21 July 2014

June holiday sewing for July

My June sewing for our holiday challenge was nine Independence Day skirts - 5 for my girls, and 4 more for cousins for our family reunion. I was blasting through finishing the skirts at 10 pm the night before we left on the trip, and ended up inserting the waistband elastic at the reunion for 4 of them. 

These shots were indeed taken on July 4 - fun day! I got pictures of all but one of the skirts, and please excuse the black corners - my camera's automatic lens cap is getting funky on me. JK's skirt (middle picture on the left) turned out a lot shorter than I was going for - I need to add a super-wide ruffle to the bottom to lengthen it, so she can wear it again without her diaper hanging out. SM's skirt was way too big in the waist - not sure how that happened because I'm pretty sure I measured the elastic on her before I inserted it. It literally fell off her when she put it on the first time, so I just pinned it until we got home from the trip and now it's in my mending pile.

The pattern/tutorial for all of them was the Simple Skirt, and I got the idea for all the ribbons from the Fiesta Skirt. My secret addition was pockets on all but the 2 babies' skirts. Instead of only one seam up the back on the rectangle of fabric, I cut it in half so there were 2 side seams, and added pockets. I saw something somewhere about pockets but I couldn't find directions again so I figured it out on my own ... and did them backwards the first time so it wasn't a totally smooth process. But they are really easy - I'll put directions with photos up here ... later. And the pockets were all fun Independence Day prints, hidden away for a surprise (except SM, who wanted patch pockets on the front so that's what she got). It was really fun to have all the little cousins in sorta-matching clothes - all the same red fabric but the ribbons were all different.

Happy Independence Day!

13 July 2014

KCW July

I just updated the KCW button on the blog.  The 21st is only a week away!  Theme: Kid Art.  Instead of just working on whatever, I want to actually take the time to plan.  I'm an artist.  What can I do to incorporate more art (whether mine or Cupcake's) into my sewing?  This week I will make a plan.  How about you guys?  Anyone else joining in this month?

It will be hard not to include some sort of birthday something since the 25th is my birthday, the 30th is her birthday, and we're having a BBQ to celebrate on the 26th.

29 June 2014

June Cooking

After creating a dinner database (a big list of everything I like/would like to cook for dinner) planning meals has been less stressful.  And if I have a plan, dinner actually gets made.  The month of June has been quite successful.  Tried out some new recipes, some that will end up in the regular rotation.

Pizza Rolls - based off a cinnamon roll recipe, but instead of cinnamon and sugar in the middle, it's pizza sauce and meat, with cheese melted on top.  I had zero experience making cinnamon rolls, so they got a bit messy, but I'll get better when I make them again.

Zucchini Lasagna - Aaron doesn't like zucchini or lasagna, so I made this recipe while he was out of town.  A bit more time consuming than I'd usually like to spend on dinner, but it was delicious.  I didn't miss the lasagna noodles at all!  Next time I'd love to add spinach to the sauce.

Smashed Potatoes - Nice change from our usual potato wedges.  Good as a side.

Orange Muffins - Yummy! Yummy!  Made them one week and loved them so much that I made a double batch the next.  They freeze well.  Not at all healthy, since there is a full cup of melted butter in there, but light and fluffy and delicious.  I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and one cup of (freshly squeezed) orange juice instead of a half, so I cut the milk down to half cup.  And lots of zest.

Banana Peanut Butter Muffins - had to use the rest of the Greek yogurt before we leave town, so tried these.  Much heavier and rich than the orange ones, but still pretty good.  Not something I'd make super often, but they also freeze well.

Baked Broccoli - someone posted it on Facebook.  I'm not usually a fan of cooked broccoli, but I've made this multiple times throughout the month.  *Do not rinse the broccoli immediately before preparing.  Chop your broccoli and toss with minced garlic, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Easy and delicious!

And right now my husband is making a cherry cola BBQ sauce to go on some ribs for dinner tomorrow.  Should be interesting!

June Sewing Projects

Shortened the green dress so she can actually run and play in it.
Made another pair of pajama pants. 

A ruffle shirt for the 4th. 
A bit oversized so she can wear it for a few years.

03 June 2014

Adam's project

One more brag point for Adam - he designed and built this table. It's in our backyard. It can fit probably a dozen adults - 6 on each side ... And the firepit is just to the right of it. PAR-TAY!

02 June 2014

Spring Wonderland

I've done my first paint job! YEEEEAH!

