Sewing Past and Present

Miss has really been into sewing for the past couple of weeks. A few days before we left to come to my parent’s house, she said she wanted to get a “Princess Starglow” (yellow star-shaped princess character from a Care Bear movie) and asked if she could use her allowance that she has been saving to buy one. I told her I wasn’t sure if we could buy a Princess Starglow, and looked on the computer with her to see if anyone sold one. No one does. So she asked, “Can we make one?” Well. Okay.

I told her we could. She initially asked to make one with yarn. I told her it might work better to sew one. We made a special trip to Hobby Lobby to get some shiny material. I drew a pattern and traced it on the fabric. I was all set to get it ready to sew, and excited for her to have her first experience with my sewing machine. She looked at it and said, “No Mommy, I want a small Princess Starglow.” Apparently the pattern I made was too big. My girls seem to have a strong affinity for pocket-sized toys and dolls. I should have known.

When she protested the Princess Starglow I had started making it was just a day or two before we left for this trip. So I put the Princess Starglow makings out of sight and put the project on hold until we get home.

She’s been fine with that, but has still had “sewing” on her mind. Today, my mom got the girls to “sew” on some leaf-shaped lacing cards. Miss saw some light blue yarn and asked me to sew a Cinderella Dress out of it. I told her I couldn’t really do that with the yarn. She didn’t understand, since we hadn’t actually gotten to the sewing step in the Princess Starglow project, so she said, “But you could try, Mommy.” Oh boy. I can’t say no to that. I agreed that I could.

Before I got a chance to test my Fairy Godmother skills, my mom brought out something that took my back to the very beginning of my own sewing journey.

I started making this quilt when I was about five years old (that’s over 30 years ago, folks). My mom cut the squares from scraps and traced hearts on each of them for me to quilt.

I worked on it off and on for many (roughly 20) years. Some of the stitches are huge and very wobbly.

Funnily, I was just wondering about this quilt this morning when Miss was asking me about sewing. I haven’t seen it in at least a decade. It was awesome to see it again.

I have finished 19 of 35 squares.

Today I talked to my girls about us finishing the rest of it together. They were really into the idea. Lass repeatedly said, “Yes! We do it togevah (together)!” I think it must have been meant-to-be that I didn’t finish this as a girl. It will be so much better for me to finish it with them.

So, back to the Cinderella dress. I had no fabric. Just blue yarn. I cut the bottom off of a paper towel roll. Shaped it into sleeves. Wrapped the yarn around.

Miss was really excited about it. She loved it. She showed it to my husband. He said, “Oh cool, it’s Toodee!”



C’mon! Really?

You can see it, right?

All that really matters I guess is that Miss loves it. Now she wants me to “sew” her a Cinderella to go in the dress. I’ve created a monster… .

