Friday, October 20, 2006

Halloween crafting

She is a plump purple witch and turned out pretty cute if I don't say so myself-Grin- This pot holder and her matching tea towel twin is from these very talented ladies.

I have most of their books and have made every pattern from this one. The only trouble is when you need a pot holder in a pinch I am verrrrrrry hesitant to take this, but it always seems to be the one I grab. And then immediately wipe my hands on her companion below!!

I am so behind the game this year and near panic about the upcoming season of costume making, decorating, re-decorating, gifting, creating, baking, , putting awaying, schooling and working.......Oh my what a lot to do. It always fills me with if onlyies... If only I was done with college, if only I could just stay home, if only I could manage my time, blah blah, if only I would stop whining (you know you were thinking that!!!).

On a non-whining note- the fabric behind my little plump witch are my kitchen curtains, which were a gift from my beloved sister!! I should change them out for fall but ahhhhh I just love how happy they are. I am afraid they must winter with us and perhaps next year they will rest for seasonal curtains.

<------- Plump potholder's dear twin tea towel or should I say 'toad stew' towel? I made the button on her hat, and just in case you can't decipher the greeen blob she is holding it is a frog.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mini swap and other miscellany

I am a bit late in posting about this but better late then never as they say - grin- This is what I made for the Club Little house mini swap, I also enclosed a copy of the book The Dolls House and a few other odds and ends. The chair is a recovered dollar store purchase, the little bird bath is made from inverted mini wooden pots and a platter. I made the rug using punch needle embroidery -so addicting- and the framed quilt was a quick paper piece job. I had to of course include a basket of fabric scraps. I hope Laura found a home for everything!!





I was very excited to get mail, (thanks again Shar) such a rarity for me. Look what I got
my favorite is the sewing mannequin I have always wanted one of those!! I had to fight my sons for the little dogs I will have one for every floor in my house. She also sent some mini fabric, patters and a tiny scissors. How cute is the baby cradle? ( The rug, some may have called it a doily in its former life, and the chair I had.)

FINISHED

I finally finished the swing for my Aunts fairies to sit on, it took me for ever to figure out what to make for them!! I really like how this one turned out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Limbo


How sad is it when one can relate to a trapped cucumber? Ha. This picture just makes me giggle for some reason.

Two weeks ago a phone call and a job interview zinged me right out of the normality of my life. Today was my last day teaching and working with preschoolers. I worked with low income families directly and aided them in teaching their children, including a weekly class session. It was both rewarding and challenging as most jobs with children are. Nevertheless, this was special, I know I impacted the whole family and I hope, in most cases, for the better. That brings me to the phone call and the interview, which was the morning after the call. Our school was looking for a Para, a position I had applied for a year ago. I loved my job...can you here the but? But it was a 40 min commute, hours were anything between 8am and 8pm and the paperwork, sigh, it was massive. Not to mention that aside from full time work, husband and four little (or medium) ones, I am also attending college.

Enter the 8-3:30 Para position, just blocks not miles away. Home after school every day, not just some, or only if I am lucky I will get home, but consistently. Needless to say, I took the job and that brings me to today, a tearful day, of saying goodbye to the best co-workers of all time, my office, desk, and classroom and on to a new endeavor.

Now the really scary part: starting a new job and if that isn't scary enough I will have to adjust to an entire school of children, of all ages. Ok so it elementary not so bad right, oh yeah enter another.....but I will also be at the high school two hours a day! Wow.

This all brings me full circle to my little cucumber, caught between the comfortable home of the "known" garden and venturing out into the scary unknown. I now will go and get my trusty garden basket and fill it with courage, wisdom and inner strength. I am off now......... to gather.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Airing out the laundry


I am a bit remiss that fall is so close and this my second week of being back to work, and only partly at that, so easily floods me with the reminders of the stress of last year. Now I have that to look forward to all over again. Juggling work and family, their school, my school and my college courses as well was not an easy task for my family or me. Sigh, I resolve to make this a smoother year for us all. Besides last year was the first time I worked out of my home in a long time and the job was so new and ridiculously over-whelming. Now I have a year of the job under my belt and it should go smoother-right? Right.

I find quilts on the line to be such a peaceful picture, every time I hang them I feel a slight wave of nostalgia wash over me and I take a moment to honor my beloved grandmother. She hung everything on the line out of necessity. I do it because I enjoy the look of things hanging out there and then feel rewarded by the wonderful smell the outside gives as a gift to the laundry when I bring them back in. The border of the angel quilt reads: Faith, Love and hope- this quilt is by far my most favored of any I have made.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A few finished things or almost



Ah, let’s try this again. I lost an entire post minutes ago and it was really good, full of wit and humor. No way will I be able to duplicate that one. ha

Last July I made three fairies similar to the ones pictured, however none are ever alike. They seem to take on their own little personalities as they evolve. I took them to our family reunion, my cousin fell in love with them, and they were sold. A month later, my aunt called and requested three for herself so here they are. I still have to create their twig swing so they have a resting place. They need a lot of rest I can attest to that. They seem to be very shy as I had a bugger of a time photographing them. I am sure it is their shyness not my photography skills. Right. (I will keep telling myself that)


This is an old spice rack that I acquired when we cleaned out my mother's house last summer. I was not sure what to do with it for a long time. I finally decided to use it in my sewing room to hold thread and other little things. I am quit pleased with how it turned out.

