Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When Projects Fail

Most blog entries are about great projects or fun activities we do.  For a change of pace, this one is about a project that did not turn out right.  

I want to come up with a cute pleated skirt for my etsy shop and I am starting to work on the girls' school clothes, so I decided it was the perfect time to make something for Miriam.  I am just in love with pleats right now, especially inverted box pleats.  So.....

I did all of the math and made the plan (see kids, you even need math to craft....)

I cut everything out.

I marked my pleats.

I made the skirt.

So what is the problem you ask?

The problem is that I forgot to consult this humble piece of paper.

I call this the "Mini-Mim". It is every measurement I could ever need of my youngest child.  I actually didn't make the skirt too small for her waist, but the note in the corner of this dear page would have reminded me that Miriam never wears anything at her waist.  She wears everything at her hips, and so, the skirt is several inches too small.  I won't bore you with the other ways I messed up this skirt; those can be fixed with a seam ripper and patience.  Too small just can't be fixed and so it goes in the "fail" pile to be recycled into something else someday.  I think I need to tape this to the window by my sewing machine!

Friday, August 19, 2011


I have these wonderful old books that were my grandmother's when she was a girl.  Some of them still have her name written inside the cover in her lovely Spencerian script.

I read them when I was in 5th grade, Mrs. Amway's class.   I fell in love with nursing years before by listening to the Focus on the Family "People You Should Know" tape set.  The one about Clara Barton was my favorite and so I loved these Cherry Ames books as well.  They sit on the shelf in the hall with some of my other sets and classics.  

Guess who I found curled up with "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse" Wednesday morning?

I think the glasses are doing their job, and she has been listening to that Clara Barton tape a lot now that I think about it.  There will be many exciting nursing adventures to hear about in the next several weeks, I'm sure.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Goodbye Interlake, Happy Sailing...

This weekend our Interlake 18' sailboat found it's new family. This was such a big project in my life that it was hard to see it go, but it was neat to see her welcomed by such an excited family. Abby and I delivered her to the new home on Saturday and waved goodbye for the last time:

From Interlake Sale

Abbie's Birthday

Abbie turned ten just over a week ago and we had a little party for her before she left for camp.  We had lots of family there and a friend or two for good measure.  She wanted a Hello Kitty cake and a treasure hunt for the game.  Adriel created a wonderful hunt with candy and clues at various places in and out of the house.  The kids loved it!  I had fun making the cake as well.

Abbie wanted to make sure we didn't stick the candles in Kitty's face.

After cake, it was time for gifts.  She loved them!

Grandpa Smokey and Grandma Dee with the newest member of the family, Cathie and Ron's youngest, Lucas.  The rest of the cousins were there too. 


Happy birthday Abigail

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pretty Darn Cute

 Abbie got reading glasses yesterday and she said, "Wow Mom, it's like everything is bigger!".  She is pretty adorable in them.

Now the only lens-less family member is Miriam.  She says she will get pink ones with sparkles when the time comes.  For those wondering, yes, even David has glasses.  He needs them for distance, but until he is driving there isn't much motivation to get them out so in the desk they stay.  You should see a lot more of them in about a year.

Quick Shirt Refashion

My brother-in-law is getting married this weekend and so I have been pulling together outfits for the girls and I.  I needed a dark blue blouse and, well, anything dark is hard to find in the middle of August so it was time to get creative.

I hit the thrift stores but even struck out there.  I did find this though.....

Add some of my favorite dye.

And now I have a blue blouse just right for a lovely evening wedding.

Monday, August 08, 2011

New Pattern

I spent the last few weeks making version after version of this wrap dress for 18" dolls.  At some point I will post pictures of some of them to show the evolution.  I started making an A-line skirt and progressed from there to a full wrap dress, tweaking one thing after another.  It was fun to create something all my own and they just might show up in my Etsy store at some point.  For now the girls are enjoying all of trial dresses I produced along the way.

This Makes me a Good Mom (at least according to them!)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Boating with David

This last weekend David and I did some boat camping up at Detroit lake, right before he headed off to church camp for the week. (High School church camp at that!). It was just one night, but we had a good time.

We counted over twenty five salamanders around our boat at one point. We scooped one out for a closer look.

Lots of other critters too, such as this giant dragonfly hanging out in our rigging.

A small swarm of little bitsy bees (Mason bees maybe?) were attracted to our yellow kayak, and would hover all around us waiting for someone to bring out the pollen - they were very friendly and didn't bother us.

The stars were beautiful, and with the binoculars we could easily make out the Milky Way, some shooting stars, and a number of satellites whizzing by.

But the most excitement we had came about five minutes after we turned into our sleeping bags. We heard some splashing around the boat, and then suddenly some heavy movement on the decking over our heads. Of course we had no idea what was making a giant ruckus, but whatever it was moved down into the cockpit area and started going through the trash can I had left out there. We made a bunch of noise, and after we heard a splash we climbed out of the cabin. Shining our light across to the shore (about 40 feet away) I could see two bright orange eyes staring back at us. The eyes climbed up a tree and continued to stare us down. With the binoculars we were finally able to see that it was a raccoon - a really big one!

After putting the trash in a locker we headed back to bed. Less than five minutes later our friend was back on the deck, scratching around and looking for the trash again! Gutsy thing! Apparently after discovering the trash disappeared, he decided it wasn't worth the risk. He swam off and never came back. We figure he was able to swim out to the boat and climb up the anchor rope to get on deck. What a hoot!

David really wanted to swim, but quickly realized that Detroit Lake's deep waters are still pretty cold. He finally did make it in up to his chest, but only for a few seconds. That definitely beat my effort - I was on the deck enjoying the sun and egging him on.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Weekend Projects

The boys went to the lake Friday night and anytime I have a chance to let my cooking and cleaning slip a bit, I sew!  It is kind of nice to just leave my stuff out at night and come back to in the morning without getting into anyone's way.

I started out Friday evening with some projects for my niece and nephews.  Adriel's brother Paul is getting married at the end of the month so his sister and youngest brother are coming up for the wedding.  They both have sweet little kids who never get gifts from us because we never see them.  The kids aren't coming, but I figured this would be a good opportunity to send a little something back with their parents.  I used material from my father-in-law's shirts; the same shirts I used to make David's quilt.  Can you tell the blue plaid is one of my favorites?

The collection of hair clips is for our niece Maya.

These are bean bags for the boys.  I think they ended up pretty cute.

Next, I worked on a project for myself.  We went from this:

To this:

Adriel's kakis always seem to fray around the edges after awhile, rendering them unacceptable for executive meetings, but the bulk of the fabric is fine.  A little clipping and a little stitching later I have a  skirt perfect for all kinds of pretty blouses and sweaters. 

While I was doing all of my sewing the girls worked on projects of their own.  Abigail worked on an apron for her doll and Miriam practiced putting buttons on fabric, including threading the needle herself.

I have been working on some patterns for 18" dolls and this is one I cut out Sunday night. It is a basic A-line and still a work in progress, but a good first try with the new pattern.  I really like the details on this one.

~ Christina