Monthly Archives: June 2011

Wednesday June 29, 2011

So I gathered up all the names (double and triple checked, to make sure I had them all), tossed them all in the big brown bag and gave it a shake.

Because there were three prizes this time I let each one of the children chose a name from the bag.

For the “Lace Doily Prize Package”  Eliza chose a name from the bag and the winner is Joyfulsqueak!

For the “Lace and Linen Prize Package”  Gideon picked a name out, and the winner is

And for the “Funky Flower Prize Package” Jude chose jamekablue out of the bag!

Congratulations to the winners!  I must say it gets harder and harder to reach into that bag and narrow it down to just 3 winners, you’re comments were all so sweet!  But please don’t be discouraged, there will be more little giveaways sprinkled in the mix :)

So, if you three lovely ladies wouldn’t mind sending me a private message with your mailing address, I will send these packages off to you ASAP!

Thanks for playing! ~ April

Tuesday June 28, 2011

“Father told Almanzo about a lazy, worthless boy who had been sent to sow a field.  This boy did not want to work, so he poured the seeds out of his sack and went swimming.  Nobody saw him.  Afterward he harrowed the field, and no one knew what he had done.  But the seeds knew, and the earth knew, and when even the boy had forgotten his wickedness, they told it.  Weeds took that field”
~Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

At the risk of interrupting the mood of this post I wanted to say thank you to each and everyone of you who wished Justin and I a Happy Anniversary.  Your kind words meant so much to me ~April

Monday June 27, 2011

Cindy (down_onthefarm) did a fun post at the end of last week called “Where I blog”.  She showed us her cozy (plaid) corner and then asked us to share our “blogging spot” so here’s mine, and I did it “Cindy Style”.

I have a laptop so I could blog from anywhere in the house but I usually end up at the end of the kitchen table~  {I know you are all super impressed with my arrow drawing skills.  What can I say; it’s a gift.}

I normally blog after the children have gone to bed at the end of the day, or sometimes when they are napping.  If I sit down in the middle of the day it confuses them.  They all stop what they’re doing and look with a puzzled expressions on their faces.  Then they say to themselves, “Wait.  Mom’s sitting down?  That doesn’t seem right?  She must have run out of things to do.  We should think of some more things for her to do.”

There you have it, that’s were the magic happens.  I’d love to see where you blog!

<insert awkward transition here>

The garden has doubled, make that tripled, in size since the last time you saw it.

The tomatoes are starting to ripen and the cosmos are going crazy!  I’ll try to get out and take some pictures soon, cause I know you’re all dying from the suspense.

One last random question.  I was just wondering if there was a song that against your better judgement, you just love.  It may be bad, cheesy, rowdy, tacky… whatever… but every time it comes on your hand automatically reaches down and turns the volume up.  Before you know it your singing at the top of you lungs and people are looking at you funny.

I have a song like that, but I’m a little ashamed to admit it.  You want to know what it is?  Alright, but you can’t laugh and you can’t tell anyone, okay?  It’s…. “She thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”  There I said it.  If we can’t be friends anymore I understand.  

So what’s you guilty song pleasure?  You can tell me, I won’t laugh… much

Friday June 24, 2011

There were things I didn’t know about him when I married him 11 years ago.

I didn’t know the courage and the strength he would continually show throughout life’s ups and downs.

I didn’t know he would get better and better looking each year

I didn’t know what an amazing father he would be.

I had no idea what beautiful children he would give me

The patience and gentleness he would show our children.

I could not have comprehended the devotion he would show the children and I.

But what that 22-year-old slip of a girl knew all the way back then, is the same thing this 33-year-old woman knows today~

I married a man who loves the Lord with all his heart.  Who knows what he thinks, and does what he says he will do.  I know that no matter were we go I’ve got the best looking man in the room on my arm, and I know that when I am with him… somehow… everything will be alright.

Happy Anniversary Babe!

A Boy and his Boots

Their happy yellow faces caught my eye that day in Target.  The rainy season was about to start and J needed some good boots.  Why not yellow giraffe boots?  He would have put them on right there in the middle of the store if I had let him, but I held him off until we got home.

