Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quilty Warm Fuzzies

This is the scene in our living room today. Natalie made a big tent out of the quilts and the couch and ottoman. There's something about seeing all these quilts being played with this way that is just so wonderful to me. Quilts are one of those things that become special to a family without even trying. Last weekend I was at the Kendalls' house and they brought out a quilt my mom had made for them some 15 or 20 years ago (I don't really know how long), but it was soooo nastalgic for me to look at. There were fabrics in there that Mom had made me dresses out of in elementary school, as well as fabrics that were used in some of the quilts she made our own family and decorated our house with back then. And all these years later, they still use it and love it. I just love that. My Wonky House quilt has pretty much all the fabrics I used for everything under the sun during my first 6 years of marriage. I get all reminiscent just gazing at it. Anyway, these are just more good reasons to take up quilting :) Quilts really do make memories that last a lifetime.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sewing and Reading

I made a bunch of these headbands the other day. These are really easy and super cute. There is a free pattern here. It occurred to me today that according to my blog, it really must seem like all I do is sew and read, but I promise that's not true! I sew when the kids are napping or down for the night and I only read at bedtime--one chapter a day, really and that's only possible because Casey leaves for work at 9pm and I go to bed early, by myself. So, for those of you who have been asking me how I get all this sewing and reading in, here's the short answer: I sacrifice couch time for the things I love to do!

So, speaking of reading :) I started a book last night called, Animal Vegetable, Miracle. It's by a family who moved from Tuscon to Southern Appalachia and committed to living on only what they could grow or raise or buy locally. So far it's a GREAT book and pretty eye-opening too. Here is a good quote from chapter one:

"Consider how Americans might respond to a proposal that agriculture was to become a mandatory subject in all schools, alongside reading and mathematics. A fair number of parents would get hot under the collar to see their kids' attention being pulled away from the essentials of grammar, the all-important trigonometry, to make room for down-on-the-farm stuff. The baby boom psyche embraces a powerful presumption that education is a key to moving away from manual labor and dirt-two undeniable ingredients of farming. It's good enough for us that somebody, somewhere, knows food production well enough to serve the rest of us with all we need to eat, each day of our lives." (p. 9)

I could go on and just quote the whole chapter, but I won't :) Basically, she is making a case for knowing and teaching our children where our food actually comes from. Maybe if we were better educated about these things, we would care more what we are actually feeding ourselves and stop wondering where our obesity problems are coming from. Anyway, just food for thought. Pun intended, hehehe.

And, one more thing, there is a great fabric giveaway going on here. This lovely blogger just opened a fabric shop on Etsy and is having a grand opening giveaway. You have until Thursday to enter, I believe, so hop on over there if you want!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I've Been Busy

These baby shoes and tissue holders will all be gracing our booth at the Brighton Farmer's Market on July 5th. I'm so excited! Now I have headbands, tote bags and aprons to make, as well as some other little goodies.

Meanwhile, here are a few new-to-me blogs I've been enjoying lately:
  1. Let's Explore
  2. Virtue Alert
  3. Preschoolers and Peace
That's all for now!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I have not been very motivated the last few weeks. I'm mostly just tired (last trimesters will do that to ya), but today I sat down and finished up this maternity skirt I started last Friday and tweaked more and more throughout this last week. Ever since my first pregnancy, I have been disgusted at the lack of decent maternity patterns out there. Every one I tried was just huge in the arms and neck holes. Just because my belly is growing rapidly, doesn't mean the rest of me is growing at an equal rate! So, anyway, I found this tutorial, cut the elastic out of a pair of maternity jeans I didn't like and here ya go--a lovely skirt! The next one will go much faster, since I can use this one as a guide. I love this linen-look fabric and I bought another equally great fabric to make one more.

SO, there is actually a reason I am more motivated to do some sewing. The lovely Julie Kendall and I have a booth at the Brighton Farmer's market, starting next Saturday!!! YAY! We're both very excited, but realize we need to build our inventory a little bit. All this to say, if you've seen something on CraftyGirlz that you've been coveting, now is the time to snatch it up! since those items will all be going with us.

One more thing. If you haven't seen Heather Bailey's new lines of fabric, go over and visit. I found myself drooling over each and every one. Just beautiful!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cake, Books and Other Stuff

Wow, I have found myself with very little sewing time lately. Actually, I have not been doing much of anything lately, except weeding out my house of excess stuff--namely toys and kids' clothes. I figure if there are less things for the girls to get out, there are less things for me to put away. (This last trimester with two little ones is no easy feat!) SO, I moved Natalie's dresser into their walk-in closet with Layla's. The girls now share that dresser and I moved the new baby's stuff into Layla's former dresser. I don't know if you remember how I rigged Natalie's dresser shut. It only worked for a little while, she managed to empty it on a daily basis anyway. Clever little thing, I tell you. Recently she dropped all her crayons into the vent in her room. They were so far down there, Casey had to go into the crawlspace downstairs, take the whole thing apart and get them out, along with some other treasures she'd been hiding. So, we moved the furniture to cover the vent. Always an adventure.

