Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More flowers

L is loving the flowers, so I had to make more.

I made some smaller ones this time because her head is so tiny and her hair is so thin.

She sure is loving them!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

100 Days of Kindergarten

100 days of school is a BIG deal in kindergarten. The kids count many thing of 100 in many different way. It's a big celebration. This year in preparation for 100 days C's teacher assigned the kids all to gather 100 of something of their choice. C choose 100 of his favorite fabrics sewn together into a very soft blanket.

C loves different textures, especially soft. His favorite things to wear are his "soft pants" if it is cold out and all his shirts have to be very soft. So, as you can see, his fabric is all very soft.

C cut all the pieces himself, put them in the order he wanted and sewed them together. I helped guide them because he was using the surger and I was a little nervous to let him do that completely himself.

After he shared his blanket with his class, C got to bring it home and snuggles with it every night now.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Playing around the trees

This is a regular occurrence around here, C hanging in the trees and L sitting in the leaves.

I just love the colors that reflect on the trees around here as the sun sets.

That's it for the weekend. I've been too busy to sew this week, so I thought I'd share some fun pictures instead.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pillows - Tutorial

It took me a couple times to figure out how to do a pillow with a the right way. Well, I think it's the right way. I'm sure there is some tutorial out there that I haven't found, but since I figured it out, I have decided to do my own tutorial.

The trick was to sew the zipper on first. That helped a ton!

You will need:
1 uncovered pillow
zipper the length of your pillow

So, cut your fabric to size and pin the right side of the zipper to one of the right side of one piece of fabric.

Sew the zipper to the fabric along the edge. It is helpful to use a zipper foot, but I was sewing at a friend's house and she didn't have a zipper foot. It worked out fine because the zipper was thin.

After you sew the zipper to one piece of fabric, pin the other 1/2 of the zipper to the right side of the other piece of fabric.

Next, open up the fabric so the right sides are showing and fold the fabric so it hides the zipper like the picture below.

Iron it.

Now, pin and sew along the edge of the zipper.

Now you are ready to sew the pillow. Unzip the zipper a bit and sew the pillow right sides together.

Clip the corners and flip it right side out.

Nice pretty pillow all done!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Party Day

As promised, here are some pictures of how the party turned out. The first picture is my only kitchen counter space and hour before the party began.

My little Strawberry Shortcake

I reused the canopy I made for L's birthday party last year.

I went with the berry theme for the food too. L loves berries.

I can't believe how time flies! It seems like just yesterday when she was a cubby rolly polly crawling around on the ground, now she is such a big girl.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Birthday

L turned 4 and loves Strawberry Shortcake. We decided to go crazy with Strawberry Shortcake for the party.

First, I got a little Strawberry Shortcake dress and I needed leggings to go with it. It was so hard finding the perfect stripes, but this is the fabric I got at M & L.

I used the little green striped for the pants, it looked better then the big stripe and the medium was not in a knit. The medium was what I wanted, but I was very limited on what I could do.

I think it turned out pretty cute even if it wasn't the exact stripes that the "Real" Strawberry Shortcake wears.

Then with the pink polk-a-dot and green medium stripe, we made purses for the girls. C and L now have their own fabric scissors so they can help whenever they want.

The purses were a little small, but turned out pretty cute. They were so simple to make too. That's the best part. It only took me a couple hours to make 7 purses.

We got some Strawberry hand sanitizer for the purses and...

the girls got to pick out some flowers we made for their hair.

For the party we painted nails and did hair. Here is L modeling a couple of the sample hair styles.

I still have way too many flower barrettes now.

Stay tuned for more on the actual party.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

After wanting to do it for over a year, I FINALLY got around to it! My homemade laundry detergent. I love it! It makes the clothes all soft and it cleans them up well too. I always use the recipe and instructions from The Family Homestead. She does a great job with the instructions, so I'm not going to recreate it. But I will share my pictures and tips with you.

Here are my ingredients...

I bought the Fels-Naptha in the detergent section of Stater Bros. Every time I went to the store, I would look in the soap section! Or you can buy it by clicking on the link through Amazon.

The Borax can be bought at the store or through amazon again.

The Soda Ash I buy at the pool supply store because I am there often enough anyway. I did find some on Amazon if you don't have a pool supply store near you, but I have not had a chance to price compare.

When you grade the soap, be very careful! I graded my knuckle off the first time. That didn't feel good, but at least it was clean, right.

