Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer summer summertime...

Welcome summer. 

Welcome sun and sand and swimming.

Welcome memories filled with smiles and the smell of Coppertone.

We spent the weekend at the lake with the in-laws, and minus the sunburn tan I got on my shoulders and forehead.... had a fabulous time.  The girls are at an age that is just too much fun.  Sure, they're in to everything... but they approach it with such joy and excitement and curiosity that you can't help but have fun along with them.  They're also finally at a point where they can play and I don't have to hover as much.  Notice I didn't say "don't have to hover at all."  Cause you know mama's gotta keep a close eye on her chickies.  Life jackets can be a girl's best friend too, right?!

Of all the things I love about weekends like this, moments like this are some of my favorites.

Bring on the heat!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Popsicle Sleeve Tutorial! (and giveaway...)

To kick off the start of all things hot, all things sunny, and all things summer... how about a tutorial?! 

The popsicle sleeve serves two purposes... it keeps your little one's hands from getting cold while enjoying their tasty treat and it catches any sticky drips that ensue.  The terrycloth lining also adds enough traction to help those little hands slide up the popsicle as they're eating it!
First, gather your supplies.  You will need:

Scrap of fabric for exterior
Scrap of terrycloth fabric
(That's it!)

From exterior fabric, cut out two pieces, each measuring 2 inches x 6.5 inches.
From terrycloth, cut out two pieces, each measuring 2 inches x 6 inches.

Layer exterior fabric (wrong side) with terrycloth (x 2), matching up fabric at the bottom edge.
Fold over exterior fabric at the top, 1/4 inch.  Repeat.  (The hem will overlap the terrycloth.) Pin.

Using a straight stitch, sew along each edge of overlapped fabric, creating two parallel lines.  (I use a contrasting thread because I like the detail, but you don't have to...)

With exterior fabric (right sides) together, pin along outer seams and sew a straight stitch (using 1/4 inch seam allowance).

Snip the bottom corners and turn.

Press along seams and corners with your turning tool (aka chopstick!).

Add popsicle (pop-ice, otter pop...), an adorable kiddo and ENJOY!!

For those of you out there who maybe aren't sewing-inclined... I'm giving away the popsicle sleeve made in this tutorial!  Here's how to enter:

1.  Leave me a comment (with your email address so I may contact you if you win!)
2.  Post about this tutorial on your blog for an extra entry (let me know you did via a comment!)

Winner will be chosen Monday, May 31st, 2010! 

Good luck!

Friday, May 21, 2010

No fair!

... to have to work today
... to not know yet if I can make my girls' "Lunch on the Lawn" at their school
... to have robin's egg blue linen on my dining room table beckoning me
... to have to clean off my dining room craftiness just in case someone wants to see the house

At least it's Friday, right?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gentlemen, Start your Scissors

While anxiously awaiting the arrival of my fabric for previously mentioned dress... I decided to go ahead and cut out the pattern pieces, tedious as it may be.  They're laid out nicely on my craft dining room table, just waiting to be pinned to some robin's egg blue linen.


I must say though, that after cutting out a size 12... I'm not feeling the love from Simplicity.  Size 12...

I've got your size 12.


Stay tuned during the dressmaking drama to catch an upcoming tutorial for these:

"'Sicle Sleeves"!

My girls love their popsicles, but they don't like how cold their hands get, and I don't like how wrapping them with paper towels only leaves me with sticky bits of paper to clean up... so I made them their own little  popsicle sleeves to keep their hands toasty and my patio clean!

Hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Crafting... Interrupted

So, it's been a grand total of five days of our house being for sale, and it's killing me having to keep it clean... mainly the dining room aka my craft room.

Really, does anyone ever eat in a formal dining room?  Bah!

Sooo... since I typically take about a week to complete a project, I tend to leave my work in progress splayed out across the dining room table and the thread/fabric scraps on the floor until said masterpiece is completed.  With the potential that someone could want to come see the house at any given time... this creative process is not gonna happen.


So I'm saving up my crafting energy for this weekend, with the hopes that my dh will let me sew to my heart's content.  (Puhlllleeeaaasee, sugar wugar, benny boo boo?)  I've ordered some linen that I hope to turn into this little number from Cynthia Rowley.  I have really been wanting to sew something for me, so I hope I can manage my time to make this happen.

Until then, I'll just go stare at my fabric stash longingly...


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kitchen Cushion Re-Do!

