Tuesday, March 31, 2009

too cute

Just a quick story about my little one.
The other day Tim was measuring how tall the girls are now by putting his hand on top of their heads as they stood against the wall. O went first and was thrilled that she half way to the ceiling....glass half full girl. Then it was E's turn. He put his hand on top of her head and when she stepped way to see how tall she was she stopped, got a mean look on her face and said with a disgusted voice, "I'm THAT little?!?!" She was completely horrified that she was little. She stewed over it for a few minutes (while we were trying to stifle our laughter) then she got over it and ran off to play.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

needled...in a good way

It seems that every time I turn around I'm either sewing or crocheting...ya know, when I'm not doing the laundry, washing the dishes, homeschooling the girls, or well, sleeping. I love to do all of those things, by the way, but sewing and crocheting are very gratifying. It's exciting to see a piece of fabric or a ball of yarn turn into something great. Besides, making things is good for my brain, my creativity, my sanity! Well, as I was reading SouleMama the other day a certain little girl was reading over my shoulder AGAIN and saw something fabulous. Click here to see what Amanda Blake Soule made with her family...fabulous handmade family portrait bookmarks. Bookmarks are big here in our house and the girls know that if it involves fabric they can usually get me to stop everything else to create something great. And sew so it begins...embroidery!
Yes, still in their nightgowns, before school work even began they wanted to start making their bookmarks. I didn't have any linen in my stash, but in our house pink works for just about everything. I taped scraps of fabric to the table so it would be taut and easy to draw on with a pencil. I drew a rectangle on the fabric so they would keep their pictures inside the rectangle shape which will be the size of the bookmark when it's finished. We tried several different writing utensils on the edge of the fabric to practice. We found that the black template pencil from my quilting pencil pack worked best. Of course, miss E wanted to use her own school pencil instead, it worked okay, so no arguments here. She drew a ballerina with a super duper tutu. She also wrote an E at the top so we would know it was hers. Miss O decided to draw a picture of her stuffed ducky. Yeah, no family portraits here, just things we love. She drew an O at the top of hers as well. A fancy O, mind you, not a plain ol' boring O. After the pictures were drawn, the embroidery part began. They picked the colors they wanted and I got right to work. Well, they got dressed for the day and we started on some schoolwork while I hunted down my old embroidery hoop. Embroidery is quite the instant gratification craft. I was just using a simple, quick and easy back stitch...because that's pretty much all I know (for now anyway) and the pictures started coming together very quickly. Here's what they look like right now. The fabric for the back of the bookmark and the ribbon have both been chosen. Now all I have to do is sew it all together. But wait, that was so much fun I wanted to make one, too. I'm still stitching that one but it'll remain a secret. It may just end up being part of a gift. So, what do you think? Cute, right? After I get them sewn up I'll post a picture of the finished bookmarks.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

gone fishin'

Last weekend we actually had a couple of days of spring like weather. Since then it's been pretty much cold and rainy. In like a lion, right? I'm really waiting for the lamb days...aren't you? Maybe they'll arrive in time for April. Well anyway, last weekend when it was sunny and warm we went to a lake for some good ol' fishin'. The girls had never been and we thought it was high time they get their hands dirty. It's a stretch, I know, but fishing is something that Tim really enjoys and hasn't really done a lot of the past few years. Now that the girls are older and show more interest in the things we enjoy we thought it was a great time to introduce the fun and relaxing times we can have together with a cup of worms and a fishing pole. They really enjoyed watching Tim catch a few fish. They were even brave enough to touch them before he put them back in the lake. Thankfully there was also a nice playground there for the moments when trying not to scare the fish away became a little difficult. All in all, it was really fun. And for heaven's sake there are pink princess fishing poles and tackle boxes to be had. It doesn't get any better than that. Seriously. How are you going to spend your warm sunny days?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

monumental milestone

Exciting things going on here! My big girl got her very own library card!!!
She's been working on getting our last name just right (without help...it has 11 letters).
Then after she got it all down just perfect she had to practice writing it small enough to fit on the little rectangle on the back of the card. She could not and would not be stopped. She had a goal to reach and a reward to acquire.
Yes, not only can she now check out her own books by herself...she got a snazzy, new library bag to put them in. She'd been eyeing the purple one for a very long time. Now it is finally hers! There was a problem though...it wasn't nearly fancy enough and there was no place to store her card. No, she didn't want me to keep it in my purse. She wanted to be responsible for her card, her library bag, her books. Oh, what a big kid she is now. Growing, learning, maturing, becoming more responsible and independent. Is there a pause button for that? A simple fix for making the bag fancier...just add a pocket, without covering the pretty design or the words of course.

