Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Wear 2014

I made an outfit for my girl for Halloween. I got this super fun haunted house fabric on clearance from JoAnn's. I bought what was left on the bolt.

I used the See & Sew B5904 pattern for the top. Then, I made some matching ruffle pants to go with. Pair it with a simple long sleeve black tee and my girl is ready for some fun. 

Front and back photos. 

I needed more information on how to make the circle yoke, so I searched online for some tutorials and came across a video that was helpful. The video has a circle yoke to it as well, but the back buttons/snaps to the front, whereas mine is attached, so I had to modify my sewing a bit to make it work. Not a bad turnout for the first time making this pattern. I made a size 5. We should be able to get a couple of years of wear out of it.

She really likes the pockets. They kind of look over-sized and I am not sure if I really love them yet. I can't decide if I should keep them or redo them. But for now, they will stay just like that. She will have plenty of room to store her treats. She also has her model face down pat.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

We had a super busy Saturday not too long ago. The boy started his day with grocery shopping and trash dumping with Daddy. Then, he went to sell popcorn for his scout troop. By mid-afternoon we were on our way to the pumpkin patch. 

It was a beautiful Saturday. The hubs thought it was a bit too warm for selling popcorn, but he survived. The kids enjoyed picking the perfect pumpkins and looking at strange little gourds. 

I was able to get a good photo of the both of them with the pumpkins, and then they went off to play on the playground and loved going down the 50 foot slide. Look at those happy faces.
We stayed at the pumpkin patch until it was time to go to a small toy shop for Star Wars reads day. The boy had heard about it at school and really wanted to go. 

We made our way down the street further and he changed his shirt and put on a small part of his Darth Vader costume. The kids made lightsabers, enjoyed some wookiee cookies, saw the boy's teacher, got the last free t-shirt from his school, and he won one of the door prize drawings. We ended the day with dinner at a restaurant. 

A weekend packed with family fun. It was beautiful.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Some Fall Sewing: Woodland creatures

I made some outfits for the Fall. Shocker, I know. But, they turned out super cute. So here you go.

First up: Harvest Foxy Forest from JoAnn's--

          "Look, Mommy, I'm a pirate." Ha!    

I made a peasant top/dress with ruffle sleeves, and matching corduroy ruffle pants.

I think she likes the outfit. She got lots of compliments on it when it got cool enough outside to wear it.

Next up we have a woodland friends outfit. 
I made two of these for my friend's girls. My girl just happens to be able to wear the biggest size, which is generally much bigger on the other girl.

I made a peasant top with ruffle sleeves, and green leggings to match. I did make some alterations to the outfits to fit my friend's girls so that they wouldn't drown in all the fabric. They should fit them much better now.

Much more sewing to come, much more sewing to do. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

School Spirit

The kids' school decided to make the last Friday of every month school spirit day. Neat. The PTO had some super cute kid shirts that you could purchase to show your school spirit, or just to wear any old day of the week. 

I ordered some for the kids and they came in time for the first school spirit day. I loved the red version of the shirts, so that is what I ordered them. They also came in black, and white.

They look adorable.

My girl was excited for spirit day even though her class hadn't started yet at this point. 

I made her a matching pleated cheer skirt for school, like the one I made her for football. I only did the elastic band this time, no zipper, and she can easily take it off and put it on. 

For September spirit day I had made the girl a chevron peasant dress. I also made her a couple of matching hair bows. I chose the funky one this time.

All I have to say is.....adorable.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Soap Box Race: 2014

This is the first ever soap box race put on by the local 4-H club. 

I will be doing some rambling to go along with the photos. :)

As part of the summer reading series that the public library did, a representative from the 4-H club did a little talk and activity with the kids. We happened to be at the library that day when she began talking about holding a soap box race. My ears perked up at that.

I had seen some soap box races on t.v. I think there is even a derby that comes through SC, but I hadn't heard about it in years. I don't know if they still do it here. Those soap box races are pretty competitive, and look like so much fun! I definitely wanted my kids to participate, if they wanted to of course.

