Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Few New Things (plus an update on an old thing)

I'm always losing my needles as I work on my different little projects and my family is always finding them in not very fun ways, so I made this little book out of felt to hold them for me. :) I liked the book so much I've decided to make another one and send this one on to a friend for Christmas.

I went to a little craft day with some friends and made these two framed pictures. Everyone else made calendars, but I decided to turn mine into a weekly menu (which is now hanging in my kitchen) and a conducting help for Young Women's on Sundays. You put the permanent information under the glass and write on top of it with dry erase markers. Super cute and easy. It's always fun to mess around with pretty papers and actually finish something in less than 20 minutes.

I have a niece staying with me while her momma is sick and she wanted me to take pictures of the fun snow flakes we made and put it on my blog here. I learned how to make them a few years ago and every year have made a few more and laminated them to keep well and add to the collection. We have about 40 of them now. Someday I'd love to have a couple hundred, but that's a lot of laminating and I can't get myself to use more than 10 sheets on snowflakes every year. :) They are really fun to make and super addicting. We have enough of a collection to hang from our family room ceiling. :) For instructions on how you can look back at my blog where I wrote about it here.

And last of all: My yearly update on my cross stitch. :) Remember this sucker? This is such a monster. I wrote about it here. It may not look like a lot of progress, but when you have to make 625 per inch and the entire project is 18" by 22" it's takes a long time to make a noticeable difference. I'm still working on it in the evenings for an hour or two every night while catching up on shows with Seth or him reading to me. I'm guessing it will be done by next Christmas. I'm itching to start a new cross stitch pattern. I'm getting pretty sick of oranges, browns, yellows, and reds. I have 8 more Scott Gustafson patterns waiting for me to make. I'll probably go blind before I finish them all when they take me 3 years each. I know, I'm crazy. It gives me something to do. I just don't like sitting still. It feels unproductive. Probably I have adhd or something. haha

Here is what it looks like now:

Here is what it looked like last Jan:
(seeing them side by side
helps to see progress)

Here's a close up.

And here is an even more close up. :) My cell phone camera doesn't take the best pictures, but you get the idea of how tiny the little stitches are.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Matter Unorganized :)

Our whole family likes to be artsy-fartsy and a lot of the time we spend together is artsy type stuff.:) My husband is much more professionally artsy-fartsy than I am, but I still find much joy in it even if I'm not a professional artist. :) I just put some of his "lunch bag" art work up on our family blog here. Anyway, few things give me greater pleasure than to create something out of a mess. :) I really relate to the words of this talk by Pres. Uchtdorf: "Happiness, Your Heritage". I love to look at an empty canvas or a pile of fabric and wonder what life is inside of it and will emerge as I play with it. I have bags of felt scraps and on Saturday I threw them all over my table and stared at them wondering what they would turn into and at the end of the day I had this...

My sister and I made these huge calendars a few years ago to give as Christmas presents to family and I realized I had enough stuff to make a small one. It's about a 1/3 of the size. I looked at the one that I made a few years ago for reference, but decided to make a bunch of new pockets. It was so fun to see all my scraps before me and start cutting and gluing and creating each individual pocket.

This particular calendar I made for the missionaries serving in our area. My husband is always making fun of me for wanting to be such a mom to them. I know they are adults, but they are still 19-21 year old boys, who are away from family, learning about themselves and the world, and trying to share what they love most with others- the message of Christ. So maybe I'm a dork, but I made this for them. I put little slips of paper in each pocket with assignments for them to do each day (i.e. make the ugliest Christmas ornament they can out of paper, read a certain section in the scriptures, write letters to their family, do something secret and nice for their companion, call us on Penelope's birthday and sing "Happy Birthday", drink hot cocoa, build a snowman -on P. day of course :), etc.) A lot of families have these types of traditions in this season. I just thought that this time of year could be a hard time to be away from family. I wanted to help them stay focused on their work, but know that they are loved as well.

If you look closely you can see that I made two penguins (like the other calendars), but they have name badges- just like the missionaries. haha

The 13th has an angel on it because that's Pip's birthday. We actually had the elders over for Thanksgiving dinner and we had a surprise from one of the elders. He had been in contact with the other elder's family secretly and they had sent a letter from them for us to read aloud at the table. The letter was in a card that had three beautiful little angels on the front of it with each angel representing one of our girls and they were named. The mom had written "your angels"- so that's why I put an angel pocket for Pip's bday. :) The parents thanked us for reaching out to their son and his companion and told us it gave them comfort to know they would be eating a good meal even though they weren't together. Then the mom quoted lines that her son had written about our family in her letter. He had described each one of us individually and why he loves us. I bawled, of course. :) Between that, having Seth's sister and her family over, and our buddies the Falconbridges visiting us for Thanksgiving it was one of the most special Thanksgivings that I can remember.

