Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pine cone pretties

Since I took this picture last week, the leaves have almost all fallen and the branches are skinny and bare. We can see neighbors houses that were covered by summer foliage and it's so much fun to watch the squirrels run up and down the trees with their acorns. Being a squirrel and having a fear of heights wouldn't be a good combination.

The temperatures have dropped and it is unseasonably cold. Like freezing cold. It's fireplace weather. I don't like being cold, but I do like Christmas, so the minute Halloween was over I wanted to pull out the Christmas decor, but I did all I could to hold out and only got out a few gold pine cones. (don't mind my ugly paint colors. we don't own the house and can't paint over the awfulness.)

I made this garland last year and it's really cute and easy to make. We live in Georgia and have no shortage of pine trees and no shortage of pine cones. The kids helped gather them up and we spread them out in the garage and gave them a coat of gold spray paint. I strung them up with twine and viola! An easy peasy, pine cone garland. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Stay warm everyone, I am going to blast Christmas tunes and bundle up because it is COLD.


Friday, November 14, 2014

A new adventure.

No, we aren't moving and no there are no more babies on the way (thank goodness) but we did start a new journey a few months ago. We are officially a homeschooling family! My oldest daughter started kindergarten this year. But instead of rushing her off to the the bus stop at 7am, she woke up around 8am, had a leisurely breakfast and started the day with the obligatory picture next to a sign stating that she is now in kindergarten, ha.

And then, Bella wanted in a picture, but she wouldn't turn around, Yep, that's typical.

In the weeks that followed we started to become more involved in a local homeschool group. We've gone on several field trips... 

We visited beautiful a few historic homes in Roswell, GA.

While visiting these homes we learned how to make candles, cook over a hearth and how homes were built in the 1830's. Can you believe they didn't use nails most of the time?!

We went on an apple picking adventure.
Apples just taste better when you pick them yourself! We also found out that apple sauce tastes better when you make it yourself. Someday I'll introduce y'all to my adventures with canning, but that is another story. If I could describe it in one word, it would be delicious.

We visited a farm and fed some hungry milk cows. In the process, we found a new place to get fresh milk. It was fun to meet and the feed the cows where our milk comes from.
 These ladies were hungry and it was incredible how much hay they would eat!

The girls have met some darling new friends and we are really enjoying this special year of home learning.

I am not going to dive into the reasons we are homeschooling this year, but I will say that this was not something I had ever really thought about until last Spring. The idea popped into my head one day and I couldn't let it go. The more I thought about it, the more I couldn't stop thinking about it. We don't have long term plans right now, we are just going with the flow. I am enjoying this journey and I know she is as well. It is so fun to watch her discover new things on her own and learn about this great big world that we live in.

Cheers to new adventures!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Who am I kidding?

I've been in some sort of turmoil over this blog for quite some time, years really. In the beginning I really wanted to get into it, with constant projects, tutorials, blogging schedules, the whole nine yards. I had major envy of all the "cool" bloggers back then and really wanted to be one of them. I did it for a while and it was fun while it lasted but could never really give it my all. Then, another baby was on the way and I was really sick so I stopped blogging, next I went back to school and blogging stopped again, then we moved across the country, I got a full time job, another kid arrived and well, you get the idea. 

I've neglected this space for so long, but never forgot about it. I would complete a project and feel guilty that I never took any "blog-worthy" pictures to prove that I actually did the project. Then, the sane (or maybe crazy?) part of me would think, who really cares? Who really wants to see that you painted that table, sewed a new dress, or took some pretty pictures. Does anyone really care and would it really matter if no one knew that I was doing something creative? I don't know. But I know from personal experience that I actually enjoy seeing other artists and the lovely things they create. Creativity is contagious and for me, I really feed off of someone else sharing their work. I want to share what I've made, even if I am the only one who ever sees it here.

So, I've come to a decision that yes, I want to continue blogging but not for the reasons I started out with. No, I don't want to churn out tutorials, DIYs and pinterest worthy pictures every day. But, I do want to write. I want to express my thoughts, my feelings, share tidbits of life and of course my creative side. I want to be able to come here when I have time and not feel guilty when I don't. I want to chronicle my creative endeavors and see the things that I've made over the years. I want my kids to have something to look back on and see a fun glimpse into their childhood because at the rate I'm going I'll never finish another photo album until they are 55 and by then I'll be too old to remember anything. I want this space to be inviting not just for me but for others if they happen upon it. I don't want the "bad-blogger" guilt that always bothers be when I don't post anything for two weeks or more. I'm going to keep it simple and drop the requirements that I put here for myself. No rules, no guilt, just words, pictures and a few projects here and there.

