Monday, June 27, 2011

Trying for Fancy

I wanted to make a dressy little something for myself - a date night skirt that's just a little more special than the usual. I bought this fabric ages ago, and it fits the bill nicely, I think. There are a couple of problems, though...

It's too big! A good problem, but still a problem. I measured constantly through the making, took it in a little more, and it's still too big. This should be fixable with a couple of well placed darts, but it clearly shows me that my measuring skills could do with some help.

I'm not sure about the length. It seems to hit about the widest part of my calf, which isn't very complimentary. Should I go a little shorter? Or maybe add lengthen it by adding a gathered or pleated section at the bottom? Or should I just get over myself?

On a separate note, I love my shoes. Timberland - who knew that Timberland did heels? (Not me, clearly.) They are, however, the highest heels I have ever owned, so I'm still learning to walk in them. It's kind of funny to watch...

Little Yarn = Little Hats

I'm in the middle of several projects at the moment. I'm more than half way through this and have stalled when faced with some confusion. I'm almost done this, too - a request for a friend's new granddaughter.

But sometimes, I need something small and portable. Something that doesn't require a whole lot of paying attention. Something that doesn't require me buying more yarn, and even uses up some small amounts hanging around the cupboard. Something like this...

...and this...

...and this.

The two blue hats were from this pattern, using Plymouth Merino Superwash. Love the yarn, and the patterns are great, too. The pink was my own design (kind of like a baby beret, sort of) in Cascade Paints.

I gotta say, the ribbed one is my favorite. Something about ribbing on a little noggin is too cute!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

They Make Hammocks

I blame Toby. They don't get this kind of thing from me...

I'm surprised the bed's still standing

For the record, no one was injured during the photographing of these pictures. I don't know what happened after my camera and I left the room, though.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Unexpected Cut

I'd been thinking about Ellie's hair. After the big girls' hair cuts, I realized that hers also needed a cut, but I wasn't sure just what to do, so I waited. Evidently, I waited too long, so she decided to take matters into her own hands:

Sigh. These photos just don't do it justice - it's horrible. All my kids have cut their hair at one time or another, but it was always fixable; a small chunk, down low. Not this time - there are parts in the front where her hair isn't even an inch long.

I had a go at fixing it:

It's better, but still obviously not right. Oh, well. Thankfully, this is the season of sunhats...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Family Funnies Book

We have a book that we started when Abi was small - the Family Funnies Book. In it, we record some amusing things that happen or are said by members of the family (namely, but not exclusively, the children). What kind of things? Well, things like:

  • 2 Oct '05 - Abi appears in the doorway of our bedroom, hands on hips with a disapproving look on her face and asks, "Who did this?", referring to the mess she made in her room.

  • April 7, '07 - Driving past a field, Kelly says, "Oh, look - 'moo-cows'." Toby laughs, to which Kelly says, "Oh yeah, I forgot the girls weren't in the car. I don't need to do 'toddler speak'". Toby laughs harder. "No, dear," he replies. "I'm laughing because those are horses."

  • July '08 - Kelly is preparing dinner when Abi walks in wearing a beaver's mask. "Mommy, what can I do to help?", she asks. "I don't know. What can a beaver do to help?", Kelly responds. "Well, I can chuck wood."

  • Oct 23, '10 - Praying with the older girls before bed, and after they had been particularly wild, Toby prayed that God would settle their hearts after being particularly rambunctious. Anna prays, "Dear God, I pray that you would tell me what rambunctious means..."

  • Dec 14, '10 - According to Ellie, one day she will be married, Dan will be married and Noah will be a pirate. Noah was very excited by this idea.

I love this book. The kids love this book. They love the idea that they were little and did and said silly things that cannot remember. They often pull the book out to read to guests (and can't understand the lack of interest). I love it because there is no way I can remember all this stuff on my own, but to have all these funny stories written down brings it all back to me. Plus, it's a much more manageable means of recording childhood (for me, anyway) than scrapbooking or trying to keep up with those tyrannical baby books.

A suggestion - if you don't have one, pick up a cheap hardback book or composition book - maybe cover it, maybe not - and record a few things that spring to mind. Then wrap it up, write a card, and present it to your husband or father for Father's Day. And be prepared to keep adding to it - memories are always the best gifts.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It must be summer

Summer hair cuts - before...

...and after

Not to mention the garden growing, swimming, picnics, BBQ and my personal favorite - air conditioning!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

'Tis the season...

...for shorts! It's been so warm recently that the kids have been getting through all 3 pairs of their shorts faster than I can wash them. That means that the sewing machine (along with the washing machine) has been busy.

Made out of an old skirt made unwearable by a hole, I cut the pieces out near the bottom, so I didn't even have to do any hemming.

These were for Anna - the top pair made with normal elastic in a casing, the bottom pair made with the delightful Fold Over Elastic. Good stuff.
You can make them out of the basic cotton or denim, or repurpose an old T-shirt or even an old adult skirt (which is what I did for Abigail's shorts, top). Repurposing means less junk lying around, extend life and usefulness, and less cash outlay. All good stuff.

I like Noah's pair, but I realize now that he really doesn't have much in the way of shirts that match. Not that that has ever stopped him before.
Ellie's are jersey with fold over elastic.
Dan's top pair are made with bottomweight fabric from my stash and the bottom pair are made with leftovers from the Lily Pants (more fold over elastic here).
Yes, that is Eleanor's nose in Daniel's backside. I have no idea why she would do this.
Yes, he really does love mud.

So you know, shorts are a very easy, very inexpensive thing to make yourself. Really. Once you've done it a time or two, you can put together a pair in under an hour. (That's pretty quick when you factor in diaper changes and emergency lifts out of the tree house.)

Lily Pants

So, a while back, my friend showed me a pair of pants on Etsy and asked if I could make something similar. I was up for a challenge, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Here's what I came up with - The Lily Pants.

I promise, they're really not lopsided - getting a good photo was really difficult!

I'm really excited because this has been my first "commission" project, and definitely one of my first "designs".

Made of tobacco-colored linen with an elastic waist and purple rosettes at the gather for some extra pretty.
I'm rather pleased with how they turned out, and even Toby suggested I make some for our own girls. Don't be surprised if they turn up in my own Etsy store!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Warm Weather Dessert

You don't hear too much about the lowly parfait anymore, but I'm suggesting a comeback. For one thing, it's pretty. The aesthetic pleasure goes a long way, I think.

It's seasonal - all those berries ripening up are put to excellent use here, and you don't need a lot of them.

It's quick - we're talking about layering yogurt (vanilla is best, use low/no fat for calorie counting), fruit and granola. Do it till the dish is full. That's it. No hot ovens to deal with.

It's healthy - almost everything is low or no fat. I use my own granola recipe, but almost any granola you enjoy will do.

And the wine glasses? They just make me feel like a grown up...

Please share any yummy summer dessert suggestions!

Tea for Anna

This has been done for quite a while - I can't believe I haven't shared yet!

Done in the same yarn as my own Tea Leaves, this mini version is the same size as Abigail's - sharing is almost inevitable.

Some changes: I didn't do the decreases in the arm. No need. And I lengthened the arms, as well. She'll be able to wear it longer, especially since she'll get no use out of it at all for the next few months...

I've also learned that I love wooden buttons. They're cute and sturdy, standing up to washing, playing and tugging. And they match almost anything.

I love this pattern (I may have mentioned this before!). I suppose it'll be Ellie's turn next, though I think I'll wait a few months until it's needed. :)