Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rainbow Swap

My dear friend, Robyn, is having a Rainbow Swap.  The link is for the original swap, which is long done.  She decided to be nice and let the stragglers in, but she is now short three or four colors to finalize the swap.  If  you would like to play, please leave a comment here and I will get you the info.  The time frame is short, as in, get us your fabric as soon as you possibly can.  But you will get 200 different squares in a bright rainbow of colors. (I've got 400 so far cause I keep doing the swap.)

Thanks for playing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two Birthday Parties . . . 13 Hours Apart; Part One

My two oldest are both June babies.  June parties are awesome, but having two in one month is challenging.

In April, my husband and I looked at our June schedules and planned when we could squeeze in D and J's birthday parties. (Because I am that mom that LOVES a party and my kids get one every year.) 

We only had one week that could work for their parties.  And as June drew closer, we realized that we had two days that they would work.

D turned 12, so we opted for a "late over" with the girls going home at ten.  J wanted a Capture the Flag party, we went with a lunch BBQ.  It ended up that the end of D's party and the start of J's were 13 hours apart.  Both kids invited over 30 people.  Gratefully only 20 showed up at each.

D wanted a Gnomeo and Juliet party.  We started the night with stations (after giving each girl either a red or a blue gnome hat, or uh, party hat):
  • Make Your Own Pizza Bar
  • Eat Your Pizza
  • Make Friendship Bracelets (that are red and blue, to show the Montague's and Capulet's united)using embroidery floss
  • And make your own Sculpey Gnome
I ended up cooking mini pizzas for 2 hours!

I used these mini pie tins from the dollar store. (I only bought 12 and re-used them.  Next time I will buy one for each person and write their name on the outside.  It got kinda crazy trying to figure out which pizza belonged to which tween.)

And five batches of pizza dough.  1.5 batches of sauce. (All worthy of their own post.)  I set all the ingredients on the kitchen table and the girls built their pizza as they saw fit.  My son had sausage and pineapple.  So not appetizing to me.

The bracelets turned out super cute in embroidery floss. (One week later and girls are still wearing theirs.)  Again, these type of Friendship Bracelets are quick and take friendship to make.

The gnomes were fun to make as well. (No pics.  I was too busy making pizza)  I covered my cookie sheet in foil and then wrote each girl's name under her gnome.  We added a jump ring to his head and after they were all cooked and hard we added a key chain fob.  I hope they will put them on their backpacks.  (A mom can dream can't she?)

After everyone had eaten, we finally started the movie.
(Sorry faces are blurred, that is on purpose)

The twenty girls settled down into my little front room and watched the movie. (I crashed upstairs for a much needed breather. Steve had to sneak away at this point too for a meeting.)  It was fun to hear them squeal and laugh and cheer.

After the show D opened presents and we had Ice Cream Cake (see above).  S makes one heck of a mean ice cream cake.  (Awesome enough that he really wants to start a cake delivery business.)  And then we bid the girls good night!

I was exhausted and crashed... See part two later on.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another Headband? So Soon?

Are you tired of my self portraits? (At least I haven't cut off my ear like some famous self-portraitist.)

I was heading to bed and I saw my hair in the mirror and I thought I better document it.  Cause I love this messy casual look.

My machine is on the kitchen table . . .

Which totally means that I can whip up quick projects.  I wish it had a permanent home, but I've already cried over that.

This morning I whipped up this headband.  I didn't use the Wonky Headband Tutorial.

I've seen these headbands on my uber-fashionable friends.

I thought I could whip one up.

I measured my head (a walloping 22 inches--is that big?)
Then I divided that measurement in two (11) and did my designing/cutting on the fold.  I added two inches for a knot (you see it ties in the bottom).  [I will mention this: two inches makes for a very tight knot.  But I think three inches would be too long of a tail.  So, if I make it again, I will stick with the two inches, but I would hate for you to be mad at me cause its hard to tie this together.  You have been warned.]

On the fold I measured 2 inches wide.  Four inches from the fold I measured 1 inch in the center (to get that cool narrowing effect). 

Then I cut two. (In other words, I layered the fabric so I only needed to cut once.)

