Tag Archives: sewing

Making Christmas

Well, I didn’t make all of it, but I had fun this year making some of Christmas. The girls were in desperate need of comforters this year. Their old ones had fallen apart, so I decided, rather than buy them I would make quilts.

When I was a kid my mom made my brothers denim quilts and I loved them. A while back my mom gave me a huge basket of old jeans she had collected, and over the years we have added to it. I decided denim quilts would be the thing, though they are horribly heavy, so I decided to go with denim and fun pink girly prints. They turned out marvelously cute (though very flawed 🙂 ), and I have to give a huge thanks to the Joan Fabrics empoyee who advised me to use embroidery floss rather than yarn to tie the quilts because it looks nicer and won’t ball up. Yay!

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For the boys this year I made snakes – my mom used to make us these too when we were kids and we loved them. They are over six feet long.  They were a hoot to stuff – and quite literally a pain. 😀 The only way to get the stuffing all the way done into them was to swing them through the air toward the ground as hard as I could. After a few minutes the stuffing would move a couple of inches and I’d scoot my hand up and keep swinging away. My arms ached for days afterward.

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And of course, for James’ birthday, is the fleece blanket in the background.

Next year I’ll reverse and make quilts for the boys and snakes for the girls. 😀

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Filed under Hobby

I Think I’ll Pat Myself On The Back Now

I am pleased. Though I started the month out procrastinating horribly, I still managed to meet all the goals I had set for myself for September. I have done my final edit of The Heart of the Castle (AKA Forbidden Fairytale), written the query letter, re-vamped the synopsis, and have a list of 21 agents to start sending it to – I’ll send them out in groups of 7 over the next few weeks. I have my 90 minute presentation for the writing retreat (which is next weekend) completely prepared all the way down to the visual aids and hand outs. Now I just have to not be horribly nervous and terrified while talking to a bunch of women (some of which are published and fabulous authors) about writing. I’m excited… I think 😀 I read through one of my friend’s books too.

There is just something about accomplishing the goals you set that is hugely satisfactory. It makes me grin. 😀

This year we have also decided to have a homemade Christmas. Well, as homemade as possible anyway. Things are tight, we are trying to figure out what we are doing with buying a house soon (my parents get home from their mission next spring), and Paul is starting to look for better employment. We have no idea what will be happening in the next 6 months, so we figure we should save as much as we can. As a result I am going to be doing a bunch of sewing and creating over the next little while. The biggest project I am diving into is making a quilt for each of the girls. Their comforters are shot and they desperately need new ones. I had a bunch of old jeans (I think some were even mine) that was sitting around waiting to be turned into quilts anyway, so I decided it was time to do something about it.

Solid denim quilts tend to get very heavy so I went to the fabric store in August and got a bunch of cheap clearenced girly prints. They are just block quilts – nothing fancy, but they are going to be so cute! I got one quilt top done Tuesday (except for borders) and another yesterday. Today I am working on the last quilt top. Then I just need to cut borders and work on putting them together. I want to do quilts for the boys too at some point – but their comforters are still fairly new and in excellent condition – It would seem a shame to replace them so soon, but I am sorely tempted…

We are going simple for Halloween -I don’t have time for fancy creative costumes this year. We had talked about doing superheros, but I wasn’t sure about it until I was at the fabric store a week ago and hit the jackpot. I was there to get some stuff for my writer’s retreat presentation (I tell you more about it after I give it) and was thrilled to see it on sale. Then I headed over to the clearance section. I managed to get enough material to make each kid a cape – I didn’t spend more than $3 a yard for any of it (some of it was even only $1 a yard)! So, they are going to be super heros after all – but of their own making. They can name themselves and decide what they are heroes of.

So my October goals will be surviving the Writer’s Retreat, finishing the quilts and costumes and starting on some of the other Christmas ideas I had. I need to re-vamp my query for Belinda and the Beastly Neighbor and start to get an agent list together for that one too – it’s in contest right now, but I should know how it fared by the end of October and it will be free to start sending out again then. I am also working on a new book and I would love to make progress on that too. Hopefully October will be even more productive than September. Oh, and of course to send in my queries for The Heart of the Castle to the agents on my list. Wish me luck!!