Now I must do some cleaning and filling of an order for buttons. Plus, I have a book that I can't wait to crawl back into.

Puppy Love

Who can resist a dog who snuggles with wool?

And on top of my favorite quilt as well, she is so supportive of my endeavors!!

In other news I started back to work yesterday, which is soooooo bittersweet. This is the first summerr that I can remember not having to work, whether it was waitressing in my twenties or doing daycare. It was so nice to be home with just my children. I must admit it was exciting to go back and see my colleagues and begin the preparations for another school year.

The kids and I have begun refreshing our mental academics as well. It is amazing what kids forget over the summer. We are spending an hour a day now reviewing numbers and writing lessons. I give Everett a starter sentence and then he writes a story about it. Those stories are truly treasures. The twins are just practicing writing their numbers the right direction and sight words. I hope this helps them as they enter the 4th (Everett) and 1st (twins) grades. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Scrappy Thoughts/ Scrappy kids

It is hot again in the mid-west, of course in another couple of months I will be in full "it soooo cold" whine mode.

Being the professional pack rat that I am ( although, I have managed to purge quite a bit this summer) I have a really hard time parting with my fabric scraps. I go so far as to put them in little containers marked with, say .....Sarah's quilt....and inside will be the remnants of a quilt I made for a good friend. My thought is to someday make a table runner or matching pillow for the said project. But alas someday often eludes me.

That is were the little fabric covered balls come in. Not necessarily an original idea but personal enough as they are simply tennis balls covered with some scraps I couldn't part with a, work in progress quilt, of the moment. I have the plan to make a whole large basket of these using pieces of different projects. A gentle and pretty reminder of goodness gone by.

This last spring Ash (the craftiest of all my children) came up with this idea while gathering scraps from the floor. He "pieced" them into this butterfly with a glue stick (my sister’s suggestion). I was so impressed that I top-stitched on them and whoola, his own little creation. As you can see that is all the farther it got but is destined for a frame or a pillow, I am not sure which. There is also a giraffe and a few others yet to be named that he created. He has always been very symmetrical in the things he makes...amazing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Time flies...A Birthday Wish

14 years ago today...Lilliana LuCinda changed my world, and graced us with her presence. I love this photo of her it is one of my favorites; she is still as photogenic today. A trait she did not inherit from me. Although half of my face seems to do alright it is just the rest that struggles..ha ha... Happy Birthday my Lucy...I love you!!

The one thing I will never forget about her birth was during the drive to the hospital - only about 4 hours after my water broke- I said in a very cheerful voice; "this isn't so bad" thinking to myself, what was everyone talking about this does not hurt that bad. Ha ha silly girl, my mom just kind of grinned in that knowing way - this is only the very beginning of not so bad. Wow what a rude awakening the rest of that day was.

Then, the most amazing thing about giving birth is that it can hurt like the dickens and you wonder if it will ever be over, and why in the world you thought you could do this in the first place and then...... the doctor lays this tiny amazing creature on your chest and the elation that follows makes every ounce of the previous suffering bearable, worth it and oh so meaningful. What a gift!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes



So, this may very well be the biggest financial drought our little family has ever been through. Being laid off has certainly put a gapping hole in the purse strings. However just as I was really beginning to bath myself in huge amounts of self-pity the following conversation with my sweet 6yr old Nolan occurred:

Nolan: “Mom” (he says this in a certain way that I know a string of what ifs are about to follow) “Would if (did you see that coming?) My pouch was filled with toooooooooooons of money?

Me (in a very wishey tone): “Oh that would be sooooooo great” To which I followed with a pathetic sigh

Nolan then looks at me with his beautiful blue eyes that conveyed some understanding and empathy on a level far too deep for his age:

"Then how about if you just have a boy full of Love"

I responded to that in the way any self respecting, heart on the sleeve wearing, known to cry at Folgers Christmas commercials (Peter’s home) would and melted in to a puddle but not before getting the best hug a mom could ever want.

The picture is this same child who taught himself to ride a bike last week. He came into the house out of breath stuttering in full force, exclaiming that he could ride a "two wheeler" a phrase we heard hourly for the next week. Mom "I can ride a two wheeler" totally random at any given time. In the bathroom...knock..."yes" "mom I can ride a two-wheeler".

If you look close enough you can see that the bike is actually a purple princess bike which for anyone who knows Nolan would understand how huge his desire to ride was that it overrode his ...I will not be girly..instincts. (a topic for another day) He learned to ride on the neighbor’s bike and the very next day Dad fixed the flat on his older brother’s old bike so that Nolan may ride at last.....Caution to the wind the child is free.

