Monday, December 20, 2010
This week is going to be a tad busy for me. We have family coming in tomorrow, my oldest turns 5 on Wed, then comes Christmas and all the fun that brings. I'll have a few fun things to share post gift giving. The kid's gifts are coming along great and I'm fully confident that I'll have them finished in time. But with sewing still to do and family time that I'm excited to make the most of I'm saying goodbye for now. Looking forward to having my husband around more often for a few days and cuddling up with all my cuties :). Have a beautiful Christmas! See you in 2011!
*As always please do not use any photos of my kids, thanks!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
My sister just released her second album! She's a jazz singer and has overcome recently becoming deaf and has continued to sing, not just sing but make a career out of it. You can listen to her story via this great interview featured on Colorado Matters with NPR. I've had the fun job of designing her albums. This last one was especially fun for me because I got to create a 1940's travel theme. I love that era. You can listen to sound bites of the songs on her album and can also order a copy of her album here. This new album of hers is great. She does a beautiful job and the musicians that she's working with are fantastic. Enjoy!
Monday, December 13, 2010
I finished my baby boy's Christmas present last week...one down, two to go :). He just turned one in November and loves blankets and dogs, so I thought I'd combine the two. I'm hoping he'll like snuggling with this as he watches movies on the couch with his two older siblings, or while he snoozes in his crib.
I made the head and limbs out of fleece and added the details with embroidery floss and scraps of an old t-shirt. I used snap-on safety eyes for the eyes. The body of the blanket is cotton on the front (lovely Denise Schmidt stripe) and soft cozy flannel on the back. The arms, feet, and tail were all sewn into the blanket. The head is attached to a flap of fleece, that was sewn into the blanket itself, and secured with a whip stitch. I had embroidered his name on the back of the head but it got covered up with the fleece flap. I decided I'd rather cover it up and have the head securely attached than try to leave his name exposed. My only disappointment is that I had intended for the bottom feet to turn in, as bull dog feet tend to do. I must have sewn on the paw pads to the wrong side of the fleece, and rather than picking apart the blanket and remaking feet I decided it wasn't a big deal—or perhaps I'm just lazy ;).
*More gray around here, please excuse the graininess.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I've always loved Nativities. In fact I was a bit of a brat about the one I grew up with. I would never let any of my siblings set it up—and I'm one of those who knows if something has been touched or moved :). I hogged that job, even through high school. I was the first to get married and leave home so I'm sure the first Christmas without me they thoroughly enjoyed setting it up themselves and putting all the pieces where they "shouldn't" go. I've always wanted a set of my own, but haven't found one that I love. Now that I have kids I've been wanting one that they could enjoy. I've had this idea in my head since last year when I came across this tutorial. Last Christmas I had a two month old baby and sewing was at a minimum, and I was determined to start on this project for this Christmas. So may I present Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus! Next year I'll expand the set to include a donkey, a sheep, an angel, and the stable—with a star of course. I'd like to figure out how to construct a stable out of cardboard like this cool play furniture. I'm going to start watching for the perfect box :). For this little family I combined the idea of the One-Hour Softie with the Wee Bunny pattern, creating a triangular shape that would stand up easily. The design was inspired by the One-Hour softie and this nativity, which I do love, but can no way afford. I used wool felt for the fronts, bright and sturdy IKEA fabric for the backs—which adds to their modern flair, and weighted them with rice to keep them upright. I'm quite excited about how they turned out. The kids have already been enjoying them, baby Jesus is definitely the favorite. I'm excited about expanding and completing the set, but I've got to get my Christmas gifts made! So this project is done for now and will have to wait until next year to be completed. Fun to get past the sketch phase with it though, and that everything worked!
