Monday, February 02, 2009

Hello February!

wow, so...almost as soon as I let it be known that I wanted to blog more regularly, I stopped almost entirely!

Oh well. We've had lots going on, but not that much worth reporting.

However, I did co-write the current story-line on Tom's comic. And trust me, anything over the top is probably not my stuff.

anyway, if you are so inclined, you can read the first comic in the story by clicking here.

or just go visit The Legendary Boys Of Floyd and read today's comic.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Let's try Gratituesday...

Okay, so I'll be honest, Gratituesday--the word--kinda makes me giggle, it's so silly. But, I made a secret plan to start blogging more regularly this month, and maybe this year (surprise!!) we'll see how it goes. and Gratituesday as an idea is appealing to me.

Gratituesday is hosted by Heavenlyhomemakers, where you can find not only Laura's post on what she's grateful for, but a whole list of other grateful bloggers too! And not just today, but *every* Tuesday.

This Tuesday, I'm grateful for relative good health. I know, that sounds tepid. Quite honestly, between Tom's injury and my food issues, I can't say we're in perfect health. However, we have no acute illnesses, and after Eve's bout with the tummy flu over a week ago, that's really saying something!

God's been good to us in keeping us all from back to back illness, and so far this season, our ailments have been mild, few, and far between. This enabled many more blessings to be grateful for, since we haven't had to miss many gatherings of good friends or family, and I haven't had to miss work.

What are you grateful for today? If you decide to join in on Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers let me know by leaving a comment here. I'd love to hear how you're experiencing God's goodness today!

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Years Resolutions?

Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you keep them?

For some time now I've eschewed resolving in January. Not so much because I don't like the idea of committing to make positive changes in my life, but more because I don't like to set myself up for failure. And January 1st always comes too early.

Here are my hopeful plans, to begin sometime this Winter:

1. Go back on my allergy diet. As much as I didn't love it, it really did make me much more healthy. I felt a lot better. Plus, eventually I have to stay on it long enough and faithfully enough to maybe pinpoint exactly which things I'm allergic to, instead of simply 10 things I'm not.

2. Enjoy my kids more. I don't know how much more there is to say. I find myself feeling resentful that my kids horn in on my "me" time: time to spend with my husband, time to spend on the Internet, time to read, write, craft, etc. I put them off a lot to keep house and cook too. But Eve's only going to be 4 for 10 more months, and Israel is growing and changing and becoming someone new every day. I don't want to miss this. It's precious and fleeting. It's a gift I don't want to squander on selfish pursuits. Not long from now, my little girl is not going to think I'm the coolest person ever, I won't be the center of her little world. For the time that I am, I want to enjoy it.

to make #1 and #2 work together, I may have to learn new strategies for food prep. I can't be spending all my time cooking the way I was this Summer and early Autumn. But quick things like quesadillas and spaghetti are definitely not in line with the sort of diet I need to be on.

3. I say this every year, and in fact, renew my intentions frequently throughout each year, but I'll repeat it, because it really is important, the MOST important, in fact. I want my life to be subject to God's will for me. This means spending more time praying, more time studying the bible, more time contemplating spiritual matters, more love and compassion for others, more grace and mercy, more service, more giving, less selfishness and self-absorption, a great deal less anger (especially toward my kids and husband), more God-glorifying and a lot less self-aggrandizement. Always challenging, always worth it.

4. Get more sleep and help the rest of my family get more sleep too. I'm not really sure how to accomplish this yet.

5. Finally, I intend to begin my handmade Christmas gifts for next year long before November, because I'd really like to relax a bit more during Advent, and not make my kids watch quite so much TV in December. Plus, last year I sacrificed crafting for my husband and kids in favor of crafting for friends, this year I mostly sacrificed crafting for friends in favor of crafting for my family. I'd like to manage to craft for both groups next time around.


I finished a few embroidery pieces before I really had to dive into Christmas gifts. The first 2 items are Sublime Stitching designs from the Sublime Stitching the book.

Crystal's Kitchen Towel

limes on a towel

Aiden's space onesie

rear onesie detail

This last onesie is embroidered with a free design from Needlecrafter.

Jacob's jack-in-the-box onesie

rear onesie detail

We're running out of Christmas days! Happy 11th day of Christmas!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

T-shirt bags

These were simple and fun to make. I dove into my giant stash of old t-shirts and whipped these out fairly quick. The idea is from the bookTease.

