Thursday, January 28, 2010

family drawing

On Tuesday night, we had our first family drawing time! I first read this idea in Soule Mama's book, The Creative Family and the girls have been wanting to draw with Daddy for awhile. We all enjoyed it so much that we did it again the next night...and I think Casey wants to do it again tonight!

This is Natalie's rendition of her, Layla and Kelby. Cute :)

And here's my version of our family. I'm no good at scale, that's why I revert to cartoons, where the heads can be way bigger than the bodies and nobody cares :) Natalie tried to finish my picture for me, as you can see on part of Layla's neck and shoulder. If only she'd used the other side of the marker! Oh, well, I'll smile now whenever I look at it :)

And, my husband!!!! Look how talented he is! I knew he used to like to draw, but seriously? I didn't know he could do this. He said he didn't know either :) Casey's into this drawing thing. Tonight he's going to try Layla. I'm going to have so much awesome artwork for our house! :)

I guess he comes by it honestly though, because his Dad was an amazing artist. He drew this little guy in 1974. We have several other of his drawings. I'll try to share more next time I post about our drawing time.

In the meantime, you should try it, it's SUPER fun for everyone. Except the baby, since he was supposed to be sleeping, but protested by getting his PJ's and diaper off without unzipping them! Ninja.

Monday, January 25, 2010

quick fix for tired elastic

We recently bought Kelby some pants at a thrift store, but I later realized that the elastic on this pair was shot and there was no way they'd stay up. Soooo, after some thinking about it, I came up with a simple fix. Here's a tutorial of sorts...

Measure the actual size of the waistband and cut a strip of fabric that length by the width of the waistband plus one inch. I cut mine 2" wide. Also, measure your kiddo's waist, or if they are napping like mine was :) measure the waistband of a pair of pants that fits well. Cut your 1" wide elastic this length. Press the short ends of your fabric under a quarter inch, then press the long sides in slightly less than half an inch, so it looks like this...

Next, turn your pants inside out and sew your fabric strip onto the inside of the waistband, staying close the the pressed edges, like so...
(The pressed-under short ends should almost meet.)

Thread your elastic through the new casing with a large safety pin. Overlap the ends of the elastic and stitch them together. No need to stitch the casing ends together, since you turned the raw edges under.

Turn the pants right side out and there ya go! Done and done.

Lastly, put the pants on your little one and take a picture of the cute toosh :)

Thanks, Mom. But this won't stop me from taking all these clothes off like a ninja at nap time and peeing all over my bed....again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

girls night :)

Yep, Archivers again :) I got three pages done, but next time I'm aiming for four, that would be a record-breaker for me :)

After I finish the younger two kids' first year albums, I'm going to start combining all the pages into one big album, since many of the pictures are of all the kids together anyway. I'm getting closer to getting caught up, yay!

While we were there, there was an announcement made that you can donate supplies and paper that you no longer want or need during the month of January and it will all be given to Judi's House, a charity that helps kids get through tragic circumstances (death of a parent, etc...) SO, I'm excited to go through my stuff and give some away. If you're a Denver-area scrapbooker, you should too ;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

my new cynthia rowley dress ;)

It's Sew & Tell Friday again and I have a great new dress to show for it this week :)

This is a Simplicity pattern designed by Cynthia Rowley and I am so excited that it turned out so well! It's a knit dress, which makes some of us nervous, but I have a few knit-tips to share if you're interested.
  1. Use a stretch (AKA ball point) needle!!!! I can't stress this enough, sewing on knits can be sooo frustrating without the right needle.
  2. Use a stretch stitch on your machine. Mine looks kinda like a lightening bolt, but a really narrow zig-zag would work fine. This stitch may take longer, but it will give the seams some "give" so you won't be popping seams when putting it on.
  3. Take your time and if you have to use the seam ripper do so very carefully.
  4. Buy GOOD knits. This fabric (60" wide) was only $3.50 a yard at JoAnn plus I had a 1/2 off coupon so good knits aren't expensive. Don't buy knits at Wal-Mart, in other words :) If all it does is roll up wherever you cut it, it's not going to work very well.
There ya go, for what it's worth!