I feel better already!

Now, If you'll excuse me, I have some "artwork" to remove from a bedroom wall. Thank goodness for washable crayons and markers.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Roller Skate Dress

I sewed this one up during Kid's Clothes Week, took pictures on the Saturday before the week was over. But, I just couldn't get my act together to actually edit and post the pics, so here we are about two or three weeks later and I'm finally writing a blog post about this dress.

This is version 3.0 of the o+s Roller Skate Dress. It's so fun to sew and customize! You can find 1.0 here and 2.0 here.

The fabric is a really flimsy (aka cheap) Chambray from fabric.com, but it's lined so that takes care of the sheerness factor. Next time I order Chambray online I am not going for a bargain, that was a mistake.

The lining is a white broadcloth that I dyed a pretty aquamarine. I had the dye and the fabric on hand, so it just made sense. She still fits in her previous two Roller Skate Dresses and those are a size 5, so I dodged the bullet this time and didn't have to cut out a new size. YES! I love it when that happens. :)

Notice that, smile, we are missing two teeth on the bottom. I can't believe how big this girl is getting!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KCW Day 3: Let it Go!

Welcome to Kids Clothes Week day 3! I am having a blast sewing so far. Here is my twist on Elsa's icy dress. Now, I know, that besides every other little girl this Halloween, there is no one else that wanted to be Elsa, so this costume is totally original. Ha. All joking aside, I think my take on Elsa came out pretty cute.

Again the bodice and skirt are separates. I made a peasant style top using a pattern for the sleeves and a self drafted bodice (yay, me!). The top is a sheer sparkly netting overlaid on a white costume satin (thank you, Joann clearance bin). We opted for short sleeves because this will be put in the dress up box and my girls don't like long sleeves on their dress up clothes. The blue sparkles on the bodice are courtesy of some crazy sequin/netting stuff that I thought would be terrible to sew with. My machine chewed it up like a champ, no broken needles and no bunching or slipping. So I didn't have to do any hand sewing, yay! My serger, however, made it about an inch and then protested by snapping a needle in half. I gave up serging sequins after that. Oh well, who needs serged edges anyway? (Sing that to the tune of "the cold never bothered me anyway...")

Instead of serging the lower edge of the shirt, I used some bias tape to contain the raw edges, it gives it a nice finished look and keeps L from leaving trails of sequins wherever she goes.

The cape is another type of sparkly netting that I attached to the back of the bodice. I gathered the top to fit and finished the edges up and also trimmed the bottom in a crescent shape to make it seem more "capeish" (is that a word?).

The skirt is a simple circle skirt, I did some fun circle math thanks to Dana's tutorial. Instead of an exposed elastic waist, I created a waistband and put the elastic inside that, just because I like a clean finished look. The skirt passed the twirl test, that's for sure.

The look on her face when I showed her the finished dress was PRICELESS. She was beyond excited. We may finish off the costume with the Rapunzel wig that I made last year. I would just need to add some white yarn to it to make it more like Elsa because "Mom, you know that Elsa has white hair, not yellow, right?"


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

KCW Day 2: A is for Anna

My girls are 5 and 3 and they love Frozen (duh). The hysteria died down around April, after watching the movie 8.4 million times, but as Halloween approached I started to hear murmurings about wanting to be Anna and Elsa. I tried (unsuccessfully) to steer them towards non-Frozen characters for their costume inspiration. That didn't work, so I gave in and made a few sketches of my ideas. My sketches were approved by the boss ladies and then I went to Joann's to shop their costume fabric section. I got lost in the sparkles, sequins and yards of tulle. It looked like an atomic glitter bomb had gone off in that section of the store, so fun! I made it out alive and went to work cutting and sewing like a crazy lady.

May I introduce, our first Frozen inspired look, Princess Anna's Coronation gown.

