Friday, July 30, 2010

Eight Years

So hard to believe that Max is 8 today. In someways it seems like only yesterday he arrived on the scene and then on the other hand it seems that he has always been in my life. Can't imagine life without him and am so proud and blessed to be his mother. We had a wonderful pool day with some of our friends - his and mine- and Grandma Sue visiting from Seattle. Five boys, three moms and a few younger siblings thrown in . .. the perfect day and we all had a great time. We had pizza and cake and Max really enjoyed himself. Love this new low key approach and the impromptu birthday party.
After dinner tonight, we had a small family celebration with a cupcake and sparkler candles. These candles make every party lots of fun! Max loved it!
He is such a sweet, fun, loving and often wild boy. Every day he attacks with a energy and zest for life. Steve and I are proud to be his parents.
Looking at this photo taken tonight, I must admit I almost don't recognize him as my baby. He is growing up so fast and I often think . . . he can't be just 8! Then we are often reminded how sweet, young and innocent he is!
Happy Birthday to Max. We love you like crazy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inspiration for Urban Home Goods Swap - II

Swaps, swaps, swaps - how I love you! Five years ago when we lived in Bellingham, WA and we just had Max (he was 2-3) I had the most fun in all the mother's groups I joined because I had found some crafty people to hang with. I realize it should have been about the kids, but a lot of the fun was the part meant just for the moms! Every 3 months we did a Secret Partner kind of thing and you did fun little surprises, most of them were cute cards, little gifts, etc. This group got crafty and it was so fun! The best part was really seeing what everyone else made and have people appreciate your hand-made efforts. I loved it! Fast forward 5 years and the world of flickr and the wonderful swaps has recreated that fun feeling and creative community for me. I have a hard time passing up any swap and am so happy to participate in them. My two favorite swaps are the pillow talk and this one. Kerri and Heather know how to throw a party and these swaps are over the top fun. The creativity and artistry from this group is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Check out the pool and you will be blown away. Another thing that blows me away is the "to make" list that I have going, it is huge. I could sew every day for the next year and not make every project I have bookmarked, gathered supplies for and dream of when I can't sleep at night. So partner here is my list and I would be so happy with anything on it or anything else you can dream up!

TO MAKE LIST i-pad cozy, birhtday banner, holiday banner, plastic bag holder, market bag for grocery store or farmer's market, new trade show apron, wall pocket/organizer, a patchwork bath mat, wall art, a fabric box in any size, placemats, tea cozy, a table runner, linen napkins, iphone holder, small camera cozy, anything with hexies, pouches, laundry door mini-quilt, patchwork table cloth

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quilter's Bum? I'm getting mine moving with a little help from my friends . . .

I have loved learning to sew the past two years and get excited to spend any free time working on projects . . . the biggest problem is that sitting and sewing is not exactly an aerobic activity. I tell myself no sewing until I visit the treadmill, but we all know how that goes . . .
If you need a little motivation and want to join in the fun, jump over to Katie or Jacquie's blogs for more information and then lets get moving!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fabric Dreams . . . the Liberty series

A very good friend asked if she could bring me anything from the UK . . . I asked for a few of my favorite simple items from Boots and a package of my favorite digestive biscuit.
Then when sleeping last night I started to dream of this . . .
Liberty cushion
wonderful new Liberty print
a few I have had my eye on for a while
especially this one . . .
and then when I woke up I had a small swatch of this beauty on my bedside table. I actually cut into the small piece I had of this one last week and made a hexagon. I just love this one!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Go to Pre-school Aged Gift - Toddler Sized Library Totes

