Monthly Archives: November 2010

Friday November 26, 2010

One of the fun aspects of having a blog and an Esty site is meeting new people.  Last spring I ran across a fun shop on Etsy, called BettyHarry  .  I realized she was a local seller and I added her to my “favorite shop” list.  Elizabeth found my shop and contacted me about making a custom clip for her daughter’s 1st Birthday.  As we emailed back and forth and found that we had so much in common, favorite books, children the same ages, etc.  Anyway, long story short, she invited me to be apart of her annual Christmas boutique called “Artsy Girl’s”, and I happily accepted.


It’s an open house event, with hand-selected local artists.  The hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday December 4th, and Sunday December 5th.  A great place to find unique Christmas gifts or maybe a little something special for yourself!

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the things I’ve been hard at work making the last month.

Lots and lots of hand-dyed, embellished onesies and t-shirts.

Sizes range from 0-3 months up to 2T.

This is just a small sampling of what I will have at the show.

Hand-dyed, flannel burp clothes, in fun colors and patterns!

Infant gift sets for baby boys or girls.

Sets include one embellished onesie and a burp cloth.

Animal and monogrammed snap -clips for little girls.

And of course posies!

All colors, and sizes.

Infant headbands too.

My mom is also selling some of her own handwork at Artsy Girls.

She has been hard at work making hand-dyed felted nativity sets and toys.

Love these fun animal balls!

Baby rattles.

Each and every item is carefully sculpted by hand with layers of dyed wool.

There will also be jewelry, vintage finds, baby items… and the talented Josh and Dani Boyd will be selling their lovely up-cycled vintage window frames.  They convert old windows into mirrors, cork boards, and chalk boards!  Please stop by and say “hi”, I’m going to try to be around on Saturday afternoon myself.

Tuesday November 23, 2010

Last Sunday we hurried home from church, threw our bags in the car and headed for the coast.  Jude’s kindergarten class had a field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Monday.  We went up the night before and enjoyed a little family getaway.  We spent the afternoon chasing the children around the park and the duck pond.

It was the perfect evening.  Right out of a story.  A golden haze hung over everything and the weather was lovely.

Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Monterey without eating at our favorite pizza place.  Then is was back to the hotel to swim in the heated pool, stay up late eating chocolate, and watch “Myth Busters” reruns.

The next morning it was doughnuts in the park and a quick walk down Cannery Row before meeting up with the rest of the class at the Aquarium.

Excitedly waiting to go in.

I never get tired of coming here.  It is always beautiful, fun and fascinating.

It’s like “Where’s Waldo” only without Waldo.

When we got home we hit the ground running.  Lots to do.  It isn’t easy keeping three children occupied while you tried to take care household stuff, but every once in a while I come up with something that really holds their attention.  I had a full day of cleaning ahead of me.  Not just a regular weekly cleanup, but major scrubbing and organizing planned.  I got out my trusty plastic tubs, threw down a beach towel and let them wash their toys.  Very little washing got done but that was okay.  They had fun and it kept them busy.

What a face.

This is why I love this time of year.

On Saturday morning the children and I were outside trying to get some work done before the storm came in.  I should say, I was trying to get work done.  They were busy getting wet and muddy.  They all came in, stripped off their wet muddy clothes and sat down by the fire with books and snacks.

Random things I overheard this week:

Jude screaming from the kitchen table “MOM MOM!!! Gideon is putting all the wrong lids on all the wrong marker AND I DON’T LIKE IT!!!!”  To which Gideon calmly replied “No, it’s okay Jude.  See it’s fun this way!”

“I don’t like it when you face gets all angry like that Mom.”  Gideon’s response to me scolding him for coming back inside, 3 seconds after I sent him out.

Eliza skipping through the house singing “I be naughty.  I be naughty.  I be naughty.”  She wasn’t being naughty but she seemed to think it was a fun thing to say it over and over.

I’m in love with hand print Turkeys.  I just can’t get enough of them…

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday November 18, 2010

It’s been quiet on my blog for a little while now, which usually means that “real life” has been extra busy.  November refuses to slow down and December will be fast upon me.

The children a busy growing up.  I’m positive Jude is growing a quarter inch each and every night.  All of the jeans I bought him in August have hem lines that are hovering around his ankle, and the sleeves of his t-shirts no longer reach his wrists.

