Ode to a Digital Pattern

Assembling a Digital pattern | Inanorchard

This isn’t really an ode.  Strictly speaking it’s a PDF pattern review and instructional post, but that sounds really boring; hence the catchy but misleading title.

Let’s take a moment to just talk about PDF patterns, or as they are more frequently called these days; digital patterns.  In the 5 or 6 years that I have been seriously sewing, I have seen digital patterns advance and grow by leaps and bounds.  What started out as a cost-effective way for small independent pattern companies (most of them Esty sellers) to sell and distribute patterns, has become the wave of the future.  People who were brave enough to try these new PDF patterns, quickly realized the many benefits digital patterns had to offer.  Suddenly small independent pattern companies were sprouting up everywhere and growing rapidly. It opened up a whole new world of sewing techniques and pattern styles to a new generation of self-taught seamstresses.

So let’s take a minute to go over all the advantages a digital pattern has to offer.

1.  Instant gratification-  you find a pattern you like online, purchase it and instantly you are emailed a link that will download the pattern to your home computer.  INSTANT!  I don’t know about you, but that’s worth a lot to this busy mom, who no longer shops at any store that doesn’t sell disposable diapers.

2.  Superior instructions and photos- because these patterns are digital files, pattern companies no longer need to be stingy with written instructions and visual aids.  It costs real money to manufacture a paper pattern with lengthy instructions, which is why the patterns of our fore-mothers seemed so irritatingly cryptic.  With a digital pattern you not only get more detailed written instructions, but nearly all of them come with photographs.  Actual colored photographs showing exactly what each step looks like.

3. Re-printing-  at any time you can reprint your pattern.  Let that sink in for a moment.  NO MORE PATTERN TRACING!!  No longer do you have to spend an extra 20 to 30 minutes tracing an exact size in order to preserve all the sizes.  When you, or your child need a different size you simply reprint.  It also makes it easy to replace lost or damaged pattern pieces (which happens a lot when you have and 18-month-old living in your house).

4. Cost- Most digital patterns are less expensive than printed patterns.  Because there are no printing expenses, pattern companies are able to pass that savings on to the consumer.  This isn’t universally true, some of the more popular pattern companies (such as Oliver + S) charge as much for their digital patterns as they do their printed patterns.  Etsy is an amazing source for inexpensive, well written, stylish PDF patterns. 

Because there are so many compelling reasons to use digital patterns, I’m always surprised when I run into people who love to sew but have never used one. I ask myself “why?”.  What’s the hangup?  I think the big hurdle is the daunting thought of having to purchase, print, and assemble one’s own pattern.  Especially for people (like myself) who have a love/hate relationship with their computer.  Fear not!  Downloading and assembling digital patterns doesn’t have to be intimidating.  In fact the lovely people who produce digital patterns work really hard to make these steps as easy as possible.

And today is your lucky day, because I’m going to do a quick tutorial on how to assemble a digital pattern.

Once you have purchased and downloaded your pattern, you will print it on your home computer using regular computer paper.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

On every digital pattern there will be a “test square”.  Its a small 1″ by 1″ square (or in this case a 2″ by 2″ square).  BEFORE you print off the entire pattern, print just the page with the test square.Assembling PDF patterns | Inanorchard

Measure the square to make sure that it’s the right dimensions.  If your square is the right size, your pattern will print with the correct dimensions.  If the square is smaller or bigger than it should be, then you will need to adjust your printer settings.  I know that sounds terrifying, but all digital patterns include instructions for printer troubleshooting, which will walk you through the changes you need to make to your printer settings.  All that being said, I have never encountered a digital pattern that didn’t print correctly on the first try.

Once you’ve checked the test square and it checks out, go ahead and print the rest of the pattern.

