Friday, July 31, 2009

this week I'm loving ::

early morning playtime

:: early morning play time with bubbles

more canning

:: more blueberry picking and more canning blueberry jam – {note: my recipe from last week will fill 7 jelly jars}

garden tending

:: garden tending

sibling downtime

:: sibling downtime

Hope your weekend is filled with all kinds of goodness!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Works in progress ~ {as dinner is simmering on the stove}

works in progress

In our family, we each have our creative outlets. For me, I typically have yarn going on the needles and a sewing project in the works lying somewhere on my cluttered craft table. I love knitting projects that I can leave around the house and pick up whenever the mood strikes.

In reading one of the Tasha Tudor books I mentioned in my last blog post, I read that she frequently weaved yarn in the next room as a meal was simmering on the stove. I too have behaved similarly, habitually walking to the next room, sitting down in my blue and white checked chair and knitting a few rows of {this} sweater as I cooked dinner for my family. I love how we are all made from the same mold, habits that extend culturally, maybe even genetically, always wanting to keep our hands busy, making something for our family.

painting in progress

lego building

lego building

I’m finding that our children also enjoy working and creating with their hands. For Lena, she typically has some kind of book she is writing or drawing she is painting.

For Jonmichael, he’s been heavily involved with Legos for over a year now.

baby knitting in progress

But back to this sweater project . . . to show you how small this sweater is . . . it fits inside the dimensions of a sheet of paper . . . it’s so little and I keep ooing and aaahing over it as it has manifested itself on my needles!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

a pocket

a pocket

Not every dress, shorts, pants come equipped with pockets, so when I saw this pocket pattern in Tasha Tudor’s craft book, I fell in love with it and immediately set out to get just the right calico fabric to make one for my girls.

a pocket

I do love the modern contemporary sewing patterns and ‘look’ that are so popular now. But with reading so much on Tasha Tudor the past two weeks, I feel like I found a new part of myself. I really do like the old fashioned style equipped with calico fabrics and patterns that Tasha Tudor once used, it really suits my style. I would have never dreamed I would be searching out for calico, but it is so sweet and dear. I have fallen in love with something new.

a pocket

{For anyone interested in learning more about Tasha Tudor, I would highly recommend reading Tasha Tudor’s Heirloom Crafts. I found this book even more informative than The Private World of Tasha Tudor. Also, this pocket can be found in Tasha Tudor’s Old Fashioned Gifts, which is a delight to read.}

a pocket

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Decisions ~

decisions in knitting

When knitting patterns are open ended, they sometimes give me trouble. They will send me to ravelry counting everyone else’s stitches and rows to make sure my project comes out the way I would like. So, I found myself doing the same today, measuring, counting, just hoping I’m making the right decision before casting off, not wanting to invite disappointment to such a special project . . .

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

knitting for baby

stay-on booties

From the first pair of these booties I knitted over a year ago, to countless pairs I have knitted since and given to new expectant moms, all I really ever wanted was to be able to knit a pair for me. After just finishing up and gifting two other pairs, I quickly knitted up this pair this week for our new baby to come in a few short months.

There are so many other things I want to make, its just these . . . they were high up on my list. I knitted them in Koigu (my favorite fingering weight yarn) and for those who are thinking of giving this pattern a try, may I suggest knitting the i-cord 16" instead of 14". I think it makes for an easier cord to tie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


cooking blueberries

I found myself by midmorning yesterday leafing through about a year’s worth of recipes, looking for my blueberry jam notes from last year.

canning blueberries

Cooking and canning blueberries is really quite easy and therapeutic. Of course I think canning anything is therapeutic. I wrote down what I did yesterday if you want to give it a try.