ANYWAY, I made Casey this S'Mores cheesecake for Father's Day. It was G-O-O-D! I would post the recipe, but it's long and I've already made this post too long, so unless someone wants it, I won't bother. Oh, that's toasted marshmallow on the top--mmmmm. I'm still mad at myself for not getting a picture of Daddy and the girls in their church dresses before Natalie spilled chocolate milk all over herself. Oh, well.

And, finally, some books I've been enjoying, buying and wishing for:
  1. Mudhouse Sabbath--My mom read this and then bought a copy for me as a gift. I'm so glad she did. I finished it last night and loved it, from start to finish. It's written by a former follower of Judaism who converted to Christianity some years ago. In the book, she compares certain sacraments between the two religions and makes some excellent points about what we can take away from Judaic traditions. Great book and an easy read, it's not very big.
  2. The Billionaire's Vinegar--I just bought this book for Casey for Father's Day and he's very anxious to read it and then pass it along to all the wine-loving men that we know. It's a nonfictional mystery about the world's oldest bottle of wine, dating back to 1787. It's sort of like a conspiracy theory, which Casey loves.
  3. I came across a new-to-me blog last night, Preschoolers and Peace and feel like I stumbled on an absolute treasure. I only read a few posts and was SO encouraged by both, I didn't want to stop reading. While there, I found a link to a book called Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. It's always been so important to me that my kids get along and are close, despite their personality and age differences. This looks like a good read to me.
That's all for now, although I added a widget to my right sidebar where you can see random books from my library. Kinda fun, I think.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Preschool Gold Mine

Things don't go well around here if Natalie gets bored. That's just a simple fact. She's a smart little booger and so we've been considering starting some preschool things with her. We're planning on homeschooling and that goes for preschool too so I Googled some things yesterday and came across Homeschooling Adventures, where there are tons of links to free, printable material on all kinds of subjects. I clicked on Preschool and found a link for each letter of the alphabet, with several links of activities for each letter. Awesome.
Today we learned the letter A and she was busy with these things all afternoon. I just love this picture. I also couldn't resist posting this video of the girls playing the piano, each standing in one of Daddy's work boots. It was mighty funny. (Apparently you can't turn videos, so.....whoops :)


video

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gifty

These are some picture of a bag I made my lovely Aunt Teddi for her birthday. I made a similar one for myself several years ago and she spotted it around here sometime after Christmas. I just now got around to making her one. She LOVED it, so I'm happy to have made her happy :)





























AND, Casey and I attended a wedding this last weekend in Greeley. A friend at school had asked him to sing in a quartet at her wedding, so we took the opportunity to spend the night there, while Casey's mom stayed with the girls. We have not done that since having kiddos, so it was a wonderful time for us. Anyway, we have zero extra money, so the gift required some creativity. I made these pot holders and we printed one of our home made recipe books of all our best recipes. A great gift and totally free. Here also is a picture of Casey with his three other school friends that made up the quartet and one of Casey and I in this absolutely gorgeous old Catholic church. They sounded sooooo beautiful, I wish I could post all the music here somehow :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Recipe Box Swap

swap blogpost
One of the lovely ladies whose blog I read hosts a monthly recipe box swap and so I thought I'd participate today! Here is my favorite smoothie recipe. I love it because it does not require any ice, since my blender does a horrible job with ice. Instead it uses frozen fruit, which my blender does fine with for some reason. Here ya go:

Peach Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup frozen peaches (or strawberries, or whatever you have)
1 banana
6 oz. vanilla yogurt (I never measure, I just guess)
1 Tbl. honey

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well. This recipe easily serves two, or one adult and two sippy cups, which is usually how it goes around here :)
Yesterday I made a batch of this and poured it into Popsicle molds to freeze. It's sure to become Natalie's favorite snack, I think.




Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Happy (now) Accident

So, I made the mistake of using a Butterick pattern to make a bag for the shop. I LOVE these fabrics together, so I was devastated when the bag was completely non-functional in every way. I made it right, it's just so wide and so shallow that it would never work! WHAT IS UP??? Do they have these patterns tested???? It had to have taken some major staging to make it look that way on the pattern cover. Anyway, I considered cutting it up and making several tissue holders because the fabrics are so great, I did not want to toss it, but instead I put in a casing and a drawstring, realizing that it would be perfect for my knitting projects, that usually sit on my side table in a plastic box. It's so wide, that is holds knitting needles very well, even the super long ones. That's Layla's little hand in the picture, she wants to play with that stuff so bad, poor baby :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Water Play

We had a GREAT day as a family yesterday. After nap time, we put the girls in their new bathing suits (thanks Granny!) and headed to Southlands shopping center where they have these great fountain things in a big circle. Layla had a blast, although she would NOT let go of her bag of Cheerios, no matter how soggy they were getting. I do realize there are not as many pics of Natalie. She is a little more timid of the water and spent most of the time with her towel, spread out on the ground :) After that, we had a nice dinner at On the Border with some gift cards we had. It's so nice for Casey to be home a little bit more now that this last semester has ended. We had so much fun together.