Monday, June 28, 2010

Fabulous Snow White Dress at Crafterhours

I'm staying home today... secondary to one little chickie with a fever and what appears to be strep throat.  The girls are still sleeping so I'm drinking some coffee and catching up on blogs (I'd be sewing but my P.O.S. WalMart Singer clacks so loud it'd wake them up!), and I came across this fabulous creation:

Snow White - Crafterhours

She is so winning Mom of the Year. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Have You Seen my Mojo?

Do you ever feel like you're cruisin' along... bein' all crafty and cranking out projects left and right, sewing machine smoking from all of the action and then WHAM!

Your mojo is gone.

Just like that.

That's kinda where I was after finishing the dress.  A little burned out, maybe?  I don't know, but I would just walk past the sewing machine and not get any urge to sit down and get to work.

That's just not right.

So I took some time this week to spend some time with my girls:

And some time to just relax... and now I'm ready to warm up the Singer again.  There's fabric in the dryer just waiting to be ironed and turned into a fabulous lunch box.

Welcome back Mojo, welcome back.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Wee Pause...

Not much to post in the blogworld this week... I've been taking a little break from sewing to keep the dining room somewhat clean in case we show the house.  I did take Big Sis to the quilt store to pick out her "Love Your Lunchbox" fabric - she picked out something bright and fabulous when she wasn't distracted by the little crickets hopping around the store.

She is my bug-child.

Fittingly, she picked out a butterfly fabric, and the girl has good taste.  She chose this "Flights of Fancy" print:

as well as a coordinating turqoise blue butterfly for the interior.

I think I'm gonna love this lunchbox!

But for now... gotta go bring home the bacon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Keeping up with the Bloggers

Do you spend your mornings like this?  I get up about 5:15am, after battling with the snooze button since the alarm first went off at 5.  I stumble to the coffee pot, pour a bowl of cereal, turn on Robin Meade, and open up the laptop to read about all of the wonderful things everyone else has been doing.


New designs!

Homemade cherry cobbler!

New pattern drafted!

Teacher gifts I just whipped up last night!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... I've got tutorial plans written in my idea book, waiting to come to fruition.  I made cookies yesterday, from Nestle pre-cut cookie dough.  I took the kids to McDonald's cause an unexpected detour on the way home from work didn't allow time to make dinner.  My sewing machine sits and waits... along with my fabric stash... and I need to get ready for work.

I'm amazed by the creativity. 

I'm adding tutorials to my list of things to make.

I'm wowed by the incredible organizational skills.

And I'm envious.  Of people I don't even know!  Isn't that crazy?  Almost instantly I get into this "woe is me" state of mind, wishing I had all this time that seemingly everyone else has to accomplish all of these fabulous things, wishing I was able to sleep in and not be a slave to an alarm clock, wishing my "job" was staying at home, raising kids, and blogging to an audience of 5000 followers.

Is this really what blogging is supposed to be about?  I started blogging as a way to chronicle my life when I was away from friends and family... and while I still do that somewhat, the focus has changed.  It's not so much anymore about chronicling life as it happens, but rather making life happen in the form of a post.  It's about linking and commenting and following, when it should just be about... blogging.  Weblogging.  Writing.


You know, the thing that's happening around me as I'm huddled over a laptop, reading through my browser.  The life that started this whole blogging adventure.

My gorgeous man.

My sweet little chickies.

And, yeah, my suzy-homemaker domestic side.

The life that gives me a good swift kick in the arse when I'm feeling like everyone else has it so much easier and better.

So while I may not be whipping up a new project every day, wowing you with the way I juggle everything, or making everything from scratch, I can promise you this:

I will be living, and enjoying the blessings bestowed upon me.  I will be creating, but sometimes with two little girls and some playdough rather than a new project.  I will be trying to impress the people that matter most rather than the people that comment the most.  I'll be telling our story, not creating a story to tell.

And I'll be eating cookie dough, straight from the package.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Minute Father's Day Crafts - Roundup

In case you haven't heard... Father's Day is Sunday.  So if you haven't had time nor the means to get a gift for Dear Ole Dad, never fear!  There are a ton of great tutorials out there in crafty blogland:

Father's Day Tie from the Purl Bee

Apron from Tote from Betz White

Mini Tie Keychain from Creative Itch

Photo Coffee Sleeve from Spincushion

Father's Day Wallet from Quiltish

And let's not forget my favorite:  Fast Food Fun from Bakerella!

Okay, now get to it!  You have two days to go!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

To Make List

With the growing popularity of craft blogs and my ever-growing list of them on my blogroll, it's no wonder that I have a long list of things I want to make.  I find this both exciting and frustrating at the same time, as I'm always excited to find a new project but frustrated when I can't find the time to make it or finish it or blog about it.

Nevertheless, the list remains.  Seriously.  I have a favorites category called "Stuff to Make".

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

Here are the things I'm tossing up for the next sewing round:

Preschool Backpack from Pattern Play Designs (via You Can Make This)
photo credit: Pattern Play Designs

Gathered Clutch from Anna at Noodlehead

photo credit: Noodlehead

Love your Lunchbox from Ginia18

photo credit: ginia18

Guess it'll be some sort of bag project, whenever I finally decide!

