A cornucopia of projects, if you will...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let's go in backwards order, shall we?

First up, here is the most lovely texture I've been working with for a scarf for my eldest. Organic cotton, people! It is so smooshy soft...which, by the way, is the only stuff she likes. She has rubbed her face on this piece of a scarf like a cat 80 times already. Love it!

Next up...a knitting boo boo turned ok? Well, see I just started this whole knitting thing and the previous scarf I knitted was for a child and so it was less than one skein of yarn. This was supposed to be an adult scarf...but I only had one skein and it was from my mom so it was some weird specialty kind. So I made it into a mobius cowl! It made me learn how to stitch two cast off ends together, so it was a good learning experience all around.

Yes...it's on a child, but it really fits an adult...
Wear it longways...

Or loop it around and make it more snug...

Anyway, kinda fun! It was a chunky yarn and I used sz 15 needles! That is some instant gratification!
Now, back to the the very first knitting project: The child scarf! I love it so much and so do the kids...both of them...which is why I am hurriedly knitting another one! Cotton again. I think that's really the only way to go for kids...no itchiness whatsoever!

Done with knitting stuff, on to sewing!

Tree Skirt: A Study in Tediousness

Ok, so it is pretty cute, but OH. MY. GOODNESS. It was literally the most tedious, small scale sewing I've ever had to do. I was so anxious to just get through it that I would shout out my progress to the rest of the family after every few I finished. There may have been a celebration dance upon completion and I may have forced my husband and two daughters to join in...
Can you smell the tediousness??

Why would I iron this? I was already up to my eyeballs in mundane tasks, there was no way I was going to do any dreadful ironing. Besides, "the annual ironing of the tree skirt" is not a Christmas tradition I want to start...
See?! I do sew and knit things...I just don't document them and post them in a timely manner!
Hope everyone is enjoying the season!

I did it!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm pretty excited! I learned how to knit!! I went to the knitting group and a very helpful person taught me. It was awesome! Now, I really only know how to knit...not purl or cable or anything fancy at all. In fact, I don't even know how to end the thing. But a wee little scarf is in the works. Only 16 stitches wide so, obviously, it's for one of the girls.

I'm amazed at all the different styles and types of yarn out there. I am going to try to stick with natural stuff. I'm using cotton right now, but I really like the feel of the bamboo/wool combo yarn too. The acrylic just seems so yuck. It's plastic. Plastic yarn. It kind of feels like I'm cheapening the craft if I use it. I find knitting to be a very earthy activity...using your hands, bamboo needles (I do, at least) and then to use plastic yarn? Anyway, stepping down from the novice's soapbox now...

Let's talk Christmas gifts. I have a whole MESS of ideas for gifts! Some sewn, potentially some knitted, and some other just homemade things. I always really love making and giving homemade things for gifts. I think last year was the only year we didn't do ALL homemade gifts. I honestly have no idea how well received these homemade gifts are. I HOPE well. Or at the very least, I hope they know they are made with effort and love! Anyway, planning some fun things!
Is anyone out there planning some homemade goodies?

Knitting...it's a start, right?

Friday, October 29, 2010

So it's not exactly a New Year's Resolution, but I really, really, really want to learn how to knit! It has become my super goal of the moment (Super goal=the one I will probably accomplish before any of the other 100 goals I have; the goal that is the most fun). This is as far as I've gotten:

Yes, all I've done is "cast on", but that counts for something. I've joined a knitting group that I'll meet with for the first time soon. Hoping they can teach me...a lot. It's an excellent lesson for the kids anyway...they see me excited to learn something. They see me try to figure something out. They see me practicing and (hopefully) getting better. All good things.

Halloween costumes are DONE! They have been since last week actually. I will try to take some pics and post. Super easy costumes and the girls LOVE them! It's a lot easier when they are young and kind of have similar interests...you'll see!

Now, for the yummy part! The whole family has been down this week with colds and when I get sick I really just want to make simple, vita-packed foods. So here are two things which fit that description:

Butternut Squash "Fries"

Preheat oven to 425

1. Peel, cut in half lengthwise and scoop seeds out of squash.
2. Cut in half short?wise...I don't know how else to say that...(so you have 4 pieces)
3. Cut those pieces into french fry like size and shape.
NOTE: about half of a butternut squash fed my family of 4...so don't cut it all up at once if you don't intend to make more fries within the next day or so)
4. Put the fries in a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil and kosher salt. (Probably about a 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil)
5. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 25-30 min or until they have a little browning on the edges and corners of a few of them. (Mine only take about 22 min bc my oven is exceedingly hot)

Probably the healthiest "fry" you'll ever eat!