Measure out:
6 cups blueberries
4 cups sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1 ½ boxes of Suregel pectin

Wash and sort berries
Mix ¼ cup sugar with pectin
Put berries in large pot and crush with potato masher
Pour in water, lemon, ¼ cup sugar/pectin mix

Bring to a boil over med-high heat
Once it’s reached a boil pour in remainder of sugar (approx 3 ¾ cups)
Bring back to a boil

Test jam in cold spoon

Fill sterilized jars/lid them and place down in boiling water for 5 minutes.

processing jam

{If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me}

blueberry pie

For the pie, it was beautiful and tasted even better than it looked. Thing is, it got eaten before I could take a picture of it baked. Trust me, you have to try it! Recipe here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July weekends are for blueberry picking ~

blueberry picking

I cannot think of a better way to start a mid-July Saturday morning, rushing out the door to go pick blueberries. The morning wasn’t too humid, a slight breeze, just the kind of morning I would want to go berry picking in an 8 month pregnant body! Our local blueberry farm got hit with bad weather in March, so we’ve been limited to when we could pick. But pick we did!!

picking blueberries

blueberry picking

And I’ll be making this recipe for dessert tonight!!

pail of blueberries

Baking and canning are definitely on my mind!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stormy light~

evidences of play

During naptime today, the lights were off and the sky outside was black with an impending storm. As I walked through the house, these images caught my eye. The beauty of the color in these objects glaring off what little light was coming through the windows really struck me, and oh how so calm the house felt, the quietness, and stillness of the rain {and rest} to come!!!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sewing by the book

Vintage Jumpsuit

The trend these days is NOT sewing by the book, come up with your own way to make it work (and I dare say I like this school of thought), but this time, with this pattern, I decided to really focus of doing just what it said. Being a vintage pattern, yes there were some different techniques I have not used before, but I learned some new techniques, used new notions and it took a little longer (because I wanted to be sure I did just what it said), but nonetheless, it is finished (hey, hey that momentum is building!) and I love how it came out – or I should say Lena loved how it came out.

This pattern is from 1970 Simplicity Jiffy 8769. Lena is a tall 5 ½ year old and I cut out a size 7 pattern and it fits her great. This style is a little shorter than what I’m used to her wearing, but because I chose a larger size, I think it turned out perfect!

every girl loves pockets

{and how do I know when the photo shoot has gone too far for her . . . clip clop go the feet, funny faces and head moves!!!}

clip clop go the feet

clip clop go the feet

there goes the head

being silly

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seeking momentum

For weeks now I’ve been a bit disappointed with how little I’m getting accomplished in the sewing area. Somehow this summer has not been as easy as last to get projects started and finished. I’ve got so many ideas swimming around in my head, but they just aren’t getting outputted.

at the craft table

In this one square foot of space in this photo, I see at least 3 projects going on. So I thought, maybe if I go back to my first Spring project that never got finished and finish it, my momentum would gain. So . . . I made myself finish this bag in one afternoon.

Buttercup Bag

Back in the early Spring, when I first read this pattern, I knew this fabric Feeding the Birds from Cicado Studio would be perfect! So, the pattern pieces were cut for this Buttercup Bag but sat on my table for months . . . what was I waiting on? One afternoon last week, I was determined to finish it step-by-step in order to get past this staleness in my sewing. I think part of my problem was having too many things started and getting overwhelmed. Hopefully this will put an end to that and my sewing machine and I can start a renewed relationship and begin accomplishing more and more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

creativity in children ~

backyard fun

Within minutes of empying a roll of paper towels yesterday during our afternoon snack time, Jonmichael was busy with tape, wool yarn, and the paper towel roll making a quiver.

I love love love to see creativity in children. Even something simple as this is so good for their imaginations, and many times over I have found they play with the things they make themselves far longer than something store bought.

backyard fun

backyard fun

ready for the next day

Yes, and his quiver and stick arrow are already for the next day of play!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sewinspiring is ONE!

summer flowers

Today is my one year blogaversary. Wow . . . one year already?! It’s been a great year, I’ve learned a TON, made some great friends, and have had so much fun sharing our lives with you all. Thank you for coming by so often to read!

To another great year!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

our holiday weekend ~

We headed to the coast the middle of last week to celebrate the 4th. The morning we headed out for our 5 hour drive we had one child on an antibiotic and nebulizer, and albeit the time we arrived to our destination – 8 hours later - we had two on antibiotics with a trip to the doctor on the way.

american flag


With so much against us in the beginning , we managed in a great way!!! We started feeling better, little ones gained new courage in the water, they tried new rides and conquered new heights and speeds! . . .


gaining courage

lunch on beach

winding yarn for road trip home

. . . and I remembed just before packing to leave that I had a new skein of yarn I needed to wind for some knitting on the way home.

road knitting