Wednesday, August 31, 2011

first sewing lessons

Hmm, the new Blogger is different, huh?

I've had my eye on this book for quite awhile and when I got a good coupon in my inbox for Barnes & Noble, I snapped it up!
Natalie especially is so excited to try something; she was practically in my sewing chair after flipping through it once, ha!  I told her we'll be starting with some hand sewing :) Before we try something from the book, I thought I'd have the girls give embroidery a go. It was so much fun, they loved it.
I tried to show Natalie how to make smaller stitches, but she kept saying, "Yeah, ok, I think I have the hang of this now".  Too cute :)

Happily, I also have a new grown-up sewing student! I'm going to start teaching my friend Maggie how to sew and she is super excited, she said she wants to sew everything and be just like me and I said, "You want to be a 50's housewife like me!?"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

God is the Ruler yet

I have been absolutely loving the old hymn, This is my Father's World. We sang it in church today because I requested it of our music minister and because he's married to me, he obliged ;)  The lyrics are wonderful, but my favorite is the final verse:

This is my Father's world, 
Oh, let me never forget
That though the wrong seems often so strong, 
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world, 
The battle is not done.
Jesus who died will be satisfied 
And earth and Heaven be one.

A short while back, I fell in love with Jadon Lavik's version (the whole album is very good, actually):

And, what do ya know, this song is part of our homeschooling curriculum (which is called My Father's World) so it looks like I'll be dwelling on these words lots :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seasons come and seasons go

Welp, we have officially begun our school year as of Monday and although I'm sure I'll feel out of my element for the first few weeks (months?) of every new year that we homeschool, things are going well :) I am enjoying the My Father's World curriculum--very hands-on, which is great for us creative types!

Last week, as a last hurrah for summer sewing, I pulled out a piece of vintage cotton that I was recently given and gave Simplicity 2591 another whirl:
I reviewed the pattern right here, if you're interested in reading that. I wore it today and really like it :) The fabric makes me smile and it makes me feel a bit like a 50's housewife. Those fab pockets can't be beat!

But before that, I pulled out a little p.j. pattern and some flannel pieces and made each of the kids some Fall p.j. pants. I'm still deciding if I will buy sleep shirts or make them, but they were all thrilled about the pants, even though I put them downstairs in the cold weather tub for now :)
In order to tell the back from the front, I like to put little tags in them, like this...

Kinda makes me want to make some for myself!

This pile is about a third of the last batch of fabrics that my dear older friend at church gave me (this is Kelby's idea of helping me fold it)
Rosemarie, who gives me all this wonderful fabric, made Kelby this little man shirt for his birthday!!
SO sweet, he loves it :) It has his name embroidered on the tag, which he things is pretty cool.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Sewing Nook

Remember me telling you how a spider had babies in my sewing room?? That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise :) Because of that little incident, I spent about a week doing all my sewing on our dining room table.  I loved it. I got so much more sewing time in because I didn't have to wait until the kids were busy or down for bed to go hole up and sew! Because of this, I decided to move my sewing downstairs.

I am lucky enough to have both a living room and a family room, a dining room and an eat-in kitchen. I took one end of the living room, brought an unused desk over from my Mom's (which I had actually painted years ago, in a color that I still love, thankfully) and had Casey drag up a shelf from the basement that was left here when we moved in. Then, after that, I had him drag it outside and cut the legs shorter and then drag it back in. What a guy :)

Anyway, here's where I'm sewing now...
I opted for the window on the end that isn't the first thing you see from the front door and where the couch sort of separates things from the living room. I think it looks so pretty! Who says a living room workspace has to be an eyesore???
My little spot has some of my favorite special things in it: A washboard that was my grandmother's, vintage drawing books that were my Mom's when she was a kid, an old shoe pin cushion that was my other grandmother's, a tile my friend Jenn made me that I use as a pattern weight, a china bowl Casey brought home from Iraq, the Matroyshka doll my Dad got me in Russia and some inspiring little Mary Engelbreit prints (still miss her magazine!)

