The Home They Will Remember

InanorchardThis is what a winter wonderland looks like where we live.  No snowy drifts, or snow-kissed trees.  We have swirling fog, a grey wintry mist that settles into our valley.  Everything is drenched in fat dew drops and the moister collects on your hair and eyelashes as you walk through the wet grass.

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Touches of Christmas have arrived at our house much to the delight of all the children.  Inanorchard

The Christmas tree arrived last Sunday, strapped to the top of the blue minivan.  The following night the ornament box, the star topper, and box of lights were dusted off and brought in from the shed.  Lights ran the length of the kitchen as Daddy tested each strand.  Miss E pranced in and around the lights, clapping her hands with delight.
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They waited as best they could.  It’s hard to be little and have to wait on grownups who move so slowly.Inanorchard

Miss P was perched on Daddy’s shoulders where she could still see all the action but not be in the thick of things.
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And because of Miss P there are no ornaments on the bottom half of the tree :)

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InanorchardI wanted to keep things simple in the main part of the house.  I foraged in my mother-in-law’s yard for greenery to make garlands for the windows, and I sliced and dried oranges to hang from the boughs.  I like the oranges so well they might stay on after all the other holiday decorations have been packed away.

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Because I kept the Christmas decorations so sparse this year, I decided to go all out in the kids rooms.  I surprised them and decorated while they were away at school.  Inanorchard

It really is amazing the magic that can be created with paper, scissors, and tape.  The girls now have snowflake ballerinas, paper chains, and snowball garlands hanging above their heads while they sleep!  (ps- if you’re interested in the free template for the ballerina snowflakes I found them here)

I found small Christmas trees to put on their dresser and Miss E’s advent basket is perched on top as well (out of the reach of baby sister).
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I also made a small felt holly and berry garland to hang on the girls’ mirror.Inanorchard

This snowball garland is my personal favorite!  It’s just cotton balls strung on a long piece of twine but I love the way it looks.Inanorchard

The boys got plenty of snowflakes and paper chains of their own.Inanorchard

Their own small Christmas tree and advent baskets.  Oh those advent baskets, every year I think “I’m not going to to them again.  They’re so much work to put together”.  But I truly think they are the kids favorite Christmas tradition.InanorhcardThe boys Christmas quilts were brought down from the high shelf in the linen cupboard and arranged neatly on their bunks.

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They also got to make snow as one of their Advent activities.  If you’re wondering how one makes snow, you do it by adding a whole can of shaving cream to two boxes of corn starch.  What your left with is a very strange/cool feeling mixture.  It was a hit with the kiddos but not so much with the clean-up crew (aka mom).Inanorchard

A big storm rolled through and gave Miss P the perfect opportunity to test out her red thrift-store rain boots.  And boy did she :)  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that girl more pleased!  The boys came out for a few minutes but quickly grew tired of puddle jumping and went back in the house to huddle near the fire.  Inanorchard

The girls played and played and played!Inanorchard

This might be my favorite picture of these two so far.  Inanorchard

I hope that when my children are older, and they look back on their childhood and the home they grew up in that they will remember it like this; as the cozy winter house with warm fires, bedtime stories about warrior mice and talking spiders, eggnog and tree decorating, colorful paper chains, and homemade snowflakes gracing all the windows.

Happy Days

Happy Days | Inanorchard

I hope you are ready for a heap of pictures and a very long post.  It can’t be helped.  The last three weeks have been so much fun!  Filled with events, celebrations, family vacation time, friends running around together, and relaxing down time at home.

It started with a Thanksgiving Feast at the kids little co-op school.  They had a traditional Thanksgiving feast and got a chance to brush up on, and practice their best table manners.  Which was a very good idea!