Now that you’ve printed your pattern it’s time to assemble the pieces.Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Each pattern company has its own system for helping you match and assemble the pattern pieces, but all of them are very clear.  Some are color coded, some have a number matching system…

This pattern uses an alphabetical labeling system.  The first thing I do match up all the letters and then lay out the pieces on the kitchen table.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Next I trim half of the horizontal dotted lines, and leave half of them untrimmed.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Then I match all the trimmed edges up with the untrimmed edges and tape them together.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

When that step is done it looks like the picture below.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Next I trim half of the vertical dotted lines and leave half untrimmed.  Once all of the vertical lines are matched and taped the pattern piece is ready to be used.

At this point I flip over the paper and reinforce the back with a few more pieces of tape.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Just repeat those steps with each pattern piece until you have all the pieces needed for sewing.  Not all the pattern pieces will require assembly, only the ones that are too big to fit on a single sheet of paper.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

Before I begin cutting out the pattern I like to use a yellow marker to mark the size I’m going to use.  This helps my eye stay on the right line as I’m cutting.

I store all of my printed patterns in Zip-lock bags and file them neatly in alphabetically order in a file box.  Not really.  They get tossed haphazardly in a cardboard box that is bursting at the seams. At least they’re all in Zip-lock bags and in one place now; which is a drastic improvement over my last filing system which bore a striking resemblance to a recycling bin.

Assembling a PDF pattern | Inanorchard

I hope this will give you the courage to give digital/PDF patterns a chance.  I think you’ll find that the benefits out-weigh any of drawbacks.  If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a message and I’ll do my best to answer!

Thanks and happy sewing!  ~April

 

The Serendipity Blouse Pattern

I’ve been toying with the idea of making Miss E some tunic shirts since the fall.  I did a pretty extensive pattern search trying to find the perfect tunic pattern, but hadn’t really hit on anything promising.

Until the end of last week.  Somewhere in my searching I stumbled upon the Serendipity Blouse pattern by Sewlosophy Pattern Co.    It was a pattern company I had never heard of but I loved the style of the shirt so I took a gamble and purchased the PDF pattern.  It comes in sizes 2T-12years. Which is great because I can very soon make tunics for both Miss E and Miss P.  It also has a sleeveless version that would be great for the summer.

In no time at all I had two sewn up.  I tried it on Miss E and it fit just like I hoped it would.  The tunic has a breezy casual look to it, but the shoulders and neckline are nice and tailored which makes it fit beautifully! Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

There really was no hitch in the pattern.  At no point did I scratch my head, or pound the desk in frustration, or pull the seam-ripper from it’s case.  The directions were so clear at every point and the photos left nothing to guess at.

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

Miss E typically likes her clothing to be very girly and I wasn’t sure how she would like this slightly boxy tunic pattern.  So I hedged my bets and made them out of very feminine, whimsical fabric.

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

Both prints are from Heather Ross’ Far, Far Away II line.  I was delighted to find them in our local fabric store (which doesn’t typically carry brand new fabric lines by hip well-known fabric designers).

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

My favorite little detail (and the part that sold me on the pattern) was the little shoulder button flap.  It complimented the style of the tunic so well.

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

If there was a tricky part to the pattern (and I’m not saying there is), the shoulder buttons would be it.  But really the directions are so clear, that even that part went together without any trouble. Sometimes, I find that I run into trouble when I am adding buttons to a small area.  If there are any bulky seams nearby it can really jam up my buttonhole maker.  Happily that didn’t happen.  The space for the buttonholes was wide enough even for my finicky buttonhole maker.

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

And here is Miss E wearing one of her Serendipity Blouses. I hastily snapped this photo as she was headed out the door for school.  I’m trying to be better about including pictures of the girls actually wearing the clothes that I have made them.  When I am pattern shopping I always pay very close attention to how a pattern fits.  Any garment can look darling on a hanger, the proof is in the way it wears.

Serendipity Blouse | Inanorchard

I’d love to make Miss E a few more.  I keep picturing a summer tunic made up in white linen with subtle lace accents, or a small Liberty of London floral print.  I’ve also thought about turning it into a longer dress version, something she could wear with leggings or tights.

