Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Which Came First ...

the skirt or the bag? Actually, it was the bag.

My sister-in-law decided she wanted to learn to sew and she bought a sewing machine. I told her I'd help anytime she needed it. She emailed me a link to a bag she wanted to make. It made me laugh because I had printed it a year and a half ago and never made one. She came over and I helped her make one. As she was sewing, I whipped one up, too.

The closest fabric I had nearby was the vintage sheet. Thinking that I would not have time to make a Thanksgiving skirt, I thought I'd "settle" on a new bag. Lucky me, I got both.

The bag is extra tiny. Well, tiny for me. I took it to a choral concert (the same benefit concert as last year),* and it was the perfect size for a very rare, once-a-year date night.

And you can see the little ruffly flower I attached to the front. I hand-stitched it in place so I won't lose it. Because you know I would.

*Oh, and yes they announced my name again at the concert. At least this year I was prepared.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Circle Skirt a.k.a. The Thanksgiving Skirt

Happy belated Thanksgiving! We had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Well, except the kids had off of school all week and they fought and made messes all over the house. I'd be lying if I said I was sad to see them leave for school this morning.

But even amidst the chaos, that is my life, last week, I had to make another Thanksgiving skirt. I always have grand plans, but then run out of time. Again this year, I made plans and waited until Wednesday to start (and finish) the skirt.

The fabric I chose was a no-brainer. A friend of mine found this fun vintage sheet at the thrift store and knew it would make a fab skirt. In fact, when it was in her cart someone asked her if she was going to make a skirt from it and she replied, "No, my friend will." And right she was! (I love that my friends and family know me well enough to know what I like ... and what I can make with it.)

I made a circle skirt. Which is very twirly.

Very twirly.

The skirt has a side zipper and a vintage button closure. And did I mention it's twirly?

Skirts from Thanksgivings past:
2008 - Did I make one and it was undocumented?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hooded Towels

Remember when we so happily got new towels earlier this year? I think I neglected to report that Spenser and Sawyer were still using old towels. Sawyer rotated between two towels: a hooded towel I bought before he was born (ahem, four years ago) and a hooded towel a friend gave Mason when he was born. They were both well-used and not as soft as they once were. Spenser's towels were just as old. Well, actually, older. After all, she is two years older than Sawyer ...

Part of the problem is that our clawfoot bathtub is in our first-floor bathroom for all to see. I was having a hard time, once again, finding towels to complement that room (which is a pale pink). Inexpensive towels can be so ugly.

Anyway, I found an affordable light blue set and a more-pink-than-I-wanted pink set. I was just going to make them simple, until a google search helped me find this tutorial.

I love them. And I find that I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not Good

In the words of Scooby-Doo, "ruh-roh."

Late yesterday afternoon I was getting ready for parent-teacher conferences and my glasses broke. Luckily I was able to call my doctor's office to get a referral and called and scheduled an appointment for today. At least it was my today. I showed up today and was told my appointment is actually tomorrow. Someone had their days messed up. And it wasn't me. Unfortunately Mason has an "emergency" orthodontist appointment at the same time the office said I was scheduled, so it's not going to work out for me tomorrow. Or next week when the kids are home from school all week for Thanksgiving. And, as it looks now, it might not work the following week either. (Seriously, who wants an evening eye appointment? We have lives in the evenings. And meetings ...)

I am wearing a spare pair of glasses and I don't recognize myself. The glasses are okay. They just aren't me anymore. Honestly, I'm not sure if they were ever "me." I have two important town events/meetings coming up (well, four total, but only two are important) and I'm sure I'll be self-conscious.

Oh, and my kids rocked the parent-teacher conferences. No worries there. I actually came home smiling and showered the kids with compliments.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Girl Child

The girl child was sick this weekend. It started early Saturday morning with a croupy cough and sore throat and developed into wheezing by Sunday evening. Poor thing.

She claimed she didn't like the way the breathing treatment "tasted," and was not happy to do it. It really broke our hearts.

She stayed home from Kindergarten on Monday. She doodled and drew all day long. She followed me into the bathroom while I was cleaning it and when I turned around, she was busy working. We so love that little girl. And we are so happy that she is on the up-and-up and feeling better. Her cough is still nasty, but she has her ol' pep back.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The End of Soccer Season

I am so happy that soccer is over for the season. No more practices during the week. No more Saturday games. No more dirty cleats and smelly shin guards. No more matching socks and uniforms. Our evenings and Saturdays have just opened up. And it is so freeing.

