cuddly More," she shakes her head yes.
So here she is:
And, hopefully, the final report on the mystery sound in my A/C vent:
When Joe came home from church yesterday, I told him again of the scary noises being emitted from the ducts. He went to the basement to investigate. He found two birds in the basement, so he opened one of the outside doors to let them escape.
He thinks they were trying to get out of the basement window right below the one family room vent and were banging against it (not in it). He checked last night and the birds are gone, so I will see if the sound returns.
I'm so glad he found the birds and not me! When I was very pregnant with Spenser, I went into the basement and a pigeon flew over my head! I thought I would surely give birth on the basement floor I was so terrified. My father-in-law (who came to remove the pigeon) tried to say the bird was more afraid than I ... but he didn't see me!!!
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I was about to report no sightings or sounds of noises coming from my A/C vent (since my original post), but then I heard it!!!
It sounds like a bird. I think I heard some wing flapping going on down there. I didn't close the vent this time, just covered it with a toy. Same vent, by the way. Oh crud! It's going crazy in there! I'm going crazy out here!! It's trying to get out! I can hear it thumping and flapping and scratching!
I didn't feel well this morning, so I didn't go to church. Joe took all the children, and because I am a big scaredy cat I'm dying here alone!
Joe didn't get home from work on Friday until after 8 pm. Then he had to work yesterday and didn't get home until after 7 pm. He hasn't had time to investigate, but in all fairness, I have not heard anything since Friday.
I think I'm getting crampy now ...
I remembered a little baby kimono I started working on for Spenser before I went on bedrest. I pulled it out yesterday and finished it!
Then, oh my goodness, I totally forgot about this thing. It's a little fabric book. It had been washed and cut for, let's say, maybe 5 years ... In fact, the pellon that I used on the inside still had the tag on it, and I'm pretty sure I bought the book pattern before then! (See below)
Yes, that does say 10/16/01 !
Then I mended a few things. Spenser has two baby-doll strollers. One from her birthday, which she sat in and tore. And one from the Easter Bunny, which she sat in and tore.
Then I mended a boy's winter camo shirt. And a boy's church tie. And a little summer outfit of Spenser's from last year. (I had planned on giving it to my niece, but I don't think it will be big enough for her.) I think I may have another thing or two to mend, too.
And I started piddling around with ideas I've had for years, thinking "this is the month to do it!" Including making one (or more) "bandana ties" from Martha Stewarts Kids magazine (summer 2003, page 30). Then I saw cute little girl things to be made with bandanas (I didn't have a girl when I originally bought the magazine.) But instead, I cut out fabric to make myself another headband out of a bandana.
And then Spenser woke up. So I guess I now have another "unfinished project" lurking on my dining room table.
I also realized that I need to make a few more (hopefully only a few!!!) changes to a DVD slideshow I made for my grandmother's 92nd birthday last year. I need to change a few of the songs around. So I'm hoping this is the month! (She loves it regardless.)
So I feel so much better that some of these projects are being finished. I feel I really got a lot accomplished in such a short time...
Finish What You Have ... great idea!