Happy Days | Inanorchard

The school also put on a darling performance for the parents and grandparents.  It’s always fun to see them all together and looking so clean.  Mrs. Jolliff once again outdid herself, and put together a wonderful program.  It’s also been fun having a daughter in school.  She actually comes home and sings the songs they’ve been practicing, and she talks to me about her day!!  It’s a whole new world I’m telling you.Happy Days | Inanorchard

 

We took a quick little trip to Monterey with the cousins and friends.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts home-school days every year.  You sign up in advance and the admission is free.  Which is great because taking our whole family to the aquarium would be pricey!  Our reserved date was for a Monday, but we decided to get a hotel and stay Sunday night.  They had so much fun!  We huddled up in each other’s hotel room eating cookies and watching The Lego Movie.Happy Days | Inanorchard

The next morning we woke up to a gorgeous day.Happy Days | Inanorchard

We hung out at the piers and strolled along the walking paths that stretch out between all the waterfront attractions. Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

These girlies took their time strolling.  They chatted and picked flowers and climbed rocks…Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Miss P was proudly showing me her cookie.  We were waiting for our turn to get into the aquarium and she was peeking into the service window of the cafe in the aquarium.  The head waiter saw her and was completely delighted with Miss P.  He sprinted back to the kitchen and came out with a chocolate chip cookie for her :) Happy Days | Inanorchard

This is a sight that never, ever gets old.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

The water tunnel is always a hit with the kiddos!Happy Days | Inanorchard

The dads; with their “are we almost done yet?” look.
Happy Days | Inanorchard

 

I finally got out to the garden.  I had 50 daffodil bulbs and 5 varieties of sweet peas that needed to get in the ground.  The beds needed a good turn over and some bulb food added to it, so I spent one Saturday morning happily working in the garden.  There is something so satisfying about planting things in the fall.  They are all tucked away in their winter beds, and just when you have nearly forgotten them they start pushing up through the earth.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

This is my fancy bulb planting stick.  I wanted to make sure I was getting them in at the right depth so I used this broken stick to measure.Happy Days | Inanorchard

My oldest three children have all had the pleasure of having the same kindergarten teacher; our beloved Mrs. Boone.  I look forward to all the little projects that I know are going to come home with Miss E.  They are the same wonderful projects that J and G brought home when they were in kindergarten.  This is the apple turkey they make the day before Thanksgiving break.  I insisted on a photo.  Can you see the little fingers creeping in at the bottom of the picture?  She was so eager to devour that apple turkey she could hardly wait long enough for me to take a picture!Happy Days | Inanorchard

And to top off all our fun, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time in a very long time!  My brother and my sister-in-law had a busy Thanksgiving week planned so we celebrated with my family the Saturday before.

It was a perfect morning.  We woke up to rain on the windows.  Music was playing.  The house was clean!  Ah… a clean house as a way of making a girl feel invincible.  Justin got up and prepped the turkey while the girls looked on in fascination.

Happy Days | InanorchardJ helped me make our table cloth.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

We had a kids table and a grown-up table.
Happy Days | InanorchardI made these little Mayflower place-holders for each of the kiddos.  They are so much fun to make!  I saw the idea on Pinterest… love Pinterest.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

The grown up table wasn’t as cool as the kids (how can you beat paper boats and honeycomb turkeys?!) but it was no less colorful.  Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | InanorchardThe only trouble with hosting Thanksgiving is the pictures get a little sparse once the celebrating has begun.  I managed to get a few.  This is what it looks like to squeeze ten cousins into our small house.

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

Happy Days | Inanorchard

See what I mean, sparse pictures.  But if you’d like to see a little more of our Thanksgiving you can stop by my sister-in-laws blog and see her post.

