Monday, March 28, 2011


We had a great Ostara this year.  It was our first time celebrating with others and it was a nice change.  I have been taking classes through Lyceum of Trees which have been wonderful.  The group hosts regular Sabbats and Esbats that are open and often kid-friendly.  We were a little late getting to the party as G also had a birthday party to attend for one of his friends.  So, we missed the egg dying with natural dyes (boo) but everyone was so sweet and reset an egg hunt for my kids.   Here they are hunting for eggs.

I love this last one.  E figured out pretty quick that the eggs had CANDY inside.  Forget this gathering for fun stuff.  He had to stop right then, empty his pockets and start eating immediately.   And since big M couldn't eat the candy and G just wasn't as interested as his younger, sugar addicted brother, E made a right haul.  Below is the haul.  Yeah, we had to drag him away.  Guess what his favorite holiday is now?
Our friend Gina and her kids  loaned us some books, so we read the story of the Rabbit in the moon.  After eating some candy, we enjoyed the potluck.  Mmmm, yummy food!
Then, with a slight break in the rain, the Lyceum elders conducted the Ostara ritual.  We held our eggs and thought of something good we wanted to bring into our lives. Ostara is about the coming spring full of growth, potential, things taking root.  This is literal as we watch plants start growing again, but also figurative as we begin thinking of new projects and areas of our lives we want to improve.  So we held  our wishes in our eggs and promised to take them into ourselves as we ate the eggs.  I'm bad at describing it, but it was beautiful, I promise.  :-)
At home, we talked some about the newness that Spring provides.  I love Spring.  I love watching the flowers start to bloom.  I adore trees in bloom!  We have sung "Popcorn Popping" about a million times. More or less.  And I am thinking about the garden.  I planted some kale, spinach and kolrabi.  I am waiting for the new moon when I will plant the rest of my seeds. I'm running a little late, but better late than never I guess.  Those seeds will hang out in the greenhouse until the temperatures rise a bit and the rain stops pelting so hard on a near daily basis.
Anyway, Yay! for spring.  May all the good you are hoping for take healthy root in your life, and may the warming sun give you strength in your endeavors.

Sewing for royalty

These are 3 of the crowns I made for E's preschool.  I keep forgetting to take pictures of the ones I made for my OWN children.  I also made a cape for E and will make one for little M too.  I totally love sewing like this.  Quick and easy.  Instant results--well, almost instant.  But much faster than entire outfits, that's for sure.
These are Ottobre again.  Issue 4/04.  I cut down the size on the crowns just a little.  Since I was making them for preschool heads, I just removed one side of the tab.  I also used velcro on the capes.  I never use anything that ties around the neck.  The pattern may actually call for velcro, I don't know as I didn't actually read it LOL.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


First, a picture for Grandma.  She sent this cute tutu and onesie for the girl.  Don't forget to check her out at Etsy

And now comes the amazing-ness.
First, the before image.  And really, it's not even a full before image.  I had already been working for quite some time when I snapped this.  It just took me that long to say, "hey!  I'd better take a before so I can truly appreciate the change!"

It had gotten so bad that I just couldn't do much of anything in my kitchen.  I had some space next to the stove, but even that involved shoving stuff out of the way.  And I couldn't use the snack bar at all.  So I cleaned all day yesterday.  I kept wanting to give up, but I had promised myself a trip to IKEA if I got the living room and kitchen cleaned up this week.  I'm going to see if I can add the younger boys' room to that list for next week.  Then I'll go during spring break week after next.

This is the next day.  After making dinner, breakfast and lunch and a trip to the grocery store.  So I'd say we're doing pretty well. I can look around and see a million more things I need to do, but really the counters were the main problem and they were the worst they'd been since we moved in.
Another reward that the boys had a blast with was the coin jar.  I've been tossing coins in a can and bowl on the counter for ages and never gotten around to taking them in to do anything with them.  So this morning we took them to the grocery store and dumped them all in the coinstar machine.  $93.52!!! Holy crap, that's a lot of spare change.  So now we get to shop around at Amazon and see what strikes our (my) fancy.
I have to say it is very disheartening that despite my week of cleaning and organizing and purging, my house is still a mess.  I'm more of an instant gratification type.  This is slow work.  And every time I get something  done, littles are dumping something out.  But such is the life of a mom of younglings. I'm trying to appreciate their incredible curiosity. Although, included in my plans for when I have older children, is the plan to do some decorating when I can reasonably expect things like curtains to stay on the wall and small furniture to not be used as forts and projectiles.  Any guesses how long that will take? Anyone want to come help me decorate then?  Because I'm clueless!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Sewing Projects

It's been awhile since I really sewed much.  Little bits of things here and there and some mending, but not much "real" sewing.  Part of the problem has of course been time!  But I got bit by the bug last week (or the week before?) and bought some new patterns.
The first FO is from this new Oliver+S pattern I bought.  Click on the image to go to the pattern at Oliver+S.  Sooo cute!

Here's my variation.  Aren't you impressed that the only thing NOT from my stash were the buttons?  The red knit is from a bin of fabric I got from my IL's friend.  The blue linen-look is from a cotton IKEA curtain.  The Curious George was just in my bins.  I cut out motifs from the print and appliqued them all over.  E is very happy with his Curious George clothes.  I will definitely be using this pattern again.  It was easy to sew and came out great.

This is for Big M.  He likes sweatshirts and is forever in need of pants.  Can we all take a moment of silence to mourn the fact that the sweatshirt fits me?

Ok, thanks.
The pants and top are both from the 1/2010 issue of Ottobre.  I have plans to make him a coordinating t-shirt as well.  Just as soon as I find a knit I like.  I want a stripe or a subtle woodland type pattern.  Do you know how stinkin hard it is to find decent knit prints for boys??  Well, boys over 4?
Anyway,  the top is design #38, the New Generation sweatshirt.  I made a size 152.  I hope it's big enough.   The body is from a cotton french terry I found at Mill End. It's grey with a thin brown stripe.  The inner collar is a stone wall print from Moda.  M likes the pockets in the middle. Oh, and the cuffs are some random bit of teal ribbing I had in my stash.

The pants use more the Moda Stone Wall and are made from ripstop cotton.  Also from Mill End.  They are design #40, Casual Cut sweatpants.  I know, I know, the pattern is for a stretch knit.  And I worried about it the whole time I was sewing them.  But I think it turned out okay.  I left out the drawstring and just used the elastic on its own.  I really should have used contrasting topstitch thread.  The pockets have a neat topstitch detail that just doesn't show up in this picture.  Oh well.  I like them anyway.

The plan for the t-shirt is to 1--find a knit I like.  Then I'm going with a design from a previous Ottobre that has a cotton placket on the shirt.  I'll use the stone print again on the placket and in an accent tab.  Then the teal ribbing for the sleeve and neck edgings.  That should tie it all into a complete outfit.

I also have black and red fabric to do a jacket and shirt for G.  He wants an outfit too, but he wants jeans.    I've made jeans for the kids before, so I suggested I improve upon a rtw pair of jeans.  He's okay with that.  Phew!
Then, to include baby M (of course!), I have coordinating apple print, stripe and dots.  She will get the pinafore dress and pants from Ottobre 1/10 and a cotton top from (I think) 1/2006.  This should all keep me occupied for a while.
BUT, I also want to do some sewing for me.  I just have a hard time finding the right fabric for the right pattern.  You know?  That and I live in jeans or yoga pants and t-shirts.  So I have a hard time justifying the time and expense of sewing something new.