My fabric, patterns and many supplies are still stored up in the guest room and the spiders have been taken care of thanks to my trusty Terminix guy, in case you're wondering.  While I was moving furniture, I went ahead and painted that room. I did it with no taping, in a room full of furniture and three kids in the room with me and it took me about 2 hours. That's how you know you've painted an entire house from top to bottom. I now consider myself a pro :)

I snapped this picture of Kelby's room after we tidied it yesterday. Now that he has his new bed, he really seems to own his room. Before it was just a place to sleep, but now he arranges his toys, sweet-talks the girls into making his bed just how he likes it, etc...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Big Boy

So, my little guy turned 3 last weekend! For some reason, I am having a rough time with him growing up! I almost cried when Casey took apart the crib for the very last time (although it's a major pain, so I'm sure Casey was inwardly filled with glee) to make room for his big boy bed.
He looks soooo cute in his new bed, though :)
That awesome dinosaur is one of the things I made him for his birthday! He really loves him, he wouldn't stop hugging him all day and he even pretended to share his breakfast with him, with slurpy noises and everything.
Someone gave me this old pattern a few years ago and every time Kelby would wander into my sewing room, he would dig it out and carry it around for the rest of the day. So, I finally made him one :)

I also made him these peg dolls! This is not my original idea, I found it on Pinterest and it came from this site.  Mr. Incredible was my own addition and he's my fave :) It occurred to me after I made them, I don't know who the yellow guy is. The best guess we've gotten so far is Ironman, but I dunno.
While I was at it, I made our little family, which you can see in my header up there. These were a big hit with all the kids!
Kelby put his own little guy in his shirt pocket and carried him around that way for a few hours, it was too cute.
I think I might try these Star Wars ones for Christmas!

We had a pretty low-key birthday, which was nice. We didn't have a big party, but we did take the kids to a little water park that we have here called Pirate's Cove, which was crazy, but super fun :) I didn't take any pictures there, I was too nervous about all that water and my camera!

I made some pirate cupcakes (printed the toppers for free from here).
Grandma and P-Paw were there, my lovely cousin Jordan and my Aunt and Uncle. It was fabulous :)


Happy Birthday, Big Boy!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Currently reading...

I would love to share a current reading list with you :)  Now that I'm doing less mandatory reading for school, I have more time to read for pleasure; not that I wasn't squeezing some of that in anyway!

I started Vanity Fair a few months ago, right after reading Great Expectations.  These are two whoppers of classic literature, but I am reallllly liking Vanity Fair. Today I passed up page 600, out of 850, so the end is in sight and I am excited to find out what happens! Then I'll watch the movie, I suppose, but I know it won't do it justice. We'll see.
After this doozy, I'm going to read The Help....because I need something shorter and everyone says it's wonderful...and because I like to read the book before I see the movie of anything!

Next up, I ordered My ABC Bible Verses for the kiddos because I'd read some good things about it. We love this book!! I read one story and verse to the kids every several days and then we review the verses we've learned.  Not only do they remember the verses (when I say, "does anyone remember the A verse, the B verse, etc..."), but the verses are very applicable to the life of a child and so I can say, "Was that a kind answer or a harsh one? What kind of answer turns away anger??"  Good lessons for mommies too ;) Highly recommend.

Thirdly, a friend let me borrow Things That Can Not Be Shaken and I am working my way through it slowly and thoughtfully.  It really confronts doubt in a Christian's life and so far, it is a very worthwhile read. The subtitle reads, "Holding fast to your faith in a relativistic world".
The same friend (thanks, Amanda :) told me about the On-the-Go devotional series. I started with the contentment one because for some reason, this one was much cheaper for my Nook than the others. I really like it with my morning coffee :)
Last but not least, and back to the classics--sometime around February or March, I heard there was a new Jane Eyre movie coming to theaters. I think I remember reading the book in high school, but I wanted to read it again and boy, did I love it! You can read my review of the book on Goodreads right here.  I never made it to the movie, but it finally came out for rent last weekend and I rented it. It was SO good and SO true to the story!!!! I always love it when that happens :)

Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Last Hurrah

Guess what, in case you didn't already know, I FINISHED MY DEGREE ON MONDAY!!!!! Yep, that's right, I'm a college graduate, the first in my family line, actually, so I am proud and more than an little relieved that it's over!