They wouldn't let my girl participate because they thought she would be too young to help with the power tools and what not.We got our kit after paying the $25 fee. $25! Yep, that is cheap, and we got a t-shirt, and the wood was semi-pre-cut for us. We just had to follow the instructions to put the kit together, and measure the pieces and cut them from wood. Easy peasy, right? wrong.

The basic soap box kit is from Canada. I have determined that either Canadians are extremely good at putting things together with minimal instructions, or Americans have been spoiled with numbered, simple instructions with photos to go along with the step-by-step directions. No one online had anything posted about how this was supposed to go together either. I thought about writing a post about it, but didn't have time to take the photos needed for the explanations. Maybe another time.

My husband cut out the pieces I had measured and drawn on the plywood, according to the pictured instructions with measurements. I put the car together. I also realized that maybe Canadians aren't that good at algebra either. It's "a squared + b squared = c squared" Canada! 

Some of the pieces were too short for the steering column so I used some extra wood pieces and cut what I needed, if needed, to make it work. It turned out pretty good. I engineered a breaking system using a lever and some old flip flops for friction. I couldn't locate a go kart steering wheel anywhere in my area so I resorted to cutting it out of wood with the template provided in the kit. It works.

Then, we got to the painting of the car. I decided to use whatever we had on hand, which meant leftover paint from my studio floor painting project. The white and the blue were fine. I was going to add some gray to it as well, but that paint had gone bad and the smell of it was just awful. :(

Once it was all done, we got in a little practice in the driveway to make sure everything worked like it was supposed to work. The kids enjoyed it. So far so good. The girl almost took out the decorative windmill, and at one point bumped into the car. Help me when she starts driving if her skills don't improve.

Then, it was....

Race day!

Ready to race! Man that looks like so much fun. As part of the requirements for the race the drivers had to find a business to sponsor them and either donate canned food or money to the Harvest Hope food bank. The boy asked his daycare to be his sponsor. I was so glad they agreed. I printed out a sticker to place on his soap box like a real race car.

After a minor repair to a rear wheel we got in some practice runs.


The speeding avenger! That is the name of his car. He didn't win the award for the most creative name, but I was told he was in the top three. Yea!

Also, like a real race, they held a drivers meeting. You can see my son off to the left side of the photo with his bike helmet on.

 He's waiting on me to help get the car up the ramp. I was having some technical issues with his roll bar. The screws weren't holding it together very well. Ugh.

Ready at the top, belted in, ready to race!

And they're off!

We were told that we could push them across the finish line because they wanted all of the cars to finish. Even though there was a little slope to the parking lot, it wasn't enough to get most of the cars to cross the finish line without help. Friction slowed them down. Didn't even need the brakes after all.

So once he stopped I jumped over and pushed him the rest of the way in his first heat. He won that one. He lost the next two and was eliminated. There was no need to jump over and quickly push him, he was losing by a long shot.

Right beside the ramp was a speed limit sign, which I thought was hilarious. I love the contrast to the back of the kids' shirts. There was a local police officer there to help with security, and he got out his radar device and clocked some of the cars going 12 mph. Ha! Speeders!

 Time for the awards ceremony. He got his participant ribbon and certificate. He sort of really wanted one of the trophies, but we just weren't fast enough. Also, he may have been the lightest and youngest that day. The heavier kids/cars got more momentum going downhill.

At the end of the races, the drivers took a group photo in their cars. There were some pretty neat designs, and a lot of hard work went in to making those cars. The kid in the orange car, on the right, with the checkered flag, won the whole shebang! I think he also got the award for the best paint job.

Great job kids! Hope to see you all again next year.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Going to the State Fair 2014

One day in the recent past I was looking on the state fair website to see what I could sew for which categories. Yeah, that was a bad idea. I found 7-8 categories, and there was no way I was about to make 7-8 things. Maybe one year, but not this year.