The Holiday Spirit

I’m really getting into the holiday spirit now.  That means I’m listening to Christmas music, enjoying the lights and decor, and starting to get a lot of my shopping done, which means looking for good bargains.  Of course, if you think about bargains this time of year, everyone thinks about Black Friday.  Now, I love finding a bargain.  I mean, I really love finding a bargain.  But I do not love going shopping when the stores are crowded, let alone when they are jam packed with crazy people fighting over the last “Tickle Me Elmo” or whatever the latest must-have item is for Christmas.  Yes, I know “Tickle Me Elmo” was the big thing in about 1996.  No, I do not have the slightest idea what hot toys are selling out in stores this year.  I don’t watch much TV and I don’t shop on Black Friday, so I’m clueless about this stuff.  And you did read that right.  As much as I love a good deal, I do not go shopping on Black Friday.  Ever.  I especially don’t go shopping at midnight on Thanksgiving.   What?! The idea of the crowds and insanity makes me feel a little ill.  I don’t even like going grocery shopping on a weekend or after 4 pm.  Grocery shopping at 9 am on a Tuesday when the stores are nearly deserted is one of the secret perks of being a stay-at-home mom.  But I digress.  Back to the bargain shopping…
I am happy to report that I managed to get three fabulous deals in the past week in spite of my Black Friday boycott.  Deal #1 was before Thanksgiving at Kohl’s.  You may remember that I wrote about my distress over being unable to find a decent maternity blazer to wear to testify in court (you can read about it here if you’re so inclined).  I essentially was not able to find one and settled for a black cardigan.  I have worn that cardigan to court twice, and felt like a frump both times.  Then I got subpoenaed again.  I finally decided that I need to just buy a non-maternity black blazer in my regular size that I can wear unbuttoned for now and then continue to wear when I’m not pregnant anymore.  That way I don’t feel bad about spending money on a maternity item I’ll rarely wear, and I’ll add a staple to my wardrobe that I should really already have.  I mean, how can I not have a black blazer?  I checked Kohl’s last week when Lass and I were running errands after dropping Miss off at school.  I found a blazer there.  And even though it was before Thanksgiving, it was on sale.  I got a great blazer for about $35!!  Okay, so this wasn’t a holiday gift find, but saving money still gets me in the spirit.
Deal #2 was for this beautiful necklace.  This was a Black Friday online sale in this awesome Etsy shop.  I am kind of addicted to these necklaces, and I got a super deal on this one.  Plus, I don’t have to pay shipping because the mama who makes them lives nearby and her son goes to preschool with Miss.  Score!  Oh yeah, I guess this wasn’t a holiday gift find either, but really the sale was too good to pass up.
Deal #3 and the best one yet was a find for Miss.  I got her a pair of Land’s End snow boots that were regularly priced at about $50.  They are on sale for $25 right now. Plus I got a special “Cyber Monday” additional discount code and free shipping.  I paid about $18 for them!!  Woohoo!
Another thing that has really gotten me into the spirit of the season is buying gifts for some local children for Christmas.  Last year we packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse.  That is a great cause, but this year I wanted to give to a more local cause.  I looked online for some local charities and found out our police station has a program where they match you up with a child, give you the age, gender, sizes, needs, and wishes of him or her.  I requested two children and we got a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, both girls.  It was so fun to shop for them with my girls!  I think Miss is starting to understand the concept of giving to someone less fortunate than us, and she had fun picking out the toys, books, clothes, and other miscellaneous items for these little girls.  She kept asking what the little girls’ names were that we were shopping for (which of course I didn’t know).  We got school outfits, jammies, underwear, snow pants and boots, books, a baby doll and stroller, a shopping cart and toy food, and a case of art supplies, along with a few other things. Today we packed them up and took them to the police station to drop them off.  Miss even carried one of the big bags full of gifts all by herself.  She was so proud and kept declining my offers to help her.  She even got a “Junior Officer” badge sticker from the officer at the station.  It was such a fun experience.
And finally, to wrap up this post, here are a few photos of my girls getting into the spirit watching football with their Daddy.  This photo was taken on Saturday at the beginning of the Michigan vs. Ohio State game.  And yes, my hubby was rooting for Michigan on that day. 

I love this time of year!

Feeling Crafty

We went to the park on Friday for a play date.
Before I talk about how much fun we had, I must make note of the fact that these pants were the worst possible choice to put on Lass to go to a park where the ground is covered with mulch.

They’re not just fleece pants.  They’re extra fluffy, nubbly, super-fleecy fleece pants.  Watch, and take note.  Don’t put super duper fleecy pants on your kid if there’s mulch at the park.

A little while after I took the photo below, I put Lass in the sling so she could have a little snack.  The whole time I was holding her I was picking mulch off her pants.  I didn’t even make a dent in the matted, embedded mulch stuck in these things.  The big pieces came off, but the smaller fibers seriously got matted into the fabric and will not come off.  I took them off her the minute we got in the door, tried a little while longer to de-mulch them, and then put them in the trash.  They are that far beyond saving.  Who knew?

