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!!!!

I know it’s close to the middle of November already, but here’s the October recap….

I’ve been working on getting ready for my first real craft fair so I’ve been putting bloggingoff to the side. 

So, Fall is my favorite season, I just love the smells, colors, energy in the air, everything.  This is the time of year when I miss living in the Chicago area/Midwest, because it is just so beautiful and you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside.  Anyways, October was spent going to pumpkin patches. 

We made it to a few with the family and then Ryder even made it to another one with his school.  It was a bit warmer than I would have liked during the month – you know it should be kinda cool and crisp- but it still was beautiful. 

We found some really great pumpkins and climbed lots of hay pyramids and had lots of fun.

Then came Halloween (one of my favorite holidays- love dressing up!) 

So Ryder insisted on being a firefighter and Saige was a black cat.  So since Ryder already had his Dad’s firefighter hat from Doug’s childhood (and hasn’t taken it off since he got it from Grammy Kathy about 2 months ago), we just needed to find a coat- luckily we found one at the thrift store- perfect!  I made a kitty hat and tail for Saige and we were set.  We carved our pumpkins the night before and went trick or treating with his best bud and had a blast! 

The Halloween Fairy came a couple nights later and left a few books in place of the candy.  I recommend the Halloween Fairy come visit your little ones in the future- great way to get rid of the candy.  Ryder even wrote her a letter and asked for her to leave 2 pieces (which is totally fine). 

We had our first rain (since I’d say March- give or take) on Halloween and again the next day- we actually had a break in the rain for trick or treating (and the weather actually made it even better).  So by Sunday we were a bit anxious to get back out so we headed up North for a hike in one of our favorite spots.  A little hike we used to do with Wanagi when we lived up in Healdsburg at Lake Sonoma. 

So we took the kids and Milo and headed out.  It was so wonderful- it’s so great to be out after a rain- it’s like everything is taking a big drink.  The smell of the earth is so pungent- it’s just wonderful.  And it was perfect because it was dia de los muertos (day of the dead) which is a day to honor our loved ones who have passed.  I had intended on creating a little shrine this year (but it didn’t quite come to fruition) so our hike was in honor of our beloved Wanagi.  It was definitely sad to be there without him, but Milo sure enjoyed himself – the torch has been passed.

In between all of that, I plugged away at my craft, sewing blankets, getting business cards, hammering out the details (mainly a lot of sewing).  And it all ended in todays craft fair.  Which was fabulous! 

I had a great time and am jazzed for the next one.  Now I have a few weeks to get a couple wall hangings done and there’s a possibility I may be selling my shirts in one of the boutiques in town (the owner took my card and we are making an apointment to talk!  I hope it goes well).

So there we have it.  Hope October was spooktacular for all of you too (sorry had to be a cheeseball with that phrase).

I haven’t been blogging b/c I was asked to make a baby present for a friend who had a shower to go to today.  So I’ve been working on a name sign for the gift.  Kinda like the one I made for Saige – just smaller.  I love how it turned out.  My friend gave me no restrictions – she told me the name and the colors of the nursery and of course with the fabric hording that I do, I knew I could find something in my studio. 

So, I hope the mama to be is happy with her gift.  I certainly enjoyed making it.