Oatmeal Biscuits

Preheat oven to 375

1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (if you like, I did)

Mix all that up

Cut in 1/3 c of butter or margarine until it looks like big crumbs
Add 1 c. rolled oats
Add 1/2 c. of milk (and maybe a splash more)

Mix all that up. It'll be thick, but moist.

At this point you CAN roll it out and cut out biscuits. I am lazy. I just roll a ping-pong sized ball and squish it to make a biscuit-like shape. It'll make about 10 biscuits.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 15-20 min.

It's kinda like a slightly sweet, cakey, oatmealy breakfast cookie!

Enjoy these two recipes! They are both great for this slightly cooler fall weather we've recently gotten in North Texas! Hope nobody else has been suffering with this terrible cold that's going around. I'm just really hoping it is gone by oh, say, tomorrow(!) so we can have some fun on Halloween!!

Air Plants...who knew?? Probably everyone, but me...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I've had this glass thing for I don't know how long. It has always been empty. At first, I appreciated it's simple, emptiness. Now, I am sick of it's emptiness and I feel it should be filled. With what, though? I'm not into decorative balls or pinecones or that sort of thing. I do, however, love plants. There aren't many plants that grow indoors though, with little natural light and, well, maintenance. Especially plants that are not totally boring looking. (Yes, some plants are exciting and some are boring.) I thought about a terrarium, contained type, but I just don't know about having constantly wet dirt and plants in the house...seems like mold would grow...?
What to do, what to do...
Solution: AIR PLANTS!! What in the world?! A plant...that doesn't need dirt...or sun. That's two of the three things plants normally need, right?

And they are so pretty and unique! These next pics are from To Hold on Etsy. Very reasonable.

The best idea ever: suction cup some in your bathroom and you will never have to water them...the showers you take will take care of that!

I love repetition in design.

Anyway, I'm about to put a million air plants all over my house!! I love them!! So, I think I'll just take the top off that glass thing and air plant it up!

PS-- I am adding a new category, out of necessity, called "Why Haven't I Ever Heard of This Before??"

Two Things Tuesday-- something free and something cute! Who could ask for more?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

THING ONE: Smithsonian FREE MUSEUM DAY is this Saturday, Sept 25th! Go here and fill out the form and get in to a museum for free!! Lots of museums around the country are participating. I love free stuff, don't you??

THING TWO: Ok, this is just the cutest thing I have ever seen...no other motivation...just sheer cuteness. I don't even have boys, but come on...the cuteness. It's overwhelming! Knitted aviator hats for newborns might just be at the very top of my threshold for cuteness...

Cuteness overload provided by NewBabyPhoto on Etsy.

I've got to learn how to crochet, knit---something! Actually, knitting/crocheting is in the "curriculum" for my oldest this year. I'll be learning right along side her!

Something inspiring...and anxiety causing!

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Kids Clothes Week Challenge" at Elsie Marley...I'm not participating, though I SHOULD be because the kids do need clothes for fall...they always need clothes. Instead, I will sit back and watch everyone else create and then become so inspired that I can't stand it anymore and I simply must make something. That's my plan anyway! In procrastinating on making any fall clothes, (and I can, I live in Texas and we are still wearing tank tops) I have rearranged my oldest's room, painted picture frames, supervised the installation of a bathroom counter/sink/faucet, etc, etc...avoidance at it's finest.

A very late Two Things Tuesday

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I know, what am I doing up at the late hour of...8:30pm??

THING ONE: So I am in major panic mode about my oldest and her clothes situation.
1) She's in "big girl" sizes now, which are NOT cheap! There are no cute little Old Navy, Target or Children's Place closeouts to work with. Even the clearance in her size is more expensive than I'm used to paying. Ugh.
2) She's got nothing, and I mean nothing that fits here in the way of fall clothes. Save one pair of jeans...one.
3) I just read a weather report that says we will be having fall temps very soon...like in a week or two! AHHH!!
So, here's what I have my eye on: Heidi & Finn. That Chic Cocktail Swing Coat pattern is calling my name! As is the unisex hoodie, princess leggings, etc, etc.

