Friday, September 24, 2010

Falling into line

This week we finally got into the groove. Ellie and Sam had their first full week of activities and pre-school and Max is going strong. All three of them are busy, which in turn keeps me crazy busy. I am thinking about picking up my needles and making some hats and gloves for the kids, since I find my time sitting at their activities a lot and could be moving my hands! Also I just ordered the sequel to my favorite knitting book, Last Minute Handmade Gifts, from Purl. I thought it was a signed copy, but sadly it wasn't. It did allow me to order some of the new embrodery thread Purl is carrying! Super excited to make a few things from the new book!
all time fav knitting book!
new book!
The little kids had a very happy week and one day were so in the zone I had to take some photos. I love when they are being nice to each other . . .
after pick-up on their first full day of Skidmore College pre-school - Sept 2010
Ellie put this little number together herself, minus the coat and I couldn't get over how cute she looked (I know I am a bit biased) but how fun when things you pick up from different stores and even from different years, come together to a fun outfit! The dress I bought when she was an infant at a going out of business sale and held onto it for three years, together with tights bought on a whim due to a love of stripes and then her new school shoes and coat . . . together so fun!
The Savvy Seasons swap has been keeping me busy. I get so crazed with finishing the swaps so I can not have to worry . . . that I don't get any other sewing done. So I am trying to finish it up this week. A great week with new TV shows to sit and stitch binding. This week I quilted a bit each night, then made the scrappy binding strips and last night started to hand stitch the binding. I have a night or two left and it will be done! I LOVE the Bliss line and am thrilled at how this is coming out. I took it with me to KC Fabrics last night for our Thirsty Thursday stitching night and my peeps have me really wanting to keep it! I always promise that I will make the same item for us . . . and this time I mean it (unless of course I get one from my swap partner!) Here is a quick peek of how it is looking.
Also so excited to get some Heather Ross prints that Amber and I ordered from Spoonflower in the Sateen. I am thrilled we choose to go for it, the prints look wonderful!
Okay off to help in Max's class . . . we are making applesauce.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Christmas in September? 1970's addition

The Savvy Seasons swap and all the holiday fabrics have me in the holiday decor crafting phase. I love the holidays and just can't resist all the fun projects centered around them. This year I plan to make a holiday quilt for us and maybe a pillow or two.
The swap has got me thinking about my favorite decorations from years past and trying to recreate them. My partner was pretty specific in her requests and she is also one of what I refer to as the flickr elite. Anyone who reads this little blog knows that I get a little worried about my sewing ability when sewing for others. The quilt blocks this person makes are A M A Z I N G and since I know I can't create any complicated piecing jobs . . . I am relying on color sense and fabric choices. Through some stalking of my partner's blog I found out that the new Bliss line is a favorite. So off I went in search of some and let me tell you . . . it is a great line.
Here is where I stalled out. I could not find a pattern I loved for a tree skirt, so I decided to create my own from my favorite tree skirt we used growing up. It is not the traditional rounded skirt, but a quilted skirt with 8 blades if you will. I traced the skirt and have pieced together the top so far. I am loving it and now just need to decided how to quilt it. I am leaning toward straight organic lines. This skirt I love is a really awful 70's print that really wasn't all that festive, I just really loved the shape!
sorry for the random sneak peak! I have pieced with the jelly roll every other fan of the tree skirt and then used the print shown in red or the same print in green on the alternating one.
The exercise of decided what I liked from years past also got me thinking of ornaments. My mom made amazing stuff in the 70's. I really loved two sets . . . she did dough art for all of us and painted them in great little sports outfits or really whatever we were into. It was a ton of fun and they really felt special. Then she made some felt ornaments from a kit, that I just LOVE. A fellow flickr user posted a photo of the set recently and my quest began to find them. I had checked on Ebay before with no luck . . . but today I found them! I am keeping my fingers crossed I will win the auction!
Finally I have been playing around with some another idea of three nesting baskets in some fun holiday colors to go with the tree skirt. Here is my first prototype and I will tweak it a bit. I need to find something else to use as the base. I think I will make one for us to store the cards that come in. Maybe even as a gift to give to the neighbors with a few goodies tucked inside. Here is the smallest size and what I have so far! Loving the new spoonflower design from Laurie Wisburn . . . could it be printed as a Kaufman print next fall? We can only hope!
the inside looks like this
Before the partner assignments I started to work on a little hoop . . . not sure if I will use it, but will keep going on it. It is from Annie Oakleaves that I bought last year, but now it is easy to get them from Kerri at SewDeerlyLoved.
Have you started any holiday crafting? It will be here before we know it . . .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Love the Urban Home Goods Swap

