Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Saturday

On Saturday we held Taylor's Eagle Court of Honor. We had a busy few weeks preparing for it. (And, boy, has the inside of my house suffered because of it.)

Joe wrote the program and prepared a PowerPoint presentation and pretty much organized everything. I took care of the food (chocolate fountain + other goodies) and made two slideshow presentations: a short 4-minute one for the actual ceremony and a longer one for the reception we held afterwards.

As his mother, I pinned the medal on his uniform. It was crooked.

And then Taylor gave a speech that he wrote. He did a wonderful job. I was so proud of him. (Carter, in the background, was the emcee for the Court of Honor as part of the Communications Merit Badge. Carter did a wonderful job, as well. And he was funny. We are still laughing at him.)

And, so ... it's official ...

I'm the mother of an Eagle Scout. (One of many future Eagle Scouts.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

A week ago on Sunday I made chocolate chip scones.* They were heavenly. The kids loved them, but not as much as I did. At that time I thought it would be a nice Valentines morning treat for the children ... Too bad I didn't remember until nearly 11:00 p.m. last night.

I tried a different recipe this time. They are good, but I think I'll stick to my tried-and-true Joy of Baking recipe. It must be the stick of butter that makes the difference.

Last night after the scones cooled, I packaged each in a cellophane bag and placed one at each stool at our kitchen island/breakfast bar for the children. (And I stuck one with Joe's wallet and keys for him to take to work this morning.)

While the scones were baking, I remembered that I bought a bag of M&Ms for the kids' lunch treat. I bought some adorable red-polka-dotted treat bags at Michaels last week for the very occasion. I cut the treat bags and attached some Valentines scrapbook paper to the top.

I wish I would have thought of this earlier in the morning, but when I wake up before 6:30 and start packing lunches, I'm barely awake. Taylor and Carter's sandwiches were normal, but Jackson, Mason, and Spenser's sandwiches were made with love. (I use white wheat for the sandwiches. My kids are anti-"dirty" bread and do not like to see grain of any kind in their bread, thanks to their father.)

My Valentine treat for today was a necklace with six golden hearts. Joe gave me the chain (and a bag of Ghirardelli chocolate) and each of the children were lined up with a heart in their hand, told me they loved me, and gave me a kiss. So sweet.

And I made Spenser a rushed Valentines jumper to wear to school today. I made it from pink fleece.

Instead of hemming it, I made a blanket stitch all around the raw edges of the dress, neckline and sleeves, included.

And, because I still wasn't happy with it, I made a little heart from ruffled scrap fleece. I added two satin ribbons to tie in the back. The heart, by far, is my favorite part of the dress.

Today I'm hoping to make chocolate-raspberry cupcakes for dinner, along with homemade bread and lasagna, and my little heart butter pats. But, it's Monday, which is cleaning day. And Mason has an orthodontist appointment. And I have a town meeting. And the weather is supposed to be nice, and I'd love to go for a run, but probably won't be able to fit it in.

So, have you planned any Valentine surprises for your sweeties?

*I have made the Joy of Baking scones several times in the past. I omit the dried fruit and add extra chocolate chips. Usually I throw in a small handful of mini-chocolate chips along with the regular-sized ones.*

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't Laugh. Okay, You Can

This is my first real "beading" attempt. The only reason I tried it is because I have a favorite pearl necklace with a broken clasp. I can only imagine how much money the jeweler would charge to re-string and re-knot the thing. (Especially after they charged me $15 to replace the battery of my running watch a few months back -- I had the $2 replacement battery, but couldn't remove the backing.) I decided to see if I might be able to learn to do it myself.

Thankfully I was able to find some tutorials and a video on YouTube to get me on my way. As you can see, it's not the prettiest thing in sight, but I was able to practice stringing and knotting.

I think the main problem with this necklace has to do with the knots (even though they were four strands thick). The knots are slightly smaller than the holes in the beads and doesn't keep the beads in place so they slide around a bit. I think I will cut this sucker apart and start over. And see if I can buy another strand of those turquoise beads. I bought the last strand in the store, but I'd like the necklace to be a little longer.

As for the pearl necklace? Well, I have a lot of practice ahead of me before I take it apart.

(The inspiration for this necklace came from here. I really dig the orange + turquoise together. I'm an orange-kind-of gal.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Jersey* Flower Pins

The other week with my leftover jersey,* I made a few flowers. I found a quick and easy tutorial and made them in just minutes. (I just love that when I have an idea, I can find someone else who has already done the "hard work" and figured it out for me. The internet can be a wonderful tool.)