I had the perfect fabric in my stash! Who knew I'd have bright green with yellow and purple butterflies that would match the library bag perfectly?! Thanks Mama for adding that fabric to my stash! So I made a pocket and sewed it to the outside of the bag being careful not to cover anything important. And, thanks to Lola...again for teaching me how to incorporate magnetic snaps, I put that in there, too. I know...fancy, right?

Well, I couldn't just leave it that way, now could I? Because the material of the bag can be easily torn if too many books are crammed in there, I decided to line the bag as well. But, I wanted the fabric to come out over the edge so when the bag was closed it would be all cute and gathered.

It worked! It was super easy to line and it's so much sturdier now. I just love it...er...uh...I mean she absolutely loves it! Here's a peek at the inside. It's so bright and beautiful...just like the sweet girl that owns it.

Sometimes the simplest of things bring the greatest joy. And you know what made it even more special? The librarians. They oohed and aaahed over her new card then when she took her new bag in the next week they oohed and aaahed again. She was very happy that everyone was so excited for her. I was very happy that people like the fancied up version of the bag :o)
Now I have one highly motivated three-year-old (almost 4) on my hands. You know she wants a bag, too, right? Now if we could just tackle that 11 letter last name.


My PopPop is still in the hospital, but is holding steady. Any and all prayers are still greatly appreciated.

mystery purse: complete

Well, she's a beauty...and a beast!
The Summer Adventures Bag
My mystery purse, that is, from Lola...again sew-along. It's huge which is great for heading to the beach or the library, a picnic, maybe. It was finished on time but then things happened I had no time for taking pictures of the final product, let alone time to sit down and write a post about it. I tell you what though, it was really fun to make. I learned all sorts of new things making this bag...how to line something and make it look nice, how to use magnetic snaps (my new favorite notion), how to make nice corners for the bottom of the purse...Oh, I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. Just take it all in. Now, do you want to see something REALLY amazing? Check out the inside. There are two big pockets...one has my coupons in case I need a fabric/yarn fix, the other has my new magazine so I can figure out how to burn calories, look younger, eat healthier..all while crafting! hehe! Then I added two more smaller pockets on the side...one for my phone so I don't have to dig for it, the other tiny pocket is for the all important chapstick because I don't like to dig for that either. I checked out three fabulous crochet books from the library and threw in some balls of yarn so I'll be ready for anything.
Okay, I'm not really going to keep all that stuff in there. I just wanted to show you how big it was and how fabulous the pockets were. The outside has that one huge pocket on the front...love that! Anyway, I think this purse is going to be a birthday gift. It turned out so great it's just too fabulous to keep. Now I just need to get crackin' on some coordinating gifts to fill her up.

Friday, March 20, 2009


My Pop Pop is back in the hospital ...again. Another TIA, I suspect. He's alert, aware, and on the mend ...again. Oh, this roller coaster ride is no fun. My mom and grandma (and other family members) are exhausted, yet elated that he is doing well ...again. If you would be so kind, please keep my Pop Pop in your prayers ...again.

mystery purse sew-along: days 3, 4, & 5

day three::pretty snappy

day four::long and strappy

day five::nice and curvy
Today is day six...the last day!
My sewing machine is waiting patiently for me to finish the housework so I can sew all of the pieces together to create the final product...my mystery purse. I'm so excited! Now, back to vacuuming, dusting, laundry...and a little sewing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

signs of spring

After five days of rain, cold rain, it's nice to see signs of spring popping up everywhere. The white hyacinth is the winner this year....mmmm, smells so sweet. The sweet little bush is budding and will be green with new life very soon. The daffodil, well, that's in the neighbors yard. I had to take a picture (yes, through the fence) because the yellow was so bright and beautiful. My daffodils haven't bloomed yet. Soon though, soon. They have multiplied this year, too so I can hardly wait until they bloom. My tulips, well, they are growing like crazy. This group seems to be bullying my lavender. I'm hoping they can just all get along. If not, I'll move my lavender to a happier place.
With the warmth coming and the grass regaining it's fresh green color, I'm gearing up for gardening. I've got seeds, I've got space, and I'm working on a plan. Now, it'll be a small garden, but I'm going to use the space I have for all it's worth. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, radishes, cantaloupes....can't wait!
The sun is finally shining today! Yippee!!!
Mystery purse update coming later.
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

mystery purse sew-along: day two...and more

Today was day two of the sew-along. Pockets are attached and the lining pieces have been sewn together. It's taking shape. Exciting! On a different note all together, the girls are ready for warm weather. Can you tell? They dug out their old bathing suits (that don't fit) and decided to wear them around the house all day even though it's cold and raining for the 4th day in a row. They have also rediscovered my View Master. Yes, that's the one that I had when I was just a little whipper snapper. I suppose it's considered vintage now. Sheesh. Are my old toys really that old?

