Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where has the time gone?

It's so funny how there can be a few weeks' time where I find time to do a lot of crafting and blogging, and then suddenly those windows of time get sucked up by a whole variety of other things. That's how my last two weeks have gone - it's been pretty crazy.

The next couple of weeks coming up aren't going to be any better either! Since we've done all the finishwork in our addition backwards (i.e. running out of money, just wanting to move in, taking shortcuts), we're just now finally getting to the putting up of all the trimwork. And now it's time to paint it all! Plus we never finished cutting in some of the paint in a lot of areas. As we walked around with our painter and friend, we kept adding more stuff, "Oh, yeah, and over here..." So while the kids and I are in Los Angeles for a week visiting Grammy and Boppa over Spring Break, the painters will be trying to get everything done in five days! That means that we need to move most of the furniture to the middle of each room and also completely gutting our master bedroom and closet because right after the painters finish we're getting carpet in because there's NO WAY I'm moving furniture again! Ever. (famous last words, I know)

There've been a lot of fun things intermixed with all this extra stuff too. Sunshine started softball for the first time and she's going to play catcher - she loves it! Pumpkin just started track last week and her coach says she'll be a great long distance runner. Worker is getting ready for Kindergarten Roundup and can hardly wait for T-ball next year.

I haven't sewn a single stitch since the Sewing Day Sarah and I had together two weeks ago! But here's what I did accomplish that day....

A drawstring backpack for Worker Boy

A small purse based on the one I made for myself a little while ago and a matching skirt using the Lazy Days Skirt Pattern from Oliver + S. This one is for Sunshine Girl.

And here's Pumpkin Girl's skirt and purse.

On hold for now is the smock apron for myself as well as a summery shirt. As Nadine says (and I love this saying), "It'll get done when I get to it."

Check back in a few weeks and I'll be happy to report and display a more finished house! I can hardly wait to be on the other side!

Friday, March 13, 2009

even a cold can't stop me!

A little of this...

and some of this....

and hopefully a lot of this....

and then I can still do this....

I WILL NOT let a stuffy nose and a cough prevent me from getting to be crafty tomorrow! I've got everything all set to go and I just plan to ignore these symptoms. Go away yucky nose and yucky throat! I'm counting on the endorphines that will be released when I start sewing to miraculously make me well - that makes sense, right? Anyhow, I can hardly wait for tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I had a lot of fun modifying this shoulder bag. I incorporated 3 bags into one and I love it! It has lots of pockets - and I just love having a spot for my cellphone, keys and of course, my daily list!

On the subject of modifying, this week we are having work done on our house. We are finally getting all the baseboard, window trim and other finishing touches done on our addition (which comprises of the better half of the house). The night before they started we realized we needed to move everything away from the walls, so we stayed up really late just throwing stuff in the middle of each room! And of course then I had to pick up all the hideous dust bunnies - ick! We didn't get to my craft room, so now I need to move it all by Thursday. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about putting the finishing touches on our house, but moving stuff that would just rather stay where it is isn't my cup of tea. Perhaps I'll become more organized when I start to put everything back....then again, perhaps it'll be messier because I'll go through withdrawals and will just want to jump onto another project!

Speaking of projects, Sarah and I are getting together for a Sewing Day this Saturday and we're both super excited about it! She started precutting patterns and I haven't quite gotten that far. My girls love the shoulder bag, so I thought of making a smaller version for them and maybe even a coordinating skirt. And of course Worker Boy would love something too, so I thought of a drawstring backpack for him. Anything else would be too risky since he's pretty particular! I've also gotten excited about making my own clothing - mostly shirts and skirts so far - so I'm eager to make more.

If you've got some sewing projects you're excited about, I'd love to hear about them! I'm always looking for inspiration and I think we all benefit from positive feedback within our sewing community. You can either comment about what project you're about to start or leave a link to your blog with a photo of a recent project you've done. Can't wait to get started!

p.s. Since my house and craft room are quite upside down right now, it'll probably be a few days until my next post.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

mommy gifts

So here's my random compilation of birthday gifts from my kids. I guess you can say we're pretty practical around here.... pens, scissors, superglue (Worker Boy has already asked to use to glue - no way! He's only four!), and of course, notepad for lists! The kids had a lot of fun wrapping each item individually so I had loads of stuff to unwrap!