Chic Cocktail Swing Coat

Unisex Hoodie

THING TWO: I am in "redo" mode which means I really want to go buy a bunch of stuff, but I can't, so I will rehash, redo, repaint, rearrange, reorganize anything in the house I can get my hands on. I believe my oldest girl's room is 1st on the list. Just some general rearranging there.
Then the big task...painting the hideous, gigantic brick hearth thing in my living room. I really don't know why we've let it go this long. It's terrible really. We have always greatly disliked the color of the brick on our house, and it is the same color brick...only inside...and taking up basically one whole wall of our living room! I just honestly don't know what color to paint it. I want something simple, bright----but not garish. We already have a spring green kitchen so I don't want to completely blind anyone. I don't know...but something will be done!! Something MUST be done!
Oh yeah, and painting the bathroom. I accidentally painted it avocado green...5 yrs ago. And I really do go back and forth about it. Is it too 70s? Is it retro, but still ok? I think in the end I've decided it's too retro for a house that is literally retro. So I'm thinking some sort of bluish green, maybe leaning toward a turquoise...again, it's unclear. My daughter thinks we should just go rainbow with every room. She has said that our house is too boring and we should just move---she's 5 people, 5 yrs old!

Just barely squeezed this post in there, huh? Well, bedtime is approaching and I have a lot to do tomorrow! There's your Two Things!!

Kids grow (rapidly)...who knew??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My 5 yr old has grown several inches since the beginning of the summer. I think only in her legs because all the cute, little skirts I bought when it began to get warm are now just that...little! Some of the skirts have become her favs and part of her weekly wardrobe (especially since I bestowed the new responsibility of letting her pick out her own clothes!)
This orange skirt was just too young to die...so I gave it a stay of execution by adding a band of that orange polka dot fabric to the bottom. Yes, the same one I used for the curtains and lamp...that may be a little "Sound of Music"...oh well...I love that movie!
She can still wear the skirt she loves (and that could really be for at least another month) and keep the modesty a 5 yr old should have!

I've got nothin'...well, nothing to share...right now

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dreadfully sorry, but there's not even a "Two Things" this week. I am in the middle of pre-birthday frenzy and it's not over yet! I am sewing though! Sewing up some princess dresses for the girls for the PRINCESS BIRTHDAY PARTY---AHHH!! In a million years, I never thought I would be all into a princess party...but I am...I'm in it up to my elbows! It's a little bit of an out-of-body experience, but you have to go with the flow. Little girl wants a princess party--LET'S DO THIS!
Anywho, so I haven't had time to take pics or edit or write more than what I'm writing right now. I'd say, "Sorry I let you down" but I don't post that regularly to begin with...so everyone should be just fine with this I think! ;)
Princess dress pics to come!

Two Things Tuesday...done with one type of fabric...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am in a bit of a rush this week because it is the count down to my littlest girl's 3rd birthday and birthday party! Which means guests who will stay and guests who will visit and I always have this last minute "oh my goodness, I haven't done ANYTHING to the house since the last time lots of people were over" madness. It is a true sickness. I have people over to my house quite regularly actually. It's just really around the birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas that I get all in a tizzy. I'm really hoping that saying it "outloud" will be some sort of therapy. I KNOW no one is really expecting anything...like I said, it's a sickness , an inexplicable one. Anyway---

THING ONE: New curtains! This is a project that has been on the list for 2 yrs *whince* and I finally bought fabric and completed it--yippee! I Have really been on the fence about my house's color scheme lately. I thought I was going to go green and turquiose-ish, but now I think I may go green and red-orange. Maybe some turquoise will still get in, although that seems like a lot of bolds. I found this fabric on sale at Joann's for $1.99/yd--couldn't buy them at IKEA cheaper (I tried). Very simple, not much to them. That pattern is so busy I thought it was enough. (PS--Curtain rod, IKEA, $1.99, 'nuff said)

Obviously, this is the playroom....someday, turned guest room. Those dots are so fun and modern, how could I pass it up?
THING TWO: Then I went orange dot fabric crazy...slightly. I have had these two floor lamps (other one depicted above in curtain pic) from Target for...ever. They had a crinkly paper thing going on which, I don't know if you know or not but, paper rips!! Kids grabbing stuff to hold onto+paper lamps= horrible looking!! So I did an impromtu recovering of that white one in the pic above. It was ok, just sorta boring. Well, give me a little extra orange dot fabric and TADA--new and interesting lamp shade! I really can't decide if I truly like it or not. It does give off an orange-ish glow I'm not used to.

Here it is, turned off, so you can see what it really looks like.

The recovering is amazingly simple. Measure the length, add a little for a seam. Measure around the metal rings at top and bottom and sew a tube to match that measurement. Then I just folded the fabric around the metal ring to the inside and handsewed all the way around. I literally just tore that paper lamp shade thing off the metal rings! It was pretty much no going back from there! Had I known how easy it was, I would've done it a long time ago. I also found out that those types of lamps give you a big range of length to play with. I went pretty short with the plain white one, and longer with the orange dot. Something to think about...
So, there are two things with one fabric! Hope my hubby recognizes the house when he gets home...!