Well, if you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this long rambling post, you can give yourself a big pat on the back.  Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family and good food and beautiful memories.  ~April

An Accidental Early Christmas Gift

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

At Christmas, I like to make one hand-made gift for each of my kiddos.  I try to keep it simple.  Someday they will not want hand-made gifts, but for now they all think it’s pretty cool, so I’m going to keep the tradition going.  This year I decided to make Miss P some wooden peg animals.  She loves animals and she likes carrying small-ish things around in her pudgy hands.  It seemed like a good fit.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

I picked up a set of 8 jumbo wooden pegs at Hobby Lobby.  The set was on sale for $3.99.  I like the jumbo size for lots of reasons.  One: they fit well in Miss P’s little hand.  Two: they’re not so small that I worry about her choking on them.  Three: the bigger the peg the easier to paint!  I started by making a quick sketch of each animal.  I was mostly wanted to figure out what their faces would look like, and what types of animals I thought I could easily replicate.  It’s easier to figure out a design on a piece of paper than a round wooden surface.
Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardYou can see from this picture that I used regular tempura craft paint, that you can buy at any craft store for about a dollar a bottle.  I started by painting each peg a solid color.  Once the main color had dried completely I carefully painted in the tummy and face shape.  I let that layer dry completely and then added the face details last.  For the eyes and heart shapes I used a small metal stylus tool.  It is a metal rod that has a small metal ball on the tip.  It makes it possible to paint tiny perfect, round shapes.

As I said, they were supposed to be Christmas gifts for Miss P.  I thought I was being so clever by starting on my hand-made gifts so early!  It was also nice to make gifts for someone who wasn’t tall enough to see onto the work table :)  Miss E would come in and watch me while I painted.  She was itching to get her hands on those peg animals.  She kept asking, “Do you think P will share with me?”   I got a little to careless though, not realizing exactly how observant and quick Miss P has become.  I was getting ready to snap a few pictures of the whole set when Miss P walked into the kitchen.  She took one look at those little animals lined up, gave a delighted squeal, and scrambled to get up on the kitchen table.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

Oh well… the girls are both having so much fun with them!  It’s hard to tell who likes them more; big sis or little sis.

Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardMiss E likes to match them all up and pretend that they are married.

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

Miss P likes to do this…

Wooden Peg Animals | Inanorchard

I used tiny bits of felt to make little ears for some of the animals.  I did use super glue to attach the ears.  It was such a small amount of glue that I wasn’t really concerned about the girls playing with them.  They’ve been playing with the peg animals for the last several weeks and the ears have all held up perfectly!  The only thing I would do differently, is add a layer of clear protective paint. Some of the colors (particularly the white) have chipped a little.  In fact I might touch them up and apply a clear coat to this set.

Wooden Peg Animals | InanorchardI had so much fun making these peg animals!  Miss E is going to get a special set of her own in her Christmas stocking.  I’m making her a set of peg people that look like all the members of our family. There are Etsy sellers that sell “family sets” of peg dolls, so I bought a family set of 6.  I think she’s going to love them!

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d love to hear your home-made gift ideas!

PS.  If you’d like to follow InAnOrchard on Facebook you can find me here

 

The Girls’ Room

The Girls' Room | InanorchardI thought I’d take a moment and resume the house tour I started a few months back.  Up next: the girls’ room!  This first picture is the view from their bedroom door.  You’ll know it’s their room by the half dozen drawings hanging haphazardly on the door, held up by no less than an entire roll of scotch tape.

The Girls' Room | InanorchardThis is the very same trundle bed I slept in when I was a girl.  And just like me, my daughter sleeps under a quilt made by my mama.

This is the little shelf we use to store the girls’ toys.  Justin picked it up from Home Depot a few years ago.  I love it but I’m afraid they’re going to be growing out of it soon.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

Their room is a bit crowded right now.  Miss P’s crib takes up a lot of space.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

This is Miss P’s crib.  She sleeps in the same crib that all my babies have slept in.  She also sleeps under a quilt made by my mom.  And that beautiful crocheted blanket at the foot of her crib, is a labor of love, that was made by my best friend Stephanie for Miss P when she was a newborn.  She loves burrowing under her crocheted blanket every night.  You’d think that a baby who has a mama who loves to sew would have handmade crib bumpers and pillows but alas… it’s rather bare.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

