sewing


In between our holiday madness I got some crafting in, some for presents and some just for us 🙂

The year of the banner.  I LOVE making banners for different holidays, birthdays and just for any day of the week.  Some friends received holiday banners this year.

and one for us

This year I moved the village out from under the tree so we needed a new tree skirt.  I saw one at a store that inspired me – it was simple just red with snowflakes – I took that basic principle and envisioned a red skirt with different antique doilies attached (as the snowflakes). So began the quest for a red tree skirt (I was going to make one but thought I’d check the thrift stores first).  I was at one of my favorites digging through their uber amounts of doilies and I ask the lady behind the counter if they have any tree skirts and what do you know…. she’s about ready to open a big cardboard box that said “christmas stuff” and the first thing she pulls out is this adorable old tree skirt that is absolutely perfect.  So I pick up my stack of doilies and my fabulous find and head home to make my new tree skirt.

As I said this was the year of the banner….. here’s one the kids made

I’d have to say this is my favorite 🙂  They did such a good job – my little crafters!

A little something for my friends in Chicago.  I did the embroidery in the car on the way to The Skunk Train and I think I was a bit dizzy from the winding roads – as I look at the finished project 😉  Whoops – well this is part of the appeal of handmade to me, nothing is perfect and no two are alike –  let’s just go with that.  Hopefully they won’t mind.

And the dowel rod was a bit rough on the ends so I had to figure out a little finial and I found my new favorite thing to do…..

 

felt balls.  I had no luck making the felt balls with the soap and water method and then I bought felting needles – and ta da – it’s a miracle – I can make the felt balls 🙂  I am totally jazzed about my new found crafty love.

There was a bit more crafting/creating during the season but in all my rush to get the gifts to their rightful owners (some being back in Chicago) I failed to take pictures 😦  but hopefully they are all enjoying their gifts made with lots of love.

What kind of wonderful crafting did you do during the holidays?  Did you receive any great crafts or handmade items? 

One of my favorite was a lip balm and soap made by my muli-talented girl Kendra over at a sonoma garden.  She makes all of these wonderful salves and lotions and potions and gardens and cooks and sews beautifully, etc etc. while raising three kids and I think they are up to 6 chickens now too!  I saw she had started to make lip balm and was secretly hoping I’d be getting some this year.  And yippee, I did…… Thanks Kendra 🙂

Finally completing our Thanksgiving sign!  I started it last year and didn’t finish it in time for Thanksgiving 2009, so I put it away and pulled it out 2 weeks before Thanksgiving 2010 and finished it!  Yes, unfortunately, that is how I roll.  I wish I would have just completed it last year, but nothing like a little fire lit under you to get you working, right?!  Much to my parents chagrin, this is also how I rolled  in college (sometimes it worked, sometimes not so much).

Something else I finally completed was Ryder’s name banner.  I have been meaning to get this done and after seeing how happy he was when I did finally hang it, I wish I would have done this a long time ago.  But I guess that’s what happens when life “happens”.  Balance, that’s what I keep trying to remind myself of. 

Of course I am grateful for so much more, my beautiful family, great friends, beautiful whole food from our yard, the sun, the sky, the earth, a good glass of wine, a nice dark beer, our four legged friends and our inner peace (that I sometimes lose but usually can find it if I look a little).

I’ve been doing  a lot of creating, crafting, sewing these last few weeks.  I signed up for a holiday boutique at Ryder’s school about a month or so ago and then thought “holy crap” I better get some things together!  So began a frenzy of cutting, pinning, sewing, crocheting, etc…….. In my madness I finally made Ryder a banner for his room – he was so happy to hang it up. 

Now if I can only finish my skirt I’ve had sitting on my table for months 😉  But I’m glad my little man is happy – he’s been waiting so patiently.

Saige and her new big girl bike (big 3 year old!)

soccer practice and soccer games – Doug is coaching this year too 🙂

painting the bean bag toss game for the birthday party

Snuck away from the party planning to go to Power to the Peaceful to see our boyfriend Michael Franti 😉  Yes, Saige and I are quite infatuated (as well as Doug and Ryder ).  What’s not to like about the man!  Saige was bummed we were so far back we couldn’t see him – too cute!

Figs are coming in

and so are the tomatoes!  Yippee!  I am thrilled.  Not sure if you remember my previous post about my tomatoes not being so big or great, well we got a nice little heat wave and BAM  they all turned red and were decent sized and I’ve been hauling in 8lb + baskets of tomatoes weekly – I’m loving it!

