22 January 2013

simple storage

Not being able to breastfeed means having a bajillion formula containers around the house.  They are perfect for storage, so I don't complain too much.  Tape a strip of paper around them and they are even decent looking.  I've used wrapping paper and scrapbook paper and both work great with a little bit of double-sided tape.  What can go inside of these things is absolutely endless - toys, food, sewing bits, etc.  I'm using one for my headbands and hair things. 

Headbands on the outside, everything else (ribbons, bows, flowers, clips, etc.) on the inside.  While I was organizing my hair stuff, I took a small canning jar and put all my ponytail holders around it (wouldn't work with little ones), and all my bobby pins inside of it.  Much happier with this than anything before. 

15 January 2013

scrap tutu

The new year has brought a new energy into my home (which I hope sticks around throughout the entire year).  I've started making baby food for Cupcake - carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, and a mini-batch of asparagus so far, with a list of things to come.  Pumpkin, green beans, applesauce, butternut squash, banana, peaches.  Makes me feel productive, and happy to know exactly what I'm feeding my baby.  And it helps save money - which is the best.

I too have a list of crafty things I'd like to do this year, and I've already managed to cross one off. I found the idea on Pinterest (as everyone does these days), but figured I can do it since it required no actual sewing.
Yes, that is a small table lamp being my model.
A scrap tutu is made out of strips of fabric that are tied to a piece of elastic.  That's it.  I tore the strips, so it was super fast and easy.  I decided to add ribbons to the end of the elastic, instead of making it a full circle, so the size can be adjusted as Cupcake grows.  For now, she's too little for it, and is more interested in eating it than anything, but it will be fun for her to play in later.  If she's anything like I was, she'll dream of being a ballerina.

13 January 2013

quilting class introduction

Okay, I did it. I signed up for the online curves quilting class on Stitched in Color. It starts tomorrow - that was a bit under the wire for me to get started in it, and it goes for 5 weeks through about Valentine's Day. This post is, I guess, my introduction to the class that I'm linking on the private class blog.

I'm Trina. I just started sewing about 2 years ago and I'm still very new to the whole thing. I share this blog with one of my sisters and a couple of friends to compare notes about learning the whole Art of Homemaking, or whatever you want to call it, because I was totally NOT domestic in any way until I quit my office job when I had my first baby. My mother will probably find the idea that I'm taking a sewing class to be quite hilarious. She tried when I was a teenager to teach me to sew. And cook. She really did. It didn't connect for a loooooooooong time.

I became interested in quilting this past year for 2 reasons -

1. I read a lot of sewing blogs in general, and many of them have quilts on them. They're amazing! The fabric in general, the color combinations, the piecing work - I'm blown away every time.

2. I've been wanting to redo my bedroom for quite awhile but have never found bedding that I like at all, whether looking in a store or attempting to shop online. I was reading girl.inspired one day and saw this post with the quilt in the background ... scroll down to the 3rd photo ... and lightning struck. THAT is my quilt. I know what colors I want. I even know what to title it. It will be incredible. So when I saw this curves class, I had to take it because I need it for my quilt. Not that I can afford to get the fabric for it for another year or two, but still.

That said, my time spent on the actual class in real time over the next 5 weeks may or may not be minimal. My kids are 6, 5, 2 and 15 months, and I'm due with #5 at the beginning of March. (All girls.) My brain tends to freeze up in the last few weeks of pregnancy, which I'm getting into. Yay. I homeschool the two oldest while the baby climbs all over me and the 2-year-old does her level-best to destroy everything she gets into. (She's had a stellar week, let me tell you. I just now had to stop typing this to go sweep up an entire loaf of bread obliterated into crumbs.) I won't get into everything my husband has going on right now, but let's just say that I run a lot of interference in his behalf and manage the kids on my own quite a bit. He's usually a very involved husband and dad but he has his own ... stuff ... for the next few weeks.

Soooo, I mainly registered for the class to get the pdf and videos at the end since I don't know when or how much I'll actually get to SEW between now and March, and I'll continue to work on things later. I already know what fabric I want to use to make the pillow in the first week's projects as a commemorative piece for my girls and our recent trip to DisneyWorld, and I could use some new bibs for the new baby. I think the Rainbow Road would make an awesome kitchen rug. And the Oodalolly quilt is awesome. Love that.

