Monday, February 28, 2011

ice cream for Eve

    I've posted about Oliver + S before, back when I made shirts for the boys.  I have been sitting on their Ice Cream Dress pattern since I was still preggy.  Some of our friends had blessed us with some fabric funding for the babe.  She was finally looking big enough, and we need to get ready for all that warmer weather coming, right??? so I got out my pattern and made the smallest size (6-12 months).

     I love, love, love this dress on her.  I followed the directions, and, going a step at a time, going back & forth from my machine and my iron, it took nearly three hours!  Can you believe that?  Even though I didn't bother with the pockets (pockets are just crumb-catchers at that age)!

     I decided that there were a few bits in the order of construction that could be Anna-lyzed, so I cut out fabric for another one, and then let my brain mull it over for a couple of days.  Last night I sat back down, and sewed that dress in one hour and twenty minutes.  I even stopped here and there to catch what was happening on the Amazing Race, get water for someone who should be in bed, and fix a snack (for after sewing). 

     Sweet!  Elizabeth Zimmermann would be proud as I changed her little slogan and decided to be the boss of my own sewing!  I once had a math teacher inform me that she believed my brain seemed to work backwards somehow, and you bet I was thinking of her today as I worked that dress according to Anna-logic! 
     I feel like I should have a sewing/knitting bee.  Everybody could peer into the quirks of everyone else's styles.  Now doesn't that sound post-worthy?

Friday, February 25, 2011


  1. I spent half an hour lying on the kitchen floor while the baby inspected the zipper on my sweater.  She particularly enjoyed the noise it made against said floor.
  2. Shopping is not my "best" thing, as Levi would say.  Today I need to go to the mall and look for a new dress, so I'll look decent at a spring wedding.  Normally I would find outfits for all the kids and totally forget that my nicer clothes are not at all spring-ish, until the moment I need to get dressed for the wedding.  This time my boys are ring-bearers, and I had the realization that in the (likely) event that one of them needs help, I will be the one giving it, and the last thing I want is to be memorialized for all time in some bridal album as the cute ringbearers' frumpy mother. 
  3. My plan is to find something simple at the mall, and make it more Anna-ish with something knit.  This of course depends on my finding a dress ASAP and then getting coordinating yarn delivered in time.
  4. Eve was very excited about all that food she tried.  Excitement is gone, and she no longer cares two-pence.
  5. Baby Micah did the same thing.  He waited an extra two months and then started eating real food.  Weird.
  6. Baby Levi ate text-book baby food.  He is a picky, picky eater.
  7. I abandoned said text-book not long after picky-eater fiasco.
  8. I like the word fiasco.  I also like adding -ish to things.
That's all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

shop update

     Spring is coming, can't you feel it?  I've been getting some more dolls together for my shop, spring-themed of course!  I love this butterfly dress so much, I may have to make another one for me, er... for Eve.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

this moment

"So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good." ~Galatians 6:9

     I have a little challenge for you today, but first I have a little confession of my own.
     The more round I became during my pregnancy with Eve, the harder it became to crawl down into that bottom bunk, and the less I went back to the boys room for a bedtime story.  By that point they had gotten so good at going off to bed, that I just let it slide.  Plus it's so nice to just plop down, fatigued, at the end of the day, you know?
     And then, a short while ago, it hit me, horribly hard one night as I was peeking in at my sleeping babes:  Anna, you only get so many bedtimes.
     Now I have a little sign that says exactly that, and I've been making my bedtime reading and prayers and snuggles a priority.  And I'm really enjoying myself.
     So here's my challenge for you.  There's something good you've gotten fatigued with, something you've let slip.  It could be making sure those little teeth are scrubbed, or getting someone's snack, or helping that little one get back down out of wherever they've gotten stuck, or making the errands you run pleasant time together with your kids, or something totally un-parenting related altogether. 
     Find that thing and choose to enjoy it.  And then find another thing and enjoy that.
     After all, you only get so many bedtimes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looking Back...

      Here was my baby at 6 months. If you want to look back, you can compare her to her brothers at that age.

      But as of today, she is a great, big 7 month old!  Ready for great, big 7 month old adventures.  She is sweet, and feminine, happy.  She still wakes up more than neccessary at night, but she is easily soothed.  And she love, love, loves to be outdoors.  I suppose that if you name your child Eve, that is to be expected.

     On a completely different note, you have to hear what Levi said yesterday.  He's totally immersed in his history lessons, and the dozens of books we've checked out on castles and kings and knights and on and on and on.  That said, this is what he said while munching on grapes for snack:

     "See, if you squish grapes, you get grape juice.  If you squish grapes, and leave them to ferment, you get wine."

He's six.

Monday, February 21, 2011

thrill of de feet

     I made Levi's slippers last week, and had fun following him incognito around the house with my camera.  He wakes up and slides them on.  He jokes about wearing them to church.  He pulls them off to change his clothes and then slides them right back on. 
     The pattern is a really quick knit (there's even an adult version), the yarn's held double and felted for cozy knitted goodness, and what kid doesn't like intentionally shrinking something in the washing machine?

     And the bonus to Levi wearing his slippers non-stop?  Micah wears his slippers more! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

this week in pictures...

     This week we made shields, opened some fun cozy things from my best aunt, cruised around the kitchen (and under some things too), and met a new little friend!

