Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In an afternoon ~

working on math problems

tissue paper collage


In an afternoon, things can get still and quiet. All three kids sitting in different rooms of the house, creating something within their age/skill level. One may be working on math problems, another cutting shapes out of tissue paper to make a collage, and the youngest using as much tape as she would like to make maps or pictures. But it’s quiet, and I love it. I love how it feels and sounds knowing they are busy in their minds creating something without interrupting one another and working as long as their attention span allows, which sometimes is longer than I would expect. This doesn't happen every afternoon, but its a joy when it does . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yarn Therapy

winding yarn

koigu yarn

Call me crazy, but I do find winding yarn therapeutic. It’s the way I get to know a skein of yarn, especially my very favorite yarn . . . Koigu. I love it, love it, love it! This week I bought two new skeins for a project my husband (aren’t I lucky to have a husband who is asking me to knit!!) has been asking me to do for sometime now and apparently my time is starting to run out, so any spare time I get will now be devoted to these two projects.

winding yarn

finished ball of koigu

Now I'm off to knit!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

sweet garden hands

sweet garden hands

It has been so refreshing to see how gentle all the children are with our garden, Elise especially. She has sweetest little garden hands and handles the growing vegetables and herbs so gently.

We love to go out daily and check on how everything is growing, sometimes it seems almost overnight that we have new beans or tomatoes. What a great venture this has been for our kids and recommendations seem to keep popping up from books we read (like possibly planting potatoes from reading Farmer Boy -- which will have to wait until early next Spring), or a leftover pit from their peach they ate at snack that day (or seeds from an apple), or discussions made around the garden that day.

To live in a world that inspires us to try new things is a world I enjoy seeing my children learning and growing in, especially when it's from good literature or maybe a more experienced gardener, or gathering ideas from their world as they see it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Needle Gauge – FOUND!

I knew it would work . . . late Friday evening I was rummaging through a basket on my sewing shelf for a pattern and voila, what should appear. I shouldn’t have been so surprised right? Jonmichael and I had fun measuring the circular needles through the holes determining the sizes of the needles – turned out that sweater project couldn’t use any of them . . .

stitch and needle gauge

I spent the afternoon yesterday with my feet propped up, doing a little knitting . . . yep, on that sweater project!

sitting and knitting

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father’s Day Crafting ~


Father's Day crafting

We’ve been busying drawing and I’ve been busy embroidering and sewing . . . this Father’s Day we created these bookmarks as gifts. Using Amanda’s tutorial from Mothering, I thought it was such a clever idea to use this for gifts this Father’s Day for all those readers in our family. You can find the tutorial here on Amanda’s new website for her new book coming out in August. You will definitely want to create some of these for yourself and family members!! They are truly treasures!

What I truly love about her project and sounds like the whole approach to her new book is to use what you already have – not to feel compelled to go out and buy the latest fabric, but to truly reuse, repurpose, recycle from something you already have. I have found in my last several projects that cutting up curtains, old linen pants has been quite satisfying knowing that I’m being thrifty, creative, and re-inventive all the same time!!


Speaking of those fabulous size 12 linen pants I've been sewing from since this bag, this doll, this pillow, these few pieces of linen on the fronts of these bookmarks, 'marks' the end of those few scraps I had left over from the "pants." Thrifty! Yes in deedy!!

Friday, June 19, 2009


knitting needles

I have these circular needles that I’ve inherited and noticed the other night fishing through my needle stash {for a certain size I needed to cast on with} that I can’t find my metal needle measurer (and I don’t know the correct name for it obviously, please tell me if you do!) to tell me what sizes these circular needles are! I am so bugged!! I’ve looked through everything I can think of and am hoping by posting about my little situation here that it will decide to quit playing tricks on me and show itself!!

I have great plans when I do . . . a little baby vest wants to magically appear on my needles . . .

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Inspiring Summer Journaling

garden journaling

afternoon crafting

menu making

The crafting and journaling that's been going on in our home this summer has been inspiring . . .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

the reality of things ~

This afternoon ~

My craft table hasn't been clean since I last posted a picture of my new spaces. This is normal for me, yet . . . it works for me so well and is a reflection of how many projects I can organize in my head (so I call it!) at one time. Now getting around to completing them all, that's a different story, we're still working on that!

reality of my craft table

I found myself doing a little knitting at the computer while reading through my favorite blogs. That's normal for me too, in fact, it seems I do most of my knitting standing up these days.

knitting and reading blogs

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sewing in a zipper ~

What is it about taking a trip that sends me to the sewing machine? This time I decided we needed a new travel bag, maybe for toiletries or my ever growing knitting supplies so I turned to Heather’s book Weekend Sewing and grew in my sewing skills on Friday.