P.S. I know the pic is fuzzy. I had to take it myself because Casey is out of town and so it focused on the hat behind me :) whoops.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

I am thrilled to be writing this post! I know most crafty bloggers probably already know about Craft Hope for Haiti, but I want to encourage your involvement even more! Craft Hope has opened up an Etsy shop for crafters who want to give to the relief efforts in Haiti. I read on another blog this morning that since it opened (just before the weekend, I believe) it has already raised over $7000, all of which is goes directly to Doctors without Borders. I just donated these two baby blankets and if YOU would like to donate an item, here is all the information you need. If you cannot donate, visit the Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy store and go shopping!!!! :) Tragedies like this may seem too big for us at times, but this is a way we can feasibly help, so thanks to everyone working hard at Craft Hope. It's a hage undertaking, but we are thrilled to have a way to contribute.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sew & Tell...a day late again

I meant to post this last night for Sew & Tell Friday, I really did, but I'm cutting back on coffee and I really didn't drink that much to begin with, so I was too tired by the time the kids were asleep!
Sooo, I made this table runner for my dear friend Jenn's birthday! She received it yesterday and really loved it. I would have loved to make a whole quilt because these fabrics are so fabulous. These are the fabrics I used for this flying geese quilt here and Jenn LOVED them. She tried to find some at her JoAnn and I looked for more at mine, but to no avail. So, for her birthday, I dug out every scrap I could find, which were all strips and triangles, and came up with this!

It was really fun to do something improv, it's been awhile since I've done something like this, but it really is my favorite kind of quilting.

And this is the back. I used the triangles to make a zig-zag. I still have more little scraps, I probably could have made another one of these! so I asked Jenn if she wanted them and she does, so YAY, I get to get rid of something :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Sorry about that, the pics are all fixed now! :)

Have you seen this book??? I bought it awhile ago with a 50% off coupon from JoAnn and boy, is it great! Last night I got in the quilty mood and the mood to make something just for us, just for fun, so I busted out this book and started a quilt for one of the girls. I have a vision of how their room could look someday and all I know for sure is that I want to make them each a quilt and I want to find two rod iron headboards to paint white. Might as well get started, right?

I picked this Annie's Garden quilt. Isn't it great? I found some pinks, purples and plenty of scraps to work with. Having half my stash out on my table is a mess, but it's a good mess ;) This quilt has a lot of applique and since it's for a little one and I want it to last a long time, I'm doing it the long way to ensure no raw edges ever come undone. It's time consuming, but worth it and since there are lots of different shapes, all the applique doesn't seem mundane.

Here are my first two blocks! Pretty cute, I can't wait to make more!

Apparently, there is a Material Obsession Two, which I didn't know about until today. Also very inspiring, the designs in these books are just beautiful! If you're interested in seeing more, here is the author's blog and here is a Flickr search I did this morning for some inspiration that turned up some amazing things. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

i missed one! and boy toys

I missed sharing this last handmade gift! I made this little Amy Butler Stash & Dash bag for my cousin for Christmas. I love that hounds tooth fabric. I'm not a big Amy Butler pattern fan. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you'll know how I feel about her and her ridiculous over-use of interfacing, so I won't expound on all that again today :) But, this pattern is actually not so bad.

On to the boy toys! Now that Kelby is getting to be a big boy, and now that he has a birthday and a couple of Christmases under his belt, he has quite the collection of boy toys. What he does not have, is a bedroom, so to prevent his toys from getting buried by princess things in the girls' room ;) we keep them in the living room. After Christmas, I realized the big bag/basket thing was no longer working, so....

...we came up with this! I was looking at some of the storage things at Target, but decided not to spend that much. Instead, we bought three chalkboard-faced bins at Hobby Lobby for $5 each and set them on top of an empty bookshelf that we already had. We just removed the shelves and turned it on it's side. His little trucks park inside perfectly and he can see all his toys now, which means he actually plays with them :) So, there ya go, storage doesn't have to break your bank!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

a like list

Does anyone else get a case of the blahs when January rolls around?? The holidays are over, the weather is bad, so there's not much to do and summer seems really far off. There's just not much to look forward to, it seems. Anyway, there are a few things that are making us happy here at Schreiner House lately, so I thought I'd share another little like list :)

  1. POP BEADS! These are soooo cool. I have had my eye on these since I first saw them at Target at least a year ago. I remember my sister and I having fun with pop beads when we were kids, so I knew my girls would like them, but they were pricey so I always talked myself out of buying them. BUT, after Christmas, they went on clearance for $11 so I snatched them up and saved them for a restless, cabin-feverish day, which was yesterday :) Natalie played with them literally all day long and is still sitting here by me playing with them now. Major hit and way cooler than the ones I had way back when.

2. The Starbucks cup Casey got me for Christmas. I can make iced lattes now with my mocha pot and feel like it came from the master itself ;)

3. This face and the fact that he loves the hat I made him. I didn't think he would care because he never keeps hats on, but he always keeps this one on! Makes me happy. Maybe he likes it because he can put it on himself? I like it because he looks so adorable in it--like a big little dude :)

4. This was a grand discovery at Target a few weeks ago. These veggie chips are soooo good, have nothing artificial in them, are super healthy and best of all, the kids love them!!!! Great way to get kids to eat some veggies.