I thought a lot about it and really - I will NEVER "have time" to take a class of any kind. I might as well jump in and take the class anyway, and fit things in when I can. If I want to do something (anything - not just this class), I either have to make it happen within the circumstances I have, or it will never happen. And this post from a homeschool blog just the other day was the kick in the head I needed to come to that conclusion. I especially like this part: "There are people who can work while being bombarded by family life. There are people who can shut out their worldly cares. But you're not one of them. You are a hothouse flower. You are a special snowflake. Oops, no you're not." HA! Here's to not being a special snowflake and working with what we've got, noisy kids and all.

11 January 2013

2013 sewing targets

Here's the first run of my sewing and project list for this year:

My general rule of thumb for matchy-matchy outfits for my girls is that they coordinate but I don't make the exact same thing for all of them. Like, for Easter last year, they all had different fabric and different outfits, but the fabric all came from the same designer and color line. Their Minnie Mouse outfits for Disney World did have all the same fabric, but they were all different. I like that better than everyone being identical because, well, they're not identical people. And we did hit on a glitch with similarity last year when I made 2 Independence Day skirts - JE won't wear her's because I made SM's first, and when I showed JE the second one, she was confused and said it belonged to her sister. It's just been sitting in her drawer since then.

- Dr. Seuss skirts for Read Across America Day on March 1. I ordered some Dr. Seuss fabric thinking it was flannel for a baby blanket. It was regular cotton, so it's good for clothes since I'm not up to making a full-on baby quilt yet. I think these will be really fun - it's a cute and silly print. I don't have enough fabric for dresses but I think there's enough to make 4 (or even 5) little skirts.

- Easter outfits for all the girls. When I was getting some Christmas fabric, I noticed that fabric.com had pastel colored eyelet marked down to $2.50 a yard - done! I got pink, lavender, cream, and white. The new baby will have her blessing (the Mormon version of christening) on Easter Sunday, so she gets the white. There's 2 yards of it which is WAY too much for a tiny baby, even with making one of those super-long christening dresses like my mom has done for all the others. The other four girls can have some combination of all four colors. I'm happy that the baby will be in her special blessing dress, but still coordinate with the other girls for the holiday. I was not even thinking about this when I ordered the white fabric - the idea occurred to me just a couple of weeks ago so I sent the white to my mom (she makes the blessing dresses by her own request).

- I have red/white and blue/white gingham to make something for all the girls for Independence Day.

- I'd like to make both Christmas dresses and Christmas pajamas for all the girls this year, but I haven't thought that far in advance. Oh, and I think I'm supposed to be making Halloween costumes for everyone as well. SM has decided that our entire family will be dressed from Alice in Wonderland. We'll see what happens with those when they get closer.

In general with sewing clothes for them, I want to start making dresses as well as skirts. And I want to use more of the tutorials that I have bookmarked and not keep making the same thing over and over. Dana's simple skirt has definitely gotten me started, but time to broaden my horizons.

Most of my ideas so far are for the girls' room ...

- I already started before New Year's with painting the frame of their bulletin board. The pins to hang pictures and other random items are the collector pins from Disneyland and DisneyWorld. Before I got married, that type of pin was my collector item when I traveled. I have quite a stash from Disney that the girls think are fun so they have them now. (They do NOT get my pins from Australia. I'm keeping those.)

- Make more coat racks, like I did here, for behind their bedroom door to hang all their little tote bags that just get thrown everywhere. I'm doing 3 in green with flowers on them.

- Put ribbon on the lamp that's on their dresser.

- I've wanted for forever to redo their dressers - paint, new hardware, line the drawers, the whole thing. I don't know how much of that will happen right away. Maybe this summer? I could at least mod podge some fun craft paper to the bottoms of their drawers to start.

The Sewing Loft - cover wire hangers with felt and edged by a blanket stitch. I have felt. I can do a blanket stitch. I can make little flowers. And we have ugly wire hangers in our girls' closet because SM can't remove a plastic hanger from the rod without snapping it in half. These are very girly.

For the kitchen ...