I have next to nothing hanging on the walls in the girls’ room.  The closet if full of darling pictures, embroidery samplers, name buntings, and vintage paintings that I’ve been collecting, but I can’t bring myself to hang them yet.  I know that I’m going to completely rearrange their room when Miss P moves out of her crib, and I hate the thought of having to move and rearrange a bunch of wall hangings.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

I think that almost every piece of furniture in their room was bought second-hand, or was a hand-me-down from other family members.The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

These are the curtains I hung in the window.  I bought the cheapest sheer curtains from Target and made a garland out of tissue paper flowers.  That sounds a lot more impressive than it is :)  The flowers came from a Martha Stewart kit I bought a few years ago at Micheal’s.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

This is the little hand-me-down desk Miss E got from her big brother.  The girl loves to draw!  If there was anything I’d like to change about her room it would be her desk.  I’d love to have a proper art station set up for her but that will have to wait… maybe after the crib is gone.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

I love coming in and seeing the remnants of their play.  It never fails to bring a smile to my face.

The Girls' Room | InanorchardI don’t put a lot of thought into what I put in their room.  It’s pretty mix-matched.  I like it to be full of things that fuel their imaginations.  I like it to be soft, feminine, and comfortable.

The Girls' Room | Inanorchard

The Girls' Room | InanorchardNext cleaning day I’ll try to snap a few pictures of the boys room and keep the house tour rolling.

Thanks for stopping by!  ~April

 

Lately

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It takes a while for Fall to catch up to our corner of the world.  But November brought our first real rain of the season, colder nights, and even a little snow in the mountains.

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Life is humming along with all of its comforting routines.

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I spend my mornings looking at this face…this precious face.  We settle in at the kitchen table, with a stack of colorful text books, a pencil box, and a second cup of coffee.

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Speaking of books, we just finished this gem by Farley Mowat, “Owls in the Family”.  The boys begged each evening “for just one more chapter!??  Please Mom?!”.

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Hello my loves

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We went for a hike in the foothills one gorgeous Sunday.  We thought we’d hike for about an hour and eat an early lunch.

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On the map, the looped trail we chose didn’t seem that long, but somehow it wound on and on and on…

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Miss P looks a little skeptical of her father’s map reading skills

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Towards the end, Justin and I had to work to keep the kiddos moral up.  I’ll admit towards the end I was working to keep my moral up :)  My hiking boots had sat unused for too long and were rubbing holes in the back of my heals.  At one point I fond myself humming the theme song for “Gilligan’s Island” in my head.

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It was a gorgeous hike though!

InanorchardJust as we came over the last crest Miss E look a spill, so Daddy scooped her up and carried both his girls down the hillside.

And our reward for hiking over 4 miles?  A delicious picnic lunch that tasted extra satisfying.

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It’s the middle of November.  How did that happen?

PS thanks for sticking with this seriously disjointed post :)  What can I say, it’s a pretty good reflection of my seriously disjointed mind.

 

The Week that Was

Our week in pictures, and a few words to go with them.

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Monday started off a little rough

And then it got a little rougher.  Fevers, sore throats, sleepless nights…

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One by one they all went down, and we spent the better part of our week sprawled out in the living room.

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On a happier note, I got a new pair of jeans.  I’m a sucker for a cuff

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The sewing room was a happy place this week

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The bobbins are no longer strewn about the sewing room.  Hello pretty bobbins

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Morningtime sleepy eyes and rumpled hair

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Behold the magic of the cardboard box

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The stuff that childhood is built on

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My thought for the week:  We should tell each other more stories.  Our own stories. The funny ones with a strand of wisdom stretching through it.  The colorful tales where facts may take a backseat to a good narrative.  The tender stories that honor a lost loved one.  To watch the look of anticipation on your childrens’ faces as you lean forward and say, “When I was little…”

 

Cold weather sewing

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

It’s so easy to sew in the summertime.  Lots and lots of beautiful patterns for flouncy skirts, sleeveless tunics, sundresses, t-shirt dresses, little cotton shorts… simple, breezy patterns that sew up in no time and require very little yardage.

