Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking for Spring

I haven't minded all the snow, really I haven't. But I'm looking forward to the ability to dress a little less practical and a little more fun. Like these dresses for Abigail, for instance:

These were made from some fabric gifted to me by my sweet mother, previously owned by Grandmom. I like to think she would approve of their use.

Couldn't get a great photo to save my life, but I did try!

The pattern is here. Honestly, if you haven't tried one of these yet, you really should. Instructions are clear, instantly downloaded and practical but pretty. Love 'em.

I'm working on a second one, but haven't elasticated anything yet. I wanted to finish it tonight, but I want to sit down with Heroes season 2 and my knitting more.

So that's what I'm about to do. So there.

And for those interested, 5 March puts us at 8 days until D-Day. I hope it'll be D-Day, anyway. Watch this space...

Monday, February 15, 2010

By the kids, for the kids

It always happens: I walk into my sewing room, intending on a little creative recuperation time. As soon as I start cutting/sewing/thinking hard, in a child (or four) walks, with the words "Oh, Mommy, can I make something, too?" on their lips. Normally, this throws me into a tizzy, since I can't do my thing and their thing at the same time, I don't want to stop doing my thing, but I do want to enable them to do their thing (that must be a pretty accurate description for motherhood all over, isn't it?).

I bought some burlap, embroidery hoops, blunt needles and embroidery floss a while ago for just this need, and sometimes it works - hand them the stuff and they get creative. This time, though, Abigail had a nugget of an idea that truly blossomed. First, it was, "I want to make something for Daddy - how about a handkerchief?" I convinced her that Daddy wouldn't use one, but he could do with a bookmark for his books. Then is was, "Could I draw {embroider} some tools on it for him?" That would be a no, since I am unable to draw freehand anything like a tool of any description, and I wasn't in the mood to start scouring the Internet for templates. How about hugs and kisses, so he knows his girls love him? "Ohhh, yeah!" At which point, Anna chimes in (as always): "Can I do one, too?" Okay...

Decorative fraying on the edges? Check. How do we keep Ellie from "over-fraying", though? Aha, stay stitch the edge! Done. But now what about the back - how keep the knots and such on the back protected? Ah, yes - sew some burlap on the back! Score!!

I'm not sure who like them the most: the girls, Daddy or me. I think I'm probably the most excited, seeing the germ of an artistic idea become something pretty nifty.

So, that's by the kids. For the kids, I was making wrist warmers that would slip on under their coats and gloves and cover up that ominous gap that snow likes to find - have I mentioned we've had some snow??

The girls wanted to model theirs:

Simply put, I cut the sleeves off an old shirt and made thumb holes. The sleeves were really big on them because it was an adult-sized shirt, so I sewed them a little tighter. And that's it. Noah didn't want to model his, but his were made from scrap material that I had left over from his blanket. Love working from the scrap basket (big box), I do.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More baby stuff

Remember this?
Well, it took a little while, but I finally added a layer of warmth, courtesy of an old jersey sheet, and a brightly colored (i.e. orange) backing, and we now have a lovely, warm quilt to welcome the newest Gayner. I am so pleased with it, not least because it has a story! I think the orange really makes the milder colors "pop" a little, don't you?
I've also finally finished the sweater I'd been working on. Never mind that it's for 3 months and when he's 3 months it'll be June. No, that doesn't matter at all. What matters is that it's cute. Of course.
Love the notch neck - no buttons required for easy overhead application.
I promise, the sweater is red, not pink. Really. It must be the flash...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Days

At last, some pictures!

Daddy built them a snow maze in the yard. They went through it once or twice, then climbed all over it for another hour. Good times.
There was a lot of snow...

She had more fun than she lets on, really!

At least, when she's with Daddy.