6. This quote from C.S. Lewis that one of my Facebook friends posted on her wall:

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only- and that is to support the ultimate career" ~CS Lewis

What stay-at-home wife or mom wouldn't like that quote!?

7. This book and the fact that it was so handy while trying to kick the cold that my family passed around last week and which lingered with me the longest!

So, these are two tried and true remedies for phlegm congestion. (I know, gross, sorry, but someday you'll thank me :)

  1. Chop up an onion (the more potent, the better) and stick it in a bowl. Drizzle honey all over it and then leave it covered on the counter over night. By morning, you'll have a nice amount of juice. Drain it out and take a teaspoonful every 2 hours while symptoms last. If you need to cough something up, this will do the trick! It has sweet taste, not too oniony, so I don't think kids would mind it at all.
  2. Squeeze a lemon wedge into a mug of hot water, squirt in some honey and add 3 cloves. I just tried this tea this morning and it was very tasty and my voice is much improved for the first time all week. Finally! I put the lemon wedge (after squeezing) and the cloves in a little tea pod to keep them out of the way while I drank--just another tip for you :)
I'm excited to try some more things from this book, I think it's going to be a handy resource! Now if I could get a good blender or a juicer even...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

tea towels and chairs

I just added this post to Sew & Tell Fridays, so if that's why you're here, thanks for visiting and I can't wait to go check out all of the other finishes :)

Wrapping up the gifting show & tell, here are some pot holder/tea towel sets that I made. This first one I made for my Aunt for Christmas. I love the colors in these. The pot holder actually has a few of the fabrics I used in the quilt I made her this past summer.

And this set, I made for my dear friend Angela for her birthday! Both sets were a hit, I think :)

I simply love tea towels. I have a nice little collection now and was inspired to show some of them here after receiving this cutie from my sister for my birthday, if you remember.

This one is from Anthropologie, my favorite store ever, although I can only buy things there if they are on super-clearance, or I have a gift card. I would move right into an Anthropologie store if that were an option ;)

This little owl one, from the same place, my friend Jenn bought me. Isn't it cute?? And the chair it's on is the beginning of our mismatched chair collection! We have lived in my parents' house for the last several years while they live overseas and Casey finished school. Now that we're getting ready to buy our own place, (yay!) we have begun to collect some furniture here and there. About a year ago we bought a huge, awesome table when our Pier 1 store closed for an incredible deal and planned on finding a hodge podge of chairs to go with it. We recently scored this one at a thrift store for $2.99!! It's old and cool and in great shape.

THEN, both Casey's mom and aunt had one of these white chairs and gave them both to us! These were made by Casey's great grandfather, I believe. So, now we have the start of our collection. We would love to find a bench to go on one side, so we'll be on the hunt for that soon.

So, since coming up with my chair idea, what do you suppose I saw in my mom's new Martha Stewart magazine?? Yep, this ad. Check out those mismatched chairs! Are we cutting edge or what?? ;)

Monday, January 4, 2010

the third year begins :)

My baby girl turned 3 today!! Here is a picture of her in the princess dress I made for her. She opened it earlier Saturday morning so she could wear it to her dress-up party :) She really loves it and so does Natalie ;) The party was a success, I think. It seemed rather chaotic, though during present-opening time. How do you simplify parties for littler kids, when there are an equal amount of small children and adults??? Hmmmmm?? Tips are welcome, since Natalie turns 5 in just 2 months! EEK!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

so much to blog, so little time...

SO, we had Layla's birthday party yesterday, but her actual birthday is tomorrow, so after the festivities are over, I'll share some pics of all that. First, though, I want to chat about resolutions! I know many people don't like to tie themselves down to New Years resolutions, but I have made a few for the past several years and have managed to keep them all. In 2009, I resolved to cook dinner more (and learn to like cooking more) and I definitely succeeded! I did not resolve to lose any weight last year, however, last March I had a bit of a wake-up call and thus, I lost 45 pounds between March and October and have held steady since.

SO....this year, I am going to become a runner! I have been very inspired by my friend Tara, )who ran a marathon last year!!) and I'm going to start the Couch to 5k running program this week. I do very well with strength training, but I really struggle with cardio. I asked Casey if he wanted to sign up for a 5k with me in the Fall and at first he said, "no way, I hate running" (although he's good at it, thanks to the army ;) but later that day, he siad he would love to! The only obstacle was that it's snowy here, but Casey reminded me that I can go to the base gym for free whenever I want (duh). So there ya go. I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your goals for 2010 in the comments!