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.

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?

I am officially addicted to youtube and crocheting!  Sounds like an odd combo but I have been using youtube to find all these patterns for crocheting.  My grandmother crocheted and always said she was going to teach me, but unfortunately I never learned from her (I was too “cool” to learn at the time and then she got sick and passed away around the time I would have LOVED to learn).  So I’ve always regretted not learning from her and one day about 6 years ago I decided I was going to figure it out.  My coworker, at the time, was an avid crocheter so I asked her to show me a few stitches (during a 10 minute break).  That was my lesson in crocheting.  So I bought a bunch of different size hooks and started to play around. 

Up until this point I’ve only been able to go in rows (so a lot of scarves have been made in the last 6 years).  But that gets boring.  So recently I decided to pick up my hooks again and try to figure out how to do more.  I am not really great with directions (this is why I am not a baker – I am a good cook – a little bit of this a little bit of that – tweak it so I like it) so reading some of the crochet books can be a bit intimidating.  So I’m not sure how or why I went to youtube, but I did, and I searched “how to crochet a hat” and tons of links came up.  Amazing!  So I just finished my second hat and even added a cute little flower to it!  I’m so jazzed about this – I’m ready to move on to a sleeveless sweater or something slightly easier like that.  Maybe I’m being a bit eager – but hey – why not?

So for right now, I’m really digging youtube and crocheting. 

Another “love” right now is Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  LOVE LOVE LOVE these patterns, and colors and combinations!  I wish I had more money and more time because I want to buy ALL the fabric and make dresses, skirts, pants, quilts, pillows, etc. with these beautiful fabrics.  For now I might just get some scraps for doing patchwork on my cousins’ new baby’s quilt. 

What are you drooling over these days?

So I have been collecting Doug’s old shirts and mine – that have fun patterns or good pockets.  You ask why?  Well, I have been saving them to make pants for the kids.  Soulemama has a technique she wrote about in her book The Creative Family.  I thought – what a great idea!  I love to re purpose something and give it new life. 

So I busted into my collection and began my project.  Amazingly it is super quick.  I think in total it may have taken 15 to 20 minutes – not too bad and in the end you get a cool new pair of pants.  

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Here’s how it goes….. take your shirt, lay out a pair of pants that is the kids current size, trace around it (I actually just cut with the pant laying on the shirt – another way to save a step).  Add a little around the pant to allow for seam allowance, cut a piece of elastic to size, sew it up and you got yourself a new pair of pants.  You can read in detail in her book. 

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I place the pants so that the pocket of the shirt becomes the back pocket of the pants.  I recently made Ryder a pair out of an old Ben Davis shirt of Doug’s (they are adorable) and also a pair of linen pants out of an old linen shirt (perfect for spring/summer). 

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My shirts don’t work so well b/c of pleating (something to watch for).  I have some jersey shirts I will be using for shorts and leggings.  I did make a skirt out of an old shirt of mine for Saige – it’s now one of my favorite skirts for her.

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(and her shirt is a new one I made yesterday – my little Peace baby!)

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I love to see the little ones in their handmade garb – and they seem to like it too!  Nothing better than when your 4 1/2 year old says “mama, will you make me another pair of pants”.  I just LOVE it!!!!