Lucky t-shirt tote

Trixi's t-shirt tote

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A few quick sewn gifts for friends

In trying to come up with some sewn gifts for men and older boys, I hit upon the idea of luggage tags. Of course, they only work for the traveling types, but they were so quick and easy, I made one for thee two gals in the family as well. They don't allow for any info, but they'll make finding your bag at the airport pretty simple. Just made up my own pattern.

to flickr 08 - 69

to flickr 08 - 70

These ornaments were just the thing for families I was also giving sweet treats to. They looked great tied atop a tin of goodies, and they incorporated buttons and felted sweater scraps from my stash. I deviated from the great pattern provided by Disdressed by not using regular felt, which would have resulted in a cleaner finish, but then what would I do with my sweater scraps?

to flickr 08 - 43

to flickr 08 - 68

Happy 10th day of Christmas!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Mobile blogging

I'm trying something new. Blogging on Tom's iPhone. I usually get a good 20 minutes while putting Israel to bed. There are limitations, but you might see more blogging from me this way.

Kid Gifts

Here are all the gifts I made for the kids this Christmas.

First, the scarf I knit for Eve...last Christmas. I didn't have a crochet hook, so I couldn't put the fringe on. I finally borrowed one this year...I think I still have it. Anyway, it's done, but Eve says it's too scratchy.

My first FO

Here's Eve's tutu shirt, I embroidered an 'E' on the front and then attached a wide gathered length of organza ribbon to the bottom of a long sleeved t-shirt from Target. I sewed a thin ribbon over the raw seam. She loves it and wore it Christmas day. It didn't wash as well as I'd hoped, I thought a ribbon wouldn't fray, but it wasn't really intended for this purpose, so I think a nice colorful zigzag stitch will do.
Eve's Tutu shirt

When I pulled all the Christmas decorations out, Israel fell in love with a square pillow I have. He walked around for days hugging it enthusiastically. He needed his own pillow. I picked up a small decorative pillow at goodwill and covered it in fleece. I machine appliqued a star and an 'I'. I did it quick, and you can tell. He loves it anyway.
to flickr 08 - 61

to flickr 08 - 62

I made a stuffed monkey for my one year old niece, 'melia from this adorable pattern by MmmCrafts. It was fun to make. It was hard, but not so hard that I didn't make another...

'Melia's Molly Monkey, AKA, Monkey number 1

For eve! The differences are subtle, one less type of fabric for the skirt, and slightly more sophisticated shoes, since I wasn't as short on time, and eve is over 3. She's a hit, although she still is unnamed. She was a bit overshadowed because Santa left a new webkinz...sigh.

Molly by the window

Eve's Molly Monkey

Molly's shoes, and Argyle socks

This was israel's big homemade gift, a way cool rocket from the pattern at The Long Thread he really likes it, and I kinda like that the little Israel in the window looks like an old little people figure.

Israel's rocket ship

And finally, I used Israel as the model to make this adorable dress for 'Melia. I used a wonderful tutorial from Kuky Ideas, and a very accomplished seamstress friend wound the elastic thread bobbin for me.
'Melia's dress

Hope you're enjoying 2009 so far!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Depression Aprons

Hey, happy first day of 2009!

These were gifts for some wonderful ladies in my life. The pattern is the "Vintage Apron" pattern from a totally awesome book, Bend the Rules Sewing.

I call them depression aprons, because I didn't buy any fabric, it was all reclaimed fabric from thrifted items: A big reversible Ikea duvet cover, a coordinating Ikea pillow sham, and a bit of an Old Navy Men's dress shirt. I *almost* didn't buy buttons, but I found one that was so perfect, and I did buy trim. However, the one with gingham trim required no trips to the store whatsoever.

During the Great Depression, there were many little sayings to remind people of the way things were, One of them, "Make do or do without" has run through my head most of the last year. But then, I can run out and pick up trims and buttons...the way things are, maybe I should just change the name to recession aprons!

This first one has a very old fashioned Embroidery technique on the gingham pocket called Chicken Scratch. It must be done on gingham, and a few very simple stitches result in a lovely lace pattern. I made a "large heart" from the pattern I found here. The embroidery went fast, but this apron definitely took the most time, due to the Chicken Scratch. Hand sewing always increases the time any project takes.

chicken scratch heart

"Vintage" "Depression" Apron

check out more Chicken Scratch photos in this Flickr Pool

The rest are variations of the same, all with the Ikea fabrics, vintage buttons and retro-kitch trim, like ball fringe, cut felt leaves, and ric-rac.

"Vintage" "Depression" Apron

Apron pocket detail

"Vintage" "Depression" Apron

Apron pocket detail

"Vintage" "Depression" Apron

Apron pocket detail