Friday, November 29, 2013

My Week + Glowing Leaves

My Week:
-Work, Thanksgiving, work. Also, lots of planning and prepping for the holidays. Getting excited and making sure to not miss anything this year. It's going to be busy and I am going to enjoy it.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Glowing Leaves:
The end of November is upon us and even though winter is still a few weeks away, fall has essentially come to an end. The changing of the season has been quite nice this year. A little odd as well. The leaves on the trees are turning colors and look spectacular, some are fighting to stay green, and on some parts of the trees the leaves are already gone. It's like the trees are confused. But they do make for pretty photos.

Some photos were taken at one of the buildings I work in. I loved the staggered color of the trees when I looked out of the glass doors. Always a pretty sight. The rest were taken at a park near the house. I love the way the sunlight streams through the leaves to make it look like they are glowing. So pretty. 

Enjoy the fall colors.

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Kiddos, More Fall Photos

I took the kids to the park because it was a warm day, the leaves were pretty, and they could use the outdoor play time, and I could take some photos. Win-win all the way around.

They are getting better at posing for me and following my directions so that the process of taking photos doesn't lead to frustration on my part, and theirs as well I am sure.

 love his eyes. beautiful.

lounging. sweet faces.

model kids. i am not sure why she is giving him the mean look. he didn't do anything to her.

i think she could be a child model. that adorable face.

so could he. cute.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Baby Goodies

A couple of the ladies at my kids' daycare are/were having babies. Each their first. One lady had a baby girl around mid-November. The other lady is due in December with a boy. She also has a step-daughter, so now they will have one of each in the family.

They've been wonderful to my kids since they started working there. And I love a chance to sew for babies since I don't have any littles like that any more. It also gives me a chance to get feedback on what I make.

Boy and Girl Baby Goodies

Most everything came from fabric I already had on hand. Some of these projects were remnants from other projects and there was just enough leftover to make baby things.

Baby Boy Goodies:
puppy dog plush.

 Flannel oversized receiving blanket and a fleece ruffle-y blanket.

As my girl got older she still liked to be swaddled, and the regular size receiving blankets were just not big enough, but the oversized ones worked great later on.

I used an oversized receiving blanket as a template to make my version, then just serged the edges to prevent fraying. I bought this flannel fabric at JoAnn's on sale.

The cute argyle fleece was in the remnants bin. Hooray for 50% off listed price! I used some brown ribbon to make the ruffle and just sewed it to the fleece. Easy enough. The end result was bigger/longer than a normal baby blanket. He will be able to use this one for a few years before he outgrows it.

It's ok to put a ruffle on a boy blanket right?

Of course it is.

I thought so.

Burp cloths: Mostly extra fabric I had on hand. I did buy the doggie fabric because it was boyish and super cute. All are made of flannel and cotton. The sizes differ a little depending on how much of a remnant I had left.

Taggie blanket, hat, and bow tie.

Let's take a closer look: 

Loving the bow tie. The baby is due before Christmas. I thought the bow tie would make for some cute photos.

Baby Girl Goodies:
Oversized flannel receiving blanket and fleece ruffle-y blanket. I left the ends of the ruffle "open". It won't fray there and the ends overlap somewhat so when you use open it up you can't really tell it's not closed.

I made this purple ruffle with some fabric from the free-must-get-this-stuff-out-of-my-mom's-house person in one of the buildings I work in. It frayed so much until I could sew it together with the serger. I am happy with the way it turned out though. Fleece and flannel came from JoAnn's, just like the boys'.

Cute pink elephant fabric from JoAnn's.
 Burp cloths: Flannel and cotton fabrics. Sizes varied depending on remnant pieces.
Taggie elephant. Pretty cute. I could have done a little better job on it, but this was the first time I made something like this so it's fine.

Circle skirts: I made these for when the baby turns about 6 months old and the weather is warmer. 

So tiny and cute! Love 'em.

Everything was finished and ready to go.
I found some plain brown bags for the goodies.

Packed and almost ready to go. 
I placed a note card in each bag detailing the items made and that most everything could be washed and dried in a normal laundry cycle (toy excluded for obvious reasons). I added some tissue paper and took them to the daycare center.

Since one was out on maternity leave I just left hers in the office. They will get it to her. The other lady was driving the bus so I left hers in the office, too. Won't she be surprised when she comes back. I love leaving surprises like this.

I hope they like what I made.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Week

Oh, how time goes by so quickly. The holidays are coming. Have your heard? I'm getting excited. I'm looking forward to it this year. Last year at this time I was not feeling well. So I tried to rest. But I got worse. Then, eventually I got better. And then got sick again. I'm not quite sure my lungs are 100% even now, but I can't wait for the holiday season to be in full swing.