But when the weather turns cool I seem to hit a sewing slump.  There just aren’t as many long-sleeved patterns available and even fewer that I like the look of.  I’m not a fan of layering lots of clothes on my girls.  It makes too much laundry, and it gets complicated for little girls who like to dress themselves.  I need dress patterns that avoid all that fuss.  Patterns that can stand on their own and require only a pair of leggings and a jacket.  Not that I’m against all layering; I just like to keep it to a minimum.

After spending many an evening searching for girls patterns I purchased 4 that I could use for both girls this winter.  I’ve spent the last several weeks sewing for Miss P, building up her fall/winter wardrobe.

I started with this sweet pattern.  This is the Charlie Dress another of Rae’s darling pattern creations, and there’s nothing I don’t love about this dress!

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

I like the length of the sleeves (these are 3/4 length) but they can easily be altered to come all the way down to her hand.  I love cut of the dress.  The looser fit makes it easy for her to move around and play in.

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

Really though, the neckline is what makes this dress.  I used some dotted chambray I ordered from Fabricworm for %50 off.  The accenting cuffs, hemline, and neckline are made from the reverse side of the fabric.

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

Here’s a blurry shot of the backside.  I’m trying to be better about including pictures of my girls wearing their clothes.  When I get serious about researching and buying patterns, it’s really important for me to see how the pattern fits once it’s sewn up.  Anything looks cute spread out on a flat surface, the real proof is how it wears.

Charlie Dress | Inanorchard

While I was at it I made her two, because it’s always a good idea to make two!

Charlie Dress in pansy print | Inanorchard

 

Charlie Dress in pansy print | Inanorchard

I also made Miss P a Geranium Tunic.  I’ve made her many, many Geranium dresses and this is the shortened version of the dress.  I know it doesn’t look like a good winter choice, but it’s not difficult to put a cardigan over the shirt, or add a plain colored tee underneath.

Geranium Tunic | Inanorchard

Don’t you love this fabric?  It’s from an Art Gallery fabric line called “Winged”.  This particular print is called Aves Chatter in Dim. I purchased mine from Hawthorne Threads.

Geranium Tunic | Inanorchard

Last but not least I whipped up a few leggings to go with her new dresses.  I’m not the kind of girl who just makes up her own patterns (as so many other talented seamstresses do), but making a legging pattern is a no-brainer.  There are tons of tutorials on making your own legging pattern, and there are even a few free printable patterns, but they tend to be for newborns or 3-6 month-olds.

Baby leggings | Inanorchard

I don’t have a lot of experience sewing with knits, but I thought leggings would be a good place to start.  These leggings have their problems but at least they are wearable!  I’m still experimenting with different techniques, tools, and threads.  I have yet to work all the bugs out, but I’m getting there!

Baby Leggings | Inanorchard

The scalloped knit I got from Hobby Lobby.  It came in a fun mustard and coral color.  It wasn’t the easiest to sew on.  First, it’s striped which means lining up and matching all those little raised ridges.  Also, it’s thin, stretchy knit that likes to curl up on the edges.  Somehow I got through all the little obstacles and ended up with a couple of pretty cute leggings (if I do say so myself).  The lace trim was an attempt to hide some wretched looking hemlines.

Baby Leggings | Inanorchard

Here’s Miss P sporting her yellow leggings (these are the same leggings she wore under her chambray Charlie Dress).

Miss P in her baby leggings | Inanorchard

 

Baby Leggings | Inanorchard

 

I’m hoping in the next several weeks to work on Miss E’s winter clothes.  I’ve got a stack of patterns and fabric on the sewing table all set aside for her.  I’m going to be brave and attempt to make an entire dress out of knit fabric.  Stay tuned!

PS- if you enjoy my sewing posts you might want to check out my Instagram feed. Sewing posts are some of the most time-consuming to photograph and write up.  Which is why they’re so few and far between, and there are lots of little projects that never really make it into a blog post but I usually manage to snap an Instagram photo as I’m sewing.