We laughed at him as he gave those boots a spin around the kitchen the very first time.  He looked like the Tin Man in need of some oil.  By the end of the day though, he was speeding around the house in them, with a wild grin on his little face.

For an entire year, they were the only thing he wanted to wear.

Walks in the orchard, trips to the grocery store…

Playing the mud

They weren’t just rain boots they were snow boots, work boots, baseball boots…

Washing your little car boots.

He even wore them to church a time or two.  I can still see him in my mind’s eye.  Trailing 3 steps behind me as we walk down the center aisle at church.  He’s all spiffed up in his Sunday best, save for the tattered giraffe boots peeking out from under his khaki slacks.  People smiled and pointed as we found our seat in the second row, he was pleased as punch.

Fall and winter passed but the boots stayed.
{note the sign~ it had been a hard day}

The temperatures soared into the 100′s but the sandals and flip-flops were always passed over for the boots.  He wore them with shorts, he wore them with nothing but his undies on running through the house like a wild banshee.

And then the sad day finally came.  When try as he might, his feet just wouldn’t squeeze into them anymore.

The bright colors had faded, the ears and tails had long fallen off.  A rip in the side let the water come in when he splashed in puddles.  There was only one thing left to do.  They had been too loved to pass on, so they took their rightful place of honor, in the small tub marked “J’s Baby Clothes”.  They rest there with all the other precious items that mark J’s earliest days.

Someday when I am old I will pull them out and marvel that his feet were ever that small.  And I will remember the days when life was all about, toy cars, red wagons, picture books, bath times,…

… and yellow giraffe boots.

Wednesday June 22, 2011

{The giveaway is now closed},
please check back on Wed. when I announce the three winners!

This Show & Tell Wednesday post is dedicated to beginners.  For all of you who have been toying with the idea of starting a sewing project, but just didn’t know quite were to begin.  Of course the first step is to find yourself a sewing machine.  At this stage in the game any ole machine will do.  Borrow your mom’s, or pull that dusty hand-me-down Singer out of the attic, and let’s get started.

I think it’s important to choose your first project wisely.  Your first project, coming out of the gate, shouldn’t be a formal tailored dress.  You’re just setting yourself up for a lot of heartache.  It’s a sad, sad tale that begins with hopeful excitement, and ends with you in tears throwing your sewing machine under a speeding train (don’t do that by the way).

I think a purse is a great place to start.  There are oodles of easy, free purse patterns all over the internet.  I like sewing purses because they don’t take a lot of yardage, they’re lovely, and useful.  You need to make something that you would actually use in real life.  There are very few things as satisfying as using something you have made with your own hands.

I did a quick search on the internet and came up with this basic fold-over clutch pattern~

It’s a simple, versatile clutch that requires very little yardage (about 1/3 of a yard).  You can add trim, buttons, or flowers, to the flap to dress it up.  I made mine to look very soft and romantic, but you could also dress it up,  use a fun zebra print, or a funky retro print… that’s the fun of sewing… you can make things that reflect your personality.

This is not a “mom” purse.  I own a lot of those types of purses.  “Mom Purses”  have to be big enough to fit diapers, snacks, random little toys and books to keep children occupied in restaurants, and always have crushed up goldfish crackers in the bottom.  This is a cute “going-out-with-the-girls” kind of purse. 

If you would like to make your own fold-over clutch you can find the free pattern on Ali Foster’s website.

{image via Ali Foster}

Any of you that know me well, know that Ali Foster is my go-to girl for purse patterns.  I’ve made lots of her purses.  She designs darling patterns, that are reasonably priced, with easy to follow directions.  I made three fold-over clutches in only a few hours.  Just a quick note about the fold-over clutch~ Ali suggests lining it with a heavy canvas material (which would work fine) but I used a combination of a heavy fusible interfacing, and some fusible fleece I had leftover from another project.  I really like the way the interfacing and fusible fleece gave the clutch some stiffness and a very smooth look.  It was however, a bit tricky to sew through all the layers at the end, but as long as I went slowly and carefully the machine was able to stitch through the thickness.

Now for the fun part~

The part were I say “thank you”.  Thank you for stopping in each week and making my day with you sweet, encouraging comments.  It really does mean a lot to me!  So instead of keeping the three little clutches I made for Show & Tell Wednesday, I’m going to give all three of them away.  That means you have not one, but three chances to win something.