It's just amazing what kids come up with when they get creative. I was so pleasantly surprised by the gifts my girls, Pumpkin (10yrs) and Sunshine (8yrs), came up with. Just let me gush for a moment....

Pumpkin Girl was struck with inspiration a few weeks ago and asked to use the sewing machine and pick out fabric from my stash. We moved my old sewing machine (cheap Singer from Target) onto her desk and she excitedly picked out fabric after kicking me out of my craft room! It took just a few days for her to finish the project and she was just bursting with pride and anticipation. She had made me my own reading pillow - a pillow that has a pocket to hold a book. She did all the measuring, cutting, ironing, lettering, assembling, stuffing and finishing herself! WOW! And there's a coordinating bookmark.

Not to be outdone by her big sister, Sunshine Girl, who is quite handy with paper crafts, decided to make her own gifts. I never noticed her sneaking away with several sheets of paper at a time, along with oodles of scotch tape! She made me a mini blank book that I can use for drawing and writing notes. She also made a bookmark with a decorative chain tassle! Plus there's a paper hanging with foil art. It's kind of like looking at clouds - it's whatever you see in it! Sunshine is also very good with words and she wrote me a poem:

"A quilt of
magical love,
and memories
that come
from a long
time ago."

It's so much fun to have the kids so involved in gift-giving and creating. It's been a pretty amazing birthday.

On a final note, I managed to finish the shirt that was my parents' birthday gift (the bigger gift was my Janome Sewing Machine that was a combo gift with Christmas!). So here's the final product. It was pretty easy to make and I really like the fabric. I'm looking forward to the fabric softening over time.

a little closer to 40

So today is my 37th birthday! Growing up I would never have imagined that I'd be living in a small town on acreage and raising chickens! Regardless of my lack of vision as a kid, I love where I live, love being in a more 'country' setting (I grew up in Los Angeles) and I have thoroughly enjoyed rediscovering my love for sewing and crafting, and thus giving myself more time to do it.

Since Sundays are pretty busy for us with church in the morning and Awana in the afternoon, we celebrated my birthday yesterday and last night. It started with an awesome breakfast...

and ended with cake!

In my next post, I'll gush about my childrens' gifts they gave to me - particularly the homemade ones! Right now I think my sugar high is crashing, so I better go find a pillow somewhere.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

good news all around

So the good news is that the chemo is working!!!! The tumors in my mother-in-law's liver are shrinking. Ahh, a sigh of relief. It was pretty touch-and-go there for a little while. Not that we're out of the woods yet - she still has day-to-day symptoms she's dealing with. But having a step in the right direction definitely helps boost our attitudes around here.

So to celebrate, Gavin and his mom stopped and picked up some pies -- yes, I said PIES, plural! She loves Marie Callendar's, but Gavin had a hankering for a Banana Cream Pie from Ikeda's, a local favorite. Of course, I'm a chocolate fan and I wouldn't have minded a small layer of semisweet chocolate between the crust and the cream, but it was quite good all on its own! Luckily Gavin took half to work this morning!

I'm quite wiped out from the past few days, a lot of driving, staying up late and just everyday stuff. I want today to be a home mental health day where I just do whatever I feel like - cleaning can definitely wait! So I think I'm going to start making the shirt from the pattern and fabric my mom got me for my birthday (it's on Sunday, by the way! 8th). I washed the fabric yesterday, so I'm all set.

In the meantime, my sidekicks will hold down the fort!

Monday, March 2, 2009

the comforts of mom

I'm feeling kind of blah this morning. Partly because it's Monday, partly because my mother-in-law has a tough test today with uncertain results, and partly because the visit with my own mom has come to an end.

We had such a wonderful week together of talking, shopping, doing stuff with the kids, and celebrating our birthdays! Here's the compilation of sewing accessories I made for my mom.

This sewing table caddy helps keep miscellaneous items from getting set down and lost! It's also a great place to temporarily store loose threads to throw out later.

This scissor caddy I hope will come in handy to store scissors and protect the points.

You can never have too many knickknack bags! It'll be great for buttons, a tape measure, pencils, etc.

I found this pincushion tutorial from paper.string.cloth . I'm really happy with how it turned out. And it's reversible!

It's amazing that I can be living on my own, have my own family, be taking care of others, and yet I find that I still need my mom. She just brings comfort and a chance for me to unload all my cares. Not only was it fun to get out of the house and do fun activities, but our times of sharing we so precious. Thanks for everything you do, Mom! I miss you already.