My sister Tawnia is spending the month of June with us, so I emptied the front bedroom, which I'd been using as a sewing room since we moved into the house. (The sewing room is now downstairs as part of the storage room. It's not the greatest, but it works.) I wanted to paint it before she got here because there's no point in setting up an entire room and then moving everything out to paint it later. Just get it done now.

The beginning: boring boring dirty-looking off-white. Yuck. You can see how pleased Adam is at my determination to paint our house. Ha ha ha. (Bookcase and dresser covered with the plastic - all other furniture was out.) And you can also see how pleased he is at my "extremism" of wanting to use multiple colors and needing lots and lots of tape rather than just slapping up all one color and calling it good. I'm grateful for my sweet hubby accommodating me. My thought is - this is the first time I've ever been able to do anything at all with my house, so I'm going all the way with it.

Phase 1: The ceiling and top 18 inches of the wall are the blue, and the yellow stripe is 12 inches wide. In person, it's more pale than this, and the walls aren't quite so neon. But it is bright! And I like it! The edge of the window, closet, and door are "ultra white" - nice and clean and bright and NOT cream! The pink ceiling fan was chosen by the girls and installed last summer when we moved in.

Phase 2 will be after Tawnia leaves, and then my parents are taking up residence in the room for the month of August, and THEN in September, SM and TA will get the room. At that point, we're going to paint flowers all over the green in pink, purple, orange, yellow ... whatever we have and whatever strikes us as interesting. We may also add some white clouds to the ceiling. The girls also want to put fairies on the walls. I told them I can't paint fairies - I'm no artist - but I'll find decals that we can use. I have fabric to make curtains - just haven't gotten to it yet. Those blinds are coming down and landing in a dumpster - I hate them.

RG has named our decorating scheme "Spring Wonderland." When we finish with the front bedroom, we'll do the back bedroom to match (and possibly their bathroom as well).

01 June 2014

the progression of the flower bed

In only about 6 weeks, this is how our front yard flower bed has progressed.

April 12:
A few new plants coming up from the bulbs, but a lot of dead stuff. I'd actually cleared it out quite a bit before taking this picture. No border - the grass was just growing up into the flower area.

April 19:

A week later, we'd finished clearing the dead stuff, added the rock border, and even a path of flat stones up to the boulder. The girls like to climb on it, so we figured we'd give them a path so they don't step on the flowers.

May 2:
Only a couple of weeks, and the plants were going great - I thought they were irises but they've turned out to be day lilies. There may be some irises in there, but we haven't seen those flowers yet. We had 3 or 4 transplanted daffodils coming out on the right side - I don't know if it's because they were moved a few weeks earlier so we messed them up for the year or what, but it was just those few.

May 28 - THIS is what we've been waiting for! ::

In the last picture, the low plants along the left side (the back of the flower bed) are black-eyed Susans - we moved them from another part of the yard. Those will be an awesome wall of yellow daisies with black centers in August and September.

LOVE my flowers!

31 May 2014

May holiday - another birthday dress

I'm totally counting the birthday dresses for the Holiday Challenge, because if your birthday isn't a holiday then what is it? Yes. I know you know what I mean.

So here we have SM's birthday dress:

The pattern was the Oliver + S music box jumper, and SM chose the fabric at JoAnn. I learned how to do pleats with this pattern. The one thing I didn't get a picture of is that there are buttons all the way down the back - a dozen pink glittery buttons that she chose herself. (Big surprise.)

30 May 2014

ruffled tote

Not a lot of sewing this month.  I had a large commissioned drawing to get done, a week long babysitting job, and my husband's new company getting started. 

did do my holiday challenge for the month though!  After making so much for my little girl, it was about time I did something for myself - a ruffle tote bag.  Technically for Mother's Day (and I am now a mother, so I count), even though it happened a few weeks late.  I had a tote bag that was falling apart, so I reinforced it and add a few ruffles on top.  Next time I'll make sure the ruffles overlap more.

Projects coming up:  a reversible baby bucket hat (that I'm terrified of), another pair of pajama pants, and possibly a red-white-and-blue little something for the reunion in July.

15 May 2014


Stylo Magazine is a fairly new online magazine about children's clothing that is AMAZING. Go to the link for issue 2, click on "magazine" at the top for issue 1. There are a few tutorials and sewist profiles here and there, but mostly it's just photos with the patterns and fabrics identified in the captions. The stated purpose of the whole publication is to be inspiration. LOVE it. I sat up last night until almost 1 a.m. going through the whole thing.

The editors note at the beginning of issue 2 gave me my quote of the week - or year -

Let's go get our zest on

I'm going to somehow put that on a wall in really big lettering. Of all the motivational quotes you've ever seen, doesn't that one just NAIL it?!?!