My favorite part of the swap is waiting for the partner I made for to receive the package. Upon awaking this am, I saw that over in Australia a little package arrived for my fabulous swap partner, Miss Nova . . . and she loved it! Her blog, a cuppa and a catch up, has been a staple of creative inspiration for me. I must admit I was a little worried about my abilities when making for one of the flickr rockstars, but after posting a few photos in the pool, Nova was always one of the first people to jump in with sweet comments and she even *favored* a few of the items. So I decided I am at least a flickr solid karaoke singer and I wouldn't fret, but just have fun!
Isn't it great participating in these swaps and knowing that unlike your critical mother-in-law or pregnant friend who you are pretty sure would rather have a gift from a store, you are making something special for someone who appreciates it? I love that part of the swaps!
So Nova mentioned she liked gray, blue, green with a touch of red . . . which is a favorite combo for me as well. I had so much fun breaking out some fabric that often sits on the sidelines and watches . . . grey and blue seeds and some large blue bouquet. I even cut into a Aunt Cookie panel. It made me want to sew with fabrics I love more often and really I have been the last couple weeks! I vow to continue and it is Sew with your FMF month, as proclaimed by Amy of Badskirt.
Here is what I sent to Nova.
The craft or craft show apron, tea cozy, mug rug and a bunting with her name. The cream and sugar set is my personal tea time favorite and I found another set at a fun new kitchen store . . . so thought it had to be sent as well.
here is a full view of the bunting
and a complete view of the tea cozy. I used a pattern by Retromama and will be making a few more cozy's, it is a great pattern. She is even having a contest to win the pattern! It fits over my trusty chantal tea pot and keeps the tea nice and warm!
Later today I will take some photos of the wonderful items I received in the swap from Colette and the fun story behind it. Off to photograph hat day at school for the yearbook and then to soccer and swim class with the little kids. So this will be a partial post for now!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rocky start but good outcome

Now that we are entering third grade, we are old hat at first days of school. He did wake up early and came into our room dressed and ready for the day! What a change from sleeping in all summer long. He was excited to tackle the day and see all his friends.
The little kids didn't feel the same way . . . they didn't want to lose their best buddy for the day. All day long they wanted to know when Max would be home!
Big Send-off
The ever popular backpack photo.
His favorite shirt
This year is a bit different in the fashion, music and just general attitude. He is an eight year old who is influenced by older kids in the neighborhood, on sports teams and at camps he attended. We went to the mall last week for shoes and he really wanted to pick out some "fancy" t-shirts that weren't his usual sports teams. He asked to go into Aeropostale and he picked out some t-shirts, a hat and a lovely chain with a dog tag on it. I was proud of myself for keeping my lack of enthusiasm for the fake chain in check. He knows he can't wear it to school, so really it didn't do much harm. I am learning with the music choices to pick my battles for the ones I can't live with losing.
Here he is from the weekend with the new hat and he is feeling very stylish and cool.
Lamp post pose
I need to dig out the first day photos I have taken in front of this lamp post since pre-school. He is really getting tall!
Our half of Liz Ann Drive
I took a couple shots of our bus stop to use in the yearbook for school this year. It is a job I took on with a friend last year and lets just say . . . tons of work! This year I vow to keep up with it throughout the year so it won't be so much work in the last couple weeks.
Bus stop
I love this shot from oldest to the youngest kids. We have 6 Kindergarten kids on our street this year, three at our bus stop! What fun! The only problem today was the bus didn't really show up! It broke down earlier in the route and a new bus was sent. Not a great way to start the year. We ended up driving the kids and just as we were leaving the neighborhood with minutes until school started, the bus sped onto our street. Lets hope Friday the whole thing goes a little better. Yes you heard me, we had a day of school and now we have a day off for the Jewish holidays. Not sure why we didn't wait for Friday or Monday to be the first day . . .
Waiting for the bus
Max is a rule follower and our house is actually its own bus stop. We often get lonely and go and hang with the neighbors a few doors down. Max always feels like he is breaking the rules and he didn't want to break them on this first day. Ellie and Sam always wait with him. I was waiting to get the shot of them waiting and the bus pulling onto the street, but this year that didn't happen.
True to form, we didn't get many details. Looking forward to chatty Ellie's school days and actually knowing what goes on. I did learn that - he likes his teacher, she is nice, lots of his favorite peeps are in his class and his favorite part of the day was learning that one of his best buddies, himself and the teacher are the only three Red Sox fans in a sea of Yankee loving New Yorkers. He is quite anxious to learn to write in cursive and is thrilled that they will learn slowly.
Have a great year Max - we are thrilled, proud and expecting you to try your best!
P.S. I started writing this post around 8:30 and Max was fast asleep . . . the first day of school is draining!

