Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our wishes to you for 2010

May you give what you can take,

spend some time in the dirt,

do something silly-it might make someone smile,

take time to smell the flowers,

smile, even in the rain,

make some really great friends,

be yourself,

try - even when it seems impossible,

ask for help when you get stuck,

stay warm and cozy,

and may your cup overflow with blessings!!

Have a very happy, healthy and stupendous New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Girlie Apron

One of the gifts I made for Christmas this year was an apron. It was my first attempt at sewing without a pattern and if I were getting graded, it shows it's imperfections.  I was encouraged though because when I looked more closely at many professionally sewn items they all had imperfections so I know I am not the only imperfect gal at a sewing machine! Here are the steps I took to make this one...
First, I took out a few of my own aprons, compared, measured, changed and adjusted.  Allowing for a 1/2 inch seam allowance I drew my finished pattern on parchment paper, which is holding up quite well(I'm making a couple more) and aligning it on the fold of my main fabric I cut.

I then cut a matching (but much shorter) piece for the facing out of the contrasting fabric as I couldn't figure out another way to make a sort of sweet-heart neck line. I'm sure someone else has a much better (ahem, correct) way to make a sweetheart neckline, (please share!) this is just how I was able to finagle it.
Next I made all the ties, again from the contrasting fabric.  I decided on a two inch thick tie for around the neck and 1/2 inch for the two around the waist then allowed for seam allowances and cut.  I folded them in half right sides together and stiched and turned them right side out.  Finishing the short edges was done by pinking them and folding them in about 1/2 inch, pressing and straight stitching. 

Finally, it was time to put it all together. I placed the main apron piece and the facing right sides together. Next, placed the two neck ties inbetween the apron and facing piece at their appropriate places and pinned. Did the same thing for the waist ties. Stitched around the edges and pressed and clipped seams and turned it right side out.

I just wanted a slight gather on the ruffle so I cut a length of the contrasting fabric one and a half the width of the apron. I finished the bottom by turning it up twice, pressing and stitching. Then basted (is that how you spell the past tense of baste?) and gathered, matching the centers of the fabric to be sure it was even, pin right sides together and sew! I pressed the seam open, cut with my pinking shears close to the seam and called it a finished edge.

The sides were finished the same as the bottom all the way so that the ruffle was even with the apron body.  I added some finishing touches like topstitching along the neckline, reinforcing the waist ties on the right side, adding a pocket and voila an apron!

It really was a fun adventure with my sewing machine!  I will most likely not make another with the 'fake' sweatheart neckline until I find out how to without pulling my hair out do it the right way.  The rest was a fun way to involve a bit of myself in a gift for someone special.  I'm planning another for my husband when he bbq's, without the ruffle of course!

Friday, December 25, 2009

All Tucked In

I just tucked in my kids on what was the most wonderful Christmas.  The baby (I can still call my two year old baby right?) passed out quickly.  The sounds from Nathan's room still indicate the excitement and wonder winding down from the day. 

Last night he says to me as we are putting out (rice) milk and cookies for santa (carrots and apple for the reindeer), "Mommy, santa is just the best but not really because I know that God is the really best."  I couldn't have said it better.

Some photo memories of the last 24 hours...

Saturday, December 19, 2009


"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” - Mark Twain

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. " - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This last week has been crazy and I admit that I have been busier than normal.  This week I want to witness these moments again and encourage them because imagination is where these kids learn.  In their imagination is where they are figuring out how this crazy life works and where it will take them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Making Memories

I'm just gonna flat out say it, this time of year I especially miss my Mom, Dad, Sister and Bro and their families.  They live 2000 miles east of me and I miss them. 

Christmas time is still amazingly fun and joyous even when you are missing people, Jesus is after all the very best gift!  One of the things I do when I'm missing them is think of memories like making gingerbread houses and singing happy birthday to Jesus and making rolls and my Dad stoking the fire and my Mom baking and a gazillion Nutcracker performances! My memories are enough to cheer my heart!

Plus dare my heart shed a quiet tear for the past and no sooner do my present and future come running towards me bearing sunshine!

Just a few that have been captured on film, uh, I guess I mean on disk.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From Rags to Curlies!

The other night (while taking a small break from all my projects) I took the time tie my little girl's hair in rag rollers. I have been looking for uses for some old t-shirts and remembered this one.

She sat brushing her teeth and playing in the sink every once in awhile saying lovingly, 'Mommy, you made these, for me, ponytails!" She was so excited while we were doing it not even realizing that it wasn't the finished result!
A few ended up coming untied during the night but I think she was pleased with the results even still.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

In Case You're Looking

If you need me for the next couple weeks, I can be found behind my sewing machine or stumped trying to make up a pattern for something much more advance than my sewing abilities.  I'm having fun and I need the pressure of a deadline for more motivation, so here I go to sit and figure and play and create.
I will not be able to share all of what I'm up to yet out here where everyone can see it, I'll keep those it in the closet of my mind for now.  I can share a few things though.

So far, I have made some gift bags from scraps of fabric, remnants, and an old t-shirt.  Thanks to Make it From Scratch for the link to make these super easy and cute gift bags.  It is a pretty good project for a beginning seamstress and many can be made in a fairly short time.
I also made one out of an old green t-shirt. I didn't take it's photo but I just sliced it off under the arm pits and sewed those straight edges together to make the bottom of the gift bag. The finished bottom edges of the shirt became the top of the bag and for this one I sewed velcro onto the open end I figured it would be fun for some of them to still make noise when they opened!

I also made this little throw pillow for my daughter.  I want to redecorate in her room and have fabric for a valance that coordinates with this fun one.  So it's turning out to be a sewing Christmas around here.  Also on the to make list, a baby doll blanket or two and a jedi cloak.  Then, if time allows, some doll clothes out of some old clothes my Mom sent from when we were kids.