We don't start homeschooling for another couple of weeks, so I signed the kids up for swimming lessons--four days this week and four days next.  And let me tell, ya, after only 3 days, my kids have been replaced by three little fish; they would swim all day!

I have also made no less than three dresses for myself recently and one for each of the girls. I guess I'm a bit behind on posting them! Here's one, though, the only one I've taken a pic of so far...
Sheesh, I coulda smiled, right?  This is a combination of two patterns. The bodice is Simplicity 2209, the Lisette passport dress which I've made once already...
And I used the skirt from Simplicity 2177, also a dress I've made once and love...
I originally started to make the Lisette dress, but because of that great nautical-looking border on my fabric, I needed a skirt that was cut straight and the Lisette dress has a curved hem.  These two patterns are very similar in cut and style, but I like the fit of the Lisette bodice a bit better, so I measured carefully and it turned out the straight skirt would fit the Lisette bodice perfectly! And, I went with it :)  I like the dress, but I'm actually picturing it styled for a Fall look--with a red or yellow cardi, maybe and a skinny belt, I think.

Anyway, it seems I finally figured out how to get in-focus pictures with my self-timer, so maybe I'll get the other dress photographed pretty soon!!! While we were at it, the kids and I took this one:
Do we do blue eyes, or WHAT!? :)

And, my leggy Layla girl. When did she lose her baby legs???? So sweet...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Afternoon Tea

I have a new afternoon drink. Does anyone else have a mason jar fetish?? I just loooove mason jars. I have way too many.  But, I do use them. See?
They're great for all the bulk foods I buy at Sprouts! Especially with these self-sealing plastic lids (because the metal ones tend to rust in the dishwasher).

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I'd found my new favorite use.
Mmmmm, iced tea in a jar.  Here's how I make it: I put water in a big mason jar, leaving room for ice, with two tea bags (so far, Celestial Seasonings Blueberry is my favorite), microwave it for two minutes and let it steep for about 10 minutes.  Fill 'er up with ice (remove the tea bags first if you want) and add a lemon slice or two. Yum! This lasts me all afternoon and did you know that herbal tea (unsweetened) counts toward your daily water? Bonus :) Mango tea with orange slices sounds yummy too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Life Events

So sorry for the radio silence this last week! In my defense, we are busy around here, celebrating some major life events!  First off, Casey and I celebrated our tenth anniversary a couple days ago! Second, I am officially graduating college on Monday, with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and third, our little dude turns 3 next Sunday. Whew! Oh, and in a few months, I will be turning 30, so 2011 is a big year for me :)

I really don't like not blogging for a whole week because now I have too many bloggy thoughts rolling around in my head. I have to start somewhere, though, so I will show you some pics of Beautiful Colorado, where you can drive a few hours and find yourself in wine country, in a gorgeous hotel next to a mountainside and on a carriage tour escorting you from winery to meadery to distillery, where you can get a grand wine education. That's what we did for our big 10th. It was our first ever anniversary trip and we are thankful for the Grandmas who made our absence possible and worry free for a couple days :)

This is Mt. Garfield, a massive mesa that was literally right next to the Wine Country Inn, where we were staying!
This was our tour guide, Heidi and her sidekick, Millie :) Oh, and that's Clyde up front.
Casey picked these for me. Aw :)

I'm excited to show you all some things I've been working on! I've tried some great recipes, I've started on some Fall sewing for the girls and I've discovered some pretty good books, movies and music! Can't wait to share!

Cheers :)