Thanks for stopping by and saying Hello!  ~April

Sewing Flower Girl dresses

Vintage flower girl dresses

My huge sewing accomplishment this summer was making flower girl dresses from my daughters. Miss E was delighted when her Aunt Angela asked her to be one of her flower girls!  Miss P was asked as well, provided she learned how to walk over the summer :)

I knew straight away that I wanted to make the girls’ dresses myself.  It was a great chance to stretch my sewing skills and create a keepsake for my daughters.  Angela (the bride), had put together a beautiful Pinterest board with lots of pictures of flower girl dresses to use as inspiration.  She also gave me a large bag of vintage lace and collars to use.  It was her own gorgeous collection she had been building for years, and I had permission to use anything I wanted!  I felt like a kid in a candy shop!  Angela wanted the girls to all wear cream or ivory dresses, with lace accents.  The style of dress was unimportant so long as it was cream colored, lacy, and romantic looking.

I started searching for patterns right away.  I decided to use Violette Field Threads, Cosette pattern for Miss E’s dress.  The pattern was a long summer dress with loads of ruffles at the bottom and a pleated bodice.  I was a little nervous at first feeling like I had picked a pattern that was well past my sewing skills, but the Cosette dress ended up being a very straight-forward, lovely pattern to sew.  It was time consuming… very, very time consuming but not complicated.

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I had never made horizontal pleats before but the dress instructions were very clear.  The first two pleats went slowly but after that the rest went together quickly.  The dress had no zippers or buttons, which was nice!  It did however have 4 very long, very gathered ruffles at the bottom!  I used some of Angela’s vintage lace and attached it to the top of each cream ruffle.  Each ruffle had to be cut out, double hemmed, lace added to the top, carefully gathered and sewn in layers to the bottom of the dress.  That was with out a doubt, the most tedious part of the dress!  Very time consuming, but very worth the effort!

Flower girl dresses

This is a picture of the bodice with the panel of pleats and the ruffled shoulder straps.  The main fabric I chose for Miss E’s dress I bought at Joann’s.  It was a light-weight cotton that had a criss-crossed pattern made up of pin tucks and lace.  I loved the material immediately!  Unfortunately the fabric was white, and the only request Angela had made was that all the dresses be cream.  So I brought home a small sample of the fabric to experiment with.  Tea dying is a trick that is used to “age” linens and fabric.  I was hoping I could use the tea dye to do the same to the white fabric.  My big concern was the fabric wouldn’t dye evenly and that the lace wouldn’t absorb the dye at all.  The fabric swatch dyed up perfectly!  I used a large, shallow plastic storage container to dye the 2 yards of fabric I needed for the dress.

Flower girl dress

 

Cosette dress

This is the back view of the dress.  As you can see there are no buttons or zippers.  The shoulder straps are made extra long and are threaded through a loop that is sewn to the back of the dress.  Once you thread the straps through the loop, the extra length is used to tie a big loopy bow.

Cosette dress

 

Cosette dress

For Miss P’s dress I asked my very talented friend Clarita to make a flower sash to tie around the waist of her dress.  Clarita has a beautiful Etsy shop called My Faire Lady Designs. She’s made clips and headbands for my girls in the past, and I knew she would make something very special for Miss P.  I gave her a few ideas of what I wanted and this is what she sent me!  It was perfect!  Exactly what I wanted and had envisioned.

My Fair Lady designs flower girl sash

I used my favorite girl’s pattern Rae’s Geranium dress, it’s made it out of a cream colored eyelet fabric.  The flutter sleeves are made from lace and I used a little bit of vintage lace at the bottom of the dress.

Geranium Flower Girl dress

Because Miss P had only been walking for a few months and wasn’t real steady on her feet, I made her dress mid-calf length so she wouldn’t trip on the hemline.