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A Random Friday Post

My husband kindly pointed out that I hadn’t written in a month – wow! Has it really been a month? That means I haven’t commented on my friends blogs in a month either – sorry guys, I’ve turned into a lurker aparantly. The sad part is that there have been so many funny things happen that I have said, “I’ll have to blog about that” and then I just never got to it – there were always so many OTHER things that needed to get done.

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I am nearly ready for the second round of readers on my book, I’m waiting until after Christmas, but I’ll contact those I emailed soon. 🙂 I appreciate everyone’s help. I have been editing, editing, and editing some more. My query rejection count is up to 3 – woohoo! Very cool. Seriously. 🙂 I have a few places I will send the manuscript once I have it as perfect as I can get it. Oh, and I changed the title – it is now Belinda and the Beastly Neighbor

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When I haven’t been editing, I’ve been sewing. When Dorothy and Elizabeth were babies I found an awesome stocking pattern idea in a Jo-Ann Fabrics ad. I made each of us stockings, and I have added to them as we have added to our family. This year I got to make James’ stocking and ten more! No – we are not adding ten people to our family, our midwife liked my stockings so much she hired me to make stocking for everyone in her family. I was supposed to do them in the summer, but I couldn’t find the pattern, so I have spent the last 3 weeks or so sewing and glueing feverishly. I finished them on Tuesday, and my brother said to take a picture – which I promptly did.

10 Stockings

10 Stockings 2

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Our Thanksgiving was wonderful, and following our recent tradition of four years we went up to the hospital – though Elizabeth was sick again and so I went up with Dorothy and Emily while Paul stayed with Jacob, James, and Elizabeth. It was wonderful as always, though I really missed the rest of my family. We had our yummy dinner on Friday and chopped down our tree Saturday. For some reason, I didn’t sew or edit much that week-end. 😉

Thanksgiving 2008 Collage

Christmas Tree 2008 Collage

Decorating Tree 2008 Collage

James' first Tree 2008 collage

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Some things I have learned in the past few weeks:

Your child will not be harmed if you give him an old antibiotic that has passed its expiration date. Jacob had a dentist appointment and I gave him his pre-med only to realize with horror that it had since expired. A quick call to the ped reassured me that I hadn’t done anything drastic, and that it should still be fine – though it could loose some of its efficacy. The dental hygenist said though that they updated the protocal this year and that only heart valve replacements need to premedicate – so I’ll have some questions for our cardiologist when we see him in March.

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Paul doesn’t mind helping me look for/ buy feminine products but he will not touch them. I absent mindedly handed him a box at the store and he tossed up his hands, “I’m not carrying those!” I laughed really hard. 🙂

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I understand why my father-in-law tells stories about his mother always keeping him with her in the kitchen, etc. Its because he was either always underfoot while she was in there and she put him to work, or it because he was always in trouble when he was out of sight – at least that’s how it is with Jacob. 🙂 We have become BEST buddies lately, especially since if I turn my back for 5 seconds he is into something or doing something he shouldn’t.

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3-year-olds trying to help in the kitchen are commical and you get NOTHING done.

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Babies grow way to fast (I already knew this, but it has been re-enforced over the last few weeks since James is now clapping, waving, saying “Bye”, standing, and has taken a few steps occasionally.)

James Standing!

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Its really funny to watch your flexible kids play Twister with your non-flexible husband. 😀

Twister 2008 Collage

Now I am trying to get ready for Christmas and a first birthday which seems to be approaching way too rappidly.

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Family, Jacob, James, Lizy, Parenting, Writing

Merry Christmas (and I’m still standing! – sort of)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. 🙂 I was all set to write steadily the last time I blogged, yada yada yada – and then reality hit me as I still had to finish everyone’s pajamas, and help Elizabeth finish making piano bags for everyone, and  do at least some baking, oh, and clean the house, and…and…and….