Eliza Girl is refusing to stay little.  I tell her to slow down a bit, but she just laughs at me and runs off after her brothers.

Over night (or so it seems) she went from saying a dozen or so words, to speaking with phrases and entire sentences.  She has quickly learned the value in being able to express one’s wishes and desires.

* “I wanna drink”

* “I wanna co-okie Momma”

* “I go poo-poo Momma”.  Always 1 minute after she has already gone.

* “I yuv you! HUGS!”

When she wants to say “no” she says “NO!”  When she wants to say “yes” she says, “Noo0OO!”.  Her dad says she gets that from me.

Her best trick right now goes like this~
When I catch her doing something she’s not supposed to do; she lifts her head up, flashes her impish grin and says, “Hiii!” in a perfect little sing-song voice.  As if she is saying “By the powers of my cuteness; you will now forget everything you just saw…”  It’s hard to resist that face.

The sewing room has been a flurry of activity.  Projects laying all over the place.

My new favorite thing.  I bought this pattern on Etsy and I am having so much fun with it.  I have tons of other ideas and variations for these fabric totes.

My finished dyed onesies.

Because I never have any shortage of ideas; I find that too often one thought just pushes out another.  So over the last few months I have started a “Creativity Journal”.  I hesitate to use the word “journal” because it implies a semi-organized stream of thought, which mine is certainly not.  Everything goes in the journal, and none of it in any particular order.  In fact a better name for it would be, “Write-it-down-somewhere before-you-forget/lose-it” journal, but that’s a really long, impractical name.

I keep photographs, write down funny conversations with the kids, quotes I like, sewing ideas, decorating ideas,  inspirational pictures, garden planning, sketches… all of it goes in the journal.  I only have one rule for my journal: just because I write an idea down in it, that doesn’t mean I MUST make that idea happen.  Some of my ideas will only ever exist as jots on a page, and I’m okay with that.

I mostly just don’t want to forget anything.

In all of our busyness, we slipped away to the coast for a little family get-away.  I’ll post more pictures of that soon, I promise. 

Enjoy what is left of this lovely evening.

Saturday November 6, 2010

I am slowing beginning to sew more for myself.  Sewing for one’s self is intimidating for a lot of reasons.  It’s not always easy to choose a pattern.  You really don’t know how a dress, shirt, skirt, etc… is going to look until you’ve taken the time to sew it.  Another reason I get a bit squeamish at the thought of sewing for me; it’s a lot of yardage to mess up.  When I sew for Eliza, most of her patterns take 1/2 yard to 3/4 of a yard.  If I mess up that amount of fabric I’m not that concerned.  I am concerned when I flub up 2.5 yards worth of Jersey Knit fabric. Also, finding my size is still… complicated.  I bit the bullet, I measured myself, I faced that awful number, I cut it out, and it still wasn’t right.  What I have discovered so far is this: when I sew for myself, I’m not my “store bought size”, nor am I my “measured size”.  I am some frustratingly, ambiguous  size in between.  I know as I sew more I will learn what my “size” is, but until then I’m afraid there’s been a pretty sharp learning curve.

So why do I do I bother you might ask?  Well… because sewing makes me happy (most of the time ).  I want to get to the point were I can make clothes that fit my body well.  I also get excited about making clothes that are unique and express my own tastes and style.  All that being said; here are some of my latest “sewing experiments”~

This is a knit dress I made towards the end of summer.  I have never sewn on knit but some of my favorite dresses are made of cotton knit.  I found a pattern that looked easy enough, so I tried it out.  The pattern is  Newlook 6836.

Over all I’m happy with the way it tuned out.  It took me the better part of a day to make. 

As I was sewing it I could tell it was a little bit large, but when I put it on I realized it was huge!  At that moment, as I stood in front of the mirror swimming in my new dress; I was more than a little discouraged.  Then, I remembered a black elastic belt I owned that came with another dress.  I tried the belt on and…

what was once a tent; became a dress.  Sometimes that’s the way sewing works.  The right accessory, sweater, jacket, or shirt can make a so-so pattern into something wearable… even pretty.  Moral of this story:  don’t give up on a dress too soon.

Like I said, it was supposed to be a summer dress but I didn’t get it finished as soon as I would have liked but a pair of black, lacy leggings and a cute sweater makes it a nice winter dress too.