An update on my Pop Pop:: he's doing well enough to go back to the rehab place tomorrow. He's a strong old guy. A farmer to the bone :o)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

mystery purse sew-along: day one

Oh boy! Here is a picture of the fabric I'm going to use for my mystery purse. As promised, I am only using fabric from my stash. I purchased this fabric about *ahem* 6 1/2 years ago when I was pregnant with my big girl. I had intended on making a lovely quilt. I took a quilting class the last month or so of my pregnancy...then I had a baby and never touched it again. It's very springy, don't ya think? I pretty excited to see how it all turns out. You know, it's not to late to join in. You know you want to make a mystery purse, too. Come on, it'll be fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

two steps back

My PopPop had another TIA this morning. He is back in the hospital on a floor dedicated fully to stroke patients. He is awake and stable but these are scary times. Please continue to pray for him and for the rest of the family.

just one step back

Well, during his first day of therapy (yesterday) at the rehab center my PopPop apparently had another TIA. As of right now they're not sure, but he was taken back to the hospital for more tests in which they found nothing. However, from the description of his actions, or lack thereof, it sounds like a TIA. After not coming to any certain conclusions the hospital sent him back to the rehab facility. He was doing alright when I checked in with my mom last night. He was responsive, talking, interacting, eating, watching the news, reading the paper...all of which are good. He didn't seem to actually go in reverse in terms of recovery progress but my grandma and mom are on edge again, on high alert, stressed out, and nervous, yet glad that he seems to be alright for the time being. So once again I covet your prayers.

Friday, March 13, 2009

all is well and warm

Whew! Things around here have calmed down a bit. My PopPop is doing much better and has been moved to a rehab center. He should be there for a couple of weeks working on speech and physical therapy...then, hopefully, he'll be heading back home. My mom and grandma have been with him at the hospital taking care of business since March 5th when all of this began. Now they can relax a little bit and enjoy watching PopPop improve every day. I couldn't focus on sewing or crocheting or posting here during the week of uncertainty. I spent a lot of time on the phone with my mom, sister, and grandma getting updates and offering some comfort and distraction. I know that every time my phone rang I just kinda held my breath and waited for the update, praying for good news. By God's grace PopPop improved and continues to grow stronger each day. What a blessing! Thank you all for prayers.
Now, before all of this happened I did manage to get some crocheting projects completed. Remember my pink hat? Well after I made the hat I was debating on whether to make a scarf or fingerless gloves/wrist warmers to match. I went with the scarf. It started off great, it was easy...or so I thought. After I got to a point where the scarf was about 15 or 16 inches long something went wrong. I lost count. I missed a stitch somewhere. I ripped out some rows and redid them a few times. I counted and recounted but could never figure out what went wrong. So I unraveled the whole thing and decided to make these instead!

I used this pattern. It was very easy to follow which was great since I was a little disappointed in myself for not being able to figure out where I messed up on the scarf. The pattern was made even easier because I used just one color. No changing colors and weaving in all those dreaded ends.

I did have to make some adjustments on the hand part when working in rounds because, evidently, I have freakishly narrow hands. So all I did was NOT add some of the increases and I added some decreases so they wouldn't gape open around my knuckles. Like I said...easy to follow, quick to make, nice and warm, oh, and cuuuute!
The girls quickly began wearing them and wanted some of their own. Hmmmm. Easy enough, right? So I let them pick yarn from my stash and told them I would give it a try. I measured the circumference of their wrists, the distance from wrist to mid-forearm, the length of their hand from wrist to knuckles, and from wrist to thumb. That should do it, right? Well, you know what? IT WORKED!!!

Miss O wanted all pink just like mine but I didn't have enough pink yarn left so she was happy enough to have the variegated purple added on. Miss E chose to go with the variegated purple all the way. She's loved that yarn since the day I received my stash. So there you have it. A completed crocheting project. Cute, comfortable, and warm.