Last week Jackson and Mason had their soccer tournament. They placed third in their age division. I think they played five or so games that day from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. And it was a cold and windy day.

Taylor and Carter's soccer tournament started the same Saturday and finished this past Saturday. Their first game of the day was quite exciting. In a mom's nervous kind of way.

The absolute best part of the first game was a save made by my very own Taylor. He is a defender and the other team was trying to score. Somehow the ball was bouncing from head to head, inching closer and closer to our goal. Taylor set up for a head bunt ...

hit the ball ...

and sent it sailing. (That's the poor goalie on the ground up there with his feet in the air.)

And, yes, I started to cry. You know me by now.

Taylor and Carter's team ended up losing the last game, but they took 2nd place in the championship. It was another tough game, as Taylor played against two of his best friends.

The season ended with only Jackson scoring. He scored two this year. Jack plays well at offense, but the coach played him in defense this year. Mason and Carter barely played ... Let's not get me started on this one. And Taylor, as always, is a defender. I still think of him as "The Wall."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Crocheted Rosette

My mother asked me to keep my eyes open for a vintage knit children's earflap hat that she wants to hang with her Christmas decorations. The crafter in me came home and started Googling knit patterns.

It was while searching for said hat that I came across this adorable bonnet with flower. I really think Spenser needs a little knit bonnet like that. And maybe her mama, too.

Anyway, when I saw the crocheted rosette, I was intrigued. It has been a few months since I crocheted and, every once in awhile, it's a nice break from my usual crafting routine.

I made it from scraps of organic cotton and glued a pinback to it. I have been loving E-6000 glue as of late. (I actually used it a few weeks ago to glue my Dyson back together and, so far so good.) I always add a circle of felt with two slits for the pin to poke through. It hides all the edges and gives things a more finished look.

As I worked on it, Spenser loved it, so I placed the pin on her jacket. After she left for school I noticed the pin on the dining room table ... Hmmmm.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Polka-Dot Skirt

When I thrifted two polka-dot pillowcases a few months back (a year ago, perhaps), I knew they were destined to become a skirt.

On Monday late afternoon, I decided I wanted a new skirt to wear to that night's town meeting and I knew exactly which one I would make.

I'm not going to lie. This skirt has issues. The first and most annoying issue is that this pillowcase had seams on both sides. You may not be able to notice it, but there is a seam running straight down the middle of the skirt. I had hoped that the front and back could be their own separate panels with a side zipper, but it wouldn't work for the A-line skirt I had in mind. If I had just made a simple straight pillowcase skirt, it could have worked. Instead I had to make do and live with a very seamy skirt. But, alas, I have two front panels and two back panels and a zipper in the back.

The facing is a bit funky, but who's going to see that?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Infinity Cowl

I've been Googling and browsing Ravelry, which is always a dangerous thing. With cooler weather (and no humidity! wahoo!), I decided I needed a knit infinity cowl. (I've been digging my black and white striped jersey one that I bought on clearance over the summer.)

I found a very cute pattern online, but I didn't have the right yarn, and thus the dimensions were grossly off, so I improvised.

I grabbed the last of my gray chunky yarn (I thought I had more because I so forgot that I made this cowl with it. So, yeah, I now have two gray cowls. Whatev.) and got to work. As I knit, I could tell I wouldn't have enough to make it wide enough, so I added a bit of orange for detail.

It's warm and great to wear while waiting for the school bus.

I thought I liked putting it around my head, but after seeing this photo, I don't. It should probably be wider, but I didn't want the orange to take over.

It is almost 6" wide ...

And about 23" long.

US15 circular needles 29"
1 skein of yarn (I think I used this in gray, but I don't know.)
Cast on 100 stitches, knit in stockinette until desired width, cast off.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Last-Minute Gifting

Today is the last day for one of Jackson's teachers. She's a very nice lady who has decided to do a career change with the Department of Defense. Jackson had her last year in third grade and then she moved up to fourth grade this year. Taylor had her in third grade and in fifth grade when she taught fifth for a couple of years. (She missed teaching Carter.)