The overcast Texas skies are not very conducive to good pictures, but I'm posting some pics anyway of the new chairpads for my breakfast table.  If you recall, my initial plan was to use fabric and just recover the old cushions.  That plan changed a little when I switched to using oilcloth - the old cushions were a little smaller than the seat, but since the cushion "squished" down when you sat on it, you couldn't tell.  Oilcloth doesn't quite expand like cotton fabric, so it was obvious when you sat down that the cushion was too small...
Enter plan B.
I made a template of the seat out of some scrap flannel, and then added 1/4 inch around it as I traced it onto the oilcloth (for seam allowance).  The straps were made from 1in x 11in strips folded in half and sewn with a straight stitch.  I didn't bother with hemming since oilcloth doesn't fray.
Yes, you heard me right.
Oilcloth.  Doesn't.  Fray.
*giggle with glee!*
So, with wrong sides together and ties pinned in place, I sewed a straight stitch around three sides, leaving the back portion open for the cushion and reverse-stitched over the ties for extra reinforcement.
I attempted to be resourceful and reuse the old cushion stuffing, but it just made for a lumpy mess underneath my beautiful polka dot oilcloth, so I went with two foam inserts, trimmed to fit.
I then hand-stitched the back edge closed (realizing "Oh, that's why I need a thimble!") and added some covered buttons that I made from a kit I found at Hobby Lobby.

And ta-da!  Can you imagine the giddiness I experienced the next morning as I wiped off spilled yogurt drink and grape jelly?!

Now... lessons learned from this experience, besides aforementioned need for a thimble...
1.  Researching how to sew with fabric prior to sewing such fabric proves to be a great idea!  I found all the info I needed from Oilcloth Addict, from whom I also purchased this fabric love!
2.  Read your sewing machine manual!  I never realized there were different needles for different types of fabric!  For shame...
3.  If at first you don't succeed... go with plan B (or plan C for that matter!)
4.  Sewing for my home is amazingly self-gratifying, no matter how tedious the task.
5.  I.  love.  oilcloth.  This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On the Market

We've gone and done it... decided to sell our home.

We built this home over three years ago, right before Lil Sis came along.  Seriously.  I was moving in boxes while 8 months pregnant.  Fuuuuunnnnn.


Good times.

After three years out here in country bliss filled with giggles, tears, curiosity and no lack of spiders, snakes, mice, and scorpions... we've reached a point where we're ready to be in a neighborhood where the kids can grow up alongside other children (without having to plan a playdate).  The first step, naturally, is selling the home we're in now, so here we go.

Does this mean I'm supposed to keep it clean all the time??


In other news, I've finally completed the cushion-recovering project.  I decided to go with oilcloth over fabric after reading about Dana's slipcovers, enamored with the idea of wiping off my kiddo's spills rather than having to launder them.  I can't get decent pics tonight with the lighting, so the reveal will have to wait another day or two.  Can you stand it??!

Now - off to straighten things up.  You know, just in case.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Feather Your Nest

A few weeks ago, my girls made a discovery in one of the ferns on my back porch...

The next week, they squealed when we peeked in on these little guys...

And the week after that...

They were grown and all that remained was an empty nest.

Although my girls won't leave my nest quite as quickly as the little birdies, I know that all too soon they will be grown, and independent, and ready to leave their mama to tackle the big, bad world on their own.  My hope is that I am able to feather this nest with enough love and support and encouragement that when the day comes that they're ready to spread their wings... they'll soar.

Happy Mother's Day from me to you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

How Do You Do It?

I've been delaying my shower this morning by sipping coffee, watching CNN Morning Express, and perusing items on my reader and I'm just wondering...

How do you guys do it?  How do you manage to run your households, work (at home or away), come up with so many great ideas and blog about it all??

Some days I'm lucky if I can find the time (or the energy) to simply breathe.

So tell me how you do it... I need to be inspired and motivated!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What I Really Want for Mother's Day

1.  An entire weekend of just the two of us.  (Me and my Singer.)
2.  A tummy tuck.
3.  And a tan.
4.  One, just one, trip to the bathroom where I'm not asked if I need privacy so I can go poop.
5.  Underwear that's not all cotton, seamless, and beige.
6.  Superpowers.
7.  My butt from ten years ago.
8.  A pool and a cabana boy, who just happens to look like Brad Pitt.

Hey, a mama can dream, can't she?!

What do you really want for Mom's Day?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jeremiah 17:8

"He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

I always find it amazing when the Lord finds His way back into my heart after I've seemed to have lost my way to His.  For the past, oh I lose track of how many months, I've been so preoccupied with work, family, friends, self, life, that I've forgotten to focus on my faith.  It was always there though, beckoning me in the background, and it was what I clung to when I decided to make a career change that was not an easy choice.  Even though I found myself doubting this in the beginning, I am glad I trusted the Lord to guide me.

He had a hand in this all along, and for that I am grateful.

I love the Jeremiah passage because it symbolizes the power of faith, to know that even through the toughest of times, I am never alone and His will for me is to prosper.

Last fall marked the end of a long, severe drought for Texas.  After the blazing heat of last summer, I was certain we'd lose our fruit trees, but instead...

John 15:5 (NIV) – I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.