Geranium Flower Girl dress

And here they are together with their little dresses on!  All the flower girls wore leather ballet flats.  Their Aunt Jessica and I bought them little bow-shaped necklaces and their Aunt Andrea hand-made all of their hair clips.

My Girls

And here they all are together (minus one, I don’t know where Millie was off to)!  They all looked so sweet!  Each dress was a different style and shape but all of them were cream and lacy.  Angela made some little wreaths that hung from long bows for them to carry.  You cannot imagine how challenging it was to keep 5 little girl’s clean for an entire afternoon and night!  After the wedding vows were exchanged we gave up and just let them run!

All the little Flower Girls

This isn’t the best picture (I cut off the bride and groom’s head!) but it gives you a good glimpse of the back of Miss E’s dress.

Cosette Dress back view

Me and my girls…

Me and my girls

 

I’ve made many things for my girls, but this was special.  Something we would save, dresses that maybe their daughters would someday look at.  Or… they could get pushed into the bottom of a plastic tote, buried in the storage shed, and one day accidentally donated to the Goodwill. HA!

Time will tell…

There’s going to be a wedding

I’m still playing catch-up from our busy summer, and I haven’t even gotten around to the most exciting event that happened this summer!  My brother-in-law asked his beautiful girlfriend to be his wife and she…much to everyone’s delight…said yes!!

And this is the happy couple.  I wish I had some of their engagement pictures to show you because they turned out beautiful! But this picture of them in their work clothes will have to do for now :)

The happy couple

It’s been a fun summer of wedding planning.  Both my girls are going to be flower girls (Miss E is over-the-moon happy about it!), so I’ve been busy making little lacy dresses.

All the way back at the beginning of August, Jessica and I, threw the bride-to-be a bridal shower.  It was in the evening in Jessica’s backyard.  When we started planning the party we knew we didn’t want any over-the-top theme showers.  After several evenings of Pinterest searching we came up with an idea for a Farmhouse kitchen style bridal shower.  Lots of cream colored pitchers, wooden accents, herbs, twine, butcher paper… subtle, simple, but elegant was our aim.

Farm kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

This is the little banner I made to hang on the table, it’s their wedding date.  I made it out of pre-cut flags, chalk pens, standard cardboard stencils, and twine.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

All the flower arrangements were herbs that I had gathered from my garden and from friends’ gardens.  I added a few cosmos for a bit of contrast, but mostly I stuck with herbs.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

 

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Jessica has a collection of amazing rustic wooden scoops and trays, so we used those as decorations.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

 

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Jessica also found these great bamboo spoons and forks, which we used to make a garland for the bridal table.  Such and easy garland to make!  The tables were simply covered with white table clothes and butcher-paper table runners.

We served drinks from this table.  I didn’t get a picture of it but there were two large glass jugs on the table.  We served unsweetened iced-tea and ice water.  The two little glass pitchers were filled with lemon and mint flavored simple syrup for those who wanted their tea sweetened.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

 

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

We placed pots of herbs around the serving tables

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

For the meal we served a mixed salad with a sweet basil dressing and grilled chicken on top.  There were rolls and several kinds of cookies for dessert.  It was a warm evening so we wanted to keep the food light and refreshing.

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | Inanorchard

Here are all the flowers girls (minus one who lives in Colorado)

The flower girls | Inanorchard

The littlest flower girl who was delighted to be one of the “big girls”!

The littlest Flower Girl

Farm Kitchen Bridal Shower | InanorchardThe three of us together at the end of the evening.

The wedding is in less that two weeks and preparations have kicked into high gear!  It’s going to be a gorgeous wedding!  And at the end of it they will be husband and wife, and we will have the pleasure of watching, loving, and supporting them as the begin this wonderful, wild new adventure.

Our home

 

Because I am a curious nosy person, I love getting glimpses into peoples’ homes.  I like the way a person’s home reflects their personality and interests.  It dawned on me the other day, that I’ve never done a post about my home.  I know you all catch glimpses each time I write, but I thought it would be fun to give a quick tour of our little place.