I opted for a green crushed velvet instead of black for the bodice. I used a pattern for the sleeves and drafted the bodice on my own (gasp!) that's a big deal because I've never really done that before so I was worried I would completely screw it up. Fortunately, I didn't. The bodice detail is just freehand with some fabric paint. No freezer paper stenciling for me, I'm lazy.

The bodice and skirt are separate, not sure why I went that route but I like it and it's easier for her to put on by herself.

May I have this dance?

The skirt is pleated with box pleats but I was lazy and left out the pretty stenciling that the "real" Anna's dress had. That just looked like way too much work. Instead, I sewed a darker green ribbon down the inside of every pleat and called it good.

Here's the only problem with the bodice and skirt being separates. When there is serious jumping involved, there's a little bit of belly button peeking.

I'll leave you with a sneak peak of tomorrow's costume, take a wild guess at who it is. I know, it's a really difficult guess, it isn't obvious at all.


Monday, October 20, 2014

KCW Day 1

It's Kid's Clothes Week! I missed out on the last week in July because my sewing machine and I were separated by about 2600 miles. So I have been looking forward to this week for a while. It feels good to sew again, I haven't been able to since mid-June!

For day #1 I sewed up another oliver + s Garden Party Dress. You can see my first version here. I used a silk that I thrifted about 3 years ago, I have no idea what it is other than it says "thai silk" on the selvedge. It's been sitting in my stash and I never quite new what to make with it. It is very sheer and unravels easily so I lined it with a simple broadcloth and made sure to serge all my exposed seams, which I usually do anyway. The blue accents are some satin that I got from the clearance bin at Joanns. It has also been sitting in my stash for a few years (notice a pattern here?)

I didn't have a blue thread that matched so I used a contrasting green because I was too lazy to load all four kids up to get one spool of thread. I am glad that I didn't succumb to the temptation of matching thread because I like the contrast that the green provides and I also like my sanity. Bringing four kids into a fabric store will steal your sanity (or make your head explode), even if they are pretty well behaved, just in case you were wondering.

She was a little disappointed whenI told her this was not a bike riding dress. She is such a fun mix of princess and daredevil.

Bella insisted on being in the picture too. These two are lucky to have each other.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why, hello there.

I took another blogging hiatus. I didn't mean to, but life happens. Blogging is always in the back of my mind, but after a long day of preserving the life of my toddler (he's a climber), teaching Leilani to read (we're homeschooling now), making sure Bella feels included (middle child syndrome) and then, of course, helping my 5th grader with his homework (stubborn like me), sometimes there just isn't time for much else. Usually, my bed looks way more inviting than editing pictures and trying to come up with a witty paragraph or two. 

Some days I feel like I am in survival mode, barely making it through the day until my knight in shining armor comes home. Other days, I actually get everything done and find an hour or two to make a creative mess. Usually it's not the latter, but I can always hope. I know this is just a busy (physically/mentally exhausting) season and things will get easier as my little climber gets older (at least I keep telling myself that). Until then, I will become a pro at toddler proofing my house. I mean, who knew that you could use a high chair to climb onto the counters or climb baby gates to get into the bathroom and proceed to unroll an entire roll of toilet paper into the bathtub, or use a seemingly harmless toy to inflict the most searing pain my shin has ever felt. Toddlers are nuts, completely nuts. This kid would climb the walls if he could! 

He's lucky he is so cute.

I hope to be back here a little more frequently, sharing pictures and perhaps even some creative endeavors. Wish me luck!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Pictures week #2

We just returned from the most wonderful vacation, EVER. I am not even joking. It was perfect from start to finish. I brought my lap top along thinking I would blog some projects I completed beforehand and share some pictures, but I opened it one night for about 2 minutes and then shut it. The ocean was calling and I didn't want to look at a computer screen at all. Here are some photos from the week before we left. I'm editing the rest of them and will share soon!

It was pretty warm the week before we left, so we spent as much time as possible outside running through the sprinkler and riding bikes.
 Even this little guy got wet!

The weekend couldn't arrive fast enough. We drove over to the South Carolina Coast and were greeted by cheerful beach decor and an ocean that was just a short walk away.

Baby B enjoyed the water and sand so much, the last time he was at the ocean he was just a tiny baby that slept the whole time.

It was good to be at the beach again and see some of our Seattle family. We've missed them both!