Instead of Santa on the 25th like my other calendars I put the baby Jesus (and Santa on the 24th) :). I didn't have my sister's embroidery machine so I hand stitched all the numbers. I added extra touches too like the blanket stitch around the tree, trunk, and star. This little calendar turned out so sweet and was so fun to make. I've been scared to made another one for a while because I got really burnt out that year I made Christmas calendars and all those Halloween calendars and sold them. It is much more fun to make them as gifts. :) It makes me much more happy than making a few extra bucks.

Just for fun here's a picture I took on Thanksgiving of the two elders. We are thankful for their service and sacrifice. For those of you who may read this and not know- when a someone chooses to go on a mission they don't get paid for it. In fact, they pay for the cost of the mission themselves. They put a few years of college (and dating- haha) on hold to go out and serve. How could you not love someone willing to do that? :) Whatever all our differences and beliefs are it is a respectable thing to see anyone follow their heart and convictions like that.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and do things that bring you joy and remind you of why this time of year is so special and fills your heart. :) Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Halloween Sewing...

Here's this year's costumes. :)

I love that Penelope is the pretty little princess between two scary big sisters. Her pose cracks me up. Her costume was the most time consuming this year. Kendyl wanted to be a scary ghost. It had to be "real looking"- so I made layers and layers of sheer fabric and finished all the edges to with a lettuce edge so it would ripple.

Makenzie wanted to be a dead fairy. I just used a fairy dress of mine and altered it a bit. It was actually very easy and fast- about 5 minutes at a machine. We put a battery pack of led lights in her hair do, add wings, dead looking makeup, typical Makenzie attitude and wah lah - we had ourselves a dead fairy.

Wish I could claim I sewed this. Truth is... last year while I was planning out an Edward Scissorhands costume and looking up prices for material, buckles, etc. online I came across this costume. It was 50% off because it was during December I'm guessing. So here it is, a costume that looks just like the movie and for about $80 cheaper than all the supplies would have been to buy it before sewing it. :)

I did help with the make up though. :) Oh my Seth Scissorhands. He makes Halloween... be Halloween.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

George and the Birds

Penelope and Seth named this one "George and the Birds". :) This has many of the same elements as the previous painting, I just focused on the deer more because I liked him so much. I gave this to my dear friend who took care of my kids while I traveled to Boise for my brother's wedding.

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's All About Rapunzel Around Here

As you can see from my previous post our world revolves around Rapunzel (at least for our youngest it does). Sewing her costume, thinking about her bday party that she'll have in December, and Penelope picking that movie to watch almost everyday puts it in my brain too. I happen to love the colors and design of the movie myself. I don't mind that she picks it to be honest. When I saw it in the theater I went home and wanted to start painting my walls and furniture in that same flat, folk style. I find myself jumping from hobby to hobby and interest to interest all day long. I wake up so excited to work on a million different projects or ideas and can't wait to finish a few responsible type things in the house just so I can steal some time to bake or create things. I have too many interests to ever live even close to a balanced life. If I could just love one or two things and focus on those hobbies I'm sure I would become most excellent, but as it is, I love EVERYTHING~ :) So I'm doomed to be ok or pretty good at a lot of things and still feel like I never have enough time.

Well just for my little Penelope I made this painting this morning while she sat on my lap and made her own painting. It's 8"x10" and is in the style of the Rapunzel movie. How I'd love to be brave enough to make large scale paintings all around my world. It would be so fun. Then when I got sick of them, I could just paint a wash over them and make more. Maybe someday, for now little is fun and do-able. I feel like I get something done when I paint small scale.

... and the real masterpiece

...................Pippy's painting!

And the artist herself.... in her red and gold shoes and snow hat in perfectly nice weather.....

And her sweet neighborhood friends.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Little Princess

Halloween is around the corner. For month's my little Pip has been begging for me to make her a "Tangled dress" as she calls it. She hardly knows her name is Rapunzel, she just always calls her Tangled. It's pretty cute. :) With three kids I begin Halloween sewing in the summer so I can make them as fun as I want and not feel stressed. So here's one down and two more costumes to go... :)

Penelope with her best little buddy.
The back of the dress.

