Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We played hard, now it's time to work hard...

Ah summer. Superman and I love it. The great part about summer is that we are both teachers. It doesn't get any better than that. To have almost three whole, long, luxurious months away from work (well, for the most part) is fabulous. I count those three months as a big benefit of the job that I have. I may not make oodles of money but I get a great break. Superman was enrolled in two classes this summer, he's working on his masters. Even though he was very busy and stressed to the max he still made time for Sweet Pea and I. We played hard. We went to the pool, to the beach, to the park (a zillion times), to the amusement park, to the Children's Museum, to the Mall of America, out to Idaho and Utah. We did it all. And Sweet Pea was soooo good. She traveled well. She had fun. It was a summer to remember.

That's what makes this so hard. The other day, last Thursday to be exact, I had to drop Sweet Pea off at my little sis's house again, you know, school starting and everything. We are so blessed to be able to leave her there during the day while we work. She loves playing with her cousins and she adores my sis. It's just difficult. Though I love my job I am left with the feeling EVERY day that I should be the one with her. We should be spending our days together, making all those new discoveries, playing, learning, growing...I should be taking care of her. But it's just not an option right now. It's a good thing that my sis is so great. She's a wonderful mom, to my little one too. It's a good thing that Kaia loves being there. It's also a good thing that when I come to pick her up she is so excited to see me and come home. It makes the dropping her off part worth it. Gosh, I love that little girl.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Fat Quarter Addiction Part III

Oh gosh, it's more fat quarter stuff...I recently bought a dress for Kaia on super clearance for about 5$ but it's very plain. A really pretty pink color but still...very plain. I decided it needed a little something. She had another dress that came with a yo-yo type of flower embellishment and I decided to remove it and make it into a pin so it could be used with the original dress AND this plain pink one that I'm referring to. I plan on adding an applique to the dress I removed the flower from, so she will be able to wear it like that, with the applique showing, or with the pink flower pin covering up the applique. Anyway, that's really another story. The story here is about the quilted belt I made to go with the plain pink dress. I started with one fat quarter, one yo-yo, and some pink ribbon, as well as some felt, and fusible bond. Here's what I did. First I cut out two long pieces from my fat quarter that taper at both ends. You can see them here. The fabric and the pieces I cut. (You can also see the little flower I removed from the other dress that I made into a pin.)
I cut some felt to fuse to the back side of one of the belt pieces. I wanted to give the belt some body, a soft, thickness (but not too thick) that I could stitch on. I quilted the belt piece that had the felt fused to it. Just some diagonals across the entire length of the fabric. Then I cut two long pieces of ribbon and pinned them to the two belt pieces, right sides together (ribbon tucked inside). Does that make sense? Here are some pics.

I stitched around the whole belt but leaving a section unstitched so I could turn it right side out. I pressed the whole belt, pressed the opening, folding the extra fabric in, so there were no exposed edges of fabric, and top stitched around the whole belt. Then I took two small quilted leaves that I already had, some felt, a button, and a pin back, as well as my trusty glue gun and made the little pin. Here it is finished.
And another pic with the dress. I like it. If I were to make it for me I would probably make the ribbons long enough to wrap all the way around my waist and tie in the front. Similar to an obi belt.

Zoe, Zoe Macaroni

This is my niece, she is the daughter of my little sis, you know the one here:


Well, She and Mr. make extremely cute children. They are soooo cute. Look at this recent pic here at Sea, Sand, and Sailor Land. So photogenic. See how she works the camera?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some work from this summer...

Just wanted to share some of the photography I did this summer. These are some of my favorites from a senior picture shoot in July. We took a long walk through a nature preserve in the area. The mosquitos were horrible but the lighting was fantastic. I really had a great time. And Hayley is beautiful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Fat Quarter Addiction Part II

So, after reading my post from yesterday my little sis explained to me, as she gently reminded me that we are all at different levels of craftiness AND are good at different crafty things, that she didn't quite understand what I meant by finishing the seams. I apologize again to those who've been sewing for years but my cheat at finishing seams, if you don't have a serger, is to sew a zig zag stitch right next to a straight stitch, on the outer side of the straight stitch. Did that explanation make sense?

Anyway, here is a pic of Pumpkin wearing her new outfit. I made the shirt using a modified version of a pillowcase top. I just cut out two pieces of fabric, sewed them right sides together, sewed a casing at the top, made a long sash to thread through the casing, and hemmed it. Pretty easy. And, she likes it! She actually likes to wear it. That's saying something as she is quite a rough and tumble kind of gal. (She's a living paradox really because she will wrestling and fling mud in her tutu that she must be wearing 80% of the time.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Fat Quarter Addiction

Yep, I have one. An addiction. To anything crafty or artsy really, but especially fat quarters. I don't quilt. Not in the traditional sense anyway. I have machine quilted, in my own inept and beginnerish way, small little things, like a water bottle cozy and an itouch case. On a side note, my mother really loves the water bottle cozy. Really, really. With so much love she wants to make a bunch more and I didn't make a pattern. Oh well, how hard can it be to replicate the first one? We'll see. But I digress. Fat quarters. They are awesome. I like to get them when they are on sale. I feel like the piece of fabric I'm getting, in a zillion different exotic colors and patterns, is just enough fabric to do something great with...and for only about a dollar.

Thus, the easy peasy fat quarter skirt here. I used one fat quarter, a bit of elastic I already had, a bit of ribbon I already had, and some thread. (I already had that too.) First, I cut the fabric in half and pinned and sewed the two halves together so I had one longer piece. I also finished the seam, sort of halfheartedly. I knew my little Pumpkin wouldn't be wearing this every day for years to come.

Next, I gathered the skirt, again in a sort of cheaty kind of way, one quick running stitch the length of the skirt. I held one of the threads and gently gathered the fabric with my other hand. I made a casing with a scrap of cream colored bed sheet that I had in my stash. (I forgot to mention that, I had some cream colored cotton from a sheet that I also used!) Not to insult anyone who has been sewing for ages, but a casing usually encloses elastic or a drawstring. I pinned the casing to the skirt, right sides together, sewed the casing to the skirt, and finished the seam.

After I did that, I pressed the skirt and pinned a piece of grosgrain ribbon to the hem. I sewed the ribbon on and finished that seam. Then I threaded the elastic through the casing, pinned the skirt together inside out, and sewed the skirt together, finishing that seam.

Here it is completed. I apologize if my step-by-step process was less than clear. Hopefully my photos helped a little. I think I'll get better at this as I go. (I mean the tutorial writing process...) Anyway, tomorrow I'll show you the finished outfit. I made a shirt to go with it out of the same cream colored cotton bed sheet. It is based on the basic pillow case dress idea. So easy. And so cute.