 I got it all done.  Three nightgowns, one set of boy pajamas, and two pair pajama pants for Paul, plus 5 piano bags that Elizabeth “made”. It was her first introduction to the sewing machine and she learned how to release and put down the pressure foot, guide material through while I was sewing, etc.  So everyone now has a piano bookbag made from left over material I had laying around that had music notes and such on it.  Everyone but Jacob that is – we’ll have to make him one when he is older. 🙂  I never did get the corn heating bags made for people though – oh well. 🙂

I managed to do some baking, though the majority of it ended up being on the 23rd.  We have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve so Mom doesn’t end up in the kitchen all day on Christmas and we can snack and eat as we go and enjoy the kids.  I suppose it could be that I overdid things a tad bit during the week, but on Christmas Eve morning I woke to a rather unpleasant surprise that sent everyone into a whirlwind of worry.

Vaginal bleeding – not exactly the kind of Christmas presant I was hoping for, and as I have never had such problems I was a tad bit panicked and stressed.  My midwife came  over (at 5:30 a.m.) to check and things with baby seemed to be fine – the heart rate was fine, etc..  As soon as she things opened up in the morning I was scheduled for an ultrasound.  I was ordered to bed and to stay there until we could be sure that things were ok.  But what to do about Christmas dinner?

Paul stepped up to the plate, marvelous man that he is, and cooked the whole thing.  Anyway, I digress. We found a wonderful girl who was willing to babysit on Christmas Eve and took off to the hospital where (even though we were there at the scheduled time) waited for 30 minutes before the ultrasound took place.

Everything was and is fine. No placenta abruption, nothing wrong with the cervix, they aren’t really sure what caused the bleeding though there are several different things it could be.  Plenty of amniotic fluid and baby’s heart rate was healthy and baby was and is active.  I was allowed to move around more, though Paul still wouldn’t let me set foot in the kitchen – I think his theory was that I overdid things a bit.  Stress was allieviated, though there still were a number of clots and light bleeding. After a lot of rest we still managed to have a wonderful and normal Christmas Eve with all our usual festivities and traditions.

During the night as Christmas morning approached I remember feeling a few quite strong contractions and praying, “please not tonight – I don’t want to spoil Christmas, etc.” Thankfull nothing happened.  No bleeding and feeling quite “normal”.  Paul is still forcing me to take it easy – though honestly I want to – I’m not taking any chances.  So while I am up and about I am focusing on not doing too much no matter how the messy house after Christmas bugs me. 😉

Our Christmas day was splendid and filled with marvelous fun – there was even less squabling and such than usual – which is pretty good considering all the new things that everyone wants to play with.

Baby now has permision to come whenever he (no, we don’t know that the baby is a boy, but can’t stand saying ‘it’) wishes and apparantly is working on it.  Contractions, though not frequent (or spaced close together) have picked up quite a bit in potency – they are actually starting to hurt! So maybe, just maybe I might be early for a change.  Due date is a week from tomorrow, so who knows.  I have another prenatal on Friday, so will shoot for any more updates at that time.

Until then all is well, and we had a wonderful Christmas.  I sure hope all of you had a wonderful one as well!

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Filed under Family, Pregnancy

End of the Sewing Marathon

YIPPEEE!!!! I have finished my sewing marathon.  I put the final touches on Jacob’s costume tonight, took a nice hot shower, and collapsed into my chair to veg – or just to write a post on my blog and show off the kids costumes.  😀

First we have Elizabeth as Sleeping Beauty:

Sleeping Beauty 1

Sleepeing Beauty 2

Dorothy as Belle: (I have to brag just a bit, because I have never done anything like this before, I even made the little gold ribbon rosettes on her dress)

Belle 1

Belle 2

Emily as Tinker Bell:

Tinker Bell 1

Tinker Bell 2

And finally, Jacob as the Frog Prince: ( I didn’t have a pattern for this one and I am afraid he looks more like some funky creature with a crown on his head, but I had fun with it anyway)