Here's what I have been doing this week:

*I made banana bread muffins. The house smelled very nice for a few hours. Mmmm.

*One of my November goals was to get the house ready for the holidays. Which means cleaning. I'm off to a good start.
My view from my spot on the couch before...

And after...
No judging me on the photos, just keeping it real. There's still more to do.

*A late birthday gift arrival from my hubs. Last year (Christmas or Birthday, I don't remember) I got the hands free wireless remote control thingy for my camera. Nice, but not useful if you don't have a tripod.

*I tried the tripod out and I love it!

Family Christmas photo session here we come! I don't think my family realizes what is in store for them now. Bwhahaha.

*I made some gifts for a couple of my kids' daycare providers who were/are expecting new bundles of joy. One girl already had her new baby girl, and the other is having a boy next month.

*I did some straightening and organizing in my studio and began a craft project. I have several projects I want to do for Christmas and time is marching on quickly. Slow down, time.

Have a super fun weekend!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Turkey Skirt

I wanted to make something for my kids for Thanksgiving. I found some adorable ideas on Pinterest, of course.

(Pretend there are cute photos of pins here. I do not feel that taking pins from my board is an adequate photo source, but I do try to provide links to the original source. Also, I do not take photos from a source and put them here. Permission should be required.)

Ribbon feathers, fabric colors...everything is so cute. It's hard to decide.

This post is sort of inspired by a friend of mine that I had recently made some stuff for. She was amazed at how I attached fabric to clothing.

There's no real miracle in the process. Find a photo, image, or coloring sheet online that has the look you are going for to use as a template, apply heat n' bond to some fabric, trace template on paper side of heat n' bond, cut out, iron on fabric. Fairly easy. But I thought I would provide a simple tutorial for those who may have never done something like this before.

Here we go.

I liked the idea of a turkey on some piece of clothing. I decided it should be a skirt. In my mind it is very cute and will look awesome.

So I got started.

First up...skirt fabric. And template.
I had some brown chevron fabric leftover from the fedora hat project and it was just the right amount left to make a skirt for the girl.

Next...gathering the fabrics I would need to create the turkey.

Now, here is a very important decision to make:
Solid, gingham, or chevron?

All are good options. I went with solid because the gingham and the chevron were a little hard on the eyes. They would definitely work better with a solid background.

Now that I had my fabric, my template, and my heat n' bond, everything was ready for assembly.

Turkey body and feather, and roll of heat n' bond. Template came from a google image search. Easy enough.

There are two sides to heat n' bond. One side is paper and the other is the gluey side. It's shinier on that side so you can tell the difference.

I ironed the fabric to the heat n' bond. I made sure it was bigger than the template piece so that I could cut it to the appropriate size. This is done by tracing around your template on the paper side of the heat n' bond and cutting out your piece.

Do the same thing for the feathers.

 Everything is ironed and ready to cool off. Then, cut out your pieces.

I preassembled the turkey and feathers to see how I liked it. Not bad.

Now, we are ready to peel off the paper side.
The glue is adhered to the fabric and it is shiny on that side. Make sure to put this side on the fabric, otherwise you will glue it to your iron and that is a pain...I am assuming.

I placed the feathers on the skirt piece (no iron yet) and noticed that some of the colors let the background bleed through. We can fix this a little.

A piece of white cloth added to the offending feathers should do the trick. I ironed the feathers to the white fabric. Then added more heat n' bond to the white fabric so I could then attach it to the skirt.

Hmmm...a cat paw. I had a little visitor in my studio while I was working on this project one day.

This is Amelia. She is one of three feral kittens that showed up in the yard one day. She was named after Amelia Earhart because she was the one most likely to disappear.
Turns out she was the one that stuck around. Over time her brothers disappeared. Not too long ago one of them came back. Poor thing looks like he had it rough though, but he still comes to the house for food. It also turns out that she is not the greatest helper, but she got a warm place to explore for a bit and she likes attention. Also, she kind of drools when she is happy.

 I was able to get things preassembled again, placed in the right spot, and then ironed down. The configuration changed a few times with the feathers.

Once it was attached I needed to stitch everything down so it wouldn't peel off later. The stitching adds an extra level of security to the creation.

I tried to use matching thread for the pieces of applique. I think contrasting threads would be nice as well, but I am not that great at sewing curvy lines and didn't want to chance messing it up, so I kept it simple.
All done. Looks nice. The pink is a little darker, but still cute.

 Next, the turkey needed a face. The skirt needed to be hemmed, and the casing made so the elastic could be threaded through.

Done, done, and done.

Now let's stop right here and talk about expectations, some more. You know how sometimes you have an idea in your head and it seems like a pretty good one? You can see how the end result will look and it's wonderful? But then when you finish the project it's not quite like it was in your head. Ever have that happen?