Stir the soap and water mixture until it dissolves completely.

After I pour my cooked soap into the 2 gallon bucket, I stir it a bit, then let it sit undisturbed for 24 hours. It jells up nicely if you have all the ingredients measured correctly. My first batch didn't gel, it always separated so I had to stir it before each use. I'm excited to use the nicely gelled batch.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Birth, a life changing experience

Sometimes I am not able to post, sometimes everything just stops for me. Everything around me keeps going, but I disappear. I am a birth doula and when I go to a birth I don't know how long it will be and I definitely don't know when it will be. So, if you see me absent for a bit, that is why. Anyway, I am in the midst of this long difficult birth with a very strong and courageous mom. I have all these thoughts so I had to get them out.

Birth is an experience. One that every mother goes through. It is an experience good or bad, hard or easy, blissful and excruciating. I did change from or's to and's there didn't I? I think that was unconscious because it isn't always one or the other. The Bible says child birth will have pain, the true meaning for the word used for pain is hard work. Not to say that it will be without pain. Some may have a pain free birth some may have a very painful birth, epidural or not, emotional or physical. But every mother has a story, a story to be embraced, a story to own. Everything we go through, good or bad has a purpose. We are a result of our life experiences. We are who we are because of where we have been. 

I feel like I was so bless and lucky to have 2 wonderful birth experiences. Should I own that, yes! Should I be happy to share my birth if anyone asks me, of course. But, I have also been through some very terrible experiences, life changing experiences. I lost both my parents before I was 31. I grew up in an alcoholic home. I also feel blessed for all the good, bad and ugly. Do I own those experiences and events and did I learn from those also, of course. I still wonder what I could have done differently in any situation but it doesn't matter, there was a planned outcome that was already written. Would I exhange one good experience to bad to make another experience that was bad, good? Possibly, but probably not. I am happy with who I am and where I am to accept anything hard that I have been through of as a learning experience. Nobody can control what will go our way and what will not. I think we need to play a conciouse part in what we can control and our decisions and be ready for adjustments and what life brings us. 

So, for every mom out there, own your birth experience. If you had a wonderful planned c-section, if you had an emergency c-section, if you had a complicated scary labor, if you had a beautiful labor, share those experiences it is yours and only yours. Be proud of who you are and the choice you made or had to make. Life is hard, labor is hard! Life is also wonderful and labor is wonderful. Share those experiences and learn from them. Morn an experience when you need to, process it, learn from it and embrace it. It is part of you. Being a mom starts the day of conception, not after you see that baby's face. We are all different and whats best for each and every one of us is different.

I have no idea how this current birth will end, but even though hard, scary and madding at times, it is an amazing journey of one couragous women. I am blessed to be a part of it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Recipe - Banana Non-Milk Shake

In our house we have a daddy milk shake and a mommy milk shake. The daddy one is disgusting (to me anyway) but I will share that at a later date. Today, I am going to share a "Mommy Milk Shake." The kids came up with the names because I make the mommy one and Mr. C makes the daddy one.

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup (about) Vanilla Almond Milk
2 T organic Vanilla yogurt
sprinkle of cinnamon
Ice - adjust for consistency

The Vanilla Almond Milk I get at Trader Joe's, it is in the refrigerator section and it only has 1 gram of sugar! It is an awesome alternative to cows milk. I absolutely love it in cereal.

Kid approved!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dad approved boy pants

I finally did it! I made boy pants that Mr. C doesn't say are too girly. He finally said it, "they look nice." I can't believe it. :-) You can check out some of my other attempts here and here.

C loves soft pants and it has been cold so I finally went to get some sweatshirt fabric and made some pants. C and L now have their own fabric scissors and decided to make themselves a little something also. I had to sew some elastic on for them, but they did the rest. I was told specifically where to sew the elastic also.

C loves the pants but said the pockets are too low. I'm still working on perfecting the pockets. The trick to the pants for me was to make them very straight all the way down. No tapering around the knees or ankles. Also, I needed to make them wide at the waist. I always seemed to make them too narrow before.

The camo pants were the second pair I made and those pockets were better, but they still have a tendency to pop out like puppy dog ears. Maybe I should just make them a little smaller.

Can you tell, I cut the pants the wrong way on the fabric? I was thinking it wouldn't matter with camo, but they do look sideways to me.