For some reason known only to my children, eating a lot of snow is the height of fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow-bound productivity

I've been trying, in vain, for some time to post some photos of our days (and weeks) in the snow, but Blogger hasn't been behaving. So I suppose I'll have to depend on the written word...
Needless to say, the kids have been loving the snow. Until they lose a boot or glove in it. Or catch a snowball in the face. Stuff like that seems to happen around here, even when I'm not involved.
What's been most exciting has been what's been going on inside. Not only has Abi's sweater been completed, Daniel's blanket is done and waiting for him, as is his sweater. Then there are the balaclavas, wrist warmers, and bookmarks that have come into the world (well, our house). Can't wait to show them all to you, when Blogger gets it's act together.
There's also been some baking (Amish Friendship Bread & brownies, mainly) and reading. For the adults, I highly recommend Just Do Something. Engaging, biblical, quick, funny, insightful. I read it with pencil in hand (must do that more) and made notes like crazy.
For the kids, it's got to be The Big Snow, particularly considering recent weather patterns. Whether you homeschool or not, it's a great "learning without realizing it" kind of book. You're looking at animals, their different winter habits, natural weather predictors, not to mention the pretty pictures. I borrowed it from the library, but it's going on my wishlist. Right now.
Hopefully pictures of all the excitement will be up soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Well, Abigail's Libby cardigan is complete! I'm so pleased with it, though not as much as Abi herself!

Finally finished putting it together last night so that she could try it on before bed. It's definitely on the big side, but it is sized for a 10-12 year old. That just means she's going to get plenty of wear out of it!

Now, it's on to the Salina for me!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Necessity is the Mother of Invention"...

...or "What to do when the refrigerator breaks down in the middle of a snow storm":

Every time we open the door to get something off the deck/out of the "fridge", Toby giggles and says, "This is so cool!"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nesting, Kelly-style

With about 3 weeks to go until the big day, I don't think it's unfair to say that I am nesting, but I probably am doing it a little differently from the average bear. Most women would be getting their hospital bag together, making meals, writing birth plans, and generally planning it all out. Me? I'm finishing knitting projects, working my way through a few sewing projects and ordering yarn for my in-hospital entertainment. Weird, I know.

This week has seen a frenzy of sew-nesting:

A couple more cross-back dresses for Ellie. Should be great birthday gifts!

Some tiny trousers for Daniel, all made out of scrap fabric. I was really excited about the fold-over elastic, which I've never had a great deal of success with. Until now, that is.

I'm really excited about this, too. I found this beautiful quilt at the thrift store at the weekend and promptly fell in love. Looking at it, it looks almost certainly hand-pieced, and yet somehow it ended up threadbare with a $2.98 price tag on it. I convinced Toby it was less of a purchase and more of a rescue mission - this quilt needed some attention and a loving home and Daniel needs a blanket (well, I need to give him a blanket).

I'm currently working on adding a layer of warmth and a new backing to cover up the frayed binding, but I'll be sure to post the finished product. Maybe the photo will include a new little person, too, but we'll see...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh, the humanity!

I am more than 36 weeks pregnant. I am tired, unwieldy and a little uncomfortable. In short, I am ready for this baby to be born. In addition, I have had busy weeks, not enough sleep and last minute changes of plan, which I really don't like.
I also spend most of last week snapping at my children, grumping around the house and generally bemoaning my plight. Now, I know some would suggest that it's hardly surprising - heavily pregnant + tired + uncomfortable = some moaning and a short temper. After all, "I'm only human". But is that all? Is that enough? Does my discomfort justify my sin?
On the cross, Jesus did not revile His mockers, but forgave them. (Lk 23:34). In prison, Paul and Silas sang praise and worship to God (Acts 16:25). Being stoned, Stephen forgave his murderers (Acts 7:59-60). My Christian heritage is full of testimonies of faithful believers who faced persecution with joy, so how can I - a woman married to a godly man, enjoying excellent health and living in one of the most prosperous and free countries in the world - even suggest that I have the right to complain?
The kindness of God not only brings comfort and peace, but also the conviction of sin that separates us from Him. It is by His grace alone that today I can thank Him for the discomforts that come with pregnancy, because it means that He has blessed me with a new life to love and train for His glory.
His mercies are new every morning!