Now that Ellie and Sam have turned three and go to school/camp/dance class/gym class/etc . . . they are developing a crazy little social life. Having two that are invited to parties is great in lots of ways but hard on the wallet. We usually make a extra special gift when it is being given by two. After trying a few handmade items, I think we have found our gift! A lovely tote, with a matching book and a small Borders gift certificate. It is perfect!
A week ago Sunday the kids were invited to a pair of boy/girl twins party. I ended up staying up half the night before making them for the party the next day. They were quick and easy to make and I think my favorite part is using Heather Ross fabric on both! The new Far Far Away 2 Line is just perfect for this project. Canvas in a heavier weight so no interfacing is needed and the design is picture perfect! We ended up going with old favorites, Richard Scary collections of stories because finding the stories from the fabrics was not to be done in Saratoga Springs, NY the day before the party. My kids and I do love the Richard Scary collection of Fairy Tales.
Boy version is the Race car and Rabbits prints and the Far Far Away 2 - both Heather Ross printed by Kokka.
Have since found a copy of Rapunzel at Amazon and have a few on hand for the next toddler girl birthday we attend. I love having happy birthday cards that a friend made to add quickly to gifts and having the kids names on them is perfect!
I am almost out of this fun race car print and plan the next boy library tote to be in The Owl and the Pussycat print from Far Far Away 2 and pair it with this book.
Thanks for all the warm wishes. We did have a tough week with the loss of Steve's Dad and the best father-in-law and Grandfather anyone could ask for. The night Rein died I talked to him right when I started cutting these totes out and then got the call from Steve's mom after she found him just after I finished sewing them. He told me a fun Rapunzel story and he planned to go with me to take the kids to the bounce house party the next day when they visited. I plan to make one for Ellie and also find a copy of the German version of the story he spoke of.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Services for Reinhold Maximilian Ott

Calling Hours
Friday, July 16, 2010 at the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home from 4 to 7 pm.
The Funeral Home is located at 521 West Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247. (413) 663-6523.
Memorial Service
Saturday July 17, 2010 at Saint Patrick's Church at 9 am with a reception to follow at the adjacent parish center.
St. Patrick's is located at 54 Southworth Street, Williamstown, MA 01267. (413) 458-3053.

Memorial Fund and Family Contact Information

A Memorial Fund is in place, American Diabetes Association.
Contact Info for the Family Carole & Eric 151 Thornliebank Road Williamstown, MA 01267 Steve & Kirsten 19 Liz Ann Drive Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
I will print and pass on all e-mails to Carole and the boys - Please use this e-mail for donations, Carole would like to thank everyone for their kindness.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

With a very heavy heart, I am trying to make us smile

Steve's father Rein passed away last night. Not sure of the details, but as I was up staring at the wall after Steve and his brother Eric left our house last night, I went through recent photos of Grandpa Rein with the kids. It makes me feel just a little better to have them to look at.
If you knew this wonderful man, you know that he was kind, nice, positive, loving, proud and hardworking. He loved his family and we loved him. We will have a huge hole in our hearts.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Better late than never? Pre-school teacher gifts done!

The end of the school year came crashing down on me this year like a freight train. Steve was just getting back on his feet, baseball was in high gear and I just really dropped the ball in terms of thank-you to Ellie and Sam's three Friday pre-school teachers. I knew that we would be seeing all three of them this summer, at least for the first week of summer pre-school- so I put it off a bit.
These first two weeks of summer vacation have flown by and all of the sudden yesterday I realized that today would be the day to give the teachers a little something at the end of week one of camp. So with my feet to the fire so to speak . . . I finally got busy.
Love this gathered clutch pattern from Noodleheads, you can purchase it here and it is full of great information! I cut the fabric, found some zippers and set on the clutch making path. I think aside from the cutting, it didn't take much more time to do three than it took me to make one. So with an assembly line in place, I churned out these.
Cosmo Cricket Early Bird
another Cosmo Cricket Early Bird clutch
Nicey Jane with my all time favorite stripe!
One of the teacher's daughters in hanging out all four weeks with her mom and doing it for free . . . so she had to have a cute little something with her own Target gift card. Anyone who will look after my two little people deserves a rest and a big THANK-YOU!
I love clutches, they are quick to make and lots of fun. We always try and give teachers a gift card to a place we know they love and all three of these ladies we have run into at Target . . . so when they actually peek into their clutch, they will find a little red bullseye goodness ready and waiting . . .
Few notes to myself or anyone making the gathered clutch. You really need to cut the zipper at least a half inch - I like an inch- shorter than the pouch, so when you turn it, the sides look neat. I used zippers I had and didn't trim them down since they were very close to the size I needed. I thought it would be okay and it is . . . but I would have liked the look a lot more, if I had stayed true to how I made them in the past. I also think I like the strap now, but am going to try adding a D ring and making it a little fancier!
Thanks again Penny for starting the Gathered Clutch Swap and Anna of Noodlehead for being so generous with your talents. All your tutorials are wonderful!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Donkey's in Wellies, Birds in Chairs and a crinkled quilt top

