29 December 2012

this year's Christmas stuff

Well, I was going to try to have another year of handmade for everyone, but being pregnant has stomped out most of my motivation. I did make a couple of things for gifts but not nearly as much as I was hoping for. And, um, I took pictures of none of it. But here are some links if you want ideas for next year, or just stuff to do.

Adam made hammocks for the girls. Out of pink and purple nylon canvas. Heh. His hammocks are both green - a super dark olive, and a more regular green that is frequently used in camping gear. But he bit the bullet and made the girls' hammocks out of their favorite colors, instead of camping colors.

We had the girls make these felt star ornaments for my parents - SM sewed the whole thing herself, RG helped pull the needle, JE chose the color of edging floss and the button for the middle and I sewed it, and TA - well, she's still a baby so I did it in her behalf.

I found this fabric pumpkin tutorial just before Halloween and made a couple out of scrap fabric I had kicking around. I really liked them, so I ordered a charm pack (pre-cut 5 inch squares) of specific Halloween fabric from fabric.com to make more pumpkins for my sibling gift exchange - the theme was holiday decorations. When it arrived, I'd just seen this post for a mini-quilt ... and since I've been wanting to try out some quilting anyway ... it just went better. So I made a Halloween mini-quilt and sent it off to my brother and his family. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of it since it was my first one. But I have the makings from the charm pack for 3 more of them, so I'll take pictures of them when they're done. I got them started but nothing was finished before Christmas so their intended recipients will be surprised later.

And that was it for my homemade Christmas. Sigh. I started on a group present for the girls but it didn't get finished. I intended to make Christmas Eve pajamas but ended up buying them (about 3 hours before we gave them to the girls - talk about last minute shopping). Hopefully next year goes better.

Oh, and as a sidenote - 2 posts ago, I said the bobbin case was missing from the sewing machine. The next day after posting that, we cornered JE (age 2) and got her to tell us it was "hiding." She had poked it with her finger into the innards of the machine. Fortunately, Adam was able to shake it back out, but I was still ready with a screwdriver to take the machine apart if necessary.

27 December 2012

some random thoughts to finish 2012 and start 2013

Thought 1: 
As I've been reading this or that sewing or crafting or home decor blog, I'm leaning more toward the blogs in which I know the author/creator has multiple children along with their creative pursuits and blogging (which always includes amazing photography of course). The holiday drama of "Oh, I'm sooooo busy! We should all SIMPLIFY!" from bloggers who have only one child does not impress me and is really becoming annoying. You think you're so busy with ONE kid who is in school all day while you do your creative thing? It's self-inflicted, Sister. Cry me a river. Try having four at home all the time because I homeschool the older two, the younger two are demanding toddlers, and I'm 7 months pregnant with #5. I can't keep up with the dishes and laundry, let alone have the time to spend half the day making stuff and taking pictures of it with a really expensive camera. Yes, these are the choices I've made for my family, but wow - spare me the whining about how busy you are with ONE child. And then I don't save those blogs to read again later. People who have lots of kids garner a lot more sympathy from me when they comment about their level of busy-ness.

Thought 2:
I have 224 things bookmarked just in my online sewing folder (yes, I counted). This does not include blogs in general and online fabric shops, or the 14 links to specific projects that I've completed in the past 2 years. Some are general tutorials, like "how to make ruffles" and tips on using knit fabrics. Most are individual specific projects. It is time to stop collecting bookmarks and start moving them into the "projects I've completed" file. And write more on my own blogs rather than reading other people's blogs. But for what it's worth, I'm in the middle of compiling a post of links to blogs that I have found good projects on, so maybe they can give you ideas as well. I'll try to get the list finished this weekend.

Thought 3:
On that note ... I don't know if it's nesting, or I've progressed to a certain level in my sewing, or what. But I really have this bug to MAKE STUFF right now - particularly, to make my home and living more beautiful. I can't do anything about the house itself. I'm not even allowed to paint. Meh. But I can make things more pretty, add details to things we already have (ribbon around a lampshade, for example), and work with things that can go with us wherever we end up. I thought about it a lot yesterday and I'm going back and forth between attempting an entire month where I work on something for at least an hour every single day, or shoot for 52 projects, one for every week of the year. Clothing counts in the MAKE PRETTY STUFF target. Clothes look much nicer when they fit the wearer properly, and heaven knows that straight-from-the-store stuff doesn't fit my girls very well. They prefer dresses and skirts, which are either way too short or a tent.

Most of the pretty things that I've thought of so far are for the girls' bedroom. So last night, I got the bulletin board out of the girls' room and started painting the frame to match their hairbow boards, just for the heck of it. It was just the boring wood - now it's lavender.

I have some vague ideas about the master bedroom, but nothing that I can quite put into words yet. I will say that I really really really want to find colors in the seaglass color scheme - blues and greens. They're relaxing for both Adam and me, and not overly feminine. In a house full of girls, poor Adam needs his space in the house to have nothing with pink or flowers (except maybe some real ones). And I wish we could find somewhere else to stash everything that we don't want the girls getting into - our room has had landfill status for as long as we've had kids, because that's the only room we can even attempt to keep them out of.

Thought 4:
It's time to make the jump from skirts to dresses for the girls, which probably means that I need to figure out how to put in zippers. Ummm ... yeah. Maybe I'll use dress patterns and tutorials with buttons for awhile to start. Zippers are still a little too scary for me right now.

I also want to make quilts for everyone's beds - I've been seeing a lot of quilts this year on blogs and they're amazing. They're also not something you could buy in a store. That level of project is still at least a couple of years off, for the cost if nothing else (I want the good fabric so it's going to be expensive to make 6 quilts) but I've already added mini-quilts to my list of things to work on this year. I made one for my brother and his family for Christmas for my first time out of the blocks and I thought it went all right.