It was an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot...SHIRRED HALTER!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yes, it's true...I have successfully integrated shirring into a project. I just started with a simple halter top for my 5 yr old. I have been hanging onto this yellow with white polka dots forEVER and it was finally it's moment to shine! I love it!

Here's what it looked like when I was doing the shirring...not very gathered until I did the ol' spritz and iron!
Yep, that's a real plastic flamingo in our backyard...not a photo shoot prop unfortunately...

A little tie halter...

I am officially in love with the shirring. It adds a cute detail very quickly!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I really want to take a line from my kids and say, here and now, "NANA NANA BOO BOO!!" to shirring!! You have NOT conquered me! I have, in fact, conquered you, shirring!! Go check out this video tutorial about shirring on Grosgrain. It has saved my shirring self-confidence. The main piece--- SPRITZING AND THEN IRONING! If you have tried to shirr many times to no avail I say, watch this video! You will have springy, tight shirring in no time. YAY!!

Easy Livin' T-Shirt Dress 2

Friday, August 6, 2010

I am in LOVE with making these little dresses! They are super easy. They are comfy. They are endlessly customizable! Knit is so much easier to work with for me right now. Any little additions you make will actually look ok once you wash them. I always have trouble adding stuff onto reg cotton fabric because once you wash and dry it---it looks different, wrinkled, yucky.

Sweet little pleated neckline...
The addition I made this time was these little pinched rows on the bottom. I have no idea what the proper name for these might be...

Close-up view. A very easy detail, very hard to mess up. I think next time I'll try some that are kind of uneven, wavy almost.

Anyway, just another something quick to whip up. This one was made out of one of my old tees. It ends up being a good length for a 3T, with the gathers ofcourse. I'm thinking these will also be cute with leggings and a long sleeve underneath for the colder months. Assuming we actually get some colder months before they outgrow these suckers!!

Post-Storytime Bargain Browsing Pays Off!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The girls and I have been enjoying storytimes this summer at Barnes and Noble. We were never able to get to them when the in-home daycare was up and running...so now we are hitting them up pretty much every week. Plus, it is air-conditioned and it is OVER 100 degrees here right now so...

Usually, after storytime we browse. Browse the children's section, browse the parenting section, browse the cookbooks, browse the sewing/crafting section and ofcourse, the bargain section. Well, today I found a BEAUT!! Lookie, lookie!!!

Love this!!! I love sewing knits and now maybe I can figure out how to sew knits ...ahem ...correctly! But the best part...did you notice the BEST part??!
That's right! $7 for a $25 book!! WOOHOO!! That made me happy for the rest of the day! Needless to say, I've been pouring through it and really want to sew up some stuff! But I promised myself I would read all the way through before starting any projects inspired by it. It is excellent so far...so many, many valuable tips in all facets of sewing that I honestly have not read on any of the bajillion sewing blogs I've stumbled onto. That's pretty rare I'd say!
Lesson of the day: ALWAYS take your kids to storytime. HA!

The Easiest Dress EVER!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I've made a few of these super-dee-duper easy t-shirt dresses for my 5 yr old. They are just that easy...easy to make and made for easy livin'. No fancy schmancy-ness, except for the uber cool snaking ruffle ofcourse! It is made from a man's grey tee, no more, no less. Chop off the shoulders and sleeves inward at a slight curve, then cut the rest of the way down in an a-line fashion. I ended up taking it up a bit and hemming with a double zig-zag stitch bc it was a little long for something so plain and simple. Put it over her and exactly measured and pinned* where I needed to take it in on the sides so half her body didn't show through the armhole. Then just sew up the sides. No stitching ANYWHERE ELSE!! No sleeve stitching, no neckline stitching--glorious!

*exactly measured and pinned=pinched it with with my fingers, closed one eye and squinted the other while tilting my head slightly askew :)

I just love the way it fits her in the shoulder area...it's an amazingly good fit despite...errr, I mean...ofcourse it fits well, you know, because of all that measuring...!

She's wearing a hat we got today so that when we go peach picking this weekend her scalp doesn't get fried, which is a real problem for those who love the piggie tails. It's from Children's Place and it is sooo cute! She has stated that she cannot wear it everyday, but she can wear it today, tomorrow and the next day...
{Check out the expression on that face...backyard modeling is serious business}

Close up of the ruffly coolness...