We did have a wonderful time at the park.  It was a great park.

And we were there with great new friends.  I just have to say how much I enjoy finding a new mom friend with young kids who is easy to talk to and fun to hang out with.

When we first moved here I hated that I didn’t know any other moms for so long.  It’s hard to be a new mom living far away from family and not really having any friends.  Over the years I have gradually met some really cool mom friends.  It helps more than I can explain to have other moms for support and just hanging out.  Friends who understand that when we get together, conversations will necessarily be fragmented, between corralling kids, wiping noses, answering questions from curious two year olds, excusing oneself to change smelly drawers, etc.  Friends who will grab your kid before she falls off the teeter-totter if you’re distracted for a second with another kid running the other way.  It’s an extra special bonus to find a friend with whom I have things in common besides just being moms.  The kind of friend with whom I laugh a lot and can talk about just about anything.  I have a few of these treasured friends.  Sometimes I don’t see them as often as I’d like, but I’m thankful to have them.  Friday’s play date was with a new friend (and her kids!) whom I think is going to be this type of friend.  It was a good day.

On a completely unrelated note, I have been feeling super crafty lately.  The other night, while watching Chopped, I made Miss a new tutu.  This weekend I finally finished a yarn wreath (I totally got this idea from another mom blog, Mrs. Priss) I have been working on for months.  This was the wreath in June.

I really struggled with getting the wreath covered with the yarn.  The straw wreath was not the best choice for this type of project.  I chose it because it was half the price of the foam wreath, and I thought it might be kind of cool and rustic looking.  It turned out looking fine (though not especially cool or rustic), but the extra hassle of getting it covered completely was not worth saving $3.  And I have to say I do not know the trick (is there one??) to working with yarn.  The above pile of tangled mess started out all nice and neat.  It repeatedly got tangled beyond untangling, and I had to cut it and start again more times than I’d like to remember.  Anyway, even after I finally got the wreath covered, I was so fed up with the project that I put it away for two months, until this week, before finally finishing it.  It took some nice crisp fall weather and a desire for a pretty fall-ish wreath for my front door to prompt me to pull it out, along with some great fall-colored felt.

I made a bunch of felt flowers.  Check out Mrs. Priss’s tutorials for these pretty and absurdly easy rosettes here.

Find Mrs. Priss’s pom-pom-looking flower tutorial here, and yarn wreath tutorial here.  I told you I got the ideas from her!!!  I’m totally giving credit where it’s due.

I love how it turned out!  I swore I wouldn’t make another yarn wreath, but I like this one so much, I just might.

Next time I’ll get the foam wreath though…

Oh, the Cuteness

When Miss and I made apple pie a couple of weeks ago, she wore one of my aprons made for me by my aunt. She looked adorable of course. But the other day we got a package from my aunt containing this:

The most adorable Miss-sized apron!! She loved it. The above picture doesn’t show the fit quite right because I didn’t realize at first that the neck strap, and thus the length, is adjustable because it runs through under the pits and can be pulled shorter by just pulling on the waist tie. So I got it fitting right here:
Miss wore it to help me make dinner last night. Here she’s helping wash potatoes. I think she’s making sure they smell okay.

Here’s the link again to my aunt’s Etsy shop where she sells her adorable aprons. Thanks Aunt Mag!!
And in further cuteness, Lass is such a sweet little Snuggle Bear.

She’ll just stare and smile and coo for the longest time. And she loves to snuggle up to her momma.
I went to a local shop with lots of handmade items last week. I found this barrette for Miss that has the same fabric on it as the pants I made her! I was so excited to find it. Unfortunately she’s already almost grown out of the pants.

Check out the amazement on Lass’s face when she watches her Daddy play the guitar.
Watching football today and going to a party tonight. Our first night out since Lass arrived. She doesn’t really take a bottle yet, so she’ll be coming with us, but she’s easily portable. Happy weekend!