Stitched in Color - I love love love this kitchen rug! It's quilted. What a fabulous idea! Those colors wouldn't really go well in my kitchen. I lean toward blues and greens. But the idea is definitely in my head. It would be nice for the floor to be a little less cold and hard when I'm doing dishes at 11 pm.

- my paper crane - hot pads! The ones we currently have are from when we got married almost 9 years ago and are looking pretty shabby. I could actually have a somewhat coordinating kitchen ... how would that be? Of course it's ADAM'S kitchen since he does most of the cooking, so I can't use super-girly fabrics. I'm fine with using more masculine fabrics (something geometric?), as long as the combination of this and that is not an eyesore.

On a related note, I have probably half a dozen different links bookmarked for various designs on cloth napkins. We could use more of those too, so we don't go through so many paper towels at dinner. I have a vision of a small rectangular basket filled from one end to the other with cloth napkins. And now that I'm pondering a nice-looking kitchen ... some kind of window covering? I saw something a long time ago that you get a curtain rod with clips on it, and just hang up placemats as your valance. That would be cool, except I've never ever seen a placemat that I wanted hung over my window that I'd have to look at all the time. Might as well just make a valance/curtain/whatever, or even some placemats and hang them up. Ha!

- icandy handmade - How cute is this for Valentine's Day? The link includes a full tutorial. I especially love the giant rick-rack. I need to find some. Walmart certainly doesn't carry anything that fun.

- I'll post a picture of my Halloween mini-quilt when I get it done. I already mentioned that I made one for my brother's family for Christmas and I have 3 more in the works because that's how much fabric there was. I'm keeping one of them and giving the other 2 away, but I'm not sure to whom yet.

- I'm going to attempt my 12 Months of Christmas project again - I'll put my string of inspiration photos and links for that in another post because this one is long enough as it is.

09 January 2013

Homemade Christmas was a success (who knew)

Based off all the other inspirational and amazing things we've read about and heard, my husband and I decided last December (2011) that 2012 was to be all homemade.  And with that in mind, we set to work.  Didn't finish everything, but set to work.

For my daughters:
I made and designed for them journal jars as well as I made them there own journals that included pictures of them inside from growing up.  This is our new weekly activity.  They each select a prompt and write/draw the response to it.

My husband and I made them marshmallow guns.  This was a hit.  Who knew.  They are dirt cheap to make and ever so fun to play with.  Seriously cool.

My husband and I couldn't get enough of the PVC pipe so we made them both bows and arrows.  My kids thought Brave was, meh, but my oldest saves up her money to go to the local archery range as often as she can (which means once a year in the life of an almost 9 year old).  We also ended up making a set for some boisterous nephews of ours (with parental permission of course).

I did (and finished) my first sewing project ever.  I made skirts.  Simple ones.  Super easy ones.  But I did it. And if any of you have ever seen me bawling my eyes out over my daughters sewing machine just frustrated  you'd understand why this was a monumental feat for me.

I helped my youngest sculpt and Eiffle Tower vase for her sister.  We finished the vase but not the flowers we were making to go inside it.  We are working on this for a birthday in a few weeks.  Hopefully we finish, we really need to.

My daughters made:
Fleece blankets, table cloths, hair scrunchies (did I mention all of this is Hello Kitty themed since my youngest is obsessed, simple scarves, stories, coupon books, paper dolls, canvas bags, rice socks, garlands, ...

My husband made:
Lots of jewelry for my kids all inspired by owls and wolves and keys (which my kids love with a mania)
He was also working on a book for them.  He only got to 40k words and didn't have time to illustrate it.  So he is attempting to finish that for next year.

It was seriously awesome.  So awesome that they all unequivocally cannot wait to do it again and make this a staple.

here is a sample of what we want to do next year:
Lillian wants to learn how to use leather
Jason wants to stencil with bleach 
Coralie wants to make charms
I'm still on a hunt for more trucks so I can do this from recycled products
And of course something like this
My husband and I are also designing a board game and card game around these stories we all tell in our family about Princess Abigail and Princess Chloe ... long story short, but they are awesome.

Anyhow, thank you for your inspirations.  I know I can do it even though I am not a crafty person. Good with a camera, yes.  Great with movies, I'm your lady.  But crafty?  Nope.