I also made another School House Tunic.  I made the dress version of this pattern last spring, but I wanted to try the tunic. 

I do love this pattern.  It is so simple to make and it always turns out lovely.  I added a few embellishments; the lace on the bodice and a large vintage shell button to the back.

The fabric is a light weight shirting material I bought at Joannes Fabric.  It has a subtle raised dot pattern woven into the fabric.  I like the light weight material for this tunic.  It wears and hangs better than bulkier fabrics.

The super adorable boots in these pictures are unfortunately not mine.  I borrowed them from my sister-in-law

This is a simple little flower accessory I made for myself.  Just a fabric flower pin that adds a little pop and excitement to a simple sweater.  I’m kind of hooked on this mustard yellow color right now.  I used the twisted rose tutorial I linked to in this post to make the rose.  The turquoise flower is just a simple yo-yo flower with pearl beads glued into the center.

I don’t want to end this post without thanking my sweet sister-in-law, Allison, who ran around in the rain on a Saturday afternoon, taking pictures of me.   It was a fun afternoon!  Alli has a beautiful blog which I love reading, and not just because she’s family

Tuesday November 2, 2010

I’ve been itching to try some hand dying for quite a while now. 

So today I had fun with color!

On the dye docket~

Cloth diapers, long sleeved and short sleeved onesies, and some elastic (more on that project later).

Me donning my protective gear.  Unless you don’t like the clothes your wearing, and you don’t mind looking like an Oompa-loompa from the wrist down, I wouldn’t skip this step.

It would have been sensible, even advisable, to try one or two items in one color first… but that’s not the way I roll.  All in baby… all in.

This is what Eliza was doing during the dye process.

Question: what’s the difference between the handmade burp cloths, and the super expensive burp clothes you buy at the fancy-pants baby boutique?

Answer: a $3.00 box of Rite dye.

Love the way the colors tuned out.  Especially the red and brown.  The teal is a little funky (splotchy and uneven in parts)  I might have to experiment with it some more.

I have lots of fun plans for these beauties.  If you are interested in trying to dye some items I recommend this tutorial from the sewing blog Made.  I love all of Dana’s fantastic ideas!

Monday November 1, 2010

We had a busy weekend planned.  Working around the house, attend a baptism, teach Sunday school, lead singing at church, 5th Sunday potluck afterward~

All of that changed when Saturday morning dawned and Jude drug himself out of bed and spent the first 20 minutes of the day laying around on the floor.  My mind was going in a million directions as I sped about the house.  I must have passed him a dozen times before I noticed his flushed cheeks and glazed over eyes.  The readout on the thermometer confirmed what I suspected and we started reshuffling our weekend plans.

Gideon and I represented the family that morning at church and we took potluck food to-go.  That evening we enjoyed brownie sundaes and pumpkin carving with Grandma and Grandpa W.

I realize that I’m biased, but those are some of the best looking Jack O’ Lanterns I think I’ve ever seen.

Eliza, Gideon and I waved good-bye to Grandma and Grandpa, but when I walked back into the house Jude was slumped into the corner of the stuffed chair; looking very tired and flushed.

So this morning we were just home.  Resting and playing quietly.  Now that Jude goes to school 3 days a week it has taught me to appreciate days at home with fresh eyes.  Realizing how special these times are and how quickly they pass.  This morning I flipped another page of the calendar… seems like I’m always doing that.

Love all the markers spread out on the table.  See how he purses his lips like that?  That’s me… I do that too.

I love his art work.  I never get tired of seeing what his amazing little mind is going to come up with next.

Can you see the purple marker all over her mouth?  She seems to think that “nontoxic” is the same as “edible”.

I like mornings at home with markers, and play dough, and Greg&Steve playing on the MP3 player

Grilled cheese sandwiches and drinks with bendy-straws.  I like bendy-straws

Last but not least.  Here they are; the promised “before and after” pictures.

This is what the house and property looked like when we first bought it (over a year and a half ago).

Here it is now

There we are!  First time home-owners and me 8 month pregnant with Eliza.

This is what the porch looks like now.

Owning the house and property has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride but I think we are finally hitting our stride!  We have a lot more work to to but I’m so thankful and pleased with how far we’ve come.