He is the only one of my four who I proclaim is self taught...he taught himself to: potty train, coordinate clothing (at a very young age), tie his shoes, swim and now to ride a bike. Makes me look really lazy but thankfully I have his twin but then again I guess Nolan inevitably teaches him most things. Except when it comes to art :

Ash: "Mom why can't I just ride like Nolan?"

Me: "You know every one is different and has different abilities"

Ash (tears welling): “what can I do that Nolan can't?"

Me: "well, you my sweet can draw just about anything by looking at it and even some things that none of us have ever seen"

Ash (relieved) “Your rights, I think I'll go get some paper"

In my mind: "phew"



Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A little of this and a little of that

This is the before shot of my dollhouse living room. My husband wired it a couple of years ago, but then we moved and I just got too busy to work on it. I felt inspired yesterday to give it a go and had a lot of fun. I did discover that decorating a house this small can be even more daunting then my own "big" house. I used to have some "hard wood flooring" (thin wood strips) but they seemed to have disappeared. Most likely they became part of an elaborate game for the boys and hence cease to have survived.

This is after the wallpaper and wool-la the lights work. Even at the risk of the living room looking a bit like a bordello I opted to use what I had, until I can replace the wood floor, so a red carpet it is. The picture is not the best but it is hard to photograph in such a small space, if only I had a shrink ray.


Today I am going to put up the crown molding and chair rail, and then I have to decide what to do with the kitchen. Originally there was a kitchen wall, but I opted for an open floor plan. Now that the living room has its colors I will have to use that scheme to make it flow. Yellow? Red? Lime green? Sigh the dilemmas of the interior designer.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A new role for a beloved item


What do you do with an old knife holder from your grandmother that you cannot throw away and a small clipboard? Re-purpose them. The knife holder is a pale pink color and has been floating around forever. I would just move it from one place to the next not being able to bear throwing it out. I was so excited when I was struck with the idea to put a few flowers in it and place it near my sewing table.

Next to it is my new pattern holder, it is an old clip board which I decoupaged papers and stickers to and aged with an ink pad. I used the same process for the boxes from my previous post (I would insert a tag here to that post if I were that savvy, however, I am not).

Our company left yesterday, ho hum, it is so sad to say good-bye. I hate it. We had a nice visit and the kids are in love with them. Ash sat on his Uncle for an entire day. Apparently, my kids do not get out much and are enamored with someone new (at least new to them).

Friday, July 21, 2006

Two for you one for me

I finally made myself a nite lite, I have made many as gifts and even been known to give ones to someone who admire them at my home. So this one is for me. I would put them in every outlet if I could but that might be a little over kill-do you think? I love the fact that you can cover almost anything with fabric, once I even decoupaged a garbage can so it matched the bath. I wish I could apply the same technique to my son who seems to be perpetually shirtless, not to mention constantly forgetting to put on his undergarments. Ah to be six again.

Project stash




My mother in law gifted these very old and very beautiful quilt blocks to me. There are 8 finished nine patches(center) and then a pile of sorted and pinned-ready to be sewn pieces and I hope to start them soon. I just love the pattern of the X O blocks. I can't wait to see it put together.

Troy's sister and brother in law arrived this morning on the "red eye" from Washington State...oh how I miss the coast...So I was to the airport and back by 8:30 this a.m. Which is a stretch for a sleeper like myself- anything before 7am just feels like punishment.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I love Fabric

So this is what I bought during my....me...time. The eyelet is for bloomers-yes I said bloomers- I've wanted a pair for while so I am going to make them...too cute. The white ribbon will be the drawstring tie on the bloomers. The other fab fabric is printed canvas, I love it, a bag perhaps? To go with the bloomers (hehe).

There is a world beyond my front door

I took my niece Nora, Lilliana and her friend to a movie last night. I opted not to go with them, I would have loved to go, but really needed some alone time. I have not been out of the house in weeks, which can be dangerous for ones over all wellbeing. I teetered on that slippery slop after the twins were born. It was winter, I had three children under three, Lilli was in school, and leaving the house became daunting and scarier by the day especially if I took everyone with me. After a few months I started to realize that I was actually becoming unwilling to leave, the fear and anxiety were overwhelming. I knew that if I did not start to force myself to go I would be in real trouble. So that’s what I did-I forced myself out of the house. Slowly the fears subsided and I was able to leave without the inevitable anxiety attack.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Crafting necessities in disguise

Trim in disquise


Being that my 9yr old son decided he really wanted his own room, (apparently sharing with his twin brothers is not as fun as one would think). So, I gave up my sewing/crafting room and moved things to the family room. In an effort to re-establish, my new crafting space I needed to disguise storage boxes for the whatnots of creating for esthetic (haha) purposes. This is my solution for some of my ribbon and rickrack collection.

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