I usually do whatever I can (or have so until now) to avoid sewing in a zipper – I’ll use velcro, make ties, or sew an envelope opening (on pillows), but on Friday I decided to go for it, to try a pattern that seemed within my level yet still challenging.

travel bag

So with a weekend trip coming up, I decided to give this travel bag a go as my first zipper project and am so pleased with the results. I wanted to use a solid outer cover as the pattern shows with a surprise inside. The outer fabric on the bag is a canvas/twill fabric curtain that I repurposed and the lining is some cherry fabric I’ve had in my stash for a few years.

I spent somewhere between 4-5 hours on this project, it did take me most of the afternoon, granted I have three little ones that come by often to check in with me. Also, make sure your outer fabric is heavy enough to help hold the shape of the bag. Enjoy~!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Our summer has officially started!

blowing bubbles

summer knitting

bleeding hearts

Our days are being filled by so many wonderful things. For me, I'm enjoying watching everyone get along better by the day - being back together, home all day does take some getting used to, but it's going very well, lots of play - minimal TV {only after 4pm} and which makes for some time for me to craft and cook without too much interruption.

My pile of craft-to-do list is getting taller by the day. I'm in need of some time to get cracking at these projects, but knowing that the perfect time to get these done will come and not to stress about it and most importantly enjoy this season!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Better Spaces ~



Recently, the playroom and dining room got a slight face lift. A much streamline look that is more functional and easier to keep clean. The “wow” response that I got from each child as they discovered their new space was all the reassurance that I needed that the job was well done.

playstand in playroom

The dining room was rearranged to accomodate my new sewing supply corner. My thought was that if all my machines and supplies were kept in a corner neatly, the table could still be used . . . as an eating table and a sewing table when needed.

sewing corner

looking into playroom from dining room

Now . . . if I could just get every room in the house to look this good at one time, I would have defeated the seemingly impossible!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

wash day ~

wash day - preparing

washing crochet doilies

Yesterday we had wash day ~ finding a stack of hand crocheted doilies passed down from my grandmother and great-aunt in need of washing, we decided it was a good and sunny day to do a little hand washing outside.

hanging doilies

Not only a good gardener, Elise is also a fantastic washer and really loves to help out in any way . . . making toast or waffles for breakfast . . . helping with putting clothes in the washer and dryer . . . how lucky could I be right?


Lucky enough to look over at my bedside and see something reminding us of our morning, working together, and also thinking about the hands who worked this beautiful piece of cotton that years later we are still enjoying taking care of and using.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

new clothes ~

vintage pattern

Early yesterday morning I was able to put the finishing touches on these dresses (sewing up button holes) and decided both girls should wear their newly made dresses for the day. Elise’s dress is sewn from a vintage McCall’s pattern 7938 (size 4).

Lena's dress

For Lena’s, I used the bodice from this same pattern as a guide – but with a tutorial in mind from Jennifer’s blog on making a dress. (please check it out!) It was a refreshing mix, and I love how her’s turned out. I couldn't leave Jonmichael out now could I??

vintage iron-ons

For Jonmichael, I didn’t actually do any sewing – but ironing . . . I decided it was time to play around with a few vintage “star trek” iron-on transfers from the early 80’s – still with my husband’s sweet name and address on the envelope, he must have been just about the same age that Jonmichael is now, receiving such a fun treat in the mail from General Mills! Luckily for us, they weren’t used and we get to share in something with our son from our childhood – memories of these iron on’s half peeling off from wash and wear . . . I know it will happen. I did truly love my Wonder Woman iron – on shirt I got (professionally ironed on) at the beach one summer . . . how cool that would be if that was still around . . .!

new shirt

Lena's dress

picking flowers

Monday, June 1, 2009

the most lovely weekend ~

This weekend, I spent with just my son while Daniel took the girls to a daddy/daughter camping trip. It was grand, we both enjoyed doing our favorite things together . . .


Breakfast picked out by my son


3 hours straight of new knitting (can’t remember that ever happening before!)


dinners out

grandmother's "mother's" ring

pulling out and enjoying wearing a family heirloom - wondering what my "mother's ring" would one day be filled with . . .

Time to relax and enjoy all these things without rushing around!!