We live in a double-wide trailer with three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. I love my house.  It’s cozy, warm, colorful, very lived-in, and a little worn around the edges.  In the span of a month my house will be everything from beautifully clean to embarrassingly filthy.  In other words: a completely normal household :)  These pictures were taken the day after “cleaning day” so you are enjoying the benefit of a tidy house.

This is our front door and table where we set our keys, sunglasses, and mail.

Our Home | Inanorchard

This little table was a wedding gift from my brother and it is my favorite piece of furniture!  It has lived in every one of our apartments and houses.

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The pictures are burlap coffee bean bags that I trimmed and framed.  The door just to the right of the table leads into the master bedroom.

Our Home | Inanorchard

From the front door you can see the double doors that lead out to the back porch, and our desk area.  That carpet is most often covered with children and toys.  The kiddos love playing there.

Our Home | Inanorchard

This is our Ikea desk/office center.  Justin works from one desk, and the other desk is for the children to use.  I keep all of our art supplies in the drawers.  The kids have access to the art supplies at all times and are allowed to get them out anytime they like.

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This is my Ikea photo holder and it’s the one item of the house that people stop and admire more than any other.  I like taking pictures but I’m not good about hanging and framing them.  These wires and clips make it easy to keep current photos on display. I swap them out 3 or 4 times a year.Our Home | Inanorchard

I like having funky pieces of art hanging in funky places on the walls.Our Home | Inanorchard

This is our kitchen table where we do… well… everything!  Homework, fold laundry, decorate cookies, cut patterns, craft projects, eat… it all happens here.Our Home | Inanorchard

My mother-in-law bought me this darling tray and I use it to keep our spoons, napkins, sweetener and such.  Basically anything we use at meals on a regular basis is in that tray.Our Home | Inanorchard

 

This is were the kids and I bake.  On top of the cabinets is my collection of cake plates.  It’s a mix-matched assortment of new and antique cake plates.Our Home | Inanorchard

The other side of the kitchen where I do dishes and watch the children run around the backyard.Our Home | Inanorchard

And this is my life right here.  This picture captures our home so well!
Our Home | Inanorchard

This is our bedroom which is located just off the living room.  Actually it doesn’t look like this anymore.   Justin and I spent a weekend and freshened it up.  Our bedroom somehow ended up being brown and beige all over.  It was a little dark, and drab, and needed some help.

Our Home | Inanorchard

Nothing that a new bedspread and a coat of fresh paint wouldn’t fix!  I have lots of little projects to finish in our bedroom but I love the way it’s shaping up.

Our Home | Inanorchard

Those are our closets and you can get a little peek at our living room from this angle.

Our Home | Inanorchard

I use the top of our dresser for Miss P’s changing table.  The girls’ room is pretty tight just with beds, toys, and a dresser so there really wasn’t room for a changing table.

Our Home | Inanorchard

 

Our Home | Inanorchard

Our bathroom needs a little updating.  It’s a fine bathroom but storage is a problem.  No drawers!  Can your believe it?  Not one.  Which is why the counter is often cluttered with stuff.

Our Home | Inanorchard

So we make do with what we have, and get creative with storage solutions.

Our home | Inanorchard

Just off our bedroom is a small room that was probably intended to be an office space, but I have a wonderful, generous husband who turned it into a sewing room for me!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is where all the creative magic happens.  This is my happy place.

Our Home | Inanorchard

This big cabinet houses all my fabric!  I have a darling set of vintage lockers that I’m planning on refinishing to replace this cabinet.  My list of things that need to be refinished is a long list :)

Our Home | Inanorchard

Our Home | Inanorchard

And this is where the house tour abruptly ends because I have run out of pictures!  Maybe next cleaning day I’ll snap some pictures of the kiddos rooms and the guest bathroom.  Or maybe I’ll post some pictures of what they look like on a regular day and you can all have a good laugh!

Once again, thanks for stopping by  ~April