I feel a trip to the local quilt shop comin' on for some fabric browsing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Simplicity 2586 - I've Conquered the Dress

So here it is... the big reveal.  I have to say, even a size or two big, this dress is cute.  I still need to alter it down to fit me properly, but here are some pics anyway... cause I just couldn't wait!  I enlisted the help of my dh to be photographer - Lord knows you can't get a decent pic trying to set the timer and run!

The linen is a little heavy, but the color makes up for it.  Hopefully it'll just get softer with each wash...I bought the fabric here


The ruffle detail at the bottom is one of the reasons I first picked up the pattern - and you know how much I detest gathering... but it was worth it.  I love the way it flounces when I walk.  Whee!

The gathered detail around the neckline and sleeve add a special something as well... I love this neckline.  And as much as I procrastinated on the sleeves, they were really nothing to be afraid of.  The instructions were easy to follow, even for the gathering part!

I love it.  Seriously - I can't wait to alter it so I can wear it out somewhere!  And don't you think it would be great with one of these great Anthro belts??


Crazy as it sounds, I'd love to make this again.  The end product is worth it - I wonder how it'd look in a jersey knit??!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

Eight years ago today, I married my best friend. 

Wow.  I can't believe it's been that long... because it doesn't feel like it's been that long.  I am still crazy for him today like I was back then, even moreso because I fell in love with him first as a man and then I fell in love with him all over again as a father.

I am still head over heels.

And every day, my heart still goes pitter-patter.

I am a very lucky girl.

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dressmaking... check!

This post is a teaser, cause it's 530am and I'm not posting pics yet!

BUT - the dress is done.


I'll try to get some decent pics tonight, but I feel there's already some tailoring to be done.  That's the risk of using a pattern I guess... I just went with the measurements on the pattern and now my dress is not the best fit. 


I'm thinking I can pull in the side seams and make it work, but we'll see.

My choice of fabric may also be a contributing factor.  I love linen, but I didn't want to use a lightweight linen cause I didn't want this dress to be see-through.  I instead used a midweight linen and  now it feels a little heavy.  Hmmm.

Live and learn, right?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You say tomato, I say tomatto...

Whatever way you say it, we've got 'em!

The bountiful rains *ahem* from Tuesday and Wednesday did good for my tomatoes... can you believe that all of these are from only three plants?  Big Sis was happy to help, pulling the tomatoes and tossing them in the bowl, making sure about every fifth one ended up in her mouth!

Lil Sis... she wasn't quite feelin' the tomato excitement.

Is it just me, or are pouty, grumpy kids just so fun to photograph?!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Oh yeah... you wanna see dress progress, dontcha?

I finally faced my fear of the sleeve, per Jennifer's plodding, and it turned out just fine!  I actually have even already attached the sleeve, but don't have pictures for you yet, because I'm sooooo close to finishing!  Just a ruffle edge and a tie belt to go! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We interrupt this dressmaking edition to bring you...

New kitchen towels!!

I was doing some late-night sewing the other night and figured I wasn't quite alert enough to tackle the sleeves... so I whipped up some cutesy flour sack towels!  I bought these towels a while back for this very reason but they were set aside for more important sewing tasks at hand.  Lucky for me, I found them again and now have these to show for it!  Yay - happy kitchen and happy hands!

I dug out these Amy Butler remnants from my scrap pile and went to work.

And I discovered just how great that little ball-point sewing needle works while I was adding the jumbo rickrack.  My regular sewing needle broke with my first attempt!

I don't know that there's much better than a towel with a ruffle!

And I'm loving the flour sack towels - they bring back memories of being at my grandmother's house on holidays, as I was always given dish-drying duty and it was always with these gigantic flour sack towels.  I guess for some great things there are just no substitutes.

And now... I must get back to the dress!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What began as an ordinary day...

turned out to be not-so-ordinary.

Where you see standing water is the street I take to my daughters' school every weekday - and this is the aftermath!  I left the house around 7:15 this morning - it was sprinkling a little at the house and overcast, and there was a roll of thunder in the background.  I assumed it was last night's storm heading out of town.  A few miles down the road though, it became evident that this storm was still very much upon us.  As I approached the light before this underpass, I could barely see out of my windshield from the torrential rains, and I quickly turned when I realized the underpass had become a raging river from the runoff.  I drove through the flooded street to a nearby parking lot to wait it out.

Yeah, that was not going to happen.

I sent a text to my boss to let her know what was going on, and I proceeded to head home with the girls.  This was not as easy as I thought it would be.  The road to my home was overcome with water, so much that I couldn't pass.  I parked at a gas station, determined to make it home once the rain died down.  Next thing I know, I'm on the phone with my husband and all around me, where there was no water before, there was now at least 6-8 inch deep water.  In the distance, I could see a rush of water headed our way... so I quickly drove to another gas station at the top of the hill.  Crazy. 