If you look close, you can see that the edges are raw.  Put wrong sides together and stitch close to the edge.  I took some time to soften up the cut edge (and hide my lousy cutting skills)by pulling threads from the fabric.

Nothing rocket science or terribly original, but I love the casual look it gives, and having raw edges creates a softer headband.  There are no internal seams that are adding to the bulk.

And, it stayed on my wonky head ALL day.  It didn't give me a headache (firm headbands and tight headbands do that).  It could totally be reversible.

Have a happy day and sew a little.
ps this came from my stash.  I've had it for over 8 years.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Houston, I Think I Have a Problem!

Last summer Dear S set up a table in our unfinished basement for me to sew in.  It never was perfectly organized but it worked . . . till winter came and it was too cold to spend time down there.  So my sewing machine moved upstairs with my notions and some fabric.  The bulk of my fabric stayed downstairs.  Then crazy things in life happened (nothing serious) and the basement became a holding cell for all the things we didn't have time to put away. (Great example: the closet under the basement stairs is where we store our holiday decorations.  But for 4 months all the Christmas decorations sat in the hallway.)

All that stuff was piled onto my sudo-organized fabric.

Fast forward to this summer.  Grandma and Grandpa are coming in 3 weeks.  This year they will stay in the basement "guest room".  (The first time said guest room, unfinished 2x4's and all, will be used.)  So I have a basement that needs serious work.  And I am doing it.

And through the course of doing the work, I realized that I have TONS of fabric!!  Obsessive amounts of fabric.  I have a problem!!!  A very serious problem.  (Dare I breath the possiblility that I am a *gasp* hoarder? Or compulsive shopper?)

So, here is my challenge to myself:
I will not buy more fabric until I use or give away the bulk of my stash.

A few minor adendums:
a)  If I have a specific need, ie Halloween, I can buy more.
b)  If I find cotton knit on the cheap, I am totally picking it up.  I can't find it anymore and I L-O-V-E that stuff.
c) Wish me luck. I usually buy a few yards every time I go shopping!

There you have it.  Yesterday as I was "cleaning" I found several yards of fantastic 1970's print.  They are screaming for a maxi-dress.  But they are so bright they might be offensive.  Do I dare?

I will post pics of my new sewing space once we get it all cleaned.  It won't be pretty.  Not like Robyn's.  But it will be a space that I can sew and hopefully teach D how to use her machine.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Headband for Wonky Heads

Do you suffer from a wonky head?  Do you see all the fabulous headband fashion and wish you could take part?

Do you find your headbands creeping up?

I do, so I created this.

The headband for wonky heads.
You wear a ponytail at the base and it holds the headband in place.
Measure the ol' noggin.  Right where you would wear your headband.  Then add half an inch.
Cut a piece of ribbon that length.

Take a hair rubberband (I actually prefer the soft kind--I used it on the orange one and it holds better than the rigid one pictured).
Sew each end of your ribbon onto the rubberband using a quarter inch seam. (See below.)

   And you now have a headband that will stay on your head, held on by your ponytail.

 The tricky part is getting it on.

Start by putting the headband over your head and rest on your neck. (So in other words, put it on like a necklace.)
Gather your hair into a ponytail using the rubberband on the headband.
Then put the headband in place.

It takes some practice getting it right.
(And if you figure out a different way to put it on, share, share, share)

The orange one actually is fabric.  (Follow the same guidelines, just make a fabric headband with an extra half inch for sewing onto the rubberband.)

Here is an outtake.  Don't you LOVE little L sitting there staring at me like I'm an idiot? :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Big Week

This week has been a killer.  I am currently sitting in front of a fan in my bedroom. 

It's my little city's summer festival Pony Express Days (the Pony Express Trail cuts right through our city--kinda cool).  And since I am crazy and am married to one of the fire captains here we do a lot for the celebration.

For us it started last weekend.  We went camping for three days and got home on Saturday.  With just enough time to shower before my family showed up for a BBQ to celebrate my mom's and son's birthdays.  Then we all headed to the Rodeo.

There was snow mixed in with the rain at the rodeo.  We tried soooo hard to be die hard and stay to the end, but we were not prepared for that kind of weather.