Close up detail of front. I had to let that lace soak in bleach water so that it wouldn't be yellow anymore. I've never done that before and I was pretty proud of myself. haha

So on to Kendyl's ghost costume and Makenzie's dead fairy. I think I'll be Mother Gothel to go with Rapunzel since I've got a long red dress and black cape already.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Glove Story Telling

Saturday night I had a fun idea of how to teach my Sunbeams (3 and 4 year olds) in church the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the firey furnace found in Daniel chapter 3 in the Bible. My mom had a little glove story like this when I was a kid, but more fancy. Anyway, I had a bunch of these gloves, eyeballs, and felt in one of my craft boxes and made a glove for each kid in my class. They were simple to make just a little time consuming. It was sooo worth it though. I told them the story with one of the gloves and then let them help me make theirs for them. I had all the little people ready and they told me which fingers they wanted them on while I hot glue gunned it. Then they put them on and told and retold the story. One of the moms told me that her son was still playing with it an hour after church and wanted to teach Family Home Evening the next night. Totally worth the work. :o)

King Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the Angel. The fire can be removed and reattached with velcro.

This is the idol that the King wanted them to bow down to and they wouldn't so threw them in the furnace, but they didn't get burned or hurt because they were obedient and an angel came to protect them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Muy Updates on Projects...

A few years ago my sister and I were delighted to discover that one of my favorite artists (Scott Gustafson) had cross stitching patterns. I know- super dorky! We both love to cross stitch at night while snuggling with our hubbies and unwinding from the day- usually for an hour or two while catching up on shows we like or sometimes Seth will read to me (currently the Hunger Games Series). It's very grandma-ish of us.I have to brag about her because here is her finished cross stitch. This is crazy big. Mine is as well, but I am only about a 1/3 of the way done. (We tease that she lets her grandma out a little more than I do to finish so quickly- the truth is that she is faster than I am) If you'd like to see close up details here's a link to her blog (here). So you can get an idea this is on 25 count fabric and both of our designs are 18" by 22"(625 stitches per inch). The pattern is 36 pages! I know- we are completely nuts. The truth is, it is more about just having something to do than anything else. In fact- both of us don't ever keep our cross stitches. Once they are done we just find someone to give them too. Well with these I think we'll keep them. In fact- I'm hoping to create a little collection so that someday when I have grandkids I can give them each one when they are born.

Usually we will mail our cross-stitches back and forth just to mix things up, but with these we haven't. Here are some pictures of my progress after 2 years.

This is the full view of what I have done so far...
It will someday look like (this)

Here are a few close ups of the detail.

I'm super excited about this find. We have been table and chair-less since October. While driving
home from the library on Saturday I took a wrong turn accidentally and drove past an estate sale which had this 7 piece set for only $100! I am currently stripping it down, sanding it and re-painting. I do like the black- it's just horribly beat up. So I'm gonna make it pretty! :) This sure beats paying 10 times as much. I'll post pics when I'm done and it's in th
e house and I've sewn a pretty table runner or something for it.

Moving right along:
What do you do with such scrumptious fabrics????

For starters make a hair clip board for my 3 girlies.:) A friend taught a bunch of us last weekend how to make these. Super easy- super cheap- unless of course you want to buy expensive stuff. :) Now all I need to do is learn how to make those cute flower hair clips....

Also I think you should buy this (book)-

which of course I did and sew some new, funky clothes for your kids that they will adore! It's a fabulous way to use all my scraps. I just ordered the book and it's on it's w
ay. I can't wait!

Last of all: (for the time being)
This chore chart that I put together has made a HUGE difference in our house. I drew up a basic design, looked up images online of kids doing chores, designed little cards, printed, cut, and laminated them. Next I went to the store and picked up some poster board, put it all together, attached velcro to everything and voilĂ  it's finished!

The girls will do am chores and pm chores- and when they are done they un-velcro them and stick them in the pocket waiting for me to decide what they will do the next day. There is a section for extra chores other than their normal to-do, which they can be paid extra for and a little chart to check off how they've done that day. They earn a bonus by being ready by 8am everyday as well. Each Monday night after Family Home Evening we look at their week's progress and pay them accordingly. They actually get excited to wake up and unvelcro their cards and check stuff off. The key to the success of this is for me to fill up their chore chart every morning before they wake up or the night before. Makenzie was finally able to earn enough to add to her savings from this past year to buy her own bike! Kendyl bought a pillow pet- and mom doesn't feel so stressed out about asking them to do each chore they need to that day. They are responsible for themselves! Hooray! :)

Here's a few upclose pictures of Kendyl's chart.

Well I'm off to go scrape some more paint off the top of that table.
I think the paint stripper has been sitting on it long enough. :)

Happy project making to you! Tell me what you are up to...