The rain slowed, and the weather was appearing to clear up a little, so I once again tried to get back home.  My main route was completely flooded, so I decided to take the back way home.  I turned down a street covered with water, but the truck in front of me seemed to not have any problem, so I followed him.  All of a sudden, heavy walls of rain began beating on my car, I felt something pushing against the vehicle, but just kept going.  Then the hail started falling.

I was spooked.

Then, just as soon as the downpour began, it stopped... and I kept driving, amazed at the next sights I saw.  Debris everywhere, trees snapped like toothpicks, metal buildings mangled.

I would learn later that I was probably right on the outskirts of a tornado.


Eventually, the rains moved on and the wind was so still you could hear the helicopters flying above, chainsaws buzzing, and the sound of emergency vehicle sirens.  After almost five hours, I made it home safely.  We are so blessed and grateful that our home was not damaged.  We did, however, lose part of a fence and some of our favorite trees.

I can't complain though, as painful as it was to see.  I know there are others who are left without anything right now.

And their day began as an ordinary day too.

Wordless Wednesday - 6.9.2010

Remember the nest from this post? 
The girls saw a bird flying out of the fern last week so we decided to take a peek.  Much to our surprise, another mama bird decided to use the nest for her eggs.  We've been checking progress almost daily and squealed when we looked in last night and saw this little one:

This precious baby was just beginning his little journey into the world.  So cool.
Life goes on.

So it's not that wordless, but can you blame me?  Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Stitchin' the Ditch

It's been interesting sewing lately, as I'm accomplishing some sewing tasks I never had to tackle before.  First up, pockets.  I wrinkled my brow as I read the instructions, wondering just how the heck this was going to work...  Well, it did work and now my dress has inset pockets!

I haven't pressed the seams yet so they're a little wonky... but they work!

Another newbie for me is something called "stitching in the ditch".  Imagine reading this one for the first time - I was like... "You want me to stitch the wha?"!  Turns out, it's just sewing in the seam you've already created, as in the bias neckline binding of my dress. 

It also turns out that I, so far, suck at this stiching in the ditch thing (or pinning the binding far enough thing...), so I had to go back and add an additional stich line to be certain I had a good interior seam.  It still turned out pretty good...

Thank goodness for coordinating thread, right?

Next up... sleeves.

Make that technique numero three that I've never attempted.  Oy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sweet Little Stand-In

I wasn't able to work on the dress today due to an unforeseen running-out of thread for my serger!  (My high school English teacher would cringe at that sentence...)  I didn't want to get too far on the dress without serging the seams, as this gorgeous linen is, well, behaving like linen.  By this, I mean fraying.

So what's a girl to do with her idle hands? 

Well, whip up some blackberry cobbler, a la Pioneer Woman!

I've been wanting to try this recipe ever since getting PW's cookbook, and I finally did tonight.  It was so easy, I couldn't believe it, and the best part was that the ingredients are something I always have on hand:  flour, sugar, butter, blackberries, and milk.  This could be the beginning of something very dangerous!  Look at this beauty...

Mmmmmmm.  Not a bad substitute to the old Singer.

Next up... the cinnamon rolls.  *Drool*

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Progress of the Dress

So, progress has been slow, but some progress is better than none, right?!  This is what I accomplished last week - I've been a little delayed in posting as I've been spending the early summer evenings outside, the girls splashing around in their little pool.   And I just got back yesterday from a weekend girl getaway with some of my best girlfriends. 
Good times.
But anywho, here you go!
From this:
To this:

To this:

The beginnings of what I hope turns out to be a great dress.  This is where I left off before I headed out of town for the weekend.  I had to pack away the sewing tornado that is my dining room since we had some scheduled house showings this weekend, so there was a little interruption there.
I've sewn the shoulder seams and sewn the front and back pocket layers.  The next step is sewing the side seams and pocket pieces as one continuous side seam.  Stay tuned!  Little by little, it's looking like a dress!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Frock by Next Friday, Perhaps?

So, I was off to a good start, dividing up the dress-making duties each night, but last night was a lost cause.  I'm pooped from a busy weekend and a long couple of days.  I took a night off and laid on the couch with my man - which was a nice substitute!

Here's the progress so far...

Argh!  I'm having trouble loading pics this morning and I've got to get the girls to school, so maybe later?

Tonight... back to business.  Then I'll be taking a short frock-making hiatus as I'm heading out of town for a girl's weekend.

Oh yeah... chickachickah...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Frock by Friday

Have you been following Kathleen's (of Grosgrain, hello!)  Frock by Friday series??  It's a fabulous concept - a completed dress in five days, which she generously walks you through as she sews along.  If you haven't already checked it out, click over.  You won't be disappointed.

Inspired by her idea, I'm going to attempt to finish my Simplicity frock by this Friday. (These types of sewing projects seem much more doable when approached a little at a time.)  I spent last night ironing my freshly washed linen and pinning pattern pieces.  Tonight I plan on cutting them out and beginning the sewing process.  Mind you, it's been a while since I've sewn a garment requiring any sort of construction, much less one from a pattern, so this is a lofty goal.  I'll post progress pics as I go, so stick around!