Sunday was restful, as all Sunday's should be.  Monday started with me heading to a local school to help with a Special Needs Games event.  I manned the ring toss booth with a dear friend.  It was emotional watching these amazing kids and their even more amazing parents. 

I've mentioned before that my son was misdiagnosed at 4 with Autism.  Even though it was a misdiagnosis, we lived with those behaviors for 6 years.  I remember the struggle and heartache and watching those sweet parents face the challenges their kids have brought with love and grace and determination was a little more than my tear ducts could handle.  I was weepy. I admit it.

Because I helped at the Games I got free tickets to that night's rodeo.  WooHoo!  A chance to do it all over again.

This time, each kid had a sweatshirt, winter coat, gloves, snow hat, and two blankets.  I also had umbrellas stashed in a bag.  Way over-kill, but we were comfy for the whole event.

And talk about an amazing event!!!  That night several dignitaries, including a member of the US House of Representatives, signed a Community Covenant which promises to support our Military.  They also released a rehabilitated Golden Eagle at the event.  It was awesome!!! 

The rodeo was pretty good too.  The bulls threw every rider.  One guy got close with 7.99 seconds, but it didn't count.  The weather was delightful and we had a great time.

Tuesday we opted to stay home. 

On Wednesday it was J's birthday.  The turkey is 10.  I went through old pics (that are all on the computer--we got a digital camera right after he was born) and was amazed at the journey this kid has taken.  As previously mentioned, he started out life somewhat difficult.  I used to joke that he was hard from the moment I knew I was pregnant.  But now he's a normal boy. (I sometimes have to remind myself that boys are just like that.)

We had a big breakfast for him before school.  Right before he got home I got really dizzy.  Steve ended up driving the carpool and making J's birthday dinner.  (Also it was D's first dance.  The 6th grade dance!  I can't believe she is that old.)

I sat on the couch with my eyes closed and listened to J open his gifts.  Later we had dinner and then went to the Pony Express Days Crash Up Derby.  I've never been to one before and oh my goodness!  WOW!  It was so fun and crazy.  (I will admit it took me a minute to get past the shock of cars hitting each other on purpose.  I was in a serious car accident when I was 18.  The derby was a bit traumatic at first.) But I got over it and had a blast.

Thursday was another crazy day.  My girls both go to different schools cause D is in a smarty pants class.  Well, they had both their graduations at the same time.  L from Kindergarten and D from 6th grade.  Steve and I divided and conquered.  L's only last 15 minutes, so once it was over, I asked all the parents if we could cut in line and get her pic asap.  Then I raced over to D's and got to see almost all of it. 

After the graduation I got to help at D's 6th grade BBQ.

Later, once school got out, we headed to a carnival (a real carnival with rides, cotton candy and real toothless carnies).  The Fire Department does a big fundraiser every year with Pony Express Days.  We call it the Firehouse Grill.  So the kids rode unlimited rides and Steve and I sold hamburgers and hot dogs.

Friday was the last day of school (I can't believe it was just yesterday).  I helped with the kindergarten party.  Then we all headed back to the carnival, for the whole day.

We came home around 7.  Then Steve took the kiddos to the movie in the park.  My little town has a great amphitheater that can hold thousands, seriously.  I stayed home and did laundry, which is suffering still, and went to bed early.

Today started at 5 for me (which is a miracle, so not a morning person).  I helped with the 5k till 8:30 then raced to the fire station where my kids were asleep and got the girls to their parade float.  Steve fed me delicious pancakes and then J and I went and sat and waited for the parade to come by.

At noon Steve fed us lunch at the fire station and we went home to rest.  D had walked the whole parade route doing poi balls.  Both my girls take hula lessons and got to be in a float with their class.  So, D was very red in the face and needed rest.  Apparently so did I.  I ended up sleeping for 3 hours.  Ooops.

Back to the carnival we went for a few last rides.  I was supposed to work the concert tonight, Clint Black, at the firehouse grill.  But as mentioned before I am exhausted.  But I am missing the fun.  They pre-sold 3600 tickets, all grass sitting at the amphitheater.  Every year I am the cashier for the grill. But someone got their first and I knew there was no way I could stand all night.  So, instead, I thought I would write this novel about my week.  If you are still reading this, I am sorry.  But I wanted somewhere to document why I am so dang tired. :)