Not only that but I added a few items just for the fun of it~ a set of flower clips from H&M, and my favorite chap stick, Burt’s Bees

Prize #1: “Funky Flower” prize package 

Prize #2: “Lacy Linen” prize package

Prize #3: “Doily Clutch” prize package

If you would like to be entered to win one of these 3 prize packages, just leave a friendly comment at the bottom of the post.  I will toss all your names in the very scientific “big brown bag”, give it a good shake, and pull out three random winners.  The comment box will be left open until Monday, June 27th and I will announce the winners Wednesday, June 29th.

Thanks so much for stopping in again!  Hope you are all enjoying the first Wednesday of the summer!

Monday June 20, 2011

It was our first berry picking excursion.  They kiddos are now hooked on fresh picked blueberries so it probably won’t be our last.

Jessup Farm is a local “you pick” berry farm that grows blueberries and strawberries, plus a variety of garden vegetables.  It’s a very kid friendly set up complete with picnic tables, sandbox, grassy areas, and a bounce house.

This past Thursday Jess, Mom, Trish and I took the kids for a picnic lunch and some berry picking.

They have the sweetest little produce stand with herbs, wild honey, berries and vegetables.

I should explain that this was no ordinary berry picking outing.  It was a fundraiser for our friends the Walkers, who are raising money to adopt Ali, a special needs child from Russia.  A portion of all the proceeds sold that day, went to help with the cost of the adoption fees.  It seemed like a win/win situation; we love the Walkers and we love berries so… yeah, no brainer.  If you are interested in knowing more about this new adventure our friends have embarked on you can read about it on Diana’s blog

Someone did NOT want their hard earned berries eaten!

After a bite to eat;  Jess, Trish, the boys and I grabbed some buckets and headed to the fields.  Mom stayed behind with the little girls and kept an eye on them while they bounced in the bounce house.

Um bud, I don’t think that’s what that’s for.

The bushes were full of plump blueberries.

We picked and snacked and picked a little more

The boys came in real handy for gettin’ the berries under the bushes.

They were good little pickers!

This is were I held up my camera and said, “Okay girls!  Show me your berries!”

Hey look there’s April with her mouth open… again.

The boys were getting a little tired and hot so we left the fields and let them play for awhile.

There was even a couple of holes for putt-putt golf

The bounce house was a big hit

The girls were more than happy to help us eat our berry harvest.

Before I could blink they had stuffed about a third of a pound of berries in their mouths!

So here’s what I learned:
~When berry picking, go early in the morning
~Blueberries that come straight from the bush are amazing.  I didn’t think I liked blueberries very much, but that was because I had only ever had store bought berries.  It’s like thinking that canned bacon bits are the same as applewood smoked bacon.  They’re.not.the.same.
~I was trying to think of some clever third thing I learned but, I got nothin’

I now have a neat little stack of bagged frozen blueberries in my freezer.  I see a lot of blueberry muffins, cobblers, pancakes, and smoothies in the near future.

I’m loving this summer so far, how ’bout you?

Friday June 17, 2011

Ladybugs that is.

This post is for my desert dwelling friend jamekablue, who misses seeing green, and asked for pictures of my fat, red, happy ladybugs.

Eliza, Gideon and I were out in the garden the other night, when I spotted several ladybugs.  I immediately thought, “Oh, I need to run get my camera and take pictures!”  So I sprint over the rows of cosmos and holler over my shoulder, “Gid, Eliza!  Don’t touch those ladybugs I need to take a picture of them for my friend!”

A few moments later I arrive breathless and find the ladybugs exactly were I left them and Gideon and Eliza dutifully guarding them.

A few minutes later Jude wanders out and says, “Hey Mom.  Gideon says your takin’ pictures of bugs for your girlfriend?!”

Something like that

Have you ever seen such a fat ladybug?

She loves our garden~

“Yook at da yadybugs mamma!”

“Don’t touch da yadybug mamma!!”

Talking to her little friends.  I can’t be sure but I think the garden loves her too.

In the midst of all the busyness we are squeezing in as much summer fun as we can.