Frog Prince

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Hobby, Jacob, Lizy

Z is for Zipper

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

 Which is all that is left of one costume.  Well, the zipper and the hem.  Two of my least favorite things to do, though while I get better at zippers I seem to fail in improving my hemming.  So, one nearly down and three more to go.  I seem to forget that with four kids to sew costumes for I need to get started EARLY.  So here I am, a week and a half away from Halloween and I still have three costumes to go.  At least they are cut out though.  I spent so much time sewing yesterday that by the time I put stuff away in the evening my psyatic nerve was acting up so bad I had to use Paul as a cane in order to walk to the bedroom.  Sad.  I am hoping to complete at least two more costumes today, as the one I did yesterday was the hardest of the batch. 

Z is for ZZZZzzzzz

Which is what I will be doing once these costumes are finished, before then – not much. 🙂

Lastly, Z is for Zoo

I live in one after all. I decided that if all of my kids were animals this is what they would be: 

Elizabeth would be a horse – gentle, loving, enjoys a good frolic, loves to lay in the sunshine, and when they get mad, boy can they pitch a fit – and pitch you! 🙂

Dorothy would be a cougar – they know how to sneak up on their pray, can be fast when they need to be, but most of the time can lay around in the sun.

Emily would be a dolphin – enjoys playing as much as possible, has a generally cheerful nature.

Jacob would be a monkey – swinging from limb to limb looking for what he can get into next. His curiosity always getting the better of him.

So you see, I live in my own little zoo that keep my life hopping and exciting.

Woohoo!!! I finished!!!

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A New Project

I had this brilliant idea – well, I thought it was brilliant anyway, we’ll see how it turns out and then decide if it was brilliant or not.  I was rooting through the disastrous mess in my sewing room/office when I stumbled across something from my childhood.  My mom had passed it on too me to use with my kids and I was quickly hatching a fabulous idea.  It was a box of “fabuprint” – colored paper that you could iron on to fabric and transfer the color.  I think I still have a pillow case that I had made when I was a little kid with ‘fabuprint”.  I also found a bunch of fabric markers and paints, and a pile of 8 1/2 inch squares.  My brain started going, the smoke was roiling out my ears – I had a marvelous idea!

With a new baby on the way I thought it would make a fun summer project to work on making a quilt for baby – not just me, but the whole family.  I can do the kids hands in “fabuprint” and let them design a couple of their own squares. So then when baby is born there will be a special quilt that brother, sisters, mom and dad all made together. Since we won’t find out the sex of the baby before hand I thought I could use material with bright primary colors and such that would be fun and appealing.  So, that is my fabulous idea, and today I start working with the kids on designing their squares – I hope it turns out, because in my head it looks to be a lot of fun. 🙂 (Thankfully I have a good friend who is fabulous at making quilts and can help me – a lot!) 🙂

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Finally!!

I have not entered into the realm of digital cameras becuase I enjoy “real” photos. I am always afraid that I will procrastinate and not get my pictures developed, so I am old fashioned in that I have a regular camera. I still procrastinate in deloping my pictures, but maybe not as bad. So here, finally, are a group of pictures I wanted to post earlier . . .

First here are the pictures that were supposed to accompany my first post, “Trick or Treating”.

Elizabeth as “Little Bo Peep”

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them. Leave them alone and they’ll come home wagging their tales behind them.

Dorothy as “Little Red Riding Hood”

“Why Grandmother, what big teeth you have!”

Emily as “Goldilocks”

“Mmm, this porridge is just right!”

Jacob as “Humpty Dumpty”

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again.

(Of course they put our Humpty together again!!)

As referenced here these are our two birds. They were finally named “Pitti Sing & Peep Bo” from the Mikado at the insistance of our children.


Finally I couldn’t resist these two pictures of Jacob. They were taken in July. We had ( I say had because I have no idea where they are anymore) these goofy play glasses without lenses. They were a hoot and looked quite realistic. This is what happened when we put them on our boy ( he was 4 months old at the time).


I laughed and laughed over these, especially the one with his little tongue sticking out.

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Family, Humor, Jacob, Lizy, Photography