Last night before bed, Jackson reminded me that today was her last day. I knew he wanted to give her a gift, but I really couldn't think what to give her. I remembered I had some homemade soap and that's all I could come up with. (I was sleepy and ready for bed at 8:00.)

Then our dishwasher started to leak all over the kitchen floor. As Joe repaired the dishwasher, I decided to make her a rosette pin, just like the ones I made for my sisters last Christmas. I used a bit of jersey, tulle, and wool to make it and I love how it turned out. It's very dark and gray. A wonderful combination. I might need to make one for myself now. Don't you love when that happens?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


My girl turned six yesterday. Six. She seriously needs to stop doing this.

She had her birthday tea party yesterday, as in past years. This year she invited her best friends from Kindergarten. My girl was born on Election Day, so it was only fitting that she had her party on Election Day. (And, yes, I did vote on my way to the hospital the day she was born.)

We hung garland that was made by my new sister-in-law for her wedding brunch reception.

We decorated the table with thrifted china and fluted saucers which held tea light candles.

Complete with dress-up gloves and princess name place cards.

The girls colored little frames (which I found on clearance), played pin the tail on the donkey, guessed how many Skittles were in one jar and Lifesavers in another, decorated sugar cookies, played outside, danced, and drew pictures.
And Spenser was pleased with all of her new things. My mother bought her a new dress-up costume and princess shoes (and little book to draw her own fairytale, which is nearly finished).

I think she had a grand day.

Now We are Six (1927)
When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

A.A. Milne

Monday, November 01, 2010

Spooky Ooky Halloween

This is our house. Joe decorated it. (Finny would be appalled. I just know it.) It was complete with Halloween music, a black light, fog machine, a small cemetery (with a strobe light), and a skeleton creature hanging above the rocking chair. Oh, and giant furry spider hanging from the ceiling. Most of the visiting trick or treaters loved it. One little boy refused to walk in front of my house. Really, I don't blame him. It was spooky and ooky. Even for me.

Joe took this brood trick or treating last night while I handed out candy. (The boy on the top left is a friend.) We had 109 trick or treaters in 1 1/2 hours. It was hairy for awhile.

Sawyer was Curious George. I sewed this for Taylor 11 years ago. I nearly had forgotten about it. I found it in a Halloween costume bin in our basement while looking for something for Carter to wear. Despite the above picture, Sawyer loved his costume. He has worn it four times in the past few days.

Spenser was a pilgrim. I used Simplicity 3725. Seriously, have you seen a cuter pilgrim in your days?

At first she was unsure about the costume. I tried to persuade her for a year. Just a few weeks ago we discussed Halloween costumes and she wanted to be a princess, an angel, a witch ... All the things she has already been. I asked her about being a pilgrim and showed her the pattern. Of course her eyes were quickly diverted to the pink dress on the pattern cover. Finally she consented to be a pilgrim and that it could be black, instead of pink. And then told everyone she was going to be a gremlin.

She's so wearing this for Thanksgiving. She wore it three times this weekend.

Mason was a robot. Joe made this from things we had around the house: old boxes, paper towel/toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, foil, tape and hot glue. I was surprised it has held up for the four times he's worn it.

Jackson was an Army man. This costume has been worn by both of the older boys so far. (Jack wore this three times this weekend, too.)

Carter is wearing Joe's old scrubs from when he worked at an Army hospital as a medic many years ago. I had sewed Carter a little face mask, but it couldn't be located last night. (He wore his costume twice. He was out of town this weekend.)

And last, but not least, Taylor. He wasn't planning to participate in any of the activities we were invited to or for Halloween, but yesterday he was invited to go out with friends from church and had a change of heart. He whipped this costume together on his own. That kid cracks me up. The sign on his shirt says, "I AM A ZOMBIE! And this is my t-shirt."

  • Tomorrow a very special little girl in the is having a birthday. And a birthday tea party. I have to finish getting ready.

  • I ran to the store this morning and dropped a gallon of milk. It exploded everywhere. I was embarrassed at first, but no one actually witnessed it. The worst part was trying to find someone to tell. I offered to clean it up. I think the guy thought I was nuts. I apologized profusely. Repeatedly.

  • Yesterday for church Spenser and I dressed a little witchy. She wore her candy corn skirt, long-sleeved black shirt with her orange and black striped tights. I wore a white shirt, with a black cardigan over it, this ribbon belt, a black pencil skirt, and some black and white striped tights.