*Sorry about the not-so-great pics, it's been unusually gray here this week.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I finished my advent ornaments this weekend! It feels great to finish up. The kids have been so excited to hang a new ornament up each day, it's been really fun. I really like how the snowman turned out. The snowflakes are fun, but a bit flimsy. They don't hold their shape all that well when being placed in the pockets, those may end up being replaced. We'll see. I placed the candy cane in pocket number 24. We have a little book that tells a story of a candy maker that creates the candy cane to share the story of Jesus—"J is for Jesus, God's son sent to earth." "...it looks like the staff that the shepherds used. They were the first to hear the Good News." "I added the stripes to remember the day that Jesus washed all our sins away." It's a really cute book that we've enjoyed reading together over the last couple of years. On the 24th the kids will hang the candy cane ornament, we'll read the story together and talk about the reason why our family celebrates Christmas, and then finish it off with a real candy cane from our tree.
This advent calendar was such a great project, I'm really glad I decided to join in! Now that it's complete I really need to get moving on my Christmas present making! I'm feeling quite behind, but am excited about creating the things on my list.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Please do not use pictures of my children. Thanks!
It has been cold here in CO and my daughter was in serious need of a new hat. I knew I had plenty of fleece laying around and then I found a sweater of my husband's that has had a hole in it for two years and has just been laying around. I found this tutorial and knew right away that I wanted to give it a try. My first attempt was just to cut up the sweater as is and give it a go. That ended up being a wonky, stretchy mess. I'd heard a bit about felting wool sweaters but had never tried it myself. Then I came across this info on Martha Stewart.com (which is also where I got instructions to make the mittens). Just wash the sweater on hot and dry on high, sounded easy enough. So I threw it in the wash with some kitchen towels and wha-lah a felted sweater, worked great! I modified the hat pattern a bit so that it didn't have quite so much overhang on the front. I think it makes a nicer silhouette. I also referenced this blogger's post and found her suggestions really helpful. I do really like how it comes down in the back to cover the neck.
The embellishments were made from some vintage double knit polyester that I found at a thrift store not too long ago. I'm in the process of making a dress coat out of the same fabric for Miss Olivia as well, so she'll be all coordinated when I finally finish :). I referenced this tutorial to make the rosette but secured the flower with some hand stitches rather than fabric glue, which didn't want to stick to the double knit very well. I'm quite excited how everything turned out and that it fits! My daughter's favorite color is brown because of her love of horses, and I added some little horse faces on her mittens by covering a couple of buttons with some Heather Ross fabric. She's thrilled, which makes me thrilled. The wool exterior and cozy fleece lining will make a wonderful hat for her this winter. And the best part—meeting a need using only stuff I already had on hand...she looks pretty darn cute in it too!
Since my post featured my daughter I thought I'd feature some of her artwork which will now give a festive flair to our front window :). Have a lovely weekend!
*I think I needed a bit of an advent ornament break. I feel refreshed and ready to finish!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I just stumbled upon a blog post featured on "I Am Momma Hear Me Roar". She's hosting a weeks worth of Christ-centered Christmas ideas. Today is day four of the posts. As my kids are getting a bit older it's very important to me that the true meaning behind celebrating Christmas doesn't get over shadowed by presents and Santa—which are good and fun things, I just don't want them taking center stage. I love the idea of creating tangible, fun ways to refocus why we celebrate Christmas and give gifts—that first and perfect gift of Christ sent as savior. Check out the beautiful decor and craft ideas that have already been shared. I'm really looking forward to seeing what is coming up next! Happy December!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Well, I'm supposed to be completed with my advent calendar today. The last two days I completed a bell, set of three vintage ornaments, an angel (which almost did me in), an ice skate, and a cardinal. I'm five ornaments short—so close! Hopefully I'll get them finished up today and have my completed calendar to show by tomorrow. Those of you that joined in the sew-a-long, did you finish on time?? This is the first sew-a-long that I've ever done and it's kinda kicking my butt :). Trying to get this calendar done in one month with three little kids and a home to take care of is a lot of work! It's been really fun but I'm looking forward to finishing. My mind is already wandering to new projects. There's so much I want to accomplish before baby #4 arrives in January!