In other words… you might be seeing a lot more of this pattern :)

The Week that Was

Pictures from our week and a few words to go with them:

InanorchardThe week started off perfectly when the cousins called and invited us to a picnic and hike in the foothills

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It’s January, but it felt like a spring day.  The children did what they do best; run and scamper over boulders, laughing an hollering at each other.Inanorchard

Cousin-friends; born only 11 days apartInanorchard

The “peace-fingers” just never get old.  Oh wait. It does get old.  Real old.Inanorchard

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We had Nerf gun wars in the back yard complete with trenches and enemy linesInanorchard

There were baby ticklesInanorchard

And art projectsInanorchard

After dinner electronic projects with DadInanorchard

In the span of 24 hours we went from this…Inanorchard

…to this {can you believe this is the exact same view?}
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The fog is so thick and it hasn’t burned off in days.
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I some how managed to squeeze in quite a bit of sewing time this week {more on that later}Inanorchard

 

No weekly thought to leave you with at the end of this post, only an excerpt from Stuart Little (which I am currently reading to Miss E in the evenings).

This quote is from the chapter where Stuart Little becomes a substitute teacher for a day, and decides to teach the students what is really important in life:

“Very good,” said Stuart, cocking one leg across the other and shoving his hands in the pockets of his jacket. “Henry Rackmeyer, you tell us what is important”

“A shaft of sunlight at the end of a dark afternoon, a note in music, and the way the back of a baby’s neck smell if its mother keeps it tidy,” answered Henry.

“Correct,” said Stuart. “Those are the important things…”

I like the way Stuart thinks

Wrapping up the year

InanorchardChristmas was everything it should be.  Excited children, freezing nights, family gatherings, and our little family hunkered down together.  No school, no week night obligations, Justin was home with us the entire Christmas break.

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This marks the first year the children actually got up early on Christmas morning.  Christmas Eve night is always spent at Grandpa and Grandma W’s house, with the aunts, uncles and cousins.  It is usually a late night so the children typically sleep in on Christmas morning.  Not this time…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA They were still plenty sleepy, but not too sleepy to open presents at the crack of dawn.inanorchard Dexter wasn’t so sure about this getting-up-early-business OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The gifts were opened in rapid fashion.  They were all so genuinely pleased with their presents!  The boys one-and-only gift from us was an Xbox and a Minecraft game. Somehow we managed to completely surprise them.  It was so fun to see the dawning realization slide over their faces, and the excited hopping up and down in the living room.Inanorchard

Breakfast was our traditional braided black berry coffee cake with bacon.Inanorchard

After all the clutter had been cleared away and the kitchen cleaned up, I stood by the sink finishing the last of the breakfast dishes.  Christmas carols drifted through the house, the girls played happily with their new dolls, all my fellas were all in the living room trying out the Xbox; it was one of those rare moments when you recognize exactly how sweet a moment is before it becomes a memory. Inanorchard

 

This guy celebrated his 8th birthday the day after Christmas.  We had a pirate birthday party complete with a treasure hunt!
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We decked the kitchen out with streamers and party fans (party fans are pirate-y, right?).  Inanorchard

They made their own small treasure chests and filled them with gold pieces.inanorchard

Justin organized a series of Nerf gun challenges.  Inanorchard

Miss E watcher from her perch on the back porch.Inanorchard

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And this is what birthday party after-math looks likeInanorchard

And these two right here, they kind of melt me…Inanorchard

The year finished up quietly at our house.

Our New Year’s celebrations included a home-made Carnitas taco feast at home, playing Yahtzee, starting a jigsaw puzzles, eating Pizookies that Daddy made from scratch, and watching movies until midnight.  We ran out onto the porch in the freezing air, set off our party poppers, whooped and hollered, and quickly ushered the kiddos to bed.

Hope your new year is looking lovely my friends,   April

 

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…”