So with that said I’ve been doing a lot of sauce making and storing.

something else we’ve been making a lot of …. hula hoops – 30 to be exact.  These were the “reward” for solving the mystery at the kids party (Scooby Mystery party).

our big 6 year old (yes that’s right 6!) got his first skateboard for his birthday.  He got to go to the local skateshop and had his board built and got to tour the shop and learned the “skater” hand shake – the red carpet treatment.  He was so stoked!

Shaggy and Daphne before the party.  Mama had a late night – I had some costume adjustments to make.  It was going to be 95+ degrees that day and I had to make a new dress for Saige (or I should say Daphne) one that was sleeveless.  Doug was Fred (unfortunately we did not get a picture of him) and I was Velma (yes, the smart one 😉  ).

picked some berries in the morning for a raspberry/strawberry curd for the filing of the cake.  I tried my hand at a red velvet cake and was thrilled with the outcome. I usually try out new cakes on my friends and they don’t usually turn out good (I am not the best baker) but this one turned out good 🙂

In the haste of frosting the cake (15 minutes) before the party I forgot to cross the “T” in birthday.  And no that isn’t a spelling mistake – it is supposed to say Rappy Rithday (in the words of Scooby).

The hoops were a success and Velma really liked them too 😉  yes that is me under the wig and glasses – it was way too hot to rock the turtleneck!

So after this all this, I woke up and it suddenly was October!  Ugh!

And during this time Ryder started kindergarten, I (and a few others) are trying to get the schools garden built, I started doing a daycare co-op with a friend and her two kids and Saige is back in tap and Ryder is taking hip hop – phew! 

September always seems to sneak up and fly by.  The good thing is the “gang” has their costumes ready for Halloween – no costume sewing for Mama.  Now back to my quilt (and the other 50 projects I have half finished).

I can catch my breath now

I found this pillowcase at the thrift store the other day and had to buy it.  I had this dress in mind when I bought it.   I just love the colors and how summery it looks.  I had purchased some elastic thread a couple months back and have been wanting to try to sew with it (I’ve never used elastic thread).  I love the little smocked tops and dresses – they are so easy to just throw on and go.  So this was my first attempt with the elastic thread – and I think – not so bad 🙂  And I can’t help but LOVE that this is an old pillow case (no hemming needed).

I did add straps to the dress to help it stay on better.  I love the elastic thread.  Super easy to use and super easy to create a quick top or dress or skirt.

Give it a try and let’s see what you create.

Friday Ryder graduated from preschool! 

It’s an end of a chapter but the beginning of another.  This was a special graduation because most of the graduates have been there since the inception of the school, so it was really special for both kids and teachers. 

We LOVE his school and teachers so much.  I couldn’t ask for a better place for our kids to be a part of. 

In honor of the teachers I made a class gift, with the help of the kids and a couple of my friends we created one of my favorite pieces….

I found this quote by JFK and thought it was fitting “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and it’s best hope for the future”.  I embroidered this on a plane ride from Chicago back to Cali!

The kids wrote their names on individual leaves.

I really enjoyed working on this project, but I’m so glad to be done because I have a lot of summer skirts and dresses to make for Saige and I – can’t wait to get going on those.  They are fast and easy and a quick reward!  I like those projects 🙂

The garden needs some attention too.  We’ve had sooo much rain this spring, but it looks like some clear skies are forecasted so I must get out and tend to the garden.  Some of our plants have been decimated by slugs so we’re going to need to replant quickly – heck it’s already June!  Where has the time gone?………

I have been working on a class gift for Ryder’s preschool graduation.  I will post pictures soon.  So, this gift has gotten me back out into the cottage working and cleaning up so I’m inspired to do more. 

Saige had a birthday party for her BFF at school and the theme of the party was “pinkalicious” – in honor of the book (which the story goes, the little girl can’t eat more than 2 cupcakes or she’ll turn pink – too cute!).  So in honor of the party theme I wanted to make her a pink cupcake shirt.

I am sooooo loving this shirt.  I think Saige will be getting one soon.

I couldn’t stop with this, so I made Saige a little outfit for the party.  As some of you may already know, when I find fabric I like I buy it and sometimes I’ll use it right away, but usually it sits until something speaks to me and I make something out of it.  Well, this fabric has been sitting for about a year and it finally has found it’s way onto the table and under the presser foot and is now a darling little skirt and I used the scraps to make a little flower for a plain white tshirt. 

I want one for myself 🙂

I have been feeling so stiffled in my creativity with my “day job” so it felt so good to just get a little bit of “creating” in.  Oh, how I long to do this on a more regular basis.  It’s so hard to juggle family, day job, play time, gardening, cooking and creating.  If only I could get rid of “day job” and replace that with “creating”.  It will happen one of these days, but for now I’ll take it when I can.

What are your latest creations?  How do you find balance?

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