For me this is sort of one of those projects. Don't get me wrong the end result is ok, just not fantastic like it was in my head.

Overall it's a cute skirt. The idea I had in my head doesn't quite match what I was hoping for, however.

Mr. Turkey is a little too big for the skirt piece. And he could be a bit lower, closer to the hem line. And he's kind of stiff. The skirt doesn't gather like I had hoped with the applique added to it. Maybe with a couple of washes the heat n' bond will loosen up and I will like it better...? We'll see.

But all in all it works. He's pretty cute. I just need to hand sew his facial features to make sure they don't come off later. I am looking forward to when my girl wears it. Photo to come later.

*update: I had my girl try on the skirt to see how it would fit and it actually looks fairly good. My worries need not be so bothersome, it looks nice on her.  :-)

Friday, November 15, 2013

My 2 weeks

I probably won't remember it all. The big thing was that we went home to visit the grandparents last weekend. There was a school holiday mixed in there plus some time off work and a conference that my hubs attended so we had a long weekend to work with.

*Before we were set to go "home" my mom called to tell me that my stepdad was being flown from one hospital to another because he was having a heart attack. He's not that old, just turned 50, and very unexpected. He was released from the hospital two days and one stent later. He has already returned to work.

*The timing of going home worked well for the family medical emergency. Maybe now my parents will take better care of themselves. My mom had been working on quitting smoking, now they have both quit effective immediately. Hopefully for good. We've only been asking them for about 30 years.

* I took the promotional exam at work. Next we see what the details of the yet-to-be posted position will be and if I want to apply for it or not.

*We returned from our trip and began the unpacking process. Always fun. My hubs was still at his conference so that left me home with the kids. We had a good time. I even got them in bed and asleep by 7pm. It was amazing! And quiet. Then I had to fold about 5 loads of laundry. :/

*The cold front moved in and we lost power for a couple of hours. So glad it came back on in a timely fashion because I had to return to work and didn't want to sleep in.

*Also, I will be working 5 days straight. Rarely do I ever work 4 days in a row. And that's tough. Five 12-hour days are not going to be pretty.

*This post is number 100 for me according to the counter. Unless I decide to delete some posts, but I don't think I will any time soon.

*Today is my birthday. I share it with my twin. Well, technically she shares it with me, she was born first. Happy Birthday us!

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Week

Things are getting accomplished despite it being my long work week, just don't come over to my house, nothing has been going on there as far as staying clean. I did vacuum yesterday so the living room floor is at least semi-clean, and we have clean dishes, so basically everything a family needs to get through the weekend.

Here's what has been going on:

*Some awesome progress has been made with my grant. Got some approvals to make purchases, finished some paperwork, sent out requests for information and received some replies already.

*Made pumpkin cookies for the boy's Halloween taste test at school. Fun. I had a couple of options, and some help from Dana. Sorry, I didn't use your recipe...yet. I am looking forward to making your Pumpkin Putz cookies one day this season. The recipe I used I found on Pinterest, but the link to the original source can be found here.

I improvised a part of the recipe. It called for chocolate chips. I wanted to use pumpkin spice M&M's, but I couldn't find any at the store so I used pumpkin spice Hershey kisses in the center of the cookies. I added the kisses during the last five minutes so that they would melt and keep their soft consistency. They get crunchy if you left them in there the whole cooking time. I used a mini-muffin tin to make the cookies, so they kinda look more like muffins instead of cookies.

*Last T-ball game for the Fall. Ready for action. He hasn't done so well towards the end with hitting the ball...he's had to hit off the tee. We'll work on it.

He played pitcher spot, got the last batter ball so he could tag the runners out. Then was the first one to shake hands with the other team.

*Another yard creature driving the dogs crazy. Why does it have silver and blue spots(?) paint (?). It was no longer there a couple hours later when I checked on it.

*Halloween fun: We opened a care package Grandma sent in the mail. We decorated a couple of Halloween sugar cookies. We carved our little pumpkin. We had a photo shoot and went trick or treating.

Ween wear:

(they wore their pumpkin patch clothes for day 3, no photo because of the baseball game.)

Halloween carved pumpkin, and costumes. My Thor's got nothing on Chris Hemsworth. The girl wore the dinosaur costume from last year because she really likes it and it fit.

Our silly pumpkins. And off to trick-or-treating. Thor was a little hesitant to go up to the cars with people who dressed for Halloween. The pink dino, as long as she saw candy she walked right up to them.

The loot. Thor sorted his candy after dumping it out. Nerd. He gets it honest though, I helped him. :) Pink dino, "WOW!!" She's not roaring, but it looks like it.

Gotta get back to work. Have a great weekend all!