After I made these three, I realized that I used the same color scheme as ones I made over a year ago: gray, yellow, and white. At least I'm consistent. I really do think that gray and yellow are my winter colors. Or maybe just my everyday colors (like in this photo of my kitchen).

Yellow + gray. I just can't get enough of them together.

I like to be able to swap out the flowers with my mood and my wardrobe. I can wear it on my wool peacoat. (They would look adorable on a bag or hat. I'm not much of a hat person.)

On my infinity scarf ...

And I even made one for a hairclip for my girl's golden brown locks. (I just have not been able to get decent sunlight when she's home so you'll have to see it in my hair instead.)

When I make pins, I like to cut out a circle (or oval) piece of felt, when I attach the pinback. (Click on the last link to see exactly how I do it.)

*I am choosing to call these jersey flower pins instead of knit because I don't want any confusion with knit meaning knitting with yarn.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The One-Hour Cardigan That Took Two

About a month (or more) ago, I made this one-hour cardigan. It actually took two.

First, it was a pain in the you-know-what to cut out. (It's jersey.)

And then the armholes were too small and I had to cut, a little at a time, to enlarge the opening.

But, in the end, I think I like it. That's my way of saying that I'm still getting used to it. (The shoulders sit low and it's a different feeling.)

I made the middle length and then shortened it to the shortest length. And then I lengthened the sleeves to fit my gorilla arms.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Le Cloche

Perhaps I should have warned you that after I found that cute cloche pattern, I would become an obsessed woman. Although, if you know me, you should have already guessed it.

Last week I went on the hunt for the perfect brown, cotton yarn.

I almost didn't find it. (Michaels was a bust. I actually found this cotton yarn at Wal-Mart.)

I couldn't wait to get started.

Or finished.

So I finished the hat in almost one sitting.

Minus kids' baths, family scripture reading, family prayers, finishing the dishes, washing the eggs, etc.

And I was so pleased that I made one for her to wear to church.

I'd prefer that it would be pink to match her coat lining, but I could not find a pink I liked enough. For her. Or for me.

But I found (in my stash) a pink for a friend's baby. While I'm not in love with the self-striping yarn, I do like the way this hat, excuse me, cloche, turned out. (I made this one while the men-folk in the house watched the Super Bowl last night.)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Ruffled Flower Necklaces

A few weeks back I stumbled upon a new-to-me blog and this tutorial for making pom-pom bib necklaces. Well, last week with all of our snow days, I was able to make not one, but two ...

I actually made the yellow one first out of a yellow tee. It took longer than I expected (not just because I had to cut four million little circles) because I made my extra ruffly. I guess I should have referred back to the picture/tutorial more often.

The gray one was made from some leftover cotton I had from the clutch I made for our big night out. I was able to cut out many layers of cotton at once (as compared to the jersey from the tee). It went much quicker the second round.

At first I wasn't sure about these necklaces because they are quite different than the ones I usually wear, but it turns out that I really do like them.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Looped Scarflette

We've been snowbound. This statement actually makes me laugh out loud because it's soooo not like last year when we had four feet of snow in one week's time. We have just enough snow (and ice now) for schools to close. Again. The district called for a two-hour delay this morning, but with the supposed forecast, they closed school. I think there's a smidgen of ice out there, but I can't see it. There is absolutely no precipitation at the moment. From what I saw online, it will start back up in the middle of the night and be icy all over again. Which means tomorrow we could be looking at another day at home. I've come to learn you cannot trust weather predictions.

I'd rather have the snow.

Anyway, with this "snowboundness" I've been a little antsy. I found a cute pattern on etsy and had just enough scrap yarn to knit a Looped Scarflette. I'll say it was touch and go for a bit. I changed the pattern a wee bit (skipped the second loop) because I was seriously not sure I'd have enough yarn. I did. And I had about two feet of yarn left over at the end. Talk about calling it close.

If it warms up, I might run a few errands today. We have enough bread, milk, toilet paper and eggs, but I need brown yarn. Next on my list is this hat for Spenser. I guess in the meantime, I can finish sewing a spring jacket for the girl. I just need to attach one sleeve and do some finishing touches. Although there's no rush ...

By the way, do I look like Freddie???