     Fast friends already, I think!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


     I am becoming a knitting fruitcake.

     I have a knit-list. "Pattern-junky" would be an applicable term. I am so happy as I watch stitches pile up, and I really light up when a little boy grins at my needles and informs anyone around (even if it's just me) that said stitches are for him. I like big projects because I have the satisfaction of working on them for longer.  I have done lots of little things lately, because they were easier to fit in/around the baby.  But right about now, I'm looking for something a little heftier.

   Fruit.     Cake.

   Wait, wait... I can't really be that bad?  Can I?  Let's go to the evidence.  This last year we have:

     Hmmn.  Now, of course you're entitled to your opinion, but now that I'm looking at it, I don't think it's that bad at all!  We've got hats, baby things, and sweaters.  All important things.  And all received with big grins and worn plenty (well, the baby didn't exactly grin, but I sure did.  And there was one photo in there that hasn't been given yet).  

     There was that whole nesting thing, right?  You could go so far as to say I'm being Biblical.  Look in Proverbs 31 - it's right there, I'm clothing my family.  You see?!  I am perfectly sane!  Oh, and there are plenty women out there who knit two and three times as much as I do (yes there ARE; don't look at me like that.  I have proof, ask me some time).

     I have to go.  There are slippers to be worked on, er... I mean dishes to wash...   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

my four valentines

     We had such a sweet Valentines day around here. When I woke up there were gifts from three of my valentines (Eve just isn't ready to make anything yet!). They had been busy and sneaky, and had let me sleep in while they made a batch of the donuts my Moma used to make

     The donuts are super easy!  You need one can of fridge biscuits, some oil or vegetable shortening, a bottle cap (plastic is fine), and something to sprinkle on the donuts.

     While your oil is heating, split each biscuit in half and then use the bottle cap to make the hole in the middle.  Fry them.  Take them out and let them rest on a paper towel for a minute or two, then roll them in either powdered sugar or cinnamon & sugar (course, I guess you could use both, who am I to judge?!).  Fry the holes too.

  Yummy, yummy, yummy...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pocket Bag Tutorial

     Happy Valentines!  My valentine for you is a tutorial (one that probably includes way more pics than neccessary - but better too many, than too few, right? wink, wink).

      We recently received a bunch of books on tape, and I couldn't bear the thought of all those plastic bags being drug around the house, so I got out some scraps of linen and came up with something a bit better to keep them in.  You could make the pockets any size, but this worked great for holding 8 books and their tapes:

     You will need some fun fabric cut into the following pieces:
(2) liner fabric ~ 13 x 15 inch
(2) outer fabric ~ 13 x 15 inch
(1) handle ~ 3 x 22 inch
(4) pocket strips ~ 4 x 13 inch

Ready?  Here we go!

     Get out your iron.  Fold your handle strip in half.  Press.  Open it and fold each edge in to the center.  Press.  Fold it back in half.  Press again.  Sew around all four edges, about 1/4 inch seam.

     Now take all your pocket strips and fold and press the long edges, with about a centimeter for a seam.  What happened to the inches?  Sorry, but the cm was much more convenient for this one, so just go with it.

     Now drop everything, and have a photo session with whichever kiddo who has decided they can't live another minute without your attention...

     Ahem.  Now grab all your pocket strips and sew down just ONE long edge of each.  This is going to be the top edge of your pockets.

     Now pick a top pocket, and lay it down, right-side up, on one of your outer bag pieces.

     Carefully flip it over.  This is where your're going to sew the bottom edge of it.  If you like pins, pin the edge down.  If you can't stand them (like me), just move the whole thing to the sewing machine, without loosing your place.

     Now, stitch in the ditch. 

     This is what you should end up with...

     Now do this with each pocket: position, flip, sew, flip, repeat. 

     You should end up with four flaps like this...

     Flip them all into place, and press.  Turn the whole thing so that the top is facing you, and you're about to feed the bottom edge of the pockets into the machine.  You are going to sew a line right down the middle of the bag. 

     (Now, there are two types of people on this planet:  the kind that can eye-ball a straight line, and the kind that are terrified by that sort of thing.  If you are the latter, you might want to get a pencil/chalk and ruler, and draw your center line before you sew)

     Great!  Now, line up your two outer pieces, with the pockets (right-sides) together.  It's totally fine if the pockets go past the edge - you can trim them later.  Sew around three sides of the bag (side, bottom, side) with a 1/2 inch seam.  Trim anything sticking out if you need to.  Turn bag right side out.

     Sew around the same three edges on your liner pieces.  Do NOT turn the liner right side out. 

     Now you have 3 pieces: liner, outer bag, and handle.  Line the handle up with the outer bag like this:

     And sew both edges of the handle down.  The ends will be hidden, which is why they can be raw.

     Now, take the bag and handle and put them down inside the liner.  The right side of the liner should be touching the right side of the outer bag.  Top stitch around the edge, stopping soon enough to leave yourself a 3 inch gap.  Be careful not to stitch through the top pocket (because then it won't be a pocket, just an interesting strip of color across your bag)!

     Pull the bag out through the hole you left...

     Tuck the liner into the bag.  Topstitch around the edge, which should shut the hole.  Stock your bag with books and tapes (or whatever), and put on display with Legos.  Course that last bit is optional...

     Happy Valentine's Day!  Oh, and if I missed anything, leave me I note, so I can fix it!