Friday, September 3, 2010

When a virtual face becomes a real one - Pool Day with Miesmama and Mamalovestoread

What a wonderful experience flickr has been for me. To have an outlet for creativity and to be truly inspired by others. The swaps have pushed me out of my comfort zone sewing wise and also I actually finish things in a timely manor, that if I was making it for us . . . lets face it, projects probably wouldn't get finished.
The other real fun part is meeting new people that you tend to have a lot in common with. Becky, Miesmama and I have been friends for almost five years when our oldest attended a co-op pre-school together for two years. We started a knitting group of a few of the pre-school moms and when the kids were in school, once per week we would knit in the library. It was a lot of fun to teach friends to knit and we all became close. For me that is the best reward of getting together to stitch . . . often not much stitching gets done! I think after the yarn shop and years of knitting, sewing was something brand new and inspiring to me. Flickr and the fabric swap group had a ton to do with fueling my new obsession. Becky got me into flickr to begin with, although she had yet to join in on the quilting swaps. I suggested a few groups and she jumped right in about a year ago and is gone swap mad like the rest of us . . . and is loving it!
We have been getting together the last few weeks and stitching while our kids swam. They have been lovely days by the pool with the kids content, allowing us hours to catch up, stitch a little and swim. On a whim I thought about Colette, mamalovestoread, and knew although she lives 30-45 min away . . . perhaps she might have a reason to come into Saratoga and want to get in on the fun.
Colette and her lovely nine year old daughter came this week and we had a wonderful time. It was like the three of us had known each other for years. We had a lot of fun discussing all the various swaps and the fun we have been having. It was great fun and we plan to all get together on a regular basis!
I didn't get much stitching done, but I did manage to get the binding on the fourth and final project for the UHG . . . and as a jumper onto every crafty bandwagon that comes my way
Are you feeling the mug rug love partner?
my first mug rug! It measures a little shy of 6 x 11 and I am really not sure how I ever lived without a coaster/placemat for a mug and a treat. I will for sure be making a few for the winter around here to put the kids hot cocoa and cookies on! I joined the scrappy mug rug swap group and am looking forward to seeing what I receive to put my coffee and tea on.
I was so thrilled with this little rug . . . I had to test drive it with the bunting I made for my partner and explore all its potential. I think it makes a great trivet for a tea pot, placemat for cream and sugar with room for spoons, works with big mugs, expresso cups or just regular sized coffee cups. Such a versatile little piece of patchwork!
Mug Rug Love and oh the possibilities . . . testing it out for my UHG Partner!
Thanks again Becky and Colette for a lovely day!

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