I am happy to say that I was able to make four things to enter into the competitive exhibits for the SC State Fair. This will be my third year entering things into the fair. The first year I entered one item, a hat. The second year I entered two items, a hat and a peasant dress. This year I am entering a dress, a hat, a baby bonnet, and some baby shoes. I guess I got a little ambitious for my third year. 

Wanna see what I made? :)

Of course you do, that is why you are here. 

The bonnet is not pictured because I had already put this montage together before deciding to make one.

Here is a photo of all four items ready to go!

I made this bright flowered seersucker First Day dress in a size 5. 

It's so bright and pretty and beautiful. I love it.

For the hat I used a free pattern from Martha Stewart to make some berets. I added the brim to make it more like a floppy newsie cap for the girl. I used some extra gray corduroy from her pea coat I made her last year.

For the lining I used some gray with little light gray polka dots. This hat is adorable, and adorable on her.

*squeal* Soooo cute! I love that it goes with her french bubble skirt.

I also decided to try to make a bonnet. I used a free pattern and instructions from Delia Creates. I love the fabric combo I chose and the end result was pretty good. There are some sewing errors in the finished product, but overall, not too shabby for me.

Excuse the bear for the photo shoot, I don't have infants in my house any more and I finished it after the girl was in bed. She wasn't asleep so I did try it on her head, but I wasn't about the get her out of bed for a photo shoot. And since she is 4 years old and this bonnet is made for kids under 2, it works better on the bear.

I also made some little baby shoes from a book I got from the library a while back. I copied the patterns and instructions I needed, and this one has been sitting around for a bit. I figured now was as good a time as any to try it out.

Tiny shoes are hard to sew. I have got to work on getting the lining right for stuff like this. I always end up with a wave making it seem that the lining is too big. But they are super cute booties.

So that is what is going to state fair this year. Stay tuned to see how they do.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Recap: 2014 Edition

I am writing this post to keep track of the things we are doing this summer. (Re-read in past tense, I'm not changing it.)

*We went to play at gymnastics. The boy's cartwheel got some major improvement and the girl actually jumped on the big trampoline. We continued our work on pullovers on the bar and handstands. We all had a great time.

*We joined the summer reading program through the public library. And finished the reading program. The kids got medals, certificates of completion, and other little goodies.

*On Thursdays our little library has a summer series of visitors who come to entertain the children. Our first show we saw was by Roger Day. He is a singer/songwriter who takes science and nature and turns them into fun, quirky, educational songs for kids. He was really good. All of the kids had a great time. Check out his website if you have elementary age kids (though I think middle schoolers would enjoy him as well), and see if his show is coming to a town near you. You won't be disappointed. If you are familiar with Hap Palmer and love his work, you will definitely enjoy Roger Day's show.

*I drove the kids to NC for a summer visit. My twin drove in from TX for a visit as well and this will be the only chance I get to see her before she drives back. The kids stayed there while I came back to work my short work week and then the hubs and I will drive back for the weekend. There is a comic book convention in Charlotte that he is planning on attending so it kind of worked out well for us.

* Took the kids back to NC for a visit since my parents were off work and they could spend time together. The hubs' grandmother wanted to have a cookout for the fourth of July, and since it is my short work week and that day is an off day for me, we decided to join her and the rest of the family at her request. She doesn't ask us to do things very often, and great grandparents like to spend time with their great grandkids. My son lost his front teeth: one of the 4th and the other one the next day. He already lost the two on the bottom, one is starting to grow in though. 

                                                             Family photo. So cute.

* Took an impromptu July trip to the beach with a good friend. Her family rents a couple of condos for about two weeks every summer. They had some extra room toward the end of their stay when my friend was going to go down. I happened to be at her house when she mentioned that she asked a couple of her friends if they would like to join her, but they hadn't gotten back to her. I causally mentioned that I wanted to take the kids to the beach again, they had only ever been once, and that I had the whole next week off work. Everything worked out beautifully. Everyone was able to go. So happy that it coincided with my scheduled week off. The kids were wonderful and had such a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves.

We had a fairly good summer. It went by quickly. Looking forward to next summer as well. Hopefully we can pack more fun into that one as well.