Picnics on the porch.
Playing in the water hose.
Ice cream cones after super.
Lots and lots of squabbling 

In other garden news~

The gophers have taken out three cucumber plants and several sections of green beans.  If I told you exactly how much that bothers me you would think I was a bit unstable, so I will refrain from commenting further.  I will say this…  I’m about to go all Bill Murry on the buggers.  Anyone know were I can obtain some C4?  {that was a joke}

Wednesday June 15, 2011

I decided to do something a bit different for this week’s Show & Tell Wednesday.  Truthfully, this is sort of a cheater post.  I have a sweet little project all lined up, sitting on my sewing desk, but I had zero time to finish it this week.  Lord willing and the crick don’t rise, I should have it ready for next Wednesday.

In the mean time I thought I would put together a small collection of things that make me sigh a happy sigh… blogs, projects, and fabrics that inspire me to create.

Decor8 is a delightful decorating blog.  I am consistently amazed by the houses, designers, and artists that are featured each week. 

{image via decor8}

{image via decor8}

{image via decor8}

Noodlehead is a favorite sewing blog of mine.  I love Anna’s simple and fresh approach to sewing.  She puts together the most detailed and beautiful tutorials for FREE.  I follow quite a few sewing blogs, and I can tell you that Anna is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to her patterns and tutorials. 

{image via noodlehead}
This is her library tote.  I have had this on my list of things to sew for months! 

I saw this tutorial and thought it would be the perfect way to use up some of my vintage hankies~

{image via noodlehead}
This would be and excellent beginners project.

These are a few of the PDF patterns she sells in her shop.  I particularly like the Runaround Bag!

I can personally vouch for Anna’s ability to write up thorough and detailed sewing instructions with her patterns.

A fun and funky little blog I like to frequent is Dottie Angel.  I get a kick out of her eclectic, whimsical designs.

{image via Dottie Angel}

Tutorial’s I love~

Image and tutorial via  Sneezerville.  Have you ever seen a more delightful skirt?

Love this scarf! 
Image and tutorial via Pretty Ditty

I really need to make myself one of these for my sewing room.  It is handier than a pocket on a shirt.
{image via Noodlehead}  }  the tutorial from Oh, Fransson , which is and excellent quilting blog.

While I was browsing through the archives of Decor8 I found several entries that featured Lisa Stickley of London.  Which lead me to her website, which in turn lead me to all her beautiful designs… none of which I can afford (but I can still look and drool).

Oh yes please… may I please… pretty please, have one (or two) of these~

{image via Lisa Stickley}

{image also via Lisa Stickley}

Lastly, fabrics that I pine for~

From Ruby Star Rising

Design by Kokka

One of Anna Marie Horners new line~

All fabric images via Fabricworm and can be purchased on their website .  I have purchased fabric from Fabricworm and was impressed by the promptness of the delivery and the quality of the fabric.

That’s all for this week, but please be sure to stop in next Wednesday.  I have a fun project and a nice little surprise in store. 

Friday June 10, 2011

Since my last post, so many of you have asked “What’s a Walk Away dress?”  I thought it would be easiest to just show you.

It is a vintage Butterick pattern that has become very popular lately.  In fact if you own an original pattern it could be worth a tidy sum.  Any where from $50- $60 depending on the condition.  Thankfully Butterick re-released it and sells it on their website for a fraction of that cost.

I first laid my eyes on a Walk Away dress on this darling site~

Marie Madeline Studio 
{photo via Marie Madeline Studio}
I never grow tired of seeing this lovely group of girls dressed up in their boots and skirts :)

The dress was given the name “Walk Away Dress” because~

“During the 1950′s, Butterick experienced a phenomenon it had not known since the ‘Garibaldi Suit’ of the late 1860′s. It was pattern 6015, and it was dubbed the ‘walk-away’ dress, because it was so easy you could “Start it after breakfast… walk-away in it for luncheon!”.”  Source Vintage Patterns Wiki

The moment this picture appeared on my screen I knew I was in love!

{picture via Marie Madeline Studio}

This is why I think it should be called the Walk Away dress… because you look so cute walking away!

{Picture also via Marie Madeline Studio}

I found this version on Family Trunk Project
 {Photo also via Family Trunk Project}
I love this bi-color version.  Now I just need to make mine!