It just makes me giddy with excitement to look at these journals. Giddy. Who would not love to write their inner-most thoughts or mundane to-do list in a journal with a donkey wearing super cute wellies? Just brilliant! The birds on the chairs, well they are pretty cute as well!
I picked these up from Laurie Wisburn's ETSY shop, Scarlet Fig, and must say they will be hard to let go of. I had intended to use them as gifts and now I am sure at least one is a gift to my favorite person, me! So stinking CUTE.
It is H - O - T . . . HOT today here in Upstate New York. At noon the temp gauge on the car read 101 and I failed to mention it is humid too. I am really missing the Pacific Northwest on days like today! We have been in the pool for days and when not actually in the pool, thinking of when we can jump back in. Sewing has been a stolen moment here or there.
Here is what I have been working on. This is the quilted side that we will sit on and the other side is a cotton laminated Nicey Jane print. I am not sure how practical this picnic throw/quilt will be, but it sure is going to look cute! My idea is for one side to be wipeable and can go on the grass and then we will sit on the cozy soft quilted side.
I have the cotton laminate cut and squared. Just finished sewing the strips to make up the quilted side together and then quilted diagonal lines going both ways. Then I washed it to get that puckered quilted goodness going . . . next up is layering the two sides and sewing on the binding and then finishing it off by hand.
It will be interesting to see how it holds up. Although you can wash laminated cotton in a washing machine, many advise against it. I am hoping I can always just wipe down the laminated side and not spill anything on the quilted side . . . if I end up having to wash it, then I will cross that bridge . . . Washing is said to cause wrinkles in the laminated cotton and they can be relaxed by warming the product in the sun or using a low heat iron on the cotton side.
I hope to have it finished in time for a Teddy Bear picnic at camp later this week and will get some photos!
The kids and I have been loving the pool the last few days, I even grabbed the camera for a bit!
Hope if you are facing the heat, you find some cool shade, a nice breeze or some water to cool off in!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

I have declared my independence this weekend and we are staying home for the first fourth of July in years! We are relaxing and having simple meals at home and have been ignoring all chores until the weekend is over! We watched Max's baseball game in the morning, relaxed at the pool all afternoon, had a BBQ with neighbors for dinner and then went to the local fireworks. On tap for today more pool, a visit from grandma and grandpa, grilled chicken and corn, a trip to our favorite ice cream cone and the big firework show tonight.

I am off to sew a bit before the grandparents show-up . . . I should really be cleaning up a bit for their visit, but staying true to my quest for independence from the oppression of housework this weekend!

Happy Birthday America!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We had a need and my sewing machine and I filled it!

This first week off from school was lots of fun! I did realize that I was not completely prepared with all the summer essentials however. As I cleaned the trunk out this weekend, I came face to face with a few days worth of wet bathing suits!
After looking around for our wetbag, I realized it was very gross and ugly, so into the donation box it went. I had some scraps of lovely Heather Bailey laminated cotton that I am making a picnic blanket with and thought how about I right this no wet bag wrong immediately.
So I cut four pieces of laminate 14 x 14, 2 x 2 piece of cotton fabric for tabs, grabbed a zipper and set out on the wet bag making path.
30 minutes later and we have a wonderfully cute bag to store our wet bathing suits in . . .
I love the outside almost as much as the fun stripe on the inside
This is a great simple project and oh so useful. I have made them in the past and have found that putting zipper tabs and making the zipper an inch or so smaller than the bag dimensions will leave space on either side of the tab and the side seam for air to get in and moisture to get out.
I need to make one for the boys, but first need to find a fun cotton laminate boyish print. If not maybe they won't mind a few pink stripes . . .
Another summer issue came up this week as well, the bees. Even though we just sprayed and had the bug guy check for nests, a bee stung Ellie mid-week. I wasn't prepared with our emergency sting, boo-boo, etc kit and had to scramble a bit to get my act together under pressure with her screaming and crying. I think I have everything assembled and am ready to take on the bugs, sun and scrapes that will come our way. What is in your kit of tricks for the summer bumps and bruises that come your way? I have found having after bite, ice packs, bandages in all flavors, bug spray, sun screen, bendryl, and neosporin at the ready helps us combat most situations.

Design by Bloggy Blog Designz Copyright © 2010