Sunday, May 31, 2009

I sewed something...and it fits!

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I sewed this dress all by myself!

I did everything myself with my mom only helping over the phone. Okay, my mom just happened to be here to help me when the time came to sew the hem (thank goodness). But everything else is my own work. I think this is a great pattern for anyone wanting to learn to sew and learn to do lots of techniques. It's certainly no simple pajama pants project. But if you have done pajama pants and want a new challenge, I highly recommend Butterick B5315. It has a collar, darts, back yoke and pleat, front button and side zipper closing, pleated skirt and belt with buckle. The hardest part for me was putting in the sleeves. I had to do that lots of times before I got it to look okay. But I got LOTS of compliments at church today!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A couple of creative people

My parents are pretty amazing. They're both so creative. If there's something you want to make, you can bet that 1. They've done it before, and 2. They've got all the tools and supplies needed and will help you if you want to make it right this second! That goes for just about ANYTHING. They've each got their own workspace, and it is truly THEIRS. If they ever move from the home I grew up in, leaving the barn and the sewing room just might be the hardest part for Mom and Dad.

Among all of his many talents, my dad loves to do woodworking as a hobby, and he is really, really good. Dad can create anything you can think of and draw on a scrap of paper. In my house I've got a bed, baby cradle, changing table, hope chest, stand-up mirror, and a treasure box all made by Dad. The really amazing thing about Dad is that he doesn't use patterns. He makes everying from his own design. And he doesn't use shoddy materials. If it's worth creating, Dad is going to use the best woods and it will never, ever, fall apart. He makes heavy strong furniture that is really beautiful. When he had four teenage daughters, Dad became a hope chest maker--every one its own unique design. And now that lots of grandchildren have been around in the past 12 or so years, Dad has become somewhat of a cradle maker. I don't know how many cradles he's made, but it is a lot. Maybe nine or ten? There is one design that he's made several times because it is so unique and beautiful. It rocks from front to back rather than side to side. He made one out of walnut to enter into the county fair this month that was so well-received, he was notified before the fair even began that he'd won best in show and had his picture taken for the paper. When we went to see it, the cradle was highlighted in a big display right in the front of the exhibit hall, shiny and beautiful with all of its ribbons draped over the side. Dad is brilliant!


Mom's often saying that she needs to clean out her sewing room, but I don't think she should. She's got everything--and cleaning it out might mean that on any given visit we wouldn't be able to, say...sew a dress, embroider a shirt, knit a sock, wrap a gift, put together a quilt, applique Christmas stockings, make a card, make jewelry, etc. etc. etc. And that's just the sewing room stuff. Of all the home arts, Mom does it ALL. And she's always learning new techniques and trying new things. She doesn't throw away her good supplies, and I love it. You never know when you might need a scrap of cloth/paper/bead/yarn exactly that color and size, you know? (Not that she keeps everything, but she does hold on to stuff that just might be useful in the future.) Just last weekend Mom was helping me cut out fabric for a new dress. We needed a belt buckle, and the fabric store didn't have one in the right size. So Mom says, "Let's look at home. I might have some to choose from". When she pulled out her BOX of buckles, it felt like I stepped back in time because she had so many buckles, including a heart one that I used to wear on a belt all the time as a kid. I thought, this is unbelievable. Who does this??? My mom does.

Lately my mom has been learning to do heirloom sewing. She wanted to enter something in the county fair, so she got working on a pink baby dress. I do not have the skill to explain all of the details on this dress, but it has embroidery, lace, and is fully lined with French seams, among everything else. It has a big bow that ties on the back and is simply beautiful. When she told me about the dress, she was so blase, like it was no big deal, saying it probably wouldn't even place at the fair. And when she and my dad went to the fair to see how their projects did, she couldn't even find the dress among the other items in the class. She looked all around the exhibit room, at all of the sewing items, and could not find the dress. She started thinking that it had gotten lost or something. And then they spotted it in a big display case behind glass, hung up so both the front and back could be examined. And my mom saw a white ribbon and was crushed. She thought she'd gotten third place and was so mad--she said would have rather not gotten anything. Then my aunt pointed out the GIANT gold ribbon she hadn't even noticed on the other side. A best in show ribbon! She'd won best in show out of all of the sewing projects at the fair. It was so exciting! It turns out that the white ribbon was actually pale pink and was for some other honor she'd won. Here's a picure of my mom with her dress. I had to go down to the fair myself and take a picture of her with it. But then I stupidly forgot my camera at the house, so I had to use my phone, hence the poor quality:


I am so proud of each my parents for getting best in show! I wish I were as creative and talented as they are. Way to go, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Wanna see my 9th anniversary present? It's a new porcelain figurine Tim and Owen bought just for me.
Yep, it's a toilet. Tim and Owen broke the previous potty Sunday night in a struggle involving bedtime when the lid crashed down onto the bowl, cracking the bowl and crushing my dream of a nice piece of jewelry in a little blue box. What happened to the romance in this marriage? (Well, at least he didn't make me feel like an old lady by getting the comfort height model.) Love you Tim!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tide Pools

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A snippet from our weekend in So Cal--we didn't see much in the tide pools besides anemones, snails, mussels, and a few hermit crabs.