Friday, March 6, 2009

please pray

{update 3/11/09: Yesterday I drove up to northern VA with my sister to visit my PopPop in the hospital. I am so thankful that I went. He had his best day yet. He was sitting up in the chair, feeding himself lunch...and not wanting his soup because it was sweet and wanting more ice cream because one little scoop isn't nearly enough. He listened and watched and we sat and chatted. He responded with few words but with lots of expressions. My grandma did well while we were there. She shared crocheting tips with me and talked about my girls. The hospital that my PopPop is in is brand-spankin-new. No kidding, it just opened a couple of weeks ago so there were only 20 patients in the entire hospital so far. The nurses were exceptionally wonderful...not overworked, everything was cutting edge new, and I am so thankful that he was taken there so he could receive the best care by doctors and nurses that are not overwhelmed by their work load. What a blessing in this time of stress. God is gracious and merciful...even in the small things. Now, I know he's still 89 years old and has led a long and happy life, but having him around a little longer and being able to spend time with him is a gift that I will cherish.}
{update 3/9/09: My grandfather (his name is John) is still in the hospital and after several days of tests and blood work they did discover that he had a TIA (mini-stroke). As of last evening it seems he may have had another TIA. Weeks of rehab are scheduled so that he can return home and function (feed himself, get dressed, etc.) but right now he's still struggling. He is 89 years old, a hard working farmer, a father of 6 children, and a husband to one wife for 68 years....today is their anniversary. Please keep him in your prayers...and my grandma as well. I spoke with her yesterday and she is quite afraid of the mere thought of living without him. }

...for my PopPop.
He's in the hospital right now getting some tests done and recovering from a rough couple of days.
While you're at it, can you pray for my Grandma, too? She's understandably worried and nervous. Thanks.

spring is winning...

...but snow is kinda nice sometimes.

Today it's warm and sunny, almost 65 degrees. The snow is nearly gone, laundry is hanging on the line, and my yard is a complete mud pit. The flowers seem to have survived and are thriving. Tomorrow looks even more promising...reaching towards 80 degrees!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

what do you get...

when you take scraps of yellow felt, yellow gingham, red corduroy, some shiny buttons, and two sweet girls that want to make a surprise for a friend?
A crown of course!

We have a little 3 year old friend named Toby. He is constantly surrounded by girls so when it comes to playing dress-up there aren't many choices for him amongst all of the pink princess piles. Last week when we saw him he really wanted a turn with miss E's princess crown. Uh, well, okay, not gonna happen. My girls decided that he needed a nice manly, kingly crown to wear that was just for boys...boys that wanted to be princes or kings! So they set off making him cards and drawings while I set off to create a crown. I'd say the girls were pretty happy with the result. They could hardly wait to give it to him. Today we saw Toby and the girls gave him the crown. Let me just say that he absolutely loved it! He was very excited and yes, it fit him! Okay, so I forgot my camera today so I don't have a picture of Toby wearing his crown, but trust me...he loved it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

sew-along fun

I was reading Adrienne's blog the other day and she mentioned a few upcoming swaps and sew-alongs. I just had to check into them to see what they were all about. I must confess I probably won't do any swaps right now, although they are great, but sew-alongs....now that's right up my alley. The first one that I know I'll be part of is Adrienne's own May(d)for Me sew-along. Simply put....the month of May I will sew something for myself then post it on the May(d) for Me Flickr group. My love of sewing has grown over the last year so when it's birthday time or a holiday I can get busy sewing for the people I love. But then there's that dress or skirt or purse in the works for me that has been cut out and pinned for over a year just waiting to be finished...May is the month to finish up a project for myself. No pressure...May is months away...if I get going now, maybe I will finish something in May.
The other sew-along that I am very excited about is the Mystery Purse Sew-Along from LolaAgain. This is a new one for me but since I have the supplies already and I am trying to use up my fabric stash I thought this would be perfect. The beginning of the Mystery Purse Sew-Along is March 14th so if you want to join in there is still plenty of time to get your supplies in order. Now, you don't have to have a blog to participate so don't feel left out. It sounds like so much fun...won't you join me? Oh, come on, it'll be fun! (come on Morgan, you know you want to...the fabric store is calling you)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

in like a lion

I'd like to say...
Welcome March!
It's nice to see you this year! Thanks for bringing snow for us to enjoy! The cold temperatures are much easier to endure if there's snow to play in all day.My nose is cold and so are my toes but we are having a blast throwing snowballs and running around in all that snow.
I think we can squeeze in a few more days of playing in winter's gift before it all melts.
It's always fascinating to see how winter and spring duke it out during the month of March. Winter won this weekend....but just take a look at what spring has in store for us next weekend.
Yeah baby! That's 70 degrees! Bring it on!!!!